Opinion and Analysis: Politics
Sobering Reasons for Venezuelan President Maduro's Cancellation of Beijing to New York Trip
News of President Maduro's cancellation of his trip to the UN in New York has been published by the government-controlled western media with attacks on his credibility and even his sanity. Extensive research of a span of reports from friendly to openly hostile media reveals that the cancellation was not only wise but also justified.
US Denial of Flight to China over Puerto Rico: This story began on September 13 when the US refused to allow President Nicolas Maduro to fly over Puerto Rican airspace for his trip to China where he and Chairman Xi Jinping signed 12 agreements related to a finance fund, education, a joint development between Chinese state-owned oil producer Sinopec and Venezuela's national oil company, a cooperation and exchange agreement between China's space flight administration and Venezuela's science and innovation ministry relating to remote satellites.
Following a row between Latin American countries (UNASUR) and Washington, Maduro took a different route to China over the Pacific where the two countries drafted the new trade agreements. Maduro and his delegation planned to return from China via New York where he was scheduled to address the UN General Assembly for the first time as head of state. But on their way back problems arose at the Vancouver airport where they stopped for refueling.
Intel received while refueling in Vancouver: While refueling in Vancouver on his return flight from China, Maduro received updated intel revealing “two highly serious provocations." He explained, "One of the provocations could have led to a situation of violence in New York" and he named two US officials — Roger Noriega and Otto Reich — alleging they are working to to destabilize Venezuela.
He told RT News, “Roger Noriega and Otto Reich are involved, as well as the Salvadorian far-right that has contracted hit men.” On Venezuela national radio and television Maduro stated, “The clan, the mafia of Otto Reich and Roger Noriega once again had planned a crazy, terrible provocation that can’t be described in any other way. ... I will not give details because they might discover our source of information.”
Reich was a Cuban-US ambassador to Venezuela under the Reagan regime and known for his plotting against the Cuban government over the years since. Noriega is a right-wing conspirator who worked for the Organization of American States (OAS), a US tool in Latin America that's being replaced by organizations that exclude US and Canadian membership like CELAC and UNASUR, initiated by former president Hugo Chavez. Noriega is well-known influential voice in Washington for "regime change" in Venezuela.
President Maduro explained his reason for changing flight plans to return directly to Venezuela rather than to continue on to New York for his scheduled speech to the UN General Assembly:
“When I got into Vancouver I evaluated the intelligence which we received from several sources. I decided then and there to continue back to Caracas and drop the New York trip to protect a key goal: safeguarding my physical integrity, protecting my life.”
Maduro also stated that the Venezuelan government does not rule out the possibility that the US government was aware of these plans and of President Obama, "they were taking place under his nose."
Also in Vancouver refueling was delayed for hours and Venezuela's request for an armored vehicle to leave the airport with his delegation was denied. The Canadian government also made an initial claim the visas of the Venezuelan delegation were problematic.
Sabotage of presidential jet in France: These events occurred against the backdrop of problems with Venezuela's presidential jet. Five months ago, Venezuela sent the jet to Airbus in Toulouse France for routine service and maintenance. Since that time the president has been using a Cuban aircraft for his travels including his flight to China. After five months, the plane was finally returned to Venezuela by Airbus with "a serious fault in one of the wings" discovered by Venezuelan engineers. On Wednesday night President Maduro said that it had been sabotaged adding,
“A serious fault appeared in one of the wings of the plane after five months at Airbus in France - my God! With the help of an international law firm, we're preparing legal actions against Airbus of France.”
When the damage to the wing was discoverecd, Maduro substituted his Airbus A319CJ for a Cuban aircraft for the trips to China and New York and explained, “To fly with them [Cubans], is to fly with brothers who love us.”
Assassination plot foiled in August: During a ceremony here in Aragua on September 7 President Maduro spoke of Washington's plans to bring down the Venezuelan government:
“I have data about a meeting at the White House, the full names of those who attended. I know what plans they made for the total collapse.”
In August, Venezuelan Interior Minister Miguel Rodriguez revealed a plot to assassinate the president and arrested two hitmen who intended to carry out the killing on orders from former Colombian president Alvaro Uribe who was known for his running of death squads in Colombia and Venezuela and his hatred for President Chavez.
Rodriguez said on August 26 that the two, Victor Johan Guache Mosquera and Erick Leonardo Huertas Rios, were part of “a group of 10 men who were coming to carry out the murder of the president,” working with former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe. Earlier, in March of this year, Maduro accused Uribe of hatching a plan to send a paramilitary force into Venezuela to kill him. When the opposition demanded that the government reveal their evidence, National Assembly President Diosdado Cabello said his political foes had all the evidence they needed: “We’re not going to give the right-wing Nicolás Maduro’s body as proof.”
Hostile media accounts
Across the capitalist media these events are reported in derisive ways with attempts, some more subtle than others, to discredit President Maduro and portray him as a fool or even as a madman - as though Washington is incapable of coups, assassinations and illegal wars in Latin America and around the world. The innuendo in these reports reads like it was taken from the same playbook:
Wall Street Journal: "Mr. Maduro who has often accused the two former diplomats of plotting against him, didn't give any details about the alleged provocations.... Mr. Maduro often blames conspirators for matters such as the shortage of toilet paper in Venezuela to planning his assassination ... The president’s predecessor, the late Hugo Chavez, also made regular claims about several alleged US plots to kill him."
