Venezuela & ALBA News 2.4.2021: Cuba has endured the US Blockade for 60 years; webinar video with Camila Saab and Oscar Lopez Rivera; today Hugo Chavez made history

Imagine a country developing and producing its own Covid-19 vaccines, enough to cover its entire population, but being unable to inoculate everyone because of a syringe shortage…. Because of the 60-year US embargo, which punishes civilians during a pandemic, Cuba is facing a shortage of millions of syringes.This reality is a consequence of what amounts to US economic warfare, which makes it extremely difficult for Cuba to acquire medicine, equipment, and supplies from vendors or transportation companies that do business in or with the US. Syringes are in short supply internationally, so no company wants to be bogged down navigating the complicated banking and licensing demands the US government places on transactions with Cuba…If human rights are to be a core pillar of US policy, as a White House spokesperson recently declared, then the embargo must end. It is a policy that indiscriminately targets and harms civilians. It is a systematic violation of human rights on a massive scale. Danny Glover
 
Multipolarista (Ben Norton): China launches Global South economic alliance to challenge US ‘unilateralism’ and ‘cold-war mentality’ China is leading an international effort to develop alliances to counter US hegemony. This new, economic version of the Group of Friends in Defense of the Charter of the United Nations, called the Group of Friends of the Global Development Initiative. It seeks to promote China’s “Global Development Initiative,” and complements China’s massive international infrastructure project, the Belt and Road Initiative. Xi Jinping said the campaign promotes “people-centered,” environmentally friendly development, with the primary goals of reducing poverty, helping formerly colonized countries in the Global South, and eventually achieving carbon neutrality.

Multipolarista: Russia strengthens military-technical cooperation with Venezuela, Nicaragua, Cuba amid US threats Russia is strengthening its alliance with Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Cuba, as the US accelerates its campaign to isolate all four countries. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told his country’s parliament, the Duma, that Moscow was expanding its cooperation with the three socialist Latin American governments in all areas, including “military-technical cooperation.” Russian President Vladimir Putin had friendly phone calls with Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, Venezuelan President Maduro, and Cuban President Díaz-Canel between January 18 and 24, reaffirming Moscow’s “unwavering support.”


Cuba
Revolutionary Government of Cuba statement: Sixty years ago today, a Presidential Proclamation formalized the criminal U.S. blockade against Cuba The US “policy of encirclement and economic asphyxiation has been consolidated as the central axis of a strategy meant to restrict the legitimate right of Cubans to defend our sovereignty and forge an emancipatory project, without imperialist domination. The blockade has evolved to become the most complex, prolonged and inhumane act of economic warfare committed against any nation. Its impact has limited the possibilities of economic development, being designed to prevent trade relations with third countries, hinder banking and financial operations as much as possible, limit foreign investment and cut off all sources of income…It is an essentially extraterritorial policy, in violation of international law, which seeks, through pressure, coercion and punitive measures, to isolate Cuba and punish those who establish any economic, commercial and financial relations with the country…The Revolutionary Government, on behalf of the Cuban people, emphatically and energetically demands, once again, the lifting of the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the U.S. Our condemnation will remain firm and invariable, until this inhuman, illegal policy is ended, in its entirety.

Resumen Latinoamericano: (Jose Pertierra): The Blockade of Cuba: Hopefully the American People Will Wake Up The blockade and its regulations violate the rights of Americans themselves, who are forbidden by Washington to travel or trade with Cuba.  It also violates international law and the right of all Cubans, whom Washington tries to suffocate with sanctions. Specifically, the blockade is in violation of the Geneva Accords of 1948 against genocide and other fundamental resolutions and legal instruments of international law. In other words, the blockade is illegal and immoral. The United States knows this and so does the world…But the blockade is not the only illegality that the US exercises against Cuba. We have a US military base in Cuban territory, where the US tortures prisoners, who are held in jail without due process of law and without hope of trial. It considers them prisoners of war, despite the fact that the war has ended and it has the obligation to release them. It labels them as criminals, but presents no evidence to prosecute them. 

Peoples World: U.S. government pays big money for bad news about Cuba The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) is one of two big U.S. paymasters. Founded in 1983, it’s a non-governmental organization funded exclusively by the US Congress. The projects funded by the NED are similar to those formerly undertaken by the CIA. The Cuban Communist Party’s Granma newspaper presented a list published on the NED website of Feb. 23, 2021. Groups are named “which received funding to intervene in Cuba during the year 2020, with sums ranging from 20,000 to 650,000 dollars.” The list includes 42 groups; the total amount dispensed was $5,077,788. Below appears a short list. It contains the names of groups receiving $146,360 or more, the amount of money each one did receive, its home base, and the supposed shortcoming in Cuba needing to be fixed.

