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Venezuela Fiercely Rejects US Senate’s Passing Of BOLIVAR Act

This Friday, December 16, the US Senate unanimously approved the Law to Prohibit Operations and Leasing with the Illegitimate Authoritarian Regime of Venezuela (BOLIVAR Act), presented by the ultra-conservative Floridian senator, Rick Scott. The discussion of the interventionist act in the lower house of the US Congress is still pending. “The regulations prohibit federal agencies from doing business with anyone who supports the oppressive Maduro regime,” reported the official website of Scott, who was one of the primary promoters of the law. Scott was joined by far-right Senator Marco Rubio as well as other far-right congressmen. The bill had been unanimously approved by the US Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs in March 2021, as a preliminary step before being discussed in the Senate.

US Trial Of Venezuela’s Alex Saab Exposes Diplomatic Espionage

Authorities in Cape Verde, opened official government communications which Venezuela intended for Iran, including a sealed letter sent by Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, following the arrest of Venezuelan diplomat Alex Saab in June of 2020. The revelations came to light during a December 12 evidentiary hearing in Saab’s federal trial in Miami, Florida, focused on determining whether or not his claims to diplomatic immunity are legitimate. The Grayzone is attending Saab’s trial in the Wilke Ferguson federal courthouse in downtown Miami. The US Department of Justice has accused the Venezuelan diplomat of conspiracy to commit money laundering, painting him as a corrupt business asset of a socialist government Washington aims to topple. But Saab and  his only crime was violating sanctions to provide affordable food and medicine for a population suffering under a crushing US economic blockade. Saab’s trial is therefore a critical test of the legitimacy of the US sanctions regime targeting nations from Venezuela to Iran.

Day Two Of US Political Prisoner Alex Saab’s Legal Hearing

On Tuesday, December 13, the second day of the hearing (see first day here), the prosecution presented its case why the US rejects Saab’s status as a diplomat. The prosecution presentation initially focused on Saab being a “cooperative source” for the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) between 2016-2019, meeting with DEA agents several times. The prosecutor asserted that Saab explained to the DEA how he conducted business, how he paid off Venezuelan government officials, and that he paid the DEA millions of dollars.  The Saab defense did not respond to this, an issue that is entirely out of the domain of this hearing. The corporate media has covered this in the past (here and here).

Day One: Hearing About US Political Prisoner Alex Saab’s Diplomatic Status

The long delayed official hearing on the question of the Venezuela Special Envoy Alex Saab’s status as a diplomat finally began December 12, 2022. The US government had him seized in Cape Verde two and a half years ago, June 12, 2020, in violation of his  diplomatic immunity as guaranteed in the Geneva Convention. At present, a hearing - which occurs before a judge, who makes the determination, not before a jury, as in the case of a trial -  is taking place in Miami over the question of Alex Saab’s status, which the US prosecutors dispute. If this were a simpy case of deciding if a person with a diplomatic passport, carrying a sealed official letter from one head of state to another head of state, were on a diplomatic mission, it would be a no-brainer.

Why Venezuela Has Resisted While Many Leftist Presidents Could Not

Objectively reviewing the history of our times proves that Chávez faced—and Maduro has continued to face—all the strategies, tactics, maneuvers, games, and schemes that the US empire and its satellites and lackeys have successfully used throughout the rest of the continent, among other ploys that have been used in other parts of the world. Let’s conduct a thorough count from memory: coups d’état, military riots, public uprisings by high-ranking military officers, strikes and sabotages of the productive industrial apparatus, denunciations of electoral fraud with violent protests, interference through the Organization of American States, internal economic warfare, attacks on the national currency, parliamentary coups, unilateral coercive measures, economic blockades, lawfare, international judicial persecution, migration crises, and arbitrary appointments of so-called parallel authorities—all of this combined with constant and persistent harassment by international and opposing national media.

Protest Called In Miami For Freedom Of Venezuelan Diplomat Alex Saab

An important hearing takes place on Monday, December 12 in the case of Venezuelan diplomat Alex Saab, illegally imprisoned in the US. Solidarity activists will protest outside the Federal Court building in Miami, chanting “Free Alex Saab,” while inside a judge will hear arguments from Saab’s defense trying to win his freedom. Saab’s defense will assert his status as a Special Envoy of the president of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro. As a special envoy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Saab is immune to prosecution by the US government, according to international law. “The United States is singling out Alex Saab for punishment because he is key to bypassing the illegal US sanctions imposed on Venezuela,” said Cassia Laham of the Free Alex Saab Committee.

Venezuelan Government And Opposition Sign ‘Social Agreement’

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.

How The US And Saudi Crashed Crude Prices To Hurt Russia, Iran, Venezuela

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.

US Always Knew Alex Saab Was A Diplomat

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.

Venezuelan Migration: Resisting US Economic War And Media Manipulation

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.

Low-Income Countries Bear Brunt Of Climate Change

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%.

Colombia And Venezuela, Brother Nations Reunite

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.

Connection Between The Environmental Crisis And Global Poverty

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.

President Maduro Calls For Summit In Defense Of The Amazon

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 New President Reverses US Coup, Visits Venezuela

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.
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