What effrontery, Ambassador!

After reading the article by Ms Linda Taglialatela, the United States Ambassador to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, that was published in Barbados TODAY on Tuesday, June 20, 2017 under the headline Support The Venezuelan People, it occurred to me that only an ambassador representing the administration of the egotistical Donald Trump would have the effrontery to believe that she is entitled to attempt to circumvent the national leadership of our countries, by arrogating to herself the right to utilize our national news media to speak directly to the masses of our people and to enlist them in her (and her country’s) unholy “regime change” crusade against the duly constituted and friendly Government of our fellow Caribbean state of Venezuela.

Ensconced as she appears to be in an exaggerated sense of her own importance and authority over our people, Ms Taglialatela ends her article by admonishing the people of Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean as follows: “I urge you to let your leaders know that you stand shoulder to shoulder with the Venezuelan people as they fight for their fundamental human rights.” So, apparently Ms Taglialatela believes that she knows better than the Prime Ministers and other political leaders of our countries, and that it is up to her to inform and instruct, what she no doubt perceives to be, the ignorant and uninformed people of the Caribbean.

Indeed, Ms Taglialatela seems to think that she knows the situation in Venezuela even better than Ms Ines Esparragoza, the mother of the late Orlando Figuera– the 21 year old Afro-Venezuelan who was brutally beaten by a crowd of white Opposition supporters; stabbed six times; doused with gasoline; and set on fire.  Orlando Figuera was burnt to death simply because he was Black and was a supporter of the Socialist party of Chavez and Maduro. His grieving mother publicly stated that the Opposition was directly responsible for his death. Does Ms Taglialatela really think that she knows better than the mother of Orlando Figuera?

Well I have news for Ms Taglialatela! The people of Barbados and the other Eastern Caribbean islands do not need any instruction from her. Our people are well aware that the defining feature of the history of the entire Latin American and Caribbean region is that for hundreds of years, the masses of indigenous, mestizo, and black people were exploited and kept in an impoverished state by local white elites acting in partnership with the economic oligarchy of the metropolitian countries of Europe and North America.

Our people are aware that just as this social pattern applied to Barbados and the other Eastern Caribbean territories, that it applied to Venezuela as well. The masses of black and working-class people in Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean only began to experience significant social and economic upliftment when– in the 1950’s– representatives of the black masses finally got their hands on the instruments of government and used those instruments to share the national resources more equally and to uplift the people.

And so it was with Venezuela as well! It was only with the coming to power of President Hugo Chavez in 1999 that, for the first time, Venezuela became possessed of a President and a governmental administration that were deeply connected to the interests of indigenous, mestizo , black and impoverished Venezuelans. Ever since oil was discovered in Venezuela in the 1920’s, big and wealthy American corporations had latched on to Venezuela and– in partnership with the white Venezuelan elite– had plundered and selfishly consigned the country’s oil revenue to themselves, and to the exclusion of the black, mestizo, indigenous and working-class masses of the country.

It was Chavez and his United Socialist Party that effectively snatched away Venezuela’s tremendous oil resources from the hands of the US multinationals and the local white elite, and began to direct the oil revenue towards education, health, housing and other forms of social development for the impoverished masses. And so , our people know instinctively that the political and social battle that is now taking place in Venezuela is centred around an attempt by the local elite and their US backers to retake the Government and the oil industry that the Government now owns and controls.

This is what you and the Trump Administration are really interested in, Ms Taglialatela, not in the welfare of the ordinary people of Venezuela. Indeed, the Government that you serve, Ms Taglialatela, has never been interested in the welfare of the ordinary people of Latin America or the Caribbean. It is well known, for example, that the US Government has a reputation for supporting any dictator who is willing to toe an American line and to permit American economic interests to flourish — Papa Doc Duvalier in Haiti, Somoza in Nicaragua, Trujillo in the Dominican Republic, Batista in Cuba, Pinochet in Chile, Marcos Perez Jimenez in Venezuela, Porfirio Diaz in Mexico, and a slew of brutal military strongmen in Guatemala, Brazil, Argentina, Honduras, El Salvador and Uruguay at various times between the 1960’s and the 1990’s.

Finally, Ms Taglialatela, you must not believe that our people are so ignorant and uninformed about the situation in Venezuela that you can get away with the parroting of half truths and distortions. You claim that the Maduro Government has “undermined” the Opposition-controlled National Assembly on the basis of “vague, unproven claims of electoral fraud allegedly committed by three legislators”.

Surely you must know that this is a gross distortion. Why didn’t you acknowledge that the Supreme Court of Venezuela ruled that the claims of electoral fraud had been proven and, as a result, had gone on to instruct the National Assembly not to swear in the three legislators in question, but that the National Assembly openly and defiantly flouted the ruling of the Supreme Court and admitted the three disqualified legislators?

You also claimed that the Supreme Court of Venezuela has stripped the National Assembly of all legislative authority. Here again, you must know that this is a half truth. Why didn’t you acknowledge that under the Constitution of Venezuela , the Supreme Court has the legal power (and the responsibility) to temporarily take over the functions of any organ of the State that is failing to carry out its Constitutional responsibilities, and that the Supreme Court took control of the functions of the National Assembly for a mere ONE DAY before rescinding the decision to do so.

