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London Solidarity Rally: Cuba, Venezuela and Colombia three different struggles against the same enemy

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On June 17, a rally against the US imperialist intervention in Latin America took place in London. The meeting was attended by activists, trade unionists and youth and a big representation of the Latin American community in London was also there. The rally aimed to raise awareness of the situation in Latin America amongst the labour movement and the youth.

On June 17, a rally against the US imperialist intervention in Latin America took place in London. The rally kicked off at 19.30 in the main hall of the Union Chapel, a well known venue for the meetings of the labour movement in North London. The hall was decorated with loads of banners, Che Guevara portraits, Cuban flags and posters published by the Bolivarian movement in Venezuela. 170 people turned up for the occasion. The meeting was made up of activists, trade unionists and youth and a big representation of the Latin American community in London was also there. The rally aimed to raise awareness of the situation in Latin America amongst the labour movement and the youth.

The event was started by Sue Branford (writer and broadcaster on Latin America) who gave an optimistic and positive view on the success achieved by the Cuban people since capitalism was abolished more than 40 years ago. She was followed by the Diego Escobar who talked as a representative of the Colombian trade union movement. He gave a brief update of the current plans US imperialism is implementing in Colombia. Everything points to the fact that America plans to use Columbia as the "Israel" of Latin America. In Colombia there are already 1000 US troops and military contractors directly involved in counter-insurgency and combat operations. This is part of the $2 billion military assistance package, "Plan Colombia" (now called Plan Patriot), which aims to prop up the far-right government of Alvaro Uribe by waging a brutal dirty war against the people, especially the trade union movement.

The well known leftist comedian Mark Thomas made a contribution with his peculiar style. He talked on the role that Coca-Cola has played in Latin America. From supporting and financing counterrevolutionary movements in Nicaragua, to direct threats to their workers in Venezuela to murder the workers' representatives in their own facilities. He took advantage to present the Killer-Cola campaign (an initiative of the colombian trade union SINALTRAINAL).

Next a supporter of the Cuba Solidarity Campaign led the collection of money. The money raised will be used to fund programmes to spread solidarity and support the struggle of the Latin American working class and poor. While the collection was taking place a number of fraternal greetings were read out by the chair; Jeremy Dear, NUJ General Secretary, the Cuban embassy and the Venezuelan Marxist journal "El Topo Obrero" were amongst those who sent greetings to the rally.

Steve Wilkinson (CubaSi editor) explained the differences between the Cuba ruled by Batista and the current one, giving us a picture of the great advances of the nationalised planned economy. He also bitterly attacked the hipocrisy of the Miami gangsters who are trying to reinstall capitalism on the island.

Jorge Martin, International Secretary of Hands Off Venezuela Campaign and European correspondent for "El Topo Obrero" gave an update of the situation in Venezuela. He described the course of the revolution in Venezuela, and talked about the dangers that the Bolivarian revolution is facing. Jorge Martin used the example of the Chilean tragedy in 1973 to illustrate the reactionary threats to the Venezuelan workers' and poor. Quoting Chavez , Jorge supported the arming of the working class and the formation of popular militias to defend the Venezuelan Revolution. He talked about the massive advances made by the revolution but pointed out that for these to continue the Venezuelan workers need to complete the process, to abolish capitalism and to build socialism as the first step towards socialism in all Latin America.

David Raby closed the meeting with his particular vision on the events in Venezuela. He also encouraged the attendants to solidarise with the Bolivarian Revolution.

Rallies like the one that took place yesterday are a good manner to spread the internationalist solidarity with the struggle of our class brothers and sisters in Latin America.

Hands Off Venezuela!

Hands Off Cuba!

No to plan Colombia!

Down with Imperialism!

London, June 18 2004

More pictures from the June 17 London rally. Click on the picture to enlarge it.

See also:

Solidarity » Venezuela