Venezuela solidarity trumps LA rainstorm

In spite of flash flood warnings and heavy rain, people in Los Angeles came out Feb. 2 to demand no U.S. war and intervention against the government and people of Bolivarian Venezuela.

Chants of “Stop your imperialist ambitions! Hands off Venezuela!” could be heard echoing off of buildings surrounding MacArthur Park. Despite the weather, there was heavy traffic from both pedestrians visiting shops and catching public transportation and drivers at this busy intersection in a predominantly Mexican and Central and South American community.

The protest, “U.S. Hands Off Venezuela — Money for Jobs not War,” was initiated by Struggle for Socialism-La Lucha por el Socialism and the Harriet Tubman Center for Social Justice. The many organizations that participated and co-hosted felt it was vital to hold an action in this community.

Jefferson Azevedo, one of the organizers who emceed the event, said: “This imperialism and thievery is nothing new to the people of the Caribbean or Central or South America. We’re here at MacArthur Park because of the history of the people here, who’ve seen their loved ones die at the hands of imperialism and had to run because there was no other way.”

This demonstration was held on the 20th anniversary of the Bolivarian Revolution and was seen as a fitting tribute to the people of Venezuela, who are trying to rid their homeland of Western imperialism led by the U.S.

Many participants gave statements in solidarity with the Venezuelan people and government, representing organizations including School of the Americas Watch–LA, the Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador, Yellow Vests Los Angeles, California for Progress, the American Indian Movement–SoCal, Unión del Barrio and others, in a great show of left unity in the fightback.

That solidarity also reached from overseas, with a delegation from the People’s Democracy Party of South Korea visiting on a tour called “Peace Expedition to the USA.” The prestigious delegation wanted to add their presence to this demonstration because it echoed their work to stop U.S. imperialism in South Korea.

“Today in South Korea, the People’s Democracy Party had a solidarity rally in front of the Venezuelan Embassy to condemn the Trump government and imperialist maneuvers,” declared the PDP representative. “Venezuelan people will decide Venezuela’s destiny. Our party only supports Maduro, the Constituent Assembly and the Venezuelan people’s struggle for justice. And we’ll mobilize all means and methods to do that.

“We will continue to try and withdraw the imperialist forces of the world. Let’s fight back!”

That sentiment of militant solidarity, determined to counter the lies attempting to vilify President Nicolás Maduro to justify U.S. occupation and war, was reflected by almost all of the speakers and participants at this rain-soaked but determined demonstration.