2014-03-24 by Sumara Ribeiro from "ILC":
Nicolas Maduro, legitimately elected president of Venezuela as per its Constitution, was elected in April 2013, we should recall, with a slight majority of votes. Until this day, the election's result have not been ecognized by the U.S. government, which has never shelved its coup-plotting strategy.
In an interview with the newspaper O Estado de São Paulo, Venezuelan Congresswoman Corina Machado, a representative of the bourgeois elite (which, until the election of Hugo Chávez, concentrated in its hands the largest share of oil revenue, while the people lived in abject poverty), acknowledged that the Venezuelan Constitution makes available countless legal opportunities for the "opposition" forces to replace the current government.
But Machado goes on to admit that by such legal means, the "opposition" will never succeed. And given that Maduro will not go away spontaneously, the "opposition" has decided to overthrow the government through actions "in the streets," she explains. By what methods? Promoting disorder and violent provocations (all of which are praised to the skies by O Estado de São Paulo). In fact, at this writing, the violent actions have already killed 28 people -- be they supporters of the right wing, or Chavista activists, or government representatives.
Maduro called for dialogue and a peace conference, but these were boycotted by the "opposition."
With the solid backing of imperialism -- and of all imperialism's spokespersons on the continent -- the Venezuelan "opposition" is not pulling back; in fact, they are doing doing everything to exploit the difficult economic situation facing the country.
Defend the majority of the people and the nation -
The fact is that Venezuela has been struggling for months in a state of economic chaos due to the shortage of basic staple foods and supplies and high inflation (56% in 2013). Precarious work affects nearly 50 % of the economically active population, and youth are the most affected sector.
The economy is based 80% on the exploitation of oil, but Venezuela is witnessing a continuous decline in its oil production, which has caused a sharp decrease in the inflow of dollars. Faced with this situation, the Maduro government (Chávez's successor at the head of the Venezuelan State) felt obliged to devalue the bolivar -- the national currency.
Despite the fact that its financial resources have been weakened, the Venezuelan government has preferred to give priority to paying back the debt to the international bankers, rather than increase domestic spending, thus exacerbating the shortage.
The Wall Street Journal (February 14) reports that, "Venezuela has paid back the foreign bondholders religiously. At the same time, however, the government owes US$50 billion to private companies that provide services to the Venezuelan economy." This report was confirmed by the Venezuela's Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez, who said: "The country has always kept and will always keep all of its commitments to paying back the foreign debt." (Financial Times, February 25)
On various occasions in the past, the Chávez government has had to take significant measures to defend the Venezuelan nation against imperialism -- all of which were supported by the masses.
The gravity of the situation today requires that the Venezuelan government take further steps in this direction; otherwise it will be faced with a serious risk of destabilization of the country.
Current events in Venezuela, but also in the whole region, show once again that the nations of Latin America cannot guarantee their sovereignty, freedom, and democracy -- all wrested through bitter struggles against dictatorships that the U.S. government imposed on the continent over many decades -- without standing up to imperialism and breaking the links which subordinate their economies to international financial capital. If the Venezuelan government were to take such a course, it would be sure to have massive popular support.
What is at stake in the unfolding situation today is the sovereignty of the Venezuelan people; it is their right to decide their own destiny.
Any organization defending the interests of workers and peoples, sovereignty, and democracy must provide unconditional support to the workers, peasants and youth of Venezuela and their legitimately elected government against any and all forms of foreign intervention/destabilization and against any new attempted coup.