Hands off Venezuela
At Caracas solidarity rally Jan. 23. Partido Socialista Unido de Venezuela Facebook

The already dangerous situation involving Venezuela has suddenly escalated over the last few days, as the legally elected president, Nicolas Maduro, has prepared to start a new term.

On January 21, a small group of Venezuelan National Guard soldiers attempted and failed to carry out a military coup. They were encouraged in this effort not only by the Venezuelan right but by reactionary leaders and governments in neighboring countries, and by U.S. President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and U.S. National Security advisor John Bolton.

Then on January 23, the Trump administration announced it is recognizing an obscure right-wing politician, Juan Guiadó, as the legitimate president of Venezuela. Guiadó, part of the fascist elements of the U.S. supported Venezuelan opposition, illegally declared himself president, under an imaginary constitutional mandate. Guaidó is the new President of the National Assembly, an illegitimate body that Venezuela’s Supreme Court has ruled, since 2016, to be in contempt of court.

In response to the Trump administration actions, and very naturally, the Venezuelan government has broken off diplomatic relations with the United States. Venezuela ordered U.S. diplomats to leave the country within 72 hours, but in another dangerous move, the U.S. is ordering them to stay on the pretext that Maduro is not the real president. More unilateral sanctions are also being imposed by the Trump administration.

Venezuelans in their thousands have poured into the street to express their opposition to the U.S. moves.

The Trump administration’s intervention in Venezuela is a clear violation of international law, national sovereignty, and independence. The actions are consistent with their disdain for democracy in all its forms, and their trampling on constitutional and democratic rights in the U.S. as well as internationally. The actions are reminiscent of the long history of U.S. imperialist arrogance, overthrowing governments, invasion, gunboat diplomacy and the installation of subservient military juntas.

This policy had and has no place in relations between states. The people of the United States should be especially sensitive to this given foreign interference in our own 2016 elections and its impact on the outcome. What’s good for us is good for the Venezuelan people too.

There is a danger that this high handed, imperialist action on the part of the Trump administration will serve as a pretext for even more violent intervention by the United States and allied extreme right-wing governments in Brazil, Colombia and others in Venezuelan internal affairs.

This sharp escalation of attacks on Venezuela comes after a long U.S. campaign of destabilizing the Venezuelan economy and society. Imperialism cannot tolerate, in its so-called “back yard,” governments that use their nations’ wealth, in Venezuela’s case derived from its massive oil resources, to improve the lives of working people and the poor rather than deliver that wealth to fill the coffers of transnational corporations.

But resolving the challenges, crises and political differences in Venezuela is up to the Venezuelan people and their own democratic processes. It must be done free from the U.S. and other foreign interference.

Moreover, the actions of the Trump administration risk the imposition of a military dictatorship on the Venezuelan people, with a resulting elimination of all democratic rights, and sparking a civil war that could spill over to the entire region.

Destabilizing Venezuela intending to achieving “regime change” and the imposition of yet another anti-worker right-wing government like those of Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil and Ivan Duque in Colombia is not in the interests of the Venezuelan working people or those of the United States. Under both President Maduro and his predecessor, Hugo Chavez, Venezuela has repeatedly shown its willingness to maintain friendly relations with the United States and its people, even going so far as to help poor communities in the United States by providing them with discounted heating oil.

The people of the United States need to speak out forcefully and immediately to put a stop to the Trump administrations’ reckless actions against Venezuela, which could easily lead to a civil war with regional and U.S. participation.

The Communist Party USA calls on all our members and friends to immediately contact their senators and representatives to demand an end to this illegal and dangerous intervention in the affairs of a sovereign nation which has done nothing to harm our country or its people.


Communist Party USA
Communist Party USA

The Communist Party USA is a working-class organization that stands for the interests of the U.S. working class and its people. El Partido Comunista de EE. UU. es una organización de la clase trabajadora que defiende los intereses de la clase trabajadora de EE. UU. y su pueblo. We work in coalition with the labor movement, the peace movement, the student movement, organizations fighting for equality and social justice, the environmental movement, immigrants' rights groups, and the health care for all campaign. Solidarity with workers of other countries is also part of our work. But to win a better life, we believe that we must go further. We believe that people can replace capitalism with a system that puts people before profit — socialism. We are rooted in our country's revolutionary history and its struggles for democracy. We call for a "Bill of Rights" socialism, guaranteeing full individual freedoms.