Venezuela

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Re: Venezuela

Post by blindpig » Sat Aug 17, 2019 3:06 pm

FINANCIAL BLOCKADE: CHRONOLOGY OF A STRATEGY TO DESTROY VENEZUELA
14 Feb 2019 , 12:01 pm .


The sanctions against Venezuela are real and palpable mechanisms of destruction of the State, the identity and, with it, of the Venezuelan society. They are part of a war strategy based on the application of various resources and sophisticated tools of financial hegemony against fundamental nodes of national life. Although there are no bombs in Venezuela or US marines are seen landing along the coast, there is plenty of evidence of the resources of permanent aggression, national and international, by corporate and political sectors.

In this context, since 1999 the internal maneuvers of antichavism alternated between low-profile mechanisms such as boycotts or corporate divestment and forceful actions such as the April 2002 coup or the oil strike.

Since 2015, when the then president of the United States, Barack Obama, declared Venezuela as an "unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security of the United States," the political vanguard and leadership in the anti-chavism of the transnational elite that governs in Washington, they printed more firmly on a string of measures that have determined not only the destruction of the national economy but severely modified the cultural imaginary.

What is understood in its fair dimension with the statements of Jack Lew, former Secretary of the Treasury during the Obama Administration, who believes that the sanctions are more effective and cheaper to bend their enemies than traditional power, because they have influence in the markets American financiers, the central nerve of the globalized economy. The sanctions, thus, are measures of siege to fortresses, as in the medieval era, updated to this new era of intelligent, technological, globalized power, where every nerve that touches power is a function of bending its enemies, according to Lew.

2015: THE UNITED STATES ASSUMES THE CONTROL OF ANTI-CHAVEZ
The financial blockade has been mutating since the attack on the debt, through the isolation of the US financial system, until reaching the application of espionage techniques that pursue Venezuelan transactions, and withhold funds destined to the importation of food and medicines.

Venezuela has since suffered the ravages of falling oil prices because the United States agreed with Saudi Arabia to aggressively increase oil production to lower prices and affect important producing countries, such as Venezuela, Russia and Iran.

In addition, the economy began to deteriorate due to lack of income and a company created in Miami in 2010, called Dollar Today , which artificially devalued the value of the currency in order to initiate an inflationary escalation. Venezuela lost approximately 60% of its national income that year.

The Executive Order (13692) signed by the Obama Administration in March 2015 initiated the financial blockade actions against Venezuela and, with it, the US government made the economic attack on the country a legal matter. Based on the International Economic Powers Emergency Law, activated at the constitutional level, to provide the administration with tools to "defend" the threat.

Under this pretext, the White House placed its financial system on alert, through the Treasury Department, regarding Venezuelan financial operations.

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On March 5, 2015, Barack Obama signed an executive order declaring Venezuela as "an unusual and extraordinary threat" to the security of the United States (Photo: White House)

With the excuse of blocking the mobility of unproven personal accounts of, until then, seven Venezuelan officials, this legal instrument has attacked the use of the US financial system to import food and medicine by the Venezuelan State.

In parallel, risk rating agencies, agencies created by the United States to destabilize sovereign countries, published a global map of "risky countries." This to complement the economic-financial fence against the recovery plans of the Venezuelan government, product of the fall in oil prices.

Venezuela was listed by the French- based financial company Coface as the country with the highest risk in Latin America, similar to African countries that are currently in situations of war. The "study" was conducted based on the negative ratings of the three major US rating agencies, Standard and Poor's, Fitch Rating and Moody's, largely responsible for the global financial collapse of 2008.

As of 2015, the country risk variable began to artificially increase to hinder the entry of international financing and, until the first half of 2018, these three major rating agencies have worsened their attacks against Venezuela, omitting the appropriate debt payments in order to push the country towards default and project a situation of insecurity for international investment.

In this context of siege based on social unrest caused by the decline in oil prices, shortages, shortages and the wave of looting, the anti-Chavez won the majority in the National Assembly and set up a higher floor, now since the parliamentary instance, for financial aggressions against Venezuela.

2016: FINANCIAL FENCE AND THE DEFAULT THAT DID NOT ARRIVE
In April 2016, the International Monetary Fund warned of the "economic catastrophe" in Venezuela through a report, generating expectations of collapse, inflation and scarcity to legitimize the actions of economic warfare carried out by Fedecámaras and Consecomercio, the two main private entities from the country.

The National Assembly, in contempt for incorporating three members whose elections were demonstrably fraudulent, approved legal instruments in May and August that declared oil contracts, international investments and the issuance of new indebtedness by the country "void", thereby trying to hinder Let fresh money enter the coffers of the State.

During 2016 and 2017, Venezuelan accounts were closed in the United States by large-scale private banks, such as Citibank and JP Morgan, because Executive Order 13692 empowered the Treasury Department to employ mechanisms to monitor Venezuela's financial transactions in U.S.

Following the excuse of protecting its financial system from "corrupt officials", it was sought to isolate Venezuela from the US financial system and hinder both its imports and the payment of external debt. This was joined by the second largest bank in Germany, Commerzbank.

In July 2016, the EMBI country risk index, created by the JP Morgan bank , placed Venezuela with the highest score in the world (2640 points) above countries at war like Ukraine, even though the Venezuelan state paid 6 thousand million dollars in foreign debt that same year. In September, PDVSA made an offer to exchange 7 thousand 100 million dollars in bonds in order to ease its payments, and the three major US risk rating agencies sought to frighten investors with declaring default if they agreed to the proposal of the state oil company .

In November, JP Morgan issued a false default alert on an alleged default of PDVSA debt of 404 million dollars to generate fear in the financial world and damage the image of the state. US oil company ConocoPhillips also sued PDVSA before a Court in Delaware for its bond swap operation to frighten participants and thereby fail the operation.

In this aggressive environment against the Venezuelan economy, inflation through the Dollar Today effect closed at approximately 800%, according to figures leaked to some international agencies.

2017: EMBARGO, FAILED VIOLENCE AND MORE DESTABILIZATION
In April 2017, the president (illegally elected) of the National Assembly, Julio Borges, demanded that more than 20 international banks cease their economic and financial ties with Venezuela. While in May he declared "null" the purchase of 865 million dollars in PDVSA bonds by the US bank Goldman Sachs.

In his eagerness to coordinate financial and economic sanctions against Venezuela, and using Parliament as an instrument to legitimize the financial blockade, Borges met with the National Security Advisor of the White House at that time, General HR McMaster. In this way, the financial blockade prevented the country from importing food and medicines necessary for its survival.

Supported by the United States and the OAS, Venezuelan anti-Chavez undertook a new escalation of chaos and violence more intense and dangerous than that of 2014, which caused millions of losses to the country and left an unfortunate balance of 130 dead and thousands injured. The United States also sanctioned more than 20 Venezuelan officials, representatives of all public authorities and responsible for maintaining internal order, as a measure to feed the chaos of the guarimbas.

As an extreme measure, President Nicolás Maduro convened in May to elect a National Constituent Assembly (ANC), whose elections were held in July amid targeted violence. More than 8 million Venezuelans attended the election and a traumatic scene of violence was closed from there. The country gained political and social stability in the face of a cycle of aggressions that aimed to remove President Nicolás Maduro, and eliminate the current constitutional framework.

2017 AFTER THE CONSTITUENT ELECTION: INTERFERENCEIST VIRULENCE
Between August and November, the most dynamic days of aggression against Venezuela ran that year. When the guarimbas failed, Europe entered the destabilizing game; In August, the Swiss bank Credit Suisse prohibited its clients from carrying out financial operations with Venezuela, as Julio Borges had requested in April.

For his part and through an executive order, Trump banned the purchase of Venezuelan debt and the repatriation of dividends from Citgo, a subsidiary of PDVSA in the United States, thus closing two key financing channels for a Venezuela devastated by guarimbas.

Next, the United States began executing an undeclared oil embargo . The US private banks, pressured by the Department of the Treasury, refused to issue letters of credit for the purchase of Venezuelan crude, thus affecting the income of the nation.

The PBF Energy company, one of the refiners that made the largest purchases from Venezuela, had to give up its economic ties to the country as a result of the sanctions.

