Stop the rightist coup in Venezuela

April 16 — Fascist-like elements backed by U.S. imperialism are attempting a coup against constitutional rule in Venezuela. The Venezuelan masses, other Latin Americans and progressives worldwide are standing up and saying “no” to this coup, which follows the rightist defeat in that country’s free and fair election April 14.

It is vitally important that progressive and working-class forces in the United States — the belly of the imperialist beast, which is the main threat to Venezuelan freedom and independence — join those in solidarity with the Bolivarian Revolution and its right to defend itself, and the right of Venezuelans to determine their destiny.

There is no question that the Bolivarian candidate, Nicolas Maduro, won the election. With a much higher proportion of the population voting than in U.S. elections, Maduro’s victory was as substantial as Barack Obama’s last November and much stronger than any of George W. Bush’s. And he won this election even though 90 percent of the still privately owned media slandered him and his party throughout the campaign. This trash-talking, racist media has forfeited any rights to continue producing its filth. (see article on election)

No one outside Venezuela has any right to challenge the authenticity of the April 14 election. That the Obama administration has demanded a recount is only proof of the dangerous intervention of U.S. imperialism in Venezuelan and Latin American affairs.

Obama’s aggressive stand is a sign that Washington believes that the Bolivarian movement can be overthrown now that the heroic Hugo Chávez is no longer alive. The European Union and especially the Spanish regime has joined the U.S. in this attempt. This imperialist offensive must be stopped by whatever means available.

On April 15 and 16, frustrated by their defeat, the rightist opposition in Venezuela led by Henrique Capriles has gone out on a rampage against progressive institutions. This is not just a demand for a vote recount — as illegitimate as this alone would be. No. These criminals have burned houses, destroyed headquarters of the government party, the PSUV, and have killed seven people in street fighting and with weapons. The fascists also expose themselves by attacking and threatening the Cuban doctors who provide free health care to Venezuela’s poor.

Whatever steps the patriotic organizations in Venezuela take to stop these fascist elements are legitimate.

The new president has stood strong, saying he will strengthen Venezuela’s ties with Cuba and that he won’t permit a march on the presidential palace. Other voices in the Venezuelan Parliament have stated they will refuse to allow the constitutional institutions to be overrun by the fascist criminals following Capriles. And they are developing a collective leadership to lead this defense.

That is good news for workers and oppressed countries all over the world. Since the biggest threat to Venezuela comes from outside its borders, the heroism of the Venezuelan masses should be seconded by progressives worldwide, especially in the countries that are imperialist enemies of the Bolivarian Revolution, and most of all in the United States.

Join those actions that will take place in the comings days to say, “Maduro won the election; Imperialist hands off Venezuela; Smash the fascist coup!”

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