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Venezuela ratifies commitment to principles of UN Rights Council

Caracas, 03 Mar. AVN.- Venezuela ratifies its commitment to the work, principles and purposes underlying the charter of the Human Rights Council of the United Nations (UN) and the principle of self-determination, peace and security of peoples, said Tuesday Venezuelan Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez.

"If we really want to have a safer world that is free from violence, we have to join all our efforts, all our commitments to making these institutions real for the protection of human rights," she said during her speech at the twenty-eighth session of the UN Human Rights Council, which takes place at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland.

She mentioned that this task should be addressed to prevent the current Human Rights Council from becoming into the old and the former Commission on Human Rights, in which the name of human rights was politicized and obscured by making a selective use of its principles. This led to major violations of fundamental rights of people.

"In the name of human rights we have seen how military policies, which now aim to expand throughout the world, do not recognize the will and the human rights of most citizens of the world," she said in connection with national and international media manipulation against Venezuela, in which the local and foreign right-wing have used the issue of human rights with a political agenda.

To counter this reality that occurs in Venezuela and other nations, she said the government of President Nicolas Maduro confirms its commitment to combine and join all the efforts to "make the Human Rights Council and its principles more relevant than ever, to truly act as a protective shield of human rights of citizens."

Palestine

Foreign Minister also said Venezuela ratifies its commitment to the people of Palestine, which has been targeted by the state of Israel and whose terrorist actions have left thousands of people killed, violating all rights inherent to human beings.

In this regard, Rodriguez complained that some states have double standards and use at their convenience the issue of human rights, as Israel, so Venezuela is "committed to the people of Palestine and rejects criminal attacks of the State of Israel against this people."

For more than half a century, the Palestinian state and their people face the Zionist and expansionist policies of the Israeli government, which has forced the displacement of at least 2 million people. Palestine has been left with 12% of its historical territory that today covers the Gaza Strip and the West Bank area.

Venezuela also defended on Tuesday the legitimate right of Palestine to become a full member of the UN.

Not to the blockade against Cuba

In this session of the UN Human Rights Council, held in Geneva, Venezuela also expressed their strong opposition to the over and over denounced economic, financial and commercial blockade imposed by the United States against Cuba for over half a century.

This unilateral policy of Washington, which has caused economic damage to Havana totaling more than one trillion, 112 billion dollars, is a criminal blockade and should be lifted, stressed Rodriguez.

"We support the Cuban people's cause: the lifting of the economic, commercial and financial blockade that did away with many human rights: the right to health, the right to education, the right to food of the people of Cuba."

Peace in Colombia

Concerning Colombia peace negotiations, Rodriguez said Venezuela also reaffirms its intention "to persevere in the peace process of Colombia."

Since November 2012, the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia - People's Army (FARC-EP) have started peace talks in Havana, Cuba, in order to make progress on issues such as political participation, drug trafficking, laying down of arms and compensation for victims of the armed conflict that has continued for more than five decades, leaving more than 600,000 deaths and 4 million displaced.

Three partial agreements on comprehensive agricultural development, political participation and the problem of illicit drugs have been achieved during talks –in which Chile and Venezuela participate as companions– that had a break in December and were resumed in February.

"We now reaffirm our commitment to the right of peoples to self-determination, peace and enjoy a healthy environment," Venezuelan Foreign Minister stated recalling words of Commander of the Bolivarian Revolution, Hugo Chavez, about the need to promote and protect human rights, which are universal and inalienable.

Commander Chavez once said –Rodriguez recalled– "beyond political democracy, democratic system must expand to social field and here is something fundamental: human rights, social rights, the rights of peoples."

AVN

95.4% of Venezuelans eat three or more times a day

Caracas, 03 Mar. AVN.- Most Venezuelans eat three or four times a day, said Tuesday Venezuelan Vice President, Jorge Arreaza, during the presentation of the Annual Report of Ministers in the National Assembly.

Citing figures from the National Statistics Institute (INE), Arreaza said that 95.4% of Venezuelans eat more than three times a day.

He added that the rate of undernourishment decreased from 21% in 1998 to less than 5%, an item that has to "go down."

He stressed that the Food Mission has impacted on the increase of consumption of Venezuelans.

This Mission, created by Commander Hugo Chavez in 2003, opened 279 new markets, for a total of 22,000 grocery stores, supermarkets, markets and food sale and distribution establishments nationwide.

Arreaza also said that 25,380,916 metric tons of products of the basic basket were distributed between 2003 and 2014 and only last year –when the economic war grew worse and the coup plan that left 43 people killed– it was distributed 4,672,419 metric tons, representing a fifth of what was distributed in 11 years.

Pensioners

Vice president said that there are 2,600,000 elderly pensioners, including fishermen, taxi drivers and other workers who were not formally listed during their years of work.

