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The president of the National Assembly (Parliament) of Venezuela and self-proclaimed interim president of the country, Juan Guaidó. Photo: EFE
The president of the National Assembly (Parliament) of Venezuela and self-proclaimed interim president of the country, Juan Guaidó. Photo: EFE

Venezuela: U.S. Imperialism Makes a Comeback

By now, everybody is aware that last week Trump practically appointed a second "president" amenable to his designs for taking over Venezuela's oil reserves,…

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Having a corrupt, lying, ignorant bigot with the power to make life or death decisions for millions of people around the world, is not only dangerous but indecent.

Unfortunately, with Donald Trump’s presidency, that’s not only the reality in the U.S., where, after all, he was elected, but in other regions as well that had nothing to do with his ascension to power and about which he knows nothing or has any empathy for.

Just on Monday one of his henchmen, the rabid hawk who serves as national security advisor, John Bolton, a man whose idea of diplomacy is to force other countries into submission by starving them, conspiring to destabilize them, or even bombing them out of existence announced new sanctions against Venezuela, Washington’s latest made up national security threat.

In a briefing at the White House, Bolton and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin revived the language of imperialism and announced new sanctions that would affect PDVSA, Venezuela's state-owned oil company in order to “put more pressure” on the South American country’s elected president, Nicolás Maduro. But Bolton didn’t stop at economic measures, he actually threatened to invade Venezuela.

“The president has made it clear that all options are on the table,” he said, making one wonder who the hell do these people think they are.

By now everybody is aware that last week Trump practically appointed a second “president” amenable to his designs for taking over Venezuela’s oil reserves, the largest in the world. His name is Juan Guaidó, an opposition politician who, of course, no one elected. Yet, Trump and his minions, following the guidance of the weaselly Marco Rubio, declared Maduro’s presidency “illegitimate” and called for regime change.

Maduro accused the U.S. of engineering a “coup” and waging an “economic war” against him and his government, something that Bolton and Rubio have insolently admitted.

That is, forget the narrative that the U.S., its for-all-intent-and-purposes satellite Latin American governments and others care about “democracy” in Venezuela, are worried about “a dictator” who was “elected in rigged elections,” etc. The Trump administration doesn’t give a damn about the Venezuelan people, they only care about exploiting their oil reserves.

“It will make a big difference to the United States economically if we could have American oil companies invest in and produce the oil capabilities in Venezuela,” Bolton, overflowing with imperial arrogance, told Fox Business host Trish Regan. The U.S. has “a lot at stake” in the South American country, he said, referring to that nation’s oil and the economic benefit that ousting Maduro and the Bolivarian Revolution would mean for the U.S.

Rubio, who has emerged as Trump’s advisor on Latin America, also admitted that it is oil not democracy or the wellbeing of the people of Venezuela what they really care about.

“Biggest buyers of Venezuelan oil are @ValeroEnergy & @Chevron. Refining heavy crude from #Venezuela supports great jobs in Gulf Coast,” Rubio tweeted last week. “For the sake of these U.S. workers I hope they will begin working with administration of President Guaido & cut off illegitimate Maduro regime.”

It’s painful to watch how short-sighted and treacherous are some Latin American presidents who, by going along with Trump’s imperial plans, are relegating their countries to the role of U.S. “backyard.”

Yet, nothing compares to the disgusting, abject behavior of Sebastián Piñera, the president of Chile, and one of Trump’s accomplices in South America. Maybe Piñera, a right-wing politician, forgot that democratically elected president Salvador Allende was deposed and killed in 1973 in a coup led by Gral. Augusto Pinochet, who would impose a 17-year brutal dictatorship on Chile with the enthusiastic backing of president Richard Nixon and secretary of state Henry Kissinger.

Think what you will about Maduro, but something is very clear about the situation in the South American country: the U.S. government – no example of democratic virtue itself -- has no right to determine who leads Venezuela for any reason whatsoever.

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