Tag Archive | Venezuela

Trump Threatens ‘Strong Actions’ against Venezuela*

Trump Threatens ‘Strong Actions’ against Venezuela*

U.S. President Donald Trump has threatened Venezuela with “strong economic actions.” | Photo: Reuters

Maduro defends the Bolivarian process from interference by Western capitals.

In the wake of Sunday’s national dry run vote for the National Constituent Assembly or ANC, President Nicolas Maduro has defended Venezuela’s “dignity and sovereignty” against threats by U.S. President Donald Trump, who issued a statement Monday describing Maduro as “a bad leader who dreams of becoming a dictator.”

“If the Maduro regime imposes its Constituent Assembly on July 30, the United States will take strong and swift economic actions.”

Trump’s threats were repeated by the U.S. State Department which released a statement calling on “the Government of Venezuela to abandon the proposed National Constituent Assembly. ”

The threats come after record high numbers turned out to participate in a historic dry run vote for the ANC, which is aimed at easing tensions and creating a more representative constitution. Despite the mass show of public support, the event was largely ignored, as international leaders continued to criticize the Venezuelan government and demand immediate elections.

Voting in the dry run vote carried on until late evening. | Photo: teleSUR

 

White House spokesman Sean Spicer called on Miraflores to cancel the ANC and convene “free and fair elections.”

E.U. diplomat Federica Mogherini likewise urged Maduro to suspend plans to convene the ANC, noting that the move would be “an important gesture” toward de-escalating tensions.

This message was echoed by Spanish President Mariano Rajoy and Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, who penned an opinion piece for Spanish newspaper El Mundo criticizing the Venezuelan government.

President Maduro has reacted sharply to the criticism, telling Rajoy “get your nose out of Venezuela” while reminding the “insolent” Mogherini that “Venezuela is a free, sovereign country … not a colony of Europe.”

In defense of the ANC, Maduro recounted the Battle of Ayacucho in Peru, a concluding military victory of the Latin American revolutionary wars, when the forces of Grand Marshal Antonio Jose de Sucre decisively forced the Spanish Empire to surrender and end its rein over South America.

“Ours is a Constituent Assembly for independence, sovereignty and national dignity,” Maduro claimed.

“Let Europe say what it wants to say, we do not care what Europe says. We care about this land, our dignity, the land of the liberators of the Americas!”

The dry run vote was held Sunday in anticipation of the official July 30 vote for the National Constituent Assembly.

Given the surge of right-wing protest violence, Tibisay Lucena, president of the CNE, said Sunday that the voting exercise was particularly important to ensure that the voters can exercise their right to vote in safe conditions. She explained that part of the exercise was to identify those localities within the municipalities where the safety of voters could be threatened during the electoral event.

“We continue to evaluate measures that protect the lives and physical safety of voters because there have been expressions of fear about going to vote … We assure people that we will continue to look for measures so that they can come out and vote peacefully on voting day,” Lucena said.

Voters form queues ahead of the opening of polling booths. | Photo: AVN

 

Voters wait outside one of the polling stations. | Photo: AVN

 

While there were some reports of violence, the dry run vote was largely carried out in a festive mood. Some 496 polling centres were authorized in all the municipalities of the country, 55 of which functioned as pilot centres, according to the National Electoral Council. Nearly 1,942 voting machines were deployed in the dry run to help voters learn how to use the machines.

“It is clear that the majority of Venezuelans want peace, dialogue and a future,” Jorge Rodriguez, head of the Zamora 200 Campaign Command, said at a press conference, noting the unprecedented nature of the turnout.

“Today a new machine has been born, one that will push forward a new history, a new dawn.”

The dry run vote for the National Constituent Assembly coincided with a symbolic referendum called by the opposition which asked people to vote whether they want a constituent assembly or not; whether they want the armed forces to support the existing constitution and the decisions of the national assembly; and whether they want immediate general elections.

Venezuelans in other parts of the world as far as Miami, New York City and Spain also participated in the non-binding referendum.

Opposition leaders claimed that more than 7 million Venezuelans participated, 98% of whom opposed the assembly, but short of the 11 million they had hoped for in a country of just under 20 million eligible voters.

Source*

 

Related Topics:

Search Venezuela Opposition Destroy 50 Tons of Food*

CARICOM Deals a Blow to U.S. Plans for Regime change in Venezuela*

Countries around the World Condemn Attack in Venezuela*

Indigenous Guatemalan Campesinos Show Solidarity with Venezuela Govt*

Venezuela Top Court Confirms Constituent Assembly Will Go Ahead*

Route of Coup against Venezuela Begins at ExxonMobil*

Russia Helps Venezuela Fight Opposition’s ‘Economic War’*

The Strategy behind Washington’s Destabilization of Venezuela*

Venezuela Oil Union Workers Back Maduro’s Constituent Assembly*

Tensions on the Rise As U.S. Announces Military Drills Near Venezuela*

Venezuela Opposition Destroy 50 Tons of Food*

Venezuela Opposition Destroy 50 Tons of Food*

The same right-wing opposition that claims they protest for food burn tons of goods destined for children and the poor. They do not want peace or food. They want to put an end to democracy in Venezuela and return to the oligarchy of the past.

