Resolution passed at CLP GC meeting on 28th Feb
Attempted coup in Venezuela
West Ham Labour Party notes that:
• Juan Guaidó, the leader of Venezuela’s National Assembly, has declared himself to be Interim President of Venezuela.
• Guaidó did not stand in the presidential elections of May 2018, which were won by Nicolás Maduro with 68% of the vote.
• The Venezuelan constitution contains no provisions for people to declare themselves Interim President.
• The Trump administration has formally recognised Guaidó as President of Venezuela, as has the Bolsonaro government in Brazil.
• The Trump administration has threatened military action against the Venezuelan government.
• UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has described Guaidó as “the right person to take Venezuela forward”, and claims that “Nicolás Maduro is not the legitimate leader of Venezuela”.
West Ham Labour Party believes that:
• Over the last twenty years, the Venezuelan government has pursued policies aimed at alleviating poverty, reducing inequality, providing universal healthcare and education, building huge amounts of social housing, and building systems of participatory democracy.
•This progressive focus has consistently been opposed by the US government, which has supplied opposition groups with vast sums of money and which helped coordinate an attempted coup in 2002.
• The primary interest of the US in Venezuela is not promoting democracy but regaining controls over its oil reserves, which are currently considered to be the largest in the world.
• International sanctions against Venezuela (in which the UK participates) are a significant factor in the economic difficulties the country is facing.
• Venezuela’s political problems must be resolved by Venezuelans, peacefully and within the framework of their constitution, without the interference of foreign states with a vested interest in removing a progressive government.
West Ham Labour Party calls on the Labour front bench to:
• Oppose any move by the UK government or the European Union to recognise Juan Guaidó as President or otherwise subvert the democratic process in Venezuela.
UN to Facilitate a peaceful, negotiated solution to the political crisis, including calling for an end to sanctions.