LAST Wednesday US national security advisor John Bolton threatened that the US administration was putting every foreign bank ‘on notice’ if they failed to obey the Trump administration’s demand that they stop all financial transactions with the legitimate Venezuelan government of President Maduro.

Bolton vowed that the US ‘will not allow Maduro to steal the wealth of the Venezuelan people’. This latest threat from US imperialism is designed to ramp up the economic stranglehold that it has been tightening around the necks of the Venezuelan people and their democratically elected president Maduro.

It follows the dismal failure of the recent attempt to stage a bogus humanitarian aid convoy to the border between Venezuela and the US client regime in Colombia.

Juan Guaido, who proclaimed himself interim president and has acted as a stooge for the US, had promised that millions of Venezuelans would flock to the border to receive the couple of lorries of ‘aid’, and that the military would defect in droves to the cause of regime change.

This provocation flopped with the Venezuelan people and the army standing firmly behind Maduro. Now Bolton is issuing threats to the world’s banks under the guise of not allowing Venezuelan wealth to be stolen by their own government.

In fact a sizeable proportion of the wealth of Venezuela has already been stolen – not by Maduro but by the Bank of England.

In November last year the Bank, acting on instructions from the Tories, who in turn were acting on the instruction of the US, refused to release 14 tons of gold, worth £1.2 billion, owned by Venezuela and deposited at the Bank for ‘safe keeping’.

The reason given by the Bank for this monumental theft was that it couldn’t be sure what the Venezuelan government would do with all that gold! Much better for the Bank and the Tories to steal it and prevent it being used for the benefit of the Venezuelan people.

Indeed, Tory foreign office minister Alan Duncan suggested that the whole lot should be handed over to the imperialist stooge Guaido in order to finance his counter-revolutionary coup.

This act of imperialist banditry was met with the usual treacherous response from the Labour Party, with shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry saying that democracy in Venezuela had ceased to function. She refused to condemn the Bank’s action.

From the trade union leadership there has been nothing but a deafening silence on the war to effect regime change in Venezuela – a war that Bolton and Trump are continually threatening to turn into an armed intervention.

The TUC act as if Venezuela is nothing to do with them, despite the involvement of the British state through the Bank and the rush by the Tories to recognise Guaido as president.

In fact the working class in Britain, the US and across the world are deeply involved in the struggle of the Venezuelan people – we face the common enemy of capitalism in its final and degenerate imperialist phase. There can be no doubt that a war against the Venezuelan people would be paid for by the working class.

Further any success by imperialism in regime change would embolden the imperialist powers in their war against the working class at home – in much the same way that Margaret Thatcher’s war against Argentina over the Malvinas (Falkland) islands in the 1980s revived her political fortunes and gave her the political impetus to try and smash the trade union movement in the UK.

Conversely, a defeat would be a massive blow to world capitalism and a huge victory for the working class internationally. The reality is that by defending the Venezuelan people and their legitimate government from imperialist aggression and thievery, the working class is defending itself.

Workers in Britain must demand that the TUC stop their shameful silence and take action by calling a general strike to bring down the Tories and bring in a workers government.

A workers government that will take control of the Bank and every financial institution and place them under the management of the working class and will immediately release to Venezuela all the gold that is rightfully theirs.