24 March 2019 — Countercurrents
- Revolutionary people is the guarantee for peace and democracy: Maduro
- Rightists organize mercenaries
- Plan to assassinate political and military leaders, and judges
- Plan to sabotage metro system and the Caracas cable car
- Plan to spread fake news through social media, and organize strikes
- Bolton’s threat
Imperialism’s interventionist acts are getting exposed while imperialism is renewing its interventionist acts in Venezuela. In the face of imperialist aggressive acts, Nicolas Maduro, President of Venezuela, has reiterated: The Chavista people continue to be “the greatest guarantee of peace, democracy and sovereignty of the Fatherland” against the attacks perpetrated by the Venezuelan right-wing and the U.S.
Maduro said, Venezuela is facing “the strongest ever imperialist aggression that the Republic has lived in 200 years.”
President Maduro was addressing the Mobilization for Peace in front of the Miraflores Palace, the seat of government, in the capital city of Caracas on Saturday.
The people’s mobilization was commemorating the victory of the Bolivarian Revolution against the coup d’état attempt and efforts of imperialist intervention. The rightists in Venezuela are acting as agents of the imperialists.
Maduro said that “the coup d’état of Donald Trump and his puppets and clowns have failed.
“We are in a battle; nobody here should lower their guard. We can be victorious, happy, united, but with our eyes wide open,” said the Venezuelan President.
He said, efforts made by the Venezuelan armed forces in conjunction with the people have “allowed Venezuela to continue marching on the path of peace.
The president denounced the recent act of terrorism. The security forces are foiling these acts.
The interventionists tried to lure Colombian and Central American mercenaries to carry violent actions in different regions of Venezuela.
Maduro warned, after failure of their plans, the fascist right-wing now wants violence. The empire has turned crazy. But the empire calculates wrongly because of its excessive ambition.
Maduro called on the international media to report with professionalism and for the benefit of all Venezuelans.
He said, “Journalists of the world please tell the truth, because the Venezuelan people have the right to peace, calm and independence.”
The President assured that justice will prevail and justice will be practiced against the terrorism. He said, “We are going to capture them and hand them over to Justice.”
The Venezuelan President accused Juan Guaido, the U.S.-backed self-proclaimed “president”, of plotting to kill him, after Guaido’s aide was arrested on an alleged terrorist acivities and charged with recruiting foreign mercenaries to carry out attacks and sabotages in Venezuela.
“American imperialists want to kill me. We just exposed the plan that the devil’s puppet [Juan Guaido] personally directed to kill me,” said Maduro.
He claimed his government has “evidence” on the opposition’s alleged criminal activities.
Hit teams, sabotage, terrorism
Roberto Marrero, chief of staff of Guaido, conspired with his boss to finance terrorist acts in Venezuela, said Jorge Rodriguez, Communications Minister of Venezuela, on Saturday.
The minister accused the arrested members of the opposition of trafficking hit men from Central America.
“Assassins and paramilitaries have been recruited using large amounts of money so that they can be sent to Colombia to receive training,” he said. “Marrero was involved in contracting people from Guatemala and Colombia to comply with the recruitment and training plan for assassins.”
Information gathered from Marrero’s cell phone indicate that the opposition was planning to put together eight to 10 hit teams, each comprising at least eight mercenaries, to carry out assassinations, sabotage and acts of terrorism against government institutions in Venezuela.
At least 60 people had received special paramilitary training in Colombia and half of them have already infiltrated Venezuela, following the failed attempt to bring in the so-called humanitarian convoys from the US on February 23.
At least 30 mercenaries have been hired from El Salvador, Honduras or Guatemala. They have entered Venezuela. They were trained in Colombia. We are looking for them. We have already identified some,” he said on state television. The minister showed screenshots from Marrero’s phone as proof of his claim. He accused the US of running the operation.
Néstor Reverol, Venezuela’s Minister of the Interior, Justice and Peace, has confirmed the arrest of Guaido’s chief of staff Roberto Marrero.
The opposition claims he was “kidnapped” while authorities say he was the leader of a “terrorist cell.”
Marrero has been taken into custody on Thursday as part of the government raid against a “terrorist cell”. These terrorists plotted to carry out attacks against top Venezuelan politicians, Reverol, said in a statement.
“Together with the Public Prosecutor’s Office, the investigations led to the detention of the citizen, Roberto Eugenio Marrero Borgas, who is directly responsible for the organization of criminal groups,” he said.
“The citizen Marrero Borgas is directly responsible for the organization of these criminal groups. A batch of weapons of war, cash in foreign currency was seized from him during a search conducted at his residence,” stated the Interior Minister in a press conference on Thursday.
The government also released images of two rifles allegedly seized by the Venezuelan Bolivarian National Intelligence Service (SEBIN) during the raid on Marrero’s house.
Venezuela government has long maintained that the Venezuelan opposition, enjoying unfettered US backing but incapable of gaining enough support through a popular vote, might be planning to carry out terror attacks to undermine the government.
