About 80 protesters gathered on the steps of the Boston Public Library in Copley Square on Jan. 25 to denounce the U.S. backed coup attempt in Venezuela. The speak out was called by the Party for Socialism and Liberation and endorsed by Mass Peace Action, The Venezuela Solidarity Committee, Workers World Party, Witness for Peace, and the ANSWER — Act Now to Stop War and End Racism — Coalition. Just a few blocks from the Venezuelan consulate, the crowd bellowed “Hands Off Venezuela” and “Yankees Go Home.” Many passersby took the PSL’s statement against the U.S. government’s intervention in Venezuela, and some onlookers even joined the protest.
ANSWER organizer Satyanarayan Mohapatra told the crowd “This is no time for equivocation about supporting the Bolivarian state against U.S. imperialism…a decade ago the Bolivarian state provided cheap oil to the poor working class of Massachusetts; that was the sign of true workers’ internationalist solidarity. Now it is time for us to show our solidarity to the people of Venezuela, the Venezuelan workers, the Afro-Venezuelans, the indigenous Venezuelans. We cannot let another state collapse like in Libya or fascist take over like in Brazil.”
Nino Brown of the PSL made the class nature of the crisis in Venezuela clear:
“We know that democracy means class struggle as revolutionaries. The ruling class would have us think it means class snuggle, that what is going on in Venezuela can be solved by bowing down to the interests of the rich and white. The U.S. can teach Venezuela absolutely nothing about genuine democracy. In Venezuela, Afro-Venezuelans have fundamental social and constitutional rights. In the U.S., Black people’s rights are trampled on every single day because we were enslaved by the writers of the constitution. In Venezuela, the enslaved rose up and re-wrote their constitution. This is why the Venezuelan opposition, which is mainly middle and upper-class Anglos, were lynching Black Venezuelans for allegedly being Chavez supporters. We remember Orlando Figuera! If the U.S. is able to succeed in its coup we will see another situation like Brazil, where all the social gains for Black people, Indigenous people, women, the LGBTQ, and the disabled community will be wiped out overnight. This is no time to play centrism. It was Obama who labeled Venezuela a ‘threat’ to the U.S. How? War and imperialist aggression is a bipartisan love affair! We in the U.S. must unite around stopping U.S. intervention in Venezuela and Latin America!”
Each speaker held the firm belief that the U.S. government has no right to interfere in the democratic processes of other countries, and many reflected on the long history of violent U.S. backed coups in Latin America. “We see often that the U.S. invites intervention in some other country,” explained Puerto Rican activist Roberto Torres Collazo, “They say it’s for democracy, or for human rights, or for liberation, but really after all [it’s for] destruction.”
José Aleman, a member of the Venezuela Solidarity Committee who recently returned from a delegation to Venezuela, told Liberation News “we support the Venezuelan people who are there resisting and proud still…even though there is an economic blockade that has lasted for years and didn’t start with Donald Trump.”
Understanding that only a sustained mass movement can pressure decision makers in Washington to stop intervening in Venezuela’s internal affairs, The Party for Socialism and Liberation and ANSWER will continue to mobilize people in the streets and educate the community about the real character of the current crisis in Venezuela. Join us this Friday, Feb. 1 from 6-7 PM for another speak out in front of the Venezuelan Consulate. ANSWER will also host a film screening of “The Revolution will not be Televised” on Friday, Feb. 8 from 7-9 PM at Encuentro Cinco in downtown Boston.