Australian groups back Venezuela in face of US attacks

Australian groups have condemned the decision of US President Barack Obama to issue an executive order on March 9 declaring Venezuela “a national security emergency” and imposing sanctions on Venezuelan officials.

Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network co-convenor Roberto Jorquera said: “We are extremely concerned at this latest escalation in US attacks on the sovereign nation of Venezuela. We share the concern of the Venezuelan government and many others that this could be a prelude to an economic blockade or even military attack.

“Venezuela is clearly no threat to any nation. We call on the US to respect Venezuela's democracy and reverse its sanctions and absurd decree.”

Susan Price, a co-convenor of Australian political group Socialist Alliance, said: “For the US government to use alleged human rights violations to attack Venezuela is gross hypocrisy. The US government is one of the world's worst human rights abusers — from its war crimes in the Middle East, to its torture camp at Guantanamo Bay, to its own streets where Black youths are killed with impunity.

“We know their real concern is Venezuela's Bolivarian revolution, that has lifted millions out of poverty and seeks to create a ‘socialism for the 21st century’. This revolution sets an example for the world.”

Federico Fuentes, a spokesperson for Sydney's Latin America Social Forum, which unites a range of Latin American groups and communities, said: “Latin American nations are all speaking out in support of Venezuela and against this gross threat to its sovereignty. We join with them in denouncing this attack not just against Venezuela, but against the sovereignty and dignity of all peoples of the Americas.”

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