In September, the Treasury Department, through its Financial Crime Control Network (FINCEN), issued an alert called "red flags" that imposes a surveillance and control system on Venezuelan financial transactions to prevent the payment of food and medicines while, as a result of Trump's sanctions issued in August, Citgo began having trouble acquiring crude oil for its refineries and keeping its operations stable.

In this context, some 300 thousand doses of insulin paid by the Venezuelan State did not arrive in the country because Citibank boycotted its purchase. At the same time, the landing of 18 million CLAP boxes to Venezuela was interrupted by the obstacles imposed by the US financial system, given that its authorities closed 52 Venezuelan bank accounts in entities such as Wells Fargo, East and City, because their Headlines, supposedly, were linked to the Venezuelan government.

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As Secretary of the Treasury, Steve Mnuchin, he was in charge of pursuing Venezuela's transactions through technical measures (Photo: The Nation)

While this was happening, regional elections were held with more than 11 million votes throughout the process. Chavismo obtained 19 of 23 governorates in an election, convened by the ANC, where political awnings of anti-Chavez such as Democratic Action and Popular Will participated.

Despite this, even though Venezuela had not failed to honor its international commitments in the last three years, in November the European Euroclear company, founded by JP Morgan, kidnapped 1.6 billion dollars that were destined to the purchase of food and medicine .

The Americas Committee of the International Association of Swaps and Derivatives (ISDA), declared Venezuela in default, omitting the payment of debt for 70 billion dollars in the last two years. While JP Morgan again increased Venezuela's country risk to 2,989 points, the highest figure since 2014, when it reached 1,458 points.

The rating agency Standard and Poor's declared Venezuela "selective default" because it could not honor debt commitments, as a result of which the sanctions limited the country's financial transactions in the US payment system. With these maneuvers they tried to open the door to confiscate PDVSA assets.

That same November, the US bond manager Wilmington Trust accused Corpoelec of not canceling debt interest in the order of $ 27 million, just when the country was experiencing a total blockade of the means of payment in the US financial system.

So much so that a shipment of Primaquina, a medicine used to treat malaria, did not enter the country due to the blockade of a Colombian laboratory called BSN Medical and 23 operations in the international financial system were returned: a total of 39 million dollars for food, basic supplies and medications.

In December, another 19 Venezuelan bank accounts abroad were arbitrarily closed by US banks, preventing payments to creditors, while anti-Chavez decides not to participate in the mayors' elections after his defeat in the October regionals. Chavism again devastates with more than 95% of all mayorships.

2018-2019: HUGE AND MULTIFACTORIAL ATTACK
In January 2018, the head of the CIA on duty, and current US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, said at a conference at the American Institute of the Company that the financial sanctions against Venezuela had been coordinated by him directly with the President Trump

At the same time, eleven Venezuelan and PDVSA bonds, worth US $ 1,241 million, could not be canceled to their creditors due to the obstacle of the sanctions. The National Assembly (still in contempt) signed an agreement where it criminalized the Venezuelan cryptoactive Petro, reaffirming its interest in keeping the country without funding sources.

In March, the Trump Administration, by executive order, declared the purchase or other operation related to Petro by US companies and citizens illegal. With this maneuver he legalized the agreement of the National Assembly affecting the initial presale and the resources that would enter the country in a context where another 2.5 billion dollars of Venezuela were retained in US banks. This money was largely going to be directed to the payment of international creditors.

In that month, fifteen Venezuelan boxers could not travel to the qualifying event for the 2018 Central American and Caribbean Games (CAC) in Mexico due to the financial sanctions that prevented processing payments for logistics. Once, this stumbling block was drawn, the other drama was that Colombia blocked its airspace so that these boxers made the trip.

The Colombian government blocked 400 thousand kilos of food in CLAP boxes that would enter the country to strengthen this program with which more than 6 million families feed throughout the national territory.

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The former Colombian president, Juan Manuel Santos, announced at a conference the theft of 400 tons of food in CLAP boxes. (Photo: Nariño House)

In April, the United States and Colombia created a financial intelligence group to block the importation of food and medicine by internationalizing financial suffocation. And in May the US oil company ConocoPhillips executed a series of embargoes against PDVSA assets for the claim of an arbitration award for 2 thousand 40 million dollars demanded from the International Chamber of Commerce.

This maneuver not only affected its installed capacity in the international arena, but also limited the country's income from the sale of crude oil, intensifying the damage to the heart of the national economy and seeking to dissolve the social fabric that sustains part of the stability.

This was joined by the Canadian capital mining company Rusoro, filing a lawsuit that sought to unite the assets of Citgo and some of PDVSA as payment for an arbitration prize of 1.2 billion dollars. Canadian contractor SNC-Lavalin also sued PDVSA for more than $ 25 million for alleged debt default, before a New York court.

Thus, the United States reinforced its policy of financial suffocation and kidnapping of Venezuelan resources by limiting both the sale of Venezuelan oil assets on US soil, and the liquidation of accounts receivable, in response to the presidential triumph of Chavismo on May 20.

In turn, the countries of the Lima Group agreed, following Trump's policy, to put the financial intelligence of their respective States to pursue the transactions, accounts and financial operations of Venezuela. The result of all this was the sharp drop in imports, which went from 60 billion dollars annually, between 2011 and 2013, to a total of 12 billion in 2017.

One of the highlights of this phase of aggressions, without a doubt, is the embargo of the PDVSA company in the United States, Citgo, announced by the director of the National Security Council, John Bolton, in line with the imposition of an oil embargo Against the country

This seeks to further damage the ability to obtain financing for Venezuela and, therefore, to pay imports, since the effects of this virtual embargo are immediately "heinous," according to The New York Times , if one considers that in the first week of the Venezuelan oil sales to the United States were reduced by 40%.

Thus, the "humanitarian crisis" scenario that serves the interventionist claims that underpin Juan Guaidó's internship has been set up within the framework of a definitive strategy to assault resources and national dignity.

DECONFIGURING THE COUNTRY IS THE FUNDAMENTAL OBJECTIVE
Historical data show that the financial blockade has set the stage for the intervention and international recognition of a parallel government (Libya case), to create economic incentives for mercenary movements stimulated from the CIA (Yugoslavia case), to weaken the armed force of a government not aligned to Washington and strengthen the firepower of paramilitary groups (Syria case), fracture the high political-military command using the precariousness of the population as a means of political pressure (Cuba case) or the effects of the oil industry and conditions internal to prevent energy development as a political weapon (Iran case).

The financial blockade against Venezuela pursues the massive destruction of the national economy, the dismantling of the social achievements of the Chavez era and the affectation of the poorest population that since 1998 has proven to be the most solid political base of Chavismo and, above all, the undermining of national confidence that the internal potential of the country (its population and strategic resources) can provide the necessary resources to resume stability.

In a nutshell: completely deny the right of a nation to constitute itself in the face of difficulties, and decide its own future beyond the decisions taken in a few offices far from the country.

http://misionverdad.com/entrevistas%20/ ... -venezuela

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Even an entire society, a nation, or all simultaneously existing societies taken together, are not owners of the earth. They are simply its possessors, its beneficiaries, and have to bequeath it in an improved state to succeeding generations

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Re: Venezuela

Post by blindpig » Wed Sep 04, 2019 12:29 pm

President Maduro Issues Orange Alert on Venezuela-Colombian Border

Published 3 September 2019

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Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro takes part in a rally against the U.S. sanctions on Venezuela, in Caracas Venezuela, August 10, 2019.

An orange alert means that the Venezuelan army must remain precautionary against aggression from the neighboring country, waiting for the call to arms.


Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro declared an “orange alert” Tuesday in the states that border with Colombia due to the threat of military aggression from the neighboring country.

"We know that there is an attempt to try to scale a set of false flag operations (...) the government of Colombia (...) now intends to maneuver a false flag operation to attack Venezuela and start a military conflict against our country," Maduro denounced during the commemoration of the IX Anniversary of the Bolivarian Military University.

An orange alert means that the Venezuelan army must remain precautionary against aggression from the neighboring country, waiting for the call to arms.

The president explained that the Colombian government, led by far-right Ivan Duque, "wants to accuse Venezuela of being the cause of a war in Colombia that is 70 years old," in reference to the unfounded accusations about links of his government with the recent Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia dissidents.

