On June 24, the candidate of the Historic Pact of Colombia, Gustavo Petro, officially became president-elect of the country. Among the political decisions that Petro promised to implement is the official reestablishment of diplomatic ties with the constitutional government of Venezuela, a link that was broken when Colombia, under former President Iván Duque, recognized the fake government of Juan Guaidó, a plan devised by Washington, and helped organize an invasion attempt, disguised as a “humanitarian intervention,” through the Colombia-Venezuela border in 2019. Consequently, President Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela announced the end of relations with Colombia. After a lapse of three years, the relationship between the two countries has taken a new direction. Let’s examine some aspects that are already being worked on for mutual benefit.
Mexico City, Mexico – Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro celebrated the inauguration of Gustavo Petro as president of Colombia, with leaders pledging to rebuild the long but fraught relationship between the two Caribbean countries. “I extend my hand to the people of Colombia, to President Gustavo Petro, to rebuild fellowship on the basis of respect and love between peoples,” said Maduro on Sunday. For his part, Petro called for Latin American governments to leave aside their political differences and work toward regional integration. “It is time to leave behind the [political] blocs, the groups, and the ideological differences in order to work together. Let us understand once and for all that there is much more that unites us than what separates us and together we are stronger,” said Petro during his inaugural address to his country from Bogotá’s Bolívar Square.
A delegation of the Colombian government, headed by Foreign Minister Álvaro Leyva Durán, visited Cuba on Thursday, August 11, and was received by Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez in the capital Havana. The purpose of the visit was to establish contact with the leadership of the National Liberation Army (ELN), the largest leftist guerrilla group active in Colombia, in order to advance towards peace negotiations. Following a meeting between the Colombian government’s delegation, the ELN leaders, and the Cuban government’s representatives at the El Laguito Protocol Hall, Colombian Foreign Minister Leyva announced that the government will resume peace talks with the ELN in Havana. Leyva also confirmed that Cuba and Norway would be guarantors of the peace dialogues, which were interrupted in 2018 by the former conservative president Iván Duque.
When Nancy Pelosi made her 'woke' flight to Taiwan the U.S. seemed to hope for a Chinese military reaction to it. It positioned an aircraft carrier and two amphibious landing ships in the region. It also shipped additional fighter planes to Japan and South Korea. Chinese and international commentators drew up potential scenarios for a clash like a forced diversion of Pelosi's plane. However, the Chinese government kept its calm. The reintegration of Taiwan into China is not an urgent matter. It had planned for longer term measures designed to press the pro-independence government in Taiwan into obedience. Chinese military exercises will now be held around the island without regard for what Taipei claims as its borders.
As China and South Pacific island countries are going to strengthen their cooperation to better serve local people’s demand for development, some voices from the West or Western media have started to distort the cooperation and hype the fear of a new “Cold War.” Chinese experts said the US and Australia always see the island countries as their puppets. So when China help them to become independent and prosperous, the West will definitely feel anxious. Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi will pay an official visit to the Solomon Islands, Kiribati, Samoa, Fiji, Tonga, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and East Timor upon invitation from May 26 to June 4, and will also visit Micronesia via video and have a virtual meeting with leaders of Cook Islands and Niue.
Mexico City, Mexico – The upcoming Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles is poised to become a diplomatic liability for US President Joe Biden as the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) alliance threatened to boycott the event over efforts by the host nation to exclude Cuba and Venezuela from participating. "The Summit of the Americas is in danger (...) If the United States insists on not inviting Cuba to this meeting, it will immediately cause 14 CARICOM countries not to attend," said Antigua and Barbuda's Ambassador to the US Ronald Sanders last month. Sanders added that CARICOM members would also boycott should the US as host insist on inviting Venezuelan opposition figure Juan Guaidó in place of democratically elected President Nicolás Maduro.
Islamabad, Pakistan – Following weeks of high drama and controversy that have racked the nation, Imran Khan has been removed from office. The Pakistani prime minister suffered a vote of no confidence and a loss in the supreme court, ending his rule after less than four years. Coalition partners abandoned him, leaving his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party in the minority. The cricket-star-turned-political-leader had been warning for some weeks that a foreign power – assumed to be the United States – was seeking to overthrow him because of his independent foreign policy, which saw Pakistan grow closer to Russia and China. Then, in a long public address on April 8, he directly named Washington as a prime instigator in the regime-change conspiracy, accusing the U.S. of bribing his political allies with tens of millions of dollars to desert his coalition.
