Venezuela Under Threat Of Imperialist Military Intervention: Stand In Solidarity

12.08.2017 - Countercurrents

Venezuela Under Threat Of Imperialist Military Intervention: Stand In Solidarity

By Farooque Chowdhury

The Empire’s unhappy mood with Venezuela is old news. It is now showing its teeth to the Latin American nation. It’s now talking in military terms.

The mainstream media including the AP, CNN and Miami Herald said in one of their latest dispatches:

Mr. Donald Trump, the US president, said August 12, 2017 that he wouldn’t rule out possibility of a military intervention in Venezuela in response to, in Empire speak, power grab by Nicolas Maduro, the president of Venezuela. Trump declared that all options remain on the table including a potential military intervention. “We have many options for Venezuela and by the way, I’m not going to rule out a military option. A military operation and military option is certainly something that we could pursue”, declared the US president. “This [Venezuela] is our neighbor,” he added. “We are all over the world and we have troops all over the world in places that are very, very far away. Venezuela is not very far away […] We have many options for Venezuela, including a possible military option if necessary.”

Mr. Trump was speaking to reporters at his Bedminster golf club in New Jersey.

The White House later released a statement that said, “Trump will gladly speak with the leader of Venezuela as soon as democracy is restored in that country.”

The US president’s comment marks an open threat to the sovereign Latin American country.

Mr. Mike Pence, the US vice president, is embarking on a six-day trip to the region later this week. His stops include Colombia, Argentina, Chile and Panama City.

The US has recently slapped a series of sanctions against more than 24 Venezuelan public officials and political leaders including Maduro in response to the Venezuelan people’s constitutional initiative – installing their Constituent Assembly – to restore peace in their country rocked by disturbances organized by the local bourgeoisie.

The constituent assembly plans to secure gains so far made by the people in Venezuela.

A dangerous sign

Confusion is one of the messages that the Empire now-a-days regularly conveys to the broader world. Venezuela is one of the latest examples.

General H R McMaster, Mr. Trump’s national security adviser, owns a different opinion. Gen. McMaster cites resentment stirred in Latin America by the long US history of military interventions in the region, and he doesn’t like people blaming the “Yankees”. The general passed the comment on tactics in an interview that aired last Saturday on MSNBC. McMaster told military intervention from any outside source was not a possibility.

Ted Lieu, an outspoken Democratic congressman denounced Trump’s comments. “Military force must be the last option, not the first. Provocative statements by @realDonaldTrump on North Korea and Venezuela are reckless”, said Rep. Ted Lieu.

Leon Panetta, former CIA director of the CIA and secretary of defense under Obama, told “Considering the number of flash points we’re dealing with in a very dangerous world, the last thing we need is another flash point where we may possibly use military force,” Panetta said.

The US defense leader added interesting comment: “When you’re president of the United States, when you’re the commander and chief, this is not reality TV. This is a situation where you can’t just talk down to everybody in the world and expect them to do what you think is right. These are leaders in these countries. They worry about their countries. They worry about what’s going to happen. And they take the president of the United States literally. Words count. I just think that the president needs to understand, and the people around the president need to make clear, that when we are facing the kind of crisis we are facing now, this is not a time for loose talk.”

According to an AP report datelined Bedminster, N.J. Mr. Trump has said “he was not being serious when he thanked Russian President Vladimir Putin for ordering a drastic reduction in the number of U.S. diplomatic employees and saving the U.S. significant cash.” However, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Trump “was being sarcastic” when he made the remarks.

The comments and suggestions cited above tell state of the Empire: Putting last option first, loose talk, rhetoric, sarcasm with important relations. It’s a dangerous situation for both friends and foes as it’s difficult to read lips and minds, and to take required measures.

News from the economic front is not encouraging for people. Defense stocks are rising – an indicator with dangerous signal. Declining oil prices are not only Venezuela’s headache. High stake holders other than Venezuela are there in the oil market also. Competition within imperialist camp has not slackened. Rather, it is increasing with each passing day.

News from war fronts is not also encouraging for the Empire.  It’s not an easy job to count the number of wars the Empire is currently waging. On only one, Ivan Eland writes in Newsweek on August 10, 2017:

“In a recent meeting, President Trump correctly told his generals that they were ‘losing’ the war in Afghanistan [….]

“President Trump has partially accomplished this first step by recognizing what has been obvious for years, but an even more enlightened conclusion would be that the war has been ‘lost’ […]” (“We Have Lost the War in Afghanistan. We Should Get Out Now”)

But, this is not the only conclusion.

Other players are there.

Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) on August 10, 2017 unveiled his own strategy for the war-torn Afghanistan — a plan that provides US military commanders with broader authority to pursue militant forces.

McCain, chairman of the US Senate Armed Services Committee, has urged the Trump administration for months to submit to Congress a new Afghanistan strategy due to the worsening security situation in that country. Internal debates among the president’s chief advisors have delayed a White House strategy, according to US officials. (Los Angeles Times, “McCain issues his own military strategy for Afghanistan war amid White House delay”)

Pulls from or pushes to different directions are evident in the incidents and pronouncements cited above.

Concerning Venezuela, the same situation prevails. A group of US politicians prefer punitive measures against Venezuela while a part of the US industry has a different opinion. A number of US oil companies don’t prefer ban on petroleum imports from Venezuela, the third-largest supplier to the US. They have written two letters to Trump. A number of influential US lawmakers are also voicing oil companies’ position as the ban would hurt US jobs and drive up gas costs. The oil companies have put billions of dollars in the refineries processing crude from Venezuela.

This ambiguous situation is dangerous for a system as big as an empire. Adventurism has the potential to rise up in this situation.

Moreover, the Empire needs war. Its economy pushes it to a state of perpetual war around the globe.

The Bolivarian project

The Empire is scared with the Bolivarian project in Venezuela. The newly elected Constituent Assembly is trying to consolidate people’s position on the map of Venezuelan politics within the existing reality. Its successful constitution through the recently concluded election is also haunting the Venezuelan bourgeoisie. The reactionary classes are being stalked by specter of Fidel. They are getting unnerved with their imagination: another Cuba in the Hemisphere. The reactionaries’ disparate political coalition has lost speed and appeal. Now, their only option is adventurism. Imperialist military intervention now appears the most lucrative business to them. This reality suggests taking Mr. Trump’s volitions expressed in the golf course – military option in Venezuela – seriously.

Solidarity

In this context the Secretariat of Social Movements Towards ALBA – Brazil and Secretariat of the International People’s Assembly has made an appeal on August 9, 2017 from Sao Paulo. The appeal, addressed to the Peoples’ Movements from Latin America and the World, calls for “Actions of Solidarity with Venezuela and against external interference”. The appeal said:

“We are all following the gravity of Venezuela’s social and political crisis. We are following the degree of violence adopted by the rightist forces that have already caused the deaths of many people. There was the audacity to attack a barracks, trying to cause more victims, by civilians trained in Miami and Colombia, by right-wing forces.

“Maduro’s government and the progressive forces of Venezuela sought in the Constituent Assembly a way to renegotiate the country’s social agreements, which showed broad support from the Venezuelan people […]

“Right-wing Deputies have publicly said that their tactic is to produce more violence, more chaos, with wide international media coverage, to provoke foreign intervention in the country. Regrettably, this tactic was also explained by the Spanish former president, Mr. Felipe Gonzalez.

“Trump’s government, without any moral or legitimacy, is trying to influence Venezuela’s course by enacting sanctions […]

“The Brazilian coupist Government hastily called for a Mercosur meeting to suspend Venezuela’s rights. Soon an illegitimate government and with support of only 3% of the Brazilian population, dares to sanction the Venezuelan government, for lack of democracy!

“In the face of all these consultations made in various movements in Brazil and Latin America, we call:

ALL PEOPLE’S MOVEMENTS OF BRAZIL, LATIN AMERICA AND THE WORLD TO EXPRESS unrestricted solidarity to Venezuelan people, for the government and the process of the constituent assembly, as the sovereign and legitimate right of the Venezuelan people to define the course of their country.

ORGANIZE ‘COMMITTEES FOR PEACE IN VENEZUELA’ […] in as many cities and countries as possible. The character of the committees is that they are Broad and Unitarian, with popular and political organizations, activists, artists, intellectuals, etc. The Committee can organize various types of solidarity actions.

ORGANIZE PUBLIC MANIFESTATIONS AGAINST THE INTERVENSION OF THE US GOVERNMENT IN OTHER COUNTRIES: As denounced by Julian Assange, the Trump government wants to create a new Iraq in South America, we cannot shut up.

USE VARIOUS FORMS OF MANIFESTATIONS: Sending this message to US government and the people of the United States, through street actions, political acts, cultural acts and also communication actions in all possible vehicles.

WE PROPOSE TO OBSERVE ‘INTERNATIONAL DAY OF SOLIDARITY WITH VENEZUELA’ ON AUGUST 22: Which we’ll make simultaneous actions in cities of the world, directing us to the embassies, consulates and companies of the USA to deliver our letter and to express our indignation with the actions practiced against the government and the Venezuelan People.

PUBLIC LETTER FOR COLLECTION OF SIGNATURES: Letter to the government, parliamentarians and organizations of the United States. We count on the support of all to:

Disseminate in your print media and on the web / social networks

Sign and Collect new accessions of: Popular Movements, Political Organizations, Parliamentarians, intellectuals, artists

Send Complete Names, Organization / Profession and Country of the subscribers until August 20, 2017 to the email: secretaria@ asambleadelospueblos.org

“We count on the contribution of everyone in this endeavor that will require of us a lot of commitment and generosity to maximize the process of unitary construction centered on the defense of the Bolivarian Revolution, the Government of Nicolás Maduro and the new National Constituent Assembly installed in the country.”

The appeal has been issued by Joao Pedro Stédile from the Operative Secretariat of People’s Movements Towards ALBA – Brazil, Jaime amorim, MST – International Via Campesina and Paola Estrada from the Secretariat of the International People’s Assembly.

