Venezuela & ALBA News 2.9.2024: 600 Organizations Demand Biden End Economic War on Venezuela; Why the US Reimposed Sanctions; The “Human Rights” Industry in Nicaragua; Trips to Cuba

More than 600 Organizations Demand Biden End Sanctions against Venezuela “Mr. President Biden: We, the undersigned, wish to express our deep concern about  the regressions  in the scheme of Unilateral Coercive Measures against Venezuela, which we consider a form of extortion of the Venezuelan government  and an obstacle to the economic and social development of the country. We firmly believe that a relationship can be built between the United States and Venezuela where this type of aggression has no place and  the  application of more than 400 direct sanctions against the Bolivarian Republic is abandoned forever. Therefore, we call on the government of the United States, under your leadership, to  desist from the application of these measures and to return to the path of  dialogue, peace and mutual respect among nations.

“We would also like to refer to the complaint filed by the Venezuelan State in which it is stated that several  assassination plots have been detected and thwarted… we consider it imperative that a thorough and impartial investigation be conducted into the involvement of US agents in these acts.” list of signers included.

Infancia Under Siege [Children Under Siege]: Chapter 4: Encirclement, Asphyxiation and Resistance A telling account of the measures the US took to destroy the Venezuelan economy, and illustrates the world power of the US to destroy a country through its control of the world economic system. Venezuela’s foreign earnings dropped 99% in the space of two years.

Roger Harris: Why the US Is Reimposing Sanctions on Venezuela Even the US business magazine Forbes expressed surprise at the new reimposition of US sanctions on Venezuela’s gold sales and its threat to do the same with oil. The oil sanctions especially, if reinstated, would precipitate higher gas prices and further debilitate the Venezuelan economy, forcing more people to leave the country out of economic necessity.

On January 30, the US rescinded the license for gold sales and threatened to allow the oil license to expire on April 18, which could cost $1.6 billion in lost revenue. The ostensible reason for the flip in US policy was the failure of the Venezuelan Supreme Court to overturn previous prohibitions on opposition leader Maria Corina Machado and some others from running for public office.

Washington has a problem, the Atlantic Council revealingly laments: “How do you threaten a regime that’s endured years of crippling sanctions, multiple coup attempts, and a failed mercenary invasion?” The unfortunate Yankee solution is more of what Forbes calls “Washington DC’s heavy-handed response” knowingly causing “enormous” human suffering. In the imperial worldview, it is better to have failed states like Libya and Afghanistan than the anathema of a sovereign and [pro]socialist Venezuela. In short, sanctions are a tool to prevent states striving for socialism from succeeding.”

Ben Norton: Exposed: US DEA used criminals to spy on, destabilize Venezuela, Mexico, Bolivia In these scandals, the DEA collaborated with known criminals, including drug traffickers and money launderers, to launch sting operations against leftist politicians. The Associated Press revealed that the DEA “sent undercover operatives into Venezuela to surreptitiously record and build drug-trafficking cases against the country’s leadership” and “authorized otherwise illicit wire transfers through U.S.-based front companies and bank accounts”. It noted that “Colombian drug traffickers” were involved. Evo Morales said in Bolivia “There were DEA agents that were doing political espionage … financing criminal groups so that they could act against authorities, even the president.” Morales stated that, “For the CIA and DEA the so-called ‘war against drugs’ is an excuse to attack progressive and anti-imperialist governments. It is a screen to cover their geopolitical interests”. Concerning Mexico, “the DEA’s plot to frame the AMLO campaign in the runup to the 2012 election…Unlike Russiagate, here’s a bonafide attempt to intervene in a foreign election, freely admitted to.” At the precise time Felipe Calderón’s Security Minister Genero García Luna was colluding with the Sinaloa Cartel – which the DEA saw and heard no evil about – they were instead focused on this stupid sting op on AMLO”.

Resumen Latinoamericano: January 1959: Fidel Castro in Venezuela, a Visit That Shook the Nation On January 23, 1959, just days after the triumph of the Cuban revolution, Commander-in-Chief Fidel Castro visited Venezuela. As said, “we had a historical debt with the Venezuelan people. In 1958, when Fidel was in Sierra Maestra, Radio Continental of Venezuela disseminated to the Americas the voice of Radio Rebelde and our military reports. It was an invaluable help from the dear people of Venezuela to tell the truths of the Cuban process. Fidel’s visit to Venezuela in January 1959 was the first he made as Head of the Revolution, but it was not his first visit to Venezuela. In 1948 he was in Bogota as a student leader—remember the Bogotazo [revolt that took place after the assassination of liberal Colombian presidential candidate Jorge Eliécer Gaitán], and Fidel was one of the insurgents defending the democratic process in Colombia. Fidel’s speeches in Caracas, 1959 one, two, three

Forbes: “U.S. Sanctions Are Irresponsible”: Interview With Antonio Ecarri, opposition candidate for president. Another Forbes article critical of sanctions. Ecarri: ”we are in the middle of a battle with the US, and the ones paying the price are the Venezuelan people. Why is it the fault of children that do not have enough to eat, or that cannot afford to go to school? Maduro and his friends in government are not paying the price. The way the U.S. is using sanctions is utterly irresponsible. In Washington DC, they usually say it’s either this guy or it’s sanctions. At one point it was Leopoldo Lopez, now it is Maria Corina Machado. In front of this dilemma, Maduro will always choose sanctions. As I said, like this you only favor extremism and confrontation.”

Medea Benjamin, Steve Ellner: Redefining US-Latin American Relations The Biden Adm has left most of Trump’s sanctions against Venezuela and Cuba intact and has tightened those against Nicaragua. Instead of continuing down this imperial path of endless confrontation, US policymakers need to stop, recalibrate, and design an entirely new approach to inter-American relations. No more military bases, military interventions, School of Americas military training programs. End the use of economic blackmail, e.g, the Trump Adm threatened to halt remittances to Mexico to extract concessions from the government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador on immigration issues. A similar threat persuaded many voters in El Salvador’s 2004 presidential elections to refrain from voting for the candidate of the left-leaning Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN).

John Perry: The ‘Human Rights Industry’ and Nicaragua The Human Rights Industry by Alfred de Zayas brings together the insights of de Zayas and other experts into the ways in which “human rights” have been distorted to serve the interests of Western governments, principally those of the United States. But it is not the view of an outsider, but that of someone who is perhaps more immersed than anyone of his generation in the whole field of human rights, bringing 50 years of experience to his analysis.

The base of the “human rights industry” consists of small, local organizations which may in some cases do excellent work. However, “There are few fields that are as penetrated and corrupted by intelligence services as the human rights NGOs.” De Zayas estimates that perhaps 30% are so penetrated. NED’s website shows that, between 2016 and 2020, it spent almost $1.2 million in funding “human rights” bodies in Nicaragua, in addition to funding many other activities. In 2018, Nicaragua had three main “human rights” NGOs, known for their initials in Spanish as the CPDH, ANPDH and CENIDH, as well as several smaller organizations, most receiving foreign funding. Both CPDH and ANPDH were financed by the NED. CPDH also received more than $7 million from an offshoot of the OAS. CENIDH is not known to have received NED funding but in the build-up to the coup attempt was awarded a staggering $23 million by various European institutions, some with government connections. All three “human rights” bodies were closed down by the Nicaraguan government after 2018, having exhausted its patience with their blatant propaganda activities.


Trips to Nicaragua, Cuba

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