Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba Still Support Gaddafi
Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba continue to be the staunchest supporters of the Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega have both declared that they will not abandon Gaddafi in this time of crisis. Chavez has actually stated that he will continue to recognize only his friend Gaddafi as the legitimate leader of Libya, whereas Ortega has already offered him asylum.
On August 23, soon after the Libyan rebels entered Gaddafi's main stronghold of the Bab al-Aziziya compound in Tripoli, Chavez declared that for Venezuela, there is "only one government, the one led by Muammar Gaddafi." He then criticized NATO's bombardment by saying that the West has not respected international law: "This is kicking, spitting ... on the most basic elements of international law […] Where are the international rights? This is like the caveman era. […] Now [U.S. President Barack] Obama said he will collaborate economically with the new [Libyan] government, which of course we do not recognize. […] It's harsh but true ... They [the U.S.] arranged this war. They provided the arms, the mercenaries. They had better not attempt to apply the Libyan formula to Venezuela or we'll have to show them our power," he said.
According to the Venezuelan paper, El Universal, the fall of Gaddafi's mean the defeat of Chavez. "At a time when even the Arab League has expressed its full support to the Libyan Transitional National Council, the Venezuelan government is the only administration that has publicly deplored the fall of Muammar Gaddafi regime," El Universal writes. Professor Demetrio Boersner, an expert in foreign affairs and former Venezuelan ambassador, told the Venezuelan paper that Chavez has been supporting Gaddafi so feverishly that his fall will be a "political defeat for him vis-à-vis the country and the international opinion." In Boersner's view, the toppling of Gaddafi is therefore a "geopolitical blow" for Chavez and for his political ambitions, "because Chavezism pursued the goal of creating a global alliance of nationalist socialism in Third World countries under the rule of autocrats."
As a consequence of the friendship between Chavez and Gaddafi, the Venezuelan embassy in Libya was sacked by the rebels. On the 25th of August, the Venezuelan President informed that the Embassy in Tripoli "was assaulted and totally looted." After the uprising, the stadium in Benghazi that was named after Chavez was given the new name of "Martyrs of February Stadium."
At the beginning of August, Gaddafi sent a letter to Chavez to thank him for his support: "I highly value your noble position in support of the Libyan people, as well as the leaders and revolutionaries of Latin America and the Caribbean. We hope to count on that support continuing," Gaddafi wrote. In response, Chavez sent Gaddafi a letter praising his courage: "May the Almighty, clement and merciful one bless you and take care of you; may He bless and protect the heroic and honorable Libyan people; a strong embrace shall go to you, Muammar, with the top, endless feeling of brotherhood. Long live the Libyan people; long live you, my combatant brother. Libya shall live and shall win!" he wrote.
The economic adviser to Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, Bayardo Arce, said that his government would give asylum to Gaddafi if he asked for it. However, the AP reported that Arce was rather pessimistic that Gaddafi would go to Nicaragua. "I do not know how Gaddafi could get here from Libya, because we do not have an embassy in Libya," Arce said during a TV interview.
Costa Rica seems to be quite scared and disappointed by the possibility that Nicaragua would host Gaddafi. The website Inside Costa Rica reports that a statement by Costa Rica's Foreign Ministry asked Nicaragua to close any possibility of giving him political asylum. The Foreign Ministry has also asked Central American countries to join in the call for the sake of peace and security in Latin America. In the same statement, the Ministry stresses that the government of Costa Rica hopes that the Libyan uprising succeed in defeating Gaddafi and taking the "necessary actions to ensure the transformation of an authoritarian regime to a fully democratic one, with strong and solid institutions, respect for human rights; and to promote the development of Libya in the framework of freedom and justice."
Nicaragua, however, remains loyal to its support for the Libyan Colonel. During a recent speech, the Sandinista President Ortega qualified the NATO intervention in Libya as terrorism, and stressed his support for Gaddafi. In February, when the uprising in Libya started, Ortega said he called Gaddafi on the phone to offer him support.
