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writing for godot

An Old Story: The Imperial Ambitions of the United States Against Venezuela

Written by David Starr   
Saturday, 02 February 2019 11:02

Opposition leader Juan Guaido proclaimed himself president of Venezuela, calling the presidency of Nicolas Maduro "illegitimate." Guaido has thus made a tyrannical move on the presidency.

This is an old story with regards to the United States and how it treats Latin American countries. With Venezuela, the U.S. is heavily supporting the opposition, blatantly interfering in its affairs, and in turn violating its sovereignty. Talk about U.S. collusion. And I wouldn't doubt that Guaido is either on the right side of the political spectrum, or a pliable neoliberal. Either way, he would be subservient to U.S. imperial interests, like others in the opposition. And so the story repeats itself again.

Included in the story is the blatant hypocrisy of U.S. leaders. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, whom I'm tempted to call a fascist, is supposedly concerned with the suffering of Venezuelans under Maduro: "The Venezuelan people have suffered long enough under Nicolas Maduro's disastrous dictatorship. We call on Maduro to step aside in favor of a legitimate leader reflecting the will of the Venezuelan people." ("US Regime Change in Venezuela: The Documented Evidence," by Tony Cartalucci. Global Research, 1/25/2019.) Pompeo said this with a straight face while he supports monarchial regimes in the Middle East with gross rights abuses.

Additionally, Donald Trump, and past U.S. leaders and officials, have been major contributors to the suffering of peoples all around the globe, especially in the "Third World," from Latin America and the Caribbean to Africa and Asia, etc. (Actually, the only time the U.S. did anything positive in its foreign policy interventions was fighting against Nazism and Fascism during World War II.)

The Trump regime has already recognized Guaido as the "legitimate" president. What the Trump regime is doing is backing a coup, not a legitimate contender for the presidency. It is also funding 27 organizations through the U.S.'s National Endowment for "Democracy." The NED, according to Cartalucci, "admits to extensively interfering in every imaginable aspect of Venezuela's internal political affairs with funds" directed towards those 27 groups. "It is clear that the U.S. is funding virtually every aspect of opposition operations – from media and legal affairs, to indoctrination and political planning, to interference in the economy and the leveraging of 'human rights' to shield US-funded agitators from any attempt to arrest them."

The Venezuelan opposition had asked the United Nations not to monitor the May 2018 election of which Maduro was re-elected. The opposition said that the election was rigged, and thus boycotted it. Was this a ploy to avoid the UN recognizing the results? They could have had the UN go in and it would be to their advantage if the UN didn't recognize Maduro as president. In any case, the UN didn't send observers because there was no vote in the Security Council or the General Assembly. Since the U.S. has major influence in the UN, it wouldn't be surprising if it didn't allow a decision to be made. But the opposition ignores how many times the U.S. helped to rig elections in different countries for right-wing and neoliberal candidates, i.e., for people like them. Not to mention the coups.

U.S. leaders have another reason for regime change in Venezuela: the oil. Venezuela has a vast amount of oil reserves, even more than Saudi Arabia, according to Cartalucci. One way the U.S. interfered in Venezuela was through economic sabotage.The U.S. Treasury Department imposed sanctions on Venezuela's central bank and its state-owned oil company, contributing to the chaos. Pompeo also pledged $20 million in "humanitarian aid," but where would it go precisely? Additionally, OPEC dropped oil prices, thus adding to an already unstable economy. And U.S. leaders had no problem with this.

U.S. media and government propaganda play a part in this old story: Demonize a leader, make him out to be pure evil. Say he's ruling over a disaster all of his own making. The pattern is obvious with past foreign leaders who become a little independent from the U.S. orbit and want actual change usually for the better in the own countries. In the bottom line, this isn't about exporting democracy, but about protecting the private monopolies of Wall Street and corporate interests.

Were there international observers during the May 2018 elections?  Yes. There were more than 300 international representatives, former leaders and trade unionists. ("Election Observer: 'The Majority Have Chosen the Path They Want for Venezuela,'" by Federico Fuentes. Counterpunch, 5/29/2018.)  Fuentes interviewed Eulalia Reyes de Whitney, a native-born Venezuelan who is part of the Australia Venezuela Solidarity Network (AVSN). Although she paints a rosey picture of the election procedures, there is at least some truth in what she said. Reyes de Whitney mentioned that Venezuela had a secure and transparent electoral system, recognized even by former U.S. president Jimmy Carter, whose Carter Center monitors elections worldwide.

The interference in Venezuela's affairs by the U.S. has created tensions, with Russia warning it not to interfere in the current crisis. But U.S. leaders will probably ignore this, maintaining support for Guaido as a pliable client for U.S. imperial interests. It's part of the same old story. your social media marketing partner
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