Venezuela, international left hail SYRIZA win

January 30, 2015
Germans celebrate SYRIZA win.

Venezuela's left-wing government has congratulated Alexis Tsipras, leader of Greece's radical left SYRIZA party, who won a huge victory in Greece's parliamentary elections on January 25, TeleSUR English reported.

A Venezuelan government statement said: “Venezuela warmly congratulates the Syriza coalition party and Alexis Tsipras for their historic victory, wishing them success and complete solidarity and support.”

Venezuela's foreign minister Elias Jaua tweeted: “The Greek people, after a long and historic battle against neoliberalism, has crowned itself a wonderful victory. Syriza is fresh air for Europe!”

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro described the triumph of the leftwing coalition, SYRIZA, as a “new wave of hope for Europe”, a article said

Maduro said: “Alongside the Bolivarian government and the Venezuelan people, I congratulate the Greek people, who by fully exercising the sovereignty of the people, have declared through their participation and vote, their unquestionable democratic commitment.”

According to the president, SYRIZA's “historic victory” sends a message to the international right wing “to change their blind devotion to the theory of privatisation, of handing themselves over to global capital, to eliminating the rights of pensioners, the houses of the middle and working classes, and the right to education for the young”.

Tsipras, who at 40 is Greece's youngest prime minister, has often commented on his admiration for the Venezuelan Revolution and hailed it as a successful example of a people's rebellion against neoliberalism.

In comments made on Venezuelan state TV on January 26, Maduro said Tsipras had triumphed despite a huge international campaign against him.

“They paid thousands of euros to try and prevent the victory of this young Greek, a leader who has emerged from the depths of the people and from the sectors demanding change in Greece,” said Maduro.

“The Bolivarian Revolution emerged from the depths of the Venezuelan people, from Bolivar's people, from a leader, Hugo Chavez.”

For its part, Bolivia's state newspaper published a special eight-page supplement on SYRIZA's victory, including greetings from Latin American left governments.

On January 27, the Party of the European Left (which groups together many of Europe's radical left parties including SYRIZA) said in a statement: “Greece and Europe are living historic days. Sunday, the Greek people gave a breathtaking victory to SYRIZA and our friend and comrade Alexis Tsipras.

“Greeks voted for him to implement an alternative policy to austerity in Greece and to open this debate in Europe. This clear popular mandate is a solid foundation for the new Greek government, whose composition is now known. It must be respected by the political and economic leaders in Europe.

“The Party of the European Left, including the president, Pierre Laurent and vice-presidents Maite Mola and Marisa Matias, were present in Athens these days, is now mobilised for the success of the 'government of hope'.

“In our countries and at [the] European level, we will remain the solid and sustainable support that SYRIZA has always had at its side. Together we will build 'A Greece ahead in a changing Europe'.”

Pablo Iglesias, the leader of Spain's anti-austerity Podemos party that is now ahead in opinion polls, said: “The victory of Syriza will provoke something new in the political panorama of Greece ― they’re going to have a real Greek [government]. Not a delegate of [German Chancellor] Angela Merkel whose interests will rank above those of the country and its people.”

Gerry Adams, president of Irish republican party Sinn Fien that has become Ireland's most popular party on the basis of opposing austierty, said Syriza’s victory “opens up the real prospect of democratic change not just for the people of Greece, but for citizens right across the EU”.

Germany's left-wing Die Linke tweeted its support for SYRIZA: “A #Syriza victory is a victory for Greece and for #Europe.”

Jean Luc Melenchon, a member of the European Parliament and president of the French Left Party, also tweeted his support, saying: “It is a long path that they have chosen. The Greeks have made their choice consciously,.”

Left-wing British politicians Ken Livingstone and George Galloway also warmly welcomed the news of SYRIZA's victory. English Green Party MP Caroline Lucas tweeted that “hope had won” in Greece, saying she was “inspired” by the result and that “now EU must listen” and provide Greece debt forgiveness.

[To follow ongoing responses to SYRIZA's victory, visit LINKS International Journal of Socialist Renewal]

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