Maduro also ordered for a military exercise called "Peace and Sovereignty" to begin on Sept. 10 until Sept. 28 in the states Zulia, Tachira Apure, and Amazonas, territories that make up the 2,219 kilometers of the border that Venezuela shares with Colombia.

https://www.telesurenglish.net/news/Pre ... ialnetwork
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Re: Venezuela

Post by blindpig » Sat Sep 07, 2019 10:23 pm

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Venezuela Prosecutors Probe Guaido for “High Treason”(Essequibo Affair)
September 7, 2019
A criminal investigation has been launched into Venezeulan opposition leader Juan Guaido and several key advisers after the government led by President Nicolas Maduro accused them of acts of treason.

Venezuelan Prosecutor general Tarek Saab announced the move on Friday. Guaido was allegedly involved in negotiating away Venezuela’s “historical claim” to the territory of Esequibo, which is formally under the administration of Guyana.

On Thursday, Vice President Delcy Rodriguez offered evidence in the form of phone records in which adviser Manuel Avendaño allegedly discussed with Venezuelan- American diplomat Vanessa Neumann relinquishing claims to the Esequibo region.

“The criminal organization headed by Juan Guaidó had initiated concrete actions to illegally appropriate Venezuela’s assets, financial resources, Venezuelan gold, Venezuelan debt, to enrich themselves and to serve transnational interests,” Rodriguez said.

A vestige of South America’s colonial history, the dispute over Esequibo is long in the making, dating back centuries to squabbling between the Spanish, Dutch, and eventually British Empires. In the 20th century Venezuela and Guyana have been trying to settle the matter through UN. More recently, however, conflict over the territory has been tied to natural resources, eyed by companies like ExxonMobile. Last year, a standoff broke out between the Venezuelan Navy and vessels of the energy firm searching for oil in the region with Guyana’s permission, forcing the surveyors to turn back.

Featured image: © Reuters / CARLOS GARCIA RAWLINS

https://orinocotribune.com/venezuela-pr ... ibo-affair

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Venezuela Denounces Guaido’s Plans to Lift Territorial Claim over the Essequibo
September 6, 2019

Venezuelan Government requested the Public Ministry (MP) to undertake an exhaustive investigation against the deputy of the National Assembly in contempt, Juan Guaidó, who is said to be allegedly involved in plans to deliver the Essequibo to Guyana. The request was made by the executive vice president, Delcy Rodríguez, who at the press conference showed an audio in which Vanessa Neumann, Guaido’s “ambassador” in the UK, and Manuel Avendaño, Guaidó’s advisor, confess that, in order to extend support to the alleged interim president, they have to put aside Venezuela’s claim over Essequibo territory.

In part of the conversation with Avendaño, Neumann says, “The number one issue that has been identified by the Foreign Commonwealth & Office (Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Commonwealth of Nations of Great Britain) is that they will not support us as long as we continue with the official line that we want to regain the Essequibo territory from Guyana”.

“I told María Teresa Belandria (a person who was appointed by Juan Guaidó as the alleged Venezuelan ambassador to Brazil) not to advise anyone to comment on Guyana. This was before Juan came to power,” said Neumann. “My first meeting with the Lima Group was also with the High Commissioner of Guyana, who came and told me that he wanted to know what Juan Guaidó’s position was regarding Guyana. ‘Drop the issue’ is my line.”

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Rodríguez explained that in the call they admit that “they will change the position of Venezuela to lift the claim over the Essequibo territory to Exxon Mobil and other transnational companies, denying the legitimate rights that Venezuela has over this territory, and over which there is a dispute that was settled under the 1966 Geneva Agreement.”

In her opinion, the organization led by Juan Guaidó “not only works to fulfill transnational interests, but also for his personal enrichment.” She also recalled the previous denunciation of the Venezuelan Government when the Crystallex case was presented, in which Guaidó had appointed an attorney who handed over the interests of Venezuela to foreign companies.

“It is a criminal organization that did not start on January 10 (but) had previously planned its crime,” she said based on Neumann’s words. “It is very evident that the Guaidó project is planned by the United States government to commit crimes,” Rodríguez said.

During her remarks, the vice president emphasized that the leader’s illicit alliance had the starting point of taking over Citgo, the subsidiary of Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), in the United States. The organization also seeks to “seize the assets” of the country and “harm the Venezuelan people.”

Source URL: Alba Ciudad

https://orinocotribune.com/venezuela-de ... -essequibo
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Re: Venezuela

Post by blindpig » Tue Sep 10, 2019 8:16 pm

Why Trump has Failed at Regime Change in Venezuela
September 10, 2019 orinocotribune
By John Wojcik

Trump’s first problem when his administration launched a full-scale effort earlier this year to overthrow the Venezuelan government was that he was working against history. Since the months before the presidential elections in that country in 1998 up to now, the U.S. has repeatedly failed to thwart that country’s “Bolivarian Revolution.” Trump, in fact, is a latecomer to that ongoing effort.

When Hugo Chávez was running for president of Venezuela in 1998, he ran on a platform for social transformation, including agrarian reform and nationalization of major industries, and the use of state oil industry profits to lift the living standards of farmers and workers. U.S. President Bill Clinton’s Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, declared that the U.S. “will never allow a situation in which Chávez becomes president of Venezuela.”

Without getting into what the U.S did, openly with pronouncements from Albright or covertly, the plan to prevent a Chávez victory at that time obviously did not work. He was swept into office by the country’s voters.

The next step for the U.S. administration was to announce that it would attempt to work with Chávez for the betterment of both U.S. and Venezuelan interests.


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Ever since the Bolivarian Revolution began, soldiers have been trained to see patriotism as not just love of country, but also love of the people. They have also received extensive schooling in topics such as democracy, socialism, and Marxism. Here, in 2006, soldiers march under a poster which reads “Armed Forces and the People” marking seven years since Hugo Chavez’s election. Well over a decade later, the military remains a roadblock for U.S.-backed right-wing efforts to overthrow the government. | Gregorio Marrero / AP
In an exclusive interview with People’s World here last weekend, Carolus Wilmer, chair of the International Department of the Communist Party of Venezuela, said of the U.S. intentions at the time: “Nothing could be further from the truth. They went on a relentless campaign to corrupt Chávez, offering him all kinds of personal favors and wealth if he would stop using his immense personal popularity to push socialist and revolutionary ideas.” We interviewed Wilmer at the Avante! Festival in Portugal, a huge annual Communist cultural gathering here.

When Plan A, the attempt to corrupt, failed, the U.S. launched Plan B: A full-scale fascist coup in 2002 was engineered with the support of the U.S. State Department and carried out by a group of army generals who were less resistant to U.S. bribery than Chávez had been. With the assistance of covert U.S. “operatives,” they grabbed and imprisoned the elected president of their country and held him under lock and key.


The U.S.-backed coup was horribly executed and almost incredibly bungled because Venezuelan soldiers who the U.S. thought were backers of their coup attempt were, in fact, loyal to the Chávez government and helped him escape. Once free, the overwhelming majority of the military responded to the Chávez call to arrest the coup leaders, and the elected Bolivarian government was quickly restored. Hundreds of thousands celebrated in the streets of cities and towns across the country.

“Imagine that,” said Wilmer, “Chávez was a prisoner actually in the hands of the U.S., the most powerful country in the world, but they could not overcome the united support of the people on the one hand and the effectiveness of a patriotic military made up of workers and farmers.”

According to Wilmer, the U.S.’ attempts to effect regime change only intensified after the death of Chávez in 2013. Nicolás Maduro was elected to replace Chávez and was since re-elected but has faced continuing attacks from the U.S.

“The first of these came in a big way in 2015 when President Obama issued his executive order describing Venezuela as a major threat to U.S. security,” Wilmer explained. “What was the threat? That we would not turn over our nationally-owned oil company to the oil companies that have so much influence over the U.S. government?

“No, what they have always wanted was the wealth of Venezuela, our oil, minerals, our huge and precious bio-diversity, our geographic position.”

Wilmer said the U.S. has never really given up on the Monroe Doctrine of 1823 under which then President James Monroe declared that anything that happens in the Western Hemisphere is under the purview of the United States.

He said the protest movements opposing the Maduro government that sprang up in Venezuela starting in 2017 were motivated by some serious and legitimate economic concerns but that attempts were made, with U.S. support, to turn them into something they were not—calls for actual U.S. intervention. The sanctions imposed by the Obama administration and stepped up by Trump have hurt the country economically, he said. The drop in oil prices worldwide has also had a major effect.

“Legitimate concerns have been exploited by a variety of fascist-leaning groups,” Wilmer said. “In fact, the Trump administration’s announcement that it recognizes Juan Guaidó as the legitimate president of Venezuela is interesting because he does not have broad support in my country. He heads up a small fascist minority in the parliament. His repeated calls for a popular uprising against the Maduro government are not getting a response because even many who have problems with the Maduro government had no desire for the U.S. to come in and set up a puppet regime.”

“What we are experiencing is a crisis of capitalism. We don’t have socialism in Venezuela. The left has control of the government, but the right wing still has control of the economic power.”

Wilmer was asked why the Venezuelan military has been so supportive of the elected government of President Maduro. “It is because of their composition—they are patriotic workers and farmers—and because from the first days after the first Chávez election, everyone in the military underwent extensive education and training in democracy, socialism, and Marxism. They learned that patriotism is both love of country and love of the people. The armed forces are professional and educated defenders of the Venezuelan people. That is something that Trump and John Bolton [Trump’s national security adviser who has been calling for regime change in Venezuela] don’t get.”



Wilmer admits that there are big problems in Venezuela, though. “In the Communist Party, we do not agree with everything the government does. We would like to see a more diversified, less oil-dependent, economy. We recognize the big improvements since Chávez was elected, including in education, health, and many other areas, but we say that what we are experiencing is a crisis of capitalism. We don’t have socialism in Venezuela. The left has control of the government, but the right wing still has control of the economic power. Capitalist enterprises can raise prices without the government being able to respond. What we have is a social-democratic government with some real left tendencies, but we need to move the revolutionary process forward.”
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Trump has been trashing leading Democratic candidates, including Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, as “socialists and communists.” Privately, he worries that polls show socialism to be as popular, if not more popular, than himself. | Steven Senne / AP
Wilmer says there is a “real possibility” but “no guarantee” that the revolutionary process will actually move forward. The hopeful side of the equation, he said, is that there is a base of support for this direction: the 5,000,000 people who backed the government in the most recent elections. “These are workers and farmers with a high degree of consciousness, and they oppose U.S. intervention and want to see a socialist society.”

Wilmer said that another thing Trump does not understand is the energy and confidence international support gives to the Venezuelan people. “We are grateful for the support from U.S. peace groups and the people who held our embassy in Washington recently when the U.S. kicked out the legitimate representatives.”

He also said international support in the form of “economic aid from China and military support from Russia cannot be discounted.”

He said that despite his party’s difference with the Maduro government, it remains “totally” in support of the government’s refusal to yield power to U.S. interventionists.

Wilmer agreed that also connected to Trump’s failure to achieve regime change in Venezuela are his own problems with growing support for socialism back in the USA.

There are reports in the media that Trump has told close advisers that “socialism” might not be so easy to beat in his own 2020 re-election bid. In a recent article in the Daily Beast, Asawin Suebsaeng and Sam Stein reported sources close to Trump have quoted the president as telling them socialism may be appealing to people because even many of those who like him (Trump) “like free stuff better.”

Despite Trump’s trashing of Democratic presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders as “communists and socialists,” polls in the U.S. show socialism is as popular, if not more popular, than Trump himself.

https://orinocotribune.com/why-trump-ha ... -venezuela
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Re: Venezuela

Post by blindpig » Wed Sep 18, 2019 8:48 pm

US imposes New Sanctions Targeting Venezuela’s Food Program
The Treasury Department has targeted people and companies involved in imports for Venezuela’s CLAP program.

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The subsidized CLAP food program reaches 6 million Venezuelan households. (Gloria La Riva, Liberation photo)

By Lucas Koerner
Sep 18th 2019 at 4.14pm

Philadelphia, September 18, 2019 (venezuelanalysis.com) – The Trump administration announced new sanctions Monday targeting three individuals and sixteen companies allegedly tied to Venezuela’s subsidized CLAP food distribution program.

The measure freezes all assets belonging to Amir Luis Saab, Luis Alberto Saab and David Nicolas Rubio, as well as those of all entities in which they have 50 or more percent stake.

According to a press statement by the US Treasury Department, Amir and Alberto Saab are brothers and business partners of Colombian national Alex Nain Saab, who was sanctioned in July for allegedly profiting from “overvalued contracts” with the Venezuelan government’s food program and other state sectors.

David Rubio, for his part, is a relative and business partner of Alvaro Pulido and Emmanuel Rubio, who were likewise sanctioned by the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) in July in relation to the purported corruption scheme.

“This action increases pressure on Alex Saab and his network, which have profited off the hunger of the Venezuelan people and facilitate systemic corruption in Venezuela,” said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

The new sanctions also block sixteen entities with alleged links to the three men, Alex Saab, and/orAlvaro Pulido. The companies are based in Colombia, Panama, and Italy.

The Local Production and Supply Committees (CLAPs) form a national food distribution network partnering the Maduro government with local communal councils. Around six million households are estimated to benefit from the program, or more than sixty percent of the population. Most of the food distributed is imported, rendering the program vulnerable to OFAC sanctions targeting private import-export firms.

Over the past two years, the Trump administration has imposed various rounds of harsh economic sanctions targeting oil, mining, and financial transactions, including most recently a sweeping embargo prohibiting all dealings with the Venezuelan state. The measures have also forced the Venezuelan government to look for increasingly elaborate ways to secure imports, including gold swaps, which analysts warn creates new avenues for corruption.

The Maduro government has yet to issue a statement concerning the latest sanctions.

https://venezuelanalysis.com/news/14659
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Re: Venezuela

Post by blindpig » Fri Sep 20, 2019 2:02 pm

Reuters Can’t Find US Critics to Question Amazon’s Anti-Venezuela Propaganda
Analyst Joe Emersberger looks at Amazon's new anti-Venezuela TV series and the media complicity surrounding it.

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New season of Amazon's "Jack Ryan" reinforces Washington's regime-change narrative. (Screenshot)

By Joe Emersberger - FAIR
Sep 19th 2019 at 2.59pm

A line from the trailer for Jack Ryan, an Amazon TV drama whose second season streams on November 1, is: “A nuclear Venezuela…. You will not hear about it on the news, ’cause we’ll already be dead.”

The trailer implies that Venezuela is going through the “greatest humanitarian crisis in history” because it buys weapons from “the Russians.” Of course. “It would fit a pattern,” says the Jack Ryan character, a CIA operative played by John Krasinski, who’s better known as Jim Halpert, the likeable paper salesman in The Office.

My favorite reaction to the premise of this upcoming Jack Ryan season came from US historian Gary Alexander:

No matter how cynical you might be about propagandistic American media, you are not prepared for how much watching this trailer is like snorting 100% pure John Bolton.

Common Dreams’ Eoin Higgins (9/5/19) put together a nice roundup of the outrage and ridicule the trailer provoked on Twitter from independent journalists and others based in the US: Abby Martin, Adam Johnson, Alex Rubinstein, Chase Madar and Sunjeev Berry.

That’s far from an exhaustive list, but Reuters “missed” all of it. The news wire published an article the next day (9/6/19) headlined, “Amazon‘s Jack Ryan TV Series Lambasted for Promoting Venezuela ‘Invasion.’” The article stated:

Venezuelan Culture Minister Ernesto Villegas took to Twitter on Thursday evening to describe the show as: “Crass war propaganda disguised as entertainment.”

Villegas was the only person quoted or cited in the piece as a critic of the trailer. Are we to believe a Maduro government official is the only person Reuters could find on Twitter who “lambasted” the premise of the show?

The Reuters article on the upcoming Jack Ryan season also said that the

action/adventure video game Mercenaries 2, released in 2008, was set in a fictionalized war-torn Venezuela. That fueled outrage among Venezuela’s ruling Socialist Party, who called it an apology for US-backed violence in the region.

Again, it’s apparently beyond Reuters to cite anti-war voices in the US who were disgusted by the game. Chuck Kaufman of the US-based Alliance for Global Justice said that the game was

capitalizing on negative and inaccurate US press stories about Venezuela and its leader, Hugo Chavez, in order to make a quick buck. It’s another piece of anti-Venezuelan propaganda that serves only the US military, pure and simple.

