Philadelphia, July 1, 2015 (venezuelanalysis.com) – Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro voiced solidarity with the Greek government of Alexis Tsipras yesterday after the latter refused a payment of $1.8 billion to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
“I want to officially express solidarity to Prime Minister Tsipras and the Greek people on behalf of Venezuela,” affirmed the socialist leader on his weekly television program shortly after the IMF deadline late Tuesday evening.
Greece’s recently elected leftwing Syriza government rejected the harsh terms for a new bailout laid out by the Troika, composed of the IMF, European Commission (EC), and the European Central Bank (ECM), which would have meant a continuation of the severe austerity policies that have devastated the Greek economy over the last five years.
“Fear not, Greek sisters and brothers, the path forward is to break the chains of international financial capital and the IMF, to free yourselves from the yoke that tries to consume the people’s blood, the people’s labor, the wealth of countries, that is the path,” Maduro continued.
Greek Prime Minister Tsipras has called on the Troika to renegotiate the terms of its bailout, raising corporate taxes, cancelling debt, and increasing social spending to pay pensions, measures which have even been endorsed by leading IMF officials, who regard Greek debt, now approaching 180% of GDP, as unpayable.
These calls have largely fell on deaf ears, as EU leaders have dug in their heels, forcing Tsipras to convene a referendum for July 5 on whether Greece should accept further austerity measures in exchange for a new bailout, an election in which the “no” vote is widely projected to triumph.
In rejecting the brutal austerity measures imposed by the Troika, Maduro highlighted the alternative regional development model spearheaded by Venezuela, where in contrast to EU neoliberalism, programs like PetroCaribe have promoted “shared progress and solidarity” in countries decimated by centuries of colonialism and imperialism.
Venezuela joins a growing international solidarity movement that is mobilizing thousands in the streets worldwide, compelling political parties such as Spain’s Podemos as well as nobel prize-winning economists to take a stand behind Greece’s bid for a “no” vote on Sunday.
Since Syriza’s victory in parliamentary elections this past January, Caracas has maintained close contact with the leftwing Greek government, whose leaders have cited the Bolivarian Revolution and other leftwing socio-political processes in Latin America as a “shining example”.