Socialist Worker

Chavez backs anti-war demo

by Chris Nineham, National Officer Stop the War Coalition
Issue No. 1986

Hugo Chavez

Hugo Chavez

At the final session of the World Social Forum (WSF) in Caracas, Venezuela, on behalf of the Stop the War Coalition, I made the call for a global day of protest on 18 March against the occupation of Iraq and any further new wars.

This was the first activity agreed at the activist assembly of the WSF.

The evening before I was one of two European delegates who joined with five US activists, including Cindy Sheehan, in a working meeting with Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez.

We discussed cooperation in resisting further Bush wars. We discussed the direct link between the campaign to end the US occupation of Iraq and the ever present threat of intervention by the US against thegovernment of Venezuela. Chavez proposed that the WSF should be the launch pad for a world wide anti-imperialist front. He agreed that 18 March was a key date and agreed to do what he can to promote it globally.

At the close of the meeting I addressed a press conference on the steps of the presidential palace and Cindy Sheehan went live on Chavez’s own televesion programme, Ola Presidente, to talk about the 18 March protests.

The call for global action on 18 March has been endorsed by a host of organisations across Latin America. Many of them see the fight against Bush’s wars as the front line in the resistance to the neo?liberal offensive.

For more on the World Social Forum see World Social Forum meets in a country of resistance

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