July 28, 2017
July 30 Constituent Assembly
Elections in Venezuela
Support the Bolivarian Revolution!
Hands Off Venezuela!
Tweet with hashtags:
30 Constituent Assembly Elections in Venezuela
• Support the Bolivarian Revolution! Hands Off
• Worldwide Twitter Campaign in Support of
• Our America and the People of the World Stand
with Bolivarian Venezuela - Network in Defense of Humanity
• Organization of American States Once Again
Fails to Pass Resolution Undermining Venezuela's Sovereignty
to U.S. Interference
• Government Rejects CIA Chief's
• Reply by Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela
Ministry of People's Power for Foreign Relations to July 17 White House
For Your Information
• Q & A: The National Constituent Assembly
- Venezuela Solidarity Campaign
• Recent U.S. Actions Against Venezuela -
July 30 Constituent Assembly Elections in
Support the Bolivarian Revolution!
Hands Off Venezuela!
Mass rally in support of the constituent assembly, Caracas, Venezuela,
On Sunday, July 30, the people of Venezuela will elect a
National Constituent Assembly. They will
choose from 6,120 candidates representing diverse sectors of society
and areas of the country to represent them. Their aim is to
consolidate the Bolivarian political process so as to resolve the
country's problems peacefully and end the foreign-inspired
violence and interference in the country's internal affairs.
Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro at July 27, 2017 rally in
The Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist)
reiterates its support for the people of Venezuela and their government
to solve problems through dialogue and the right of
Venezuela to establish a Constituent Assembly as a principle of
self-determination. CPC(M-L) calls on Canadians and their organizations
to show their support for the people of Venezuela
at this time and oppose the escalation of external aggression against
Venezuela which is becoming ever more brutal. CPC(M-L) specifically
condemns the unprincipled stand of the
government of Canada which, in the name of high ideals of democracy, is
spreading disinformation about what is going on in Venezuela and
meddling to destabilize and overthrow the
The role Canada is playing to interfere in the internal
affairs of Venezuela promotes foreign intervention and joins the litany
of threats from the United States and several European
countries, including Spain and Italy. Canada's Foreign Minister
Chrystia Freeland issued two statements, one on July 16 and another on
July 26. All evidence to the contrary, she praises as highly successful
the July 16 "national unofficial vote on the government's plan to
rewrite the constitution and the political future of their country" --
a so-called plebiscite against the Constituent Assembly held by the
opposition. This she claims is constitutional, but the election of a
Constituent Assembly is not. In the statement issued
on July 26, Freeland claims that "the process to create the Constituent
Assembly is contrary to Venezuela's constitution
and seeks to usurp the democratic rights of its citizens." This is
simply not true. "The plan for the Constituent Assembly is neither in
keeping with democratic principles nor representative
of the Venezuelan people," Freeland says. "We call on the Venezuelan
government to cancel the national Constituent Assembly and to take
concrete actions, with the opposition, to restore democratic order,"
she says. This position is a reiteration of what the U.S.
administration is saying. Besides threats issued by the CIA (see
below), on July 17, U.S. President Donald Trump once again threatened
"strong and swift economic actions" if the elections for the
Constituent Assembly go ahead.
Toronto picket in support of the Venezuelan people, July 25, 2017.
Canada is also instrumental in efforts within the
Organization of American States (OAS) to condemn Venezuela and
authorize external intervention, which have repeatedly failed.
Meanwhile, the majority of governments of Latin America and the
Caribbean reject the moves of the OAS and support Venezuela's right to
self-determination. The Bolivarian Alliance for
the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) issued a statement rejecting Donald
Trump's July 17 interventionist threats. The statement condemns the
threats of more sanctions as coercive and
unilateral which violate international law and the sovereignty and
independence of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.
According to the ALBA members, the announcement of
imposing economic sanctions against the Venezuelan people constitutes
an unacceptable interventionist implementation of U.S.
laws, which in no way contributes to the solution of the situation in
the South American country and also impedes its development.
