The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela is currently witnessing multiple attempts by right-wing elements and imperialist powers to overthrow the people’s government in the country. These forces seek to undo the social progress made by the people of the country, especially the working class, since the Bolivarian Revolution.
The ongoing coup against the government of Nicolas Maduro aims to grab power from the working class population and hand it over to the United States-backed right-wing business elites. It attempts to steal the social welfare gains made by the state-run economy, achieved despite the brutal US economic sanctions, and enslave the working class through International Monetary Fund (IMF)-led neoliberal regime.
Last week, Juan Guaido, leader of the National Assembly of Venezuela, declared himself the president, with backing from the US and the right-wing governments of Colombia and Brazil. The move insults the people’s democratic mandate, which elected Maduro as the president in May 2018 with 67% of the votes.
The ‘US coup expert’
The current incident in Venezuela is a repetition of the US-backed coup attempt against president Hugo Chavez in April 2002, led by the ‘US coup expert’, Elliot Abrams. The attempt failed as the people and Bolivarian armed forces stood behind Chavez. The coup was organized when Chavez attempted to bring larger revenues for social welfare programs from country’s oil industry, threatening the US hegemony that has always viewed Latin America through the lens of the Monroe doctrine.
Abrams is also infamous for a series of regime-change projects across the globe in the name of ‘restoring democracy’- a US word for stealing a nation’s resources for business interests. He was the deputy national security advisor to US President George W Bush and played a key role in US’ invasion of Iraq. Abrams, under Ronald Reagan, supported the right-wing authoritarian governments in El Salvador and Honduras in their repression campaigns against dissenters. The creation of death squads led to the execution of thousands of social leaders and communists during these campaigns. He also oversaw the arming of right-wing paramilitaries in Nicaragua, known as contras, against the elected government.
The recent interference by the US comes after years of brutal economic sanctions against Venezuela to cripple the country’s economy. In August last year, an assassination attempt was made against Maduro using explosive-attached drones by Venezuelan right-wing elements. According to the former UN special rapporteur, Alfred de Zayas, these sanctions are killing the people of Venezuela and such actions are ‘crimes against humanity’. Viewing the sanctions as the modern-day equivalent of medieval-era siege of towns, Zayas said that US is engaging in economic warfare.
Deepening its interference, US president Donald Trump said that “all options are on the table”, pointing towards a possible military intervention.
Solidarity with the Venezuelan people
Neither the US economic sanctions nor the threats of military intervention in Venezuela deter the revolutionary will of the people, inspired by the legacy of Simon Bolivar, the liberator of Venezuela. People’s movements and organizations across the globe are standing in solidarity with the people of Venezuela in their struggle to defend democracy and the Bolivarian Revolution. We look into some of the solidarity statements issued by various working class movements and organizations across the world, condemning the coup attempt.
“Hands off Venezuela NOW!,” said a joint statement by Asia-Pacific Left Organizations, consisting of Socialist Party of Malaysia (Malaysia), Jaringan Rakyat Tertindas (Malaysia), Partido Lakas ng Masa (Philippines), Partido Manggagawa (Philippines), People’s Liberation Party (Indonesia), Working People’s Struggle Organization Political Congress (Indonesia), Lembaga Informasi Perburuhan Sedane (Indonesia), Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Liberation (India), Awami Workers Party (Pakistan), People’s Democratic Party (Indonesia), People’s Democratic Party (Indonesia), Confederation of Indonesian People’s Movement (Indonesia), Confederation of National Union (Indonesia), Textile Garments Workers Federation (Bangladesh), Circle of the People’s Movement (Indonesia) and Socialist Alliance (Australia).
The statement further noted that “we stand together and express our solidarity with the people of Venezuela in the struggle to resist imperialist intervention and to defend its democratic sovereignty.” The Communist Party of India (Marxist) also issued a statement, noting that the recognition of Juan Guaido, the leader of the opposition groups in Venezuela, by the US as the president is an attempt to subvert the constitutional order in the country and encourage a coup. The Communist Party of India also condemned the US intervention in Venezuela.
