DURING an anti-government demonstration in Venezuela’s capital, Caracas, on Wednesday the head of the country’s National Assembly Juan Guaido launched a right-wing coup against the elected president Nicolas Maduro declaring that he was now the unelected ‘interim president’.
His coup declaration may have been made on the streets of Caracas but it was orchestrated in Washington by US imperialism! Immediately following Guaido’s declaration, US president Donald Trump rushed out a statement of full support, stating: ‘The citizens of Venezuela have suffered for too long at the hands of the illegitimate Maduro regime,’ and immediately recognised Guaido as the legitimate president of Venezuela.
Trump’s support for this illegal right-wing coup attempt was reinforced by a senior US administration official who boasted that ‘Maduro and his cronies’ now needed to understand they had no future and had no choice but to accept ‘a peaceful transition’ and ‘an exit solution from the country’.
In other words US imperialism is threatening either Maduro surrenders or the US will provoke a civil war in the country to destroy the left-leaning nationalist government he leads and instal a right-wing dictatorship that will act as a vassal state to the interests of American capitalism.
Already this week a provocation orchestrated by the right-wing was staged by a small group of National Guardsmen. This follows an assassination attempt on the life of Maduro during a military parade last August, an attempt that was unquestionably organised and financed by the US and the Trump administration.
Having failed to kill Maduro last year, US imperialism is set on creating a civil war in Venezuela to effect regime change. Trump has made no secret of his intentions – at the time of the assassination attempt he stated publicly: ‘We have many options for Venezuela, including a possible military option if necessary.’ This threat of the US carrying out a military invasion of the country was stepped up in the immediate aftermath of Guaido’s grab for power.
Maduro immediately responded to the provocation, denouncing the attempted coup for being backed by the ‘gringo empire’ and calling for the people and army to resist it ‘at all costs’ saying: ‘We are defending the right to the very existence of our Bolivarian Republic, from foes trying to steal Venezuela’s oil, gas and gold.’ He added: ‘They intend to govern Venezuela from Washington. Do you want a puppet government controlled by Washington?’
That is exactly what US imperialism is attempting in Venezuela – create the conditions for a bloodbath to kill off the left-leaning government of Maduro, whose crime has been to attempt to use the oil wealth of the country for the benefit of the Venezuelan people, and replace it with the dictatorship of the oil companies, the bankers and bosses.
Maduro broke off all diplomatic ties with the US and instructed US diplomats to leave the country in 72 hours. Trump immediately instructed them to remain and threatened military action if they were forcibly removed.
Venezuela, which has the largest verified oil reserves of any country in the world, is the prize that US imperialism is desperate to regain control of. Since 2014, under the previous Obama regime, the US has systematically attempted to strangle Venezuela economically through economic sanctions forcing the country to the edge of bankruptcy.
This deliberate policy of regime change through economic warfare designed to starve the Venezuelan people into submission has now escalated to an open attempt at provoking a civil war and invasion. What is clear is that US imperialism and its allies can offer nothing to the people of the world except war and devastation as it attempts to solve the historic crisis of capitalism through wars of conquest.
By yesterday afternoon, the EU and the UK had followed the US’ lead and recognised the opposition leader Guaido. The UK working class must rise up against this government’s decision to recognise the right winger Guaido. In fact, the working class of the world must unite to defend the Venezuelan people from imperialist bloodbath by putting an end to capitalism through socialist revolution.