Haiti: The Price of Liberation

Source: TeleSUR

 “Should I not let it be known to later generations that Alexander Petion is the true liberator of my country?” said Simon Bolivar, the Venezuelan leader who liberated South America from Spanish rule, to Alexandre Petion, the first president of Haiti.

RELATED:  Haiti: The Price of Liberation

haiti 3.jpgOn Jan. 1, 1804, the French colony of Saint-Domingue became the Republic of Haiti, after over a decade of fighting against French enslavement and colonization. It was the most successful slave rebellion in the Americas and the only revolt of its kind that led to the creation of a state.

On Dec. 15, 1815, after his defeat in Carthagena by Spain, the revolutionary Simon Bolivar arrived in Aux Cayes, Haiti. He was seeking the aid of Alexandre Petion, one of the founding fathers of Haiti and the first president of the newly-liberated Black Republic.

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Simon Bolivar was born in Caracas, Venezuela, July 24, 1783.

Petion provided shelter and food for Bolivar and the Venezuelan families and soldiers who had traveled with him after his recent defeat by the Spanish. They recuperated and regrouped under the care of Petion.

According to records, Petion provided, among other supplies, 4,000 rifles, gunpowder, food and a printing press. He also contributed to Bolivar with Haitian military strategists and veterans from the Caribbean nation’s revolution to accompany him on his April 1816 expedition.

In exchange for all the aid that Petion provided for the Bolivarian revolutionary, he asked that the Venezuelan leader free the slaves in all the countries that were to achieve their independence from Spain.

Once again, Spain defeated Bolivar, and once again he returned to Haiti to recuperate and re-arm. This time Petion gave Bolivar shelter and aid, including a new set of ammunition. In Dec. 1816, Bolivar departed to South America to defeat Spain, and this time he succeeded.

According to “El Libertador: Writings of Simon Bolivar,” a collection of public and private letters of Bolivar, Haiti not only provided material resources but was also the model for the liberated South American nations.

Bolivar structured Bolivia’s first government from the example of Haiti and the Venezuelan constitution was based on the constitution Petion drew up for Haiti. And, of course, he declared slavery illegal in the nascent countries.

Bolivar wrote to Petition that, “In my proclamation to the inhabitants of Venezuela and in the decrees, I have to issue concerning the slaves, I do not know if I am allowed to express the feelings of my heart to your Excellency and to leave to posterity an everlasting token of your philanthropy. I do not know, I say, if I must declare that you are the author of our liberty.”

Even though, Haiti had freed itself from French colonization and had inspired and supported the Bolivarian nations’ independence from the Spanish, in 1825, France demanded that Haiti pay 150 million of gold francs in “reparations” to former French slaveholders.

RELATED: The Americas’ Broken Promises to Haiti

Twelve French warship with 500 cannons were stationed along the coast of Haiti, threatening to re-invade and re-enslave the Haitian state. Haiti’s hand was forced. For over a century, Haiti was required to finance the debt, through loans from one French bank, which charged Haiti incredibly high-interest rates.

French political recognition of Haiti came until 1834. The brutal slavery of Haiti made France incredibly rich. The first independent Black Republic sent shock waves throughout Europe. It was a clear threat to European dominance and stood as a beacon of successful resistance against European colonization, financing the Bolivarian revolutions, and inspiring slave revolts in the United States. Haiti had to be punished. Over the years, this repayment of “independence debt” to their former slave owners, along with foreign-led coups and occupations, left the Haitian economy crippled and impoverished. As British newspaper The Guardian points out, “When the indemnity money Haiti paid France is adjusted for inflation and a minimal interest rate, its value … $40bn.”

To this day, France has refused to pay Haiti back the money it illegally demanded for over a century.

Venezuela – President Maduro Addresses UN General Assembly (Sept 2018)

Transcript of the speech, courtesy of the Venezuelan Foreign Ministry

Ambassadors, heads of delegations of the countries members of the United Nations Organization, President-elect of the General Assembly, Mrs. Maria Fernanda Espinoza, may I extend to you the congratulations on behalf of the delegation of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela – our government – on assuming the presidency of the 73rd session of the General Assembly as the first Latin-American woman to be president of a General Assembly session. In this occasion, we have been invited to work and address an important and vital issue, entitled as follows: “Making the United Nations Relevant to All People: Global Leadership and Shared Responsibilities for Peaceful, Equitable and Sustainable Societies”. So we are here to make the United Nations relevant for all people.

This is precisely a noble purpose up to what the United Nations system has to build in light of the 21st century: a century of great opportunities and certainly a century that will make the difference regarding the human liberation processes – political liberation, peoples’ liberation – that, sooner or later, will impact significantly on the future of the United Nations Organization.

The current United Nations Organization was born at the end of Second World War (1945). During the 20th century, its configuration expressed the conflicts and forms of actions by the bipolar world of the postwar years and, after the fall of the Soviet Union in the 90s, we moved to a unipolar world.

The correlation of forces in the world, regarding the world system, has always influenced the United Nations Organization, directly. However, in order to be relevant – according to the purpose of this 73rd General Assembly – this organization has to express the wishes, the way of being, the culture, the political thinking, the strength and the hopes of the majorities in the world.

That is why Venezuela is here today; to say its truth; I bring the truth of a combative, heroic and revolutionary world; I bring the voice of a homeland that, throughout history, has refused to surrender to injustice, to the empires of the past – slaver and colonialist – and the empires of today – equally slaver and neocolonialist. I bring the voice of a heroic people that arose from the heroic resistance of the aborigines, from the indigenous peoples that for centuries resisted the domination by colonial empires. I bring the voice of the people having the honor of being the great Liberator Simon Bolivar’s home, the most important leader of a generation of liberators of the Americas, who accomplished, 200 years ago, the heroic feat of founding a continent, a region, a dream: The independent republics of this world region.

Venezuela is a historic people which is both a home and a school of republican values; a home and a school of rebelliousness; a home and a school of dignity and values such as equality; such is our obstinate homeland that for centuries has searched its Independence and sovereignty.

I speak on their behalf before this scenario which has witnessed the most evil and embarrassing attacks in the last years; for our country is a harassed and attacked country. Yesterday, in this same place, the President of the United States of North America once again attacked the noble people of Venezuela and supported, as he said, the doctrine founded by the empire of the United States 200 years ago, which determined their interventionist role, their intended role of judge, party and police of the world: the Monroe Doctrine. Yes, the president of the most powerful imperial nation, the United States of North America, was in this same place, supporting James Monroe’s doctrine, who, at that time, said “America for Americans”, meaning that the rest of America had to belong to them as the backyard for the interests of Washington elite groups that already conducted the configuration of that nation as a former colony of the British empire.

