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      Vancouver Continues to Demand:
      US Respect the Sovereignty & Self-Determination of Venezuela!

      By Alison Bodine

      On April 6, 2017 the head of the US Southern Command, Admiral Kurt W. Tidd, gave a report to the Senate Armed Services Committee on Venezuela. In it he stated "The growing humanitarian crisis in Venezuela could eventually compel a regional response," while at the same time issuing a warning that Russia, China and Iran are a threat to US interests in the region.

      His words are a dangerous manifestation of continued US meddling and intervention in Venezuela. These threats, straight from the mouth of the US government, go hand-in-hand with those made by the Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS) Luis Almagro during his campaign against Venezuela.

      Throughout March and April of 2017, US-puppet Almagro escalated his campaign to try to remove Venezuela from the OAS (a regional body that brings together countries of the Western hemisphere) by invoking the so-called Democratic Charter. His dirty manoeuvrings within the OAS were supported by the United States and Canada, as well as a line-up of right-wing and reactionary governments in Latin America. They were also a clear violation of the sovereignty of Venezuela, a fact that was recognized by many member-states of the OAS, as well as supporters of Venezuela all around the world.

      Over the past 19 years of the Bolivarian Revolution, the US government and their imperialist allies have worked together with the capitalist class and counter-revolutionaries in Venezuela to try and overthrow the revolutionary government and overturn the great gains made for poor, working and oppressed people in Venezuela.

      Whether coming from the US government, Luis Almagro and the OAS, or the mouths of Venezuela’s violent counter-revolutionary opposition, these threats are also to serve one purpose – to provoke foreign intervention in Venezuela against the government of President Nicolas Maduro and the Bolivarian Revolution.

      On April 26, 2017 Venezuela announced that it was leaving the Organization of American States (OAS). As President Maduro tweeted, “April 26, 2017: a day of dignity and independence, I have taken the giant step to break with imperialist interventionism.”

      By leaving the OAS, Venezuela joins with Cuba, which has continued to refuse to join after being expeled following the victory of the Cuban Revolution.

      Whether through their puppet Luis Almagro and the OAS, or through other means, the attempts of the US government to force regime change in Venezuela will continue. These latest imperialist attacks make solidarity with the Bolivarian revolution now more important than ever before.

      In opposition to US-led sanctions, threats against Venezuela, and violations against Venezuela’s sovereignty and self-determination by the US government and the OAS, the Fire This Time Venezuela Solidarity Campaign organized their monthly picket action at the US Consulate in downtown Vancouver on Friday April 7.

      US Hands Off Venezuela! US Hands Off Syria! Combined Action

      The day before this action as set to take place, the US government launched a cruise missile assault on an air base in Syria. This escalation of war against the people of Syria required an urgent and immediate international response by all peace-loving people.

      Thus, the planned monthly protest and picket demanding US Hands Off Venezuela was combined with an emergency protest demanding that the US stop bombing and all intervention in Syria organized by Vancouver’s antiwar coalition, Mobilization Against War and Occupation (MAWO).

      It was a powerful example of international solidarity when chants of “US Hands Off Syria!” and “US Hands Off Venezuela!” filled the air around the US Consulate. All countries facing the attacks of US imperialism are fighting a common enemy, and we are stronger standing in this struggle together!

      For more about Fire This Tim'e Venezuela Solidarity Campaign visit: www.firethistime.net or follow on Twitter @FTT_np

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