Irish workers and democratic opinion must rally in defence of Venezuela

Statement by the Communist Party of Ireland 
27 January 2019

The Communist Party of Ireland expresses its solidarity with the working people of Venezuela and the progressive government of Nicolás Maduro. We pledge our solidarity and support also to the Communist Party of Venezuela as it rallies working people to defend the advances already made and to resist the US-inspired and US-organised coup d’état. 
      The people of Venezuela are experiencing a counter-revolution inspired and organised by the US government, backed up by the European Union. For twenty years, since the beginning of the political and economic transformation initiated by Hugo Chávez, Venezuela has been subjected to violent reaction from right-wing forces within the country and from the United States, from coup to sanctions—sanctions that have inflicted great suffering on the workers and peasants of that country. 
      The further tightening of US sanctions by the Trump regime in 2017 has plunged the country into a deep crisis, reducing government revenue and thereby reducing its ability to import essential medical supplies, food, and much more. This is nothing less than an attempted coup by the Trump regime, in alliance with reactionary and fascist forces within Venezuela, with their recognition of a minor political figure as “president” in opposition to the democratically elected president of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro. 
      The struggle now under way in Venezuela is for re-establishing the power and domination of the United States over the entire region. It recognises the fact that Venezuela has for years now been at the heart of progressive economic and political changes throughout Latin America. For two decades, Venezuela has led the way in strengthening the unity of progressive developments and the weakening of US imperialist hegemony, with such regional initiatives as the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA), the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), the Bank of the South, the news network Telesur, and the Common Market of the South (Mercosur) for reinforcing South American trade. 
      From the very beginning, every effort has been made to destabilise and overthrow progressive governments throughout the region, with coups d’état against Chávez (2002) and against Aristide in Haïti (2004) and Manuel Zelaya in Honduras (2010), followed by parliamentary coups against Fernando Lugo of Paraguay and Dilma Rousseff in Brazil (2016). 
      This is all for the purpose of controlling the wealth and natural resources of Latin America; in the case of Venezuela, oil and gold are central. It is reported that in 2017 Venezuela had the largest estimated oil reserves of any country, even Saudi Arabia. Venezuela has also one of the world’s largest reserves of gold, coltan, and other precious metals. In 2018 Venezuela advanced in the certification of more than thirty goldfields in the country, with which it aimed to establish itself as “the second-largest gold reserve on the planet.” 
      The United States has been imposing sanctions and restrictions on Venezuela so as to suffocate the economy, imposing great hardship on the people, with the aim of getting its hands on this great wealth. In this project it has the full support of the European Union. 
      The Communist Party of Ireland calls on Irish workers and progressive opinion to rally in solidarity with the working people of Venezuela. The United States wishes to drown the hopes and dreams of workers, the poor and peasants in a sea of blood, inflicting great hurt on the people with its savage illegal sanctions. 
      Trade unions and progressive parties and individuals must raise their voices and demand that the Government not follow the lead of the United States and the European Union on sanctions but reaffirm its recognition of the legitimate government of Venezuela, to oppose the organising of a coup d’état, which is in preparation, and uphold the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of states.