The only way to really defend Venezuela is for the working class to smash US and UK imperialism!

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VENEZUELAN President Nicolas Maduro said in a televised speech last Tuesday night that a coup attempt by a small group of the military had been defeated, and expressed his gratitude to the country’s armed forces for their continued loyalty to him.

He assured the Venezuelan people that the group of military personnel supporting opposition imperialist-sponsored puppets Leopoldo Lopez and Juan Guaido had been defeated. He said that ‘The empire seeks to attack and overthrow a legitimate government to enslave Venezuela.’

He revealed that Guaido and Lopez were seeking to spark an armed confrontation that might be used as a pretext for foreign military intervention, but ‘loyal and obedient’ members of the country’s armed forces had put down the mutiny within hours after it started early on Tuesday morning.

Maduro continued that there only remained a small group of plotters who had chosen ‘the path of betrayal … and handed their souls over to the coup-mongering far right.’

However, the imperialist stooge Guaido has continued and called on ‘the people’ to take to the streets on Wednesday to continue to the final stage of ‘Operation Freedom’. Presumably, the final stage is open US military intervention.

The administration of US President Donald Trump, which has already recognised Guaido as the ‘president of Venezuela’, was quick to openly back the putsch bid. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo alleged that Maduro had been prepared to fly into exile in Cuba but was talked down by Russia.

‘He had an airplane on the tarmac. He was ready to leave this morning as we understand it, and the Russians indicated that he should stay,’ Pompeo told CNN, without offering any evidence.

Maduro dismissed the allegation, saying, ‘Mike Pompeo said … Maduro had a plane ready to escape to Cuba and that the Russians prohibited me from leaving.’

He added: ‘Mr Pompeo, please! Such a lack of seriousness! Mr Bolton gave orders to high-ranking officers to join the coup that was overcome in Venezuela … Dear God, how far will the US go?’ the president exclaimed.

Bolton also appeared in the grounds of the White House on Tuesday, naming three senior Venezuelan officials whom he said had been negotiating with the opposition and accepted that the president had to be replaced. He alleged that Venezuela’s Defence Minister Vladimir Padrino was one of them. Padrino, however, appeared on television surrounded by soldiers on Tuesday, asserting continued loyalty to Maduro.

Meanwhile, reports said opposition figure Lopez – who was reportedly set free from house arrest during the coup – took refuge at the Spanish Embassy in Caracas with his family.

US President Trump has already responded to the failure of the current coup attempt by accusing Cuban troops and militia of conducting military operations in Venezuela to cause death and destruction to the Constitution of Venezuela.

In a Twitter message, Trump threatened Havana with a ‘full and complete embargo, together with the highest-level sanctions’ if it did not pull those forces out of Venezuela. Clearly the crisis is not over yet. The US is currently threatening Iran with regime change and seeking to bankrupt it by barring all states from purchasing Iranian oil.

At the same time, it wants oil prices to be cut, when an embargo against Iran will drive them up to over $100 a barrel and the capitalist world economy into a huge crisis.

Trump wants to seize the Venezuelan oil fields to control and cut the world’s oil prices. Trump, driven on by the developing economic crisis is more than capable of mounting a military adventure in Venezuela – after all, the coup attempt was meant to ignite just this move.

The workers of the world must defend the Venezuelan people from the US and UK imperialists. The UK is actually holding Venezuela’s gold reserves and refusing to return them.

The US and UK trade unions must tell the US and UK governments that any Anglo-American attack on Venezuela will be met with the organisation of general strikes directed at bringing down the US and UK governments. They must be told that the regime changes will be in Washington and London not Caracas!