Venezuela reacts to Obama’s property restrictions as row with US deepens
SOUTH American country of Venezuela has once more reacted to the ban by the United States (U.S.) by calling on President Barrack Obama to respect the sovereignty of the Bolivarian Republic, repeal the executive order against it and normalise diplomatic relations with its government.
Head of Mission at the Embassy of the Bolivian Republic of Venezuela in Nigeria and ECOWAS, Miguelangel Della Vecchia, who addressed a press conference in Abuja on Monday declared that it was time the U.S. president respected Venezuela as a peace-loving country that deserved its own freedom.
Decrying the executive order from the U.S. government, Vecchia noted that Venezuela is a peace-loving anti-war country and that it is neither a threat to the United States of America nor to any other country in the world. He, therefore, called on President Obama and the U.S. government to fulfill its international obligations regarding the respect for a country’s self-determination and the right of its people to freely choose their own path.
He said that his country was surprised by the March 9 declaration of President Obama on Venezuela. He expressed shock that the national emergency was declared by Obama two days after “a delegation from the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), a regional integration body, visited Venezuela and met with the Venezuelan authorities, as well as several representatives from the various parties that comprise the Venezuelan opposition. UNASUR showed great support for democracy in Venezuela and for the parliamentary elections scheduled for later this year”.
“It is important to highlight that the visit of the Secretary General of UNASUR and foreign ministers of Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil and Uruguay took place at the invitation of the President of Venezuela, who earlier this year, requested the participation of this body to facilitate a dialogue with the U.S. government”.
Vecchia urged that sanctions, blockades and armed aggressions are no substitutes for genuine dialogue, citing Obama’s own admission last December with regards to Cuba, that these are ineffective measures that succeed only in causing harm to innocent people.
It would be recalled that on March 9, President Barrack Obama had declared Venezuela as a threat to the United States security, thereby ordering a national emergency against it to be carried out by the Secretary of the Treasury in consultation with the Secretary of State.
Citing situations such as government of Venezuela’s erosion of human rights guarantees, persecution of political opponents, curtailment of press freedom, use of violence and human rights violations and abuses in response to anti-government protests and arbitrary arrest and detention of anti-government protesters, as well as the exacerbating presence of significant public corruption, Obama had declared that the alleged actions of the Venezuelan government “constitute an usual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States”.
The order given by Obama seeks to block the property and interest in property, of persons listed as perpetrating or complicit in, or responsible for ordering, controlling, or otherwise directing or found to have participated directly or indirectly, in any of the situations listed above.
Anyone found to be current or former leader of an entity that has, or whose members have engaged in any of the acts of human rights violations, or those found to be either current or former officials of the government of Venezuela are also affected by the executive order.
“In addition, the order suspends entry into the United States, of any alien listed in the annex or determined to meet one or more of the above criteria”, the U.S. Order read.
While answering questions from journalists, the Venezuelan Head of Mission, however, stated that his country is able to withstand any blockade from the United States, adding that the country has endured economic blockade in the last two years.
“We are revolutionary and we can survive. We have survived for two years and we can continue. We have a lot of business between Venezuela and the U.S. We have to check what is about this business because we cannot give business to any nation that is against our country. And for that, our former President, Hugo Chaviez said, and we opened a new business. It’s not the monopoly of the U.S. We open a lot of businesses around the world, we have in China and in other countries; and we need to check the relationship between our country and U.S.; and we need to change. If they want to block our economy, if they want to intervene in our country, we need to stop them”, he said.
He noted that the focus for the Venezuelan people at the moment, is to defend their country. “We don’t permit the intervention of the U.S. The people are on the streets in Venezuela to defend the revolution. Venezuela is now one country and we are together. The focus is, Obama needs to respect Venezuela”, he said.
Already, media reports indicate that Venezuelan President, Nicolás Maduro, has been granted the right to rule by decree till the end of the year to defend the country’s integrity and sovereignty against “imperialist threats” from the U.S. government.
The so-called “Anti-Imperialist Enabling Law for Peace,” passed by the National Assembly over the weekend came into force on Monday as the new legislature empowers Maduro with tools to circumvent Congress in issuing security and defense legislation until the end of 2015.
Head of the Venezuelan National Assembly, Diosdado Cabello, was quoted to have said, “the president is within his rights to preserve the peace of the Republic,” adding that the law would allow Maduro to have the “tools at hand, both legal and constitutional, in order to defend the homeland whenever necessary.”