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5 forgotten US ‘regime changes’

The US has been engaged in regime change for decades, including in these instances that are rarely discussed by mainstream media.

Shane Quinn

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Some anniversaries are widely observed in the West: Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor, Holocaust Memorial Day, the September 11 atrocities, and so on. Yet there are other undesirable anniversaries that have been largely disappeared.

 1 US-backed forces overthrow Goulart in Brazil (1964)

Considering its vast size and abundant natural resources, Brazil should long have been one of Latin America’s richest countries. Instead, it has been something of a horror story, as Brazilians have been repressed and brutalized across decades by military dictatorships. Brazil’s plight strikes a common theme across a region of the world in which the great superpower, the United States, has sought to continually control.

Brazil had especially come under the unblinking eye of the empire during the 1960s. US president Lyndon B. Johnson was hell-bent in ensuring such a massive country did not become“the China of the 1960s”. Johnson was referring indiscreetly to Mao Zedong, a Communist revolutionary whose influence in China continued to rise.

US concern about Brazilian sympathies increased in the early part of that decade. In September 1961, left-wing nationalist Joao Goulart became the nation’s democratically elected president, spreading panic in the liberal Kennedy administration. Goulart began implementing structural reforms in the South American country, that would help integrate the general population into society. The United States was loathe to sit helplessly by as this movement came within “our hemisphere”, as President John F. Kennedy described it.

Goulart, also known as “Jango”, was hostile toward US capitalist democracy that seeks to primarily serve elite powers. Shortly before his death, Kennedy had been preparing the groundwork to oust Goulart, with the coup (March 31-April 1) occurring less than five months under his successor’s, Johnson. “We just can’t take this one [social movement],” warned Johnson. Goulart’s toppling received crucial CIA funding and arms, while Brazil was placed under a neo-Nazi dictatorship that tortured their people for over 20 years.

2 CIA terminate the 10-year Guatemalan Revolution (1954)

Guatemala, a small central American nation, remains a ghastly nightmare to this day. Located almost a thousand miles south of Mexico, Guatemala’s troubles can be traced back 500 years when Spanish explorers “discovered” the region. Almost inevitably, the Spanish conquistadores (conquerors) brought mass death and disease to the native populations. For three centuries, the country languished under Spanish colonialism before declaring itself independent in 1821. During the first half of the 20th century, Guatemala was ruled by dictators linked to the United Fruit Company (UFC), a powerful US-owned corporation, known as “the octopus”.

The causes for her suffering (in living memory) can be traced to President Dwight D. Eisenhower implementing a CIA-run coup that installed further autocratic regimes. Guatemala had been enjoying a 10-year revolution (1944-54): firstly, under Juan Jose Arevalo, who introduced a minimum wage and increased funding to education. Arevalo’s democratically elected successor in 1951, Jacobo Arbenz, instituted land reforms to grant property to landless peasants. Such inclusive measures were deemed an unacceptable threat to US hegemony over the Western hemisphere.

Arbenz’ policies threatened the UFC, which had long been exploiting Guatemalan workers, and which had direct ties to Eisenhower’s administration (the Dulles brothers). The UFC aggressively lobbied Eisenhower, who authorised the CIA to aid a force led by the impending right-wing dictator, Carlos Castillo Armas. With further threat of invasion by American forces, the Guatemalan army eventually refused to fight on – an error of historic proportions. Almost four decades of civil war followed, as successive US-backed dictators committed atrocities such as genocide against the Maya peoples.

 3 Isabel Peron overthrown by US-backed forces (1976)

Few countries have experienced such pain and upheaval as Argentina did during the middle part of the 20th century. With an enormous coastline stretching along the riches of the Atlantic Ocean, and a landmass second only to Brazil in South America, power in the country has been contested with great vitriol.

Argentina witnessed a total of six coups since 1930, beginning in that year with the ousting of democratically elected president, Hipolito Yrigoyen (“the father of the poor”). Right-wing military dictator, Jose Felix Uriburu, led the putsch against Yrigoyen, so initiating decades of agony for Argentines.

The 1976 coup was the final forced government change that took place in the country in the last century. The US-backed Argentine Armed Forces installed the most vicious Latin American military dictatorship of all, responsible for tens of thousands of murdered and “disappeared”, under convicted war criminals such as Jorge Rafael Videla and Reynaldo Bignone. Revealingly, the Nazi-style regime was a favorite of US president Ronald Reagan.

