Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez has been touring Caribbean nations during the past few days to garner support for Venezuela’s claim over the Essequibo region. Yesterday, Rodriguez qualified the campaign as a success, saying that “we have had the backing of the Caribbean” on the dispute with Guayana.

Rodriguez, who was in St. Lucia yesterday and Trinidad and Tobago on Thursday, said:

All of our arguments have been heard and paid close attention to. We’re here explaining to our friends in the Caribbean that there’s a great level of friendship in the process of cooperation that has been developed over the past few years in this beautiful region.

She also said that the Pentagon was behind Guyana’s claim over the Essequibo region, and that Guyana had a “hidden agenda” on the matter, and suggested that ExxonMobil was also pulling strings behind the scenes.

CARICOM: “The Essequibo Belongs to Guayana”

Despite Rodriguez’s claims that Venezuela’s pleas had been received positively by Caribbean nations, President of Barbados and current head of the Comunidad del Caribe (Caribbean Community) [CARICOM], Freundel Stuart, said unequivocally last night that the organization supported Guyana on the Essequibo issue without reservations.

Shortly after meeting with Venezuela Vice-President Jorge Arreaza, Stuart said:

We have to defend Guayana as it currently exists.

Stuart also clarified that CARICOM’s position is that the 1899 agreement that handed the Essequibo over to Guyana is still valid, and that CARICOM has a “compromise with the territorial integrity of Guyana”.

Freddy Guevara Thanks Maria Corina Machado

Voluntad Popular’s Freddy Guevara thanked Maria Corina Machado yesterday for deferring to the Mesa de la Unidad Democratica‘s claim that he – not Isabel Pereira – will run in Miranda’s Circuit 2 in the December 6 parliamentary elections.

Guevara said that the experience had been “traumatic”, since the issue of who had the power to nominate Machado’s substitute in Circuit 2 appeared to have the potential to tear a rift in the opposition. Guevara believes that Machado ultimately made the right decision:

Maria Corina Machado is one of the most important leaders in the country. We’ve fought together for a long time. She took the high road [when she yielded to the MUD on the issue]. What she did reflects a high regard for democracy. She had to let go of the issue, something for which I am obviously grateful for since it helps the Unidad and the country.

He also said that he had a chance to speak to Machado over the disagreement, and called the conversation they had “a difficult moment”.

Guevara said that he is sure that the opposition will give the PSUV “a beating” in the December elections, and said that the first law an opposition-controlled National Assembly would pass would be one to grant the amnesty to the country’s political prisoners.

CONATEL Opens Investigation into CNN En Español

The Comisión Nacional de Telecomunicaciones (CONATEL) opened an investigation into a report broadcast by CNN En Español that erroneously indicated that looting had broken out in Maracay, Aragua state on Thursday. Aragua state governor Tarek El Aissami referred to the broadcast as a “terrorist and criminal campaign”.

In fact, there were no lootings taking place in Maracay at the time of the report.

Yesterday, the news organization issued a correction on the story, and apologized for what they called “an error” in the broadcast. CNN En Español said:

On Thursday, during the Encuentros show, we put up mistaken text that spoke about looting in Maracay. CNN does not have any information that any looting occurred in Venezuela on Thursday. This was an error that we have to recognize. The error occurred with the text that appeared on the screen while our co-worker Osmay Hernandez reported on the food shortages in Maracay and Valencia. CNN, through its compromise with integrity and truth, will always recognize its errors and at the same time will hold others accountable to their errors.

CONATEL is accusing CNN of airing “war programming”  and argues that the network’s reporting had “an important impact on the public opinion of the Venezuelan people”. As such, CONATEL has opened an administrative process on the network’s reporting.

First Lady’s Bodyguard in Critical Condition

One of Cilia Flores’ body guards was shot in the head yesterday in Caracas’ 23 de Enero neighbourhood and is in critical condition in the Lidice hospital in the city.

Velasquez Olivier, who aside from being a member of the Presidential Honour Guard is also a SEBIN agent, is expected to be translated to a military hospital imminently.

Questions/Comments? E-mail me: invenezuelablog@gmail.com


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