The Trump administration’s now completely overt effort to overthrow Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro had a very successful public relations effort this week, as major Western media outlets uniformly echoed its simplistic, pre-packaged claim that the Venezuelan government was heartlessly withholding foreign aid:
The cameras are focused on the border between Venezuela and Colombia. Everything has been prepared to present it as a door about to give in. It is just a matter of waiting for the right day, according to some presidents and news headlines.
The narrative of “imminence” has been key since Venezuelan opposition politician Juan Guaidó proclaimed himself president last month: the imminent fall of President Nicolás Maduro, imminent transition government and imminent resolution of all of Venezuela’s problems.
Last week, the US formally adopted sanctions on Venezuelan national oil company PDVSA, as well as on CITGO, its US-based distribution arm, as part of its press for regime change in Caracas. National Security Advisor John Bolton estimated the actions would affect some $7 billion in assets and would block $11 billion in revenue to the Venezuelan government over the next year.
Hundreds of Palestinians took to the streets of besieged Gaza on January 29 to show their support of the democratically-elected government of Venezuela and it’s legitimate leader, President Nicolas Maduro.
Below is a February 4 letter signed by 39 members of the European Parliament. It comes from three different political groups in the European Parliament and condemns EU support for the attempted coup in Venezuela.
Letter in defence of a political dialogue in Venezuela, guaranteeing that Latin America and the Caribbean remains a zone of peace.
Hundreds have mobilised to attend pickets and mass meetings in defence of Venezuela’s sovereignty and to demand an end to the British and US governments interference during a time of difficulty in Venezuela. Starting with a picket at the Prime Minister’s Office and continuing with two mass meetings of the progressive left, anti-war, student and labour movement, a week of protests ended with a picket of the BBC headquarters and a further action planned against the Bank of England who have illegally seized US$1.2 billion of Venezuela’s gold.
Two competing marches took over the streets of Caracas on February 2 — in support and against elected President Nicolas Maduro. The foreign media focused on the opposition march exclusive, despite accounts that the pro-government march was clearly larger.
Much media fanfare has been made about US President Donald Trump pledge to deliver US$20 millions worth of humanitarian aid, in the form of food and medicine, into Venezuela via its borders with Colombia and Brazil. But in all media coverage, almost nothing has been said of the impact that the devastating and illegal US sanctions have had on the Venezuelan people, or that the latest round, including the impact that the seizure of Venezuela’s oil assets in the US will have.
In a strikingly different stance to leaders of the Australian Labor Party, which has backed the Coalition government’s support for the illegitimate coup “government” in Venezuela, several leading members of Britain’s Labour Party have rejected the US attempt at regime change in the oil-rich South American nation.
In an interview with Fox News, United States National Security Advisor John Bolton admitted the US government was backing an illegal coup in Venezuela in order to control the South American nation’s sizeable oil reserves.
“It will make a big difference to the United States economically if we could have American oil companies invest in and produce the oil capabilities in Venezuela,” Bolton told Fox News on January 28.
Australian solidarity activists are calling on Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s government to demand the United States lift its sanctions on Venezuela and rule out any military intervention in the South American country.
Federico Fuentes, co-author of Latin America's Turbulent Transitions and co-convenor of the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network, said: “It is well known that Venezuela is passing through the worst economic crisis in its history.
On February 15, 2003, in the face of the looming US-led war against Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, the Spanish state saw the biggest demonstrations in its history. Part of an immense worldwide anti-war outpouring, about 4 million people turned out.
Leaders of the Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE) were among those at the head of these oceanic demonstrations, which directly targeted the conservative Spanish People’s Party (PP) government of then-prime minister José María Aznar.
The dice have been thrown and the game is on in Venezuela. This week has seen the country enter into new uncertain and dangerous terrain, although with some predictable elements. We have witnessed different variables develop, and now wait for new elements that may catalyse or justify an outcome.
Below are three statements from the Socialist Alliance (Australia), the Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) and the Philippines-Venezuela Solidarity (Phil-Ven-Sol).
US Hands off Venezuela!
By Socialist Alliance National Executive
January 24, 2019 — The Socialist Alliance strongly condemns the actions of the United States President Donald Trump in backing an attempted coup against the democratically elected government of Venezuela.
Have those who state that Nicolás Maduro is a dictator, a usurper, and that the 2019-2025 presidential period lacks legitimacy, asked themselves why he is illegitimate? Or do they just repeat what they hear?
Update: Since this interveiw was published by Democracy Now!. President Trump has recognized Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó as interim president, calling democratically elected President Maduro “illegitimate.” In response, Venezuela has cut diplomatic ties with the U.S., giving diplomats 72 hours to leave the country.