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Guatemala caves to US foreign policy, moves embassy to Jerusalem

When Washington says “jump!”, Guatemala asks “how high?”

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Pretty much the entire planet, in a United Nations General Assembly resolution, slammed the US’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel by moving its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and its accompanying threat to cancel any US foreign aid to those countries who don’t agree with the the move.

Jimmy Morales, the Guatemalan president, announced plans to move the Guatemalan embassy to Jerusalem in solidarity with the move that the United States decided back in December.

At the United Nations, where 128 nations condemned the action, UN Ambassador Nikki Haley threatened any UN member nations that voted in accord with the UN resolution, which was followed up by a threat from the US President himself to cancel foreign aid to those nations, whose names were taken down by Haley. Euronews reports:

Guatemala is the first country to follow the US lead in relocating its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. It’s a controversial move, not just because it runs counter to a non-binding UN resolution, but because the international community has never recognized Israel’s annexation of East Jerusalem.

Guatemala has announced that it will move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem in May. President Jimmy Morales is following the lead of US President Donald Trump, who, back in December, announced plans to relocate his country’s embassy to the city.

“I would like to thank President Trump for leading the way. His courageous decision has encouraged us to do what is right.”

Jimmy MoralesPresident of Guatemala

Trump’s stance provoked international condemnation, with 128 countries signing up to a non-binding UN resolution calling for the US to drop its recognition of Jerusalem.

What is all the fuss about?

Israel claims Jerusalem as its capital, and runs its government from the city. However, Palestinians also stake a claim in East Jerusalem, which was annexed by its neighbour and rival after the 1967 war.

Wanting to defuse tensions in the region, the international community has tended to sidestep the issue, often basing their embassies in the financial centre of Tel Aviv instead.

Donald Trump’s decision is widely perceived as an endorsement of Israel’s claims, and is likely to be a significant obstacle to any peace deal between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

Why Guatemala?

The cynics would say that Guatemala’s dependence on US aid lies behind its following of the US lead on Jerusalem. Donald Trump has threatened to cut off aid to countries that supported the UN resolution against it.

However, President Morales said that his decision “strongly evidences Guatemala’s continued support and solidarity with the people of Israel”.

In January a local Guatemalan lawyer, Marco Vinicio Mejia, challenged his President’s decision in the courts. However, the high court’s five magistrates turned down his petition, clearing the way for the move.

Israeli thanks

When the news broke, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanked Jimmy Morales for his recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

It is believed that Honduras may soon follow the lead of its fellow South-American country.

The embassy move is supposed to take place two days following the US’s embassy move in mid May. Meanwhile, the Guatemalan ambassador, Sara Castenada, has been touring Jerusalem for an appropriate property to be acquired for that purpose.

The Latin American nation once held an embassy in Jerusalem, but withdrew it to Tel Aviv in accordance with a United Nations Security Council Resolution in 1980.

This action on the part of the Guatemalan government of course drew the thanks of the US ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, at a meeting with Morales in Guatemala City, as well as the gratitude of the US President Donald Trump, who expressed this sentiment during a meeting in Washington back in early February.

The Palestinians, on the other hand, condemn the choice of the Guatemalan government in making such a move. Palestinian legislator, scholar, and PLO Executive Committee member Hana Ashrawi vocally condemned the move as the Palestine News Network reports:

PLO Executive Committee Member Dr. Hanan Ashrawi has condemned the “dangerous and provocative” announcement made by Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales at AIPAC’s annual conference to relocate the embassy of Guatemala from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

“By taking such a step that defies international law, Mr. Morales, also besieged at home by charges of corruption and abuse of power, has partnered with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S President Donald Trump in violating international law and undermining the chances of peace,” Ashrawi said in an official statement.

Ashrawi urged the international community, Arab and Islamic states “to intervene and hold the Israeli occupation and its partners to account for such flagrant violations and provocative actions that fuel the flames in an already volatile situation.”

This action, more than almost anything, demonstrates just how dependent the Latin American nation has become on US foreign aid. When Washington announced its intention to move its embassy to Jerusalem, Guatemala wasted no time in praising the action and announcing that it would follow suit.

President Trump’s threat of cancelling financial aid to dissenters seems to not even have been necessary to prompt such pandering from Guatemala, but which would have acted more as an assurance that Washington’s pets would not cross their boundaries. With such economic dependence, it is no wonder that when Washington says “jump”, Guatemala asks “how high?”

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Donald Trump plays good cop and bad cop with a weak Theresa May (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 55.

Alex Christoforou

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US President Donald Trump’s state visit to the UK was momentous, not for its substance, but rather for its sheer entertainment value.

Trump started his trip to the United Kingdom blasting Theresa May for her inability to negotiate a proper Brexit deal with the EU.  Trump ended his visit holding hands with the UK Prime Minister during a press conference where the most ‘special relationship’ between the two allies was once again reaffirmed.

Protests saw giant Trump “baby balloons” fly over London’s city center, as Trump played was his own good cop and bad cop to the UK PM, outside London at the Chequers…often times leaving May’s head spinning.

Even as Trump has left London, he remains front and center in the mind of Theresa May, who has now stated that Trump advised her to “sue” the European Union to resolve the tense negotiations over Brexit.

