The Spirit of Black August in Solidarity with Venezuela

In this solidarity statement from the Upstate Chapter of Northeast Political Prisoner Coalition (Canada), the organization calls for an end to US sanctions on Venezuela.


The spirit of Black August moves through centuries of Black, Indian and multi-cultural resistance. It is an emblem of the spirit of freedom.

Black August has many markers throughout the long history of resistance in the Americas.

— Mumia Abu Jamal

Black August is a rising tide that lifts all boats in its course. Rooted in the Black Radical Tradition, Black August embodies an anti-racist, anti-imperialist, anti-capitalist, feminist and internationalist legacy and is home to legendary struggles such as the Haitian Revolution. In the African revolutionary spirit of signalling the death of slavery through the Americas and the rest of the world, we call on all organizations fighting for justice to continue this struggle to defeat the vestiges of colonialism and present-day US imperialism.

We, the Upstate Chapter of Northeast Political Prisoner Coalition, are an organization comprised of activists, community organizer, teachers, students and former Political Prisoners/Prisoners of War. We are dedicated to freeing Political Prisoners as well as ending Mass Incarceration in the United States. We witness the US neoliberal capitalist system carry out vicious assaults on public education, health care, public transportation, social housing, regulation of corporations, trade union rights and other essential and just programs that benefit the laboring classes everyday in the United States. However, the United States is waging this same assault in all the Americas and the world.

Venezuela is a critical battleground under siege by US imperialism. Venezuelans are directly facing US aggression parallel to the racist violence and destabilization happening in Black and Brown poor communities here at home.

History has proven that US empire is willing to intimidate, impose, invade and destroy lives in the name of its so-called democracy. In the scheme of neoliberal globalization, there is no room for governments like Venezuela’s which seeks to advance its independence. US empire makes much less room for those who have determined their path is socialism, communist — simply, not capitalist. This is why Venezuela is a threat.

The majority, Black and Brown working class in Venezuela do not want a US model. The people are fighting everyday against these attacks in their collectives, cooperatives, communes and grassroots social movements. The Bolivarian State, a revolutionary government determined to human rights and guaranteeing a life with dignity and happiness for all stands with its people. The Venezuelan people support their President Nicolás Maduro and are manifesting their vision for 21st Century Socialism.

However, mainstream corporate media reports diligently to suggest otherwise. But, from behind the headlines, we have to ask ourselves, does the United States really want to help Venezuelans or, does the United States want Venezuelan oil and other resources?

In Venezuela’s case, it is clear that the main objective of US empire is to plunder all the oil wealth. Venezuela is home to the world’s largest known reserves. Moreover, Venezuela has repatriated all of its gold and houses more than a dozen of the rarest minerals essentially for high grade military weapons and technology.

If this weren’t the case; Why did the US implement economic sanctions blocking key imports like food and medicine? Why did global capital orchestrate an economic war? Why did the US, Venezuelan opposition and political allies condemn the presidential elections even before they took place? Why was there an assassination attempt on Maduro’s life? Why have 45’s lackeys like Pence and Haley travelled to Latin America to bribe and intimidate other countries in support of a military coup d’état?

These are the questions we must ask. The answers to these questions reveal the United States’ continued imperial investment in expansion, exploitation and war. Our movements in solidarity with Venezuela must defend the people’s right to self-determination and their state’s sovereignty.

As Black August comes to an end, Venezuela remains firmly in our hearts and in our hands as we labor for love, justice and freedom. We hold the spirit of self-determination close and continue to fight for our vision in the name of liberation.

We must denounce the assassination attempt on President Nicolás Maduro’s life. We must condemn the illegality of US economic sanctions against Venezuela. We must stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Venezuela. We must believe in Venezuela’s vision to change the world and defeat US empire.

The fight goes on. US imperialism will continue to discredit and destabilize Venezuela’s legitimate, democratic and popular process through street violence, economic blockades, planned corruption, military intervention and media manipulation campaigns. Our movements must remain vigilant. Venezuelans have a right to decide how they govern their nation, manage their resources and tread forward.

In solidarity,

The Upstate Chapter of Northeast Political Prisoner Coalition