US Hands Off Venezuela logo
Main Menu
Contact Us
About Us
HOV Mailing List
Online Store
Emergency Response Network (ERN)
Calendar of Grassroots Solidarity Actions
Minneapolis: The Monroe Doctrine and the Venezuelan Referendum
Wednesday, 05 December 2007

Some 40 or more Minnesotans from all walks of life gathered at Mayday Books on Monday, December 3rd, as part of the 3rd national day of solidarity action co-organized with the Venezuela Solidarity Network.

[Due to problems with our server, we are unable to upload photos of the event at this time - we will add them as soon as we are able]

On December 2nd, 1823, at his State of the Union Address, President James Monroe proclaimed what later became known as the "Monroe Doctrine". This policy statement rejected European intervention in the Americas, and effectively reserved that right to the United States. President Teddy Roosevelt's "Corollary" to the Monroe Doctrine even more explicitly asserted that "right", which has been exercised time and again over the last few decades.

John Peterson, National Secretary for the U.S. Hands Off Venezuela Campaign explained the history of the Monroe Doctrine and its implementation over the years, with a focus on continued U.S. intervention in Latin America, particularly in the run up to Venezuela's constitutional referendum held on December 2nd, the anniversary of the doctrine. From the Mexican-American War of 1846-48 (which led to the loss of over 1/3 of Mexico's national territory), the Spanish-American War of 1898 (after which the U.S. occupied Cuba for years), and the many subsequent invasions of Mexico South and Central America, and the Caribbean, the U.S. has militarily invaded Latin America 79 times since 1846. It has spent further billions to "influence" elections, overthrow governments, and install brutal dictatorships when it's "national" (i.e. commercial and geopolitical) interests were threatened.

"Operation Pincers", the U.S. plan to destabilize the Venezuelan referendum was also discussed, as well as other key reasons for the defeat of the "Yes" vote, above all the abstention of an important layer of chavistas who feel that not enough has changed fast enough, and the role of the "5th column" bureaucrats working to put a brake on the revolution from within. The millions of dollars spent by the U.S. embassy, USAID, and the NEC on anti-Chavez propaganda and on supporting various opposition groups was also highlighted.

Then Gerardo Cajamarca, an exiled Colombian trade unionist now living in the U.S., gave a lively presentation on U.S. intervention as it relates to Plan Colombia, free trade agreements, and the efforts of the Venezuelan government to negotiate a humanitarian peace accord to end the ongoing civil war in Colombia.  He started his presentation by quoting U.S. President Howard Taft, who said in 1912: "The day is not far distant when three Stars and Stripes at three equidistant points will mark our territory; one at the North Pole, another at the Panama Canal, and the third at the South Pole. The whole hemisphere will be ours in fact as, by virtue of our superiority of race, it already is ours morally."

Yasmin Tovar of the Minnesota-Venezuela committee then made some heartfelt comments about the referendum result, speaking as a citizen of the world, and calling on all peoples to support and defend the Venezuelan revolutionary process, which affects us all.

A solid and optimistic discussion that focused on the referendum results followed, with an emphasis on the need to effect revolutionary change here in the U.S. if we are to guarantee that the U.S. government keep its hands off of Venezuela.

The film "No Volveran" then received its second Twin Cities showing.

Several DVDs of the film were sold and many people signed up for the Venezuela Solidarity Emergency Response Network.

Vheadline Aporrea Corrienta Marxista Revolucionaria RNV Venezuela Analysis
U.S. Hands off Venezuela 2006, powered by Joomla, free software released under the GPL