He supported the Monroe Doctrine. And you may be wondering about the reason for such fierce attack by the American power, expressed at all levels by President Donald Trump. It is a historic conflict as we have said to the world many times, as our people well knows. It is the conflict between the interventionist imperial, neocolonialist Monroe Doctrine against the historic, Independence, republican, Simon Bolivar’s doctrine, of rebelliousness, dignity, justice, liberty and equality. It is an old conflict; an old contradiction due to an imperial doctrine aimed at dominating our region. During the 19th century, it was aimed at dominating our region only; however, in the 20th century, it was intended to dominate the world and in the 21st century it tries to continue governing, conducting, blackmailing and arranging the world as if it were their property. In our region, it is a 200-year contradiction between the republican libertarian flags which, in the 19th century – the time of Simon Bolivar and the liberators – advocated for a world of equilibrium and respect and the pro imperialist and interventionist flags that promoted the domination of the region by an elite group that already had the control of the power in Washington.

It is an old conflict we know very well. Today, Venezuela is a victim of a permanent aggression in the economic, political, diplomatic and media fields by those who govern the United States of North America and support the Monroe Doctrine to justify the ideological, political and diplomatic aggression against our beloved homeland.

Our reason for being here is the reason. Why is Venezuela being politically, economically and diplomatically attacked? First of all, Venezuela has built an autonomous project of democratic revolution, social vindication, and construction of a self and new model of society, which is based on the historical roots of our nation, on the identity of our country and on the own culture of our Latin-American region.

For 20 years, they have been intended to stop the course of our history, the development of a revolutionary project that arose from the own struggle root of our people and region. Secondly – and perhaps more understandable- for global geopolitical reasons, Venezuela is the nation with the largest oil reserve of the world, internationally certified. Venezuela as founder of OPEC, Venezuela a country with 100 years of oil production, discovered and certified internationally the largest oil richness of the world; Venezuela has also significant natural and mining richness. Today, according to international standards, our country is certifying the potentially biggest gold reserve of the world.

The world must know that currently, apart from being the biggest international oil reserve, Venezuela is certifying, under international standards, the biggest gold reserve of the world and the fourth gas reserve of the world as well. The significant natural resources, important geopolitical, geo-economic and geo-strategic position have lead the oligarchies of the continent and those who dominate from Washington, to consider dominating and controlling the political power in Venezuela. In the present, Venezuela is victim of a permanent aggression.

In the economic sphere, during the last two years, Venezuela has been subjected to a set of illegal unilateral measures of economic persecution and blockade; we have been restrained from using the international currency, –the dollar- via positions of use of dominion by the authorities of the US Department of Treasury. Currently, Venezuela cannot negotiate any international transaction in dollars. Did the world know that Venezuela is persecuted from an economic, commercial and monetary point of view? Today, Venezuela is target of a set of illegal and unilateral mechanisms of economic sanctions.

Yesterday, the President of the United States announced, precisely on this same platform, new and alleged economic and financial sanctions against our country in the sanctuary of the law and international legality. Did the United Nations System know that the unilateral sanctions, using the dominion, the status of the currency and the financial persecution are considered illegal from the standpoint of international law? Venezuela is subjected to a permanent media aggression as well; attempts to forge a file have been made to justify an international intervention. We know that it is an intended international intervention, a military intervention to control our country. At global level, a file has been forged through the media against our country to pretend a humanitarian crisis that uses the United Nations concepts to justify a coalition of countries led by the Government of the United States, and their satellite governments in Latin America, to get its hands on our country. A migration crisis, that goes without saying, has been forged by several means, aimed at diverting the attention from the real migration crises in the world that show the disadvantages of the southern countries. The migratory crisis in Central America, Mexico, and Latin America arising due to the announcement of a retaining wall against our peoples, a dividing wall against them. Nobody wants to talk about this situation. A double-standard treatment has been intended over the real status of the Caribbean and Latin American migrants who have been persecuted along the border with Mexico; they have been separated from their families, their kids have been kidnapped; and no response is given about this issue or about the serious migration crisis caused by the destruction in Libya by NATO and the war against Syria, resulting in the migration of thousands of African and Middle-East brothers. It is an issue that is intentionally masked.

A global media campaign about an alleged migratory crisis in Venezuela has been deployed to justify a humanitarian intervention, as announced for years. It is a plan similar to the weapon-of mass-destruction plan used in Iraq; it is the same plan that justified the intervention in other countries, this time under a form of a great brutal psychological warfare campaign. Today, Venezuela is also the victim of a diplomatic nature aggression. Yesterday – dear brothers and sisters of the governments of the world – we witnessed direct threats to cut aid, to withdraw aid or blockade aid from the international support and aid systems for the governments and peoples of the world on the need of it by the President of the United States.

We have listened to the statements issued by several governments demanding better mechanisms to access financing, to access development to which our peoples are entitled to. Yesterday, the President of the United States, in this very platform, threatened the governments of the world to submit to its designs, to its orders and to cooperate with its policies in the United Nations system, or he would act accordingly. Venezuela has been attacked with a fierce diplomatic offensive at all of the United Nations system bodies, supported by satellite kneeled governments blackening the honor of the peoples that they are called to represent.

Venezuela has been subjected to permanent political aggression. On September 8th, the New York Times published an article evidencing the participation of officials of the White House and the government of the United States, in meetings to bring about a military coup and cause a change of government, a change of regime in Venezuela. The investigation published by the New York Times – replicated by the Times magazine, the Washington Post and the world press – simply confirmed the conspiracy, the permanent aggression by factors of the government of the United States against a constitutional and strengthened democracy; a democracy supported by the people, such as the Venezuelan democracy. We had already denounced in due course, the attempts of violence against the Constitution, the attempts of disturbances and military coups against the constitutional and revolutionary government over which I preside in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, by popular will and popular vote.

After announcing and publishing the failed attempts of disturbances and military violence – the New York Times published details on how US officials in Colombia, supported by the Colombian government and Colombian institutions, met and offered their encouragement and support for this attempted change of regime. Should the United Nations system, Should the union – I am addressing my Latin American and Caribbean brothers – Should Latin America and the Caribbean accept these methods that so hurt our region in the entire 20th century? How many military interventions? How many coup d’états? How many dictatorships were imposed during the long and dark 20th century in Latin America and the Caribbean, and who did it favor? Did it favor the Peoples? What interests did they represent? The interests of the transnational companies, the unpopular interests; long dictatorships, like Augusto Pinochet’s in Chile, were faced by our peoples due to the stubbornness of the American elites and the Monroe Doctrine to deny the right earned by ourselves to govern our countries the way we need, and build specific economic, political and cultural systems of the region.

