Canadian government’s appeasement of U.S. imperialism
By TONY SEED
François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Foreign Affairs, travelled to New York on June 13 ahead of the vote on Canada’s bid for a seat on the United Nations Security Council which has roused much concern and opposition at home. He is being deployed, according to Global Affairs, for four days “to engage with various ambassadors and permanent representatives to promote Canada’s commitment to peace and security, climate change, gender equality, economic security and multilateralism.” Champagne’s schmoozing to get votes lubricated with “aid” dollars is the end run for the self-serving, much-hyped bid of the Trudeau Liberals to restore Canada’s tarnished record on the world stage.  Continue reading →
The poignant post on the blog by Ukrainian journalist Dmitriy Kovalevich struck a chord with me. I had heard about those snipers he mentions, responsible for inciting Ukrainians against Ukrainians. One of them was in Canada four years ago on a cross-country recruiting and propaganda mission sanctioned by the government of Canada. 
On February 22, 2016 the so-called documentary film “The Ukrainians/Les Ukrainiens: God’s Volunteer Battalion” (Leonid Kanter and Ivan Yasniy) was shown at the Royal Military College of Canada (RMC) in Kingston, Ontario. Continue reading →
A notion that has been pushed a lot, especially since the Trudeau government decided to enter the race for a seat on the UN Security Council in 2021, is that Canada is a champion of multilateralism. In this way Canada’s meddling foreign policy is presented as different and presumably better than Trump’s obnoxious “America First” unilateralism. Canada’s imperialist multilateralism is based on its preferring to do its meddling as part of coalitions and other groups of like-minded countries rather than on its own. Canada’s attempt to convince other countries to support its bid for the UN Security Council seat is not likely to be helped by drawing attention to the defining feature of its foreign policy: its appeasement of U.S. imperialism, all down the line. Therefore a kind of diversion is put in place with a lot of noise being made about Canada’s “multilateral agenda” without explaining what it really means. Continue reading →
The following letter was sent on May 8 to the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Canada as well as the leaders of all other parties in Parliament and local MPs as a follow-up to a resolution passed at the online April membership meeting of the Windsor and District Labour Council. Continue reading →
The murky background of Jordan Goudreau, former member of the Canadian Armed Forces and Green Berets, paid by US and Canadian-sponsored imposter Juan Guaidó | Report by Misión Verdad with update by Tony Seed
Mercenaries captured in Chuao, on the coast of Aragua state | Twitter
(May 5) –On the morning of May 4, in the coastal town of Chuao (Aragua state), a group of eight mercenaries aboard a boat were captured in a joint operation between local fishermen, the regional police and the Bolivarian National Armed Forces (FANB). Continue reading →
The 62th Anniversary of NORAD on May 12 is a time to draw warranted conclusions about the nature of the military alliance. NORAD is always described as responsible for the defence of North America. NORAD was conceived and brought into being during the Cold War, which has long since ended. Its survival is now justified by claiming the danger is from “rogue states.” However, NORAD, like NATO is an aggressive military alliance. From our archives: “Fortress America: 60th anniversary of NORAD – The demand to dismantle NORAD is more urgent than ever”
This year marked the 60th anniversary of the North American Aerospace Defence Agreement (NORAD) signed on May 12, 1958. It is the arrangement through which, along with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) founded on April 4, 1949, the Canadian armed forces are integrated into those of the U.S. and put under U.S. command. Continue reading →
Toronto demonstration, February 1, 2020, stands with Palestinian people rejecting the “Deal of the Century.”
The Canadian state’s current support for Zionism is part of its manoeuvring for Canada to win one of five non-permanent seats on the UN Security Council for a two-year term beginning in 2021. From this vantage point, Canada could better serve U.S. imperialist interests, which includes putting a human face on Zionist war crimes and terrorism against the Palestinian people, and U.S. aggression worldwide. Continue reading →
Vancouver monthly pickets against U.S. blockade of Cuba, February 17, 2020
Re: Western Union and U.S. Economic Sanctions Against Cuba
I am writing to you on behalf of the Canadian Network on Cuba (CNC), which represents Canada-Cuba friendship and solidarity organizations across Canada, ranging from Vancouver to Halifax and with over 50,000 in membership. One of the CNC’s principal objectives is advocating that Canadian foreign policy regarding Cuba remains based on equality and respect for sovereignty and the right of self-determination. Continue reading →
Heads of Government reaffirm solidarity with Cuba at the 31st CARICOM Inter-Sessional Summit held from February 18 -19 in St Michael, Barbados.
(February 23) – The meeting of the regime change Lima Group hosted by Canada on February 20 in Ottawa comes right on the heels of Foreign Minister François-Philippe Champagne’s meeting on February 18-19 with leaders of Caribbean Community (CARICOM) in Bridgetown, Barbados. He was sent as a substitute for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
The 15-member organization has served as an effective block to attempts by the U.S. and its allies to use the discredited Organization of American States (OAS) as a political weapon against Venezuela. It has denied them the number of votes needed to take action against Venezuela in the name of the OAS. This led the U.S. and Canada to set up the illegitimate Lima Group outside the OAS for the purpose of advancing their illegal regime change project. Continue reading →
Ottawa picket against Guaidó’s visit, January 27, 2020.
(February 20) – Today the Canadian government is hosting a ministerial meeting of the Lima Group in Ottawa-Gatineau. For the information of readers, we are reposting two recent articles by Margaret Villamizar, a journalist with TML Weekly and specialist on Latin American affairs on the recent “visit” of Juan Guaidó as part of his two-week U.S.-sponsored “world tour”, and the forces in motion in Latin America and the Caribbean with the dawn of 2020. In addition, we feature reports from Venezuela and Cuba, as well as the 10th anniversary of the devastating earthquake in Haiti commemorated inMontreal. Continue reading →
Ottawa picket against Guaidó’s visit, January 27, 2020.
(February 20, revised February 23) – Today Canadian Foreign Minister François-Philippe Champagne is hosting a Ministerial meeting of the Lima Group in Gatineau, Québec, across the Ottawa River from the capital. This grouplet represents a small number of countries established by Ottawa in co-ordination with the United States outside the Organization of American States as part of its offensive to destabilize and remove the elected government of Venezuela. The meeting follows immediately on the heels of a Champagne’s trip to address a meeting of the Caricom countries in Barbados.
Defend and support the Palestinian people’s heroic resistance to occupation!
– Statement of the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist), January 31, 2020 –
The Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) resolutely condemns “Peace to Prosperity: A Vision to Improve the Lives of the Palestinian and Israeli People,” put forward by President Donald Trump on January 28 as a provocation and act of violence against the Palestinian people. It is aimed at extinguishing their rights, particularly the right of return, a collective right which has been affirmed year after year by the United Nations General Assembly. By proposing that the more than 7 million Palestinians, including those in Gaza and the West Bank, be settled in what will be a bantustan in Gaza, in the countries where they are now living or in some other state that the U.S. will generously broker, the aim is to extinguish the historical memory of the Palestinian people and their decades-long struggle for their rights so gloriously expressed in the “Great March of Return” in Gaza in 2018 to 2019. Continue reading →
The Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) calls on all peace-loving people to join in the January 25 Global Day of Protest to condemn targeted assassinations and the threat of war against Iran.
It also expresses its sincere condolences to all the families and friends who lost loved ones in the downing of Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752. The fact that civilian aircraft were permitted to fly in an active war zone leading to such tragic consequences is a serious concern. Continue reading →
Objective reality of the people of Haiti illustrates the pathetic fraud of “humanitarian aid.” “Canada disbursed $657 million from the quake to September 2012 ‘for Haiti,’ but only about 2 per cent went to the Haitian government.” Thirty-three per cent of U.S. aid went to the U.S. military | YVES ENGLER
The Haitian national palace shows heavy damage after an earthquake measuring 7 plus on the Richter scale rocked Port au Prince Haiti, January 12, 2009. This was originally a two-story structure; the second story completely collapsed.
Ten years ago Sunday an earthquake devastated Haiti. In a few minutes of violent shaking hundreds of thousands perished in Port-au-Prince and surrounding regions and many more were permanently scarred.
It’s important to commemorate this horrifying tragedy. But this solemn occasion is also a good moment to reflect on Canada’s role in undermining the beleaguered nation’s capacity to prepare/respond/overcome natural disasters. Continue reading →
“Folks are using the plane crash as a justification for war. Like so many people I lost someone on that plane. It has touched us all. We will not let this be used as a justification for war. My friend did not die so that his people could be murdered.” – Masuma Khan
From 200 to 300 people of all ages and walks of life rallied at Victoria Park in Halifax on Saturday, January 11 to say No War with Iran and to condemn the U.S. terrorist attacks against Iran and Iraq. Haligonians let the Trump Administration know that we do not support another war. They warned Canadian elected officials that Canada needs to stand up against any acts of war and be a voice of peace. Continue reading →
Most Canadians would be surprised to learn that the sun never sets on the military their taxes pay for.
