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Biden Faces Backlash for Venezuela Talks as Caracas Demands Recognition

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Félix Plasencia argued the US needs to recognize Maduro and lift sanctions before oil shipments can restart

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Félix Plasencia participates in the Antalya Diplomacy Forum in Turkey. (@plasenciafelixr / Twitter)
By José Luis Granados Ceja – Venezuelanalysis – March 14, 2022

The Biden administration faced strong bipartisan criticism over recent direct talks with the Venezuelan government.

News outlets reported that in light of criticism from hardline sympathizers of the Venezuelan opposition, the Biden administration had suspended its direct talks with the Venezuelan government but that a deal to lift some US sanctions in exchange for restarting oil sales to the US was still on the table.

Washington recently ordered the suspension of Russian oil imports, leaving the US desperate to find other sources of crude as rising energy prices threaten to create a domestic crisis for the Democrats ahead of midterm elections in November.

Despite the lack of diplomatic relations stemming from the US’ refusal to recognize the results of the 2018 presidential election, Caracas and Washington have maintained back-channel communications. These talks led to the first direct exchange between the US and Venezuelan governments in years, which came at Washington’s request.

News of the encounter was met with a vehement condemnation from both Republican politicians such as Senator Marco Rubio and fellow Democrats such as Florida’s Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a longtime supporter of the Venezuelan opposition.

Rubio, one the most vocal champions of Venezuela’s self-declared “interim president’ Juan Guaidó, has gone on the offensive to try to preemptively stop any deal and introduced legislation to ban the import of oil from Venezuela and Iran.

Various politicians from Florida sent a letter to Biden criticizing the administration’s decision to hold direct talks with Maduro. Florida’s large Cuban and Venezuelan population and status as a “swing state” in US elections has led politicians to cater their foreign policy toward Latin America in the interest of pleasing this comparatively small constituency.

However, skyrocketing energy costs inside the US as a result of global geopolitical situation in light of the Russian military operation in Ukraine and the subsequent ban of Russian oil imports have put the Maduro government in Venezuela, which counts on the world’s largest oil reserves, in a more favorable bargaining position.

Until recent developments, the Biden White House had largely maintained its predecessor’s “maximum pressure” policy aimed at ousting Maduro, though the Financial Times reported that the administration had already been considering a change in strategy.

White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki tried to downplay the March 5 meeting that counted on the presence of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro and Vice President Delcy Rodríguez as well as Biden Latin America adviser Juan González.

The direct talks led to the release of US citizens Gustavo Cardenas and Jorge Fernández on Tuesday, however US State Department spokesman Ned Price denied their release was tied to a deal regarding Venezuelan oil.

For his part, Maduro called the engagement “respectful, cordial and very diplomatic” and said that the US had committed to a follow-up meeting.

The direct talks with the Venezuelan leader have undermined the US’ strategy in Venezuela and its support for Juan Guaidó, who the Biden administration insists they still recognize as “interim president.”

With Guaidó’s position under increased scrutiny, the opposition has come to rely on the US almost exclusively for its legitimacy. Senator Rubio recently admitted that a deal would mean the opposition would be “finished”.

Guaidó was not part of the talks and reportedly only learned of the high-level meeting between the US and Venezuelan governments the day of the meeting.

Sources in Venezuela’s opposition told the Miami Herald that the potential deal would involve granting a special license to Chevron to ramp up activities in Venezuela. Chevron has previously lobbied the US State Department for a rollback of sanctions against Venezuela.

Caracas demands recognition, sanctions relief

Venezuelan officials have likewise commented on the possibility of restarting the oil trade with the US, with Foreign Minister Félix Plasencia stating that any deal to supply oil would be contingent on Washington and Brussels recognizing Nicolás Maduro as president.

“We have a 100-year oil business relationship with the United States. We have not taken them out of the business, they left in order to impose coercive measures. Now they want to return. Fine, if they accept that the only and legitimate government of Venezuela is the one led by President Nicolás Maduro, then US and European oil companies would be welcome,” said Plasencia at the Antalya Diplomacy Forum held this past weekend in Turkey.

Plasencia added that a “respectful relationship” would also require the lifting of coercive measures that deepened the country’s economic crisis.

EU High Commissioner for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell held a bilateral meeting with Plasencia on the margins of the forum that both described as “good,” with Borrell’s team indicating a willingness on the part of the European bloc to normalize relations and lift sanctions.

Venezuela, home to the world’s largest oil reserves, had a steady crude production of around 1.9 million barrels per day (bpd) and exported approximately 500,000 bpd to US markets until sanctions targeted the sector and crippled production.

The Venezuelan oil industry has lately shown signs of improvement with Plasencia stating that the country could produce up to 2 million barrels per day by the end of the year thanks to the assistance of “reliable partners, such as Russia, China and Iran.”

The recent diplomatic summit also saw Plasencia and Vice President Delcy Rodríguez both meet with a Russian delegation led by Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

“We held a meeting with our good friend Sergei Lavrov. We reviewed our bilateral strategic relations and the complex international scenario,” Rodriguez said via Twitter.

The March 5 high-level meeting between the US and Venezuela was likewise driven by Washington’s efforts to isolate Russian President Vladimir Putin from his allies in Latin America. US officials were reportedly seeking a public condemnation of Russia’s incursion into Ukraine by Maduro. Caracas has called for a “peaceful resolution” to the ongoing crisis but has stopped short of criticizing the Russian military operation.

The Venezuelan leader spoke directly by phone with Putin, with the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs reporting that the Venezuelan president expressed his “firm support” for Russia and condemned destabilization efforts by the US and NATO.

Edited by Ricardo Vaz in Caracas.

March 14, 2022 Posted by | Economics | , , | Leave a comment

US Officials Meet Maduro, Fail to Drive Wedge Between Venezuela and Russia

By José Luis Granados Ceja | Venezuelanalysis | March 7, 2022

Mexico City, Mexico – A high-level United States (US) government delegation that visited Venezuela on Saturday failed to produce an agreement with the government of Nicolás Maduro.

News of the delegation was first broken by the New York Times, which described the trip as the highest-level visit by US officials in years. Outlets subsequently reported that no agreement was reached. Caracas had not publicly commented on the meeting at the time of writing.

