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At this crucial moment in Venezuela's history, we, Venezuelan women who love our homeland, followers of the heroines of our independence struggles, consider it our duty to proclaim our defense of sovereignty, peace and the lives of our compatriots.
to the Venezuelan People
and to the World in General
As part of our responsibility as mothers, wives, daughters, sisters and comrades, we denounce the terrorism that is being perpetuated against Venezuelans and foreigners living in our country. For us, as women, love is a way of life whereas hatred and murder are betrayals of the essence of feminism.
The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court defines 1) genocide as including acts causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group when such acts are committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group. (Part 2, Article 6) and 2) crimes against humanity as including persecution of political groups intentionally causing great suffering, or serious injury to body or to mental or physical health. (Part 2, Article 7). This statute is legally recognized in this country, according to the official bulletin of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela (No. 5507, 13th December, 2000): Without doubt, those who are supporting the sabotage of the oil industry, blockading food, medicines and services from their fellow citizens, the press that is promoting and stimulating these actions, are committed to supporting genocide and crimes against humanity.
The homeland is not an abstraction. No one who loves the homeland can hate their fellow citizens and be willing to hand over the resources and sovereignty of her/his country. We cannot fall into the false division being imposed by the media between those who support Chavez and those who do not. At this moment, when some are trying to destroy Venezuela and its oil industry, the appropriate distinction is between traitors and patriots. An opposition, loving the homeland, would not be one that supports sabotage and blockade, with the intention of hurting the weakest social members: children and the elderly. What woman would support overturning a milk truck so that it cannot deliver milk to children? What values and principles can they claim to defend attacking and destroying part of the population for the purpose of defending particular interests?
We, as women of Venezuela, support peace, love and social justice, the protection of elementary human rights, the right to life, to food, to health, to information, to human dignity, for all Venezuelans, but especially to those who have been marginalized for past forty years. WE demand that the commercial press cease its negative, violent and unpatriotic campaign. Those who sow hatred, and resentment, reap only hell, chaos and destruction. Freedom of expression cannot be held hostage by the commercial presses. Those Venezuelans protesting against the terrorism of those who control the press, promoting violence, hatred and conspiracy against legitimate authorities, also have a right to express themselves and that right must be protected and guaranteed.
Women are aware that the dark forces seeking to return our country to dictatorship are the same forces that, in the past, kept us oppressed in family, society and in government, and now, together with the people of Venezuela, we strongly support the constitutionally elected president of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez Frmas, because his government for the first time, has made the need to end exclusion a state policy, has included in the Constitution demands women have been making for a long time, and because his government defends our sovereignty and has returned to us pride in being Venezuelans.
Venezuelan women thank the Armed Forces, who have maintained values of patriotism and loyalty, have defended and continue to defend the people, and who have shown that they can wear their uniforms with honour. We owe to them enormous gratitude for the lives and futures of our children.
Women denounce as traitors and enemies of the country all those who want to kill by hunger, lack of energy, lack of medicines, lack of elementary services, their own fellow citizens, and those who want to destroy the minds of their fellow citizens through psychological terrorism. No political interest or miserly material interest can justify the attempt to assassinate a people. How can anyone call himself a democrat as he is trying to use hunger to kill his fellow citizens? What kind of government will be installed by a minority that uses terrorism, hunger, racism and violence to achieve its ends? We call on all decent women to oppose the macabre machinations of those who are trying to destroy our country and people.
Instituto Nacional de la Mujer de Venezuela
(Venezuelan National Women.s Institute)
Several big oil transnationals (Shell, Mobil, Exxon, Phillips) have ordered their 14 tankers stationed in the east of Venezuela not to transport Venzuelan oil, reported the governor of the state of Sucre, and commissioner of Ministry of Energy, Ramsn Martmnez.
The 14 ships are in the Bay of Guaraguao in the state of Anzoategui with instructions not to carry Venezuelan oil., said Martmnez.
We believe that we are watching an international blockade against PDVSA (Venezuela Oil) said Martmnez.
The governor, currently in charge of restarting the oil industry that has been stopped for 25 days, named three of the ships: The Germar Ajax of Phillips, as well as the Nord Ocean and Antipolis of Exxon and Mobil.
Martmnez attributed the actions to the intentions of these companies to weaken the oil industry in order to take over the oil resources of the Plataforma Deltana. in the Northwest of the country where there lie enormous unexploited oil reserves.
The suggestion is that they will blockade the country and get involved in the oil negotiations, for the reserves of plataforma deltana, under the theory of 100 years ago that transnationals can take over whatever they get internal support for, he said.
Martmnez, four times governor of the state, headed the team that boarded the ship Barbara Palacios Tuesday night, which has already begun to unload 150,000 barrels of nafta catalmtica to make fuel.
The governor claimed that on boarding the ship, he discovered through computer records that the ship's crew had received instructions from Washington and that they had foreign accounts.
I received instructions to give the information to President Chavez and he will be the one who will inform the press, he said.
The transnationals are in this up to their necks, he added.
Referring to the oil industry, Martmnez said that in the east, we've broken the blockade, giving assurance that we've begun to raise production by 70%, exporting in the last six days, 6 million barrels of oil.
Nonetheless, Martmnez acknowledged that the situation in the east is not normalized.
They are requesting fuel for Caracas and we need to send some trucks there. In the next 72 hours the situation in Caracas should be under control, because they are extracting oil in Carenero, the state near Caracas.
He said that in trying to reactivate the industry in the area, they had revoked the contract of an American company identified as Swed, worth 1.2 billion dollars, that worked the port area.
This act allowed us to absorb the personnel of the company and with personnel to take care of the loading and unloading of the ships, he said.
Items translated by Susan Babbitt
I have attached two documents from a friend (Orietta Caponi) who is academic vice rector at Simon Rodriguez University in Venezuela, which I have translated. Can you send them around? the situation there is serious and the information (as usual) is not easily available. They are saying that what is happening in Venezuela is just what happened in Chile. It might be good if something could go up on the RPA web site.
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