Hands Off Venezuela
Hands Off Venezuela logo
|Motto||"Viva La Revolucion!"|
|Type||Political pressure group|
|Purpose||To build support for Hugo Chavez's Bolivarian revolution|
Hands Off Venezuela is a political lobby group based in the United Kingdom and with branches in many other countries. The campaign was established in December 2002, following the Venezuelan coup attempt of 2002, with the aim of increasing public and political awareness in the UK and elsewhere of the Chávez government's social and political reforms and to counter what Hands Off Venezuela sees as a "US-funded propaganda campaign" in the west to paint Chávez as a dictator and a threat to democracy.
The organisation was founded by the International Marxist Tendency's Alan Woods, a Welsh Trotskyist and political writer, who wrote an appeal, calling for "defense of the revolutionary process in Venezuela" and to defend the Bolivarian Revolution, to oppose US intervention in Venezuela, and to ensure that information about what was happening in Venezuela would reach the international labour movement.
The organisation's most visible work has been in issuing press releases which counter unfavourable western media reports on the Chávez government, organising protests and participating in national anti-war demonstrations, and work in the British Trade Union Movement. The organisation also has a strong presence on UK university campuses, where they hold regular lecture sessions on developments in Venezuela, organise visits by Venezuelan Trade Unionists, and screen documentaries.
Their most notable successes to date have included the visit by Hugo Chávez to Vienna, where he spoke at a Hands Off Venezuela rally attended by 5,000 youth, and the participation in the organisation of the visit by Hugo Chávez to London as a guest of Venezuela supporter Mayor Ken Livingstone (During this trip Chávez refused to meet UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, who he described as a "pawn of [US] imperialism" ), and also the resolutions of official support passed by the British Trades Union Congress in 2005 (Motion 79) and 2007 (Motion 76), the Scottish Trades Union Congress (Resolution 108) and an Early Day Motion (EDM 487) raised in the House of Commons by supporter John McDonnell, MP.
Other important supporters include Jeremy Dear, former general secretary of the British National Union of Journalists, George Galloway and the RESPECT party. President Chávez has himself officially thanked the organisation for their work.
In 2006 HOV launched a 24-page glossy promotional magazine, also called "Hands Off Venezuela". It also put together an international delegation with members from around the world to observe the December 2006 Presidential Elections first hand.
2007 saw the campaign launch H.O.V FM, a monthly podcast available from the website www.handsoffvenezuela.org. The show features news, interviews, solidarity work, revolutionary music and features and is aimed at both activists and curious minds.
- Bolivarian Revolution
- Hugo Chávez
- Alan Woods (politician)
- International Marxist Tendency
- Venezuela Solidarity Campaign
- Launch statement of the Iranian Hand Off Venezuela Campaign, (link), HOV, URL accessed July 27, 2006
- About Hands Off Venezuela, (link), HOV, URL accessed July 27, 2006
- The Independent labels Hugo Chávez a "dictator", (link), Letter to Editor, URL accessed July 27, 2006
- Original HoV appeal, (link), URL accessed July 27, 2006
- "Hugo Chávez Addresses Mass Rally Organised by Hands Off Venezuela", (link), venezuelanalysis.com, URL accessed July 27, 2006
- "President Hugo Chávez Frias visits Vienna to speak at Hands off Venezuela Rally!", (link), VHeadline.com, URL accessed July 27, 2006
- "Hugo Chávez to Meet With London Leftists, But No Gov't Bigs", (link), FoxNews, URL accessed July 27, 2006
- "Global Solidarity" (scroll down to motion 79), (link), TUC, accessed October 16, 2007
- "Global Solidarity" (scroll down to motion 76), (link), TUC, accessed October 16, 2007
- "Resolution 108", (link), HOV, URL accessed July 27, 2006
- "Early Day Motion 487", (link), Parliament.uk, URL accessed July 27, 2006
- "Old Labour: Hugo Chávez's UK propagandists" by Aleksander Boyd, (link), Vcrisis.com, URL accessed July 27, 2006
- "Chavez praises Marxist.com and backs Hands off Venezuela campaign", (Press Release), HOV, URL accessed July 27, 2006
- Hands Off Venezuela Official Hands Off Venezuela website.
- Regional membership sites: (US), (Australia), (Canada), (Denmark), (Sweden),
- Images of a London Protest - (flickr)
- Articles on HOV: (PoliticalAffairs.Net)
- "Hugo Chávez thanks Hands Off Venezuela", Press Release, 19 September 2005.
- John McDonnell, MP (National Steering Committee of the Hands Off Venezuela Campaign), calls on Parliament to recognise the work of HOV. (EDM 487)
- "Coup threat", The Guardian, Thursday May 27, 2004
- "Chávez in London: Don’t believe the hype", Vcrisis, 18.05.06
- "Mayor of London Says Hands Off Venezuela", by Ken Livingstone, The Morning Star, Feb 20, 2006