Category: Venezuela
Why Trump’s Foreign Policy May Result in 25 ‘Chernobyls’ in Asia-Pacific
| September 22, 2017 | 7:25 pm | Cuba, Donald Trump, DPRK, Iran, Venezuela | No comments
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Why Trump’s Foreign Policy May Result in 25 ‘Chernobyls’ in Asia-Pacific

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The US’ foreign policy may lead to a nuclear nightmare in Asia Pacific, compared to which the Fukushima disaster is a “firecracker,” an expert told Sputnik, adding that in his UN speech Donald Trump had repeatedly contradicted himself by calling upon nations to maintain their sovereignty while at the same time threatening to destroy North Korea.

US President Donald Trump’s threat to “totally destroy” North Korea in case the US is “forced to defend itself or its allies” means a potential atomic Armageddon for the Korean Peninsula, Konstantin Sivkov, a Russian military analyst and president of the Academy for Geopolitical Problems, told Sputnik China.

“We must keep in mind what a strike on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) may result in,” Sivkov said. “If the US decides to begin an all-out war against North Korea it will mean only one thing: 25 nuclear reactors in South Korea will be destroyed by a retaliatory attack from the DPRK. This equates to 25 Chernobyl disasters on the Korean Peninsula.”

It’s easy to guess what the consequences would be, the expert noted: the Korean Peninsula, considerable parts of China and Russia, let alone most of the territory of Japan will turn into a “dead zone.”

“In comparison with this, the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe would look like a firecracker,” Sivkov pointed out. “In fact, Trump is pushing [the peninsula] toward a nuclear collision, and it must be realized that if a nuclear strike is launched against North Korea, it is unlikely that China and Russia will stand idly by.”

In this context the US president’s call for tackling threats to national sovereignty sounds rather hypocritical, the expert said, referring to Trump saying: “We must reject threats to sovereignty from Ukraine to the South China Sea.”However, Trump didn’t specify who exactly poses a threat to the sovereignty of Ukraine and waters of the South China Sea, leaving the question open. In the eyes of Beijing the threat to its sovereign rights in the maritime region comes from the US. Therefore Trump’s comment could be interpreted as a call to protect China’s sovereignty from the US itself, the expert remarked.

According to Sivkov, while delivering his speech at the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, Trump contradicted himself.

The expert drew attention to the fact that Washington doesn’t have a clear position on its foreign policy: On the one hand, Trump proclaims the inviolability of sovereignty, while on the other hand he declares his determination to interfere in the internal affairs of other nations.

Sivkov noted that the US president’s tough stance toward China has only accelerated further Sino-Russian rapprochement and military-strategic cooperation. According to the expert, the decision of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) to focus more on the issues of military-political cooperation and fight against terrorism has come as a response to Washington’s “political games.”The expert stressed that the fight against “hybrid wars” also remains high on the agenda of the SCO and with good reason: “A hybrid war is the US’ main way of conducting operations against other countries.”

The Astana declaration of the Heads of State of the SCO signed on June 9, 2017, calls upon its members to team up in order “to counter common security challenges and threats, deepen dialogue and cooperation to ensure comprehensive security,  primarily  in  fighting  terrorism,  including  cyber-terrorism,  separatism, extremism, cross-border organized crime, illicit drug trafficking.”

According to Sivkov, the adoption of the declaration indicates that SCO member-states have united against potential aggression from the West and the US in particular.

Speaking to Sputnik, Zhou Yongsheng, a research fellow with the Center for International Relations Studies of the Diplomatic Academy of China, shared Sivkov’s stance that Trump’s speech was contradictory from the very beginning until the end.On the one hand, the US president called on the international community to respect the principle of state sovereignty, and on the other he threatened some countries with decisive actions, including total destruction, the Chinese academic noted referring to Trump’s threat to destroy North Korea.

According to Zhou, “Trump’s speech… demonstrates a lack of political culture.”

