Maradona Warns Ecuador Voters: Don’t Become Another Argentina

“He (Lenin Moreno) is trying to be the president of an Ecuador that doesn’t want to follow the path of Argentina,” Maradona said.

Argentine soccer legend Diego Maradona encouraged Ecuadorean voters Wednesday to support leftist presidential candidate Lenin Moreno, warning that right-wing candidate Guillermo Lasso could degenerate Ecuador into a neoliberal mess, like his own Argentina under Mauricio Macri.

the message in a Twitter video ahead of the country’s April 2 runoff election. “I want to send a warm greeting to Ecuadoreans, to my friend (President Rafael) Correa and of course Lenin Moreno. He is trying to be the president of an Ecuador that doesn’t want to follow the path of Argentina,” he said.

“I tell my Ecuadorean friends: Lenin Moreno is the great chance we have. If you think otherwise, look at television and look at the strikes and marches in Argentina and Brazil where it seemed like they couldn’t fall.”

In 2015, Argentine voters elected right-wing Mauricio Macri as president, ushering in a period of neoliberal austerity that rolled back progressive gains made by former President Cristina Fernandez and Nestor Kirchner. Macri, campaigning against “big government,” has since implemented policies aimed at cutting and privatizing social programs, much like what Lasso is proposing.

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Another Mexican Journalist Murdered in Front of His Family

Ricardo Monlui Cabrera was killed in the Mexican state of Veracruz, which is considered to be the most dangerous areas for journalists in Latin America.

Mexican journalist Ricardo Monlui Cabrera was shot dead Sunday while leaving a restaurant with his wife and son in Veracruz, a state that journalists consider one of the country’s most dangerous for reporters, a state commission reported.

“No member of his family was injured,” Jorge Morales, executive secretary of the State Commission for the Care and Protection of Journalists, told AFP. That group was created in 2012, after nine Veracruz journalists were murdered within months.

Monlui was the editor of a local business newspaper, El Politico, and wrote a column covering area politics and the sugarcane industry.

A source close to the local prosecutor’s office said Monlui and his family had been invited to breakfast at a popular restaurant in the town of Yanga.

As they were walking back to their car, another car pulled up and at least two gunmen opened fire, leaving Monlui’s body sprawled on the asphalt, the source said, speaking on grounds of anonymity.

The last Mexican media person to be killed was Cecilio Pineda, shot dead earlier this month in Guerrero state as he lay resting in a hammock.

Mexico is the most dangerous country in Latin America for journalists, particularly those working to expose corruption and criminal networks.

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Voting in Ecuador Begins for Disabled and Incarcerated

Ahead of the presidential elections on Feb. 19, those detained and disabled will cast their ballots as is their right under Ecuadorean law.

A program created by the government of President Rafael Correa will see more than 10,000 inmates voting Thursday for the upcoming elections and will continue to assist people with disabilities to cast their ballot for the next president of Ecuador.

Elections are scheduled to be held on Sunday, Feb. 19 to elect the next president, vice president and members of the National Assembly.

According to the National Electoral Council, 10,230 people who are inside penitentiaries without a conviction will be able to vote. This is only possible after an agreement signed in 2013 between the Ministry of Justice and the General Registry.

On Friday, those with disabilities that have requested to vote at home or need assistance to reach voting centers will begin their voting process.

The Electoral Council, the Disability Council and the Federation of Taxi Drivers began this year’s program for home and assisted voting for any Ecuadorean who needs a relative or spouse to help them cast a vote.

After the voting process, the ballot boxes will be sealed and the material will be transferred to the custody of the police so that the votes can be included in the general elections.

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Trayvon Martin’s Parents Consider Run for Office

trayvonmartinhoodedTrayvon Martin’s parents were thrust into racial justice activism when since-acquitted George Zimmerman fatally shot their 17-year-old son — and now they’re considering a run for political office.

While promoting their new memoir, released January 31 and titled, “Rest in Power: The Enduring Life of Trayvon Martin,” Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin revealed their potential political aspirations.

