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Colombia & United States threaten attack -- Stop the lies and aggression against Venezuela!

A statement from the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network

July 24, 2010 -- Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network -- On July 22, Venezuela broke off all diplomatic relations with Colombia and placed its national borders on high alert. This follows accusations made by the Colombian government that Venezuela is harbouring “terrorists” from the Armed Revolutionary Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the National Liberation Army (ELN), and hosting several “terrorist training camps” near the border region that divides the two countries.

At an extraordinary meeting of the Organization of American States in Washington on July 22, called for by Colombia, Colombia’s ambassador to the OAS, Luis Alfonso Hoyos, presented television and video images allegedly taken from computers confiscated during the Colombian military’s illegal invasion of Ecuadorian territory in March 2008, as well as some computer-generated maps and photographs of alleged members of the FARC, which he said were taken inside Venezuela. Hoyos called for “international intervention” in Venezuela, and gave a “30-day ultimatum”.

Venezuela's process of struggle

Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network solidarity brigade in Caracas, May 1, 2008.

Jason Netek looks at the political situation in Venezuela -- and why international solidarity is key to furthering the process of workers' power.

July 22, 2010 -- Socialist Worker (USA) -- The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela is the focal point of a political shift to the left that has affected most of the Latin American continent for just over a decade. For years now, we have heard denunciations of the nation and its president, Hugo Chávez, from TV personalities like Glenn Beck and Pat Robertson to establishment figures like George W. Bush and Barack Obama, all of whom liken the nation to a military dictatorship.

It's no good pointing out to these types that the US actually has propped up real military dictators in efforts to stave off leftist movements all across the continent. They are fully aware. They are hypocrites.

Venezuela's economic and energy woes?

The Venezuelan government is taking stronger measures against those responsible for the economic problems — the capitalists. Photo: Ques communismo/Flickr.

By Federico Fuentes, Caracas

May 23, 2010 -- In recent weeks, local and international media have attacked the left-wing Venezuelan government over alleged “economic woes” and electricity problems (see article below). Pointing to Venezuela’s inflation rate — the highest in Latin America — and an economy that shrank 3.3% last year, the private opposition media is raising fears of a serious economic crisis.

These same media outlets, which have been predicting the fall of President Hugo Chavez for years, argue recent government actions will worsen the situation. Venezuelan business federation Fedecamaras warned on May 5 that Venezuela faces an “economic and social crisis”. The federation helped organise a 2002 military coup against Chavez that briefly installed Federcamaras leader Pedro Carmona president before a mass uprising restored Chavez.

Venezuela: `For every April 11th, may there be an April 13th' -- solidarity messages on anniversary of defeated coup

Celebrating the 8th anniversary of the Venezuelan people’s defeat of the April 11, 2002, coup against Hugo Chavez, and solidarity with the Venezuelan Revolution

By the Socialist Party of Malaysia

April 13, 2010 -- This year April 13 marks the 8th anniversary of people’s victory over the US-backed coup d’état against President Hugo Chavez in 2002. The Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) would like to pay tribute to the revolutionary masses of Venezuela who defended the revolution eight years ago with tremendous courage and now are still fighting to shape Socialism of the 21st Century.

Eight years ago, on April 11, 2002, the right-wing oligarchy of Venezuela backed by the US imperialists, with the help of the corporate media, staged a coup against popularly elected president Hugo Chavez, in an attempt to derail the revolutionary process in Venezuela which has been seen as a threat to the vested interests of the filthy rich oligarchy in Venezuela and US imperialists. The coup failed after over a million people took the streets and called for the return of Hugo Chavez. The defeat of the coup demonstrated how the power of the people from below can make substantial changes, and defend the revolutionary process that in turn empowers the people further.

`For Venezuela, there is no going back’: A discussion with Federico Fuentes and Kiraz Janicke

Kiraz Janicke (right).

By Ali Mustafa

March 23, 2010 -- As Venezuela's Bolivarian Revolution enters a new decade of struggle and defiantly advances towards its goal of “21st century socialism”, serious challenges to the future of the process emerging from both inside and outside the country still abound. As a result, key questions surrounding Venezuela's mounting tensions with the West, the role played by its fiery and outspoken leader Hugo Chavez and the future of the process itself remain as relevant today as ever before. Australian-based journalists and long-time Venezuela solidarity activists Federico Fuentes and Kiraz Janicke have been carefully following Venezuela's ongoing political transformation for several years now, countering mainstream media spin and providing invaluable on-the-ground coverage and analysis about the process as it unfolds. I had the fortunate opportunity to sit down and speak with them in Toronto before they returned to Caracas, following a 10-day solidarity tour of Canada.

* * *

Tour builds Venezuela solidarity in Canada

By John Riddell

March 15, 2010 -- Socialist Voice -- Federico Fuentes and Kiraz Janicke concluded their 10-day tour of Canada on March 7, with a rally in Vancouver entitled “Change the system, not the climate”. Fuentes shared the platform with Pablo Solon, Bolivia’s UN ambassador and chief spokesperson on climate change.

 

Eyewitness account: Venezuela's Bolivarian Revolution -- The second decade

With Kiraz Janicke, Federico Fuentes. Moderated by Greg Albo.

Left Streamed -- Toronto, February 26, 2010 -- Kiraz Janicke is a journalist for Venezuelanalysis.com, the foremost independent English-language source of news on Venezuela. She is editor of the Peru en Movimiento website and a member of the Caracas bureau of Green Left Weekly, Australia's leading socialist newspaper.

El Salvador: FMLN welcomes Hugo Chavez's call for a Fifth International

Translated by Lara Pullin of the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network

RESOLUTION OF THE XXV ORDINARY FMLN NATIONAL CONVENTION ON THE INITIATIVE TO ESTABLISH THE `FIFTH (V) SOCIALIST INTERNATIONAL'

This FMLN National Convention,

CONSIDERING:

(Sunday, December 13, 2009)

1. That the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN) is a political organisation that has the responsibility, recognised by popular majority and as a consequence of our long history of struggle, of constructing in El Salvador a society based on social justice; which is economically productive, environmentally sustainable and wherein all exercise and respect fundamental freedoms and inherent rights of the human being, as recognised in the Constitution of the Republic.

2. That the progressive and left-wing political and social movements, which are leading the struggles for democracy and social progress, are experiencing a period of growth and gain in various parts of the world, and particularly in Latin America and the Caribbean; proposing and winning solutions to the major problems confronting the world today.

Join the 2010 `May Day’ solidarity brigade to Venezuela! April 24 - May 2, 2010

The AVSN brigade marches in Caracas, May 1, 2008.

Registrations close February 1, 2010

The Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network’s brigades to Venezuela are a once-in-a-lifetime experience - the opportunity to see first-hand an unfolding revolution that is not only radically transforming the lives of Venezuelans, but is challenging the greed, exploitation and destructiveness of global capitalism by showing that a better world is possible.     

Join the AVSN’s “May Day” solidarity brigade, to run from April 24 to May 2, 2010, and visit worker-run factories and cooperatives; free, high-quality public health and education programs; Indigenous controlled programs of sustainable economic development and environmental repair; and community controlled TV and radio stations.

Observe “popular power” at work in Venezuela’s new communal councils, and speak to a wide range of grassroots organisations, community activists, trade unions and government representatives about the radical changes being implemented by the Venezuelan people.

Young Venezuelan revolutionary and environmentalist: `Tomorrow is too late’

August 23, 2009 -- Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network national co-convenor Frederico Fuentes spoke to Heryck Rangel (pictured), an environmental activist and leader of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela Youth (JPSUV), about the challenges that the global environment crisis poses for Venezuela’s Bolivarian Revolution, and the planet. He also discussed the role of young people in Venezuela's revolution.

“More than just an economic crisis, what humanity faces today is a systemic crisis”, Rangel said. “We can see this if we look at the energy crisis, and the social crisis that is generating a lot of poverty and misery. But above all, we can see this in the ecological crisis. There is a grand ecological crisis in the world today and I believe we are at a pivotal point, a moment when we need to make tough decisions. The current mode of development is incompatible with life.”

Rangel explained that this is why, “in Venezuela, we believe in a model for life and sustainable development where we can generate the greatest possible sum of happiness, not only for this generation, but for future generations”.

Photo essay: Venezuela's Comuna 'Renacer del Sur' -- people's power in practice

Faces from the Comuna `Renacer del Sur'. Photos by Peter Boyle.

By Peter Boyle

August 20, 2009 -- At the base of the Bolivarian revolutionary process in Venezuela are some 30,000 communal councils. These are pictures of some of the people active in communal councils in poor barrios (neighbourhoods) in the south of the city of Valencia. They were taken in November 2008 when members of the Australian-Venezuela Solidarity Netwok brigade were hosted by the Comuna ``Renacer del Sur'' (Rebith of the South Commune).

Daniel Sanchez, a leader of the Rebirth of the South Commune, and Yoly Fernandez, a community organiser in Mission Mercal, Venezuela’s subsidised food program, are touring Australia in August and September to explain how “people’s power” is transforming their country and creating a new socialism of the 21st century.

* * *

Australia: ABC TV's `Foreign Correspondent' program censors Venezuela's majority

By the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network

August 12, 2009 -- The Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Foreign Correspondent current affairs TV program screened on August 11, titled “Hugo Chavez: Total Control” did nothing to shore up the ABC’s reputation for well-informed, accurate reporting. Eric Campbell's report from Venezuela was riddled with inaccuracies, half-truths and transparent biases that need to be corrected.

The program’s main message –- that President Hugo Chavez is “the dominator… aiming for total control” in Venezuela -– is the stock-standard propaganda being peddled by a mainstream media that refuses to recognise or reflect the voices of the poor majority in Venezuela.

