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As Greek football drama unfolds, gun-wielding oligarch takes over major pro-SYRIZA newspaper

As Greek football faces expulsion from international competition, Ivan Savvidis remains free after storming football pitch with a gun, buys major newspaper.

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A day after the PAOK-AEK football match erupted into mayhem, as an armed Ivan Savvidis, the oligarch owner of PAOK, stormed the pitch after a controversial reversal by the referee, Greek football, and by extension the Greek political system, remains mired in confusion.
Yesterday’s “derby” between the two frontrunners of this season’s Super League never finished, after a goal scored in the 90th minute by PAOK was initially allowed, then later waived off. An unhinged Savvidis angrily stormed the pitch while brandishing a weapon, threatening the referee’s life while urging his players to return to the locker room. As it happens, the match never continued, but two hours later, the referee decided from the locker rooms to reverse his previous reversal, allowing the goal scored by PAOK and including it in his official match report sent to the Super League’s head offices.
In the aftermath of this unprecedented issue, which made headlines worldwide and once again thrust Greece into the negative limelight, more confusion has begun to set in, while the hypocrisy of the current SYRIZA-led government has once again become evident.
One day after Savvidis stormed the football field while openly carrying a weapon and threatening the life of the referee, he continues to walk free and to make pronouncements against all those who have purportedly “wronged” PAOK. Indeed, the fact that Savvidis is still a free man today was the subject of an official announcement released by the National Union of Police Employees, openly questioning why Savvidis was not arrested when, by law, weapons are not allowed in Greek stadiums and when even police officers are not allowed to be armed inside sporting facilities.
Also questioning the impunity with which Savvidis is apparently allowed to operate is New Democracy’s second-in-command, former health minister Adonis Georgiadis, himself under investigation as part of the so-called “Novartis scandal” which could easily be classified as a SYRIZA witch hunt against its political opposition and an obvious distraction from other more politically inconvenient matters. In a televised interview on Monday morning, Georgiadis openly asked “what sort of hold does Savvidis have over [prime minister] Tsipras?”
Part of the answer as to why Savvidis remains free may come from the hold he now has over the current government and over public discourse in Greece via his newly-acquired media holdings. Just last year, Savvidis purchased 100 percent of national broadcaster Epsilon TV. Today, following the mayhem which transpired on the football field and certainly apropos of nothing, Savvidis completed his takeover of the pro-SYRIZA national newspaper Ethnos.
To give you an example of just the type of brazen propaganda Ethnos is serving up, consider the front page of its Monday edition (pictured below), which made no mention of the weapon Savvidis was brandishing, but which stated as fact to its readers that PAOK’s goal was legitimate, while being sure to include a quotation from SYRIZA’s deputy minister of athletics about “cleaning up” football.

Savvidis’ ownership of Ethnos and Epsilon TV is in addition to his major business holdings, which include everything from factories, to soft drink producers, to luxury hotels, to the leadership of a consortium which recently took over ownership of the port of Thessaloniki, privatized by the same SYRIZA which at one time, prior to its election, was promising to abolish all such privatizations.
Instead of punishing Savvidis, the SYRIZA-led government’s first order of business on Monday was to issue an order immediately halting matches in the Greek Super League and the Football League (Greek football’s second division). This has become SYRIZA’s “go-to” option every time whenever deemed politically expedient to appear to be taking action against corruption and violence in the ranks of Greek football.
Beginning in 2015 and again in 2016, the SYRIZA-led government postponed matches in the Greek Super League after various violent incidents occurred. In 2016, this postponement and the government’s efforts to push through “reforms” in the structure and governance of the Hellenic Football Federation (EPO) led to Greek teams — both at the club and national level — to be formally threatened with expulsion from international competition by the sport’s international governing body, FIFA. SYRIZA eventually backed off, though many of its “reforms” were passed — reforms which SYRIZA has since used to tout its “cleanup” of Greek football.
This “catharsis” has been such a success that last season, during yet another government-imposed suspension of league play, the Greek Cup final between PAOK and AEK at a neutral site in Volos, a match which was not covered by this suspension, was marred by gang warfare and violence between “fans” of the two sides, resulting in multiple injuries and tremendous material damage to the Panthessalian Stadium and the surrounding environs.
SYRIZA’s “law and order” seemingly was not applicable to PAOK and AEK, both owned by oligarchs favorable to SYRIZA, and both teams received fairly lenient punishment. On the other hand, in a match last season between Panathinaikos and PAOK at the former’s home pitch in Athens, the match was suspended after a spectator threw a can of beer at a PAOK player. Panathinaikos, a team facing severe economic difficulties, was harshly punished, with a deduction of points both in last season’s final standings and in this season’s table as well, plus a hefty fine. The fine, plus lost proceeds from Panathinaikos’ non-qualification to the lucrative UEFA Champions League — which was a direct result of the points that were deducted — have contributed to the team’s near-bankruptcy this season.
Despite all of this, we are supposed to believe that this year’s suspension of league matches will be an effective action against violence and corruption in the football world. This from the same government which imposed the very personnel in the national football federation which, in a ruling issued at 1 am on an early Sunday morning, overturned a previous decision and allowed Sunday’s PAOK-AEK match to take place in front of spectators, following an incident in PAOK’s previous home match where a spectator hurled an object at the opposing team’s coach, injuring him.
Punishment in Greece, at least on the part of the SYRIZA-led government, comes “a la carte” or is levied across the board, whether one is guilty or not and depending on the government’s whims and petty interests. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that aside from the indefinite suspension of league matches, the government is also reportedly examining the expulsion of Greek club teams from international competition for two years.
In other words, all teams, all owners, all players and all fans will be punished for the actions of an out-of-control gun-wielding oligarch and the state’s own inability (or lack of desire) to effectively curtail violence and corruption. Why should, for instance, Panathinaikos, a team that despite teetering on the edge of bankruptcy has managed to be in position to qualify for European competition next season, be punished? Why should this year’s surprise team, Atromitos FC, which is eyeing a position as high as third place in this year’s league table and a place in the UEFA Europa League, be punished? Why should all teams, and the Greek economy at large, be denied the revenues that would come as part of the participation of Greek teams in European competitions?
And who told the SYRIZA-led government that it would be able to implement such an “a la carte” prohibition of Greek participation in international football competitions, one in which Greek clubs would not compete for two years but an exemption would be made for the national team? Is this SYRIZA’s decision to make — or that of the sport’s governing bodies, FIFA and UEFA?
Indeed, FIFA is reportedly already threatening EPO and the Greek government with a “Grexit” of Greek football from all international competitions, at both the national and club level, if the issue of violence in the ranks of Greek football is not effectively and immediately dealt with. And such a “Grexit” would likely be for more than two years, impact both club and national teams (including Greece’s junior-level national teams, who more than anyone are not at fault for the ills of Greek football), and would mean that Greek teams would be classified at the lowest ranks of club and national team rankings, which would mean that once club teams and the national squads are reinstated by FIFA and UEFA, they will face very tough draws for European and international competitions, making the recovery of Greek football even more of an uphill battle, with further economic consequences possible as well.
These are the “solutions” eyed by the “law and order” government of SYRIZA, instead of, you know, arresting those who storm the football pitch with guns, instead of mandating the installation of surveillance cameras in close intervals at every Greek stadium, instead of making an example out of hooligans who are arrested and charged with violent acts, and instead of getting its tentacles out of the way and moving mountains in order to boost teams owned by its favored oligarchs, and in particular Ivan Savvidis and PAOK, under the guise of “catharsis” and “rooting out corruption.”
Instead of doing any of the above, SYRIZA has payed lip service to fighting violence and corruption, has put Greek football at grave risk (never before had Greek teams faced expulsion from international competition before the SYRIZA-led government came to town), and has continuously turned a blind eye to both corruption and violence when it has involved its favorite oligarchs.
Furthermore, it has quite knowingly and purposefully played upon the emotions of Greek football fans, and particularly the fans of AEK and PAOK, who have long felt “cheated” at the hands of perennial Greek champion Olympiacos. Fans of these teams have often become the most vocal supporters of, say, a Greek football “Grexit,” as their hatred of Olympiacos and the supposed “establishment” is so great and so deeply rooted that they are openly willing to cut of their nose to spite their face. As with the numerous other schisms in Greek society which have become increasingly apparent during the years of the crisis, such as the divide between employees in the public and private sector, or the division between the political “left” and the political “right,” one understands how such divide-and-conquer strategies play into the government’s hands.
These concerns were reflected in the positions adopted by AEK and Olympiacos in the aftermath of Sunday’s incident and the subsequent suspension of Greek league play. In a statement released Monday, AEK’s management openly questioned whether this time around, justice will serve or if “negotiations” will take place once again. Meanwhile, in a statement issued by the management of Olympiacos, the postponement of Super League matches was characterized as “serving only the interests of those who delivered irregularity and lawlessness to Greek football.”
However, these concerns are likely to fall on deaf ears. In “radical leftist” SYRIZA’s Greece, one can lose their home for a debt of 1000 euros to the Greek state, “unlicensed” chestnut vendors are arrested and jailed, and Greek soldiers are left to languish in Turkish prisons with no apparent diplomatic effort to secure their release, while maniacal gun-toting oligarchs do as they please — including owning television stations, newspapers, and most likely, the government itself.
 
