Where are the liberals on Venezuela?

Reps. Tulsi Gabbard, Ilhan Omar and Ro Khanna are among the few liberal Democrats who unequivocally oppose the Trump administration’s economic and covert war against  Venezuela, but they are isolated.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and many other top Democrats support Trump’s plan.  Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders and even Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are on the fence. They oppose direct military intervention, but they accept the pretense is that the U.S. government is concerned about the democratic process in Venezuela.

In fact the U.S. gets on very well with the governments much less democratic than Nicolas Maduro’s.  Only the naive think the U.S. government is concerned about anything except Venezuela’s oil.

I don’t have an intelligent opinion on how much of Venezuela’s plight current is due to bad policies of its government, and how much is due to continuing U.S. economic warfare and political subversion.  The only way to find out would be to make the experiment of leaving Venezuela alone and seeing what happens.  Venezuela is the responsibility of the Venezuelans.

It is disappointing that Warren, Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez claim that Maduro has refused to accept food aid for his hungry people.  Maduro has accepted food aid from Russia, China, Turkey and Cuba.

No doubt he would accept U.S. food aid if channeled through the Red Cross, United Nations or some neutral agency.  But he would be a fool to allow the U.S. government, which is trying to overthrow him, to ship unchecked cargo into his country.  Who knows what else would be coming into his country, and whose hands it would fall into?

If the Trump administration cared about the people of Venezuela, it would allow Venezuela access to its own revenues from oil sales.  You can’t impose an economic blockade intended to destroy a nation’s economy, blame that country’s economic problems on socialism or populism or whatever, and expect to be taken seriously.

Tulsi Gabbard has it right.

The United States needs to stay out of Venezuela.  Let the Venezuelan people determine their future.  We don’t want other countries to choose our leaders — so we have to stop trying to choose theirs.

So does Ilhan Omar.

We cannot hand-pick leaders for other countries on behalf of multinational corporate interests.  If we really want to support the Venezuelan people, we can lift the economic sanctions that are inflicting suffering on innocent families, making it harder for them to access food and medicines and deepening the economic crisis.

Warren, Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez are naive if they think Americans can challenge corporate domination at home—let alone have a Green New Deal—while continuing a foreign policy based on serving corporate interests..


Trump’s Democratic Opposition Endorses His Coup Attempt in Venezuela by Alexander Rubenstein for Mint Press.

Where Democratic Presidential Contenders Stand on the Venezuela Crisis by Daniel Marans, Nick Robins-Early and Travis Waldron for Huffington Post.

New liberals in Congress oppose Trump’s Venezuela plan by Alex Daugherty for the Miami Herald.

How the Right Is Using Venezuela to Reorder Politics by Greg Grandin for The Nation.

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4 Responses to “Where are the liberals on Venezuela?”

  1. Alex Page Says:

    It’s much the usual story.

    South American country turns somewhat left, ‘international community’ applies sanctions and other operations, economy tanks, blame it on ‘socialism’, have ‘humanitarian’ coup, open markets, privatize, lift sanctions, economy improves (for some), give capitalism the credit.


  2. Fred Says:

    It would be easy enough to check incoming shipments and if weapons were found by a neutral third party it would be very bad for the US. Not how I’d supply weapons to an insurgency anyhow. It is too easy to interdict.

    It is all a grand Kabuki show anyhow. Maduro just doesn’t want hungry people to see boxes of food with USA stamped on them. I think he hurts his own case more by not letting them in. Everybody knows what those convoys are carrying and where it is from.

    We want him to refuse the aid because we think it gives us a PR victory and some bizarre notion of a moral high ground. Plus we really do want those people to know where the aid came from. I suspect the other countries who sent him aid have their states of origin on those packages too. I don’t know about Turkey but their aid is just as political in purpose as ours.

    The basket our eggs are in seems to be getting the military to flip on him rather than an insurgency. Bloodless coup would be ideal. If only half the military flips, well, that would be problematic. Quite a nasty civil war. If we support one side, Cuba, Russia, and China will enthusiastically support the other side just to be a thorn in our side. My opinion is that Maduro’s days are numbered regardless and the only question is how much blood will be spilled.

    There are no good guys in this picture.


    • philebersole Says:

      Here’s a good rundown from Caitlin Johnstone on U.S. food aid to Venezuela.

      Firstly, Maduro is not refusing humanitarian aid for his people. Only an idiot would believe that the latest Official Bad Guy (who coincidentally happens to be sitting on top of the largest oil reserves on earth) is intentionally starving and depriving his people, and anyone who makes such claims should have to explain how they make that work in their minds.

      What’s the idea behind that, exactly? Is he starving them all and cutting them off from medical supplies because he hates them? Is he trying to kill everyone in Venezuela so that he can have the entire country to himself? Does he have some strange sexual fetish for the slow starvation of an entire citizenry? How specifically does this work?

      In reality, Maduro has been accepting aid from everywhere except from the government that is openly staging a coup in his country in gross violation of its national sovereignty. Just last week Caracas accepted 933 tons of food and medical supplies from China, Cuba, India and Turkey, and Russia has shipped in 300 tons of aid on its own.

      Secondly, the paltry $20 million in food, medical and hygiene supplies sent via USAID pales in comparison to the $30 million per day the new US oil embargo will be costing Venezuelans this year. If the US wanted to help the Venezuelan people, the best thing it could do is end its crushing economic warfare upon them, which experts say has made economic recovery all but impossible.

      Believing the CIA/CNN narrative that US sanctions only impact a nation’s leadership is dumber than believing that US bombs only kill bad guys; former UN special rapporteur Alfred de Zayas has said that US-led sanctions are killing Venezuelans and could be tried under international law as crimes against humanity. The best way for the US to help Venezuelans would be to cease all interventionism and end its economic warfare upon them.

      Thirdly, there’s not actually anything stopping the US from giving the aid shipment it claims it wants to deliver to Russia, China, Turkey or India, for example, and having them deliver it. It could do the same with the UN or the Red Cross. There are many ways in which the US government which claims to care so much about the Venezuelan people could get its “humanitarian aid” to them which does not include highly provocative deliveries via military craft and aggressive stand-offs at Venezuelan border towns. The fact that Washington refuses to take those routes is an admission that the goal was always provocation and never humanitarianism.



  3. africanherbsman1967 Says:

    Given the Koch brothers are keen to get their hands on the hundreds of millions of dollars owed to them by Venezuela, its no wonder their surrogates (Pompeo and Pence) are pushing hard for regime change.


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