The ALBA countries also reject the interference of
those countries that not only ignore the Venezuelan legal system and
the constitutional and legitimate government of the president,
Nicolás Maduro, but also put at risk the status of Latin America
and the Caribbean as a zone of peace reached at the Summit of the
Community of Latin American and Caribbean States
(CELAC) in 2014. This weekend, leading up to the election of the
Constituent Assembly, actions are being held in cities across the
country to express the support of Canadians for the
Venezuelan people and government. This includes a twitter campaign on
Friday, July 28, under the hashtags #VenezuelaCorazonDeAmerica
All Out to Support the Venezuelan
Their President Nicolás Maduro
and the Election of the Constituent Assembly!
Hands Off Venezuela!
Worldwide Twitter Campaign in
Support of Venezuela
Social movements from
around the world are participating in a twitter campaign using the
(which means Venezuela Heart of America), to support Venezuela's
call for a National Constituent Assembly and to condemn attacks against
the country's sovereignty. The hashtag #VamosConLaConstituyente
is also in use. On July 28, a worldwide effort is taking place from
noon to 7 pm.
The campaign was launched on July 24 to coincide with
the birth of Simon
Bolívar, the independence leader of South American countries
colonized by Spain, which is now the Day of Integration of
The campaign's main goal is
to support Venezuela's right to self-determination by unifying the
online and social media battle, inviting individuals from all over the
world to post
photos, videos and testimonies on what Bolivarian Venezuela means to
them, in addition to encouraging cultural activities and mobilizations
"This campaign has no owner, just the desire
to join forces," Gonzalo Armua, member of the secretariat of
ALBA Movimientos, told TeleSur,
Colombian chapter of ALBA Movimientos.
"As we did 200 years ago, in Latin America and the
Caribbean, we are still struggling for our independence. What's
happening in Venezuela today has to do with that same struggle,"
He emphasized that the struggle is now centred around
repelling "American and European imperialism, which operates in a more
complex way than the colonialism of the 19th and
20th centuries, but with the same objective: to control our
territories, to dominate the population and to appropriate our wealth."
Armua affirmed that the Bolivarian Revolutionary
government of Venezuela is a victim of multiple attacks, including
economic boycotts, communication sieges, and diplomatic
hostilities, all of which are "articulated with the action of
terrorists groups that even burn people alive." (According to
Red58.org, at least 23 people have been burned alive by opposition
supporters targeting Afro-Venezuelans and working class people,
including innocent bystanders, government supporters and officials.)
"In the midst of this unprecedented siege, on July 30
the Venezuelan people will go to the polls to choose the composition of
the National Constituent Assembly," Armua continued. "In
this context, it seems to us key to unify communication efforts to make
a different voice visible in international public opinion."
"Everything is fostered by the interference of the
United States," Armua explained, "which wants to install an allied
government, end the example of sovereignty represented by the
Bolivarian Revolution and appropriate its oil."
Armua stressed, "Venezuela plays a major role in the
destiny of Latin America and the Caribbean," concluding that this is
why "all the artillery of the conservative sectors, in particular,
the means of communication," is centred around providing support to
those seeking to destabilize the country.
As proof, Armua cited recent statements made by U.S.
President Donald Trump and Senator Marco Rubio, OAS Secretary General
Luis Almagro, and continued destabilization plans
elaborated by the right-wing opposition Democratic Unity Roundtable.
He noted that these acts clearly indicate that the
groundwork for a "civil war and forcibly obtaining political power," is
underway. In this context, he explained, it is fundamental to
"unify communication efforts to produce an alternative voice that
international public opinion can support."
Our America and the People of the World Stand
with Bolivarian Venezuela
Popular assembly, July 26, 2017 in the El Calvario neighbourhood of
The Network of Intellectuals, Artists and Social
Movements in Defense of Humanity, condemns the renewed interference by
the United States Government, led by Donald Trump,
that is fully engaged in threatening the Bolivarian Republic of
Venezuela. It is being carried out with an attitude that reveals
Trump's arrogance and aggression that knows no limit and is
incompatible with international law established to dictate the
relations between States while firmly rejecting interference in the
internal affairs of other countries.
