Venezuela: Maduro, ALBA express solidarity with Greece, reject 'financial blackmail'

By Lucas Koerner

July 1, 2015  --, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal – Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro voiced solidarity with the Greek government of Alexis Tsipras after the latter refused a payment of $1.8 billion to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

“I want to officially express solidarity to Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and the Greek people on behalf of Venezuela”, said the socialist leader on his weekly television program shortly after the IMF deadline late June 30 evening.

Greece’s recently elected leftwing SYRIZA government rejected the harsh terms for a new bailout laid out by the Troika, composed of the IMF, European Commission (EC), and the European Central Bank (ECB), which would have meant a continuation of the severe austerity policies that have devastated the Greek economy over the last five years.

“Fear not, Greek sisters and brothers, the path forward is to break the chains of international financial capital and the IMF, to free yourselves from the yoke that tries to consume the people’s blood, the people’s labor, the wealth of countries, that is the path”, Maduro continued.

Greece's Prime Minister Tsipras has called on the Troika to renegotiate the terms of its bailout, allowing the government to raise corporate taxes, cancel debt and increase social spending to pay pensions, measures which have even been endorsed by leading IMF officials, who regard Greek debt, now approaching 180% of GDP, as unpayable.

These calls have largely fell on deaf ears, as EU leaders have dug in their heels, forcing Tsipras to convene a referendum for July 5 on whether Greece should accept further austerity measures in exchange for a new bailout, an election in which the “no” vote is widely projected to triumph.

In rejecting the brutal austerity measures imposed by the Troika, Maduro highlighted the alternative regional development model spearheaded by Venezuela, where in contrast to EU neoliberalism, programs like PetroCaribe have promoted “shared progress and solidarity” in countries decimated by centuries of colonialism and imperialism.

Venezuela joins a growing international solidarity movement that is mobilising thousands in the streets worldwide, compelling political parties such as Spain’s Podemos as well as Nobel prize-winning economists to take a stand behind Greece’s bid for a “no” vote on July 5.

Since SYRIZA’s victory in parliamentary elections in January, Caracas has maintained close contact with the leftwing Greek government, whose leaders have cited the Bolivarian Revolution and other leftwing socio-political processes in Latin America as a “shining example”.

Latin America's ALBA bloc supports Greece's fight against 'finance capital'

Friday, July 3, 2015

The ALBA bloc, comprised of 12 Latin American and Caribbean nations, expressed its support to Greece, as the Mediterranean country continues to renegotiate its debt with eurozone lenders.

In a statement June 28, the bloc, which calls itself a “People’s Trade Treaty,” said it stands with the Greek people and the SYRIZA government against the "destructive consequences of neoliberal transnational capital," which regional organization said looks to subvert Greek democracy through financial measures.

The declaration also encouraged Greeks in their struggle with EU lenders, saying the stance against forced austerity “is a struggle for the salvation of all mankind, for life, freedom and self-determination of all peoples.”

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said of Greece's creditors proposals: "We were asked once again to place the burden on the shoulders of pensioners and workers."

Tsipras rejected the opinion of some European politicians who said the left-wing government’s plan for a referendum on the EU proposal is tantamount to a Greek exit from the eurozone. The Syriza leader called on European officials to respect the sovereignty of the Greek people.
The full ALBA statement is below.


Caracas, June 28, 2015

The Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America - People’s Trade Treaty (ALBA-TCP) expresses its strong support and solidarity with the Greek people and government, which are facing the fierce siege of global financial capitalism and its European representatives, who with unscrupulous ambition aim to break the choice of this country for a decent and fair life, the center of which is the protection of true democracy and human rights, not the privileges and destructive consequences of neoliberal transnational capital.

The peoples and governments of the ALBA-TCP, who stand firm in the conviction of Commander Hugo Chavez that "History calls us to unity and to struggle," send a message of encouragement to the brave Greek people and government.

We are sure that the historic battle you are engaged in is a struggle for the salvation of all mankind, for life, freedom and self-determination of all peoples. We are sure that another world is possible.

[Reprinted from TeleSUR English.]