Maduro Invites Presidents of Latin America to Dialogue

10 August 2017
Source:  TeleSUR

“Respect is the only path to peace, not threats or violence or the economic and commercial blockade,” said Maduro. 

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President Nicolas Maduro has called for regional dialogue at the third session of the newly-formed Constituent Assembly, ACN.

RELATED: Venezuela Says UN Allegations of Abuses Based on Lies

Speaking for the first time at the Constituent Assembly, the president invited the governments of Latin America to take part in a meeting of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, CELAC, in an effort to improve relations.

“To all the presidents, I call on them to approve a meeting and through mutual dialogue, we can find a solution,” said Maduro.

“Respect is the only path to peace, not threats or violence or the economic and commercial blockade.”

Mutual respect

Maduro also invited the United States to agree to “mutually respectful” dialogue, adding that he will be in New York in September for the United Nations General Assembly.

The offer comes in the wake of new U.S. sanctions and threats.

Maduro’s invitation follows an earlier plea for dialogue after a group of neighboring countries took part in a meeting in Peru to discuss isolationist measures against the Venezuelan government.

In the face of these threats, Maduro announced he would activate a national constituent process to strengthen the structure of the Bolivarian Armed Forces.

During the special session, the Constituent Assembly ratified Nicolas Maduro as the president of Venezuela.

 

Daniel Ortega, an iconic regional leader with a Bolivarian vision

Source:  El19digital
November 11 2015

daniel ortega 11.jpgSteadfast in his principles

The road traveled by Commander Daniel Ortega Saavedra in these 70 years of life has not been easy. Despite the obstacles and complex situations which have arisen throughout his life, Daniel has remained steadfast in his principles, values and beliefs, which determine his character as a statesman and Latin American leader.

As a propeller of Latin American and Caribbean unity, and Peace and Justice for the peoples of the world, Daniel has transcended the borders of Nicaragua and is recognized internationally as a revolutionary leader whose voice is a light on the way that people must travel to reach their full independence and self – determination.

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On this day, November 11, 2015, as he celebrated his 70th birth anniversary, diplomats, politicians and analysts who have known him for many years report that Daniel is, of course, as is Chavez and Fidel, a symbol of Latin American and Caribbean Unity  that continues to struggle for equality, the restoration of rights and freedom for the great majority of the people of the region.

A Bolivarian, a builder of the Patria Grande

Javier Arrúe, Ambassador of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in Nicaragua, says that Daniel is a continuation of the integration and independence of Latin America and the Caribbean, initiated by Simon Bolivar and continued by heroes like Marti and Sandino, who were also builders of the Patria Grande.

in that sense, Arrúe noted that “Commander Daniel is one of those historical men, one of those men who continue to set the path of Latin America and the Caribbean peoples who are struggling for freedom , for sovereignty, for Integration “.

To the diplomat, Bolivarian Daniel is a man who has led a life with an absolutely crystal clear position consistent with the path of the Sandinista revolution which favors the excluded and ignored by society.

“Daniel is a historical reference of dignity, sovereignty, courage, clarity , ” says Arrúe.

The ambassador also explained that the Venezuelan people appreciate the Nicaraguan leader, because he has expressed and demonstrated his infinite solidarity with the Venezuelan people and the Bolivarian revolution.

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Daniel, building strong ties between the peoples of the world

The Latin American and Caribbean peoples are not the only witness to the solidarity of Comandante Daniel Ortega Saavedra. People of the world such as the Palestinians suffering constant attacks from the powers of the empire, are present every day in the mind and heart of the revolutionary leader.

Muhammad Amrro, new Ambassador of Palestine in Nicaragua recognizes that Daniel has transcended borders of America and is widely known in the Middle East.

Particularly with Palestine, Amrro says that Daniel has cultivated a close friendship with his people, forging strong historical ties and championing the cause of the Palestinian people in all international forums.

“The Commander Daniel Ortega has played a key role, both being in government before and then after in all forums for Palestine. We also remember in the 80s when he was in the area doing mediation for the war in Iraq. These historical ties have been strong, very good and the role of Nicaragua and President Daniel Ortega have always been in favor of the Palestinian cause, in favor of the struggle of the Palestinian people to create their own state in the middle east and to have our freedom and our sovereignty , “said the Palestinian ambassador.

” In every forum he has never stopped at any time, throughout these years of talking about the Palestinian cause, (that) we must recognize the State of Palestine “reiterates the diplomat, noting that Nicaragua has played an important role in favor of Palestine.

