US involvement in Ukraine crisis. More disturbing or problem solving?
“Obama’s statement during an interview with CNN is reiterating something that lately has been becoming a second opinion on the matter of Ukraine — the US facilitated the regime change in Ukraine through a planned coup of democratically elected Viktor Yanukovych (former President of Ukraine).
In the past decade US has overthrown numerous governments in Latin America, Asia and Africa and replaced them with leaders of pro western ideology that proved useful for Washington’s geopolitical interests,” independent researcher and writer Timothy Alexander Guzman told Sputnik. US President Barack Obama revealed the United States’ involvement in the Ukrainian crisis from its outset and admitted that the United States “had brokered a deal to transition power in Ukraine.” (Global Research)
In another interview with NPR, Obama had admitted consulting with OPEC countries to support reduced oil prices to weaken the economy of Russia. Lowered oil prices and a number of sanctions imposed on Russia has done nothing to improve the situation in Ukraine. At this juncture, US is considering openly arming the Ukrainian army and drive Russia into the conflict. US is already involved in a number of wars around the world. Will driving the conflict from middle east to black sea will help bring peace in the world?
In this article we will take a look at western mainstream media and try to understand if US involvement in Ukraine is problem solving or disturbing.
Disturbing or problem solving?
Now we are going to analyze two cases of current importance in US-Ukraine relationship.
Deciding whether to send lethal aid – considering all sides of the question. “The stage is set for U.S. President Barack Obama to authorize shipments of weapons to Ukraine’s ailing military, but now the White House is left to decide if sending that lethal aid will further escalate the already rising war there and prompt a strong Russian response. Opting not to send weapons could encourage President Vladimir Putin to continue to assert Russia’s power over its neighbors, an analyst said on Monday” (International Business Times)
“U.S. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the president will weigh his options carefully and will not be rushed into a decision. Obama’s administration has faced criticism that it struggles to act decisively and project U.S vision at the height of foreign crises. “The timetable is fluid. This is too important to make a snap decision,” one official said. Obama meets on Monday at the White House with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who discussed the peace initiative with Putin on Friday and has made clear she opposes providing lethal arms to the Ukraine government.
Yet tough rhetoric from some Obama advisors has raised expectations of a stronger U.S. response: “The Ukrainian people have a right to defend themselves,” Vice-President Joe Biden told a security conference in Munich on Saturday.” (Reuters)
Lamberto Zannier, secretary-general of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, told Reuters he was worried that direct Western military support for the Ukraine government would fan the flames of the conflict: “It may even lead down the line to more direct intervention of Russia in this conflict … Our objective remains that of de-escalating, so I think really the effort should continue to focus on that,” he said at the Munich Security Conference. (Reuters)
Ishaan Tharoor, who writes about foreign affairs for The Washington Post in his article “3 reasons why US should not arm Ukraine” gives simple explanation to solve the eastern Ukrainian question:
“It is hard to find comfort in a plan whose success relies on Vladimir Putin’s sensitivity to death,” Shapiro writes, noting the surging anti-American sentiment in Russia. Direct U.S. military aid to Ukraine would only deepen the anti-West, “anti-imperialist” narratives that have dominated airwaves in Russia over the past year and would reinforce the Kremlin’s own messaging about the conflict as an existential struggle for Moscow’s future.”
Here’s how Zbigniew Brzezinski, former secretary of state in the Carter administration, described the American reaction to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979.
We immediately launched a twofold process when we heard that the Soviets had entered Afghanistan. The first involved direct reactions and sanctions focused on the Soviet Union… And the second course of action led to my going to Pakistan a month or so after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, for the purpose of coordinating with the Pakistanis a joint response, the purpose of which would be to make the Soviets bleed for as much and as long as is possible.
The legacy of that American plan to build up the Mujahideen and “make the Soviets bleed” is, of course, still being unraveled. No one wants an Afghanistan scenario, but the calculation behind arming Kiev now is not that different from the one in Brzezinski’s mind more than three decades ago. Sanctions are already in play; some members of Congress think it’s time to apply even more pressure.
About solution: There’s a reason why European leaders, including those of Germany, France and Britain, are desperately seeking a cease-fire rather than an escalation of the conflict. Ultimately, the only imaginable solution is a diplomatic settlement that turns down the heat in the region and allows for rapprochement between Russia and its western neighbors. An influx of Western weaponry and military aid could have the opposite effect, paralyzing any hopes of a diplomatic breakthrough and perhaps even prompt a full-scale Russian invasion. (Original Article on The Washington Post)
National Police arrests 60 people for money laundering in Majorca
In Mallorca, the National Police have dismantled a criminal organization allegedly dedicated to laundering drug money. According to preliminary investigations, those involved are alleged to have laundered more than one million euros over the last year.
At the moment, the authorities have arrested a total of 60 people for the alleged crimes of money laundering and false documentation. Although investigations are still ongoing, leading Spanish criminal lawyers have pointed to the possibility of an increase in the amount of money laundered.
In addition to this, specialists in Criminal Law and Financial Crimes such as Luis Chabaneix have pointed out that during the next few days the number of arrests could increase, both in Madrid and in Mallorca. It should be noted that of the 60 arrested, 55 were arrested on the island and the other five in the city of Madrid on Sunday, May 16.
Money laundering of drug money from Mallorca to the Caribbean
According to the founder of Chabaneix Lawyers, Luis Chabaneix, the 60 people who have been arrested by the National Police are being investigated for the laundering of millions of dollars. It is presumed that more than one million Euros from drug trafficking activities have been sent to Latin American countries such as the Dominican Republic and Cuba, and even shipments to the United States have been registered.
In these countries, the money diverted by the criminal association has been used for the purchase of real estate and vehicles. For this reason, the National Police is in permanent collaboration with the North American, Cuban and Dominican authorities in order to dismantle the activities of this group in the different countries.
Likewise, among the main information provided by the authorities, it should be noted that more than 400,000 Euros in cash were seized from the hands of those arrested in Mallorca. Similarly, the police searches carried out on the island led to the seizure of multiple luxury items and accessories, a total of three kilos of cocaine and approximately 60 kilograms of cutting substances.
Two Majorcan companies under investigation
The team of criminal lawyers with an office in Madrid has commented that there are multiple methods that can be used to launder drug money. In the particular case of the criminal organization headed by a nationalized citizen of Cuban origin, one of the methods used to divert the money was international bank transfers.
For this purpose, the use of linked bank accounts of certain front men was a fundamental element. In addition, the case includes investigations of split money transfers through call shops.
On the other hand, through an official statement, the National Police informed that two Majorcan companies have been linked to the ongoing investigation. The reason for this is the issuing of fraudulent invoices for a value close to 200,000 euros.
Through these methods, the criminal organization has managed to launder capital inside and outside the country, legalizing large sums of money allegedly originating from drug trafficking. Undoubtedly, the arrest of the 60 people involved, including the leader of the organization, is a serious blow to the laundering of drug money in Spain.
Seasif’s Franco Favilla discusses the post-Covid economy and the price of gold
Although the Covid-19 pandemic isn’t over yet, there has been much discussion on the idea of a “post-Covid” economy, especially with the beginning of vaccination efforts in some countries. With markets throughout the world suffering the economic effects of the virus, experts have been looking towards the future –– and one of the topics that often comes up is the price of gold.
In August, the price of gold exceeded US$ 2,000 an ounce for the first time, driven by multiple factors. However, in November, advancements in Covid-19 vaccines led to a decrease in this trend, a result of the turbulent period we are going through.
“Regardless of the market volatility and the price changes that could occur over a given period of time, the fundamental fact is that the price of gold over the course of 2020 has reached an all-time high, and this, in my opinion, is very good news for the world economy,” explains Franco Favilla, founder and CEO of Seasif, a multinational company active in the extraction and trading of gold and oil.
According to Mr. Favilla, the main problem of the pre-Covid economy was the completely arbitrary nature of international finance. At one time, a ton of gold corresponded to a ton of currency, but since the 1980s, and at an impressive rate since 2000, the gap has widened enormously, so much so that today the relationship between the world’s currencies and gold is enormously unbalanced.
Total gold reserves around the world cover only 30% of currencies. This means there is nothing to cover and guarantee the value of money. In short, money has turned into a pure convention, a pure agreement between parties acting outside the market. Gold, on the contrary, guarantees democracy, because it protects savers and the market, offering an objective value for parameterizing every transaction.
“My hope, therefore, is that the crisis caused by Covid-19 will help to change finance, making it less ‘phantom’ and more linked to an objective dimension, based on gold, with obvious advantages for the real economy. Gold protects consumers, the most important component in any economic system: if you don’t have a market made up of consumers with a certain level of wealth, how can you sell? To whom? Consumer protection must come first, and gold is one of the main ways of protecting them,” states the CEO of Seasif.
Sustainability has also been at the forefront in discussions about the post-Covid world, as countries look towards establishing a more resilient global economy, one able to better withstand such events in the future –– and “green gold” may well be a part of that future. Green gold, in a sense, can be considered the “gold of the future” due to its ethical and sustainable extraction process. Seasif produces green gold, with a department entirely dedicated to green, and has allocated economic incentives to its continued production.
Even as 2020 draws to a close, the future may still look uncertain. But for those searching for greater security, gold may be one of the few certainties left.
How much money do you need to live comfortably in Spain?
There are plenty of reasons why you may be thinking about living in Spain: its population is friendly and kind; its climate, especially in the coastal areas, is enviable; its gastronomy is incredible… but, what about its prices? What is the most affordable way to live in Spain?
Perhaps the most important question if you decided to go: would it be better to buy instead of renting a property in Spain. Or yet living in a Spanish residence?
Spanish cities where to live cheap and well
In the geographical variety that Spain presents, we can find many differences in average salaries and the standard of living that reside there would require. The areas of Galicia, Extremadura, Castilla y León, together with Almería and the south of Alicante usually have a lower price of euros/square meter in their homes. The quality of life is really appreciable, but you should know that there are fewer possibilities for business and transports.
The autonomous community of the Basque Country, Catalonia, and Madrid, which have higher than average incomes (normally more than 24,000 euros per year), also have higher prices. However, Madrid has such a wide range of rents that it sometimes makes them cheaper than other countries.
In addition, and taking into account the tourist seasons, the areas of Valencia and Andalusia are normally a preference when it comes to living in Spain for a while or even spending your retirement. Although day-to-day life can be more expensive than in other areas of Spain, the mild climate and variety of leisure options are often worth it in the long run.
Whatever your option is when moving to another country, especially if you don’t know its legal system, can be very tiresome. That’s why our advice is to try to contact local agencies (that speak English) to give you fair and fruitful advice. For example, to move to Andalusia, we usually recommend Tejada solicitors.
I have already decided on the place. Now what?
Well, if you have already fully immersed yourself in the streets of a beautiful city that we have talked about, what should be your first step?
Decide what kind of stay you want to be in (since your future economic situation will also depend on this: taxes, permits…). You may have already chosen, for example, property conveyancing in Marbella, but it is recommended that you also think about renting a property, because it can be very profitable while you are in your other place of residence.
To sum up, before moving to a Spanish city, decide if you want to spend a little more money per month in exchange for the exceptional conditions that their precious land can give you; secondly, contact a reliable agency that will help you make the best investment and even more, apply for a Spanish residency if you are decided to stay for a long time.
And remember: a move is always a new beginning.
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