Connect with us

Politics

Pompeo defends U.S. sanctions on Venezuela on Latin America visit

Published

on

Pompeo defends U.S. sanctions on Venezuela on Latin America visit

By Natalia A. Ramos Miranda

FILE PHOTO – U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo testifies before a Senate foreign Relations Committee hearing on the State Department budget request in Washington, U.S. April 10, 2019. REUTERS/Erin Scott

SANTIAGO (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday defended sanctions on Venezuela and said countries in the region would understand that the United States was not the “malign actor” in the socialist-run country’s deepening economic and political crisis.

Pompeo was embarking on a three-day visit to Chile, Paraguay and Peru, a clutch of fast-growing countries in a region where Washington concerns are focused on China’s growing presence, as well as the Venezuelan crisis.

It will be the first time since 1965 that a U.S. secretary of state has visited Paraguay, a symbolic gesture that experts say underscores U.S. commitment to the region.

Pompeo will also travel on Sunday to Cucuta, a Colombian border city receiving significant numbers of Venezuelan migrants fleeing hunger and violence in their homeland.

Venezuela’s crisis is expected to dominate the trip as the United States pressures President Nicolas Maduro to step down and urges more countries to join the coalition supporting opposition leader Juan Guaido. The region has seen a shift in recent years towards right-leaning presidents that have backed Guaido.

“This is an historic opportunity,” Pompeo told reporters en route to Chile’s capital Santiago, where he touched down in the early hours of Friday morning. The region contained countries that “were truly market driven, democratic in ways that we haven’t had in South America for decades,” he said.

The visit comes as Washington considers more sanctions against Maduro’s government and pushes Russia to remove its troops from Venezuela.

Critics have warned that heavy sanctions could hurt ordinary Venezuelans, already suffering from hyperinflation and food and medicine shortages. Pompeo said the people recognized the United States was not to blame for the country’s crisis.

“I think they understand who the malign actor is here and I think they’ll see all the countries in the region, including the United States, as truly trying to help them,” he said.

“There’s a deep recognition that this is a years and years long problem almost exclusively the result of Maduro handing over the keys to the country to Cuba, and that’s not the guy who you want being part of the conversation about how to move democracy forward.”

Roberta Braga, a director of the Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center at the Atlantic Council, said she expected Pompeo to flag the importance of Peru’s leadership as part of the Lima Group regional bloc in addressing Venezuela’s crisis.

“At the top of the priority list for Pompeo’s trip this week will be to continue to reinforce and strengthen the coalition that has been built in support of Guaido,” Braga said.

“Pompeo will likely reiterate the administration’s prior warnings to external actors, including China, Cuba and Russia, to not intervene in the crisis.”

While most Western nations have recognized Guaido as head of state, Russia, China and Cuba have stood by Maduro.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said this week Venezuela’s economy was expected to contract by one-fourth in 2019, and a further 10 percent in 2020 – a greater collapse than it projected in October.

CHINA PIVOT

During his travels, Pompeo is expected to highlight the gains from economic and trade cooperation with the United States, whose regional influence has been increasingly challenged by China.

China, whose booming economy over the past two decades has driven up demand for raw materials, is already the top trade partner for nations from tiny Uruguay to Brazil, Latin America’s largest economy and the world’s top soybean exporter.

The pivot by Latin American countries towards China for financing has alarmed Washington even as its own policy toward the region shifts.

Slideshow (2 Images)

Pompeo said the United States was “working diligently” to make sure Latin American countries had access to American markets.

U.S. President Donald Trump’s December 2017 national security strategy said China was seeking to “pull the region into its orbit through state-led investment and loans.”

Chinese foreign direct investment (FDI) in the region has risen by $70 billion since 2012, according to the Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center. While the United States remains the largest source of FDI, its share fell to 20 percent in 2016 from 24 percent in 2012, according to the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean.

Reporting by Natalia Ramos in Santiago, additional reporting by Lesley Wroughton in Washington; Editing by James Dalgleish and Rosalba O’Brien

Politics

Rashida Tlaib’s removal from committees urged by Zionist Organization of America

Published

on

By

Rashida Tlaib claims Dem leadership uses party’s minority members as tokens of diversity

One of America’s oldest Jewish organizations called Wednesday for U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., to be removed from congressional committees and from the Democratic Party.

