International Weekly Monitor 03 March 2022


  1. WFTU Statement on Working Women’s Day
  3. STUDENTS UNION GENDER SECRETARY: If bum-shorts are flashing so is Indlamu
  4. Mswati’s Government plotting to release Amos Mbedzi, secretly sneak him out of eSwatini amid fears he might die in prison
  5. Kwaluseni residents harassed, raided by Mswati’s police,soldiers every two weeks
  6. CP of Swaziland, Democracy Now Update: Msunduza Sunset Rally unites the community in Turning up the Heat for Democracy Now
  7. Kuwait leaves Bahrain conference due to Israel's attendance
  8. Egypt displeased with Sudan over Russia military base: report
  9. United States Strengthens Its Military Infrastructure in Europe
  10. Moscow: The US is Leading an Economic War Against Russia
  11. The West Escalates Sanctions On Russia Over Ukraine Conflict
  12. Global Impact of Sanctions on Russia
  13. Arab League Council Urges ICC to Open Criminal Investigation into Israeli War Crimes
  14. Israel to Restrict Number of Non-Jewish Ukrainian Refugees to Just 5,000
  15. Cuba Condemns US Sanctions Against Russia
  16. Cuba Condemns Renewal of US Executive Order Against Venezuela
  17. US Talks with Venezuela on Oil Supply and Price Issues

WFTU Statement on Working Women’s Day

4 March 2022

8 March 1857 – 8 March 2022: 165 years later

165 years ago, when the women workers in the New York textile mills, on March 8, 1857, went on strike and demonstrated for “ten-hour work, bright and sanitary workrooms, wages equal to those of male textile workers and tailors”, they certainly did not imagine that in 2022 all these demands would still be demanded.

165 years ago, they certainly did not imagine that in 2022, with such advances in science and technology, in the conditions of the so-called 4th Industrial Revolution, women’s work would lead to flexible work hours, with split schedule and irregular working hours, underemployment, employment even during maternity leave thanks to teleworking and the development of computing.

165 years ago, striking workers could not have imagined that underage girls and boys would still be victims of sexual harassment, with decision-makers and politicians “shuddering” in horror at the revelations of the “me too” movement, while often being themselves involved in such scandals.

165 years ago, these workers who fought hard against the police forces for a better life for themselves and their children, could not have imagined that in 2022 a pandemic would “expose” this socio-economic system called capitalism worldwide, since the commercialization of health left all public health systems without supplies, without personnel, without ICUs, without equipment, resulting in millions of people around the world dying from a disease that, based on the progress of medicine, could have been treated.

And certainly 165 years ago, no one would have imagined that in 2022, people would start to fear the light instead of the dark, since the cost of electricity is now determined on the stock exchange and no popular house can afford the huge increase in its price.

165 years ago also, New York weavers could not have imagined that in the 21st century, after two bloody world wars that preceded and cost the lives of millions of people and destroyed half the planet, the imperialists of the earth would once again forge the borders of countries to control their resources, ravaging the peoples of every place they invade, leaving behind dead, wounded, refugees and untold misery.

The women workers of 1857 may not have imagined all this, but they knew when they went on strike that they were up against cruel employers, supported by the political system, whose aim was to exploit their labour power to the full. Perhaps these workers were not very clear in their minds what the cause of their inequality was, but they had the grit to stand up and demand the obvious.

It is this grit that we honour today, this courage that these women had in not allowing their social slavery to become a habit.

165 years later, we remember and honour their struggle and their sacrifice and continue where they left off. The World Trade Union Federation and the world class movement are well aware of the root cause of women’s inequality, of the double oppression they suffer both because of their gender and because of their class, of the rotten values that affect the attitudes and consciousness of women and men. It is capitalism, a socio-economic system based on the exploitation of labour power for the profit of the monopolies and capitalists, not for the welfare of the many.

165 years later, we have both experience and knowledge. We are fed up with promises, with theories and rhetoric, with politicians and trade unionists presenting us a reversed reality to convince us that there is no alternative, that this system only exists and we have to improve it but we cannot change it. We are tired of hearing about individual responsibility, about the inequality of people as something natural, about the fact that it is normal to have rich and poor, about the fact that the poor must depend on the charity of the rich. In short, as Eduardo Galeano used to say, they try to convince us that we live in a world “upside down”, with our feet up and our head down.

