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General News    H1'ed 3/18/19

American Speak Out: Venezuela, We Got Your Back

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Solildarity  March for Venezuela--Los Angeles
Solildarity March for Venezuela--Los Angeles
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Americans came together and marched in support of Nicolas Maduro on March 16, 2019. In every major city in the United States, people became activists to march and rally. " Hands off Venezuela," "Up with the people: down, down, down with the coup," "No sanctions, no war, no coup," and " Venezuela, we got your back; no more U.S. attacks," protesters chanted. Tens of thousands nationwide took to the streets in support of Venezuela's legitimate Maduro Government. The report from Washington D.C. was that the Venezuela solidarity march was ten thousand strong. Pictures from New York City reveal that their march also was in the thousands. Counters in Los Angeles claimed, that at its height, over five thousand were marching through downtown.

Margaret Prescod
Margaret Prescod
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Popular speakers lifted their voices at the nation's rallies. Among those who spoke in support of Venezuela were Gold Star Mothers for Peace Founder Cindy Sheehan, Medea Benjamin of Code Pink, Lee Camp of Redacted Tonight , Abby Martin of The Empire Files , Margaret Prescod of Sojourner Truth , and Jim Lafferty of the National Lawyers Guild. Many speakers from Venezuela spoke first-hand about the atrocities they had witnessed from Juan Guaido's U.S. orchestrated opposition. Juan Guaido has never run for President and only a small percentage of Venezuelans had even heard his name before Michael Pence got Guaido to declare his illegitimate Presidency.

Abby  Martin
Abby Martin
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On March 16 th , mainstream newsmen, wanting to either get an exciting story or make supporters of Venezuela look bad, tried to stage confrontations with the handfuls of Guaido supporters who showed up against thousands in support of Maduro at the rallies. In Los Angeles, a newsman accompanied by a camera man spoke to a small number of Guaido supporters at Pershing Square, encouraging them to have a face to face confrontation with Venezuelan solidarity marchers when they returned from their march . The Guaido supporters were enthusiastic about the confrontation idea. Little did the newsman know that the march was ending at City Hall, rather than at Pershing Square where it started. Earlier, some violent Guido supporters had tried to start a fight at Pershing. However, the Maduro supporters stayed disengaged and simply continued their pro-Venezuela chants. Later at the City Hall, Guaido supporters eventually arrived, all six to ten of them, to try to stage more violence. But they were met by a yellow-vested line of three times as many rally peacekeepers, who stood between the confrontational Guaido supporters and the large crowd watching the speeches. The police quickly came and stood between the handful of Guaido people and the peacekeepers.

Los Angeles Rally for Maduro
Los Angeles Rally for Maduro
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MSM newsmen had mostly been filming the small number of Guaido people at Pershing after the Maduro crowd left while ignoring the Maduro supporters marching and rallying at City Hall. One news crew that showed up at City Hall was asked about their late arrival close to the end of the rally and they admitted that they were there solely to support Guaido and the coup. One of these newsmen accidentally blurted out that people were being paid $1200. This was not confirmed. However Greg Palast has done numerous reports about the connection between the Coke Brothers and the Guaido supporters. Guaido supporters interviewed had little knowledge of Venezuela, which seemed odd for people who were so determined to cause so much trouble, leading many observers to believe the Guaido supporters really were nothing more than paid agitators.

Yellow-vests form barrier to protect rally
Yellow-vests form barrier to protect rally
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In contrast, thousands of Maduro supporters came to the events as an act of conscience and out of a desire to support a government and leader that has housed the homeless, fed the hungry, and provided free education and health care for the people of Venezuela. Many of the marchers recalled that Venezuela was the first country to offer aid to the needy in America after Hurricane Katrina and that Venezuela had provided heating oil to the freezing U.S. citizens in the northern part of America, when the U.S. Government failed to do so.

The police though initially seeming to be neutral, eventually turned on the Venezuelan supporters and bullied some African American veterans, standing with Maduro, who were just talking peacefully. The interaction was so upsetting to the veterans that they walked to Parker Center and filed a complaint against the conduct/misconduct of the police. The L.A.P.D. is the police department in America that is number one in police killings of unarmed Blacks. Also bullied by the police were some the neutral independent reportesr who were present. One journalist was injured, possibly accidentally.

L.A. Solidarity March for Maduro and Venezuela
L.A. Solidarity March for Maduro and Venezuela
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In Los Angeles, as thousands marched, many more thousands walked out of stores and restaurants to cheer on the marchers. Facebook and Twitter have been documented removing pro-Venezuela accounts. But censorship could not stop Americans from showing their support for Maduro on Saturday. If Trump does invade, what will he do with all the U.S. Citizens who chanted that they got Venezuela's back?

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Henry has been a professor of political science and legal ethics and an advisor to many successful candidates for public office. He is currently working on a book about the inequality crisis in America.
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