Category Archives: Government

Venezuela Seizes General Motors Car Plant

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While the US has a habit of invading or attacking sovereign nations any time the president’s approval rating dips below a certain threshold, Venezuela has a similar, if less dramatic mechanism to provide a brief boost to Maduro’s popularity: it nationalizes foreign plants on its soil.

It did so last July, when the country was once again suffocating under a wave of violent protests, when just hours after Kimberly-Clark said it will shutter its Venezuela operations after years of grappling with soaring inflation and a shortage of hard currency and raw materials, Venezuela retaliated by announcing it would seize the factory.

It did so again overnight, when General Motors said on Wednesday that Venezuelan authorities had illegally seized its plant in the industrial hub of Valencia; as a result the car maker said it would immediately halt operations in Venezuela.

“Yesterday, GMV’s (General Motors Venezolana) plant was unexpectedly taken by the public authorities, preventing normal operations. In addition, other assets of the company, such as vehicles, have been illegally taken from its facilities,” the company said in a statement.

The automaker said the seizure showed a “total disregard” of its legal rights. “[GM] strongly rejects the arbitrary measures taken by the authorities and will vigorously take all legal actions, within and outside of Venezuela, to defend its rights.”

GM’s subsidiary in the country – General Motors Venezolana – has operated in Venezuela for nearly 70 years. It employs nearly 2,700 workers and has 79 dealers in the country. GM said it would make “separation payments” to its workers.

While the US car maker vowed to defend its rights, it has no chance of success of recouping its property under the current regime, which no longer recognize either local or international law. The seizure comes amid a deepening economic crisis in leftist-led Venezuela that has already roiled many U.S. companies.

GM said the seizure would cause irreparable damage to the company, its 2,678 workers, its 79 dealers and to its suppliers.

The seizure will hardly be of use to the Maduro regime as Venezuela’s car industry has been in freefall, hit by a lack of raw materials due to lack of foreign currency to fund imports and stagnant local production, with many plants are barely producing at all. Last month, according to official statistics, only several hundred cars were sold. 

GM is not the first US car maker to suffer the irrational wrath of Venezuela’s dictator: in early 2015, Ford wrote off its investment in Venezuela when it took an $800 million pre-tax write down. Others have been hit too, and as a result a growing number of US companies are taking their Venezuelan operations out off their consolidated accounts. ExxonMobil pulled the plug on its operations in Venezuelan in 2007 after former President Hugo Chavez attempted to nationalized one of its projects. The oil producer then took the government to court. Coca-Cola was forced to halt production of Coke and other sugar-sweetened beverages last year due to a sugar shortage.

Finally, for those seeking legal remedies, we have one word of advice – patience: Venezuela still faces around 20 arbitration cases over nationalizations under late leader Hugo Chavez.

Source: ZeroHedge

Chechnya: Muslim Leaders Operating Concentration Camps for Homosexuals

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Chechnya operating world’s first concentration camps for homosexuals since Hitler in the 1930s where campaigners say gay men are being tortured with electric shocks and beaten to death

  • Chechyna has opened the first concentration camp for homosexuals since Hitler
  • Prisoners reportedly tortured with electric shocks and some beaten to death 
  • One of those who fled said prisoners were beaten to force them to reveal other members of the gay community 
  • Comes after 100 gay men were detained and three killed in Chechyna last week 

A report by Novoya Gazeta said authorities had set up several camps where homosexuals are killed or forced to promise to leave the republic.

One of the camps is reportedly at the former military headquarters in the town of Argun.

https://i0.wp.com/i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2017/04/03/19/3EC896A000000578-0-image-a-1_1491244984220.jpgPresident Razman Kadyrov (right), who is a key ally of Vladimir Putin, allegedly ordered the clampdown.

Svetlana Zakharova, from the Russian LGBT Network, told MailOnline: ‘Gay people have been detained and rounded up and we are working to evacuate people from the camps and some have now left the region.

‘Those who have escaped said they are detained in the same room and people are kept altogether, around 30 or 40. They are tortured with electric currents and heavily beaten, sometimes to death.’

One of those who escaped told Novoya Gazeta that prisoners were beaten to force them to reveal other members of the gay community.

Another prisoner who fled said that before being incarcerated in one of the camps, he had been forced to pay bribes to Chechen police of thousands of rubles every month in order to survive.

Now the regime had taken another step against gays by creating these camps, the survivor said.

Alexander Artemyev, from Amnesty International in Russia, told MailOnline: ‘We can only call on the Russian authorities to investigate the allegations. Homosexuals in Chechyna are treated very harshly and prosecuted daily and they are afraid to talk about it.

