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      ALBA TV interviews William Castillo
      Venezuela's Deputy Minister for International Communication
      of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

      Transcription & Translation by Azza Rojbi

      ALBA TV: Now we talk here with the Deputy Minister for International Communication of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, William Castillo. Thank you very much for this time.

      William, let’s start with your specialty topic. We live in aworld of the battle of ideas. We have talked to several people from here in the Assembly, and they tell us what they heard about Venezuela back in their countries has nothing to do with what they saw here in Venezuela. How do you evaluate the offensive of the mainstream media around the world against Venezuela?

      William Castillo: We are at a decisive moment in this diplomatic and communicational political battle, we have denounced the strategies, the media campaigns of false news, of misinformation accompanying the political strategies. Communication is always a variable derived from politics. Once a policy of harassment and destruction of a country and overthrow of its legitimate government has been defined, of course, the media is aligned with the communicational objectives of that political policy. We are precisely in a defining moment because this campaign against Venezuela has intensified. It is not only about the big media, the big news agencies. It is not only about the manipulation in social networks, but also now the media war has been expanded to a space called “private messaging,”i.e. campaigns in groups that reach people to their personal telephone with reports with false statistics, false facts. We have seen this being used in particular this weekend when the traitors, disloyal to their military oath, released two tanks against the civilian population at the border crossing on the Simón Bolívar bridge between Colombia and Venezuela. Fortunately, there were no deaths. There were two wounded women, a police officer and a Chilean photographer. If this had escalated further, the civilians who were there would have been killed and, of course, they would present this as aggression by Venezuela against Colombia.

      Hired thugs from Colombia and Brazil, with the help of criminals from Venezuela, tried to push and force the violent entry of trucks into Venezuela and were repelled and contained at the border by the Venezuelan National Armed Forces. They themselves, in the face of this failure, burned those trucks and presented to the world the version that Venezuela burned the “humanitarian aid.” Today, when the remains of those burned trucks are examined, nails, cables, steel wires were found. It is a shipment that has nothing to do with humanitarian aid.

      ALBA TV: Today after the failure at the border of this show of supposed “humanitarian aid” shipment, the so-called Lima Group met once again to make decisions regarding the future of Venezuela. What can be said about that meeting? What were the decisions, let's say, and were any surprises also in what was defined in this meeting?

      William Castillo: Yes. What happened today in Bogotá was a shameful thing also connected to what happened over the weekend at the borders. Over the weekend they failed in their criminal and media political operation against Venezuela. And today, of course, it was the continuation of that failure. Why? Because they have been selling the expectation of military intervention in Venezuela. However, today the Lima Group rejected the draft declaration wherein the United States had put forward a military option. No allusion to military intervention is in the final declaration. The Vice President of Brazil has just declared that Brazil will not support any use of its territory to attack Venezuela. The Foreign Minister of Uruguay has also declared that it does not accept military intervention. The European Union had earlier a similar declaration. We're seeing the world react by saying that it is absurd for a country to declare war on Venezuela.

      Venezuela is the center of the confrontation with U.S. imperialism. Since 1998 when Comandante Chávez was elected to power, the United States issued a doctrine that was inspired by their philosophy of “regime change”. It says that the United States would not allow a second Cuba in Venezuela and that any government that aims at the socialist values of equality, inclusion and sovereignty, any country that nationalizes its natural resources must undergo a regime change. We have been in that fight for years and it has increased since 2013 after the passing of Comandante Chávez. The United States has intensified its political, media and economical campaign against Venezuela and we are precisely at a decisive moment in that confrontation. This is important for people around the world to recognize.

      ALBA TV: Going back to your topic of interest, specifically, which is the strategy that we and the organized social movements of the world should adopt in terms of communication to offer solidarity to Venezuela and to finally get out the truth about what is happening here.

      William Castillo: Yes. There are three elements to the debates in the International Assembly that for me are complementary: First is the political agenda or political action, concrete political action, moving from speeches to actions, to organize a great agenda of struggles in the world. Second, I believe that research and the production of knowledge are fundamental to our struggles. The third is communication, articulation, the creation of networks that for me has two levels, the use of existent physical networks, virtual networks and technological networks and the creation of new ones using updates in technologies.

      ALBA TV: So, a final question. How do you see the future of Venezuela in Latin America? How do you look to the future and what is your message of hope to the people that will see this?

      William Castillo: I believe that what is happening at this International Peoples Assembly is a sign of hope. There is a social wave in the world; the peoples have never stopped fighting. It is the struggle of people around the world. That hour is rising. We believe that it is not possible that after a decade of gains, after each advance where the peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean saw the achievements of hope, to return to the dark times. We believe that there will be mass reactions in these countries that today suffer privatization processes such as Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Chile, we will witness the response of the people to the deterioration of their rights. We believe that this will be a fundamental element to trigger the struggle of people around the world. So, I think the message of struggle is of hope; the peoples have never been defeated if they are organised. If we unite, if we coordinate better, we are sure that we will conquer every day more space and we will return to a diverse Latin America. A Latin America that plays an important role in the integration and development of the peoples struggles around the world.

      ALBA TV: With this message of hope we finished this interview. Thank you very much.

      William Castillo: Thank you

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