On the eve of Venezuela’s Dec. 6 National Assembly elections, we extend our fullest solidarity with the candidates of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela and the Gran Polo Patriótico allies who are running for assembly seats.

It is more than an election. It is a struggle for the very survival of the great gains enjoyed by the Venezuelan masses, as well as the objective of building socialism.

Venezuela today has shown what is possible when the people become the agents of change, when the country’s natural resources are harnessed to meet the needs of the people.

Both of us have had the privilege of traveling to Venezuela. I had the honor of meeting Hugo Chávez in 2004, as he launched — together with Fidel Castro — the great hope for continent-wide unity through the formation of ALBA, the Bolivarian Alliance of the Peoples.

I stood in admiration, with thousands of supporters in a stadium in Mar del Plata, Argentina, in November of 2005, as Chávez raised his fist high, declaring that ALBA would bury ALCA, the U.S.-engineered Free Trade of the Americas pact. And it did!

Eugene Puryear and I saw for ourselves in 2013 the massive housing construction, health clinics where working-class people were being attended for free, and youth mobilizing in the streets of Caracas for their revolution. We were honored to meet President Nicolás Maduro and express our solidarity with him. The people have won economic and political rights that the vast majority had no hope of attaining before Chávez’s struggle and victory.

Chávez’s legacy lives on in the people’s daily efforts to build a more just society. This is only possible because of a revolutionary, democratically-elected government that has prevailed against every type of plot imaginable.

Tens of millions of people in the United States experience homelessness, hunger and unemployment in a crisis deepening every day, while the billionaire class accumulates obscene wealth at the expense of the working class.

Venezuela’s popular struggle has come at a high cost because of the unceasing war waged by Washington and its agencies of terror and counterrevolution. In recent days, the U.S. government, right-wing opposition and capitalist media have thrown every slanderous lie and unfounded accusation they could to try to derail the PSUV and progressive candidates.

We believe it is absolutely essential for people of the United States to learn of and oppose the U.S. government’s attempts to strangle the Bolivarian Revolution. To that end we are actively engaged in promoting knowledge and solidarity with your cause, wherever we go in our campaign. And we will be rallying with many people on December 5 and 6 in the United States who demand “U.S. Hands Off Venezuela!”

We demand the immediate end of Washington’s million-dollar funding of opposition groups and politicians whose only aim is to destroy the hopes of the people for their enrichment. We demand that President Obama rescind his Executive Order of March 9 and respect Venezuela’s sovereignty. We denounce the slanderous media campaign waged in the United States against the government.

We in the Party for Socialism and Liberation, along with countless activists in the United States, stand with you today and always.