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      Fire This Time Venezuela Solidarity Campaign

      By Sarah Alwell

      On January 5th 2016 the newly elected National Assembly took office in Venezuela with the right-wing and counter-revolutionary opposition holding a majority in parliament for the first time in 17 years. That's because 17 years ago, with the election of the late Comandante Hugo Chavez and the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) in 1998, Venezuela began a revolutionary process for the peace and dignity of its people and to overturn the exploitation and poverty imposed by the Venezuelan ruling class and reinforced by the government of the United States.

      Now it is more important than ever for peace loving people in Vancouver, and around the world, to stand beside the people of Venezuela and their President Nicolas Maduro to fight back and demand an end to foreign imperialist intervention in Venezuela – and the Fire This Time Venezuela Solidarity Campaign in Vancouver is doing just that.

      On January 5th Fire This Time organized two actions on the streets of downtown Vancouver to demand “Hands Off Venezuela!” and echo the cry of millions of Venezuelans “Maduro is Our President!”.

      At 4pm, as the winter evening began to grow darker, the beautiful colours of the Venezuelan flag billowed in front of the U.S. Consulate as activists and supporters gathered to call for an end to U.S intervention. Marching up and down the sidewalk picket signs in tow, handing out information to passers by and chanting at the top of their lungs; the spirit and hope for a better future, inspired by the bolivarian revolution, could not be missed.

      Later that evening, protesters marched up to the steps of the Vancouver Art Gallery, one of the busiest sections of downtown Vancouver, to continue their display of support and outreach and to let passers by know that in Venezuela... the struggle continues!

      The next actions will be held on February 5th with a protest action at 4pm outside the U.S. Consulate to demand “U.S. Hands Off Venezuela!” Followed by an info table and petitioning session at 5pm at the Vancouver Art Gallery.

      President Maduro and the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) are mobilizing together with many diverse social movements across the country to defend the Bolivarian Revolution. From here in Vancouver, Canada, peace-loving people must unite to do the same to build a broad, united and strong movement in solidarity with the Bolivarian revolution in Venezuela!

      For more information about Venezuela please read articles written by Francisco Dominguez and Alison Bodine contained in this issue of Fire This Time (V10 I2).

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