Let Us Stop the Offensive of Conservative Re-colonization

DECLARATION BY THE XII ENCOUNTER OF THE NETWORK OF INTELLECTUALS, ARTISTS AND SOCIAL MOVEMENTS IN THE DEFENSE OF HUMANITY “VENEZUELA AT THE CROSSROADS: NEW TIMES, NEW CHALLENGES”

The peoples of our America are suffering the offensive of conservative re-colonization launched by imperialism and local oligarchies. They would like to sweep away all the conquests of the regional progressive processes in the field of social justice, sovereignty, integration and the birth of authentic peoples’ power. In this context, Venezuela is the main target, both because of its enormous riches and because of the threat it represents by its example of hope.

The Bolivarian Revolution was submitted in December of 2015 to an electoral process under pressures of every sort. An economic, media and psychological war was launched against the Venezuelan people and violent destabilizing methods were used by making use of paid agitators, lackeys and paramilitary forces. The global crisis and the induced collapse of oil prices dramatically aggravated the situation. The imperial decree describing Venezuela as an “unusual and extraordinary threat for the national security of the United States” added a new factor to the coercive climate being created.

After the electoral results, a sinister and well-orchestrated plan was implemented that pursues the overthrow of the peoples’ legitimately-elected President Nicolás Maduro Moros and the destruction of everything that has anything to do with the revolutionary work, its social achievements and the ideals of Commander Hugo Chávez Frías.

Revolutionary Venezuela applied for the first time the distribution of oil revenues as majority goods and, in the face of adversities and more serious obstacles, it has undertaken to maintain social policies for the benefit of the poor. It has undertaken bold and very complex tasks to solve the nation’s structural problems and it has managed to preserve peace and stability. It is working on bringing together patriotic and Bolivarian forces under the civic-military union consistent with the libertarian history of the nation. It continues to be immersed in a determined struggle against corruption and bureaucracy, for the strengthening of the communes and the acknowledgement of the rights of indigenous peoples and Afro-descendants and of nature.

We, the members of the Network of Intellectuals, Artists and Social Movements “In Defense of Humanity” ratify our solidarity with the Bolivarian Revolution. We demand the immediate repeal of the infamous decree by the US government against Venezuela. We repudiate reactionary harassment and censorship to silence the proud voice of Telesur. We reject laws such as the one the people have rightly named “the law of criminal amnesia” or “self-pardon” for those who, with their seditious actions, caused and are still causing death and pain for many Venezuelan families, something that would be equal to legalized impunity.

So that Latin America and the Caribbean may indeed be a “Zone of Peace” as CELAC has proclaimed, it is essential to definitively stop the attempts to stage a coup against the Bolivarian government and to preserve constitutional law and order. We espouse the ecumenical, humanist and inclusive spirit of the Congress of the Homeland.

We convoke a broad-based mobilization in the defense of the sovereignty and self-determination of the Venezuelan people and in support of all governments, leaders and progressive activists in the region who are being victims of a very real witch-hunt by internal reactionaries and the Empire. A process that is similar to Plan Condor is on the march in Latin America, as persecution of all those struggling for emancipatory objectives is being intensified.

The NETWORK energetically rejects all attempts at launching a coup on the Government of Brazil and the factious use of justice to criminalize the peoples’ political leaders such as Dilma Rousseff, Lula da Silva and Cristina Kirchner. We call on holding demonstrations in front of Brazilian Embassies all over the world, in solidarity with the Brazilian government and in repudiation of the attempts at coups and paramilitary repression against the Movimiento de los Sin Tierra. We repudiate the cowardly murder of Berta Cáceres, peoples’ leader Lenca de Honduras, and we exhort the liberation of indigenous leader Milagro Sala of Argentina, and of the Puerto Rican Independence leader Oscar López Rivera who has been incarcerated for 35 years. We support the demands for justice for the government crime committed against the 43 students at Ayotzinapa. We condemn the paramilitarism in Colombia and the murders of 120 activists at the Marcha Patriótica last year, as a serious obstacle to the desires for peace in that sister nation.

The NETWORK censures the attempt to besmirch the political and ethical authority of Bolivia’s President Evo Morales, one of its founding members, by a strategy of manipulation and lies. It expresses its support for President Rafael Correa of Ecuador who has suffered from attempts to overthrow him and is persistently being harassed. It condemns attempts to use common crime with political aims to destabilize the government of El Salvador.

Together we build a platform, with one common agenda, using anti-hegemonic communications media that include Telesur and other public channels, digital sites, social networks, news agencies and community broadcasting. It is essential to contribute to the spiritual enrichment of human beings via art that is beyond the dictatorship of the market and to create, on a massive scale and especially for new generations, a new culture in opposition to consumerism, contributing to the formation of a social subject that cannot be manipulated, is critical and in solidarity and which resists the assassination or oblivion of our memory, identity heritage and historical conscience.

As one of our poets wrote: “A people that make themselves strong through their language and their free acts are a threat to the Empire and represent dawn for Humanity”.

Caracas, 11 April 2016