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Offline Bakes

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Venezuelans and T&T Thread
« on: March 22, 2014, 08:42:36 AM »
The crisis in Venezuela

Another day, more bodies (The Economist)
Mar 13th 2014, 16:49 by P.G. | CARACAS



THICK clouds of teargas hung in the air over the north gate of the Central University (UCV) in Caracas on March 12th. A police helicopter clattered overhead; on campus, plain-clothes gunmen on motorcycles, some bearing the initials of the national guard, harassed student demonstrators.

A month after the government crack-down on protesters began, Venezuela’s crisis is deepening. This was the bloodiest single day since three people were killed in Caracas on March 12th. Eighteen injuries were reported at the UCV, after a previously peaceful student march to demand the resignation of the Venezuelan government ombudsman was halted on the orders of President Nicolás Maduro.

But it was the city of Valencia, 125km west of the capital, that bore the brunt of the violence. Three people were shot dead there, including a national-guard officer and two civilians. The government blamed “snipers”; opposition sources insist the only people seen shooting belonged to the pro-government colectivos some are now beginning to call death-squads. The casualties in Valencia brought the month’s death toll to well over 20.

The protest movement began in early February after students and the more confrontational wing of the opposition Democratic Unity (MUD) alliance took to the streets. Their grievances, which are widely shared even by government supporters, include uncontrolled violent crime, inflation and growing shortages of food and other basics. Huge, peaceful protest marches across the country,as well as more violent clashes, often at night, have rattled the government.

Its response has been to jail the radicals’ most prominent leader, Leopoldo López of the Popular Will (VP) party, and unleash violent repression. More than 1,300 protesters, as well as innocent bystanders and journalists, have been detained; many have complained of beatings and ill-treatment. Dozens of cases of alleged torture are being investigated by human-rights groups. Plain-clothes security agents in unmarked cars have begun snatching alleged protest organisers off the streets.

While he wields a baton in one hand, Mr Maduro releases doves from the other. He has launched a so-called “peace conference”, which the opposition has boycotted. It says it will not sit down to talk unless the government gives clear signs that it is willing to mend its ways—which means, among other things, releasing Mr López and other political prisoners, and disarming the colectivos.

As the violence unfolded on March 12th, the Union of South American nations (Unasur) met in Santiago, the Chilean capital, to discuss how to respond to the Venezuelan crisis. Unasur agreed to form a commission of foreign ministers to visit Venezuela, whose task is to “accompany, support and advise”. The strained grammar of the Unasur communique, which reflects underlying political fractures among its members, leaves the reader to guess who is being “supported”.

Mr Maduro certainly seems to have seen the statement as a green light for further repression. He promptly called a meeting of his “security cabinet” and announced “drastic measures” to put a rapid end to the barricade-building and stone-throwing that have disrupted life in every major city in recent weeks. He ordered national-guard commandos to raid residential buildings in Valencia and said security forces would move within hours to arrest the “fascists” and their “suppliers and financiers”. Opposition mayors who fail to stop the protests are also being threatened with legal action.

Unless the Unasur foreign ministers can persuade the government to moderate its stance, their mission will be doomed from the outset. So far, their only achievement seems to have been to encourage the president to act more strongly to snuff out the protests.

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/A_Wz8yiVkcM#t=1159" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/A_Wz8yiVkcM#t=1159</a>
« Last Edit: March 22, 2014, 08:44:58 AM by Bakes »

Offline pecan

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Re: World Turns a Blind Eye to Crisis in Venezuela
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2014, 09:14:48 AM »
A FB friend has been doing her best to keep this crisis first and foremost on her feeds.

She posted some links that include graphic pictures showing injuries inflicted on the anti-government protesters.

here is one

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/ej0bhSFLjSk&amp;feature=share" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/ej0bhSFLjSk&amp;feature=share</a>
Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.

Offline Bakes

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Re: World Turns a Blind Eye to Crisis in Venezuela
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2014, 09:57:56 AM »
American propaganda, no doubt.

Offline Ramgoat

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Re: World Turns a Blind Eye to Crisis in Venezuela
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2014, 07:02:59 PM »
 These protesters are from the elites  of Venezuelan societies and their main beef is that the  oil wealth is being shared by the poor .
 In their mind the resources of Venezuela belong to them  and them only and is not to be shared with the poor .
 It is no wonder that all the protests is taking place in the rich neighborhoods of Caracas and life goes on peacefully in the Barrios . I believe that Maduro  and Chavez before him has exhibited  too much patience with these American stooges . These protests  needs to be smashed  with a heavy hand .
« Last Edit: March 22, 2014, 07:06:30 PM by Ramgoat »

Offline Bakes

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Re: World Turns a Blind Eye to Crisis in Venezuela
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2014, 08:09:49 PM »
These protesters are from the elites  of Venezuelan societies and their main beef is that the  oil wealth is being shared by the poor .
 In their mind the resources of Venezuela belong to them  and them only and is not to be shared with the poor .
 It is no wonder that all the protests is taking place in the rich neighborhoods of Caracas and life goes on peacefully in the Barrios . I believe that Maduro  and Chavez before him has exhibited  too much patience with these American stooges . These protests  needs to be smashed  with a heavy hand .

You might want to take yuh head out yuh ass and watch the videos to see the "elites" who are in them.  Watch the black girl getting she head bashed in by a female cop who straddles her, takes off her helmet and beats her about the face mercilessly as her friends and neighbors look on.  Elites my ass.

Offline asylumseeker

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Re: World Turns a Blind Eye to Crisis in Venezuela
« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2014, 08:11:56 PM »
These protesters are from the elites  of Venezuelan societies and their main beef is that the  oil wealth is being shared by the poor .
 In their mind the resources of Venezuela belong to them  and them only and is not to be shared with the poor .
 It is no wonder that all the protests is taking place in the rich neighborhoods of Caracas and life goes on peacefully in the Barrios . I believe that Maduro  and Chavez before him has exhibited  too much patience with these American stooges . These protests  needs to be smashed  with a heavy hand .

