Neocon Elliot Abrams, Trump’s envoy to Venezuela, held a press conference on Tuesday to give updates on his failed coup in Venezuela. It is important to keep in mind that Abrams was convicted of lying to congress over the Iran-Contra affair in 1986 when listening to him speak.
Since opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself interim president of Venezuela back in January, there have been several failed coup attempts and increased pressure from the U.S. for Maduro to step down. The Venezuelan military has stood by president Maduro in every attempt, with just a few defectors.
Special Representative for #Venezuela Elliott Abrams: We support Interim President @jguaido’s efforts; the barrier to a peaceful resolution remains Maduro’s refusal to step aside. pic.twitter.com/yxwLJe2fDk
— Department of State (@StateDept) June 25, 2019
Humanitarian aid has been politicized in this conflict, most notably the standoff at the Colombia-Venezuela border in February. USAID was trying to force aid trucks over the border that Maduro did not want, since he has his suspicions of USAID being a CIA front. This was a perfect way for U.S. media outlets to portray Maduro as a monster, but he has accepted aid from his allies, China and Russia.
A Russian military aircraft reportedly landed in Caracas on Monday. Abrams said the plane was carrying, “technicians to service previously sold arms systems.” Abrams then smugly pointed out how the U.S. Navy is sending a hospital ship to the Caribbean to help displaced Venezuelan refugees, while Russia is sending military equipment.
Abrams went on to praise Guaido, “Interim president Juan Guaido continues to travel throughout the country distributing humanitarian assistance, organizing health clinics and spreading an important message that he seeks a peaceful democratic transition.” But there have been recent corruption charges within Guaido’s circle.
A recent scandal involving members of Guaido’s opposition group came out last week. They have been accused of spending funds raised by a concert for humanitarian aid on luxury hotels, clubs, designer clothes and cars. The concert was put on by Virgin CEO and billionaire Richard Branson in Colombia, around the time of the humanitarian aid stunt on the border.
Venezuela’s government has also claimed the U.S. Justice Department will be opening an investigation into an alleged accounting fraud that may have stolen $70 million of Citgo assets, since the opposition has taken over the board of directors.
Venezuela’s vice minister of communications said, “It seems like the person directly involved in having pocketed those $70 million in excesses, due to cooking the books, is Mr. Carlos Vecchio.” Carlos Vecchio is a former Exxon-lawyer and the opposition’s appointed diplomat to Washington.
Of course, Abrams did not mention any of these scandals in his remarks on Tuesday, just continued his Maduro bashing and Guaido praising. He also called the idea of a peaceful democratic transition under Maduro “laughable”. The opposition and Maduro representatives have recently held talks in Norway, although the U.S. said the talks must focus on ousting Maduro, in effect sabotaging any real progress.
It seems Washington has not given up its regime change efforts in Venezuela. Crippling U.S. sanctions are still in effect, a report by the Center for Economic and Policy Research entitled, “Economic Sanctions as Collective Punishment,” that came out this year, determined U.S. sanctions are responsible for 40,000 deaths in Venezuela.
Regardless of Maduro’s corruption, this U.S. intervention is doing nothing but making the Venezuelan economy scream even more. The collapse of Venezuela’s economy can be blamed on oil prices, rampant inflation, price control, socialism, U.S. sanctions or a combination of these things. But the U.S. and its allies seizing any Venezuelan assets they have control of is nothing short of criminal and it needs to stop.
The next time Eliot Abrams walks up to the podium, remember he was convicted of lying to congress over Iran-Contra. Also remember how he downplayed the El Mozote Massacre in El Salvador in 1981, where 800 civilians were massacred by a U.S. backed military unit. Abrams told the Senate the reports of the massacre were “not credible” after it happened. As recently as 2001 Abrams said U.S. policy in El Salvador at the time was a “fabulous achievement.” So, when Abrams says Guaido is “distributing humanitarian assistance,” it should be taken with a grain of salt.
MUST WATCH: California Restaurant Owner Blocks Health Inspector’s Car, ‘If We Can’t Work, You Can’t Work’
A GoFundMe campaign to support the restaurant has raised over $20,000.
A heroic California restaurant owner blocked in a Los Angeles County health inspector’s car after he attempted to shut his business down for allowing outdoor dining, asserting that “if we can’t work, you can’t work.”
Carlos Roman, the owner of Bread & Barley in Covina, did not back down even after police arrived.
“He wants to come in here and say that no one can work, so he can’t work either,” Roman told the officer. “He decided to come today and take photos of the people outside and say that he was going to fine us,” he explained.
