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Trump’s scheme against Venezuela must be stopped

  • Written by Alvaro Sanchez Cordero
  • Published in Opinion
Alvaro Sanchez Cordero is the  Charge D’Affaires of the Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to Barbados Alvaro Sanchez Cordero is the Charge D’Affaires of the Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to Barbados
The U.S. ambassador to Barbados has absolutely no authority to speak about Venezuela whatsoever. If we let her do so, we would be validating the infamous 19th Century Monroe Doctrine, which claimed the whole of the Americas (including the Caribbean) to be the backyard of the United States.

Ever since the enunciation of the Monroe Doctrine in 1823, the U.S. has invaded, occupied and destabilized Latin American and Caribbean countries on more than 160 occasions, leaving absolutely not one single positive legacy in the region as a result of such violent and cruel regime change adventures.

For example, ruthless dictators like Augusto Pinochet in Chile, Anastasio Somoza in Nicaragua and Rafael Leonidas Trujillo in the Dominican Republic are by-products of American intervention in the region, just to name a few.

The countless military interventions and bullying by the U.S. against Haiti, for instance, failed to produce positive results either (the U.S. occupied Haiti militarily for 19 consecutive years, from 1915 until 1934).

Clearly, the U.S. has never cared about democracy or human rights. It is just looking after corporate interests, which among other things, translate in trying to secure precious commodities cheaply and / or the routes to get to them.

This is where Venezuela falls in. Venezuela has the largest proven reserves of oil in the world, as well as the largest reserve of gold in Latin America, not to count the immense amounts of strategic resources, such as: gas, bauxite, coltan and water.

A Pentagon document leaked by Edward Snowden in 2007 cites six countries as strategic priorities of the National Security Agency (NSA) of the U.S. They are: China, North Korea, Iraq, Iran, Russia and Venezuela. On Venezuela the paper states that Venezuela’s influence and leadership must be stopped from “growing in areas such as politics, ideology and energy.”

In fact, the U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton, a fanatical war hawk, a few weeks ago said that “it would make a big difference to the U.S. economically if we can have American companies produce the oil in Venezuela.”

Ever since President Hugo Chavez was elected in 1999, the U.S. has been trying to destroy the Bolivarian Revolution. It has tried it through an unsuccessful coup d’etat in 2002; a business lockout in 2002 – 2003; street violence in 2004, 2013, 2014 and 2017, as well as through a process of economic warfare, sanctions and a financial blockade, which are the main reason for the severe economic difficulties Venezuela is currently going through.

In his book, “Treasury’s War: The Unleashing of a New Era of Financial Warfare,” Juan Zarate, a White House insider and former U.S. Treasury Department official, states that “the U.S. has waged a new brand of financial warfare, unprecedented in its reach and effectiveness. This ‘hidden war’ has often been underestimated or misunderstood, but it is no longer secret and has since become central to America’s national security doctrine.”

In addition, WikiLeaks released a whole U.S. manual on how to conduct financial warfare against enemy countries. Entitled “Army Special Operations Forces Unconventional Warfare – September 2008 - FM-3-05.130,” the manual states that “the U.S. can use financial power as a weapon in times of conflict up to and including large – scale general war.”

Also, Admiral Kurt Tidd, former commander of the U.S. Southern Command, is the author of a paper entitled “Plan to Overthrow the Venezuelan Dictatorship – Masterstroke,” from February 2018. In it, Tidd recommends to “encourage popular dissatisfaction by increasing scarcity and rise in price of foodstuffs, medicine and other essential goods,” as one of several steps listed “to speed up the definitive overthrow of chavismo.”

As a result of this “hidden war,” Venezuela has thus far lost over 20 billion U.S. dollars annually. That amount represents one year of food imports in Venezuela.

Therefore, this is about completely breaking Venezuela financially to later on offer us “humanitarian assistance,” in order to bring about regime change.

If Donald Trump really wanted to help Venezuela, all he has to do is lift the sanctions, stop attacking Venezuela financially, stop intervening in our domestic affairs and give back to us the Venezuelan assets illegally confiscated by Trump in the U.S. a couple of days ago, valued at 12 billion U.S. dollars.

Of course, we all know that Trump’s concerns regarding Venezuela have nothing to do with the wellbeing of Venezuelans. After all, Trump has responded to the plight of Central American migrants with an unwelcoming wall, putting migrant children in cages and mobilizing the army to stop them at the border.

Not to mention the hideous association that Trump has made between Latin American and Caribbean countries with animal stool. 

In addition, after the devastation of Puerto Rico as a consequence of hurricane Maria in 2017, all Puerto Ricans obtained from Trump as humanitarian aid was toilet paper thrown at them in a sort of reality show staged by Trump during his stay on that island.

So, unsurprisingly, showing his disregard and contempt for Venezuela, Trump appointed Elliot Abrams, who many in the U.S. view as a war criminal, who was convicted for his role in the Iran – Contra Affair and who was in charge of U.S. policy when death squads wreaked havoc in Central America (leading to the death of about 250,000 people in just three countries – Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala – in less than a decade in the 1980s), as the person in charge of “steering U.S. Venezuela policy.”

In the 1980s, Abrams transported arms to the Contras in Nicaragua on planes disguised for “humanitarian aid.” A New York Times piece from 1987, “Aide Says U.S. Planes Carried Contra Arms,” provides additional information regarding the involvement of Abrams in such a sinister and anti-humanitarian scheme.

At any rate, legally speaking the U.S. cannot deliver “humanitarian aid” to Venezuela because according to UN General Assembly Resolution 46/182 of 1991, any humanitarian aid must be delivered with neutrality and impartiality. In addition, the government of the affected nation must make the request. None of this applies to Venezuela.

Indeed, the UN and the International Red Cross refused to endorse the delivery of U.S. “humanitarian aid” to Venezuela, for it does not comply with the requirements established by international law.

But most importantly Venezuela is not suffering any humanitarian crisis. Instead, Venezuela is suffering an economic crisis, which to a great extent has been engineered by the Trump government through a financial blockade and economic warfare, as explained above.

It is evident that Trump would like to invade Venezuela militarily, as he has stated a few times (in violation of Article 2 of the UN Charter) so as to bring about ‘regime change’, in order to gain access to our vast natural resources, through the façade of “humanitarian aid.” Trump is trying to take the Monroe Doctrine to a new level in the 21st Century by seeking to recolonize Venezuela. Instead of “humanitarian aid,” it should be dubbed “weaponized aid.”

In Venezuela we are prepared to fend off this offensive and defend our country in what has become our “second struggle for independence.” However, it is critically important that neighboring countries contribute to stopping Trump from creating a new Libya or Syria out of Venezuela, for the consequences would be disastrous for a region that has been declared, and must be maintained, as a zone of peace.

This is not about President Maduro. Chavismo in Venezuela is a huge political force, engrained in our political sociology and history, and this is something that cannot be easily erased. This is about not only Venezuela’s national sovereignty, but if the U.S. gets away with destroying our right to self-determination, no country’s national sovereignty in Latin America and the Caribbean will be safe. This is about the assertion of the Monroe Doctrine over Venezuela’s national sovereignty to be followed by its imposition over the rest of the continent and to be spread even further afield.

Faced with the prospect of yet another U.S. war for oil, this time against Venezuela, which would have horrific consequences, the international community is rallying behind Mexico’s, Uruguay’s and CARICOM’s Initiative for Dialogue, which President Maduro has warmly endorsed.

The strong opposition by the Trump government to, and his derision of, dialogue, obfuscated behind a great deal of fakery, stems from the irrefutable fact that his government is openly and explicitly preparing for war against Venezuela.

What we are truly facing is the real possibility of having people like Trump and his war hawkish cabinet destroying and dismembering the Venezuelan State in order to satisfy greed and supremacy both in Venezuela and the region. No blood for oil! 

  • Countries: Latin America