This country is not formally at war yet more than 2,100 Canadian troops are sprinkled across the globe. According to the Armed Forces, these soldiers are involved in 28 international missions. Continue reading →
Warmest greetings from Halifax to all those protesting against NATO and the Halifax International Security Forum in Toronto and Windsor, Ontario. We salute all those across the land from coast to coast who are engaged in discussing this dangerous event and what to do. The cause of peace, one of the highest ideals of humanity, is a noble endeavour. Every day we see reaction on the offensive everywhere in the world. We wish you the greatest success. Continue reading →
A scene from last year’s protest in Halifax against the war conference. Photo Simon de Vet
The U.S.-based Halifax International Security Forum (HISF), known to the anti-war movement as the Halifax War Conference, returns to our city for the 11th year in a row from November 22 to 24.
For the 11th straight year, Haligonians will be opposing it, with two events Saturday, November 23rd: a rally at 1:00 p.m. at Halifax Peace & Freedom Park (formerly Cornwallis Park), Hollis and South Streets followed by a meeting and panel discussion at the Dalhousie University Student Union Building at 6:30 p.m., concerning the HISF and Obama’s visit to Halifax on November 13. This meeting will feature Margaret Kimberly, Senior Editor of Black Agenda Report. 
“This is an important opportunity for everyone to speak in their own name against war preparations and any role for Canada in aggression and war,” says Allan Bezanson, an organizer of the Halifax events from the No Harbour for War group, c-sponsor along with Halifax Peace Council, Global Afrikan Congress and others.
Haligonians have long declared that our city is ‘No Harbour for War!’ and should not provide a venue for warmongers and war criminals, and their handmaidens, to plan further aggression against the peoples of the world. Nor do we accept that the Canadian government should be funding this U.S.-based organization with tens of millions of dollars.
“This forum has simply stolen the name of our city. It has no organic connection whatsoever with Halifax except it is staged here. That is why we say, not in our name.”
The HISF does not reflect the desire of Haligonians for friendly relations with other countries, as epitomized by the recent conference hosted at Dalhousie, “The Cuban Revolution at 60” that highlighted Nova Scotia’s friendship with Cuba for over 100 years.
Some 300 participants from 75 countries – a dramatic expansion from 17 countries in the first 2009 HISF – will be taking part in this war conference, sponsored by NATO. One of the organizers very much in the headlines is Kurt Volker, the hawkish U.S. special representative to Ukraine, a participant in the HISF since 2009 and member of its agenda working group since 2012. 
At the 2018 HISF the Department of National Defence was represented by 25 participants from the Army, Navy and Air Force and military colleges – along with the Canadian Security Intelligence Network, Global Affairs, Veterans Affairs and MPs. Defence minister Harjit Sajjan declared that “Canada is punching above its weight” in its participation in NATO. He echoed the U.S. demand that “Russian aggression” become the chief security concern for Canada and NATO.
Of the 34 sessions, 28 are secret and held behind closed doors where everything is discussed and decided behind the backs of the Canadian people. Only six are “on the record” with video streaming and CPAC broadcasts for propaganda purposes. The HISF is aimed at pushing the foreign and military policy of Canadaand other NATO bloc members to be more aggressive and to disinform Canadian people, and is thus increasingly being condemned across Canada, not just in Halifax.
Opposition in Ontario
Rallies are being held this year in Ontario. In Toronto, the Canadian Voice of Women for Peace and the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) are uniting to protest at the NATO Association of Canada headquarters, 49 Yonge Street in the heart of the central business district.
Philip Fernandez of CPC(M-L) and an educator says, “The HISF is a matter not only for Haligonians but for all Canadians. The notion of security promoted by HISF is intrinsically linked to NATO and its aggressive agenda and demand for Canada to increase military spending by tens of billions of dollars.
“It is part of further integrating Canada into US Homeland Security, putting its people, lands, seas and harbours such as Halifax at the disposal of US imperialist aims. It is also linked to NATO’s political apparatus (of which the Canadian chapter is the NATO Association of Canada), which is pushing an agenda that opposition to NATO constitutes ‘foreign interference’ in Canadian affairs.” [[ii]]
“We are saying NO! to this war conference and staking our claim on Canada as a Zone for Peace!,” he affirms.
Toronto picket against the Halifax war conference, outside Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland’s constituency office, November 17, 2018
The Windsor Peace Coalition (WPC) is also raising its banner against the HISF at its weekly pickets held every Saturday from 11 to 12 p.m. in the border city.
Margaret Villamizar, spokesperson of the WPC and a foreign affairs analyst and journalist, says they are “posting information about the HISF and the demonstrations taking place against it on our Facebook Group, indicating that our picket this week will emphasize the need to get Canada out of the US war machine, so the holding of this secretive US /NATO war conference in Canada paid for out of public funds becomes a thing of the past.”
The WPC has been holding weekly pickets since 2007. “We have been quite persistent and as a result have a definite standing in the community.” It works together with Women in Black, who have their own weekly action and whose numbers include retired teachers and nurses, some well into their 80s.
Tamara Lorincz, a well known Halifax environmental and anti-war activist now doing a Ph.d in Ontario, has been leading the Canadian Voice of Women for Peace in monthly protests at the NATO branch headquarters as well as the Toronto offices of foreign minister Chrystia Freeland. She participated in organizing the inaugural protest against the first security forum in 2009.
Speaking on behalf of the women’s group at two public forums on foreign policy in Toronto and Windsor during the recent election organized by CPC(M-L), she gave spirited presentations entitled “Canada’s Role in NATO Must Be Ended and NATO Dismantled.” A former NDP candidate in Halifax West (finishing second to Liberal Geoff Regan), she argues that all the political parties sitting in parliament are pro-NATO. This is dangerous for Canadians and goes against their will.
Anti-war activist and former Haligonian Tamara Lorincz addresses election forum organized by the CPC [M-L]) in Windsor on October 19 to discuss Canada’s foreign policy and how to make Canada a zone for peace.
The details of Canada’s military spending surprised many in attendance as to its extent. The Trudeau Liberals have worked to keep people in the dark all the while committing more than $500 billion for defence spending over the next 20 years, escalating the integration of the armed forces with the U.S. and deploying troops and warships to the Baltics, Poland, Ukraine, Iraq, Palestine, Mali, the Caribbean and Asia. The government places great importance on attracting youth from a very young age to identify with and join the military; the cadet program is the single largest youth program in the country. These billions being spent for war and destruction of the planet could be better used to serve human needs, she pointed out.
Opposition against NATO is unfolding on a national and international scale. For example, demonstrations have taken place yearly at the HISF dating back to the 60th anniversary of NATO in 2009. Internationally, actions took place in Washington DC at the NATO foreign ministers’ meeting on the occasion of its 70th anniversary and in other Canadian and American cities this past April. Actions will be held on December 3rd In Toronto and London to protest the NATO 70th anniversary events taking place in Britain which Trudeau is attending.
The propaganda about NATO being a successful organization is a lie since all its interventions have been failures. Tamara emphasized the importance of stepping up the organizing against NATO and its “We Are NATO” campaign. Everyone should be active in working for peace and against war, and the peace movement should take an active stand against NATO and for it to be dismantled.
 Margaret Kimberley of the Black Agenda Report will speak on her experience in organizing the anti-war movement in the USA. Other panelists, including Isaac Saney and El Jones, will speak on issues arising from the security forum, the previous week’s Obama visit and his legacy of drone warfare, the need to dismantle NATO and the need to develop a vibrant anti-war movement in Nova Scotia.
 In an October 24 press release, HISF President Peter Van Praagh stated that this year’s conference will “highlight the need for a coordinated strategic response among democratic allies to the challenge posed by China, the increasingly urgent problem of climate change, the security of our democratic systems from foreign interference, international law and order, inclusive security, and how the world is responding to American leadership.”
The press release indicates that the HISF is considered a platform where the U.S. will issue its dictate.
“As is customary, the conference features a delegation from the United States Congress, as well as leaders in the United States military and wider security community. Internationally, joining them from more than 75 countries are ministers, experts, chiefs of defense staff, and top media personalities.”
Demonstration in Ottawa, May 25, 2019, demands restoration of consular services at Canadian Embassy in Havana.
The visa office located at the Embassy of Canada in Havana, Cuba was closed by the Government of Canada on May 8, following unproven health concerns of embassy staff. Since then, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) says it has been working diligently to ensure that the processing of applications from Cuba continues smoothly and that applicants have access to the services they need to come to Canada. Continue reading →
More than 250 people participated in a rally and march at the Ontario legislature on October 19, to affirm the right of the Kashmiri people to self-determination in the face of a brutal military occupation and lock-down by the Indian state which has lasted for more than 80 days. The action was held on the eve of the federal election to demand that whichever party comes to power, it must speak out and condemn the Indian government’s brutal campaign of state-terror and violence in Kashmir. India launched this assault after Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, giving Kashmir a degree of autonomy, was rescinded, on August 5 by the Modi government. Continue reading →
A meeting was organized by the Marxist-Lenininst Party of Canada in Windsor on October 19 to discuss Canada’s foreign policy and how to make Canada a zone for peace. The meeting which was chaired by Laura Chesnik, the MLPC candidate in Windsor—Tecumseh who outlined the main points of the MLPC platform calling for a change in the direction of Canada’s foreign policy and emphasized the need for discussion on these matters during the federal election. In keeping with the MLPC’s call for political renewal she said the Canadian people, and no one else, must be empowered to decide the aim and direction of Canada’s foreign policy. Continue reading →
On Saturday, October 12, over 50 people rallied outside the electoral office of Justin Trudeau in Montreal to demand that Canada withdraw its support for the corrupt and illegitimate regime of Jovenel Moïse in Haiti. The action, organized by Solidarité Québec-Haïti, was called as a follow-up to an ultimatum given by the organization to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on October 9, as its deadline ended on Friday, October 11th at 2:00 pm. Continue reading →
Documents recently filed in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice reveal that some $30 million realized from the seizure and sale of Iranian government assets in Canada have been transferred to American families who filed for compensation under the Justice for Victims of Terrorism Act 2012. Their claim for compensation began in the U.S. court system but extended to Canada when they realized Canada would follow suit. The properties appropriated and sold were the Iranian Cultural Centre in Ottawa and the Centre for Iranian Studies in Toronto. The transfer of funds to the families only came to light last week. Continue reading →
On September 11, at a regular meeting of the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS) the United States and 10 Latin American countries that are parties to the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance, also known as the Rio Treaty, passed a resolution recommending that it be activated against the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, based on Venezuela allegedly representing “a clear threat to peace and security” in the Americas. Five other countries that are also party to the treaty abstained and another was absent. On September 23, at a follow-up meeting of foreign ministers of the member countries held in New York, 15 of them approved activating more sanctions but stopped short of openly calling for the use of force. Uruguay opposed the motion and announced its intention to withdraw from the treaty and Trinidad and Tobago abstaine Continue reading →
I am writing to you on behalf of the Canadian Network On Cuba (CNC), which represents Canada-Cuba friendship and solidarity organizations across Canada, ranging from Vancouver to Halifax and with over 50,000 in membership. One of the CNC’s principal objectives is advocating that Canadian foreign policy regarding Cuba remains based on equality and respect for sovereignty and the right of selfdetermination. Consequently, the CNC is deeply concerned by recent decisions and actions of the Government of Canada. Canadians are very worried that recent developments in Ottawa-Havana relations could lead to the mirroring of the policy of the United States. Continue reading →
• Discussion Forum and Information Picket to Oppose Anti-Venezuela Conference at Concordia University
• Oppose the Dirty Work Against Venezuela by the Agents of Violent Regime Change and Their Backers in Canada • Statement on the Anti-Venezuela Conference at Concordia University in Montreal – ALBA Social Movements Canada
Montreal Discussion Friday, October 4, 4 -7 pm 1360 Ontario St. E. Information Picket Tuesday, October 8, 4:30-7:30 pm 1250 Guy St. For information: 438-368-1641 or 514-991-4388 Organized by the Montreal Ad Hoc Committee Against Canadian Interference in the Affairs of Venezuela
Over recent days, Canadians and Quebeckers have witnessed the big powers stepping up their activities to justify all manner of attacks against Venezuela and the sovereignty of its people: inflammatory statements on September 24 and 25 at the United Nations by Colombian President Ivan Duque, accusing the Venezuelan government of “genocide” and protecting drug dealers and guerrillas preparing to attack his country; a conference planned on October 8 in Montreal with the false ambassador to Venezuela; the adoption of a resolution at a meeting of the Lima Group on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, instigated by Canada and three other countries, calling for the creation of a group of experts charged with investigating human rights violations in Venezuela
Every effort is being made, in concert with the U.S., to destabilize the region, isolate Cuba and Venezuela and justify a new intervention in the name of the Responsibility to Protect and other pretexts.
