SEX & DRUGS & ROCKnROLL AT THE HELM OF SOUTH AMERICA
(Constantly updated - Refresh your Browser!) No time to read and study in order to understand or to find an answer to the question: Why does the USA want to impose their kind of "democrazy" on Venezuela? - JUST WATCH 2:40 Minute CLIP
For upates before the 10. March 2019 go to THE VENEZUELA FILES I
Update FRI, 22. March 2019: (vf)
Update THU, 21. March 2019: (vf) “Today, Roberto Marrero has been arrested by SEBIN (Venezuela's intelligence agency),” reported REUTERS the opposition legislator Sergio Vergara as having stated. Vergara, whose own residence was raided early on Thursday, was speaking in comments broadcast via Instagram.
This Thursday afternoon, March 21, Minister Néstor Reverol announced the reasons why Roberto Marrero (Self-proclaimed’s chief of staff) was arrested and his house searched: This is in relation to the involvement of the operator close to Juan Guaidó in the structuring and financing of criminal groups whose objectives would have been the selective assassination of chavista officials and leaders.
At a press conference, Reverol said that Marrero was seized with weapons of war and money (hard currency) in cash, at the same time the intelligence and security services of the State dismantled a terrorist cell that planned to make a series of selective attacks and in this plot the opposition would have hired Colombian and Central American mercenaries.
Likewise, Luis Páez Salazar, who serves as Marrero’s escort, was also arrested. The state actions were made in conjunction with the Public Ministry and all due process steps were followed.
When Marrero was apprehended, the local and international antichavismo vented the height of its frustration in accusations of kidnapping and violation of parliamentary immunity, however, the former mayor of Baruta is not a deputy since the CNE in 2015 did not admit his registration to replace Carlos Vecchio on the Monagas list, so he did not legally obtain the benefits of the parliamentarian immunity.
President Maduro is only having limited success protecting Venezuela's grid, and there have been many successful attacks lately, which began again after the arrest of self-proclaimed Guiado's chief of staff. Recovery from the attacks seems to be happening via re-distribution of power from parts of the grid that stay up, but that can only last for so long, the system as a whole appears to have been degraded by about 7 percent on a long term basis from the recent attacks alone. These are taking the form of guerilla type ground attacks waged by circles trying to overthrow the government, which face a magnificent resistance waged by government and operators as well as a heroic resiliance of the people.
Update WED, 20. March 2019: (vf) The US economic pressure only contributes to Venezuela’s woes and will likely further affect the people’s “basic rights,” the UN human rights chief, Michelle Bachelet, has warned, as the US threatens even tougher sanctions. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has stepped up her criticism of the US policies against crisis-ridden Venezuela, saying that Washington’s approach only makes the situation there worse. Bachelet in particular expressed her concern over the sanctions targeting Venezuela’s oil trade, as these “may contribute to aggravating the economic crisis” and have “repercussions on people’s basic rights and wellbeing.” It is not the first time the UN human rights chief has scolded Washington over its pressure against the Latin American country, which suffers from hyperinflation and other economic problems. On March 6, Bachelet said that the sanctions had fueled the crisis, which had reached an “alarming” state. In Washington’s universe, however, all its actions are only helping Venezuelans. Even though President Donald Trump recently admitted that “something terrible is going on down there” – he assumed that it was only because the US was not tough enough. Caracas slammed Washington’s policies and rhetoric, with Venezuela’s representative to the UN office in Geneva, Jorge Valero Briceno, blaming the “baseless international media campaign” for totally distorting the reality there.
The United States government has been pillaging our economic resources and denying Venezuela the possibility of acquiring the necessary food and medicines for our people,
Valero said, adding that the real situation on the ground has been “distorted by the baseless international media campaign.”
Today the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, presented a first, quite controversial report on the Venezuelan scenario in which she, however, proposed to find a political solution.
Here are some of the phrases that emerge from the preliminary report (Source URL: La IguanaTV - Translated by JRE)::
-I am extremely concerned about the magnitude and seriousness of the impact of the crisis on human rights.
-It is essential that the (UN) team has full and unrestricted access, and that no retaliation against any person who has been interviewed or attempted to be interview by them.
- Since June 2018 – Last time we published a report on Venezuela – the exercise of social and economic rights has continued to deteriorate continuously.
-The authorities have refused to recognize the size and severity of the crisis.
-The recent interruption of the electricity supply that affected the entire country has aggravated this situation, by further reducing the population’s access to food, water and medicines, and has also seriously affected hospitals.
-The health care system continues to deteriorate.
-According to a recent survey, more than one million children have stopped attending school, mostly because their parents can not provide them with breakfast.
-Although this devastating social and economic crisis began before the imposition of the first economic sanctions in 2017, I am concerned that the recent sanctions on financial transfers derived from the sale of Venezuelan oil to the US may contribute to aggravating the economic situation.
- I am deeply concerned about the reduction of the democratic space, in particular the continuous criminalization of peaceful protest and dissent.
-My office documented numerous violations and human rights abuses perpetrated by security forces and armed groups.
So far the preliminary report. It is hoped that the final report will go much more into the details and points out the real causes of the present crisis in Venezuela, which is embattled by the U.S.A.
Pasqualina Curcio responded and addressed Human Rights Commissioner Mme. Michelle Bachelet with the following words: In 1972, at the UN, Allende said: “It is so much more painful to have to come to this rostrum to denounce that my country is a victim of serious aggression. Imperialism and its cruelty have a long and ominous history in Latin America , we are victims of a new manifestation of imperialism. More subtle, more artful, and terribly effective, to prevent the exercise of our sovereign State rights. This financial asphyxia of brutal projections has resulted in a severe limitation of our supply possibilities”.
Few listened to him.
A year later, 1973, they bombed La Moneda. Pinochet assumed the presidency. He initiated the most bloody of dictatorships.
Two years later, in 1975, senators from the US Congress demonstrated that the CIA participated in the coup d’ état. They concluded that it overthrew a democratic government to establish a dictatorship.
Half a century later, 2019, it is all the more painful to have to denounce that my country, Venezuela, is a victim of the same serious aggression.
We live in an economic and political situation, which without becoming a humanitarian crisis, is characterized by the difficulty to acquire medicines and some foods, as well as the accelerated increase in prices. The causes are the unilateral and illegal coercive measures of imperialism and the attacks on our currency that to date have caused us losses of more than 110 billion dollars, equivalent to 30 years of food and medicine for our people.
As in Chile , we have been victims of fascist and terrorist acts. Recently we suffered a criminal blackout that left 30 million Venezuelans without electricity, water, fuel and communication for 4 days. A blackout similar to that suffered by the Chilean people on August 14, 1973. It is no coincidence.
Mrs. High Commissioner for Human Rights of the UN , Venezuelans do not need humanitarian aid. We demand that imperialism lift the financial and commercial blockade, stop the attack on our currency and stop the terrorist acts against our people.
We demand justice.
Recognizing that these actions and manifestations of imperialism are crimes against humanity would be an important step for world stability and peace.
In respect to that, the UN has had, for decades, a great debt.
(Source URL: Con el Mazo Dando / Translated by JRE/EF-OT)
Some 155 Venezuelan doctors will conclude their specialty training in Cuba in 2020, a great opportunity for the country considering the strengths of Cuban medical education, according to Yanet Torrealba Cordero, deputy director of the Health Ministry’s Research and Education Directorate, who, noted some key characteristics of the Cuban system, saying, “Their experience in the missions, their experience in the Revolution, in a different system of equity and equality, not mercantilist, but social.” She is also responsible for the Specialist Training Project within the Comprehensive Cuba-Venezuela Cooperation Agreement, adding that this step means strengthening the system with the required talent, a demand initiated by President Chávez. “Our brothers in Cuba have been strategic allies for our health network, both in the medical training of General Practitioners (MGI) and these specialists,” she added. Dr. Fernando González Isla, head of the Cuban Medical Mission in Venezuela, said that in recent years more than 24,000 community doctors have been trained in Venezuela, now working alongside 21,000 Cuban doctors, contributing to the construction of an ideal health care system. Since the beginning of Cuban medical solidarity in Venezuela, more than 140,000 health care professionals have participated.
The president of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, announced on Wednesday that a shipment of medicines and active ingredients for the manufacture of medicines from Russia will arrive in his country. “Next week, the Government of Russia will start delivery of several tons of medicines and assets to Venezuela, and this is going to continue for several weeks, ” the president said on national television. Earlier this month, Venezuelan Vice President Delcy Rodriguez told a press conference with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov that the medicines and food needed by Caracas will be purchased from Moscow. “President Nicolás Maduro has also given very clear instructions that the food the people of Venezuela need, medicines needed by the people of Venezuela shall be acquired in Russia and that we’ll also establish industrial investment for the production of these in our country. jointly”, said the vice president. Already in February tons of medicines had arrived to meet the needs of the Venezuelan population in coordination with the Russian government and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). In addition Venezuela’s Health Ministry reported that 64 containers, amounting to 933-tons of medicine and medical aid arrived in Venezuela, mostly from China and Cuba. Also, in February the Red Cross increased its budget in Venezuela to $18 million.
