U.N.: Venezuela Demands ‘Reparations’ for ‘Historical Debt of Decolonization’

Venezuela's Foreign Minister Yvan Gil Pinto addresses the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Saturday, Sept. 23, 2023, at United Nations headquarters. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
AP Photo/Mary Altaffer

CARACAS – Venezuelan Foreign Affairs Minister Yván Gil declared during his address to the United Nations General Assembly on Saturday that “free peoples” are building a “new world order.”

Gil stood in representation of socialist dictator Nicolás Maduro, who chose not to travel to New York for the 78th United Nations General Assembly.

“This new multipolar and multilateral world of peace and economic prosperity, free from hegemony, anchored in the United Nations Charter, must be based on the values of true multilateralism, international cooperation, and solidarity,” Gil said.

The minister also “recognized” the China-led BRICS economic and security bloc’s “contribution” to the current global geopolitics and the “democratization of international relations,” reiterating that the Maduro regime wishes to join the group. BRICS is an acronym representing current bloc members Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, but the five countries agreed to welcome a host of new members – most notably, rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran – at their summit in August.

OHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - AUGUST 24: South African President Cyril Ramaphosa with fellow BRICS leaders President of Brazil Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, President of China Xi Jinping, Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi, and Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov pose for a family photo, with delegates including six nations invited to join the BRICS group, Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, during the closing day of The BRICS summit at the Sandton Convention Center on August 24, 2023 in the Sandton district of Johannesburg, South Africa. The BRICS summit, held in South Africa between 22-24 August 2023. The BRICS group of major emerging economies is made up of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. The 15th BRICS Summit, an international relations conference, is being held in South Africa between August 22-24 2023 with the leaders expected to discuss the expansion of the BRICS group and a BRICS currency. It is the first in-person summit of the BRICS nations - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - since the Covid-19 pandemic. Russian President Vladimir Putin will not be attending the meetings in person due to the ICC, International Criminal Court issued warrant for alleged war crimes. (Photo by Per-Anders Pettersson/Getty Images)

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa with fellow BRICS leaders pose for a family photo with new members on the last day of the BRICS summit, August 23, 2023 (Photo by Per-Anders Pettersson/Getty Images).

The Venezuelan foreign minister praised China during his speech, describing it as a country that contributes to “dialogue, understanding, global peace, and common progress.“

Gil began his nearly 30-minute address (the U.N. recommends speakers limit themselves to 15 minutes) by issuing calls to reform the United Nations, quoting a speech issued by late socialist dictator Hugo Chávez in which he made similar demands.

“Today we see how many agencies, programs, and funds of the United Nations system fail to fulfill their mandates and end up being instrumentalized by the interests of the United States of America and its allies,” Gil said. “We must reform the organization to make it a democratic institution where all members have a voice and participate in decisionmaking on equal terms.”

The Maduro regime representative claimed that the proposed restructuring of the U.N. involves settling the “historical debt of decolonization.” 

“A just future is only possible if reparations are made for the recognition, justice, and development of historically affected populations,” Gil said.

Gil continued by denouncing the United States, accusing it of wanting to “appropriate” Venezuela’s oil resources through the Exxon Mobil oil company.

“Guyana is granting oil concessions in an undelimited maritime territory, in total violation of international law,” Gil said. “Unilateral disposal of a disputed territory is not permissible, but the Republic of Guyana persists in its illegal conduct.”

Neighbors Venezuela and Guyana have been entangled in a decades-long territorial dispute over some 61,600 square miles of territory commonly referred to as the Esequibo, a region rich in oil and other natural resources. In April, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled it had jurisdiction over the dispute. Gil’s statement comes after Guyana held an offshore oil bidding round last week, which the Maduro regime protested on the grounds that Guyana does not have sovereign rights over the areas.

The Venezuelan foreign minister accused the United States of intending to “militarize” the territorial dispute through the alleged establishment of a military base in the contested territory. According to Gil, the purported U.S. base aims to create a “spearhead in its aggression against Venezuela and consolidating the plunder of our energy resources.” Gil provided no evidence for his claims.

Gil went on to accuse unspecified actors of “cyberattacks” against the banking, electrical, oil industry, and healthcare sectors of Venezuela — all of which have been brought to near ruins after more than two decades of socialist mismanagement. Gil continued by demanding the immediate release of Colombian businessman Alex Saab, often identified as Maduro’s financial brain, who is currently on trial in the United States on charges of money laundering.

People walk near a graffiti demanding Colombian businessman Alex Saab's freedom, in Caracas, on February 23, 2021. - Saab, who is allegedly close to Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and wanted in the US for money laundering, has been put under house arrest in Cape Verde. Saab was detained in June 2020 as a plane he was travelling on stopped over in the African country. (Photo by Yuri CORTEZ / AFP) (Photo by YURI CORTEZ/AFP via Getty Images)

People walk near graffiti demanding Colombian businessman Alex Saab’s freedom, in Caracas, on February 23, 2021. Saab, who is allegedly close to Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and wanted in the US for money laundering, has been put under house arrest in Cape Verde (YURI CORTEZ/AFP via Getty Images).

Gil proceeded by calling sanctions against regimes that routinely abuse the human rights of their citizens, such as Venezuela, a “major pandemic,” demanding the “complete, immediate, and unconditional lifting” of all sanctions on Maduro. Gil also demanded the lifting of all sanctions imposed on Cuba, Eritrea, Iran, Nicaragua, Syria, Zimbabwe, and other “sister nations.”

Nicolas Maduro, Venezuela’s president, speaks during a press conference at Miraflores Palace in Caracas, Venezuela, on Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2022 (Matias Delacroix/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Echoing similar calls made last week by leftist heads of state, such as Colombia’s Gustavo Petro and Chile’s Gabriel Boric, the Venezuelan foreign minister urged radical changes to the current international financial system.

“The World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and Western credit institutions, while charging low interest rates to their friends, burden developing countries with unpayable interest rates, which some experts have termed a criminal financial apartheid,” Gil said. “This neo-colonialist scheme of plunder and dependence must be rooted out.”

Gill did not similarly condemn China, one of the socialist regime’s main allies that, through its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), offers debt trap loan agreements to impoverished countries to use on infrastructure projects. China then seizes the projects when the countries cannot pay the loans back.

On the subject of migration, Gil requested that the United Nations hold an International Conference on Venezuela to address the South American nation’s unprecedented migrant crisis. 

Gil requested “a true international commitment to guarantee the rights of migrants to citizenship, identification, dignified work, social security, and the respect for their dignity” — without mentioning that the collapse of the Maduro regime’s socialist government is what caused the Venezuelan migrant crisis in the first place. As of August, international institutions estimate that more than 7.7 million Venezuelans have fled socialism in their country.

The foreign minister made mention of Venezuela’s upcoming “free and fair” 2024 presidential election, boldly claiming that Venezuelans will head to the polling stations to “reiterate support for the Bolivarian, revolutionary, and socialist project initiated by the Eternal Commander Hugo Chavez Frias.” Maduro and other high-ranking regime officials have repeatedly insisted that there will be no “free and fair” elections in Venezuela until the United States, the European Union, Canada, and other countries first lift all sanctions, a demand they have rhetorically branded “sanctions-free fair elections.”

Gil concluded his lengthy address by claiming that Venezuela will “not yield or will ever yield to pressure, blackmail, or threats, and will continue to be free.”

Christian K. Caruzo is a Venezuelan writer and documents life under socialism. You can follow him on Twitter here.


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