At the International Peoples Assembly held in Caracas, Venezuela,
February 24-27, 2019, 400 delegates from more than 90 countries from
the five continents, reaffirmed their defence of the sovereignty and
self-determination of Venezuela, the Bolivarian Revolution and the
legitimate and constitutional President, Nicolás Maduro.
End U.S. Coup and
Threat of Invasion
International Peoples Assembly, Caracas, Venezuela, February 26, 2019.
Recent weeks have seen resistance at all levels to U.S.
imperialism's threatened use of force to overthrow the
constitutional government of Venezuela and put an end to the
people's Bolivarian Revolution. Important practical, moral and
political victories have been won through the fights that have
been waged, although the threat of a military attack, whether in
the name of "humanitarian intervention" or something else remains
Demonstrations in Venezuela and Around the World Say No
Demonstration in Caracas, Venezuela, March 9, 2019.
The latest mass rally on Saturday March 9 saw tens of
thousands of people take to the streets of Caracas on Venezuela's
National Anti-Imperialist Day. This year marked the fourth anniversary
of Barack Obama's signing of the first executive order declaring
Venezuela an "unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security
and foreign policy of the United States" which was accompanied with a
round of targeted sanctions. The rally began as the country was
recovering from an almost 24-hour electricity blackout reported to have
been an act of deliberate sabotage that affected most of the country.
At noon on Saturday another attack occurred, once again affecting much
of the country, and forcing electrical workers to begin the repair
process all over again.
The huge, colourful rally was characterized by the defiant, fighting
sprit of the people who showed more determination than ever to resist
and make sure that this and all of imperialism's criminal attempts to
force them to submit continue to meet with failure. Addressing the
people President Nicolas Maduro said they had overcome so many
challenges and would overcome this one as well. "We'll do it with
love, resistance and revolutionary courage," he said to repeated
applause and the shouting of slogans.
On February 23 and virtually every day since then,
of people have marched and rallied, filling the streets of
Caracas and other cities to say Hands Off Venezuela! and
show their support for their legitimate president Nicolás
Maduro, the Bolivarian government and its policy of
civic-military union in defence of the homeland. An International
Day of Action in Solidarity with Venezuela was also called for
February 23, bringing thousands of people into the streets in
cities and towns around the world to echo the demand Hands Off
Venezuela! and No! to a war on Venezuela (see photo
USAID Border Provocation Goes Up in Smoke
The week that began February 23 was not a good one for
the coup forces. First there was the epic fail of the much-hyped plan
of the U.S. and their puppet Juan Guaidó to take what they
called "aid" that had been delivered by the U.S. military to the
Colombian border city of Cúcuta into Venezuela despite the
border being closed.
Before anything else happened, at 8:30 am two large
armoured vehicles suddenly drove into a crowd of people on the
Venezuelan side of a concrete barrier blocking the Simon Bolívar
International bridge. The lead vehicle struck a number of people before
crashing into the barrier. A Chilean reporter who barely escaped being
killed was filmed picking herself up covered in blood. Showing no
concern for the people who were hit, three individuals, said to be
defecting members of Venezuela's National Guard, exited the vehicles
and ran through the breach into the arms of one of Guaidó's
cronies waiting for them on the Colombian side
Skirmishes carried on during the day, but none of the
USAID shipments ended up being taken into Venezuela despite the best
efforts of opposition leaders and supporters who had amassed on the
Colombian side to accompany loaded trucks as they drove onto the bridge
towards the barrier. Guaidó's henchmen tried to convince, then
threaten Venezuelan police holding the line on the bridge to step aside
and let them through, or better yet, desert. When that did not happen
and it was clear the cause was lost, the operation coordinator told
everyone they should just leave, which most did. Then under the
watchful eye of Colombian police who did nothing to stop them, a gang
of masked individuals began preparing and throwing molotov cocktails
and rocks at the Venezuelan police. Either deliberately or by accident
the bottles filled with burning gasoline they were throwing towards the
Venezuelan side ended up setting two "aid" trucks parked on the
bridge on fire.
Videos taken by TeleSUR the morning after showed that
the charred remains of what had been cargo on a burned out
flatbed "aid" truck were such things as coils of wire, spikes,
gas masks and whistles -- typically used by opposition forces in
Venezuela who set up deadly roadblocks known as guarimbas
in 2014 and 2017 consisting of wire strung across a roadway.
Happened on the Colombia-Venezuela Border on February 23,
The script for whatever was going to happen at the
border had been written well in advance by those directing the
operation so it was no surprise to hear them declare with certainty, in
spite of all the evidence, that "Maduro" had ordered the torching of
the trucks to prevent "humanitarian aid" from getting to the Venezuelan
Speaking at the UN Security Council on February 26
about those events, Vassily
Nebenzia, the Permanent Representative for Russia, said the U.S. "aid
operation" was an attempt to deliver some
uninspected cargo to Venezuela under a human shield of civilians,
calling it "an attempted illegal crossing of a state border in order to
deliver the unknown cargo." He accused the U.S. of trying to carry out
regime change in Venezuela under the guise of a "humanitarian
intervention" and "the responsibility to protect," concepts he said
were not recognized in international law. If the U.S. really wanted to
help the people of Venezuela, it would have acted through UN agencies
accredited in the country like others do, he said, noting that the week
before Russia had sent 7.5 tons of medical cargo to Caracas through the
World Health Organization with no trouble.
USAID has a long history of provocations and
interference in Venezuela to undermine the Bolivarian Revolution.
According to WikiLeaks, between 2004 and 2006, USAID carried out
various actions and gave $15 million to tens of civil organizations in
Venezuela to advance the strategy of former U.S. Ambassador to
Venezuela William Brownfield of causing a split in the Bolivarian
forces and fomenting discontent in certain sectors with
reforms of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV).
Lima Group Meeting in Bogotá
The Lima Group meeting on February 25 in Bogotá,
Colombia was attended by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and a
representative of the European Union (EU). It did not go the way
the U.S. or Juan Guaidó wanted.
Certainly the declaration issued
at the end of the meeting was full of venom directed against
Nicolás Maduro and his government regarding the February 23
events on the bridge and much more. It also called for tightening the
brutal economic siege against the country and stepping up attempts to
isolate the Bolivarian government while insisting on the "immediate
provision of humanitarian assistance." It contained language aimed at
getting a the UN Security Council to authorize an intervention against
Venezuela, saying that "the continuance of Nicolás Maduro and
his illegitimate regime in power represents an unprecedented threat to
security, peace, freedom and prosperity throughout the region," but the
U.S. was unsuccessful in getting the endorsement of the use of force it
wanted. When the EU representative spoke she rejected any use of force
as did Brazil's Vice President, Retired General Hamilton Mourão,
who said mistakes made in the "terrible" 20th century should not be
repeated, and that the region's commitment to peace should be upheld.
Mike Pence in the end could only remind everyone else that if a
"peaceful transition" is not possible, all options are still on the
table for the U.S.
The Argentinian newspaper La Politica Online
that Pence used the meeting to reproach Juan Guaidó for
the embarrassingly failed "aid" operation on February 23, which
was supposed to mark the beginning of the end for Nicolás
Maduro. It said Pence also took Guaidó to task for the
many other things that have not gone as the latter had hoped, like
his promise that if most of the world's leaders recognized him as
president, at least half of the Bolivarian National Armed Forces
officers would defect -- neither of which has happened.
Debate and Votes at the United Nations
Major political battles were also waged at the United
Nations Security Council in New York on February 26 and 28, and at the
UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on February 27. Venezuela's Foreign
Minister Jorge Arreaza and Ambassador to the UN Samuel Moncada
represented their country with conviction and honour at all times,
setting the record straight on many things including the economic war
Venezuela has been subjected to, social programs the government has in
place to counter its harmful effects on the population, and its policy
on accepting international assistance. Jorge Arreaza provided
photographic evidence of events that took place at the border with
Colombia on the weekend.
Arreaza made it clear that Venezuela does accept
humanitarian assistance but it should be done through the UN. He
said Venezuela is also able to pay for goods it needs but this is
made difficult if not impossible by the financial blockade
imposed by the U.S. The UN has worked out a mechanism to assist
Venezuela by facilitating the necessary payments, something the
EU recently agreed to utilize for the provision of some $2
billion worth of goods in the coming period.
Many other countries rose in
defence of the UN Charter and called for an end to the
interference and threats of a military intervention against
Venezuela and the use of unilateral coercive measures against it.
Arreaza said if the U.S. did not rule war out as an option it
cannot be a member of the United Nations. He thanked all the
countries of Latin America and the Caribbean for speaking out
against the threat of use of force despite their different
political positions, saying it contributed to the region being a
zone of peace.
Even though the U.S. had requested the Security Council
meeting to introduce a resolution to force Venezuela to accept "aid"
from forces hostile to its government that do not even recognize it,
the majority of countries said they were against any use of force. Many
called for Venezuelans to be allowed to solve their problems among
themselves. Those aligned with the Lima Group and its regime-change
agenda called for new "free and fair" presidential elections to be
held. Others, comprising the large majority of UN members, opposed any
kind of imposition on Venezuela, including an unwarranted election.
Some of these made a point of denouncing the U.S. bloody record of
invading countries, overthrowing governments and killing hundreds of
thousands of people in Latin America, the Caribbean and elsewhere, and
threatening Venezuela with the same.
At the Human Rights Council, Jorge Arreaza asked that
body to raise its voice in opposition to unilateral coercive measures
such as sanctions being used against any country, that are in flagrant
violation of the UN Charter and principles of civilized coexistence
between states. He repeated his government's invitation to the High
Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet to visit Venezuela to
see the situation in the country first hand – which she is now
scheduled to do later this month. He also reiterated President Maduro's
interest in establishing mechanisms for dialogue not only with the
Venezuelan opposition but with the Trump administration as well, saying
there was much the UN could do to bring the parties together. It must
also denounce the aggression against Venezuela, he said, adding that he
did not want to come back next year and speak about the victims of a
war against his country.
Draft resolutions were tabled at the Security Council
February 28 -- one by the U.S. and another by Russia. The U.S.
draft resolution called for the "unhindered access and delivery
of assistance" and for a process to be put in place for a new
presidential election. Russia's resolution expressed concern over
the threatened use of force, called for humanitarian assistance
to be coordinated with the Venezuelan government and called for
support for "mechanisms that seek to promote peace and dialogue
in Venezuela, such as the Montevideo Mechanism." It also urged
states to uphold the principles enshrined in the UN Charter. As
could be expected neither resolution prospered. The U.S.
resolution was supported by a majority of 9 to 3 and was vetoed
by Russia and China. Three countries abstained. The Russian
resolution was defeated 7 to 4 without the need of a veto. Four
After the votes were taken, Ambassador Samuel Moncada
asked how the Security Council could permit the open violation of its
Charter, giving the example of the illegal economic war against
Venezuela, with more than $30 billion stolen from the people. Plunder
and pillage cannot be hidden under a mantle of humanitarianism, he
said. Moncada concluded his speech saying that what Venezuela demanded
of the Security Council was a clear pronouncement rejecting the use of
military force, and to ask that all the principles of the UN's founding
Charter be upheld, naming seven such principles that are being openly
violated by those interfering in Venezuela's affairs today.
The peoples of the world want the UN Charter upheld.