Update TUE, 19. March 2019: (vf) BREAKING: Veterans For Peace (VFP) calls on all members of the U.S. military to refuse illegal orders to intervene in Venezuela. Furthermore, VFP urges all U.S. military leaders to inform the president that they will order their units to stand down from preparations to invade Venezuela.
A group of military deserters of the Bolivarian National Armed Forces (FANB) based now in Cúcuta, Colombia, is willing to make videos and audios public with information about meetings between some leaders of the Venezuelan opposition with the Colombian military, where the actions to bomb the Simón Bolívar International Bridge, which connects both nations, is mentioned and are detailed. “We are no longer welcomed here (in Cucuta), they give us food once a day, they don’t want to take care of the sick; there is a lot of internal dispute between us and there are already several of us who want to go back the Venezuelan and present themselves to the Venezuelan justice system and negotiate a pardon by providing videos and audios where they try to bomb the Simón Bolívar bridge”, a military official affirmed in a conversation via WhatsApp with the deputy of the National Assembly in contempt, Gabriela Arellano (opposition). The defectors also urged Arellano to attend to their requests or “we will continue giving statements and we will say everything. They promised us and now they do not keep the promises and have abandoned us in a hotel”. The disgruntled defectors hold her responsible – jointly with the deputy José Manuel Olivares – for everything that happens to them. The spokesperson of the run-away soldiers stated that they are no longer welcome in Colombia and are treated as “delinquents” by the office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The former officers are tired of having been abandoned after false promises were given by the self-proclaimed “president in charge” of Venezuela, Juan Guaidó. They demand that he fulfills the agreement made in the days prior to the 23 of February, when Guaido was trying to force proclaimed but not permitted humanitarian "aid" of US origin into Venezuela in attempt t stage a coup d'etat. She was a co-conspirator on 23rd February 2019 on the Bolivar bridge when defecting army soldiers in 2 stolen APCs rammed into the barriers and injured innocent travellers seriously. For this and the other crimes Arellanao must face a court of law and can no longer be tolerated as a deputy. It is important to highlight that the group of defectors is made up not only of Army officials and troops but from different law enforcement agencies and that some of them were previously dismissed for misconduct from those agencies and the Army.
Meanwhile, U.S. President Trump and Brazil’s President Bolsonaro discussed cooperation over Venezuela, where both want to oust socialist President Maduro and Trump stated bluntly in front of reporters: “as you know we have yet to impose the toughest sanctions” on Venezuela. Bolsonaro, who visited the CIA headquarters before the meeting with Trump, is a former army captain who styled his 2018 campaign after Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. Bolsonaro declared himself an unabashed admirer of the U.S. president, his politics, and the “American way of life”. On several occasions Bolsonaro openly praised former dictators of Brazil, Chile, and Paraguay as well as the ‘Chicago Boys.’ Trump in turn pondered about a possible NATO membership of Brazil. In 2018, Colombia became the only Latin American nation to join NATO, as a “global partner”, but that triggered several movements in European nations to finally opt out of NATO and the US-American bullying into military spenings.
Venezuela considers statements on the country’s future by the US and Brazilian presidents dangerous and is determined to further work to ensure peace in the region, the Venezuelan Foreign Ministry said in a statement. “The Venezuelan government expresses its strong rejection of dangerous statements by US President Donald Trump and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro made on March 19… The Venezuelan government will continue to work in compliance with international law in order to ensure the creation of a zone of peace in Latin America and the Caribbean”, the statement said. On Tuesday, US President Donald Trump and his Brazilian counterpart Jair Bolsonaro held talks, following which they reiterated their support for Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido. When asked about the possibility of a military intervention in Venezuela, Trump said that “all options are open”. Venezuela has been in a state of political crisis since January, when Guaido, the head of the opposition-run National Assembly, illegally declared himself interim president. He was immediately recognized by the United States, which froze $7 billion in the country’s oil assets and called on Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro to step down immediately. Only a quarter of UN nations have since endorsed Guaido, while Russia, China and numerous others have reaffirmed their full support for Maduro as Venezuela’s only legitimate president.
Like the former U.S. ambassador to Venezuela also his colleague in Germany behaves in a neo-colonial fashion. Throughout 2018, Richard Grenell hit a nerve with German politicians on numerous occasions, including his threat to sanction local firms taking part in Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline project, a demand to break trade ties with Iran, and an appeal to help Washington put pressure on Moscow. Berlin seems to be losing patience with the US ambassador who didn’t mince his words over German defense spending. Grenell was earlier a long-serving spokesman for the United States at the United Nations during former President George W. Bush's administration and an openly gay television and foreign affairs commentator on Fox News Channel, when he became U.S. president Donald Trump's choice for the post in Germany. A high-ranking German MP demanded now that the envoy be sent home because he acts “like an occupation commissioner.” Wolfgang Kubicki, vice speaker of the German parliament, called for Richard Grenell to be declared persona non grata immediately, local media reported. The emotive remark wasn’t limited to what Berlin should do in relation to the American ambassador. “If a US diplomat acts like a high commissioner of an occupying power, he will have to learn that our tolerance has its limits,” Kubicki said angrily. Grenell had crossed the line again and interfered “in political affairs of the sovereign Federal Republic,” the senior MP argued. Earlier, the official Twitter account of the US embassy in Berlin quoted Grenell as saying: “Reducing its already unacceptable commitments to military readiness is a worrisome signal to Germany’s 28 NATO allies.”
Ambassador Grenell in @AP on #Germany’s defense #budget plans: “reducing its already unacceptable commitments to military readiness is a worrisome signal to Germany’s 28 #NATO allies.” https://t.co/MzLpaI6Bme— US-Botschaft Berlin (@usbotschaft) March 18, 2019
Grenell was sworn in as US ambassador to Germany back in May 2018, after being considered for the posts of the ambassador to NATO and the UN. He ignited a scandal within hours of taking office in Berlin when he demanded that German companies doing business in Iran should “wind down operations immediately.” Already back then former German Chancellor Schroeder suggested to have him removed by declaring Richard Grenell persona non grata. The former German ambassador to Venezuela Daniel Kriener, who fronted for agitator Juan Guaidó and tried to emulate the arrogant and ignorant US-American behaviour, was declared on 06. March 2019 persona non-grata and called back by German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, who is now tasked to finally kick out U.S. ambassador Richard Grenell from Germany.
The Germans seem also in other aspects to be the total U.S. vassals and can serve as an example to Venezuelans what would become of their sovreignty under U.S. intervention and rule: "The German government must ensure any support provided by a U.S. military base in Germany for U.S. drone strikes in Yemen complies with international law", a German court ruled on Tuesday, whereby the administrative appeals court in Muenster upheld an earlier ruling that had bluntly rejected a request by relatives of Yemenis killed in drone strikes that Germany should ban any participation by the US-American Ramstein Air Base in any drone strikes in Yemen. However, the German government's finding "that there were no indications of violations of German or international law by the U.S. caused by their activities in Germany is based on an insufficient assessment of the facts and is not legally sustainable," the court said in its obviously biased ruling. The German Defense Ministry, which represented Berlin before the court, said it would wait to study the full ruling before deciding about a possible appeal, which makes it clear that the present governance of Germany as well its Americanized military has lost the plot and does no longer adhere to their own Basic Law (Germany has no constitution) and its Supreme Court's rulings, which stipulate that any aggressive military action from German ground is criminal and any military action on foreign soil needs Parliament's approval. Washington has its military base at Ramstein since 1948.
Cuba’s President Miguel Diaz-Canel, rejected Tuesday the U.S. media accusations regarding the political activities supposedly carried out by Cuban doctors, who have been working in the Venezuelan Barrio Adentro Mission since 2003. According to an article published by the New York Times on March 17, Cuban doctors allegedly pressured their patients to vote in favor of Nicolas Maduro in exchange for medical attention, professional misconduct which allegedly was performed just a few days before the 2018 presidential elections.
“The truth is this: we, the Cuban doctors, do not propagate ideology. Our example does it for us.” The photo caption says: “Our doctors will not get involved in internal politics at all… They do not have as mission to propagate ideology.” The Cuban President rejected the U.S. media accusations about the Cuban doctors’ activities in Venezuela. “Cuban doctors can never be defamed. Their extraordinary human work carried out those lands which the Empire calls ‘the world’s dark corners’ belies the NYT and its reporter Casey,” President Diaz-Canel said on Twitter and pointed out that “feeding Marco Rubio’s hatred war against Cuba and Venezuela is a crime. We are Cuba.”
