Venezuela

Message of solidarity from branch secretary Paul McAleer on behalf of the Maritime Union of Australia Sydney Branch.

Venezuela is heading towards an increasingly dangerous situation, in which open civil war could become a real possibility.

Civil war becomes more likely as long as the media obscure who is responsible for the violence and the international left fails to show solidarity with Venezuela’s Bolivarian socialist movement.

The media likes to blame government repression for the recent deaths in Venezuela, but the actual figures tell a different story.

Worryingly, they reveal a right-wing terror campaign involving political assassinations and public lynchings of government supporters, providing a frightening insight into what the opposition would do in power.

While the media reported the results announced by the right-wing opposition for its July 16 national consultation as fact, even its own “observers” have raised doubts as to its democratic credentials.

1. Venezuela’s housing mission has built 1.5 million homes for Venezuelan families since 2011. By the end of this year, the government aims to have completed a further 540,000 new homes and repaired 550,000 existing homes under the Barrio Nuevo, Barrio Tricolor mission.

On July 30, 545 delegates will be elected by the Venezuelan people to a National Constituent Assembly (ANC) proposed by President Nicolas Maduro.

The ANC will discuss proposals to reform the constitution, though any official amendments will have to be put to a referendum.

About 50 people gathered on July 8 at the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) offices in Sydney to celebrate Venezuela’s Independence Day and express support for the Venezuelan people and their government.

It followed a reception of more than 100 guests organised by the Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in Canberra on July 5, marking the 206th anniversary of Venezuela’s Independence Day.

A “Venezuela-Brazil Solidarity” meeting organised by the Latin America Solidarity Network (LASNET) was held on June 8 in Melbourne.

It brought together a wide array of activists, including members of the Socialist Alliance, Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network (AVSN) and trade unionists.

Venezuela’s government and opposition both claimed millions voted in rival symbolic elections on July 16.

Meanwhile, the US has responded to the opposition vote, with President Donald Trump describing the unofficial referendum as an example of “democracy, freedom, and rule of law” in a White House statement on July 17.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has responded to the latest threats to Venezuela's sovereignty from US President Donald Trump, in which the US leader promised "swift and strong actions" if Venezuela decides to proceed with the July 30 elections for a National Constituent Assembly.

Maduro called Trump's threats "vulgar", TeleSUR English reported. He said: "The process of the constituent assembly is already in the hands of the people who will exercise their right to vote. This is my response, the constituent assembly does not belong to me.

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