Rights Action
February 2, 2019
Canada’s largest union –CUPE- calls out the Canadian gov’t for supporting illegal coup in Venezuela
CUPE, the Canadian Union of Public Employees, is criticizing the Canadian government for siding with “democratic allies” such as the repressive, corrupt, anti-democratic Honduran, Guatemalan & Brazilian regimes, for violating international and Canadian law, for illegally “recognizing” Juan Guaido as Venezuela’s self-proclaimed “president”, & for supporting yet another violent, harmful U.S.-led coup attempt 

And Honduras and Guatemala?
Rights Action supports all calls to hold the U.S. and Canada accountable for this harmful and deadly economic, military and political aggression because it is our responsibility to hold our governments to account, and because of how repression, corruption, poverty and destitution, violence and impunity are going from bad to worse in Honduras and Guatemala.
To “legitimize” this coup attempt, Canada formed the so-called Lima group, an ad hoc discussion group of a dozen Latin American and Caribbean countries, including Canada, Brazil, Honduras, U.S., Guatemala, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Guyana and Saint Lucia. 20 Latin American and Caribbean countries have not joined this anti-Venezuela group.
Even as the Lima group is being touted by the Canadian government, a new caravan of 15,000 migrant refugees from Honduras and Guatemala is crossing Mexico –fleeing repression, corruption, poverty and destitution, violence and impunity at home– to seek political asylum in the U.S.
The U.S. and Canadian media and governments have seemingly dropped all attention on these desperate migrants who are fleeing the U.S. and Canada’s “democratic allies”, so as to drum up support for their illegal aggression in Venezuela.
  • Please read and share widely
  • Write to your elected politicians and find out if they support this illegal aggression. If so, carry out local activism and muck-raking to denounce their complicity
  • Work with your own organizations (unions, religious groups, educational institutions, community groups, etc.) to publish statements condemning the illegal, harmful and deadly political, economic & ?covert military? aggression against the government of Venezuela
CUPE breaks with Ottawa on imperial drive to oust Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro
Canada’s largest union sides with maligned Venezuelan president

Ottawa Citizen, 2 Feb 2019, MARIE-DANIELLE SMITH
OTTAWA • Canada’s largest union is lining up behind Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro even as Canada, the United States and other allies recognize his rival, Juan Guaido, as the country’s president.
“The Canadian government was one of the first governments in the world to declare support for Juan Guaido. In doing so, they have chosen to side with a self-declared leader over President Nicolas Maduro, who was duly elected by the people of Venezuela,” the Canadian Union of Public Employees said in a statement. “They have also chosen to side with Donald Trump and U.S. foreign policy.”
CUPE, which represents nearly 700,000 workers in transport, health and other sectors, “rejects any attempt by the Canadian government to interfere with the democratic processes and sovereignty of the Venezuelan people,” the statement says, accusing Guaido of conducting a U.S.-supported “coup d’état.”
Guaido, leader of the opposition-controlled legislative assembly in Venezuela, declared himself president Jan. 23 amid protests and was quickly recognized as interim leader by the U.S., Canada and several other countries. The European Parliament voted overwhelmingly to recognize him Thursday.
Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland is hosting a meeting of the Lima group, which consists of Canada, Brazil, Argentina and eight other Latin American countries, in Ottawa on Monday to discuss “support” for Guaido. The group believes Maduro’s re-election last year was fraudulent.
Venezuela, once prosperous, has seen an extreme economic decline that began under President Hugo Chavez, whose popular social programs relied on income from a heavily mismanaged, nationalized oil sector. Since Maduro took over from Chavez in 2013, a full-blown humanitarian crisis has displaced three million people, and attacks against Maduro’s political rivals have caused an Organization of American States expert panel to recommend his regime’s prosecution at the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity.
Asked to respond to CUPE’s statement, Adam Austen, press secretary to Freeland, did not comment specifically on the union’s position, providing a statement reiterating Canada’s support for Guaido and rejecting “the Maduro regime’s illegitimate claim to power.”
“We reiterate that a resolution of the crisis in Venezuela can only be achieved through the leadership and courage of Venezuelans themselves. We remain committed to working with our partners, particularly through the Lima Group of countries, and with Venezuela’s democratic opposition,” Austen said.
There is no daylight between the Liberal government’s position and that of the opposition Conservatives, who said last week they recognize Guaido and stand with the Venezuelan people in protesting “the extreme socialist policies that have led to the starvation and suffering of millions of citizens in a country that holds tremendous promise.”
However, the CUPE statement comes as federal New Democrats, who have traditionally had strong ties with the labour movement, face pressure from all sides to stop equivocating on their own position on Venezuela.
In addition to CUPE, the even bigger Canadian Labour Congress, an umbrella over more than three million unionized workers, is calling on Canada to “abstain from seeking regime change and intervening in the sovereign affairs of Venezuela.” They are not alone in the world — the U.K. Labour Party’s leader Jeremy Corbyn, for example, said on social media Friday, “we oppose outside interference in Venezuela, whether from the U.S. or anywhere else.”
But the NDP have avoided taking sides. A careful statement from leader Jagmeet Singh last week condemned Maduro’s military action against political protesters, but also said that Canada should not “simply follow the U.S.’s foreign policy.”
Without recognizing one president or the other, Singh said the NDP “will always stand up for human rights around the globe.”
Say no to U.S. & Canadian-led ‘Lima group’ meeting in Ottawa, Canada, plotting further illegal actions to force government change in Venezuela

Jan.29, 2019, by Grahame Russell

Canada Is Complicit in Venezuela's US-Backed Coup D'état

by Yves Engler
Rights Action (U.S. & Canada)
Rights Action funds human rights, environmental and territorial defense organizations in Guatemala and Honduras; we provide relief funds to victims of political repression, health harms and natural disasters; we expose and work to hold accountable the U.S. and Canadian governments, companies and investors, international actors (World Bank, etc.) that cause and profit from the repression, environmental harms and human rights violations.
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