From Glasgow to Downing Street – Hands off Venezuela!

The brazen attempt to overthrow Nicolas Maduro and the United Socialist Party in Venezuela intensifies. The US has now imposed an oil embargo, with the Treasury Department declaring all PDVSA assets under US jurisdiction blocked and US citizens and companies prohibited from engaging in transactions. Steve Mnuchin, Treasury secretary, indicated they will use all economic and diplomatic tools to support opposition leader Juan Guaido, who illegitimately swore himself in as president on 23 January.  National security advisor John Bolton coldly calculated the move would cost Venezuela $11bn in exports in addition to $7bn of frozen assets. The Bank of England has reiterated its refusal to release $1.3bn of Venezuelan gold to the PSUV government. Instead, Guaido has written to Theresa May requesting the gold to be released to him.

This is economic warfare, designed to suffocate the Bolivarian revolution, cutting off access to food, medicine and basic goods for the majority.  Despite such heavy blows, the Bolivarian revolutionaries refuse to accept defeat. The armed forces remain loyal to the legacy of Hugo Chavez, the Bolivarian militias have been mobilising to defend against civil war and foreign intervention whilst the Bolivar and Zamora revolutionary current promote popular defence brigades ‘as a contribution for the social territorial organisation in the defence against fascism and imperialism’.  

In response the Revolutionary Communist Group has been organising protests across the country. In London we co-hosted a rally at Downing street, rejecting the imperialist coup alongside Hands Off Venezuela, Anticonquista and the Marxist Student Federation.

Hands off venezuela RCG downing st rally jan 19.jpg

The co-hosts had written to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, urging him to speak out against the coup. He failed to reply and remains silent on Venezuela. Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell issued a statement against US intervention, however it is clear his sentiments are not shared by others in the Labour Party with MP Graham Jones declaring in the House of Commons that he was ‘proud to stand with Juan Guaido, a member of Labour’s sister socialista party [Popular Will] in Venezuela’. Popular Will, a party led by violent millionaire oligarchs like Leopoldo Lopez, is clearly the kind of ‘socialist’ party Labour seeks to emulate.

Meanwhile in Glasgow, the RCG coordinated a rally with the Glasgow Marxists, Hands off Venezuela, Glasgow Red Resistance, Glasgow South Scottish Socialist Party branch, Red Strathclyde and Revolution Scotland.

Imperialist hands off Venezuela! No British support for the coup! Release Venezuela’s gold to the Venezuelan government now!

A further protest this Saturday will take on the BBC for its lies and distortions, softening up public opinion for imperialist intervention in Venezuela

12 noon until 2pm, BBC, Portland Place. London W1A 1AA

Facebook event here