Hands off Venezuela!
World opinion split over a looming regime change, through armed intervention in Venezuela. There are no shortages of opinions and discussions regarding the current political crisis in Venezuela. As expected, the global corporate media fell in line with Trump’s foreign policy on Venezuela, and uses every opportunity to promote the overthrow of Mr. Nicholas Maduro.
America, through C.I.A. backed coups, has a long track record of overthrowing democratically elected Governments in Latin America under the pretense of promoting human rights, democracy, and development and freedom to the people. Affected countries include Mexico (1914-1918), Haiti (1915-1934) Guatemala, (1954), Chile (1970s), Cuba, (1961) Dominican Republic, (1965) Nicaragua, (1981-1990) Grenada, (1983) Guyana (1953) and Panama (1989) to name a few.
Said (military) interventions have resulted in massacres, civil wars, and mass executions. They have also facilitated the exploitation of workers by multinational corporations, and privatization that have enriched the business class and political elite. Furthermore, there is no denying that Venezuela’s economic situation is frightening. The country struggles with hyperinflation, extreme poverty, low oil revenues and a shortage of basic goods and medicines.
Such stubborn challenges threaten the quality of life for working class families and marginalized groups. However, we must not lose sight of the fact that Venezuela’s economic woes are, to a very large extent, the result of US imposed sanctions. It is estimated that the sanctions have cost the ailing Latin American country between $6 billion to $30 billion.
In essence, the US imposed sanctions prohibits the payments of goods (food, medicines and consumer goods) and services, and were designed to starve the country into submission. The much talked about “humanitarian aid” is a mere Trojan horse. Stephane Dujarric right pointed out that “humanitarian actions needs to be independent of political, military or other objectives”.
Several UN Assembly resolutions state that it is illegal to force a sovereign nation to accept foreign aid. Venezuela, as a sovereign nation, has the right to accept aid from its friends and allies. And rightfully so! Beloved reader, it is inconceivable that on the one hand the United States forces “humanitarian aid” to Venezuela, yet refuses to lift the economic sanctions.
The hypocrisy and contradictions are painfully obvious. While many openly oppose the Maduro Government, a growing section of the population is vehemently against a foreign military intervention. In fact, some political pundits posit that threats of a military intervention, by the US and its allies, might very well foster a renewed sense of unity and unprecedented patriotism, not only among the people of Venezuela but also that of Latin America.
The urgency of the moment compels us as a Caribbean people, to raise our fists and voices and vigorously protest against the pending military coup de etat and U.S. economic sanctions and fake politicized aid to Venezuela. We must recognize that “Venezuela, said the Honorable Prime Minister of Greneda, is right at our borders so what is happening there, if it is not dealt with or solved peacefully, it can have serious consequences for all the countries in the region..,”.
The Caribbean is one of the last areas in the world, free from armed conflict and must remain as such through our collective efforts! As a Trade Unionist, I wholeheartedly join and unite with peace loving and progressive social movements around the world, to categorically denounce, reject and condemn in the strongest terms, the provocation of military intervention and or the use of additional economic sanctions to address and “resolve” the political crisis in Venezuela.
Such nefarious actions violate international law and the national sovereignty of Venezuela. The political crisis in Venezuela can only be solved through dialogue, political negotiations and national reconciliation. Most of all, the escalating tension in Venezuela requires a Venezuelan solution that is wedded to and genuinely reflects the aspirations of the Venezuelan people! Disclaimer: the views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the views of WICSU/PSU Union.
Riegnald “Bakari” Arrindell