They want problems sorted out through peaceful means by upholding the
principles the UN is founded on, enshrined in its Charter. The
initiative of 60 countries this month to form a new group at the UN to
defend the Charter and put its principles into practice without double
standards in the interests of all countries, big and small, is a
positive step towards defeating those who claim the groups they are
setting up defend "a rules-based international order" to cover up that
they do not uphold the international rule of law as enshrined in the UN
1. "The 10 Functions of USAID, the
'Humanitarian' Mega-Agency of the CIA," Nazanín Armanian,
Publico.es, March 2, 2019.
Denounces Trump's Propaganda
Campaign to Overthrow the Bolivarian Government
- Venezuelan Ministry of People's Power
February 25, 2019 -
False flag operation on bridge near Venezuelan border with Colombia,
February 23, 2019.
The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela denounces before
world that the government of the United States, along with a
subordinate group of countries, heads a fierce campaign to
overthrow the Government of Venezuela and Constitutional
President Nicolás Maduro Moros, in open violation of the most
basic principles of Public International Law.
On February 23, Trump's administration tried to
and forcefully enter into Venezuelan territory some cargo of
so-called aid without the Venezuelan authorities consent, in the
guise of an unprecedented propaganda action, with the objective
of generating chaos and violence, by attempting to violate the
territorial integrity of our country.
The intended false flag operation foiled last weekend
recorded by several media and rejected by United Nations and
International Red Cross -- was aimed at facilitating a foreign
military intervention from neighbouring countries, as part of the
coup d'état against the legitimate authorities of the
Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela publicly instigated by the U.S.
Once more, the U.S. regime disastrously failed in its
for activating an interventionist military plan, despite the
continued attacks undertaken from Colombian territory against the
Venezuelan security officers who stoically and prudently
safeguarded and protected our national sovereignty. In this
sense, Venezuela denounces that the aggressors counted on the
support and protection of the authorities of the Republic of
Today, United States Vice-President, as the
of the group of countries cartelized against Venezuela, announced
the intended adoption of new unilateral coercive measures against
elected Governors of the country, and he also tried to instruct
other countries to join the gross plundering of the Republic's assets
already implemented by Washington, which includes [Petróleos de
Venezuela S.A., Venezuela's state-owned oil and natural gas company]
properties valued at $30 billion.
Venezuela, calls upon the international community to
in defence of the purposes and principles of the Charter of the
United Nations since their violation jeopardizes international
peace and security. The defence of multilateralism and
international law we make today shall be the guarantee of future
Two hundred years ago, the people of Venezuela defeated
then most powerful empire and it will defeat any current
imperialist intention. Venezuela is irrevocably free and
independent and demands respect for its sovereignty,
self-determination and integrity.
Minister Jorge Arreaza, addressing the UN Security Council on
February 26, 2019, discussed the use of false flags in a staged
operation ordered by right-wing opposition members in
Lima Group Summit
- La Politica Online -
Protest outside Lima Group meeting in Bogotá, Colombia, February
The regional summit in Bogotá, led by Mike Pence,
left Donald Trump's Vice-President with a bitter aftertaste. The
failure of the humanitarian aid operation to Venezuela, which was
supposed to mark the beginning of the end of Nicolás Maduro's
regime, was the icing on an acrid cake.
Sources aware of what happened confirmed to La Politica Online that Pence laid
out for the president "in charge" Juan Guaidó, a harsh diagnosis
of everything that was failing in the offensive against the Chavista
His biggest complaint was about the continued loyalty
armed forces to Maduro. So far, only about 300 troops have left
the government, out of a total of 300,000 armed men. Nothing.
Guaidó had promised the U.S. government that if
of the world's leaders recognized him as the highest authority in
Venezuela, at least half of the officers would defect. It did not
happen. The United States managed to get no less than 50
presidents to recognize the president of the Venezuelan Assembly,
but so far the armed forces are still with Maduro.
For this reason, Guaidó began shaming the main
commanders of the Venezuelan Army over social media aiming to
force their desertion. So far it has not been proven that this
new tactic, or the media amplification of the few defections that
have resulted, have shaken the foundations of the Venezuelan
military alliance with the Chavista regime.
With Pence present, the Lima Group rejected a military
intervention in Venezuela.
Freeland tweeted this photo of her consoling
Guaido after he was severely criticized by Pence for his failures at
the Lima Group meeting in
Remember she is credited with accomplishing the daunting task of
bringing the divided Venezuelan opposition factions together to agree
on him as
their "legitimate president."
In that tense discussion in Bogotá, there were
from U.S. officials about another of the assumptions that
Guaidó transmitted at the beginning of the offensive
against the regime: that Maduro's social base has disintegrated.
The crisis revealed that, indeed, the support of his government
waned, but it is not non-existent.
In that sense there were reproaches shared about the
commitment of the Venezuelan millionaires living abroad. A more
determined contribution of money was expected to finance the
defection of police, military and politicians to Guaidó.
So far it has not happened. That is why important decision-making
centres of the international community begin to warn that the
Venezuelan opposition could lose the momentum that it gained with
the emergence of Guaidó.
This was seen in the Lima Group meeting in
which ended without any important definition on what course of
action to take, after the failure of the operation to send in
humanitarian aid. Guaidó had bet on Pence announcing the
use of force to remove Maduro from power, but the Vice-President
cooled those expectations.
At the end of the dialogue that Pence and Guaidó
in Bogotá, a very sensitive issue was addressed: How to
guarantee the personal safety of the president "in charge," who
they believe to be very compromised if he returns to Caracas.
One of the ideas considered was to see how
it was for the president "in charge" to take control of a part
of the Venezuelan territory, where the local military would
guarantee security and recognize him as the highest
(February 27, 2019. Translated from the
original Spanish by TML.)
On the weekend of February 23-24, rallies, marches,
pickets and other actions were held in more than 150 cities and towns
around the world in solidarity with the people of Venezuela and their
Bolivarian revolution. The rallying cry of actions everywhere was
"Hands Off Venezuela! No U.S. War on Venezuela!"
