Statement of the Venezuela Solidarity Committee
Boston, May 8, 2017.- Street protests continue in Venezuela with the goal of ousting socialist President Maduro. At the same time huge pro-government rallies support Maduro and the Bolivarian revolution. Some of the protests have resulted in violence and the situation has reached crisis proportions. With the difficult economic situation improving in recent months, the opposition decided to take to the streets. The US mainstream media mostly reports one side of the story, that of the right wing opposition.
The US has a long history of interfering in Latin American politics, both covertly and by military force. The Trump administration wants regime change in Venezuela as any form of socialism must be defeated, consequently the administration is backing the powerful Venezuelan opposition. The Venezuela Solidarity Committee in Boston is calling on the people in the US to oppose any form of imperialist intervention. The Venezuelan people have the right to work out their differences and decide themselves the future of their country.
Venezuela’s economy declined with the precipitous fall in oil prices in 2014, leading to shortages in food and medicine. Taking advantage, opposition forces have tried to block corrective measures and create a chaotic situation. Subsidized food has been bought and resold at a profit. International financial institutions have denied Venezuela loans and credit. Capitalist elites have manipulated the prices of goods and the value of the currency to further destabilize the economy.
Responding to the situation, a community distribution system provides essential foodstuffs to people directly at reasonable prices without going through the market. The government of President Maduro has invested heavily in local food production cooperatives. There is a nationwide health coverage program that provides care for all 32 million inhabitants. Gas is subsidized and sold at low cost. Many other benefits are provided to working people by the Chavista government. Meanwhile, conventional and social media are freely accessed even by those opposing the president.
President Maduro, in his April 20 speech, called for dialogue to address the nation’s problems: “For us peace is the foundation in which to build the good, the useful, the great,” he said. President Maduro, as the current Constitution allows, called for a National Constituent Assembly to end the political impasse; the assembly would be made up of 500 directly elected delegates. Direct elections are scheduled for 2018. Differences should be resolved through the established political process. The Venezuelan Solidarity Committee of Boston calls for all violence end immediately.