What will come after the U.S. "wet firecracker" in Venezuela?

This operation was launched as a last resort after the failure of the most desperate coup attempt in history in Our America.

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I spent last Saturday, February 23, like many others trying to see the unfolding of the U.S. operation against the constitutional government of Venezuela under the "flag of convenience" of a supposed "humanitarian aid" requested by Juan Guaidó, who through the Washington government proclaimed himself "president" of Venezuela, and he himself without any compunction declared (1) that the loss of human lives through the violence generated by the opposition and those that would occur due to a foreign military intervention "for us is not a cost, it is an investment in the future.”


In reality, this operation was launched as a last resort after the failure of the most desperate coup attempt in history in Our America, with public appeals through the unconditional media cartels of the United States and Latin America, and the diplomatic and political efforts of the vassal governments of the region towards the military chiefs of the Bolivarian National Armed Forces (FANB) to sell out and defect, placing themselves at the service of the United States (USA), with the main goal of overthrowing the legitimate government of Nicolas Maduro in order to literally plunder Venezuela.


What I heard, saw and read last Saturday 23 confirmed what I expected, that this operation was going to be a "wet firecracker" for different reasons, the first among them due to the majority support of Venezuelans and the FANB for Maduro's government, and also because, in addition to being an unknown figure for the population, Guaidó does not even represent the majority sector of the opposition, from the moment he called for radical violence, direct interventionism on the part of the USA, and that he gladly accepted to become the "live ventriloquist puppet" of the neoconservatives who govern in Washington; the same ones who for years have been causing hunger and creating artificial scarcity in Venezuela by means of a barrage of sanctions of all kinds.


To have believed that through the "virtual reality" of the puppet Guaidó they could create a "Stockholm syndrome" (2) in millions of Venezuelans, and in particular in the heart of the FANB, after having "intensified a criminal blockade against the country, with the sole intention of seizing Venezuelan oil," as the Executive Vice President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Delcy Rodríguez, pointed out, only confirmed to me the pathetic decadence and total nullity of the political, diplomatic and intelligence system of US imperialism.


What to expect from the United States now?


In principle we already know that we cannot expect a measured and rational response from the Administration of President Donald Trump; but the doubts that emerge in some of his regional allies – according to unconfirmed versions it appears to be from Colombia and Brazil, nothing less – can be explained by a surprising act of good sense, such as the statement of the European Commission, communicated by the spokeswoman for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Maja Kocijancic, who made it clear that in Guaidó's call for a military intervention against Venezuela "the position of the European Union in this context is very clear: military intervention must be avoided".


Given this situation, and if there were a pinch of good sense in the White House, after this failure one could count on the dismissal of John Bolton (National Security) and Michael Pompeo (State Department), together or separately, and that from now on Vice President Mike Pence would be banned from speaking; but in practice, what the Trump Administration says and does on a daily basis in international relations shows the advanced state of dementia that reigns in the high circles of power in Washington. And unfortunately, for that very reason, the failure of February 23 may end up being interpreted by the stubborn rulers in Washington as though the only way forward is through new and more aggressive operations against Venezuela, including military intervention, either directly or jointly with the vassal countries in the region, if they can convince them.


Political scientist José Luis Fiori points out that, after the election of Donald Trump, it is much more difficult to foresee the future of the world system and the sudden changes in US foreign policy, particularly with the Great Powers. But in one respect, everything became clearer and more transparent: the behaviour of the United States towards the countries on the periphery of the system. In these cases, the Trump government has abolished the simulations of the past, and explicitly assumed what the United States has always done covertly: to promote the authoritarian change of governments and regimes that displease them, through the quickest and most adequate methods. In other words, the "idealistic conspiracies" give way to "strategic realism" in the defense of the right of US intervention against their two new "useful enemies": the phantoms of "corruption" and "authoritarian populism". And he further adds that "in these new times, the democracy and national sovereignty of peripheral countries cease to have any value and can be run over with impunity whenever they become a target of US foreign policy. These ‘strategic interventions’ do not have any kind of ethical limit, nor do they have any kind of commitment to the reconstruction of the societies and economies that are being destroyed. The times of the Marshall Plan and the "benevolent hegemony" of the United States are over and will never return. And this is a "fact of reality" that needs to be assumed and computed by the strategy of the peoples and political forces that still dream and struggle to be masters of their own destiny" (3).


