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American Communists Watch as Russians Award Venezuela’s President Maduro ‘Order of Lenin’

On the final day of the World Anti Imperialist Congress on Jan. 24 in Caracas, Venezuela, American communists watched as President Nicolas Maduro was awarded the Order of Lenin.

The “prestigious” award was bestowed by a group of Russians led by Yaroslav Listov—head of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation on youth policy.

“We all have Lenin in our hearts. This is a commitment. A revolutionary commitment to build socialism in the 21st century,” said the Russian comrades as they handed the medal to President Maduro, according to U.S. Maoist publication FightBack! News.

The Order of Lenin was established in 1930 as the highest Soviet civilian honor. Most domestic recipients have been Communist Party leaders, heroes of labor, or sporting figures. Past foreign recipients of the medal have included Ramon Mercader, a Spanish Soviet intelligence agent and assassin of Leon Trotsky; Cuban dictator Fidel Castro; Luis Corvalan, the secretary-general of the Communist Party of Chile; Armand Hammer, an American businessman and sponsor of U.S. Sen. Albert Gore, Sr.; Kim Il-sung, the president of North Korea; and the infamous Kim Philby, a British/Soviet double agent.

Maduro’s award of the Order of Lenin at this time, when Venezuela is under huge pressure from the Trump administration, was a show of both international communist solidarity and Russian government support. The Communist Party of the Russian Federation is the number two party in the Russian parliament after the United Russia Party and generally supports President Vladimir Putin’s foreign policy.

It was also validation of U.S. Special Representative for Venezuela Elliott Abrams’ early January statement to reporters:

“We underestimated the importance of the Cuban and Russian support of the regime, which has proved, I think, to be the two most important pillars of support for the regime and without which it wouldn’t be there, it wouldn’t be in power.”

FightBack! News also reported on Maduro’s defiant address to the gathering:

“With a Syrian professor and member of Ba’ath Party at his side, Maduro began with a story of a visit he had alongside Hugo Chavez to Syria when thousands of Syrians surrounded his vehicle in Damascus and lifted the car in celebration of a brave anti-imperialist leader. Maduro followed this with a declaration of solidarity to the Syrians for surviving an imperialist intervention.

“After a brief comment on the vicious brutality of the capitalist system, Maduro stated: ‘It is here that we are the vanguard of a model of socialism, of anti-imperialism that will transform the world for humanity.’ He followed with a quote in reference to the decline of U.S. Imperialism: ‘Mao Zedong called U.S. Imperialism a paper tiger.’ And that ‘we will build the new world that is coming.’”

Between 800 and 1,500 delegates from over 50 countries attended the event hosted by Maduro’s ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV).

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