Pro-independence Agreement on Puigdemont’s Investiture in the Coming Days

JxCat and ERC appear to be close to reaching a final agreement on Puigdemont’s investiture. Elsa Artadi, the JxCat spokeswoman who is leading the negotiations, said this morning, “The negotiations with ERC have progressed significantly. I think we will be able to reach and make public a final agreement on Pugdemont’s investiture tomorrow.”

During the weekend, representatives of ERC and JxCat met several times in Brussels and Barcelona, seeking to reach an agreement. While they agreed that Puigdemont is the only legitimate candidate (as demonstrated by the latest general election) to become president, they showed discrepancies on the legal procedure to make it possible without putting more pro-independence leaders in danger.

During the meeting, JxCat’s representatives said that they are willing to disobey Spanish Constitutional Court orders, considering that they have always been proved to be biased and antidemocratic against the Catalans. However, representatives of ERC said that the investiture of Puigdemont wouldn’t mean that more Catalan MPs would end up in prison.

According to sources present in the meetings, JxCat and ERC are negotiating the investiture of two presidents and the creation of two governments. The legitimate one would be based in Brussels and the second one (in Barcelona) would rule the country while implementing the Catalan Republic. This move could allow pro-independence parties to bypass Spanish justice while taking effective steps towards the independence of Catalonia.

The idea would be to use a pro-independence assembly (created in 2016) of local and Catalan-wide elected members to swear in Puigdemont as legitimate president in Brussels. At the same time, another person would be appointed to preside over the Catalan Parliament. According to sources, President Puigdemont would (symbolically) rule Catalonia from Brussels.

However, the CUP, a minor party which guarantees the pro-independence absolute majority in Parliament, opposes this option, believing that there must be only one president and a government willing to disobey Spain in order to effectively implement the Catalan Republic. They said that they won’t attend the investiture session, which would make the election of a president impossible, unless their conditions are met.

The second option on the table would be to reform the Regulation of the Catalan Parliament to bypass Spanish justice and swear in Puigdemont at a distance. However, Spanish officials have already announced that this move would be brought to the Spanish Constitutional Court, which would likely declare it unconstitutional. They added that this move would also mean that the members of the Catalan Parliament Bureau, who may approve it, would face legal liabilities.

The Spanish government and Catalan unionist parties reject a dual-presidency

The leader of the “Catalan Socialist Party,” Miquel Iceta, called on the Catalan pro-independence parties to stop “posturing” and said that the new Catalan government shouldn’t be formed by politicians who have pending judicial causes.

Ines Arrimadas (C’s) said, “I hope that JxCat and ERC officials are brave enough to tell Puigdemont that he won’t be president again.”

Albiol (PP) said, “I think it is a joke, this is more typical of a video game or virtual reality. In a serious scenario, it would be impossible to even consider this possibility, but we are in the country of fantasies.”

 

Trump: The U.S. Transition From Democracy to Authoritarianism

In Upper New York Bay there stands the colossal Statue of Liberty, a universal symbol of freedom. She is also the Mother of Immigrants, embodying hope and opportunity for those seeking a better life in America. She stirs the desire for liberty in people all over the world. She represents the United States itself. However… In the last few weeks, the flame of freedom from her torch has started to flicker.ocaso sol estatua libertad simbolismo.jpgIn just two weeks, President Trump’s unlawful decisions and his unprecedented pressures on judges to rule in his favour have shaken the fundamentals of U.S. Democracy. For many, this indicates that Trump has hidden plans to turn the U.S. authoritarian to gain power. However, it won’t be possible without dominating the Supreme Court.supreme-courtThe U.S. Supreme Court is the final court of appeal and final expositor of the Constitution of the United States. It marks the boundaries of authority between state and nation, state and state, and government and citizen. It has the jurisdiction to determine whether Trump’s decisions are unlawful or not.

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The Supreme Court is composed of nine membersfour of which are currently Republican, and the other four liberal. The recent nomination of Neil Gorsuch (a Republican) to sit on the Supreme Court has set off all alarms. His presidency would tilt the balance for Republicans, and it could help Trump to accumulate an absolute power.

