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      Obama Repeal the Executive Order Now!
      The World Stands with Venezuela!

      By Alison Bodine

      "We here in Venezuela say. We are sovereign and independent, we are not a colony of anybody Chavez lives, the struggle continues," Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro

      On March 3, 2016 U.S. President Barack Obama once again declared Venezuela to be an “extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States” by renewing an Executive Order against Venezuela that the White House first issued one-year ago. This decree also allows the United States to extend existing sanctions against Venezuela.

      One has to wonder how it is that a country with less than 10% of the population of the United States, and 3200km away, can pose a “threat to the national security” of the United States, a country with a military budget equal to every other military budget in the world combined.

      However, the dangerous hypocrisy of United States policy against Venezuela doesn’t end there. On top of the Executive Order, the U.S. government has a nearly 18-year long campaign of constant intervention meant to destabilize Venezuela and overthrow the Bolivarian Revolution, which began making great gains for poor and working people in Venezuela with the election of the late Comandante Hugo Chavez in 1998. U.S. intervention has many different forms, from funding and support for violent counter-revolutionary political parties and so-called civil society organizations, to the re-activation of the U.S. Navy’s Fourth Fleet in the Caribbean Sea, economic sabotage and NSA (National Security Agency) spying on Venezuela’s state-run oil company PDVSA.

      On January 5, 2016, U.S intervention in Venezuela expanded when a new National Assembly, made-up of majority counter-revolutionary right-wing politicians, took office. This National Assembly was elected in December of 2015, in the midst of an economic war brought on by Venezuela’s capitalist class and their foreign imperialist allies. Since the 1999, this is the first time that the U.S.-backed opposition has held a majority in parliament.

      In just the last three months the counter-revolutionaries in the National Assembly have not only openly declared their mission to overthrow the legitimate government of President Nicolas Maduro, they have also attempted to pass laws that turn back the important gains made by the people of Venezuela. This includes an “Amnesty Law,” which calls for the release of violent opposition leaders and organizers found guilty of crimes, including involvement in the April 2002 attempted coup d’état against President Chavez and the 2014 “Guarimbas” protests which killed 43 people. Other Bills under discussion in the National Assembly include reactionary measures for the privatization of land, public housing and state run companies. This National Assembly has also revealed their true allegiance when they appealed to the Organization of American States (OAS), which includes the U.S. and Canada, to intervene in Venezuela’s internal affairs last month.

      Amidst continued foreign intervention, recent mass-media headlines continue to spell out the intentions of the U.S. government and their imperialist allies in Venezuela. Take, for example, the New York Times March 3, 2016 Editorial “The Push to Oust Maduro [the current President of Venezuela]” or the CNN Money article from January “5 reasons why Venezuela's economy is in a 'meltdown'.” Also in March, 2016 Bloomberg News is even bold enough to ask “How Much Time Does Maduro Have?”

      There is a lot about Venezuela today, as well as the gains made for poor and oppressed people in Venezuela, that is missing from the headlines in mainstream Western media. While they were busy reporting on the ‘collapsing’ Venezuelan economy they left out the report that at the end of December, the Bolivarian Revolution delivered its one-millionth home as part of a massive social housing project undertaken just five years ago. They also haven’t talked about the 10,000 pensions that were just approved by President Maduro for people that work in industries related to the sea. And of course, they would never mention that the Venezuelan National Assembly passed a ground-breaking Seed Law on December 23, 2015, before the new National Assembly took power, which protect farmers and food sovereignty and bans GMO seeds.

      Today, the people of Venezuela, led by President Nicolas Maduro, the United Socialist Party of Venezuela, are continuing to build their revolution. They are doing this through mass mobilizations and organizing on the streets, as well as through the emergency economic decree. This decree, approved by the Supreme Court, gives President Nicolas Maduro the power to implement emergency measures across all sectors of Venezuelan society including hydrocarbons, petro-chemicals, agriculture, mining, telecommunications, construction, industry, military industry and tourism and to stop hoarding and sabotage by the Venezuelan counter-revolutionary capitalist class.

      The Executive Order declaring that Venezuela is a “threat to U.S. national security” and the last three months of foreign intervention alone are a clear sign that the U.S. is not going to change its policy of promoting and supporting counter-revolution and violence in Venezuela. However, as the U.S. government and their allies around the world and in Venezuela are attempting to strangle the Bolivarian Revolution, international sympathy and solidarity with the people of Venezuela is growing. This includes not only support from peace-loving people around the world, but also from foreign governments that stand with Venezuela’s rights to sovereignty and self-determination. These nations include the including the 120 countries of the non-aligned movement and the Community of Latin American States (CELAC) among others. Below is a statement of support from the Group of 77, plus China in Support of Venezuelan government.

      The World Stands with Venezuela!
      Obama: Repeal the Executive Order!
      U.S. Hands Off Venezuela!

      Alison on Twitter: @Alisoncolette

      Declaration in Support of the Government of
      the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela

      The Group of 77 and China expresses its rejection to the latest decision of the Government of the United States of America to expand its unilateral sanctions against the Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, on March 9th 2015, under the Executive Order signed by President Barack Obama, which declares "a national emergency with respects to the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States posed by the situation in Venezuela"

      We reaffirm, at the same time, the Declaration adopted at the Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Group of 77 held in Santa Cruz de la Sierra that firmly rejects the imposition of laws and regulations with extraterritorial impact and all other forms of coercive economic measures, including unilateral sanctions, against developing countries.

      The Group of 77 and China deplores these measures and reiterates its firm support for the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. In this regard, the Group of 77 and China emphasizes the need to respect international law, including the principles and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations and the Declaration of Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperation among States in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations.

      The G-77 and China underlines the positive contribution of Venezuela to the strengthening of South-South Cooperation, solidarity and friendship among all peoples and nations, with a view to promoting peace and development.

      The Group of 77 and China conveys its solidarity and support to the Venezuelan Government affected by these measures which do not contribute, in any way, to the spirit of political and economic dialogue and understanding among countries. To the same extent, we urge the international community to adopt urgent and effective measures to eliminate the use of unilateral coercive economic measures against any State, in particular, developing countries.

      The G-77 and China calls upon the Government of the United States to evaluate and implement alternatives for a dialogue with the Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, under the principle of respect to sovereignty and self determination of the peoples. Therefore, it urges to repeal the aforementioned Executive Order.

      New York, 25 March 2015

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