London Activists Rally Against US and EU Sanctions in Venezuela

On Saturday the 17th of February, Hands Off Venezuela and the Venezuela Media Watch held a rally in Trafalgar Square in London against the economic sanctions put in place against Venezuela. Organizers also expressed support for continued dialogue between the Venezuelan government and opposition, as well as for presidential elections which are set to be held on April 22 this year.

By, Roberto Navarrete, Hands Off Venezuela & Venezuela Media Watch

Filmed by Roberto Navarrete, edited by Venezuelanalysis' Katrina Kozarek. 

Document published by Venezuela Media Watch and Hands Off Venezuela for the February 17th rally in Trafalgar Square, London:


The campaign led by the United States against Venezuela goes back many years, particularly to the April 2002 coup against the democratically elected president Hugo Chavez. Though the campaign has never ceased, in the last few days we have seen a very dangerous escalation. Prominent US officials (including Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Republican Senator Marco Rubio) have openly called for the Venezuelan Army to carry out a coup against the democratically elected president Nicolas Maduro.

The campaign is clearly aimed at preventing the April 22nd presidential election from going ahead. Under pressure from Washington, the Venezuelan. opposition MUD withdrew from talks in the Dominican Republic where an agreement had already been reached between government and opposition. That was followed by a vote at the European Parliament demanding tougher sanctions against Venezuela.

US Secretary of State Tillerson embarked on a tour of a series of Latin American countries to gather support for more sanctions against Venezuela. The trip was preceded by a speech at the University of Texas at which he reaffirmed support for the Monroe Doctrine, that is the idea that the whole of the continent is part of the US "sphere of influence':, and therefore all countries are supposed to subordinate to the interests of Washington and US multinationals.

During his tour, Tillerson set the basis for an oil embargo against Venezuela, discussing alternative options for Caribbean countries which would be badly affected by it. The United States already has a regime of sanctions against Venezuela which started under the Obama presidency. In August of 2017, Trump escalated sanctions which are aimed at cutting off Venezuela's access to international finance. An oil embargo would be a disaster for the country, which depends on oil sales for 98% of its hard currency income.

Simultaneously, the new US Chargé d'Affaires in Venezuela, Todd Robinson, on his arrival in Caracas, made a belligerent statement of support for the Venezuelan opposition as "agents of change". This is the same opposition which a year ago embarked in a campaign of violence and terrorism aimed at removing the democratically elected government!

Under the excuse of a "humanitarian migration crisis" both Colombia and Brazil have increased the number of troops in the border with Venezuela. This coincided with a visit by the Kurt Tidd, commander of the US South Command, to Colombia.

The Lima Group of countries has condemned the presidential elections in Venezuela and said it would not recognize its results. What hypocrisy! Let's remember the socalled Lima Group includes Honduras (whose president was imposed a few weeks ago after scandalous electoral fraud) and Brazil (whose president was never elected but came to power as a result of a constitutional maneuver). Now they want to prevent Venezuela from attending the Summit of the Americas in Peru.

The problems Venezuela is facing will not be solved by economic sanctions, but rather they will be aggravated by them. They will certainly not be solved by a military coup nor by further US meddling.

US and EU hands off Venezuela! No sanctions, no embargo!

Venezuela Media Watch

Hands Off Venezuela