Maduro Slams Venezuelan Opposition for Refusing to Go to Municipal Elections

Maduro asserted that the government would continue "on the peaceful, democratic path," in a meeting with the Federal Council of Government 

The Venezuelan president, Nicolas Maduro has expressed concern over the three opposition parties among them Democratic Unity, MUD Coalition's decision to withdraw from the upcoming municipal elections tentatively scheduled for Dec.10 to elect regional leaders such as mayors.

RELATED: Venezuela Opposition Leader Capriles Threatens to Withdraw From MUD Coalition

Maduro asserted that the government would continue "on the peaceful, democratic path," in a meeting with the Federal Council of Government at the Miraflores Palace, Caracas. 

Further adding that the Bolivarian Revolution will continue along the electoral, peaceful and constituent path. 

"We will continue along this path regardless of the circumstances in the years to come," the president reiterated during a meeting with the recently elected governors, where he also reviewed the investment plans for each of the states. 

Stressing that Venezuelans "should feel proud of our electoral system," the head of state said Venezuela needed a democratic opposition that is respectful of the Constitution, the laws and that is willing to have a dialogue "for the great interests of the country."

Adding, that those who violate the law and go against the municipal elections in December, will see legal repercussions.  

"I declare myself in the battle against those who intend an insurrection of the Venezuelan electoral system," he said. 

Maduro urged the right-wing leaders to recognize Chavismo as the country's greatest political force after the government democratically gained 18 governorships during the mid-October elections.  

"Chavismo is a determining force of the political, social and electoral life of the country, those who do not recognize this in Venezuela are absent from reality," the Venezuelan president stressed. 

He stated that after the municipal elections the Federal Council of Government will be installed immediately for the planning and coordination of policies and actions "with all mayors who are elected." 

Things started to go downhill for MUD after it lost 18 out of its 23 legislative seats to Maduro's United Socialist Party of Venezuela, PSUV, during the mid-October regional elections, tipping the balance in the current government's favor. 

Fractions of the opposition accused Maduro's government of rigging the elections and using undemocratic means to gain votes. 

Saying that the "Federal Council of Government must be an instance of dialogue, understanding and permanent institutional action," he announced the council will be put to work immediately after the municipal election to plan and coordinate policies and actions with the elected mayors in December. 

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Venezuela Looks East to Strengthen 'Hugo Chavez' Oil Belt

Moscow and Caracas also have more than 261 agreements to strengthen the economic development of both nations.

Under U.S. sanctions, Venezuela is making progress in developing its oil and gas potential with the support from Russia and China.

RELATED: Venezuela's Government Appoints Eulogio Del Pino as New Oil Minister

On Tuesday, Venezuelan Oil Minister Eulogio Del Pino met Russian Ambassador to Venezuela Vladimir Zaemskiy to review joint investment plans for the different Russian companies operating in this country.

Russia is a minority partner of the Petrovictoria, Perforosven, Petromonagas and Petromiranda companies operating in the Orinoco Oil Belt, the world's largest oil reserve, in addition to the Boqueron and Petroperija projects in Zulia state. In 2014, the Oil Belt was named after late president Hugo Chavez.

Both countries are now currently moving forward in the study plans to develop gas projects in the Paria Peninsula in Sucre state, especially the Patao and Mejillones fields belonging to the Mariscal Sucre Project.

Besides that, Moscow and Caracas have more than 261 agreements to strengthen the economic development of both nations.

Gazprombank, the third largest investment bank in Russia, is one of the largest investors in Venezuela to develop energy projects. In the last two years, it invested more than US$1 billion in projects executed by Petrozamora.

In another event, Venezuela’s Vice President of Planning, Ricardo Menendez, said on Wednesday the country’s authorities assessed to expand China's shareholding in the joint venture Petrosinovensa.

RELATED: Sanctions Against Venezuela Will Make Things Worse: UN Expert

He said China showed interest in participating in the reactivation of 800 wells of the Oil Belt in Anzoategui state to increase production by 42,000 oil barrels per day.

A new refinery will also be developed in China along with the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC).

Del Pino said this project opens a space for the South American country's oil to join the Asian market.

"This is coupled with a very aggressive marketing scheme that has been developing with a joint venture with China that offers us an advantage of reducing costs in the transportation of crude oil," he said.

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Venezuela Needs Unity to Overcome U.S. Imperialism: Constituent Diosdado Cabello

“Let's not confuse ourselves. The enemy is U.S. imperialism. We are all needed here,” Cabello said.

The first Vice President of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) and elected Constituent Assembly member Diosdado Cabello issued a call for unity of Venezuelan revolutionary forces against threats stemming from United States imperialism.

RELATED: US Vice President Meets Venezuelan Opposition and Promises More Sanctions

“Today imperialism is threatening us again. We are here, we do not attack anyone, but we are going to morally defend ourselves,” Cabello said during a broadcast on the Con el Mazo Dando program on the Venezuelan Television channel. “We are obligated to be united. There is no way to overcome such a powerful enemy if we do not have internal unity.”

On the tails of Trump announcing a possible “military option” for Venezuela, something that was unanimously rejected in Latin America, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence met with opposition leaders in Florida on Wednesday, announcing that the U.S. would be imposing more sanctions against the Bolivarian government which he called a "dictatorship."

RELATED: While US Threatens War, Venezuela's Maduro Promises Elections

Cabello said that the attacks stem from the fact that Venezuela has chosen not to follow the capitalist model, but has instead taken the path of sovereignty and working toward socialism, as laid out by the late former President Hugo Chavez.

The United States is “in essence against a great project opposing the capitalist model. This project was embodied by Hugo Chavez. It was he who opened the doors for us.”

The Socialist Party leader recalled the coup backed by the U.S. embassy in Caracas against the Bolivarian government in 2002 that attempted to remove President Chavez.

“Let's not confuse ourselves. The enemy is U.S. imperialism. We are all needed here,” Cabello said.

Cabello said that the participation of the Venezuelan people in the Constituent Assembly elections on July30th was the “biggest defeat for the U.S. government.”

“What happened on July 30th was a lesson for the world,” he said.

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Venezuelan Foreign Minister Denounces CIA Interference

CIA Director Mike Pompeo revealed the U.S. advises Mexico and Colombia on how to manipulate the outcome in Venezuela.

Venezuela’s foreign minister condemned CIA schemes to overthrow the government of President Nicolas Maduro, denouncing the CIA’s dealings with foreign governments such as Mexico and Colombia to manipulate events in Venezuela.

RELATED: Ambassador to Mexico Says Venezuela Needs No 'Tutelage'

Samuel Moncada took to Twitter, posting notes from a question posed by Vanessa Neumann, president of Asymmetrica — a business intelligence firm — to CIA Director Mike Pompeo during an extended briefing, where Pompeo said, "We are very hopeful that there can be a transition in Venezuela and we the CIA is doing its best to understand the dynamic there."

"The head of the CIA says he works with Colombia and Mexico to overthrow the democratic government of Venezuela."

Pompeo added, “America has a deep interest in making sure that (Venezuela) is stable, as democratic as possible ... The Colombians, I was just down in Mexico City and in Bogota a week before last talking about this very issue trying to help them understand the things they might do so that they can get a better outcome for their part of the world and our part of the world.”

Following a U.N. meeting with the chief of staff of the U.N. Secretary General in New York City, Moncada said he alerted the official of U.S. maneuvers to destroy democracy in Venezuela.

A la Jefa de gabinete del SG-ONU, explicamos las violaciones al derecho internacional por parte de EEUU contra el pueblo venezolano.

"We explain the violations of international law by the United States against the Venezuelan people to the Chief of Staff of the SG-UN."

Moncada called the pending threats from President Donald Trump to take “take strong and swift economic actions” in the event that the National Constituent Assembly election vote takes place on July 30 as “anti-democratic, unhumanitarian, and imperialistic."

Moncada also accused U.S. intelligence of organizing violent demonstrations and spurring on the opposition.

The diplomat commented that Venezuela hopes to work with the United Nations under the foundation of respect and cooperation to counter the matrix that has been built against Venezuela.

Vice President of Parlasur Daniel Caggiani also emphasized Monday the importance of not intervening in the "internal situation" in the country. "Venezuela is of concern to us, but I think it is not good for the bloc itself to comment on the internal situation in the South American country," he said to Radio Uruguay.

Caggiani highlighted the role Uruguay played as mediator at the last Mercosur summit Friday, refusing to sign a statement condemning Venezuela.

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Venezuela: Opposition Protesters Burn Motorcyclist Alive at Barricade

More than 80 people have been killed or seriously injured since opposition protests started in April.

One man was killed and another left with severe burns after opposition protesters attacked a truck driver with molotov cocktails in Zulia State, Venezuela on Wednesday.

RELATED: Ignoring Opposition Attack, US Calls for ‘Pressure’ on Maduro

The national director of Civil Protection, Jorge Galindo, reported Thursday that one death and two bystanders were seriously injured as a result of a protest in Maracaibo.

According to a victim of the attack, the truck attempted to avoid being attacked at the barricade and collided into a motorcycle behind the vehicle, trapping the motorcyclist under the truck before protesters threw the petrol bombs.

"We came across the barricade .. and those who had blocked the way began throwing stones at us to loot the truck and when we went in reverse, we hit the motorcycle," said Jose Bravo, who was in the passenger seat of the truck.

“(The motorcyclist) lay injured on the road and then they threw Molotov bombs at us and set the truck on fire. The boy burned to death and my colleague and I were rescued," Bravo continued.

Bravo, 33, suffered third-degree burns to 95 percent of his body, was sent to the Coromoto Hospital’s Burn Unit to receive treatment.

The motorcyclist was identified as 20 years old Luigin Paz.

The roadblocks closing down a main road near the city’s bridge were organized by anti-government groups answering a nationwide protest call by opposition leaders from the MUD coalition.

MARACAIBO: Resultó con 95 % de QUEMADURAS en su cuerpo el cddno José Bravo (33) quien trató de esquivar una barricada y le arrojaron molotov.

Through its official Twitter account the Attorney General's office indicated that investigation had been called.

The opposition MUD coalition had called for a "national shutdown" Wednesday, with small numbers across most of the country cutting off access to roads for four hours as a protest against the National Constituent Assembly called by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

Many of protests which have transpired since April have spiralled out of control, leaving more than 80 deaths in its wake. On several occasions President Maduro has called for the cessation of violence and dialogue as a way to resolve the conflict, however, MUD has rejected this possibility and has maintained its calls for street protests.

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