Samuel Moncada Acosta
The colonial project with which Donald Trump tries to reconquer Venezuela has several components: a legal folly, an abuse of power, a crime of aggression and a coup d’état. All with the purpose of promoting chaos and a foreign military intervention that would destroy not only peace in Venezuela but in the whole region.
The project is a criminal plan that will bring pain and shame to satisfy the greed of a few. This statement may seem exaggerated and must be explained, for I am sure that the free peoples of the world know the danger posed to Venezuela, and to themselves, by Trump’s aggression. A colonial reconquest in Venezuela would set a precedent that would affect all the peoples of the world.
Trump denies peoples´s ability to legitimize their rulers
The first big problem is that Trump pretends, without having the capacity to do so, to decide who the legitimate ruler of Venezuela is. Legitimacy is the voluntary acceptance of authority without the threat of the use of force. In the case of a country, the source of legitimacy is only found in the citizenship that is under the orders of the government within that country and never in foreign territory. Trump wants to impose the practice that it is he who decides the ruler of each country.
In democracies, the people are sovereign and the rulers only have the power that their people give them. Popular sovereignty means that power resides in the people and they voluntarily surrender it to the rulers through the vote.
How can a sovereign state accept that the legitimacy of its government be determined by other states that have no authority over their internal affairs and are legally equals? Impossible! But this is Donald Trump’s claim.
What capacity to generate legitimacy does a foreign ruler have over a people that does not govern? Obviously none. The question itself is absurd, meaningless. Only the nationals of a country can generate the legitimacy of their rulers, no one else.
When you say that Trump can decide who the president of Venezuela is, you ask for something impossible by definition. That power is not in his hands, that attribute does not belong to him. It is a faculty that does not exist. Such competence belongs to the Venezuelan people and Trump kidnaps the will of millions of Venezuelans who voted on May 20 to elect the president.
Trump’s delirium is also an abuse of power. His government knows it is inventing something that does not exist in international law. He commits prevarication because he deliberately violates the law, twists it and manipulates it by creating a fiction to destroy the sovereignty of our country.
Article 5 of the Venezuelan constitution states:
“Sovereignty resides untransferably in the people, who exercise it directly in the manner provided for in this Constitution and the law, and indirectly, through suffrage, by the organs that exercise Public Power. The organs of the State emanate from popular sovereignty and are subject to it”.
No foreign power can determine who holds legitimate power in our country.
The legitimacy of our elections is not decided in Washington
In 2002, the U.S. government decided not to recognize the legitimacy of President Hugo Chavez and instead recognized dictator Carmona as the “legitimate” president of Venezuela. So did the OAS Inter-American Commission on Human Rights when it called dictator Carmona “president.” What was the impact of these actions in Venezuela? None! The people of Venezuela knew who their president was, because the legitimacy of power in Venezuela is not decided in Washington.
In 2005, the U.S. government declared that it did not recognize the results of the elections for the Venezuelan National Assembly on the grounds that the opposition had not participated in them. The effect of the condemnation for the Assembly was null, because the legitimacy of our elections is not decided in Washington.
In 2013, the government of the United States did not recognize the result of the elections for the presidency of the Republic. However, the effect of the condemnation on President Nicolás Maduro was null because the legitimacy of our elections is not decided in Washington. In 2018, the U.S. government did the same and the result must be the same. The legitimacy of power in Venezuela is not decided in Washington!
The nonsense is so great that now Trump, in order to justify the tyranny in Venezuela, dares to declare some gentlemen who meet in Miami as the “legitimate” Supreme Court of Venezuela. For Trump, the Miami group is the highest judicial authority in our country and those who decide conflicts between public powers and interpret the constitution. Do you believe that our people voluntarily accept the authority of those gentlemen in Miami? The question offends, but that is the supposed capacity that Trump believes he has over our people. He believes he can impose a puppet government on us from Miami. There is no international law that can sustain this, only the delirium of a supremacist government that tries to trample on the will of the Venezuelan people.
“The power to administer justice emanates from the citizens and is imparted in the name of the Republic by authority of law,” Article 253 of the Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.
To promote a group of impostors in Miami as a Supreme Court is to commit a coup d’état against the Venezuelan republic. The Trump administration does it with impunity, recklessly. Not only do they delegitimize from abroad, but they are also relegitimizing from abroad! Everything is so false, so insulting, so primitive, so dangerous and criminal. Its legal and political manipulation endangers peace in Venezuela and the region.
Trump’s coercive measures are a calculated policy of cruelty
The second big problem of the Trump administration is that it wants to break the will of the Venezuelan people through coercion. Article 20 of the OAS Charter states: “No State shall apply or encourage coercive measures of an economic and political character to force the sovereign will of another State and to obtain from it advantages of any kind.
Every year, the United Nations condemns coercive measures as violating human rights, national sovereignty, the self-determination of peoples and all norms of international law. However, the Trump administration openly proposes punishments and aggressions aimed at fragmenting and weakening the three pillars of every State, such as its population, its government and its territory.
