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      From Yemen to Venezuela – Self-Determination for All Oppressed Nations!

      By Janine Solanki

      Within the first few weeks of 2019, the imperialist war drive led by the United States continued to wreak havoc against oppressed nations around the world. On January 19, 2019, the Saudi-led coalition bombed the capital city of Sana’a, killing civilians and further destroying the already fragile infrastructure. Yemen has faced near continuous bombings over almost four years of a U.S.-backed, Saudi-led war.

      Imperialist forces have also been busy in Venezuela. On January 23, 2019, Venezuela faced a coup attempt, the latest dangerous attempt at “regime change” led by the U.S. and Canada against the legitimate and democratically elected Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro. The governments of the U.S. and Canada immediately recognized Juan Guaidó as the new “self-declared” interim President of Venezuela.

      In Vancouver, Canada, Mobilization Against War and Occupation (MAWO) started 2019 out by protesting the new era of war and occupation, which the U.S. and other imperialist countries have been waging since 2001. This new era started with the war in Afghanistan and has continued with U.S.-led war, occupation, sanctions and military aggression against independent nations including Iraq, Libya, Syria, Iran, Cuba and Venezuela.

      On Friday,January 25, MAWO held a monthly antiwar rally and petition drive in downtown Vancouver. Alongside the demands of “U.S./Saudi Arabia Hands Off Yemen” the action called on U.S. President Trump and Canada’s Prime Minister Trudeau to respect Venezuela’s self-determination and sovereignty, and to stop their illegal and undemocratic attempts to destabilize the country. Organizers setup with antiwar banners and picket signs, and an info table which attracted the attention of people passing by the busy downtown plaza, who stopped to get more information and talk to organizers. Protesters also set out in teams to talk to passers-by, and asked them to sign on to a petition against Canada’s $15 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia.

      Beyond MAWO’s own actions, MAWO is often out on the street alongside other important social justice struggles. On January 19, the third annual Women’s March in Vancouver was part of global actions on this day, which was sparked by the anti-women policies of the newly elected U.S. President Trump in 2017. MAWO joined in the march and rally, and with a banner held high saying “Women of the World Unite Against War and Occupation!” bringing an antiwar perspective to this action.

      MAWO is committed to continue educating, organizing and mobilizing against war and occupation into 2019 and beyond, until this new era of war and occupation is stopped. To find out about upcoming antiwar events and actions visit www.mawovancouver.org or follow on Facebook and Twitter @MAWOVan

      Follow Janine on Twitter: @janinesolanki

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