A major theme of the CBC and the monopoly media is that the Maduro government is “isolated.” On January 24 CBC showed a graphic map of the Americas to this effect, highlighting the US and Brazil and leaving out the states of the Caribbean, as if they do not matter. These manoeuvres came after the little-known, US-educated Juan Guaidó, president of a National Assembly in contempt, declared himself interim president of Venezuela, and was immediately recognized as such by the U.S., Canada and its allies.
The CBC is not telling the truth about the developments in Venezuela. The Maduro government continues to enjoy the support of the international community, with significant countries such as Russia and China reiterating its legitimacy and condemning any foreign interference.
The Electoral Power of Venezuela, represented by the National Electoral Council (CNE), demanded respect for the will of the Venezuelan people, who constitutionally elected Nicolás Maduro for a second term as President in May 2018. “The CNE repudiates and condemns the complete disregard and violation of the constitutional order demonstrated on January 23,” stated CNE President Tibisay Lucena.
Meanwhile, Maikel Moreno, president of the Supreme Tribunal of Justice, confirmed that the judicial system recognizes Nicolás Maduro’s authority as constitutional president of the nation, and does not recognized the move to usurp him, against the will of the people.
Attorney General Tarek William Saab, on behalf of the Citizen Power, condemned the attempted coup and expressed unrestricted support for the Executive.
According to Prensa Latina, Governors of 19 Venezuelan States called for the preservation of peace, respect for democracy and the sovereignty of the South American country, and rejected violent acts by sectors of the opposition. Governor for Miranda State, Héctor Rodríguez, noted: “The country’s security forces are deployed to guarantee the peace of the nation.”
Commanders of the Strategic Integral Defense Regions (REDI) of Venezuela ratified their commitment to the Constitution and support for President Nicolás Maduro, as their Commander in Chief, and rejected international interference in the country’s internal affairs.
Defence Minister Vladimir Padrino stressed: “The FANB will defend the Venezuelan Constitution as the guarantor of national sovereignty.”
Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America
Member countries of ALBA-TCP supported and recognized Maduro as the legitimate President of Venezuela, in the face of the coup threats promoted by the United States. In a statement they reiterated that they will only recognize as representatives of Venezuela in multilateral and bilateral spheres, diplomatic officials appointed by the Executive Power headed by President Maduro, and no supposed transitional government.
Statement of the Caribbean Community
The following Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) – Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago; Foreign Ministers of Grenada and Suriname; meeting by video-conference on January 24, 2019, issued the following statement:
Heads of Government are following closely the current unsatisfactory situation in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, a neighbouring Caribbean country. They expressed grave concern about the plight of the people of Venezuela and the increasing volatility of the situation brought about by recent developments which could lead to further violence, confrontation, breakdown of law and order and greater suffering for the people of the country.
Heads of Government reaffirmed their guiding principles of non-interference and non-intervention in the affairs of states, respect for sovereignty, adherence to the rule of law, and respect for human rights and democracy.
Heads of Government reiterated that the long-standing political crisis, which has been exacerbated by recent events, can only be resolved peacefully through meaningful dialogue and diplomacy.
In this regard, Heads of Government offered their good offices to facilitate dialogue among all parties to resolve the deepening crisis.
Reaffirming their commitment to the tenets of Article 2 (4) of the United Nations Charter which calls for Members States to refrain from the threat or the use of force and Article 21 of the Charter of the Organization of American States which refers to territorial inviolability, the Heads of Government emphasized the importance of the Caribbean remaining a Zone of Peace.
Heads of Government called on external forces to refrain from doing anything to destabilize the situation and underscored the need to step back from the brink and called on all actors, internal and external, to avoid actions which would escalate an already explosive situation to the detriment of the people of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and which could have far-reaching negative consequences for the wider region.
Heads of Government agreed that the Chairman of Conference, Dr the Honourable Timothy Harris, Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis would seek an urgent meeting with the United Nations Secretary-General to request the UN’s assistance in resolving the issue.
Uruguay and Mexico urge Venezuelans to find a peaceful solution to their differences
Mexico and Uruguay gave a timely response to recent events in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. Together, the Governments of Uruguay and Mexico called on all parties involved, both within the country and abroad, to reduce tensions and prevent an escalation of violence that could aggravate the situation.