“This we value and appreciate as Palestinians because almost all Nicaragua vote is in favor of recognizing the State of Palestine based on international law. That relationship has always been very good, historic, very strong and we continue the work we have done through our ambassadors here at all levels. We are working to further strengthen these relations between peoples, between the two revolutions, between the two states , “said Amrro.

 

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Cuba:  we see Daniel as a loyal and consistent brother

“Cubans see in Daniel a brother who has always been ours, very loyal, very consistent with Fidel, Raul,  . . .  he has always been there for us in defense of the Cuban Revolution,”said the ambassador of Cuba in Nicaragua, Eduardo Martinez.

The diplomat said that Daniel has had a fruitful life not only for the Nicaraguan people, but for humanity and the revolutionary people.

Martinez recalls that over the years Daniel has remained loyal to Cuba and its people.

“He was a voice that is listened to with great respect in international forums, when he goes, when he speaks, and even when he does not go to the  United Nations, because one doesn’t always have the possibility of being there physically, but there is his message because other government officials are speaking for him, whether it be the Vice President, the Chancellor, the Ambassador, it is the voice of Commander Daniel representing the Sandinista revolution, the Sandinista people; condemning the blockade; in the struggle for the liberation of the Cuban Five, defending the Palestinian people; defending the just cause of the Puerto Rican brother people.

“Consequently, I think that’s what most admired from the international point of view – the projection of Commander Daniel Ortega as anti – imperialist, revolutionary, firm and never-faltering “.

For the Cuban diplomat, the Nicaraguan president maintains a line of thinking with consequential action.

“That is admirable in the case of Comandante Daniel who has devoted many years of his life to this fight … this is why we admire and respect him, in Cuba he is a beloved figure, “says Martínez.

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The ambassador also highlights the close friendship of Comandante Daniel Ortega with leaders of the Cuban Revolution, Commanders Fidel and Raul Castro.

” It’s a brotherhood of many years, we always remember that the Nicaraguan revolution triumphed in 1979, exactly 20 years after the victory of the Cuban revolution; we always remember all the support over all those years, even in preparing the struggle of many guerrillas of the Frente Sandinista, including Daniel himself, in Cuba.  That formed, forged a friendship and a very strong brotherhood between our leaders, which today remains among Fidel, Raul, Daniel and Compañera Rosario.  There is a brotherhood that transcends any kind of conjunctural situation and is really of the heart,” said the ambassador.

” That’s nice, because in the end we are human beings and human beings who have a historical responsibility.  As Commander, Daniel  was able to transcend his era.  If we are able to leave that mark on international relations, I think we are worthy of admiration,” he added.

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Bulwark of Nicaraguan international policy

To Deputy Jose Figueroa, Commander Daniel is an important foreign policy stronghold for NIcaragua. Figueroa recalls that Daniel played an important role in the peace processes in Central America.

“The Comandante Daniel Ortega we saw in the processes of Contadora, in the negotiation processes for Peace in Central America, the peace agreements in Nicaragua; and in times of opposition also Commander Ortega was an outstanding international leader.  We also saw him with a strong stance defending the position of Cuba, the rights of Puerto Rico, pronouncing our opposition on  the US bases in Cuba, we saw him in the Non-Aligned Movement, as an outstanding leader and most recently Commander Ortega has also been present with great force in the formation of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) with President Chávez, along with Commander Fidel, with Evo Morales and other leaders of the ALBA ,” Figueroa said.

For the Sandinista deputy, Commander Daniel enjoys great prestige and great moral authority as a statesman and as a Latin American leader.

“Commander Ortega is recognized not only because of the level of commitment he has displayed throughout his political history but also because of his good governance as head of the presidential administration in Nicaragua. His work is also recognized in many other areas such as public safety, tourism, foreign investment and public-private partnership,” says Figueroa.

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Nicaragua knows that it is on the right track

The General (R) Alvaro Baltodano, presidential adviser for investments argues that Commander Daniel has favored in his government in the last two presidential terms a  philosophy of dialogue and a partnership model, leading the country in the right direction.

According to Baltodano this approach has gained the support of more than 70% of the country’s population and is recognized internationally as well as at the level of financial multilateral organizations.