165 years later, we say enough is enough!!!! March 8 is another anniversary in the anthology of the global labour movement, reminding us that there is another way to live.

We know that after the October Revolution, when the new socialist society was being built, the emancipation of women and their equal participation in social, productive and cultural activity were among the basic tasks of the Soviet state. For a short but decisive period in human history we have lived and enjoyed what it means to transfer the functions of the individual domestic household to society, we have lived and enjoyed the protection of motherhood, the rise of women’s professional and social training.

But as the World Trade Union Federation and global class trade union movement, we have never pitted men against women, nor have we ever been fooled into thinking that our biological differentiation is to blame for the inequality and oppression of women. Mao Tse-tung said that “women hold half of heaven on their shoulders and must conquer it”. But the other half is held by men and we, the world class movement, want the whole sky to be ours, without exploitation, without discrimination, without poverty and suffering. We want all people to live in dignity, to develop 100% of their potential and skills, to live freely, whatever their gender, whatever their color, whatever their religion.

The greatest honor for the women workers who rose up on March 8, 1857 is to continue their struggle for equal treatment of women in a society that is equal for all. And we are committed to this. Our upcoming 18th Congress, the Congress of the World Trade Union Federation, which is a high point of the world labor movement, will find us even more ready, more determined and more demanding, not only for the emancipation of women but of the entire working class, all over the planet. With clear positions, with a bright vision, with a fighting spirit like those of the workers, who did not bend under police violence or the outcry of the established order.

Honor and glory to the striking New York workers of 1857.

The struggle continues until the final victory!



Tuesday March 08, 2022

The Trade Union International Public Services and Allied [TUI PS & A] joins millions of workers around the world in celebrating the international working women’s day, on this 8th of March 2022 in recognition of women’s immense contributions and significant revolutionary role not only in analysing the world but changing it.

It has always been our correct ideological and political understanding that women are pillars of society that have kept the revolution of the working people and the working class going hence TUI PS &A draws strength in their commitment, fighting spirit and militants in the struggles for the just cause and humanity.

It was in 1945 that the Charter of the United Nations became the first international agreement to affirm the principle of equality between women and men but it was only on March 8 during International Women's Year in 1975 that the UN celebrated its first official International Women's Day.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) states that “International Women's Day is an occasion to celebrate the progress made towards achieving gender equality and women's empowerment but also to critically reflect on those accomplishments and strive for a greater momentum towards gender equality worldwide. It is a day to recognize the extraordinary acts of women and to stand together, as a united force, to advance gender equality around the world”.

The United Nation's theme for this year’s observance is “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow” in recognition and celebration of the women and girls who are leading the charge on climate change adaptation and response and to honour their leadership and contribution towards a sustainable future.

The working class and poor must unite to ensure that working class women are not marginalised by elitist conceptions of broader social and committed in the gender struggles.‎

This is the TUI Public Service's call on the occasion of 2022 International Working Women's Day that as a class oriented labour movement, we will intensify our campaigns internationally through its members in all continents but not limited to, on the following:
• Awareness and implementation of fair labour and legal rights for women.
• The importance of girls' access to education through primary and secondary school up to tertiary level.
• For women‘s representation in the public service and other sectors of society including ensuring that the formal economy is more accessible and attractive for women.
• Improved and equal wages and salaries for women in work places.
• Against Gender based violence on women and children.

At this point, we wish all working women around the world good health and confidence as we are celebrating and recognizing their valuable contribution in history of humanity.

Lastly, we wish to pay our solidarity with the working people of Ukraine and Russia who find themselves affected by imperialism war orchestrated by the USA, EU and NATO.


Issued by Zola Saphetha: General Secretary (WFTU-TUI-PS&A)

Media Enquiries: Clever Banganayi (Information & Publicity) 0721426625

STUDENTS UNION GENDER SECRETARY: If bum-shorts are flashing so is Indlamu.

5 March 2022

Sandzi Mnisi, the Gender Secretary for the Swaziland National Union of Students (SNUS) says if bum-shorts are considered as flashing, then indlamu worn during umhlanga ceremony should be considered as such as well.

Speaking to this Swaziland News on Friday, the SNUS Gender Officer said it was disgusting that eSwatini still had people who thought the way women dressed could be the reason for rape adding that there was the umhlanga ceremony where young girls paraded before King Mswati in short skirts with their bare breast.