In a world system of tyranny and oppression by imperialism, defending the Venezuelan people’s sovereignty is a democratic task with wide implications. The solidarity-stand will come in assistance to peoples in other lands also. Expressing solidarity with the Venezuelan people is a task of the moment.

The situation gets reflected in Venezuelan defense minister general Vladimir Padrino’s observation: Trump’s talk of possible military action is a “crazy act”, “an act of supreme extremism”. Padrino was talking to Venezuela state-owned television network VTV. He added: “There is […] extremist elite in the US government, and I really don’t know what is happening and what will happen in the world, if humanity will end, if planet Earth will end!”

Farooque Chowdhury, writing from Dhaka, has not authored/edited any book in English other than Micro Credit, Myth Manufactured (ed.), The Age of Crisis and What Next, The Great Financial Crisis (ed.), and he doesn’t operate any blog/web site.

 

Actions of Solidarity with Venezuela and against external interference

São Paulo, August 09 2017

From: Secretariat of Social Movements Towards ALBA – Brazil and Secretariat of the International People’s Assembly

To: Peoples’ Movements from Latin America and the World

Subject: Actions of Solidarity with Venezuela and against external interference.

Dear Comrades

We are all following the gravity of Venezuela’s social and political crisis. We are following the degree of violence adopted by the rightist forces that have already caused the deaths of many people. There was the audacity to attack a barracks, trying to cause more victims, by civilians trained in Miami and Colombia, by right-wing forces.

Maduro’s government and the progressive forces of Venezuela sought in the Constituent Assembly a way to renegotiate the country’s social agreements, which showed broad support from the Venezuelan people with the participation of more than 8 million voters in the election on July 30, despite of all difficulties.

Right-wing Deputies have publicly said that their tactic is to produce more violence, more chaos, with wide international media coverage, to provoke foreign intervention in the country. Regrettably, this tactic was also explained by the Spanish Former President, Mr. Felipe Gonzalez.

Trump’s government, without any moral or legitimacy, is trying to influence Venezuela’s course by enacting sanctions on eleven people from Maduro’s Government, including the President and several ministers, forbidding them from visiting the United States and blocking personal property if they have in dependencies of the United States (see news on the link).

The Brazilian coupist Government hastily called for a Mercosur meeting to suspend Venezuela’s rights. Soon an illegitimate government and with support of only 3% of the Brazilian population, dares to sanction the Venezuelan government, for lack of democracy!

In the face of all these consultations made in various movements in Brazil and Latin America, we call:

1) ALL PEOPLE’S MOVEMENTS OF BRAZIL, LATIN AMERICA AND THE WORLD TO EXPRESS unrestricted solidarity to Venezuelan people, for the government and the process of the constituent assembly, as the sovereign and legitimate right of the Venezuelan people to define the course of their country.

2) ORGANIZE “COMMITTEES FOR PEACE IN VENEZUELA”: We suggest that you organize in as many cities and countries as possible. The character of the committees is that they are Broad and Unitarian, with popular and political organizations, activists, artists, intellectuals, etc. The Committee can organize various types of solidarity actions.

            3) ORGANIZE PUBLIC MANIFESTATIONS AGAINST THE INTROMISION OF THE US GOVERNMENT IN MATTERS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES: As denounced by Julian Assange, the Trump government wants to create a new Iraq in South America, we cannot shut up.

4) USE THE MOST VARIOUS FORMS OF MANIFESTATIONS: Sending this message to US government and the people of the United States, through street actions, political acts, cultural acts and also communication actions in all possible vehicles.

5) WE PROPOSE ON AUGUST 22, “INTERNATIONAL DAY OF SOLIDARITY WITH VENEZUELA”: Which we’ll make simultaneous actions in several cities of the world, directing us to the embassies, consulates and companies of the USA to deliver our letter and to express our indignation with the actions practiced against the Government and the Venezuelan People.

6) PUBLIC LETTER FOR COLLECTION OF SIGNATURES: See the attached letter to the Government, Parliamentarians and Organizations of the United States. We count on the support of all to:

6.1. Disseminate in your print media and on the web / social networks

6.2. Sign and Collect new accessions of: Popular Movements, Political Organizations, Parliamentarians, intellectuals, artists

6.3. Send Complete Names, Organization / Profession and Country of the subscribers until August 20, 2017 to the email: secretaria@ asambleadelospueblos.org

We count on the contribution of everyone in this endeavor that will require of us a lot of commitment and generosity to maximize the process of unitary construction centered on the defense of the Bolivarian Revolution, the Government of Nicolás Maduro and the new National Constituent Assembly installed in the country.

We are available for any question.

Bolivarian Cheers!

Joao Pedro Stédile

By the Operative Secretariat of People’s Movements Towards ALBA – Brazil

Jaime amorim

MST – International Via Campesina

Paola Estrada

By the Secretariat of the International People’s Assembly

Categories: International, North America, Opinions, Politics, South America
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