That is why I come here, to bring the truth of a fighting people; Venezuela has been targeted by a seemingly never-ending political and media campaign. That is why we bring our homeland’s truth to this honorable UN General Assembly; after the failure published and announced by the New York Times of these illegal, unconstitutional and criminal attempts of regime change, after the democratic presidential election, last May 20th, when I, Nicolas Maduro Moros, obtained 68% of the popular votes through free elections – the 24th election in 19 years, of which 22 have been won by the revolutionary forces of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, at different levels of approval, against the opposition forces of our country; after the failure of the attempted military coups, candidacies and electoral tactics supported by Washington, with the huge electoral victory attained by the People, last August 4th, I was a victim of a terrorist attack with drones that tried to kill me in a military event on one of the main avenues in Caracas. If it had been executed as planned, it would have been a massacre, an assassination of the institutional, political and military high command of our nation, Venezuela.

On August 4th, the perpetrators, the terrorists, those who attacked me with drones – this is the first attack with drones known in the world history of terrorist violence – were captured by the security bodies and State police agencies. The 28 perpetrators were captured thanks to different investigation procedures. They are convicted and sentenced. As I informed to different governments of the world, all the investigations about that terrorist attack indicate that it was prepared, financed and planned in the territory of United States of America. I have informed to the Government of United States – by diplomatic means – the name, the responsibility and the evidences of the intellectual perpetrators, financers and planners of this serious terrorist attack. According to investigations, this attempt and the actual perpetrators – as they have admitted – were trained and prepared for months in Colombian territory under the protection and support of Colombian authorities; and according to the latest investigations and captures – as unveiled to the media – the perpetrators mentioned some of the diplomatic members of the Government of Chile, Colombia and Mexico who would help them to escape after the terrorist attack.

I would like to ask the United Nations system to appoint a special delegate of the Secretariat of the United Nations to conduct an independent investigation internationally about the implications and responsibilities of this terrorist attack perpetrated in our country. Venezuela is opened; the doors of our country and our judicial system are opened in order to determine the direct responsibilities of this aggression, the most serious in the political history of our country for its implications. They tried to provoke a chaos in our homeland, they tried to rip the State’s head off to justify a domestic struggle, a domestic violence and justify the activation of mechanisms beyond the United Nations multilateral system, of a military intervention as occurred in other countries in the past.

Officially, Venezuela proposes -Ambassador, Minister for Foreign Relations – to conduct an independent international investigation to determine the truth about these events. I have expressed to the Government of United States – who has denied its participation in the preparation and execution of these attempts -, that it will be great if they heed my call to include high-level FBI professionals and scientists in this investigation to clarify and help the Venezuelan justice to find the truth.

When I arrived in New York this the afternoon, I heard that some journalists had asked President Donald Trump if he was willing to meet with Maduro (that’s how people call me) with Nicolas Maduro, President of Venezuela. Apparently, President Donald Trump in one of his today’s interventions said that if it helps Venezuela, he was willing to do so. Well, I ratify on this platform, that despite the great historical differences, ideological and social differences – since I am a worker, a bus driver, a man of the people, I am not a rich man, I am not a millionaire – despite all the differences deemed as enormous, the President of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro Moros, is willing to shake hands with the U.S President. I am willing to sit and talk about the bilateral differences and the matters of our region.

I believe so. Venezuela is a friendly country. Venezuelans do not hate the United States; on the contrary, we appreciate the United States, their culture, their arts, their society. We differ from the imperial concepts that took over the political power in Washington since the foundation of that nation.
In 1826, our Liberator Simon Bolivar said prophetically: “The United States appear to be destined by Providence to plague America with hunger and misery in the name of liberty”.

It was a prophetic vision. It was hard to see at early times the future in the 20th century. Do we have differences President Donald Trump? Of course we do. But differences lead to dialogue. Those who are different are called to put their good will and words on the table. President Donald Trump said he is worried about Venezuela, that he wants to help Venezuela.

Well, I am willing to talk, with an open agenda about the topics that the United States Government wants to discuss, with humility, frankness and honesty. As president of the Non-Aligned Movement, Venezuela raises the flags of dialogue among civilizations. As president of the Non-Aligned Movement, Venezuela permanently promotes and practices the political and international dialogue, the solution of the international conflicts through the dialogue, the understanding and the pacific uses of politics and not by force.

Venezuela is significantly experienced in bodies such as OPEC, to manage situations of divergence and build consensus and agreements. Recently, in Algeria, we attended the meeting of the OPEC monitoring committee. It was an extraordinary meeting with the representatives of the monitoring committee, since we are part of it, and the representatives of 24 States with the greatest oil reserves and producers of the world. And despite the cultural, political, geostrategic and geopolitical differences, we reached an agreement, a single voice to continue stabilizing the oil market at fair, reasonable and stable prices.

We believe in the political dialogue as a way to find solutions and solve conflicts. They have tried to demonize the Bolivarian Revolution through an unprecedented brutal campaign. First, against Commander Hugo Chavez Frias, founder of our Revolution and eternal commander in the heart of Venezuelans, and then against this humble man who is standing here, bringing the voice of a people that supports its Revolution and democratically supports its actions.

Therefore, I reaffirm the desire for international and national political dialogue. I know that governments represented in this room are interested in reaching peace with sovereignty, independence and justice in Venezuela. I welcome all those from Africa, Europe, Asia, Latin America who wish to help respecting the country’s sovereignty, without interfering in Venezuela’s internal affairs so that they can support us, join us in a process of sovereign dialogue for Venezuela’s peace, democracy, justice, future and prosperity; a noble nation which deserves peace, a future and the best.

We bring good news from a country that has not given up and shall not do so. Good news from a nation that is consolidating its democracy; good news from a country that is building its own social model, its own welfare state by means of new formulas to protect its elders, its pensioners, its children, its young people, its women, the neediest sectors, its working class. We also bring good news regarding the efforts for an economic recovery; in fact, I activated, in August, an Economic Recovery, Growth and Prosperity Program which is succeeding in placing the bases of a new economy, not dependent on oil revenues, a diversified economy, of sustainable growth and prosperity building, heading towards a new kind of social model.

We believe in a different world; our generation witnessed the so-called bipolar world, the so-called Cold War which some apparently want to bring back again through attacks against China, Russia and modest countries like Venezuela. However, provoking a fight against countries like Russia and China is a contradiction of what a humanitarian international policy should be, meaning one which recognizes the emergence of new poles of power and the need to build a multipolar world.

