As a result of the strong support of Russia and Cuba for Nicolás Maduro, and the division of the opposition groups, the US has modified its strategy towards Venezuela. It no longer shuffles the use of force among his plans. Now it only demands a negotiating process between the two opposing parties with the aim of renewing the Presidency and Parliament.
Although it occupies only three paragraphs, the statement of the US Department of State, released on January 9, clearly indicates an important change of course, not because of what it says but because of what it omits. It doesn’t say it has all the options on the table. Nor does it require the immediate or prior departure of Maduro as an essential condition to address the necessary changes. That represents a very remarkable circumstance in diplomatic and political terms.
The document, signed by the US Secretary of State, Michael R. Pompeo, argues that “a rapid negotiated transition to democracy is the most effective and sustainable route to peace and prosperity in Venezuela.” Pompeo adds that “the negotiations could open the path of the crisis through a transitional government that will organize free and fair elections.”
The Pompeo project sets a road map for the two elections to be held later this year. For this, it demands a new and independent National Electoral Commission, elected by the National Assembly (Parliament), as stipulated in the Constitution, to control the electoral process.
Two other requirements cited by Washington would be the renewal of the Supreme Court of Justice, the highest body of the Venezuelan judicial system, as well as unlimited access to media, telecommunications, internet and radio and television spaces of all candidates, parties and electorate. .
Pompeo wants elections open to all parties and candidates, which would apparently include the chavistas of the Unified Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), but that is especially complicated because the four most important opposition formations are banned and their main leaders, disabled. This is about:
First Unit, party of the former presidential candidate and former governor of Miranda, Henrique Capriles, sentenced to 15 years of disqualification for corruption by the Comptroller General of the Republic; Voluntad Popular, the party led by Leopoldo López, currently host-refugee at the Spanish Embassy in Caracas;
A New Time;
The first three are part of the main opposition coalition, Bureau of Democratic Unity (MUD).
The tactical change is very significant because for months the Trump administration insisted that “all options were on the table” in relation to the crisis in Venezuela. That meant that it included the military option, that is, a scenario with invasion of ground troops and special operations.
Does Venezuela have two National Assemblies?
At the beginning of last December, Pompeo himself showed that the US Executive no longer considered the possibility of sending the Marines, although he did not say so clearly. Instead of the military option, the Secretary of State then mentioned the economic sanctions decreed by the US against the Venezuelan oil industry.
The idea of applying new sanctions is the one that takes more force and particularly against other politicians, for example, against Luis Parra, a First Justice deputy who went to the ruling party and proclaimed himself president of the National Assembly, unsuccessfully disallowing the leader of the Legislative, Juan Guaidó.
The United States had asked Maduro since January 2019 to leave the country, and in April of that year Pompeo had said, after a stifled military uprising, that the Venezuelan leader had a plane ready to flee to Cuba.
The sharp turn taken by the White House is the result of a serious failure of political calculation. The US special envoy for Venezuela, Elliott Abrams, acknowledged to the press that his country underestimated the support of Russia and Cuba for Maduro, which was ultimately a blunder. Moscow and Havana “are the two pillars of support for the regime and, without them, [Maduro] would not be in power,” said the veteran US diplomatic representative, who obviously feels “frustrated” by the current situation of the crisis that It crosses the Caribbean nation.
The United States sees what happened in 2019 and Maduro is still at the Miraflores Palace, and maybe it is looking to change his toolbox (sanctions, threats, blockades, diplomatic and political siege) for a new one that sets course towards a negotiated solution. Trump would like it to be this year to show it as an achievement for his re-election in November.
“Nor is it ruled out that he seeks to push Maduro toward the dilemma of making concessions or facing greater danger. Anyway, it seems that someone in Washington reread Kissinger, ”says an experienced Venezuelan journalist.
However, the negotiations that the State Department is talking about now sound like mere illusions, because the process of open dialogue through Norwegian mediators has been suspended for weeks. A couple of days ago, Guaido himself informed national and international public opinion that a commission from the Kingdom of Norway was arriving in Caracas, but added that they were not “going to participate in any meeting”, especially after the incidents occurred on January 5, when a group of soldiers and police prevented him from entering the National Assembly building to be re-elected one more year in office.
