AROUND THE WORLD: Turkish President Erdogan Escalates Attacks Against Opponents Amid Election Preparations

Supporters of the Revolutionary Peoples’ Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C) march against the killing of Berkin Elvan during the Gezi Uprising

As Turkey prepares for local elections on March the 31st, president Erdogan has once again moved against the militant opposition who have long opposed his authoritarian rule. The regime has refused entry to two French Communist Party members who planned to observe the local elections showcasing the already fraudulent nature of the elections. Posters belonging to the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) have been confiscated across the country alleging they are “Maoist” leading to the arrest of an election official in the Dersim district. Maoism in Turkey has come under a McCarthyite red scare as a Peoples War insurgency has gripped the east Tunceli region for nearly 40 years. The attacks have come amid an international hunger strike by imprisoned Kurds, leftists and their sympathisers which has come to be seen as a direct challenge to Erdogan’s rule.

In the most blatant and direct attack against their opposition, the right wing Islamist Justice and Development Party have went through on the prosecution and imprisonment of 18 lawyers on the grounds that they are “members or leaders of a terrorist organisation,”. The lawyers are either members of the Progressive Lawyers Association or the People’s Law Bureau and stand accused of belonging to the Revolutionary Peoples’ Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C). Amnesty Internationals Senior Campaigner on Turkey, Milena Buyum has stated that “Today’s convictions are a travesty of justice and demonstrate yet again the inability of courts crippled under political pressure to deliver a fair trial.”

The DHKP-C have been a thorn in the side of the Turkish government for over 30 years. Coming from a long line of left wing splinter groups that fought against fascist paramilitaries during the Turkish Years of Lead in the 1970’s, the group have since become known as one of the most professional militant groups in Europe. The far left group had claimed responsibility for a series of high-profile killings, including the assassination of far right nationalist politician Gün Sazak. The killing of whom would trigger events leading to the hijacking of the Turkish DC-9. The group would also go on to assassinate former Prime Minister Nihat Erim in 1980. The killing was believe to be related to the approval by the parliament of the execution of three leftist militants during his tenure. One of the executed was Deniz Gezmiş, considered by some as “Turkey’s Ché Guevara”. The group are also believed to have killed several prominent Turkish intelligence officers.

The groups recent resurgence, which includes attacks such as the suicide bombing of the US embassy and the kidnapping and the assassination of leading prosecutor Mehmet Selim Kiraz, has clearly worried the Erdogan regime. In response, along with the conviction of lawyers who have defended socialists such as the DHKP-C, the Turkish government has launched a series of raids capturing alleged high ranking members of the group. The announcements may be treat with suspicion however, as the Turkish government have long treated anyone with sympathies towards the anti-gentrification and anti-imperialist message of the DHKP-C as a terrorist. Proof of this can be found in the government treatment of the popular left wing folk band Grup Yorum who have sympathies for the DHKC-P and have thus faced arbitrary arrest and torture.

DHKP-C militants infamous photo showcasing the capture of Mehmet Selim Kiraz 

With opposition in Turkey once again facing a clampdown, the integrity of the Erdogan regime diminishes day by day. The countries prominent place in NATO and its intervention into Syria has meant though, that the regime has remained legitimised in the eyes of west. However, with opposition to AKP rule remaining rampant in spite of these attacks, Erdogans dream of full dictatorship has not yet been fully realised. The determination of the Turkish left, which has not been diminished in spite of nearly 6 decades of repression, will almost certainly not let Erdogan grasp full power without a fight.

Sam Glasper is TPN’s Foreign Affairs Commentator and studies at Manchester Metropolitain University.

Investment firm Goldman Sachs reports 51% gender pay gap

US-based investment firm Goldman Sachs has reported a gender pay gap of nearly 51% as part of new legislation that forces all businesses to disclose their gender pay statistics.

The bank paid women 50.8% less than men for each hour they worked at the business in 2018 worldwide, which is around 5% lower than its reported gap in 2017. however, the UK branch of the Investment bank reported a gender pay gap of only 17.9%.

