Venezuela & ALBA News 1.28.2022: February 3 with Camila Saab; Report by Maria Paez Victor on Venezuela’s Political and Economic Advances


US Political Prisoner Alex Saab
February 3: Webinar with Camila Saab, wife of Venezuela diplomat and US political prisoner Alex Saab & former Puerto Rican political prisoner Oscar Lopez Rivera Alex Saab is a Venezuelan diplomat the US government has illegally seized and imprisoned for what the US considers “violation” of the illegal US economic warfare on Venezuela. He was in fact assisting Venezuela in legally working around the US blockade on his country by finding the means to import food, medicine, and materials for the Venezuelan oil industry. The US is seeking to coerce Alex Saab into disclosing the methods Venezuela uses to circumvent the US-Canadian-European sanctions with the goal of further tightening the economic blockade and suffering on the Venezuelan people. These sanctions are illegal according to the United Nations. His seizure by the US violates long-standing international law for one country to arrest and imprison a diplomat of another country. Alex Saab’s next trial date will be in Atlanta the week of April 4 – anniversary of the murder of Martin Luther King.

Orinoco Tribune: Colombia Drops its US-backed Investigation of Alex Saab’s Relatives Colombian courts have halted their investigation concerning relatives of the Venezuelan diplomat Alex Saab according to theColombian newspaper El Tiempo. The same article confirmed that money-laundering charges against Saab are proceeding. Saab was abducted by Cape Verde, acting under US orders, and illegally extradited to the US to face flimsy charges. In addition, his status as a Venezuelan diplomat affords him diplomatic immunity under international law.
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Venezuela
Video of January 27: Maria Paez Victor: Venezuela’s Recent Progress and Political Advances An excellent presentation by Maria Paez Victor, full of information and educational political analysis.

KawsachunNews: Jesus Rodriguez Espinoza of Orinoco Tribune: Economic Growth Returns to Venezuela In 2018, President Maduro started taking concrete measures to tackle the terrible economic crisis we’ve experienced since 2014. In 2022, we hope to see the growth of 3-5%, and CEPAL concurs, forecasting the same growth. These efforts to rebuild the economy, which we’re now seeing the fruits of, have been carried out in the middle of one of the worst cases of foreign aggression against our country, particularly the economic blockade imposed by the US and the European Union. It’s very impressive that Maduro has begun to turn the economic situation around in the context of these constant foreign attacks. In December 2020, the monthly inflation hit 77.5%, but in December 2021 this dropped to 7.6%. In terms of the oil industry and PDVSA, Iran has been the most important ally here. Russia has projects and investments in Venezuela’s oil industry, and the agreements that PDVSA has with Russian companies are critical. Venezuela’s oil industry collapsed under the weight of sanctions in part because much of it was built with US and European technology, so they had the power to stop us from repairing the infrastructure of PDVSA by blocking replacement parts with sanctions.

Venezuelanalysis: Vice-President Delcy Rodriguez at UN Human Rights Council: UN  Must Avoid using Human Rights as a Political Instrument Rodríguez warned about a “hidden agenda” behind efforts to politicize the human rights system, which was aimed at justifying an intervention in Venezuela. She noted that this latest review was occurring during “failed assassination attempts, mercenary invasions, the sabotage of critical infrastructure” as well as increasing unilateral coercive measures against Venezuela. Rodríguez said member states should work to lift “unilateral coercive measures on all those countries that are victims of these illicit and illegal sanctions that constitute a true weapon of mass destruction against the entire human rights system.”

Ultima Noticias: Russia will strengthen cooperation with Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua “During President Putin’s recent telephone conversations with his colleagues from these three states that are very close and friendly to us, they agreed to examine new ways to deepen our strategic partnership in all areas without exception,” Lavrov said. Maduro: “I had an important telephone conversation with brother President Vladimir Putin. We exchanged on issues related to existing cooperation in various strategic areas at the highest level, a relationship that is strengthened by the unbreakable union of our peoples.” 

