August 15, 2020.- The Viva Venezuela! solidarity campaign of the Revolutionary Communist Group, organised a protest outside the Bank Of England in London on 15 August. This was to oppose the theft of 31 tonnes, £820m worth of Venezuela’s gold: a violation of the Latin American country’s sovereignty; a breach of international law; an act of piracy; and a dangerous disruption of efforts to defeat the global Covid-19 pandemic. In total alignment with Britain’s piratical imperialism, London’s High Court of Justice on 2 July ruled against the repatriation of 31 tonnes of Venezuela’s gold held in the Bank of England destined to be used for emergency Covid-19 provisions.
Protesters chanted ‘Viva Venezuela! Viva Maduro!’ and ‘Hands off Venezuela!’ outside the Bank on Threadneedle Street. Placards, banners and flags expressed support for the Venezuelan people’s Bolivarian Revolution. Speeches decried the hypocrisy and undemocratic behaviour of the British ruling class, the complicity of the liberal media, and celebrated the achievements of the Bolivarian revolution.
The legal, popular and democratically elected PSUV government of Venezuela, led by President Nicolas Maduro, demanded the gold be released and stipulated that the funds would be transferred to the United Nations Development Programme for the direct import of food, medicine and healthcare materials. The British government, High Court and Bank of England are deliberately undermining the fight against Covid-19 in Latin America for the sake of their barbaric pursuit of ruling class interests. They seek to hand control of the gold to the corrupt US lackey Juan Guaido, who declared himself ‘interim president’ of Venezuela but has absolutely no constitutional basis for this claim. Guaido has illegally attempted to organise violent coups against the Maduro government, supported by the sell-out Venezuelan right-wing but totally rejected by the mass of Venezuela’s working class. Guaido is recognised as ‘president’ of Venezuela by Britain and around 50 other countries, despite not even being leader of the opposition-dominated Venezuelan National Assembly anymore, while most of the world’s nations recognise Maduro’s legitimacy.
Through a combination of international cooperation, lock-down, systematic testing and treatment, registered Covid-19 deaths in Venezuela stood at 266 as of 14 August, and 9,535 active cases, significantly lower than the hellish tolls of Brazil and other neighbours, and no thanks to the efforts of Guaido’s coup plotters. If Venezuela is to emerge victorious from the pandemic it is crucial that anti-imperialists around the globe step up the pressure against these illegal sanctions. Return Venezuela’s gold! Down with British, EU and US imperialism! Solidarity with the Bolivarian Revolution!
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