ProLibertad: Political Prisoner Ana Belen Montes from her court statement: “I believe our government’s policy towards Cuba is cruel and unfair, profoundly un-neighborly, and I felt morally obligated to help the island defend itself from our efforts to impose our values and our political system on it. We have displayed intolerance and contempt towards Cuba for most of the last four decades. We have never respected Cuba’s right to make its own journey towards its own ideals of equality and justice. I do not understand why we must continue to dictate how the Cubans should select their leaders, who their leaders cannot be, and what laws are appropriate in their land.”

Venezuela
TeleSur: Chavez Ignited the Bolivarian Revolution with the 4F Rebellion On Feb. 4, 1992, five army units under Colonel Hugo Chavez’s command moved into Caracas to seize key military and communications installations throughout the city. Today Venezuelans remember the 30th anniversary of the anti-imperialist rebellion that Colonel Hugo Chavez led against President Carlos Perez (1989-1993), a corrupt politician who implemented neoliberal  policies that worsened the people’s living conditions.

Maria Paez Victor: Venezuela’s Political and Economic Advances (transcript)

Multipolarista (Ben Norton): CIA backed failed 2020 invasion of Venezuela, top coup-plotter says A Venezuelan army defector who helped plan a botched May 2020 invasion, Clíver Alcalá, said the coup-plotters were in touch with the CIA and other US government agencies, and had their approval to try to violently overthrow President Maduro. López, Guaidó, and fellow members of their far-right political party Voluntad Popular (Popular Will) contracted Silvercorp USA, and worked with Goudreau and Alcalá to plot the invasion.

Orinoco Tribune: Jorge Rodríguez: Deputies Failing to Fulfill their Oath Will be Jailed The president of Venezuela’s National Assembly (AN) Jorge Rodríguez, warned that deputies who fail to comply with their oath will go to prison. This was said after referring to the case of PSUV parliamentarian, Taina González Rubio, who was arrested in Falcón for her alleged involvement in a drug trafficking network.

US Political Prisoner Alex Saab
Webinar video of Camila Saab and Oscar Lopez Rivera starts at 3:00
FreeAlexSab.org: Alex Saab Bio

Nicaragua
NicaNotes: 2021: A Year of Big Advances in Nicaragua highlights: Defending Sovereignty, Relations with China, Leaving the OAS, Responding to US Interference, Economic Advances and Government Transparency, Investment in Public Infrastructure, Advances in Health in 2021, #1 in Gender Equality, Advances in Environmental Protection, Advances in Indigenous Rights, Conclusion

Multipolarista (Ben Norton): China is helping Nicaragua’s Sandinista gov’t build houses for poor people China “has approved an important project of cooperation with our Nicaragua and the Nicaraguan people, a great housing program for families in all of the country,” Vice President Murillo said. “The plan is for three years, benefiting tens of thousands of Nicaraguan families in 84 municipalities of the country, families that are going to receive a beautiful house, safe, dignified, with all of the basic services.” The vice president said the designs for the houses are being developed in coordination with Nicaraguan ministries. She called them “works of brotherhood, solidarity, and common good.”

Bolivia
TeleSur: Bolivia Sets Up Femicide and Rape Case Review Commission The initiative responds to a massive march held on Monday to demand the incarceration of Richard Choque, who recently killed two teenagers and buried their bodies in his house. President Luis Arce requested the creation of a judiciary commission to review femicides and rape cases in which the sentenced persons have been released. Its results should be presented within 120 days. According to the Economic Commission for Latin America (ECLAC), Bolivia is the South American country with the highest femicide rate. In 2020, two out of every 100,000 Bolivian women were victims of this crime.

Multipolarista (Ben Norton): Bolivia intercepts US weapons shipment to right-wing separatist region Bolivia’s police intercepted a weapons shipment sent from the US to the separatist region of Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz is the hub of fascist opposition gangs that led the violent coup in November 2019 that overthrew democratically elected President Evo Morales. 
 
Webinars 
February 7: (Friends of Bolivia) Latin America’s 2nd ‘pink tide’ – how the empire failed to beat a rebellion


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

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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