Source*

Related Topics:

Russia Helps Venezuela Fight Opposition’s Economic War*

CARICOM Deals a Blow to U.S. Plans for Regime change in Venezuela*

Countries around the World Condemn Attack in Venezuela*

Indigenous Guatemalan Campesinos Show Solidarity with Venezuela Govt*

Route of Coup against Venezuela Begins at ExxonMobil*

The Strategy behind Washington’s Destabilization of Venezuela*

Tensions on the Rise As U.S. Announces Military Drills Near Venezuela*

Maduro Condemns Opposition-Led Violence as Venezuela Death Toll Nears 40

CARICOM Deals a Blow to U.S. Plans for Regime change in Venezuela*

CARICOM Deals a Blow to U.S. Plans for Regime change in Venezuela*

By Gerald A. Perreira

Before U.S. diplomats offer any criticism or advice to Venezuela or any other state on issues of democracy and human rights, they should first examine the behavior of their own government in relation to their undemocratic practices and policies, both internally and around the world, and their endless list of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Venezuela’s Foreign Minister, Delcy Rodriguez, recently tweeted that the “U.S. State Department deployed its ambassadors in the region to attack Venezuela. We come with renewed vigor to defeat them at the OAS.”

So said, so done. The U.S. Ambassador to Guyana, Perry Holloway, spewed the U.S. false narrative regarding Venezuela in our local newspapers. US ambassadors in a number of other Caribbean countries did the same. It was a coordinated attempt to mislead the people of Guyana and the region about what is really happening in Venezuela, and to apply pressure on members of CARICOM (Caribbean Community) and the OAS (Organization of American States) to succumb to U.S. calls for intervention, with the aim of overthrowing the democratically elected government of President Nicolas Maduro.

U.S. diplomats in Guyana, and for that matter throughout the Global South, are not diplomats in the strict sense of the word, and can be better described as political activists. They are constantly meddling in the internal affairs of the country they are stationed in, giving directives to the compliant neo-colonial regimes and actively undermining and destabilizing independent and anti-imperialist governments, such as the government in Venezuela.

This latest U.S. psych-ops came just after the May 31st meeting of the OAS in Washington DC and just prior to the June 19th OAS meeting in Cancun, Mexico, where CARICOM member states took a firm and united anti-interventionist position in relation to the current situation in Venezuela, delivering a resounding defeat to the interventionist approach advocated by the U.S., Mexico, Peru and Panama,

Following the June 19th OAS meeting, Venezuela’s Foreign Minister, Delcy Rodriguez, said:

“Today we come with the strength of our people who took to the streets to denounce the interventionism of the Organization of American States, we come with the force of the rain of our commander Hugo Chavez. Independence and sovereignty triumphed today over the United States of America, with its brutal pressure, with its gross extortion, with its maneuvers…”

She added that the call for intervention encourages the “most violent, anti-democratic factions in our country,” and she thanked the Caribbean nations for their “deeply principled stand.”
In his letter and articles, U.S. ambassador, Perry Holloway, had the temerity to lecture Guyana and other member-states of the OAS about their obligation to democracy and human rights. He stated that:

“The diverse family of nations in the Americas recognizes democracy is a part of our collective DNA. Sixteen years ago in Peru, we underscored this principle with the adoption of the Inter-American Democratic Charter, affirming the right of the peoples of the Americas to democracy and obligating our governments to defend that right.”

I suggest that before U.S. diplomats in the Caribbean and the Americas offer any criticism or advice to Venezuela or any member-state of the OAS on issues of democracy and human rights, they should first examine the behavior of their own government in relation to their undemocratic practices and policies, both internally and around the world, and their endless list of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Trump lays bare sham democracy

The only positive aspect of Trump’s presidency is that it is exposing, once and for all, the sham that parades as U.S. democracy and concern for human rights. The entirely undemocratic nature of U.S. internal and foreign policy is clear to all in 2017. Even that minority of citizens on this planet who still held out some hope that the U.S. resembled anything close to a democracy, have now seen through the façade. American political philosopher, Sheldon S. Wolin, in his brilliant work, Democracy Incorporated: Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism, renders a devastating critique of US democracy and is a vital read for anyone who wishes to understand the latent fascism that underpins the politics of this Empire.

Former U.S. Attorney-General, Ramsay Clark, had this to say:

“We’re not a democracy. It’s a terrible misunderstanding and a slander to the idea of democracy to call us that. In reality, we’re a plutocracy, a government by the wealthy.”

He compared President George W. Bush to Adolf Hitler, and is on record as saying at the outset of the US invasion of Iraq, that it “will be genocide again,” adding that “the greatest crime since World War Two has been U.S. foreign policy.”

As I watch the hue and cry over Trump’s actions, it reminds me of Adolph Hitler’s response to Europe’s criticism of his policies. He told them: “I am only doing out in the open what you have been doing behind closed doors for centuries.”

A meme that was circulated at the end of Obama’s presidency said it best:

“Only in shallow, self-absorbed, privileged America could a leader drop 26,000 bombs on seven countries in a single year, and have citizens mourn the end of his term because he looked and sounded classy while doing it.”

The illusion highlighted in this meme picks up on the public relations stunt that has become a hallmark of the U.S. establishment, and which Sheldon Wolin identifies as a major feature of the “inverted totalitarianism” that exists in the U.S. today. He describes “inverted totalitarianism” as a state of affairs where a small ruling elite (the 1%) have established an authoritarian society which benefits them exclusively. In this society, corporations have corrupted and subverted democracy, and natural resources and labor are seen as mere commodities to be exploited for huge profits.

