Statement by H.E. Mr. Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla at MNOAL

Esteemed comrade Jorge Arreaza, Minister of the People’s Power for Foreign Affairs of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela;

Esteemed ministers and heads of delegations;

Delegates and guests;

I thank the people and government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela for their warm welcome.

It is an honor to share this opportunity with the more than 120 countries represented in the Non-Aligned Movement, a mechanism of political coordination that turns out to be indispensable under the present international juncture.

At the political level, claims of hegemony and domination in international relations attempt against the observance and implementation of the principles of International Law and the UN Charter.

At the economic level, underdevelopment, poverty, hunger and marginalization resulting from the unjust international economic order in force have been aggravated as a consequence of the impact of neo-liberal patterns imposed on the global economy. Meanwhile, nuclear weapons are being modernized and military expenditures, which in 2018 reached the figure of 1.822 trillion dollars, almost 2 trillion dollars -US military expenditures accounting for 649 billion of that big total- have increased even further.

Mr. President:

Old and new challenges have forced the Non-Aligned members to stay together in the defense of the founding principles of this Movement and in favor of peace and our peoples’ development.

The cruel war against the Syrian people has taken a toll on countless human lives.

The US unilateral decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and the occupied Syrian Golan as part of the territory of that country; withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on the nuclear program and increase unilateral sanctions and military threats against the Islamic Republic of Iran has created greater instability in the Middle East.

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict requires a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement based on the creation of two States, whereby the Palestinian people would be able to exercise its right to free determination and have an independent and sovereign State based on the pre-1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

The people of Puerto Rico have not been able to achieve their well-deserved independence.  Other peoples of the world are still unable to exercise their right to free determination.

We welcome the process of rapprochement and dialogue between the two Koreas as a means to achieve a lasting peace, reconciliation and stability in the Korean peninsula. We likewise strongly condemn the imposition of unjust unilateral sanctions against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the foreign interference in the Korean affairs.

Politicization and double standards prevail in the approach to human rights issues.  The respectful dialogue, based on the principles of objectivity, impartiality, non-selectivity and respect for all peoples’ free determination to choose their own political, economic, social and cultural systems as well as their development model are the indispensable support required by international cooperation in this area.

Today, more than ever, it is indispensable that our call for States to abstain from exercising pressures or coercion against other States -including the application or promotion of any sort of unilateral coercive measure, which is contrary to International Law- be heard.

During the last few months, the government of the United States has strengthened its outright hostility against Cuba. The tightening of the US blockade against Cuba and its extraterritorial implementation is an attack on International Law and the sovereignty of all States. The blockade is the main obstacle to our development and a flagrant violation of the human rights of all Cubans.

The Helms-Burton Act is the main political and legal instrument of the US aggressive policy, which violates and infringes upon peoples’ free determination, freedom of trade, sovereign equality, non-interference in the internal affairs of States and the peaceful coexistence among nations. Besides, this law has a remarkable extraterritorial intention, for it submits citizens and institutions of third States to the jurisdiction of US courts for legitimate actions that occurred outside the territory of that country.

Thus, the US government intends to destroy the Cuban Revolution by economically suffocating our people, causing hardships and sufferings to families and hindering development; but once again it will fail in its attempt, just as it has for 60 years now.

In the Latin American and Caribbean region, the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela continues to face an escalation of pressures and actions by the government of the United States, which are proper of a non-conventional war, namely attempted coup d’ etats; economic sanctions and other hostile and illegal actions that affect the wellbeing of the Venezuelan people.

The government of the Republic of Cuba reiterates its firm support to and solidarity with the constitutional President Nicolás Maduro Moros, the Bolivarian and Chavista Revolution and the civic and military union of its people.  What is at stake today at the sister Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela is the future of our peoples’ right to sovereignty.  It is therefore indispensable to defend the principles of Bandung, the purposes and principles agreed at the Fourteenth Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement held in Havana and the Proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace that was approved by CELAC.  These are the fundamental pillars to safeguard the sovereignty, independence and equality of all States.

We likewise reject the attempts to destabilize the government of the sister Republic of Nicaragua, a country of peace, where there have been remarkable social, economic and public safety advances that have favored its people, under the guidance of Commander President Daniel Ortega.

We express our all-out support and solidarity with the cultural and democratic Revolution led by our brother, President Evo Morales Ayma, who has placed the Pluri-nationalState of Bolivia at the avant-garde of the struggle for sustainable development and social justice.

Amidst an ever more dangerous and complex international situation, in which the security and wellbeing of our nations are facing unprecedented challenges, unity and solidarity among non-aligned countries become indispensable. For that it is necessary to preserve the concept of consensus applied historically within the Movement, which includes the celebration of broad consultations prior to the meetings and lengthy debates promoted within them in order to provide more possibilities for an understanding, always bearing in mind that what is being sought for is a sound agreement that does not require or entail unanimity. The document on the Methodology of Cartagena does not presuppose the imposition of numerical requirements in decision-making.

Equally vital is the preservation, revitalization and strengthening of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries, whose founding principles continue to be fully valid.

Mr. President:

We recognize the contribution made by Venezuela to strengthen our Movement and preserve unity during its presidency.