 

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Russia Gives US Red Line On Venezuela

Political force is out. Military force is out. Respect international law and Venezuela’s sovereignty. That’s Russia’s eminently reasonable ultimatum to Washington.

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Authored by Finian Cunningham via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


At a high-level meeting in Rome this week, it seems that Russia reiterated a grave warning to the US – Moscow will not tolerate American military intervention to topple the Venezuelan government with whom it is allied.

Meanwhile, back in Washington DC, President Donald Trump was again bragging that the military option was still on the table, in his press conference with Brazilian counterpart Jair Bolsonaro. Trump is bluffing or not yet up to speed with being apprised of Russia’s red line.

The meeting in the Italian capital between US “special envoy” on Venezuelan affairs Elliot Abrams and Russia’s deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov had an air of urgency in its arrangement. The US State Department announced the tête-à-tête only three days beforehand. The two officials also reportedly held their two-hour discussions in a Rome hotel, a venue indicating ad hoc arrangement.

Abrams is no ordinary diplomat. He is a regime-change specialist with a criminal record for sponsoring terrorist operations, specifically the infamous Iran-Contra affair to destabilize Nicaragua during the 1980s. His appointment by President Trump to the “Venezuela file” only underscores the serious intent in Washington for regime change in Caracas. Whether it gets away with that intent is another matter.

Moscow’s interlocutor, Sergei Ryabkov, is known to not mince his words, having earlier castigated Washington for seeking global military domination. He calls a spade a spade, and presumably a criminal a criminal.

The encounter in Rome this week was described as “frank” and “serious” – which is diplomatic code for a blazing exchange. The timing comes at a high-stakes moment, after Venezuela having been thrown into chaos last week from civilian power blackouts that many observers, including the Kremlin, blame on American cyber sabotage. The power grid outage followed a failed attempt by Washington to stage a provocation with the Venezuelan military over humanitarian aid deliveries last month from neighboring Colombia.

The fact that Washington’s efforts to overthrow the elected President Nicolas Maduro have so far floundered, might suggest that the Americans are intensifying their campaign to destabilize the country, with the objective of installing US-backed opposition figure Juan Guaido. He declared himself “acting president” in January with Washington’s imprimatur.

Given that the nationwide power blackouts seem to have failed in fomenting a revolt by the civilian population or the military against Maduro, the next option tempting Washington could be the military one.

It seems significant that Washington has recently evacuated its last remaining diplomats from the South American country. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo commented on the evacuation by saying that having US personnel on the ground “was limiting” Washington’s scope for action. Also, American Airlines reportedly cancelled all its services to Venezuela in the past week. Again, suggesting that the US was considering a military intervention, either directly with its troops or covertly by weaponizing local proxies. The latter certainly falls under Abrams’ purview.