Who are the opponents of Guaidó and Maduro who are now key in Venezuela After his vain attempt, Guaidó organized an unpublished session in the newspaper El Nacional, where he was ratified by 100 opposition deputies of the 167 that the Chamber has.
Another reason for the change of opinion of Pompeo would be the great political and personal differences between the Venezuelan opposition. They did not learn from the mistakes of yesteryear and their unity cracks. Guaidó, who has not achieved much in this last year as “president in charge” of Venezuela, is increasingly facing the radical sectors of the opposition that favor the use of military force to drive Maduro out of power.
The most famous clash against Guaidó has been starred by María Corina Machado. The media coordinator of the Vente Venezuela movement has already denounced that the leadership of the National Assembly is “infiltrated” and that it leads the country to “false dialogues” and “criminal cohabitations”. The uncompromising but popular María Corina Machado has declared, by active and passive, that Maduro “only yields to the force” and proposes an international joint action, while Guaidó considers, until now, that this path is meaningless, very dangerous and risky.
Cuba is the most sustainably developed country in the world, according to a new report launched today.
The socialist island outperforms advanced capitalist countries including Britain and the United States, which has subjected Cuba to a punitive six-decades-long economic blockade.
The Sustainable Development Index (SDI), designed by anthropologist and author Dr Jason Hickel, calculates its results by dividing a nation’s “human development” score, obtained by looking at statistics on life expectancy, health and education, by its “ecological overshoot,” the extent to which the per capita carbon footprint exceeds Earth’s natural limits.
Countries with strong human development and a lower environmental impact score highly, but countries with poorer life expectancies and literacy rates as well as those which exceed ecological limits are marked down.
Based on the most recent figures, from 2015, Cuba is top with a score of 0.859, while Venezuela is 12th and Argentina 18th.
The SDI was created to update the Human Development Index (HDI), developed by Pakistani economist Mahbub ul Haq and used by the United Nations Development Programme to produce its annual reports since 1990.
The HDI considers life expectancy, education and gross national income per capita, but ignores environmental degradation caused by the economic growth of top performers such as Britain and the US.
“These countries are major contributors to climate change and other forms of ecological breakdown, which disproportionately affects the poorer countries of the global South, where climate change is already causing hunger rates to rise,” Mr Hickel said.
“In this sense, the HDI promotes a model of development that is empirically incompatible with ecology and which embodies a fundamental contradiction: achieving high development according to HDI means driving de-development elsewhere in the world. For a development indicator that purports to be universal, such a contradiction is indefensible.”
Britain, ranked 14th in 2018’s HDI, falls to 131st in the SDI, while the US, 13th in the ul Haq index, is 159th out of 163 countries featured in the new system.
Mr Hickel added: “The SDI ranking reveals that all countries are still “developing” – countries with the highest levels of human development still need to significantly reduce their ecological impact, while countries with the lowest levels of ecological impact still need to significantly improve their performance on social indicators.”
RT: So joining us to understand sanctions a little better we’re being joined by Sarah Flounders she’s the co-director of the International Action Center in New York City.
Sarah thank you for being with us today. So you say in your article that sanctions actually kill more people than bombs or guns. Can you explain that to us.
SF: Yes sanctions are war. They are actually directed at the poorest, the most defenseless, those who are older, sick; the youth, and as such they have a deadly consequence.
If the most basic medicine, or if you create artificial famine – and that is what they do – it actually helps to spread disease by preventing the most basic medicine. And it happens in country after country. 39 countries, a third of the population of the world, think of the impact and there are countries where it’s well known – Venezuela, Cuba, Russia, China and so on. And there are all kinds of countries around the world that we don’t know and that you see on the sanctions list; and this is true for Zimbabwe or Laos or Guinea. We could go on – Mali, Nicaragua, one country after another, that suddenly can’t get the most basic material.
