Dialogue between Venezuelan Government and Opposition Reaches First Agreements

Source:  Venezuelanalysis.com

16th April 2014

Ven gov y opposition talk peaceDialogue between government and opposition representatives continued in Caracas last night, seeing the opposition coalition condemn violence, but no agreement reached on their demand to release those arrested for it.

The current dialogue began last Thursday. The opening discussion was broadcast live, but last night’s four hours of talks were private. The talks are being attended by a papal representative and foreign ministers from Brazil, Colombia, and Ecuador.

President Maduro had been calling for general dialogue, as well as with specific sectors such as the students, after violent opposition sectors began blockading key streets in some cities on 12 February. Until now, 41 people have been killed, the majority as a direct result of the blockades and blockade participants, and a few by security forces during violent protests. Until last Thursday, a few individual opposition leaders eventually attended some of the peace conferences, but the remaining opposition sectors refused Maduro’s proposal for dialogue.

National Pacification Plan

After the Peace Dialogue yesterday, representatives from the government and the opposition talked to the press. They said they discussed the National Pacification Plan, the Truth Commission, and ratifying committees to examine postulations to the public powers; electoral and judicial, in order to cover current vacancies. They also discussed the agenda for the dialogues, as well as dates, and the overall process and working methods.

Representatives also discussed assigning a medical commission to evaluate the state of health of Ivan Simonovis, who was arrested in 2009 for his involvement in the 2002 short lived coup.

The truth is the path to justice and peace

Vice-president Arreaza welcomed that “one of the first agreements reached with the opposition representatives was to fully respect the constitution and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, and to reject violence, wherever it comes from”.

“The truth is the path to justice and peace,” Arreaza said. This second meeting “was held on good terms, with respect, with tolerance… we’re advancing in a positive way,” he stated.

He also announced that the national government had approved 148 “special projects” for 74 mayoralties and states administered by the opposition, for a total of Bs 1 billion. “It’s a gesture that we can work together, that we can agree on the big problems facing the nation,” he said, explaining that the proposals for the projects were made by the opposition leaders to the president last Friday.

Opposition response to yesterday’s dialogue

General Secretary of the opposition coalition, the MUD, Ramon Aveledo, said the dialogue process had allowed representatives to “advance in the commitment to create working groups in order to advance in the study and preparation of decisions in some areas”.

He also “rejected… without a doubt, any manifestation of, or forms of violence”.

On the Pacification Plan, Aveledo said, “We’re going to study this plan, contribute to it and enrich it, with the support of our experts in the areas of security, prevention, and criminal punishment”. He said opposition governors and mayors had expressed willingness to “coordinate and participate” in national planes to promote security and peace.

Aveledo said that his side had proposed the Truth Commission be headed by people who promote “credibility” for the country, and he said once it was formed, the MUD would present “60 cases” of alleged torture.  The aim of the truth commission is to evaluate the recent cases of violence as a result of opposition barricades. Aveledo said the opposition proposed that it be “independent of the public powers”.

Finally, Aveledo said the opposition had pushed for an amnesty law – one of their key proposals. The MUD presented a list with around a hundred people arrested for their involvement in violence, including for murder, assisting murder, and destruction of public property, but who they called “political prisoners”, including opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez. The proposal was not accepted, and Aveledo said they would “look for other ways”.

Attending the dialogue on behalf of the government was vice-president Jorge Arreaza, foreign minister Elias Jaua, first combatant (wife of president Maduro) Cilia Flores, Caracas mayor Jorge Rodriguez, legislator Dario Rivas, and communications minister Delcy Rodriguez.

For the opposition, along with Aveledo, legislators Julio Borges, Edgar Zambrano and Miguel Pizarro attended, as well as Latin American Parliament representatives Delsa Solorzano and Francisco Garcia, and the COPEI party head, Roberto Enriquez.

Vice-president Jorge Arreaza said the third meeting of the dialogue will be held next week and will focus on “advancing in justice without impunity”.

Voluntad Popular (VP – Popular Will) refuses to participate

The Voluntad Popular (VP) party, one of the more conservative opposition parties, has so far refused to participate in the dialogue.  It was one of the key parties to have openly promoted the last two months of violent barricades, with two of its leaders; Leopoldo Lopez and former mayor Daniel Ceballos, currently in prison for supporting or encouraging the violence.

