Archive for April 11, 2017
On Sunday morning, the official Russian embassy to the UK Twitter account posted a photograph of flower petals in Sochi lit up in the sunshine. But it soon moved on to politics. “It is deplorable that @BorisJohnson found himself unfit to stand Western ground on Syria in bilateral talks with Sergey Lavrov,” the embassy said, in reference to the foreign secretary cancelling a planned visit to Moscow while US secretary of state Rex Tillerson goes ahead with his. It illustrated the tweet with a painting of the charge of the Light Brigade, when Russian gunners decimated British cavalry during the Crimean war. “If G7 ultimatum to Russia brings us to real war, what is your trust in @realDonaldTrump as a wartime leader & @BorisJohnson as his lieutenant?” it asked followers in a mocking Twitter poll.
Police in Venezuela arrested six government office workers last week in a story largely lost amid the ongoing violent police crackdown on anti-socialist dissidents. The employees stand accused of selling authentic Venezuelan government documents, like passports and birth certificates, to Syrian nationals at $5,000 each. The arrests are a tacit admission of reports dating back to 2015 that accuse Caracas of selling identification documents to Mideast nationals from its embassies in the region, including individuals believed to have ties to the Hezbollah Shiite terrorist group. CNN reports that the individuals arrested “all worked as data transcribers at the Venezuelan office that handles identification documents and passports,” the Administrative Service for Identification, Migration, and the Exterior (Saime). They stand accused of selling passports and other documents to people of “Syrian origin,” whom Venezuelan prosecutors did not identify. Those arrested face charges of “corruption, improper access or sabotage of protected systems, unauthorized issuance of identification documents and conspiracy to commit a crime.” The Venezuelan newspaper El Nacional identifies those arrested as Jethaimet Wiher Blanco, 31; Isamar Gutiérrez Campos, 26; Chery Del Carmen Perdomo, 36; Lilian Irene Castillo, 41; Mariannys Peña Rivera, 27; and Yamilet Galvis Chacón, 45.