Both Maduro, Roussef champions of poor, workers, opponents of U.S. policies
U.S., global banks, oil corporations, others behind attacks
Editor: While the people of the U.S. are blindly involved in national elections, NO candidate offers a platform that would withdraw U.S. troops and U.S. economic blockades and pressure from virtually every country across the globe. Now Venezuela, Brazil, and the rest of Latin America are under the gun.
May 14, 2016
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro declared a 60-day state of emergency on Friday due to what he called plots from within the OPEC country and the United States to topple his leftist government.
Maduro did not provide details of the measure. A previous state of emergency, implemented in states near the Colombian border last year, suspended constitutional guarantees in those areas, except for guarantees relating to human rights.
Earlier on Friday, U.S. intelligence officials told reporters they were increasingly worried about the potential for an economic and political meltdown in Venezuela and predicted Maduro was not likely to complete his term. [VOD: Telesur reported, “U.S. President Barack Obama issued an Executive Order March 9, 2015 declaring a ‘national emergency with respect to the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States posed by the situation in Venezuela.” See story at http://www.telesurtv.net/english/telesuragenda/US-Threats-on-Venezuela-20150311-0012.html.]
Venezuela’s opposition is seeking to recall the unpopular leader, 53, amid a worsening crisis that includes food and medicine shortages, frequent power cuts, sporadic looting and galloping inflation.
But the former union leader and bus driver has vowed to stick out his term, and accuses the United States of fomenting an undercover coup against him. He pointed to this week’s impeachment of fellow leftist Dilma Rousseff in Brazil as a sign that he is next.
“Washington is activating measures at the request of Venezuela’s fascist right, who are emboldened by the coup in Brazil,” Maduro said during a Friday night broadcast on state television.
Washington has had an acrimonious relationship with Caracas for years, especially following U.S. support for a short-lived 2002 coup against late leader Hugo Chavez.
Venezuela’s ruling Socialist Party has long been a strong ally of Rousseff’s Workers Party, however, and her departure adds to Maduro’s isolation in Latin America.
Flanked by his ministers and a statue of Chavez, Maduro signed a state of emergency and extend a state of economic emergency to protect the country from foreign and domestic “threats,” without providing details.
Venezuela’s opposition, which scoffs at Maduro’s accusations of coups-mongering, quickly condemned the measure.
“Today Maduro has again violated the constitution,” said opposition lawmaker Tomas Guanipa. “Why? Because he is scared of being recalled.”
(Reporting by Deisy Buitrago and Alexandra Ulmer; Writing by Alexandra Ulmer)
BRAZIL IMPEACHMENT: PRES. DILMA ROUSSEF CONDEMNS ‘COUP,’ AND ‘FARCE’
Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff has condemned the move to impeach her as a “coup” and a “farce”, denying she has committed any crimes.
She was addressing the nation on TV for the first time since senators voted overnight to suspend her for budgetary violations and put her on trial.
Ms Rousseff vowed to fight the “injustice” by all legal means.
Vice-President Michel Temer will assume the presidency while Ms Rousseff’s trial takes place.
The trial may last up to 180 days, which would mean Ms Rousseff would be suspended during the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, which start on 5 August.
Senators had voted to suspend her by 55 votes to 22 after an all-night session that lasted more than 20 hours.
Ms. Rousseff is accused of illegally manipulating finances to hide a growing public deficit ahead of her re-election in 2014.
In her TV speech, flanked by ministers at the presidential palace, Mr Rousseff said that she may have made mistakes but had committed no crimes, adding: “I did not violate budgetary laws.”
She said: “What is at stake is respect for the ballot box, the sovereign will of the Brazilian people and the constitution.”
Branding the process “fraudulent” and saying her government was “undergoing sabotage”, she vowed to fight the charges against her and said she was confident she would be found innocent.
Michel Temer became interim president as soon as Ms Rousseff was suspended.
The 75-year-old law professor of Lebanese origin was Ms. Rousseff’s vice-president and was a key figure in the recent upheaval.
Up until now, he’s been the kingmaker, but never the king, having helped form coalitions with every president in the past two decades
He is president of Brazil’s largest party, the PMDB, which abandoned the coalition in March.
In recent months, his role has become even more influential; in a WhatsApp recording leaked in April, he outlined how Brazil needed a “government to save the country”.
Ms Rousseff, 68, accused the opposition of leading the impeachment because they had vehemently opposed all the advances she and her predecessor, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, had made for the Brazilian poor and lower middle classes.
After her speech she left the presidential palace and shook hands with supporters lining the pathway.
In another speech outside she told supporters she could feel their “love and energy” on what she called a “tragic” day for the country.
Michel Temer is set to be sworn in later on Thursday and he is expected to give a speech and present some of his cabinet.
During the overnight debate, Senator Jose Serra, tipped to become the new foreign minister, said the process was “a bitter though necessary medicine”.
“Having the Rousseff government continue would be a bigger tragedy,” he said.
Brazil is suffering from its worst recession in 10 years, unemployment reached 9% in 2015 and inflation is at a 12-year high.
The 180 days allocated for the trial to take place expire on 8 November.
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