RT: And Ajama Baraka has actually said on on this very program that sanctions he said softens a country for military invasion. What recent invasions can you point to that can prove that point is that a true thing.?
SF: Well when you look at the impact in Venezuela certainly sanctions were used absolutely to try to undercut support for a very popular government. We could look at Syria where sanctions since 2003 were an economic destabilizing force and and created great dissension within the country. So it can be a precursor to military action, to using contra and reactionary forces; and at the same time the economic strangulation is meant to undercut support for popular and for elected governments around the world.
It happens without us being aware of it here and that’s why we need really a grassroots International People’s Campaign which is exposing this as an act of war.
By Iroel Sánchez, La Pupula Insomne, translation Resumen Latinoamericano, North America bureau.
On January 4, 2019, the governments of the now decadent Grupo de Lima announced that from January 10 – the date on which Nicolás Maduro would be proclaimed President of Venezuela –they would no longer recognize the Bolivarian government as the representative of the Venezuelan people Maduro won in an election whose numbers were better in terms of majority and participation than those legitimized by several of the leaders who questioned him.
From that moment on, the actions, sanctions, and statements against Maduro’s government followed one after the other without pause. Visible was an open presence of the United States government, in the person of its President, its Vice President, its Secretary of State and the National Security Advisor.
Facing constant, intense all-round hostility
The recognition by Washington and a group of its allies to a self-proclaimed president in opposition to Maduro, plus economic sanctions, which have ranged from the confiscation of billions of dollars in funds owned by the Venezuelan government in the United States, Latin America, and Europe to the persecution of its finances and trade around the world. The constant calls and blackmailing of the military to bring about a coup d’état against the Bolivarian government and a systematic demonization and production of false news about what is happening in the country, form a scenario in which all the weapons of the fourth-generation war have been used.
The highest point was the attempt to violate the Venezuelan borders from Colombia and Brazil combining the use of violence, the announcement of “humanitarian aid” without considering Venezuela’s authorities. In addition the fabrication of incidents to blame them on the Bolivarian government, a concert with stars of the mainstream of Latin music and the presence there of several Latin American presidents along with Cuban-American senator Marco Rubio who tweet in a state of total euphoria images of the dismemberment of Libyan leader Gadaffi. A month later, the sabotage of the national electrical system that left the entire country without electricity for several days.
Measuring Maduro’s success
Because of the magnitude of these events and challenges, it is necessary to measure the success of Nicolás Mauro:
He managed to maintain the civic-military union and grow in the popular militias to a total of three million members.
Oil production has begun to recover after falling to 700,000 barrels per day, surpassing one million one hundred thousand, plus a substantial increase in gold exports.
The opposition is today more divided than ever, several opposition congress people accuse the self-proclaimed “interim president” of corruption and an important part of them joined an agreement with the government to politically stabilize the country.
The situation of violence, shortages, large queues and galloping hyperinflation has been overcome and the country, even with great difficulties, lives in an environment of stability.
The crisis of neoliberalism has taken to the streets large rebellious crowds in Ecuador, Chile and Colombia, countries that had joined the siege led by Washington against Venezuela.
The coup d’état in Bolivia instructs the left on the need for unity of the revolutionary forces and radicalism in not making any concessions to Washington’s pawns.
Since the Sao Paulo Forum in Caracas in July Venezuela has been leading a process of concertation of leftist forces in Latin America and beyond that is rearticulating social movements and progressive forces, the most recent result of which is the launch of an International University of Communication to provide communicators with the technological and cognitive tools for contemporary ideological struggle.
An extraordinary achievement
Time magazine won’t say it, but Maduro is the man of the year. He has led the resistance against one of the greatest imperialist offensives in history and has maintained the initiative, succeeding in sustaining the unity of the internal revolutionary forces and international alliances in favor of multilateralism, sovereignty and popular interests.