Unlike Kaufman, Reuters predictably exonerated the corporate news media in its explanation of why murderous fantasies about Venezuela appeal to the US Entertainment industry:

The country’s socialist politics, rampant crime and open confrontation with the United States has made it attractive to the US entertainment industry.

Incidentally, Mathew Alford and Tom Secker in their book National Security Cinema insightfully analyzed how the entertainment industry is frequently co-opted by US military and intelligence services. So those are two UK-based writers for Reuters to ignore.

In covering the Jack Ryan trailer, Reuters also said nothing about Amazon’s lucrative CIA links (FAIR.org, 8/6/13). US anti-war activist (and FAIR associate) Norman Solomon wrote about them in 2014, and asked, “In view of Amazon’s eagerness to dump the WikiLeaks site at the behest of US government officials, what else might the Amazon hierarchy be willing to do?”

Produce incredibly vile pro-war TV is one answer to Solomon’s question, but Reuters also does its part for empire on a regular basis.

I’ve written before about how Reuters consistently reports the murderous impact of US economic sanctions on Venezuela as a mere allegation by the Maduro government. For a month after US economists Mark Weisbrot and Jeffery Sachs published a study (CEPR, 4/25/19) linking US sanctions to tens of thousands of deaths, Reuters stuck with the “Maduro says” formulation, before finally mentioning the study in one article (6/9/19). Reuters has consistently reverted to the “Maduro says” approach since then—even the day after it finally mentioned the Weisbrot/Sachs study (Reuters, 6/10/19). In fact, the Jack Ryan article said “Maduro blames” Venezuela’s dire situation “on US sanctions that have hobbled the country’s oil industry.”

The “Maduro says” approach has made Reuters flirt with wild conspiracy theory at times. Last year a drone dropped bombs on a military parade where Maduro spoke. This year, Reuters (8/14/19) said the incident is one that Maduro “describes as an assassination attempt.”

This technique not only invisibilizes principled US-based dissent from Washington’s aggression, but also associates anti-war and anti-imperial views with governments it has helped Washington vilify. This is not limited to Venezuela.

For example, an article about John Bolton’s recent firing (Reuters, 9/11/19) says that “North Korea has denounced Bolton as a ‘war maniac’ and ‘human scum.’” Do you have to be a North Korean official to think Bolton, an architect of the Iraq War that killed at least 500,000 Iraqis, is a despicable person? Reuters couldn’t find a quote from peace activists in the US expressing revulsion towards Bolton?

RT America (9/6/19) did its own article about the Jack Ryan trailer, featuring several US anti-war voices—thereby showing that the US political culture, beyond the “mainstream” at least, is not the moral and intellectual wasteland you might think it is if you rely on sources like Reuters. Of course, if (aside from small independent media) the only place one can go to hear US critics of US propaganda is an outlet affiliated with another US enemy—Russia, RT’s sponsor—then the propaganda system wins either way.

The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Venezuelanalysis editorial staff.

https://venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/14661
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Re: Venezuela

Post by blindpig » Mon Sep 30, 2019 1:09 pm

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Colombia Admits Fabricating at Least Four Pieces of Evidence Against Venezuela
September 29, 2019 orinocotribune 0 Comments Drug Trafficking, Ivan Duque, lies, no shame, paraco, paramilitary, UN, UNGA, Venezuela
Colombia’s government fabricated at least four pieces of evidence in an attempt to tie Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro to Colombian guerrillas, French news agency AFP reported Friday.

A spokesperson of the Defense Ministry called AFP to apologize for the use of three of the agency’s images in a report presented by President Ivan Duque to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Thursday, the news agency said in a press statement.

In a telephone call on 27 September 2019, a spokesman for the Ministry of Defense apologized to AFP for the use of at least three AFP photographs in the dossier, which has not been made public in its entirety. In addition, the source acknowledged that the three AFP photographs had been taken in Colombia and not in Venezuela.

AFP
The AFP images used to sustain Duque’s claim that the Venezuelan government was “harboring narcoterrorists” were taken in the Colombian provinces of Choco, Norte de Santander and Guaviare.

Newspaper El Colombiano had already demonstrated that a fourth image of alleged guerrilla activity in Venezuela was in fact taken in the southwestern province of Cauca.

The battered president, who had published two of the images as “proof” of Maduro’s alleged ties to guerrillas on Twitter, said Friday that the evidence proven false by El Colombiano was “anecdotal” and “contextual.”

“Imbecile” Duque “embarrassing”: Maduro
Venezuela’s government was quick to take advantage of Duque’s public humiliation.

“The imbecile Ivan Duque went and presented a document and the images are all fake as they would be,” said President Nicolas Maduro, adding that the Colombian president’s performance at the UN was “embarrasing.”

Venezuela’s Vice-President Delcy Rodriguez told the UN General Assembly on Friday that her country has “specific and concise” evidence that the country harboring terrorists is Colombia.

Furthermore, the foreign minister claimed her country was facing “imminent aggression” by the United States.

Rodriguez said that she, like Duque, would surrender her alleged evidence to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.


US and Colombia isolated

The fabricated evidence given to the United Nations adds to alleged misinformation provided to the Organization of American States (OAS) by Foreign Minister Carlos Holmes Trujillo.

The minister was forced to retract his unsubstantiated claim made at the OAS that a reintegrating FARC rebel leader took part in alleged activity of dissident FARC leader “Ivan Marquez” in Venezuela.

Meanwhile, Venezuelan authorities and local media have released evidence that confirm claims Duque colluded with drug traffickers in a failed February operation to force American aid trucks across the border.

The Colombian government’s fabricated evidence to prove Maduro is “harboring narcoterrorists” and the evidence indicating Duque and US authorities worked with drug traffickers to oust Maduro have isolated the two allies.

With the exception of the US and Colombia, the majority of nations in the Americas and the European Union want Venezuela’s government and opposition to negotiate an end to their country’s crisis and restore democracy in the South American country.

Russia and China, who support Maduro, have also expressed their support for talks.



Source URL: Colombia Reports

https://orinocotribune.com/colombia-adm ... -venezuela
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Re: Venezuela

Post by blindpig » Sat Oct 05, 2019 2:17 pm

Venezuela increases oil exports to Cuba despite US sanctionsCC0 / Pixabay

Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA orders increased exports to Cuba to alleviate fuel shortages on the island, despite US sanctions, Reuters reported.

In its desire to stop the arrival of oil in Cuba, the US imposed new sanctions on four maritime companies and ships that transport Venezuelan oil to the island.

For his part, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza said his country will continue working with Cuba, while Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel said that Washington is trying to implement a "brutal and genocidal" policy to tighten the blockage and clog oil shipments.
This week, two PDVSA ships set sail for Cuba, while another nine wait to load crude oil and fuel, according to Reuters. So far in September, the Venezuelan company has exported 119,000 barrels a day of crude and fuel to Cuba, which represents a significant increase compared to the 70,000 bpd in August.

After the US imposed sanctions on several shipping companies for transporting oil to Cuba, the country faces the lack of suppliers . The situation has especially reduced purchases from countries other than Venezuela, according to Reuters data.

To transport oil to Cuba, PDVSA uses a large part of its own fleet.

"He wants to use almost the entire PDVSA fleet. It is a strategy to continue exporting to Cuba, as oil operators do not want to enter Venezuelan ports for fear of sanctions and even less in Cuba," said one of the sources .

Venezuela began sending oil to Cuba in 2000 in the framework of a bilateral pact signed by the presidents of that time, Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro. The oil supply was on average 90,000 bpd until 2016, at which time it began to decline due to the fall in production and sanctions to Venezuela.

https://mundo.sputniknews.com/economia/ ... s-de-eeuu/

Google Translator

*******************************************

This is what Cuba pays for Venezuela's oil (and that the US does not tolerate)© AP Photo / Ariana Cubillos

00:05 09.04.2019

The US crusade against Cuba and Venezuela is increasingly evident: this time Washington pointed to oil shipments from Caracas to Havana in its last round of sanctions to pressure President Nicolás Maduro. In addition, it would cut a crucial supply for the island and, according to experts, can "kill two birds with one stone."

US Vice President Mike Pence announced on April 6 sanctions on 34 vessels operated or owned by Venezuelan oil company PDVSA and two companies and a vessel that delivered oil to Cuba in February and March.

