Archive for Frances Martel

China’s Illegal Presence in Latin American Seas Grows, Making an Enemy of Leftist Ecuador

The leftist government of Ecuador, a close ally of China, has lodged a stern protest against Beijing this week after seizing an illegal fishing vessel carrying thousands of endangered sharks. China's presence in the waters of Latin America has grown as the lucrative illegal fish market has grown.

Taliban Responds to Trump: ‘Afghanistan Will Become Another Graveyard’ for Americans

A spokesman for the Afghan Taliban issued a response to President Donald Trump's announcement of a new strategy for the Afghan war on Tuesday, vowing that "Afghanistan will become another graveyard for this superpower" without complete withdrawal.

Venezuela’s Protesting Violinist Beaten, Burned, Forced to Watch Rape by Soldiers in Prison

Wuilly Arteaga
Wuilly Arteaga, a 23-year-old violinist known for playing the national anthem during protests in Venezuela, told reporters Thursday that the military subjected him to beatings, burnings, and forced him to watch soldiers rape a protester during his extended time behind bars.

Mike Pence Asks Latin American Leaders to Cut Ties with North Korea

Vice President Mike Pence urged Chile, Peru, Mexico, and other Latin American nations to consider cutting all diplomatic ties to North Korea during his visit to Chile on Wednesday, suggesting only a full diplomatic freeze could pressure the rogue communist state to cease its constant threats of nuclear attack.

Venezuela: Governor Condemns ‘Massacre’ by State Police in Amazon Prison, 37 Dead

The governor of Venezuela's inland Amazonas province denounced a "massacre" Wednesday at a prison in his state, alleging that police acting at the behest of the socialist regime attempted to storm the prison and killed 37 inmates in the process.

State Department Report Highlights Repression of Christians in Cuba

Members of the 'Ladies in White' dissident group march in Havana, March 20, 2016. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino
The U.S. State Department has revealed persistent persecution of Christians in Cuba in its 2016 religious freedom report released Tuesday, highlighting actions to suppress Christian dissident group the Ladies in White in particular and the use of state bureaucracy to prevent the spread of the faith.

Venezuela’s Maduro Makes Surprise Cuba Trip to Worship at Fidel Castro’s Tomb

Cuban state media outlet Granma published images of Venezuelan dictator Nicolás Maduro bowing before the tomb of Fidel Castro on Wednesday, honoring the recently deceased mass murderer shortly after what would have been his 91st birthday.

Venezuela: Protesters Lose Hope as Main Opposition Signs Up for Maduro-Controlled Elections

Protesters in Venezuela speaking to Agence-France Presse Tuesday called the main opposition party's participation in socialist-controlled elections this year a "mockery" as anti-socialist groups lament dwindling numbers at what were previously thousands-strong elections.

North Korea Touts International Visits While Pulling Envoys Out of China, Russia

North Korea's state media has published a column Monday listing a variety of foreign members of communist, pro-North Korea organizations in another attempt to dispel the image of the "hermit kingdom" as diplomatically isolated.

Socialists in Venezuela’s Opposition Push for Participating in Future Rigged Elections

Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro celebrates the results of 'Constituent Assembly', in Caracas, on July 31, 2017. Deadly violence erupted around the controversial vote, with a candidate to the all-powerful body being elected shot dead and troops firing weapons to clear protesters in Caracas and elsewhere. / AFP PHOTO / RONALDO SCHEMIDT (Photo credit should read RONALDO SCHEMIDT/AFP/Getty Images)
A major fault line in Venezuela's opposition movement surfaced this week as the socialist elements of the Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD) urge participation in the government's regional elections, which the center-right opposition rejects as a move legitimizing dictator Nicolás Maduro.

Venezuela: Maduro Demands ‘Personal Conversation’ with Trump in New York

Speaking to a new, all-powerful loyalist assembly he saw installed through elections last month, Maduro said he had instructed his foreign minister to set it up "so I have a personal conversation with Donald Trump."
Venezuelan dictator Nicolás Maduro ordered his foreign minister to reach out to American counterparts to schedule a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday.