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Respected by the World Bank and the IMF

“The alliance sees President Ortega working with the private sector closely; sitting with the national social movements of Nicaragua,  while progress is seen in the fight against poverty … the multilateral organizations, which measure all countries with a parameter and the parameters say that Nicaragua has made progress in the fight against poverty,” Baltodano said.

” the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, say the economy walks well, the rating agencies have given us a better level. The president is clear that that is not enough, we must do more, we must make qualitative leaps, and he has proposed making large strategic projects in Nicaragua, strategic projects are not created if there is no will to do it,” added General (R) Alvaro Baltodano.

Reference of Latin American revolutions

History has linked Daniel and Nicaragua, one cannot speak of Daniel Ortega and not mention Nicaragua, and vice versa.

Aminta Buenaño, Ambassador of Ecuador in Nicaragua, expressed the fraternal greetings and wishes for health and prosperity at the 70 birth anniversary of Comandante Daniel Ortega Saavedra.

As she says, “Daniel Ortega for Ecuadorians is a reference of Latin American revolutions, (he) is a very important historical reference, which should be taken into account when speaking of integration, sovereignty, justice and equity in Latin America. ”

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Buenaño argues that Daniel is a very important partner in the framework of the ALBA countries for his willingness to cooperate, support and his solidarity especially with Latin America.

“In this regard, Ecuador has a special predisposition, a special friendship toward Nicaragua, to President Daniel Ortega, who during his tenure has displayed consistent credibility, a sense of justice to his word and especially a commitment to the development of this beautiful country Nicaragua, a country which has been a cradle of poets and revolutionaries,” said the diplomat.

” with his words, his actions, his historical struggles, Commander Daniel, has marked a line inside which means that important strategic geopolitical space. He is ALBA. ALBA is a fundamental space for all countries seeking integration and economic sovereignty of our region. In this sense Commander Daniel Ortega is a leader also in the struggle and history of ALBA ,” says Buenaño.

For the ambassador of the South American country, Daniel Ortega has developed a tenacious struggle against poverty and for equity and distribution of wealth, “so we feel we are following the same path, the same path and all are countries that are united in regional bodies such as the CELAC and ALBA “.

Daniel is the best son of Sandino

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Former Foreign Minister, Father Miguel D’Escoto Brockmann said that Commander Daniel Ortega Saavedra is a reference figure not only in Latin America but the world.

“Even in the past, most recondite corners of the world Daniel is known, Daniel is respected, Daniel is admired for his fidelity to the ideals, for those wonderful ideals for which our heroes and martyrs fought , and being hands down the best son of Sandino and the undisputed leader always of  the Sandinista National Liberation Front, that much resonance was worldwide ,” says the priest.

Brockmann stresses that President Daniel is also a leader in environmental protection of mother earth and in the fight for equality and dignity of every human being.

The former foreign minister’s role has been filled by Rosario Murillo.

“I always find that she has also contributed much to complement the necessarily more masculine vision of Daniel … That I would have mentioned in several countries, they tell me, but father how is this done … being like Daniel, and listening to women?  And Daniel is lucky Rosario also helps you to have this more holistic view of human beings , “he said.

 

Vice Halleslevens: Commander Daniel has transcended the borders of America

On the occasion of the birth anniversary of President of the Republic, Commander Daniel Ortega Saavedra, Vice President Omar Halleslevens,  said that the Sandinista leader and current president has transcended the borders of Nuestramérica and has become a true Latin American leader.

daniel-ortega-y-putin

“I think Daniel has become truly known in Nicaragua today, … Daniel is an undeniable leader for all he has done for this country through discipline, because in these things, often discipline is important,” said General (R) Omar Halleslevens.

General Halleslevens confirms that Daniel is a leader for Latin America because of his continued participation in the life of the country , because as a leader he has been developing successful public policies, … “that’s completely undeniable, that’s a fact Daniel Ortega has for a while in this country, and hopefully, we will have many more decades of leadership as he has been demonstarting and that the people will continue to have all these victories and successes that has been occurring every day,…these pockets of extreme poverty, these pockets still hungry in our country, are gradually reduced as blissfully is happening in Nicaragua and that has been recognized by international organizations , “says Halleslevens.

According to the Vice President, Daniel has managed to lead the country in the right direction. “Today we have robust macroeconomic indicators which show that tourism is growing, foreign direct investment is growing every year, the stability that the country continues to deepen and that all this is for the welfare of the people of Nicaragua.”

