Venezuela’s Maduro accuses US Embassy of supporting violent protests

Venezuela’s post-election crisis is growing deeper, with at least seven people killed during clashes between the opposition and police. President-elect Nicolas Maduro says he has proof that the US embassy is financing the ongoing protests.

The deaths occurred on Monday, when hundreds of protesters took to the streets in various parts of Caracas and other cities. The demonstrators blocked streets, burned tires, and fought with security forces.

The fatalities include two people shot by opposition sympathizers while celebrating Maduro’s victory, state media reported. One person died in an attack on a government-run clinic in a central state. Two others, including a policeman, were killed in an Andean border state, officials told Reuters.

“The most serious thing is that in these violent actions, seven Venezuelans died,” said Attorney General Luisa Ortega. She added that 135 people have been arrested in suspected connection with the violence.

According to Maduro, who spoke on Venezuelan television on Tuesday, opposition candidate Henrique Capriles ought to be held responsible for the violent demonstrations now taking place in Caracas and throughout the country, which have already left sixty-one injured. He also made pointed accusations at the US as having a key role in the current instability.

Supporters of Venezuelan presidential candidate Henrique Capriles protest in front of the Regional CNE (National Election Council) in Merida, Merida State on April 16, 2013 (AFP Photo / Jose Antonio Rivas)

The Pentagon, the US State Department and the CIA govern the US. Here, in Venezuela, the people govern, ” stated Maduro.

Meanwhile,  Capriles has called Maduro’s victory “illegitimate” and called on supporters to peacefully protest the results. The Venezuelan election authority has refused to hold a recount, despite calls from the opposition.

But Latin American expert James Petras says the election was anything but fraudulent.

“In the case of Venezuela, there were 100 outside international observers clearly recognized as objective judges who observed the election process, observed the voting, and observed the counting. It’s a misnomer to say that this was a questionable election,” he told RT.

Maduro said on Tuesday that he will not allow the opposition to hold a march in the center of Caracas planned for Wednesday, to demand a recount of votes following Sunday’s election. “It’s time for a tough hand,” he said.

Venezuela’s opposition leader Henrique Capriles, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.(Reuters / Marco Bello , AFP Photo / Raul Arboleda)

Speaking to supporters Tuesday, Capriles indicated that the current clashes were the work of the incumbent party, and asked that they not go out into the streets on Wednesday, stating that those who do “only want violence.” He added that, according to intelligence given to the opposition, the government had and would attempt to “infiltrate” demonstrations.

Maduro has spoken out against the opposition protests. “Where are the opposition politicians who believe in democracy?”Maduro said, blaming opposition candidate Henrique Capriles for the violence.

His thoughts were echoed by Venezuelan Foreign Minister Elias Jaua. “Those who attempt to take with force what they could not acquire through elections are not democrats,” he said.

And Petras agrees. “I think [the opposition] is trying to sabotage the government. They’re not engaging in a peaceful protest. They’re not raising legitimate questions. What they’re doing is essentially calling into question election procedures,” he said.

Supporters of Venezuelan presidential candidate Henrique Capriles protest in front of the Regional CNE (National Election Council) in Maracaibo, Zulia state on April 16, 2013 (AFP Photo / Argemary Bernal)

Sunday’s election came after the death of Hugo Chavez last month. He named Maduro as his successor before he died.

Maduro won the election with 50.8 per cent of the vote against Capriles’ 49.0 per cent.

According to anti-war activist Don Debar, the US is not exactly neutral in the Venezuelan election dispute.

“Venezuela is the nexus point for the standing up of the global South. The organizations ALBA, UNASUR, various structures that are being put in place for economic independence of, first, Central and South America, and then recently moves to bridge to Africa and moves to work in conjunction with the BRICS nations. It’s an alternate economic structure, global in its potential nature, that the United States sees basically as a foundational threat,” he told RT.

AFP Photo / Jose Antonio Rivas

Source: RT

Chavez names his successor ahead of cancer surgery

Venezuelian President: HUGO CHAVEZ

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who will have to undergo more cancer surgery, has named his successor.

In a live TV broadcast on Saturday night, he urged voters to support Vice President Nicolas if a new election had to be held.

