Venezuela

On 5 August, the Trump administration took yet another step in escalating imperialist aggression against Venezuela by imposing an economic embargo. The current regime change offensive against President Maduro has so far failed miserably. Incapable of using direct military means to remove the Venezuelan government and impose one of its liking, Washington has decided to further tighten the economic screws on a nation already suffering a catastrophic economic crisis, which previous sanctions have only aggravated. We fully reject this new act of outrageous imperialist meddling.

On 6 August, several leftist organisations gathered in Plaza Morelos in Caracas, Venezuela to support the peasants’ claim for land that is rightly theirs. More than 300 people, many from the interior of the country, gathered together to march to Miraflores Palace and demand the fulfilment of the agreements signed with the president a year ago.

In recent months, we have witnessed a noticeable deceleration of inflation. In February and March, we saw the prices of many goods and services remaining relatively stagnant, or even falling briefly. The behaviour of prices in June has been similar, coinciding with a seasonal period where several items (such as cheese, various vegetables, and some fruits) tend to be produced in greater quantity than during the rest of the year.

Recently, a debate has opened up regarding the denunciation by the former Minister Elías Jaua of the arrest of 10 communards, who had occupied and reclaimed the social ownership of the state company, Arroz del Alba, in the Portuguesa state in west Venezuela. Arroz del Alba's assets had been turned over to be managed by the private company Agroinlaca.

Just before dawn on 30 April, the Venezuelan opposition launched yet another attempt at a military coup. By the end of the day, the botched coup attempt seemed to have failed, with one of its leaders seeking refuge in the Spanish embassy, 25 of the soldiers involved requesting asylum at the Brazilian embassy and Juan Guaidó in hiding or on the run.

The self-proclaimed “Interim President” of Venezuela Juan Guaido is attempting to carry out a military coup, “Operation Freedom”, as he has named the “final phase” of his attempt to remove Maduro. He is joined by Leopoldo Lopez, who was freed by a handful of police and armed forces from house arrest early this morning. It is “an all-or-nothing move”, as some have described it.

There is a certain trend of opinion amongst the liberal left, particularly in the US, which never felt very comfortable with the Bolivarian revolution. Now, in the midst of a serious and well-organised attempt by Washington to remove Maduro’s government, they insist on equally blaming both sides for the crisis, one which in their view can be resolved through “negotiations between the government and the opposition”. A chief representative of this point of view is Gabriel Hetland, who has written several articles on Venezuela for The Nation, Jacobinand other left-wing publications.

The failure of the 23 February “humanitarian aid” provocation on the Venezuelan border was a serious blow for Trump’s ongoing coup attempt. There were mutual recriminations between self-appointed Guaidó, Colombian president Duque and US Vice-President Pence. The US could not get a consensus from its own Lima Cartel allies in favour of military intervention.

The last couple of months have seen a ramping-up of attempts by the US to launch a coup in Venezuela. Under orders from the White House, Juan Guaidó declared himself “president in charge” at a street tally. Immediately, the rogue’s gallery of Trump, Bolsonaro, Macri and others recognised Guaidó, then called on the Venezuelan army to declare itself loyal to this new ‘president’.

On the latest episode of Out of Left Fieldpodcast, Elias, a leading comrade of Lucha de Clases (Venezuelan section of the IMT) is interviewed about the ongoing, US-backed coup attempt in Venezuela by Juan Guaidó, self-declared 'President in charge' for the reactionary opposition.

On Saturday, 23 February, HOV secretary Jorge Martin was interviewed about Venezuela by Andrew Castle on the British LBC radio station, setting the record straight about the attempts of US imperialism and its Latin American agents to impose its will on the country under the cover of providing "humanitarian aid".

Tensions are running high between Venezuela and the US, as the latter is continuing its efforts to topple Venezuela's democratically elected president, Nicolas Maduro. We publish here a radio debate between, Jorge Martin, secretary of the Hands off Venezuela campaign and editor of www.marxist.com, and Fernando Cutz. Cutz is a former Director for South America to President Obama and President Trump. In fact he is the only top official to have worked for both the Obama and Trump administrations. He has played a key role in designing the sanctions against Venezuela which started under Obama in 2015.

Militias marching

So, 23 February came and went. This was the day that had been billed by the US and its local puppets as D-Day, when "humanitarian aid" was supposed to enter the country against the will of the evil Maduro, something which, as even the BBC correspondent admitted, had little to do with aid and everything to do with defying the authority of President Maduro.

Mass protests and a general strike against growing poverty, corruption, and demanding the resignation of President Jovenel Moïse have shut down Haiti for the past two weeks. This mass movement is a direct continuation of the general strike that erupted last summer against proposed increases to the cost of fuel as well as the mass protests that took place last November in relation to a corruption scandal involving PetroCaribe funds.

“You are risking your future and your lives,” said Trump to Venezuelan military officers in a war-mongering speech in Miami on 18 February. “You will find no safe harbor, no easy exit and no way out. You’ll lose everything,” he added, perhaps frustrated that there have been so far no significant cracks in the Venezuelan armed forces, a month after the beginning of the ongoing US coup attempt. 

