Tag Archive | "Venezuela"

Time for a Vigilant Celebration in Venezuela


In one day, on October 15, Venezuela has achieved several outstanding landmarks in our region at a time when we face dangerous world conflicts and unrest. By carrying out fair elections for governors of the 23 states, Venezuela has shown that people value the opportunity to participate in decision-making even under hard circumstances.

The Gran Polo Patriotico (Great Patriotic Pole), a coalition of ten parties, including the governing United Socialist Party of Venezuela (Partido Socialista Unido de Venezuela – PSUV), and the Communist Party of Venezuela (PCV), have won 17 governorships and lost 5 to the coalition Democratic Unity Roundtable (Mesa de la Unidad Democratica – MUD) (One State still pending at the time of writing).

This represents winning a significant battle, but the war may still be brewing.

The significance of this victory lies in the different fronts in which Venezuela has established a clear claim.

On the democratic front 64% of the voters who participated in the elections have made an implicit statement that there is no dictatorship in Venezuela, contrary to the propaganda of Western right wing corporate media. In fact, there has been no shortage of elections in Venezuela. This has been the 22nd free, secret ballot in the last 18 years, including a failed referendum to revoke Hugo Chavez from the presidency in 2004.

This display of building democracy flies in the face of the recent action of the OAS Secretary General, Luis Almagro, who staged a swearing in ceremony in Washington, DC of a “supreme court” whose members are Venezuelans opposing the Maduro government who have left the country. This is a fragrant illegitimate, anti-democratic interference in internal affairs of Venezuela. Luis Almagro has no shame to show his personal antipathy for Nicolas Maduro but he should be ashamed to involve the organization he represents.

This victory for democracy in Venezuela has been succinctly expressed by Bolivian President, Evo Morales, who posted a tweet that said,

“Democracy has won over intervention and conspiracy. The people defend their sovereignty and dignity.”

The second front where this election can claim a victory is likely the most welcome: Desire of people to live in peace. The large turn out of voters is both a testimonial to fearless defiance and a statement of aspiration for a country at peace. Around 10 million Venezuelans have agreed to engage in this electoral dialogue in the understanding that violence cannot be a bargaining chip.

Telesur reported the president of the National Constituent Assembly, Delcy Rodriguez praising the Venezuelan people for going to the polls and ratifying their desire to live in peace.

“This was an election convened by the National Constituent Assembly and we were not mistaken,” said Rodriguez. “This election has allowed us to consolidate the peace and to defend (our) sovereignty.”

The victory of Chavismo on the political front is perhaps the most tangible for political analysts. Despite the economic hardship in Venezuela caused by harsh US sanctions, despite negative media propaganda, and despite months of street violence triggered by the opposition that caused 126 deaths, Venezuelans are still putting their trust in support of the governing party, the PSUV, with a 54% overall popular vote. Considering that the PSUV is a party openly anti-imperialist that fiercely advocates for independence and sovereignty, the vote signals a rejection of any direct intervention by the United States. Evo Morales rightly interpreted this sentiment in his tweet,

“the people triumphed over the empire. Luis Almagro lost with his boss Trump.”

The opposition MUD has not performed badly if we take into account that they gained two more states compared to the three they had in the 2012 elections. (States gained by the opposition in the 2017 elections: Anzoategui, Merida, Nueva Esparta, Tachira and Zulia)

However, early indications suggest that the opposition will not respect the democratic process in the days to come, will reject the offer of peace and dialogue, and will not recognize the elections results. In fact, they have already called for a recount and at the same time for “street actions” in protest.

In a true democracy differences in state politics is not a ground for revolt, but the continued belligerent attitude of the opposition MUD is dangerously fueled by the US, Canada and increasingly by the EU. This is precisely the kind of interference that Venezuela does not need and the Bolivarian Revolution is fighting back. Under these circumstances, the opposition cannot be trusted and nobody can lower the guard.

For now, we join all Venezuelans in a vigilant celebration for their victory for democracy over violence.

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Venezuela Regional Elections: chavismo in triumph, opposition in disarray and media in denial

By Ricardo Vaz | Investig’Action 

As the President of the Venezuelan Electoral Commission (CNE) read the results from the regional elections that took place on Sunday, October 15, one could feel the agony in the editorial rooms of mainstream media outlets. Chavismo had just won 18 out of 23 (1) governorships, a result that, according to them, could not have happened. International observers praised the electoral process and opposition claims of fraud, while uncritically echoed by the media, do not have a leg to stand on.

The United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) had a tremendous victory in these elections. Among the three quarters of the governorships secured, some were quite significant. Hector Rodríguez, a young and charismatic chavista leader, won the governorship of Miranda state back from the opposition. Miranda includes part of Caracas and was the main hotspot of opposition violence in recent months. Another example was Chávez’s home state of Barinas which also saw some unrest in recent months. Chávez’s younger brother Argenis was the candidate and the state was successfully held by the PSUV.

The opposition lost all three governorships won in 2012 (Miranda, Amazonas and Lara) and won five others (Anzoátegui, Mérida, Nueva Esparta, Táchira and Zulia), with three of them being on the border with Colombia and raising some fears of increased paramilitary activity. Overall participation was 61%, compared to 54% five years ago, and the PSUV had 54% of the vote, some 5.6M votes. This marked a complete reversal from the legislative elections of 2015. It showed that chavismo’s core support remains very strong, and that, due to its less than coherent actions, it was the opposition that failed to mobilise its supporters.

Electoral map after Sunday’s regional elections. Chavismo took 18 (red) governorships, and the opposition took five (blue).

The media reaction was one for the history books. Having not paid much attention to these elections, the run-up had just the same recycled narrative: “if the elections are free and fair, the opposition will win by a landslide”. Once the results came out, rather than look to understand them and figure out what had gone wrong in their predictions, the media simply went down the rabbit hole. According to their biased narrative and historically inaccurate polls, this simply was not possible!

The evidence to back this impossibility was also less than convincing. There were the usual unsubstantiated, or easily disproved, claims of “fraud” (more on that later). The New York Times added the very scientific claim that “turnout appeared to be lower”, while Reuters, with its ever decreasing credibility, went further and talked about voters being forced to vote at gunpoint! Several analysts were paraded to claim that this result was not possible, some even argued it was “inconceivable”. It seems like these journalists and analysts have violated one of the cardinal rules of (information) trafficking: don’t get high on your own supply. Simply put, they have started believing too much in their own propaganda.

A resounding defeat for the Venezuelan opposition

Let us look at the actions of the US-backed Venezuelan opposition in the recent past. First they kicked off a wave of street violence in April that left more than 100 dead (most of them caused by opposition violence). With the media propaganda in overdrive they claimed they were on the verge of “tumbling the dictatorship”. But barring a few isolated occasions, the violence never spread far beyond the opposition strongholds, mainly in eastern Caracas.

After Maduro proposed the Constituent Assembly, the opposition refused to participate and claimed that they would stop it from taking place. They even staged their own “referendum” to reject the Constituent Assembly and call for intervention of the armed forces. But in what was a massive chavista show of strength, as well as a rejection of opposition violence, more than 8M people voted on July 30th. All the opposition, and the media, could do was claim that the figure was false, based on shoddy exit polls and unsubstantiated claims from Smartmatic (2). These elections and the swearing in of the Constituent Assembly effectively brought peace to the streets.

So after all the talk of tumbling the dictatorship and demanding that Maduro step down tomorrow, the opposition turned to their supporters, and with a straight face asked them to go out and vote in the regional elections. Some of the more hardline factions refused to take part (and are now chiding the leadership for having done so) but most of the opposition parties carried on with the absurd discourse of “voting against the dictatorship”. In the end the absurdity caught up to them and the result was a resounding defeat. And then, like clockwork, the opposition claimed the results were fraudulent. Frankly, what else was left for them to do? They can send the defeated candidates to Washington DC and continue forming their “government in exile”. (3)

Opposition leader Julio Borges’ contradictions with regard to the regional elections (Translated from Misión Verdad)

Fraudulent “fraud” claims

If the media coverage of Venezuela had any vestige of honesty, articles would explain how the voting works, so that these “fraud” allegations can be put into context. In a nutshell, voters mark their vote in a machine, a paper ballot is printed, and if this matches the electronic vote, they deposit the paper ballot in a box. After the voting is completed, a audit is conducted in 54.4% of the voting centres, randomly selected. This consists of tallying up the paper ballots and seeing if they match, up to a very small margin, against the electronic tally. This ensures that statistically the results are pretty much final, and that is what the CNE President Tibisay Lucena means when she says the results are “irreversible”.

Chavista, opposition and international monitors take part in pre-voting checks, are present at voting centres during the day, and they are also present during this audit. At the end of this process they sign an act (acta). So it is very hard to claim there was actual electoral fraud. In fact, defeated opposition candidate in Miranda, Carlos Ocariz, said himself that he had the acts and that was not the problem. Therefore it is ridiculous for France and the US State Dept. to claim there is anything wrong with the tabulation process.

The main “fraud” complaint in the media were that over 200 voting centres (out of 13.500) had been relocated away from areas where the opposition is strongest and into traditionally pro-government areas. What, conveniently, was left unsaid, is that these were centres that could not open for the Constituent Assembly elections because of opposition violence, which makes the CNE’s security concerns more than justified.

There were also protests that opposition candidates that had lost a (contentious) primary vote were left on the ballot, with the CNE arguing that the requests to remove them from the ballot were not filed on time. But looking at the results, all the contests were virtually two-horse races, with hardly any votes for third-placed candidates and with the winner taking over 50% of the vote, so any consequence of this was negligible (with the possible exception of Bolívar).

Another complaint was that some of the voting centres did not open on time. But given that, even after polls close at 6PM, everyone who is standing in line still gets to vote, this complaint does not hold water. All in all, the Venezuelan opposition, their sponsors, and the media, would have the world believe the elections were fraudulent because middle-class voters did not want to wait in line and much less see poor people on their way to vote.

Chavista celebrations after the electoral triumph (photo by AVN)

The road ahead

It is hard to see where the Venezuelan opposition can go from here, with signs of in-fighting already clear. With their “doomsday cult” behaviour they are unlikely to have any success in reactivating the street violence, and thus their fate rests essentially on what the US empire can do. They will be hoping that (more) sanctions can inflict enough pain on the Venezuelan people to give them a chance of winning the presidential election next year. The most fanatical ones might hope that Trump follows through on the threats of military intervention.

One thing they can count on is the unwavering, unconditional support from the mainstream media. While opposition voters and supporters may use their memory and call out the inconsistencies and contradictions, no such thing is to be expected from the media. They will keep echoing claims that there was fraud in these elections, that the turnout on July 30th was inflated, and continue to milk the story of the former prosecutor who goes around saying she has proof of corruption involving high government officials. As with everything that can be used against the Bolivarian government, no evidence is ever needed.

As for chavismo, it is unquestionable that the two most recent electoral showings have been tremendous victories. Western analysts time and again fail to grasp the vitality of the Bolivarian Revolution, and belittle chavistas either as brainwashed zealots or people who simply fear losing their benefits (4). The reality is that, even through a deep economic war/crisis that has hit them hard, and regardless of what the leadership should have done differently, the Venezuelan poor and working-class still see this project as their own, one in which they are actors and not just spectators.

Maduro’s term has arguably seen chavismo playing defence all the time, with an economic war, a steep drop in oil prices, two incarnations of guarimba violence and constant international pressure and sanctions. Fresh off this electoral win and with the Constituent Assembly in place, it is imperative that chavismo seizes the moment to radicalise, to go on the offensive, with a year to go until the presidential elections. The support that it has retained through this storm should not be taken for granted, and there is now a window to fight corruption, increase working-class control in the economy, increase the influence of the communes, etc. This is not just a matter of keeping the grassroots involved, this is how the economic war will be won, this is how socialism will be built.


(1) The initial results were only final for 22 out of the 23 states. In the southern state of Bolívar the PSUV candidate was later confirmed to be the winner in a tight contest.

(2) Smartmatic, the company responsible for the software in the voting machines, claimed that “without any doubt” the turnout had been inflated by at least 1M votes. The claim was rejected by Venezuelan electoral authorities because the company does not have access to electoral data. Several solidarity organisations delivered a letter to Smartmatic CEO Antonio Mugica on September 8 demanding that the company either present evidence for its claims or issue an apology. There has been no response to this day.

(3) Right on cue, Maria Corina Machado has urged the opposition-controlled National Assembly, which has been in contempt of court since mid-2016, to nominate new electoral authorities. One hopes there is enough office space in OAS headquarters in Washington DC.

(4) If only they had a deep and mature political understanding such as the opposition and their “we do not want to be Cuba” slogans…

Cover photo: President Maduro lauded the election victory as a message against imperialism (photo by AVN)

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Is It Time for “Food Diplomacy” in Venezuela?

The convincing victory of Venezuela’s governing socialist party in this weekend’s elections provides a convenient opportunity for President Maduro to finally request food aid from his Russian and Chinese partners, both of whom would be more than eager to receive the soft power boost that would come with easing the humanitarian suffering that the US’ Hybrid War and related sanctions have placed on the Venezuelan people.

The United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) came out on top during this weekend’s regional elections, even though its victory predictably produced unsubstantiated allegations of fraud by the opposition. Although there’s a chance of anti-government violence, the average Venezuelan appears exhausted by the unrest that’s shaken their country over the years, hence why the majority of voters chose to support the PSUV in order to preserve peace and stability in the country. This has placed President Maduro in a more solid position than at any other time since the Hybrid War on Venezuela began in earnest in early 2014, which will therefore allow him to push forth his constitutional reform agenda with less resistance than before.

That being said, this also means that he needs to deliver on his promises to improve the living situation for the Venezuelans who have been suffering from a lack of food and other basic commodities, since this has not only contributed to the worsening of Venezuela’s international reputation, but it also provides the opposition with an excellent opportunity to recruit new Color Revolution followers into its ranks. At the same time, however, the Venezuelan government appears reluctant to recognize that this problem does indeed exist in some parts of the country, no doubt over-amplified by the international media for infowar purposes but nevertheless still present to some extent. It’s debatable whether external US economic pressure or internal government mismanagement is more to blame for this, but regardless of the cause, the symptoms need to be addressed, and now is the best time for Maduro to do so.

Trump’s Threats

Trump’s mid-August refusal to rule out a conventional “military option” in the Hybrid War on Venezuela was a godsend to the country’s government because it confirmed what they’d been saying for years, namely that the US is intent on carrying out a regime change in the oil-rich country using whatever possible means at its disposal, including an Iraq-like invasion. It can’t be known for certain whether this is exactly what Trump had in mind or not, but the fact remains that Maduro was able to masterfully make it seem like this was the case, which also had the effect of implying that the opposition’s Color Revolution vanguard was the “tip of the spear” in this campaign. It’s little wonder then that the government won in the last elections, as the implication of voting for an American-linked opposition coalition in light of the US President’s formal threats against their country proved to be too traitorous of a thought for some anti-government Venezuelans.

