FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

An Open Letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Venezuela

USA president Donald Trump has insulted Canada by saying it is a security risk and stating that as a reason for imposing tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum.

All Canadians, myself include, are aghast at such a disrespectful lie especially considering that Canada fought along side US troops in two World Wars, the Korean War and lately in Syria.

Furthermore, he insulted you, our representative, accusing you of being meek, weak, of stabbing him in the back, and he threatened dire consequences.

Trump is a very disagreeable man, one of the most disreputable US presidents in living memory, and whose popularity daily is suffering. And because Trump is, judging by his evident behavior, a vain bully, there is also some jealousy toward you, not least because of your popularity within Canada and outside it.

So you know how it feels Prime Minister to have Canada declared a risk to US security and for that to be used as a basis for tariffs. Perhaps now you could spare a thought for Venezuela that was declared (twice) “an unusual and extraordinary” risk to US security? Venezuela, a country that has never gone to war or invaded any neighbor, that has a very small armed forces and no state-of-the art military weapons? Nor, unlike several other countries, has Venezuela been accused of harboring terrorists. Only a thoroughly deluded person could think that Venezuela threatens the security of the world’s superpower.

Yet your government has joined President Trump in declaring President Nicolas Maduro a dictator. Your Minister of Foreign Affairs denounced –a priori- the May 20, 2018 presidential election as fraudulent despite the assessment to the contrary of 2000 international witnesses. Ironically, in the name of democracy, Canadian-Venezuelans were prohibited from voting in the election at Venezuelan consulates in Canada. And, your government has astonishingly also imposed economic sanctions on that country.

You should know that these US and Canadian sanctions are a violation of international law. They contravene the charters of the UN and the OAS, the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant of Economic, Civil and Cultural Rights and they constitute a crime against humanity because they are specifically intended to create suffering of people by preventing them from buying food and medicines.

It is not only Venezuelans that are suffering from these sanctions. For a very long time they have known not to trust the United States which has designs on its oil and resents any kind of opposition coming from within its so-called back yard. Canada, on the other hand, has been a good friend to the region. Now Canada’s reputation in Venezuela and in numerous supportive countries has been sullied. We are seen as a lackey of the US government, willing to go along with almost anything it does in a vain attempt to curry favour with Trump and to protect a trade deal. Recent events show the folly of such an unprincipled approach to foreign policy.

Sir, giving in to a bully never works: rescue Canada’s reputation and rescind Canada’s ill-advised, immoral and illegal sanctions against Venezuela. By doing so you will be defending Canadian values and interests and showing the leadership of which we know you are capable.

Most sincerely,

Dr. Maria Páez Victor
Chair of the Board
Canadian, Latin American and Caribbean Policy Centre
mpaez@sympatico.ca

 

More articles by:

María Páez Victor, Ph.D. is a Venezuelan born sociologist living in Canada. 

June 18, 2018
Paul Street
Denuclearize the United States? An Unthinkable Thought
John Pilger
Bring Julian Assange Home
Conn Hallinan
The Spanish Labyrinth
Patrick Cockburn
Attacking Hodeidah is a Deliberate Act of Cruelty by the Trump Administration
Gary Leupp
Trump Gives Bibi Whatever He Wants
Thomas Knapp
Child Abductions: A Conversation It’s Hard to Believe We’re Even Having
Robert Fisk
I Spoke to Palestinians Who Still Hold the Keys to Homes They Fled Decades Ago – Many are Still Determined to Return
Steve Early
Requiem for a Steelworker: Mon Valley Memories of Oil Can Eddie
Jim Scheff
Protect Our National Forests From an Increase in Logging
Adam Parsons
Reclaiming the UN’s Radical Vision of Global Economic Justice
Dean Baker
Manufacturing Production Falls in May and No One Notices
Laura Flanders
Bottom-Up Wins in Virginia’s Primaries
Binoy Kampmark
The Anguish for Lost Buildings: Embers and Death at the Victoria Park Hotel
Weekend Edition
June 15, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Dan Kovalik
The US & Nicaragua: a Case Study in Historical Amnesia & Blindness
Jeremy Kuzmarov
Yellow Journalism and the New Cold War
Charles Pierson
The Day the US Became an Empire
Jonathan Cook
How the Corporate Media Enslave Us to a World of Illusions
Ajamu Baraka
North Korea Issue is Not De-nuclearization But De-Colonization
Andrew Levine
Midterms Coming: Antinomy Ahead
Louisa Willcox
New Information on 2017 Yellowstone Grizzly Bear Deaths Should Nix Trophy Hunting in Core Habitat
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Singapore Fling
Ron Jacobs
What’s So Bad About Peace, Man?
Robert Hunziker
State of the Climate – It’s Alarming!
L. Michael Hager
Acts and Omissions: The NYT’s Flawed Coverage of the Gaza Protest
Dave Lindorff
However Tenuous and Whatever His Motives, Trump’s Summit Agreement with Kim is Praiseworthy
Robert Fantina
Palestine, the United Nations and the Right of Return
Brian Cloughley
Sabre-Rattling With Russia
Chris Wright
To Be or Not to Be? That’s the Question
David Rosen
Why Do Establishment Feminists Hate Sex Workers?
Victor Grossman
A Key Congress in Leipzig
John Eskow
“It’s All Kinderspiel!” Trump, MSNBC, and the 24/7 Horseshit Roundelay
Paul Buhle
The Russians are Coming!
Joyce Nelson
The NED’s Useful Idiots
Lindsay Koshgarian
Trump’s Giving Diplomacy a Chance. His Critics Should, Too
Louis Proyect
American Nativism: From the Chinese Exclusion Act to Trump
Stan Malinowitz
On the Elections in Colombia
Camilo Mejia
Open Letter to Amnesty International on Nicaragua From a Former Amnesty International Prisoner of Conscience
David Krieger
An Assessment of the Trump-Kim Singapore Summit
Jonah Raskin
Cannabis in California: a Report From Sacramento
Josh Hoxie
Just How Rich Are the Ultra Rich?
CJ Hopkins
Awaiting the Putin-Nazi Apocalypse
Mona Younis
We’re the Wealthiest Country on Earth, But Over 40 Percent of Us Live in or Near Poverty
Dean Baker
Not Everything Trump Says on Trade is Wrong
James Munson
Trading Places: the Other 1% and the .001% Who Won’t Save Them
Rivera Sun
Stop Crony Capitalism: Protect the Net!
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail