Venezuela & ALBA Weekly 4.10.2020 Cuba sends more doctors, the US sends warships

Cuba
MEDICC: Six Decades of Cuban Global Health Cooperation A review of development of Cuban medical aid to other countries, which began with Chile in 1960. Discusses Cuba’s international school of medicine, ELAM, which has trained 29,000 doctors from other countries, for free. Operation Milagro, where millions around the world received free cataracts surgery. This article gives a detailed summary of the international medical work for which Cuba is famous.

New York Times: Cuban docs fighting coronavirus around world, defying US For two years the Trump administration has been trying to stamp out one of Cuba’s signature programs __ state-employed medical workers treating patients around the globe in a show of soft power that also earns billions in badly needed hard currency. Cuba currently has about 37,000 medical workers in 67 countries, most in longstanding missions. “Shame on you. Instead of attacking Cuba and its committed doctors, you should be caring about the thousands of sick Americans who are suffering due to the scandalous neglect of your government and the inability of your failed health system to care for them,” Josefina Vidal, Cuba’s ambassador to Canada

Venezuela
Susan Sarandon, Noam Chomsky, John Pilger, Ray McGovern, Medea Benjamin, 3100 others: Open Letter to Condemn Trump Administration’s Hypocritical Indictment on Drug Charges of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and High-Ranking Venezuelan Officials The US has not presented evidence to substantiate their narco-trafficking indictment. Washington’s case looks politically motivated. In the wake of over six years of US sanctions and over a year of failed attempted coups, the majority support of the Venezuelan people for their democratically elected government has not been shaken. We, the undersigned, demand that the US government:Drop the groundless indictments against President Maduro and others; Lift the sanctions so that Venezuela can purchase life-giving medicines and medical equipment to fight the coronavirus pandemic that is threatening the entire world; Restore normal relations with Venezuela based on peace and respect for national sovereignty.

Oliver Stone, Dan Kovalik: Sanctions are terribly cruel during a pandemic: The U.S. should loosen the economic vise against Iran and Venezuela Cuba, along with China, is sending doctors and supplies to a number of countries around the world to help them fight the pandemic.These actions represent the type of international solidarity and show of humanity that the world needs right now. Sadly, the federal government in Washington is demonstrating the very opposite at this time, removing all of its Peace Corps staff from around the world, and, even worse, increasing sanctions against countries like Cuba, Iran, Venezuela and Nicaragua during the height of the COVID-19 outbreak. It is accurate to say that the U.S. is weaponizing the virus against these countries.

National Lawyers Guild & more legal organizations: Open Letter urges end to U.S. Sanctions on Iran and Venezuela Over 200 lawyers and legal organizations called on the United States to drop its sanctions against Venezuela and Iran as the countries race to fight COVID-19 in an open letter released Friday. The global pandemic has drawn attention to the devastating effects of U.S. sanctions on these countries, as well as the ongoing blockade of Cuba, and how these illegitimate unilateral coercive measures undermine public health and global peace and security.

Newsweek: Trump Adm used Venezuela anti-drug operation to distract from CoronaVirus Crisis at home, US officials say  Trump’s plan for cracking down on drug traffickers near Venezuela in an apparent attempt to stop the spread of the coronavirus was a mission developed months ago to pressure President Nicolás Maduro and had nothing to do with mitigating the disease, senior U.S. officials told Newsweek. It was instead a move to deflect criticism about the administration’s mishandling of the outbreak at home. “This wasn’t supposed to be put in the public until May,” the senior Pentagon official who was familiar with the operation told Newsweek. “POTUS is using the operation to attempt to redirect attention.”

President Maduro: Letter to the People of the United States  The Trump Administration, once again instrumentalizing institutions in order to fulfill electoral objectives, and based on infamies under the pretext of the War on Drugs, has ordered the largest U.S. military deployment in our region in the last 30 years, with the purpose of threatening Venezuela and bringing to our region a costly, bloody, military conflict of indefinite duration. It is clear that the Trump Administration is creating a smokescreen to cloud the improvised and erratic handling of the pandemic in the United States.

OrinocoTribune: 90 Tons of Humanitarian Aid From Russia, WHO and UNICEF Arrive to Fight Covid-19 “This is the first UN humanitarian shipment to support the response to the Covid-19 outbreak in Venezuela, in a joint effort by UNICEF, PAHO, WHO and the Population Fund to bring vital supplies to be distributed in the most vulnerable health centers and communities,” said Peter Grohmann, coordinator of the United Nations Organization (UN) System in the country.

Venezuelanalysis: European Left Slams EU Support for Trump’s Venezuela ‘Transition’ Plan
A coalition of leftist European parties has condemned the European Union (EU) after the body’s foreign policy arm endorsed a new US plan to remove Venezuela’s Maduro government.in a statement Sunday, the Party of the European Left (EL) denounced the EU position as “complicit in a criminal policy that threatens life itself.”  Bringing together 26 leftist parties from across Europe, the EL additionally demanded “the immediate lifting of all sanctions against Venezuela, the immediate release of funds and assets captured in an abusive manner by financial entities, and the establishment of active cooperation with that country and all others to confront the COVID-19.”

Steve Ellner: Why The Mainstream Media Suggests Lifting Sanctions Against Iran While Not Saying Anything About Venezuela No other country in the world is being subjected to the type of regime change strategy that the Trump administration is applying to Venezuela. Only in the case of Venezuela has Washington done so much to promote international support in favor of a parallel government.

The Network in Defense of Humanity – US Chapter: In Response to President Maduro’s Letter to the People of the United States It is outrageous that the US Administration is sending resources against Venezuela for war while being disorganized and inept at getting lifesaving equipment such as ventilators, beds, and even facemasks to its own population and medical workers on the frontlines. While other countries such as Cuba, Russia and China are sending medical workers and equipment to assist internationally in the common fight against COVID-19, the Trump administration is sowing conflict and threatening war.

Ecuador
OrinocoTribune: Ecuador’s Rafael Correa Framed Up In Absentia to 8 Years in Prison: “The Country’s Energies are Being Distracted, We Should be Focused on the Coronavirus Crisis” The sentence not only condemns Correa to spending time in prison, but also disables his political participation in Ecuador for 25 years, a fact that the Ecuadorian ex-president has been denouncing and that he has described as a political persecution or lawfare launched by current president, Lenín Moreno.

Nicaragua
NicaNotes: Experience with Nicaragua’s COVID-19 Containment Efforts  – Western Media’s Best Kept Secret With 6.5 million inhabitants, Nicaragua had as of April 5 only 6 cases of COVID-19, of which 3 were active, 2 were recovered and one, ill with AIDS, had died. In the region, only Belize, with less than 400,000 inhabitants, has fewer confirmed cases than Nicaragua, with 5, all active.In terms of cases per million inhabitants, Nicaragua has the lowest number of cases in the entire region – 0.93 cases. It is followed by Guatemala, with 4.22 cases; El Salvador, with 9.56 cases; Belize, with 12.24 cases; Honduras, with 32.54 cases; Costa Rica, with 89.76 cases; and Panama, with 471.22 cases per million. We look at the causes for Nicaragua’s success.

This Week’s Webinar Videos
The People’s Response to the Crisis: The Current Situation in Venezuela, with Carlos Ron, Vice-minister for North America of the Ministry for Foreign Relations

Francisco Dominguez Briefing:Venezuela, Trump, Sanctions & Covid-19 in Latin America (VenezuelaSolidarityUK)