In the news coverage, public statements, and official explanations surrounding the coup attempt by Donald Trump and Juan Guaido, the liberal hypocrisy of the ruling class is breathtaking. How can a country like Spain, where hundreds of Catalan civilians were physically beaten to suppress the 2017 independence referendum, demand that “fair, free and transparent elections” be held on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean? How can a man like Emmanuel Macron, deeply

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The worldwide solidarity campaign for the release of Rawal Asad, a comrade from the Progressive Youth Alliance who was arrested in Multan and scandalously charged with sedition by the Pakistani state, has forged on apace. Photographs, videos and messages of solidarity have been flooding in from all around the globe.

On Saturday, February 16, over 100 students representing Marxist Societies at over 30 universities across Britain met in London for the Marxist Student Federation national conference. One of the points of the agenda was the current ongoing Trump coup in Venezuela.

The International Marxist Tendency rejects the current attempt by US imperialism to carry out a coup in Venezuela. What we are witnessing is a blatant attempt to remove the Venezuelan government of president Maduro by a coalition of countries, led by Trump. This is the latest episode in a 20-year campaign against the Bolivarian Revolution, a campaign that has involved military coups, paramilitary infiltrations, sanctions, diplomatic pressure, violent rioting and assassination attempts.

Alan Woods, editor of In Defence of Marxism and founding member of the Hands Off Venezuela campaign, was interviewed on teleSUR English about the ongoing, US-led coup attempt in Venezuela. Alan condemns the position of the UK government which is supporting the coup and withholding billions in Venezuelan gold. Alan also denounces the threat of military aggression which is being prepared under the guise of 'humanitarian aid'.

Even though the ongoing imperialist coup in Venezuela has not yet succeeded, the impression one gets is that there is an inexorable march forward in its implementation, which is pushed mainly from forces abroad rather than from within Venezuela itself. The next step in the plan is the use of “humanitarian aid” as a provocation on the border with Colombia.

On Tuesday, 29 January 2019, the MAP (Maghreb Arabe Presse) announced that the Kingdom of Morocco expressed its official support for Juan Guaido, who has proclaimed himself “interim president” of Venezuela. By doing so, Morocco became the first country in all of Africa and the second in the Middle East to express its support for the American-backed coup against the democratically elected President Maduro. Israel (headed by the child-murderer Netanyahu) has also recognised Guaido as a "legitimate president", just because he declared himself so.

Washington's efforts to remove the Venezuelan government, an imperialist coup attempt, proceed apace. On 26 January, the US announced sanctions on PDVSA and seized assets from the Venezuelan oil company. This is a very serious blow to the Venezuelan economy and government. It is clear that the Trump administration thinks it has a window of opportunity and it is going in for the kill.

The United States has decided it is time for “regime change” in Venezuela, and is acting in a relentless manner to achieve it. The imperialists have appointed an “interim president” and rallied the “international community” to recognise him. They have seized Venezuelan assets in the US and the UK and imposed economic sanctions. They are calling on president Maduro to step down and on the Venezuelan Army to oust him if he refuses. This is an imperialist coup attempt, which any socialist and even consistent democrat is duty-bound to oppose.

Jorge Martín explains that what is really happening in Venezuela is an ongoing imperialist coup attempt organised by Trump, Bolsonaro and Almagro; and why and how we should fight it.

As we have reported previously, a coup d'état is underway in Venezuela, promoted by imperialism and its lackeys of the Lima cartel; and executed by its puppets in the opposition. On 23 January, the coup entered into a higher phase of its execution when deputy Guaido took an oath as “president in charge of the republic”.

The ongoing attempt by Washington and the reactionary Venezuelan opposition to remove President Maduro will reach a key stage today. The opposition have called for mass protests and Mike Pence issued a public statement giving the green light for “regime change”. As we have explained before, in Venezuela, there is an ongoing attempt to remove president Maduro through a military coup instigated by Trump, Bolsonaro, Macri and Almagro.

An imperialist coup d'état attempt is underway in Venezuela. On 10 January, President Maduro was sworn in for a new term of office. He had won the election on May 20. At that time, one section of the opposition decided to participate and another to boycott the elections. On 11 January, Juan Guaidó, the president of the opposition National Assembly (in contempt since 2015), refused to recognise President Maduro and declared himself willing to assume the presidency “with the support of the armed forces, the people and the international community.”

Venezuelan Communist Party leader, Luís Fajardo, was killed on the evening of Wednesday 31 October, as he was returning home with his brother-in-law, Javier Aldana, who was also killed in the attack. Both men were riding a motorbike at 9pm when they were struck by a burst of gunfire from a moving vehicle. They were peasant activists and communist militants involved in the struggle for agrarian reform in the South of the Maracaibo Lake region and had already asked for protection as they had received death threats.

At 5.41pm, 4 August, a powerful explosion was heard near the rostrum from which Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro was addressing a parade at Bolivar Avenue in Caracas to mark the 81st anniversary of the Bolivarian National Guard. President Maduro was unharmed, but seven members of the National Guard were injured.