Venezuela is a country which advocates for and is committed to the construction of a pluripolar and multicentric world, where all the different regions (Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean, Asia, Europe, and North America) can live together in balance and peace, respecting our cultures, religions, idiosyncrasies, identities and economic and political models. There is not a unique economic model; we must not allow the imposition of a single cultural model, a single political model; they intend to impose a single thought for humanity. I say no. We vindicate the cultural, religious and political diversity of humanity of this world. Therefore, in the Non-aligned Movement, we advocate for the emergence of such a world of justice.
We assume and declare our solidarity with the Arab people of Palestine; justice shall arrive to Palestine so that their historic territories, established in 1967 by this United Nations Organization, are respected.

We carry with us the flag of the Palestinian people. We support the UN call for an end to the infamous and criminal 50-year-blockade against the Cuban people. We have had enough of anachronistic methods that they intend to continue imposing against the Cuban people, and now against other peoples like Venezuela.

So we raise our two hands to vote on the United Nations Resolution, which in the next few days will be carried out to reject the blockade and economic-financial persecution against Cuba, and demand its immediate lifting, in a world to be built, in a world to be made.

200 years ago, our region was plagued by colonies, slavery and injustice. 100 years ago, as peoples, we struggled for freedom. Today, in the 21st century, the moment has come, the opportunity has come. Undoubtedly, in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, with Simon Bolivar’s revolutionary ideas, with the example and legacy of Commander Hugo Chavez – whose voice still resonates here in this room demanding justice and justice for the world, demanding the cessation of the imperial practices of threats, coercion and extortion against peoples – we can say that in 20 years of revolution, the last 3 have been the hardest years: years of harassment, aggressions and attacks.

Today, on September 26th, 2018, I can say that we have faced political, media, diplomatic, economic and financial persecutions, but I also can say that today Venezuela is stronger than ever. We have learnt how to resist and draw the strength from our historic roots to stand up, victorious and willing to continue advancing in the construction of our own social model, which it is the Socialist Revolution of the 21st century; we say it to the four winds, it is a new revolution, of independence, dignity and justice.

Today, we are stronger than ever. Yes, I was a witness, we were witnesses two days ago of the tribute to Nelson Mandela; speaking about Mandela is speaking about rebellion. Many people have tried to create a wrong picture of Mandela like a dump person, somebody who did not fight. Mandela is synonym of rebellion against injustice, bravery, courage and the challenge to the oppressors. We are followers of Nelson Mandela’s legacy and the great African leaders who have raised the struggle for equality, justice and against slavery, racism and colonialism in all its forms.

We saw the tribute to Nelson Mandela and we thought how much this world has changed. Just 30 years ago Mandela was considered a terrorist by the United States Congress and the North American governments. Just a few years ago Nelson Mandela was still on the list of sanctioned people. It may sound familiar to you: Nelson Mandela, the terrorist, the sanctioned, the persecuted, and the abandoned. The world has changed a lot since then. Currently, Nelson Mandela is a flag that we embrace with love, with conviction. He is a symbol of what it is possible to do if the rebellion, the struggle, and justice are able to conquer the noble hearts and minds of the peoples.

I trust in the future of humanity, in the destiny of my country, in the common future of this community represented here in the United Nations Organization, and I must say, after having resisted coup d’état attempts, terrorist attacks, that: I trust the human being, the future of humanity. Venezuela says to the United Nations: We trust in the noble ideals of the Venezuelan people that do not give up, and will not surrender. Thank you very much, dear compatriots of the world. Count on Venezuela for the great causes of the future of this organization, and the future of a multipolar world! Good evening to all of you, thank you.

Resisting US Military Bases and Pentagon Strategies in Latin America

Source teleSur
by James Patric Jordan


The anti-bases movement in Latin America is strong and a manifestation of the people’s will.

Bolivar’s prophetic words

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Statue of Simon Bolivar in Kingston, Jamaica

“The United States appear to be destined by Providence to plague America with misery in the name of liberty.” Those words were written by Simón Bolivar, 189 years ago. The Great Liberator understood that liberation and the U.S.’ concept of liberty are not the same. When imperialists talk about liberty, they mean access to land, water, and other natural resources for private development and profit.

Six years before Bolivar penned his prescient words, the Monroe Doctrine said to European governments that any attempt to interfere in Latin America would be deemed “dangerous to our peace and safety….. we could not view any interposition…by any European power in any other light than as the manifestation of an unfriendly disposition toward the United States.”

Ana Esther Ceceña, in a piece published by the Ecuadorian Ministry of Defense in 2013, describes the objectives of the United States in Latin America and the world. She says the U.S. has “two general objectives: to guarantee the maintenance of capitalism and within it, the primacy of the United States; and to guarantee the availability of all the riches of the world as the material base for the functioning of the system, assuring that its hierarchies and dynamics of power are maintained.”

By emphasizing this interference as “an unfriendly disposition toward the United States,” the Monroe Doctrine portrayed Latin American independence within a context of U.S. interests and influence. Since the establishment of the Monroe Doctrine, U.S. history in Latin America has been marked by invasions and occupations and proxy wars and outright theft of land such as occurred in the War against Mexico.

This has made it difficult for the U.S. to establish full-on military bases in Latin America. The Mexican public especially maintains an aversion to U.S. military presence within its borders. Unfortunately, the country’s oligarchy ignores this aversion and betrays the people’s national pride.

US bases in Latin America

Nevertheless, the U.S. has been successful in establishing bases in several countries throughout Latin America, with formally recognized bases in El Salvador, occupied Cuba, Aruba, Curacao, Antigua and Barbuda, Andros Island in the Bahamas, Puerto Rico, and even a micro-base, or “Lily Pad” in Costa Rica that the Costa Rican government officially denies.

However, until recently, the momentum had been against U.S. bases. Starting in 1999, when the U.S. lost the Howard Air Base in Panama, the number of U.S. bases had steadily declined. In 2008 the Colombian government had agreed to grant U.S. access to seven bases, but this was struck down by the constitutional court in 2010. The reality is that the U.S. continues to access and use these bases based on other agreements. The court decision was against a permanent foreign presence, but “permanency” is a somewhat amorphous concept open to interpretation. It is safe to say that U.S. access to these bases is relatively unfettered and continuous.

Booted out of Ecuador

And in 2008 the government of Ecuador booted the U.S. from its Manta base. Ernesto Samper, head of Unasur (the Union of South American Nations) has said that U.S. military bases should “leave the continent”.

Now the pendulum is swinging the other way, which is one reason we need this anti-bases movement. The coup in Honduras in 2009 occurred shortly after the elected president Manuel Zelaya had proposed converting the Palmerola (or Soto Cano) Air Force Base into a civilian airport. The U.S. and Honduras had both used the base since the 80s when it was an important component of the Contra war against the Sandinista government in Nicaragua.

