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    Venezuela crisis


    Will usa be successful in installing it's puppet

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    Total Votes: 36

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    Post  higurashihougi Sun Oct 31, 2021 3:17 pm

    Venezuelan Campesinos Denounce Diesel Price Hike, Lack of Gov't Support

    An “unofficial” increase in diesel costs has set off the alarms in the countryside, already hard-hit by fuel scarcity and lack of inputs for production.

    Venezuela’s Campesino Struggle Platform denounced that a number of state-owned gas stations have begun to sell diesel at US $0.50 per liter.

    In a communique issued on October 26, the rural movements emphasized that elevating diesel prices represents a “devastating blow” for thousands of small and midsize food producers, with increased costs falling upon consumers.

    "We strongly reject the diesel price hike and its dollarization," reads the statement published on social media. The text goes on to denounce that some "government sectors" are "sacrificing" the campesino people to attain so-called "macroeconomic balances."

    "Amidst the economic war, rural workers never stopped producing food to supply the cities, while the bourgeoisie speculated, boycotted and smuggled food," stressed the statement.

    The countryside organizations asked President Nicolás Maduro to clarify these measures and called for national mobilizations to prevent the new diesel cost imposition. No date for the march had been announced at the time of writing.

    According to users, on Monday, a selected number of gas stations across the country began selling previously-subsidized diesel at the $0.50 “international price” after receiving authorization from a state oil company PDVSA general manager. The company’s president and the Oil Ministry have yet to confirm if the measure will be permanent and applied nationwide.

    The reported diesel hike comes after PDVSA officially announced an increase in subsidized gasoline prices, which went from 0.1 cents to 2.3 cents per liter, still among the cheapest in the world. The raise came weeks after the roll-out of a new currency, the digital bolívar (BsD), which slashed six zeros off the former sovereign bolívar (BsS).

    Following Washington's sanctions against the Caribbean nation’s oil industry since 2017 and the clampdown on crude-for-diesel swaps in 2020, Venezuela has faced severe fuel shortages. With diesel being crucial for food production and distribution and public transportation, the Maduro government began rationing and delivering it free-of-charge to these sectors.

    Additionally, since June 2020, the Venezuelan government has implemented two-tiered fuel pricing in an attempt to ease the burden of fuel subsidies. Private gas stations were allowed to charge international prices for gasoline and diesel, while state-run pumps dispatched subsidized fuel through a monthly allowance system. However, access to the cheaper option has translated into hours or even days-long queues at pumps, with western states the most affected.

    Despite the government measures to alleviate fuel scarcity in the countryside, the distribution of free diesel remained unreliable. “It seldom reached us,” Andrés Alayo, Campesino Struggle Platform spokesman, explained to Venezuelanalysis.

    The rural leader added that campesinos have also seen their production affected by a lack of government support. Another communique from peasant organizations stated that they were excluded from the 2021-2022 sowing plan, a state program that distributes inputs for the winter and summer production cycles.

    “We express our concern with this non-fulfillment, which aggravates the consequences of the [US] economic blockade,” reads the statement. The text reminded government officials that food sovereignty requires backing campesinos in their work. The movements requested an urgent meeting with authorities to rectify “mistakes.”

    For his part, Alayo pointed out that the National Assembly (AN) had not answered the demands expressed by countryside groups following a meeting in July. During the mobilization that saw hundreds of rural workers take the streets of Caracas, campesino movements called for an end to criminalization of rural struggles and for investigations into judicialization and targeted killing cases.

    "Nothing has happened. We want president Maduro's orders to be obeyed. We want justice for campesinos and [the government] to provide support for small producers," stressed Alayo.

    The campesino spokesman likewise denounced that Venezuela's Cattle Ranchers Federation (FEDENAGA), a powerful landowner guild, continues to push its proposal to reform the 2001 historic Land Law. One of the strategies has been using local judicial authorities to bring charges against rural grassroots leaders. A recent case has involved Lesbia Solórzano, a founder and spokeswoman of the National Agrarian Coordinator Ezequiel Zamora (CANEZ) in Barinas state.

    “They [the guild] are seeking to take back plots that used to be unproductive and were given to campesinos,” said Alayo.

    In July, National Assembly’s Vice President Iris Varela and the country’s Vice President Delcy Rodríguez promised campesinos that the Land Law would remain untouched. However, popular sectors have expressed concerns over the Maduro government’s recent overtures to the private sector, with countryside movements pointing the finger at an ongoing “landowner offensive.”

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    Post  Kiko Tue Nov 09, 2021 8:25 pm

    Caracas Has No Need for Election Recognition 'Certificate' From EU, Foreign Minister Plasencia Says, 09/11/2021.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Caracas will not wait for a "certificate" of recognition of its municipal and regional elections by the European Union observers since the electoral process in Venezuela is legal and democratic, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Felix Plasencia said in an interview with Sputnik on Tuesday.

    "The people of Venezuela must recognize the elections. Our electoral system is very modern and we do not need other legitimization to recognize our electoral process. We have invited observers from many countries and respected international bodies, major international players, not only the EU. But again, we do not expect any certificate of recognition issued by European observers. The election process in Venezuela is legal because it is a democratic process because it is the Venezuelan people who vote. This is the only thing that matters for Venezuela," he said.

    Plasencia noted that Caracas had previously invited observers from the EU to no avail, but they decided to accept the invitation this time.

    In response to the question of whether an improvement in relations between Venezuela and the EU can be expected after the elections, Plasencia said that he could not predict that as it depends on the representatives of the EU institutions. Caracas, in turn, looks forward to respectful, good relations and stronger trade ties with the bloc, he added.

    In the November 21 elections in Venezuela, a total of 42 national political movements and 64 regional parties will take part, including the right-wing opposition, which controlled the country's parliament in 2016-2021 but refused to take part in the next parliamentary elections. At least 10 observers from the European Union are already working in the country, and their number will reach 100 before election day.

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    Post  GarryB Wed Nov 10, 2021 5:09 am

    Maybe Venezuela should offer to give certificates for EU appointments... no wait a minute.... that is not democracy at all so how could they give a certificate for that? Twisted Evil

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    Post  higurashihougi Fri Nov 12, 2021 5:14 pm

    Venezuela: Oil Output Reaches 18-Month High Following New Alliance with Iran

    Venezuela began receiving diluent shipments from Iran after striking an oil-for-condensate swap deal to boost blending facilities.

    A swap agreement with Iran has allowed Venezuela’s oil output to reach its highest level since hitting decades’ lows in 2020.

    According to the latest Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) monthly report, the Caribbean country’s October production was 590,000 oil barrels per day (bpd), an uptick from September’s 533,000 bpd, as measured by secondary sources. For its part, state oil company PDVSA reported 756,000 bpd, 106,000 bpd up from the previous month.

    The October figure represents an 18-month high after a 500,000 bpd average in 2020. However, the uptick is still dramatically shy from the 1.9 million bpd that Venezuela registered in mid 2017 before US sanctions targeted the oil sector and sent it into a steep decline.

    In efforts to oust the Nicolás Maduro government, the former Trump administration imposed financial sanctions, an oil embargo, and secondary sanctions while blacklisting shipping companies, threatening intermediaries and seizing US-based Venezuelan oil refinery CITGO. The current Joe Biden White House has kept all measures in place.

    Recently, the hardest blow to the South American country’s oilfields and blending stations has been an acute lack of diluents to mix its extra-heavy crude for transportation and export. The shortage began after US sanctions cut PDVSA off from key trade partners.

    With Washington making diluent access increasingly difficult, Venezuela has turned to Iran to reactivate its most important industry. In September, PDVSA struck a deal with Iranian National Oil Company (NIOC) to exchange heavy oil for condensate. A 2.1 million-barrel first cargo arrived soon after. The Iran-flagged tanker Dino I dispatched the much-needed diluent in the Sinovensa joint venture, located in the western Orinoco Oil Belt, the country's largest crude-producing region. A second cargo was delivered in late October.

