Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro denounced this Sunday that the country’s right-wing has received more than US$400 million with the objective of buying politicians, policemen and members of the Bolivarian National Armed Force, to put them at the service of foreign nations’ interests.
During an interview for the ‘Jose Vicente Hoy’ show, Maduro affirmed that despite bribes, the Venezuelan Armed Forces have remained loyal to the Constitution, the Venezuelan people, and the Bolivarian Revolution.
The head of state informed there are people imprisoned for giving in or being caught taking such illegal money.
“We have dismembered, with the participation of our own armed force officers, more than 47 attempts to recruit officers to put them at the service of Colombia’s strategy and the gringos,” Maduro said.
He added that the Venezuelan Armed Forces “will never again kneel down to the gringos, nor will it ever again serve the oligarchy of this country.”
The Venezuelan head of state also referred to the coup in Bolivia against the legitimate President Evo Morales, saying that “Evo is the only one who can restore the peace in Bolivia,” in the face of the police repression unleashed by the Bolivian president’s resignation.
“The order to arrest Evo and to assassinate him was given to a paramilitary group in Santa Cruz and another in Potosi, it is the intelligence information that reached us,” he said.
He added that the coup was financed from Washington and organized at the U.S. embassy in La Paz.
Maduro also denounced the ongoing U.S. sanctions against Venezuela, and in that sense, he stressed that the country “has the industrial economic power and the wealth to circumvent these sanctions and achieve economic stability, real growth and the protection of the social rights of our people.”
The Venezuelan president affirmed that, despite Washington’s harassment to his country, the government maintains solid access to health care, education, employment and housing plans, among other social programs.
Referring to the negotiation talks with the opposition, he emphasized his belief “in coexistence and peace.”
Dictatorship has returned to Bolivia
In an exclusive interview with teleSUR, Bolivian President Evo Morales said that “the people will resist this dictatorship with great courage, force, and energy.”
The elected President of Bolivia, Evo Morales, told teleSUR on Saturday that the dictatorship has returned to Bolivia, given the recent events that triggered intense repression exerted by the de-facto government chaired by Senator Jeanine Áñez.
“The Bolivian people and the whole world know that we guarantee political stability. They said ‘Evo dictatorship’, now what Bolivia is living in is what we call a dictatorship.”
The Bolivian President said he was appalled by the recent reports regarding the civilian deaths at the hands of this new dictatorship.
“The people will always be united. The Bolivian people have never been taken from my memory. At any moment we will be as always sharing a resistance against economic policies, but for now, for democracy, for life, my dear Bolivia,” President Morales said.
On the media censorship imposed by the de-facto government in Bolivia, President Morales said that “now there is no freedom of expression” in the country. “The de facto communication minister who answers to the dictatorship in Bolivia said that seditious journalists, national and international, will be arrested.”
He also highlighted how the integration processes promoted by past governments such as those of Venezuela, Ecuador (by former President Rafael Correa) or Brazil (with former president Lula da Silva) are being tried to be destroyed by the interests of the U.S. empire.
“Unfortunately, some countries subject to the U.S. empire, destroy the integration processes: Unasur a political instance, Mercosur an economic instance, Celag, an integration of all Latin America towards the liberation of the peoples,” President Morales continued.
In this sense, the legitimate President of Bolivia stressed that “we, Latin Americans, have the enormous responsibility, regardless of an economic, programmatic or social liberation, to free ourselves from the technological part.”
“Those who seek disintegration are not thinking about technological liberation, they are instruments of the capitalist system that will never like us to free ourselves from the technological part to establish sovereignty in our Latin America,” he added.
UN and IACHR condemn killing by armed forces in Bolivia
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) condemned the “disproportionate use” of police-military force in the repression that took place Friday in the city of Cochabamba where nine coca growers died and dozens were injured.
The IACHR expressed “concern about the actions of the armed forces in the operations carried out in Bolivia since the beginning of the week” and recalled that the “Inter-American standards establish the duty to limit their participation as much as possible in the control of internal disturbances,” through its Twitter account.
The international body posted a video circulating on social media that shows five victims lying on the ground and condemned the “excessive use of force,” recalling the “State is under an obligation to ensure the right to life and physical integrity of peaceful protesters.”
“Firearms must be excluded from the devices used to control social protests,” warned the IACHR in its statement.
On Friday, thousands of coca growers tried to enter the city of Cochabamba in protest against the coup d’état against President Evo Morales that took place on November 10. The mobilization was intercepted in the Huayllani River, near the town of Sacaba, where there was a blockade by the military forces resulting in the death of nine people, more than 30 injured and 169 arrested, according to a preliminary report of the Ombudsman’s Office.
The human rights body also extended its warnings with a statement from the Office of the Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression regarding the “threats of expulsion of Bolivian authorities, attacks and use of gas tears by the police against journalists covering the protests,” such as the repressions suffered by Argentinean journalists from media such as TN, America 24, Cronica, and Telefe.
The U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet also warned on Saturday about the dangerous path that protests are taking in Bolivia after the deaths in Sacaba.
“We have information that at least seventeen people have died in the context of the protests, including fourteen only in the last six days,” Bachelet said in a statement from Geneva.
