A Spanish “David” who allegedly helped North Korea circumvent strangulating sanctions is the latest target of the US Empire, the world’s biggest sanctioner and punisher.
In parallel to Israel’s deliberate and indiscriminate massive bombardment of Gaza’s civilian population, “punishing” them by destroying their homes, schools, hospitals and sewage systems and cutting off supplies of food, water and medicine under the pretext of retaliation for Hamas‘ attack on the occupying power on October 7, the United States is using sanctions – the weapon of hunger – to incite the suffering of the population to revolt against the government of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).
I have described in detail what the “sanctions” are doing to the North Koreans here and here. I myself have refrained from violating the “sanctions,” even though they have destroyed legitimate businesses in which I was involved and which benefited the general public, such as the production of affordable medicines. But I have sympathy for people who try to avoid harsh sanctions that injure or even kill defenseless people, including hundreds of thousands of children, at great personal risk.
North Korea is not only the country suffering from the most comprehensive sanctions in the world, but has also been denied a peace treaty and normalization of relations with the US despite repeatedly asking Washington for it, and is kept in a perpetual war-like state and isolation after a hot war that included a gruesome genocide by the US that wiped out 20% of the entire North Korean population from 1950 to 1953.
I met Alejandro Cao de Benos, a Spaniard in Pyongyang who the US wants Spain to extradite to the US for allegedly helping the DPRK evade sanctions, similar to how Canada wanted to deport Ms. Meng, the innocent Huawei executive, for allegedly evading US sanctions against Iran. He is more of a political cheerleader who has helped develop a base of overseas sympathizers, attract foreign tourists to the DPRK, and market DPRK consumer goods, than a businessman, as far as I can tell. The Committee for Cultural Relations, which does not occupy a high position in the DPRK hierarchy, is his partner. Just as Michael Spavor didn’t spy on China or the DPRK, I don’t think he was in a position to help the DPRK evade sanctions even if he had wanted to, because that requires a certain level of sophistication.
But I hope Alejandro is right and keep my fingers crossed when he says: “There will be no extradition. The US accusation, besides being false, does not exist in Spain.”
Canada arrested Ms. Meng on behalf of the USA because she allegedly did something that was not punishable in Canada. The US wanted Alejandro Cao de Benos arrested for things he did in the DPRK and Spain, even though it was not wrong in those countries. Spain should strongly oppose this insane arrogance of a declining imperialist superpower that is still trying to impose its will and jurisdiction on the rest of the world.
Not forgetting the criminal gang led by three US-based instigators who, armed with combat knives, iron bars, handcuffs, and fake pistols, broke down the door of the North Korean embassy in Madrid in February 2019, where they took hostages, intimidated and threatened them, handcuffed them and stole laptops and documents. The Spanish authorities issued arrest warrants for the gang for “robbery with violence and intimidation”, “illegal restraint”, “threats”, “causing injuries” and “membership of a criminal gang”.
The Spanish daily El Pais reported that the country’s intelligence services had gathered evidence that at least two members of the group were in contact with the CIA. One of the attackers, Christopher Ahn, a Korean American and former US Marine who beat up the embassy staff, was arrested in Los Angeles in April 2019 but later released on bail. His extradition is being opposed by the same United States that is seeking the extradition of a Spanish citizen on unproven allegations.