Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro tweeted on Wednesday that he has ordered his military to be “prepared to protect the peace” in the case of a US intervention in the nation.
Neoconservative lawmakers and pundits have been salivating over the prospect of overthrowing the socialist leader and replacing him with opposition leader Juan Guaidó.
“I have ordered all military branches to be vigilant and be ready to protect the peace, to make any attempt by the North American empire to try anything against our homeland impossible. Peace will be our victory!” Maduro tweeted in Spanish.
Ordené a todas las Unidades Militares estar alertas y preparados para defender la paz y hacer imposible al imperio norteamericano intentar cualquier aventura en contra de nuestra Patria. ¡Nuestra Victoria será la Paz! pic.twitter.com/edCfcBw1fQ
— Nicolás Maduro (@NicolasMaduro) May 22, 2019
Maduro has also ordered his military to capture any traitors within their ranks.
“If a traitor emerges, capture him immediately, it’s an order: capture him immediately!” Maduro said on Tuesday.
The media and many members of DC’s political elite had attempted to paint a portrait of an Ecuadorian military who were set to defect and allow Guaidó to waltz into power — but that was not the case. President Donald Trump’s national security adviser John Bolton even made a video pleading with Maduro’s top aides to defect. Though the US, UK and over 50 other countries have recognized the opposition leader as the interim president of the Latin American nation, the Ecuadorian armed forces have largely stood by Maduro.
According to a report from the Washington Post, President Trump was “misled about how easy it would be to replace the socialist strongman.”
“The president’s dissatisfaction has crystallized around National Security Adviser John Bolton and what Trump has groused is an interventionist stance at odds with his view that the United States should stay out of foreign quagmires,” the report said.
Though the attempt at regime change is severely at odds with President Trump’s previous anti-intervention positions, the Post report said that “despite Trump’s grumbling that Bolton had gotten him out on a limb on Venezuela, Bolton’s job is safe.”
VIDEO: Black Lives Matter Protesters Vandalize Abraham Lincoln Statue
The vandals used spray paint to cover the statue with names of people killed while in police custody.
Black Lives Matter protesters in London vandalized the statue of President Abraham Lincoln in Parliament Square on Saturday.
They also vandalized a statue of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill.
The vandals used spray paint to cover the statue with names of people killed while in police custody, including Freddie Gray, Breonna Taylor, Mike Brown and George Floyd. They also climbed all over it and surrounded the base with anti-police signs.
— Matthew Thompson (@mattuthompson) June 6, 2020
Statue of former US president Abraham Lincoln now bears the names of black people killed by American police pic.twitter.com/WHBwLIOqjb
— Mattha Busby (@matthabusby) June 6, 2020
Lincoln was the commander-in-chief when the North defeated the Confederate Army during the Civil War. He famously declared all slaves shall be free during his Emancipation Proclamation address on Jan. 1, 1863.
“And by virtue of the power, and for the purpose aforesaid, I do order and declare that all persons held as slaves within said designated States, and parts of States, are, and henceforward shall be free; and that the Executive government of the United States, including the military and naval authorities thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of said persons,” Lincoln said.
The London “protesters” also vandalized a statue of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill earlier in the day, which happened to be the 76th anniversary of D-Day.
The Sir Winston Churchill Statue in Parliament Square, Westminster has been defaced already…
— London & UK Crime.. (@CrimeLdn) June 6, 2020
“Should I get all the football lads to guard it now, should I?” a man upset with the vandalism is heard asking police in footage posted to social media. “So, as you can see, Churchill has really been hit. We’ve got police here, and it’s been done. Pass the message on: Winston Churchill has been vandalized.”
There were approximately 15,000 people in attendance at the demonstration.
Brexit leader Nigel Farage has condemned the “protest.”
“This protest in London now has nothing to do with George Floyd,” Farage wrote on Twitter. “It is anarchy in the face of weak leadership.”
German Official Invites Twitter to Move to Germany Following Trump’s Executive Order
Germany, of course, is not exactly known for their respect for free speech.
A German official has invited Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to move his company there following President Donald Trump’s executive order aimed at protecting free speech on social media.
