Fana Fraser, a T&T-born dancer currently residing in New York, is one of the New Waves! 2016 artistes-in-residence.
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Venezuela’s ambassador in T&T: Maduro facing attempted coup
Venezuelan ambassador to T&T Coromoto Godoy Calderon says the Maduro administration is facing an attempted coup promoted by extremist right-wingers and encouraged by several international media organisations. She also accused Venezuela’s private media of manipulating the news out of the unrest-ridden country.
Calderon spoke Tuesday night about the latest problems plaguing her homeland during the launch of a permanent photo exhibition featuring the late Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez’s interaction with leaders, including former prime minister Patrick Manning, at Bretton Hall, Port-of-Spain. Pro-Chavez/Maduro government supporters attended the exhibition as well as Cuban Ambassador Guillermo Vazquez, Gregory Fernandez, of the Movement for Social Justice and Burton Sankeralli of the Bolivarian Solidarity Movement.
Also that night, other Venezuelan students staged a demonstration at Adam Smith Square, Port-of-Spain, in support of their embattled compatriots “at home.” Since last week students, as well as forces for and against the Venezuelan government, have clashed several times in Caracas and other cities. T&T’s Government was hoping a Community of Latin American and Caribbean countries (CELAC) meeting would trigger peace dialogue.
On Tuesday, ambassador Calderon referred to the unrest as “the shameful violent events in Venezuela taking place since February 12.” She said President Nicholas Maduro had said Venezuelans were living in very complex times after a February 12 opposition march, when three supporters were killed and dozens wounded. She added: “We are facing an attempted coup promoted by extremist right-wing Venezuelans which have encouraged the organisation of radical groups and manipulated them in order to generate violence.
“These violent gangs are being used by the Venezuelan opposition to create a political crisis aimed to end the Bolivarian revolution.” Calderon claimed Venezuela’s opposition repeatedly tried to seize power in the last 15 years after “continuous electoral defeats.” She said two days ago Venezuela’s Communication /Information Minister Delcy Rodriguez showed “strong evidence of media manipulation to the country, to incriminate and demand accountability from the Venezuelan state’s institutions for the acts of violence.
“For example,” she said, “images were manipulated of the Chilean police abusing a student and another of an Egyptian woman being abused by military troops.” She added: “These are among dozens of manipulated images that appear in the local and international media regarding Venezuelan news. This includes the Venezuelan private media which constitutes an overwhelming majority within the mass media.
“With the violent incidents of February 12, we again witness the alliance of opposition and extremist sectors worldwide, especially with media dictatorship as well as the empire. Amid the violence planned and carried out by fascist groups several international media have encouraged this attempted coup.”
Saying the opposition was divided, Calderon said a massive pro-government march was being held on Tuesday in Caracas. She said it was clear Venezuela would not support a takeover of political power if it were not done through the sovereign right to vote.