After months of promoting the narrative of a “humanitarian crisis” in Venezuela, the opposition is attempting to instrumentalize it as a mechanism for foreign intervention. Behind all of this, predatory aid agencies and a private corporate network lurk, eager to profit from this intervention.
Although politicians and anti-Chavez media have spoken of a “humanitarian crisis” since 2016, referring to the food and health situation in Venezuela caused by the US financial siege, sabotage and inflationary induction inside the country, now the opposition – in the midst of dialogue – brings to the forefront the issue of “humanitarian aid” from abroad, specifically from the United States and the European Union (EU).
The promotion of the idea of there being a “humanitarian crisis” in Venezuela has no real support, as defined within the parameters set forth on the subject by the United Nations (UN). However, from the US, there is constant talk that this crisis is indeed occurring in our country and they have appealed to Latin American nations to support the propaganda to justify American intervention in Venezuela.
The local opposition, those interlocutors of the American elite with interests in the country, members of the Primero Justicia and Voluntad Popular parties, campaigned to manage the blockade and the financial sanctions that currently affect the lives of the Venezuelan population. Those who sought to bring about a social and economic catastrophe in Venezuela, via embargo, sanctions and sabotage, are the same ones demanding “humanitarian aid” to supposedly mitigate the effects generated by their criminal policies.
— El Nacional (@ElNacionalWeb) 4 de diciembre de 2017
– El Nacional (@ElNacionalWeb) December 4, 2017
We must understand the true nature of the request made by the opposition for Venezuela to open a “humanitarian channel” to its biggest creditor: the US government and US corporations.
Julio Borges traveled to the Dominican Republic with a document composed by the NGO Codevida, funded by the US government, which describes the steps to be taken to promote “international cooperation” around “humanitarian aid” in Venezuela. This petition is allegedly supported by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, who is in league with the secretary general of the Organization of American States (OAS), Luis Almagro, with the intent of criminalizing Venezuela in order to prosecute the government before the International Criminal Court.
Political uses of “humanitarian aid”
Some anti-Chavez spokespersons have spoken against the Venezuelan government for refusing to open “humanitarian channels”, however, as applied by them, this concept has strictly political and military objectives, not humanitarian.
Venezuela has provided humanitarian aid to populations that needed it without assistance being a pretext for invasion or the establishment of commercial relations at the expense of the suffering of others. A recent example that demonstrates how Venezuelan humanitarian aid differs from that offered by Americans is when Venezuela delivered food and medicines to Caribbean countries.
Behind the “humanitarian crisis” promoted by the US and their local agents in the Venezuelan opposition, is the possibility of using the Responsibility to Protect Doctrine (R2P). This idea developed from the genocide in Rwanda (April 1994), and was modeled on the so-called Sbrebrenica Massacre in Bosnia-Herzegovina (July 1995). Its diplomatic promoter today is Samantha Power. ( The “American War Party” is a conglomerate of notorious individuals such as Suzanne Rice, Hillary Clinton, George W. Bush and Nikki Haley, current US ambassador to the UN.).
The humanitarian crisis goes hand in hand with “intervention through humanitarian aid” and complements the military doctrine of preventive war established after the destruction of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia following the fall of the Berlin Wall.
R2P was used against Libya when the Security Council adopted Resolution 1973, paving the way for NATO to establish a “no fly zone”, allegedly to prevent a massacre of the population by the “regime”. The result: Libya is an open-air slave market , a minefield of terrorists and a zone for illicit industries such as drug trafficking. Before NATO intervention, Libya was also under financial sanctions and its foreign assets were seized.
In the same vein, “humanitarian aid” promoted by anti-Chavez media, is a political tool. It is no coincidence that this call comes at the same time that the US is conducting military exercises in the region. The Venezuelan opposition demand is a request for military intervention.
The business of “humanitarian aid”
Beyond humanitarian intervention and humanitarian channels, there is a private corporate network that involves US organizations, such as the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
USAID receives funds from the US government allegedly to provide “aid” to countries, but in reality, it opens sovereign nations to financial extortion by the United States.
The USAID Global Development Partnership program facilitates the union between the North American organization and private conglomerates, as the agency states, “to develop and implement activities that leverage and apply our respective assets and expertise to advance core business interests, achieve USAID’s development objectives, and increase the sustainable impact of USAID’s development investments.“
An example of this alliance between USAID and corporations is the relationship with Coca-Cola, a symbol of industrial and financial capitalism, which offers water services for African populations and other dependent nations through networks owned by the company. This is a business that profits from the misery that corporations have created through their wars over natural resources.
The project to supply clean water to impoverished communities in El Salvador and Guatemala is applied through the corresponding program of USAID together with private sectors in the region under the umbrella provided by the free trade agreement imposed by the US, in which Coca-Cola benefits from using infrastructure of local factories to make bottles and other supplies, and whose global capital is at about 33 million dollars,.
The Economist describes the privatizing reality of the USAID. In 2010, after the earthquake in Haiti’s Port-au-Prince that killed hundreds of thousands of people, the tragedy provided business opportunities through “humanitarian aid”. For example, a Florida firm, AshBritt, tried to sell a building restoration plan to the Haitian government.
In no country where “humanitarian aid” has been applied, from Africa, to Haiti and Guatemala, has the problem of poverty and hunger been resolved.
According to The Economist , “during the next two years 6 billion dollars in aid came to a country of 10 million people, for everything from the reconstruction of homes to the support of pro-American political parties and of all aid contracts from USAID, approximately 70% went through the hands of private companies. “
The Economist goes on to say, “One reason for the shift towards the private sector is the changing nature of the aid. A smaller part is now composed of traditional projects, such as building schools or distributing food packages, and more is ‘technical assistance’, for example, to simplify a country’s tax code and strengthen tax collection, or establish an insurance plan to help farmers when crops fail, private companies may be best placed to advise, or even execute, these schemes. “
What is crucial to understand is that organizations such as USAID outsource their “humanitarian” services to the private sector. In 2016 a growing portion of “aid” was channeled, not through charities or nonprofits, but through consultants and private contractors. Almost a quarter of USAID’s contracts went to for profit companies that year, a proportion two thirds higher than in 2008. This is a lucrative capitalist venture that now seeks to exploit Venezuela.
The following are data from a study published by the Brookings Institute titled, USAID’s Public-Private Partnerships: A Data Picture and Review of Business Engagement.
“The report is based on USAID’s database of 1,481 public-private partnerships (PPPs) from 2001 to 2014 and a series of corporate interviews. The value of those partnerships totals $16.5 billion, two-thirds from non-U.S. government sources – private companies, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), foundations, and non-U.S. public institutions. Over 4000 organizations have served as resource partners in these PPPs. Fifty-three percent are business entities, 32 percent are from the non-profit world, and 25 percent are public institutions. Eighty-five organizations have participated in five or more PPPs, led by Microsoft (62), Coca Cola (36), and Chevron (33).”
In an exclusive report, Misión Verdad unveiled the plans of US Congress for Venezuela. The “Venezuela Humanitarian Assistance and Defense of the Democratic Governance Act of 2017 introduced on September 28, begins with figures that relate to a supposed humanitarian crisis based on data on health and nutrition of the Venezuelan population obtained from universities with openly anti-Chavez directives such as the Andrés Bello Catholic University (UCAB), the Simón Bolívar University (USB), and the NGO Human Rights Watch financed by the United States.
Susana Raffalli, nutritionist and humanitarian aid expert, argues that Venezuela is experiencing a time of undeniable difficulties, but it is not even close to a real humanitarian crisis compared to other regions of the planet, such as Haiti, Myanmar or South Sudan.
According to Raffalli’s criterion, this situation only exists when the population is extremely far from establishments that dispense food, as a result of war or natural disaster. As this condition does not apply to the Venezuelan reality, there is no humanitarian crisis in Venezuela and therefore any “humanitarian channel” is simply another excuse to intervene in Venezuela.
In addition, the impediment for the Venezuelan State to try to resolve the difficult situation in the midst of a financial blockade, provokes suspicions that the opposition promotes the irremediable social crisis narrative in collusion with respective sanctions abroad, and then asks for “humanitarian assistance” USAID- style.
The sanctions, the blockade and the imposition of a “humanitarian crisis” are also mechanisms of privatization of resources and looting. The draft law of “Humanitarian Assistance and Defense of the Democratic Governance of Venezuela of 2017” points to this.
This text, which seeks to be approved by US Congress, states that if it cannot use the various international bodies as pivots for intervention in Venezuela for humanitarian reasons, it would take its case to the UN Security Council in an attempt to replicate what it has done in past, with Libya in 2011 and Yugoslavia in the 90s. The “negotiation letters” of the Venezuelan opposition are entirely based on the wording of this bill.