    According to Reuters, the Iranian condensate has also boosted shipments. This month's oil exports reached 711,193 bpd, a considerable increase from September's 414,000 bpd, when it registered the lowest mark since October 2020.

    The oil sector upward surge comes after PDVSA set a new production target of one million bpd for the end of the year, 500,000 bpd less than its previous goal, according to Bloomberg. The adjustment coincides with the company currently prioritizing lighter crudes to ramp up fuel production amidst severe gasoline and diesel scarcity that has affected agriculture.

    The Caribbean country’s Western-designed refineries have suffered from lack of maintenance, as US sanctions blocked purchases of key parts for repair works. Moreover, in October 2020, Washington clamped down on swap deals which had seen PDVSA exchange crude for diesel, gasoline or diluents needed for refining.

    Tehran has likewise helped Venezuela meet its fuel needs by sending several gasoline cargos throughout 2020 as part of a “perfect trips” alliance, even though Washington seized four tankers and later sold the cargoes for a reported US $40 million.

    The allied nation additionally provided equipment, materials and technicians to restart operations in the 310,000 bpd Cardón refinery and the 645,000 bpd Amuay refinery, which together form the Paraguaná Refining Complex, the main hub for gasoline supply in Venezuela.

    Amidst the ongoing efforts to bring the oil industry to its full capacity, operations have been halted several times following accidents. The latest occurred on Wednesday when a fire broke out at the Amuay refinery, forcing it to stop two key gasoline production units.

    "There was a fire, it's now been controlled. The good thing is it didn't affect the (catalytic) cracking unit," one worker told Reuters.

    While Venezuelan authorities have declared that oil production recovery is a priority, the government has also set in motion a range of strategies to diversify the economy. One key aspect has been offering more favorable conditions for foreign investment, including controversial Special Economic Zones (SEZs).

    "The one hundred years of oil dependence are behind us. We are not going to rely on oil anymore, we will no longer mortgage the country for a product," President Maduro said in a televised address on Thursday.

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    Post  higurashihougi Thu Nov 18, 2021 4:32 am

    Venezuelan Envoy Alex Saab Pleads Not Guilty in US Court

    Demonstrators in various cities throughout the globe held rallies to demand the release of the Colombo-Venezuelan businessman from US custody.

    Venezuelan government envoy Alex Saab pleaded not guilty to money laundering charges in a US federal court on Monday.

    Saab faces a lone count of conspiracy to launder money, a charge that carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison if found guilty. Prosecutors requested the judge drop seven other changes as part of a deal with the Republic of Cape Verde to secure his extradition to the US. His trial is scheduled to begin on January 3, 2022, at 9 AM, though it is widely expected to be postponed.

    The Colombo-Venezuelan businessman was detained in Cabo Verde in June 2020 during a stopover in the African archipelago. He was reportedly on his way to Iran to negotiate fuel and food imports on behalf of the Nicolás Maduro government. His eventual extradition ran afoul of a ruling by the regional Economic Community of West Africa (ECOWAS) Court, which had ordered Cabo Verde to release Saab and pay him damages.

    His arrest and subsequent extradition was described by the Venezuelan government as a “kidnapping” and has been subject to intense criticism due to the alleged irregularities in the process. Caracas maintains that Saab was on a diplomatic mission and therefore enjoyed immunity from arrest and prosecution. According to news reports, Saab’s lawyer, Neil Schuster, has stressed his diplomatic credentials throughout court proceedings, addressing the court as a representative for the “Diplomat of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela”.

    Litigation in the US regarding his diplomatic status is ongoing and could affect the start of his trial on money laundering charges.

    Outside the Miami courthouse, a group of demonstrators expressed their support for the Colombo-Venezuelan businessman, part of a wider set of demonstrations that took place throughout the world in support of Saab.

