President Nicolas Maduro initiated Local Provision and Production Committees (CLAPs) in early 2016.
The program distributes subsidized food to around six million Venezuelan families, around two-thirds of the population, part of the nation’s participatory social democracy.
From inception with Obama in office, the US falsely claimed the program is used as a political weapon against opposition interests.
It’s nothing of the sort, all Venezuelans in need able to receive aid regardless of their political affiliations.
The CLAP program is administered by neighborhood committees connected to communal councils, social organizations operating nationwide, including community, environmental and feminist groups, others involved in cultural, education and various other activities.
Their common theme is defending Bolivarian social democracy they want preserved and protected, notably serving the rights and welfare of all Venezuelans as constitutionally mandated.
The nation’s Social Development and Popular Participation Ministry, later the Communes Ministry, mobilized activists to form government funded communal councils, encouraging ordinary Venezuelans to become involved in defending the revolution from internal and external efforts to undermine it.
In 1999, Chavez instituted revolutionary social change. Maduro carries his torch, participatory social democracy the way it should be, entirely absent in the West, fantasy democracies in these countries, not the real thing — notably how the US and its EU allies operate.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the Trump regime is preparing criminal charges and sanctions against Bolivarian Republic officials involved in the food distribution CLAP program.
What’s apparently coming has nothing to do with combatting what the Journal called “a large-scale money-laundering operation run by the government,” adding:
“[The Trump regime] is preparing to allege in criminal charges and sanctions that Venezuelan officials and private contractors, including a Colombian businessman, have laundered billions of dollars in state funds meant for the food program and other state operations, the officials and other people familiar with the matter said.”
In April, Maduro slammed the accusations, calling them a smear campaign to undermine Venezuela’s ability to import food, stressing his government “will never surrender” to US pressure, threats and intimidation tactics.
What’s going on? Do Trump regime hardliners want to starve Venezuelans into submission? They continue going all out to topple Maduro and eliminate Bolivarian social democracy by waging war by other means, featuring unlawful sanctions and other hostile actions.
In its article, the Journal cited no evidence proving allegations made, just baseless remarks by named and unnamed Trump regime officials, including from Justice Department criminal division head Brian Benczkowski, saying:
The Venezuelan government and military commanders “are using the CLAP program to steal from it, launder money, and for political control (sic).”
According to an unnamed Treasury Department official, “…Maduro insiders continue to seek illicit revenue streams (sic), even as the Venezuelan people and economy sink deeper into despair,” adding:
“We are alerting financial institutions (that Maduro) is using sophisticated schemes (sic), including the diversion of humanitarian assistance (sic), to evade sanctions and maintain its grip on power (sic).”
Neither official backed allegations made with evidence because none exists.
Throughout Bolivarian Republic history, US regimes falsely charged its officials and entities with illicit drugs trafficking, including against Minister of Industries and National Production Tareck El Aissami.
He debunked false accusations against him and the Venezuelan government, saying its “fight against drug cartels achieved the greatest progress in our history and in the western hemisphere, both in terms of the transnational drug trafficking business and their logistics structures,” adding:
Under his public security corps leadership, “Venezuelan anti-drug enforcement authorities…captured, arrested and brought 102 heads of criminal drug trafficking organizations not only to the Venezuelan justice but also to the justice of other countries where they were wanted.”
The CIA has been involved in illicit drugs trafficking throughout nearly its entire post-WW II history. So are major US and other Western banks, laundering dirty money, boosting their profits.
Langley relies on involvement in drugs trafficking for a significant portion of its revenues. Venezuela leads the hemisphere in combatting this scourge.
The CIA in cahoots with organized crime and major Western financial institutions constitute ground zero for the global proliferation of illicit drugs, vital information major media suppress.
Accusations against Venezuela’s CLAP program are fabricated. It’s not a money laundering operation to enrich Bolivarian government and military officials.
Activist Gloria La Riva, former US Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL) presidential candidate, observed how the CLAP program works firsthand, saying the following:
“Outrageous lies against the government of President Nicolas Maduro are being published or broadcast on a daily basis by the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, etc…to justify” unjustifiable Trump regime actions against Venezuela, adding:
“This battering ram of false propaganda hides a more insidious truth: The US government is the biggest reason for the shortages, with the strangling sanctions it has imposed.”
“Major Venezuelan and US corporations have engaged in a concerted production, an act of war, and in this war the attacks are increasing daily.”
Maduro’s government “has gone into overdrive to help the population resist the economic war, by expanding the scope and reach of the historic missions begun by the revolution’s leader Hugo Chavez” — including food distribution through the CLAP program to millions of Venezuelans in need.
A woman showed La Riva the food box her family receives monthly. It “contain(s) six pounds of rice, six pounds of black beans, two pounds of lentils, two liter bottles of oil, two bags of milk, 2.2 pounds of sugar, 10 pounds of corn flour, the essential ingredients of arepas, mayonnaise, catsup, two cans of tuna fish,” she explained.
“CLAP supplies (also) include chicken, meat, and 36 eggs per month,” said La Riva. The program involves entire communities, local coordinators administering it.
Trump regime claims about Venezuelan officials siphoning off funds earmarked for the program are refuted by its recipients.
Nourishing food reaches millions of Venezuelans on a regular basis. False Trump regime accusations about the program, along with sanctions and other measures apparently coming to target it are all about wanting to undermine what’s vital for millions of Venezuelans — aiming to starve them into submission.
There’s no ambiguity about how the US operates, demanding other nations bow to its will or face the full force of its wrath.
It’s an agenda risking humanity-destroying nuclear war by going too far — where things are heading if not challenged and stopped by the world community.
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Award-winning author Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected]. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.