The former president of Bolivia and indigenous leader Evo Morales Ayma, denouncing the political and social crisis suffered by the Peruvian people since 2018—intensified in 2020—highlighted the double standards of the extreme-right, revealed by the Lima Group, created exclusively to boycott Venezuela, and the Organization of American States (OAS) and its secretary, Luis Almagro.
“The serious situation facing our brothers, the Peruvian people, also reveals the double standards of the Lima Group and Luis Almagro in the OAS, who are not interested in human rights, but only serve as puppets of the international right to subdue the peoples,” Morales stated in a message posted on Twitter.
Morales’ criticism and denunciation is based on the continued attacks of the OAS and the Lima Group against sovereign countries and governments such as Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba, while they keep silent when atrocities are committed in the United States, Chile, Colombia, Peru and many other nations.
In addition, Morales was the victim of interference by the OAS, after the organization—based mainly on the interests of the United States regime—promoted a coup in Bolivia by falsely declaring that fraud had occurred in the presidential elections that Evo won in 2018. The OAS’s statement led to the installation of a repressive ultra-Catholic right-wing dictatorship led by Jeanine Áñez, who in less than a year plunged the country into an economic recession, and has been implicated in countless crimes against humanity and cases of corruption.
The fugitives are the former ministers of the de facto government, Arturo Murillo (Interior) and Luis Fernando Lopez (Defense)
Newly appointed national commander of the Bolivian Police, Jhonny Aguilera, reported this Tuesday the escape of two former ministers of the de facto government of Jeanine Áñez to Brazil and Panama was confirmed.
The fugitives are the ex-de facto ministers of the Government, Arturo Murillo, and Defense, Luis Fernando López, both required by the Bolivian justice, Aguilera said, in statements to Radio Fides.
According to Aguilera, without specifying a date, both took an official flight of the Bolivian Air Force from Santa Cruz to Puerto Suárez, far east of the country, and from there they left for Corumbá, in the state of Mato Grosso del Sur, in Brazil, which is 35 minutes away by car.
“Today we are in the conviction that Migración Brasil has been able to certify to the Intelligence Directorate the entry of former Minister of Government Arturo Murillo and Luis Fernando López Julio, former Minister of Defense,” said Aguilera.
He added that, then, on November 9, Murillo traveled from Brazil to Panama. Meanwhile, the authorities learned that López remains in Brazilian territory.
Earlier, Aguilera, who took over as Bolivia’s highest police authority on Monday, had announced a broad operation to capture Murillo and López.
An arrest warrant, issued by the Bolivian Prosecutor’s Office, in the framework of an investigation into the purchase of tear gas with a surcharge weighs on these two ex-officials of the de facto government.
The process was opened after a complaint filed by deputies of the Movement to Socialism (MAS), who assure that López signed in December 2019 a contract with the company Bravo Tactical Solutions LLC, based in the United States, for the acquisition of the tear gas cartridges, for 5.6 million dollars, causing damage to the State for approximately 2 million dollars.
This same Tuesday, the Prosecutor’s Office reported that it will request before Interpol the activation of the blue code, which will allow determining the location of Murillo and López.
For many Bolivians these ministers along Jeanine Anez herself are also responsible for the massacres of Senkata and Sacaba during the first days of the coup d’etat against Evo Morales and eventually will be called by the Bolivian justice in relation tothose human rights violations.
The president of Bolivia, Luis Arce, swore in the new high command of the Armed Forces last Monday, in a ceremony carried out in the Casa Grande del Pueblo (headquarters of the executive).
Based on his prerogatives as Chief of State and Captain General of the Army, Arce appointed Brigadier Generals Jaime Alberto Zabala and Miguel Ángel Contreras, Commander-in-Chief of the military institution, and Chief of General Staff, respectively.
The president also assigned Brigadier Generals Fuad Genaro Ramos and César Moises Vallejo, and Rear Admiral Javier Torrijo, to the head of the Army, Air Force, and Navy, in that order.
The new positions will accompany Arce’s management at the head of the different components of the Armed Forces, highly criticized by the majority of Bolivians for its complicity with the coup that forced President Evo Morales to resign in November 2019.
The actions of the military under the orders of the subsequent de facto government caused their rejection and repudiation by the people. The military’s participation in the repression of peaceful demonstrations, and their role in the Senkata and Sacaba massacres, which left some thirty dead and dozens injured, was considered damning.
The aforementioned facts are being investigated by the Bolivian parliament, which is still seeking justice a year after the events. However, there have been concerns that the military is obstructing the investigations.
This hypothesis is supported by the Ombudsman’s Office, which called on the military not to obstruct justice. The investigation seeks to determine the accountability of several high-ranking officers and the former ministers of Defense and Government, Fernando López and Arturo Murillo, respectively.
