Russia moves to prevent regime change in Venezuela.


Uploaded by The Duran | Published on Mar 28, 2019.

Venezuela Won’t Be Easy For US: Russian S-300s Are Already in Place...

Uploaded by Vesti News | Published on Mar 29, 2019.

Russian S-300 Missile Defense System Arrives in Venezuela...

Uploaded by AfriSynergyNews | Premiered Mar 27, 2019.

The Other Venezuela.

Uploaded by redfish | Published on Mar 27, 2019

Another Journalist Exposes U.S. News Venezuela Propaganda w/Eva Bartlett.

 
Uploaded by The Jimmy Dore Show | Published on Mar 17, 2019

US is manufacturing crisis in Venezuela so that there is ... 'needed' intervention.

US is manufacturing a crisis in Venezuela so that there is chaos and 'needed' intervention. [Republished]
RT Op-ed | Published time: 29 Mar, 2019 15:15

Eva Bartlett is a freelance journalist and rights activist with extensive experience in the Gaza Strip and Syria. Her writings can be found on her blog, In Gaza.

A massive pro-government rally on March 16, Caracas. © Eva Bartlett

Venezuela is America's current target for mass destabilization in the hope of installing a puppet government.
America has for years been waging an economic war against Venezuela, including debilitating sanctions which have dramatically affected the state's ability to purchase medicines, and even mundane replacement parts needed in buses, ambulances, etc. Alongside the economic war there has been a steady propaganda war, but in recent months, the propaganda has escalated dramatically, from corporate media to US political figures.

Venezuela is described as “the country pilots are refusing to fly to,” as per a March 18, 2019, AP article on American Airlines cancelling all flights to Venezuela, containing scary phrases like “safety concerns” and “civil unrest.

On March 9, American cancelled my Miami-Caracas flight on the basis that there wasn't enough electricity to land at Caracas airport. Strangely enough, the Copa flight I took the following day after an overnight in Panama had no problem landing, nor did Copa flights on the day of my own cancelled flight, according to Copa staff.

The cancellation of flights to Venezuela then lends legitimacy to the shrill tweets of Marco Rubio, Mike Pence, John Bolton, and the previously unknown non-president, Juan Guaido.

I've been in various areas of Caracas since March 10, and I've seen none of this “civil unrest” that corporate media are talking about. I've walked around Caracas, usually on my own, and haven't experienced the worry for my safety corporate media is telling Westerners they should suddenly feel more than normal in Venezuela.


In fact, I see little difference from the Venezuela I knew in 2010 when I spent half a year here, except the hyperinflation is absurdly worse and in my absence I missed the years of extreme right-wing opposition supporters street violence – a benign term for the guarimbas which saw opposition supporters burning people alive, among other violence against people and security.

So it strikes me that the decision of American Airlines to stop flying to Venezuela is not about safety and security issues, but is political, in line with increasingly hollow rhetoric about a humanitarian crisis that does not exist, even according to former UN Special Rapporteur, Alfred de Zayas.

I asked Paul Dobson, a journalist who has lived in Venezuela the last 14 years, if anything like this had happened before. Turns out it has, also at a very timely moment.

At the time of the National Constituent Assembly elections, July 30, 2017, the major airlines – including Air France, United, American, pretty much all of the European airlines – suspended their flights one day before the elections, citing “security reasons.” Most of the services were reopened about four days after the elections, some of them two weeks after the elections.

So were there 'security concerns? I asked Paul.

This was towards the end of street violence (guarimbas) that had been going on for six months in the country. Why didn't they suspend their activity six months before, two months before? They did it the day before the elections, clearly trying to influence votes and the way that people see their country internationally. There were no extra security concerns that day than any day over the last 6 months. So, there was really no justification for it. And it caused massive problems on the ground, around elections.”

 

America manufactures crises; Venezuelans respond with calm.

On February 23, a month after a previously largely-unknown, US-backed man named Juan Guaido claimed he was the president of Venezuela, there was a short-lived period of instability at the Venezuelan border with Colombia, when America insisted on forcing aid trucks into Venezuela.
Aid trucks that burned that day were the result of attacks of masked young men on the Colombian side, and not from the Venezuelan military as western corporate media and Marco Rubio would have you believe. Less-known is that the ‘aid trucks’ contained very odd humanitarian aid, including nails and wire.

Were their fake concerns genuine, the US could have done what Cuba, China, and Russia, among others, have done and send the aid through appropriate channels, like the UN and the Red Cross. America's attempt to ram trucks through Venezuela's border has been revealed as the cheap propaganda stunt that it was.

A couple of weeks later, suddenly there was a very timely country-wide power outage for six days, affecting most things in Venezuelan infrastructure and life, a reality that Palestinians in Gaza have been living since at least 2006 when Israel bombed their sole power plant, never since allowing them to import the parts needed to adequately repair it.

When I lived in Gaza, I grew accustomed to outages of 16-22 hours a day, for months on end. Near-daily sustained 18 plus hour power outages continue in Gaza, but that's not something the regime-change squad were or are outraged about.
Western media coverage of the blackout was tabloidesque, claiming without any proof whatsoever that 300 people had died due to the outage, portraying Venezuelans collecting water from a spring at the Guaire river in Caracas as collecting dirty sewage water, looting (which actually occurred in the Western border city of Maracaibo and not in Caracas, unless there were localized and unreported incidents), and in general blaming the Maduro government for everything under the moon.

Talking with journalists of Mision Verdad, an independent Venezuelan investigative news site, I learned that one of the targets of looting was a mall in Maracaibo, where electronics were the items of choice, not food. Another incident reportedly involved looting beer and soft drinks. Odd behaviour for a starving people in a humanitarian crisis.

When I arrived three days into the outage, aside from darkened buildings, empty streets, and in following days long lines at water dispensaries and ATMs, I saw no instability. Instead, I saw and learned of Venezuelans working together to get through the drastic effects of the power outage.
I learned at the Ministry of Urban Agriculture of how they took vegetables and crops to hospitals and schools during the electricity outage, but also of how urban agriculture has become an act of resistance in a climate of war and fake news. At a circular plot next to a social housing block I saw young men and women working the land, bursts of lettuces, herbs, beetroots, spinach, and peppers, as well as plots still being planted.
At the Fabricio Ojeda commune, in Catia—a western Caracas barrio of over 1 million people—residents spoke of the 17 tons of produce they generated a few years ago, then sold in the community at prices 30-50% lower than the average market price.

One of the commune leaders spoke of raising rabbits as an affordable, and easy to maintain, source of protein.

We're trying to achieve self sustainability of this produce, for the community. This is what we're doing against the economic war,” he said.

Two days ago, visiting the Caracas barrios of Las Brisas, I asked Jaskeherry, head of a colectivo (organized group of people) how the community had managed during the power outage.
We had a contingency plan with all the colectivos in the area to organize ourselves to help the people. My fridge is connected to a power bank. The community brought their meat here and I stored it. We brought a cistern here. Around 300 families were benefiting from this. Each community has their own colectivo that does things like this to help out.”

I've heard from several different people here that one reason for the lack of chaos is that Venezuelans have already dealt with US-instigated crises, and have learned to remain calm at such times, surely to the dismay of US pot-stirrers who hoped for scenes of chaos, the pretext to US intervention.

 

Manufactured poverty; Support from & for government.

I've gone into a number of smaller and large supermarkets in the lower middle-class areas of Caracas, and in it's upper middle-class regions of Chacao and Altimira. There is food, including luxury items, which Venezuela's poor can't afford.

And in some stores there are empty shelves. The policies of private companies—including the largest, Polar, whose CEO happens to be an anti-Maduro opposition leader—hoarding goods and creating false shortages is well known. That said, this theme that there is no food is one continually pumped by Western corporate media, along with the “humanitarian crisis” claim.

To help the poorest, the government initiated a food box delivery program known by its acronym, CLAP, wherein organized communities distribute government subsidized food to 6 million of Venezuela's poorest families.

The system is not perfect, and I've heard complaints of boxes being late in reaching some communities. However, I've been told—including by a woman I interviewed yesterday who herself works in CLAP distribution—that problems lie in corruption on a local level, individuals in communities not distributing fairly or evenly.

Hotheads like Marco Rubio, and script reading corporate media, try to maintain that President Maduro has little support. But massive rallies of support, and a notable absence of opposition rallies of recent, counter that propaganda.

On March 16, for two hours I walked with Venezuelans at their anti-Imperialist, pro-government march, filming them, speaking with them, hearing person after person insist on their support for their elected president, Maduro.


Many or most of those marching were from Caracas' poorest communities, the darker skinned, Afro-descendant Venezuelans that are scarcely given a voice by corporate media, almost certainly because they are ardent supporters of the government and Bolivarian revolution.

When I asked about their feelings of corporate media coverage of Venezuela, people told me it wasn't depicting the reality, “they make it up, it’s all lies, all lies. The only president we recognize is Nicolas Maduro. And we want this man, Juan Guaido, to be arrested immediately”.

A young tax lawyer told me:

We're here to support our (Bolivarian) project. We don't want any war. We want medicine for our people—we don't want sanctions from any government that prevent us from purchasing medicine. It's very difficult for us to bring what's needed for our people.”

Leaving the still crowded demonstration, I went towards Caracas' eastern districts, hoping to attend one of the three or four opposition actions that a local journalist told me they had been tweeting about. None panned out.

A few days later, I went to Bellas Artes metro, the same scenario transpired, I couldn't find the opposition protest that I'd heard was planned. Eventually, in front of the National Assembly, I did film between 15-20 well-dressed men and women not doing much other than standing around. Eventually, most passed by security and onto the premises. I didn't hear them issue, or attempt to issue, any opposition statement, nor was there any violence from or against them.

A mass of government supporters arrived on motorbikes. A nearby man told me that these women and men on bikes had come to preserve the peace. He said that opposition had said they would stage a provocation (his words match what the local journalist told me, based on tweets to that effect from opposition/supporters), and that the pro-government bikers were not going to allow that to happen.

 

Height of hypocrisy and irony; US to ensure ‘foreign influences are not controlling Venezuela’

The US has been forcibly exerting its foreign influence over Venezuela for years, to the detriment of the Venezuelan people it crocodile-tear purports to care about. Most Western corporate media do not mention the manifold adverse effects of the immoral sanctions imposed on Venezuela.

At the end of January, UN human rights expert Idriss Jazairy denounced the sanctions, clearly noting they are, “aimed at changing the government of Venezuela,” and that, “Coercion, whether military or economic, must never be used to seek a change in government in a sovereign state.”

On top of this, America recently withheld US$5 billion intended for the purchase of medicines and raw materials used in medical production, Venezuelanalysis reported, after already freezing numerous Venezuelan assets, apparently holding them for their groomed puppet would-be president, Juan Guaido.

Unsurprisingly, John Bolton recently again menaced Venezuela, reiterating Trump's, “all options are on the table,” military intervention threat and as though hallucinating blathered on about foreign influence and Venezuela and keeping the Imperialist Monroe Doctrine alive.

In a meeting with the US Peace Council delegation in mid-March, Venezuela's Foreign Minister, Jorge Arreaza, spoke of the openly-hostile US leadership.

When you have such an administration saying almost every single day, ‘all the options are on the table.’ And they say the military option is not discarded, then we have to be prepared for all of the options.

We told Mr.Elliott Abrams, ‘the coup has failed, so now what are you going to do?’ He kind of nodded and said, ‘Well, this is going to be a long term action, then, and we are looking forward to the collapse of your economy.’”

President Maduro, in a meeting with the delegation, told us:

We do not want foreign military intervention. Venezuelan people are very proud of the national independence. These people surrounding president Trump—John Bolton, Mike Pompeo, Marco Rubio, Elliott Abrams —every single day on Twitter, these guys are tweeting about Venezuela. Not about the US, the American people...they have an obsession with Venezuela, like a fatal obsession with Venezuela. This is extremely dangerous, and we need to denounce it and make it stop.

©  Eva Bartlett

Having written extensively about the war propaganda and Imperialist rhetoric around Syria over the past eight years, this obsession is very familiar. As Alfred de Zayas, said in a recent interview:

If you call Maduro corrupt, people will gradually believe, he must be somewhat corrupt. But nobody reminds you that corruption in Venezuela in the 1980s and 90s – before Chavez, before Maduro – was rampant. The press is focusing only on Maduro, because the name of the game is to topple him.”

We're seeing Syria (and Libya, Iraq...) all over again. The demonization of the leadership of a country America wants to dominate. The absurd rhetoric steaming daily from corporate owned media, pretty much in chorus. The troll army ready to attack with an energetic vitriol on social media anyone who dares to present a non-Imperialist perspective. And most worrisome, the acts of terrorism intended to hurt the people and incriminate the government.

Sadly, it seems the United States is ready to stoop to the same dirty tactics it and allies used against Syria over the past eight years: backing and collaborating with terrorists to attack the state. Indeed, last night while trying to finish this article, the power cut and remains off in many areas of the country.

Earlier this week, Information and Communications Minister Jorge Rodriguez tweeted that the cause of this recent outage was an attack at the Guri Hydro complex, Venezuela's central hydroelectric power plant and transmission area.

By today, electricity has been restored to Caracas.
I spent much of this afternoon riding on the back of a motorbike around Petare. The district is known as the largest “slum” in Latin America, an extended series of barrios, and is one of Caracas' poorest and most dangerous areas. Wherever we rode, I looked for the humanitarian crisis corporate media insists exists. Instead, I found vegetables, fruit, chicken and food basics sold wherever I went, from the main square to hillside barrio of 5 of July (5 Julio).

On the hillside of Avila, the mountain overlooking Caracas, I saw at intervals while riding lines of people collecting spring water in jugs since the power outage has affected water distribution. I also saw lines of tankers, being organized by the municipality and with the military, to distribute water around the city and country. A chart listed over twenty hospitals designated to receive water.

The Venezuelan government has accused America of being behind both the March 7 outage and this week's, stating the former was a combination of cyber, electromagnetic and physical attacks on the power grids (like the alleged secret US plan to do the same to Iran's grid), and the latter a direct physical attack on the Guri complex, causing a fire at three transformers.

Clearly, the goal of such attacks is to create so much suffering and frustration among the public that there is chaos, and a “needed” US intervention.

The chaos has not happened, the people have refused it.

Russia Defies US Threats Over Venezuela.

Uploaded by The Real News Network | Published on Mar 28, 2019.

Russia reportedly sends 100 troops to Venezuela.

Uploaded by RT America | Published on Mar 25, 2019.

Haiti entrenched in a “terrible uprising” after end of support from Venezuela.

 
Uploaded by Democracy Now! | Published on Mar 21, 2019.

The American Destruction of Venezuela - The Real Story.

Uploaded by Thom Hartmann Program | Published on Feb 21, 2019.

CARICOM Foreign Ministers meet with Venezuela's Guaido.


Meeting Between CARICOM Foreign Ministers Delegation and Mr. Juan Guaidó.
CARICOM Today
May 24, 2019

In accordance with the decision of CARICOM Heads of Government to provide good offices in facilitating a peaceful resolution to the Venezuela crisis through a meaningful internal process, a delegation of Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Foreign Ministers met with Mr. Guaido and a delegation of his representatives in Bridgetown, Barbados, on 23 March 2019. Mr. Guaidó joined the discussion via video-conference.

CARICOM Foreign Ministers acknowledged the meeting as a significant initial step in a series of potential engagements that should unfold by agreed mechanisms, within the framework of the Constitution of Venezuela and the rule of law. The meeting provided a greater understanding of Mr. Guaido’s views and perspectives on how to move forward in the search for peaceful solutions, as well as his willingness to take part in meaningful discussions. The participants accepted the benefit of further engagement.

Participants expressed deep appreciation to Canada for facilitating the convening of the meeting.

CARICOM foreign ministers hail meeting with Venezuela's Guaido as a significant step to peaceful resolution to crisis.
The Gleaner [Jamaica]
Published: Sunday | March 24, 2019 | 11:43 AM

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, CMC –Caribbean Community (CARICOM) foreign ministers say a meeting yesterday with Venezuelan Opposition Leader Juan Guaidó is a significant step to facilitating a “peaceful resolution” to the political and economic crisis in the South American country.

