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32993Updates:Sanctions & The ironies of the Venezuelan opposition, part 50

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  • Cort Greene
    May 10 4:06 AM
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      Sanctions 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.

      The Prosecutor General of the Republic, Luisa Ortega Diaz said today that if the US has sanctions against officials of her country, she would have to apply a similar measure to the National Assembly. "What insolence of the United States, no? I I will ask, if so, I'll have to ask the Venezuelan National Assembly also, to punish especially who made ​​this proposal, this Latin senator now I can not think the name and do not want me to come his name memory, "she said through her radio show today. Fiscal noted United States as responsible for gross violations of human rights both nationally and internationally giving examples continued to operate in the invasion of Afghanistan and the Death Penalty established under U.S. law. 

      U.S. Bill Proposing Sanctions on Venezuela Passes House Foreign Affairs Committee

      May 9th 2014, by Z.C. Dutka

      Flag White House

      U.S. Congress considers sanctions on the Venezuelan government. (Rosales)

      Miami Venezuelans

      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)

      Miami trip

      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.

      Individual Sanctions

      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.

      Democracy Promotion

      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

      The ironies of the Venezuelan opposition, part 50

      May 9, 2014 — Sabina Becker

      Howdy, folks, and welcome to our 50th installment of VenOpIronía! And since this one’s extra-special, it doesn’t even take place in Venezuela, but right here in Canada. And even this far from Caracas, the Venezuelan oppos can’t help but show their true, “peaceful” (note the quotes), “democratic”, “free speech” face:



      That’s Julian Ichim, from Kitchener-Waterloo, telling the hard truth about our widdle fascist friend, MariCori, up there at the lectern, in Toronto, yesterday. And as you can see, he gets handled very peacefully (by being roughed up), and his free speech is heard (by him being silenced).

      This little shindig was put on by a group calling itself the Canadian Council for the Americas. Obviously some kind of imperialist “pro-business” front group. Certainly they don’t represent the people of Canada, since this is the first I’ve heard of the fuckers. Apparently, all they ever do is host rubber-chicken luncheons at overpriced venues where right-wing twits from other parts of the continent come to peddle their obsolete regional politics and capitalist economics. Wowzers!

      Also, their website is a bug-ridden, unprofessional piece of crap. And their sad little Facebook page only has 84 “likes”. Which is kind of pathetic (and ironic in itself), considering how their self-appointed task is to improve business relations between Canada and those peons sitting on “our” natural resources down south, or something like that.

      Even outside of Venezuela, those oppo-fascist ironies just keep on coming, eh?

      Maricori’s pathetic clown show on the Hill

      May 9, 2014 — Sabina Becker


      “With Canadian parliamentarians it’s clear that in Venezuela it’s not about right or left, but Democracy [sic] or dictatorship.” Yeah, sure, Maricori, keep telling yourself that. You would know about dictators, seeing as you supported Pedro Carmona in 2002, and even signed his decree abolishing all democratic institutions in Venezuela.

      Oh, Maricori. You poor widdle thing. You must really be desperate, seeing how your little “movement” is falling apart back home. So now you’ve come all the way up here just to see us, eh? And whether Canada wants to or not, it has to put up with your silly whining and pathetic attempts to drum up support for fascism and US interference where, as usual, none is wanted…

      María Corina Machado continues her tour of the the world putting on her show, and this time she was in Ottawa, Canada, where she was received by senators of the governing [Conservative] party.

      Following the same script as ever, following protocol down to the last millimetre, the ex-deputy met with parliamentarians, members of the Commission for External Affairs, and with MPs of the Conservative Party, as well as the minister for external affairs, John Baird.

      Forgetting that Venezuela has been an independent country for more than 200 years, MP Randy Hoback stated: “We recognize the deputy democratically elected by her people, we demand that she be restored to her charge as deputy, and demand that Venezuela cease its repression and free those arbitrarily detained.”

      Translation mine. Sorry, I couldn’t find a transcript of Randy Hoback’s silly remarks in English, so I’m going by the Spanish version instead.

      So, you may be asking, who the fuck is this Randy Hoback? Well, basically…he’s nobody. A Conservative backbencher from Alberta, a party hack, one with no real sway over anything. He’s just running his mouth here so the homefolks will get the mistaken impression that he’s doing something important. Remember, the SupposiTories are as top-down a party as ever existed anywhere, and Harpo is running the show. The real big kahuna in all this Venezuelan clown show is John Baird, our lovely foreign-affairs minister, and he’s not quoted there. Which I guess tells you how important Maricori really is up here.

      In any event, we’re not the country who’ll “rescue” Venezuela from the throes of evil Bolivarian democracy. The same which, Hack Hoback notwithstanding, democratically elected an overwhelming PSUV majority — a real one, not like this sham Conservative majority Hoback & Co. have going — and just as democratically and lawfully expelled Maricori from office for fascist putschism. That would be the United States of Amnesia, and right now, they’re too busy installing fascist puppets in Ukraine and propping up corrupt puppets in Nigeria to do anything for their puppets in South America.

      And speaking of US puppets in the Americas, guess what? Panama’s also fed up with Maricori’s silly antics, if this is any indication:

      Cabello said that “it appears” that doors are opening toward re-establishing relations with Panama.

      “The only thing we ask for is respect,” Cabello said.

      “Martinelli, you won’t leave the presidency without showing the list of those Venezuelans which you say have money in Panama, bring it out before you go,” said Cabello.

      “Ms. María Machado, I think, will be out of work, but it doesn’t matter because she has someone financing her, and it’s true they’ve invited her to an activity in Canada, it’s true she says that they will treat her as a deputy. The organizers of the activity say no, but she insists. Oh well, even if people end up going crazy, you’re going to stay out of work, María Machado,” Cabello concluded.

      Translation mine.

      Oh yeah, that’s right…Panama just had elections, and the famously crooked Ricardo Martinelli is now on his way out of a job, too. Whoops, there goes one more prop for Maricori…


      So, as usual, Maricori’s running all over the place, showing her obscure little face, putting on her usual sob-sister act…and getting bugger-all to show for it.

      I’d feel sorry for her, but I’m too busy laughing my ass off.

      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