David Comissiong.

By David Comissiong

Coordinator, International Network in Defense of Humanity (Caribbean Chapter)

After reading the article by Ms Linda Taglialatela (the United States Ambassador to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean) that was published in several of the newspapers of Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean on Tuesday 20th June 2017 under the headline “We Must Defend Venezuela’s Democracy” or some such title, it occurred to me that only an ambassador representing the administration of the egotistical Donald Trump would have the effrontery to believe that she is entitled to attempt to circumvent the national leadership of our countries by arrogating to herself the right to utilize our national news media to speak directly to the masses of our people and to enlist them in her (and her country’s) unholy “regime change” crusade against the duly constituted and friendly government of our fellow Caribbean state of Venezuela !

Ensconced as she appears to be in an exaggerated sense of her own importance and authority over our people, Ms Taglialatela ends her article by admonishing the people of Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean as follows: “I urge you to let your leaders know that you stand shoulder to shoulder with the Venezuelan people as they fight for their fundamental human rights.”

So, apparently, Ms Taglialatela believes that she knows better than the prime ministers and other political leaders of our countries, and that it is up to her to inform and instruct, what she no doubt perceives to be, the ignorant and uninformed people of the Caribbean.

Indeed, Ms Taglialatela seems to think that she knows the situation in Venezuela even better than Ms Ines Esparragoza, the mother of the late Orlando Figuera — the 21-year-old Afro-Venezuelan who was brutally beaten by a crowd of white opposition supporters; stabbed six times; doused with gasoline; and set on fire. Orlando Figuera was burnt to death simply because he was black and was a supporter of the socialist party of Chavez and Maduro. His grieving mother publicly stated that the opposition was directly responsible for his death! Does Ms Taglialatela really think that she knows better than the mother of Orlando Figuera?

Well I have news for Ms Taglialatela!

The people of Barbados and the other Eastern Caribbean islands do not need any instruction from her. Our people are well aware that the defining feature of the history of the entire Latin American and Caribbean region is that for hundreds of years the masses of indigenous, mestizo, and black people were exploited and kept in an impoverished state by local white elites acting in partnership with the economic oligarchy of the metropolitan countries of Europe and North America.

Our people are aware that just as this social pattern applied to Barbados and the other Eastern Caribbean territories that it applied to Venezuela as well.

The masses of black and working-class people in Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean only began to experience significant social and economic upliftment when– in the 1950’s– representatives of the black masses finally got their hands on the instruments of government and used those instruments to share the national resources more equally and to uplift the people.

And so it was with Venezuela as well! It was only with the coming to power of President Hugo Chavez in 1999 that, for the first time, Venezuela became possessed of a president and a governmental administration that were deeply connected to the interests of indigenous, mestizo, black and impoverished Venezuelans.

Ever since oil was discovered in Venezuela in the 1920’s, big and wealthy American corporations had latched on to Venezuela and — in partnership with the white Venezuelan elite — had plundered and selfishly consigned the country’s oil revenue to themselves, and to the exclusion of the black, mestizo, indigenous and working-class masses of the country.

It was Chavez and his United Socialist Party that effectively snatched away Venezuela’s tremendous oil resources from the hands of the US multinationals and the local white elite, and began to direct the oil revenue towards education, health, housing and other forms of social development for the impoverished masses.

And so, our people know instinctively that the political and social battle that is now taking place in Venezuela is centred on an attempt by the local elite and their US backers to retake the Government and the oil industry that the Government now owns and controls.

This is what you and the Trump administration are really interested in Ms Taglialatela — not in the welfare of the ordinary people of Venezuela.

Indeed, the government that you serve, Ms Taglialatela, has never been interested in the welfare of the ordinary people of Latin America or the Caribbean! It is well known, for example, that the US Government has a reputation for supporting any dictator who is willing to toe an American line and to permit American economic interests to flourish — Papa Doc Duvalier in Haiti, Somoza in Nicaragua, Trujillo in the Dominican Republic, Batista in Cuba, Pinochet in Chile, Marcos Perez Jimenez in Venezuela, Porfirio Diaz in Mexico, and a slew of brutal military strongmen in Guatemala, Brazil, Argentina, Honduras, El Salvador and Uruguay at various times between the 1960’s and the 1990’s.

