Russia has blasted the U.S. government’s attempts to bully the government of Venezuela, whose President Nicolas Maduro was sworn in last week amid a blitz of negative press and diplomatic efforts aiming to isolate the South American nation.
Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov decried the “the stubborn unwillingness of some Western countries led by the United States to accept the realities of the objectively developing multipolar world, as well as because of their desire to continue to force their will on others by means of pressure and economic and propaganda instruments,” according to an official transcript.
Stressing Russia’s respect for the internal political processes within sovereign nations, Lavrov noted that Russia has long sought to assist the Venezuelan people’s attempts to arrive at a mutually agreeable resolution to the long crisis the country has experienced as a result of the U.S.-imposed economic war on the country, including sanctions on its leading officials. These attempts to establish a dialogue between the government and opposition came to naught due to the intransigence of an opposition egged-on by the United States and other foreign powers.
The top Russian diplomat explained:
“We know that this dialogue, which many Latin American countries counted on, eventually fell apart because the so-called irreconcilable part of the opposition was influenced from abroad, mainly by the United States … It is deeply regrettable.”
Earlier this month, a dozen Latin American countries along with Canada who belong to the so-called “Lima Group” issued a joint statement demanding that the elected president of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro, cede power to the opposition-dominated National Assembly until new elections are held.
Mexico, the Latin American powerhouse now led by leftist President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, notably abstained from the vote.
Since Maduro took office, the United States – with its junior partners in tow – has mulled recognizing National Assembly Speaker Juan Guaido as “interim president” of the country. The opposition-controlled assembly has branded Maduro a “usurper” while Guaido has openly called for military and civilian bodies to topple the government and its ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela.
The National Assembly, while still nominally an important federal lawmaking body, has largely lost its potency since coming under opposition control. Members of the country’s beleaguered opposition have repeatedly issued calls for the military to topple the presidency, to no avail, while its leaders have met with officials in the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump, who has ratcheted up Washington’s anti-Venezuelan rhetoric since assuming office in 2017.
“We have heard statements that allow for a military intervention in Venezuela, and statements that the United States will recognize or may begin to recognize President of the National Assembly Juan Guaido as the legitimate President of Venezuela rather than Nicolas Maduro,” Minister Lavrov noted.
“All this is very disturbing and indicates that the United States continues to break down unfavorable governments as its priority strategy in Latin America and other regions.”
Since 2009, the U.S. State Department has allocated tens of millions of dollars toward ousting the anti-imperialist government in Caracas, while sanctions have bled the country of over $6 billion since August 2017, according to analyst Joe Emersberger.
The U.S. has long identified Venezuela as its main adversary in the Western Hemisphere, according to a strategic document from 2007 leaked by former CIA operative and whistleblower Edward Snowden.
Dolphin Swims Through Louisiana Neighborhood in Aftermath of Hurricane Ida
A Louisiana family was shocked to find a dolphin swimming through their neighborhood in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida.
Amanda Huling and her family were assessing the damage to their neighborhood in Slidell, Louisiana, when they noticed the dolphin swimming through the inundated suburban landscape.
In video shot by Huling, the marine mammal’s dorsal fin can be seen emerging from the water.
“The dolphin was still there as of last night but I am in contact with an organization who is going to be rescuing it within the next few days if it is still there,” Huling told FOX 35.
Ida slammed into the coast of Louisiana this past weekend. The Category 4 hurricane ravaged the power grid of the region, plunging residents of New Orleans and upwards of 1 million homes and businesses in Louisiana and Mississippi into the dark for an indefinite period of time.
Officials have warned that the damage has been so extensive that it could take weeks to repair the power grid, reports Associated Press.
Also in Slidell, a 71-year-old man was attacked by an alligator over the weekend while he was in his flooded shed. The man went missing and is assumed dead, reports WDSU.
Internet users began growing weary last year about the steady stream of stories belonging to a “nature is healing” genre, as people stayed indoors and stories emerged about animals taking back their environs be it in the sea or in our suburbs.
However, these latest events are the surreal realities of a world in which extreme weather events are fast becoming the new normal – disrupting our lives in sometimes predictable, and occasionally shocking and surreal, ways.
Mom in LA Suburbs Fights Off Mountain Lion With Bare Hands, Rescues 5-Year-Old Son
A mother in Southern California is being hailed as a hero after rescuing her five-year-old son from an attacking mountain lion.
The little boy was playing outside his home in Calabasas, a city lying west of Los Angeles in the Santa Monica Mountains, when the large cat pounced on him.
The 65-pound (30 kg) mountain lion dragged the boy about 45 yards across the front lawn before the mother acted fast, running out and striking the creature with her bare hands and forcing it to free her son.
“The true hero of this story is his mom because she absolutely saved her son’s life,” California Department of Fish and Wildlife spokesman Captain Patrick Foy told Associated Press on Saturday.
“She ran out of the house and started punching and striking the mountain lion with her bare hands and got him off her son,” Foy added.
The boy sustained significant injuries to his head, neck and upper torso, but is now in stable condition at a hospital in Los Angeles, according to authorities.
The mountain lion was later located and killed by an officer with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, who found the big cat crouching in the bushes with its “ears back and hissing” at the officer shortly after he arrived at the property.
“Due to its behavior and proximity to the attack, the warden believed it was likely the attacking lion and to protect public safety shot and killed it on sight,” the wildlife department noted in its statement.
The mountain lion attack is the first such attack on a human in Los Angeles County since 1995, according to Fish and Wildlife.
The Santa Monica Mountains is a biodiverse region teeming with wildlife such as large raptors, mountain lions, bears, coyote, deer, lizards, and snakes. However, their numbers have rapidly faded in recent years, causing local wildlife authorities to find new ways to manage the region’s endemic species.
Video Shows Taliban Taking Joyride in Captured US Blackhawk Helicopter
The rapid fall of Kabul to the Taliban has resulted in a number of surreal sights – from footage of the Islamist group’s fighters exercising at a presidential gym to clips of combatants having a great time on bumper cars at the local fun park.
However, a new video of Taliban members seemingly testing their skills in the cockpit of a commandeered UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter shows the chilling extent to which U.S. wares have fallen into the hands of a group it spent trillions of dollars, and exhaustive resources, to stamp out.
In the new video, shared on Twitter, the front-line utility helicopter can be seen taxiing on the ground at Kandahar Airport in southeastern Afghanistan, moving along the tarmac. It is unclear who exactly was sitting in the cockpit, and the Black Hawk cannot be seen taking off or flying.
It is unlikely that the Taliban have any combatants who are sufficiently trained to fly a UH-60 Black Hawk.
The helicopter, which carries a $6 million price tag, is just a small part of the massive haul that fell into the militant group’s hands after the country’s central government seemingly evaporated on Aug. 14 amid the withdrawal of U.S. and coalition troops.
Some 200,000 firearms, 20,000 Humvees and hundreds of aircraft financed by Washington for the now-defunct Afghan Army are believed to be in the possession of the Taliban.
The firearms include M24 sniper rifles, M18 assault weapons, anti-tank missiles, automatic grenade launchers, rocket-propelled grenades and mortars.
Taliban fighters in the elite Badri 313 Brigade have been seen in propaganda images showing off in uniforms and wielding weaponry meant for the special forces units of the Afghan Army.
The U.S. is known to have purchased 42,000 light tactical vehicles, 9,000 medium tactical vehicles and over 22,000 Humvees between 2003 and 2016.
The White House remains unclear on how much weaponry has fallen into Taliban hands, with National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan admitting last week that the U.S. lacks a “clear picture of just how much missing $83 billion of military inventory” the group has.