Venezuela

Since its outset, the Donald Trump administration has ratcheted up pressure on Venezuela and radicalised its positions, writes Steve Ellner.

The Trump administration’s now completely overt effort to overthrow Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro had a very successful public relations effort this week, as major Western media outlets uniformly echoed its simplistic, pre-packaged claim that the Venezuelan government was heartlessly withholding foreign aid:

The cameras are focused on the border between Venezuela and Colombia. Everything has been prepared to present it as a door about to give in. It is just a matter of waiting for the right day, according to some presidents and news headlines.

The narrative of “imminence” has been key since Venezuelan opposition politician Juan Guaidó proclaimed himself president last month: the imminent fall of President Nicolás Maduro, imminent transition government and imminent resolution of all of Venezuela’s problems.

Last week, the US formally adopted sanctions on Venezuelan national oil company PDVSA, as well as on CITGO, its US-based distribution arm, as part of its press for regime change in Caracas. National Security Advisor John Bolton estimated the actions would affect some $7 billion in assets and would block $11 billion in revenue to the Venezuelan government over the next year.

British musician and activist Roger Waters has called on people to act against the ongoing United States coup against the elected Venezuelan government. Waters specifically urged people to join the February 4 “emergency demonstration” in front of the US Mission to the United Nations (USUN) located in New York City.

Hundreds of Palestinians took to the streets of besieged Gaza on January 29 to show their support of the democratically-elected government of Venezuela and it’s legitimate leader, President Nicolas Maduro.

Below is a  February 4 letter signed by 39 members of the European Parliament. It comes from three different political groups in the European Parliament and condemns EU support for the attempted coup in Venezuela.

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Letter in defence of a political dialogue in Venezuela, guaranteeing that Latin America and the Caribbean remains a zone of peace.

Hundreds have mobilised to attend pickets and mass meetings in defence of Venezuela’s sovereignty and to demand an end to the British and US governments interference during a time of difficulty in Venezuela. Starting with a picket at the Prime Minister’s Office and continuing with two mass meetings of the progressive left, anti-war, student and labour movement, a week of protests ended with a picket of the BBC headquarters and a further action planned against the Bank of England who have illegally seized US$1.2 billion of Venezuela’s gold.

Two competing marches took over the streets of Caracas on February 2 — in support and against elected President Nicolas Maduro. The foreign media focused on the opposition march exclusive, despite accounts that the pro-government march was clearly larger.

Much media fanfare has been made about US President Donald Trump pledge to deliver US$20 millions worth of humanitarian aid, in the form of food and medicine, into Venezuela via its borders with Colombia and Brazil. But in all media coverage, almost nothing has been said of the impact that the devastating and illegal US sanctions have had on the Venezuelan people, or that the latest round, including the impact that the seizure of Venezuela’s oil assets in the US will have.

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