The intensification of Venezuela’s siege mentality as a result of Trump’s bellicose statement a few months ago, his melodramatic speech at the UN, and the ever-present sanctions allow Maduro to now conveniently shift all the blame for his country’s economic problems onto the US, jettisoning any responsibility for them and opening up a whole new range of options for dealing with the Hybrid War against his country. Whereas in the past he and his government were uncomfortable with recognizing the humanitarian consequences of this asymmetrical conflict because of the fear that this admission could be repackaged into yet another infowar weapon to discredit the authorities and influence the upcoming elections, no such pressure exists now that the PSUV convincingly won the last elections and the US has proven itself without a doubt to have a pressing interest in carrying out a regime change in the country at all costs.

Petro Politics

 The US doesn’t just want to acquire control over the world’s largest oil reserves in the Orinoco River Basin for the sake of it, whether to use for its own needs or to control the flow of this resource to its global Chinese competitor, but because this might be the only option left to save the petrodollar. With the US’ Saudi partner increasingly pivoting towards Russia and China, there’s a very real chance that Riyadh will soon conduct all new energy contracts in local currencies in order to bypass the dollar, which would slash the Achilles’ heel of the US-led global economic system and herald in the biggest worldwide financial change since Washington completely abandoned the gold standard in 1971. It’s not for naught, then, that Russia and China have been stockpiling gold over the past couple of years, as they prudently forecast that this moment might arrive sometime in the near future.

The grand strategic consequences of this would be that the US would finally lose control over the globalization processes that it first helped initiate and eventually harnessed in becoming the sole post-Cold War superpower, thereby enabling China’s Silk Road globalization to replace its Western rival in formalizing the start of the Multipolar World Order. The US is desperate to prevent this from happening, hence why it needs a “backup plan” in guaranteeing that the dollar will still be used for a sizeable percentage of transactions in the international energy marketplace, and this is precisely where Venezuela fits into the equation. If the US’ “Operation Condor 2.0” series of hemispheric regime changes succeeds in toppling the PSUV, then the resultant geopolitical chain reaction would probably lead to the fall of the ALBA-allied Bolivian and Nicaraguan governments soon thereafter, which would evict multipolar influence from the South American heartland and preempt the game-changing construction of the Nicaraguan Canal, respectively.

Furthermore, and of heightened relevance to the petrodollar, it would complete the US’ proxy conquest of Latin America’s energy resources, providing Washington with the chance to pioneer a formidable rival to OPEC in the North American-South American Petroleum Exporting Countries (NASAPEC) structure that the author originally forecast at the end of last year. If all of the Western Hemisphere’s resources were under the US’ control via NASAPEC, then the petrodollar could survive long enough until the “Clash of Civilizations” blueprint for dividing and ruling the Eastern Hemisphere through Hybrid Wars succeeds in toppling the OPEC governments one by one and restoring the dollar as the preferred currency for conducting transactions. This explains why it’s so important for the US to overthrow the Chavismo government in Venezuela, and correspondingly, why Russia and China have an interest in preventing this.

Orinoco heavy oil belt

Russia To The Rescue

Having placed the Hybrid War on Venezuela into its grand geostrategic context, it’s now time to talk about what the country’s Russian and Chinese partners can realistically do to help it withstand this onslaught. There’s no chance that either of them will commit military forces to assist the government, though Moscow will of course seek to leverage its “military diplomacy” in selling more arms and other defensive equipment to help Caracas ward off the US’ threatened “humanitarian intervention”. Ironically, though, a “humanitarian intervention” might just be what’s needed in order to stop the Hybrid War on Venezuela, but it would have to be carried out by Russia and China and in an unconventional manner than what’s commonly understood by this term.

Of these two Great Powers, Russia is thought to have established more influence in Venezuela due to its skillful maneuvers in the financial and energy industries, so it should be presumed that Moscow has the onus in taking the lead in any forthcoming ‘multipolar humanitarian intervention” in Venezuela, though only if it’s asked to do so by Caracas, which is the key point. Up until now, Maduro was reluctant to officially acknowledge the humanitarian consequences of the Hybrid War on Venezuela, but ever since Trump’s track record of aggressive statements about his country over the past couple of months and the PSUV’s victory over the weekend, he now has the “political flexibility” to do so in setting the stage for inviting his Great Power partners to assist in improving the humanitarian situation.

As opposed to the cruise missiles that typically accompany any unipolar “humanitarian intervention”, its multipolar counterpart could see cargo ships of food and other basic commodities instead. After all, the new Russian Ambassador to the UN Vasily Nebenzya was proudly telling the Security Council just the other day about his country’s impressive humanitarian operations abroad, particularly in Syria and Yemen, but to which Qatar could also be added when considering Russia’s offer earlier this summer to send food to the blockaded country during Ramadan. Although the latter proposal was politely declined by Doha, the global soft power impact that it had greatly boosted Russia’s reputation in the international Muslim community and paved the way for solidifying its “Ummah Pivot”.

All of this is relevant for Venezuela because it means that Russia, but also China as well, would jump at the first opportunity to relieve the humanitarian suffering that the US is to a large degree responsible for, both because it’s the “right thing to do” but also because of the soft power masterstroke that it would be for enhancing the country’s soft power all across Latin America just like the proposal to Qatar did for the Mideast. Unlike before when Maduro didn’t want to officially recognize this problem because of the risk that it could embolden another Color Revolution wave and sway the upcoming elections, he might change his mind now that his party’s political position is much more secured and even gain populist points by framing the whole “humanitarian operation” as a multipolar response to the US’ Hybrid War on Venezuela.

Russian Rosneft oil company CEO Igor Sechin signs a deal with Venezuela Oil Minister Eulogio del Pino in the presence of President Maduro, July 2016

Russian Rosneft oil company CEO Igor Sechin signs a deal with Venezuela Oil Minister Eulogio del Pino in the presence of President Maduro, July 2016

As a result, the protest-prone and opposition-aligned segments of the population who propelled the anti-government parties to victory in the late-2015 parliamentary elections could be placated so long as they steadily receive food and basic commodities, thereby opening up a valuable window of opportunity for the PSUV to “win them back” to the Chavista fold and dramatically de-escalate the regime change campaign in the country.

Concluding Thoughts

The US’ incessant efforts to overthrow the Venezuelan government might finally be reaching a turning point, though not the one that its strategic planners forecasted. Instead of the latest elections resulting in another bout of Color Revolution unrest just like the last two, this time the vote proceeded peacefully and the ruling PSUV produced a convincing victory, thereby freeing President Maduro from the “political constraints” that had previously prevented him from formally recognizing the deteriorating humanitarian situation in parts of the country. Accordingly, given how Trump has unabashedly admitted that he wants to see a regime change in Venezuela, and the CIA hinted as much earlier this summer too, the stage is now set for Maduro to “save face” by blaming everything on the US and finally requesting humanitarian assistance from his Russian and Chinese partners.

These two Great Powers would be more than happy to help their Latin American ally, both for good-hearted humanitarian reasons and also the obvious boost that this would provide to their soft power appeal in the region, but there’s another motivation for all of this too, and it has to do with the multipolar world’s grand strategy to de-dollarize the global energy trade. So long as Venezuela’s people remain content and less susceptible to Color Revolution intrigue, then there’s less of a likelihood that they could inadvertently play into the US’ plans by handing their oil-rich country over to its northern neighbor via opposition proxy, which in that scenario would allow the petrodollar to hang onto life if OPEC leader Saudi Arabia begins de-dollarizing its oil sales as it progressively moves closer to Russia and China.

As crude as it may sound, providing the Hybrid War-victimized population with a full belly and reliable access to basic commodities might be all that’s needed to turn the tide against the regime change movement and stabilize the beleaguered country, which in turn could increase the odds that the multipolar de-dollarization plan would succeed in inflicting a crippling blow to the petrodollar. For these reasons, it’s not inconceivable that Maduro might request humanitarian aid from his Russian and Chinese partners in countering the socio-economic consequences that the US’ asymmetrical war has had on some of the poorer segments of his country’s population. Instead of “classical” or even “military diplomacy”, it might ultimately turn out that “food diplomacy” was all that was needed this entire time to thwart the US’ clandestine Color Revolution campaign.

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Maduro tells Russia its time to ditch the Dollar and embrace the Rouble and Yuan


Nicolas Maduro is in Moscow for Russian Energy Week along with many other heads of state from energy producing nations.

President Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela has spoken in Moscow as part of Russian Energy Week and proposed that key energy producers work to implement trading strategies which ditch the US dollar in favour of currencies including the Chinese Yuan and Russian Rouble.

Venezuela recently announced that it would begin trading its oil in Yuan and today, President Maduro said that his country seeks to expand the use of other global currencies, including the Russian Rouble.

As reported by RT, the Venezuelan President as suggested,

“Introducing alternative currency baskets, including the Yuan, Rouble, and other currencies will eliminate the impact of futures trading, according to the Venezuelan president”.

Maduro’s thinking is very much in line with the of other BRICS countries, including China and Russia who have begun engaging in bilateral trade using local currencies. Turkey and Russia reached a similar agreement earlier this year.

This comes hot on the heels of the recent BRICS summit in Xiamen where China  announced that it will begin issuing oil futures contracts in gold backed Yuan. Furthermore, the summit placed a heavy emphasis on developing new methods of trade including in local currencies, a new BRICS crypto-currency and perhaps most importantly in a BRICS currency basket.

A currency basket is a name commonly assigned to a value derived from the pooling of different traditional currencies. The most commonly used currency basket is something called Special Drawing Rights, a basket which pools the value of the US Dollar, Euro, Japanese Yen and UK Pound.

As I previously reported,

“The US has previously taken drastic measures when foreign leaders decided to abandon the Dollar as a trading currency. In the year 2000, Iraq stopped trading its oil in the US Dollar, opting instead to trade in Euros, a move that a month prior to the US-UK illegal invasion of Iraq, was reported as having positive effects on the Iraqi economy.

Likewise, former Libyan Revolutionary leader Muammar Gaddafi’s plan to begin trading in what would have been a pan-African gold backed Dinar was exposed in declassified emails as being a source of anger for then US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who later masterminded the NATO war which illegally overthrow the Libyan government.

In 2011, the same year that the US and its allies invaded Libya, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the then Managing Director of the IMF was arrested in New York on assault charges. The charges were later dropped but not before he was forced from his powerful position at the IMF while simultaneously ruining his chances to become the President of France. Prior to his arrest he was a favourite to win the Presidency.

Strauss-Kahn’s flagship policy at the IMF was favouring something called Special drawing rights (SDRs), a trading value based on the aggregate value of 4 or 5 major currencies. If countries began using SDRs as a main trading vehicle rather than relying exclusively on the US Dollar, this could have greatly damaged the prestige and international value of the Dollar.

Why was Strauss-Khan arrested in a move which destroyed his pro-SDR career and then later fully exonerated of wrongdoing? The trend in relation to Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi speaks for itself.

Many link the US led wars against Iraq and Libya as being proximately related to the two resource rich states moving away from Dollar dependency.

Unlike Libya and Iraq, Russia and China are nuclear superpowers. Even if the US wanted to overthrow the governments in Moscow and Beijing, any attempts to do this would almost certainly lead to a nuclear world war.

The US has therefore boxed itself into a corner. By leaving Russia, China and their trading partners, including NATO member Turkey with no better option than to begin moving away from the Dollar, the US may well have cooked its own golden, or in this case, green goose”.

When it comes to Venezuela, the government has nothing to lose and much to gain by working with international partners to help create new means of trading oil and other energy futures contracts. The US has already imposed multiple sanctions which means that Venezuela’s only realistic option is to more or less fully ditch the Dollar. Furthermore, Russia and China’s robust defence of Venezuela against Washington’s’ threats of military action and further sanctions, put Caracas in a position of having a kind of geo-political insurance policy that Iraq did not have in 2003 and likewise, Libya did not have in 2011.

As Russia, like Venezuela and Iran are all under US sanctions, all countries would be able to more freely exercise their prerogative in international trade via creating a new means or multiple means of exchange. In Moscow today, Venezuela’s President has made it clear that this is the future he sees for his country and his partners, including Russia and China.

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Venezuelan Foreign Minister in NYC: ‘We must create a movement against imperialism!’


Editors note: The corporate media here has much to say about the government of Venezuela, almost all of it negative. Rarely are members of that government allowed their own voice. Here, Venezuela’s Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza speaks for himself.

Jorge Arreaza, Foreign Minister of Venezuela

On Sept. 21, a crowd gathered in New York City to hear Jorge Arreaza, Foreign Minister of Venezuela. Flanked by two huge portraits of Venezuelan leaders El Comandante Hugo Chávez and El Libertador Simón Bolívar, Jorge Arreaza began with the words, “We must create a movement against imperialism. Not against a single administration, but against imperialism itself.”

Arreaza reviewed the history of U.S. aggression against Venezuela. He spoke in support of immigrants here, and denounced Donald Trump’s recent comments at the UN as “genocidal.” The Venezuelan diplomat hailed the courage of the 8 million people in Venezuela who recently voted for the Constituent Assembly there despite right-wing threats.

The Venezuelan Foreign Minister was in town for the opening of the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly. He spoke at La Iglesia Santa Cruz/Holyrood Episcopal Church, a multinational bilingual church in Washington Heights, the heart of New York’s Dominican community. Other presentations included a song performed by Arelis Figueroa and an impassioned poem from Dominican National Poet Dagoberto Lopez-Coño. Berta Joubert-Ceci shared her experience on her recent return from Venezuela.

Arreaza was introduced by Father Luis Barrios, a long-time progressive and professor at John Jay College. “Venezuela represents the struggle of all people,” Barrios said. “It is essential for people within the United States to unite with people all over the world, including Venezuela.”

Barrios pointed to the “irony in the fact that the United States is targeting Venezuela on alleged human rights violations when inside the United States more than 80 million people are functionally illiterate,
where more than 90 million have no health coverage, where unemployment is built into the system, and where more than 2 million people languish within the mass incarceration system.”

Why Washington targeted Chávez

Father Luis Barrios

“In the aftermath of the attacks on the World Trade Center,” Arreaza said, “the United States began a brutal bombing campaign against Afghanistan.” Hugo Chávez, President of Venezuela at that time, “publicly denounced the invasions, and presented photographs of the aftermath of the U.S. bombing campaign on television. Because Chávez questioned imperialism,” Arreaza explained, “the State Department began attacking him and never stopped.”

“The U.S. embassy was involved in the coup attempt of 2002 where Chávez was kidnapped and his government replaced with oligarchs. But the coup leaders didn’t consider the most important factor — the Venezuelan people themselves.” Mass demonstrations supporting Chávez erupted in the streets. “The coup did not succeed. Forty-seven hours later and Chávez was restored to the presidency.”

The Venezuelan leader continued: “Two years later on February 29, 2004, amid daily attacks by the United States and Venezuela’s capitalist media, Chávez declared the Bolivarian Revolution to be anti-imperialist. This is the Mission of the Righteous.”

Chávez policies continued by Maduro

Arreaza emphasized the connection between Chávez, who died while in office in 2013, and the current President of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro. “Before a major operation abroad to treat his aggressive cancer, Chávez returned to Venezuela against the advice of his doctors to deliver a message to the Venezuelan people: ‘I am certain as the moon is full: you must support Nicolás Maduro.’”

“Maduro was Chávez’s personal driver, a working-class man, and he became the first Chavista to be openly elected. Vultures immediately surrounded Maduro upon his election, pressuring him to enact neoliberal reforms. Maduro chased them all out.”

“Since then, an economic war has been waged against Venezuela with the [currency] exchange rate set so wildly as to induce inflation. Despite all these obstacles, Maduro has not sacrificed an iota of social rights of the people.”

He commented on Donald Trump’s Sept. 20 speech before the UN General Assembly where the U.S. President singled out the governments of Iran, Syria and Venezuela for rebuke and threatened the “total destruction” of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea). Arreaza said, “Based on the charter of the United Nations, Trump should have been expelled from the UN for his genocidal remarks. If instead of the UN delegates, there had been a Congress of the People, the people would have refused to listen to such monstrosities and walked out.”

Immigrants ‘treated as criminals’ in U.S.

The Venezuelan Foreign Minister connected the struggle against imperialism in Venezuela to the struggle for immigrant rights in the United States. “To be an immigrant is not a crime, yet from the moment you arrive in the United States you are treated as a criminal. A recent bill before the U.S. Congress calls for stealing 7 percent of remittances from the people of Puerto Rico, Guatemala and Mexico, to pay for the criminal wall” that Trump has proposed between the U.S. and Mexico. Arreaza called this “shameless,” adding, “In Venezuela, we support people regardless of origin. In Bolivia and other countries, they are developing concepts of ‘global citizenship’ to extend to all humans.”

Arreaza explained that the migration of refugees into Europe shows another example of the inhumanity of the imperialists. “In Europe, the Mediterranean Sea can unite you with North Africa, or it can separate and divide. The Sea today has become a cemetery. Some countries would rather have the boats sink than take the refugees in — refugees, people, who are fleeing climate change and imperialism.”

‘If we are divided, we will be conquered’

He explained, “It’s not just important to defend Venezuela, we need organization and coordination of our program. We need to join our efforts to stop what is happening. The whole world is our motherland. If Venezuela were to fall, what will happen to the other countries in Latin America? In the world?”

“If we are divided, we will be conquered, so coordinating our struggle is important,” Arreaza said. “As Cuban revolutionary José Martí explained: ‘We have to do this today because it will only be more difficult tomorrow.’”

The imperialists, he said, “want to dictate [to] humanity, but this is a world of the people. We are ready. We must raise our voices on behalf of peace, against war, and on behalf of life for all countries subjected to unfair wars.”

Courage of the 8 million

Arreaza hailed the courage of the more than 8 million Venezuelans who recently turned out to vote for the Constituent Assembly. “They waited in line despite the threats from the far right opposition who were sponsored by the U.S. and who said that not even 6 million people would show up. The photos of the 8 million Venezuelans voting were never showed on CNN or FOX.”

The crowd at the church enthusiastically responded to Arreaza’s talk with chants of “Chávez presente, Maduro presidente,” “Viva el pueblo!,” and “Viva Venezuela!”

Father Barrios closed the evening with an affirmation: “That which shines by its own light, nobody can extinguish. To the people of the United States: we are in an essential role here in between the jaws of the monster. We have an obligation to Venezuela, to the people of the world.”

In reference to the recent natural disasters and a common struggle against imperialism, Barrios continued: “Haiti, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Venezuela: we will not leave you on your own. We are you.”

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Undermining Venezuela’s socialist government nothing new for Canada

 Image result for Venezuela CARTOON
By Yves Engler 

Alongside Washington and Venezuela’s elite, the Trudeau government is seeking to oust President Nicolás Maduro. While Ottawa’s campaign has recently grown, official Canada has long opposed the pro-poor, pro-working class Bolivarian Revolution, which has won 19 of 21 elections since 1998.

Following a similar move by the Trump Administration, Global Affairs Canada sanctioned 40 Venezuelans on Friday. In a move that probably violates the UN charter, the elected president, vice president and 38 other officials had their assets in Canada frozen and Canadians are barred from having financial relations with these individuals.

In recent months foreign minister Chrystia Freeland has repeatedly criticized Maduro’s government. She accused Caracas of “dictatorial intentions”, imprisoning political opponents and “robbing the Venezuelan people of their fundamental democratic rights”. Since taking office the Liberals have supported efforts to condemn the Maduro government at the Organization of American States (OAS) and promoted an international mediation designed to weaken Venezuela’s leftist government (all the while staying mum about Brazil’s imposed president who has a 5% approval rating and far worse human rights violations in Mexico).

Beyond these public interventions designed to stoke internal unrest, Ottawa has directly aided an often-unsavoury Venezuelan opposition. A specialist in social media and political transition, outgoing Canadian ambassador Ben Rowswell told the Ottawa Citizen in August: “We established quite a significant internet presence inside Venezuela, so that we could then engage tens of thousands of Venezuelan citizens in a conversation on human rights. We became one of the most vocal embassies in speaking out on human rights issues and encouraging Venezuelans to speak out.” (Can you imagine the hue and cry if a Russian ambassador said something similar about Canada?) Rowswell added that Canada would continue to support the domestic opposition after his departure from Caracas since “Freeland has Venezuela way at the top of her priority list.”

While not forthcoming with information about the groups they support in Venezuela, Ottawa has long funnelled money to the US-backed opposition. In 2010 the foremost researcher on U.S. funding to the opposition, Eva Golinger, claimed Canadian groups were playing a growing role in Venezuela and according to a 2010 report from Spanish NGO Fride, “Canada is the third most important provider of democracy assistance” to Venezuela after the US and Spain. In “The Revolution Will Not Be Destabilized: Ottawa’s democracy promoters target Venezuela” Anthony Fenton details Canadian funding to anti-government groups. Among other examples, he cites a $94,580 grant to opposition NGO Asociación Civil Consorcio Desarrollo y Justicia in 2007 and $22,000 to Súmate in 2005Súmate leader Maria Corina Machado, who Foreign Affairs invited to Ottawa in January 2005, backed the “Carmona Decree” during the 2002 coup against President Hugo Chavez, which dissolved the National Assembly and Supreme Court and suspended the elected government, Attorney General, Comptroller General, governors as well as mayors elected during Chavez’s administration. (Machado remains a leading figure in the opposition.)

Most Latin American leaders condemned the short-lived coup against Chavez, but Canadian diplomats were silent. It was particularly hypocritical of Ottawa to accept Chavez’s ouster since a year earlier, during the Summit of the Americas in Québec City, Jean Chrétien’s Liberals made a big show of the OAS’ new “democracy clause” that was supposed to commit the hemisphere to electoral democracy.

For its part, the Harper government repeatedly criticized Chavez. In April 2009 Prime Minister Stephen Harper responded to a question regarding Venezuela by saying, “I don’t take any of these rogue states lightly”. After meeting only with opposition figures during a trip to Venezuela the next year Peter Kent, minister of state for the Americas, said: “Democratic space within Venezuela has been shrinking and in this election year, Canada is very concerned about the rights of all Venezuelans to participate in the democratic process.”

The Bolivarian Revolution has faced a decade and a half of Liberal and Conservative hostility. While the NDP has sometimes challenged the government’s Venezuelan policy, the party’s current foreign critic has echoed Washington’s position. On at least two occasions Hélène Laverdière has demanded Ottawa do more to undermine the Maduro government. In a June 2016 press releaseLaverdière bemoaned “the erosion of democracy” and the need for Ottawa to “defend democracy in Venezuela” while in August the former Foreign Affairs employee told CBC “we would like to see the (Canadian) government be more active in … calling for the release of political prisoners, the holding of elections and respecting the National Assembly.” Conversely, Laverdière staid mum when Donald Trump threatened to invade Venezuela last month and she has yet to criticize the recently announced Canadian sanctions.

