- UPDATES from 23. January to 15. February 2019 see below
Venezuela: USAmerican VP Pence Calls for Overthrow of President Maduro
The United States is continuing to ratchet up pressure on Venezuela in what appears to be part of a coordinated effort to remove Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro from office. On Tuesday, Vice President Mike Pence posted a video message online telling Venezuelan opposition leaders and protesters that the U.S. supports their efforts to oust Maduro.
Vice President Mike Pence: “I’m Mike Pence, the vice president of the United States. And on behalf of President Donald Trump and all the American people, let me express the unwavering support of the United States as you, the people of Venezuela, raise your voices in a call for freedom. Nicolás Maduro is a dictator with no legitimate claim to power.”
Venezuelan President Maduro responded by saying he would revise diplomatic relations with the United States, saying, “Never before has a high-level official said that the opposition should overthrow the government.” Venezuelan Vice President Delcy Rodríguez also responded to the video.
Vice President Delcy Rodríguez: “Because Mr. Pence doesn’t have a job, now he wants to come and run Venezuela, handing out instructions on what should happen in Venezuela tomorrow, openly calling for a coup d’état in Venezuela. I will say it like the Venezuelan people would say it to you: 'Yankee, go home.'”
Last Monday, the government of President Maduro said it suppressed a military revolt in the capital Caracas. Maduro has accused the U.S.—along with Canada and 12 now right-wing Latin American allies—of plotting a coup against his socialist government. Meanwhile, opposition groups were planning to hold major anti-Maduro protests on 23rd across Venezuela, but that has apparently been postponed to sometimes next week.
Update 24.01.2019: Venezuelan decision to close its Embassy and all Consulates in the USA as response to USAmerican interference and aggression was answered by Trump to order all non-essential USAmerican personnel out of Venezuela. Canada and UK in cohorts with USA, while UN urges to avert war. Venezuela is next target of the F-UK-US after Libya.
However, Maduro revised his demand that all US Embassy staff leave Venezuela by Saturday. Instead, the two countries will seek an agreement to create “Interest Offices” in the place of formal embassies. If an agreement is not reached, remaining diplomatic staff from both nations will have to return home.
On January 24 the USA also took to the Organization o American States (OAS) a declaration to recognize Guaido as the president of Venezuela, but this was again defeated, with 18 voting against and 16 voting for.
UPDATE 28. January 2019 (vf): NOT IN OUR NAME ! - says the vast majority of all civil society organizations and actually of all the people in the USA. They refute vehemently that U.S. vice president Pence would speak on their behalf and in their name.
Same in Europe, where U.S. vassal Angela Dorothea Kasner-Merkel, the German Chancellor of the BRD, whose GERXIT populace is on a dramaic rise, dared to even issue an ultimatum to Venezuelan President Maduro - postulating through her spokesperson Martina Fietz that "if elections are not announced within 8 days, we [the German governance] are ready to recognize Juan Guaido as interim president." French President Emmanuel Macron, embattled by his own citizens demanding FREXIT and the Yellow-Vests who want that he resigns; Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, who was still not able to solve the Catalonia crisis, whereby also the Catalans want out of the EU; always "EU-collaborating" Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok who faces his own yellow-vest movement; and the United Kingdom's foreign minister, Jeremy Hunt, on his definite BREXIT-way out of the EU, made similar announcements in nowadays symptomatic Orwellian "Doublethink" and "Newspeak". Their utterances - often just via twitter - sound like Duckspeak, but they are serious. The EU-governed member states under orders of the British Crown, thereby follow the USAmerican warpath and bring down the rule of law in diplomatic affairs.
This is a historic moment when the international treaties based on the principles of non-interference, non-aggression and the Vienna Convention are completely neglected - as if they would be irrelevant or non-existent. Doubleplusungood - even in their own world.
Speaking at a special session of the UN Security Council on Saturday, 26. January, Venezuela's foreign minister insisted that Maduro remained the legitimate president despite international pressure. "Nobody is going to give us deadlines or tell us if there are elections or not," Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza said. "How is it that you can issue an ultimatum to a sovereign government?" He later clearly stated that there will be no new election under his reign, because he would not give in to an unconstitutional process launched by the USA. The Venezuelan Supreme Court now ordered that Juan Guiado - the USAmerican plant - can not leave the country and will face charges for his actions. Guiado's bank accounts were frozen.
Russia accused at the UN assembly the USA of plotting a "coup" against Maduro, while among others also China, Turkey, Cuba, Bolivia, Granada, Nicaragua and India back Nicolas Muduro. Putin already warned the USA to keep their hands off Venezuela.