This status quo is maintained by a sophisticated propaganda machine that lulls the majority of people into apathy. Central to reinforcing this hegemon is a tightly controlled corporatized media, a mouthpiece for the establishment, that is constantly spinning fake news and false narratives, and emphasizing rabid consumerism, individualism and the politics of personality and sensationalism. Wolin, like Clark, compares modern day USA to Nazi Germany, pointing out that the form is different but the essence, that is, fascism, is the same.

Friendly fascism

Thirty-seven years ago, political scientist, Bertram Gross, coined the term “friendly fascism” and predicted the Orwellian reality we are witnessing today in the U.S. His thesis converges with the conclusions reached by Wolin, Clark and others.

In his farewell address at the end of his presidency in 1961, Republican Dwight Eisenhower, warned the American people about the dangers of the “Military Industrial Complex”, the control it exerted and its ability to, in his words, “weaken or destroy the very institutions and principles it was designed to protect.” This has surely come to pass.

So, before U.S. diplomats such as Perry Holloway attempt to discredit the Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela, initiated by one of the most revered freedom fighters in the Americas, the late Hugo Chavez, and led today by President Nicolas Maduro and the United Socialist Party of Venezuela with the support of the majority of the people of Venezuela, they would do well to take a long and hard look at the crisis of democracy in their own country.

Let Mr. Holloway explain to Guyanese and the citizenry of all member-states of the OAS why, in 2017, Africans in the U.S. continue to be gunned down in the streets on a regular basis.
Let him explain to us why the U.S. has the largest number of persons imprisoned per capita in the world, and why the prisoners are disproportionately made up of Africans, Indigenous and other people of colour, before he points the finger at a revolution that has lifted African and Indigenous Venezuelans out of debilitating discrimination and poverty.

Let Mr. Holloway address the situation of U.S. political prisoners like Mumia Abu-Jamal, Jamil Al-Amin (formerly Rap Brown), Leonard Peltier and so many others who are languishing in U.S. prisons before he speaks of Venezuela’s human rights record.

Let the U.S. Ambassador focus on the shocking poverty and illiteracy statistics emerging from his own country, before he points the finger at the Bolivarian revolution which has made unprecedented gains in eradicating poverty and illiteracy amongst the masses of Venezuela’s poor. Anyone who visited oil rich Venezuela prior to the Bolivarian revolution can testify to the abhorrent conditions and the repressive measures used to subjugate the majority of Venezuelans, and in particular, African and Indigenous Venezuelans.

Does the Ambassador truly believe that his letters and articles, full of the usual delusional and empty rhetoric, would convince any of us that his government is concerned about democracy and human rights in Venezuela, or anywhere in the world for that matter, after we have witnessed the apocalyptic events in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and the list goes on?

Does Mr. Holloway think we have forgotten our own history in the Americas and the Caribbean, including the U.S. orchestrated coups that overthrew the democratically elected governments of President Jacobo Arbenz in Guatemala, President Salvador Allende in Chile, Prime Minister Maurice Bishop in Grenada, President Manuel Zelaya in Honduras and the constitutional coup against President Dilma Rousseff in Brazil? What about the removal at gunpoint of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide by U.S. military personnel in Haiti?

There is not the space in a single article to even list the U.S. crimes in our region. Just to chronicle them warrants a book. If we were to list U.S. crimes against the whole of humanity, we are looking at a library of books. The U.S. Empire and the British, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Dutch Empires that preceded it, have been without doubt the worst examples of terrorism in all of human history.

In his letter and article, Mr. Holloway advises that “when a government breaks with democracy, we must act in solidarity with its people, not through intervention or interference, but with diplomacy and mediation among all parties to help find a peaceful, democratic, and comprehensive solution.” Tell us Mr. Holloway: Are the examples listed above your idea of diplomacy and mediation?

These governments were not removed because of their lack of democracy or abuse of human rights. They were removed, like countless others throughout the Global South, because they were attempting to free their country from the clutches of the Empire, and liberate their wealth and resources so that they might benefit the masses of their people. Our own founding fathers in Guyana, Cheddi Jagan and Forbes Burnham, were subjected to the same destabilization tactics at the hands of the U.S. government and it’s CIA.

Empire loses its grip

The U.S. and its diplomats need to understand that with the advent of the internet and the availability of information in this day and age, the Empire has lost all credibility. There is no one left on earth who can be misled by their hollow and hypocritical rhetoric. Do not be fooled by those who dare not speak openly — they are afraid of losing their visas and even worse reprisals. Regardless of their cowardice and silence, everyone knows that the Emperor is naked. Behind closed doors, even those satraps who publicly profess their allegiance, such as the Saudis, snigger and jeer at the hideous state of affairs in the United States of America.

As the U.S. Empire crumbles, its vampires, who have sucked the blood of the sufferers for so long, are in panic mode because, despite their descent into blatant authoritarianism and fascism, they continue to lose their grip on the terrifying world they have created, as it spins more and more out of control. The ugly death squads such as Al Qaeda and ISIS, the very Frankensteins of their own making, are turning right back on them. As Malcom X observed so long ago, the chickens must come home to roost. One cannot keep up with the number of attacks in the US and Europe.

