Venezuela Solidarity Campaign
| Venezuela Solidarity Campaign |
VSC picket: "Give Venezuela back its gold!"
|Established in May 2005 in order to develop a broad based solidarity movement with the central aim of defending Venezuela’s right to self-determination and her national sovereignty.|
The Venezuela Solidarity Campaign was established in May 2005 in order to develop a broad based solidarity movement with the central aim of defending Venezuela’s right to self-determination and her national sovereignty, which is constantly threatened by the United States and its allies. VSC brings together a wide range of people and organisations who are against external intervention and support self-determination for Venezuela and the nations of Latin America more broadly. Within this broad coalition, people have a wide range of views with regards to political developments within the country itself. VSC's Scottish section is known as the Scottish Venezuela Solidarity Campaign (SVSC).
On 23 February 2019, VSC organised a picket outside the Bank of England to protest the Bank's withholding over $1bn of Venezuela’s gold bullion, as part of a series of #NoWarOnVenezuela demonstrations taking place around the world.
Following the death of Hugo Chávez in 2013, VSC continued its work in support of his successor as President, Nicolás Maduro. The activities of the VSC and SVSC in 2015-16 included maintaining websites with extensive information about the situation in Venezuela; organising conferences, lectures and other events; publishing a magazine, Viva Venezuela!; maintaining a social media presence, and seeking to influence parliamentarians and others.
The VSC has a democratic structure with a 30-strong Executive Committee (EC) that is elected at the VSC’s Annual General Meeting by its membership. Among the EC there are national leaders of the most important trade unions, journalists, activists for the Caribbean, lawyers, student activists, and many others. About 20 of the largest trade unions in the UK are affiliated to VSC, among which there are UNITE, UNISON, GMB, CWU, etc.
- Honorary President Ken Livingstone, former Labour MP and Mayor of London (2000-2008);
- Patron Diane Abbott, Labour MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington;
- Patron Kelvin Hopkins, Labour MP for Luton North;
- Patron Bruce Kent, political activist and former Priest;
- Patron Ann Pettifor, academic
- Tony Benn was a patron until his death in 2014.
- Rodney Bickerstaffe was a patron until his death in 2017.
UK military exercises
In February 2019, following reports that Britain’s navy and marines were conducting military exercises close to Venezuela, VSC's National Secretary Francisco Dominguez told the Morning Star:
- “We are extremely concerned that Britain may join any military attack unleashed by the US against Venezuela.”
Stop the War Coalition campaigner Mayer Wakefield echoed this concern, saying:
- “Britain’s recent history of catastrophic military interventions should rule out any UK participation in Donald Trump’s attempts to destabilise a democratically elected government in Venezuela.”
|Document:British military presence near Venezuela ‘extremely concerning’||Article||5 February 2019||Phil Miller||“Britain’s recent history of catastrophic military interventions should rule out any UK participation in Donald Trump’s attempts to destabilise a democratically elected government in Venezuela.”|
- ↑ "Venezuela Solidarity Campaign: a profile"
- ↑ http://scottishvenezuelasolidarity.org.uk/about-scottish-venezuela-solidarity-svsc/about-svsc
- ↑ "NEWS RELEASE: Ken Livingstone, Tariq Ali, CND, Stop the War & 100s Protest in London against War on Venezuela"
- ↑ http://scottishvenezuelasolidarity.org.uk/news-reports/news-reports
- ↑ "British military presence near Venezuela ‘extremely concerning’"