The US administration has intensified its notorious ‘regime change’ operation to install its puppet Juan Guaidó as the ‘interim president’ of Venezuela through a coup d’état against the legitimate head of the state– Nicolás Maduro. The corporate-controlled mainstream media’s blitzkrieg propaganda to vilify Nicolás Maduro and the Venezuelan government is helping the US ruling classes and their chief representative, Donald Trump, by building a support base for any future military or espionage interventions by Washington DC and its allies in Venezuela. Latin America is sinking in the swamp of a dirty war after nearly three decades of a lull in direct US military intervention in the continent.
Even the ‘regime change’ template used by the doltish US president and his lackeys like Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Director of the CIA Gina Haspel, budding Republican presidential candidate and former Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, etc. remains the same that was used during the Iraq War and the ‘Orange Revolution’ in Ukraine. This template was later used in Libya, Syria and the Ukranian ‘Maidan Revolution’ by the US ruling classes to topple the governments that it didn’t like and install puppets instead. The US rulers are trying to use the same template in North Korea (DPRK) and Iran at present.
It’s only in Syria, where the people’s collective struggle, valour and befitting reply to its imperialist aggression defeated the notorious scheme and thwarted the heinous attempt by the US and its regional lackeys to colonise and Balkanise the country. The American defeat in Syria, declared by Donald Trump’s frantic troop withdrawal from the war-torn country, resulted into a loss of billions of dollars that the oil market speculators have invested in the war that was to bring them exclusive control of Syrian oil fields. The dearth of Syrian oil forced the US to focus on Iran and Venezuela, whose oil fields are on the radar of Wall Street and thus, the CIA is busy fomenting disorder in these countries. With Venezuela, the US’s enmity is not new, but two-decade-old.
Hugo Chavez, a former soldier-turned-prisoner-turned-politician, brought a new tide of economic reforms riding the glorious heights of rising oil prices in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Waving the banner of ‘Bolivarian Revolution’, he introduced a host of policies dubbed as ‘socialist’ that resulted into the nationalisation of the crucial oil industry. Oil fields that were once owned by US’s Exxon Mobil, ConocoPhillips, etc. were nationalised and their profits were used for nation-building.
The Venezuelan oligarchs and their US-based masters were irked by this spree of nationalisation of energy and other key sectors. Their resistance soon met with government’s action against them for their misdeeds and most of these oligarchs fled to Miami along with their sycophants and joined the ranks of the CIA-funded Cuban fugitives who have been fighting to restore their oligarchy in the island state.
These deposed Venezuelan oligarchs became the principal military and political pawns of the US against Hugo Chavez and they have played an instrumental role in inciting riots, arson, anarchy in Venezuela to destabilise its government and help the US to re-occupy the neo-colony that slipped out of its hands. The Venezuelan opposition has received CIA funding to represent the interests of these oligarchs and big US corporations, especially those in the oil and energy sector.
Under Hugo Chavez’s rule, Venezuela reached a new level of economic development. Hugo Chavez strengthened the ranks of the national bourgeoisie who stood by him and the working class against the US imperialist aggression. The poverty rate was brought to 29.5 per cent in 2011 from 48.6 per cent in 2004. Venezuela also boasted of the lowest wealth inequality in Latin America for years.
Through a series of political initiatives, Hugo Chavez and his close aide Fidel Castro started changing the main course of Latin American politics and diplomacy. A lot of Latin American countries saw an upsurge of the neo-left and Venezuela became a rallying point for them. Bolivia, Brazil, Cuba, Ecuador, etc. formed a strong alternative alliance to counter the US strategic alliance in the region.
The US government imposed a series of sanctions against Venezuela and still couldn’t deter it. A lot of riots were fuelled by Washington DC within Venezuela during the lifetime of Hugo Chavez, however, the military was able to control the anarchy. After the death of the charismatic Latin American leader in 2013, the tides started turning against his successor, the truck-driver-turned-president Nicolás Maduro. Unlike Hugo Chavez, Nicolás Maduro didn’t have much charismatic fan followership and thus the opposition grasped the opportunity to vilify him and launch one after another attack with an aim to dismantle the economy and to spread the rule of anarchy in the country.
Be it Barack Obama or the megalomaniac dictator Donald Trump, the US policy over Venezuela didn’t change in years, despite Trump’s repeated assurance that the US will stop meddling in the affairs of any sovereign state during his election campaign. The US couldn’t remain quiet as Venezuela stopped accepting dollar payment for oil, took out itself from the IMF and World Bank’s web, started building an alternative coalition of independent and anti-imperialist Latin American countries, and formed a strategic and economic alliance with Russia, China and Iran, the countries that the White House love to despise.