Concerning these U.S. media accusations, the Cuban Public Health Minister Jose Angel Portal recalled what Fidel Castro, Cuban former president and revolutionary leader, said about the Cuban doctors’ work: “The [Cuban] medical personnel, who departs to save lives anywhere, even at the risk of losing theirs, is the greatest example of solidarity that humankind can offer.
The president of Panama, Juan Carlos Varela, has asked to strengthen the coup leader Juan Guaidó in the Organization of American States (OAS). “We are going to an OAS General Assembly, where the presence of President Guaidó has to be consolidated,” Varela said on Tuesday, expressing his support for the president of the National Assembly (AN) of Venezuela – an opposition majority and in contempt since 2016 – that last January proclaimed himself “president in charge” of the Caribbean country. In statements to the press after a meeting with his Colombian counterpart, Iván Duque, in Bogotá (Colombian capital), Varela alleged that, with such measures, Panama “seeks a peaceful and democratic solution” to the Venezuelan crisis. For his part, Duque stressed that the situation in Venezuela has allowed a uniting of the governments of Panama and Colombia through the Lima Group and the diplomatic siege that has been laid against the Administration of Nicolás Maduro. Despite international accusations against measures by the Venezuelan opposition against Maduro, legitimately elected by the Venezuelan people last May, Panama also recognized on Monday the “ambassador” appointed by Guaidó. Maduro, who, according to several surveys, continues to count on the support of his people, has accused Guaidó of serving US interests and the regime of Israel in the region, and that he “sooner or later” will have to answer to Justice for its coup attempts. The next meeting of the OAS, that as organization so far had recognized Guaidó as interim president, will be held in the Colombian city of Medellín between June 26 and 28. Caracas for its part denounces the U.S. hijacking of the hemispheric body to put pressure on Venezuela. Despite the efforts of Washington – which even threatens a military intervention against the Bolivarian country – and some of its allies in the Latin American region to discourage Venezuelans, support for President Maduro by the majority has been unwavering, including the Armed Forces, which have expressed their support for the Government of the legitimate president, before an after the imperialist coup attempt.
Update MON, 18. March 2019: (vf) The Venezuelan government does not rule out that in the near future the United States might attempt to carry out new attacks on civil infrastructure in the Bolivarian republic, including schools, hospitals and subways, the President of the Venezuelan Constituent Assembly Diosdado Cabello said on Monday. Cabello blamed the recent disruption in the work of the country's Guri hydroelectric power plant on a "terrorist attack" orchestrated by Washington. "What is going on in Venezuela is happening for a reason… [The United States] has already attempted to carry out… a number of selective attacks in a bid to cause damage to our country. The United States does not care about victims, it can openly attempt to launch terrorist attacks in the subway, schools and hospitals," Cabello said at a press conference in Caracas.
Just hours after this statement a massive power outage occurred again in various parts of the Venezuelan capital of Caracas and nearby localities, eyewitnesses reported from East Caracas, namely the districts of Altamira, La Urbina, El Cafetal, El Rosal, Los Palos Grandes, and others. In the municipality of Chacao, where a number of foreign embassies and large hotels are located, power outages were registered on Sunday evening. According to a Sputnik correspondent, as of 10.30 a.m. (14.30 GMT), there was no electricity in this part of the city either inside houses or on the street. Anumber of media outlets cite an explosion, which allegedly occurred at an electrical substation in the industrial area of Cloris east of Caracas, as a possible cause.
Despite being a huge oil country, Venezuela's electricity was at least 90 percent green. Venezuela had 80 percent of all power needs met by the hydroelectric Guri project, plus had geothermal facilities and other hydroelectric stations - an environmental role model, which obviously is now targeted by the USA also for this. And now, 100 percent of ALL substations in the state of Zulia and city of Maricaibo simultaneously exploded and burst into flames. Such timing is not possible as a "coincidence", either these are coordinated ground attacks, drone or cruise missile strikes or - some think - these substations are now being nailed by lasers from space. One way or another however, this is a clear and obvious war. Someone is destroying these substations. "Lack of maintenance" can't cause this kind of scheduled destruction. The Venezuelan grid was just working fine before the first attack on 07th March, why would all of it blow up now? Those who stand against Venezuela’s free electricity and are eager to squash that example for others no to follow, grind heir teeth that Venezuelan engineers are able to put up resistance against these acts of sabotage and therefore continue to launch attacks. Since it obviously hurts the present government, it is obvious that it is part of the gameplan of the Guaido-led right-wing opposition and their U.S. support. Venezuelans therefore have to ask themselves only one question: Do you want someone who destroys your country to become your president? It's as simple as that.
Venezuelan authorities have recently announced that any individual acting in conjunction with the promoters of the attempted Coup D’Etat and breaking Venezuelan law will be prosecuted following the rule of law.
The Government of Venezuela denounced on Monday the forced and illegal occupation of its diplomatic offices located in the United States (USA) in clear violation of the provisions of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. Last January 23, President Nicolas Maduro announced the complete rupture of diplomatic and political relations with the US government after their decision to recognize the illegal self-proclamation of deputy Juan Guaido. Of 55 staff members, 12 decided to remain in the United States and support Guaido. Disregarding the complete cessation of functions of all diplomatic and consular personal in each country, their infrastructure, assets and documents must be respected according to the Vienna Convention, the main authority, to decide what a “legal government” is, would be the United Nation’s position and not the particular position of one country (in this case, the US). But the premises were thereafter occupied by Guaido' minions. In a statement posted on the Twitter account of Chancellor Jorge Arreaza, the Bolivarian Government asserts that this action has the backing of US authorities and has political interests. “To tolerate or promote any threat or intimidation against Venezuelan diplomatic agents by citizens residing in the United States constitutes a very serious violation of the international obligations of the US Government,” he says. They also reiterated that the diplomatic missions should only be used by official diplomatic agents who have been appointed and represent the democratic government of President Nicolás Maduro. President Maduro is the current President of Venezuela according to the United Nations disregarding whom the US regime recognizes. In this regard, they demand the US authorities to “comply with their legal obligations and take the necessary measures to immediately reverse such de facto forced occupation.” In case the US Government continues in breach of its international obligations, the communique warned that Venezuela “reserves the corresponding legal and reciprocal decisions and actions” in its territory. This is in reference to the possibility that the Venezuelan government in legitimate retaliation might take control of US facilities in Venezuela. For his part, the official designated for the USA by the self-proclaimed opposition deputy Juan Guaidó, Carlos Vecchio, reported that there were three occupied diplomatic headquarters, two in Washington (capital) and a consulate in New York - an illegal takeover of three of the country’s diplomatic properties in the United States. Carlos Vecchio, said the opposition had gained control of two buildings belonging to Venezuela’s defense ministry in Washington and one consular building in New York. He added that his staff would work out of the attache building, which is in the upscale Kalorama neighborhood and has an assessed value of $2.2 million, according to Washington property records. Vecchio announced that the group expected to take control of Venezuela’s embassy in Washington “in the days to come.” U.S. State Department spokesman Robert Palladino told reporters the United States was “pleased to support these requests.” Most recently also the ambassador of Venezuela in Irak, Jonathan Velasco , has also declared his support to Guaido. “This represents a fraction smaller that 0,01% of Venezuelan foreign service but it’s being used by the US to promote the idea of and advance of Guaido’s support that can only be believed outside of Venezuela because inside the South American nation everyone knows who runs the country,” said an international expert consulted by Orinoco Tribune. Irak is today still a known U.S.-puppet. “Precautionary measures have to be taken to secure the premises of other Venezuelan foreign offices in the USA and elsewhere due to the high chance of similar violations trageting diplomatic and consular offices, since most of them are rented,” a diplomatic source told Orinoco Times.
Venezuela’s opposition has now taken control of three diplomatic facilities in the United States and will attempt to obtain further US-based assets in the near future, Carlos Vecchio, opposition leader Juan Guaido’s envoy to the US, told reporters on Monday. As the US attempted coup in Venezuela has failed to produce a meaningful uprising inside the country, Washington has moved to seize Caracas’ overseas assets, including diplomatic buildings. However, their efforts have been frustrated by US activists who oppose their government’s criminal efforts. Vecchio said they expected more such seizures “in the days to come.”The Venezuelan government later confirmed in a statement that the country’s diplomatic representation offices in the United States had been illegally taken over by opposition members. ”The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela informs the international community that its diplomatic premises in the United States have been forcibly seized by people who enjoy official support of the US government and act as its agents in its political interests and in the direct violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations,” a statement posted on Twitter by Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza said. US State Department spokesperson Robert Palladino subsequently said the department “was pleased to support” the seizures. In Washington as well, activists from the anti-war organizations Codepink and ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism) moved to make Guaido’s representatives unwelcome in the seized properties.
