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Letter: Hands off Venezuela!
Published on April 3, 2014 Email To Friend    Print Version

Dear Sir:

Grave concern compels us to speak out and to draw the nation’s attention to what is happening a few miles from our shores, in Venezuela. Demonstrators, demanding the resignation of the newly elected president, are backing that demand with murder, attacks on police officers and destruction of public property. A pregnant woman was shot trying to get off a bus that stopped at a barricade set up by “protestors”, and snipers took pot shots at police. Over 35 people have died in the last month, victims of beatings, stabbings and shooting by thugs in service to sections of the opposition.

The international media do not report these protestors wanton disregard for law. They do not show the billions of dollars worth of damage to public and private property. Nor do they publicize that the murders and beatings are being carried out by the demonstrators and their supporters. The media report that hyperinflation, shortages of toilet paper and rolling black-outs have brought students to the streets seeking democracy. It is made to appear that the entire nation is clamoring for change. They want the world to think that President Maduro is a ruthless dictator, killing his own people to stay in power. Nothing is further from the truth.

The truth is that the United Socialist Party of Venezuela was re-elected twice in the last two years. In 2012 Hugo Chavez was re-elected president. Mr Maduro was elected in 2013, after the death of President Hugo Chavez. The entire world declared all of these elections free and fair. Only the United States and the Venezuelan opposition claimed they were rigged. In addition Maduro's party recently had an overwhelming victory over this same opposition coalition in local government elections. Where is the lack of democracy that is being touted in the press?

The truth is that Venezuela is a democratic country, empowering its citizens. It is the opposition that is killing citizens, including police officers, hoarding goods and encouraging a black market that buys US dollars at many times the market rate. A careful look at what is going on reveals that all of the causes reported by the western media were manufactured by the demonstrators and their backers. They are hoarding toilet paper, fueling the inflation and committing criminal acts of violence. It is our suspicion that they are trying start a war in the backyard of Trinidad, complete with US intervention.

We have credible reports of demonstrators burning supermarkets, hijacking truck loads of meat and destroying food stocks. Who ever heard of hungry people destroying food? Protestors broke all the windows in the home of one governor and they shot a police officer trying to calm demonstrators. One group of pro government supporters was sprayed with bullets from a masked man on a motor cycle. This is not social discontent; this is terror, criminality and sabotage. This appears to be an attempt to “soften” Venezuela in preparation for the seizure of power by force of arms.

Our concerns for the peace and safety of the citizens of our nearest neighbour are intensified when we view it in the context of current US foreign Policy. These same kinds of activities preceded the overthrow of the governments of Egypt and Tunisia. The NATO invasion of Libya and the current hostilities in Syria both started with this exact same sequence of events. In each case grievances were invented or manipulated to foster demonstrations and unrest. Paid thugs were introduced to escalate the conflict to an armed phase. These thugs and mercenaries attack the government and the people. When the government or the people themselves defend themselves and shoot back, CNN reports that they are “Killing their own people!”

In Egypt, the corrupt Mubarak government was replaced by the infamous terrorist group The Muslim Blood Brotherhood with Western backing and support. In Libya, Tripoli was turned into rubble, Qaddafi was murdered in the streets and replaced by militias that were formed and armed by the CIA. In Syria they went so far as to release chemical weapons on the populace so they could say that the Syrians crossed Obama's line in the sand. We now know that the Syrian government has not used chemical weapons and that the so called rebels have.

We know that the recently renewed State Of the Armed Forces agreement (SOFA) gives US military personnel almost unlimited access to Trinidad and Tobago with little or no custom controls. We know of the US strategic alliance with CARICOM that set up joint military operations for regional drug traffic interdiction. We know of the US surveillance drones stationed and operating out of Barbados since 2012. We know that the FBI is stationed in Trinidad and those massive amounts of arms, and military technology has been deposited in Trinidad over the past decade.

We have a growing concern that the territory of Trinidad is being used as a staging area for US military and intelligence operations in Venezuela. We want to know to if the PP supports US intentions in Venezuela? We want to know if Trinidad's infamous spy equipment is being used to gather intelligence in Venezuela. We want to know if Trinidad is being used as a pawn on the regional chessboard and is serving as an asset of US foreign policy. We want to know if the black market trade in money, drugs and arms, between Trinidad and Venezuela is being used as a pipeline to supply arms and money to the would be insurgents? Finally we want to know if the CIA is operating out of Trinidad and Tobago. If they are we want to know what they are doing.

In real practical terms, the destabilization of Venezuela is the destabilization of the region. It will harm the economies of all of the countries in the Caribbean who are parties to the Petro-Caribe trade agreement with Venezuela. Petro-Caribe provides much of the region (with the exception of Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados and Montserrat) with fuel at below market rates. Venezuela is a friend of the Caribbean.

We want people to know that the Bolivarian government of Venezuela promotes the empowerment of the Amerindian and African people who make up a significant portion of their population. Venezuela is engaged in a permanent effort to redress the indignities of the past and elevate the poor and dispossessed to their proper place in the national family. Venezuela is a friend of the African and Amerindian peoples. Africans and Amerindians are a huge part of the Bolivarian movement in Venezuela and we support them in their struggle for a better life.

In the 20th century the USA invaded countries of the Caribbean and Central America 17 times including invasions of Haiti, Panama, Cuba and Grenada. They have done it before and there is no reason to believe they will not do it again.

We call on all people of conscience and good will to say no to US intervention in Venezuela. We tell the US Government and their friends in the region and in Trinidad and Tobago:

Keep your bloody hands off Venezuela!

Trinidad and Tobago Bolivarian Solidarity Movement
Reads: 2422

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Paco Smith:

It certainly is good to hear the other side of the story. That which we are force-fed by the mainstream media, which is controlled by significant forces, is always readily accepted as "the truth".

It is instructive to note that the current situation in Venezuela did not derive from and does not persist in a vacuum. Undoubtedly there is much more to the situation than disgruntled students who presumably seek "democracy".

I appreciate the presentation of this perspective because it casts a more holistic scope on that which is occurring.

I will simply say that with the majority of the world deeming the most recent elections in Venezuela as being legitimate, one must stop to query why the opposition forces in Venezuela don't go back to the drawing board and try to improve their showing in both national and municipal elections, without the unlawful and violent approach that is apparently being undertaken?

Inevitably it is up to the individual to decide which version of "the truth" they choose to accept and believe.

May God help the nation of Venezuela to move past this current impasse and may cooler heads prevail.

Rafiki Morris:

It is unfortunate that people would rather try to discredit us (The Trinidad and Tobago Bolivarian Solidarity Movement) by making it appear we are a mouth piece for Caracas, rather than addressing the merits and veracity of our statements. Surely it is an attempt to make us defend our integrity and independence rather than center the discourse on an analysis of the actual situation in Venezuela. We will not be baited or distracted by such a tactic.

What people need to understand is that murder, vandalism and hoarding of vital supplies are material facts that can not be dismissed by attacking those who call attention to it. Perhaps they want the United States Bloody hand on Venezuela, Trinidad and Tobago and the region. If so then Mr. Lashkoff is just reflecting the line of US State Department which is so prevalent in the mainstream media


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