Founding Statement of Purpose

Venezuela We Are With You Coalition (Toronto)
Coalición Venezuela Estamos Contigo

In December 1999, a new constitution proposed by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. was overwhelmingly ratified in a country-wide referendum (receiving almost 80 percent of the votes cast). This is just one of eight occasions since 1998 where the people of Venezuela have democratically indicated their support for Chavez. Several of these elections, and the most recent Presidential Referendum, were monitored and endorsed by international election observers from around the world (including Canadians), and the Organization of American States.

In response to the most recent victory for Chavez (the defeat of a recall referendum in August 2004), Ken Georgetti, president of the Canadian Labour Congress, wrote in a letter to Chavez: "We laud your efforts to strengthen the Venezuelan constitution and your commitment to end decades of social exclusion for the majority of poor Venezuelans. We reject the strategies adopted by your adversaries and the intervention of outside powers to support them."

The August recall referendum was just one of a series of attempts — supported by business and the rich in Venezuela and with the tacit backing of the United States — to remove Chavez from office, most dramatically in a military coup in April 2002. The coup failed only after a massive, popular uprising by workers and the poor in Venezuela, whose overwhelming support for Chavez forced the coup leaders to back down.

Therefore, we the Coalition "Venezuela We Are With You" have come together with the following aims:

  • To oppose any foreign political, economic and military intervention into the affairs of the Venezuelan people;

  • To support the Venezuelan people’s right to self-determination;

  • To counter the misinformation about the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela coming from the mass media;

  • To call on social, labour and political organizations in Canada to support the democratic and social achievements of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela;

  • To call on the Canadian government to (a) promote aid and trade with Venezuela, and (b) oppose intervention by the United States or other foreign powers into the political affairs of Venezuela.

September 2004