Venezuela

The United States is threatening the small Central American country of El Salvador with financial repercussions for supporting Venezuela's campaign for the repeal of US sanctions against the country. The left-wing Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN) government of Salvador Sanchez Ceren, together with all of countries of Latin America and the Caribbean, has called on US President Barack Obama to repeal his executive order declaring Venezuela to be a “threat” to US national security.

A group of Australian academics, unionists, politicians, and others have urged the US to “stop interfering in Venezuela’s domestic affairs”. More than 70 prominent Australian progressives issued an open letter to US President Barack Obama condemning US sanctions against Venezuela on April 9. The letter, initiated by the Venezuelan Solidarity Campaign in Melbourne, is printed below. The letter was handed to US consulates in Sydney and Melbourne on April 10. * * * No more coups! No more interventions! Repeal the Executive Order! Dear Mr President,
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, along with his Bolivian counterpart Evo Morales, received a petition with 10 million signatures against U.S. President Barack Obama's executive order labelling the country as a “security treat” on April 9. After the decree was issued, Maduro launched a campaign seeking 10 million signatures from Venezuelans demanding the decree be repealed, saying he would present them to the U.S. President Barack Obama at the April 10-11 Summit of the Americas in Panama.
US President Barack Obama admitted on April 9 that Venezuela “does not pose a threat” to the United States. “We do not believe that Venezuela poses a threat to the United States, nor does the United States threaten the Venezuelan government,” Obama said during an interview with EFE. Last month, Obama signed an executive order declaring Venezuela an “unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States.”
The Venezuelan government-initiated campaign calling for US President Barack Obama to repeal his executive order that arbitrarily declares Venezuela an "extraordinary threat" to US "national security" had more than 6 million signatures as March 31. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced on his weekly television program that the campaign has collected 6.2 million signatures so far. “I believe that Obama's threat has awoken a great amount of love for what we are going for in our country,” said Maduro.
Since US President Barack Obama's administration decided to impose new sanctions on Venezuela on March 9, many people, including journalists, have asked what motivated them to do this. Some are curious over the apparent inconsistency between this move and the White House decision in December to begin normalising relations with Cuba. Others are wondering why the Obama administration would do something that so obviously hurts the United States-backed opposition in Venezuela, at least in the short run.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced the creation of the Ministry of Ecosocialism and Water, which will be tasked with protecting the environment in the context of Venezuela's bid to build “21st century socialism”. The new body will supervise the National Water Plan, designed to ensure public access to water, as well as the Tree Mission, which involves the community in reforestation efforts.
As Palestinians continue to face economic hardships and services and housing shortages after the Israeli bombardments last year, dozens of Gazans joined a rally on March 21 in solidarity with Venezuela. TeleSUR’s correspondent in Gaza, Noor Harazeen, reported from the rally that attendees were calling for the US to keep its hands off Venezuela. The event was organised by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), and several Palestinian officials attended, including Sami Abu Zuhri from Hamas.
More than 40 people attended a rally in solidarity with the Bolivarian revolution, under the title "Hands off Venezuela", outside the US consulate in Sydney's Martin Place on March 21. The Communist Party of Australia organised the rally and it was endorsed by the Australia Cuba Friendship Society (Sydney), Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network, Bolivarian Circle, Committee in Defence of Human Rights in Guatemala, Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN), Grupo Ibiray-Fondo Raul Sendic, Latin America Social Forum, Salvador Allende Monument Inc and the Socialist Alliance.
On March 9, US President Barack Obama issued an excutive order imposing more sanctions of Venezuelan officals and declaring the oil-rich nation a “national security threat”. It came after a long period of often violent right-wing protests and economic shortages facing the left-wing Chavista governmetn of President Nicolas Maduro.
Emergency summits of the Organisation of American States (OAS), the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) and the Bolivarian Alliance of Our Americas (ALBA) have rejected US attacks on Venezuela and offered the South American nation support. TeleSUR English reported that a large majority of delegates at an emergency OAS meeting expressed concern about US President Barack Obama's March 9 “executive order” declaring Venezuela a threat and “national emergency”.
Thousands of workers from public companies took part in an anti-imperialist march in Caracas on March 18, TeleSUR English said that day. They demanded the US government retract its labelling of Venezuela as a “threat”. Four days earlier, more than 100,000 Venezuelans mobilised throughout the country for a series of national military exercises in defence of their national sovereignty, Venezuelanalysis said on March 16.
Venezuela has proposed trade and economic agreements that would make Athens one of Caracas' main trading partners, TeleSUR English said on March 7. The proposal came as Venezuela and Greece solidified their partnership when Venezuelan officials visited the European country to meet the new SYRIZA government. Venezuela's foreign minister Delcy Rodriguez met new Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on March 6. The two parties discussed furthering cooperation agreements, particularly in technology, industry, trade, shipping, energy, commerce and tourism.
Experience proves that left-wing movements can win government, but nevertheless not hold power. Democracy, in other words the exercise of power by the people and for the people, requires much more. The problem is now being faced in Greece with with radical left party SYRIZA, which won elections in January. It will have to be faced in Spain if the new anti-austerity party Podemos wins November elections.

In response to US President Barack Obama’s use of an executive order to sanction Venezuelan authorities, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro requested decree powers to pass an “anti-imperialist law to prepare for all scenarios”. On March 11, a majority of Venezuela's National Assembly voted in favour. The bill, which must be approved by 60% of the Assembly according to Venezuela’s constitution, will now move on to a second reading to obtain final approval.

Australian groups have condemned the decision of US President Barack Obama to issue an executive order on March 9 declaring Venezuela “a national security emergency” and imposing sanctions on Venezuelan officials. Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network co-convenor Roberto Jorquera said: “We are extremely concerned at this latest escalation in US attacks on the sovereign nation of Venezuela. We share the concern of the Venezuelan government and many others that this could be a prelude to an economic blockade or even military attack.

Pages

Subscribe to Venezuela