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      Vancouver Solidarity Activists Support
      the National Constituent Assembly in Venezuela

      By Alison Bodine

      In the days leading up to the National Constituent Assembly vote in Venezuela, the government of the US and the government of Canada both released statements demanding that the vote be cancelled. These outrageous statements, which also included US government threats for further sanctions, signified an escalation in imperialist intervention in Venezuela’s internal affairs.

      It was this mind that people in support of the Constituent Assembly and the sovereignty and self-determination of Venezuela came to the streets of Vancouver for a solidarity action on Sunday, July 30 organized by the Fire This Time Venezuela Solidarity Campaign. In fact, by the time the action in Vancouver began, people in Venezuela had already begun voting for the 545 members of the National Assembly that are now tasked with improving and broadening the Venezuelan Constitution.


      The rally began with dynamic greetings direct from Venezuela. The first message came from Estela Vazquez, Executive Vice President of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) 1199 in New York City, who was in Venezuela as an international observer of the National Constituent Assembly elections. Estela emphasized the importance of international solidarity with Venezuela and the Bolivarian Revolution. She was followed by Christina Schiavoni, a Venezuela solidarity activist from the Alberto Lovera Bolivarian Circle in NYC, currently living and researching in Caracas, Venezuela. Christina described the atmosphere of voting day in Venezuela as energetic and positive, despite the multiple attacks carried out by the violent opposition that day. Participants at the rally also heard from Brian Sproule (CPC-ML) and Tamara Hansen, Coordinator, Vancouver Communities in Solidarity with Cuba (VCSC).

      As the protest ended, the first results from the Constituent Assembly elections came in, showing that over 8 million people had voted. This is a tremendous victory for the people of Venezuela, President Maduro and the Bolivarian revolutionary process!

      However, this victory in no way means neither the end of the violent right-wing attacks in Venezuela nor an end to imperialist intervention in Venezuela. The ultimate goal of the counter-revolutionary opposition and their imperialist allies is to overthrow the democratically elected President of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro, and reverse the gains of the Bolivarian revolution.

      A New Petition

      As part of the solidarity action on July 30, the Fire This Time Venezuela Solidarity Campaign also launched a new petition demanding “Canada Hands Off Venezuela!” This petition targets the Foreign Minister of Canada, Chrystia Freeland, whom recently released shameful and interventionist statements demanding that the government of Venezuela cancel the Constituent Assembly elections, and in support of US sanctions against Venezuela.

      The Fire This Time Venezuela Solidarity Campaign will continue to organize monthly Venezuela solidarity actions. We must continue to come together and unite to defend Venezuela in the face of increasing attacks by the governments of United States and their imperialist allies, and continued right-wing violence and terror!

      For more information about the Fire This Time Venezuela Solidarity Campaign go to www.firethistime.net or follow @FTT_np on Twitter.

      US and Canada Respect the Sovereignty and Self-Determination of the Venezuelan People!
      No to Regime Change in Venezuela!
      No to Right-Wing Violence!

      Follow Alison Bodine on Twitter: @Alisoncolette

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