Hands Off Venezuela (Canada) is organizing solidarity events in four Canadian cities–Fredericton, Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver–in conjunction with the International Day of Action on the weekend of 17th-18th September.  More information will follow next week.  In the meantime, if you are interested in more information or helping out, please contact canada@handsoffvenezuela.org .

The National Assembly elections in Venezuela, which will take place on September 26, will mark a turning point for the Bolivarian revolution. What is at stake is not only who will have a majority in the National Assembly, but the future of the revolutionary process itself.

The Bolivarian Revolution has sunk deep roots among the Venezuelan people. The conquests it has achieved for workers and peasants, for the poorest layers in the cities and in the countryside, are well known: in the fields of education, health care, the development of basic infrastructures, state control over strategic industries, and the beginning of an agrarian reform.

The example of Venezuela has inspired workers, peasants and the people of Latin America and the world in their struggle against imperialist domination, poverty and exploitation.

But the Bolivarian Revolution has also unleashed the wrath of US imperialism and its allies in the Venezuelan oligarchy, who see these social conquests as a threat to the interests of the rich and powerful. They have used all means at their disposal to undermine the aims and achievements of the revolution: through international diplomatic pressure, a constant media campaign of lies and slander, attempts to sabotage the Venezuelan economy, not to mention several coup attempts and plots.

If the forces of the right wing and reaction gain a sizable presence in the National Assembly, there is no doubt that they will use it as a weapon to block or reverse the progressive measures taken so far, and as a focal point to stall the advance of the revolution. They are already doing this in Venezuela, and the same can be seen in countries like Honduras, Bolivia and Ecuador, and in the past, in Nicaragua and Chile.

A defeat of the Venezuelan revolution would be used against all those around the world who suffer the domination and the oppression of the powerful, and who struggle for a better world. It would encourage the reactionary political forces in every country to intensify their right-wing policies, and aid in their efforts to weaken and demoralize those who oppose them. For these reasons, it is now more necessary than ever for all progressive forces in society – the workers, the urban and rural poor, the youth, the intellectuals and professionals who are committed to the cause of the people – to unite their voices and efforts, in Latin America and throughout the world, to defend the Bolivarian revolution, showcase its achievements, and denounce the forces of reaction that are trying to put an end to it.

The National Assembly elections of September 26 will be an important milestone in this struggle of living forces between progress and reaction, between the future and the past. We therefore give our full solidarity and support to the Bolivarian candidates of the PSUV and make an appeal to the Venezuelan people to support them with their vote.

We, the undersigned, appeal to all those in solidarity with the Venezuelan revolution to redouble their activities in the coming weeks, to fight against the campaign of lies and misinformation of the media, and to publicise the achievements of the Bolivarian movement. We also aim to build solidarity links between the revolutionary people of Venezuela and their brothers and sisters in other countries, in order to defend the revolution against both its internal and external enemies.

Together with the Bolivarian Congress of the Peoples in Venezuela, we call for the organisation of solidarity actions throughout the world on September 17 and 18, on the eve of elections.

In Solidarity,

Manos Fuera de Venezuela – Comité de Venezuela

Manos Fuera de Venezuea – Argentina

Manos Fuera de Venezuela – Bolivia

Tirem as Mãos da Venezuela – Brasil

Manos Fuera de Venezuela – El Salvador

Manos Fuera de Venezuela – México

Hands Off Venezuela – Estados Unidos

Louis Riel Bolivarian Circle / Hands Off Venezuela Toronto – Canada

Hands Off Venezuela – Finland

Tirem as Mãos da Venezuela – Portugal

Hands Off Venezuela – Britain

Giú le Mani dal Venezuela – Italia

Pas touche au Venezuela – France

Pas touche au Venezuela – Belgique

Hände weg von Venezuela – Austria, Germany, Switzerland