So too the representatives of the Conservative and New Democratic Parties are taking a similar position. Their warnings against following the legal constitutional process in Venezuela are especially hypocritical at this time when the Government of Canada is celebrating 150 years of a constitution imposed by Royal Prerogative by a foreign imperial parliament. Lest Freeland forget, her government even ignored its own bogus consultation process and promises on changes to Canada's electoral law.
Freeland's demand that Venezuela "return" to democracy and "follow international law" is not only hypocritical but also absurd given Canada's support for neo-Nazis and former Nazi collaborators in Ukraine and its support for U.S. wars of aggression, occupation and regime change in various parts of the world. It is the Government of Canada which is violating international law by interfering in the internal affairs of independent countries, all in the name of high ideals.
Freeland and these political parties with seats in the
Parliament do not speak for Canadians when they repeat U.S. threats
against Venezuela. Canadians want Canada to uphold
the principle of respect for the sovereignty of all nations. CPC(M-L)
wishes Venezuelans the same bright future of democracy and independence
that we want for ourselves. We support the
aim of the Constituent Assembly to consolidate the project for
Venezuelans to build a better life for themselves in peace.
(Photos: Venezuelan Embassy to Canada, Hugo Chávez Peoples Defense Front, Fire This Time)
Results of Venezuelan
CNE President Tibisay Lucena reported that 537 of the Constituent Assembly's 545 members were elected on Sunday and that on Tuesday, August 1, Venezuela's Indigenous communities will choose the eight remaining representatives following their own traditional processes.
Upon receiving the first Electoral Bulletin containing the preliminary results, President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela Nicolás Maduro congratulated the CNE for its work. He said its ability to guarantee, in the middle of a war, that the people were able to exercise their will and to go out and vote, in his opinion demonstrated the strength of the country's democratic institutions.
A group of 43 people made up of "political experts,
parliamentarians, Indigenous people, peasants, workers and
representatives of missions and electoral bodies" from Europe and
South, Central and North America who were invited by the National
Electoral Council to witness the election issued their own communiqué.
Among them were members of the Council of Latin American Electoral
Experts (CEELA) who had been engaged to observe and make
recommendations for different aspects of running the election starting
July 17 through to the day of the vote. CEELA has issued a more
detailed technical report of its findings that is consistent with what
was expressed in the communiqué. It can be seen here.
The international group said they deemed the election to have been called in a legal and legitimate manner based on Article 348 of the country's Constitution and in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations. They further pointed out that the people's ability to exercise their right to vote was guaranteed through the provision of voting centers throughout the Venezuelan territory and their right to a secret ballot was guaranteed by the CNE's voting system, fully auditable at all stages and whose reliability for data processing and transmission has been verified in 20 national elections.
The international witnesses said Venezuelans had participated in a peaceful and civic manner in exercising their constitutional right to vote in free, universal and direct elections by means of a secret ballot. They commended the people for "speaking out for peace through their participation in voting despite the threats and interventionist actions of both the Government of the United States of America and its partners and allies."
They condemned the "violent and terrorist acts unleashed by anti-democratic sectors" before and even during the electoral process, calling them an attempt to intimidate and terrorize the population and sabotage the electoral process. They also condemned what they described as a massive international media campaign against Venezuela's democracy aimed at creating the conditions to trigger a foreign intervention.
The group expressed their belief that the National Constituent Assembly would be a space to promote the coming together of all Venezuelans regardless of political affiliation in an inclusive dialogue to set Venezuela on a course towards collective well-being in an atmosphere of peace and the full exercise of the peoples' right to self-determination.
The communiqué concluded with a call to the peoples and governments of the world to respect the results of the National Constituent Assembly election as a manifestation of the self-determination of the Venezuelan people.
The 30th of July 2017 the people of Venezuela showed the world that they are not afraid nor are they going to pay attention to those who with arrogance and violence want Venezuela to return to being a colony of the North American empire, to be once again a society divided between the have and the have nots, to return to living with children begging in the streets, who are looked upon with disdain, to return to having people living in huts made from garbage and with no drinkable water, to return to having wonderful exclusive hospitals for the rich and to return to life with a minority who decides everything and a majority with no voice.
