After two days of intense pressure and a concerted campaign by the US and Canada to install Juan Guaidó as the new “self-declared” interim President of Venezuela, it is clear that they have failed in this objective. It is also clear that their illegal and undemocratic attempts to destabilize the country and overthrow the democratically elected President Nicolás Maduro will continue – with incessantly harmful consequences. Despite this, the people of Venezuela have risen once again to defend their country and democracy against hostile foreign intervention. It is essential that we support them in this fight.
The mainstream media is full of “Who is Juan Guaidó?” articles, which is fair given that the President of the National Assembly has never been an important leader in Venezuela until the US and Canada tried to make him one. Indeed, he was elected to the National Assembly in 2015 with only 26% of the votes. The New York Times and Wall Street Journal have also already published details of the months of meetings and planning between U.S. officials and Guaidó before his January 23 self-declaration as interim President.
It was not accidental that the night before planned opposition protests and Guaido’s announcement on January 23 that US Vice President Mike Pence put out a video message encouraging Venezuelan’s to overthrow their government,
“We are with you. We stand with you, and we will stay with you until Democracy is restored and you reclaim your birthright of Libertad.”
The next day, the US and Canada recognized Juan Guaidó as President of Venezuela almost immediately following his self declaration at a rally. The day after that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo frantically failed to get a meeting of the Organization of American States to recognize his new “President”. Speaking with the hypocrisy and aggression which comes only from the mouths of imperialist politicians, he also called for the overthrow of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro,
“His regime is morally bankrupt, it’s economically incompetent and it is profoundly corrupt.”
Pretty rich words coming from a leading official of U.S. President Donald Trump‘s administration, for which the terms “morally bankrupt”, “economically incompetent” and “profoundly corrupt” would be much better applied.
Following not far behind, Canada’s Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland quickly issued a statement recognizing Guaidó as President. Details also emerged of discussions between Freeland and Guaidó in the weeks leading up to his announcement.
We have already seen the Middle East raided and ravaged for the last twenty yeas by the “democracy” imposed by the U.S and Canada. Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen are all still suffering its horrifying outcomes. We cannot now allow them to sink their bloody claws further into Latin-America!
One final undeniable truth: If Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro did not have the support of millions upon millions of Venezuelans, he would not still be in power. This support for the Bolivarian Revolution has been decisive time and time again in thwarting decades of coup attempts and foreign aggression. Living as we do in the “belly of the beast”, peace-loving people in the U.S. and Canada have a special responsibility to mobilize against these government’s illegal and undemocratic “regime change” programs. Especially in tense, decisive times such as these we need to speak loud and clear to emphasize that Trump, Pence, Pompeo, Trudeau and Freeland do not speak in our names. We demand the governments of the US and Canada immediately halt their aggression against Venezuela and accept the Venezuelan people’s democratic election of Nicolás Maduro as their President.
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Alison Bodine is Coordinator of Fire This Time Venezuela Solidarity Campaign.
Featured image is from France 24