Expansionist policies of ‘imperialists’ slammed, democratic Venezuelan govt supported

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One of the speakers at the seminar on Tuesday.—White Star
One of the speakers at the seminar on Tuesday.—White Star

KARACHI: Expressing solidarity with the Venezuelan government facing a military invasion threat from the United States (US), progressive and nationalist parties, social and women’s rights organisations and research bodies under the umbrella of the Venezuela Solidarity Committee Pakistan came together at Pakistan Medical Association House here on Tuesday at a seminar titled ‘Same story, same lesson: from Pakistan to Venezuela’ held to raise awareness of the “expansionist policies of imperialists such as the US” which, they said, had been supporting every dictator from Pakistan to Venezuela.

While pointing out that “America’s expansionist policies” were harmful for the entire world, Dr Syed Jaffar Ahmed, general secretary of the Progressive Writers Association, said that if one studied the history of America and its allies, one would see that it was full of their occupation of other nations.

“They kill citizens and take over their resources. This global act of encouraging war is a big threat for world peace,” he said. “What is being done in Venezuela has already been done by imperialist forces in Pakistan,” he added.

Nasir Mansoor, deputy general secretary of National Trade Union Federation Pakistan (NTUF), said that after waging wars in Iraq, Syria, Libya and Afghanistan, America was now planning to attack Venezuela.

He said that America wanted to topple President Nicolas Maduro and his government because he happened to be the most powerful voice against American hegemony in South America. “That is why America has refused to pay dues of oil purchases worth $11 billion to the pro-people socialist government, while the UK has confiscated 31 tonnes of the country’s gold. Failing to bully the Venezuelan government with these tactics now they are threatening military action,” he said. “The last 70 years has seen America toppling the elected democratic governments of 18 countries. In the case of Venezuela, America is now recognising a person who has not even contested election or got vote from people as the Venezuelan president,” he added.

Dr Riaz Shaikh, dean of Social Sciences at Szabist said the US wanted to crush the democratic and anti-imperialist movement in the region. “The elected government of Venezuela is the main symbol of this movement and it is encouraging all other oppressed and enslaved nations of the world,” he said, adding that the US and its allies including Canada and some European countries wanted to topple the democratic government of Venezuela to occupy its oil and gold resources. “However, the people of that country are resisting this conspiracy and the democratic people of the whole world support them fully,” he added.

The speakers demanded of the US and European countries to lift illegal bans from Venezuela.

They asked to end hatching conspiracies against the elected president of Venezuela.

“The government elected by the people democratically should be recognised and all issues should be resolved through dialogue. The internationally accepted basic rights and sovereignty of elected governments are to be accepted by all counties of the world. The capitalist greed to occupy natural resources of countries, including Venezuela, should be put to an end,” said senior trade unionist Usman Baloch of the Awami Workers Party, who presided over the seminar.

Abdul Khaliq Junejo of the Jeay Sindh Mahaz, columnist Zubair Rehman, Majid Memon of the Pakistan Trade Union Defence Campaign and Zahra Akbar of Home-Based Women Worker Federation also spoke.

Published in Dawn, February 27th, 2019