I can't agree with you.

In the beginnning of Chavez's second coming, his opponents were mostly class-based ... and blindly adhering to that line on a class basis. However, today discontent transcends class to a greater degree. The human rights violations can't be ignored on the altar of class warfare. You're correct that the plutocrats have a legacy of insensitivity to the poor ... but Maduro's methodology is no way to proceed.

(pecan, the VEN protesters in Toronto have been quite committed!)
"It is not possible to make successful policy in a state of ignorance or indifference to what goes on in the real world." --- Martin Daly.

Offline Flex

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Re: World Turns a Blind Eye to Crisis in Venezuela
« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2014, 01:56:03 AM »
19 T&T Muslims held in Venezuela
Suspicion of being terrorists
By Mark Bassant CCN Senior Multimedia Investigative Journalist


AT LEAST 19 Trinidadian Muslims are now in the custody of the Venezuelan intelligence service      SEBIN (Servicio Bolivariano de Inteligencia Nacional), under the suspicion of being terrorists.

Well-placed intelligence sources in Venezuela confirmed the arrests of the Trinidadians, along with two other non-nationals at Plaza Hotel in Sabana Grande, Caracas.

The arrests followed a daytime raid last Wednesday.

The Express and TV6 News understand that three Trinidadian imams were among those held during the raid.

They are all being detained at SEBIN headquarters in Caracas.

The Express and TV6 News were informed that officers from SEBIN searched the hotel rooms of the Trinidadians and found military-style uniforms and Jihadist videos.

They also confiscated US$102,000 in cash and 66 passports that were in the possession of one                            of the Imams, who is attached to the Montrose Masjid.

The imams claimed they were not connected to the group and said they had come to Venezuela to secure visas at the Saudi Arabian consulate for Trinidadians who were going to the Hajj pilgrimage.

But intelligence sources in Venezuela who checked into their story indicated that the imams had some of the arrested group members’ passports in their custody.

“When we checked into their story we understand that they were trying to get the passports of these group members renewed by going to their consulate here in Venezuela.”

Intelligence sources close to the investigation informed the Express and TV6 News that the imams were attempting to renew the passports of the members, stating that they were travelling to Syria in a few months.

A high-ranking security source in Venezuela told the Express and TV6 News that the Trinidadians are being treated as suspected terrorists as it is believed they were leaving for Syria to fight in the Jihadist war.

Umar Abullah, head of the Islamic Front in Trinidad, said: “We have been asking for a long time for this Government to establish diplomatic relations with the Saudi government as it relates to visa and travel requirements to the holy land. It would prevent incidents like this with Imams having to travel to Venezuela with huge amounts of money and people’s passports if we can establish a Saudi consulate here.”

But one of the men, authorities believe, is instrumental in teaching some of the group members to use firearms and is wanted in Trinidad on a suspected murder charge.

Another one of the men now in custody was detained for questioning during the 2011 state of emergency in Trinidad.

He was suspected of being part of an alleged plot to assassinate Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar and some  members of her administration.

The Express and TV6 News obtained the names of all of the persons in custody, but decided to withhold them until further investigations.

Apart from the three imams in custody, there are eight children, ranging in ages from two to 11, five adult men and three women.

The Express and TV6 News were reliably informed that officials from the Trinidad and Tobago Consulate made attempts to see the children but have been barred.

Venezuelan authorities have been tight-lipped about the arrests and say they will not share any information since they believe it can prejudice their investigation.

Under Venezuelan law, the group can be detained up to 45 days without being charged.

 A Ministry of Foreign Affairs official indicated under the Vienna Convention the group is permitted one consular visit.

The Express and TV6 News understands that the children and the adult men and women had entered Venezuela between January 1 and 5. The Imam from central Trinidad entered in February, while the other two imams came in on March 16 and 19.

Intelligence sources in Venezuela and Trinidad revealed “that the authorities were alerted to the members of the group from officials at the hotel, who indicated that they had being paying cash for the rooms ever since they arrived and kept to themselves all the time.”

Minister of National Security Gary Griffith confirmed the incident to the Express and TV6 News via text message and indicated that a team from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of National Security is expected to leave today to hold talks with Venezuelan authorities.

Admiral Richard Kelshall is one of the members of the team heading to Venezuela, Griffith indicated.

Griffith, however, said he was not aware if the Trinidad nationals were being treated as suspected terrorists.

The real measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.

Offline Flex

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Re: World Turns a Blind Eye to Crisis in Venezuela
« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2014, 02:02:22 AM »
TRINIS HELD IN ‘COUP’ PLOT
Venezuela accuses detained local Muslims of planning to overthrow govt
By Mark Bassant CCN Senior Multimedia Investigative Journalist


THE TRINIDADIAN Muslims detained in Venezuela after a raid at the Plaza Hotel in Caracas last Wednesday are now being fingered in a plot to topple the Venezuelan government together with rogue Venezuelan police officers and other men.

Intelligence sources within Venezuela told the Express and TV6 News that “President Nicolas Maduro had obtained crucial information about  the plot from members of the El Servicio Bolivariano de Inteligencia Nacional (SEBIN) and they took the threat seriously”.

The eight Trinidadian Muslim men, along with six women and eight children, were held at the Plaza Hotel, Sabana Grande in downtown Caracas.

Intelligence sources privy to the information informed the Express and TV6 News that one of SEBIN’s very own was held in the exercise along with others.

They were identified as Rafael  José Durán of SEBIN, Gregorio Socorro Montañez of the Bolivarian national police and Fery Hernán Molina, from the Chacao police.

Their names were published for the first time in a Venezuelan newspaper late yesterday and sources say they were allegedly training the Trinidadian nationals along with a Guyanese and Haitian — both naturalised citizens of Venezuela — how to handle firearms.

The men were held in the hotel with not only military uniforms but what they claim are jihadist videos, and new information suggests they also found laptops and satellite phones, which they say may have been provided to the group by the Venezuelan police.

