US hands off Venezuela! Hands off Cuba!

May 13, 2019

This call to action was issued May 2 by Alyson Kennedy, Socialist Workers Party candidate for mayor in Dallas. Kennedy was the SWP candidate for president in 2016.

The Socialist Workers Party calls on working people in the United States and beyond to initiate and join with others to organize protests, forums and other actions demanding an immediate halt to Washington’s dangerous violations of Venezuela’s sovereignty and war threats against the Cuban Revolution.

We condemn President Donald Trump’s threat to impose a “full and complete embargo” on Cuba for the Cuban people’s solidarity with Venezuela. If such an embargo were acted on, it would be recognized the world over as tantamount to an act of war. The warning itself marks an escalation of Washington’s decadeslong efforts, under Democratic and Republican White Houses and Congresses alike, to punish Cuban workers and farmers for making a socialist revolution on U.S. imperialism’s doorstep.

The threats are bipartisan, with Nancy Pelosi, Joseph Biden and many other leading Democratic Party voices joining in the warlike drumbeat.

The White House threats to slap further economic and financial sanctions on Cuba build on hostile U.S. moves already taken in recent weeks. These include tightened restrictions on travel by U.S. citizens to the island, as well as on Cuban-Americans sending remittances to relatives. Washington has announced plans to begin implementing provisions of the Clinton-era Helms-Burton Act enabling U.S. citizens whose properties were taken by Cuba’s workers and farmers during the sweeping land reform and other measures to restore their national patrimony to file lawsuits demanding compensation.

The U.S. administration’s shameless claim that it is acting on behalf of “the Venezuelan people” — and that some 20,000 Cuban troops are running the country today — is known to be a bald-faced lie by millions of workers and peasants in Venezuela. Many of them can testify firsthand to the selfless conduct, humane treatment and class solidarity by thousands of Cuban medical personnel, teachers and other internationalist volunteers.

The U.S. rulers’ open and bipartisan support of provocations by bourgeois opposition figures such as Juan Guaidó, Leopoldo López and others, and Washington’s menacing declarations that “all options” remain open, run the risk of turning the economic, social and political crisis in that country into a bloodbath and demoralizing blow to working people there.

Members and supporters of the Socialist Workers Party and SWP candidates in the 2019 election campaigns are joining with others in picket lines, protest meetings, and other actions. We’re reaching out to working people, trade unionists, and youth in cities, towns and farming areas to oppose Washington’s attacks on Venezuela and Cuba. As we do so, we’re bringing with us the SWP’s working-class program — in books by party leaders, the Militant and our election campaign literature — to explain and discuss with those we’re meeting and fighting alongside.

Only the people of Venezuela have the right to decide their own future. Only they have the capacity to forge a working-class leadership that can chart a course out of the devastating capitalist crisis facing them. Oppose U.S. imperialism’s never-ending efforts to turn back the socialist revolution fought for and conquered some 60 years ago by Cuban workers and farmers and the communist leadership forged by Fidel Castro and others.

U.S. hands off Venezuela! U.S. hands off Cuba!