News & Reports

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Happy New Year from the Venezuela Solidarity Campaign!

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2015 marks 10 years of the Venezuela Solidarity Campaign and with elections approaching at the end of the year in Venezuela - plus the U.S stepping up sanctions and hostility - we will be making it our most active yet.
Below you can find details of our two major national events this year including the Second Annual Hugo Chávez Memorial Lecture on February 26 and other events coming up.
As well as attending events, you can show your solidarity with Venezuela by making a donation to our Special Appeal, joining the VSC and lobbying your MP to speak out against proposed U.S sanctions on Venezuela .

Best wishes,
Matt Willgress, VSC National Co-ordinator.


1.) Richard Gott Presents The Second Annual Hugo Chávez Memorial Lecture
Thursday, February 26, 2015, 7:00pm.

Bolívar Hall, 54 Grafton Way, W1T 5DL (nearest tube: Warren Street)
We are absolutely delighted to announce that writer Richard Gott, author of Hugo Chavez & The Bolivarian Revolution, will give this lecture. More details will be announced in due course.
Please register in advance here
Please invite your friends & share here

2.) Rally for Venezuela - Yes to Social Progress, No to U.S. Intervention! Celebrating 10 Years of VSC
Thursday, June 4, 2015, 6:30pm.
Hamilton House (NUT Headquarters), London, WC1H
An evening for Venezuela & celebrating 10 years of solidarity, with guests to include: Tariq Ali, Jeremy Corbyn MP, H.E Alicia Castro (Argentinian Ambassador,) Professor Doreen Massey, Neil Findlay MSP, Bethan Jenkins AM (Plaid Cymru), Grahame Morris MP (Labour Friends of Venezuela,) Andy De La Tour (former election observer in Venezuela,) Sandra White MSP (SNP) Dr. Francisco Dominguez, Colin Burgon (VSC,) Derek Wall (Green Party,) Chris Williamson MP & more.
Please register in advance here
Please invite your friends & share here

We have also been notified of these local VSC group events in the New Year - if you would like to set up an event in your area - or invite a Venezuelan or VSC speaker - please contact us on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.;

20 Years of Renewed Hope & Progress in Latin America

When Latin America Was Awakened by a Hug

Special report by Telesur TV English: On 13 December 1994 two men with justice & vision at their hearts met and embraced each other in a hug - those men were the leader of Venezuela Hugo Chavez and the Revolutionary leader of Cuba Fidel Castro.

Chavez Fidel Castro hug 1994 dec 13

Find out more about this special meeting, and the renewed hope for social justice & and the prospects for a better life that it has given millions, not just in Latin America but across the world.

Read more here:


ALBA Economic & Diplomatic Bloc Celebrates 10 Progressive Years

THE progressive Alba regional economic and diplomatic bloc marked its 10th anniversary on Sunday.
Presidents Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela, Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua and Evo Morales of Bolivia joined Cuban President Raul Castro for the festivities in Havana, where the group was founded.
Foreign ministers from other member countries also attended the gathering.
The meeting made a 40-point declaration about pressing issues in the region such as landlocked Bolivia’s access to the sea and the peace process in Colombia.
Alba pulls together progressive countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, and places its focus on social programmes dealing in health and education.
It was created in 2004 by then Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez and Cuban leader Fidel Castro, who has since retired.
It aims to counter US influence in the region and Raul Castro called Alba “a real alternative to the economic and social model” of the United States.

The Miami Five are Free!

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After 16 years of unjust imprisonment in US jails all of the Miami Five are now free and at home with their families in Cuba. On Wednesday 17 December, Cuba and the United States announced that a prisoner exchange would take place which would see Antonio, Gerardo and Ramon released and back home in  Cuba.

This is wonderful news for the Five, their families and friends, all the thousands of peoples throughout the world who campaigned for who campaigned for their release and the Cuban people themselves..

It is to be hoped that this is the beginning of the end of the past fifty year's policy of aggression and blockade, and ushers in the start of friendly relations between the two countries.

President Raul Castro and President Obama announced the beginning of the normalisation of relations between Cuba and the US.

Raul said, " We have agreed to re-establish diplomatic relations,but this does not mean that the main issue has been resolved, the Blockade that generates economic losses and humanitarian problems in our country must stop."

Elaine Smith, Convener of the Cross Party Group on Cuba in the Scottish Parliament said "I am delighted that the remaining three Miami Five detainees have been released following their unfair detention.  I hope that following this miscarriage of justice they are reunited with their families as quickly as possible. Their fifteen year incarceration has been inhumane and intolerable for the Five and their families and I am hopeful that this reported start of normalising diplomatic ties will pave the way to seeing an end to the economic blockade.  This decision is long overdue”

Many, many thanks to our members and supporters, along with others across the world for their work for the Release of the Five, and an end to the Blockade.

