57 Countries Express Support to Venezuela at UN Human Rights Council in Geneva

Over 50 countries around the world expressed support for the constitutional government of Venezuela against foreign threats.

During the 36th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva on Thursday, 57 countries signed an expression of support of respect for the sovereignty and independence of Venezuela.

RELATED: Venezuelan Delegation Travels to Dominican Republic for Peace Dialogue

“We condemn any action that disturbs peace, tranquility, and democratic stability... and that threatens sovereignty, including the recent threats of a possible foreign military intervention,” the jointly signed document read, that was read by Cuba's ambassador to the Council, Pedro Luis Pedroso.

The nations, among whom are Cuba, China, Bolivia, Russia, Iraq, Syria, Palestine, Libya, Ecuador, Vietnam, South Africa, and Iran, expressed their “support for the constitutional government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, in its commitment to preserve peace and maintain democratic institutions in the country.”

They expressed support for the calls and efforts of President Nicolas Maduro to political dialogue in Venezuela in order to “preserve peace and guarantee the stability of the democratic institutions."

RELATED: 'Latin America Must Be a Region of Peace’: Bolivia’s Morales on Venezuela Dialogue

Also read during the session was a declaration by the Bolivarian Alliance for the People of Our America (ALBA) that echoed the calls for respect of sovereignty and territorial integrity in Venezuela. Presented by the Nicaraguan ambassador, Hernan Estrada, ALBA repudiated the “international media campaign” against Venezuela and condemned the recent threats of the United States President Donald Trump in his address to the United Nations General Assembly.

The Venezuelan representative to the council, Jorge Valero, also spoke, expressing solidarity to those countries who support Venezuela's sovereignty and saying that "peace reigns" in his country due to the democratic National Constituent Assembly.

“Thanks to the National Constituent Assembly, elected through the universal, direct, and secret vote of millions of Venezuelans, peace reigns in Venezuela," he said.

The 36th session of the Human Rights Council is currently taking place in Geneva, Switzerland, from September 11th to the 29th.

The support of ALBA and 57 countries around the world is an affirmation of the international support Venezuela has behind it, in a crucial moment as it has been subject to renewed attacks from the United States and its allied countries in recent weeks.

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Venezuela prepares in the face of Trump’s threats

After the failure in their attempt to hinder firstly, the election of the National Constituent Assembly (NCA) and then its setting up, the internal counter-revolution hopes that the economic war imposed on the nation gives place to the direct military aggression of the United States, since the Donald Trump administration announced the possibility of a naval blockade. President Nicolás Maduro described it as madness and noticed that the armed forces are ready to reject any attack, reinforced the border with Colombia geared at preventing a treacherous invasion and mobilized hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans willing and active to defeat the imperialist attempt.

”It’s not a laughing matter. It’s sovereignty and independence that are at risk”, said Eleazar Díaz Rangel, director of “Últimas Noticias” newspaper, as Maduro claimed that “everything they are carrying out against Venezuela will fail with the effort of our people and Venezuela will come out strengthened, increasingly freer, more independent in the economic, financial, political, diplomatic and military field”.

One could not expect anything else from the United States and a president like Donald Trump, knowing, as the American people have just realized, that he is surrounded by what he is pleased with: racist and supremacist haters who hate not only Venezuela but the entire Latin America, riddled, according to them, with "an inferior race".

"To believe that these sanctions will only hit Venezuela is like believing ... that the announcement of the construction of the electrified wall between the US-Mexico border is an aggression only to countries that have migrants in the United States. No, it is not against those countries or against Mexico, it’s against the whole Latin America and the Caribbean”, stressed Maduro.

As many people know, last Friday the president of the United States issued an executive order that bans US citizens and entities from any transactions, such as the purchase of debt bonds, with the Venezuelan state and Petróleos de Venezuela S.A. (PDVSA), which is considered the worst American aggression against Venezuela in the last 200 years.

Caracas is already responding to the aggression through the activation by the NCA of a plan to defend the economy and finances, and called on US companies that buy Venezuelan oil to an urgent meeting to fine-tune operating mechanisms after the economic war imposed by the White House.

DEMONIZATION AND DISABILITY
 
Within the same strategy, the director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Mike Pompeo, said that Venezuela is influenced by Hezbollah and Iran, two of the geopolitical actors that Washington places within the "Axis of Evil," and that’s why “it can become a risk for the United States”, which has set up a real uproar so that the halberdiers who control the press join their media mechanism. This "intelligence" maneuver seeks to strengthen the story that Venezuela is a country that promotes "Islamic terrorism".

There is a great truth in this nebula of lies: the Venezuelan right is incapable of creating something, turning the board upside down and gaining popular support, thereby it makes itself dependent on the will of a president who sanctions, blocks banks and finances, and tries to isolate the country diplomatically.

That right took advantage of government mistakes to achieve a legislative victory, for the first time in seventeen years, but that control of the National Assembly became a complete stop to measures that benefit the nation, so it had to be suspended, not eliminated. Then, most Venezuelans voted for the creation of the NCA that will strengthen the Constitution and help good governance.

All this stirred the worst of the worst, removed masks from hypocrites, and united that group of genuflectors with the Cuban exiles in Miami, which dictates rules to their Venezuelan acolytes.

While poorly participating in a dialogue with the government, the ill-named Democratic Unity Board (MUD) tried to hold President Nicolás Maduro accountable for the threat of military intervention by Donald Trump, when its main leaders were protagonists of appeals to US rulers and officials to invade the country in the face of successive failures of all its violent and terrorist strategies.

Thus, reviewing the press sold to the national oligarchy, there is evidence that in 2017 important enemies of the Bolivarian Revolution, such as Julio Borges, Luis Florido and Lilian Tintori, have been photographed along with US officials, and Luis Almagro, Secretary General of the pro-American Organization of American States (OAS), while often travelling to Washington and Miami to achieve the financial blockade of the country by big international banks.

Borges has appeared smiling next to H.R. McMaster, National Security Advisor, who attended the meeting where Trump announced the military option and threatened to invade Venezuela; as Florido and Tintori have met with lawmakers Marco Rubio and Bob Menéndez, from the anti-Cuban mafia, enemies of the enemies of the Venezuelan constitutional government and promoters of the funding to the protagonists of the terrorist wave.

In other words, they are all part of the concoction that is being cooked to attack Venezuela, in a counter-revolutionary action, where the “cooks” could get burned.

Translated by Jorge Mesa Benjamin / Cubasi Translation Staff

Venezuela holds military drills after US threat

Venezuela has kicked off two days of nationwide military drills seen as a deterrent against military intervention by the United States. 

War planes, tanks, and 200,000 troops of the National Bolivarian Armed Forces (FANB) were deployed along with 700,000 reserves and civil militia members as the exercises formally launched on Saturday.

"The people and the FANB are defending territory and sovereignty," President Nicolas Maduro wrote on Twitter.

"Against the belligerent threats of the United States, all Venezuelans between the ages of 18 and 60 are required to contribute to the integral defence of the nation," said an announcement broadcast on state television.

Venezuela's display of military might comes in response to US President Donald Trump's threat of military action two weeks ago and new financial sanctions announced on Friday.

"A complete menu of training skills was being offered to allow ordinary Venezuelans to be able to resist in case of a US invasion, as well as an internal subversion from the opposition," Al Jazeera's Lucia Newman said, reporting from Venezuela's largest military academy in Caracas.

READ MORE: Venezuela crisis: All the latest updates

Trump warned on August 11 the US was mulling a range of options to solve Venezuela's political crisis, "including a possible military option if necessary".

Top US officials later played down the threat. "No military actions are anticipated in the near future," said National Security Advisor HR McMaster on Friday. 

But tensions surged again when the White House made good on the sanctions threat on Friday, unveiling its first-ever such measures to target Venezuela as a whole, rather than just Maduro and his inner circle.

