Canada's role in the Venezuelan coup attempt: News round-up Feb. 21, 2019

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland stands with representatives of the Lima Group, February 2018.

Venezuela: US/Canadian Attempted Coup Not About Democracy - Paul Jay 

By Jacqueline Luqman & Paul Jay, The REAL News, Feb. 21, 2019

Corporate media hides that the crisis in Venezuela is a class struggle, and whatever its faults, the Bolivarian revolution is a struggle for equality and democracy - Paul Jay joins host Jacqueline Luqman.

Watch the interview


Is Trudeau’s Venezuela policy the Monroe Doctrine reborn?

By Yves Engler, Canadian Dimension, Feb. 20, 2019

Many Canadians are familiar with the Monroe Doctrine. First issued by the United States in 1823, it warned European powers against renewed colonization of the Western Hemisphere. Presented as anti-imperialist, the Monroe Doctrine was later used to justify US interference in regional affairs.

We may be seeing the development of a Canadian equivalent. The ‘Trudeau Doctrine’ claims to support a “rules-based order”, the “constitution” and regional diplomacy independent of the US. But, history is likely to judge the rhetoric of the Trudeau Doctrine as little more than a mask for aggressive interference in the affairs of a sovereign nation.

For two years Canada’s Prime Minister has been conspiring with Juan Guaidó’s hardline Voluntad Popular party to oust the government of Nicolas Maduro. In May 2017 Trudeau met Lilian Tintori, wife of Voluntad Popular leader Leopoldo López. The Guardian recently reported on Tintori’s role in building international support for the slow-motion coup attempt currently underway in Venezuela. Tintori acted as an emissary for Lopez who couldn’t travel to Ottawa because he was convicted of inciting violence during the “guarimbas” protests in 2014. According to a series of reports, Lopez is the key Venezuelan organizer of the plan to anoint Guaidó interim president. Canadian diplomats spent “months”, reports the Canadian Press, coordinating the plan with the hard-line opposition.

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Venezuela gets foreign aid with Maduro’s consent. Canadian state media is ‘comfortable’ denying it.

By Joe Emersberger, the Canary, Feb. 19, 2019

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), which is owned by the Canadian government, ran a Venezuela-related news article on 8 February. It said “[Venezuelan president Nicolás] Maduro says aid not needed in Venezuela, [opposition leader Juan] Guaido wants to allow it”. The CBC claimed Maduro “has been firm that this country does not need handouts from abroad”.

I wrote to the CBC pointing out that Maduro had actually requested and received emergency aid from the UN in November. The CBC was therefore grossly dishonest about the president’s position on international aid. Maduro objects to “aid” from the Trump administration largely because it has threatened Venezuela militarily, openly encouraged the Venezuelan military to perpetrate a coup, and imposed brutal economic sanctions.

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Is Venezuela Canada’s Modern Day El Dorado?

By Nino Pagliccia,, Feb. 18, 2019

The search for gold in the mythical place of El Dorado in Latina America drew armies of Spanish conquistadors in the 16th century and caused many deaths of indigenous people. The gold remained elusive but Spain colonized most of the region and exploited other riches until the Latin American independence movements of the 19th century.

But the search for gold never really ended, be it black gold - crude oil - or real gold of which Venezuela has plenty. The United States has publicly declared that is interested in the black gold. In the meantime, Canada has remained more secretive about its aspirations in its ventures in Venezuela. The truth is that Canada has corporate interests in the mining sector, and gold in particular.

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'Trump regime wants a civil war': Venezuelans condemn US-led coup attempt

By Aaron Maté, The Grayzone, Feb. 11, 2019

At a days-long anti-intervention protest in Caracas, The Grayzone’s Aaron Maté speaks to a Venezuelan teacher about the impact of US sanctions and fears that the Trump administration wants to stoke a civil war.

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Canadian Reporter In Venezuela Contradicts U.S. News Coverage

By Aaron Maté & Jimmy Dore, The Jimmy Dore Show, Feb. 17, 2019

Jimmy Dore interview Aaron Mate, a reporter who is one the ground in Caracas, Venezuela.

Watch the interview


Canada talks democracy while U.S. eyes Venezuela's oil

By Linda McQuiag,, Feb. 14, 2019

The Trudeau government, assuming a leadership role as host of the "Lima Group," explained that Maduro is not legitimate because the national elections he won were flawed, allowing the presidency to fall to Guaido, the head of the national assembly.

(Similarly, once it has been established that the 2016 U.S. elections were flawed by Russian meddling, we can expect the Trudeau government to recognize Nancy Pelosi as the legitimate president of the United States.)

The turmoil in Venezuela has faded from the news somewhat this week, but the real action is just beginning. U.S. President Donald Trump has assembled a team of hatchetmen, including war-hawks John Bolton and Elliott Abrams, to work on regime change in Venezuela.

It was this team that set things in motion late last month with a phone call from Vice President Mike Pence to Guaido, pledging U.S. support "if he seized the reins of government," according to the Wall Street Journal.

Canada has called for a peaceful transition. But if the U.S. invades Venezuela to formally install Guaido, Canada will have played its part in teeing things up.

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Venezuela: A litmus test for the anti-war and anti-imperialist movement

By The Black Alliance for Peace, Feb. 16, 2019

The global Pan-European Colonial/Capitalist White Supremacist patriarchy is conspiring against the Bolivarian revolutionary process in Venezuela—and some Black folks are going along with it. Why?

The Black misleadership class and the media also piled onto Virginia politicians for wearing Blackface, yet they aren’t opposing the white supremacy of U.S. interventions. Black Alliance for Peace (BAP) National Organizer Ajamu Baraka writes about this cognitive dissonance in the West.

We at BAP are attempting to re-connect the internationalist position of the Black radical tradition to the Black masses, who represent 90 percent of Black people in the United States. That is what prompted our February 6 statement: Black Working Class Will Never Abandon Venezuela!

BAP Outreach Coordinator YahNé Ndgo read out loud our initial January 26 statement that explains why we oppose U.S. intervention in Venezuela. Watch her here: Hands Off Venezuela!

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Dominican Republic denies lending airbase to attack Venezuela

By Dominican Today, Feb. 14, 2019

Foreign minister  Miguel Vargas on Thurs. rebuffed the Cuban government’s assertion that US military aircraft have been  landing at San Isidro Airbase as part of an alleged incursion against Venezuela.

He reiterated Dominican Republic’s adherence to the principle of nonintervention in the internal affairs of other countries, and called for a peaceful and democratic solution to Venezuela’s crisis.

“As we have said on other occasions, the solution must be through the holding of free elections, with the participation of all Venezuelan political actors and with accompaniment of the international community,” the official said.

“In that manner we reject this version, completely detached from reality,” Vargas said in a statement from Rome.

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You want to see a real emergency, Mr. President? Visit me in Honduras.

By Amelia Frank-Vitale, Washington Post, Feb. 16, 2019

Since I moved to San Pedro Sula, Honduras, in September 2017 to do research for my doctoral dissertation, I’ve accompanied a 16-year-old with three bullet holes in his body to the hospital, only to find that there was no blood for transfusions. I’ve looked in the face of a young mother, anguished over whether she should try to make it the United States, because the gang that she used to be a part of but had left behind wanted to pull her back in. I’ve gotten tearful phone calls from a single mother and her two children, who have been told by a gang that they want her house — and she has nowhere else to go. I’ve talked to many families whose teenagers have been taken away by police, never to be seen again. And I’ve also talked to police officers who have given up on law enforcement here, as their superiors undermine honest work and reward corruption.

On Friday, President Trump declared a national emergency as a pretext to allow him to begin construction of a border wall. But the real national emergency is here, in Honduras.

I arrived shortly before a likely fraudulent election installed Juan Orlando Hernández in a second, unconstitutional term as president. Rather than protest irregularities in the vote-counting process, the Trump administration congratulated Hernández on his victory.

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In Venezuela, White Supremacy is a key driver of the coup

By Greg Palast, Black Agenda Report, Feb. 13, 2019

Many in the US have never heard this story of race war in Venezuela (and war is what it is), as the US press does not recognize its own racial bias.In 2002, as today, the massive demonstrations of the whiter Venezuelans were reported as evidence that Chavez was wildly unpopular. Yet, the day after each anti-Chavez march, I would witness and film the pro-Chavez demonstrations that flooded Caracas with an ocean of nearly half a million marchers, largely the Mestizo poor, that received little or no coverage in the US press.

The bias continues. The New York Times did not run a photo of this past week's pro-Maduro demonstrations. But in hard-to-find photos and reports from my colleagues on the ground, the Chavista demonstrations are bigger, involving mass turnouts in several cities, not just wealthy neighborhoods in Caracas.

