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In Harlem, President Maduro Pays Tribute To Malcolm and Fidel, While Denouncing “U.S. Interference” In Venezuela

By September 30, 2015No Comments
By Milton Allimadi

President Maduro, right, shown with State Senator Perkins. Photo: Black Star News

Venezuelan Mentions Ferguson “Event” and Black Lives Matter

Speaking before a welcoming audience in Harlem last night Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro accused the United States of financing a six-month campaign of destabilization against his country that failed last year.

The country was rocked by several months of street protests that sometimes turned into violent clashes between protestors and security forces. The U.S. in the past has denied any involvement. Maduro previously called the protests a “revolt of the rich” and accused the U.S. of plotting with protestors to foment a “slow motion” Ukraine type regime change.

Speaking in Harlem yesterday, Maduro said in Venezuela some elements of the opposition want to engage in both electoral politics and acts of “terrorism.”

“When they engage in terrorism they don’t want to be punished,” Maduro, whose speech in Spanish was simultaneously translated, said. He’s in New York to address the United Nations General Assembly; he condemned what he called 15 years of unjust wars waged by Western countries on Afghanistan, Syria, and Libya. “Do we have a safer world?” as a result of those wars, he asked.

He said the wars have destabilized Afghanistan, Libya and Syria; and in the case of Syria it’s now unleashed a humanitarian crises as tens of thousands of refugees flee to European countries. “This is the huge failure of imperialist wars that have led to more divisions,” he said, to standing applause.

He also questioned whether the refugees can find a solution in the very countries that have “financed terrorism” in their countries.

He was interrupted several times with chants of “Chavez! Chavez! Chavez!” a reference to his predecessor the popular Hugo Chavez who died of cancer on March 5, 2013.

Maduro questioned how there could be global recovery when “the powers of the world are focusing on producing more nuclear bombs.” He said the “public opinion must stand up” and ask for reconstruction in Syria, Iraq, and in Africa — noting how thousands of Africans drown in the Mediterranean trying to reach Europe.

Maduro called for more cooperation between Latin America, the Caribbean, African Americans and the African continent. He announced that a major conference will take place next year involving all the regions but didn’t disclose details. “We need to build a new world where we recognize each other as brothers and sisters,” he said. “We need to build new models that favor the workers not the capitalists.”

He said workers must always be the focus of development.

He noted, sarcastically that “cultured” and “civilized” Europe had carried out genocide around the world as it spread global colonialism.

Maduro praised as “historic” the launch of the new United Nations Agenda 2030 against global poverty at the beginning of the current General Assembly meetings which was also attended by Pope Francis.

Some of of the Agenda 2030’s 17 sustainable development goals and 169 targets include, over the next 15 years: eradicating extreme poverty; reducing inequality; ensuring food security and ending hunger; protecting the environment; promoting sustainable agricultural production; providing universal quality education and healthcare; and, providing access to clean water.

Maduro denounced economic models controlled by bankers and “speculators.” He pointed to Spain where people were being evicted from homes because they could no longer make mortgage payments.

Maduro said he was honored to be in Harlem, once the home of Malcolm X and a place also visited by Fidel Castro in September 1960 when the Cuban addressed the General Assembly; Castro met Malcolm at the Theresa Hotel in Harlem. “We have suffered with you since the events of Ferguson,” Maduro said, a reference to the uprising protest in the aftermath of the execution-style killing of 18-year old Michael Brown by Darren Wilson last August. “We realized that racism is alive and well and kicking.”

He said contemporary racism was a legacy of slavery — “racism was the basis of slavery,” he said. He said the resistance against racism in the U.S. was inspiring people allover the world.

Maduro praised his predecessor Chavez, whom he said had charted a new path for development for Venezuela. He was introduced by Danny Glover, the human rights activist, actor and chairman of Trans Africa Forum.

Ralph Gonsalves, prime minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines also made impromptu remarks on stage. He recalled how Cuba helped destroy apartheid South Africa by defeating its once vaunted Army at the 1987 Battle of Cuito Cuanavale in Angola and how once again Havana was in the frontline in the battle against Ebola by sending hundreds of doctors to West Africa last year. Gonsalves, who is spearheading Caribbean nations in their legal case against a number of European countries for Reparations for Enslavement disclosed that he had discussed the campaign with U.K. prime minister David Cameron but didn’t provide details.

There were several other speakers including State Senator Bill Perkins and a co-founder of Black Lives Matter, Opal Tometi.

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IBW21 (The Institute of the Black World 21st Century) is committed to enhancing the capacity of Black communities in the U.S. and globally to achieve cultural, social, economic and political equality and an enhanced quality of life for all marginalized people.