Sunday, March 01, 2015

Argentina: President cleared of conspiracy charges

President of Argentina Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner

At the end of February 2014 an Argentinian judge  dismissed the case against President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner for allegedly shielding Iranian officials from prosecution over the 1994 bombing of a Buenos Aires Jewish Centre. Prosecutors had sought to relaunch the case against the President that was being brought by their late colleague, Alberto Nisman, who died mysteriously last month, being found shot dead in his locked apartment, after accusing the President of protecting Iranians suspected of ordering the deadly bombing at the Argentinian Jewish Mutual Association. But, Judge Daniel Rafecas said that documents originally filed by Nisman failed to meet standards needed to open a formal court investigation. “I dismiss the case because no crime was committed,” Rafecas said.

Nisman was found with a fatal gunshot wound to the head in his bathroom on 18 January, four days after filing a report accusing Iran of ordering the attack via the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, and alleging that President de Kirchner was trying to shield Iranian officials from prosecution in exchange for oil. Since his death, initially labelled a suicide, suspicion has been laid on President de Kirchner's government of orchestrating Nisman’s murder. These allegations come mainly from within the legal system from friends of Nisman.

The President has suggested the prosecutor was manipulated by disgruntled former intelligence agents who then killed him to smear her. Days later, Argentinian MPs passed a bill to reform the country’s intelligence service, which President de Kirchner has suggested has strayed out of civilian control. The President says the new state security body established under the legislation will be more accountable. The opposition boycotted some of the debate. The chamber of deputies approved the bill by a majority of 131 to 71 after an overnight debate. The long-unsolved bombing at the Argentinian Jewish Mutual Association killed 85 people and wounded 30.

President de Kirchner, accused the judiciary of launching a political battle against her after state lawyers organised a march to demand "justice" for dead prosecutor Nisman who had been investigating her. The protest, known as 18F, drew tens of thousands into the streets of Buenos Aires on Wednesday, a month after the state prosecutor, Nisman, was found dead in his apartment in mysterious circumstances. Nisman had accused the President of plotting to cover up his inquiry into the 1994 bombing of a Jewish Centre in Buenos Aires.

Commenting on the rally for the first time, President de Kirchner said the march marked the politicisation of the judiciary. “18F, the baptism by fire for the Judicial party,” she wrote sarcastically in a statement shared on social media.The true political and institutional significance of the march was the public and now undeniable appearance of the Judicial party,” she said. The protest, one of the biggest the President has faced in her seven years in power, was called by a group of state prosecutors and swiftly promoted by opposition parties. The prosecutors had previously said the rally was to honour Nisman and was not politically motivated. The group has frequently locked horns with Argentina’s leftwing government and complained of a culture of intimidation and meddling in the courts.

“It’s really as strange as a march for better government would be if called for by cabinet ministers,” the President said. 18F was decidedly an opposition march, summoned by prosecutors and supported by judges and the whole spectrum of political opposition,” she said. Officials said in the days leading up to the march that it was designed to destabilise the government. Protesters said they were demanding an independent judiciary and an end to impunity for high-ranking officials. Similar rallies were held on the same day in other cities in Argentina as well as in Chile, the US and Israel.

Nisman had accused Iran of being behind the 1994 bombing and alleged that the President conspired with Tehran to whitewash his investigations in return for economic favours. Iran has repeatedly denied the accusation. President de Kirchner called it “absurd”, and said rogue state security agents who held a grudge against her had misled Nisman’s investigation and then killed him.

The 1994 bombing has been a source of controversy since it occurred with allegations and counter-allegations being thrown across the country's political divide with regularity and venom. The Argentine Secret Service where most of the older members have been trained at the CIA Spying HQ in North Carolina, has long been accused of being a pawn of Washington and its continuous subversion activities in Latin America and particularly condemned for its nefarious activities during the vicious US-backed military dictatorships of Videla and Galtieri in the 1970's and 80's.

President de Kirchner has been a target of Washington's propaganda machine for years because of her anti-imperialist stance such as "No NATO in the South Atlantic" and her successful campaign to prevent  US attempts to recruit Brazil into the aggressive NATO alliance

Her recent speech at the UN General Assembly condemning the schemes of US Vulture Capitalism to ensnare developing countries in debt slavery also aroused Washington's ire with the US delegation and their muppets walking out of the Assembly during her speech:

“Today you pretend making a coalition against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), but in fact you’re their allies,” Those are the frank words by Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, the Argentinian President, spoken at the UN General Assembly Friday, 3 October 2, 2014.

Similarly, she referred to the western financial system as economic terrorism, as in vultures – the vulture funds that thanks to New York judge Griesa have put Argentina – a solvent country, willing and capable of paying their debt, in default. He ruled that the vulture funds, Griesa’s clients and paymasters, needed to be paid in full, i.e. 100%, equal to US$ 1.5 billion, when close to 93% of all creditors agreed on a restructured reimbursement rate of about 20%.

Without any international right to interfere in the affairs of a sovereign country, Griesa would allow the vultures reaping in a profit margin well in excess of 1,000%. — Paul Singer, king of the ‘vulture capitalists’, knows no mercy. He is in bed with Wall Street and Griesa – and with whomever other financial hooligans who share his greedy endeavors. Greed is their prayer. It’s knocked around the world. Exploits poor nations, makes them poorer, and keeps them dependent on the powers of money, being well aware that the poor are too weak to defend themselves.

Except for Argentina; President Cristina Fernandez  de Kirchner, speaks not only for her country, when she talks about victims of economic and financial terrorism, but for all those African, Latin American and Asian countries which are oppressed by the killing boots of Wall Street and the IMF. It cannot be said often enough – the IMF is a mere extension arm of the US Treasury and the Federal Reserve.

Vulture capitalism exerted by these usual villains and the European Central Bank, a mere puppet of Wall Street and led by a former Wall Street banker, Mario Draghi, are responsible for the economic collapse of the western economy. They have driven countries like Greece, Portugal, Ireland, Spain – and lately also Ukraine – into misery.

They have stolen their social safety nets, pensions, employment, housing, education, health care, water supply and other public infrastructure – by privatising public capital for their private benefits. They could do so thanks to the connivance of corrupt leaders they first put in place with sham elections – or no elections at all.

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