The aggravation of the economic crisis is making life unbearable for working people in Venezuela. The destruction of the purchasing power of wages has been combined with the collapse of all basic infrastructure (water, electricity and public transport). Workers in different sectors have started to organise and protest, demanding higher wages; while peasants in the countryside are fighting attempts to destroy Chavez's agrarian revolution.

The Venezuelan elections on 20 May were merely an episode in a long saga of imperialist aggression, economic crisis and the deterioration of living conditions for the working class and poor. The reelected Maduro government has continued its policy of making concessions and appeals to the capitalists. If it wasn’t for the escape valves provided by subsidised food parcels, migration and the dollar-based economy, the situation would have led to a social explosion already. The mood of the chavista rank-and-file is increasingly angry and critical of the leadership.

John Wight of Sputnik Newsinterviewed Jorge Martin, secretary of the Hands Off Venezuela campaign, to discuss the significance of President Maduro's re-election, given the crisis afflicting the Bolivarian Revolution and the nefarious influence of western imperialism.

Jorge Martin appeared on Chicago-based radio station, This is Hell!, reporting on the re-election of Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro, amidst a history of US influence in the elections and a deepening economic crisis, and examining the two futures for the Bolivarian revolution: forward and beyond the Maduro government's aims, or backwards into the hands of oligarchs.

Nicolas Maduro was re-elected for another term of office in the Venezuelan presidential election on Sunday 20 May. The majority of the reactionary opposition, with full support from Washington and Brussels, had called for a boycott, which led to a very low turnout in the middle-and-upper-class areas of the main cities. Their demand that the elections be cancelled was echoed by right-wing governments in the region. This meant that many in the working-class and poor areas turned out to vote as a way of rejecting brazen imperialist meddling. However, even here turnout was visibly lower than in previous elections. The deep economic crisis is the major issue in people’s minds and many are

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Venezuela is being bombarded from all sides by imperialist intervention and the impacts of the world crisis of capitalism. But the current leadership of Maduro and the PSUV bureaucracy is not offering a way forward. The Bolivarian revolution needs a new leadership, forged from the mass movement of workers and peasants, and based on a genuinely socialist programme.

As the Venezuelan presidential election on 20 May draws closer, the campaign of imperialist aggression by the US and its allies intensifies. The aim is clear: to implement regime change. At the same time, the economic crisis gripping the country has reached intolerable levels for the workers and the poor, and the government’s policies are impotent to resolve the situation. A revolutionary alternative is required, one capable of fighting the right wing andshowing a real way out of hyperinflation, scarcity and economic depression.

Today marks the anniversary of the defeat of the coup that attempted to remove President Hugo Chavez from power in 2002. Within 48 hours, reaction was defeated by a magnificent movemenet of the Venezuelan masses. Here we reproduce the analysis of those events written by Ted Grant and Alan Woods, originally published on 14 April 2002.

Han pasado cinco años desde la muerte de Hugo Chávez. Lo conocía desde hacía casi diez años y sentía un gran respeto por su valor, honestidad y dedicación en la lucha contra la opresión y la explotación. Por esto se ganó el odio de todas las fuerzas de la vieja sociedad: los banqueros, los capitalistas y terratenientes, los imperialistas, la CIA y, por supuesto, la llamada "prensa libre" que no es más que la boquilla servil de la antigua orden.

Five years have passed since the death of Hugo Chávez. I had known him for almost ten years and had an enormous respect for his courage, honesty and dedication to the fight against oppression and exploitation. For this he earned the hatred of all the forces of the old society: the bankers, capitalists and landowners, the imperialists, the CIA and of course the so-called ‘free press’ that is merely the slavish mouthpiece of the old order.

Queda claro que en las últimas semanas el imperialismo estadounidense y sus países lacayos han aumentado la agresión contra Venezuela. El objetivo es público y declarado: propiciar un golpe de estado que derroque el gobierno del presidente Maduro y permita a la oligarquía capitalista volver a tomar control. Es necesario responde con medidas revolucionarias que golpeen el poder económico de la oligarquía, los agentes del imperialismo el país.

It is clear that US imperialism and its lackey countries have increased aggression against Venezuela in recent weeks. The aim has been declared publicly: to trigger a coup d'etat against the government of President Maduro and allow the capitalist oligarchy to take control again. It is necessary to respond with revolutionary measures that strike a blow at the economic power of the oligarchy: the agents of imperialism in the country.

Como hemos venido señalando, específicamente en nuestro artículo “Venezuela: crisis, saqueos y hambre ¿Cuál es la salida?”, la actual crisis que atraviesa el país ha golpeado principalmente a las masas trabajadoras. Esta, enmarcada dentro de la crisis del capitalismo mundial, afecta principalmente a los países que, como el nuestro, se insertan en la economía mundial de forma dependiente, haciéndonos el eslabón más débil de la cadena. El aumento de la oferta mundial de crudo –principalmente en EEUU–; sumado a la desaceleración de la economía de China, y como

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