Venezuela used to be an “oil republic,” which made oil executives from the United States and the wealthy class in Venezuela very rich. That lasted until the election of Hugo Chavez in 1998 when the Bolivarian Process began and oil profits were used to provide for basic needs of all the people. Ever since then, the US and its allies have used everything they have to overthrow the revolution, but like Cuba, the people have resisted, despite great suffering being inflicted on them, and the US has failed. We speak with Dan Kovalik about his newest book, “The Plot to Overthrow Venezuela” and the tremendous resistance of the Venezuelan people. We also cover some recent news and have a tribute to Bruce Dixon, co-founder and editor of Black Agenda Report, who died last week of cancer.
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Dan Kovalik is a retired Senior Associate General Counsel of the United Steelworkers, AFL-CIO (USW). He worked for the USW since graduating from Columbia Law School in 1993. While with the USW, he has served as lead counsel on cutting-edge labor law litigation, including the landmark NLRB cases of Lamons Gasket and Specialty Health Care. He has also worked on Alien Tort Claims Act cases against The Coca-Cola Company, Drummond and Occidental Petroleum – cases arising out of egregious human rights abuses in Colombia. The Christian Science Monitor, referring to his work defending Colombian unionists under threat of assassination, recently described Mr. Kovalik as “one of the most prominent defenders of Colombian workers in the United States.” Mr. Kovalik received the David W. Mills Mentoring Fellowship from Stanford University School of Law and was the recipient of the Project Censored Award for his article exposing the unprecedented killing of trade unionists in Colombia. He has written extensively on the issue of international human rights and U.S. foreign policy for the Huffington Post and Counterpunch and has lectured throughout the world on these subjects.