On Tuesday US President Trump delivered his first ever speech at the United Nations General Assembly issuing threats to a number of countries, including North Korea, Iran, Venezuela and Cuba and called upon UN member states to “confront together those who threat us with chaos, turmoil and terror.”

The delegation from North Korea left the conference room before Trump addressed the meeting and didn’t hear him calling the DPRK leader a “Rocket Man.” However, afterwards DPRK Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho compared the US president’s speech to “dog barking.”

For his part, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Alberto Arreaza stated that Trump is by no means the president of the world, adding that each country has its sovereign right to maintain the system it chooses.

“This is return to the cold world, for a moment, we didn’t know if we were listening to President Reagan in 1982 or to President Trump in 2017,” Arreaza noted.

China stood up for Caracas: Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi signaled to his Venezuelan counterpart that Beijing believes that the Venezuelan government and people will manage to resolve their problems within a legal framework, Reuters reported.

Commenting on Trump’s first speech at the UN General Assembly, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani called it “ignorant, absurd and hateful rhetoric.”

“By violating its international commitments, the new US administration only destroys its own credibility and undermines international confidence in negotiating with it or accepting its word or promise,” Rouhani emphasized addressing the UN General Assembly.

Venezuela to Donate $5M to Harvey Victims in Texas

https://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Venezuelas-Citgo-to-Donate-5M-to-Houston-20170830-0015.html

Venezuela to Donate $5M to Harvey Victims in Texas

  • Houston residents trudge through floodwaters.

    Houston residents trudge through floodwaters. | Photo: AFP

Published 30 August 2017

Venezuela has extended its solidarity to the victims of Harvey in Texas and Louisiana.

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza has announced that the South American country will be donating US$5 million to help with recovery efforts in areas devastated by Harvey, particularly Houston and Corpus Christi, Texas.

RELATED:
Venezuelan Constituent Assembly Passes Decree Against US Sanctions

“Let’s not allow war or threats to be imposed, but instead let’s impose solidarity. We will always be with the people of the United States and the peoples of the world in difficult times,” Arreaza said.

He explained that President Nicolas Maduro has approved a special program to help the victims in the states of Louisiana and Texas.

The plan was approved by U.S. authorities and the cities’ mayors, according to Arreaza.

The diplomat indicated that a percentage of the sales of gas from Citgo will be destined for the construction of houses for the people affected. Citgo is a subsidiary of the Venezuelan state oil company, PDVSA, based in Houston.

Arreaza also said that he will be sending a letter Wednesday to the charge d’affaires at the United States embassy to deliver the construction project, adding that Venezuela has offered rescue workers, doctors, and other specialized personnel to help with the situation on the ground.

President of Citgo Nelson Martinez said the company was “going to contribute to the improvement of the quality of life of those affected, with its support plan for construction.”

Citgo operations were forced to shut down at its Corpus Christi, Texas facilities, near where Harvey made landfall Friday, but are reportedly on their way to restarting in the next few days.

RELATED:
Experts Say Climate Change Intensified Hurricane Harvey

In an announcement Friday, U.S. President Donald Trump signed a decree imposing new economic sanctions on Venezuela. The latest U.S. sanctions ban trades of Venezuelan debt and prevent PDVSA from selling new bonds to U.S. citizens or financial groups. Trades of existing bonds commissioned by Caracas will also be barred.

Mark Weisbrot, Co-Director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington D.C., said the new round of sanctions is “severe” and is on a level never seen before, making Trump’s cursory threats of military intervention against the Bolivarian state highly plausible.

The government has said that the sanctions target the Venezuelan people, affecting food and medicine supplies, which has led to international condemnation of the U.S. measures.

The new sanctions come weeks after Trump said that a “military option” has not been ruled out against Venezuela.

Going Crackers Over Caracas: The War Party Demands We Fall in Line on Venezuela
A government supporter holds a heart-shaped placard decorated with an image of Venezuela's Nicolas Maduro during a rally in support of the Constitutional Assembly outside of the National Assembly building in Caracas, Venezuela, Monday, Aug. 7, 2017.

Going Crackers Over Caracas: The War Party Demands We Fall in Line on Venezuela

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Repeat after me: (by orders of the NeoCon Thought Police): “I condemn the evil dictator Nicolas Maduro and support a US-led humanitarian intervention to save the people of oil rich Venezuela! I condemn the evil dictator Nicolas Maduro…”

You might have thought that in the so-called “Free World,” people would be free to support or praise whatever governments or political systems they want to, without any serious consequences to themselves or their livelihoods. But if the country or government you want to praise is an “Official Enemy” of the western elites, it’s a very different story. The War Party’s enemies have to be ours. Yes, siree.

Think of Orwell’s 1984, and the Two Minutes Hate. Right now, it’s the former bus driver Nicolas Maduro who is playing the role of Emmanuel Goldstein — the man who we are expected to shake our fists at when we watch the “telescreen” — giving those regular “bad guys” Bashar al-Assad and Vladimir Putin a bit of a break.

Over the last week or so there’s been a hysterical campaign to get prominent figures in Britain, who in the past had expressed their solidarity with the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela — like Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn — to issue public denunciations. Never mind if the individuals concerned were on their summer holiday — as Jezza was. That’s no excuse.

The “Labour silence” was tantamount to treachery, the War Party cried. Cycling around Croatia in your short-sleeved white shirt, shorts and socks and admiring the beauty of the old quarter of Dubrovnik is just not on, when there’s another leftist government sitting on huge reserves (and which has friendly relations with Syria), to urgently topple.

Interestingly there have been no such calls for Tories (or Blairite Labour MPs) to break off from their vacations to denounce the genuinely undemocratic leadership of Saudi Arabia or NATO ally Erdogan in Turkey, who’s has a right old crackdown since the attempt to topple him in a coup last year failed. And the people demanding condemnations of Venezuela for being a “dictatorship” have been very quiet about the eye-catching 98.63% vote achieved by Tony Blair’s friend Paul Kagame in Rwanda earlier in August.

The neocon Establishment — with onion slices concealed in their handkerchiefs — feign humanitarian concern for the plight of the masses in Venezuela, while, at the same time turn a blind eye to the devastating cholera epidemic currently spreading across war-torn Yemen. Any genuine humanitarian who cared about human suffering on this planet would put Yemen as the top of his/her concerns, but its the western bombs which are doing the damage in that country, so the War Party are very keen to divert our attention elsewhere.

Establishment-friendly media has played its full part in The Great Venezuela Inquisition. Earlier in August there was a ludicrous exchange on Newsnight, the BBC’s regime-change addicted “flagship” current affairs program, in which a Corbyn-supporting Labour MP Chris Williamson was asked by presenter Evan Davis if he was closer to Hugo Chavez or Tony Blair. That’s right. A choice between a man who worked tirelessly to help the poor and to make his country independent from the neo-colonialists and a snake oil salesman who invaded Iraq on a lie, and whose warmongering left over one million people dead.

To ask the question “Blair or Chavez?” is to answer it. No genuine socialist or progressive could possibly opt for the man who assured us Iraq had WMDs, which threatened the world and which could be activated within 45 minutes.
As part of the War Party’s propaganda campaign, the words of those who have committed the heinous “crime” of expressing support for “Chavism” have been shamefully distorted. Countering the blatant lie that multi-party Venezuela was a dictatorship, the former Mayor of London Ken Livingstone pointed out that the late Hugo Chavez didn’t go around executing his enemies — the sort of thing genuine dictators do. That was twisted into headlines such as “Ken Livingstone: Venezuela Crisis due to Chavez’s failure to kill oligarchs.” Livingstone was forced to respond to the media representations of what he had actually said:

“I have not said that Hugo Chavez should have killed anyone and nor would I ever advocate it. I even dispelled this accusation in the very interview that is being extensively quoted.