Update SUN, 17. March 2019: (vf) Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro will carry out a deep government restructuring starting with the executive cabinet to protect the operation of the national government in the face of threats of external interference, Vice President Delcy Rodríguez reported Sunday. In this regard, the head of state asked all cabinet members to place their positions at his disposal. “President @NicolasMaduro has asked the entire executive Cabinet to put their roles up for review in a deep restructuring of the methods and functions of the Bolivarian government, to protect the fatherland of Bolivar and Chavez from any threat,” Rodriguez wrote on Twitter, referring to independence leader Simon Bolivar and former President Hugo Chavez.
The Deputy Foreign Minister of Russia Sergei Ryabkov announced a meeting with the United States special envoy to Venezuela Eliot Abrams, in which he will tell him face-to-face that a military intervention in the South American country is unacceptable. The central approach to the meeting, which will take place March 19 in Rome, Italy hopes to convey the messages that “a military intervention by the United States, as well as other forms of pressure on the legitimate government of Caracas, are unacceptable,” said the vice minister as reported by Sputnik. Pressure by U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration on Russian companies with economic ties to Venezuela will also be discussed. The U.S.A. has said previously that the assets of Evrofinance Mosnarbank, a Russia-Venezuela states-owned financial organization would be frozen and U.S. citizens would be prohibited from doing business with the joint venture. The U.S. State Department said in a statement that Evrofinance was violating a Trump decree because it is a “foreign financial institution that materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of (PdVSA).” The Russian deputy foreign minister also reiterated that the government of Russian President Vladimir Putin will continue to cooperate with Caracas in the energy industry, and military expertise, regardless of pressure from the United States. Meanwhile no more U.S. flags are flying in Venezuela.
U.S. special envoy for Venezuela Elliott Abrams‘explained’ the US-backed ‘interim president’ of Venezuela Juan Guaido wouldn’t violate the 30-day constitutional time limit because thet legislature backing him voted that this part would not apply. Constitutional twisting at it's best.
Guaido was declared “interim president” by the National Assembly on January 23, under Article 233 of the Venezuelan constitution, which limits that then self-declared appointment to 30 days. But the term did allegedly not expire on February 23, because the National Assembly passed a resolution declaring that the 30-day countdown won’t start until “usurper” President Nicolas Maduro would step down, Abrams told reporters at the State Department on Friday.
Asked by AP diplomatic correspondent Matt Lee, if that rule can be changed after the fact, Abrams replied, “You don’t get a vote, because you’re not in the National Assembly.” But Lee fired back: “You’re not in the National Assembly either!”.
The US recognizes the National Assembly as “the only legitimate, democratic institution left in Venezuela,” Abrams told reporters. The legislative body was last elected in 2015, and Venezuela’s Supreme Court ruled that it was superseded by the Constitutional Assembly elected in 2017 – but Washington has refused to recognize the legitimacy of that election. The US and 53 of its allies had at first recognized Guaido as Venezuela’s “legitimate” leader, but even Abrams acknowledged on Friday that Guaio doesn’t actually hold power. Faced with questions about the recognition amounting to only a quarter of the world’s countries, the State Department has repeatedly argued that the number doesn’t matter, because the countries that sided with the US are “democracies” and that is supposed to count for more somehow. Abrams said the same thing on Friday, calling Guaido’s backers “many of the most influential democracies in the world.”
The self-proclaimed leader Guaido has started a trip across Venezuela in an attempt to create “freedom cells” in order to oust President Nicolas Maduro from office. He called on people of Venezuela to get out on the streets, mobilize and organize into what he dubbed "Operation Freedom, and added: " "After we mobilize the entire country, we will go to Miraflores and reclaim what belongs to the people," Guaido told supporters, referring to the presidential palace, as he announced the ‘operation' in the city of Valencia Saturday, AFP reported. Since Saturday, Guaido is touring Venezuela accompanied by opposition lawmakers, tasked with the creation of ‘freedom cells' — organized civilian opposition groups. The opposition announced that it has already set up 50 cells in half of Venezuela's 23 states. "Whatever happens, we must be united, mobilized in the streets," Guaido said. According to Guaido's tweet, Operation Freedom consists of three steps: to create "Freedom and aid" committees "on every street of Venezuela;" to create "labor and sectoral committees" in the public and private sectors and begin preparation of "constitutional forces" within National Armed Forces. "For the international community to do more and the Armed Forces do what they must, we have to move on to a level of organization, pressure and mobilization never seen before," Guaido tweeted. According to his tweets, the National Bolivarian Armed Forces of Venezuela are "in total disobedience" and are willing to "organize to protect the people of Venezuela." Until now, Guaido sought to mobilize people in the nation's capital of Caracas, which suffered a lengthy blackout that officials say was the result of sabotage. Now that power and basic services in the capital have been restored, Guaido has shifted his focus to the rest of the country which is still struggling with power outages and service disruptions, according to Reuters. "I am certain that our officials will have the necessary moral reserve to decisively cease the usurpation," the tweet reads. Earlier this week, the country's chief prosecutor asked the Supreme Court to probe Guaido for alleged involvement in the ‘sabotage' of the country's electricity system, reported Reuters.
The international media greatly reduced their recognition granted to the alleged authority of Juan Guaidó, and stopped calling him “interim president” of Venezuela; they call him “self-proclaimed president”, “leader of the Venezuelan opposition”, “opposition” or simply “Guaidó”. In an analysis, the Venezuelan News Agency (AVN) noted that this change has occurred in recent weeks especially among The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Reuters, Bloomberg and CNN, which had been attached to the line “president in charge”. They also just call hin “Deputy Guaido”. This trend was most noticeable after the press conference of the US Department Of State spokesman, Robert Palladino, when he instructed the media to call Guaido: Interim President. AVN reported an interview made by the British BBC channel with Guaidó and published last Thursday, in which the correspondent Will Grant refuted the alleged investiture that the opposition deputy has before the media and right-wing social base since January 23, when he proclaimed himself during a street demonstration. “You have the support of people like Elliot Abrams, Marco Rubio, what does that say about his attempts to become president?” Grant ansked in his conversation with Guaidó. The deputy simplified his response by appealing to the authority of the constitutional text and the people: “It is not an attempt, I am the ‘president in charge’ of Venezuela because that is what our Constitution says, and the main support I have is from the people.” Given this response, the journalist makes a distinction between what the deputy said and the real situation: “But it is not backed by the votes, would you agree that you has not been elected as president yet?” The journalist’s demonstrably truthful exercise is answered by Guaidó evading, saying “yes” or “no” and referring supposed opinion polls that indicate he has a “main backing”of 90 percent of “the people”. But it is verifiable that the constitutional president of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, was elected less than a year ago, in May 2018, with 67 percent of the popular vote (6,248,864 voters). The data of the popular election of Nicolás Maduro has always been ignored by the deputy and by the international media repeatedly. In his interviews, Guaidó always insists on being entitled to be called “interim president” and claims that the seat of the supposed "absolute vacancy: of the constitutional president, which is held by president Maduro.
Update SAT, 16. March 2019: (vf) Venezuela launched today on Saturday civic-military exercises to protect the nation's public services in the wake of a recently purported sabotage of the electricity system. "The Comprehensive Action Exercises begin to protect the nation's strategic public services," President Nicolas Maduro tweeted. "We will not allow the enemies of the state to once again rob the heroic Venezuelan people of their tranquility," he added. The exercises aimed "to perfect the people's organization," and "deploy all our forces" to prevent further attacks on the power grid or water distribution network, Maduro said. Among the tasks to be carried out was "maintenance," such as bolstering communications between the different supply stations, the president said.
UNHCR violated its own statutes by harbouring defecting soldiers from Venezueal in Colombia. In the weeks leading up to Feb. 23rd, the date fixed by the Venezuelan right-wing for the forced entry of supposed "humanitarian aid" into Venezuela, lawmaker Juan Guaido and several U.S. government spokesmen urged members of the National Bolivarian Armed Forces (FANB) to ignore their officers and defect to Colombia. They were then harboured by UNHCR against the rules, which clearly state that defecting but still active military soldiers can not be recognized as refugees. Now the Colombian government got them off the back of UNHCR. According to Gonzalez Hernandez, the evacuation from the shelter was demanded and prepared by the Colombian authorities in Villa del Rosario municipality, in the border city of Cucuta. In return, they were offered 350,000 Colombian pesos, a mattress, and a bedsheet for each one, he said. "Attention to this testimony: Venezuelan military officers who deserted on Feb. 23 and fled to Colombia reported being "adrift and waiting for President Guaido." They claim that UNHCR requires them to leave the camp and move on their own." Also Radio Colombia announced: "You must go. Leave in 3 days. Here are 350 thousand pesos and a mat for each one," this is what they said today to the Venezuelan military deserters in Cucuta. They no longer have any use. The time of your scene is over. The curtain goes down." The group of Venezuelan military deserters that fled to Colombia on February 23, reported on Saturday that Colombian authorities have abandoned them, and had given them a period of 4 days to leave the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) camp where they were living near the border between Venezuela and Colombia.The abandoned deserters, who also had trusted the ak promises of U.S. officials, now ask Venezuelan lawmaker Juan Guaido, who had unconstitutionally self-proclaimed himself as "Interim president" of Venezuela, to help them. "We are adrift; we do not have the support of anybody. We want Juan Guaido to come to talk to us face to face," said former Venezuelan Army's second ex-sergeant, Luis Gonzalez Hernandez, who acted as spokesperson for the group. "Most of us do not have relatives in Colombia, we were the breadwinner of our families in Venezuela and now we are here with nothing," lamented the ex-military officer.
