Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member Latest Breaking News Editorials & Other Articles General Discussion The DU Lounge All Forums Issue Forums Culture Forums Alliance Forums Region Forums Support Forums Help & Search

Judi Lynn

Judi Lynn's Journal
Judi Lynn's Journal
June 29, 2017

Venezuelas Right Wing Confesses to 17 years of Political Delinquency: The Amnesty Bill

By Dr Francisco Dominguez


“A confesion de parte, relevo de prueba”
(Spanish legal expression: “When there is confession, no evidence is required”).

Mexican writer Carlos Fuentes could not imagine how correct he was when he said that the challenge a Latin American writer faced was to produce fiction that was more extraordinary than reality itself.

Venezuela’s Right Wing Opposition has just managed to perform an event that surpasses Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s magic realism: On 18th February 2016, making use of their majority in the National Assembly, they have passed an Amnesty Bill that seeks to provide legal impunity to acts of political delinquency they and their supporters have perpetrated for 17 years. Venezuela’s Right Wing majority in the National Assembly’s ‘amnesty’ bill is not only an admission of guilt for, but also a well organised catalogue of, the political offences they and their supporters have perpetrated since 1999.

The Bill is upfront about what it seeks to amnesty: “acts defined as crimes, misdemeanours or infringements [...] and other acts provided for herein.” (Art.1) This Bill is an Opposition’s colossal Freudian slip since with it they, unwittingly, have admitted their guilt of more than a decade and a half of illegal, violent and undemocratic political felonies.

The Amnesty Bill is not yet law, since it needs to go through several constitutional procedures, including being vetoed by President Nicolas Maduro, who has condemned the Bill in the strongest terms. In the highly likely event of President Maduro vetoing it, the Bill will then be referred to the Supreme Court (TSJ) to get it to issue a ruling on its constitutionality. The TSJ can declare the Bill unconstitutional regardless of the size of the Right Wing majority in the National Assembly (for details of what the Opposition majority in the National Assembly can and cannot do read my article in the Huffington Post, Right Wing Majority in Venezuela’s National Assembly: The Constitutional and Political Stakes).

June 29, 2017

Brilliant Southern Lights and Milky Way Shine at South Pole (Photos)

By Doris Elin Salazar, Staff Writer | June 28, 2017 07:00am ET

- click for image -


Astrophotographer Hunter Davis captured this view of the Milky Way and southern lights at the South Pole.
Credit: Hunter Davis

Like the inside of a child's iridescent summer bubble wand, the aurora australis — also known as the southern lights — and the Milky Way bend across the sky in a stunning display of sapphire blue and fuchsia pink.

Astrophotographer Hunter Davis captured two images of our galaxy's band of neighboring stars sharing the sky with the southern lights. They were taken in Antarctica, just over a relay station at the South Pole before the winter solstice, Davis said. The snow that blankets the base of the photos accentuates the brightness of the lights in the sky.

"I've been working and living at the South Pole station since Oct. 30th 2016, and will finally leave for home in early November," Davis told Space.com in an email. "The night sky down here is one of the prettiest things I've ever seen."

June 28, 2017

While FARC was demobilizing, 37 social leaders were assassinated in Colombia

Source: Colombia Reports

written by Adriaan Alsema June 28, 2017

Between a peace agreement with Colombia’s government and the disarmament of the country’s largest guerrilla group FARC, 37 social leaders were assassinated in the country. Many others remain under imminent threat.

News website Pacifista.co has kept an increasingly grim count of the wide variety of social leaders who have been killed in an eerily similar pattern to that of the 1980s and 1990s when thousands of members of the Marxist Patriotic Union Party were killed.

. . .

The last leader to be killed before the last FARC guerrilla handed in his weapon was Mauricio Fernando Lopez, a leader of the teachers union of the Valle University where he trained the university soccer team.

In front of family members, a group of hooded men entered his home, gagged him and dragged him away. A few hours later his apparently tortured body was found just miles from his home.

Read more: https://colombiareports.com/farc-demobilizing-37-social-leaders-assassinated-colombia/

June 28, 2017

53 years after taking up arms, FARC completes disarmament process: UN

written by Adriaan Alsema June 26, 2017

53 years after its first combat, Colombia’s oldest and largest rebel group, the FARC, have completed its disarmament process, the United Nations announced Monday.

According to the United Nations, the FARC’s approximately 7,000 demobilized guerrillas have surrendered 7,132 arms.

The weapons are now stored in UN-controlled containers located in the 26 demobilization, disarmament and reintegration (DDR) camps where the guerrillas where the guerrillas have been staying since September last year.

President Juan Manuel Santos and FARC leader Rodrigo Londoño, known by his nom-de-guerre “Timochenko” are expected to attend a ceremony on Tuesday to celebrate the successful disarmament of the country’s longest-living guerrilla group.

June 27, 2017

Cuba: 14,000 people repatriated during last year

Posted on June 25, 2017
By Ivette Leyva Martínez

A total of 14,000 people were able to repatriate in Cuba last year, a record figure since the Cuban government implemented immigration reform in 2013, according to official reports.

"These 14,000 people who decided to come to Cuba are one of the majority immigration in recent years," said Juan Carlos Alonso Fraga, director of the Center for Population and Development Studies of the National Statistical Office (ONEI). A recent appearance on the TV show Round Table.

The official explained that so far in 2017 there are also indications of "a trend of that immigration of Cuban returnees, some who have been away for many years, and foreigners who decide to establish their residence in Cuba."

