- Written by RATB
Published on 19 May 2017 by teleSUR
A coalition of Colombian and international human rights groups called on the International Criminal Court on Thursday to investigate 14 former and current Chiquita executives and employees who had direct involvement in facilitating crimes against humanity by funding right-wing paramilitary organizations in Colombia between 1997 and 2004 in the midst of Colombia's bloody internal conflict.
The petition was presented by the International Human Rights Clinic of Harvard Law School, the International Federation for Human Rights, and the Colectivo de Abogados José Alvear Restrepo, a Colombian human rights organization.The human rights coalition asked the ICC that the Chiquita executives be investigated and held accountable individually for “crimes against humanity.”
“The executives who oversaw the funding of paramilitaries should not be able to sit comfortably in their houses in the United States as if they did nothing wrong,” said a member of the Peace Community of San Jose de Apartado, which submitted a letter to the ICC about how the paramilitary violence personally affected them. “Families across Colombia have been waiting for accountability for too long.”
- Written by RATB
Published on 18 May 2017 by Venezuelanalysis
A maternity hospital was attacked in Venezuela's Miranda state Wednesday as the death count in ongoing violent anti-government protests ascends to 53.
Three newborns and one pregnant woman in labor were evacuated from the Carrizal Maternity Hospital after the facility was besieged for two consecutive days by opposition demonstrators.
According to hospital’s director, Doctor Natalia Martinho, smoke was entering the hospital from the barricades of burning rubble erected just 50 meters from the building by protesters, endangering the health of patients on the fourth floor.
The barricades reportedly prevented doctors, specialists, and all but two of the hospital’s twelve nurses from arriving for their shifts, leaving Martinho on duty for 36 hours alongside two residents.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has confirmed that a 27-year-old pregnant woman from Aragua currently in labor was evacuated along with three newborns “who could not receive their treatment for 36 hours due to the terrorist groups of the opposition”.
The attack comes as violent opposition protests demanding early presidential elections enter their seventh week.
- Written by RATB
Published on 12 May 2017 by venezuelanalysis
Around 100 people were allegedly trapped in Venezuela’s embassy in Madrid Thursday by far right protesters.
The protesters have been accused of chanting “Franco, Franco!” while protesting outside an embassy event on violence in Venezuela. A close supporter of Adolf Hitler, Francisco Franco ruled Spain as a military dictator for over three decades until his death in 1975. The protesters also carried signs demanding freedom for Venezuela’s jailed right-wing opposition leader, Leopoldo Lopez.
However, the protesters themselves have denied the allegations, claiming they were shouting "narco". The protest was in response to an event hosted by the embassy to discuss right-wing violence in Venezuela. The event included representatives from the NGO Victims of Guarimba, a group that provides support to Venezuelans injured by guarimbas. “Guarimba” is a term used in Venezuela to refer to violent right-wing protests and roadblocks. More than 40 people died in 2014, when the guarimbas took over the streets of Venezuela as part of a campaign to force President Nicolas Maduro from office. The guarimbas struck again last month, when they began another campaign of political violence, which has so far left 44 people dead.
According to forum attendee and coordinator of the left-wing party Izquierda Unida, Daniel Moreno, the protesters were aggressive and threatening.
- Written by RATB
Published 3 May 2017 by venezuelanalysis
Caracas, May 3, 2017 (venezuelanalysis.com) – Four people were killed and over a dozen wounded Tuesday as a result of the Venezuelan opposition’s “National Barricade” that saw anti-government demonstrators block roads throughout the country.
Organized by the right-wing opposition coalition, the Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD), the national day of action was a response to Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s announcement Monday convening a constituent assembly to redraft the country’s constitution.
The move has been denounced as a “fraud” and a “coup” by MUD spokespeople despite the proposal being previously endorsed by top opposition leaders, including Freddy Guevara, Leopoldo Lopez, and Maria Corina Machado.
In spite of the MUD’s calls for “civil disobedience”, Tuesday’s mobilizations once again gave way to deadly violence.
Two people were killed and 10 wounded in a bus accident in Carabobo state Tuesday evening when the vehicle flipped over “trying to avoid barricades,” confirmedNational Civil Protection Director Jorge Galindo.
One of the victims has been identified as Ana Rodriguez (42), though the other person killed remains unidentified.
The accident occurred when the bus swerved to avoid an anti-government barricade. (@AndrewsAbreu and @CristopherB)
- Written by RATB
Published 28 April 2017 by revolutionarycommunist.org
Opposition violence wreaks death and destruction in renewed coup attempt
Venezuela’s bourgeois opposition has once again taken to the streets in violent scenes of chaos and destruction with the aim of toppling President Maduro and the United Socialist Party (PSUV) government. Since 4 April several of its marches have ended with gangs of right-wing thugs setting up burning barricades and attacking public housing projects, hospitals, schools, health centres, transport systems and government offices. To date at least 31 people have been killed. The imperialist media and privately-owned Venezuelan press dishonestly portray these masked groups as ‘pro-democracy’ protesters facing down repression from the government; inevitably, they completely censor the mass mobilisations by working class supporters of the Bolivarian government. These lies, disseminated across the globe, are designed to provide the ideological framework for what is in reality a coordinated attempt at a right-wing coup.
The protests began after Venezuela’s Supreme Court temporarily assumed the functions of the country’s legislative body, the National Assembly, which is controlled by opposition forces. It had found the National Assembly in contempt of court for allowing three opposition politicians who have been suspended while they are investigated on charges of electoral fraud, to take their seats (see ‘The Venezuelan Supreme Court and the MUD Coalition’s persistent rejection of legality’). The move by the Supreme Court, although completely constitutional, was controversial and was rescinded within days at the request of President Maduro. However, the right-wing ‘Democratic Unity Movement’ (MUD) coalition seized its chance, accusing the court and the government of an attack on democracy. Just days before the Supreme Court decision, opposition leader Henrique Capriles, a viciously reactionary two-time presidential candidate and current governor of Miranda state, was banned from holding political office for 15 years for breaking contracting laws and improperly managing fundraising donations. This was the ammunition needed for the opposition to instigate violent street protests, demanding foreign intervention to force a change of government.
A history of opposition sabotage, coups and violence
- Written by RATB
Published on 25 April 2017 venezuelanalysis
Caracas, April 25, 2017 (venezuelanalysis.com) – Four people were killed across Venezuela Monday in the latest round of violent anti-government protests convened by the opposition.
Protesters took to the streets to block roads and highways throughout the South American country in a “great national sit-in” organized by the right-wing opposition coalition, the Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD).
According to National Assembly Vice-President and hard-right Popular Will party leader Freddy Guevara, the goals of the mobilization were to “unmask the true face of the dictatorship” and “create ungovernability”. The opposition coalition called on its supporters to take to the streets indefinitely at the beginning of April in a bid to force early presidential elections among other demands.
While turnout was significantly smaller than previous mobilizations last week, the day was punctuated by deadly violence.
Two dead, three wounded by sniper fire in Merida
According to National Ombudsman Tarek William Saab, two Merida state government workers were killed and three more wounded when a pro-government rally reportedly came under sniper fire from a nearby apartment complex in the southwestern Andean state.
Jesus Leonardo Sulbaran, 42, was shot in the head and died Monday afternoon, while Luis Alberto Marquez died of a gunshot wound to the occipital lobe at 1:30am Tuesday morning. Merida public transit worker and University of Los Andes student Daniel Infante was also shot in the head during the rally and is currently in critical condition.
- Written by RATB
Published on 27 April 2017 on Granma
We have once again witnessed another infamous and immoral decision by the discredited OAS, against the Bolivarian Revolution; a repetition of the shameful pages written against the Cuban Revolution in the 1960s.
The calling of a Meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs, to continue harassing the Venezuelan government, constitutes another action consistent with the OAS’ traditional role as an instrument of imperialist domination in the hemisphere; in order to undermine the sovereignty, independence and dignity of Our America.
The OAS has always remained with its back to the peoples of America, over an almost 70 year history of subordination to oligarchic and imperialist interests. It has been absent when our region has been the victim of political, economic and military intervention and aggression, or serious democracy and human rights violations.
It is now time to recognize that the OAS is incompatible with the most pressing needs of the peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean. It is incapable of representing their values and interests. It imposed a doctrine of false democracy, responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Latin Americans and Caribbeans and the impoverishment and exclusion of millions. The OAS chooses to attack and impose, rather than reconcile or dialogue; and disregards the right of states to equality and self-determination. It conspires and subverts genuine and legitimately constituted governments with proven popular support, and deserves the most profound repudiation.
- Written by RATB
Published 23 April 2017 venezuelanalysis.com
Venezuela is in flames. Or at least parts of it is. Since April 4th, opposition militants have been carrying out targeted acts of violence, vandalism and arson, as well as deliberately clashing with security forces in an attempt to plunge the country into total chaos and forcefully remove the elected socialist government. It is the continuation of an 18 year effort to topple the Bolivarian revolution by any means necessary — although you may have seen it miraculously recast in the mainstream media as “promoting a return to democracy” in the country.
A catalogue of the violence over the last 18 days is shocking – schools have been ransacked, a Supreme Court building has been torched, an air force base attacked, while public transport, health and veterinary facilities have been destroyed. At least 23 people have been left dead, with many more injured. In one of the most shocking cases of right-wing violence, at around 10pm on April 20th, women, children and over 50 newborn babies had to be evacuated by the government from a public maternity hospital which came under attack from opposition gangs.
Anywhere else in the western world, this would have given way to horrified international and national calls for an end to the violence, and for the swift prosecution of those responsible – making it all the more scandalous that these incidents have at best been ignored, and at worst totally misrepresented by the international press. Instead, those tasked with providing the public with unbiased reporting on international affairs have opted to uncritically parrot the Venezuelan opposition’s claims that the elected government is violently repressing peaceful protests, and holding it responsible for all deaths in connection with the demonstrations so far.
This narrative cannot be described as even a remotely accurate interpretation of the facts, and so it is important to set the record straight.