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Joe Emersberger: Alex Saab, Afghanistan, and the limits of US power

The US government will (perhaps within a month) probably succeed in extraditing businessman Alex Saab from Cape Verde. His “crime” was being an official envoy for the Venezuelan government as he attempted to negotiate the sale of medicines from Iran to Venezuela. US sanctions have declared such activity illegal. Saab was on his way to Read more…

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Joe Emersberger: Thoughts on Gerald Posner’s “Case Closed: Lee Harvey Oswald and the Assassination of JFK”

I reviewed Josiah Thompson’s new book in a blog post the other day. The book makes a persuasive case that there was a second shooter who killed JFL, but I don’t think it’s a slam dunk. Neither is Gerald Posner’s conclusion that Oswald acted alone, but I’ve come to think Thompson’s thesis is much stronger Read more…

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Joe Emersberger: JFK mystery endures like the US blockade of Cuba (Review of Josiah Thompson’s “Last Second in Dallas”)

I just finished Josiah Thompson’s excellent new book on the JFK assassination: Last Second in Dallas (University Press of Kansas, 2021). Near the end of the book he describes how the scene of the crime, Dealey Plaza, looks to him in 2020. He reflects that “the case itself has been drained of its mythic resonance Read more…

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Joe Emersberger: Infant Mortality: a look at how Cuba and Venezuela ranked in 1980

In 1980, Venezuela’s infant mortality rate ranked 58th best in the world, far below Cuba, whose infant mortality rate was 28th that year. Infant mortality is a basic Venezuela’s infant mortality rate in 1980 was more than twice as high as that in Cuba – all according to the 2018 version of UNICEF data.

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Joe Emersberger: Some notable facts about Venezuela’s oil history

Venezuela has been an important oil exporter since the 1920s. See this essay for historical details. As the chart below shows, It was not until the 1970s that big Middle east oil exporters like Saudi Arabia and Iran overtook Venezuela in oil production  

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Joe Emersberger: Statistically improbable that Capitol Riot deaths were unrelated to the riot UPDATED

Please note that improbable doesn’t mean impossible. Who would watch sports or buy lottery tickets if very improbable things could not happen? Still, the probability of five deaths (of rioters, bystanders or police) happening within a day of the Capitol Riot might be 2.6%, and perhaps be as low 0.16%. It depends very heavily on how Read more…

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Joe Emersberger: Maria Páez de Victor: Eight Years Without President Chávez

This superb speech by Venezuelan-Canadian scholar Maria Páez de Victor should soon be up on  www.NoSanctions.org , but I decided to post it here so I can spreading it around right away. **** Talk given in Webinar: US/Canada: HANDS OFF VENEZUELA, END SANCTIONS ON VENEZUELA NOW! March 5th 2021 Today is the 8th anniversary of the untimely Read more…

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Joe Emersberger: Trump’s coup attempt: dangerous for the US and the rest of the world UPDATED

Trump incited his supporters to violently storm the Capitol Building in Washington DC in an attempt to revive his failed efforts to overturn the results of the election. Five people are dead as a direct result of the attack, including one police officer (ironically a Trump supporter) who was beaten to death [UPDATE: The cause Read more…

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Joe Emersberger: UN agencies not above playing politics with statistics

It’s clear that technical departments within the UN sometimes have their work corrupted by the US government and its allies. Consider recent reporting by the Grayzone on OPCW whistleblowers who exposed manipulation of an investigation into alleged chemical weapons use in Syria in 2018. Or recall an example from further back: Hans Blix, the Swedish Read more…

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Joe Emersberger: Reassessing the Leopoldo López trial of 2014-15

One of the reasons people may get duped into seeing Venezuelan politician Leopoldo López as a victim is his trial which began in 2014, when he finally went to jail after supporting a fourth US-backed attempt to violently overthrow Venezuela’s democratically elected government. Overthrowing the late Hugo Chavez (who was first elected in 1998 and Read more…

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