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Venezuela Is Under Attack by U.S.

Venezuela Is Under Attack by U.S.
March 16
10:05 2019

Last week, the US Embassy in Belize released a video-recorded statement by US Charge d’Affaires to Belize, Keith Gilges, condemning the government of President Nicolas Maduro and acknowledging Juan Guaido, the Leader of the Opposition as that country’s rightful President.

On behalf of the US Government, Gilges blamed the humanitarian crisis, food shortages, public health problems, and soaring inflation in that country on Maduro and his government.

“It is Maduro’s disastrous economic policies and the actions of his oppressive regime alone that are directly responsible for Venezuela’s collapse,” Gilges said, accusing Maduro of creating the economic conditions that led to the current situation.
Gilges also said that the sanctions that the international community has imposed are designed for “preventing Maduro and his cronies from enriching themselves at the expense of the Venezuelan people,” and accused Maduro of “staging sham elections in May, 2018,” rigging the electoral process, suppressing the media and jailing opposition members.

The statement by Charge Gilges do not stop at Belize’s door. The US has, for many months, staged opposition to the government of Nicolas Maduro and has made it no secret that it fully embraces Juan Guaido, who served as President of the National Assembly (which Gilges called the ONLY democratically elected body left in Venezuela) as the legitimate interim President of Venezuela. Gilges stressed that 54 countries recognize Guaido as Venezuela’s interim President and insisted that there is no more time for dialogue with Maduro.

Gilges quoted Belize’s Ambassador to the US and the OAS, Daniel Gutierrez, as saying that “Maduro’s regime has miserably failed the people of Venezuela.”

Gilges also accused Maduro of attempting to transfer Venezuela’s resources to other countries, and of blocking needed aid from entering the country.

But Maduro’s ruling Socialist Party has denied the allegations and has called the US interference and sanctions imposed to cut off its funding as “imperialism” and stands undeterred against the measures taken against its government. Rallies held by supporters of Maduro and Guiado, led to a two-day long power outage across Venezuela from last Thursday to Saturday. Maduro’s supporters say their protest is not against him nor the government but against the power outage, which they blame solely on the US-backed Gauido’s opposition party.

In a tweet Maduro said: “Today, when the US Empire tries to seize our natural resources, it intensifies its brutal aggression against our motherland. We stand firm in order to defend our land and shout: Yankee go home! We are anti-imperialist.”

Venezuela, which has the world’s largest oil reserves has had long-standing diplomatic relations with Belize, that date back to the days of the late President Hugo Chavez, who entered into an agreement with our then PUP Government for fuel imports from Venezuela at market value up front with a 20-year grace period at an interest rate of one percent.

In his statement, Gilges acknowledged the gratitude of many countries (like Belize) in the region towards Venezuela for the financial assistance they have received from Venezuela, but said that allowing Maduro to “continue his reign of political oppression and economic ruin is no way to say ‘thank you’ for their generosity.”

The Reporter contacted the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to ask if the US Government has applied any pressure on the Belize Government to accept and or support its stance/measures against Venezuela. The response we got from CEO Pat Andrews was: “The situation in Venezuela is one which concerns all the countries in the hemisphere and, in that context, Belize has and continues to exchange frank views with the U.S. on Venezuela, as we do with several other countries. …Furthermore, any sanctions or measures taken by the U.S. in respect of Venezuela are noted. Our role is to ensure that Belize’s national interests are protected.”

Andrews went on to say that Belize’s position on the situation in Venezuela is coordinated with CARICOM.

Andrews had no further comment on the statement made by Ambassador Gutierrez, which Charge Gilges referred to earlier.

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