Venezuela

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Re: Venezuela

Post by blindpig » Tue Oct 22, 2019 1:13 pm

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USAID Administrator Mark Green and Carlos Vecchio, Juan Guaidó’s representative to the U.S., sign agreement for U.S. money to pay salaries of Venezuela opposition. (AP)

USAID funds salaries of Venezuelan politicians as it doubles down on the coup
Posted Oct 21, 2019 by Leonardo Flores

Democracy , Imperialism United States , Venezuela Commentary Featured , Venezuela
American taxpayers are now paying the salaries and expenses of dozens of Venezuelan opposition figures who have created a “shadow government” inside Venezuela and abroad. On October 8, USAID signed a bilateral agreement with the faction of the Venezuelan opposition led by National Assembly president Juan Guaidó (whom the Trump administration recognizes as the “interim president” of Venezuela) that includes $98 million in assistance for Venezuelans. A memo obtained by the L.A. Times reveals that USAID is diverting $41.9 million from aid for Central America and instead sending it “to Guaidó and his faction… to pay for their salaries, airfare, ‘good governance’ training, propaganda, technical assistance for holding elections and other ‘democracy-building’ projects.”

Elliott Abrams, the White House’s special envoy to Venezuela, said in an interview that the Trump administration wants to “pay for embassies, ambassadors [and] a National Assembly office in Caracas” for Guaidó’s team. At the signing of the USAID agreement, Carlos Vecchio, Mr. Guaidó’s representative in Washington, praised the agency for helping to “enhance our capabilities… in increasing our foreign service,” confirming that funds are going to the Guaidó team. With this public admission of financing, there is now no denying that the coup is orchestrated from Washington and that whatever authority Mr. Guaidó may have is only a function of his serving as a U.S. proxy.

To date, no information has been made public as to whose salaries are being paid and how much they are being paid. What we do know is that the hard-earned dollars of American citizens are lining the pockets of Venezuelan politicians who have demanded an increasingly harder line against the Maduro government. This harder line includes brutal economic sanctions that amount to the collective punishment of ordinary Venezuelans and have led to the death of at least 40,000 people.

Mr. Guaidó has been taking the Trump administration for a ride, and now he and his followers are cashing in. Nearly nine months after his coup began, he is no closer to being in power than he was when he swore himself into office on a street corner in Caracas. There has been no increase in the number of countries that support the coup (54 have followed the U.S. lead); in fact, after initially shunning the Maduro government, several European countries are now working with him. Mr. Guaidó’s promises of mass military desertions, numerous defections of high-profile officials and a splitting of chavismo (the base of the Maduro government) have not come to fruition. His own base has actually gotten smaller, perhaps because members of his team were caught embezzling humanitarian aid in Colombia. Or it could be because Mr. Guaidó was photographed with drug traffickers and allegedly received logistical support from a nefarious Colombian cartel.

The coup has not only failed, it has backfired. The left in Venezuela is now more unified and the opposition has splintered: parties representing nearly three million voters recently signed an agreement with the Maduro government and have declared that dialogue is the only way forward. Moreover, the USAID deal with the Guaidó faction is coming at a tricky time for the opposition. Venezuela is reportedly on the verge of losing Citgo, a U.S. based subsidiary of state oil company Pdvsa, to creditors as the Trump administration’s sanctions are preventing Pdvsa from paying bondholders. How will ordinary Venezuelans react if Citgo is lost while opposition leaders are getting paid in dollars and flying around the world on the backs of American taxpayers?

The issue of opposition leaders having the funds to travel is an unfolding scandal in Venezuela, as the second Vice President of the National Assembly, Stalin González—a Guaidó ally, was filmed at Game 4 of the National League Championship Series in Washington, D.C. on the same day that he missed a session in the National Assembly. One wonders whether U.S. tax dollars paid for Mr. González’s airfare or his front-row ticket to the ballgame. Venezuelans are wondering how a Vice President of the National Assembly could afford to fly to Washington and attend a Washington Nationals playoff game, as they themselves feel the stress of inflation and making ends meet.

On October 3, Vecchio flew to Florida for a political event with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and other representatives from the Miami area. He travelled to Florida at least twice earlier in the year for similar events with Vice President Pence. Venezuelan coup supporters are being paid by to lobby both parties under the pretext that they are diplomats. This pretext does not extend to every Guaidó supporting country in Europe, where Spain and Germany, among others, have not granted diplomatic privileges to his representatives.

The payment of Mr. Guaidó’s representatives is a serious conflict of interest that is generating concern among Venezuelans. Do Vecchio and other members of the Guaidó team represent the Venezuelan people or the interests of the government that is paying their salaries? It is a point worth reiterating: a foreign politician is being paid by the United States to influence policy in the United States.

The subsidies to the Venezuelan opposition have never been so blatant, but they are also nothing new. USAID’s Office of Transition Initiatives began the indirect financing of the opposition in 2002. It began by funding opposition affiliated non-governmental organizations, students and parties; now it has progressed to paying politicians directly. The goal has always been the same: regime change. President Trump should recall his words as candidate Trump: “We will stop racing to topple foreign regimes that we know nothing about, that we shouldn’t be involved with.” Instead, he is doubling down on the coup, keeping it on life support at the expense of taxpayers but also making it harder to support dialogue and a policy that helps solve the crisis. The voices of the moderate Venezuelan opposition and representatives of the Maduro government—who are currently engaging in dialogue in Caracas—are drowned out in Washington, in no small part because of the financial and logistical support offered to the coup supporters.

https://mronline.org/2019/10/21/usaid-f ... -the-coup/
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Re: Venezuela

Post by blindpig » Sun Nov 03, 2019 4:26 pm

Defending Venezuela as Part of World Revolution: A Conversation with Jorge Martin
Criticizing governmental policy is an expression of friendship and solidarity with the revolution, according to this experienced internationalist.

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Jorge Martin. (Venezuelanalysis)

By Cira Pascual Marquina – Venezuelanalysis.com
Nov 1st 2019 at 8.20pm

Jorge Martin is the national secretary of Hands Off Venezuela in the UK and part of the editorial board of In Defense of Marxism. In a recent visit to Caracas, we asked Martin about his analysis of the current state of affairs in Venezuela and about how to best combine critique and defense of the Bolivarian Revolution.

Imperialism has cast a shadow over the Bolivarian Process since at least 2002. However, US meddling intensified in early 2019. Why do you think the US is hiking up pressure on Venezuela?

It is obvious that what we have seen this year, in the first part of 2019, is a prolonged coup d’etat attempt choreographed by the United States. The US decided that there had to be “regime change,” as they call it, and they went against Venezuela with all the tools they have at hand.

The coup attempt had four highpoints. First, Juan Guaido’s self-proclamation at the end of January, which was immediately followed by US oil sanctions, which have had a severe impact on the economy. Shortly after, there was the spectacle of sending in “humanitarian aid” – a violation of national sovereignty. Finally, there was the failed coup attempt on April 30.

So why do they do it now? I think they calculated based on several things. First, they considered that the Bolivarian Government had lost a great deal of popular support due to the worsening of the economic crisis – they believed that it was the time to launch the attack, as the government would come toppling down easily.

Second, at a regional level, there was a group of reactionary governments that would support “regime change.” They had Colombia, which has had a reactionary government for a long time, but also Brazil and Argentina. In other words, from a diplomatic standpoint, Venezuela was more isolated and many regional governments were committed to the US’ “regime change” project.

I think those are the reasons why they launched the attack, but they made serious errors in their calculation. It didn’t work out for them.

When confronted with a situation like the one Venezuela faces, what do you think would be the correct response?

