Citizen Action Monitor

With eyes wide shut, Canada’s Foreign Minister Freeland deceitfully declares new sanctions on Venezuela

Former UN Expert Alfred de Zayas likened sanctions to “medieval sieges,” meant to bring countries “to their knees.”

No 2459 Posted by fw, April 16, 2019

“Ottawa imposed sanctions on 43 Venezuelan officials Wednesday, according to a statement by Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland. While the statement did not specify the names of those targeted, Freeland indicated that they were ‘high-ranking officials’ or ‘governors.’ ‘Canada is committed to supporting the peaceful restoration of constitutional democracy in Venezuela,’ she added. … US-led sanctions have met growing international opposition, with many experts warning that the measures are exacerbating the Caribbean country’s current crisis by depriving the cash-strapped Venezuelan state of resources and imposing hurdles on transactions such as food and medicine imports. UN Special Rapporteur Idriss Jazairy has criticized the use of sanctions to promote regime change, while former UN Expert Alfred de Zayas likened sanctions to ‘medieval sieges,’ meant to bring countries ‘to their knees.’”Richard Vaz, Venezuela Analysis

In yesterday’s post, Canadian educator Jim Miles referred to Chrystia Freeland’s doublespeak, alleging Russian interference in our democratic processes while busily meddling in the affairs of Venezuela. Miles writes: “It is not surprising given her historical background relationship with Ukraine and her support of the neonazi coup instigated by the CIA/NSA among others.”

And in today’s article, reposted below, she has the unmitigated gall to proclaim “Canada is committed to supporting the peaceful restoration of constitutional democracy in Venezuela.”

“Peaceful”? Does Freeland truly believe that Canada’s sanctions are not causing horrendous suffering to the poorest of the poor of Venezuela?

“Restoration of constitutional democracy”? With eyes wide shut, Freeland continues to falsely imply that Maduro’s election was illegitimate, as if repeatedly saying it will magically make it so.

Below is a repost of an article published by the excellent source, Venezuela Analysis. I have added subheadings and highlighted text. In addition, take a look at the 6 related posts at the bottom of this repost. Alternatively, read VA’s piece on its website by clicking on the following linked title.

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Venezuela: Canada Imposes Fresh Sanctions as Pompeo Vows to ‘Tighten Noose’ by Richard Vaz, Venezuela Analysis, April 15, 2019

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the Lima Group have pledged more sanctions against Venezuela.

With eyes wide shut, Freeland announces new sanctions on Venezuelan officials

Caracas, April 15, 2019 – Ottawa imposed sanctions on 43 Venezuelan officials Wednesday, according to a statement by Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland. While the statement did not specify the names of those targeted, Freeland indicated that they were “high-ranking officials” or “governors.”

The Minister deceitfully declares Canada is “committed to peaceful restoration of democracy in Venezuela”

Canada is committed to supporting the peaceful restoration of constitutional democracy in Venezuela,” she added.

Previous Canadian sanctions had targeted a total of 70 Venezuelan officials.

The measures by the Trudeau government come on the heels of successive rounds of sanctions imposed against Caracas by the US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). After sanctioning Venezuela’s oil, mining and banking sectors, Washington has recently gone after vessels and cargo companies involved in Venezuelan oil shipments. The latest round targeted four shipping companies and nine vessels on Friday.

Lima Group declaration disingenuously rejected any action leading to “military intervention”

Sanctions occupied the limelight at a Lima Group summit held in Santiago, Chile, on Monday. The meeting, which was not attended by Mexico, ended with a joint statement by participating countries. While the declaration rejected “any threat or course of action leading to a military intervention,” it did call on the international community to continue imposing sanctions against Venezuela. The statement additionally calls for an “International Conference for Democracy,” to be held in Lima at a later date.

Former UN expert likened sanctions to “medieval sieges” to bring people “to their knees”

US-led sanctions have met growing international opposition, with many experts warning that the measures are exacerbating the Caribbean country’s current crisis by depriving the cash-strapped Venezuelan state of resources and imposing hurdles on transactions such as food and medicine imports. UN Special Rapporteur Idriss Jazairy has criticized the use of sanctions to promote regime change, while former UN Expert Alfred de Zayas likened sanctions to “medieval sieges,” meant to bring countries “to their knees.”

“Watch the noose tighten around Maduro’s neck,” Pompeo gloats to reporters on South American trip

The latest sanctions coincided with a South American trip by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who visited Chile, Paraguay, Peru and Colombia in the past week. Venezuela was one of the main topics on the agenda, as well as Chinese investments in Latin America.

Pompeo meets with Venezuelan opposition leader wanted for alleged drone assassination attempt against Maduro

Pompeo’s last stop was the Colombian town of Cucuta, right on the border with Venezuela, where he met Colombian President Ivan Duque and Venezuelan opposition leaders such as Julio Borges. Borges is wanted by Venezuelan judicial authorities for his alleged involvement in the drone assassination attempt against President Maduro on August 4, 2018.

Speaking in Cucuta on Sunday, Pompeo vowed to use “every economic and political means at our disposal,” including sanctions, to hold the “regime” accountable.

You watch the political and diplomatic noose tighten around Maduro’s neck,” he told reporters before going back to the US.

“Pompeo has lost his mind,” reprimands Chinese Ambassador to Chile

Pompeo’s trip also featured warnings against Cuba, Russia and China for their support for the Maduro government. The secretary of state warned Havana and Moscow that there would be a “cost” for supporting Maduro, while also criticizing China’s presence in Latin America throughout the trip, calling it “nefarious.”

Beijing rebuked Pompeo’s comments on Monday, with Chinese Ambassador to Chile Xu Bu telling a local newspaper that Pompeo had “lost his mind.”

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Lu Kang blasted Pompeo’s “groundless allegations,” adding that “the US has long been treating Latin America as its backyard, where it would resort to willful use of pressure, threat or even subversion.

Meanwhile, self-proclaimed interim president Guaidó pledged end within days of Maduro’s “usurpation”

Self-proclaimed “Interim president” Juan Guaidó held a three day tour of the country’s northwest, holding rallies in the states of Falcón and Zulia. Guaidó asked his followers to be “confident,” while also pledging that the end of the “usurpation” was just days away.

You are not alone in this struggle, the international community is behind you and we are not going to lose,” he told a crowd in Punto Fijo.

Concurrently, US-led sanctions continue to stall repairs to Venezuela’s electric grid

Western states such as Zulia, home to Venezuela’s second largest city, Maracaibo, have been particularly hard hit by the recent electricity crisis, taking days to see power restored following nationwide blackouts and only having a few hours of service at a time.

Venezuela’s electric grid has been plagued by under-investment and lack of maintenance, problems which have been compounded by US sanctions. States such as Zulia had plans to install thermoelectric plants so as to reduce the dependence on the Guri Dam, the country’s main electricity generator, but sanctions have ground plans to a halt, particularly through shortages of fuel necessary to activate the plants.

Chavismo rally in Caracas commemorated defeat of 2002 coup led by domestic opponents to Hugo Chavez

For its part, Chavismo [political ideology based on ideas of Hugo Chávez] held a rally in Caracas on Saturday to commemorate the defeat of the 2002 coup which removed Chávez from power for 47 hours. The coup was led by opposition figures such as Leopoldo Lopez and Henrique Capriles, placing business leader Pedro Carmona as interim president, before a massive popular response brought Chávez back to power.

Maduro noted that leaders of the 2002 coup remain opposition figures today

The date also marks the anniversary of the Bolivarian Militia, a popular defense organization created in 2009 and which has a reported 2 million members.

In his speech, Maduro pointed out that many of those who led the coup are high-profile opposition figures today, while also drawing parallels between Carmona’s swearing in and Juan Guaidó’s self-proclamation on January 23.

SEE RELATED

Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland aggressively backs Washington-led coup in Venezuela – Feb 3, 2019 — She ignores inconvenient facts, including – Juan Guaidó is US-groomed, far-right thug; Lima Group plots regime change.

My letter to Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Freeland on her perversion of the truth about Venezuela – Feb 6, 2019 — “You have revealed your utter contempt for the intelligence of responsibly informed Canadians”

We may be seeing the emergence of the ‘Trudeau Doctrine’ as a mask for interference in Venezuela — Mar 5, 2019 — Freeland has justified Canada’s aggressive interference in Venezuela’s affairs by saying “this is our neighbourhood”.

Dimitri Lascaris: Three reasons Trudeau government pushes for regime change in Venezuela – Mar 9, 2019 — 1/ Neoliberal ideology; 2/ Subservience to Washington; 3/ Promote interests of Canada’s mining sector.

Letter to Minister Freeland re false allegation Maduro regime is “exclusively responsible” for blackout – Mar 14, 2019 — The allegation, posted by Global Affairs Canada, was authored by the Lima Group, of which Canada is a leading member.

Will Chrystia Freeland issue retraction and apology for false allegation against Maduro regime? — Mar 11, 2019 — On February 23, Ministers Freeland and Bibeau issued a Statement that Maduro forces had “burned aid”.

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