According to Reuters, the US team was led by White House Latin America adviser Juan González and made “maximalist” demands concerning electoral guarantees. Citing three people familiar with the matter, Reuters reported that the US was seeking new presidential elections, a larger participation of foreign private capital in Venezuela’s oil industry and a public condemnation of Russia’s incursion into Ukraine. The Biden administration representatives reportedly offered Venezuela a temporary return to the SWIFT financial transaction system.

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro and Vice President Delcy Rodríguez, who directly participated in the meeting, instead demanded broader sanctions relief and the return of foreign assets such as oil subsidiary CITGO. US officials reportedly brought up the cases of US citizens jailed in Venezuela, including six oil executives imprisoned for corruption and two former Green Berets who took part in a failed coup effort.

The meeting in Caracas was the latest US effort to isolate Russian President Vladimir Putin from his allies in the region. US officials told the Times that Washington views Russia’s Latin American allies as a potential “security threat” should the tensions continue to escalate in light of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, which has ratcheted up conflict between the US and Russia.

Venezuela broke off diplomatic relations with the US in 2019 after the latter recognized opposition figure Juan Guaidó as “interim president.” The US and its allies refused to recognize the results of the 2018 election that saw Maduro reelected to a six-year term. Washington then proceeded to engage in and support a series of unsuccessful coup plots, ultimately failing to oust Maduro from power.

US strategy toward Venezuela has more recently been focused on isolating Maduro, imposing crippling sanctions on the country’s energy sector and seizing, together with its allies, the country’s assets abroad. In public statements, the Biden administration has expressed its unwillingness to seriously negotiate with Caracas absent new elections.

Nonetheless, due to the failure of the US to successfully install Guaidó as an authority with any real power inside Venezuela, Caracas and Washington have maintained back-channel communications despite the lack of formal diplomatic relations. Guaidó, despite being recognized by the US as the country’s president, was only informed of the high-level delegation the morning of the meeting.

Venezuelan geopolitical analyst Sergio Rodríguez Gelfenstein told Venezuelanalysis that the leak of the news of the visit of senior US officials was motivated by an effort to drive a wedge between Caracas and Moscow and leave the impression that there was a “chill” in relations between the two countries.

Rodríguez maintained that Washington and Caracas would nonetheless leave the door open to dialogue.

“I believe that there will be continued attempts at rapprochement, especially because the Mexican [dialogue between the Venezuelan government and the opposition] was exhausted,” he said. “The Mexico talks were totally absurd since the opposition was being directed from within the United States, any step they took had to be consulted with Washington. In that sense it is much more feasible for the United States to negotiate directly with Venezuela.”

President Maduro has repeatedly expressed a willingness to negotiate an end to US-led sanctions on the country. The lack of a deal stemming from the visit by the senior-level delegation suggests Venezuela did not find it to be a workable proposal. Reuters reported that US officials agreed to a follow-up meeting.

It would take a considerable reversal of US policy toward the Caribbean nation to get the country to walk away from its Russian ally. Relations between the two countries have only grown in light of US efforts to isolate Caracas. Russian assistance has played an important role in Venezuela’s efforts to attend to the economic crisis in the country, providing support and expertise to the country’s key industries as well as steady investment in Venezuela’s energy sector.

Venezuela likewise recently strengthened its ties with Russia following a visit by Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov in February.

Caracas has called for a “peaceful resolution” to the ongoing crisis in Ukraine but has stopped short of condemning the Russian military operation. Venezuela did not vote in the United Nations (UN) General Assembly’s resolution concerning the Russian offensive in Ukraine. The country’s voting rights have been suspended as a result of unpaid UN membership dues due the impact of sanctions.

In light of coercive measures applied on Russia by the US and the European Union, Maduro has insisted that Venezuela will maintain its commercial relations with the Eurasian nation.

The Venezuelan leader also spoke directly by phone with Putin last week, with the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs reporting that the Venezuelan president expressed his “firm support” for Russia and condemned destabilization efforts by the US and NATO. Maduro has publicly called NATO’s handling of the Minsk Agreements a “mockery” and argued that their “derailment” constituted a violation of international law.

The Russian ambassador in Caracas Sergey Melik was invited to greet the opening 5th Congress of the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela, held this Saturday, and was met with strong applause from the delegates.

Edited by Ricardo Vaz in Caracas.

March 11, 2022 Posted by | Economics | , , | 1 Comment

Venezuela backs Russia despite tempting US offers

MEMO | March 10, 2022

The US has been trying to tempt Venezuela into increasing its oil production, but President Nicolas Maduro insists on standing by his traditional ally and Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. US officials have visited the country with the promise of continued access to US markets.

Venezuela and other South American countries were surprised by the visits by the officials from the White House and the State Department as soon as the Russian military operation against Ukraine started. Venezuelan newspapers reported that the American justification was the difference in the vision of the administration of Democratic President Joe Biden compared with its predecessor run by Republican President Donald Trump, who once threatened to wage war against Venezuela’s socialist President Maduro to remove him from power.

Venezuela wants to regain its share of oil sales to the US market, which was its main market before sanctions were imposed by Washington. However, it said that this must be done without engaging in any policy hostile to Russia. US companies increased their imports of Russian oil when the embargo on oil from Venezuela was imposed.

Despite the US offers, Venezuela has stressed that any increase in its oil quota will be made in coordination with OPEC. It will not submit to US demands.

Although it is in contact with the Biden administration, Venezuela has made its support for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine very clear. President Maduro, for example, has told Putin that Russia has the right to defend its security in the face of NATO expansion. Moreover, the Venezuelan representative in the Human Rights Council in Geneva has condemned the punitive measures taken against Russia, while his country abstained during the UN General Assembly vote on a resolution condemning the invasion.

March 10, 2022 Posted by | Economics | , | 11 Comments

Plan Puma: When Argentina Ran Military Drills at the Behest of the US to Invade Venezuela

By Julian Cola | MintPress News | March 1, 2022

BUENOS AIRES – Argentina’s Defense Minister Jorge Tayana and his Venezuelan counterpart, Minister of People’s Power for Defense Vladimir Padrino López, have agreed to cooperate in pursuing their investigation of Puma, a series of military exercises conducted in Argentina in 2019 with the aim of invading Venezuela and overthrowing the government. The military drills – which were overseen by Argentina’s former rapid deployment force army commander and current head of the army, General Juan Martín Paleo – were undertaken between April and July 2019, during the presidency of Mauricio Macri.