Worldwide many demonstrations were held today ranging from Vancouver to Malabo and Washington to Johannesburg in support of Venezuela's sovreignty. From Argentina to South Africa, Malaysia to Peru, New Zealand to Canada and the U.S., supporters of the Bolivarian revolution marched together as part of the World in Solidarity with Venezuela Day this weekend. The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) demonstrated in front of the US consulate in Johannesburg with the slogan "Hands off Venezuela," "Hands out of Venezuela." In Vancouver, Canada, the mobilization against war and occupation (MAWO) marched in defense of the peace of the South American country. For their part, participants in the U.S. of the "Forum of the peoples" gathered outside the White House, in Washington, to denounce the interventionist efforts of the Donald Trump Administration against Venezuela and the Bolivarian Government.
People from around the world called for peace and a policy of non-interference in Venezuela. In Africa, Equatorial Guinea joined this call from its capital, Malabo. Miles away in New Zealand, the district directors of Hands out of Venezuela orchestrated a demonstration in Aotea square. In Argentina a demonstration was held at the Obelisco, historical monument of the city of Buenos Aires, while in Mexico, the regional branch Solidarity with Venezuela organization met outside the U.S. embassy. The Answer Coalition and the other activists state that “the aggressive policy against Venezuela repeats the ugly pattern of wars for regime change in the oil-rich countries of Iraq and Libya,” adding “Trump has always said that the ‘mistake’ of the Middle East wars was that the U.S. didn’t ‘take the oil,’ ” reads the joint communique.
Bolivian President Evo Morales on Friday called upon Brussels to support a political dialogue in crisis-plagued Venezuela, noting that there had been many interventions from outside forces throughout history that had only resulted in democracies being toppled. "History has taught us that there have been many interventions from the outside, like in Libya or Iraq, and they never offered a solution, they only abolished democracy. The only solution for Venezuela is dialogue, which should be supported by the European Union," Morales said, following a meeting with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in Athens.
During the visit of Guaidó to Valencia, Carabobo state, the deputy of the Venezuelan national assembly and self-proclaimed president under the tutelage and imposition of the US, visited the Valencia Cathedral to participate in a mass, before leaving for the demonstration to be held on Cedeño Avenue. The images and videos, however, recorded during the homily - not published by the mainstream media), show the low attendance of followers this activity had in the capital of Carabobo. Among other locations, the self-proclaimed "leader" also visited the La Candelaria Peripheral Market, where a small group of fans waited outside the precinct. In several videos one can clearly see the scarce presence of his followers in the capital of Carabobo, which confirms what many specialists have been saying: that Guaidó is a laboratory product that no longer works and that has been overshadowed in recent weeks as a result of its inability to generate the change promised and because the circus style of the whole operation that brought him to the headlines since last January. The visit of Guaidó to Valencia did not have the expected turnout, the reason why the march was disbanded very quickly.
The day before Guaido's appearance the UN Human Rights Commission delegation visiting Venezuela left Valencia, while the opposition had been trying to impress them desperately with demonstrations, gatherings and media events claiming that “Venezuela is a country where freedom of press does not exist”, according to them.
Thousands of Colombian protestors from Indigenous Peoples and farmers paralyzed for the 6th day on a row the Cauca Valley main roads. The blockade of the Pan-American highway at Cauca in Colombia might be extended to other roads in the country. At least seven people have been wounded and one killed after peaceful protesters were ambushed on the Pan-American highway, Cauca, Colombia Tuesday evening. Members of the National Indigenous Organization of Colombia (ONIC) were met with police violence during a demonstration against forced evacuations in Augustina. Indigenous communities continued their week of protests, erecting barricades in the road to stall police forces to no avail. Rapid gunfire echoed throughout the videos uploaded by Indigenous groups, who turned to social media when violence broke, calling for help from the United Nations and the Colombian government to intercede.
“#ATTENTION| At this time the public force are attacking violently La #MingaSocialSuroccidente. In the Agustina, Cauca, there are several mingueros (Minga Indigenous people) wounded by a firearm. We ALERT HUMAN RIGHTS. @IvanDuque @luiskankui @mindefensa @ONUHumanRights @CIDH,” the ONIC tweeted.
Colombian authorities are blaming armed groups for the attack, although the Regional Indigenous Council of Cauca (CRIC) had already denounced the Mobile Anti-Disturbances Squadron (ESMAD) and the National Army for several violent interventions prior to the shootings. At least three Indigenous people and possibly four Public Force members were wounded during the incident, Cauca state secretary, Ricardo Cifuentes Guzman said. On its personal website, ONIC reported, “In the afternoon of March 19, in the sector the Agustina the public force ESMAD fires with long-range firearms against the humanity of the mingueros, leaving 3 wounded.” “The first Manuel Mosquera, the second Weimar Lame and the third the promoter of the medical mission, all wounded by firearms. It is worrisome how the ESMAD fires at the medical mission that provides the service to guarantee the right to life,” the organization said. “We demand that the Colombian Government and its armed repressive agents comply with the national and international standards that regulate the fundamental right to social and peaceful protest,” they said. Protests in Cauca have going on for more than a week with demands to talk to president Ivan Duque about the 462 murders of social leaders and human rights activists in Colombia since 2016 as well as constant threats violence, death, and displacement. Their calls for help on social media gathered attention, as activists and academics are rising. Ana Erazo, a politologist and professor of urban studies, wrote, “Disturbing situation that the (Indigenous) communities are forced to mobilize today for their rights to live. @IvanDuque and @DilianFrancisca repression should not be the answer. #MingaSocialSuroccidente.” Telesur Correspondent Tatiana Portela tweeted, “More evidence of the war treatment that is giving the Government of @IvanDuque The Social And Popular Minga that is ahead in the department Of Cauca.”
Update FRI, 15. March 2019: (vf) Today, Friday, the Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro announced his intention to produce changes in the executive body to optimize the government's management and protect the country against new threats, after the cyber attack that affected the strategic services of the South American nation on March 7. By swearing in the new government period 2019-2025 on January 10, President Nicolás Maduro assumed the commitment to deepen the efficiency of State benefits with the aim of guaranteeing stability and social peace. "It is a moral, spiritual struggle of an entire country for honesty, for efficiency, for good services," he said during his swearing in the seat of the Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ).
The Russian Foreign Ministry says that the blackout that deepened the Venezuela crisis last weekend was organized from abroad by people with knowledge of the South American country’s electrical system. “Venezuela’s electric power sector was subject to attacks from abroad,” said Maria Zajárova, spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, citing sources familiar with the technical systems. According to the spokesperson, a “complex remote action” was carried out against the control system of the main power plants, which have equipment manufactured in Canada. The blackout in Venezuela therefore must hav been caused by people knowing the Canadian electrical equipment - “All the operating algorithms and vulnerabilities of the equipment of those systems were well known by the direct organizer of the aggression,” she said.
The spokesperson of the Russian Foreign Ministry also indicated that the US Secret Services are establishing “contacts with smugglers and drug traffickers” in Venezuela. According to Zajárova, US officials want those criminals to provide Washington with “information about illegal cross-border crossings “that would be used by the United States for their objectives in destabilizing the South American country. The spokeswoman for the Ministry added that Russia considers the attempts so far by the US of provoking a coup against Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro “a fiasco”.
US officials met with the organisers of last year's assassination attempt on Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro three times after the incident in order to get information about the attack, CNN reported. "They wanted to get information and then we asked for things in return. They took notes on this, and we asked if they would be able to help. Then they simply left with their notes, and they never appeared again," the anonymous attacker told the broadcaster. The organiser of the attack told CNN that the incident did not involve Colombia, despite Caracas' claims to the contrary, and was instead plotted by a group of Venezuelan citizens, including army defectors. According to the attacker, he met US officials three times after the fact. A spokesperson for the US Department of State refused to comment on the issue, only saying that Washington was supporting a “peaceful transition” in Venezuela. According to the Venezuelan authorities, Maduro experienced an attempted assassination with the use of explosive-laden drones during a speech he was making at a military parade in Caracas on 4 August 2019. The president has accused opposition forces and Colombia of having organised the attack, adding that some of the perpetrators resided in the United States. Both Bogota and Washington have denied any involvement in the incident. After leaving the attack unscathed, Maduro accused former Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos of being the “brain” of what he called the plot of the “extreme right” of Venezuela and Colombia, with the help of agents in the United States, to end his life .