On the eve of the elections to the Constituent National
Assembly, to be held July 30, an escalation of violence has intensified
in an attempt to prevent this democratic process and the
participation and expected victory of the Bolivarian people.
Rally in Caracas, July 27, 2017.
This escalation of violence unleashed by the national
and international right-wing against the people of Bolívar and
Chávez, with the complicity of the media in their power,
celebrates a fraudulent "plebiscite" organized by a National Assembly
outside any constitutional legality and supports the heinous crimes of
the terrorist guarimbas, which includes
amongst other terrorist atrocities the burning of people alive. This
same National Assembly has appointed, without any jurisdiction to do
so, new judges to the Supreme Court in an attempt
to falsely legitimize the spurious creation of a parallel government in
opposition to the one legitimately established by the will of the
people. The purpose is clear; to destabilize the country
in order to prevent the victory of the election of the new Constituent
Assembly, on July 30 and to create the conditions for a new stage in
the subversive onslaught against Venezuela.
The U.S. administration, with the complicity of puppet
governments of the region and their main European allies, are preparing
an armed invasion against the Venezuelan people -- an
intervention that our Latin America and the Caribbean cannot accept.
Being confronted with that possibility, intellectuals, artists, and
social movements are obliged to denounce and counter
with all the means and resources at our disposal.
The historical message of Bolívar, is today more
valid than ever before. The epic continuance between the children of
Bolívar and Chávez, is also ours, because it has been a
unwavering battle for dignity, sovereignty and self-determination of
At this crucial time in history, we claim as our own
the patriotic anthem of the beloved Venezuela: "United by bonds / made
by heaven / all America exists / as a Nation." As one
people and with one voice, we will fight for it.
Long Live Bolívar!
Organization of American States Once Again
Fails to Pass Resolution
Undermining Venezuela's Sovereignty
Vancouver picket, July 7, 2017, defends Venezuela's sovereignty and
opposes U.S. and
Members of the Organization of American States (OAS)
have once again failed to reach a consensus to "take action on
Venezuela," TeleSur reported
on July 26.
At a July 26 meeting of the Permanent Council of the
Washington, DC, 13 countries read a declaration calling on the
government to abandon elections to a Constituent
Assembly taking place on July 30. That was two fewer member states than
supported a similar resolution at the OAS foreign ministers' meeting on
June 19, and five short of the number
needed to pass a resolution, TeleSur
reported. The report continues:
Lacking sufficient support, the sponsors of the latest
declaration, including the OAS General Secretary General Luis Almagro,
as well as the United States, Canada, Argentina, Brazil,
Colombia and Mexico, declined to put it to a vote.
Houston, Texas, June 16, 2017.
OAS member states have already debated the situation in
Venezuela various times. But Almagro and the group of countries pushing
for action against Venezuela have never managed
to secure a majority to condemn the government of President
Nicolás Maduro. Instead, other member states have insisted on
domestic solutions and national dialogue.
During the Permanent Council meeting, Dominican
Republic representative Gedeón Santos said the group would not
reach an agreement, especially after foreign ministers did not
reach a consensus during their last meeting.
San Francisco, July 19, 2017
Santos said the situation in Venezuela "can only be
resolved through dialogue and consensus-building among the parties,
with full respect for sovereignty and self-determination."
Caracas has repeatedly accused the OAS and Secretary
General Almagro of promoting intervention and destabilization in
Venezuela, with tensions hitting a boiling point in April when
Venezuela began the process of leaving the organization. The socialist
government left on the grounds that the regional body was threatening
the country's sovereignty.
The United States has led the charge for increased
intervention in Venezuela, including threatening various OAS members
like El Salvador, Haiti and the Dominican Republic with
diplomatic and financial action if they voted in favor of
non-interference and respect for Venezuela's sovereignty.
Ecuadorean representative Marco Albuja criticized the
organization for being excessively focussed on Venezuela while
neglecting important topics affecting the region, such as hunger,
illiteracy and inadequate medical care.
"We have no other issues, we live in paradise, we have
no problem except for Venezuela," Albuja said in an ironic tone.