We assure the Republic of Azerbaijan, the next president of the Non-Aligned Movement, of our full support.

We reaffirm Cuba’s unswerving commitment with multilateralism and the efforts to advance towards a democratic, just and equitable international order that responds to the call for peace and sustainable development of all peoples. That world will be possible if we all get together and struggle to achieve it.

Thank you, very much.

  • Published in Cuba

Russia Endeavors to Keep US from Attacking against Venezuela

Moscow, Mar 7 (Prensa Latina) Russia maintains its efforts to avoid at all costs a US military aggression against Venezuela, while providing concrete and depoliticized aid to that country, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said.

Russia is doing everything possible to help Venezuela keep its State institutions and democracy, for which political steps are taken, measures are coordinated with our partners and the dialogue process is collaborated, the spokesperson said.

Russia is also working to reduce tensions around Venezuela. We recently discussed this with Executive Vice President Delcy Rodriguez, and the negative aspects of that situation were addressed, Zakharova told Prensa Latina.

Russia offers a real humanitarian aid to Venezuela and, instead of barbed wire or barricaded materials, it supplies necessary food and medicine to the peaceful population of Venezuela that wants to get out of the crisis and develop, the diplomat said.

In addition, we refer to the efforts to not only avert a military scenario, but also avoid, even, the threat of that policy implemented against any Latin American country, the Russian Ministry spokeswoman said.

Zakharova stressed that after the failure to impose a supposed humanitarian aid to Venezuela, as happened on February 23 on the border with Colombia, the United States is looking for other ways and pretexts to attack that country, the official warned.

Despite a restriction passed by the Venezuelan Supreme Court for the departure of legislator Juan Guaido, the government avoided falling into the trap of a provocation and the self-proclaimed president passed immigration without being arrested, the Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said.

The Russian diplomat denounced the U.S.-imposed financial blockade against Venezuela and the attempts to move to a so-called Plan B, that is, create armed groups to act from Colombia, force a conflict, and then legitimize a foreign military intervention.

  • Published in World

People Around the World Reject US Intervention in Venezuela

Demonstrations supporting Venezuela's government are using the hashtags #TrumpHandsOffVenezuela and #VenezuelaEnDefensaDeLaPaz (Venezuela In Defense Of Peace).

People around the world have expressed solidarity with Venezuela and have rejected the United States government's interventionism and the attempted coup in Venezuela.

RELATED: Venezuela Cuts Ties with Colombia As Maduro Declares 'Coup Has Failed'

Demonstrations in support ofthe Venezuelan government on social media are mainly under the hashtags #TrumpHandsOffVenezuela and #VenezuelaEnDefensaDeLaPaz (Venezuela In Defense Of Peace). The Venezuelan Foreign Affairs Ministry has shared several posts to show the support received by the Bolivarian government in different countries and cities around the world.

These various shows of solidarity favor peace and independence in Venezuela based on a strong rejection of the attempted coup d'etat perpetrated by self-proclaimed "interim president" Juan Guaido and backed by the U.S. and its allies.

Strong shows of support for the Venezuelan government and people happened in several cities and states of the United States. In a video posted by the Venezuelan Foreign Affairs Minister, Jorge Arreaza, an important march took place on Wall Street in New York, "to reject the aggressions against Venezuela and to show support to President Maduro and the Bolivarian Revolution."

According to teleSUR's Alina Duarte, people also protested in Washington D.C. and Baltimore, in favor of Venezuela and against the blockades imposed against Cuba and Venezuela. Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Oakland, Califoria are some of the other cities where demonstrations were held against a "U.S. War on Venezuela."

Likewise, it has been stated that the alleged "humanitarian aid" sent by the U.S. has only served to promote military aggression against Venezuela. However, President Maduro has insisted that the population does not need it, but what is needed is to eliminate the illegal blockade imposed by the "imperialist government" and its allies, so that the Venezuelan state can use its resources and pay for the products needed.

Unions and social movements from Portugal gathered to show their support for Venezuela. In Paris, the French capital, dozens of people gathered to reiterate their call for peace in Venezuela. In Canada, sectors of the population marched from the headquarters of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's office to the US embassy to demand "that he keep his greedy hands out of Venezuela's resources."

Today, in Ottawa, Canada, protesters marched from Justin Trudeau's office to the United States Embassy to demand that and keep their "greedy" hands off of 's resources.

In London (United Kingdom) the former mayor of that city, Ken (the Red) Livingstone, participated in a protest against the Bank of England to demand that they return Venezuelan gold. In the protest, the slogan No Blood For Oil could be seen in hashtags on banners.

In the German capital of Berlin, dozens of people gathered at the Brandenburg Gate, in front of the U.S. Embassy in that country. Another mobilization was held in Stockholm (Sweden).

Several countries and peoples of Latin America expressed their support for the Bolivarian Revolution regardless of how their governments are politically aligned.  For example, the Venezuelan embassy in Peru stated that the Socialist Youth went to the central square of Arequipa, to defend the Bolivarian Revolution against imperialist threats. Important artists like Cuban Silvio Rodriguez, Argentine Piero or Roger Waters, co-founder of Pink Floyd, have also expressed their rejection to U.S. interventionism.

Other expressions of solidarity with the government and Venezuelan people have occurred in Switzerland, Australia, Jordan, Chile, Bolivia, Guatemala, Bulgaria, Angola, Mozambique, Vietnam, among other nations that defend international law and the self-determination of peoples.

  • Published in World

Cuba reiterates its invariable solidarity with Constitutional President Nicolás Maduro and the Bolivarian Revolution

Press conference by Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, Cuban Minister of Foreign Affairs, for the national and international media, held at Minrex headquarters, February 19, 2019, Year 61 of the Revolution

(Council of State transcript – GI translation)

Bruno Rodríguez: Good afternoon. Thank you for being here.

We are just a few days from the Constitutional referendum in our country which is holding all of our attention. The mobilization of our people has been intense, and I thank you for the coverage provided by the media you represent.

The government of the Republic of Cuba has consistently denounced that the United States of America is preparing a military aggression against the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, using humanitarian pretexts.

In speeches by the First Secretary of our Party’s Central Committee, on July 26, 2018, and January 1, 2019, and in those of the President of our Councils of State and Ministers, compañero Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, in July last year, and more recently, alerts have been sounded about the very serious consequences -economic, political, social, humanitarian, and to the peace and security of the region - that a new military adventure by the United States in Our America would have.

The Revolutionary Government statement dated February 13, with full responsibility and all necessary facts, affirmed, and I reiterate, that U.S. military transport flights are taking place, originating at U.S. military installations from which operate special forces units and marine infantry used for undercover actions, including those directed against leaders or persons considered valuable.

Entirely without the knowledge of governments in the areas involved, and with total disregard for the sovereignty of these states, the preparation of a military action continues, using a humanitarian pretext.

Yesterday afternoon, President Donald Trump and other high-ranking functionaries and spokespeople for the U.S. government repeated and confirmed that the military option is among those being considered. Yesterday, the President said: All options are open.

According to the media in the U.S. itself, high-ranking U.S. military commands, which do not, have never, taken charge of humanitarian aid, have held meetings with politicians in the U.S. and other nations, and have made visits to sites clearly related to the issue we are addressing.

We are all witnessing the fabrication of humanitarian pretexts. A deadline has been set to force the entry of “humanitarian aid” with the use of force, which in and of itself constitutes a contradiction. It is not possible that real humanitarian help be based on violence, on the use of weapons or the violation of international law. This very focus is a violation of international law that reveals the politicization of humanitarian aid, as has occurred at other moments, with the use of noble causes, of universal recognition, as pretexts for the launching of military aggression.

We must ask ourselves - given the setting of a deadline, given the statement made that the humanitarian aid will enter Venezuelan territory by any means, against the sovereign will of its people and the decision of its Constitutional government - what objectives are being pursued? What could they be, if not generating an incident that would endanger the lives of civilians, provoke violence or unpredictable situations?

There has been talk, these last few days, about the humanitarian aid lasting months or even years - as long as the “reconstruction” lasts, has been mentioned.

We could ask this Senator from Florida what reconstruction he is talking about. We are talking about a nation that is not at war, nor has suffered a war, but knows that war is good business for U.S. companies in the military-industrial complex, and for others later, during the so-called reconstruction.

The United States government continues to pressure member states of the United Nations Security Council to force the adoption of a resolution that would serve as the prelude to a “humanitarian intervention.” Contained in the text is a diagnosis of the situation portraying the peace and security of this sister nation as broken, and calls on all types of international actors to adopt necessary measures.

Given the precedents, including recent ones, this language is well known to be followed by other calls for exclusive aerial zones, the protection of civilians, the establishment of humanitarian corridors, in accordance with Chapter VII of the Charter that authorizes the use of force.

We are hopeful that the United Nations Security Council ensures that its vocation and responsibility as a guarantor of peace prevails, and does not lend itself to military adventures. We call on its members to act in accordance with international law and defend the peace, so precious to humanity, to Our America, and to the Venezuelan people, as well.

The government of the United States has invented, has fabricated in Washington, an imperialist coup, with a “President” constructed in this northern capital, which has not worked even internally. Numerous U.S. sources could be cited, accredited press media that have published all the details about how the coup was organized. At this time, the pressure that the United States government is putting on other countries is still brutal, trying to force recognition of the supposed “President,” self-named and proclaimed by Washington, and the call for new elections in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, annulling those that its people, legitimately and constitutionally, just held.

The maneuvers of the White House National Security team, along with those of some State Department functionaries and U.S. embassies, are well known. Also underway is a huge publicity and political operation, generally seen as a prelude to broader action by this administration.

Coercive, unilateral - and therefore illegal - economic measures against the sister Republic of Venezuela are increasing: the seizure or freezing of financial assets in third countries; the tremendous pressure on governments that supply Venezuela and the Venezuelan oil industry; pressure on banks in third countries to block legitimate financial transactions, even in other currencies; the confiscation, practically theft, of the PDVSA subsidiary in the United States and other interests established in the country.