Why do the poor march for Maduro? Even though the Mestizo majority suffers today, they will not turn back to the pre-Chavez days of de facto apartheid.

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Venezuelans' message to the US: Hands off our country

By Anya Parampil, The Grayzone, Feb. 11, 2019

The Grayzone reports from inside Venezuela, where millions of people waited in long lines to sign an open letter to the US public, strongly rejecting foreign intervention in their country. Anya Parampil interviewed working-class Venezuelans in Simon Bolivar Square in the capital Caracas, on February 10, 2019.

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Canada making a dangerous mistake by picking sides in Venezuela, says prof

By John Kirk, CBC News, Feb. 6, 2019

The situation in Venezuela is so complicated with such a polarized society with so many arms that are in people's hands with so many different vested interests from outside countries.

It's far more complicated and I don't think that people have thought through what precisely might be happening and what could happen and what the motives are.

I think that if you look at some of the partners that we have in the Lima Group, there's some pretty disreputable presidents and some pretty disreputable situations. Lack of democracy. Honduras and Guatemala are the best example, and Brazil with President [Jair] Bolsonaro.

I think that there are vested interests at play in some of the Latin American countries. The U.S. clearly has made it an objective to try to get back into the oil business.

My concern is that we're rushing ahead, and I think this is something which should be left to the Venezuelans.

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The planned plunder behind Canada's support of the coup

By Yves Engler,, Feb. 9, 2019

Critics of the Liberal government’s push for regime change in Venezuela generally focus on their deference to Washington. But, Ottawa’s hostility  to Caracas is also motivated by important segments of corporate Canada, which have long been at odds with its Bolivarian government.

In a bid for a greater share of oil revenue, Venezuela forced private oil companies to become minority partners with the state oil company in 2007. This prompted Calgary-based PetroCanada to sell  its portion of an oil project and for Canadian officials to privately complain about feeling “burned” by the Venezuelan government.

Venezuela has the largest recognized oil reserves in the world. The country also has enormous gold deposits.

A number of Canadian companies clashed with Hugo Chavez’ government over its bid to gain greater control over gold extraction. Crystallex, Vanessa VenturesGold Reserve Inc. and Rusoro Mining all had prolonged legal battles with the Venezuelan government. In 2016 Rusoro Mining won a $1 billion  claim under the Canada-Venezuela investment treaty. That same year Crystallex was awarded $1.2 billion  under the Canada-Venezuela investment treaty. Both companies continue to pursue payments and have pursued  the money from Citgo, the Venezuelan government owned gasoline retailer in the US.

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Ilhan Omar doesn’t flinch in calling Trump’s Venezuela policy the coup that it is

By Alexander Rubenstein, Mint press news, Jan. 28, 2019

Freshman Representative Ilhan Omar (D-MN), is quickly building a reputation for herself as a staunch anti-war voice in the House of Representatives. While the government has been shut down for the majority of her term so far, Omar has used social media to push back on the coup in Venezuela, which has been heavily supported by the executive branch.

Omar was among the first Democrats to raise any objections to the U.S.-backed coup, in what was considered the most unequivocal denunciation of Washington’s attempt at regime change in Caracas.

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Venezuela crisis: Former UN rapporteur says US sanctions are killing citizens

By Michael Selby-Green, the Independent, Jan. 26, 2019

The first UN rapporteur to visit Venezuela for 21 years has told The Independent the US sanctions on the country are illegal and could amount to “crimes against humanity” under international law.

Former special rapporteur Alfred de Zayas, who finished his term at the UN in March, has criticized the US for engaging in “economic warfare” against Venezuela which he said is hurting the economy and killing Venezuelans.

The comments come amid worsening tensions in the country after the US and UK have backed Juan Guaido, who appointed himself “interim president” of Venezuela as hundreds of thousands marched to support him. European leaders are calling for “free and fair” elections. Russia and Turkey remain Nicolas Maduro’s key supporters.

Mr De Zayas, a former secretary of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) and an expert in international law, spoke to The Independent following the presentation of his Venezuela report to the HRC in September. He said that since its presentation the report has been ignored by the UN and has not sparked the public debate he believes it deserves.

“Sanctions kill,” he told The Independent, adding that they fall most heavily on the poorest people in society, demonstrably cause death through food and medicine shortages, lead to violations of human rights and are aimed at coercing economic change in a “sister democracy”.

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Posted Feb. 21, 2019