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Venezuela is now super-charged with struggle for democracy as propertied interests and imperialism are mounting a campaign against the Venezuelan people’s initiative to determine their political arrangement.

Now, there is a news report by the mainstream media (MSM) that bombs are being prepared by a group of protesters in their struggle for “democracy”. The group is also planning to begin guerrilla war in the country.

Another MSM news report said: Hints have been expressed that the CIA is working for regime change in Venezuela.

Imposing US sanction against 13 Venezuelan state leaders, rejection of the US sanction by the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA), and forcing a two-day national strike by the Venezuelan opposition political camp are a few of many news, which speak the prevailing situation in the country. More penalties on Venezuela have been threatened by the US if the country moves forward with its planned Constituent Assembly.

Two camps – of people and of the classes opposed to people’s interest – are now engaged in an intense fight in this phase for democracy in Venezuela. The following headlines from the MSM, picked randomly from many, tell intensity of the struggle: “Venezuela crisis enters pivotal week, Maduro foes protest”, “‘They All Deserve to Die’: Caracas Militants Vow to Take Up Arms”, “[…] chaos envelops Venezuela […]”, “Venezuela opposition seeks 48-hour general strike over Maduro’s plan to rewrite constitution”, and “As Venezuela faces critical week, Colombia prepares for a wave of migrants”.

A few MSM-news-reports with slanted style of writing and sarcastic tone also reflect the hostility-charged situation prevailing in the country:

“Cash-strapped Venezuela is tapping U.S. and European air passengers to help pay its debts, even as airlines cut routes to the country.”

How the country is “tapping” the passengers? The answer is also in the news:

“Exports of jet fuel to the U.S. and Europe more than doubled in April from March […]”.

The style of presentation of the news makes the following impression:

Venezuela is “cheating or manipulating” airlines passengers, and “pressing or alluring” countries to buy its fuel as if there’s no rule of much “glorified” market and the “child-like” countries are getting allured to the tantalizing Venezuelan fuel.

Another news-report said:

Venezuela’s opposition is planning for “a final week-long push to force” Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro “into aborting a controversial congress.”

Amidst this torrent of news reports by the MSM, two reports reveal a few burning facts: violence and terror being perpetuated by the opposition’s “democracy”-movement, and a plan for regime change in Venezuela.

Bombs & Guns

A July 24, 2017 datelined Bloomberg report (“They All Deserve to Die’: Caracas Militants Vow to Take Up Arms”, https://www.bloomberg.com/amp/news/articles/2017-07-24/-they-all-deserve-to-die-caracas-militants-vow-to-take-up-arms) by Noris Soto shows the face of the force bent on bringing in “democracy” in Venezuela. The report describes the following scene:

“It was quiet in the dank basement in northwest Caracas, where dozens of young men and women sat on the floor and assembled their weapons. They poured asphalt, gasoline and paint into beer and pop bottles, tying knots in strips of fabric to fashion wicks.”

The “democracy”-fighters’ activities are described in the report:

“The call to arms coming from some in the resistance may be the initial stirrings of the kind of urban guerrilla movement the country hasn’t seen in half a century. […] Masked activists hurl their homemade bombs, rocks, jars filled with feces, anything they can get their hands on. They’ve stormed office buildings, shattered store windows and blocked roads.”

According to the report, one of the “protesters” said: “We are willing to go out with guns, to face them as equals”.

One of the “democracy”-fighters described himself “as an anti-Maduro fighter from a middle-class family.” He said: “If they shoot us with firearms? We have to shoot them, too.”

The report described preparatory activity by one of the bomb makers: “dripping petrol into a jar”.

The reality, thus, appears is of an organized use of armed violence, which utilizes bombs and guns for furthering a program. The report, at the same time, produces a number of questions:

  1. How the weapons are financed: source, modus operandi, network, etc.?
  2. How planning for the violent activities is done: appreciation of situation, watching opponent, deployment of the “fighters”, targeting enemy, etc.?
  3. How organizational work of the “democracy fighting” is organized: recruitment, motivating work, training, coordination, liaison, command, etc.?
  4. Are these isolated/stray expressions of anguish or part of a greater design: orphan moves or a colossal move having a beastly head and a serpentine tail?

Anyone – a politician, a school teacher, a petty trader, peasant, a laborer, a homemaker or a person from some other profession – can answer the questions as nothing – a picnic, a class room, a petty trading, a political move, a battle, cultivating a small piece of land or running a home – is possible without planning, finance, organization, etc.

So, how the activities reported by the MSM – getting organized for bomb making – are being organized, what’s the motive, etc. are not insignificant questions. Rather, the questions help identify political forces – internal and external – active in today’s Venezuela.

