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Report of Panel on Venezuela to the ICC- the Canadian and American Connections PDF Print E-mail
Written by Joan Russow
Saturday, 23 June 2018 14:00
By Joan Russow
Global  Compliance Research Project
The panel's members — Santiago Canton of Argentina, Irwin Cotler of Canada and Manuel Ventura of Costa Rica — called for a formal investigation into the charges and asked the Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), Luis Almagro, to submit their report to the ICC.
Irwin Cotler is a member of UN watch a right wing group that has targeted socialist countries and countries that have criticized Israel. Venezuela has been their target since at easy 2012 when Caprile, a Jewish opposition Leader who ran against Chavez. The head of the group is HillelNeuer a lawyer from Montreal. The group was also concerned about Chavez protesting against Israeli treatment of Gaza and in 2009 and expelling the Israeli embassy. On Chavez death, the Canadian,  Hillel Neuer, the head of UN Watch, a pro-Israeli front group referred to Chavez, internationally, as a “symbol of evil;” and decried that Chavez was given a one-minute of silence tribute at the UN Human Rights Council. UN watch has targeted President Chavez over the years and has had an inordinate amount of access to the international media.. Disturbingly one of UN Watch`s directors is another Canadian, MP Irwin Cotler.
The NGO, UN Watch, targets specific states like Venezuela and leaders, such as Hugo Chavez and ignores the failings of other states, such as the US, Canada and Israel.
"The Trump administration’s financial sanctions—more than all previous destabilization efforts, which were significant—have made it nearly impossible for the government to get out of the mess without outside help.
As if this profoundly distressing situation weren’t enough, media outlets have frequently published exaggerated accounts of the conditions in Venezuela, depicting widespread starvation, for instance. To be sure, soaring food prices have contributed to increased undernourishment throughout the country, but this is a far cry from a large scale famine.
More importantly, there has been scant US media reporting on the further economic damage provoked by the Trump administration’s financial sanctions, announced in late August last year (shortly after Trump’s statement about a “military option” for Venezuela).
As my colleague Mark Weisbrot has explained, Trump’s unilateral and illegal financial embargo – which cuts Venezuela off from most financial markets – has had two major consequences, both of which entail increased economic hardship for the Venezuelan people. First, it causes even greater shortages of essential goods, including food and medicine. Second, it makes economic recovery nearly impossible, since the government cannot borrow or restructure its foreign debt, and in some cases even carry out normal import transactions, including for medicines.
Aside from fomenting greater economic havoc in Venezuela, Trump and his coterie of advisors on Venezuela, including Republican Senator Marco Rubio, have supported opposition hardliners in their efforts to scuttle attempts at dialogue and undermine elections, even when these offer the possibility of a peaceful political transition.
Case in point: this Sunday’s presidential elections. Opposition leader Henri Falcón— a former governor and campaign manager of the opposition’s 2013 presidential candidate, Henrique Capriles—is running as an independent candidate against Maduro and three other candidates. Several major opposition parties are boycotting the election because, among other reasons, they object to the early date of the elections, which they say leaves them insufficient time to organize a strong campaign—the electoral authority did, however, agree to a one-month delay from the initial date. Two opposition parties, First Justice and Popular Will, were also unable to register candidates because they allegedly didn’t meet the formal requirements to do so."
These sanctions have had a destabilizing effect on Venezuela
When I was an international observer in 2014 in the Presidential election in El Salvador, the right wing candidate used the reported situation in Venezuela  to support his  campaign, "we do not want our country to fail as Venezuela has".  There were  constant references in the Right wing  paper the  Prensa Graphic and TV reports profiling suffering Venezuelans and warning. Salvadoreans not to vote for the FMLN candidate 
Presidential candidate Norman Quijano, from the right wing ARENA party   warned that the FMLN Sanchez Ceren would follow the path of Venezuela’s socialist government, which has taken over private businesses, and Norman promised he will not allow others to send El Salvador down the road of Venezuela
The situation in Venezuela  was also used by the right wing in the Colombian election 
Time magazine reports on what is described as “The specter of Venezuela’
Petro’s anti-corruption platform has turned him into a real contender in this election. But he has the misfortune of running at a time when neighboring Venezuela is imploding. More than 200,000 Venezuelans streamed into (and through) Colombia last year to escape crushing poverty and lack of basic goods and medicines, a six-fold increase from the year before.
The perpetually looming collapse of Venezuela is a constant reminder to voters of Petro’s former admiration of the late Hugo Chavez, one that haunts him. 
Hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans have sought refuge in Colombia as their own country has descended into economic chaos. And while Venezuelans cannot vote here, their advocacy, activism — and calls for divine intervention — may help push Duque over the finish line on Election Day. (Miami herald)
Petro’s anti-corruption platform has turned him into a real contender in this election. But he has the misfortune of running at a time when neighboring Venezuela is imploding. More than 200,000 Venezuelans streamed into (and through) Colombia last year to escape crushing poverty and lack of basic goods and medicines, a six-fold increase from the year before.
The U.S. is Meddling in Venezuelan Election
May 18,2018 
As Venezuelans go to the polls Sunday, the U.S. is working to disrupt the re-election of Nicolas Maduro and rollback left-wing governments in the region, reports Roger D. Harris.
By Roger D. Harris  Special to Consortium News
Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro is the frontrunner in the presidential elections that will take place on Sunday. If past pronouncements and practice by the United States are any indication, every effort will be made to oust an avowed socialist from the U.S. “backyard.”
U.S. antipathy towards the Venezuelan government started with the election of Hugo Chávez in 1998, followed by a brief and unsuccessful U.S.-backed coup in 2002. Chávez made the magnanimous, but politically imprudent, gesture of pardoning the golpistas, who are still trying to achieve by extra-parliamentary means what they have been unable to realize democratically. After Chávez died in 2013, the Venezuelans elected Maduro to carry on what has become known as the Bolivarian Revolution.
For the complete article https://consortiumnews.com/2018/05/18/us-not-sitting-idly-by-on-eve-of-venezuelan-election/

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