MPs, activists and diplomats applaud Bolivarian revolution
by Our News Desk
A RALLY for Venezuela drew hundreds of people to London’s Hamilton House on Thursday night to mark the 10th anniversary of the Venezuela Solidarity Campaign.
Thunderous applause and cries of “Viva Venezuela, viva la solidaridad!” brought the house down.
Politicians, journalists and peace campaigners, along with the Venezuelan and Argentinian ambassadors, praised the “inspirational” example that the Bolivarian revolution is setting the world.
Speakers hailed the Latin American country’s achievements in poverty reduction and improving literacy and healthcare. Cuba Solidarity Campaign director Rob Miller noted the unshakeable friendship between Caracas and Havana, which saw Cuba send doctors and nurses while Venezuela provided economic aid and helped break the US blockade of the socialist island.
Labour Friends of Venezuela founder Colin Burgon was joined by party leadership candidate Jeremy Corbyn, Easington MP Grahame Morris and newly elected East Leeds MP Richard Burgon in hailing the challenge Venezuela posed to neoliberalism and privatisation.
Labour MSP Neil Findlay contrasted elections in Britain, where “the closest we get to security is the string that attaches the pencil to the voting booth,” with the high-tech system used in Venezuela. He noted that this system had been praised by former US president Jimmy Carter as the most secure and fraud-resistant on earth.
US campaigner Medea Benjamin of Code Pink slammed the ludicrous bid by the United States to paint Venezuela as a human rights abuser. “This from a country that guns down black citizens in the streets every single day? That keeps the death penalty, which Venezuela abolished in 1863?” she asked.
Morning Star editor Ben Chacko said Venezuela was an example of putting the “real needs of real people above abstract and impersonal ‘market forces.’
“We need to tell that story not just for its sake but for our own as well,” he urged.
Campaign co-ordinator Matt Willgress said the huge turnout “demonstrates how much support there is for Venezuela.“Now, in the run-up to the December elections, we need to strengthen our campaigning even further.”