Joint Statement by Scottish Cuba & Venezuela Solidarity Campaigns

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The Scottish Cuba Solidarity Campaign and the Scottish Venezuela Solidarity Campaign jointly welcome the release of the three remaining Miami Five prisoners unjustly held by the United States for the past sixteen years. This act demonstrates the effectiveness of the world-wide campaign for their release and the efforts of the Cuban government, with the assistance of Pope Francis, to restore diplomatic relations with the US. At the same time the illegal US trade embargo against Cuba continues. Despite repeated condemnation by the United Nations, this penalises all countries and companies that seek to trade with Cuba.

We also note and condemn the Bill passed by the US Congress this week placing new sanctions on Venezuela in addition to those imposed earlier in the year. Like the trade blockade on Cuba, these sanctions seek use economic warfare against people – in this case worsening the already serious impact of the fall in oil prices on Venezuela’s main export. We call on Scottish MSPs and MPs and all trade union and progressive organisations to call on the British government to oppose these sanctions and to step up the demand for an end to the US trade embargo on Cuba.

Cuba and Venezuela have demonstrated that another world is possible. Health and education are universal free benefits for all. Highly trained workers freely offer their skills and resources to countries in need including Pakistan, Haiti, and currently during the Ebola crisis.

Our Scottish solidarity work is enormously heartened by the good news but given a clear mandate to continue our efforts by the ongoing challenges.

Please ensure that your membership of both vital organisations is current and that all your networks are linked to our campaigns and updates. If not, please sign up as soon as possible and contact us for any assistance.

Our solidarity work has made a difference, with motions debated in Scottish Parliament, our welcome to speakers from Cuba and Venezuela including family of Miami 5, our support for brigades and delegations, our stalls at conferences and events, and our joint work with all sectors of Scottish civic society including the Arts, Students, Faith Groups, and more.

The struggle continues, and whilst we celebrate the reunion of the Miami 5 with their loved ones in Cuba, we deplore the ongoing sanctions and hostilities towards the working people of two sovereign nations that are not USA's backyard.

Join us!

Phil McGarry - Chair, Scottish Venezuela Solidarity Campaign
Vicky Grandon - Chair, Scottish Cuba Solidarity Campaign

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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STUC Statement on Miami Five & USA Miscarriages of Justice

Commenting on the news that remaining three Cuban prisoners held in Miami have been released Grahame Smith STUC General Secretary says:
“The STUC has long campaigned for the release of the Miami Five and are glad to see that, at last, the prisoners have now gained their freedom.  The release of the three remaining Miami Five, Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino and Antonio Guerrero, along with the release of Alan Goss by Cuba, marks a positive step forward in the normalisation of relations between these states.
The STUC congratulates all those who have campaigned to overturn the miscarriage of justice that led to the imprisonment of the Miami Five and all those who have fought for better relations between Cuba and the US for the last 50 years.”

PLEASE SHARE WIDELY: Guardian Publishes 'Venezuela: the disturbing message of Robert Serra’s murder'

SHARE FAR & WIDE:We have broken the media silence!

Guardian publishes letter signed by weighty figures from across British society condemning Serra murder, calling for international condemnation of violent, right-wing, anti-democratic destabilisation in Venezuela

You may remember we wrote to you last week about the murder of Socialist Parliamentarian Roberto Serra in Venezuela. I am writing to thank you all for your messages of support & to let you know we have all helped to break the collective media silence on the matter. In today's Guardian our letter on the issue - signed by a cross section of figures from across British society - has been published.

The letter notes that, "Worryingly, Serra’s murder joins the list of other assassinations of government figures and the situation resembles the prelude to the overthrow of Salvador Allende in Chile, when sections of the Chilean opposition did not distance themselves from violent actions, including the assassination of a general," concluding that, "We condemn this murder and other examples of extreme, anti-democratic violence aimed at destabilising Venezuela’s elected government."

You can read the text and signatories as published below & the original source here. Please forward this email & circulate widely through social media.



We express our condolences and solidarity to Venezuela following the murder of Robert Serra (27), the national assembly’s youngest parliamentarian, who was found dead in his home on October 1 (, 8 October).
Government officials have stated it was tied to a terrorist plot from extreme elements of the rightwing opposition, with the secretary general of the Union of South American Nations, former Colombian president Ernesto Samper, saying: “The assassination of the young legislator Robert Serra in Venezuela is a worrying sign of the infiltration of Colombian paramilitarism.”
Worryingly, Serra’s murder joins the list of other assassinations of government figures and the situation resembles the prelude to the overthrow of Salvador Allende in Chile, when sections of the Chilean opposition did not distance themselves from violent actions, including the assassination of a general. metronidazole
We condemn this murder and other examples of extreme, anti-democratic violence aimed at destabilising Venezuela’s elected government.
Ken Livingstone President, Venezuela Solidarity Campaign, Colin Burgon Labour Friends of Venezuela, Tariq Ali, Diane Abbott MP, Baroness Janet Royall Leader of the opposition in the House of Lords, Tony Burke Assistant general secretary, Unite the Union, Mike Wood MP, Elaine Smith MSP, Lord Nic Rea, George Galloway MP, Neil Findlay MSP, Katy Clark MP, Jeremy Corbyn MP, Mike Hedges, Welsh AM, Jenny Rathbone Welsh AM, John McDonnell MP, Michael Connarty MP, Kate Hudson General Secretary, CND,Lindsey GermanConvenor, Stop the War Coalition, Salma Yaqoob, Andy De La Tour, Victoria Brittain, Billy Hayes, General secretary, CWU, Mick WhelanGeneral secretary, Aslef, Doug Nicholls General secretary, General Federation of Trade Unions, Ronnie Draper General Secretary, BFAWU,Roger McKenzie Assistant general secretary, Unison,Professor Peter Hallward Kingston University, Dr Francisco Dominguez, Head, Centre for Latin American Studies, Middlesex University & over 100 more people from across British civil society.