Since the coup, the U.S. has undertaken new construction on the base and increased the number of troops, including stationing some 250 U.S. Marines there. Today there are more than 1,300 U.S. military and civilian employees, dwarfing the population of 300 persons at the Honduran Air Force Academy. Also since the coup, the U.S. military has built a base at Catarasca in Honduras’ Mosquitia region, and in Guanaja, the U.S. Navy has built a facility for the Honduran Navy that reportedly hosts both US and Honduran aircraft.

Peru, Brazil, Argentina – growing closer to US military

And that is just Honduras. At the end of 2016, Peru’s regional government in Amazonas approved a partnership with SouthCom, the U.S. military’s Southern Command, and Pentagon Contratistas to build a new base in that country.

With the legislative coup against the government of Dilma Rousseff in Brazil and the right wing electoral victory in Argentina, both those countries are growing closer to the U.S. military, showing an openness to new U.S. military bases. Brazilian President Michel Temer has invited the U.S. to use the Alcantara missile and rocket launching base. (Samuel Pinheiro Guimaraes, Brazil’s former General Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Strategic Affairs, posits that “The Americans’ main objective is to have a military base in Brazilian territory with which it can exercise its sovereignty outside the laws of the Brazilian authorities…. The location of Alcantara in the Brazilian northeast facing West Africa is ideal for the United States for its political and military operations in South America and Africa.”).

In Argentina, neoliberal President Mauricio Macri reached an agreement with the U.S. in May, 2016, to let the U.S. build two bases, one in Tierra del Fuego and the other, the Guaraní base, on the triple border of Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay, in the area of the world’s largest reservoir of drinkable, fresh water.

Speaking of water and natural resources, if we look at how the bases and military activities and presences are spread throughout Latin America, we can see that they are located in and around concentrations of mineral and oil deposits, big agribusiness centers, and large reservoirs of water. The combined water resources of Brazil, Colombia, and Peru dwarf the resources of the next most water-rich countries and regions.

Despite these setbacks, the anti-bases movement in Latin America is strong and a manifestation of the people’s will. Furthermore, these bases not only threaten Latin America and especially Venezuela, Cuba, Bolivia, and the ALBA countries that form a bulwark against U.S. interventionism. They threaten the world. From the Palenquero base in Colombia – one of the seven Colombia bases where the U.S. is constantly… but not “permanently”… present, with no or just one refueling stop, jets can reach any country in Latin America, as well as Africa and the Middle East.

Only one component

The presence of U.S. military bases is only one component of the infrastructure of Empire. We know that U.S. military invasions, occupations, base constructions and accords are almost always followed by the passage of laws undermining traditional farming, the diversion of water resources, the exploitation of mineral and oil wealth, the militarization of police and borders, and the construction of and redesign of penitentiary systems on a U.S. mass incarceration model.

In terms of U.S. military activities in Latin America, the issue of the bases is really the tip of the iceberg. We must also consider the reactivation of the 4th Fleet in the Caribbean, the rapid increase in joint military exercises throughout the hemisphere which often result in the deployment of temporary, and therefore mobile, bases, and the constant flow of military advisors. One of the most effective methods to get around the anti-bases movement is via what might be called a puppet sovereignty, wherein nations pursue activities, policies, and accords that appear independent of the U.S. but in reality further U.S. strategies and designs.

Ana Cecena writes about how the Pentagon’s global command system guarantees “… a more detailed supervision of the lands, seas, glaciers, and populations that make up the Earth in its entirety.” These commands effectively put the militaries and security apparatuses of most other nations under the coordination of the Pentagon.

The testing ground for puppet sovereignty

These “Commands” only represent one aspect of this phenomenon. As is so often the case, Colombia is the testing ground for this puppet sovereignty. For instance, in 2012, the U.S. and Colombia signed an agreement of military cooperation that has had Colombia undertaking joint patrols with the U.S. in Central America and West Africa. The U.S. has promoted a partnership between NATO and Colombia. Colombia has become heavily involved in the training of military, police, court, and prison personnel around the world.

Over the last decade, Colombia has trained well over 25,000 persons in other countries. Half have been in Mexico, with the other leading recipients being Honduras, Guatemala, and Panama. It must be added that when we speak of “puppet sovereignty,” this is not meant to imply that the Colombian military is less capable or less professional than their U.S. military colleagues. Clearly, Colombian military personnel are quite educated and experienced in their craft and equal to their U.S. counterparts. In fact, the U.S. has spent billions of dollars in tax monies precisely to ensure the development of the Colombian military as a highly effective stand-in for U.S. objectives.

General John Kelly is President Donald Trump’s current Chief of Staff and was formerly head of Homeland Security. Before that, he was the commander of Southcom. Testifying before the U.S. Congress on April 29, 2014, Kelly made a startlingly honest and revealing statement: “The beauty of having a Colombia – they’re such good partners, particularly in the military realm…. When we ask them to go somewhere else and train the Mexicans, the Hondurans, the Guatemalans, the Panamanians, they will do it almost without asking. And they’ll do it on their own… That’s why it’s important for them to go because I’m–at least on the military side–restricted from working with some of these countries because of limitations that are, that are really based on past sins. And I’ll let it go at that.”

A model 

The U.S.-Colombia relationship has been so successful, it has become a model for U.S. relations with Mexico. This includes the development of Plan Mexico and the North American Alliance for Security and Prosperity, a military accord that binds Canada and Mexico more closely to the Pentagon.

The Mexican military has a history of nonintervention internationally. But at a conference in October 2016, Rebecca Chavez, Deputy Secretary of Defense for Western Hemisphere Affairs during the Obama administration and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, revealed that “Both the United States and Mexico…have taken steps that have resulted in a transformation of the strategic relationship.” Chavez explained that Mexico as the 15th largest economy in the world, has a growing role in world affairs, including the military sphere. She noted that Mexico has expanded its military mission with attaches in Indonesia, Iran, Egypt, South Africa, and several other countries and that it participated in peacekeeping missions in Haiti and Lebanon. Chavez sites Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto for reevaluating the role of the Mexican military, saying, “Even before the shift, Mexico engaged in approximately 40 external activities to support around 25 different partners…. Our first step has been to expand the dialogue and relationship from just a narrow internal security focus… Other potential areas of cooperation are Central America and working together to strengthen the Inter-American Defense System.”

It is a very good idea for us to participate in the global movement against foreign U.S. and NATO military bases. But any victories we win will be short-sighted if we don’t connect to the larger movement against imperialism and for liberation. The designs of the Pentagon are adaptable. Military agreements, joint exercises, coordinated commands, are among the ways to augment and even replace the expansion of foreign bases.

