The Canary attended the demo, which began at 4.45pm, alongside at least 80 people.
Jorge Martin of Hands off Venezuela was at the demo. And he explained the absurdity of the situation, saying:
There are many people in France… who are against the French government. There are many people in Britain who are against Theresa May’s government, who has a very slim majority in parliament. That doesn’t mean that someone who has no constitutional capacity stands in the middle of the street and says ‘I’m the president’ and then Mr Trump says ‘oh yes, he is the president’.
Planned in advance
On 23 January, Juan Guaidó – the newly elected president of Venezuela’s national assembly – declared himself to be “interim president”. Donald Trump and his right-wing international allies immediately recognised Guaidó’s new self-declared role.
The AP revealed that Guaidó’s announcement was secretly orchestrated by the Trump administration last year. The “far-right” opposition leader has repeatedly called upon the Venezuelan military to overthrow the elected government of President Nicolás Maduro. But the military brass continue to support the government.
It’s the oil, baby
Journalist Ben Norton writes that, “in the immediate wake of the US anointing Juan Guaidó as Venezuela’s supposed ‘president'”, there are already “rapid moves to privatise Venezuela’s oil and open the door for multinational corporations”.
Venezuela reportedly has the largest proven oil reserves on the planet.
Stephen Agnew, an activist in attendance, told The Canary:
The British and US government are supporting a coup in Venezuela to oust the democratically elected government and replace it with their own oligarchical puppet… They want oil in the country and they are going to take that money and wealth that belongs to the Venezuelan people and put it in the hands of the American capitalists. They are not out for the interests of democracy, they are not out for the interests of freedom – they are out for their own interests, the interests of profit, which is ultimately what imperialism is all about.
Free and fair
In 2018, Maduro called for early elections after extensive pressure from the opposition, the US and the EU. However, Trump’s government refused to recognise the results before they were even in. And despite the fact that the opposition called for the early elections, many opposition politicians and their supporters ultimately decided to boycott them.
But isn’t the situation bad?
Martin told the press:
There are very serious problems in Venezuela… which have been aggravated by US sanctions, [and] which have been aggravated by the fact that the British government is withholding Venezuelan gold. If the British government is really worried about the humanitarian situation in Venezuela, why don’t they hand over 14 tons of gold… which would go a long way to alleviate the conditions which are there?
Solidarity activists are planning events throughout the week.
Featured image via Mohamed Elmaazi
– Write to your MP and demand that they oppose the coup and return Venezuela’s gold to the Maduro government so that it may help alleviate the suffering of Venezuela’s people (be sure to be polite and concise in order to be effective).
– Attend the Emergency Meeting at 3A, Student Central, Malet St.
– Also see about attending this Emergency Rally on 31 January 2019.
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