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Protests are continuing throughout Iran by teachers, nurses, labourers, retirees, oil industry workers, bazaar traders and shopkeepers, truck drivers, farmers, the unemployed, students, and other sectors, writes Minna Langeberg.

The current wave of protests continue those from December, which were brutally suppressed by the regime. They signal the deep crisis of legitimacy of the regime, as expressed by one of the most enduring slogans that emerged, “Fundamentalists, reformists, the game is over”.

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.

On January 25, Benny Wenda, chairperson of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP), handed a petition signed by 1.8 million West Papuans to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet. The petition called for the United Nations to “put West Papua back on the Decolonisation Committee agenda and ensure our right to self‐determination denied to us in 1969 is respected by holding an Internationally Supervised Vote”.

The petition handover was facilitated by the government of the South Pacific island state of Vanuatu.

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.

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