In accordance with the principles of international law, Mexico and Uruguay are urging all actors to find a peaceful and democratic solution to the complex situation facing Venezuela. To achieve this goal, both countries propose a new process of inclusive and credible negotiations, with full respect for the rule of law and human rights.
The Uruguayan and Mexican governments, in line with the declarations of the United Nations and the European Union, as well as the governments of Spain and Portugal, express their full support, commitment and willingness to work together in favour of stability and peace and the welfare of the Venezuelan people.
Statement of the Russian Foreign Ministry
The events in Venezuela have reached a dangerous point.
Failing to remove Nicolás Maduro, including physically, the extremist opponents of the legitimate government of Venezuela have opted for a highly confrontational scenario. The United States and several other countries in the region have recognised the opposition leader who has sworn himself in as Venezuela’s interim president. This can only deepen the social divide in Venezuela, aggravate street protests, dramatically destabilise the Venezuelan political community and further escalate the conflict. The deliberate and obviously well orchestrated creation of dual power and an alternative decision-making centre in Venezuela is a direct path towards chaos and erosion of Venezuelan statehood. Several people have already died. We firmly condemn those who are pushing Venezuelan society into the abyss of violent civil discord.
We regard Washington’s unceremonious actions as yet another demonstration of its total disregard for the norms and principles of international law and an attempt to pose as the self-imposed master of another nation’s future. The United States is clearly trying to apply a tried and tested regime change scenario in Venezuela.
We are especially alarmed by the signals we have received from some capitals on the possibility of foreign military interference. We warn that such opportunism can have catastrophic consequences.
We urge the sober-minded Venezuelan politicians standing in opposition to Nicolás Maduro’s legitimate government not to become pawns in other players’ chess game.
We believe that political activity is only acceptable if it is pursued within the constitutional framework and in strict compliance with the national legislation. Of course, the people must be able to freely express their opinions, including through rallies, but only if they do so peacefully in a manner that will not provoke violence or, worse still, endanger public safety.
Venezuelans alone have the right to determine their future. Any destructive foreign interference, especially amid the current tensions, is completely unacceptable. Incitement has nothing in common with a democratic process; it is a direct path towards lawlessness and violence.
It is a mission of the international community to help promote understanding between the political opposition forces in Venezuela that respect national interests. We are ready to cooperate with all countries that share these views.
(January 24, 2019)
No Coup d’État in Venezuela!
ALBA Social Movements, Ottawa Chapter
Support the Democratically Elected President, Nicolás Maduro.
ALBA Social Movements Ottawa expresses its deep concern for the continuing aggressive actions of the United States, trying to attack the constitutional order and destabilize the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. The US is making every attempt to attack the legitimacy of President Nicolás Maduro Moros, who was elected as a result of free and democratic elections with national and international observers. On May 20, 2018, President Maduro was elected to second term with 68 per cent of the votes.
The leaders of more than 120 countries expressed their congratulations and support for the election of President Maduro and 90 countries sent delegations to the inauguration ceremony in Caracas on January 10, 2019.
At this time we are witnessing a brutal and despicable media campaign of disinformation to manufacture a humanitarian crisis and economic collapse to justify interfering in the internal affairs of Venezuela and imposing the US goal of regime change in contempt of the will of the Venezuelan people.
The US imperialists and a handful of collaborator countries like Canada have even sunk to the level of declaring that the President of the Legislative Assembly of Venezuela, Juan Guaidó, should replace Maduro as President. This is a flagrant violation of the Constitution of Venezuela as the National Assembly has been declared in contempt by the Supreme Court. Under the guise of defending democracy, this action promoted by the US is nothing more than a coup d’état with a president imposed through foreign interference in violation of the Constitutional order in Venezuela.
In the past few days, in typical mafia style, both US National Security Advisor John Bolton and Senator Marco Rubio have openly called for the Venezuelan military to overthrow President Maduro. These despicable actions deserve the full condemnation of all peoples who defend democracy and the sovereignty of Venezuela.
The Venezuelan people will not accept this dictate in violation of their democratic choice and in violation of international law.
