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SEPTEMBER 2020

US Lifts Sanctions From Ex-Venezuelan Intelligence Chief For Turning On Maduro, Announces Deployment Of Hospital Ship

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US Lifts Sanctions From Ex-Venezuelan Intelligence Chief For Turning On Maduro, Announces Deployment Of Hospital Ship

USNS Comfort. Click to see full-size image

On May 7th, the US lifted sanctions from Venezuelan General and former intelligence chief Manuel Christopher Figuera.

He turned on Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and joined the US-backed opposition.

“In recognition of his recent actions in support of democracy & the rule of law, the U.S. is removing all sanctions on General Manuel Cristopher Figuera effective immediately,” US Vice President Mike Pence announced.

Figuera was initially sanctioned on February 16th by the US Treasury.

On May 1st, following the failed coup attempt by US-Proclaimed Interim President Juan Guaido’s opposition, Maduro appeared with the defense minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez to prove that the military was still behind him.

In the same address to the nation he said in the broadcast he had reinstated Gustavo Gonzalez Lopez as the head of the Sebin intelligence agency, without providing details on the exit of Manuel Cristopher Figuera.

Pence further said that the US would stand with the Venezuelan people “until freedom is restored.”

At the Washington Conference of the Americas, Pence further announced the deployment of the US Navy’s USNS Comfort to the Caribbean, Central America, & South America in June for a 5-month humanitarian mission to address the Venezuelan crisis.

He also didn’t miss the chance to accuse Russia, Cuba and Iran for supporting the Maduro regime. According to him, Maduro “stood aside as millions of Venezuelans have fled in desperation, it has been more than eager to accept the aid of three notorious regimes: Iran, Russia, and Cuba.”

In response to Pence, Venezuela Vice President Delcy Rodriguez tweeted that the US VP had returned to his “cowboy arena to threaten Venezuela with his anachronistic posture.”

“The filthy imperial forgiveness of those who murder children, massacre people without shame and condemn the world to violence, will be the eternal condemnation of the peoples to the Oprobiosos traitors! Free nations are the future of humanity, the decadent empires will be left behind!”

Separately, the Venezuelan Supreme Court on May 7th, found guilty seven opposition lawmakers of the Venezuelan National Assembly for illicit activity linked to treason, conspiracy, instigation of civil rebellion, conspiracy to commit a crime, usurpation of functions, and public instigation of disobedience of the laws and their participation in the attempted coup on April 30th.

“Henry Ramos Allup, Luis Germán Florido, Marianela Magallanes López, José Simón Calzadilla Peraza, Andrés Enrique Delgado Velázquez, Amerigo De Grazia and Richard José Blanco Delgado have been held responsible for the violation of articles 128, 132, 143, 145 , 163, 213, 285, stipulated in the Venezuelan Penal Code, before the Flagrant Commission of Common Crimes.”

The request for indictment was made official by the Attorney General of the Public Ministry of Venezuela Tarek Willian Saab.

The Plenary Chamber of the Venezuelan Supreme Court decided to send a certified copy to the President of the National Constituent Assembly of Venezuela (ANC), Diosdado Cabello, so that he continues the judicial process against the seven opposition deputies.

TeleSUR published a video, presenting the good relations between Iran and Venezuela, claiming that Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza confirmed that he was taking part in talks with Iranian consultants in dealing with US sanctions.

Arreaza, after his meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, said that “the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela does not represent a threat to the United States, but in the case of a military intervention, the Bolivarian National Armed Forces and the People of Venezuela are prepared to defend its sovereignty.”

“We are creating alternate routes with Russia, China and other friends in order to face this economic blockade. Even the ships that carry the oil to Cuba are being sanctioned; it is a criminal blockade.”

According to the Venezuelan Foreign Minister, the U.S.-led blockade “seeks to stifle the Venezuelan economy … More than 5 billion Euros, also gold, are blocked in the international banking structures.”

“Venezuelan gold equivalent to 1.359 billion Euros is blocked at the Bank of England, 1.043 billion Euros are blocked at Novo Banco for PDVSA, part of that money is used to pay for the treatment of 26 patients needing bone marrow transplants,” Arreaza said.

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