A brief statement issued by the Guyana-based CARICOM Secretariat today, noted that Guaidó had joined the discussions “via video conference” and that regional foreign ministers had met with his delegation in Bridgetown.

“In accordance with the decision of CARICOM Heads of Government to provide good offices in facilitating a peaceful resolution to the Venezuela crisis through a meaningful internal process, a delegation of Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Foreign Ministers met with Mr. Guaido and a delegation of his representatives in Bridgetown, Barbados, on 23 March 2019. Mr. Guaidó joined the discussion via video conference,” the statement noted.

CARICOM leaders at their inter-sessional summit in St Kitts-Nevis last month had reiterated their position of non-interference in the internal affairs of Venezuela and said they were prepared to mediate in the process to bring about a peaceful resolution to the crisis.

Guaidó, who is backed by the United States, Canada and some other Western countries, is seeking to unseat President Nicolas Maduro, who was sworn into office for a second consecutive term in January.

Maduro has the backing of Russia, China and Cuba among other countries.

The statement said that CARICOM foreign ministers “acknowledged the meeting as a significant initial step in a series of potential engagements that should unfold by agreed mechanisms, within the framework of the Constitution of Venezuela and the rule of law".

The statement further said: “The meeting provided a greater understanding of Mr. Guaido’s views and perspectives on how to move forward in the search for peaceful solutions, as well as his willingness to take part in meaningful discussions. The participants accepted the benefit of further engagement.”

Guaidó later said on his Twitter page that the talks were mainly an opportunity for him “to express his views on the situation in Venezuela and to discuss the way forward”.

He also reiterated the “very strong relationship” between Caracas and the 15-member CARICOM group.

The statement by CARICOM today noted that the “participants expressed deep appreciation to Canada for facilitating the convening of the meeting”.

Canadian High Commissioner to Barbados, Marie Legault, who has a long career in international diplomacy, was present at the talks amid reports that she did so as a member of the Lima Group that has opposed President Maduro’s second term as president and voted on a resolution at the Organisation of American States (OAS) to that effect in January.

At least four Caribbean countries, St Lucia, Bahamas, Jamaica and Haiti sided with the Lima Group and last Friday, met with United States President Donald Trump, to further discuss the Venezuelan situation at his private residence.

Jamaica’s Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Minister Kamina Johnson Smith, her Trinidad and Tobago counterpart Dennis Moses, as well as the CARICOM Secretary General Irwin LaRocque, and St Kitts-Nevis Foreign Affairs Minister Mark Brantley, attended the talks.

St Kitts-Nevis Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris is the current chairman of the 15-member regional integration grouping.

Informed sources told the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) that a similar meeting is being planned with Maduro and his delegation and that the talks could take place as early as this week. No venue has yet been given for that round of discussions.

The statement today by CARICOM made no mention of any planned meeting with Maduro’s delegation.

Trump Meets With Caribbean Leaders At Mar-A-Lago.


Uploaded by NBC News - Published on Mar 22, 2019.

Trump dangles Investment to Caribbean Leaders who back Venezuela's Guaido.

By Roberta Rampton 
Reuters World News,  March 22, 2019.

PALM BEACH, Florida (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump pledged investment in a rare meeting on Friday with five Caribbean leaders who have sided with the United States in backing Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido as head of state, the White House said.


U.S. President Trump and first lady Melania Trump pose before a meeting with St Lucia Prime Minister Allen Chastanet, Dominican Republic President Danilo Medina, Jamaica Prime Minister Andrew Holness, Haiti President Jovenel Moise and Bahamas Prime Minister Hubert Minnis at Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, U.S., March 22, 2019. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Trump met with leaders from the Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica and Saint Lucia at his private club in Palm Beach, Florida.

He promised them that a high-level delegation from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, the U.S. development lender, would visit their nations in the next 90 days, the White House said.

It’s absolutely important that it’s not just talk - that there will be real investment,” Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness told reporters after the meeting.

The nations have broken from other members of the Caribbean Community, known as CARICOM, in their support for Guaido. The organisation has officially advocated for talks between President Nicolas Maduro and Guaido, and most of its members have rejected resolutions by the Organization of American States supporting Guaido.

The backing of the five for Guaido led to the meeting with Trump, though the White House did not specifically tie the carrot of investment to that support.

Guaido, who heads Venezuela’s national assembly, invoked the constitution to assume the interim presidency in January, saying Maduro’s election last year was not legitimate. Maduro, who still has the support of Venezuela’s military, has clung to power with the support of Russia, China and Cuba.

The Caribbean region has long relied on oil and gas from Venezuela, which offered cheap financing through a programme called Petrocaribe, though shipments have declined in recent years because of production problems at Venezuela’s state-owned oil company PDVSA.

The region has also been the recipient of a flood of investment from China. The White House said earlier this week that Trump wants to work with leaders to “counter China’s predatory economic practices.”

Trump and the leaders did not discuss Chinese investment issues, Holness told reporters.

Reporting by Roberta Rampton; editing by Grant McCool and Rosalba O'Brien
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Venezuela does Oil Deal with China and India.

 
Uploaded by RT America - Published on Mar 22, 2019

"The mask of the US is off"': Anya Parampil speaks at the U.N.

 
Uploaded by The Grayzone | Published on Mar 19, 2019.

Max Blumenthal at U.N. debunks lies about Venezuela.

 
Uploaded by The Grayzone | Published on Mar 19, 2019.

"We are swimming in an ocean of lies!": Alfred de Zayas at U.N.


Uploaded by The Grayzone | Published on Mar 20, 2019.

Venezuela and Socialism with Paul Jay.

 
Uploaded by The Real News Network | Published on Mar 21, 2019.

What’s going on in Venezuela?... [Video]

Uploaded by Tatuy Televisión Comunistaria | Published on Mar 18, 2019

"No War for Oil" Thousands March Against US Intervention in Venezuela.

Uploaded by The Real News Network | Published on Mar 17, 2019

Guaidó Claims He Can Authorize Foreign Military Intervention in Venezuela.

The Real News Network | Published on Mar 14, 2019.

Regime Change Via Sanctions? [Video]


Democracy Now | Published on Mar 14, 2019.

CrossTalk on Venezuela: Pitching Propaganda. [Video]

 
RT |Published on Mar 13, 2019

H.R. 1004 - Prohibiting Unauthorized Military Action in Venezuela Act.

H.R.1004 - Prohibiting Unauthorized Military Action in Venezuela Act.

 
House Foreign Affairs Committee |
Scheduled for Mar 13, 2019
Full Committee hearing on H.R. 1004, Prohibiting Unauthorized Military Action in Venezuela Act.

116th CONGRESS
1st Session
H. R. 1004

To prohibit the introduction of United States Armed Forces into hostilities with respect to Venezuela, and for other purposes.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
February 6, 2019

Mr. Cicilline (for himself, Mr. Blumenauer, Ms. Clarke of New York, Ms. DeGette, Mr. Espaillat, Ms. Gabbard, Mr. Jones, Ms. Haaland, Mr. Khanna, Ms. Lee of California, Mr. Levin of Michigan, Mr. Ted Lieu of California, Mr. Lowenthal, Ms. McCollum, Mr. McGovern, Ms. Moore, Mr. Moulton, Ms. Norton, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, Ms. Omar, Mr. Pocan, Mr. Serrano, Mr. Raskin, Ms. Velázquez, and Mr. Welch) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Armed Services, and in addition to the Committee on Foreign Affairs, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned

A BILL

To prohibit the introduction of United States Armed Forces into hostilities with respect to Venezuela, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the “Prohibiting Unauthorized Military Action in Venezuela Act”.

SEC. 2. Prohibition on introduction of United States Armed Forces into hostilities with respect to Venezuela.

(a) Funding prohibition.—None of the funds authorized to be appropriated or otherwise made available to the Department of Defense or to any other Federal department or agency may be used to introduce the Armed Forces of the United States into hostilities with respect to Venezuela, except pursuant to—

    (1) a declaration of war;

     (2) a specific statutory authorization described in subsection (b); or

     (3) a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or the Armed Forces.