The Venezuelan media identified the Trinidadian men who appeared before the Anti-Terrorism Tribunal Court as: Dominic Clive Pitilal, Andre Joseph Battersby, Asim Luqman, Charles Wade and Leslie Doisely for the alleged commission of crimes of terrorism and criminal association.

After spending a day and a half in Venezuela, the Trinidadian delegation returned home yesterday afternoon after holding talks with SEBIN and other high-ranking officials pertaining to the Trinidadian Muslims who were detained in the raid.

Also held were three imams.

Rear Admiral Richard Kelshall, head of the Trinidad and Tobago delegation, who spoke with the Express and TV6 News via phone just before boarding the plane in Venezuela said, “We are trying to have the imams extricated from this situation, and we are working on that but this matter is extremely sensitive and we have to be careful.”

Kelshall continued, “We hope  to secure a proper resolution to the matter, but I can’t discuss anything more about the men, since their case is before a Venezuelan court.”

Late last night, senior intelligence sources in Trinidad confirmed that the three imams, Salam Abdul, Hamza Mohammad and Sheikh Hamid Hassan, are expected to be released either Monday or Tuesday next week and cleared of wrong-doing.

Kelshall described the marathon talks as “receptive between the parties” and said “they ensured that the women and children were brought back safely”.

Intelligence sources in Trinidad said the Strategic Services Agency (SSA) did background criminal checks on all the women and provided SEBIN with this paperwork to show they had clean records, thus allowing them to return here.

Well-placed sources in Venezuela told the Express and TV6 News that Luqman, in an e-mail obtained by the Trinidad and Tobago Consulate in Venezuela through his lawyer, claimed he had fled to Venezuela with his wife and children, fearing for his life after his brother was murdered.

Authorities have not been able to confirm Luqman’s story thus far. Luqman was one of the men detained during the state of emergency for questioning into the alleged plot to assassinate Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar.

The real measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.

Offline Ramgoat

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Re: World Turns a Blind Eye to Crisis in Venezuela
« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2014, 08:08:58 PM »
  These protesters are the sons and daughters of rich people who has nothing better to do . A bit of bashing of the skulls by the security services will bring them to their senses .
i [size=78%] do admire the patience of Maduro in dealing with these parasites. [/size]
 I find it rather telling that in a tweet one  of these protesters  tweeted that Maduro  was a lowly bus driver but Radonski Capriles is a Harvard grad.
 I recommend that one should view the documentary " The revolution will not  be televised" and I am sure that it is still on You Tube... to see the kind of scum   elitist people that are fomenting   these disturbances
 

Offline ribbit

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Re: World Turns a Blind Eye to Crisis in Venezuela
« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2014, 08:37:46 PM »
  These protesters are the sons and daughters of rich people who has nothing better to do . A bit of bashing of the skulls by the security services will bring them to their senses .
i [size=78%] do admire the patience of Maduro in dealing with these parasites. [/size]
 I find it rather telling that in a tweet one  of these protesters  tweeted that Maduro  was a lowly bus driver but Radonski Capriles is a Harvard grad.
 I recommend that one should view the documentary " The revolution will not  be televised" and I am sure that it is still on You Tube... to see the kind of scum   elitist people that are fomenting   these disturbances
 

Dem people in Venezuela doh have much choice. Is either foreign-backed elites or "bus drivers".

Offline asylumseeker

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Re: World Turns a Blind Eye to Crisis in Venezuela
« Reply #10 on: April 06, 2014, 08:56:11 PM »
... or the military or military proxy.
"It is not possible to make successful policy in a state of ignorance or indifference to what goes on in the real world." --- Martin Daly.

Offline fishs

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Re: World Turns a Blind Eye to Crisis in Venezuela
« Reply #11 on: April 07, 2014, 07:17:42 AM »
  These protesters are the sons and daughters of rich people who has nothing better to do . A bit of bashing of the skulls by the security services will bring them to their senses .
i [size=78%] do admire the patience of Maduro in dealing with these parasites. [/size]
 I find it rather telling that in a tweet one  of these protesters  tweeted that Maduro  was a lowly bus driver but Radonski Capriles is a Harvard grad.
 I recommend that one should view the documentary " The revolution will not  be televised" and I am sure that it is still on You Tube... to see the kind of scum   elitist people that are fomenting   these disturbances
 

You are a real clown. People dying and you call it " a bit of bashing of the skulls".
Money starting to run out so even the chavista slaves in the barrios starting to take to the streets. People going hungry right now, even elites have to eat because they are people too. BTW if you are a university student that makes you elite?
Ah want de woman on de bass

Offline Bakes

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Re: World Turns a Blind Eye to Crisis in Venezuela
« Reply #12 on: April 07, 2014, 09:04:38 AM »
You are a real clown. People dying and you call it " a bit of bashing of the skulls".
Money starting to run out so even the chavista slaves in the barrios starting to take to the streets. People going hungry right now, even elites have to eat because they are people too. BTW if you are a university student that makes you elite?

Pay that idiot no mind... he's a wind-up artist.

Offline Ramgoat

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Re: World Turns a Blind Eye to Crisis in Venezuela
« Reply #13 on: April 07, 2014, 04:00:58 PM »
You are a real clown. People dying and you call it " a bit of bashing of the skulls".
Money starting to run out so even the chavista slaves in the barrios starting to take to the streets. People going hungry right now, even elites have to eat because they are people too. BTW if you are a university student that makes you elite?

Pay that idiot no mind... he's a wind-up artist.
Go learn some history  boy.
 Do you remember when the former president of Venezuela Carlos Andres Perez acquired an  IMF loan in 1989 and then introduced austerity measures ? Petrol prices doubled and transportation costs skyrocketed .
 In the ensuing riots that followed over 3000 poor people were killed by the national guard and so these  30 or so  elites  that has died in these protests  .. well cry me  an Orinoco river

Offline asylumseeker

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Re: World Turns a Blind Eye to Crisis in Venezuela
« Reply #14 on: April 07, 2014, 05:29:41 PM »
1989, the year of much upheaval in many internal political contexts ... interesting that the 1989 events in VEN barely registered internationally, and that current events in VEN also have captured global attention only at the margins. This storm is really a calm before the actual storm ... if the political class fails to strike a balance of interests.
"It is not possible to make successful policy in a state of ignorance or indifference to what goes on in the real world." --- Martin Daly.

Offline Ramgoat

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Re: World Turns a Blind Eye to Crisis in Venezuela
« Reply #15 on: April 07, 2014, 05:56:40 PM »
These protesters are from the elites  of Venezuelan societies and their main beef is that the  oil wealth is being shared by the poor .
 In their mind the resources of Venezuela belong to them  and them only and is not to be shared with the poor .
 It is no wonder that all the protests is taking place in the rich neighborhoods of Caracas and life goes on peacefully in the Barrios . I believe that Maduro  and Chavez before him has exhibited  too much patience with these American stooges . These protests  needs to be smashed  with a heavy hand .

You might want to take yuh head out yuh ass and watch the videos to see the "elites" who are in them.  Watch the black girl getting she head bashed in by a female cop who straddles her, takes off her helmet and beats her about the face mercilessly as her friends and neighbors look on.  Elites my ass.
That black girl  is most likely a servant being paid by one of those rich people to participate in a demonstration,
 I noticed that you mentioned " elites my ass" . My friend whether your ass is elite or egalitarian that  is your business 

Offline Ramgoat

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Re: World Turns a Blind Eye to Crisis in Venezuela
« Reply #16 on: April 07, 2014, 07:20:39 PM »
  These protesters are the sons and daughters of rich people who has nothing better to do . A bit of bashing of the skulls by the security services will bring them to their senses .
i [size=78%] do admire the patience of Maduro in dealing with these parasites. [/size]
 I find it rather telling that in a tweet one  of these protesters  tweeted that Maduro  was a lowly bus driver but Radonski Capriles is a Harvard grad.
 I recommend that one should view the documentary " The revolution will not  be televised" and I am sure that it is still on You Tube... to see the kind of scum   elitist people that are fomenting   these disturbances
 

You are a real clown. People dying and you call it " a bit of bashing of the skulls".
Money starting to run out so even the chavista slaves in the barrios starting to take to the streets. People going hungry right now, even elites have to eat because they are people too. BTW if you are a university student that makes you elite?
I usually don't engage with Fox news viewers and I  will not make an exception here

Offline Toppa

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Re: World Turns a Blind Eye to Crisis in Venezuela
« Reply #17 on: April 10, 2014, 03:05:29 PM »
Venezuela's president has accused the US of using continuing street protests to attempt a "slow-motion" Ukraine-style coup against his government and "get their hands on Venezuelan oil".

In an exclusive interview with the Guardian, Nicolás Maduro, elected last year after the death of Hugo Chávez, said what he described as a "revolt of the rich" would fail because the country's "Bolivarian revolution" was more deeply rooted than when it had seen off an abortive US-backed coup against Chávez in 2002.

Venezuela, estimated to have the world's largest oil reserves, has faced continuous violent street protests – focused on inflation, shortages and crime – since the beginning of February, after opposition leaders launched a campaign to oust Maduro and his socialist government under the slogan of "the exit".

"They are trying to sell to the world the idea that the protests are some of sort of Arab spring," he said. "But in Venezuela, we have already had our spring: our revolution that opened the door to the 21st century".

The conflict has claimed up to 39 lives and posed a significant challenge to Maduro's government. On Monday, the Venezuelanpresident agreed to a proposal by the South American regional group Unasur for peace talks with opposition leaders, who have up to now refused to join a government-led dialogue.

The US denies involvement and says Venezuela is using the excuse of a coup threat to crack down on the opposition. Human Rights Watch and Venezuela's Catholic hierarchy have also condemned the government's handling of the protests, while Amnesty International has alleged human rights abuses by both sides.

Maduro claimed Venezuela was facing a type of "unconventional war that the US has perfected over the last decades", citing a string of US-backed coups or attempted coups from 1960s Brazil to Honduras in 2009.

Speaking in the Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas, the former bus driver and trade union leader said Venezuela's opposition had "the aim of paralysing the main cities of the country, copying badly what happened in Kiev, where the main roads in the cities were blocked off, until they made governability impossible, which led to the overthrow of the elected government of Ukraine." The Venezuelan opposition had, he said, a "similar plan".

"They try to increase economic problems through an economic war to cut the supplies of basic goods and boost an artificial inflation", Maduro said. "To create social discontent and violence, to portray a country in flames, which could lead them to justify international isolation and even foreign intervention."

Pointing to the large increases in social provision and reduction in inequality over the past decade and a half, Maduro said: "When I was a union leader there wasn't a single programme to protect the education, health, housing and salaries of the workers. It was the reign of savage capitalism. Today in Venezuela, the working class is in power: it's the country where the rich protest and the poor celebrate their social wellbeing," he said.

Venezuela's protests have been fuelled by high inflation, which reached a peak of 57% but has now fallen to a monthly rate of 2.4%, and shortages of subsidised basic goods, a significant proportion of which are smuggled into Colombia and sold for far higher prices. Opposition leaders accuse the government of mismanagement.

Recent easing of currency controls appear to have had a positive impact, and the economy continues to grow and poverty rates fall. But Venezuela's murder rate – a target of the protests – is among the highest in the world.

About 2,200 have been arrested (190 or so are still detained) during two months of unrest, which followed calls by opposition leaders to "light up the streets with struggle" and December's municipal elections in which Maduro's supporters' lead over the opposition increased to 10%.

Responsibility for the deaths is strongly contested. Eight of the dead have been confirmed to be police or security forces; four opposition activists (and one government supporter) killed by police, for which several police officers have been arrested; seven were allegedly killed by pro-government colectivo activists and 13 by opposition supporters at street barricades.

Asked how much responsibility the government should take for the killings, Maduro responded that 95% of the deaths were the fault of "rightwing extremist groups" at the barricades, giving the example of three motorcyclists killed by wire strung across the road by protesters. He said he has set up a commission to investigate each case. The global media was being used to promote a "virtual reality" of a "student movement being repressed by an authoritarian government", he argued. "What government in the world hasn't committed political or economic mistakes? But does that justify the burning down of universities or the overthrow of an elected government?"The protests, often led by students and overwhelmingly in well-off areas, have included arson attacks on government buildings, universities and bus stations. From a peak of several hundred thousand people in February, most recent demonstrations have dwindled in size and are restricted to opposition strongholds, such as Tachira state on the Colombian border.

A hardline opposition leader, Leopoldo López, who participated in the 2002 coup, and two opposition mayors have been arrested and charged with inciting violence. Another backer of the protests, María Corina Machado, was stripped of her post in parliament.

This was not "criminalising dissent", Maduro insisted. "The opposition has full guarantees and rights. We have an open democracy. But if a politician commits a crime, calls for the overthrow of the legitimate government and uses his position to block streets, burn universities and public transport, the courts act." Critics, however, insist the courts are politicised.

Last month, the US secretary of state, John Kerry, claimed Venezuela was waging a "terror campaign" against its own citizens. But the Organisation of American States and the South American Unasur and Mercosur blocs of states backed the Venezuelan government and called for political dialogue.

Asked for evidence of US intervention in the protests, the Venezuelan president replied: "Is 100 years of intervention in Latin America and the Caribbean not enough: against Haiti, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Chile, Grenada, Brazil? Is the coup attempt against President Chávez by the Bush administration not enough? Why does the US have 2,000 military bases in the world? To dominate it. I have told President Obama: we are not your backyard anymore".

Maduro pointed to evidence of past and present US intervention in Venezuela in Wikileaks cables, the whistleblower Edward Snowden's revelations and US state department documents. They include cables from the US ambassador outlining US plans to "divide", "isolate" and "penetrate" the Chávez government, and extensive US government funding of Venezuelan opposition groups over the past decade (some via agencies such as USAid and the Office for Transitional Initiatives), including $5m (£3m) of overt support in the current fiscal year.

Maduro's allegations follow last week's revelation that USAid covertly funded a social media website to foment political unrest and encourage "flash mobs" in Venezuela's ally Cuba under the cover of "development assistance". White House officials acknowledged that such programmes were not "unique to Cuba".

Maduro has called a national peace conference – though opposition parties have so far refused to participate, arguing it will be skewed to endorse the government.

The president also says he will agree to Vatican conciliation if the opposition condemns violence. But he rejects criticism that he and the Chavista movement have been too polarising."I don't think polarisation in a democracy is something wrong. That seems to be trendy now, to try to turn polarisation into some sort of disease. I wish all democratic societies would polarise. A democracy can only truly function if its society is politicised."

"Politics is not only for the elite, for centre-right and centre-left parties, while the elites distribute power and wealth among themselves", Maduro said. "Venezuela has a positive polarisation because it is a politicised country where the large majority take sides over public policies. There is also negative polarisation that doesn't accept the other and wants to eliminate the other – we must get over that with national dialogue."Venezuela has been central to the radical political transformation of Latin America over the past decade, and Maduro insists that regional process will continue. When Chávez said "the 21st century is ours" in 1992, he says "it was a romantic idea. Today it is a reality and no one is going to take it away from us".

Challenged over whether Venezuela's 2009 referendum to abolish limits on the number of times presidents can stand for election meant he would like to continue indefinitely, Maduro countered that Venezuela had a right to recall elected officials, unlike in Europe. "In the UK, the prime minister can run as many times as he wants to, but not the royals. Who elected the queen?

"The people will decide until when I can be here. Be certain that if it is not me it will be another revolutionary. What will be indefinite is the popular power of the people".

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/apr/08/venezuela-protests-sign-us-wants-oil-says-nicolas-maduro
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Re: World Turns a Blind Eye to Crisis in Venezuela
« Reply #18 on: May 22, 2014, 08:17:14 PM »
Meanwhile, it's business as usual.

60-member Venezuelan delegation coming

This year will see a large trade delegation of Venezuelans coming to T&T for the Trade and Investment Convention (TIC), said Ramesh Ramdeen, chief executive officer of the T&T Manufacturers’ Association (TTMA).

Although both countries are geographically close—11 kilometres apart—the relationship has always focused on energy and not much other commercial relations.

But this has begun to change.

During a visit to Trinidad in 2013, Venezuelan President Nicholas Maduro gave Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar a gift of a computer tablet and mobile phone assembled by the company, Venezuelan Industrial Technology (VIT), which manufactures computers and cellphones, and is an emblem of Venezuela’s light industrial base.

“We have a really big delegation coming from Venezuela this year. The Government of Venezuela is trying to spread its wings throughout the Caribbean. So recently at the Jamaican Trade Show, they had a significant amount of booths, and they have also targeted T&T as well as Guyana. Guyana’s Trade Show is in October and ours is in July. We are advised that the Venezuelans will place a lot of emphasis on the T&T market,” Ramdeen told the Business Guardian.

He said it is not only about the Venezuelans selling their goods to T&T, but they also want to source products from T&T.

“According to the last check, we have 21 people coming to exhibit and to do joint ventures and partnership. They have taken three large pavilions to house 21 people. We have about 42 people in terms of investors and buyers. So in total, about 60 people would be coming thus far. The profile shows that a significant amount is in the energy and downstream sectors, food and beverages, paper and construction. Those are the four main areas. In the area of construction, one Venezuelan company is in the area of bricks and building,” Ramdeen said.

Nicholas Lok Jack, president of the TTMA, who was also part of the interview said Venezuelan businesses have invested in Colombia, Panama and other regional countries.

“We cannot turn our eyes away from Venezuelan capital. The people who are coming to invest are good, solid businesspeople for years and are looking to spread their wings internationally,” he said.

http://www.guardian.co.tt/business-guardian/2014-05-22/60-member-venezuelan-delegation-coming
"It is not possible to make successful policy in a state of ignorance or indifference to what goes on in the real world." --- Martin Daly.