President Trump’s crusade to dominate courts and judges from all over the U.S. started when Judge James Robart, of the Federal District Court in Seattle, issued a temporary restraining Trump’s executive order to ban Muslims from entering the U.S. In response, Trump increased his pressures on Judges until days before the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously upheld a temporary suspension.Trump said:

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Another indication of the U.S. transition into an authoritarian state is so-called alternative facts. Kellyanne Conway and Sean Spicer suggested that the U.S. government could “sometimes disagree” with real facts presented by the Media.

“Sometimes we can disagree with the facts,” Sean Spicer said.

“Trump’s team is offering  alternative facts to media reports,”  Kellyanne Conway said.

Trump started his attacks against the mainstream media during the last presidential campaign. Back then, several outlets plotted with Clinton and his aides to help her to win the election. Trump is now using it to fabricate stories to convince citizens that the only honest information comes from government sources.

As if this was not enough, on February 1, Republicans voted successfully to change the Congress rules to elect nominees without Democrats. It happened days later; Trump suggested them to “go nuclear” if Democrats tried to halt any of his decisions. Trump added:

“If we end up with that gridlock, I would say, if you can, Mitch, go nuclear,””Because that would be an absolute shame if a man of this quality was put up to that neglect,” he said of Gorsuch, a federal circuit court judge. “So I would say, it’s up to Mitch, but I would say go for it.”

As we can see, there are many indicators that Trump’s government has initiated the U.S. transition from democracy to authoritarianism. However, to dissipate doubts, one must compare Trump’s decisions with dictators from other countries. All authoritarian states share in common an underlying structure based in the re-centralization of power. The following list describes some basic structure of a dictatorship:

1.Little or no freedom of speech
2.No freedom to hold meetings without the approval of the government.
3.No freedom of movement-individuals needs documents/internal passports to move around inside the country.
4.No freedom to travel abroad.
5.No independent justice system.
6.Promote alternative facts and censor the Mainstream media.
7.Any opposition to the regime is punished.
8.Change rules of government’s institutions.

It is evident then that President Trump has already implemented several basic structures from the list to do a U-turn into an authoritarian state. He has started his crusade against the media, changed the rules of the Congress, attempted to end with the neutrality of the judicial system and violated the U.S. Constitution. However, while the flame of the freedom of the Statue of Liberty is still burning, there will be hope and citizens, union workers and organisations will have the last word…

Netanyahu: The Criminal Who Is Still Free

During the last decade, Netanyahu has been responsible for numerous violations of human rights, war crimes, sexual abuses of children and the death of thousands of innocent Palestinians. For years, the international community led, by the U.S. has ignored Netanyahu’s crimes. However, his recidivism of criminal acts against Palestinians on a regular basis has led several countries and international organisations to condemn Israeli’s war crimes and violation of human rights. The increasing indignation among world MP’s with Netanyahu’s government may soon trigger a prosecution against him at the International Court. Here are some of his atrocities:

-WAR CRIMES

In 2014, Prime Minister Netanyahu launched the Operation Protective Edge based on a 50 days war in Gaza. During the operation, Israel indiscriminately killed over 1500 innocent people, including children. More than 20,000 homes were reduced to rubble or rendered uninhabitable. However, the most shocking event was the assassination of four children of the same family who were playing football on the beach. The Israeli government alleged that they thought they were terrorists.

It’s a shame they didn’t identify them as just kids with all the advanced technology they had been using,” “I don’t know what justification they will use for what they did, but our boys are now gone,” the uncle said.

During 50 days of attacks, Israeli forces wreaked massive death and destruction on the Gaza Strip, killing close to 2100 civilians, more than 500 of whom were children,” said Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Programme Director.

