China, Russia Call for Respecting Venezuela Elections, Condemn US Intervention

Source:  TeleSUR
May 21 2018

maduro wins may 2018 2

President Nicolas Maduro won the Venezuelan presidential elections Sunday, gaining a second presidential term for six years with more than 5.8 million votes.

A day after the Venezuelan general elections, China and Russia called on Monday for respecting the country’s democratic process and rejected attempts of interfence by the United States and other regional powers.

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“The parties involved must respect the decision of the Venezuelan people,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang at a press conference in Beijing, as he encouraged resolving any dispute through legal channels, EFE reported.

Kang affirmed China’s policy of not interfering in internal affairs of other countries and was convinced that the Venezuelan government and citizens will be able to resolve the issues.  “China will address the relevant issues in accordance with diplomatic practice,” the spokesman added.

Victory for Maduro despite open US interference

President Nicolas Maduro won the Venezuelan presidential elections Sunday, gaining a second presidential term for six years with more than 5.8 million votes, the country’s National Electoral Council (CNE) reported.

The opposition candidate, former governor, Henri Falcón came second after Maduro – and the evangelical expiator Javier Bertucci have made accusations of irregularities.

Maduro’s win comes at a time when the United States and its right-wing regional allies as well as several European governments have made several attempts to intervene in Venezuela’s presidential elections through sanctions and boycott calls against the Venezuelan election saying they won’t recognize the results, policies that were rejected by the Russian Foreign Ministry Monday.

“We regrettably have to note that in these elections, in addition to the two traditional participants, that is, the Venezuelan people, the electors, on the one hand, and on the other the candidates who presented their programs … there was a third participant, the governments who openly called for a boycott of the vote,” said Alexánder Schetinin, director of the Latin American Department of the Foreign Ministry.

Schetinin also added that Russia is often accused of meddling in other countries’ elections but in Venezuela’s case, some countries have meddled indiscriminately.

He added that some countries put obstacles “among others to hinder the voting in their territories of Venezuelans who are abroad.”

“And even worse when a whole series of governments, including the one you are appointing (United States), a priori declared that they would not recognize the results,” he said during a press conference, the Interfax news agency reported.

“The elections have been held and their results have an irreversible character: two-thirds of the votes went to the current president of the country, Nicolás Maduro,” he concluded.

Latin American support

While Many countries in Latin America have recognized the Venezuelan elections and congratulated President Maduro, such as Cuba, Bolivia and El Salvador, right-wing governments in the region have dismissed the vote as “illegtimate” echoing statements by the U.S. and Canada and some Western countries who had dismissed the vote and teh results before the election had even taken place.

The so-called Lima Group plus Canada issued a statement Monday saying it did not recognize the legitimacy of Venezuela’s presidential election. The statement said the countries would call their ambassadors back from Caracas for consultations and hold a meeting to coordinate a regional response to what they call “crisis” in Venezuela. They also said they would seek a new resolution on “the situation” in the South American country.

Such attempts of interference into Venezuela’s internal affairs have repeatedly been rejected over the past few months by the government in Caracas as well as left-wing governments in the region.

The Lima Group includes Peru, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Santa Lucia, Canada, Colombia, Honduras, Costa Rica and Guatemala.

150 Observers Stress Smooth Electoral Process in Venezuela

Source:  TeleSUR
May 20 2018

venezuela votes may 2018.jpg

Paper ballots will be used to verify the electronic vote on Sunday night.
| Photo: AVN

Over 20 million voters are elgible to vote in Sunday’s elections in Venezuela.

International observers monitoring the Venezuelan elections said Sunday that the vote took place without any incidents, in an atmosphere of full exercise of civic duty.

“100 percent of the electoral poll stations are open, we’ve asked witnesses from various political parties and they have all emphasized that the elections occurred with normality,” Carlos Lopez, one of the 150 international observers who came to the country in order to guarantee the transparency and legitimacy of the process, said before stations began to close at 5:00 p.m. local time.

Among them was former Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa, who declared “we came here in order to accompany a celebration of democracy.” meanwhile Spain’s former President Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero also supervised the elections, saying everything was normal and that it was necessary to wait and see how it will develop.

