Venezuela’s Arreaza: ‘We Have to Reject War, Bet on Dialogue’

Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza in TeleSUR TV studio in Caracas, Venezuela, May 17, 2019.

Venezuela’s Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza hailed Norway’s mediation efforts and stressed that “knowing how to listen, agree and comply is requiered.”

May 17 (teleSUR) During an exclusive interview with teleSUR, Venezuela’s Foreign Affairs Minister Jorge Arreaza addressed some of the the highlights of the current political, economic and diplomatic situation his country is going through.

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UN Sec-Gen ‘Very Much Supportive’ of Venezuela Talks in Norway

With regard to the “exploratory phase” of dialogue taking place in Norway between representatives of the President Nicolas Maduro administration and delegates of the opposition Juan Guaido, Arreaza recalled that his government has always insisted that dialogue is a “must” and much more when Venezuela is under attack.

Representatives from the International Contact Group for Venezuela, which includes several Latin American and European countries have made five visits to the country in the last three months, informed Arreaza. The vice-ministers of foreign affairs from Spain, Portugal, Italy, Sweden and Uruguay who all belong to the group made a special visit to Venezuela Thursday and met with Maduro where they were asked to understand the Bolivarian Revolution without outside biases.View image on Twitter

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Nicolás Maduro@NicolasMaduro

Importante reunión con el Grupo Internacional de Contacto que visita Venezuela. Les expresé mi disposición de resolver las diferencias internas por la vía del diálogo y conversamos sobre las agresiones económicas del imperio de los EE.UU. en contra de nuestro Pueblo.1,4217:32 PM – May 16, 20191,940 people are talking about thisTwitter Ads info and privacy

Important meeting with the International Contact Group visiting Venezuela. I expressed my willingness to resolve internal differences through dialogue and we talked about the economic aggressions of the US empire against our People.

It is important to “understand the Venezuelan reality by taking into account the historical struggle for the control of oil resources, which happens between, on the one hand, a local bourgeoisie wanting to appropriate oil revenues for its own benefit and, on the other hand, a government seeking to distribute oil wealth through housing, health and education for its people,” emphasized the Venezuelan diplomat during the interview.

Minister Arreaza did not provide details about the dialogue’s exploratory phase, however, he thanked Norway for its willingness to contribute to peace.

“We are very grateful to the kingdom of Norway for its efforts to bring parties together. … Dialogue in democracy is always good news. … There is a historical conflict that must be managed in peace (and) knowing how to listen, agree and comply is requiered.”

Regarding the Lima Group meeting, which was scheduled for this week but suspended the foreign minister said that such suspention reflects a change in the group’s strategy, which was “surprised” by the recently publicized talks in Norway.

“It is the anti-dialogue group. … It’s a group of right-wing Latin American governments that reflect U.S. policy. … However, Venezuela is willing to work with these governments,” stressed the Venezuelan minister who explained that although the Lima Group rejected a military intervention in Venezuela, it has fostered political conditions that make the U.S. believe that such an intervention is feasible.

Speaking about ​​recent foreign-driven actions against Venezuela, Arreaza highlighted the unfortunate events that took place at the Venezuelan Embassy in Washington D.C. Thursday and thanked U.S. peace activists who defended that building for over a month.

On May 16, United States local and national security forces invaded Venezuela’s sovereign embassy in D.C. to arrest the remaining Protection Collective members inside the building trying to keep it in the hands of the democratically elected Maduro adminstration. 

“First of all a recognition to the activists who protected the embassy. … Their moral strength and integrity were greater than all the police forces trying to evict them through the back door,” said Arreaza and commented that “it was a sad spectacle and a violation of the Vienna Convention.”

This multilateral agreement, he recalled, obliges any country to respect and protect other countries’ embassy even when there is a rupture of diplomatic relations or armed conflicts.

“We do respect international law. … The U.S. sits on the United Nations Security Council but threatens other countries with war,” he said and pointed out that “the time for diplomacy is now, I hope they understand… all their strategies against Venezuela have failed. … (Trumps’) advisers have committed one awkward event after another,” referring to the failed ‘humanitarian aid’ in February, massive electrical sabotages on Venezuela in March, and May’s coup attempt against Maduro.   Ver imagen en Twitter

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#LIVE | President @NicolasMaduro: “We call to respect the human rights of @codepink activists that defended our embassy after we broke diplomatic relations with the Trump government” 15:05 – 16 may. 2019Ver los otros Tweets de Global AnalyticaInformación y privacidad de Twitter Ads

Minister Arreaza indicated that similar actions against the U.S. embassy in Caracas could be undertaken, if his country followed the ‘Principle of Reciprocity’ tradition. However, Venezuela will not do so because the Bolivarian government does respect international law.

With respect to what could happen to the Venezuelan building in D.C., he said that it would be absurd for the Venezuelan opposition to occupy the Bolivarian embassy and perform administrative tasks from there.

“If any Venezuelan went to the embassy, ​​he could not process a visa, apostille a document or perform similar actions. It would be absurd.”

Arreaza stressed again that the “brazen” disrespect for international law that took place at the Venezuelan embassy has become “a great triumph” for both his country and peace activists who demonstrated “seeds of change” that will benefit sooner than later the world and the United States.

As a message to all Venezuelans without distinction of political positions, Minister Arreaza said that violence will not be the means to solve domestic disputes.

“We have a Constitution which cost a lot and we must protect it. Venezuela needs a peaceful and democratic road. Within that, there is no intervention,” he recalled and added that “we all have to reject war and blockades, and bet on dialogue, democracy and peace. … Problems will not be solved with aggression, insult and violence,” said the diplomat.

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Latin American Rural Forum To Analyze Challenges in Cuba

Havana, May 18 (Prensa Latina) The Latin American Coordinator of Rural Organizations (CLOC) will hold its 7th Congress in Cuba next month, focused on the need for agrarian reform in the region and the demand for various social rights.

The current situation in Latin America, marked by both the US neoliberal offensive and the regional right, forces us to a broad political reflection and to the debate about the future, explained in a press conference Fausto Torres, leader of the Association of Rural Workers of Nicaragua and the CLOC. We will also denounce Washington’s aggression against Venezuela and Cuba, he stressed.

In that sense, he criticized the White House’s decision to activate Title III of the Helms-Burton Act, which allows US citizens to sue to US justice to people and organizations, even from other countries that invest in Cuban territory in nationalized properties following the triumph of the Revolution on January 1, 1959.

This congress will vindicate the struggle of the indigenous peoples and the need to implement an agrarian reform in our countries, he pointed out.

On the other hand, Iridiani Seibert, who belongs to the Peasant Women’s Movement of Brazil, explained that during the event there will also be a feminist assembly, in which the challenges of the sector will be analyzed.

We are going to deepen the construction of a peasant and popular feminism in order to advance in the construction of socialism in our nations, she expressed.

Meanwhile, Liecer Ramirez, from the Federation of Coffee Growers of the Southern Region of the Dominican Republic, set out that the young participants of the Congress will address issues such as access to land and water.

Rilma Roman, head of International Relations of the National Association of Small Farmers of Cuba, detailed that the congress will be held from June 25 to 30.

Created in 1994, the CLOC encourages solidarity, economic relations of equality, gender parity and social justice as well as unity among its members, food sovereignty and sustainable agricultural production, among other issues.

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Cuban President Receives IAEA Director General

Havana, May 18 (Prensa Latina) Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel has received the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Yukiya Amano, who is making an official visit to Cuba.

The website of the Cuban Presidency noted that during the ”cordial meeting they talked about the excellent state of existing relations” between this UN international organization and Cuba, and they talked about the favorable implementation of cooperation projects and the potential for their strengthening.

