32993Updates:Sanctions & The ironies of the Venezuelan opposition, part 50
- May 10 4:06 AMSanctions hearings were held in both the US House and Senate this week and the push for sanctions is bipartisan, as U.S. lawmakers continue to call for sanctions against individual officials in Venezuela.Last month both of Florida’s senators, Republican Marco Rubio and Democrat Bill Nelson, co-sponsored a bill that would target officials who hold assets, property and travel visas to the U.S.At a Senate hearing on Thursday, Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Roberta Jacobson came under fire for the president’s unwillingness to apply targeted sanctions .Jacobson, however, said it was too soon to level sanctions. She said doing so would play into the government’s claims that the U.S. is meddling in Venezuela’s internal affairs (which it has for over the last 12 years under both Bush and Obama). She also asserted that members of the opposition had asked the administration “not to pursue them at this time” even though some within the MUD coalition deny this and other segments of the opposition continue with their fascist violence and many groups continue with the economic destabilization campaigns.I for one, for the last 6 years have called on the Venezuela government to cut off the oil to the US, kick out the NGO's and over 400 US companies in Venezuela ( who are nothing but a fifth column against the Bolivarian revolution) and EXPROPRIATE them along with the oligarchy and complete the revolution.Cort-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
U.S. Bill Proposing Sanctions on Venezuela Passes House Foreign Affairs Committee
May 9th 2014, by Z.C. Dutka
U.S. Congress considers sanctions on the Venezuelan government. (Rosales)
Venezuelans in Miami board buses to travel to Washington D.C. in support of the Venezuelan Liberty and Democratic Solidarity Act. (Courtesy Manuel Gago/ Globovision)
Around 300 Venezuelans left Miami yesterday to drive to Washington D.C. to show support of a bill that would impose sanctions on the Venezuelan government. (JMS / Globovisión/EFE)
Santa Elena de Uairen May 9th, 2014. (venezuelanalysis.com)- A Human Rights bill proposed by Florida Republican Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, which includes sanctions on the Venezuelan government, cleared its first legislative hurdle this morning after passing the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
The bill, known as the Venezuelan Liberty and Democratic Solidarity Act, will sanction individuals responsible for “serious human rights abuses” against those participating in the anti-government protests that have received widespread media attention since February. It also includes those individuals who have supported those acts, whether financially or otherwise, and those officials who called for the arrest of those “legitimately exercising their freedom of expression and assembly.”
The most recent draft presented to the Committee listed asset blocking and inadmissibility to the US as types of individual sanctions. It also included the possibility of a presidential waiver of the application of sanctions, if the U.S. president should consider national security interests call for it, or conditions in Venezuela have improved.
Section 7 of the bill outlines a “Comprehensive Strategy to Promote Internet Freedom and Access to Information,” including the expansion of activities to “train HR, civil society, and democracy activists” and the expansion of proxy servers for said activists, as well as access to “uncensored news sources.”
Section 8 asks that US Secretary of State, John Kerry, submit a “comprehensive strategy outlining how the US is supporting the citizens of Venezuela” in seeking basic civil liberties, development of an independent civil society, and free and transparent elections.
Section 9 offers refugee status or political asylum in the US to Venezuelan political dissidents if requested, and a direct effort on behalf of the US state department to identify cases of “prisoners of conscience and HR abuses in Venezuela.”
The bill ends with Section 10, the Authorization of Appropriations for Assistance to Support Civil Society in Venezuela, which pledges a minimum of $5 million through USAID, and finally, a Sunset Clause of two years after the date of enactment of the legislation.
Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro has accused possible sanctions of being “encouragement to extremist groups,” those protestors who he believes have sparked violence in their widespread call for regime change. Members of the Venezuelan opposition coalition, the Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD), have also expressed their misgivings at the prospect of sanctions.
This morning Roberta Jacobson, Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, heard testimonies from Venezuelan opposition representatives regarding the alleged use of extreme force on behalf of Venezuelan security forces. She admitted to hearing a “diversity of opinions,” from “different oppositional factions” but that the majority asked that the U.S. not impose sanctions “yet.”
“They have asked us not to introduce sanctions at this time,” Jacobson said.
A caravan of Venezuelans, residents of South Florida, traveled to Washington D.C. yesterday to show support for the bill.
Only two committee representatives, Gregory Meeks and Karen Bass, voted against the bill this morning. In recent weeks, many Latin American leaders have expressed their distaste for the possibility of US interference in Venezuela.
Uruguayan president Pepe Mujica said, “When the entire world asks the U.S. to shelve its economic blockade policy against Cuba, voices emerge from within that government threatening sanctions against Venezuela. Are the lessons of history never learned? (…) the first thing that Venezuela and all of Latin America need is to be respected.”
Many sources believe the bill will reach the House floor the week of May 12th, and will likely be approved with little resistance. A number of organizations, including the Alliance for Global Justice, have organized petitions in attempts to prevent this from taking place.Source URL (retrieved on 10/05/2014 - 5:55am): http://venezuelanalysis.com/news/10673
Venezuelan Policeman Killed by Sniper While Clearing Protest Barricade in Caracas
May 9th 2014, by Z.C. Dutka
Three Venezuelan policemen were shot by snipers while clearing out protesters’ camps in Caracas, one was killed instantly. (Archives)
Santa Elena de Uairen. May 9th, 2014. (venezuelanalysis.com)- In the early hours of Thursday morning, Jorge Tovar, 24, a Venezuelan national police officer was shot dead in the neck by a sniper, according to official sources. The shooting occurred as police attempted to clear an encampment that blocked traffic set up by hardline anti-government protestors, or guarimberos, in the upperclass neighborhood of Los Palos Grandes, in eastern Caracas.
Injuries were sustained on both sides as protestors clashed with security forces. Two other police officers suffered bullet wounds, albeit nonfatal, allegedly by the same sniper. Justice Minister Miguel Rodriguez Torres reported that police have evidence of where the shots were fired shot from, but the shooter’s identity remains unknown, while a full investigation is being launched.
The police and national guard had organized that morning with the intention of clearing out the four remaining barricades in the Eastern area of Caracas.
Minister Torres said it was imperative these four guarimba camps be eliminated, “given the evidence that it was from these places that the most violent terrorist acts were committed: the torching of Metro trains and police vehicles, confrontations with molotovs and weapons against security forces.”
Some 243 barricaders were apprehended for questioning, although 12 were released hours later due to their juvenile status. A variety of weapons, including guns and homemade bombs, as well as illegal drugs, were found among protestors.
Among the arrested was a young man responsible for the burning of a National Guard vehicle, according to Rodriguez.
Later that day, near the scene of Tovar’s death, more hardline protestors attacked the Public Fund for Micro Finance Development (Fondemi) with explosives and stones.
Yesterday Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro pledged a medal of bravery to the bus driver, Jonathon Jimenez, whose bus was assaulted by protestors wielding molotov cocktails last week. Jimenez still remains in the hospital with severe burns.
“Can it be called protest to throw a molotov at a worker? That’s something we should reflect on,” said Maduro yesterday afternoon.
Another worker, Victor Yajure, of the United Socialist Party (PSUV), was kidnapped by unknown assailants in front of his home in Iribarren, Lara state. According to those who reported the crime, Yajure was previously aware of a plot designed by anti-government student protestors to frame him for arson of the local university.
Colleagues of Yajure are convinced the kidnapping had political motives, and condemn oppositional governor Henry Falcon of “abetting violent acts” by permitting the protestors to “control the area” for three months, under the alleged protection of local police.Source URL (retrieved on 10/05/2014 - 5:44am): http://venezuelanalysis.com/news/10674