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Latin America tells US “Hands off Venezuela”

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.

Comments

  1. says

    The US hated Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez

    The US, in general didn’t give a shit about Chavez – but, the rulers of the US hated him. There is a vast gulf between what “the US” thinks and what the relatively small cluster of oligarchs to rule the US think.

  2. Chiroptera says

    The US, in general didn’t give a shit about Chavez….

    I’m not so sure about that. I was under the impression that the US press did such a good job demonizing Chavez that the American public (at least those who knew who Chavez was) was convinced that he was an irredeemably evil dictator bent on turning Venezuela into a totalitarian hell hole.

    Hell, even some on the Left who should have known better felt the need to join in on the Hugo bashing.

  3. MNb says

    “a surprisingly narrow margin”
    Why surprising? Things are not going that well in Venezuela: high inflation, empty shops, unemployment. Chavez couldn’t hold a candle to Lula, the former president of Brasil. Bolivian Morales is somewhere in between.
    Btw Chavez wasn’t above US-like interference either. Only 30 km beyond the coast there are three Dutch islands. Chavez uttered some nonsense about historical bonds between Venezuela and those three islands.
    For the sake of clarity: the vast majority of the inhabitants prefer to remain Dutch. Otherwise some Dutch government would have transferred them long ago as they are mainly a political pain in Dutch ass (drugs traffic being only one issue; corruption another).
    I agree that American policy towards Venezuela is rather stupid, but that doesn’t necessarily make Chavez a good guy (same for the Venezuelan opposition).. I’ll have to see what Maduro does.

  4. Mano Singham says

    It was surprising because pre-election polls gave Maduro a double-digit lead.

  5. sailor1031 says

    “It was surprising because pre-election polls gave Maduro a double-digit lead.”

    Which would indicate that any putative election fraud was not carried out by the socialist party (Chavistas) but by the CIA and their in-country puppets. In any case the insolence of the US, which hasn’t had a straight presidential election for at least the last four cycles, is comical and infuriating at the same time. It’s on a par with the recent US government report on religious freedom around the world, which slams “aggressive secularism” in western Europe but says nothing about Uganda!

  6. Joe Stutter says

    Sailor, the Venezuelan electoral council is completely controlled by the chavistas, only one of its members can be considered to be from the opposition. Claiming that the CIA tampered with the elections would imply that they were in collusion with socialist party supporters. As MNb indicates, the narrow margin is not surprising since the Venezuelan economy is in pretty bad shape. Also, Maduro is not Chavez, and he has been shunned by many chavistas, including one of Chavez’s daughters.

  7. says

    “I am certain that behind those remarks, the United States is preparing a coup d’état in Venezuela”, said [Evo] Morales. “I would like to express that this (US demand for a recount) is a flagrant US interference in Venezuela’s democracy, as neither that US spokesperson nor the US government have moral authority to question electoral results in any Latin American country or around the world.”

    I’ll say. Oh, right – I did say. :)

    I agree with the articles that this marks a victory, and that the situation remains perilous. While continuing to monitor, report, and contest the US government’s actions in Venezuela and Bolivia and elsewhere, people also need to build on the momentum and return the focus to Honduras.

  8. left0ver1under says

    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.

    Meanwhile in the US, recounts and audits are impossible because of corruptable electronic voting machine leaving no way to track it.

    US foreign policy is anti-democracy, and has always been, except when it’s in “US interests”.

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