Published 24 June 2017 by teleSUR

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The political and social battle that is now taking place in Venezuela is centred on an attempt by the local elite and their US backers to retake the Government and the oil industry.

After reading the article by Ms Linda Taglialatela (the United States Ambassador to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean) that was published in several of the newspapers of Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean on Tuesday, June 20, 2017 under the headline “We Must Defend Venezuela's Democracy” or some such title, it occurred to me that only an ambassador representing the Administration of the egotistical Donald Trump would have the effrontery to believe that she is entitled to attempt to circumvent the national leadership of our countries by arrogating to herself the right to utilise our national news media to speak directly to the masses of our people and to enlist them in her (and her country's) unholy “regime change” crusade against the duly constituted and friendly Government of our fellow Caribbean state of Venezuela.

Ensconced as she appears to be in an exaggerated sense of her own importance and authority over our people, Ms Taglialatela ends her article by admonishing the people of Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean as follows: “I urge you to let your leaders know that you stand shoulder to shoulder with the Venezuelan people as they fight for their fundamental human rights.”

So, apparently Ms Taglialatela believes that she knows better than the prime ministers and other political leaders of our countries, and that it is up to her to inform and instruct what she no doubt perceives to be the ignorant and uninformed people of the Caribbean.

Indeed, Ms Taglialatela seems to think that she knows the situation in Venezuela even better than Ms Ines Esparragoza, the mother of the late Orlando Figuera — the 21-year-old Afro-Venezuelan who was brutally beaten by a crowd of white Opposition supporters, stabbed six times, doused with gasoline, and set on fire. Orlando Figuera was burnt to death simply because he was black and was a supporter of the socialist party of Chavez and Maduro. His grieving mother publicly stated that the Opposition was directly responsible for his death. Does Ms Taglialatela really think that she knows better than the mother of Orlando Figuera?

Well, I have news for Ms Taglialatela! The people of Barbados and the other Eastern Caribbean islands do not need any instruction from her. Our people are well aware that the defining feature of the history of the entire Latin American and Caribbean region is that for hundreds of years the masses of indigenous, mestizo, and black people were exploited and kept in an impoverished state by local white elites acting in partnership with the economic oligarchy of the metropolitian countries of Europe and North America.

Our people are aware that just as this social pattern applied to Barbados and the other Eastern Caribbean territories, it applied to Venezuela as well.

The masses of black and working-class people in Barbados and the rest of the Eastern Caribbean only began to experience significant social and economic upliftment when, in the 1950s, representatives of the black masses finally got their hands on the instruments of government and used them to share the national resources more equitably and to uplift the people.

And so it was with Venezuela as well. It was only with the coming to power of President Hugo Chavez in 1999 that, for the first time, Venezuela became possessed of a president and a governmental administration that were deeply connected to the interests of indigenous, mestizo, black and impoverished Venezuelans.

Ever since oil was discovered in Venezuela in the 1920s, big and wealthy American corporations had latched on to Venezuela and — in partnership with the white Venezuelan elite — had plundered and selfishly consigned the country's oil revenue to themselves, and to the exclusion of the black, mestizo, indigenous and working-class masses of the country.

It was Chavez and his United Socialist Party that effectively snatched away Venezuela's tremendous oil resources from the hands of the US multinationals and the local white elite, and began to direct the oil revenue towards education, health, housing and other forms of social development for the impoverished masses.

And so, our people know instinctively that the political and social battle that is now taking place in Venezuela is centred on an attempt by the local elite and their US backers to retake the Government and the oil industry that the Government now owns and controls.

This is what you and the Trump Administration are really interested in, Ms Taglialatela — not in the welfare of the ordinary people of Venezuela.

Indeed, the Government that you serve, Ms Taglialatela, has never been interested in the welfare of the ordinary people of Latin America or the Caribbean. It is well known, for example, that the US Government has a reputation for supporting any dictator who is willing to toe an American line and to permit American economic interests to flourish — Papa Doc Duvalier in Haiti, Somoza in Nicaragua, Trujillo in the Dominican Republic, Batista in Cuba, Pinochet in Chile, Marcos Perez Jimenez in Venezuela, Porfirio Diaz in Mexico, and a slew of brutal military strongmen in Guatemala, Brazil, Argentina, Honduras, El Salvador and Uruguay at various times between the 1960s and the 1990s.

