By Roger Annis, February 1, 2019 (with two statements enclosed)
The ‘World News’ headline page of A Socialist In Canada website contains much news and analysis of the mobilizations by the Venezuelan people and their international allies to block a U.S./Canada-led attempt to overthrow President Nicholas Maduro and his socialist government.
World news headlines with weblinks are posted daily to the website, along with occasional comments and introductions by me, the editor [in square brackets] .
More material in the coming days will examine the shortcomings but also the difficulties which the government of Venezuela, as led by Maduro, has faced as the Bolivarian Revolution pioneered by Hugo Chavez continues in leading the fight for global social justice and a better world.
Venezuela’s international support, including from the governments of Russia, China and Iran, reminds us of the indispensable role which international solidarity played in allowing Cuba to survive a CIA invasion in 1961 (at the Bay of Pigs) and decades of U.S. embargo and threats.
We have before us the contemporary example of how Russian government assistance has aided the Syrian government and people to survive a cruel and vicious ‘regime-change’ war waged by the U.S. government and its NATO and Middle East partners-in-crime since 2011/12. Assistance has come not only in the form of military aid but also humanitarian aid and political recommendations. A key process for achieving peace in Syria has been the ongoing political and constitutional talks, encouraged by Russia, between the Syria government and the Syrian Kurdish population. These aim for a political and constitutional agreement for the future of the country, including cultural/language rights and rights to political autonomy for Kurds and other national minorities.
Furthermore, this political/constitutional dialogue in Syria, if successful, has huge, positive implications for the beleaguered people of Turkey, particularly for Turkey’s Kurdish population. Turkish people of all backgrounds are suffering terrible political repression at the hands of their government, which happens to be a key member of the NATO military alliance. Turkey is closely allied with the U.S. and NATO in seeking a weakened if not partitioned Syria.
Solidarity with the Venezuela people
Statement by the Canadian Union of Public Employees on the situation in Venezuela, issued on Jan 25, 2019
On January 23, Juan Guaidó, Venezuelan opposition leader and president of their national assembly, declared himself to be the interim national president of Venezuela.
The Canadian government was one of the first governments in the world to declare support for Juan Guaidó. In doing so, they have chosen to side with a self-declared leader over President Nicolás Maduro, who was duly elected by the people of Venezuela. They have also chosen to side with Donald Trump and US foreign policy.
The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) rejects any attempt by the Canadian government to interfere with the democratic processes and sovereignty of the Venezuelan people. Given the history of US involvement in the region, the actions of Guaidó have all the signs of a coup d’Etat. We warn Prime Minister Justin Trudeau against playing any role in bringing about regime change in another country.
The people of Venezuela have the right to determine their economic and political future. CUPE believes Canada has an important role to play in the ongoing crisis in Venezuela, by providing humanitarian support. We also believe Canada should engage with the international community to foster dialogue and peace between the elected government and the opposition.
CUPE offers our solidarity to the Venezuelan people.
[CUPE is the largest trade union in Canada with some 680,000 members.]
CBC, Justin Trudeau, Chrystia Freeland: Hands Off Venezuela!
The following letter was sent by email to the ‘Early Edition’ program on CBC Radio One Vancouver on January 29, 2019. It has been slightly added to from the original.
January 31, 2019
Hello CBC Vancouver,
I was disappointed to turn on my radio this morning and have to endure an interview by your program host Stephen Quinn with a U.S. ideologue advocating a right-wing coup in Venezuela. It was doubly disappointing to hear your host playing right along, apparently quite comfortable with the idea that the U.S. and Canada have the right to overthrow by violence an elected president and constitutional assembly in that country. Oh yes, there is the ‘inconvenient fact’ that Venezuelan President Nicholas Maduro is an elected president. Your host made no mention of this fact, instead referring to the elected government of Venezuela as a ‘regime’.
Sadly, it is not surprising to hear the CBC fomenting coups in foreign lands. We have seen this act before: Canada helped orchestrate the coup in Haiti in 2004 and went on to back coups in Honduras in 2009, Libya in 2011, Egypt in 2013 and Ukraine in 2014. It backed France’s invasion of Mali in January 2013 following the military coup there nine months earlier. Syria, meanwhile, has suffered a brutal ‘regime change’ war since 2011-12 with humanitarian consequences that are all too familiar, but CBC has told us all along that this is all the fault of the ‘Assad regime’ in that country. The NATO powers and their Middle East allies that are intervening in Syria, including by arming and financing right-wing jihadist militias, are given the hero’s treatment by CBC reporters and analysts.
For almost 20 years, the government of Venezuela has been leading a societal transition that has delivered social justice and reduced poverty to the Venezuelan people. It has also delivered crucial aid and assistance to peoples elsewhere in the hemisphere, including to Bolivia, Cuba and Haiti. The government and its president deserve much praise for this. Instead, they have endured nothing but hostility, threats and sanctions from their two imperial neighbours to the north–Canada and the U.S.–and from European governments. It is my firm hope that advocates of democracy and sovereignty in Venezuela will hold more protests in the coming days and weeks against the coup-fomenting policies of the Trudeau regime in Ottawa and against any outlets in mainstream media serving as that regime’s echo chambers.