As President of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro has declared that the government will continue its repeated appeals to the opposition for political dialogue for a peaceful resolution of the problems facing the nation. This is the only path forward for all patriotic forces who defend the right of Venezuelans to decide their own fate without any foreign interference.
ALBA Social Movements, Ottawa Chapter declares its support for the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, its democratically elected President, Nicolás Maduro, its unwavering, peaceful vocation and its right to choose, within the principle of self-determination, its national authorities, since sovereignty resides in the Venezuelan people which legitimizes the constituted powers of the Venezuelan State.
If the opposition wishes for a solution to the grave crisis, this has to pass through a National Dialogue between Venezuelans with no outside interference nor by way of imposing false legalities and much less using violence to destroy a legal elected government.
NO to Intervention, Yes to Sovereignty!
NO to a coup; YES to a patriotic dialogue!
NO to legal trickery, YES to due process!
The laws and constitution of Venezuela should be respected.
(January 23, 2019)
Statement of Common Frontiers
On May 20, 2018, presidential elections were held in Venezuela, and incumbent Nicolás Maduro was re-elected president for a second term with 67.8 per cent of the vote. A delegation of Canadian election observers were on the ground as eyewitnesses and corroborated what international elections observers unanimously reported – the Venezuelan presidential elections were fair, transparent and represented the will of the Venezuelan people.
The Canadian government, along with its allies in the Lima Group, have consistently attempted to delegitimize President Maduro and provide unconditional support to extreme right-wing sectors of the Venezuelan opposition. The New York Times reported that the Trump administration has been actively discussing plans with rebel Venezuelan military officials to stage a coup against president, Nicolás Maduro.
Over the past couple of days, the Trump administration has escalated its attacks against Venezuela including recognizing self-proclaimed opposition leader Juan Gerardo Guaidó as interim president of Venezuela. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau echoed Trump and called upon President Nicolás Maduro to “cede power to the democratically elected National Assembly.” Juan Gerardo Guaidó is a relative unknown figure in Venezuela with no mandate from the people and whose actions have no constitutional basis whatsoever.
Common Frontiers is deeply concerned with these actions and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s willingness to follow Trump’s lead. We consider the actions of the Canadian government to be a provocation which violates Venezuela’s sovereignty and democratic norms. This reflects interventionist polices that seek nothing less than undemocratic regime change in Venezuela.
Canada’s actions will only serve to heighten the conflict and polarization facing the country with the added danger of an open civil war between supporters of Guaidó and Maduro. Accounts from Venezuela indicate at least 13 people were killed on January 23 in the context of violent demonstrations and street blockades during the recent protests called for by Guaidó and his supporters.
We reject any attempts by the Canadian government to interfere with the sovereignty and democratic order in Venezuela or actions that seek to bring about regime change.
Canada should not be supporting US-led coups and be seen as playing politics with democracy and human rights in the region. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has consistently and vehemently condemned Venezuela, while turning a blind eye to well documented fraudulent elections and human rights abuses in Guatemala and Honduras.
The economic and political problems facing Venezuela must be resolved internally by Venezuelans through peaceful dialogue and in accordance with the democratic norms of the country. The role of Canada and the international community should be to support and foster a climate of dialogue and peace, rather than to support attempts to impose a Washington based solution to the crisis in Venezuela.
Common Frontiers is an organization comprised of civil society organizations and labour groups based in Ontario.
(January 23, 2019)
Statement of the Foro de São Paulo
The Executive Secretariat of the Foro de São Paulo expresses its profound rejection of the decision of the Government of Donald Trump, of Canada and of several Latin American countries to support the illegitimate presidency of opposition leader Juan Guaidó in Venezuela, contrary to the popular decision expressed in May 2018, when the people democratically elected compañero Nicolás Maduro for the presidency of the country.
The 2018 elections were legitimate and recognized by various sectors of Venezuelan society, including the opposition. The Venezuelan political-electoral system assures the population broad exercise of the right to vote and has transparency and verification mechanisms. It was praised by the former president of the United States Jimmy Carter and now by the former president of the Spanish government José Luís Zapatero, who joined the delegations of international electoral observers.