As an active member of the Lima Group, Macri’s government demonstrated an interventionist attitude in relation to Venezuela,” said Tayana.

With the overall goal of overthrowing the Bolivarian Revolution, the objective of the military drills was to train a swift action battalion ready and available to the U.S. military’s Southern Command. Seven military exercises were conducted at the Campo de Mayo garrison and by videoconference. Participants included Córdoba’s Parachute Brigade, the Tenth Mechanized Infantry Brigade of La Pampa, and commandos from Argentina’s Special Operations Force, also located in Córdoba. After the initial incursion into Venezuelan territory, a multinational task force would follow to provide military support and consolidate the occupation.

The Communist Party of Argentina has called for Paleo’s removal.

Revealed by Argentinean journalist Horacio Verbitsky, operation Puma also uncovered maps of Venezuela with military installations and positions. Not so unassuming codewords and acronyms were used to describe different countries in the region. “South America is called South Patagonia. Venezuela is referred to as Volcano and its officials in conflict are NM and JG, otherwise, Nicolás Maduro and Juan Guaidó,” said Verbitsky. The map also showed Colombia referred to as “Ceres”; the two Guyanas and Suriname are “Tellus”; Brazil is “Febo”; Peru and Ecuador are “Fauno”; Chile is “Juno”; Uruguay is “Baco”; and Paraguay and Bolivia are nonexistent.

It also has been noted that the first Puma military exercises were conducted in April 2019, just 15 days prior to Operation Liberty, a failed attempt to seize a military base east of Caracas. The operation was coordinated by the disgraced former president of Venezuela’s National Assembly and self-proclaimed president, Juan Guaidó, and opposition figurehead Leopoldo López.

WITHDRAWAL FROM LIMA GROUP

Macri was a regional head of state who recognized Guaidó as president of Venezuela. He also was a signer to the Organization of American States’ (OAE) Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance. During heightened tensions against the Venezuelan government, this treaty made it permissible to activate the armed forces of regional countries if any member state suffered an attack.

Venezuela’s National Assembly has approved an agreement, signed by the government and opposition, on three principal aspects regarding the protection of its national territory: (1) Coordinate and reject any pretense of military intervention; (2) Incentivize investigations to determine responsibility and impose sanctions on those who attempt to undermine or weaken the national territory; (3) Strengthen internal laws related to security and defense of the national territory.

Argentina’s current president, Alberto Fernández, withdrew from the Lima Group in March 2021. “The Republic of Argentina has formalized its withdrawal from the so-called Lima Group, considering the actions promoted by the group internationally, to isolate Venezuela and its representatives, have achieved nothing,” noted Argentina’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The official press release also stated that the Lima Group was composed of “Venezuelan opposition members,” as if they were equal parties to the group. Their presence has “led to the adoption of positions that our government can’t undertake and will not support.”

Established by 13 countries – including Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru – with support from the United States, the Lima Group’s stated purpose is to “denounce the rupture of the democratic order in Venezuela.” Despite not officially being a participating member, the U.S. government attended several Lima Group conferences via videoconference.

“In May 2019, as Paleo commanded the second and third sessions of the Argentine Armed Forces exercise to invade Venezuela,” said Verbitsky, “[t]he (U.S.) Southern Command published” a white paper entitled “Enduring Promise for the Americas.” The publication of the document coincided not only with Operation Puma military drills but also an official visit by the Commander of the U.S. Southern Command, Craig Faller, to Argentina in June 2019. During his stay, the career military official convened with Venezuela’s former Minister of Defense Oscar Aguad to discuss issues involving cyber-defense, narco-trafficking, and organized crime.

March 2, 2022 Posted by | Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , , , | 1 Comment

Russia & China may be ready to challenge America’s ‘Monroe Doctrine’

By Paul Robinson | RT | February 1, 2022

For 200 years, the Monroe Doctrine – asserting a US sphere of influence over Latin America – has been a cornerstone of American policy. But as Russia and China assert their opposition to the US-led world order, American dominance in the region is beginning to look a little shaky.

As the “Russian invasion” scare enters its fourth month, and Russian tanks still fail to roll into Kiev, the parameters of Moscow’s likely response to the West’s rejection of its security demands are becoming a little clearer. Frustrated with what it sees as decades of Western contempt for its concerns, Moscow has demanded that the US offer it security guarantees, including a promise not to expand NATO further to the east. As has become clear through America’s negative response this week, the US has no intention of doing as Russia desires. The issue is now how the Kremlin will react.

Despite hysterical headlines in the Western media about a Russian invasion of Ukraine, Moscow has categorically ruled this option out. “Our nation has likewise repeatedly stated that we have no intention to attack anyone. We consider the very thought that our people may go to war against each other unacceptable,” said Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexei Zaitsev this week.

This is not surprising. Russian officials and security experts have repeatedly made clear that Ukraine is a secondary issue and that their primary concern is a much broader one – the general nature of the international system and of the security architecture in Europe. The idea that failure to achieve agreement on the latter would lead to the invasion of the former was never very logical. Instead of targeting Ukraine, Russia’s response to the current diplomatic impasse is much more likely to be directed at the party deemed by Moscow to be most responsible for the problem, namely the US.

And what better way to do this than to challenge America in its own back yard? Since President James Monroe declared his famous “doctrine” in 1832 – according to which any foreign interference in the politics of the Americas is deemed a hostile act against Washington – the US has fiercely asserted its primacy in both North and South America.

Nowhere has this been clearer than in successive US administrations’ efforts to depose the government of Cuba, as well as the imposition of sanctions on that country for over 60 years. During the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, Washington made it clear that it was willing even to risk nuclear war to prevent potentially hostile weaponry being deployed close to its borders. Meanwhile, elsewhere it has used other methods to undermine or overthrow Latin American governments deemed insufficiently friendly. These include supporting coups and insurgencies, such as aiding the Contras in Nicaragua in the 1980s.

But Washington’s ability to bend Latin America to its will appears somewhat weakened. Support for regime change in Bolivia and Honduras has backfired, with members of the deposed governments having returned to power. Meanwhile, China is expanding its Belt and Road Initiative into South America, with seven countries having signed up to join and negotiations under way with Nicaragua to add an eighth. The US is no longer the only player in town.

