By Lucas Koerner for Venezueal Analysis. Hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans took to the streets of the capital Wednesday in massive pro and anti-government rallies marking the country’s independence day. Thousands of red-clad supporters of President Nicolas Maduro mobilized in four separate marches that culminated in a mass rally along Bolivar Avenue in downtown Caracas. “I am here to support the Revolution… because I love my country, I’m a Chavista in the flesh and I support Chavez and Maduro, and I want that to be heard in the US, Europe and the rest of the world so they can’t say this is a show, that we don’t have numbers, that we’re paid to be here. No, this is real,” one marcher told Venezuelanalysis.
By Staff of Tele Sur – According to the Bolivarian leader, the U.S. government wrote up a coup scenario for opposition leader Julio Borges. A day before opposition leaders convened more protests in Caracas calling for the ouster of Venezuela’s government, the country’s leader has accused the United States of working with right-wing leaders towards a coup. “The U.S. government, the State Department has given the green light, the approval for a coup process to intervene in Venezuela,” President Nicolas Maduro said, speaking from the Miraflores Palace. Maduro said that security forces had arrested an “armed commando group sent by the opposition in order to attack the mobilization called by the right-wing for Wednesday to generate violence and deaths in the country.” An investigation has been opened to determine who is behind the plan. According to the Venezuelan leader, who also pointed to a U.S. State Department statement issued Tuesday evening warning of an “international response” should “peaceful protests” face repression, the U.S. government wrote up a coup scenario for opposition leader Julio Borges.
By Carlos Ron. The arrival of a new government in Washington, opened the way for taking a harder line on Venezuelan policy. On January 26, members of the opposition that had been present at the dialogue roundtables decided to abandon the process and follow the lead of Voluntad Popular, an opposition political party that spearheaded the violent protests in 2014, resulting in 43 dead and hundreds wounded. On February 8, 34 members of Congress, including some that are known for their traditional anti-Venezuela stance, asked President Trump in a letter to “take immediate action” against Venezuela. On February 13, Vice President Tarek El Aissami, was accused by the Treasury Department of drug-trafficking and soon after, on February 15, President Trump met with key opposition figure, Lilian Tintori, from Voluntad Popular.
By Staff for Telesur. Starting in 1999, the United States has increasingly lost the ability it once had to determine policy in Latin America. The Bolivarian Revolution that began in Venezuela quickly grew throughout the region, and over the decade the idea of reclaiming national sovereignty through regional integration gained momentum. A decade later, organizations like ALBA, CELAC and Unasur were formed by countries from Latin America and the Caribbean, who came to consensus on the benefits of excluding the United States (and to a lesser extent, Canada). Also during this time, the United States government began putting an increasing amount of resources into organizations operating in Latin America. Under seemingly altruistic pretexts—including environmental promotion, defense of human rights, and strengthening democracy—these organizations received U.S. dollars often to intervene in the political affairs of country whose policies fall out of line with U.S. policies and objectives.
By Staff for Telesur. In 2015, the United States government earmarked at least US$4.26 million for Venezuela through the U.S. Agency for International Development, or USAID, with much of this going to organizations undertaking anti-government work. Almost US$2 million of these funds were funneled through the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), an organization created in 1982 purportedly “dedicated to the growth and strengthening of democratic institutions around the world.” Of these funds, US$849,223 were allocated for “civic” or electoral purposes including the creation of an “interactive online platform connecting citizens to National Assembly candidates,” along with US$160,813 for the promotion of “free market” reforms. Some US$505,796 were disbursed for media purposes including funds to “radio programs”, “alternative channels to generate and disseminate news and information”,”local independent journalists and alternative media outlets in defending freedom of expression and democracy” as well as for training “journalists on investigative journalism and the use of social media in disseminating news.”