    In Venezuela, a group of supporters on motorcycles rode through the capital demanding his release before arriving at the Cuban Embassy where they heard from Camilla Fabri Saab, wife of the envoy who has become the face of the campaign in his defense.

    “What fills me with hope? The conscience of Venezuelans, the solidarity among Latin American brothers, the demonstrations of support of ordinary people in North America. All united in defense of respect for diplomacy and peace,” said Fabri in a tweet.

    Fabri Saab has consistently maintained that her husband is uninterested in reaching a plea deal with US authorities.

    In a recent interview with Press TV, she alleged that her husband was “physically” and “psychologically” tortured while in Cape Verdean custody and denied adequate medical care. Saab is a cancer survivor.

    For its part, Caracas has launched a massive public campaign advocating for his freedom while also working through back-channels to secure his release. According to a report by the Associated Press, Venezuela’s government offered last year to release a group of US citizens, known as the “Citgo Six” along with two former Green Berets, in exchange for Saab. The Trump administration reportedly refused the deal.

    A Venezuelan judge recently granted an appeal to the Citgo Six, who were found guilty of corruption by a Venezuelan court last year. The oil executives had been granted house arrest but the measure was revoked after Saab’s extradition to the US.

    The controversial legal case also carried other political repercussions, with the Venezuelan government pulling out of talks with the US-backed opposition as a result. Caracas had appointed the businessman as a delegate at the Mexico-based talks, which were due to enter their fourth round the day after his extradition.

    In a separate but related case, a Manhattan federal judge sentenced retired University of Miami professor and alleged Saab associate Bruce Bagley to six months in prison for his role in a laundering scheme. The Venezuelan envoy’s lawyers have denied that Saab had any ties to Bagley.

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    Post  George1 Sun Nov 21, 2021 3:19 pm

    Regional and municipal elections will be held in Venezuela on Sunday, in which the country’s citizens will determine the future heads of local executive power and members of the legislative assemblies. As the National Electoral Council reported earlier, more than 70,000 candidates run for elective positions. About 300 foreign experts from abroad came to observe the elections in Venezuela.

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    Post  Kiko Mon Nov 22, 2021 1:23 pm

    Venezuelans grant victory to the ruling 'Partido Socialista Unido' (United Socialist Party) in the regionals, 22/11/2021.

    CARACAS (Sputnik) - Venezuela's election day, in which the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) won a great victory, was marked by continuous calls from the authorities and candidates to vote.

    According to the results announced after midnight by the National Electoral Council (CNE), 41.8% of registered voters voted, which translates into an approximate 8,150,000 Venezuelans.

    During the day, most users highlighted the speed of voting. This time there were no long lines at the doors of the schools enabled for citizens to choose, as happened in the elections prior to 2015.

    Red Map

    The electoral result gave the majority victory to the PSUV leader who won 20 of the 23 governorates of the country, based on the 90.21% transmission of the total acts.

    The opposition, which for four years called for abstention and whose parties during the campaign were divided over participating and then failed to unify their candidates and supporters, paid with a resounding defeat at the polls and won only three states Cojedes (center), Nueva Esparta (north) and Zulia (west).

    The voting day closed calmly, according to what was indicated by the president of the CNE, Pedro Calzadilla.

    Melendez in Caracas

    The PSUV won again in the Libertador municipality in Caracas where the candidate Carmen Meléndez obtained 58.9% of the votes.

    Yandex Translate from Spanish

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    Post  higurashihougi Wed Nov 24, 2021 2:05 pm

    Code Pink's Leonardo Flores lists key points behind Chavismo's landslide victory in Sunday's "mega-elections."

