Following the renewed talks in Mexico, Washington issued an expanded sanctions waiver for Chevron to partly resume its Venezuela operations. The Nicolás Maduro government and the US-backed rightwing opposition have signed a partial agreement focused on social issues following the resumption of the dialogue process. After a year-long hiatus, the government delegation disclosed that the agreement had been “exhaustively discussed” in Caracas with Norway as a mediator. On Saturday, they traveled to Mexico City to present a new deal that relates to the management of US $3 billion in Venezuelan funds seized by Washington. The document established a joint commission to follow and verify the correct implementation of the agreement.
In a 2014 “oil war,” the US pressured Saudi Arabia to overproduce crude and intentionally crash prices on the global market, in order to hurt the export-reliant economies of Russia, Iran, and Venezuela. The United States and Saudi Arabia waged a very important yet little-known “oil war” in 2014, which had huge geopolitical and economic consequences for the world. Washington pressured Riyadh to significantly overproduce crude and intentionally crash prices on the global market, in order to hurt the export-reliant economies of Russia, Iran, and Venezuela. Multipolarista host Ben Norton analyzed this crucial historical episode in the video above.
At the time of writing this interview, Alex Saab has already been incarcerated for 885 days in a prison in Florida, United States, according to leaderboards laid out on the social media of the people campaigning for his release. Saab is being held there until the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida determines whether or not the United States accepts his diplomatic status; their acceptance would obligate them to release Saab, says his legal defense team. Indhriana Parada, a lawyer who is part of Alex Saab’s legal team, spoke to Últimas Noticias about his case, where she discussed a declassified document that records Mike Pompeo, US Secretary of State for Donald Trump, admitting to Alex Saab’s diplomatic status.
Migration has become one of the many heroic ways in which the Venezuelan people have resisted the US blockade. I would know, my own family left as their living conditions deteriorated more and more under Washington’s economic terrorism. My family’s migration story, hoping to find new opportunities in a foreign land, is not unique. Many Venezuelans left their homes in recent years looking for a respite from the countless hardships caused by US sanctions. These non-military tools have turned out to be quite deadly as they were designed to inflict pain and coerce whole populations into pursuing regime change. The “maximum pressure” campaign against Venezuela began with Trump in 2017 after Obama laid the ground for sanctions when he awarded us the grand title of “unusual and extraordinary threat” in 2015. Biden carries the murderous torch today.
Climate change is affecting nations in a disproportionate manner with tropical low-income countries with a lesser share in emissions bearing the brunt in comparison to wealthy nations that are more responsible for global warming. A research paper published in Science Advances recently estimated the economic loss faced by countries due to climate change over a period of 20 years. From 1992 to 2013, the global economy suffered losses amounting to around $5 trillion-$29 trillion due to global warming. But the insurmountable global loss in terms of economy, the research suggests, was not equally shared. Worryingly, the national income of low-income tropical countries declined by around 6.7% while wealthy nations suffered a decline of only about 1.5%.
Colombian President Gustavo Petro and Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro met in Venezuela’s capital Caracas on Tuesday, November 1, two months after formally re-establishing diplomatic relations and a month after resuming trade between the two neighboring countries. (3 months after the inauguration) This was the first time that Petro and Maduro met since the mending of bilateral relations in late August. It was a historic meeting as it marked the further strengthening of the diplomatic ties between Colombia and Venezuela, which got increasingly worse with the intensification of attacks against Venezuela by the US and the support this campaign received by then far-right Colombian president Iván Duque.
The 27th iteration of the Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, or COP27, began on Sunday, November 6 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt. The gathering has brought together over 45,000 people from 196 countries, including 120 heads of state. Participants will have until November 18 to build serious, global solutions to address the pressing climate crisis in all of its dimensions. On November 8, the president of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, addressed the gathering. Maduro did not participate in the last several COP summits, and this year’s participation comes amid a moment of warming relations between his government and countries of the Global North and the region of Latin America and the Caribbean.
On Saturday, November 5, the president of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, announced the proposal for a South American summit in defense of the Amazon rainforest. Upon his arrival in Egypt to participate in the 27th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP27), President Maduro said that he discussed the issue with his Colombian counterpart, Gustavo Petro, and the president-elect of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. “We have proposed to Petro and Lula to soon hold a South American summit in defense of the Amazon and to reactivate the Defense Treaty Organization to make concrete proposals so that humanity and governments commit to finance the recovery of that region,” he explained.