These measures constitute a gross violation of international law and international humanitarian law, creating hardship and human harm, which are totally incompatible with hypocritical calls for humanitarian aid by those responsible for the implementation of these cruel measures. The figures are obscene. There is talk about humanitarian aid worth some 20 million dollars to a country that is being deprived of more than 30 billion dollars, as a result of these arbitrary, illegal, and unjust measures.

The government of the Republic of Cuba calls on the international community to take action in defense of peace, to prevent a military intervention in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, with the joint efforts of all, without exception.

At this critical moment, when at stake are respect for and the relevance of the principles of international law and the United Nations Charter; when it is decided if the legitimacy of a government rests in the support and the votes of its people; when it is decided if foreign pressure can substitute the sovereign exercise of self-determination; in these circumstances, one can only be in favor or against peace. One can only be in favor or against war.

We encourage the Montevideo Mechanism, especially the governments of the United States of Mexico, the Oriental Republic of Uruguay, the governments of the Caribbean Community and the Plurinational State of Bolivia, to continue making their greatest efforts, in this urgent situation, to facilitate a resolution based on dialogue and absolute respect for the independence and sovereignty of Venezuela, and the validity of the principles of international law, especially non-intervention.

We call for an international mobilization for peace, against a U.S. military intervention in Latin America, against war; above and beyond political differences, ideological differences, in favor of the greater good of humanity which is peace, which is the right to live.

We call on all governments; parliaments; political forces; social, popular, indigenous movements; professional and social organizations; trade unions; farmers; women; students; intellectuals and artists; academics; and especially communicators and journalists - on you (gesturing toward the press) - on non-governmental organizations, on representatives of civil society.

At the same time, the government of the Republic of Cuba reiterates our firm, invariable solidarity with Constitutional President Nicolás Maduro and the Bolivarian Chavista Revolution, with the civic-military union, and the people, and insists that in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, today, the postulates of the proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace must be defended. There, today, the sovereignty of all, the independence of all, and the sovereign equality of states must be defended.

We witnessed in wonder, this afternoon, the speech by President Donald Trump. Suddenly, he decreed the “end of socialism,” and announced “a new day” for humanity. He solemnly proclaimed that, for the first time in history, there would be a hemisphere free of socialism.

He curiously also spoke of progress in negotiations with a large socialist country and had chosen another to host an important summit. How many times have figures in the United States announced the end of socialism or the end of history?

President Trump praised the “great leaders” from Florida present at the event: a governor, a couple senators, a representative, an ambassador, all fundamentalist Republicans, and five minutes later, apparently, they told him or he noticed that he had been deeply unjust by omitting the name of John Bolton, also present.

Bolton has been a war planner for decades, the principle organizer of the coup in Venezuela and a consistent advocate of the military option.

The President of the United States referred to human dignity. Apparently he forgets that it is under capitalism - in particular, imperialism - that injustice, exploitation, and manipulation of persons prevails.

He criticized corruption, perhaps without recognizing that the U.S. political system is corrupt by nature, that this is where special interests and corporate contributions reign, where money talks and now big data, where elections are won by manipulating the people.

He spoke of democracy, without mentioning the millions of U.S. citizens, mostly Black and Latino, who are not allowed to vote, or the 40 million living in poverty, half of them children.

He forgot to mention the more than 500,000 homeless, without a roof over their heads. Perhaps he is unaware that a pattern of racial discrimination prevails there, from disproportionate death penalty sentences and court sanctions, including police brutality that has perennially cost the lives of African-Americans.

He did not mention the low level of unionization of U.S. workers, or women without the right to equal pay for equal work.

He mentioned Venezuelan migrants, but not the wall on the Río Bravo. He didn’t mention the under-aged Central Americans, cruelly separated from their parents, or the deaths in detention centers. He did not refer to repression of migrants, or minorities, or those murdered at the hands of the Border Patrol.

From February 14 to 20, the Cuban people expressed their support for the Venezuelan people and their defense of peace. Photo: Ismael Batista

President Trump promised the coup plotters success, because the United States is behind them, backing them. It appears that he is unaware that the coup has not worked, and this is why threats against Venezuela from abroad are escalating.

He presented himself as a head of state who loves peace. Successive U.S. administrations have provoked dozens of wars. This is the country that has tortured and tortures. This is the country that calls the deaths of innocent civilians in war adventures “collateral damage.” This country has sent tens of thousands of U.S. youth as cannon fodder to die in wars of imperialist plunder. This is the country that launched a war that cost the lives of more than a million on the basis of a lie about the existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Some of the current protagonists were responsible for that war and are now lying about Venezuela.

The (U.S.) President said that socialism does not respect borders. But it was that imperialism that militarily occupied Cuba more than once, that prevented our independence until the entry into Havana of Comandante en Jefe Fidel Castro Ruz. It was that country that stripped Mexico of more than half of its territory, that imposed cruel military dictatorships in Latin America, and that today maintains aggressive military bases practically all over the planet.

President Trump said that socialism promises unity, but provokes hate and division. What extraordinary cynicism, extraordinary hypocrisy! He is the representative of an amoral government, of a sector rejected even by traditional U.S. parties, that plays dirty politics, that incites the polarization of society with the language of hate and division, and that even prominent conservative exponents have condemned, as they lack the minimum standards of political decency.