What is probable is that the group of countries that support the Bolivarian government – or simply reject any type of military intervention – in our region and in the world, will expand. The reasons are diverse, but some of Washington's European allies who bowed meekly to the failed aggression of February 23 have changed their position, as we have seen, and this also has to do with the serious political and social fractures suffered by European societies due to the radical neoliberal austerity policies. The Yellow Vests in France, that increasingly demand the recovery of "national and popular sovereignty" to put an end to neoliberalism, may end up being the most important European socio-political awakening of the past century, and we could see several Venezuelan flags last Saturday February 23 at the Yellow Vests demonstrations in Paris and other French cities.


All this will accentuate the political and diplomatic isolation of the US at a time when Washington faces serious negotiations to avoid a trade war with China, when there are disagreements with Germany and other European Union countries in the field of security - due to the withdrawal of the US from the Treaty on Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) and the role of NATO - for the Northern Gas Pipeline with Russia, and in trade, due to Washington's threat to block imports of German automobiles, among other issues.


Any change in the correlation of forces at the international level that is very unfavorable to the United States may influence domestic policy in Washington to stop the plan to intervene directly against Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua; but as Fiori points out, we have to assume the "real fact" of this blatant imperialism that needs to take over Our America in order to alleviate its pathetic decadence in economics, trade, monetary policy and as a "model" of social and cultural behavior.


But after all, at some point Washington will have to recognize that for decades the United States has not won any of the wars it has launched to "export democracy and appropriate the oil and mineral resources" of other peoples, and that a part of a decadence that will not condemn the planet to nuclear extinction is to "accept political defeats," as historian Eric Hobsbawm used to say.


What to do in Our America?


On the part of the political forces and the "organic intellectuals" of Our America, the priority is to recognize the "real fact" of imperialist politics mentioned by the political scientist Fiori, and thus accept that the system of liberal democracy, the rule of law or bourgeois democracy, however one wants to call it, is an anachronism in the times in which we are living.


In a recent contribution entitled "Neoliberalism and state of exception" (4), Brazilian sociologist Emir Sader sets the pendulum at the right beat with his characterization of the current liberal system, which under neoliberalism applies "the well-known scheme: less bread, more sticks. Be it through direct repression, which has limits, or through the reformulation of the political and juridical system, in an attempt to prevent this growing discontent from feeding anti-neoliberal alternatives, which would affect the very heart of the interests of big capital. And with the judiciary and the police playing a fundamental role in seeking to prevent social discontent from feeding into strong opposition political forces. The neoliberal model today has no hegemonic capacity. That is why they require a state of exception in order to take possession and remain in government. They need to persecute those leaders who represent radically antagonistic visions and try to prevent them from being candidates. These are the cases of Lula (da Silva), Cristina (Fernández), Rafael Correa. It is not possible to have a neoliberal government that is not shielded by structures of exception. Neoliberalism can only survive protected by a state of exception. The anti-neoliberal struggle is thus inseparable from the democratic struggle, of resistance to the installation of states of exception.”


I might add that the state of permanent exception is the condition for consecrating the "supremacy of the State" over society (5), as the German jurist and political scientist Carl Schmitt defined it, and in imperialist terms the state of exception was at the service of imposing "absolute supremacy" in the world, as Adolf Hitler dreamed, for whom Schmitt worked for several years.


In short, there is nothing new in all this, because in 1857 and in a critique of the ideas of the British economist J. Stuart Mill on the appropriation of the distribution of wealth and property, Karl Marx wrote that it seems to the bourgeois economists that with the modern police, production works better than, for example, applying the right of the strongest. They forget only that the right of the strongest is also a right, and that this right of the strongest is perpetuated under another form in their "rule of law" (6).


