Comment: Venezuela on ‘fast track’ to coup

Labour veterans who supported Chile Solidarity will know what's coming next

“Washington has placed Venezuela on the regime change fast track,” argues Eva Golinger, the noted American born author and newspaper editor, in a hard hitting article in which she she writes that:

“There is a coup underway in Venezuela. The pieces are all falling into place like a bad CIA movie. Headlines scream danger, crisis and imminent demise, while the usual suspects declare covert war on a people whose only crime is being gatekeeper to the largest pot of black gold in the world.”

This follows the US Department Of State imposing a second round of financial sanctions on Venezuela this month.

The sanctions include visa restrictions on Venezuelan government officials, whom the USA accuses of ‘human rights violations’ in a reference to last year’s right-wing coup attempt through violent street protests.

The US went ahead with the sanctions despite total opposition from the Community Of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) Heads of State Summit in Costa Rica in January. CELAC brings together all the Latin America and Caribbean nations and  works as an alternative to the US-backed Organization Of American States.

In December last year, after an earlier round of sanctions on Venezuela, the heads of states of MERCOSUR, the (the Latin American equivalent of a ‘common market’), which includes Brazil and Argentina, opposed sanctions against Venezuela.

February’s unilateral sanctions also sparked outrage throughout Latin America. It prompted Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro to meet with Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) secretary general, Ernesto Samper, to ask for the help of the regional bloc’s mediation on the interventionist actions carried out against the country by the United States.

President Maduro was clear that US Vice President Joe Biden had been pressing other countries to ‘isolate’ Venezuela. Maduro said he had proof that the US Embassy in Venezuela was attempting to bribe officials to ‘turn them against his government’ – in effect the start of an American backed ‘regime change’ attempt against a democratically elected government.

In her article, Eva Golinger explains:

“President Obama approved a special State Department fund of US $5 million to support anti-government groups in Venezuela. Additionally, the congressionally-funded National Endowment For Democracy is financing Venezuelan opposition groups with over US $1.2 million and aiding efforts to undermine Maduro’s government.”

She also argues that the USA is:

“Making Venezuela’s economy scream. As shortages continue and access to dollars becomes increasingly difficult, chaos and panic ensue. A very similar strategy was used in Chile to overthrow socialist President Salvador Allende. First the economy was destroyed, then mass discontent grew and the military moved to oust Allende, backed by Washington at every stage. Lest we forget the result: a brutal dictatorship led by General Augusto Pinochet that tortured, assassinated, disappeared and forced into exile tens of thousands of people. Not exactly a model to replicate.”

Those of us with longer memories will of course have spotted the signs that lead to a neo-liberal experiment where privatisations, sell-offs of state assets and the dismantling of employment rights were tested out in the Chilean people.

Labour cannot ignore the recent sanctions imposition on Venezuela and the attempst to destablise the country. Labour veterans who supported Chile Solidarity following the 1973 coup will know the signs and what’s coming next.

Labour needs to be clear that they will oppose ongoing attempts by the USA and others to de-stabilise Venezuela with ‘regime change’ as its final goal with a Chiliean style against a democratically elected government.

Tony Burke is vice chair of the Venezuela Solidarity Campaign. Follow him on Twitter

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71 Responses to “Comment: Venezuela on ‘fast track’ to coup”

  1. Sam

    what are you talking about – they are dying because they can’t get basic medicine.

  2. Informed Consent

    Having fled Cuba as young man I can tell you that I have lived the truth behind the lies. Trust me Clair you don’t want to find yourself in a filthy Cuban cell. As for Cuba before the disaster of the revolution….. I won’t burden you with my thoughts. You can, if you wish, access them for the UN. Not quite the picture you paint.

  3. Faerieson

    Yet another country is ‘struggling’ with the funding/implementation of universal healthcare. The West’s reaction is often even more predictable than the dawning crisis. The West will ‘analyse the country’s political ‘stance’ and will act ‘accordingly.’ How powerful nation’s decide which countries ‘require’ an enforced regime change, and which do not, should be of greater concern. Aid to this country, arms and funding for a coup to that one? Who decides? Certainly not democracy!
    We should consider how different things could be, with somewhat different ‘international relations.’

