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Friday 15 February 2019
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Reject US sanctions

The citizens and Government of Trinidad and Tobago are being urged to reject the recently announced United States sanctions against Venezuelan government officials accused of violating protestors’ rights during demonstrations earlier this year.

The call came yesterday from several groups sympathetic to the administration of Venezuela’s President, Nicolas Maduro, including the Trinidad and Tobago Bolivarian Solidarity Movement (TTBSM), the Movement for Social Justice (MSJ) and the National Workers Union (NWU).

Representatives of each read out statements during a rally at the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port-of-Spain, yesterday morning in the vicinity of the US Embassy on Marli Street. A statement issued on Saturday by the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) was also read out at the event.

Declaring that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere, the TTBSM said, “US attempts to undermine the democratically-elected government of Venezuela will undermine democracy everywhere, especially in TT, the Caribbean and the larger region of South and Central America.”

TTBSM declared that those gathered in the savannah spoke with one voice and one aim to say, “No to US sanctions on Venezuela! No US hegemony in the region, the hemisphere or the plant.”

In rejecting the latest sanctions, the MSJ said “the issue is not ‘democracy’ but oil and other geo-political interests.”

The political party also said it had “no doubt that the US is pursuing its old imperial agenda of seeking to control strategic resources globally, and in particular, to control oil and energy resources.” MSJ then claimed the “evidence is clear” that Venezuela is being deliberately starved of vital supplies for everyday living, from toilet paper to basic food items, “by local merchants in co-ordination with the US government to destabilise the country in order to promote regime change.” As such, it yesterday called for an immediate removal of all US-imposed sanctions against Venezuela.

Equally outspoken in its criticism of the US’ actions was the NWU, which said “in a fit of apparent absurdity, US President Barack Obama has declared ‘a national emergency with respect to the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the US posed by the situation in Venezuela’.”

NWU described this as just the latest step in a 15-year campaign by the US to “derail the course of the Bolivarian revolution by instigating, financing and collaborating with right wing elements in Venezuela to overthrow the democratically-elected government of our closest neighbour.”

Rejection also came from UNASUR, which said the Executive Order issued by the US government and passed on March 9 was “an interfering threat to sovereignty and the principle of non-intervention in the internal matters of other States.”

UNASUR then reiterated its call to the US government to evaluate and put in practice alternatives for dialogue with the government of Venezuela.


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