Archive for the ‘Venezuela’ Category

Solidarity with Hugo Chavez
Following his operation in Cuba on Wednesday, the Venezuela Solidarity Campaign sends its best wishes to Hugo Chavez in his latest battle to defeat cancer
Hugo Chavez is an inspiration to millions of people worldwide because of his uncompromising stance against injustice and oppression and the tremendous progress he has overseen In Venezuela.
It is incredibly positive that his latest operation has been deemed an initial success.
However as President Chavez and Vice President Nicolas Maduro have explained there remains a long and difficult path ahead.
Our thoughts are with President Chavez, his family and all those Venezuelans who have made their country a beacon of hope and inspiration. At this difficult time, we commit ourselves to stepping up our solidarity with Venezuela’s attempt to build a better world and against those who seek to overturn this social progress.

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Today, a timely anniversary in the lead-up to elections in Venezuela next month, a reminder of the human cost of US interference in Latin America.

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Henrique Capriles Radonsky, the presidential candidate of the right-wing coalition, has been keen to state that he will ensure that social programs to meet the needs of all Venezuelans are put into place. For a taster of what he means in the case of housing, we can take a look at the few houses that have been built under his governorship in the state of Miranda.
This video, from a private TV station strongly opposed to the Chavez government, Globovisión, shows Capriles talking to people who have been given new homes, and then having a look around one of them.
For those who don’t speak Spanish, some of the comments from those who have the homes include:
“Well, there are still a few details to work on, I have no floor in the corridor and the walls need to be plastered and painted.”
Capriles, on entering one of the occupied bedrooms in the house he visits states, “Yes, the only thing missing here is some plastering, painting, and to put in windows.”

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A valuable corrective from from the Venezuela Solidarity Campaign in Britain, exposing as false the biased and lazy media narrative implying that Chavez is increasingly unpopular to the point where it might cost him October’s election.

With just two months to go until Venezuela’s presidential elections on 7 October, a study of recent opinion polls has shown a clear lead for Hugo Chavez over his main rival Henrique Capriles Radonski.

The study shows Hugo Chavez has a lead of between 15-27% in each of the 8 polls examined (see table below).

The study is based on all polls published in July by the major polling companies that carry out polls in Venezuela (with data collected in the last week of June and during July 2012).

It includes pollsters that had some of the most accurate final predictions for the two previous elections that determined whether Hugo Chavez would be Venezuela’s President. These include: Consultores 30-11 and Hinterlaces (2006 Presidential elections) and Datanalisis (2004 Recall Referendum).

The strong lead for Hugo Chavez in these polls is consistent with the ongoing high satisfaction rating for his government which a range of polls have shown is regularly around 60%.

Commenting on the study carried out by the Venezuela Solidarity Campaign, Dr Francisco Dominguez, VSC Secretary, said:

“This study clearly shows that Hugo Chavez has a strong lead in the polls. 

Whilst the campaign of Henrique Capriles Radonski has sought to confuse the issue by claiming that the race is close, this is contradicted by the data coming out from the major polling companies.

This lead ought to be reflected in the media’s coverage of the election. It certainly would be inaccurate for media coverage to claim that the race currently appears to be close”.

For more detail and the breakdown of the stats see the VSC website.

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Venezuelanalysis carries an interesting report on collaboration between Venezuela’s counter-revolutionary opposition and the Israeli government. Both hope to beat President Hugo Chavez in this year’s elections, though the Chavez government maintains a solid lead in the polls.

Over the weekend, Venezuela’s anti-Chavez minority confirmed reports that one of their own recently met with right-wing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and promised to re-establish ties with Israel if the opposition is somehow successful in this year’s presidential election. Speaking on behalf of the opposition’s socalled Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD), Metropolitan Mayor of Caracas Antonio Ledezma is said to have promised both economic and political rewards in exchange for Israeli support of MUD presidential hopeful, Henrique Capriles Radonski.

Though the MUD have been totally unable to improve their standing in polls which predict a sweeping electoral victory for Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez this October 7, Ledezma’s comments in Israel provide a troubling glimpse at wishful opposition thinking in a post-Chavez period.


