News Release

Venezuela Intervention: Pretexts and Solutions

FRANCIS BOYLE,fboyle at illinois.edu
Secretary of State Pompeo has announced he is going to New York for a UN Security Council meeting Saturday regarding Venezuela. Boyle is professor of international law at the University of Illinois College of Law. He said today: “The U.S. government refusing to withdraw its officials from Venezuela may well set up a pretext for further intervention or blockade.” Boyle’s books include Foundations of World Order (Duke University Press).

ALEX MAIN, via Dan Beeton, beeton at cepr.net, @ceprdc
Director of international policy at the Center for Economic and Policy Research, Main was recently interviewed on FAIR’s program “CounterSpin”: “U.S. Administrations Have Been Intervening in Venezuela Since at Least the Early 2000s.”

In a new segment with The Real News, “The U.S. Strategy for Regime Change in Venezuela,” Main states: “The case of Cuba is sort of emblematic of how Latin American governments both on the right and the left have been very much opposed to the U.S. strategy of regime change in Cuba for a very long time. … Venezuela is not just an outlier in political terms in the region now, but is a country that represents a real threat to the right regionally, to the extent that if they recover economically, if oil prices go up again, it can become once again a regional powerhouse as it was under Chavez.”

STEVE ELLNER, sellner74 at gmail.com, @sellner74
Ellner lives in Venezuela and is currently in the Washington, D.C. area. He is associate managing editor of Latin American Perspectives and is the editor of The Pink Tide Experiences: Breakthroughs and Shortcomings in Twenty-First Century Latin America. He appeared this morning on the program “Democracy Now!” He signed the statement: “An Open Letter to the United States: Stop Interfering in Venezuela’s Internal Politics.”

He said today: “Obama issued an executive order calling Venezuela a threat to U.S. national security and created a list of Venezuelan officials who were sanctioned. The Trump administration’s escalation included financial sanctions against the Venezuelan government and measures against the nation’s oil industry. In addition, top administration officials have played an openly activist role by traveling throughout the continent to promote the campaign to isolate Venezuela. …

“When Secretary of State Pompeo offered $20 million of ‘humanitarian assistance’ to the Venezuelan population. Many Venezuelans see this as humiliating and nothing short of a bribe designed to pressure the country into submission. …

“Never since the Cuban revolution, has the U.S. government played such an overtly activist role throughout the continent in favor of the isolation of a government that is not to its liking. In the process it has further polarized Venezuela and the continent as a whole. The moderates in the Venezuelan opposition, including two former presidential candidates of the two main traditional parties, Claudio Fermín and Eduardo Fernández, have favored electoral participation and recognition of the legitimacy of the Maduro government. Washington’s actions pull the rug from under the moderates and strengthen the hands of the extremists in the opposition. …

“But just as there are moderates in the Venezuelan opposition who support dialogue, which the mainstream media have pretty much ignored, there are moderates in the international community who are also in favor of dialogue. These figures include Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, Pope Francis, UN secretary general Antonio Guterres, and the UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights and ex-president of Chile Michelle Bachelet.”

See IPA Twitter list on Venezuela for updates.

Rep. Ro Khanna‏ tweeted: “Let me get this straight. The U.S. is sanctioning Venezuela for their lack of democracy but not Saudi Arabia? …” Rep. Tulsi Gabbard: “The United States needs to stay out of Venezuela. Let the Venezuelan people determine their future. We don’t want other countries to choose our leaders — so we have to stop trying to choose theirs.”

Rep. Ilhan Omar: “A U.S.-backed coup in Venezuela is not a solution to the dire issues they face. Trump’s efforts to install a far right opposition will only incite violence and further destabilize the region. We must support Mexico, Uruguay & the Vatican’s efforts to facilitate a peaceful dialogue.”