Venezuela

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

A panel-led discussion on the Venezuelan Left Opposition’s perspectives on the grave political and economic crisis facing the country. Venezuela has undergone a catastrophic economic recession over the past 6 years accompanied and exacerbated by sanctions aimed at crippling the regime’s ability to carry out international trade and access credit. This crisis seemed to peak in 2019, with the self-proclamation and Western recognition of Juan Guaido as interim president. However, as the Venezuelan Left Opposition reminds us, our activism against imperialist intervention need not include defense, justification or faith in the Maduro government. To them, Maduro represents a coalition of military, bureaucratic, entrepreneurial and corporate interests legitimized by the social advances of the Chavez years, that has imposed austerity measures and issued an onslaught against workers, peasants and indigenous peoples under the cover of hyper-inflation and the crisis cast as an “economic war”. Our panel seeks to flesh out, the nature and sources of the crisis in Venezuela through discussion of the programs and critiques issued by diverse bodies in an uncoalesced Left Opposition (Partido Socialismo y Libertad, Marea Socialista, Observatorio Venezolano de Ecología Política, Centro de Investigación y Formación Obrera, El Libertario, among others). We want to elucidate how the Venezuelan tragedy is experienced and perceived across the working class of the country, and how different unions and coalitions are carrying out attempts to break the Government-Opposition binary to allow for the emergence of independent Socialist politics. The purpose of the panel is to bring to the US Left the appeals of our comrades in Venezuela, and inspire a discussion about our pending tasks here in the US to stand in solidarity with the Venezuelan people. We believe that a simple defense of the legitimacy of the Maduro government is not only insufficient, but counter-productive to the project of the self-emancipation of the Venezuelan working class

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

Sanctions are among a range of coercive instruments used by the United States government to achieve its foreign policy goals. Often presented as a diplomatic and peaceful alternative to direct military engagement, sanctions ironically can have just as devastating outcomes. They may also be seen as a prelude to actual kinetic warfare, strategically deployed to weaken targeted governments and/or their populations’ morale. Indeed sanctions may even create the very "humanitarian crises" to which they were allegedly responding. Addressing the situations of Cuba, Iran, Russia, and Venezuela, this panel addresses the origins, implementation, and impact of US-imposed sanctions. It will also consider both popular and state-based resistance to sanctions in both the United States and in the targeted countries.