‘They either have to hide or leave the republic. We are keeping in touch with the LGBT network that helps people in Russia to find shelter. The problem is people there cannot talk about it as it puts their lives and those they speak to, in danger. This is the main issue we are facing in Russia and the main challenge.’

Ekaterina Sokirianskaia, Russia project director for the International Crisis Group, told MailOnline: ‘The story is very much developing…victims are escaping.’

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Tanya Lokshina, from Human Rights Watch in Moscow, said: ‘For several weeks now, a brutal campaign against LGBT people has been sweeping through Chechnya.

‘These days, very few people in Chechnya dare speak to human rights monitors or journalists even anonymously because the climate of fear is overwhelming and people have been largely intimidated into silence.

‘Filing an official complaint against local security officials is extremely dangerous, as retaliation by local authorities is practically inevitable.

‘It is difficult to overstate just how vulnerable LGBT people are in Chechnya, where homophobia is intense and rampant. LGBT people are in danger not only of persecution by the authorities but also of falling victim to “honour killings” by their own relatives for tarnishing family honour.’

Last week Novoya Gazeta said Chechen police had rounded up more than 100 men suspected of being gay and killed three.

It claimed that among those detained were well-known local television personalities and religious figures.

President Razman Kadyrov, who is a key ally of Vladimir Putin, allegedly ordered the clampdown, although officially his regime denied the arrests claiming ‘it is impossible to persecute those who are not in the republic’.

https://i1.wp.com/i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2017/04/03/19/3EE8B7C900000578-0-image-a-13_1491245791462.jpgKadyrov, pictured, has been accused of earlier human rights violations.

Kadyrov, who introduced Islamic rule in the Muslim-majority region, has been accused of earlier human rights violations.

He described the allegations as ‘absolute lies and disinformation’.

Kadyrov’s spokesman Alvi Karimov told the Interfax News Agency: ‘You cannot arrest or repress people who just don’t exist in the republic.

‘If such people existed in Chechnya, law enforcement would not have to worry about them, as their own relatives would have sent them to where they could never return.’

Chechen society is strictly conservative, meaning that unlike other cases where relatives or rights activists may put pressure on authorities when a homosexual relative disappears, those suspected are likely to be disowned by their own families.

According to the New York Times, gay men in the region have been deleting their social media profiles after it was reported authorities tried to lure gay men into dates and arrested them.

The reports from Russia claim those arrested range from just 15 to 50.

Source: The Muslim Issue

DA Rules Suicide-by-Cop Justified

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FINAL MOMENTS: Javier Gaona, 32, held a knife to his throat and shouted at police to kill him on the morning of July 20, just before he was fatally shot by Santa Maria officers | David Minsky – Santa Maria Sun

When Santa Maria police officers fatally opened fire on Javier Gaona last June after he demanded that they shoot him, two of the officers involved had a “reasonable fear of death or great bodily harm,” according to a 25-page report issued by the Santa Barbara District Attorney’s Office, which concluded the killing was “a justifiable homicide.”

Gaona, then high on methamphetamine, had charged police officers with an eight-inch kitchen knife when they shot him 14 times. He had cleared 25 feet in his charge and had 15 feet to go before reaching the nearest officer. The shooting took place less than an hour after officers were dispatched to the 1200 block of South Broadway in Santa Maria, where Gaona, dressed in black and carrying two bags, was behaving strangely. When officers approached him, Gaona held a knife to his own throat and demanded the officers shoot him. Officers first sought to negotiate with Gaona. When that failed, he appeared poised to flee toward a nearby parking lot; they opened fire with bean bag shotguns and multiple rounds from a less-lethal 44 mm launcher. Although Gaona stumbled and fell, he retained possession of the knife. When he got up, he ran toward the officers with the knife outstretched.

Two weeks ago, the Gaona family had filed a lawsuit against the Santa Maria Police Department, contending the shooting was unnecessary and unjustified. Attorney William Schmidt, representing the Gaona family, said less-lethal launchers can be deployed only in the face of an immediate threat. “He was just standing there when they opened up and shot him,” Schmidt said. “He was not an immediate threat.” He added that the officers launched the nonlethal assault “less than 60 seconds after” Gaona declared negotiations were over. Schmidt said the findings were what he expected and that the case would continue.

By Nick Welsh | Santa Barbara Independent

Whistle Blower Reveals Systemic Public School Corruption

Charlotte Iserbyt served as Senior Policy Advisor in the Office of Educational Research and Improvement (OERI), U.S. Department of Education, during the first Reagan Administration and has been blowing the whistle on a major technology initiative which has controlled curriculum in America’s classrooms ever since.

Source: TheBreakAway