By Staff for the Committee of Coordination of People’s Movements and Organizations of the Five Continents. From March 4 to 9, in the context of the homages to Commander Chávez on the fourth anniversary of his passing, the city of Caracas held the International Meeting of Peoples’ Movements, which was attended by more than 30 delegates of people’s organizations from around the world. The main goal was: for people’s movements and organizations of the world to organize an International Assembly of People’s Movements and Organizations, to be held in November in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. Representatives form South Africa, Tunisia, Bangladesh, Nepal, Ireland and a numerous delegation of organizations of the American continents gave the first step, along with the Bolivarian government, towards outlining a common agenda of international struggles with the peoples of the world.
By Staff for Telesur. On Monday, the U.S. launched its latest diplomatic attack on Venezuela by officially putting Vice President Tareck El Aissami on a sanctions list reserved for “drug kingpins” without offering any evidence or issuing any criminal charges. Venezuela was quick to respond, with the Venezuelan Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez calling the move “lamentable and highly dangerous,” adding that her government “will not tolerate any aggression on our soil against our ability to be free.” For his part, El Aissami — who has vigorously and categorically denied the accusation — said the “miserable and vile aggression” was simply “an acknowledgment of (his) status as an anti-imperialist revolutionary.” As Venezuela contemplates its official response to the move, it’s important to review the background to this latest sanction.
By Joe Emersberger for Tele Sur – Based on allegations of drug trafficking, the U.S. government has added Venezuelan Vice President Tareck El Aissami to its list of “sanctioned” Venezuelan officials. Unsurprisingly, Westerns journalists uncritically spread the allegations. Borrowing from Einstein, a definition of corporate journalism could be “the practice of uncritically citing the same dishonest sources over and over again no matter how catastrophic the result.” The targeting of El Aissami is part of the United States’ “regime change” policy toward Venezuela that goes back nearly two decades. It began shortly after the late President Hugo Chavez was first elected in 1998. As always, the international media’s collaboration with U.S. government objectives is crucial.
By Stan Smith for MLToday. The grassroots struggle to build a new society, focusing on the cooperatives, the community councils, the communes, established to strengthen popular participatory democracy, is keeping the Chavista revolution alive. This communal movement began with the fight against neoliberalism’s anti-working class measures even before the Caracazo, the 1989 outburst against IMF imposed cuts resulting in the then government killing up to 2000 protesters. In Venezuela these struggles gave rise to popular local assemblies and neighborhood councils to meet community needs neglected by the government. In the Chavez era these became institutionalized as communal councils, participatory organizations for self-governance.
By Tamara Pearson for the New Internationalist. It’s been three years now of food shortages, inflation, and queues in Venezuela, and the millions of people involved in community and movement organizing have been the most affected. But they’ve also defied right-wing and general expectations, and even perhaps the expectations of the Maduro government, and have become stronger and better organized as a result of the hardships. A worker in charge of sustainable development for the mountain town of Los Nevados for Merida’s Teleferico (cable car) and a member of an urban agriculture organization, La Minga, Loaiza was one of four people I interviewed to get a sense of how the grassroots have been affected by these difficult times – times that have been utterly sensationalised and lied about by the mainstream media. He described the current crisis as a result of politics, and ‘consumerism that isn’t working’ in an oil based, urban-centric economy where people don’t produce what they consume.
By Staff of Tele Sur – The Venezuelan government announced it has proof the U.S. Treasury Department has been responsible for delaying the arrival of the new notes. Venezuelan officials announced Sunday the arrival of 13.5 million units of the new 500-bolivar bill, which the government has introduced as a way to combat the “financial mafias” wreaking havoc on the country’s economy. Jose Khan, vice president of the Central Bank of Venezuela, said that a plane had arrived at the Maiquetía (Simón Bolívar Internacional) Airport on Sunday from Sweden with 272 boxes of currency. He added that more than 60 million bills are set to arrive by Dec. 27.
By Staff of Tele Sur – The North Dakota pipeline is linked to North American companies and the U.S. government’s “crushing Venezuela” as they seek dirty oil extraction locally instead of doing business with the South American country that has the largest oil reserves in the world, longtime Native American activist Winona LaDuke said Sunday. “You know, all of the catastrophes that are happening elsewhere in the world have to do with the fact that North America is retooling its infrastructure