20:53 GMT13 April 2021
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    Sixty Countries Reject US Cuba Sanctions; US Weaponises Human Rights; Derek Chauvin Trial

    The Critical Hour
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    Citizens and organisations on five continents and sixty nations have begun activities to confront and oppose the brutal US sanctions levied against Cuba.

    John Burris, civil rights attorney, joins us to discuss the Derek Chauvin trial. The cashier that exchanged money with George Floyd moments before his murder has testified before the court. Also, many are wondering if the nation will experience another round of civil unrest if Chauvin is not convicted. 

    Mark Sleboda, a Moscow-based international relations and security analyst, joins us to discuss international politics with a focus on Eastern Europe. Russian leaders are voicing their concern that a buildup of Ukrainian forces in the eastern zone of conflict is a destabilising act that could restart the conflict. Also, the Kremlin argues that their movement of troops in Russia is an internal decision and that, in light of the current situation, it is taking "all the necessary measures to ensure the security of its frontiers".

    Caleb Maupin, journalist and political analyst, joins us to discuss China. China is extending its powerful arm into the Middle East. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi is calling for a regional security dialogue to discuss the use of local currencies in order to reduce dependency on the US dollar. Also, to no one's surprise, the US military has come up with another project that will enrich US arms manufacturers. The US Army is pushing for more long-range missiles to "confront" China on its home turf.

    Nick Davies, peace activist and author of "Blood on Our Hands: The American Invasion of Iraq", joins us to discuss US claims regarding human rights. A new US human rights report is being panned by a number of nations. China argues that the US is not the world's authority on this issue and that "if country reports on human rights practices are needed, it is supposed to be the duty of the UN".

    Medea Benjamin, co-founder of Code Pink, joins us to discuss Iran. President Biden is facing rising pressure to re-enter the Iran nuclear deal, as a number of Democrats push him to move first on the agreement. Representative Ro Khanna argues that "We have to try to get back into the JCPOA by getting back into the JCPOA, not playing a game of chicken". Also, an interesting article in "Responsible Statecraft" maintains that current foreign policy decision-makers have learned the wrong lessons from the Cold War.

    Dan Kovalik, writer, author, and lawyer, joins us to discuss US attempts to thwart the independence of nations in the Global South. Activists in sixty nations have begun protests and other activities to push back against brutal US sanctions against Cuba. Also, France, Canada, and the US have been instrumental in blocking the Haitian people from independently choosing the political path for their nation.

    Immigrant-rights activist Maru Mora-Villalpando joins us to discuss Kamala Harris. Harris has been tasked with pumping money into Central American nations, in an attempt to inject neoliberal solutions on a problem that was created by neoliberal policies. Photos from border detention facilities show that conditions have changed little since the Trump administration was castigated by the mainstream media for their handling of the crisis.

    Dr Gerald Horne, professor of history at the University of Houston, author, historian, and researcher, joins us to discuss US foreign policy in the Middle East. In a consortium news article, As'ad AbuKhalil "summarises the bipartisan consistency with which Israeli interests dominate in US foreign policy". AbuKhalil also argues that the Biden administration "is not that different from the Trump administration, as far as US foreign policy in the Middle East".

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    Tags:
    Kamala Harris, Ukraine, US sanctions, Cuba, Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), jcpoa
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