    1. Healthcare, housing and food services. Venezuela’s health policies in response to Covid-19 have been exemplary. The expectation in the U.S. was that the coronavirus would overwhelm Venezuela’s healthcare system, which has been devastated by years of sanctions. And yet, per million population, Venezuela registered 15,000 cases and 180 deaths. For the sake of comparison, the figures in the U.S. are 146,000 cases/million and 2,378 deaths/million, Brazil’s are 103,000 and 2854, and Colombia’s are 98,000 and 2,481. Unlike images we saw in Ecuador or Bolivia, there were no bodies of victims left on the streets, nor were there overflowing morgues like in New York.

    In terms of housing, the Venezuelan government has built 3.7 million homes for working class families over the past ten years, the majority of which were built and delivered by the Maduro administration while under sanctions.

    As deadly as the sanctions have been, things would be significantly worse were it not for Venezuela’s most important social program in the past five years: the CLAPs. These consist of boxes of food and other necessities, some of which are produced locally, which are packaged and distributed by communities themselves. Seven million Venezuelans families receive CLAP boxes every month, out of a country of 30 million people. Not only has this program been instrumental in keeping people fed, it has invigorated the base of chavismo and reconnected the government with grassroots after the PSUV’s defeat in the 2015 legislative elections.

    2. The economic situation is improving. According to an August 2021 survey by opposition pollster Datanálisis, 50% of Venezuelans consider that their lives have improved compared to the previous year or two. Despite sanctions that have caused a 99% drop in government income, the Venezuelan economy is stabilizing. Inflation is down to single digits for the first time in four years. Credit Suisse projected 5.5% growth in 2021 and 4.5% growth in 2022. Oil production hit an 18-month high in October, helped by a trade deal with Iran.

    3. The left is united (mostly). The PSUV didn’t win the elections alone, they were united with 8 other left parties in a coalition known as the GPP (Great Patriotic Pole). The PSUV itself held internal primaries in August, the only party to do so. Over half the GPP candidates were women, 52%, while another 43% were youth. Overall, 90% of the candidates hadn’t held office before, suggesting a renewal of the party from the grassroots. However, this marked the second election in a row in which the left wasn’t completely united. A coalition that included Venezuela’s Communist Party ran its own ticket. These parties got less than 3% of the vote in the 2020 parliamentary elections and their decision to run separately appears to have had no impact on the gubernatorial races.

    4. The opposition is divided. Never known for their unity, the Venezuelan opposition suffered a major split as a result of some parties opting for boycotting elections and attempting to overthrow the government, while others preferred a democratic path. Despite all the major parties participating in these elections, the opposition was split into two main coalitions, the MUD (Democratic Unity Roundtable) and the Democratic Alliance. The vast majority of the 70,000 candidates are in the opposition and they were running candidates against each other in almost every race. Of the 23 gubernatorial races, six were won by PSUV candidates with less than 50% of the vote and by less than six points - more unity between the MUD and Democratic Alliance could have made the difference.

    A count of the votes in the gubernatorial and Caracas mayoral races show the PSUV coalition taking 46% of the total vote, with the rest split between the various oppositions. A united opposition could win in Venezuela, but “united opposition” is an oxymoron.

    5. The opposition is deeply unpopular. While much is made about the alleged lack of support for President Maduro (the millions of votes his party got will never be acknowledged by the U.S.), it’s less known that the opposition is deeply unpopular. Here are the disapproval ratings for some of the opposition’s key figures: Juan Guaidó, 83% disapproval; Julio Borges (Guaidó’s “Foreign Minister), 81%; Leopoldo López (Guaidó’s mentor and mastermind of coup attempts), 80%; Henry Ramos Allup (longtime opposition leader), 79%; Henrique Capriles (2012 & 2013 presidential election loser), 77%; and Henri Falcón (2018 presidential election loser), 66%. All of these but Falcón are part of the MUD.

    The MUD coalition spent years claiming they represented a majority, a claim which couldn’t be verified by their strategy of electoral boycotts. However, their return to the electoral process only marked a ten point increase in voter turnout compared to 2020. Moreover, the MUD placed below other opposition parties in 9 of 23 states and in Caracas. The MUD only won one of the three governorships taken by the opposition. This might be due in part to widespread rejection of U.S. sanctions. The MUD has repeatedly endorsed deadly sanctions despite the fact that 76% of Venezuelans reject them.