We have said from the very beginning that the best way to fight a well-organized imperialist regime change effort is to take revolutionary measures. First of all, the government should be severe and not lenient with the opposition. This is not a case where the opposition is simply exercising its political rights. It’s a situation in which they are assigning themselves powers that they don’t have, while they call for a foreign power to impose sanctions on the country – even sometimes calling on a foreign enemy to invade militarily!

It should not be allowed! When these events happened, we thought that the National Assembly should have been disbanded and Guaido arrested for his violation of basic democratic rights.

Second, since the imperialist forces took additional measures, such as economic sanctions and the seizing of PSVSA assets in the United States, the Venezuelan government should respond in kind. It should expropriate and nationalize imperialist multinational companies operating in the country. It should also expropriate and nationalize the assets of those who are financing the coup, those who are behind Guaido (i.e., the local landowners, bankers and capitalists).

Third, to fight against the imperialist aggression, the government should place its trust in the revolutionary people of Venezuela. In other words, the militia should be expanded, which was done to a certain degree. However, truly strengthening that force in every barrio, in every factory, in the peasant communities would mean arming the militia.

This plan for the defense of Venezuela is part and parcel with driving the revolution forward. To do so, it would be important to expropriate the land and give it to the peasants. In so doing, some of the economic problems would be reverted or, at least, they could start to be addressed. Doing this would strengthen the Venezuelan people’s capacity to resist this imperialist aggression.

The imperialist and capitalist media all around the world say that Venezuela is a dictatorship, that Maduro violates human rights. However, I don’t know of any other country in the world where someone can proclaim himself president – with no legitimacy at all – and call for foreign intervention without anything happening. To date, Juan Guaido is still free to continue agitating and call for a military coup! This is not a dictatorship. Rather it is the opposite: it amounts to acting a bit foolishly in a political sense.

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Thousands attend an anti-imperialist march in Caracas. (Carlos Barria/Reuters)

The relationship between the popular movement and the government is tense now. In the face of imperialist aggression, the people are unified and make themselves heard. However, when confronted with the government’s liberal economic policies, the popular movement hasn’t been able to express itself with a strong voice, making its criticism and proposals clear. What should be done?

The motor of the Bolivarian Revolution has always been the revolutionary people. In the past, there was, a symbiotic relationship between President Chavez and the revolutionary masses. They complemented each other, and together they pushed the movement forward. Now it seems that this link with the leadership has been weakened, or even that some of these links have been broken.

We see a government that claims to be workerist, but at the same time it carries out some policies that do not favor the workers. Additionally, there has been a large campesino movement, protesting about how Chavez’s agrarian reforms gave land to peasant communities, but now these very lands are being taken away from them. Campesinos are being attacked for defending the land. Also, there have been attempts to privatize some nationalized industries, such as Arroces del Alba. Now there are even communards in jail for merely defending the land! The situation of workers is similar: the purchasing power of their salaries has been pulverized and other collective rights have been eliminated.

Many of these policies actually weaken the revolution. A revolution must be based on the enthusiasm and participation of the people, including campesinos, workers, the urban poor, and the organized popular movements. If they feel that the government is not acting on their behalf or in their interest, then the link is broken.

Of course, at a time of heightened imperialist intervention, it is natural and correct to rally behind the government… After all, if this government falls, what comes after will be a complete disaster. However, that doesn’t mean that one should acritically support the government. It is important to raise all these questions about the government’s deficiencies and the shortcomings of its policies.

Finally – and this is the main problem now – the more revolutionary wing of the Chavista movement is not unified. There were important attempts – for example, in the context of the [Admirable] Campesino March – but if the revolutionary left’s atomization continues, then we are in a very weak position to push the revolution forward.

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In July 2019, a large meeting organized by the Campesino March brought together many of the most combative Chavista organizations. The resulting debate marked a high point in revolutionary discussion and criticism. (Venezuelanalysis)

One of the Chavista left’s big dilemmas is how to criticize without playing into the hands of the enemy. Chavez insisted on the necessity of self-criticism. Yet, how to do it? Also, as the main spokesperson of the Hands Off Venezuela campaign, how do you propose to exercise international solidarity without simply rubber-stamping the government’s policies?

We have had many long debates about these issues. For Hands Off Venezuela, it is absolutely clear that we must oppose imperialist intervention. We defend this government in the face of imperialism, because it is very clear that if Guaido and the forces that are behind him come to power, it would be a major disaster for the population and for the Bolivarian Revolution.

It would amount to a reversal of all the gains of the Bolivarian Revolution – even though some of those gains have eroded in recent years. So our basic stance is that we must defend Venezuela against imperialist aggression, and that means opposing the overthrow of the government by these reactionary imperialist forces.

However, at the same time, the Hands Off Venezuela campaign has always been independent of the government – we were critical even when Chavez was in power. For instance, years ago a number of activists here in Venezuela toppled down the Columbus statue [2004]. That was a very controversial decision, and they were jailed.

We organized a campaign demanding their release. In so doing, we went against President Chavez’s position at the time. Or again, when Venezuela handed over Rodrigo Granda to Colombia [in 2005], we also criticized that decision.

That does not take anything away from our defense of the Bolivarian Revolution. We think it’s the opposite because it is by being critical that you are a real friend of the revolution. A real friend is not someone who says that everything you are doing is right or who tells you to continue on the same path even though he knows that the path leads to a blind alley!

We might be right or we might be wrong, but I think that criticism must play a role within the solidarity movement. This is the line we have taken. [We maintain] an unconditional defense of the Bolivarian Revolution as a project and an unconditional defense of the government in face of the imperialist aggression. At the same time [we have] a critical attitude toward some of the government’s policies, while building our solidarity around the most revolutionary elements of the revolution.

But, as I mentioned before, this is not new. For instance, we put a lot of emphasis on the question of workers’ control some years ago, and now, for us, the key to defending the revolution is the defense of the land, the struggle of the campesinos.

In our opinion, this should be done in the following way. Before he died, Chavez, in his “Strike at the Helm” speech [2012], was very critical of the Bolivarian Revolution’s shortcomings. He said: “We talk about socialism but we have a capitalist economy. We must move towards a socialist economy!” He added: “We talk about the state, but our state is still a Bourgeois State. It should be pulverized and replaced by a Communal State.”

These two positions of Chavez are very clear, and we support them. We should judge the government today by whether or not it’s advancing along these lines.

How would you characterize the Bolivarian government at the present time?

The Bolivarian government is a strange animal. It’s a contradictory government. The government is in power, because of the legacy of Chavez and the revolution. Maduro is the president mainly because Chavez appointed him as his successor. At the same time, many of the policies that this government is carrying out, in my opinion, are not in line with Chavez’s legacy. Therefore, it is a contested situation.

I can give you a few examples. I already mentioned the question of agrarian reform being rolled back and the attempts to privatize public enterprises. Additionally, the government’s current monetary policy is monetarist, leading to a liquidity squeeze. This hurts working people, while the government is making all sorts of alliances with foreign powers such as China and Russia, and handing over the nation’s assets.

Again, this is a government that we must defend in the face of imperialist aggression. The government has a large base of support, because people associate it with the past, and also because some of the policies of the [earlier phases of] Bolivarian Revolution still remain.

To give you an example, with the Great Housing Mission, millions of homes have been handed over free-of-charge to people who didn’t have access to housing before. This is a major development, and obviously people want to defend those social gains. At the same time, I think that many of the current government’s policies are eroding the legacy of the Bolivarian Revolution and dismantling its gains.

What would be the consequences of a defeat of the Bolivarian Revolution?

