Since April, the people of Venezuela have been under constant attack from violent protests orchestrated by the right-wing opposition to the government of President Nicolas Maduro.
As occurred with many other progressive governments, the US has been supporting attempts to overthrow the Venezuelan government since former President Hugo Chavez took office in 1999. They have imposed sanctions, promoted coups and trained and financed the opposition, mostly through NGOs.
The opposition believed that with the passing of Chavez in 2013, the Maduro government would be easier to overthrow. Since then it has escalated its hostile campaign.
It is no surprise that the US wants to attack Venezuela. Venezuela has the largest oil reserves in the world. The US wants to take this wealth from the Venezuelan people.
The Bolivarian Revolution has used oil profits for the benefit of its people. Oil profits have been used to provide health care, education and affordable housing.
This is in contrast to how the US and its big corporations utilise the oil profits they have looted from countries they have invaded under the guise of “bringing democracy”.
US attempts to destabilise progressive governments are aided by media corporations that are more than happy to spread its lies.
In countries like Australia, where profit-making corporations run the media, the news about Venezuela that reaches us presents a distorted version of what is happening.
Due to all these media lies, the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network (AVSN) in Brisbane organised a forum on July 2 at the offices of the Electrical Trades Union to analyse and discuss the situation in Venezuela.
Katrina Kozarek from Venezuela Analysis spoke from Venezuela via video link, while AVSN national co-coordinator Federico Fuentes spoke about media bias.
Daniel Gasparri, the Charge d’Affaires of the Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in Australia spoke about the upcoming constituent assembly and how the majority of Venezuelans want lasting peace.
At the end of the forum there was consensus from all present that solidarity with Venezuela needs to be strengthened and that we can achieve much more by joining forces.
For this reason, a meeting was convened on July 8 where there was unanimous agreement to establish a steering committee made up of representatives from different solidarity organisations, left political parties and individuals, to further strengthen the work of AVSN Brisbane.
The people of Venezuela, now more than ever, need our united solidarity to defend the Bolivarian Revolution.
We need to approach MPs to tell them the truth about the achievements of the Bolivarian Revolution and why they should support the peaceful constituent assembly elections on July 30.
The people of Venezuela support the constituent assembly elections as a way to keep fighting for their freedom, independence and peace.
[Published in the Australia Venezuela Solidarity Network July 2017 special liftout.]