BELGRADE – Latin American nations accused the US of “neo-colonialism” at the UN General Assembly, with Venezuela going as far as calling the Washington “the biggest exporter of violence in the world,” while also arguing for the removal of stumbling blocks to development.
Ecuador and Nicaragua joined Venezuela in their condemnation of the US at the 71st UN General Assembly in New York.
The mood was largely centered around the economic exploitation of countries in the south by the developed north. The United States, with its history of fomenting unrest and regime change in Latin America – took center stage.
Venezuelan Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez in particular said capitalism is the main “producer of violence and unhappiness” as she spoke in support of rebalancing global power dynamics through the BRICS.
With her country in turmoil, Rodriguez reminded the delegates about the cost of war.
“The United States is the biggest exporter of violence in the world,” she said as quoted by Telesur channel. “The United States has about 800 military bases across the world. Capitalism is the biggest obstacle for peoples to develop. It’s a lethal formula against peace.”
Rodriguez has also taken a stand against Washington’s meddling in Venezuelan politics, particularly with regard to a motion by the opposition who want to hold a referendum to remove President Nicolas Maduro.
Venezuela’s foreign minister recalled Operation Condor, in the 1970s, where right-wing dictatorships orchestrated mass killings at home in order to stop the public from being influenced by communism and the Soviet Union.
While the US never openly admitted its role in the operation, the CIA acknowledged it was aware of it and various publications and witnesses alleged Washington’s key organizational, financial and technical roles.
Rodriguez likened the current coup in Brazil to “a new operation Condor,” before moving onto US support of Israel and declaring that “there won’t be peace in the Middle East if it denies Palestinians their rights.”
Just two days ago, the country accused the US of spying on the Non-Aligned Movement summit. Venezuela’s air force said it spotted two US aircraft circling near the island Margarita, allegedly “collecting information [and] carrying out intelligence operations on the summit,” according to Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez. He added that there were a total of 32 airspace violations in 2016 alone.
Nicaraguan Vice President Moises Halleslevens also spoke at the UN and emphasized the responsibility that developed countries have to those that are less economically well off.
“The international community still needs to be responsible for the millions of human beings on earth, where this right is still a dream. The developed countries have to fulfil once and for all their formal commitment to help development,” he said, adding that no self-determination is possible without first eradicating neo-colonialism.
The ideas were also floated by Ecuadorean Foreign Minister Guillaume Long, who sided with Halleslevens on development, adding, “it’s a political issue”.
He urged the creation of an international body to monitor transnational firms and eradicate tax havens. “We believe that guaranteeing human rights goes hand in hand with reducing poverty and inequality,” Long added.