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Member of the European Parliament Javier Couso stressed Venezuelans’ sense of civic duty, while slamming Europe over refusing to respect their right to decide the fate of their country via the elections.

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The head of the Electoral National Council of Venezuela, Tibisay Lucena said that all international observers confirmed that “fraud was not possible in the Venezuelan electoral system.”

Maduro warns that the US Embassy is a center of conspiracy against peace in Venezuela

Source:  AVN
May 18 2018

maduro warns May 2018.jpgPhoto: Presidential Press / Archive

The Embassy of the United States in Venezuela has become a center of conspiracy against peace and democracy in the country, said Friday the President of the Republic, Nicolás Maduro.

“Venezuela is at the center of a worldwide media aggression and imperial aggression by the United States, Venezuela has become the obsession of the clan that governs Washington.” The US Embassy in Venezuela is a center of permanent conspiracy against stability, the democracy and peace of our country, “he said during a meeting with international supporters for the presidential elections on Sunday 20-M.

In the activity, transmitted by VTV, he specified that the media aggressions of which Venezuela is a victim have two lines: the first is the manipulation, misrepresentation and lies against the country.

He explained that the second line is that of silence , not to mention the electoral campaign carried out by the different candidates for the Presidency of the Republic and whose elections will take place this Sunday.

The national leader questioned: “Why so much obsession with Venezuela and with Maduro, why do not they worry about the problems of their countries or other serious problems?”

He emphasized that in spite of the attacks against the country, Venezuela has neutralized and defeated these aggressions. He also added that nothing and nobody can stop the democratic will of the people of Venezuela and that will be evident in the electoral process this Sunday.

“I am sure that the people of Venezuela will go out to vote massively and will exercise their right to choose for the conspirators and coup plotters who are out there thinking about last minute blows: nothing and nobody, whatever they do, will stop to the Venezuelan people to go out and vote, “he said.

Venezuela’s Maduro ‘Will Call New Peace Dialogue if Elected’

Source:  TeleSUR
May 8 2018

maduro may 2018.jpgVenezuela’s President Maduro has vowed that if he wins the May 20 elections,
he will call for a new peace dialogue. | Photo: EFE

“Once Venezuela chooses me as president… I will call for a great national dialogue for peace,” said Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

Venezuela‘s President Nicolas Maduro has vowed that if he wins the May 20 presidential elections, he will call for a new national peace dialogue to be held in the Dominican Republic and include every political and social force in the Latin American country.

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“Once Venezuela chooses me as president… I will call for a great national dialogue for peace,” said Maduro during a campaign event transmitted by national TV.

After several rounds of negotiations late last year in Santo Domingo, opposition leaders decided not to sign an agreement that had been reached between their representatives and those of the government.

May 20

Electoral authorities brought forward the date of the elections to May 20, but a part of the opposition is still boycotting them. The Democratic Unity Board(MUD) claims the electoral process lacks transparency and predicts there will be widespread fraud.

Main opposition candidate Henri Falcon ignored the MUD boycott, however, and is running in the elections. He’s currently in second place in the opinion polls, behind President Maduro.

“We have an incapable and inept president, in no condition to generate control and policies that can solve Venezuelans’ problems,” Falcon posted on his Twitter account.

Falcon has severely criticized the MUD, of which he used to be part, for boycotting the elections. On May 4, a day after the MUD reaffirmed their boycott, Falcon said such opposition groups will disappear because of their attitude.

Several organizations and opposition politicians are supporting Falcon, leaving the MUD progressively more isolated.

Timoteo Zambrano, representative at the suspended National Assembly (AN), announced the creation of a parliamentary platform called ‘Let’s Change’ (Cambiemos, in Spanish) in support of Falcon. The group is also supported by representatives Teodoro Campos and the first vice-president of the AN, Julio Cesar Reyes.

Ten keys to the Constituent Assembly in Venezuela

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Nicolás Maduro went for broke. “Come rain or shine, there will be a National Constituent Assembly,” the Venezuelan President stated. And so it was.

July 30, 2017, marked a historic date, not only for the Bolivarian Revolution, which came to power less than two decades ago, but for a nation that has been struggling for its independence and self-determination for over 200 years.

