Worldwide Solidarity with Venezuela and the Bolivarian Process

February 14, 2011

February 2 marked the 12th anniversary of the Bolivarian government of Venezuela. Events marking the anniversary – including marches, speeches, music and dance performances – were held in 45 countries including Argentina, Algeria, Bolivia, Brazil, Belgium, Colombia, Canada, the United States, France, Germany, Spain, England, Turkey, Syria, Iran, Portugal, France, and Norway.

The Bolivarian government of Hugo Chavez was first elected in 1998 by nearly 60% of the vote and with the support of a broad range of popular organizations and political parties. Chavez has taken a stand against neo-liberal economics and IMF-dictated austerity programs and has encouraged an on-going popular movement which is bringing about important changes in the country's economic and political system.

U.S. imperialism is actively organizing counter-revolutionary and illegal forces inside Venezuela.

In April, 2002, the Bush administration tried to instigate a coup d'etat to overthrow the Chavez government and replace it with a coterie of businessmen and military leaders loyal to the U.S. Today, U.S. imperialism and the Venezuelan elite are plotting new attacks on the reform processes and the democratically-elected government.

The Anti-Imperialist News Service calls for an end to U.S. interference in Venezuela, where the Pentagon and U.S. State Department are actively organizing against the elected, constitutional government.

We express solidarity with the Bolivarian process in Venezuela which is fighting for an independent and sovereign country free from outside intervention and interference.

Below we reprint a "Manifesto of Support for the Bolivarian Process" issued by the "Operative Secretariat of the Social Movements towards ALBA (the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas)" on February 3rd.

To the People of Venezuela,

To the Government of President Hugo Chávez,

To the Social Movements of Venezuela,

Dear Friends,

Twelve years ago, the Venezuelan people decided to change the course of history of their country and break the long night of neoliberalism and decades of manipulation by an oligarchy that is satiated with the resources of oil, with no benefit at all to the people.

The Venezuelan people paid the price of poverty and social inequalities.

On February 2, 1999, as the result of many popular mobilisations, and a slaughter in Caracas that killed thousands of citizens, we finally had a democratic election and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez assumed the presidency of Venezuela, with the commitment to the people of reshaping the country through a process of social transformation, based on popular participation in the rescue of the State as the agent of public policy to the advantage of the majority of the population.

Thereafter, we began a program for the eradication of illiteracy, a universal primary health system, opening of new universities, the democratization of land ownership in the countryside and the city, and the construction of an economic project to use oil resources to solve people's problems of housing, education, health and access to energy. An internationalist vocation was taken of helping other people through the ALBA project, following the example of Simon Bolivar.

It is not enough that under the watch and the rules of representative democracy, Chavez and his government project have emerged victorious in 14 elections held since this period. It is not enough that this government has admitted electoral defeats as in 2008, when the constitutional reform project proposed by the government was rejected at the polls.

Transnational corporations, the local ruling classes and the interests of the empire of the United States, are not satisfied with the loss of control of Venezuelan oil and loss of political power. Therefore, for all these years, they have organized a permanent campaign, systematically to discredit the process, attacking the Venezuelan people and their president, as never happened before in history.

But still they claim the right to freedom of opinion and expression is missing. These right-wing forces, which kept the Latin American continent only to serve the interests of U.S. capital, as now, have lost political power in most countries, and they are articulated through their control over the media. They use the mass media as their permanent weapon to lie, manipulate and attack.

This is happening not only in Venezuela but also in Brazil, Argentina, and in all Latin American countries.

For trusting in the popular and democratic character of the Bolivarian revolution, to defend the sovereign right of the Venezuelan people and all peoples of the world to decide their destiny, without interference from capital and the forces of the empire, on the grounds of the fundamental importance of the regional integration process that is being promoted in Latin America in the last ten years, and which has become reality through UNASUR, the CELAEC, and popular integration project of ALBA, we publicly demonstrate our solidarity with the brotherly people of Venezuela, with its government, and the project of social change underway in that country.

In the bicentennial year of political independence of several Latin American countries, despite the hate campaign orchestrated from the mass media against Venezuela, we reiterate our commitment to make every effort to build the true integration of our peoples, and to support the example of the Venezuelan people, that inspired by Simon Bolivar and Che Guevara, José Martí and many others, leads us to the need to unite in Latin America to help solve together the fundamental problems of our people.

We advocate the process of democratisation of all mass media in our countries, to liberate our peoples from manipulation and use by the interests of the bourgeoisie and the societies that want to regain control of our economic resources.

The peoples of Latin America need to walk with their own feet, opening up the same road of political and economic sovereignty, and control of its natural resources to build more just, democratic and egalitarian societies.

For to defend the Venezuelan people who suffer from attacks and aggressions, is to defend the peoples of the whole continent.

Attentively,

Operative Secretariat of the Social Movements towards ALBA,

Continental Articulation of Social Movements towards ALBA

Translated from the Spanish version by Lisa Karpova of Pravda.Ru