The Nepal Communist Party expressed its support to the people of Venezuela and the democratically elected government of Nicolas Maduro.
The Communist Party of Pakistan, along with Left Democratic Alliance (Bangladesh), Communist Party of Bangladesh and other working class organizations in the South Asia region, called the US intervention a blatant violation of the will of the people of Venezuela and declared solidarity with them.
The Lebanese Communist Party, along with other organizations, met the Venezuelan Ambassador in Beirut to express solidarity, as well as their confidence in the ability of “the Venezuelan revolutionary leadership to confront the imperialist intervention in Venezuelan internal affairs and to triumph over those aggressive policies.” The Federation of Workers Council and Unions in Iraq also rejected the US intervention in Venezuela and said that it stands with the people of the Bolivarian Republic.
Ahmad Majdalani, member of the executive committee of Palestine Liberation Organization, described the American interference in Venezuelan internal affairs as “an extension of the Trump administration’s policy that stands against the will of the people”. The Turkish Communist Party also condemned the US intervention and noted that this shows that US will go to any level of barbarity when it comes to its imperialist interests.
The Socialist Party of Zambia, along with Socialist Forum of Ghana, expressed their solidarity with the people of Venezuela in their fight against the US attempts to overthrow the Bolivarian Revolution. “As far we are concerned, only the people of Venezuela have the right to elect their own leaders. And they, in free and fair elections, gave President Nicolas Maduro 67% of their votes,” read the statement by the Socialist Forum of Ghana.
The United Food and Allied Workers Union of Zimbabwe, in a statement, condemned the onslaught on the Bolivarian revolution by the US and other right-wing countries of the Lima group. The Tanzanian Socialist Forum also said that they stand behind people’s mandate which elected Nicolas Maduro as the President of the country.
The Communist Party of Swaziland, calling upon “the working class of the world to rise up against the imperialist intervention in Venezuela”, expressed solidarity with the people of Venezuela. The Egyptian Communist Party condemned the “usual bullying tactics of US” and said that anti-working class forces are attempting to overthrow the elected government of Nicolas Maduro by encouraging civil war in the country.
The Democratic Way, Morocco, in a statement, called the US coup attempt as a move to plunder the wealth and resources of the country. “Once again, the Venezuelan people and their national government are standing together, thwarting the coup attempt and challenging the hegemony and intervention of the United States administration and its local henchmen,” read the statement of solidarity by the Tunisian Workers’ Party.
The Social Movements of ALBA platform, consisting of hundreds of organizations and movements from 28 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, declared their solidarity and support to Venezuela and Maduro.
In the statement released by the platform, they pointed to the gravity of the situation not only for Venezuela but for the whole region: “It is necessary to understand that Venezuela is the entryway that the United States looks for to generate chaos and death in the whole region. Whoever thinks this is only a problem of Maduro, only a problem of Chavismo, suffers from serious short-sightedness that could cost the life of millions of people in Our America.”
The Landless Rural Workers Movement of Brazil extended their support to the “heroic Venezuelan people and their president, Nicolás Maduro, that once again are suffering a brutal attack against their democracy and sovereignty”. They also denounced the “embarrassing” position taken by Brazil, who, instead of acting as a moderator to find a solution to this conflict, has “taken the side of the aggressor, plunderer and invader that is the USA”.
“We condemn any external interference in Venezuela and we call on all of the democratic and anti-imperialist forces to support the self-determination and the efforts of the Venezuelan people and government to find their own paths to overcome the economic crisis and promote peace with social justice,” stated the mass rural movement from Brazil.
The Communication Forum for the Integration of Our America released a statement and drew special attention to the role of the media in pushing forth this coup attempt, “Once again, the media monopolies of private cartels become the spokespersons of the interests of the sectors of power and the right-wing, to attempt to convince the population that there has been a change of government in Venezuela. Once again the lie covers up the reality with false headlines, attempting to pave the way for a coup d’état.”