According to Reverol, the arrested persons include Luis Alberto Paez Salazar, “who serves as the bodyguard” of Marrero.
“Facing the failure of the entrance, through our border, of the so-called humanitarian aid last Feb. 23, wanting to violate our sovereignty and facing the victory that the people of Venezuela gave against the electric attacks, these groups continue with their spiral of violence.”
The government led by democratically elected President Nicolas Maduro, will continue fighting elements associated with organized crime to continue guaranteeing the peace of the people of Venezuela, said Reverol.
According to the minister, the terrorist cell planned to attack political leaders, military men and judges. They also planned to sabotage public services to create chaos in the society.
Jorge Rodriguez unveiled telephone conversations between leaders of the right planning violence against the country.
The Minister of Communication said, the planned terrorist operations included the selective assassination of social and political leaders, sabotage against the metro system and the Caracas cable car, fake news through media and social networks, a conspiracy of general strikes in the labor sector, an assault on Miraflores Palace, and false flag terrorist actions.
He also said that the mercenaries who managed to enter the country, some of whom the government has identified, are being sought and will be arrested “wherever they are.”
Rodriguez also revealed a series of telephone conversations involving leaders of the Venezuelan right including Guaido, Leopoldo Lopez, and Freddy Guevara, in preparation of terrorist operations against the Venezuelan state.
US sanctions Venezuelan development bank in response to arrest of Marrero
The US Treasury Department has imposed sanctions on Venezuela’s Economic and Social Development Bank (Banco de Desarrollo Economico y Social de Venezuela, BANDES) and on four other institutions affiliated with it, calling in its statement for the release of Marrero.
Steven Mnuchin, the US Treasury Secretary, painted the Bank – known under its Spanish acronym BANDES – as the vilest organization and definitely worth sanctioning.
“Regime insiders have transformed BANDES and its subsidiaries into vehicles to move funds abroad in an attempt to prop up Maduro,” Mnuchin said in a statement.
BANDES is a Venezuelan federal public company, associated with the Ministry of Finance. The bank was formed back in 2001. The bank focuses on financing projects contributing towards development of the country – infrastructure, mass transportation, housing, industry. One of the most notable projects involving BANDES was the launch in 2011 of the Chery Venezuela car factory in cooperation with China.
The U.S. official accused Venezuelan authorities of the “kidnapping, torture, and murder of Venezuelan citizens” and urged Caracas to release all “political prisoners,” including Marrero.
The U.S., the main sponsor of Guaido, supports the rightists’ position, with the U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton calling it a “big mistake” and vowing retaliation earlier on Friday.
Bolton immediately denounced Marrero’s arrest as “illegitimate” and stressed that the move will “not go unanswered.”
Venezuelan slams new Trump sanctions
Venezuela has strongly rejected the unilateral, coercive, arbitrary and illegal measures against BANDES by the U.S. to immobilize the Bolivarian republic.
These measures, a Venezuelan government media release said, serves to “directly attacks the heart of the finances of the Venezuelan people,” and in so doing “demonstrates the imperial hypocrisy.”
Venezuela government said, the U.S. president has issued threats to impose sanctions on the BANDES and its subsidiaries in neighboring countries, namely Banco Prodem in Bolivia and Banco Bandes Uruguay.
The government said that, amid the new sanctions, “the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela will remain firm in the defense of their independence and political, economic and cultural sovereignty.”
The sanctions will affect more than 23 million individuals, and public and private companies within Venezuela, including two main commercial banks: Banco de Venezuela and Banco Bicentenario del Pueblo.
“No desperate supremacist action, contrary to the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, will succeed in breaking the will of the Venezuelan people,” said the media release.
The media release said, In addition to the BANDES, the Trump administration now vows to cripple other “important Venezuelan financial institutions,” with an aim to curtail the Bolivarian Republic’s “right to its integral development and to the sustainability of its national and international financial system.”
Victory of Multilateralism and Diplomacy
Jorge Arreaza, the Venezuelan Foreign Minister, announced, on Twitter, a democratic victory for the Bolivarian Republic after a UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) approved a Movement of Non-Aligned Countries (MNOAL) resolution.
The UNHRC votes included 27 for, five abstentions and 15 against to favor of the resolution, which was presented by Venezuela to expose the negative effects of unilateral coercive measures against nations.
The U.S. received a blow with the resolution.
Arreaza remarked that the momentous achievement, which counters the United States’ actions, was yet “another great victory of multilateralism and peace diplomacy.”
Recently, a team from the UNHRC visited Venezuela to conduct an assessment of the situation, prompting UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet to express concern about the effects of the coercive measures being imposed on Venezuelans.
Venezuela continues to lead a fight against unilateral measures being effected, by the U.S. and its allies, to undermine the sovereignty, diplomacy and threatens the economy of the Maduro-led government.