Solidarity needed with Venezuela

Solidarity needed with Venezuela

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Mike Treen on platform of May Day rally in Caracas, Venezuela, in 2006

By Mike Treen, National Director, Unite Union

(Reprinted from The Daily Blog)

The international labour movement together with all supporters of peace and social justice around the globe need to mobilise in solidarity with government and people of Venezuela.

The declaration by the President of the United States that Venezuela is an “unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States” can seem simply absurd on the face of it but it constitutes the first step towards open warfare and “regime change” as official policy.

Just such a declaration by US President Reagan in 1985 set the stage for the imposition of economic sanctions – including an economic embargo – to remove an elected government. The sanctions were followed by funding for a terrorist paramilitary war that combined with the embargo destroyed the economy and led to the electoral defeat of the governing Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) in 1990. The FSLN returned to power in 2007 and have increased their support to record levels.

The threat posed by Venezuela is the threat of a good example. The process known as the “Bolivarian Revolution” began with the election of Hugo Chavez as President in 1998. Until his death from cancer in March 2013 he led a mass process to redistribute wealth, radically increase access to health care and education, expand popular power, and challenge US domination and exploitation in the region.