Hands off Venezuela

We demonstrated at the US Consulate in Edinburgh on 7th February to say Trump and the US – Out of Venezuela. It is a disgrace that the UK, EU, Canada and others are backing US sponsored regime change. It is the right of the Venezuelan people, and theirs alone, to decide what happens in their country.

Stop the War was formed to oppose military interventions in the Middle East and Afghanistan. Successive governments have pursued the so-called war on terror, against the will of the majority of the electorate, since 2001. After eighteen years and millions of deaths the world is less safe and much of the Middle East is devastated. But in Latin America yet again May acts as the obedient sidekick to the US.

The US has a track record; between 1898 and 1994 it made 41 attempts to overthrow regimes in Latin America – one every 28 months on average. In the course of this they trained death squads and torturers at the School of the America’s and bank rolled dictators and paramilitaries.

US intent to treat Latin America, as their back yard, has remained a constant factor over 120 years. But it hasn’t always been easy for it to intervene. For much of the last two decades they have been constrained by the strength of popular movements – what some people have called the pink tide. Mass mobilisations by the poor, workers, indigenous movements carried leaders like Chavez in Venezuela and Morales in Bolivia into office. But in many places the leaders became separated from the movements that brought them to power.

In Venezuela, Maduro, Chavez’s successor, opened up the Orinico basin to 150 corporations with license to pillage its natural resources and ride roughshod over the indigenous population. One Canadian gold mining company was given more than £200 million dollars in compensation for having previously been restricted from mining and can operate tax free (as will all the others) for ten years. But this isn’t enough for the US – they want the old, corrupt elite back in power. And as China and Russia also compete for oil and minerals in the region they want to be top dog.

US intervention and most definitely US military intervention will be a further twist of the screw of poverty, repression and death.  The talk of democracy and humanitarian aid is an attempt to hide naked greed and exploitation.

We stand with the people of Venezuela – the poor, the people in the barrios, the workers and the indigenous communities.

There will be a protest in Glasgow on Saturday 9th, midday at the Buchanan Galleries organised by Scottish Venezuela Solidarity Campaign

No war, no intervention, hands off Venezuela.

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