In an editorial posted on its website, the Zionist Organization of America, which dates to 1897, pointed to what it described as Tlaib’s “anti-Israel record,” and accused the freshman congresswoman of associating with “terrorists, anti-Semites and conspiracy theorists.”

“Rashida Tlaib’s anti-Israel record was already well-known before she was elected in last year’s midterm elections,” the ZOA article asserts. “She calls Israel a ‘racist country’ on the basis of the lie that Israel discriminates against those ‘darker skinned,’ supports the destruction of Israel in favor of an Arab-dominated state (“It has to be one state”), ‘absolutely’ backs withholding U.S. aid from Israel, and openly supports the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which is committed to international ostracism and weakening of Israel with a view to its eventual elimination.”

FRESHMAN REP. RASHIDA TLAIB INTRODUCES RESOLUTION URGING TRUMP IMPEACHMENT

The ZOA supports its assertions with links to news stories that quote the 42-year-old Palestinian-American lawmaker from Detroit.

The same article includes a list of people with whom Tlaib has been photographed, or about whom Tlaib has posted social media messages, and includes information about their alleged links to bombings or other crimes.

“It is perfectly clear that Rashida Tlaib is not in the smallest degree ashamed, and has not the slightest inhibition about, being publicly being associated with these anti-Semites, terrorists and glorifiers of Jew-murderers,” ZOA National President Morton A. Klein and Chairman Mark Levenson said in a joint statement.

JEWISH GROUPS CONDEMN RASHIDA TLAIB OVER TIES TO RADICAL PRO-HEZBOLLAH, ANTI-ISRAEL ACTIVIST

“The Democratic Party must do the only honorable thing,” they continued, “which is to expel her from the party and remove her from Congressional committees.”

Since taking office in January, Tlaib has been a lightning rod for criticism from Republicans as well as from members of her own party.

She quickly drew national attention just hours after being sworn in, when she used a profanity in calling for the impeachment of President Trump.

“We’re gonna go in there and we’re gonna impeach the motherf—er,’” she told a crowd of supporters, referring to Trump.

In March, Tlaib denounced anti-Semitism in an interview with the Detroit News.

“I’m always pushing back against it,” Tlaib said of anti-Semitism. “But this is going to continue happening because I’m Palestinian.”

She claimed that an important distinction needed to be made between anti-Semitism and her criticisms of the policies of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“When I criticize Netanyahu’s discrimination, inequality, human rights violations, saying you have to do better and we have to look at real equality and even desegregating certain communities,” Tlaib told the News, “that, to me, does not make me charging toward the Jewish faith at all. And I’m very conscientious of that.”

In April, Tlaib quickly came to the defense of another progressive Democrat, Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, after Omar referred to the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, as “some people did something.”

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Tlaib claimed that critics had taken Omar’s words out of context.

“My sister Ilhan Omar, what she was talking about, was uplifting people by supporting their civil liberties and civil rights,” Tlaib said in a television interview. “She has always, always condemned any strategy, especially of a person directly impacted by being a refugee herself.”

More recently, Tlaib asked her supporters last week to join her in a hunger strike in protest of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), arguing that the federal agency that enforces U.S. immigration laws should be shut down.

Continue Reading

Politics

Hundreds of decks of playing cards arrive for Washington state lawmaker who criticized nurses

Published

on

By

Washington state lawmaker riles nurses by saying that some spend 'considerable' time playing cards

The Washington state senator who suggested that some nurses “play cards” during a “considerable” portion of their shifts received more than 600 packages of playing cards Tuesday as backlash over her remarks continued to grow.

The United Parcel Service location in Tumwater, Wash., said that it received 667 packages of playing cards addressed to state Sen. Maureen Walsh, R-Walla Walla, after an open letter criticizing her remarks circulated on Facebook last week and included Walsh’s P.O. box address, Seattle’s KOMO-TV reported.