NUMBERS:

Palestinians killed: 2,139
Palestinian children killed: 525
Israeli soldiers killed: 64
Israeli civilians killed: 6
Israeli children killed: 1
Palestinians wounded: 11,000
Palestinian children wounded: 3,000
Gaza residents displaced: Up to 500,000
Homes destroyed in Gaza: 20,000


-Israel’s Settlements Have No Legal Validity, Constitute Flagrant Violation of International Law.

For years, Israel has been occupying Palestinian territories pursuing its expansion and Palestinian ethnic cleansing. Since Trump became the U.S. president, the Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has accelerated the expansion of the existing Israeli settlements by authorising the construction of 5.500 new houses in the West Bank. For that to happen, often the Israeli military forces evict Palestinian families from their houses.

In 2016, the UN adopted a resolution reiterating its demand that Israel immediately ceases all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territories. The resolution was approved with 24 votes in favour and the U.S abstention.

-The Siege of Gaza

Since 2007, around 1.8 million Palestinians in the Gaza strip have been living under a land, sea and air closure blockade imposed by Israel. The impossibility of obtaining external medicines, food, drinkable water and other goods has triggered a humanitarian crisis without precedent. Thousands of Palestinians with serious illnesses are condemned to die due to the impossibility of going abroad to receive their pertinent treatments. As some officials recognised, “the purpose of implementing this blockade is to put Palestinians on a diet”

-Sexual violence against, and torture of, children:

During 2016, the number of cases of Israeli torture of children significantly increased. Often permanent physical disabilities were caused, including amputations. There were over 1300 children arrested and there are still 300 of them in Israeli jails. Around 40% of them were or will be sexually abused by police officers or military men. This degrading Israeli treatment of children violates international human rights law, including the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

“Israeli security forces have used unnecessary force to arrest or detain Palestinian children as young as 11. Security forces have choked children, thrown stun grenades at them, beaten them in custody, threatened and interrogated them without the presence of parents or lawyers, and failed to let their parents know their whereabouts.”

“Israeli forces’ mistreatment of Palestinian children is at odds with its claim to respect children’s rights. As Israel’s largest military ally, the US, should press hard for an end to these abusive practices and for reforms,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, the Middle East and North Africa director.

-The defence for Children International concluded:

Israel has the dubious distinction of being the only country in the world that annually systematically prosecutes between 500 and 700 children in military courts that lack fundamental rights to a fair trial.”


-Recruitment of Palestinian children as human shields by Israeli armed forces.

Since 2004, DCIP has documented numerous cases where Israeli forces attempted to recruit Palestinian Children as informants. They are recruited to monitor the activities of people living in their community and pass this information onto Israeli Forces.

The International humanitarian law explicitly prohibits parties to a conflict from directing “the movement of the civilian population or individual civilians in order to attempt to shield military objects from attacks or to shield military operations.”

During Operation Protective Edge in July and August 2014, DCIP reported one incident where Israeli soldiers forced a 16 year-old-Palestinian to search for tunnels for five days. During that time, he was physically assaulted and deprived of food and sleep.

All these crimes and violations of international law represent a small sample of Netanyahu’s atrocities. Unless the international community proceeds to prosecute him at the International Court, Netanyahu will continue threatening thousands of families, women and children on a regular basis.

The international community will not be able to avoid taking action if Israel continues its persecution against Palestinians. Otherwise, it could create a bad precedent, which could be applied for populist emergent leaders to legitimize their illegitimate actions. For that reason, the international community will sooner or later take action to prosecute Netanyahu. But the issue is when? Palestinians do not have much more time to wait for. They struggle between life and death on a daily basis. They do not know if the next day Netanyahu will order an attack and they will die. People from the world are entitled to take action and push their MP’s to halt these sorts of atrocities as soon as possible.

Every second, day, week, month counts… Palestinian lives depend on you and the international community actions. People’s lives depend upon it.

By Josep

President Trump Has Started His Personal Crusade Against the Islamic Community and Refugees

Yesterday, President Trump started his personal crusade against the world’s Islamic community by signing an order for extreme vetting action to “keep radical Islamic terrorists out of the United States.” The U.S. will now halt the entrance of refugees from SYRIA, IRAQ, IRAN, LIBYA, SOMALIA, SUDAN and YEMEN.