Finally, Ms Taglialatela, you must not believe that our people are so ignorant and uninformed about the situation in Venezuela that you can get away with the parroting of half-truths and distortions.

You claim that the Maduro Government has “undermined” the Opposition-controlled National Assembly on the basis of “vague, unproven claims of electoral fraud allegedly committed by three legislators”. Surely you must know that this is a gross distortion. Why didn't you acknowledge that the Supreme Court of Venezuela ruled that the claims of electoral fraud had been proven, and as a result had gone on to instruct the National Assembly not to swear in the three legislators in question, but that the National Assembly openly and defiantly flouted the ruling of the Supreme Court and admitted the three disqualified legislators?

You also claimed that the Supreme Court of Venezuela has stripped the National Assembly of all legislative authority. Here again, you must know that this is a half-truth. Why didn't you acknowledge that under the constitution of Venezuela the Supreme court has the legal power (and the responsibility) to temporarily take over the functions of any organ of the State that is failing to carry out its Constitutional responsibilities, and that the Supreme court took control of the functions of the National Assembly for a mere one day before rescinding the decision to do so?

Why the need — Ms Taglialatela — for all the half-truths and distortions? Why not inform the Barbadian and Caribbean people that no nation on the face of this Earth has had as many internationally approved elections than Venezuela has had over the past 18 years, under the presidencies of Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro?

Why not inform our people that the United Socialist Party of Venezuela has won the vast majority of these elections, but that on every occasion that it has lost an election, it has respected and upheld the result? Indeed, isn't this why the opposition MUD party is now controlling the majority of seats in the National Assembly?

Wasn't the December 2015 National Assembly election that was conducted under the auspices of the Maduro Administration not a free and fair election? And didn't the Maduro Administration accept the result, even though it was to their disadvantage? You insult our intelligence, Ms Taglialatela, when you suggest that Nicolas Maduro is an undemocratic dictator.

The reality is that Nicolas Maduro won the presidential election in 2013 fair and square, and as a result he and his Administration are entitled to and will remain in office until the latter part of the year 2018, and hopefully — if it be the electoral will of the people — way beyond that date, as well. And no amount of orchestrated (and paid-for-by-wealthy-Opposition-politicians) violent street protests is going to change that.

David Comissiong, attorney-at-law, is coordinator of the Caribbean chapter of International Network in Defense of Humanity.

Originally published in the Jamaica Observer

Published 22 June 2017 by Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism!

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On Saturday 18 June 2017 the Revolutionary Communist Group and Rock Around The Blockade organised a picket of BBC Broadcasting House in central London to denounce its mendacious coverage of the struggle for socialism in Venezuela.

Having picketed The Guardian for the same reason in May, the RCG and RATB targeted the BBC because this unashamed mouthpiece for imperialism spreads blatant lies about the Bolivarian Revolution in order to justify ongoing attempts at a fascistic counter-revolution.

Curiously enough, even if Venezuelan Presidents Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro have always been presented as 'ruthless dictators' by the BBC, the British media have usually taken little interest in the indisputable progress brought about by the Boliarian Revolution. However, seizing on the renewed counter-revolutionary efforts of the Mesa de Unidad Democrática (MUD), the opposition's coalition, the British media have suddenly remembered Venezuela’s existence.

Read more Exposing the BBC's lies about Venezuela

Published 22 June 2017 by Venezuelanalysis.com

The United States failed Wednesday to persuade the Organisation of American States to condemn Venezuela’s government, amid growing speculation of a new round of unilateral sanctions.

On the final day of OAS talks in Cancun, Mexico, the US pressed for a formal declaration condemning President Nicolas Maduro’s handling of his country’s political and economic crisis. The proposal was strongly backed by US allies including the host country Mexico.

"Mexico's position on Venezuela is a position that will not waver, it's a position that says representative democracy is the only form of government acceptable in the Western Hemisphere," Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray said, according to Reuters.

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez responded by labeling Mexico and other US allies as “lapdogs of imperialism”.

