Condemning the US and ‘satellite’ governments for recognizing an unelected government and economically sabotaging the nation.
Transcript of Speech by Venezuela Vice-President Delcy Rodríguez, at the 74th General Debate of the United Nations General Assembly, New York, September 27, 2019
Distinguished General Assembly of the United Nations Organization, a very respectful greeting to the President of this Assembly, a greeting also to all the heads of delegation who are in this hall sacred to international public law.
I come in the name of the only Venezuela, the dignified Venezuela, the brave Venezuela, the one that does not kneel before any imperial power. I bring the greetings of President Nicolás Maduro Moros and the Venezuelan people. It is a Bolivarian greeting, also in the name of the spirit of our commander Hugo Chávez Frías.
We come with the purpose of making known very good news about the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. The first is that Venezuela is at peace and this was witnessed firsthand by the 120 delegations that recently participated in the Summit of Non-Aligned Countries in Venezuela, despite the war that powerful transnational media have unleashed to stigmatize Bolivarian Venezuela.
Very much in spite of the coup d’états attempted by extremist sectors of the Venezuelan opposition, who have even planned assassination attempts against the head of state, have attempted to assassinate the entire High Military Political Command of Venezuela, the authorities of the Venezuelan State, as well as accredited ambassadors in Venezuela.
That is why I salute this space where we speak to each other, those of us who do not have the power to access this [media, etc.] machinery that is exclusively at the service of the world hegemon and its satellites. The world media says nothing about the system of social protection that exists in Venezuela and that includes, without distinction, almost nineteen million Venezuelans.
This model of inclusion, justice and social protection has been determined as an objective to be destroyed by the government of the United States of America; it is the real threat to its model of capitalist supremacy. It is the Bolivarian model, intrinsically opposed to the Monroe Doctrine which claims to assert that all of our America is a backyard of the United States of America.
Also within the framework of the extraordinary social programs, we highlight Agenda 2030 as a joint commitment of this General Assembly, and of the road to follow for this Organization.
In this house of the international community, common mechanisms of cooperation are also being stimulated in order to address the urgent need to preserve the environment, impacted by the devastating capitalist model. We express our solidarity with the brotherly Caribbean people of the Bahamas, a recent victim of the ravages of climate change. And as an Amazon country, we raise our voice to reject the barbaric commodification of our Amazon, led by Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro. He has used his extremist ideology to attack nature’s lungs. We proclaim the rights of nature as an everlasting banner of the peoples.
We also came to this Organization to effectively address the urgent need to fight against poverty and inequality, where 26 people possess the same wealth as the 3.8 billion poorest people in the world. We agree with the Secretary General of this Organization, Mr. Antonio Guterres, when he urges nations to come with concrete actions and not with ornate speeches. I also say not to come with falsehoods and speeches that lie to an entire General Assembly.
The point, dear Secretary General, is precisely how to achieve these noble and laudable commitments as an international community seriously affected in its multilateral and legal structure.
Unilateral illegal coercive measures by the US against millions of people in the world
I would like to pause in particular to expose the unilateral and therefore illegal coercive measures that subjugate millions of people throughout the world. These measures constitute a use of force prohibited by the Charter of the United Nations and international public law, threatening peace and security and systematically violating human rights.
Between 2015 and 2019, the Government of the United States has decreed more than 350 unilateral coercive measures against the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, which include: illegal appropriation of all our resources and assets abroad; total financial and commercial blockade; impairing our health care, education and food supply, aimed principally at suffocating the Venezuelan economy and subjugating our people.
I want to share with this Assembly horrendous information on the role unilateral coercive measures represent in the face of conventional wars. It is well known that the use of the Armed Forces of the U.S. Military Industrial Complex is an important business. The last three presidents of the United States have increased illegal bombing in violation of the Charter of the United Nations without any authorization from the Security Council.
In the period between 2001 and 2009, President George Bush dropped 70,000 bombs, an average of 24 bombs per day. In the period from 2009 to 2017, headed by President Barack Obama, this government dropped 100,000 bombs, a daily average of 34 bombs. In the recent period presided over by Donald Trump, 44,096 bombs have been dropped, a record with 121 bombs per day. Bombs that have caused suffering to entire populations, to the civilian population without any kind of distinction, children, seniors. Nevertheless, there is a new type of terror or state terrorism that is imposed on people that no longer uses bombs, but banks and insurance companies, all within reach of a keystroke in the digital era. These are measures imposed by the United States using the dominance of the dollar as the world’s reserve currency. It is the Treasury Department, an Economic Pentagon, that militarizes international relations and punishes millions of innocent people by applying doctrines of regime change and shamelessly steals the resources of nations.