Kawsachun News: Honduras President Xiomara  Castillo to Restore Relations with Venezuela Venezuela has taken the first step to reestablish its relationships with Honduras, with the arrival of the official delegation sent by President Nicolas Maduro to participate in Thursday’s presidential inauguration ceremony.

OilPrice.com: China Is Helping Venezuela Re-Establish Itself As A Major Oil Producer Venezuela is working with China and Indonesia to kick-start the country’s oil industry after years of halted operations. China is thought to have purchased a total of 324 million barrels from Iran and Venezuela in 2021, an increase of 53 percent in 2020. Venezuela is once again profiting from its long-embattled oil industry. 

Orinoco Tribune: Venezuela Doubles Oil Production with Iran’s Assistance, Beating US Sanctions Venezuela is close to reaching its maximum petroleum production capacity, since it has managed to double its crude production in recent months, thanks to Iran and other countries that have helped it evade US sanctions. Venezuelan crude production reached an estimated average of 900,000 barrels per day (bpd) in December, and could be around 850,000 bpd in January. It was 450,000 bpd at the beginning of last year. In 1999, when Hugo Chávez came to power, 3.2 million barrels were produced per day. This level was more or less maintained throughout the 2000s, but declined from the beginning of the last decade as oil prices started falling. By the time President Maduro took office in 2013, production stood at 2.5 million bpd. Starting from 2017, US-imposed financial sanctions resulted in a sharp decline, and production level reached a low of an average of 1.34 million bpd in 2018. After the United States sanctioned PDVSA in January 2019 and imposed a total financial blockade on Venezuela, production fell below one million barrels per day. Experts said that of the nearly 900,000 bpd currently being produced, some 600,000 could be destined for export.

Orinoco Tribune: Venezuela’s Historical Truth Commission to Uncover Colonial Atrocities Begins its Work  On January 26, a “commission for the clarification of historical truth, justice and reparations regarding colonial rule and its consequences” was established. It is a national commission “to delve into the truth of European colonialism here on this earth, its crimes, its genocide, the looting that took place and demand justice and reparation from Spain, Portugal and all of Europe for Latin America,” said President Maduro. He added, “unfortunately colonialism did not end with formal independence. The oligarchic republics that emerged here after the betrayal of 1830 were profoundly colonial, and unraveling those same colonial and neocolonial mechanisms that have persisted all these years is also part of the work of this committee.”
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Cuba
Granma: (Statement of Attorney General Office) Information on criminal cases associated with July 11, 2021 disturbances A summary of the number of people arrested, and the charges against them for physical violence and destruction of property.

Granma: European friends of Cuba call for media marathon April 2-3 against the US blockade “On social networks like YouTube and Telegram, radio, television and alternative media, let us unite our voices in a 24-hour counter-hegemonic offensive,” was the call made by the channel’s moderators, José Antonio Toledo and Patricia Pérez, announcing the initiative, Prensa Latina reported.

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Webinars 
Video of January 20: End British Theft of Venezuela’s Gold!
Video of January 23: Trudeau’s Failed Coup in Venezuela Vijay Prashad, Carlos Ron, Maria Paez Victor
January 30: “Nicaragua: What We Saw, What’s Next?” The Inauguration, Relations with China, Exit from OAS, Advances, and More
February 3: Webinar with Camila Saab, wife of Venezuela diplomat and US political prisoner Alex Saab
February 7: (Friends of Bolivia) Latin America’s 2nd ‘pink tide’ – how the empire failed to beat a rebellion
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Delegations
Friends of the ATC delegations to Nicaragua 2022
International May Day Brigade to Cuba April 24- May 8
Latin American School of Medicine Scholarships
Pastors for Peace delegations to Cuba 2022
Pastors for Peace 32nd Friendship Caravan to Cuba July 16-30
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If you have events to publicize or find helpful articles for readers on the ALBA 
countries you can post them on Facebook here: Venezuela or Venezuela; Nicaragua; Bolivia; Latin America in general (here or here) Or send them to  venezuelaweekly@afgj.org

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