Tag Archives: Latin America

US Monroe doctrine threatens Cuba and Nicaragua

Washington’s political take on a number of Latin American countries is unacceptable, said Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at the 27th Assembly of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy (SWAP) on April 13. (Image: archive).

The Americans openly interfere in the internal affairs of sovereign states. Everyone knows about Venezuela, the blitzkrieg change failed, but the Americans do not refuse the goal of overthrowing the legitimate president. This is directly evidenced by Michael Pompeo’s recent interview, in which he said that military intervention has not been excluded,Lavrov underlined.

The Americans even dragged out the notorious Monroe doctrine out of the woodwork, threatening that the next in line are Cuba and Nicaragua. They do not seem to understand that they are opposing themselves to the entire Latin American world and not only to the Latin American world. I think that such behavior is simply unacceptable,” Russia‘s top diplomat concluded.

EU sets contact group for Venezuela

“On Venezuela: First of all, I have seen a very united position among Member States on a position we have already expressed several times, but it was reiterated strongly today – that is that the Presidential elections that were held in last May in Venezuela were lacking democratic legitimacy”, said EU top diplomat Federica Mogherini at the press conference following the first day of informal meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Ministers in Bucharest.

“This is why the European Union and its Member States decided not to attend the inauguration of Maduro on 10 January and this is why we underline strongly and all united today our full support to the National Assembly as the democratic, legitimate body of Venezuela and the strongest possible support to its President in its institutional role.

“We have decided the establishment of an international contact group that has been agreed among our Member States and with some Latin American countries that will participate in it. I believe the terms of reference of this international contact group can be made public, as an act of transparency. 

“The objective of this international contact group that will be coordinated by the European Union will be, first of all, to have a limited time framework – 90 days – to promote a common understanding and a concerted approach among key international actors on the situation in Venezuela, aiming at a peaceful and democratic outcome for the crisis. The group will help to build trust and create the conditions that are necessary for a credible process to emerge in line with the relevant provisions of the Constitution of Venezuela, enabling Venezuelans to determine their own future through the holding of new elections, with all guarantees for a free and fair electoral process that can be supervised by international, independent observers. 

“The objective – and I want to underline it very clearly – is not to open a formal mediation process and not to open a formal dialogue, but to support a political dynamic that the group can then further accompany and consolidate.

The group has a clear mandate with different phases and a clear time framework, because the work and the results possibly achieved by the contact group will be reviewed after 90 days of its creation, and it will be terminated in the absence of sufficient progress.

The first meeting of the group shall take place at ministerial level in Latin America – hopefully we will be able to convene it already next week. We will have meetings both at ministerial and at technical level and, as I said, it will have a permanent secretariat for these initial 90 days in the EU. Part of the group will be on the European Union side – obviously, the European Union, but also some of our Member States: France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Sweden, the Netherlands, and the UK – and on the Latin American side we already have confirmation from Ecuador, Costa Rica, Uruguay and Bolivia. And we are waiting for confirmation from another few countries of which I would not mention the name today. But hopefully in the coming one or two days I will be able communicate them to you.”

“As you see, it is countries that have different positions and that will help the contact group to have contacts to accompany the process, in particular of new presidential elections” Mogherini concluded.

However not everyone believes the American narrative about Maduro being a tyrant, there are more free voices on social media, accusing Trump administration in seeking control over the largest in the world oil resources.

Europol: wildlife crimes

The Spanish Guardia Civil, with the support of Europol and in close cooperation with Mexico, has carried out Operation SUZAKU, resulting in 29 arrests in Spain and in other countries. All of the arrestees have been charged with crimes of smuggling, wildlife crime and animal abuses, as well as being part of a criminal infrastructure.

Over 2,000 animal were seized during Operation SUKAZU, and the expected benefits that could have been obtained by the trafficking of species have been estimated to be above half a million euro. International trafficking of species is identified as a priority in the fight against organised crime within the EU Policy Cycle for the next four years.