The coup toppled Isabel Peron, the first female leader in world history, wife and successor of deceased ex-president Juan Peron. Henry Kissinger, the US Secretary of State, met with several Argentine military commanders suggesting they crush their enemies before human rights issues become known to the American public. “We read about human rights problems, but not the context. The quicker you succeed the better,” he said, and not the first time Kissinger (Nobel Peace Prize winner) was implicated in war crimes.

 4 US invasion of Grenada (1983)

Grenada, situated not far from the coast of Venezuela, is a tiny nation of less than 350 square kilometres. Yet it was somehow perceived as a threat by US planners to its hegemonic control over the “free world”. Grenada had gained independence in 1974, after enduring three hundred years of French and British colonialism.

In March 1979 Maurice Bishop, head of the People’s Revolutionary Government of Grenada, ousted prime minister Sir Eric Gairy (while Gairy attended a UN conference in New York). Gairy’s secret police outfit, the Mongoose gang, had been terrorizing the population with arms secured from Chilean dictator, Augusto Pinochet.

The American invasion of the Caribbean island (under President Reagan) drew a scathing international response from the UN General Assembly. It “deeply deplores” the intervention, which “constitutes a flagrant violation of international law”, further condemning “the deaths of innocent civilians… the killing of the Prime Minister [Bishop].”  The intervention was even opposed by most NATO countries and US allies such as France, Portugal, Australia, Spain and the Netherlands.

All irrelevant criticism for elite Western figures that believe the US should be a law unto its own. The usual pretexts for the invasion of Grenada were put forward by the US government, and obediently relayed by the free press: Grenada was a “Marxist dictatorship” and the US army was on a “rescue mission” to defeat a Cuban military presence defending “this outpost of Soviet imperialism”. The true reason for the attack? To expel a government not amenable to American hegemonic demands, and that may act as a further example of defiance (after Cuba) – the abysmal after effects for Grenadians was quickly airbrushed from history.

 5 Juan Bosch toppled in the Dominican Republic (1963)

Juan Bosch has been described as one of the Dominican Republic’s “greatest thinkers and visionaries of all time”. Commonly known as “Professor Bosch”, he was a man of renowned ability, be it as a politician, historian, or writer.

Sadly, Bosch’s time as president lasted less than seven months – during such a limited time in power, he had still left his mark. Having always denied being a Communist, Bosch’s politics were undoubtedly left-leaning, and he had “a deep friendship” with revolutionaries like Fidel Castro. While Bosch had been exiled from the Dominican Republic, he had spent time in countries like Cuba and Venezuela, developing his ideas. None of this was lost on the US.

Indeed, American interference in the Dominican Republic traced back to the early 20th century of the William Howard Taft and Woodrow Wilson administrations. Wilson, for example, ordered the invasion of the country by US marines in 1916, their presence lasting over six years – an occupation reviled by the Dominican population. The democratic election of Bosch in February 1963, replacing a military junta, caused undue concern in elite American circles.

Their fears were quickly realized as Bosch undertook progressive steps the Dominican population had never known before (or since), initiating plans to reduce poverty, declaring labor rights, strengthening unions, rights for farmers, and so on. Bosch was declared “a Communist” by pro-US business magnates and members of the army. On September 25, 1963, a group of commanders led by Elias Wessin y Wessin, with crucial US support, expelled Bosch from the country.

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Bercow blocks Brexit vote, May turns to EU for lifeline (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 112.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss Theresa May’s latest Brexit dilemma, as House of Commons Speaker John Bercow, shocked the world by citing a 1604 precedent that now effectively blocks May’s third go around at trying to pass her treacherous Brexit deal through the parliament.

All power now rests with the Brussels, as to how, if and when the UK will be allowed to leave the European Union.

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Via Bloomberg


Theresa May claims Brexit is about taking back control. Ten days before the U.K. is due to leave the European Union, it looks like anything but.

House of Commons Speaker John Bercow’s intervention, citing precedent dating back to 1604, to rule out a repeat vote on May’s already defeated departure deal leaves the prime minister exposed ahead of Thursday’s EU summit in Brussels.

Bercow, whose cries of “Orrdurrr! Orrdurrr!’’ to calm rowdy lawmakers have gained him a devoted international following, is now the pivotal figure in the Brexit battle. May’s team privately accuse him of trying to frustrate the U.K.’s exit from the EU, while the speaker’s admirers say he’s standing up for the rights of parliament against the executive.

If just one of the 27 other states declines May’s summit appeal to extend the divorce timetable, then the no-deal cliff edge looms for Britain’s departure on March 29. If they consent, it’s unclear how May can meet Bercow’s test that only a substantially different Brexit agreement merits another vote in parliament, since the EU insists it won’t reopen negotiations.

