International Committee of the Fourth International
Posted March 25, 2019
In one more of his war-media machinations in the service of U.S. big capital, Donald Trump is using the new political balance of forces in Latin America — where the pendulum has turned to the right — to take his most enthusiastic puppets, Duque, of Colombia and Bolsonaro, of Brazil, to lead a political offensive and military blackmail to topple the Venezuelan government. The goals could not be more evident: reclaiming for the big oil companies of the United States and the West control of the largest oil and gas reserves of the planet, today in the sovereign hands of the Venezuelan state, thus closing, with violence, the chavista cycle in the country from which the call for 21st century socialism came.
What is happening in Venezuela and South America at this time, particularly since 24 January, when Juan Guaidó, president of the National Assembly, under the patronage of Trump, proclaimed himself president in defiance of the constituted powers, is much more than a simple attempted coup d’état — of which the sad history of the region has known dozens. It is an imperialist interventionist manoeuvre that threatens the sovereignty of Venezuela and peace on the continent. An imperialist military intervention in Venezuela would ignite a broad civil war in the region and, if the attempt to overthrow the Venezuelan government by this means were successful, it would provoke a change in the relationship of forces at the continental level and a new and imminent threat against other Latin American countries, those that have different situations from those already governed by pro-US or ultrarightist puppets.
Provocation at the borders and economic blockade
As Trump’s puppets, the Bolsonaro and Duque governments, have had Colombian and Brazilian troops stationed on their borders with Venezuela, to force the entry of supposed “humanitarian aid” to the country’s people, with the clear goal of provoking a reaction that would give a pretext for open conflict.
Surely it would be easier and quicker for Trump and his hawks, given the unparalleled war power of the United States, to intervene directly. The problem is that he has not got an internal balance of forces in his country for another adventure like Iraq or Afghanistan. The imperial strategy is thus the combination of blackmail of external military intervention through regional allies, with a coup d’état from within, to restore an openly neoliberal government and regime.
In this strategy, the ideological dimension of interventionist propaganda is fundamental. It is about conquering the hearts and minds of the peoples of the world, particularly Latin Americans, in favour of its operation in South America with the cynical weapon of “humanitarian aid” to the suffering people of Venezuela.
Humanitarian aid, in its original concept, has nothing to do with specific political and military ends. Those who have been helping, from the Obama administration (which declared Venezuela a threat and stopped the export of products like medicines, machinery and raw materials for production, all them essential for the Venezuelan economy) to deepen the country’s economic and social crisis, are not morally authorized to use the expression “humanitarian aid”. There is nothing “humanitarian” about the same cynics who, since 24 January, have dedicated themselves to tightening the economic-financial screws against the Venezuelan state, preventing them from selling the remaining oil they had in the international market and vetoing the Venezuelan government’s access to the currencies of Citgo — a subsidiary of PDVSA in the United States.
Today’s interventionists and “humanitarians” are at least co-responsible for the situation that has caused the average Venezuelan citizen to lose 8kg in the last few years, which has reduced the Venezuelan diet to one meal a day, that has forced millions to emigrate.
A country in a state of emergency
At least since the global crisis of 2008, the fall in crude oil prices has deeply punished the Venezuelan economy and the government of Nicolás Maduro, which has followed the model of deep dependence on the oil industry. Nor has Maduro taken elementary protective measures against indebtedness and dependence on the centres of world finance.
The result of economic policy in recent years, combined with the blockade of U.S. exports to Venezuela, has been a drop in economic activity to a level similar to that of a war (around 40%), the collapse of health services, the reduction of general food supplies, unemployment and mass emigration. It is a humanitarian emergency that only now, under the unacceptable pressure of intervention, Maduro is beginning to recognise.
In the wake of the loss of popular support due to the worsening of the crisis, Maduro has curtailed freedoms — trade unions, parties, elections, expression and assembly — even with prison and the use of armed force against protests. The democratic mechanisms of popular participation in social decision-making and the autonomy of Bolivarian neighbourhood and workers’ organizations have been stifled.
For these reasons, together with the struggle against the threat of intervention and against the Guaidó-Trump coup, the Fourth International defends the right of the working class, the popular sectors, as well as the Venezuelan people as a whole to recover their standard of living and the fullness of democratic conditions.
Against all imperialist interference and intervention in Venezuela
The Fourth International joins the struggle for the lifting of the blockade and for “humanitarian aid” to conform to international conventions in agreement with the institutions that control the Venezuelan state. At the same time, it is necessary for Nicolás Maduro to recognize the existence of the humanitarian emergency, especially in the areas of food and health (medical supplies), in order to concretize the application of effective mechanisms of solidarity and international cooperation. We also consider it indispensable to immediately stop the debt payment, one of the preconditions for improving the provision of food and medical supplies.
The Fourth International calls on all democratic and progressive forces in Latin America and the world to absolutely reject the interference of Trump, the “Lima Group” and the military provocations of the forces of Brazil and Colombia on the borders of Venezuela. At the same time that we reject Guaidó’s coup and any political or military aggression against Venezuela’s sovereignty, we call on the peoples and social and political organizations of the world to mobilize for the suspension of the economic sanctions imposed by the United States and other governments on this South American country.
We reject any solution or overcoming of the crisis that poses a threat to peace or that comes from outside the constitutional frameworks of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.
Adopted by the International Committee of the Fourth International on March 5, 2019. Published in International Viewpoint here. Other resolutions of the March 2019 International Committee meeting are 14M – One year after her murder: Justice for Marielle!, No to war! Freedom for the people of Kashmir!, Solidarity with the Sudanese revolution!, and Declaration on censorship in Venezuela at the website aporrea.org.