The report also highlighted an average financial bonus pay gap of 66.7% for Goldman Sachs International, with an average financial bonus gap of 40.7% for Goldman Sachs UK branch.

However, it was also found that both Goldman Sachs International and the UK branch of the firm give bonuses to a higher proportion of women at the firm than men, and at the lowest salary groupings, women earned on average more than their male co-worker counterparts.

The report was calculated on statistics based on the average salaries of men and women paid at the firm in the UK, irrespective of role, seniority or performance.

The bank has stated that this doesn’t reflect a lack of commitment to the Equal Pay Act, but is instead indicative of a longstanding issue within Investment banking, that men are more likely than women to gain senior roles and work bonuses.

The highest salary grouping for the firm, which commonly constituted the most senior levels of management, found a pay gap of over 63.8% for the International group, and 55.2% for the UK branch.

Similar reports have been found in other banks, such as the Bank of England, which reported an average pay-gap of 21% and reported that their highest paid employees were 70% male, compared to the lowest paid who were 57% female.

Goldman Sachs have also released an outline for how the investment firm plan to deal with the pay gap and the issue of diversity within the business.

The firm has committed to expanding the diversity in the upper management of the bank, including new policies for childcare and eldercare, as well as new healthcare plans for fertility and gender dysphoria.

The firm also aims to gain a 50% female-male quota when hiring analysts from University and from other companies, along with proportional hiring quotas for ethnicity.

Exposed: The extremist sub-forums that contributed to the radicalisation of the New Zealand Shooter

The terrorist attack in New Zealand has been marked as one of the worst tragedies in the Western World in recent years, however the details of this attack are a damning similarity to other ethno-nationalist and far-right attacks in the past, all revolving around one internet enclave operating out of two hugely popular and extremely controversial internet forums.

The forums in question are known as 4Chan and 8Chan, and the characteristics that have garnered a cultural following among internet-users of almost all walks of life, hobbies, and views are also among their most controversial- complete anonymity for its users.

4Chan and 8Chan do not require users to create an account and identity to converse on their forums, and instead anyone is allowed to freely post information on its various sub-forums, with each post simply being labelled as having been posted by “anonymous”. This has led many to see these websites as a “libertarian utopia” free from biases, both from the government and between individuals. The reality, however, if far from the truth.

While 4Chan is generally known to be the less extreme website of the two, far-right views can still easily be found on the board’s /pol/ sub forum, also known as the “politically incorrect” section of the website. The general pretext for this sub forum is that the majority of posts are in-jokes or intentionally shocking for audiences not affiliated with the general 4Chan community, also known as “shitposting”. However, there is a considerable number of posts, from both anonymous and registered users, that connote that 4Chan’s /pol/ board is significantly less self-aware than it would appear.

One post, sent several days after the Christ-Church Shooting, alludes to a conspiracy theory developed since the attack that the shooting was in some way staged by the now widely defunct Islamic State.

One user, under an account named “Turkishguy” spreads an image which appears to allege that the New Zealand shooter was a member of the so-called Islamic State.

Another post, written on Saturday by an anonymous user, citicizes the New Zealand Shooter for not “eliminating” the right people, instead referring to an anti-Semitic right-wing conspiracy theory that governments are being influenced by “subversive zionists”. Another anonymous user responding to the post refers to right-wing terrorists as “heroes” and asks whether the actions of them were “in the best interest of the white race”.

Two anonymous users, with one being traced to a US-based IP address, discuss right-wing conspiracy theories. Profanity has been censored.

4Chan and 8Chan is not a difficult website to access. These images were not taken from a closed off internet fringe website, or collected from somewhere within the dark-web, they were collected from a public website which can be accessed from most search engines and from a sub-forum that can be accessed by anyone, regardless of age.

4Chan is one of the largest internet forums in the world, with approximately 1.8 billion posts since it’s creation in 2004, and roughly 1 million posts made each day, with an average monthly view count of 703 million. The /pol/ sub-forum is placed prominently on the website’s front page.

