Archive for Venezuela
As tens of thousands took to the streets in Venezuela Wednesday to express their anger at the government of President Nicolás Maduro, expatriates of the South American country gathered at embassies around the world in solidarity. In Washington D.C., around a hundred Venezuelan-Americans and sympathizers gathered across the street from the Venezuelan embassy, hoisting signs calling President Maduro a dictator and comparing his rule to that of the Castros in Cuba. “The Venezuelans of Washington D.C. have gathered here to make the same demand that our Venezuelan brothers are making in the streets of Venezuela,” said Carlos Delgado Salas, a representative of the international wing of Voluntad Popular (Popular Will), a Venezuelan opposition party. “Our demand is very simple: democracy and human rights.”
Police in Venezuela arrested six government office workers last week in a story largely lost amid the ongoing violent police crackdown on anti-socialist dissidents. The employees stand accused of selling authentic Venezuelan government documents, like passports and birth certificates, to Syrian nationals at $5,000 each. The arrests are a tacit admission of reports dating back to 2015 that accuse Caracas of selling identification documents to Mideast nationals from its embassies in the region, including individuals believed to have ties to the Hezbollah Shiite terrorist group. CNN reports that the individuals arrested “all worked as data transcribers at the Venezuelan office that handles identification documents and passports,” the Administrative Service for Identification, Migration, and the Exterior (Saime). They stand accused of selling passports and other documents to people of “Syrian origin,” whom Venezuelan prosecutors did not identify. Those arrested face charges of “corruption, improper access or sabotage of protected systems, unauthorized issuance of identification documents and conspiracy to commit a crime.” The Venezuelan newspaper El Nacional identifies those arrested as Jethaimet Wiher Blanco, 31; Isamar Gutiérrez Campos, 26; Chery Del Carmen Perdomo, 36; Lilian Irene Castillo, 41; Mariannys Peña Rivera, 27; and Yamilet Galvis Chacón, 45.
Еhe Peruvian government currently assesses the possibility of recalling its Ambassador to Venezuela for consultations in light of the Bolivarian country’s political crisis, Foreign Affairs Minister Ricardo Luna said. “There is always the possibility for Ambassadors to be recalled on consultations, depending on how the situation develops. Of course it is under evaluation,” he told reporters. Recalling an Ambassador for consultations is a diplomatic mechanism used by States to express their disagreement with a decision or acting of another State. It is usually a temporary measure. Consultations with the region’s Ambassadors on Venezuela’s situation started on Sunday. Proceedings may end on Wednesday or Thursday in Cartagena de Indias (Colombia), where the 25th Ibero-American Summit of Heads of State and Government will be held. Last Saturday, the Foreign Affairs Minister voiced his objection to Venezuela’s National Electoral Council decision to delay the signature collection process required to activate the recall referendum against President Nicolas Maduro.
Following the controversial vote in the Brazilian Senate that impeached President Dilma Rousseff, a move that many equated with a soft coup, several South American nations including Bolivia, Ecuador and Venezuela have recalled their ambassadors from Brasília. The Venezuelan government went a step further and announced that they are “freezing the political and diplomatic relations with the current Brazilian government that emerged from an illegal and unconstitutional parliamentary coup.” Nicaragua soon joined the others in recalling their ambassador while Bolivia’s Evo Morales took to Twitter to denounce the “parliamentary coup against Brazilian democracy.” Morales said that his nation would join several other regional states in bringing the issue to discussion before the Organization of American States (OAS).
Venezuela’s Embassy in Spain rejected the interventionist aspect of a statement released this Friday by the government of Mariano Rajoy, in which called for a referendum against President Nicolas Maduro. In this regard, the Venezuelan embassy in Spain denounced on its website that the recall referendum issue is being manipulated. The diplomatic mission rejected ‘the pressure exerted by the Government of Spain, which seeks to disregard our Constitution and current legislation regarding the procedures and deadlines to activate the referendum mechanism.’ The Venezuelan diplomatic mission also rejected the biased way in which Spanish media ‘focused their attention on the opposition rally, while did not mention the demonstration carried out by the Bolivarian people in support of the government of President Maduro’. The Venezuelan Embassy requested a balanced and impartial coverage of the events in Venezuela, and to take into account also the people’s support to the democratic and constitutional government of Maduro.
The new Brazilian government consulted with its ambassador in Caracas after Venezuela’s decision to freeze relations in protest of what it called a “parliamentary coup d’etat” in Brazil. Meanwhile, the new government asked for respect from other “Bolivarian” countries that also questioned its political transition. Following the Brazilian Senate’s vote on Wednesday to impeach Dilma Rousseff, found guilty of committing a “crime of responsibility,” Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador and Cuba denounced the decision and called it a “coup against democracy.” The harshest reaction, however, was that of Venezuela, which decided to permanently withdraw its ambassador to Brazil and freeze political and diplomatic relations with the new government. Brazil’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that it had “decided to call its ambassador to Caracas for consultations” following Venezuela’s decision.
Venezuela hoisted the flag of the Mercosur bloc in Caracas as a signal of its claim over the pro-tempore presidency of the bloc, despite the lack of recognition from the other three country members, Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil — which Venezuela said are trying to take the chair in a move managed by Washington. The move came on the same day Paraguay recalled its ambassador to Caracas after Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro made disparaging remarks about Paraguay. “The bloc is at the edge of abyss,” Venezuelan Foreign Minister Delcy Rodríguez said. “We are shocked at the way the international treaties are being run over. The rules are clear, the pro-tempore presidency corresponds to Venezuela.” Uruguay announced the end of its presidency of the bloc last week, ahead of the start of the new term on August 1. Venezuela formally declared it had taken over the role, but Argentina, Paraguay, and Brazil rejected that announcement. Following similar statements by Maduro, Rodríguez accused Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil of entering “a triple alliance” against his government, a loaded term referring to the nineteenth century war in which Paraguay faced off against Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay, the bloodiest military conflict in Latin American history.