The world needs to be outraged at what the Trump/Guaido cabal is trying to do to Venezuela. If their coup succeeds, it will bring Venezuela closer to despotism and economically pummel a country that’s already been crippledby U.S. economic warfare.
Guaido’s attempted installment is not a democratic revolution, and its aim is not to in any way improve the lives of the Venezuelan people. It’s a corporate power grab that’s being carried out undemocratically, and with the aid of an illegal American regime change project.
The illegitimacy of Guaido’s claim to the presidency is shown by a quick look at the contents of Venezuela’s constitution. Regime change supporters claim that Article 233 of Venezuela’s constitution lets the National Assembly declare a president’s “abandonment” on its own, despite the fact that the article mentions no such rule and despite the fact that Maduro has shown no desire to abandon his position. This isn’t just an act of political fraud; it’s an attempt to directly subvert Venezuela’s democratic norms. A Guaido presidency would be a regime, not the product of a constitutional transfer of power.
For these and other reasons, it’s apt to compare Guaido to Augusto Pinochet. Guaido and his chief backers parallel Pinochet in that they oppose the democratic norms of the country they seek to control, they’re part of an illegal U.S. effort to overthrow a democratically elected sovereign government, and they have an agenda of mass privatization and neoliberal hyper-capitalism.
In this case, America’s involvement is far more extreme than it was in the leadup to the Chilean coup-and to many other past U.S. interventions in Latin America. Amid repeated threats from the Trump administration to invade Venezuela, Washington has been sending “humanitarian aid” shipments to Venezuela’s border, clearly with the hope that this highly suspicious and politicized action will spark the political violence needed to justify a military intervention.
The White House and the American corporate media also recently blamed the burning of an aid truck on the Venezuelan military, when the culprit for the fire has been revealed to have been an anti-government protester. Maduro’s claim that Venezuela’s chaotic electrical blackout was created by the U.S. is very plausible, since the tactic of electrical sabotage has been considered by the U.S. as a warfare approach before. Guaido himself has had a political career that’s defined by involvement in violent U.S.-backed right-wing opposition groups, and all of these acts of U.S. warfare against Venezuela are part of an attempt to force Guaido into power.
But Guaido’s actual policy goals are what truly expose his fraudulence as the claimed savior of Venezuela. Guaido and the neoliberal academics and oligarchs who produced him plan to privatize services like telecommunications, electricity, cement, and other resources that were nationalized as part of the Bolivarian revolution-with the most important privatization target being Venezuela’s oil, which John Bolton has explicitly stated is the resource Washington hopes to profit from by intervening in Venezuela. They also plan to loot the government by dismissing the workers in state companies and by entering private capital into those companies. Their platform naturally doesn’t say that they’ll protect the rights of workers.
As Guaido continues with his Machiavellian campaign to gain power at the behest of a rogue corporate imperialist state, the Venezuelan people are the victims of all of this. They’re trapped between a Chavista government that doesn’t intend to dismantle the oppressive apparatus of capitalism, and between a looming corporatist regime which will bring Venezuela back to the miserable neoliberal era that the country was in before Chavez’ partial reforms.
The situation recalls the lyrics of Venezuelan revolutionary musician Ali Primera’s song Casas de Carton-“Houses of Cardboard”:
How sad the rain sounds in the cardboard rooftopsHow sad my people live, in the cardboard housesDown comes the worker from the village, almost dragging his feetFrom the burden of sufferingLook at all the suffering, the burden of sufferingAbove in the village, he leaves his pregnant wifeBelow is the city and he gets caught in its webToday is the same as yesterday; it’s a world with no tomorrow