Venezuelan Foreign Minister Condemns Unilateral Sanctions by EU

Jorge Arreaza said that the sanctions by the European Union are aimed at attacking the Bolivarian Revolution and its democratic institutions.

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza on Monday condemned the unilateral sanctions of the European Union (EU) and called on the bloc to rectify its interventionist position.

"It is regrettable that the European Union is put to the tail's end of US imperialism, it is regrettable that the European Union has issued a series of restrictive measures against Venezuelan citizens, officials, but also presidents of public powers, that is, against Venezuela and its democratic institutionality democratic," Arreaza said during the II Forum of Cooperation of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (Celac) and China.

RELATED:  Venezuela Rejects 'Interventionist' Sanctions Imposed by EU

Arreaza asserted that the EU violates international law by subordinating its foreign policy "to the imperialist, supremacist and racist US policy"

"Venezuela calls on the EU to reflect and rectify because our independence is sacred, our institutions legitimate," he said.

Arreaza stressed that the EU's arguments to impose sanctions are not to promote dialogue with the opposition, on the contrary "it is about attacking the Bolivarian Revolution, and attacking Venezuelan democratic institutions."

He recalled that the undersecretary of State for Political Affairs of the United States, Thomas Shannon, had previously reported that "they instructed the EU with a package of sanctions against Venezuela."

The Venezuelan diplomat said that his country will continue in the process of dialogue with the opposition, as well as progress in all areas of society.

  • Published in World

ALBA Countries Agree to Strengthen Regional Integration

Caracas, March 6 (Prensa Latina) ALBA-TCP member countries agreed to work with the purpose of strengthening the unity and integration of Latin America and the Caribbean and establishing conditions to guarantee the economic growth of this Latin American bloc.

This was proclaimed by Caracas Declaration at the conclusion of the 14th Summit of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America - Peoples' Trade Agreement (ALBA-TCP), which was held on Sunday at the Miraflores Palace, headquarters of the Government of Venezuela.

The Alliance is composed of eight countries, with two special guests and three observers. The full members are Antigua and Barbuda, Bolivia, Cuba, Dominica, Ecuador, Nicaragua, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Venezuela.

Special guests include Suriname and Saint Lucia, while observers include Haiti, Iran, and Syria.

The unity and regional integration of Latin America and the Caribbean is an urgent need in this complex environment. ALBA-TCP, along with blocs such as MERCOSUR, UNASUR, CARICOM, and others that regained their leading role in the last decade, should continue to contribute to regional integration.

'The Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) is our most precious work. It is the mechanism to forge unity in diversity through political agreement. The Community has had to face the resistance of the defenders of failed Pan-Americanism. We must preserve it,' the statement stresses.

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USAID-Funded Freedom House Report Casts Leftist Latin American Governments as "Not Free"

The assessment is unsurprising given the U.S. history of pushing for regime change in leftist governments in Latin America. 

The Washington-based, USAID-funded research group Freedom House recently released its annual “Freedom in the World” report, which promoted a definition of "freedom" bent towards U.S. interests in the region. The report cast Venezuela and other left-wing Latin American governments as “not free,” while marveling at Brazil’s Michel Temer government, which ousted elected President Dilma Rousseff in a parliamentary coup last year.

RELATED: Venezuelans Remember Chavez's War Against Imperialism

“Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro’s combination of strong-arm rule and dire economic mismanagement pushed his country to a status of Not Free for the first time in 2016,” the organization warns in their report. Its assessment of the country, however, grossly overlooks that the opposition-controlled parliament has long attempted to, and prioritized, ousting Maduro through constitutionally dubious means.

Since the report was published, leaders have spoken out against the conclusion. Uruguay’s President Tabare Vazquez quelled the mainstream hysteria surrounding Venezuela, telling Deutsche Welle Tuesday that "there is democracy because there are three powers working.”

The Uruguayan president recalled that in that country "there is a functioning judicial power, a legislative power in operation (where the opposition is majority) and there is an executive branch with its president and vice president … this is the cold figure of the Venezuelan state."

While the report rebuked Maduro’s rule and other leftist governments in the region, such as Nicaragua, Ecuador and Bolivia, it remained unconcerned with Brazil, ranking the country’s freedom with a high ranking of 79 in its 100-point ranking system.

“History may judge the impeachment itself. The process impeded government functions by absorbing executive and legislative attention for months, and it did little to resolve a broader corruption crisis,” they write of the impeachment of Dilma Rousseff. The report, however, made no mention of Temer regime’s criminalization of social movements, its 20-year freezing of social spending, and Temer’s history of corruption himself.

The assessment is unsurprising given the United States’ alignment with the Temer government and history of pushing for regime change in the leftist governments in the region.

While Freedom House claims to be an “independent watchdog organization,” it is financed through “grants from USAID (US Agency for International Development) and U.S. State Department.”

RELATED: Only Progressive Governments Attended CELAC Summit

As Venezuela Analysis reported, the NGO has conducted “democracy promotion” projects across the region, funded by USAID. Between 2012 and 2015, the organization received US$2,160,000 in grants for its activities in Venezuela alone.

In leaked U.S. State Department documents from 2006, U.S. Ambassador to Venezuela William Brownfield explicitly laid out U.S. objectives in the South American nation: “The strategy's focus is: 1) Strengthening Democratic Institutions, 2) Penetrating Chavez' Political Base, 3) Dividing Chavismo, 4) Protecting Vital U.S. business, and 5) Isolating Chavez internationally.”

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Cuban Intellectual Calls for Ideas to Stop Fascist Onslaught

Bolivia, Oct 11 (Prensa Latina) Cuban Intellectual and Culture Minister, Abel Prieto, convened to stop the fascist onslaught in Our America and the world promoting among young people the ideas of Marti, Che Guevara and the great liberators.

Speaking to Prensa Latina during the tributes to Che in this Bolivian city and La Higuera, where he was assassinated 49 years ago on instructions from the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, Prieto reflected on the current world situation.

Now, there is an attack against all progressive processes, and I think we need of paradigms, models that young people know of the history of our region, as Marti, Che, Bolivar and many others, who left a seed for future generations, he said.

Because we all know that the great project of the imperialism is that the contemporary youth keep busy on other more trivial things, and it is essential that those ideas remain in force, he said.

It is also essential that young cadres be trained as Bolivian Culture Minister, Marco Machicao, committed to the historical project of the great heroes of Our America, Prieto said.

He highlighted the recently concluded meeting of Culture Ministers from the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) in the Bolivian city of Santa Cruz and some of them were in Vallegrande to pay tribute to Ernesto Che Guevara.

The Cuban writer and leader stressed that the CELAC bill has much to do with Marti and Che. They were convinced that Our America and the Southern nations had to rise, creating two, three, many Vietnams.

Che was confident that, at short or long term, people would reach victory over imperialism, and that faith in victory, that tenacity and revolutionary stubbornness that is in Fidel and Raul Castro, Evo Morales and Hugo Chavez, have led our region to win an exceptional place in the world, he stressed. Prieto praised the role the Cuban Medical Brigade has played in many countries, those health collaborators have been here for 10 years with new waves of professionals and the same Guevara, revolutionary, Latin Americanist spirit, and they continue working to preserve these historic sites and defending Che's ideas.

  • Published in Culture

Former Uruguayan President Jose Mujica is in Cuba

Former Uruguayan President and current senator Jose Mujica is in Cuba to take part in a literary forum at Havana´s Casa de Las Americas Cultural Institution.

Mujica, who is being accompanied by his wife, senator Lucia Topolansky, will meet participants at the 57th Casa de Las Americas Literary Prize and will deliver a key-note lecture at the Che Guevara Hall in the cultural institution.

The former Uruguayan President will also attend an ongoing international conference on the life and work of Cuban National Hero Jose Marti, which is being attended by other personalities, including UNASUR general secretary and former Colombian president Ernesto Samper.

  • Published in Cuba
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