Russia has now stepped into the mix. In the past few weeks, President Vladimir Putin has held telephone conversations with the leaders of Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua, all countries with whom Washington has very poor relations. According to Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, agreement was reached with all three “to deepen our strategic partnership, with no exceptions, including military and military-technical.”

Asked if this meant deploying Russian troops to those countries, Lavrov’s deputy Sergey Ryabkov failed to rule it in, but failed to rule it out also. “The president of Russia has spoken multiple times on the subject of what the measures could be, for example involving the Russian Navy, if things are set on the course of provoking Russia, and further increasing the military pressure on us by the US,” he said.

A much-discussed extreme option would involve going back to 1962 and placing missiles in Cuba or Venezuela. Given that Russia now has missiles with hypersonic capabilities, this would give it the capacity to strike the US in a matter of minutes, rendering any defense impossible.

It seems unlikely, though, that the Russian government would take such a provocative step unless the US first did something similar in Ukraine or elsewhere close to the Russian border. Even the option mentioned by Ryabkov of some Russian naval deployment to the region is far from certain. “We can’t deploy anything” to Cuba, said former president Dmitry Medvedev this week, arguing that it would harm that country’s prospects of improving its relations with the US and “would provoke tension in the world.”

Still, the threat of such action now dangles in the air. So, too, does the possibility of lesser options, such as additional arms sales as well as economic assistance to enable the Cubans and others to resist American sanctions. For now, we will have to wait and see exactly what “military and military-technical” measures Moscow has in mind. But it is likely that whatever it is will not be to the Americans’ liking. Nor will Russia’s more general support of Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua.

Reacting to talk of Russian military deployments in the Americas, US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan has promised that the Americans would respond “decisively.” This is somewhat ironic, since Sullivan and his peers in the US government seem to deny Russia the right to respond to American deployments close to its borders. But that is by the by. In reality, it’s hard to see what Washington could actually do, short of starting a catastrophic war. Efforts to overthrow the Cuban and Venezuelan government having failed, and economic ties having been almost fully broken, its leverage against those countries is weak.

Washington now has to face the reality that while it remains the foremost power in the world, it can no longer be fully confident of its hegemony even close to home. Its decline is a very gradual process. Nothing very dramatic will likely result from Russia’s latest announcement. It is also possible that Moscow would have decided to cooperate more deeply with Cuba and others even in the absence of current East-West tensions. But had relations been good, one can imagine that the Kremlin might have been inclined not to challenge the US in its own neighborhood.

As it is, the news highlights the fact that pressuring Russia is not a cost-free option from Washington’s point of view and may well rebound to its disadvantage. That’s something that the authorities in the White House could do well to consider.

Paul Robinson is a professor at the University of Ottawa. He writes about Russian and Soviet history, military history and military ethics, and is author of the Irrussianality blog.

February 1, 2022 Posted by | Economics, Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Russian roulette: as croupier at this particular casino table, I invite you to place your bets

By Gilbert Doctorow | January 14, 2022

The Russia-US-NATO-OSCE meetings this week have come and gone.  The Russian verdict was succinctly delivered by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Ryabkov, who explained even before the OSCE session was over that the talks have come to “a dead end” and it was unlikely the Russians will participate in any follow-on talks.

This opens the question to what comes next.

Official Washington feels certain that what comes next is a Russian invasion of Ukraine, which could come in the next few weeks and thereby fall within the timetable for such an operation suggested by State Department officials when they met with NATO allies ahead of Biden’s December 7 virtual summit with Putin. The logic put out then was that January-February would be very suitable for a land invasion given that the frozen ground would well support tank movements.  One might add to that argument on timing, one further argument that was not adduced:  in midwinter it is questionable how long the Russians would want to keep 100,000 soldiers camped in field conditions near the border; such stasis in these severe conditions is not conducive to maintaining morale.

In what I would call a rare show of failing confidence in the predictive powers of the Biden Administration, U.S. media admit to uncertainty over Russia’s next moves. However, they cleverly present this by pointing to the uncertainty of the analysts and commentators on the Russian side.

A featured article in The New York Times a couple of days ago by their Moscow correspondent Anton Troianovsky says it all in the title: Putin’s Next Move on Ukraine Is a Mystery. Just the Way He Likes It”

Indeed, all the best known Russian experts appear to be stymied, none more so than the ubiquitous Fyodor Lukyanov, host of the weekly television show “International Overview” and long time research director of the Valdai Discussion Club, where his peers in the front ranks of American international affairs specialists have gotten to know him.  Lukyanov has in recent days humbly admitted he hasn’t a clue to what comes next.  Another leading figure in the Russian foreign affairs think tank community, Andrei Kortunov, director of the Russian International Affairs Council, has shown in recent interviews that he is no better informed about what is going on in the Kremlin and what comes next.

Western experts are also shown by our media to be clueless. Today’s Financial Times article “Russia writes off security talks…” ends with a quote from Andrew Weiss of the Carnegie Endowment for Peace: “Nobody knows Putin’s next move. And we’ll all find out at the same time.”

By definition, ‘experts’ cannot declare they know nothing and be taken seriously. This reminds me of the saying of my boss for five years at ITT Europe in the 1980s, Georges Tsygalnitzky. Each time we sat down to prepare the annual Business Plan he told us that if we calculated the sales forecasts badly, we could be up to 100% off, but if we failed to deliver a Plan we would be “infinitely wrong.” The same rules apply to government defense planning.

No right-thinking person likes the idea of a major war coming to the middle of Europe, as the Ukrainians consider themselves to be.  The United States has still more reason to worry about a looming war between Russia and Ukraine, because the outcome of total rout for the Kiev military forces equates to a bloody nose for Washington: its acknowledged 2.5 billion dollar investment in arming and training the Ukrainian military will have been in vain, and the loss would rival the catastrophic withdrawal from Afghanistan in terms of American global prestige. The Biden administration would enter the midterm electoral period reeling from its losses in international relations.

Without wishing the Biden administration ill, I believe their scenario of a Russian invasion is wrong-headed and unimaginative. It fails to come to terms with the Russians’ imperatives on altering the security architecture in Europe as drivers of their current policies, not settling scores with Ukraine, or bringing them back to a common homeland, as Blinken & Company repeat ad nauseam.

