Things to Note, May 13th

US targets Cuba, Venezuela during pandemic

Venezuela’s military and civilian militia rapidly finished off a small invading force made up mainly of Venezuelan Army deserters. Their aim, according to a captured former US Special Forces soldier accompanying them, was to seize President Nicolas Maduro and carry him, trophy-like, back to the United States.

Florida-based Silvercorps USA, headed by ex-Green Beret Jordan Goudreau, had charge of invasion preparations. His company utilized US Army veterans to train the dissident Venezuelans. The expedition had traveled by sea from Colombia to northern Venezuela.

Goudreau and Silvercorps USA had contracted with Venezuelan opposition figures to pay for the operation. The signing took place in an expensive condo in Miami. The money involved – $212.9 million – was guaranteed on the basis of Venezuelan oil resources stolen by the US government. According to the company’s website, “Silvercorps USA was founded with one purpose in mind. We provide governments and corporations with realistic and timely solutions to irregular problems.”

Major’ mental health crisis looming from pandemic

One study conducted in the Amhara region of Ethiopia showed that 33 percent of the population were suffering from depression-linked symptoms – “a three-fold increase” from before the pandemic.

Other studies indicated that mental distress prevalence amid the crisis was as high as 60 percent in Iran and 45 percent in the United States, Kestel said.

Coronavirus cases confirmed inside UN civilian protection site

The South Sudanese Government has confirmed that two cases of COVID-19 have been identified inside a Protection of Civilians (PoC) site in the capital, Juba, although the world’s youngest nation has been relatively unscathed by the pandemic, with 74 cases recorded so far.

The UN Peacekeeping mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) told the UN Spokesperson’s Office on Wednesday that the appearance of cases within one of the camps in the capital was “not unexpected, given the rising number of cases confirmed within communities across the city.”

“The UN continues to urge displaced people in the sites to follow prevention measures such as social distancing, handwashing, and isolating themselves if they become sick”, Stéphane Dujarric told reporters during the regular online briefing in New York.

According to UNMISS figures released last month, there are just over 190,000 civilians sheltering in PoC sites, with close to 30,000 at the Juba site.

Over 200,000 civilians sought protection at UN sites during the height of the long-running civil war, that escalated in 2013, between government forces, and opposition fighters loyal to President Salva Kiir’s then deputy, Riek Machar.

In recent months, the brutal conflict that left tens-of-thousands dead and millions displaced, has abated, with the formation in mid-March of a new unity cabinet, in which Mr. Machar returned to the Vice-Presidency, fulfilling a chief condition of a comprehensive 2018 peace agreement.

Published by jim

Curator of things...

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