Washington’s Dirty War on Venezuela
by Stephen Lendman
Throughout his tenure, Obama plotted one lawless regime change scheme after another. How many are too many?
What new ones does he plan? How many more wars will he wage? How much more carnage will follow?
How much more death, destruction and unspeakable human misery? How much more violence and instability?
How much longer will nations for peace and security put up with US lawlessness? Resisting it is a global imperative. Saving humanity from the madness of imperial rampaging depends on it.
America tolerates no independent governments. It want pro-Western puppet ones replacing it. It wants ones it controls. It wants Washington rules enforced.
Post-911 wars alone ravaged one country after another. New conflicts are planned. Permanent war is longstanding US policy.
Dirty wars seek regime change other ways. Months of US-manipulated violence elevated fascist putschists to power in Ukraine.
Venezuela is targeted the same way. On February 12, destabilizing protests began. They continue violently. Washington’s dirty hands bear full responsibility.
President Nicolas Maduro is wrongfully blamed. Recruited street thugs are involved. The vast majority of Venezuelans oppose what’s happening. They want stability restored.
At least 30 deaths were reported. Hundreds more were injured. Daily violence continues. In late February, John Kerry lied saying:
“(T)he Venezuelan government has confronted peaceful protesters with force and in some cases with armed vigilantes claiming to support the government.”
it “imprisoned students and a key opposition figure.”
Violent protesters alone were arrested. Fascist politician Leopoldo Lopez is charged with murder, terrorism, conspiracy, incitement to crime, setting fire to a public building, damaging public property, public intimidation, and inflicting serious injuries.
Maduro calls him “the face of fascism.” He threatens Venezuelan freedom. He wants neoliberal harshness replacing Bolivarian fairness. So do other likeminded extremists.
Kerry didn’t explain. Venezuela is the hemisphere’s most democratic country. It shames US police state harshness.
Kerry lied claiming it “limit(s) freedom of expression and assembly.” He supports the “legitimate right” of US-manipulated street thugs “to protest” violently.
He called on Venezuelan authorities to respect human rights. No nation abuses them more than America.
It does so at home and abroad. It does it lawlessly. It threatens world peace. Don’t expect Kerry to explain.
Since Chavez took office in February 1999, Washington spent tens of millions of dollars trying to destabilize his government and oust him.
Dirty tactics continue against Maduro. They rage daily. Public and private property are targeted. Government offices, health facilities, supermarkets, other retail stores, transport and other property were damaged.
Most municipalities are violence free. At most 18 are affected. They include middle and upper income areas in Caracas and other large cities.
Daily life there is disrupted. Schools and universities closed. Medical facilities were affected. Venezuela’s Health Ministry warned of environmental and psychological harm to public health.
Burning tires and rubbish create toxic fumes. Elderly and ill Venezuelans are most vulnerable.
As of early March, around 1,600 people were arrested. Most were released without charge. Less than 100 remain in custody. They’re charged with homicide and other violent crimes.
Fifteen security officers were arrested for alleged use of excessive force. Doing so shows Marudo’s commitment to nonviolence.
Around 20,000 National Guard forces are deployed in troubled areas. They’re charged with maintaining order nonviolently.
Attorney General Luisa Ortega Diaz offered anonymity to anyone coming forward with evidence of involvement in violence. Ombudsman Gariela Ramirez was clear and unequivocal, saying:
“We’re going to investigate any disproportionate use of force. We reject it and we want justice to be proportionately applied. I want this to be very clear.”
Venezuelan authorities reject it on both sides. Maduro warned:
“I want to say clearly: someone who puts on a red t-shirt with Chavez’s face and takes out a pistol to attack isn’t a Chavista or a revolutionary.”
“I don’t accept violent groups within the camp of Chavismo and the Bolivarian revolution. If you want to have arms to fight…get out of Chavismo.”
Dark opposition forces wrongfully blame violence they cause on his government. In late February, a Roundtable of Democratic Unity (MUD) statement lied saying:
“State security forces, accompanied by paramilitary groups, have cruelly attacked peaceful and defenseless protesters.”
“They le(ft) a lamentable tally of citizens assassinated, seriously wounded, tortured and disappeared.”
Maduro asked National Assembly members to establish a “Truth Commission.” He wants all violent acts investigated.
He wants culpable elements held responsible. He wants justice, stability and calm restored.
On March 7, 26 of 29 Organization of American States(OAS) expressed “solidarity and support for democratic institutions, dialogue, and peace in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.”
They expressed condolences to victims and their families.
They expressed respect “for the principle of nonintervention in the domestic affairs of states (and support for) the protection of democratic institutions and the rule of law…”
They “emphatic(ally) reject(ed) all forms of violence and intolerance.”
They expressed “appreciation, full support, and encouragement for the initiatives and the efforts of the democratically-elected Government of Venezuela and all political, economic, and social sectors to continue to move forward with the process of national dialogue towards political and social reconciliation, in the framework of full respect by all democratic actors for the constitutional guarantees of all.”
Washington, Canada, and Panama alone dissented. They support imperial lawlessness. They endorse street violence. They ignore rule of law principles. Rogue states operate this way.
Media scoundrels support them. New York Times editors consistently endorse wrong over right. On March 14, they headlined “The Blame Game in Venezuela.”
They ignored Washington’s dirty hands. Venezuela has the hemisphere’s most free and open media.
Times editors said “Maruro’s predictable response in the government-controlled news media has been to blame it all on ‘fascists’ and the United States.”
They wrongfully blamed him for using force. They lied claiming he “reject(s) any mediation…” Several times he urged dialogue. On March 10, he said:
“I want to invite the MUD (Roundtable of Democratic Unity) to join the peace conference.”
“(T)he whole country has entered the peace conference with the exception of some sectors of the opposition.”
He called on all opposing elements to dialogue for peaceful conflict resolution. Radicalized students didn’t respond.
Maduro said he invited them five times. “Let’s listen to each other talk,” he urged. “Say all you have to say. I’ll also say my truths and I’ll say them with kindness.”
Washington controls key opposition elements. They urge continued street protest violence. Fascist leader Lopez is jailed. He twittered followers saying:
“We ratify our objective: Nicolas Maduro’s exit as quickly as possible in the framework of the constitution. He’s a disaster, an assassin, and illegitimate.”
“The exit will only happen with an organized people in the street making the dictatorship retreat.”
Opposition MUD leader Henrique Capriles represents monied interests. He deplores popular ones. He’s strongly anti-Bolivarian.
He urges “more street activity…without violence.”
“We want to strengthen social protests and for there to be more street activity,” he said.
“We must all go out and fight with strength to demand that the government discards its failed model.”
It’s a “model” of equitable social justice. Monied interests want their own alone served. Times editors wholeheartedly support them. They vilify Chavismo. They do it consistently. They support wrong over right.
State terrorism reflects official US policy. Vice President Joe Biden represents imperial lawlessness. He bashed Maduro saying:
“The situation in Venezuela reminds me of the past, when strongmen ruled through violence an oppression, and human rights, hyperinflation, shortages, and extreme poverty caused havoc on the peoples of the hemispheres.”
Latin America no longer is Washington’s back yard. Strongmen operate north of the border.
Biden represents America’s long arm. Increasingly free people resist it. “Why did Biden attack Venezuela,” asked Maduro? Because OAS nations “defeated” his agenda, he said.
He praised their declaration of support. The Venezuelan Solidarity Campaign:
“Condemn(ed) the violence unleashed by extreme right wing elements during opposition rallies and marches that led to the death of innocent people as a result of that violence, and condemn any undemocratic, illegal and unconstitutional actions against the democratically elected and constitutional government of President Maduro.”
“Call(ed) for the immediate cessation of extreme right wing violence against the established and constitutional authorities of Venezuela, and urge everybody to heed President Maduro’s call for peace and dialogue in Venezuela.”
“Express(ed) our unconditional support for President Maduro, his elected government and the constitutional principles enshrined in the democratically-endorsed constitution,” and
“Urge(ed) (Bolivarian supporters send) statements of solidarity for the elected government of Venezuela and condemn(ation) (for) the extreme right wing violence.”
A Final Comment
Congressional members, Obama and administration officials consistently blame Maduro for right-wing instigated violence.
Rep. Debbie Wasserman (D. FL) represents Washington’s dark side. She’s Democratic National Committee chairwoman.
She irresponsibly urged sanctions on Venezuelan officials. “The administration is looking at these,” she said.
Neocon Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R. FL) represents the worst of right-wing politics. She introduced legislation “supporting the people of Venezuela as they protest ‘peacefully’ for ‘democracy.’ “
A statement followed saying:
“But this resolution can only be the first step to hold Maduro and his fellow regime thugs accountable for their violent response and their abuses of the Venezuelan people’s liberties and human rights.”
She urged “immediate actions against Maduro and other Venezuelan officials who are responsible for violations of their people’s human rights.”
“We are calling for the President to enact immediate sanctions against these officials, under authorities granted to him under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA), including denying them visas to enter the United States, blocking their property and freezing their assets in the US, as well as prohibiting them from making any financial transactions in the US.”
On March 4, her H. Res. 488 passed 393 – 1. On March 12, S. Res. 365 “deploring the violent repression of peaceful demonstrators in Venezuela, calling for full accountability for human rights violations taking place in Venezuela, and supporting the right of the Venezuelan people to the free and peaceful exercise of representative democracy” passed without amendments unanimously.
Venezuela is targeted for regime change. It’s been so for 15 years. Chavismo lives. Bolivarianism is institutionalized.
Venezuelans want no part of their ugly past. They’ll put their bodies on the line to prevent it. They did before. They’ll do it again.
Venezuela isn’t Ukraine. Bolivarian fairness is too important to lose. Washington and Caracas are social justice and geopolitical opposites. Venezuelans intend to keep it that way.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.