I think that a defeat of the Bolivarian Revolution would be a major setback, not only for Venezuela but also across the continent and around the world. That’s why US imperialism is so committed to bringing it down!

Also, they have clearly stated that “regime change” in Venezuela is part of a plan that goes hand in hand with the defeat of the Cuban Revolution. The very existence of the Bolivarian Revolution, even though it’s facing many problems due to the embargo, the blockade, and some government policies, is a lifeline to the Cuban Revolution.

Focusing on Venezuela: the loss of the Bolivarian Revolution would be a massive setback. I’m sure that an openly right-wing government would carry out the privatization of all nationalized companies, and this would mean massive layoffs in the public sector, particularly in companies like CORPOELEC [electrical], CANTV [telephone], PDVSA and so on.

Defeat of the revolution would open up all these companies to foreign investment: they would be privatized for peanuts. There would also be a massive rollback of the agrarian reform. Above all, it would mean a defeat of the idea that workers and campesinos can run their own affairs, that they can organize and take the future into their own hands.

As I said before, the loss of the Bolivarian Revolution would have a big effect internationally. Throughout Latin America, the Bolivarian Revolution is an example – it has been a beacon of hope and has fostered many other revolutionary processes across the continent. A defeat of the Bolivarian Revolution would be used by capitalists around the world to “demonstrate” that there are no other options: we defeated you in Venezuela and we will defeat you anywhere else! A defeat for our class in one country is a defeat for our class everywhere. It would have an important psychological and propaganda effect.

Furthermore, the impact would not only be continental. The Bolivarian Revolution has had an impact in Latin America and around the world. To take the case of Britain: at the time that Chavez began talking about socialism, that had a big impact.

The president of the Hands Off Venezuela campaign at the time was John McDonnell, who is now the number two to Jeremy Corbyn, and he could be the future chancellor of the British government. After the collapse of Stalinism in the East Bloc, the idea [put forward in Venezuela] in 2005 that socialism was still worth fighting for attracted many people’s attention. In the same way, a defeat of the Bolivarian Revolution would be a setback for the revolution worldwide.

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Hands Off Venezuela in Canada. (Hands Off Venezuela campaign)

https://venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/14713
"We ask no compassion from you. When our turn comes, we shall not make excuses for the terror."

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Re: Venezuela

Post by blindpig » Sun Nov 17, 2019 5:59 pm

Venezuela deals blow to drug trafficking by neutralizing narco-aircraft that tried to use national space
17.NOV.2019 / 12:58 PM / MAKE A COMMENT

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Photo: VTV

The Aerospace Defense System of the Strategic Operational Command of the Bolivarian National Armed Forces (CEOFANB) detected and neutralized a narco-aircraft that attempted to use sovereign airspace to transfer Colombian illegal substances.

This was reported by the Twitter account of @ceofanb in a trill published this Sunday in which he stressed that the procedure was carried out according to the protocols of Law.

The Minister of Popular Power for Defense, Vladimir Padrino López stressed that "neither by land, sea or air can use our territory and mock our sovereignty" and demanded not underestimate the FANB "with all its moral rigor and defensive capacity."

"The world must demand clear policies from the northern consumer colossus and from Colombia greater responsibility, the main producer," Padrino López said.

While the commander of the Comprehensive Aerospace Defense of the FANB (CODAI), MG Juan Teixeira Dias, stressed that the Bolivarian country has strong state policies to co, beat the scourge that have given palpable results.

“Since the supreme commander, Hugo Chavez, expelled the DEA (drug control agency of the United States) there are already 174 neutralized narco-aircraft. We will continue to fight and we will not give truce to this cross-border crime. ”

Likewise, the chief in charge of the National Anti-Drug Office (ONA), Alberto Matheus Meléndez, reported on another procedure in the Cojedes state in which a plane without a flag type “Piper”, double engine, white acronym PT- was detected. EZU, which had landed on a road in the sector “La Guásima Mayitas.

According to what was posted on his Twitter account @A_Matheusmelend, the military personnel managed to capture two citizens of Brazilian nationality, they also seized eight plastic containers with airplane fuel (60 Lts each); 1 satellite phone and 1 GPS

http://www.psuv.org.ve/temas/noticias/v ... dGJlNVKiM9

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Re: Venezuela

Post by blindpig » Tue Dec 03, 2019 3:24 pm

Maneuvering Against Government and Rivals, Anti-Chavismo Losing Anti-Corruption Argument to — Corruption
December 3, 2019 orinocotribune 5E, anti-chavismo, CLAP, Corruption, Cucutazo, Guaido-Gate, Humberto Calderon Berti, Monomeros, PDVSA 2020
By Clodovaldo Hernandez

Corruption scandals have unleashed the internal war in the already battered Venezuelan opposition, one month ahead of the National Assembly (in contempt) Presidential election for the last year of its term.

This is particularly important because it is a position that, according to the (il)legal framework that was set up in January, should be accompanied by the status of “President in charge of the Republic.”

In just a few hours an internecine fight has developed between opposing factions in which the common factor is the accusations of irregularities against public funds and the intention of both to assume the role of judges, when in reality they are also allegedly involved.

RELATED CONTENT: New Corruption Scandal within Anti-Chavismo : Freddy Superlano, Guillermo Luces and Richard Arteaga in a Influence Trafficking Scheme

Calderón Berti versus Guaidó

The facts denounced show almost all the opposing subgroups as participants in the feast of easy wealth irregularly obtained.

The dismissal of the representative of Juan Guaidó in Bogotá (ambassador, according to the nomenclature used by the parallel government, its international allies and the right-wing media) led to the reaction of the veteran COPEI leader. His explosive press conference ratified what government spokesmen and media such as La Tabla had denounced: the shameless looting of the Monómeros petrochemical company and the humanitarian aid funds corresponding to the so-called “Cucutazo.”

He also confirmed what opposition media figures had said about it, including journalists and influencers and even Bishop Mario Moronta.

The accusations directly touch Guaidó, his political boss, Leopoldo López, and the clique that controls the structure of the interim presidency, in complicity with the government of the United States and those of the Lima group, particularly that of Colombia.

With his complaint, Calderón Berti strikes at some of his rivals in the Colombian enclave, particularly those who participated in the shameful events of Cúcuta. At the same time he tried to get out of the foul vapor that the Monomeros case, but at that point he does not have it easy because there are very firm indications that this was a “business” in which he, as an oil expert, had a lot of responsibility, by action or by omission.

Calderón Berti was criticized in the networks and media because the events with which he supports his allegations occurred a long time ago, but he only made them public after being dismissed: the classic conduct of corrupt politicians from the Fourth and Fifth Republic.

The parallel complaint

In parallel (coincidence?) A journalistic investigation that links deputies of the National Assembly (of several parties) with alleged irregularities related to imports for the Local Supply and Production Committees (CLAP) came to light. That other block of complaints allowed Guaidó to present himself as a promoter of a strict investigation and the two main parties of the clique (Popular Will and Justice First) as champions of the fight against corruption, by applying early sanctions against some of the parliamentarians implicated.

RELATED CONTENT: Monomeros Sales Drop Nearly 40 Percent and Lose 90% of Their International Market – Guaidó Management

In reality, it is a damage control strategy that has two components: on the one hand, try to attack the internal adversary and, at the same time, divert attention to the government, to show that it is the promoter of all criminal activities of this nature.

Strictly speaking, rather than assuming the role of prosecutor, judge or executioner, Guaidó would have to answer for the facts in which he himself is indicated (among them not only Monomeros, but also Citgo and PDVSA 2020) and for the corresponding responsibility for not paying attention to the complaints that, according to Calderón, were raised in due course.

The loss of anti-corruption discourse

The swamp in which the different opposition groups are splashing means the loss of one of their main speeches against of the Bolivarian government: the fight against corruption.

This loss affects its own public and some neutral fields, since in Chavismo it has always been clear that [the opposition] is a political class fundamentally guided by economic interests and the desire for personal enrichment.

Between anti-Chavistas and ni-nis (apolitical people), this collapse is serious, as the discourse of anti-corruption loses almost all its meaning. The conviction is established that the opposition is the same or worse, in that respect, than Chavismo.

Many militants of the opposition base are particularly offended because they have made personal efforts to help a cause that is now fraudulent. They are also very indignant to be obliged to recognize that some government spokesmen were right when they said that Guaidó and his clique of “ambassadors” and commissioners were filling their pockets, while the common anti-Chavista people suffered the hardships resulting from sanctions and the economic blockade managed by those leaders.

The indirect shot against the CLAP

The counter-offensive of the clique to the accusations of Calderón Berti has a lateral objective: to attack again the most successful social program of recent times, the direct delivery of food to the population through the CLAP program.

Several political and media actors have been devoted to that effort since the plan began, in response to the economic war and the first ravages generated by unilateral coercive measures.

It is a strategic effort for the opposition because CLAP, with all the criticisms it may deserve, has cushioned the terrible damage that the US government and the opposition leadership planned against the Venezuelan population in order to provoke social outbursts, a purpose openly recognized by the main spokesmen in Washington on several occasions.

Through its coercive measures, the US has tried to prevent the government from importing products, blackmailing potential suppliers in many countries and persecuting any company or individual participating in the program. In that context, the allegations of corruption that have arisen are presented as a reason to torpedo the program and eventually have it suspended.

With your sights on January 5

For Guaidó, it is essential to get rid of these episodes more or less in good standing, since on January 5 the AN must vote to elect its directive and he aspires to be reelected, and thus maintain the role he has held this year, of “president in charge”.

Given the structural weight of the economic component in the political behavior of the various opposing factors, it is to be presumed that there is a subtle division between those who were favored with great privileges and those who received little or nothing.

In that perverse correlation of forces, another variable will have to be included: those that will go unpunished and those that will remain as scapegoats. All this will influence the decision of January 5. Any resemblance to a mafia organization is coincidence.

Source URL: La IguanaTV

https://orinocotribune.com/opinion/mane ... orruption/
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Re: Venezuela

Post by blindpig » Sat Dec 07, 2019 12:35 pm

NEW BLOW IN THE OPPOSITION? THE STRUGGLE BETWEEN GUAIDÓ AND CALDERÓN BERTI
29 Nov 2019 , 8:53 am .

On Wednesday, November 27, the fake government of Juan Guaidó published a statement announcing the dismissal of the position of "ambassador" of Venezuela in Colombia to long-standing Copeyano Humberto Calderón Berti.

The rejection of a sector of the opposition did not wait, especially the most nostalgic of the political Carcamans of the Fourth Republic (among them the followers of Democratic Action and Copei) who face the new generations of mediocre technocrats represented in the Freddy Guevara and Juan Guaidó of the game (Popular Will, First Justice).

Some facts have set the tone in this interim of Guaidó and Calderón Berti.

In January, prior to the pantomime of "humanitarian aid," the Colombian Foreign Ministry, through its Twitter account, announced that it received the credentials of Calderón Berti .
The scandal about the appropriation of "humanitarian aid" funds by Guaidó and his clan, which was revealed by the Panam Post portal .
In September, the controversial photos of Guaidó were published with members of the Los Rastrojos narco-paramilitary group as part of their move to Colombia during the "humanitarian aid" operation in February.
After this last exhibition, Calderón Berti downplayed the matter, justifying the photos, trying to normalize that fact and claiming it was an " anecdotal thing ".
In parallel, there have been multiple speculations by some spokesmen and media outlets of the opposition, who were surprised by the "cessation" of Copeyano. The name of Freddy Superlano, known for a drug and prostitute scandal in Cúcuta last February, appears on stage as a substitute for the old politician Calderón.

Here the turn of Guaidó consists in replacing precisely the old generation with the new one, that is to say, militants of the Popular Will by ex-ministers and former ambassadors who, for the brand-new arribistas, represent that sector more united to the Venezuelan political world.

The Argentine news agency Télam published that, according to sources close to Guaidó, the deposed pseudo ambassador Calderón Berti is dismissed because he was apparently planning a "conspiracy" to displace Guaidó and his group, along with the president of the Supreme Court of Justice, Maikel Moreno , and Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino López.

In addition to this, the same source emphasizes that another of the alleged reasons for "dismissal" was due to the lack of response to complaints of theft of money and resources from "humanitarian aid." It should be noted that this information was published by the Venezuelan newspaper El Nacional , but hours later the note was removed from the portal.

In short, it is clear how these adjustments within the fake government of Guaidó correspond to the internal fractures of the opposition, both in the political and economic spheres, the fact of the division between the old school politicians and these new groups being notable which represents Guaidó.

Various interests orbit around the case. Calderón Berti is the founder of the Vetra oil company , founded in 2003 in Colombia, and has close ties to Canadian oil companies, as different actors related to Calderón Berti and the oil companies have been the protagonists in the theft of assets from Venezuela , specifically of the PDVSA subsidiary in the United States, Citgo Petroleum.

From the previous data it could be emanated that the work for which Calderón Berti was entrusted has culminated, while a new foreign minister comes to take the leadership of the foreign policy of the government of Iván Duque, who has Venezuela between eyebrow and eyebrow.

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Re: Venezuela

Post by blindpig » Sat Dec 14, 2019 2:41 pm

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Facts and Moments That Eroded Guaido’s Credibility
December 14, 2019 orinocotribune anti-chavismo, Guaido, lost in space, regime change, US Imperialism, Venezuela
From the beginning, Juan Guaidó tricked his followers with the “cessation of usurpation”, which meant the change of regime with the supposedly “institutional” parapet that they armed from the National Assembly (in contempt) and the corresponding international push given by the US and the satellite governments of the Lima Group.

By Mision Verdad

The charm of the first days was fading organically, almost with the same speed that the Guaidó product was manufactured. From there, each passing month would add another element to the list of reasons for anti-Chavismo to hate the deputy of Popular Will.

We collected memorable moments closing the first half of the year, however, disappointments do not have to end there.

1. WHERE IS THE MONEY FOR HUMANITARIAN AID?
It was assumed that the United States, through USAID, had delegated resources and supplies in February to “address the humanitarian crisis” valued at least $ 20 million.

These were per diem and props that would use anti-Chavismo on the coup d’etat route. Management was in charge of Guaidó delegates who embezzled the funds in prostitution and using them for personal expenses, as well described by the PanAm Post report.

Although this is not the only way by which the “transitional government” received funding from the White House. In addition to what it receives for illegally managing Citgo Petroleum and Monómeros, $ 52 million was publicly transferred in mid-September, of which 19 million were to guarantee “tools to govern if they managed to displace Maduro from power.”

In neither case did the defection of President Nicolás Maduro occur, much less is it known where the money destined for medicine and food for the most vulnerable went.

This is one of the issues that inoculates rejection in his followers thanks to the image that today results from the doling out of money: scavenger deputies demanding explanations about the resources they stopped seeing for not being among the privileged (inner circle).

2. THE DESERTING MILITARY WHO WERE ABANDONED
The “Cucutazo” also led to the conflict with former members of the Bolivarian National Armed Forces (FANB) who crossed the border to join the irregular army of Juan Guaidó. According to the projections of White House officials such as Bolton and Marco Rubio, a massive wave of officials were going to abide by the call for insurrection, consolidating the FANB’s break [with Maduro].

