Venezuela is a nightmare for the Capitalist world. It has spearheaded Latin America’s emergence from literally centuries of subordination to the U.S. regarding media, economic policies, culture, and international relations and that alone is a killable offense in the eyes of Washington. Indeed far lesser offense than that can provoke American power to engage in mass murder, as earlier in Nicaragua, not to mention Granada, as but two of many examples.
Or consider Indochina. Millions of souls were dispatched from this earth with bombs, napalm, bullets, and starvation. The Reason? Vietnam too was a nightmare for American elites. Vietnam’s example said to the world of poor and weak nations, you who are exploited by market madness – be like us and you can extricate yourselves and take over your own destiny. That was of course a killable offense, and so off to war we went. The threat of a good example – which is to say of a country extricating from imperial domination by the U.S. – needed to be thwarted. American presidents, one after another, endeavored to prevent Vietnam’s extrication, or, failing that, to show that the price of extrication was too high for countries to emulate. Use anything that flies to kill anything that moves. No country, will lightly risk that.
Truth be told, at no time did the U.S. believe, I think, that even a fully successful Vietnamese revolution was going to be a good example for the people of France, Italy, or Australia, much less the U.S. They realized, however, that successful extrication would say plenty to the people of Thailand, Egypt, and even Chile, perhaps, or Indonesia, and, egad, maybe even India or, worst case, Japan. That prospect was nightmare material. Unleash the bombs. And more bombs, and more.
Two things, at least, differ greatly now. First, to the good, it is harder to unleash the bombs – at least in certain parts of the world and on a scale sufficient to the task. The U.S. faces constraints at home, not least because of the incredible courage of the Vietnamese fostering anti war and anti imperial understanding around the world, but also because of changes in power balances all over.
Second, also good, but very scary, in truth Venezuela is far more of a danger to the masters of war and purveyors of greed than Vietnam ever was. Vietnam had considerable Tungston but Venezuela has a whole lot of oil. More important, Venezuela is far better integrated into its local sector of the world, with growing connections of great scope throughout Latin America, than Vietnam was in Asia, so the good example of extrication threatens to spread more easily in Venezuela’s case. And perhaps most of all, Venezuela’s trajectory exceeds just escaping U.S. domination. Venezuela has been trying and to some degree succeeding, in becoming a good example for everyone, everywhere, regarding domestic innovations. That is, Venezuela has been trying, and to some degree succeeding, in moving institution by institution, toward real public participation – toward enriched democracy and even self management for its populace – and toward revamping economics, kinship, and culture to attain growing levels of equity, justice, and solidarity. This is hugely unpardonable. This rot could spread even to Detroit. Councils? Communes? Imagine Washington contemplating that. They are seeking to build WHAT? This must be made invisible. This must be reversed.
Of course media lies like crazy to keep it all invisible. If they didn’t, the public would understand that the Bolivarian movement hasn’t trampled democracy but expanded it – hasn’t trampled equitable distribution but promoted it – hasn’t diminished dignity but enlarged it. In that case the public would examine the reality rather than media falsehoods, and following that examination, the good example, the dangerous example, could spread. And what a receptive audience is emerging in Southern Europe! Better do something more, quick, to stop this before it gets completely out of hand.
So the U.S. media keeps lying about Venezuela to hold things in check, and the U.S. government and corporate elites worldwide keep trying to stall and reverse the trends by squeezing economically. And then they even try to overthrow the Venezuelan government as a step toward repressing its social movements and annihilating its good example. But whenever coups fall short, which is sad from the point of view of the masters of war, these sadistic devils do not waste time weeping. No, they continue to try to polarize the Venezuelan public, to try to scare them, to try to intimidate them, to try to economically cajole them, and to try to ensure that around the world everyone thinks it is all the Bolivarians’ fault, until Venezuelans, desperate, make choices that will undermine their prospects of being a really threatening example, such as centralizing authority, utilizing force, etc.
U.S. tactics, in other words, are not narrow and simpleminded, nor do they have an expiration date. The masters of war certainly like to win big in a swooping violent thrust – yes, thank you, some serious incineration of our foes would be nice, they might say. It would be particularly good for war contractors. Even more so, it would hopefully shock and awe the confidence out of those who might want to get uppity. So they certainly try bombs whenever they think those can work, but if the balance of forces precludes that – as so far it has and as I suspect it will continue to in Venezuela – then they will try and try again to engineer a coup. They will do this by supporting thuggish allies within Venezuela, by spreading tools of violence to favored thugs, and, even more so and most importantly, as once in Chile to overthrow Allende, by pummeling the society with economic deprivation and blaming the ensuing immensely hurtful dislocations on the Bolivarians, of course, so that the broad public will grow tired, grow depressed, and become more easily subdued. That is what current, recent, and past U.S. policy in the new Venezuela have been about.
Will the elephant that is U.S. authoritarian power win the day, week, month, year? Or will a fledgling path to better outcomes persist, grow more wise, and spread farther? It is a world historic question. And the U.S. masters of war, even more so than the Bolivarians, understand that on one side is the Venezuelan good example threatening to inspire world wide change, whereas on the other side is fear and imposed obedience hoping to subvert world wide desires until people feel, again, that there is just no alternative so they must give in because if they don’t Uncle Sam will destroy them.
Given the above, and given the emergence of steadily growing resistance – Greece, Spain, Rojava, Latin America – even to a degree Italy, France, and the U.S. too – Venezuela’s future, and I suspect it is no exaggeration to say the world’s future, is currently at play in the conflict.
So: Venezuela versus the U.S. Whose side are you on?