Venezuela commemorates 31 years of the first popular insurrection against neoliberalism

The Caracazo of February 1989 laid the foundation for the struggle to restore democracy in the country

February 28, 2020 by Peoples Dispatch
Thousands of Venezuelans carried out a massive mobilization in the capital, Caracas, to commemorate the 31st anniversary of Caracazo, a historic mobilization against neoliberalism and IMF policies, and to reject US imperialism. Photo: AVN

Tens of thousands of Venezuelans took to the streets across the country to commemorate the 31st anniversary of the first popular insurrection against neoliberalism in the country, known as “Caracazo”. Yesterday the people of Venezuela ratified the socialist and Chavista state model which puts the people and their dignity first.

Thirty-one years ago, on February 27, 1989, the people of Venezuela took to the streets of Caracas to protest against the neoliberal policies of the then president Carlos Andrés Pérez, suggested by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the United States. In the face of revolt against the government, Pérez decreed a state of emergency and suspended all constitutional guarantees to citizens. The government permitted the National Army to use firearms against protesters and unleashed a brutal repression that resulted in the deaths of hundreds of people. This social uprising laid the foundation for the struggle led by Commander Hugo Chavéz to restore democracy in the country in 1992.

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro also recalled the people’s rebellion that paved the way to the end of oligarchic domination in the country. “The rebellious people of Simón Bolívar, tired of years of betrayals, on February 27, sowed the seed of a Free Homeland, with social justice,” tweeted Maduro.

“I congratulate the beautiful march of our people who took to the streets of Caracas to commemorate 31 years of Caracazo and to say no to neoliberalism, no to capitalism and no to the interventionism of the Yankee empire. We stand firm, in struggle and victory. Long live Venezuela!,” wrote Maduro.

The commemoration of the Caracazo was recognized internationally as the International Day of Solidarity with Venezuela and Against Neoliberalism. Social and political movements around the world carried out marches, held forums, political and cultural activities in support of the Bolivarian Revolution, condemning the interference and coercive measures imposed by the US government against the people of Venezuela.

The Second Vice President of the National Constituent Assembly, Gladys Requena, said that “the international day is a slap in the face of Donald Trump and those aiming to become a threat against the peoples of the world.”

The celebration of the international day was agreed during the World Meeting Against Imperialism, held in Caracas between January 22 and 24. The main objective of organizing the day was to recognize and validate the resistance of the people of the world against capitalist economic models in these times, such as in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, France and Haiti. Likewise, its celebration across the globe highlights the negative social, economic and environmental implications of neoliberal policies and shows how the capitalist system and imperialism affect life, sovereignty, human rights and peace in the world.

Some of the other objectives of the day were to express solidarity with peoples struggling against neoliberalism and suffering from unilateral coercive measures such as Venezuela, Iran, Cuba, Nicaragua, Syria, Russia, Yemen, Palestine, the Sahrawi Arab Republic, the People’s Republic of China and others as well as to support the lawsuit filed by Venezuela against the United States government for the crime of aggression against the economic, financial and commercial blockade of the country.