Democrats and liberal media outlets fell in behind the President to support intervention in Venezuela; starting publicly with sanctions and headlines announcing that socialism is threatening democracy there. Ominously, the US is accusing Maduro’s government of organizing an election to an assembly to consider amending the Venezuelan constitution. Why, Washington and its loyal supporters ask, should Venezuelans make decisions about their form of government?
In 2009, a US-supported military coup in Honduras removed the elected president, Manuel Zelaya, and established the dictatorship that a murdered Berta Caceres, the renowned Honduran environmental activist and indigenous leader. Zelaya’s crime? Organizing a referendum about holding an assembly to consider amending the constitution!
Washington issued sanctions on July 31 against Nicolas Maduro, the elected President of Venezuela, calling him a “dictator.” Trump praised the “strong, courageous actions” of the Venezuelan right-wing opposition, led by participants in the 2002 coup against President Hugo Chavez. One of these was Leopoldo Lopez, a top and wealthy opposition leader, who played a key role in kidnapping the Minister of the Interior. According to the Guardian, officials in the Bush administration had sanctioned that coup, demanding also that Latin American countries support the coup government. A massive mobilization of Venezuelans overturned the coup, restoring Chavez to power.
In their haste to support the US president, and despite his challenged temperament and corrupt ties, Democrats publicly endorse this intervention in Venezuelan affairs. The mainstream media fall right in line, with anti-Maduro editorials posing as news stories. Not reported is the failure of the US to obtain the support of the Organization of American States for its agenda of interference in Venezuela, or even to condemn the Maduro government. Ecuador and Bolivia in particular have defended the sovereignty of their neighbor.
Constituent Assembly elections July 30 chose 545 members from about 6,000 candidates. The right-wing opposition, representing the very rich, boycotted the vote. Irish and Philippines delegates have describe the voting as convincing, fair, and transparent. The Constituent Assembly has elected its leaders and has begun deliberations.
US media are now announcing the rise of a socialist dictatorship in Venezuela. Maduro’s party, the United Socialist Party of Venezuela, faces a capitalist crisis that includes food shortages for the poor. As Venezuela’s problems deepen, we will explore the policies of the Maduro government. The context is imperialist economic domination of the world, U.S. military dominance, and a 40% plummet in world oil prices, in about four years, that has devastated oil-exporting Venezuela.
As socialists in the US, our main responsibilities are to push back against Washington’s intervention. We should expose Democratic, Republican, and big-media lies that encourage by Trump’s threats against the people of Venezuela.