No to the Invasion of Venezuela!

The Jamaica Peace Council (JPC) denounces the US President Donald Trump's Administration's recent sanctions — freezing of assets, acts of provocation and military aggression — against the people of Venezuela. These actions are in alarming violation of international law and the fundamental principles of human rights and national sovereignty.

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A Chavista march in Caracas. (AP)
A Chavista march in Caracas. (AP)
By The Jamaica Peace Council
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Sanctions, coup attempts, politicized humanitarian aid, military threats and imperial posturing must stop, now! The US and the Venezuelan elite must end their war against the Venezuelan people and engage in honest dialogue with the democratically elected president, Nicolas Maduro. We stand with the Venezuelan people and defend their right to non-intervention.

We call on the Government of Jamaica to stand with the coalition of peace-loving nations in the UN who are defending the principles enshrined in the UN Charter and reject US intervention and hegemony in Latin America and the Caribbean. Jamaica has a history of defending the sovereignty of nations of the world and being 'licky-licky' by sucking up to imperialism for small change. For the last 20 years of the Bolivarian process, the Bolivarian people have charted a new path in Latin America and the Caribbean. This model of cooperation between nations based on shared histories, mutual reciprocity, and regional integration must be defended.

February 23 marks one month since Juan Guaido shamefully appointed himself interim president of Venezuela and the world turned to the oil-rich and majority black and indigenous nation to denounce Guaido's undemocratic move as a threat to peace and justice. The JPC calls on all people to recognize these threats as dangerous, even when they are cloaked in the words of humanitarian interest. They must “move and go away” with their fake humanitarian aid and give the people of Venezuela back their approximately US$30 billion of CITGO revenue and US$2.5 billion of gold deposited with the Bank of England. The multinational corporations, who put profit over people, do not care about any humanitarian situation. The US and its allies, who are made up of the right-wing governments in our region that are surging and are hated by millions, are acting on the behalf of corporate interests and pressure.

In the Caribbean, we are familiar with the violence of European colonialism, economic and political destabilization US invasions and military bases. These, too, have been called humanitarian campaigns. We do not need to think back very far, we can look to Guyana in 1953, Cuba in 1961, in our own island in the 1970s, Grenada in 1973, Panama in 1989, Haiti in 1991 and 2004, and Honduras in 2009, just to name a few. We are acutely aware of the ways in which militarised and corporate-backed governments falsely employ the rhetoric of “restoring democracy” and “bringing humanitarian aid”. The JPC calls for the end of sanctions and intervention as the real path to peace for our region.

The blockade against Venezuela has cost the country billions of dollars, and for those of us who have been recipients of favorable agricultural initiatives, educational exchanges, loans, aid and cooperation through ALBA People's Trade Treaty and PetroCaribe, we will also suffer. The working-class people of Venezuela have made an immense contribution to building a more healthy and just society under the banner of the Bolivarian process. They have taken control over the oil wealth and built 2.5 million homes for the most in need. They have built hospitals and clinics where there were none and have universalized health care. Free education is ensured through university and the nation has witnessed literacy campaigns rivaled only by Cuba's. These gains are what threatens the US corporate model, and these gains are being jeopardized by Trump and his cronies.

For the past 20 years, we in the Caribbean have witnessed a real alternative to free trade agreements, structural adjustment, and colonialism. Across the Caribbean eyesight has been restored through Mission Milagro, Venezuela's aid contributed to Dominica's reconstruction after another climate disaster that we did not cause, but bear the brunt of, CELAC (Community of Latin American States) has provided political power and a space for dialogue and exchange between our small island states without the threat of US meddling, and PetroCaribe has provided the opportunity for energy sovereignty, alternative energy projects and tens of billions of dollars for infrastructure and development. These initiatives, by and for us, have provided a concrete and meaningful alternative to neoliberalism, colonialism and war in Latin America and the Caribbean. These threaten the powerful and the elite and they are what is at stake.

We add our voice to the majority of Venezuelans across the political spectrum, who have rejected sanctions, coup attempts and threats of military intervention. We join the world in standing up for the rights of all nations to sovereignty and of all peoples to self-determination. The majority of well-thinking Jamaicans stand with the Bolivarian revolution.

On this International Day of Solidarity with Venezuela, we are joining the coordinated efforts across the world www.NoWarOnVenezuela.org. The JPC denounces the sanctions, coup attempts and the politicization of humanitarian aid by Trump's Administration. We stand in solidarity with the majority of Venezuelan people who reject US interventionism and we give them thanks for the courage to believe and work for a better world!

The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Venezuelanalysis editorial staff.