Caught between Bercow and Brussels, May’s room for maneuver is shrinking. Amid rumblings that their patience with the U.K. is near exhaustion, EU leaders are girding for the worst.

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President Putin signs law blocking fake news, but the West makes more

Western media slams President Putin and his fake news law, accusing him of censorship, but an actual look at the law reveals some wisdom.

Seraphim Hanisch

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The TASS Russian News Agency reported on March 18th that Russian President Vladimir Putin signed off on a new law intended to block distorted or untrue information being reported as news. Promptly after he did so, Western news organizations began their attempt to “spin” this event as some sort of proof of “state censorship” in the oppressive sense of the old Soviet Union. In other words, a law designed to prevent fake news was used to create more fake news.

One of the lead publications is a news site that is itself ostensibly a “fake news” site. The Moscow Times tries to portray itself as a Russian publication that is conducted from within Russian borders. However, this site and paper is really a Western publication, run by a Dutch foundation located in the Netherlands. As such, the paper and the website associated have a distinctly pro-West slant in their reporting. Even Wikipedia noted this with this comment from their entry about the publication:

In the aftermath of the Ukrainian crisis, The Moscow Times was criticized by a number of journalists including Izvestia columnist Israel Shamir, who in December 2014 called it a “militant anti-Putin paper, a digest of the Western press with extreme bias in covering events in Russia”.[3] In October 2014 The Moscow Times made the decision to suspend online comments after an increase in offensive comments. The paper said it disabled comments for two reasons—it was an inconvenience for its readers as well as being a legal liability, because under Russian law websites are liable for all content, including user-generated content like comments.[14]

This bias is still notably present in what is left of the publication, which is now an online-only news source. This is some of what The Moscow Times had to say about the new fake news legislation:

The bills amending existing information laws overwhelmingly passed both chambers of Russian parliament in less than two months. Observers and some lawmakers have criticized the legislation for its vague language and potential to stifle free speech.

The legislation will establish punishments for spreading information that “exhibits blatant disrespect for the society, government, official government symbols, constitution or governmental bodies of Russia.”

Insulting state symbols and the authorities, including Putin, will carry a fine of up to 300,000 rubles and 15 days in jail for repeat offenses.

As is the case with other Russian laws, the fines are calculated based on whether the offender is a citizen, an official or a legal entity.

More than 100 journalists and public figures, including human rights activist Zoya Svetova and popular writer Lyudmila Ulitskaya, signed a petition opposing the laws, which they labeled “direct censorship.”

This piece does give a bit of explanation from Dmitry Peskov, showing that European countries also have strict laws governing fake news distribution. However, the Times made the point of pointing out the idea of “insulting governmental bodies of Russia… including Putin” to bolster their claim that this law amounts to real censorship of the press. It developed its point of view based on a very short article from Reuters which says even less about the legislation and how it works.

However, TASS goes into rather exhaustive detail about this law, and it also gives rather precise wording on the reason for the law’s passage, as well as how it is to be enforced. We include most of this text here, with emphases added:

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a law on blocking untrue and distorting information (fake news). The document was posted on the government’s legal information web portal.

The document supplements the list of information, the access to which may be restricted on the demand by Russia’s Prosecutor General or his deputies. In particular, it imposes a ban on “untrue publicly significant information disseminated in the media and in the Internet under the guise of true reports, which creates a threat to the life and (or) the health of citizens, property, a threat of the mass violation of public order and (or) public security, or the threat of impeding or halting the functioning of vital infrastructural facilities, transport or social infrastructure, credit institutions, energy, industrial or communications facilities.”

Pursuant to the document, in case of finding such materials in Internet resources registered in accordance with the Russian law on the mass media as an online media resource, Russia’s Prosecutor General or his deputies will request the media watchdog Roskomnadzor to restrict access to the corresponding websites.

Based on this request, Roskomnadzor will immediately notify the editorial board of the online media resource, which is in violation of the legislation, about the need to remove untrue information and the media resource will be required to delete such materials immediately. If the editorial board fails to take the necessary measures, Roskomnadzor will send communications operators “a demand to take measures to restrict access to the online resource.”

