Sonntag, 17.11.2019 13:19 Uhr

Venezuela crisis as seen from Rome

Verantwortlicher Autor: Carlo Marino Rome, 18.06.2019, 12:32 Uhr
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Rome [ENA] On 17th of June the Institute of International Affairs (IAI) in Rome hosted Rodrigo Diamanti, President of Un Mundo@Sinmordaza, representative of President Guaidó in Italy and Giulia Matteo, human rights activist for an analysis of the humanitarian situation in the South American country. The recent episodes occurred in Venezuela, when interim President Juan Guaidó

announced the start of the so called Operación Libertad, and President Maduro claimed the loyalty of military commanders calling in turn on a "popular mobilization" to stop the coup, seem to have dropped the silence on the situation in the country. On 23 January 2019 the opposition leader and head of the National Assembly Juan Guaidó proclaimed himself "interim president" of Venezuela, openly challenging the head of state Nicolas Maduro, who won the last elections. President Maduro has been labeled as a "dictator", and a report by the Organization of American States (OAS) proved that crimes against humanity have been committed during his presidency.

Maduro allies including China, Cuba, Russia, Iran, and Turkey support and denounce what they call interference in Venezuela's domestic affairs. AP News reported that "familiar geopolitical sides" had formed in the 2019 Venezuelan presidential crisis, with allies Russia, China, Iran, Syria, and Cuba supporting Maduro, and the US, Canada, and most of Western Europe, except for Italy, supporting Guaidó as interim president. Amid widespread condemnation, on 10 January 2019, Venezuela's opposition-majority National Assembly declared that Nicolás Maduro's 2018 reelection was invalid and the body declared its president, Juan Guaidó, to be acting president of the nation.

Four million people have left Venezuela

Maduro's government labeled the crisis as a "coup d'état led by the United States to depose him and control the country's oil reserves." Guaidó denied the coup allegations, saying peaceful volunteers back his movement. So far, four million people have left the country. The number of Venezuelan refugees is comparable to that of Syria: five hundred thousand Venezuelans and eight hundred thousand Syrians. The drama of Venezuela is that little is said about it. 30% of Venezuelan MP have fled or are hidden to avoid vendettas from what appears to be a typical South American dictatorship. With a reduction of only 9 Members of Parliament, the Parliamentary Assembly will no longer be able to legislate.

Journalists in Venezuela

Currently oil production has decreased from three and a half million barrels to seven hundred thousand a day. Inflation is at one million percent. At the moment, in Venezuela Russia has 25 million dollars in investments and the People's Republic of China 50 million dollars. Bank transfers from Caracas have been blocked since the second half of 2018. The Portuguese bank Novo Banco has adapted to US sanctions and seized current accounts of approximately 1.5 billion dollars from Venezuela Since the end of 2017, the Trump administration has hit the economy of the South American country hard through several executive orders.

Caracas government has denounced the damage caused by US sanctions to the health of thousands of patients in Venezuela and abroad, in a framework that many experts have called an "unconventional war". According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (Ohchr), Trump's measures violate human rights and international law, while a study by the Center for Economic and Policy Research (Cepr) in Washington has estimated more than 40 thousand deaths caused by sanctions between 2017 and 2018. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet is due to visit Venezuela at the invitation of the Government from 19 to 21 June.

During her visit to Caracas, the High Commissioner will meet President Nicolás Maduro Moros. She will also have exchanges with a number of Government ministers and officials, as well as the president of the Supreme Court, the Attorney General and the Ombudsman. The UN Human Rights Chief will hold discussions with the President of the National Assembly and its members as well as the President of the Constituent Assembly and its members.

The presence of terrorist groups in the region, specifically Lebanese Hezbollah ascertained on Margarita Island and guerrilla groups from the Colombian FARC, which control the south of the country, has been confirmed by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a recent interview. The opposing sides might be talking to each other with the help of Norway and Dag Nylander is leading the exploratory talks between representatives of Nicolas Maduro and his opponents .

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