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MSJ: Maduro and Guaidó MOU is ‘positive development’, which exposes ‘UNC’s political opportunism’

“[…] Some of the main items agreed to in the MOU include the recognition by the Opposition of the legitimacy of Nicolás Maduro’s government, a renouncing of violence and a commitment to work for the well-being of Venezuelans, and a pledge to request that US sanctions and restrictive measures be lifted.

“[…] Now that even Juan Guaidó has been forced to concede that issue and has also in the MOU stated that sanctions should be removed, what position does the UNC now take?”

The following media release on a memorandum of understanding between the Venezuela Government and Opposition was submitted to Wired868 by Movement for Social Justice (MSJ) political leader David Abdulah:

Photo: Venezuelo president Nicolas Maduro (left) and opposition leader Juan Guaido.

The Movement for Social Justice (MSJ) notes the very positive developments that have emerged from negotiations between the Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, led by President Nicolás Maduro, and various sections of the Opposition, led by Juan Guaidó. 

Arising out of a first round of negotiations that took place in Mexico and which were facilitated by a representative of the Norwegian government, the representatives of the Venezuelan Government and Opposition signed a Memorandum of Understanding. There was a full week of talks in Mexico which ended on 13 August. A second round is scheduled for the first week in September.

This MOU has now been ratified by unanimous vote in the National Assembly (Parliament) of Venezuela and also gazetted.

Some of the main items agreed to in the MOU include the recognition by the Opposition of the legitimacy of Maduro’s government, a renouncing of violence and a commitment to work for the well-being of Venezuelans, and a pledge to request that US sanctions and restrictive measures be lifted. 

Photo: Venezuelans turn to desperate measures for water.
(via BMJ)

The US, European Union and Canada issued a joint statement welcoming these developments and stated that their position on sanctions will be under consideration depending on the progress of the negotiations. The MSJ calls on the US and the UK, in particular, to end their illegal sanctions against Venezuela, including the release of all the assets of Venezuela that have been seized by these two countries.

The seizure of Venezuelan assets—gold in the UK and many billions of US dollars owned by Venezuela’s oil company—as well as sanctions that have made it very difficult for Venezuela to export oil and engage in normal trade with other countries, are crippling that country’s ability to get out of its economic and social crisis. 

The MOU arising out of a process of dialogue and negotiation is a definite vindication of earlier efforts in which several Caricom countries were involved. We refer to the Montevideo Initiative in which Caricom played a major role and that led to negotiations in Barbados, facilitated by Norway.

The MSJ had supported these initiatives and congratulated those Caricom countries, including Trinidad and Tobago, for their interventions. At the same time we condemned those Caricom countries that joined the US and others in the reactionary ‘Lima Group’ that was attempting to set up the OAS as an instrument to justify military and other actions against Venezuela. 

Photo: (From left) St Lucia Prime Minister Allen Chastanet, Dominican Republic President Danilo Medina, US President Donald Trump, US First Lady Melania Trump, Jamaica Prime Minister Andrew Holness, Haiti President Jovenel Moise and Bahamas Prime Minister Hubert Minnis pose before their meeting on Venezuela at Mar-A-Lago on 22 March 2019.
(Copyright José A Iglesias/Miami Herald)

The ‘Lima Group’ has now fallen apart as the new Government of Peru (the capital of which is Lima) has renounced the group, as has the new Government of St Lucia. 

The MSJ’s view was–and is–that there is a serious economic and social crisis in Venezuela and that there are deep political divisions. However, we believed that these problems could only be solved by Venezuelans themselves through a process of peaceful dialogue.

We therefore condemned the external interference by the US and others through sanctions, the violence carried out by the extreme right-wing opposition, the attempted coups against and assassination of President Maduro, and mercenary incursions. 

We are against regime change as promoted by the US, especially under the Donald Trump administration, and supported by proxy governments in Brazil and Colombia.

The MSJ will always take positions in international affairs on the basis of our recognition of the principles that are to govern relations between states, namely respect for the sovereignty of other states, and recognition of the norm of non-interference in the internal affairs of another sovereign state. 

Photo: Opposition leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar (left) and former chief whip Dr Roodal Moonilal.
(Courtesy Baltimore Post)

This is also why we condemned the position of the United National Congress (UNC) and of its leadership, Kamla Persad-Bissessar, Roodal Moonilal and Rodney Charles, who consistently and noisily sought to suck up to the US on the Venezuela issue.

We must not forget the actions of the UNC as ‘fifth columnists’ when they encouraged the US to sanction Trinidad and Tobago over the visit by the Venezuelan vice-president to Trinidad and Tobago, their recognition of Guaidó as ‘president’, their demand that Venezuelan migrant workers be given asylum here, and their misinformation about the OWTU’s company Patriotic being involved in violating the US sanctions in its bid to buy the Pointe-a-Pierre refinery. 

The UNC, parroting the US, claimed that Maduro was not the legitimate president of Venezuela. Now that even Guaidó has been forced to concede that issue and has also in the MOU stated that sanctions should be removed, what position does the UNC now take? 

The UNC’s political opportunism and the lack of principles has been exposed once again.

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