The only levelheaded European officials seem to be in Italy, that “does not recognise” Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido as its interim president. Italy's deputy foreign minister warned that a Libya-style regime change must be avoided. “Today, the greatest interest we have is to avoid a new war in Venezuela,” Manlio Di Stefano stated and added that the kind of regime change that failed in Libya must not be attempted, as it turned out to be a “mistake” that everyone recognized today. “We must prevent this from happening in Venezuela,” he warned.
Meanwhile, the U.S. governance engaged even in daylight robbery by withholding funds of oil-revenues from the Maduro government and is trying to freeze foreign bank-accounts of the legit Venezuelan government. The Bank of England blocked Venezuela’s attempts to retrieve $1.2 billion worth of gold stored as the nation’s foreign reserves in Britain. Analysts predict that this will have a serious ripple effect on how the world will do business with the USA and the UK in future - averting to let the fox into the hen-house.Trump pushed the Anglo-Americans into a toal trust crisis.
If Donald Trump truly wants to do something for the suffering people of Venezuela he must lift the choking sanctions immediately and clean up the horrible environmental pollution and ecological destruction the mostly US-based oil industry has caused in the country.
There's nothing new about this. It's now almost 60 years since the US imposed sanctions on Cuba. The Cuban government estimates that those sanctions cost its economy $4.3 billion between April 2017 and March 2018. According to a United Nations agency, the "unjust" American financial and trade embargo on Cuba had cost the country's economy $130 billion over nearly six decades.
Every year, the UN General Assembly votes overwhelmingly to call on America to lift its sanctions against Cuba. Only the US and Israel oppose this vote. Equally damaging sanctions have been imposed on Nicaragua and – like US sanctions against Iran – they are illegal under international law.
The US is waging “economic war” against Venezuela and engaging in a coordinated effort to “demonize” President Nicolas Maduro, believes UN rapporteur to Venezuela and expert on international law Alfred de Zayas, who is also a former secretary of the UN Human Rights Council. He said it was “obscene” for Washington to invoke human rights as motivation for its actions in Venezuela while it continues to wage an economic war on Venezuelan citizens. “Who is causing, who is aggravating the problem? The sanctions have aggravated the problem. The economic war has aggravated the problem,” he said.
De Zayas was the first UN rapporteur in Venezuela in 21 years, but his 2017 report on the country was mostly ignored by the UN and the media. He told the Independent this week that he believed this was because his opinions did not echo the mainstream consensus.
“When I came back [the UN and media were] not interested. Because I am not singing the song I’m supposed to sing so I don’t exist,” he said, adding that the report which he formally presented was the subject of no debate and was simply “filed away.”
The US has sought to destroy the Chavista Bolivarian movement since its origin twenty years ago. Obama, in a statement more out of touch with reality than Trump’s, declared Venezuela an “extraordinary threat to the national security” to the United States, and ever since, the US has imposed more and more sanctions, even blocking sales of food and medicine to Venezuela. Those sanctions cut Venezuela off from refinancing foreign debt, and greatly interfere with its international trade. These brutal economic sanctions are inhuman and illegal under the Organization of American States (OAS) and the United Nations charters.
Reportedly Nicolas Maduro claimed that Donald Trump ordered the Colombian government and mafia to assassinate him, but the Venezuelan President insisted that he is well protected from the threat of assassination.“Without a doubt, Donald Trump gave the order to kill me, told the Colombian government, the Colombian mafia, to kill me. If something happens to me, Donald Trump and Colombian President Ivan Duque will be responsible,” Maduro told RIA Novosti, but expressed confidence in his country’s security services. “I am always protected by the Venezuelan people,” he said.
The meteoric rise of Juan Guaido from “a low-level legislator in one of the least populous states” to the self-proclaimed “Wikipedia-proofed” leader of the country is artificially constructed by the US, journalist Max Blumenthal stated and stressed that he is installed to do Washington’s bidding for the only US interest - and that is oil. “That is because he is the perfect pawn, he is the product of US regime change factories, specifically the group Otpor, which is being backed by the National Endowment for Democracy, USAID, and – according to many reports, the CIA – likewise responsible to topple Slobodan Milosevic of Serbia,” he reportedly stated. The US-backed group “trained” Guaido and a group of selected Venezuelan students between 2005 and 2007, Blumenthal said, arguing that it paved way for his future political career.