NDP members should be appalled at their foreign critic’s position. For Canadians more generally it’s time to challenge our government’s bid to undermine what has been an essentially democratic effort to empower Venezuela’s poor and working class.

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Is Venezuela About to Ditch the Dollar in Major Blow to US? Here’s Why It Matters

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said Thursday that Venezuela will be looking to “free” itself from the U.S. dollar next week, Reuters reports. According to the outlet, Maduro will look to use the weakest of two official foreign exchange regimes (essentially the way Venezuela will manage its currency in relation to other currencies and the foreign exchange market), along with a basket of currencies.

According to Reuters, Maduro was referring to Venezuela’s current official exchange rate, known as DICOM, in which the dollar can be exchanged for 3,345 bolivars. At the strongest official rate, one dollar buys only 10 bolivars, which may be one of the reasons why Maduro wants to opt for some of the weaker exchange rates.

“Venezuela is going to implement a new system of international payments and will create a basket of currencies to free us from the dollar,” Maduro said in a multi-hour address to a new legislative “superbody.” He reportedly did not provide details of this new proposal.

Maduro hinted that the South American country would look to using the yuan instead, among other currencies.

“If they pursue us with the dollar, we’ll use the Russian ruble, the yuan, yen, the Indian rupee, the euro,” Maduro also said.

Venezuela sits on the world’s largest oil reserves but has been undergoing a major crisis, with millions of people going hungry inside the country which has been plagued with rampant, increasing inflation. In that context, the recently established economic blockade by the Trump administration only adds to the suffering of ordinary Venezuelans rather than helping their plight.

According to Reuters, a thousand dollars’ worth of local currency obtained when Maduro came to power in 2013 is now be worth little over one dollar.

A theory advanced in William R. Clark’s book Petrodollar Warfare – and largely ignored by the mainstream media – essentially asserts that Washington-led interventions in the Middle East and beyond are fueled by the direct effect on the U.S. dollar that can result if oil-exporting countries opt to sell oil in alternative currencies. For example, in 2000, Iraq announced it would no longer use U.S. dollars to sell oil on the global market. It adopted the euro, instead.

By February 2003, the Guardian reported that Iraq had netted a “handsome profit” after making this policy change. Despite this, the U.S. invaded not long after and immediately switched the sale of oil back to the U.S. dollar.

In Libya, Muammar Gaddafi was punished for a similar proposal to create a unified African currency backed by gold, which would be used to buy and sell African oil. Though it sounds like a ludicrous reason to overthrow a sovereign government and plunge the country into a humanitarian crisis, Hillary Clinton’s leaked emails confirmed this was the main reason Gaddafi was overthrown. The French were especially concerned by Gaddafi’s proposal and, unsurprisingly, became one of the war’s main contributors. (It was a French Rafaele jet that struck Gaddafi’s motorcade, ultimately leading to his death).

Iran has been using alternative currencies like the yuan for some time now and shares a lucrative gas field with Qatar, which may ultimately be days away from doing the same. Both countries have been vilified on the international stage, particularly under the Trump administration.

Nuclear giants China and Russia have been slowly but surely abandoning the U.S. dollar, as well, and the U.S. establishment has a long history of painting these two countries as hostile adversaries.

Now Venezuela may ultimately join the bandwagon, all the while cozying up to Russia, as well (unsurprisingly, Venezuela and Iran were identified in William R. Clark’s book as attracting particular geostrategic tensions with the United States). The CIA’s admission that it intends to interfere inside Venezuela to exact a change of government — combined with Trump’s recent threat of military intervention in Venezuela and Vice President Mike Pence’s warning that the U.S. will not “stand by” and watch Venezuela deteriorate — all start to make a lot more sense when viewed through this geopolitical lens.

What initially sounded like a conspiracy theory seems to be a more plausible reality as countries that begin dropping the U.S. dollar and opting for alternative currencies continuously — and without exception — end up targeted for regime change.

If the U.S. steps up its involvement in Venezuela, the reasons why should be clear to those who have been paying attention.

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Large-scale Manoeuvres Encircling Venezuela


On 11 August 2017, the U.S. President, Donald Trump put on the table the option of taking military action against Venezuela. As Manlio Dinucci substantiates in this article, President Trump was not plucking words out of the air. The Mobility Guardian drill has just taken place in the United States, with the armies of 25 states participating and another 12 states observing. This was a repeat exercise for a prompt transport of forces of an enlarged Nato to the conflict zone.

The political media reflectors shine their spotlight on what is happening within Venezuela yet leave a shadow cast over what is happening around Venezuela. As the Pentagon has plotted out the world, Venezuela falls under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Southern Command (Southcom). This is one of U.S.A.’s six “unified fighter commands”. The US has sliced the world up into six and given a slice to each of these commands, as their domain of responsibility.

So Southcom’s slice means that it is responsible for the 31 countries and 16 territories that form Latin America and the Caribbean. To police this area, SouthCom has land, naval and air forces as well as a marine corps. It also has special forces and the following three specific task forces:

  • The Joint Task Force Bravo: stationed in the air base of Soto Cano, Honduras, it is organizing multilateral drills and other operations;
  • The Joint Task Force Guantanamo: stationed at the naval base bearing the same name in Cuba, this carries out “operations of detention and interrogation in the context of the war against terrorism”; and
  • The Joint Interagency Task Force South: stationed at Key West, Florida, the official task of which is to coordinate “anti-drug operations” across the whole region.

The ratcheting of SouthCom’s activity makes it clear to us that when President Trump declared on 11 August that “We have many options for Venezuela, including possibly a military option” – this was is no idle threat.

Last June, a special force of marines equipped with military helicopters was stationed in Honduras for regional operations meant to last for six months. Still under the remit of Southcom, the Tradewinds drill was carried out with forces from 20 countries of the Americas and the Caribbean participating. In July, a Unitas naval operation took place in Peru, with 18 countries participating; while Paraguay was the locus for the competition – a drill of special forces from 20 countries. From 25 July to 4 August, hundreds of officials from 20 countries have taken part in Panamax, a drill officially designed to “defend the Panama Canal”.

From 31 July to 12 August, at Joint Base Lewis–McChord (Washington), Mobility Guardian took place. This was the “biggest and most realistic drill for air mobility”. In it participated 3,000 men and 25 international partners, notably the Colombian and Brazilian air forces which were trained in day time and night time missions together with US, French and British air forces.

The “realistic scenario” involves a large-scale air operation to swiftly transport forces and arms to the zone of intervention. This is therefore proof of the military intervention in Venezuela, threatened by Trump.

The main base for this operation would be Venezuela’s neighbour, Colombia. The latter was hooked up to Nato in 2013 through a partnership agreement. “The Colombian military personnel – reports Nato – has taken part in a number of courses at the Nato academy in Oberammergau (Germany) and at the Nato Defense College at Rome, as well as participating in many high level military conferences”.

That a plan for military intervention in Venezuela in in place is confirmed by the Admiral Kurt Tidd, the Southcom Commander: at a Senate Hearing on 6 April 2017, he declared that the “escalating humanitarian crisis in Venezuela could require a regional response”.

To make good on the “military option” threatened by Trump, the same strategy actioned in Libya and Syria could be adopted, although the context would be somewhat different. What is envisaged is the infiltration of special forces and mercenaries who, with petrol, inflame Venezuela’s raw nerves, where social tensions have accumulated: an exercise to provoke armed confrontations. Then the government could be charged with massacring its own people which would open the door for “humanitarian intervention” by a coalition, with the U.S.A., the leader of the pack.