So what comes next?  In successive articles on this website, I have set out several scenarios, or algorithms. My most recent prognosis in yesterday’s piece was that Putin’s Plan B would likely be purely “military-technical” in the sense of roll-out of medium range nuclear capable missiles in Kaliningrad and Belarus, to place all of Europe under threat of attack with ultra-short warning times, such as Moscow finds unacceptable coming from U.S.-NATO encirclement of its territory.

At the same time, Moscow might announce the stationing off of the American East and West Coasts of its submarines and frigates carrying hypersonic missiles and the Poseidon deep sea nuclear capable drone, all to the same purpose, namely putting a pistol to the head of the U.S. leadership. And now there is even talk of Russia building military installations in Venezuela, likely to host Russian strategic bombers capable of swift attack on the Continental United States without having to fly half the world. And a Cuban delegation is reportedly in Moscow, no doubt talking about posssible installation of missiles there. This is all very reminiscent of the goings-on in 1962.

One reader of this essay has written in, saying that news of Russian submarines posted off the coast of New York and Los Angeles could sink the S&P. Yes, indeed, and this financial damage is an aspect of policy that the Russians have taken into account. The sensitivity of Wall Street to bad news was mentioned specifically by Deputy Foreign Minister Ryabkov earlier in the week in Q&A. The American middle classes may be indifferent to foreign affairs generally but they are very attentive and politically active when the value of their 401k pension fund is hit. It is not for nothing that wealth fund managers in the City of London, board members of leading U.S. banks and insurance companies are readers of my essays as reposted on my LinkedIn account.

I imagine that Russia’s Plan B could begin implementation in the next couple of weeks and would be given three or four weeks to take effect on Western public consciousness.  If the United States and NATO still resisted coming to terms over changes to the Alliance that satisfy Russian demands, then I envision a Plan C which would indeed be kinetic warfare, but quite different from the invasion that figures in U.S. public statements and approaches to its allies.

Without putting a single soldier on the ground in Ukraine or contemplating direct overthrow of its regime and occupation, Russia could by “military-technical means,” such as missile and air attacks destroy the Ukraine’s command and control structure as well as “neutralize” the most radical nationalist militias and other hostile units now threatening Donbas. The destruction of Ukraine’s military infrastructure would by itself put an end to Washington’s plans for extensive war games there later in the year.  We may assume that Russian forces will remain massed at the border till such operations are completed.

The clean-up of Ukraine, ending its potential to threaten Russian national security, would be a very strong signal to all of Europe to back off in practice even if no formal treaties are signed with Russia at present.

In an exchange with a close colleague in Washington this morning, we agreed a bet on whether my prediction holds. And in this casino of international politics, I invite readers to place their own bets on what comes next.

©Gilbert Doctorow, 2022

January 15, 2022 Posted by | Militarism | , , , , , | 3 Comments

Extrajudicial Biden Regime Extradition

By Stephen Lendman | October 18, 2021

Hegemon USA is at war on Venezuela by other means for not subordinating its sovereign rights to a higher power in Washington.

According to US Treasury Department fake news:

Venezuelan envoy Alex Saab “enabled” Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro “to significantly profit from food imports and distribution in” the country (sic), falsely adding:

“Saab has personally profited from overvalued contracts (sic).”

He and Maduro “insiders r(an) a wide scale corruption network… to steal from the Venezuelan people (sic).”

“They use food as a form of social control, to reward political supporters and punish opponents, all the while pocketing hundreds of millions of dollars through a number of fraudulent schemes (sic).”

All of the above rubbish is part of bipartisan US war on the country by illegal sanctions and other hostile actions because of its freedom from Washington’s control.

No evidence was cited to support the above accusations because there is none.

Everything claimed by Treasury was fake news — supported by MSM like the NYT, falsely calling Saab a “financial fixer for President Maduro’s… authoritarian government (sic).

Time and again since democratically elected Hugo Chavez took office in early 1999, the Times and other MSM demeaned the hemisphere’s model democracy and its leadership — polar opposite US/Western fantasy versions, run by their criminal class.

No evidence of “money laundering charges” against Saab and Maduro exist — a longstanding US practice.

Bolivarian Venezuela operates by higher standards, one long ago ago abandoned by the US-dominated West.

In June 2020 — on Trump regime orders — Saab was kidnapped by Cape Verde authorities during a stopover in the African archipelago en route to Iran to arrange for the purchase of food and medicines.

His invented “crime” is all about organizing and heading a humanitarian mission for this purpose — that flies in the face of Washington’s illegal blockade.

Illegally detained since last June, he was extrajudicially extradited to the US on Saturday.

The move followed an early September ruling by the island country’s so-called Constitutional Court.

At the time, Saab’s lawyers denounced it, calling it “politi(zed)” based on irregularities, yielding to US pressure.

Last month, Maduro called Saab’s kidnapping and detention a US plot to undermine Venezuela’s Local Provision and Production Committees (CLAPs) program.

Established in early 2016, it distributes subsidized food to around seven million Venezuelan families, around two-thirds of the population, part of the nation’s participatory social democracy.

From inception, the Obama/Biden regime falsely claimed that the program is used as a political weapon against opposition interests.

It’s nothing of the sort. All Venezuelans in need are able to receive aid regardless of their political affiliations.

The CLAP program is administered by neighborhood committees connected to communal councils, social organizations operating nationwide, including community, environmental and feminist groups, others involved in cultural, education and various other activities.

Their common theme is defending Bolivarian social democracy they want preserved and protected, notably serving the rights and welfare of all Venezuelans as constitutionally mandated.

The nation’s Social Development and Popular Participation Ministry, later the Communes Ministry, mobilized activists to form government funded communal councils.

They encourage Venezuelans to become involved in defending the revolution from internal and external efforts to undermine it — mainly by hegemon USA.

In mid-September, head of Venezuela’s National Assembly and dialogue delegation, Jorge Rodriguez, announced that Saab would be included in dialogue with opposition elements in Mexico.

At the time, he said that his detention is part of diabolical US efforts to undermine the process.

On Saturday, Venezuela’s Foreign Affairs Ministry accused Cape Verde authorities, in cahoots with the Biden regime, of harming Saab’s “life and physical integrity” — by illegally detaining and mistreating him, causing his health to deteriorate.