We want to ensure that we are not letting into our country the very threats that our soldiers are fighting overseas,” We’re going to have extreme vetting for people coming into our country and if we think there’s a problem, it’s not going to be so easy for people to come in anymore,”Trump said.

Numerous experts and the international community have warned Trump that this order does not represent American values.

It is a cruel measure that represents a stark departure from America’s core values,” former Secretary of State Madeline Albright said Thursday

We should not be excluding any religion or nationality from the U.S. refugee resettlement program,” said Michelle Brané, a director at the Women’s Refugee Commission.

Thousands of refugees who have been going through a strict process based on background checks and personal conditions for years will now have to choose another destination.

Earlier today, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) and International Organisation for Migration called on the new President’s administration to continue offering asylum to people fleeing war and persecution, a right protected by international law.

The needs of refugees and migrants worldwide have never been greater and the US resettlement program is one of the most important in the world,” the two agencies said in a joint statement.

The longstanding US policy of welcoming refugees has created a win-win situation: it has saved the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in the world who have in turn enriched and strengthened their new societies.”

In his inauguration speech, President Trump said:

“I want to unite the civilised world to fight and eradicate Islamic terrorism”

However, Trump’s decision will help terrorist organisations such as ISIS or Al-Qaeda to maintain their anti-western rhetoric and recruit thousands of new members from among the refugees to attack western countries. It might soon be catastrophic by causing thousand of deaths. President Trump also said:

“Starting today, the government has been returned to its citizens. You will tell politicians what to do.”

It was applauded by a large number of fanatics. However, Trump’s decision to refuse refugees from the Middle East was made against the opinion of the vast majority of Americans. They consider America a country of immigrants, which hosts and protects refugees from warring countries.

The ban of Muslims will also encourage racist organisations from the U.S. to persecute and denigrate refugees who are already settled in the U.S. Since Trump was elected president, there has been a great increase in racists actions against immigrants. These actions are often fueled by Trump and his advisors.

In this context, countries such as China or Russia will soon increase their influence in the world. It will soon leave the U.S. without any influence over important issues. Apparently, with Trump as president, the U.S. will be condemned to international isolation.

Although it is unthinkable, if Trump continues turning the U.S. into an authoritarian state, at some point, the international community might then decide to ban the admittance of American citizens into numerous countries. If that ever happens it would be devastating.

The criminalisation of refugees is absurd and hypocritical. The vast majority of them are fleeing war zones to be safe. They did not choose to be refugees. This status was imposed on them due to conflicts often started by the U.S. and its allies. They deserve more respect from the international community. They have already suffered a lot!

Terrorism should be eradicated from the world as soon as possible, but never by criminalising innocents. Yes, let’s unite to fight terrorism more efficiently, but never ever by persecuting innocents!

Let’s walk together!

By Josep

Trump and Terrorism


IN HIS INAUGURATION SPEECH, President Donald Trump announced his plans to unite the civilised world to eradicate ISIL (Islamic State). It was applauded by the vast majority of the audience. However, numerous experts suggest that Trump’s inexperience and his close collaboration with the Israeli government might undermine any effort to defeat Islamic terrorism.

President Trump will soon have to make two major decisions that will determine his future success fighting terrorism: Move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and decide whether he cancels the Iran nuclear deal or not.

Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu is trying to convince Trump that cancelling the Iran nuclear deal would benefit the security in both the region and western countries. He alleges that the current deal will soon give Iran the capacity to produce multiple nuclear weapons that might potentially be used against Israel and western countries.

In the coming decade, the deal will reward Iran, the terrorist regime in Tehran, with hundreds of billions of dollars. This cash bonanza will fuel Iran’s terrorism worldwide, its aggression in the region and its efforts to destroy Israel, which is ongoing.” Netanyahu said in a televised statement in English.

DURING THE LAST PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN, President Trump promised to tear up the  Iran nuclear deal. However, he might now reconsider it after numerous advisors and the international community have warned him about the catastrophe that it may cause in the region. Here are some possible consequences of cancelling the Iran nuclear deal:

1.Iran nuclear program.

