"Imperialism in Venezuela": Cody Kuhn on Sanctions, Neocolonialism, and the Threat to Venezuela's Self-determination
Imperialism in Venezuela
By Cody Kuhn
As Venezuela commemorates Hugo Chavez’s Socialist Revolution of 20 years ago, bourgeois elements from within, with imperialist support, work to sabotage Venezuela’s self-determination. Another case of u.s. imperialist aggression, and on a continent most dominated by it: South America.
While Venezuela’s self-declared president Juan Guaidó has been receiving support from the US, actual elected President Nicolás Maduro has been the target of u.s. imperialism for some time now. Are we truly to believe that Venezuela’s most recent issues are entirely the fault of Maduro’s leadership? It should not be overlooked that the problems currently facing Venezuelans, declared in the news as a humanitarian crisis, seem to have occurred about the same time economic/trade sanctions were imposed.
The u.s. and its South American puppets, the O.A.S. (Organization of American States, which was formed at the behest of the u.s. over 50 years ago in order to quash revolutionary movements and regimes that were spreading throughout Latin America at that time) have largely created Venezuela’s most pressing issues with their refusals to do fair business in the form of trade, and economic/diplomatic cooperation which has left Venezuelans lacking much of the things that they need.
The u.s. and O.A.S. has been making it very difficult to near impossible for Maduro to help his people even properly live, let alone develop. So outside looking in, to the unaware, it seems like Maduro is “the bad guy” and this Guaidó character is “the good guy” and u.s. support for him looks righteous, even humanely necessary, to out this “socialist dictator” and end Venezuela’s suffering… But understand that the Venezuela situation was created by and is a product of u.s. imperialism. The same u.s. imperialism that caused the people of Cuba to suffer for over 50 years by the trade embargo and dictation that its O.A.S. cronies turn their backs on Cuba as well or suffer the same fate. This all because they dared to break the chains of neocolonial dependency.
This type of economic imperialism being so tremendously effective is a consequence of the inter-dependency of economies (especially those of the undeveloped/developing nations that have historically battled with colonialism and now neocolonialism) due to the globalization of capitalism. Now an empire like the u.s. can destabilize an entire nation’s internal economic stability causing mass chaos without invading and physically plundering it. Mere trade imbalances and economic sanctions can have the imperialist-desired effect of social upheaval, causing the targeted nation to look at the leadership as the cause and welcome foreign intervention to come and save them from a situation created by imperialist aggression.
We can’t know for certain what the reasons for this aggression are but we can make informed speculation based off of historical analysis. Could it be that Maduro is a socialist? Refusing to capitulate to capitalist ways? Because Venezuela is too friendly with China, Russia, and Cuba? Maybe Maduro wants to receive fair trade for Venezuelan oil, or maybe the u.s. wants to outright own some oil firms there and is angry that much of the oil production had been nationalized? Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Dominican Republic, etc, etc, etc… Doesn’t this seem familiar? It isn’t always about oil, but it is always about money or geopolitical influence.
What we don’t need to speculate about is that what we are seeing is obvious u.s. imperialism. It seems as if it is only a matter of time before either Maduro steps down in order to end this imperialist onslaught, or it will shift from the political and economic to the military variety.
If we learn anything from any history that includes the u.s. it’s that the empire will go to great lengths to achieve its imperialist ambitions. It doesn’t help Maduro’s cause that no one seems to be willing to come out against this aggression and show solidarity with the elected president. It is these times when we most lament the fall of the socialist bloc and its global influence and support for oppressed peoples. Little Cuba, only 90 miles from the empire, was only able to resist capitulation to imperialist demands from the u.s. and its peons because it had socialist solidarity coming from China and the Soviet Union. Who will support Venezuela though?
Unfortunately, it’s looking as if Venezuela may soon become only the most recent nation to become neocolonized by the u.s. and its efforts to be all and control all. The real obituaries may very soon read: “R.I.P. Venezuela’s self-determination…”
Oil revenue is about 90% of Venezuela’s revenue
The u.s. is the #1 buyer of Venezuelan oil, at over 400,000 barrels a day.