January 26, 2008
Argentina – La Capital – Original Article (Spanish)
In a further escalation of tension between the two countries, the President of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, accused Colombia’s President, Alvaro Uribe, of “devising a belligerent provocation,” on orders from the United States, “that could ignite a war.” “I accuse the Government of Columbia of plotting a conspiracy, an act of war against Venezuela, on orders from the United States, to which we will be obliged to respond in a way that could ignite a war,” said Chavez during a press conference alongside his colleague Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua.Read more The press conference, held on the eve of the Sixth Summit Meeting of ALBA [Bolivarian Alternative for the People of Our America – Chavez’ answer to Free Trade Agreements with the U.S.], the Venezuelan leader stressed that it was no coincidence that three senior officials of the United States, including Condoleezza Rice, had been in Colombia during the past few days.
MEDELLIN, Colombia (AP) – Colombia’s problems with violence — particularly labor strife — could get worse unless Congress approves a free-trade deal with the country, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice visits Medellin, Colombia, with U.S. lawmakers Friday.
Rice’s visit Friday is the latest, most high-profile one in a coordinated campaign by Colombia and the White House to win over skeptical Democrats and revive the trade pact, which was first signed in 2006 but has not yet been passed by Congress.
“[I’m here] to say very strongly that whatever the challenges facing Colombia, they are not going to be easier if this free-trade deal does not pass,” Rice said Thursday in the Andean nation’s second-largest city, Medellin. “In fact, they will be harder.”
Colombia is the world’s most dangerous country for labor organizing. Rice and nine Democratic lawmakers met in Medellin with union leaders who oppose the deal to hear complaints that President Alvaro Uribe has failed to stamp out the violence, including murder.
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice lunched with President Alvaro Uribe at his ranch Friday after meeting with 20 ex-paramilitary fighters to hear about their life stories.
Rice and a delegation of US Democratic Party lawmakers have concluded a two-day visit here aimed at promoting a free-trade deal that is languishing in the Democratic-led US Congress over alleged links between Uribe and paramilitary groups accused of committing atrocities.
On her second day of the visit, Rice also met with union members supportive of a US-Colombian free trade agreement (FTA).
“If we don’t push through the FTA, we will have problems because to exploit mines we need large machinery that does not exist and is not produced in Colombia,” said Jose Palacio, one of the union representatives.
I was wondering about Condi’s remarks about supporting humanrights activists in Russia.
The Russian Foreign Minister urges the West to encourage Iran to cooperate with the IAEA, instead of constantly threatening Tehran.
In a joint press conference with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Sergey Lavrov slammed the West for threatening to take military action against Iran.
MOSCOW (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told Russian human rights activists on Saturday she wanted to help them build institutions to protect people from the ‘arbitrary power of the state’.
The meeting could irk the Kremlin, which is sensitive to Western accusations it is rolling back democratic freedoms and suspects foreign governments of trying to influence the outcome of next year’s presidential election.
Rice told eight human rights leaders she wanted to hear about their efforts to protect freedoms in Russia.
“I am quite confident that your goal is to build institutions that are indigenous to Russia — that are Russian institutions — but that are also respectful of what we all know to be universal values,” said Rice.
She said these were: “The rights of individuals to liberty and freedom, the right to worship as you please, and the right to assembly, the right to not have to deal with the arbitrary power of the state.”
“How is it going and what can we do to help Russia to build strong institutions that have these universal values?”
Posted on Oct 2, 2007
By Amy Goodman
The image was stunning: tens of thousands of saffron-robed Buddhist monks marching through the streets of Rangoon [also known as Yangon], protesting the military dictatorship of Burma. The monks marched in front of the home of Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, who was seen weeping and praying quietly as they passed. She hadn’t been seen for years. The democratically elected leader of Burma, Suu Kyi has been under house arrest since 2003. She is considered the Nelson Mandela of Burma, the Southeast Asian nation renamed Myanmar by the regime.
After almost two weeks of protest, the monks have disappeared. The monasteries have been emptied. One report says thousands of monks are imprisoned in the north of the country.