Countercurrents.org | February 24, 2019
People in hundreds of cities around the world stood in solidarity to Venezuela on February 23, 2019. The peoples’ gatherings opposed U.S.-led imperialist intervention in Venezuela. Labor unions and people’s organizations, and intellectuals – artists, singers, academics, activists – also raised their voices. The activists opposing the US-led intervention organized some 150 demonstrations around the globe on Saturday to show that ordinary people are against any form of foreign interference. Thousands of people assembled in Caracas, the Venezuelan capital, to express support to President Nicolas Maduro and to the Bolivarian revolution.
Media reports said:
Demonstrations in support of the Venezuelan government on social media are mainly under the hashtags #TrumpHandsOffVenezuela and #VenezuelaEnDefensaDeLaPaz (Venezuela In Defense Of Peace).
Strong shows of support for the Venezuelan government and people happened in several cities and states of the United States.
On this occasion, prominent anti-war activist Sara Flounders compared the situations between Venezuela and the United States.
“In Venezuela today, there is more than six million families who are provided every single week a basic basket of essential supplies. It far exceeds any kind of food distribution program in the United States,” said anti-war activist Sara Flounders.
“Among the average working people, there is zero support for another war or for any war. US militarism is the greatest cause of poverty, inequality, disenfranchisement right here in the US,” the prominent author and anti-war activist explained, warning that if the US intervenes, it will “raise a firestorm” across Latin America.
A video posted by the Venezuelan Foreign Affairs Minister Jorge Arreaza showed an important march took place on Wall Street in New York, “to reject the aggressions against Venezuela and to show support to President Maduro and the Bolivarian Revolution.”
Washington DC, Baltimore and many cities
People protested in Washington D.C. and Baltimore, in favor of Venezuela and against the blockades imposed against Cuba and Venezuela.
Minneapolis, Minnesota, Oakland, California are some of the other cities where demonstrations were held against a “U.S. War on Venezuela.”
In these mobilizations and marches, it has been stated that the so-called “humanitarian aid” sent by the U.S. is only to promote military aggression against Venezuela.
Unions and social movements from Portugal gathered to show their support for Venezuela.
In Paris, people gathered to reiterate their call for peace in Venezuela.
In London, the former mayor of that city, Ken (the Red) Livingstone, participated in a protest against the Bank of England to demand that they return Venezuelan gold.
In the protest march, banners with the slogan No Blood for Oil were carried.
In Berlin, people gathered at the Brandenburg Gate, in front of the U.S. Embassy.
Similar mobilization was held in Stockholm.
Other European countries
Peoples held mobilizations and marched in many European countries including Switzerland and Bulgaria.
Latin American countries
Peoples in many Latin American countries expressed their support for the Bolivarian Revolution regardless of how their governments’ political alignment.
In Peru, the Socialist Youth went to the central square of Arequipa to express support to the Bolivarian Revolution, and to oppose against imperialist threats.
Similar mobilizations were held in Chile, Bolivia, Guatemala.
In Canada, people marched from the headquarters of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s office to the US embassy to demand “that he keep his greedy hands out of Venezuela’s resources.”
Solidarity with the government and people of Venezuela were expressed in other countries in Asia, Africa and Australia including Jordan, Angola, Mozambique, Vietnam.
Many artists including Cuban Silvio Rodriguez, Argentine Piero or Roger Waters, co-founder of Pink Floyd, have also expressed their opposition to the U.S.-led intervention in Venezuela.
The attempted coup d’état has failed: Maduro
On February 23, a massive mobilization took place in front of the Miraflores Palace, the seat of the Venezuelan government, Caracas. In the mobilization, Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro announced that the attempted coup d’état “has failed.”
A people’s march before the mobilization began in the morning after a failed attempt to provoke violence on the Venezuelan-Colombian border.
Following are a few points made by Maduro:
One of the key guidelines is consciousness — defending the truth in each neighborhood, with arguments and with love. You will have to stay mobilized as long as possible. Venezuela will win the peace.
No one has ever fallen as low as President Duque of Colombia. I have decided to break off relations with Colombia.