Several lessons

The vote that day offered us several lessons to understand the complex scenario facing the country, and the possible evolution of events:

More than eight million Venezuelans voted

1. Venezuela has a Constituent Assembly. Despite the boycott declared by the right wing and the international maneuvers against it, the support of more than eight million Venezuelans at the polls endows the constitutional mechanism activated by the Bolivarian government with legitimacy. The opposition’s bid was to prevent the Constituent Assembly by all means and it failed. They now run the risk of being left out of the Assembly that will shape the future of the country, although few doubt that some kind of dialogue is essential to resume the road to peace.

Calm elections

2. The elections were held amid relative calm. The number of people killed during the day varies according to the source.

Most speak of at least ten dead. However, after more than a hundred victims in the past few months, some of them burned alive by opposition extremists, the election day balance sheet was far from the “bloodbath” predicted by some international analysts.

The Armed Forces ensuring Venezuelans’ democratic exercise of the right to vote

3. The Armed Forces are committed to constitutional order. The plan to preserve the integrity of polling stations, for which more than 230,000 troops were deployed, as well as the extraordinary measures taken by authorities, were key to ensuring Venezuelans’ democratic exercise of the right to vote. In addition, this is a further sign that, unlike in the past, the current Bolivarian Armed Forces of Venezuela are committed to constitutional order and are the main guarantors of the country’s stability.

The right has limited rallying power

4. The right has less strength than had appeared. The opposition coalition Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD), the main instigator of the violence, promised to hold the “mother of all protests” to prevent the Constituent Assembly. Its limited rallying power in the days leading up to the elections, and the impotence of its leaders faced with the popular mobilization to vote, are proof that it overestimated its forces.

The silence of the mass media

5. The mass media were left without news. Venezuela was, until the vote, one of the topics receiving most coverage in the international media. Hundreds of journalists from the most important chains are present in the South American country. However, when the reality was different from the coverage they had prepared (a pitched battle and the beginning of civil war), they offered a revealing silence. Instead, they devoted themselves to reporting minor issues and so far practically no outlet has provided coverage of the massive turnout of eight million Venezuelans, who had to cross rivers or stay up through the night, in order to exercise their right at the polls.

The turnout exceeded expectations

6. The turnout exceeded expectations. Amid the polarization of the country and the instability provoked by the extreme right, the number of Venezuelans who went out to vote was not envisaged by the opposition or their international backers. Even the Bolivarian authorities recognized that the figure was a pleasant surprise. As a means of comparison, the more than eight million votes cast on July 30 exceeded the 7.7 million obtained by the MUD in the legislative elections that gave it control of the National Assembly in 2015.

A concerted strategy

7. There is a concerted strategy to disregard the democratic process in Venezuela. The United States, Spain, and several Latin American nations, including Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, Paraguay, Guatemala, and Panama, did not even wait for the results of the elections before refusing to recognize them and the new Constituent Assembly.

US destabilization efforts

8. The United States is actively working to destabilize Venezuela. Before the elections, Washington sanctioned 13 Bolivarian officials with the aim of intimidating the government in the lead-up to the Constituent Assembly vote. After learning of the results, the U.S. government announced another series of measures including sanctions against President Nicolás Maduro. Some U.S. media have speculated regarding possible sanctions on the Venezuelan oil sector, which has been in the White House’s sights from the start.

Another vote of confidence for Chavismo

9. A significant number of citizens gave Chavismo another vote of confidence. In the midst of the economic war, the decline in international oil prices, and internal destabilization, the popular support received shows just how much the Venezuelan people appreciate the transformations initiated by Hugo Chávez. It is difficult to think of another government in Venezuelan history that would have resisted a similar onslaught.

A platform to call for dialogue

10. The Constituent Assembly alone can not solve underlying problems such as the economic crisis, inflation, shortages, and violence. However, the constitutional powers with which the Assembly is invested constitute a platform to call for dialogue between the different actors in the country’s political and social life, to ensure justice for the victims of the crimes committed by violent sectors, and to once again put the country on the path to progress and peace.

Morales Slams Supporters of Venezuela’s Opposition Plebiscite

Source:  TeleSur
July 15 2017

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Bolivia’s President Evo Morales | Photo: Reuters

The Venezuelan Foreign Minister has thanked Bolivia for the support expressed by “the great leader of South American peoples.”

A “coup attitiude” against a democratically elected government

Bolivia’s President Evo Morales says those who want to give legitimacy to Sunday’s unconstitutional plebiscite called by the Venezuelan opposition have a “coup attitiude”.

Morales made the comment on Twitter, adding that Venezuela’s government has been democratically elected and attempts to label it a dictatorship are cynical.

The opposition has been trying to gather more support for its non-binding vote on the administration of Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro.

CNE regards the plebiscite as illegitimate

Several former regional leaders have arrived in Caracas ahead of Sunday’s unrecognized ballot.

The ex-Presidents of Mexico, Colombia, Bolivia and Costa Rica have been invited by the opposition-led National Assembly.

Venezuela’s National Electoral Council, CNE, regards the plebiscite as illegitimate.

It’s overseeing a dry run, also on Sunday, ahead of the election for the National Constituent Assembly.

OAS interfering in Venezuela’sdomestic affairs

Earlier in the week, Morales reiterated his criticism of the Organization of the American States and its Secretary General Luis Almagro for interfering in Venezuela’s domestic affairs.

The Bolivian President said Almagro’s decision to back the plebiscite shows that individual nations’ human rights records are judged differently depending in their governments.

Venezuela’s Foreign Minister Samuel Moncada responded on Twitter to say that his government was grateful for the support expressed by “the great leader of South American peoples.”

Moncada added, “Bolivia’s courage and solidarity will always remain in the memory of the Venezuelan people.”

Checks Held Ahead of Venezuela’s Constituent Assembly Dry Run

Source:  TeleSUR
July 15 2017

 

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Thousands of people gathered at a PSUV rally before the National Constituent Assembly vote dry run in Valencia, July 15, 2017 | Photo: PSUV

Government supporters have been rallying to promote a free, democratic and safe vote.

Venezuela is holding a nationwide dry run vote on Sunday before the election of representatives to the National Constituent Assembly.

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The United Socialist Party of Venezuela, PSUV, is carrying out checks on some of the electoral machinery ahead of the ballot at the end of the month.

One of the review activities has been taking place in Valencia, Carabobo state.

Thousands of PSUV supporters gathered in the city’s bullring, along with the party’s Vice President Diosdado Cabello and Héctor Rodríguez, Commander of the Zamora Constituent Campaign 200.

 

Ensuring that the people exercise their democratic right to vote

During his speech to the crowd, Cabello called for the full weight of the law to be imposed on “those who walk burning people” in reference to the victims of violence during the recent opposition protests.

He also told the crowd that abstentionism would be avoided “by ensuring that the people exercise their democratic right to vote despite any adverse situation or sabotage of the right to be present.”

The National Electoral Council, CNE, is overseeing preparations for the election which is being held on July 30.

Providing instruction on voting protocol and testing election technology

The body will also provide instruction on voting protocol and test election technology at 496 polling stations before of the official poll.

“We will not allow any violent radicalism to hurt the opportunity to express ourselves as the peaceful and democratic people we are,”  Tibisay Lucena, head of the CNE said.

The call for a National Constituent Assembly was made by President Nicolas Maduro on May 1 to help ease ongoing tensions with the right-wing opposition.

The body that will rewrite the country’s 1999 Constitution 

The body that will rewrite the country’s 1999 Constitution will be made up of 545 members, with 364 representing regions and another 181 representing various social sectors — workers, farmers, people with disabilities, students, retirees, the business sector, communes and communal councils.

They will draft a new constitutional text which will be put to a popular vote in Venezuela.

RELATED: Venezuelans Continue Marches Backing Constituent Assembly

Opposition leaders are calling for people to vote in their own plebiscite on Sunday, which the CNE regards as illegitimate and non-binding.

Julio Borges, president of the National Assembly, which is currently in contempt of the law, called for the July 16 ballot to consult Venezuelans on three questions: whether they want a constituent assembly or not; whether they want the Armed Forces to support the existing constitution and the decisions of the National Assembly; and whether they want immediate general elections.

Other opposition leaders have described the unconstitutional plebiscite as an opportunity to prepare the ground for blockading the country.