David Smolansky, VP member and mayor of El Hatillo, said the “conditions aren’t right” for the party’s participation. He also said the main reason they weren’t participating was because Lopez and Ceballos are in prison.

Source:  Dialogue between Venezuelan Government and Opposition Reaches First Agreements

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Embassy of Cuba Denounces US Cyber-subversion Campaign

In a press release issued today April 16, the Embassy of Cuba in Jamaica has denounced the United States cyber-subversion campaign which seeks to destabilize Cuba in an effort to provoke changes in its political order.  The full text of the release is reproduced below.

Source:  Embassy of the Republic of Cuba in Jamaica

Embassy-of-CubaThe Embassy of the Republic of Cuba in Jamaica has the honor to denounce the United States cyber-subversion campaign against Cuba. The article on this issue published a few days ago by the American agency AP, confirms repeated denunciation by the Cuban government that the U.S. government has not given up on its subversive plans against Cuba, which seek to create destabilizing situations in the country aimed at provoking changes in its political order, to which the Government of the United States continues to devote multi-million dollar budgets every year.

USAID’s planned creation of a “Cuban Twitter” 

As it was disclosed, in the case of the social network ZunZuneo, the USAID (U.S. Agency for International Development) planned its creation as a “Cuban Twitter” aimed at undermining the Cuban government. The network operated for two years until 2012 and
had approximately 40,000 users, for which databases of the Telecommunications Company of Cuba (ETECSA) were illicitly obtained. Private data from Cuban users was gathered without their consent through ZunZuneo, which made it possible to categorize them by gender, age, tastes and affiliations of various kinds, to be used for political purposes.

ZunZuneo has not been the only platform

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JSC Interviews Rene Gonzalez – Part 1

Interview with Rene Gonzalez, one of the Five Cuban anti-terrorist fighters

rene gonzalez 2The unjust imprisonment in the United States of the five Cuban anti-terrorist fighters, Gerardo Hernández, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando González, Ramón Labañino and René González, – known internationally as the Cuban Five – has been widely condemned by public opinion around the world.  In addition, heads of government, politicians, intellectuals (including several Nobel Peace Prize winners but no, not President Barak Obama) and religious leaders from many countries, including the United States, have been calling for the release of the Five.

Jamaicans and the Caribbean people generally have consistently voiced their opposition to the injustice of the arbitrary and rigged political trial in a Miami Court in the United States which imposed harsh unjust sentences on the Five Cuban Heroes.

In an effort to inform the Jamaican people about the details of and background to the imprisonment of the Five, the book “The Story of the Five Cuban Heroes” was launched on October 6, 2006 by the Jamaican-Cuba Solidarity Network

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASpeaking at this function was Rene’s daughter, Irma, who thanked the Jamaican solidarity network for the publication of the book and their efforts to make more Jamaicans aware of the plight of her father and his four comrades. Irma spoke about the injustice of the case and the effort worldwide to free the Cuban Five.(Photo:  Irma speaking at the book launch on Oct 6 2006)

Five years later, in May 2011, Rene’s wife,Olga Salanueva and Gerardo’s wife, Adriana Perez, visited Jamaica and participated in,among other activities, a workshop of solidarity within the context of an International Peace  Forum.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe workshop, sponsored by the World Council of Churches (WCC), took place at the University of the West Indies.

Olga and Adriana updated the participants on the legal status of the Cuban anti-terrorists.(Photo:  Adriana and Olga at the University of the West Indies)

Rene returns home

After serving the sentence imposed by the Miami Court, René González returned to his homeland, Cuba, in October 2012.  René, who is still considered one of the Five and who wants to be seen like that has declared that he will continue to fight for the freedom of his brothers who remain unjustly imprisoned in the USA.

