Message from the Venezuelan Ambassador to the Labour Party fringe meeting

Message from the Venezuelan Ambassador to the Labour Party fringe meeting

Dear friends,

My apologies for not being able to attend this meeting and my gratitude to the organisers of the event and participants.

In terms of the subject of your event today, Venezuela is under a systematic aggression from the Trump Administration. The latest set of sanctions apply restrictions to government officials of Venezuela on travelling to the US, in addition to those approved two weeks ago to strangle our economy by denying access to US financial markets. This has gone hand in hand with extremely worrying threats of military aggression.

The US sanctions hit the whole of the Venezuelan people, but hit the poorest the hardest.

This is taking place at a time when our economy faces severe difficulties. Venezuela has been badly hit by the plummeting of the price of oil from US$148 in 2008 to less than US$25 in 2016, but also by an economic war, reminiscent of what was done to Chile under Salvador Allende in the 1970s, aimed at undermining and ultimately overthrowing our elected President.

Alongside this, earlier this year there was a four-month wave of extreme violence explicitly aimed at ousting the government.

In these challenging circumstances, we have sought to protect the budget of public services and social programmes, and our housing programme has built 1.7 million houses for the poor.

Venezuela’s current difficulties are best resolved by dialogue as a way to peacefully address the problems the nation faces, where all forces renounce violence as a way to achieve political ends.

There are currently conversations between the government and the opposition in a dialogue that is taking place, as we speak, in the Dominican Republic hosted by President Danilo Medina, with the support of several Latin American countries. Most of the European governments have also indicated their support for dialogue.

In this context in October, we will be holding elections for regional governors. All the opposition parties have registered their candidates, and this will be the 23rd election in Venezuela since 1999.

Finally, we wish to express our solidarity with the people of the Caribbean, Cuba, and the USA devastated by the hurricanes, and the people of Mexico hit by two massive earthquakes. Venezuela will continue to provide all the aid and support we can.

Dear friends, I am confident that you will continue your support for Venezuela. It is during these times when we need the support and friendship of the Solidarity movements.

Rocío Maneiro
Ambassador, Tuesday September 26 2017.