    The MUD enjoys the political, financial and logistical support of the United States and the EU, while members of other opposition parties have been denounced and sanctioned by the U.S. for negotiating with the Maduro administration. These elections should put the Biden administration on notice that continuing to support the MUD, and in particular, the fiction of Guaidó as “interim president”, is a failed policy.

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    Post  GarryB Thu Nov 25, 2021 4:13 am

    A country resisting US pressure to give up its resources and betray its own people for cash and power...

    Sad there are so few countries like that...

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    Post  higurashihougi Thu Nov 25, 2021 4:57 pm

    Venezuela Rejects US and Canadian Efforts to Discredit Elections

    Venezuela dismissed declarations issued by both the US and Canadian governments that attempted to discredit the country’s recent regional elections that saw a dominant United Socialist Party (PSUV) win at least 19 of 23 governorships.

    “It is the height of cynicism that a country where there is an indirect democracy, with second-degree elections and that has declared a brutal economic war against Venezuela, [...] purports to have the morals to question the elections alleging lack of freedoms or other conditions.” read a statement by the Venezuelan Foreign Ministry. It added that “US imperialism and its allies were the big losers” in the process.

    On Monday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called the contests “flawed” and claimed they did not “reflect the will of the Venezuelan people.”

    Sunday’s “mega-elections” saw US-backed hardline opposition parties return to the ballot after boycotting. The Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD) secured two governorships, with a possible third one still undeclared. Blinken commended anti-government forces for participating but stated that the election was not “free and fair” as a result of efforts by the Nicolás Maduro government to “grossly skew the process.” The US official failed to provide any concrete evidence to back the charges.

    Canada’s statement by Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly similarly proffered accusations with little substance. Like her US counterpart, Joly praised the participation of opposition political parties in the vote that saw a turnout of 42 percent of voters.

    In response, Caracas criticized Canada’s mimicking of US foreign policy and said Ottawa had resorted to “the disqualification of an electoral process, widely validated by more than 300 international observers.”

    “Unlike Canada, Venezuela is a country free from foreign tutelage and it demonstrates this in each election in which the model of participatory and protagonist democracy, enshrined in the Constitution and backed by the democratic will of the Venezuelan people, is deepened,” read the Foreign Ministry text.

    The Venezulean process was accompanied by international groups such as National Lawyers Guild (NLG) whose members said they “observed a balanced and transparent voting process” and rejected the Washington’s characterization of the vote.

    “The US’s consistently false narrative of elections in Venezuela is formulated to legitimize the continuation of U.S. sanctions, which are violations of international law and amount to economic warfare,” said Suzanne Adely, NLG President and member of the delegation, on Wednesday.

    On Tuesday, the European Union’s (EU) observation mission likewise delivered a long awaited preliminary report.

    The document asserted that the elections had seen “better conditions” than previous ones but that “structural deficiencies” remained. It concluded that “​​the Venezuelan electoral legal framework complies with most basic international electoral standards.”

    The Brussels team, which had 136 members deployed throughout the country, highlighted the alleged use of state funds for PSUV campaigns as well as unequal access to state media, the barring of certain candidates and a “lack of judicial independence.” A final report is due to be presented in February.

    In a press conference to present the preliminary findings, mission chief Isabel dos Santos warned against using the report for “partisan purposes.” She went on to praise the electoral authorities’ professionalism.

    Caracas welcomed the EU conclusions, with Vice Minister William Castillo calling them a “slap in the face” against the US State Department claims by not putting the legitimacy of the process in question.

    Castillo called the European report “respectful” and recalled the past tensions that nearly jeopardized the mission.

