On February 23rd, 2019, Socialist Action’s members joined over 200 other activists and concerned citizens in a show of unity outside of the CBC headquarters in Toronto. This was part of an international day of solidarity with over 130 other actions across the world organized under the demand “No War on Venezuela”.
The Toronto event, proposed by Socialist Action, was endorsed by a number of organizations including Venezuela Solidarity, Latin American and Caribbean Solidarity Network, NDP Socialist Caucus, the Toronto Association for Peace and Solidarity, the Communist Party of Canada, the Hugo Chavez Front, the Louis Riel Bolivarian Circle and many others. All of these organizations had speakers who consistently criticized the CBC for its disgustingly biased coverage on Venezuela.
It is impossible for us to remain silent in the face of the latest aggression against the Venezuelan people organized and supported by the governments of Canada and the United States. All of those in attendance were united in opposition to any foreign interference in a sovereign and democratic country.
It was just over one month ago when the governments of Canada and United States gave their acknowledgement to Juan Guaido, the self-declared President of Venezuela. This is a man who the majority of Venezuelans had never even heard of until Donald Trump announced that he was recognizing him as the President. Canada soon followed suit. The situation is so absurd that it would be laughable if the stakes were not so high.
This is all part of package of Canadian and US sanctions, increasing financial and material support for the opposition forces, and endorsing the continued hording of products, including food and medicine, by the Venezuelan capitalist thugs. These are shocking violations of international law, national sovereignty, and the charters of both the United Nations’ and Organization of American States. The situation today remains critical and risks further escalation as the Western imperialist vultures circle above threatening military intervention.
Yet Canada’s own public broadcaster, the CBC, as well as the rest of the capitalist-run corporate media, are overwhelmingly pushing support for a regime change all in the name of “helping the poor” and “averting a humanitarian crisis”. We know this is a lie and we were able to call out the falsehoods. By bringing our protest to the front door of the CBC, we continued to expose the lies behind the propaganda that is pushing for a US- and Canada-sponsored coup in Venezuela. We wanted to ensure that the voices of the majority of Venezuelans who oppose such foreign interventions were heard loud and clear.
Following a very spirited rally, those gathered then marched through Toronto’s financial district demanding that the natural resources of the people of Venezuela remain theirs. Canadian mining in Latin America has pushed Ottawa towards a much more aggressive position in the region. As was pointed out by a number of speakers, stealing oil and other resources is the primary reason for the coup attempt. It has absolutely nothing to do with the so-called “promotion of democracy” and easing of a phony “humanitarian” crisis.
We know the truth and we will not be sold a false bill of goods from the Canadian government and its cowardly propaganda arm, the CBC. Shame on the CBC and shame on the Canadian government!
Respect Venezuelan sovereignty and self-determination! CBC, stop telling lies! Hands Off Venezuela!
February 23, 2019 – Socialist Action speech by Mitchell Shore at CBC Headquarters
Sisters and brothers, comrades and friends, my name is Mitchell Shore and I am very pleased to speak to you today on behalf of Socialist Action.
This is a historic moment for the people of Venezuela and the international working class. The threat of imperialist aggression is blatant.
The US and Canadian economic and political war is the primary cause of the so-called “humanitarian crisis” in Venezuela. But the CBC hides the truth from the general public.
The CBC refuses to report that imperialist powers have seized the assets of Venezuela, frozen its credit, stolen over one billion dollars in gold, imposed a trade embargo, and that Venezuelan capitalists are hoarding goods.
This is how a democratic country is strangled by the Western vultures who want to go back in time to resume their plunder of Venezuela’s resources.
There is no reason for Maduro to “dialogue” with the US-funded reactionary opposition, led by a puppet who never even ran for president. And we need to remind NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh that Venezuela already has a democratically elected President. His name is Nicolas Maduro.
Now I don’t have to remind you, here today, about the violent history of US intervention in Latin America: Guatemala, Chile, El Salvador, Nicaragua, the list goes on and on and on….
And now, Ottawa wants to get into the game, leading the charge for regime change.
Every single time the West gets involved in Latin America they leave a bloody path of destruction in their wake. And you’d have to be a fool to believe it will be any different this time around.
The aim is simple: to overthrow Nicolas Maduro and any remnants of the Bolivarian Revolution.
What brings us here today is that the CBC is acting as the de facto propaganda arm of Trudeau’s imperial ambitions – which is why we must bring it under workers’ control.
For years, the CBC has spread rabidly biased lies about the situation in Venezuela. They deny the realities on the ground: they throw softball questions to the right wingers, they provide unlimited air time for the opposition, and yet they refuse to interview government officials and its supporters. This is the shameful story of the CBC’s coverage.
The most vocal siren of the Trudeau government is Chrystia Freeland. She states, and the CBC obediently reports, that Canada needs “to help the poor people of Venezuela.”
Well I say to her: don’t you worry about the poor, the Black and Indigenous people of Venezuela. They are engaged in a project to eradicate centuries of white supremacy and apartheid conditions. This is the reality on the ground.
And despite the many troubles rooted in oil dependency and corruption, Venezuela today demonstrates more democracy than the 14 countries of the Lima Group combined.
The failure of the government to break the stranglehold of foreign and domestic capital, to effect a socialist transformation, is a matter solely for the people of Venezuela to resolve.
The bottom line is that we as progressive voices must oppose any outside interference in Venezuela – whether from Canada, the US, or anywhere else. They have absolutely no right to interfere in the internal affairs of a sovereign country.
Whatever one thinks about the Maduro government, the one thing which unites most Canadians is a rejection of any attempt to overthrow the Venezuelan government.
If we don’t speak up, and challenge the dominant narrative fed to us by the CBC, there will be serious consequences for those working-class Venezuelans who continue to fight for self-determination and social justice in their country.
This is why we call for an end to the sanctions, an end to Canada’s participation in the Lima Group, and an end to the coup.
We stand with the people of Venezuela, and we support their efforts to complete their revolution. And we loudly tell the imperialist vultures to Go Home!
No Coup! No Sanctions! No War!
CBC, stop telling lies!
Hands Off Venezuela!!