Published On: Fri, Nov 17th, 2017

Luisa Ortega Diaz’s call for “regime change” rejected in the Dutch Parliament

Dutch ParliamentTHE HAGUE - On the 16th of November 2017, Luisa Ortega Diaz, Venezuela's former Attorney General, spoke to the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament, invited by the intensely anti-Bolivarian right-wing MP Sjoerds Sjoerdsma.

Although her talk to the Dutch MPs contained the customary list of charges against the Bolivarian Government: "There's hyperinflation, as well as corruption, drug trafficking and money laundering", and "there is lack of medicines and medical attention", Ortega's key message was "support regime change" in Venezuela.

However, Luisa Ortega Diaz totally failed to intellectually engage or provoke the very few (5) Dutch parliamentarians who turned up to Ortega Diaz's meeting, scheduled to last one full hour but stopped at 50 minutes.

Her message lacked substance, cohesion and context. Ortega Diaz simply provided a list of things that according to her are going badly in Venezuela, and without any serious evidence, blamed the government for them all. Ortega Diaz did not bother to provide specific figures, sources of information and much less did she bother to explain the reasons or provide a historical perspective of Venezuela's current problems.

As it is well known, Venezuela has been subjected to the most intense economic war, reminiscent of what was done to Allende in Chile; the US has tried to bring about the violent ousting of the Bolivarian Government since 1999, including a short-lived coup d'etat in 2002; under President Trump, the US has applied a most comprehensive financial blockade against Venezuela; and Trump has gone as far as to threaten Venezuela with military action.

Yet, the core of the problem with Ortega Diaz's presentation in the Dutch Parliament is not only her address' lack of substance but rather the blunt way in which she simply handed in a "wish list" to the Dutch parliamentarians with political items she wanted the Netherlands to do for the Venezuelan opposition.

In her speech and Q & A, Ortega Diaz asked the Netherlands to prohibit Venezuelan negotiations in the oil and mining industry; freeze Venezuelan accounts; reject the new Hate Crimes Act and demand changes in the National Electoral Commission. Outrageously, she closed her opening speech with an open call for the ousting of the Bolivarian Government: "Besides the EU sanctions, can the Netherlands do more to end dictatorship in Venezuela and bring back democratic institutions?"

Millions of people like myself who truly love Venezuela find the abject act of prostrating yourself before Western right-wing politicians and governments begging for imperialist intervention against your own nation, disgustingly repugnant. However, the Dutch parliamentarians did not appreciate Ortega Diaz's approach either.

"We don't' do regime change" said quite emphatically center-rigth MP Han ten Broeke in reply to Ortega Diaz's wish list.

Han ten Broeke contradicted himself when he said: "Maduro is a dictator, but he was elected by the people and only the people can get him out of office".

Nonetheless, no matter how much Ortega Diaz begged for Dutch intervention in Venezuela, the Dutch parliamentarians insisted on democracy and elections in order to affect change. As it is well known, since 1999 there have been 22 elections in Venezuela and the National Electoral Council has announced that municipal elections will be held on 10th December 2017.

It was pretty obvious what was on the minds of the Dutch parliamentarians: if Venezuela is in such a terrible state as she suggested, then why does the Government keep on winning elections and why does she come all the way to Holland to ask for intervention in Venezuela?

That is key: most of the critical problems in Venezuela are engineered abroad (economic warfare, financial blockade, oil speculation, artificial online - black market dollar exchange rate, psychological warfare, among others). However, instead of breaking the spirit and resilience of Venezuelans, such actions and threats from abroad have revealed most Venezuelans who the true enemies of the country are. Venezuela's right-wing were unable to stop the election to the National Constituent Assembly; they badly lost the 15th October election for governors; they are deeply divided; and are, probably irretrievably, fragmenting into rival groups. Hence, people like Ortega Diaz have no choice but travel the world begging for sanctions and intervention in Venezuelan domestic affairs, which in turn, as both polls and elections demonstrate, contribute to the political strengthening of President Maduro.

A few months before Ortega Diaz, Venezuela's opposition leaders such as Julio Borges and Freddy Guevara did a similar route by visiting several Parliaments in Western Europe requesting intervention and "regime change" and yet the net result of such errands was a major loss for the opposition in the regional elections of the 15th of October.

It is to be hoped that the clear message of Dutch parliamentarians to Ortega Diaz, NO to "regime change" and YES to elections and democracy, consolidates as the generalized view in Holland's political establishment. We hope that MP Sjoerdsma finally draws the right conclusions. Not only external intervention in the internal affairs of Venezuela violates international law and it is unacceptable, but should be rejected both as a matter of principle as well as a matter of practice. The sine qua non condition for the respect for international law is the respect for all nation's national sovereignty.

Despite the serious difficulties we face caused by the economic war and US political and financial aggression, Venezuela is not on the verge of collapse, nor is the Bolivarian Government about to be ousted or crumble away. In fact, the opposite is the case: as external aggression rages, the Bolivarian Government gets stronger, and as Venezuela's opposition intensify their lobbying for foreign intervention against their own country, they get discredited and grow weaker. In Venezuela Bolilvarianism is here to stay.

By Alvaro Sanchez

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