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      Vancouver Stands Firmly With Bolivarian Revolution
      Activists Exposing U.S. Meddling in Venezuela

      By Janine Solanki

      The last 17 years of the Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela has been marked with huge advancements for their people. Venezuelans have seen the rate of poverty and unemployment decrease dramatically and infant mortality improve by almost 50%. The Bolivarian revolution has carried out dozens of Missions to improve literacy and provide housing, healthcare, and education to its citizens. The rights of Indigenous people in Venezuela are now not only recognized but are enshrined in Venezuela's constitution.

      Today this extraordinary country is under a vicious US-backed right-wing and attack. The counter-revolutionary opposition in Venezuela, hand-in-hand with the U.S. government, is making every attempt to overthrow the government of Venezuela and reverse the great gains made by poor and working people. Alongside economic warfare and US sanctions, Venezuela is also being subjected to a mainstream media campaign that aims to demonize the government of Venezuela and President Nicolas Maduro.

      On June 9th, 2016 the Hugo Chavez People's Defence Front - Southwest Canada Chapter organized a discussion event on the topic of “Bolivarian Foreign Relations and Solidarity - The Achievements of the Peace Diplomacy”. The speaker for the evening was Wilfredo Perez Bianco, the First Consul General and Head of the Mission for the Consulate of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in Vancouver, Canada. Wilfredo Perez Bianco outlined the important role of new initiatives for social, political and economic cooperation between Latin American and Caribbean countries, such as the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC). He also spoke about the increased US and right-wing attacks on Venezuela.

      The next day, June 10th, Fire This Time Movement for Social Justice organized a monthly picket action at the US Consulate, with the demand “US Hands Off Venezuela!” Protestors carried picket signs and chanted, and throughout the picket heard speeches from social justice activists and organizers. This was the 7th consecutive monthly picket action, and protestors are committed to continuing these actions in defense of Venezuela each month.

      Following the picket action, supporters headed through Downtown Vancouver to the Vancouver Art Gallery, to setup information tables with the proud message “Maduro is our President!” Activists had many conversations on what is happening in Venezuela with people and collected petition signatures demanding that the US government stop their interventions, sanctions and threats towards Venezuela.

      All of these events and actions serve to cut through the mainstream media lies about Venezuela, to open the discussion on what is really happening in Venezuela, and to defend Venezuela's Bolivarian Revolution and government of President Maduro. Come out to join the next picket action for Venezuela, on July 8th, 4pm at the US Consulate.

      US Hands Off Venezuela!

      Follow Janine on Twitter: @janinesolanki

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