When the U.S. McCarthyite-in-Chief said on Feb. 19, “The twilight hour of socialism has arrived,” the Venezuelan people answered, “Not so fast!”
President Donald Trump had all but predicted the collapse of the Bolivarian government on Feb. 18 when he addressed Miami’s anti-Chavista Venezuelan community. He was flanked by right-wing Cuban-Americans Sen. Mario Rubio and Rep. Mario Diaz-Belart, plus National Security Adviser John Bolton and other reactionary allies.
The attempted delivery of “humanitarian aid” on Feb. 23 over the Rio Arauca, which separates Venezuela from Colombia, was supposed to incite the Venezuelan military and police to desert and the masses to abandon the revolutionary process. It was supposed to give world imperialism an opening to topple President Nicolás Maduro.
Then, according to Trump, it would be only a matter of time before the governments of Cuba and Nicaragua fell, too. This side of the world would become “the first free hemisphere in all of human history,” he said. (CBS News)
“Hold your horses,” said the rest of the world. People around the world had already declared that Feb. 23, a month after presidential pretender Juan Guaidó announced the attempted coup, would be a global day of protest to loudly demand “No war on Venezuela.”
The success and scope of the Feb. 23 protests went far beyond the most optimistic expectations of those who first called the day of action. Some 150-plus cities held actions, sometimes more than one, in at least 35 U.S. states, 7 of 10 Canadian provinces and 35 countries on six continents. People in many of these countries, from India to England, held events in multiple cities. Demonstrations began in Australia as the day started and continued across the world’s time zones.
The corporate media here all jump in line when it comes to spreading lies about Venezuela — or any country where the people try to break free of U.S. hegemony. Still, they failed to create popular sentiment here — or anywhere else — for a U.S.-led invasion (except maybe among the Miami counterrevolutionaries originally from the wealthy classes of Cuba and Venezuela). People realize that the violent threats against Venezuela represent more U.S. aggression for oil and for strategic domination — just like with Iran, Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya and Syria.
Many protesters had been able to follow reports from Venezuela that showed enormous crowds of people in the streets defending their country and their democratically elected president from a Yankee attack. Contrary to U.S. predictions, only a handful of military personnel defected. Those claiming to be bringing “humanitarian aid” failed to cross the bridges where the Venezuelan workers were amassed to stop them.
President Nicolás Maduro rightly called the meager amount of food supplies — “kits” of rice, beans, sugar and salt that could at best feed 3,500 families for ten days — “a Trojan horse.”
According to Greek legend, a massive, ornate wooden horse was brought to Athens’ rival, Troy. The Trojans, not knowing that enemy soldiers were hiding inside the horse, allowed it through the wall protecting the city. The soldiers then leaped out and were able to subdue the Trojans and destroy their city.
Today’s Merriam-Webster defines a Trojan horse as “someone or something intended to defeat or subvert from within, usually by deceptive means.” It was obvious to most of the world that the imperialist “gifts,” so-called “humanitarian aid,” were being used to orchestrate an invasion.
No one should think for a minute that the danger of an invasion, with the goal of pulling off another “regime change,” is over. Anti-war forces must remain in the streets. The time to figure out what the next solidarity action will be is right now.
But anyone who believes, as Trump proclaimed Feb. 19, that “socialism is dying” is living in a bubble. More and more people join with Cuba and Venezuela in shouting, “Socialism or death!”