Venezuela: Revenge of the Mad-Dog Empire

A supporter of Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro holds a poster with a picture of late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez that reads “Vote for Chavez” during a campaign rally for national elections.

Only in the world of comic-book fantasies is the United States a friend to the oppressed in Africa or anywhere else on the planet. In the real world, the U.S. is a predator, colonial/capitalist nation. But like the imagined nation of Wakanda, in the latest cultural assault on critical mass consciousness, “American exceptionalism” and “make America great again” – two slogans representing both sides of the imperialist coin, ruling class interests are obscured and the people are reduced to working against their objective interests and being accomplices to imperial lawlessness.

In every part of the world, the United States is engaged in maniacal, criminal assaults on democracy, basic human decency and common sense.  From its support for armed jihadists groups in Syria and its illegal occupation of that nation, transferring heavy military equipment to its puppet regime in Ukraine, supporting unending war in Afghanistan, to the military invasion of Africa, the commitment to maintaining U.S. global dominance has moved war and militarism to the center of U.S. strategy.

But nowhere is U.S. criminality more apparent and unrelenting than right here in the Americas where the Pan-European project was born in 1492. That was the year “Europe” was born, emerging from its relative cultural backwardness using with terrifying efficiency the only advantage it had over the more civilized people of the region—armor protection and steel weapons—to slaughter the people, take the land and begin the 500-hundred-year nightmare the people of the world have suffered ever since.

Today, the barbarism of the Pan-European project continues under the tutelage of what history will record—if humanity survives—as the most violent, racist, oppressive human experience ever to have emerged in the short span of human existence on Earth: The United States of America.

After centuries experiencing the horrors of genocide, slavery, military dictatorships, environmental destruction, and neoliberal exploitation, the people of Latin America began to slowly extract themselves from the clutches of the hegemon from the North. Social movements and peoples undeterred by coups, structural adjustment and death squads started to take back their history in Ecuador, Bolivia, Brazil, and the rest of the continent. Venezuela has led the way, proclaiming the dawn of a 21st century socialism that would create the new society and the new human in the process.

Today, the barbarism of the Pan-European project continues under the tutelage of what history will record—if humanity survives—as the most violent, racist, oppressive human experience ever to have emerged in the short span of human existence on Earth: The United States of America.

Because of imperial overreach, the same trap that has ensnared other empires in decline, the U.S. was preoccupied with attempting to manage the mess it had created for itself as a result of the disastrous belief that it could fight two major wars simultaneously. So, while it was bogged down in Western Asia and the so-called “Middle East”, the full force of the U.S. repressive apparatus was not deployed against the fledgling people’s movements and the nominal capture of the state by those movements in Latin America. Of course, the United States helped to engineer a failed coup against Hugo Chavez and it continued training police and military forces in the region. But it wasn’t until the administration of Barack Obama that the deadly gaze of the United States began to really re-focus on Latin America, with Venezuela as its main target.

The repugnant hypocrite Obama—still darling of legions of clueless liberals— whipping up war fever at West Point.

In what appears on the surface to be a ludicrous position, Barack Obama declared Venezuela a threat to U.S. national security on three different occasions. However, the United States is the enforcer for the global capitalist system and the head of the white, Western, capitalist united front. With that in mind, seeing Venezuela as a threat made sense. Venezuela has been the driving force for the nations of the Americas south of the U.S. border attempting to free themselves from the yoke of U.S. imperialism.

The Trump administration took up with enthusiasm the policy of destabilization, subversion, and economic warfare that was intensified under the Obama administration. Violent regime change is now clearly the objective of the administration. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called for the Venezuelan military to overthrow the government while on a visit to the region and reports have surfaced of military forces from Colombia and Brazil being deployed to their respective borders with Venezuela.

Another clear sign that the lives of the people of Venezuela will be sacrificed with violent regime change is the collapse of the dialogue between the Venezuelan government and the counter-revolutionary opposition that had been taking place for almost two years. Up until just a few days ago, it appeared an agreement was in place for a peaceful political resolution.

The move toward a violent intervention became more apparent when discussions abruptly ended as the opposition decided not to sign an agreement designed  to move both parties toward an eventual political resolution.

Concerned about the general disarray among the opposition and the fact that the ruling party and government won 18 out of 23 governorships in regional elections in October 2017, the Trump administration announced that it would not recognize the results of the upcoming Presidential election to be held April 22. All the evidence points to the administration, along with the Venezuela oligarchy, opting for a strategy of regime change, even though it will result in mass slaughter and the dictatorship that the United States pretends to be opposed to in Venezuela.

