Beginning in mid-March, Venezuelan army units have been attacking and expelling Colombian operatives active in Apure state. These have long used Venezuela’s border region to prepare cocaine arriving from Colombia and ship it to the United States and Europe. The fighting has subsided; eight Venezuelan troops were killed. Seeking safety, 3,500 Venezuelans crossed the Meta River—an Orinoco tributary—to Arauca in Colombia. The bi-national border is unmonitored and long enough, at 1367 miles, to encourage smuggling and the undocumented passage of cross-border travelers, in this instance the embattled Colombians in Apure. Among these are armed paramilitaries, bands of former FARC-EP insurgents and narcotraffickers—pilots, truckers, laboratory workers, and more.
The Network of Intellectuals, Artists and Social Movements in Defense of Humanity, in view of the confrontations that began on March 21 between the Bolivarian National Armed Forces and irregular armed groups in La Victoria, Apure State, near the Colombian border, declares: -It is an insistently repeated historical fact that irregular armed groups from Colombia, sometimes with the complicit tolerance, sometimes with the connivance, and sometimes with the declared support of the government of that country, crossing into Venezuela’s borders to commit common crimes and destabilize the legitimate government. -We are listing here some regrettable examples of these intrusions including the invasion of a force of a thousand Colombians with false Venezuelan flags across the Táchira border under...
The January 6th raid on the Capitol and the pandemic that has upended the lives of every American seemingly have nothing to do with Venezuela. But the effects they had on U.S. political and economic stability offer a glimpse into what Venezuelans have been going through for the past several years of failed coups and sanctions. Remember how January 6th felt? The shock, confusion and fear. The constant refreshing of Twitter feeds or eyes glued to cable news, watching a bunch of extremists attempt to overthrow the government. The not knowing what was going to happen next and whether it would impact our daily lives. For Venezuelans, there is no one “January 6.” There are at least half a dozen.
The plot around the kidnapping of the Venezuelan diplomat Alex Saab in Cape Verde peaks, intensifies and continues to be a trending topic on Twitter, while the United States government relentlessly applies pressure to bring the diplomat to its territory. Meanwhile, social media networks again reflect opinions about the case—#EEUUCompraCaboVerde was a trending topic in Venezuela this Wednesday, March 31. This, with respect to the most recent movements of Washington through a policy that, in general, is based on blackmail and financial suffocation. The complaints about new agreements signed between the US government and Cape Verdean authorities have been portrayed as the conversion of that island country of Africa into a new “Colombia.”
Welcome to theAnalysis, I’m Greg Wilpert. Recently, the Biden administration announced that Venezuelans living in the United States would be able to qualify for temporary protected status or TPS. This means that about 300,000 Venezuelans could remain in the U.S. for another 18 months or longer if the program is extended. Also recently, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken had a phone call with so-called interim president and hard-line opposition leader Juan Guaidó, where Blinken reaffirmed that the United States continues to recognize Ecuador as the legitimate president of Venezuela, even though he no longer leads Venezuela’s national assembly and was never elected. The European Union, in contrast, withdrew its recognition of Guaidó following last December’s legislative elections in Venezuela.
The Strategic Operational Commander of the Venezuelan Army (FANB) Admiral Remigio Ceballos reported through his Twitter account that on the night of Wednesday, March 24, “a group of Colombian criminals tried to attack a border post and several terrorists were neutralized.” “We continue to give heavy blows to Colombian irregular criminal groups that flee to Colombia, and no one stops them. Last night they tried to attack a border post and several terrorists were neutralized. Search and Attack Operations Continue! We will win!” reads the message on the social media network.
Argentina has withdrawn from the Lima Group of countries established in 2017 to push for regime change in Venezuela. Buenos Aires withdrew symbolically on March 24 — the Day of Remembrance for Truth and Justice, which commemorates victims of Argentina’s “dirty war” on the anniversary of the 1976 coup d’etat. It condemned the group’s support for sanctions on Venezuela in the midst of a global pandemic and its treatment of the self-proclaimed Juan Guaido administration, a US-backed body with no territory, as Venezuela’s representative within it.
Venezuela's Foreign Affairs Minister Jorge Arreaza on Friday informed that his country sued the U.S. before the World Trade Organization (WTO) for imposing unilateral coercive measures contrary to international norms and principles. "Sooner rather than later, Venezuela will defeat through law what the U.S. intends to impose through force," he said, recalling that the U.S. blockade seeks to destabilize President Nicolas Maduro's administration. In an attempt to avoid criticism from a multilateral institution, the United States prevented Venezuela from requesting the formation of a WTO panel whose objective would...