Germany, of course, is not exactly known for their respect for free speech, as they ban anything “capable of inciting popular hatred.” It actually sounds like a perfect match for a platform that arbitrarily bans accounts for edgy banter.
Thomas Jarzombek of Germany’s Economic Affairs Ministry tweeted on Thursday, “Hey @Twitter & @jack, this is an invitation to move to Germany! Here you are free to criticize the government as well as to fight fake news. We have a great startup and tech ecosystem, your company would be a perfect fit and I will open any doors for you!”
Hey @Twitter & @jack, this is an invitation to move to Germany! Here you are free to criticize the government as well as to fight fake news. We have a great startup and tech ecosystem, your company would be a perfect fit and I will open any doors for you! @realDonaldTrump
— Thomas Jarzombek (@tj_tweets) May 28, 2020
He also tagged President Trump in the tweet in an attempt to make sure that his dig would be noticed.
Earlier in the day, President Trump signed an executive order that aims to increase government regulation of the “new public square” by challenging their Section 230 protection from being held liable for content posted by users
Under Section 230, platforms that are not publishers cannot be held liable for most posts by users on their sites. By censoring certain opinions, the platform has crossed the line into acting as a publisher with an editorial line, which is not protected.
“Trump’s directive now could set the stage for federal regulators to write new rules and issue new punishments for companies deemed to exhibit political bias,” the Washington Post explained.
The order also established a council to probe allegations of censorship of users based on their political views and asked the Federal Trade Commission to probe whether or not content-moderation is falling in line with their pledges of neutrality to users.
“In a country that has long cherished the freedom of expression, we cannot allow a limited number of online platforms to hand pick the speech that Americans may access and convey on the internet. This practice is fundamentally un-American and anti-democratic. When large, powerful social media companies censor opinions with which they disagree, they exercise a dangerous power. They cease functioning as passive bulletin boards, and ought to be viewed and treated as content creators,” the order read.
“The growth of online platforms in recent years raises important questions about applying the ideals of the First Amendment to modern communications technology. Today, many Americans follow the news, stay in touch with friends and family, and share their views on current events through social media and other online platforms. As a result, these platforms function in many ways as a 21st century equivalent of the public square.”
Former Emory Professor Pleads Guilty to Hiding Role in Chinese Program Deemed a ‘Threat to National Security’
The program he was part of has been called a “threat to national security.”
A former professor at Emory University has pleaded guilty to hiding his ties to a Chinese government program that has been deemed a threat to national security.
Xiao-Jiang Li, 63, was part of China’s “Thousand Talents Program.”
“This defendant thought that he could live two, separate lives — one here at Emory University and one in China as a Thousand Talents Program participant,” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak in a statement.
The Thousand Talents program was established by the Chinese government in 2008 and has been called a “threat to national security” by the US Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations and Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. One member of the program stole proprietary defense information on U.S. military jet engines. In 2018, the National Intelligence Council declared that an underlying motivation of the program is “to facilitate the legal and illicit transfer of US technology, intellectual property and know-how” to China.”
“As this case demonstrates, the FBI is committed to working with our partners to prevent individuals from utilizing the Chinese Government’s talent plan programs to commit fraud against the United States government and our universities,” said Acting Assistant Director Robert R. Wells of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division.
According to the statement from the Justice Department, in late 2011, while employed at Emory University, Li joined the Thousand Talents Program. The department explained that “starting in 2012 and continuing until 2018, Li, while still working at Emory University researching, among other things, the use of large animal models to investigate Huntington’s disease, also worked at two Chinese universities — first at the Chinese Academy of Sciences and then at Jinan University — conducting similar large animal model research. Over those six years, Li earned at least $500,000 in foreign income that he never reported on his federal income tax returns.”
“The Department of Justice remains vigilant over programs such as the Thousand Talents Program that recruits professors and researchers to work for China,” said Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers. “In this case Li was caught in his lack of transparency. We are grateful for the work our partners have done to bring light to this case.”
Li has been sentenced to one year of probation on a felony charge and was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $35,089. He has also been ordered to file lawful income tax returns for 2012 through 2018 within the first two months of his probation. Aditionally, Li must fully cooperate with the IRS.