The President also said that nothing is less democratic than socialism.

Mr. President Trump, try a constitutional reform, call a referendum on your policies, respect the will of your electorate. Remember that you are President despite having lost the popular vote by more than three million ballots.

The accusation by the President of the United States that Cuba maintains a private army in Venezuela is vile. I demand that he present proof.

Our government categorically rejects this slander, while reaffirming the duty and commitment to continue providing our modest cooperation, in which slightly more than 20,000 Cuban collaborators participate, all civilian, 94% of them Health workers, others in Education, as they do in 83 countries around the world.

We Cubans will continue on our own path, and are preparing for a successful referendum just days from now. We will continue calmly and devotedly working, imbued with the certainty that we possess the necessary tools to build our future.

Cuban collaborators in Venezuela, last Saturday and Sunday, exercised their right to vote in the referendum. They did so massively.

They tell their relatives, who logically worry about the news they receive, that despite the circumstances, they live normally in Venezuela; that it isn’t true that there are hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans dying of hunger, as certain deceitful spokespersons claim, and they reaffirm that they will continue to carry out their profoundly humanitarian work.

I firmly reject President Trump’s attempt to intimidate those who, in a completely sovereign manner, in the exercise of self-determination, have decided to build and defend socialism, and the intimidation of numerous parties, organizations, and people who, as lovers of justice, equity, social and environmentally sustainable development, opponents of exploitation, neo-colonialism, neoliberalism and exclusion, have embraced socialist and revolutionary ideas with profound conviction, convinced that a better world is not only possible, not only essential, but inevitable.

As numerous U.S. analysts and politicians have recognized, yesterday’s speech in Florida was very electoral. He wants to intimidate not only socialist and communist forces, but also Democratic leaders, voters, especially young voters who are frustrated with the system.

He proclaimed yesterday that there would never be socialism in “America.”

He doesn’t only seek to intimate the people, but also the Democrats. His position that whoever votes for the Democrats, in the electoral campaign that appears to have already begun, will be voting for the construction of socialism in this nation of the North, is well-known.

Trump’s main “theoretical contribution” in his speech yesterday, was the incorporation of McCarthyism to the Monroe Doctrine, in advocating a single imperialist power, to which he added an extreme, visceral, old-fashioned, essentially outdated anticommunism, rooted in the Cold War. He will not earn any royalties. President Reagan, and beforehand Prime Minister Churchill, beat him to addressing the issue.

Churchill said 71 years ago: “Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy…” Reagan stated 36 years ago: “I believe that communism is another sad, bizarre chapter in human history whose last pages even now are being written… I believe this because the source of our strength in the quest for human freedom is not material, but spiritual.”

It was a clumsy, crude declaration of imperialist domination over José Martí’s Our America. “We have seen Cuba’s future here in Miami,” the U.S. President said yesterday. He is wrong; the future of Cuba is here. With or without additional blockade measures, the future is decided by Cuban women and men. We have done so, we have built and we will defend a socialist Revolution right under their noses.

We must recall the defeat of the Batista dictatorship, established and sustained by imperialist governments. We are proud of our victory at Playa Girón, or the Bay of Pigs. Of our bravery faced with the risk of holocaust in the October Crisis (Cuban Missile Crisis). Of our firm and virile response to state terrorism, faced with the mid-flight bombing of a Cuban civil aircraft; events that have caused 3,478 deaths and left 2,099 Cuban women and men disabled.

We reiterate to President Trump that our loyalty to Fidel and Raúl will be invariable, and that the process of continuity led by President Díaz-Canel is permanent and irreversible. We will be united together with our Communist Party of Cuba. Together we have written this new Constitution and we will vote for it on February 24, for the homeland and socialism. It will also be a response to President Trump’s speech.

Many thanks.

Moderator.- We will now go to a brief Q&A session. I ask colleagues from the press to identify themselves, the media they represent, and to make use of the microphones available in the room.

Katell Abiden (AFP).- Good afternoon, Mr. Minister. I want to ask two questions. If a military intervention occurs in Venezuela, what will your reaction be?

On the other hand, I would like to have your opinion on the possible implementation of the Helms-Burton Act’s Title III by the United States.

Bruno Rodríguez. – Yes. Your first question is hypothetical. Our call is to stop a U.S. military intervention in Venezuela, the time has come to unite and act together, in time to stop it.

On the second, I can reiterate: As we have explained before, and other leaders of our nation and Foreign Ministry spokespersons have said, our country is prepared to face any measure to tighten the blockade, including the implementation of new elements of the Helms-Burton Act. We have a program, with a predictable economic plan through 2030. The Cuban economy has strong international underpinnings. Our economic relations are diverse. We also count on the prevalence of the rule of international law, the rules of free trade, and freedom of navigation, and we are sure that the fiercely extraterritorial application of the economic, commercial and financial blockade of the United States against Cuba not only sparks huge international rejection, but that it will face strong resistance from our economic, investment, financial, tourism emissary counterparts, faced with the attempt to impose additional sanctions against the sovereignty of their states, against their national interests, and those of their businesspeople and citizens.

Axel Vera (ABC-Miami). – What evidence does the Cuban government currently possess that the United States is on the path to a military intervention? Could you explain more about that, please?

Bruno Rodríguez.- Yes. Thanks very much.

I can reiterate that I have all the data that allows me to state that flights from U.S. bases are taking place, where special operations and marine infantry units operate, used for missions of this nature, in preparation for actions against Venezuela.

If you would care to visit some airports, you may be able to personally note what I say. I categorically state that these are not humanitarian aid flights.

Governments are usually able to obtain this information but, even without the data that you are asking about, it is clear that an international situation has been created in which the U.S. government is moving toward the military threat.

I don’t know how you could explain the summoning of tens of thousands of people on the Venezuelan border, to forcibly bring in humanitarian aid. I don’t know what your media outlet expects to happen under those circumstances. I don’t know how you interpret a senator’s statement that U.S. capital will be necessary to rebuild Venezuela.

Lorena Cantó (EFE news agency).- You have said, returning to Title III of the Helms-Burton Act, that Cuba is prepared to confront an intensification of the sanctions, and I wanted to ask you if you hope that countries, above all Canada and other commercial partners of Cuba, adopt an active position like that which was initially produced when this disposition was approved, and that stopped its application and has resulted in its periodic suspension. I don’t know if you have maintained contact with the governments of these countries, if they have conveyed that they will adopt a position now as active as at that time in 1996.

Bruno Rodríguez.- Many thanks.

We are necessarily discrete given our position, but I can tell you that I know of strong opposition from numerous European Union member states, and other industrialized nations; I have seen some statements. I also know of extensive diplomatic exchanges, and I am convinced that these nations will defend not only the sovereignty of their states, but their national interest and the interest of their companies and citizens, and I am sure that they will consider the attempt to establish discriminatory norms in favor of U.S. companies against those national interests unacceptable, as in fact I know is their position. They are supported by international law, the obligation to apply their own laws in their own territory, the existence of antidote laws that should also be applied according to their own legal system and international circumstances; as I have heard energetic, firm statements from numerous United States counterparts regarding trade and investment, considering U.S. trade policies, in terms of tariffs and other aspects, unacceptable.

Sergio Gómez (Cubadebate).- President Trump spoke yesterday in Miami as if there were global unanimity regarding the recognition of Guaidó. Does this, or does Minrex believe that such unanimity exists?

And in the same direction, has this aggressive agenda of John Bolton and Marco Rubio against Cuba that President Trump has assumed, been effective or not in achieving the isolation of Cuba from the international community? Because the latest we had in this regard was global approval of the reestablishment of relations between the two countries.

Bruno Rodríguez.- The isolation of Cuba, or of the United States?
Sergio Gómez.- No, whether it has been achieved, if that policy has been effective, in your opinion, in isolating Cuba from the international community that applauded the reestablishment of relations.

Bruno Rodríguez.- One reads numerous statements and information in the press. Less than a quarter of United Nations member states interfere in the internal affairs of Venezuela to demand elections or, in one way or another, recognize the “president” invented in Washington. So I think the information is irrefutable.

I am also aware of a recent debate in the United Nations Security Council, where the supposed accuser became the accused, faced with the defense of international law and the sovereignty of Venezuela by numerous United Nations member states.

I also know of a meeting of the Coordinating Bureau of the Non-Aligned Movement, that firmly expressed it was against a military adventure, and supports Venezuelan sovereignty.

So I think that we have to separate the propaganda from the reality, to not allow U.S. spokespersons, who sometimes want to confuse reality with their wishes, not ours, succeed.

If there were any doubt regarding the international situation surrounding Cuba, it would be enough to briefly review the minutes, or more entertaining, to see the video of what occurred November 1, in the United Nations General Assembly: 10 votes, practically unanimous, left the United States government isolated, still obsessed with a genocidal blockade.

Those who now speak of humanitarian aid, and generously over 20 million, have caused Cuba damages of approximately one trillion dollars at prices based on the value of gold, or more than 130 billion dollars at current prices. The blockade damages, as has been said, scrupulously calculated, using an internationally auditable methodology, reflect that without it, Cuba would have grown at an annual average of 10% over the last decade.

I think it is totally clear that the United States government, in its attempt to isolate Cuba, has ended up profoundly isolated.

Many thanks.

  • Published in Cuba

Caricom to Almagro: 'You Don't Speak For The Entire OAS'

The Caribbean Community has written to Luis Almagro rejecting his position on Venezuela.

The Caribbean Community (Caricom) has rejected Organization of American States (OAS) Secretary General Luis Almagro's unilateral decision to recognize Juan Guaido as Venezuela's interim president.

RELATED: Luis Almagro Calls for Foreign Intervention in Nicaragua Again

In a letter to Almagro dated Jan. 31, Caricom expressed its “disapproval and grave concern with regard to the position that you [Almagro], in your capacity as Secretary-General, have adopted, by recognizing President of the Venezuelan National Assembly Juan Guaido as interim president of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela,” in the words of Timothy Harris, prime minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, chairman of the conference.

