Cuba Defends Lula, Maduro at Sao Paulo Forum in Nicaragua

The 23rd Sao Paulo Forum meets in Managua this week to advance the unity of Latin America's left in the face of renewed attacks by global capitalism.

The Cuban delegation at the 23rd Sao Paulo Forum reaffirmed their support for Venezuelan President Maduro and former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio "Lula" da Silva Sunday, claiming both leaders were victims of an “imperialist offensive."

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In an interview with Prensa Latina, Jorge Arias, deputy head of the Department of International Relations of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba, emphasized the Cuban delegation's solidarity with Lula and Venezuela's Bolivarian process.

Arias argued the attacks against Maduro's government and the recent ruling against Lula were part of an “imperialist offensive” waged by the oligarchic right to besiege the region and reverse the gains made by the left during the past two decades.

Arias' comments come just days after former Lula's politicized conviction on corruption charges and in the midst of continuous attempts to derail the Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela, which faces a crucial democratic test later this month as representatives are elected to the country's National Constituent Assembly.

The Cuban delegation was joined by delegates representing social movements, popular bases and leftist parties across Latin America and the Caribbean at the 23rd Sao Paulo Forum, convened Sunday in Nicaragua's capital Managua.

The objective of the three-day conference is to further advance the regional, ideological and practical unity of the continent's left in its fight to consolidate its national liberation goals in the face of a renewed offensive by global capitalism against the peoples of the region.

Upon arriving in Managua Saturday, Puerto Rican independence leader and recently-released political prisoner Oscar Lopez Rivera stressed the importance the forum in remarks to reporters.

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"My freedom was achieved due to the solidarity of people like (those in) Nicaragua, who love freedom and justice," said Lopez Rivera, who was released in May after spending 36 years in prison for his fight to liberate Puerto Rico from U.S. colonialism.

The forum will also officially adopt the Consensus for Our America, a 24-page document dedicated to late Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro that lays out the principles, purpose, objectives and priorities of the forum's participants. The forum's participants hope that the text, drafted collectively in past work sessions, will serve as a key programmatic document for progressive forces in not only Latin America, but the entire globe.

“The accumulation of capital is leading to the concentration and centralization of it (through) neoliberal policies focused on privatization and private appropriation of state enterprises, as well as the use of public funds to socialize the losses of private enterprises,” the document points out, adding that global capitalism seeks to eliminate any progressive or leftist presence from the world's social, institutional and political spaces.

Founded by the Worker's Party of Brazil in 1990, the Sao Paulo Forum was established in a bid to unify the efforts of the world's major leftist forces in the wake of Soviet socialism's collapse and the advance of neoliberalism, which stripped workers and poor people of hard-fought gains while privatizing previously off-limits sectors of national economies and the global commons alike.

The forum will entail various working groups and plenaries before ending Tuesday, a night prior to Wednesday's celebration marking 38 years since the triumph of the Sandinista Revolution. The revolution deposed U.S.-backed dictator Anastasio Somoza and brought the Sandinista Liberation Front to power, ushering in a period of sustained economic progress, poverty reduction, peace and stability in the Central American nation.

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Countries Around the World Condemn Attack in Venezuela

Widespread support resounded from 17 African countries, as well as Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Cuba, Palestine, and Turkey after the attacks.

In the aftermath of the helicopter attack against the Venezuelan Supreme Court, countries around the world have expressed their solidarity with Venezuela by condemning the acts that the Bolivarian government has described as “terrorist.”

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The countries include Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Cuba, Palestine, Turkey, as well as widespread support from Africa where 17 countries have condemned the attacks.

The Bolivian government issued a communication insisting on the importance of peace and dialogue between Venezuela's internal political forces, and called for the preservation of stability.

The Ecuadorean government released a communication calling for “unrestricted respect for the democratic order of states, the peaceful resolution of conflicts, non-interference in a coutnry's internal affairs, and the rejection of attempts toward destabilization.

Guatemala also condemned the attacks and called for sincere political dialogue in Venezuela.

A former police official stole a helicopter on Tuesday afternoon, from the Generalisimo Francisco de Miranda airbase in the Venezuelan capital, and proceeded to fly over over and attack the Supreme Court of Justice and Interior Ministry buildings with grenades. Nobody was injured in the attack.

The Venezuelan Foreign Minister Samuel Moncada described the attack as an “act of terrorism,” and has thanked the countries who have condemned the attack for their displays of solidarity.

Moncada denounced the complicity of those countries and international organizations such as the OAS who have failed to condemn the attacks after months of international attempts to interfere in Venezuela's internal affairs.

In the day following the attacks, the United States has not condemned the attacks. Rather U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley called for increased “pressure” on Venezuelan President Maduro while speaking to the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee.

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Cuba condemns terrorist attacks in Caracas

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cuba issued a statement regarding recent events in the Venezuelan capital.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cuba strongly condemns the terrorist attacks in Caracas against the Supreme Court of Justice and the Ministry of Popular Power for Internal Affairs, Justice and Peace.

It is unjustifiable that certain governments and political figures, instead of expressing resolute and direct opposition to these terrorist and coup-mongering acts, present them as a supposed police rebellion, and manipulate them to incite the rupture of the civic-military union, and to attack the dignified decision of President Nicolás Manduro Moros to prevent chaos and call for the legitimate defense of constitutional order.

It is not surprising that the Organization of American States (OAS) and its secretary general have become, through their silence, accomplices of what happened and what may happen.

Cuba resolutely rejects the use of terrorism and foreign interference in Venezuela, while reiterating its firmest solidarity with the Bolivarian Revolution and its leaders. Nothing and no one will prevent the brave people of Bolívar and Chávez from fighting with determination to defend their ideas and achievements, and restore the peace that others have broken.

Havana, June 28, 2017

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Venezuela Omdusman Slams 'Dangerous' Rise in Politically Motivated Hate Crimes

At least 86 people have died since opposition-led protests aimed at toppling the government began.

Venezuela’s ombudsman, Tarek William Saab, denounced on Sunday the rise in far-right hate crimes as the opposition calls for an escalation of protests against the government that have claimed the lives of over 80 people.

RELATED: Venezuelan Youth Burned for 'Being Chavista' Dies from Injuries

"Hate crimes, like lynchings, motivated by political reasons advance dangerously and with impunity in the country," Saab said.

He published a series of videos showing how a group of people protesting in the Tamanaco Commercial Center, CCCT in the capital city of Caracas tried to attack a woman and chased her down the mall. She was mistaken for Marlene de Andrade, the wife of Winston Vallenilla, the president of the state-run television station, TVes.

"We are struggling to change a country, where there is tolerance and all of us who think differently can live and facts like these do much harm. The lady here is a worker who was just doing an errand and she did not deserve this aggression," an unknown person is heard saying next to the woman in another video, in what appears to be bathroom inside the mall.

"What would have happened if the mob that chased this lady in the CCCT had managed to lynch her? Applauding this is condemnable," said Saab on Twitter.

At least 86 people have died since opposition-led protests aimed at toppling the government began, despite calls by President Nicolas Maduro for dialogue with opposition sectors. On May 1, President Maduro invoked the legal mechanism allowing him to call for a Constituent Assembly as a means to quell the unrest through a process that would include citizens in the writing of a new constitution for the South American nation. 

In addition to those killed, over 1,200 have been injured in the protests.

RELATED: Opposition Violence Suspected Behind Killing of Venezuelan Judge

Saab also accused the country's right-wing opposition of being behind recent attacks and threats against his family last week. He said some 30 people carrying flags of the opposition party Justice First attacked his family and threatened to burn their house down.

"Seeking aggression with intentions to injure or kill a human being because of their ideological stance is disgusting," Saab wrote on his Twitter account. "The justice system has can stop this despicable phenomenon that if it were to continue with impunity, would be the prologue of a civil war."

