WHILE US president Donald Trump’s State of the Union address to Congress on Tuesday night was met with impotent angry silence by Democrats, there were two notable exceptions when their loathing of Trump was overcome in a wave of bi-partisan support.
When Trump crowed about how he had personally ordered the murder of the top Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, the Democrats rose to their feet to applaud this act.
The other occasion when the Democrats enthusiastically jumped up was when Trump went out of the way to call on his invited guest, Juan Guaido, to take a bow.
Guaido is the CIA-trained Venezuelan self-proclaimed ‘legitimate’ president of Venezuela who attempted to lead a right-wing coup against the legitimate President Nicolas Maduro in January last year.
Immediately, Guaido was recognised by US imperialism along with their faithful imperialist followers in Britain and Europe as the Venezuelan people stood absolutely firm in the face of this attempt at regime change.
But this attempt, like all subsequent coup attempts led by Guaido but orchestrated by Washington, failed miserably as the Venezuelan people made Guaido a laughing stock even amongst fellow right-wing conspirators for his boast about mobilising hundreds of thousands to take to the streets and overthrow Maduro.
In May last year, even the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was forced to blurt out at a secret meeting, leaked to the Washington Post, that there was no popular movement to oust Maduro, that Guaido had no support amongst the Venezuelan people and that the handful of right-wing ‘oppositionists’ to the legitimate government were nothing more than a ‘rabble’ fighting one another over who will grab the spoils if regime change is achieved.
Despite the obvious failure of their stooge to front up and lead any coup against Maduro and Pompeo dismissing him out of hand Trump produced Guaido like a rabbit out of the hat as a star turn on Tuesday night to ecstatic applause from both parties.
‘Maduro is an illegitimate leader’ and his ‘tyranny’ in Venezuela will be ‘smashed and broken’, Trump said describing Guaido as the ‘legitimate leader of the Venezuelan people’.
Trump met with Guaido on Wednesday and discussed how the US can ‘expedite a democratic transition in Venezuela’, in other words US imperialism having failed at a coup is preparing to launch a military operation to instal a US puppet government in Venezuela.
The Venezuelan people have suffered for years under economic sanctions imposed by the US, sanctions that have inflicted shortages of food and medicines and which are estimated to have led to the deaths of over 40,000 people.
Their overseas assets have been looted by imperialism – including £1.2 billion of gold belonging to Venezuela and deposited in the Bank of England for ‘safe keeping’ which was seized by the Tory government under instruction from the US – in one of the greatest acts of imperialist banditry.
None of this has broken the resolve of the Venezuelan people. The renewed drive to war against Venezuela is a sign of the desperation of a bankrupt US capitalist class to seize the oil wealth of the world through wars. Venezuela has the largest known oil deposits in the world.
It is no accident that the one issue that united the two main bourgeois parties behind Trump was his plans for war against Iran and his open declaration of war against Venezuela.
With the old ways of effecting regime change through sanctions and stooge ‘opposition’ leaders like Guaido having failed, the US is left with only a military invasion backed by its faithful imperialist ally Britain as an option.
The working class in the US and Britain have a major responsibility to defend Venezuela and Iran from military invasion by US and British imperialism.
The only way to prevent imperialist wars of conquest is for the working class to take action and disarm the imperialist powers with socialist revolution in the UK and US.
Only socialist revolution can put an end to imperialist war.