  4. William Krul

    You are only partially correct. “if you are a private entrepreneur in China you cannot open a private bank, get into telecom services , energy, international resources or 14 other very important sectors because these are the sectors reserved for state owned companies.

  5. Claire O'Brien

    Well, will you share them if I promise to just listen? I would rather hear your experience than state my opinion, which I can do anytime.
    Were you in jail? Were you in Cuba both before and after the revolution? Are you from Cuba’s former upper class (I won’t label you!)
    As for a Cuban jail, I’m certain I’d hate it – my point was that it would end (although I admit I was thinking in terms of a year or less, which seems to be the average for disobedient reporters) Whereas, I see no end to the hell of being a journalist destroyed for refusing to lie.

  6. Dave Stewart

    This is what I am talking about:

    Tis a long read but does a nice analysis of poverty reduction in Venezuela which is the main reason that the Bolivarian regime is so popular among huge swaths of the population.

    Do you have evidence to support your claim?

    Also I don’t really see how a lack of medicine in anyway refutes my claim that although on paper Venezuela may be poorer (although I’ve not looked at the numbers so I’ll take you word for it) the majority of poor people are much better off than they were before Chavez and the data seems to show that the trend of poverty reduction has continued under Maduro albeit with a slight blip in 2013 which has since corrected itself.

  7. Claire O'Brien

    I really don’t use the term fascist very often because I apply it so literally.Actually, I don’t know what you mean. Are you saying USA or the word “us” (this is a British paper/blog, yes?)
    I can promise you that I’ve never called either nation fascist. I’d try the American govt for crimes against humanity in a heartbeat if I could.
    But that doesn’t make the US a fascist state

  8. Guest

    Ah yes, blame Socialism for a cult of personality.

    Which is the problem. But of course, you think YOUR Dear Leader is different.

  9. Guest

    You speak of your lack of knowledge of basic statistics. Non cost-of-living adjusted statistics are of course of little use.

    Numbers don’t mean anything without looking at what they actually mean.

  10. Guest

    Keep trying to blame others for your ideology. No surprise you stuff one of your Heroes in there…

  11. Leon Wolfeson

    Oh, do describe in detail his ilk, and provide some references.

    The “fascist” references I see thrown about in relation to America are from the American right whining about presidential actions. That’d be your camp.

  12. ForeignRedTory


    By all means do read how the staff of this site also thinks that the Venezolean Government is a catastrophy.

    ”analyse the country’s political ‘stance” That seems to refer to yourself.

  13. Leon Wolfeson

    Exactly – and you’ll only get an opening there if you know the right people. Cronyist and capitalist.

  14. Slacker28

    The people we are sanctioning are US citizens?

  15. Guest

    You want to treat them no differently to non-citizens. Sanctions? My my.

  16. Slacker28

    I want Venezuela to stop talking about protecting sovereignty when they try to violate ours by saying they have a right to determine who America can trade with or let in the country.

  17. robertcp

    Much of that is true but the Venezuealan people should decide who they elect to be their government.

  18. robertcp


  19. Guest

    You want people to stop even talking about sovereignty.
    As you make up a myth. Right.

    Countries must not help their citizens in your world, I get it, you’re all for corporate power.

  20. Slacker28

    What are you talking about? I want Venezuela to stop being a hypocrite about sovereignty rights.

  21. Claire O'Brien

    Trying to join this discussion cured me of any desire to visit England. As in the USA, comments ranged from the unabashedly idiotic to the pithy and masterful. My own earnest contributions were knowledgeable,topical, and – by any standard – well-written. This is too evident to warrant further mention
    You Brits ARE stuck-up. Why don’t you just establish your discussions as private, rather than continually ignore those with a keen interest in the topic who are foolish enough to join a public conversation?

    Good evening. Henceforth, I’ll be dining at my club. I shall send a man round to collect my galoshes.

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