From Havana, Pedro Martínez, deputy general manager of Radio Habana Cuba, told Pputnik the announcement of Pence is one more aggression against the island and an additional violation of international law.
"They are trying to kill two birds with one stone: hit the Venezuelan economy further and at the same time affect the supply of oil to Cuba," he said.

According to Martínez, the shipment of oil to the Government of Díaz-Canel has been backed by agreements between both countries for years, "and of course it is positive for Venezuelans and Cubans."

In October 2000, the former presidents and political leaders Fidel Castro and Hugo Chávez signed an Integral Cooperation Agreement that stipulated by the Cuban side the support and cooperation with social services and programs for the social development of Venezuelans.

In return, Caracas would provide its oil pair, always according to world market prices, according to the site of the Cuban embassy in Venezuela. Thus, doctors, pedagogues and other Cuban professionals contributed their work and knowledge in health and educational missions, among others, to pay the price of the fuel exchanged.

In addition: Russian oil company Gazprom Neft does not plan to abandon the Junín 6 project in Venezuela

Since then, the agreement is updated every year, when the monetary amount is required for the value of the services and the specifications, regulations and modalities in which they will be delivered.

However, for the US, Venezuelan oil is one of the pretexts to affect these two nations, a more than clear interest in the current situation. For example, according to Nicolás Maduro, attacks on Venezuela's power grid were launched from Houston and other cities in allied countries. On the other hand, the limitation of the trade in hydrocarbons between the two strategic partners once again puts the full weight of the American country on Cubans.

Martínez explained how the sanctions announced by Pence "are not a novelty" in the blockade landscape that Cuba has been experiencing for more than 50 years, the longest commercial siege in the history of mankind.

"These types of sanctions are contained in the US blockade against Cuba and are part of extraterritorial measures against ships that touch Cuban ports: it is nothing new, they are part of the aggression package of the different US administrations that have applied Cuba to what throughout these years, "the journalist recalled.

He also mentioned that "they reflect the impotence of the US that has not been able to prevent the presence of Cuba, Russia, or China in Venezuela, in addition to the Government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador [in Mexico], which has not lent itself to making viable the aggression against Venezuelans, "he said.
He also indicated that they are part of the race towards the US presidential elections in 2020, which is based on the entire White House trying to earn merit among Florida voters for the re-election of President Donald Trump, "but Cuba is a tough bone of roer, "Martínez said.

https://mundo.sputniknews.com/politica/ ... venezuela/

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Re: Venezuela

Post by blindpig » Mon Oct 07, 2019 11:35 am

Grassroots Communication Fights Back! A Conversation with Jessica Pernia
A founding member of Tatuy TV speaks about what it means to be a group of revolutionary journalists in hard times.

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Jessica Pernia of Tatuy TV. (Venezuelanalysis)

By Cira Pascual Marquina – Venezuelanalysis.com
Oct 3rd 2019 at 7.52pm

Jessica Pernia is a founding member of Tatuy TV, a community television station in the Venezuelan city of Merida. The Tatuy TV team, which is committed to defending Chavez’s communal project, produces a variety of audiovisual and written reports on the struggles of working-class Venezuelans. In this interview Pernia, also a journalism professor at the Bolivarian University, takes a critical look at the history of alternative communication in the Bolivarian Process and reflects on Tatuy’s efforts to address Venezuela’s current multi-crisis.

Tatuy TV was born twelve years ago, at the height of the community television movement and in a context where Chavez was assuming the role of society’s great communicator and pedagogue. Since then, that remarkably democratic movement of community media has disappeared. Instead, we have an institutionalized media that is useful in the anti-imperialist struggle but has big limitations when it comes to telling the story of popular struggles. Can we talk about this process, beginning with the fascinating early wave of popular communication and going up to the present?

Indeed, there was a boom in community media beginning around 2003 that was encouraged in part by a legal framework that promoted popular communication. Those laws, together with public financing mechanisms, generated an exponential growth of media and fostered new efforts in popular communication. However, it must be acknowledged that this boom did not bring about progress in a qualitative sense. That is to say, many community media outlets were created, and they had access to resources, but their impact on popular subjectivity and social organization left much to be desired.

Comandante Chavez was very discerning with regard to this issue, and he tried to promote a revolutionary communication system, but it didn’t take off.

At the risk of being too hard on ourselves, I would say that the present situation constitutes incontrovertible proof that the rentier mentality[*] also penetrated the spheres of popular communication. On the one hand, many of the community media projects became dependent on institutional leadership and financing. On the other hand, the rentier attitude expressed itself in the perverse practice of consuming more resources than those produced. This happened with community media, where a community radio station might end up broadcasting another radio station all day, without producing its own content, and without accompanying processes of popular organization (meanwhile receiving funds, which sometimes ended up in the pockets of the person in charge of the station.)

I don’t think that institutional financing is bad in itself, but if it ends up sterilizing popular processes then it should be criticized. After all, the disappearance of a good part of the community media is unfortunately due to their no longer being able to capture income. We still have a lot to do!

There was a lot of money, and a great deal of equipment was distributed. There were also some important advances in developing legislation [for community media], and especially a lot of enthusiasm. But more was needed. It's difficult to admit, but we have to face it.

After twelve years – and I’m going to be self-critical – Tatuy TV has its share of responsibility in the waning of the community television movement, and the movement of popular and alternative media in general. However, we shouldn’t forget the responsibility, too, of the many institutions, directing boards and coordinating bodies that Chavez created in the government, as well as that of the political parties, the [Great] Patriotic Pole, and the untold number of other mechanisms of integration, attention, and organization of the revolution’s communicational project.

That a revolutionary process would [now] devote such a marginal, even minuscule role to popular media and such a trivial role to public media – while permitting private channels to be so aggressive – speaks for itself.


The Bolivarian revolution once had a sweeping grassroots communication movement, but today Tatuy TV is the only community television station that is still standing. Tatuy TV produces an impressive series of shorts called Chavez, the Radical, and it also works to give voice the struggles of the popular movement and people involved in the communes. Can you tell us about how Tatuy TV conceives of its role in communication?

I am not totally sure that we are the only television station standing or what it means to remain standing in the middle of this crisis. A case in point is that for more than four years we have been out of the radioelectric spectrum, off the air. It could be that other community TVs are still transmitting. What has disappeared, without a doubt, is the organization around community media and their contribution to the battle of ideas.

The truth is that as far as Tatuy is concerned, we have tried to survive without losing sight of the horizon. Since we can’t transmit on the radioelectric spectrum – because we don’t have the equipment – we migrated to the electronic format, to social networks. Since there is no funding available to support our initiatives, then we look for donations, we take on odd jobs, we organize ourselves so that there is no lack of food for all of us… and when there is no electricity, then we engage in conversation and debate, we sing, we play sports, we practice photography… and yes, people are leaving the country, that is true, but we are staying put here!

We have debated a great deal about what to do in the midst of the economic, social, and political crisis that we are facing, and we have reached the conclusion that our worst enemy is neither the crisis itself, nor the opposition, nor the government – even though they all have their share of responsibility. Our worst enemy is depoliticization.

Dammit! When a revolutionary organization perceives that there is no interest in education, debate, political organization, that is really scary!

What comes after the loss of faith? Fascism! For that reason, we have to throw ourselves into the project of re-politicization, and that means recovering the spaces of struggle and organization that we abandoned. That's what we’ve collectively decided! Let’s go back in time! What's the problem? If it is necessary to make cinema forums, then we will do them. If it’s time to do poetry festivals, then it will be festivals. And yes, of course, we will organize workshops and more workshops.

However, the most important thing is to never abandon the people who are themselves struggling. That should never happen. It would be unforgivable. It is now the time to be there first, on the spot even before the protagonists arrive, so that we can turn on the videocamera (lights, camera, action!). Representing reality with a view to transforming it – that’s our mantra and our praxis.

For us, it's important to be in the trenches as a people, to accompany the class’ struggles, to show the sacrifices that are being made, to raise morale during combat... and that must always be done by pointing to the strategic horizon: the project that Chavez developed.

For us, it’s vital to turn Tatuy into a communication tool in the service of socialism and the communal state. We put our all into accompanying campesino, working-class, communal, feminist, and student struggles, and to making their voices heard in the ideological battle that is being waged.

Chavez, the Radical is extremely important in this battle because it allows us to put emphasis on the strategic horizon while reflecting on tactics. It also helps us to point out deviations in the revolutionary process. Chavez, for his part, was radically clear.


