It is important to note that while the vitriolic right-wing government opposition is concentrated among the white and economically elite elements of the population, the barrios, shanty towns and rural areas that are home to the poor, Indigenous communities and the Afro-Venezuelans have not erupted into protest for the most part because they support the government. In order to understand the roots of the elite opposition's hate and racism toward Black and Indigenous government supporters, one has to understand the history of the presidency that preceded Maduro's – that of Hugo Chavez.
Venezuela's Bolivarian Revolution
Since opposition protests began in Venezuela in early April, much of the media coverage has focused on clashes in Caracas. However, the opposition’s campaign to bring down the government of Nicolas Maduro has not been limited to the country’s capital.
Marco Teruggi reports on a recent visit to the small, but strategic town of Socopo, in the largely rural state Barinas, which has been the site of a campaign of terror and an all-out struggle for power.
Jorge Martin, secretary of Hands Off Venezuela, an international organisation that campaigns in solidarity with the Bolivarian Revolution and in opposition to imperialist intervention, recently visited Venezuela in the midst of the current upheaval rocking the nation.
In the face of ongoing attempts to violently depose the elected government of President Nicolas Maduro, the Socialist Alliance reaffirms its support and solidarity with the Venezuelan people, their government and the Bolivarian revolution.
Contrary to claims by the corporate media and right-wing governments in the region, Venezuela is not witnessing a peaceful protest movement for democracy but rather its opposite: a counter-revolutionary wave of violence that seeks to provoke greater bloodshed, and potentially, an international intervention.
The Organisation of American States (OAS) and its current secretary general Luis Almagro has pursued policies that aggravate the current crisis in Venezuela.
Rather than providing a way to help mediate the bitter conflict in Venezuela, Almagro has joined one side.
The position of the OAS sadly reflects the longer history of the organisation.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced at an International Workers’ Day rally on May 1 that he would convene a National Constituent Assembly in an attempt to resolve the country’s current political crisis.
The constituent assembly, which will be made up of delegates elected on a territorial basis and from among the country’s different social sectors, seeks to prove an electoral route out of the current impasse premised on national dialogue.
Opposition groups in Venezuela have been waging an economic war similar to that perpetrated against former Chilean president Salvador Allende. Hoarding, smuggling and currency speculation have caused shortages of food and basic necessities and hardship, particularly for poorer people.
Many things have been said about Venezuela, its leaders and its people; namely, the ability of its process to survive the historical challenges of the growing economic crisis and attacks from the political opposition.
Now is the time to stand in solidarity with Venezuela and really get to know its people and process.
Venezuela has been rocked in recent weeks by almost daily protests and counter-protests, as right-wing opponents of socialist President Nicolas Maduro seek to bring down his government.
While the media portrays these events as a popular rebellion against an authoritarian government, supporters of the pro-poor Bolivarian revolution initiated by former president Hugo Chavez say the country is witnessing an escalation in what is an ongoing counter-revolutionary campaign seeking to restore Venezuela’s traditional elites in power and reverse the gains made by the poor majority under Chavez and Maduro.