Anti-war coalition says, ‘U.S. hands off Ukraine and Venezuela’

Workers World publishes here in full the statement by the United National Antiwar Coalition, which demands “U.S. Hands off Ukraine and Venezuela” and calls the U.S. government “the main instigator of the present crises in both countries.”

The hypocrisy of Secretary of State John Kerry’s statement on Face the Nation, “You just don’t in the 21st century behave in 19th century fashion by invading another country on completely trumped-up pretext,” is beyond belief. What about the U.S. invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, or regime change in Libya, or the threats to bomb Syria and attack Iran?

The U.S. has waged a massive propaganda campaign of misinformation, distortion and outright lies, and the national media have taken the State Department’s “facts” and disseminated them without question or challenge. News about the U.S./European Union role in creating the current crisis is buried.

The U.S. is the only country that has its troops throughout the world in over 120 countries. It sends drones and special operations forces to kill anyone anywhere it chooses and uses its vast economic power to undercut any government that will not submit to its policies. Although there is lip service to concerns about democracy and sovereignty, the reality is that the U.S. acts in the interests of preserving its imperialist power and wealth.

Ukraine and Venezuela are not exceptions to this rule of imperialist intervention. For 20 years, $5 billion was invested in Ukraine to support the opposition and to create tens of thousands of nongovernmental organizations to move the country more towards the U.S. and EU and their policies. In an intercepted phone call between Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, she discusses who the U.S. wants to be the head of the new illegitimate government, and lo and behold, the U.S. pick, Arseniy Yatseniuk, is named as the interim Ukrainian leader. This is clearly outside intervention in the affairs of a sovereign country that would not be tolerated if directed at the U.S. or its allies.

What are the real objectives and why is Russia so alarmed? Could it be the U.S.-NATO campaign to militarily surround Russia and bring neighboring countries into the Western military and financial orbit? Might it be that the largest supply of natural gas in the world is in Russia and the pipelines go through Ukraine, or that global warming is opening the Arctic to oil drilling and Russia borders the Arctic? It is clear that Russia will not passively sit by while the Western-backed coup, led by violent fascist forces and local billionaires, overthrows a democratically elected government and installs a puppet regime on its border.

Confederate flags and fascist symbols go up in Kiev City Hall

By treaty, Russia can have 25,000 troops in Crimea. To protect its military base there and to protect the people in the eastern and southern parts of the country, where the coup is not supported, Russia has moved some troops to the Ukrainian border and into the Crimean peninsula. Many in the east and south are fearful of the new coup government and the neo-Nazi and nationalist forces that led the street demonstrations.

The escalating threats of military and economic aggression towards Russia should not be taken lightly. Washington’s recklessness and disregard for humanity have resurrected the worst vestiges of Cold War politics. They have created a dangerous situation that can generate a real war with an adversary with a powerful military of its own.

The U.S. is similarly intervening in Venezuela. There, the U.S. government wants a return to policies which brought the benefits of that nation’s oil wealth to a privileged few. The Bolivarian Revolution has been supported by a majority of Venezuelans in election after election. Yet the U.S. persists in violating the sovereignty and self-determination of the Venezuelan people.

In 2002, the U.S. supported a coup against the late Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez. During this coup, Chávez was forced onto a U.S. military plane to be taken out of the country. The Venezuelan people and military were able to rescue Chávez and defeat the coup. However, the U.S. has continued to intervene in Venezuela causing the government of Nicolás Maduro to expel three U.S. officials for trying to organize students for anti-government protests.

As long as the U.S. is committed to aggression, the whole world is endangered, just as Ukraine and Venezuela are. Libya fell, Syria is under attack, there is a “pivot to Asia,” and Africom controls the military in almost every African nation. We must demand that our government stop its policy of imperialist domination which generates conflict throughout the world.