On Saturday 4 August, an attempt on the life of President Nicolás Maduro was made while he was delivering an address to the national guard and civilians on Bolívar Avenue, on the 81st anniversary of the establishment of the Bolivarian National Guard of Venezuela. Two drones carrying explosives were reportedly shot down near the podium, prompting an evacuation of the president and assembled soldiers.
Two hours later President Maduro addressed the attack in a televised broadcast, saying: “I have no doubt that everything points to the Venezuelan ultra-right in alliance with the Colombian extreme right, and the name of [Colombian President] Juan Manuel Santos is behind this attack.”
A far-right terrorist group called the ‘Flannel Soldiers’ has claimed responsibility for the attack – a small group apparently linked with several contras who stole a helicopter in June 2017, using it to fire handguns and drop grenades on government buildings in Caracas before escaping. The leader of this gang, Oscar Perez, was killed by Venezuelan security forces in January in a counterterrorism operation.
As the class struggle in Venezuela intensifies, and the imperialist world brings to bear all forces short of military intervention (although this is an increasingly discussed option by US imperialists), many people and organisations are more reluctant to support the revolutionary process in Venezuela. Conditions in Venezuela are certainly deteriorating, with economic sanctions, sabotage, intensification of imperialist propaganda, and counter-revolutionary violence reaching new heights.
Every time the Venezuelan people reaffirm their commitment to independence and socialism, these attacks increase – an inevitability when facing off against US imperialism, backed by the imperialist states of Europe.
In order to truly secure a free and prosperous Venezuela, instead of one impoverised by the US and comprador elements, the revolution must intensify, kicking out all counter-revolutionary forces and with workers taking the organisation of production, supply and defence into their own hands.
This process is now ongoing, with the assistance of the PSUV government, and must be supported by every genuine progressive and socialist organisation.
Party statement of solidarity
CPGB-ML and Red Youth sent the following statement of solidarity to the Venezuelan embassy:
Dear comrades, please be assured of our solidarity in the face of this outrageous attack on your president and your revolution.
Please convey our message of warm greeting and unwavering solidarity, via your ambassador, to President Maduro, your government and the Venezuelan people at this testing moment, on behalf of our party and the progressive sections of the British working class that we represent.
We are relieved that President Maduro was unharmed but outraged that several members of the Venezuelan army were injured in this terrorist attack. We send them and their families our best wishes.
Your soldiers’ injuries, on one level senseless, have in reality been sustained on the frontline of the struggle to defend the rights of the Venezuelan people to independently determine their destiny, and to put their national economy and resources in the service of the masses of your people.
The ‘free press’ in our country, while no doubt gleefully reporting this attack for purposes of propaganda and aiming to use it to fuel destabilisation, will not point out the blindingly obvious fact that, when looking for the criminal, one must understand, and follow, the motive.
Your revolution remains a living challenge to the hegemony of the international financial elite, who think they have a natural right to your oil wealth.
It is this same imperialist capitalist elite who own Britain and America’s ‘free press’. These gangsters are ceaseless in their efforts to enforce their domination on every source of labour, every market and every natural resource from which they can squeeze profit.
While it may be too soon to have information regarding the exact agents who perpetrated this vile attack on your country’s sovereignty and democratic process, we believe that the entire context of Venezuela’s politics and history point to a local agent of US imperialism being responsible – no doubt acting in concert with imperialist state and intelligence agencies, and with ultimate responsibility and direction of the government of the USA.
We note that this attack on your liberty bears a strong resemblance to the drone attacks used routinely by jihadi proxies sponsored by the US in Syria.
We trust that no effort to destabilise your government, diplomatic, civil or economic life will go unchallenged, or divert you from your just and great course of promoting the interests, empowerment and uplift of the masses of the Venezuelan people.
We continue to draw inspiration from your steadfast and courageous anti-imperialist struggle.
Long live President Maduro!
Long live the Bolivarian Revolution!
Long live free and independent Venezuela!
Down with imperialism!
Down with the servile and criminal proxies who do imperialism’s dirty work and trample on the rights of their own people!