The US war against Venezuela

If there was ever an example of the psychological state known as projection (where one attributes to another one’s own state of mind) applied to nations, it is how the US describes Venezuela. Just yesterday, president Obama declared that Venezuela poses an “extraordinary threat” to US national security and used that to impose further sanctions on that country.

This incredible statement should have had media commentators rolling on the floor with derisive laughter because the reality is of course, that it is the US that is a threat to the Venezuelan state not the other way around. Not satisfied with creating chaos in many countries in the Middle East, the US and the Obama administration long sought to undermine that country’s government while at the same time waging a propaganda war against it, aided by the docile US media.

Eva Golinger describes the repeated acts of US aggression against other countries in addition to Venezuela and how it lies shamelessly about that nation.

Recently, several different spokespersons for the Obama administration have firmly claimed the United States government is not intervening in Venezuelan affairs. Department of State spokeswoman Jen Psaki went so far as to declare, “The allegations made by the Venezuelan government that the United States is involved in coup plotting and destabilization are baseless and false.” Psaki then reiterated a bizarrely erroneous statement she had made during a daily press briefing just a day before: “The United States does not support political transitions by non-constitutional means”.

Anyone with minimal knowlege of Latin America and world history knows Psaki’s claim is false, and calls into question the veracity of any of her prior statements. The U.S. government has backed, encouraged and supported coup d’etats in Latin America and around the world for over a century. Some of the more notorious ones that have been openly acknowledged by former U.S. presidents and high level officials include coup d’etats against Mohammed Mossadegh in Iran in 1953, Jacobo Arbenz in Guatemala in 1954, Patrice Lumumba in the Congo in 1960, Joao Goulart of Brazil in 1964 and Salvador Allende in Chile in 1973. More recently, in the twenty-first century, the U.S. government openly supported the coups against President Hugo Chavez in Venezuela in 2002, Jean Bertrand Aristide of Haiti in 2004 and Jose Manuel Zelaya of Honduras in 2009. Ample evidence of CIA and other U.S. agency involvement in all of these unconstitutional overthrows of democratically-elected governments abounds. What all of the overthrown leaders had in common was their unwillingness to bow to U.S. interests.

Despite bogus U.S. government claims, after Hugo Chavez was elected president of Venezuela by an overwhelming majority in 1998, and subsequently refused to take orders from Washington, he became a fast target of U.S. aggression. Though a U.S.-supported coup d’etat briefly overthrew Chavez in 2002, his subsequent rescue by millions of Venezuelans and loyal armed forces, and his return to power, only increased U.S. hostility towards the oil-rich nation. After Chavez’s death in 2013 from cancer, his democratically-elected successor, Nicolas Maduro, became the brunt of these attacks.

What follows is a brief summary and selection of U.S. aggression towards Venezuela that clearly shows a one-sided war. Venezuela has never threatened or taken any kind of action to harm the United States or its interests. Nonetheless, Venezuela, under both Chavez and Maduro – two presidents who have exerted Venezuela’s sovereignty and right to self-determination – has been the ongoing victim of continuous, hostile and increasingly unfriendly actions from Washington.

Andre Vltchek describes the accompanying propaganda war waged by the US government and its compliant establishment media.

These examples are just a snapshot of increasing, systematic negative and distorted coverage of Venezuelan affairs in U.S. media, painting an exaggeratedly dismal picture of the country’s current situation and portraying the government as incompetent, dictatorial and criminal. While this type of coordinated media campaign against Venezuela is not new – media consistently portrayed former Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, elected president four times by overwhelming majorities, as a tyrannical dictator destroying the country – it is clearly intensifying at a rapid, and concerning, pace.

The New York Times has a shameful history when it comes to Venezuela. The Editorial Board blissfully applauded the violent coup d’etat in April 2002 that ousted President Chavez and resulted in the death of over 100 civilians. When Chavez was returned to power by his millions of supporters and loyal Armed Forces two days later, the Times didn’t recant it’s previous blunder, rather it arrogantly implored Chavez to “govern responsibly”, claiming he had brought the coup on himself. But the fact that the Times has now begun a persistent, direct campaign against the Venezuelan government with one-sided, distorted and clearly aggressive articles – editorials, blogs, opinion, and news – indicates that Washington has placed Venezuela on the regime change fast track.

This year President Obama approved a special State Department fund of $5 million to support anti-government groups in Venezuela. Additionally, the congressionally-funded National Endowment for Democracy is financing Venezuelan opposition groups with over $1.2 million and aiding efforts to undermine Maduro’s government. There is little doubt that millions more for regime change in Venezuela are being funneled through other channels that are not subject to public scrutiny.

President Maduro has denounced these ongoing attacks against his government and has directly called on President Obama to cease efforts to harm Venezuela. Recently, all 33 Latin American and Caribbean nations, members of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), publicly expressed support for Maduro and condemned ongoing U.S. interference in Venezuela. Latin America firmly rejects any attempts to erode democracy in the region and will not stand for another US-backed coup. It’s time Washington listen to the hemisphere and stop employing the same dirty tactics against its neighbors.

Given this dark and dirty history, the Venezuelan government can rightly fear that the US is planning yet another coup against it and we should take such claims seriously and welcome reports that the latest in a long line of coup attempts was again foiled.

