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Out of Venezuela
February 16 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
The Pioneer Valley Chapter of the Green-Rainbow Party of Massachusetts, The Resistance Center For Peace and Justice, and The Pioneer Valley Chapter of Democratic Socialists of America plan to mobilize our memberships and the local community to express our strong opposition to any form of US intervention into the internal affairs of the sovereign nation of Venezuela.
Saturday Feb. 16th 1pm-3pm (Bad weather date: Saturday Feb. 23 1pm-3pm)
Where: Steps of Northampton City Hall
In mid-December, Juan Guaidó, the leader of Venezuela’s right-wing opposition-controlled National Assembly, traveled to Washington, Colombia, and Brazil. The exact nature of Guaidó’s discussions with the right-wing government officials of these nations is unknown, but on Jan. 15, Vice President Pence made a telephone call to Guaidó.
On Jan. 21, encouraged by the right-wing governments of Colombia, Brazil, and the U.S., a small group of Venezuelan National Guard soldiers attempted and failed to execute a military coup. Vice President Pence called Guaidó again the next day, and the day after that, Jan. 23, Guaidó declared himself the interim president of Venezuela.
17 years prior, the Bush Administration openly backed a violent and deadly coup that temporarily deposed then-president Hugo Chavez. In the years since, the Bush, Obama, and Trump administrations have also supported the right-wing opposition and its neoliberal plans for a Venezuelan economy subservient to U.S. interests. While Trump allies with fascists like Bolsonaro in Brazil and murderous monarchs like Mohammed Bin Salman in Saudi Arabia, his administration continues to serve U.S. imperial policies by attempting to overthrow a democratically elected left-wing government in Venezuela and institute neoliberal policies that would plunder the Venezuelan economy at the service of the oligarchs and wealthy that lead the Venezuelan opposition.
U.S. President Donald Trump’s appointments of John Bolton as National Security Advisor and Elliot Abrams as “Special Envoy to Venezuela” bode particularly ill for Venezuela’s future. Abrams was convicted during the Iran Contra investigation of withholding information from Congress to help cover up atrocities committed by the Reagan Administration-backed right-wing governments of Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador, and by the Contras against Nicaragua, and mischaracterized the U.S.’s brutal and often criminal policy towards El Salvador as a “fabulous achievement.”
Under the Bolivarian Revolution, the Venezuelan government set up large-scale social programs to combat poverty. Workers and indigenous peoples have been empowered. The state has taken control of resources that were formerly in the hands of foreign multinationals. But the United States and its allies refuse to tolerate any attempt by a poor country to buck the neoliberal order and institute any kind of socialist reforms, so they keep attempting to overthrow the democratically elected government.
The opposition is run by wealthy Venezuelans who are of European descent and have often targeted Chavistas who are poor and often of African and indigenous heritage. Many of the leaders of the opposition are the same leaders who led and supported the attempted coup against Hugo Chavez in 2002. This opposition has openly incited violence and murdered people because they were pro-government. They have harassed and shot journalists and plotted to blow up pro-government news stations.
We oppose this latest coup attempt and the direct and illegal U.S. role in it, and demand that our elected officials stand up and speak out against it now. To do anything less is to aid and abet another U.S.-engineered imperialist crime in this hemisphere. There have been too many already. This sharp escalation of attacks on Venezuela comes after long U.S. campaign of destabilizing the Venezuelan economy and society. Destabilizing Venezuela to achieve “regime change” and the imposition of yet another anti-working class, anti-indigenous, anti-environmentalist, right-wing government subservient to global capitalism, like those of Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil and Ivan Duque in Colombia, is not in the interests of the Venezuelan working people, or of workers in the United States.
Under both President Maduro and his predecessor, Hugo Chavez, Venezuela has repeatedly shown its willingness to maintain friendly relations with the United States and its people, even going so far as to help poor communities in the United States by providing them with discounted heating oil. The people of the United States need to speak out forcefully and immediately to put a stop to the Trump administration’s reckless actions against Venezuela, which could easily lead to a civil war with regional and U.S. participation. We urge everyone to immediately contact their senators and representatives to demand an end to this illegal and dangerous intervention in the affairs of a sovereign nation which has done nothing to harm our country or its people.