Asia and Oceania
Latin America and the Caribbean
Bolivia, February 25
Bolivia, February 22
New York City, NY
Ohio Valley, WV
Santa Monica, CA
(Photos: TML, D. Penner, K.
Jones, P. Graham. D. Gillan, No
War on Venezuela, Hands Off Venezuela, PCFS, Green Left, JJCC, La
Lucha, D. Lawvere, D. Boose, I. Martinez, Frente Independente Boricao,
J. Catron, A. Azikiwe, WW, New Normal Photo, W. Bopm, K. De Franco,
Ohio Valley Peace, NC Greens, G. Rubac, C.V. Nananjo, Denver Peace
Council, IAC, LMS, World Peace Council, Venesol, Y. Gil, ARG provincia,
Hamburg Venezuelan Consulate, PCE Asturia, J. Rily)
U.S. and Canada
Must Stop Trying to
the Venezuelan Government
- Windsor Peace Coalition -
To be considered humanitarian, any international
offered to a country must be based simply on the notion that as
human beings we should support one another when we are in need,
not on ulterior motives. In the case of Venezuela today alleged
humanitarian aid is being used to try to incite a civil war and
foreign aggression led by the United States.
This was the case with incidents on February 23 when
and the unelected self-proclaimed "interim president" of
Venezuela Juan Guaidó tried to force the entry of
unauthorized goods into the country from neighbouring Colombia.
The U.S. itself said its stunt at the border was in fact a test
of Venezuela's military forces. What does this mean? The U.S. and
Guaidó have been blackmailing and threatening Venezuelan
armed forces members to turn their back on their duty to defend
the constitution, and instead carry out a coup against the
country's legitimate executive authority, including the President
of Venezuela Nicolás Maduro. It did not work. It did not
work because what the U.S. organized on Venezuela's border had
nothing to do with humanitarian principles but was an attempt to
create a trigger for a foreign invasion.
It is to Canada's shame that instead of trying to
to a calm and peaceful atmosphere for Venezuelans to resolve
their problems internally without foreign interference, it rushed
in on February 23 to repeat absurd accusations of U.S. officials
who tried to blame the government of Venezuela for burning a
truck -- said to be carrying aid, surrounded by provocateurs
throwing Molotov cocktails -- on the Colombian side of an
international bridge and with the permission of Colombian
The United Nations and the Red Cross both refused to
participate in the U.S. operation citing its political rather
than humanitarian motivation.
Venezuela is going through a severe economic crisis
inflation and shortages of imported medicines and foods, largely
brought on by a deliberate strangulation of the country's economy
by those whose aim is regime change. Countries that do not have
an embargo against Venezuela and its government can ship aid by
air or sea as Mexico, Russia, China, Cuba, and others have done
recently. Cuba in fact has also assisted by having over 18,000
health care workers in Venezuela. Venezuela is itself well known
internationally for the development assistance it has provided
developing countries, especially sister nations in the Caribbean.
None of this aid was ever used to try to carry out regime
change. Canada should follow this example.
The Venezuelan government has said it will accept aid
delivered through the United Nations. The UN has worked out ways
for Venezuela to import needed goods so that it does not come up
against U.S. sanctions designed to prevent it from accessing
international payment and loan systems controlled by U.S.
financial institutions. Going through the UN system should also
help countries and businesses involved in providing or shipping
goods to Venezuela avoid the risk of incurring penalties from the
U.S. for doing business with Venezuela. This shows how the U.S.
blockades of Cuba and other countries work as well. It is a
perverse form of collective punishment aimed directly at a
nation's people, especially the most vulnerable, intended to
pressure them to turn against their government. It not only
violates international law but is profoundly inhumane and amounts
to an act of war.
The humanitarian position today is to say End the
economic blockade; No to
regime change; and No to a
brutal war of
conquest in Latin America. It is to call for political solutions
which start from recognizing Venezuela's sovereignty and
independence and rejecting military solutions based on the use or
threat of force, which is illegal! All support should be given to
measures which promote dialogue between and amongst Venezuelans
to resolve their differences in a peaceful manner and in
accordance with their constitution.
(March 2, 2019)
Reply to the CBC
by Cuba's Ambassador
Canada, H.E. Josefina Vidal
On Sunday, March 3,
the CBC ran a tendentious and
manipulative article making slanderous claims about the relations
between Cuba and Venezuela. The Ambassador of Cuba to Canada HE
Josefina Vidal, sent the CBC the following fitting reply.
To the Editor of CBC News
I reject categorically and in the strongest terms the
tendentious and manipulative article "Canada at odds with Cuba
'ally' over Maduro's fate," written by journalist Evan Dyer and
published today, Sunday, March 3, 2019, by CBC News.
Good journalism does not speculate, it informs
The assertion that thousands
of Cubans would allegedly
inserted into the structures of the armed and security forces of
Venezuela, holding the government of (legitimate) President
Nicolás Maduro, is a scandalous slander. I demand that CBC
News present a proof, which evidently it does not have, since it
does not appear in the whole article.
What Cuba has been offering Venezuela for many years is
modest cooperation, in which slightly more than 20,000 Cuban
collaborators participate, 94 per cent of them health workers,
others in education, as they do in 83 countries around the
It is unfortunate that CBC News plays into the hands of
government of the United States, whose President happened to
accuse Cuba a few days ago of maintaining a "private army" in
Venezuela, a statement that is vile.
It is regrettable that CBC News does not denounce the
government's military aggression plans against the Bolivarian
Republic of Venezuela, and the fact that it openly declares that
its ultimate objective is to overthrow the Cuban Revolution. What
else to expect from a sinister character like John Bolton, who in
2002 organized the coup against Venezuela, while accusing Cuba of
developing a biological weapons program at a time when the false
pretext of the presence of WMD in Iraq was fabricated to launch
the war against that country? The latter lie was quickly denied
by the US Intelligence Community itself.
Let's hope that CBC News, with its biased coverage,
support the aggression of the United States against the peoples
of our America, and then apologize, as so many media
organizations had to do after the war against Iraq. Our peoples
will not forget.
As the Cuban Government recently stated, what is at
today in Venezuela is "the sovereignty and dignity of Latin
America and the Caribbean" , "the survival of the rule of
International Law and the UN Charter" "and whether the legitimacy
of a government emanates from the express and sovereign will of
its people, or from the recognition of foreign powers". "History
will severely judge a new imperialist military intervention in
the region and the complicity of those who might irresponsibly
Ambassador of Cuba to Canada
Ottawa, March 3, 2019
Attempt to Legitimate
Aggression and War
- ALBA Social Movements Canada, Ottawa
A recent news item, "Canada at Odds with Cuban Ally
Maduro's Fate," written by Evan Dyer, is a continuation of CBC
News' campaign of vicious lies and distortions about the struggle
of the Venezuelan people who are defending their independence and
sovereignty against foreign aggression.
To call the CBC News
coverage yellow journalism is
to characterize the dirty role it plays to justify aggression and
war against Venezuela.
This latest baseless pack of lies and slander published
March 3, 2019, makes it clear that CBC News and Global Affairs
Canada have become one, and that all pretence of basic
journalistic integrity have been totally abandoned.
Dyer's diatribe, based on unsubstantiated statements
Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, states that
"thousands of Cubans in Venezuela" are acting as "intelligence
operators," and the "Cubans are calling the shots" to keep the
government in power.
CBC News and Global Affairs Canada, having failed in
miserable attempt at a coup d'état and invasion to overthrow the
Maduro government and not succeeding in their grand attempt to
conjure up a mass uprising of the Venezuelan people and mass
defections from the Venezuelan armed forces, now have as their Plan B
blaming the Cubans!
Dyer's two-bit yellow journalism expects people to
the preposterous claims that Freeland and her cronies are
defending the autonomy of Venezuela against "Cuban domination."
It would be funny if it were not so tragic to hear these
calumnies which claim that Cuba is propping up the Maduro
government while remaining silent about the scum the U.S. is
propping up in that country.
The Trump administration's new point man for Venezuela
Elliott Abrams who, as a major architect of the so-called
Iran-Contra dirty war, will be forever remembered for the crimes
committed against the people of Nicaragua for which he was
convicted in 1991. He was also accused of covering up many
atrocities committed by the paramilitaries set in motion by the
U..S government in El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala.
The other key figure is National Security Advisor John
who recently declared that the U.S. will invade Venezuela and
imprison its president at the U.S. prison camp in Guantánamo.
Mr. Dyer forgot to inform us in his article that these
Chrystia Freeland's working partners who are dedicated to
"defending the autonomy of Venezuela." Desperate to legitimate
their plans to overthrow the Maduro government and to destroy the
peace in the Americas by appeasing the U.S. imperialist invasion
of Venezuela, they are concocting wild stories to cover up that
the Venezuelan people are in control of their Bolivarian
What the CBC is passing off
as journalism are stories
U.S. imperialist political police. It is no accident that it
comes soon after Donald Trump gave the call to obliterate
socialism and that once he settles accounts with Venezuela,
Nicaragua and Cuba will follow.
Canadians will not stand for Canada's activities to
the international rule of law in the mud. With this article, the
CBC has wantonly abandoned journalistic integrity. CBC
journalists and Canadians who listen to the CBC believing it to
have integrity should be greatly alarmed to see what Canada's
official news agency is doing. Political interference in how the
CBC reports on the news is as intolerable as political
interference which serves narrow interests in the judiciary or
any other aspect of life. Virulent hatred for the people of
Venezuela and their government will not make the U.S. imperialist
plans to overthrow Maduro and take over Venezuela succeed.
Canadians join the peoples of Our America to demand that Latin
America and the Caribbean remain a Zone of Peace and that any
conflicts be sorted out through dialogue and political negotiation,
not flagrant lies, provocations and attempts to justify what
cannot be justified.
(For the scurrilous CBC News article, click
(March 4, 2019)
A Concert for
- Alfredo Serrano Mancilla -
Let's start at the beginning and without detours.
According to the European Commission, based on its own index
(prepared by the Permanent Inter-Agency Committee of the
Reference Group on Risks, Early Warnings and Readiness, INFORM),
Colombia is the Latin American country with the highest risk of
humanitarian crisis, above Guatemala, Mexico, Honduras and, of
A poor child in Colombia would have to wait 330 years
average to stop being poor, according to a report by the
Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The
passage of 11 generations is required.
One in ten children in Colombia suffer from chronic
malnutrition, according to the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).
A report from the [Colombian] National Administrative Department of
Statistics (DANE) indicates that 1,562 children died from malnutrition
throughout the national territory between 2012 and 2016. According to
the same UNICEF, 1 in 3 children live in multidimensional poverty
conditions and half of all children under two years of age are in
Colombia ranks third, among 175 countries, with the
rate of child homicide in the world, according to the latest
report of the international NGO Save the Children for the years
In the last 11 months, 162 human rights defenders and
leaders in 99 municipalities throughout the country were
murdered, according to data from the Colombian Ombudsman's
According to the latest Transparency International
Colombia has worsened its Perception of Corruption Index, which
is already in the 99th position of the 180 countries analyzed.
