Solidarity for Venezuela under freezing cold in Boston

img_3749The temperature in Boston was 15 degrees Fahrenheit (-9 Celsius), with strong wind gusts, which made it feel even colder. But, there we stood with our sisters and brothers of the Committee for Peace and Human Rights (holding a vigil here every Saturday since 1998), demanding an end to the attacks to the Venezuelan Bolivarian Revolution by the United States. Attacks that begun with Obama and are now being expanded by Trump.

We, from the Committee in Solidarity with Venezuela, marked one year of work on March 5 and honored the 4th anniversary of the death of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. We also informed the public about our people-to-people campaign, Seeds of Solidarity for Venezuela.

Statement of Solidarity with Venezuela by Jorge Marin from the Venezuela Solidarity Committee

Welcome everyone, we are the Venezuelan Solidarity Committee.

We oppose U.S. intervention in Venezuela.

We support those who struggle for self-determination and for the rights of women, workers, peasants, indigenous, African descendants, and all historically oppressed peoples in Venezuela.
Ever since President Hugo Chavez was elected in 1999, the US government has been trying to topple the Venezuelan government. In 2002 the opposition did topple the government, for 48hrs, but the Venezuelan people brought back their president by taking to the streets.

President Chavez initiated a series of social missions that benefited the whole population, but more so, the most vulnerable. These missions, which included:

Free health care — Thousands of clinics opened throughout the country, even in the Amazon region.

A literacy campaign — Venezuela was beend declared free of illiteracy in 2005 by the UNESCO.

Subsidized food stores/community kitchens — In these stores people can buy food at affordable prices and community kitchens feed anyone that needs a free meal.

Subsidized housing — Just last week, the Venezuelan government gave the 1.5 millionth home to a family. These homes were given fully equipped with refrigerators, air-condition, washer-dryer at affordable prices, with payments based on the family income with a grace period of two-three years.

1.5 million Homes in Venezuela. — That is like if the US built 60 million low-income homes, or if every state built 1.2 million homes. Did we get 1.2 million homes here in Massachusetts for low income housing?

Education – Thousands of schools were built or up-grated. Universities across the country were built. Scholarships increased. Registration fees in public schools were eliminated.
Oil for the poor in the U.S. In the U.S., Venezuelan subsidized heating oil benefited thousands of people through the Citizens energy program, which began here in Boston.

In 2013 President Chavez died on a day like today, March 5th. We honor him today, and remember a man that reached out beyond the Venezuelan borders to help the needy. As he did in Haiti, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Argentina, the Caribbean islands, Cuba, Africa, and the United States.

In 2013 President Maduro was elected by the Venezuelan people. Yet, the U.S. refused to recognize him as the winner. For the last four years there has been a campaign by the opposition, with assistance of the U.S. government, to discredit him the media and to sabotage the infrastructure in Venezuela (disrupting electricity at key moments, or creating major accidents in refineries, etc).

The economy. Venezuelan currency has been under attack by the U.S. with the assistance of its friends in Colombia. This campaign is directed by the Venezuelan opposition here in Florida with websites like DolarToday, which continues to devalue the Venezuelan currency causing very high inflation.

Now the US Treasury Department, without presenting any evidence, declares the Venezuelan Vice-President a drug dealer. But they picked on the wrong guy. Tarek Al-Sami, was the Justice Minister under President Chavez, during his tenure the drug busts increased. He captured and deported to the U.S., Colombia, and Europe 102 drug cartel leaders.

In an open letter, published in the NY-Times, Tarek states:

“Between 2005 and 2013, the seizure of drugs by the Venezuelan authorities averaged 56.61 tons per year, which is a far higher figure than the 34.94 tons per year averaged in the six preceding years, when the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) was operating in Venezuela. This figure shows by itself the lack of commitment of DEA to fighting drugs trafficking, and upholds the very well documented assertion of the connections between that U.S. Agency with the criminal drug organizations. In addition, Venezuela has always been recognized by the United Nations as a drug-free territory.”

The U.S. government should stop interfering in Venezuela.
U.S. Hands-off Venezuela.
Respect whoever the Venezuelan people elect as their leaders
Let the people govern themselves.

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