Contributed by Jim Hayes
Russia, China, Egypt and Bolivia have boycotted a United States instigated United Nations Security Council meeting, to discuss the political situation in Venezuela.
The representatives of these nations told reporters that the Security Council does not have the right to interfere in the internal affairs of a sovereign nation.
Russian U.N. Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said: “The issue is about meddling with the internal domestic affairs of Venezuela”.
The boycott has signalled that any proposal for intervention is not going to get past the Security Council and if the United States wishes to continue it will have to do so without a United Nations mandate.
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley countered by telling those who did attend the meeting: “The fact that the (Venezuelan) government would go so far as to try and get people not to show up to a meeting is guilt. And that’s unfortunate”. No evidence was provided to back up the claim that this had occurred.
Not everyone who attended agreed with the United State’s position. For example, Uruguay’s Deputy U.N. Ambassador Luis Bermudez said his country did not believe the situation in Venezuela was a threat to international peace and security.
Venezuela’s U.N. Ambassador Rafael Dario Ramirez told reporters that “the meeting is a hostile and clearly interfering act of the United States that undermines the principle of sovereignty of a member state of the U.N….We condemn this act of political manipulation.”
The Latin American country is suffering from a harsh economic crisis, which its government claims has been severely aggravated by a combination of economic pressure form the United States, systematic sabotage committed by its allies in Venezuela and the sharp fall in the price of oil, a commodity that the country has been over dependent on for a long time.
Opponents are accusing he Maduro Venezuelan government of using systemic violence to clamp down on opposition and blame for the deaths of dozens of people. But according to credible independent witnesses, most of the violence has been used by government opponents and most of those who who have died, have been at the hands of the opposition.
This does not only come from testimonies. A lot has been captures on video and is easily accessible on the Internet. Included is footage of pouring petrol over a man accused of supporting the government and set alight. others show government opponents destroying stocks of food and medicines to create shortages.
The Maduro government has been accused of barring opponents from standing for election. The truth is that they have boycotted the electoral process.
A key point of contention was the recent process to create a special non-permanent Constituent Assembly, to discuss and make recommendations to the parliament for constitutional change. The opposition opposed this assembly of elected delegates from municipal governments and the inclusion of delegates elected by social sectors, including women indigenous people, farmers, students and pensioners to make up one third of the total. The opposition branded this as undemocratic.
Despite attempts by opponents to prevent voters from reaching polling stations, Many Venezuelans did cast a ballot and the Constituent Assembly has come in to existence.
In the 15 October’s regional government elections, government opponents did badly and lost a large part of previously made gains. At first, they refused to accept the result and demanded an audit of the ballots. This was given and the result remains unchanged.
Reeling from the resent losses, the opposition is becoming increasingly divided into hostile factions. Some have accepted the electoral results and argue that to refuse to do so places the opposition on the side of opposing democracy. Others favour non-participation in electoral processes and prefer action in the streets and sabotage to undermine the government. Another group goes for participation in elections, but to not recognise wins by the other side.
The United States is increasingly considering lifting the scale of its intervention and the possibility of military intervention. The political reality that for this to occur there must be an international mechanism to provide some show of legitimacy.Consequently, the strategy is to internationalise the issue and bringing it to the United Nations.
In a different development however, European Union foreign ministers approved economic sanctions and an arms embargo on Venezuela, over the claim of election irregularities.
The video below by Abby Martin provides an on the scenes report of anti-government protests made up moistly be upper middle class and wealthy Venezuelans, claiming they are fighting for democracy. But the methods they use can only be described as horrific and antidemocratic.
Video from Telesur
Police convoy mortared by anti government protesters filmed observing their action.
Video from Wikimedia
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