It is plain as day that the United States wants to overthrow the government in Venezuela
By Vijay Prashad
January 17, 2019 – venezuelanalysis.com
Last Thursday—on January 10—Nicolas Maduro was sworn in for his second term as president of Venezuela. “I tell the people,” Maduro said, “this presidential sash is yours. The power of this sash is yours. It does not belong to the oligarchy or to imperialism. It belongs to the sovereign people of Venezuela.”
These two terms—oligarchy and imperialism—define the problems faced by Maduro’s new government.
Despite 10 years of governance by the socialist forces—first led by Hugo Chavez and now by Maduro—the Venezuelan oligarchy remains firmly intact. It dominates large sections of the economy, holds immense amounts of the country’s social wealth and controls the main media outlets. A walk through the Altamira neighborhood in eastern Caracas is sufficient to gauge the resilience of the wealthy, most of whom have homes in Spain and in Florida as well. Pelucones is the name used to define them—bigwigs, a term with aristocratic connotations. They have resisted all attempts by the socialist Bolivarian movement to expand political and economic democracy in the country.
This oligarchy, through its media, controls the political and social narrative, defining the nature of Venezuela’s crisis to its advantage. For this small sliver of the population, all of Venezuela’s serious problems are blamed on the Maduro movement. None of the problems are laid on the doorstep of their long domination of Venezuela nor do they cast an eye at the United States, which has tried to suffocate the Bolivarian revolution since 1999.
Imperialism is a word that is rarely used these days. It is relegated to histories of colonialism in the distant past. There is little understanding of the suffocating way that financial firms and multinational businesses drive their agenda against the development aspirations of the poorer nations. There is even less understanding about the muscular attitude of countries such as the United States, Canada and the Europeans against states that they deem to be a problem.
The gunsights were once firmly on West Asia and North Africa—on Iraq, Libya, Syria and Iran—but now they are focused on Latin America—on Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela. These countries face economic sanctions and embargoes, threats of annihilation, covert operations and war. The definition of imperialism is simple: if you don’t do what we tell you to do, we’ll destroy you.
Pressure on Venezuela has been intense. U.S. President Donald Trump has repeatedly called for the overthrow of the Bolivarian government, led by Maduro. Sanctions have been ratcheted up. Economic warfare has become normal. Threats of a military invasion are in the air.