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Vol. 81/No. 36      October 2, 2017

(front page)

Washington protest demands US hands off Venezuela, Cuba

WASHINGTON — Thirty people joined a protest in front of the White House Sept. 14, demanding the U.S. government end its interference in domestic affairs in Venezuela and the sanctions it has imposed on the country and some of its leaders. The action was initiated by the D.C. Metro Coalition in Solidarity with the Cuban Revolution and supported by several area groups.

“We are here to tell the U.S. government to immediately end its threats against the Venezuelan government and people,” said James Harris, speaking for the coalition and the Socialist Workers Party. “We support the basic right of Venezuelans to sovereignty and independence. We oppose the U.S. government’s attempts to impose regime change.”

The government of Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela, along with revolutionary Cuba, has been in the vanguard of offering solidarity and aid to Caribbean countries battered by Hurricane Irma.

After the storm damaged or destroyed some 95 percent of the buildings on Barbuda, Venezuela delivered aid and helped evacuate people from the island. “The large international countries have not done anything,” said Ronald Sanders, the country’s ambassador to the U.S., adding that the only government “to come forward with practical, positive assistance so far has been the government of Venezuela.”

Venezuela was also the first government to send humanitarian aid to Cuba, with an air force jet delivering over 7 tons of mattresses, water and canned food on Sept. 12. “Cuba was always with Venezuela in the most difficult times,” Blanca Eekhout, Venezuelan Minister for Women and Gender Equality, said at Havana’s José Martí International Airport. “That is why we are permanently committed to its people and revolution.”

Maurice Carney, a leader of Friends of the Congo, said that the U.S. government has been in the business of regime change around the world for decades. “It was with U.S. government support that the nationalist government of Patrice Lumumba was overthrown in 1961,” he said. “Neither the former colonial power Belgium nor the U.S. wanted this rich country to develop its independence and sovereignty.

“Cuba sent 120 internationalists to participate in the fight to break imperialism’s grip on the Congo,” he said. “As some of you may know, those Cuban internationalists were led by Ernesto Che Guevara.”

This reporter noted two young women smiling at the protesters. They were both from Guyana, a country neighboring Venezuela. They said thank you for the voices against what the U.S government does in Latin America.

The majority of the protesters were familiar with the long-standing solidarity between Venezuela and Cuba. They carried signs demanding, “End the U.S. blockade against Cuba” and “U.S. out of Guantánamo!”

Supporters of the Latin American and Caribbean Network and Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front also spoke, saying every attack on Venezuela has the Cuban Revolution as its target as well.

The next day Venezuela is Hope, a newsletter put out by the Venezuelan embassy, printed a briefing featuring a photo of the protest.

“The Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in the U.S. appreciates the support by the U.S. Socialist Workers Party, DC Metro Solidarity Coalition, Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front, and other social movements,” who held “a demonstration of solidarity against sanctions and interventionist policies of the U.S. government against the Venezuelan people,” it said.
Related articles:
After storm, Cuban people and their gov’t rebuild
Capitalism turns Harvey, Irma into social disasters
As Raúl Castro said, ‘In Cuba, no one is left behind’
Brigade will bring solidarity, aid to Cuba after storm
US moves against Cuba ‘crash against our revolutionary spirit’
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