Regime change

A July 25, 2017 datelined news report in The Independent (UK) helps perceive political situation and its possible flight in Venezuela. The “CIA chief hints agency is working to change Venezuelan government”, (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/cia-venezuela-crisis-government-mike-pompeo-helping-install-new-remarks-a7859771.html) headlined report by Andrew Buncombe said:

“The head of the CIA has suggested the agency is working to change the elected government of Venezuela and is collaborating with two countries in the region to do so.

“In one of the clearest clues yet about Washington’s latest meddling in the politics of Latin America, CIA director Mike Pompeo said he was ‘hopeful that there can be a transition in Venezuela and we the CIA is doing its best to understand the dynamic there’.

“He added: ‘I was just down in Mexico City and in Bogota a week before last talking about this very issue, trying to help them understand the things they might do so that they can get a better outcome for their part of the world and our part of the world.’

“Mr Pompeo’s comments, delivered during a Q&A session at a security forum organised by the Aspen Institute think tank, have sparked outcry among supporters of Venezuela’s government. President Nicolas Maduro, who was elected in 2013, has denounced Mr Pompeo’s remarks and hit out at the governments of Mexico and Colombia.”

The Independent-report said:

“The question to Mr. Pompeo was asked last week by businesswoman Vanessa Neumann, who said she had dual US and Venezuelan citizenship, and who said ‘regime change looks to be – we hope – imminent or spiralling down’.

“She added: ‘I’m interested in your open assessment on American interests in or threats from Venezuela and which of course has Russian, Iranian, etcetera, interests, and for the region.’

“He responded: ‘I am always careful when we talk about South and Central America and the CIA, there’s a lot of stories.

“‘So I want to be careful with what I say but suffice to say, we are very hopeful that there can be a transition in Venezuela and we the CIA is doing its best to understand the dynamic there, so that we can communicate to our State Department and to others.’

“The CIA did not immediately respond to queries.

“A State Department spokesperson declined to say if the US was seeking to change the government of Venezuela. [….]”

After the revelation, Maduro said in a televised interview: “The director of the CIA has said ‘The CIA and the US government work in direct collaboration with the Mexican government and the Colombian government to overthrow the constitutional government in Venezuela and to intervene in our beloved Venezuela.’ I demand the government of Mexico and the government of Colombia to properly clarify the declarations from the CIA and I will make political and diplomatic decisions accordingly before this audacity.” (teleSUR, “Maduro Blasts CIA Plot, Demands Response from Colombia, Mexico”, July 24, 2017, http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Maduro-Blasts-CIA-Plot-Demands-Response-from-Colombia-Mexico–20170724-0031.html)

However, Mexico joined Colombia and the US in rejecting assertions made by Maduro although Mr. Kevin Sullivan, the US’ OAS interim representative, asserted on July 26, 2017: “[W]e […] cannot stand by as human rights are trampled […].” (McClatchy, “Bolivia charges Latin American organization with conspiring against Venezuela”, July 26, 2017, http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/nation-world/world/article163801528.html#storylink=cpy) Doesn’t report by the MSM tell: who attacks who with weapons? Is manufacturing petrol bombs a human right? And, is the claim – “human rights are trampled” – sounds an old “argument”, or pretext, forwarded prior to intervene other countries?

The UK-press report cited US’ long history of interfering with democratically elected governments in Latin America. In Venezuela, the report said, US have sought to weaken the elected governments of both Maduro and his predecessor Hugo Chavez. The activities included “distributing funds to opposition groups through organisations such as the National Endowment for Democracy while some has been in the form of simple propaganda.”

Despite the claim of innocence by a group of states, and taking the posture of a sentinel of human rights by a state, the report by The Independent presents the following fact:

Change regime in Venezuela, and for that purpose, intervene.

Phases and types/modus operandi of, and “arguments” presented for intervention are well known to today’s politically aware audience of the MSM. The “arguments” range from R2P (right to protect) to restoring “democracy” to securing “national security” while types/modus operandi include engaging “democracy-crusaders”, sabotaging of political process and economic activities, fabricating political crisis, inciting violent disturbance, employing proxy warriors/mercenaries, deploying members of special units from armed forces, and military aggression. A well-orchestrated propaganda is carried on for a longer period preceding interference, which helps create argument for interference. Many of these are visible in Venezuela. [Many other countries are also experiencing these.]

