The Venezuelan People Defend their Revolution from the Opposition´s Coup Attempts
by Jeanette Charles
17 February 2014 – Caracas, Venezuela – In February, the Venezuelan people celebrate a rebellious and revolutionary history. February marks the 1992 attempted government takeover organized by military and civil society under the leadership of Hugo Rafael Chavéz Frías, inspired by the Caracazo, the 1989 neoliberal economic crisis that drove the Venezuelan poor into extreme poverty and where the military repressed, disappeared and assassinated thousands.
This year, Venezuela honors the bicentennial of the youth movement, a trajectory of independence, communist and ultimately anti-imperialist revolutionary movements. However, the right wing opposition in Venezuela has terrorized the people with an onslaught of violence and threats to topple the democratically elected and self-declared Chavista working class government under President Nicolás Maduro Moros.
Late Sunday evening, President Maduro along with National Assembly President Diosdado Cabello and foreign relations minister Elias Jaua, recounted the last few days of destruction, international media manipulation and violence against the Venezuelan people led by opposition leaders Leopoldo López and Henrique Capriles Radonski, both involved in the 2002 coup attempt against then President Hugo Chávez. President Maduro emphasized, “We are facing crazy people without moral or ethical limits…the people of Chavez have risen up and have decided to be free,” reiterating that Venezuela does not take orders from anyone except the Venezuelan people and is not a US colony, following comments from US State Department official Alexander Lee.
On Wednesday, during the National Youth March, opposition students marched to Parque Carabobo in the Capital of Caracas carrying with them molotov bombs, hardware tools and weapons. They took to the Public Prosecutor’s headquarters and set cars on fire as well as attacked the building threatening the lives of people nearby and workers at this public institution. On Wednesday, three were left dead in the capital including one police officer, a pedestrian and a militant organizer, Juan Montoya “Juancho”, from the barrio of 23 de enero on the capital’s west side, overwhelmingly organized working class and poor. Across the country there have been attacks against known socialist programs and Venezuelan government institutions.
(For more information: http://www.correodelorinoco.gob.ve/politica/%E2%80%9Cjuancho%E2%80%9D-montoya-militante-23-enero-asesinado-este-miercoles-era-un-activo-luchador-por-paz-fotos-y-video/ , http://venezuelanalysis.com/news/10345, and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Es4i37ODi6s)
Since Wednesday, the Venezuelan people continue to mobilize resisting the opposition’s violence. This Saturday was the Peace and Justice March and National Youth March concentrated in Caracas. Music and political chants dominated the city where families, communities and their movements continued to march in the name of their revolutionary spirit in spite of the week’s violence.
There is currently a warrant for the arrest and capture of Leopoldo López. President Maduro has expelled three more US diplomats. They are claimed to have participated in opposition meetings in support of a coup d’etat. They have also been seen at several private universities in Venezuela offering youth visas to the United States. (For more information: http://www.ciudadccs.info/?p=534169)
At the close of January, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC in Spanish) met for their second gathering in La Habana, Cuba. The CELAC is the Latin American and Caribbean union, political, social, economic and cultural initiative to integrate the Americas without the participation of the United States and Canada. This year’s gathering ended with a declaration proclaiming the region free of military intervention in the name of peace and respectful diplomatic relations. The CELAC also opposed the US embargo to Cuba and included a provision to discuss further involvement of Puerto Rico, current US colony, potentially leading to a decolonization process as proposed by the Puerto Rican liberation movements. (To read Spanish version of declaration download here: http://celac.cubaminrex.cu/es/articulos/declaracion-final-de-la-ii-cumbre-de-la-celac)
In light of the right wing violence in Venezuela many nations across the world have declared their solidarity including Ecuador, the Association of Caribbean States and Argentina among others. There is a national march in the name of peace and in defense of the revolution on Tuesday February 18th. The opposition has also called for a mobilization however their march is not authorized.
-Jeanette Charles is from Los Angeles, CA currently residing in Venezuela. Jeanette is a board member of Witness for Peace Southwest and member of the Chiapas Support Committee.
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