At the same time because of his extrajudicial extradition to the US, Maduro’s government suspended talks with opposition elements, Rodriguez saying:

“In connection with those outrageous actions, the delegation announces it is suspending its participation in the dialogue,” adding:

“Therefore, we will not arrive (for) a new round of talks that was to begin in Mexico on October 17.”

Illegal extradition of Saab was “another act of US aggression against Venezuela.”

Based on phony accusations, his kidnapping, detention and extradition to the US for judicial lynching represents a flagrant breach of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.

It’s another example of hegemon USA’s war on humanity at home and abroad.

Waged against invented enemies by the most ruthless regime in US history — including ordinary Americans targeted for elimination — it’s ongoing with the worst of draconian aims in mind.

October 18, 2021 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , | 1 Comment

The US Has Placed Itself In Charge Over Which Nations Get To Eat

By Caitlin Johnstone | October 17, 2021

The globally influential propaganda multiplier news agencies AP and AFP have both informed their readers that a “fugitive” has been extradited to the United States.

“Fugitive businessman close to Venezuela’s Maduro extradited to US,” reads the AFP headline.

“Alex Saab, a top fugitive close to Venezuela’s socialist government, has been put on a plane to the U.S. to face money laundering charges,” AP announced on Twitter.

You’d be forgiven for wondering what specifically makes this man a “fugitive”, and what that status has to do with his extradition to a foreign government whose laws should have no bearing on his life. The Colombian-born Venezuelan citizen Alex Saab, as it happens, is a “fugitive” from the US government’s self-appointed authority to decide which populations on our planet are permitted to have ready access to food. His crime is working to circumvent the crushing US sanctions which have been starving Venezuelan civilians to death by the tens of thousands.

Saab is being extradited from the African nation of Cabo Verde where he has been imprisoned since last year under pressure from the US government. In an article published this past May titled “Alex Saab v. The Empire: How the US Is Using Lawfare To Punish a Venezuelan Diplomat“, Roger D Harris explains how the US uses its domination of the international financial system to crush nations which disobey it and outlines the real reasons for Saab’s imprisonment, which has included torture and draconian living conditions. Harris writes:

Special Envoy and Ambassador to the African Union for Venezuela Alex Saab was on a humanitarian mission flying from Caracas to Iran to procure food and gasoline for the Venezuelan CLAP food assistance program. Saab was detained on a refueling stop in the African nation of Cabo Verde and has been held in custody ever since June 12, 2020.

Saab’s “crime” — according to the U.S. government, which ordered the imprisonment — was money laundering. That is, Saab conducted perfectly legal international trade. Still, his circumventing of the U.S. sanctions – which are designed to prevent relief to the Venezuelans – is considered by Washington to be money laundering.

After a two-year investigation into Saab’s transactions with Swiss banks, the Swiss government concluded on March 25 that there was no money laundering. Saab is being prosecuted because he is serving his country’s interest rather than that of the U.S.

News agencies like AP and AFP are well aware that Saab is being extradited not for breaking any actual law but for daring to transgress Washington’s unilateral sanctions. As FAIR’s Joe Emersberger wrote back in July:

Reuters (3/15/213/18/21) has casually reported that Saab “faces extradition to the United States, which accuses him of violating US sanctions,” and that he has been “repeatedly named by the US State Department as an operator who helps Maduro arrange trade deals that Washington is seeking to block through sanctions.” A Reuters article (8/28/20) about Saab’s case in 2020 mentioned in passing that “the United States this month seized four cargoes of Iranian fuel bound for Venezuela, where fuel shortages are once again worsening.”

Critics of the US empire have had harsh words for the extradition.

“Biden, picking up Trump’s baton, has kidnapped Venezuelan diplomat Alex Saab for the crime of trying to feed Venezuelans in defiance of US sanctions designed to prevent that,” tweeted journalist Aaron Maté. “Venezuelans aren’t allowed to eat so long as the D.C. Mafia has marked their government for regime change.”

Yes indeed. The US government has appointed itself the authority to unilaterally decide which of the world’s populations get to eat and which do not, and to imprison anyone who tries to facilitate unauthorized eating in a US-sanctioned nation.

“The extradition of Venezuelan diplomat Alex Saab is a clear signal the Biden Administration has made no break with Trump’s all out assault on international law,” tweeted journalist Anya Parampil. “Also a worrying sign for the case of Julian Assange— another foreign citizen the US has essentially kidnapped and held hostage.”

This is true. It would seem that the primary difference between Assange’s case and Saab’s is that the US empire is working to extradite Assange because he transgressed its self-appointed authority over the world’s access to information, whereas Saab transgressed its self-appointed authority over the world’s access to food.

“The US rogue state just ripped up every international law, after imprisoning and now extraditing Venezuelan DIPLOMAT Alex Saab. Diplomatic immunity is dead; the US empire killed it. Now all foreign diplomats are fair game to be kidnapped and imprisoned, if Washington wants to,” tweeted journalist Ben Norton, adding, “The US accusations of ‘money laundering’ are absurd and politically motivated. The US claims anyone who violates its ILLEGAL sanctions is a ‘criminal’.”

Indeed, “money laundering” is a vague charge which basically just means trying to conceal the source or destination of money that is deemed to have been obtained illegally, and since the US government considers itself the arbiter of what financial transactions are lawful in nations it is sanctioning, it can apply that claim to anyone who tries to get around US sanctions financially.

The US government does not deny that its sanctions hurt Venezuelans by attacking the economy they rely on to feed themselves, in fact it has openly admitted that “sanctions, particularly on the state oil company in 2019, likely contributed to the steeper decline of the Venezuelan economy.”

The US government also does not deny that the starvation sanctions it has inflicted upon Iran are directed at its civilian population, with then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo openly admitting in 2019 that Washington’s economic warfare against that nation is designed to pressure Iranian civilians to “change the government,” i.e. make them so miserable that they wage a domestic uprising to topple Tehran.

The US government also does not deny that the starvation sanctions it has inflicted upon Syria are designed to hurt its civilian population, with current Secretary of State Tony Blinken reaffirming just this past Wednesday that it is the Biden administration’s policy to “oppose the reconstruction of Syria” as long as Assad remains in power. In other words the US will not allow Syria the funds to help rebuild itself from the devastating regime change proxy war the US and its allies waged against it, even as the UN reports that 60 percent of the nation’s population is close to starvation.