One of the vampires, largely credited with creating Al Qaeda, a former U.S. National Security Advisor, and founder of the Rockefeller-controlled Trilateral Commission, Zbigniew Brzezinski, in a speech to British elites at Chatham House in 2008, spoke volumes when he said:

“…new and old major powers face still yet another novel reality, in some respects unprecedented, and it is that while the lethality of their power is greater than ever, their capacity to impose control over the politically awakened masses of the world is at an historical low…I once put it rather pungently, and I was flattered that the British Foreign Secretary repeated this… namely, in earlier times, it was easier to control a million people than physically to kill a million people. Today, it is infinitely easier to kill a million people than to control a million people.”

The majority of CARICOM countries are governed by neo-colonial political outfits and even they voted against U.S. plans for regime change in Venezuela.”

The current U.S. administration, like its predecessors, whether Democrat or Republican, is involved in just that, killing millions of people all over the world in its bid to control, and trying desperately to convince us of the absurd notion that that they are doing this in the name of democracy and human rights. Trouble is, no one is buying it? The majority of CARICOM countries are governed by neo-colonial political outfits and even they voted against U.S. plans for regime change in Venezuela. The playbook is old and tired. Donald Trump just tied up an arms deal worth 350 billion U.S. dollars with the corrupt and entirely undemocratic regime of Saudi Arabia, a regime that is without doubt the main proliferator of the ideology of Wahhabism and the movements intent on imposing this ideology worldwide, such as Al Qaeda, Boko Haram, Al Nusra Front and ISIS. All these weapons to a government that is funding terrorism worldwide and committing genocide in Yemen.

And, when the power struggle between the Saudis and the Qataris surfaced, Trump paid lip service to the manufactured war on terror by publicly condemning Qatar’s support for terrorism, and days later sold the Qataris U.S. military hardware worth 12 billion dollars. In light of this hypocrisy and blatant disregard for the victims of these rogue states and their global terrorist network, can you really expect us to believe that your concern with Venezuela is about lack of democracy and human rights?

No shame

Finally, to Mr. Holloway and his cohorts throughout the region, your expressed shock and horror about the so-called spillover from Venezuela’s current predicament was perhaps the most shameful part of your missive: “The spillover effects from Venezuela’s crisis are serious and growing, whether it is irregular migrant flows to countries in our region or the increasing flow of arms and criminal activity that affect the Caribbean in particular.”

This is rich coming from the people who illegally invaded Libya, murdered the Libyan leader and freedom fighter, Muammar Qaddafi in the street, and in so doing, destroyed the most prosperous and democratic nation on the African continent, causing a migration crisis of a magnitude never seen before. Your government handed over the nation of Libya to a conglomerate of thugs, criminals, terrorists and reactionary warlords, and this spillover continues to wreak havoc throughout Africa and the Arab Region six years on. Before you concern yourself with any spillover in the Caribbean, please deal with the spillover from your criminal invasion of Libya, a spillover that only this month reached Manchester, England.

In Guyana, the Americas and throughout the Global South, the masses of people are sick and tired of the same old playbook — the one that is in fact the cause of the current situation in Venezuela. But then, that is part of the devil’s own script, cause the problem and then come to us as savior, with a solution. It plays like this: the U.S., through its infamous web of security agencies, NGOs, Aid Agencies, think-tanks and other Trojan horses, destabilize, sow confusion and do everything in their power to overthrow any government and subjugate any people that refuse to obey Empire. Recently, more than 300,000 Venezuelans took to the streets in support of President Nicolas Maduro and the Bolivarian Revolution.

The opposition held a demonstration that attracted 50,000. Of course, in your United States, the corporate media is reporting just the opposite. By the admission of your own president they are the purveyors of fake news and this is just another example of your country’s lack of democracy. The bottom line is this Mr. Holloway: your country and its government is no way fit to point the finger at anyone when it comes to infringement of democracy, democratic values and human rights.

In your letters and articles you ask:

“If these things were happening in our own countries, would we not want the rest of our American family of nations to speak out, and reach out, to help restore fundamental democratic freedoms and respect for constitutional institutions?”

In your own words you proclaim that: “The Organization of American States has for decades provided a forum to discuss our greatest challenges and take action together to address them. The challenge before us today is the death spiral of democracy in Venezuela.”

What you say in the two quotes above is correct except for one thing, the challenge before us today is not the death spiral of democracy in Venezuela, it is the death spiral of democracy in the United States and an evil Empire spinning out of control.

You are right — the OAS should take immediate action to prevent further terrorism and turmoil because the spillover worldwide from the crisis in the United States is serious and growing.

Source*

Related Topics:

Countries around the World Condemn Attack in Venezuela*

Caribbean People do not Need Instruction from US on Venezuela Crisis*

Indigenous Guatemalan Campesinos Show Solidarity with Venezuela Govt*

Venezuela Top Court Confirms Constituent Assembly Will Go Ahead*

Route of Coup against Venezuela Begins at ExxonMobil*

Russia Helps Venezuela Fight Opposition’s ‘Economic War’*

The Strategy behind Washington’s Destabilization of Venezuela*

Countries around the World Condemn Attack in Venezuela*

Countries around the World Condemn Attack in Venezuela*

Venezuela’s Supreme Court building which was targeted in this week’s attacks. | Photo: REUTERS

Widespread support resounded from 17 African countries, as well as Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Cuba, Palestine, and Turkey after the attacks.

