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News > Latin America

The World Needs a New Geopolitics, Says Venezuela at UN

Published 29 September 2015

President Maduro spoke about war, peace and the struggles Venezuela has faced over the past year.

President Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela addressed the United Nations General Assembly during its second day, Tuesday, in New York.

Click on the banner to go to live feeds and read our in-depth coverage of the General Assembly (opens new window)

Maduro’s speech, which used South American liberator Simon Bolivar’s Jamaica Letter as its motif, emphasized the need for a new world order and a new, anti-imperialist breed of politics.

When Bolivar “described the path forward,” said Maduro. “He set down the elements of an American geopolitical system, a non-imperial system. Simon Bolivar described an anti-colonialist approach for the Americas and this is an approach 200 years later we support.”

RELATED: 200 Years Since Simon Bolivar's Jamaica Letter: Latin America-Caribbean Ties

Boliviar’s vision “rejects hegemony and the use of force,” Maduro explained.

While he lauded the United Nations as a “victory for the human race,” for pursuing a dream of inclusiveness and dialogue, he also accused the body of an “inability to act” when needed.

“We need another United Nations,” Maduro said. “We need a transformation after 70 years, and as Boliviar said, the world needs a new geopolitical system, a new balance, respect … hopefully by the year 2030 we will be able to build and rebuild this wonderful system.”

He went on to describe the effects of the current style of geopolitics, particularly in the Middle East, where he said in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria it had wrought “destruction devastation and terrorism.”

He especially highlighted Libya, where he said what was done “was a crime.”

“Who’s going to pay for the crimes done in Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan?,” Maduro asked.

RELATED: Western-Created Chaos in Libya

Worse still is what is happening in Syria, Maduro said, where the horrors of war are so extreme he likened it to “a hollywood version of terrorism.”

He feared the world would not heed Russia’s President Putin’s call to build a coalition that would include Syrian President Bashar Assad: “Are we ready to make an alliance for peace?” he asked.

“There has been financing and arming from the West and this has led to death and destruction in Syria. And the people in Europe, there is a human tragedy and the people in Europe feel it will affect them.”

Maduro then turned his attention to Latin America, a region he says has “rediscovered its own path to dignity and to the future.”

He described regional integration bodies like PetroCaribe, ALBA and UNASUR as powerful organizations, which have helped Latin America and the Caribbean to speak “with one voice.”

Maduro also touched on other Latin American issues, including the U.S. economic blockade on Cuba. Maduro paid tribute to the “courage of President Barack Obama who was bold enough to develop a new policy vis a vis Cuba,” but said the blockade must be ended immediately.

“It is our hope that the relations of the governments of all countries in the United Nations … should be based on dialogue and respect for who and what we are so that once and for all we can turn the page on a history of coups and anti-revolutionary policies, 56 years of economic blockade against Cuba must come to an end as soon as possible,” he said.

He also called for the return of Guantanamo Bay to Cuba, reminding his audience that President Jimmy Carter returned the Panama Canal to Panama in 1979.

Maduro moved on to address the United Kingdom government, urging it to negotiate over the Malvinas Islands with Argentina. “This is a request from the Latin American and Caribbean countries and the Non Aligned Movement and the Group of 77,” he said.

Finally, with regard to Latin America, Maduro acknowledged the efforts of the Colombian government and the FARC rebels to end the five-decade-long armed conflict: “From this rostrum, on behalf of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, we want to pay tribute to the steps taken by President Santos with the guerrillas.”


Maduro went on to talk about domestic issues, saying, “Venezuela has been facing enormous challenges in the last few years as we seek to create an economic and social model that is quintessentially Venezuelan.”

“Our people have waged a great struggle,” he said, in the face of “difficult attacks.” Maduro gave the example of the U.S. decree against Venezuela earlier in 2015, which declared it a threat to U.S. security, which he resolved in Panama during the Summit of the Americas and through diplomacy:

“We have initiated conversations and talks with the U.S. government in the same spirit as Cuba … with the hope that we would be able to lift this Damocles sword from where it is now above the head of the Venezuelan people.”

He talked about Venezuela's upcoming eletions in December, which he said were the 20th elections held since the start of the socialist Bolivarian Revolution in 1998.

He warned of foreign intervention in the electoral process by those who may not like Venezuela’s way of doing things, asking the world to be alert.

“The Venezuelan electoral system is the most transparent and complete Jimmy Carter said he had seen in the world,” Maduro told his audience.

“Our calling is peace, we have a calling for democracy, for peaceful approaches,” he said. “We will continue strengthening our system for independence, for dignity, which is what we hold dear in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.”

Regarding recent issues along its borders with Colombia and Guyana, Maduro said, “Venezuela has had to take action along our border,” referring to a recent military intervention to crack down on smuggling and illegal activity along both its borders. Bloomberg reported recently that, in addition to its border with Colombia, which has been reported on worldwide, Venezuela has also sent troops to the border with Guyana to stem the smuggling of highly-subsidized Venezuelan gasoline into Guyana.

RELATED: In Depth – How Paramilitrism is Driving a Wedge Between Venezuela and Colombia

“We had UNASUR and CELAC to help mediate the situation. There was the problem of drug traffickers and now today I can say that we have really positive hopes that the situation will be resolved and we will be able to have normal working relations with Colombia and the same applies to our sister nation of Guyana.”

“Through dialogue and communication we are trying to avert threats to our people,” he explained.


Maduro mentioned that another dispute with Guyana — over the countries’ joint border — is on its way to being resolved through diplomacy.

Venezuela believes a significant part of Guyana was stolen from what was then Gran Colombia by the British Empire in the 19th century. Guyana believes this dispute was resolved via international frameworks in the 20th century, however, Venezuela refutes this, as well as the evidence supporting Guyana’s claim, and is calling for international diplomacy efforts.

The United Nations is to play an important part in resolving the spat, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon confirmed Sunday, and will send a technical commission to assess Venezuela’s claim to the Essequibo region. Despite this, and an agreement Sunday between Venezuela and Guyana, to re-exchange ambassadors, Guyana’s President David Granger described Venezuela as “aggressive” during his speech at the General Assembly, also Tuesday.

RELATED: Maduro Talks to teleSUR Part 1: Guyana Border Dispute

RELATED: Exxon Mobil Stirs Border Dispute Between Venezuela and Guyana

Maduro described his meeting with Granger as "complex, tense and difficult," but said that Venezuela nevertheless has a “brotherhood” with Guyana and proposed staying in constant contact with Granger.

RELATED: In Depth – Venezuela's Essequibo Claim: A Historic Injustice Revisited

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