Read more OAS Fails to Pass Anti-Venezuela Resolution, amid Rumors of More US Sanctions

Published 19 June 2017 by Granma

June 16, 2017, the President of the United States, Donald Trump, in a speech replete with hostile rhetoric which recalled the era of open confrontation with our country, announced in a Miami theater his administration's policy toward Cuba which reverses advances made these last two years, after December 17, 2014, when Presidents Raúl Castro Ruz and Barack Obama made public the decision to reestablish diplomatic relations and initiate a process toward normalization of bilateral ties.

In what constitutes a setback in relations between the two countries, Trump delivered a speech and during the same event signed a policy directive entitled, " National Security Presidential Memorandum on Strengthening U.S. Policy toward Cuba," mandating the elimination of educational "people-to-people" exchanges undertaken by individuals, and greater control of U.S. travelers to Cuba, as well as the prohibition of economic, commercial, or financial transactions on the part of U.S. companies with Cuban enterprises linked to the Revolutionary Armed Forces, intelligence or security services - all of this with the intentional objective of denying us income. The U.S. President justified this policy with alleged concerns about the human rights situation in Cuba and the need to rigorously enforce blockade laws, conditioning its lifting, as well as any improvement in bilateral relations, on our country making changes elemental to our constitutional order.

Trump likewise vacated the Presidential Policy Directive, "Normalization of relations between the United States and Cuba," issued by President Obama on October 14, 2016, which, although it did not attempt to hide the interventionist character of U.S. policy or the objective of advancing its interest in changes in our country's economic, political and social order, the directive recognized Cuba's independence, sovereignty, and self-determination, and the Cuban government as a legitimate, equal interlocutor, as well as the benefits that both countries and people could gain in a relationship of civilized coexistence, within the context of the great differences which exist between our two governments. It also recognized that the blockade was an obsolete policy that should be eliminated.

Once again, the U.S. government resorts to the coercive methods of the past, adopting measures to tighten the blockade, in effect since February of 1962, which not only causes harm and depravation to the Cuban people and constitutes an undeniable obstacle to our economy's development, but also impacts the sovereignty and interests of other countries, generating international condemnation.

The measures announced create additional obstacles to already restricted opportunities available to U.S. businesses to trade with and invest in Cuba.

Read more Any strategy directed toward changing Cuba's constitutional order is condemned to failure

Publishe on June 16 2017 on Granma

Defending the accomplishments of revolutionary sports

Cuba holds an unchallenged first place on the Central American and Caribbean medal chart. Likewise in Latin America; second on the entire American continent; and among the top ten on the globe!

june 16, 2017 14:06:45

Mijaín López won three of Cuba's Olympic gold medals. Photo: Ricardo López Hevia

The facts are readily available. Cuba is number 106 on the planet in terms of geographic area, number 18 in the Americas.

Ranking its population presents no problems: Cuba's 11 million inhabitants place the country 82nd worldwide; 12th in the Americas; and fifth in Central America and the Caribbean.

Cuba is likewise far down on lists of the richest nations. On the contrary we feature prominently on that of blockaded countries, subjected to continual attempts to create hunger and deprivation. In this category, we are always on the podium.

A SINGULAR CONTRAST IN SPORTS

Yet Cuba holds an unchallenged first place on the Central American and Caribbean medal chart. Likewise in Latin America; second on the entire American continent; and among the top ten on the globe!

Since we have become so accustomed to this reality, the magnitude of what the Revolution has accomplished in sports escapes us at times.

And Cuba has helped to extend sports throughout the world. Beyond its inspiring example, the country has sent a wealth of training experience abroad, and founded a school to train coaches, free of charge, to help others.

The success of athletes from economically advantaged countries should come as no surprise, nor those from nations with particularly helpful characteristics like the physical traits of the population, that is different ethnic groups, isolated areas like plains, coasts, and mountains with densely populated areas. It is to be expected that they are gaining on Cuba in the medal count, and winning.

What is important is competing with honor, never accepting poor results produced by deficient training, apathy, or lack of fighting spirit. The dignity of Cuban sports was evident during this last Olympic cycle.

In the Vercruz 2014 Games, Cuban athletes overcame the home team, but lost second place.

In the Toronto 2015 Pan Americans and the Río de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games, our performances did not meet expectations.

Read more Defending the accomplishments of revolutionary sports

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