The source indicates that Luis Longoria, IAEA Director of Technical Cooperation for Latin America and the Caribbean, and Edgard Perez, advisor to the Director General, attended the meeting.

On the Cuban side the meeting was attended by Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla and the Minister of Science, Technology and Environment, Elba Rosa Perez Montoya were present.

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Impact of US Blockade against Venezuela Denounced

Ankara, May 17 (Prensa Latina) The Venezuelan ambassador to Turkey, José Bracho Reyes, today denounced the consequences of the US blockade against the South American nation, during a keynote address to the Faculty of Economics of the Technical University of the Middle East .

Under the title ‘Venezuela, present and future of sovereignty in Latin America,’ the diplomat made a historical review of the dispute between his country and the United States, which he explained from the so-called Monroe doctrine (‘America for the Americans ‘) and the opposite posed by Simón Bolívar, who sought Latin American unity, to the present day.

Bracho pointed out the illegality, according to the international legislation, which supposes the criminal unilateral blockade imposed by the United States on his country, and explained the scope of sanctions that seriously harm the people.

Around 5.47 billion dollars belonging to Venezuela are blocked in different international financial institutions,’ he said, adding that the function of these resources ‘is to buy food, medicines and basic supplies for the Venezuelan people.’ 

Prior to the conference, Bracho met with the team of the Turkey Strategic Thinking Center to coordinate the publishing of a special issue on Venezuela, regional geopolitics and consequences of the blockade imposed by the United States government.

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Congressman McGovern: Cuba and U.S. Can Have Normal Relations

Havana, May 17 (Prensa Latina) In times when the U.S. Government keeps strengthening its hostile policy against Cuba, a U.S. congressman visited Havana and stated that normal relations are possible for the two countries.

‘That’s what most of the U.S. public thinks and representatives of congress too,’ democratic representative for Massachusetts James McGovern asserted during his recent visit to Havana.

McGovern, who is also the chairman of the House Rules Committee, said that he is aware of the fact that the administration of president Trump doesn’t share that opinion, as his hostile actions show. However, he said the administration’s vision lacks support in the United States.

Washington has imposed new sanctions on Cuba to exacerbate the economic, commercial and financial blockade in force for almost 60 years. Also threatening is the complete activation of Title III of the Helms-Burton Act, which seeks to prevent foreign investment in Cuba.

‘I, and many others, believe that the best option is to have good relations,’ he stressed.

According to McGovern, the U.S. Government should lift the blockade and the travel restrictions that keep Americans from traveling freely to neighboring island. He also added that the United States should cancel the Helms-Burton Act, which is aimed at a change of regime by means of the economic asphyxia.

‘I am committed to improving our relations; the outlook is favorable at the House of Representatives, where the Democrats are in majority. However, the same might not be true for the Senate, which is controlled by the Republicans and Trump would surely block any initiative in that direction; but we must keep working until we have the appropriate conditions in the future,’ he said.

According to the congressman, normal bilateral relations are part of his country’s objectives.

The opinion of the Massachusetts politician is valid, considering that even in the hostile scenario imposed by Trump, over twenty agreements on issues of common interest are being fully implemented. Those agreements were signed during the administration of Barack Obama, who in 2015 and 2016 – the last two years of his term in office – fostered rapprochement between the two nations.

Another advantage of good relations is the high number of commercial flights and cruise ships belonging to U.S. companies that have earned good income as a result of those operations.

His agenda included meetings with Cuban president Miguel Diaz-Canel and officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, including General Deputy Director for U.S. Affairs Johana Tablada, in addition to a meeting with students of the Higher Institute of International Relations.

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Cuban Duo Gente de Zona Announces Launching New Album

Havana, May 17 (Prensa Latina) Cuban singers Alexander Delgado and Randy Malcom, members of the urban music duo Gente de Zona, announced the eve their new phonogram will come out on May 24.

