Forty years on from New Cross, the need to build a mass anti-racist, anti-imperialist movement is still paramount. No justice, no peace!
The imperialist aggression against Venezuela has seen another escalation in the past three days, as another coup attempt was quickly neutralised by military forces, aided in turn by the loyalty and solidarity of the people of Venezuela. In the early hours of April 30th, forces loyal to Juan Guaido released right-wing opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez from house arrest and attempted to take over La Carlota airbase in east Caracas. A handful of soldiers equipped with blue armbands and US military equipment, alongside a crowd of opposition protesters, were involved in a confrontation with government troops. Later, crowds gathered to defend the Miraflores presidential palace against the coup, while Guaido unsuccessfully attempted to lead a march into western Caracas.
There are further reports of clashes throughout Caracas and other cities. Opposition forces are also reported to have burned and looted the socialist commune Indio Caricuao. In Washington DC, supporters occupied the Venezuelan embassy at the express invitation of the Venezuelan government in order to prevent the embassy from falling in the hands of the imperialist collaborators.
The day ended with Lopez seeking refuge in the Chilean and later the Spanish embassy, while Guaido released a video claiming to have the support of large portions of the military and calling on his supporters to enact the last stage of “Operation Freedom” and oust Maduro.
As expected, corporate media have continued their pattern of dishonesty and disinformation by refusing to call the event a coup or failing to report on the enormous Chavista marches in Venezuela, rallied in support of the legitimate Maduro government. Thousands of people gathered at the Miraflores presidential palace to listen to the President’s speech, where he attacked the US and the right-wing opposition for their role in destabilising the country, and called for a mass mobilisation on May 1st. Through his official Twitter account, Maduro declared himself “proud of the great strength, love and patriotism of the Venezuelan people”., and stated that the FANB is “increasingly socialist, Bolivarian and deeply chavista”.
The facts remain clear. The repeated coup attempts are the work of such infamous war criminals as John Bolton, who was involved in the decision to invade Iraq in 2003, and Elliot Abrams, known for his role in supporting right-wing, counter-revolutionary forces in Nicaragua. With Juan Guaidó as their conveniently chosen figurehead, they continue to attack Venezuela in countless ways, in a bid to lay their hands on the oil resources and on the future of the Latin American nation.
They will fail again as they have this time, owing to the undying loyalty of millions of working class Venezuelans, as well as the courage of the Venezuelan military – the FANB. However, international solidarity remains crucial, and it is here that anti-imperialists worldwide can have the strongest effect. 54 nations worldwide, including many in Europe, have recognised Guaidó’s illegitimate claim to the interim presidency.
Sanctions and destabilisation tactics have been a large part of the unsuccessful imperialist program of régime change. The US and its allies hope that by causing the suffering and immiseration of millions of Venezuelans they can force them into counter revolutionary actions against the popular PSUV government but against this tactic the people of Venezuela remain steadfast. In particular, Britain continues to hold £1.2 billion worth of Venezuelan gold which it refuses to release back to the Venezuelan government.
This is not the time for hesitation. Imperialism is the antithesis of democracy and peace; it relies fundamentally on the violent subjugation of entire peoples and nations to the interests of the imperialist states. It must be opposed unconditionally and fought tirelessly. We, Red Fightback, continue to stand in solidarity with the Bolivarian Revolution and call on all anti-imperialists to stand firm with the Venezuelan people in their struggle against empire and for a dignified life under socialism. Hands off Venezuela!