Saad denounced last week that opposition sectors have attacked eight of the headquarters of the Ombudsman's Office across the country, including an incident on Saturday when a "group of hooded men sprayed gasoline" at the headquarters in the city of San Cristobal "and attacked it with blunt objects."

Among the most shocking case of hate crime was the lynching of Orlando Figuera, who was burned alive on May 20 in affluent Caracas neighborhood of Altamira, reportedly because opposition protesters suspected that the 21-year-old Black man was a government supporter.

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Venezuela Top Court Confirms Constituent Assembly Will Go Ahead

Venezuela's electoral authority has signaled that elections to select the National Constituent Assembly representatives will take place July 30.

Venezuela’s top court rejected Monday an appeal filed by the country’s attorney general, confirming that the National Constituent Assembly called by President Nicolas Maduro to rewrite the Constitution will continue as planned.

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"The Electoral Chamber declared inadmissable the legal action exercised by the Attorney General of the Republic for inept accumulation of claims," Venezuela's Supreme Court announced on its Twitter account to 81,400 followers. 

Attorney General Luisa Ortega Diaz filed an appeal Thursday to the Supreme Court calling on justices to halt the National Constituent Assembly, deepening tensions between her office and the Maduro government. 

Together with her appeal, Ortega Diaz urged Venezuelans to reject the constituent assembly process, arguing that it went against the legacy of late President Hugo Chavez, who oversaw the creation of the counry's current 1999 Constitution, regarded as one of the most progressive constitutions in the world. 

Members of Maduro's PSUV party have accused Ortega Diaz, long considered an ally of the socialist government, of acting with bias. 

Maduro called the National Constituent Assembly last month in a move to promote dialogue amid an ongoing wave of opposition protests that have increasingly turned violent. The announcement has further ignited flared tensions, as opposition leaders have refused to back the process. 

The National Constituent Assembly's 545 members, including regional and sectoral representatives, are set to be elected on July 30. Maduro has vowed that the new Constitution resulting form the constituent assembly process will be approved in a referendum. 

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Ileana-ultra Venezuelan: Shared Slap in the Face

Now before a very favorable event for Caracas and adverse for the flood of lies that Washington directs against it.  

It’s the agreement signed between Venezuela and the famous investment and securities group Goldman Sachs.

The New Herald journalist, Catalina Ruiz Parra, said that this powerful institution bought 2,800 million dollars in funds to the Venezuelan Central Bank.  

At a speech given by Ros-Lehtinen last Wednesday at the Capitol of Washington she was really harsh with the deal.

She asserted that, any money injection like that, “it’s irrational” and it won't benefit Venezuelans"  

On the contrary, she added, it will fill the government's arks; it will be used to abuse of the people and remain in power."

According to Ileana, the purchase of the funds issued by the state-owned company Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) for which it paid around 865 millions, "keeps Maduro alive".

She also highlighted a significant point of view when she estimated that private sectors are not the only ones supporting Maduro.

Then, the twice small lawmaker dared say that, sadly, Donald Trump also help the government of Caracas allowing the purchase of raw Venezuelan petroleum.

She remembered that in 2016 Venezuela was the third petroleum supplying country to the United States, behind Canada, and Saudi Arabia.

Also in the first trimester of 2017 the exports of Venezuelan raw petroleum to the United States surpassed the 3,500 million dollars.

Amid such turmoil, Ros-Lehtinen made a call so that economic transactions like these are avoided.

However, it doesn't seem an easy task. For what reason?

The Goldman Sachs Group sent an interesting note to the Spanish news agency EFE that read:

“We recognize that the situation in Venezuela is complex and changing, but as others in the sector, we believe that it will improve with time."

Who are those thinking in that way? The CEOs of one of the most important investment and securities entities worldwide, the Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

Founded in 1869, among their main officials appear three Secretaries of the Treasure of the United States like Henry Paulson who served under Bill Clinton's and George W. Bush’s administrations.

The main headquarters for the Sachs Group is based in Manhattan, New York.

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