'This guy, [Edward] Snowden... has surprised the world in order to ...improve humanity...this youth deserves humanitarian protection,' Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said yesterday at a press conference in Port-au-Prince after meeting with Haiti’s president.
Snowden leaked information about the U.S’s PRISM spy program, which uses data from large internet companies to carry out mass surveillance of people inside and outside the U.S. After The Guardian published a series of exposes based on Snowden’s disclosures this month, U.S. federal prosecutors charged him with theft of government property, unauthorised communication of national defence information, and wilful communication of classified intelligence to an unauthorised person.
Green Left Weekly Ewan Robertson, Merida, Venezuela
Following the implementation of measures to tackle shortages in some basic food and household items, both private Venezuelan media and the government report that the level of shortages is now decreasing.
Shortages hit their highest level in five years in April, provoking a flurry of international media criticism of the government and affecting the popularity of president Nicolas Maduro in the lead-up to the 14 April election.
Economists and Venezuela’s conservative opposition attribute the spike in shortages to the effects of government price controls and a lack of state-granted dollars given to companies for food imports and production.
Meanwhile, Maduro has blamed the private sector for engaging in an “economic war” against the government, causing scarcity through hoarding products and lowering production to hurt the government’s popularity and destabilise the country.
The snap April presidential elections following the death of Hugo Chavez have provided the pretext for a sharpening of the class struggle and political polarisation in the battle over Venezuela’s Bolivarian revolution. Winning by a narrow margin of 1.5%, Nicolas Maduro represents a commitment to socialism and the deepening of the Bolivarian Revolution. His opponent Henrique Capriles, who facilitated a brutal attack on the Cuban embassy in the bloodstained 2002 coup, represents a continuation of the interests of finance capital that have orchestrated violence and unrest over the last decade. The accusations of election fraud are part of pre-meditated plan to destabilise the country. Sam McGill reports.
Venezuela’s National Electoral Council (CNE) is expected to successfully ?nish the audit of April’s presidential vote this Saturday June 8th.
The audit seeks to check 100% of the votes cast on April 14th, when Chavista candidate Nicolas Maduro beat conservative candidate Henrique Capriles by 50.61% to 49.12% of the vote.
70% of votes were subject to random sample checks on voting day itself, with the other 30% being audited in a widened “phase II” exercise from April 29th to June 8th.
Below we reproduce a letter from the Venezuelan ambassador thanking Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! for the actions of its supporters in defending the embassy against a mob of counter-revolutionaries on 20 April (Protest to defend the Venezuelan embassy)
Since the 14 April election the opposition in Venezuela have continued to contest the election results, first demanding a full 100% audit of the results, then when this was agreed to, demanding a full recount and boycotting the audit process. The defeated Presidential candidate, Henrique Capriles, has since called a counter demonstration on 1 May to clash with the traditional half a million strong international workers' day march and a US national has been arrested on suspicion of a plot to destabilise the country
Speaking last night during the swearing-in of the new ministerial cabinet, President Nicolas Maduro argued that the “new cycle of the revolution” should be focused on “building peace, security, and coexistence”.
“We’re aware that we are beginning a new cycle of the Bolivarian revolution. We need a new cycle of renewal so that all its philosophical, political, organisational, and structural forces...can be reinvigorated,” Maduro said.
Amnesty USA called on the Venezuelan government to eliminate post-election violence. The small matter that the violence has been directed at government supporters was comically evaded.
Showing off its command of the obvious, Amnesty USA stated
"Violent incidents around Venezuela following last Sunday’s presidential elections are only likely to increase unless the authorities carry out prompt, effective investigations and bring those responsible to justice"
That recent deaths strongly implicate opposition supporters should have been impossible to miss, even for Amnesty USA, given statements put out by Henrique Capriles, the candidate who lost the presidential election to Maduro. Reuters reported that Capriles said
"To all my followers ... this is a peaceful quarrel. Whoever is involved in violence is not part of this project, is not with me,…. It is doing me harm."