Venezuela & ALBA Weekly: US-Sanctioned Countries set example in Fighting Coronavirus

More than 70 Groups Demand Trump Immediately End US Sanctions Against Iran, Venezuela, Cuba, and Others During Covid-19 Crisis actual letter here) Over 70 civil society groups representing more than 40 million people called on President Donald Trump Thursday to issue immediate sanctions relief for numerous countries—including Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba, and North Korea.

Venezuela Webinar Videos
Video:An Inside View of Venezuelan Resistance to US Imperialism and How to Build International Solidarity

Peoples Forum video: 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

Nicaragua
COHA(John Perry): How the Nicaraguan Opposition Distorted the Government’s Response to COVID-19 Since early April, Nicaragua’s well-connected opposition leaders have used their contacts in the international press to push a series of stories relating to the pandemic. These stories – detailed below – variously claim that President Daniel Ortega is in quarantine or has died, that his government is in denial about the coronavirus or that it is ill-prepared and inactive in the face of the threat.

TheGrayzone (Ben Norton): Corporate media spreads fake news claiming Nicaraguan President Ortega is dead – then he gives a fiery speech condemning US militarism. Ortega dispelled the fake news when he appeared on April 15 to deliver a fiery televised speech in which he defended Nicaragua’s socialized healthcare system, called for world peace, and criticized the United States for spending so much money on war while its own citizens were dying due to a lack of healthcare.“The largest military power in the history of humanity, the largest economic power in the history of humanity, it is not able to meet the needs of its own citizens in the large cities in the United States,” Ortega declared. “Wasting trillions of dollars on atomic bombs, military bases, military alliances.”

TortillaconSal (Stephen Sefton): Why the West Hates Nicaragua The Western liberals and progressives who generally control information and communications in North America and Europe cannot acknowledge the success of Nicaragua’s Sandinista government without conceding their own monstrous cynicism and hypocrisy. In general, ever since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, they have effectively colluded with corporate capitalism and its neoliberal political sales team. At best, they have beseeched minor tweaks and adjustments to the worst capitalist excesses in their own countries so as to mitigate somewhat all the injustice and suffering at home.

Venezuela
Venezuelanalysis:US ‘Plunders’ $342m of Venezuelan Funds; COVID-19 Hotspot Breaks Out at Baseball Academy Venezuela’s Central Bank (BCV) has accused the Trump administration of “vulgar plundering” after US $342 million was to be transferred out of its US-based Citibank account.The transfer to the US government’s Federal Reserve was “approved” by Venezuela’s “parallel parliament” on Wednesday, which “requested” that the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) authorise the transaction.

ResumenLatinoamericano (Pasqualina Curcio): An Exponentially Criminal Attack on Venezuela At the height of the pandemic, they intensified the commercial and financial blockade, they terrorize those who are willing to sell us food and medicine, including the shipping companies; they are holding about $5 billion from us in their banks, which, in this health emergency, would allow us to supply food to all the Venezuelan people for a couple of years. Escalating the attack on the Bolivar and manipulating its price to induce hyperinflation is an option for the United States which, without further economic requirements or mobilization of troops, seeks to economically and politically destabilize Venezuela from within.

Orinoco Tribune: House-to-House: How Venezuela, with the Help of Cuban Doctors, is Stopping the Coronavirus One of the strategies for dealing with the coronavirus in Venezuela is, in addition to quarantine, house-to-house visits that doctors make to detect cases of contagion and treat them early. Many of the doctors are Cuban, and they walk around the neighborhoods every day in their white coats and masks. The health personnel who go out every morning to tour the neighborhood from the CDI are accompanied by an individual belonging to one of the popular forms of organization that exist in the neighborhood, such as communal councils, communes, local supply and production committees.The house-to-house system has been successful in Venezuela.Its implementation has made it possible to launch an offensive against the coronavirus, conducting a search of every home to detect it early and avoid complications in patients, breaking the chains of transmission, and preventing its proliferation.

Cuba
TeleSur: U.S. Blockade Prevents Swiss Aid to Cuba Swedish banks interrupted the transactions to Cuba due to the U.S. restrictive policies. Therefore, Cuba cannot receive vital provisions to face the pandemic with ventilators, food, fuel, and medical equipment. Medi-Cuba and Switzerland -Cuba Association also condemned the refusal of Swiss-based firms to sell essential medical devices to Cuba.

Medea Benjamin: We Should Applaud the Cuban Health System — and Learn From It Poor and blockaded Cuba not only has better health indicators than the United States, but its international medical efforts save thousands of lives a year. Cuba’s free and universal health care system puts the island in a better position to deal with this crisis than most countries. The island of only 11 million people is home to the world’s largest international medical school, the Latin American School of Medicine (ELAM). Since its founding in 1999, the school has trained over 35,000 young people from 138 countries, including the United States. And here’s the kicker: it’s free.

Granma: Stay at home school lessons in Cuba The tele-class began on time, true to the announced schedules for this educational programming, meticulously planned by subject and grade level. Beyond the timing, my thoughts were focused on all the effort these broadcasts must have required, no doubt even greater in times of pandemic. The first lesson, of course, was for me. I was able to confirm that my daughter’s teacher, the usual one, the one in the real classroom, is following the study plan to the letter, and any questioning of her due dates was unthinkable.

Ecuador
CEPR (Guillaume Long): How Ecuador Descended into Corona Chaos Ecuador now has the highest per capita COVID-19 death toll in Latin America. under pressure by the IMF to reduce the size of the state, the Moreno government has made damaging cuts to public health. Public investment in health care fell from $306 million in 2017 to $130 million in 2019. Researchers from the Dutch International Institute of Social Studies have confirmed that in 2019 alone, there were 3,680 layoffs from Ecuador’s Health Ministry, amounting to 4.5 percent of total employment in the ministry.

Code Pink (Teri Mattson) interview with Guillaume Long: Ecuador’s COVID Crisis

Campaigns
Canadian Network on Cuba:  Campaign to Support Cuba’s Contribution to World Fight Against COVID-19 Cuba has more than 800 medical personnel serving humanity in the trenches of 16 countries against the dreaded coronavirus.To contribute to the Campaign to Support Cuba’s Contribution to World Fight Against COVID-19: cheques should be made out to the “CNC,” with “COVID-19” written in the memo, and then mailed to: c/o Sharon Skup, 56 Riverwood Terrace, Bolton ON L7E 1S4

Sites to Follow Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua:

Friends of Sandinista Nicaragua

Friends of Evo’s Bolivia

Stand with Venezuela

Orinoco Tribune

Venezuela Solidarity New York

End Venezuela Sanctions

Friends of Ecuador – North America