The Solomon Islands are in the process of cementing into place a security pact with China. According to an alleged leaked draft, this pact includes provisions allowing the Solomon Islands to request the presence of Chinese police and military personnel to “assist in maintaining social order, protecting people’s lives and property, providing humanitarian assistance, carrying out disaster response, or providing assistance on other tasks” agreed upon by the Solomon Islands and China. There also appear to be provisions for Chinese ships to visit ports among the Solomon Islands to carry out logistical replenishment as well as provisions for Chinese forces to “protect the safety of Chinese personnel and major projects” in the Solomon Islands – with the consent of the Solomon Islands’ government.
Latin America and the Caribbean is partnering with China on multi-billion dollar development projects and while turning down assistance offered by the United States. 21 of 31 countries of the region, both friends and foes of Washington alike, have joined the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) to the dismay of U.S. lawmakers. Congressional Representative Lisa McClain sought an explanation for the phenomenon at this week’s House Armed Services Committee hearing on National Security Challenges and Military Activity in North and South America. McClain, a Republican representing Michigan, remarked on the failure of the U.S. Build Act (2018), which had been introduced in an attempt by Congress to counteract China’s BRI.
Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, on Monday, March 7, announced the reactivation of the dialogue and negotiation process with the platform of far-right opposition sectors in favor of the economic recovery and stability of the country. Additionally, the president reported that on March 5, he held a meeting with a delegation from the government of his counterpart from the United States, Joe Biden. Maduro made the announcements during a meeting with his vice presidents, ministers, and military high command at the Miraflores Palace. In a further show a potential shift in the relations between the two countries, two prisoners of American nationality in Venezuela were released on March 8.
All, with consolidation, should stand against the US sanctions and plots, Rezaei said in a meeting with Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, according to the IRNA Saturday report. In his remarks, Rezaei said that the Iranian nation and government pay special respect to Nicaragua's resistance against excessive demands. He went on to stress that the resistant countries should make further efforts to expand their relations and friendship because the bullying powers, particularly the United States, are after preventing nations' development and cooperation. Further, he noted that the Islamic Republic of Iran has stood by Nicaragua and is ready to strengthen ties with it. For his part, the Nicaraguan president thanked Rezaei for attending his swearing-in ceremony and appreciated the strong spirit of the Islamic Republic against the enemies' pressures.
Vienna - World leaders have descended upon Austrian capital Vienna to participate in the ongoing nuclear deal being negotiated primarily between the United States and Iran. Today, MintPress spoke to Dr. Seyed Mohammad Marandi, Professor of English Literature and Orientalism at the University of Tehran. Dr. Marandi is currently in Vienna as part of the Iranian delegation. While corporate media often portray Iran as a recalcitrant pariah and the United States as a long-suffering broker in the situation, Dr. Marandi notes that it was actually the Trump administration that unilaterally walked away from the agreement. Furthermore, President Barack Obama refused to live up to his promise to remove financial sanctions against Iran.
On Monday, progressive organizations celebrate the 56th anniversary of the First Tricontinental Conference, which gathered 500 delegates from Africa, Asia, and Latin America in Havana to adopt policies to strengthen the fight against imperialism and neo-colonialism. "This event was an exercise in diplomatic cooperation between anti-hegemonic forces of different origins that advocated peace and the self-determination of peoples,” German intellectual Jennifer Hosek stressed. Besides discussing the imperialism's smear campaigns against social revolutions, delegates founded the Peoples of Asia, Africa, and Latin America Solidarity Organization (OSPAAAL) to support countries that had recently liberated themselves from colonialism.
US and Taliban delegations met in Qatar’s capital Doha on October 9-10, the first such meeting since the political developments of August when the latter took over the country. Following the meeting, the US has reportedly agreed to provide “humanitarian assistance” to Afghanistan. However, the foreign ministry in Afghanistan said that such assistance “should not be linked to political issues.” The delegates included officials from the US intelligence and state department. According to State Department spokesperson Ned Price, the agenda included talks for containing extremist groups, easing the evacuation of foreigners from Afghanistan, and allowing access to humanitarian agencies.
It was an idea whose time had come. On Tuesday, September 5 this idea took material form at the first Africa/CARICOM Summit conducted virtually and broadcast to the world via the Web and social media. Participants at the historical event included heads of State and Government of the Caribbean Community and the African Union, chairs of Caricom and the African Union Commission, the Africa Regional Economic Communities, the Secretaries General of Caricom and the Organization of the African Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS), and the president of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB). The Summit was chaired by President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya under the theme ‘Unity Across Continents and Oceans: Opportunities for Deepening Integration’.