Though he was in Jerusalem last week for the 28th International Mayors Conference, opposition lawyer and politician Antonio Ledezma took advantage of his publicly-financed trip to meet privately with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as well as the country’s Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman. Asked about the closed-door meetings, Ledezma said  he had used his time in Israel to spread “the message that the Venezuelan nation has respect for Israel”.

Ledezma told reporters he spoke with Netanyahu and Liberman about “the Venezuelan people’s solidarity with the Jewish community” and, “in addition, our (opposition) disposition to reestablish relations with the State of Israel under a new government presided by Henrique Capriles Radonski”.

“In contrast to the current political policy in Venezuela”, he said, “Capriles will re-establish our historical ties”.

Read the rest here.

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From Venezuela Analysis

the Venezuelan president told viewers that the expropriations were not just a matter of increasing national production, but a further step towards creating a socialist society.

“Che (Guevara) got it right, this isn’t just about building houses, or cement blocks, or producing cornflower or clothes, it’s about producing something beyond all that, a new type of man, a type of new woman, a new society”.

Read the full report here.

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An action bulletin from the Venezuela Solidarity Campaign


The US government has recently imposed sanctions on the Venezuela state-owned oil company PDVSA, which Venezuela has described as “a hostile action on the fringes of international law that violates the principles of the Charter of the UN.” More information and responses are below – including from ALBA and the actor Sean Penn – and you can support Venezuela by asking your MP to support our statement against the sanctions, by clicking here

The statement has already been endorsed by numerous cultural figures including Linton Kwesi Johnson and John Pilger, trade union general secretaries, writers, academics, student leaders, community representatives, peace campaigners and others. It reads: “We oppose the decision of US government to impose sanctions on the Venezuela state-owned oil company PDVSA, when no action of any kind undertaken by Venezuela contradicts any principle of international law.  The sanctions have been described by Venezuela as “a hostile action on the fringes of international law that violates the principles of the Charter of the UN,” and rejected by Venezuela’s elected National Assembly.

This is the latest in a series of violations of Venezuela’s sovereignty in recent years. It reflects an increasingly hostile agenda being driven by the Republican Right, following its successes at last November’s US elections, which have led to it controlling a number of important foreign affairs committees.

This hostility includes a stated desire by leading right-wing republicans to add Venezuela to the US list of “state sponsors of terrorism” and has seen substantial increases in funding of Venezuela opposition groups. It also comes within the context of a build up of US military bases in the region in recent years, which many see as a threat to the region’s stability.

We believe that in the run-up to Presidential Elections in December 2012, it is up to the Venezuelan people alone to decide their own future, free from external interference, and call on all governments to respect this right.”

Remember to ask your MP to oppose the sanctions by clicking here !


Opposition to US Sanctions on Venezuela Grows:

In Venezuela and around the world, an increasing number of countries, organisations and prominent individuals have expressed their opposition to the sanctions:

  • A Venezuelan government statement (read it in full here ,) in response to the US announcement, expressed “its strongest rejection to this decision since it constitutes a hostile action on the fringes of international law that violates the principles of the Charter of the United Nations” and reaffirmed the country’s right to self-determination.
  • An ALBA statement demanded “the United States ceases once and all for the aggression against Venezuela, [and]to give unconditional respect to the decisions we take in the full exercise of our sovereignty.” It also reiterate the will of ALBA “to consolidate social justice and solidarity as the guiding principles of Latin American integration” (read the full text here .)
  • Nicaragua and Ecuador’s ambassadors to the Organization of American States used the opening of the 41st session of the OAS to condemn the sanctions. Nicaraguan Ambassador Denis Moncada accused the US of attempting to “destabilize regional peace and security,” whilst Maria Isabel Salvador, from Ecuador, expressed the “energetic rejection” of her country, calling the sanctions an “attack against all the [Latin American and Caribbean member] ALBA countries.”
  • The acclaimed US actor and progressive activist Sean Penn (see his full letter here to Hilary Clinton) has written a piece condemning the sanctions and commenting that, “the American people have grown accustomed to hearing the Venezuelan president referred to as a dictator, not only by media representatives but by members of the leadership in both parties,” adding that “this is a defamation, not only to President Chavez, but also to the majority of Venezuelan people; poor people who have elected him president time and time again.”

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