(b) Specific statutory authorization described.—A specific statutory authorization described in this subsection is an authorization that—

     (1) meets the requirements of the War Powers Resolution (50 U.S.C. 1541 et seq.); and

     (2) is enacted after the date of the enactment of this Act.

(c) Rule of construction.—Nothing in this Act may be construed to affect or alter the requirements of the War Powers Resolution (50 U.S.C. 1541 et seq.) or any restrictions or reporting requirements contained in such Resolution.

---------------------------
Bill Cosponsors

52 (50 Democrats, 2 Republicans)

Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.)
Yvette D. Clarke (D-N.Y.)
Diana DeGette (D-Colo.)
Adriano Espaillat (D-N.Y.)
Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii)
Walter B. Jones (R-N.C.)
Debra Haaland (D-N.M.)
Ro Khanna (D-Calif.)
Barbara Lee (D-Calif.)
Andy Levin (D-Mich.)
Ted Lieu (D-Calif.)
Alan Lowenthal (D-Calif.)
Betty McCollum (D-Minn.)
Jim McGovern (D-Mass.)
Gwen Moore (D-Wis.)
Seth Moulton (D-Mass.)
Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.)
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.)
Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.)
Mark Pocan (D-Wis.)
José E. Serrano (D-N.Y.)
Jamie Raskin (D-Md.)
Nydia M. Velázquez (D-N.Y.)
Peter Welch (D-Vt.)
Karen Bass (D-Calif.)
Peter A. DeFazio (D-Ore.)
Donald Beyer (D-Va.)
Chellie Pingree (D-Maine)
Jesús García (D-Ill.)
Jared Huffman (D-Calif.)
Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.)
John Yarmuth (D-Ky.)
Dina Titus (D-Nev.)
Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.)
Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.)
John Lewis (D-Ga.)
Hank Johnson (D-Ga.)
Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.)
Thomas Massie (R-Ky.)
Mark DeSaulnier (D-Calif.)
Anna G. Eshoo (D-Calif.)
Bill Keating (D-Mass.)
Dean Phillips (D-Minn.)
Jim Costa (D-Calif.)
Susan Wild (D-Pa.)
Vicente Gonzalez (D-Texas)
Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.)
Maxine Waters (D-Calif.)
Katie Porter (D-Calif.)
Matt Cartwright (D-Pa.)
Ami Bera (D-Calif.)
Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-N.J.)


---------------------------
Witnesses
Panel one

The Honorable David N. Cicilline
Member of Congress, Washington D.C.
Added 03/12/2019 at 12:58 PM

Rep. Cicilline Written Statement [PDF]
Added 03/12/2019 at 06:04 PM
Rep. Cicilline Bio [PDF]
Added 03/12/2019 at 07:04 PM

Panel two

Dr. Rebecca Bill Chavez
Added 03/12/2019 at 12:58 PM

Rebecca Bill Chavez Written Statement [PDF]
Added 03/12/2019 at 12:58 PM
Rebecca Bill Chavez Truth In Testimony [PDF]
Added 03/12/2019 at 12:58 PM
Rebecca Bill Chavez Bio [PDF]
Added 03/12/2019 at 03:34 PM

Dr. Vanessa Neumann
Added 03/12/2019 at 12:58 PM

Vanessa Neumann Bio [PDF]
Added 03/12/2019 at 07:06 PM

Ms. Deborah Pearlstein
Added 03/12/2019 at 12:58 PM

Deborah Pearlstein Written Statement [PDF]
Added 03/12/2019 at 12:58 PM
Deborah Pearlstein Truth In Testimony [PDF]
Added 03/12/2019 at 12:58 PM
Deborah Pearlstein Bio [PDF]
Added 03/12/2019 at 12:58 PM

First Published: March 11, 2019 at 10:31 AM
Last Updated: March 12, 2019 at 07:06 PM

---------------------------





Power Outages & UN Report citing "medieval sieges" against Venezuela.

 
Uploaded by The Duran | Mar 12, 2019

Glenn Greenwald: White House Spread False Story About Venezuela.

 
Uploaded by Democracy Now! | Published on Mar 11, 2019.

Venezuela Blackout: Cyber Attacks, Sabotage & Mighty Cuban Intelligence.

 
Uploaded by South Front | Mar 12, 2019

Trump's "Coalition of the Willing" Against Venezuela Has Legitimacy Issues.


Uploaded by the Real News Network | Mar 10, 2019.

Max Blumenthal: Report From the Real Venezuela. [Video]

 
Uploaded by The Zero Hour with RJ Eskow | Mar 7, 2019.

Max Blumenthal searches for Communist Dictatorship at Venezuelan Mall.

 
Uploaded by The Gray Zone | March 4, 2019.

Why a Wall Street Banker joined Venezuela's Revolution. [Video]

 
Uploaded by the Gray Zone | March 7, 2109

Venezuela Crisis: U.S. Has Painted Itself Into Corner. [Video]


Uploaded by South Front

‘Weaksauce’: State Department tries ordering media how to cover Venezuela.

‘Weaksauce’: State Department tries ordering media how to cover Venezuela. [Republished]
RT | 6 Mar, 2019 20:25


Uploaded by RT America.

"With regime change in Caracas going poorly, the State Department is trying to create reality by browbeating reporters into following the official line. Veteran AP reporter Matt Lee was not amused, calling the effort “weaksauce.”
At the press briefing on Tuesday, spokesman Robert Palladino objected to news coverage describing Juan Guaido as opposition leader or self-proclaimed president, rather than “interim president” as Washington has declared him to be.

“Millions of Americans and more than 50 countries recognize Juan Guaido as interim president of Venezuela,” Palladino argued, so to refer to him otherwise “falls into the narrative of a dictator who has usurped the position of the presidency and led Venezuela into the humanitarian, political, and economic crisis that exists today.”
This is, of course, the official line of the State Department, which accuses President Nicolas Maduro of being a “usurper” and claims that Guaido is the legitimate leader of Venezuela. AP diplomatic correspondent Matt Lee would have none of it, however.

“You consider him to be the interim president, and as you say, 50 other countries… recognize him as the interim president. But there are more than 190 members of the United Nations. So your 50 countries is not even close to half of that. Is that correct?” Lee asked.

Palladino’s response was to repeat the “feeds into the rhetoric” talking point and mumble something about those 50 countries being “democracies.”
Lee has a reputation of being a no-nonsense reporter, known for legendary battles of wits with a long succession of State Department spokespeople. He did the world another favor this time, exposing the complete disrespect of US diplomacy for international law – namely, the division of the world into “democracies” and others.

Later on in the briefing, Palladino is asked about the number of countries that recognize Guaido, and he tries to spin it thus:
You know the number of countries. But we’ve gotten major support in the Western hemisphere, and I would just point that out, as well as Europe. And if we look at the democracies, we’re doing pretty well as well. Okay?
So much for the fancy talk about “rules-based world order” and even President Donald Trump’s proclamations about “sovereignty,” made in last year’s address to the UN General Assembly. Simply put, the US and its allies count as “real” countries, and everyone else doesn’t. And oh by the way, it’s Washington that decides what’s “democratic,” not you – got that?

To make this even more absurd, Palladino’s key argument for Guaido’s legitimacy is that he invoked the Venezuelan constitution – except that constitution only envisions a 30-day period for an “interim president,” and only in case the normal chain of succession is disrupted, which it manifestly was not. Guaido declared himself president on January 23. His “mandate” has long since expired – on the very day he tried to force the border from Colombia with US “aid” trucks, in fact.
Guaido is the president of Venezuela only in the imagination of Washington and its vassals, which they are trying to impose as reality on the press, the people, and the rest of the world through Orwellian tactics such as Palladino’s complaint.

Judging by the reactions of the public, they’re not buying it, with one Twitter user noting that the State Department spokesman appeared to be in physical pain when “forced to read this script of lies.”
“Watching the state guy for the first minute or so I was convinced this was a comedy sketch show,” commented another.

Nebojsa Malic, RT"



Excerpt from U.S. Department of State Press Briefing, March 5, 2019. Runs from 5:27 to 8:52 in video.

 
Uploaded by US Department of State | March 5, 2019.


TRANSCRIPT
Robert Palladino
Deputy Spokesperson
Department Press Briefing
Washington, DC
March 5, 2019

MR PALLADINO:

"And finally, the United States applauds the people of Venezuela for their actions to create a peaceful, democratic transition, and congratulates Interim President Juan Guaido on his successful diplomatic efforts in the region and safe return to Venezuela. However, we have noticed in news coverage that some outlets are incorrectly referring to Juan Guaido as the opposition leader or the self-proclaimed president. Neither is correct.

A few basic facts: The National Assembly remains the only legitimate and democratically elected institution in Venezuela. Juan Guaido was elected president of the National Assembly on January 5th, 2019, and on January 10th, Maduro usurped the presidency.

Therefore, the president of the National Assembly and relying on Venezuela’s constitution – as president of the National Assembly, and relying on Venezuela’s constitution, Juan Guaido became interim president of Venezuela on January 23rd. Millions of Americans and more than 50 countries recognize Juan Guaido as interim president of Venezuela. He has appointed and credentialed ambassadors to international organizations and the United States and numerous other democratic nations and other democratic nations.

So to refer to Juan Guaido as anything but interim president falls into the narrative of a dictator who has usurped the position of the presidency and led Venezuela into the humanitarian, political, and economic crisis that exists today. The international community must unite behind Interim President Juan Guaido and the Venezuelan National Assembly and support the peaceful restoration of democracy in Venezuela.

That’s it for the top.

QUESTION: Let me get this straight. You’re complaining because news outlets are calling him by a title that you don’t think that he should have?

MR PALLADINO: Not a complaint. Pointing out. Just trying to correct.

QUESTION: Well, it sounds like a complaint to me, and that seems pretty weak-sauce. I don’t understand what your problem is. I mean --

MR PALLADINO: He’s the interim president, and we don’t want to --

QUESTION: Well, you consider him to be the interim president, and as you say, 50 other countries outside of – recognize him as the interim president. But there are more than 190 members of the United Nations. So your 50 countries is not even close to half of that. Is that correct?

MR PALLADINO: We are supporting the constitution of Venezuela and the people of Venezuela. With the – we’re supporting the Venezuelan people here. And so the United States – it’s time to act in support of democracy and --

QUESTION: And you think that news coverage calling him the legitimate leader, the president, is going to encourage more countries to recognize him?

MR PALLADINO: We don’t feed into rhetoric of the current dictator." SOURCE

U.S. Rep. Venezuela Update: Guaidó Returns, US Continues Threats. [Video]

 
Uploaded by The Real News Network

Jake Tapper: Do you not see that the United States' support for other brutal dictators around the world undermines the credibility of the argument that you are making?

John Bolton: No, I don't think it does. I think it's separate and I think, look, in this administration we are not afraid to use the phrase "Monroe Doctrine". This is a country in OUR hemisphere. it's been the objective of American presidents going back to Ronald Reagan to have a completely democratic hemisphere....


An Ocean of Lies on Venezuela: Abby Martin & UN Rapporteur. [Video]


Uploaded by Empire Files | Feb 22, 2019

US Aid Ploy to Venezuela Explained. [Video]


Uploaded by MintPressNews | Mar 4, 2019.

President Nicolás Maduro's Interview with Tom Llamas. [Video]


Caracas, Venezuela, 27 February, 2019.
 

President Nicolás Maduro's interview with Orla Guerin. [Republished.]

Venezuela President Nicolás Maduro interview: Full transcript.
BBC News, 12 February 2019
Interviewer: Orla Guerin, BBC News

Orla Guerin, BBC News

As we sit here, there is US aid across the border in Colombia. We have met many people here who tell us they are desperately in need of aid. Why not allow it through?


Nicolás Maduro, Venezuelan president

First of all, it's a show, that the United States government has set up with the compliance of the Colombian government to humiliate the Venezuelans. Venezuela is a country that has the capacity to satisfy all the necessities of our people.

Venezuela is a country that has problems like any country. We are in a battle that has been going on for many years, a successful battle, to reduce poverty, misery, in order to increase the job capacity, to establish a social security system to protect 100% of our pensioners, in order to establish a public health system that reaches all the Venezuelan population, to establish an educational system, that reaches 90% of our girls, boys, and our young.

Venezuela is a country that has dignity, and the United States has intended to create a humanitarian crisis in order to justify a military intervention - "humanitarian". And this is part of that show. That's the reason that we, with dignity, tell them that the miniscule crumbs that they intend to bring with toxic food, with leftovers that they have, we tell them no - Venezuela has dignity, Venezuela produces and works and our people do not beg from anyone.

Guerin

You say the humanitarian aid is a show, but are you actually saying that the hunger is a show? We have seen it with our own eyes. I have met a mother of five who told me that her children go to bed every night with nothing to eat, and just a short drive from here, we have actually seen people reaching into the garbage with their hands to find food to eat. Are you honestly saying there is no hunger in Venezuela?

Maduro

I am telling you that the BBC in London has created a stereotype - the American media also - of a Venezuela that doesn't exist. We have 4.4% of what we call extreme poverty, misery. Of course this is still something that we have to overcome, but we came from 25% of extreme poverty, and we have reduced all the indexes of inequality. Venezuela today currently has indexes recognised by international organisations in the highest levels of social equality in social investment.

Do we have problems? Yes. But Venezuela is not a country with hunger.

Venezuela has the highest levels of nutrients, has extremely high levels of access to food and that stereotype, that stigma that they have tried to put on us, has only one objective: present a humanitarian crisis that does not exist in Venezuela, in order to do an intervention.

In any case I tell you, the United States, Donald Trump's government, has sequestered $10bn (£7.75bn) of bank accounts that belong to us. They have sequestered billions of dollars in gold in London that are ours - that is money to buy supplies, raw materials, food, medicines. They have sequestered $1.4bn for many months, that we are going to use to buy food, medicines in Euroclear.

It's very simple: if you want to help Venezuela, release the billions of dollars in resources that belong to us. So don't come with a cheap show, a show of indignity, of humiliation, where they offer $20m dollars in food that is toxic, and rotten.

Guerin

I know your position, President Maduro, is that there is no humanitarian crisis in Venezuela. If that is the case, why have more than three million of your people left? That's one tenth of the population. The Unites States says people are leaving at the rate of 5,000 per day. If there is no crisis here, what is driving them from their homeland?

Maduro

You all have a problem, in the Western media, that you take it as a fact any lie that is broadcast. All that emigration campaign that has been said about Venezuela has been exaggerated. Venezuela is a country that receives immigrants, and you don't show that and you don't broadcast it. Venezuela has here 5.8 million Colombians, that have immigrated due to the war in Colombia - because of the violation of human rights, and because of the misery. We have more than 300,000 Italians, more than 300,000 Portuguese, more than 300,000 Spaniards, more than a million Arabs, more than 300,000 Ecuadoreans, more than 300,000 Peruvians,

There are more than 10 million immigrants coming every year to Venezuela.

Now, due to the economic war there is a new phenomenon of migration.

We have the official numbers that show no more than 800,000 Venezuelans have left in the past two years, due to economic reasons, trying to look for new alternatives.

Many of those Venezuelans were shattered because they encountered situations they did not expect like racism, discrimination, labour slavery, and thousands are coming back. In any case I can tell you that Venezuela is a country that offers opportunities in areas such as social development, social protection, social security, and that is why that, despite the economic blockade and the economic sanctions, and the economic persecution, Venezuela is still a country that receives immigrants. That's the truth.

Last year, in December 2018, you know how many Colombians came? 120,000 Colombians came to set up in Venezuela, which led us to the number of 5.8 million. That's the truth that nobody says. The thing is that the script is established in the West to disfigure the Venezuela situation, and justify any intervention, any aggression, as is happening right now.

Guerin

But with respect, President Maduro, you can see every day at the border with Colombia large numbers of people leaving here. Even if we accept your figure that only 800,000 have gone, that's almost a million of your people who have left. Yet you are saying there is no humanitarian crisis.

Maduro

You have to see that economic war that we have been enduring, the financial persecution. Every single account that Venezuela has in the world has been traced. That has had an impact on the economic reality. And of course, some Venezuelans thought - because of the social media campaigns - to go and find an alternative type of job abroad. The educational level of the Venezuelans that have left is very high. There are a lot of university professionals that have left, people of a very good level have left, workers qualified to a high technical standard, and looking for alternatives abroad, they found even worse situations. And you can almost be assured that the majority of these Venezuelans that have left due to the economic reasons are going to come back.

Venezuela has the problems that any country could have, in the South, in the Third World, in Latin America. We have made a lot of progress in our social indexes, that is a reality. Venezuela is a country that has the highest measures of social advancement on the whole continent.

Now we have problems, yes, of course we do. If we have the most powerful empire in the world, Orla, the most powerful empire in the world, targeting all our accounts, freezing all our assets abroad, going after every ship that comes to Venezuela bringing products, of course that has brought considerable disruption. We have confronted it, and rest assured, we will overcome.

Guerin

You say some of the problems here could be seen in other countries, but with respect, Mr President, you have a hyper-inflation rate last year of 1,000,000%. Nowhere else in the world is experiencing hyper-inflation like that.

When you came to power, just before you came to power, the inflation rate here was 20%. So are you saying that the complete economic collapse here has nothing to do with you?

Maduro

I'll tell you again: you take as reference anything that comes in the Western media. I invite you to look at Venezuela in depth. Of course we have problems of an economic aggression, but 1,000,000% inflation, no country in the world would survive that, Orla. So you take as truth: you don't even question any number as long as it's against Venezuela, you don't question it. You are completely non-critical of the lies that are being said about Venezuela.

Well, that's the way you are, that's the way BBC is, that's the way CNN is. You are the Western media, because you are in the script, to intervene in our country. Why is Venezuela so interesting for the West, why is it so interesting for the United States? If we produced potatoes, if we produced parsley, if we produced apples, maybe we would not even exist on the geopolitical map.

But because Venezuela produces oil, and it's the largest oil reserve in the world, because Venezuela has the fourth-largest reserves of gas, because we have and are now certifying the largest gold reserves in the world, Venezuela is important. Venezuela is leader of Opec, Venezuela presides nowadays in Opec, so it's important to throw stuff at Venezuela, to make attacks of all sorts - social, economic, political, military - to surround Venezuela in order to create a situation the way they did with Iraq, with Libya. But Venezuela is not Iran or Libya, Venezuela has its capacity. We will confront all these issues and be assured that all those campaigns of media aggression, of lies, we will slowly start to conquer them with reality.

Guerin

You think we have a preconceived idea. I came to Venezuela for the first time two weeks ago. We have had a chance over those two weeks to see living conditions for ourselves. We have met with a young cancer patient whose mother was told she had to pay for his biopsy herself, and she told us it would take two years to earn the money. We met a young patient with tuberculosis, who was getting no treatment because there are no medicines. We met a young man with a brain tumour who told us he has been waiting a year for an operation because he himself has to rent surgical equipment. These are people that we have met and have heard their stories first hand. What do you say to them?

Maduro

That we are putting up a huge fight. Of the $1.4bn that was sequestered in Euroclear, half of that was to bring medicines to fight diabetes, to fight cancer. The money was frozen over there, and then we started looking via Portugal, and then they froze over $2bn with which we had bought substitutes for these medicines. In spite of all that, we brought medicines into the country. It's a huge effort. No country has endured what we have endured.

Guerin

But the people can't afford to buy it. There may be medicine but we have met people who say that two boxes of antibiotics costs a month's salary.

Maduro

You are first talking about specific cases - some people that had surgery, and some people that are being taking care of. You can rest assured that the Venezuelan social health system will reach them, and rest assured that everything that has to do with the medical system, we have a primary system of medicine distribution, that no other country in the world has. We have the family doctors, we have more than 30,000 doctors distributed in the communities, in the barrios, and the doctor not only takes care of his clinic, he goes from house to house. In the clinic and in the visits from house to house, he takes the medicine directly to the person that needs it. That gives us very extensive coverage and we have been managing with a huge effort - with the economic blockade, with the economic persecution - we have been stabilising the pharmaceutical industry, the national pharmaceutical industry, and we have been regulating with a huge effort, three times what a country that is not blocked has to do, in order to regulate the supply and sale of medicines, in the private system.

Guerin

But we stood in a hospital not far from here and we saw ourselves that they didn't have insulin, they had not had it for five years. They didn't have basic medication. This is a public hospital in Caracas, not in a distant part of the country.

Maduro

I'm not talking about the interior of the country, or about Caracas, I'm talking about the entire country, which is affected. So they choke us and they ask us, why are we suffocating? That's your question. You don't question anything. The financial persecution, the blockade, the mental scheme that you bring, from the West, from London, simply is just to finish killing the person who is being choked, and kicked.

And our scheme is different. Our scheme is one of resistance to take care of the people. You come to justify all the persecution, and the social consequences of that persecution. Because if I had my money secured, the money of the country, in a bank account and then it's sequestered, and that money was to bring medicines, then you come and say that there are no medicines in the country. Why don't we have medicines? And then you should also ask, why did it happen? Try to change your mental scheme. Why is Venezuela the geopolitical centre of the world? Why Venezuela, and why is it not any country in Asia, or Latin America, or Africa? Why? Ask yourself. Because they want to conquer us, colonise us. They won't be able to - we are solid, legitimate, and popular. People that are suffering know the reasons why, and they are conscious of the protection that we give them, and they support this revolution. If that were not the case, we would not have been here for 20 years, winning 23 elections out of 25. You have to ask yourself, why the mental schemes that you use, why the script that you bring from the North, does not work in Venezuela. Why?

Guerin

But your election victory last year is disputed by many people. There are now more than 50 governments that have recognised Juan Guaidó as the interim President of Venezuela.

Maduro

Fifty, where did you get that number from? Where do you get your numbers from, really? You bring a mental picture that you should check. You should check, I am not going to tell you more because really it's up to you, if you are an objective journalist, stable, or you only come here to verify your war campaign, the BBC's war campaign, and the western campaign against Venezuela.

Venezuela is a noble country. Venezuela has the right to peace. It's not right that we are enduring this campaign of war.

Venezuela does not want war. Venezuela does not want the result of all these campaigns that you conduct, that one day troops will come, in order to conquer our country. Venezuela wants peace, and respect, and for all of you to stop lying daily, please.

Guerin

But do you dispute the figure? Do you dispute that 50 countries have now recognised the opposition leader Juan Guaidó?

Maduro

It's not that I agree, it is that you are lying. It's not that I agree or you agree. You bring an image, you are a person, that expresses a dogmatism, of the West, against Venezuela. You are dogmatic: you are not capable of checking yourself, and seeing if one thing is true, or not. You are dogmatic. You have no critical sense. There is only one way of thinking. That's how you call it - it's called one way of thinking.

Guerin

President Maduro, these are facts. These countries have now recognised the opposition leader here as the president. What do you say to them?

Maduro

First of all, it's not 50, not even the European Union. It's not my duty to say. It's about 10 countries - governments, not countries, governments - that are in alignment with the politics of Donald Trump. What you have to ask yourself is where does all this political aggression come from? Where does this coup d'état scenario come from? Where does it come from? Trying to impose on Venezuela a government that nobody has elected, a government that declared itself in a public square, absolutely unconstitutional and irregular. Where does it come from? From the White House. Who conducts it? Donald Trump. The extremists of the White House have taken it upon themselves to carry out a coup in Venezuela. And we have rejected it and the entire world has rejected it. Now a Western campaign continues in a rushed way, I would say in an evil way. Donald Trump's politics continue. I would tell the world - Europe, London, the United Kingdom - ask yourselves, if you are not being led to a road with no exit, to failure, as you are letting Donald Trump lead you to a completely extremist illegal politics that violates the United Nations charter. And it has no support in Venezuela.

It has already failed, that politics of trying to impose a government that nobody elected. In Venezuela according to this constitution, the sovereignty resides in the people and is non-transferable. It is non-transferable.

