Tag Archives: Venezuela

Guaido doesn’t exclude foreign intervention

The self-proclaimed US-backed ‘president’ of Venezuela Juan Guaido has claimed he would not rule out the possibility of ‘authorizing’ a foreign military intervention to oust President Nicolas Maduro.

Juan Guaido told AFP he would do “everything that is necessary” in order to “save human lives” – not ruling out the admittedly “controversial subject” of calling on foreign powers, and the United States in particular, to intervene militarily in Venezuela to remove Nicolas Maduro from power.

Venezuela military intervention as “option”

President Donald Trump said military intervention in Venezuela was “an option” as Western nations increase pressure on Socialist leader Nicolas Maduro to step down, while Russia in its capacity of the UN Security Council permanent member warned against “destructive meddling.”

The level of technical equipment and training of the Venezuelan army is very high today. The 30 Russian Su-30 fighters currently in service with the country’s air force are a serious factor, so if the US decides to go on any adventure against Caracas, then they will have to prepare for a serious combat”, said Russian military expert Dr.Konstantin Sivkov.

The United States, Canada, the UK, several Latin American and European countries have recognized self-proclaimed President Juan Guaido as the country’s rightful leader after the disputed elections.

The EU countries supporting the candidacy of Juan Guaido in his claim of presidency have formed a contact group, which will meet in Montevideo (Uruguay) on February 7. The Contact Group will bring together the EU and eight of its Member States (France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom) and countries from Latin America (Bolivia, Costa Rica, Ecuador and Uruguay)

However in an interview the incumbent President of Venezuela Nicolas Maduro regarded international support of a self-proclaimed elections winner as a circus, and Juan Guaido as a “clown“.

Maduro also blamed the West the return to the “era of empires“.

Russian State Duma assessed the support of the self-proclaimed President of Venezuela Guaido as “absolutely incorrect and unacceptable under international law”.

Dr.Sivkov added that a major factor that could contain the potential aggression of neighboring countries is a powerful Venezuelan air defense system, which includes, in particular, S-300 anti-aircraft missile systems, according to Novosti agency.
In 2009, Venezuela purchased a large party of weapons, including the Pechora-2M, S-300, Buk-M2EK anti-aircraft missiles, Igla-S, armored personnel carriers BTR-80A, using a $ 2.2 billion Russian loan, T-72B1V tanks, Smerch and Grad multiple rocket launchers.

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.

Iranian nuclear deal in focus of EU foreign ministers

The Foreign Affairs Council (28/05/2018) will start with a discussion on current affairs, allowing ministers to review pressing issues on the international agenda.

The High Representative Federica Mogherini and ministers may refer to the Sofia Summit (17 May), recent developments related to North Korea and the situation in Yemen.

Iran

Foreign ministers will continue to discuss Iran and the nuclear deal (#JCPOA) in light of the latest developments, in particular after the US decision to withdraw from the agreement.

This follows the discussion by EU leaders at their meeting in Sofia on 16 May. At this meeting, they agreed unanimously that the EU will stay in the agreement as long as Iran remains fully committed to it.

Venezuela

Foreign ministers will exchange views on the political situation in Venezuela, after the presidential election of 20 May. The Council is expected to adopt conclusions on Venezuela.

Democratic Republic of Congo

The Council will discuss the situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo, following up on the Council conclusions of 11 December 2017 and in view of the foreseen elections at the end of the year.

Gaza

Over lunch, foreign ministers will discuss the situation in Gaza following recent developments, including in relation to the move of the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

African, Caribbean and Pacific countries

The Council is expected to discuss the negotiating mandate for the future agreement between the EU and the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries. The current ACP-EU Partnership Agreement, also known as the Cotonou Agreement, will expire in February 2020.

Foreign ministers had an initial discussion during January’s Foreign Affairs Council. Development ministers had a discussion on 22 May 2018.

Sakharov Prize 2017 ceremony in Strasbourg

Representatives of the democratic opposition of Venezuela have today received Parliament´s Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought during a ceremony in Strasbourg.