On August 4, the media reported that Cuban President Raul Castro met with Gaddafi's special envoy, Abdulhafid M. Zlitni, secretary of the People's General Planning and Finance Committee of Libya. Zlitni brought Raul Castro a message from Gaddafi, and also informed him about "the international campaign to isolate Libya orchestrated by Western powers." Raul Castro, for his part, condemned the NATO intervention in Libya.
Gaddafi will not go into exile in Latin America
Despite support from Latin America, it is too late for Gaddafi to ask for exile. The International Court wants to prosecute the Libyan dictator and put him on trial for crimes against humanity. If Gaddafi had surrendered in the beginning of the uprising, the international community might have accepted the possibility of his going to exile. But after the atrocities he has committed against his people in the last months, the Libyan leader might have to face a war crimes trial unless an exile can still be negotiated between the NATO forces and Gaddafi -- a plan that no one seem to be considering any more -- the Libyan leader has no way out of Libya. Col. Gaddafi's former right-hand man, Abdel-Salam Jalloud, who has recently defected to Italy, confirmed to the media that Gaddafi has no chance of leaving the capital, Tripoli, where he is allegedly hiding. "He has no way of leaving Tripoli. All the roads are blocked. He can only leave with an international agreement, and I think that door is closed," Jalloud said. Further, Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini stated that, "The offers of exile were made in increasingly explicit ways many times. The deadline by now has passed, the only path left is that of justice - the justice of the ICC."
Comment on this item
by Soeren Kern
Hamas would likely resort to violence to thwart any attempts to disarm the group. It is therefore highly unlikely the Europeans would confront Hamas in any meaningful way.
Spanish intelligence agents met secretly with Hezbollah operatives, who agreed to provide "escorts" to protect Spanish UNIFIL patrols. The quid pro quo was that Spanish troops would look the other way while Hezbollah was allowed to rearm for its next war with Israel. Hezbollah's message to Spain was: mind your own business.
If the European experience with Hezbollah in Lebanon is any indication, not only will Hamas not be disarmed, it will be rearmed as European monitors look on and do nothing.
What is clear is that European leaders have never been committed to honoring either the letter or the spirit of UN Resolutions 1559, 1680 and 1701, all of which were aimed at preventing Hezbollah from rearming.
by Debalina Ghoshal
According to former Bush administration official Stephen Rademaker, for the United States to respond to Russian violations of the treaty by pulling out of it would be "welcome in Moscow," which is "wrestling with the question of how they terminate [the treaty]" and thus, the United States should not make it easier for the Russians to leave.
by Guy Millière
Belgian security services have estimated that the number of European jihadists in Syria may be over 4000.
European leaders have directed their nastiest comments against the Jewish state, none of them has asked why Palestinian organizations in Gaza put their stockpiles of weapons in hospitals, homes, schools and mosques, or their command and control centers at the bottom of large apartment buildings or underneath hospitals. None of them has even said that Hamas is a terrorist organization despite its genocidal charter.
The majority of them are wedded to the idea of redistribution. Their policies are anti-growth, do not afford people any economic opportunity, and are what caused these economic crises in Europe in the first place. The United States seems to be following these thoroughly failed policies as well.
"Europe could not stay the same with a different population in it." — Christopher Caldwell, Reflections on the Revolution in Europe.
by Raymond Ibrahim
"I abducted your girls. I will sell them on the market, by Allah... There is a market for selling humans. Allah says I should sell." — Abubakar Shekau, leader of Boko Haram.
Hillary Clinton repeatedly refused to designate Boko Haram a terrorist organization.
In Malaysia -- regularly portrayed in the West as a moderate Muslim nation -- any attempt to promote religions other than Islam is illegal.
"The reason they want to kill me is very clear -- it is because of being a convert to Christianity." — Hassan Muwanguzi, Uganda.
by Dexter Van Zile
Rev. Hanna Massad does not mention that perhaps Hamas actually wants the blockade to end so it can bring in more weapons and cement to build attack-tunnels so it can "finish the job."
Hamas does not just admit to using human shields, it brags about using human shields. Why does Massad have to inject an air of uncertainty about Hamas's use of human shields when no such uncertainty exists?
The problem is that any self-respecting journalist would confront Massad with a follow-up question about Hamas's ideology and violence, but not the folks at Christianity Today.