In this context Alfred de Zayas, a former UN rapporteur to Venezuela and professor of law, who actually had warned earlier about an assassination threat against prsident Maduro, stated in an interview with the Sputnik radio station on 11. March 2019: "Well, certainly the United States is not giving up. I mean the bonanza of oil and gold and bauxite and cotton of Venezuela is much too attractive. So the drive to get Guaido into the driver's seat is not going to stop, and this electric blackout of Thursday is not going to be the last one. It reminds me very much of the electric blackout in Chile which was organised by the United States and, of course, by the Chilean opposition to Allende on 14 August 1973; that was four weeks before the coup d'etat of Augusto Pinochet. So it's quite clear that the United States is going to continue increasing the pressure and that Guaido, of course, is Washington's man in Venezuela, and he will continue gathering his supporters against Maduro. I remind listeners that this kind of subversion of foreign governments is nothing new. Stephen Kinzer wrote already in 2006 a book called "Overthrow". Stephen Kinzer was a very prominent New York Times reporter and in that book he documented the United States' overthrow tactics whether it'd be in Haiti or the Dominican Republic, or Guatemala, and Honduras, and Panama, and Grenada, and so on and so forth. So it's not anything new.
The CNN video was released a few days after the New York Times published an analysis about the responsibility behind the burning of the trucks the right wingers and the USA planned to force into Venezuela, which confirms that the responsible parties where the rioters from the Colombian side under the Guaido movement with the complicity of Colombian authorities.
Temir Porras, Former Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs under Hugo Chavez, says Guaidó’s assertion on Fox News that he could call in forein forces to overthrow the Maduro govenment, is a clear violation of the Venezuelan constitution.
Porras says the only way to avoid a blood bath is a negotiated political solution.
Venezuela’s president, Nicolas Maduro, meanwhile hailed the nation’s armed forces for their loyalty and defeat of the US-led coup attempt.
Update THU, 14. March 2019: (vf) The Chinese Foreign Ministry has voiced Beijing’s readiness to help Venezuela restore its energy supply system. This comes after Venezuelan President Maduro said he would request China, Russia, Cuba and Iran, as well as the UN, to probe a recent attack on the country’s power grids that left the country’s vast territories without electricity for several days. At the same time, according to a statement made by Venezuelan Minister of Communication and Information Jorge Rodriguez on Tuesday, operation of the country’s power grids has almost fully resumed throughout the country, which had experienced a blackout for five days.
Agitator Juan Guaido, after having agitated against the present Venezuelan government now for months and pitching his right-wing follwers continuously against the supporters of the Bolivarian revolution and the Chavistas in general, while still not being willing to denounce his call for foreign military intervention in Venezuela, stated today to the BBC that he fears his live to be in danger. Guaido refused in the interview with the BBC to rule out military intervention.
The US-funded CANVAS organization that trained Juan Guaido and his allies produced a 2010 memo on exploiting electricity outages and urged the opposition “to take advantage of the situation…towards their needs”
Orinoco Tribune reveals: Reuters Correspondent on Self-Proclaimed’s Plan on PDVSA: It Could be the “Ruin or Salvation of PDVSA”. Marianna Párraga, Reuters correspondent specializing in the oil market, alerted yesterday through her Twitter account that Guaidó’s Country Plan could be the “ruin or salvation of PDVSA”.’ Every one knows how unsympathetic with the Chavismo this news outlet is and and statement like this coming from Reuters should raise flags everywhere.
Vzlanos: viene una nueva ley de hidrocarburos que podría cambiar radicalmente el modelo de industria. Podría achicar PDVSA. Podría ser salvación o ruina. Se requiere discusión amplia y seria. Se van a enfrascar en reclamar quien se lleva el honor patrio de haberla nacionalizado?
— Marianna Párraga (@mariannaparraga) March 14, 2019
She referred to Guaidó’s intention to “apply” an oil market opening that would reduce PDVSA’s role in oil production. Allowing, for example, that transnationals may have the majority shareholding in companies with oil exploitation contracts, something that is currently prohibited in the Constitution and that could reduce the income that Venezuela receives for oil exports. This intention to privatize Venezuelan oil also coincides with recent statements by the director of the National Security Council, John Bolton, who in January said it would be good for the United States “to have our companies producing oil in Venezuela.” When this plan was launched a few weeks ago, the opposition minions in Venezuela launched a media campaign in all the right wing media all over Venezuela (BTW, the mayority of the media) and in the interviews they brag about how many meetings they had with Ambassadors for the North that “offered their help” to “rebuild” PDVSA.
The U.S. Department of the Treasury imposed sanctions on Tuesday against Venezuela’s state-run gold mining company Minerven, which is part of the Venezuelan Guayana Corporation (CVG) holding. The new sanctions aim to block state mining assets and prohibit U.S citizens from dealing with the company. As part of the ongoing sanctions and attempts to destabilize the Venezuelan government, the U.S. government announced the new measure that aims to block state mining assets and prohibit U.S citizens from dealing with the company. The decision comes after Uganda said it was investigating its biggest gold refinery for importing Venezuelan gold. The state-run ferrous metals mining company, and its president, Adrian Antonio Perdomo Mata, were included in the list of the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and Specially Designated Nationals And Blocked Persons (SDN), adding to more than half a dozen rounds of sanctions against the Venezuelan people and assets. "We have a fierce battle against international sanctions that have caused Venezuela to lose at least 20 billion dollars in 2018," said President Nicolas Maduro back in January 2019 as sanctions intensified. While the interventionist choke-hold progresses, gold has become a possible lifeline for the Venezuelan economy. President Maduro declared that Venezuela is currently certifying 32 gold fields, adding that “everything suggests the country will be the second biggest gold reserve on the planet.” However, U.S. officials keep asserting pressure on their British counterparts, as the Bank of England refused in February to return 14 tons of gold owned by the Venezuelan central bank, worth US$550 million. According to RT, Venezuela holds more than US$8 billion in foreign reserves. The amount of Venezuelan gold kept in the Bank of England doubled in recent months, growing from 14 to 31 tons.
Trump: “We can be much tougher if we need to do it"
As the new sanctions rolled out, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro was meeting with Donald Trump, part his first U.S. visit. Most of the discussion in the White House revolved around Venezuela, to which Trump said his administration has yet to impose the "toughest" sanctions. "We can be much tougher if we need to do it," said the U.S. president reiterating that all options are on the table regarding possible aggression against the Latin American nation. In an official response issued by Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza, the government declared it was “grotesque to see two heads of state with such important international responsibilities justify war without any distension, in a flagrant violation of the U.N. Charter.” Arreaza added that the Venezuelan government is concerned about the "U.S. warmongering influence over Brazil and the supremacist thesis of Donald Trump over Jair Bolsonaro." The statement emphasized that Venezuela denounces once again the threats of military intervention before the international community. "No neofascist alliance will succeed in overcoming the independent and sovereign will of the Venezuelan people," it concludes.
Ambassadors of member countries of the ALBA and several other nations expressed their support for Venezuela and repudiated the sabotage in which the Caribbean country is being targeted. “The Secretary General of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA), (David Choquehuanca) along with the ambassadors of the countries that are part of this important Alliance and diplomatic heads of Russia, Palestine, China, El Salvador, Iran and Turkey on Monday expressed their unrestricted support for the government of President Nicolás Maduro, to peace in the region and respect for international law”, the Venezuelan embassy in Bolivia said in a statement yesterday. The diplomatic mission also rejected the “new sabotage attack on the Guri hydroelectric dam , with the aim of undermining any attempt by the Venezuelan Government to achieve the stabilization of the economy and curb the insurrectionist situation that the United States and its dolphins try to run in the country. ” Choquehuanca said that the recent attacks against Venezuela are not isolated events, but represent a risk to the democracies and sovereignty of all Latin American countries, Orinoco Times reported. The ambassador of Iran in Bolivia, Reza Tabatabaei, warned, for his part, that a possible military intervention in Venezuela would represent an urgent and sensitive problem for the world.
The right-wing journalist Leocenis García publicly criticized deputy Juan Guaidó, who through his Twitter account recently called his followers to loot shops. “Brother, are you going crazy?” is part of the rebuke that the communicator made to the parliamentarian. “I demand you as a Venezuelan, to rectify this message. Private property is untouchable. Plunder is stealing. And that is not justifiable under any circumstances”, says one of the messages that Garcia posted on his profile on the social network Twitter. In another tweet he states: “Sacking is stealing. I call on the neighborhoods to repudiate and subject to derision every Venezuelan who acts out that practice. Looting is unacceptable under any circumstances.”
