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      Why Poor and Working People Must Defend Venezuela and the Bolivarian Revolution

      By Alison Bodine

      Over the last two months over 90 people have been killed in Venezuela, and over 1200 people have been injured as a result of a destructive destabilization campaign by Venezuela’s violent opposition. These pro-US mercenaries have committed murder, arson, and theft, among other dangerous crimes and terrorist actions all with the objective of overthrowing the democratically elected government of Nicolas Maduro and reversing the gains of the Bolivarian revolution.

      In the face of these increasing attacks by Venezuela’s counter-revolutionary opposition, who works together with the US government, President Nicolas Maduro has called for a National Constituent Assembly to strengthen the Bolivarian revolution and constitution. On July 30, 2017 people in Venezuela will go the polls to elect this National Constituent Assembly. The 545 elected members of the National Assembly will then get to work in strengthening Venezuela’s Constitution, which was originally passed in 1999 and has been a cornerstone of the Bolivarian Revolution.

      Venezuela’s capitalist class, which still hold the majority of the means of production and distribution in Venezuela, does not want this election, and the re-writing of the Constitution to happen. Not only are they boycotting the National Constituent Assembly elections, they are also inciting increasing violence in the streets of Venezuela and sabotage against the economy meant to scare away people from participating in the elections as well.

      This increased campaign of terror has also come hand-in-hand with escalating attacks by the US government and their imperialist allies. Since March of 2015, President Obama, and now President Trump, have held in place an executive order that declares Venezuela a so-called “extraordinary threat” to US national security. This order has enabled increasing sanctions and economic sabotage against Venezuela at a time when Venezuela’s economy was already suffering due to the massive drop in the price of oil. Recently, US President Trump has not only increased the sanctions against Venezuela, but is also appealing to other countries, especially in the European Union, to join in.

      US imperialism and their allies like the government of Canada, has also attempted to undermine Venezuela’s sovereignty and selfdetermination through a campaign to get the Organization of American States (OAS) to intervene in the internal affairs of Venezuela. This is no surprise, given that the OAS, a regional diplomatic body, receives the majority of it’s funding from the United States and is head-quartered in Washington. DC. This proimperialist intervention campaign in the OAS, as well as an attempt by the US government to condemn Venezuela in the United Nations Security Council, have both failed.

      People and governments around the world are standing with President Nicolas Maduro and the Bolivarian Revolution in defense of the sovereignty and self-determination of an independent government. They are also standing with Venezuela because the Bolivarian revolutionary process, under the leadership of Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro has also made great gains for poor and oppressed people around the world through international solidarity.

      As one example of this, in July, Venezuela is celebrating the 12th anniversary of Petrocaribe, and organization set-up by the government of Venezuela to provide affordable oil to countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, not necessary in exchange for money, but instead in exchange for goods and services. The government of Venezuela has also joined with revolutionary Cuba in the creation of ALBA (the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas) and UNASUR (Union of South American Nations), organizations that provide an alternative to US-sponsored alliances and funded free-trade agreements that have impoverished and plundered countries throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.

      In main stream capitalist media today, including here in Canada, there is never a mention about the violence in Venezuela carried out by the murderous thugs and mercenaries of the pro-US opposition in Venezuela, nor an coverage of the great gains that have been made by poor, working and oppressed people within the Bolivarian Revolutionary process. No discussion about the elimination of illiteracy in the country, or the fact that even in the face of violence and economic sabotage the revolutionary government has provided over 1.5 million homes to marginalized people in Venezuela over the past six years.

      As peace-loving people in Canada, we have the responsibility to understand what is really happening in Venezuela today, and to take action against US and imperialist attacks on the government of Venezuela and the Bolivarian revolution. An attack against Venezuela is an attack against poor, working and oppressed people around the world. A victory for the people of Venezuela against the violent opposition and counter-revolutionary mercenaries is a victory for all of us.

      The following articles and analysis contain the tools that we need to order to defend the democratically elected government of President Maduro and the Bolivarian revolutionary process.

      Follow Alison Bodine on Twitter: @Alisoncolette

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