If the Iran nuclear deal is cancelled, Iran would restart its nuclear program to produce nuclear weapons. It would create an escalation of the regional conflict between Israel and Iran with unpredictable consequences. Israel believes that Iran wants to produce nuclear weapons to exterminate them and it might trigger a war between both countries. The international community and regional governments would not ignore a war close to their borders and they would soon take part in the conflict, which would cause a catastrophe at such a large scale that it would impact western countries.

2. Iran and terrorism.

Iran has a lot of influence over tribes, countries and terrorist groups such as Hezbollah in the region. The international community has acknowledged several times that without the collaboration of Iran, it is impossible to eradicate ISIL. If the Iran nuclear deal is ever cancelled, Iran might then start endorsing ISIL and other terrorist groups like Hezbollah and ALQAEDA by hosting training camps and providing weapons of the latest technology to them. It would be a real threat to the region and western countries because it would produce thousands of new potential terrorists a year. An undetermined number of them would cross our borders spreading chaos everywhere.

3.Destabilisation in the Middle East.

Israel might decide to launch a preventive attack on Iran, which would probably trigger a war between both countries. Due to the proximity of the conflict to numerous countries, it would force some of them to take part in it. The consequences would be catastrophic by causing hundred of thousands of deaths in the region. In addition, the U.S. might also be forced to take part in the conflict due to its defence agreements with Israel. As a result, numerous countries would start endorsing terrorism in the Middle East to attack the U.S. It might also cause thousands of deaths in the U.S.

4.The resurrection of Hezbollah.

In the last decade, Hezbollah has lost its influential capacity in the region and it may perceive to attack Israel as a useful manoeuvre to recover it. Iran could also start providing them weapons to attack Israelis. It would be perceived by the Israeli government as a declaration of war which may trigger a new regional conflict.

As we can see, Trump’s decision to cancel the Iran nuclear deal could potentially cause numerous regional and international problems. Without the Irani, collaboration ISIL can never be defeated and actually, it would grow to levels never seen before. As a result, the Middle East would produce hundreds of thousands of new potential terrorists and it would be a threat to western countries. For that reason, Trump’s upcoming decision about the Iran nuclear deal will determine whether it is or not possible to eradicate ISIL.

PRESIDEN TRUMP WILL SOON also have to decide whether he moves the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem or not. Over the last few days, Netanyahu has intensified his contact with the Trump administration to convince them to settle the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem. Unfortunately, Trump’s nominee ambassador, David Friedman, who has a long history of supporting aggressive Israeli settlement activity in Palestine, is now supporting Netanyahu’s policies. However, the international community and numerous advisors have warned President Trump that moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem would cause serious conflict in the region.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has suggested that if the U.S. ever moves its embassy to Jerusalem, his government will then no longer recognize the Israeli state. The Palestinian government might also decide to call on its citizens to prepare for war against Israel. As a result, it would cause a long and difficult conflict in the region.

ISIL and other terrorist organisations would see this as an opportunity to recruit thousands of Palestinians to commit terrorist attacks in western countries. Countries such as Egypt, which has have been very critical of the Israeli policies towards Palestine for years, may decide to take part in the conflict. This would isolate Israel from the international community and would trigger a new conflict involving numerous countries. In this context, the U.S. might be forced to take part in the conflict to fulfil its obligations to Israel.

There is a clear evidence that moving the U.S. embassy from Tel-Aviv to Jerusalem would be a catastrophe for American interests. It would also prevent Trump from eradicating ISIL. Instead, ISIL would grow stronger than ever and would increase its attacks against western countries.

President Trump’s upcoming decisions will determine his success fighting ISIL. He has a good opportunity to eradicate it. However, a wrong decision would cause a global catastrophe.

PREVIOUS U.S. ADMINISTRATIONS already made serious mistakes fighting Islamic terrorism. Jimmy Carter and Donald Reagan endorsed Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan during the Cold War, by alleging that it was a legitimate organisation, which was protecting civilians. With the disintegration of the Soviet Union, it would change, but the monster was already created.

