Caracas, September 30th 2015 (venezuelanalysis.com) – Drawing on the legacy of Venezuelan independence hero Simon Bolivar, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro called on world leaders to build a “new geopolitics, a new concept and a new world” at the United Nations 70th General Assembly in New York this past Tuesday.
Beginning his speech by referencing “the Jamaica Letter” written by Bolivar 200 years ago, Maduro said the time had come to move beyond an international system based on imposing “one way of thinking, neoliberalism, which has sown poverty illness and misery” across the globe and especially in the global South.
“Thanks to the revolutionary strength of the people… the time has arrived for a multi-polar world, a world without hegemony… We dare to say, with Bolivar, that the world needs a new geopolitics. The world needs the truth of the people to be imposed,” said the president.
In his impassioned address, which received several rounds of applause throughout, Maduro described the UN as one of humanity’s greatest achievements, but stated that only a thorough transformation of the institution would enable it to achieve its founding principles.
“200 years on from that prophetic letter (the Jamaica Letter), we, at the heart of the United Nations, keep ratifying in our own, dignified voice, out loud and steadfast: the world needs another United Nations, the world needs a profound transformation of the system it created 70 years ago,” Maduro affirmed.
In particular, Maduro urged the UN to establish a series of new norms that would prohibit the use of armed interventions.
“Who will pay for the crimes against Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan?”
The Venezuelan President, who previously served as foreign minister for six years to former president Hugo Chavez, went on to condemn the governments which had promoted war. He beseeched world leaders to recognise the “tragic errors” of having intervened in Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan.
Stating that history had shown these wars to be motivated by the control of profitable markets and resources as opposed to the wellbeing of people, Maduro accused politicians of failing the cause of international relations.
“Who will pay for the crimes in Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan? This is the politics of terror, of war… We have to ask, did this bring peace, stability?”
The murder of former Libyan head of state Muammar Gaddafi at the hands of Western-backed rebels in 2011 was also officially decried as a “crime” by Maduro to the applause of the room.
“No matter the political differences… Nobody in this world is authorised, neither by the UN or any law, to judge or prejudge the political regime of another country, nor to attempt to effect the regime change of another government,” he declared.
There is Still Time
Nonetheless Maduro emphasised that there was “still time” to avoid another tragedy in the current war-torn Syria, provided that the UN act as a united body to block further intervention in the Arab nation.
He also supported Russian president Vladmir Putin’s call to create a “new alliance for peace”.
“Only peace can guarantee the viability of development,” he said.
US Decree a Threat to Venezuela
In a stinging criticism of US president Barack Obama, Maduro also lambasted the executive order signed by the US head of state on March 9th which classifies Venezuela as an “extraordinary threat” to US national security.
Several international observers have interpreted the executive order as a possible prelude to the enactment of economic sanctions against Venezuela, where public outcry against the order is significant.
Obama publicly back peddled on the wording of the decree and denied that Venezuela was a security threat to the US on the back of international protest. Nonetheless, he has refused to revoke the decree until now.
“The declarations by President Barack Obama which recognise Venezuela as a country of peace that has not been and which is not a threat to the US is a positive step… but I have to say as head of state… that the decree emitted on March 9th 2015 bust be revoked, it must be annulled because it is a threat to my homeland, it is a threat to our country,” he said.
Maduro also called on the US government to end its blockade of Cuba “as soon as possible” and to return the territory of Guantanamo Bay, currently used as an interrogation centre by the US military, to the Cuban state.
The president’s strong words against Barak Obama were the most inflammatory part of his address, which comes on the back of a series of recent diplomatic triumphs for the Venezuelan government.
Earlier last week Maduro brokered an agreement with his Colombian counterpart Juan Manuel Santos to reinstate diplomatic relations between the two countries following an ongoing altercation over border policing.
Similarly, a meeting with Guyanese President David Granger on the sidelines of the UN assembly last Sunday paved the way for the establishment of a UN mediation team to act as interlocutor in the border dispute between the two neighbouring countries.
Finally, Maduro voiced his commitment to preserving Venezuelan democracy in the face of threats ahead of the country’s parliamentary elections this coming December.
Highlighting that Venezuela’s electoral system has been hailed as “the best in the world” by former US president Jimmy Carter, Maduro pointed out that the country had been the target of a number of attempts to unseat its government since its citizens voted for a socialist project in 1999.
He urged international observers to be on the lookout for foul play during the upcoming elections.
“I ask the world to be extremely attentive to any attempt to violate Venezuela’s political life,” he stated.
Parliamentary elections are set for December 6th and will be monitored by a commission sent by the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR).