Venezuelan authorities have blasted the latest court ruling in the struggle for control over 31 tonnes of gold stored in the Bank of England (BoE). On Friday, the High Court of England and Wales decided in favor of opposition politician Juan Guaidó and dismissed a new effort by the Venezuelan Central Bank (BCV) to regain control over the reserves worth an estimated US $1.7 billion. Caracas had brought to court the Venezuelan Supreme Court decrees stating that the parallel BCV board appointed by the US-backed opposition was illegal. However, judge Sara Cockerill decreed that the British Court could not recognize the rulings made by Venezuela’s highest judicial instance. Since late 2018, the Bank of England has refused BCV requests to repatriate the gold reserves.
Hundreds joined international guests, solidarity campaigners and elected representatives for ¡Viva la solidaridad! Latin America’s Left Leads the Way: a session organised by Labour Friends of Progressive Latin America as part of this year’s Arise Festival. Chairing the event, Arise’s Sam Browse went through examples of electoral successes and resilience in the face of aggression by the region’s left, and emphasised the importance of international co-operation amongst progressive forces: “those winning gains in the fight for a better future are an inspiration to us all”. Secretary of the Presidency in Honduras Rodolfo Pastor outlined how the country faced “a dark period of history” following the coup against elected President Manuel Zelaya in 2009, with those who took power implementing “repression to benefit a small elite at the expense of our natural resources and the rights of the majority”.
More than two years have already passed since, on June 12, 2020, Venezuelan diplomat Alex Saab was illegally kidnapped during a technical stopover in Cape Verde and taken to prison, without an arrest warrant. He would remain there until October 16, 2021, when he would be deported to the United States, despite the fact that the appeal against his extradition had not yet been concluded, and despite repeated protests from various international organizations against the arbitrary detention and torture that he has suffered. Blackmailed by the US government, the government of Cape Verde, already at the end of its legislative period, had remained deaf to the exhortations of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), of which the island is also a member, the American League for Human Rights, the American Association of Jurists, the Hadassah National Center of Canada, and the UN itself.
Dario Azzellini tells Theresa Alt about Venezuelan cooperatives. The Chavez government supported the formation of cooperatives. Many formed; few really succeeded in operating cooperatively. Liberation theology also had been encouraging cooperatives. Other cooperatives arose when entrepreneurs and landowners left Venezuela and the workers took over. Later initiating cooperatives was given to the local-government communes. Local communes have played a more constructive role than central government. Recorded June 8, 2022.
In an interview with Bolton published on July 12, CNN anchor Jake Tapper accused Trump of attempting a coup inside the United States, and asked Bolton about a Congressional investigation into violent protests held by Trump supporters on January 6, 2021. “One doesn’t have to be brilliant to attempt a coup,” Tapper said. Bolton replied, “I disagree with that, as somebody who has helped plan coups d’etat – not here, but, you know, other places. It takes a lot of work.” Tapper later asked, “I do want to ask a follow up. When we were talking about what is capable, or what you need to do to be able to plan a coup, and you cited your expertise having planned coups.” “I’m not going to get into the specifics, but uh…”, Bolton answered. “Successful coups?” Tapper asked. “Well, I wrote about Venezuela in the book. And it turned out not to be successful – not that we had all that much to do with it,” Bolton said.
By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers for Popular Resistance. The United States has perfected the art of regime change operations. The US is the largest empire in world history with more than 1,000 military bases and troops operating throughout the world. In addition to military force, the US uses the soft power of regime change, often through 'Color Revolutions.' The US has been building its empire since the Civil War era, but it has been in the post-World War II-time period that it has perfected regime change operations.US military presence around the world Have the people of the United States been the victims of regime change operations at home? Have the wealthiest and the security state created a government that serves them, rather than the people? To answer these questions, we begin by examining how regime change works and then look at whether those ingredients are being used domestically.
The merits of the Bolivarian system are plain to see through the country having one of the highest educational progress rates in Latin America and a truly comprehensive system funded by the Venezuelan government led by the United Socialist Party of Venezuela. In order to understand the Venezuelan education system, it is necessary to examine both its foundations and the reality of education under the illegal US sanctions. In the decades preceding the successful election of Hugo Chavez, education in Venezuela was not prioritized. Governments effectively abandoned education in the rural and working-class areas for the exploitation of oil in the 1920s and later prioritized a neoliberal economic shift which saw government spending on education fall by 37 per cent between 1990-96 to only $118 dollars per capita.
