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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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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17th Latin American and Caribbean Students Congress set for August

HAVANA, Cuba, Apr 1 (acn)

OCLAEFrom Caracas, capital of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, the Latin American and Caribbean Continental Student Organization (OCLAE) officially announced its 17th Congress on Monday afternoon.

Ricardo Guardia, president of the OCLAE, highlighted that the continental call will initiate preparations for the Latin American and Caribbean Student Congress (CLAE), to be held in Managua, Nicaragua, on August 17-22.

The objective is to get together to build a participatory, wide, plural and unitary Congress, an anti-imperialist, pro Latin American and Caribbean forum, on par with the present the region is living and that contributes to the efforts of emancipation, to the project of integration and to the forging of the Big Homeland, he emphasized.

The meeting in Nicaragua in August will be dedicated to late Bolivarian leader Hugo Chavez and his struggle, and will represent the return of the CLAE to the Central American arena after 30 years, with the purpose of re-articulating and strengthening the student movement in that sub-region.

The regional student platform was set up in 1966, in Havana. At present it groups 36 organizations, which represent over 100 million students from 23 countries.

Source: Regional Student Forum Convened from Caracas

CELAC, China Hold Meetings in Beijing

Beijing, Apr 4 (Prensa Latina)

CELAC 2014

Representatives from the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) troika, Costa Rica, Cuba and Ecuador, have begun talks with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, to establish a ministerial forum between CELAC and China.

At the second CELAC summit held in Havana on January 28, 2014, CELAC members approved the creation of the CELAC-China forum and drafted a document directing that the first ministerial meeting be held this year.

The meeting with Wang was attended by the Foreign Minister of Costa Rica, Enrique Castillo; the Deputy Foreign Minister of Cuba, Abelardo Moreno and from Ecuador, Leonardo Arizaga.

CELAC, created in Venezuela

Created in December 2011 in Caracas, Venezuela, CELAC is a regional bloc composed of 33 countries with a rotating presidency, currently held by Costa Rica, with Cuba the previous office-holder and Ecuador next on the list.

Foreign Ministry spokesmen stressed the importance of this forum, considered an important mechanism of cooperation between China and the region.

In addition to its deliberations this morning at the Foreign Ministry, the Latin American visitors are to hold meetings with senior leaders of this country, including Vice President Li Yuanchao.

Hong Lei, Foreign Ministry spokesman, expressed the great importance that China gives to developing relations with CELAC, and stated that the parties have established a regular dialogue mechanism at the foreign ministry level and agreed to promote a comprehensive cooperation scheme focused on that forum.

China will work with the CELAC to actively build the forum and make it a platform for a cooperative partnership emphasizing equality, mutual benefit and common development, said the diplomat.

Hong told reporters that the intention is to safeguard the common interests of China and CELAC and promote peace, stability, and regional and global development.

Source:  Presna Latina

Maduro: The foreign media has distorted the reality of my country

Nicolas Maduro VP Venezudla

The following article appeared as an op-ed in the April 2, edition of the New York Times.  

Source:Follow the facts  Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal

By Nicolás Maduro, president of Venezuela.

April 2, 2014 – New York Times, CARACAS, Venezuela — The recent protests in Venezuela have made international headlines. Much of the foreign media coverage has distorted the reality of my country and the facts surrounding the events.

Venezuelans are proud of our democracy. We have built a participatory democratic movement from the grass-roots that has ensured that both power and resources are equitably distributed among our people.

According to the United Nations, Venezuela has consistently reduced inequality: It now has the lowest income inequality in the region. We have reduced poverty enormously — to 25.4 percent in 2012, on the World Bank’s data, from 49 percent in 1998; in the same period, according to government statistics, extreme poverty diminished to 6 percent from 21 percent.

We have created flagship universal health care and education programs, free to our citizens nationwide. We have achieved these feats in large part by using revenue from Venezuelan oil.

While our social policies have improved citizens’ lives over all, the government has also confronted serious economic challenges in the past 16 months, including inflation and shortages of basic goods. We continue to find solutions through measures like our new market-based foreign exchange system, which is designed to reduce the black market exchange rate. And we are monitoring businesses to ensure they are not gouging consumers or hoarding products. Venezuela has also struggled with a high crime rate. We are addressing this by building a new national police force, strengthening community-police cooperation and revamping our prison system.

Since 1998, the movement founded by Hugo Chávez has won more than a dozen presidential, parliamentary and local elections through an electoral process that former American President Jimmy Carter has called “the best in the world.” Recently, the United Socialist Party received an overwhelming mandate in mayoral elections in December 2013, winning 255 out of 337 municipalities.

Popular participation in politics in Venezuela has increased dramatically over the past decade. As a former union organizer, I believe profoundly in the right to association and in the civic duty to ensure that justice prevails by voicing legitimate concerns through peaceful assembly and protest.

The claims that Venezuela has a deficient democracy and that current protests represent mainstream sentiment are belied by the facts. The antigovernment protests are being carried out by people in the wealthier segments of society who seek to reverse the gains of the democratic process that have benefited the vast majority of the people.

Antigovernment protesters have physically attacked and damaged health care clinics, burned down a university in Táchira State and thrown Molotov cocktails and rocks at buses. They have also targeted other public institutions by throwing rocks and torches at the offices of the Supreme Court, the public telephone company CANTV and the attorney general’s office. These violent actions have caused many millions of dollars’ worth of damage. This is why the protests have received no support in poor and working-class neighborhoods.

The protesters have a single goal: the unconstitutional ouster of the democratically elected government. Antigovernment leaders made this clear when they started the campaign in January, vowing to create chaos in the streets. Those with legitimate criticisms of economic conditions or the crime rate are being exploited by protest leaders with a violent, antidemocratic agenda.

In two months, a reported 36 people have been killed. The protesters are, we believe, directly responsible for about half of the fatalities. Six members of the National Guard have been shot and killed; other citizens have been murdered while attempting to remove obstacles placed by protesters to block transit.

A very small number of security forces personnel have also been accused of engaging in violence, as a result of which several people have died. These are highly regrettable events, and the Venezuelan government has responded by arresting those suspected. We have created a Human Rights Council to investigate all incidents related to these protests. Each victim deserves justice, and every perpetrator — whether a supporter or an opponent of the government — will be held accountable for his or her actions.

In the United States, the protesters have been described as “peaceful,” while the Venezuelan government is said to be violently repressing them. According to this narrative, the American government is siding with the people of Venezuela; in reality, it is on the side of the 1 percent who wish to drag our country back to when the 99 percent were shut out of political life and only the few — including American companies — benefited from Venezuela’s oil.

Let’s not forget that some of those who supported ousting Venezuela’s democratically elected government in 2002 are leading the protests today. Those involved in the 2002 coup immediately disbanded the Supreme Court and the legislature, and scrapped the Constitution. Those who incite violence and attempt similar unconstitutional actions today must face the justice system.

The American government supported the 2002 coup and recognized the coup government despite its anti-democratic behavior. Today, the Obama administration spends at least $5 million annually to support opposition movements in Venezuela. A bill calling for an additional $15 million for these anti-government organizations is now in Congress. Congress is also deciding whether to impose sanctions on Venezuela. I hope that the American people, knowing the truth, will decide that Venezuela and its people do not deserve such punishment, and will call upon their representatives not to enact sanctions.

Now is a time for dialogue and diplomacy. Within Venezuela, we have extended a hand to the opposition. And we have accepted the Union of South American Nations’ recommendations to engage in mediated talks with the opposition. My government has also reached out to President Obama, expressing our desire to again exchange ambassadors. We hope his administration will respond in kind.

Venezuela needs peace and dialogue to move forward. We welcome anyone who sincerely wants to help us reach these goals.

[Nicolás Maduro is the president of Venezuela. A version of this op-ed appears in print on April 2, 2014, on page A27 of the New York edition with the headline: "Venezuela: A Call for Peace".]

No More Pinochets in Latin America – No to Extreme Right-Wing Coup Plotters in Venezuela!

Register at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/nlondon-no-more-pinochets-in-latin-america-no-to-venezuela-coup-plotters-tickets-11004852811

chavez 100Speakers to include George Galloway MP & Dr. Francisco Dominguez, looking at the recent wave of extreme, right-wing violence in Venezuela aimed at de-stabilising – & ultimately overthrowing – the country’s progressive, elected Government & the lessons of Chile over forty years on.

Part of the National VSC Speaking Tour of the Same Name.

More info at https://www.facebook.com/events/827246743956480/?ref=notif&notif_t=plan_user_invited.

Source:   No More Pinochets in Latin America

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Chile’s 9/11: Survivors recall horrors of Pinochet coup, 40 years on

Thirty-three Latin American and Caribbean Countries Sign Havana “Zone of Peace” Declaration

January 31, 2014

CELAC 2nd Summit Havana 2014Latin American and Caribbean heads of state adopted a landmark agreement pledging to make the region a “zone of peace.”

Leaders from the 33-nation Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) signed the Havana Declaration, promising not to intervene in other countries’ internal affairs and resolve disputes peacefully.

The agreement followed the two-day CELAC summit and recognized “the inalienable right of every state to choose its political, economic, social and cultural system.”

It put in writing the need to resolve differences “through dialogue and negotiation or other forms of peaceful settlement established in international law.”

The declaration also reiterated the need for total global nuclear disarmament and highlighted the ongoing importance of the 1967 Tlatelolco Treaty, which established the region as a nuclear-free zone.

And it emphasized the need to work for food security, literacy, education, the development of agriculture and the achievement of universal public health services.

The brainchild of late Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez, CELAC was set up in 2011 to counter the US-dominated Organisation of American States, which expelled Cuba in 1962 in retaliation for its rejection of imperialism.

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Real Meaning of the Protests in Venezuela . . . Jose Gomez, Ambassador of Venezuela to Barbados

It is obvious to keen observers that a coup d’état is being attempted in Venezuela,

The tactics are inspired by the “Gene Sharp” protocol. Sharp is a former U.S. military officer, now professor of political science at the University of Massachusetts and author of an essay entitled ‘From Dictatorship to Democracy‘. The essay provides a political framework as a method to undermine the stability of an established government that is regarded as ‘not friendly‘ to the United States.

bajan reporter 1


Read more at: Real Meaning of the Venezuelan Protests


What’s really happening in Venezuela?


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