“The point I was making is that, contrary to some misrepresentations, Hugo Chavez didn’t repress the former ruling elite in Venezuela.”

Even condemning “all violence” in Venezuela, as Jeremy Corbyn did after he returned from his holiday, won’t be enough to get the regime-change obsessives from snapping at your heels. Only violence carried out by government supporting forces counts. The violence carried out by opposition activists against United Socialist Party supporters, the police and the security services does not qualify. Those killed or injured in such attacks, like the young black man burned to death in early June are “un-people,” like the victims of terrorist attacks by CIA-backed “rebels” in Syria, those killed in the 2014 Odessa fire, and the 16 media workers who lost their lives when NATO bombed Serbian TV in 1999.

The double standards of the “You Must Condemn Maduro” Thought Police are truly breathtaking. Anti-government street protesters at home are routinely labeled “thugs and scum,” but violent ones, who go out on to the streets in “Official Enemy” countries to try and topple their governments are lauded. Establishment respect for “law and order” and condemnation of ”anarchy” and “mob rule” is not universal — it only applies in “approved” nations. Call for a riot in the UK, and you’ll be arrested before you have time to do your next weekly shop in Aldi, but call for one in Venezuela and you’ll probably get State Department/NED funding (that’s if you aren’t already on the CIA’s or MI6’s payroll).

If what’s playing out before our very eyes in Venezuela seems familiar then it’s not surprising. This is a movie we’ve seen many times before. Think of the “pro-democracy” US-backed anti-government protests in Yugoslavia in 2000, which toppled the Socialist-led administration there, and the “pro-democracy” US-backed-ones in Ukraine in 2014. On both occasions, the “target” governments — and their leadership — were placed in a very difficult position. If they responded to what were clear attempts to usurp power by force — by using force themselves — they knew they would be condemned by the War Party and its media stenographers as “dictators, human rights abusers, war criminals, Nazis, Stalinists” — take your pick. If they did nothing and allowed the protesters to act with total impunity, they’d lose power.

It’s important for the neocon regime changers that we don’t see the bigger picture. We’re not supposed to reflect on the millions of dollars which has poured into opposition coffers from the US —just imagine the outcry if the Venezuelan government bankrolled anti-government activists in western countries.

We’re not expected to focus either on the economic warfare that the US and the western financial/corporate elites have waged on Venezuela for the country’s refusal to toe the line. Of course, Maduro’s government has made mistakes, with the biggest being the failure to diversify the economy when oil prices were high — a point that Jeremy Corbyn made earlier. But acknowledging this is a very different thing from joining in with State Department calls for “regime change” against a legitimate and democratically elected government which still has sizable popular support.

The excellent media monitoring organization Media Lens has compared and contrasted the “deep concern” shown by War Party media propagandists for “human rights” in a “target” country, before a western-sponsored regime change takes place, and their lack of interest in the people’s plight afterwards, when things invariably get much worse. Neocon/liberal-imperialist hacks couldn’t stop writing about Iraq in late 2002 and early 2003, and the need to “liberate” its people and make the world safe from its non-existent WMDs, but after the invasion, when the country descended into total chaos and bombs were going off on a daily basis, Iraqis were of no interest to them. The papers were full of op-eds calling for “action” to save the people of Libya in early 2011, but after Gaddafi was toppled and Libya became a failed state and a jihadists playground, it all went very quiet.

The same will happen again if Maduro falls. The War Party are going crackers over Caracas only because they want Venezuela’s government forcibly removed from office. Nothing else matters to them.

If we are to issue public condemnations, then let it be of the serial warmongers and “regime-changers,” who caused so much devastation in Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria — and who have the nerve to always point the finger of blame at others.

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.