In the aftermath of the helicopter attack against the Venezuelan Supreme Court, countries around the world have expressed their solidarity with Venezuela by condemning the acts that the Bolivarian government has described as “terrorist.”

The countries include Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Cuba, Palestine, Turkey, as well as widespread support from Africa where 17 countries have condemned the attacks.

The Bolivian government issued a communication insisting on the importance of peace and dialogue between Venezuela’s internal political forces, and called for the preservation of stability.

The Ecuadorean government released a communication calling for “unrestricted respect for the democratic order of states, the peaceful resolution of conflicts, non-interference in a country’s internal affairs, and the rejection of attempts toward destabilization.

Guatemala also condemned the attacks and called for sincere political dialogue in Venezuela.

A former police official stole a helicopter on Tuesday afternoon, from the Generalisimo Francisco de Miranda airbase in the Venezuelan capital, and proceeded to fly over and attack the Supreme Court of Justice and Interior Ministry buildings with grenades. Nobody was injured in the attack.

The Venezuelan Foreign Minister Samuel Moncada described the attack as an “act of terrorism,” and has thanked the countries who have condemned the attack for their displays of solidarity.

Moncada denounced the complicity of those countries and international organizations such as the OAS who have failed to condemn the attacks after months of international attempts to interfere in Venezuela’s internal affairs.

In the day following the attacks, the United States has not condemned the attacks. Rather U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley called for increased “pressure” on Venezuelan President Maduro while speaking to the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Source*

Related Topics:

Venezuela Top Court Confirms Constituent Assembly Will Go Ahead*

U.S. Cries ‘Power Grab’ Following Venezuela Supreme Court Ruling*

Caribbean People do not Need Instruction from US on Venezuela Crisis*

Indigenous Guatemalan Campesinos Show Solidarity with Venezuela Govt*

Route of Coup against Venezuela Begins at ExxonMobil*

The Strategy behind Washington’s Destabilization of Venezuela*

Caribbean People do not Need Instruction from US on Venezuela Crisis*

Caribbean People do not Need Instruction from US on Venezuela Crisis*

Supporters hold a poster of the late President Hugo Chavez. | Photo: Reuter

 

By David Comissiong

The political and social battle that is now taking place in Venezuela is centred on an attempt by the local elite and their U.S. backers to retake the Government and the oil industry.

After reading the article by Ms Linda Taglialatela (the United States Ambassador to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean) that was published in several of the newspapers of Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean on Tuesday, June 20, 2017 under the headline “We Must Defend Venezuela’s Democracy” or some such title, it occurred to me that only an ambassador representing the Administration of the egotistical Donald Trump would have the effrontery to believe that she is entitled to attempt to circumvent the national leadership of our countries by arrogating to herself the right to utilise our national news media to speak directly to the masses of our people and to enlist them in her (and her country’s) unholy “regime change” crusade against the duly constituted and friendly Government of our fellow Caribbean state of Venezuela.

Ensconced as she appears to be in an exaggerated sense of her own importance and authority over our people, Ms Taglialatela ends her article by admonishing the people of Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean as follows:

“I urge you to let your leaders know that you stand shoulder to shoulder with the Venezuelan people as they fight for their fundamental human rights.”

So, apparently Ms Taglialatela believes that she knows better than the prime ministers and other political leaders of our countries, and that it is up to her to inform and instruct what she no doubt perceives to be the ignorant and uninformed people of the Caribbean.

Indeed, Ms Taglialatela seems to think that she knows the situation in Venezuela even better than Ms Ines Esparragoza, the mother of the late Orlando Figuera — the 21-year-old Afro-Venezuelan who was brutally beaten by a crowd of white Opposition supporters, stabbed six times, doused with gasoline, and set on fire. Orlando Figuera was burnt to death simply because he was black and was a supporter of the socialist party of Chavez and Maduro. His grieving mother publicly stated that the Opposition was directly responsible for his death. Does Ms Taglialatela really think that she knows better than the mother of Orlando Figuera?

Well, I have news for Ms Taglialatela! The people of Barbados and the other Eastern Caribbean islands do not need any instruction from her. Our people are well aware that the defining feature of the history of the entire Latin American and Caribbean region is that for hundreds of years the masses of indigenous, mestizo, and black people were exploited and kept in an impoverished state by local white elites acting in partnership with the economic oligarchy of the metropolitian countries of Europe and North America.

Our people are aware that just as this social pattern applied to Barbados and the other Eastern Caribbean territories, it applied to Venezuela as well.

The masses of black and working-class people in Barbados and the rest of the Eastern Caribbean only began to experience significant social and economic upliftment when, in the 1950s, representatives of the black masses finally got their hands on the instruments of government and used them to share the national resources more equitably and to uplift the people.

And so it was with Venezuela as well. It was only with the coming to power of President Hugo Chavez in 1999 that, for the first time, Venezuela became possessed of a president and a governmental administration that were deeply connected to the interests of indigenous, mestizo, black and impoverished Venezuelans.

Ever since oil was discovered in Venezuela in the 1920s, big and wealthy American corporations had latched on to Venezuela and — in partnership with the white Venezuelan elite — had plundered and selfishly consigned the country’s oil revenue to themselves, and to the exclusion of the black, mestizo, indigenous and working-class masses of the country.