'Economic war'

The sanctions, which Trump signed by executive order, prohibit American financial institutions from providing new money to Venezuela or the state oil company, PDVSA, and could make it harder for Maduro to raise badly needed cash to prevent a debt default.

Maduro decries US sanctions against Venezuela

They also restrict the Venezuelan oil giant's US subsidiary, Citgo, from sending dividends back to Venezuela and ban trading in two bonds the government recently issued to circumvent its increasing isolation from Western financial markets.

Maduro decried the US measures during a national address on Friday. 

"Nobody can use economic and financial measures to impose their political will over a country," he said. "Economic war, pressures and  blackmail are illegal. They ratify an imperial road of aggression."

Defence Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez said the armed forces support "all measures being implemented to counter the financial blockade".

In an address at one of the exercises near the capital Caracas, he told assembled troops the drills were "for the defence of the whole country" against "imperial aggression".

READ MORE: Venezuela's worst economic crisis: What went wrong?

Lopez said the exercises would include rifle practice on Saturday and combat manoeuvres on Sunday.

The US embassy in Caracas advised its citizens in the country to stay away from the military exercises, warning of the risk of action by armed civilian loyalists.

Venezuela was gripped by months of anti-government protests over growing anger against Maduro. 

The opposition, who demand new elections, say Maduro is turning the crisis-hit country into a dictatorship.

Maduro says the violence and the economic crisis are a US-backed conspiracy.

Diplomatic tensions increased last month when a legislative superbody called the Constituent Assembly was elected at Maduro's behest. It has the power to legislate, bypassing the opposition-controlled Congress.

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Venezuela Rejects ‘Hostile’ US Sanctions, Vows Response

The new sanctions target Venezuela's financial sector and state-run oil company.

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza has responded to new U.S. sanctions against the South American country, vowing to carefully study its implications and respond swiftly.

RELATED: ‘Libya, Iraq Are Lessons’: Antigua Slams US Threats Against Venezuela

On Friday, the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump imposed the new round of sanctions on Venezuela, targeting its financial sector.

The sanctions, according to Bloomberg, ban trades of Venezuelan debt and prevents the country's state-run oil company, Petroleos de Venezuela SA, or PDVSA, from selling new bonds to U.S. citizens or financial groups. Trades of existing bonds commissioned by Caracas will also be barred.

Arreaza described the sanctions as "one of the worst aggressions against Venezuela in recent years."

"These types of sanctions show that the U.S. wants to rule over the continent. We will never accept this," Arreaza said.

"We are studying all measures that we can take in response to these sanctions."

The White House announced the measure in a press statement.

“In an effort to preserve itself, the Maduro dictatorship rewards and enriches corrupt officials in the government’s security apparatus by burdening future generations of Venezuelans with massively expensive debts,” Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said.

“These measures are carefully calibrated to deny the Maduro dictatorship a critical source of financing to maintain its illegitimate rule, protect the United States financial system from complicity in Venezuela’s corruption and in the impoverishment of the Venezuelan people, and allow for humanitarian assistance.”

The new round of sanctions include a 30-day transitional period, allowing certain debt trades to continue, the Miami Herald reported. They also include exemptions for transactions involving Citgo, the PDVSA's U.S. affiliate.

RELATED: Venezuela’s Maduro Speaks on Chavez, Trump and Opposition

Trump is reported to have signed an executive order approving the sanctions on Thursday.

"We don't agree with anything (President Nicolas) Maduro is doing," U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said in a press conference Friday.

"We wanted to rely on the OAS (Organization of American States), but they weren't able to do anything. We tried an emergency meeting with the Security Council, but they didn't think it had anything to do with peace and security. Now we've placed sanctions and we'll see if there's anything else we can do."

Echoing Haley, U.S. National Security Advisor H. R. McMaster touted Trump's decision to "strongly punish the Venezuela regime."