Translated from Italian to English by Anoosha Boralessa

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Asamblea Nacional Constituyente de Venezuela: poder popular vs. contrarrevolución


Delcy Rodríguez, presidenta de la Asamblea Nacional Constituyente (fila anterior, centro-izquierda) y otros miembros de la ANC durante su toma de posesión.

Mientras que la nueva Asamblea Nacional Constituyente procede a asumir poderes legislativos y a restaurar la estabilidad tras meses de violencia encabezada por la oposición, funcionarios de los EE.UU. están elevando el tono de sus amenazas en contra de Venezuela, incluyendo la posibilidad de una intervención militar.

El 10 de agosto Trump declaró la posibilidad de una “opción militar,” y tres días después en Colombia el vicepresidente Pence advirtió: “El Presidente Trump ha dejado muy claro que los EE.UU. no permitirá que Venezuela caiga en una dictadura.”

Con esta “dictadura,” se refiere a la campaña rápida y decisiva por parte del Presidente Nicolás Maduro, del Partido Socialista Unido de Venezuela y sus aliados, de movilizar a millones de personas a favor de una nueva constitución y un proceso radical para empujar la revolución bolivariana hacia adelante luego de meses de estanque.

Tras la elección el pasado 30 de julio de 545 miembros progresistas para la formación de una nueva Asamblea Nacional Constituyente, en un voto popular en el que participaron 8 millones de votantes, Maduro y las fuerzas revolucionaras han estado actuando decisivamente para romper el atolladero de 3 años generado por la Asamblea Nacional, encabezada por la derecha.

Funcionarios estadounidenses condenaron el proceso de la ANC como “dictatorial.”

Sin embargo, la Constitución de 1999, la primera constitución aprobada mediante un referendo en la historia de Venezuela, especifica con detalle la convocatoria de una Asamblea Constituyente. En el artículo 348:

“La iniciativa de convocatoria a la Asamblea Nacional Constituyente podrá hacerla el Presidente o Presidenta de la República en Consejo de Ministros; la Asamblea Nacional, mediante acuerdo de la dos terceras partes de sus integrantes; los Consejos Municipales en cabildos, mediante el voto de las dos terceras partes de los mismos; y el quince por ciento de los electores inscritos y electoras en el Registro Civil y Electoral.”

Un paso hacia adelante para la revolución

Después del Primero de Mayo, en vísperas de la elección del 30 de Julio, hubieron campañas a lo largo del país y 6,120 candidatos fueron nominados para la ANC. De esta cifra, 545 fueron elegidos para formar parte de la ANC.

Dos días después, Trump acusó a Maduro de “dictador” y sancionó a unos 20 líderes Venezolanos, incluyendo al presidente.

Los partidos de oposición boicotearon la elección de la ANC, rehusandose a postular candidatos, dejando al nuevo cuerpo legislativo casi por completo en manos de progresistas quienes apoyan a Maduro y a la revolución bolivariana: trabajadores, jóvenes, personas indígenas, y organizaciones de base.

La ANC posee amplios poderes, los cuales le permiten proponer enmiendas a la constitución, sujetas a un referendo, y de supervisar otras operaciones gubernamentales, incluyendo funciones legislativas.

El Viernes 18 de Agosto, la Asamblea Nacional (AN) nuevamente rechazó la invitación de la ANC a delegados de la AN para reunirse en una sesión conjunta de coordinación.

Delcy Rodríguez, presidenta de la ANC, aseguró que la AN no se ha disuelto, pero que debe trabajar conjuntamente con la ANC.

Pero con el rechazo por parte de la AN, la ANC emitió un decreto de “legislar sobre las materias dirigidas directamente a garantizar la preservación de la paz, la seguridad, la soberanía, el sistema socieconómico y financiero, los fines del Estado y la preeminencia de los derechos de los venezolanos.”

Diosdado Cabello, líder dentro del PSUV y delegado de la ANC dijo que en el 2015 el presidente de la AN Henry Ramos Allup alegó que “Maduro cae en 6 meses.” Cabello prosiguió: “[la Asamblea Nacional] no fue electa para dar un golpe de Estado, ellos fueron elegidos para legislar y brindarle a través de las leyes protección al pueblo venezolano.”

La ANC ha emprendido nuevas acciones en agosto.

Una Comisión para la Verdad, la Justicia, la Paz y la Tranquilidad Pública ha sido establecida por la ANC para asegurar justicia para las víctimas de la última ola de violencia terrorista librada en las calles que ha dejado a más de 125 muertos, amenazando la estabilidad del país. La comisión también anunció que aquellos que hubieran sido procesados bajo juicio militar debido a la intransigencia del antiguo Procurador General contrarrevolucionario ahora serán procesados en tribunales civiles.

La ANC también ha anunciado que las elecciones para gobernadores serán adelantadas de diciembre a octubre este año, acortando el plazo para darle menos tiempo a la oposición para sabotear el proceso electoral.

Se quiebra la oposición

Los partidos políticos de la contrarrevolución que constituyen la Mesa de la Unidad Democrática (MUD), se encuentran divididos en cuanto a qué postura tomar hacia las elecciones regionales, convocadas para octubre.

El partido de extrema derecha Vente Venezuela, encabezado por María Corina Machado, anunció su separación de MUD esta semana, al igual que su intención de boicotear las elecciones y de realizar un llamamiento a la acción directa para derrocar al presidente Maduro.

Machado condenó a otras figuras de la oposición como Ramos Allup y a los partidos Cuentas Claras y Progreso por acceder a postular candidatos a gobernador.

El fundamento de la decisión de Maduro

Desde diciembre del 2015, con su victoria electoral, la AN dominada por la oposición ha intentado ejercer su poder legislativo para desmantelar leyes progresistas aprobadas durante los años de la presidencia del líder revolucionario Hugo Chávez y de Nicolás Maduro.

Mientras tanto, la crisis económica se ha profundizado debido a una inflación por las nubes y precios de petróleo deprimidos, sumado a una guerra económica librada por importadores monopolistas y corporaciones y gobierno estadounidenses. La crisis ha conducido a la escasez de alimentos y de otras necesidades básicas, y a un descontento generalizado. Esto es parte de lo que motivó la impactante victoria de la derecha en la AN.

Con la legislatura en desacato, con muchos de sus líderes apoyando una contrarrevolución abierta, el imperialismo de EE.UU. trabajó intensamente este año para montar varias sesiones plenarias de la OEA con el motivo de aislar a Venezuela. Estos intentos por parte de EE.UU. fracasaron por falta de una mayoría de dos tercios. Mientras tanto, los medios en EE.UU. han lanzado una cobertura ardiente, presentando a Venezuela como un Estado malogrado.

Para restaurar la gobernabilidad del país y para apaciguar la violencia, Maduro ejercitó el mecanismo constitucional de la Asamblea Constituyente.

En este momento crítico, algunos activistas de izquierda en los EE.UU. se han unido a la condena burgués del presidente Maduro y de la Asamblea Constituyente, advirtiendo de una “”pérdida de democracia” y el despliegue de una “dictadura.”

Esta capitulación ignora el hecho de que en este momento sólo hay dos opciones para Venezuela.

Revolución o contrarrevolución

Lo que enfrenta el país es por un lado la guerra económica y política continua por parte de la clase capitalista de Venezuela, fuertemente apoyada por el imperialismo estadounidense, la cual conduciría a una desestabilización irreversible y golpe de estado de derecha, y/o intervención militar estadounidense. Cualquiera de las dos conduciría al desmantelamiento de programas sociales vitales que han ayudado a millones de pobres en Venezuela, al igual que de las instituciones de poder popular que le han otorgado a los trabajadores y a la gente oprimida por primera vez una voz para decidir su propio futuro.