The moves by the Trump administration represent an ominous re-introduction of the worst imperialist excesses of the late 20th century, where violent coups were the preferred response to any threats to the rule of capital and U.S. imperialist control. Yet, what is even more ominous about the situation unfolding in Venezuela is that unlike a few decades ago, when there was a vocal and active radical and left opposition to U.S. imperialism, the left and many radicals in the U.S. are in open class collaboration with imperialism.

The left in the United States and Western Europe has completely abandoned any idea of solidarity with global South’s revolutionary projects. A bizarre example of the reactionary nature of the European left was the European Parliament awarding the Sakharov Freedom Prize to the Venezuelan “opposition,” a group that has openly attacked journalists and burned alive two dozen people of primarily Black or dark complexions who they assumed were probably government supporters because they were poor and black. Clearly for the representatives in the European Union’s only democratic body, the integrity of the press and “Black lives” really don’t matter!

The courageous struggle of the Venezuelan people to defend their national sovereignty and dignity in the face of the murderous intentions of their North American neighbors and the racist obsequious Venezuelan oligarchy deserves the support of all true anti-imperialists. Whatever failure or internal contradiction we see in the Bolivarian process does not outweigh the principle that anti-imperialists must support national independence, especially when a nation is in the crosshairs of the greatest gangster nation on the planet.

For those of us who inhabit the colonized Black and Brown zones of non-being, as Fanon referred to them, to not resist the white supremacist, colonial/capitalist patriarchy at the center of the U.S./EU/NATO axis of domination is moral and political suicide.

When Secretary of State Rex Tillerson orders the Venezuelan opposition to undermine the agreement to stabilize the situation in Venezuela while simultaneously undermining the internal Korea efforts toward de-escalating the tensions between North and South Korea, we see the familiar hand of classic European colonialist divide-and-rule tactics that propelled them to global dominance and continues to give Western imperialism a lease on life.

But for James “Mad Dog” Mattis, the U.S. Secretary of Defense, and all the Mad Dogs of empire, the people of the world have seen behind the curtain and are not impressed with the diversionary smoke and fire of your weapons and bellicosity. The people know they have the cure for the virus that affects you, but you will not be happy with their treatment plan.


Ajamu Baraka:

Ajamu Baraka is the national organizer of the Black Alliance for Peace and was the 2016 candidate for vice president on the Green Party ticket. He is an editor and contributing columnist for the Black Agenda Report and contributing columnist for Counterpunch magazine. 

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Things to ponder

While our media prostitutes, many Hollywood celebs, and politicians and opinion shapers make so much noise about the still to be demonstrated damage done by the Russkies to our nonexistent democracy, this is what the sanctimonious US government has done overseas just since the close of World War 2. And this is what we know about. Many other misdeeds are yet to be revealed or documented.

Parting shot—a word from the editors
The Best Definition of Donald Trump We Have Found

In his zeal to prove to his antagonists in the War Party that he is as bloodthirsty as their champion, Hillary Clinton, and more manly than Barack Obama, Trump seems to have gone “play-crazy” — acting like an unpredictable maniac in order to terrorize the Russians into forcing some kind of dramatic concessions from their Syrian allies, or risk Armageddon.However, the “play-crazy” gambit can only work when the leader is, in real life, a disciplined and intelligent actor, who knows precisely what actual boundaries must not be crossed. That ain’t Donald Trump — a pitifully shallow and ill-disciplined man, emotionally handicapped by obscene privilege and cognitively crippled by white American chauvinism. By pushing Trump into a corner and demanding that he display his most bellicose self, or be ceaselessly mocked as a “puppet” and minion of Russia, a lesser power, the War Party and its media and clandestine services have created a perfect storm of mayhem that may consume us all. Glen Ford, Editor in Chief, Black Agenda Report

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5 thoughts on “Venezuela: Revenge of the Mad-Dog Empire

  1. “Today, the barbarism of the Pan-European project continues under the tutelage of what history will record—if humanity survives—as the most violent, racist, oppressive human experience ever to have emerged in the short span of human existence on Earth: The United States of America.”
    – Amen! Excellent article. Thank you.

  2. Factual. I was watching Norman Finkelstein on RT today, and the part of Gaza`s children massing to break through the Zionist barrier of supression clearly reminded me of European citizens, revelling in their smug ignorance of anything historical or informative, if their TV programme preferences are anything to go by.

