Travelling with Fidel Castro

E P Menon

Frontier | Vol 55, No. 10, Sep 4 – 10, 2022

Way back in 1966 when I received an invitation to join the Indian Delegation to Cuba for participating in the first ever Tri-Continental Conference involving only those countries from Latin America, Africa and Asia, I was delighted and agreed immediately. It was a 14-member group under the leadership of Aruna Asaf Ali and endorsed by the Government of India.

More than 1500 delegates were accommodated in the majestic Hotel Havana Libre for two weeks and after the 10-day events we were all given a country-wide tour for two weeks which was indeed very educative and forward-looking for building better human solidarity and world peace. Two specific events can never be erased from my mind.

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Argentina’s Cristina Fernández de Kirchner survives an assassination attempt

The attack, which shook the country, was widely condemned by numerous political leaders and social activists from around the world

Tanya Wadhwa

People’s Dispatch | September 02, 2022

Argentine Vice President, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, thanking supporters who have gathered outside her home since last week in her support in the face of ongoing judicial and political persecution against her. (Photo:Cristina Fernández de Kirchner/Twitter)

On Thursday, September 1, Argentina’s Vice President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner narrowly escaped an assassination attempt after a man aimed a handgun at point-blank range at her, but the gun did not fire.

The incident took place outside Fernández de Kirchner’s home in Buenos Aires’ Recoleta neighborhood, where hundreds of protesters have been gathered since last week to express their support for the former president in the face of the judicial and political persecution against her.

Fernández de Kirchner was greeting supporters outside her home, after returning from the senate, when a man emerged from the crowd, raised a handgun to her face, and attempted to shoot, but the gun seemed to misfire. The incident was captured by television cameras that were at the scene.

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Venezuela Achieves New Record in Food Production in 2022

Orinoco Tribune | September 02, 2022

President Nicolás Maduro in a program discussing the development of the agricultural sector of Venezuela. Photo: Presidential Press.

President Nicolás Maduro highlighted on Wednesday, August 31, that Venezuela is making new records in food and agricultural production this year.

“Venezuela is breaking records this year in the production of soybeans, corn, beans, among others; we are in a good productive year, 2022, increasing production and already envisioning the horizon for 2023 also,” said President Maduro during a work meeting in the Oro Blanco Farm, in Monagas state, where 25,000 hectares of soy are being produced at present.
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The Stakes in Brazil’s Election Couldn’t Be Higher

Francisco Dominguez

Countercurrents | August 26, 2022

Ahead of October’s election, with leftist Lula leading the polls, fears are rising of a Bolsonaro coup – meaning it’s the entirety of Brazil’s democracy at stake.

After four years of a right-wing Bolsonaro government, Brazilians will vote for a new president on 2 October 2022. Former president Lula—currently high in the polls—is confronting an increasingly delirious incumbent, who appears to have threatened violent unconstitutional action should he lose.

Bolsonaro’s victory came two years after the impeachment of Workers’ Party president Dilma Rousseff in 2016, the first woman to be president. The Workers’ Party (aka Partido dos Trabalhadores, or PT) had held office since 2003.

The period 2010-2016 was dominated by the ‘credit crunch’ crisis that sent the world into turmoil, with a generalised economic contraction, huge indebtedness in the advanced economies, and a considerable reduction in the consumption of raw materials. Brazil was badly hit. By 2015 GDP had declined by three percent, inflation was high (10 percent), and public debt went through the roof to 63 percent of GDP, making it tough for the government to maintain its poverty-eradication social policies.

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Colombian Ambassador: Monómeros will return to control of Venezuela

The ambassador ratified the decision announced by his government in order to complete the process of registering the new directive

Odry Farnetano

Últimas Noticias | August 18, 2022

Armando Alberto Benedetti, designated ambassador of Colombia in Venezuela

During the development of the business forum Border Agreement held in Cúcuta this Thursday, the Colombian ambassador, Armando Benedetti, ratified his government’s decision to return monomers to the Venezuelan government led by Nicolás Maduro Moros and confirmed the collaboration of the head of the Superintendence of Companies, Billy Escobar, to close the registration episode of new directive.

“The Superintendence of Companies, in the company of our superintendent, Billy Escobar, have managed to lift the intervention of Monómeros,” said Benedetti.

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Venezuela’s gold dispute in UK courts is a battle for sovereignty

The official government of Venezuela has been engaged in a legal dispute with the Bank of England to regain control over gold assets worth over $1.8 billion

Zoe Alexandra

People’s Dispatch | August 17, 2022

The people of Venezuela for the last several years have taken to the streets to reject sanctions, asset freezing, and coup attempts by the far-right.

“The world must know that there is no legal security in London nor in the Bank of England, because at any moment, any country can have its international reserves stolen. There is no respect for the law!” Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro made this damning statement in a televised address on August 3 following the decision by a British high court to reject the Venezuelan state access to its gold reserves worth $1.8 billion in the Bank of England.

Since 2019, Venezuela has had over $7 billion in foreign assets seized by banks in North America and Europe. Many, including the Bank of England, have used the excuse that since their governments recognize (or recognized) the self-proclaimed, former member of the National Assembly, Juan Guaidó, as the legal representative of the country, they cannot hand over the money to an entity controlled by Maduro’s government.

This seemingly coordinated international action coupled with the increased sanctions on Venezuela’s financial transactions and oil production, deepened the economic crisis in the country that was already suffering under heavy unilateral coercive measures from the United States and its allies since 2014.

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Understanding Maduro’s successful socialist economic strategy

Francisco Dominguez

Morning Star | August 2022

CHAVISTAS TO THE CORE: The 23 de Enero working-class neighbourhood in western Caracas, commemorates on July 28 2022 what would have been Hugo Chavez’s 68th birthday. January 23 1958 was the day dictator Marcos Perez Jimenez was overthrown

IN ITS intensely biased coverage of Venezuela during the hard years of 2014-21 the mainstream media wheeled in every imaginable academic pundit to “demonstrate” that the country’s economic woes were the result of President Nicolas Maduro overseeing Venezuela’s slide “into authoritarianism and economic collapse” (the Guardian, January 24 2019) and not of cruel US sanctions.

In 2019, the Economist for instance, in line with US policy, published a front cover with a clench-fisted Juan Guaido titled “the battle for Venezuela’s future,” positing “the world democracies are right to seek change.” Very rarely, if at all, the mainstream media or the activated pundits gave any significant weight to the well over 500 illegal and criminal unilateral coercive measures (aka sanctions) inflicted on Venezuela and its people by the US and its European and Latin American accomplices.

US economic warfare — the almost total blockade of its economy — led to a shrinking of 99 per cent of its revenues, with Venezuela living on 1 per cent of its pre-sanctions income.
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Iran-Russia-China Military Exercises in Venezuela a Slap in the Face for Washington

Orinoco Tribune | August 14, 2022

An underground combat drone base of the Iranian Army in an undisclosed location. Photo: Defapress.ir.

Iran, Russia and China, along with Venezuela, will conduct a joint military maneuver just 2,000 kilometers from US territory, in a challenge to Washington.

The military exercises with drones and sniper commands, led by Russia, will be held during August 13–27 in the city of Barquisimeto, Lara state, in northwestern Venezuela.

A total of 37 countries will participate in these military exercises, among which, in addition to the aforementioned, are Algeria, Belarus, Vietnam, India, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Myanmar.

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US influence in Latin America is on the decline

Petro’s victory has meant the biggest setback for US influence on the continent

Jesus Inojosa

Últimas Noticias | August 14, 2022

The victory of Gustavo Petro in Colombia and his inauguration as President of the New Granada nation has set off alarms in the United States, where the possible end of the so-called “Washington influence” in Latin America is seen.

“It is time for a new international convention that accepts that the war on drugs has utterly failed, that it has left a million Latin Americans murdered, most of them Colombians, and that it leaves 70.000 North Americans dead from drug overdoses every year; none produced in Latin America”.

These words spoken by Petro During his inauguration speech this Sunday, he directly questions US policy in the neighboring country with the so-called “Plan Colombia”, which could mean the possibility of ending this agreement that has allowed the US to install no less than nine military bases in Colombian territory and guarantee the free action of officials of the DEA, the CIA and its Army, as well as the implementation of the extraterritoriality of its laws in this nation.

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Washington Escalates Hijacking of Venezuela’s EMTRASUR Boeing 747

Misión Verdad | Aug 14, 2022

Conviasa workers marching in Caracas demanding the return of the EMTRASUR jumbo jet controversially grounded by Argentina, August 9, 2022. Photo: Twitter/@laradiodelsur.


BACKGROUND

On August 11, the Lomas de Zamora court (Buenos Aires, Argentina) accepted the request for the seizure of the Boeing 747 aircraft belonging to the Venezuelan company EMTRASUR, illegally held at the Ezeiza airport since June 8. The request was made earlier this month to the Argentine judge Federico Villena, by the Federal Court of the District of Columbia (Washington), which was sent by the United States Department of Justice to the authorities of the Argentine republic.

Accepting this order supposes a turn of events in the kidnapping of the Venezuelan aircraft, on various levels. Legally and judicially, it implies an act of foreignization of the case, specifically that of the plane, since now a trial will be opened in the US courts to settle the dispute over its final destination. Politically and diplomatically, it means that the aircraft has been effectively placed under the protection of the United States and reflects an intensification in the strategies used to tense the bilateral relations between Venezuela and Argentina, to the extreme.
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