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Circumventing The Blockade: Pueblo A Pueblo Builds Food Sovereignty

Pueblo a Pueblo [People to People] is a grassroots plan for organizing the production, distribution, and consumption of food, which connects agricultural producers with urban dwellers. In so doing, the project breaks with the despotic dictates of the capitalist market. In Part I of this three-part piece in the Communal Resistance Series, Pueblo a Pueblo’s spokespeople talk about their organization’s history and its objectives. Here, in Part II, associate producers and spokespeople talk about the “Double Participation Ladder” method and about the impact of the US blockade. Double Participation Ladder The ladder image reflects Pueblo a Pueblo’s method for ensuring that rural producers and urban consumers are linked, thus breaking away from the centrifugal forces of the market.

Whatever Happened To That Plane?

On May 3, 2023, the Argentinian press reported a US prosecutor requested the US Justice Department to order the definitive execution of the seizure order of Emtrasur's Boeing 747-300. The plane arrived in Argentina in June 2022 in what was supposedly a routine cargo flight. Nonetheless, the airplane, its cargo and its crew raised the alarms across Argentina, and it was seized by local authorities. Shortly after, US authorities got involved claiming the sale of the aircraft by the Iranian state carrier Mahan Air to Venezuela's Conviasa was a clear violation of the US Export Control Laws. Almost a year has passed; the crew has been released, but the plane remains grounded in Buenos Aires.

The Non-Stop Western Pillaging Of Venezuela

This past week, while the rest of the world looked elsewhere, one of the biggest thefts committed against any country in recent history took place. In one fell swoop, the Biden government greenlighted the plunder of several Venezuelan assets: US-based oil subsidiary CITGO, millions of dollars held in US bank accounts and a state-owned aircraft. All these assets had been seized or frozen long ago but after recent (extraterritorial) US orders amidst the neverending aggression against Caracas, there is almost zero chance of the Venezuelan people ever getting them back. More blows to a besieged economy that will only increase the human toll already caused by years of a US-led blockade.

Activists Demand Representative Jim McGovern Act Against Sanctions

May 28, 2023 will mark exactly two years to the date of Rep. Jim McGovern’s letter imploring President Biden to “stop using the Venezuelan people as a bargaining chip.” “The impact of sectoral and secondary sanctions is indiscriminate, and purposely so,” the congressman wrote in what has been referred to by policy experts as “the best letter that we’ve ever seen out of Congress on sanctions, period.” His letter was applauded by his constituents and human rights defenders around the world and remains frequently cited by leading experts in the field – including supporters of the Venezuelan opposition who are calling for an end to the US sanctions.

Mr. Guaidó Goes To Washington

Juan Guaidó continues to advocate punishing the Venezuelan people with US coercive economic measures. Recently shipped to Washington DC, the former “interim president” of Venezuela pleaded, “You can’t use a kind or soft approach,” such as easing the suffering, because it would “normalize dictatorship.” Guaidó was livestreamed May 3 from the quasi-governmental Wilson Center. Located in the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington DC, the Wilson Center is a think tank established by the US Congress, which “conducts research to inform public policy” in service of the US empire.

Nicolas Maduro, Has He Become A Neoliberal?

In various sectors of the Venezuelan opposition, in the mainstream media or in the usual middle-class “political science trotskyist” circles, a new chant is circulating. The slow exit from the Western blockade is due to the fact that Nicolas Maduro has finally “embraced capitalism” or “taken a neoliberal turn”. For Alberto Barrera Tyszka of the New York Times (1), neoliberalism is even the economic arm of Maduro’s “dictatorship”. The “evidence” varies: from images of posh neighborhoods in Caracas with ostentatious stores, restaurants and luxury casinos, to job offers on digital platforms and the circulation of dollars in the economy. For the “Communist Party of Venezuela” (now in opposition and allied here and there with the right), “the low wages, the reduction of public spending and the so-called privatization attempts framed in the anti-blockade law are expressions of this neoliberalism that confirm Maduro’s distance from Chavismo.”

Nicolas Maduro: Nothing Will Disturb The Peace Of A Conscious Homeland

Four years after the defeat of the fascist coup attempt, organized by a far-right minority on April 30, 2019, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro stated: “Nothing will disturb the peace of a conscious homeland that’s determined to defend the revolutionary path we are on.” Through his social media accounts, the head of state recalled the triumph of the people and the authorities who were in perfect civic-military union against an extremist and fascist minority that sought to overthrow the constituted power, which then fled cowardly after its failure. This Sunday marks the fourth anniversary of the attempted coup by the right wing staged in the Altamira bridge, in Caracas, led by Juan Guaidó with Operation Libertad, which sought to seize power and deceive the Bolivarian National Armed Force (FANB).

