FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
“I stand in solidarity with the people of Venezuela!” says Robin Harris, co-chair of the Green Party of Florida, in response to the U.S. government’s latest maneuvers to depose the democratically elected President of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro, and bring in a right-wing regime that would hand over that country’s mineral wealth to the powerful oligarchs that are still a dangerous force in that country under siege.
“The Green Party of Florida rallies strongly against imperialism, capitalism and the fascist tactics that the U.S and Juan Guaidó, head of the U.S.-backed opposition, have wielded against this country,” Harris continues. “We also denounce Donald Trump’s affirmation of Juan Guaidó as president. It violates all democratic process and is a total violation of human rights.”
Years of sabotage and economic warfare.
Harris is joined by Jill Stein, the Green Party’s presidential candidate in 2012 and 2016, and her 2016 running mate Ajamu Baraka, head of the Black Alliance for Peace.
“There’s a lot we don’t hear about Venezuela — like how the US government has been working for years to destabilize the country and create ‘regime change.’ This intervention includes economic sabotage, attempted coups to put right-wing plutocrats in power, and more. I stand with Ajamu Baraka and the Black Alliance for Peace against US efforts to destabilize Venezuela. We demand an end to imperialism in all forms, and respect for the self-determination of the Venezuelan people!”
At issue is the fact that Venezuela has the world’s largest oil reserves. And the U.S. wants it. After he was elected president of Venezuela in 1999, Socialist Hugo Chavez nationalized key industries and used the country’s oil wealth to implement social programs, and to expand access to food, housing, healthcare and education. Under Chavez, the former “banana republic” made huge strides in areas such as poverty, literacy, income equality and quality of life.
This was done in the face of military coups and virtual economic blockade, which have done increasingly serious damage to the Venezuelan economy. The U.S. smilingly tut-tutted over the havoc it had wrought while charging Chavez and his successor Nicolas Maduro with “mismanagement.”
After Chavez’s death in 2013, Nicolas Maduro did his best to continue Chavez’s legacy, while the U.S. government under President Barack Obama continued the U.S.’s sordid legacy of sabotage, sanctions and regime change. Obama used the CIA to support and finance a public “opposition,” now the darlings of the U.S. corporate media, with an ever broader bipartisan array of sanctions, including:
Venezuela Defense of Human Rights and Civil Society Act of 2014, sponsored by New Jersey Democrat Robert Menendez, which “blocks and prohibits all transactions in all property and interests in property of a person determined” to offend U.S. government sensibilities.
The Obama/Trump United Front.
Showing he can out-Obama Obama, Trump is escalating wildly with a detailed array of Executive Orders designed to totally paralyze the Maduro government, including “the imposition of blocking sanctions on persons” in the gold sector of the Venezuelan economy (necessary for a wide range of international financial transactions), prohibits transactions by a United States person or within the United States related to the purchase of any debt owed to the Government of Venezuela, prohibits all transactions related to, provision of financing for, and other dealings in any digital currency, and prohibits transactions by a United States person or within the United States related to: certain new debt of Petroleos de Venezuela, Venezuela’s state-owned oil and natural gas company.
The capper is Executive Order 13692 which declares a national emergency with respect to the situation in Venezuela.
Middle-class mobs led by Juan Guaidó, who is considered a front-man for the country’s long-time oligarchs, are pouring into the streets. The U.S. State Department has declared Guaidó’s National Assembly the sole legitimate government as they are going in for “the kill,” the outright overthrow of the Maduro government.
The army is standing firm behind Maduro, as are the people in poor and working class neighborhoods.
As has happened in Syria, where Russian intervention played a key role in preventing ISIS and an array of jihadis from overthrowing the secular government of Bashar Al-Assad, Russia, Iran and China have come to Maduro’s support. As the Washington Post laments that while Latin America’s right-wing governments are beating the drums against Venezuela:
“Russia, the source of billions of dollars in loans to Venezuela, insisted that Maduro remains the legitimate president and slammed the U.S. approach. Russian officials and pro-Kremlin lawmakers said that Venezuela — after Iraq, Libya, Ukraine and Syria — was becoming the latest victim of global U.S. efforts to foment regime change in violation of international norms. ”
Our front must be independent.
“In what appears on the surface to be a ludicrous position,” observed Ajamu Baraka, “Barack Obama declared Venezuela a threat to U.S. national security on three different occasions.
“However, the United States is the enforcer for the global capitalist system and the head of the white, Western, capitalist united front. With that in mind, seeing Venezuela as a threat made sense. Venezuela has been the driving force for the nations of the Americas south of the U.S. border attempting to free themselves from the yoke of U.S. imperialism.”
Baraka’s Black Alliance for Peace adds, “The U.S. state has been openly involved in criminal aggression against the Venezuelan state, with almost no opposition from ‘progressive forces’ in the United States and Europe. It is yet another example of the class-collaborationist character of so much of the Western and U.S. left — and why it is political suicide for radical Black forces not to be independently organized.”
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