Numerous organizations rallied at United Nations Plaza on Saturday before marching down Market Street to protest United States interventionism tactics in Venezuela and other Latin American countries.
Community organizations participating in the rally, like the Third World Resistance, said the White House is supporting a coup to replace elected President Nicolás Maduro with Juan Guaido, the National Assembly of Venezuela president, to gain access to its natural resources.
“We reject U.S. attempts at intervention anywhere in the world,” said Lara Kisawni, a representative of the Third World Resistance, a nonprofit organization made up of people from different cultures who work to denounce racial injustice and imperialism.
More than 100 protesters carried “Hands Off Venezuela” signs as they marched from UN Plaza, blocking oncoming traffic to the Powell Street BART station.
The Act Now Stop War End Racism (ANSWER) Coalition, a nationwide nonprofit, organized the protest against the United States’ role in influencing the economies and politics of countries such as Venezuela, Honduras, Cuba, Nicaragua and El Salvador.
Frank Lara, ANSWER member and fifth grade teacher, said the organization started in 2001 in response to the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan and has spoken out against any form of imperialism since then.
Lara said unlike many mainstream news organizations’ reports, an economic and psychological war is being waged against the people of Venezuela. He said since 1999, transnational oil companies based in the U.S. have lobbied for tariffs and embargoes on the country’s largest export —petroleum.
Carolina Morales said that the price of oil per barrel has decreased exponentially over 10 years.
“The price of a barrel was $120… now it’s under $30 a barrel,” Morales said. “When you have a country that is small and its economy is dependent on oil, [trade tariffs] will exacerbate that economy.”
Lara said he is concerned that major newsgroups present the issues Venezuela is facing as a result of a failed socialist system and ignores the U.S. influence in crippling their economy.
“But CNN, ABC, the Democratic and Republican parties keep throwing us nonsense that there is a crisis in the country that people don’t know what to do,” he said. “What we are telling you is that this is a manufactured crisis.