Canada has become the cheerleader of the Lima Group, an ad-hoc, self-appointed busybody group formed specifically to overthrow the legitimate government of Venezuela.
Unable to get the OAS votes needed to agree to their nefarious plot, this is a group of governments with no official international standing, few democratic principles, most led by known discredited leaders spouting market ideology. Canada has allied itself throwing all of its diplomatic and economic support for a man who self-proclaimed himself president of Venezuela in a public plaza, violating the country’s constitution and all electoral rules. So much for the “respect for the rule of law” that the Canadian Foreign Minister, C. Freeland so frequently spouts.
These are the main members of the Lima Group:
Canada, doing its best to do the US’s dirty work in exchange for a trade deal
Colombia: 65% of the world’s cocaine production comes from Colombia; it is the world’s most dangerous place for labour leaders due to their ongoing assassinations, assassination of rural and indigenous leaders and recently the assassination of the leaders of the FARC who laid down their arms in a peace treaty. Paramilitary and narco mafia are rampant in this country.
Peru: its president was NOT elected; its former president had to be removed because of proven corruption by their own courts.
Argentina: Macri is famously included in the Panama Papersfor corruption; his popularity is dramatically down. He even jailed the Madres de la Plaza de Mayo (women seeking their lost children during the Pinochet era).
Brazil: Bolsonaro is president only because he jailed his key opponent who led the polls: Lula. He has boasted of giving the police the right to shoot to kill anyone they SUSPECT are criminals. He is a blatant, extremist. He has declared that the Amazon is now “open for business” and will allow development there.
Paraguay: its president came to power through a judicial coup d’etat.
Freeland, a throwback to the Cold War, has trashed the former dignified independent foreign policies of Pierre Eliot Trudeau, father of the present prime minister. P.E. Trudeau defended Canada’s sovereignty and independent foreign policy in the face of powerful USA pressure during the Cold War to break with Cuba and China, which he refused. Prime Minister Jean Chretien resisted strong USA pressure to join the war against Iraq. However, Justin Trudeau, unlike his predecessors, has caved to the pressure of the USA and his own foreign affairs minister and has cast his country as a lap dog of the most erratic and amoral USA president in living memory.
President Maduro was re-elected in the May 20, 2018 presidential elections in which 6 opposition candidates took part supported by 16 opposition parties. Just because 3 opposition parties chose not to participate, by their own decision, does NOT invalidate the election. The results were:
President Maduro: 6.3 million votes, 67%
Henry Falcón: 1.9 million votes, 20.9%
Javier Bertucci: 996,181 votes, 10.8 %
The losing candidates all accepted the results as valid.
The 150 international independent observers all accepted the election process as clean and transparent including Mayor Anthony Witherspoon of Magnolia, Mississippi. See video.
A comparison with other regional presidents show that Nicolás Maduro had a higher percentage of votes than they:
Maduro (2018) 67% votes
Trump (2016) 46% votes
Macri (2015) 51.2%
Santos (2014) 53.1%
Piñera (2017) 54.6%
With an electoral process that Jimmy Carter declared the best in the world, how does this make President Maduro illegitimate? The voting process has an electronic, fingerprint and paper trail, practically fraud proof, and it is the same system used in 2015 when the opposition gained the most votes for the legislature and indeed in which Guaidó was elected. Why was it fine then when the opposition won but not fine when they have lost?
So let us not accept the farce that the quarrel with Venezuela is about illegitimacy and democracy. This is not even a coup d’etat; it is a blatant neo-colonial war against Venezuela to reduce it to a puppet state and take possession of its oil, gold and other resources. These are modern pirates acting on behalf of corporate capital.
Furthermore, the USA has admitted it wants to “take back Latin America” and intends to go after Cuba, Nicaragua and Bolivia as the Wall St. Journal so plainly said (U.S. Push to Oust Venezuela’s Maduro Marks First Shot in Plan to Reshape Latin America – WSJ).
The USA wants to put in their place those uppity Latinos who think they can have any sort of independent policies that do not agree with the USA dominance of the Hemisphere. There is a lot of racism here. Also the USA is alarmed at the huge investments that China and Russia have made in Venezuela and Latin America in general.
Guaido’s party Voluntad Popular (VP), is the most violent and right wing opposition party in Venezuela. One of its leaders, Maria Corina Machado was interviewed on the public Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC) on Feb. 1. She has openly, repeatedly, shamelessly and in front of numerous TV and radio cameras, urged mobs to violence and she has most recently publicly threatened the life of President Maduro. She has also been invited to speak with Ottawa politicians.
Guaidó and his party carried out the terrible street violence of 2014, which they named “La Salida” (The Exit). It resulted in 114 innocent people being killed. Several young men were burned alive suspected of being “Chavistas”. This was the worst street violence ever seen on the streets of Venezuela. The leader of the party, Leopoldo López was jailed, after a long and fair trial with the best lawyers money can buy, sentenced for his responsibility for unleashing this terror and the ensuing 114 deaths.
A simple Google search would have shown Ottawa politicians and the CBC, the videos of the street terror that the VP unleashed and the salient role Guaidó, López and Machado played. López and Machado are members of two of the country’s richest families, key part of an elite that governed Venezuela for 40 years using the oil revenues for their own enrichment and left 80% of their people impoverished.
Guaidó, a son of Spanish immigrants, is a useful idiot, a thug who will be thrown into the trashcan of history for his treason. He does not command any type of institution, not one policeman, not one ministry, no official agency of any sort. He is a president in his own mind and that of the USA Embassy where he is holed out.
Now Canadian politicians and media choose to back people known for using violence (not ballots) to overthrow a legitimate government. VP spectacularly lost support among people who are opposed to the government due to the violence they unleashed. VP regularly feeds outlandish lies to the foreign mainstream media.
Why are not the more moderate Venezuelan opposition members invited to Ottawa and interviewed on CBC, those who have not urged crowds to violence or to overthrow governments and have participated in elections?
As to the erosion of Canada’s reputation in Latin America, what the Canadian mining companies started, Freeland has fully confirmed and amplified: the present Canadian government has shown it cares not a whit about human rights, environmental damages, international law or the often cited “rule of law”, only its own narrowly perceived interests.
In opposing the legitimately elected president of Venezuela Nicolás Maduro, and advocating for a bogus, self-appointed CIA trained puppet Guaidó what exactly does Freeland and Justin Trudeau think will happen, or have they not thought this out? There could be 3 consequences:
(1) A coup d’etat
(2) A military intervention by USA, Colombian or Brazilian troops, or all of them together
(3) A civil war that can easily spiral into a regional war.
Is this what Canadians want and will approve?
What Canadian law is there, where in the UN Charter or in the OAS Charter does it say that any foreign country has the right to demand the ouster of the elected government of another country in favour of a self-proclaimed individual?
And while Freeland spouts platitudes of how Canada respects the rule of law not even the USA itself believes it is opposing President Maduro to protect democracy. Trump has openly stated, gangster-like, that they want the country’s resources. That is the Libya and Ukraine model: first set up a parallel government; secondly, stage a false flag (perhaps the murder of Guaidó?), then invade and divide up the country’s resources among the willing partners.
Oh yes, the loot. There is always a promise of loot among conspirators. The US hopes to dismember Venezuela like a giant cake. Exxon Mobil wants the oil. The international banks want the gold. Colombia wants to control or possess the eastern oil rich area next to its border. Brazil wants carte blanche for its big energy corporation. Guyana wants the Esequivo region on the eastern border handed to them – that is, to Exxon Mobil, and Paraguay wants the huge debt it owes to Venezuela to quietly disappear. And it is not a wild guess to think that Canada obtained its recent Free Trade deal with Trump as a quid-pro-quo: lead the charge against Venezuela and you get your deal. And the oil producers in Canada (mostly USA owned) will shed no tears over the destruction of Venezuelan crude production. Make no mistake about it, these are the modern carpetbaggers.
If any one of these alternatives occur, coup, invasion or civil war, there will be blood on the hands of Justin Trudeau and his cabinet as they play with fire and ignore international law, on the Canadian media that so irresponsibly fail to do their due diligence and unfortunately, on the hands of every Canadian that has ignored or looked away at the outrages its government is doing in their name, following obediently the USA neo-colonial war of pillage against Venezuela. They will have to live with the stain of whatever innocent blood is spilt for a very long time, perhaps forever.