The statement below was released by several socialist parties from the Asia-Pacific region. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to add your organisation to sign the statement. *Updated signings on March 18*
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Socialists in the Asia-Pacific region pledge support for Venezuela’s socialist revolution, a year after Chavez’s death.
March 5 marked one year since the death of Venezuela's president and revolutionary Hugo Chavez. An outspoken fighter for the oppressed in Venezuela and Latin America, the loss of Chavez is still felt keenly by socialists and anti-imperialists globally.
But the Bolivarian revolution that Chavez led is a mass movement of millions of people that lives on in the barrios and workplaces in Venezuela. This process, led by the government of President Nicolas Maduro, is facing fresh attacks by right-wing forces backed by the United States.
The recent violent protests by a minority that has repeatedly been defeated at the ballot box has caused widespread destruction and terror. Along with at least 20 deaths and hundreds of injuries, public buildings and government-run, pro-poor social missions have been attacked by opposition protesters, at the estimated cost of up to 10 million bolivars.
The international media have presented this fascist violence as a peaceful democracy struggle that has been repressed by a dictatorial Maduro government. This turns reality on its head.
The forces behind the protests were the same as those that carried out the coup against Chavez in 2002, destroying democracy and killing dozens of people before being defeated by a genuine mass democratic uprising.
We know this is part of ongoing efforts by the US-backed right wing to destabilise the elected government and undermine the Bolivarian revolution. The right wing’s campaign has included an “economic war” involving sabotage, hoarding and speculation by capitalists.
We know the rich elite in Venezuela and internationally will never forgive the Bolivarian movement for attacking the political and economic interests of capitalists in order to advance those of the majority. No matter how many times the pro-imperialist forces are defeated, they will continue to try to destroy the revolution’s gains.
In a global era of austerity and war, the gains of the Bolivarian revolution are an inspiration for ordinary people everywhere — raising living standards and democratic rights of the poor majority, and spearheading Latin American integration as an alternative to imperialist domination and exploitation.
On the anniversary of Chavez’s death and in the face of fresh lies and attacks on the revolution he led, we reiterate our support for Venezuelan democracy and the Bolivarian movement’s attempt to create “socialism for the 21st century”.
Socialist Alliance (Australia)
Awami Workers Party (Pakistan)
Parti Sosialis Malaysia (Socialist Party of Malaysia)
Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Liberation
Partido Lakas ng Masa (Party of the Labouring Masses, Philippines)
Nava Sama Samaja Party (New Social Equality Party, Sri Lanka)
Partai Rakyat Demokratik (People's Democratic Party, Indonesia)
Fightback (New Zealand)
Latin America Solidarity Committee (Aotearoa/New Zealand)
Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist)