The author argues that the latest attacks against the government of Nicolas Maduro is nothing else, but a continuation of a historical United States-led western imperialist project in Latin America.
In a paper titled “A Timeline of CIA Atrocities”, Steve Kangas, summarises the operation of America’s Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) as follows:
“CIA operations follow the same recurring script. First, American business interests abroad are threatened by a popular or democratically elected leader.
The people support their leader because he intends to conduct land reform, strengthen unions, redistribute wealth, nationalise foreign-owned industry, and regulate business to protect workers, consumers and the environment.
So, on behalf of American business, and often with their help, the CIA mobilises the opposition. First it identifies right-wing groups within the country (usually the military), and offers them a deal: “We’ll put you in power if you maintain a favourable business climate for us.”
The Agency then hires, trains and works with them to overthrow the existing government (usually a democracy). It uses every trick in the book: propaganda, stuffed ballot boxes, purchased elections, extortion, blackmail, sexual intrigue, false stories about opponents in the local media, infiltration and disruption of opposing political parties, kidnapping, beating, torture, intimidation, economic sabotage, death squads and even assassination.
These efforts culminate in a military coup, which installs a right-wing dictator. The CIA trains the dictator’s security apparatus to crack down on the traditional enemies of big business, using interrogation, torture and murder.
The victims are said to be “communists,” but almost always they are just peasants, liberals, moderates, labour union leaders, political opponents and advocates of free speech and democracy. Widespread human rights abuses follow.”
Does the aforementioned sound familiar? Indeed it does and it is critical in helping us understand what is currently unfolding in Venezuela.
Since its formation in 1947, on behalf of the white world, the CIA has overthrown more legitimate governments and has assassinated more legitimate leaders than all of the known state intelligence agencies combined.
It seems it will maintain this record in the 21st century. From the 1940s to the present, the CIA has manufactured coups, created opposition parties and overthrown legitimate governments in Greece, Italy, Iran, Vietnam, Haiti, Hawaii, Indonesia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Angola, Zaire (here they helped assassinate our beloved Patrice Lumumba).
The CIA did the same in Panama, Nicaragua (here they armed the Contras against the Sandinista), Honduras, El Salvador, Brazil, Chile (here they assassinated, the Socialist, Salvatore Allende), Bolivia (this is where the CIA shot and killed Che Guevara), Cuba (remember the Bay of Pigs invasion and the reported 638 assassination attempts on Castro?).
Do you also remember the coup attempt on Hugo Chavez in 2002? One of the things that this timeline indicates is that, one of the “favourite” regions of the CIA has been Latin America and the reason for this is simple.
Latin America has one of the world’s largest concentrations of a variety of untapped natural resources such as gold, silver, copper, iron ore, tin and petroleum. Controlling these resources is critical for geo-political reasons.
This also helps us understand why the indigenous communities of Latin America have been engaged in deadly battles against corporate capture (mainly against United States and British companies) for decades. An inspirational example is that of the Mapuche of Chile.
At about 297 billion barrels, Venezuela has the biggest oil reserves in the world (even bigger than Saudi Arabia), which is at about 267 billion barrels. Together with Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Canada and Iraq, Venezuela is in the top five countries supplying the United States with petroleum.
It is also a known fact that control of the world’s petroleum resources is critical to America’s survival and it informs its geo-politics. America consumes about 18 million barrels of oil per day or about 20 percent of global oil consumption.
Under Chavez, Venezuela has used its massive oil (and resultant economic benefits), to enable an economic programme in Latin America that seeks to break the dependence of Latin American countries on western multinationals and states.
This programme was dubbed the “Bolivarian Revolution”, by Chavez’s Fifth Republic Movement (later the United Socialist Party of Venezuela).
This programme had considerable economic success for ordinary Venezuelans and other Latin American states. But this programme also presented America and the West, with a huge geopolitical nightmare because it was essentially undermining their influence in this region.
This and Chavez’s closeness to Cuba’s Fidel Castro and Iran’s Ahmed Ahmadinejad (both who have been steadfast and unapologetic in opposing American imperialism)-made Chavez the new threat to global-American imperialist dominance (particularly in Latin America).
This meant, consistent with their blood-thirsty history, America and allies had to find plans to undermine what Chavez was trying to build and part of this plan included that Chavez be assassinated. There were numerous attempts to assassinate him (including poisoning), but they failed.
What does all this mean? The latest imperialist attacks against the legitimate government of Nicolas Maduro (in the form of Juan Guaido)—is nothing else but a continuation of a historical United States-led-western imperialist project (whose detail was conceived during the Clinton presidency).
Venezuela is also being attacked by the United States and allies as a means of undermining the growing global military and economic influence of two of the Maduro government’s most powerful allies: Russia and China.
Therefore, the Trump administration (like others before it) is doing nothing new in attacking the government of Nicolas Maduro. It is simply staying true to the basic instincts of America as the foremost terrorist empire of our time.
However, for us in the Black world, while we must expose and oppose US-led imperialism in Venezuela, we must also raise the issue of the failure of left-wing parties in such places as Venezuela, Brazil, Colombia and Peru, to confront and place the issue of anti-Black racism and black erasure, in Latin America, at the centre of their anti-imperialist agenda.
* Veli Mbele is an essayist and Secretary of Black Power Front