On March 9, 2015, U.S. President Obama issued an executive order declaring a “national emergency” affirming that “the situation in Venezuela” poses an “unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States.” This is the latest measure of U.S. imperialist meddling in the internal affairs of a sovereign nation like the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and as such is strongly condemned by the Hands off Venezuela campaign.
Without Haiti’s help, there would not have been any independent country in Latin America. On January 1, 1816, when Simon Bolivar arrived in Haiti, downtrodden and desperate for help to fight the Spanish, the only two republics in the Western Hemisphere were the United States, where slave ownership was in force, and Haiti, which had fought for and earned its independence in what is still the only successful slave rebellion ever in the world.
In tomorrow’s special election for president of Venezuela, it’s not just the revolution in Venezuela that’s at stake, but also the fate of the socialist and revolutionary movements currently flourishing throughout Latin America. The Bolivarian Revolution is just that important. Nicolas Maduro understands that his challenge will be to live up to the legacy of President Hugo Chavez. Tomorrow, Venezuelan voters will almost certainly give him the opportunity.
As one of his first measures in office, Brazilian Defense Minister Celso Amorim plans to conclude Brazil’s participation in the notorious United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH). Various sectors of the Brazilian government, including Brazil’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, agree with Mr. Amorim, who says that the important thing now is to formulate an exit strategy. This story has now been translated into French and Spanish; the translations follow the English version.
Once again, the world is rising up against oppression. In the U.S., our time will come. Remember the kind of commitment we saw in Malcolm X, who was murdered 46 years ago this month. On the morning of Feb. 21, Malcolm received a phone call saying, “Today is the day.” He showed up anyway, knowing that that day could be his very last day on this Earth. Malcolm did not let fear control his commitment to the cause of freedom and justice. That is the real stuff we all are made of. Deep inside every one of us is a Revolution waiting to happen.
The universal condemnation of the military coup in Honduras by Latin American governments is unprecedented. If this dictatorship is allowed to stay in power, no democratically elected government is safe. Just as President Obama promised a more respectful relationship between the U.S. and the rest of America – we are faced with another coup with U.S. military complicity.
While Washington assures that its sole interest in the region is combating “new threats” – terrorism, drug trafficking and the Maras gangs of Central America – Latin American people often see it as the pursuit of “imperialist” interests dictated by energy needs.