Venezuela: Chronicles of a State of Seige

Anderson Velásquez
Rudimentary Translation by Alexandra Valiente, Internationalist 360°

It has been  consistently demonstrated that the opposition has no intention of seeking a democratic, peaceful resolution to the situation in the country. On the contrary, they maintain chaos and generate more deaths in their continuing offensive to overthrow the legitimate government of President Nicolás Maduro.

Betrayal of the motherland, requests for intervention

To demonstrate that the right has worked systematically towards international intervention against Venezuela, we will highlight some of the most relevant meetings between sectors of the Venezuelan oligarchy and leaders of countries that are hostile towards the Bolivarian government:

  • February 16, 2017: Donald Trump received Lilian Tintori in the White House and asked that Venezuela release political prisoner, Leopoldo López.
  • May 5, 2017: Julio Borges held a meeting with United States Vice President Mike Pence and National Security Adviser, the dangerous civil war general, HR McMaster. They agreed to bring the crisis to a swift and peaceful conclusion.
  • May 11, 2017: Julio Borges held a meeting with the president of Peru, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, who asked him to lead a group of countries in the region and international organizations to act as intermediaries seeking political transition in Venezuela.
  • May 11, 2017: Brazilian de facto president Michel Temer welcomed Lilian Tintori, who assured him that “Brazil is with the Venezuelan people” and is “in contact with other governments to find a solution to the crisis.” In Latin America, “a majority of governments agree that things have to change and that has to be quick,” said Tintori.
  • May 15, 2017: Lilian Tintori was received by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, denouncing the human rights violations in Venezuela. Tintori reported that they asked the government of Canada “to use the mechanisms that are enshrined in the inter-American system to put pressure on this regime.” Likewise, Trudeau said that “Canada has resources that it can make available to ensure that humanitarian aid is channeled through the United Nations and can reach Venezuelans.”

Regional military hostility on the rise

As we know, the US government directs and finances the economic and political blockade against Venezuela and it is evident that the worsening economic crisis, the lack of basic products, food and medicines, politically benefits the criminal right and places the Bolivarian government in a permanent state of imperialist siege. Here are the latest hostile statements and actions of US government spokesmen and their regional allies:

  • On March 31,  the arrival of tanks of the Colombian army was observed near the Colombian-Venezuelan border in Táchira state, specifically near one of the international bridges. Later at the OAS, Venezuela denounced the provocation by the two armed columns mobilized along the common border.
  • On April 6, the top US military official for Latin America submitted a report to the Senate warning that Venezuela could be a “destabilizing” factor in the region. “The growing humanitarian crisis in Venezuela could force a regional response … Venezuela is going through a period of significant instability this year due to the widespread shortage of drugs and food, constant political uncertainty and worsening economic conditions,” said Admiral Kurt W. Tidd, chief of US  Southern Command in his report to the Senate Military Services Committee.
  • On May 6, Operation America was announced, scheduled for November of this year and will consist of ten days of military simulations conducted from a multinational base, made up of troops from four countries hostile towards Venezuela: the United States, Brazil, Peru and Colombia.
  • On May 11, the director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) said that “in Venezuela there are a lot of weapons and there is a risk that they will fall into the wrong hands,” thus demonstrating that Venezuela is a military target for the US .
  • On May 18, President Santos visited the United States and according to the Colombian daily El Tiempo, several senators, including Marco Rubio, offered the Colombian president military assistance to counter any provocation from or possible conflicts with Venezuela. Marco Rubio expressed “the need to strengthen the country’s armed forces in case the crisis in Venezuela continues to grow and a military or humanitarian emergency occurs.”

The eyes of the Washington hawks are placed on our country because Venezuela represents revolutionary  resistance to the world hegemonic system.  Imperialism cannot allow a nation that raises the banners of socialism, anti-imperialism and self-determination to succeed, thus demonstrating that no one needs the northern masters and their predatory capitalist system.

Pre-war scenario

In Venezuela, the criminal right has attacked maternity hospitals, schools, plundered businesses, burned buses, ambulances and murdered people with impunity. But the most serious thing of all is that they have created a virtual reality based on well-constructed lies where the culprit is innocent and the innocent is guilty. This false reality has generated a pre-war scenario, characterized by anxiety, anguish, hatred between brothers and the despair of the people. The violent actions of the criminal right prioritize the cutting off of supplies to major cities:

  • May 4: Looting promoted by the criminal right in the state of Carabobo (industrial region and main communication route between the west and the center of the country).
  • May 9: As a result of the violent actions that are taking place in Venezuela, the producers of fruits and vegetables that transport their food from the state Táchira to other regions of the country, decided to stop these consignments because they are looted on the roads, resulting in the loss of products and  vehicles.
  • May 12: The Andean front of Valle del Mocotíes, Tovar, Bailadores and La Grita declared civil disobedience stating that they will not send another food gandola to Caracas until President Nicolás Maduro resigns. “We want the other states and municipalities also raise their voice, so that we unite all in resistance to this regime.”
  • May 15: Fierce clashes and looting promoted by the criminal right were registered in six municipalities in the state of Mérida (agricultural and livestock region).
  • May 17: The food supply dropped in Caracas after the intense violent actions of the right in the western part of the country, freight carriers decreased their trips to the capital of Venezuela for fear of being assaulted.
  • 18 of May: Clashes were registered in different municipalities of the state Táchira promoted by the criminal right in collusion with  Colombian paramilitaries (agricultural and cattle region).
  • May 22: There were strong clashes and looting promoted by the criminal right in six municipalities in the Barinas state (agricultural and livestock region and one of the main communication routes between the south-west and center of the country).
  • 22 of May: There were strong confrontations and looting promoted by the criminal right in the state Zulia (cattle region).

They seek to fracture the national government and achieve the surrender of the Revolution

Freddy Guevara, national coordinator of Popular Will and main promoter of chaos, called on his supporters to escalate street violence through the social network Twitter. “June: defining month, we are planning a higher pressure escalation and will be announced after being discussed with sectors beyond MUD,” Guevara announced.

This announcement corresponds to the plan of siege and international pressure directed by  Washington.  Steven Mnuchin, Treasury Secretary, explained that the sanctions are a measure of Washington’s support for Venezuela, where in reality,  economic sanctions aim  to deepen the crisis.

From the US government, attacks on the legitimate government are carried out through strategic, selective sanctions in the hope that they will encourage defections within the Bolivarian government and divide the civil-military leadership,  giving ground to “moderate sectors  willing to collaborate for regime change”.

Bolivarian response to the siege

The Bolivarians have gallantly resisted all manner of aggressions over the last four years and despite the difficult circumstances throughout  the country, there are millions of people who are determined, unwilling to give up in the face of adversity. This is demonstrated by the great popular mobilizations in support for the Revolution that are being carried out continuously.

Nevertheless, it is fundamental to know the complexity of the situation and prepare for national defense in the event of every one of the possible following  scenarios.

  • Before the siege, the Bolivarian government has used  all political and diplomatic avenues and laws  to direct the confrontation towards democratic and peaceful routes, one of the most insistent being  calls for dialogue.
  • Given the refusal of the right to participate in dialogue, President Maduro opted for the convocation of the National Constituent Assembly in order to establish a great national dialogue that would lead the country towards peace, that provides solutions to the great problems facing the nation.
  • While Plan Zamora I and II has served to contain the violence in some regions, it has not been enough to neutralize the intense violent escalation of the adversary.
  • It is necessary that revolutionaries take full advantage of this time, in the context of objective and subjective conditions, to look for mechanisms of articulation and organization among the patriot sectors around the defense of the homeland, since a long-term struggle is expected.

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