On the pitch a few hundred of them defected, leaving for Colombia under the promise of protection and an improvement in their economic situation. According to the Foreign Ministry of that country, 1,285 Venezuelans , among ex-military and family, were housed in shelters and hotels after the February 23 operation failed.

A few weeks passed before UNHCR, a UN refugee agency, stopped receiving them in the shelters and the Guaidó team waived paying their hotel stay, to which the group of deserters responded with riots and complaints to the Duque government and the Venezuelan opposition, becoming a burden for the Colombian departmental authorities.

3. VENEZUELAN MIGRANTS ARE SCAMMED BY GUAIDÓ REPRESENTATIVES
The Venezuelan encouraged to emigrate by the propaganda apparatus of anti-Chavismo and illegal economic sanctions issued by the United States has to deal with another false promise of 2019: to improve his immigration status through the “interinato” of Guaidó, especially in the countries that accepted fake “Guaido government” representatives.

In May, the “minister” residing in Washington, Gustavo Marcano, announced that dozens of countries, between Europe and Latin America, would accept expired passports of Venezuelans due to the “impediment to renew them.” Marcano intended to obviate consular authorities and the legitimate path to obtain TRAVEL documents. In the end, it did not happen with those governments receiving the proposal.

It was a promise that generated discomfort among Venezuelans with irregular status abroad and those who ventured to emigrate based on the announcement.

Meanwhile, in Colombia, false self-exiled magistrates made their own assembly to profit from migrants: PanAm Post unveiled the plot in which the “judges” charged for offering advice to activate the action of guardianship (tutela), a Colombian judicial resource to which all persons are entitled and that is free.

Not even the United States, the main promoter of the Guaidó team, has a consensus on offers to address immigration status.

The approval of the Temporary Protection Status (TPS) by the lower house of Congress had more obstacles than expected by the opposition leadership and its scope is not even defined.

Both Democrats and Republicans deal with the fact of the political influence of Venezuelans in the state of Florida, in the face of the 2020 presidential elections, but, on the other hand, they are cautious with the gap that would make more migrants, a situation that is opposed to Trump’s politics of borders with walls.

4. WHY HIDE THE DIALOGUE WITH THE GOVERNMENT OF NICOLÁS MADURO?
A significant infraction for the most extremist opposition factions is that Juan Guaidó has broken the promise of being “unyielding” with the national government, by showing a willingness to negotiate with its authorities, even though the dialogues in Norway and Barbados have not reached good ends as a result of US officials’ orders.

Gerardo Blyde and Fernando Martínez, advisers of the self-proclaimed, traveled to Europe to meet with the delegates of Chavismo, Minister Jorge Rodríguez and Governor Héctor Rodríguez, when the precipitous attempted military coup on April 30 did not achieve its objectives.

But what they consider more serious is that he lied from the beginning. Every time CNN’s info-mercenary in Spanish, Patricia Janiot, interrogated Juan Guaidó about his meetings with the president of the National Constituent Assembly (ANC), Diosdado Cabello, he denied them outright.

Months later, Diosdado Cabello published the audios and videos in which, in fact, the meeting held at the Hotel Lido on January 22, hours before the famous self-proclamation, is evident.

5. THE SANCTIONS WERE NOT ONLY AGAINST MADURO
And this unfulfilled promise is bequeathed by Julio Borges, leader of “Primero Justicia” party, who acted diligently in 2017 to increase coercive measures against the Venezuelan economy while he was president of the National Assembly.

The consequences of the total embargo, announced on August 5 by the Trump Administration, for private sectors and the population in general contradict the statement in defense of the measure made by Juan Guaidó.

“This action seeks to protect Venezuelans,” he said then, although the Executive Order allows the United States the blocking of investments and transactions of national and foreign companies that trade with the Venezuelan State.

Before the embargo was formalized, DatinCorp published a poll in which 68% of respondents felt that international sanctions affected their quality of life.

Guaidó also said that the action would have “humanitarian exceptions regarding food and medicine”, a new lie, because in parallel the State Department intensified the siege against the CLAP food program and blocked the entry of ships with inputs destined for industry and food production.

In summary, the list adds sufficient reasons for the Venezuelan opposition base not to be taken by surprise by the scam that comes in the year 2020, when its leadership, following the orders of the chiefs in the White House, reconfigures the strategy to continue trying to undermine the political stability of Venezuela.

The eternal frustration.

Featured image: Not even with Leopoldo López briefly on the streets could Juan Guaidó positively influence the attempt to change the regime in Venezuela (Photo: EFE)

Source URL: Mision Verdad

Translated by JRE/EF

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Re: Venezuela

Post by blindpig » Thu Dec 19, 2019 4:44 pm

Venezuela: Guaido Introduces Remote Voting in Bid to Secure Reelection
The opposition leader has been under fire amid recent scandals.

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Juan Guaido has attempted to change the National Assembly's regulation to ensure his reelection. (Reuters)

Caracas, December 18, 2019 (venezuelanalysis.com) - Venezuela’s opposition-controlled National Assembly (AN) changed the body’s internal regulation to allow deputies to participate remotely.

Opposition lawmakers approved “the use of technologies for virtual participation” in a bid to allow deputies outside the country to vote on legislation.

Several opposition lawmakers have seen their parliamentary immunity revoked in recent months and criminal charges brought against them for allegedly taking part in efforts to oust the Maduro government, including the April 30 failed military putsch. Some have fled the country, while others have taken refuge in foreign embassies.

While most of them have been replaced by their substitutes, as per the AN’s regulations, opposition leaders have alleged that the government has sought to pressure and even bribe the stand-in deputies ahead of a crucial vote early next year.

On January 5, the AN is due to have its yearly vote on the body’s leadership, with Guaido seeking reelection.

While the parliament had previously voted in September to ratify Guaido in his position as self-proclaimed “interim president” and, by extension, National Assembly head through 2020, his leadership has been called into question by a series of recent scandals.

Earlier this month, Guaido came under fire after an investigative report surfaced accusing senior opposition legislators, including members of his own party, of engaging in illicit dealings with a Colombian businessman purportedly linked to the Maduro government and to other individuals sanctioned by the United States. Guaido has also faced scrutiny for his alleged role in the embezzlement of aid funds earmarked for pro-opposition army deserters in Colombia as well as his controversial ties to Colombian paramilitary drug lords.

The AN decision faced criticism from United Socialist Party (PSUV) lawmakers, who accused the opposition leader of abrogating the authority of the substitute deputies.

“Guaido is very nervous because he knows he does not have the numbers to be reelected in January 2020, so he is trying to ignore the historic existence of all the substitutes,” PSUV Deputy Francisco Torrealba told press outside the parliament after he and his fellow pro-government legislators abandoned the chamber in protest.

The PSUV bloc has vowed to submit the new regulation to the Supreme Court for review. The National Assembly has been in contempt of court since 2016 following a dispute with the country’s judicial authorities.

The AN’s bid to change the regulation came as the country’s National Constituent Assembly (ANC) approved that criminal charges be brought against opposition lawmakers Jorge Millan, Hernan Aleman, Carlos Lozano Parra and Luis Stefanelli.

According to ANC President Diosdado Cabello, the request came from the Supreme Court, which alleged the deputies should be investigated for crimes such as conspiracy, civil rebellion, criminal association, and others.