How could the Bolivarian government confront the current situation?


As for Venezuela, both at the governmental and the people's level, one of the most important aspects of the "wet firecracker" of February 23 is the opportunity to point out, designate and hold legally accountable those "beachheads" of imperialism in the interior, that is, the institutional political forces and even the individuals who gave in to foreign aggression and put themselves at the service of the US and other aggressive countries in order to commit crimes, destroy the constitutional order and the political and social system of the Bolivarian Revolution.


As Aram Aharonian writes, quoting analyst Juan Manuel Rodríguez, it is a dangerous game that faced with imperial aggression, the government lets Guaidó run around as if he were a crazy kid. He is a usurper at the service of the United States to seize the nation's assets and occupy it militarily. The Government is betting on time to convince adverse international opinion to stop beating around the bush. It is not just passivity, the ambiguity of the Venezuelan government is astonishing (https://www.alainet.org/es/articulo/198343).


In Venezuela, the reaction of the Executive Vice President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Delcy Rodríguez, was very concrete when she recalled that "the capitalist model is a model that reminds us every day that it is profoundly unjust, violent, that the only way to sustain it is through imperial wars" (7) and the criminal blockade against the country, with the sole intention of taking possession of Venezuelan oil.


After recalling that "we are not going to give in, if we leave our lives here, we already know that we are winning, as our martyrs won, to see a homeland of freedom, where the people are dignified, as is happening today with the Bolivarian Revolution", Delcy Rodríguez affirmed that democracy exists in her country where, in the last 20 years of Revolution, 25 elections have been held, and that in the last 12 months there have been five polls, which have thus demonstrated to the world the ratifications of the peaceful path of the revolution.


The Vice President said that in Venezuela the problem is not elections, but "class contempt" and "political and ideological intolerance towards the Bolivarian socialist model represented by the government of President Nicolas Maduro. The hatred felt by the capitalists because he comes from the trade union movement and that he is in charge of the largest energy reserves on our planet. It is the contempt that is also expressed in this aggression against our homeland.”


As a distant observer, this journalist can understand that there is dialogue with opposition political and social forces with a view to maintaining and strengthening social cohesion and broadening the levels of democratic participation aimed at maintaining national and popular sovereignty. This is good practice, but the door should not be open to the forces and individuals who have demonstrated a desire to destroy all sovereignty and hand over the country and its wealth to imperialism, because they are enemies of the Bolivarian Nation.


Perhaps the time has come to put on the agenda the question of social property over companies of great social, political, economic, commercial and cultural impact that are complicit in the policies of aggression of the US and its allies, and that are used to seriously affect the daily life of the people and erode or annul the efforts of the Bolivarian government in favor of the people.


But in short, what has remained visible throughout this destabilizing process is that the majority of the people and the strategic institutions, as well as the organized popular forces maintain their support for the Bolivarian government, and that on the foreign plane, Venezuela has friends among the masses and governments around the world, as well as markets that can strengthen the economy, social cohesion and the revolutionary process.


(Translated for ALAI by Jordan Bishop)


- Alberto Rabilotta is an Argentine-Canadian journalist.



(1) Watch the video of this statement at https://www.laiguana.tv/articulos/438726-juan-guaido-muertos-guarimbas-video/


(2) According to Wikipedia, the Stockholm syndrome is a psychological reaction in which the victim of a kidnapping or retention against his or her will, develops a relationship of complicity and a strong affective bond with his/her captor. It is mainly due to misinterpreting the absence of violence as an act of humanity on the part of the aggressor.


(3) Conspiração e estratégia, José Luis Fiori. In Portuguese. https://www.alainet.org/pt/articulo/198338


(4) Emir Sader, Neoliberalismo y estado de excepción, Página/12 https://www.pagina12.com.ar/175710-neoliberalismo-y-estado-de-excepcion


(5) Alberto Rabilotta, 2018, from the Liberal State of Rule of Law to the State of Permanent Exception? (II) https://www.alainet.org/en/articulo/192948




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