Friday, February 17, 2006

Support the Venezuelan Revolution! Que Viva Che Hugo!

Support the Venezuelan Revolution! Que Viva Che Hugo!
Date: 02-17-2006

Read and pass on to others today’s articles on relations between Venezuela and the United States as we learn more about the role of oil in world politics. It is all interconnected in connected reality. Do the basic math, connect the dots and think outside the box, in our case, the continental United States!

Understand that the Fascist Amerikan Empire will eventually and automatically attack any threat by any power, foreign or domestic, to its being and staying ‘in power and secure’. All targeted threats are slated to be attacked sooner or later in one way or another.

Plus, the Fascist Amerikan Empire must continue to cleverly and consciously distract good American people from US closely examining our own domestic national problems. The Oval Office Cabal does not mind spending billions on their Evil War Plans and Contingency Plans; after all, it ain’t their money anyways!

Be sure that their personal family fortunes are so far cushioned for generations to come! Meanwhile, there are real concerns about the stability of the world’s economy.

From Financial Times:
US trade deficit balloons to record $726bn
By Christopher Swann in Washington
Last updated: February 10 2006 16:49

The US trade deficit ballooned to a record $726bn in 2005, inflated by surging imports from China and soaring energy prices.

In December the US imported $65.7bn more than it exported, up from $64.7bn in November. The widening came in spite of a strong 2.1 per cent rise in exports. The increase was all the more impressive because volatile aircraft sales were down on the month. Imports grew by 1.9 per cent.

Combat Amerikan Fascism!
Peter S. Lopez ~aka Peta
HELP Field Coordinator
Sacramento, California, USA

FYI: bn = billion

Chavez Warns U.S. on Oil Exports: February 17, 2006, 9:56 PM
By CHRISTOPHER TOOTHAKER, Associated Press Writer

CARACAS, Venezuela - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez warned on Friday he could cut off oil exports to the United States if Washington goes "over the line" in what he has said are attempts to destabilize his left-leaning government.

Chavez made his threat a day after Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said that the Venezuelan government posed "one of the biggest problems" in the region and that its ties to Cuba were "particularly dangerous" to democracy in Latin America.

"The government of the United States should know that if they go over the line, they are not going to have Venezuelan oil," Chavez said.

"I have already taken measures regarding this. I'm not going to say what because they think that I can't take these measures because we would not have any place to send the oil," Chavez said.

Chavez has threatened to halt oil exports to U.S. ports before, but Friday was the first time the former paratroop commander mentioned having made contacts with other crude buyers as part of a contingency plan.

"Many countries ask us for more oil and we have had to tell many countries we can't send them more" because Venezuela, the world's fifth largest oil exporter, ships 1.5 million barrels of oil a day to the United States, he told supporters at the presidential palace.

Relations between Chavez and the Bush administration hit new lows in recent days after Washington expelled a Venezuelan diplomat in response to Chavez's expulsion of a U.S. embassy official for alleged spying.

Venezuela on Friday also demanded an explanation from Washington for being labeled one of Latin America's biggest threats as a visiting State Department delegation aimed to ease tensions between the governments.

Chavez has repeatedly accused the U.S. government of trying to discredit his government and orchestrate his ouster. American officials deny those charges but accuse him of authoritarian tendencies.

Chavez, who refers to     President Bush as "Mr. Danger," said U.S. officials would fail in their attempts to turn Latin American nations against Venezuela.

"You create your front Mr. Danger, we will create ours," Chavez said. "We are going to defeat the empire."

Chavez said Rice's statements were aimed at creating chaos and political upheaval in this oil-rich yet poor South American nation ahead of presidential elections in December.

Chavez, who was elected to a six-year term in 2000, has vowed to win the next election and govern until 2013 — or longer.

US Secretary of State Reverses Brief Thaw in Relations with Venezuela:
Friday, Feb 17, 2006

By: Gregory Wilpert –

Caracas, Venezuela, February 17, 2006—Almost immediately after what appeared to be a thawing of relations between Venezuela and the United States, the relationship suffered a severe setback. Only a day after Bernardo Alvarez, Venezuela’s Ambassador to the U.S., met with Assistant Secretary of State Thomas Shannon, in which relations were said to take a new turn for the better, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the Bush administration is working on creating a “united front” of countries against Venezuela.

Yesterday, Venezuela’s Vice-Minister of Foreign Relations, Pavel Rondon, said that a meeting between Ambassador Alvarez and Assistant Secretary Shannon was successful and could signify a shift in relations between the U.S. and Venezuela. “Venezuela values highly that after three years the State Department meets with our Ambassador Bernardo Alvarez,” said Rondon.

According to the Venezuelan embassy in the U.S., Venezuela had been requesting an official meeting with the State Department ever since November 2005. The Alvarez-Shannon meeting covered a wide variety of issues, such as energy, commerce, and the extradition of the Venezuelan-Cuban Luis Posada Carriles, who is wanted for terrorism in Venezuela.

Rice Details Measures Against Venezuela:
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, speaking at a U.S. Senate budget hearing yesterday, seemed to reverse the progress that was made a mere day earlier. Asked about U.S. policy towards Venezuela, Rice said, “I think it's fair to say that one of the biggest problems that we face in that regard are the policies of Venezuela, which … are attempting to influence neighbors away from democratic processes.” Also, Venezuela’s relationship to Cuba, said Rice, “is a particular danger to the region.”

Explaining what the Bush administration was doing to counter this “problem,” Rice said, “we're working with others to try and make certain that there is a kind of united front against some of the kinds of things that Venezuela gets involved in.” The State Department is, “working with responsible governments, even responsible governments of the left, like the Brazilian government or the Chilean government, to try and counter these [Venezuelan] influences.”

[According to AFP, a spokesperson for Brazil’s Foreign Ministry was asked today about Rice’s comments, and said, “Brazil had excellent relations with Venezuela in the past few years.” This relationship is exemplified by the frequent meetings between the two presidents and Venezuela’s entry into Mercosur, said the spokesperson.]

Rice detailed that the administration’s plan also involves “inoculating” problematic political figures with financial freezes or visa denials, as it has done in the case of Nicaragua.

Another element in the administration’s plans is to “have an alternative … for these places that are vulnerable to this kind of particular brand of Latin American populism that has taken democratic states down the drain before.” By an alternative, Rice referred to the promotion of free trade while also “caring about the poor.”

Rice highlighted two recent events in particular, saying that the Bush administration would have to “raise the profile” of what is happening, such as with the charges that have been brought against the U.S.-funded opposition NGO Sumate, which she described as a “kangaroo trial.”

Last week, a Venezuelan judge ordered that the on-going treason trial against Sumate leaders be nullified and the Attorney General said his office would re-initiate the case over again.

The second issue Rice raised was a truckers’ strike in Venezuela, “where, I think, international labor could play a role in exposing the pressures on free trade union movements … the way that international labor did with Solidarity in Poland.”

Venezuelan Officials Deny Existence of Transport Strike:
Venezuela’s Vice-Minister for Foreign Relations with North America, Mary Pili Hernandez, responded to Rice’s comments today, denying that there currently is a truckers’ strike in Venezuela. According to Hernandez, Rice’s mentioning of such a strike is a cause of concern because it suggests that there might be a plan to initiate a transportation strike as part of a destabilization plan, where truckers would be used as “cannon fodder.” “We will ask for an explanation [from the State Department],” added Hernandez.

Similarly, National Assembly President Nicolas Maduro, who is a former metro worker union leader, said that the international community should indeed pay attention to what is happening in Venezuela, as Rice is either misinformed or intentionally misinforming what is happening in Venezuela. There is no transport workers’ strike in Venezuela said Maduro.

Maduro did say that there were suspicious activities on the part of some anti-government transportation unions, but that the government recently convoked a large meeting of transportation workers, where the National Assembly agreed to install a national transportation roundtable, “Where we will propose a package of reforms and laws that have to do with the strengthening and reorientation of the entire transportation system in the country.”

U.S. Government Is Sending Mixed Signals:
Maduro added that the U.S. government is sending mixed signals to Venezuela. “On the one hand there are positive signs for wanting a dialogue, with which we agree because we want to overcome differences, but on the other hand there are signs that the government of the United States continues with a different line … to try with bribes and the investment of dollars to put itself into natural conflicts of Venezuelan society,” said Maduro.

Similarly, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, last night, suggested that the Bush administration is contradicting itself. “Just as someone sends a signal of conciliation with Venezuela, the hawks let lose and enter and destroy whatever initiative of coming together. That isn’t a government, it’s craziness,” said Chavez.

Relations between the U.S. and Venezuela entered a new phase of tensions two weeks ago when the Chavez government accused the naval attaché to the U.S. embassy in Venezuela of spying and summarily expelled him. The Bush administration responded by expelling the chief of staff of the Ambassador of Venezuela to the U.S.


U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice during a Senate budget hearing.
Credit: AP  

Venezuela's Vice-Minster for Foreign Relations, North America, Mari Pili Hernandez during a press conference.
Credit: VTV  

National Assembly President Nicolas Maduro speaks at a ceremony commemorating the September 11, 1970 coup against Chile's President Salvador Allende.
Credit: ABN/Wendys Olivo  


Workers Reject Imperialist Aggression Against Venezuela
Friday, Feb 17, 2006


In response to recent false claims of U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that truckers in Venezuela are engaged in a strike, Venezuela's National Union of Workers (UNT) issues a rejection of Rice's strategy to attack Venezuela. See US Secretary of State Reverses Brief Thaw in Relations with Venezuela for more on Rice's recent comments.

The U.S. Empire’s intention of promoting an International Front against Venezuela is rejected by the Venezuelan workers, even more when they intend to manipulate the international community by stating that it is necessary to support “the transport strike” that would be in course in Venezuela, and which is only in the imagination and bad intentions of Bush’s attacking government.      

Pretending to support workers that allegedly protest against the legitimate and democratic government of President Chávez is an old trick the United States used in Chile when they promoted a Truckers Strike against Allende’s government. This plan led to the establishment of Pinochet’s bloody dictatorship.

The workers strongly respond to this new attack. As happened with the oil strike, we will not let them use and manipulate workers. We will face the pro-coup and pro-empire workers’ organization in its attempt to stop businesses and services and make it look like a workers’ strike according to the U.S. propaganda against Venezuela.

We reject worker’s and business organizations that disguise themselves as workers, that are part of a plan designed in Washington and that try to stop transportation when the working families are going to enjoy their Carnival vacations.

We made an appeal to all unions for working together against this new attack against workers. The National Union of Workers (UNT, Spanish acronym) calls all Latin American unions in order to prepare an international response by workers to this imperialist attack targeting Venezuela. We also call U.S. workers and their unions to reject this attack and manipulation that the U.S. government wants to carry out against workers and Venezuela.






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