The Venezuela Solidarity Campaign (VSC) held an emergency meeting at the headquarters of the National Education Union (NEU) on 31 January. And renowned intellectual and author Tariq Ali gave a powerful speech to a packed audience.
Ali: “absolutely necessary to oppose this act”
Speakers at the event also included Kate Hudson of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, Christine Blower of the NEU, Douglas Nicholls from the General Federation of Trade Unions (GFTU), and VSC coordinator Matt Willgress.
This is yet another example of regime change carried not by military means so far but carried out… [by] misusing [institutions] to try and get rid of an elected government. Juan Guaidó, who has been imposed on the people of Venezuela – they hope, represents a tiny organisation, a far-right organisation, and has been trained by the United States for some time. He is a US asset.
Ali then emphasised that:
Regardless of any criticisms one may or may not have of [Venezuelan president] Nicolás Maduro or the mistakes made by the government, the reason… attempts are being made to topple him and impose a stooge American politician, like they attempted to do in Libya and elsewhere, is because the Americans want a new government; they don’t care a damn whether it is elected or not. And for that reason alone, it is absolutely necessary to oppose this act.
“Nothing to do with democracy”
Ali then called out the “mainstream media”, saying:
The fact that so many mainstream media organisations are now part and parcel of these adventures that the Americans embark upon – and that the European Union countries, Britain included, have by and large (with the exception of the Tsipras government in Greece) supported this manoeuvre – indicates as to how the one word they shouldn’t use is ‘democracy’.
This is nothing to do with democracy. It has everything to do with ‘regime change’.
Unanimous condemnation of a “cruel US-led attack”
GFTU leader Nicholls, meanwhile, told the meeting that:
The situation arises from the cruel US-led attack on Venezuela by way of torture through sanctions designed to starve the Venezuelan people.
He also referred to the fact that major global trade unions have condemned the US-led “recognition of Juan Guaidó” as interim Venezuelan president.
The speakers were unanimous in their denunciation of the actions of “right-wing” governments in collusion with the coup. They also called for increased solidarity with the people of Venezuela by any appropriate means at people’s disposal.
Everybody held signs at the end and shouted “no blood for oil” and “no war on Venezuela”.
As the imperialist pressure continues to mount on the people of Venezuela, we must all do whatever we can to end this crisis imposed by reactionary governments around the world.
Featured image and all other images via Mohamed Elmaazi
- Venezuela Solidarity Campaign has put out a call for donations. Please donate if you can.
- In the UK: write to your MP and ask them to oppose the coup and return Venezuela’s gold to the Maduro government (which the UK is withholding) to help alleviate the suffering of Venezuela’s people.
- In the US: write to your Congressperson and demand that they oppose the coup and end the crippling US sanctions that are exacerbating the humanitarian situation.
- Read previous Canary articles on Venezuela – and for more Global articles, follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
- Watch The Canary‘s two 2018 interviews with Venezuela experts here and here.
We need your help ...
The coronavirus pandemic is changing our world, fast. And we will do all we can to keep bringing you news and analysis throughout. But we are worried about maintaining enough income to pay our staff and minimal overheads.
Now, more than ever, we need a vibrant, independent media that holds the government to account and calls it out when it puts vested economic interests above human lives. We need a media that shows solidarity with the people most affected by the crisis – and one that can help to build a world based on collaboration and compassion.
We have been fighting against an establishment that is trying to shut us down. And like most independent media, we don’t have the deep pockets of investors to call on to bail us out.
Can you help by chipping in a few pounds each month?