Venezuela & ALBA Weekly #300, May1,2020: The US uses the Pandemic against Venezuela and Cuba; Ben Linder Remembered

BlacklistedNews: Wikileaks Puts all their files Online

Venezuela
Pittsburgh Post Gazette editorial: The U.S. does not need a war in Venezuela  The COVID-19 pandemic has thrust the United States into crisis, and its citizenry is in desperate need of medical, economic and moral support. What the people do not need, or want, is another war.

The U.S. has built up a tremendous force in the waters north of the country. “We’re deploying additional Navy destroyers, combat ships, aircraft, and helicopters; Coast Guard cutters; and Air Force surveillance aircraft, doubling our capabilities in the region.”Officials at the Defense Department reportedly opposed the deployment, as the military has struggled with the spread of COVID-19. But their concerns were ignored.

The president claims that the operation is meant to combat drug trafficking, primarily cocaine smuggling, but such a force has never been previously deployed solely for drugs. And data from the U.S. government’s own Consolidated Counterdrug Database shows that Venezuela is not a primary transit country for U.S.-bound cocaine. Six times as much cocaine passed through Guatemala in recent years. Our government should focus on the more pressing needs of its own people, who are trying to make it through the most significant crisis the country has faced in decades.

OrinocoTribune: Ambassador Moncada Denounces Trump at the UN for his “Genocidal Policy” Towards Venezuelans Moncada denounced the “genocidal” management of the United States to the UN Security Council for using “the pandemic as a weapon against Caracas.” Since at least 2015, the US, UK and other allied countries have imposed various illegal sanctions, “in an illegal action that repeats itself in the XXI century, the same acts of colonialism that characterized the nineteenth century.”

Orinoco Tribune: Now the US Navy Intimidates Venezuelan Fishing Vessel in International Waters
A Venezuelan fishing vessel was boarded in the Pacific Ocean by the US Coast Guard. The illegal boarding of the Venezuelan vessel was carried out following US Southern Command orders and the excuse was that it was part of “actions in the Caribbean and the Pacific, to stop the flow of drug trafficking from South and Central America to the United States..”

Maria Paez Victor: Despite the Siege, Venezuela Controls the Coronavirus A review of the steps Venezuela took to effectively combat the virus, in spite of increased US measures to disrupt them.

Venezuelanalysis: Venezuela: Guaido to Use Funds Frozen in US to Pay Loyalists $5000 Monthly Salaries The Trump administration recently moved $342m belonging to the Venezuelan Central Bank (BCV) from a frozen Citibank account to an account at the New York Federal Reserve. The Guaido-led opposition reportedly “approved” the measure, which the BCV called “plunder.” Washington has repeatedly dispensed funds to the Venezuelan opposition, including $98 million in October and $52 million in September of last year.

PeoplesDispatch: The US believes it has a “messianic mission” against communism, says Venezuelan vice-minister Carlos Ron  Ron:The US strategy has been clear. And when I talk about the United States, I also mean this group of Guaidó, because there is no clear separation between them.

The interest is to promote a rebellion within the Armed Forces. If you have military forces nearby, there’s always a chance that something will happen. I don’t think we are in that moment right now, but we can’t rule out it being a possibility, because they are not acting rationally.

Upcoming Documentary on Embassy Protectors

Cuba
PrensaLatina: President Diaz-Canel condemns attack on Cuban Embassy in US For his part, Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez referred to the aggression, saying that at dawn, on April 30, the Cuban Embassy in the US was the target of an armed attack by an unidentified individual. Rodriguez pointed out that the diplomatic personnel were not hurt and are safe, and that the investigation into the event is underway. A press release from the Cuban Foreign Ministry says, ‘There was no damage to the mission’s personnel, who are safe and protected, but there was material damage to the building resulting from the impact of the shooting.’ ‘The individual, whose identity the Cuban Government does not have information, was detained by local authorities at the scene and is in custody,’ the communiqué adds. Statement by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cuba, Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla

Granma: Another life-saving brigade travels to South Africa More than 1,450 men and women in white lab coats from Cuba’s Henry Reeve Contingent have traveled to 22 nations in Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa and the Middle East to battle the pandemic.A brigade of 217 Cuban health professionals has arrived in South Africa to support the battle against COVID-19 in that country, bringing to 22 the total number of “medical embassies” that have traveled abroad to help save lives.

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

Nicaragua
NicaNotes: Is Nicaragua Hiding COVID-19 Cases?  Ben Linder’s Legacy Remembered  The  disinformation campaign against Nicaragua over its coronavirus success.

Jacobin: The American That Reagan Killed

Ben Linder was a living embodiment of the best of the internationalist spirit of sacrifice for the benefit, not dispossession, of people in other countries under the boot of repression and poverty.

Bolivia
Peoples Dispatch: Bolivia’s socialist presidential candidate Luis Arce speaks about elections, COVID-19 and fascist oppression Since the coup, a number of social programs, such as the Bono Juancito Pinto, Bono Juana Azurduy and Renta Dignidad cash transfer schemes, have been either cut drastically or effectively discontinued. At the same time, the regime has used the crisis to mount an authoritarian crackdown. While those who breach curfew and quarantine measures risk up to 10 years’ imprisonment, the government has done nothing to guarantee financial assistance or even job security for workers. This has led to riots throughout the working class suburbs in El Alto and Oruro, and at least 1,200 arrests. This is in addition to the persecution of hundreds of social activists and militants of Morales’s Movement for Socialism (MAS) over the past few months.

Sputnik News: Bolivian Gov’t Mishandles COVID-19 Crisis, Steps Up Persecution of Morales’ Supporters Bolivia’s de facto government headed by Jeanine Anez has intensified the persecution of Evo Morales’ partisans and left-leaning movements under the smokescreen of quarantine measures, says La Resistencia Bolivia journalist Alberto Echazu, denouncing La Paz’ response to the COVID-19 crisis as highly insufficient.

Webinar
May 2: Celebrate May Day – Solidarity, Not Sanctions and Blockades in the Struggle Against Covid-19 – from Cuba, South Africa, Venezuela, NY nurses, CUPW

Sites to Follow Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua:
Stand with Venezuela
Orinoco Tribune
Venezuela Solidarity New York
End Venezuela Sanctions
Friends of Sandinista Nicaragua
Friends of Evo’s Bolivia
Friends of Ecuador – North America