Rocío del Valle Maneiro González, Venezuela’s ambassador to Britain and Ireland, speaks at the ninth congress of the CPGB-ML on Saturday 10 October.
In a moving address, she describes the horrendous impact that sanctions have had on Venezuela’s fight against Covid-19, and describes the flourishing of people’s democracy there in spite of the hardships that have been visited upon her people as a collective punishment for daring to take the path of independence.
Given all the obstacles that have been placed in the way of Venezuela’s pandemic efforts by the imperialist economic blockade, Comrade Rocío declares the low death toll from Covid, only 5,000 to date, to be a miracle, saying: “I think God must be a communist.”
As a result of the US’s unilaterally-enforced illegal sanctions, there are now 430 measures in place against the country, including the freezing of all the nation’s assets abroad.
To illustrate the dire straits in which her people find themselves, Comrade Rocío explains that the country has been deprived of $63bn in the last six months from the oil sector alone, which means that the money needed to buy parts and raw materials for other parts of the economy is simply not there.
“We are keeping the economy going only with the will of the people,” she tells the audience.
Comrade Rocío also talks with gratitude about the fraternal support her country has received from China, Nicaragua, Cuba and Russia, assistance that has been a lifeline to her people, meaning that at least some essential goods, medicines and vaccines have been able to reach them.
She also reminds the audience how Venezuela’s foreign reserves, including billions in gold bullion held by the Bank of England, have been seized by the imperialists and all normal foreign trade has been blocked.
This has been carried to such an extent that when President Nicolás Maduro’s government paid £120m (some of the last reserves left in the Venezuelan treasury) to the United Nations’ Covax vaccine-procurement facility last May for the purchase of 11 million doses of vaccine, the transaction was blocked, with neither vaccines nor the cash being released to Venezuela for several months.
Truly the wrath of the imperialists against those who strive for liberation and freedom knows no bounds. It is greatly to be hoped that the growing strength and unity of the anti-imperialist camp will be able to foil their frenzied quest for world domination.
If we wish to turn the tide before war engulfs us all, workers everywhere must play their part.