Trump had mentioned to reporters on Friday at a joint press conference with Theresa May that he had given the British leader a suggestion that she found too “brutal.”

Asked Sunday on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show what that suggestion was, May: “He told me I should sue the EU. Not go into negotiation, sue them.” May added…

“What the president also said at that press conference was `Don’t walk away. Don’t walk away from the negotiations. Then you’re stuck.”‘

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris summarize what was a state visit like no other, as Trump trolled the UK PM from beginning to end, and left London knowing that he got the better of a weakened British Prime Minister, who may not survive in office past next week.

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Via CNBC

It wasn’t exactly clear what Trump meant. The revelation came after explosive and undiplomatic remarks Trump made this week about May’s leadership — especially her handling of the Brexit negotiations — as he made his first official visit to Britain.

In an interview with The Sun newspaper published Thursday — just as May was hosting Trump at a lavish black-tie dinner — Trump said the British leader’s approach likely “killed” chances of a free-trade deal with the United States. He said he had told May how to conduct Brexit negotiations, “but she didn’t listen to me.”

He also praised May’s rival, Boris Johnson, who quit last week as foreign secretary to protest May’s Brexit plans. Trump claimed Johnson would make a “great prime minister.”

The comments shocked many in Britain — even May’s opponents — and threatened to undermine May’s already fragile hold on power. Her Conservative government is deeply split between supporters of a clean break with the EU and those who want to keep close ties with the bloc, Britain’s biggest trading partner.

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Deep State poster boy Peter Strzok gives bizarre testimony that goes viral (Video)

The face of the Deep State.

Alex Christoforou

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If you were not convinced that the Deep State exists, then look no further than Peter Strzok’s bizarre, yet revealing, congressional testimony, showcasing the arrogance and smugness of a powerful FBI agent who worked diligently to push a fake Trump-Russia narrative onto the American public.

Via Zerohedge

While Peter Strzok’s marathon Congressional testimony was full of bickering, chaos and drama – mostly between members of the House Judiciary and Oversight committees – a clip of the disgraced FBI agent’s seemingly giddy reaction after answering a question is creeping people out.

Some have suggested that Strzok’s reaction was “Duper’s delight” – a hidden smirk that slips out at an inappropriate moment when a liar celebrates a successful manipulation.

Watching Peter Strzok, its hard, if not impossible to believe that this man is not a psychopath, who hated Trump so much that he was willing to forward a collusion story that has cost American taxpayers millions, and torn American society apart.

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The video clip even had Donald Trump Jr retweeting it, as he labeled Strzok “the creepiest person in America.”

Via RT

One particular moment from Peter Strzok’s raucous congressional hearing left Twitter users confounded and disturbed, even prompting Donald Trump Jr to label the FBI agent “the creepiest person in America.”

Strzok faced the House Judiciary and Oversight Committees on Thursday to answer questions about his conduct during the 2016 investigations into Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

The lengthy hearing quickly descended into a partisan shouting match, as Republicans and Democrats interrupted each other’s questions, heckling or applauding Strzok.

Strzok’s peculiar reaction to one question caught the eye of viewers and many took to Twitter to confirm that their eyes weren’t deceiving them.

Strzok’s facial expressions were also noticed by the congressmen in the room and prompted one of the most dramatic moments of the hearing when Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) accused Strzok of outright lying.

“I can’t help but wonder when I see you looking there with a little smirk; how many times did you look so innocent into your wife’s eyes and lie to her about Lisa Page,” Gohmert told Strzok, referring to the agent’s extramarital affair with his former colleague Lisa Page, with whom he exchanged anti-Trump text messages. Gohmert’s comment sparked vociferous objections from Democrats.

The hearing evoked a significant reaction, with many describing it as a farce. Former New York mayor and current attorney to US President Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani, labelled it a “disgrace” and said it “taints the entire Mueller witch hunt.”

“President Trump is being investigated by people who possess pathological hatred for him. All the results of the investigation are ‘fruit of the poison tree’ and should be dismissed,” he added.

Democrats seemed to agree with that sentiment, as California Congressman Ted Lieu said it was “a stupid and ridiculous hearing.”

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Greece folds to deep state demands, expels Russian diplomats over meddling (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 54.

Alex Christoforou

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Ahead of the NATO summit, Alexis Tsipras made an unprecedented move to expel two Russian diplomats and bar the entry of two others Russian diplomats to Greece.

The claim that Tsipras’ radical left government cites in its expulsion is the tried and true Russia meddling narrative. The SYRIZA Greek government claims alleged “Russian meddling” in an attempt to foment opposition to the “historic” name deal between Athens and Skopje, a deal which coincidently paves the way for FYROM to join NATO.

A little creativity would have been nice, but in this specific case Alexis Tsipras decided to just go with the canned, Deep State script known as “Russian meddling” in order to guarantee that his very unpopular name deal with FYROM goes through the rigged approval process.

The fact that a government as corrupt as Greece’s SYRIZA is now suddenly issuing expulsions for bribery is ironic to say the least.

Did Tsipras cut off his nose to please his EU/NATO paymaster to spite Greece’s face?

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss Greece’s recent expulsion of Russian diplomats, in what is clearly a Deep State orchestrated maneuver to drive a wedge between two countries that have had traditionally close ties, while fitting another piece into NATO’s geopolitical puzzle to engulf the balkan states.

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