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Uruguay’s Pepe Mujica: ‘Inequality Is the Enemy of Democracy’

Source:  TeleSUR
September 24 2016

“The biggest threat to democracy is the concentration of wealth in the hands of the few,” said the former Uruguayan president.

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Pepe Mujica became president of Uruguay in 2010. | Photo: Reuters

Former President of Uruguay Jose Mujica said Latin America was the richest and at the same time the most unjust region in the world, and that all democracies should seek to end economic injustice, remarks that came during the third annual Latin American Summit of Progressive Movements in Ecuador on Wednesday.

RELATED: Uruguay’s  Mujica Campaigns for FARC Peace Deal in Colombia

“The biggest threat to democracy is the concentration of wealth in the hands of the few, and therefore the concentration of power,” Mujica told an audience in the coastal city of Guayaquil.

If you like money

Lenin Moreno, former vice president of Ecuador and the U.N.’s Special Envoy on Disability and Accessibility, greeted Mujica and recalled one of his most important sayings: “If you like money, don’t go into politics. Keep making money, for that is not the fruit of politics.”

WATCH: Mujica Breaks with Almagro over Criticism of Venezuela

 Equality, not charity

According to “Pepe” Mujica, to achieve a socialist vision of an ideal society, governments need to fight for equality, not charity.

“We live in the most unequal and unjust continent in the world,” said Mujica, now an Uruguayan senator. “We have so many debts to our people.”

RELATED:Uruguay’s Jose Mujica Says ‘Coup’ in Brazil Was Premeditated

Without unity, we lose our strength

Mujica said that people can’t live in an idealistic world, since there is a deep economic inequality in the region, and cited the example of the Mexican billionaire businessman Carlos Slim.

“The richest man in the world is from this continent. He would have to live 250 years, spending US$1 million a day, to spend it all,” said Mujica.

Mujica said leftist parties and governments should not let the right-wing destroy everything for which they have fought.

“Inequality is the enemy of democracy,” said Mujica. Mujica called on progressive movements to find unity, since “without unity, we lose our strength.”

Evo Morales Says the OAS Is Biased Against Latin America’s Left

Source:  TeleSUR
August 30 2016

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OAS Secretary-General Luis Almagro (L) and Bolivian President Evo Morales | Photo: Reuters

The president of Bolivia suggested that the Washington-based OAS is pursuing a right-wing agenda in the Americas.

Bolivian President Evo Morales said Tuesday that the secretary-general of the Organization of American States, OAS, is biased and doesn’t defend leftist governments in the region that are under attack.

RELATED: Nicaragua Demands OAS Head Step Down over Abuse of Post

Morales said OAS Secretary-General Luis Almagro supports only right-wing governments while attacking left-of-center leaders like Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

Last week, Morales criticized Almagro for releasing a letter of support addressed to a head of the Venezuelan opposition, Leopoldo Lopez, a promoter of a recall referendum against Maduro. Lopez led violent protests in 2014 in Venezuela, known as guarimbas, that left 43 people dead and over 800 wounded.

“Where is Almagro? When there’s a conspiracy against leftist democratic governments we don’t see Almagro, he only appears to defend the right-wing.”

Maduro has repeatedly denounced foreign interference in Venezuela that, according to him, is orchestrated by the United States government, the secretary-general of the OAS and the opposition in Venezuela’s National Assembly, among others.

RELATED: OAS Meets amid Strong Criticism from Latin America’s Left

“Brother Almagro, don’t be a spokesman for the North American empire. To ask for international intervention is a colonial and undemocratic attitude,” Morales said on Aug. 23.

Almagro took an unprecedented step on May 31 by trying to use the Democratic Charter against the government of Venezuela in response to the economic and political crisis in the country. He has also moved to suspend the country from the international organization.

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez alleged Almagro used his privileged position in the organization to promote a “coup” in Venezuela.

Morales also said Tuesday he would recall Bolivia’s ambassador to Brazil if suspended president Dilma Rousseff is impeached by the Senate to protest what he portrayed as an attack on democracy.

US Triples Special Ops Training Budget for Latin America

Source:  TeleSUR
August 30 2016

U.S. Special Operations Forces are training militaries across the Americas with horrendous human rights records.

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A Colombian soldier during a military parade.  Photo Reuters

The U.S. military has increased its presence in Latin America in recent years and tripled its budget for training the region’s armed forces, according to a new report.

