The US hated Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez with a passion and supported an attempted coup against him in 2002 that was foiled. When he died recently, the US was openly cheering for the opposition leader in the election to replace him. When Chavez’s successor Nicolas Maduro won the April 15 election with a surprisingly narrow margin of just 1.6%, hopes were raised in the US that the result might be overturned and the US-backed candidate Henrique Capriles become leader. The US media repeatedly dwelt on supposed irregularities in the elections even though former US president Jimmy Carter has said in September 2012 that of the 92 elections he has monitored, the “election process in Venezuela is the best in the world”.
But while there were immediate attempts to delegitimize the results and sow the seeds for unrest and possibly another ‘soft’ coup, Glen Ford of the Black Agenda Report reports that other Latin American countries quickly closed ranks and squashed that attempt.
As the greatest disrespecter of democratic elections in the western hemisphere, the United States refused to recognize the results, holding out for a 100 percent audit, or recount.
The good news is, Latin America quickly united to blunt the Yankee offensive in its tracks. Leaders of Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia and Ecuador, met in an extraordinary summit in Peru, where they agreed to throw their weight behind Venezuela’s President Maduro. Then they flew on to Caracas, where 17 Latin American presidents and delegations from 47 nations attended Maduro’s swearing in ceremony. Even Colombia, Venezuela’s neighbor and Washington’s closest ally in the region, broke with the U.S. on the election issue. So did the Organization of American States, an anachronistic entity that has long acted as a puppet for Washington. When Spain backed off from the U.S., so did the rest of Europe, leaving the Americans totally isolated. Haiti, a country that lost its sovereignty to invasion by the United States – even helpless little Haiti named the airport in Cap-Haitien, its second largest city, after the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.
The Boston bombings and the crises over North Korea and Syria have driven Venezuela off the front pages of the news but one should not think that the US government has stopped its covert interference in that country. But this show of solidarity with Venezuela of other Latin American countries, even those who are allies of the US, must be dampening their hopes for a change.