Juan Guaido and his supporters in Venezuela, among them elements of the Venezuelan military, have rolled the dice – a Stars and Stripes dice – in a desperate bid to overturn not Nicolas Maduro but democracy in Caracas.
As we have come to expect, the usual suspects in the form of the clutch of US European satellites, long ago made their peace with the devil. And so it is on this occasion; falling into line behind their imperial and hegemonic master, each vying to proclaim their support for the coup attempt in Caracas the loudest in the manner of children competing for the approval of their impossible to please daddy.
At the behest of Washington the Venezuelan opposition leader has embarked on a reckless gambit that carries with it overtones of Guatemala in 1954; Brazil 1964; Chile 1973; Nicaragua 1979-1990; El Salvador 1979-1992; Grenada 1983; and Haiti 1994. In other words, in 2019 Washington has reverted to the blood-soaked imperialist type in its dealings with Latin and South America, a part of the world it has always considered its property and sought possession via local proxies, the latest of which is the eminently forgettable Mr Juan Guaido.
The issue now is up to the Venezuelan people and military, entwined in a symbiotic relationship, the outcome of which will have ramifications not only for Venezuela but the entire region. To what extent they stand firm and are willing to resist this latest in a long line of sordid Washington-backed, triggered and provoked regime change coups, we are about to find out. International solidarity with the Venezuelan people and their legitimate government is also crucial now, given the stakes involved for everyone who believes that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
Those who continue to harbour the belief that the welfare of the Venezuelan people has anything whatsoever to do with the events now underway only confirm the timeless wisdom of legendary Venezuelan leader Simon Bolivar, otherwise known as ‘El Liberator’. To paraphrase: “Ignorant people,” he reminds us, “are the blind instrument of their own destruction.”
No, this ugly and wretched business in Venezuela has nothing, not a thing, to do with its people or their welfare. It has everything to do with seizing back control of the country’s vast oil reserves in the interests of US and Western oil companies, in league with an entrenched local oligarchy which since the very minute Hugo Chavez came to power in 1999 on the back of a popular program of land reform, wealth redistribution, social justice and anti-imperialism, has been plotting, scheming and conspiring to revert the country back to its previous owners with the open connivance of a neocon and liberal interventionist establishment in the US.
Bolton and his neocon chums are prisoners rather than students of history. Because if they were students, they would know that when the ‘idea’ of an empire is no longer able to sustain it in its power, all the military force in the world cannot hope to save it. The Persian, Greek, Roman, Ottoman, French and British Empires all went the same way and all for the same fundamental reason – namely that oppression breeds resistance and resistance to oppression carries a truth far more powerful than any number of aircraft carriers.
When Hugo Chavez said, “I hereby accuse the North American Empire of being the biggest menace to our planet,” he unleashed a thunderbolt of unimpeachable truth that belong in the tradition of all who have dared stand in defiance of the most violent and destructive power the world has ever known.
Unless Juan Guaido is a complete madman he must know something that we don’t, something along the lines of impending direct US military support for his coup attempt. Because what we do know is that the forces of imperialism thrive on pretext, and in inviting a heavy and entirely justifiable response by the security and military forces loyal to Venezuela’s legitimately elected government, Mr Guaido is engaged in a high stakes game that will either see him rewarded with garlands in Washington or handcuffs in Caracas.
Whatever happens, the words of celebrated Cuban national liberation icon, Jose Marti, loom large: “I have lived inside the monster and know its entrails; and my sling is David’s.” If today there is one people intimately acquainted with the entrails of this US hegemonic beast, it is the Venezuelan people.
Their sling will certainly need to be David’s if they are to prevail in this, perhaps, their most perilous hour.
By John Wight