Roman refused to move his truck, telling the officer to go ahead and get her supervisor.
“This is what happens when people get desperate. I’m desperate. Who is going to pay her car payment? Who is going to pay my cook’s rent?” Roman asked the officer. “I want it to be hard on everyone. I want everyone to see how hard this sh-t is.”
The outraged owner demanded to know if the inspector and the officer got paychecks last week, asserting that his employees haven’t.
“You’re just doing your job right, we’re all in this together?” Roman asked the inspector. “When I go to the bank, can I tell the bank the health department said it’s ok and that I don’t have to pay you?”
“What do I tell my employees?” Roman shouted.
Roman is now facing two $500 fines for failure to comply and interfering with the health officer.
A GoFundMe campaign to support the restaurant has raised over $20,000.
Hunter Biden’s Ex-Wife, Kathleen, Tells Him He is a Better Father Than Joe Biden Was
In an email to her ex-husband Hunter Biden, Kathleen Biden told her troubled former spouse that he is a better father than Joe Biden was.
The cryptic email was found in a trove of documents currently being reviewed in a joint effort by District Herald and the Nationalist Review, provided to us on Friday by a source who obtained them from former Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
“I want you to know that you are a great father – a better father than your dad. Your girls love you because you love them for who they are. You haven’t judged them, you have loved them for who they are. You listen and you make them and their problems important to you. You make them great because you allow them to be who they are without unfair expectations. You are patient, caring, and loving,” Kathleen Biden wrote. “I know you and I have struggled but your love for the girls hasn’t waivered. Remember how we use to joke that the girls didn’t have anything to survive to make them strong and interesting? Well, we gave it to them! They did survive it and they are stronger. Through it all they never questioned your love or commitment.”
Kathleen Biden asserted that the former Vice President “wasn’t perfect” as a father.
“I know you love your dad and I do too but he wasn’t perfect,” the mother of Hunter’s children continued. “No one is perfect. At your core, you taught our girls what was important. They are kind, thoughtful, open, curious, funny, compassionate and hard working. You were as much a part of that as I was in helping them grow. Don’t ever question whether you were as good a father as your dad. You were better, in every way.”
In response, Hunter wrote that he worries he has failed them. “Thank you for this it means everything to me. I worry so much that I have failed you all in so many ways,” he said.
Hunter also acknowledged that he will need to earn his children’s trust and respect back, though the reason is unclear.
“I know the girls love me- but I often wonder if they trust and respect me. I know it’s something I have to earn back. And I know that you are the best mother I have ever known. You have raised three incredible young women. We are so lucky to have them, and I am so lucky to have met you 23 years ago. Thank you,” he wrote.
High School Football Players Suspended for Carrying Thin Blue, Thin Red Line Flags Before 9/11 Game
High School football players in Florida have been suspended from their team for carrying Thin Blue Line and Thin Red Line flags during their football game on 9/11 to honor the first responders who died during the attack on the World Trade Center.
One of the young men on the Little Miami High School football team is the son of a police officer, another, the son of a firefighter.
“Were you trying to make some kind of a political statement here?” a Local 12 reporter asked Brady Williams, a senior cornerback, who carried the Thin Blue Line flag.
Two Little Miami football players pay the price for civil disobedience. They were told not to carry onto the field thin blue line and thin red line flags at their 9/11 game. They did anyway. The school has now suspended them from the team indefinitely. #ThinBlueLine #ThinRedLine pic.twitter.com/19y9GAvaxr
— David Winter (@DavidWinterTV) September 14, 2020
“No,” he answered quickly. “Not at all. I was just doing it to honor the people that lost their lives 19 years ago.”
Jarad Bentley, whose father is a firefighter, carried the Thin Red Line flag.
“I was all for it,” he said. “Because my dad is a firefighter, and if it had been him killed on 9/11, I would have wanted someone to do it for him.”
The young men had asked the school for permission to carry the flags on to the field before the game, and the school refused. They were told that if they did, there would be consequences.
Still, the boys did it anyways.
“Listen,” Williams said. “I don’t care what my consequences are. So long as my message gets across, I’ll be happy.”
Local 12 reports that “Williams and Bentley heard from the athletic director Monday afternoon and received an indefinite suspension.” The station said that they had called the superintendent about the boys a few hours prior.
Superintendent Gregory Power claimed that they denied the boys’ request because they don’t want to “set a precedent” for “political” flags being carried out on the field.
“We did not want to place ourselves in a circumstance where another family might want a different flag to come out of the tunnel, one that may be [one that] many other families may not agree with from a political perspective,” Power claimed.