The following is part of the speech delivered by Vice-chair Ella Rule to an audience of party members, supporters and guests at the CPGB-ML’s international solidarity barbecue on 28 July 2018.
Support for revolutionary Venezuela
We are honoured to have present here today Helena Menendez representing the Venezuelan embassy.
Venezuela, as we know, is under the severest possible attack from imperialism, short of military intervention, simply because, under the leadership of Hugo Chávez and subsequently Nicolás Maduro, the people of Venezuela insisted on somewhat reducing the tribute exacted by imperialism from Venezuela’s oil profits in order to use this wealth to improve the lives of the Venezuelan people.
Thanks to the bulk of the Venezuelan army siding with the Venezuelan people rather than with US imperialism and its local toadies, the Venezuelan government has been able to hold out for 20 years against the attempts of US imperialism and its local hangers-on to restore their looting rights to full strength.
When the world oil price was high and it was therefore able to do so, Venezuela, besides looking after the wellbeing of its own citizens, generously provided unstinting support to the peoples of other countries, especially in Latin America, but even to the poor in London and New York.
With the fall in the world oil prices, Venezuela’s generosity, not only to others, but even to its own people, has of necessity been curtailed, leading imperialism to step up exponentially its frenzied attempts to secure the overthrow of the progressive Venezuelan government, in the hope that the Venezuelan people will be so scared by the economic chaos engendered by US sanctions and counter-revolutionary sabotage by Venezuelan comprador capitalists that they will be willing to surrender all the gains they have made and turn their backs on the government that has fought so fiercely for them to have a better life.
So far, the reactionaries have not had much luck on that front, and we can but wish them to continue to suffer defeat after defeat.
Venezuela still making progress, despite all obstacles
Venezuela has been going onto the offensive with the nationalisation of industries and confiscation of uncultivated land, besides organising people’s militias to defend the revolution. On this front we wish them victory after victory.
But make no mistake, it will be hard going.
In Britain, various opportunist elements in the working-class movement were full of praise for Venezuela because they thought it constituted proof that socialism could come through the ballot box. As it becomes clearer by the day that the Venezuelan people are going to have to fight tooth and nail, and with arms, to defend their interests, notwithstanding their invariable victories at the ballot box, we find these opportunists backing down, claiming that they supported Chávez but don’t now support Maduro, whom they claim somehow to be ‘different’.
Comrades of Venezuela, let us assure you that we will never join the ranks of these renegades. We will always be with you; we will always do whatever we can to support your just cause.