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Fifty leading trade unionists express solidarity with Venezuela

Venezuela solidarityFifty leading trade unionists have issued the following statement in support of Venezuela:

On March 9 US President Obama signed an executive order declaring  “a national emergency with respect to the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States posed by the situation in Venezuela” and imposed a further round of sanctions on the country. This has been condemned by major regional bodies in Latin America and the Caribbean, governments all over the world and much of global civil society, including the ITUC and numerous other trade union bodies.

We the undersigned – representatives of trade unions and working people in Britain – stand in solidarity with Venezuela’s unions of Railway workers, Urban and transport workers, Oil and electric workers, Education, Public Sector and Health workers, and Construction Workers who have organised mobilisations over the last month saying ‘Venezuela is not a Threat – We are Hope‘ and ‘Obama – Repeal the Executive Order.

Venezuela is not a threat to the U.S or any other country – instead it offers hope, including through some of the most advanced legislation regarding trade union and labour rights in the world.

We support the international ‘Obama – Repeal the Executive Order‘ campaign and will continue to both support the advances in social progress and workers’ rights that have taken place in Venezuela in recent years, and oppose US sanctions against Venezuela.

Signed by:

1 Tony Burke, Assistant General Secretary,Unite the Union & Venezuela Solidarity Campaign Vice-Chair
2 Doug Nicholls, General Secretary,General Federation of Trade Union & Venezuela Solidarity Campaign EC and:
3 Len McCuskey, General Secretary,Unite the Union
4 Billy Hayes, General Secretary,Communciation Workers Union
5 Mick Cash, General Secretary,Rail, Maritime & Transport Workers Union (RMT)
6 Manuel Cortes, General Secretary,Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association (TSSA)
7 Mick Whelan, General Secretary,ASLEF
8 John Smith, General Secretary,Musicians Union
9 Owen Tudor, Head of European Union and International Relations,Trade Union Congress (TUC)
10 Roger McKenzie, Assistant General Secretary,UNISON
11 Kevin Courtney, Deputy General Secretary,National Union of Teachers
12 Gail Cartmail, Assistant General Secretary,Unite the Union
13 Steve Turner, Assistant General Secretary,Unite the Union
14 Andy Kerr, Deputy General Secretary,Communication Workers Union
15 Hugh Scullion, General Secretary,CSEU (Confederation of Shipbuilding & Engineering Unions)
16 Dave Green, National Officer,Fire Brigades Union
17 Tom Jones, Thompsons Solicitors & Venezuela Solidarity Campaign EC
18 Moz Greenshields, TUC Joint Consultative Committee
19 Joe Gluza, NEC Member,University & College Union (UCU)
20 Terry Hoad, University & College Union (UCU) NEC Member & Former President,
21 Mark Lyon, Chair, International Committee & EC Member,Unite the Union
22 Seán McGovern, Co-Chair,Trade Union Congress (TUC,) Disabled Members Committee & Unite Executive Council Member (Disabled Workers Representative)
23 Ged Dempsey, Executive Council Member,Unite the Union
24 Andy Green, Executive Council Member,Unite the Union
25 Tommy Murphy, Executive Council Member,Unite the Union & Venezuela Solidarity Campaign EC
26 Maggie Ryan, Executive Council Member,Unite the Union
27 Simon Dubbins, Director of International,Unite the Union
28 Siobhan Endean, National Officer for Equalities,Unite the Union
29 Adrian Weir, Assistant Chief of Staff,Unite the Union
30 Martin Mayer, Chair, United Left in,Unite the Union
31 Jane Carolan, NEC Member,UNISON
32 Stephen Kennedy, NEC Member,UNISON & Venezuela Solidarity Campaign EC
33 Max Watson, NEC Member,UNISON
34 Carl Maden, Communciation Workers Union NEC member
35 Peter Pinkney, President,RMT (Rail Maritime and Transport Union)
36 Karen Mitchell, Legal Officer & Solicitor,Rail, Maritime & Transport Workers Union (RMT)
37 Andy Bain, Treasurer,TSSA
38 Marie Taylor, Chair,Community & Youth Workers Section, Unite the Union
39 Enrico Tortolano, Research & Policy Officer,PCS & ‘Tribune’ Latin America Correspondent
40 Denis Doody, UCATT Regional Secretary, Northern Region
41 Bernard Regan, Chair,South East Region Trade Union Congress International Committee & Cuba Solidarity Campaign National Secretary
42 Jayne Fisher, Vice Chair,South East Region Trade Union Congress International Committee
43 Kevan Nelson, Regional Secetary, North West Region,UNISON
44 Dominic MacAskill, Head of Local Government,Wales/Cyrmu UNISON
45 Phil Thompson, Secretary of International Committee,UNISON Greater London Region
46 Kev Terry, Chair,South West Region, Unite the Union
47 Mike Hedges, Vice Chair, Passenger National Industrial Sector Committee,Unite the Union
48 Jim Buckley, Regional Officer,Unite the Union
49 Dave Lovelidge, National Industrial Sector Committee & Regional Industrial Sector Committee (South East),GPMIT Sector
50 Phil McGarry, Political Officer,Rail, Maritime & Transport Workers Union (RMT), Scotland

