democracy

Leyla Guven, a member of Turkey’s parliament for the left-wing, Kurdish-led People’s Democratic party (HDP), launched an indefinite hunger strike on November 7 from Amed Prison, where she was held jailed by Turkey’s regime. Her demand is for an end to the isolation of jailed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Ocalan.

Jailed by Turkey since 1999, Ocalan is the recognised leader of the Kurdish liberation movement. Since 2011, his lawyers have been unable to met with him.

On February 12, the trial of 12 Catalan politicians and social movement leaders involved in the October 1, 2017 independence referendum is set to begin in the Spanish Supreme Court.

The leaders face sanctions as harsh as 25 year’s jail for their alleged offences — rebellion, sedition and embezzlement of public funds.

Hundreds have mobilised to attend pickets and mass meetings in defence of Venezuela’s sovereignty and to demand an end to the British and US governments interference during a time of difficulty in Venezuela. Starting with a picket at the Prime Minister’s Office and continuing with two mass meetings of the progressive left, anti-war, student and labour movement, a week of protests ended with a picket of the BBC headquarters and a further action planned against the Bank of England who have illegally seized US$1.2 billion of Venezuela’s gold.

Two competing marches took over the streets of Caracas on February 2 — in support and against elected President Nicolas Maduro. The foreign media focused on the opposition march exclusive, despite accounts that the pro-government march was clearly larger.

Much media fanfare has been made about US President Donald Trump pledge to deliver US$20 millions worth of humanitarian aid, in the form of food and medicine, into Venezuela via its borders with Colombia and Brazil. But in all media coverage, almost nothing has been said of the impact that the devastating and illegal US sanctions have had on the Venezuelan people, or that the latest round, including the impact that the seizure of Venezuela’s oil assets in the US will have.

The statement below was released by 15 left groups from the Asia-Pacific region on January 25. To add your organisation’s name, email int.psm@gmail.com.

***

We, the undersigned organisations, strongly condemn the Donald Trump administration for its support for an on-going coup attempt in Venezuela.

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.

Pages

Subscribe to democracy