Gustavo Petro’s victory in Sunday’s Colombian Presidential election, marking the first time Bogotá has elected a left-wing head of state, was not the only far-reaching geopolitical event to recently take place involving Latin America. A week prior to the former guerrilla fighter’s electoral success, President Nicolás Maduro of neighbouring Venezuela paid an official two day visit to Iran where he signed an official 20-year cooperation agreement with Iranian head of state Ayatollah Khameini – a deal intended to counter the wide-ranging US sanctions targeting both Caracas and Tehran. With one of Petro’s Presidential aims being to develop further relations with Venezuela however, his incoming Presidency has undoubtedly already been placed in the sights of the regime change lobby, wary that friendly relations between Bogota, Caracas and Tehran, will undermine US-NATO hegemony from South America all the way to the Middle East.
Multipolarista host Benjamin Norton speaks with Venezuelan journalist Jesús Rodríguez Espinoza, editor of independent news outlet the Orinoco Tribune, about the victory of left-wing candidate Gustavo Petro in Colombia’s presidential election, the easing of a few US sanctions, and Venezuela’s 20-year cooperation agreement with Iran.
US sanctions, even by outdated estimates, have killed tens of thousands of Venezuelans. The unilateral policies have been widely condemned by multilateral bodies and human rights experts for their deadly impact, as well as for violating international law (Venezuelanalysis, 9/18/21, 9/15/21, 3/25/21, 1/31/19). But corporate media readers/viewers in the Global North are completely oblivious to this reality, as establishment outlets have gone out of their way to endorse sanctions by whitewashing their effects altogether (FAIR.org, 6/4/21, 12/19/20)—writing for example, that Washington has “sanctioned the government” (AP, 5/21/22) rather than the people of Venezuela. A recent policy opening, microscopic to begin with and closed quickly enough, put all these dishonest traits on display, illustrating how free a rein US officials have to continue inflicting collective punishment on Venezuelans without challenge or scrutiny.
In his new memoir, Sacred Oath, former US Defense Secretary, Mark Esper, who served under President Donald Trump at the time of the arrest of Alex Saab in Cape Verde, effectively admits that the White House was quite aware of the fact that Saab was a diplomat at the time of his capture. As Esper writes, “At Maduro’s direction, Saab was reportedly on special assignment to negotiate a deal with Iran for Venezuela to receive more fuel, food, and medical supplies. Saab was Maduro’s long standing point man when it came to crafting the economic deals and other transactions that were keeping the regime afloat*.*” Esper’s recognition that Alex Saab was “on special assignment” and negotiated economic deals for Venezuela is a tacit recognition of Saab’s diplomatic status.
Miguel Díaz-Canel, President of Cuba, Nicolás Maduro, President of Venezuela, and Evo Morales, Former President of Bolivia send messages of solidarity to the people of the United States and the organizers of People's Summit, an alternative to exclusionary Biden’s Summit of Americas.
Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro took a historic trip to Iran and announced a 20-year cooperation agreement, pledging to more closely integrate the countries’ economies and work together in a joint “anti-imperialist struggle for a better world, of international respect and peace, without hegemonies.” Maduro signed the pact with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in Tehran on June 11. It was described by the Venezuelan and Iranian governments as a “partnership agreement” and “cooperation agreement.” The deal involves collaboration in science, technology, agriculture, oil and gas, petrochemicals, tourism, and culture, according to Tehran’s Press TV.
For the Peoples of our Region, the Failure of Biden’s Summit of the Americas Would be a Welcome Event
I applaud the decision by Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador not to attend this week’s so-called Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles and hope that by Wednesday a majority of the nations in our region would have joined him. However, I am hoping that unlike President Lopez Obrador who is still sending the Mexican foreign minister, other nations demonstrate that their dignity cannot be coerced and stay away completely. Why do I take this position? If the threat by the Biden Administration as host of the Summit not to invite Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela, all sovereign nations in the Americas’ region, was not outrageous enough, the announced rationale that the administration did not invite these nations because of their human rights record and authoritarian governance is an absurd indignity that cannot be ignored.
Industrias del Orinoco, C.A. (Indorca) is a factory without bosses in the industrial city of Puerto Ordaz in Bolívar state, the home of Venezuela’s basic industries. Indorca’s workers carried out a heroic three-year struggle to gain control of the factory after the former owner brought it to a halt. Since 2015, when Venezuela’s Ministry of Labor extended a mandate giving the workers control over Indorca, the enterprise has been democratically managed by the women and men who produce here day in and day out. In Part I of this two-part interview, the workers of Indorca tell us about their fight to keep the former bosses from dismantling the factory and regaining control of the plant. In Part II we will learn about the struggle to maintain the factory afloat in a sanctioned country and also about Indorca’s educational initiatives.