The more recent image board of the two, 8Chan, is generally known for it’s more extreme views within its political sub-forums, and 8Chan is the forum that the New Zealand shooter was known to frequent, and also the website where he first announced his attack while approaching the Christ Church Mosque.

8Chan is where the most extreme white-supremacist views can be found, including numerous posts portraying the New Zealand attack as a “heroic sacrifice” and listing ways to “honor” the Christ-Church Shooter.

Profanity has been censored, as have terms or links distributing right-wing material.

The data analytics website SimilarWeb has estimated 8Chan’s monthly traffic to be around 14-16 million views, with around half of the site’s views coming from America. The third highest country in terms of proportional viewer count is the UK, with around 5% of the site’s traffic taken up by UK registered computers. All images included in this article have been taken from the front pages of both political sub-forums at the time of writing.

Would these messages have been posted if 4Chan and 8Chan required its members to attach an account and identity? Probably not, many social media websites, such as twitter and facebook allow its users to hide behind fake account names, including the social media accounts of the New Zealand Shooter himself, who’s accounts were under a pseudonym, and the phenomenon of twitter and facebook “trolling” has been widely publicised in recent years.

Numerous media outlets have reported on the toxicity and potential for extremist content of both 4Chan and 8Chan, such as Vice back in 2016, however legislation on these forums has been sparse, and many countries are yet to enact any meaningful legislation against 4Chan and 8Chan and its use by citizens.

AROUND THE WORLD: Fascist Mass Killer Murders 49 In Christchurch Mosque Attack

Pittsburgh, Tree of Life Synagogue, 11 dead. Charleston, Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, 9 dead. Wisconsin, Sikh temple, 6 dead. Quebec City, Mosque, 6 dead. And now Christchurch, Al Moor Mosque 2019, 49 dead. All attacks committed by violent white supremacists. All attacks committed at peoples places of worship.

The horrific and cowardly shooting that took place on the 15th of March has once again shown the danger the far right poses to minorities across the world. The far right resurgence of the last decade poses by far the greatest threat to blacks, Jews, Muslims, Sikhs (and anyone who wishes to protect the targets of the worldwide Fascist menace), than anything else that exists in today’s times. Yet this attack, and the many others that precede it, did not come about suddenly or by accident.

Mainstream journalism (which has seemingly come to be made up of a combination of broadly right wing shock jocks, click-bait hacks and so called “free speech” Fascist enablers) has long subjected Muslims to a programme of dehumanisation that has allowed Neo-Nazis, Fascists and other assorted scum to commit appalling mass killings. In the shooters manifesto, he names Candace Owens as an influence for his atrocity. Owens, a known conservative commentator, has previously perpetuated nonsense relating to a Muslim takeover of Europe and a so called “Great Replacement” often tweeting about the rate of Muslim birthrates. This very same conspiracy was heavily peddled in the shooters manifesto, which was espoused on a site known for its distribution of child pornography.

The case bares the hallmarks of previous Fascist mass murderers inspiration from more mainstream conservative pundits and the assortment of Fascists often peddled on television. The Quebec City mosque shooter had viewed the Twitter of right wing poster boy Ben Shapiro 93 times in the month leading up to the shooting. In 2016, Shapiro personally promoted an article that called the Muslim presence in Europe a “disease.” and declared that Muslim men are “uncivilised.”, concluding on a quote from Winston Churchill that begins: “How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries!” Anders Breivik, the Neo-Nazi mass killer of over 70 people (most of them children), was inspired by Tommy Robinson (real name Stephen Lennon) the well known former leader of the EDL turned “free speech martyr” who was recently peddled out for all to see by the BBC Newsnight team. The cases all show how the rhetoric of well known right wingers propagating their views across television and the internet embolden the mass murderers that make up their most obsessive followers. Along with other Islamophobic writings, the Christchurch shooter has ‘For Rotherham’ written on his ammo. The revelation is disturbing and startling, Robinson himself had seen his resurgence after getting arrested in a court which trialled an alleged grooming gang.

