PEOPLE in Venezuela shall defend the Bolivarian revolution. To defend the land, the people are prepared for a battle. This is the promise of the people in the land the revolution is moving forward with its transforming process.
Nicolas Maduro, the president of Venezuela, has, therefore, said: Venezuela is ‘prepared for battle’ if the US imposes quarantine. ‘We are all prepared for battle if anyone tries to impose a quarantine or blockade on Venezuela.’
President Maduro said: ‘Not Venezuela! is my message to criminal imperialism.’
‘Donald Trump says that he is considering imposing a quarantine against Venezuela meaning that no vessel enters or exits. It is a blockade.’
Maduro has instructed Samuel Moncada, Venezuela’s permanent representative to the UN, to tell the UN Security Council about ‘the illegal and criminal threat by Donald Trump to introduce a sea blockade and a quarantine against Venezuela.’
Maduro said that Trump voiced his threats because of Washington’s despair in the face of Venezuela’s dignity.
Maduro was speaking at an event in the state of La Guaira on August 2. He was responding to a remark by Donald Trump, the US president, made on August 1 that Trump was considering a blockade of Venezuela due to ‘foreign involvement.’
‘I am telling Donald Trump that criminal imperialism will not cope with Venezuela. The waters of Venezuela will be free, sovereign and independent. We will sail there the way we chose to. Get ready for a fight if you want to introduce a quarantine against Venezuela’, the Venezuelan president said.
After imposing grinding sanctions on Venezuela, Trump has said that the next step for the US could be increasing pressure on Venezuela by imposing a blockade or quarantine. It was the first time Trump expressed the idea of imposing blockade of Venezuela.
Trump made the off-hand remark after a reporter had asked him at the White House lawn if the US president had been considering a blockade or a quarantine of Venezuela ‘given the amount of foreign involvement from Russia, China and Iran.’
‘Yes, I am’, the US president responded, without elaborating. The response prompted the journalist to ask again, only for Trump to triple down: ‘Yes, I am. Yes. Yes, I am.’
The issue of ‘foreign power’ in Venezuela is not new to the US, which itself is a foreign power in Latin America.
Mike Pompeo, the US secretary of state, in late-July called on ‘every foreign power’ to leave Venezuela.
With the words ‘foreign power’, he meant Russia, China, Iran and Cuba. But he denied seeing meddling of the US in the internal affairs of Venezuela and in other countries.
In an interview with Argentina’s Infobae website on July 19, 2019, Pompeo said that the countries that continue to stand by Maduro should ‘leave’. At that time, Pompeo was on a four-day tour of Latin America.
‘We hope every foreign power will leave. We want the Venezuelan people to control their own destiny’, said Pompeo when asked about the role that Russia, China, and Iran play in the region.
A strange logic formed. The US openly interferes in the affairs of Venezuela. The most powerful country in the world openly and repeatedly demands political and constitutional measures to be taken in Venezuela, selects political leaders to represent Venezuela and, through these stances, it stands above the people of Venezuela, and the constitution the people there have formulated. Now, it demands ‘foreign powers’ — the countries extending assistance including medical equipment and medicines — to leave Venezuela. Wolves weave this logic. This pattern of logic is found in cases of other countries also. But with a sense of dignity, it is impossible to accept this logic.
Pompeo said: ‘They need to leave Venezuela, and then we can begin to do the work to rebuild that country democratically, with free and fair elections, in a way that will truly restore the greatness that Venezuela once had.’
The history of imposing imperial democracy and rebuilding countries is full with sad and sadistic stories, now known not only to audience of alternative media, but also to broader audience of mainstream media.
And, by the word ‘we’, he meant the US, the only country in the world with ‘all legitimate authorities’ to dictate all in the world, to define democracy in all countries.
‘In the end, I think the Cubans are going to have a very difficult decision to make’, Pompeo said in the interview. ‘They have propped up this regime for an awfully long time. They need to leave. They need to go back.’
Cuba is always a ‘troubling’ factor to imperialism. Because, the island-country has never surrendered its dignity and honour. Many states owned by resource-rich ruling elites have done the job — surrender everything called dignity.
Speaking on the ongoing talks between the Maduro government and the Venezuelan opposition in Barbados, Pompeo said that any conversation ‘can only be about one thing, that Maduro must leave.’
Juan Guaido, the puppet of imperialism and self-proclaimed ‘interim president’ having no constitutional legitimacy, after agreeing to the talks, said the same — Guaido only wanted to ‘negotiate the departure of the dictatorship.’
These are the positions imperialism and its puppets have taken. These stand as illogical, inflexible, and contrary to the logic of negotiation. How can one decide an outcome of negotiation before the negotiation ensues? Is it not imposing a condition? And, the condition is designed in such a pattern that the negotiation does not move even to table. The pre-condition provokes one to reject the negotiation step. That was the original design.
Maduro rejected the US’s attempts to interfere in Venezuela’s political dialogue. He said that agreements that might be signed in Barbados, the place negotiations between the government and opposition is going on, could only be ‘absolutely sovereign’. Maduro said ‘Venezuela will not give in to blackmail from the side of the US and EU.’
The US imperialism’s intolerance of and intransigence to Venezuela is now a well-known fact.