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Re: World Turns a Blind Eye to Crisis in Venezuela
« Reply #19 on: July 26, 2014, 05:04:35 PM »
Minister: Flights between Aruba, Venezuela resume

Associated Press
July 26, 2014

ORANJESTAD, Aruba — Flights between Venezuela and Aruba resumed Saturday, ending a brief suspension by the South American country to protest the arrest of its designated counsel to the island territory, the highest-ranking Venezuelan official ever detained on a U.S. warrant.

The lifting of the flight ban followed several hours of talks between Aruba Justice Minister Arthur Dowers and a representative of Venezuela’s foreign affairs ministry, Dowers told The Associated Press.

The suspension of flights to and from Aruba and other Dutch Caribbean territories came Friday afternoon after an Aruban judge ruled that Hugo Carvajal, the former head of Venezuelan military intelligence, must remain behind bars pending a U.S. extradition request on drug-trafficking charges. The order stranded about 500 travelers on the island, which is a popular tourist destination.

“We understand the Venezuelan government is upset with the detention of one of their diplomatic corps members, but I told them that based on basic human rights, it cannot be so that the movement of many more of their citizens and their right to go home will be sacrificed,” Dowers said.

Three airlines serving major Venezuelan cities confirmed flights resumed Saturday morning. It was unclear how many flights had been affected.

The flight ban was considered an economic blow to Aruba since Venezuela, just 15 miles (24 kilometers) away, represents its second-largest tourism market behind the United States.

Carvajal was arrested Thursday as he arrived in Aruba to take office as Venezuela’s consul to the island. Venezuela protested the detention, citing diplomatic immunity, but Aruban authorities said the arrest came before he was accredited.

Dowers said Aruba complied with a request from U.S. authorities to arrest Carvajal based on a treaty signed between the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the United States.

He said he is aware that the Venezuelan government is still upset about the ruling and that it could reinstate the flight ban or take other punitive actions. He did not specify what those actions might be.

Aruba government officials scheduled an emergency meeting Saturday to talk about the issue.

U.S. authorities have alleged that Carvajal is one of several high-ranking Venezuelan military and law enforcement officials who provided a haven to major drug traffickers from neighboring Colombia and helped them export large amounts of U.S.-bound cocaine through Venezuela.

His surprise arrest has cast a spotlight on what’s known in Venezuela as the “Cartel of the Suns,” referring to rogue, high-ranking military officers believed to have grown rich from drug-running. Top Venezuelan officers wear sun insignia on their uniforms.

Together with the unsealing Thursday of a drug indictment against two other Venezuelan officials, Carvajal’s arrest will likely also ratchet up tensions between the U.S. and Venezuela’s socialist government, which frequently accuses Washington of conspiring against it.

President Nicolas Maduro had threatened to retaliate against Aruba, unless Carvajal is freed. The president likened Carvajal’s arrest to an “ambush” and “kidnapping” that violates international law and Venezuelan sovereignty.
"It is not possible to make successful policy in a state of ignorance or indifference to what goes on in the real world." --- Martin Daly.

Offline Bakes

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Re: World Turns a Blind Eye to Crisis in Venezuela
« Reply #20 on: July 26, 2014, 07:23:27 PM »
Wow... kudos to Dowers and the Aruban government for standing up for what they believe is right.  Whether there's any substance to the charges, that remainst to be seen, but the rule of law must prevail.

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Venezuelan President wants to become family with T&T
« Reply #21 on: February 25, 2015, 04:56:50 AM »
Venezuelan President wants to become family with T&T
By Joel Julien (Express).


SISTER KAMLA

THE time has come for Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela to move from simply being “good neighbours” to becoming “good sister­s and brothers”, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has said.

As a sign of their deepening bond, the leaders of the two countries yesterday expressed their commitment to the joint exploitation of energy reserves, the payment of an outstanding debt to Trinidad and Tobago’s national carrier by Venezuela, increased dialogue over the incarceration of five Muslims from this country in Venezuela, as well as commodity sharing between the two nations and national security cooperation.

Maduro yesterday arrived in this country around 11 a.m. accompanied by his wife, Cilia Flores, and his son, Nicolas Ernesto Maduro Guerra. It was his second visit to Trinidad and Tobago.

A total of 95 Venezuelans, including seven government ministers, security personnel and 20 members of the media, made the trip with Maduro.

Local media, apart from the State-owned Government Information Services Ltd (GISL), were barred from covering both the arrival and departure of Maduro.

The first stop on Maduro’s visit yesterday was a courtesy call on President Anthony Carmona at President’s House in St Ann’s.

The second stop was a visit to the nearby Diplomatic Centre.

Around 12.30 p.m., Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar arrived at the Diplomatic Centre.

She was greeted with the song “Bailamos” played by on the pan by Caribbean Airlines Invaders Steel Orchestra.

Around 1.27 p.m., Maduro arrived at the Diplomatic Centre. He was greeted by the song “Brazil”.

Maduro tried his hand at playing one of Invaders’ tenor pans.

Maduro then paid a private courtesy call on Persad-Bissessar at the Prince Charles Room at the Diplomatic Centre.

Around 2.37 p.m., both leaders then led their respective delegations to the Octagon Room for bilateral talks.

Around 3.49 p.m., Maduro and Persad-Bissessar held a joint news conference.

“Now more than ever we must seek to foster closer ties, enhance cooperation and deepen integration with our partners in the region,” Persad-Bissessar said.

Chief among the discussions yesterday were energy matters, Persad-Bissessar said.

T&T, Venezuela must fight crime scourge

Two documents were signed. The first was the Unitisation Agreement for the Exploitation and Development of Hydrocarbon Reservoirs of the “Manakin-Cocuina Field” that extends across the delimitation line between Trinidad and Tobago and Vene­zuela.

The second was the framework Agreement on Energy Sector Cooperation between Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela.

