“The extremist Ku Klux Klan government that Donald Trump directs wants a war over oil, and more than just oil,” said Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro in an interview with ABC News.
The Venezuelan people know it. Workers and oppressed people around the world know it. And they are taking action to stop it.
Feb. 23 was the D-Day set by Trump and his appointed “interim president” Juan Guaidó to forcibly bring humanitarian aid across the Colombian border into Venezuela. It was meant to be a beachhead for U.S. military intervention.
The plot flopped. The Venezuelan people mobilized, hundreds of thousands strong, from the border flashpoint to the capital, Caracas. The Venezuelan government, the military and the masses of working people handled Washington’s provocations with strength and discipline. The “aid” trucks didn’t pass.
But the Venezuelan people weren’t standing up to imperialism only on their own. Not only here in the U.S., but around the world that day — in hundreds of cities, towns and villages — people demonstrated in solidarity with Venezuela, understanding that their own struggles for daily survival and a better future are tied up with Bolivarian Venezuela’s resistance to imperialism.
When Feb. 23 was still hours away from dawning in Caracas, people in Australia were already in the streets of Sydney, Brisbane and other cities demanding “Hands Off Venezuela!”
The people’s movement in the Philippines and its global diaspora called on supporters to join actions in defense of President Maduro and the Bolivarian Revolution, including Anakbayan NY: “This is not the first time the U.S. has sought to stage a coup in Venezuela, and it falls in line with 100 years of violence that the U.S. has enacted across Latin America in the name of empire. As a former colony of the U.S., the Philippines shares this history. We, the Filipino youth, assert our unequivocal solidarity with the Venezuelan people in the struggle against imperialism.”
In India, protests organized by the Socialist Unity Centre of India (Communist) in many cities — including Bhopal, Kolkata, Patna and Rohtak — featured the torching of Donald Trump effigies, a sight sure to warm the hearts of millions. “The U.S. government should stop interfering in Venezuela’s internal politics,” said SUCI(C). “Who gave the U.S. the right to establish democracy in a country? U.S. imperialism should be standing in the woodshed. Its history has been to transform Iraq and Afghanistan into ruins. It destroyed Libya and Syria. Now Venezuela and its big oil reserves are the targets of U.S. imperialism.”
Donetsk, capital of the Donetsk People’s Republic, has been besieged for the last five years by war and sanctions imposed by the U.S.-backed coup regime in Kiev, Ukraine. There, members of the Communist Party of the Donetsk People’s Republic rallied in solidarity with Venezuela at the monument of Bolshevik leader V.I. Lenin in the city’s central square. Meanwhile, Alexey Albu of Ukraine’s outlawed anti-fascist group Borotba, arriving in Caracas for the International Peoples’ Assembly, told reporters, “We have seen how the U.S. operated in Ukraine. We have seen what this leads to. Fortunately, the citizens of Venezuela also understand this threat, so they rallied around their president to fight off the impending storm.” Hundreds of delegates from 85 countries gathered for the assembly, which began Feb. 24.
Earlier in February, Palestine liberation forces, including the Marxist Popular Front (PFLP) and the Democratic Front (DFLP), held demonstrations in solidarity with Venezuela. “There is a similarity between the Palestinian people and the Venezuelan people,” said Nisreen Abu Amra, a member of the DFLP Central Committee in Gaza. “We are in the same trench, facing a reactionary, imperialist conspiracy led by the United States and Israel.”
A rally was held at the Venezuelan Embassy in Sofia, Bulgaria, where participants condemned U.S. intervention and the threat posed by U.S. and European Union imperialism in Latin America. “We oppose the Bulgarian government for its position in favor of EU colonialism,” said protester Alexander Nikolov. “That is not the voice of the Bulgarian people.” Venezuelan Ambassador Orietta Caponi also joined the protest and called for peace and respect for international law.
In Italy, workers and youth marched across the country — including in Rome, Turin and Milan — at the call of many groups, including the Fronte Popolare, Communist Party, Patria Socialista, Communist Refoundation, and National Association for Italy-Cuba Friendship. That evening in Livorno, legendary punk band Banda Bassotti played a concert dedicated to founding member Sigaro, who recently passed away. The band unfurled a giant banner onstage declaring “Maduro legittima presidente” (Maduro is the legitimate president). “Venezuela will remind [the U.S.] of the Bay of Pigs, and internationalist solidarity must and will do its part,” the band declared.
Since the start of the latest U.S. coup attempt in Venezuela in late January, South Africa has seen actions in solidarity with Venezuela, organized by the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) and the South African Communist Party. The government of South Africa is part of a coalition of more than 40 countries at the United Nations supporting the legitimate government of Nicolás Maduro.
A forum called “The Venezuelan Coup and the Anti-Imperialist Struggle” was held at the National Theater in Nairobi, Kenya, on Feb. 20, organized by the International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS). More than 60 people attended, including youth from impoverished urban communities and schools.
On Feb. 23 in Dublin, Cork and other cities in Ireland, socialist and republican forces held protests targeting U.S. government facilities. Across St. George’s Channel in Britain, hundreds of supporters of Venezuela rallied outside the Bank of England in London to demand that it release Venezuela’s gold reserves, which it has frozen to harm Maduro’s government.
Across the Atlantic, actions were held in cities across Canada, including protests at Parliament Hill in Ottawa and Canadian Broadcasting offices in Toronto and Vancouver. The Fire This Time Movement for Social Justice, the Communist Party of Canada and the Hugo Chávez Front were among those that mobilized.
In the Caribbean nation of Barbados, the Friends of Venezuela Solidarity Committee picketed outside the British High Commission and Canadian High Commission headquarters to protest those countries’ support for the U.S. scheme to install self-declared “president” Juan Guaidó. Lalu Hanuman denounced Britain’s piracy of Venezuelan gold as an act of “imperialist aggression.”
In Santiago, Chile, activists rallied at the Venezuelan Embassy, urging “Maduro! Hit the Yankees hard!” The Revolutionary Armed Forces — Tupacamarista Popular Army (FAR-EPT) of Peru declared its solidarity with the Bolivarian Republic and condemned the so-called Lima Group of right-wing Latin American regimes subservient to Washington. “The U.S. offers us, as in Chile, Libya, Afghanistan and Iraq, the freedom of cemeteries and the democracy of death,” said Camilo Reyes of the FAR-EPT. “Hidden under the banner of freedom, they have made the most rapacious wars and committed the most atrocious crimes.”
Protests continued on Feb. 25 in Bogotá, Colombia, where the Lima Group met with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and Guaidó following the collapse of their provocation at the Colombian border. People’s organizations rallied outside the meeting, chanting, “Terrorists get out of Colombia!” Earlier, leaders of Colombia’s National Liberation Army (ELN) guerrilla movement told an interviewer that they were preparing a strategy to aid Venezuela in repelling any invasion.
Venezuela’s closest comrade-in-arms, socialist Cuba, has been in the forefront of mobilizing the global movement against U.S. intervention. By Feb. 23, some 3.6 million Cubans had already signed a petition as part of the “Hands Off Venezuela” campaign. “Cuba, the land of socialism and solidarity with the people of the world, has once again come forward for Venezuela and its people to preserve peace,” declared Vivian Alvarado, Venezuelan Charge D’Affairs in Cuba.
Venezuela, you are not alone! The people of the world stand with you!