In 2016, Shapiro personally promoted an article that called the Muslim presence in Europe a “disease.” and declared that Muslim men are “uncivilised.”, concluding on a quote from Winston Churchill that begins: “How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries!” Anders Breivik, the Neo-Nazi mass killer of over 70 people (most of them children), was inspired by Tommy Robinson (real name Stephen Lennon) the well known former leader of the EDL turned “free speech martyr” who was recently peddled out for all to see by the BBC Newsnight team. The cases all show how the rhetoric of well known right wingers propagating their views across television and the internet embolden the mass murderers that make up their most obsessive followers. Along with other Islamophobic writings, the Christchurch shooter has ‘For Rotherham’ written on his ammo. The revelation is disturbing and startling, Robinson himself had seen his resurgence after getting arrested in a court which trialled an alleged grooming gang.

Hidden amongst his rambling, often ironically written, manifesto the Christchurch shooter had showcased references to the work of Alexander Dugin and his writings on the strategy of tension. Dugin, a Russian neo-Fascist of a Strasserite ilk, had developed on the strategy of tension model which was used by Italian neo-Fascist terrorists during the Years of Lead and also Turkish far right nationalists during the political conflict of the 70’s and 80’s. The strategy of tension, wherein violent struggle is encouraged rather than suppressed, and its co-option by the modern far right is an issue that requires the greatest amount of vigilance from progressive forces around the world. Make no mistake, the far right wish for a race war. Their current resurgence, which partly lays in the hands of more mainstream commentators, must be countered by any means necessary. To placate the Nazis is to enable mass murder. To stop them is humanitarian.

¡No pasarán

Sam Glasper is TPN’s Foreign Affairs Commentator and studies at Manchester Metropolitain University.

AROUND THE WORLD: Armed Americans Arrested In Haiti As Violence Grips The Nation

As anti-government protests rage on in Haiti, 5 American military veterans reportedly in possession of automatic weapons, pistols, satellite phones and drones have been arrested.

The revelation is striking within the context of anti-corruption protests that have gripped the nation, leaving multiple people dead. The protests have targeted President Jovenel Moise who stands accused of misappropriating development loans made by Venezuela to Haiti after 2008. He has allegedly done this whilst 60% of the population live on less than $2 (£1.53) a day.

Yet the protests also are reported to have had a distinct anti-American imperialist shade. Flags of the United States have been burned in the streets and protesters have alleged that Moise is a puppet of Washington. Head of the protest group Bronson told reporters, “We would like to declare a complete split-up with the US, we are fed up with the American occupation, we can’t tolerate it anymore”

The claims and qualms of the Haitian demonstrators do have credence and not just from the revelation that there are armed Americans on the island. In 2004 right wing paramilitaries, trained by the United States military, overthrew liberation theologian president Jean-Bertrand Aristide in a brutal and bloody coup. The coup was led by head death squad director Guy Phillipe who is currently imprisoned after being found guilty of taking bribes from drug smugglers.

US meddling in Haiti is however, nothing new. The US, albeit slightly begrudgingly, backed and financially supported the despotic regime of François “Papa Doc” Duvalier who acted as a viscous bulwark against communism. The tyrant made clear his anti communist credentials stating…

“Communism has established centres of infection . . . No area in the world is as vital to American security as the Caribbean . . . We need a massive injection of money to reset the country on its feet, and this injection can come only from our great, capable friend and neighbour the United States.”

Papa Doc embarked on this anti-communist crusade through the use of the notoriously heinous murder squad known as the Tonton Macoute, which has a near mythical presence due to their directorship from Vodou leaders. It is believed that 60,000 Haitians were murdered in acts of state terror that received financial support from the US. The extermination squad became infamous for their public displays of their murdered victims as a warning to Haitian society.

Intervention by the American war machine goes back even further than the regime of Papa Doc. From 1915 to 1934, US military forces occupied Haiti fearing that anti-American sentiment in the country endangered US economic imperial interests, especially the Haitian American Sugar Company. US president Woodrow Wilson, who ironically made a famous speech listing the right to self-determination as an essential term for peace, wished to destroy the Haitian constitution and replace it with one that guaranteed American financial control.