The people of Venezuela took to the streets to defend the civilian-military unity, saying, “Yankees go home” to Donald Trump. Your combat attitude is impressive, along with the consciousness. You are the invisible ones, the ones who never appear on gringo or international television.
Let us be proud of our courage, of popular power. The invincible ones are unstoppable, indestructible. The media refuse to show that we are the majority. We are Chávez’s children. The mobilizations are impressive. I congratulate Diosdado [Cabello]. In Zulia, Mérida, Táchira — from one end to the other, the Homeland is mobilized under the tricolor flag. This is peace with social justice and freedom with dignity.
This is a battle for dignity in the face of those, who want us to kneel before imperialism. We defend the dignity of the Homeland; this is no time for betrayal, it is a time for loyalty to the Homeland and to the supreme ideals of Venezuela. I am nourished by the loyalty of the people. I am stronger than before.
A month ago, we met in Miraflores and I told them that the working-class president would continue to lead Venezuela. I am here because you are the ones who decide in Venezuela. Trump does not decide, nor do Ivan Duque’s pawns. Here, the sovereign people decides, and no one else.
I swore to respect the Constitution and defend it — even with my life. I ask the opposition minority how far they will go to harm the country by betting on an invasion? I ask them, what have you achieved in 20 years of conspiracy?
Why didn’t you call for elections after 30 days, if you have the power? I was the president in charge and I called elections in 30 days. Where is the announcement? We are waiting for the clown with a thousand faces to call elections. I challenge him, to see who has the votes.
He has not appointed ministers, the coup has failed. The victory belongs to us. They are going to continue playing interventionism. Today they wanted one more show.
Yesterday and today, they had their show and they disrupted the border. They attacked a Chilean journalist and an officer — all my solidarity goes out to them. We are going to guarantee peace at the border, my heart does not skip a beat.
They try to whitewash the military threat of a monster like Trump with a little song here and another there. It is traitors, who sing to Trump. Trump himself acknowledges that he contemplates an invasion.
I call for global solidarity, it is time for courageous voices to be raised. We tell Trump to get his hands off Venezuela. They talk about food aid — in all his life, who did Trump ever help?
A coup was made against Chávez [in 2002] and with their heroic action, the people rescued him. The opposition has done everything, but they’ve never fallen so low as now. They have kidnapped the leadership of the opposition parties and they go after the embassy, they have no thought of their own.
If one day you find out that they did something to me, go out into the street and make a socialist and proletarian revolution. Trump’s hatred is very great. He hates the peoples of Latin America, that’s why he wants to build the wall.
Trump said that Venezuela is the country with which they should go to war, as one FBI agent announced. He wants to put an end to this beautiful experience of democratic revolution.
Humanitarian aid is a trap. They’re masking everything to get the military gringos in and steal our wealth for another hundred years. The problems must be solved among Venezuelans, without anyone interfering.
They send rotten food. There are already two dead because of that. And they sent an amount that would not even reach 15,000 homes, and we have reached six million every month. It’s a bad show. It’s a rotten package. That’s the truth, and I’m not afraid or offended by the truth.
They want to bring trucks with powdered milk, rice, meat — I’ll buy them for the popular markets tomorrow. For good, we’ll do everything, for bad nothing.
I have a list of 50,000 Venezuelans who want to return because of the ill-treatment in Chile or Colombia.
Of course, we have problems, we are in an economic war, but there is a protective state that takes care of the people. There is still a lot to build and neither Trump nor the fascist right will do it. We will solve the problems with the Bolivarian government holding the reins of the country.
Never in 200 years has there been an onslaught like this one, so dirty and so sharp.