Members of the ruling PSUV party also argued that the deputies, who belong to the Comptroller and Energy and Oil commissions in the National Assembly, should be investigated for corruption. The Attorney General’s Office will now open the proceedings.

https://venezuelanalysis.com/news/14749
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Re: Venezuela

Post by blindpig » Sat Dec 21, 2019 1:54 pm

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Concerning the Creation of the Evangelical Theological University
December 21, 2019 orinocotribune Evengelical University, religions and state, respecting religions does not means you should privilege one over the others, venezuelan debates
Venezuelan sociologist Cecil Perez asks if the recent announcement violates the secular nature of the Venezuelan educational system.

By Cecil Gerardo Pérez

“The church, through its top most hierarchy, intends to obtain supra-constitutional privileges and openly ignore the secular character of the Venezuelan state.” Hugo Chávez, July 18, 2010.

It is (once again) time to open the debate about government policy for university education, to evaluate the creation of so many new universities and what kind of policies they follow.

What is happening in the university sector is concerning. The last two new universities founded (the International University of Communications and, above all, the Evangelical Theological University (1)) have set off alarm bells.

We need to go beyond the official announcements to address the issue of the connection between politics, religion and the state, [taking as a reference point the announcement that the President of the Republic, Nicolas Maduro, approved the creation of the Evangelical Theological University of Venezuela on Thursday, December 5].

With regard to Maduro’s decision, announced in a meeting with representatives of evangelical churches of Venezuela, there are several hypotheses that only those who lead the Venezuelan revolutionary process can clarify. Is this a strategy aimed at co-opting religious sectors to prevent a repeat of what happened in Bolivia or Brazil, where these groups were used as a battering ram against progressive governments?

Politics and religion in Venezuela
Let us not forget that political use of religious groups is common in Venezuela. This can be seen in the [anti-government] hierarchy of the Venezuelan Catholic Church, grouped in the Episcopal Conference of Venezuela, and religious images and events which have been used for mass emotional propaganda against the Chavista process.

We should recall the use of the image of the Virgin Mary in Caracas’ Plaza Altamira in 2002 [during the coup d’etat] and the use of the procession of the Divine Pastora in Barquisimeto [in 2017], both of which contained verbal and physical violence against Chavista leaders. Likewise, let us not forget the incendiary discourses in the preaching of the right wing Venezuelan Catholic bishops.

In Venezuela, political parties directly linked to religious groups have emerged throughout our history. Examples include the Social Christian COPEI party during the Fourth Republic, more recently the ORA party founded in 1987 which currently supports the government, the NUVIPA party which participated in the 2013 elections, and the [Evangelical] Hope for Change party of former presidential candidate Javier Bertucci which was created in 2018 [and won over 1 million votes (10 percent) in the May 2018 presidential elections].

However, it is highly inflammatory to incorporate the religious issue into state or government decisions.

There are multiple experiences of this, most of them negative and against our people. Here, we do not pretend to have a dogmatic-Marxist view of religion using Marx’s famous phrase: “Religion is the opium of the people,” since in Latin America there have been important [progressive] religious movements, such as Liberation Theology, which had an important influence, especially in the 70s and 80s.

Equally, figures such as Camilo Torres (Colombia), Leonardo Boff and Helder Cámara (Brazil), or Ernesto Cardenal (Nicaragua) Arnulfo Romero (El Salvador) have had the people’s interests at heart. There have also been [progressive] priests in Venezuela such as Father Francisco Wuytack, Luis María Olaso, Numa Molina, Adolfo Rojas, Father Freitez in Barquisimeto and so many others.

Education and religion in Venezuela
In our country, religion has had a strong influence on education, both in the public and private sectors (although, according to the Constitution, all education is public).

From primary school, as well as in high school and even at university level, there are hundreds of educational institutions directly linked to Catholicism. In primary and secondary school they are brought together under the auspices of the Venezuelan Catholic Education Association (AVEC), but there are also private schools linked to the Protestant-Evangelical sector.

In the university subsystem there are institutions such as the [private Caracas based] Andrés Bello Catholic University (UCAB) and Santa Rosa de Lima University. The creation of both was approved years ago by the National Council of Universities following the [1970] Law on Universities, which sets out the procedures to establish private universities.

In article 10 of this law, it also refers to the creation of new public universities.

In accordance with the provisions of the Education Law, the National Executive, hearing the opinion of the National Council of Universities, may create National Experimental Universities in order to offer new guidelines and structures in Higher Education. These universities will enjoy autonomy within the special conditions required by educational experimentation. Their organisation and operation will be established by executive regulation and will be the subject of periodic evaluation in order to take advantage of the beneficial results for the renewal of the system and determine the continuation, modification or suppression of their status.

Concerning private universities, article 173 states:

The National Executive, after the favourable opinion of the National Council of Universities, may authorise, by decree and in each case, the operation of universities founded by natural or legal persons of a private nature.

While in article 183, it reads:

The state shall carry out the inspection of private universities in the manner provided for by the National Executive, which may revoke the authorisation of any Private University, or suspend its operation or that of any of its units when in it does not comply with the relevant laws or regulations.

It is also important to remember what the Education Law establishes the secular character of educational matters in article 7, [which] preserves its independence from all religious currents and organisations.

The state shall maintain its secular nature in educational matters in all circumstances, preserving its independence from all religious currents and organisms. The right and responsibility for religious education of children lies with the families, according to their convictions and in accordance with religious freedom, provided for in the Constitution of the Republic.”

Additional questions have to be posed about this new [Evangelical] university:

Will it be a public university, that is, with state funding, or will it be private?
What courses will be offered?
Will Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, or Jehovah’s Witnesses students be able to enter equally?
Who will appoint the university authorities? Will it be the government, or religious sectors of the Evangelical Church?
Will it be a matter of discussion which will require the approval of the National Council of Universities?
How is the new university linked to the Homeland Plan, or with the government’s development plans?
[Venezuelan sociologist] Rigoberto Lanz once said:

The secularity of the state has historically been a barrier for public spaces to be decontaminated from the horrors of religious wars, from the infiltrations of confessionalism into institutional life, from the fanaticism of crowds.

He also said:

In the midst of this epochal transit, everything is mixed with everything, everything is worth the same (or almost), politics and religion intersect dangerously. My thesis is that in this widespread confusion, the loser is the political sphere. The return of religious rituals to public affairs is a cultural degradation that is slashing away centuries of accumulation of democratic practices founded on the secularity of the state. Nothing justifies such a reactionary drift, especially when it comes with the complicity of a progressive government that should be vigorously bound by a certain decency of politics… The secular state is non-negotiable… The secular state is a conquest of modernity… but its reactionary drift is intensified in what is a collapse of almost everything.

During this debate, a fellow comrade and professor said the following on social media about this thorny subject:

I have to say this simply: this has cornered critical, secular, and anticolonial thinking. As we make some effort to understand the colonialist fabrics that keep our people oppressed and seek to break from them, with conquests and important steps as subscribed in Magna Carta, we wake to hear these retrograde and unjustified measures.

In conclusion, the debate is still open…

NOTE
(1) President Nicolas Maduro announced the launch of two new universities within 72 hours earlier this month. During the International Communications Congress held in Caracas, he announced plans to constitute the International University of Communications, which is due to open its doors during the first trimester of 2020. Following that, he created the Venezuelan Evangelical University during a government activity with religious leaders. Few details were offered by the President.

Cecil Gerardo Pérez is a Venezuelan sociologist with a doctorate in Social Sciences and columnist at Aporrea.org. He is currently a professor at the Lisandro Alvarado Central-west University in Barquisimeto.