Speech by Miguel Mario Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, President of the Republic of Cuba, during the political-cultural event commemorating the 15th anniversary of the Bolivarian Alliance for the peoples of Our America-Peoples Trade Agreement, at the University of Havana’s Grand Stairway, December 14, 2019, Year 61 of the Revolution
(Transcript: Presidency of the Republic)
This event is turned around: Maduro, Ralf and Daniel spoke just a bit and now I am going to have to speak a little more. (Laughter)
Dear Army General Raúl Castro Ruz, first secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba Central Committee;
Dear ALBA-TCP heads of state and government;
Dear heads of delegations and guests:
Students of our universities, the present and future of the Cuban nation. To you and to all young people of Cuba, Latin America and the Caribbean, we address you today!
Fidel & young Chavez
We have come here, to our glorious Grand Stairway, to celebrate 15 years of ALBA-TCP, because this alliance has its roots in the first meeting of two giants of Our America: the Comandante en jefe of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro Ruz, and the then (young) leader of the Bolivarian Movement 200, Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías.
That meeting, which changed the history of Latin America and the Caribbean and impacted the world, took place December 13-15, 1994.
As is occurring today, we were living complex, uncertain days for the region and the world. And it was here nearby, in the University of Havana’s Aula Magna, where for the first time the analyses and premonitory proposals were heard of what, with time, joint effort, and the advance of progressive governments, would emerge in 2004 as this paradigm of solidary integration that we know as ALBA-TCP.
We also choose the Stairway, the door to our University, one of the oldest in America, because the present and future of Cuba and much of the rest of the world pass through here every day, young people from sister nations, students who share classrooms and dreams with our sons and daughters.
We firmly believe that universities cannot be disconnected from our world or its pressing problems. Here Fidel became a revolutionary, here he spoke to his Latin American contemporaries, with Hugo Chávez, here we study and think about the best possible world that we revolutionaries have set out to set our minds to winning.
Sisters and brothers:
Exactly one year ago, the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America met with the objective of establishing common positions in the face of the evident intensification of aggression against our nations. The forecasts of that moment were not exaggerated.
US destabilization campaign
The government of the United States and its allies launched, and insist on continuing, a ferocious, unscrupulous destabilization campaign in the region.
They are doing so by resuming the brutal application of the Monroe Doctrine, to which the current administration in Washington has openly and arrogantly committed itself.
They have escalated their actions against the sister Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, violating the most elementary principles of international law. They have gone so far as to designate who can speak on behalf of Venezuela and make decisions on the country’s funds and real estate outside its territory. Never before in history has democracy been so offended, speaking in the name of democracy while trampling it.
The recent invocation against Venezuela of the obsolete Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance (TIAR) – which never served to safeguard the interests of the region – is another warning that peace, democracy and security are being threatened.
What else is the purpose of reviving an institution like TIAR, which backed coups, established military dictatorships and was unable to support one of its members when an extra-regional power occupied its territory and unleashed a war?
The determination of the Venezuelan people
The United States coordinated attacks on the homeland of Bolívar and Chávez without understanding that the determination of its people is strengthened even more in the face of foreign aggression. They failed and will continue to fail before the solid civil-military union and the courage of millions of Venezuelans, who have always sworn to be loyal, and never traitors. (Applause)
Here is our brother Nicolás Maduro, representing that victorious, firm union.
Long live the Bolivarian Revolution! (Exclamations of: Viva!)
We reiterate our solidarity with the Sandinista Popular Revolution, which with its president at the forefront, Comandante Daniel Ortega Saavedra, is resisting imperial attacks on Nicaragua, despite the threats, and advancing on the path of reconciliation, peace and just development for its country.
Long live the Sandinista Revolution! (Exclamations of: Viva!)
We celebrate the release of the Brazilian workers’ leader and former President of that country, compañero Luiz Inácio “Lula” da Silva, and at the same time we call on everyone to continue demanding his full freedom, the recognition of his innocence and the restitution of all his political rights.
Despite imperial conspiracies and the politicization of judicial systems, corruption, and the discrediting of politics by agents of imperialism, neoliberalism and the media, Lula’s example shows that we will always find a way to fight for truth, dignity and solidarity in order to defeat lies.
Bolivia, the absent brother, deserves special mention.
