Venezuela & ALBA News 1.19.2024: Venezuela Progress in 2023 a Blow to US Blockades; New US Terrorism against Cuba and Venezuela in 2023

Cuba Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Cuba proposes to the Non-Aligned Movement to support the urgent dispatch of an international protection mission to Gaza  Bruno Rodriguez: “Cuba suggests this Committee to recommend the 19th Non-Aligned Summit, which will be in session the day after tomorrow, to support the urgent dispatch of an International Protection Mission, authorized by the United Nations General Assembly, to the Gaza Strip, with the mandate of guaranteeing the security and protection of the civil population and facilitating the delivery of urgently needed humanitarian assistance and food…Our country also supports the convening of an International Peace Conference with the purpose of guaranteeing the enjoyment of human rights by the Palestinian people… It is unacceptable for the Security Council to continue failing to enforce its own resolutions intended to put an end to the disgraceful behavior of Israel, the Occupying Power, which have traditionally enjoyed the complicit support of the United Sates.

Venezuela

Mision Verdad: President Maduro’s Annual Address to the Nation: Venezuela’s Achievements in 2023 After years of battling the economic warfare by the US, Maduro highlighted that 2023 represented a transition between overcoming hyperinflation and consolidating the achievements made amid the US blockade. “Here there is no small figures or modest indicators. Everything has cost us twice as much.” The contribution of foreign currency to the exchange market by the private sector, $14.577 billion, the highest in 2023, which exceeded the $8.624 billion in 2022. The year 2023 closed with 10 quarters of continuous GDP growth, with a 5% rate last year. Private manufacturing registered 10 quarters of sustained growth with 3.93% in the third quarter of 2023. The tourism sector grew by 25% compared to 2022. Oil activity grew 13% in the last quarter of 2023, even with the blockade against the industry. The increase in oil exports was 60.46%.

Orinoco Tribune: President Maduro Reveals 4 Assassination Attempts in 2023 “in May, August, November, and December we dismantled a total of four conspiracies attempted by foreign agents, planned from Miami and Colombia.” In the conspiracies, the objective was to assassinate Maduro, the Minister of Defense Vladimir Padrino, and other important political and military leaders to create chaos in the country in order to cut off the dialogue table with the opposition. Maduro said all these maneuvers are organized by the CIA and the DEA, and recalled that the DEA mounted the movements to assassinate him on August 4, 2018, as well as Operation Gideon in May 2020. And do not forget that the US has a $15 million bounty on the head of President Maduro.

TeleSur: Venezuela Now Produces 96.7% of its Food Domestically Currently, despite the US economic blockade, 96.7% of the food consumed in Venezuela comes from domestic agricultural units, among which small and medium-sized farms are predominant. This historic transformation has involved long-term efforts that involved the allotment of 13.9 million hectares to some 427,000 families.  “Venezuela is one of the 19 countries whose economic, commercial and human rights have been illegally and systematically violated by the United States every day for nine years.” Between 2015 and 2022, as a result of the US sanctions, it experienced a drop of US $642 billion in its gross domestic product. President Maduro said that “since the economic war began frontally in 2015, oil production fell 87% and reached its lowest level in June 2020, with 339,000 barrels per day, compared to January 2015, when 2.5 million barrels were produced per day. [From then] until 2022, Venezuela stopped producing 3.9 billion barrels, which represented a loss of US $323 billion for the country.”

Orinoco Tribune: Maduro Announces 66% Raise of Public Workers’ Monthly Income He announced an increase in the economic warfare bonus paid monthly to public sector workers. Starting from February 1, it will rise to the equivalent of $60 per month (previously it was $30). The food bonus will remain $40 per month. Thus, the minimum income rises from $70 to $100 per month, representing an increase of more than 66%, and an increase of 566% compared to April 2023, when indexed bonuses did not exist.

These special bonuses are not part of the base salary paid to Venezuelan workers, thus they do not have any impact on vacation, professional, seniority, and end-of-year bonuses or retirement packages, for which many workers in Venezuela hope. The current minimum wage for public sector workers is stagnated at the equivalent of $3.5 per month.

An ordinary Venezuelan worker in the public sector, who in recent years earn less than those in the private sector, with the special bonuses, the minimum wage, and other special bonuses paid via the Patria System, currently might receive a monthly income of approximately $110, the lowest in Latin America. After the arrival of the Bolivarian Revolution and Hugo Chávez to the presidency, the situation was the opposite: Venezuelan workers were among the best paid in the region, which began to change in 2015 when the US and the European Union started imposing economic warfare against the country.

Letter to the Editor Chicago Tribune: The US is responsible for the mass migration out of Venezuela Prior to 2017, the population of Venezuelan immigrants in the US. was relatively stable at 225,000. Then in August 2019, Donald Trump imposed more extreme sanctions against Venezuela, essentially cutting them off from the rest of the world. This helped lead to a collapse of their economy and social order. Families could either stay and watch their loved ones die from starvation and homicide or flee the country. By 2021, the Venezuelan immigration population in the U.S. had reached 640,000 people.

Book: Infancia Bajo Asedio [Children Under Siege]: Chapter 2: From Subjects with Rights to Sanctioned Subjects  The next translated installment on the effect of US economic warfare on Venezuelan children. The disastrous collapse of the Venezuelan economy caused by US sanctions, which became a blockade. It also reviews the damage inflicted on other countries blockaded by the US, Iraq, Cuba, and Syria. Introduction and Chapter 1 here.

Cuba

PeoplesWorld (Tom Whitney):The terror returns: Cuba discloses latest attacks by the US He presents three different terrorist attacks and planned terrorist attacks against Cuba in the last year. Cuba lists 61 individuals and 19 terrorist organizations, all based in the US, on its “National List of persons and entities … associated with terrorism against Cuba.” Criminal investigations in Cuba revealed that some of the listed persons targeted “governmental and tourist installations and carrying out sabotage, illegal incursions, human trafficking, and preparations for war.” They “made plans for assassinating leaders of the revolution.” “Many received direct funding from the U.S. State Department, and also from the CIA, which uses various entities and NGOs to deliver it.”

Nicaragua

Nicaragua: The 17th year of Sandinista Government On January 10, 2007 Daniel Ortega became President of Nicaragua again. 17 years have now passed, during which time the greatest process of modernization in Nicaragua has occurred. After 17 years popular credit towards the government and its president is so high because the people see a government handing over land and houses, returning Nicaragua to the Nicaraguans. The power of Nicaraguan capitalism has disappeared: now 70% of the country’s wealth is produced thanks to public intervention and a family-type economy, with a small and medium-sized business model. Private companies contribute to 30% of the GDP.

Events and Trips to Venezuela, Nicaragua, Cuba

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