When Norton was in Venezuela, it was not long after President Donald Trump’s administration tried to install opposition leader Juan Guaido as the country’s president. Norton said it would be hard to overstate “how ridiculous the media coverage is of Venezuela.” “There’s not that much violence happening,” Norton recalled. “I didn’t see any violence when I was there. I barely even saw police. It’s just so surreal.”
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BEN NORTON—The United States has seized at least $1 billion of Venezuelan public funds that Washington in turn claimed were supposedly being stolen by government officials, according to Univision. This is in addition to the billions more worth of Venezuelan state assets that have been illegally taken over by the Trump administration, the most important of which is Caracas’ crown jewel, the oil refinery Citgo.
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AJAMU BARAKA—After the first trial ended in a mistrial because the jurors refused to convict the protectors, the government offered to drop the federal charge and not seek any jail time for the defenders. In return, they wanted the defenders to plead guilty to a local DC charge of incommoding. After discussing this offer with members of this committee, other members of the Embassy Protection Collective and other allies, they decided to accept this plea agreement.
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PETER KOENIG—In addition to other strangulating sanctions and coercive actions by Washington against Venezuela, just think what these illegally US-appropriated funds could do to ease living conditions of Venezuelans whose hardship has exclusively been brought about by Washington and Washington’s coercion of its so-called western allies – alias vassals, especially Europe – to economically sanction Venezuela.
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Former Senator Piedad Cordoba ironically tweeted that if 800 U.S. soldiers are coming for counternarcotics operations in the region, they should “start with the case of drug trafficker Ñeñe Hernandez, who financed a presidential campaign.” For his part, former President Ernesto Samper warned that allowing foreign troops into the country without the Senate’s authorization could lead to disciplinary and criminal proceedings against President Ivan Duque and his Defense Ministry, for “ignoring jurisprudence of the Constitutional and the State Council.”