The faithful pawn of the US: the OAS
The coup against constitutional President Evo Morales Ayma confirmed that the United States and reactionary forces do not hesitate to violate, by any means, the people’s freedoms and human rights to reverse emancipatory processes in the region. As always, they used their faithful pawn: the Organization of American States (OAS).
It is no surprise that the first foreign policy move by the coup plotters in Bolivia, following the imperialists’ script, was to leave ALBA.
In countries like Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Brazil, we watch with pain and indignation as the number of deaths rises and injuries reach thousands, with eye injuries increasing to hundreds of young people, as a result of repression as brutal as that we remember from the dark days of military dictatorships. Social activists, journalists and former guerrillas are murdered. Cases of violence, torture and rape of detainees now number in the hundreds.
Several of the military and police authorities who today are the protagonists of this horrible repression were trained at the now defunct School of the Americas. Those who persecute leftist and progressive leaders were trained in the current International Academy for Law Enforcement, also made in the USA.
The people’s resistance
Day by day, we follow with admiration the dramatic course of the people’s resistance and the growing mobilizations.
From this podium, we emphatically denounce the complicit, shameful silence of many, the distortion and cover-up of what occurred in Bolivia by the corporate, oligarchic media.
And here today, Cuba reaffirms our support and solidarity with compañero Evo Morales Ayma. (Applause) Long live the governments and peoples who uphold dignity and sovereignty by welcoming and supporting the persecuted leaders! (Exclamations of: Vivan!)
Our health personnel who served in Bolivia are closely acquainted with the brutality of the coup plotters, whose repressive forces, led directly by the United States, physically assaulted two collaborators, while 54 were unjustly detained, some for several days.
Members of the Cuban Medical Brigade were, for absolutely no reason, humiliated, searched and stripped of their belongings. The coup authorities incited hatred against Cubans.
The cowardice of these repressors contrasted sharply with the dignity and courage of our self-sacrificing professionals, who deserve recognition for their unwavering stance, a product of Cuba’s internationalist tradition. (Applause)
They are all back, ready to defend the homeland, and take on the next mission.
Once again, “the tiger lurks”
The events that have transpired in Bolivia sound the alarm and alert us. Once again “the tiger lurks,” as Martí said in his magnificent essay Our America:
“The colony continued to live within the republic; and our America is being saved from its great errors (…) by the superior virtue, fertilized with necessary blood, of the republic that fights against the colony. The tiger waits, behind every tree, crouched in every corner”.
In our recent visit to Argentina, to attend the inauguration of Alberto and Cristina, we held a valuable dialogue with important intellectuals and artists in that country.
From all of them, we heard the most formidable criticism of neoliberalism “the tiger that lurks” and its serious consequences for the peoples of America that have been destroyed by neoliberal experiments.
Argentine filmmaker and current Minister of Culture Tristán Bauer has just documented the serious social costs of neoliberalism in the four years of the Macri administration, in a documentary titled: Tierra arrasada.
Others present recalled that these processes are supported by a powerful media network that progressive projects must confront in an unequal battle. And proposals were made to promote a kind of cultural strategy that addresses this asymmetry.
What remains of the colonial mentality in America must disappear before our peoples disappear, with their dreams of emancipation and integration, postponed since Bolivar’s times.
Disseminating ideas and values to defend our conquests
It is essential to disseminate ideas and values to defend our conquests. And it is also necessary to join together in the area of communication so that the colonial mentality does not engulf us with its ammunition of false symbols, like the mirrors that the conquerors gave to our noble, original inhabitants, in exchange for the natural wealth with which they have built their power.
The magnificent ideas that were presented in just two hours, during the meeting with Argentine friends, confirm the enormous potential of the imaginative Latin American intelligentsia, whose best exponents have always been allies in the battle for social justice.
Compañeras and compañeros:
Even in the face of the most brutal U.S. pressure, Cuba won a resounding victory at the United Nations, when 187 countries voted in favor of our resolution condemning the U.S. economic, commercial and financial blockade.
