Every now and then, I come across an article that just makes my blood boil and I have to dispel it. This is one of those nows, or thens.
"One of the defining features of the Trump years has been the collapse of bipartisan consensus on foreign policy. There is at least one notable exception, however: support for a democratic transition in Venezuela."
1. The bipartisan consensus on empire didn't go anywhere. Democrats and Republicans have routinely voted to intervene in Venezuela, Nicaragua, Syria, Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq, Hong Kong and is Belarus next?
2. Democratic transition is code for "destroy the Chavismo movement and the social gains made for the working class of Venezuela and reimpose neoliberalism and privatize everything and anything that western capitalists can make a profit from privatizing.
When Juan Guaido, the leader of Venezuela’s national assembly and the man recognized by the U.S. and more than 60 other nations as the country’s interim president, attended the State of the Union address in Washington this year, he received a standing ovation from Democrats and Republicans. The next day, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi saluted his courage. “We believe the plight of the people of Venezuela is a challenge to the conscience of the world,” she said.
1. Gross Nancy, gross.
2. 75% of countries (148 countries vs. 48 countries) acknowledge Maduro as the true president.
3. Guaido studied public administration in George Washington University and The Instituto de Estudios Superiores de Administración, a private non-profit Venezuelan business school who is responsible for installing horrid neoliberal economic policies before Chavez took power.
Democratic support for President Donald Trump’s initial 2019 Venezuela policy — support for Guaido and sanctions against President Nicolas Maduro — is particularly important now. In December, Venezuela is scheduled to hold a rigged election for the legislature that Guaido now leads. If Joe Biden wins the U.S. election in November, he will have to decide how best to respond to what happens in Venezuela a month later. Early signs are that he will do the right thing. Biden was the first Democratic presidential candidate in 2019 to support Guaido as interim president, tweeting three weeks after Guaido was recognized by Trump: “It is time for Maduro to step aside and allow a democratic transition.”
1. Elections in Venezuela are already probably the most heavily monitored in the world. Successive reports from hostile sources such as the European Union and the Carter Center have strongly praised the election system (MacLeod, 2018: 60-1). Indeed, President Jimmy Carter (2012) stated that the Venezuelan elections were ‘the best in the world’. The 2018 elections in Venezuela were of note because they took place under a fractured US-supported opposition, with some boycotting the proceedings. The US also demanded opposition presidential candidate Henri Falcon stand down, in an attempt to delegitimize the vote before it started. However, the vote took place in complete normalcy and under the auspices of senior election officials from around the world, who testified to the election’s validity. The Latin American Council of Electoral Experts (CEELA), consisting of senior election co-ordinators, most from countries openly hostile to Venezuela, praised the ‘high level of security and efficiency’, noting that the vote reflected ‘the will of its citizens, freely expressed in the ballot box’ (CEELA, 2018). The African mission’s preliminary report characterized the election as a ‘fair, free, and transparent expression of the human right to vote and participate in the electoral process’, endorsing the proceedings’ ‘comprehensive guarantees, audits, the high-tech nature of the electoral process’ (Venezuelanalysis, 2018). Indeed, the strongest criticism the international election teams’ reports had was that some polling stations were not on the ground floor, meaning some voters had trouble accessing them. In comparison, the Colombian election, which pitted the conservative Ivan Duque against the leftist Gustavo Petro, took place under a heightened state of terror, with Petro narrowly surviving an assassination attempt, while many of his supporters were not as lucky. The incumbent conservative party under President Alvaro Uribe had overseen a massacre of over 10,000 civilians (Parkin, 2018). Colombia is also the most dangerous place to be a human rights defender or trade unionist, as many more unionists are killed inside Colombia than in the rest of the world combined (Human Rights Watch, 2008). This is partially because the military and paramilitaries have been trained by the US to see agitating for better wages as a communist conspiracy to destroy the country and to respond with a clenched fist. The paramilitaries – right-wing death squads linked to the government – issued generalized death threats to those who tried to vote for Petro. There was widespread vote-buying, with American observers, such as Daniel Kovalik, mistaken for voters and offered money to vote. There were over 1,000 official electoral fraud complaints (Kovalik, 2018).
Biden has been careful to say he does not support “regime change” for Venezuela, the phrase used to describe the George W. Bush administration’s approach to Iraq. But he has come close to endorsing the concept in substance. As he told the Americas Quarterly in March, Maduro “is a dictator, plain and simple, but the overriding goal in Venezuela must be to press for a democratic outcome through free and fair elections, and to help the Venezuelan people rebuild their country.”
