Vigorous Montreal Actions Against the Visit of the False Venezuelan Ambassador to Canada
The announcement in August of an anti-Venezuela conference in Montreal was met by the formation of the Montreal Ad Hoc Committee Against Canadian Interference in the Affairs of Venezuela. It is comprised of a number of organizations uniting in action to support Venezuela’s right to be and to oppose the conference. The Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies at Concordia University invited Orlando Viera-Blanco to speak and misleadingly called him the Venezuelan Ambassador to Canada. Viera-Blanco was appointed Ambassador by the self-proclaimed imposter president of Venezuela, Juan Guaidó, whose foreign-backed opposition forces are attempting to overthrow Venezuela’s constitutionally elected president Nicolás Maduro. Canada’s recognition of Guaidó is an act of gross interference in Venezuela’s sovereign internal affairs.
October 4 Discussion Forum
On October 4, a meeting to discuss the Canadian government’s stand on Venezuela and an appropriate response was held at the Montreal offices of the Marxist-Leninist Party. A spokesperson of the MLPC and representatives from the Salvadoran and Haitian communities spoke, as did an activist working in defence of the rights of the Palestinian people. They elaborated the politics of interference in the affairs of those countries by both the Canadian and U.S. governments. Christine Dandenault pointed to the fact that in the federal election, the important issue of Canada’s foreign policy has been tossed aside by the cartel parties, as they obviously consider Canada’s dirty role in support of aggression against the peoples par for the course and something which does not need to be discussed. Canadians and Quebeckers strongly disagree and are demanding that Canada be a factor for peace, she said.
The spokesperson for the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front-Montreal (FMLN-Montreal) quoted the first statement made by the External Affairs representative of the new Salvadoran government, which came to power on June 1. Referring to the United States he said, “Never bite the hand that feeds you.” The spokesperson pointed out that when the FMLN was in power the government always called for caution in dealing with the U.S. and its supporters who made repeated attempts to instigate war in El Salvador. The FMLN-Montreal spokesperson also provided information on the Rio Treaty and current attempts to justify an invasion of Venezuela under its aegis.
The representative of Palestinians and Jews United (PAJU) spoke about the statement from the phoney Venezuelan ambassador to Canada, appointed
by self-proclaimed false President Guaidó. Orlando Viera-Blanco, who recently visited Israel, suggested that Israel become the model for Venezuela. “To say, as this false ambassador who is not an ambassador has, that he wants Venezuela to follow the Israeli model, is to say that he would like Venezuela to become a regime of apartheid and institutionalized racism because that’s what Israel is. For me, that statement is obscene. No country in the world would want to follow Israel as a model, as it’s the model of the southern states in the United States during slavery, it is South Africa under the control of white Afrikaners.
“Today, Israel deports Palestinians and continues demolishing more of their homes. We are talking about 40,000 homes demolished and 18,000 in Gaza in 2014 during Israel’s attack on Gaza. Today, there is no longer any restraint. Israel acts with impunity. Today, it’s worse because we have the Trumps, Trudeaus, Scheers and other members of the Western political class who are complicit, along with the media here, in these war crimes and crimes against humanity.
“Currently, there is evidence of the increasing transfer (i.e. deportation) of Palestinians in the Hebron Hills. It’s a system that dehumanizes Palestinians. It’s the only country in the world that sends children to military courts. It’s a country that uses administrative detention – that is, they can arrest any Palestinian without charge, without proof, without trial and it is renewable every 6 months. Hundreds, if not thousands, are in Israeli jails including a certain number of children. We don’t see that in the monopoly media. There are two court systems: Israeli settlers in the settlements fall under the state’s civil courts based on what is called the constitution although the constitution does not exist. Palestinians are subject to military courts. Apartheid means separation. It’s not a coincidence that the two apartheids were born in 1948.”
He spoke of the role of Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs and other representatives of the Canadian elite such as Irwin Cotler, a notorious Zionist and a former Minister of Justice in the Jean Chrétien and Paul Martin Liberal governments; and Ben Rowswell, a former Canadian ambassador to Venezuela, to interfere in the affairs of other countries. Such people play an active role in trying to destabilize any government deemed to be an enemy because they take independent stands that favour their own interests rather than those of the U.S., Canada and their allies, he pointed out.
An activist with the group Solidarité Québec-Haïti, shared the experience of her people in the fight for their right to be. She said that what has been happening more recently in Haiti is interference, not only by the United States but also by Canada. In 2003, there was the meeting in Canada with the United States and France to overthrow President Aristide. Since that time, Canada has invested in prisons and a repressive police force that is shooting people right now. Canadian funds have been used to train this police force: the RCMP and Quebec’s police forces go to Haiti and become involved in cases of sexual misconduct. Canada has also funded the elections in Haiti — at least $11 million in 2016 was invested. These are elections that are largely boycotted by the population. The last election that took place was that of Jovenel Moïse, successor to Michel Martelly, who has been in power since 2016, even though less than 20 per cent of people voted. Canada continues to say that it will support Jovenel Moïse and is calling on the population to participate in a “dialogue.”
In Venezuela, she said, the president was clearly elected, there’s a legitimate government, which has been confirmed by observers, however, the powers that be are not supporting it. “They support Jovenel Moïse, as he does what he is told to do. A vote took place for intervention in Venezuela and the powers that be needed the vote of Latin America and the Caribbean and of Caricom (the Caribbean Community). Caricom opposes it, except for Haiti, which Caricom condemned. We here in Canada must maintain the pressure. There will be a march on November 17. We must support each others’ struggles.”
October 8 Information Picket Against Anti-Venezuelan Conference
On October 8, between 4:30 and 7:00 pm, over 50 people participated in a militant action against the holding of the anti-Venezuelan conference, both inside and outside the venue. A barrage of slogans were vigorously shouted by protestors: No! to the Anti-Venezuela Conference!; Defend the Sovereignty of the Venezuelan People!; No! to the Lima Group!; Maduro Sí! Guaidó No! A large banner with the words “One Humanity, One Struggle!” was unfurled.
At the building where the conference was held, there was a constant flow of students and teaching staff. In between classes, students came out to shout slogans, hold banners and discuss with protestors; youth working in the building’s ground-floor café came out to find out what was going on and support the action. Drivers honked their horns, and passers-by expressed their solidarity, stopping for further information. MLPC candidates distributed copies of Renewal Update in support of the people of Venezuela and its legitimate government, collected subscriptions and had many lively exchanges with students and passers-by. Simultaneously, an action was held inside the building as a dozen or so activists placed themselves in front of the doors to where the conference was being held. They sang songs of resistance and shouted slogans, disrupting the event.
Around 6:40 pm the false ambassador finally exited the building, flanked by two young body guards. Recognized by one of the protestors when he stopped to ask a question, the false ambassador was denounced as a “corrupt individual.” Activists encircled, him shouting “thief,” “imposter,” “filthy agent,” “Guaidó Non, Maduro sí!” The imposter slunk away as protestors pursued him down the street. As one of the demonstrators noted: “It warms the heart when collaborators are not given an easy time and know they cannot act with impunity.”