Featured image: President Nicolas Maduro talks at a recent televised meeting with Venezuelan Evangelical leaders, during which he approved the creation of the country’s first Evangelical University. (Venevision)

Source URL: Venezuelanalysis.com

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Re: Venezuela

Post by blindpig » Tue Dec 24, 2019 3:03 pm

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“I Lost Everything. What I did was Worth Nothing”: Venezuelan Deserters who Supported Guaidó Now in ICE Custody

December 23, 2019 orinocotribune anti-chavismo have no word, desertor, military, operation humanitarian aid cucutazo, us has no word
Editorial note: This is a Telemundo piece and we all know what interests they defend, but we consider the story (with some minor editing) relevant because there is journalism behind it and because -disregarding their intention to press US authorities for solutions for these mercenaries- they also make visible the silence first of anti-Chavismo leadership and second, of the US government.

Major Hugo Parra Martínez spends his days behind bars in constant tension: he does not know when he will leave or if immigration authorities will end up deporting him to Venezuela, where he says his life is in danger.

“I fell in a sack and I’m at the bottom. I lost everything: my family, my house. What I did was worth nothing. I don’t see a way out,” he says from the Winn Correctional Center in Louisiana, one of the prisons in which the administration of President Donald Trump holds thousands of immigrants while their asylum cases are resolved.

This major of the Bolivarian National Armed Forces (FANB), 42, no longer knows who to ask to intercede in his case.

“Here I’m only accompanied by the Bible and God, whom I implore every day to help me get out of here soon,” he says in a telephone conversation with Noticias Telemundo Investiga.

It has been more than eight months since he was handed over to US immigration authorities at the International Bridge number II of Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, on April 11. Since then, the Immigration and Customs Service (ICE) has moved him between detention centers twice, denied two requests for bail, and has not yet scheduled an appointment to see an immigration judge.

Parra is one of the more than 100 Venezuelan soldiers who rose up against the government of Nicolás Maduro when, in early 2019, the opposition deputy Juan Guaidó launched the so-called “Operation Freedom” and promised to get Venezuela out of the crisis, a transitional government and new elections.

Guaidó called on the military to get “on the right side of the story” and promised them “amnesty and guarantees.” But there was not enough in the armed forces and his attempt to remove Nicolás Maduro from Miraflores failed.

Almost a year after the country was shaken by protests, the opposition is deeply fragmented and Venezuelans emigrate as a escape valve.

Although the United States was the first country to recognize and support Guaidó, catalog the Maduro government as a dictatorship and recognize the political and humanitarian crisis, it continues to detain and deport Venezuelans, for whom it has been reluctant to approve a Status of Temporary Protection (TPS) .

Meanwhile, dozens of soldiers who rose against Maduro have had to leave the country to live as refugees, mostly in Spain and Latin America.

Others like Major Parra came to the US to seek refuge in the same country that during the days of the insurrection showed its support. But after almost a year, this military feels abandoned by Guaido, who also said he would protect them.

Fleeing from Colombia
February 23, 2019 was the date of political inflection for Venezuela that would seal the fate of dozens of military personnel like Parra.

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Aerial view shows Venezuelan security forces in Cúcuta on February 25. Photo: (Getty Images)

That Saturday Guaidó crossed the Tienditas International Bridge, in the Venezuelan state of Táchira, to the Colombian city of Cúcuta. There, dozens of volunteers hoped to pass 600 tons of “humanitarian aid” to Venezuela, stored in several containers.

In addition to the civilians, Guaidó needed the military to complete the operation. That day, -allegedly- some 1,200 troops decided to take a step that they did not know would push them shortly after into exile: swearing support to the leader of the National Assembly.

Parra was one of the first five to do so, and the highest ranking. The video of his encounter with Guaidó went around the world. The expectations were high.

“There was a lot of hope,” he recalls from the detention center in Louisiana. “But there was no necessary support from Guaidó and his people to annihilate the Maduro government. He had to have been more blunt, more radical.”

After a confrontation between the Chavista forces and those trying to force entry of the so called “humanitarian aid”, the operation failed. The military deserters like Parra delivered themselves to Colombia, where they were housed by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

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Major Hugo Parra and first lieutenant Erick Molina cross the International Bridge number 2 in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, where they surrender to US immigration authorities on April 11. Photo: (Courtesy of Raynell Martínez)

Parra, who initially stayed in a parish house and then at the Acora de Cúcuta hotel, said he and his companions received death threats and were attacked with a car bomb. The insecurity caused many to leave the neighboring country as well.

In his case, he escaped with First Lieutenant Erick Molina to Mexico by plane. There both were handed over to the immigration authorities in Nuevo Laredo. The odyssey was just beginning.

Without lawyer or court date
After spending two months in detention at the Rio Grande Detention Center (Laredo, Texas) Parra was transferred to the Tallahatchie County Correctional Facility (Mississippi) in May. Two months later, in July, he was moved again, this time to Winn.

The Venezuelan “embassy” in Washington assigned him a pro-bono lawyer, but both agreed that they would not continue working together, after Parra complained about the lack of results and the defender responded that he was doing everything he could in the spare time he had from his other cases.

Now this soldier is being held without legal representation with few asylum benefits granted by immigration authorities.

“Of about 40 cases that I’ve had in recent months in this state, none have been granted asylum. And I don’t know anyone in a center in Louisiana who has been given it,” says immigration lawyer Lorena Pérez , who currently works for several clients pro-bono.

Perez says that the long times that the government forces immigrants to wait for answers to their cases inside detention centers are intended to wear them out, so they ask to be returned to their countries.

“It’s a race to see who can last longer, who is stronger,” she says.

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View of the Winn Correctional Center in Louisiana, where Parra has been detained by ICE since June. Photo (Louisiana Department of Public Safety & Corrections).

Telemundo Investiga News found that Parra’s file number does not appear in the immigration court record, which may mean that after eight months since his detention, his case has not even begun to be processed in the system.

Erick Molina ran into a little more luck. After they were separated, he spent another three months in detention and was granted parole on bail. Now he waits in Austin, Texas, for an answer about his case of political asylum, but at liberty.

The ex-mayor Raynell Martinez, another military defector from the Venezuelan Air Force who entered the US in 2014 under similar conditions, has helped them both since they arrived in Mexico. Molina helped him get the bail money through donations. For Parra he has been able to do less.

“All the steps have been taken so that Guaidó’s ambassador to the US, Carlos Vecchio, will support Parra with a lawyer, but nothing has happened,” he laments.

“Viewed Askance” by the United States
There are those who believe that the cost of disregarding the cases of military dissidents will be high.

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José Antonio Colina, ex-military and president of the Veppex exiled Venezuelan organization, protests in Miami in mid-December to ask for the release of some 400 nationals imprisoned in ICE jails. Photo: (Belisa Morillo).

Leaving these soldiers in oblivion and with little or no protection could take away potential allies inside and outside Venezuelan territory and discourage other military from future uprisings, according to the former Bolivarian National Guard of Venezuela, José A. Colina , exiled in Miami and president of the Venezuelan Political Persecuted Group in Exile (Veppex).

“If this government recognizes that there is a violation of human rights in Venezuela, that there is a dictatorship that oppresses the people and that people are dying, then Venezuelans who arrive here should be given some protection,” says Colina.

The ex-military, interviewed in mid-December during a march of Venezuelan exiles in which they demanded freedom for some 400 nationals in ICE detention centers, questions that senators, congressmen and other US officials criticize the Maduro government, but do not take sufficient measures to protect those who flee from him because they fear for their life.”

Colina says he has repeatedly asked Guaidó and the State Department to intercede for a dozen soldiers in the same situation as Parra and Molina, but there has been no response.

The US government – says this former – takes more time with military cases because it takes time to determine that they are actually persecuted politicians who supported the opposition and not Chavista agents who seek immigration benefits or come as Maduro spies.

