Venezuela's Maduro offers Greece solidarity against austerity

Nicolas Maduro.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro voiced solidarity with the Greek government of Alexis Tsipras on June 30 after Greece failed to pay US$1.8 billion to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Venezuelanalysis.com said on July 1.

“I want to officially express solidarity to Prime Minister Tsipras and the Greek people on behalf of Venezuela,” Venezuela's socialist leader said on his weekly television program shortly after the IMF deadline.

On July 29, the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA), which includes Venezuela, Cuba, Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua as well six smaller Caribbean nations, issued a statement of solidarity with Greece, TeleSUR English said that day.

Greece’s left-wing SYRIZA government rejected the harsh terms for a new bailout laid out by the Troika, composed of the IMF, European Union, and the European Central Bank.

The measures would mean continuing the severe austerity policies that have devastated the Greek economy over the past five years — and which SYRIZA was elected in January on a platform to end.

With EU leaders ignoring Greek calls for debt relief and demanding more austerity, Tsipras called a referendum on the proposed measures for July 5.

Venezuelanalysis.com reported that Maduro said: “Fear not, Greek sisters and brothers, the path forward is to break the chains of international financial capital and the IMF, to free yourselves from the yoke that tries to consume the people’s blood, the people’s labour, the wealth of countries — that is the path.”

Maduro highlighted the alternative regional development model spearheaded by Venezuela. In contrast to EU neoliberalism, ALBA pushes measures that have promoted “shared progress and solidarity” in countries decimated by centuries of colonialism and imperialism.

Since SYRIZA was elected in January, Caracas has maintained close contact with the left-wing government. SYRIZA leaders have cited Venezuela's Bolivarian Revolution as a “shining example”.

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