Washington has suddenly discovered its reverence for Venezuela’s law, as it attempts to utilize them as a pretext to discourage Russia and China from extending debt to the South American country, struggling under the isolation from global markets due to the sanctions imposed upon it by America and its allies. The US is insistent that only the Venezuelan National Assembly can arrange for further debt within Venezuela.
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – The United States has spoken with both Chinese and Russian officials and warned them that the Venezuelan National Assembly is the only entity allowed to provide for the issuance of new debt in Venezuela, a senior administration official said in a press briefing on Monday.
“We have had fairly pointed discussions with the People’s Republic of China on not throwing good money after bad, and we cautioned them that the United States, the Lima Group of nations and others, that made abundantly clear that the only, under the Venezuelan constitution, the only entity which is lawfully authorized to allow or to provide for the issuance of new debt is the National Assembly. We’ve had a similar discussion with Russia,” the official told reporters.
This warning comes as US President Donald Trump issues a new executive order that bans Venezuelan officials from selling public assets at low prices in order to get themselves kickbacks, as well as bans US citizens from all transactions related to the debt of the Venezuelan government.
Earlier on Monday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued a statement condemning Sunday’s election and vowing to take economic and diplomatic actions against Venezuela.
The National Electoral Council in Venezuela certified Maduro’s re-election with 68 percent of the vote.
The election took place amid a financial crisis in Venezuela whose economy has been hit by falling oil prices. Venezuela also experienced mass protests last year, which initially were organized in response to the highest court’s decision to significantly limit the parliament’s legislative powers.
But Venezuelan law apparently has nothing to do with providing for fair and accurate elections, as far as the US and its friends are concerned.
Part of the logic behind refusing to acknowledge Sunday’s election results, which saw Nicholas Maduro reelected to the country’s presidency, is the allegation of vote buying and bribery over the so called ‘red points’, which provide voters the possibility to obtain some food or a transfer of somewhere around $13 for providing evidence that they voted. Showing that you have voted to get a shot at these goods is poised by the opposition as a form of ‘vote buying’, but proof of having voted is what is used to accomplish this, with no specification being reported that the vote had to be for Maduro.
These tents, dubbed ‘red points’ are apparently not only legal under Venezuelan law, but something akin to this is also utilized in the Dominican Republic and El Salvador, which aren’t subject to being viewed as illegitimate by the US or the Lima Group, as well as political organizations. Additionally, opposition candidate Bertucci was offering soup at some of his gatherings. Bertucci has gone on to acknowledge the results of Sunday’s presidential election.
The president of the Council of Electoral Experts of Latin America (Ceela), Nicanor Moscoso, said Monday that the results must be recognized because they represent the popular will expressed by the people.
International observer Eugenio Chicas said the Venezuelan electoral system was robust and emphasized that the elections were “very transparent and… met international standards.”
Regarding the red points of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), Ceela explained that they are allowed under the country’s laws and that in countries like El Salvador and the Dominican Republic these stations are also implemented by political organizations.
Henri Falcon, who was defeated by Maduro, argued that the red points amount to vote buying and has refused to acknowledge the results despite participating in a series of audits to the electoral system prior to the election.
The faction of the opposition known as the Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD), which called for a boycott of the May 20 elections, have announced they “will continue to fight for free and transparent elections for the last trimester of the year.”
Washington is keen to acknowledge what is and is not allowed under Venezuela’s legal system when it suits them, but where it doesn’t support American interests, such as election results, then deeds committed in accordance with Venezuelan law are internationally considered ‘illegitimate’. But Washington insists that no liquidity can be offered to assist the struggling Venezuelan economy in the form of debt because of Venezuelan laws. Washington D.C. sure has a funny way of looking at legal structures.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.