Right now, the US government is actively and openly endorsing interventionism in Venezuela.
I know many people are going to claim this is only Trump but have you heard “The Resistance” oppose this? At what point have you heard any organized faction of our government or media oppose the illegal invasion or attack of any country in our history? Ever? I’d be really interested if anyone can name one single time that has happened which they can recall.
First of all, I am going to address Trump supporters on this. Trump campaigned on and has promised a policy of no interventionism or regime change. Yet here he and his administration is, endorsing some guy to replace the democratically elected president Maduro. The endorsed replacement is some guy whose name has been basically never heard in corporate or independent media until this week. So now Trump supporters have to face the fact that Trump is no better than Hillary or Obama, because this is a move they would have performed. Exactly, to the letter.
Trumpbama. In fact, Obama was the one who got the ball rolling on Venezuela. Assisted, of course, by then SoS Hillary Clinton.
While Trump and the neoliberal media (who completely support Trump on this) rage about the conditions in Venezuela, they fully neglect to mention that the problems the country is facing have been caused by US sanctions on Venezuela. Those sanctions began with Obama/Hillary, before Maduro ever took office. Those sanctions have continued under Obama and made worse by Trump. So, with his actions, Trump has proven himself to be exactly the same as Hillary and Obama.
I’ll get back to the sanctions below.
False image. Maduro is being portrayed as an authoritarian who oppresses his people, starves them and crushes opposition. That’s interesting, since Venezuela has the lowest rate of homelessness of any nation in the western hemisphere. There are open protests in the streets which have been going on for at least 2 years.
Food shortage. Abby Martin has reported that there is no shortage of food. Note that she spent months on the ground in the country. There is a lack of specific common items, like wheat flour. In many cases, these items were available but were locked in warehouses by capitalists who oppose the price controls put in place by the Maduro government. Those price controls were not so harsh that goods were sold at a loss. They just placed a cap on profit levels. So the capitalists allowed the food to sit in warehouses and rot. If you look, you can images of this. You can also find video of citizens tearing down the walls of warehouses to get to these items.
Meanwhile, there is a shortage of specific items like toilet paper. Yet paper towels are easy to acquire. Try and explain that.
The effects of sanctions. The sanctions placed on Venezuela have limited the government access to funds and trade. They have been banned from selling gold to other countries. There are limits on their oil trade. They are unable to borrow money for greater than 30 days. Government bonds cannot be purchased by US citizens, nor can the government-issued cryptocurrency, the Petro.
The government cannot purchase military or police equipment from other countries, which places limits on efforts to control violent riots.
The lack of funding and trade restrictions insure a lack of availability to medications, food and other supplies, leading to a growing humanitarian crisis in the country.
Right now, the Bank of England is holding $1.3 billion (in gold) in escrow which belongs to Venezuela at the direction of the US. Money which could help relieve the humanitarian conditions in Venezuela.
Effects of coming sanctions.. on you. Venezuela is currently the third largest supplier of oil to the US. Proposed new sanctions on Venezuela will mean that you will pay more money for oil and gas. Of course, American oil companies and the propaganda wings in the media are completely in favor of this. Considering that oil is the major source of what funding the country has, that will cause the social and humanitarian crisis to grow far worse.
Compare to other countries. The US has a long history of claiming to intervene in other countries for “humanitarian reasons”. There are too many examples to list, so let’s go with current comparisons. In 2011, the CIA orchestrated the assassination of Qaddafi, followed by merciless bombing of Libya. That has led to the current conditions in Libya, with open slave markets in the streets. One need only look at images of Syria in 2009 compared to what it looks like now to know the horrors caused by US backing of “moderate rebels” to overthrow Assad. The refugee crisis affecting Europe so badly was created by US interventions. We sell weapons to Saudi Arabia, even with full public knowledge of the worst humanitarian crisis since the Korean war being caused by that.
If our government or media cared so much about humanitarian distress, then why are none of them screaming thunderously for peaceful humanitarian assistance to those countries?
Complete hypocrisy. You will not hear elected officials on either side calling for easing of sanctions on Venezuela. Even as the media and Democrats cry crocodile tears about unproven “Russian interference” in our election, the only proof of which has been a few FB ads. Half of those were only posted after the election, 25% were never seen by anyone, many which had nothing to do with the election and Google stated the total amount spent with them was $4700. There was no violence, no humanitarian crisis caused in this country or even claimed. There was no effect on trade. Until we did what? Oh, yeah. Imposed sanctions.
Maduro was elected by a majority of the people of Venezuela. That election was monitored by international observers and declared valid. Jimmy Carter has said of elections in Venezuela, “As a matter of fact, of the 92 elections that we’ve monitored, I would say the election process in Venezuela is the best in the world.”
By comparison, Jimmy Carter has said of the US that, “The United States does not have a functioning democracy at this time.” That had nothing to do with 2016. He said that in 2013 but it still applies.
Bigger problem than most realize. US intervention in Venezuela is a much bigger problem for us than most Americans realize. Because of who is backing Venezuela. Last year, China loaned Venezuela $5 billion to develop their oil trade. There have been talks of Venezuela selling part or all of their oil business to Russia. While that has not happened, talks are still ongoing.
The US has suggested possible military intervention in Venezuela. Most Americans are unaware that Colombia was extended an offer to join NATO in 2016. Anyone care to explain to me what part of the North Atlantic Colombia occupies? The purpose of that was to have full NATO support against Venezuela.
If the US does attempt to invade Venezuela, there is the distinct possibility that both Russia and China will defend their own vested interests in the country. Other countries backing Maduro are Mexico, Cuba, Iran and Turkey.
US Diplomats (sic). Maduro ordered all US diplomats out of the country. The diplomats refused to leave. To which Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said if our diplomats are placed in danger we will respond militarily. First of all, our “diplomats” are not being diplomatic. Diplomats are supposed to engage in rhetoric which decreases tensions and work toward peaceful solutions. Second, refusing to leave is a conscious decision whereby they place themselves at risk. Maduro could very well place them under house arrest in the embassy and not allow them to leave except to go to the airport. No danger involved. Be sure and deliver the same kind and amount of food to the embassy that the average citizen of Venezuela is being forced to eat right now. And give them paper towels, no toilet paper.
The only right step. The US has no right to step in and determine the future of Venezuela. A country that has been deemed by one of it’s own past presidents to have no functioning democracy, that has engaged in regime change around the globe, that has been at war for 17 years, is bombing 8 countries and threatening numerous others, that has armed troops in 50 of 54 African nations and is $21 trillion in debt has no right to dictate what happens in Venezuela.
The only right step which could possibly happen is for the US to leave the country and lift the sanctions. Allow Venezuela to do what they deem best for themselves, unimpeded.
Actions. Call or write your elected officials and tell them to leave Venezuela alone. To lift the sanctions. Tell them you do NOT support military or economic actions against the country.