Solidarity with Venezuela

Posted: December 7, 2017 in In Solidarity, Nibbling on The Empire, Peace, Socialism, Winnipeg

Winnipeg, Dec. 6, 2017 – Professor Johnny Márquez, speaking at Winnipeg’s historic Ukrainian Labour Temple on the political and economic situation in Venezuela. Photo: Paul S. Graham

When it comes to Venezuela, the mainstream media is awash with lies and distortions and the Canadian government is complicit (with the United States) in an attempt to force the overthrow of the democratically elected government of Nicolás Maduro. One can easily imagine Trump and Trudeau agreeing that it would be a crime to leave the largest proven oil reserves in the world (about 297 billion barrels) under the control of a socialist government pledged to use this wealth on behalf of some of the poorest people in the world.

In Winnipeg, a group called the Venezuela Peace Committee has organized a number of educational events to encourage citizens to learn about Venezuela and the struggles of working people for a socialist society. The VPC has a petition on the House of Commons E-Petition web site that calls on the government to cease its sanctions campaign. Here is the text:

Petition to the Government of Canada


On September 22, 2017, the Government of Canada imposed new sanctions against Venezuela, Venezuelan officials, and other individuals under the Special Economic Measures Act in violation of the sovereignty of Venezuela;
Such sanctions impede dialogue and peace-building in Venezuela and in the region more generally;
These sanctions impede the normal operation of Venezuela’s duly constituted political processes including elections;
The Government of Canada has supported the U.S. government’s sanctions against Venezuela
The Government of Canada has met with, supported, and continues to echo the demands of Venezuela’s violent anti-government opposition;
The Government of Canada refuses to recognize the legitimacy of Venezuela’s democratically elected government and falsely refers to it as dictatorial; and
The government of Canada seeks to promote foreign intervention in the internal affairs of Venezuela.

We, the undersigned, residents of Canada, call upon the Government of Canada to immediately lift all sanctions against Venezuela, Venezuelan officials, and other individuals, retract all statements in support of US sanctions against Venezuela, immediately cease its support for the efforts of the US and other right wing governments in the Organization of American States (OAS) that violate the sovereignty and self-determination of another member-state and immediately cease all intervention against Venezuela.

The VPC is asking Canadians and friends of Canada to sign the petition. Just sign here.

The petition arose out of a resolution approved by the attendees of a conference held at the University of Manitoba to mark the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution. One of the keynote speakers at the conference was Julia Buxton, an internationally recognized expert on Venezuela. I recorded her talk.

Most recently, the VPC arranged for the visit of Professor Johnny Márquez to speak in Winnipeg. Professor Márquez is a Venezuelan lawyer, diplomat and scholar and president of the Latin American and Caribbean Center for Energy and Environment Studies. His first appearance was at the University of Manitoba on Dec. 5, 2017, where he discussed the history of Venezuela’s oil industry and its strategic importance. The following day he presented at Winnipeg’s historic Ukrainian Labour Temple on the current political situation in Venezuela. Both of these videos are linked below.

  1. It still surprises me that the left has such difficulty embracing the transition to a green economy. There’s always an emphasis on oil. We can be left and green at the same time, but it seems like such a mental leap for a lot of people on the left. Coming from a left background, this is really hard for me to grasp.

    • Thanks for your comment, Diana. I’m not sure why the topic of this article suggests to you that the Left has a problem with transitioning to a green economy. Some of the questions from the audience asked Professor Márquez about how the transition to a post-carbon economy would impact Venezuela which is clearly counting on its oil reserves to lift people out of grinding poverty. I didn’t see any hostility to greening the economy at all, either from the audience or the presenter. That said, the discussion was broader than that.

      • I agree that it was much broader than that, Paul, and sorry if my comment implied that it wasn’t. And I didn’t mean to imply hostility, but more of an unquestioned assumption that counting on Venezuela’s oil reserves is what would lift people out of grinding poverty. It would be truly revolutionary to see Venezuela and other countries leave their oil reserves in the ground and develop a fair transition to a green economy.

        A part of me is shocked that, for example, Canada just approved the Kinder Morgan pipeline. Or that countries are fighting over oil, or relying on oil for economic development, when we have to keep it in the ground. It disappoints me when I hear about countries like Venezuela staying with that narrative.

        Maybe I’m still just stinging from the Kinder Morgan approval and hearing so much of the discussion about Venezuela around oil. Thanks for your understanding.

  2. No offense taken. The reason the US (and local elites) are working so hard to undermine Maduro is to ensure they have access to the oil and other resources. Regardless of the outcome, the oil will be used by someone. It is regrettable, but I doubt the Venezuelans see an alternative.

  3. thnkfryrslf says:

    Finally, someone who understands the U.S.destabilizing of Venezuela. This has been going on for years.The Venezuelan people are some of the most politically astute people in the world and they never stop fighting to hold onto their sovereignty and democracy. In fact Venezuela is one of the most democratic countries in the world, so Trump calling Maduro a dictator is absurd.

    Our sychophantic Prime Minister, Trudeau has completely embraced neoliberalism including in foreign affars.The U.S. completely dictates what our foreign policy will be.Trudeau does not govern for the Canadian people, this is a man who has handed the governing of Canada over to the financial/political and military elite, domestically and globally. That’s who he really supports! The MSM’s lies and distortions of Venezuela only work because the people their manipulating have almost completely dumbed down.

    The scale of corruption of the MSM and the U.S. government is off the charts and this is who Trudeau is supporting and following. Imposing sanctions against Venezuela by Trudeau is an act of total cowardice. The U.S. has been interfering with sovereign nations politics for years and especially since the 2nd world war. Their ultimate goal is to unseat democratically elected governments. put in their own chosen candidate, usually a dictator and control that countries wealth. Plundering and controlling Venezuelas oil would be a huge asset for them and their attempts at doing this is done for all the world to see, if only the world would start paying attention.

    I am ashamed as a Canadian that my government and Prime Minister is supporting the deception and lies implicit in the U.S’s pursuit of wanting to dominate Venezuela. I support the Venezuelans completely. This is a country of enormous courage and smarts! I really applaud what the VPC is doing. Thx for posting.

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