Countercurrents.org | February 26, 2019
- US isolation increasing
- US allies – EU, Lima Group, Spain, Germany, Canada, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Peru – against use of military force
- China wants constructive help for Venezuela
- Chile’s Communist Party rejects intervention
- Expired medicine in the “aid”
Hawks within the imperialist camp are facing isolation in their plan for intervention in Venezuela. However, the interventionists are continuing with their plan for intervention with further acts of provocations for creating a situation of military conflict. But until now, their plan for creating a hot, military situation at the Venezuela borders has not materialized due to patient handling of the border-situation by the Venezuelan authority.
Media reports said:
Mike Pence continues with threat
US vice-president Mike Pence has repeated a veiled threat of military intervention in Venezuela.
However, the U.S. appeared increasingly isolated in its willingness to contemplate using force to oust Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro.
Both European powers and some of Donald Trump’s key Latin American allies – all of whom have recognized Juan Guaido as Venezuela’s “legitimate” leader – warned that they would oppose sending troops into Venezuela.
Use of military force had bold support from hawks like US senator Marco Rubio.
Speaking at an emergency summit of regional leaders in the Colombian capital Bogotá, Pence renewed his threat.
“To leaders around the world: it’s time. There can be no bystanders in Venezuela’s struggle for freedom,” he said. “We hope for a peaceful transition to democracy, but as President Trump has made clear, all options are on the table.”
EU: Peaceful resolution
The EU’s foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini insisted there could be no military solution to a political crisis.
“The origins of the ongoing crisis in Venezuela are political and institutional, hence the solution can only be a political one,” she said in a statement.
The EU stands for resolving the Venezuelan crisis peacefully, EU spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Maja Kocijancic also said at a press conference in Brussels on Monday.
“We need a peaceful political and democratic and Venezuelan-owned resolution of this crisis. This obviously excludes the use of force,” she said.
On February 28, the EU will discuss preparations for a ministerial meeting of the Contact Group on Venezuela.
“It is very clear: we must avoid military intervention,” said Maja Kocijancic.
“What is explicitly quite clear, from our perspective, is that we need a peaceful political and democratic and Venezuelan-owned resolution which obviously excludes the use of force,” said Maja Kocijancic.
“The position of the EU has been established in this context, it is very clear: we must avoid military intervention,” Kocijancic said.
Lima Group: No military intervention
The Lima Group countries do not support a military intervention in Venezuela, said Brazilian Vice President Antonio Hamilton Mourao.
“No one [in the Lima Group] supports a military solution to the situation [in Venezuela],” Mourao said.
The Lima Group met in Bogota, Colombia, to discuss next steps they might take with regard to justifying their attempts to initiate a coup in Venezuela.
However, Mexico and Costa Rica, two members of the group, didn’t attend the meeting of U.S.-led 14-member group.
At the meeting, Pence spoke down on the rest of the ally-leaders from a dais, and the leaders delivered their speeches while seated.
Protester groups were demonstrating outside of the Lima Group meeting place. The demonstrating people were asking for countries to stop its aggression against Venezuela and for a removal of economic sanctions that have cost the country and estimated US$38 billion.
In his speech, Pence tried to prepare a pretext for intervention.
The U.S. leader reiterated, “All options are on the table”, which most onlookers take as code that the U.S. wants to initiate a full-scale invasion of the country.
However, members of the Lima Group including Brazil and Peru didn’t back a military solution. These countries want “non-military pressure” to be put on Venezuela.
The Lima Group said in the final statement on Monday that the transition to “democracy” must be performed by Venezuelans themselves, without the use of force and in line with the country’s constitution. The participants in the meeting said that they would turn directly to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, so that he could use his powers to mobilize the organization to help resolve the situation in Venezuela.
No Brazilian territory for military intervention
Brazil’s vice-president, retired general Hamilton Mourão, said on Monday that under no circumstances would his country allow the United States to intervene militarily from Brazilian territory against the Venezuelan government
The Brazilian vice president noted, “It is necessary to look for other ways to deliver humanitarian aid to Venezuela.”
“This requires the authorization of the National Congress [Brazil’s parliament]. The [Brazilian] government cannot do that [without consultations with the parliament]. The majority in the government is against [the use of Brazil’s territory by American troops],” he noted.
He stressed that Brazil would do its utmost to make sure that the Venezuelan crisis is resolved by diplomatic means.
Asked in an interview if Brazil was considering letting US troops into its territory for a potential invasion of Venezuela, Mourão flatly rejected such a possibility on Monday.
“Brazil does not consider this at all,” Mourão told to Brazil’s GloboNews TV on the sidelines of the Lima Group meeting. Mourão also explained that the government of Brazilian President Bolsonaro, who has repeatedly berated Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro as a “dictator,” could not single-handedly greenlight the deployment of US forces.
“You have to always remember that any presence of a foreign force in our country has to have authorization from the National Congress, the government cannot simply do this,” Mourão noted.
The Brazilian VP doubled down on the issue on social media, tweeting that the deputies have “no intention” of backing such a militaristic move.
Colombia Chile Peru: The same tone
Colombian president Iván Duque, has also ruled out intervention.
Chile and Peru were also among other regional powers opposing military action on Monday.
Spain and Germany also
European nations including Spain and Germany made clear they considered the deployment of troops a line that should not be crossed.
“Not every option is on the table,” Spain’s foreign minister, Josep Borrell, told the Spanish news agency Efe on Sunday, in a blunt rebuke to both Guaidó and US supporters of intervention.
In an interview with Efe, Borrell said, “We have warned quite clearly that we will not support and we will firmly condemn any foreign military intervention.”
Ottawa for expansion of sanctions
Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said Monday that Ottawa is talking with partners to find ways of expanding sanctions against Venezuelan senior officials.
However, the Canadian foreign minister did not comment on any further details.
Freeland said in early February that Canada has “absolutely” ruled out military intervention in Venezuela.
China: Constructive help for Venezuela
Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi said: Beijing opposes foreign interference in Venezuela’s internal affairs or use of ‘so-called ‘humanitarian aid’ for political aims.’
China “hopes the international community can provide constructive help to Venezuela under the precondition of respecting Venezuela’s sovereignty,” said Wang Yi.
The comment was made Monday.
Yi said: “We again call on the government and opposition in Venezuela to seek a political resolution under the framework of the constitution and law, and call on the international community to do more that really benefits Venezuela’s stability, economic development and improvement in livelihoods.”
The failed action of the thugs
The weekend saw opposition forces leading violent escapades, commandeering Bolivarian National Guard (GNB) tanks, and attacked innocent bystanders gathered at Simon Bolivar-Venezuela border bridge.
Colombian forces looked the other way as violent Venezuelan opposition protesters, or ‘Guarimberos’, threw Molotov cocktails at GNB members and ran over two women in the GNB vehicles.
Defection: It’s us
On Sunday, it was said that 60 soldiers from Venezuela had defected. Now, it’s being said that the number of defection is 160. A video of it shows, there’re maybe about 20 people in the room, 25 maximum. On Saturday, there were reports of soldiers defecting and this could be confirmed for 10 or 12 people.
On Saturday, the opposition thought they could incite the Venezuelan army to rebel. They staged “desertions” to encourage the process. In the videos of the three National Guardsmen who crossed the bridge in Tachira and “surrendered themselves” to Colombian immigration, it was heard them saying very clearly “Somos nosotros!” i.e. “It’s us!”.
Guaido plans return
Guaido has announced that he intends to return to Venezuela this week after illegally traveling to Colombia in defiance of the travel ban imposed by the Venezuelan Supreme Court.
“We are returning to Venezuela this week”, Guaido told reporters after the Lima Group meeting, as quoted by the BioBio radio station.
On Sunday, a top US official was asked whether the US would provide military assistance were Guaido to request it. “Ultimately, it would be a decision for the president to make,” the official said.
Brazil takes measures to alleviate tension
The Brazilian National Public Security Force has expanded the security cordon in the border area with Venezuela to alleviate tensions following recent clashes.
In the early hours of Sunday, a group of activists supporting the Venezuelan opposition in Brazil had attacked the border checkpoint near the Brazilian city of Pacaraima, setting a Venezuelan National Guard vehicle on fire. The attackers also threw sticks and stones at Venezuelan soldiers, who responded with tear gas.
Campaign demands Rubio’s resignation
A campaign demanding Marco Rubio to resign is storming on Twitter after the right wing U.S. Senator from Florida posted a picture of the lynching of former Libyan revolutionary leader Muammar Gaddafi as a death threat to Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.
Rubio posted a cryptic Twitter Sunday, featuring two photos of the former Libyan leader, Muammar Gaddafi- one, a smiling portrait; the other, a gruesome capture of the president’s savage and violent death after a U.S. militarized intervention in 2011.
Rubio is known for his interventionist agenda in Venezuela.
Tariq Ali, a renowned historian, political activist, journalist, writer, and journalist also called for legal action against Marco Rubio.
Tariq Ali wrote: “Could US legal friends seriously consider charging Marco Rubio with incitement to murder? He’s very impressed with Hilary Clinton’s execution of Gaddafi and wants a repeat in Venezuela.”
Rubio threatened Haiti, Dominican Republic and El Salvador after they voted for non-interference at the OAS.
Chile Senators call Piñera’s trip to Colombia ‘Foolish’
Opposition party legislators in Chile are calling President Sebastian Piñera ‘foolish’ for going to Colombia to support the entry of U.S. “humanitarian aid” that didn’t make it into Venezuela last Saturday.
Chilean Senator Alejandro Navarro said that only when the CIA declassifies information around the failed coup in Venezuela over the weekend the public would know that Trump convinced Piñera to “make a fool of himself.”
“In 20 years, when the CIA declassifies this coup operation (in Venezuela) will we know what Trump offered Piñera to make a fool of himself for this trip, leaving Chile and the southern forest fires abandoned,” said Navarro Monday during an interview.
Chilean Socialist Party senator and former secretary general to the Organization of American States (OAS), Jose Miguel Insulza labeled Piñera’s trip a failure since it did not fulfill any of the objectives the president used to justified it.
Insulza said in a Monday morning interview that Piñera’s “being a part of an invasion and external military intervention does not serve any democracy” and went on to compare Piñera’s nationalist tendencies to the country’s former dictator, Augusto Pinochet.
Under Piñera, “we’re witnessing policies that appear a bit like the Pinochet government in the sense that ‘the world is against us,’ ” Insulza said on Chile’s Radio Duna.
In a seven-point “public declaration” the senator along with several other opposition lawmakers said the event “did not advance democracy in Venezuela. Juan Guaido’s convocation was only heard and promoted by the presidents of Colombia and Chile.”
Chile’s Communist Party rejects intervention
The Communist Party of Chile (PC) Monday reiterated its opposition to interference in the internal affairs of Venezuela. It also spoke for a solution based on political dialogue.
Guillermo Teillier, the President of the Chilean Communist Party said that the organization’s position on Venezuela is “unalterable” and it will continue to favor a solution based on dialogue and will reject all confrontation.
Teillier condemned Guaido’s seeking of foreign intervention in Venezuela. He also criticized the Chilean government’s support of the confrontations and the presence of Chile’s President Sebastian Piñera at the Colombia-Venezuela border.
To create an environment of dialogue, the United States’ sanction and the threats of armed intervention in a sovereign country must be stopped immediately according to the President of PC.
Teillier warned that issues related to Venezuela have helped to cover the problems that the Chilean government faces.
Teillier criticized what happened Saturday in front of the Venezuelan embassy in Santiago when groups expressing their solidarity with the government of Nicolas Maduro were rebuked by presumed Venezuelan immigrants who made fun of the thousands of Chileans killed and disappeared by the Pinochet dictatorship.
He denounced that among the participants in this kind of counter-demonstration were some who were identified as members of the Independent Democratic Union (UDI), a far-right Chilean party.
Venezuelan Vice President Delcy Rodriguez recalled that under international humanitarian law, humanitarian aid is provided in the event of natural disasters, armed conflicts and war. According to Rodriguez, claims about the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the country are designed to justify the invasion of Venezuela, but the people will not allow this.
The “humanitarian” convoy, which the United States recently failed to force into Venezuela, contained expired medications and decayed food, Venezuelan Ambassador to Russia Carlos Rafael Faria Tortosa said in an interview published on Tuesday.
“I should add that the United States is sending us products that no one has inspected. Sources have told us that the boxes contained decayed food, and expired and unusable medications,” Tortosa told Russian newspaper Izvestia.
Tortosa added that Venezuela did not reject foreign humanitarian assistance in general. It has accepted seven tons of medications from Russia, as the Venezuelan government is sure that this aid has been provided sincerely, without any “pitfalls.”