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      Vancouver Echoes the Call of Venezuela:
      Obama Repeal the Executive Order Now!
      U.S. Hands Off Venezuela!

      By Alison Bodine

      On Friday March 11, 2016 peace-loving people came out into the streets of Vancouver, Canada to demand “U.S. Hands Off Venezuela!” at a protest organized by the Fire This Time Venezuela Solidarity Campaign. Supporters of Venezuela and the Bolivarian Revolution marched and chanted loudly in front of the U.S. Consulate in solidarity with the people of Venezuela.

      This protest was organized in response to escalating U.S. attacks on Venezuela, including U.S. President Obama’s renewal of the Executive Order declaring Venezuela to be an “extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States.” As the MC of the protest, Alison Bodine also explained, the Vancouver action was also organized in solidarity with the people of Venezuela who held powerful mass mobilizations on Saturday March 12th against escalating right-wing attacks and U.S. intervention in Venezuela.

      Also participating in the program of the protest was Gloria La Riva, Coordinator of the Cuba and Venezuela Solidarity Committee, based in San Francisco, the United States. She phoned in to the protest with words of solidarity with Venezuela and a strong condemnation of the record of the U.S. government’s attacks on Venezuelan people and other Latin American countries.

      To close the protest at the U.S. Consulate, Azza Rojbi, the co-coordinator of Friends of Cuba Against the U.S. Blockade – Vancouver read a statement from the revolutionary government of Cuba in support of Venezuela against the Executive Order and U.S. sanctions.

      Supporters of Venezuela continued with chanting “Obama, Obama repeal the Decree Now! Obama, Obama End the Sanctions Now!” as they headed up to the busy downtown Vancouver Art Gallery for a public outreach and petitioning event for Venezuela. After decorating the square in front of the Art Gallery with Venezuelan flags and banners, activists began asking people to sign a new petition demanding “U.S. Hands Off Venezuela.” People passing by also got information about Venezuela and the gains of the Bolivarian Revolution, including the important social missions and gains made for poor and working people, women and youth in Venezuela since 1999 under the leadership of late Comandante Chavez and now continued with President Maduro.

      Since December, 2015 the Fire This Time Venezuela Solidarity Campaign has organized four protest events and days of public outreach for Venezuela. The next action is taking place on Tuesday, April 19, which is an international day of action in solidarity with Venezuela with coordinated actions in over 40 countries around the world. On this day, April 19, 2016, people in Vancouver will once again be rallying at the U.S. Consulate at 4pm and then heading to the Vancouver Art Gallery for petitioning and handing out information about U.S. intervention in Venezuela and the gains of the Bolivarian Revolution from 5:30-7pm.

      Obama Repeal the Decree Now!
      U.S. Hands Off Venezuela!
      Long Live the Bolivarian Revolution!

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