America, it seems, has always had a vested interest in Haiti. It is highly unlikely with the current instability that the US would refrain from involvement in the nations politics. The discovery of armed white foreigners in a different land harks back to the plots of neo-fascists in the 1980 Bolivian Cocaine Coup, the 1981 “Bayou of Pigs” Operation Red Dog and the 1994 Bophuthatswana crisis. With protests showing no signs of stopping and anti-American sentiment gaining traction, the meddling of the American Empire in Haitian affairs cannot be discounted. For history has shown that the US is ingrained in the very roots of Haitian politics.

Sam Glasper is TPN’s foreign affairs commentator and studies at Manchester Metropolitain University.

The Oil Rush: Venezuela vs. Saudi Arabia

In today’s corporate-focused world, black is the new yellow, oil is the new gold. To have this asset can prove to be either a gift or a curse for oil-rich countries. For example, Saudi Arabia has turned great profits while countries like Iraq paid the heavy price of a US invasion and damaging aftermath. While oil is typically thought to be abundant in countries like Saudi Arabia, there is a country closer to the United States which wears the golden crown in the oil industry but is unwilling to share its jewels with the US. In 2013, the EIA reported that Venezuela has 297.6 billion barrels of oil with Saudi Arabia closely behind with 267.91 billion barrels. 

What is the difference between Venezuela and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia? One country enjoys a cosy relationship with the United States while the other refuses to bow to US interests. Before Hugo Chávez won the 1998 Venezuelan election, Venezuela was an example of a prosperous country (under capitalist standards). While Venezuela was portrayed as a booming country, the reality was that it was a tale of two cities; mass inequality existed between the upper and working classes. It was not until Chávez took leadership that inequality decreased dramatically and many industries (including the Venezuelan oil industry) was nationalised. This, of course, struck a chord with the US who had interests in the country which were being threatened by the radical move. Because of this anti-imperialist jab, the US thought they’d hit back with a huge blow to Chávez; they used the oldest trick in the corporatist book and that was to stage a coup and prop up a pro-US leader. In 2002 the middle classes took to the streets of Venezuela and forced Chávez to stand down which of course he did- only to return to power two days later. The Bush administration denied being involved in the coup which of course is very true because corporate America is very honest and transparent when it comes to these matters. 

When Hugo Chávez lost the battle to cancer in 2013, the responsibility of leading the South American nation was put on his close associate, Nicolás Maduro (who is often revered as the second death of Hugo Chavez due to the fact that the crisis which began at the end of Chávez’s administration became worse under his watch). Under Maduro’s leadership, food and medicine shortages worsened as did starvation hence the exodus of Venezuelans from the country. However, one cannot put the entire blame on Maduro and Chavez for the crisis; sanctions imposed by the USA have also played a huge part in the crisis. In the hopes of getting out the country out of the swamp, Nicolás Maduro tried to use one of the easiest tricks in the book and that was printing money which only backfired.  And this is where Juan Guaidó comes in to save the day, or so the US and their allies want you to think.

Juan Guaidó, the leader of the “Voluntad Popular” party (“Popular Will” in English), declares himself interim president of Venezuela which received mixed reactions from all parts of the world. The United States, Colombia and Brazil unsurprisingly recognise Guaido as the president without hesitation while Russia, Cuba and Turkey show support for Maduro. Uruguay has decided to stay neutral and called for negotiations and new elections. 

While this may seem like a revolution which will lead to freedom and democracy for the Venezuelan people, those who have lived long enough or have read the history of US interventions in Latin and South America would know all too well that US interventions prove to be disastrous for the working people and only beneficial to the corporatist businessmen. If you want to see truly how disastrous US intervention has been just look at Chile 1973 when the democratically elected Salvador Allende was overthrown in a coup and replaced with the fascist dictator Augusto Pinochet, all due to the fact that Allende nationalised the copper industry (which was big business for the USA in Chile at the time). The US preaches of bringing democracy and human rights to the countries they interfere in whether it be through a coup or actual military action however Pinochet was notorious for his human rights abuses. This is the leader who used rape as a torture method for women. So if the US has propped up despicable dictators in the past, how is Venezuela any different? How is Juan Guaidó going to be good for the working classes of Venezuela? The answer is, he is not. He is not being put in power to serve the Venezuelan people, he is being put into power to serve the line of oil companies wanting access to the country’s oil.

