Russian Foreign Ministry on Venezuela, Syria, and Fake London Media Freedom Conference
by Stephen Lendman
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova (MZ below) expressed Moscow’s support for ongoing talks in Barbados between Venezuelan officials and representatives of the disloyal fascist opposition.
These elements are funded and controlled by the Trump regime, settling for nothing less than transforming Venezuela into a US vassal state, along with gaining control over its vast oil reserves, the world’s largest, a prize bipartisan hardliners in Washington seek relentlessly.
Given US aims and unwillingness to recognized Venezuela’s sovereign independence and social democratic rule, there’s scant reason for optimism — cautious or otherwise.
MZ: “(W)e once again call on the international and regional actors who are genuinely interested in improving the situation in Venezuela to heed the calls coming from the Norwegian mediators and exercise restraint in their statements and actions in order not to interfere with the negotiating process that is taking shape.”
Doing the right thing isn’t a US or Western attribute, just the opposite. Venezuela is dependent on help from its allies, along with the resilience of its ruling authorities and people.
The US and EU countries are its mortal enemies. Nothing from Barbados talks will change the harsh reality.
MZ reported that drawn down US military forces in Syria will be replaced by mercenaries.
The US came to Syria to stay, illegally occupying northern and southern parts of the country, using ISIS and other jihadists as proxy forces, what MZ didn’t explain.
US private military contractors are involved in all US war theaters. They’re hired guns operating extrajudicially, performing bandit operations.
They’re unregulated, unchecked, free from criminal or civil accountability, licensed to kill, and get away with it.
They’re largely immune from rule of law principles, doing pretty much do as they please and be well paid for it.
Historically they’ve been called mercenaries, soldiers of fortune, dogs of war, and Condottieri for wealthy city states in Renaissance Italy. Employing them goes back centuries.
In 13th century BC Egypt, Rameses II used thousands of them in battle. Ancient Greeks and Romans used them.
So did Alexander the Great, feudal lords in the Middle Ages, popes since 1506, Napoleon, and George Washington against the British in America’s war of independence.
The practice continues despite Western laws since the early 18th century, prohibiting their citizens from bearing arms for other nations.
In recent decades, the Pentagon continues to use them extensively — in combat and non-combat roles.
MZ: “…US mercenaries will be present on Syrian soil illegally in violation of all international norms and rules, which is another outrageous fact.”
MZ discussed the so-called July 11 and 12 media freedom conference in London — a farcical event by any standard, co-hosted by Britain and Canada.
Ruling regimes of both countries are hostile to the notion. Unsurprisingly, RT and Sputnik were banned from attending, on the phony pretext of “spreading disinformation” — what Western establishment media feature exclusively on major issue.
Russian media were denied accreditation to attend for featuring truth-telling journalism, anathema in the West.
MZ: “We gave the London authorities time to either take back what they said or to provide evidence to support these claims. Neither has been done.”
“We dismissed this absolutely aggressive act in the media environment by the London authorities represented by the Foreign Office as a classic example of a fake news attack and misinformation.”
“If you accuse somebody of something you must provide evidence in support of your case. If you fail to provide a single proof, the case is closed and it is you who is misinforming, not the Russian media.”
Banned from free expression n London, MZ used her press briefing to set the record straight as follows:
“(W)e are witnessing a real battle between the Western states to host increasingly bigger and more pretentious events, (pretending) to defend freedom of speech (they deplore), and (pretend to) protect it from fake news and disinformation” they consistently feature.
“The event had nothing to do with international media cooperation and freedom of speech.”
While ongoing, Britain indefensibly defended its right to electronically spy on its citizens and others before the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) — wanting control of the message, what totalitarian rule is all about.
The Bureau of Investigative Journalism and other organizations brought the case before the court, arguing that mass surveillance violates privacy, free expression, and media freedom rights.
The conference maintained dead silence on the US mistreatment of Chelsea Manning, and other heroic whistleblowers.
Nor was anything said about Julian Assange’s forcible arrest and imprisonment — in cahoots with Washington, wanting him extradited to the US for the “high crime” of truth-telling journalism the way it’s supposed to be.
While rhetorically championing media freedom, Britain and Canada actively support stifling it, in cahoots with the US doing the same thing — these nations increasingly totalitarian.
The glaring hypocrisy of the London conference is self-explanatory.
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”