Sat | Feb 23, 2019

Letter of the Day | Venezuela target of US imperialism

Published:Saturday | January 19, 2019 | 12:13 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

There are two terms - oligarchy and imperialism - that define the problems faced by Maduro's new government in Venezuela. Despite nearly 20 years of governance by the socialist forces - first led by Hugo Chavez and now by Maduro - the Venezuelan oligarchy still dominates large sections of the economy, holds immense amounts of the country's social wealth and has resisted all attempts to expand political and economic democracy in the country.

Through the media, it controls the political and social narrative, defining the nature of Venezuela's crisis to its advantage. None of the problems are laid at its doorstep nor at the United States, both of which have tried to suffocate the Bolivarian revolution since 1999.

Imperialism is a word that is rarely used these days. It is relegated to histories of colonialism in the distant past. But pressure on Venezuela has been intense. The US has repeatedly called for the overthrow of the socialist government, led by Maduro. Sanctions have been ratcheted up. Threats of a military invasion are in the air. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a tweet wrote, "The time is NOW for a return to democracy in Venezuela," suggesting that there needs to be no procedures, only a coup.

 

External pressure

 

On January 10, buoyed by the election of far right-wing politicians such as Brazil's Jair Bolsonaro, a group of OAS governments said that they would not recognise Maduro as the president of Venezuela. Behind them sits the US State Department, which has put pressure on the hemisphere for the isolation of Venezuela and the overthrow Maduro. What a disgrace that Jamaica should be part of that group.

Those troops that Trump is withdrawing from Syria might not be going home anytime soon. They might find themselves deployed soon enough on the beaches of Punto Fijo, facing a Bay of Pigs-style resistance from the Chavistas. Of course, it is not only Venezuela in the grips of oligarchy and imperialism, but also the Jamaica Government, stooge to both the US and the IMF, the global kleptocracy.

PAUL WARD

Campaign for Social Economic Justice

pgward72@gmail.com