On March 5th, US-Proclaimed Venezuelan President Juan Guaido announced that he would hold talks with representatives from the public sector in an attempt to stage strikes and pressure the Maduro government. According to his twitter, public workers themselves asked for this.
Mañana la @AsambleaVE iniciará reuniones con todos los trabajadores del sector público.
Vamos hacia un paro escalonado en la administración pública, propuesto por los propios trabajadores. En cada ministerio, instituto o empresa del Estado hay que decir ya basta. pic.twitter.com/rJn88W2mSM
— Juan Guaidó (@jguaido) March 5, 2019
“Tomorrow will @AsambleaVE begin meetings with all public sector workers. We are going towards a staggered stoppage in the public administration, proposed by the workers themselves. In every Ministry, institute or State company you have to say enough.”
Nuestros trabajadores públicos quieren poder vivir de su trabajo y que haya un patrono que respete sus derechos laborales.
— Juan Guaidó (@jguaido) March 5, 2019
“Our public workers want to be able to live off their work and have a patron who respects their labor rights. Political persecution will be over. We will propose @AsambleaVE a law of guarantees to protect those who are on the side of the Constitution.”
He also tweeted quotes from various presidents of unions in Venezuela of teachers, metro workers and other public employees, all of them calling for an end to the “usurpation” and “injustice.”
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, speaking for the first time since Guaido’s return, said he would not allow “anything or anyone to disrupt the peace.” He called for “anti-imperialist” demonstrations across the country on Saturday, coinciding with marches called by Guaido.
“The crazed minority continues in their bitterness. We are going to defeat them, be absolutely sure,” he said during a ceremony to commemorate the sixth anniversary of the death of his predecessor Hugo Chavez.
Separately, Maduro awarded soldiers of the Venezuelan army with medals for their “loyalty and extraordinary work” in the events of February 23rd when the attempt to get US humanitarian aid into the country from Colombia and Brazil was blocked.
Otorgamos las condecoraciones Servicio Distinguido del Ministerio del Poder Popular para la Defensa y Orden Militar de la Defensa Nacional, a estandartes y profesionales militares por su lealtad y extraordinaria labor en defensa de la Patria demostrada el pasado #23F. pic.twitter.com/GGALeRvAmd
— Nicolás Maduro (@NicolasMaduro) March 5, 2019
The President of Bolivia, Evo Morales Ayma also said that “America’s interventionist deception” appears to be failing.
El mandatario ha exhortado a las naciones de América Latina y del mundo a condenar las agresiones que recibe Venezuela de parte de EE.UU. pic.twitter.com/sDhGXk0vKr
— teleSUR TV (@teleSURtv) March 6, 2019
Meanwhile, US Special Representative for Venezuela Elliot Abrams gave a press conference on the crisis.
He said that it was hard to see a role for Maduro in future democratic elections. He said the Trump administration was considering secondary sanctions against non-U.S. citizens and entities tied to the Maduro government.
“If he wanted to build a democratic Venezuela, he had the opportunity to do so, but he did not,” Abrams said.
US National Security Adviser John Bolton also spoke to Fox Business’ Lou Dobbs. In his interview Bolton also confirmed that the Trump administration was looking at new sanctions against the Maduro government.
“I’ve just come from a meeting of the National Security Council Principals committee We’re looking at new sanctions, new measures to tighten our grip on Maduro’s financial wherewithal to deny his regime the money that they need to stay in power,” Bolton said.
“I think Guaidó’s return was very significant. There was no effort by the military to arrest him, I think in large part because Maduro and his gang feel that if they tried to arrest him the military might’ve disobeyed the order and that really would’ve been a crisis for Maduro,” he said.” “Popular support for Guaidó remains intense. The effect of our economic sanctions is still digging.”
According to retired US Army General Robert Scales the US military is already operating in the region of Venezuela.
“Let’s be very clear. The military is involved. We have had a Special Forces group in Colombia for almost 60 years fighting against the terrorist groups in Colombia” Major Gen. Scales said. “But they are purely on the periphery. They are helping facilitate the delivery of aid. They are training the Colombian army. They are keeping watch electronically over the border with Venezuela.”
He also warned the Maduro government against undertaking action against Guaido.
“If Mr. Guaidó goes to prison, or God forbid they mess with him or his family, that country, particularly the citizens of Caracas, will explode,” Scales said. “I think Maduro knows that he can’t push his much farther.”
This comes amid the US announcing a tightening of the embargo on Cuba due to its support of the Maduro government.
Today I announce an exception to the 30-day suspension of #TitleIII of the Libertad Act. We must hold #Cuba accountable and make whole U.S. claimants for assets seized by the Cuban government. Doing business with Cuba is not worth trafficking in confiscated property.
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) March 4, 2019
The State Department’s announcement states that the companies included on the Cuba Restricted List are those “directly responsible for the repression of the Cuban people.”
However, Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez said Cuba “strongly rejects” the move as an escalation of U.S. aggression toward the Caribbean nation.
“The State Department decision is a hostile and irresponsible action intended to tighten blockade and suffocate Cuban economy,” he said in a tweet.
The State Department decision is a hostile and irresponsible action intended to tighten blockade and suffocate Cuban economy. This measure has met with opposition in the world, even within the #US, whose business community is against the blockade & in favor of trading with #Cuba.
— Bruno Rodríguez P (@BrunoRguezP) March 5, 2019
MORE ON THE TOPIC:
- Guaido Returns To Venezuela, Announces That Maduro Government Will Face More Sanctions
- Guaido Says Arresting Him Would Be “The Last Mistake the Regime Makes” As US-backed Coup Attempts Continue
- US Pressures Venezuelan Military Officers In Continued Attempts To Overthrow Maduro Government