Venezuela a threat to US national security?

by Hands off Venezuela

On March 9, 2015, U.S. President Obama issued an executive order declaring a “national emergency” affirming that “the situation in Venezuela” poses an “unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States.” This is the latest measure of U.S. imperialist meddling in the internal affairs of a sovereign nation like the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and as such is strongly condemned by the Hands off Venezuela campaign.

Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro holds a copy of the Venezuelan Constitution as he speaks to his people. – Photo: Reuters
Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro holds a copy of the Venezuelan Constitution as he speaks to his people. – Photo: Reuters

The terms of Obama’s executive order would be farcical if the situation was not in fact very dangerous. The order names seven officials of the Venezuelan state whose assets are to be frozen and their entry into the U.S. blocked, but in reality this is an unjustified attack against the national sovereignty of Venezuela. The government of the U.S. has not even produced any evidence that any of these individuals have any assets in the U.S. or have travelled to the U.S. in the past.

The idea that these sanctions are imposed with the aim of defending human rights, freedom of expression, democratic institutions and attacking corruption in Venezuela is laughable if one looks at the track record of the United States.

For example, the government of the United States:

  • is responsible for local police forces which regularly kill unarmed teenagers just because of the color of their skin.
  • is involved in mass surveillance and spying on its own citizens.
  • carries out the illegal detention and torturing of foreign citizens at its military base in Guantanamo, despite Obama’s promise to close it down.
  • through its CIA is involved in the kidnapping and torturing of foreign citizens in countries outside the USA.

Throughout its history, the USA has been involved in countless interventions in foreign countries in order to depose governments they did not like and to support and defend brutal dictatorships. More recently, in Latin America, Washington has been involved in successful and failed coups in Bolivia (2008), Honduras (2009) and Paraguay (2012).

In Colombia and Mexico, the government of the United States has no problem in supporting governments which are responsible for horrific violations of human rights and for corruption and are linked to drug cartels. No executive orders in these cases. They are not considered “a threat to national security.”

This is the latest measure of U.S. imperialist meddling in the internal affairs of a sovereign nation like the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and as such is strongly condemned by the Hands off Venezuela campaign.

How can President Obama even talk about human rights and democratic institutions when barely six weeks ago he headed a high level delegation to Saudi Arabia to attend the funeral of that country’s ruthless despot and described him as “one of our closest allies”?

How can the president of the U.S. describe Venezuela as an “extraordinary threat to U.S. national security” when the United States was directly involved in the coup which overthrew the democratically elected government of President Hugo Chávez in April 2002?

The U.S. has not ceased to fund and support opposition groups in Venezuela that have been involved in attempts to remove by force the democratically elected government of the country. Washington has not ceased in its constant interference against the democratic will of the Venezuelan people. Who is a threat to whom?

At a March 9 press conference, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez remarked about U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Roberta Jacobson, “In a rude and petulant manner, Mrs. Jacobson tells us what to do.” The U.S. sanctions have backfired with the Venezuelan opposition. While agreeing with U.S. accusations of rights abuses and corruption, they do not want to be associated with outside interference. – Photo: AVN
At a March 9 press conference, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez remarked about U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Roberta Jacobson, “In a rude and petulant manner, Mrs. Jacobson tells us what to do.” The U.S. sanctions have backfired with the Venezuelan opposition. While agreeing with U.S. accusations of rights abuses and corruption, they do not want to be associated with outside interference. – Photo: AVN

The only threat which Venezuela presents to U.S. imperialism is the threat of being a good example. Venezuela’s Bolivarian revolution has eradicated illiteracy, massively extended free health care and education, substantially reduced poverty and unemployment, built affordable housing for hundreds of thousands of families and generally inspired progressive and democratic change in the whole of Latin America and beyond.

Chavez’ call for socialism has reverberated among millions of workers and youth across the world who are suffering from the policies of cuts and austerity. Even in the United States, thousands of poor families have benefited from fuel subsidies provided by the Venezuelan government.

The democratic credentials of the Bolivarian revolution cannot be questioned by anyone. There have been 18 elections and referenda since 1998, with all bar one (December 2007) being won by the candidates and proposals of the Bolivarian movement. This year there will be National Assembly elections again.

The latest sanctions imposed by President Obama affect only seven individuals, but in reality they represent a threat to the Bolivarian revolution. They are an escalation of the sanctions already imposed in December 2014 and the language used opens the door for further and more severe economic sanctions, the funding of opposition groups in violation of national sovereignty and other forms of intervention.

It is not by chance that this executive order comes less than a month of the uncovering of a coup plot in Venezuela, the organization of which took place partly on U.S. soil.

Given these events, we reaffirm our solidarity with the Bolivarian revolution and the government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela faced with imperialist aggression. We call on the labor movement, the youth and progressive and democratic public opinion throughout the world to join in a powerful movement rejecting U.S. interference in Venezuela.

U.S. Hands off Venezuela!

Respect the Democratic Will of the Venezuelan People!

Defend and Complete the Bolivarian Revolution!

This story first appeared at http://www.marxist.com/venezuela-a-threat-to-us-national-security.htm.

Castro, Correa and Morales rally behind Venezuela to condemn U.S. sanctions

by TeleSUR English

Various Latin American countries have rallied behind Venezuela to condemn new U.S. sanctions against the South American nation.

The Cuban government has slammed the U.S. sanctions as “arbitrary and aggressive.”

“How is Venezuela a threat to the United States? Thousands of kilometers away, without strategic weapons and without the resources … to conspire against the U.S. constitutional order; the (White House) declaration has little credibility,” read a statement published in the newspaper Granma on Tuesday.

Former Cuban President Fidel Castro has also praised Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s “brilliant and valiant” response to what he described as “brutal” U.S. plans against Venezuela. The comments were made in a short letter to Maduro on Monday night.

The Cuban government has slammed the U.S. sanctions as “arbitrary and aggressive.”

Earlier in the day, Bolivia’s President Evo Morales said the regional blocs CELAC and UNASUR should immediately hold an “emergency meeting,” arguing the U.S. sanctions pose a threat to “all of Latin America and the Caribbean.”

“We condemn, we repudiate, in the 21st century we won’t accept this kind of intervention by the United States,” Morales said. “All of our solidarity and our support goes to President Maduro and the revolutionary Bolivarian government and people of Venezuela.”

UNASUR’s head and other regional leaders including Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa have already slammed the White House’s decision to impose more sanctions on Venezuela.

“An executive order by Obama declaring Venezuela a national security threat and declaring a national emergency to face this threat … It must be a bad joke, which reminds us of the darkest hours of our America, when we received invasions and dictatorships imposed by imperialism … Will they understand that Latin America has changed?” said the Ecuadorean leader Tuesday through his Facebook account.

“We condemn, we repudiate, in the 21st century we won’t accept this kind of intervention by the United States,” Morales said. “All of our solidarity and our support goes to President Maduro and the revolutionary Bolivarian government and people of Venezuela.”

On Monday, President Barack Obama declared Venezuela an “unusual and extraordinary threat” to the United States.

Obama also issued sanctions on several high ranking Venezuelan government officials. The measures were issued under an executive order. In the past, the Obama administration has condemned Maduro for using executive orders to pass legislation.

“We believe the separation of powers and the presence of independent branches of government are essential elements of democracy,” a White House spokesperson said in 2013, after Maduro used an executive order to pass legislation aimed at stabilizing consumer prices.

In response to Obama’s announcements, Maduro requested the use of the Enabling Act to pass by executive order “a special law to preserve peace in the country” in the face of U.S. threats.

The hashtag #YankeeGoHome has gone viral. – Photo: Twitter
The hashtag #YankeeGoHome has gone viral. – Photo: Twitter

If the powers are granted by the National Assembly, Maduro plans to draft an “anti-imperialist law to prepare us for all scenarios and to win,” he said.

In unison with Latin American leaders’ comments, social media users have coined the hashtag #ObamaYankeeGoHome, posting over 80,000 tweets with the tag within the first 24 hours following Obama’s announcements.

The phrase “Yankee go home” has been used in Latin American pop culture and leftist circles since the 1950s, long after the United States established a firm imperialist attitude toward independent-minded governments south of its borders.

In 1973, renowned Venezuelan folk singer Ali Primera wrote a song called “Working-Class Latin America,” in which the expression is sung in refrain.

This story previously appeared at http://venezuelanalysis.com/news/11259.