Al-Qaeda had never had the capacity to commit terrorist attacks such as September 11, 2001, without the previous U.S. endorsement based on training, money and weapons. Carter and Reagan’s decision helped Al-Qaeda to increase Its operational capacity overseas and planted the seed for the posterior creation of ISIL.

ISIL is a scission from Al-Qaeda, which at some point disagreed with the vision of the direction. Its founders wanted to implement more ferocious strategies to achieve their goals. However, without the previous U.S.endorsement of AlQaeda, it would have been an isolated and tiny organisation in Afganistan and ISIL had never been created.

We can conclude that the U.S. was determinant in the creation and posterior expansion of both ISIL and Al-Qaeda. However, it cannot be changed, so it is now time to take more effective action to eradicate them. For that to happen, President Trump will have to make the correct decision.

Regardless of one’s political orientation, the vast majority of people want President Trump to succeed by eradicating terrorism. Hopefully, Trump will understand that moving the U.S. embassy from Tel-Aviv to Jerusalem and cancelling the Iran nuclear deal would cause a global catastrophe.

All sorts of terrorism, including ISIL and Al Qaeda, are despicable, horrendous and should be eradicated as soon as possible. For that reason, let’s unite and fight terrorism more efficiently.

Let’s also make President Trump understand that a mistake now would be catastrophic for next generations.

Resist!

By Josep

The Era of Trump

YESTERDAY, Donald Trump was sworn in as president of the U.S. in front of a mass of citizens hypnotised as if he were a god. President Trump was accompanied at all times by his family and his entourage of Goldman Sachs and pro-establishment advisors. Among the attendees, we could observe the more than despicable presence of both Mr. Bush and Ms. Clinton. The times when Bush conducted a massacre in the Middle East and Clinton funded terrorism via Saudi Arabia are still seared into our memories.

Mr. Trump did not defraud the mass of followers which was waiting for his inauguration speech. As in the last presidential campaign, Trump used a populist divisive rhetoric reminiscent of medieval times. In one of his first statements, Mr Trump said:

Today we are transferring power from Washington DC and giving it back to you, the people.”

For too long a small group has reaped the benefits, while the people lost.”

As a businessman, Mr. Trump dominates the art of manipulation; the previous statement has been used innumerable times by authoritarian regimes. Soon Mr. Trump stated his famous slogan:

“We are going to make America great again.”

He also stated:

America first”. “We assembled here today are issuing a new decree: from this day forward a new vision will rule our land. From this day onward, it’s going to be only America first.”

This was probably the most divisive statement on his speech. It is hard to know what he meant by that, but it should scare the international community. Behind this message, there was a warning to other nations that America will be as powerful as it was, including its military.

Protection will lead to great prosperity and strength,” Mr. Trump said.

With globalisation, it is hard to believe that the implementation of protectionist measures will improve the U.S. economy. In recent times, the countries which implemented similar policies, are now isolated and suffering numerous financial problems. Mr Trump suggested that patriotism will heal American divisions:

We will rediscover our loyalty to each other,” he said. “When you open your heart to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice.”

Another controversial point was when Trump called on the international community to eliminate ISIL. I think we all wish that all terrorist groups would disappear from our lives, including ISIL, which is a horrendous group. However, the last two American presidents have fueled terrorism in the Middle East, and Trump’s character makes us think that he will not distinguish civilians from terrorists, and as Bush did during his presidency, Trump may now commit genocide in the area.

The ceremony ended with the traditional parade from the Capitol to the White House, where Mr. Trump will live from today until the end of his presidency. Trump’s upcoming days will be especially busy if he wants to fulfil his promises.

List of promises of Trump for his first day as president:

1.Ask Congress to immediately deliver a full repeal of Obamacare.

2.Begin rescinding Mr. Obama’s executive orders on immigration.