And only through the people's vote you can elect a president in Venezuela. That's like someone comes to a public square in London, and proclaims himself Queen of England, or proclaims himself prime minister, and then three governments come and recognise it. That's outrageous. It's one of the biggest political outrages in international politics. In Venezuela, the people vote, and according to this constitution, only the people can put you in power and remove you.

Guerin

You say it's up to the people to decide. Why not call a new presidential election, a free and fair and credible election, and let the people have their say? It seems as if your country now is very divided on the question of who should be president.

Maduro

Well, there could be a debate in any country - who should be prime minister, who should be president - but every country has an electoral schedule. They have rules, electoral rules. Venezuela in the last 18 months has had votes to elect 23 governors, and we won 19. We have 335 municipalities, and out of 335 we won 307. We have chosen, and we have gone to the polls six times in the past 18 months, and on 20 May of last year, we had an election based on the constitution, for president of the republic, and I won with 68% of the vote. The opposition since then, the government of the United States, has boycotted this election.

Because they knew that there was no candidate from the opposition that could beat me in a presidential election, and they positioned this coup d'état a year ago. Venezuela already had its election.

The election that's still pending - and we will probably bring it forward - is the parliamentary election. That's the organism of the democratic institutions in Venezuela that has not been re-legitimised. I completely agree that we should bring that election forward, the parliamentary election, and the elections for the president of parliament. Look at this: there is a very important element.

Our constitution allows a feature called a recall referendum. It's one of the few places in the world where it exists. It means that in the middle of the term of any popular election, the people could activate a recall referendum.

Guerin
The opposition has that option left, in the year 2022, to start the process of a recall referendum. Let's respect the rules of the game. Let nobody impose worldwide blackmail, international blackmail, so that Venezuela breaks its rules, or electoral regulations.

Could you win a presidential election now?

Maduro

I already won it. And nowadays all the polls say that the Popular Bolivarian forces that I represent - that we represent - we have the social majority, cultural, political, electoral. We have won. You should know, in 20 years, we have won 23 elections out of 25 that we have held: presidential elections, for governors, for mayors, for parliament, referendums.

Guerin

But many would say they have not always been fair, particularly the last one. There are allegations of ballot stuffing, and opposition candidates were not allowed to take part. It was not a level playing field in the last election, and this is why many would say that your victory in that election is in doubt. If you are confident now of a new victory, why not have a new election?

Maduro

What is the logic, reasoning, to repeat an election? There has not been even one legal question internally to the electoral authority, which is the highest authority that regulates the elections, within the judicial branch. What there have been are political questions, and from whom? From the government of the United States. The government of the United States, since January 2018, four months before the elections were held, Donald Trump said we are not going to recognise any results of the presidential elections held in Venezuela. And still we hadn't even set the date. Listen Orla, please, it's a war. I pray that God enlightens you, and enlightens the opinion of the audience watching the BBC. It's a political war, of the United States empire, of the interests of the extreme right that today is governing, of the Ku Klux Klan, that rules the White House, to take over Venezuela, and they have positioned a political strategy, communications, diplomatic, warmongering, in order to take over Venezuela. And we, with the truth in our country, we are dismantling all that manipulation, all those lies that are repeated day after day.

Guerin

Do you really think the Ku Klux Klan is ruling America?

Maduro

I believe that the extremist sector of the white supremacists of the Ku Klux Klan lead the United States. I believe it's a gang of extremists.

Guerin

Are you calling President Trump a white supremacist?

Maduro

He is, publicly and openly, and he has stimulated the fascist tendencies - neo-fascists, neo-Nazis - within the United States, in Europe, in Latin America.

It's an extremist sector that hates the world. They hate us Latin Americans, Central Americans, Mexicans, Venezuelans. They hate us, they belittle us, they hate the entire world, because they only believe in their own interests, and in the interests of the United States. So in this battle that we are leading for Venezuela, I tell you, it's a battle that goes beyond our country, the battle to respond. Look at this: Donald Trump threatened us with a military invasion, just a few days ago. He said he was going to send the United States army into Venezuela.

Why? What is the reason, the pretext, the motive to declare war against Venezuela, which is a peaceful country? I call upon the people of the world, to wake up, open your eyes, to see that it is an aggression against the peaceful country. That Venezuela has problems like many other countries in the world, but only in peace can we solve our problems. And if you really want to help Venezuela, you have to support peace.

Say no to the intervention, tell the United States, hands off Venezuela, and support Venezuela in its own efforts to resolve its own problems through dialogue.

Guerin

You say to the Americans hands off Venezuela, and that's fair enough, it's your country. But do you think you are also facing criticism from Latin American nations? It's not only Washington that is criticising you at the moment, it's also some of your neighbours here in Latin America.

Maduro

Well unfortunately some governments of the extreme right are now in power - Colombia, for example, Chile. They are governments - the one from Chile comes from the Pinochet tradition, President Piñera, Macri in Argentina. And now they form a bloc of extreme right.

They have substituted the international policy of respect, tolerance, to impose an ideology, an ideology that has imposed great intolerance in international politics. And we have strongly opposing viewpoints. Well, they form a group of 11 countries. With the rest of the countries of Latin America, and the Caribbean, we have permanent relationships. We just had a meeting in Montevideo, a very important meeting that everyone should know about, promoted by Mexico, Bolivia, Uruguay, and the 14 governments from Caricom, from the Caribbean. They propose a mechanism for dialogue, to help Venezuela in four phases. These countries make up 17 countries of Latin America and the Caribbean. They are currently working on a process of dialogue that I fully support, a dialogue with no secrets, an open dialogue, and that will allow Venezuela to deal with these issues in peace, and resolve them.

Guerin

But Europe is also questioning your legitimacy. It's not only the White House, it's not only some of the neighbours here in Latin America. It's also large powerful countries in Europe.

Maduro

It's unfortunate that Europe, after being kicked by Donald Trump, is now behind Donald Trump - some countries, some governments are behind Donald Trump in a completely illegal policy that has no reason to be. I have been in meetings very frequently with European Union ambassadors, and I have read them the constitution, and I have demonstrated that they are outside of the international rules of the game, of respect. Everything that they say is a lie. Well, I really hope from the European countries, even those who have gone in the wrong direction, and those who are just waiting, observing, I hope for more from them. I hope that they listen to us. They only listen, as I told them, to one version. The statements and the communications from the European Union, are a complete reproduction of what the Venezuelan extreme right has said. It can't be.

Orla, we are really a force that exists, with a historic background, and cultural background, with a political and democratic background. This Bolivarian movement that was founded by Commandante Chávez has an existing force, powerful, in Venezuela, that deserves to be heard. I tell Europe, listen more, open your ears, and please, follow the path of respect.

Guerin

How much of your gold is currently being frozen in the Bank of England? There are assets of Venezuela belonging to this country that you have been trying to access through the Bank of England. How much of your gold is currently frozen, and have you any chance of getting that?

Maduro

Well, in general, in England there could be more or less 80 tonnes. Legally, it's Venezuela's gold, established by the institutions.

It's protected by the central banks. It's gold that belongs to the central bank of Venezuela. And I hope that international law will be respected. And the Central Bank of Venezuela is respected. And that hopefully the law will prevail.

And that Venezuela is not robbed of the gold that legally belongs to us.

Guerin

What would you say to the British government and to Theresa May?

Maduro

In reality we have not had much of a relationship with the prime minister. If she would listen to me, I would tell her that she should open her ears wide and see the aggression and not be partners in crime in what could be an invasion, a war in Latin America. That the extremist group that is in the White House is willing to do anything, and in the name of Venezuela, I tell her look at the reality. Look into the heart of Venezuela. It goes beyond the information and the campaigns that are being waged daily against us. And that hopefully she has the opportunity that the UK and in general Europe could then propose a respectful dialogue between Venezuelans. There is a severe risk to peace in Latin America and the Caribbean. Venezuela will fight if we have to, for our liberty and for our independence. We fought in the past and there were many English, Irish that were on the battlefields of Venezuela. I am sending a message beyond Mrs May to the people of the United Kingdom, the people of England, to all the people of the United Kingdom, to have solidarity with us and support peace, and to enforce John Lennon's song, Give Peace A Chance. Give Peace a Chance and give truth a chance in Venezuela - that would be my call.