And of course there’s the US power alliance’s horrific blockade on Yemen which is murdering people by the hundreds of thousands via starvation and disease, with the UN reporting that a further 16 million people are “marching towards starvation.”

Starvation is the only kind of warfare where, because of the continual reframing of mass media propaganda, it is considered perfectly normal and acceptable to deliberately target a civilian population with deadly force.

The US empire is entirely open about the fact that it sees itself as the gatekeeper of the world’s food supply. If a population disobeys the empire its people will starve, and anyone who tries to obtain food for them will be arrested by US proxies and extradited to a US jail cell.

This is the imperialist’s vision of heaven on earth. A world where America’s stranglehold over global financial systems allows it to choke off entire populations if their governments disobey imperial decrees, without even firing a shot. A world where the PR nightmares of bombed civilians and destroyed nations are a thing of the past, where disobedient nations can simply be squeezed to death by modern siege warfare tactics while imperial propaganda firms like AP and AFP blame their starvation on their nation’s leaders.

That’s ultimate power right there. That’s total control. Having the world so bent to the will of the almighty dollar and the massive military force with which it is inextricably intertwined to such an extent that disobedience becomes impossible. That’s what’s being fought for in the slow motion third world war that the empire is waging against unabsorbed governments like Venezuela, Syria, Iran, Russia and China. And that’s why those unabsorbed governments are fast at work moving away from the dollar in response.

It should really go without saying, but a power structure that would openly starve civilians to death to ensure global domination is not the sort of power structure that humanity should want dominating the globe. The willingness to do such monstrous things exposes a depravity and a lack of wisdom which has no business determining what direction our world should take into the future.

October 17, 2021 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Subjugation - Torture, War Crimes | , | 1 Comment

Iran And Venezuela Strike Oil Swap Deal

By Irina Slav | Oilprice.com | September 27, 2021

Iran and Venezuela have struck a deal to swap heavy Venezuelan crude for Iranian condensate, Reuters has reported, citing unnamed sources familiar with the deal.

According to these sources, the swaps are set to begin this week and last for six months, although they could be extended. The imports of Iranian superlight crude will help Venezuela revive its falling oil exports amid U.S. sanctions that, among other problems, have cut off the country’s access to the light oil that is used to blend with its superheavy to make it exportable.

For Iran, the deal will bring in heavy crude it could sell in Asia, the Reuters sources also said. The diluted Venezuela crude will also likely go to Asian buyers.

Reuters also reported that, according to the U.S. Treasury Department, the deal could constitute a breach of sanctions, to which both Venezuela and Iran are subjects.

“Transactions with NIOC by non-U.S. persons are generally subject to secondary sanctions,” the Treasury Department said in response to a Reuters request for comments on the deal. It added that it “retains authority to impose sanctions on any person that is determined to operate in the oil sector of the Venezuelan economy.”

Despite the sanction noose, Venezuela has been ramping up its oil exports, generating vital revenue. According to a recent Reuters report, the country, which is home to the world’s largest oil reserves, exported more than 700,000 bpd of crude in July—the highest daily export rate since February.

Most of the oil went to China and Malaysia, although the latter is usually only a stop along Venezuelan oil’s trip to China. The same report noted that three of the five crude oil blending facilities in the Orinoco Belt were operational, and another crude upgrader was preparing to restart operations after a year’s pause.

Iran, meanwhile, recently revealed plans to attract some $145 billion in oil and gas investments from both local and foreign sources.

“We plan to invest $145 billion in the development of the upstream and downstream oil industry over the next four to eight years, hence I welcome the presence of domestic and foreign investors in the industry,” Javad Owji, Iran’s new oil minister, said during a meeting with executives from China’s oil giant Sinopec.

September 28, 2021 Posted by | Economics | , , , | 6 Comments

Lima Group Loses Lima

By Yves Engler · August 11, 2021

The Canadian instigated Lima Group has been dealt a probably fatal blow that ought to elicit serious discussion about this country’s foreign policy. But, don’t expect the media or politicians to even mention it.

In a likely death knell for a coalition seeking to overthrow the Venezuelan government, Peru’s new Foreign Affairs Minister called the Lima Group the country’s “most disastrous” ever foreign policy initiative. Héctor Béjar said, “the Lima Group must be the most disastrous thing we have done in international politics in the history of Perú.”

Two days after Béjar’s statement St Lucia’s external affairs minister, Alva Baptiste, declared: “With immediate effect, we are going to get out of the Lima Group arrangement – that morally bankrupt, mongoose gang, we are going to get out of it because this group has imposed needless hardship on the children, men and women of Venezuela.”

Prior to Baptiste and Béjar’s statements, the Lima Group had lost a handful of members and its support for Juan Guaidó’s bid to declare himself president had failed. Considering its name, the Peruvian government’s aggressive turn against the Lima Group probably marks the end of it. As Kawsachun News tweeted a Peruvian congressman noting, “the Lima Group has been left without Lima.”

The Lima Group’s demise would be a major blow to Trudeau’s foreign policy. Ottawa founded it with Peru. Amidst discussions between the two countries foreign ministers in Spring 2017, Trudeau called his Peruvian counterpart, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, to “‎stress the need for dialogue and respect for the democratic rights of Venezuelan citizens, as enshrined in the charter of the Organization of American States and the Inter-American Democratic Charter.” But the Lima Group was established in August 2017 as a structure outside of the OAS largely because that organization’s members refused to back Washington and Ottawa’s bid to interfere in Venezuelan affairs, which they believed defied the OAS’ charter.

Canada has been maybe the most active member of the coalition. Former Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland participated in a half dozen Lima Group meetings and its second meeting was held in Toronto. That October 2017 meeting urged regional governments to take steps to “further isolate” Venezuela.

At the second Lima Group meeting in Canada, a few weeks after Juan Guaidó proclaimed himself president, Trudeau declared, “the international community must immediately unite behind the interim president.” The final declaration of the February 2019 meeting called on Venezuela’s armed forces “to demonstrate their loyalty to the interim president” and remove the elected president.

