Venezuela

On 6 August, several leftist organisations gathered in Plaza Morelos in Caracas, Venezuela to support the peasants’ claim for land that is rightly theirs. More than 300 people, many from the interior of the country, gathered together to march to Miraflores Palace and demand the fulfilment of the agreements signed with the president a year ago.

In recent months, we have witnessed a noticeable deceleration of inflation. In February and March, we saw the prices of many goods and services remaining relatively stagnant, or even falling briefly. The behaviour of prices in June has been similar, coinciding with a seasonal period where several items (such as cheese, various vegetables, and some fruits) tend to be produced in greater quantity than during the rest of the year.

Recently, a debate has opened up regarding the denunciation by the former Minister Elías Jaua of the arrest of 10 communards, who had occupied and reclaimed the social ownership of the state company, Arroz del Alba, in the Portuguesa state in west Venezuela. Arroz del Alba's assets had been turned over to be managed by the private company Agroinlaca.

Just before dawn on 30 April, the Venezuelan opposition launched yet another attempt at a military coup. By the end of the day, the botched coup attempt seemed to have failed, with one of its leaders seeking refuge in the Spanish embassy, 25 of the soldiers involved requesting asylum at the Brazilian embassy and Juan Guaidó in hiding or on the run.

The self-proclaimed “Interim President” of Venezuela Juan Guaido is attempting to carry out a military coup, “Operation Freedom”, as he has named the “final phase” of his attempt to remove Maduro. He is joined by Leopoldo Lopez, who was freed by a handful of police and armed forces from house arrest early this morning. It is “an all-or-nothing move”, as some have described it.

There is a certain trend of opinion amongst the liberal left, particularly in the US, which never felt very comfortable with the Bolivarian revolution. Now, in the midst of a serious and well-organised attempt by Washington to remove Maduro’s government, they insist on equally blaming both sides for the crisis, one which in their view can be resolved through “negotiations between the government and the opposition”. A chief representative of this point of view is Gabriel Hetland, who has written several articles on Venezuela for The Nation, Jacobinand other left-wing publications.

The failure of the 23 February “humanitarian aid” provocation on the Venezuelan border was a serious blow for Trump’s ongoing coup attempt. There were mutual recriminations between self-appointed Guaidó, Colombian president Duque and US Vice-President Pence. The US could not get a consensus from its own Lima Cartel allies in favour of military intervention.

The last couple of months have seen a ramping-up of attempts by the US to launch a coup in Venezuela. Under orders from the White House, Juan Guaidó declared himself “president in charge” at a street tally. Immediately, the rogue’s gallery of Trump, Bolsonaro, Macri and others recognised Guaidó, then called on the Venezuelan army to declare itself loyal to this new ‘president’.

On the latest episode of Out of Left Fieldpodcast, Elias, a leading comrade of Lucha de Clases (Venezuelan section of the IMT) is interviewed about the ongoing, US-backed coup attempt in Venezuela by Juan Guaidó, self-declared 'President in charge' for the reactionary opposition.

On Saturday, 23 February, HOV secretary Jorge Martin was interviewed about Venezuela by Andrew Castle on the British LBC radio station, setting the record straight about the attempts of US imperialism and its Latin American agents to impose its will on the country under the cover of providing "humanitarian aid".

Tensions are running high between Venezuela and the US, as the latter is continuing its efforts to topple Venezuela's democratically elected president, Nicolas Maduro. We publish here a radio debate between, Jorge Martin, secretary of the Hands off Venezuela campaign and editor of www.marxist.com, and Fernando Cutz. Cutz is a former Director for South America to President Obama and President Trump. In fact he is the only top official to have worked for both the Obama and Trump administrations. He has played a key role in designing the sanctions against Venezuela which started under Obama in 2015.

Militias marching

So, 23 February came and went. This was the day that had been billed by the US and its local puppets as D-Day, when "humanitarian aid" was supposed to enter the country against the will of the evil Maduro, something which, as even the BBC correspondent admitted, had little to do with aid and everything to do with defying the authority of President Maduro.

Mass protests and a general strike against growing poverty, corruption, and demanding the resignation of President Jovenel Moïse have shut down Haiti for the past two weeks. This mass movement is a direct continuation of the general strike that erupted last summer against proposed increases to the cost of fuel as well as the mass protests that took place last November in relation to a corruption scandal involving PetroCaribe funds.