The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) passed a resolution on Venezuela highlighting a strong non-interventionist stand, anti US-invasion and anti US-sanctions stand, and endorsing negotiations to solve the situation. Venezuela and especially, Chavista Venezuela, appreciates that position especially coming from one of the biggest unions in the US.
Beside that recognition, it is important to highlight some flaws in the document that might correspond to conservative or counterrevolutionary forces within the union or is just influenced by the main stream media (MSM) distorted narrative on Venezuela. We did not want to post the resolution without making our perspective clear. Among those flaws, we enumerate below the ones we dislike the most:
- “Deterioration of democratic norms, rights and institutions”. This is part of MSM narrative selling the lie of deficient institutions or democratic values, something that is completely the opposite of what is happening in Venezuela.
- Equating Trump’s US-imperialistic stand with the solidarity and friendship from Cuba, China and Russia, in support of the only legitimate government recognized by the United Nations (Maduro’s government).
- “Trump’s administration reaction to the crisis”. Here some unaware passersbyer might believe that what is wrongly called a “crisis” is not the result of US imperialism, sanctions and blockade.
- “Maduro who has retained their (military) support, in part because the status quo favors the military’s privileged financial ties to the country’s lucrative oil and gas sectors”. While recognizing an undeniable truth, it doesn’t say anything about the strong support of chavismo in Venezuela and at the same time AFT take sides and assume this military support is a response to economic interest, discrediting the strong anti-imperialist stand in the veins of most Venezuelans including the military, not to mention their Chavista spirit or just simply their respect for the Venezuelan Constitution.
- “Humanitarian crisis” narrative can be seen all over the document and it just replicates MSM (i.e., State Department) narrative.
- “…path forward to a democratic Venezuela where the rights of all, including the rights of labor to organize in free and independent unions, are respected”. Here one might asume there is a position about Venezuela’s stand on unions.
- “…we acknowledge the efforts of others, particularly the people of Colombia and Brazil, in helping to meet the immediate needs for healthcare, schooling, shelter and jobs for Venezuelan refugees”. Again MSM narrative and taking side towards the countries from where most of the aggression has been coming through in recent months or years. This does not conflict with the fact that these countries have receive Venezuelan migration -that exists of course but mostly as transit countries- but at the same time does not acknowledge Venezuela’s history of receiving and providing shelter to millions of immigrants from all over the world, specially from Colombia.
Below you have the full resolution:
NON-INTERVENTION IN THE POLITICAL CRISIS IN VENEZUELA
WHEREAS, events in Venezuela are at a dangerous crossroads: following years of foreign interference and falling oil prices, deep division and the deterioration of democratic norms, rights and institutions, Venezuelan society is deeply polarized between president Nicolás Maduro and his supporters and an opposition headed by Juan Guaidó, leader of the National Assembly, with the country on the verge of open civil conflict; and
WHEREAS, while Mexico and Uruguay have called for negotiations between the two Venezuelan camps to peacefully resolve this crisis, other countries have fueled it, with the Trump administration and its allies in authoritarian governments of the right, such as Brazil recognizing (link is external) Guaidó as president, and China, Russia and Cuba backing Maduro; and
WHEREAS, the Trump administration’s reaction to this crisis has been one of provocation and saber rattling, with threats of the use of military force, recalling a century of U.S. imperial interventions in Latin America, including in the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Panama, Haiti, Chile, Cuba and Honduras; and
WHEREAS, the roles of the Venezuelan military and security forces are key; Guaidó cannot take the reins of the government without their backing, but thus far it has been Maduro who has retained their support, in part because the status quo favors the military’s privileged financial ties to the country’s lucrative oil and gas sectors; and
WHEREAS, the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela is grave, worsened by hunger, shortages of medicines and clean water, and waves of refugees fleeing the country; aid has been used as a political weapon; and
WHEREAS, this current crisis is one that must be resolved by Venezuelans themselves; outside threats of military intervention will only bring more disorder to Venezuelan society and instability in the region:
RESOLVED, that the American Federation of Teachers opposes any military intervention, or threats of military intervention, sanctions or interference in the economic and internal affairs of the Venezuelan people as contrary to the democratic principles of self-determination and national sovereignty, and as injurious to the peaceful resolution of the Venezuelan crisis and to peace and stability in the region; and
RESOLVED, that the AFT condemns the belligerent posture of the Trump administration toward Venezuela, with its threats of military intervention, and calls upon the administration to stand down from its campaign for regime change in Venezuela; and
RESOLVED, that the AFT supports the efforts of the international contact group, which includes the progressive Latin American governments in Mexico and Uruguay to begin negotiations among Venezuelans to arrive at a peaceful resolution of the current crisis, as a negotiated agreement is the only path forward to a democratic Venezuela where the rights of all, including the rights of labor to organize in free and independent unions, are respected; and
RESOLVED, that the AFT calls for the urgent humanitarian needs of Venezuelans to be met as quickly as possible, without regard to politics; we acknowledge the efforts of others, particularly the people of Colombia and Brazil, in helping to meet the immediate needs for healthcare, schooling, shelter and jobs for Venezuelan refugees; and
RESOLVED, that the AFT will share this resolution with its regional sisters and brothers in Education International and Public Services International; with administration and congressional leadership; and through social media, with the AFT’s network of labor and human rights allies.
Source URL: AFT with OT content