The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain
Week commencing 22nd March 2019

Venezuela fights US Sabotage

by New Worker correspondent

VENEZUELAN engineers are battling to restore electricity in the country following further sabotage to the power grids this week. In Rome talks between Russian and American envoys on the crisis ended without any agreement. and traitors have taken control of former Venezuelan diplomatic missions in America with the apparent blessing of the Trump regime.

Venezuela’s national electricity supplier Corpoelec says it is working hard to restore electricity in the country after further attacks on the national network this week. Power was lost in four provinces as well as in parts of the capital, Caracas. Earlier in the month a major blackout swept Venezuela following a cyber-attack on the Guri hydroelectric power plant carried out by the hidden hand of US imperialism.

President Nicolas Maduro’s government blames US imperialism and the Western-backed opposition for the sabotage of the electricity system, and he has called on the United Nations, Russia, People’s China, Cuba and Iran to investigate the cyberattack on the energy supply system. Russia and China have both offered to send technical assistance to Venezuela to help restore the country’s power supplies. The Russians also say they are ready to co-operate to investigate the blackout and help bring the sabotage plotters to justice. Kremlin Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said last week that Russia considers that Venezuela’s blackout was due to a cyber-attack from abroad.

“According to the country’s legitimate government headed by President Nicolas Maduro, as well as to information from other credible sources, Venezuela’s power grid was attacked from abroad,” Zakharova said, pointing out that “it was an attempt to remotely influence control systems at major electrical substations where Canadian-made equipment is installed.”

The Americans have long had highly developed plans involving the use of cyber-attacks to attack critical power-grid infrastructure in countries targeted for ‘regime change’ by US imperialism. Zakharova said the perpetrators of this aggression against the Venezuelan people are fully responsible for the deaths the blackout caused as many hospitals were left without electricity. “We hope that this responsibility will sooner or later take the form of a court ruling,” she declared.

Meanwhile Russian efforts to contain the crisis have faltered following the break-down of high-level talks in Rome. Russian Deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov and US special representative Elliot Abrams headed the delegations that met in the Italian capital this week. During the talks, the Russians warned the Americans not to intervene militarily in Venezuela. But after a two-hour encounter, Ryabkov told the media that the “difficult but frank talks had ended without any agreement.

In Caracas, Venezuelan Foreign Affairs Minister Jorge Arreaza has condemned the seizure of diplomatic premises in the USA by Washington-backed agents. Representatives of self-proclaimed “interim president” Juan Guaidó, an American pawn, have taken control of two buildings belonging to Venezuela’s defence ministry in Washington and one consular building in New York with the blessing of the Trump administration.

“In a clear violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, our diplomatic buildings have been seized” said Arreaza, adding that according to the 1961 Convention “Venezuela’s diplomatic assets in the US can only be used by the official personnel that represent the democratic and constitutional government of President Nicolas Maduro”. Arreaza has asked the Trump administration to “take the necessary measures to immediately reverse this forcible occupation”. He said that: “If the US government continues to disregard international obligations, Venezuela’s government reserves its right to take legal action and reciprocal measures in its territory.”