“It is so disgusting that we will have people who think that they way we dress as women can be the reason for rape. This is a violation of human rights, people must be allowed to dress the way they feel comfortable”,she said.

The SNUS Gender Secretary was part of those who participated in the march that was organised by the Swaziland Action Group Against Abuse (SWAGAA) in protest against police harassment on Friday. This was after the police allegedly harassed a woman for wearing a short jumpsuit claiming that she was inviting rapists.


Mswati’s Government plotting to release Amos Mbedzi, secretly sneak him out of eSwatini amid fears he might die in prison

9 March 2022

King Mswati’s Government through the Correctional Services is plotting to sneak Amos Mbedzi out of eSwatini at night amid fears that the freedom fighter might die in prison and trigger tensions between the Kingdom of eSwatini and the Republic of South Africa.

Amos Mbedzi, a South African citizen is one of the high profile political prisoners in eSwatini, he was arrested in 2008, after, together with lawyer Musa MJ Dlamini and Jack Govender, attempted to bomb the Lozitha Bridge.

It has been disclosed that the freedom fighters had information that King Mswati would pass through that bridge from Lozitha to Ludzidzini.

However, the bomb allegedly exploded pre-maturely and killed Dlamini and Govender while Mbedzi survived with serious injuries and was subsequently arrested by the police.

Various political organizations including the People’s United Democratic Movement(PUDEMO) and the South African Communist Party(SACP) have been calling for the release of Mbedzi who was sentenced to eighty-five(85) years by Mswati’s Judge Bheki Maphalala who was later promoted to the position of Chief Justice after sentencing him.

“Having found you guilty, I therefore sentence you to 85 years in prison”, said Judge Maphalala.

Now, an independent investigation by this Swaziland News uncovered documentary evidence suggesting that on Wednesday 09 March 2022, Takhona Dlamini, the Assistant Commissioner of His Majesty’s Correctional Services signed(on behalf of the Commissioner General) a memorandum directed to Chief Laboratory Technologist requesting that a COVID-19 test be conducted on Amos Mbedzi before leaving the country.

“Your esteemed office is hereby kindly requested to facilitate COVID-19 Testing on Amos Mbhendzi. He is scheduled to leave the country to the Republic of South Africa and, the COVID-19 test is a prerequisite when crossing the border, hence the request. I look forward to your timely assistance in this matter”, reads the memo in part.

Emails in our possession suggest that Mbedzi’s critical condition was reported to the South African High Commission on or around 08 March 2022, the high profile freedom fighter was allegedly rushed to the Mbabane Government Hospital.

“Kindly note that the High Commission received the under-mentioned email that Mr Amos Mbedzi is admitted at the Mbabane Government hospital”, reads an email sent by Maria Bokaba-Jali, the Corporate Services Manager at the South African High Commission.

Questions were sent to Superintendent Gugulethu Dlamini, the Correctional Services Spokesperson, however, she had not responded at the time of compiling this report.

The Correctional Services Spokesperson earlier said she would have to seek permission from Government before responding to questions from this publication.

“I will have to get permission from Government before commenting”, said the Correctional Services Spokesperson.

Reached for comments, PUDEMO President Mlungisi Makhanya said they would welcome the release of Amos Mbedzi adding that as PUDEMO, they have been calling for his release for years.

“We would welcome the release of comrade Amos Mbedzi because that's what we have been calling for all these years. However, his release does not mean we will not hold Mswati accountable if anything could happen to Mbedzi. Even if comrade Mbedzi could die out of prison, we will hold Mswati liable for killing him”, said the PUDEMO President.

It has been disclosed that Amos Mbedzi has been sick for many years and Mswati’s Government has been denying him access to health care until his condition deteriorated, he will now be released amid fears that he might die in prison.


Kwaluseni residents harassed, raided by Mswati’s police,soldiers every two weeks

10 March 2022

Kwaluseni residents are now living under consistent harassment and raiding by Mswati’s police and soldiers amid speculation that members of the Swaziland International Solidarity Forces(SISF) reside in that area.

Reached for comments, Gabie Ndukuya, the Communist Party of Swaziland(CPS) Head of Women Commission confirmed that police and soldiers raided Kwaluseni on Thursday morning.

