Statement on Venezuela
by the United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC) & the Black Alliance for Peace
Massive May Day march in Caracas not reported by the media.
The United States has been conducting a brutal, 20-year-long campaign of destabilization against Venezuela in an attempt to cause “regime change” in that country. This has taken the form of economic sabotage and financial manipulation as well as support for the mobilization of right-wing forces in increasingly violent demonstrations.
This is not a recent policy, but one that has also been carried out under the Obama and Bush administrations as well as the present Trump administration. In 2002, right-wing forces inside Venezuela attempted a coup against then-President Hugo Chavez. Many sources have confirmed that the U.S. gave the go-ahead to the opposition to orchestrate the coup and promised support. Soon after the coup, the people of Venezuela turned out in the streets in massive numbers and restored Chavez to the presidency.
Barack Obama continued the assault on the Venezuelan revolution by imposing crippling sanctions and asserting that Venezuela was a “security threat” to the United States. These attacks from the U.S. exemplify attempts to realize full-spectrum dominance, the epitome of imperialist intervention which has brought so much suffering to the world.
Some of the very same opposition leaders who were involved in the 2002 coup attempt are today behind the present unrest, which has seen well-financed opposition forces leading violent protests against the government of Nicolas Maduro. The U.S. corporate media has reported on these actions, but has blamed the violence on the Venezuelan government and has not reported the huge mobilizations in defense of the Maduro government.
Now a bipartisan bill has been submitted in the Senate (S.1018) with the intention of further destabilizing Venezuela. For more information on this bill and some actions you can take to oppose it, please go here: http://afgj.org/take-action-today-to-support-venezuelas-democracy.
The economic crises in Venezuela is severe. The Venezuelan economy is dependent on its large oil resources. The oil has been nationalized since 1976, but there has been a continual push from U.S. interests as well as wealthy Venezuelans to privatize it. Though the oil remains nationalized, the refining, transportation and markets are all private and have been used to undercut the ability of the oil industry to support the economy. Additionally, in the past few years, with the encouragement of Wall Street, oil production around the world has been kept high, driving down the price, which hurts oil-dependent economies, including those of countries that the U.S. opposes, such as Russia and Iran in addition to Venezuela.
The U.S. media also has been full of stories of Venezuelan supermarkets with near-empty shelves and long lines of people seeking basic necessities. What hasn’t been reported is that the privately owned food corporations are deliberately hoarding supplies intended for working-class neighborhoods, while making sure that food and other goods are readily available in the wealthier areas.
The Bolivarian Revolution has always endeavored to be an ally of the people of United States and to extend a hand of friendship and solidarity. When the U.S. government turned its back on the people of the Gulf Coast in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the Venezuelan government offered humanitarian aid, but was rebuffed. Venezuela provided fuel assistance to low-income Black and Brown people when the U.S. government would not.
These acts reinforced the strong support that many in the Black community had for the process in Venezuela and deepened the commitment of Black activists to stand in solidarity with the people of Venezuela and their process. This support is in line with the long-standing Black radical tradition of defending nations under imperialist attack by the U.S. government.
The defeat of the Bolivarian Revolution at the hands of U.S. imperialism and its reactionary right-wing allies in Venezuela would be a defeat for progressive forces all over the world and a disaster for the people of Venezuela and its people as it has been in Libya and Ukraine and Haiti and every nation which has lost its sovereignty to the two-party commitment to imperialist intervention.