RELATED: US Army Cooking the Books, Moving Around Trillions of Dollars

The Washington Office on Latin America, WOLA, published an investigation Tuesday, based on documents from the U.S. State Department, detailing the stepped-up work of U.S. Special Operation Forces in the region.

According to the documents, the U.S. tripled the budget for Special Operations Forces training missions in Latin America between 2007 and 2014. The missions are part of a training program called Joint Combined Exchange Training, JCET. In that seven-year period, the number of missions went from 12 JCETs who trained 560 officers in the region to 36 JCETs training 2,300 officers.

The training budget is now more than US$17 billion each year

The training budget is now more than US$17 billion each year. By 2015, the U.S. forces carried out missions in 135 out of 196 countries in the world.

RELATED: The Militarization of Honduras: Creating ‘Chaos and Corruption’

These trainings include joint military exercises, teaching Latin American troops combat skills, intelligence gathering and riot control techniques. Meanwhile, the U.S. forces familiarize themselves with the country’s military, terrain, language and culture, according to the documents.

Honduras has the largest number of U.S. missions, with 21, followed by El Salvador, Colombia, the Dominican Republic and Belize.

PAHO Director praises Cuban medical support

Source:  Granma
June 29 2016

by: Prensa Latina(PL) | internet@granma.cu

On June 28, the Director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Carissa Etienne, praised Cuba’s contribution to training health professionals and its medical missions in numerous countries worldwide.

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The region is facing a political and economic situation which presents great challenges to advancing toward universal healthcare. Photo: ABI

On June 28, the Director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Carissa Etienne, praised Cuba’s contribution to training health professionals and its medical missions in numerous countries worldwide.

Participating in the closing ceremony of the First International Encounter on Primary Healthcare Experiences, Etienne noted that there are currently over 10,000 Cuban health workers in Brazil alone.

She also mentioned the island’s healthcare missions in El Sal­vador, Nicaragua, Ecuador and small island nations of the Caribbean, such as Dominica.  Etienne stated that 706 Cuban collaborators, almost 100 of whom are affiliated with the Mi Salud (My Health) program, much like that of the island’s community primary healthcare initiative, are currently working in Bolivia.

Cuba’s training program

The PAHO director highlighted the island’s training program, which has seen many Bolivian students graduate as doctors.  According to PL, Cuban medical collaboration with so-called Third World Countries began in 1960, when a group of emergency doctors was sent to Chile to treat victims of an earthquake which left thousands dead. Later, in 1963, the first permanent Cuban medical brigade arrived in a recently independent Algeria. Since then Cuban health professionals have offered services in over 120 countries worldwide.

Etienne noted that the region is facing a political and economic situation which presents great challenges to advancing toward universal healthcare.

Also participating in the encounter were delegates from Ecuador, Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua, Brazil, and Bolivia.

The PAHO Director also praised policies implemented by the Bolivian government to extend medical coverage to all communities.  In this context, she recognized the advances of the South American nation in reducing malnutrition, infant mortality, poverty and illiteracy and economic inequality

End of Blockade of Cuba and Sabotage on Progressive Govts Demanded

Source:  Prensa Latina
May 2 2016

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Representatives of 209 guilds, institutions and social movements from 34 countries demanded today the end of the US economic blockade of Cuba and the cease of political sabotage against the Latin American progressive governments and movements.

At Havana’s Conference Center, around 1,600 activists that shared on Sunday with the Cuban people the celebrations on the International Workers’ Day, recognized that the policy of economic, trade and financial hostility by Washington against Cuba still persists.

kenia serrano 7The blockade is still harshly in force

The blockade implemented more than 50 years ago has not disappeared and is still harshly in force, said the president of the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples, Kenia Serrano, in the plenary of the International Meeting of Solidarity with Cuba, Latin America and the Caribbean.

Serrano explained to the participants that many could have a false perception that the hostile policy, vestige of the Cold War, disappeared after the measures adopted by the Administration of President Barack Obama, starting from the process to normalize the relations that the two countries began.

However, the truth is that despite the measures, the blockade is still rigorously in force.

End sabotage by the capitalist counter-offensive in the Latin American

The need to end that restrictive regulation, the main hindrance to Cuba’s normal development, was also justified and demanded by all participants in the meeting, many of whom were members of the 11th Contingent of the Brigade of Solidarity Primero de Mayo (May 1).

The group, composed of representatives of nations in all continents, also demanded the end of what they called political and economic sabotage by the capitalist counter-offensive in the Latin American region, and urged to confront it