Under the title Otra cosa (Something Else), the album features the musical production of Malcom himself, along with Angel Arce, Alejandro Arce and Motiff.

Cuban and foreign guests collaborated in the phonogram’s realization, such as Franco de Vita, Mau and Ricky, Gustavo Lima, Kelvis Ochoa, Gilberto Santa Rosa, El Chacal, El Micha, Silvestre Dangond, Farina, Ana Mena, Zion and Lennox, Gonzalo Rubalcaba and Pancho Amat.

In statements to local media, Malcom said that the album will reach all digital platforms after two years of preparation, with a varied musical proposal without being far away from the group’s style and identity.

According to the singers, Otra Cosa, is also a statement of how their sound is defined worldwide, by the mixture of Cuban and Caribbean rhythms.

The first advance of this album was heard in March under the title El mentiroso (Liar),featuring the Colombian Dangond.

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Venezuela Welcomes Norway’s Announcement On Beginning of Dialogue

Caracas, May 17 (Prensa Latina) Vice-President of Venezuela, Delcy Rodriguez, celebrated on Friday Norway”s pronouncement on a first rapprochement for political dialogue between the Caracas government and the opposition based in the European country.

In a message posted on Twitter, the senior official reiterated the intention to develop talks proposed by President Nicolas Maduro.

The president ratifies and reaffirms the path of dialogue as the only way for understanding among Venezuelans in the framework of the defense of peace and respect for sovereignty, Rodriguez wrote.

According to a press release issued by the Government of the European nation, this week the representatives began an exploratory phase among the main Venezuelan political actors as a formula to achieve a solution to the Venezuelan context.

Norway commends the parties for their efforts. We reiterate our willingness to continue supporting the search for a peaceful solution,’ the text stressed.

This week, the Venezuelan president announced that the vice-president of Communication, Culture and Tourism, Jorge Rodríguez, remained in an important mission in Europe.

The president of the National Constituent Assembly, Diosdado Cabello, revealed that part of the national opposition was willing to dialogue with the government in secret.

The political leader confirmed that after months of refusal, representatives of the right asked the Executive to start negotiations to solve the political crisis.

There is no need to be afraid of dialogue, because dialogue does not mean capitulation or surrender, it simply means talking about issues that are common to find a meeting point,’ he said.

International media had reported on possible secret talks between government representatives and the Norwegian-based Venezuelan opposition.

Although it had not been confirmed until today, agencies such as Reuters ensured the presence of leaders from both sides separately with a team of mediators from the European country with experience in negotiations.

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Cuba Celebrates 60th Anniversary of Agrarian Reform Law

Providencia, Cuba (Prensa Latina) The 60th anniversary of the signing of the Agrarian Reform Law by the leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro, who eradicated the latifundia and distributed the land to the peasantry of the island, was celebrated here this Friday.

During a political-cultural act in the eastern province of Granma, the second secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party, Jose Ramon Machado Ventura, said that the signing of the law in the heart of the Sierra Maestra, marked a milestone of enormous importance for the country, because ‘more than an agrarian reform there was an agrarian revolution.

‘No matter how hard the enemies of the Revolution try to distort history, the irrefutable truth is that the Agrarian Reform Law was absolutely fair, it eliminated the scourge of large estates,’ said Machado Ventura.

Likewise, he added that the signing of the referred legislation brought socialism to the fields of the largest of the Antilles, and was a triumph of the ideas of proletarian leaders of the nation who never made a distinction between the factory worker and the furrow worker.

For her part, the young peasant farmer and Master of Science in Education Yaneisis Fonseca referred to the situation of rural men and women before the triumph of the Cuban Revolution, and how with the enactment of the Agrarian Reform Law the peasants became owners of their land.

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Who’s behind the pro-Guaido mob that besieged Venezuela’s embassy in Washington?

dc venezuelan embassy opposition protesters

The intimidation tactics by the pro-coup embassy besiegers not only failed to deter the peace activists around the embassy, they left Venezuela’s D.C.-based opposition with a serious PR problem. After a week of hateful outbursts, a handful of marketing strategists emerged as de facto spokespeople for the mob.

by Jeb Sprague and Alexander Rubinstein

This article was originally published at Mint Press.

May 16 (The Grayzone) After a rough and revealing start, the reins of the campaign to seize Venezuela’s embassy in Washington are being taken over by a group of well-connected marketing and online strategists.

In this article, we will examine the backgrounds of these individuals, the platforms they use to disseminate their message, and the tactics they have employed to clamor for an embassy seizure that violates international law. We will also address how they may stand to benefit directly from an escalation of Washington’s hybrid war and a potential regime-change scenario in Venezuela.

Washington serves as a magnet for many elite and upper-middle-class professionals from countries that have been targeted by U.S. regime-change efforts. In their home countries, some of these elements may function as the shock troops or intellectual beacons of empire, forming the front lines of American-backed color-revolution-style destabilization campaigns. In the U.S., some upwardly mobile members of the diaspora also become lobbyists for regime change. They position themselves as the true voices of “the people” of their nation, while the poor and working class majorities of those countries are left behind, ignored by the corporate media and unable to travel north.

This sensibility is perfectly reflected by the crowd of pro-coup Venezuelan exiles and diaspora members that has besieged the Venezuelan Embassy in a bid to starve out the American activists who have staged a round-the-clock protest inside.

In early April, peace activists were invited by Venezuela’s government into its embassy in D.C., after the Trump administration ordered the country’s diplomats to depart. Over twenty wound up taking up residence in the embassy, hoping to prevent an illegal seizure of the building.

On April 30 – the same day self-proclaimed “president” Juan Guaidó staged a failed military coup – pro-Guaidó Venezuelans initiated their siege of the embassy. As they converged on the premises, some unleashed a wave of violentmisogynistic, and racist attacks on peace activists both inside and outside the building.

Some of the pro-Guaidó militants are believed to have since carried out physical attacks, made death threats, and harassed the family members of embassy defenders. Some are also believed to have committed acts of property destruction, wrecked the tents of activists, and ransacked an embassy office while promoting ultra-Zionism and praising President Donald Trump and the policeTeleSUR’s correspondent Alina Duarte has faced a torrent of threats from some of the pro-Guaidó extremists, returning home one night to find that someone had attempted to break into and enter her apartment.

The intimidation tactics not only failed to deter the peace activists around the embassy, they left Venezuela’s D.C.-based opposition with a serious PR problem. After a week of hateful outbursts, a handful of marketing strategists emerged as de facto spokespeople for the mob. They are now delegated for interviews with national media outlets, deploying a combination of liberal-sounding language and identity politics to deflect from the presence of violent, sociopathic elements within the mob, some of whom will also be identified in this article.

The well-groomed spokespeople for regime change

Dilianna C. Bustillos (also known as Dillianna Bustillos Vivas) has become a poster child for the pro-Guaidó mob. A senior manager at Oracle, she previously worked for MarketBridge and for the advocate marketing firm Influitive. Oracle, a computer technology corporation and one of the largest companies in the world, also works closely with aerospace and defense companies. In 2018 it had global revenues of $39.83 billion.

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Cuba Ratifies Cooperation with IAEA for Peaceful Ends

Havana, May 17 (Prensa Latina) Cuba”s Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez asserted on Twitter his country’s willingness to continue working with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to promote the use of nuclear technologies for peaceful ends.

The Foreign Minister highlighted that as IAEA founding member Cuba has excellent relations with the UN watchdog.

As proof of that, IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano is fulfilling a working visit to the island since last Wednesday and today he was welcome by Rodriguez at the headquarters of the Foreign Ministry.

Founded in 1957, the IAEA is a world agency of cooperation on the field of nuclear energy, with the aim to promote use of atomic energy under conditions of physical and technological safety.

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