Imperialism is openly calling and taking steps for regime change in Venezuela, which regularly takes toll with lives from the Venezuelan people. Its imposition of scores of sanctions is crippling the Latin American country’s economy and the people’s suffering there in the country is increasing while imperialism is openly backing its puppet.
The puppet tried to implement imperialism-planned conspiracy after conspiracy, all of which turned out as caricature. The output of those conspiracies made the master — imperialism — and its puppet laughingstocks. Despite the failures, imperialism is feeding its puppet.
Citing officials and an internal memo circulated by the US Agency for International Development, Los Angeles Times reported, the US is increasing its funds to boost up Guaido with $41.9 million diverted from humanitarian aid to Central America. (‘Trump administration diverts Central America aid to US-backed opposition in Venezuela’, July 16, 2019)
‘The memo, dated July 11 and obtained by The Times, is a notification to Congress from the US Agency for International Development that the money is going to Venezuela in response to an “exigent” crisis involving US “national interest”.’ (ibid)
USAID says that the money is ‘necessary due to unforeseen events and exceptional circumstances.’
The memo, as cited by the Los Angeles Times, says that part of the sum would be used to pay Guaido and his entourage’s salaries, airfare, and to provide the opposition with ‘good governance’ training, propaganda and technical support for ‘democracy building’ projects.
‘Some of the organizations that will be used to oversee the spending are the International Republican Institute, the National Democratic Institute and Freedom House, the memo said.’ (ibid) The organisations mentioned are known as long hands of imperialism. Interests these organisations market have been documented scores of times by serious studies. The interests are only imperialistic.
The memo that notifies the House of Representatives of the plans to repurpose some $41 million of about $370 million in aid it permanently diverted from the Northern Triangle countries — El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras — is the first step in the process of getting it to Guaido and his band.
However, the Guaido gang’s corruption with money has already been exposed.
And, the Los Angeles Times report cited Cynthia Arnson, director of the Latin America programme at the Wilson Centre, a nonpartisan think tank in Washington: ‘The danger is that the Venezuelan opposition becomes perceived as Made in the USA.’
Made in the USA — the fact is also known to all. Yet, neither the puppets nor their masters feel shy. Puppets are shameless and shapeless and puppet masters do not care about shame and dishonour.
The ‘aid’ diversion was confirmed by Trump. In March, Trump himself told journalists that he ‘ended payments to Guatemala, to Honduras, and to El Salvador. No money goes there any more.’
‘Things’ do not cease here. There is Cuba, Venezuela’s closest ally, and the country imperialism can’t tolerate at all. Imperialism is continuously pressuring Cuba to break ties with Maduro-led Venezuela.
Imperialism has blamed Cuba for failure of imperialist puppet’s political gambles; and has imposed a number of new sanctions on Cuba. Imperialism denies seeing inefficiency of its puppets and the objectives condition within which its puppets operate with mirage like hope.
Cuba is undaunted.
Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, the Cuban president, has said: ‘Imperialism proposes that we betray Venezuela, showing shameless cynicism they resort to blackmail.
‘Ignorant of history and the Cuban Revolution’s foreign policy principles, they propose to negotiate a possible reconciliation with us, in exchange for abandoning the course chosen and defended by our people. They suggest betraying friends, throwing 60 years of dignity into the trash bin.
‘No, imperialist gentlemen, we do not understand each other.’ (‘Cuba does not betray its friends or its principles’, Granma, July 30, 2019)
By blaming all, but self and allies, and by punishing peoples in lands with sanctions, imperialism claims its ‘authentic’ right to restore ‘democracy’ to countries, including Venezuela — an imperial dream, no doubt.
But imperialism’s ‘initiatives’ with ‘democracy’ is over-exposed with inner stories of those ‘projects’ — plundering of those lands, blood-soaking those lands and failure in governance. The character of the ‘democracy’ that it imposes is also over-exposed. All are for, of and by imperialism — securing imperialist interest, exploiting all resources of victimized countries, pauperising the intervened societies. History bears evidence after evidence.
The present-day world is witnessing a lot of imperialist ‘dramas’ in a number of theatres. Not just a single factor is pushing these ‘dramas’. A number of factors are propelling these ‘dramas.’
One of the factors is the imperialism’s domestic politics — election, factional fight of the ruling elite, serious social problems, etc. Another factor is its economy — the war economy. Tension and war feed the war economy producing ‘logic’ to pump money into the machines producing guns. War economy always gulps money to create war or war-like environment. That is profitable for owners of the war machine. The factors of hegemony to loot, exploit resources, control strategic locations, competition, etc are there as usual.
Venezuela is one of many victims of that system bent on robbing all gains the people there have so far made. Because of Venezuela’s march with the Bolivarian revolution, it has become one of the first targets of imperialism. Because, imperialism does not like examples favourable to people.
Cuba has already experienced a blockade. That was decades ago. Other measures against Cuba are continuing, which are economic blockade in essence. But Cuba is thwarting those and upholding the flag the country unfurled decades ago. Venezuela shall march through the same path, and foil all those measures as long as the flag of the Bolivarian revolution keeps people politically mobilised there.
Farooque Chowdhury writes from Dhaka.
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