The Venezuelan Minister of Foreign Affairs Jorge Arreaza said the country is implementing methods to grapple with narcotics sales and consumptions, denouncing Colombia and the United States as responsible for the damages caused by drugs in the Americas at the United Nations Commission of Narcotics in Vienna, Austria, Thursday. During his speech at the U.N.'s 62nd session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, Arreaza said that Venezuela implements a comprehensive development model that allows for reducing the risk factors associated with the illegal consumption of illicit substances, and ratified that the country is not a route for drug trafficking. "Venezuela has promoted more than 580,000 activities carried out since 2009 aimed at communities, schools, children, and prisoners," said the chancellor. In his speech, the minister denounced that drugs produced in the neighboring country of Colombia end up "in the blood, the neurons, and the graves of young Americans," and that, despite the fact that the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration acts "as watchman" in the country. "How does this happen? How can the drug that is produced in Colombia and reaches the U.S. be released without being detected by the security systems of the most powerful country on this planet?" Arreaza asked. "How can institutions and states not be involved in this vicious circle?" The Foreign Minister affirmed that more than 90 percent of the drugs seized in the United States comes from Colombia.
The Venezuelan president, Nicolás Maduro, “must realize that a bullet in the forehead may be his way out of Venezuela,” said Anthony J. Tata, a retired (1981-2009) brigadier general of the United States and thereby underscores Washington’s ability to enter Venezuela and overthrow Maduro, even “with a bullet in the forehead.” The former U.S. military officer highlighted this in an interview given to US broadcaster Fox News on Thursday. He added: “We have the capacity to do that” in Venezuela. Based on this a political expert commented to Orinoco Times: “This comment is evidence of the profound ignorance in the USA about the political and institutional landscape of Venezuela, where the Constitution defines that even in the case of absolute absence of the Head of State (Nicolas Maduro) the person in line to replace him is the Vice President and also of the existence of the Constituent Assembly preparing a new constitution and constitutionally with the highest hierarchy of all branches of the State and of the Chavista majority will make that option very irrelevant”. In his opinion, the actions of US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, regarding Venezuela show that Washington will execute a military intervention, if necessary; as the US President, Donald Trump, has positioned himself in support of the Venezuelan coup leader Juan Guaidó. “(In Venezuela) There is a humanitarian crisis of epic proportions, there are also the links between Russia, China, Cuba and Iran, enemies of the USA, and one of the largest oil reserves at stake,” said Tata and added that Washington has to “locate and corral” Maduro “where he hides”, and protect Guaidó, head of the National Assembly (AN) of the country; an institution solely controlled by the opposition and declared already in 2016 to operate in contempt of a constitutional curt ruling. This interventionist plan, says Tata, seeks to “help the people of Venezuela.” However, several polls highlight the resounding rejection of Venezuelans of a foreign military action to overthrow President Maduro, whose government emanates from the vote cast in the elections last May. The retired brigadier also believes that Washington requires a sophisticated plan similar to that applied in 1994 by the US invasion in Haiti, “in which a military air strike strategy was used that took only minutes”. The U.S. government had already tried to force alleged humanitarian aid into Venezuelan territory - an attempt that failed, because president Maduro had rejected it, arguing that it camouflages weapons, which would be used by the Venezuelan opposition to overthrow the current Executive.
A Cessna 206 plane with callsign YV 1801 was found today on 14th crashed in the Gran Sabana region of Venezuela killing 2 colonels identified as José Silvestre Granja y César Paúl Padrino Bruzual and one sergeant of the National Bolivarian Armed Forces of Venezuela died in the tragic event. The crash has been caught on video. The light aircraft that can be seen in the footage, lurches to the right and then suddenly goes down in the woods, while the crew is desperately trying to save the plane. Sabotage can not be ruled out.
Update WED, 13. March 2019: (vf) Reuters news agency picked up a statement from the special envoy of the United States to solve “the Venezuelan crisis”, Elliott Abrams, in which he admits he can not specify the goal of the US coup strategy.
“There are no indications that the Venezuelan president, Nicolás Maduro, is going to open negotiations to get out of the impasse in which the opposition leader, Juan Guaidó has put him, “in a clear affirmation of the current failure to depose Chavismo from state power in Venezuela. That “dead end” does not have the result expected by Washington, which was thinking of a flash operation, and with a Maduro ready to run away from Miraflores in a few days. Instead, according to Reuters, Abrams “said that any negotiated solution should be between Venezuelans, and that the United States could help by lifting or alleviating sanctions and travel restrictions to the United States once Maduro agrees to go” (emphasis by Orinoco Tribune). This suspicious turn in the speech of Washington, after accepting that President Maduro “does not yield”, was accompanied by the Russian variable. Abrams declared that “(the Russians) continue to support him (Maduro) and there are no signs that the US has seen that the Russians are saying that it is time to put an end to this”, adding: “There might come a point when the Russians come to the conclusion that the regime can not be saved.” However, there are no indications that the Kremlin wants to break relations with Miraflores, after Russia is about to sign a large-scale commercial agreement with Venezuela to acquire raw materials for food and medicine production in Venezuela. Even though Abrams admits that the US pressure strategy has not worked against the Venezuelan government, and the notable change in discourse, talking of negotiations and sanctions, the diplomat is known above all for his coup role against the government of Hugo Chávez in 2002, besides being one of those responsible for arming and financing irregular groups involved in massacres and serious human rights violations in Central America during the 1980s.
Two oil tanks exploded on Wednesday at the facilities of the Petro San Felix mixed oil company, located in San Diego de Cabrutica, in the state of Anzoategui, in eastern Venezuela, reported the oil minister of the South American country, Manuel Quevedo. The president of the state-owned Petróleos de Venezuela, SA (PDVSA) said in his Twitter account that the “right wingers and their puppet”, referring to deputy Juan Guaidó, attacked Petro San Felix storage tanks to “affect company’s oil production”. “Justice will take care of so much hatred shown towards the people,” the official wrote.
Update TUE, 12. March 2019: (vf) Venezuelan authorities continue working to bring back online the electric grid following a massive outage that started on Thursday, March 7. According to on-the-ground testimonies and official sources, power finally began to reach Venezuela’s western states, including Merida and Zulia, on Monday night, around 96 hours after the blackout started. Electricity has now been restored at least in some areas of every state, with authorities urging citizens to avoid using heavy usage devices while efforts to restore the whole grid continue.
President Nicolas Maduro gave a televised address on Tuesday evening, offering more details about the alleged attack against the country’s electrical infrastructure. According to Maduro, both the computerized system in the Guri Dam, on Thursday afternoon, and the central electrical “brain” in Caracas, on Saturday morning, suffered cyber attacks, while recovery was delayed by physical attacks against transmission lines and electrical substations. “The recovery has been a miracle by CORPOELEC (electricity) workers” he said, vowing that a “battle” had been won. Maduro claimed that the attacks were directed from Chicago and Houston and that more evidence would be presented soon.
The US-funded CANVAS organization that trained Juan Guaido and his allies produced a 2010 memo on exploiting electricity outages and urged the opposition “to take advantage of the situation…towards their needs”
Self-proclaimed “Interim President” Juan Guiadó has blamed the electricity crisis on government mismanagement and corruption, dismissing the government’s cyber attack thesis on the grounds that the system is analog, and attributing the national outage to a lack of qualified personnel needed to reactivate the grid. However, these claims have been called into question by people with knowledge of the system. Guiadó called for street protests on Tuesday afternoon which saw small groups momentarily take to streets in Caracas and other cities, or banging pots and pans from windows. The opposition-controlled National Assembly, which has been in contempt of court since 2016, approved a decree on Monday declaring a state of “national alarm,” blaming the government for the current crisis and issuing instructions for public officials and security forces.
The self-proclaimed, Juan Guaidó, meanwhile tried to ridicule the attack on the national hydroelectric system that affected the entire country with a blackout of more than 60 continuous hours (more, in some states), saying that the Guri Dam has an “analog system”. However, even engineer José Aguilar, who has been a detractor of the government and supports the coup led by Guaidó, questioned his national assembly deputy’s words when explaining that the Guri systems is not analogical and that it was like that only in the beginning (the 70’s). “There are pseudo-experts” saying that Guri could not be hacked because their systems are “analog” therefore obsolete: False! It is a system of the latest tecnology and has also digital anti-hacking technology,” Aguilar wrote on his Twitter account. “(It’s) an insult to the engineering of the great Edelca (currently Corpoelec) to say that Guri Control systems are analog,” he continued, while calling for “study” before talking nonsense. Guiadó had unsuccessfully tried to accuse Minister Jorge Rodriguez of having falsified the facts saying that “the sabotage was a hack to the system that controls the Transmission Core Network”, when in fact and in a precise way he said that “they attacked the automated system of the Guri”, that is, the generation. Guiado also tried to change the version of the attack to a forest fire that would have affected the transmission lines, to effect “damage control” and to divert the investigation in progress. It’s worth mentioning that President Chavez in 2009 launched the most radical technological update on the hydroelectric dam and modernized all the systems, and for that the Canadian Corporation ABB was hired. Several experts have charged that might be part of the security flaws in the system.
