Venezuela, Trump and the Democrats
A rare moment of public truth occurred in Trump’s Feb. 4 vile State of the Union speech when the two U.S. parties representing the ruling class — apparently hostile to each other on many other issues — came together in unity.
As the Feb. 5 New York Times reported: “In one of the night’s few bipartisan moments, Republicans and Democrats stood to applaud Mr. [Juan] Guaidó,” whom Trump introduced as “the president of Venezuela.”
This was a night when Democrats had a green light from their leaders to boo the impeached but acquitted Trump, and when “Squad” members either stayed away or walked out. After the State of the Union, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi even ripped up a printed copy of the speech in Trump’s face.
But at Trump’s introduction of Guaidó, most Democrats stood up and applauded for the self-appointed Venezuelan non-leader.
If any new lesson was needed to show that, yes, the Democratic Party leaders represent vicious and oppressive U.S. imperialism, there was the proof.
The irony is that, while the Venezuelan traitor Guaidó has the backing of the White House, the State Department, the CIA — and the Democratic Party leadership — he has virtually no support in Venezuela, not even within the Venezuelan right wing.
Guaidó was little known outside of his local district a year ago when, with the encouragement of Trump, Mike Pence and other U.S. imperialist gangsters, he acquired sufficient arrogance to appoint himself president of Venezuela. During the year, with U.S. backing, he attempted to overthrow the elected Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro no less than five times.
Each time Guaidó failed because he had backing only from outside Venezuela. Meanwhile the Bolivarian revolutionary government in Caracas, led by Maduro, had the loyalty of the Venezuelan people in general, even after years of the strict U.S. economic blockade. The government also had the loyalty of the armed forces and had mobilized and trained a popular militia.
Guaidó’s flops lost him whatever backing he had a year ago from the Venezuelan capitalists. In a vote in the Venezuelan National Assembly this January, the various rightist, anti-revolutionary parties actually voted to depose Guaidó and replace him as head of the Assembly.
But, useless as Guaidó might be as a political leader, he still poses a threat to Venezuelans because he has the backing of Washington and other reactionary capitals in Latin America and Europe.
That means anti-imperialist, anti-war and any progressive people in the United States have a duty to defend the existing Venezuelan government.
There is an opportunity now in the United States to defend Venezuela by defending the Venezuela Embassy Protectors. They are political activists who occupied the Venezuelan Embassy in Washington last spring in solidarity with the Venezuelan people. They were able to delay the embassy takeover by Guaidó’s gang.
Four of the protectors — Kevin Zeese, Margaret Flowers, Adriene Pine and David Paul — each face a year in prison and $100,000 fines for their courageous legal actions. Their trial began Feb. 11 in Washington. Workers World encourages all who can to go to court to support them.
For more information about how to help defend the protectors, see defendembassyprotectors.org.