It was Chavez and his United Socialist Party that effectively snatched away Venezuela’s tremendous oil resources from the hands of the U.S. multinationals and the local white elite, and began to direct the oil revenue towards education, health, housing and other forms of social development for the impoverished masses.

And so, our people know instinctively that the political and social battle that is now taking place in Venezuela is centred on an attempt by the local elite and their U.S. backers to retake the Government and the oil industry that the Government now owns and controls.

This is what you and the Trump Administration are really interested in, Ms Taglialatela — not in the welfare of the ordinary people of Venezuela.

Indeed, the Government that you serve, Ms Taglialatela, has never been interested in the welfare of the ordinary people of Latin America or the Caribbean. It is well known, for example, that the US Government has a reputation for supporting any dictator who is willing to toe an American line and to permit American economic interests to flourish — Papa Doc Duvalier in Haiti, Somoza in Nicaragua, Trujillo in the Dominican Republic, Batista in Cuba, Pinochet in Chile, Marcos Perez Jimenez in Venezuela, Porfirio Diaz in Mexico, and a slew of brutal military strongmen in Guatemala, Brazil, Argentina, Honduras, El Salvador and Uruguay at various times between the 1960s and the 1990s.

Finally, Ms Taglialatela, you must not believe that our people are so ignorant and uninformed about the situation in Venezuela that you can get away with the parroting of half-truths and distortions.

You claim that the Maduro Government has “undermined” the Opposition-controlled National Assembly on the basis of “vague, unproven claims of electoral fraud allegedly committed by three legislators”. Surely you must know that this is a gross distortion. Why didn’t you acknowledge that the Supreme Court of Venezuela ruled that the claims of electoral fraud had been proven, and as a result had gone on to instruct the National Assembly not to swear in the three legislators in question, but that the National Assembly openly and defiantly flouted the ruling of the Supreme Court and admitted the three disqualified legislators?

You also claimed that the Supreme Court of Venezuela has stripped the National Assembly of all legislative authority. Here again, you must know that this is a half-truth. Why didn’t you acknowledge that under the constitution of Venezuela the Supreme court has the legal power (and the responsibility) to temporarily take over the functions of any organ of the State that is failing to carry out its Constitutional responsibilities, and that the Supreme court took control of the functions of the National Assembly for a mere one day before rescinding the decision to do so?

Why the need — Ms Taglialatela — for all the half-truths and distortions? Why not inform the Barbadian and Caribbean people that no nation on the face of this Earth has had as many internationally approved elections than Venezuela has had over the past 18 years, under the presidencies of Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro?

Why not inform our people that the United Socialist Party of Venezuela has won the vast majority of these elections, but that on every occasion that it has lost an election, it has respected and upheld the result? Indeed, isn’t this why the opposition MUD party is now controlling the majority of seats in the National Assembly?

Wasn’t the December 2015 National Assembly election that was conducted under the auspices of the Maduro Administration not a free and fair election? And didn’t the Maduro Administration accept the result, even though it was to their disadvantage? You insult our intelligence, Ms Taglialatela, when you suggest that Nicolas Maduro is an undemocratic dictator.

The reality is that Nicolas Maduro won the presidential election in 2013 fair and square, and as a result he and his Administration are entitled to and will remain in office until the latter part of the year 2018, and hopefully — if it be the electoral will of the people — way beyond that date, as well. And no amount of orchestrated (and paid-for-by-wealthy-Opposition-politicians) violent street protests is going to change that.

Source*

Related Topics:

The Caribbean Supports Venezuela against U.S. Interventionism*

The U.S. Coup against Venezuela has Served to Strengthen Caribbean Unity

Indigenous Guatemalan Campesinos Show Solidarity with Venezuela Govt*

Route of Coup against Venezuela Begins at ExxonMobil*

Venezuela Top Court Confirms Constituent Assembly Will Go Ahead*

Russia Helps Venezuela Fight Opposition’s ‘Economic War’*

The Strategy behind Washington’s Destabilization of Venezuela*

 

Indigenous Guatemalan Campesinos Show Solidarity with Venezuela Govt*

Indigenous Guatemalan Campesinos Show Solidarity with Venezuela Govt*

The demonstrators demanded that the Guatemalan government not promote actions against Venezuela. | Photo: teleSUR/Mario Rosale

 

We want to tell Venezuela that it is not alone. They are attacking Venezuela for their struggle because the government is working for the good of the people,” said Thelma Cabrera, one of the members of the committee.

Hundreds of Indigenous Guatemalan campesinos marched to the Venezuelan embassy in the capital city of Guatemala, holding Venezuelan flags to show their support for and solidarity with the Bolivarian government of Nicolás Maduro in the face of violent opposition protests that have left more than 70 dead in the nation.

“We want to tell Venezuela that it is not alone. They are attacking Venezuela for their struggle because the government is working for the good of the people,” said Thelma Cabrera, who participated in the act of solidarity.

The solidarity rally was organized by the members of the Committee of Peasant Development, CODECA, and the Solidarity Coordinator with Venezuela. Demonstrators carried a banner with the message:

“We stand in solidarity with the government and people of Venezuela.”

Peasants march in Guatemala in support of the government of Venezuela. | Photo: Twitter

“We want to tell Venezuela that it is not alone. They are attacking Venezuela for their struggle because the government is working for the good of the people,” said Thelma Cabrera, one of the members of the committee.

Cabrera said that she has demanded that his country’s government not promote actions against the Venezuelan government.

Since early April, the Venezuelan opposition has taken part in street protests that have been characterized as violent. The opposition groups use various types of weapons and homemade bombs to confront the security forces.

So far, opposition violence, concentrated in eastern Caracas, has left more than 70 dead, including people who did not participate in the protests, but were hit by bullets, as well as four people have been killed because of hate crimes against people identified as Chavistas.

Peasant organizations in Guatemala focus on supporting the Venezuela government. | Photo: Twitter

 

On Tuesday, nearly 900 workers and 45 children of a preschool were affected by an attack to the headquarters of the Ministry of Habitat and Housing, located in Chacao district of Miranda state.

Source*

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The Strategy behind Washington’s Destabilization of Venezuela*

 

Route of Coup against Venezuela Begins at ExxonMobil*

Route of Coup against Venezuela Begins at ExxonMobil*

By William Serafino

Zamora Plan

It’s April 18. The political climate is defined by a highly confrontational and warmongering tone of the Venezuelan opposition the day before a national sit-in (plantón) where, once again, violent acts were to be expected: destruction and confrontation with law enforcement.

President Nicolas Maduro delivers a speech in the evening from Miraflores Presidential Palace. Along with Minister of Defense, General in Chief Vladimir Padrino Lopez, Vice President Tareck El Aissami and National Assembly member Diosdado Cabello announce the Zamora Plan to guarantee order and security in the country.

The decision was prompted after a U.S. State Department statement was released the same evening. The text openly supported the violence generated by clashes affiliated to the opposition agenda during the “plantón,” trying to intimidate key players of Venezuelan military and judicial institutions to allow these events so that they would avoid being the subject of incoming sanctions.

Among other important elements, the text pin pointed — without any evidence — the security apparatus, specifically the scientific police and the intelligence agency, of using torture and the state security forces to endorse the incursion of “collectives to repress the demonstrators.”

The anti-Chavista “planton” on April 19 left four people dead in different states of the country, including a sergeant of the National Guard in San Antonio de Los Altos, Miranda state.

Who is the head of the U.S. Department of State?

The current U.S. secretary of state — the foreign policy chief — is Rex Tillerson, a former general manager at ExxonMobil. Tillerson was the top manager of the company when former President Hugo Chavez made the decision to nationalize the Orinoco Oil Belt where the U.S. corporation had major projects.

Under Tillerson’s command, the U.S. company decided not to renegotiate its oil projects like the one belonging to Cerro Negro in Monagas with state-owned PDVSA, according to the new directives after nationalization. ExxonMobil sued PDVSA at the ICSID — the World Bank court to resolve investment disputes — seeking compensation in the amount of US$20 billion back in 2007.

After nearly a decade-long legal battle, reviews and appeals to various verdicts, on March 10, 2017, the ICSID decided that the lawsuit of ExxonMobil contained irregularities and freed PDVSA of paying any damages. The northern oil company suffered perhaps the biggest legal defeat of its history with this ruling in favour of the Venezuelan state.

Exxon Brand Politicians

ExxonMobil — as well as any other large international company from the United States — contracts politicians to exert influence within the structure of U.S. government according to their interests. So-called lobbying is legal in that country, and companies seeking to modify or pass laws for their benefit (tax exemption, removal of regulations, federal government subsidies, etc.) pay large sums of money to politicians (a large quantity of Republicans in the case of ExxonMobil) and lobby firms.

According to Open Secrets, in the 2016 cycle, the oil company invested financial resources to endorse more than a dozen politicians for these purposes. These included Donald Trump (current U.S. president, who appointed Rex Tillerson as secretary of state) with US$25,461, Marco Rubio with US$17,701 and Ed Royce with US$7,500.

Senator Marco Rubio from Florida and California Representative Ed Royce have not only introduced sanctions against Venezuela a key point in their legislative agenda, they have also met — on several occasions — with Venezuelan opposition leaders — such as Luis Florido, Lilian Tintori, Freddy Guevara, among others — to show them political support and diplomatic endorsement to the overthrowing agenda they lead on the ground.

Law S.3117: Financial support to Venezuelan opposition

According to Open Secrets, in 2016 ExxonMobil was one of the companies that paid (the website does not specify the amount) to lobby for the law S.3117 (Department of State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs of the Law of Allocations of 2017), which establishes the funds and political objectives of the operations of the Department of State in key countries for the United States.

Money leaked to agencies such as the NED or USAID are based on that law. On May 3, 2017, under the leadership of Speaker of the House of Representatives Paul Ryan (another politician financed by ExxonMobil in 2016 with US$14,025), the law was sanctioned.

According to the official page of the Congress of the USA, the sponsor of this bill was South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, who had the duty of lobbying for its execution according to the guidelines of its financiers.

The Senate report on the law highlights the importance of the U.S. State Department funding Venezuelan opposition groups (under the umbrella of “civil society” NGOs) with US$5,500,000 and other additional funds to bring political and economic reforms in Venezuela. At the same time, it stresses the importance that “regional organizations play in promoting reforms in Venezuela, in particular, the Organization of American States,” in addition to increasing the support of the Energy Security Initiative in the Caribbean to influence Negatively in the political and oil alliances of our country with the Caribbean.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson commented on April 19: “We are closely watching what happens in that country and working with others, especially through the OAS, to communicate our concerns to them,” surely referring to Uruguayan Luis Almagro as liaison and key operator of the American strategy for pressure within the organization.