“We certainly want to look at the positions that (are) available locally, and then we want to look at the positions for the state of Florida and then U.S. positions,” Fulton said Thursday on ABC’s Good Morning America. “We want to take a look at those positions to see what areas we would best benefit from and (communities) would benefit by having us there.”

Trayvon Martin’s death sparked outrage and accusations of racial profiling by Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer who shot the teenager. Martin had bought Skittles at a convenience store just before the altercation, a detail that was used to draw attention to the fact that Martin was unarmed and unthreatening.

The parents also revealed the same aspirations in a video interview for USA Today’s Capital Download program Sunday. “The only way we can be a part of the change is if we start with local government and we work our way up,” Fulton said. “Instead of just telling somebody else, ‘Listen, we need to change laws, amend laws,’ maybe (political office) is something we need to take a look at. We’re taking a step back now to see if that’s something we want to explore.”

Fulton explained that they would first look into municipal-level positions.

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The FBI Has an Official Policy of Racial Profiling – and Other Secret, Unchecked Powers

New information revealed by The Intercept shows that the FBI ‘s policies since 9/11 undermine civil liberties through racial and religious profiling – among other tactics.

The Intercept recently obtained exclusive access to a cache of documents detailing the FBI’s quiet expansion since 9/11 with policies and guidelines that grossly undermine civil liberties.

Perhaps the most jarring revelation from the outlet’s 11-part series is that despite anti-profiling rules, the FBI still targets based on religion and race.

While the bureau updated its policy on racial profiling in March 2013, investigation into its main governing manual, known as the Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide (DIOG) by The Intercept, clearly indicates that factors like race, nationality and ethnicity can be used to investigate someone.

While federal law enforcement has never allowed for such profiling, under the Bush administration, new rules were established to make exceptions for national security and border investigations.

Faiza Patel, co-director of the Liberty and National Security Program at the Brennan Center for Justice, told The Intercept that it’s so worrying given “the vast reams of public information that are now available about everybody (including, for example, social media posts and travel records obtained through license plate readers) to create detailed portraits of each of us and of entire communities.”

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Evo Morales Says the OAS Is Biased Against Latin America’s Left

The president of Bolivia suggestedthat the Washington-based OAS is pursuing a right-wing agenda in the Americas.

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Bolivian President Evo Morales said Tuesday that the secretary-general of the Organization of American States, OAS, is biased and doesn’t defend leftist governments in the region that are under attack.

Morales said OAS Secretary-General Luis Almagro supports only right-wing governments while attacking left-of-center leaders like Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

Last week, Morales criticized Almagro for releasing a letter of support addressed to a head of the Venezuelan opposition, Leopoldo Lopez, a promoter of a recall referendum against Maduro. Lopez led violent protests in 2014 in Venezuela, known as guarimbas, that left 43 people dead and over 800 wounded.

Maduro has repeatedly denounced foreign interference in Venezuela that, according to him, is orchestrated by the United States government, the secretary-general of the OAS and the opposition in Venezuela’s National Assembly, among others.

“Brother Almagro, don’t be a spokesman for the North American empire. To ask for international intervention is a colonial and undemocratic attitude,” Morales said on Aug. 23.

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Obama and Peña Nieto Tout TPP, Ignore Violence in Mexico

The meeting in Washington took place just hours after Trump, who Peña Nieto compared to Hitler, accepted the Republican presidential nomination.

pec3b1a-y-obama-2Presidents Barack Obama and Enrique Peña Nieto didn’t let human rights and violence in Mexico get in the way of celebrating their two nations’ strong political and economic ties.

Claiming to have a “strong trade partnership,” Peña Nieto met with Obama Friday in Washington to formalize U.S.-Mexico economic and security initiatives reached in the past three years in order to ensure they stay in force regardless of who will be the next U.S. president in 2017, the Mexican government said.

In a joint press conference, Obama praised Mexico as a “critical partner” and said the relationship created between the two countries through NAFTA will be reflected in the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement that both countries have signed. However, consipicuously missing from the conversation was any mention of state violence in Oaxaca, the disappareance of the 43 Ayotzinapa students, or the overall deteriorating human rights situation in Mexico.

The meeting took place hours after Trump accepted the Republican presidential nomination at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

Peña Nieto has slammed on Trump’s negative comments toward Mexicans, including when he said “they bring drugs and crime to the U.S.,” while also calling them “rapists.” The Mexican leader believes these words have damaged relationships between the two countries and has also compared the Republican candidate’s rhetoric to that of Hitler and Mussolini.

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OLP condemns the visit of President of Paraguay to the Old City of Jerusalem

Paraguay and Israel are looking to expand economic and cultural cooperation, particularly in technology and agriculture.

 Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes is looking to strengthen ties with Israel Tuesday during the final day of his three-day visit with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

In addition to addressing economic, social, and cultural cooperation with Netanyahu on Tuesday, Cartes also met with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin on Monday to discuss agreements on technology, agriculture, and education.

The Paraguayan president will also meet with opposition leader Isaac Herzog on Tuesday and visit an engineering school.

The Jerusalem Post called Cartes a “rare ally in South America,” along with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos.

Cartes lauded “an exciting and historic time” for both countries and welcomed the broadened cooperation. In recent years, Paraguayan officials have heralded the South American country as the entry point for Israeli technology in Latin America, while Israeli politicians have hailed its “favorable” tax system and “stable business environment.”

But Cartes’ visit hasn’t been without controversy. The Palestine Liberation Organization slammed the Paraguayan head of state for visiting the Old City of Jerusalem in occupied Palestinian territories as part of his diplomatic agenda.
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Britain has voted to leave the European Union in the Brexit referendum

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Britain has voted to leave the European Union in the Brexit referendum, with results Thursday morning showing 51.9 percent voted for the exit versus 48.1 percent for the “remain” campaign, or a margin of over 1 million votes.

But as the outcome begins to send shockwaves through the U.K. and across the EU and the world, what’s next as Britain gears up for the Brexit?

  1. Leaving the EU Won’t Happen Overnight

Britain will now have to prepare to negotiate with the European Union to implement the decision to make an exit. The process will take years. The U.K. first has to formally notify the EU of the plan to quit the bloc under what’s called Article 50 of the EU’s governing treaty before negotiations on an agreement can get underway.

The first step doesn’t need to happen right away. And with Prime Minister David Cameron’s decision to resign, he said he will leave the timeline to the new prime minister to decide, meaning the move is at least months away. That aligns with the view of Vote Leave Chief Matthew Elliott, who told Reuters Friday morning that it would be “foolish” to act immediately, suggesting leaders should “take stock” of the situation. Labour party and opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn, on the other hand, told BBC that he believes Article 50 should be invoked straight away to begin negotiations for a good deal as soon as possible.

Once invoked, Article 50 gives a two-year deadline to negotiate an exit. The process will be a navigation of uncharted territories since no member state has ever left the EU.

The negotiations over a withdrawal agreement, or what some media have called a divorce settlement, will cover economic issues, immigration, regulation, and other questions. Trade talks will also be necessary to determine whether Britain’s access to EU markets will be under EU rules or new trade deals.

Although the referendum is not legally binding, there is no reason to believe that the government will defy the popular vote, a move that the BBC described as “political suicide.”

  1. Who Fills David Cameron’s Shoes Once He Quits?

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ONG: Covert operations in Latin America

 

For the United States, “non-governmental organizations” are playing an increasingly prominent role in “democracy promotion” across the planet.

In Latin America, there is increasing awareness about the activities of these groups and those who fund them to undermine elected governments and subvert the region’s autonomy.

Modus Operandi

Starting in 1999, the United States has increasingly lost the ability it once had to determine policy in Latin America.

The Bolivarian Revolution that began in Venezuela quickly grew throughout the region, and over the decade the idea of reclaiming national sovereignty through regional integration gained momentum. A decade later, organizations like ALBA, CELAC and Unasur were formed by countries from Latin America and the Caribbean, who came to consensus on the benefits of excluding the United States (and to a lesser extent, Canada).

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