End the sanctions, stop the aggression and recognize President Maduro now!
The Communist Party of Canada condemns the recent military buildup by the United States in the Caribbean Sea, as part of its escalating campaign of aggression against the government of Nicolas Maduro. The Party also denounces the Canadian government’s involvement in this aggression and calls for an immediate end to the sanctions and campaign to overthrow President Maduro.
The massive buildup, the largest since the US invasion of Panama in 1989, was announced by US President Donald Trump on April 1, under the pretext of an ongoing “anti-narcotics” operation in the region. In fact, it is a blatant effort to intimidate the Venezuelan people and its legitimate, elected president. The buildup comes in the wake of Trump’s multi-million “dead or alive” bounties on President Maduro and other Venezuelan officials, and the State Department’s “framework for transition” document which calls for Maduro to resign and for anti-Bolivarian forces to lead a transitional government that would oversee new elections. The “framework” specifically threatens to escalate sanctions and other unilateral coercive measures if its demands are not implemented.
In the wake of the stalled campaign to replace Maduro with self-appointed Venezuelan president Juan Guaido, the US and its allies have begun describing the Bolivarian government as “narco-terrorist.” The Communist Party denounces this slander, which is deliberately used to generate support for the military buildup, as well as for the ongoing sanctions and other acts of aggression.
Trump’s rhetoric is undermined by official data from US security and intelligence agencies, which indicate that only a tiny fraction of narcotics passes through Venezuela.
Ivan Duque, the far-right president of Colombia, has pressed the US for increased deployment in the region, claiming that Venezuela is sheltering guerrilla forces and drug traffickers from Colombia. In truth, it is Colombia that is harbouring criminals and conspirators – whether in the form of state-supported death squads that have killed over a thousand left-wing militants since the 2016 peace accord, or by hosting US military operations on its border with Venezuela.
The Canadian government is an active participant in this campaign of aggression and illegal regime change, primarily through its membership in the Lima Group. Immediately following Trump’s announcement of the military buildup, the Lima Group issued a statement in which it explicitly supported the US framework document and implied its support for the US buildup. Perversely, the statement clearly positions a foreign-backed coup as the key component in confronting coronavirus in Venezuela; nowhere does it mention the deadly impact of the illegal sanctions which it supports.
The Communist Party demands that the Canadian government immediately withdraw from the Lima Group and cease all support for the US-led campaign against the Bolivarian government of Nicolas Maduro. Canada must end all sanctions against Venezuela, recognize Maduro as the legitimate president, and restore full diplomatic and trade relations.
The United States and its allies are using the coronavirus crisis as an opportunity to escalate aggressions against countries that are obstacles to imperialism. This includes Venezuela, Cuba, China, Iran and the DPR Korea. The Communist Party urges the labour and progressive movements in Canada to vigilantly oppose these actions and demand a foreign policy based on peace, disarmament, solidarity and international cooperation.
The pandemic must not be used as an opportunity to strengthen imperialism. Rather, this crisis shows the need for peace, democracy and socialism.