Last Sunday men and women from all corners of the homeland did not bow down their heads before the threats and violence, and said yes to peace, yes to uniting all Venezuelans to respectfully resolve the problems of the country amongst themselves. With their vote in hand, they said to the world that Venezuelans do know how to meet as brothers and sisters to face any challenge. The vote of the valiant and pacific people of Venezuela is already written in the books of history and neither the threats of the North American empire nor the negative chorus of its servants in their government palaces and their media spokesmen can change that.
The Constituent Assembly Goes Ahead, Long Live Peace
(AVN, Prensa Latina. Photos: Government of Venezuela, CubaDebate)
This Sunday, July 30, 2017, during elections for the National Constituent Assembly in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, the Venezuelan people demonstrated to the world that they are in full possession of their sovereign rights, and are firmly on the side of peace, in defense of citizen security, of independence and self-determination in their homeland, as they have been throughout the history of Latin America and the Caribbean, since Bolívar.
Venezuela poured out to the polls as never before in a constituent process. This people, that challenged barricades, blocked streets, economic sabotage, and international threats, defeated with their votes the strategy of imperialism, the oligarchies, and an opposition which has not hesitated to unleash the most brutal expressions of cruelty. The cynicism of those who attempt to blame the government, and the defenders of the people, for crimes committed is offensive.
Cuba denounces the implementation of a well planned international operation, directed from Washington with the support of the OAS General Secretary, intended to silence the voice of the Venezuelan people, ignore their expressed will, and impose surrender with attacks and economic sanctions.
The government of the United States, for its part, has imposed sanctions directly on constitutional President Nicolás Maduro Moro, unprecedented, arbitrary sanctions that violate international law, which we condemn.
We are very familiar with these interventionist practices. They think that with this, they will achieve the submission of a people to a puppet opposition which they finance, and now promises to burn the country down.
Once again, we reiterate what Army General Raúl Castro Ruz, President of the Councils of State and Ministers, said last July 14, in the National Assembly:
"The aggression and coup violence against Venezuela harms all of Our America and only benefits the interests of those set on dividing us in order to exercise their control over our people, unconcerned about causing conflicts of incalculable consequences in the region, like those we are seeing in different parts of the world.
"Today we warn that those attempting to overthrow the Bolivarian Chavista Revolution through unconstitutional, violent coup methods, will shoulder a serious responsibility before history."
Nothing can stop a people which takes control of its destiny. Only Venezuelans can decide how to resolve their problems and chart their future. No more interventions, conspiracies, or betrayals of the Bolivarian spirit.
We reiterate our unwavering solidarity with the people and the Bolivarian Chavista government, with the civic-military union led by constitutional President Nicolás Maduro Moros. As Fidel said at the Central University of Caracas, during his 1959 visit, "The position of the Revolutionary Government of Cuba will be a firm position, without hesitations of any kind, because the hour has arrived for peoples who know how to defend themselves and how to assert their rights."
The Network of Intellectuals, Artists and Social Movements in Defense of Humanity want to congratulate the Venezuelan people for the lesson in democracy they gave during the vote for the National Constituent Assembly yesterday.
Despite the attempts by the national and international right to generate hate and terror to prevent, through fear, the democratic right to vote, the people went out to the streets to say no to violence and yes to a National Constituent Assembly. They regarded this as a tool for peace -- a way of strengthening participatory democracy and to constitutionalize the progress that has been achieved.
Special mention needs to be made about the obscene imperial interference in this process (as acknowledged by the CIA itself without even blushing) and the amplification, and legitimization of violence that the transnational corporations disseminated with impunity.
We not only recognize the results from the more than 8 million votes of the Venezuelan people, but we condemn any present or future intent to destabilize the legitimate Government headed by Nicolás Maduro Moros, or the installation of the Constituent Assembly. We call on the people of the Americas to repudiate the complicity of the right wing governments in the region with the government of the United States in its pro-coup and interventionist attempts against Venezuela.
