On Ecuador US Pence Speaks With Lenin Moreno As Country Heads GA Press Still Banned

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On Ecuador US Pence Speaks With Lenin Moreno As Country Heads GA Press Still Banned

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive, CJR Letter PFT, Video

UNITED NATIONS GATE, September 20 – After Inner City Press was roughed up by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres' Security on June 22 and July 3, 2018 but before Guterres' Global Communicator Alison Smale without any hearing purported to make it a lifetime ban on August 17, Inner City Press wrote to Miroslav Lajcak as now-gone President of the General Assembly, whose term ended on September 17. Lajcak turned over the gavel to María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés of Ecuador, with whose president the US Vice President Mike Pence spoke on September 20, with this read-out: "Vice President Mike Pence spoke by phone today with Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno to discuss the positive bilateral relationship between the United States and Ecuador. The two leaders recognized significant progress made in multiple areas since the Vice President visited in June, including security cooperation and counternarcotics efforts, which have already resulted in the seizure of tons of illicit drugs. The two leaders also discussed regional efforts to resolve the devastating crisis in Venezuela, and the Vice President commended President Moreno for recent steps Ecuador has taken to further isolate the Maduro regime and support democracy and human rights in Venezuela. Vice President Pence expressed support for Ecuador’s economic reform agenda, noting important progress already underway to cut spending and promote transparency, and encouraged a continuation of this effort." On September 17 the new PGA  afterward did a press stakeout - with Inner City Press banned. While Smale cited concerns of diplomats, Guterres' spokesman Dujarric who on August 28 said the ban was based on creating a hostile environment for diplomats on September 17 said it was all Guterres' Secretariat with "no inputs from any member states." We'll see - and we'll be writing to María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés. She has already been asked, video here with a speech of hers that Inner City Press was able to live-stream on Periscope, now banned from UN. The UN is not Guterres', Smale's and Dujarric's kingdom of censorship. At the stakeout by María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés, no fault (yet) of hers, two of the first three questions were from Voice of America. That's not appropriate.  María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés  unveiled an acronym DARE, on which we'll have more, and called the GA the parliament of humanity. So will the Press be barred from the upcoming level week, under ever-shifting justifications of censorship? We'll see. Lajack's spokesman Brenden Varma, always more responsive than Guterres' Stephane Dujarric, replied that "I discussed your letter with the PGA. Please know that he is personally sympathetic to your situation. He also continues to strongly believe that the UN should be as transparent as possible and that journalists should be able to do their work without hindrance.” But nothing was done - Lajcak, the head of the world's legislature, claimed he had to defer to Guterres and Smale, even after their conflicts of interest were shown. In the case of Smale, there is a threshold issue - she has not even made the UN's bare bones public financial disclosure, until other officials like Natalia Gherman who started after her. Lajcak has made his one-page disclosure public today on his last day: "Assets:
• Residential property, Slovakia
Profits from the sale of personal property:
Stock options:
• Nil
• Mortgage, Tatra Banka, Slovakia
Loan, State Housing Development Fund, Slovakia
Other activities:
Legal representative of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic at Diplomatic Corps Service, Slovakia (as part of official duties as Minister of Foreign and European Affairs)
Miroslav Lajcák President of the 72nd session of the General Assembly
Date:17 September 2018." We'll have more on this. Lajcak is a nice enough guy, but something is wrong with a UN system where no due process banning of an investigative journalist can take place with blatant conflicts of interest and the person ostensibly in charge of the world's parliament say he can do nothing, and does nothing, banning coverage of UNGA73. The new PGA's spokesperson is to be Monica Grayley. Watch this site.


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