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Eyewitness Venezuela: Sanctions kill but Venezuelans stand strong

By Austin Dewey

Brad Sigal and Sarah Martin speak about the World Anti-Imperialist Congress

Minneapolis, MN – Over 40 people gathered March 1 to hear Brad Sigal and Sarah Martin talk about their experience at the third World Anti-Imperialist Congress in Venezuela. This Congress was attended by over 1500 delegates from 73 countries in January, included a delegation from Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO). The delegates were able to bring their organizational and individual experience to Caracas to work with each other on resisting imperialism.

Since Nicolás Maduro was elected president, the U.S. has ratcheted up sanctions, currency manipulation, and backed coup attempts to destabilize Venezuela. The Bolivarian Revolution stands strong against all attempts by the U.S. to stand in the way of progress towards a more just and equitable society.

Maduro, a former union bus driver, shared that the Washington Post recently asked him what the key was to surviving the Juan Guaidó coup attempt. He responded: “Don’t ask me, ask the people who went in the streets to defend their revolution.”

One of the most devastating weapons of U.S. imperialism are the sanctions levied against the Venezuelan people. A study of sanctions by the Sanctions Kill campaign found that it has led to the deaths of over 40,000 Venezuelans by restricting food, medicine and medicinal equipment. On top of this, the sanctions create day-to-day inconveniences when parts are not available to repair infrastructure.

Venezuelans had three asks for those in the United States: organize people against U.S. military intervention in Venezuela, organize against sanctions, and convince the U.S. government to let Venezuela be.

Sarah Martin addressed the group saying, “We live in the belly of the beast, it is our responsibility to understand and take action.” Sigal and Martin called to build support for the revolutionary socialist movement in Venezuela, President Maduro, and the socialist movement in the United States.

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