US President Joseph Biden, a relic from Washington’s old political establishment will continue the same imperialist policies in Latin America as did his predecessors including that of Donald Trump. There is a clear indication that Washington’s hostilities towards Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro will continue under a Biden administration.
The day before Biden’s inauguration, Reuters’ had published a report on what we can expect from the new administration when it comes to Venezuela, ‘Biden will recognize Guaido as Venezuela’s leader, top diplomat says.’ which means that Washington will continue to support the opposition leader, Juan Guaido as Venezuela’s “legitimate” president. According to the report, Anthony Blinken said “U.S. President-elect Joe Biden’s administration will continue to recognize Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido as the South American country’s president.” Not only Washington would recognize a political figure who was selected by Washington, it would continue to use targeted sanctions on the Latin American country coinciding with humanitarian aid:
Blinken told members of the U.S. Senate that Biden would seek to “more effectively target” sanctions on the country, which aim to oust President Nicolas Maduro – who retains control of the country. Blinken said the new administration would look at more humanitarian assistance to the country
US hostilities towards Venezuela did not start with Trump, there were tensions between Washington and Caracas with the Obama and Bush regimes. An article from the Associated Press (AP) in 2015 ‘Venezuela’s President Accuses Vice President Biden of Plotting to Overthrow Him’ said that Washington had imposed “new visa restrictions on Venezuelan officials and their families.”
The former White House Communications Director under Obama, Jen Psaki who is now on Biden’s team as the White House Press Secretary said that “the U.S. was showing clearly that human rights violators and their families “are not welcome in the United States.”
Washington’s actions earned condemnation from Maduro who said that “he would write a letter to Obama over what he called an attempt to violate Venezuela’s national sovereignty” and that Washington’s long-time policies which are basically strong-arm tactics used on Venezuela and its close allies in the region will lead to failure “U.S. policy toward Venezuela has been kidnapped by “irresponsible, imperial forces that are putting the United States on a dead-end.” Maduro’s response towards Washington’s sanctions at the time was on a televised national address which he criticized Obama’s Vice-President, Joe Biden:
In a televised address over the weekend, Maduro claimed that Biden sought to foment the overthrow of his socialist government during a Caribbean energy summit Biden hosted last month in Washington. According to Maduro, Biden told Caribbean heads of state that the Venezuelan government’s days were numbered and it was time they abandon their support. “What Vice President Joseph Biden did is unspeakable,” Maduro said
And of course, Washington dismissed Maduro’s claims as “ludicrous.” With Joe Biden in charge, expect more of the same bi-partisanship actions including more sanctions, regime change operations and even the possibility of an assassination attempt on Maduro’s life. With a number of war hawks appointed under this new administration including humanitarian interventionist, Samantha Power who will lead the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) tweeted “What’s happening in Venezuela is flying under the radar in the US, but it is incredibly serious” shows what direction Washington will move towards. “In the past week, the opposition banned from competing in April presidential elections, UNICEF warns of child malnutrition crisis, IMF predicts 13,000% inflation in 2018” meaning that Power will push for a humanitarian intervention in some form or another. Power has supported military interventions in Syria and was a cheerleader for the war in Afghanistan and Libya. There will be bi-partisan support from both the democrats and republicans for regime change in Venezuela. But a war against Venezuela under Biden is also quite possible since they have the world’s largest oil reserves on the planet. Tensions between Washington and Caracas will only escalate in the upcoming months.
Nicaragua will be also on Washington’s radar as they are scheduled to have Presidential elections in November. Expect some sort of election interference to oust long-time enemy of Washington, Nicaraguan President, Daniel Ortega. In a September 5th tweet, Biden said
“Nicaraguan asylum seekers fleeing oppression deserve to have their cases heard. Instead, they’re being deported back into the tyrannical grip of Daniel Ortega without a chance to pursue their claims. President Trump’s cruelty truly knows no bounds.”
Venezuela and Nicaragua will experience hostilities from the Biden team, a continuation of policies from previous US regimes is assured.
Obama’s 2009 Coup in Honduras is a Warning to Anti-Imperialists in Latin America
Joe Biden’s history with Latin America as vice-President to Obama should be considered a warning sign of things to come. As soon as Obama was selected for office, they went to work on their backyard with a shovel in hand and set their sights on the small nation of Honduras. Before, the US approved the coup against its Democratic leader, Manuel Zelaya because he wanted to rewrite the constitution. Zelaya administered an opinion poll for a referendum so that a constitutional assembly can legally reform the constitution that would allow Honduran citizens to have a legitimate voice in the political process. Honduran officials, members of the Supreme Court and even members of his own party who are under Washington’s control declared Zelaya’s plans as unconstitutional. Officials from the Obama regime including Hillary Clinton who was the Secretary of State at the time, all agreed Zelaya had to be removed from power.
Zelaya was also too friendly with Washington’s enemies in the region including Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua and Venezuela. Zelaya had also helped people in need as he raised the hourly minimum-wage, funded scholarships for students, authorized the distribution of milk and basic food necessities for children and even helped distribute energy-saving light bulbs among others for the Honduran people. Washington also considered Zelaya a threat to its interests concerning the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) and its US troops stationed at the Palmerola military base if Zelaya decided to cancel the CAFTA deal or stop US troops from entering Honduras. For decades, Washington has trained soldiers and officers in the Honduran military through the former U.S. Army School of the Americas (SOA) which is now called the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC).
On June 28th, 2009, with permission from the Supreme Court of Honduras issued an order for the military to arrest and detain President Zelaya who was taken to the Hernan Acosta Mejia Air Base located in Tegucigalpa, Honduras and was exiled to Costa Rica. The aftermath of the coup resulted in Honduras becoming one of the most dangerous countries on the planet with one of the highest murder-rates in Central America. Roberto Micheletti became the interim-president following the coup. Under his leadership, the Honduras government became a repressive force that lead to an increase of Hondurans deciding to immigrate to the US. Human rights groups and activists lives were threatened. In 2016, one of the death threats became a reality for a well-known Indigenous rights and environmental activist by the name of Bertha Caceres who was assassinated in her home.
Caceres was known for preventing one of the world’s largest corporations that builds dams from completing the Agua Zarca Dam at the Río Gualcarque. Life in Honduras became worst after Washington’s intervention to oust a democratically elected leader who wanted to make things a little better for his people which constitutes a criminal act under Washington’s political establishment.
What Does An Imperialist Power Under Joseph Biden Mean for Latin America?
The gloves will come off. Joe Biden wants to get the job done for the Military-Industrial Complex. The Biden regime will be more aggressive and dangerous to left-wing Latin American leaders who have disobeyed Washington’s political establishment. That’s why they are all on the hit-list to be removed from power so that Washington’s preferred candidates can regain control to benefit their corporate and military interests that has plunged Latin America into a cycle of civil wars, debt and poverty since the end of the Spanish-American war. Biden and the Democrats will try to prove to the Republicans who can be more “tough” on Latin American leaders and others around the world who defy Washington’s policies. Biden’s presidency might prove that his administration will be more hawkish than the Republicans on Venezuela and the rest of Latin America’s anti-imperialist governments.