Venezuela’s electorate, and they alone, should choose who is the President of Venezuela, not the President of the United States nor the mega-rich of the world, writes Left Unity National Secretary Felicity Dowling. Trump has announced that he recognises the man who did not win the election as the president. This will be backed up by still more economic and social pressure on Venezuela. It will cause still more hardship, disruption and suffering for the people of Venezuela. US sanctions have real power to hurt.
We stand with Venezuela and its elected government, with the poor, the peasants, the landless, the indigenous, the women and organized workers.
This attack on democracy is closely linked to oil, and to control of oil prices by the US and the Gulf States.
Venezuela has been deliberately and cruelly destabilized. The government of Venezuela has made mistakes, the disruption of the country is terrible for ordinary people, but this has been significantly affected by foreign interventions.
This process started before Trump. Obama too attacked Venezuela through oil price manipulation. Venezuela has huge oil reserves but the US and mega oil producers decided to manipulate the market against Venezuela and other lesser oil producers like Iran, Nigeria, and Russia.
Oil prices are again spiking, and could spike further if sanctions against Iran are successful in shutting off that source of oil. Access to Venezuela’s huge oil resources is a major prize, especially as oil prices spike once more. This disruption of precious and hard-won democracy is for oil, which should stay in the ground if our species is to continue to exist on Earth. The Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change – the IPCC – has made this abundantly clear.
Walter Baier from Transform Europe recently described how key people representing powerful economic interests have decided that they no longer require democracy. Those of us who value democracy have to speak up for democracy across the world.
Democracy and the Left in Brazil have been destabilized in many different ways as Paul Mason explained.
The Left in Brazil and in Latin America have had huge world changing opportunities. The landless, the poor and the workers are organized but the economy and corruption were issues still to be tackled when the current assault from the Right began. It is a battle joined not yet a full defeat
The US has deployed the power of evangelical Christians as part of this destabilization, impacting also in Cuba where their objections to equal marriage have caused problems.
The US has a terrible record of attacking democratically elected governments, as they did with Chile in 1973. Now there are attacks on Venezuela, the development of the Right in Brazil, and instability in Nicaragua.
The global economy of the 21st century is monopolized and owned by a tiny few. That tiny few uses the price of oil, the media, religion – and the sheer power of money – to override democracy when they so choose. Whilst the poor, working people, women and indigenous communities can still organize, the power of this global elite can be challenged.
As Britain faces the opportunity to elect a Left Government, we need to be aware of the power and the danger that is posed by the economic elite and its political representatives like Trump and Bolsanaro. The impact of a Left Government under Jeremy Corbyn in the UK would be immense and give encouragement to the Left and to working class communities across the world. However such a government will still face attack as other countries have done, and that attack will come from many sides including the media – including social media – and from economic disruption.
We need an internationalist approach to all our politics.
Right now that means we speak up for democracy in Venezuela.
No to the US coup in Venezuela.
Left Unity is active in movements and campaigns across the left, working to create an alternative to the main political parties.
Events and protests from around the movement, and local Left Unity meetings.
Sat 2 Mar, 9.30-17.00
Confronting the Rise of the Far Right, European Conference
Organised by Transform UK.
Bloomsbury Central, 235 Shaftesbury Ave, London WC2H 8EP.
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