"The U.S. won’t allow an illegitimate dictatorship to take hold in the hemisphere," McMaster said Friday.

"The Maduro dictatorship will not be able to accumulate debt that benefits corrupt insiders."

McMaster added that although no military options are being explored in the "near future," Washington is considering a "wide range of options" against Venezuela.

The decision comes days after U.S. Vice President Mike Pence promised to ramp up pressure on Venezuela in the wake of its July 30 National Constituent Assembly, ANC, election.

Pence met with several opposition leaders in Miami, capping off his tour of Latin America last week where he sought support against Maduro's govenrment. The meeting with 15 emigre political figures took place at a Catholic Church in Doral, well known as an enclave for Venezuelans opposed to the administrations of late President Hugo Chavez and Maduro.

RELATED: Maduro Calls on Trump to 'Stop Aggression Towards Venezuela'

It also comes weeks after Trump issued military threats against Venezuela.

“We have many options for Venezuela and by the way, I’m not going to rule out a military option,” Trump told reporters earlier this month in apparently impromptu remarks.

“A military operation and military option is certainly something that we could pursue.”

Last month, the United States imposed sanctions on 13 Venezuelan officials ahead of the ANC.

“As President Trump has made clear, the United States will not ignore the Maduro regime’s ongoing efforts to undermine democracy, freedom, and the rule of law,” Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin said in a press release.

Among those sanctioned on Wednesday were National Electoral Council President Tibisay Lucena; Elias Jose Jaua Milano, the head of the Presidential Commission for the National Constituent Assembly; Tarek William Saab Halabi, Venezuela’s Ombudsman; Maria Iris Varela Rangel, member of Venezuela’s Presidential Commission for the National Constituent Assembly; and Nestor Luis Reverol Torres, Venezuela’s Minister of Interior, Justice, and Peace.

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Untamable Venezuela

The United States has launched a brutal unconventional war against revolutionary and progressive governments, as well as popular movements of our Latin America.

Old in the Pentagon’s military doctrine and also well-known as fourth-generation war, it has grown with recent experiences like the color revolutions and the Arab Spring. The main target of the attack is the Bolivarian Venezuela, against which the empire and rulers of the region that serve it, unleashed their fury and frustration.

After an offensive that has lasted months to overthrow the government of President Nicolás Maduro, Trump declared that he is not ruling out “the military option” in Venezuela, amid boasts against North Korea and of having created a serious conflict in the area. Thanks to the millionaire’s militarist outburst, the governments that have joined him in the anti-Venezuelan adventure have been forced to reject a military way out and repeat it during the tour of vice-president Mike Pence in the region. Aimed at strengthening the grip against Venezuela, Pence has had to spend some time to damage control after the alarm raised by his boss's statement. Although with a three-day delay, even counterrevolutionaries of the MUD foresaw a laughable condemnation.

Maduro, knowing the U.S. prepotency, replied firmly and with a huge rally for peace and the measure of carrying out a civic-military exercise armed in all areas of integral defense on July 26 and 27. Venezuela has hundreds of thousands voluntary militiamen, besides the well-trained and armed regular army.

Chavism has defeated in two decades, one after another all attempts of ending Chavez transforming experience, national and social freedom. They have tried to stop the Latin-Caribbean integration he promoted. Peace and observance of the sharing democracy is fundamental part of his philosophy. Votes Yes, Bullets No, his watchword.

The most recent destabilizing effort of the far–right wing is bent on operation Venezuela Freedom 2 of the South Command of North American troops. After four months of Fascist violence, of setting 29 people on fire, resulting in nine dead; of the obsessive burn of hospitals and nurseries, food and medicine warehouses, public furniture, government offices and hundreds of private business, the right wing has suffered a great defeat with the elections to the Constituent National Assembly and the laws it establishes. After achieving more than 8 million votes Chavism was very near of reaching its highest historical voting and the opposition was demoralized.

