Attacks on the Venezuelan Revolution
It is important for us to note the vicious battles that Venezuela has had to fight nationally and internationally against the great attacks on our people including from the United States (the most economically powerful and belligerent country the world has known), from the European Parliament, from the international media, and even from a group of former Latin American presidents. This is the context for 2015, a year in which Venezuela has been at the epicenter of a hurricane like those suffered by Chile from 1970 to 1973 during President Allende and by the Cuban Revolution. To understand the results of the December 6 elections, it is important to understand the attacks Venezuela has had to endure in 2015.
In January, Spain’s newspaper ABC circulates news without any proof that an ex-official of security Leamsy Salazar accused various Venezuelan officials of drug trafficking in the United States.
In February, US Vice-President Joe Biden, declares the possibility of the overthrow of the President Nicolas Maduro. On February 11, opposition leaders Maria Corina Machado, Antonio Ledezma, and Leopoldo Lopez endorse an agreement for a transition: a change in the Venezuelan government. On February 27, Operation Jerico - a plan to overthrow the state - is exposed: Ten Venezuelan military officers, and Antonio Ledezma are accused of planning to overthrow the Venezuelan government.
In March, on the 9th the US government passes a decree designating Venezuela a national threat. On the 12th, the European Parliament approves a resolution condemning the Venezuelan government and demanding the freeing of those they call political prisoners. On the 14th, Spain’s Congress approves a bill asking its government to carry out initiatives for the freeing of the imprisoned right-wing politicians.
US President Barack Obama submits new sanctions against Venezuela; the measures include the freezing of goods and restrictions of visas for 7 Venezuelan officials. In a communiqué, the US urges Venezuela to free the main actors of a plan to destabilize the government supported by Washington and in which 43 people were killed and countless material loss took place. Let’s not forget that the US uses diplomatic and economic sanctions to pressure countries that oppose its plans for world hegemony.
In April, on the 9th, a group of right-wing former Latin American Presidents endorse a declaration in Panama challenging democracy in Venezuela. The United States also increases its military presence in Latin America with the creation of a special unit in Honduras with 250 marines, helicopters, and a high speed vessel to conduct collaborative missions in the region.
In May, on the 26th, Newsweek publishes a controversial cover with Diosdado Cabello, President of Venezuela’s National Assembly.
The transnational corporation Exxon Mobil creates a ploy to sabotage improving relations between Venezuela and the US.
In June, on the 7th, rightwing former President Felipe Gonzalez arrives in Venezuela to join the destabilization campaign. Previously, Guyana Chief of Staff Brigadier Marck Phillips made a dangerous bellicose call against Venezuela.
In July, a TV program in Miami named Caso Cerrado (Closed Case), has a show that slanders President Nicolas Maduro. On the 2nd, the President of Guyana, asks the Caribbean community to reject Venezuela’s claims over the Esequibo (a territory reclaimed by Venezuela from Guyana, which had been taken from the former during the colonial period of British Empire) and expressed that Venezuela had become a monkey on its back.
In August, a paramilitary of the Colombian gang the Urabenos was captured in Venezuelan territory.
In September, the General Secretary of the Organization of American States (OAS) Luis Alamagro launches harsh criticisms of the Venezuelan government on SNS accusing President Maduro of being a dictator.
The right-wing candidate for Mayor of Bogota, the capital of Colombia, uses an image of President Nicolas Maduro with his mouth taped shut for his campaign.
Ileana Ros Lehtinen, a US Congresswoman demands further sanctions against Venezuelan officials.
In October, on the 23rd, Venezuelan Prosecutor Franklin Nieves makes declarations in a video questioning opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez’s trial. US Senator Robert Menendez questions Venezuelan justice.
In November, US General John Kelly, allows US planes to fly over Venezuelan airspace. In addition, there are a series of attacks against the National Election Council (CNE) and against Venezuelan elections.
Argentina’s President-elect Mauricio Macri asks Mercosur to apply the Democratic Clause against Venezuela
Secretary of the Organization of American States writes a disrespectful letter to the president of the National Election Council questioning the transparency of Venezuela’s elections and asking for their suspension.
Finally, there is the economic war, a strategy used by forces hostile to the government to sow discord among the general population hiding basic necessities and hiking up prices by up to 1000%.
What is happening in Venezuela, for it continues even after the elections and will worsen next year is reminiscent of Chile in the 70s before the overthrow of Salvador Allende. A group of “conspirators that endeavored to demoralize the people through scare tactics and hoarding of food, and exclusion of the Chilean economy abroad mostly by the US State Department, which since 1970 had already ordered breaking the economy and not allowing even a screw or bolt to enter Chile.”
The Venezuelan crisis is the result of this economic war, which is nothing else but the implementation of measures by local elites, supported by the US and private companies to sink the country into uncertainty, chaos, and ungovernability.
It is within this landscape that the December 6 elections took place. The economic war has forced us, as President Maduro stated, “to sustain three countries: the one of the Venezuelan family that the state should support; the one of the criminal economy, speculation, and hoarding that systematically cuts supply lines of products to the people and increases prices; and the country of contraband and extraction.”
By Juan Salas Monterrosa, Councillor