Venezuela & ALBA News 12.1.2023: New Front of US Attack on Venezuela – the Essequibo; Medea Benjamin on Venezuela and Palestine; Nicaragua’s Spectacular Advances in Health

UN Rapporteur demands the release of Alex Saab  In this just released letter, on September 27, 2023, UN experts called on the US government to end the prolonged detention of Venezuela Special Envoy Alex Saab, extradited to the US on money laundering charges. “We deeply regret that for almost two years since his extradition, Mr. Saab remains in detention awaiting trial for alleged conduct which is not considered an international crime, and thus should not have been the subject of extraterritorial or universal jurisdiction … We call on the US to comply with its obligations under international law, to immediately release Mr. Alex Nain Saab Morán and drop all charges against him.”


Maria Paez Victor:  US and Exxon Mobil’s Land Grab against Venezuela Attacks on Venezuela by the US and its allies include 930 illegal sanctions that shut the country out from international finance, blocking it from buying medicines, food or producing or selling its oil. Now, in old-fashioned colonialism, the US through Exxon Mobil, and together with its imperial ally Great Britain, are poised to pull the biggest land grab since the US took a quarter of México.

In 2014-15, Exxon Mobil discovered oil in land and sea of the disputed Esequibo territory. That ended all the ongoing amicable negotiations between Venezuela and Guyana, as the wealth of Exxon Mobil obtained the upper hand of the government of Guyana. Guyana prime minister has been handed $18 million in exchange for refusing to negotiate further, denouncing the Geneva Accord of 1966 and demanding that the decision of the 1899 Paris Tribunal be enforced through the International Court of Justice, that actually has no jurisdiction except its own self-enlarged mandate.

The oil corporation urges Guyana to provoke Venezuela into attacking so that it can present itself to the world as a “victim” of Venezuela. The aim is to provoke a frontier war so that the naval fleet of the US Southern Command, now conveniently posted in the adjacent seas, can then intervene militarily and invade Venezuela.

There is nothing the US would want more than “a cause “to invade Venezuela and get its hands on the rich oil, gas and precious minerals abundant there. It can no longer count on stooge right-wing governments in Colombia and Brazil, so now it is manipulating Guyana to be its surrogate war monger. The fleet of the US Southern Command is already poised in waters off the Esequibo and  the US has army presence in Guyana itself.

Ultima Noticias: President Maduro denounces that the US Southern Command is the one who imposes orders in Guyana “I want to alert all the social movements, groups, columns, communities and all the people of Venezuela that they have started a dirty campaign, with a lot of money from ExxonMobil through social networks, to try to prevent the referendum from being held, to try to sabotage and try to confuse the people,” he warned. Adding, “Exxon Mobile owns the Government and Congress of Guyana.”

Consortium News: At UN, Venezuela’s Blunt Message for Israel Ambassador Samuel Moncada address at the UN General Assembly condemning the genocidal conduct of Israel. What Consortium News says “is a rare example of a very direct message delivered by one government to another at the United Nations.” Moncada proposed ending the impunity that allows Israel to continue with the genocide, allowing the humanitarian protection of the Palestinians and reversing the colonial occupation that imposes an apartheid “like that of racist South Africa in Palestine.”

Venezuelanalysis: Gaza, Venezuela, and Collective Punishment: A Conversation with Medea Benjamin “One parallel is that in both cases, the US is causing harm to entire populations. In the case of Venezuela, the US is directly responsible for trying to destroy the economy, including restricting food and depriving the government of resources to provide services to its people. In the case of Gaza, the US is doing this indirectly via its support for Israel and Israel’s 17-year siege on that strip of land.

In both cases, the economic squeeze is not only responsible for food shortages, but for increased disease and mortality. In Gaza, the deaths are obvious for all to see; in Venezuela, they are hidden but still very real. There is one major difference, however. In Venezuela, the economic collapse has forced many to leave the country; in Gaza, people have nowhere to flee.”

Francisco Dominguez: On the strategic relationship between Venezuela and China In his 1999 visit Chavez described China as “a true model and example of mutual respect.” He visited China in 2001, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013. President Maduro did so in 2013, 2015, 2018, 2021 and 2023. For their part, Chinese leaders also visited Venezuela:  Jiang Zemin in 2001 visit, VP Xi Jinping in 2009 and 2013, and as president, in 2014.

US-led aggression against Venezuela was highly damaging to its economy and its people, taking it to the verge of collapse during 2014 – 2020. Yet, the support and cooperation from China to Venezuela never weakened. It intensified especially during the very hard years of the Covid-19 pandemic, when the US blockade of Venezuela was at its most intense. Between 2000 and 2018 Venezuela borrowed over US$67billion from Chinese institutions, about 48% of the total of China’s loans to the whole of Latin America.

Between 2008 and 2020 Venezuela accounted for 29.6% of the contracted projects undertaken by China in Latin America, well over Brazil (13.9%), Argentina (10.7%), and others. Between 2010 and 2018 China has constructed numerous hospitals, roads, bridges, ports, airports, schools, hydropower projects, and housing projects.

Latin America has seen what the People’s Republic offers to their development, especially when compared to what the US does. Whereas China offers huge resources for development and progress in every key field, and crucially, it respects their national sovereignty, the US offers neoliberal austerity, aggression, unilateral coercive measures, military bases and political support for the most extreme political currents such as Uribe in Colombia, Añez in Bolivia, Bolsonaro in Brazil, Milei in Argentina, and it persistently tramples upon their sovereignty.


TeleSur: Cuba Pays Tribute to its Historical Leader Fidel Castro Father of the Cuban Revolution and founder of the first socialist state in East Hemisphere he is an inspiration for the people. With multiple tributes around all the country the Cuban people have remembered the legacy of the historical leader of the Revolution seven years after his death.  With his inspiring work and his infinite faith in human beings, in the Cuban Revolution and in the best possible world, for which he still continues to fight: said the Cuban president Miguel Diaz-Canel. Fidel Castro promoted on a global scale the battle of the Third World against the current world economic order, in particular external debt, the waste of resources through military spending and neoliberal globalization.

Reuters: Cuban ministers reveal details of food, fuel shortages amid economic crisis Cuban officials provided an increasingly dire snapshot of a deepening economic crisis primarily due to the brutal US blockade. Food production, the supply of phamaceuticals and transportation are down by at least 50% since 2018. Pork, rice and bean production, staples of the Cuban diet, are down by more than 80% this year over pre-crisis levels, and eggs 50%. It has only been possible to acquire 40% of the fuel, 4% of the fertilizer and 20% of the animal feed required. Before the collapse of Soviet Union benefactor, there were 2,500 buses operating in Havana … today there are just 300 compared with 600 four years ago. Domestic freight traffic continues to decline, half of what it was in 2019. Industry is operating at 35% of capacity.


NicaNotes: NicaNotes: Spectacular Advances in Health in 2023! Nicaragua has by far the most public hospitals in Central America, especially if compared by population. Nicaragua, with a population of 6.61 million, has one public hospital for every 85,844 people. Guatemala, with a population of 18.71 million, has one public hospital for every 418,604 people; Honduras has one public hospital for every 331,935; El Salvador one for every 204,516 people; Panama one for every 274,375 people; and Costa Rica one for every 180,344. Nicaragua has built 26 new modern public hospitals since the Sandinistas were elected in 2007 and has some 15 more on the way. Currently there are 181 maternity wait homes to assist women in the final period of their pregnancy and maternal mortality has been reduced by 70% (infant mortality has been reduced by 56%). Mobile Clinics bring quality medical care to families every day.


December 1: Learn the Truth about Venezuelan Essequibo Register here

December 3: Nicaraguan Migration: Myths and Reality 

December 6: Venezuela: US Attacks, Media Distortions, Global Solidarity

January 27, 2024: Latin America conference in London 18th annual conference in solidarity with Latin American progressive movements.


Upcoming Delegations to Nicaragua, Cuba, Venezuela

Casa Ben Linder 2024 delegations:  

-February 10-19: The Bird Brigade: Birding in Solentiname Arquipelago

-March 2-10: Sindicatos & Solidaridad: Labor Movements in Nicaragua

-9-21 July 9-21: Solidarity in Action: Celebrating 45 Years of Revolution in Nicaragua

April 25- May 8: Celebrating Labor and May Day in Cuba 

Cuba April 27 – May 11 Che Guevara Work Brigade

Cuba: Upcoming delegations and trips to Cuba

June 14-23 Witness for Peace delegation to Cuba

April 9-19: Venezuela: Celebrating Popular Sovereignty and Power


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