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Opinion and Analysis: International

Independent Publishes Statement from Leading Venezuela Solidarity Voices in Britain


The Independent on Sunday has published the launch statement of the VSC’s Venezuela Under Threat campaign initiative. The statement has been endorsed by a wide range of leading figures from across British society including over 25 parliamentarians from six parties plus Ken Livingstone and Tony Benn, filmmakers and writers such as John Pilger, Ken Loach, Hugo O’Shaugnessy and Ernesto Laclau, musicians Lowkey and Jon McClure, leading figures in the anti-war and peace movements, nine trade union general secretaries and others.

Noting that “progressive government policies have transformed the lives of millions for the better“ in Venezuela in recent years, the statement opposes the “increasing US militarization of the region that is threatening to destabilise Latin America” and urges that “national sovereignty is respected and the tragic mistakes of US-backed bloody military coups and interventions in the 20th Century are not repeated.”

Leading voices from Venezuela including an MP, trade union leader and student leader have also spoken here on the importance of the new initiative – click here to read more. Photos and reports of the packed Venezuela Under Threat launch event can be found here.


1. VSC is asking organisations and representatives of organisations at local, regional and national levels to add their names to the statement – please contact for more information, to add the name of your organisation or for a model motion.

2. You can still ask your current MP to add their name to the statement here.

3. You can also post comments online at the Independent site here in support of the statement.

4. Join the VSC or make a donation to our campaigning costs here.


We stand opposed to the increasing US militarization of the region that is threatening to destabilise Latin America. This militarization - including plans by the US to build new bases in Colombia and Panama - is especially concerning given the context of the recent right-wing coup in Honduras and the discovery of similar plots in Ecuador and Paraguay.

Concern over these developments is particularly grave in Venezuela, where in recent years progressive government policies have transformed the lives of millions for the better. Having already experienced a coup attempt in 2002, the country is now surrounded by 13 US military bases.

We are therefore supporting the 'Venezuela Under Threat' initiative to urge that national sovereignty is respected and the tragic mistakes of US-backed bloody military coups and interventions in the 20th Century are not repeated.


Diane Abbott MP                     

Dave Anderson MP

Tony Benn                   

Colin Burgon MP, Chair, Labour Friends of Venezuela

Michael Connarty MP                

Frank Cook MP

Jeremy  Corbyn MP                  

Ian Davidson MP                      

Jeff Ennis MP              

Paul Flynn MP             

George Galloway MP               

Neil Gerrard MP           

Baroness Anne Gibson, Chair, APPG on Latin America

Dai Havard MP             

Jamie Hepburn MSP                

Sir Gerald Kaufman MP            

Jean Lambert MEP                  

David Lepper MP                      

Ken Livingstone

Angus Macneil MP                   

Doug Naysmith MP                  

Adam Price MP           

Lord Nick Rea              

Terry Rooney MP                     

Elaine Smith MSP                   

Emily Thornberry MP                

Bill Wilson MSP                      

Richard Younger-Ross MP

Cllr Salma Yaqoob                   

Iain Bruce, Former BBC  Correspondent in Caracas         

Professor Mike Cole     

Dr Ken Cole, Metropolitan University of London

Professor Mary  Davis              

Michael Derham , University of Northumbria

Dr Francisco Dominguez, Head of Latin American & Brazilian Studies, Middlesex University

Keith Ewing, Kings College London

Ernesto Laclau

Ken Loach                   


Dr Steve Ludlam          

Hazel Marsh, University of East Anglia

Jon McClure, Musician, Reverend and the Makers

Hugh O'Shaughnessy               

John Pilger      

Diana Raby

Jonathan Rosenhead, Emeritus Professor. LSE

Derek Simpson, Joint General Secretary, Unite the Union

Tony Woodley, Joint General Secretary, Unite the Union

Biily Hayes, General Secretary, CWU

Bob Crow, General Secretary, RMT

Matt Wrack, General Secretary, FBU

Joe Marino, General Secretary, BFAWU

Keith Norman, General Secretary, ASLEF

Jonathan Ledger, General Secretary, NAPO

Chris Kitchen, General Secretary, National Union of Mineworkers

Bill Adams, Regional Secretary, Yorkshire & the Humber TUC

Dave Auger, Regional International Officer, West Midlands UNISON

Andy Bain, President, TSSA                 

Sue Bigg, NUT

Maggie Bowden, General Secretary, Liberation

Jennie Bremner, Chair, Venezuela Solidarity Campaign

Steve Cottingham. Partner, OH Parsons

Luke Crawley, Assistant General Secretary, BECTU

John Duffy, Regional Secretary. FBU Scotland

Lindsey German, Convenor Stop the War Coalition

Moz Greenshields, NEC UNISON

Bill Greenshields, Ex President, NUT

John Haylett, Political Editor, Morning Star

John Hilary, Executive Director, War on Want

Kate Hudson, Chair CND

Stephen Kavalier, Chief Executive, Thompsons Solicitors

Bruce Kent                  

Mike Kirby, Convenor, UNISON Scotland

Ian Lavery, President NUM                    

Phil McGarry, RMT Scotland

Karen Mitchell, Thompsons Solicitors

Fidel Narvaez, Ecuadorean Human Rights Activist in Britain         

Doug Nicholls, National Officer, Community, Youth & Not For Profit Sector, Unite

Bellavia Ribeiro-Addy, Black Students’ Officer, National Union of Students

Mick Shaw, President, FBU

Cat Smith, Vice Chair, London Young Labour

Cath Speight, Labour Party NEC

Sam Tarry, Chair, Young Labour

Derek Wall, Former Principle Male Speaker, Green Party

Chris Weldon, Labour Party NEC

The Nicaragua Solidarity Campaign

Source: VSC