Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Venezuela has strong words for US at UN General Assembly

Foreign Minister Elias Jaua has slammed the United States at the 68th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), labeling Washington and its allies as “hawks of war”.

“We are here to report a kidnapping”, Jaua stated during his address to the UNGA last Friday.

“The kidnapper has many faces...but are still the same: imperialism”, he said.

Accusing Washington of violating the UN charter, Jaua called on UN member states to stand up against “leaders of the United States and those that follow blindly behind them”. Much of the minister’s speech focused on allegations of US aggression, including against Syria.

“Mr. President, Article 2, paragraph 4, of the Charter of the United Nations, exhaustive- ly expressed that members of this organization ‘shall refrain

Accusing Washington of violating the UN charter, Jaua called on UN member states to stand up against “leaders of the United States and those that follow blindly behind them”. Much of the minister’s speech focused on allegations of US aggression, including against Syria. “The Charter of the United Nations exhaustively expresses that members of this organization ‘shall refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or independence of any state’” from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or independence of any state’”, Jaua stated.

“However, the US President...threatens to bomb a particular country, if they don’t fulfill their unilateral demands”, he said.

Jaua further took a swipe at US support for Syria’s armed opposition movement amid international calls for peace in the civil war stricken country.

“How do some members of the Security Council of the UN think we can achieve this purpose [peace], by arming and protecting terrorist groups such as the Al-Nusra Front and Al Qaeda?”, he asked the assembly.

“Many of these groups, linked to such heinous acts as the destruction of the Twin Towers  in  this  city,  deny the existence of anyone who thinks differently to them- be they Christians, Muslims or Jews and express a particular hatred...of women”, he said.

Responding to Obama
Jaua also responded to US President Barack Obama’s ad- dress to the UNGA last week. During his speech, Obama de- fended US exceptionalism while justifying his administration’s previous calls for international military strikes on Syria.

“Some may disagree, but I believe [the United States of ] America is exceptional, in part because we have shown a willingness, to the sacrifice of blood and treasure to stand up, not only for our own interests, but for the interests of all”, Obama stated.

“Our charter of the United Nations, speaks of “equality of nations large and small”, [but] the US president said, just two days ago, that they are ‘exceptional’, that they are not the same as the other 192 countries that are represented here”, Jaua responded.

The minister described this “inconsistency” as “alarming”. “Why not consider the use of drones...which have caused [the deaths of] tens of thousands of innocent victims, including children and elderly in northern Africa, the Middle East or in regions of Asia as crimes against humanity?” he asked. “Why not apply sanctions to a government that has for 50 years held an illegal economic blockade against the Cuban people?” Jaua said.

He further criticized UN failure to establish an “independent Palestinian state”, and British  refusal  to  negotiate with Argentina over the Malvinas/Falkland Islands. “Is it because the elite United States and some of its allies are exceptional?” Jaua asked.

“Seven years ago our Comandante Hugo Chavez said that it “smells of sulfur here”, and today, unfortunately, we must say that even those considered “exceptional” are smelling of sulfur”, he said.

Maduro  Absent Due To “Security Concerns”
President Nicolas Maduro was originally slated to speak at the UNGA, but at the last minute he canceled his planned trip to New York, stating his life may have been in danger.

“There were two serious provocations, one more serious than the other, how I understand it”, Maduro stated at the time.

“As you know, President Maduro is not present in the General Assembly, due to a combination of delays, obstacles, constraints and lack of guarantees for himself and members of his delegation by the government of the United States, in flagrant violation of its obligations under the Head- quarters Agreement of this organization”, Jaua said.

According to the foreign minister, the alleged threat to Maduro was part of a long- running US campaign against Venezuela.

“Countries such as Venezuela, who have chosen the path of deepening democracy with the socialist model of organization and popular inclusion, which enables us to meet the Millennium development goals established by this organization, are constantly harassed, demonized and disrupted in our political and social stability”, he said.

Jaua wasn’t alone in his condemnation of US.

Earlier in the week, Latin American leaders from Bolivia, Brazil and Uruguay and Argentina all delivered speeches condemning international aggression.

“Those who decide wars are large arms industries, the financial system and the oil companies. Plutocracy has replaced democracy”, Bolivian President Evo Morales stated during his address to the UNGA.

Washington copped further criticism from its southern neighbors the day before Jaua’s speech.

On Thursday, the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our Americas (ALBA) issued a formal complaint to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, alleging that Washington imposed undue conditions on international delegations heading to New York.

The complaint  describes US treatment of some delegations as “inimical and irresponsible”.

On the same day, Jaua stated that Venezuelan diplomats had been subject to extended questioning by US authorities.

In a press release, ALBA stated there is an “obvious need to discuss the possibility of changing [the location of ] the United Nations head- quarters”.

The statement also calls for “solidarity” with Syria, and condemns alleged US international spying.

Yesterday, ALBA met again, this time in Cochabamba, Bolivia.

On Monday, Maduro stated that at the meeting representatives would discuss “AL- BA’s consolidation strategy in South America and the Caribbean”.

“We need to meet to discuss economic policies, production policies, the integration of South America, how to speed up the work of the various councils in South America [and] how to expand the market for our products”, Morales said.