|I don't recognize the Venezuela described in daily reports in the US media as the same Venezuela which I have made my permanent home for the last ten years. Washington and their compliant media have consistently placed a negative valence on us and our socialist government, demonizing our leaders, hungering for our petroleum and our geopolitical position in the Americas.
It’s no secret that we have the largest proven oil reserves worldwide, said to be only two days away from Texas refineries while Saudi petroleum is a 45-day trip and US fracking profits are unstable.
On top of that, Venezuelans have led other Latin American countries to eschew US domination, establishing their independence and sovereignty for the first time since the Spanish conquistadors arrived.
Washington’s most recent aggression in our country is the most deadly yet after the April 11, 2002 coup attempt - also backed by the US - to overthrow our former president, Hugo Chavez. We now find ourselves in a devastating, undeclared war after being subjected to 17 years sabotage of our infrastructure and food distribution systems, destruction of our public facilities and national currency, violent street protests, assassinations by paid mercenaries, US funding of the opposition, sanctions and demonization of the women and men we elect to serve us.
All this led to President Maduro’s decision to let the people decide by calling for a Constituent Assembly. On July 30 we elected 545 delegates from every region of the country and every social and economic strata to update our constitution. What could be be more democratic in a system already declared “the most democratic in the world” by the Jimmy Carter Foundation?
In response, the US-backed opposition held a referendum that demanded our president resign. They immediately burned the paper ballots in public and the US government is calling its ashes a “parallel government,” as they have done in Syria.
Based upon Washington’s history of foreign intervention, the “parallel government” would then become the recipient of money and arms, placing us all on a path to a bloody civil war and ripping our beloved Venezuela apart.
Our Constituent Assembly will proceed and we will fight for our right to self-determination and independence.
Perhaps our friends in North America should consider holding a Constituent Assembly to rewrite your 230 year old constitution and create for the first time an honest participatory democracy like the one we enjoy in Venezuela. After all, your former president George Bush, stated clearly your constitution is"just a piece of paper".
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