La otra opción para los revolucionarios venezolanos es luchar para acabar con el estanque que hasta ahora le ha permitido a la derecha crecer.

Cada acción por parte de la Asamblea Nacional de carácter contrarrevolucionario en sus 20 meses de existencia ha sido para desmantelar leyes progresistas, ya sea para intentar privatizar las grandes reservas de petróleo de Venezuela, o para intentar utilizar la trampa de otorgar derechos de “propietario de vivienda” a las 1.3 millones de casas construidas gratuitamente con la intención de destruir el carácter socialista del programa de viviendas bolivariano, o para intentar expulsar unos 13,000 médicos cubanos con fin de eliminar la atención médica gratuita de la que millones de venezolanos han disfrutado.

Estos serían apenas sus primeros pasos. Los conspiradores de derecha en la AN son los mismos que ayudaron a organizar el golpe de estado fascista del 2002 que derrocó de manera temporal al presidente Hugo Chávez. Lejos de defender los derechos democráticos de los venezolanos, tomaron acción en un plazo de horas para abolir el Parlamento y la constitución de 1999 y declararon ley marcial.

Fue sólo gracias a la movilización masiva del pueblo y la del ejército leal a Chávez que lucharon y fueron capaces de restaurarlo en el poder, lo que permitió la supervivencia de la revolución bolivariana.

El resultado de la lucha actual impactará a América Latina y más allá. Es más importante que nunca que toda la gente revolucionaria y progresista se solidarice con el presidente Maduro, con el PSUV y con la revolución bolivariana en contra del imperialismo y de reaccionarios domésticos.

En una movilización masiva de miles luego de las amenazas de Trump, Maduro afirmó desafiantemente: “A este pueblo mestizo no lo intimida ni lo derrota nadie. Este pueblo está decidido a enfrentar a los extremistas, supremacistas y racistas de los Estados Unidos; y derrotarlos con el coraje, valentía, y fuerza que nos hace ser orgullosos de ser venezolanos.”

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Venezuela: “Regime Change” and Washington’s Battle Against Multipolarity


The battle between the established unipolar “international order” dominated by Wall Street, Washington, and London and an emerging multipolar order appears fixated on Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and across the entirety of Asia. However, it extends to virtually every corner of the globe, from competition in the Arctic to politically-motivated controversies in Earth orbit

The South American nation of Venezuela also seems far-removed from this ongoing competition engulfing the world’s hot spots in the Middle East, Central and Asia, but the fate of this besieged nation is directly linked to the that of the rest of the world, either contributing to an emerging multipolar world order, or providing sanctuary and legitimacy to the established unipolar order currently dominated by Wall Street, Washington, and London.

The nation has been the target of US-backed subversion for decades. The latest iteration of American interference began with the rise of Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez and a failed US-backed coup in 2002 organized to oust him and place a US-controlled client regime in power.

Venezuela’s “Opposition” are US-Backed Agitators  

Many of those involved in the failed 2002 coup are now leading US-backed protesters in the streets in a bid to overthrow the government of President Nicolás Maduro, who succeeded Chavez after his death in 2013.

The opposition includes former presidential contender, Henrique Capriles Radonski, who heads Primero Justicia (Justice First) which was co-founded by Leopoldo Lopez and Julio Borges, who like Radonski, have been backed for nearly a decade by the US State Department.

Primero Justicia and the network of foreign-funded NGOs that support it have been recipients of both direct and indirect foreign support for at least just as long.

All three co-founders are US educated – Radonski having attended New York’s Columbia University (Spanish), Julio Borges attending Boston College and Oxford, and Leopoldo Lopez who attended the Harvard Kennedy School of Government (KSG), of which he is considered an alumni of.

The Harvard Kennedy School, which hosts the notorious Belfer Center, includes the following faculty and alumni of Lopez, co-founder of the current US-backed opposition in Venezuela:

John P. Holdren, Samantha Power, Lawrence Summers, Robert Zoellick, (all as faculty), as well as Ban Ki-Moon (’84), Paul Volcker (’51), Robert Kagan (’91), Bill O’Reilly (’96), Klaus Schwab (’67), and literally hundreds of senators, ambassadors, and administrators of Wall Street and London’s current global spanning international order. 

Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government (KSG) is one of several universities that form the foundation of both creating corporate-financier driven international policy, as well as cultivating legions of administrators to execute it. This includes creating cadres of individuals to constitute Wall Street and Washington’s client regimes around the world.

Venezuela’s Problem, Like Other Targeted States, is US Sedition, not “Socialism” 

It is true that Venezuela is deemed a “socialist” nation, and its policy of heavily centralizing the economy has not only failed to alleviate the many longstanding socioeconomic conflicts inflicting Venezuelan society, but has also created an ample vector for Wall Street and Washington’s meddling.

By placing all of Venezuela’s proverbial “eggs” in one centralized “basket,” the United States – through the use of various well-honed geopolitical and socioeconomic tools – has managed to knock that “basket” from the government in Caracas’ hands and is now using its well-funded and organized opposition to crush whatever “eggs” survived the fall.

Unfortunately for Venezuela, the Western political landscape is so deeply rooted in blind, poorly developed political ideology, practical geopolitical and geostrategic analysis has been overlooked across both traditional and alternative media platforms, and instead, many – including opponents of US-backed regime change worldwide – have found themselves cheering on what they believe is the self-inflicted collapse of the socialist Venezuelan government at the hands of “free market” protesters.

In reality, they are cheering on yet another episode of US-backed regime change, wrapped in a protective layer of ideological, political, and economic rhetoric to justify otherwise unjustifiable, extraterritorial meddling, interference, chaos, division, and destruction.

Venezuela’s Place Within the Unipolar-Multipolar World 

Depending on the ultimate fate of the Venezuelan government, the success of US-backed proxies, and the ability of Venezuela to reconstruct itself after decades of foreign-backed subversion, Venezuela can either enhance or set back the emerging multipolar world order.

Regardless of Venezuela’s fate if and when the government in Caracas is toppled, the US-led unipolar international order will benefit. The elimination of competition, even at the cost of creating a center of regional destabilization is considered favorable versus allowing a bastion of alternative socioeconomic and geopolitical power to persist. And in many ways, the creation of a regional center of destabilization may help the US create “synergies” between the chaos it is fostering in Venezuela and in neighboring South and Central American nations the US has likewise targeted for geopolitical coercion and/or regime change.

For Russia, China, other nations of BRICS, and even emerging economies across Southeast Asia and Central Asia, the loss of Venezuela as a means of counterbalance to US hegemony both in the region of the Americas and globally will allow the US to concentrate more resources toward remaining alternative centers of geopolitical and economic power it seeks to target.

This – not the nature of Venezuela’s “socialist” government – is the focus of US efforts and is what defines the consequences of either US success or failure regarding regime change in Caracas.

Any government, socialist or otherwise, operating outside of Wall Street, Washington, and London’s sphere of influence is a target. Competition, not ideology defines and drives Western foreign policy – and for those who oppose this policy – it must be practical geopolitical and geostrategic analysis that defines conclusions and courses of action – not the ideological debates the US itself is using as a pretext and as rhetorical cover to justify its latest regime-change project.

Venezuela may be geographically far removed from the focal point of the great unipolar-multipolar struggle, but understanding how it fits into conflicts raging in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and across Asia illustrates just how encompassing the “international order’s” reach and ambitions really are – and how deadly dangerous they are to global peace, security, and stability.

Posted in VenezuelaComments Off on Venezuela: “Regime Change” and Washington’s Battle Against Multipolarity

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