In case of deleting such untrue information, the website owner will notify Roskomnadzor thereof, following which the media watchdog will “hold a check into the authenticity of this notice” and immediately inform the communications operator about the resumption of the access to the information resource.
The conditions for the law are very specific, as are the penalties for breaking it. TASS continued:

Liability for breaching the law

Simultaneously, the Federation Council approved the associated law with amendments to Russia’s Code of Administrative Offences, which stipulates liability in the form of penalties of up to 1.5 million rubles (around $23,000) for the spread of untrue and distorting information.

The Code’s new article, “The Abuse of the Freedom of Mass Information,” stipulates liability for disseminating “deliberately untrue publicly significant information” in the media or in the Internet. The penalty will range from 30,000 rubles ($450) to 100,000 rubles ($1,520) for citizens, from 60,000 rubles ($915) to 200,000 rubles ($3,040) for officials and from 200,000 rubles to 500,000 rubles ($7,620) for corporate entities with the possible confiscation of the subject of the administrative offence.

Another element of offence imposes tighter liability for the cases when the publication of false publicly significant information has resulted in the deaths of people, has caused damage to the health or property, prompted the mass violation of public order and security or has caused disruption to the functioning of transport or social infrastructure facilities, communications, energy and industrial facilities and banks. In such instances, the fines will range from 300,000 rubles to 400,000 rubles ($6,090) for citizens, from 600,000 rubles to 900,000 rubles ($13,720) for officials, and from 1 million rubles to 1.5 million rubles for corporate entities.

While this legislation can be spun (and is) in the West as anti-free speech, one may also consider the damage that has taken place in the American government through a relentless attack of fake news from most US news outlets against President Trump. One of the most notable effects of this barrage has been to further degrade and destroy the US’ relationship with the Russian Federation, because even the Helsinki Summit was attacked so badly that the two leaders have not been able to get a second summit together.

While it is certainly a valued right of the American press to be unfettered by Congress, and while it is also certainly vital to criticize improper practices by government officials, the American news agencies have gone far past that, to deliberately dishonest attacks, based in innuendo and everything possible that was formerly only the province of gossip tabloid publications. The effort has been to defame the President, not to give proper or due criticism to his policies, nor credit. It can be properly stated that the American press has abused its freedom of late.

This level of abuse drew a very unusual comment from the US president, who wondered on Twitter about the possibility of creating a state-run media center in the US to counter fake news:

Politically correct for US audiences? No. But an astute point?

Definitely.

Freedom in anything also presumes that those with that freedom respect it, and further, that they respect and apply the principle that slandering people and institutions for one’s own personal, business or political gain is wrong. Implied in the US Constitution’s protection of the press is the notion that the press itself, as the rest of the country, is accountable to a much Higher Authority than the State. But when that Authority is rejected, as so much present evidence suggests, then freedom becomes the freedom to misbehave and to agitate. It appears largely within this context that the Russian law exists, based on the text given.

Further, by hitting dishonest media outlets in their pocketbook, rather than prison sentences, the law appears to be very smart in its message: “Do not lie. If you do, you will suffer where it counts most.”

Considering that news media’s purpose is to make money, this may actually be a very smart piece of legislation.

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ABC’s Ted Koppel admits mainstream media bias against Trump [Video]

The mainstream news media has traded informing the public for indoctrinating them, but the change got called out by an “old-school” journo.

Seraphim Hanisch

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Fox News reported on March 19th that one of America’s most well-known TV news anchors, Ted Koppel, noted that the once-great media outlets like The New York Times and The Washington Post, have indeed traded journalistic excellence for hit pieces for political purposes. While political opinions in the mainstream press are certainly within the purview of any publication, this sort of writing can hardly be classified as “news” but as “Opinion” or more widely known, “Op-Ed.”

We have two videos on this. The first is the original clip showing the full statement that Mr. Koppel gave. It is illuminating, to say the least:

Tucker Carlson and Brit Hume, a former colleague of Mr. Koppel, added their comments on this admission in this second short video piece, shown here.

There are probably a number of people who have watched this two-year onslaught of slander and wondered why there cannot be a law preventing this sort of misleading reporting. Well, Russia passed a law to stop it, hitting dishonest media outlets in their pocketbook. It is a smart law because it does not advocate imprisonment for bad actors in the media, but it does fine them.

Going to prison for reporting “the truth” looks very noble. Having to pay out of pocket for it is not so exciting.

Newsmax and Louder with Crowder both reported on this as well.

This situation of dishonest media has led to an astonishing 77% distrust rating among Americans of their news media, this statistic being reported by Politico in 2018. This represents a nearly diametric reversal in trust from the 72% trust rating the country’s news viewers gave their news outlets in 1972. These statistics come from Gallup polls taken through the years.

 

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