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The Venezuelan government took out a full-page ad in today’s edition of the New York Times in response to sanctions placed by the White House last week.

In the ad, titled “Letter to the people of the United States: Venezuela is not a threat”, the Venezuelan government calls on President Obama to rescind an executive order classifying Venezuela has a threat to national security, and to remove sanctions placed on Venezuelan officials.

Calling the United States’ government move against Venezuela “a tyrannical and imperial order”, and argues that the sanctions are an attack on Venezuelan sovereignty.

Gov’t Denies Access to Human Rights Commission

The Venezuelan government denied a request by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to send a delegation to the country for the purposes of assessing human rights in Venezuela.

German Saltron, a Venezuelan representative at the organization, said that allowing the body to visit Venezuela would be “immoral and unacceptable”. The Venezuelan government is opposed to the visit because denying it would result in being singled out as having a human rights situation that requires special attention, something the government sees as a kind of blackmail.

Food Inflation at 7.5% in January

The United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) released inflation statistics today, claiming that the price Venezuelans pay for food rose 7.5% in January. In the rest of Latin American and the Caribbean, the figure was a much more modest 1.2% for the same time period.

Food prices in Nicaragua, Panama, Mexico decreased slightly in January, while those of Venezuelan neighbours Colombia and Brazil rose 1.5%.

Fidel Castro: Venezuelan Army “Best Equipped” in Latin America

A letter by former Cuban leader Fidel Castro released today praises the Venezuelan military as the best in Latin America, and calls recent moves by Washington against Venezuela “unbelievable”.

Part of the letter, addressed to Maduro and signed by Castro yesterday, reads:

Today, Venezuela counts with the best equipped soldiers and officers in Latin America.
When you met with your officers in these past few days, it was clear that they were ready to give even their last drop of blood for the homeland.

Castro also referred to the years prior to Chavez’s arrival to power as being marked with “corruption and waste”, and that Venezuela’s rulers before the advent of Bolivarianism were “addicted to violence and crime”.

ALBA Meeting Begins in Caracas

A meeting of the Alianza Bolivariana para los Pueblos de Nuestra America [Bolivarian Alliance for Our American States] kicked off in Caracas today. U.S. sanctions against Venezuela and an upcoming meeting of the Organization of American States are expected to be up for discussion during the meeting.

While welcoming foreign dignitaries, Maduro said that Venezuela was not looking for a fight with the United States, noting:

Venezuela has never attacked another country… There has never been, nor will there ever be, aggressive words towards our fellow countries here.

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One thought on “03.17.15: The Last Drop

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