The 2002 coup against Chávez is not the only piece of hard evidence to suggest that the US has been itching to interfere in the South American nation, John Bolton expressed that a regime change would be “a major step forward”. Nikki Haley (the former US ambassador to the UN) congratulated the election victory of Jair Bolsonaro and expressed how Brazil would be useful in “the fight against dictatorships in Venezuela and Cuba” as well as against “China’s expanding influence in the region”.

Due to sour relations with the United States during the Chávez era, Venezuela has aligned itself with the United States’ biggest enemies, Russia and China (after all the enemy of your enemy is your friend). Russia and Venezuela have a good relationship especially when it comes to the military and weapons. Hugo Chávez signed a $2.9bn arms deal in exchange for Russian fighter aircraft which allowed the Kremlin to buy Venezuelan oil assets at a cheaper price. China gave $70bn to Venezuela for development projects which Maduro still owes $13bn of. In exchange for this, China has imported crude oil from Venezuela. Meanwhile, the US has been shut out of Venezuela’s oil business after the country stopped accepting US dollars as payment, in response to US sanctions. Given that Brazil and Colombia have shown opposition to the Maduro regime and do share borders with Venezuela, it is no surprise that they would play some part in US intervention (after all Colombia was accused of being behind the drone attack which was thought to be an attempt on Maduro’s life). So it seems as if the US has backed Venezuela into a corner hence making it easier to interfere. If the regime survives a coup, it is possible that the next step the USA would take is a military intervention which will be calamitous.

Nicolás Maduro is not exactly an angel, he has shown no regard for human rights and his election victory in 2018 was shut down by many due to rigging. However Juan Guaidó is not a saviour or a messiah for the Venezuelan people either, he has not been elected by the Venezuelan people and was relatively unknown until he became the leader of the opposition party just over a month ago. The basis of Guaidó using an illegitimate election to declare himself president is actually unconstitutional as Article 233 of the Venezuelan Constitution does not include fraudulent or illegitimate elections as a basis in which a person can declare themselves as president. To further support this, the UN independent expert who is responsible for promoting democratic and inequitable international order, (Alfred de Zayas) tweeted that Article 233 cannot be manipulated to justify Guaidó’s self-declaration and that ” a coup is a coup”. It is also important to take into account that a majority of the opposition parties in Venezuela disagree with Juan Guaidó self swearing. 

So Venezuela is stuck in between a rock and a hard place. How can the country come to a resolution? Well, the most sensible thing is there to be negotiations between Maduro and the opposition parties in order to reach a solution. New elections must be called, this time free and fair so the Venezuelan people can truly decide their own destiny instead of a handful of oil corporatists. A US-backed coup will be catastrophic for Venezuela regardless of whether it succeeds or fails. A failed coup attempt may embolden Maduro to become more dictatorial in order to keep his position or worst of all it could lead to a civil war. A successful coup attempt may cause pro-Maduro rebels to rebel which may escalate to a civil war. It is possible that Juan Guaidó may become dictatorial and will be worse for the Venezuelan people than Maduro (as seen in the past with US-backed leaders). We, the world cannot witness another catastrophic coup or civil war. We cannot allow Venezuela to become the Syria or the Libya of South America and we cannot allow US imperialism to win. To support a regime change is to support corporatism. To support a corporatist democracy goes against everything that constitutes a Democrat. The world must stand in solidarity with the Venezuelan people.

AROUND THE WORLD: Venezuelan President Maduro Claims the KKK Rule The White House, Here’s Why He’s Right

In a BBC interview held this week, president Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela claimed that Donald Trump is an open white supremacist and that the Ku Klux Klan run the White House. When he made this claim, he seemed rather bemused that he had to explain this to interviewer Orla Guerin. Indeed, when you look at the bloody history of ingrained white supremacy of the United States, Maduro’s claims are not as controversial as they first appear.