This must be firmly opposed. Join in a discussion and get information about what is taking place. Representatives of various communities will speak of their experience with such pretexts to justify interference and aggression. Let’s discuss the shameful role that Canada is playing in this. Canada must be a zone for peace, not war.
Oppose the Dirty Work Against Venezuela by the Agents of Violent Regime Change and Their Backers in Canada
Join a discussion to be held in Montreal on Friday, October 4 and an information picket on Tuesday, October 8 to oppose the dirty work against Venezuela by the agents of violent regime change and their backers in Canada. The actions are prompted by the holding, during the election campaign, of an anti-Venezuela conference which claims to deal with the current crisis in that country. This conference is organized on October 8 by Concordia University’s Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies and the Montreal Branch of the Canadian International Council. The speaker is Orlando Viera-Blanco who the organizers misleadingly call the Venezuelan ambassador to Canada. He was appointed by the self-proclaimed imposter president of Venezuela, Juan Guaidó, who Canada recognizes in an act of gross interference into Venezuela’s sovereign internal affairs.
While Canada’s diplomatic corps are advised not to intervene in Canada’s election campaign, that does not seem to apply to Viera-Blanco, a member of the foreign-backed opposition forces attempting to overthrow Venezuela’s constitutionally elected president Nicolás Maduro. The October 8 Conference aims to win support for that unjust cause in Canada. Viera-Blanco gave an indication of what this means on his return from a recent junket to Israel as an official guest of that government when he wrote glowing accounts announcing that Israel is an example for Venezuela to emulate.
All of it is part of an offensive taking place at and surrounding the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly aimed at stepping up the U.S.-led siege of Venezuela and making a case for the Security Council to approve the illegal coercive measures currently in effect and the eventual use of force against the government of Nicolás Maduro.
On September 23, the foreign ministers of 16 Latin American countries and the U.S., which are signatories to the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance, also known as the Rio Treaty, met in New York to approve the activation of provisions of that treaty against Venezuela. A vestige of the cold war, the Rio Treaty was imposed on Latin America and the Caribbean by the United States in 1947 as an instrument for “containing communism” in its “backyard.” Following the same logic as NATO’s Chapter V, it commits state parties to engage in collective defence if any one of them comes under armed attack and allows for the authorization of a range of punitive measures up to and including military force. It was used in the past by the U.S. to invade the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Panama and Nicaragua.
Canada is not a signatory to the Rio Treaty but agreed to its use at a meeting of the Organization of American States (OAS) called earlier in the month to discuss its invocation. Canada said that Venezuela represented “a clear threat to peace and security in the region” — language crafted to get the UN Security Council on board, despite this having failed miserably in several prior attempts.
On September 25 Colombia’s warmongering president Ivan Duque, engaged in destroying the peace process in his country and presiding over the massacre of former guerrilla members and social leaders that continues with impunity, dedicated the bulk of his UN address to painting Colombia as the victim of an impending armed attack from Venezuela. His “proof” rested on photographs he displayed that he said were of Colombian guerrillas operating inside Venezuela. Within hours they were exposed to all the world as having been taken in his own country. (It is worth noting that Colombia has the status of being NATO’s first and currently only “global partner” in Latin America.) In his speech to the General Assembly Donald Trump contributed his own venomous lies to the cause, targeting Cuba who he and Duque both blame for their inability to bring the Venezuelan government, its Bolivarian armed forces or the people, to their knees.
This is the cesspool in which the meeting at Concordia put on by a cabal of Canadian and Venezuelan regime change forces is taking place. One of the organizers, the Canadian International Council, is headed at the national level by Canada’s last ambassador to Venezuela, Ben Roswell, who spent his time there violating the norms of diplomacy by using the embassy as a base for interference in Venezuela’s internal affairs in support of the regime change forces. Since his return to Canada in 2017 he has been leading the charge for the same cause as a media pundit and serving as a cheerleader for what he says is the Trudeau government’s “uniquely Canadian approach to democracy promotion” in Venezuela. This is touted as contrasting with the U.S. approach and its threatened military intervention even though the aim is the same.