North Korea Fills Pyongyang Square for Anti-America Rally

North Koreans wave banners and shout slogans at a state organised anti-American rally in Pyongyang
The communist government of North Korea touted an apparently thousands-strong rally in the heart of Pyongyang – Kim Il-sung Square – Wednesday in response to President Donald Trump's warning that any attack on U.S. soil would be met with unprecedented "fire and fury."

Report: Hezbollah, ‘Arabic Community’ Pushes for ‘Drug Kingpin’ VP to Replace Venezuela’s Maduro

Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro named Tareck El Aissami (pictured) vice-president on January 4, 2016, making the powerful state governor a potential successor to the presidency in the event that the embattled Maduro is impeached
A report in an Arab newspaper cites Hezbollah media outlet al-Manar and unnamed "sources in the Arabic community" as beginning a push to replace embattled dictator Nicolás Maduro with Tareck El Aissami, the alleged drug lord appointed vice president of Venezeula.

Reports: ‘Incident’ in Cuba Leaves U.S. Diplomats with ‘Severe Hearing Loss,’ Concussion Symptoms

The U.S. State Department confirmed Wednesday that several American diplomats left the U.S. embassy in Havana, Cuba in May after complaining of "a variety of physical symptoms" triggered by unspecified "incidents."

Chinese State Media Turns Its Back on Former ‘Hot Investment Destination’ Venezuela

'La Vega' low income neighborhood residents clash with riot police during a demonstration in Caracas on June 10, 2016. Facing mounting pressure from food shortages, looting and increasingly violent protests, Venezuelan authorities on Friday announced the next stage for a recall referendum against embattled President Nicolas Maduro. / AFP / STR (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)
China appears to be souring on the decades-old decision to invest heavily in Venezuela, now arguably the world's worst economy, with its state media suggesting Wednesday that keeping commitments to Venezuela "is at the cost of great risk" and the nation's banks should reconsider business there.

America’s Migrant Crisis: Colombia, Brazil Brace for Tens of Thousands of Venezuelan Refugees

The nations sharing a border with Venezuela, increasingly on the brink of civil war, are bracing for an influx of tens of thousands of refugees, most having crossed into Cúcuta, Colombia, and Roraima, Brazil.

Venezuela: Soldiers Attack Army Base, Declare ‘Legitimate Rebellion’ in Viral Video

A group of men identifying themselves as Venezuelan soldiers published a video on social media calling for an overthrow of the socialist regime of dictator Nicolás Maduro, shortly before the government announced it had quelled an uprising in Carabobo state on Sunday.

‘There Is No Hunger in Venezuela’: Maduro’s Socialists Begin Coup in Congress

Reaction to the National Constituent Assembly in Venezuela amid controversial election.
The socialist regime of dictator Nicolás Maduro has begun the swearing-in of the "National Constituent Assembly," a parallel legislature Maduro created to stifle the opposition-held National Assembly.

North Korea Offers to Teach U.S.’s ‘Stinky Face’ ‘Some Manners with Strategic Nuclear Force’

Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump
Following a series of condemnations from American officials over its latest missile test – and a bizarre affirmation that "we are not your enemy" from Secretary of State Rex Tillerson – the North Korean government has responded in its state media, demanding America keep its "stinky face" out of Asia.

‘I Love You All’: Duterte Embraces Troops Fighting Islamic State in Marawi

President Rodrigo Duterte visits Marawi City on Friday, August 4, 2017.
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte made his second visit to the Islamic State-controlled city of Marawi on Friday, greeting soldiers and vowing to establish a trust fund for the education of children whose parents serve in the military.

Turkey Purges Military amid Post-Coup Chaos: Army, Navy, Air Force Chiefs Replaced

With tens of thousands of arrests and sackings since the failed coup 12 months ago, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has cemented his grip on power buoyed by an April referendum success
The Turkish government announced on Wednesday that the commanders of its army, navy, and air force were all stepping down at the end of their terms, naming replacements and asserting that the change in authority was not an irregular occurrence.