“It’s true they arrived in the morning and raided the homes before proceeding to Mbikwakhe”, said the CPS Head of Women Commission.

Questions were sent to police Spokesperson Phindile Vilakati, however, she had not responded at the time of compiling this report.

Speaking to this Swaziland News on Thursday, a resident of the area said the police normally arrive at around 3am and harass them within their homes during the raid.

“Can someone help us from these police officers, almost every two weeks they come here and harass us. They then proceed to Mbikwakhe to harass and raid other residents there”, said the resident.

The raid comes a few days after the Solidarity Forces attacked the Mbabane Police Camp and Inyatsi Construction at Sicunusa, this comes amid the ongoing killing of civilians by Mswati’s security forces.


CP of Swaziland, Democracy Now Update: Msunduza Sunset Rally unites the community in Turning up the Heat for Democracy Now

8 March 2022

On Friday night, the oppressed community of Msunduza in the outskirts of Mbabane city, the capital of Swaziland, staged a sunset political rally in demand for their freedom from Mswati's dictatorship.

This comes after the Communist Party of Swaziland (CPS) launched the countrywide Sunset Rallies on 25 February 2022 in Matsapha under the "Turning up the Heat for Democracy Now" campaign.

Hundreds of Swazis, women and children, young and old, including people with disabilities, enthusiastically participated in the mass action.

Slogans and songs calling for the fall of the autocracy were chanted with zeal. The need for communities to defend themselves against tinkhundla repression by establishing community councils for security, welfare, etc., remains a central subject in the build-up campaigns for people's power.

Addressing the community, CPS head of Women’s Commission, Comrade Gabsile Ndukuya, said, “These community councils will help us, members of the community. We no longer need the killer police in our communities. We must take charge of our own security and keep ourselves safe from all forms of crimes, including police violence.”

“As the Communist Party, we say this is the decisive moment for us to unite and overthrow the Mswati autocracy, for it is of no good for our developmental aspirations except to kill us and sink us deeper into poverty,” Ndukuya added.

In the history of the struggle for democracy in Swaziland, Msunduza township remains well-known for building a very strong resistance movement. Therefore, the campaign has re-ignited the hope of freedom and peace to the people.

Swaziland is the last remaining absolute monarchy in Africa. The majority of the people are denied freedoms of association, speech, including a heavily suppressed press, among others. Political parties are banned, while political activists are constant targets of state terror.

The insatiable appetite for luxury of the royal hegemony continues to rise despite the growing poverty in the country.

The Sunset Rallies, led by communists, which are meant to raise the consciousness of the working class towards a successful revolution, are showing a positive expansion in the urban poor communities.

The CPS will therefore continue to work with the people in organising more rallies in communities across the country.


Kuwait leaves Bahrain conference due to Israel's attendance

5 March 2022

A Kuwaiti academic delegation left a scientific conference held at the University of Bahrain in protest against the attendance of an Israeli delegation, Al Khaleej reported on Friday.

The Kuwaiti Youth League for Jerusalem posted on Twitter: "The delegation of Kuwaiti universities leaves a lecture delivered by an Israeli from Tel Aviv University held at Bahrain University."

It added: "All salute to the delegation… Normalisation has been and will continue to be tyranny."

Head of Kuwaiti Youth League for Jerusalem Mosaab Al-Motawaa stated: "The withdrawal of the Kuwaiti delegation reiterated the official Kuwaiti stance which is clear towards rejecting all forms of normalisation with the occupation."

Al-Motawaa added: "Such a stance became one of the weapons that hurt the Israeli occupation entity that causes harm to it."

The faculty of business administration at the University of Bahrain announced holding a conference on 2 and 3 March, without noting that an Israeli delegation was participating in the event.

In January, a Kuwaiti cultural delegation boycotted the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature due to the participation of an Israeli writer.

The United Arab Emirates and Bahrain signed normalisation deals with Israel in September 2020. Former US President Donald Trump brokered the deal.


Egypt displeased with Sudan over Russia military base: report

7 March 2022

Egypt is "displeased" with the military authorities in Sudan for welcoming the establishment of a Russian military base on Sudanese territories, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed reported.

The site quoting unnamed Egyptian sources as saying that "the Egyptian decision-making circles concerned with the Sudanese file" are angry over what they considered "misleading practices" by deputy head of Sudan's ruling council, General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, during his visit to Cairo last weekend where he met with the head of the General Intelligence Service, Abbas Kamel.

The paper said Egyptian officials were "surprised" by Dagalo's statements after his return to Khartoum from Moscow, in which he "welcomed" the establishment of a Russian military base on his country's territory, which Cairo considers a "threat to the Red Sea security".

Last week, Dagalo – also known as Hmidti – held a press conference at Khartoum Airport after an eight-day visit to the Russian capital, Moscow, during which he told reporters: "If the establishment of a military base in Sudan is in the country's interest and does not threaten its national security. There's nothing wrong with getting along with Russia or anyone else."

However, sources stressed that Egyptian authorities oppose the "establishment of any foreign bases near the country's borders or areas of influence and interests."


United States Strengthens Its Military Infrastructure in Europe

10 March 2022

United States has stationed 15,000 soldiers in Europe, although the figure may reach 100,000 depending on the course of the conflict between Kiev and Moscow.

The United States strengthens its military infrastructure in Europe due to "concern" that the conflict in Ukraine could spread to member countries of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), several U.S. media outlets reported.

The Department of Defense seeks to be prepared to fulfill President Joe Biden’s promise to defend “every inch” of the territory of the NATO member nations, CNN reports.

To this purported end, Washington has deployed additional troops in Europe and has sent weapons, such as Patriot missile systems, to Poland, and is considering stationing other troops in Romania and Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, a spokesman for the U.S. European Command told CNN.

United States has stationed 15,000 soldiers in Europe, although the figure may reach 100,000 depending on the course of the conflict between Kiev and Moscow.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg reported that the bloc has 130 aircraft on high alert, more than 200 ships and thousands of additional troops in the region.

The most recent deployment includes the establishment of an “air support” operations center in Poland and Romania, the presence of refueling specialists in Germany, as well as the relocation of an aircraft carrier (and its strike group) to the northern Aegean Sea, the source said.

Last week, Biden justified the presence of US forces in Europe with the argument that they are there to defend their allies in case Russia decides to advance westward, and for that he confirmed the mobilization of ground troops, air squadrons, and ships.

Although the president ruled out sending troops to Ukraine, the head of the White House reiterated military support for Kiev and requested additional funds from Congress for that purpose.


Moscow: The US is Leading an Economic War Against Russia

9 March 2022

The Kremlin pointed out that the U.S. government is engaged in an economic war against Moscow.

Dmitri Peskov, Russia's presidential spokesperson alerted about the economic war the U.S. is currently organizing against Moscow.

The spokesman said that they to balance the Russian economy in the face of the package of sanctions that are been imposed on Russia by the U.S. administration and other countries, Moscow is working in systematic, serious, and well-thought-out actions.

During the press briefing, responding to journalists' questions, Peskov expressed Russia's hope for an answer about the U.S. biological laboratories in Ukraine's issue, saying that the world will be interested in knowing the details of their operation in the country.

“This topic is, of course, very important. And it is probably important for the whole world. Let’s hope that it will be possible to deal with those institutions that functioned on the territory of Ukraine and whose operation was carried out by American specialists,” said the spokesperson.

After being asked about the supply of Polish MiG-29 fighters in support of Kiev, the Kremlin spokesman said that the Ukrainian military has been already warned about the usage of foreign military airfields, and the undesirable and potentially dangerous scenario that it would provide.

He remarked Moscow's interest to hold new sessions of talks with Kiev, as soon as the Ukrainian part is ready, intended to reach a diplomatic arrangement for a peaceful solution on the matter.

According to Peskov, the contact between the Foreign Ministers of Russia and Ukraine next Thursday would be a very important step in the negotiation process.


The West Escalates Sanctions On Russia Over Ukraine Conflict

9 March 2022

Meanwhile, a new round of talks between Russia and Ukraine could draw near, with countries in Eurasia stepping up their efforts to mediate a political settlement.

On Tuesday, U.S. President Joe Biden announced the imposition of an energy embargo on Russia, a latest move against Russia over the Ukraine crisis, even though analysts have warned of potential huge consequences and spillovers. Meanwhile, a new round of talks between Russia and Ukraine could draw near, with countries in Eurasia stepping up their efforts to mediate a political settlement.


Since the start of the Russian special military operation, Western countries have imposed batches of sanctions on Russia. On Tuesday, Biden declared the decision to ban U.S. imports of oil, liquified natural gas and coal from Russia, noting that the new embargo "means Russian oil will no longer be acceptable to U.S. ports," while admitting it will backfire on Americans at home by causing continued price hike at gas stations.

The European Union, which relies on Russia for some 40 percent of its natural gas supplies, announced earlier Tuesday a set of comparatively limited measures, reducing imports of Russia natural gas by two-thirds this year and aiming to be free from dependence before 2030.

On March 3, Japan decided to freeze assets held by four Russian banks, following the decision by EU members one day earlier to exclude seven Russian banks from the SWIFT messaging system, the main system underpinning global financial transactions.

During a recent meeting with women flight crews of Russian airlines, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the wave of Western sanctions is akin to a "declaration of war." In retaliation, Russia on Monday said it had approved a list of countries and regions that took "unfriendly actions" against Russia, its companies and citizens and would take reaction steps.


A possible fourth round of Russia-Ukraine talks could take place in "the very near future," a Russian negotiator said after the third round of peace talks in Belarus on Monday, which failed in achieving major breakthroughs, but addressed the issue of civilian evacuation.

"The next round, given that the rounds take place almost every other day, so the next, fourth round will take place in Belarus in the very, very near future. I can't name the exact date yet," said Leonid Slutsky, member of the Russian delegation and head of the International Affairs Committee of the lower house of the Russian parliament. However, the exact date and location of the new talks is yet to be confirmed by Kiev.

On Tuesday morning, Russian armed forces declared a "silence regime" and the opening of humanitarian corridors when Ukraine started evacuating residents from the northeastern city of Sumy through the humanitarian corridor as agreed with Russia. The foreign ministers of Russia and Ukraine will meet in Turkey's southern province of Antalya on Thursday, on the sidelines of the Antalya Diplomatic Forum, said Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Monday.

During a press conference, the diplomat noted that the meeting would be held in a tripartite format, as part of Turkey's "intense effort" to bring both sides together for "a turning point" of the ongoing crisis.

During a video summit with French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Tuesday, Chinese President Xi Jinping emphasized that "we need to jointly support the peace talks between Russia and Ukraine, and encourage the two sides to keep the momentum of negotiations, overcome difficulties, keep the talks going and bring about peaceful outcomes."

In the summit, Macron and Scholz shared their assessment and positions on the current situation in Ukraine, saying that France and Germany support reaching a settlement through negotiation and giving peace a chance.

On Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said that his country will continue to mediate between Moscow and Kiev, "even if the chance is not great -- as soon as there is even a small opening, and we have access to all sides and the capability."


On Tuesday, U.S. Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland testified before a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Ukraine, admitting "Ukraine has biological research facilities."

"We are working with the Ukrainians on how they can prevent any of those research materials from falling into the hands of Russian forces should they approach," she said.

On the same day, the Russian Foreign Ministry said that it had received documentation from employees at Ukrainian biological laboratories, which confirmed the urgent destruction of dangerous pathogens such as plague, anthrax, tularemia, cholera and other deadly diseases on Feb. 24, according to Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova, who added that these laboratories were funded by the U.S. Department of Defense and were part of its biological weapons program.

Additionally, some observers see the Russia-Ukraine conflict as a chance to reflect on the role Washington and its allies have played in the regional geopolitical landscape. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization is using the Ukraine crisis to pursue longer-term militaristic projects.

"After the end of the United States' 20-year occupation of Afghanistan, and after two decades of the 'war on terror,' this is precisely the time to critically evaluate the impacts of U.S. militarism and push for demilitarization," said an article published on the website of Yes! Magazine on Monday.

"Instead, Washington is doing the opposite, with Biden reportedly considering a record US$770-billion military budget for 2023," said the article authored by Khury Petersen-Smith, the Michael Ratner Middle East Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies.

In the view of John J. Mearsheimer, a U.S. international relations scholar, the Western narrative about Russia in the Ukraine crisis "is a story that we invented to blame him (Putin)... The West, especially the United States, is principally responsible for this disaster," according to an article published in The New Yorker earlier this month.


Global Impact of Sanctions on Russia

8 March 2022

The sanctions imposed on Russia have brought consequences to Western countries as well.

Strong repercussions have been felt in Western countries' markets since several nations started to impose sanctions on Moscow because of the recent Russian special military operation.

