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  • Writer's pictureFred Guerin

On Venezuela and Bigus Dickus Mike Pompeus

Updated: May 25, 2020

America's Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is doing everything possible to take Venezuela's Maduro completely out of the picture--not in a direct military way, but by ramping up economic sanctions and sabotag ing any kind of dialogue.

Pompeo has declared that the leader of another (sovereign) country can never run for office. To get a sense of the audacity of such a pronouncement, just imagine for a moment if, for example, Germany, the UK or Canada demanded that someone they did not like in the US would be prevented from being POTUS or running for office. Such a scenario would be too absurd for serious consideration--in fact, it would be greeted with gales of laughter.

Venezuela and Maduro have agreed that there must be new parliamentary elections followed by presidential elections. However, the US is subjecting the country to such severe economic sanctions that any kind of business as usual politics is next to impossible. Former CIA operative John Stockwell vividly describes the process of forcing the submission of another country: "The point is to put pressure on the targeted government by ripping apart the social and economic fabric of the country.

That means making the people suffer as much as you can until the country plunges into chaos and at some point, you can step in and impose your choice of governments on that country".

The Venezuelan people have been suffering greatly under American economic sanctions--an economic blockade that has destroyed their economy. And yet America has not managed to rip apart the social fabric of Venezuela--organizing and solidarity at a community level is still happening. That did not begin with Pompeo or Trump. In fact it was Obama in 2015 who infamously declared that Venezuela was an “unusual and extraordinary threat” to U.S. national security.

There remains resilient opposition to America and their political puppet Juan Guaidó, and continuing and unwavering support for Nicolás Maduro and the Bolivarian revolution. These supporters are simply not going to fall on their knees in submission to American imperialists--despite crippling economic sanctions that according to American economists Mark Weisbrot and Jeffrey Sachs have resulted in the death of 40,000 Venezuelans. Pompeo and his Canadian counterpart Chrystia Freeland see Venezuela under Maduro as a 'failed state'. That failed state with a population of 28,443, 719 has the lowest number of COVID cases and deaths in South America at 1,121 cases 10 deaths (as of May 25/20). Compare that with COVID numbers in Brazil under right wing Jair Bolsonaro: 365,213 cases and 22,746--the most in Latin America. Bolsonaro has dismissively called COVID a "little flu". When he was asked by journalists about the spreading pandemic his response was “So what? What do you want me to do?” That is the guy Freeland and Pompeo support.

Meanwhile the Maduro has implemented important measures that deal with the health and economic effects of the pandemic: designating hospitals and clinics as pandemic centres, insuring that banks extend debt payment deadlines without penalties, suspending rent payments for six months, a stay-at-home bonus, a raise in salaries and pensions, providing subsidized food packages, a firing freeze until December. That is the guy Freeland and Pompeo want out. So far they have failed.

The keystone cops coup attempt in May by US ex-soldiers, armed with US-provided machine guns and night-vision goggles is a case in point of just how desperate and completely inept American foreign policy under Pompeo has become. The invasion, involved 300 defected Venezuelan soldiers, eight of whom were killed and many more captured the Venezuelan arm. This ridiculous beach landing in the fishing village of Chuao led by two former U.S. special forces soldiers, Luke Denman and Airan Berry, has obvious affinities to another botched beach landing: Bay of Pigs

It is not because of drugs; it is not because America believes Venezuelans are not free or that their government is brutal and corrupt. No. There is only one reason America wants regime change in Venezuela--as Linda McQuaig once put it in the title of a book: 'Its the Crude, Dude'! Venezuela is sitting on one of the worrld largest oil reserves and America wants that oil. That fact was underscored not just by Pompeo but by none other than John Bolton when he said “It will make a big difference to the United States economically if we could have American oil companies really invest in and produce the oil capabilities in Venezuela.”

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