A little noise…but a few nuts

The lifting of sanctions imposed by the United States on Venezuela should be an order of unconditional implementation: we already know that no country has the right to decree unilateral punitive measures, let alone provoke a change of political, economic and social regimes, and that this practice is blatant and a gross violation of international law, which also – and we feel it in our flesh – has the character of genocide.

But as hegemony crumbles and Washington may one day be forced to respect the rights of others, as Benito Juarez would say, statements like those of the International Conference on Venezuela held this week in Colombia are clearing the way.

At a meeting called by Andean State President Gustavo Petro, only three statements were made, and none of them were new: The Venezuelan government has set an election schedule in view of the presidential election due next year, a request already made by the opposition right; lifting US sanctions; and the materialization of the last and most important agreement reached by the Bolivarian executive and opposition in their interrupted process of dialogue: the return to the Venezuelan state of $3 billion out of a total of $20 billion estimated to have been withdrawn from their funds. deposited abroad, due to the US siege policy that Joe Biden inherited from Donald Trump and which, for many reasons, is now considered a failure. Chief among them is the Venezuelan resistance.

This, and nothing else, is context. In the midst of this panorama, the restitution of part of the sequestered money was just the most significant agreement reached by representatives of the Venezuelan government and law during their last meeting, held last November in Mexico.

But opponents – read the United States, which dispossessed millions and gave them for safekeeping, and then, into the hands of the Juan Guaidó clique – did not return anything, of course.

Statements like those of the International Conference on Venezuela held this week in Colombia are clearing the way. Photo: taken from albaciudad.org

The decision that will allow the creation of the Social Fund to address this area in Venezuela, according to the agreement, falls to the US Office of Foreign Assets Control. But once the same right-wing parties ruled in December that Guaido recognized more, the management of the money was nominally left to the discretion other representatives of the same opposition class.

However, the issue of expropriated money is not a heavyweight of life in Venezuela, but rather a ratified need to lift sanctions, which continues to be the main stumbling block for the country.

As Vice President Delcy Rodriguez pointed out a few days earlier, the US measures have cost the Venezuelan economy $29 billion a year since Barack Obama declared Venezuela a threat to his country’s national security in 2015.

Among the same recurring statements, two elements signify qualitative changes that have taken place in the environment of the Conference, which could contribute to the lifting of the economic blockade: the presence at the meeting of about twenty invited diplomatic missions, which somehow must They support a short statement read at the end by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Colombia’s Álvaro Leyva, whose presence alone confirms the legitimacy that the Venezuelan government wanted to usurp in the Trump era.

To spice it up, the fact that Guaidó’s new romance, when he went on foot, as he said, to Bogotá to attend the conference and was not approved by the Colombian authorities, who also did not invite him, also shows respect for Caracas and added another symbolic nuance that in the scenario of aggression against Venezuela, times are different than the moment when 50 countries, under Trump’s coercion, recognized the puppet, which today has turned into a political corpse.

But perhaps most important was the participation of a high-level U.S. delegation led by John Feiner, Biden’s chief national security adviser, as well as his special adviser on the Americas, Christopher Dodd, and the National Security Council’s director of national affairs. Western Hemisphere, Juan Gonzalez.

Maybe it’s somehow possible to understand the indirect way of communication? between the Biden administration and Caracas and add another grain of sand to fill in the bag of changes required by US policy towards the Bolivarian nation.

This was preceded by other steps that implied at least a certain pragmatism, driven by the need for oil and breaking through the blockade, such as licenses issued by the Ministry of Finance to the companies Eni, Repsol and Chevron to commercialize, even if it was temporary, Venezuelan oil, a decision that brought that oil back to the United States for the first time since 2019, late last year.

Venezuela, which was not present at the meeting, ratified at the end of it with a sober and brief statement by the Foreign Ministry the need to lift sanctions and ratified that the way to resume dialogue with the opposition is the creation of the Social Fund and the release of businessman Alex Saab, who was arrested and extradited without a proven crime to the United States, which was the first reason for the interruption of negotiations.

In addition, the presidential election schedule and the “transparency” demanded by the opponents included in the Conference Declaration, although working implicitly as conditions that should not be, do not pose a problem for the presiding executive. Nicholas Maduro.

During his tenure, Hugo Chavez’s policy of dealing with the most pressing problems with the opposition through electoral disputes is followed. The Bolivarians were victorious in most of these battles, although the situation created by the siege itself may present a difficult scenario for ordinary Venezuelans when it comes to voting.

In fact, the Democratic Unitary Platform, which brings together the main right-wing parties, was already looking for a single candidate for 2024, through the scheduled primary elections.

At this point, it is possible that a new mediation process has been set up that can only be successful as long as it serves as the basis for a change in United States policy towards Venezuela and does not turn against that nation.

In short, Washington’s meddling and aggressiveness is at the root of the problem.

Source: Juventud Rebelde


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