Corruption in Colombia costs $18,400 million annually,
according to the General Comptroller's Office of the State; that
means something more than 5 per cent of GDP, or 15 per cent of the
In Colombia, attacks against journalists increased by
89 per cent
between 2015 and 2018, according to the Foundation for Press
Freedom. In fact, Colombia is (along with Mexico and Brazil)
among the 14 leading countries in the world where murderers of
journalists are not punished in the courts, according to the
global index of impunity prepared by the Committee to Protect
Colombia continues to be the country with the largest
of internally displaced persons in the world, with 7.7 million
people in 2017, according to research published by the United
Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
Economically, the index of industrial activity in
fell from 25 to 12 per cent of GDP between 1970 and 2016, according to
figures from the Central Bank of Colombia. And, by contrast,
banking assets have risen in recent years, reaching 48 per cent of GDP
(the figure was 23 per cent in 1990), while 55 per cent of workers earn
the minimum wage.
The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) warns of a very
problematic situation in Colombia. In its latest report, it
states: "the anti-money-laundering systems and tools and those
against the financing of terrorism are not completely in line
with the risk-based approach and there are important gaps in the
supervision of activities." This report determines that Colombia
has ignored the reality of the total amount of money laundered in
the country. In a World Bank study, it was estimated that the
volume of laundered assets in the Colombian economy amounts to
7.5 per cent of GDP.
For its part, in the democratic field, Colombia is the
country in the region with the lowest level of electoral
participation in all of Latin America. Between 1994 and 2018, the
average number of abstentions for presidential appointments was
54.21 per cent. Two additional data confirm this weakness of the
Colombian democratic system: a) in the plebiscite on peace
accords, abstention was 62.57 per cent, and b) the popular
anti-corruption referendum held in 2018 had an abstention rate of
67.96 per cent.
For all this, and for much more, Your Excellency
the Republic of Colombia, Mr. Ivan Duque Márquez, I propose that
you summon the Lima Group to try to obtain help for your country
that, apparently, needs it according to the data of multiple
international organizations. I suggest that you go to the United
Nations or, if you prefer, to the Organization of American States
(OAS), to find the relevant support for your country. And if none
of this appeals to you, there is always a concert.
(CELAG, February 26, 2019. Translated
Spanish by TML)
Chronology of a
Strategy to Destroy
- Misión Verdad -
Sanctions against Venezuela are real and palpable
mechanisms of destruction of the State, its identity and, with it, of
Venezuelan society. They form part of a war strategy based on the
application of different resources and sophisticated tools of financial
hegemony against basic aspects of our national life. Although in
Venezuela there are no bombs falling and we don’t see any U.S. Marines
disembarking along the coasts, there is plenty of evidence of the
national and international resources of permanent aggression being used
on the part of corporate and political sectors.
In this context, since 1999, the internal manoeuvres of
anti-Chavismo have alternated between low-profile mechanisms such
as boycott or corporate disinvestment and forceful actions such
as the April 2002 coup or the oil lockout.
Since 2015, when the then president of the United
States, Barack Obama, declared Venezuela to be an "unusual and
extraordinary threat to the national security of the United States,"
the political vanguard and leadership of anti-Chavismo irrefutably
became the transnational elite that governs in Washington, giving
greater hardness to a string of measures that have led not only the
destruction of the national economy but also seriously modified the
cultural perception of the issue.
This is understood in its full dimension with the declarations of Jack
Lew, former Secretary of the Treasury during the Obama Administration,
who stated that "sanctions are the silver bullet of U.S. foreign policy
because they are more effective and cheaper for subduing enemies than
traditional power, because they have influence in the U.S. financial
markets, the central nerve of the globalized economy." Sanctions, thus,
are siege measures against fortresses, like in the medieval era,
updated for this new era of intelligent, technologized, globalized
power, where each nerve that is connected to that power functions to
make their enemies submit, according to Lew.
2015: United States Assumes Command of Anti-Chavismo
Ottawa, March 26, 2015.
The financial blockade has mutated from the attack on
debt, through isolation by the US financial system, to the
application of espionage techniques that chase after Venezuelan
transactions and withhold funds destined for the import of food
Since then, Venezuela has suffered the effects of the
oil prices due to the fact that the United States agreed with
Saudi Arabia to aggressively increase oil production in order to
lower prices and affect important oil-producing countries such as
Venezuela, Russia and Iran.
In addition, the economy began to deteriorate due to a
lack of income and by the activities of a company created in Miami in
2010, called DólarToday, which artificially devalued the
currency in order to induce an inflationary spiral. Venezuela lost
approximately 60 per cent of its national income that year.
The Executive Order (13692) signed by the Obama
Administration in March 2015 initiated financial blockade actions
against Venezuela and, with it, the U.S. government made the economic
attack against the country legal, based on the Emergency Law of International Economic
Powers, activated at the constitutional level, to provide
whichever administration with tools to "defend" itself from the threat.
Under this pretext, the White House placed its
system, through the Treasury Department, on alert with respect to
Venezuelan financial operations.
With the excuse of blocking the movement of unverified
personal accounts of, up to that point, seven Venezuelan officials,
this legal instrument has prohibited the Venezuelan state’s use of the
U.S. financial system for importing food and medicines.
At the same time, risk-rating agencies, agencies
the United States to destabilize sovereign countries, published a
global map of "risky countries". This is to supplement the
economic-financial siege against the Venezuelan government's
recovery plans, as a result of the fall in oil prices.
Venezuela was catalogued by the French financial
Coface as the country with the highest risk in Latin America,
similar to African countries that are currently in situations of
armed conflict. The "study" was carried out based on the negative
ratings of the three major U.S. rating agencies, Standard and
Poor's, Fitch Rating and Moody's, which were largely responsible
for the global financial collapse of 2008.
From 2015 onwards, the country-risk variable began to
increase artificially in order to hinder the entry of international
financing and, until the first half of 2018, these three major rating
agencies have stepped up their attacks against Venezuela, taking no
account of the on-time Venezuelan debt payments, in order to push the
country towards default and project a situation of insecurity for
potential foreign investment.