The US Congress, quite willing to undermine Obama when it comes to Iran, moves in lock-step with him when it comes to Venezuela. It applied additional sanctions on that nation, ostensibly in response to the country’s violations of human rights. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, one of the worst people in the Congress, had the gall to condemn Venezuelan human rights violations immediately after the release of the US Senate report detailing massive and grotesque torture done by the US government.

But the US has no shame. It will continue to lecture other countries about how it should treat people even as their own governments torture people and its police and justice systems systematically kill and injure and otherwise harm poor and minority people while allowing the wealthy to commit crimes with impunity.

The US is once again going to war against a country that has never threatened it. But in the imperialist US mindset, any country that does not unquestioningly grovel before it and acquiesces to all its demands poses a threat.


  1. Glenn says

    The “grave threat” to the United States is the mere existence of a free and independent democracy outside of its hegemony, as declared in the Monroe Doctrine, and now extended from its origins in the Western Hemisphere to the Russian border.

    The “humans” of US human rights concern are those artificial persons known as corporations.

  2. says

    Venezuela poses an “extraordinary threat” to US national security

    Everything the US has just said about Putin, regarding Crimea and Ukraine is equally true for Venezuela. Surely the EU will react by freezing Obama’s best friends’ assets and revoking their visas to visit Monaco?!

  3. says

    The same lies and tactics were aimed at Nicaragua throughout the 1980s and 1990s. The result?

    * Dirty wars and terrorism against the civilian population
    * Economic sanctions that crippled the economy
    * Daniel Ortega and the Sandanistas gave up autocratic control and won elections that observer countries (e.g. EU, Canada and others) deemed free and fair
    * The sanctions continued until the Nicaraguan economy was utterly devastated; the National Opposition Union (UNO), a US-backed right wing party was elected unwillingly by Nicaraguans
    * The UNO engaged in years of corruption and further damage to the economy, despite the lifting of sanctions
    * The Sandanistas eventually returned to power with the support of minor right wing parties because they weren’t corrupt

    It will undoubtedly be the same story in Venezuela, or worse. Then again, one could say it has already happened (the short lived coup).

    The US no longer has a foothold anywhere in Latin America, and it desperately wants one for the same reasons it wanted one in Iraq and Afghanistan: to launch further aggression and building of a worldwide fascist empire. Unfortunately, the countries the US targets keep making the mistake of acting in their own interests instead of the US’s, acting as if the natural resources in their countries belonged to themselves instead of US corporations.

  4. says

    I don’t mean to support any US policy toward Venezuela, but I can’t help noting that: a) you fail to specify any actual coup actions later than 2009 (in Honduras, not Venezuela); and b) your only source seems to be Counterpunch, which isn’t exactly the most reliable news source on Earth. The Guardian article you cited mentions sanctions, but nothing about an actual coup. It also mentions that Maduro is asking for “additional decree powers,” which kind of implies he’s doing what Bush Jr. did — inflating a foreign threat as an excuse to become a dictator and stifle all internal dissent. And that raises the possibility that Counterpunch is doing for Maduro what the NY Times and Wall St. Journal did for Bush Jr.

  5. Mano Singham says

    The problem for the US is that it has such long and well-established history of undermining and overthrowing other governments (including the one against Hugo Chavez) that for their spokespersons to dismiss claims that it has tried to do so yet again as ‘ridiculous’ is simply not tenable. That does not mean that Maduro’s recent claim is true or that he is not taking advantage of that history to get more powers. Most leaders will use any excuse to get more power. But past US actions make it easy for him to do so.

    Maduro’s allegations bear investigating. Unfortunately very few establishment western media are interested in doing so, taking the safe route of simply accepting US government denials. Hence it is independent and leftist outlets that write about them. I am not sure why Counterpunch is less reliable than the New York Times which has a proven record of lying in the service of the US government.

  6. bmiller says

    Both Raging Bee and Mano can be correct here. Venezuela’s government is corrupt and verging on tyrranical and using US intervention to further calcify the country’s politics. To claim that all (or most) of Venezuela’s problems are the fault of the US denies Venezuela agency and ignores some of the more frightening aspects of Chavismo.

    I see Argentina, perhaps, which has never fully recovered from populist caudillos like Peron.

    But, Mano is also right in the ridiculousness of Obama’s warmongering (which is what it really is) As fascist as Maduro may be , he is nothing like the monstrous military leader we have in Washington. With the “other” party slavering and slobbering for MORE war and MORE intervention. Nor can one deny why Chavez was elected…the Venezuelan elites were corrupt and little of the country’s wealth was distributed in a socially useful fashion. Unless palatial condominiums and Swiss ban accounts are rational economic results for a country still suffering from endemic poverty.

    No easy answers to this one. Name one petrostate that is successful in the world today!

  7. md says

    Chavez and Maduro have waged enough war on the Venezuelan people, under the blessing of Oliver Stone and Sean Penn to name a few, that I don’t think the U.S. really needs to do anything more.

  8. says

    I think various Latin American nations pose a great threat to the USA by demonstrating that drug prohibition laws don’t work, and insisting that the Source Code of software should not be a secret from its users.

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