Finally, Ms Taglialatela, you must not believe that our people are so ignorant and uninformed about the situation in Venezuela that you can get away with the parroting of half truths and distortions.

You claim that the Maduro government has “undermined” the opposition controlled national assembly on the basis of “vague, unproven claims of electoral fraud allegedly committed by three legislators”. Surely you must know that this is a gross distortion. Why didn’t you acknowledge that the Supreme Court of Venezuela ruled that the claims of electoral fraud had been proven, and as a result had gone on to instruct the national assembly not to swear in the three legislators in question, but that the national assembly openly and defiantly flouted the ruling of the Supreme Court and admitted the three disqualified legislators?

You also claimed that the Supreme Court of Venezuela has stripped the national assembly of all legislative authority. Here again, you must know that this is a half-truth. Why didn’t you acknowledge that under the Constitution of Venezuela the Supreme Court has the legal power (and the responsibility) to temporarily take over the functions of any organ of the state that is failing to carry out its constitutional responsibilities, and that the supreme court took control of the functions of the national assembly for a mere ONE DAY before rescinding the decision to do so!

Why the need, Ms Taglialatela, for all the half-truths and distortions? Why not inform the Barbadian and Caribbean people that no nation on the face of this earth has had as many internationally approved elections than Venezuela has had over the past 18 years, under the presidencies of Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro?

Why not inform our people that the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) has won the vast majority of these elections, but that on every occasion that it has lost an election, it has respected and upheld the result? Indeed, isn’t this why the opposition M.U.D. party is now controlling the majority of seats in the national assembly?

Wasn’t the December 2015 National Assembly election that was conducted under the auspices of the Maduro administration not a free and fair election? And didn’t the Maduro administration accept the result, even though the result was to their disadvantage? You insult our intelligence Ms Taglialatela, when you suggest that Nicolas Maduro is an undemocratic dictator.

The reality is that Nicolas Maduro won the presidential election in 2013 fair and square, and as a result he and his administration are entitled to and WILL remain in office until the latter part of the year 2018, and hopefully — if it be the electoral will of the people — way beyond that date as well. And no amount of orchestrated (and paid for by wealthy opposition politicians) violent street protests is going to change that!

No, Ms Taglialatela, you have overstepped your bounds and trampled on our traditional island courtesy and hospitality. Let this be the first and last time that you do so.

The views expressed herein are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the opinions or editorial position of iWitness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to news.iwitness@gmail.com

The views expressed herein are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the opinions or editorial position of iWitness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to news.iwitness@gmail.com.

10 replies on “A response to the US ambassador’s offensive article about Venezuela”

  1. C. ben-David says:

    It is you, sir, who has, “overstepped your bounds and trampled on our traditional island courtesy and hospitality” in this insulting, bombastic, and biased piece of political propaganda that ignores the plight of the starving masses of Venezuelans who are peacefully demonstrating in the streets day and night to get rid of this incompetent, corrupt, and power-hungry regime.

  2. C. ben-David says:

    This Venezuelan regime has lost the moral and legal authority to govern because of their (1) destruction of the economy, (2) subversion of democracy via unconstitutionally stacking the Supreme Court with their supporters, (3) subversion of the will of the duly elected National Assembly, (4) unconstitutional declaration a state of emergency so as to rule by supreme decree, (5) murder of dozens of peaceful political protestors, and many other injustices.

  3. Its all very well supporting Venezuela and damning the Americans but we must not forget that Venezuelas Hugo Chavez bought billions of dollars worth military hardware from the Russians. The Russians collect every month from Venezuela more than half of their oil production in repayment and will continue to do so for many years to come. That is why Venezuela is in the financial position she is today, because along with the corruption, there simply is insufficiant cash flow.

  4. Ricardo Francis says:

    David, do you have an active contract with Maduro and Ralph Gonsalves? You have stood on the campaign platform with the ULP and Ralph Gonsalves in St. Vincent, promoting an agenda that is not in the interest of the people of St. Vincent. The socialist-minded like yourself and so many like you, who are interested in protecting your own personal nest egg and keeping everyone else in a state of dependence. America shall always be the land of Freedom and Democracy. The USA is not perfect but she can be counted on when the socialist are fleecing the treasury of their countries and oppressing their own people to satisfy their personal agendas. You should ask your friend, Ralph Gonsalves about me and I am certain that he will tell you a bag of lies.

    Ricardo Francis
    Prime Minister of St, Vincent and the Grenadines, Waiting and in the Making

  5. I am a little frustrated that these comment facilities have been closed because of misuse by a minority.

    I would like to comment about the sand proble, at Brighton. My father Peter wrote about this problem in 2010 and again in 2013

    https://www.iwnsvg.com/2013/05/13/beach-dune-sand-mining-in-st-vincent-will-result-in-loss-of-land-flooding-opinion/comment-page-1/

    Peter was years ahead of the game in everything that went on in the Caribbean, and in particular in SVG.

    For instance he knew that taking Rabaca stuff from the Rabaca river was theft by the government because the river bed belongs to the riperian land owners either side of the river to the river center. Yet still up until today they steal the Rabaca stuff and sell it..

    In Brighton they removed a sand bund 1.5 miles long with vegetation growing on it which meant it was above high water mark and therefore owned by the adjoing land owner. Once again theft of private peoples property.

    Its not just the destruction its the theft.

    1. C. ben-David says:

      Yet another pseudonym, Peter? Everyone knows you are a mule so couldn’t possibly have a pickney
      .

    2. C. ben-David says:

      All named rivers and their embankments on the mainland belong to the state, in the name of the people, not to adjacent landowners, as you falsely claim.

      The dead giveaway showing that Michael = Peter is the misspelled of “Rabacca” with one “c”.

      Peter, you old, white Englishman, you can’t fool I-man who, like Ralph, has a PhD in one of the social sciences.

      Just go back to the grave where you belong.

  6. David you have no worries about me, I am not trying to steal your limelight. Please try and control your spiteful and malicious jealousy.

    You are quite right I am not a black man. Like Camillo Gonsalves I am a mulatto, half chat, half cast, mixed race. White mother, black father who also had a white grandfather. Does it really matter who we are. You see David we are all born what we are, we have no control over that.

    I know my father had run-ins with you about you using someone else’s identity; it’s not the same as using an assumed name or an alias. You claim to be a black man yet you have taken the specific identity of a white Jewish professor. You also make an unsubstantiated claim to be a university professor and have PhD qualifications.

  7. Further to that C-ben David, when considering all that you write we must remember what you once wrote as a comment. “Don’t believe everything you read on the Internet (including my postings) because some 99 percent is pure bullshit” “Believe nothing of what you hear (or read), half of what you see [a lot of what you see can be fabricated], and all of what you know.” Those statements by you David certainly give an insight into you and what you write. I can of course give time and place you wrote that if you should try and deny the same.

    So here is an admission by you that 99% of what you write is pure bs. That sounds as silly as the comtrades statement that he sometimes tells lies.

  8. By the way, you are quite right the control of all rivers are in the hands of the government. But that does not mean they have ownership of the same. Private lands that include the river banks will also include the river bed to the centre of the river. Unless of course the government owns the land and bank adjoining the river. Riparian ownership laws are English law. A non-navigable stream is synonymous with private property or jointly-owned property if it serves as a boundary. The adjoining land owners own the river bed adjacent to their land. That does not mean they can mine it, and it certainly excludes anyone else from mining it, including the government. For the government to mine it without permission of the land owners is quite simply theft. They may well owe riparian land owners multi-millions of dollars.

    They conceded to this argument with Bigga Biggs when they claimed the river had changed course and almost doubled the size of his land, which they then claimed. But riparian laws excluded them from doing so and they had to concede they were wrong.

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