"Venezuela's problem must be resolved by Venezuelans."
Venezuela's Response to U.S. Interference
Government Rejects CIA Chief's
The following statement was issued by the Government of
Venezuela on July 25, 2017.
The Bolivarian Republic of
Venezuela categorically rejects the declarations of the Director of the
Central Intelligence Agency of the United States, Michael Pompeo, and
before the international community the systematic attacks against
Venezuela from the USA, including:
1. The intelligence operations campaign being carried
out at the highest level which seeks to overthrow the constitutional
government of President Nicolás Maduro, as well as its
collusion with the governments of Colombia and Mexico in order to force
through a political transition in Venezuela, all of which corresponds
to the actions that the governments of those
countries have been leading at a regional level.
2. The financing and logistical support given by the
United States to the Venezuelan opposition as a key part of the efforts
of destabilisation of democracy in Venezuela, and its support
of political violence.
3. The passing and renewal of the Executive Order,
which names Venezuela as an unusual and extraordinary threat to the
national security of the USA and its foreign policy.
4. The imposition of unilateral and illegal coercive
measures against high-ranking officials of the Government of the
Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, including the Executive
Vice-President, other ministers and magistrates of the Supreme Justice
Tribunal (TSJ, in Spanish), with the aim of submitting the Venezuelan
State to the designs of the U.S. empire.
5. More than 105 hostile and interventionist activities
have been carried out by the current U.S. administration, leading as
the intervention efforts emanating from the Organisation
of American States (OAS), in full breach of international law, and
threatening to adopt "severe and rapid economic actions" against all of
the Venezuelan population. These collective
sanctions are of the most obvious imperialist nature, and in serious
contravention of international law.
The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela demands the
immediate apology it is due from the U.S. administration, and warns the
international community of the very real threat that hangs
over our country, considering the terrible history of this intelligence
agency in the harming of the sovereignty of independent countries, and
in submitting entire peoples to suffering, and to
the territorial disintegration of those countries not aligned with its
The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela informs that it
will condemn, through the corresponding diplomatic channels, the
governments of the USA, Colombia and Mexico before the
organisations of CELAC, UNASUR, the Association of Caribbean States and
the Non-Aligned Movement, as is our right as a free and independent
country. This Sunday 30 July, the
Venezuelan people will go to the polls in a peaceful manner in order to
express their sovereign will through a direct, secret and universal
vote, in exercise of their full democratic rights and
direct sovereignty, for the election of the National Constituent
Reply by Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela Ministry
of People's Power for Foreign Relations to
July 17 White House Statement
"[President] Maduro, convoked us and here I am -- the National
is the road to peace!"
At a press conference
on July 17, the Minister of Popular Power for Foreign Affairs Samuel
Moncada read the following statement from the Bolivarian Republic of
Venezuela, categorically rejecting the U.S.
against Venezuela's democracy.
The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela rejects the
unbelievable statement published today by the White House on 07/17/2017.
It is a document of a sort that has never been seen
before, which, due to its poor level and awful quality, makes it
difficult to intellectually understand the intentions of the assailant
country. Without a doubt, the government of the United States is used
to humiliating other nations in its international relations and
believes that it will receive as a response the
subordination to which they are accustomed. The trench that the
government of the United States is digging in its relations with
Venezuela makes it difficult to rationally predict its actions
for the entire international community.
The government of the United States, unashamedly, shows
its absolute bias towards the violent and extremist sectors of
Venezuelan politics, which favor the use of terrorism to
overthrow a popular and democratic government.
The moral ruin of the Venezuelan opposition has dragged
President Trump to commit an open aggression against a Latin American
country. We know not who could have written, let
alone authorized, a statement with such a conceptual and moral poverty.
The thin democratic veil of the Venezuelan opposition
has fallen, and it reveals the brutal interventionist force of the U.S.
government, which has been behind the violence suffered by
the Venezuelan people in the last four months.
It is not the first time that we denounce and confront
threats as ludicrous as those contained in this unbelievable document.
We call on the peoples of Latin America and the
Caribbean, as well as on the free peoples of the world, to understand
the magnitude of the brutal threat contained in this imperial
statement and to defend the sovereignty, self-determination, and
independence, fundamental principles of international law.
The original constituent power is contemplated in our
Constitution and it only concerns the Venezuelan people. The National
Constituent Assembly will be elected by the direct,
universal, and secret ballot of all Venezuelans, under the authority of
the National Electoral Council, as contemplated in our legal framework.
It is an act of political sovereignty of the
Republic, nothing and no one can stop it. The Constituent Assembly will
Today, Venezuelan people are free and will respond
united against the insolent threat posed by a xenophobic and racist
empire. The anti-imperialist thought of the Liberator is more
valid than ever.
"The United States seems destined by Providence to
plague America with misery in the name of liberty."
For Your Information
Q & A: The National Constituent Assembly
Elections for a National Constituent Assembly are being
held in Venezuela on July 30th. Here are some common questions -- with
the answers -- that are being asked about the
What is a National Constituent Assembly (ANC), under
A National Constituent Assembly is essentially a
constitutional convention, a gathering for the purpose of writing a new
constitution or revising an existing constitution. Apart from the
famous examples from the 18th century America and France, a range of
other countries have employed this mechanism. In Venezuela, Article 347
of its constitution says:
"The original constituent power rests with the
people of Venezuela. This power may be exercised by calling a National
Constituent Assembly for the purpose of transforming the
State, creating a new juridical order and drawing up a new
Venezuela's constitution is itself the product of a
constitutional convention held in 1999, convened at the initiative of
President Chávez to draft a new constitution. The constitution
later endorsed by referendum in December 1999. New general elections
were held under the new constitution in July 2000. This marked the
transition from the Fourth Republic of
Venezuela to the present-day Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.
Is President Maduro allowed to call for the setting
up of a Constituent Assembly?
Article 348 of the constitution provides for how a
National Constituent Assembly is to be instigated:
"The initiative for calling a National Constituent
Assembly may emanate from the President of the Republic sitting with
the Cabinet of Ministers; from the National Assembly by a
two-thirds vote of its members; from the Municipal Councils in open
session, by a two-thirds vote of their members; and from 15% of the
voters registered with the Civil and Electoral
It is also important to note what Article 349 of the
constitution says, bearing in mind (as explained later) that the
right-wing opposition coalition, which has a majority in the National
Assembly, is opposed to the calling of a National Constituent Assembly:
Article 349: "The President of the Republic shall
not have the power to object to the new Constitution. The existing
constituted authorities shall not be permitted to obstruct the
Constituent Assembly in any way. For purposes of the promulgation of
the new Constitution, the same shall be published in the Official
Gazette of the Republic of Venezuela or in the
Gazette of the Constituent Assembly."
Why has President Maduro called for a National
In a formal document which he signed in front of the
National Electoral Council (CNE), President Maduro stated that the call
for the Constituent Assembly was made in the context of
the current social, political and economic circumstances in which there
are severe internal and external threats against democracy and the
This refers to the right-wing opposition-led violence
aimed at bringing down the elected Venezuelan President Nicolás
The violence began in early April, resulting so far in
scores of deaths and over 1,200 people injured. A key tactic in the
violent protests is the use of 'guarimbas' or street blockades created
by masked protesters.
The current violence has involved attacks on state
facilities and services such as maternity hospitals, electricity
supplies, food depots and public transport, and also targeted
assassinations of government supporters. A ramping up of the aggression
occurred in late June when a police officer flying a stolen helicopter
attacked the Ministry of Interior building and
the Supreme Court, firing shots and dropping four grenades.
The purpose of the Constituent Assembly has been
expounded on by former Education Minister Elias Jaua, who explained in
an interview with Televen, a private Venezuela TV
channel, that its aims were "to maintain political stability, to solve
the economic issues, to broaden and to strengthen the system of social
welfare [and] to heal the social wounds that have
come up during the conflict."
When and how will the Constituent Assembly be made
Elections for Constituent Assembly are scheduled to
take place on 30 July 2017.
