Latin America Solidarity Coalition of Western Massachusetts

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The Resistance Center hosts the web page of the The Venezuela Solidarity Coalition of Western Massachusetts. We stand in solidarity with the group, but otherwise have no role in its organization.

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End the Sanctions on Venezuela! No Mercenaries attacks on Venezuela

May 16, 2020.

Today a group of activists from the Latin America Solidarity Coalition of WMASS, Green Rainbow Party Pioneer Valley Chapter, Western Massachusetts Codepink, and Massachusetts Peace Action demonstrated on the Coolidge Bridge in Northampton calling for an end to US the sanctions against Venezuela, and an end to US sponsored coup d’états and mercenaries attacks of Venezuela in an attempt to assassinate President Maduro.

In a statement to the press the organizers of the demonstration said:

On May 3, 2020, more than 100 heavily armed mercenaries employed by an American contractor, a US Green Berets veteran, landed in several locations on the Venezuelan coast. The mercenaries arrived in heavily armed boats from Colombia where they had been training for the past five months. They planned to kidnap the Venezuelan president, fly him to the US, and collect the $15 million dollar award promised by the US government to anyone who could achieve this objective.

How would we feel if Venezuelan mercenaries came from a neighboring country to the US to kidnap our president and fly him to Venezuela to collect $15 million dollars awarded by the Venezuelan government for carrying out this unprovoked and illegal aggression against our country?

The US government has spent at least $1 billion in the past twenty years on numerous subversive activities to bring down the president of Venezuela because his government is dedicated to supporting the needs of the poor who constitute the vast majority of the population.

We demand an end to these policies and the expenditure of our tax dollars to destroy the Venezuelan revolution and gain control of Venezuela’s vast natural resources.

Furthermore, we demand that our government respect international law by ending the sanctions on Venezuela, stopping all activities to change the government in Venezuela through the use of force, returning stolen Venezuelan assets such as CITGO to Venezuela, and establishing friendly relations between our two countries.

A local news outlet Channel 22 of Springfield reported on the demonstration:

National Coverage of our demonstration on the Popular Resistance website and Daily Newsletter

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Northampton Car Rally 4/20/20:

National & International Solidarity in the time of Covid-19

End Sanctions, Save Lives!

Bailout Working People Not Corporation!

Fund Public Health for All, Not Wars and Militarism!

 

Route of car convoy: From Sheldon Field to Bridge St, to Strong Ave, to Pleasant St (slowing down next to McGovern office), to Main St, to City Hall, to Crafts Ave, to Old St, to Hampton Ave back to McGovern office. From there if time allows, we can do another circle.

On April 20, 2020 nearly twenty cars joined a rally in the streets of downtown Northampton, Massachusetts calling for national and international solidarity as we face the Covid-19 pandemic. Signs were placed on cars calling for an end to the US sanctions on Venezuela, Cuba, Iran, and North Korea; to allow Cuban medical staff and medicine to enter our country to help fight the Coronavirus pandemic and save lives; to end the blockade of Gaza; and to fund Medicare for all, not endless wars and the military industrial complex.

The rally was organized by The Latin America Solidarity Coalition of Western Massachusetts together with the Resistance Center for Peace & Justice of Northampton, and co-sponsored by Massachusetts Peace Action, Code Pink of Western Massachusetts and Arise for Social Justice of Springfield. The rally was blessed by the presence of members of the Nipponzan-Myōhōji Peace Pagoda of Leverett, Massachusetts.

International media coverage:

https://www.telesurenglish.net/news/U.S.-Citizens-Demand-Trump-to-Halt-Sanctions-Against-Venezuela-20200421-0008.html

National media coverage

Northampton, April 20, 2020 Photos by Emily Greene

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A Webinar:

Venezuela Update: Regime Change Efforts in the time of Corovavirus

April 23 2020 @ 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm

Join us for a conversation with Hector Figarella, a Venezuelan-American social justice activist and a medical first responder from Greenfield, Massachusetts. Hector will lead the webinar and provide an update on Venezuela, including their fight against the Coronavirus, the recent escalation of military pressure by the US, the so called “transition” plan of the US government to remove President Maduro, and the indictment of president Maduro, a 15 million dollar bounty for alleged narco-trafficking. 

Hector Figarella

To sign up go to:

https://masspeaceaction.org/event/venezuela-update-regime-change-efforts-in-the-time-of-corovavirus/

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End the Inhumane Conditions Faced by Immigrants at Camps and Detention Centers Across the U.S

Greenfield Rally July 12, 2019

As part of a national movement, hundreds of local residents gathered outside the Franklin County House of Correction’s gates on Friday, July 12 , calling for an end to the war of terror on immigrants and refugees , including  raids to arrest people, separating families, detaining  children and adults in camps and for the abolishment of the Immigrant and Customs Enforcement (I.C.E.).

The Greenfield rally was organized in part by the Pioneer Valley Workers Center and held in conjunction with the advocacy group Lights for Liberty’s nationwide call to action. Elsewhere, more than 500 groups held similar events on Friday including rallies in Homestead, FL and El Paso, TX, according to a press statement from the center. The nationwide events were organized “to call for an end to the inhumane conditions faced by immigrants at camps and detention centers across the U.S.”

