Venezuela Annuls Fraudulent Signature Campaign
October 24, 2016
Once again Venezuela has proved that its “Bolivarian revolution” is not only successful in improving the economic well-being of the poor and most vulnerable as well as all of the laboring people, but also in protecting the electorate from fraud perpetrated by representatives of exploiters on the payroll of U.S. imperialism.
The latest event took place on October 20 when courts quashed an initiative to convene a recall referendum due to fraud perpetrated by a national consultative forum known as MUD. The forum was initiated by several parties representing the Venezuelan upper classes – including Acción Democrática (Social Democrats) and Copei (Christian Democrats). These two parties are renowned, in particular, for their monopolization of political power from 1958 to 1998 through an agreement known as “puntofijismo,” under which the two competed and shared the state administration while excluding all working class parties. During its recent signature campaign, this so-called “opposition” submitted 1,957,779 signatures, over 30% of which had irregularities, including a confirmed quantity of 10,000 dead people.
In addition to having virtually no popular support, the opposition relies on the method of fraud, openly agitates for the armed overthrow of the constitutional government, and several leaders have repeatedly called for U.S. military intervention.
In order to pave the way for U.S. military intervention, the opposition is refusing to respect Venezuelan court decisions and is instead planning to request that the Organization of American States (OAS) apply punitive measures to Venezuela. The opposition zeroed in on the OAS as it has long been an instrument for U.S. imperialism's economic, political and military domination of Latin American and the Caribbean. For example, in recent years, U.S. imperialism has used the OAS to push its program of neo-liberal economics – to pressure Latin American countries to privatize the state sectors of the economy and accelerate the take-over of the continent by U.S. bankers and monopoly corporations. So too, facing such growing movements for economic, national and social emancipation, U.S. imperialism is also using the OAS as a tool for extending its military presence throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. The OAS has helped implement “cooperation” and “multi-lateralism” to fight against “terrorism” and “drug-trafficking.” Through these programs U.S. imperialism is further integrating the armies of Latin America under the command structure of the Pentagon as well as dispatching its own military “advisers” and “special forces” to these countries.
This is but the latest in a series of attempts to create a disturbance big enough to “justify” U.S. intervention to “restore peace.”
In April 2002, these groups attempted a military coup, arresting the President and issuing a number of “decrees” nullifying many of the economic and political reforms being implemented according to the Constitution created by the August 1999 Constituent Assembly. The coup was defeated by the Venezuelan people who have since that time, continued the process of economic and political reforms known as the “Bolivarian Revolution.” As part of this process, the Venezuelan workers have achieved many victories in their struggle to overcome colonialism and neoliberalism. For example, the Bolivarian government played a key role in defeating the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) – a NAFTA-like treaty which would have included every country in the Western hemisphere except Cuba.
Today, when U.S. imperialism has launched its so-called “pre-emptive doctrine” and is militarizing every situation in order to assert itself as the sole superpower, it is intensifying its stranglehold over Latin America. U.S. imperialism has long considered Latin American as its “backyard,” robbing the wealth of the continent, superexploiting the peoples and carrying on a permanent war to suppress the popular struggles for independence and social progress. The extremely aggressive character of the U.S. program arises from the fact that the inherent laws of capitalist-imperialism impel U.S. monopoly capital to stretch its hand everywhere, to strive to grab up economic territory and spheres of influence. Yet the economic power of the U.S. monopolies is in relative decline. In short, U.S. imperialism is more determined than ever to fortify its strategic base.
Today, amongst other things, U.S. imperialism has on the agenda 1) the occupation of Haiti and efforts to restore direct colonial rule; 2) the National Endowment for Democracy sponsored campaign to destabilize the constitutional government of Venezuela; 3) the blockade and plans for direct military intervention against Cuba; 4) the counter-insurgency war against the Colombian people; 5) the extension and deepening of its economic takeover of the continent through such mechanisms as the Central American Free Trade Agreement, U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement, the North American Free Trade Agreement, etc.
It is for the U.S. working class and people to step up their struggles against U.S. intervention and U.S. colonialism and support the just struggles of the Latin American peoples for independence, freedom and social progress. The struggle against U.S. imperialism is a necessity for everyone who holds democracy dear; it is an irrepressible part of the struggle to assert our own humanity. We must demand an end to U.S. interference in Venezuela where the Pentagon and U.S. State Department are actively organizing. We must express solidarity with the Bolivarian process in Venezuela which is fighting for an independent and sovereign country free from outside intervention and interference.