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Open hegemonism in Venezuela

"The US is plainly driven to keep that country under its thumb."

 

Part II

It is clear that Venezuela is not a threat to the US security or that the European powers are about to regain their colonial foothold in Latin America. Rather, the US is plainly driven to keep that country under its thumb to be exploited to the hilt of its oil-rich resources.

The event in Venezuela is unmasking the true nature of the Monroe Doctrine—that it is being used as instrument to secure South America as its exclusive enclave to be subjugated by raising the bogey to sanitize the continent from the spread of communism, a crusade which ended the Cold War in 1989.

The greed for Venezuela’s oil has never before made the US so unpopular. In its bid “to be great again,” it openly exerts its hegemonistic Monroe Doctrine to covet other countries’ wealth in the guise of protecting their freedom of democracy.

The dire economic situation in Venezuela is the result of the illegal embargo. This has greatly affected exports, investments, and access to foreign capital. There is massive unemployment, hyperinflation, dire lack of food and medicines caused by the economic blockade. People migrate to nearby countries not for freedom in search of employment.

As they suffer, the US trumpets a different story that allegedly, Venezuela suffers because of economic mismanagement and corruption by the Maduro government. It denies that the US policy stems from its own tyrannical judgment that allegedly Venezuela failed to live up to its standard of a free election.

The US is principally fanning the flames of social unrest to make its premeditated armed intervention conducive and palatable to the world media. The US and its Western allies led by Britain has even resorted to the most brazen act of what we might say as a “state-sponsored robbery” by rejecting Venezuela’s request to withdraw $1.2 billion in gold in the usual guise that they now recognize as president, Juan Guaido. For two weeks, Caracas has been trying to withdraw the gold, with Calixto Ortega, the head of Venezuela’s central bank, seeking access to the nation’s assets.

To deprive Venezuela of its gold deposit is to unjustly punish the people of what rightfully belongs to them at this moment when their economy is struggling to stave off economic strangulation by the warmongering Trump administration.

There is no way the people of Venezuela will understand why they are being compelled to hoot for democracy and freedom in exchange for the thirst of the big US oil companies. It is even far more difficult for the world to understand why Juan Guiado, the man who now styles himself as interim president to replace Nicolas Maduro, boycotted the election.

For the US and their they lackey to question Maduro’s second term election is completely devoid of any legal and moral basis. Guiado was not a loser in that election to claim he was cheated.

The opposition in their unauthorized referendum in July 2017 claim that about 7 million of the people rejected Maduro’s proposal to convene the constituent assembly. But their so-called referendum was authorized even by the opposition-controlled National Assembly. Of course, their move was to prevent Maduro from convening the constituent assembly which was upheld by the country’s Supreme Court.

The opposition continues to rant that the election of Maduro was rigged, yet could not formally file a case of electoral fraud precisely because they refused to participate or field a candidate for them to have a legal basis to allege that they were cheated by Maduro, and on that basis give clout to install Guiado. In fact, Guiado’s election as head of the National Assembly was a last-minute afterthought to illegally install him as interim president.

Venezuela has an elected Vice President, Delcy Rodriguez, who under any constitutional form of government should be the one to succeed Maduro. The US never considered him because he was an unwilling lackey. They simply focused their issue on dictatorship to make palatable their replacement of Maduro. In that, one could see that the political turmoil in Venezuela is following an old pattern similar to the political swindle committed by the US and the oligarchy under the guise of “people power” to allegedly restore democracy and freedom.

The US’ distaste for the Maduro government has nothing to do with ideology. It is their fear of encroachment to what it considered as its exclusive turf. US national security advisor, John Bolton, in an interview said, “It will make a big difference to the United States economically if we could have American oil companies invest in and produce the oil capabilities in Venezuela.”

Because of the US oil embargo, Venezuela today ranks only no. 11 among the world’s largest oil producer. This represents a decline from over 1.2 million barrels in October, an average of 1.25 million barrels in the third quarter and from nearly 1.4 million barrels in the second quarter of last year. Venezuela's production has also plunged from an average of 1.9 million barrels in 2017. The country’s proven oil reserves are recognized as the largest in the world, totalling 297 billion barrels as of 1 January 2014. Despite the odds, the late President Hugo Chavez tried to invite foreign investors.

For one, China has already loaned $50 billion for the last decade which payment comes mostly in the form of oil exports. During President Maduro’s visit to Beijing, China has promised to provide whatever help, like providing a $5 billion credit. Russia, on the other hand, remains Venezuela’s impost important partner in the Orinoco Belt area, referring to the oil fields in Northern Venezuela. Russia’s state-run oil company, Rosneft, has a vested interest since December 2016 when it took nearly 50 percent stake in Citgo, a US-based oil company that is owned by Venezuela’s energy giant, PDVSA, as collateral for a 1.54 billion loan. Russia also agreed to restructure Venezuela’s $3.5-billion loan.

Even if President Trump has been sounding the marching drum to take another jingoistic leap to intervene in the internal affairs of Venezuela, the war drums do not seem to jibe to where the US economically stands today. His infamous “build the wall” slogan is falling apart that it has caused the US to stop government operations for nearly three weeks and costs it about $4 billion. Even Organization of American States (OAS) has not been unanimous as when the US imposed an economic embargo on Cuba in the 60’s.

While domestic politics in the US may have no direct bearing to the crisis in Venezuela, the intensified political differences between the Democrats which control the House of Representatives and the Republicans are today seen as weathervane on the future of the President and his cabal of neoliberals. The US Congress already hinted it will not support any military intervention in Venezuela. That now spells a redline for Trump; that should he cross the redline to involve US troops in another war would constitute an act that that would give the US Congress reason to get rid of him.

rpkapunan@gmail.com

Topics: Venezuela , Donald Trump , Nicolas Maduro , Juan Guaido , John Bolton
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