In any revolutionary process, there is an internal class struggle. In the Bolivarian Revolution, this struggle was particularly intense in the early years, but in recent times it has erupted again. Today the main struggle is between a strong sector within the government that is pushing for a neoliberal capitalist restoration while the people are in constant resistance against imperialist aggressions and the liberalization of the economy. How do you, as communicators, address these kinds of struggles?

Look, we know that Chavismo is not uniform. There are forces in conflict within it, and we understand that reformism has made headway and assumed leadership positions that are putting at risk not only the socialist project, but also the very existence of the people who are having to pay, as always, for the consequences of the crisis.

We are thus struggling on two fronts. First, there is a battle against reformism, which is pushing us into the neoliberal abyss, sacrificing the people while doing lip service to Chavista discourse. Then, and simultaneously, there is a battle against the bourgeoisie and imperialism, which have both screwed us up over the course of history.

A little while ago, together with Venezuelanalysis, we made an audiovisual investigation into the imperial aggressions we are suffering: more than 150 unilateral sanctions against our nation! This is no game, and we demand that they end, but one thing cannot serve as a ploy to [distract us from] the other, so we have to fight on both flanks.


Tatuy is not only a media project committed to popular power, but it is also a political organization. Can you say something about how a communication project like Tatuy ends up becoming a unit of political organization? (Interestingly, this is something that Lenin proposed very early, when he founded Bolshevik Party newspaper Iskra and encouraged the formation of cells that would be in charge of its production and distribution, thereby forming an organizational network that could span the nation.)

The channel was just an excuse for organization and political work! In the beginning, when Tatuy was a traveling cinema club, our slogan was: agitate, inform, organize! It was a good Leninist slogan that helped us to sketch our project. We always considered Tatuy TV, the television station, as what it is: un medio [Spanish word meaning both communication medium and means]. We never considered it an end in itself. Maybe that was also what helped us to adapt quickly to the new circumstances.

The goal is socialism. Everything else – including the collective discovery of reality, the new forms of solidarity that are emerging, the grasping of new ideas and the multiplication of that knowledge, and the making of knowledge into a tool for social organization – all that is the mission that, in terms of socialist communication, a collective like us must carry out. It’s the pedagogical project of revolutionaries. That's all.


NOTE
[*] The term “rentier mentality” refers to the impact of Venezuela’s rentier economy on its culture, which is generally understood to generate clientelar relationships and a society organized around getting access to resources coming from the rent.

https://venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/14680

I am uneasy with criticism of a revolution suffering chronic crisis but to pretend there is absolute solidarity when there isn't is dangerous too. Still, a whiff of petty booj there.
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Re: Venezuela

Post by blindpig » Sat Oct 12, 2019 1:27 pm

The Crisis of Rentier Capitalism in Venezuela: A Conversation with Oscar Figuera
The secretary-general of the Venezuelan Communist Party calls for “unity within diversity” in the Chavista movement.

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Oscar Figuera is secretary-general of the Venezuelan Communist Party. (Venezuelanalysis)

By Cira Pascual Marquina – Venezuelanalysis.com
Oct 10th 2019 at 11.51pm

Oscar Figuera is secretary-general of the Venezuelan Communist Party (henceforth PCV or Communist Party). As a 17-year-old metal worker in Aragua state, he began union organizing with the Venezuelan Worker’s Unitary Central (CUTV, the PCV’s union). In 1986 he became Secretary-General of the PCV union. Figuera was elected to Venezuela's National Assembly for the period 2016 to 2020. In this exclusive interview, Figuera presents his party’s case for how Venezuela should attempt to overcome its economic and social crisis.

How do you analyze the situation of the Venezuelan working class and the pueblo in general? What do you think are the roots of the crisis.

For us, it is important to begin by characterizing Venezuelan society. For the Communist Party, what has entered into a serious crisis in Venezuela is the capitalist, dependent mode of production which is characterized by a rentier model of accumulation: we find the roots of the catastrophic crisis that we are currently facing in that model.

I should add that we are paying the consequences of recent mistakes: the model of accumulation wasn’t transformed during the Bolivarian Process. It wasn’t transformed with President Chavez and much less so now, during the presidency of Nicolas Maduro.

This, in turn, brings us to another question: why does the PCV consider that Venezuela, since Chavez’s arrival to power, is in a process of national liberation? To that, we would say that we considered that Chavez’s program brought forth one of the key elements to breaking with dependency and building a new Latin American and Caribbean system: an organized effort to build a united bloc of our continent’s peoples.

This is a line of work which we historically promoted and which is, from our perspective, fundamental, if we are to advance toward breaking with imperialist domination and the longstanding dependency of our region. We adopted the project put forth by President Chavez from a tactical and strategic perspective.

Actually, we go as far as saying that, from our point of view (and we said this when President Chavez made the proposal), Venezuela’s [economic] development isn’t mature enough to move toward socialism. We understand that when Chavez began to speak of socialism, his call fit with a particular political scenario, but it didn’t correspond with the development of the country’s productive forces (what we generally call the objective conditions), nor with the subjective conditions of the Venezuelan people. So, again, we are where we are because there is a profound crisis of the capitalist and dependent rentier model which wasn’t transformed in the twenty plus years of the Bolivarian Process.

Another key to understanding our support of Hugo Chavez is the issue of oil sovereignty. With Chavez, the Venezuelan state was able to control the nation’s main source of wealth: oil. Before Chavez, ninety percent of the oil profits were expropriated by large transnationals. With Chavez, part of the oil revenues, which has been the backbone of Venezuela’s economy for the past one hundred years, was put at the service of attending to the social, cultural, and political needs of the pueblo.

However, Venezuela didn’t advance in other aspects which are key to building a sovereign nation, such as the development of productive forces. Chavez did initiate a politicization of the pueblo, which became actively engaged. Chavez’s era politicized the Venezuelan people and that is, in part, one of the keys to our people’s resilience today. With Chavez, there was an important leap in understanding that US imperialism, its European allies, and the national oligarchical forces aligned with international capital are our fundamental enemies.

How does the PCV analyze the Bolivarian Government’s direction in recent years? Some celebrate Nicolas Maduro’s leadership – he has defeated coups d'état, won elections, and resisted the onslaught of imperialism – whereas others criticize his pro-capitalist solutions to the crisis: privatizations, cuts in social spending, elimination of workers’ rights, and so on.

Since early 2019, as an outcome of the PCV’s XVII Plenary, our position has been that the policies pushed forth by Maduro’s government are liberal ones, and this means that the weight of the crisis is borne by the poorest. This was ratified in our XIV Plenary just a couple of months ago.

As I mentioned before, at the root of the crisis is the model of accumulation – that, combined with the imperialist aggression. But we believe that liberal [economic] policies are not going to bring us out of the crisis.

Within the party, there is an ongoing debate about the precise characterization of the government’s economic tendency. Is it neoliberal? The answer to that is still pending, but we believe that the measures that have been implemented privilege capitalist investment, national and particularly foreign. In that sense, we have witnessed a deregularization in the sphere of labor, and a spectacular fall in the price of the labor force, large-scale layoffs, reforms, etc.

All this is done, as I mentioned, with one aim: encouraging investment. That, however, is not going to happen for one very simple reason: foreign investment only comes to Venezuela when the price of oil is high, and it comes here with the sole objective of directly profiting from the wealth generated by oil sales. Capitalists have never developed this country, they have never invested a penny. And now that the oil prices are low, all that we can expect them to do is to come here to profit from our gold, coltan, and the other strategic minerals that are found in our territory.

So instead of liberalizing [the economy] and seeking foreign investment, which will not work, Maduro’s government should focus on attending to the needs of the people with social programs, while looking for a revolutionary way out of the crisis of the capitalist rentier model.

We are against the route of class-conciliation, which privileges and gives advantages to foreign investment. All this is particularly problematic when that route is wrapped up in a socialist discourse that has no connection with reality… We believe that that socialist discourse hurts the masses because it distorts our reality. Tragically, many are rejecting socialism because they identify what is happening now with the project, and others take it to mean that socialism demands a great level of sacrifice. Of course, it is true that socialism demands sacrifice. Socialism requires a great deal of sacrifice because it confronts the forces of capital, but socialism is not only that, it’s also about building something new, and that perspective is nowhere to be found in the present.