Venezuela: Maduro Postpones Parallel Legislature Takeover as Opposition Plans Major March

Venezuelans, who protested against President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas on Monday after the controversial vote, are planning to be back in the streets on Thursday
Venezuelan dictator Nicolás Maduro has postponed the installation of the "national constituents' assembly" (ANC), a fabricated socialist lawmaking body meant to usurp the power of the National Assembly, following an election widely believed to be fraudulent.

‘Courage’: China Applauds Rex Tillerson’s Soft Approach on North Korea

Rex Tillerson calls for dialogue with North Korea
The Global Times, a newspaper published by the government of China, has lauded Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's remarks that the United States does not seek an end to the brutal communist regime of Kim Jong-un in North Korea and would prefer dialogue with it.

Duterte Mocks North Korea’s Kim ‘Chubby Face’: ‘That Son of a Bitch Maniac’

This undated photo released by North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on December 11, 2016 shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un (front C) during a combat drill of the service personnel of the special operation battalion of the Korean People's Army Unit 525. / AFP / KCNA VIA KNS / KNS / South Korea OUT / REPUBLIC OF KOREA OUT ---EDITORS NOTE--- RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT 'AFP PHOTO/KCNA VIA KNS' - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS THIS PICTURE WAS MADE AVAILABLE BY A THIRD PARTY. AFP CAN NOT INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE AUTHENTICITY, LOCATION, DATE AND CONTENT OF THIS IMAGE. THIS PHOTO IS DISTRIBUTED EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY AFP. / (Photo credit should read KNS/AFP/Getty Images)
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte condemned his North Korean counterpart Kim Jong-un as a "son of a bitch maniac" in an aside during a speech to the nation's tax agency Wednesday, warning that despite his "chubby face," he had the potential of turning all of Asia into "an arid land."

‘There Is No Idol Worship in Islam’: Man Takes Sickle to Founder Atatürk Statue in Turkey

Police have arrested a man dressed in traditional Islamic garb who attacked a statue of founder Mustafa Kemal Atatürk in southeast Turkey on Saturday. The man claimed he needed to destroy the statue to adhere to his Muslim faith.

Venezuela: Secret Police Detain Leopoldo Lopez, Mayor Ledezma of Caracas in Midnight Raids

Venezuelan opposition leaders Leopoldo Lopez (L) and Antonio Ledezma -- who were both under house arrest -- were taken back to jail, sparking international anger
Venezuela's Secret Police (Sebin) stormed the homes of opposition leader Leopoldo López and rightful mayor of Caracas Antonio Ledezma early Tuesday morning, taking the two men away over alleged violations of their house arrest provisions.

Maduro Responds to U.S. Sanctions: ‘Ku Klux Klan Governs the White House’

Venezuela's dictator Nicolás Maduro has responded to U.S. sanctions banning him from the country Monday with an outrageous tirade in which he claimed the White House was in the hands of the Ku Klux Klan and calling the sanctions a sign of America's "impotence, desperation, and hate."

‘Ironclad’: In Nearly Hour-Long Phone Call, Japan’s Abe Stands with Trump on North Korea

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and American President Donald Trump vowed to take "concrete actions" to discourage further North Korean belligerence following yet another missile launch last week in an extended phone conversation Monday.

Venezuela: Police Arrests Nearly 100 in Widely Boycotted ‘Sham’ Election

Members of the National Guard arrest an opposition activists during clashes following a march towards the Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ) in an offensive against President Maduro and his call for Constituent Assembly in Caracas on July 22, 2017. The Legislative power, controlled by the opposition, appointed Friday a parallel supreme court in a public session claiming the TSJ judges had been illegally appointed by the parliaments former pro-government majority. / AFP PHOTO / JUAN BARRETO (Photo credit should read JUAN BARRETO/AFP/Getty Images)
An NGO documenting police repression in Venezuela announced on Monday that the government arrested 96 people during Sunday's vote for a parallel legislature, adding to over a dozen known deaths amid police attacks on protesters Sunday.

Xi Jinping Lauds China’s Ability to Defeat ‘All Invading Enemies’ in Massive Military Celebration

China's President Xi Jinping, clad in combat fatigues and overseeing one of the largest displays of military might in recent memory, applauded the nation's People's Liberation Army (PLA) while warning them to remain "ready for fight, capable of combat, and sure to win."

