Trump’s Pompeo bullies Britain, Venezuela, etc.


This 8 May 2019 video from London, England says about itself:

The US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, has invoked Margaret Thatcher as he appealed to the Conservative right to take a firmer line with China, again urging the UK to resist efforts by Huawei to gain access to Britain’s new 5G network.

By Robert Stevens in Britain:

Pompeo lays down the law during UK visit

9 May 2019

The reckless character of US imperialism’s actions was underscored by the visit this week of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to London.

Preceding the state visit of President Donald Trump to the UK next month, Pompeo’s remit was to demand that Theresa May’s government toe the line in backing the global geo-strategic imperatives of US imperialism… or else.

Virtually every word out of Pompeo mouth was a threat—either to the UK, to Washington’s “strategic adversaries” Russia and China, or to those countries it is actively preparing to attack, including Venezuela and Iran.

Pompeo met with Conservative Prime Minister May, held a joint press conference with Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, and gave the Margaret Thatcher Lecture on the US/UK relationship at the Centre for Policy Studies in London.

Of particular concern was Britain’s developing economic relationship with China, which is understood by the Trump administration as an existential threat to its plans for global hegemony.

Only two weeks ago, the May government provisionally agreed, at a meeting of the National Security Council (NSC), to allow Chinese conglomerate Huawei to supply “noncore” infrastructure to its planned 5G network. This flies in the face of US calls for a boycott of Huawei’s products and its warning that cooperation with Huawei threatens NATO security.

The decision exposed the conflicting interests of different factions of the British ruling elite and approval of the policy required the casting vote of May herself. Such are the tensions over the UK’s future political and economic strategy that the decision was leaked—the first time this has happened following an NSC meeting—with the anti-China defence minister and pro-US hawk Gavin Williamson sacked as a result.

The prospect of Chinese access to UK infrastructure prompted furious denunciations from Washington, led by Pompeo, including threats that the US could end electronic surveillance and intelligence coordination with Britain. Pompeo warned last month, “We’ve made clear that if the risk exceeds the threshold for the United States, we simply won’t be able to share that information any longer.”

In its drive for global domination, the US is breaking up the post-war order, with every country once deemed an ally now cast as a potential adversary. Immediately prior to Pompeo’s arrival in London, he cancelled a scheduled trip to Germany in order to visit Iraq.

In Baghdad, he issued further threats against Iran, declaring that the US opposes states “interfering” in other countries and stands ready “to ensure that Iraq is a sovereign, independent nation.” This was just three days after the US announced the dispatch of the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln and US Air Force bombers to the Persian Gulf region to threaten Iran.

Such hypocrisy cannot conceal the fact that the US is interfering in every country, including those that are historically its closest allies. On the UK decision to work with Huawei, Pompeo warned, “From America’s perspective, each country has a sovereign right to make its own decision about how to deal with the challenge.” But this had strict limits that the US would enforce. “With respect to 5G… we are making our views very well known.”

Like a mafia boss making the offer that cannot be refused, he added that he had “great confidence that the United Kingdom will never take an action that will break the special relationship.”

The consequences were made clear: “The US has an obligation to ensure the places where we operate, places where US information is, places where we have national security risks, that they operate within trusted networks and that is what we will do.”

This designation covered the entire planet.

In response, Hunt promised that the UK would not “compromise” its ability to share intelligence with the US. No final decision had been made on cooperation with Huawei on the UK’s 5G and the government was still “considering the evidence.” He hailed “the security relationship that we have with the United States,” which has “underpinned the international order since 1945,” adding that “the preservation of that is our number one foreign policy priority.”

The political destabilisation of the UK by the Trump administration is extraordinary in its scope. While heavily supportive of Brexit—as a means to further undermine what Trump describes as the European Union “cartel”—Trump insists that Brexit must be on US terms. This conflicts with sections of the UK bourgeoisie who see Brexit as an opportunity to better exploit global investment and trade opportunities, especially with China and India.