Left Futures is supporting the Rally for Venezuela – End the US Sanctions, No More Interventions! organised by the Venezuela Solidarity Campaign. Facebook event here and register here 




  1. J.P. Craig-Weston says:

    Good for them and good for Venezuela.

    I note that Milband is mumbling incoherently to himself in a courner and that Chuka Umma seizing the moment, has just declared that, “We’re all capitalists now,” (a mistake that will probably lose Labor the next election.)

    For the last 60 years we’ve had the cuddly Disney version of American hegemony, (now coming to the UK,) presented to us, one that is massively at odds with the real brutal and violent experiences of American imperialism particularly throughout Latin America and the Caribbean and the Pacific, which led, (I think it was him,) Roosevelt at least once to describe the inhabitants of those regions as being, “America’s subjects.”

    How democratic was that?

    How democratic is this?

  2. J.P. Craig-Weston says:

    After prominent US evangelical Pat Robertson’s on-air call for Chavez to be assassinated in August 2005, the Chávez administration reported that it would more closely scrutinize and curtail foreign evangelical missionary activity in Venezuela. Chávez himself denounced Robertson’s call as a harbinger of a coming U.S. intervention to remove him from office. Chávez reported that Robertson, member of the secretive Council for National Policy (CNP) — of which George Bush, Grover Norquist, and other prominent neoconservative Bush administration insiders are also known members or associates — was, along with other CNP members, guilty of “international terrorism”. Robertson subsequently apologized for his remarks, which were criticized by Ted Haggard of the U.S.-based National Association of Evangelicals. Haggard was concerned about the effects Roberson’s remarks would have on US corporate, (and evangelical missionaries’,) interests in Venezuela.

  3. Barry Ewart says:

    As a working class socialist social housing tenant I add my support to Venezeula as 114 UK political figures from different parties did re opposing US sanctions.
    The previous Organisation of American States meeting voted 27-3 to call for dialogue as opposed to US unilateral actions.
    But I think we have all seen this in Latin America many times before, the USA on behalf of their right wing rich and powerful has a terrible record in interfering undemocratically and secretly in these democratic countries on behalf of their TNCs.
    I am reminded of the brilliant John Pilger film ‘War on Democracy’ and the killing of of the Chillean singer Victor Jara by right wing prison guards in a right wing coup supported by the right wing in the US and the CIA in the mid 1960’s.
    Victor Jara wrote one last song before he was tortured for 2 days then killed and they broke his arms so he couldn’t play for the other socialist prisoners to lift their spirits.
    His last lyrics read:
    ‘They carry out their plans with knife-led precision.
    For them blood equals medals.
    How hard it is to sing.
    When I sing of horror.
    In which silence and screams.
    Are the end of my song.’
    From my humble social housing home in England as a democratic socialist I say to the US right wing rich and powerful, re Venezuela and the rest of Latin America -the World is watching you.
    Capitalism is in its third stage – globalisation, and we need to start thinking as global citizens, as global working people.
    Yours in love, peace and international solidarity!

    1. Billericaydickie says:

      I had to read this several times to make sure that you were in fact a social housing tenant who is in solidarity with Venezuela.

      Why you are quoting Victor Jara I have no idea as there is no comparison between the situation in Chile in 1973 and Venezuela now. The violence is coming from a corrupt left wing oligarchy which has looted the country. People starve while some of the biggest oil reserves in the world are under their feet.

      Once again the left have backed the wrong horse because they are blinded by anti ” imperialism” whatever that is? As long as a regime proclaims socialism and anti imperialism you will overlook, conceal and in doing so collude in murder and torture.

      1. J.P. Craig-Weston says:

        Yes once again it’s those fine and noble American capitalists defending the right of downtrodden and the poor against another corrupt and evil socialist oligarchy with nothing at all to do with oil?

        Yes that sounds likely doesn’t it ?

        I’m afraid that the story of the legacy alone of US economic imperialism in the region rather makes me doubt you argument which sound rather too much the kind of right wing twaddle deployed in response to any left leaning government and the quote from Victor Jara was extremely pertinent and an apt comment.

        But here’s another:

        “Washington Bullets”

        Oh! Mama, Mama look there!
        Your children are playing in that street again
        Don’t you know what happened down there?
        A youth of fourteen got shot down there
        The Kokane guns of Jamdown Town
        The killing clowns, the blood money men
        Are shooting those Washington bullets again

        As every cell in Chile will tell
        The cries of the tortured men
        Remember Allende, and the days before,
        Before the army came
        Please remember Victor Jara,
        In the Santiago Stadium,
        Es verdad – those Washington Bullets again

        And in the Bay of Pigs in 1961,
        Havana fought the playboy in the Cuban sun,
        For Castro is a colour,
        Is a redder than red,
        Those Washington bullets want Castro dead
        For Castro is the colour…
        …That will earn you a spray of lead

        For the very first time ever,
        When they had a revolution in Nicaragua,
        There was no interference from America
        Human rights in America

        Well the people fought the leader,
        And up he flew…
        With no Washington bullets what else could he do?

        ‘N’ if you can find a Afghan rebel
        That the Moscow bullets missed
        Ask him what he thinks of voting Communist…
        …Ask the Dalai Lama in the hills of Tibet,
        How many monks did the Chinese get?
        In a war-torn swamp stop any mercenary,
        ‘N’ check the British bullets in his armoury

        1. J.P. Craig-Weston says:

          On a more frivolous note I’d just like to ask Billericaydickie, how’s the weather over there in Langley at this time of year?

          1. Billericaydickie says:

            JP Craig-Weston and is anyone actually called that? Actually I’m in Essex, in case you couldn’t tell. What a pathetic little person you are.

        2. R.B.Stewart says:

          Good comments JP and democratic socialists should treasure our history and great thinkers and artists many of whom were murdered by right wing forces such as Rosa Luxemburg, Gramsci, Allende, Victor Jara, Pablo Neruda (probably) to name a few. They can kill people but they can’t kill ideas. I think the title of ‘Left Futures’ may have missed some peoples attention – it is a forum where the democratic left share and discuss ideas. I hate to spoil
          someone’s hobby and self-actualising but I think some anonymous people may be better suited to right wing sites like Conservative Home or UKIP or just Google ‘Right Backwards’
          I think reading these comments you can see where the love for the oppressed is coming from and alernatively where the love of the oppressors pours out.

        3. Billericaydickie says:

          As a matter of interest who wrote this awful dirge?

          1. Tim Barlow says:


            Good name, albeit pilfered from Ian Dury. Are you “doing very well”? Not well enough to be too familiar with The Clash who, since you ask, were the authors of Washington Bullets (off the Sandinista album). If you check it out you’ll see (or hear) it’s not too dirgey, but it’s no Plaistow Patricia, either!

            Incidentally, according to Wikipedia, Dury said he saw Billericay Dickie as “a pathetic figure”, a brickie bragging about his sexual conquests while name-checking place-names in Essex. Time for a name-change? How about Clever Trevor?!

          2. Billericaydickie says:

            Ever heard of irony? I am a brickie and a fully paid up member of the working class. The Clash were and are an overrated band which most definitely hasn’t stood the test of time. Just have a good look at the lyrics, absolute crap.

          3. John.P reid says:

            You don’t want to go to heaven in 1977 because there’s going to be the revelation in 1977′

            one thing I learnt he who f@@ks nuns will later join the. Church

            Do look so us, phoney Beatle mania has finally bit the dust,

            All classic clash lyrics!

          4. Tim Barlow says:

            “Cheat, cheat/No reason to play fair/Cheat, cheat/Won’t get you anywhere/Cheat, cheat/ If you can win…Don’t use the rules/They’re not for you, they’re for the fools/And you’re a fool if you don’t know that/So use the rule you stupid fool!”

            …is pretty class, but the winner (particularly at this time) has to be…

            “The new groups are not concerned/With what there is to be learned/They got Burton suits/They think it’s funny/Turning rebellion into money/All over people changing their votes/Along with their overcoats/If Adolf Hitler flew in today/They’d send a limousine anyway…”

    2. Barry Ewart says:

      Of course we are all trying to judge from thousands of miles away ‘though I did go to Brazil just before Lula’s victory and saw the appalling conditions and was pleased to read about the real progress that has been made by progressive Govts in Latin America to help the poor and working people in general. Did read an interesting piece see: Democracy behind bars in Venezueula? Who is Leopoldo Lopez? Which is very informative and highlights the need for international solidarity!

      1. Billericaydickie says:

        Your quoting a Marxist site which is unavailable. Sounds like basic goods and supplies in a Marxist society!

        1. Billericaydickie says:

          I’m talking to myself now so I’ll continue. Have a look at for the latest on democracy in Venezuela. Ok I will, thanks. Don’t mention it.

          1. John.P reid says:

            Billericay Dickie, all us East London Essex bow have got to stick together, and democratic socialist, who’ve fought the hard left.

            But mentioning Hurryuphqrry,on sites like this never goes down well

            For the record one of our local party members who lived in Venezuela for a few years gave a talk about it at a meeting in e, saying that it wasn’t the socialist utopia, that the left dreamed of, it went down well with all but one member, who left the party after!

          2. John.P reid says:

            If they don’t like hurryupharry, try Rob merchant at

    3. Charles Anderson says:

      To Barry Ewart I read your comments with interest and agree 100%. I am 70 now and have seen time after time the same USA crushing of any movement or organisation which threatens the profits of these huge American companies. American aggression and intervention both open and covert have shaped the Latin America we know today. I am a working class socialist, Miner and son and grandson of Miners. I did not have to check your credentials, but I do have to question Billericaydickie: No comparison between Chile 1973 and Venezuela now. Tricky Dicky is talking shity. Imperialism whatever that is? : It’s what happened in Chile then and Venezuela now. As long as a regime proclaims capitalism and democracy you will overlook, conceal and in doing so collude in murder and torture.

  4. Robert says:

    Why did you join the labour party John your obviously not a socialist you do not have a socialist bone in your body, your so far to the right you have pasted Cameron.

    I can see your party of nuts jobs clapping because people are struggling to get a better life in a country.

    1. John.P reid says:

      To quote the drama GBH, Troakyites knew nothing about socialism, when you joined Labour in 1964? A united Party, after Gaitskells death, bunt out Tories a labour victory was guaranteed, When I joined labour in 1987′ A union boss said after our 3 defeat,third Tory Landslide, he couldn’t see Labour winning again in his life time,

      1. Robert says:

        What a dick head

  5. Matty says:

    Billericaydickie is the moniker of the notorious Terry Fitzpatrick. See

    1. John.P reid says:

      Really,did he live in Essex

      1. John.P reid says:

        Interesting, that the law states a person of different heritage to themselves can’t use a word to reply to the other, even though the other uses that word,
        Case point, A Jewish Tottenham fan chants yid army, then a non Jew supporting another team, uses the word back,in a chant, then they could face a racism charge

        1. John.P reid says:

          Come To think of it,it sort of makes sense,
          Different things are offensive to other people
          A work friend of mine Mike Morrison was in the rap group Double trouble when out in our pick up van, and we’d play Rapper Busta Rhymes and he’d rap the N word, and I’d sing along with all the other lyrics except that one,with Mike,

          But on the Train the other day,some white kids who clearly weren’t racist,in fact they probably thought they were black on the inside, judging by how they were trying Baldy to talk Patwa, were singing along to a rap song using the N word,and I thought they shouldn’t be doing that in public , but then I thought if I was in their shoes, I’d have sung along but changed the lyrics ,if it was something other people may have found offensive such. As swearing

    2. Billericaydickie says:

      News to me. I’ve never heard of the guy. I see Operation Black Vote is currently running it’s own racist campaign with black people ” whiting up”.

      1. John.P reid says:

        I think he use to call himself abillericayDicky, do t worry I get confused for the other John Reid, when I was organizing the selection of our PlP, people from all over were saying how nice it was I was t Defence. Secretary any more I was sorting out the selection!

        Funnily enough, there were 3 other John Reid’s who were labour members in my area, more common a name than I thought,
        Look at Havering electoral register of council candidates 1994-2014 if you want proof.

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