He stressed that this year 300,000 new pensions will be delivered to the elderly.

Concerning health, Arreaza said the public system serves 82% of Venezuelans and Barrio Adentro Mission has carried out more than 700 million medical consultations in 11 years, with over 1,700,000 lives saved so far in 2014, through their 10,187 health centers across the country.

US to Reduce Staff in Caracas Embasy

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez said Monday that U.S. embassy officials have 15 days to reduce the number of staff in Caracas to 17.

The announcement came after the minister met with the U.S. embassy official in charge of trade, Lee McClenney.

Rodriguez added that her ministry granted the 15-day period in order to give the U.S. government time to report on the number and rank of their diplomatic staff at the embassy in Caracas.

The minister added that Monday the joint resolution adopted by the Ministries of the Interior and Foreign Relations that states U.S. tourists will now have to apply for a visa for reasons of reciprocity.

Rodriguez explained that these measures and the diplomatic actions taken regarding the U.S. embassy are in line with international law and that it is in response to the high level of reciprocity that should exist between sovereign nations.

The U.S. Embassy in Caracas

There are 100 U.S. officials presently working for the U.S. Embassy in Venezuela, while there are only 17 Venezuelan representatives at the country’s diplomatic mission in Washington.

The head of Venezuelan foreign affairs said that the meeting she held with McClenney was courteous and amicable. She added the meeting was to explain the new measures recently announced by President Nicolas Maduro that were in response to the reiterated acts of interventionism by the U.S. government, which include 103 statements against Venezuela in 2014 and 65 so far this year.

“We have called on relations of reciprocity and soverign equality and we are calling on coherence,” she added.

Maduro’s Announcements

On Saturday, Maduro announced a series of diplomatic measures against the United States aimed at avoiding any interference or imperialist attacks against Venezuela.

Maduro asked Washington to revise, reduce, modify and limit the number of officials working at its embassy in Caracas.

TeleSur

George Bush Banned from Venezuela

The Venezuelan government officially imposed new sanctions Tuesday on top officials linked to the U.S. regime, including those accused of overseeing human rights abuses.

Former U.S. President George W. Bush and former Vice President Dick Cheney are just two of the names included on a list of U.S. citizens now ineligible for Venezuelan visas. The measures were first announced over the weekend.

The U.S. imposed a series of sanctions on top Venezuelan government officials late last year, claiming they were in response to the violence in the country between February and June 2014. The Venezuelan government however said the sanctions were political. The violence was led by Venezuela’s right-wing opposition, with most deaths caused to government supporters or passersby. Security forces were arrested for the few cases where they were responsible for deaths.

“We will prohibit visas for individuals who want to come to Venezuela who have violated human rights and have bombed Iraq, Syria and Vietnam,” Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has stated.

Other individuals now banned from traveling to Venezuela include former CIA head George Tenet and prominent anti-Venezuela U.S. legislators Marco Rubio, Bob Menendez, Mario Diaz Balart and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.

“They cannot come to Venezuela because they are terrorists,” Maduro stated.

In an exclusive interview with teleSUR Saturday, Venezuela’s Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez explained that the U.S. Embassy in Caracas will also be ordered to reduce its diplomatic staff. The Venezuelan government says the embassy has over 100 workers.

Rodriguez added that current United States diplomats in Venezuela will have to re-apply for their visas.

She also pointed out that the history of U.S interventionism in the country goes back many years, since Hugo Chavez came to power in 1999. In recent months the United States had increased not only verbal attacks, but attempts to intervene in the Venezuelan political process.

The foreign minister added that the measures were imposed after Venezuelan authorities said they discovered U.S. agents trying to infiltrate coastal communities.

Maduro has argued that the measures are needed due to concerns U.S. officials were involved in a coup plot foiled by Venezuelan authorities in February.

According to authorities, Venezuela’s right-wing opposition plotted to topple the Maduro administration with a campaign of violence, including aerial bombing raids on key public sites around Caracas.

Some of those involved were also in contact with U.S. officials and were offered visas to both the U.S. and U.K., according to investigators.

Telesur

Vancouver Premiere of Oliver Stone's "Mi amigo Hugo"

The Consulate General of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in Vancouver and the Hugo Chávez People’s Defense Front invite you to celebrate Commander Chávez’s life, at two years from his physical departure, next Thursday March 5th, with the Vancouver Premiere of Oliver Stone’s documentary My Friend Hugo (50 min., English subtitles).

Date and time: Thursday March 5th 2015 at 7 p.m.

Place: The Cultch, 1895 Venables Street, Vancouver

There will be an open microphone session and a reception with beverages and snacks after the screening. This event is FREE ADMISSION and for all ages.

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