Statement by the Labor Fightback Network
The Labor Fightback Network firmly opposes attempts by the U.S. government and its allies to overthrow the elected government of Venezuela. Support for the aborted coup in 2002, economic embargo since, covert support for opposition forces and outright sabotage are acts of warfare against a sovereign nation. Venezuela’s Bolivarian Revolution continues to inspire millions throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. For that reason, and for its vast oil reserves, Venezuela sits in the crosshairs.
Successive U.S. administrations have sought to overthrow regimes throughout this hemisphere and around the globe that it found noncompliant with its drive for global hegemony and unsupportive of its economic interests. Never have any of these interventions led to true democracy or improved conditions for the vast majority of the people affected.
Venezuela is bordered by Colombia and Brazil, whose governments are closely aligned with the Trump Administration and present a military threat to that country. Colombia, the first NATO partner in Latin America, is one of the world’s worst repressors of workers’ and peasants’ movements. Brazil’s 17-member cabinet now has 13 generals, and its new president is widely described as a fascist.
The Canada Labour Congress, with 3 million members, has denounced Prime Minister Trudeau’s support for intervention in Venezuela, proclaiming: “The CLC vehemently rejects a militarized solution to this crisis; the people of Latin America have not forgotten the brutal history of military rule in the region.”
The San Francisco Labor Council has again denounced the U.S. campaign of regime change in Venezuela as “against the interests of the people of Venezuela, Latin America or the people of the United States,” and has endorsed the March 16 National March on the White House to say “Hands Off Venezuela, No War, No Sanctions, No Coup,” and the Hands Off Venezuela National Action on March 30 in DC and in the Bay Area on March 31.
We join with the San Francisco Labor Council in urging strong labor participation in these two antiwar actions. To help in this effort, we are including below an important statement issued by US Labor Against the War, a union-based coalition that has been instrumental in opposing the U.S. war against the peoples of Iraq and Afghanistan and in pushing for labor rights in the region.
- Hands off Venezuela!
- Unite in opposition to U.S. government aims in Venezuela and globally!
- Stand up for the people of Venezuela on March 16 and March 30!
Hands Off Venezuela
US Labor Against the War Statement on US Intervention in Venezuela, January 27, 2019
US Labor Against the War opposes the Trump Administration intervention in the internal affairs of Venezuela.
The US 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 US interventions in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and, through its alliance with Saudi Arabia, in Yemen. US intervention in Venezuela can only bring further hardship and suffering, as followed US 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 US 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 US 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 US 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 Chavez. The economic chaos the US now points to in Venezuela as a justification for intervention is in large part a consequence of US 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, US intervention to destabilize other countries violates the UN 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!”