To the extent that, without solution of continuity, they turned to the Fascist violence and of affirming they would remain in the streets until Maduro steps down, to register 196 candidates in a heartbeat for the regional elections.

The right wing is antidemocrat by nature, but in its strategy it appeals mainly to the coup d’état without abandoning the electoral path. If they lose in the voting, they scream fraud; but if they win, they become arrogant and try by any means necessary to impose its subordinate neoliberal agenda to Washington and the international capital.

In a somersault, now swirls to the elections, because the Chavism won the streets on July, where they no longer can gather a crowd, as it was seen in the famous "taking of Venezuela" or the "Zero hour" that it was supposed to overthrow the Chavista government on July 30. Nevertheless, David operation, shattered by the army and the Bolivarian security services, demonstrates that there can be new desperate lashes of violence.

No matter how much the United States and neoliberal forces together with those against their homeland insist at an international level, in support to counterrevolution. Regardless how the corporations of the media mafia keep pouring the most scandalous and craziest lies on the Bolivarian revolution. Regardless the financial capital and the far-right wing continue the cruel economic war. None of that would destroy the support of the Venezuelan people to their constitutional government. And that is what’s final. Besides Venezuela, is not alone, as it shows the recent visit to Cuba of President Maduro and the growing expressions of solidarity they receive from independent peoples and governments.

Amilkal Labañino Valdés / Cubasi Translation Staff

Reckless “Present” CIA to Venezuela

Hours ago it was revealed that the top brass of that espionage agency works with the governments of Colombia and Mexico to destroy Venezuela.

Thus was written this Wednesday by an Argentinean journalist to the unconditional service of Washington.          

His name, Andrés Oppenheimer, New Herald columnist and well known in other U.S. media circles and for special services of that country.

Now he got published a significant title: “The Gift the CIA Gave to Nicolás Maduro.”

It begins asserting, Trump’s government “is the most inexpert and inapt regarding foreign policy ever remembered in recent history.”

And he adds, but what the CIA director, Mike Pompeo, did when he talked about Venezuela “is a huge stupidity.”

He affirmed last July 20th that they worked hard for the reestablishment of democracy in Caracas.

And he added, I was in Mexico City and Bogotá two weeks ago, speaking about this issue.

“Trying to help them understand what they could do, so that they can get a better result for their side of the world and our part of the world.”

Soon after, said Oppenheimer, Pompeo’s comments were in YouTube.

“The United States conspires against Venezuela, the head of the CIA confirms”, read a headline in Telesur, the television network that broadcasts in all Latin America.

Hours later, Oppenheimer continued, Maduro was on television, taking advantage of Pompeo’s “screw up” and attacking the governments of Mexico and Colombia.

Then the North American journalist tried to mend both images saying that they have been active in the efforts so that Maduro reestablishes the democratic order in Venezuela.

Unable to answer, Oppenheimer turns to the intrigue (made in U.S.A.) regarding the supposed dominant role of Cuba in that South American nation.

Earlier, Nicolás Maduro had summoned the governments of Mexico and Colombia to clarify the statement of the CIA director.

Faintly, very faintly, they tried and failed miserably.  

According to Oppenheimer Venezuelan and Latin Americans “followers of Telesur”, they believe that agency is still bent on overthrowing governments.

For them, he wrote, Pompeo’s words sounded like alarms going off.

Hence Mr. Andrés Oppenheimer helped to explain why he symbolizes one of the most despicable personalities in the journalistic world of this region.

He is ideal to serve those who trained him and awarded him in the United States and today hire him further south.

But the core matter is, once again they’ve silenced the multiple aggressions Venezuela has suffered and implicitly they justified it, because they are accomplices.

All that thanks to the testimony of the CIA Director they were caught “red handed.”

So How Many Did Vote in Venezuela's Opposition Plebiscite?

A teleSUR investigation shows how one person could vote three times.

There's no doubt there was a significant turnout for the Venezuelan opposition's informal plebiscite Sunday, which the electoral authorities classified as a political gesture with no constitutional status.