On Sunday, Chavez is returning to Havana for a new surgical intervention after being diagnosed with yet another cancer tumor.

Chavez, 58, has undergone three operations for cancer and several rounds of chemotherapy and radiation treatment over the past year.

Venezuela’s Chavez to have another cancer operation

Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez said on Saturday he will undergo another cancer operation in the coming days after doctors found malignant cells during tests in Cuba.

“It is necessary for me to have a new intervention in the coming days,” Chavez said in a televised broadcast, adding that he would return to Havana on Sunday. Continue reading

Chavez calls on Obama to stop US hegemonic policies

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez (file photo)

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has called on his US counterpart Barack Obama to put an end to Washington’s policy of “invading” and “destabilizing” other countries.

Speaking at a Thursday meeting with his cabinet ministers at the Presidential Palace in Caracas, Chavez pointed out that Obama should “forget about invading other nations, destabilizing countries, etc.”

He described the US as socially and economically “fractured” and called on Obama to focus on “governing his own country” instead.

Chavez, who was making the remarks in reaction to Obama’s reelection, said the American “super elite” exploits the rest of the US and manipulates it “through the media.”

During the US presidential campaigns, Chavez said he did not expect either Obama or his Republican rival Mitt Romney to make any change in the relations between the US, Latin America, Venezuela and the rest of the world.

The Venezuelan president has repeatedly challenged the US foreign policy since he took office in 1999. Continue reading

Venezuelan Opposition “Falling to Pieces” as Four Parties Withdraw Electoral Support

Leonardo Chirinos announced that his party and three others would withdraw their support for opposition candidate Henrique Capriles to the press yesterday (VTV).

By Tamara Pearson for Venezuela Analysis

Mérida, September 12th 2012 (Venezuelanalysis.com) – Four small organisations withdrew their support yesterday for the opposition candidate to the upcoming presidential elections, Henrique Capriles.

The four organisations: Vota Piedra (Vote Rock), Cambio Pana (Change Friend), Unidad Democratica (Democratic Unity), and Mano por Venezuela (a Hand for Venezuela) formalised their decision with the National Electoral Council, meaning they will no longer appear on the ballot ticket.

The representative of Vota Piedra, Leonard Chirinos, expressed his disagreement with Capriles’ government plan to the press; saying that the majority of parties in the opposition umbrella group, the United Democratic Roundtable (MUD) weren’t consulted.

He was referring to a secret opposition government plan revealed recently by opposition leader Continue reading

Chavez opposes the International Interference on Syria

Venezuelan President, Hugo Chavez, on Wednesday stressed that the Syrian people are victim of a violent colonial policy.

He asserted that he will assess the Iranian proposal on the inclusion of Venezuela in the ‘Contact Group’ to solve the crisis in Syria.

President Chavez said in a press conference, “We will study the Iranian proposal and see how we can contribute to reaching a solution to the crisis in Syria.”

Iran proposed that Venezuela, a member of the Non-Aligned Movement, and Iraq, as current president of the Arab League, join the coming meetings of the contact group on Syria which encompasses Egypt, Turkey and Saudi Arabia, in addition to Iran.

Following the Cairo meeting, Iranian Assistant Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir Abdullahian stressed that his country welcomes the goal of the meeting as it is based on immediate halt of violence, maintaining Syria’s integrity and sovereignty and rejection of any foreign interference.

Source: Press TV

 

 

 

Venezuela’s Oil Refinery Blaze – Seven Good Reasons To Suspect Sabotage

 

By James Petras
9-3-12

“You can’t exclude any hypothesis … It’s practically impossible that here in an [oil] installation like this which is fully automated everywhere and that has thousands of responsible workers night and day, civilian and military, and that there is a gas leak for 3 or 4 days and nobody responds.  This is impossible.” — President Chavez responding to US media and opposition charges that the explosion and fire at the oil refinery was due to government negligence.

Amuay Refinery

Introduction

Only 43 days before the Venezuelan presidential election and with President Chavez leading by a persistent margin of 20 percentage points, an explosion and fire at the Amuay refinery killed at least 48 people – half of those were members of the National Guard ­ and destroyed oil facilities producing 645,000 barrels of oil per day. Continue reading