In addition to addressing the people’s urgent needs, which is something that the government must do, we also argue for the centrality of the working class and the role of the campesinos and the communards in the solution to the crisis. Should we attempt to come out of the current crisis together with transnational capital? Should we let the bureaucratic perspective prevail? Or is the path out of the current crisis in the hands of those who produce with their hands? We cast our lot with the latter.

Now, one could ask, given our conditions, isn’t it necessary to pursue some alliances with sectors of capital? Yes. We are not inflexible. We understand that the state has no resources to jumpstart production, so some concessions must be made. Venezuela has to look for allies, but seeking alliances with transnationals is not the way to go. They will not bring investment and will bring foreign interests along. Instead, Venezuela should seek investment from sectors that accept that we have a process of national liberation and that the construction of an autonomous and independent model is one of our key goals.

In any case, the role of the working class, the role of campesinos, the role of communards must be brought into play, not in merely discursive terms but with real participation in the process of recovery of the productive apparatus. That is why we have to build a broad anti-imperialist alliance, with all sectors, including the government of President Nicolas Maduro. All those committed to social change should be brought on board, including the patriotic capitalist sector.

After all, we are in the midst of an inter-imperialist dispute between world powers. This confrontation is, actually, at the core of the aggression against Venezuela. The world powers don’t want us to establish alliances with China, Russia, and India, because those alliances are key to breaking with our dependent situation. We have to move in the direction of those alliances, and we have to, in parallel, build the union of Latin American and Caribbean countries, which is the only means to weaken imperialism’s chains.

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Nicomedes Abreu Campesino Current, the PCV’s campesino front, in an assembly. (Corriente Campesina Clasista Nicomedes Abreu). (Tribuna Popular)

There has recently been dialogue between the government and some sectors of the opposition. These talks took place without the participation of any Chavista organizations, except the PSUV. Additionally, and according to your party’s own statements, the PSUV has broken the PSUV-PCV Unity Agreement to Confront Crisis of Venezuelan Capitalism (February 26, 2018), which was the basis for the PCV’s support of Nicolas Maduro’s 2018 candidacy. Do you consider the PSUV to be capable of listening to the popular movement and Chavista left?

The PSUV is not listening to the diverse voices, which includes other patriotic and revolutionary forces. There is one simple reason for that: for those of us on the left, it is very difficult to separate ourselves from the alliance with the government and the PSUV, because we have one common enemy – our main enemy – which is US imperialism, its European allies, and the internal right-wing.

Given this fact, the government and the PSUV think they do not need to discuss anything with us. They act unilaterally. It is a serious mistake, since construction benefits from collective participation. The working class, the campesinos, and the communards, we all have analyses and proposals that can help bring Venezuela out of the crisis.

It could be that the government or the PSUV don’t share the views or proposals that come from the popular camp. Within the PSUV there are different ideological currents, including social democrats, social Christians, and even liberals. However, the political leadership should understand that we are in a diverse alliance (“unity within diversity”), and this requires spaces of collective construction.

Additionally, the contradictions that arise should not be understood as a problem. Much the opposite, contradiction can be constructive. The problem is not that there may be contradictions inside the movement; the problem is how we deal with them! If contradictions are dealt with badly, that can produce ruptures, and in a moment like ours, fractures weaken our collective project.

Since the PSUV understands that we will not ally ourselves with the right or with imperialism, they close spaces for common construction. They act in an arrogant manner that (even if it doesn’t lead to rupture) produces confrontations. That is what is happening now.

In our most recent Plenary session, we developed the slogan “confront, separate, and accumulate forces to advance towards the construction of the working class, campesino, communal, and popular force” [“confrontar, deslindar y acumular fuerzas para avanzar en la construcción de una fuerza obrera, campesina, comunera y popular”]. The idea is to move toward an ample anti-imperialist alliance to confront and defeat the external aggression while also confronting internal reformist and submissive currents which, with a false revolutionary discourse, are developing alliances that go against the process of national liberation and whose perspective is the opposite of the socialist one.

And what is the PCV’s approach to the recent dialogues?

The most recent dialogues have led to an agreement with one sector of the opposition. We believe that [the idea of dialoguing] was correct, and these dialogues are important because they show the world that the ultra-right opposition is not the only one in our country. However, that agreement was built without the participation of other sectors [of Chavismo]. That has led to a situation that isn’t easy to navigate.

One of the agreements was that representatives of the Patriotic Pole would be incorporated into the National Assembly. However, the Communist Party has decided to not incorporate itself into that organ. [Our reasons are:] first, that an explanation hasn’t been given to us as to what the tactic would be in that space, and, second, that the National Assembly continues to be in contempt [of the law], and it is the key tool of imperialist aggression in our country. The National Assembly is a body that does not recognize other public powers, including Maduro’s presidency, and our participation there would lead to creating more confusion among the people. Our presence would legitimate a tool that is in the service of counterrevolutionary conspiracy.

When faced with this dilemma, we decided to not incorporate ourselves into the National Assembly, although this is an issue still on the table and it will be debated soon in the XV Plenary [session of our party]. Frankly, our understanding is that the National Constitutive Assembly should have taken forceful action when Juan Guaido, who is the president of the National Assembly, proclaimed himself president. The National Assembly is part of a conspiracy and should be dissolved.

Now, if the PSUV were to explain to us that there is a route to overcome the conspirative character of the National Assembly, them we might well reincorporate ourselves to the space, following an internal debate.

There have been new forms of protest in recent years: protests that do not seek regime change, but rather solutions to concrete demands in the face of serious problems. These range from people protesting for gas and water to campesinos demanding justice and protection from landowners. How do you understand this new phenomenon?

Emanating from the popular and patriotic movement and from those sectors committed to transforming Venezuelan society, there is a growing tendency to stage legitimate protests. These protests no longer come from the right, but rather from the popular revolutionary movement, from the force that has come to be known as Chavismo. They put forth demands but also proposals that have to do with labor policies, agrarian, and campesino policies, and so on. These protests share one concern: the course of the Bolivarian Process and the living conditions of the people.

The Communist Party believes that it is important to bring together legitimate grievances, to create a nation-wide front that will stand firm when faced with imperialism but will also confront the government’s promotion of liberal policies.

That is our aim in promoting the National Struggle Front of the Working Class [Frente Nacional de Lucha de la Clase Trabajadora]. This front is not an appendix of the Communist Party. We are just one factor inside it. There are Trotskyist sectors there, and there are sectors from the PSUV’s bases. Actually, they are the majority.

We are also promoting the work of the Nicomedes Abreu Campesino Current [Corriente Campesina Clasista Nicomedes Abreu], trying to work with diverse communal actors, among them El Maizal Commune and other communes that have truly important work but are not under PCV leadership. We believe that we have to come together in a bloc with these communal organizations, because they are instances of self-government that question the bureaucratic conception of power.

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A PCV march, with a banner reading “Let the labor laws be put into effect! Let’s put an end to subcontracting and precarious labor!” (Tribuna Popular)

Finally, in the face of the imperialist aggressions and the drifting of the government toward “reformist” or even “liberal” position, what is the role of internationalist solidarity with the Bolivarian Process?

The Communist Party has a line of work toward fostering solidarity, and we do this with thorough presentation of what is going on here when we travel abroad. To the forces of the left, to the communist parties and other organizations, we do not hide the contradictions that we are facing – the complexities of the process and the tendencies that confront one another –, but we always make it clear that our main enemy is imperialism. We struggle inside the process, but when faced with imperialism, we are unified and disciplined. Thus, we explain [the complexities of what is going on inside], but we also demand solidarity.

If US imperialism, its European allies, and the continental right put their hands on Venezuela, the situation will resemble the one at the end of the 1980s with the fall of the Soviet Union and the East bloc. That was a very hard blow to revolutionary forces worldwide. Even though the problems we face here are huge, Venezuela continues to be a flagship in the anti-imperialist struggle. We need a Venezuela that can hold its ground, while we struggle within.

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Anti-imperialist rally in Caracas, with Oscar Figuera in the middle. (Tribuna Popular)

https://venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/14687

Solid. Masduro should listen, but can he?
Even an entire society, a nation, or all simultaneously existing societies taken together, are not owners of the earth. They are simply its possessors, its beneficiaries, and have to bequeath it in an improved state to succeeding generations

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