By Francisco Dominguez – Dec 16, 2020
VENEZUELA’S free and fair elections to the National Assembly, held on December 6 2020, produced a substantial political victory for Chavismo: out the 277 MPs to be elected, the PSUV-led Great Patriotic Pole (the governing coalition, GPP) won with a 69.43 per cent landslide (4,276,926 votes); the Alianza Democratica (opposition) polled 17.72 per cent (1,095,170); Venezuela Unida received 4.15 per cent (295,450); and smaller coalitions got the remainder of the votes cast.
That is, out of the 277 seats contested, the GPP got 177 with the remaining 97 going to the other coalitions. Altogether, 6,251,080 people voted which represents 31 per cent of the registered electorate. This was the 25th election since Hugo Chavez first became president in 1998.
It was the National Dialogue for Peace, integrated by the Bolivarian government and representatives of opposition parties that came to an agreement, which contemplated, among other things, the designation of a new National Electoral Council.
Additionally, as is the normal protocol, the National Electoral Council (CNE), as part of the consensus between government and opposition parties, introduced a number of changes and conducted some extra guarantees. The specifics were as follows:
The number of parliamentarians to be elected was increased from 167 to 277 out of which 144 (52 per cent) were elected by list, and 133 (48 per cent) by nominal vote; three seats for indigenous peoples also to be elected by nominal voting (held on December 9, 2020).
A total of 16 audits to be conducted before, during and after the election, with full participation of all the parties involved, international electoral and computer experts, plus any observer proposed by any of the parties involved, including those invited by the governing coalition and the CNE. There were over 200 international observers coming from 34 countries, and also 1,500 national observers.
A total of 107 political organisations participated: 30 national, 53 regional, 6 indigenous organisations and 18 indigenous regional organisations. Ninety-eight of these fielded candidates against the GPP, only nine of the total supported the GPP. These parties fielded thousands of candidates and, as part of the transparency of the process, the CNE helped to organise 3,500 meetings in the country’s six regions with indigenous population.
There were more than 14,000 polling stations, and over 30,000 electoral tables. International observers could visit any polling station, anywhere, at any time during the election. With the exception of the number of parliamentarians, this election was identical to the election of the National Assembly in 2015 that the opposition won with a landslide.
The international observers from the Council of Electoral Experts of Latin America (CEELA in its Spanish acronym) issued a statement through national television praising the quality, efficiency, transparency and auditability of the election process, pointing out that this was achieved under impressive conditions of bio-safety despite the enormous economic difficulties Venezuela confronts due the US regime of sanctions.
Among the international observers were Evo Morales, Rafael Correa, Fernando Lugo, Jose Luis Zapatero and a number of European MPs, who also vouched for the election’s transparency, with the former president of Spain publicly calling on the EU to recognise the results and stop supporting US President Donald Trump’s sanctions against Venezuela.
All leaders of the participating opposition political parties stressed the importance of voting so as to elect a new National Assembly and condemned the sanctions and military aggression championed by Guaido, the extreme right, and Trump. They did take the chance to criticise government policies, especially in the economic field, but all favoured dialogue.
So, when the EU states that it doesn’t recognise the election results in Venezuela because it |failed to comply with international standards,” what does it mean?
The EU did recognise the 2017 elections in Honduras that not only took place under more or less dictatorial conditions but were dominated by fraud, which was condemned by the Organisation of American States (even Luis Almagro called for fresh elections).
The EU statement on Venezuela was issued on December 7 and has 198 words, whilst on Honduras the EU’s “report” is 43 pages long, and “regrets the deaths of at least 22 people during the post-electoral protests.”
At least the EU did not say it will continue with the farce of recognising the unelected Juan Guaido as president. But don’t hold your breath — the EU’s duplicity on Venezuela has become legendary.
It covered its back on the report on Honduras with the caveat “the contents of this report do not necessarily reflect the official position of the EU.” But it does, doesn’t it? The winner in the fraudulent election was Juan Orlando Hernandez, who in March 2020 was accused by US prosecutors of taking drug money, and a year earlier his brother was found guilty of drug smuggling.
The electoral council did invite the EU to send an observer mission but, probably frightened and bullied by Trump and Co., it informed Venezuela that three months “was not sufficient time” to prepare an observation mission. This from a bloc that in 2019 gave President Nicolas Maduro eight days to organise presidential elections, or else they would recognise Guaido, again a kowtow to the US.
Guaido’s extreme right-wing current did not participate in this election following orders from its US mentors and because it is politically crumbling away.
Mike Pompeo, on behalf of the outgoing Trump administration predictably stated the US will not recognise the election results in Venezuela and “will continue to recognise” Guaido as “interim president.”
Dominic Raab, on behalf of the British government, parroted Pompeo’s stance, including going on with Guaido’s circus, and adding that Britain will continue to recognise him even as president of the National Assembly (whose old mandate ends in January 2021). This may change if the incoming boss, Joe Biden, takes a different view.
