Speaking in an interview with FNA, Professor Tajeldine said the political and economic agenda of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro “[does] not allow the North American transnational companies to continue taking oil and other resources at very low prices, or with no payment at all. Of course, this led to the severe response by the United States and its consequent attacks on Chávez and then on Maduro”.
Laila Tajeldine is a Venezuelan lawyer and professor at the Bolivarian University of Venezuela. From 2011 to 2013, she was the Venezuela’s representative before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on penitentiary matters. In the United Nations, she also represented Venezuela both in the General Assembly and in the Security Council.
Below is the full text of the interview:
Q: How do you view the US accusations against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro charging him with drug trafficking?
A: The United States has always considered Venezuela and the entire region as its own backyard and allows itself to manipulate region’s economic and natural resources. Without underestimating the rest of the countries in the region, Venezuela is a territory truly rich in natural resources, hydrocarbons and minerals. Its soil is truly blessed and that blessing is the one that the United States availed itself of, until the Revolution led by Commander Hugo Chávez Frías.
Chávez assumed the power of the country with 80% of the population mired in poverty. The poverty reduced to 27% when he was in office. Social investment for uniting the people and improving their life standards were a priority for the revolutionary government, which made the resources of the state available to its own people, and did not allow the North American transnational companies to continue taking oil and other resources at very low prices, or with no payment at all. Of course, this led to the severe response by the United States and its consequent attacks on Chávez and then on Maduro who has been following Chávez.
The United States dared to accuse President Nicolás Maduro of drug trafficking, although this accusation was not new, since they pointed out the same to President Chávez, but this time, they violated international norms by lifting the jurisdictional immunity which every head of state possesses. They offered a reward on his capture. The impudence of the United States never ceases to amaze us.
Maduro is attacked by the United States and neoliberal allies because he represents and leads an inclusive political-economic project that has attracted not only the Venezuelan people, but also the other nations of the region. The project is truly sovereign and independent, and defends humanity. Furthermore, that project includes the sovereign use of the natural and economic resources of the country, something totally rejected by the United States. History has shown that every time a sovereign and independent leader emerges in the region, the United States has tried to get him out of his way, as it did with Chile’s Salvador Allende and Commander Fidel Castro.
Q: Why is the US planning an interim government for Venezuela, a sovereign country?
A: In the last 20 years, Venezuela has strengthened the state institutions and developed an inviolable and reliable electoral system, recognized by innumerable international institutions, including the Carter Center. 24 elections have been held in Venezuela via this electoral system, and Chavismo has won in most of them. The revolutionary political project is shared by the majority of the Venezuelan people and this has led to its ratification through democratic elections. In May 2018, the people again decided to ratify President Nicolás Maduro as the constitutional President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela; however, the United States, violating all international norms and interfering in the affairs of Venezuela, declared it does not recognize the results of the elections (consequently Nicolás Maduro as the president) as if the sovereignty of the state was transferable and subject to the political desires of those who believe themselves to be the owners of the world.
The reality is the United States understood that the right in Venezuela has been unable to democratically overthrow Chavism; therefore, they have prepared to use any formula to overthrow it and in turn discredit and prepare the ground for the destruction of Venezuelan institutions. The so-called Interim Government proposed by the United States indicates the incompetence of the Venezuelan opposition. By that, Trump seeks a more active and direct position to go ahead with his political and economic agenda in Venezuela by applying this formula.
Q: How do you find the US offer that if power is turned over to the opposition, the requested IMF loan of $5 billion to combat coronavirus outbreak will be released?
A: The United States is not credible to dispose funds for other countries; in fact, they have taken the funds of the people of Venezuela. We must be vigilant and not fall into the propaganda promoted by the White House and the US State Department. The United States will keep blackmailing Venezuelan government, as it increased the sanctions to suffocate the constitutional Government of Venezuela led by President Nicolás Maduro, to cause further the economic recession during the pandemic that has gotten out of hand.