The journalist described the Popular Will party, which Guaido helped his mentor and former Caracas mayor Leopoldo Lopez to establish, as “the most violent, radical right-wing party in Venezuela functioning as shock troops of oligarchy” and as “an asset of Washington” that has been “largely discredited in Venezuela.” He earlier co-authored an expose on the person at the tip of US operation to topple the government in Caracas published by the Grayzone Project. Blumenthal believes the US considers Guaido to be expandable, an asset that can be easily shelved away if it no longer needed. “Guaido can be discarded any moment, he is Washington’s pawn,” he said.
"Democracy has become a business plan, with a bottom line for every human activity, every dream, every decency, every hope. The main parliamentary parties are now devoted to the same economic policies - socialism for the rich, capitalism for the poor - and the same foreign policy of servility to endless war. This is not democracy. It is to politics what McDonalds is to food". -John Pilger
ALERT-UPDATE 02.02.2019 (vf): Masssive U.S. American helicopter squadron arrives in neighbouring Colombia - eye-witness videos confirm - under order: “5,000 troops to Colombia”.
In a warning "to President Trump and his gung-ho interventionist aide, John Bolton," the global left leaders during the council meeting of the Socialist International held last week in Santo Domingo stressed “that the democratic legitimacy of the president and government in Venezuela comes only from the freely expressed will of the Venezuelan people and categorically rejected any form of external military intervention to bring about regime change in Venezuela.”
But Washington’s forced regime-change strategy targeting Venezuela continues unabated: First, sanction the country in ways that punish the poor and cause the foreign instigated, caused and paid-for mass-exodus to trigger world-wide sympathy with faux pictures and fake news. Second, back a so-called, self-styled "interim president" in Caracas. Third, deny the legitimate government of its export revenues and trigger massive speculation with government bonds. The use of military force is the planned next step, but the military is standig firmly with Maduro while so far only one general - acting Venezuelan Air Force Gen. Francisco Yanez - and the military attachee to the USA, Colonel José Luis Silva, could be bought off. Both were promply dismissed by Caracas as traitors. “Insubordination in the face of international interests is an act of treason and cowardice with the fatherland inherited from our liberator Simon Bolivar. As such, we reject the declarations made by Col. Jose Luis Silva, who was acting as military attaché in the United States,” the defense ministry wrote.
The next U.S. American military disaster on the bequest of the Anglo-American cabal on top of the foreign instigated economic fiasco is in the making.
Meanwhile Venezuelan President Niсolas Maduro has called for early elections to the National Assembly – a legislative body dominated by the opposition and led by Juan Guaido who declared himself illegally interim leader last week. But he needs to consult the Venezuelan Constituent Assembly – a body elected in 2017 to draft the new constitution. If the Contituent Assembly backs the proposal the vote for the National Assembly will be scheduled for some time this year. Venezuela’s Supreme Court declared all acts of the present National Assembly, headed by Guaido, as null and void.
Venezuela continues to witness both pro- and anti-government rallies. Tens of thousands of people took to the streets of the Venezuelan capital today on Saturday to join a pro-government demonstration to celebrate 20 years since the late Venezuelan president, Hugo Chavez, launched the Bolivarian revolution and 20 years resistance against the USA meddling in their affairs. - see also earlier updates below.
We must, all of us, campaign against these appalling U.S. policies and loudly say NO to another Chilean-style dictatorship in South America and warmongers looking for quick gains better learn some history again. Chavista forces will continue to march for respect of the constitution and peace and the strength of the anti-imperialist feeling amongst the Venezuelan masses should not be underestimated. The military #FANB is at least 235,000 strong and the grassroot pro-Maduro Chavitas have about 1.6 million in militias plus the uncountable pro-government Colectivos especially in the urban centres in the North of the country where most the over 30 million strong popolation of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela lives.
Concerning the faux "humanitarian aid" the USA promised traitor Juan Guaido as carrot to lure poor Venezuelans, people must know that Venezuela helped 100,000 needy US households but the USA never helped Venezuela.
Update - Feb 6. 2019: Bloody Canada: Cheerleading the Lima Group’s Plot to Overthrow the Government of Venezuela by Maria Paez Victor: "The US hopes to dismember Venezuela like a giant cake. Exxon Mobil wants the oil. The international banks want the gold. Colombia wants to control or possess the eastern oil rich area next to its border. Brazil wants carte blanche for its big energy corporation. Guyana wants the Esequivo region on the eastern border handed to them – that is, to Exxon Mobil, and Paraguay wants the huge debt it owes to Venezuela to quietly disappear...And the oil producers in Canada (mostly USA owned) will shed no tears over the destruction of Venezuelan crude production. Canadian Foreign Minister, C. Freeland [of ultra-right Ukrainian heritage, who lied when she publicly refused to accept that her grandfather was a Nazi-collaborator], is a throwback to the Cold War and has trashed the former dignified independent foreign policies of Pierre Eliot Trudeau, father of the present prime minister. P.E. Trudeau defended Canada’s sovereignty and independent foreign policy in the face of powerful USA pressure during the Cold War to break with Cuba and China, which he refused. Prime Minister Jean Chretien resisted strong USA pressure to join the war against Iraq. However, Justin Trudeau, unlike his predecessors, has caved to the pressure of the USA and his own foreign affairs minister and has cast his country as a lap dog of the most erratic and amoral USA president in living memory."