The case of Parra, whose support for Guaidó was recorded on video and had wide repercussions in the media, should not have taken so long, Colina claims. The military like him, who no longer have a place in Venezuela, are also “frowned upon” by the US government. “They are seen as part of the (Chavista) system,” he warns.

Guaidó is “aware”.
Telemundo Investiga News contacted the State Department to comment on military cases like Parra, but it declined to answer. Until the time of publication of this report, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) had not responded to a request for information.

For his part, the director of Consular Affairs sent by Guaidó to Washington, Brian Fincheltub, said that Juan Guaidó is aware of the situation facing the dissident military like Parra and Molina, but that the deputy has more than this “incident” in his charge.

“Every day in Venezuela there are millions of emergencies and hundreds of cases like this that are happening,” he said. And he added that the resources of the diplomatic mission of the interim president in the country are limited and that their actions have restrictions “especially in immigration matters”.
“We have emphasized those cases (of the military) because we recognize that they had the courage to do what they did. However, it is not our decision that the US government makes the process faster or slower,” he added.

Fincheltub says the Embassy has made complaints to both ICE and DHS, but they have not received an answer: “We are doing everything in our power.”

Slave of a promise
The US has deported military to Venezuela after denying their requests for political asylum. One of the best known is the case of the former member of the Bolivarian National Armed Forces Helegner Tijera, who arrived in 2016 after defecting and spent two years detained by ICE before losing his case to an appeals court and being sent back.

Despite being out on bail, Erick Molina says he lives in “terror” of being returned to Venezuela. “We think that as the United States is an ally of Guaidó, they would talk to each other and help us with the immigration process,” he explains. “But all the military that left for Cucuta are nowhere. Floating.”

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The United States has deported Venezuelan military in the past, as was the case with Helegner Tijera, who after joining the opposition went to seek asylum and spent 2 years imprisoned by ICE before being returned. Photo: (AP).

Molina says that they are more than 100 and that they are currently scattered around several parts of the region: “I am sure that (Guaidó) does not know who they are or where they are. They are scattered throughout Latin America: Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Chile. ”

Regarding the promise of protection and guarantees of the interim president, he says that “it was not fulfilled at any time.” “He has already become a slave to his promise,” he says.

In a recent interview with the Spanish newspaper El País in which he denies that “Operation Freedom” has been a failure, Guaidó said that it is necessary to seek greater support from the Armed Forces to achieve a transitional government.

Molina thinks that after seeing how things have developed, the opposition leader will find it even more difficult to obtain support from the sector with firepower in the future, something necessary to gain political control in Venezuela.

“Within the Armed Forces, more than one will not want to stand up against the regime, supporting a person who will not come through later,” he warns.

No regrets

Meanwhile, at the Winn Detention Center, Hugo Parra says he does not regret the step he took on February 23, when he shook hands with Juan Guaidó and said: “At your service, my commander in chief.”

He says that if he had Guaidó in front of him, he would recommend putting “a little more love and heart toward what he wants”, so that he can “achieve his goals”. However, he reiterates that he does not regret: “I would do it again,” he says.

Featured image: Hugo Parra Martínez, defending officer of the Bolivarian National Armed Forces (FANB)

Source URL: Globovision

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Re: Venezuela

Post by blindpig » Fri Jan 10, 2020 2:32 pm

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“Negotiated Transition?” – A New US Interventionist Statement on Parliamentary Elections

January 10, 2020 orinocotribune CNE, elections, Parliamentary Elections, US Imperialism, us meddling, Venezuela, Vladimir Villegas
Abrogating the “right” to speak on behalf of the international community, the Secretary of State or head of the US Diplomacy, Mike Pompeo, once again interfered in the internal affairs of Venezuela, through his Twitter account. He said that one of the conditions for free and fair elections in the country is that there be a rapid negotiated transition to democracy. The tweet has a link to the official document.
Secretary Pompeo

@SecPompeo
Today the international community reminds #Venezuela of the conditions needed for free and fair elections there. A swift negotiated transition to democracy is the most effective and sustainable route to peace and prosperity in Venezuela. https://go.usa.gov/xpS3t
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“A swift negotiated transition to democracy is the most effective and sustainable route to peace and prosperity in Venezuela,” Pompeo said, who on Tuesday announced that the White House will continue to support the self – proclaimed “interim president”, Juan Guaidó, former president of the Parliament, which earned him the dig “failed Clown” from the President of the Republic, Nicolás Maduro.

The chancellor of the Republic, Jorge Arreaza, warned hours earlier about another interventionist document that the US distributed to several foreign ministers seeking “support” for intervention in the next parliament elections: “it seems that they have renounced the task of a Presidential election (…) and are now seeking to intervene in political and administrative processes,” he said.

Anti-Chavista journalist, Vladimir Villegas during his Union Radio show expressed his “excitement” for the way the US is switching from the Guaido strategy to parliamentary elections strategy, without blinking a second for the grotesque interventionist stand of this new US meddling in Venezuelan internal affairs and in Venezuelan elections.

You can read below the full text of this new evidence of US meddling in Venezuelan internal affairs, showing how the US government pretends to behave as a political actor in the Venezuelan electoral debate:

A broadly acceptable, negotiated transitional government must be responsible for overseeing elections. Independent electoral authorities run and administer an election. In the Venezuelan context, this includes:

A new, balanced, and independent National Electoral Commission (CNE) – selected through the National Assembly — as constitutionally mandated – must spearhead the electoral process. This CNE should be named by the National Assembly as soon as possible in accordance with the constitution, in order to allow sufficient time to prepare for elections.
A newly constituted, fair and independent supreme court, the TSJ, is a critical safeguard to ensure the principles of justice and protect the integrity of the election and the sanctity of each vote.
Elections must be open to all parties and candidates. In the Venezuelan context, this includes:

Reinstatement of all powers and authorities of the National Assembly – Venezuela’s legitimate, constitutional parliamentary authority.
Remove all restrictions on individuals and political parties to allow their free participation in presidential and parliamentary elections. This includes protections for those who have fled the country fearing for their safety and security, and the release of all those arbitrarily detained, including political prisoners.
Unrestricted media/telecommunications/internet access to independent news sources and equitable airtime must be available for all candidates, parties, and the electorate. The former Maduro regime must not be allowed to dictate the content of independent media actors. This includes allowing the exercise of the rights of peaceful assembly and freedom of expression without repression, reprisal, or politically motivated disruptions of service.

Independent electoral observation, free of undue restrictions, comprised of domestic and international experts.

The United States and its partners issuing this statement intend to:

Urge all Venezuelan authorities to adhere to the above criteria;

Facilitate the process for Venezuelan citizens anywhere in the world to exercise their rights by voting in a free and fair presidential election from abroad;

Provide technical support and/or funding, as appropriate, to assist the voter registration process; and

Provide a team of highly regarded independent electoral observers to begin work with the new CNE as soon as it is appointed.

“The US is trapped in the failure of the Guaido project, they know the clock is ticking against anti-Chavismo control over the National Assembly after the next parliamentary elections. No one in anti-chavismo is expecting -under current circumstances- to win the elections and the only possible next US move will be to discredit the Electoral Council (CNE) and order its cronies in Venezuela not to run,” said OT’s editor, Jesus Rodriguez-Espinoza.

“That strategy is also counter productive because currently there are strong tendencies within anti-Chavismo and Chavisto to find common ground and avoid polarization. A proof of that is the change of correlation in AN’s board as well as the formation of a bipartisan congressional committee to choose the new CNE board,” he added.

Source URL: La IguanaTV with OT content

Translated and edited by JRE/EF

https://orinocotribune.com/negotiated-t ... elections/
"We ask no compassion from you. When our turn comes, we shall not make excuses for the terror."

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