LEADING BRITISH FIGURES CONDEMN THE LATEST COUP ATTEMPT IN VENEZUELA

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On Thursday February 19 The Guardian published an edited version of the below, initiated by the Venezuela Solidarity Campaign and signed in less than 48 hours by prominent figures from across British society, including filmmaker John Pilger, writer and broadcaster Tariq Ali, writer Richard Gott, journalist Victoria Brittain, actor Andy De La Tour, poet Linton Kwesi Johnson, numerous national political figures from four different parties, campaigners for peace and in solidarity with Latin America, senior representatives of the Unite, UNISON, CWU, National Union of Teachers, PCS, UCU, UCATT, TSSA, Musicians Union and ASLEF plus TUC regions and the General Federation of Trade Unions and many more.

The statement reads:

We the undersigned note with grave concern the announcement of the discovery of a plot to overthrow President Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela in a coup on Thursday February 12. Government officials have said the plans included violent attacks on the presidential palace and other government buildings.

The thwarting of this latest coup attempt comes as leaders of numerous Latin American countries have warned of a similar situation developing in Venezuela to that which preceded the coup against Salvador Allende in Chile in 1973, which led to the horrendous dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. The Non Aligned Movement (118 nations) has also echoed Latin America’s rejection of attempts to overthrow Venezuela’s legitimate government.

Sections of Venezuela’s right-wing opposition have previously used violent and anti-democratic means to destabilise and seek to overthrow the country’s elected Government, most notably the temporarily successful coup against Hugo Chavez in 2002, and many right-wing opposition groups in Venezuela committed to overthrowing the elected, constitutional Government continue to receive funding from the US. 

We call on all governments internationally to respect Venezuela’s elected, constitutional Government and condemn this latest coup attempt.

Yours,

Tariq Ali, writer & broadcaster

Victoria Brittain, writer & journalist

Andy De La Tour, Actor, writer & former election observer in Venezuela

Richard Gott, writer & journalist

Linton Kwesi-Johnson, Poet

John Pilger, writer & filmmaker

Dave Anderson MP, Member of Parliament, Labour Party

Jeff Cuthbert AM, Member of the Welsh Assembly, Labour Party

Ian Davidson MP, Member of Parliament, Labour Party

Neil Findlay MSP, Member of the Scottish Parliament, Labour Party

George Galloway MP, Member of Parliament, Respect

Bethan Jenkins AM, Member of the Welsh National Assembly, Plaid Cyrmu

Lord Nic Rea, Member of the House of Lords

Bill Adams, Regional Secretary, TUC Yorkshire & the Humber Region

Andy Bain, Treasurer, TSSA

Tony Burke, Assistant General Secretary, Unite the Union

Manuel  Cortes, General Secretary, TSSA

Kevin Courtney, Deputy General Secretary, National Union of Teachers

Denis Doody, UCATT Regional Secretary, Northern Region

Simon Dubbins, Director of International, Unite the Union

Jayne, Fisher, Vice-Chair, South Eastern Region Trade Union Congress, International Committee

Dominic MacAskill, Head of Local Government, UNISON Wales

Carl Maden, National Executive Council, Communication Workers Union

Tommy Murphy, EC Member, Unite the Union

Steve Murphy, General Secretary, UCATT

Doug Nicholls, General Secretary, General Federation of Trade Unions

Bernard Regan, Chair, SERTUC International Committee & Cuba Solidarity Campaign Secretary

John Smith, General Secretary, Musicians Union & President, International Federation of Musicians

Marie Taylor, Chair, CYW Section, CYWNfP Sector, Unite the Union

Phil Thompson, International Officer, UNISON Greater London Region

Steve Turner, Unite the Union Assistant General Secretary

Max Watson, NEC Member, UNISON

Adrian Weir, Assistant Chief of Staff, Unite the Union & former election observer in Venezuela

Mick Whelan, General Secretary, ASLEF

Alan Whitaker, Past President, UCU – the University & College Union

Tony Woodley, Unite the Union

Maggie Bowden, General Secretary, Liberation

Ben, Chacko, Acting Editor, Morning Star

Liz Davies, Barrister

Lalu Hanuman, The Barbados Bar Association

John Hendy QC

Zita Holbourne, NEC Member, PCS & Co-chair Black Activists Rising Against Cuts

Kate Hudson, General Secretary, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament

Carolyn  Jones, Director, Institute of Employment Rights

Martin Mayer, Chair, United Left (in Unite the Union)

Pablo Navarrete, Filmmaker & journalist, Alborada.net

David Nissen, Musician

Anni Pues, International Committee, Scottish Green Party

Christine Shawcroft, NEC Member, Labour Party

Selwyn Strachan, Caribbean Labour Solidarity

Enrico Tortolano, Latin America Correspondent, Tribune

Derek Wall, International Co-ordinator, Green Party of England & Wales

Gillian Watson, Nidos, Edinburgh

Pete Willsman, Former NEC Member, Labour Party

Dr. Hakim Adi, Professor of the History of Africa and the African Diaspora, University of Chichester

Professor Mike Cole, Bishop Grosseteste University

Dr. Michael Derham, Senior Lecturer in Latin American Politics and History, Northumbria University

Dr. Francisco Dominguez, Head of Latin American Studies, Middlesex University & VSC Secretary

Maura Duffy, HCRI Programme Director BSc in Global Health and Lecturer in Global Health, University of Manchester

John Gledhill, Emeritus Professor of Social Anthropology, University of Manchester

Dr. Peter Hallward, Kingston University

Dr. Steve Ludlam, University of Sheffield

Hazel Marsh, Lecturer, University of East Anglia

Dr. Thomas Muhr, academic & writer on Latin America

Dr. David Raby, Senior Fellow, Latin American Studies, University of Liverpool

Dr. Jonathan Rosenhead, London School of Economics & Political Science

Joy Johnson, Journalist & EC Member, Venezuela Solidarity Campaign

Rob Miller, Director, Cuba Solidarity Campaign

Louise Richards, Nicaragua Solidarity Campaign Action Group

Matt Willgress, National Co-ordinator, Venezuela Solidarity Campaign

From http://www.venezuelasolidarity.co.uk

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