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    Post  higurashihougi Fri Nov 26, 2021 5:10 am

    Venezuela: Newly Elected Opposition Mayors Attack Community Radio Stations

    Venezuelan community radio stations denounced violent attacks against their facilities, reportedly led by recently elected opposition mayors.

    The assaults happened in municipalities in Mérida, Barinas and Aragua states, where right-wing opposition candidates won the local races in Sunday’s “mega-elections.” Videos posted on social media show damages to the stations’ buildings, which prompted outrage from alternative outlets, popular organizations and government authorities.

    On Wednesday, community members from La Azulita town located in Mérida’s Andrés Bello municipality accused elected mayor María Villasmil, from the moderate opposition bloc Democratic Alliance, of arbitrarily trying to close the Radio La Azulita 107.3 FM station.

    In a video spread on Twitter, the radio’s operators and neighbors are seen stopping Villasmil and a group of people from taking over the station. “We have an autonomous judicial status,” a woman explained, while others confronted the newly elected officer for the intimidation attempt and targeting a community-run space.

    Elvis Dávila, from the Molinillo Azul Community Foundation, stated that even after showing the radio’s legal documentation, Villasmil tried to turn off the transmitter. “We do not belong to the mayor’s office and we have been running as a foundation for ten years,” said the local leader.

    A similar episode took place in Barinas state. The target was the community station Radio Explosiva 88.7 FM, in the city of Santa Bárbara, Zamora municipality. According to a statement from the radio’s workers, a group of 70 people led by the elected mayor Nelson García Mora, from the opposition Compromiso País (COMPA) political party, forced them to shut down broadcasting.

    “They kicked the door and cut the power lines. We are currently off the air waiting for the authorities’ response,” reads the text published on social media. The community radio workers accuse García Mora of looking to protect his private station Monumental 94.1.

    The attack also targeted the home of the community radio’s director Luis Becerra. “If this is how an opposition government begins, with this violent attitude, what are we supposed to expect in the future? We are a legal station, with paperwork in order,” he said in a video.

    Following the violent disruption, spokespeople from the Dreams of Bolívar and Zamora Commune, in Barinas, published a video to express their solidarity with the Radio Explosiva workers. “The elected mayor is yet to receive his accreditation from the National Electoral Council (CNE) and is already abusing his power," said one of the communards.

    A third incident involved Radio Positiva 92.7 FM in Palo Negro city, Libertador municipality in Aragua state. The local outlet was forced out of the air after having its building seized allegedly on orders from the elected mayor Gonzalo Díaz from the opposition Pencil Alliance. The station’s headquarters were rented and granted to the community by the outgoing mayor Regulo La Cruz, from the ruling United Socialist Party (PSUV).

    In response, Venezuelan Communications Minister Freddy Ñáñez condemned the “fascist attacks.” The government official expressed solidarity with the community outlets, promising to protect the integrity of local journalists and freedom of speech.

    “Why is it that when the right comes to power, the first thing it does is persecute community radio stations and alternative media?,” asked Ñañez on social media.

    The Venezuelan Attorney General’s Office likewise blasted the assaults against the community radio stations by “violent mobs” and launched an investigation.

    “The attackers caused great damages to these stations, cutting cables, destroying property and physically threatening the radios’ owners in front of minors,” Attorney General Tarek William Saab wrote on Twitter.

    A number of alternative media organizations also rejected the intimidation attempts and demanded justice. “This is how fascism operates, attacking spaces run by the people because we tell the truth and we defend the revolution. This is how the right behaves when it reaches power,” reads a communique.

    Venezuela has over 300 community radio stations, which are autonomous figures created and run by popular organizations. The majority are located in small towns in rural areas and barrios in urban centers. These outlets rose in numbers during Hugo Chávez’s government as spaces for popular protagonism that would counter the weight of private and state-run media.

    These small-scale stations likewise offer a range of educational, musical, sports, informative and political programs that reflect the communities’ culture and address its issues. Currently, community radio stations answer to the state telecommunications regulator CONATEL and are protected by the Popular Communication Law.

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