Those who did not have the courage to resist U.S. pressure and did not dare to condemn the blockade of Cuba bear the responsibility of supporting a policy that no people on earth approves, because it is criminal, because it violates the human rights of millions, because it is extraterritorial, illegal and outrageous.
And because what they are doing to Cuba, today, they will do tomorrow to other nations, as has been proven more than once in recent years. No one is exempt from the empire’s whip, and to allow others to be beaten is to open the way to lashings for all.
We are pleased to know that this attitude does not reflect what the fraternal peoples of Brazil and Colombia truly feel.
In victories such as the UN condemnation of the blockade, ALBA has been and must continue to be a front of unity and resistance to the empire, to coups and to interventionist positions that shame the honorable men and women of our continent.
Progressive victories in Mexico and Argentina
Likewise, we salute and are encouraged by progressive victories in Mexico and Argentina, where new governments have already shown, in a very short period, their commitment to peace, democracy, development and social justice for the peoples, and to the genuine unity and integration of Our America.
In recent months we have heard ridiculous accusations of the Cuban and Bolivarian revolutions, in a malicious attempt to justify what they refuse to understand: the profound reasons for popular revolts against neoliberalism that continue to take place in several countries of the region. They do not surprise us.
The popular demonstrations are the result of struggles against inequality and social injustices accumulated over the years. And they are here to stay, and will increase if their causes are not addressed.
Pushing the “de-historization” of time
Those who repress refuse to see in these demonstrations the real causes, because, in order to maintain power, neoliberalism attempts to prevent us from developing historical consciousness, pushing the “de-historization” of time. That is why ideologues, like Francis Fukuyama, insist that history has ended.
They try to tell us that capitalism is eternal. So, they want to perpetuate social inequality, misery, exclusion. Time is history! And ours is based on Bolívar, San Martín, Sucre, Martí, Che, Fidel, Chávez, Sandino, the struggle against slavery, against Spanish domination, against invasions and against the blockade of Cuba by genocidal imperialism.
Neoliberalism has forced the world economy to move from production to speculation. While the world Gross Domestic Product is growing at an annual average of 1% to 2%, financial profits grows more than 5% a year. While eight hundred and twenty million people are threatened with death by hunger, twenty trillion dollars are stashed in tax havens!
Brutal dehumanization and global colonization
Neoliberalism produces what Marx foresaw: people have no value as human being, but on the basis of the commodities they hold. This is brutal dehumanization.
Neoliberalism does not promote globalization, but global colonization. Its purpose is to make the world a great market to which only the rich have access, the rest are excluded; they are disposable beings, condemned to an early death.
Neoliberalism is based on competition, socialism on solidarity. Neoliberalism in the private accumulation of wealth; socialism in the sharing of wealth. Neoliberalism in defending the interests of capital; socialism, human rights and those of nature.
The United States and the Latin American oligarchies cannot forgive us for constructing models that are inclusive and committed to the people despite pressure and the sieges of sanctions and blockades.
Building solidarity models
We can give them the formula: We don’t build models for the 1%. We don’t build exclusion models. We are building solidarity models and practicing integration. (Applause)
And we are not forgiven for uniting in solidarity as Latin Americans and Caribbeans without imperial tutelage.
They do not forgive us not only for choosing to assert independence, freedom, sovereignty over our resources and self-determination, but also for demonstrating that we are capable of defending this choice.
Sharing in solidarity where other bring weapons
They do not forgive Cuba for defending the philosophy of sharing in solidarity what we have, of taking health and literacy where others bring weapons, of teaching people to read and write, or restoring sight and saving the lives of those who have never had quality health services.
Now, when in some countries Cuban cooperation has been interrupted, as a result of imperialist and oligarchic conspiracies, we note with concern that millions of Latin Americans have been stripped of their human right to health. The oligarchies don’t care and they bend under pressure from the pathological Yankee campaign.
The only military and security forces that interfere in the internal affairs of countries and threaten Latin America and the Caribbean are those of the United States.
Cuba will resist all threats. We have been hardened in the struggle. We have a united people. We count on the solidarity of the world, of the peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean, and especially of our brothers and sisters in ALBA.
We will not renounce socialism! We will not renounce solidarity! We will not renounce friendship! We will not renounce dignity! (Applause)
I reiterate the embrace of this noble, courageous and solidary people, in this beautiful city that has just completed 500 years of history and struggle. A city to which you can always return to receive the affection of those who do not surrender, will not surrender, and will continue the vibrant Revolution that brought us thus far.
Let us conclude as such events always do, on this historic stairway, with a celebration of life, of the future that is prepared here to make possible the better world for which so many generations have given their blood and their very lives.
We are Cuba!
And we are also Latin America and the Caribbean, all united by ALBA-TCP!
Venezuela is a founding member of ALBA. There have been several failed coup attempts in this country since the days of President Hugo Chavez whose pro-people policies irked the US government. There has also been a relentless economic war with savage US sanctions, and an ongoing international media campaign of deception against the democratically elected leadership of the country.
Cuba is a founding member of ALBA. Having faced decades of terrorism, including the famed Bay of Pigs invasion, the bombing of hotels and biological warfare, all while facing hostile US economic sanctions which have cost the country billions of dollars, the Trump administration now openly engage in regime change tactics in their vain effort to do what their predecessors have failed to achieve.
Nicaragua is a member of ALBA – in the 1980s they were forced in a bloody war against counter-revolutionaries, the Contras, trained and financed by the US. As noted by Noam Chomsky, “Ronald Reagan used them (the Contras) to launch a large-scale terrorist war against Nicaragua, combined with economic warfare that was even more lethal. We (the US) also intimidated other countries so they wouldn’t send aid either.”
The Contras were defeated. Only recently, modern day Contras took to the streets destabilizing the country for a few months until the situation was again brought under control by President Daniel Ortega. Nicaragua remains a member of ALBA, but only after years of bloodshed and destabilization efforts similar to those we are now seeing in Venezuela.
Ecuador was a member of ALBA until President Raphael Correa (photo) left office. His successor, Moreno, vice president under Correa, turned back the gained made by Correa and openly embraced anti-people neoliberal policies. So, there was no need for sanctions, destabilization or a coup. Moreno took on a self -imposed coup status.
The English-speaking members of ALBA are, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, St. Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis and St Vincent and the Grenadines.
Roosevelt Skerrit, Prime Minister Dominica
Recent events in Dominica on the eve of national elections; the blocking of roads, the burning of tyres, the use of social media promoting anti-government sentiments, the popularising of the call for free and fair elections prior to the elections, – all alien to Dominica’s culture – are standard tactics for US-backed coups in the region, and suggest that the footprints of Washington, fixated on having their lackeys in power, will be seen if we look closely.
What’s going on right now in Venezuela? Come see for yourself how Venezuelans are coping with US economic sanctions designed to cause a social implosion. Sensationalized reports of Venezuelans eating zoo animals and rotten garbage present a distorted picture of what is happening in Venezuela. The media also omits serious analysis of the role of the food distribution program known as CLAPs run through a government-community partnership reaching millions of Venezuelans. There is no doubt, however, as indicated in a recent report by CEPR, that the US-imposed sanctions are indeed causing collective hardship and even death.
The Alberto Lovera Bolivarian Circle of New York, invites historians, artists, videographers, writers, political analysts, health professionals, agricultural production experts and other activists to join a delegation to Caracas, Venezuela this coming January 2020. Witness: communities organizing themselves in the face of manufactured food shortages to grow and distribute their own food; participatory democracy in action through community councils, ‘comunas’ and other forms of citizen organization; community-run art, media, education, health and nutrition efforts; alternative markets and fairs featuring homemade products and agroecologically produced foods; parks, natural areas, historic sites, and other reclaimed public spaces.
Come bear witness to the effects of the economic warfareandthe sanctions against the Venezuelan people imposed by Donald Trump’s administration as well as the inspiring resistance to these, as Venezuelans push for food sovereignty in response to crisis. Come see the real “threat” posed by Venezuela – as living proof that another world indeed is possible. As the Venezuelan people assert, “Venezuela is not a threat – we are hope!”