Update - 09. February 2019: (vf) Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro Moro has slammed Washington’s belligerent rhetoric towards his country in an open letter addressed to theA American people, saying it would be delivered to the White House, demanding respect for Venezuela’s “inalienable right to peace.“ The Venezuelan president demanded that the USA stop the aggression against Venezuela, including both attempts to “suffocate our economy” and “the serious and dangerous threats of military intervention.” Maduro accuses Trump of “disrupting noble dialogue initiatives,” that aim for "a peaceful solution and dialogue favorable for Venezuela."
Venezuela supports the dialogue process proposed by Mexico, Uruguay, Bolivia and the Community of Caribbean Countries (CARICOM), Maduro said at a press conference in the Miraflores Palace in Caracas. He added that the government was ready to talk to “whomever and whenever.” However, the USA is undermining and trying to stall these peace talks.
“We are in the immediate position to support any action that promotes diplomacy, dialogue and meeting between Venezuelans,” said the president.
The EU must hear “Venezuela’s truth,” however, instead of listening to “right-wing extremists,” Maduro insisted.
We have always told the EU and [its foreign policy chief] Federica Mogherini: You are not listening to the truth of Venezuela, you are deaf. And the EU is doomed, Mogherini will fail if she listens to and follows what Venezuelan right-wing extremists say.
Must Watch: Max Blumenthal: How US trained Juan Guaido for Regime Change
MUST READ: The Making of Juan Guaidó: How the US Regime Change Laboratory Created Venezuela’s Coup Leader
Guaido told AFP he would do “everything that is necessary” – not ruling out the calling on foreign powers, and the United States in particular, to intervene militarily in Venezuela - in order to remove Nicolas Maduro from power. He was then contradicting himself by reportedly stating that the opposition rejects any talks with Maduro, while officials in Washington claimed that the time for negotiations has long passed.
The US is also reportedly holding direct communications with members of Venezuela’s military, urging them to switch their allegiance in exchange for sanctions relief, or to face even stronger penalties. Imagine what would happen if Russia would hold such coercing direct talks with the U.S. military and would ask them to oust Donald Trump from the Whitehouse.
The political sanctions imposed by the USA often have nothing to do with those implemented by the UN Security Council, which, in this case, are illegal in international law. They are acts of war comparable to the sieges of the Middle Ages [see here]. Today, the US Treasury is applying political sanctions against Belarus, Burundi, North Korea, Cuba, Iran, Libya, Nicaragua, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Russia, Sudan, Syria, Venezuela and Zimbabwe, to which we must add the Donetsk People’s Republic Ukraine), Hezbollah (Iran), the Houthis (Yemen), and many others. These sanctions can be of extreme cruelty, like those implemented against the Houthis in Yemen, which maintained conditions of murderous famine and cinstitute a war crime and a crime against humanity. The same the USA have imposed on the people of Venzuela. Contrary to what it claims, when the U.S. Treasury sanctions a state, it deprives its population of all economic contact with the West.
Bombshell revelation suggests there’s nothing humanitarian about US ‘aid’ to Venezuela, while customs officers found already clandestine shipments from Miami of assault rifles, amagzines and radio antennas - to supply whom?
Meanwhile oil-czar Rafael Ramirez, who was a former energy minister of Venezuela under Hugo Chavez from 2002 to 2014 crawled out of the woodworks and declared: “I’m against any foreign intervention in my country. I’m against the sanctions because they’re completely illegal.” He is also against Maduro as well as the right-winger Guiado and hopes to run for president himself, if presidential elections are called.
This and the buying of a low-life military Colonel Ruben Paz Jimenez who then makes a proposterous statement from Colombia just shows how low the USA has sunk in this battle for supremacy.
The Italian government had already announced that it vetoed the EU’s recognition of Juan Guaidó as the “Acting President” when the Council of Foreign Ministers met in Romania on 31 January 2019.