An appendix

Along with these activities, there’s now a new appendix:

Luis Moreno Ocampo, a former International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor, has been appointed by the secretary-general of the Organization of American States (OAS) to investigate “crimes against humanity in Venezuela and to develop suggested OAS action to address the situation”.  Ocampo, a former World Bank consultant, once headed the ICC during investigations in Libya and Syria. The Argentine lawyer once pursued the prosecution of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad. His charging Muammar Gaddafi, the murdered Libyan leader, with alleged crimes against humanity was followed by armed intervention led by the imperialists for “regime change” in Libya, which, ultimately, devastated the country and people’s life there. The controversial prosecutor once advised Israel on tact to avoid international legal charges for their expansion of illegal settlements.

Caracas has repeatedly accused the OAS of promoting intervention and destabilization in Venezuela.

The revelations raise questions:

  1. Are bombs, guns and gasoline required for and accepted in peaceful protests for democracy?
  2. How shall imperialist state react if the same “tools” are used by a group in the name of democracy in the state? [One should recall legal arguments forwarded for demolishing Occupy encampments in US cities. At least one Occupy encampment in a city was demolished by citing a legal/municipal requirement, which prohibits “use of open stove in public place” for safety reasons, and the stay-in Occupy protesters had no other option other than using stove for cooking their food. One can also recall that protest marchers, even if they are thousands in number, are to march through footpath, not through main street in some US cities as, it’s argued, a march through main street hinders traffic/civil life. There are many similar instances.]
  3. How should users of bombs, etc. in so-called protest marches be identified? Aren’t such bombers identified as terrorists?
  4. Shall any imperialist state accept activities, covert or/and overt, for regime change by another state in respective country? Shall any citizen of any imperialist country accept the move? Shall not they say: “Let’s allow to determine our future without threat, coercion and force”?
  5. And, isn’t a duty of aware citizens around the world to oppose all forms of violence and imperialist interference and moves for regime change in the name of restoring democracy?

 

Protest, rally, march

Cuba, among other countries, has taken stand on the issue of interference in Venezuela. Jose Ramon Machado Ventura, Second Secretary of the Cuban Communist Party, said: “Cuba roundly rejects such insinuations and demands absolute respect for the sovereignty and self-determination” of Venezuela. In his words: “Those who from the outside try to give lessons on democracy and human rights while encouraging coup-mongering violence and terrorism should take their hands off that nation.” Machado Ventura said: It is up to the Venezuelan people and Maduro’s government to overcome their challenges “without foreign meddling in their internal affairs”.

Bolivia has charged the OAS with conspiring against Venezuela. Bolivia in the OAS permanent council meeting on July 26, 2017 accused Luis Almagro, the secretary general of the OAS of conspiring with the US against Venezuela. “Almagro is an official at the service of the interventionist policies of the United States,” said Diego Pary, Bolivia’s representative to the OAS. “All of us present here in this room, we have been witness to how the secretary general has been called and instructed regarding the interventionist plan in Venezuela”, said Pary in the meeting in Washington. (McClatchy, op. cit.)

David Choquehuanca, secretary general of ALBA, has also voiced the same. Choquehuanca said renewed US sanctions on Venezuela are unacceptable and that countries in the region should condemn such behavior. While talking to journalists in Madrid, Choquehuanca said: We are all sovereign people and authorities have the obligation not to accept such declarations. There are two paths in Venezuela at the moment. One road goes through dialogue, as proposed by the National Constituent Assembly while the other is of violence having no proposal. “We should not allow any intervention, no matter where it comes from”, said the ALBA leader.

In this perspective, now is the time, as the exposed incidents tell, to express solidarity with the Venezuelan people by raising voices against imperialist intervention, by marching together against imperialist design to impose its wills on a sovereign people.

Farooque Chowdhury, writing from Dhaka, has not authored/edited any book in English other than Micro Credit, Myth Manufactured (ed.), The Age of Crisis and What Next, The Great Financial Crisis (ed.), and he doesn’t operate any blog/web site.

 

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2 Comments

  1. Sally Dugman says:

    Farooque, you write: The UK-press report cited US’ long history of interfering with democratically elected governments in Latin America. In Venezuela, the report said, US have sought to weaken the elected governments of both Maduro and his predecessor Hugo Chavez. The activities included “distributing funds to opposition groups through organisations such as the National Endowment for Democracy while some has been in the form of simple propaganda.”

    As a US citizen, I resoundingly reject my country meddling in the affairs of other ones unless to offer aid and other benefits. The fact that my tax dollar is used to fund wrongful interventions while we have a $20 trillion USD federal debt is deplorable to me.

  2. K SHESHU BABU says:

    The US oil corporates are playing a major role in venezuelan politics. The oil deposits in the country are major cause of chaos. The common people are suffering due to capitalists of venezuela conniving with US industrialists to plunder the rich natural resources