Hear us, please

Venezuelans here tell CARICOM why they oppose Maduro

A group of Venezuelan women living here attempted to crash the meeting of Caribbean Community (CARICOM) foreign ministers Thursday, to highlight their opposition to the embattled president, Nicolas Maduro.

Members of the Civil Society of Venezuelans in Barbados gathered outside the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre at about noon Thursday, the opening day of the 20th meeting of the CARICOM Council for Foreign and Community Relations, to protest against the economic situation in their homeland and Maduro’s refusal to hold overdue elections.

However, the demonstration was short-lived as they were quickly ushered off the compound by police and security personnel because they did not have a permit to protest.

Some of the protestors before they were ushered off the compound of the LESC.

The group’s president Mirna Hughes told Barbados TODAY the women were aware that Venezuela’s head of mission here Francisco Manuel Perez Santana would be attending the meeting, and they wanted to have an audience with him and with the CARICOM foreign ministers in a bid to get the regional ministers’ support for their cause.

She said she was aware that many of the regional states had benefited from arrangements with Caracas, including the PetroCaribe oil deal, and she feared the foreign ministers would “listen only to the embassy”.

“We want to tell our side of the story,” said an emotional Hughes, as she held back tears.

“We want CARICOM members to listen to us too. I have been asking for that for years, but they always listen to the embassy, they always listen to the regime,” she said.

Perhaps what was most upsetting for the protesting women, who were dressed mostly in black in honour of those killed during deadly protests at home over the past six weeks, were comments made by Perez yesterday.

The Venezuelan head of mission had complained that the embassy in Hastings, Christ Church had been under siege for two hours last Thursday, and that the protestors had threatened and cursed the diplomats and staff trapped inside.

He also said they had left behind a littered compound, and had threatened to return, raising concern about the security and wellbeing of the staff.

However, Hughes told Barbados TODAY that was all a lie, adding that all they wanted was to be heard.

“How can he go and lie so openly when we have the photos and everything? We went there with three priests. There were two plain-clothes policemen the whole time. We didn’t even know he [Perez] was there. It is not the first time we did that; we did that in 2014,” she said, adding that the group had nothing to hide.

She said the vigil at the embassy formed part of a global move by Venezuelans seeking “a few points of the regime” including respect for the national assembly and the holding of election.

She threw out a challenge for the Venezuelan diplomats here to meet publicly with the group to discuss their concerns.

“They can have police, the press and we wait for him to tell me time, place and date and we all will come and meet with him, our representative here, because he is here for us. He is not here to lie, or here for the regime, he is here for us and he should be catering to us. So I want him to come and meet with us in front of all the press, with all the police that they want to, with all his staff and to prove to us how are we are lying. I challenge him publicly and I hope he takes the challenge,” Hughes said.

Hughes added that it was sad that the close to 200 Venezuelans living here could no longer go to their homeland as freely as they pleased.

Venezuela has been mired in political unrest since early April. 
marlonmadden@barbadostoday.bb

3 Responses to Hear us, please

  1. Tony Webster May 19, 2017 at 1:41 pm

    @Mirna: girl, do what you know is tight right, and righteous. Some people there, are in penury, destitute, ans sick without any hope except to dodge military bullets and tear gas All, starved of basic life- sustaining basics..

    OTHER CHIC PEOPLE, are here, talking , eating , and chatting eloquently above the above the clink of wine glasses.

    Be strong, Lady!

    Reply
  2. George Thomas May 22, 2017 at 3:39 am

    THE BLAME FOR THE VENEZUELAN ECONOMIC CRISIS.

    It was on April 19, 1961, that Cubans were victorious against the “Bay of Pigs” invasion

    Also significant is April 19, 1810, in Caracas, when the Spanish American Wars of Independence and the Bolivarian Revolution began.

    Spain, a superpower with an imperialist empire that began in 1492, was in ruins by April 19, 1810.

    Empires rise and fall.

    Like Spain, the USA, now tens of trillions of dollars in National Debt, is also a superpower coming to ruin.

    History has proven that Capitalism can’t resolve the world’s problems.

    Imperialism, as the highest stage of capitalism, does not bring about a world of peace and mutual cooperation but rather one of intensified conflict, violence and war.

