• August 18th, 2019
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New Venezuelan ambassador talks situation back home

WINDHOEK - The new Venezuelan ambassador to Namibia, Omar Ernesto Berroteran Paredes has described the current political situation in his country as normal. 

Following President Nicolás Maduro’s inauguration for a disputed second term in January, the speaker of the opposition-dominated parliament, Juan Guaidó declared himself “interim president” of the country. 

Guaidó was immediately recognised by the US, Canada and a group of Latin American conservative governments, who called upon the Venezuelan military to rise up against Maduro. The UK, France, Spain, Germany and other European countries also recognised Guaidó after Maduro rejected their demand for fresh elections. Paredes, who presented his credentials to President Hage Geingob at State House last week, said the situation is normal, while accusing external forces for attempting to cause political instability in Venezuela.

“If you visit the main cities in Venezuela, you can see people going to work, the kids going to school. Unfortunately, foreign forces are trying to create instability in the country,” he told New Era and NBC in an interview.

“One of the topics I discussed with President Hage Geingob, who is also the Chairperson of Sadc [Southern African Development Community] was to thank him on behalf of the government of President Nicolás Maduro and the people of Venezuela for his brave and strong support,” Paredes said. 

Last month, Namibia added her voice to growing international concern over the situation in Venezuela, calling on the international community to allow the Venezuelans to resolve their internal issues in an amicable and peaceful manner.
Namibia’s Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah at the time said the international community should allow the people of Venezuela to resolve their internal issues within the confines of the Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

“Namibia has been following with great concern the political developments in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. The concern is that the political developments are arising from the unwarranted interference in the domestic affairs of Venezuela by foreign powers,” Nandi-Ndaitwah said.

Paredes noted that Namibia’s support is well received by the democratic institutions in Venezuela as it supports the truth, adding Maduro last year was elected with more than 67 percent of the voters in a process where more than a million people participated in the elections. 

He said the African Union (AU) also send a delegation who validated the results. Hence, he said the position of the African countries was very important for the true democratic processes and respect of the international law and the United Nations charter. Since Guaidó’s declaration, US President Donald Trump’s administration has imposed new sanctions on Maduro’s government, seized billions-worth of Venezuelan oil-related assets on US soil, and started making barely veiled threats of military intervention. 

Paredes admitted that the country is experiencing hyperinflation due to economic blockade and sanctions imposed by unilateral position of the government of the United States.

According to him, the Venezuela economy has lost more than U$30 billion in the last few years. “So please tell me which country in the world can resist an impact on their economy with such criminal blockade against our financial institutions and oil industry. That is why we are seeing the challenges in our economy. Despite, this situation, our government never stopped providing assistance to the poor people through social programmes in education, health, housing and in other sectors to stabilise our country,” he noted.

Because of challenges emanating from the hyperinflation, more than three million Venezuelans are said to have fled the country, causing consternation across the continent.
On Saturday, clashes broke out in Venezuelan border towns, as government allegedly blocked humanitarian aid from crossing from Colombia and Brazil.

Government troops fired tear gas and rubber bullets at protesters who attempted to collect and transport the supplies. Government believes aid is being used as part of the ploy to further influence the country’s internal politics.

Albertina Nakale
2019-02-25 09:19:18 5 months ago

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