Venezuela & ALBA News: 1.6.2023: The Story of Ana Belén Montes, Exemplary Defender Of Cuba; Ramonet Interviews Pres Maduro; Opposition Boots Guaido

painting by Carlito Rovira

Stansfield Smith: Ana Belén Montes, Exemplary Hero, Defender Of Cuba, Will be Freed Ana Belén, heroic defender of Cuba’s sovereignty, will be freed after over 21 years in a federal military prison. She was a top official on Latin America in the Defense Intelligence Agency who, solely from moral conviction, gave Cuba information on top secret US military plans during her entire 16 years in the DIA.

New Year 2023 Interview with Venezuela President Maduro by Ignacio Ramonet The 7th annual New Years interview around three main themes: first, domestic politics and the internal situation of Venezuela; second, the economy; and third, international politics.

Friends oi Socialist China: CGTN interviews President Maduro Maduro speaks of his own history, his country’s defeats of US coup attempts, Hugo Chavez, Xi Jinping, how Venezuela is overcoming the US blockade, and the example of China and its world solidarity today.

Venezuelanalysis: The Inglorious End of Juan Guaidó A review of the US escapade to create its own puppet leader of Venezuela. A majority of the opposition voted to kill the “Interim Government,” though they continue with their looting of Venezuelan funds. The parties that ousted Guaidó were very much part of the all-you-can-eat feast, only they might have felt that their junior partner was enjoying too big a slice. When the scandals piled up they just dumped the blame on their frontman. US officials basically said they would recognize “whatever the opposition came up with” and that in no scenario would the assets be returned to the Venezuelan state. 

RT (Caleb Maupin): Venezuelan opposition lawmakers vote to dissolve Guaido’s interim government He is back, giving an excellent summary of the US operation against Venezuela.

France24.com: US says Venezuela’s Maduro still illegitimate after opposition ‘government’ disbanded The US said it still did not consider Nicolas Maduro to be the legitimate president of Venezuela and would maintain sanctions after the opposition dissolved its “interim government.” “We continue to recognize what is the only remaining democratically elected institution in Venezuela today, and that’s the 2015 National Assembly,” the State Dept  said.

Venezuelanalysis: Brazil Restores Diplomatic Relations with Venezuela as Lula Takes Power President Maduro said, “I congratulate with joy the inauguration of our comrade as President of Brazil. A new wave of liberation runs through the Patria Grande, opening paths for the geopolitical advancement of South American unity projects.” President Lula pledged to honor the “self-determination” of the Venezuelan people and to treat Venezuela with respect. Brazilian grassroots activists symbolically returned the Venezuelan embassy to the country’s rightful representatives. Venezuela National Assembly President Jorge Rodriguez thanked them: “We are grateful to all the social movements in Brazil, who stayed here for three years…In the years and centuries to come, Venezuela will never forget the gesture, the solidarity and the support that you had for us.” 

Orinoco Tribune (Roger Harris): Latin America and Caribbean Year 2022 in Review – Challenges for a Pink Tide Surging Over a Volatile US Hegemony The current surge of the Pink Tide was a “battle at the ballot box” focused on the electoral arena. It did not produce any new socialist revolutions and none are on the horizon. On the contrary, socialist governments of Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela are under heavy siege, struggling for survival. They have had to retrench some of their social programs, forced by economic necessity to introduce neoliberal forms such as “free-trade” zones. Of the three, only Cuba has a socialist economy, where there is central planning and where key economic units are state-controlled. While US hegemony may be on unstable footing, there is no counter-hegemonic force comparable to the Soviet Union and the role that it played in defending a socialist alternative.

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Events 

Thursdays: WTF is Going on in Latin America & The Caribbean with Teri Mattson (or watch here or here)

January 11: Building our Power to Close Guantánamo: 21st Anniversary Virtual Rally

January 14: Celebrate Cuban Revolution with Victoria Friends of Cuba

January 28:  Latin America Conference, London

February 25-March 11: Revolutionary Figures art exhibit by Carlito Rovira

March 11-12: International US-Cuba Normalization Conference

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Delegations/Tours

Travel to Cuba with Witness for Peace

March 2-12: Venezuela, 10 years commemorating Chávez’s Legacy

March 11-19: Nicaragua Coffee and Cooperatives Brigade

April 4-13: Cuba Agroecology Tour

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If you have events to publicize or find helpful articles for readers on the ALBA  countries, please send them to stansfieldsmith100@gmail.com,  or you can post them on Facebook here: Venezuela; Nicaragua; Bolivia; Latin America in general (here or here) Or send them to  venezuelaweekly@afgj.org

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