On February 20, the New York Times published an article titled “Venezuelan Women Lose Access to Contraception, and Control of Their Lives.” This article attempts to distort reality, as it completely ignores the siege and aggressions the Venezuelan people currently subjected to. For greater context, we should note that in 2012, Venezuela granted completely free access to safe and quality contraceptives, reaching a coverage of 22.16% in the national public health system. Access was nearly universal both due to the purchasing power of Venezuelans at the time and because both private and public health networks were subsidized up to 70% by the government, with funds guaranteed by the country’s foreign income.
Venezuela has “categorically rejected” US President Joe Biden’s renewal of Executive Order 13692. The renewal extends a state of national emergency which has been the basis for Washington’s sanctions regime against Venezuela. The decree states that Venezuela represents an “unusual and extraordinary threat to the [US] national security and foreign policy.” The order has been renewed annually by both former presidents Donald Trump and Barack Obama since its initial signing in 2015, and been widely denounced by the international community, as well as at the United Nations, with over five million Venezuelans signing a petition demanding its withdrawal. Penning his decision to Congress last Wednesday, Biden argued that “The situation in Venezuela continues to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy.” He offered no further explanation.
The Biden administration granted Temporary Protected Status to refugees from Venezuela, which will permit them to live and work in the United States. This is the right thing to do, and it is a break with the previous administration, but there need to be more significant changes to U.S. policy towards Venezuela. The TPS decision is treating the symptom of Venezuela’s deepening crisis while U.S. sanctions intensify it. As long as our government’s broad sanctions remain in place, they will exacerbate the economic and humanitarian crises in the country. The U.S. will succeed only in making conditions for ordinary Venezuelans worse while Maduro and his allies become more firmly entrenched. Trump’s pursuit of regime change in Venezuela was one of his worst policies, and it has deepened the misery of the Venezuelan people. It is maddening that the complete failure of this policy hasn’t prompted more demands for abandoning it.
US ‘Virtual Ambassador’ To Venezuela Hosts Insurrectionist Summit Ahead Of Biden’s Guaidó recognition
US “virtual ambassador” to Venezuela James “Jimmy” Story promised to answer a series of questions sent to him by The Grayzone this February 24. But after a Whatsapp exchange with this reporter during which Story offered to explain why he regularly alternated between Gargamel and the Smurfs as his avatar on the messaging app, the promised exchange never took place. On March 2, Story’s assistant, David Fogelson, informed The Grayzone that the virtual ambassador “won’t be able to do the interview.” He offered no further details on Story’s turnabout. That same day, during a Zoom event with the Venezuelan American Association of the US, Story boasted that his willingness to accept a few critical questions from his online audience “shows a transparency that the regime [in Caracas] does not show.”
Outside of Venezuela, communes are a little known aspect of the Bolivarian Revolution, yet the development of the communal state is integral to the vision of 21st century socialism laid out by former President Hugo Chavez. In this series, In Commune, Venezuelanalysis will explore different experiences of rural and urban communes to help better understand what these highly controversial bodies mean, how they have been put into practice, and what they could signify for the continuity of the Bolivarian Revolution in the current situation of political and economic imperialist aggression.
The Venezuelan government is shipping jet fuel to Iran as part of cooperation to tackle its gasoline and diesel shortages in the South American country. According to Reuters, state oil company PDVSA and its Iranian counterpart NIOC have agreed to a swap deal that sees Tehran ship gasoline to Caracas, with the vessels carrying jet fuel in the opposite direction. Venezuela currently has a glut of the latter, with air traffic all but ground to a halt during the Covid-19 pandemic. The agreement is described as a “perfect trip” in the maritime industry as the tankers travel fully loaded in both directions. Oil export monitor Tanker Trackers reported that Iran’s handysize Forest tanker docked in El Palito refinery on February 20 and unloaded 44 million liters of gasoline, approximately 277,000 barrels.
In its regime-change effort in Venezuela, the US has imposed devastating sanctions that have caused tens of thousands of deaths among the most vulnerable – without ever coming close to toppling the president. Alena Douhan, the UN Special Rapporteur on unilateral coercive measures and human rights – a new position created by the UN Human Rights Council in March of 2020 – issued a stinging preliminary report last week condemning US and EU sanctions against Venezuela. Ms. Douhan has urged the US, EU and other nations to drop all sanctions against Venezuela after her two-week fact-finding mission to the country. As the report explains, sanctions were first “imposed against Venezuela in 2005 and have been severely strengthened since 2015 . . . with the most severe ones being imposed by the United States.”