“Our two countries are energy-driven and the recent drop in oil prices remains at the forefront of developing energy policies, for this reason we believe a joint venture such as this, a unison of strengths would result in capacity to better treat with such fluctuations in the future,” Persad-Bissessar said.

This is the first time in the Western Hemi­sphere a commercialisation of cross-border reserves has occurred, Persad-Bissessar said. It is only the third time it has happened in the world before.

Maduro said the two countries were showing the world how to operate.

“We can easily see around the world the conflicts, the war, the tensions that are crea­ted as a result of the development and the use of resources of energy, gas, etc,” Maduro said.

“On the contrary, in our case we have been able to pave the way for a cooperation that has been translated into agreement for the joint exploitation of our resources which are going to be mutually satisfactory and beneficial.

“I think Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela are setting the example and showing to the world that it is possible to build a world of peace, understanding and development without the conflicts and without the confrontations that we have seen elsewhere in order to foster our developments,” he said.

Maduro yesterday gave his commitment to pay a debt owed to Caribbean Airlines Ltd which started at US$10 million and has been growing steadily since.

“I want to thank his Excellency for a commitment given today for the debt owed to Caribbean Airlines... for some resolution to be brought to this and Excellency was very firm and adamant about the settlement of the debt to Caribbean Airlines Ltd,” she said.

Persad-Bissessar said she also raised the issue of the five Muslims from this country who are currently incarcerated in Venezuela since March last year over allegations of terroris­m.

“We did raise the concern by some of our citizens here in Trinidad and Tobago with respect to the five Trini citizens incarcerated in Venezuela. We spoke without prejudice to the workings fairly of the justice system of Venezuela, and Excellency has given the commitment that our ministers of foreign affairs and national security will have further dialogue on that matter,” Persad-Bissessar said.

Persad-Bissessar said “commodity sharin­g” between both countries was also raised.

“As you may be aware, Trinidad and Tobago exports a number of goods to Venezuela, including gasoline, machine parts, air-conditioners, parts for refrigerators, toilet/facial tissue and cement,” Persad-Bissessar said.

“Our main imports from Venezuela include crude petroleum, gas, oil, jet fuel, electric conductors, iron ore and bars and rods from Venezuela.

“Following our discussions today, we are of the view that a mechanism for commodity sharing holds significant promise for both our countries,” she said.

National security for both countries was also raised, Maduro said.

“Our countries are victims of drug trafficking and our countries have to wage a serious and very expensive fight against drug trafficking and invest a lot to fight against these networks of drug traffickers in the region even though we are not producers of these products,” Maduro said.

He said both countries must fight the “crime scourge” which is a result of the drug trafficking problem. Maduro left Trinidad yesterday evening.
The real measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.

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Re: Venezuelan President wants to become family with T&T
« Reply #22 on: February 25, 2015, 08:43:55 AM »
Can't believe we agreed to only permitting State media to cover his arrival. Since when have we acquiesced in accommodating authoritarian anti-democratic regimes? Nonsense!

I hope the foreign policy ppl in the Opposition render this an issue.
"It is not possible to make successful policy in a state of ignorance or indifference to what goes on in the real world." --- Martin Daly.

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Re: Venezuelan President wants to become family with T&T
« Reply #23 on: February 25, 2015, 11:15:01 AM »
don't we sell our oil through vene if i am not mistaken?

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Re: Venezuelan President wants to become family with T&T
« Reply #24 on: February 25, 2015, 12:08:35 PM »
Maduro running that country into the ground.  The sooner Venezuela gets a good leader the better for them and us.

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Re: Venezuelan President wants to become family with T&T
« Reply #25 on: February 25, 2015, 01:59:13 PM »



...Resident Venezuelans protest near President’s House

http://www.trinidadexpress.com/news/Resident-Venezuelans-protest-near-Presidents-House-293949491.html

Venezuelans residing in Trinidad yesterday staged a protest near President’s House, St Ann’s, against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, whom they accused of corruption and oppression in their home country.

Maduro arrived in Trinidad yesterday to hold bilateral talks with the Government, but the angry protesters said he should not be welcome in this country.

He met with both the President and Prime Minister.

The protesters said children were dying in Venezuelan hospitals due to a lack of medication, and citizens were without basic necessities such as food and water. They claimed Maduro’s policies are not in the interest of the people and have caused tremendous economic hardship.

Leading the protest, Yesenia Gonzales, a popular Venezuelan psychic who is a Trinidad resident, called Maduro “a devil in disguise” and said he lacked the intelligence, wisdom and knowledge to run Vene­zuela. “He is a very poor leader. We don’t want his policies anymore. He is very ignorant and he is a devil in Venezuela,” she said.

Gonzales said the Maduro-led government was corrupt and only interested in pocketing the country’s wealth. “They are living like kings while people in Venezuela are dying,” she said.

Yesterday’s protest was not the first of its kind. In April 2013, Madur­o replaced Hugo Chavez who died from cancer. He won the election with 50.7 per cent of the vote against 49.1 per cent won by his opponent, Henrique Capriles.

Shortly after Maduro took up office, Venezuelans in Trinidad protested outside the Venezuelan Embassy in Woodbrook, demanding a recount of votes. In a similar fashion, protesters again gathered outside the Embassy last February, calling for peace following the deaths of several people in Venezuela during protests against Madur­o’s governance.

The continued unrest in Venezuela took yet another dramatic turn with the arrest of Caracas Mayor Antonio Ledezma last week for allegedly planning a coup. Ledezma, one of Maduro’s most outspoken critics, joins a number of activists who have been jailed, including opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez. The arrests have sparked further protests and prompted strong responses from human rights groups and foreign governments, including the United States. Former US president Bill Clinton recently tweeted a message saying: “Leopoldo Lopez and the political prisoners in Venezuela should be released without delay.”