Liberation from Empire

Ultimately, our struggle against foreign bases must be part of an even larger and overarching struggle, the struggle for liberation from Empire. If we get rid of the bases, but not the Empire, we are merely changing its forms. In the final analysis, the only answer is to shake off the yoke of U.S./capitalist domination and put something better in its place, that is with participatory democracy and socialism.
Whenever we raise the cry of No More Bases, then let us answer that cry with a shout of solidarity with Venezuela, solidarity with Cuba, solidarity with Bolivia, solidarity with the people of Puerto Rico and every occupied territory – solidarity with every popular movement and government that stands in the way of the forward march of Empire until that Empire is utterly and completely dismantled.

The anti-bases movement in Latin America is strong

Despite these setbacks, the anti-bases movement in Latin America is strong and a manifestation of the people’s will. Furthermore, these bases not only threaten Latin America and especially Venezuela, Cuba, Bolivia, and the ALBA countries that form a bulwark against U.S. interventionism. They threaten the world. From the Palenquero base in Colombia – one of the seven Colombia bases where the U.S. is constantly… but not “permanently”… present, with no or just one refueling stop, jets can reach any country in Latin America, as well as Africa and the Middle East.

The military bases is only one component

The presence of U.S. military bases is only one component of the infrastructure of Empire. We know that U.S. military invasions, occupations, base constructions and accords are almost always followed by the passage of laws undermining traditional farming, the diversion of water resources, the exploitation of mineral and oil wealth, the militarization of police and borders, and the construction of and redesign of penitentiary systems on a U.S. mass incarceration model.

The reactivation of the 4th Fleet in the Caribbean

In terms of U.S. military activities in Latin America, the issue of the bases is really the tip of the iceberg. We must also consider the reactivation of the 4th Fleet in the Caribbean, the rapid increase in joint military exercises throughout the hemisphere which often result in the deployment of temporary, and therefore mobile, bases, and the constant flow of military advisors. One of the most effective methods to get around the anti-bases movement is via what might be called a puppet sovereignty, wherein nations pursue activities, policies, and accords that appear independent of the U.S. but in reality further U.S. strategies and designs.

Ana Cecena writes about how the Pentagon’s global command system guarantees “… a more detailed supervision of the lands, seas, glaciers, and populations that make up the Earth in its entirety.” These commands effectively put the militaries and security apparatuses of most other nations under the coordination of the Pentagon.

US, NATO and Colombia

These “Commands” only represent one aspect of this phenomenon. As is so often the case, Colombia is the testing ground for this puppet sovereignty. For instance, in 2012, the U.S. and Colombia signed an agreement of military cooperation that has had Colombia undertaking joint patrols with the U.S. in Central America and West Africa. The U.S. has promoted a partnership between NATO and Colombia. Colombia has become heavily involved in the training of military, police, court, and prison personnel around the world.

Over the last decade, Colombia has trained well over 25,000 persons in other countries. Half have been in Mexico, with the other leading recipients being Honduras, Guatemala, and Panama. It must be added that when we speak of “puppet sovereignty,” this is not meant to imply that the Colombian military is less capable or less professional than their U.S. military colleagues. Clearly, Colombian military personnel are quite educated and experienced in their craft and equal to their U.S. counterparts. In fact, the U.S. has spent billions of dollars in tax monies precisely to ensure the development of the Colombian military as a highly effective stand-in for U.S. objectives.

General John Kelly is President Donald Trump’s current Chief of Staff and was formerly head of Homeland Security. Before that, he was the commander of Southcom. Testifying before the U.S. Congress on April 29, 2014, Kelly made a startlingly honest and revealing statement: “The beauty of having a Colombia – they’re such good partners, particularly in the military realm…. When we ask them to go somewhere else and train the Mexicans, the Hondurans, the Guatemalans, the Panamanians, they will do it almost without asking. And they’ll do it on their own… That’s why it’s important for them to go because I’m–at least on the military side–restricted from working with some of these countries because of limitations that are, that are really based on past sins. And I’ll let it go at that.”

Mexico

The U.S.-Colombia relationship has been so successful, it has become a model for U.S. relations with Mexico. This includes the development of Plan Mexico and the North American Alliance for Security and Prosperity, a military accord that binds Canada and Mexico more closely to the Pentagon.

The Mexican military has a history of nonintervention internationally. But at a conference in October 2016, Rebecca Chavez, Deputy Secretary of Defense for Western Hemisphere Affairs during the Obama administration and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, revealed that “Both the United States and Mexico…have taken steps that have resulted in a transformation of the strategic relationship.” Chavez explained that Mexico as the 15th largest economy in the world, has a growing role in world affairs, including the military sphere. She noted that Mexico has expanded its military mission with attaches in Indonesia, Iran, Egypt, South Africa, and several other countries and that it participated in peacekeeping missions in Haiti and Lebanon.

Chavez sites Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto for reevaluating the role of the Mexican military, saying, “Even before the shift, Mexico engaged in approximately 40 external activities to support around 25 different partners…. Our first step has been to expand the dialogue and relationship from just a narrow internal security focus… Other potential areas of cooperation are Central America and working together to strengthen the Inter-American Defense System.”

It is a very good idea for us to participate in the global movement against foreign U.S. and NATO military bases. But any victories we win will be short-sighted if we don’t connect to the larger movement against imperialism and for liberation. The designs of the Pentagon are adaptable. Military agreements, joint exercises, coordinated commands, are among the ways to augment and even replace the expansion of foreign bases.

Not just the bases, but liberation from the Empire

Ultimately, our struggle against foreign bases must be part of an even larger and overarching struggle, the struggle for liberation from Empire. If we get rid of the bases, but not the Empire, we are merely changing its forms. In the final analysis, the only answer is to shake off the yoke of U.S./capitalist domination and put something better in its place, that is with participatory democracy and socialism.

Whenever we raise the cry of No More Bases, then let us answer that cry with a shout of solidarity with Venezuela, solidarity with Cuba, solidarity with Bolivia, solidarity with the people of Puerto Rico and every occupied territory – solidarity with every popular movement and government that stands in the way of the forward march of Empire until that Empire is utterly and completely dismantled.

James Patrick Jordan is the National Co-Coordinator, Alliance for Global Justice and member of the People’s Human Rights Observatory-PHRO. This article was given as a presentation given at the No Foreign U.S. and Nato Bases Conference. Anahit Aharonian, a PHRO member from Uruguay, provided important background material and edited the Spanish version.

Haiti: The Price of Liberation

Source:  TeleSUR
January 1 2017

“Should I not let it be known to later generations that Alexander Petion is the true liberator of my country?” said Simon Bolivar, the Venezuelan leader who liberated South America from Spanish rule, to Alexandre Petion, the first president of Haiti.

haiti the price of liberation.jpgOn Jan. 1, 1804, the French colony of Saint-Domingue became the Republic of Haiti, after over a decade of fighting against French enslavement and colonization. It was the most successful slave rebellion in the Americas and the only revolt of its kind that led to the creation of a state.

RELATED:  Haiti: The Price of Liberation

On Dec. 15, 1815, after his defeat in Carthagena by Spain, the revolutionary Simon Bolivar arrived in Aux Cayes, Haiti. He was seeking the aid of Alexandre Petion, one of the founding fathers of Haiti and the first president of the newly-liberated Black Republic.

simon bolivar 4.jpgSimon Bolivar was born in Caracas, Venezuela, July 24, 1783.

Petion provided shelter and food for Bolivar and the Venezuelan families and soldiers who had traveled with him after his recent defeat by the Spanish. They recuperated and regrouped under the care of Petion.

Petion provided, among other supplies

According to records, Petion provided, among other supplies, 4,000 rifles, gunpowder, food and a printing press. He also contributed to Bolivar with Haitian military strategists and veterans from the Caribbean nation’s revolution to accompany him on his April 1816 expedition.

In exchange for all the aid that Petion provided for the Bolivarian revolutionary, he asked that the Venezuelan leader free the slaves in all the countries that were to achieve their independence from Spain.

Once again, Spain defeated Bolivar, and once again he returned to Haiti to recuperate and re-arm. This time Petion gave Bolivar shelter and aid, including a new set of ammunition. In Dec. 1816, Bolivar departed to South America to defeat Spain, and this time he succeeded.

Haiti also provided the model for the liberated South American nations

According to “El Libertador: Writings of Simon Bolivar,” a collection of public and private letters of Bolivar, Haiti not only provided material resources but was also the model for the liberated South American nations.

Bolivar structured Bolivia’s first government from the example of Haiti and the Venezuelan constitution was based on the constitution Petion drew up for Haiti. And, of course, he declared slavery illegal in the nascent countries.

Bolivar wrote to Petition that, “In my proclamation to the inhabitants of Venezuela and in the decrees, I have to issue concerning the slaves, I do not know if I am allowed to express the feelings of my heart to your Excellency and to leave to posterity an everlasting token of your philanthropy. I do not know, I say, if I must declare that you are the author of our liberty.”

France demanded 150 million of gold francs in “reparations” from Haiti

Even though, Haiti had freed itself from French colonization and had inspired and supported the Bolivarian nations’ independence from the Spanish, in 1825, France demanded that Haiti pay 150 million of gold francs in “reparations” to former French slaveholders.

RELATED:  The Americas’ Broken Promises to Haiti

Twelve French warships with 500 cannons were stationed along the coast of Haiti, threatening to re-invade and re-enslave the Haitian state. Haiti’s hand was forced. For over a century, Haiti was required to finance the debt, through loans from one French bank, which charged Haiti incredibly high-interest rates.

Haiti made France incredibly rich

French political recognition of Haiti came until 1834. The brutal slavery of Haiti made France incredibly rich. The first independent Black Republic sent shock waves throughout Europe. It was a clear threat to European dominance and stood as a beacon of successful resistance against European colonization, financing the Bolivarian revolutions, and inspiring slave revolts in the United States. Haiti had to be punished. Over the years, this repayment of “independence debt” to their former slave owners, along with foreign-led coups and occupations, left the Haitian economy crippled and impoverished. As British newspaper The Guardian points out, “When the indemnity money Haiti paid France is adjusted for inflation and a minimal interest rate, its value … $40bn.”

To this day, France has refused to pay Haiti back the money it illegally demanded for over a century.

Fidel’s message to President Nicolás Maduro

Source:  Granma
December 11 2015

I share the unanimous opinion of those who have congratulated you for your brilliant, valiant speech on the night of December 6, as soon as the election’s outcome was announced.

fidel y maduro 6.jpg

Dear Nicolás:

I share the unanimous opinion of those who have congratulated you for your brilliant, valiant speech on the night of December 6, as soon as the election’s outcome was announced.

In world history, the highest level of political glory which a revolutionary can reach, is that of the illustrious Venezuelan combatant, Liberator of America, Simón Bolívar, whose name now belongs not only to this sister country, but to all peoples of Latin America.

Another Venezuelan official of honorable legacy, Hugo Chávez, understood and admired him and struggled for his ideas until the last moment of his life. As a boy, attending elementary school in the country where the poor children of Bolívar were obliged to work to help support their families, he developed the spirit in which the Liberator of America was forged.

The millions of children and youth who today attend the largest and most modern system of public schools in the world are Venezuelan. More can be said about the country’s network of medical care centers and the attention paid to the health of its people, brave but poor as a result of centuries of plunder by Spanish colonialism, and later by huge transnationals, which for more than 100 years extracted from its entrails the best of the immense oil reserves nature bestowed on this country.

History also bears witness that workers exist, and make possible the enjoyment of nutritious food, medicine, education, security, housing and the world’s solidarity. You could ask the oligarchy, if you like: Do you know all of this?

Cuban revolutionaries – just a few miles from the United States, which always dreamed of taking possession of Cuba to make it a hybrid casino-brothel, as a way of life for the children of José Martí – will never renounce their full independence or respect for their dignity.

I am sure that human life on Earth can only be preserved with peace among all peoples of the Earth, and acknowledgement of the right to make the planet’s natural resources common property, as well as the sciences and technologies created by human beings to benefit all of its inhabitants. If humanity continues along the path of exploitation and the plunder of its resources by transnationals and imperialist banks, the representatives of states meeting in Paris, will draw the relevant conclusions.

Security does not exist today for anyone. There are nine states which possess nuclear weapons. One of them, the United States, dropped two bombs which killed hundreds of thousands of people in just three days, and caused physical and psychological harm to millions of defenseless people.

The People’s Republic of China and Russia know the world’s problems much better than the United States, because they were obliged to endure the terrible wars imposed on them by fascism’s blind egoism. I do not doubt that, given their historical traditions and their own revolutionary experience, they will make the greatest effort to avoid a war and contribute to the peaceful development of Venezuela, Latin America, Asia and Africa.

