Statement on the Anti-Venezuela Conference at Concordia University in Montreal
– ALBA Social Movements Canada –
The Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies at Concordia University in Montreal has announced a meeting to be held on October 8, under the title “The Crisis in Venezuela: a discussion with the Venezuelan Ambassador to Canada.” The fact that the person they announced as speaker is not the legitimate Ambassador of Venezuela assigned by the legitimate government of Venezuela shows that it is clearly part of the ongoing U.S.-led assault against Venezuela and the government of President Nicolás Maduro.
The meeting notice is designed to disinform and create maximum confusion in Canada about the problems faced by the Venezuelan people who are under brutal, illegal sanctions and a blockade intended to punish them for supporting the elected government.
To suggest that the guest speaker at this event is the Venezuelan Ambassador to Canada is a barefaced lie. He was not appointed by the legitimate government of President Nicolás Maduro but by the self-appointed “president” of a foreign backed opposition party the U.S. and Canada set up as a parallel government in the latest failed coup.
The meeting is held in the middle of a federal election to support the Canadian government’s active participation in the U.S.-led assault against Venezuela. Besides its support for the illegal sanctions and blockade imposed by the U.S., which constitutes collective punishment of populations and is a crime against humanity, Global Affairs Minister Freeland has been implementing an aggressive policy using “diplomatic means” to strangle the work of the Venezuelan Embassy in Ottawa to exert maximum pressure on the Venezuelan government.
Global Affairs began denying visas to Venezuelan diplomats in Canada in January 2019 in an effort to intervene in the legitimate activities of the diplomats which resulted in the closure of Venezuelan consulates in Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal.
On June 2, 2019, Freeland announced that Canada was “temporarily” closing its embassy in Venezuela and that Canada intended to evaluate the status of the Venezuelan diplomats to Canada appointed by President Nicolás Maduro.
Since that time, systematic measures have been taken by public and private institutions in the U.S. and Canada to prevent the Venezuelan Embassy from carrying out its consular and other duties. The Venezuelan Embassy in Ottawa is the only office representing the Government of Venezuela and is responsible for processing all applications for visas, passports and other official documents for Canada and the United States.
In addition to the attacks of the U.S. and Canadian governments, FedEx recently notified the Venezuelan embassy that it would no longer be handling any packets or parcels destined for U.S. addresses. The Chargé d’Affaire of the Embassy has also been directed by several banks to close all the Embassy accounts based in U.S. dollars.
All these measures are a result of the U.S. financial, economic and commercial blockade intended to suffocate Venezuela on all fronts, including through targeting the Embassy in Canada which has in spite of all the attacks carried out its duties with honour.
The hypocritical declarations in the meeting notice about Canada having supported Venezuelans in their “efforts to achieve political and economic reforms,” and the “restoration of democracy through peaceful and negotiated means” cannot hide the crimes that are being committed by the U.S. and Canada against the people of Venezuela. The confusion which meetings like this one at Concordia are intended to create, coming as it does when the U.S. and the forces it commands are busy trying to sabotage the prospects of Venezuelans resolving their problems peacefully through dialogue, serves to cover the ongoing attempt to ramp up the siege of Venezuela and its people, and is a prelude to the use of force.
ALBA Social Movements Canada calls on you to support the information picket in front of Concordia University on October 8, to protest the anti-Venezuela activity promoted by the Government of Canada and Canadian institutions.