The other organizer, The Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies, hosts a project called The Will to Intervene co-headed by General Romeo Dallaire. It was created to allegedly “prevent another Rwanda” by promoting foreign intervention to stop mass atrocities and human rights abuses based on the controversial Responsibility to Protect doctrine Canada promotes to justify foreign aggression and intervention in the name of humanitarian causes. The meeting announcement says Viera-Blanco will discuss “risks of mass atrocity crimes and the failure of the current government to uphold its responsibility to protect.”
Canadians oppose this vile pro-war activity carried out under U.S. dictate. What Canada is up to in Venezuela needs to be raised as an election issue by those who want Canada to be a factor for peace, not of war and aggression.
Statement on the Anti-Venezuela Conference at Concordia University in Montreal
– ALBA Social Movements Canada –
The Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies at Concordia University in Montreal has announced a meeting to be held on October 8, under the title “The Crisis in Venezuela: a discussion with the Venezuelan Ambassador to Canada.” The fact that the person they announced as speaker is not the legitimate Ambassador of Venezuela assigned by the legitimate government of Venezuela shows that it is clearly part of the ongoing U.S.-led assault against Venezuela and the government of President Nicolás Maduro.
The meeting notice is designed to disinform and create maximum confusion in Canada about the problems faced by the Venezuelan people who are under brutal, illegal sanctions and a blockade intended to punish them for supporting the elected government.
To suggest that the guest speaker at this event is the Venezuelan Ambassador to Canada is a barefaced lie. He was not appointed by the legitimate government of President Nicolás Maduro but by the self-appointed “president” of a foreign backed opposition party the U.S. and Canada set up as a parallel government in the latest failed coup.
The meeting is held in the middle of a federal election to support the Canadian government’s active participation in the U.S.-led assault against Venezuela. Besides its support for the illegal sanctions and blockade imposed by the U.S., which constitutes collective punishment of populations and is a crime against humanity, Global Affairs Minister Freeland has been implementing an aggressive policy using “diplomatic means” to strangle the work of the Venezuelan Embassy in Ottawa to exert maximum pressure on the Venezuelan government.
Global Affairs began denying visas to Venezuelan diplomats in Canada in January 2019 in an effort to intervene in the legitimate activities of the diplomats which resulted in the closure of Venezuelan consulates in Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal.
On June 2, 2019, Freeland announced that Canada was “temporarily” closing its embassy in Venezuela and that Canada intended to evaluate the status of the Venezuelan diplomats to Canada appointed by President Nicolás Maduro.
Since that time, systematic measures have been taken by public and private institutions in the U.S. and Canada to prevent the Venezuelan Embassy from carrying out its consular and other duties. The Venezuelan Embassy in Ottawa is the only office representing the Government of Venezuela and is responsible for processing all applications for visas, passports and other official documents for Canada and the United States.
In addition to the attacks of the U.S. and Canadian governments, FedEx recently notified the Venezuelan embassy that it would no longer be handling any packets or parcels destined for U.S. addresses. The Chargé d’Affaire of the Embassy has also been directed by several banks to close all the Embassy accounts based in U.S. dollars.
All these measures are a result of the U.S. financial, economic and commercial blockade intended to suffocate Venezuela on all fronts, including through targeting the Embassy in Canada which has in spite of all the attacks carried out its duties with honour.
The hypocritical declarations in the meeting notice about Canada having supported Venezuelans in their “efforts to achieve political and economic reforms,” and the “restoration of democracy through peaceful and negotiated means” cannot hide the crimes that are being committed by the U.S. and Canada against the people of Venezuela. The confusion which meetings like this one at Concordia are intended to create, coming as it does when the U.S. and the forces it commands are busy trying to sabotage the prospects of Venezuelans resolving their problems peacefully through dialogue, serves to cover the ongoing attempt to ramp up the siege of Venezuela and its people, and is a prelude to the use of force.
ALBA Social Movements Canada calls on you to support the information picket in front of Concordia University on October 8, to protest the anti-Venezuela activity promoted by the Government of Canada and Canadian institutions.
No to Imperialist Gangsterism! End the Brutal Siege of Venezuela!
– Margaret Villamizar –
On September 11, at a regular meeting of the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS) the United States and 10 Latin American countries that are parties to the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance, also known as the Rio Treaty, passed a resolution recommending that it be activated against the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, based on Venezuela allegedly representing “a clear threat to peace and security” in the Americas. Five other countries that are also party to the treaty abstained and another was absent. On September 23, at a follow-up meeting of foreign ministers of the member countries held in New York, 15 of them approved activating more sanctions but stopped short of openly calling for the use of force. Uruguay opposed the motion and announced its intention to withdraw from the treaty and Trinidad and Tobago abstained.
Rio Treaty, Tool for Foreign Intervention
The Rio Treaty, a relic of the cold war described as a mutual “defence” pact was imposed on Latin America and the Caribbean in 1947 by the United States as an instrument for “containing communism” in its “backyard.” Like NATO’s Chapter V, it commits state parties to engage in collective defence if any one of them comes under attack, based on the same logic that an attack on any one of us is an attack on all of us. It allows for the authorization of a range of punitive measures of a diplomatic and economic nature through to military force. At the September 11 meeting of the OAS an amendment proposed by three countries to exclude the military option against Venezuela was defeated.
This latest attempt to muster a regional force to intervene against Venezuela and provide it with a veneer of legitimacy was led by the U.S. together with the pro-war government of Colombia that today is engaged in destroying the peace process in its own country as former guerrillas and social leaders are being massacred with impunity almost on a daily basis. There was enthusiastic support for the resolution from the phony parallel “government” and “president” the U.S. and Canada have tried, but failed, to impose on the Venezuelan people, but which has has been illegally accredited to represent Venezuela at the OAS.
The centrepiece of the meeting, called auspiciously for September 11, was a harangue by the Colombian foreign minister who painted his country as the victim, claiming it was under threat of attack because of “illegal Colombian armed groups” and “new narco-terrorist groups” he alleged were being harboured, armed and trained in Venezuelan territory with the support of the Venezuelan government and its armed forces.
Canada was unable to take part in the vote at either the OAS meeting in Washington or the one held in New York on September 23 since it, like a number of other OAS members, is not a party to the Rio Treaty. However Canada and several other countries that make up the so-called Lima Group, put in motion by the U.S. to support its regime change efforts in Venezuela — and in which Canada plays a leading role — were the first to speak in favour of the resolution’s content aimed at opening the way for escalating and providing an air of legality for the criminal siege of Venezuela already underway.
Canada’s representative began his intervention at the OAS by condemning what he called the “illegitimate regime of Nicolás Maduro,” repeating the Colombian foreign minister’s allegations that would soon be shown to have come from an obviously forged document attributed to Venezuela’s Bolivarian Armed Forces, about the government of Venezuela “protecting narco-terrorist and delinquent organizations.” Leaving little doubt about Canada’s support for activation of the Rio Treaty, invoked by the U.S. in the past to lend legitimacy to its invasions of the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Panama, Nicaragua and other countries, the Canadian representative agreed there was “a clear threat to peace and security in the region” from Colombian armed groups allegedly operating freely in Venezuela, and said Canada shared Colombia’s interest in suppressing such organizations.
In its haste to appease the U.S. war government rather than upholding international law and the norms of diplomacy, the Trudeau government has landed knee-deep in a putrid swamp. Hypocritical words from the likes of Chrystia Freeland, ringleader of the Lima Group, who says Canada supports the Venezuelan people and is working for a “peaceful transition” to “democracy” on their behalf are belied by the facts. There is nothing peaceful, democratic or legal about organizing a coup d’état against a government freely elected by its people, and if that does not work, laying siege to the country with coercive measures aimed at starving its people and depriving them of medications to try and force them to stop fighting in defence of their sovereignty and right to be, as the U.S. continues to hold out the prospect of an invasion.
What Canada is participating in is imperialist gangsterism pure and simple. It must not pass!
It is clear that there is an urgent need for a new direction in Canada’s foreign policy — one that does not fly in the face of Canadians’ desire for their country to be a force for peace in the world and to have friendly relations with all peoples instead of meddling in their affairs. Without an independent foreign policy there will be no way for Canada to get out of the swamp it has landed in by appeasing the U.S. imperialists — the main threat historically as well as today to peace and security in the Americas and the world. The need to get Canada out of the U.S. war machine is a topic deserving of serious discussion in the election.
Make Canada a Zone for Peace! Canada Needs an Anti-War Government!
1. Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, El Salvador, United States, Guatemala, Haití, Honduras, Paraguay and Dominican Republic voted in favour. Costa Rica, Panama, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago and Uruguay abstained. Bahamas was not present.
Margaret Villamizar is the MLPC candidate in the riding of Windsor West.
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