Why the need– Ms Taglialatela– for all the half truths and distortions ? Why not inform the Barbadian and Caribbean people that no nation on the face of this earth has had as many internationally approved elections than Venezuela has had over the past 18 years, under the presidencies of Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro? Why not inform our people that the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) has won the vast majority of these elections, but that on every occasion that it has lost an election, it has respected and upheld the result? Indeed, isn’t this why the opposition M.U.D. party is now controlling the majority of seats in the National Assembly?

Wasn’t the December 2015 National Assembly election that was conducted under the auspices of the Maduro administration not a free and fair election? And didn’t the Maduro administration accept the result, even though the result was to their disadvantage? You insult our intelligence, Ms Taglialatela, when you suggest that Nicolas Maduro is an undemocratic dictator.

The reality is that Nicolas Maduro won the Presidential election in 2013 fair and square, and as a result, he and his administration are entitled to and WILL remain in office until the latter part of the year 2018, and hopefully– if it be the electoral will of the people– way beyond that date as well . And no amount of orchestrated (and paid for by wealthy Opposition politicians) violent street protests is going to change that!

(David Comissiong made this submission in his role as coordinator of the Caribbean Chapter of the International Network in Defense of Humanity)

9 Responses to What effrontery, Ambassador!

  1. Ingrid Bullen
    Ingrid Bullen June 24, 2017 at 12:54 pm

    Well said

    Reply
  2. jrsmith June 24, 2017 at 6:11 pm

    If our people dont be careful this guy is going to talk us into serious trouble…….bajans need to try and put barbados right ….

    Reply
  3. Sarah Pomeranz Layne
    Sarah Pomeranz Layne June 25, 2017 at 5:11 am

    This ambassador is a career diplomat and and as such does not fall under party politics. And she was selected under the Obama Administration, not chosen by the Trump administration as a politically appointed Diplomat ..

    Reply
  4. fedup June 25, 2017 at 6:20 am

    None of them know ANYTHING. I have worked at a Mission here in Barbados for 20 years and at no time has any of the 7 High Commissioners been so damn “forward”. Stay in yuh lane we know how tuh drive ok? Next!

    Reply
  5. Rawle Spooner
    Rawle Spooner June 25, 2017 at 6:43 am

    Got to agree with David Comissiong about USA and the crap they have done over the years in other countries just to benefit Americans not the people in those countries.

    Reply
  6. Mirna Vegas de Hughes June 25, 2017 at 10:10 am

    Mr. Commissiong, If you were to really find out what has been happening in Venezuela you will know by now that the narco regime is far from being a “duly constituted and friendly Government” and that Hugo Chavez end up being the worst thing that happened to Venezuela since the last dictator was ousted. Whatever “good” HC may have done has become a huge violation of every single Human Right, corruption and narco traffic.

    This narco regime is the most unconstitutional government you will find in this hemisphere, besides Cuba. You perfectly know that no other country has caused more damage to Venezuela than Cuba and the Castros, that you choose to ignore it for whatever personal reason you may have and insist in supporting the genocide perpetrated in Venezuela by the Castros and the narco regime is another thing.

    It is more than obvious that what the CARICOM/PetroCaribe countries did at the OAS meeting was to obey their massa in detriment of millions of Venezuelans. So Mr. Commissiong, it is time for you to look for another subject to satisfy your hunger for attention and practice what you preach by staying out of Venezuela!

    Reply
  7. David Marshall
    David Marshall June 25, 2017 at 11:11 am

    Commie why dont you move to Venezuela. We would be glad to get rid of you

    Reply
  8. BimJim June 25, 2017 at 12:28 pm

    Politics has become such a global lying competition that I don’t believe ANY of them any more. Not before elections, not after elections, not in Parliament, not out of Parliament, nowhere and never.

    Electoral promises are now EXPECTED to be broken, that is how much we now believe these disgusting institutionalised career criminals and elected dictators.

    And it is politicians themselves who for decades have bred such distrust – Trump is not the first mass liar and he will not be the last. He is also not the first totally incompetent politician – our own local Fumble & the entire jackass herd beat him to that by 7 years, and the BLP herd did outstanding mule duty before that – nor will he be the last.

    They say respect is something you have to earn. But politicians expect that out of the gate, and come up with such ignorant phrases as “respect the position if you cannot respect the person”.

    Right. because a criminal, thief and liar is a Minister I am to give him respect? I don’t think so.

    So I don’t respect ANY politicians or bureaucrats. Period. If that is the breakdown of society then let it fall on the heads of those who caused it… the politicians who are unable and unwilling to tell the truth, and the civil servants – diplomats included – who spend their time at work obstructing the very people they are paid to serve, and making believe they are FAR more important than their job description.

    Reply
  9. Enrique Zerpa June 27, 2017 at 9:19 am

    It never ceases to surprise me, how people that have no idea of the reality of any given situation, can stands and loudly attempt to criticize those that do know what is happening.
    The US Ambassador laid out the facts as they are, that Mr. Comissiong, cannot accept that his masters be criticized is very regretful.
    Luckily, Barbados did not join the group of countries that owe their alliance, not to Democracy and Justice, but to the Oil offered through the PetroCaribe deal.
    Those countries, once we get Venezuela back on it’s feet with a duly elected government, a respected and independent National Assembly and Electoral Board, will come knocking at our door.
    We will, with the greatest pleasure, show them the way that they can go…Cuba maybe

    Reply

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