Venezuela - right wing coup defeated
by Frieda Park
Though the US threatens invasion, so far the tactics to achieve regime change In Venezuela have been to pump support into the violent right wing opposition and ramp up economic sanctions. As the notorious Elliott Abrams said recently: “We have no ability to predict when regimes collapse. But we’re heightening the contradictions.”
It is no coincidence that Abrams was appointed as Trump’s envoy to Venezuela. He was involved in the Iran-Contra scandal in the 80s when officials in the Reagan administration sold arms to Iran in contravention of their own sanctions. They secretly used the proceeds to fund the right-wing Contras in Nicaragua who were waging an armed struggle against the elected Sandinista government. The destabilisation caused eventually led to the downfall of the Sandinistas. Job done, Abrams pleaded guilty to two counts of lying to Congress about the affair and was later pardoned. He was recently challenged by Democrat Congresswoman Ilhan Omar. She asked “…would you support an armed faction within Venezuela that engages in war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide if you believed they were serving US interests, as you did in El Salvador, Nicaragua and Guatemala?” Abrams refused to answer.
No doubt such destabilisation is what he means by “heightening the contradictions”. The aim, as in Chile and Nicaragua, is to make life harder and harder for ordinary Venezuelans, to undermine the economy and to overthrow the government. Things are very tough already and further sanctions and seizures of assets will make things significantly worse.
Fake President Guaidó’s recent abject failure to launch a coup against the government showed up the true nature of his agenda and the involvement of the US administration in orchestrating events. The first obvious lesson is that he simply did not command the support required, among the military, the state nor the population. Secondly in freeing Leopoldo López from house arrest he demonstrated clearly that he is not a clean pair of hands, but actually closely aligned to the violent and anti-democratic right-wing opposition. Finally US national security adviser, John Bolton, has made clear in statements that he and the Trump administration were fully cognisant of Guaidó’s plans – their finger prints are all over this.
The Venezuelan government has made mistakes over the years, however, the country absolutely would not be in the situation it is now without the active interference of the US. There are two options for Venezuela – US sponsored destruction, chaos and regime-change, or non-intervention and talks with the opposition. The Labour Party has stated its opposition to foreign intervention in Venezuela but there are Labour politicians who do not share that view. For the sake of Cuba as well as Venezuela lobbying is important to avert another dangerous and misguided intervention and to urge talks and engagement.
It is essential that we resist imperialism’s attempts to sow oppression, chaos and war, to seize oil and other resources for itself. Our top priority must be to defend Venezuelan sovereignty and its right to determine its own future.