US Trying to Extradite Venezuelan Diplomat for the “Crime” of Securing Food for the Hungry: The Case of Alex Saab v. The Empire

Roger D. Harris

The case of Alex Saab raises dangerous precedents in terms of extraterritorial judicial abuse, violation of diplomatic status, and even the use of torture to extract false confessions. This is according to Montréal-based international human rights lawyer John Philpot. He spoke on May 19 at a webinar sponsored by the Alliance for Global Justice and other groups about this example of the long reach of the US empire enforcing its deadly sanctions on some one third of humanity.Read More »


REPORT: Alex Saab Illegal Detention Setting Bad Precedent In Humanitarian Mission

City Mirror News | May 24, 2021

On June 12, 2020, Venezuelan Special envoy and Ambassador to African union, Alex Saab, was on a humanitarian mission, flying from Caracas to Iran to procure food and gasoline for the Venezuelan CLAP food assistance program when he was arrested during a stopover in Cape Verde.

Saab was detained based on the request of the Donald Trump-led United State government over allegations of money laundering. Analysts have argued that the continued detention and the planned extradition of the diplomat to face charges in America is politically motivated.Read More »


Economic Sanctions as Collective Punishment: The Case of Venezuela

Mark Weisbrot and Jeffrey Sachs

Center for Economic and Policy Research | April 2019

Executive Summary

This paper looks at some of the most important impacts of the economic sanctions imposed on Venezuela by the US government since August of 2017. It finds that most of the impact of these sanctions has not been on the government but on the civilian population. The sanctions reduced the public’s caloric intake, increased disease and mortality (for both adults and infants), and displaced millions of Venezuelans who fled the country as a result of the worsening economic depression and hyperinflation. They exacerbated Venezuela’s economic crisis and made it nearly impossible to stabilize the economy, contributing further to excess deaths. All of these impacts disproportionately harmed the poorest and most vulnerable Venezuelans. Even more severe and destructive than the broad economic sanctions of August 2017 were the sanctions imposed by executive order on January 28, 2019 and subsequent executive orders this year; and the recognition of a parallel government, which as shown below, created a whole new set of financial and trade sanctions that are even more constricting than the executive orders themselves. We find that the sanctions have inflicted, and increasingly inflict, very serious harm to human life and health, including an estimated more than 40,000 deaths from 2017–2018; and that these sanctions would fit the definition of collective punishment of the civilian population as described in both the Geneva and Hague international conventions, to which the US is a signatory. They are also illegal under international law and treaties which the US has signed, and would appear to violate US law as
well.Read More »


How Venezuela is rebuilding its industrial base, one volunteer at a time

Leonardo Flores

People’s Dispatch | April 23, 2021

Member of the Productive Workers Army (EPO) in the midst of a work day. Photo: EPO

“We don’t just repair machines; we repair consciences,” says Sergio Requena of the Productive Workers Army (EPO by its Spanish-language initials) in Venezuela. The EPO is a group of 2,270 volunteers with a broad range of technical expertise. They go from factory to factory repairing broken machinery. Their mission is to recover Venezuela’s industrial production by empowering workers to take matters into their own hands.

Venezuela’s productive capacity has declined precipitously due to US sanctions. The country is impeded from accessing the international financial system, leading to a fall in investment. Even importing spare parts or industrial equipment is next to impossible. As a result of this, factories have trouble completing regular maintenance and repairs.Read More »


The private sector in Venezuela 

Pasqualina Curcio

Ultimas Noticias | April 26, 2021

There are many myths about the private sector in Venezuela, the best known is the one that refers to its unquestionable efficiency. The following phrases are part of this mythology: “unlike the public sector, which is inefficient and corrupt, the private sector is the only guarantee of development” or “the only one that could get us out of this crisis is the private sector, and if it is foreign, big and transnational better still ”or“ the only way to overcome poverty is with foreign private investment ”. In Venezuela, the most popular myth of these times is the one that is summarized in the following phrase, which is repeated tirelessly by neoliberals: “The blame for the current economic crisis lies with the Bolivarian revolution that dismantled the private sector with expropriations and controls ”.Read More »


Venezuelan women endure the “sanctions” with their bodies

Carmen Navas Reyes, Laura Franco

People’s Dispatch | March 18, 2021

Venezuelans protest against the US-imposed blockade.