Despite this, the governments of Spain, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Denmark, France, Holland and Portugal, lined up to recognize Juan Guaidó as the “President in charge of Venezuela”, borrowing the language adopted last Monday by Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez. It will get them nowhere and only contribute to the confusion and misery.
The legitimacy of a ruler can best be determined by asking the ruled people.
The independent Venezuelan polling firm Hinterlaces asked (in Spanish) 1,580 Venezuelans in direct interviews who they consider to be the legitimate president of Venezuela.
57% said that the Nicolás Maduro is the legitimated president. 32% said Juan Guaidó. 11% did not know or did not respond.
The well-respected scientific research service of the German Bundestag advised (in German) that foreign recognition of someone as a president does not confer legitimacy. Legitimacy of a president requires that he has actual enforcing capabilities within the country. As long as that is not established a recognition must be seen as interference in the internal affairs of the foreign country. Such an interference, which the German and other governments committed, is inconsistent with international law.
Members of the United Nations are bound by the Charter, articles one and two of which affirm the right of all peoples to determine themselves, the sovereign equality of states, the prohibition of the use of force and of economic or political interference in the internal affairs of sovereign states. Yet these fundamental principles of international order are being grossly violated in the case of Venezuela.
- ignoring the will of the people of Venezuela and the rule of law U.S. media continue to manufacture consent for regime change in Venezuela.
Russia reiterated its support for democratically-elected President Nicolas Maduro, and presented a 'peaceful measures' initiative to the United Nations Security Council regarding Venezuela.
As Alfred de Zayas, United Nations independent expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order, tweeted: “Article 233 of the Venezuelan constitution is inapplicable and cannot be twisted into legitimizing Guaidó’s self-proclamation as interim President. A coup is a coup.”
Update - 15. 02. 2019:
Venezuela's military reinforced a blockade on 14. 02. 2019 at the border with Colombia where opposition leader Juan Guaido has vowed to bring in the humanitarian aid via the not yet opened, new road-bridge that connects the town of Urena in Venezuela to Cucuta in Colombia. A second collection center in the northwestern Brazilian state of Roraima, which borders Venezuela and a third storage facility is reportedly to be established in Curacao, a Dutch island around 65km off the northern coast of Venezuela.
Statement by the Cuban Revolutionary Government: It is imperative to halt the imperialist military adventure against Venezuela
“We’re looking at the oil assets,” Bolton said. “That’s the single most important income stream to the government of Venezuela. We’re looking at what to do to that.” “We’re in conversation with major American companies now... It will make a big difference to the United States economically if we could have American oil companies really invest in and produce the oil capabilities in Venezuela,” Bolton admitted. On January 23, the US government initiated a political coup attempt in Venezuela, seeking to replace the government of socialist President Nicolás Maduro with Juan Guaidó and a neoliberal capitalist opposition that has pledged to privatize state assets and welcome in corporate partnerships.
US seized Venezuelan assets and promised them to a new government hand-picked by the US. So let me guess, under conditions of state asset transfer to US corporate hands? Just a guess... "Before the fateful day of January 22, fewer than one in five Venezuelans had heard of Juan Guaidó. Only a few months ago, the 35-year-old was an obscure character in a politically marginal far-right group closely associated with gruesome acts of street violence. Even in his own party, Guaidó had been a mid-level figure in the opposition-dominated National Assembly, which is now held under contempt according to Venezuela’s constitution. "But after a single phone call from US Vice President Mike Pence, Guaidó proclaimed himself as president of Venezuela. Anointed as the leader of his country by Washington, a previously unknown political bottom dweller was vaulted onto the international stage as the US-selected leader of the nation with the world’s largest oil reserves."
Reeintroduced on 03.Jan.2019 as the American Sovereignty Restoration Act of 2019 it reflects H.R.193 - American Sovereignty Restoration Act of 2017 and stipulates: (1) the President to terminate U.S. membership in the United Nations (U.N.), including any organ, specialized agency, commission, or other formally affiliated body; and (2) closure of the U.S. Mission to the United Nations.
“we must learn the lessons of the past and not be in the business of regime change or supporting coups—as we have in Chile, Guatemala, Brazil, and the Dominican Republic. The United States has a long history of inappropriately intervening in Latin American countries; we must not go down that road again.”
There have been 56 USA military interventions in Latin America since 1950 ALONE; if you consider all the earlier US military interventions that started in 1878, the figure goes well over 100 RAPACIOUS military interventions by the imperialist Yankees !!
(Due to the present situation, now FREE full download, courtesy of the author and director Greg Palast - investigative journalist)
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