The UK and the US are also in conflict over Iran. Last week, Washington refused to extend waivers to eight countries that had previously been allowed to continue to import Iranian oil and natural gas, although at reduced quantities.

In a sharply worded response last Thursday, a statement from Brussels signed by the high representative of the European Union and the foreign ministers of France, Germany and the UK declared that they “take note with regret and concern of the decision by the United States not to extend waivers with regards to trade in oil with Iran.” It went on to say, “We also note with concern the decision by the United States not to fully renew waivers for nuclear non-proliferation projects in the framework of the JCPoA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action).”

It added, “We deeply regret the re-imposition of sanctions by the United States following their withdrawal from the JCPoA.”

Trump abrogated the UN-endorsed JCPoA nuclear accord last year, threatening tougher sanctions against Tehran, which are now being implemented.

France, Germany and the UK stressed that the JCPoA remained “a crucial element of the global nuclear non-proliferation regime and essential for our national and shared European security.”

In a further rejoinder to the US, they declared, “The remaining participants to the JCPoA are committed to working on the preservation and maintenance of financial channels and exports for Iran, together with third countries interested in supporting the JCPoA.”

Referencing Washington’s declared “great power” adversaries, it insisted, “We encourage all countries, including Russia and China as JCPoA participants, to make their best efforts to pursue the legitimate trade that the agreement allows for, through concrete steps.”

US bellicosity against Iran was ratcheted up in London. Pompeo denounced the Iranian leadership as “lawless” and bracketed it with China and Russia, warning, “Now is not the time for either of us [the US and UK] to go wobbly…”

Where there was unanimity between Pompeo and the May government was over the regime-change operation against Nicolas Maduro’s government in Venezuela. Pompeo was asked his thoughts on UK Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn’s “endorsement” of Maduro, a reference to Corbyn’s criticism of the US for “outside interference” in Venezuela.

This was a planted question, with Sky News reporting that it came from townhall.com —a website with close links to Trump.

Pompeo responded, “It is disgusting to see leaders, in not only the United Kingdom, but the United States as well, who continue to support the murderous dictator Maduro… It is not in either of our country’s best interests for those leaders to continue to advocate on their behalf.”

Hunt made sure to equate the Maduro regime with socialism. In a reply summing up the fear of the ruling elite over the growth of political opposition within the working class to social inequality, which is fuelling an international strike wave and rising opposition to militarism and war, Hunt said that Labour Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell “describes this [the Maduro government] as socialism in action and I think people need to draw their own conclusions about what his own plans might be for the UK.”

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has spent the past week staging provocations and making military threats everywhere from the Caribbean shores of Venezuela to the Persian Gulf, the South China Sea and the Arctic Circle. Pompeo, the thuggish former Army tank captain, who claims divine inspiration for his every action, staged his latest provocation Tuesday by summarily canceling a scheduled meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and flying to Baghdad. He flew into the Iraqi capital under a cover of secrecy in an attempt to strongarm the Iraqi government into backing the US war buildup against Iran. He was also there to push for further concessions to Exxon and other US energy conglomerates in the name of “diversifying” Iraq’s supplies. The trip to Iraq served the dual purpose of escalating the US war buildup in the Middle East and snubbing Germany, with which Washington is in conflict over a host of issues ranging from trade and Iran to the Nordstream 2 Russian gas pipeline: here.

20 thoughts on “Trump’s Pompeo bullies Britain, Venezuela, etc.

  1. More than 1100 people have signed their commitment to make calls and mobilize to defend the Venezuelan Embassy in Washington, D.C. and the group of activists who have been protecting the Embassy for one month, as of May 10.

    Now, the Secret Service, other police and U.S. government agencies, along with the right-wing coup supporters outside the Embassy, have not only blocked food, medicines, and other supplies, but they have now cut the power and water to the Embassy – just as the U.S. did in Venezuela.