Anybody, regardless of political persuasion, can be
nominated or nominate themselves to be a candidate for election to the
Candidates may be nominated in one of the following
- by their own initiative.
- by the initiative of groups of voters and voters.
- by the initiative of the sectoral groups comprising 173 seats of the
545 seat Constituent Assembly
In order to run for office on their own initiative, 3%
of voters and voters registered in the electoral registry of the
municipalities are required to nominate the constituents. In the sector
category, the candidates will be nominated by the corresponding sector,
and should receive the backing of 3% of the sector to which they belong.
From these various ways of being nominated, there are
over 6,000 candidates competing for Constituent Assembly seats.
In keeping with how previous elections have been
organised, the National Electoral Council (CNE) organised a 'trial run'
of voting arrangements for the Constituent Assembly, setting
up nearly 2,000 voting booths in voting centres across the country, in
order to be assured that on election day everything would run smoothly
How will a new constitution emerge?
Once elected, the National Constituent Assembly will be
convened within 72 hours and will get to work.
The Assembly will set its agenda for discussion on the
basis of what it sees as national priorities. As convenor of the
Assembly, however, the President has proposed nine topics for the
Assembly to consider:
- the nation's right and need for peace
- improvements to the country's economy
- constitutional recognition of the various 'Missions' (government
- an extension of the justice system's scope, to end impunity for crimes
- constitutional recognition of new forms of popular and participatory
democracy in Venezuela, such as communal councils and communes
- the defence of Venezuela's sovereignty and protection against foreign
- reinvigorating the plural, multicultural character of Venezuela
- a guarantee for the future of Venezuela's youth through enshrining in
the constitution their rights and the need to preserve life on the
What is the right-wing opposition's response to the
National Constituent Assembly initiative?
Venezuela's right-wing opposition, the so-called
'Roundtable of Democratic Unity' (MUD) coalition, originally announced
in May that it would boycott the National Constituent
Assembly and denounced it as an illegitimate effort to rewrite the
This is seemingly in contrast to the position it held
in 2013, when 55 opposition leaders signed a joint statement in support
of setting up a constituent assembly.
Considering the opposition's claim about the depth of
the government's unpopularity, echoed by most of the media, it is
puzzling that opposition candidates will not be contesting all
Constituent Assembly seats.
Instead of taking part in this legitimate
constitutional process, the opposition held on July 16 their own
unofficial plebiscite, asking whether voters recognised or rejected the
Assembly process. Turnout levels for this exercise have been hotly
disputed, since the process was not conducted under the auspices of the
National Electoral Council and the voting was
not independently audited.
How does this Constituent Assembly initiative fit
with current peace and dialogue initiatives?
The convening of a Constituent Assembly is a key part
of ongoing efforts by President Maduro to engage in constructive
dialogue with the opposition.
The dialogue process was launched last year between the
government and opposition sectors, but the right-wing MUD coalition has
refused to participate.
Some opposition parties have accepted the offer of
dialogue. Seventeen Venezuelan opposition parties met with the
government to discuss the Constituent Assembly in May 2017. The
parties who accepted the invitation included Citizenship Movement,
Mopivene Movement, Republican Democracy, Republican Movement, Labour
Power, Red Flag, Civilian Resistance,
Renewable Democracy, Ecological Movement, Young Party and the Stone
In an attempt to pursue dialogue, in early June, Maduro
sent a letter to Pope Francis asking him to mediate the political
conflict with opposition sectors that have encouraged violence in
the streets. Pope Francis has repeatedly urged dialogue between sectors
in Venezuela, criticising part of the opposition for not being willing
to sit down for talks, but without success. He
has also called on Venezuelan bishops to denounce "any form of
President Maduro has followed this by again renewing
his call for the opposition to agree to dialogue and peace, in order
that solutions can be arrived at to meet the needs and
well-being of the Venezuelan people. He has emphasised that these
solutions can only be arrived at through cooperation and peace.
Recent U.S. Actions Against Venezuela
Rally in support of the Venezuelan people and against Canadian
May 13, 2017.
I. On July 26th,
the Office of Foreign Assets Control of
the U.S. Department of the Treasury added 13 Venezuelan high-level
officials to the OFAC´s SDN List, as part of a new set of
unilateral sanctions against the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.
II. Last July
20, 2017, CIA Director Mike Pompeo answered a
question posed by Venezuelan Vanessa Neumann as follows:
"At any time you have a
country as large and with the
economic capacity of a country like Venezuela, America has a deep
interest in making sure that it is stable, as democratic as
possible. And so, we're working hard to do that, I am always careful
when we talk about South and Central America and the CIA, there's a lot
of stories. (Laughter)
"MR. POMPEO: So I want to be
careful with what I say but
suffice to say, we are very hopeful that there can be a transition in
Venezuela and we the CIA is doing its best to
understand the dynamic there, so that we can communicate to our State
Department and to others. The Colombians, I was just down in Mexico
City and in Bogota a week before last talking
about this very issue trying to help them understand the things they
might do so that they can get a better outcome for their part of the
world and our part of the world."
III. Last July
23, 2017, the U.S. Embassy to Caracas
published in its internet website a security alert that in a
scaremonger manner advises "taking appropriate preparatory
including gathering enough food and water for 72 hours" (our
italics). Further, such communiqué recognizes that they deem
violent the protests that in other spaces and opportunities
they consider peaceful: "Even demonstrations intended to be
peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence."
IV. In a White
House Statement, President Donald Trump
threatened Venezuela as he said: "If the Maduro regime imposes its
Constituent Assembly on July 30, the United States will
take strong and swift economic actions."
V. In an
official communiqué, the Spokesperson of
the Department of State attempted to legitimise the results of the
opposition consultation exercise of July 16th, which lack any
legitimacy as they cannot be audited whilst she urged the Venezuelan
Government to "abandon" the National Constituent Assembly,
and requested the intervention of other
countries to press Venezuela for such purposes. The statement reads: "The
free and fair elections as well
as respect for the existing constitution." [...] "We encourage
governments in the hemisphere and around the world to call on President
Maduro to suspend this process which only seeks to
undermine democracy in Venezuela." [...] "As the President stated
earlier today, the United States is prepared to take strong and swift
economic actions if the Government of Venezuela
proceeds with the National Constituent Assembly action."
VI. This year
alone, over and above one hundred hostile
statements have been issued or uttered by U.S. government spokespersons
and by U.S. Congress members. Among those causing
most concern to Venezuela for they entail U.S. aggression against our
country are listed below:
- On April 6, 2017, Admiral
Jefe Kurt Tidd, Head of
Southern Command in his Southern Command annual report mentioned
Venezuela in his written testimony before the U.S. Senate
Armed Service Committee as follows:
"Overall the region is
stable, although the gap
between public expectations and government performance manifests itself
in social protests, most often against corruption and
mismanagement of public resources Bolivian [sic] citizens have engaged in
mass protests to demand resolution to a severe water shortage, while
Venezuela faces significant instability in the
coming year due to widespread food, and medicine shortages; continued
political uncertainty; and a worsening economic situation. The growing
humanitarian crisis in Venezuela could eventually compel a
regional response." (Our underlining and italics.)
Even though he did not talk
of concrete actions and
rejected that any action was being planned against Venezuela, it is
noteworthy that Tidd takes for granted what John Kelly, Secretary of
Homeland Security Department, a few years earlier, saw as a possibility
of a "humanitarian crisis" to intervene in Venezuela.
June 6, 2017, U.S. Ambassador to the UNO, Nikki Haley carried out a
fringe meeting in Geneva under the title "Human Rights and Democracy in
Venezuela" aimed at attacking our
country in the realm of multilateral organizations. Among other
accusations this U.S. Government spokesperson described the Venezuelan
government in the following terms:
government is in the midst of
destroying human rights and democracy in Venezuela. It is conducting a
campaign of violence and intimidation against unarmed
demonstrators, businesses, civil society, and freely elected political
"Since April, when
demonstrations became a daily
occurrence, more than 60 people have been killed. More than 1000 have
been injured and nearly 3,000 have been detained, including
over 300 civilians who are being charged criminally in military
- On June 14, 2017, the
Secretary of State Tillerson
during the Department of State Budget Hearing at the U.S. House of
Representatives Committee on Appropriations on State,
Foreign Operations and Related Programs, answered a question posed by
Congressman Mario Díaz-Balart as follows:
"With respect to
Venezuela specifically, as you
well know, it is extremely challenging there right now. I think we have
made some important and significant progress within the
OAS. We're going to continue to use the OAS as a vehicle to advance
pressure on the regime to return to its constitution, return to its
"But we also have to work with the
to help the opposition become unified. That has been one of the great
challenges of the past, is the opposition can't seem to be of
one voice." (Our italics and underlining.)
- On June 22, 2017, U.S.
Vice President Mike Pence was
Guest Speaker at a Conversation at the Washington-based Wilson Center
on U.S. Contribution to prosperity and security
in Central America. After stating that "[...] Latin America
is a priority for the Trump Administration. [...] Our
alliances throughout the region are critical to our
national interests [...]." Further, in addressing the
announced new policy towards Cuba, he said about Venezuela: "And
rest assured, the United States of America will
continue to support
international efforts to restore freedom,
democracy and the rule of law to Venezuela until freedom
(Our italics and underlining.)
- On July 12, 2017, at The
House of Representatives
Western Hemisphere subcommittee hearing on "Advancing U.S. Interest in
the Western Hemisphere: The FY 2018 Budget
Request" USAID (a) Assistant Administrator, Sarah-Ann Lynch talked
about the interventionist work performed by her agency in Venezuela:
"Yes, we have existing
activities in Venezuela working
with civil society organizations with -- for U.S.-based NGOs here and
then 30 to 35 NGOs in Venezuela.
We'll continue to be working
with those civil society
organizations to increase awareness of what's happening on the ground,
to increase the ability to report on human right abuses,
corruption, things of that nature.
We're also working with the
National Assembly to
increase their ability to be legislators, doing training and capacity
In addition, we're doing
assessments to the extent we
can on the situation on the ground in the food area, in the economic
area in the financial area, and putting together those
assessments so that should there be an opportunity to do more we'll be
prepared to have a good response."
January 13, 2017, President Barack Obama established
"that it is necessary to continue the national emergency declared
in Executive Order 13692 with respect to the situation
in Venezuela." Effectively, that is the Executive Order allowing
for the application of sanctions on the country, based on its
description of Venezuela as an "unusual and
extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the
United States" pursuant to the National Emergency Law.
VIII. On April
12, the U.S. Embassy to Caracas published a
"Security Message for U.S. Citizens: Easter Week Protests /
(12-17 April, 2017)," containing a schedule with each of the
demonstrations called by the opposition coalition (MUD), which per
se is questionable because to convey an alert to U.S. citizens in
Venezuela it is unnecessary to publish a calendar with the actions of
the opposition scheduled. Further, the message
reminded the U.S. citizens in Venezuela that "protests can occur
without notice; that they can quickly develop and may result in
violence." Ironically, the public discourse was to
condemn public order actions and to name it repression, as though they
were disproportionate actions for peaceful demonstrations. This
alert notice was eliminated from Internet.
In 2017 alone, the United States has sanctioned
Venezuela in two opportunities. Both of them in a unilateral manner,
thus violating international law:
- On February
13, 2017. The U.S.
Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC)
sanctioned Vice President Tareck El Aissami by listing him as a
"Specially Designated National."
- On May 18, 2017, The
OFAC further published the
listing of 8 Magistrates of the Constitutional Division of the Supreme
Court of Justice as "Specially Designated Nationals," which
includes blocking assets and interactions with the USA (corporations
and individuals). The Magistrates sanctioned are: Luis Fernando Damiani
Trujillo, Arcadio de Jesús Delgado Rosales,
Gladys María Gutiérrez Alvarado, Juan José Mendoza
Jover, Maikel José Moreno Pérez, Calixto Antonio Ortega
Ríos, Lourdes Benicia Suárez Anderson, Carmen Auxiliadora
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