Caricom held an emergency meeting on Jan. 24 attended by heads of state from Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Jamaica, Montserrat, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago, as well as the foreign ministers of Grenada and Suriname.

The Caribbean states deemed Almagro’s decision “inappropriate” because he didn’t have the full support of OAS member states, and they demanded he publicly confirm he doesn't speak on their behalf.

"We are aware that this is not the only occasion on which you have made public utterances in the name of the organisation without authority," the letter reads.

"This type of unilateral action by a head of an international organisation, whose membership comprises sovereign states, is a clear departure from normal practice and causes great concern."

Almagro recognized Guaido as soon as he was appointed interim president by the National Assembly, in judicial contempt, on Jan. 23.

The following day, OAS member states rejected a resolution by the Argentine delegation, contradicting the position adopted by Almagro, the United States, and Latin American right-wing governments.

Distancing from the previous secretaries’ more neutral position, in June 2018 Almagro filed a complaint against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro at the International Criminal Court (ICC) over alleged crimes against humanity.

He was expelled from his own Broad Front of Uruguay (FA) party in December due to his interventionist comments against the Venezuelan government and others in Latin America.

“One thing is having a critical position about the situation in Venezuela or other countries in Latin America, and another very different one is to actively criticize one of the countries from a position that should generate consensus in the Americas, besides having a perspective absolutely in line with that of the United States, even showing sympathy for an eventual invasion,” said Jose Carlos Mahia, FA’s vice-president.

Almagro served as foreign minister during Mujica’s presidency (2010-2015) and was a member of the Movement of Popular Participation (MPP), a socialist party founded by former guerrilla fighters of the Tupamaros National Liberation Movement (MLN-T).

His position drastically changed after he was named secretary general of the OAS and he recently said he had “irreconcilable differences” with the FA regarding “human rights and democracy.”

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Diaz-Canel: Coup d'état against Venezuela Raises Awareness

Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel warned Saturday that the ongoing coup against Venezuela raises awareness about the impact of US interference.

'By orchestrating another coup d'état against Venezuela, the United States of the Monroe Doctrine, raise awareness. Our young people go to the archives and find a sad record of interventions and death, ' he wrote on his Twitter account.

Since the escalation in the anti-Venezuelan aggression, which led on January 23 to the self-proclamation of Juan Guaido as interim president and to his recognition by Washington and its allies, Diaz-Canel has insisted on the need to defend the Bolivarian Revolution and its leader, Nicolas Maduro.

On Friday, the Cuban Movement for Peace and the Sovereignty of the Peoples recalled in a statement the consequences of US aggression in Latin America and the Caribbean, such as those carried out against Panama (1989), the Dominican Republic (1965) and Grenada (1983).

Other peace advocacy organizations and activists in Cuba and the region also drew attention to the impact of the regime-led campaigns led by the White House in Iraq, Libya, and Syria, where the death toll is of hundreds of thousands.

  • Published in Cuba

Ongoing Coup in Venezuela: What If Same Scenario Happens in France

This Cold War could well warm up under the Caribbean sun. It is now up to all peace activists to mobilize against intervention

Let's start by asking our readers in France some questions.

Imagine that the highest Chinese authorities are calling on Yellow Vests to take the streets of Paris and major French cities.

Imagine that Russia decides to no longer recognize President Emmanuel Macron and declares that the new legitimate French president is Marine Le Pen or Jean-Luc Mélenchon.

Imagine that Iran is funding and arming paramilitary groups to set the country on fire and destroy it.

What would you call it? No matter what opinion you have of President Macron, would you be willing to accept such foreign interference in the affairs of our French Republic?

Incongruous situation? And yet this is exactly what is happening in Venezuela.

It cannot be said that the scenario had not been advertised. As early as Jan. 8, two days before Nicolás Maduro's swearing in, the Venezuelan National Assembly illegally passed a Transition Law in order to seize the executive power (president). The United States and its allies in the Lima group were quick to support this putschist initiative.

Before going any further, let us remember that the National Assembly has been in a situation of contempt of court for almost two years. After the election of deputies in December 2015, the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) candidates in Amazon State filed a complaint because their opponents had purchased votes to win the election. The court subsequently condemned the fraud and the Electoral Power Tribunal demanded that the election for these three seats be redone.

Since the Speaker of the National Assembly refused to comply with the judicial and electoral authorities, the National Assembly was declared in "contempt of court." Decisions and votes emanating from the legislative power are therefore null and void as long as the speaker of the National Assembly fails to authorize the return to the polls.

It should be noted that the opposition holds an absolute majority of 122 deputies out of 167 seats. This insubordinate Legislative Assembly has therefore become a parallel legislative power. However, it is this body that is making the attempt at an institutional coup d'état, which we are currently witnessing.
Pence calls for coup

On Jan. 22, while several demonstrations were being prepared in Caracas, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence called on Venezuelans to rise up against the legitimate government. This clearly shows that opposition political organizations have so little legitimacy that Washington must directly call -- without an intermediary -- on Venezuelan citizens and the army to overthrow Nicolas Maduro, in order to satisfy U.S. interests.

The next day, as expected, as soon as Juan Guaidó illegally took over the executive power, the White House "officially recognized the president of the National Assembly as interim president of Venezuela."  A handful of Latin American countries, subservient to Washington, will follow Trump's order to recognize his Venezuelan Gauleiter [name Nazis used for their leader of occupied country].

The creation of parallel powers is nothing new. As early as 2017, the opposition created a parallel Supreme Court (based in Panama), and a post of Attorney General of the Nation (based in Colombia). Now, with the usurpation of executive power by a National Assembly in contempt of court, we are facing the construction of illegitimate public authorities, recognized by the USA, Canada and their Latin American vassals.

Since these bodies obviously cannot coexist with legitimate powers, there will undoubtedly be an upsurge in violence in the Bolivarian country. It is in this sense that Washington's refusal to comply with the expulsion order of its Caracas diplomats, immediately announced by President Maduro, must be interpreted.

This scenario reflects the situation that preceded the Libyan and Syrian wars. The formation of parallel governments, whether the Libyan National Transitional Council or the Syrian National Salvation Council, has been a prerequisite for the bombing of these countries, or for unleashing mercenary attacks on them. During the night of Jan. 23, gangs of armed criminals carried out a reign of terror in some parts of Caracas by shooting at everything that was moving and clashing with the police.

It should be recalled here that the National Assembly, which is today the main instrument of the institutional coup attempt, has approved all of Washington's economic sanctions against its own [Venezuelan] people. Worse still, on Jan. 8, 2018, it paved the way for the devastation of the country by authorizing the creation of a trust fund to reclaim the assets of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

Hiding its intentions behind the fight against corruption, the National Assembly allowed foreign countries to freeze the assets of its own country. Here again, this reminds us of the strategy deployed in Libya and the freezing of that country's assets.

Washington and its allies can count on bands of mercenaries, recruited to spread violence in Venezuela. In addition to the Colombian paramilitaries, who are very active on the Colombian-Venezuelan border, President Maduro reported, on Nov. 28, the presence of 734 mercenaries on military bases, on Eglin AFB in Florida and on Tolemaida in Colombia. Their goal was to attack Venezuela or to prepare a false flag attack in order to justify military intervention against the Bolivarian nation.

In the short term, the outcome of the showdown we are witnessing can only be, unfortunately, violent. Neither Nicolas Maduro's legitimate power nor the dummy bodies created by his opponents will retreat or engage in dialogue in the immediate future. In any country, Juan Guaidó and the felonious Assembly members would find themselves behind bars. Venezuela must deal with the threats made by the USA.
‘All options on table’

President Donald Trump stated that the military option against Venezuela remains valid ("all options are on the table"). As for the State Department, it has already announced that it is preparing to send "humanitarian aid." Nicolas Maduro's government, which is fighting to have the financial blockade against his country lifted, will never accept that the USA should disembark under the pretext of "humanitarian aid." This provocation is part of a planned strategy that former SouthCom Commander John Kelly had mentioned on 28 October 2015: "The United States will intervene for humanitarian reasons, if asked to do so". This has now been done.

Faced with this escalation of tension, all that is missing is a detonator to justify a war adventure. Let us remember the media lies that plunged Iraq, Serbia, Libya or Syria into the destructive abyss of war: the alleged destruction of incubators in Kuwait, the Raçak massacre in Serbia, the bombing of demonstrations in Benghazi, Libya, or the torture of teenagers in Deraa, Syria were all the necessary prelude to legitimizing massacres in the name of the "Defense of Humanity."
Media intoxication to justify intervention

International public opinion could once again be the victim, in the coming weeks, of a media intoxication operation in order to justify a military operation against Venezuela.

Although the Venezuelan scenario looks similar to those deployed in the Levant, there are still some significant differences. On the one hand, the Venezuelan army continues to support its country's Constitution, its national sovereignty nation and the republic. While 20 soldiers were arrested on Jan. 21 for trying to appropriate a weapons depot, the tens of thousands of soldiers and hundreds of thousands of reservists did not show any interest in a coup. The Minister of Defense, Vladimir Padrino Lopez, recalled that the Bolivarian National Armed Forces "defend the Constitution and are the guarantors of national sovereignty."

On the other hand, Russia, China, India, Pakistan, Turkey, Iran, South Africa and a vast majority of countries in the world recognize the legitimacy of President Maduro. Beijing has supported the Venezuelan government in its "efforts to maintain its sovereignty." The Kremlin, for its part, assured Caracas of its support to "ensure that Venezuela's sovereignty is respected."

It is true that the Venezuelan opposition has done everything possible to provoke the allies of the Bolivarian Revolution. By claiming loud and clear that the credit lines authorized by China and Russia or the economic agreements signed by President Maduro would not be recognized by "their government," they have de facto internationalized the Venezuelan conflict.

Beijing, Moscow and Ankara are now indirectly targeted by the anti-democratic designs of the Venezuelan opposition. An intensification of the current conflict or a military adventure would have repercussions far beyond Venezuela's borders.

This Cold War could well warm up under the Caribbean sun. It is now up to all peace activists to mobilize against intervention and for a political solution to this new offensive against the Bolivarian Revolution. Let us not allow the warmongers to spill blood that is not their own.

  • Published in World
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