Activists from the Venezuela Solidarity Coalition of Western Massachusetts participated in the rally displaying signs calling for US Hands off Venezuela, No Sanctions, No war in Iran & Venezuela, and Invest in Kids.

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No War in Iran & Venezuela: Invest in Kids not Bombs: End Sanctions

4th of July Peace Actions

July 6th, 2019

No War in Iran & Venezuela: Invest in Kids not Bombs: End Sanctions

On Saturday, July 6, 2019, activists braved 95 degrees temperature and high humidity and held coordinated peace actions on the I-91 overpasses in Hatfield, Bernardston and Brattleboro with banners declaring No War in Iran & Venezuela, Invest in Kids not Bombs, End Sanctions.

The purpose of the actions was to raise consciousness about the issues of wars including sanctions, militarism, peace and US national priorities.

The actions were coordinated by the Venezuela Solidarity Coalition and included our sisters and brothers from Brattleboro Solidarity with the assistance of the summer interns at the The Resistance Center.

Hatfield, MA

Bernardson, MA

Brattleboro, VT

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June 25, 2019

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Report-Back from Venezuela

May 19th, 2019

Lee Schlenker (who went to Venezuela March 28 to April 7) and Priscilla Lynch (and others) who went to the Washington D.C.’s Venezuelan Embassy to protect it.

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Rallies in Sunderland and Coolidge Bridge

End US Sanctions on Venezuela No US War on Venezuela

May 1st, 2019

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A Forum Opposing US Intervention in Venezuela

March 20, 2019

As Venezuela confronts a grave economic crisis, the Trump administration has responded by imposing harsh sanctions, threatening war, and supporting a right-wing coup attempt. In response, the local Western Mass Venezuela Solidarity Coalition, in conjunction with several UMass departments and other co-sponsors (see below), held a forum entitled “Target: Venezuela” featuring local Venezuelan social justice organizer Hector Figarella and economist Mark Weisbrot. The speakers discussed the roots of the Venezuelan crisis, the impacts of U.S. intervention, and how we can influence U.S. government policy.

Héctor Figarella is a Venezuelan American activist and EMT. He started organizing around food justice issues while working at the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts and continued his work in Holyoke, MA through efforts to connect community gardens to schools. He has taught bilingual Worker Rights Trainings at the Pioneer Valley Workers Center and has done environmental justice work with Neighbor to Neighbor around the now closed coal plant in Holyoke. Héctor is on the Board of Directors for the Markham-Nathan Fund for Social Justice and is a member of the Venezuela Solidarity Coalition.

Mark Weisbrot is Co-Director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington,D.C. He received his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Michigan. He is author of the book Failed: What the “Experts” Got Wrong About the Global Economy (Oxford University Press, 2015), co-author, with Dean Baker, of Social Security: The Phony Crisis (University of Chicago Press, 2000), and has written numerous research papers on economic policy. His opinion pieces have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, and almost every major U.S. newspaper, as well as in Brazil’s largest newspaper, Folha de São Paulo. He appears regularly on national and local television and radio programs. He is also president of Just Foreign Policy. This event is sponsored by the Association of Latin American and Caribbean Students, the Center for Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino Studies, the Political Economy Research Institute, Social Thought and Political Economy, the Venezuela Solidarity Coalition, and the departments of Afro-American Studies, Communications, History, Philosophy, and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.

The Crisis in Venezuela and the Role of the US (March 5th, 2019)

Featuring: Hector Figarella and Vijay Prashad

Democracy or oil? The role of US sanctions in the economic crisis? Who has the right to choose a President? How can we counter Washington’s disinformation?

Co-Sponsored by:

Climate Action Now | The Resistance Center | Two Degrees Northampton | Western MA CODEPINK | Western MA Green Rainbow Party | Traprock Center

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Resources

  • Economic Sanctions as Collective Punishment: The Case of Venezuela

April 2019, Mark Weisbrot and Jeffrey Sachs

http://cepr.net/publications/reports/economic-sanctions-as-collective-punishment-the-case-of-venezuela

  • Eyewitness Report: Venezuela Up Close 

By Pat Fry, May 14, 2019. Portside

https://portside.org/2019-05-16/eyewitness-report-venezuela-close

  • Eyewitness in Venezuela: a 14-year Perspective by PETER LACKOWSKI, May 17, 2019. CounterPunch
  • May 7, 2019, CounterPunch. Audio interview

Mark Weisbrot comes on the show discuss his recent study co-authored with Jeffrey Sachs entitled Economic Sanctions as Collective Punishment: The Case of Venezuela which details the real-world consequences of the US sanctions. Mark explains some of the data and methodology behind the study, and what the results reveal about the nature of the crisis. From there, Eric and Mark discuss some of the motivations behind Trump, Bolton & Co.’s actions, and how Venezuela is paying a price for a cynical political game. Is war on the table? What’s next? Listen to CounterPunch Radio this week to hear Mark Weisbrot’s take.

https://store.counterpunch.org/mark-weisbrot-episode-128/