    TAKE ACTION:

    Daily demonstrations will take place outside the Embassy each day from 4 – 7pm. There is also a call for a mass mobilization this Saturday, May 11, at 1pm.
    Sign + share the petition
    Make the calls
    DC Mayor Muriel Bowser: 202-727-2643
    State Dept Office of Foreign Missions: 202-895-3500
    Secret Service DC Field Office: 202-406-8800

    SIGN your support for the Venezuelan Embassy Protectors, deliver their message to US State Department Offices and US Embassies world wide. We will also deliver all signed statements to US State Department.

    The International Action Center and No War On Venezuela are circulating the following statement from the Embassy Protection Collective currently defending the Venezuelan Embassy in Washington, D.C. They are facing increasing attacks both from right-wing coup supporters and U.S. police agencies. Please sign and circulate this urgent appeal for solidarity.

    We are asking our allies to surround the embassy with love and resistance to quell the hatred and violence coming from occupying right-wing extremists. Bring supplies for the protectors such as coffee, food, hygiene and cleaning products, socks and T shirts.

    We are asking everyone to contact your member of Congress to demand that they:

    Respect the Vienna Convention of 1961 and protect the integrity of the embassy.
    Obey DC law by not evicting us from the premises without due process.
    Recognize that the elected and legitimate government of Venezuela is the administration of Nicolas Maduro as have the United Nations and over 140 countries.

    The Embassy Protection Collective, a group of organizations and individuals, is residing and working in the Venezuelan Embassy in Washington, DC at the invitation of the elected Venezuelan government as an interim protectorate. We have taken on the responsibility for maintaining, cleaning, and caring for the building until a permanent protectorate for the embassy, in the form of a mutual formal agreement to find third-party host countries to safeguard the Venezuelan and U.S. embassies in Washington and Caracas, respectively is established. We have received innumerable messages of support and love from around the world. We are safe in the building, and our will is strong.

    The right-wing group occupying the exterior of the building is violently harassing and attacking individuals who are outside protesting U.S. intervention. They are also blocking entrances to the building, and have caused extensive damage to the building’s exterior—including destroying security cameras, drilling into doors and hitting the garage door with a sledgehammer.

    Many of the members of this group of Pan-American Trump supporters outside the building are white supremacists, shouting the most vulgar racist, misogynistic and homophobic insults and death threats imaginable at Embassy Protectors and our supporters. Numerous videotaped examples of this behavior have been published online.

    The Secret Service has witnessed the violence of this right wing hate group against Embassy Protectors and our supporters and against the Embassy building, and has done nothing to discourage them. While the right-wing protestors have perpetrated numerous acts of violence against us, we have maintained a consistently disciplined and peaceful presence. Nonetheless, in all but one particularly egregious case of battery, the Secret Service has only detained individuals protesting U.S. intervention in Venezuela. Examples of charges leveled against us include “Tossing Missiles”—the offense listed on Ariel Gold’s arrest warrant for trying to throw lettuce to Embassy Protectors, as the right-wing group has been blocking people and supplies from coming in the building.

    Allowing unelected, failed Venezuelan coup mongers—who are taking their orders from war criminal and genocide abettor Elliott Abrams and others in the Trump administration—to take the embassy would be an escalation of international aggression. It would also be a violation of Article 22 of the 1961 Vienna Conventions, on Diplomatic Relations, which is explicit that foreign embassies should be protected by the host government and their space should not be violated even when countries are at war or have severed diplomatic relations. Specifically, international law requires:

    The premises of the mission shall be inviolable. The agents of the receiving State may not enter them, except with the consent of the head of the mission.
    The receiving State is under a special duty to take all appropriate steps to protect the premises of the mission against any intrusion or damage and to prevent any disturbance of the peace of the mission or impairment of its dignity.
    The premises of the mission, their furnishings and other property thereon and the means of transport of the mission shall be immune from search, requisition, attachment or execution.

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