President Donald Trump threatened to close the US' southern border this week if Mexico does not "immediately stop" what he calls the surge of illegal immigrants coming into the United States. "We have right now two big caravans coming up from Guatemala, massive caravans, walking right through Mexico," Also, The United States is halting humanitarian funding to Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, the State Department confirmed on Saturday. What does this really mean, and are these real solutions looking for problems?
Back in March, First Look Media announced that it was shutting down access to Edward Snowden's massive trove of leaked National Security Agency documents. The Intercept, which is owned by First Look Media, has maintained a research team to handle the large number of documents provided by Snowden to Intercept journalists Laura Poitras and Glenn Greenwald. First Look CEO Michael Bloom said, "It is our hope that Glenn and Laura are able to find a new partner — such as an academic institution or research facility — that will continue to report on and publish the documents in the archive consistent with the public interest." With that, I wanted to take a moment and discuss the need for and power of independent journalists and more importantly, investigative journalists, because an informed electorate is the cornerstone of a democracy.
Juan Guaidó, the self-proclaimed interim president of Venezuela who is supported by the United States government, recently announced coming "tactical actions" that will be taken by his supporters starting April 6 as part of "Operation Freedom," an alleged grassroots effort to overthrow Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro. That operation, according to Guaidó, will be led by "Freedom and Aid Committees" that in turn create "freedom cells" throughout the country — "cells" that will spring to action when Guaidó gives the signal on April 6 and launch large-scale community protests. Guaidó's stated plan involves the Venezuelan military then taking his side, but his insistence that "all options are still on the table" (read: including foreign military intervention) reveals his impatience with the military, which has continued to stay loyal to Maduro throughout Guaidó's "interim presidency." However, a document released by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) in February and highlighted last month in a report by Devex details the creation of networks of small teams, or cells, that would operate in a way very similar to what Guaidó describes in his plan for "Operation Freedom."
Carlos Castaneda — Attorney at Garcia & Garcia.
Greg Palast — Award-winning investigative reporter featured in The Guardian, Nation Magazine, Rolling Stone Magazine, BBC and other high profile media outlets. He covered Venezuela for The Guardian and BBC Television's "Newsnight." His BBC reports are the basis of his film, "The Assassination of Hugo Chavez."
Daniel Lazare — Journalist and author of three books: "The Frozen Republic," "The Velvet Coup" and "America's Undeclared War."
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