Venezuelans went to the polls under conditions of economic war, sanctions, international boycott, intoxicating media war, sabotage, US efforts to militarily blockade the import of food, health inputs and medicine, and an electoral boycott supported by a venomous global media demonisation campaign.
With Trump’s shenanigans about not accepting the US election results, the whole world can see how damaging, destabilising and unsettling such charges can be for any country or any government and how it sows dangerous domestic divisions, courting the most extreme elements (not to mention white supremacists) to take matters into their own hands.
In this regard the Venezuelan people’s resistance is heroic and despite the appeal of adopting strong-arm methods, President Maduro opted for dialogue, peace and democratic elections; this election represents a vindication of this approach.
After the election results were announced, President Maduro again called for a dialogue with the opposition to discuss a joint approach to address issues such as the US blockade, the perverse external attack against the nation’s currency, and the adoption of policies to recover the purchasing power of the population.
People can talk about the size of the election turnout, mention dozens of elections where the turnout was low, and speculate about what would have happened if this or that had taken place until the cows come home.
The fact of the matter is that Trump’s strategy of “regime change,” including the fictional “interim president,” has been defeated and the policy of dialogue and peace has taken another important step on the road to Venezuela’s institutional normalisation, badly dislocated by the aggression of US imperialism and its client Latin American governments (notably that of Ivan Duque in Colombia), and the EU’s complicity.
The road ahead continues to be littered with dangers, but it simultaneously offers fresh opportunities for the nation’s economic recovery so that the revolution strengthens the dynamic of social progress undermined in recent years by external aggression.
Guaido has been terminally wounded with this election, the Lima cartel is decomposing away, and Almagro and the OAS are massively discredited after the coup in Bolivia.
The US proxies that organise and maintain aggression are being neutralised.
Furthermore, the masses have defeated the right in Bolivia and Chile, and Mexico and Argentina now have progressive left governments. And Trump has politically suffered a rather humiliating defeat.
The international solidarity movement must redouble its efforts to support Venezuela’s national sovereignty, seek respect for the Venezuelan people’s vote in electing the 2020-25 National Assembly, and campaign for the British government, the European Union, European governments and the United States to develop a normal, constructive engagement approach with Venezuela.
Candidate of the Party of Correa Leading in the Polls for President in Upcoming Elections in Ecuador
December 17, 2020.- With less than two months to go before the presidential elections in Ecuador, a survey published by the Latin American Strategic Center for Geopolitics (Celag) gives a victory by a wide margin to the candidate supported by former President Rafael Correa; Andrés Arauz who is an economist and a former minister in his government who is now leading the presidential ticket for “the Union for Hope” (Unión Por La Esperanza, UNES) coalition.
The young economist leads in the electoral polls with 36.5 percent of the voters who responded, followed by businessman Alvaro Noboa with 22.9 percent and Yaku Perez, candidate of the indigenous party Packakutik with 21.2 percent, while the banker from Guayaquil, Guillermo Lasso, is around 13.6 percent.
For her part, Ximena Peña, candidate for the list endorsed by President Lenín Moreno, has a voting intention of just 1.2 percent. The data coincides in general with the latest polls, although a high number of undecided voters is projected at this time. The candidate preferred by Ecuadorian voters needs more than 40 percent of the votes and a ten percent advantage over the second place finisher to win in the first round, a scenario that so far does not seem to be certain for Arauz.
Celag’s study, based on three thousand face-to-face interviews conducted throughout the country, also highlights citizens’ perceptions of Ecuador’s political and economic situation. The majority of those surveyed show serious problems with employment and debt in order to weather the crisis. Faced with this context, Arauz proposes a strong monetary injection to lift the ailing Ecuadorian market.
When asked for an overall evaluation of the previous government’s performance, 47 percent of those surveyed considered that Rafael Correa’s performance as President of Ecuador was good. Thirty-five percent considered it to be fair and the remaining 14 percent considered it to be bad. In terms of daily life, crime and the sale and consumption of drugs are the two issues that are the biggest concern for Ecuadorians who identify as living on the neighborhood level.
When asked about goals they wanted to achieve in the near future, 45 percent of respondents mentioned they hope to be able to pay off their debts. This figure shows the impact that the economic crisis is having on the country and is related to the level of debt being carried by the population surveyed by Celag in July 2020. At that time, 48 percent said they had had to resort to loans to be able to make ends meet.
Arauz, echoed the difficulties the Ecuadorian people are going through and proposed to recover the “family economy” last Monday in an event with militants by promising to “give a thousand dollars to a million families in the first week” of his government in view of the “abandonment suffered during this pandemic”. The candidate also mentioned that he intends to create “800 thousand jobs in the first three years of government”.
Arauz, who only last week saw his candidacy validated, is part, together with journalist Carlos Rabascall, of one of the sixteen tickets approved so far to compete for the presidency and vice presidency of the country next February 7th, in an election that the current president, Lenín Moreno, is not running in.