One Of Venezuela’s Fifth Republic’s Most Important Women: Tibisay Lucena

Few women – if any – in Venezuela’s “Fifth Republic” (as the Chávez and post-Chávez era is known) left as significant a mark on the country’s history as Tibisay Lucena, who died of cancer on April 12, 2023, at the age of 63. Her main accomplishment was that during the 14 years as president of Venezuela’s National Electoral Council (CNE), she fundamentally reformed the country’s electoral system to make it one of the most fraud-proof systems in the world. I first met Tibisay in 1997, well before Chávez became president of Venezuela, while she was studying for an M.A. and Ph.D. in sociology at the New School for Social Research in New York City.

What Leaders Need To Know About The Alex Saab Case

It follows that the continued detention of Alex Saab in the U.S. is a grave violation of his inviolability as Venezuela’s special envoy in transit on a special mission to Iran, which clearly recognized his status and has protested at his illegal arrest and detention. There is abundant evidence of the appointment of Alex Saab to carry out a special mission. The requirement that a special mission must be notified is directed at the receiving state, and it doesn’t make sense to suggest that all transit states must be notified if a special envoy is overflying or in an aircraft that stops to refuel in the transit state. The fact that the U.S. does not recognize the Maduro government in Caracas is irrelevant.

Take Action To Free Alex Saab!

Grand Rapids, MI - The Committee to Free Alex Saab is calling all anti-war and international solidarity activists, community and immigrant rights organizers, labor unionists and students to join in an international week of action to Free Alex Saab.  Alex Saab is a Venezuelan diplomat who has been illegally kidnapped and imprisoned by the U.S. government for his work securing food, fuel, medicine and other basic necessities in defiance of the U.S. sanctions on Venezuela. Saab has now been detained for more than 1000 days, unable to see doctors or family members, and his health is rapidly declining.

Colombian President Gustavo Petro Offers To Host Venezuelan Talks

Caracas, Venezuela - Given the complete failure  of Juan Guaido to garner support as an “interim president” and the breakdown of  talks between the Venezuelan government and opposition figures in Mexico City, the State Department has started a new strategy to undermine the Bolivarian revolution: an international conference in Bogota. According to Colombian Foreign Minister, Alvaro Leyva, the full spectrum of the Venezuelan opposition--from the left to the right--is invited to participate. France, Spain, Germany, Argentina, Ecuador, Brazil, the U.S. and Canada are also expected to have representatives at the table. 

Burying 200 Years Of The US Monroe Doctrine

The Monroe Doctrine, first articulated by U.S. President James Monroe on December 2, 1823, is a United States foreign policy position that opposes European colonialism in the Western Hemisphere. It holds that any intervention in the political affairs of the Americas by foreign powers is a potentially hostile act against the United States. The doctrine was central to American foreign policy for much of the 19th and early 20th centuries. The doctrine remains in place today as a pillar of U.S. foreign policy towards Latin America and the Caribbean and no longer exclusively applies to European powers.

Venezuelan Opposition Mismanagement Strikes Blow To Citgo

A US judge ruled Friday that four companies had the right to seize shares of CITGO, the US-based subsidiary of Venezuelan state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), after they convinced the court that it was the "alter ego" of the so-called “interim government” of Venezuela. CITGO, considered Venezuela’s most prized foreign asset, is on the brink of being broken up and seized by creditors pending changes to the sanctions regime imposed by the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). The potential seizure of shares stem from awards worth billions against the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in international arbitration courts.

Venezuela-US Relations: When ‘Maximum Pressure’ Fails

The strategy of “maximum pressure” imposed by Donald Trump on Venezuela has failed to achieve its goal of changing the Venezuelan government and pulling the country back into Washington’s sphere of influence. The resilience of the Venezuelan people led by President Nicolas Maduro has not only survived the attacks by the Trump Administration, it has resulted in adjustments to Washington’s strategy and has proved that resistance, creativity, and commitment to dialogue can pay off. On January 23, 2019, the government of the United States quickly recognize a little-known deputy of the Venezuelan National Assembly, Juan Guaido, as the Interim President of Venezuela, undermining the constitutional mandate obtained since May of 2018 by President Nicolas Maduro.

Self-Governance In Times Of Blockade: El Sur Existe Commune

El Sur Existe [The South Exists] is an urban and periurban commune in Valencia, Venezuela’s third-largest city. Its communards have displayed impressive flexibility and creativity in these times of imperialist blockade. They initially worked to develop an economic foundation for their commune that would respond to people’s material needs. Then they worked to strengthen a model of self-government where executive and legislative decisions have to be taken by the community, not by an isolated few. In Part I of this two-part piece for the Communal Resistance Series, El Sur Existe communards explained their commune’s history and its productive initiatives.
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