21 February 2019 — Countercurrents.org
- Massive Bolivarian March for Peace and Sovereignty
- Venezuelan military reject Trump’s incitement to rebel: “Over Our Dead Bodies”
- Maduro controls situation in Venezuela, Russian ambassador
- Venezuela suspends flights, closes several borders amid intervention threats
- Venezuela protests violation of diplomatic accords after assault on embassy in Costa Rica
- Costa Rica slams Guaido representatives for taking control of Venezuelan embassy
- PDVSA pumping station attacked
- Advances made in investigation against Guaido
- Amnesty goes for humaid
- A couple of dozen buses and pick-up trucks in Guaido’s support
- Hundreds of bus drivers in red shirt rally for Maduro
- Swiss deny call with Guaido over bank accounts
People in Venezuela are getting mobilized to resist the intervention imperialism is organizing with different provocative acts.
Media reports said:
March for Peace and Sovereignty
Diosdado Cabello, president of the Venezuelan National Constituent Assembly (ANC) led a massive March for Peace on Wednesday. The march filled the streets of Ciudad Bolivar, in the Bolivar state that borders Brazil and Guyana.
“Venezuela is a country of warriors that will stand against anybody,” said Cabello, from the Angostura Bridge on the border with Brazil.
The Chavista leader called upon the Bolivarian people to defend the homeland against the foreign attacks on Venezuela.
Cabello, who is also the first Vice President of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), denounced the so-called “human aid” (humaid). Cabello said, “What is behind the alleged ‘humanitarian aid’ is a big business,” that is being led by the Venezuelan right wing for their own profit.
In the march, tens of thousands of Venezuelan people joined.
The Bolivar state is a geopolitical strategic territory in Venezuela because it borders with Guyana and with Brazil
The Bolivar state could be an entry point in which the opposition members could try to enter the so-called humaid sent by the U.S. and managed by right-wing forces in Venezuela.
Cabello stated that the 70 tones of “humaid,” can’t be compared with the over six million families that are beneficiaries of the Local Committees of Supply and Production (Clap), provided by the Bolivarian government.
On the same day, workers from transport sector organized another march in the capital city of Caracas in support of democratically elected President Maduro.
In parallel, the opposition made a mobilization in surrounding streets.
Cabello said “the rightists assume that they will arrive (to power). They believe that the patriots are going to run away, they think they are going to rule. This country will always be loyal to Chavez!”
Venezuelan military reject Trump’s incitement to rebel: “Over Our Dead Bodies”
Venezuela’s armed forces have responded angrily Tuesday to threats made against them by US President Trump and calls to break the chain of command.
Speaking at a press conference in Caracas and flanked by commanders from all of the branches of the military, Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez told that Washington “will not be able to install a ‘puppet’ and anti-patriotic government, they will have to step over our dead bodies first.”
Trump had warned Venezuelan soldiers that they risked “losing everything” should they continue loyal to Maduro at a press conference in Miami Monday.
Padrino called attempts to give orders to the Venezuelan armed forces “disrespectful”.
Padrino vowed that threats of sanctions and blackmail would not allow the US to “achieve its objective.”
“When a president of another country comes and tries to give orders to [our] Armed Forces, he is underestimating them disrespectfully […] It is incredulous,” said Padrino.
Padrino told the media: “We observed and listened to the United States President Donald Trump’s speech and we could not stop being amazed at the arrogance of the president in his speech where terrorism is celebrated.”
In direct response to the US President, Padrino said during his speech from Caracas, “Donald Trump believes he can order around Venezuelan soldiers, but his political advisors should check their facts because to be a commander of the FANB (Bolivarian National Armed Forces), he must be Venezuelan by birth, be of this country.”
Padrino added: “Donald Trump spoke of supposed humanitarian aid, […] but this is a campaign of lies and psychological manipulation to achieve political power.”
In an official statement by Venezuela’s Ministry of Popular Power for Defense, the government said that Trump’s speech reflected “terrible insensitivity” toward Venezuela and he has heightened the rhetoric of using U.S. armed forces “against the nation.”
The ministry statement accused the Trump administration of creating a “hybrid war asphyxiating the economy and imposing a financial block intending to create ungovernability, chaos and anarchy only to get at the nation’s riches.”
Plan with humaid
The U.S. government says it will position 190 metric tons of supplies by Friday, ready to deploy throughout Venezuela, according to Mark Green, the administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
The problem is figuring out how to get that aid into Venezuela.
“That really is up to Juan Guaido and his people and his team,” Green told Fox News. “We are working with them to try and pre-position that assistance and give them the tools to lead their people and provide hope.”
Green said he’s coordinating with the Colombian government to ensure that Guaido, the self-proclaimed “interim president” of Venezuela, has the aid – though he said the next step is up to Guaido.