What  “evidence” does Foreign Correspondent present for Chavez’s supposed megalomania?

Melbourne, August 28-29: Latin America Solidarity Conference 2009

People´s Power is changing the world
Latin America Solidarity Conference 2009
August 28-29, 2009 - Victorian Trades Hall, Melbourne, Australia

Major cracks are appearing in the global capitalist system – cracks that are being forced open by the tide of rebellions and revolutions across Latin America.

Preview of new documentary, Chasing Chavez

July 21, 2009 -- This is a taste of a new documentary about Venezuela by Australian-based filmmakers Katrina Channells and Nikolas Lachajczak, which is now in production. It explores Venezuela's Bolivarian Revolution through the eyes of Australian Coral Wynter, an activist with the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network, as she seeks a meeting with Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez. Wynter and Jim McIlroy are authors of a new book about Venezuela's participatory democracy, Voices from Venezuela: Behind the Bolivarian Revolution.

 

December 1-9, 2009: Join the solidarity brigade to Venezuela and the see the revolution first hand

The AVSN brigade marches in Caracas, May 1, 2008.

By the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network

In a world being devastated by economic crisis, global warming, war and famine, the Bolivarian revolution that is unfolding in Venezuela is an inspiration, an affirmation that “people power” can rapidly change the conditions of life for the majority of people. The Venezuelan people’s remarkable progress over the last 10 years in creating what they call “socialism of the 21st century” proves that another world – a peaceful, democratic and socially just world -- is possible.

Honduras: (Updated July 3) Solidarity and left movements condemn coup, demand elected president be returned to power

Solidarity protest in Sydney, Australia, July 1, 2009. Photos by Peter Boyle.

Below are just some of the statements released by solidarity groups, left parties and governments, and international organisations demanding the return to power of Honduras' elected presidet Manuel Zelaya. They have been compiled by Australia's Green Left Weekly.To view the complete list, click HERE.

* * *

Statement by the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network (AVSN)

Win a trip to Venezuela! Drawn on August 30, 2009

Win a trip to Venezuela!

…and strengthen the solidarity movement with Venezuela’s revolution 

Venezuela: A balance sheet of the constitutional referendum victory

Venezuelan newspapers report the victory of the constitutional referendum.

By Gonzalo Villanueva

Venezuela’s February 15 constitutional amendment referendum, which proposed to modify the existing constitution to allow politicians to stand for re-election without restrictions, was triumphant. However, the referendum was more than a legal amendment – the removal of term limits – it was a political issue: to continue the revolutionary project or not? The Venezuelan people have convincingly signalled their desire to continue with the Bolivarian process, under the leadership of Hugo Chavez. The victory undoubtedly opens a path to advance and deepen the Bolivarian Revolution.

The amendment achieved a significant 6.3 million votes (54% of the vote). These latest electoral result confirms that the chavista camp has recovered significantly from the 2007 constitutional referendum defeat of 4.4 million votes (49.29%), a trend also followed in the 2008 regional elections. However, there is still a shortfall in comparison to the 2006 presidential elections that achieved 7.3 million votes (62.84%).

Democracy wins in Venezuelan referendum; Chavez promises `socialist democracy'

Hugo Chavez addresses thousands of Venezuelans from the `Balcony of the People' following the referendum victory.

[Click HERE for more coverage of the referendum campaign.]

A statement from the Australia–Venezuela Solidarity Network

February 17, 2009 -- On Sunday, February 15, Venezuelans voted in a referendum to change the country’s constitution to allow elected officials to re-stand for election without restriction. Previously, Venezuela’s constitution allowed elected officials, including the president, to stand for only two terms.

With 94.2% of the votes counted, the National Electoral Council announced that the “Yes” vote had won with 6,003,584 votes (54.36%). The “No” vote received 5,040,082 votes (45.63%). Dozens of election observers from international bodies such as the United Nations and the Organization of American States verified that the referendum was free and fair.

Join the next Australian solidarity brigade to Venezuela! April 15-25, 2009

Join the next Australian solidarity brigade to Venezuela! April 15-25, 2009

Venezuela’s Bolivarian revolution led by President Hugo Chavez is shaking up global politics and inspiring millions of ordinary people with the evidence that a better – a peaceful, democratic and socially just – world is possible.

* Whereas in Australia, health, education and public infrastructure is being privatised, in Venezuela, major industries are being nationalised and put under workers’ control, and universal access to health, education and social welfare is now guaranteed.

* Whereas in Australia, workers are being sacked, wages and conditions are being eroded and trade unions are under attack, in Venezuela, wages are increasing, and union membership and organisation is growing.

* Whereas in Australia, the government sends troops into Indigenous communities, and Aboriginal people continue to live in Third World conditions and are killed in custody, in Venezuela, indigenous people have Constitutionally guaranteed land rights and representation in parliament, and are exercising self-determination.

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