Bloomberg News: "The self-professed socialist accused of the U.S. of inventing 'thousands of excuses' for declining to authorize his transit through U.S. airspace over Puerto Rico last week."
Agency France Presse: "Maduro earlier this month claimed the White House is plotting the 'collapse' of his government next month by sabotaging food, electricity and fuel supplies. Maduro's predecessor, the late Hugo Chavez, also made regular claims about several alleged US plots to kill him."
Reuters: "Since winning an April election to replace late Socialist leader Hugo Chavez, Maduro has been constantly alleging plots against him ranging from several assassination plots to alleged Washington-backed plans to create shortages of consumer goods."
Miami Herald: In their article titled, Venezuela’s UN cancellation shines light on Maduro’s boogeymen, the Herald begins with, "As Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro tells it, he lives in a very dangerous world. Since winning a narrow and contested election in April, his administration has unveiled almost a dozen plans to murder him." They continue their mockery and support Noriega and Reich, known for their public advocacy of the overthrow of the elected Venezuelan government and add words from Capriles Radonski who incited riots in Venezuela on April 15 after he lost the election to President Maduro the day before:
"The latest accusation came Wednesday after Maduro canceled his visit to the United Nations General Assembly and a speech in the Bronx at the last minute. He then accused Roger Noriega, a former U.S. ambassador to the Organization of American States and beltway insider, and fellow ex-diplomat Otto Reich of a 'crazy plan' to incite violence in Manhattan or, perhaps, even kill him. Speaking from Washington, D.C. on Thursday, Noriega says he’s lost track of how many times Maduro has falsely accused him of plotting his demise.' It’s not stressful,' he said of the recurring allegations. 'I think Maduro is under more pressure than I am, and his comments reflect that...He needs a boogeyman'.... Miranda State Gov. Henrique Capriles, the opposition standard-bearer, has been questioning Maduro’s story. 'Maduro said he didn’t go to the U.N. to protect his life,' he tweeted Thursday. 'Does anyone believe that ridiculousness? Why won’t he tell us what happened in Canada?'"
Commentary Magazine. In Putting the "Mad" in Maduro Ben Cohen writes: "In the five months since Maduro won the presidency in an election widely regarded as fraudulent, barely a day goes by without him excitedly unveiling some new American plot to unseat him, or assassinate him, or destroy Venezuela’s groaning economy. The Obama administration won’t be able to stop Maduro’s fulminations about assassinations and coups. Nor should it want to—the more frequent these accusations, the less that Venezuelans trust him."
Associated Press: "Maduro, the hand-picked successor of the late Hugo Chavez, has repeatedly accused the United States of conspiring to overthrow his government, although without substantiating the claims. He narrowly won the presidency in April in elections the opposition claims were stolen through fraud and he presides over a government that human rights and press freedom groups say is among the most repressive in the Western Hemisphere."
BBC: "Mr Reich was the US Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs under President George W Bush. Mr Noriega succeeded Mr Reich in the post. Both have in the past been the target of allegations made by Mr Maduro. Mr Noriega called the accusations "ridiculous and unfounded'."
Fox News: "Surprise, surprise. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, the man who says birdies speak to him, is blaming an alleged plot against him and his government by Americans for his cancellation of a visit to New York to speak at the U.N. General Assembly. Maduro's Venezuela is a staunch supporter of Syria and an ally as well of Russia and Iran. China has in recent years become a close commercial associate. The United States also considers Venezuela a major drug-transiting country, where cocaine originating in Colombia heads north toward the United States and east to Africa and Europe."
Are you still doubtful?
For people living outside of Latin America these claims of sabotage and assassination plots may seem to be strange and difficult to believe. But the enlightened see these threats in the context of 200 years of Washington's history of interference in internal affairs, creation and funding of sedition, their training and support of right-wing death squads, coups and assassinations in Latin America.
More recently in Venezuela these plots to discredit, weaken and even assassinate President Maduro become illuminated with knowledge of Washington's non-stop attacks on Venezuela's economy causing hyperinflation; sabotage of food production and distribution and the electrical system; funding of the opposition with multi-millions of US tax payer dollars; infiltration and corruption of some government officials, police, military and organized labor; advising and funding a malicious private media by CIA and State Department out of the US Embassy in Caracas; the violation of Venezuelan airspace; cross border attacks and assassinations of labor leaders by Colombian death squads; the attack on Venezuela's biggest oil refinery at Amuay in August, 2012 that killed 42 people and injured 120 and of course, the failed US-backed coup in April, 2002 when they kidnapped President Chavez and the 2002-2003 manager's walkout that shut down the country's oil industry for 3 months. There are also valid reasons why many in Venezuela and throughout Latin America are convinced that President Chavez was assassinated by induced cancer.
If this isn't enough for the skeptics, think about the history and evidence of US wars for "regime change" and theft of natural resources. Think about Venezuela in possession of the world's largest proven oil reserves, only 5 days journey from US refineries by tanker. Then ask yourself if the deviants in Washington are not sufficiently immoral and capable of planning the assassination of a defiant President Maduro who follows in the path of Bolivar and Chavez for Venezuelan sovereignty and independence.
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