Freeland repeatedly prodded Caribbean and Central American countries to join the Lima Group and its anti-Maduro efforts. In May 2019 Trudeau called Cuban president Miguel Díaz-Canel to pressure him to join Ottawa’s effort to oust President Maduro. The release noted, “the Prime Minister, on behalf of the Lima Group, underscored the desire to see free and fair elections and the constitution upheld in Venezuela.”

In a sign of the importance Canadian diplomats placed on the Lima Group, the Professional Association of Foreign Service Officers gave Patricia Atkinson, Head of the Venezuela Task Force at Global Affairs, its Foreign Service Officers award in June 2019. The write-up explained, “Patricia, and the superb team she assembled and led, supported the Minister’s engagement and played key roles in the substance and organization of 11 meetings of the 13 country Lima group which coordinates action on Venezuela.”

Solidarity activists have protested the Lima Group since its first meeting in Toronto. There were also protests at the second Lima Group meeting in Canada, including an impressive disruption of the final press conference. At a talk last year, NDP MP Matthew Green declared “we ought not be a part of a pseudo-imperialist group like the Lima Group” while a resolution submitted (though never discussed) to that party’s April convention called for Canada to leave the Lima Group.

Hopefully the Peruvian and St Lucia governments’ recent criticism marks the end of the Lima Group. But, we should seek to ensure it doesn’t disappear quietly. We need a discussion of how Canada became a central player in this interventionist alliance.

August 14, 2021 Posted by | Solidarity and Activism | , , | 1 Comment

United States Bribes Cape Verde $440 Million in Exchange for Alex Saab’s Extradition

Attendees of the groundbreaking ceremony of the future headquarters of the US Embassy in Cape Verde. (Photo: Inforpress)
MISIÓN VERDAD* | July 6, 2021

On the eve of Cape Verde’s independence day, coincidentally the same day as Venezuela’s—July 5—the United States government announced an investment of $439 million to build a new US embassy facility on a 4.5-hectare area of ​​land adjacent to the Government Palace in Praia, capital of the West African country. Of that money $100 million will go directly into the Cape Verdean economy.

The project would “pay tribute to the long-standing relations” between Praia and Washington, US Ambassador to Cape Verde Jeff Daigle said when he made the announcement on Sunday, July 4.

The disproportionately high figure for the construction of the building is striking, since it is equivalent to more than half of Cape Verde’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) forecast for the current year.

The news outlet Justiciafuser pointed to the obvious connection between the “investment” and the case of diplomat Alex Saab, who is illegally imprisoned by the government of Cape Verde due to US political influence: “Local observers… have questioned the timing of this announcement coming as it does only days before the Cape Verde Constitutional Court is expected to decide on Alex Saab’s appeal against his extradition to the United States.”

Jeff Daigle has been charged with directing the pressure on the government of Cape Verde for Saab to be extradited to Miami, Florida, under the custody of agents of the Drug Control Administration (DEA).

“Much work remains to be completed” before the expansion of the embassy is secured, the US diplomat said. Local analysts, quoted by Justiciafuser, singled out this statement as an implication that the US is awaiting reciprocation for its investment on behalf of Cape Verde.

Alex Saab was abducted in Cape Verde while returning from Iran on a diplomatic mission, one day before Interpol issued a Red Notice to justify his arrest. The government of Venezuela has demanded his release and has denounced the violations of international law represented by Washington’s actions with the collaboration of the African country.

‌The Court of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) recently ruled in favor of ending the extradition process of Alex Saab, and demanded his release.


* SOMOS UN GRUPO DE INVESTIGADORES INDEPENDIENTES DEDICADOS A ANALIZAR EL PROCESO DE GUERRA CONTRA VENEZUELA Y SUS IMPLICACIONES GLOBALES. DESDE EL PRINCIPIO NUESTRO CONTENIDO HA SIDO DE LIBRE USO. DEPENDEMOS DE DONACIONES Y COLABORACIONES PARA SOSTENER ESTE PROYECTO, SI DESEAS CONTRIBUIR CON MISIÓN VERDAD PUEDES HACERLO AQUÍ

Translation by Orinoco Tribune

July 9, 2021 Posted by | Aletho News | , | Leave a comment

‘They Make Unsubstantiated Accusations’: Venezuela Calls UN Report Fallacious

Orinoco Tribune | July 6, 2021

In a communiqué, the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela rejected the fallacious content and highlighted the biased nature of a report published about the country’s situation by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, on July 1, 2021.

This report is the result of a Resolution promoted by a small group of governments with serious domestic human rights violations, that conspired to satisfy the policy of “regime”-change promoted by the US against Venezuela.

Despite the attacks, Venezuela is distinguished by its harmonious constitutional system that guarantees and defends human rights. The state provides a protective shield for its people against the barbarous criminal blockade imposed and directed from Washington and the European Union, that constitutes a serious crime against humanity.

It is especially worrying that this report is based on information provided by individuals with unknown motivations, and has not been duly verified with the authorities of Venezuela, despite the extensive facilities that the Venezuelan Government has provided for the performance of the OHCHR functions within the country.

On this occasion, based on a handful of alleged complaints of human rights violations, unverified accusations are made against the Venezuelan institutions, further manipulating the false narrative constructed to artificially supplement the file currently before the International Criminal Court, with the political objective of destabilizing the democratic institutions of Venezuela.

In addition to this, the report omits mention of the 26 visits made to detention centers and headquarters of intelligence agencies during which the Office of the High Commissioner has been able to interview hundreds of prisoners, according to its own guidelines of operation. In the Office’s conclusions, delivered to the State, the people interviewed confirmed that their personal integrity was respected during their incarceration.

Venezuela has asked the Office of the High Commissioner to share information with the national authorities on the alleged cases referred to in the report, in order to carry out rigorous investigations and determine their veracity and, if applicable, the corresponding responsibilities, in full consistency with its policy of absolute respect for human rights. Similarly, the Office of the High Commissioner has been invited to accompany the investigation processes developed by local authorities.

The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, in order to continue intensifying due cooperation with this office, ratifies its willingness to maintain channels of communication and dialogue with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, on the basis of strict adherence to the principles of objectivity, impartiality, non-politicization, respect for sovereignty, commitment to constructive dialogue, and—as required by international law—free from geopolitical agendas at the service of hegemonic powers.

July 9, 2021 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , | 2 Comments