The U.N. official expressed concern that in addition to the deaths and the hundreds of injuries left by the crisis in the country, there were multiple arrests and detentions, including more than 600 people arrested since October 21 many of them during the last days since the coup.
“I am really concerned about the situation in Bolivia that can get out of control if the authorities do not handle it carefully, according to international norms and standards that govern the use of force and with full respect for human rights,” said the High Commissioner.
Impunity to armed forces and police in Bolivia
The de facto government of Bolivia issued a decree Saturday exempting Armed Forces and National Police from criminal responsibility when committing acts of repression against protesters who have taken to the streets to reject the coup d’état.
“The personnel of the Armed Forces, who participate in the operations for the restoration of order and public stability, will be exempt from criminal responsibility when, in compliance with their constitutional functions, they act in legitimate defense or state of necessity,” the decree reads.
The document also states that security forces may use firearms to suppress protests, as they are allowed to “frame their actions as established in the approved Force Use Manual, being able to make use of all available means that are proportional to the operational risk,” it adds.
This comes as violent repression from the government escalates against protesters in Bolivia.
Over the last 24 hours, at least nine Bolivians have died as a result of repressive actions carried out by the security forces that support the coup-based government headed by Senator Jeanine Añez.
“23 people have died since the coup. The most recent victims are four people shot dead in La Paz and five in Sacaba,” La Paz Ombudsman’ Office delegate Teresa Zubieta told teleSUR.
While the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) condemned the “disproportionate use” of police-military force in the repression in the city of Cochabamba where nine coca growers died and dozens were injured.
The IACHR expressed “concern about the actions of the armed forces in the operations carried out in Bolivia since the beginning of the week,” and on Saturday the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet also warned on Saturday about the dangerous path that protests are taking in Bolivia after the deaths in Sacaba, as the situation could spin out of control.”
President Evo Morales was forced to resign on Nov. 10 after senior army and police chiefs called on him to do so following weeks of right-wing unrest and violence against his Oct. 20 elections victory, in what his government and world leaders have called a coup by opposition forces in the country.
Bolivia Senate’s new president
This Thursday, the Bolivian Senate swore in Monica Eva Copa, legislator from the Movement to Socialism (MAS), as its new president, and the Chamber of Deputies elected Sergio Choque, also a MAS member, as its new leader.
ALBA-TCP Political Council condemns coup
The Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America-Peoples Trade Agreement (ALBA-TCP) Political Council held its eighth extraordinary meeting this Thursday in Managua, Nicaragua, and adopted a Final Declaration categorically condemning the coup against the government of Evo Morales Ayma, President of the Plurinational State of Bolivia.
Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, who emphasized, attended the event’s closing session. He said: “ALBA countries are small in size, but large in dignity. Since the conquerors arrived, we have fought for our self-determination, fought against the monster of colonial expansionism.
”The Final Declaration rejected coup plotters’ self-proclamations as legitimate authorities, which violate the constitutional order of Bolivia, and demanded respect for the institutionality represented by the National State Assembly.
In addition, condemned were opposition groups, which, with the support of foreign governments and the local oligarchy, are fully responsible for the violence unleashed in several of the country’s main cities, costing the lives of several Bolivian citizens.
“The countries of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America-Peoples Trade Agreement declare in a regular consultation session, to consider joint action with all governments of the world to allow the Bolivian people to be accompanied in the restoration of legality and the restitution of Bolivian President, brother Evo Morales Ayma.
The Alliance calls for the defense of Bolívar’s favorite daughter!, stated Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza, upon reading the statement. Bolivian Foreign Minister, Diego Pary Rodríguez, and Cuba’s Deputy Foreign Minister Ana Teresita González Fraga, among other representatives of ALBA-TCP member states, also participated in the special meeting.
March against fascism in Caracas
Chanting along with the “drums of peace” and holding the Bolivarian Revolution flags, thousands of Venezuelans on Saturday took to the streets to reject new destabilization attempts which U.S.-backed opposition lawmaker Juan Guaido promotes against Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro.
Workers, students, artists, and activists began the march from three different areas in Caracas. They marched to the Miraflores Palace, where Maduro was expected to receive the “March against Fascism.”
This massive event was aimed at raising a powerful message against military actions and coups that the U.S. President Donald Trump and the Organization of American States (OAS) are prompting.
The “March against Fascism” takes place amidst conspiratorial signs hinting that the Venezuelan opposition believes it can spark further destabilizing actions against Maduro.
This political strategy is fueled by the assumption that the coup d’état against Bolivia’s President Evo Morales has already broken the Latin American peoples’ will and resilience.
Over the last week, two U.S. Army airplanes made unauthorized incursions into Venezuelan airspace.
As soon as this happened, Maduro summoned the Bolivarian people to remain attentive to any violent act against this South American country. The March against Fascism is embedded in that call.
Opposition lawmaker Guaido, who proclaimed himself as “president” on January 23, also called for demonstrations in Caracas on Saturday, none of which gained notable size.
Since then, with the support of governments and organizations, which respond to the U.S. foreign policy agenda, Guaido has been promoting war-like actions against his own country.
Among these is the U.S.-driven financial blockade against the Venezuelan government, which is an arbitrary unilateral economic warfare sanction that violates international law principles.