Posted by Stephen Lendman Posted on 8 March 2020

Russian Foreign Ministry on Bolivia, the Open Skies Treaty, and Illegal Israeli Settlements

Commenting on the run-up to May elections in Bolivia, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova (MZ below) noted that claims about irregularities behind President Evo Morales’ reelection were fabricated.

A study by MIT researchers, published in late February, explained that accusations of electoral fraud by the Washington-based Organization of American States (OAS) were fake, a pretext for the Trump regime’s coup to oust Morales — an unelected fascist regime replacing him.

MIT researchers John Curiel and Jack R. Williams documented the plot to eliminate democracy in Bolivia, their study commissioned by the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR). 

Its co-director Mark Weisbrot explained that “(t)he OAS greatly misled the media and the public about what happened in Bolivia’s elections, and helped to foster a great deal of mistrust in the electoral process and the results.”

MIT researchers Curiel and Williams said “(t)here (was no) statistically significant difference in the margin before and after the halt of the preliminary vote.” 

“Instead, it is highly likely that Morales surpassed the 10-percentage-point margin in the first round.”

“There is not any statistical evidence of fraud that we can find—the trends in the preliminary count, the lack of any big jump in support for Morales after the halt, and the size of Morales’ margin all appear legitimate.” 

“(T)he OAS’ statistical analysis and conclusions (are) deeply flawed.”

Morales defeated challenger Carlos Mesa by over 10% to avoid a runoff. “There were no legal grounds” to deny him the office he won by an open, free, and fair process, said MZ, adding:

“(W)hat happened last autumn was typical of a coup” — staged by the Trump regime to replace Bolivian democracy with pro-Western fascist tyranny. 

Commenting on the Trump regime’s withdrawal from the Open Skies Treaty (OST), MZ slammed the unacceptable action, saying:

“We consider the OST an important mechanism for ensuring European security and military transparency.” 

Time and again, the Trump regime proved it’s a deal breaker, not maker.

The Open Skies Treaty (OST) became effective on January 1, 2002, 34 European states, the US, and Russia supporting it. Other nations can join if they wish.

The treaty permits unarmed aerial surveillance over the entire territory of signatory countries – a confidence-building measure promoting openness, letting treaty members get information on military forces and activities for national security reasons.

Washington’s FY 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) suspended funding for OST cooperation with Russia, the measure stating:

“None of the funds authorized to be appropriated by this act…may be obligated or expended to carry out any activities to modify any United States aircraft for purposes of implementing the Open Skies Treaty” with Russia – until the president certifies to Congress that penalties have been imposed on the Kremlin for alleged treaty violations that don’t exist.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry denied false US accusations, stressing the Kremlin is in fully compliance with its treaty obligations – international breaches a US specialty, not Moscow’s. 

MZ slammed the Netanyahu regime’s plan to build 3,500 new settlement homes west of the Ma’alah Adumim West Bank settlement in the so-called E-1 area.

Planned construction will divide the West Bank into northern and southern areas, making a viable Palestinian state less possible than already.

Unacceptable plans for E-1 settlement construction were frozen in 2005 for political and diplomatic reasons.

Now they’re revived — notably because the Trump regime is more one-sidedly biased toward Israel than any of its predecessors, showing utter contempt for Palestinian rights.

MZ: “We reaffirm Russia’s principled position, reflected in UN Security Council resolution 2334 (2016), which says Israel’s establishment of settlements in Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, have no legal validity, constituting a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the vision of two states living side-by-side in peace and security…”

“We urge all parties to refrain from any steps that could provoke a new and dangerous escalation in the region and impede the creation of conditions for the resumption of direct Palestinian-Israeli talks under international auspices.”

Long ago a two-state solution was possible, no longer with Israel officially controlling about 70% of the West Bank — in fact, controlling it all.

While rhetorically claiming otherwise, the US and Israel reject Palestinian statehood.

Trump’s no-peace/peace plan drives a stake through the heart of virtually all fundamental Palestinian rights — why resistance against US/Israeli tyranny is their only viable option.

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