Solidarity Appeal from the Hands off Venezuela Campaign. Urgent action required!
US imperialism has attempted on three occasions to overthrow the democratically elected government of Hugo Chavez in Venezuela. The first attempt was the coup d'etat exactly two years ago, organized by the Venezuelan oligarchy in cahoots with the CIA and the US embassy. This was defeated by a spontaneous uprising of the masses, although George W. Bush had recognized the coup with indecent haste.
The second attempt was the so-called "strike" – in effect a bosses' lockout – eighteen months ago, which was organized by the CIA, using corrupt CVT leaders as a front. This second attempted coup was defeated by the movement of the Venezuelan workers, who established elements of workers' control in PDVSA and other industries to prevent acts of sabotage.
The latest attempt was the recall referendum campaign by which the right wing opposition hoped to force Hugo Chavez from office. This is being held up as a "campaign for democracy." But in the first place Hugo Chavez has been democratically elected by the people of Venezuela on two occasions with big majorities (which is more than one can say for George Bush). In the second place, the provision for such a referendum was first introduced in the new constitution – by Hugo Chavez. Yet the enemies of the Revolution persist in maligning him as "a dictator."
The campaign itself was a farce and a gigantic fraud. At first they claimed 3.4 signatures. Then they admitted there had been a mistake. But closer scrutiny revealed many irregularities: some people whose names were listed denied ever having signed; others were the names of dead people or children, many of the signature sheets had been filled in with the same handwriting, etc. As a result a prolonged legal wrangle started when the opposition tried to use their control of the Electoral Room of the Supreme Court to contest the decision of the National Electoral Council to send some 700,000 signatures to a rechecking process.
The referendum campaign has collapsed ignominiously. But that does not mean that the counterrevolution has gone away. On the contrary, the right wing clique in the White House and its hired press has organised a noisy campaign alleging that the collapse of the referendum campaign signifies a "violation of democracy" (!). This is being used to prepare world public opinion for an act of military aggression against Venezuela using its puppets in Bogota for the purpose.
US imperialism is clearly preparing new attacks against the Venezuelan revolution. Having failed in all its attempts to incite internal counterrevolution, Washington is studying other options, including provoking a war between Venezuela and neighbouring Colombia. It is treacherously disseminating the lie that Venezuela is supporting the Columbian FARC guerrillas.
This is a provocation that is intended to prepare the way for a future military intervention of the Columbian armed forces against Venezuela. The accusation that the Venezuelan government is guilty of supporting "narcoterrorism" is yet another indication that US imperialism is preparing to launch an armed aggression using the Colombian army and paramilitary groups.
Behind all this is a clear strategy. US imperialism is not only aiming to get its hands on Venezuela's oil. It is also striving to increase its stranglehold on Latin America, which it regards as its back yard. The notorious Colombia Plan is a front to disguise massive US military intervention in Colombia. This in turn is a preparation for intervention in Venezuela and the rest of Latin America. It is time the world's attention was drawn to this danger.
To date, there are at least 800 US military "advisers" in Colombia. These are serving officers acting with the Colombian army. This is the official figure, but the real figure of US military personnel in Colombia is much higher. By pouring in money, arms and men, the USA has completely altered the military balance of forces in Latin America. Shortly before he was ejected by the Spanish people, Aznar sent more than 40 tanks to Colombia. Now it is well known that tanks are of no use for fighting guerrillas in the mountains and jungles. These weapons are clearly destined for deployment on the frontier with Venezuela.
Provocations are occurring on a daily basis. Last week the Colombian senate appealed to the OAS to use the Inter American Democratic Charter to intervene against Venezuela – an act that caused a diplomatic furore. The right wing President Uribe was compelled to distance himself from the senate. But this is a trick. The Colombian government are the stooges of Washington, and dance to its tune. It uses the right wing paramilitary organizations as an auxiliary arm and these fascist death squads are already active on Venezuelan soil. An attempt to assassinate President Chavez is undoubtedly on the agenda. We must be on our guard!
The recent declarations of the Colombian senate point unequivocally in the same direction. The fascist thugs of the Columbian paramilitaries are already active on Venezuelan soil. They can be used as the shock troops of the counterrevolution. This perspective adds even greater urgency to the need to step up the international solidarity campaign.
Do not delay!
Organize pickets and other protests.
Demand an end to the acts of aggression against Venezuela!
- Hands Off Venezuela! International Solidarity Appeal
- The revolution in Venezuela is in danger! By Fred Weston. (March 2, 2004).
- The Venezuelan Revolution must advance towards socialism in order to defeat reaction In Defence of Marxism editorial board (February, 2004)