Campaigning is well underway for Venezuela’s May 20 national vote to elect the nation’s president and representatives to municipal councils and state legislatures. To get a sense of the campaign and situation in the South American country today, Federico Fuentes spoke to Australia Venezuela Solidarity Network (AVSN) Brisbane co-convenor Eulalia Reyes de Whitney, who has been back in her home country for the past several months.
Incumbent presidential candidate Nicolas Maduro prioritised visits to dissatisfied campesino communities over April 28-29 as part of a campaign strategy aimed at shoring up support in rural communities that have traditionally voted overwhelmingly for both ex-president Hugo Chavez and Maduro.
The countryside represents a critical constituency for the government in the upcoming May 20 election.
While the voices of Venezuela's right-wing opposition are continuously amplified by the corporate media, rarely are the voices of grassroots activists heard. Green Left Weekly’s Federico Fuentes spoke to Pacha Catalina Guzman, a leading activist with Venezuela’s largest peasant-based organisation, the Ezequiel Zamora National Campesino Front (FNCEZ), to get her view on the current economic crisis and how rural communities are organising to deal with the situation.
Hundreds of popular organisations and social movements from across Latin America and the Caribbean met at the Summit of the Peoples in Lima, Peru, over April 10-14.
The summit is a regular parallel to the official Summit of the Americas, which brings together governments from the entire Western Hemisphere.
Venezuela officially boycotted the governmental summit following Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s controversial banning by Peru’s government. This, however, did not dissuade a colourful and multifaceted Venezuelan delegation from attending the parallel summit.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has come out strongly against United States President Donald Trump’s latest sanctions on the South American country. These prohibit “all transactions” with “any digital currency” issued by the Venezuelan government — alluding to the cryptocurrency promoted by the Venezuelan authorities, known as “Petro”.
The United States administration has stepped up its efforts at “regime change” in Venezuela in recent weeks.
Much has been made in the corporate media of a humanitarian crisis on Venezuela’s borders having been caused by a flood of refugees leaving the country.
Here, Joe Emersberger takes down a recent example of the kind of crude propaganda that the corporate media has been running in its campaign against Venezuela.
Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza said US-imposed sanctions are making foreign debt renegotiation more difficult and that the government would look to work with other countries to alleviate their needs.
The situation was bleak for Venezuela’s pro-poor Bolivarian Revolution in the first half of last year.
With a dire economic situation and a growing wave of violent opposition protests, President Nicolas Maduro turned the tables by convening a National Constituent Assembly (ANC) in July.
Venezuelan workers’ organisations have denounced illegal arrests, firings and persecution in the Lacteos Los Andes state-run dairy company and private Venevision TV station. Meanwhile, campesino (peasant) leaders in Barinas state were freed and authorised to return to their land after persecution by an ex-land owner.