While the eyes of the world focus on the events in Ukraine, the U.S. empire is using this opportunity to intensify its plan to overthrow governments in the Latin American and Caribbean region that are leading the process for change there — Cuba and Venezuela.
The new war against these countries is not the invasion of Marines, as it was before. Now the plan is more sophisticated. It focuses on the youth and includes the use of new technologies, as demonstrated by the recent ZunZuneo attack on Cuba.
The imperialists know that without the impetus from these two revolutions, the rest of the Latin American process would collapse. It would shatter the unity and integration for which Latin Americans have fought and which to date have been gaining against the empire. The area has already won some independence from the giant in the North.
This process, however, has not yet fully matured. Hence the need to defend more than ever the Cuban Revolution and the Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela.
Campaign against Venezuela
It is especially in Venezuela where the future of the region is being decided. There, the far-right and fascist Venezuelan opposition continues their attempt to destabilize the revolution, aided by the U.S.
According to the U.S.-led capitalist media, these protests are made up of peaceful students who only want a peaceful Venezuela. But the reality is quite the opposite.
This became clear May 8, when alerted by the people and by President Nicolas Maduro’s intelligence organization, State Security Forces raided four illegal camps of the opposition in Chacao, a well-to-do district in eastern Caracas. They found weapons and ammunition, U.S. dollars and Venezuelan bolivars, drugs and petrol bombs. Some 243 of these “peaceful” people were arrested, of whom fewer than two dozen were students.
These camps were at the core of the spread of violence since last February that left 41 people dead and 813 injured, plus enormous destruction of infrastructure, clinics, universities and transportation. Indeed, in the Caracas Metro, a symbol of Nicolás Maduro’s presidency, there have been 100 attacks, including on drivers and passengers.
Now another tactic has been added, one prevalent in neighboring Colombia: targeted assassinations. This approach seems to fit the modus operandi of paramilitary forces that have infiltrated Venezuela with the help of former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe, whose involvement in the destabilization has been widely shown.
The most recent example was the murder, with four shots, of Eliezer Otaiza, who was a member of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) and president of the Council of the Libertador municipality in Caracas.
Otaiza, whose tortured body was found on April 26, belonged to the bodyguard detail of late President Hugo Chávez and participated in the 1992 Civil Military Revolution. The head of state denounced Otaiza’s murder as having been planned in Miami, like so many other attacks.
Criminal interference by U.S.
U.S. meddling ranges from verbal provocations by representatives of the imperialist government against the Bolivarian government to the use of a hostile media campaign full of lies, to super-friendly relations with key figures in the opposition such as Maria Corina Machado, to financing counterrevolutionary organizations. Now it also includes efforts of right-wing members of Congress to impose sanctions on Bolivarian government figures.
The latest congressional attack on Venezuela is based in part on a report published on May 5 by José Miguel Vivanco, Americas director of the Human Rights Watch organization, famous for his rightist bias and anti-communism. Titled “Punished for Protesting,” the report is a pack of lies spread over 103 pages.
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio called on the U.S. Congress to impose sanctions on Venezuela. Meanwhile, anti-Cuban Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen did the same in the Committee on Foreign Affairs in the House of Representatives. This bill proposes an additional $15 million aid to opposition groups, which are already well funded by the National Endowment for Democracy and the U.S. Agency for International Development. According to an investigative article by Eva Golinger entitled “Follow the Dirty Hand of the NED in Venezuela,” these agencies “have spread more than $14 million to opposition groups in Venezuela from 2013 to 2014.” (VTV, May 8)
In response to the proposed penalties, Venezuela’s Attorney General Luisa Ortega Díaz called the efforts to sanction Venezuela an insult and announced that she would ask for the same penalties against Rubio.
For his part, President Maduro said during a meeting with Venezuelan environmentalists, “Now they are acting stupid; they are going to sanction us! Stupid! That’s what they are, stupid; let them impose sanctions. Bolivar’s people will never be stopped by sanctions from the empire.” He added, “Bolivar’s homeland is standing and will stay on its feet for the entire 21st century: independent, socialist, chavista, Bolivarian. Long live the dignity of the people of Venezuela! Down with imperialism!” (Reuters, May 10)
On another front, the president of the Union of Workers of the Caracas Metro, Edison Alvarado, announced that on May 12 the workers will mobilize to demand that the district attorney carry out an investigation of the governor of Miranda state, Henrique Capriles, for his involvement in the subway attacks. The workers will ask the Supreme Court to investigate Mayor Gerardo Blyde of Baruta municipality, Mayor Ramón Boy of Chacao municipality and Mayor Carlos Ocariz of Sucre municipality.
Alvarado explained in detail the criminal offensive against Bolivarian Venezuela at the recent Labor Gathering of Our America (ESNA) meeting in Havana. To counter this attack, the 455 delegates from 181 unions in 30 countries at the meeting resolved to convene a worldwide Day of Solidarity and Mobilization in defense of the Bolivarian Revolution on Aug. 1.