The United States has proposed a program of economic asphyxiation against our people with the purpose of making collective suffering manifest in social chaos. This criminal aggression is supported by the United Kingdom. On January 28, 2019, Trump stole more than twenty billion dollars from the Venezuelan people, which represents a year of imports for Venezuelans. Also, the Bank of England stole $1.2 billion from our people without any explanation. Trump’s and Teresa May’s governments behave like 19th century pirates who plunder the goods of nations in the worst tradition of colonial empires. It is clear that these two governments are active agents of the suffering caused to our people. They are the main violators of our Human Rights.
The maximum damage caused is called “humanitarian crisis,” and they pretend to appear as saviors of a situation created by themselves. The process of economic destruction is celebrated in Washington as a triumph and the Venezuelan people are used as hostages to bend the will of our government.
Trump uses humanitarian crisis as excuse to impose a puppet in Venezuela
Let’s look at the absurdity of the following situation: Trump also declared a humanitarian and security crisis on the southern border of his country to justify the construction of a wall. Trump regularly insults and criminalizes Latin American migrants and peoples with the most racist policies known in decades. If migrants are a humanitarian and security problem for the United States, will Trump invade the governments of Guatemala and Honduras and ignore their rulers?
The saddest thing is that several Latin American leaders accompany Trump in his aggression against Venezuela. They don’t understand that the language used against Venezuela is the same language used against them to discriminate against them. The most humiliating thing about Trump’s racist policy is that after insulting all Latin Americans he extorts a group of governments to attack Venezuela.
Trump Seeks a Pinochet for Venezuela
The process of demolition of the Republic goes through all the clandestine subversion operations that attempt to produce a violent military coup in Venezuela. The New York Times denounced on September 9th as Trump officials met several times with Venezuelan military to overthrow Venezuela’s constitutional government. Trump even publicly stated that the United States would support a coup d’état in Venezuela.
The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS) is an agent of the war against Venezuela, faithfully repeating Trump’s script in violation of international law, his obligation to work for peace and his integrity as an international official.
The International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled in 1986 that there is no general right in international law to intervene to support political opposition within another state. Even recognizing only one sector of the opposition as the legitimate representative of a people is a violation of the principle of non-intervention in international relations. The Court decided this no more and no less than in the case of US aggression against Nicaragua . Today they want to do the same in both Venezuela and Nicaragua.
The assassination attempt perpetrated against President Nicolas Maduro on August 4, 2018, was the first in the world to be executed with drones against a Head of State. It was organized from the United States and Colombia, countries that today protect their masterminds. It is an aberrant reality that for Presidents Trump and Duque there is a “good” terrorism: the one used against Venezuela. The media has silenced this terrorist attack that is part of the clandestine operations to destroy democracy in Venezuela.
It is a strategy to dissolve the personality of the State, fragment public powers, weaken the governance of the nation and destroy social peace. It is the strategy of chaos and destruction.
Trump’s colonial war against Venezuela is for oil
Article 19 of the OAS Charter states:
“No State or group of States has the right to intervene, directly or indirectly, for whatever reason, in the internal or external affairs of any other State or group of States. The foregoing principle excludes not only armed force, but also any other form of interference or tendency to undermine the personality of the State, the political, economic, and cultural elements that constitute it”.
In total violation of this article we come to the most serious thing: war. This was expressed by Trump, his Vice President, the director of the CIA and the U.S. Ambassador to the OAS. So said the Ambassador of Colombia in Washington and the current Vice President of Brazil.
In addition to this machinery of death and destruction, the Secretary General of the OAS joins as part of the military-industrial complex that has war as a business for the sale of arms and the dispossession of Venezuela’s natural resources. It is a macabre plan that serves to benefit the interests of the largest corporations in the United States, such as ExxonMobil. The National Security Advisor, John Bolton, has already assured that U.S. oil companies will have Venezuela’s oil as war booty. It is the same war plan for oil used in Iraq and Libya. It is blood for oil.
Economic asphyxiation, the fragmentation of the unity of the State and the dispossession of our natural resources are the material bases of the legal atrocity represented by Trump’s colonial war. It is not about democracy or peace, it is about the destruction of popular and national sovereignty, the annulment of the independence of the nation and the imposition of a tutelage through a puppet government without roots in our people and territory.
We are on the verge of a new phase of aggression, which attempts to justify the imposition of a colonial government from abroad with calls for a military coup. Worst of all, the perpetrators and instigators of the crime are presented as the rescuers who will use their armed forces to prevent war in Venezuela.
With the excuse of saving Venezuela, Trump aims to destroy its population, state and territory. We are on the verge of a situation similar to that of 1965 when the OAS served as an instrument to invade the Dominican Republic. They are using a model similar to those used in Iraq, Syria and Libya.
We call on the world to understand the danger of supporting the disintegration of the Venezuelan state, the application of illegal coercive measures that violate the human rights of our people, and the war that irresponsible death traffickers do with impunity. Today is Venezuela, tomorrow will be Nicaragua, and later on, any other country.
In this dangerous hour only national unity can defeat the most brutal aggressions ever perpetrated in the last hundred years. All Venezuelans, of all parties and beliefs, are called to defend our sovereignty, our territory, our independence and our right to peace. In the face of colonialist threats from Europe and the United States, our generation has the responsibility to secure the second liberation of Venezuela. The Republic will not be lost in our hands. We must defeat Trump’s colonial war.