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Maduro supporters in London celebrate start of second term

SUPPORTERS of Venezuela’s democratically elected President Nicolas Maduro welcomed the start of his second term with a lively rally outside the country’s London embassy today.

More than 60 activists gathered on Exhibition Road in South Kensington to show their solidarity and denounce US efforts to destabilise Mr Maduro’s presidency.

 

 

A much smaller group, averaging around six anti-Maduro activists, staged a counter-protest and brandished a US flag.

One woman who opposes Mr Maduro repeatedly pointed her walking stick at his supporters and made threatening machine gun gestures at the peaceful crowd.

She declined to be interviewed by the Morning Star.

Mr Maduro’s supporters said it was “essential for socialism to defend the Venezuelan government.”

Trevor Rayne from Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism!, said Venezuela was “on the front line of the struggle for socialism and humanity.”

Mr Rayne added: “The US, Britain and their Latin American allies recognise that Venezuela is a beacon of hope, with Cuba and Bolivia, for hundreds of millions of poor and working-class people throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.

“Venezuela has some of the world’s largest oil deposits and the imperialists want to control them.”

 

 

Steve Cook, a former Morning Star writer, said he was “here in defence of Venezuelan democracy and the right of Venezuela’s popular masses to pursue their revolutionary aspirations towards building socialism, and against attacks by US imperialists and their allies to dismantle the Bolivarian revolution.”

Liam Sheehan, a Fianna Fail activist, said “the people of Ireland support Maduro.”

The protest comes just days after several Latin American governments from the so-called Lima group published a statement questioning the legitimacy of President Maduro’s election victory.

He scored 68 per cent of the popular vote last May and is now embarking on his second six-year term.

Mexico’s newly elected left-wing leader Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador refused to sign the Lima statement and signalled his support for Mr Maduro, as did Evo Morales in Bolivia.

Tony Burke, chairman of the Venezuela Solidarity Campaign, said: “The intervention of the new president of Mexico Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador along with the Uruguay and Bolivian governments in refusing to sign up for the Lima group’s interventionist declaration is to be welcomed.

“Amlo is correct in rejecting any initiative which includes measures that obstruct a proper dialogue in resolving the current problems in Venezuela.

“Those Latin American countries in the Lima group who have described Maduro’s elected government as ‘illegitimate’ are stoking up the aim of Donald Trump to foster a coup in Venezuela.”

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