In this context of a siege based on social discontent
produced by the fall in oil prices, scarcity, shortages and a wave of
looting, anti-Chavismo won the majority in the National Assembly and
set a higher stage, now from the National Assembly, for financial
aggression against Venezuela.
2016: Financial Siege and the Default That Did Not
In April 2016, the International Monetary Fund warned
of the "economic catastrophe" in Venezuela through a report, generating
expectations of collapse, inflation and scarcity to legitimize the
actions of economic warfare carried out by Fedecámaras and
Consecomercio, Venezuela's two main associations of the private sector.
The National Assembly, in contempt for incorporating
three deputies whose elections were demonstrably fraudulent, approved
legal instruments in May and August that declared "null" the oil
contracts, foreign investments and the incurring of new debt on the
part of the country, trying in this way to prevent fresh money from
entering the State coffers.
During 2016 and 2017, Venezuelan accounts in the United
States were closed by large private banks, such as Citibank and
JP Morgan, because Executive Order 13692 empowered the Treasury
Department to use surveillance mechanisms for Venezuela's
financial transactions in the United States.
With the excuse of protecting its financial system from
"corrupt officials," the aim was to isolate Venezuela from the
U.S. financial system and obstruct both its imports and the
payment of foreign debt. Commerzbank, Germany's second-largest
bank, joined in.
In July 2016, the country risk index EMBI, created by
Morgan Bank, placed Venezuela with the worst score in the world
(2640 points) below countries at war like Ukraine, even though
the Venezuelan state paid $6 billion in foreign debt that
same year. In September, PDVSA made an offer to swap US$7.1
billion in bonds in order to ease its payments, and the three
major U.S. risk-rating agencies sought to frighten investors by
declaring default if they agreed to Venezuela state-owned oil
In November, JP Morgan issued a false default alert on
alleged PDVSA debt default of $404 million to generate
fear in the financial world and damage the image of the
state-owned company. The US oil company ConocoPhillips also sued
PDVSA before a Delaware court for its bond swap operation in
order to frighten the participants and thus make the operation
In this aggressive environment against the Venezuelan
economy, inflation through the DólarToday effect closed at
approximately 800 per cent, according to figures leaked to some
2017: Embargo, Failure of Violence and Further
May 22, 2017, burning of public transit buses during escalation of
violence by anti-Chavismo forces.
In April 2017, the illegally elected president of the
National Assembly, Julio Borges, demanded that more than 20
international banks cease their economic and financial ties with
Venezuela. In May, he declared the purchase of US$865 million in
PDVSA bonds by the U.S. bank Goldman Sachs, "null".
In his eagerness to coordinate financial and economic
sanctions against Venezuela, and using the National Assembly as
an instrument to legitimize the financial blockade, Borges met
with the then White House national security advisor General H.R.
McMaster. In this way the financial blockade prevented the
country from importing food and medicines necessary for its
Supported by the United States and the Organization of
American States, Venezuelan
anti-Chavismo undertook a new escalation of chaos and violence
more intense and dangerous than that of 2014, which caused
millions of dollars in losses to the country and left a
lamentable toll of 130 dead and thousands injured. Likewise, the
United States sanctioned more than 20 Venezuelan officials,
representatives of all public powers and those responsible for
maintaining internal order, as a measure to feed the chaos of the
violent street protests (guarimbas).
As an extreme measure, President Nicolás Maduro
in May for the election of a National Constituent Assembly (ANC),
whose election took place in July amid intense violence. More
than 8 million Venezuelans participated in the election and with
it a traumatic scenario of violence was brought to an end. The
country regained political and social stability in the face of a
cycle of aggressions aimed at removing President Nicolás
Maduro and destroying the current constitutional framework.
In May 2017 elections were called for a National Constituent Assembly.
2017 After the National Constituent Assembly Election:
The days between August and November were the most
dynamic in terms of the aggression against Venezuela that year. When
the guarimbas failed, Europe
entered the destabilizing game; in August the Swiss bank Credit Suisse
prohibited its clients from carrying out financial transactions with
Venezuela, as Julio Borges had requested in April.
In an executive order, Trump prohibited the purchase of
Venezuelan debt and the repatriation of dividends from CITGO,
PDVSA's U.S. subsidiary, thus closing two key financing channels
for a Venezuela devastated by the guarimbas.
The U.S. then began executing an undeclared oil
private banks, pressured by the Treasury Department, refused to
issue letters of credit for the purchase of Venezuelan crude oil,
thus negatively affecting the nation's revenues.
PBF Energy, one of the largest refineries in Venezuela,
to give up its economic ties to the country as a result of the
In September, the Treasury Department, through its
Crimes Control Network (FINCEN), issued an alert called "red
flags" that imposes a surveillance and control system on
Venezuela's financial transactions to prevent the payment of food
and medicines while, as a result of Trump's sanctions issued in
August, CITGO began to have difficulties acquiring crude oil for
its refineries and keeping its operations stable.
In this context, some 300,000 doses of insulin paid for
the Venezuelan government did not reach the country because
Citibank boycotted its purchase. At the same time, the
disembarkation of 18 million Local Committees for Supply and Production
(CLAP) food boxes into Venezuela was
interrupted by the obstacles imposed by the U.S. financial
system, given that its authorities closed 52 Venezuelan bank
accounts in entities such as Wells Fargo, East and City, because
of their owners supposed links to the Venezuelan government.
While this was happening, regional elections were held
with more than 11 million votes cast in the process. Chavismo won 19
out of 23 governorships in elections called by the ANC in which
anti-Chavismo political parties such as Acción
Democrática and Voluntad Popular participated.
In spite of this, even though in the last three years
Venezuela never stopped honouring its international commitments,
in November the European company Euroclear, founded by JP Morgan,
decided to withhold $1.65 billion that were destined for
the purchase of food and medicine.
