Venezuela

In a strikingly different stance to leaders of the Australian Labor Party, which has backed the Coalition government’s support for the illegitimate coup “government” in Venezuela, several leading members of Britain’s Labour Party have rejected the US attempt at regime change in the oil-rich South American nation.

In an interview with Fox News, United States National Security Advisor John Bolton admitted the US government was backing an illegal coup in Venezuela in order to control the South American nation’s sizeable oil reserves.

“It will make a big difference to the United States economically if we could have American oil companies invest in and produce the oil capabilities in Venezuela,” Bolton told Fox News on January 28.

Australian solidarity activists are calling on Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s government to demand the United States lift its sanctions on Venezuela and rule out any military intervention in the South American country.

Federico Fuentes, co-author of Latin America's Turbulent Transitions and co-convenor of the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network, said: “It is well known that Venezuela is passing through the worst economic crisis in its history.

On February 15, 2003, in the face of the looming US-led war against Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, the Spanish state saw the biggest demonstrations in its history. Part of an immense worldwide anti-war outpouring, about 4 million people turned out.

Leaders of the Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE) were among those at the head of these oceanic demonstrations, which directly targeted the conservative Spanish People’s Party (PP) government of then-prime minister José María Aznar.

The dice have been thrown and the game is on in Venezuela. This week has seen the country enter into new uncertain and dangerous terrain, although with some predictable elements. We have witnessed different variables develop, and now wait for new elements that may catalyse or justify an outcome.

Below are three statements from the Socialist Alliance (Australia), the Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) and the Philippines-Venezuela Solidarity (Phil-Ven-Sol).

US Hands off Venezuela!

By Socialist Alliance National Executive

January 24, 2019 — The Socialist Alliance strongly condemns the actions of the United States President Donald Trump in backing an attempted coup against the democratically elected government of Venezuela.

Have those who state that Nicolás Maduro is a dictator, a usurper, and that the 2019-2025 presidential period lacks legitimacy, asked themselves why he is illegitimate? Or do they just repeat what they hear?

Update: Since this interveiw was published by Democracy Now!. President Trump has recognized Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó as interim president, calling democratically elected President Maduro “illegitimate.” In response, Venezuela has cut diplomatic ties with the U.S., giving diplomats 72 hours to leave the country.

In 2008, the prestigious Council on Foreign Relations published a report titled US-Latin America Relations: A New Direction for a New Reality. Timed to influence the foreign policy agenda of the next US administration, the report asserted: “the era of the US as the dominant influence in Latin America is over.”

Then, at the Summit of the Americas the next year, then-president Barack Obama promised Latin American leaders a “new era” of “equal partnership” and “mutual respect”.

Venezuela’s foreign minister Jorge Arreaza has reiterated his condemnation of the United States for seeking an intervention and supporting military conspiracies.

His September 9 comments followed a report that members of the US government have been meeting with Venezuelan military officers who were actively plotting to oust democratically elected President Nicolas Maduro since mid-2017.

There is a growing body of pro-establishment statements in the United States opposing the possibility of US military intervention in Venezuela, writes Steve Ellner.

The latest expression of this position is a New York Times editorial titled “Stay Out of Venezuela, Mr. Trump”, published on September 11.

At first glance the editorial is a welcome statement that counters the careless war-mongering declarations coming from the ilk of Marco Rubio and a number of high-ranking Trump administration officials, as well as Donald Trump himself.

Bolivian President Evo Morales said “the US is the real threat to humankind” on September 7 in response to US Senator Marco Rubio's talk of using the US Armed Forces against the Venezuelan government. Rubio had said Venezuela “has become a threat for the region and even for the United States”.

Representatives of 74 communes — institutions of popular power elected from grassroots communal councils — from across Venezuela gathered in Lara state late last month to participate in the inaugural National Assembly of Communes, writes Paul Dobson.

The meeting of more than 300 commune activists was held to try to strengthen the connections between different communes in a range of areas. This includes linking up productive micro-projects, communicational initiatives and educational networks.

Caracas authorities denied the existence of a humanitarian crisis of Venezuelan migration in the region on August 29, blasting the reaction from neighbouring Latin American governments as “hypocritical” and “xenophobic”.

The Argentine Senate’s rejection of a bill to legalise abortion did not stop a Latin American-wide movement, writes Fabiana Frayssinet. The movement is on the streets and expanding in an increasingly coordinated manner among women’s organisations in the region with the most restrictive laws and policies against pregnant women’s right to choose.

Venezuelans braced themselves as a series of long-anticipated economic measures came into effect on August 20, including the launch of a new paper currency called the Sovereign Bolivar.

The new currency brings with it a revaluation of all prices, wages and pensions, which will be cut by five zeros. Both the old Strong Bolivar and Sovereign Bolivar will co-exist for a period of time yet to be announced by the government.

Pages

Subscribe to Venezuela