MSJ Support for Maduro


In stark contrast to the cries of Venezuelan nationals yesterday, members of the Movement for Social Justice (MSJ) gathered outside the Diplomatic Centre in St Ann’s to show support for Maduro’s visit to T&T. The members carried pla­cards welcoming Maduro to Trinidad and Tobago in both English and Spanish.

MSJ public relations officer Gregory Fernandez said despite protests by Venezuelans, Maduro has the support of the majority of Venezuelan people.

“President Maduro is the officially elected president of Venezuela and his party, the PSUV, has been elected on three consecutive occasions through the democratic process. They have the majority support of the people of Venezuela and the reason that they are still in power is because they have been making a difference in the lives of the majority of the people of Venezuela,” Fernandez said.

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Re: Venezuelan President wants to become family with T&T
« Reply #26 on: February 25, 2015, 02:04:30 PM »
Is Gregory Fernandez in touch with reality? And why is this an issue the MSJ feels compelled to treat on the wrong side of history?
« Last Edit: February 25, 2015, 02:06:46 PM by asylumseeker »
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Offline Sando prince

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Re: Venezuelan President wants to become family with T&T
« Reply #27 on: March 01, 2015, 11:15:54 PM »


http://www.trinidadexpress.com/letters/What-message-are-we-sending-294450721.html

Quote
What message are we sending?

 I note the media coverage of Venezuelan P­resident Nicolas M­aduro’s visit (apparently with a very large entourage) has been extremely positive, framed in terms of reciprocal economic advantage and even some sort of political or social solidarity.

Meanwhile, even on a short return visit to Trinidad, one cannot help but meet a goodly number of Venezuelans, exiled from their country (albeit voluntarily), chased away by the harsh economic conditions and the treatment of the opposition.

No one would doubt it is important for Trinidad and Tobago to preserve good relations with its nearest Latin neighbour. Fortunately, these have survived various periods of tension because the ties binding the two nations are strong.

Additionally, no one would doubt there are advantages to be gained by joint exploitation of cross-border gas fields. Indeed the negotiation over Loran-Manatee has been anxiously watched for years and the M­anakin-Cocuina agreement falls along these lines.

However, Trinidad and Tobago has long made respect for human rights and the rule of law a cornerstone of its foreig­n policy and international brand. As such, the country ought to ensure its enthusiasm for strong economic relations with Venezuela is not mistaken for endorsement of the current parlous state of governance in Venezuela.

A more sober tone in the coverage of Mr Maduro’s visit would have been appreciated by many.

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Re: Venezuelan President wants to become family with T&T
« Reply #28 on: March 16, 2015, 10:35:10 AM »
Venezuela diplomat grateful for T&T support

 
Rapheal John-Lall
Monday, March 16, 2015
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian

Venezuela’s Ambassador to T&T Coromoto Godoy yesterday expressed gratitude to the many local groups that have shown support and solidarity with her country. “Venezuela has been developing solidarity with T&T for many years now. Today, there are different social movements from T&T, political movements like the Movement Social Justice (MSJ) and trade unions, saying they want to express solidarity with us.

“We have two buses coming from Cedros who are fishermen. There are university lecturers calling us to show support. It means the people from T&T are with us and they understand what is happening in Venezuela and the terrible incident with US President Obama,” she  said.

The ambassador made the comment during a baseball game at the Queen's Park Savannah, Port-of-Spain, yesterday involving Venezuelans, Cubans and nationals of the Dominican Republic. Groups representing T&T's civil society were in attendance showing solidarity with Venezuela in its diplomatic tug of war with the United States. In a statement yesterday, the MSJ expressed solidarity with the Venezuelan people and democratically elected Government of Venezuela.

“The events of the past week in which the United States has intensified sanctions against Venezuela and deemed that Government as a threat to national security interests have made the issues clearer. The MSJ has no doubt that the United States is pursuing its old imperial agenda of seeking to control strategic resources globally and to control oil and energy resources,” the release said. The MSJ said the issues is not democracy as claimed by the United States but its unstable relationship with Venezuela is about oil and geo-politics.

The party also referred to Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's visit to T&T three weeks ago, saying it took place “at a difficult time for our next door neighbour and most Caribbean economies.” “The evidence is clear that this is being done by local merchants in co-ordination with the US Government to destabilise the economy in order to promote regime change.” The MSJ said Venezuela has helped smaller Caribbean economies that have been faring poorly.

“Venezuela has reached out to provide sharply discounted oil and gas supplies to help these countries face intense economic crises of the last decade,” the party said.
"It is not possible to make successful policy in a state of ignorance or indifference to what goes on in the real world." --- Martin Daly.

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Venezuela saber rattling on Guyana
« Reply #29 on: September 23, 2015, 03:29:09 PM »
From the bbc. Mods if there is another Ven-Guyana thread, fix to suit.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-34332366

Guyana's President David Granger says Venezuela has deployed troops along their border area.

Mr Granger described the move as a "dangerous escalation" in the long-running dispute between the two South American neighbours.

Venezuela says its troops are conducting exercises in the region.

It lays claim to the vast mineral-rich area of jungle west of the Essequibo river, which accounts for about 40% of Guyana's territory.

Venezuela has been claiming the area as its own since the 19th Century, when Guyana was still a British colony.




Mr Granger said Venezuela seems to be pursuing "a very offensive and aggressive course".

"We feel that Venezuela is treading a dangerous course at this point in time rather than seeking a peaceful resolution of the matter.''

'Significant oil discovery'

In June, Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro demanded Guyana stop oil exploration in a disputed offshore territory.

The exploration was being carried out by US oil giant ExxonMobil.

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez called the exploration "a dangerous political provocation".

An international tribunal ruled in 1899 that the area formed part of Guyana, which at the time was a British colony.

Venezuela never accepted the ruling, arguing it was unfair.

On 20 May, ExxonMobil announced "a significant oil discovery" in the disputed area.

A week later, President Maduro issued a presidential decree claiming sovereignty of the disputed waters.

President Granger in turn released a statement calling Venezuela's decree a "flagrant violation of international law".

Guyana has asked the United Nations to mediate the dispute.