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In Defence of Democracy

Monday 5 December 2005

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Intellectuals and personalities worldwide call for defence of Venezuelan democracy, as Washington-inspired opposition boycott of National Assembly elections leads to pro-Chavez walkover.

For the past six years we have witnessed how, in the midst of great adversity, millions of Venezuelans have taken their destiny into their own hands and worked together to achieve the construction of a society rooted in the values of solidarity, democracy and social justice.

Strengthened by the Bolivarian Constitution -one of the most democratic in the world- the Venezuelan People have ratified this project in seven elections over the past six years.

Nevertheless, an elite sector of society, with the support of the U.S. government and Venezuela’s private media, has repeatedly tried to derail Venezuela’s democratic process.

Pro-Chavez demonstrators call for everyone to vote

They attempted a coup d’Etat in April 2002, that was reversed by the People of Venezuela who took to the streets armed only with their Constitution. In December 2002 they tried to sabotage the country’s oil industry, and succeeded in deeply damaging the Venezuelan economy. But the Venezuelan people, organized within their communities, once again prevailed.

Today, on the eve of the December 4th legislative elections, the minority opposition in Venezuela, unwilling to face a new political defeat, have cynically called for the withdrawal of its candidates claiming lack of confidence in Venezuela’s electoral authorities.

Despite the fact that recent elections in Venezuela have been characterized by an unprecedented level of transparency, attested repeatedly by international observers, the opposition conditioned its participation in the legislative elections on a new series of demands.

However, once these demands were agreed to by the electoral authorities, the opposition abandoned its original commitment and withdrew from the elections with the goal of delegitimizing Venezuela’s institutions.

This cynical move demonstrates once again that the Venezuelan opposition is prepared to undermine democracy and violate a people’s sovereign right to self-determination in its desperate gambit for power.

This new attempt to disrupt Venezuela’s democratic process has been tacitly supported by U.S. government officials who have publicly questioned the credibility of Venezuela’s electoral authorities.

We, friends of the Venezuelan people, reject this new attempt to sabotage democracy. We place our trust in Venezuela’s electoral authorities and in the Venezuelan people’s will to defend their right to vote.

First signatures:

João Pedro Stedile (Brazil)

Emir Sader (Brazil)

Jose Dirceu (Brazil)

Alain Krivine (France)

Eduardo Galeano (Uruguay)

Bernard Cassen (France)

James Petras (USA)

Olivier Besancenot (France)

Ignacio Ramonet (Spain)

Tariq Ali (Pakistan)

Atilio Borón (Argentina)

Samir Amin (Egypt)

Francois Houtart (Belgium)

Richard Gott (UK)

Rosseline Vachetta (France)

Fernando Morais (Brazil)

Jean-Pierre Chevenement (France)

Georges Sarre (France)

Sergio Lobo (Venezuela)

Robin Blackburn (UK)

Socorro Gomes (Brazil)

Vanessa Grazziotin (Brazil)

Carlos Lima (Brazil)

Sydnei Liberal (Brazil)

Paul-Emile Dupret (Belgium)

Rémy Herrera (France)

Valter Pomar (Brazil)

Ramon Chao (Spain)

Aminata Traore (Mali)

Michael Löwy (Brazil)

Leila Jinkings (Brazil)

To add your name please send an e-mail to defensavenezuela@yahoo.com

Read Gregory Wilpert at venezuelanalysis on election outcome

Read James Petras: What Now after the Elections?