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KKE: Denounces Trump’s provocative threats, expresses solidarity with the Venezuelan people

Monday, August 14, 2017

KKE: Denounces Trump’s provocative threats, expresses solidarity with the Venezuelan people

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2017/08/kke-denounces-trumps-provocative.html
Regarding the provocative threats of U.S. President Donald Trump against Venezuela, the Press Office of the CC of the Communist Party of Greece issued the following statement:
“The KKE denounces the provocative threats of the president of the USA Donald Trump about the capability of a military attack against Venezuela. It (the KKE) expresses its internationalist solidarity to the working class and the popular strata of Venezuela. The developments in this country is a matter of her people, who are the only power that can give solution to the sharpened problems in the country, towards the road of overthrow and abolition of the basis which creates unemployment, poverty, the capitalist exploitation.
The threats against Venezuela, as well as the threats against North Korea, are very dangerous, they are connected to the sharpening of the inter-imperialist contraditions and the known imperialist practice of creating and using pretexts, like the USA did with their other allies, in the previous wars and interventions.
The interests of our people, as well as of the other peoples, highlight the need for the intensification of the struggle against imperialist threats, interventions and wars.
The power is in the antimonopoly anticapitalist struggle for the overthrow of the capitalist barbarity, for the new socialist society.”
Source: 902.gr / Translation: In Defense of Communism.
Corbyn denies to condemn imperialist interference in Venezuela

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Corbyn denies to condemn imperialist interference in Venezuela

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2017/08/corbyn-denies-to-condemn-imperialist.html
Once an opportunist, always an opportunist. The leader of Britain’s Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn declined to take a firm and clear position about the developments in Venezuela. Instead, he condemned “violence done by all sides”, thus calling for dialogue to end civil unrest.
 
Speaking after an event in Crawley, West Sussex, Corbyn sounded more like the Pope who wishes “the end of violence”. “I’m very sad at the lives that have been lost in Venezuela” he said. “The people who have died – either those on the streets or security forces that have been attacked by people on the street – all of those lives are terrible for the loss of them” he said.
“There has to be a dialogue and a process that respects the independence of the judiciary and respects the human rights of all” said Corbyn. Asked by the reporters whether he condemned Maduro’s actions, Corbyn said: “What I condemn is the violence that’s been done by any side, by all sides, in all this. Violence is not going to solve the issue”.
Apparently, Mr.Corbyn didn’t find a single word to say about the- led by the U.S.- imperialist interference in Venezuela. A supposed supporter of Venezuela’s Bolivarian process, Corbyn decided to remain silent about the threats of the U.S. government against Venezuela and the imperialist plans for regime overthrow.
Being a political ‘Pontius Pilate’, Jeremy Corbyn said he supported France’s call for peace talks, and said it “should be regionally based to improve the situation there”. “There has to be respect for the constitution and respect for the independence of the judiciary,” he added.
This controversial and opportunistic stance of Corbyn doesn’t surprise us at all. It is in the political nature of social democrats, pure servants of the capitalist system who appear with a supposedly left-wing “radical” mask, to avoid taking a firm and clear position against imperialism. Despite their rhetoric, social democrats like Corbyn will be always, sooner or later, exposed as pure servants of the bourgeois interests.
US Whitewashes Armed Protests in Venezuela, Ignores Voters – Activist
Masked anti-government demonstrators stend to a burning barricade during a protest against the installation of a constitutional assembly in Caracas, Venezuela, Friday, Aug. 4, 2017

US Whitewashes Armed Protests in Venezuela, Ignores Voters – Activist

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An armed right-wing opposition group in Venezuela attempted to carry out an attack on a military base on Monday that was thwarted by the government: the latest attempt by elements who oppose President Nicolas Maduro to destabilize the country following the recent constituent assembly vote in July 30, supporters of the country’s government say.

Radio Sputnik’s Loud and Clear speaks with Venezuela-based activist Lucas Koerner, a writer for VenezuelaAnalysis.com, about the attack and how the US government and media claim to want stability in Caracas but in reality seek the ouster of a democratically elected government.

