LETTERS

Next step in Venezuela could be critical

Posted

To the Editor:
If continuing attempts at a coup d’etat are unsuccessful, the Trump Administration is threatening an imminent military invasion of Venezuela.
On CNN’s Sunday edition of Jake Tapper’s “State of the Union,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo ominously declared, “Maduro’s days in office are numbered.”
National Security Advisor John Bolton, speaking with Fox Business, issued a blatant call on Sunday for the overthrow of a sovereign nation in order to take over that nation’s oil reserves: “It will make a big difference to the United States economically if we could have American oil companies really invest in and produce the oil capabilities in Venezuela.”
Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe wrote in his recently released book, The Threat, that in 2017: “The president talked about Venezuela. ‘That’s the country we should be going to war with,’ he said. ‘They have all that oil and
they’re right on our back door.’”
“Our back door” is a euphemism used to denigrate a small nation to our south. This was popularized during the Reagan Administration in its attempt to justify the trading of arms for hostages with Iran. The money for these arms was then
illegally diverted to supply military weapons to Nicaraguan contras in violation of congressional law.
This phrase, “our back door,” indicates the Trump Administration, likewise, does not recognize the sovereignty of a Latin American government, which they believe must be subservient to so-called U.S. interests – even if this necessitates a war of aggression.
Venezuela is currently suffering an economic crisis. To a significant extent, this is due to “crippling U.S. sanctions,” states Amy Goodman, an investigative journalist and host of “DemocracyNow!” Moreover, the U.S. has blocked the
purchase of Venezuelan oil, which is its primary source of overseas income, and is placing pressure on other countries to prevent Venezuela from gaining the foreign capital necessary to stabilize its economy.
Nicolás Maduro is the democratically elected leader of Venezuela. The Maduro government’s policies have contributed to the hyperinflation Venezuela is experiencing. However, Washington’s solution of seeking either a CIA-engineered
coup or a military invasion is unjust and will cause suffering on a massive scale. Either of these methods of overthrowing the Maduro government will result in many unnecessary deaths. Moreover, the nation would then be headed by a dictator whose policies would enrich the wealthy at the expense of Venezuela’s middle class and poor. Indeed, as was true of many Venezuelan governments during the 20th century, this authoritarian takeover would likely result in the decimation of the lives of millions of impoverished Venezuelans.
Vice President Pence met Monday with opposition leader Juan Guaidó in Bogota, Columbia. With U.S. support, Guaidó declared himself the interim president of Venezuela last month. This was an authoritarian move to take down Maduro in a failed coup attempt orchestrated by the U.S. that began January
23.
Pence is attempting to secure the support of other nations for invading Venezuela. He has also announced increased sanctions against Venezuela. Sadly, these immoral military machinations are not new. The Bush Administration attempted a coup in 2002 that would have succeeded had it not been for massive street protests by Venezuelans. I traveled to Venezuela in 2006
on a peace mission with 15 church leaders and members who opposed the possibility of yet another coup attempt.

Rev. Harry Rix
Providence

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