“The Prize is for all Venezuelans in the world,” said Parliament President Antonio Tajani while awarding the prize. The President noted that the human rights situation in Venezuela was deteriorating and called for a “return to free elections with the participation of all so that the Venezuelan people can decide their future”.

“Last weekend, President Maduro decided in an arbitrary and anti-democratic way to prohibit the main opposition parties from running for the presidential elections. This situation cannot continue like this,” Tajani said. “We want the country to return to democracy, to dignity, and freedom,” he stressed.

 

Accepting the award, Julio Borges, chair of Venezuela’s national assembly, said: “[The Sakharov Prize] is an acknowledgment for mothers denying themselves food to save their children, for children rummaging in the rubbish to satiate their hunger, for old people wasting away to death because of a lack of medicines. A young person who has now emigrated out of despair to seek opportunities elsewhere is another recipient of this prize as is a teacher overcoming ideological blindness and sticking to the task of training free men and women for Venezuela. Or again, those who are fighting for human rights in Venezuela, Venezuelan journalists who take risks throughout their lives in trying to show the true facts that people are trying to keep silent.”, said Mr Julio Borges, President of the Venezuela´s National Assembly.

 

Later on Borges called for humanitarian help, saying: “Hunger has been made into a political system in Venezuela: 75% of Venezuelans have lost 10 kilos weight over the last 12 months.” He also urged the EU and the world to follow the presidential elections attentively.

EU adopts sanctions against Venezuela

“The primary responsibility for ending the crisis in Venezuela lies in the country. The EU calls upon the government to urgently restore democratic legitimacy, including through free and fair elections, and on the opposition to continue engaging in a united manner towards a negotiated solution to the current tensions, in the interest of the country. The EU reiterates its full support to regional and international efforts to find a lasting solution to the crisis” – says the text of the conclusions on targeted sanctions of the EU on Venezuela.

On 13 November, the Foreign Affairs Council adopted conclusions on Venezuela,  and agreed on targeted sanctions in view of its concerns at the situation in the country.

Sakharov Prize top nominees 2017

The finalists for this year’s Sakharov Prize have been announced. The laureate will be selected on 26 October by the President and the political group leaders.

Aura Lolita Chavez Ixcaquic, the Democratic Opposition in Venezuela, and the Swedish- Eritrean journalist Dawit Isaak have been named as this year’s finalists for Parliament’s Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought following a vote by the foreign affairs and development committees on 10 October.

The finalists for this year’s Sakharov Prize are:

Aura Lolita Chavez Ixcaquic, a human rights defender from Guatemala. She is a member from the Council of Ki’che’ Peoples (CPK), an organisation that fights to protect natural resources and human rights from the expansion of mining, logging, hydroelectric and agro-industry sectors in the territory and has been subject to threats.

Democratic Opposition in Venezuela: National Assembly (Julio Borges) and all political prisoners as listed by Foro Penal Venezolano represented by Leopoldo López, Antonio Ledezma, Daniel Ceballos, Yon Goicoechea, Lorent Saleh, Alfredo Ramos and Andrea González. The situation in Venezuela has been seriously deteriorating in terms of democracy, human rights and the economy in a climate of growing political and social instability. Political prisoners in Venezuela as as well as the democratic opposition in Venezuela were also shortlisted for the Sakharov Prize in 2015.

Dawit Isaak, a Swedish-Eritrean playwright, journalist and writer, who was arrested in 2001 by the Eritrean authorities during a political crackdown. He has been imprisoned without a trial since and was last seen in 2005. Isaak has been also a Sakharov finalist in 2009.

Asia Bibi, Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yuksekdag and Pierre Claver Mbonimpa had also been nominated for the Sakharov Prize.

On 26 October Parliament President Antonio Tajani and the leaders of the political groups, known as the Conference of Presidents, will select this year’s laureate from among the finalists. The prize, consisting of a certificate and €50,000, will the awarded in a ceremony in the European Parliament in Strasbourg on 13 December 2017.

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