Activists in Boston gathered April 16 in front of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library to protest a forum featuring the former Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and Harvard Professor Ricardo Hausmann.
Inside the library, a leader of the Venezuela Solidarity Committee interrupted the speakers to denounce their roles in destabilizing Venezuela. Hausmann is a top advisor to the coup government, having recently been named its representative to the Inter-American Development Bank. He has also authored many of the opposition’s neoliberal economic proposals.
During Santos’ term, Colombia took a number of actions against Venezuela. One was passing a law allowing exchange houses on the Colombia-Venezuela border to use black-market exchange rates, destabilizing the Venezuelan currency.
Protesters also denounced Santos for his role in creating the repression now faced by Indigenous communities in the Cauca region in Colombia. Protesters heard a report back from a local activist who had recently returned from a solidarity delegation to Venezuela sponsored by the Alliance for Global Justice.
Activists included members of United Steelworkers Local 8751, Boston School Bus Drivers; the International Action Center; the Boston Venezuela Solidarity Committee; the Boston May Day Coalition; and Workers World Party.