The existence of these measures is evidence of a collapse of the international legal order. In this sense, Venezuela has become the most perverse experiment against multilateralism. It is estimated that between 2015 and 2018 the losses for the Venezuelan economy reached $130 billion due to the brutal financial blockade imposed by the U.S. government. This only means a blatant theft and dispossession of our resources.
But these types of measures affect not only Venezuela. The supremacist hatred of President Donald Trump has stretched his imperial claws against sister Cuba’s Revolution, savagely intensifying the extension of these coercive measures, illegal sanctions. Perhaps more than five decades have not been enough for them to know that Cuba will never surrender? For them to know that Fidel’s Cuba will never submit to any imperial design?
More than five decades resisting the economic blockade. What else is needed for them to become aware that in this way they will never defeat the revolution of the followers of Marti?
A similar fate is also sought against our sister Nicaragua, and these three revolutions of this continent, of Marti, the Sandinista and the Bolivarian, are a geopolitical objective that the Monroe Doctrine project has set itself.
It is precisely this government that judges us by standards they do not even apply to themselves. It judges us while there, 400 people possess more wealth than 240 million, thus forming an oligarchy that controls the political life of the majority. A society where the political system is dominated by a plutocratic minority is not democracy, much less has the authority to impose its model on other nations. We ask the United States for less arrogance and more tolerance and coexistence with the free nations of the world.
In this thread I would like to highlight the special relationship that exists between the Number One cocaine producer in the world and the Number One consumer of this drug on the planet, in a kind of narcotic relationship that exists between Colombia and the United States. It is widely certified that Colombia produces 70% of all the cocaine consumed in the world, increasing its production in the last year by more than 30% and surpassing all its historical production.
I remind the United States that it gave Plan Colombia more than $10 billion to combat the production of this scourge. U.S. citizens must feel deeply, those who pay taxes, who are the vast majority, not the oligarchy, must feel the waste of their taxes and where they end up.
We went, thanks to Commander Hugo Chávez and President Nicolás Maduro. We accompanied, a country that accompanied the peace agreements which received the blessing of this Organization and of the world publicity machinery. Today, President Ivan Duque in a single blow, staged a thunderous breach and assault on these agreements.
The United Nations has verified that since the signing of the peace accords the murder of 123 ex-combatants, it has verified that in the last year 739 people have been reported murdered, social leaders of our sister Colombia.
Colombia is the country with the highest number of internally displaced persons, almost eight million people, in Venezuela alone live almost six million Colombian brothers and sisters, but they will never say this in the media that serve the hegemonic world.
Two days ago… I want to stop here, because two days ago the President of Colombia came before this dignified General Assembly to lie about Venezuela, and he brought here a series, some material he says was proof that in Venezuela we have Colombian irregulars [guerrillas]. We have reached such a level of disrespect that we have come to lie to this community. A slight examination, as you well know because it has been a worldwide scandal in all the media, a slight examination has shown that those photos that Mr. Iván Duque brought from Venezuela really correspond to Colombian territory, in the case of Cauca and in the case of Catatumbo.
His statement is contrary to any mechanism of mutual aid that we countries owe each other within the framework of conventions, police cooperation and mutual justice; what is suitable is the diplomatic path, what is suitable is for countries to establish their respectful means of communication within the framework of international legality.
I am going to ask President Duque to take a pencil because he has forced us to bring to this General Assembly precise and concise coordinates of the existence of camps where terrorists are being trained to attack Venezuela. Three sites, in the northwest, President Duque, Santa Marta. Rio Hacha and Maicao. In Santa Marta I provide the coordinates that will also be handed over to the Secretary-General of this Organization, 11 degrees, 14 minutes, 19 seconds to the north, 79 degrees, 6 minutes 15 seconds west. Camp in Santa Marta – Camp in Rio Hacha, coordinates: 11 degrees, 32 minutes, 3 seconds north; 75 degrees, 55 minutes, 14 seconds from west. Camp in Maicao, coordinates: 11 degrees, 22 minutes, 39 seconds north; 72 degrees, 13 minutes, 58 seconds west. We will also post photos of these camps where mercenaries are being trained to assault and attack Venezuela.
Venezuela, for its part, has done its part, resorting to international public law, and has offered the evidence to the Colombian government. The Venezuelan Attorney General’s Office has also made available all the evidence regarding the presence of people involved in serious crimes against the constitutional order in Venezuela, crimes of terrorism that attempted to assassinate authorities of the Venezuelan State and President Nicolás Maduro. The official response of the Colombian government has been to give refuge and shelter to these people requested by the Venezuelan justice system in flagrant violation of Resolution 1373 of the United Nations Security Council.
With his lies we say, it is a bad joke, but also President Duque a bad liar. Twenty-four hours had not passed and the truth was already coming to light: the truth of Venezuela is that Venezuela with its vigorous rule of law guarantees our territory, untouchable, never lent [its territory to be used] to commit abuses or any crime to attack a brother country. I say this with absolute responsibility, the United States and its regional satellites are preparing from Colombia an aggression against Venezuela, endangering the security and stability of this continent.
Already in 2015, President Nicolás Maduro warned of what was coming when President Obama promulgated the infamous executive order that considers Venezuela a threat to its national security and foreign policy. This precedent would be the starting point of the most stubborn exercise carried out in the Organization of American States, of which Venezuela no longer forms part, by approving the obsolete International Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance, already establishing the framework to justify an armed intervention in Venezuela led by the United States and facilitated through other governments.
They are going to report that of all the existing mechanisms in TIAR, all but one, armed intervention, has already been applied to Venezuela. And that is why we have come here to alert and prevent this potential conflict that they want to spread in our region. It is enough just to look at the history of the OAS to know that this course of unilateralism by this group ended up turning it into what is an unburied corpse.
In the current international situation, our Organization is called upon to play a more proactive role in addressing issues that have a direct impact on international peace and security. It emphasizes, and I would say it emphasizes in a dishonorable manner, the Palestinian question, to whose heroic people we have all been indebted for more than fifty years and whose inalienable right to self-determination in their free, sovereign and independent State, with East Jerusalem as its capital, has been denied.
We also reject any form of commercial war against China, and we repudiate the unlawful sanctions against Russia, a developing world power and are the builders of a new multipolar and multi-centre world, respectful of international law. We also reject sanctions against Iran, North Korea, Syria and Zimbabwe. More than thirty countries have been targeted to apply these illegal and criminal sanctions.
We salute the election of our brother Mexico, to the presidency of CELAC, the inheritance of giants like Fidel Castro, like the commander Hugo Chávez, who had the vision of rescuing our deepest roots of the great homeland, of the free homeland. We salute his presidency and repudiate any type of offense against the dignity of his people.
We also ratify our historical rights over Guayana Esequiba, and we declare the Geneva Agreement of 1966 as the only valid instrument to settle this territorial controversy, which provides for bilateral political negotiation and whose legal instrument is duly deposited in the United Nations.
In this great operation against Venezuela, which began with a coup d’état in 2002 against President Hugo Chávez on the part of the United States, accompanied by the same actors who today are unfortunately trying to overthrow our legitimate government.
On January 23, an unprecedented event in the world took place in Venezuela, a deputy who did not receive more than 90,000 votes in his parliamentary election, presented himself in a public square and proclaimed himself president of Venezuela- This deputy is an imperial device, he does not exist politically in Venezuela, he exists as a device, as a criminal and delinquent instrument to attack the stability and peace of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. The self-proclamation was followed by acknowledgements from a minority of governments of our unequal world, perhaps one of the worst mistakes committed in the diplomatic history of these countries. While this unequal world minority was plotting this illegal conspiracy, the legitimate government of President Nicolás Maduro received the support of almost two thirds of the members of this Organization grouped in the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries.
Exactly eight months have passed since that infamous and twisted accident in our republican history, and the legitimate and constitutional government with effective territorial control and the institutional mechanisms of the rule of law continues and will continue to be President Nicolás Maduro, whom we Venezuelans were happy to give us within the framework of the sacred right to self-determination. -Applause
The majority of the world that supports Venezuela knows that this imperial ploy and invention is also a criminal organization. An even more serious fact has been the coordination between this artifice with a group of Colombian paramilitaries and the government of Ivan Duque. I take this opportunity to show the photo of this self-proclaimer with a leading member of the paramilitary organization Los Rastrojos, I show it to you so that you know what we are facing; we are facing the use of criminal gangs, paramilitary organizations and drug traffickers to destabilize Venezuela. History knows enough about this, our sister Nicaragua knows well, when the U.S. government used contras to overthrow Sandinismo; It is well known by countries of the Middle East, which have suffered terrorist organizations created, armed, financed and used precisely to overthrow governments that are not the hegemon’s satellites.