The US fiddled with the Venezuelan economy to create a massive shortage of food and essential services. As the Venezuelan economy is entirely dependent on oil and services, the US made the OPEC, which is dominated by its lackey Saudi Arabia and other Gulf monarchies, to overproduce oil. This caused a crash in oil prices and it severely hurt the economies of the arch rivals of the US like Iran, Russia and Venezuela. The debt bonds of Venezuela were purchased by the US and then allowed to crash to cause major economic instability in the country. Also, the US started meddling more in the affairs of Latin American politics to restore its hegemony and to pluck out the odd governments that lock horns with the world order promoted by it.
Through a series of CIA-funded political campaigns, the US brought to power its ardent lackeys in several Latin American countries to counter the ‘Bolivarian Revolution’ or pink tide. The CIA helped to form Jair Bolsonaro’s fascist regime in Brazil, Iván Duque Márquez’s fascist regime in Colombia, Lenín Moreno’s autocratic regime in Ecuador, Mauricio Macri’s fascist regime in Argentina, Sebastián Piñera’s autocratic regime in Chile, etc. and eventually tightened the grip on Venezuela through sanctions and a virtual embargo.
Venezuela has an export and service-oriented economy that has a very meagre agriculture sector, which leaves it with no other option but to import food. Now that the US has got its puppet regimes in most of the countries from where Venezuela would import food, economic tormenting became quite an easy task. In the last couple of years, the US not only ensured that food imports of Venezuela are badly affected but also, within the country, the CIA-funded opposition members hoarded a large amount of food and essential commodities to create a large-scale acute crisis, which eventually affected the poor and the downtrodden masses.
As inflation skyrocketed, the Venezuelan currency fell significantly, increasing the balance of trade deficit. The low price of oil drained away the energy-dependent Venezuelan economy and Nicolás Maduro couldn’t prevent this crisis due to the inherent contradictions within the government. The working class found their real wages falling, which resulted in an outburst of anger and desperation, providing an ample opportunity to the CIA-funded opposition to harp on it and utilise this in its nefarious scheme against Nicolás Maduro’s government. Street battles, protests, violence and anarchy became the norm of Venezuelan life.
In recent years, the Venezuelan government signed several economic treaties with Russia and China over oil and gold mining. Looking for an alternative source to catapult the economy from a major crisis, these deals have been a win-win solution for Venezuela. The Russian and Chinese entry into the Venezuelan market rang an eerie alarm in the US headquarters back in 2016-17, and the CIA immediately upped its ante against Nicolás Maduro. After fomenting a series of protests and anarchy, the US finally started the process of forceful ‘regime change’ by placing their bootlicker Juan Guaidó at the helm arbitrarily.
Soon after his anointment as the US-accredited ‘president’, Juan Guaidó started repaying to his Wall Street-based masters by unveiling a series of neo-liberal economic reform that will ensure the total privatisation of the Venezuelan oil, gas and gold sectors, and eventually, immensely benefit the oligarchs and the US corporations. The economic model that has brought a major economic catastrophe in many countries of the world, including Latin America, is now implemented by Juan Guaidó to showcase his loyalty towards US imperialism and receive the crumbs thrown at him by Donald Trump.
When Donald Trump’s sycophants like Mike Pence and Mike Pompey started directly threatening the Venezuelan government, then it became clear that the US will not merely stop at words but will start a war. The war threat was found materialising when the US’s lapdog regimes in Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Argentina, Chile, Canada, etc., along with the European Union and the Organisation of American States joined the bandwagon of the Trump regime in recognising imperialist puppet Juan Guaidó’s illegitimate regime.
Now that Colombia under Iván Duque Márquez’s fascist regime has already become the first global partner of the notorious imperialist military bloc — NATO, and that Brazil, reeling under the jackboots of despotic Jair Bolsonaro’s fascist regime, has applied for a similar membership, the US will have an ease in conducting a military operation against Caracas to topple Nicolás Maduro.
The military encirclement of Venezuela by the US is nearly complete and only Bolivia, Cuba and Mexico are standing with Nicolás Maduro’s government in Latin America. Outside the continent, the world’s major powers like Russia and China have also extended their support for Nicolás Maduro. The war in Venezuela will have greater international impact and will also badly affect the US economy as Venezuela is its fourth largest oil supplier.