The group that now wants to assume the command of the country is a minority group and does not accept the popular will. This group uses the support of the Trump government and its puppet governments in the region. Trump has already demonstrated on several occasions that he does not respect the sovereignty of other countries and international agreements, in addition to having attitudes that are openly opposed to peace and dialogue for the resolution of conflicts.
We call on the countries of the continent to respect the sovereign decision of the people and the principle of non-intervention.
Together in the Foro de São Paulo, we will fight for the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean to reach their full sovereignty and independence!
(January 24, 2019. Translated from original Spanish by TML.)
Statement of the Canadian Network On Cuba
The Canadian Network On Cuba (CNC) denounces Washington’s campaign of destabilization against the sovereign and legitimate government of Venezuela. The efforts to overthrow the government of President Nicolas Maduro is a flagrant, blatant and unconscionable violation of the right of self-determination of the people of Venezuela.
Ottawa has not been a disinterested party, an innocent bystander. Canada’s shameful hand has also been revealed. Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland has thrown the weight of the Canadian state behind the Trump scheme to re-impose U.S. imperial dominion. The shameful and naked alignment of the Canadian state with the criminal policy of the U.S. is deeply disturbing and alarming. By playing a leading role in orchestrating subversion, Ottawa has become an unapologetic extension of the U.S. State Department, engaged in open collusion and collaboration in the violation of fundamental principles of international law.
A core guiding principle of the CNC and and the Canada-Cuba solidarity movement is the affirmation of the inalienable right of all peoples and countries to determine their future and their political, economic and social system without external interference. This right is enshrined in the United Nations Charter, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Declaration on Principles of International Law Concerning Friendly Relations and Co-Operation Among States in Accordance with the Charter of the United Nations.
Washington’s frenzied efforts to organize a coup has nothing to do with genuine solidarity with the Venezuelan people or democracy, but all to do with negating Venezuela’s right to self-determination. The Trump regime’s objective is to turn back the wheel of history by reasserting U.S. control and tutelage over that proud South American nation.
Canada’s relations with all countries, especially those of the Americas, should be based on mutual respect and equality, not on outmoded colonialist ideas and practices. It is the right and only the right of the people and country of Venezuela – as for any other people and country – to determine without foreign intervention or the threat of foreign intervention what political and economic system they wish to live under.
The Canadian Network on Cuba calls on Canadians to reject the policy of subversion and economic aggression that Ottawa is pursuing. Please write to your member of parliament to urge Canada to reject any interference in Venezuela and an end to economic and political interference. We call for respect for the Maduro government democratically elected in May 2018. The Canadian people must stand with those countries who resolutely defend their sovereignty and independence rather than submit to imperial diktat and return to imperial dominion.
CANADA MUST UPHOLD THE RIGHT TO SELF-DETERMINATION!
On behalf of the Canadian Network on Cuba
Isaac Saney, CNC Co-Chair & National Spokesperson
January 27, 2019
The government of Nicaragua released a statement of its support: “The Great Homeland does not submit, it stands proud, with the Love of its Nations. United in ALBA, we are all Venezuela. Latin America and the Caribbean, the cradle of great and luminous beings, demands dignity and greatness against the empire.”
“China supports the efforts made by the Venezuelan government to uphold national sovereignty, independence and stability,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said during a press conference. “We always follow the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries, we oppose foreign interference in the internal affairs of Venezuela and we hope that the international community will also follow this principle,” she concluded.
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi told reporters: “The Islamic Republic of Iran supports the government and people of Venezuela against any sort of foreign intervention and any illegitimate and illegal action such as attempt to undertake a coup.”
The Syrian Foreign Ministry expressed its solidarity with Venezuela and with Maduro, condemning U.S. interference.
Meanwhile, the Communist Party of India also criticized foreign intervention and called on the peoples of the world to show solidarity with the Venezuelan people. The French Communist Party and social organizations such as the Paris Bolivarian Circle and the ALBA-TCP Collective in France, the Paraguayan Guasu Front and the German Left Party, also expressed their continued support.
In the meantime, the U.S. has hypocritically asked for a UN Security Council meeting to discuss the situation in Venezuela. Social networks have been flooded with memes denouncing the interference of the Trump administration. One of them read: “Would you like to become president without going through an uncomfortable popular election? Just call 1800 Mike Pence, for an immediate guarantee.”