7 Apr 2010

Derek Wall supports VENEZUELA UNDER THREAT statement



The Independent on Sunday has published the launch statement of the VSC’s Venezuela Under Threat campaign initiative. The statement has been endorsed (see full text and signatories below) by a wide range of leading figures from across British society including over 25 parliamentarians from six parties plus Ken Livingstone and Tony Benn, filmmakers and writers such as John Pilger, Ken Loach, Hugo O’Shaugnessy and Ernesto Laclau, musicians Lowkey and Jon McClure, leading figures in the anti-war and peace movements, nine trade union general secretaries and others.

Noting that “progressive government policies have transformed the lives of millions for the better“ in Venezuela in recent years, the statement opposes the “increasing US militarization of the region that is threatening to destabilise Latin America” and urges that “national sovereignty is respected and the tragic mistakes of US-backed bloody military coups and interventions in the 20th Century are not repeated.”

Commenting on the support received, Francisco Dominguez, VSC Secretary said: "The broad support for this statement shows that as we approach the general eelction there is widespread support in Britain for constructive engagement with Venezuela rather than the new US militarization of the region. Our message of solidarity with Venezuela is more important than ever. "

Jennie Bremner, Unite the Union Assistant Secretary and VSC Chair added: "Venezuela has been an inspiration to progressives around the world in the last 10 years, but just as we find it an inspiraton, those committed to neo-liberalism find it a threat. Venezuela Under Threat will seek to bring together a broad alliance in defence of social progress and national sovereignty in this crucial period ahead."


1. The Venezuela Solidarity Campaign is a broad-based organisation in defence of social progress in Venezuela and the country's right to determine its own affairs. It has 15 national trade union affiliates and its patrons include Diane Abbott MP, Tony Benn, Caroline Lucas MEP and Ann Pettifor. Its Honorary President is Ken Livingstone. More information can be found at www.vicuk.org
2. The Venezuela Under Threat campaign initiative was recently launched in London - photos and more information can be found at http://www.vicuk.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=700&Itemid=30 .
3. Please contact Matt Willgress, VSC Co-ordinator, on 0207 420 8963 or info@venezuelasolidarity.co.uk for media comment or more information.


"We stand opposed to the increasing US militarization of the region that is threatening to destabilise Latin America. This militarization - including plans by the US to build new bases in Colombia and Panama - is especially concerning given the context of the recent right-wing coup in Honduras and the discovery of similar plots in Ecuador and Paraguay.

Concern over these developments is particularly grave in Venezuela, where in recent years progressive government policies have transformed the lives of millions for the better. Having already experienced a coup attempt in 2002, the country is now surrounded by 13 US military bases.

We are therefore supporting the 'Venezuela Under Threat' initiative to urge that national sovereignty is respected and the tragic mistakes of US-backed bloody military coups and interventions in the 20th Century are not repeated."


Diane Abbott MP
Dave Anderson MP
Tony Benn
Colin Burgon MP, Chair, Labour Friends of Venezuela
Michael Connarty MP
Frank Cook MP
Jeremy Corbyn MP
Ian Davidson MP
Jeff Ennis MP
Paul Flynn MP
George Galloway MP
Neil Gerrard MP
Baroness Anne Gisbon, Chair, APPG on Latin America
Dai Havard MP
Jamie Hepburn MSP
Sir Gerald Kaufman MP
Jean Lambert MEP
David Lepper MP
Ken Livingstone
Angus Macneil MP
Doug Naysmith MP
Adam Price MP
Lord Nick Rea
Terry Rooney MP
Elaine Smith MSP
Emily Thornberry MP
Bill Wilson MSP
Richard Younger-Ross MP
Cllr Salma Yaqoob

Iain Bruce, Former BBC Correspondent in Caracas
Professor Mike Cole
Dr Ken Cole, Metropolitan University of London
Professor Mary Davis
Michael Derham, University of Northumbria
Dr Francisco Dominguez, Head of Latin American & Brazilian Studies, Middlesex University
Keith Ewing, Kings College London
Ernesto Laclau
Ken Loach
Dr Steve Ludlam
Hazel Marsh, University of East Anglia
Jon McClure, Musician, Reverend and the Makers
Hugh O'Shaughnessy
John Pilger
Diana Raby
Jonathan Rosenhead, Emeritus Professor. LSE

Derek Simpson, Joint General Secretary, Unite the Union
Tony Woodley, Joint General Secretary, Unite the Union
Biily Hayes, General Secretary, CWU
Bob Crow, General Secretary, RMT
Matt Wrack, General Secretary, FBU
Joe Marino, General Secretary, BFAWU
Keith Norman, General Secretary, ASLEF
Jonathan Ledger, General Secretary, NAPO
Chris Kitchen, General Secretary, National Union of Mineworkers

Bill Adams. Regional Secretary, Yorkshire & the Humber TUC
Dave Auger, Regional International Officer, West Midlands UNISON
Andy Bain, President, TSSA
Sue Bigg, NUT
Maggie Bowden, General Secretary, Liberation
Jennie Bremner, Chair, Venezuela Solidarity Campaign
Steve Cottingham. Partner, OH Parsons
Luke Crawley, Assistant General Secretary, BECTU
John Duffy. Regional Secretary. FBU Scotland
Lindsey German, Convenor Stop the War Coalition
Moz Greenshields, NEC UNISON
Bill Greenshields. Ex President, NUT
John Haylett Political Editor. Morning Star
John Hilary. Executive Director, War on Want
Kate Hudson, Chair CND
Stephen Kavalier, Chief Executive, Thompsons Solicitors
Bruce Kent
Mike Kirby, Convenor, UNISON Scotland
Ian Lavery, President NUM
Phil McGarry, RMT Scotland
Karen Mitchell, Thompsons Solicitors
Fidel Narvaez, Ecuadorean Human Rights Activist in Britain
Doug Nicholls, National Officer, Community, Youth & Not For Profit Sector, Unite
Bellavia Ribeiro-Addy, Black Students’ Officer, National Union of Students
Mick Shaw, President, FBU
Cat Smith, Vice Chair, London Young Labour
Cath Speight, Labour Party NEC
Sam Tarry, Chair, Young Labour
Derek Wall. Former Principal Male Speaker, Green Party
Chris Weldon, Labour Party NEC
The Nicaragua Solidarity Campaign

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