2020-03-19: News Headlines

RT (2020-03-19). 'Inhumane & reckless': Twitter silences Venezuela's anti-coronavirus chief as IMF denies emergency loan. rt.com Amid crushing US sanctions and IMF rejection already making Venezuela's struggle with Covid-19 difficult, Twitter now seems to have hobbled the country's vice-president and head of coronavirus response, Delcy Rodriguez. | Both the personal and the official Twitter account belonging to Rodriguez were "temporarily restricted" on Thursday over "unusual activity," with old tweets still visible to those who choose to view them, but no new tweets available after Wednesday. | Foreign Minister Jorge

RT (2020-03-19). Iran oil: US slaps sanctions on 5 UAE-based companies. rt.com Washington on Thursday imposed sanctions on five United Arab Emirates-based companies, accusing them of having collectively purchased in 2019 hundreds of thousands of metric tons of petroleum products from Iran. | The US Treasury Department said the blacklisted companies — Petro Grand, Alphabet International DMCC, Swissol Trade, Alam Althrwa General Trading and Alwaneo — purchased the petroleum products in 2019 from the National Iranian Oil Company for delivery to the UAE. | The announcement followed the blacklisting of Chinese and South African companies earlier this week over Iran oil trade. | The…

RT (2020-03-19). Praying to prevent coronavirus! Moscow monastery introduces nightly processions to fight Covid-19. rt.com While ordinary folk have been told to wash their hands, self-isolate, and keep social distance to fight infection, members of a Moscow religious order have opted for their own solution — nightly processions on the streets. | As first reported by news service Interfax, monks from Moscow's Vysoko-Petrovsky Monastery have opted to circle their abode to battle coronavirus. The first procession, which occurred yesterday after the evening service, will become a nightly ritual, presumably until the virus is defeated. The abbot of the monastery, Hegumen Peter Eremeev, explained the logic on his Instagram page.

teleSUR (2020-03-19). Cargo Arrives in Venezuela With Medical Aid From China. telesurenglish.net A special medicine and medical supplies shipment arrived in Venezuela from China on Thursday, March 19th, as the Asian nation continues to provide assistance to the Bolivarian Republic. . | RELATED: | Nicolas Maduro, President of Venezuela, announced that the cargo arrived and assured it would allow thousands to be tested for possible Covid-19 cases and diagnose the positive ones. | The mandatary explained that so f…

WSWS (2020-03-19). IMF denies loan to Venezuela as it braces for COVID-19. wsws.org The loan request is only the latest appeal by the Maduro government for foreign finance and signal to world finance capital that it will defend profit interests.

Staff (2020-03-19). Economists Demand Trump Immediately Lift Iran, Cuba, Venezuela Sanctions. truthout.org A group of economists and policy experts on Wednesday

Leonardo Flores (2020-03-19). "Maximum-pressure March": US hybrid war on Venezuela heats up. counterpunch.org The first quarter of 2020 has seen the Trump administration escalate its rhetoric against Venezuela. At the State of the Union, President Trump promised to "smash" and destroy the Venezuelan government. This was followed by a renewed threat of a naval blockade on the country, which is an act of war under U.S. and international

teleSUR (2020-03-19). Mexican Gov't Will Respect Contracts Prior to Energy Reform. telesurenglish.net Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO), Mexico's President, said on Thursday that his government will respect all the contracts signed during the prior administration. | RELATED: | According to current Mexican mandatary, his administration offers guarantees for these transactions and a secure business environment for both private and public entrepreneurs. AMLO also announced "the end" of the state company "Mexican Petroleu…

Vijay Prashad, Paola Estrada, Ana Maldonado, and Zoe PC (2020-03-19). IMF Refuses Aid to Venezuela in the Midst of the Coronavirus Crisis. counterpunch.org On March 16, 2020, the chief of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Kristalina Georgieva wrote a blog post on the Fund's website; it represents the kind of generosity necessary in the midst of a global pandemic. "The IMF stands ready to mobilize its $1 trillion lending capacity to help our membership," she wrote. Countries with

Vijay Prashad (2020-03-18). Why sanctions against Iran and Venezuela during a pandemic are cruel. mronline.org The numbers of those infected rises, as do the numbers of those who have died. Hands are being washed, tests are being done, and social distance has become a new phrase. It is unclear how devastating this pandemic will be. |

