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(August 2) – In a July 30 statement, issued the very day Venezuelans were electing their representatives to the Constituent Assembly, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland underscored the dirty role Canada continues to play by interfering in the affairs of the Venezuelan people as part of the U.S.-led regime change forces:
“Canada denounces and condemns today’s significant and undemocratic action by the Venezuelan regime. This constituent assembly will further escalate tensions in the country by robbing the Venezuelan people of their fundamental democratic rights.”
In a statement four days earlier during the lead-up to the election Freeland attempted to justify this stand by asserting falsely that the process by which the Constituent Assembly was convened was “contrary to Venezuela’s constitution.” Then on July 30, adding insult to injury, she turned truth on its head by blaming “the loss of life and escalating violence” in Venezuela on the holding of the vote.
The statement on July 30 continued:
“Despite repeated calls by member states of the Organization of American States and the international community, including Canada, to cancel the national constituent assembly, President Maduro and his government chose to take another step down the path to institutionalize authoritarian rule in Venezuela. Individuals who are undermining democracy and human rights in Venezuela should be held accountable for their actions.
“The selection process — established by the government — for the national constituent assembly was undemocratic. Venezuela must uphold the rights enshrined in the UN Charter and in human rights treaties to which the country is a signatory.”
Quite a statement for someone who speaks for a government that, far from giving its own citizens any role in amending their constitution, just dismissed the results of its own much-hyped consultation on reforming Canada’s electoral system because the results it came up with were not what the government wanted.
Asked about Canada’s position on new sanctions the U.S. administration applied against high level Venezuelan government officials in retaliation for the holding of the election for a Constituent Assembly — a move Chrystia Freeland was quick to “commend” on Canada’s behalf – a Trudeau government spokesperson told CBC, “Their sanctions regime makes it easier for them to act swiftly, but we continue to review [the U.S.] sanctions, monitor the situation and evaluate our options.”
Peter Kent, Conservative Foreign Affairs Critic, commented on Freeland’s election day statement saying, “Everything she’s saying is in line with Canada’s support for a free and fair vote as soon as possible and rejection of this phony Constituent Assembly, which is really a way of rigging single-party, single autocrat power. Our quibble is that it doesn’t go far enough.”
“We could do more on the humanitarian side, and we could certainly do more in joining other democratic countries who have already imposed new sanctions on Venezuela or have committed to do so if yesterday’s election actually took place and the government moved forward to replace the legitimately elected members of the National Assembly,” Kent said.
Hélène Laverdière, Foreign Affairs Critic for the New Democratic Party, was quoted as saying in a statement emailed to CBC:
“On the heels of Sunday’s illegitimate constituent assembly vote, it’s more important than ever for Canada to work with our allies and through multilateral groups like the OAS to secure a lasting resolution to the crisis.
“We would like to see the government be more active in providing humanitarian assistance, calling for the release of political prisoners, the holding of elections and respecting the National Assembly.”
In a June 3 statement, the NDP had already made clear its support for the nefarious activities of Organization of American States (OAS) Secretary General Luis Almagro, including his repeated attempts to get a mandate from countries of the hemisphere to use the organization’s Inter-American Democratic Charter to intervene against Venezuela in violation of the country’s sovereignty.
On July 28 the Globe and Mail reported that Laverdière said Canada should “consult with allies to respond to the Venezuelan crisis” — something the Liberals would say is exactly what they have been doing, scheming with the U.S. and its agent in the OAS, Almagro, along with Mexico and certain other neo-liberal governments to try and get a mandate for the OAS to intervene in Venezuela.
(CBC, Globe and Mail. Photos: TML, Hugo Chávez Peoples Defense Front)
Source: TML Daily, August 2, 2017