[R-G] VENEZUELA BRINGS IN CUBAN DOCTORS WHILE WASHINGTON FUMES
mstainsby at resist.ca
Mon Jan 19 10:22:02 MST 2004
Via Workers World News Service
Reprinted from the Jan. 22, 2004
issue of Workers World newspaper
VENEZUELA BRINGS IN CUBAN DOCTORS WHILE WASHINGTON FUMES
By LeiLani Dowell
As resistance to U.S. imperialism grows in Latin America, Washington is
intensifying its war of words against Venezuela. The U.S. government
views Venezuela's "Bolivarian Revolution" as a distinct threat.
On Jan. 9, National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice said: "There are
roles that Venezuela has played that have not been very helpful. ... The
best thing that [Venezuelan President Hugo] Chavez could do at this
point is to demonstrate that he believes in a democratic future for
Venezuela by carrying out the wishes of his people in this regard."
Rice was referring to a referendum that the business class has submitted
for a recall vote on Chavez's term. The bosses claim they have garnered
3.4 million signatures, but the Venezuelan National Elections Council is
still reviewing the petitions.
Since Chavez took office in 1998, his progressive agenda has brought
about changes to improve living conditions for the 80 percent of
Venezuelans in poverty. The National Assembly has created one of the
most inclusive constitutions in the world, including the right to
strike, Indigenous rights and lesbian/ gay rights.
Chavez has included poor and working people in the creation of
Bolivarian circles to defend these progressive measures and perform
necessary social services.
The imperialists in the White House are fuming because their first two
attempts to unseat Chavez--a coup in April 2002 and a national lockout
in Dec ember 2002--were defeated by the mobilization of poor and working
people to defend the president.
Washington and Wall Street see Chavez and Venezuela as bad examples for
the rest of Latin America to follow. Indeed, an article in the Jan. 8
New York Times warned, "The United States, which has often viewed most
nations of Latin Amer ica as reliable and docile allies, is increasingly
facing resentment over security and trade policies that some of them
view as inimical to their interests."
"U.S. Decries Venezuela's Ties to Cuba" headlined a Jan. 5 Associated
Press article. It reported: "Administration officials say Cuba and
Venezuela are working toge ther to oppose pro-American, democratic
governments in the region. ... Chavez's actions have worried Washing ton
for some time, but U.S. officials have said little publicly."
Cuba has sent thousands of doctors and literacy volunteers to Venezuela
in an act of international solidarity.
The anti-imperialist movement in the U.S. should pay close attention to
developments in Venezuela and be prepared to stand in solidarity with
the Venezuelan people.
- END -
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