According to economists' reports, the oil sector has been seriously damaged, alongside the energy sector. The gas market has been affected by the sanctions imposed by European countries.

There is a remaining uncertainty; at a time when investors are looking for safe-haven assets in the face of increasing sanctions against Moscow. In front of the war situation in Ukraine, there is a rising fear about oil supplies being affected.

As Russia remains among one of the world's largest energy exporters, prices climbed on the possibility that the U.S could veto fuel imports from Moscow. Shell announced business suspensions with Russian oil and natural gas, informing on the closure of its service stations and other operations in the country.

The Ukrainian conflict worsened the regional division in the Middle East. Even though many countries continue to send military equipment to Ukrainian forces, Western countries rejected Kyiv's demand to impose a no-fly zone over the country, which would affect world trade by far.

With the pass of days, Ukrainians continue to flee their country to neighboring countries like Poland, Romania, and Moldova. The people who have already abandoned the country since Russia launched its special military operation surpass 1.7 million.


Arab League Council Urges ICC to Open Criminal Investigation into Israeli War Crimes

10 March 2022

The Arab League Council urged the International Criminal Court (ICC) on Wednesday to open a criminal investigation into the war crimes committed in Palestine, the official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.

The call came in a resolution issued at the conclusion of the work of the 157th regular session, which was held at the headquarters of the Arab League in the Egyptian capital, Cairo.

The Council stressed the importance of the reports of international human rights organizations, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, which expose, with evidence, the apartheid policies imposed and practiced by Israel against the Palestinian people.

The Council noted that Israel imposes apartheid through systematic policies, legislation, and plans aimed at persecuting, suppressing, dominating, and dispersing the Palestinian people, undermining freedom of movement, obstructing family life, forced displacement, unlawful killing, administrative detention, and torture.

The council added that Israel also imposes deprivation of freedoms and basic rights, undermining political participation and curbing the economy and development of human rights, the expropriation of land and property, and other racist practices against the Palestinian people.

The Arab League Council urged Arab countries to abide by the decisions of the League of Arab States and to activate a monthly 100 million US dollar safety net as soon as possible in support of Palestine to face the pressures and financial crises it is going through.


Israel to Restrict Number of Non-Jewish Ukrainian Refugees to Just 5,000

9 March 2022

Israeli Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked has announced its intention to cap the number of non-Jewish refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine at just 5,000, The New Arab reported.

This is in addition to the 20,000 Ukrainians who were already in the country prior to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and have been told they won’t be deported, Israeli authorities have announced.

Data released by the Population and Immigration Authority has revealed that 2,519 non-Jewish Ukrainians have arrived since Russia launched its assault on Ukraine, leaving just 2,481 spaces remaining.

No such restrictions exist for Ukrainian Jews, and according to Shaked, Israel is anticipating around 100,000 Jewish refugees from Ukraine.

Israel’s “Law of Return” allows Jewish people across the world to emigrate to Israel and acquire citizenship. The millions of Palestinians who were forced from their homes during the creation of Israel and its subsequent expansions are not allowed to return to the country or occupied territories.

Justifying Israeli policy regarding non-Jewish refugees, Shaked told a press conference: “We can’t take in Ukrainians without any limits.”

Initially, those granted permission to stay will be given temporary permits lasting three months, with no social benefits and with no recognition as refugees.

Speaking at the press conference, Shaked said that if the situation in Ukraine does not improve after three months, then Israel may consider allowing them to work.

Despite the restrictive nature of Israel’s refugee policy – which largely bars non-Jewish immigration – some Israeli lawmakers condemned the decision as too lenient.

Israeli lawmaker Yariv Levin, of the right-wing Likud, accused Shaked of “opening up the country’s borders” and claimed that the Israeli policy would “flood the country with foreign immigrants”.


Cuba Condemns US Sanctions Against Russia

8 March 2022

"Continuing to use such sanctions as coercive policies do not solve the current crisis, but exacerbates it," President Miguel-Diaz Canel highlighted.

On Monday, Cuba’s President Miguel Diaz-Canel condemned the U.S. and European Union (EU) economic sanctions against Russia and called for a diplomatic and peaceful solution to the armed conflict in Ukraine.

"Continuing to use such sanctions as coercive policies do not solve the current crisis, but exacerbates it and further aggravates the economic recession prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Diaz-Canel stated.

"We are clear that the international norms principles oppose unilateralism," he added, recalling that Cuba has faced a U.S. economic blockade since 1962.

He also condemned the prohibition of the outlets Russia Today (RT) and Sputnik in Europe, a strategy seeking to create a monopoly on information by eliminating alternative journalistic coverage of the war.

“The armed conflict could have been avoided if U.S.-led North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) had correctly complied with the security guarantees required by Russia, which feared this military alliance's expansion towards its borders,” he recalled.

Diaz-Canel also called on all parties involved in the armed conflict to protect the Ukrainian civilian population, their properties, and infrastructure, as the rules of international humanitarian law establish.

"Our position is clear: we advocate a serious and constructive diplomatic solution to the conflict, which takes into account the position of all parties, guaranteeing all countries’ sovereignty,” the Foreign Affairs Minister Multilateral Affairs Specialist Yailin Castro stated.


Cuba Condemns Renewal of US Executive Order Against Venezuela

7 March 2022

On Friday, Venezuela repudiated the decision to renew executive order 13962 of March 8, 2015, as it lacks support and real evidence, and only worked for the United States to materialize a systematic blockade against Venezuela.

Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez has condemned the extension of the executive order of the United States government against Venezuela that serves as a pretext today to apply coercive measures against the Venezuelan people.

The Cuban Foreign Minister said on Twitter that the interference decree considers this South American nation a threat to Washington’s national security and foreign policy, and thus justifies the unjust provisions to promote a regime change in Venezuela.

On Friday, Venezuela repudiated the decision to renew executive order 13962 of March 8, 2015, as it lacks support and real evidence, and only worked for the United States to materialize a systematic blockade against Venezuela.

We reject the extension of the Executive Order of the U.S. government that considers Venezuela a threat to its national security and foreign policy and that serves as a pretext to apply unfair unilateral coercive measures against the Bolivarian people.

Through a statement, the Bolivarian government condemned the U.S. attacks, by virtue of its abusive, inhumane and violating character of the legal order and the principles that regulate international relations between independent, free and sovereign countries.

“After seven years of using this instrument to perpetrate multiple international law violations, by the US government and its allies, the people of Venezuela reaffirm its spirit of struggle and resistance, and its firm and irreversible conviction to defend its sovereignty,” the document stresses.

Following the order signed by then-President Barack Obama, the United States intensified its attacks in order to cause the collapse of the country’s economy and stimulate a regime change.

According to Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, the country is facing the effects of more than 500 unilateral coercive measures as part of the US hostile strategy.


US Talks with Venezuela on Oil Supply and Price Issues

8 March 2022

“I thanked the U.S. delegates for their presence and for prompting a diplomatic, respectful, and cordial debate,” President Maduro stressed.

Over the weekend, U.S. government delegates traveled to Caracas for a dialogue on energy supplies with Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro.

On the U.S. side, participants included Security Council Director for the Americas Juan Gonzalez, the Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs Roger Carstens, and the Bogota-based Ambassador to Venezuela Jimmy Story. On the Venezuelan side, President Maduro was accompanied by Parliament President Jorge Rodriguez and lawmaker Cilia Flores.

“I thanked the U.S. delegates for their presence and for prompting a diplomatic, respectful, and cordial discussion,” President Maduro stressed.

The U.S. and Venezuela broke diplomatic relations after Maduro was re-elected for a second term in 2019. Besides recognizing opposition lawmaker Juan Guaido as "interim president", Washington shortly after imposed a severe economic blockade against Caracas to prevent Venezuela from negotiating its oil crude —which represented 96 percent of the country’s income— on the American market.

The Maduro administration, however, has received strong support from Russia, China, and Iran to counter such sanctions and export oil to other countries. Currently, the White House studies how to reduce oil imports from Russia without harming U.S. consumers amid an oil price hike, in which the oil barrel exceeded an average of US$115 over the last week.

“To achieve this, the United States will try to replace part of the oil it buys from Russia with the one it stopped buying from Venezuela three years ago,” International Crisis Group Expert on Venezuela Mariano de Alba told the France Press Agency.

De Alba, however, argued that the Bolivarian government won’t betray Russia to approach the U.S., with which it will continue to work carefully on their bilateral diplomatic agenda.

Issued by NEHAWU International Service Centre
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