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Minnesota: Speak-out against U.S. intervention in Venezuela

By staff

Meredith Aby-Keirstead, of the MN Anti-War Committee.

Minneapolis, MN – Around 50 people gathered at Mayday Books, January 25, for a speak-out and indoor rally against U.S. intervention in Venezuela.

On January 23 President Trump recognized the reactionary Juan Guaido, the president of the Venezuelan National Assembly, as the interim president of Venezuela. The U.S. allies of Canada, Brazil and Colombia immediately joined with Trump to say that they also recognize Guaido – instead of the recently re-elected President Nicolas Maduro – as the interim president.

The U.S. is openly organizing a coup against the democratically-elected government of Venezuela and members of the Minnesota anti-war movement gathered to express their concern that U.S. intervention could escalate into a military intervention in Venezuela.

The event began with an opening statement from Meredith Aby-Keirstead, a member of the MN Anti-War Committee, who stated, “Trump’s calls for a stronger democracy in Venezuela is absurd. Venezuela holds regular elections and Nicolas Maduro was just re-elected and just started his new term of office. The U.S.-sponsored ‘opposition’ regularly boycotts elections and instead calls for foreign-backed coups. Guaido, who Trump just declared the president of Venezuela, didn’t even run in the recent presidential election.”

Aby-Keirstead continued, “The U.S.-backed ‘opposition’ speaks openly about coordinating with the U.S. government – especially key Republicans like President Trump and Senator Marco Rubio. The ‘opposition’ is calling for mass privatization and neoliberal capitalism. It’s important to understand that this is not a legitimate opposition movement. It doesn’t value the sovereignty of Venezuela and is asking for the U.S. to put it into power. This isn’t a call for democracy – this is the Trump administration trying to install a puppet government!”

She continued, “The U..S has a history of organizing coups in Latin America and supported a failed coup attempt in Venezuela against President Hugo Chavez in 2002. Trump has hinted that there could be U.S.-sponsored violence in Venezuela again and insists that ‘all options are on the table.’

Gary Prevost, a member of the MN Cuba Committee, also addressed the audience as a speaker from the stage. The floor was open for audience members to speak out and the entire time was filled with heartfelt statements of support for the people of Venezuela.

Organizers of the speak-out encouraged supporters to attend the upcoming protest on February 2 organized by MN Caravan Solidarity to show support for the refugees on the border and to draw connections between the U.S. coup in Honduras and the current one in Venezuela.

The speak-out was co-sponsored by the Anti-War Committee, Mayday Books, and the Minnesota Peace Action Coalition.

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