Venezuela: Regime Claims ‘Complete Normalcy’ as ‘Sham’ Election Leaves over Dozen Dead

Venezuelan Bolivarian National police move away from the flames after an explosion at Altamira square during clashes against anti-government demonstrators in Caracas, Venezuela, Sunday, July 30, 2017. The explosion injured several officers and damaged several of their motorcycles. The officers were then seen throwing several privately owned motorcycles into the remaining fire in reprisal. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)
The socialist government of Venezuela has declared its election Sunday to create a parallel legislature to rewrite the constitution a popular success, despite reports of low turnout and at least 13 dead in clashes between protesters and the military.

Erdogan: Turkish Universities Need to Stop Muslim ‘Brain Drain’ to West

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan delivered a speech Wednesday urging Muslims with higher educations to remain in Muslim countries to keep their earning potential and scientific achievements in the Muslim world, a message that appears at odds with his claim that Muslims are "Europe's future."

Brazilians Protest Hezbollah-Linked Ayatollah’s Visit to Speak on ‘Confronting Terrorism’

Sao Paulo's Israeli Federation is protesting a planned visit on July 29 to Brazil by Iraqi-born Iranian Ayatollah Mohsen Araki, who has referred to Israel as a "cancer" and keeps close ties to the both the Iranian government and its terror proxy Hezbollah.

State Media: Chinese Public ‘Detest’ America, Wanted U.S. Recon Plane Shot Down

AP Photo
The Chinese state propaganda outlet Global Times has published an incendiary column claiming that the Chinese public "really detest US reconnaissance" in Asia and "actually wanted" China to shoot down a U.S. reconnaissance plane dangerously intercepted over the weekend.

Report: Maduro Broker Offers Delay of Rewriting Constitution if Opposition ‘Cools Off’ Protests

Former socialist Spanish president Jose Luis Rodríguez Zapatero told Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo López this week that dictator Nicolás Maduro is willing to postpone a vote to elect drafters of a new constitution if the opposition offers a "cooling off" of protests, according to the Miami Herald.

Another Sunday in Cuba: 70 Dissidents Violently Arrested for Attempting to Attend Church

Ladies in White, a women's dissident group that calls for the release of political prisoners, begin their weekly march in Havana, Cuba, Sunday, March 20, 2016. U.S. President Barack Obama arrives Sunday afternoon for a three-day visit to Cuba, the first visit by a U.S. president to the island in nearly 90 years. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
Cuban state police violently arrested nearly seventy dissidents, most members of the Ladies in White movement, on their way to attend Catholic Mass Sunday in what has become a weekly ritual for the oppressive communist state.

‘A Complete Legal Murder’: Turkey’s Oldest Newspaper on Trial for ‘Terrorism’

Seventeen editors and officers of Cumhuriyet, the oldest continually publishing newspaper in Turkey, appeared in court in Istanbul Monday to face a variety of charges including "helping an armed terrorist organization while not bein a member of it" and "abusing trust" for their reporting.

Venezuela’s Maduro Vows to Hold Vote to Rewrite Constitution: ‘You Will Not Defeat Me’

Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro gives a news conference in Caracas, Venezuela. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos, File)
Venezuela's socialist dictator Nicolás Maduro vowed Sunday to go forward with a vote to elect representatives to draft a new constitution intended to cement his stranglehold on power despite international condemnation and pressure to cancel plans to do so.

Priests Hold Mass in Ladies in White Home, Defying Cuban Ban on Dissidents Entering Church

Kyodo via AP Images
Following 109 Sundays in which the communist Cuban government had denied them entry to their local church, the Ladies in White dissident group received two Catholic priests to deliver Mass in their headquarters on Sunday.

Venezuela Claims ‘Review’ of Relations with U.S. After ‘Imperialist Threat’ from Donald Trump

Venezuela's foreign minister Samuel Moncada announced Tuesday that the socialist government would conduct a "profound review" of U.S.-Venezuela relations after President Donald Trump referred to head of state Nicolás Maduro as a "bad leader who dreams of becoming a dictator" and threatening further sanctions.
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