Today (December 8th) carries two important significances in Venezuela this year. Firstly, it is a day of mourning, it being the first anniversary of Chavez’s last speech to the nation before his death the following March. Secondly, Venezuelans will be going to the polls in the mayoral elections. These are testing times for left democratic forces in Venezuela. The far right, led by Capriles and aided by the stealthy hand of US imperialism, have seized on the opportunity created by the loss of Chavez, and have been leading a campaign to destabilise the country and Maduro’s democratically elected government.  They are organising shortages of vital food and other day-to-day essentials, carrying out sabotage attacks against key facilities such as electricity plants, the metro and oil refineries. They have carried out arson attacks and bombings on government funded health centres, and the homes of government officials. This violence has left 11 civilians dead. Given the history of South America, it is especially alarming that in recent days 45 retired military generals have publically announced that they do not support the government and would support regime change


September the 11th this year marked the 40th anniversary of the violent military coup against Allende’s socialist unity government. It demonstrated how ruthless the right-wing is prepared to be when it has the moral and financial backing of its powerful neighbour, the United States. As recently as 2002 Capriles mounted a military coup which led to Chavez being arrested and kept in a secret location, while a new unelected government was quickly installed. This led to huge widespread protests mostly led by Venezuelans, which the right tried to violently suppress using the military. As Chavez once said “the right threw me out in a coup, and the people brought me back to power”. Venezuela, like Chile, is demonstrating that another world is possible. The Bolivarian revolution has brought with it the provision of free healthcare, the provision of proper housing, access to well funded education, and social provision. The results speak for themselves; Venezuela has the lowest indices of inequality in Latin America, UNESCO has declared Venezuela free of illiteracy, and the infant mortality rate has dropped by 32%. Venezuela also occupies the second place in Latin America and fifth in the world in university graduation. These social and economic gains are under threat if ever the right-wing is effective in their attempts to sabotage this government. The YCL calls on young people to stand in solidarity with Venezuela against the attempted destabilisation of the democratically elected socialist government.

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