No War! No Coup! U.S. Hands Off Venezuela!

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

On February 6, the National Steering Committee of the Labor Fightback Network discussed the imminent threat of direct U.S.-led military intervention against the sovereign nation of Venezuela. The Trump administration’s goal, openly stated, is to impose regime-change and take control of Venezuela’s vast oil resources. This military operation, coordinated with the governments of Brazil and Colombia, is being carried out in the name of opening a “humanitarian-aid corridor” into Venezuela from the Colombian border town of Cúcuta.

The LFN has learned that three calls have been issued by antiwar coalitions in the United States to protest U.S. intervention in Venezuela and to stay the hands of the U.S. war-makers the world over: February 23, March 16 and March 30.

The LFN has advocated consistently for a united antiwar movement capable of building broadly sponsored mass actions in the streets. We would have preferred to see a unified mass action around a common date and set of demands; this is what is needed, more than ever. Having said that, we welcome and support the Calls to Action below, and we urge all labor and antiwar activists to (1) participate in them and (2) enlist support from your unions and community organizations.

U.S. Hands Off Venezuela!

In solidarity,
National Steering Committee,Labor Fightback Network

U.S. Labor Against the War
Statement on U.S. Intervention in Venezuela
January 27, 2019

“Hands Off Venezuela!”

U.S. Labor Against the War opposes the Trump Administration intervention in the internal affairs of Venezuela.

The U.S. has no legitimate claim to intervene in the internal affairs of other countries, to take sides in internal political disputes, or to undermine governments elected by the people.  We have seen the disastrous consequences of recent U.S. interventions in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, and, through its alliance with Saudi Arabia, in Yemen. U.S. intervention in Venezuela can only bring further hardship and suffering, as followed U.S. support for the 2009 coup in Honduras that overthrew the elected government there and contributed to the stream of asylum-seekers now on our southern border seeking relief from that disaster.

It reveals the deep cynicism of U.S. policy makers that they denounce what they call a dictatorial regime in Venezuela while providing unlimited support to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its murderous absolute dictatorship of the royal family.  The U.S. also supports a host of other autocrats, authoritarians, absolute monarchs and dictators in Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Egypt, to name a few. There is no case in which U.S. intervention in the internal affairs of other countries has led to greater democracy and better conditions of life for the people.

In the case of Venezuela, the economic distress has been precipitated largely by the decline in world oil prices.  Oil is the most important revenue source for the Venezuelan government. But Venezuela’s economic difficulties have been greatly compounded by economic sanctions imposed on Venezuela by the United States, beginning in March 2015 under Barack Obama.  These have been explicitly designed to choke off Venezuela’s access to international markets and resources for the purpose of destabilizing the Maduro government and, before that, the government of Hugo Chávez. The economic chaos the U.S. now points to in Venezuela as a justification for intervention is in large part a consequence of U.S. policy, which is designed to provoke popular unrest, sow divisions and precipitate an uprising against the government.

We strongly condemn the tacit support given to President Trump’s intervention by leaders of the Democratic Party.  Whether articulated by Republicans or Democrats, U.S. intervention to destabilize other countries violates the U.N. Charter and international law.  This interference in Venezuela’s internal affairs serves the interests of wealthy elites and multinational corporations, not the interests of the Venezuelan or American people. It is always the people who end up paying for these interventions in suffering, blood and treasure.

Real international solidarity calls upon us to demand of our government:

“Hands off Venezuela!”

UNAC Emergency Call to Action
U.S. Hands Off Venezuela! No to the U.S. Coup!
All out on February 23 and March 30!

The U.S. imperial colossus is poised once again to launch a regime change invasion and war on Venezuela.

The United National Antiwar Coalition, (UNAC), in alliance with hundreds of antiwar and social justice organizations across the country is supporting, February 23 for nationally-coordinated antiwar protests in cities across the country.

We demand:
U.S. Out Now!
Stop the Planned Coup Against Venezuela!

The Trump administration and its top officials, from National Security Adviser John Bolton, Vice President Mike Pence to Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, invoking the heinous Monroe Doctrine of 1823, no less, and backed to the hilt with bi-partisan congressional support, has proclaimed Venezuela to be in the U.S. imperial “backyard.” Working people in the U.S. are faced once again with an open bi-partisan promoted imperialist war, with the Trump administration stating that its objective is to obliterate once and for the sovereign governments of Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua that President Trump has designated the “troika of terror.” There is good reason to consider that should this comes to pass, this policy of war and intervention in Latin America, we can fully expect a major associated increase in government-promoted repression of basic civil and democratic rights.

In the name of delivering  “humanitarian aid” to the U.S.-appointed and CIA-trained puppet “president,” Juan Guaidó, the U.S. and its Colombian military allies are literally heading toward a Colombian border town preparing to cross into Venezuela via a militarily-established corridor. In the name of the spurious proposition that the U.S. is bound to deliver medical and related supplies to “save the lives of 250,000 to 500,000 starving and dying Venezuelans,” the U.S. government, with its corporate media in tow, seeks to justify yet another regime change war.

If the U.S. delivers anything it will be death and destruction to the people of Venezuela. And this on top of the current illegal sanctions coupled with the overt stealing of $tens of millions of funds generated from the sale of Venezuelan/CITCO oil in the U.S. and placed in accounts earmarked for the U.S.-appointed “president.” The U.S. virtual blockade/embargo of Venezuela and its associated banning of loan funds from international lending agencies, is expected to cost that nation some $11 billion over the coming year.

Today’s U.S.-orchestrated pretext, based on the incredible proposition that it has the right to appoint and militarily impose as president of a sovereign nation, a creature of its own manufacture, is little different from the now repudiated  “weapons of mass destruction” inventions that the Bush administration employed to destroy vast sections of Iraq, oust its President Saddam Hussein, proceed to hold “elections” overseen by U.S. occupiers that imposed a government that turned over major portions of Iraq oil to U.S. corporations. Akin to the lie employed in Libya, to wit, that the Muammar Gadhafi government was preparing to slaughter 50,000 people in Benghazi, the U.S. and its NATO allies destroyed the vast infrastructure of that nation and imposed its own government. Today’s not even thinly-veiled pretext differs little from the U.S. pretext employed to begin the ten-year slaughter of 4 million mostly civilian Vietnamese wherein a tiny Vietnamese boat was said to have attacked a U.S. destroyer in the Vietnamese waters at Tonkin Bay.

Today’s crudely-orchestrated and blatantly prepared U.S. war scenario is publicly aimed at, among other objectives, splitting the Venezuelan Army, ousting the democratically-elected President Maduro, inserting a reactionary U.S. puppet government and laying hold of Venezuela’s vast oil reserves — the largest on earth today.

UNAC has taken the lead in initiating the broadest possible united front-type mobilizations against the impending U.S. intervention. In alliance with the Coalition Against U.S. Foreign Military Bases and many others it has established a coalition endorsed by some 200 antiwar and social justice organizations. Originally established for a March 30 Washington, D.C. mobilization against NATO, against all U.S. wars at home and abroad, as well as to honor Dr. King’s famous speech against the Vietnam war, the UNAC-initiated March 30 Spring Antiwar Action Coalition has stepped forward and unanimously voted to prioritize the organization of nation-wide local protests on Saturday, February 23 in cities across the country.

UNAC’s decision to complement its original focus on the above critical demands by also highlighting “U.S. Hands Off Venezuela! and No to the U.S. Coup!” was seen by all as a critical prelude to the March 30 bi-coastal actions set for D.C. and Oakland.

UNAC has also endorsed all other Hands Off Venezuela! actions, including the March 16 ANSWER-called demonstration in Washington, D.C.

Join us in mobilizing for February 23 and March 30.

In solidarity,

Joe Lombardo and Marilyn Levin, Co-coordinators, UNAC for the UNAC Administrative Committee

February 5, 2019

March 16 National Day of Action
(Issued by ANSWER coalition and others)

On Saturday, March 16, thousands of people will march in Washington, D.C. against the Trump administration’s effort to engineer a coup in Venezuela and a new devastating war there. The aggressive policy against Venezuela repeats the ugly pattern of wars for regime change in the oil-rich countries of Iraq and Libya. National Security Advisor John Bolton is reading from the same script, declaring a “troika of tyranny” in Latin America (like the “axis of evil”) as a precursor for regime change first in Venezuela, and then Cuba and Nicaragua. Trump has always said that the “mistake” of the Middle East wars was that the U.S. didn’t “take the oil.”

It is time to stand up and with a clear voice say NO to the newest example of the “Monroe Doctrine,” which the U.S. government has used for over two centuries to repeatedly invade Latin America and Caribbean, control its politics and extract its resources.

The White House aims to overthrow the government of President Nicolás Maduro and replace him with Juan Guaidó. Guaidó is a U.S.-trained operative who was unknown to the vast majority of Venezuelans before he proclaimed himself president — at Vice President Mike Pence’s urging. Although Guaidó has the backing of Trump, the CIA, and the Republican and Democratic Party leaderships alike, huge numbers of Venezuelans have marched to reject this coup and defend their independence.

On March 16, the people of the United States will come together to say:

  • U.S. hands off Venezuela! 
  • NO to the coup — the U.S. does not have the right to select other country’s leaders!
  • NO to the sanctions, oil embargo and economic war on Venezuela that aims to cause suffering for ordinary people in the country.
  • NO to intervention and war from the U.S. and their proxies in the region.

About elnwebmaster

This is the discussion blog of the Labor Fightback Network, an auxiliary to the website. It is designed to facilitate discussion among labor activists concerning the critical issues facing working people in the current economic crisis. Readers’ comments are welcome, but flaming is not. Any comments which are racist, sexist/homophobic, or disrespectful on a personal level will not get past moderation.
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