Statement of the Campaign to End U.S. and Canada Sanctions Against Venezuela
First published on Alliance for Global Justice Jan 23, 2019
Today, the people of Venezuela mark the 61st anniversary of the defeat of dictator Marcos Perez Jimenez by a popular mass movement. As Venezuelans march today honoring their sovereignty, liberty, and the Bolivarian revolutionary process, we stand with them and their democratically elected government of President Nicolas Maduro. We support the sovereignty of the Venezuelan people and resources and say “no” to US interventionism in any form.
In the first three weeks of 2019, the U.S. government and its allies, including Canada, have continued to escalate their war against Venezuela. This has included an intensification of their campaign to overthrow the legitimate government of Venezuela.
Recent comments by U.S. Vice-President Pence in support of Venezuela’s violent, U.S.-backed opposition amount to calls for a coup d’etat in Venezuela. Although over 6 million Venezuelans voted for Nicolas Maduro in the May 20, 2018 Presidential election (an election that was free, fair and transparent) the U.S. government and its allies have refused to recognize President Maduro. Instead, the US supports Juan Guaido, the new President of the National Assembly, an illegitimate body that Venezuela’s Supreme Court has ruled, since 2016, to be in contempt of court.Update! Today U.S. President Trump and the government of Canada have taken an unprecedented, illegal and antidemocratic step in recognizing Juan Guaido as “interim president” of Venezuela. This interference into the internal affairs of Venezuela is a clear violation of the sovereignty of Venezuela and international laws such as the charters of both the United Nations and the Organization of American States.
Beginning in March of 2015 and intensifying from August 2017 the U.S. government and its allies imposed multiple severe sanctions on Venezuela attempting to strangle the Venezuelan economy and bring the Venezuelan people to their knees. The United States, Canada, the European Union and Switzerland have all imposed cruel sanctions against Venezuela which have had far-reaching and devastating impacts for the people of Venezuela. Over the last month, there have also been increasing threats from the U.S. Trump administration that the sanctions would be expanded to target Venezuela’s oil industry. Unilateral financial sanctions cut Venezuela off from refinancing foreign debt, and create challenges for the importation of food, medicine and basic goods. These brutal economic sanctions, referred to as unilateral coercive economic measures in Venezuela, are inhuman and illegal under the Organization of American States (OAS) and the United Nations (UN) charters.
The US and Canada hypocritically claim to be concerned about the humanitarian situation in Venezuela and the suffering of the people, while their sanctions regimes are deliberately designed to asphyxiate the Venezuelan economy. Sanctions are war and the U.S., EU and Canada sanctions are a declaration of war against the people and government of Venezuela. We call for an immediate end to all sanctions and threats against Venezuela.
These same interventionist governments cry crocodile tears for “democracy” and “human rights” while they support a violent and criminal opposition that commits killings and acts of terrorism against the people of Venezuela and incites violent protests.
As people in the United States and Canada who believe in the sovereignty and self-determination of independent states we are deeply concerned about the U.S. government intervention in Venezuela. The Campaign to End US and Canada sanctions against Venezuela demand an end to this vicious campaign of “regime change” against the democratically elected President of Venezuela Nicolas Maduro.
As the people of Venezuela march in the streets today in defense of their government of President Maduro, we stand strongly and firmly with them. We encourage peace and justice-loving people across the U.S., Canada and around the world to join with us in organizing in defense of Venezuela’s sovereignty and self-determination and against any foreign intervention.