San Francisco Labor Council
The following resolution was adopted by the Delegates Meeting of the San Francisco Labor Council (AFL-CIO) on February 11, 2019:
Whereas, Trump administration officials have openly declared their intention to overthrow the democratically elected government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro; and
Whereas, the U.S. has tightened economic sanctions, including the seizure of Venezuela’s oil properties in the United States, increasing the hardship on the people of Venezuela; and
Whereas, Venezuela has the largest oil reserves in the world, and leading Trump administration foreign policy officials have made clear their intention to privatize Venezuela’s oil and open it to exploitation by the U.S. oil companies if their coup strategy succeeds; and
Whereas, Elliott Abrams has been named Special Envoy to Venezuela and is notorious for his central role in the Iran-Contra scheme and arming of the Nicaraguan contras, the Salvadoran death squad government, and the genocidal regime in Guatemala responsible for the massacres of hundreds of thousands of indigenous people in that country; and
Whereas, the U.S. campaign of regime change in Venezuela is against the interests of the people of Venezuela, Latin America or the people of the United States; and
Whereas, the San Francisco Labor Council resolved on May 12, 2014, to “support the sovereignty of the Venezuelan people to continue their political and social process free from foreign intervention,” demanding “that the U.S. government refrain from intervention in the internal affairs of Venezuela.”
Therefore Be It Resolved, that the San Francisco Labor Council endorse and support (1) the February 23 Emergency Bay Area Hands Off Venezuela protest action; (2) the March 16 National March on the White House to say “Hands Off Venezuela, No War, No Sanctions, No Coup,” which in the Bay Area will be held on Saturday, March 9; and (3) the Hands Off Venezuela National Action, which in the Bay Area will be held on March 31.
US actor Danny Glover
During an interview with the Real News Network, US actor and activist Danny Glover criticized the US over its actions against Venezuela.
Glover accused the US of having “taken the billions of dollars that rightfully belonged to the Venezuelan people, [and] placed sanctions on it.
“They can’t use their own money on resources. And then [the US] come along as this… knight in shining armor to save them [Venezuela] with a few million dollars of — quote, unquote — humanitarian aid, which we don’t know where that money goes.
“The danger that we have now and the danger that we see is a full-scale conflict which would decimate not simply people’s lives, but the gains that were made by this action called the Bolivarian revolution over the last 20 years. This is an attempt to kill that. That is what is on the table and had always been on the table.”
For the second time this month, the Friends of Venezuela Solidarity Committee stood within environs of the British High Commission and the Canadian High Commission to protest the “imperialist aggression” displayed by the Bank of England and Guaido.
Led by attorney Lalu Hanuman and general secretary of Caribbean Movement for Peace David Denny, the group held placards which said Don’t Steal Their Gold Ms May, Canada Be a Leader Not A Follower and Our Caribbean A Zone of Peace.
The World Federation of Trade Unions
The World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU) calls its affiliated organizations and friends, every militant and class-oriented unionist, to join the international campaign in solidarity with the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.
WFTU said: Peoples themselves have the right to decide their own present and future!
Workers Party of Ireland
The Workers Party of Ireland (WPI) condemned the U.S. sponsored attempted coup against the democratically-elected government of Nicolas Maduro and the recognition of Guaido, who illegally and in contempt of the democratically expressed wishes of the people of Venezuela, announced himself as interim President of Venezuela, and received immediate recognition by the U.S. and its regional proxies.
WPI said: The shameless intervention of the imperialist EU and the threats of the governments of the UK, Spain, France and Germany, no strangers to imperialist intervention in other states, is compliance with its aggressive ultimatum that another election is called within 8 days, is a further attempt to destabilize Venezuela and to dismiss the results of the democratic elections that took place in accordance with the country’s constitution in 2017 and 2018. These actions are part of a deliberate strategy to overthrow the government of Venezuela in favor of capital and capitalist exploitation and reverse progressive positions adopted in the interests of the Venezuelan working class. These imperialist powers have artificially constructed an “economic crisis” in Venezuela in an attempt to justify regime change, a classic tactic of imperialism. These forces have through the imposition of crippling sanctions, trade discrimination and other forms of economic warfare inflicted misery on the people of Venezuela. Their attempts to invoke unrest and to instigate military support for their presidential puppet are reminiscent of the U.S. tactics, which overthrew the democratically elected government of Salvador Allende in Chile and exposed the people of Chile to years of terror under a brutal right-wing dictatorship. The peoples of the world and the progressive forces must stand in solidarity with the working class of Venezuela at this critical moment. The WPI stands with the elected President of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro.