Women campaigners from Britain have issued a statement in solidarity with Venezuela and against U.S President Obama’s executive order declaring “a national emergency with respect to the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States posed by the situation in Venezuela.”
The statement declares solidarity with the recent women’s march in Venezuela against right-wing destabilisation and US intervention (see here ) and the signatories pledge to support “the international ‘Obama – Repeal the Executive Order’ campaign” and “continue to support the advances in social progress and women’s rights that have taken place in Venezuela in recent years.”
Sian Errington of the Venezuela Solidarity Campaign, who initiated the statement, said, “Around the world, millions of people are saying that Venezuela is not a threat and President Obama should repeal the Executive Order. Here in Britain, statements from political representatives, trade union leaders, students, peace campaigners, and now prominent women campaigners, have expressed our solidarity. We will continue to campaign for Venezuela’s right to self-determination and against U.S intervention.”
The statement was co-ordinated by the Venezuela Solidarity Campaign (www.venezuelasolidarity.co.uk).
STATEMENT: LEADING WOMEN FROM BRITAIN IN SOLIDARITY WITH VENEZUELA –
On March 9 US President Obama signed an executive order declaring “a national emergency with respect to the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States posed by the situation in Venezuela” and imposed a further round of sanctions on the country. This has been condemned by major regional bodies in Latin America and the Caribbean, governments all over the world and much of global civil society.
Over the past 16 years Venezuelan women have been both the leaders of, and the main beneficiaries from, social progress and change. The huge expansion in free health care, education, childcare, social security, poverty eradication programmes, progressive labour laws and the creation of government bodies such as the Ministry for Women and Banmujer (Women’s Development Bank) have transformed the position of women.
This is why Venezuelan Women’s organisations have been at the forefront of organising over 6 million signatures to the campaign ‘Obama – Repeal the Executive Order’ and this week organised a mass women’s demonstration against US sanctions and destabilisation.
As British women campaigners, we stand with them in supporting the international ‘Obama – Repeal the Executive Order’ campaign and will continue to support the advances in social progress and women’s rights that have taken place in Venezuela in recent years.
Gail Cartmail, Assistant General Secretary, Unite the Union
Siobhan Endean, National Officer for Equality, Unite the Union
Heather Wakefield, Head of Local Government, Police and Justice, Unison
Linda Perks, Greater London Regional Secretary, Unison
Max Hyde, Ex-President, National Union of Teachers
Karen Mitchell, Legal Officer, Rail, Maritime & Transport Workers Union (RMT) & Venezuela Solidarity Campaign Vice-Chair
Jayne Fisher, SERTUC International Committee Vice-Chair & Venezuela Solidarity Campaign Executive Committee
Zita Holborne, National Executive Committee member, and Black Activists Rising Against Cuts (BARAC)
Lindsey German, Convenor, Stop the War Coalition, and author of ‘How a century of war changed the lives of women
Louise Richards, Nicaragua Solidarity Campaign Action Group
Natasha Hickman, Cuba Solidarity Campaign
Jude Woodward, Executive Committee member, Venezuela Solidarity Campaign.
Sian Errington, Convenor of Women for Venezuela & Executive Committee member, Venezuela Solidarity Campaign.