Fraternally,

Fidel's signatire

Source:  Fidel’s message to Ptresident Nicolas Maduro

Venezuela Sings In Its Defence

Viva Venezuela, my beloved homeland

Which was freed, my brother, by Simon Bolivar,

Viva Venezuela, my beloved homeland

Which was freed, my brother, by Simon Bolivar,

Viva Venezuela, my beloved homeland

Which was freed, my brother, by Simon Bolivar,

Viva Venezuela, my beloved homeland

Which was freed, my brother, by Simon Bolivar,

Two hundred years of glory gives merit to your glory

We implore your greatness, Bolivar, Liberator

Two hundred years of glory gives merit to your glory

We implore your greatness, Bolivar, Liberator

Viva Venezuela, my beloved homeland

Which was freed, my brother, by Simon Bolivar,

Viva Venezuela, my beloved homeland

Which was freed, my brother, by Simon Bolivar,

To defend the homeland the union makes us stronger

We are the same blood, with one heart

To defend the homeland the union makes us stronger

We are the same blood, with one heart

Viva Venezuela, my beloved homeland

Which was freed, my brother, by Simon Bolivar,

Viva Venezuela, my beloved homeland

Which was freed, my brother, by Simon Bolivar,

We will ride the dreams to build a Nation

That would be free and sovereign

Full of love and abundance

We will ride the dreams to build a Nation

That would be free and sovereign

Full of love and abundance

Viva Venezuela, my beloved homeland

Which was freed, my brother, by Simon Bolivar,

Viva Venezuela, my beloved homeland

Which was freed, my brother, by Simon Bolivar,

Venezuela is the light of life we are not a threat

Venezuela is solidarity land of peace and hope

Venezuela is the light of life we are not a threat

Venezuela is solidarity land of peace and hope

Viva Venezuela, my beloved homeland

Which was freed, my brother, by Simon Bolivar,

Viva Venezuela, my beloved homeland

Which was freed, my brother, by Simon Bolivar,

Guacaipuro was the first of dignity and combat

There is no Empire able to constrain us

We are free and we are fighters

Guacaipuro was the first of dignity and combat

There is no Empire able to constrain us

We are free and we are fighters

Viva Venezuela, my beloved homeland

Which was freed, my brother, by Simon Bolivar,

Viva Venezuela, my beloved homeland

Which was freed, my brother, by Simon Bolivar,

Viva Venezuela free,

Viva my beloved country

Viva the peace of The People

Viva one united Latin America

Viva Venezuela free,

Viva my beloved country

Viva the peace of The People

Viva one united Latin America

Viva Venezuela, my beloved homeland

Which was freed, my brother, by Simon Bolivar,

Viva Venezuela, my beloved homeland

Which was freed, my brother, by Simon Bolivar,

Maduro’s Letter to the People of the United States: Venezuela is not a threat

Source: TeleSUR

March 17 2015

Letter to the People of the United States: Venezuela is not a threat

An open letter from Venezuelan President, Nicolas Maduro, and the Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to the people of the U.S., published in the New York Times.

maduro writes letter to us citizensWe are the people of Simon Bolívar, our people believe in peace and respect for all nations.

Freedom and Independence

More than two centuries ago, our fathers founded a Republic on the basis that all persons are free and equal under the law.

Our nation made the greatest sacrifices to guarantee South American people their right to choose their rulers and to enforce their own laws today. The historical legacy of our father, Simón Bolívar, is always remembered. Bolívar was a man who gave his life so we would inherit a nation of justice and equality.

We believe in Peace, National Sovereignty and International Law 

We are a peaceful people. In two centuries of independence, we have never attacked another nation. Our people live in a region of peace, free of weapons of mass destruction, and in freedom to practice all religions. We uphold respect for international law and the sovereignty of all people of the world.

We are an Open Society

We are a working people, we care for our families, and we have freedom of religion. Immigrants from around the world, live among us, whose diversity is respected. We have freedom of press and we are enthusiastic users of social media.

We are friends of the American people:

The histories of our people have been connected since the beginning of our struggles for freedom. Francisco de Miranda, a Venezuelan hero, fought with the American people during their independence fight. We share the idea that freedom and independence are fundamental elements for the development of our nations.

The relations between our peoples have always been peaceful and respectful. Historically, we have shared business relations in strategic areas. Venezuela has always been a responsible and trustful energy provider for the American people. Since 2005, Venezuela has provided “heating oil” through subsidies for low-income communities in the United States, thanks to our company CITGO. This contribution has helped tens of thousands of American citizens survive in harsh conditions, giving them relief, and necessary support in times of need, evidencing how solidarity can create powerful alliances across borders.

Incredibly, the U.S government has declared our country a threat to its national security and foreign policy

In a disproportionate action, the government of Obama has issued a “National Emergency” declaring Venezuela as a threat to its national security (Executive Order, 03-09-2015). This unilateral and aggressive measure taken by the United States Government against our country is not only unfounded and in violation of basic principles of sovereignty and self-determination under international law, but also has been unanimously rejected by all 33 nations of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) and the twelve member states of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR).  In a statement made on March 14, 2015, UNASUR reiterated its firm rejection of these coercive measures that do not contribute to the peace, stability and democracy in our region and called on President Obama to revoke his Executive Order against Venezuela.

We reject unilateralism and interventionism

President Obama, without any authority to interfere in our internal affairs, unilaterally issued a set of sanctions against Venezuelan officials with potentially far-reaching implications, interfering in our constitutional order and our justice system.

We advocate for a multipolar world

We believe that our world must be based on the rules of international law, without interference in the internal affairs of other countries. We are convinced that the relationship of respect between all the nations is the only path for strengthening peace and coexistence, as well as for ensuring a more just world.

We honor our freedoms and uphold our rights 

Never before in the history of our nations, has a president of the United States attempted to govern Venezuelans by decree. It is a tyrannical and imperial order and it pushes us back into the darkest days of the relationship between the United States and Latin America and the Caribbean.

In the name of our long-term friendship we alert our American brothers and sisters, lovers of justice and freedom, of the illegal aggression committed by your government on your behalf. We will not allow our friendship with the people of the United States to be affected by this senseless and groundless decision by President Obama.

We demand:

1- The U.S. Government immediately cease hostile actions against Venezuelan people and democracy.

2- President Obama abolish the Executive Order that declares Venezuela a threat to U.S. national security, as has been requested by the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR).

3.The U.S. Government retract its libelous and defamatory statements and actions against the honorable Venezuelan officials who have just obeyed our laws and our constitution.

Our sovereignty is sacred 

The principles of the founding fathers of the United States of America are followed today with the same dignity by the people of Simón Bolívar. In the name of our mutual love for national independence we want the government of President Obama to think about and rectify this dangerous precedent.

We are convinced that the defense of our freedom is a right we shall never give up because the future of the humanity lies also in our country. As Simón Bolívar said: “The freedom of the New World is the hope of the universe”. 

“Venezuela is not a threat, but a hope”

“Independence or nothing”

Simón Bolívar

Source: Venezuela’s Maduro writes letter to US citizens TeleSUR