Why Is Venezuela a Key Geopolitical Target for The US?

Source:  TeleSUR
January 25 2019

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro denounced that the real objective of the United States behind imposing a new government in the South American nation is to appropriate the energy and mineral resources of this country.

Why Is Venezuela a Key Geopolitical Target for The US?

“They have the ambition for oil, gas and gold. We tell them: these riches are not yours, they are for the people of Venezuela and that’s how it will be forever,” Nicolas Maduro warned on Wednesday, Jan. 23, in the Venezuelan capital Caracas shortly after opposition lawmaker Juan Guaido illegally declared himself “interim president” and received support for his unconstitutional move from the U.S., Canada and other right-wing governments in the region.

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A deeper look into the reasons behind such right-wing flood to support the parliamentary coup reveals that the objective behind such endorsement of an internationally illegal act is behind the publicly stated humanitarian reasons and in fact about robbing the country of its riches after two decades of progressive and sovereign policies by the Bolivarian government that limited Washington’s access to such resources.

Oil

According to the CIA World Factbook, as of Jan. 1, 2017, Venezuela had the largest proven oil reserve estimate of any country, including Saudi Arabia.

As of November 2017, the South American nation had 300,900,000,000 barrels of proven reserves in the “Hugo Chávez” Orinoco Oil Belt. After the inauguration of Nicolas Maduro for a second term, Donald Trump government began to consider expanding its sanctions on Venezuelan crude to add pressure against the constitutional president.

Oil analysts have indicated that the objective, beyond preventing the sale of oil to China, is to ensure a stable source of oil to serve the U.S. market that is increasing and that its own current production can not supply. On Jan. 16, the U.S. Department of Energy revealed that its reserves decreased by 2.7 million barrels, reaching 437.1 million.

In terms of proven gas reserves, Venezuela had 198.3 trillion cubic feet in 2017, according to the Ministry of Petroleum. The new proven reserves are distributed in 2.3 trillion cubic feet of the traditional areas of Maracaibo, Maturin, Barcelona, Cumana and Barinas, and 718.7 trillion that lie in the blocks of the Oil Belt.

Mining resources

Venezuela has denounced the international campaign promoted by the United States against the Mining Arc where the reserves of gold, diamonds and other minerals such as coltan are concentrated.

The campaign against the Mining Arc has sought to increase the levels of economic suffocation in Venezuela by presenting Venezuelan gold as a product of trafficking and corruption.

In 2018 Venezuela advanced in the certification of more than 30 gold fields in the country, with which it aimed to establish itself “as the second largest gold reserve on the planet”.

During  2018 and despite the sanctions, the South American nation received a 200 percent increase in its non-oil exports compared to 2017, mainly gold sold to Holland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United States, the United Kingdom and especially to Turkey. In the first months of 2018, Venezuela exported 23.62 tons of gold to the Eurasian nation, valued at US$900 million.

By representing an alternative to oil and one of the largest proven gold reserves in the world, the U.S. has renewed its interest in appropriating this mineral and obstructing the commercial exchange that Venezuela maintains with Russia and Turkey in the Mining Arc.

As President Nicolas Maduro denounced Wednesday, Washington’s real objective in Venezuela is to seize the immense natural and mineral resources of the South American nation.

Political Beacon in Latin America

In 1998, commander Hugo Chavez Frias had a pivotal electoral triumph that changed the fate of Latin America for around 20 years, from that time to this date, there have been up to 15 progressive democratically elected governments in the region.

Commander Chavez and Nicolas Maduro first as foreign affairs minister and then as president have been crucial in the integrationist efforts in Latin American, guided by the ideals of Simon Bolivar of a united continent. With the cooperation of other countries and presidents such as Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Dilma Rousseff, Rafael Correa, Evo Morales, Nestor Kirchner, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, Manuel Zelaya, Fernando Lugo, Daniel Ortega, Fidel Castro, Raul Castro, Venezuela pushed forward for the regional integration of the continent.

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During these years some bodies of regional integration bodies were created such as the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA), The Union of South American Nation (UNASUR), The Bank of the South, the News Network teleSUR, and the Southern Common Market to enforce South American trade bloc (MERCOSUR), all organizations that sought to create a more unified and independent Latin American and the Caribbean community.

From that moment a series of efforts began, in order to destabilize these governments. Soft coups against progressive presidents started, the first one against Chavez in 2002 which failed, then another against Honduras’ Manuel Zelaya in 2010, followed by a parliamentary maneuver against Paraguay’s Fernando Lugo, and partially ending with a parliamentary coup against Brazil’s Dilma Rousseff in 2016.

These processes have been defined as “lawfare”, such as the current legal wrangling against Lula, to which we can add the more recent ones against Rafael Correa and Jorge Glas in Ecuador and a very similar process against Cristina Kirshner in Argentina.

The domino effect rising of right-wing governments in Latin America, and defeating the “National Popular governments” continues in the region, and Venezuela is one of the last standing defenses, along with Bolivia, Nicaragua, Cuba, and El Salvador.

This is why a destabilization mediatic and a political and economic campaign has been unleashed against Venezuela, and all the “National Popular governments” of Latin America, for years. Defeating Venezuela, one of the first progressive countries and governments in the region, is so important for the U.S. and the local right-wing oligarchies. It would be a defeat to progressivism in the region.

Macri Gov’t to Take teleSUR off Argentine TV Service in 15 Days

Source:  TeleSUR

telesur.jpg

teleSUR was founded in 2005. | Photo: teleSUR

The notice was delivered as Argentine journalists marched to decry a clampdown on freedom of expression under Macri.

The government of Mauricio Macri served notice that in 15 days Argentines will no longer enjoy broadcasts from the regional news network, teleSUR, over the government’s Open Digital Television.

IN DEPTH:  Don’t Silence teleSUR!

teleSUR President Patricia Villegas took to social media Wednesday to denounce what media watchdogs are calling “censorship” on the part of the right-wing Argentine president and his government.

Villegas published the letter sent from Argentine officials which outlined that the decision was “based on the need to renew the program listings for our Experimental System of Digital Terrestrial Television and Satellite Television System.”

The inability of the Argentine government to direct the network’s editorial line

In March, however, the head of Media and Public Content Argentina, Hernan Lombardi, said the move to pull out of teleSUR, meaning that the network would not be shown on cable packages or the government-run TDA, was based on the inability of the Argentine government to direct the network’s editorial line.

Villegas said teleSUR journalists, not government officials, direct the content of the station and its platforms. Nonetheless, the channel’s head offered to discuss the decision openly with Argentine officials.

“Let’s review teleSUR programming but in a truthful way,” she said.

teleSUR is included in packages of more than 90 cable operators and has agreements with five television stations in different Argentine provinces. Until Feb. 29, 2016, it reached more than 20 million viewers in addition to more than 8 million subscribers.

Marcri Aims to Solidify Argentina’sMedia Monopoly with Reforms

Source:  TeleSUR
March 29, 2016

Over the last 15 years, progressive governments in Ecuador, Bolivia, Argentina, Venezuela and Uruguay have approved important legislative initiatives, challenging the structure of media ownership and creating alternatives to hegemonic models of communication.

 

media monopolies in latin america.jpgIn several countries in the region, at least one third of all broadcasting frequencies have been designated for community or alternative media sources.

 

telesur in english 3.jpgHowever, attempts to diversify media ownership have been complicated in countries like Argentina where the right-wing secured significant electoral victories in 2015.

IN DEPTH: Don’t Silence teleSUR

Macri announces  plan to empower corporate media

Only days after being sworn into office, Argentine President Mauricio Macri wasted no time in announcing his administration’s plan to empower corporate media conglomerates by dismantling the country’s state-run media watchdog, which was created under the 2009 Media Law.

The Media Law introduced in 2009 implied major changes in terms of ownership, specifically challenging media monopolies by lowering the threshold on the number of media outlets that can be owned by a single entity.

Media giant Clarin Group fought the legislation in courts for years, complaining the law would force it to sell off some of its operating licenses.

Move to eliminate teleSUR from the airwaves

Meanwhile, the recent decision by the government of Mauricio Macri to effectively take regional news broadcaster teleSUR off the air in Argentina, forms part of his administration’s larger overhaul of the country’s media laws.

The recent move to eliminate teleSUR from the airwaves comes after Argentine officials had publicly lamented the alleged lack of plurality of voices in the media.

However, despite government claims to try to create a more plural media environment, critics argue that Macri’s efforts to ban teleSUR represents an assault on the country’s 2009 Media Law and an attempt to further solidify the country’s already notoriously monopolized media market.

RELATED:Maduro Vows teleSUR Will Continue in Argentina

A significant impediment to media diversity

Like Macri, Argentina’s largest media conglomerate Clarin Group, view the 2009 Media Law – which sets aside a certain number of broadcast licenses for community groups like churches and cultural organizations – as a restriction on private property and press.

A recent study conducted by the Open Society Foundations concluded that the “concentration of property” in Argentina represents a significant impediment to media diversity.

“The concentration of property in multimedia groups, such as Clarin, that have dominant positions in print, radio, and free-to-air and pay television, restricts diversity,” the report noted.

Fidel Castro Sends Letter to teleSUR Marking 10th Anniversary

Source:  TeleSUR
July 23 2015

fidel 70Patricia Villegas Marin,
President of teleSUR

Dear Patricia,

I could not let the 10th anniversary of the launch of teleSUR pass without sending you this message. Its creation was an initiative by the unforgettable Hugo Chavez, who was aware of the importance of promoting Latin American integration and offering objective and accurate information, in the face of the monopoly of the transnational news companies and the challenges that lied ahead.  Deeply bolivarian, he wanted the transmission to begin on July 24, a historic day that marks the birthday of the Liberator, Simon Bolivar.

In its journey filled with lessons and experiences, there has not been a significant political, economic, social event in which teleSUR was not present with immediacy, objectivity, and accuracy. Likewise, men, women, and children from diverse social, ethnic, and religious groups, indigenous peoples, black people, the dispossessed and the most humble people with their dignity and natural intelligence and their moving, and in many cases heartbreaking, stories have found a place at the channel.

I want to let you know I am regular viewer of the channel, it is where I get a big part of my information. The Cuban people have shown an eagerness and a preference for teleSUR’s signal. teleSUR is a trench of ideas.

The dreams and the seed planted by Chavez will continue to grow beneath the commitment that saw it created as a bridge in the process of Latin American integration and the development of the necessary unity of our peoples.

TeleSUR reaches the most remote parts of the world with its message and way of expressing itself. I congratulate all teleSUR’s contributors for their efforts and the results achieved in such a short time, and you, in particular, for your brilliant leadership.

With friendship,

Fidel Castro Ruz

Source:  Fidel Castro Sends Letter to teleSUR Marking Anniversary  TeleSUR

Coup Plot in Venezuela Thwarted

Coup plotters planned on assassinating the Venezuelan president and installing a de facto government.

nicolas maduro 34A coup plot against the Venezuelan government has been foiled, with both civilians and members of the military detained, President Nicolas Maduro revealed Thursday in a televised address.

Those involved were being being paid in U.S. dollars, and one of the suspects had been granted a visa to enter the United States should the plot fail, Maduro said.

Coup plotters already had a “transitional” government and program lined up

Venezuela’s president stated that the coup plotters already had a “transitional” government and program lined up once the plan, which included bombings on the Miraflores Palace and the teleSUR offices in Caracas, as well as assassinations of members of the opposition, Maduro and others, was carried out.