An exploration of American fascism has already been touched upon in an earlier TPN article, but with Yankee chauvinism at yet another staggering high under Trump, the need to analyse the violent white supremacist nature of American exceptionalism has become vital.

Klanist thought has remained dominant in domestic American affairs. Proof of this can be found in the continued discrimination of black people in the United States. Old Jim Crow habits reared their heads in last years mid terms where, in Georgia, 50,000 mostly black votes became invalidated. Before the November election, Secretary of State Brian Kemp was sued for having found to be suppressing minority votes. The events are a reminder of America’s draconian voting laws that have, seemingly in certain areas, not moved on since the literacy tests of Jim Crow.

Whilst the KKK have died off as America’s dominant white supremacist paramilitary, their practices can still be found today in America’s heavily militarised policed force. The past few years have seen multiple controversial shootings of African Americans in the US, which has been followed by a lack of accountability or conviction of offending officers. Recent shootings and lack of prosecution are reminiscent of the era of Jim Crow where alleged murderers of black people would regularly be found not guilty by all-white juries. This issue is deep seated in the American justice system. Even today, all white juries and their allegedly racially biased decision making have remained prevalent. An earlier TPN article has outlined how US police assassinated Black Panthers and collaborated with Neo-Nazis to commit appalling acts of mass murder with impunity. Clearly domestically, Maduro’s claims of an America dominated by Ku Kluxism rings true.

Trumps own white supremacy has been examined in another TPN article, but whilst his far right flirtations (enabling of fascist violence of Charlottesville and sharing of Britain First Islamophobic posts) need to be showcased, they are hardly anything new. The United States was built on the idea of Manifest Destiny, an imperialist notion that holds that the US was destined by God to expand its dominion and spread capitalism. It is the very foundation of American fascist exceptionalism and its widespread propagation that directly led to the genocide of America’s indigenous populations.

Maduro’s claims are most evident in the blood-soaked history of American foreign policy. This is where it becomes obvious where Maduro’s thinking, with regards to the current coup in Venezuela, comes from. In Chile, the CIA (whilst “making the economy scream”) backed the neo-fascist Fatherland and Liberty Nationalist Front paramilitary group in an attempting to sabotage the democratically elected socialist Allende government. In Bolivia, the US forces used the “Butcher of Lyon” and Gestapo functionary Klaus Barbie to track down and execute Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara. In Indonesia, the US embassy handed out lists of suspected communists to far right death squads who embarked on the genocide of over half a million people. And in perhaps the most staggering and shady example, the US heavily participated in NATO stay behind operations in Italy and Turkey. Operation Gladio, as it was known, led to the Strategy of Tension model where US backed neo-fascist terrorists who would commit disgusting acts of terror and blame them on radical left groups.

The list of examples of American support for foreign fascists is endless. Even recently, as detailed in a TPN article, it was discovered that American Nazi riot participants had been trained by Ukrainian Nazis whom have previously found themselves in possession of Pentagon weapons and used them to commit pogroms against Ukraine’s Roma population. The history of homicidal white supremacy is astounding and supports Maduro’s claims to the utmost extent.

With all this in mind it should hardly be surprising that there is truth to Maduro’s claims, which no doubt seem outlandish to the naive supporters of American “democracy”. The useful idiots and stooges of US imperialism should note America’s viscous white supremacy when it comes to the coup in Venezuela. The coup is being partly directed by Elliot Abrams who is currently being questioned by Congress over the role he played in propagating and covering up the El Mozoto massacre which featured the mass rape and murder of children as young as two, as outlined in a previous TPN piece.

Whilst it first may seem spurious to claim that the United States (which is allegedly the bastion of democracy around the globe) is run by the Klan, the practices and thought processes of American elites from the foreign policy propagators to the CIA, police, and justice system all point to a narrative that the US is gripped by an ideology of Klan-like white supremacy. As of today, this very grip seems all the more vice-like and unshakeable.

Sam Glasper is TPN’s foreign affairs correspondent and studies Politics at Manchester Metropolitain University.