Australia-Venezuela solidarity strengthened

September 20, 2009

"I feel very sad to be leaving, but happy and proud to receive your great gift of solidarity with the people of Venezuela and Latin America", Daniel Sanchez, a community leader from Valencia, Venezuela, told an audience of 50 at the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) hall on September 17.

The three-week Venezuelan "people's power speaking tour" by Sanchez and Yoly Fernandez finished with a week of hectic activities in Sydney. The pair also visited Melbourne, Geelong, Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra and Newcastle.

The speaking tour was organised by the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network (AVSN).

MUA state secretary Paul McAleer welcomed Sanchez and Fernandez to a farewell fiesta sponsored by the union.

"The threats of the US against Venezuela need to be opposed. International solidarity is one of the most beautiful principles of socialism", he said.

Venezuelan ambassador to Australia Nelson Davila told the audience: "The proposed seven new US bases in Colombia are a direct threat to Venezuela. But, just as we fought and won against Spanish colonialism in the past, we'll defeat US imperialism now."

Cuban consul-general Nelida Hernandez also spoke at the fiesta.

Earlier that day, the MUA organised for the two activists to visit the docks at Port Botany. Sanchez and Fernandez gave greetings to the maritime workers, which were warmly received.

Fernandez said: "At all the meetings we have had in Australia, we have felt the great support for Venezuela and Latin America."

[For more information about the AVSN visit].

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