Venezuela calls for support against U.S. attacks on elections

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Yván Gil Pinto with Carlos Ron and Manolo De Los Santos. Photo: Wyatt Souers

On June 13, Yván Gil Pinto, ­Venezuela’s foreign minister, spoke to a packed reception at the People’s Forum in New York. Manolo de los Santos, the People’s Forum executive director, welcomed Pinto and helped frame the conversation with leading questions.

Young people of color filled the room, many coming from a protest at Citibank’s World Headquarters as part of a global week of action against Citibank, which has financed the genocide in Gaza. Representatives of political organizations and journalists were also invited to the event called “Venezuela vs Hybrid War.”

Gil Pinto talked about the coercive attempts of U.S. imperialism to undermine Venezuela’s process of building a revolutionary democracy at a time when Venezuela is preparing for elections at the end of July.

Venezuela has held over 30 elections in the past 25 years despite facing aggressive hostilities from U.S. imperialism. Gil Pinto noted, “Our resilience demonstrates the strength of our revolutionary democratic process.”

This year, the elections will take place during the 10th year of sanctions aimed at disrupting Venezuela’s economy. “We have been the victim of a wide range of attacks whose objective is to break our revolutionary unity,” Gil Pinto said. “Imperialism has not been able to succeed because the people themselves created the basis of Venezuelan democracy.”

He continued, “To understand how we resist these aggressions, go back to 1998, when Comandante Hugo Chavez called on us for a popular revolution to rebuild the nation. Chavez’s great promise in 1998 was the formation of a Constituent Assembly.

“Since then, we’ve coordinated a discussion process at all levels and all areas of our society, asking what we want to get out of a new Venezuelan Constitution. The process built democratic unity. As a result, we have a Constitution that is a bulletproof tool that allows us to proceed without knowing how or when we may be attacked.

“In April 2002, hostile forces removed President Chavez for 72 hours. The constitution made civil and military unity possible. It has been the backbone able to resist all serious attacks.

“In 2019, they came up with the fake government of Juan Guaidó, together with measures aimed at attacking the stability of the economy. The grassroots cohesion of the Venezuelan people enabled them to withstand attacks that have continued nonstop, including various assassination attempts on the life of President Nicolas Maduro.

“Today, under the constriction of U.S. sanctions, we have found that the only way to mobilize is to tell the truth and depend on the wisdom of the people. The imperialists are targeting us with a strong media war. The U.S. promotes their allies — the small right-wing opposition who hope to regain a share of Venezuela’s oil. They have no shame in supporting sanctions and being puppets of the imperialists. They have no popular support.

“To counter this coercive environment, President Nicolas Maduro has gone to the streets, house to house, to the whole socialist country, sharing the enormous suffering caused by sanctions and making sure the enemy is identified.

“We are confident that the election outcome will be solid. Our concern is that the U.S. will not respect it. Tonight We are asking you to give us your support and to defend our path of development.” 

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