In this regard, I would like to inform the international community that on Wednesday our ambassador to the International Criminal Court delivered a video containing the full confession of a leader of the paramilitary band Los Rastrojos, delivered to supplement the preliminary examination on Colombia and paramilitarism.
In order to achieve, guarantee and preserve the peace and tranquility of the Republic, President Nicolás Maduro summoned all sectors of national life to a sovereign dialogue. Our commitment to the constitutional road is unwavering.
We bring this history to alert the world and the international community to these perverse methods outside of legality, which tomorrow may, without any justification, reach other countries where the world hegemon decides at all costs to change their forms of government and openly steal their country’s assets. Venezuela is and will continue to be one, unique and indivisible; it is the Venezuela of Bolivar and our Liberators, never surrendered to any empire.
The government of the United States has accompanied this artificial construct with the vulgar and criminal application of a total blockade. In 2014, the United States had imposed 6000 coercive measures on dozens of countries in the world. Today in 2019, the number has increased to 8000 unilateral and illicit coercive measures. They are the preferred weapon of neocolonial domination in the 21st century, less costly and more profitable, today 32 countries suffer the economic aggressions of the U.S. government. According to the United Nations special rapporteur on the impact of these measures, a third of humanity suffers the consequences of these collective punishments.
The Movement of Non-Aligned Countries, justifiably approved yesterday a declaration firmly rejecting the application of these illegal sanctions. They are the new economic terrorism that uses the suffering of the innocent civilian population to achieve political benefits for the hegemon, and at the same time illegally obtains billions of dollars in this digital era with the touch of a keystroke.
I have brought two statements from 2018 to read verbatim. The first of them, the Declaration of the United States Department of State:
“The pressure campaign against Venezuela is working. The financial sanctions we have imposed have forced the government to start falling into default, both on the sovereign debt and on the debt of Petróleos de Venezuela, its oil company, and what we are seeing is a total economic collapse in Venezuela, so our policy works, our strategy works, and we will maintain it.”
Criminal confession in violation, without a doubt, of the Charter of the United Nations.
Second statement in the mouth of former ambassador William Brownfield:
“We must treat this as agony, a tragedy that will continue until it finally reaches an end, and if we can do something to speed it up we must do it, but we must do it with the understanding that this is going to have an impact on millions of people who are already struggling to find food and medicine. We cannot do this and pretend that it will not have an impact, we have to make a hard decision, the desired end justifies this severe punishment.”
And what is the desired end for the United States of America? Defeating the Bolivarian revolution, maintaining its hegemony over the planet, just as it attacks Iran, Russia, China, builders of a new world, in a nefarious policy to apply the illicit doctrine of regime change.
In view of these serious statements, Venezuela calls for an investigation into all the infamous violations of the Charter of the United Nations by the United States, which have undoubtedly constituted, as they have confessed, crimes against humanity, against Venezuela and the world.
What measures should we take to address the excessive and abusive actions of the United States Government, which is also the cause of the suffering of its own people?
President Trump, your people expect from your leaders a true commitment to democracy and the eradication of poverty and inequality. They hope not to be involved in wars of any kind. The people of Walt Whitman are more like this poet and less like the arrogant and supremacist prose of the government that displays itself shamelessly.
The world hopes the United States corrects itself immediately, and once and for all submits to international law and respects and cares for this common home. Seventy-five years after the founding of the United Nations Organization, we aspire to a vigorous Organization, free from ties, capable of putting a brake on the actual powers. Fewer ornate speeches yes, as its Secretary General said, more concrete and effective action yes. In unison, let us make a common front in defense of the UN Charter, of its principles, of its purpose, the basis of international legality and for why this Organization was formed. Only this will guarantee the survival of the human species, and the harmonious and legal coexistence of the community of nations.
I conclude by reaffirming that Venezuela is and will remain at peace. Beware, we are a dignified people, a brave people, we refuse to submit. We are a timeless legacy of the sword we inherited from our father, the Liberator Simón Bolívar. With his spirit, we reach the world in order never to give space to the sanctioned and oligarchic betrayal against the free people of the great homeland. Let us build that common front to defend the Charter of the United Nations but also to defend the happiness of our peoples.
As the poet Benedetti said: defend happiness as if it were a trench, as if it were a principle, as a flag, as a right. With our Bolivar, we affirm that we must cast fear behind us and save our homeland. Today we say let us cast fear behind us and save the world from capitalist violence.
Thank you very much.