After the CIA thugs murdered Salvador Allende, the former president of Chile, in 1973, the attack on Venezuela, using Juan Guaidó’s fascist puppet regime as a pawn, will be one of the most ghastly US invasions on a sovereign state of Latin America in decades. The US’s war against Venezuela will actually become a war against the Latin American people’s aspiration for freedom, democracy and socialism.
Does this war mean the defeat of Nicolás Maduro and the people of Venezuela? Does this US aggression on its sovereignty mean that Venezuela will capitulate to imperialism and its resources and people will be again enslaved by the US to serve its profiteering purpose? Can Juan Guaidó’s fascist propaganda, backed by the CIA money and mainstream media’s basketful of lies, entrap and enslave the majority of the poor people of Venezuela?
The political amphitheatre of 2019 is completely different than what it was during 2003 when the US attacked Iraq, or in 2010-11, when it launched attacks against Libya and Syria. The assertive Russian imperialism has created a counterbalance of power in the world. Syria has successfully defeated the US imperialism and its puppets like the Wahhabi Saudi Arabia, Zionist Israel, Salafist Turkey and others that tried to colonise and Balkanise the once-prosperous Arab state. Venezuela too, with the support of allies like Bolivia, Mexico, Cuba and the broad masses of Latin American people, can thwart the imperialist aggression on itself if it resolutely fights till the end.
Fascists come to power by rigging the bourgeois democracy and by enticing the popular sentiments with the bait of a ‘better future’. Be it India or Brazil, the US or Ecuador, the script remains the same– use the popular discontent against inequality, injustice, poverty and class privileges to build a narrative around a promised land, of land which will be the uninhibited fiefdom of neo-liberal economic exploitation. Juan Guaidó’s promised land is no different.
The US’s support to the fascist uprisings follows the same template. Any country that opposes US’s hegemony or refuses to let Wall Street-based global corporate giants exploit the resources, lands up immediately in the list of countries that need a ‘regime change’. It’s the same story with the same set of dialogues and the same pattern of operations that has been followed so far. Since 2011, the emphasis of Washington DC has been on promoting the hardcore fascists throughout the world and it eventually led to the rise of Donald Trump in the US, whose ascension even horizontally divided its own ruling class.
While the arch-reactionary monarchies like Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar, genocider Zionist Israel, utmost unpopular and despotic regimes like Emmanuel Macron’s presidency in France, Jair Bolsonaro’s Brazil, Iván Duque Márquez’s Colombia, Mariano Rajoy’s Spain, Lenín Moreno’s Ecuador, Mauricio Macri’s Argentina, Sebastián Piñera’s Chile, Narendra Modi’s India, Rodrigo Duterte’s Philippines, etc. continue to thrive with US support, those who protest against Washington DC’s imperialist hegemony continue to remain at the receiving end of violence promoted by the CIA.
This is evident from more than 80 ‘regime change’ operations that the US instigated since the Second World War, including the macabre nature of violence exhibited in the Korean War, in the Vietnam War, in El Salvador, Congo, Bolivia, Chile, Afghanistan, Iraq, former Yugoslavia, etc. The brutal murder of anti-imperialist leaders like Patrick Lumumba, Che Guevara, Salvador Allende, Nicolai Ceausescu, Saddam Hussein, Muammar Qaddafi, etc. manifest what type of ‘democracy’ and ‘freedom’ the US’s rulers stand for. The history of the US’s imperialist intervention all over the world is scribbled with the blood of its millions of victims.
Today, if the Venezuelan people, the working class and the downtrodden masses, need to avert the series of violence, extreme poverty, enrichment of a few oligarchs at the cost of suffering of many, plunder of their resources by the foreign corporations, and the extreme exploitation of their labour by foreign capital, then they must rally behind their legitimate government even though they may have differences with it or discontent over its policies. Only by fighting as a united people against imperialism and its lackeys, within and outside, the Venezuelan working class and toiled people can save their own lives, land and livelihood.
The people of Latin America have a great and glorious history in defending their freedom by fighting against foreign imperialism, which assures the global mankind that despite US’s and Juan Guaidó’s desperate attempt to enslave the Venezuelans, the people’s collective struggle against them and their military aggression will definitely transform not only the future of Venezuela but also the political course of entire Latin America.
Nicolás Maduro and the Venezuelan people must not capitulate before the muscle-flexing of the US; they must fight to doom the imperialist scheme and uproot its agent provocateur Juan Guaidó and his coterie. This is not a matter of choice, it’s a choice between life and death, freedom and slavery, and the Venezuelan people only have one chance to choose their destiny.
An avid reader and a merciless political analyst. When not writing then either reading something, debating something or sipping espresso with a dash of cream. Street photographer. Tweets as @la_muckraker