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      U.S. Hands Off Venezuelan Revolution!
      Activities in Defense of Venezuela

      By Janine Solanki

      Since the Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela started with the election of former President Hugo Chávez in 1998, the United States government has been trying to turn back the tide and destroy the gains being made by the Venezuelan people. This has continued under Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, with the U.S. imposing crippling sanctions and blockade, backing an attempted (failed) coup, and giving covert and overt support for the violent, right-wing forces within Venezuela. The government of Canada has also taken a leading role in the imperialist maneuvering against Venezuela. Canada co-founded the Lima Group, which is made up of rightwing governments in Latin America with a sole agenda of “regime change” in Venezuela.

      While the global pandemic has kept us all from gathering together in person, it hasn’t stopped the solidarity and action in defense of Venezuela and their Bolivarian Revolution. The Fire This Time Venezuela Solidarity Campaign has taken part in online activities over the last few months and will continue to do so.

      On May 1, Fire This Time editorial board member and BC Teachers Federation member Tamara Hansen was invited to participate in a Venezuelan online May Day celebration. The event featured international guests from over 16 countries, and via video conference, Tamara spoke with Venezuelan President Maduro and gave a greeting from Fire This Time to the Venezuelan people!

      On June 5, Fire This Time participated in a webinar organized by The Ecology Movement of Venezuela (MEVEN) marking World Environment Day. Alison Bodine, the coordinator of the Fire This Time Venezuela Solidarity Campaign and organizer with Climate Convergence, joined the panel of Venezuelan and international speakers to speak about climate justice, the Covid-19 pandemic, and capitalism.

      On June 25, the Fire This Time Movement for Social Justice - Venezuela Solidarity Campaign organized an online webinar to demand U.S./Canada: Hands Off Venezuela! Tamara Hansen introduced the event. The first speaker was Dr. Luis Acuña Cedeño, the Chargé d’Affaires in the Venezuelan Embassy in Ottawa, Canada. Dr. Acuña is also a former Minister of Higher Education in Venezuela and former elected governor of Sucre state in Venezuela. The online audience then heard from Carlos Ron, the Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs for North America at the Venezuelan Ministry of External Affairs, who spoke directly from Caracas, Venezuela. Also speaking from Venezuela was William Camacaro, a Senior Analyst at COHA (Council on Hemispheric Affairs), co-founder and coordinator of the Alberto Lovera Bolivarian Circle of New York, an artist, radio host, and activist in New York City. Then the webinar went back to Ottawa, Canada, for the next speaker, Maricarmen Guevara. Maricarmen is a Latin America and Venezuela solidarity organizer with the ALBA Social Movements of Canada – Ottawa. The final speaker was Alison Bodine, speaking from Vancouver, Canada. Alison is the coordinator of the Fire This Time Movement for Social Justice Venezuela Solidarity Campaign and author of “Revolution & Counter-Revolution in Venezuela” (Battle of Ideas Press, 2018).

      As this report details, despite the pandemic, Venezuela supporters have found ways to defend the Bolivarian Revolution and the Venezuelan people. They have come together even more internationally while connected online. For upcoming events and actions, visit www.firethistime.net or follow on Facebook @firethistimemovement, on Twitter @FTT_np, or Instagram @FTT.Venezuela

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