News compilation on A Socialist In Canada, Aug 13, 2017
Trump voices military intervention against Venezuela
LARA, Venezuela, August 11, 2017 – International pressure continued to escalate against Venezuela this week. A UN Human Rights team released a statement claiming that it is “unclear” if any of the 126 deaths that have occurred in violent protests in Venezuela since the month of April are due to opposition violence. [See below for weblink to news report.]
Meanwhile, representatives from 12 countries–Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay and Peru–met in Lima on Tuesday, August 8 to release the ‘Lima Declaration’ stating that “Venezuela is no longer a democracy”. The declaration referred to the recently elected National Constituent Assembly as illegitimate and accused the government of President Nicholas Maduro of human rights abuses. [Text of the Aug 8, 2017 ‘Lima Declaration’ here.]
On August 11, a day after Maduro reiterated an invitation to a “mutually respectful” dialogue between Venezuela and the United States, Donald Trump spoke about possible U.S. responses to the situation in Venezuela at an improvised press conference following talks with U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Trump spoke of possible military intervention.
“We have many options ..this is our neighbor. We are all over the world and we have troops all over the world in places that are very, very far away,” Trump said. “Venezuela is not very far away and the people are suffering. They’re dying. We have many options for Venezuela including a possible military option, if necessary.”
When asked by a reporter if his statement implied a U.S. led military operation, the president responded “We don’t talk about it but a military operation, a military option is certainly something that we could pursue.”
According to Telesur, the Pentagon has stated that it has not received any orders regarding Venezuela and referred reporters to the Whitehouse for more information.
President Maduro responded to Trump’s statements at a meeting of the constituent assembly. “Here, the problem is not Maduro, take him out or leave him. No! Here there is a constituent people that has said that we want and we have a homeland and no one nor any empire will take that away from us. We are a people that is in political power in Venezuela, not one man!”
Maduro also made reference to the long history of the United States stained with violent intervention, violation of international law and lack of respect for the sovereignty and self-determination of the world’s nations. He said Trump’s retrograde approach will not be tolerated.
“The 21st century is not a century of colonialism. They think they can dominate us, take away our natural resources, our oil, gold, gas and dominate our country and for us to say ‘Yes, sir, mister emperor.’ No, they cannot think they can do that.”
The comments made by the U.S. president also sparked a conflicted response from some of the allied countries who participated in issuing the Lima Declaration earlier in the week [report on Reuters, Aug 8, 2017].
Herald Muñoz, Chilean foreign minister, tweeted a response to Trump’s statement. “Reiterating all the terms of the Lima Declaration on Venezuela, Chile rejects the threat of military intervention in Venezuela.”
* Trump wants to destabilize Latin America by threatening Caracas with force – Venezuelan foreign minister, RT.com, Aug 13, 2017
* Venezuela defense minister calls Trump’s talk of military intervention ‘craziness’, by Joshua Goodman, Associated Press, Aug 12, 2017
* UN human rights body makes an outlandish statement on Venezuela, by Joe Emersberger, Telesur, Aug 11, 2017
* Venezuela and Peru expel each others’ ambassadors, Telesur, Aug 11, 2017
* ALBA alliance defends Venezuela as Peru meeting steps up threats, Telesur, Aug 8, 2017
* Venezuelan opposition faces internal split, by Ryan Mallett-Outtrim, Venezuela Analysis, Aug 12, 2017