RELATED: Accused of Inciting Violence, Ex-Mexican President Fox Not Welcomed in Venezuela

The opposition said 7,186,170 people voted to reject the Venezuelan government's plan to elect a new Constituent Assembly — that includes 6,492,381 inside Venezuela and 693,789 at voting stations set up for Venezuelans in other countries.

But even if these numbers are accurate — which can't be verified — an estimated 7.2 million votes out of an eligible voting population of just under 20 million is no mandate and even falls short of the 7.7 million the opposition garnered in the 2015 national assembly elections.

But since this was an informal vote, with no register of eligible electors and only a rudimentary record of who voted and where these numbers are almost impossible to verify. At the end of the day, at least some of the opposition voting centers burned their ballot boxes, making any subsequent investigation equally impossible.

However, teleSUR journalists were able to carry out a simple test that suggested the real number of voters was probably less.

They accompanied a citizen who was registered to vote in the Valles del Tuy — a poor suburb on the outskirts of the capital — to the upscale opposition stronghold of eastern Caracas and recorded how he was able to vote multiple times with no problem.

First, they went to a voting station next to the Unicentro El Marques shopping mall. Here are the pictures of him voting.

The organizers asked to see his identity card but did not check it against any list of eligible voters in that district. They just noted his name on a list, along with his ID number, his signature and their own stamp. Then they gave him a voting slip and invited him to fill it in, in front of them, and then put it in the ballot box. Not exactly a secret ballot. And the voting slip had no unique identification to ensure it couldn't be duplicated. After he'd finished, they gave him a receipt to show he had voted.

Then the teleSUR team went with him to another polling station at Romulo Gallegos Avenue in front of Miranda park. The same voter went through the same process and put his voting slip in the box.

The final stop was a voting station outside the Chacaito metro station. The only difference here was that after he voted he was not given a receipt of voting.

The whole process took just an hour.

So the obvious question is, how many others might have voted three times? Or even more times?

There is a video of the citizen casting his second and third votes.

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US Black Group Lauds Caricom's Stance on Venezuela

The IBW urged Caricom nations to resist pressure from Washington and the OAS, and continue to stand firm in their principled position concerning Venezuela.

On Saturday, New York-based Institute of the Black World 21st Century (IBW) said it was “very concerned about reports of racist violence by right-wing, anti-Government forces targeting members of the Afro-Venezuelan community.”

RELATED: Morales Slams Supporters of Venezuela's Opposition Plebiscite

IBW called on the U.S. Congressional Black Caucus to investigate these reports and to support the Caribbean Community's (Caricom) position by demanding that U.S. President Donald Trump's Administration “cease and desist interfering in Venezuela's domestic affairs, and in undermining its national sovereignty.”

The group also condemned recent efforts by the Organization of American States' (OAS) Secretary General Luis Almagro and a “small group of powerful states in the OAS who are relentlessly attacking the Venezuelan Government, openly supporting the Opposition forces, and are attempting to divide and weaken the solidarity of the 15 Caricom member states of the OAS on their stance towards the crisis in Venezuela.”

IBW lauded the prime minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines, Dr Ralph Gonsalves, for upholding “Article 15 of the OAS Charter, which says that 'no state, or group of states, has the right to intervene, directly or indirectly, for any reason whatever, in the internal or external affairs of any other state.'”

The OAS Charter says “this principle prohibits not only armed force but also any other form of interference or attempted threat against the personality of the State or against its political, economic, and cultural elements.”

The Institute of the Black World 21st Century urged all Caricom countries to “resist pressure from Washington and from the OAS, and continue to stand firm in their united and principled position concerning the crisis in Venezuela.”

In a statement from the conclusion of recently concluded 38th Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of Caricom, held in Grenada earlier this month, Caricom leaders “reaffirmed their guiding principles of adherence to the rule of law, respect for human rights and democracy, as well as for the fundamental principles of non-intervention and non-interference in the internal affairs of states.”

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