“You said that not all nurses deserve breaks as they just sit around playing cards while on shift anyway,” the letter read. “I know nurses who can go all night without food or a bathroom break. I know nurses with nerve damage and back pain from doing whatever it takes to take care of patients. I know nurses who cry in their cars. Do you think that’s where they play cards, Senator Walsh?”

WASHINGTON STATE LAWMAKER RILES NURSES BY SAYING SOME SPEND ‘CONSIDERABLE’ TIME PLAYING CARDS

Washington state Sen. Maureen Walsh, R-Walla Walla, angered nurses by commenting in a speech that some nurses may spend a lot of time playing cards in rural hospitals. (Associated Press)

Washington state Sen. Maureen Walsh, R-Walla Walla, angered nurses by commenting in a speech that some nurses may spend a lot of time playing cards in rural hospitals. (Associated Press)

The letter went on to predict that after the next election cycle Walsh may find herself with “plenty of time to play cards and plenty of cards to play with.”

Walsh first drew criticism from nursing professionals while debating a bill last week that would require uninterrupted meal and rest breaks for nurses and would also provide mandatory overtime protections for them.

She pushed for an amendment that would exclude hospitals with fewer than 25 beds from the provision, arguing that such small facilities struggle to provide 24-hour care as it is.

“I would submit to you that those (small hospital) nurses probably do get breaks,” Walsh said. “They probably play cards for a considerable amount of the day.”

Despite the bill being passed with Walsh’s amendment, her ill-received comments sparked a flurry of social media posts mocking her.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Walsh addressed the issue Monday, apologizing to those who were offended and saying she would spend a day shadowing a nurse throughout his or her 12-hour shift.

“I want to offer my heartfelt apologies to those I offended with my comments on the Senate floor last Tuesday. I was tired, and in the heat of argument on the Senate floor, I said some things about nurses that were taken out of context – but still they crossed the line.”

In 2012, some comments by Walsh on a different subject also went viral, the News Tribune of Tacoma reported. That year Walsh bucked most other members of the state GOP by speaking out in support of same-sex marriage. The state’s House subsequently backed a bill to legalize same-sex marriage.

Continue Reading

Politics

Bernie Sanders wrong about prisoners and voting, ex-con released under Trump reform law says

Published

on

By

Bernie Sanders wrong about prisoners and voting, ex-con released under Trump reform law says

The first man released from prison under President Trump’s criminal justice reform law reacted to Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., saying that prisoners should be permitted to vote by noting the “logistical” problems of allowing prisoners serving a sentence to vote and backing prisoners who served their time to have their rights restored.

“I do know while you’re incarcerated you do lose some of your liberties. But my thing is, once a person has been completely released and they paid their debt to society and they are back in society actually functioning, paying taxes, then they should have their rights restored to vote,” Matthew Charles, who was released from prison under the First Step Act, said on Fox News’  “The Story with Martha MacCallum.”

KAMALA HARRIS BACKTRACKS, NOW SAYS CRIMINALS LIKE BOSTON BOMBER ‘SHOULD BE DEPRIVED’ OF RIGHT TO VOTE

“But during the period they’re incarcerated, it’s going to be like a complex issue because of the logistics. You got people incarcerated in states that they actually are not from.”

Sanders opened himself to scrutiny this week after saying that not only should incarcerated prisoners be permitted to vote but that Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev should also be permitted to vote.

“If somebody commits a serious crime, sexual assault, murder, they will be punished. But I think the right to vote is inherent to our democracy. Yes, even for terrible people,” Sanders said Monday on a CNN Town Hall.

Trump’s re-election campaign called out Sanders Wednesday, describing his idea “deeply offensive.”

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

“The extremity and radicalism of the 2020 Democrats knows no bounds,” Trump campaign press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told Fox News.

“Giving imprisoned terrorists, sex offenders, and murderers the right to vote is an outrageous proposal that is deeply offensive to innocent victims across this country, some of whom lost their lives and are forever disenfranchised by the very killers that 2020 Democrats seek to empower,” she said.

Fox News’ Sally Persons and Alex Pappas contributed to this report.

Continue Reading

Categories

Recent Posts

Like Us On Facebook

Trending