Fernando González Llort, one of the Cuban anti-terrorist fighters, was recently released after having served fifteen years in U.S. prison. Fernando returned to Cuba on February 28 as a deportee and was handcuffed during all the flight to his motherland. Upon arrival, he announced that he would join the struggle for the release of his brothers Gerardo, Antonio and Ramón.
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400 more Cuban-trained Peruvian doctors graduate

Lima, April 12 (Prensa Latina)

cuba peruOver 400 Peruvian doctors who  graduated in Cuba will return to their country in the coming months, as an expression of bilateral cooperation, said the head of the Institute of Health Services Management and former Minister of Public Health, Oscar Ugarte.

The Peruvian official stressed that the doctors were trained in the Caribbean nation without costing anything to Peru and previously 2,000 graduated there in the same condition.

Ugarte made the reference when highlighting the importance of Cuban cooperation in health, in a report on the work of 42 Cuban medical professionals who recently arrived with outstanding professional qualifications.

Ugarte recalled that the Cuban collaboration is part of a bilateral agreement signed in 1999 and explained that the new group of doctors in the country will provide technical assistance in areas that the country needs strengthening, as specialization in transplants.

The senior official recalled that in 2007 a brigade of Cuban doctors came to Peru to assist the victims of an earthquake that struck the southern region of Ica and spent three years. In 1991 and 1992 another came to fight cholera epidemic.

Cuban health care dates back to 1970, when a brigade came to meet the victims of a major earthquake in the northern region of Ancash.

Source: Return of 400 Peruvian Doctors Graduated in Cuba

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ALBA Ambassadors to Cuba Support Venezuela

Source:  Presna Latina

Havana, Apr 10 

ALBA 2Ambassadors of the member countries of the Bolivarian Alternative for the People of our Americas (ALBA) expressed their support to Venezuela today in the struggle to defend peace, the homeland and independence.

“Bolivar’s homeland is a victim of an imperialist strategy, known as soft power, by means of destabilizing actions organized abroad,” said a statement circulated by the ALBA diplomats in a meeting held at the Venezuelan embassy in this capital.

The Ambassadors of Antigua and Barbuda, Bolivia, Dominica, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Cuba reiterated support from their nations to Caracas, convinced that Venezuelans would defend the peace and sovereignty of their nation, faced with fascist attacks that have tried to destroy a legitimate democracy.

Imperialist counteroffensive in Latin America and the Caribbean

The document denounced the imperialist counteroffensive in Latin America and the Caribbean, which is still on, and specified that the Venezuelan Government and people are undergoing constant pressure and the violence of the pro-coup right-wing.

“We support the Venezuelan Government and people in the struggle to defend peace, the homeland and independence,” said the text.

Source:  ALBA Ambassadors to Cuba Support Venezuela

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USAID Subversion in Latin America Not Limited to Cuba

By Dan Beeton

Global Research, April 09, 2014
usaid aid subversionnew investigation by the Associated Press into a U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) project to create a Twitter-style social media network in Cuba has received a lot of attention this week, with the news trending on the actual Twitter for much of the day yesterday when the story broke, and eliciting comment from various members of Congress and other policy makers. The “ZunZuneo” project, which AP reports was “aimed at undermining Cuba’s communist government,” was overseen by USAID’s Office of Transition Initiatives (OTI). AP describes OTI as “a division that was created after the fall of the Soviet Union to promote U.S. interests in quickly changing political environments — without the usual red tape.” Its efforts to undermine the Cuban government are not unusual, however, considering the organization’s track record in other countries in the region.

USAID’s efforts to undermine the governments of Venezuela, Bolivia, Haiti, …

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A reflection on Dr Norman Girvan

Originally posted on Tony Seed's Weblog:

Norman GirvanI had the honour to meet and briefly discuss with Dr Norman Girvan, when he spoke at a most interesting two-day symposium held in October 22009 at St Mary’s University SMU) in Halifax, along with the Cuban, Bolivian and Venezuelan ambassadors and several other invited guests from Latin America. Dr Girvan gave a terrific presentation on ALBA, pointing to a number of forces that have combined to bring about positive change for the majority of people in the region who have been marginalized for centuries. The topic of our own discussion was the actual role that Canada plays in the Caribbean and Latin America, which is nefarious and long-standing. Unlike imperialist academics who come to Canada to lecture, he was most open to our views, experiences and researches. (He visited SMU again in November 2013, speaking at a conference on alternative trade.) That encounter led me to read some of…

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