  3. The Constitution which in Europe spelled the demise of the Feudal regime, meant in the US a gathering of power by the colonial elite. The small aggressive settlements in the new territories were independent and mostly democratic. That changed when Federal laws were instituted and enforced. And the creators of the Constitution made sure that laws are a political business thereby keeping the status quo in force, simply because both parties are fictional opposites. The appointments of the legal profession were left to both the executive and policy makers, restricting individual freedom to what the government under the control of the vested interests decided as being profitable to their class. Moreover, to make the line of legal commandments even more stringent, US law depends almost entirely on precedent, i.e. on what is decided before in similar legal affairs, making sure that a renewal and reconstruction of society have become very difficult. The pattern of people’s lives is thus settled beforehand as if ordained by higher beings, which in fact it is. Nobody can escape the myth of a joint venture towards liberty, equality and fraternity invented by the first ranks of establishment elite in the late seventeen hundred. Their greatest achievement was the idea of freedom of speech which created a cacophony of sounds, easily controlled by intrusive propaganda and thus a malleable and well governable large entity of divergent opinions, i.e. democracy within bounds. To counteract the ingrained misconceptions and institutions while keeping the best parts (usually the smallest allowances to the public good) necessitates a complete rethinking of what goals this society wants to pursue depending on whether the productivity of unnecessary goods will further the destruction of the planet, whether military conquest is necessary to keep the world-wide hierarchy in place, whether there is a necessity for the ranking of people according to merit, race and affiliation, questions not easily answered or calmly considered within the present erratic political field. There are however the many large groups that come together to protest discrimination and the free sale of weapons, thereby almost surreptitiously weakening the regime. The potential for a real freedom of thought and the release of shibboleths is there, but it will take time and effort to reach a place of some form of non-oppressive democracy that does not threaten the rest of the world.

  4. Baraka is of course entirely correct, dehumanization of part of the population is a perfect tool to keep all ranks in line. A scape goat has always been available whether it was the Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, Irish, Italians or Jews, whoever was at hand to despise. With it one can ignore the exploitation of oneself.

    What he decides to ignore is that no civilization on the American continent was humanitarian and that the Inca and Aztec tribes fought each other with incalculable cruelties. Equally the histories in Africa of the Zulu and Ashanti nations for example show a similar warlike and cruel character.

    The ancient Roman saying goes: “Homo homini lupus est” and our clever malleable brains are capable of extreme good and extreme cruelty, something of which other animals are incapable. Thus only remedy for the duality of the human character is a strong and binding collaborative effort to prevent the cruel side to emerge and to forcefully do away with hierarchies of any sort.

  5. The late eighteenth-century USA elites brilliantly secured the Republic and anchored their interests in the Constitution and a politically controlled law system. It is literally airtight as it was designed unlike Western-European standards which fluctuated from system to system without actual planning. Where it became a planned economy like in the USSR it rested on ideological rather than materialist grounds and therefore became in time unstable. The US establishment freed from idealist theories could establish a purely down-to-earth system of an objective unfanciful economic enterprise which guaranteed a status quo for the whole continent. The passing from agricultural wealth to industrial wealth was an unbroken line despite sometimes severe labor problems for the owners of industry. But the whole machine if one could call the country that, operated quite smoothly helped by the constant influx of cheap labor from abroad. The economic hierarchy already apparent before the Constitution was thus set in stone, though permeable to the hardy and socially unmoved who guaranteed not to upset the system, as Rockefellers, DuPonts, Fords, Mellons and their successors. Infinitesimally small economic differences kept everyone anchored with the hope for betterment which is/was constantly waved before their eyes. But the reality is that within the parameters of freedom of movement and controlled free speech, the US has been the bastion of an internal security system. Under that rubric then falls the mis-understanding of the second amendment which is to be the defense against government misuse of its authority. Which government would institute a law against its own powers? Instead it clearly is the means to a forced containment of opposition with the citizens’ lateral violence functioning as a deliberate strategy of the government. No other Western law exists which allows weapons to be the tool for domination except in the US. Equally the existence of citizen’s militia was for a long time a means for containment as it functions like a police force (the idea coming from the Dutch Republic where such militia were the police in the seventeenth century, vide their company portraits by Rembrandt and Frans Hals). It is not the just the availability of weaponry but the written freedom to use it against each other that is built into the Constitution and its amendments, thus making sure that the populace fights each other rather than their elites.

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