Maduro: Venezuela Faces Coup Ordered by US, Lima Group Ahead of Inauguration

The president said that any attempt against democracy should face the justice system, the constitution and the power of the union between civilians and the military.

In a press conference delivered to local and international media, the president of Venezuela Nicolas Maduro said Wednesday that a coup against the country is underway.

RELATED: Venezuela Delivers Protest Note to 'Lima Group' Countries

"A coup is underway, ordered from Washington (capital of the U.S.), ordered from the Lima Cartel (Lima Group), in Venezuela, and I tell you: the Venezuelan people will know how to respond to any attempt, any intentions that are intended today or tomorrow. (...) The Bolivarian Revolution has been preparing to confront and defeat any traitor who intends to violate life in Venezuela."

The president added that any attempt against democracy should face justice system, the constitution and the power of the union between civilians and the military.

During a press conference on national television from the Miraflores Palace in Caracas, the Bolivarian leader affirmed that the country is in a moment of definitions, and accused the media and the countries of turning his inauguration for a constitutional second term into a world war.

"What we have seen in recent weeks is unparalleled, the extremist forces against Venezuela have been unleashed," said Nicolas Maduro, saying that the only objective of these operations is to destabilize and fill Venezuela with violence, confusion and chaos "to seize its riches and change the course of history."

In addition, he accused the so-called Lima Group of being a "cartel of mafia interests", commanded by the United States and of violating the rules of international coexistence through issuing the declaration of last Friday, which he categorized as being an "order" from the Venezuelan opposition.

His press conference comes just a day ahead of taking the oath for his second term (2019-2025), after winning the presidential elections on May 20, 2018 with 67.84 percent of the vote. Several world leaders are expected to attend the inauguration as well as several delegations from around the world.

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ALBA Countries Condemn Interference by US and Latam Allies

ALBA stated that the Lima Group was “violating the Venezuelan people and its institutions by negating Venezuela’s appeals to the United Nations for support" amid the US blockade.

The Union for Social and Popular Movements (ALBA) issued on Sunday a statement admonishing U.S. actions against Venezuela and its people, and condemning the recent statement issued by the Lima Group.

RELATED: Venezuela Rejects Interventionist Comments by Pompeo in Brazil

ALBA expressed "concerns" in a seven-point statement in support of “the united struggle of our peoples,” in which it decries the interventionist rhetoric made by the Lima group, which they described as having “the singular purpose thus far of threatening the sovereignty of the Venezuelan state breaking with the principles of ‘not interfering in the internal affairs of a nation."

The group of countries, including, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Saint Lucia  all signed on to a statement that calls for President of Venezuela Nicolas Maduro to not take office for his second six-year term on Jan. 10, but instead, devolve his presidential powers to the Venezuelan National Assembly.

These thirteen countries have called the most recent elections, in which Nicolas Maduro was elected with more than 60% of the vote, illegitimate, despite the numerous international observers providing oversight. 

ALBA states that the countries are “violating the Venezuelan people and its institutions by negating Venezuela’s appeals to the United Nations for help to combat the “national emergency created by the coercive and unilateral blockade placed on the country by the United States.”

On the same day during a public act at the Military Academy of Caracas, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro reiterated his commitment to the defense of Venezuela's sovereignty and rejected any interference from the U.S. government and their allies, confirming he will take office on Jan. 10 in the Supreme Tribunal of Justice. 

"The problems of each country are solved by their people and the problems of Venezuelans are solved by Venezuelans without the intervention of another government in the world, this is what I am about, this is what the Revolution is about, and the Revolution is stronger than ever", Maduro concluded.

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Uruguay Discards to Join Group Lima against Venezuela

Montevideo, Jan 5 (Prensa Latina) The Uruguayan government refuses to join the declaration of 12 countries of the Lima Group that does not know the new mandate of the president-elect of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro, reported here on Saturday the newspaper La Republica (The Republic).

The publication attributed to chancellery sources the reaffirmation of a diplomacy more favorable to the recognition of that legitimate authority while at the same time struggling for a peaceful solution through the dialogue of Venezuela's internal political conflicts.

It is recalled that since the disputes there took on relevance, Uruguay adopted a similar position, which neoliberal sectors did not understand.

A few months ago, Foreign Minister Rodolfo Nin Novoa said that 'the government has firmly maintained the course recommended by prudence, moderation and scrupulous respect for international legality, even at the expense of criticism, which demanded greater indulgence for a part and greater severity for the other '.

The Uruguayan Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), the one commissioned by Washington to add the acceding States to the hostile declaration, was expelled last December from the ruling Frente Amplio, in plenary session, for the serious failure to encourage intervention military in Venezuela.

The Republic emphasizes that the recent declaration of the Lima Group did not have the endorsement of all its members because Mexico and Uruguay recognize the government elected by the Venezuelans.

Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Saint Lucia, joined forces to ask the legitimate relection of President Nicolás Maduro not to take office at the inauguration on January 10.

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Bolsonaro Open to Hosting US Military Base to Advance Brazil's Military Supremacy

Far-right Brazilian President Bolsonaro remarked that Russia's support for Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has significantly increased regional tensions.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said, in a television interview Thursday, that he is willing to negotiate the possibility of hosting a United States military base in the country. This decision, if achieved, would imply an unprecedented change in the foreign policy of Brazil, a country that consolidated regional power - during the 20th century - without compromising territorial sovereignty.

RELATED: Brazil to Move its Embassy to Israel, but 'No Date Yet'

"Depending on what happens in the world, who knows if we would not have to discuss that issue in the future," Bolsonaro declared, emphasizing that Brazil seeks to have "the supremacy here in South America."

Bolsonaro, a 63-year-old retired army captain - who took office on Jan. 1, also remarked that Russia's support for Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has significantly increased regional tensions, and is a worrying development.

"Russia has made a maneuver in Venezuela. We know the intention of Maduro's Government... and Brazil has to worry about it. Over the last 25 years, our Armed Forces have been abandoned because of a political issue, because we, the Armed Forces, are the last obstacle to socialism," Bolsonaro said, adding that "my approach to the U.S. is an economic issue, but it can be military as well."

Bolsonaro's cabinet in begins to look more like a military base than a political cabinet. So far, 6 ministers have military backgrounds. Brazilians went to polls expecting to uproot corruption, they might end up uprooting civilian rights for military imposition.

Bolsonaro, who is a confessed admirer of Donald Trump, has been working to consolidate a conservative alliance not only with the United States, but also Israel.

The Brazilian head of state's national security adviser, retired army General Augusto Heleno, confirmed Thursday, that Bolsonaro wants to move the Brazilian embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, but that logistical considerations stand in the way.

Heleno did not elaborate, but the country's powerful agricultural sector opposes moving the embassy from Tel Aviv, which would anger Arab nations that buy billions of dollars worth of Brazilian meat each year.

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Venezuela Slams Pompeo, Duque Over Fake Claim US Helped Colombia Achieve Independence

Duque and Pompeo met for about 40 minutes at the Guest House in Cartagena, Colombia where they discussed interventionist efforts into Venezuela. 

The Venezuelan government condemned Thursday the position of Colombian President Ivan Duque, and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, "whose governments intend to subjugate and violate the sovereignty and self-determination of the Venezuelan people."

RELATED: US: Mike Pompeo Starts Interventionist Latin American Tour

"It is a historical aberration the subordination of the current government of Colombia to U.S. interests, to the point of attempting to twist the heroic Bolivarian feat and instead thanking the United States for its supposed collaboration with the Colombian independence forces 200 years ago," Venezuelan Foreign Ministry said in a statement Thursday.

Duque and Pompeo met for about 40 minutes at the Guest House in Cartagena, Colombia, where the Colombian president expressed his gratitude for the assistance provided by the U.S. government for the "emancipation of Colombia," stating that "the support of the founding fathers of the United States was crucial to achieve our independence."

In the statement, the Venezuelan government indicated that "the anti-Venezuelan rhetoric that the Colombian president and the U.S. secretary have shown, clearly intends to distract the public attention from the resounding failure of the US anti-drug policy in Colombia, as well as the lamentable state of the peace process and the irrepressible violence in the neighboring country."

Colombia has seen a rise in paramilitary violence over the past few years following the peace agreement between the Colombian government of Juan Santos and the former leftist guerrilla FARC. The power vacuum created by the demonization of the FARC has led to more paramilitary violence that has claimed the lives of hundreds of social leaders in the country as well as the lives of former FARC militants.

