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Women’s statement against extreme, anti-democratic right-wing violence in Venezuela

Venezuela solidarityIn recent weeks there has been a wave of violence from minority, extremist elements of the Venezuelan opposition following the launch of a campaign by the extreme right for La Salida (‘The Ousting’) of the elected government. In response to this, a large march of women recently took place calling for an end to the violence, and supporting the Government’s calls for peace and dialogue.

In response to these developments, for International Women’s Day, leading women supporters of the Venezuela Solidarity Campaign have sent a message of solidarity to Venezuela, stating “On International Women’s Day we deplore the recent wave of violence from minority and extremist sections of Venezuela’s right-wing opposition, that has left a number of people dead, many injured and has seen physical assaults on government institutions, unleashed as a consequence of the proclaimed objective of “the ousting” of the elected government.”

Supporting the Minister for Women in Venezuela’s demand “for respect for the constitution,” they add that “we welcome the Women for Peace march that took place,” and conclude by opposing any external intervention in Venezuela and joining the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) in “both condemning the wave of violence and in supporting calls for dialogue and peace in Venezuela and oppose any external intervention in Venezuela.

The statement is signed by progressive women in Britain involved in organised and supporting the Women for Venezuela work of the VSC. Prominent signatories include Professor Doreen Massey, the General Secretary of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament Kate Hudson, the General Secretary of Liberation (formerly the Movement for Colonial Freedom) Maggie Bowden, plus Diana Holland and Gail Cartmail who are both Assistant General Secretaries of Unite the Union, Britain’s largest trade union.

Sian Errington, who convenes the VSC’s Women for Venezuela campaign:

At this crucial time where the ongoing advances in democracy and social progress – which have transformed the lives of millions of Venezuelan women in recent years – are under attack from anti-democratic and extreme elements of Venezuela’s right-wing opposition, we thought it was important to send a message of solidarity to the Venezuelan Women we have worked with, supported and been inspired by.”

We reproduce the letter here in full:

We have been inspired by the huge gains made by women as part of the wider social progress in Venezuela over the past decade, with women playing a leading role at all levels of society.

On International Women’s Day we deplore the recent wave of violence from minority and extremist sections of Venezuela’s right-wing opposition, that has left a number of people dead, many injured and has seen physical assaults on government institutions, unleashed as a consequence of the proclaimed objective of “the ousting” of the elected government.

We welcome the Women for Peace march that took place on 22nd February supporting the Government’s call for peace and dialogue to resolve differences rather than violence. Andreína Tarazón, Minister of Women’s Affairs and Gender Equality in Venezuela, stated that “We march to demand an end to vandalism and violence, and [to demand] respect for the Constitution.”

We join UNASUR (the Union of South American Nations) in both condemning the wave of violence and in supporting calls for dialogue and peace in Venezuela and oppose any external intervention in Venezuela.

Yours,”

Shelly Asquith, President, Student Union, University of the Arts London, Chair, National Union of Students London & member of 2013 Youth & Student Solidarity Delegation to Venezuela // Maggie Bowden, General Secretary, Liberation (formerly the Movement for Colonial Freedom) & Venezuela Solidarity Campaign Executive Committee // Gail Cartmail, Unite the Union, Assistant General Secretary, Services & member of first Trade Union Congress Delegation to Venezuela // Siobhan Endean, Unite the Union, ‘National Officer for Equalities, with responsibility for Women // Sian Errington, VSC EC Women for Venezuela convenor // Jayne Fisher, South East Region TUC International Committee & VSC EC // Diana Holland, Unite the Union, Assistant General Secretary, Equalities and Transport // Kate Hudson, General Secretary Campaign for Nuclear Disarnament & Venezuela Solidarity Campaign Executive Committee // Joy Johnson, Political Communicator & VSC EC // Professor Doreen Massey // Karen Mitchell. VSC & RMT (National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers) // Barbara Ntumy, NUS Women’s Committee & Black Students’ Committee & VSC Student Friends of Venezuela // Pia Westin, Unite the Union & VSC // Jude Woodward, part of the GLA team that arranged Hugo Chavez visit to London & VSC EC

3 Comments

  1. Dan says:

    I have nothing but vicious, brutal hatred for every feminist. I’m a man and they hate men, so why should I feel differently about them?

  2. jcee says:

    A lot of right-wing agitators are throwbacks to the old regime, if not actually then in terms of reactionary mindset. Despite the profile they have been getting in the media with recent street protests, the support for Maduro is a lot more solid than it may appear from the outside. The voice of Venezuelan women is very important at this juncture – thanks for highlighting it in this post.

  3. Stan Squires says:

    I am from vancouver,canada and i supports the women in Venezuela who are fighting against right wing violence in that country.All progressive men and women in Venezuela should support President Maduro against the reactionary opposition supported by the U.S. gov.Keep up the good work.

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