Guerin

You have said you are ready to fight. Are you ready to take up arms against the US military if they decide to cross the border?

Maduro

They would not leave us any other option. We would have to defend the right of our country to exist. To defend our right to peace. I hope that doesn't happen. I hope that public opinion will be on the side of peace and they can see how noble the Venezuelan people are, and that we have a right to discuss our own problems in peace. And that nobody interferes with Venezuela. No-one. And that this extremist group that is in the White House is defeated by powerful world-wide public opinion. I have faith in that. I am a believer, I am a Christian and I always ask God to enlighten us and protect us. And I have faith that we are going to accomplish everything in peace.

Guerin

The opposition has talked about getting volunteers, getting people to the border to get the aid across. If they attempt to do that, would your troops fire on your own people?

Maduro

We have never done that. We would never do that. We have never done that. The opposition has its tactics, its politics. They create their own shows. They have the freedom in this country to do anything they want. But there has never been and never will be repression of that kind. Please.

Guerin

But there have been people killed in anti-government protests. Just last month, the United Nations said that as many as 40 were killed, about 26 by your security forces. People have been killed for protesting.

Maduro

What protests? They have not shown a single bit of proof of a campaign that lasted 15 days. I saw it, I watch international news and the international news was showing a Venezuela that was not on the streets. Of course, on 23 January there were big rallies. The opposition held a big march and so did we. And with those images and other images of confrontation on the streets, they ended up saying that there were enormous protests that lasted 15 days in Venezuela. I spoke to prime ministers and presidents from around the world who called me, on 25, 28, 29 January, on 1 February and they were asking me if there were big demonstrations in the streets. And I said no, Venezuela is working, Venezuela is in peace. Because they tried to show - look at this. In order to justify this coup d'état and find international support, they had a plan to stir up the main cities in the country, but they failed. It's a small group of delinquents that went out to the streets, paid for by sections of the opposition and they were caught in the middle of their violent action.

Guerin

There were many large-scale protests. We have seen some of those ourselves. We have also seen your supporters. But do you dispute that the opposition has been able to bring large numbers out and these people have said they are calling for change?

Maduro

Yes, I saw them. And they were given the right to protest and have big protests, the same for the opposition as for us. Venezuela is a dynamic democracy with people who support the revolution and people who oppose the revolution. Whenever they go out and march, they will have the right to do so. And I always say I hope they do it in peace. They have small violent cells of protesters that, when the demonstrations are over, the marches of the opposition, always try to have a confrontation with the police in order to cause disturbance. The opposition have all the freedom to march as many times as they want, with their slogans and demands and we are also going to mobilise our people. Fortunately our people have a dynamic democracy.

Guerin

Is there any set of circumstances in which you would give up power?

Maduro

It is not about me as an individual wanting to be in power, Orla, and it is not my individual choice to abandon power. I am part of a social, political and historical revolutionary movement and that popular movement placed me in this position of responsibility. Complying with all the constitutional steps, electoral requirements and the mandate that they gave me is very powerful. And I have to comply with that mandate with my life. I swore to do this. I swore in the national supreme court to give my life to uphold and enforce the constitution. That is the mandate. And I am going to go beyond words to the end of what is possible to do this.

Guerin

Are you confident you still have the support of the army? There is a lot of intimidation in the army now - people are being jailed when they speak out against you.

Maduro

Well, that is another of the myths that were created throughout this campaign against me. The national Bolivarian armed forces are structurally humane. they are Bolivarian. Democratic. Structurally institutionalised. And they are armed forces forged through their values and a new doctrine, a new concept with teaching academies, and with a university for permanent learning. It's a new type of armed forces. This is not just an army, just made up of a random group of people, nor is it a rebellious army. It is not an army in the style of Pinochet. Nor will it be. So therefore these armed forces are loyal to the constitution. Loyal. Firmly loyal to the constitution. Mobilised in defence. Preparing themselves to defend the country. With very high moral values. They are very conscientious. And loyal to the Constitutional Commander in Chief, who is Nicolás Maduro. I am the head of state and the head of government and, according to the constitution, I am the Commander in Chief. They are loyal because they have a conscience and they have morals. They are not rebellious armed forces. And they are not armed forces that will put themselves at the service of the interests of the United States, of Donald Trump's Empire of the United States. Donald Trump has given orders on Twitter. It's incredible, Orla. Donald Trump, John Bolton, Mike Pompeo, Mike Pence - they have commanded the Venezuelan armed forces to rise up in rebellion against the president of the republic. They have gone to extreme lengths and I am sure it has never been done with any country in the world before. And where are the armed forces? Are they going to serve Donald Trump? No. The armed forces are loyal. To the country and the constitution and recognising their commander in chief as the legitimate chief. I have a level of relationship that I inherited from Commandante Hugo Chávez, and that I have developed. So it is now a very deep, sincere honest and real relationship with all the officers, with the armed forces, with the soldiers. And that is a big strength that our country has.

Guerin

How do you think Hugo Chávez would feel if he saw Venezuela today?

Maduro

He would feel motivated to fight for our country as he always did. Commandante Chávez had to endure very similar circumstances to these, very similar. George W Bush launched a coup d'état against him on 11 and 12 April 2002. He was kidnapped and they were going to kill him and Chávez did not hesitate, not even for one second, to defend his principles, his ideals and to fight to stay alive. So therefore Chávez is a huge inspiration for us. I always think, what would Chávez do in these circumstances? And that helps me a lot to find the right way forward, to know what to do every day.

Guerin

One last question, if I may, about the Americans. If President Trump was to put 5,000 US troops on the Colombian border, how would you respond?

Maduro

He can put a million there if he wants to. If it's inside Colombia, he can bring a million tanks, a million planes, a million soldiers. It's not a problem. If they stay inside Colombia, there is no problem. We will defend Venezuela and we will make them respect Venezuela. And with the conscience of the world and the conscience of the decent people of the world, we must tie the hands of Donald Trump, prevent Donald Trump from starting a war in Latin America. Or from assaulting Venezuela. I appeal for solidarity. I appeal for the active solidarity of all people of conscience in the world, beyond any ideology. No to a war in Venezuela. No to an invasion of Venezuela. And that we all tell Donald Trump: hands off Venezuela. Venezuela wants peace, tranquillity, happiness.

Guerin

If a convoy comes through without authorisation, would you fire upon it? If a plane comes in without authorisation, would it be attacked?

Maduro

They should send a convoy with the dollars they have stolen from us. Send a convoy with the gold, with the 80 tonnes. Let it come, the convoy with money. It's our money. With that, we could solve all our country's problems.

Guerin

What would you say to the people who are hungry now, to the people who can't find food, can't find medicine, who are worried they won't have fuel? What do you say to them?

Maduro

I tell them, and more than that, I act. I generate jobs, the pension system, protect Venezuelan families, continue to protect Venezuelan families, continue reducing extreme poverty. We have made a commitment between 2017 and 2025 to reach a state of zero poverty and we are going to accomplish it. You will see that we will do it.

Guerin

A very last question: can you tell me how much a kilo of cheese costs in Venezuela?

Maduro

It has different prices depending on the region.

Guerin

Because we have been told it is the equivalent of a month's wages and that is what it is costing people just to buy one kilo of cheese.

Maduro

We have different scales of salary. Now this is a very Venezuelan issue.

I don't think your audience is interested in that. You see, because if we had time to compare the jobs, social protection, social security, public health, and public education available to the Venezuelan people, then with time your audience would probably understand. So I can tell you in Venezuela we have a policy of social protection to generate jobs and our people will progressively start solving their problems and they won't want for anything. I can tell you that.

Guerin

Have you heard from Jeremy Corbyn, the British opposition leader, during this crisis? Do you feel he hasn't given you enough support? He has been a strong supporter of Venezuela in the past.

Maduro

No, we haven't spoken.

Guerin

And do you think he should have given you support?

Maduro

I think he should continue to be the leader that he is in the United Kingdom