After the Rome meeting, Ryabkov said bluntly: “We assume that Washington treats our priorities seriously, our approach and warnings.”

One of those warnings delivered by Ryabkov is understood to have been that no American military intervention in Venezuela will be tolerated by Moscow.

For his part, Abrams sounded as if he had emerged from the meeting after having been given a severe reprimand. “No, we did not come to a meeting of minds, but I think the talks were positive in the sense that both sides emerged with a better understanding of the other’s views,” he told reporters.

“A better understanding of the other’s views,” means that the American side was given a red line to back off.

The arrogance of the Americans is staggering. Abrams seems, according to US reporting, to have flown to Rome with the expectation of working out with Ryabkov a “transition” or “compromise” on who gets the “title of president” of Venezuela.

That’s what he no doubt meant when he said after the meeting “there was not a meeting of minds”, but rather he got “a better understanding” of Russia’s position.

Washington’s gambit is a replay of Syria. During the eight-year war in that country, the US continually proffered the demand of a “political transition” which at the end would see President Bashar al Assad standing down. By contrast, Russia’s unflinching position on Syria has always been that it’s not up to any external power to decide Syria’s politics. It is a sovereign matter for the Syrian people to determine independently.

Nearly three years after Russia intervened militarily in Syria to salvage the Arab country from a US-backed covert war for regime change, the American side has manifestly given up on its erstwhile imperious demands for “political transition”. The principle of Syrian sovereignty has prevailed, in large part because of Russia’s trenchant defense of its Arab ally.

Likewise, Washington, in its incorrigible arrogance, is getting another lesson from Russia – this time in its own presumed “back yard” of Latin America.

It’s not a question of Russia being inveigled by Washington’s regime-change schemers about who should be president of Venezuela and “how we can manage a transition”. Moscow has reiterated countless times that the legitimate president of Venezuela is Nicolas Maduro whom the people voted for last year by an overwhelming majority in a free and fair election – albeit boycotted by the US-orchestrated opposition.

The framework Washington is attempting to set up of choosing between their desired “interim president” and incumbent Maduro is an entirely spurious one. It is not even worthy to be discussed because it is a gross violation of Venezuela’s sovereignty. Who is Washington to even dare try to impose its false choice?

On Venezuela, Russia is having to remind the criminal American rulers – again – about international law and respect for national sovereignty, as Moscow earlier did with regard to Syria.

And in case Washington gets into a huff and tries the military option, Moscow this week told regime-change henchman Abrams that that’s a red line. If Washington has any sense of rationale left, it will know from its Syria fiasco that Russia has Venezuela’s back covered.

Political force is out. Military force is out. Respect international law and Venezuela’s sovereignty. That’s Russia’s eminently reasonable ultimatum to Washington.

Now, the desperate Americans could still try more sabotage, cyber or financial. But their options are limited, contrary to what Trump thinks.

How the days of American imperialist swagger are numbered. There was a time when it could rampage all over Latin America. Not any more, evidently. Thanks in part to Russia’s global standing and military power.

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With RussiaGate Over Where’s Hillary?

Hillary is the epitome of envy. Envy is the destructive sin of coveting someone else’s life so much they are obsessed with destroying it. It’s the sin of Cain. She envies what Trump has, the Presidency.

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Authored by Tom Luongo:


During most of the RussiaGate investigation against Donald Trump I kept saying that all roads lead to Hillary Clinton.

Anyone with three working brain cells knew this, including ‘Miss’ Maddow, whose tears of disappointment are particularly delicious.

Robert Mueller’s investigation was designed from the beginning to create something out of nothing. It did this admirably.

It was so effective it paralyzed the country for more than two years, just like Europe has been held hostage by Brexit. And all of this because, in the end, the elites I call The Davos Crowd refused to accept that the people no longer believed their lies about the benefits of their neoliberal, globalist agenda.

Hillary Clinton’s ascension to the Presidency was to be their apotheosis along with the Brexit vote. These were meant to lay to rest, once and for all time, the vaguely libertarian notion that people should rule themselves and not be ruled by philosopher kings in some distant land.

Hillary’s failure was enormous. And the RussiaGate gambit to destroy Trump served a laundry list of purposes to cover it:

  1. Undermine his legitimacy before he even takes office.
  2. Accuse him of what Hillary actually did: collude with Russians and Ukrainians to effect the outcome of the election
  3. Paralyze Trump on his foreign policy desires to scale back the Empire
  4. Give aid and comfort to hurting progressives and radicalize them further undermining our political system
  5. Polarize the electorate over the false choice of Trump’s guilt.
  6. Paralyze the Dept. of Justice and Congress so that they would not uncover the massive corruption in the intelligence agencies in the U.S. and the U.K.
  7. Isolate Trump and take away every ally or potential ally he could have by turning them against him through prosecutor overreach.

Hillary should have been thrown to the wolves after she failed. When you fail the people she failed and cost them the money she cost them, you lose more than just your funding. What this tells you is that she has so much dirt on everyone involved, once this thing started everyone went along with it lest she burn them down as well.

Burnin’ Down da House

Hillary is the epitome of envy. Envy is the destructive sin of coveting someone else’s life so much they are obsessed with destroying it. It’s the sin of Cain

She envies what Trump has, the Presidency.

And she was willing to tear it down to keep him from having it no matter how much damage it would do. She’s worse than the Joker from The Dark Knight.

Because while the Joker is unfathomable to someone with a conscience there’s little stopping us from excising him from the community completely., even though Batman refuses.

Hillary hates us for who we are and what we won’t give her. And that animus drove her to blackmail the world while putting on the face of its savior.

And that’s what makes what comes next so obvious to me. RussiaGate was never a sustainable narrative. It was ludicrous from the beginning. And now that it has ended with a whimper there are a lot of angry, confused and scared people out there.

Mueller thought all he had to do was lean on corrupt people and threaten them with everything. They would turn on Trump. He would resign in disgrace from the public outcry.

It didn’t work. In the end Paul Manafort, Michael Cohen and Roger Stone all held their ground or perjured themselves into the whole thing falling apart.

Andrew Weissman’s resignation last month was your tell there was nothing. Mueller would pursue this to the limit of his personal reputation and no further.

Just like so many other politicians.

Vote Your Pocketbook

With respect to Brexit I’ve been convinced that it would come down to reputations.

Would the British MP’s vote against their own personal best interests to do the bidding of the EU?

Would Theresa May eventually realize her historical reputation would be destroyed if she caves to Brussels and betrays Brexit in the end?

Always bet on the fecklessness of politicians. They will always act selfishly when put to the test. While leading RussiaGate, Mueller was always headed here if he couldn’t get someone to betray Trump.

And now his report is in. There are no new indictments. And by doing so he is saving his reputation for the future. And that is your biggest tell that HIllary’s blackmail is now worthless.

They don’t fear her anymore because RussiaGate outed her as the architect. Anything else she has is irrelevant in the face of trying to oust a sitting president from power.

The progressives that were convinced of Trump’s treason are bereft; their false hope stripped away like standing in front of a sandblaster. They will be raw, angry and looking for blood after they get over their denial.

Everyone else who was blackmailed into going along with this lunacy will begin cutting deals to save their skins. The outrage over this will not end. Trump will be President when he stands for re-election.

The Wolves Beckon

The Democrats do not have a chance against him as of right now. When he was caving on everything back in December it looked like he was done. That there was enough meat on the RussiaGate bones to make Nancy Pelosi brave.

Then she backed off on impeachment talk. Oops.

But the Democrats have a sincere problem. Their candidates have no solutions other than to embrace the crazy and go full Bolshevik. That is not a winning position.

Trump will kill them on ‘socialism.’

The Deep State and The Davos Crowd stand revealed and reviled.

If they don’t do something dramatic then the anger from the rest of the country will also be palpable come election time. Justice is not done simply by saying, “No evidence of collusion.”

It’s clear that RussiaGate is a failure of monumental proportions. Heads will have to roll. But who will be willing to fall on their sword at this point?

Comey? No. McCabe? No.

There is only one answer. And Obama’s people are still in place to protect him. I said last fall that “Hillary would indict herself.” And I meant it. Eventually her blackmail and drive to burn it all down led to this moment.

The circumstances are different than I expected back then, Trump didn’t win the mid-terms. But the end result was always the same. If there is no collusion, if RussiaGate is a scam, then all roads lead back to Hillary as the sacrificial lamb.

Because the bigger project, the erection of a transnational superstate, is bigger than any one person. Hillary is expendable.

Lies are expensive to maintain. The truth is cheap to defend. Think of the billions in opportunity costs associated with this. Once the costs rise above the benefits, change happens fast.

If there is any hope of salvaging the center of this country for the Democrats, the ones that voted against Hillary in 2016, then there is no reason anymore not to indict Hillary as the architect of RussiaGate.

We all know it’s the truth. So, the cheapest way out of this mess for them is to give the MAGApedes what they want, Hillary.

And hope that is enough bread and circuses to distract from the real storm ahead of us.

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Trump’s CIA Now Unbound And Back To Its Traditional Hijinks

There is further evidence that suggests the neo-cons, in cahoots with Haspel at the CIA, set out to disrupt the Hanoi summit.

Strategic Culture Foundation

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Authored by Wayne Madsen via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


Under the directorship of torture and black site maven Gina Haspel, Donald Trump’s Central Intelligence Agency has returned to its traditional roots of conducting “black bag” operations and disrupting electrical grids through cyber-attacks.

The Venezuelan government has accused the Trump administration of giving the green light for a series of crippling power failures in Venezuela, which affected 22 of Venezuela’s 23 states, including the capital of Caracas. The long-duration power failures were cited by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as a reason for the US withdrawing its diplomats from Caracas. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced that an international commission assisted by specialists from Russia, China, Iran, and the United Nations would help his country analyze the sources of the Venezuelan electrical grid cyber-attack. Initial cyber-forensics by Venezuela traced some of the cyber warfare being waged against Venezuela to nodes in Houston and Chicago.

In addition to electricity, water service was disrupted in Venezuela. From Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas, Maduro tweeted on March 12: “From the Presidential Command Post, we monitored minute-by-minute the progress of the recovery of the National Electric System.”

Cyber-attacks on a country that puts its civilian population in jeopardy might, at first glance, appear to be a violation of the Geneva Conventions on warfare. However, without a Digital Geneva Convention, civilian populations are not covered by the current Geneva Conventions. However, in 2015, the United Nations Group of Governmental Experts on Developments in the Field of Information and Telecommunications in the Context of International Security (UN GGE), which included experts from the United States, China, Russia, France, the United Kingdom, and other nations, agreed that current international law does apply to cyberspace. Most international legal experts agree that the Geneva Conventions require a digital annex to cover the type of cyber-disruption of the Venezuelan electrical grid carried out by the US intelligence services.

Hybrid warfare against Venezuela, which includes economic, diplomatic, and cyber, has the backing of the neo-conservatives who now call the shots for the Trump White House. They include, in addition to Pompeo, national security adviser John Bolton; Iran-Contra felon Elliott Abrams, Trump’s special envoy to the US-backed opposition-led rump Venezuelan government of Juan Guaido; Cuban-American Mauricio Claver-Carone, the senior director for Western Hemisphere affairs at the National Security Council; and Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio, a Cuban-American, who represents the interests of South Florida’s right-wing oligarch exiles from Venezuela and other Latin American countries.

While Trump was preparing for his Hanoi summit meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Trump’s second summit with Kim, Haspel’s CIA dug into its old bag of black operations, while also engaging in the more modern form of cyber-attack in targeting North Korea.

