Venezuelans March for Peace and Against Paramilitary and Imperialist Intervention

May 23, 2004

On May 17, thousands upon thousands of Venezuelans marched in Caracas to protest the invasion of the country by Colombian paramilitary troops and to denounce ongoing U.S. intervention in Venezuela's internal affairs.

The mass action was organized one week after the Venezuelan government captured some 120 paramilitary bandits who had infiltrated the country and were planning attacks on Venezuelan military bases and a coup d'etat against the constitutional government headed by President Hugo Chavez.

President Chavez spoke at the rally and denounced the U.S. government as "an invader and assassin imperialist force which marginalizes the United Nations in order to humiliate the dignity of millions of human beings." The President said that the Bush administration is behind efforts to oust him and again accused the U.S. government of being behind the coup d'etat that briefly removed him from power in April of 2002.