3.Begin working on an impenetrable physical wall on the southern border.He has said it is “the single first thing I’ll do”.

4.Learn the difference between Hezbollah and Hamas. Trump admitted to interviewer Hugh Hewitt that he didn’t know the difference, but “will know far more than you know within 24 hours after I get the job.”

5.Get rid of gun-free zones in schools and military bases. “My first day, it gets signed, okay? My first day.”

6.Move criminal illegal immigrants out of the country. “Day 1, my first hour in office, those people are gone,” he shouted at a rally in Arizona.

Apparently, Trump will not be able to quickly implement most of his promises since it is logistically impossible to fulfil some of them like sending back to their countries hundred of thousands of immigrants.

Unfortunately, Trump’s first act as president was signing to reverse the interest rate cut on FHA mortgages, which was helping thousands of Americans to pay their mortgages.It will cause numerous families an unbearable financial burden that may cause them to lose their homes.

A few hours earlier, Trump in his speech stated:

“America First,” “the government has been returned back to all the Americans,”

However, his first act as president was a burden to thousands of families from the working and middle class.We all knew that Trump is a populist who says what citizens want to listen to, but no one expected him to betray his own words within the first four hours. We will have to wait to see whether he implements some of his controversial measures or notHowever, he has already divided the country and the international community is scared.

I myself was born in a little town close to Barcelona (Spain), and when I was younger I had the great opportunity to stay in the U.S. (mainly in Seattle, New York, Washington and San Francisco) “for a long period of time.” It was a great experience and I learnt many things, made friends and shared my culture with others. However, the most impressive thing was millions of citizens who were born in different countries from all over the world living in harmony and teaching each other about their own cultures. Back then, America was tolerant, respectful, joyful and a great place to stay for a while. Unfortunately, It has already changed a lot since then, and now, the society is divided and the populism has grown to levels not seen since before the WWII and it is unacceptable. Often people think I am an alarmist. We can see that in those countries where populism has succeeded, the quality of life has been degraded.

It is not an issue about being a Republican, Democrat, Social Democrat, Liberal, Conservative or an anarchist anymore. It is all about the kind of society that we all want to build for future generations. Do we want a divided society where hatred is predominant, or do we want a society where people can coexist in harmony?

For now, let’s acknowledge that Trump is the president, and let’s wait to see his policies, but if he ever violates the law or constitution, then you will have the responsibility to protect your rights and the rights of your fellow citizens for the sake of your children and dignity!

Let’s all gather together to rebuild our global society and make this world a better place to live, in harmony and mutual respect. Let’s make “America, Europe and the rest of the world, great again”

Tolerance, integrity, harmony, critical thinking and education are the keys to building a better society! 

Let’s hope that someday all of the nations will respect each other and its citizens will be tolerant of each other.

Never give up! Stand up!

Note: (In some European countries, including Spain, the same phenomenon that has happened in the U.S. is starting to occur.)

By Josep.

Manning Will Be Released on May 17

On Tuesday, Obama announced the commutation of Chelsea Manning’s sentence from 35 years to 7 years but refused to pardon her. Chelsea who has already served 6 years in prison will now be released On May 7.

Manning was convicted by a court-martial in July 2013 of violations of the Espionage Act and other offences after disclosing to WikiLeaks more than 700,000 sensitive military documents. The most controversial archive was a classified video depicting the assassination of over a dozen people in Baghdad (Iraq), including two Reuters journalists. Manning was initially sent to solitary confinement for nearly a year to push her to implicate other people on the release of 700,000 documents. However, she never implicated anyone else other than herself.

Despite numerous experts concluding that solitary confinement may induce irreparable serious mental health problems, the prison authorities have continued sending Chelsea to solitary confinement on a regular basis, including one time as a punishment for attempting suicide. She has also been tortured and denigrated.

The UN has repeatedly tried to send a representative to meet Chelsea in prison, but the U.S. authorities have always warned them that due to extraordinary circumstances, the meeting would be fully monitored. The UN has always refused such conditions by alleging that the lack of privacy is a violation of human rights procedures, and is unacceptable. Human rights organisations have often warned the U.S. government that the Manning conviction was illegal and unfair.The United Nations concluded that Chelsea’s treatment in prison was cruel and inhumane.