Colombia’s first ever left-wing President Gustavo Petro made history on November 1 by visiting his neighbor Venezuela, officially normalizing relations after years of hostility. After a meeting with Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, the two leaders signed a joint declaration pledging to unify the countries and integrate Latin America, following the anti-imperialist model of Simón Bolívar. Petro said it is “suicidal” to divide the countries, “because we are the same people,” in “historically one single Bolivarian nation, reunited.” The presidents symbolically posed for photos in front of large portraits of Bolívar, the revolutionary general who led a successful armed uprising against Spanish colonialism and established many of the modern states of South America.
The Venezuelan opposition, more divided than ever and internationally isolated, wants to end the “interim government” of Juan Guaidó and remove him from leadership position. Three of the four main parties of the opposition alliance Unitary Platform expressed their support for ending the “interim presidency” and stop recognizing Guaidó as Venezuela’s “president in-charge.” They have enough votes to get this decision approved, the Financial Times reported on Thursday, October 20, citing a senior figure in the opposition alliance. The decision comes as 10 largest opposition parties in Venezuela have agreed to hold primary elections in June 2023 to choose a single candidate for the presidency. The presidential election is scheduled for 2024.
A year ago, October 16, the long arm of US extra-territorial judicial overreach abducted Alex Saab and threw him into prison in Miami, where the Venezuelan diplomat has languished ever since. The official narrative is that Saab had bilked the Venezuelans in a “vast corruption network” and the US as the world’s self-appointed cop was simply enforcing good business practices. However, commentary by Washington insiders corroborates that Saab’s “crime” was trying to obtain humanitarian supplies in legal international trade but in circumvention of the illegal US sanctions on Venezuela. Back on June 12, 2021, Mr. Saab was on a humanitarian mission to procure needed food, fuel, and medicine for the people of Venezuela who had been suffering from an unconscionable blockade of their country.
What a thrill to learn that Cecosesola (Central de Cooperativas de Lara) -- the Venezuelan network of community organizations from low-income areas – has won the 2022 Right Livelihood Award! Cecosesola is a federation of co-operatives and other groups that has created its own distinct social and economic ecosystem. Since 1967, the group has relied on commoning to develop a humane provisioning system that meets the needs of more than 100,000 families across seven Venezuelan states. The Right Livelihood Award cites Cecosesola for "establishing an equitable and cooperative economic model as a robust alternative to profit-driven economies." It has achieved this in the face of serious problems in Venezuela – a financial crisis, food shortages, hyper-inflation, and a massive out-migration of 7 million people.
The seamless official policy of the Trump and Biden administrations has been that Juan Guaidó is Venezuela’s “interim president.” The US is thusly caught in the self-inflicted fiction of having to deal with a powerless puppet because it does not accept the democratically elected Nicolás Maduro. Although Trump has at least retreated to Mar-a-Lago, Guaidó keeps on asking to be invited to the party, much to Biden’s embarrassment. A related conundrum of its own making is the US sanctions on Venezuela’s oil industry and at the same time needing the fuel. It wasn’t so long ago that Venezuela supplied the US with a significant amount of its daily petroleum consumption. Now Uncle Sam finds himself confronted with price inflation at the gas pump and the inevitability of negotiating with a government it does not recognize.
Last year in June I reported the targeted assassination of the communist Jesus Santrich in Venezuelan territory by mercenary commandos sent by the Colombian state. In addition to being a charismatic spokesman for the Farc during the 2012-2016 peace talks, Santrich developed a reputation for his Marxist writings, poetry, music, and ... cartoons. Near blind and forced to use a cane, Santrich emerged as one of the leaders of the reformed Farc-EP (Segunda Marquetalia — “Second Marquetalia Republic”) in 2019 after the Colombian state reneged on the 2016 peace agreement and stood indifferent in the face of the slaughter of peace signatories.
The principal perpetrator, in what AP News called “one of the most extensive bribery scandals in US military history,” popped up in Venezuela of all places. Leonard Glenn Francis bilked the US Navy out of at least $35 million. The culprit goes by the moniker “Fat Leonard.” He tips the scales at 350 pounds, according to the US Marshals wanted poster. ABC News reports that Navy commanders “passed him classified information and steered their ships, mostly from the Navy’s 7th Fleet to ports he controlled” in exchange for “Kobe beef, expensive cigars, concert tickets and wild sex parties at luxury hotels.” Francis is credited with commanding a mercenary army: “He became part of the Navy, even using his own warship, the Braveheart, to join classified missions against Al Qaeda. He enjoyed diplomatic cover.”