Here is the statement I made at the Buffalo, NY, Day of Action in Solidarity with Chavez and the Venezuelan people this past Saturday:
I am here with the Buffalo branch of the International Action Center.
We are all here to extend our friendship and solidarity to the Venezuelan people, and to wish Chavez a healthy recovery!
We want to send a clear message to the U.S. imperialists: get your hands off Venezuela and the Bolivarian revolution! We oppose any U.S. destabilization or intervention attempts!
Ever since Chavez’s election in 1998, the U.S. has been trying to oust him from power—including a failed coup in 2002, economic sabotage, support for subversive opposition groups representing the rich, and a vicious media war. Just this week Venezuelan Vice President Nicolas Maduro says that a plot to assassinate him was uncovered. All of this is to destabilize the country and bring the Venezuelan elite to power so that U.S. imperialism can run amok.
We cannot let this happen! We must stand with the Venezuelan people who have risen against oppression and who will not go back!
Since Chavez came to power, poverty has been slashed by more than 50%. The people are guaranteed free medical care and education, basic food at affordable costs, along with supplies to build cooperatives, businesses, and community organizations.
What the U.S. imperialists do not comprehend is that they will never break this revolutionary vein, for Chavez and his people are one! The Venezuelan people carry the Bolivarian Revolution with them, and this socialist process has inspired and strengthened Latin America as a whole. The ALBA countries in particular now form a strong anti-imperialist front and an alliance that promotes social uplift across the region—Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua, and Ecuador provide stunning examples of this progressive course.
The Venezuelan people have shown that even while Chavez’s health is vulnerable and recovering, his revolutionary spirit has never faltered! This revolutionary spirit now defines Venezuelan culture and identity. And, as ever, this includes Chavez as a cornerstone of national pride and respect.
Imperialism will not win!
Viva la Revolucion! Viva la Resistencia! Viva Chavez!