Western Massachusetts Venezuela Solidarity Coalition

The Venezuela Solidarity Coalition of Western Massachusetts calls for:

  • No U.S. military intervention and an immediate end to all threats. Sign on to HR 1004 and SJ Res. 11.
  • An immediate end to U.S. sanctions.
  • Ending of U.S. diplomatic support for Juan Guaidó.
  • Stopping U.S. funding of the Venezuelan opposition.
  • Peaceful negotiations between the Venezuelan government and the opposition, mediated by a neutral third party

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.


Past Events

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.

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

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.

Rallies in Sunderland and Coolidge Bridge (May 1st, 2019)

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

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/