Venezuela’s Revolution is under attack

Should people in the U.S. be concerned?

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Yes! There is a major political battle taking place in Venezuela, and the United States government is deeply involved, trying to overthrow a government that since 1999 has been providing for its people in a way that no previous government ever did.

Venezuela, a country of 30 million people, may seem far away and remote from our daily lives in the U.S., but what takes place there should concern us. The people of Venezuela have a right to build their society free from interference of the U.S. government.

Venezuela is engaged in a major social change, called the Bolivarian Revolution. The goal is socialism, where the wealth that is produced in the country is used to provide jobs and necessities of life that everyone needs to thrive.

In February 2015, the Venezuelan government exposed and stopped a coup plot by a group of right-wing Venezuelans — with the involvement of U.S. officials. The coup plotters planned to bomb civilian targets in Caracas and overthrow the government.

On March 9, 2015, President Obama issued an Executive Order, declaring Venezuela an “unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States,” and applying more sanctions on the country. This is an outrage. It is the U.S. government that poses the real threat.

Some Background History

It is important to know Venezuela’s recent history to understand why Washington is trying to undermine the Venezuelan government and its “Bolivarian Revolution.”

Before Hugo Chávez became president in 1999, Venezuela was extremely profitable for the 1%, those who controlled the enormous oil wealth and other corporations.

The majority of people lived in poverty, with no access to healthcare, very poor housing, no opportunity to rise out of their miserable conditions. In 1992, Hugo Chávez, then a young military officer, organized a militant action against the dictator Carlos Andrés Pérez. Although the action failed, Chávez became a huge hero to the people in Venezuela: he had risked his life to fight for them.

He ran for president and won, taking office in 1999. Chávez immediately instituted economic and social improvements.

Within a year, the Venezuelan people had a new Constitution that guaranteed healthcare, education, jobs and full rights. There had been 25 constitutions before in Venezuela’s history, but this was the first time the people helped draft it, and the first time they voted on a Constitution. It passed by 78%!

The oil resources of the country – the largest oil reserves in the world – are now used for the people’s benefit.

Venezuela’s wealth is used for true development, including a healthcare system that is free to the people. Thousands of young people are being trained — for free — as doctors and nurses.

With the help of Cuban teachers, illiteracy was eliminated. Knowledge is power, and to write and read is a fundamental right.

Hundreds of thousands of new homes have been built and given free to families who had lived in very bad conditions. By the end of 2015 alone, at least 1 million new homes will have been built.

Poverty has been reduced from 50% to 22%.

New universities have been created to guarantee free college education for students who never had an opportunity before.

Why is the United States against Venezuela’s Government?

The U.S. government has a long history of arming and installing right-wing governments in Latin America in order to have economic and political control over the resources and land of those countries.

Before Chávez and the Bolivarian Revolution, U.S. and British oil companies extracted super-profits from the country but paid a very small percentage of royalties to Venezuela. Now, because of the revolutionary process, the country’s wealth benefits all the people.

Neighborhood councils are run by and for the people, to build a new society where every human being can live in dignity and peace.

The U.S. government is opposed to Venezuela’s revolutionary process because it is a positive example to all the people of Latin America and the Caribbean, and to the people of the United States! If Venezuela can achieve gains like housing, healthcare, reduction in poverty, education, why can’t it happen in the United States?

We Say: U.S. Hands Off Venezuela!

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro and the National Assembly, together with the majority of the people, are struggling against constant aggression and violence of the right-wing and U.S. government interference. The right-wing opposition wants to return to the days when the tiny minority of the rich and powerful ruled over the majority, and the U.S. and British oil companies can amass their super-profits once again.

We call on President Obama and Congress to stop trying to destabilize the Venezuelan government and people, lift the sanctions, and respect Venezuela’s independence and sovereignty.

The Cuba and Venezuela Solidarity Committee is a grassroots organization in the United States of activists who hold educational forums and rallies in support of Venezuela’s and Cuba’s right to be free of U.S. and other foreign interference. We invite you to join us!

Initiated by the ANSWER Coalition