Social movement and human rights organizations have repeatedly accused both the Santos and Duque governments of failing to curb the power of paramilitaries in the country and also dragging their feet on the total implementation of the peace process which includes protections for social leaders and former militants.

Far-right Duque himself has connections to paramilitary groups, and his mentor former President Alvaro Uribe has also been implicated in several cases that involve right-wing paramilitary violence.

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Venezuela to Promote Fair Oil Prices in OPEC by 2019

Venezuela continues today its call to promote in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) fair prices that allow better investments and the flow of oil to consumer states in 2019.

In recent statements, the minister of the sector, Manuel Quevedo, said that for the coming year the nation assumes the presidency of the Conference of the agency, a scenario to take action on the value of hydrocarbons. In the meetings held in 2018 with OPEC and non-OPEC nations, favorable scenarios were evidenced as a result of the actions taken to set the stabilization of the market, the minister said.

Two years after having reached the Declaration of Cooperation for the Voluntary Adjustment of Crude Production, this initiative promoted by President Nicolas Maduro confirms the joint work between these countries with the objective of stabilizing the world oil market, he said.

During the 175th OPEC meeting, held on December 6 in Vienna, Austria, it was agreed to lower the daily pumping from 2019 to balance the market, which will be distributed between OPEC and non-OPEC countries.

The former will adjust their production to 800 million barrels per day while the non-OPEC nations will maintain the index of 400 million barrels per day.

For the Conference of the agency in 2019 will be taken into account the figures of supply and demand of crude that threw the recent reports that, although they show a balance, also demonstrate the volatility of the costs by operational and geopolitical variables.

According to the state-owned company Petroleos de Venezuela, the South American delegation to the meeting will ratify its interest to maintain the balance for the development and economic prosperity of the member countries and the oil world. Likewise, it will propose converting Petro cryptocurrency into the future of oil transactions worldwide, as well as a bridge for the internationalization of this Venezuelan asset.


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Venezuela Demands from the U.S. to Stop Meddling in Its Affairs

Venezuela has reiterated its demand from the U.S. Government to cease its interference in its internal affairs, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, William Castillo, said Wednesday.

After statements issued by the US State Department on Caracas' sovereign decision in its jurisdictional waters, the official criticized the constant interference of the US Government in national politics.

'The U.S. must cease its illegal and insolent intervention in Venezuela's affairs and deal with its own problems,' the diplomat wrote on Twitter.

Castillo also questioned Robert Palladino spokesman's statements on the action carried out by the Bolivarian National Navy in response to the incursion of two Guyanese exploration ships into the Venezuelan Orinoco Delta, and described their action as 'ridiculous'.

'Palladino is sent by (Michael) Pompeo to make a fool before Christmas by questioning Venezuela's sovereign and peaceful actions,' he added while demanding relations of respect from U.S. President Donald Trump.

It is evident that Washington interferes with convenience in a matter that is not at all its concern, aimed at fostering corporate interests linked to the governing elite, regardless of the most elementary rules of public international law, the official emphasized.

'We make a firm appeal to the U.S. authorities to stay out of relations between sovereign states and to deal with their internal affairs and problems,' Castillo said.

The official U.S. statement comes after the Bolivarian National Navy intercepted two seismic exploration vessels in Venezuelan waters on Dec 22, demanding Guyana to respect its sovereignty and urging it to re-establish direct talks with Venezuelan authorities.

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Venezuela Promotes Plan for the Development of Special Economic Zone

Caracas, Dec 24 (Prensa Latina) Venezuela is promoting the development of Special Economic Zones (EEZ), with the aim to enhancing the commercial activity outlined in the Government''s recovery plan.

In this regard, Deputy Minister of Economy Juan Arias highlighted through Twitter the work of the Ministry to attract investments, directly enhance the value of the economy and strengthen foreign trade.

In November, Venezuela's Minister of Economy Simon Zerpa presented areas for the productive expansion of the nation within the framework of the International Tourism Fair (Fitven 2018). Among other announcements, the Minister announced the next creation of this type of economic zones in some of the most important tourist centers of Venezuela, among them, Margarita Island, Los Roques archipelago and La Tortuga island.

He also referred to the creation of the Petro Zones, decreed by President Nicolas Maduro in the context of the Recovery, Growth and Economic Prosperity Program for the extension of the use of the Venezuelan cryptocurrency.

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