Morning Star (2020-03-18). IMF rejects Venezuela coronavirus loan request over U.S. claims Maduro isn't president. peoplesworld.org The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has rejected Venezuela's request for a $5 billion emergency support package to help strengthen the country's health system in the fight against the coronavirus outbreak. President Nicolas Maduro wrote to the global financial organization earlier this week asking for support as the country struggles to cope with crippling U.S. economic …

teleSUR (2020-03-18). In Ecuador, Coronavirus Threatens the Survival of Street Vendors. telesurenglish.net Indigenous women with their children in tow or Venezuelan migrants whose livelihood is as street vendors, cannot follow the measures adopted in Ecuador to tackle the novel coronavirus as they do not have other means of support. | RELATED: | Among them is Jairo Arteaga, who offers a parking service arranged by the city council, and has to go out every day to look for cars that want to park on the street. | "O…

teleSUR (2020-03-18). Twitter Restricts Profiles of Venezuelan Officials. telesurenglish.net Venezuelan VIce President Delcy Rodriguez denounced the restriction of the executive vice-presidency's official profile on Twitter this week. According to Rodríguez, the aforementioned account was used for informing citizens about the measures and actions against COVID-19. | RELATED: | "In the midst of the worst global pandemic, they are canceling an account where we are informing the population," Venezuelan Vice President…

teleSUR (2020-03-18). Colombian and Venezuelan Ombudsmen Unite Against COVID-19. telesurenglish.net The Ombudsman offices of both Colombia and Venezuela announced on March 17 a collaborative working project to restrain the Covid-19 from spreading in both South American nations. | RELATED: | Both popular institutions confirmed their commitment to "promote fluid and constant dialogue with the purpose of watching over their common border, to prevent the virus from spreading and assume in an appropriate way the protection of people." In…

teleSUR (2020-03-18). WTI Crude Oil Price Drops Below $25 For First Time Since 2002. telesurenglish.net For the first time since 2002, the price of WTI crude oil has dropped below $25, as the international petrol market continues to experience economic woes. | RELATED: | The stark drop in the oil price has been attributed to the decreased demand of petrol due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic that has caused thousands of deaths worldwide. | In addition to the coronavirus fears, the price of oil has also exper…

Ben Norton (2020-03-17). Italy and UK rely on help from Cuba, China, Venezuela to fight coronavirus — as US steps up brutal sanctions. thegrayzone.com Italy requested doctors from China, Cuba, and Venezuela to contain the coronavirus, while Cuba rescued a ship of British citizens….

Leonardo Flores (2020-03-17). US ramps up sanctions devastating Venezuela's health sector as coronavirus spreads. thegrayzone.com Promising to "smash" Venezuela's government during a "maximum pressure March," Trump has imposed crushing sanctions that force Venezuela to spend…

Fight Back (2020-03-17). Venezuela: American Teamsters tour printing factory. fightbacknews.org Maracay, Venezuela — The Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO) labor delegation toured a large printing factory on March 13 in Maracay, Venezuela, about two hours outside Caracas. As the delegates bus pulled up to the factory gates, a huge sign welcomed them, "We don't speak ill of Chavez here!" The head of the factory and a group of workers excitedly gathered around to greet the American members of the Teamsters union. | In a bold and historic move, this factory was taken over by the workers themselves during the presidency of Hugo Chavez in 2005. The previously laid off workers formed a new team…

Lucas Koerner (2020-03-15). Corporate Media Condone Destruction of Venezuela's Voting Machines. fair.org The vast majority of Venezuela's voting machines were incinerated on March 7 in a fire that engulfed the main warehouse of the National Electoral Council. Corporate outlets followed the familiar script of blaming the victim, repeating the US State Department talking point that the Venezuelan electoral system is "rigged" and floating outlandish conspiracy theories.

Fight Back (2020-03-15). Accomplishments of Venezuela hailed on International Women's Day. fightbacknews.org Fight Back News Service is circulating the following speech by Sarah Martin. Martin is a member of Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO). | Happy Women's Day everyone. Our sisters in Venezuela have a lot to celebrate. Just over 20 years ago Hugo Chavez was swept into power on the backs of powerful movements fighting for a better way of life for the vast majority of Venezuelans. The wealth from this oil and mineral rich country was lining the pockets of the oligarchs inside and outside the country while the vast majority of people, mostly black and brown were desperately poor. | Venezuelan women fought in tha…

Joe Emersberger (2020-03-13). No, Venezuela does not have a six child per family policy. zcomm.org I respect UK journalist Andrew Buncombe. As I noted for FAIR last year, he was one of the few corporate journalists who reported on a study linking Trump's financial sanctions on Venezuela to thousands of deaths by the end of 2018. Since 2018, Trump has repeatedly intensified the sanctions and threatened Venezuela with military action,

Venezuela Analysis (2020-02-06). Embassy Protection Collective: "We Are Not the Ones Who Violated the Law" theantimedia.com In this exclusive interview, VA talks to the activists who defended the Venezuelan Embassy in Washington DC ahead of their trial.