The following statement was issued Jan. 26.
Petitions and condemnations are not enough! The U.S. peace movement must act decisively!
Once again, the bloody hand of U.S. imperialism is reaching out into Venezuela to complete the failed job of regime change that it started in 2002 against President Hugo Chávez. There is no doubt that another U.S.-led coup is underway to topple the democratically elected government of President Maduro in the hope of putting an end to the Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela.
The illegal act by the U.S. government to recognize Juan Guaidó as the “President of Venezuela” is not only in violation of international law and the United Nations Charter, but constitutes a direct attack on the Venezuelan people’s right to national sovereignty and self-determination.
We do not forget that the same tactic of creating a U.S.-fabricated “alternative government” was also used by the Obama administration, and especially by Hillary Clinton as the U.S. secretary of state, in an attempt to overthrow the legitimate government of President Bashar Assad in Syria.
The forced regime change operation in Venezuela is just another instance of the ongoing policy adopted by U.S. imperialism against the governments that have been resisting U.S. domination since the dismantling of the USSR: Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Iran, Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, North Korea. It is now being intensified by the exclusively corporate/military-controlled Trump administration. In addition, recent efforts by NATO to recruit Latin American countries, such as Colombia and Brazil, further threaten countries like Venezuela which dare to assert their autonomy.
This criminal, decades-long, regime change policy is driven by both economic and strategic objectives. Venezuela has been in U.S. crosshairs, along with Iraq, Libya and Iran, for its large oil reserves. Venezuela is also the primary exporter of oil to the United States. U.S. control of these rapidly depleting oil reserves is key to U.S. imperialism’s domination of the global economy in the 21st century, especially in the face of emerging, powerful challenges from countries like China and Russia.
But an even more urgent motivation for U.S. imperialism to force regime change in Venezuela is to put an end to the anti-imperialist role Venezuela’s Bolivarian Revolution has played in Latin America. Since the ascendance of President Hugo Chávez to power in 1999, the Bolivarian government of Venezuela has played a critical role in promoting self-determination, democracy and mass-empowerment in Latin America.
Venezuela has been Cuba’s main supporter during the emergency period that it faced after the disintegration of the socialist camp. Venezuela provided subsidized oil to numerous countries in the Caribbean — Cuba, Haiti, Jamaica, Belize and Nicaragua — that allowed those countries to finance education, reduce poverty and pay down debt. Venezuela also provided deeply discounted heating oil to impoverished families in 25 states throughout the U.S.
It is for all these reasons that the success of a U.S.-led coup in Venezuela would result in a disaster, not only for the people of Venezuela, but for all of Latin America and even the people of the United States. It could easily lead to a long civil war and possibly another U.S. military intervention, this time in Venezuela, especially since Trump, Bolton and Pompeo have consistently said that this option is on the table.
This would lead to displacement of hundreds of thousands, or even millions, of people, creating a huge wave of refugees throughout Latin America, which would affect the United States as well. Given Trump’s anti-refugee, anti-immigrant, wall policy, one can imagine the dimensions of the humanitarian disaster that could arise.
The U.S. Peace Council strongly opposes U.S. imperialism’s criminal interference in the internal affairs of Venezuela and demands full respect for the will of the majority of the Venezuelan people who have freely elected Nicolás Maduro as their president.
We call upon the U.S. peace movement to not limit itself to just signing petitions and issuing statements of condemnation, as important as they are. While these methods are necessary and helpful in applying pressure on the U.S. Congress and the government, the history of U.S. imperialism has demonstrated that such appeals alone have not been effective enough to stop the crimes that are being committed by our government abroad in our name.
We need to organize broad mass protests in every corner of the country, against war, against foreign intervention and against violations of the U.N. Charter by the U.S. ruling class.
Many organizations in the U.S. and around the world have already issued calls for mass protests against the ongoing U.S. coup attempt in Venezuela. For a partial list of actions [visit tinyurl.com/y7qwel2r].
We urge our members and supporters, and all peace-loving people, to join these actions or organize similar protests in their own area.
Let us remember how we stopped the Vietnam War. Let us join hands again to demonstrate the immense power of the people who want peace and an end to imperialist interventions.