“The special rapporteur concludes that imposing seriously punitive conditions of detention on someone who has not been found guilty of any crime is a violation of his right to physical and psychological integrity as well as of his presumption of innocence,” Mendez UN investigator.

Margaret Huang, executive director of Amnesty International USA, said:

Chelsea Manning exposed serious abuses, and as a result, her own human rights have been violated by the US government for years. “President Obama was right to commute her sentence, but it is long overdue. It is unconscionable that she languished in prison for years while those allegedly implicated by the information she revealed still haven’t been brought to justice.”

Human Rights Watch general counsel Dinah PoKempner stated:

The aggressive prosecution and harsh sentencing of Manning not only contrasts sharply with the total impunity of former senior US officials for torture and related abuses but also far exceeds the sentences most democratic countries impose for public leaks of sensitive information.” Soldiers are promised fair treatment and a speedy trial under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). However, PVT Manning was arrested in April of 2010, and waited in pre-trial confinement for over three years before her trial finally began.”

OBAMA WILL BE REMEMBERED as the president who released Chelsea Manning. However, he has not acknowledged the illegality of her imprisonment, and Chelsea has already wasted 6 years of her life in prison being tortured on a regular basis just because she revealed war crimes committed by the Army. Obama should not only forgive her, but he should also show his gratefulness for Chelsea’s heroic act.

WHY SHOULD CHELSEA MANNING HAVE  NEVER BEEN PROSECUTED? 

Chelsea Manning revealed war crimes committed by the U.S. Army for the public interest.In doing so, she wanted to expose the illegal operations conducted by the Army in Iraq. Chelsea also wanted the international community to open an independent investigation to determine who was behind the crimes. However, she was quickly criminalised and prosecuted by the government. Numerous organisations concluded that she was illegally detained. For that reason, she should never have been prosecuted.

NOTE: Governments should promote the revelation of war crimes committed by the army to make sure that there is no any irregularity and there is more transparency.

WHY IS THE COMMUTATION OF HER SENTENCE NOT THE SAME AS A PARDON ?

In the federal system, commutation of sentence and pardon are different forms of executive clemency, which is a broad term that applies to the President’s constitutional power to exercise leniency toward persons who have committed federal crimes.

A commutation of sentence reduces a sentence, either totally or partially, that is then being served, but it does not change the fact of conviction, imply innocence, or remove civil disabilities that apply to the convicted person as a result of the criminal conviction. A commutation may include remission (release) of the financial obligations that are imposed as part of a sentence, such as payment of a fine or restitution. A commutation of sentence has no effect on a person’s immigration status and will not prevent removal or deportation from the United States.

A pardon is an expression of the President’s forgiveness and ordinarily is granted in recognition of the applicant’s acceptance of responsibility for the crime and established good conduct for a significant period of time after conviction or completion of sentence. It does not signify innocence. It does, however, remove civil disabilities – e.g., restrictions on the right to vote, hold state or local office, or sit on a jury – imposed because of the conviction for which pardon is sought, and should lessen the stigma arising from the conviction. It may also be helpful in obtaining licenses, bonding, or employment. Under some – but not all – circumstances, a pardon will eliminate the legal basis for removal or deportation from the United States.

WE SHOULD BE HAPPY for the commutation of Chelsea’s sentence, but we should not forget that she has been in prison illegally for 6 years. For that reason, it is important to continue demanding justice until the government acknowledges its mistake and restores Chelsea’s honour. For that to happen, It is important to demand two parallel independent investigations promoted by the U.S. government and the international court to determine who was the responsible for such atrocities and prosecute them. War crimes should never be accompanied by impunity.

Our society needs more brave people like Chelsea Manning to bring more transparency into our lives. We should be eternally grateful for her courage in showing us the truth. We should never forget her. We should always support her.

Long live Chelsea….

By Josep.