The Caribbean bloc has played a key role in preventing U.S. allies from that organization definitively consolidate the international isolation of Venezuela.

But the attack on Venezuela reveals a geopolitical key: The U.S. urgently need to overthrow Petrocaribe not only to break the Venezuela’s international alliances but to transform the Caribbean into a powerful port to import liquefied U.S. gas (ExxonMobil is one of the leading exporters), leading to the continent’s energy and geopolitical domination. The coup against Venezuela is a maneuver to ensure the continent as an area of exclusive influence on the penetration of Russian and Chinese capital and investment.

Graham, during Juan Manuel Santos’ official visit to the White House in May, publicly offered war weapons to Colombia both to dissuade Venezuela and to prepare the neighboring country for an eventual “humanitarian emergency” or armed conflict.

Interest in Venezuelan Oil

As discussed previously, ExxonMobil’s oil reserves have suffered large reductions as a result of sanctions against Russia and the aging of strategic wells in the Middle East, a reality that affects its market capitalization and its dominance over the oil market.

This urgency leads ExxonMobil to seek extralegal procedures to conquer the huge reserves of oil and gas located in the Essequibo using the Guyanese government, an area claimed by Venezuela as part of its territorial sovereignty at the U.N.

But without a doubt, the incessant search for oil and gas in that territory expresses the superior objective of re-colonizing the Orinoco Oil Belt, in the format of “oil opening” that dominated Venezuela during the last stage of the 20th century. Conquering and securing the world’s largest oil reserves as a source of full supply, in a context of aggressive competition between oil companies and their geopolitical interests, is an increasingly urgent need the U.S. oil company wants to satisfy.

The crystallization of regime change is needed. Last month, an important group of experts from the think tank Council of Foreign Relations elaborated a set of recommendations to the U.S. government within the framework of this purpose.

In short, the viable options for a change of government in Venezuela proposed by the CFR (which has shaped U.S. foreign policy since the beginning of the 20th century) are to increase sanctions against key Chavista leaders, to push diplomatically from the OAS using neighboring countries such as Colombia and Brazil, and to demand that China and Russia withdraw their support of the Venezuelan government to intensify isolation.

The Trump Administration has fulfilled the vast majority of the CFR proposals as political routes to support the coup d’état agenda in Venezuela. The sanctions against the Venezuelan Vice President Tareck El Aissami, the State Department’s pressures from the OAS and the latest sanctions against the Supreme Court are a sign of this commitment, or at least that the CFR does indeed influence certain decisions of the White House. The CFR is also funded by ExxonMobil.

Threat of sanctions against PDVSA

On Sunday, June 4, Reuters leaked comments from alleged White House officials regarding sanctions being assessed against the national oil sector.

According to Reuters, collaborators of President Donald Trump have been asked to present recommendations to sanction the Venezuelan oil sector “if necessary.”

Given that 95% of Venezuela’s foreign exchange earnings come from PDVSA, vital resources for the payment of foreign debt and imports of food and medicines, a possible oil embargo or, in its absence, sanctions that prevent oil exports to the U.S. and investment of foreign companies (threatened with suspension of licenses to operate in U.S. territory), would be a strong blow to the economic recovery plan of the Venezuelan government and the population at large by paralyzing an important income source.

A measure that could be politically costly to the U.S. (striving to convince the public that all efforts are for the well-being of the Venezuelan population) and a reversal of its effects in practice in the medium term, considering most likely oil sales to China or India would increase significantly, at the moment 60 percent of PDVSA’s export destinations.

It is not by chance that these threats are leaked when the Venezuelan opposition’s capacity for mobilization is showing signs of burning out, street violence hasn’t been capitalized into political victories inside the country or before the international community. If this cycle of political recession increases, ExxonMobil would be pressured to take action on its own. After all, they are the owners of the circus and have invested resources that they do not intend to waste.

Closing (in progress)

According to a report by The Daily Beast in early April, top executives of ExxonMobil and Shell met in Washington in the hope that Nicolas Maduro would step down to start privatization projects of the world’s largest oil reserves. It is possible that Reuter’s leak has relation to these meetings and the decisions that would have been taken there.

The coup d’etat against Venezuela was not decided by the Venezuelan opposition but by the largest oil company on the planet; the framework of action of someone like Freddy Guevara or Julio Borges is limited to their condition of subordinates. If intervention by delegation fails, direct intervention (on an economic and financial scale) using positions of power and spheres of influence in the U.S. government, are even less visible.

The oil company, which truly executes the bulk of the maneuvers, has the U.S. secretary of state, a portfolio of right-wing representatives and senators — including Donald Trump — with influence in Congress and lobbying firms to impose its political and economic interests as a U.S. foreign policy against Venezuela.

In Venezuela, not only political power is disputed, but the organization of a new political, financial and energy geography on a continental and planetary scale, within highly belligerant political environment. The fall of Venezuela, for ExxonMobil, is fundamental for that disputed center of geopolitical gravity to distance itself from Russia and China, taking control in a region with the greatest natural and energetic resources of the planet.

Determining who the adversary is key to understanding what we are currently facing.

Source*

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