The U.S. Peace Council called on the US peace movement to not limit itself to just signing petitions and issuing statements of condemnation, as important as they are. “While these methods are necessary and helpful in applying pressure on the US Congress and the government, the history of US imperialism has demonstrated that such appeals alone have not been effective enough to stop the crimes that are being committed by our government abroad in our name”.
The council called for organizing broad mass protests in every corner of the country, against war, against foreign intervention, and against violations of UN Charter by the US ruling class.
The Communist Party of Canada strongly condemned the ‘imperialist move’ by the Canadian government led by Justin Threadu, which recognised Juan Guaido as the president of Venezuela. The party expressed its solidarity with the struggle of Venezuelan people and demanded an immediate end to coup attempts by the US.
“We call on all our members and friends to immediately contact their senators and representatives to demand an end to this illegal and dangerous intervention in the affairs of a sovereign nation,” noted the statement by the Communist Party of USA, strongly condemning the Trump administration’s regime-change policies in Venezuela.
The people’s movements across Europe strongly condemned the European Union’s eight-day ultimatum to Nicolas Maduro to hold elections. The EU threatened to recognize Juan Guaido as the president of Venezuela in case Maduro fails to call for elections. The organizations alleged this move by EU to be dictated by the US.
In the Basque country, collectives, parties and trade unions that are part of “Venezuela aurrera” released a communique against the imperialist interference in Venezuela and held mobilizations on January 25 in 13 municipalities. The platform, Venezuela aurrera, includes Alternatiba, Askapena, Bachue (Refugiados-as de Colombia en Euskal Herria), Círculo Bolivariano “La Puebla”, Emigrados sin Fronteras, Ernai, Euskadi-Cuba, Ezker Anitza-Izquierda Unida, Gazte Komunistak, Gazte Komunisten Batasuna (GKB), Giltza, Ikasle Abertzaleak, Ikasle Ekintza, Inti Kokone, IPES-GITE, LAB, Komite Internazionalistak, Paz con Dignidad/Bakea eta Duintasuna, PCE-EPK, Resumen Latinoamericano, Revista “Encuentros”, SODePAz and Sortu.
The Spanish United Left strongly condemned the Spanish government’s decision to recognize Guaido in line with the EU. Expressing solidarity with the struggle of Venezuelan people, the party called upon the Spanish government not to follow the US dictated line. The Communist Party of Greece extended support to the working class population and the government of Venezuela against the capitalist and imperialist intervention in the country. The Young Communist League, Britain condemned the un-democratic and anti-constitutional move of the National Assembly leader, Juan Guaido, in declaring himself as the president of Venezuela. The group called this action an imperialist tactic by the US to overthrow the elected government of Nicolas Maduro.
The Progressive Party of Working People, Cyprus also issued a statement rejecting the coup attempt in Venezuela and called upon the working class to unite against this imperialist action by US. The Communist Party of Germany, calling for the rejection of Juan Guaido’s declaration, noted that the current coup attempt is a repetition of the US-backed regime change project to overthrow the elected government of Hugo Chavez in 2002.
Communist Party of Malta, with other members of European Solidarity Network, denounced the coup attempts against Maduro and expressed their solidarity with people of Venezuela and the Bolivarian Revolution. The Hungarian Workers’ Party and the New Communist Party of Yugoslavia also condemned the Trump government’s imperialist intervention in Venezuela.
Hands off Venezuela!
More than 70 prominent intellectuals, historians and activists across the world, including Noam Chomsky, Vijay Prashad, Laura Carlsen, John Pilger and Margaret Power, issued a letter demanding that the US government stop its coup attempt in Venezuela.
As the US, Lima Group and EU countries continue their attempts to overthrow the elected government of Nicolas Maduro and impose neoliberal policies, the people of Venezuela are hitting the streets to safeguard the Bolivarian revolution. With international solidarity, the Bolivarian government, the people and its army are determined to defend the freedom achieved by Simon Bolivar.