The corporate media has recently been supporting US sanctions against independent governments in Latin America. And while ignoring the clear double standards behind Washington’s hostility, it also gives little attention to whether sanctions are even effective – let alone whether they harm the people they supposedly aim to help.
A predictable echo chamber
As The Canary reported, the US recently imposed ‘Nica Act’ sanctions on Nicaragua. Among other penalties, the law places restrictions on the granting of loans to Nicaragua from international financial institutions like the World Bank.
A crushing New York Times exposé into the family wealth of Donald Trump recently brought to light the possibility that the US president’s family used shady methods to dodge tax – some of which might have been illegal. Now, a tax expert has weighed in on the matter. And he suspects that the allegations, if true, could lead to legal proceedings.
Tax avoidance and possible fraud
On 3 October, The Canary reported on a New York Times in-depth investigation into the transfer of wealth from Fred Trump to his son Donald and other children. The article reports that Donald received hundreds of millions of dollars from his father beginning when he was a toddler – exploding his claim to be a ‘self-made man’. It also alleges that, in doing so, the Trump family used various tax-avoidance methods to minimize their tax bill and maximize the payout to the next generation. And while some of the alleged methods may be basic and above-board ‘estate planning‘, others could constitute fraud of various varieties.
Donald Trump is having what one commentator has dubbed “the worst week (so far)” of his time as US president. Scandal upon scandal is piling up, and with the Democrats poised to officially take control of the House of Representatives in the coming weeks, Trump’s house of cards presidency is increasingly collapsing around him.
“The man doesn’t tell the truth”
On 13 December, Trump’s denials over allegations he had paid hush money to several women with whom he had allegedly had extramarital affairs came home to roost. Revelations that have emerged from the court proceedings against Trump’s personal lawyer and ‘fixer’ Michael Cohen have made it impossible for Trump to continue his denials.
The war in Yemen has been raging for years, with US support. But now, for the first time in history, the US Senate has voted to end this unauthorized military engagement.
On 13 December, US senators from both major parties voted to end US support for the devastating Saudi-led war against Yemen. The resolution passed by 56 to 41.
According to the Center for Strategic and International Studies:
With the White House occupied by Donald Trump – who believes that climate change is a ‘Chinese hoax’ – it can feel like there is little cause for optimism on environmental issues in the US. But campaigners have nonetheless been working tirelessly to make a ‘Green New Deal’ a reality.
Rally for a select committee in congress
On 10 December, over 1,000 climate activists descended on the office of likely incoming House of Representatives speaker Nancy Pelosi. They called on her to establish a Green New Deal select committee in Congress. Around 150 were arrested after occupying the California Democrat’s office.
Following their recapture of the House of Representatives in November’s mid-term elections, Democratic Party leaders have held talks with Donald Trump. But while they stood their ground against some of his policies, they failed to call him out on one of his biggest and most destructive lies.
Talks turn sour
On 11 December, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer met with the president and vice president, and the White House talks were televised and streamed on social media.
The US has just imposed crippling sanctions on Nicaragua, which John Bolton recently brandedpart of a so-called ‘Troika of Tyranny‘. Based on this treatment, and the messages in the mainstream media, one would think that the Nicaraguan government’s alleged crimes make it uniquely villainous in the region. But a comparison with its Central American neighbor Honduras reveals this latest move for shameless hypocrisy that it is.
The ‘NICA’ Act
This week, the Trump administration and US Congress formally took action to penalize the government of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega. First, Trump issued an ‘Executive Order’ that imposes sanctions personally on the president himself, vice president Rosario Murillo (also Ortega’s wife) and national security advisor Nestor Moncada Lau. According to its text, Murillo and Lau were singled out for their alleged complicity in human rights abuses during the civil unrest earlier this year, and for alleged involvement in corruption.