    The blame for the Venezuelan economic crisis rests on the United States empire and its imperialists, and the collaborating Venezuelan rightwing business owners aiming to sabotage the system.

    Venezuela is being attacked by the imperialists in the same manner that Cuba was… by invasion and embargo, (though not necessarily in the same order).

    An economic coup is now being waged upon Venezuela by the imperialists and by their allied collaborators in the private sector.

    We have been watching with grave concern, the economic crisis in Venezuela, and conditions such as :
    1. scarcity of goods,
    2. high inflation,
    3. broken currency exchange system,
    4. falling oil price,
    5. violence leaving dozens of citizens dead and hundreds injured.

    We, The Trinidad and Tobago Bolivarian Solidarity Group, believe that these conditions are the result of acts staged by big business (the opposition), in league with others whose objectives are destabilization of Venezuela.

    a) Basic commodity shortages are being caused by the business sector illegally stockpiling products in warehouses and diverting them from the Venezuelan marketplace for sale in Colombia, and by criminal speculators and smugglers who purchase subsidized food items and resell them at higher prices in the domestic market.

    b) Some speculators practice massive currency fraud by obtaining divisas (dollars)at the preferential exchange rate under pretext of importing priority goods and then selling those dollars on the parallel market or holding on to them in expectation of further devaluation of the bolivar…

    In attempting to weaken or overthrow the nationalist-populist government of The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, the imperialist empire has resorted to multiple forms of attack including:

    (1) corruption (buying off supporters),
    (2) funding and organizing opposition media, parties, business and trade union organizations,
    (3) organizing and backing disloyal military officials to violently overthrow the elected government,
    (4) supporting employers’ lockouts to paralyze strategic sectors of the economy (oil),
    (5) financing referendums and other ‘legal mechanisms’ to revoke democratic mandates,
    (6) promoting paramilitary groups to destabilize civil society, sow public insecurity and undermine agrarian reforms,
    (7) financing electoral parties and non-governmental organizations to compete in and delegitimize elections,
    (8) engaging diplomatic warfare and efforts to prejudice regional relations and
    (9) establishing military bases in neighboring countries, as a platform for future joint military invasions.

    When economic intervention fails, Imperialist domination has often relied on military intervention, both overt and covert, or through military support to reactionary local allies, to dismantle entire societies.

    Since WWII the USA has not won any war anywhere in the world, except in Panama and Grenada.

    Yet the USA has army, air-force, and naval bases in Columbia.

    These bases are not placed to patrol the Pacific Ocean to keep drug shipments from getting to the US.

    Instead many of them are grouped together on the Caribbean coast where there were already bases, and others are much closer to Venezuela.

    What missions ‘beyond Colombia’s borders’ are U.S. planners contemplating for this giant military presence in Columbia if not to stoke the flames of regional conflict?”

    What is worst is that the USA is now governed by a collection of morons, people-stupid-below-the-meaning-of-stupid, voted into power by people who are extremely gullible and inattentive.

    They are all believers of the Fake News, Propaganda and “False Flags” fed to them by the mainstream US media, which is controlled by big business.

    The imperialists are trying hard to destroy the Cuban and Venezuelan revolutions domination because they are beacons of inspiration all over the world for oppressed people who are angered by injustice and seeking change.

    The Trinidad and Tobago Bolivarian Solidarity Group stands in solidarity with the Chavistas and Fidelistas.

    We call upon the imperialists and their collaborators to cease their unrelenting attacks on the non-violent revolutionary people, to respect the democratic rule of the constitutionally elected government, and to not change the region from being a Zone of Peace.

    We urge the media to publicize the truth.

    “Viva Cuba!”
    “Viva Venezuela!”
    “Venceremos!”
    “Patria o Muerte!”
    “Hasta La Victoria Siempre!”

    Reply
  3. Magda Vallenilla June 28, 2017 at 4:27 pm

    Mr. George Thomas, your statement on …..”Fake News, Propaganda and “False Flags”…..” describes exactly what communists such as Cuba and the current Venezuelan Government represent.

    Communism always fail when the rulers run out of everyone else’s money. It’s pure rhetoric that brings misery to all citizens except the corrupt team in power. They believe in Communism for others, but they are true Capitalists themselves: double-standard.

    Reply

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