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Trump Is Forcing Regime Change In Venezuela

By Fiona Edwards

Venezuelan people are facing a grave and dangerous situation, as the US
dramatically escalates its campaign to oust Venezuela’s democratically elected
government. Donald Trump’s decision on January 23 to recognise the unelected
right-wing opposition leader Juan Guaido as Venezuela’s “interim president” is
confirmation that a co-ordinated operation led by the US to bring about regime
change, which is illegal under international law, is under way.

this outrageous announcement, Trump was asked whether he would consider
military action against Venezuela and he replied: “All options are on the
table.” The White House is also considering the “nuclear option” of imposing
sanctions on Venezuela’s crude oil which would have a devastating effect on the

has been the policy of the US to remove Venezuela’s successive progressive
governments since the first one was elected 20 years ago. Over the past two
decades the US has poured millions of dollars into funding right-wing
opposition groups in Venezuela and sponsored a failed coup in 2002 to remove
Hugo Chavez, which was defeated by the Venezuelan people. Under Chavez
Venezuela entered a new, independent era where the interests of the Venezuelan
people were put before the interests of the US and oil multinational giants.

to Chavez’s election in 1998 Venezuela was dominated by US interests that saw
the overwhelming majority of oil revenues go to multinational corporations at
the expense of the population which languished in poverty, while the rest of
the economy remained underdeveloped. Chavez’s decision to nationalise the oil
industry and use its revenue to tackle poverty and improve living standards
with huge health, education and housing programmes was intolerable to the US.

2014 the US has seized upon an “opportunity” to foment political instability in
Venezuela and achieve its long-held aim of regime change by launching an
offensive on the back of problems in Venezuela’s economy. The global economic
crisis led to a crash in commodity prices in 2014 which saw the price of oil
plummet, creating severe economic problems for Venezuela which the US has
sought to ruthlessly exploit. From backing violent right-wing street
mobilisations, to international initiatives designed to isolate Venezuela, to
imposing wave upon wave of economic sanctions, which has cost the Venezuelan
economy billions of dollars, the US has pursued a wide range of tactics to
create the conditions for a coup.

brazen recognition of Guaido as the interim president of Venezuela, when he did
not even participate in the presidential election, is an attempt to reverse the
democratic will of the Venezuelan people. It represents a new stage in the US’s
aggression against Venezuela and comes following a dramatic shift towards the
right in Latin America over the past couple of years which has served to
isolate the Maduro government from some Latin American governments.

election of Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil’s presidential election of October 2018,
after the left’s leading candidate Lula was banned from standing, represented a
seismic shift in the regional balance of forces — a huge defeat for the left
and a massive victory for the US, which has direct consequences for Venezuela
as the events of the past week are confirming. Bolsonaro dutifully followed Trump’s
lead in recognising Guaido as Venezuela’s president, alongside Colombia, Peru,
Paraguay, Ecuador and Costa Rica.

US now has significant right-wing allies throughout Latin America who can be
relied upon to assist in its operation to remove the democratic left from power
in Venezuela and restore US hegemony in the region, returning to the days when
Latin America was considered the US “backyard.” Nonetheless, the governments of
Mexico, Bolivia, Cuba, Nicaragua, Uruguay and elsewhere are calling for
dialogue rather than following Trump’s hostile agenda.

Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza has been clear on what the US is trying to
achieve. He says: “They are trying to push a political conflict in Venezuela.
They are calling the armed forces to make pronunciations against President
Maduro. That’s what they want, a coup d’etat in Venezuela. They want a war in
Venezuela. And it’s not going to happen.”

Venezuelan armed forces have refused to recognise Guaido as interim president
and reaffirmed their commitment to defending the Venezuelan constitution. In
addition to huge pro-government street protests in Venezuela, Maduro’s
legitimacy has been confirmed by many major governments internationally
including Russia, China and Turkey.

remaining threats that Trump has “on the table” should be taken seriously.
Economic sanctions on Venezuela’s crude oil and military intervention are both
being considered as tactics to achieve regime change in Venezuela. If Trump
pursues either one of these options, the consequences for the Venezuelan people
would be severe.

people of Venezuela need immense international solidarity in the face of US
aggression, threats and violations of international law. It is up to the
Venezuelan people to decide their future, not Donald Trump. (IPA Service)

Morning Star

The post Trump Is Forcing Regime Change In Venezuela appeared first on Newspack by India Press Agency.

IPA Newspack

The post Trump Is Forcing Regime Change In Venezuela appeared first on CommentWise.

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Trump Is Forcing Regime Change In Venezuela


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