On February 22, 2019, ten males, all wearing masks, broke into the North Korean embassy, which is located in the residential suburb of Aravaca, north of Madrid, Spain, and subjected eight embassy staff members to brutal interrogation tactics, including tying up the diplomats, throwing black bags over their heads (a specialty of Ms. Haspel), and subjecting them to beatings. One female diplomat managed to escape through a second-floor window and her screams alerted a neighbor, who promptly called the police. Two embassy employees required medical attention from their injuries.

The Spanish police and National Intelligence Center (CNI) linked two of the embassy invaders to the CIA. “El Pais,” a Spanish national newspaper, reported that the CIA issued one of its standard “denials,” however, the paper stated that Spanish authorities found the denial from Langley, Virginia to be “unconvincing.” “El Pais” reported that the invasion of the North Korean embassy by the CIA had severely harmed relations between Madrid and Washington.

The National Police Corps’ General Commissariat of Information (CGI) and CNI concluded that the attack and occupation of the North Korean embassy was not carried out by common criminals but was the work of a “military cell” that stole mobile phones and computers. Two of the embassy invaders were identified as Koreans and, based on CGI’s and CNI’s analysis of security camera video footage, they were further recognized as Koreans linked to the CIA. Spanish authorities did not rule out the possibility that South Korea’s National Intelligence Service assisted the CIA in the embassy invasion. The embassy invaders escaped from the embassy using two North Korean luxury sedans bearing diplomatic plates. The cars were later found abandoned.

The criminal inquiry into the incident is now before the Spanish High Court, the Audiencia Nacional, which could order the arrests of the embassy attackers and, if they are in the United States or South Korea, have Spain’s INTERPOL national bureau put out a Red Notice for their arrest and extradition to Spain to stand trial.

Spanish authorities believe the CIA’s embassy attackers were looking for information on Kim Hyok Chol, the former North Korean ambassador to Spain, who was declared “persona non grata” by the Spanish government in 2017. Kim Hyok Chol, a career diplomat from one of North Korea’s elite families who studied French at the Pyongyang University of Foreign Studies and speaks fluent English, is now one of Kim Jong Un’s trusted diplomatic advisers on nuclear talks with the Trump administration and he traveled with Chairman Kim to the failed Hanoi summit with Trump.

With certainty, Kim Hyok Chol thoroughly briefed Kim Jong Un on the CIA’s storming of his old diplomatic post in Spain. When Trump and Chairman Kim met in Hanoi on February 27 and if the issue of the CIA’s siege of the North Korean embassy was brought up, that could have been enough to derail the summit. Considering the fact that war hawks like Bolton, Abrams, and Pompeo are now calling the foreign policy shots for the Trump administration, the attack on the North Korean embassy in Madrid, just five days prior to the Hanoi summit, may have been ordered by Washington’s neo-con cell with the intention of scuttling the second meeting between Trump and Kim and put on ice any future meetings.

There is further evidence that suggests the neo-cons, in cahoots with Haspel at the CIA, set out to disrupt the Hanoi summit. While Trump was meeting with Kim in Vietnam, the CIA is believed to have launched a cyber-attack on the Korean American National Coordinating Council (KANCC) in New York, an organization with ties to the Pyongyang government. KANCC is a non-governmental organization with offices in the Interchurch Center building, near Columbia University in Manhattan. It champions the dropping of US sanctions against North Korea, a sore point in Hanoi between Trump and Kim.

The Trump-Kim Hanoi summit was reported to have hit a roadblock over North Korea’s request for a partial lifting of US sanctions on North Korea, in return for the continued North Korean moratorium on nuclear testing and a partial freeze on production of fissile material. With the CIA’s attack on the North Korean embassy in Spain still fresh in the minds of the North Korean side and the neo-cons’ insistence, pushed by Bolton and Pompeo, for complete North Korean nuclear disarmament, the Hanoi summit was destined for failure. And, with Bolton, Abrams, Pompeo, and other dangerous neo-cons in charge at the White House and the State Department — and Haspel dancing to their tune at the CIA – North Korea and Venezuela are not the only countries currently in the gunsights of the Trump administration.

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