This article was first published in the British daily, the Morning Star (March 26, 2004) in its Features section: True Labour - The voice of the majority, under the title Hands off Venezuela. We are publishing it to make it available to a wider international readership. It is important to highlight that the article is written by John McDonnell, chairman of the Socialist Campaign Group of Labour MPs. (March 30, 2004)

On Tuesday, March 23, supporters of the Hands off Venezuela (HOV) campaign visited Venezuelan embassies around the world. They expressed their solidarity with the Bolivarian revolutionary process and also their concern at US imperialism’s interference in Venezuelan internal affairs. They condemned US manoeuvres to back the right-wing “opposition” in its attempts to remove the democratically elected President and government of the country.

We publish here the statement of the founding of the Revolutionary Marxist Current in Venezuela. This country has been living through a revolutionary process for the last five years, the roots of which can be traced back to the semi-insurrection of 1989, popularly known as "Caracazo". The programme of moderate reforms and national sovereignty of president Chavez (land reform, literacy programmes, no privatisation of state companies, and above all no privatisation of the oil company) has clashed with the interests of the local oligarchy and imperialism. In this period of capitalist crisis and intensification of imperialist exploitation they cannot allow any country to apply even the most moderate reforms. At the same time, the arrival of Chavez to power opened a process of mass mobilisation and organisation which the Venezuelan oligarchy, with good reason, feared.