I mean, this speaks for itself. The government of Venezuela was democratically elected. The US wants to overthrow it because Venezuela has the largest oil reserves on earth and it's Bolivarian socialism is providing quite the example and inspiration for the rest of the South American continent, as is always the case with popular governments that aren't letting Washington extract their country's resources and labor for super profits. The cold warrior domino theory comes into play and the threat of a good example has to be eliminated, lest it spreads.
As Noam Chomsky more eloquently said:US planners from Secretary of State Dean Acheson in the late 1940s to the present have warned that "one rotten apple can spoil the barrel." The danger is that the "rot"-social and economic development-may spread.
This "rotten apple theory" is called the domino theory for public consumption. The version used to frighten the public has Ho Chi Minh getting in a canoe and landing in California, and so on.
Maybe some US leaders believe this nonsense- it’s possible-but rational planners certainly don’t. They understand that the real threat is the "good example."
To be clear: The elections in December will not bring Venezuela closer to democracy. They will have the opposite effect of purging Maduro’s opposition from the country’s parliament. That’s because the national assembly is supposed to choose the body to manage elections. The country’s supreme court usurped this power this year and appointed its own electoral commission of cronies. In addition, Venezuela’s top court has also disqualified the leaders of most opposition parties.
Biden has not gotten into much detail on this matter. But Trump’s special representative for Venezuela, Elliott Abrams, has. Speaking to reporters last week, he said the supreme court’s recent shenanigans are “yet another demonstration that with Maduro still in power and in a position to manipulate the elections and their outcome, there can be no free and fair election in Venezuela.”
Abrams and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo were clear last week that the U.S. does not support any kind of negotiation with Maduro, other than one over the terms by which he would leave power. That stands in contrast to Trump’s musings in June that he may be open to meeting with Maduro, undermining the policy his administration had been building for the past 18 months. For now at least, it appears that negotiations with Maduro are off the table.
How does one read this and not think Trump is a lesser evil here, if simply because of his incompetence? It would be better for the people of Venezuela if the US doesn't pull off this coup. With Biden's brain phasing in and out of our dimension, we can be sure he will play even less of a role in actually managing things as Trump does. With Kamala Harris as the VP pick, and the Clinton machines support for her, we can reasonably expect a return to the state department of HRC from Obama's first term. The same one that saw fit to bomb Libya for 7 months straight, and saw the popular leader of the country sodomized by bayonets from fascists labeled as rebels by western media, and then laughed about it on TV.
But I digress, back to the article.
So Biden has an opportunity. He would weaken the dictator’s hand simply by saying that, if elected president, he would not recognize the results of the rigged election Maduro has planned for December. Such a message would be particularly effective for two reasons, one having to do with interpersonal relations and the other with international relations. First, Biden’s rejection of the upcoming elections could confirm Maduro’s already paranoid impression that the former vice president has long sought his demise. Back in 2015, Maduro publicly accused Biden of fomenting regime change in Venezuela after meeting with leaders of Caribbean countries. At the time, Biden’s office said Maduro’s statements were an effort to distract Venezuelan citizens from the worsening political and humanitarian crisis in their country. Five years later, Biden could cause Maduro to doubt himself all over again.
This is just silly on multiple levels.
1. Maduro was right, the Obama admin. did in fact try to overthrow Maduro, or least set the pieces in motion to make it happen.
2. The US has already been trying to coup Maduro since Januaray of last year with each attempt failing more miserably than the last. I don't think the US continuing to not recognize Maduro would change anything.
Second, and more important, a statement about the elections would strengthen the resolve of Venezuela’s neighbors that have supported Guaido’s elevation and Maduro’s ouster. For Latin American countries that have followed Trump’s lead, a faux election in December would be an attractive excuse to improve relations with Maduro’s regime. Biden should make it clear now that if he wins, they will be expected to stay the course that Trump set in 2019.This is just something the author is making up, based on the fantasy world crafted by the State Department and spoon fed by the mass media to citizens of the United States every day. The very fact that Maduro has lasted this long despite sanctions and coups and even assassination attempts shows it's going to take more effort than the US has been willing to put into regime change. If a military invasion wouldn't create backlash and instability it would have been done already. The whole point of the CIA and these NGO's and coups is to run the empire as smoothly with as little backlash and instability as possible.