The Americas Committee of the International Swaps and
Derivatives Association (ISDA) declared Venezuela in default,
ignoring the payment of $70 billion in debt in the
previous two years. Meanwhile JP Morgan again increased Venezuela's
country-risk to 2,989 points, the worst figure since 2014, when
it stood at 1,458 points.
Risk-rating agency Standard and Poor's declared
"selective default" because it was unable to honour debt
commitments because the sanctions limited the country's financial
transactions in the U.S. payment system. With these manoeuvres
they tried to open the door to the confiscation of PDVSA's
That same November the U.S. bond manager Wilmington
accused Corpoelec (Venezuela's national electricity company) of
not cancelling debt interest in the order of $27 million,
just when the country was experiencing a total blockade of its means
of payment in the U.S. financial system.
So much so that a shipment of Primaquina, a medicine
treat malaria, did not enter the country because of the blockade
of a Colombian laboratory called BSN Medical, and 23 operations
in the international financial system were returned: a total of
$39 million for food, basic supplies and medicines.
In December, 19 other Venezuelan bank accounts abroad
arbitrarily closed by U.S. banks, preventing payments to
creditors, while Venezuela's right-wing opposition decided not to
participate in the municipal elections after its defeat in the
October regional elections. Chavismo again won by a landslide,
gaining more than 95 per cent of all mayors.
2018-2019: A Colossal and Multifaceted Attack
In January 2018, the current CIA chief and U.S.
State Mike Pompeo said at a conference at the American Business
Institute that the financial sanctions against Venezuela had been
coordinated by him directly with President Trump.
At the same time, eleven Venezuelan and PDVSA bonds,
$1.241 billion, could not be paid to their creditors
because of the obstacle of the sanctions. The National Assembly
(still in contempt) passed a motion in which it criminalized the
Venezuelan cryptocurrency the Petro, confirming its desire to
keep the country without sources of financing.
In March, the Trump Administration, by executive order,
declared illegal the purchase or other operations related to the
Petro by U.S. companies and citizens. With this manoeuvre it
legalized the agreement of the National Assembly affecting the
initial pre-sale and the resources that would enter the country
in a context where another $2.5 billion belonging to
Venezuela were retained in U.S. banks. Much of this money was to
be used to pay international creditors.
In that month, fifteen Venezuelan boxers were unable to
travel to the 2018 Central American and Caribbean Games (CAC)
qualifying event in Mexico due to the financial sanctions that
prevented the processing of payments for logistics. Once this
stumbling block was overcome, the next drama was that Colombia
blocked its air space for these boxers to make the trip.
The Colombian government blocked 400,000 kilos of food
CLAP boxes that would enter the country to strengthen this food
program by which more than 6 million families are fed
throughout the country.
Former Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos announced at a conference
the theft of 400
tons of food in CLAP boxes
(Casa de Nariño)
In April, the United States and Colombia created a
intelligence group to block the importation of food and medicines,
internationalizing financial suffocation. And in May, the U.S.
oil company ConocoPhillips executed a series of embargoes against
PDVSA's assets for claims of a $2.4 billion arbitration
award against the International Chamber of Commerce.
This manoeuvre not only affected its existing capacity
international arena, but also limited the country's income from
the sale of crude oil, thus intensifying the damage to the heart
of the national economy and seeking to further dissolve the
social fabric that sustains part of its stability.
This was joined by the Canadian-owned mining company
Rusoro, which filed a lawsuit seeking to join the assets of CITGO and
some of PDVSA's as payment for an arbitration award of $1.2 billion.
The Canadian contractor SNC-Lavalin also sued PDVSA before a New York
court for more than $25 million for alleged non-payment of debt.
Thus, the United States reinforced its policy of
suffocation and sequestration of Venezuelan resources by limiting
both the sale of Venezuelan oil assets on U.S. soil and the
settlement of accounts receivable, in retaliation for the
presidential triumph of Chavismo on May 20.
In turn, the countries of the Lima Group agreed,
Trump's policy, to use the financial intelligence of their
respective states to chas after Venezuela's transactions,
accounts and financial operations. The result of all this was a
sharp drop in imports, which went from $60 billion a year
between 2011 and 2013 to a total of $12 billion in 2017.
One of the culminating points of this phase of
without a doubt, is the embargo of PDVSA's company on U.S.
territory, CITGO, announced by the director of the National
Security Council, John Bolton, consistent with the imposition of
an oil embargo against the country.
This seeks to further damage the ability to obtain
for Venezuela and, therefore, pay for imports, given that the
effects of this virtual embargo are, according to The New York
Times, immediately "atrocious", considering that in the first
week of its imposition Venezuelan oil sales to the United States
declined by 40 per cent.
Thus, the scenario of a "humanitarian crisis" that has
configured serves the interventionist pretensions that underpin
Juan Guaidó's "interimship" in the framework of a
definitive strategy to assault our resources and our national
Dislocating the Country Is the Fundamental Objective
Historical data show that the financial blockade has
set the stage for the intervention and international recognition of a
parallel government (Libyan case), create economic incentives for
mercenary movements stimulated by the CIA (Yugoslavian case), weaken
the armed force of a government not aligned with Washington and
strengthen the firepower of paramilitary groups (Syrian case), fracture
the political-military high command using the precarious conditions of
the population as a means of political pressure (Cuban case) or hitting
the oil industry and internal conditions as a political weapon to
impede energy development (Iranian case).
The financial blockade against Venezuela pursues the
destruction of the national economy, the dismantling of the
social achievements of the Chávez era and the affectation
of the poorest population that since 1998 has proved to be the
most solid political basis of Chavismo and, above all, the
undermining of national confidence that the country's internal
potential (its population and strategic resources) can provide
the necessary resources to regain stability.
In short: the fiancial blockade aims to completely deny
the right of a nation to determine for itself its own solutions in the
face of difficulties, and to decide its own future beyond the decisions
taken in a few offices far away from the country.