Venezuelan diplomat: Serra's killers will be found

VENEZUELA’S embassy chief vowed this weekend that the killers of the country’s youngest ever MP will be caught. 

Charge d’affaires Alfonso D’Santiago told the Morning Star on Saturday that he is “certain” the assassins of Congressman Robert Serra and his wife Maria Herrera will be brought to justice. 

His comments came as Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro confirmed the hunt has turned to a “band of criminals” that ex-Colombian president Alvaro Uribe “has directed all of his life.”

Mr D’Santiago, — his country’s highest representative in Britain — was speaking at a meeting of the Venezuelan Solidarity Campaign (VSC).

The campaign’s annual conference opened in sombre mood with a minute’s silence for the murdered couple. 

The diplomat told the socialist country’s supporters that their work is more important than ever in the wake of the latest bid to destabilise its democratically elected Socialist Unity Party government. 

“Solidarity is particularly important to Venezuela right now as we face threats from inside and outside the country,” said Mr D’Santiago. 

“I’m sure that with your friendship and support — which is of immeasurable value to us — we will overcome such difficult times.”

Mr Serra was buried by comrades on Friday after being stabbed to death at his home in a working-class district of Caracas on Wednesday night.

The 27-year-old rising star had become the youngest ever member of the National Assembly after last year’s elections.

VSC secretary Dr Francisco Dominquez said the attack on Mr Serra appeared “well calculated and savagely executed.”

He said: “I think there are dark forces involved.

“They are likely to be linked to right-wing paramilitaries in Colombia and dark forces in Washington.”

Unite assistant general secretary Tony Burke also warned: “It’s possible we’re going to see more” attacks on Socialist party leaders in the run-up to Venezuela’s regional elections in December.

Mr D’Santiago was speaking in Britain for the first time since arriving from Caracas to take up his charge d’affaires post. 

Britain will receive a new Venezuelan ambassador later this year.

Maduro allies murdered in their home

VENEZUELA’S leaders called for calm today while officials investigate the murder of Socialist Party congressman Robert Serra and his partner.

The 27-year-old, a close ally of President Nicolas Maduro, and Maria Herrera were “vilely killed” in their house, according to Interior Minister Miguel Rodriguez Torres.

He said the motive for the killings remained unclear.

Mr Maduro expressed his “immense pain” on Twitter, adding: “We’ll follow your example, always true and firm on the path of the revolution, which you defended with such passion.”

National Assembly president Diosdado Cabello visited the crime scene in Caracas neighbourhood La Pastora.

“To all of our comrades, all of us who feel indignation and anger, we ask them to trust the public prosecutor and all of the institutions that are investigating and we will find all the people responsible for this crime,” he told news agency teleSUR.

Mr Serra rose to prominence as a student leader making fiery speeches in defence of the Bolivarian revolution, later becoming Venezuela’s youngest-ever parliamentary deputy when he was elected aged 25.

Mr Cabello praised his commitment to progressive causes, saying that “whenever a militant was needed, he would be there.”

Ruling party PSUV’s youth wing added its “heartfelt words of sympathy” for the youth activist.

Initial reports suggested the pair were killed with a “sharp implement,” though there were also rumours that gunshots had been heard.

Mr Cabello said more information would be revealed following investigations.

Maduro calls for 'refoundation' of UN

PRESIDENT Nicolas Maduro called on international leaders at the UN general assembly late on Wednesday to work for a “refoundation” of the world body.

He urged that the UN undergo a profound transformation and recognise that the world is now multipolar, defined by new regional alliances.

Mr Maduro said that the security council in particular needed an immediate overhaul to ensure that it reflects the modern world, in which every region has its own voice and ambitions.

He praised Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for helping stave off Islamic State militants and pledged $5 million to the fight against Ebola.

The Venezuelan leader also railed against harassment by the “imperial forces” of the US empire “that have tried again and again to undermine democracy.”

President Maduro concluded his remarks with a prayer for peace, which would only be possible, he said, when the sovereignty of each country is respected.