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Issue #1782      June 21, 2017

Why does the US want to destroy the Venezuelan government?

Since April 2017, the opposition to the Venezuelan government of President Nicolas Maduro has staged daily violent and bloody marches that have killed more than 70 people. These are NOT peaceful nor “pro-democracy” protests as the US government and media want us to believe.

These are vicious, violent and racist attacks against anyone perceived to be a Chávista (deceased President Hugo Chávez’ follower) and poor people who identify with the Venezuelan Bolivarian Revolution. These fascist thugs carrying out these attacks block roads to prevent people going to and from their workplaces; destroy public buildings, health care centres, buses; and use weapons against citizens and the National Guard. They killed an Afro Venezuelan youth, setting him on fire and stabbing him repeatedly.

Why is this happening now?

The United States has tried to overturn the progressive government of Venezuela ever since President Chávez took office in 1999. Both Democratic and Republican administrations, hostile to Venezuela, have imposed sanctions, promoted coups and organised, trained and financed opposition to the government mostly through the USAID, the US National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and the Office of Transition Initiatives (OTI).

This hostile campaign increased after the death of President Chávez in 2013. Thinking that the current government of President Maduro would be easier to topple, the US initiated an economic war against the people where the rich Venezuelan business people aligned to the US, would hoard food, medicine, and other products, creating an artificial shortage of basic necessities.

At the same time, they encouraged the opposition to stage violent protests, “guarimbas” where they would close roads and attack people. As a result, in 2014, 43 people died.

The US also counts on its international bodies and allies like neighbouring Colombia, to help bring down the Revolution. After a recent meeting in Washington of Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos with President Trump, Colombian army trucks were moved to the border with Venezuela. This prompted a complaint by the Bolivarian government. The OAS, led by right-winger Luis Almagro, has launched a campaign to force condemnation of Venezuela and declare a “humanitarian crisis” to facilitate direct foreign intervention. So far, there has been no consensus in the OAS.

Why does the US want to destroy the Revolution?

Venezuela has the largest oil reserves in the world. Just as the US attacked Iraq and Libya for their oil, they want to take this wealth from the Venezuelan people. While health care, public education and affordable housing are endangered in the US, the Bolivarian Revolution has guaranteed these major human rights to the Venezuelan people using the revenues of its oil sales. Through many programs called Misiones, the government provided them mostly free of charge. In 2005, UNESCO declared Venezuela a territory free of illiteracy.

When in 2005 President George W Bush failed to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina, Venezuela launched the Citgo heating oil program. The program has provided US$500 million in heating assistance to 2 million people in the US. Along with Cuba, Venezuela initiated barter-style international solidarity programs to facilitate the exchange of oil and services (like eye surgeries, cultural, educational and sports programs) so that the peoples of all the countries involved can improve their quality of life.

What can you do to prevent another war?

Question the lies that we are fed daily by the TV, radio and print media, including the social media. We cannot let the Trump government and its media incite hate and racism to justify another war. Expose the truth and the US government’s role. The war against people abroad is the extension of the war against poor, Black and Latina, LGBTQ and all oppressed communities right here.

Defend the Venezuelan Bolivarian Revolution!

Say NO to US intervention!

Issued by: Philadelphia International Action Centre

Next article – Do working class lives matter?

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