On February 20, the New York Times published an article titled “Venezuelan Women Lose Access to Contraception, and Control of Their Lives.” This article attempts to distort reality, as it completely ignores the siege and aggressions the Venezuelan people currently subjected to.

For greater context, we should note that in 2012, Venezuela granted completely free access to safe and quality contraceptives, reaching a coverage of 22.16% in the national public health system. Access was nearly universal both due to the purchasing power of Venezuelans at the time and because both private and public health networks were subsidized up to 70% by the government, with funds guaranteed by the country’s foreign income.Read More »


The Fate of the Venezuelan Opposition is on the Table at the White House

Franco Vielma

RESUMEN | March 06, 2021

Photo: Doug Mills, UPI

The upcoming political scenario planned for this year around the elections for governors and mayors in Venezuela encompasses a range of possibilities far beyond the elections for these positions.

For those in the political ranks in Venezuela, the possibility of a detente that could carry with it important repercussions are under discussion.  This consists of a partial or total return to the normal round of electoral politics by the parties and leaders of the Venezuelan opposition who have vacated themselves from the parliamentary election just passed.Read More »


Venezuela Identifies Brazil Covid-19 Variant as China Donates 500,000 Vaccines

Rachael Boothroyd | March 06, 2021

Venezuela has received a 500,000 Sinopharm vaccine shipment donated by China. (MPPRE)
Venezuela has received a 500,000 Sinopharm vaccine shipment donated by China. (MPPRE)

Speaking on television on Wednesday, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro said the outbreaks were located in the capital, the neighbouring state of Miranda and in the southern state of Bolivar.

“It is more contagious, transmits more viral load and is more dangerous, more serious,” he stated.Read More »


President Maduro: Certain Groups Intend to Steal Military Weapons from Venezuelan Army

President Nicolas Maduro. Photo courtesy of Prensa Presidencial.

On Tuesday, March 9, President Nicolás Maduro warned that groups responsible for acts of destabilization in Venezuela also have plans of sabotage and conspiracy to steal weapons from the Bolivarian National Armed Forces (FANB). The President made this remark during the closing ceremony of the military drills “Supreme Commander Hugo Chávez Frías 2021,” in Caracas.

‘We know of your plans to steal weapons,” warned the president, referring to the groups involved in activities of sabotage. “We have heard it in the entire structure of the Venezuelan weapons system, they want to sabotage and steal a good part of the weapons system, create chaos in the system of defense…that we have today and know how to use,” said the Head of State in his speech broadcast by state TV station VTV.Read More »


Network in Defense of Humanity Letter to President Nicolás Maduro, Honoring your Dignity and the Heroism of all the Venezuelan People

RESUMEN | February 27, 2021

“In Europe everything is done for tyranny, here it is for liberty; which certainly makes us enormously superior; they support thrones, kings; we support peoples, republics; they want dependence, we want independence”.

-Simón Bolívar in Lima, February 23,1825

President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela; Nicolás Maduro Moros

Dear Mr. President:

It is possible that we have not been able to express sufficiently our solidarity and appreciation for the anti-imperialist and anti-capitalist struggle that the government that you lead is permanently promoting through your responsibility as president and legitimate depositary of the confidence of your people. It is necessary today to express our recognition of your courage in the maelstrom of adverse scenarios produced at great speed and with great diversity. Under the convictions, matured by the example of our peoples and our heroes, there is no room for flattery or for the “cult of personality”. On the contrary, our REDH was born to make criticism an emancipatory tool at the service of the people, especially fraternal criticism that perfects social struggles. Embracing this original slogan, it is appropriate today to recognize the courage and determination to take a measure that corresponds to the responsibility of your popular mandate, to defend the most cherished principles on which our struggles have developed, such as the self-determination of the peoples and the rejection of all foreign interference in internal affairs, which make for sovereignty and independence. In this sense, we applaud with standing ovation the expulsion of the Ambassador of the European Union in Venezuela, in accordance with the powers that you have as President of the Republic and provoked by the unacceptable interference of the diplomat in the internal affairs of your country.Read More »