In this op-ed from today in El Universal, a newspaper the international corporate media and NGOs like the Committee to Protect Journalists have depicted as having been taken over by the government in 2014, Julio Borges talks about his trip to Europe which was aimed at ramping up international pressure and condemnation of Venezuela’s government.
Borges is president of the opposition controlled National Assembly. My translation of what he wrote follows:
This week we visited several European countries to raise awareness of the political, institutional, economic, social and human rights crisis in Venezuela. We have seen that the international community pays close attention to the day-to-day life of our country, and has expressed its solidarity with the Venezuelan people.
We were received in France by the President, Emmanuel Macron; in Spain by the head of the Government Mariano Rajoy; in Germany by Chancellor Angela Merkel and in the UK by British Prime Minister Theresa May. We also met with our counterparts: the presidents and other members of the parliaments of those countries, with whom we discussed the situation of hunger, shortage of medicines, attacks on the Venezuelan National Assembly, human rights violations, arbitrary detentions, as well as the importance of the international community in providing a democratic exit to the crisis in Venezuela.
All the heads of governments showed their support for the Venezuelan National Assembly and myself as the legitimate president of the Venezuelan Parliament, as well as their readiness to collaborate in the restoration of democracy. To end the tour we met Tony Blair, former British Prime Minister, who expressed his rejection of the illegitimate National Constituent Assembly. In his view, it is an instrument to prevent Venezuelans from deciding their future. In his statements he said that he rejected the National Constituent Assembly as an instrument to end democracy in Venezuela and prevent Venezuelans from deciding their future.
All those European countries have been harsh critics of Nicolas Maduro’s government in recent weeks, for example Macron called Maduro’s government “dictatorship,” while Germany denounced that the election of the ruling Constituent Assembly violated democratic principles. Spain and the United Kingdom do not recognize the Constituent Assembly, along with a dozen Latin American countries, the US, the European Union, and bodies such as the OAS and Mercosur. We hope that the Venezuelan government will take the necessary corrective measures so that our people improve their living conditions, open a corridor for humanitarian aid and respects human rights.
You can see here that Borges has been writing regularly (a few times a month in his case) for El Universal for years as have numerous other strident government critics (Carolina James Branger, Jesus M Casal, Nelson Bocaranda, among many others) – long after the alleged takeover by the government in 2014.
Below are links to lengthy interviews Borges has given on Venezuela’s largest private TV networks – all from this year. I found them through a quick and far from exhaustive search:
In the last interview listed above he calls the Venezuelan electoral body (the CNE) as a “mafia” that perpetrated massive fraud during the elections of the Constituent Assembly. He also equates President Maduro to the military dictator, Marcos Perez Jimenez, who ruled Venezuela during the 1950s.
Since winning control over the National Assembly in 2015, Henry Ramos and Julio Borges (who have each served as presidents of the legislative body) have boasted about blocking Venezuela’s access to foreign loans. Borges political coalition, the MUD, supports the economic sanctions Trump has recently imposed on Venezuela. Public opinion in Venezuela is against sanctions, but don’t expect the corporate media to bring that up or any other glaring contradiction or falsehood in what Borges says.
You really have to gasp at the extreme dishonesty (and/or utter political cowardice) of the international journalists who have allowed Venezuela to be labelled a dictatorship.