On March 2, 2021, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with right-wing opposition leader Juan Guaidó and, illegitimately and against the wishes of the Venezuelan people, recognized him as interim president of Venezuela. This act by the Biden administration is just the latest in a long history of feckless and illegal U.S. interventions in the region, carried out with bipartisan consent. We take this occasion to reiterate our condemnation of historic and ongoing meddling by the U.S. in Venezuelan internal affairs, as well as our broad support for movements for democracy and socialism in Venezuela.
As the DSA IC wrote in our Quarterly Analysis Newsletter – Q4 2020:
On December 6, 2020, Venezuelans took part in national legislative elections. While the U.S. State Department is naturally quick to call any election in the Global South not happening under the auspices of Washington, DC, a sham, elements of the right not led by CIA-backed operative and useful idiot Juan Guaidó did not contest the legitimacy of the voting system. Latin American Council of Electoral Experts (CEELA) confirmed the results where the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), the party of democratically elected Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro, won with 69% of the vote and picked up 91% of the deputies in what the party hailed as a massive victory. This time around Venezuelans had the choice of voting for the Popular Revolutionary Alternative (APR), an alliance comprised of the Communist Party of Venezuela (PCV) and the Homeland for All (PPT) Party, among others and alongside a range of grassroots movements and trade unions… The PCV and PPT had traditionally backed the ruling PSUV, but recently broke with Maduro over his domestic economic policies. In the international sphere, the APR stands firmly with the current government against imperialism and foreign intervention…
The United States government has long opposed the Bolivarian process, openly supporting coup attempts, mass election interference, and propping up hard-line factions of the Venezuelan opposition to undermine popular and democratic will to implement socialism in Venezuela. The DSA IC implores the U.S. to do unto others as it would expect for itself: Allow Venezuelans to determine their own political future.
Additionally, DSA IC reiterates its strong condemnation of U.S. sanctions, which amount to war by other means. We also offer unequivocal solidarity with the 30 million Venezuelans who are suffering the devastating consequences of these sanctions. By cutting the state’s access to oil income, international trade, and foreign financing mechanisms, the sanctions have caused grievous harm to the Venezuelan people. The recent round of sanctions blocking imports of gasoline and diesel contribute directly to threats of famine by affecting the agricultural and transport sectors.
DSA IC broadly voices its support for political movements for democracy and socialism in the region. The Venezuelan situation is extremely complex for us, as socialists in the United States, to analyze. What responsibilities the PSUV and the state have for setting the conditions for the ongoing political and economic crisis, or for failing to address it, are severely disputed, but it is indisputable that the sanctions and coup-mongering have had nothing but a destructive effect on the situation; as socialists within the United States, it is these broad attempts at political destabilization and deleterious sanctions that are within our power to change. Also within our power to change, we express support for the over 4 million Venezuelan migrants and refugees scattered across the Americas—and in the U.S. demand the immediate enactment of Temporary Protected Status—as part of our opposition to deportations and restrictions on immigration in general.
While continuing to oppose these wanton, reckless, and antidemocratic interventions in Venezuela and broader interventionism in the region, we furthermore reiterate our commitment to studying the history of the Bolivarian process, to engage with comrades in different political positions within it, and, basing ourselves more surely in those processes of study and struggle, to work on building stronger, more confident solidarity with the Venezuelan people.
Finally, DSA IC calls on DSA-endorsed candidates and elected officials to use their positions to decry all U.S. interference in Venezuela, and on its chapters and members to organize protests against this interference and hold educational events to learn more about how to support movements for Bolivarian socialism in the 21st century.