Venezuelan Attorney General Tarek William Saab announced that an investigation was being opened against Guiadó regarding his alleged responsibility for the recent power outage. Saab explained that this investigation would add to the previous one, opened on January 29, as well as determine responsibilities in instigating violence.
Secretary Pompeo announced sanctions against Russian bank Evrofinance Mosnarbank for allegedly helping Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA evade US sanctions. Pompeo also met with Indian Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale on Monday to pressure New Delhi to stop buying crude from Venezuela. A de facto oil embargo imposed in late January has seen Caracas scramble to find new partners in Asia, with India the main cash buyer. Oil Minister Quevedo stated that the goal was to double oil sales to India, with the possibility of bartering oil for medicines as a way to avoid US financial sanctions. For his part, National Security Advisor John Bolton has threatened financial institutions with sanctions for engaging in intermediating transactions involving the Venezuelan government. “Bankers […] The United States is watching. The world is watching. The Venezuelan people are watching,” he tweeted on Monday.
Cuba rejects the campaign of lies coordinated by John Bolton, the government said in a statement and described the attack on Venezuela’s electricity system, which occurred last Thursday, as a terrorist act. In a statement, the government of the Cuban Revolution argues that the attack has been “aimed at damaging the defenseless population to use as a hostage in the unconventional war unleashed by the United States against the Venezuelan government.” In this context, it argues that it is an escalation of violence that evokes the oil strike of 2002 and that arises after the interventionist failure of 23F, when they tried to forcibly enter a supposed “humanitarian aid”. The statement also denounces a campaign of lies coordinated by U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton against Venezuela. One of those lies, says the statement, is that “Cuba has between 20 and 25 thousand military personnel in Venezuela who threaten the officers of the Bolivarian National Armed Forces.” “Cuba categorically rejects this lie, as it equally firmly rejects any suggestion that there is any degree of political subordination from Venezuela to Cuba or from Cuba to Venezuela,” the Cuban government asserts.
The Trump administration’s Special Envoy to Venezuela, Elliott Abrams, told press on Tuesday that “significant sanctions” against Caracas and international financial institutions can be expected in the coming days. Abrams, who was appointed in late January, is known for his leading role in the Reagan administration’s notorious Central America policy, including the Iran-Contra scandal, and for advising George W. Bush in the lead up to the 2003 war in Iraq.
Update MON, 11. March 2019: (vf) 72 hours now on Blackout! Venezuelans have been forced to queue to charge electronic devices using solar panels after the country was hit by a fourth day of blackouts today. As night fell, the power across much of the country – which first went off on Thursday – was still not on. Opposition lawmakers and aid groups used this of course to spread their hate for the Maduro government and warned that an unprecedented nationwide blackout in Venezuela was causing a rising number of deaths, as citizens struggled for a fourth day to find food and water and hospitals were paralyzed.
The Venezuelan Army has introduced an air surveillance system over the country’s power lines to protect its energy system and prevent further incidents, Venezuela’s Defence Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez said. “The Venezuelan National Armed Forces launched an air surveillance system for power lines today, and since yesterday they have occupied all strategic facilities… for physical protection at various levels in order to stabilize the system and prevent any other attacks”, Lopez said Sunday as broadcast by the public TV channel VTV. Padrino López: All Electric Infrastructure Under Army Control (vídeo)
A team of five specialists from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights is in Venezuela from March 11th to 22nd, 2019 at the invitation of the Venezuelan Government. During their visit, the team will meet with government leaders, representatives of the National Assembly, with civil society organizations and with victims of alleged human rights violations. The visit is the result of the invitation that the Venezuelan Government sent to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, to carry out an official mission to the country. The team will visit Caracas and other areas in various states of Venezuela. In all States where the UN Office for Human Rights is not present, it is standard practice to send a preliminary technical mission prior to the possible visit of the High Commissioner. This exercise is carried out to be certain that the High Commissioner would obtain unrestricted access to all persons and to all the places she would like to visit, in order to obtain a clear vision of the human rights situation in the country.
The Venezuelan president announced today, on Monday, that two arrests were made in connection to alleged acts of sabotage against the communications system in the Guri Dam. Venezuela’s electrical grid has suffered from poor maintenance and sabotage in recent years, with infrastructure strained by under-investment and Washington’s economic sanctions further compounding difficulties.
The extended power outage saw episodes of looting take place, especially in the Zulia capital of Maracaibo. Food warehouses, supermarkets and a shopping mall were targeted according to reports and footage on social media. Isolated episodes of protests and looting were also reported in other cities, including some sectors of Caracas. A video spread on social media appeared to show a violent confrontation in the eastern city of Maturin in which a National Guardsman was shot dead. While electricity has been gradually restored, public transportation and other services have yet to be reactivated, with the government suspending work and school activities until Wednesday.
In Caracas, attention has now turned to water. Shortages started to be felt after the water pumping system in the nearby Tuy valley was shut down amid the electricity blackout. Authorities announced on Tuesday afternoon that the system was due to resume supplying water to the capital metropolitan region. Some communities protested the lack of water on Monday and long queues formed at water distribution points, with local authorities looking to send water tanks to supply communities and guarantee the normal functioning of hospitals.
The Venezuelan government has yet to release any information concerning casualties in hospitals, with NGO Doctors for Health reporting 24 dead as of Monday night following alleged contact with multiple hospitals. Higher figures, including claims of 80 newborns dead in Maracaibo, have been denied by local sources.
US withdraws embassy staff. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reported on Monday that the remaining embassy staff in Caracas were being withdrawn. “[…] The presence of U.S. diplomatic staff at the embassy has become a constraint on U.S. policy,” Pompeo wrote on Twitter. President Maduro had ordered a break of diplomatic relations with Washington in response to the Trump administration’s recognition of Guaido’s self-swearing in on January 23, with embassy personnel given 72 hours to leave the country. Pompeo initially refused to withdraw US personnel on the grounds that Maduro did not have the authority to request their departure but ultimately backtracked and ordered the majority of staffers to leave. The US and Venezuelan governments subsequently agreed to downgrade their respective embassies to “interests sections” within 30 days. The Venezuelan Foreign Ministry released a communique stating that a 15 day extension had been granted after the original 30 days expired, but that the Venezuelan government had decided to terminate talks for the establishment of interest sections and granted 72 hours for embassy personnel to leave. The communique further stated that the presence of US diplomatic staff was a “threat to peace” given “threats of military action under the pretext of protecting diplomatic staff.” Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza went on to criticize US officials for presenting the withdrawal as their decision, while reaffirming the Venezuelan government’s willingness to maintain channels of communication with Washington so long as the relation is based on “mutual respect.”
Update SUN, 10. March 2019: (vf) The "Christian" fundamentalist of the the ultro-supremacist far-right in the USA, Senator Marco "Narco" Rubio continued to spread his fake news against Venezuela. This time he tweeted the wrong information by stating that the electriciy production at a "German Dam" had broken down. In reality he grabbed a piece of news by a well-know journalist with the name German Dam who had earlier reported a fire at sabotaged power-substation. Rubio was immediately informed but din't correct. No wonder that he then was mocked: "Look, OH LOOK: Babies in INCUBATORS are DYING because Maduro neglected the electrical system. Let's all go down there with smart bombs and kick his @ss. Venezuelans will gladly give us ALL THEIR OIL in thanks after we "rescue" them from that horrible horrible man!"
Communications Minister Jorge Rodriguez told press that a cyberattack had taken place against the “Ardas” computerized system of the Guri Dam, targeting 3 of the 5 generators and forcing the dam’s turbines to stop. He added that Venezuela would present evidence of the attack to the United Nations Human Rights Commission and to other international bodies. Rodriguez went on to deny the opposition’s claim that 79 people had died in hospitals as a consequence of the outage, but did not offer an official number. NGO Doctors for Health reported 21 deaths as of Sunday evening after allegedly contacting hospitals throughout the country. Beginning in the middle of rush hour Thursday afternoon, the outage immediately affected public transit networks, with the Caracas metro and suburban trains paralyzed. Miranda’s governorship mobilized buses to help take citizens home, while many were forced to walk back from work. Caracas’ metro system has yet to restore service, with authorities waiting for the electrical supply to stabilize.