The organised crime group controlled a network of operators, who were transporting birds of a large variety of species to Spain from different places in Africa and Latin America by using mules. International collaboration has taken place with police authorities and other bodies from 18 different countries.

Using various concealment techniques, the criminal group trafficked birds that are classified under different types of protection and that were included in the CITES Convention and in the national protection laws of the countries of origin. Many of the birds died during the transit and sometimes the death rate reached 50%. The criminal group used several points of entry in Spain, using the airports of Madrid-Barajas, Pamplona and Bilbao.

Operation SUZAKU has been mainly carried out by the Nature Protection Service (SEPRONA) of the Guardia Civil. Europol supported the operation and facilitated the exchange of operational information. AMERIPOL coordinated the activities with the different Latin American countries involved.

Europol birds

EU-Cuba fostered dialogue

A new chapter in EU-Cuba relations will be marked tomorrow, on 1 November 2017, with the start of provisional application of the first ever agreement between the European Union and Cuba – the Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement.

 

“The EU and Cuba are truly turning a page, and the new chapter of our partnership begins now – with the provisional application of our new agreement. Today the European Union gets closer to Cuba and all Cuban citizens as the country goes through economic, political and social modernisation”, said the EU top diplomat Federica Mogherini.  “We Europeans are tied to Cuba, Latin America and the Caribbean by a shared history, culture, values, and aspirations for the present and the future” – she added.

The Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement comprises three main chapters on political dialogue, cooperation and sector policy dialogue as well as trade cooperation.

It promotes and encourages sustainable development, democracy and human rights, as well as to find shared solutions to global challenges through joint action in multilateral fora. Areas of common interest include for example renewable energies, rural development, the environment, human rights, good governance, security, and job creation. Activities will be conducted with all actors in Cuba, including the public sector, local authorities, the whole range of civil society, the private sector, as well as international organisations and their agencies.

Foreign ministers focus on Latin America and Africa

Arrival and doorstep (in English) by Federica MOGHERINI, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the ECJohn Paul II School in Wau, South Sudan

Today the EU foreign ministers gather at the Council in Brussels to discuss relations with Latin  America and African countries, namely with Cuba, and Colombia, the situation in Democratic Republic of Congo, and South Sudan. The state of affairs in Syria, and migrant cirisis. Ahead of the meeting, the EU and Cuba representatives will sign the Political dialogue and cooperation agreement.

The EU relations with Cuba were governed by the  Common Position, but have deepened significantly since the re-launch of political dialogue and cooperation in 2008. The repeal of the Common Position and the upcoming signature of the Political Deialogue and Cooperation Agreement (PDCA) between the EU and Cuba will mark an significant new phase of bilateral relations. All 28 EU Member States maintain bilateral diplomatic relations with Cuba.  An EU representation office was opened in Havana in 2003, and upgraded into a fully-fledged Delegation in 2008.

The deabate on the relations with African countries will follow, focusing on the next EU-Africa Summit which will be held in autumn 2017. The speical debate of Democratic Republic of Congo will take place, in view of imposing sanctions similar to the US, already targeting three general for crack down on demonstrations and democratic developments. The EU foreign ministers are awaited to impose assets freezes and travel bans on a number of Congolese officials directly responsible for violent supression of anti-government demonstrations in September, causing physical damages and loss of human lives.

The Council is also expected to disscuss the dramatic developments in South Soudan. The recent report of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights delegation concluded that the South Soudan actual state of affairs is containting the dangerous similarities to the develompents in Rwanda, preceeding the genocide. The delegation informed that the violence was at the point of ‘no return’. The foreign reporters were deported after critical reviews on government officials, supposedly involved in ethinic cleansing.

Over lunch, ministers will follow up on developments in Syria.

Ahead of the European Council on 15 December, the Council will discuss migration, focusing on the implementation of the Valletta commitments. After the Council meeting, ministers will have an informal discussion with President Santos of Colombia. This will be followed by the signature of the constitutive agreement of the EU Trust Fund for Colombia.

Arrival and doorstep (in English) by Federica MOGHERINI, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the EC: http://europa.eu/!Cc99Wq