​Days before Venezuela’s constituent assembly, US Vice President Mike Pence made a statement saying, “The United States stands with the Venezuelan people, and we call for the full and unconditional release of all political prisoners in Venezuela, free and fair elections, restoration of the national assembly, and respect for human rights in Venezuela. Our thoughts and prayers reside with all of those who have suffered during venezuela’s crisis. The United States urges the reestablishment of democracy in Venezuela and the restoration of the prosperity that Venezuelans have fought so hard to achieve.”

Koerner told Loud and Clear, “I think it’s interesting that these comments about ‘restoring constitutional order’ and ‘restoring democracy’ come right after Venezuela celebrated an extremely high turnout election on July 30 in which you had over eight million people throughout the country come out and vote in the national constituent assembly election in the midst of what can only be described as a campaign of opposition violence, destabilization and terror.”

He pointed out that people in different parts of the country crossed rivers and endured other difficult circumstances to cast their vote.

“This is clearly an exemplary exercise of democracy,” he said, “and the United States responds, of course, by slapping Nicolas Maduro with sanctions and adding him to the list of authoritarian leaders who are also being targeted for regime change.”

He said that mainstream media outlets have whitewashed violent right wing demonstrators as “peaceful protesters” because they identify with their upper-middle class sensibilities, and therefore paint the Maduro government as repressive and the recent vote as illegitimate.

“There’s no doubt that the constituent assembly has immense legitimacy … The vast majority of people participated in the elections, [and] they see the ball as in the government’s court right now,” Koerner explained, analyzing what Venezuelans will be looking for following the vote. “They came out and they supported their state in the midst of right-wing violence and terror, they’re now expecting this new body to take substantive economic measures to resolve the crisis,” of what he called “politically driven inflation.”

He suggested that the government must take “active measures to address this in terms of trying to fix the extremely broken system of exchange controls and currency regulations,” and work to democratize ownership of transnational corporations and transfer their unproductive assets of “land and factories to workers and communities.”

“This is what the grassroots are calling for,” he said.

Communists condemn Minister Freeland’s violations of sovereignty of Venezuela

Communists condemn Minister Freeland’s violations of sovereignty of Venezuela

Aug 01, 2017

The Communist Party of Canada condemns the latest flagrant violation of the national sovereignty of Venezuela by Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland.Going far beyond the bounds of diplomacy, Minister Freeland attacked the July 30 voting to elect a Constituent Assembly which will have powers to resolve the political crisis in Venezuela. The Liberal government’s claim that the election was “contrary to Venezuela’s Constitution”, and therefore illegitimate, is a lie. Article 347 and 348 of the Bolivarian Constitution outline the president’s right to initiate a National Constituent Assembly.  

These statements are a form of blatant interference in the internal affairs of Venezuela, and openly support efforts by the United States to prepare for outside intervention against the country’s elected government.

Despite the boycott of the constituent assembly elections by the right-wing opposition, and their open calls for violence, over 41% of citizens cast ballots, and 94 percent of polling stations were open. The turnout exceeded the participation in the 1999 referendum that ordered the previous Constituent Assembly to be convened, which was responsible for drafting the current constitution. These figures are highly significant, since the opposition had tried to prevent voting, urging its supporters to set up barricades, block roads and take over the country.

Such threats are far from idle, since most of the recent killings in Venezuela have targeted government supporters. Among the latest reports of violence was an attack by opposition protesters in the community of Borburata, Carabobo state, where stones and petrol bombs were thrown at National Guard members protecting a polling station located in a school.

Over eight million people voted on Sunday, choosing from 6,120 candidates for the 545-member Constituent Assembly, which will allow the Venezuelan people to exercise their popular sovereignty in a truly democratic fashion. The Communist Party of Canada welcomes the outcome of the Constituent Assembly voting, and we urge the labour movement and all democratic-minded and progressive peoples in Canada to speak out against the attempts of US imperialism and its faithful ally the government of Canada, to set the stage for a reactionary coup against the Maduro government.

Central Executive Committee, CPC