Los Angeles rally in solidarity with Venezuela

On the evening of Jan. 24, around 100 protestors gathered outside CNN headquarters in Hollywood, Los Angeles, to demand an end to the monopoly media’s campaign of demonization and misinformation against Venezuela, and their explicit support of a U.S.-backed regime change effort that has seen Washington declare unpopular opposition leader Juan Guaidó the new president of Venezuela.

Called by the ANSWER Coalition, organizations including the Party for Socialism and Liberation, Union del Barrio Los Angeles, BAYAN SoCal, GABRIELA SoCal, the Philippines-U.S. Solidarity Organization, the and many others were present. Participants chanted, “What do we want? U.S. out!” Even though the call for the emergency demonstration was made on very short notice, this did not stop workers of Los Angeles from making their voices heard and showing solidarity with President Nicolas Maduro, the working class people of Venezuela, and the Bolivarian Revolution.

“I was in Venezuela the last time the United States and the opposition tried to stage a coup, where there were months of deadly violence that took the lives of around 100 people,” said Mike Prysner, veteran and anti-war activist, calling attention to street protests based out of wealthy neighborhoods that have taken the lives of many pro-government activists. “The so-called new president of Venezuela has formally requested from the United States that they send a U.S. Navy ship to aid the coup government. What we’re seeing here is not an issue of who likes Maduro and who doesn’t like Maduro. This is a class struggle. Maduro is just a person who has been chosen and lifted into power by a mass movement. … If Maduro goes away, that social force still exists.”

Members of the community from all political backgrounds came out to show their support for the struggle against U.S. imperialist intervention. Berny Moto, a U.S.-based activist of the FMLN in El Salvador, attended to show his opposition to the long reign of U.S. backed state terror and regime change in Central and South America.

“In my country, we lived under a 60-year military dictatorship, and a 12-year open war made by the United States imperialists. Today we are here to support the legitimate government of Venezuela. We’re here to support President Maduro and the Bolivarian Revolution. The U.S. must stay out of Latin America. This is a full violation of international law and human rights.”

Speakers highlighted the manufactured nature of the “economic crisis” in Venezuela being used to justify selecting a new government there. An onslaught of sanctions, trade discrimination, support for the right-wing within Venezuela, and other forms of economic warfare has caused severe shortages and economic hardships that Washington can then blame on the government’s socialist-oriented economic policies, justifying intervention and support for a right-wing backlash against the Bolivarian Revolution that does not have the people on its side.

“Going to Venezuela made me realize how much media like CNN is blatantly lying about the reality on the ground there,” noted Abby Martin, journalist and presenter of The Empire Files on teleSUR. “They tell you it’s a starving nation, that there’s mass famine that demands Western intervention. What they don’t tell you is that the U.S. is causing debilitating economic sanctions that make it impossible to get certain foods and medicine, putting millions of lives at risk. … Sanctions are war. Sanctions are genocidal.”

Martin went on to note the violence from the opposition that she saw first hand when reporting in Caracas, including one man who planned to blow up a food distribution center because he could not realize his plans to become an entrepreneur under the Bolivarian government.

Despite the opposition’s violent means and imperialist backing, the revolutionary spirit of the Venezuelan people will not be stifled. We must show our solidarity with the Bolivarian Revolution and demand an end to U.S. intervention. ¡Vive Chavez, vive Maduro, y vive Venezuela!

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