We also say yes to the Constitutional Assembly as a way to deepen people's power and social justice that the people of Venezuela inherited from Commander Hugo Chávez, who always fought for a more dignified and sovereign Venezuela and Latin America.
In this regard we stress the importance of knowing at this crucial time which is the right side of the struggle in Venezuela to be on -- for us it is, and always will be, to confront imperialism and defend the political, economic and territorial sovereignty of Venezuela.
The Network in Defense of Humanity
In Our America, July 31st, 2017
(Slightly edited for grammar by TML.)
For Your Information
In a July 30 statement, issued the very day Venezuelans were electing their representatives to the Constituent Assembly, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland underscored the dirty role Canada continues to play by interfering in the affairs of the Venezuelan people as part of the U.S.-led regime change forces:
"Canada denounces and condemns today's significant and
undemocratic action by the Venezuelan regime. This constituent assembly
will further escalate tensions in the country by robbing the Venezuelan
people of their fundamental democratic rights."
In a statement four days earlier during the lead-up to the election Freeland attempted to justify this stand by asserting falsely that the process by which the Constituent Assembly was convened was "contrary to Venezuela's constitution." Then on July 30, adding insult to injury, she turned truth on its head by blaming "the loss of life and escalating violence" in Venezuela on the holding of the vote.
The statement on July 30 continued:
"Despite repeated calls by member states of the Organization of American States and the international community, including Canada, to cancel the national constituent assembly, President Maduro and his government chose to take another step down the path to institutionalize authoritarian rule in Venezuela. Individuals who are undermining democracy and human rights in Venezuela should be held accountable for their actions.
"The selection process -- established by the government -- for the national constituent assembly was undemocratic. Venezuela must uphold the rights enshrined in the UN Charter and in human rights treaties to which the country is a signatory."
Quite a statement for someone who speaks for a government that, far from giving its own citizens any role in amending their constitution, just dismissed the results of its own much-hyped consultation on reforming Canada's electoral system because the results it came up with were not what the government wanted.
Asked about Canada's position on new sanctions the U.S. administration applied against high level Venezuelan government officials in retaliation for the holding of the election for a Constituent Assembly -- a move Chrystia Freeland was quick to "commend" on Canada's behalf -- a Trudeau government spokesperson told CBC, "Their sanctions regime makes it easier for them to act swiftly, but we continue to review [the U.S.] sanctions, monitor the situation and evaluate our options."
Peter Kent, Conservative Foreign Affairs Critic, commented on Freeland's election day statement saying, "Everything she's saying is in line with Canada's support for a free and fair vote as soon as possible and rejection of this phony Constituent Assembly, which is really a way of rigging single-party, single autocrat power. Our quibble is that it doesn't go far enough."
"We could do more on the humanitarian side, and we could certainly do more in joining other democratic countries who have already imposed new sanctions on Venezuela or have committed to do so if yesterday's election actually took place and the government moved forward to replace the legitimately elected members of the National Assembly," Kent said.
Hélène Laverdière, Foreign Affairs Critic for the New Democratic Party, was quoted as saying in a statement emailed to CBC:
"On the heels of Sunday's illegitimate constituent assembly vote, it's more important than ever for Canada to work with our allies and through multilateral groups like the OAS to secure a lasting resolution to the crisis.
"We would like to see the government be more active in providing humanitarian assistance, calling for the release of political prisoners, the holding of elections and respecting the National Assembly."
In a June 3 statement, the NDP had already made clear its support for the nefarious activities of Organization of American States (OAS) Secretary General Luis Almagro, including his repeated attempts to get a mandate from countries of the hemisphere to use the organization's Inter-American Democratic Charter to intervene against Venezuela in violation of the country's sovereignty.
On July 28 the Globe and Mail reported that Laverdière said Canada should "consult with allies to respond to the Venezuelan crisis" -- something the Liberals would say is exactly what they have been doing, scheming with the U.S. and its agent in the OAS, Almagro, along with Mexico and certain other neo-liberal governments to try and get a mandate for the OAS to intervene in Venezuela.
(CBC, Globe and Mail. Photos: TML, Hugo Chávez Peoples Defense Front)
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