“We know it’s not enough that the humanitarian aid enters,” Guaido said at a Caracas news conference. “We must open the humanitarian channel, no matter what.”
Guaido is organizing “aid” caravans to try to cross Saturday into Venezuela, potentially setting up a confrontation with the Venezuelan military.
“Maduro controls situation in Venezuela — Russian ambassador”
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro controls the situation in the country, Russia’s Ambassador to Caracas Vladimir Zaemsky told news agency TASS.
Zaemsky noted that Venezuelan opposition leader Guaido “has repeatedly called on Russia and China to recognize him [as interim president] because he says he is the one who can guarantee the interests” of the two countries in Venezuela.
When responding to a question on whether the opposition would be able to guarantee Russia’s interests if it comes to power in Venezuela, the ambassador said that he is “not used to speculating about hypothetical situations because the current situation in the country is controlled by the governement of Nicolas Maduro.”
“We see the Montevideo mechanism as the most suitable initiative for Venezuela because it is aimed at dialogue and does not put forward any ultimatum demands, unlike the International contact group on Venezuela initiated by the European Union,” Zaemsky said.
Venezuela suspends flights, closes several borders amid intervention threats
Vice President of Venezuela Delcy Rodríguez announced Wednesday the suspension of flights and closure of Venezuelan borders with the island of Curaçao, Aruba and Bonaire in response to the interventionist threats that Venezuela is experiencing.
Rodriguez said, “the best humanitarian aid they can give the people of Venezuela is to return the resources, which they are stealing,” rebuking the United States and the economic blockades that affect the country.
She added the government extends an invitation to the right-wing opposition for restoring dialogue and resuming diplomatic mechanisms, an invitation that has repeatedly made the Venezuelan President Maduro.
Rodriguez called for unity among the Venezuelan people against the interference threats that have been leveled against the country for this February 23 seeking to violate the sovereignty of Venezuelan territory by announcing an illegal entry of the aid into the country.
Venezuela protests violation of diplomatic accords in Costa Rica
The Venezuelan government rejected the actions by a group who forcibly entered the Venezuelan embassy in Costa Rica, Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza said Wednesday while the diplomatic representation of the Venezuelan government Bolivarian was attempting to retake access to the property.
“The thieves of a group of strangers entered the headquarters of the Embassy of Venezuela in Costa Rica,” denounced the minister in a tweet Wednesday morning. “The government of that country must enforce the diplomatic relations convention and ensure the functioning and safety of our staff and facilities.”
The group, according to reports, is made up of supporters of Guaido.
They entered the embassy’s building overnight without authorization. There was a standoff at the embassy’s entrance between the diplomatic staff and the trespassers, who prevented the head of the diplomatic delegation from entering the embassy’s building.
Guaido’s representative to Costa Rica, Maria Faria, had “taken control” of the Venezuelan embassy in San Jose.
“We have come to the Embassy to advance with the process of transition […],” she told press in San Jose. Existing embassy staff were working “irregularly,” she went on to affirm. It is unclear if any confrontation with embassy staff took place.
Venezuelan Foreign Minister Arreaza reminded Costa Rica that his team enjoy diplomatic immunity and invoked Costa Rica’s responsibilities under the Convention of Diplomatic Relations and the Vienna Convention.
Costa Rica slams Guaido representatives
Costa Rica’s government condemns the actions of diplomatic representatives of Guaido, who took control over the Venezuelan embassy in defiance of the Costa Rican authorities’ decision, the country’s Foreign Ministry said.
“The Foreign Ministry regrets the unacceptable intrusion in the Venezuelan embassy building in Costa Rica […] In this connection, we are expressing an active protest against the actions of […] Ms. Maria Faria, […],” the ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.
The statement added that the ministry planned to hand over a diplomatic note to Faria due to the incident in the coming hours.
PDVSA pumping station attacked
Venezuela’s Oil Minister Manuel Quevedo has said that a terrorist attack was carried out on a PDVSA pumping station in the state of Monagas.
Quevedo denounced the attack, which he said was aimed at cutting off Venezuela’s oil exports. No people were killed or injured in the sabotage.
“Yesterday we listened to the war allocation by the U.S. President, and call to violence, and now we start to see that violence and terrorist attacks,” said Quevedo.
According to the minister, the right-wing parties in Venezuela were behind the attack, as they don’t have a political project and that’s why they “recurred to violence, led by the U.S. government who has lost their masks and pretend to lead us to a war among equals.”
Investigation against Guaido
Tarek William Saab, Venezuela’s public prosecutor’s office is advancing the investigation on Guaido over his attempt to usurp governmental powers.
Attorney General Saab said that Guaido and his National Assembly appointments are part of a foreign-backed illegal power grab, adding that ambassadors of Guaido are also being investigated.
“Clearly, this legislative body through criminal means intends to seize national powers,” Saab said in a news conference broadcast on state TV, calling the move part of a “circus.”
The Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ) also ruled on the unconstitutionality of the National Assembly’s acts in favor of Guaido, saying that the assembly continues to be in judicial contempt. In statements to the press, the MP’s top representative stressed that the evidence of the constitutional violations carried out by Guaido since Jan. 23 will be made public.
The first measure dictated by the Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ) focused on prohibiting Guaido from leaving the country, seizing his property and blocking his accounts; acts that were reiterated this week by Saab, highlighting the severity of the crime of usurpation of public offices, especially of the executive and legislative institutions.
He also stressed that Guaido’s actions forward a coup attempt by right-wing politicians, promoted by the United States government against the Bolivarian Revolution.
Guaido to leave for Colombia
Guaido made plans to head for the border with Colombia to personally bring in US-supplied humaid, raising fears of possible weekend confrontations.
Guaido, who has set a Saturday deadline for bringing in the aid, planned to depart at 6:00 am Thursday in a caravan of buses with members of the opposition-controlled National Assembly, forcing a high-stakes showdown with President Nicolas Maduro.
The military has beefed up border security and barricaded a major border bridge.
Although it was unclear exactly what Guaido intends to do, he says he has enlisted hundreds of thousands of volunteers to help bring in and distribute the aid.
On Wednesday, he rallied bus drivers to go to the borders to collect aid.
Guaido says he aims to rally a million volunteers.
He listed the planned transit points of entry at the Brazilian and Colombian borders, the island of Curacao and the seaports of Puerto Cabello and La Guaira.
The military said in a decree that it was banning vessels from sailing out of Venezuela’s ports until Sunday to avoid actions by “criminal” groups.
Amnesty goes for humaid
Amnesty International’s Americas director Erika Guevara urged authorities “to guarantee access” for those bringing in aid.
Guaido’s buses and trucks
The rally gathered just a couple of dozen buses and pick-up trucks in Guaido’s support.
The pro-opposition drivers had planned to hold their rally at a major crossroads further west but found the avenue blocked by a far bigger demonstration.
Hundreds of bus drivers in red shirt
On the other hand, hundreds of state bus drivers rallied in the red shirts of the pro-government “Chavismo” movement.
They raised slogans supporting Maduro — himself a former bus driver — and the memory of his predecessor, the father of Venezuela’s socialist “revolution,” Hugo Chavez.
State-employed bus driver Julio Arocha admitted he was affected by the crisis, “economically, psychologically”, but was getting by thanks to state food handouts.
Arocha blamed the crisis on foreign aggression.
“The aggression is intensifying. The word ‘humanitarian’ is a euphemism,” he said.
Swiss deny call with Guaido over bank accounts
The swift denial has come after the opposition leader claimed he spoke with the Swiss president about freezing bank accounts.
Guaido told a Mexican television station on Wednesday that he had spoken with the president of Switzerland about freezing Swiss bank accounts held by Venezuelan officials.
But a spokesman for Swiss President Ueli Maurer quickly denied that any call between Guaido and Maurer had taken place: “This information is incorrect. There was no telephone contact between Mr. Guaido and President Maurer.”
Pro-government forces are organizing a large two-day “peace” concert on the Venezuelan side of the border this weekend, at the request of “artists who love the country.”
The Bolivarian concert will be close to the Simon Bolivar International Bridge in the border town of San Antonio, and has received the backing of a number of Venezuelan and international artists. It will be held under the slogan “No one wants war.”
The concert will be accompanied by a range of social programs which Venezuelan President Maduro is planning to set up which will focus on poor citizens of Colombia’s Northern Santander region and it’s capital Cucuta.
The government has also pledged to distribute 20,000 subsidized CLAP food boxes to the Colombian border community between Friday and Sunday, and to provide free medical appointments with the assistance of the Cuban medical mission in Venezuela, including pediatricians, surgeons and dentists.
UK, France, Germany, etc. support humaid
A number of European countries pledged their support to deliver humaid donating US $18 million.
In a press conference held in Caracas, the ambassadors of France, Spain, the UK, Italy and Germany reaffirmed their support to bring in humaid, which have been shunned by the United Nations, War Child, Oxfam and the Red Cross as being “politicized.”
Germany is to pledge €5 million, Italy US $2 million and the UK US $8.5 million to the “aid” plans led by the USAID. Brazil announced it would be warehousing “aid” in its border town of Pacaraima.
Medicine from Russia, for Caracas
The Venezuelan government announced Wednesday that Russia will provide the country with 300 tons of high-cost medicine that the Venezuelan state has “paid with our hands, with dignity,” Maduro said.