Of all ages

He added that among those resettled in the country there are people of all ages and sexes, with a preponderance over the age of 50, and most of them settled in Havana.

June 25, 2017

Newly Declassified Documents Show Nazis Plotted to Destroy Panama Canal

George Dvorsky
Friday 10:40am

Investigators in Chile have released thousands of declassified documents dating back to the Second World War, revealing the extent to which Nazi spies had infiltrated the country. Among the more shocking revelations is the discovery of a Nazi plot to destroy the Panama Canal—an act that would have changed “the history of the whole world.”

As reported in Deutsche Welle, the documents were presented yesterday at an unveiling ceremony in Santiago, Chile. The files were finally made public after a petition was filed earlier this year by Chilean deputies who demanded their release. The files will now stay on public display at Chile’s National Archives, and digital versions will be made available online.

“Until yesterday, this was a state secret,” said lawmaker Gabriel Silber, one of the authors of the petition. “Maybe, from today, we are going to recognize an uncomfortable truth that unfortunately some political and business figures in Chile supported the Nazis.”

Indeed, the Nazis had some support in Chile and other Latin American countries during WWII, which is why so many Nazi officials fled to South America after the war. In 1941, after Nazi groups were discovered in the country, the Chilean government set up a special police unit called Department 50 to track these spy rings and thwart their activities.


June 25, 2017

EXCLUSIVE: Panama's ex-president wiretapped Americans, according to court documents

Source: Univision

At least two Americans were among those targeted by President Ricardo Martinelli, according to a witness affidavit in the Miami extradition case against the former president. Martinelli's lawyers say he is being framed by the current government of Panama.

Por: Mostrar Créditos
Publicado: jun 24, 2017 | 05:06 PM EDT

The former deputy manager of the 2008 presidential campaign of John McCain and a decorated U.S. military officer were allegedly the subjects of illegal wiretapping ordered by Panama's ex-president Ricardo Martinelli, according to a former Panamanian official involved in the spy program.

. . .

In its detailed court filing last week the U.S. Justice Department said Martinelli used the espionage system without legal authorization to wiretap the phones of political enemies, judges, journalists, business competitors, as well as his own mistress.

. . .

Ferry worked on the McCain campaign and was an advisor to the 2014 presidential campaign of Panama's president Juan Carlos Varela in 2014. He also managed the 2016 presidential campaign of Senator Lindsay Graham.

Before creating his own Virginia-based firm, The Trailblazer Group, Ferry worked at Davis-Manafort, the company of Donald Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

Read more: http://www.univision.com/univision-news/latin-america/exclusive-panamas-ex-president-wiretapped-americans-according-to-court-documents

June 23, 2017

Nazi spies planned bombings in Chile, archives reveal

Documents show Chilean supporters of the Third Reich received paramilitary training and sent information to Germany during the second world war

Reuters in Santiago
Thursday 22 June 2017 19.06 EDT

Chilean police have released archive documents relating to investigations during the second world war that uncovered how Nazi supporters in the country supplyed information to the Third Reich and planned to bomb mines in Chile.

Young members of families of German descent underwent paramilitary training in southern Chile, while Nazi supporters in the country routinely sent information to Germany about the routes of Allied merchant vessels, the documents showed.

The discovery comes the same week that a cache of Nazi artefacts was found hidden behind a bookcase in Buenos Aires, the Argentinian capital.

There was significant support within Chile and Argentina for the Axis powers during the second world war. After the cessation of hostilities, many leading Nazi officials fled Europe to hide out in South America.

June 23, 2017

Delaware senator charged for carrying gun into airport

Source: The Hill

BY JOSH DELK - 06/23/17 05:57 PM EDT

Delaware State Senator Brian Pettyjohn faces a felony charge for accidentally carrying a weapon into an airport on Thursday morning, Delaware State News reports.

Pettyjohn was detained in the Salisbury Regional Airport Thursday morning when Transportation Security Administration agents found a loaded handgun in his carry-on bag. The senator said that he accidentally left the firearm in his laptop case.

He was travelling to the Southern Regional Education Board conference in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Police announced the felony charges on Friday, which carry the potential of a 10-year jail sentence. Pettyjohn was questioned by the Sherriff’s office at the airport, and was later released without arrest.

Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/339252-delaware-senator-charged-for-carrying-gun-into-airport

Republican State Senator Brian Pettyjohn
June 23, 2017

Uribes former press secretary and judicial aide charged over Supreme Court spying claims

written by Adriaan Alsema June 23, 2017

The then-press secretary and judicial adviser of former Colombia President Alvaro Uribe were charged on Thursday for their alleged participation in the illegal wiretapping of the Supreme Court, journalists, politicians and human rights organizations.

The wiretapping scandal by Colombia’s now-defunct intelligence organization DAS has already led to the incarceration of Uribe’ss former chief of staff, the agency’s former director, and criminal investigations of the controversial former president’s former presidential adviser, Cesar Obdulio Gaviria, a cousin of former drug lord and Congressman Pablo Escobar.

According to the Prosecutor General’s Office, the two top presidential aides took part in an elaborate conspiracy that followed an “illegal agreement between the National Government and DAS officials, whose primary objective was to “smear or discredit” “members of the Supreme Court, congressmen, journalists and general government opponents who were listed and treated as “political targets.”

Uribe’s then-press secretary and judicial adviser “knew of and participated in the illegal activities carried out by State intelligence organisms and effectively contributed to achieving the criminal purpose.”


Profile Information

Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 161,382
Latest Discussions»Judi Lynn's Journal