MESSAGE OF SOLIDARITY TO THE VENEZUELAN PEOPLE IN STRUGGLE AGAINST US IMPERIALISM AND ITS LACKEYS
By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Chairperson, International League of Peoples´ Struggle
December 7, 2017
Dear Comrades and Friends,
As Chairperson of the International League of Peoples’ Struggle, I am delighted and honored to be invited to convey through His Excellency Ambassador Julian Isaias Rodriguez Diaz a message of solidarity to the government and people of Venezuela in their heroic struggle for national independence and socialism against US imperialism and its lackeys in Venezuela.
I thank Umangat Migrante for inviting me to to give this message of solidarity. And I congratulate it for successfully organizing this special occasion and bringing together Filipinos, Italians and other people in Rome to attend and express solidarity for the Venezuelan people.
We are on the eve of December 8 when in 2012 Comrade Hugo Chavez delivered his farewell speech and passed on the mantle of leadership to Comrade Nicolas Maduro. Since then, the Day of Loyalty and Love for Hugo Chavez has been celebrated to inspire the Venezuelan people to carry forward the Bolivarian revolutionary struggle.
The people of Venezuela are loyal to and love Comrade Hugo Chavez because he led them to assert national independence and to aim for socialism. He used Venezuela´s abundant oil resources to fight poverty and social disparity. He dared to nationalize millions of acres and foreign assets and projects of such big foreign companies as Conoco Oil and Exxon Mobil.
He created the Bolivarian Missions to provide public services for improving economic, cultural, and social conditions of the Venezuelan people. The Missions constructed free medical clinics for the poor, provided food and housing subsidies, addressed illiteracy, health care and poverty, and effected economic and social advances. Poverty was significantly reduced and the quality of life was improved.
He called on the peoples of Latin America to unite against US imperialism. He initiated the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of our America (ALBA) – an anti-imperialist bloc of Latin American countries. He established the Petrocaribe, an alliance of Caribbean nations with Venezuela, in order to facilitate the export of Venezuelan oil to the Caribbean countries at discounted rates.
For the very reasons that the Venezuelan people loved Hugo Chavez, US imperialism and the local reactionaries hated him and did everything they could in order to undermine his leadership and destabilize his government. Since after the death of Chavez, the US and the local reactionaries have presumed that the time is ripe for overthrowing his successor and reversing his achievements.
The imperialist formula is to bring down world oil prices, create artificial shortages of necessary imports and basic goods, generate runaway inflation and cause social unrest for the reactionary opposition to take advantage of. But Comrade Maduro has proven himself to be a worthy successor. He has upheld Chavismo and maintained the support of the working people and prevailed over the violent mass protests of the reactionary forces.
Under the leadership of Comrade Maduro, the Chavista United Socialist Party of Venezuela won a striking political victory in the regional elections last October. With 61.14 percent of eligible voters participating in the elections, the Chavista party received 54 percent of the national vote and the opposition MUD won 45 percent. Chavismo won 75 percent of the state governorships, 17 out of a total of 23 and the opposition won 5 governorships.
This victory of Chavismo came after four months of violent demonstrations from April to July by the opposition in a vain attempt to boycott the elections to the National Constituent Assembly at the end of July. Chavismo’s forces managed to turn what appeared to be the beginning of a civil war to an electoral victory, debunking the claim that Maduro was on the path of “dictatorship”.
Despite the economic crisis and hardship engendered by US imperialism and the reactionaries, Chavismo won because of the following reasons among others:
- It set up safety net systems of food support which reached millions of people. The Local Supply and Production Committees (CLAPs) were decisive in protecting the working people, containing the spread of the price and supply chaos. In August, the percentage of the population covered by the CLAPs rose by 58 percent, reaching 9 million families.
Venezuela’s State policy on social programs became more efficient and better focused, with the device known as the Patriotic Card, being effective in organizing socially vulnerable parts of the population. In sharp contrast, the opposition offered no concrete solutions to the economic crisis.
The Chavista electoral organization and campaign offered solutions to the main demands of the people. Chavismo presented itself very well as the political force most capable of taking on the major tasks and challenges facing the regional governments.
The Trump Administration’s sanctions and the open intervention by the US. government unwittingly roused the Chavistas and the people to unite and enhanced the role of national defense, security, independence and sovereignty as objectives for rallying support for Chavismo.
Chavismo remains alive and strong. But the government and people of Venezuela must remain resolute, vigilant and militant. Afraid that the Venezuelan people would continue to win against the reactionaries and ride over the economic crisis, the US has escalated its economic war against Venezuela by imposing further financial and trade sanctions and causing it to go into debt defaults despite its abundant assets. The Maduro government relies mainly on the Venezuelan people and has the outstanding support of Bolivia, Cuba, Nicaragua and Russia among others.
There is a continuing urgent need for us to stand in solidarity with Venezuela and the Venezuelan people for as long as US imperialism wages economic war, makes threats of military intervention and aggression and does everything to wreak havoc in order to subjugate them, rob them of their social and natural wealth and extract superprofits. All peoples of the world are on a common ground with the Venezuelan people against imperialism and all reaction and for national liberation, democracy, social justice, economic development, cultural progress and peace.
Long live the people of Venezuela!
Long live the Bolivarian Revolution!
Down with US imperialism and its stooges!
Long live the just cause of national independence, democracy and socialism!
Long live international solidarity!