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Venezuela on the Eve of Presidential Elections: The US Empire Isn’t Sitting by Idly 

Venezuela on the Eve of Presidential Elections: The US Empire Isn’t Sitting by Idly 

Photo by Joka Madruga | CC BY 2.0

“I don’t see why we need to stand by and watch a country go communist due to the irresponsibility of its people. The issues are much too important for the Chilean voters to be left to decide for themselves.”

— US National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger, 1970

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro is the frontrunner in the presidential elections scheduled for May 20. If past pronouncements and practice by the US empire are any indication, every effort will be made to oust an avowed socialist from what is considered the US’ “backyard.”

With a week to go to the election, the leftist president of Bolivia Evo Morales tweeted: “Before the elections they (US and allies) will carry out violent actions supported by the media and after the elections they will try a military invasion with Armed Forces from neighboring countries.” All signals from the Trump White House and the Pentagon are that Evo is on target.

US antipathy towards the Venezuelan government started with the election of Hugo Chávez in 1998, followed by a brief and unsuccessful US-backed coup in 2002. Chávez made the magnanimous, but politically imprudent, gesture of pardoning the golpistas (coup perpetrators), who are still trying to achieve by extra-parliamentary means what they have been unable to realize democratically. After Chávez died in 2013, the Venezuelans elected Maduro to carry on what has become known as the Bolivarian Revolution.

The Phantom Menace

In 2015 then US President Obama declared “a national emergency” posed to the security of the US by Venezuela. Understand that the US has military bases to the west of Venezuela in Colombia and to the east in the Dutch colonial islands. The US Fourth Fleet patrols Venezuela’s Caribbean coast. Yet somehow in the twisted logic of imperialism, the phantom of Venezuela posed a menacing “extraordinary threat” to the US.

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