Maduro explained that a video of masked military officials speaking out against the government had been recorded, which was set to be released after the planned assassination was carried out.

Venezuelan Minister of Defense Vladimir Padrino Lopez stated via his Twitter account that the armed forces remain loyal to the constitutional government.

The Bolivarian National Armed Forces remain resolute in their democratic beliefs

“The Bolivarian National Armed Forces remain resolute in their democratic beliefs and reject coup schemes that threaten the peace of the republic,” said Padrino.

According to Maduro, one of the suspects was already under surveillance and had been suspected of plotting against the government during last year’s violent demonstrations, but was not charged. Nevertheless, he continued plotting against the democratically-elected government.

The four-stage plan

The four-stage plan involved creating an economic assault on the country, creating an international debate around a supposed humanitarian crisis, a political coup involving officials who would turn on the government, and finally a military coup that would lead to the installation of the transitional program.

Maduro stated that the plot, which was scheduled to coincide with anti-government demonstrations planned for the one-year anniversary of the start of violent, opposition-led demonstrations which began last Feb. 12, was uncovered after military officials who had been approached to participate reported the schemes to authorities.

Maduro called on the Venezuelan people to be on alert and prepared to maintain peace in the country in the face of continued attempts by sectors of the right-wing who seek to overthrow the democratically-elected government.

Source: Coup Plot in Venezuela Thwarted  TeleSUR

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Maradona to host second season of De Zurda from Havana

Diego Maradona and Victor Hugo Moralesde zurdaDiego Maradona will return on January 10 to television with ‘De Zurda’, the very successful program which he hosted during the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.  He will begin recording this weekend from Cuba.

“Hi, Diego Maradona extends an invitation to all Latin Americans to Vuelve ‘De Zurda’ with Victor Hugo Morales and Diego Maradona on the 10th and 11th (of January),”said the Argentine in a promotional announcement issued today by Telesur.

Fidel y Maradona durante un encuentro en La Habana en el 2013“We’ll broadcast from Cuba, Havana; the beautiful Cuba of Fidel Castro,” said the legendary “10” Argentine before the cameras, drinking a traditional matte rioplatense.  Maradona, 54, signed a contract in December for a second season of the “De Zurda” Telesur program.

“From Zurda” was aired every night during the FIFA World Cup Finals in June with Maradona and Uruguayan journalist Victor Hugo Morales, known for his mythic narrative of the second goal that the Argentine star scored against England in 1986.

In addition to signing a contract with Maradona for a second season of “De Zurda” Telesur released in December a documentary which contained the highlights of the June 2014 program.
Sources:
Maradona: De Zurda vuelve desde La Habana  TeleSUR
The second season of De Zurda     La Santa Mambisa

Latin America’s TeleSUR Now Available in English

telesur in englishVenezuelan news network TeleSUR has launched an English-language Web platform aiming to reach a younger, global, English-speaking audience with a “Latin American perspective” on world events. The new initiative which presents a social-oriented message, brings the TeleSUR network into the same ranks as Al-Jazeera English, China Central Television, Russia Today and France 24 as a government-funded effort to produce English-language news from non-English-speaking countries.

The website, http://www.telesurtv.net/english, went live on Thursday, July 24, the ninth anniversary of the TeleSUR network and the birthday of revered South American revolutionary Simon Bolívar.  A series of promotional videos paints the new site as an alternative perspective on the news, carrying the slogan, “Don’t resign yourself to having just one side of the story.” Gregory Wilpert, founder of news website Venezuelanalysis,heads the new initiative as the website’s director.

For British and US audiences

The programming lineup includes daily news shows focused on Latin America and world events, as well as spotlights on the U.S. through a show called “The REAL USA,” which is set to feature “reports on the United States as seen through the eyes of ordinary citizens, who normally do not make the news.”

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