U.S. sanctions (the dreaded hunger weapon that kills and devastates indiscriminately, as opposed to military weapons that are targeted) are killing all over the world, from North Korea to Venezuela to Iraq, where the U.S. government said it was “worth killing 500,000 children” through sanctions. “Modern-day economic sanctions and blockades are comparable with medieval sieges of towns”, the UN rapporteur on human rights said. “Starving civilians is a serious human rights crime,” he added.
Granted, the Venezuelan government is not known for being one of the most competent administrations in the world. But to be fair, it is not mismanagement that has ruined the country’s economy, but the sanctions imposed by the US-led West.
The West has banned just about everything, and its devastating sanctions have even impeded the supply of vital medicines. U.S. sanctions have killed more than hundred thousand Venezuelans, according to the UN rapporteur on human rights. To make matters worse, the United Kingdom effectively stole $1.8 billion worth of gold from the Venezuelan state. London was part of the U.S.’s illegal regime change agenda, which I will explain below.
If the Venezuelan government’s economic model were really as bad as U.S. propaganda claims, why did the West not let it run its course until it was no longer viable, instead of “helping” to finish it with strangulating sanctions?
Western politicians and media are feigning sympathy for the Venezuelan people because the generous social programs that former President Hugo Chavez instituted can no longer be financed in a country sanctioned to the teeth.
In the African state of Niger, a pro-Western president was recently overthrown by a nationalist military junta. The European Union immediately called for the reinstatement of the democratically elected president and showed solidarity with the country’s citizens. In 2014, when a democratically elected president in Ukraine was forcibly ousted in a U.S.-initiated coup, the same EU had supported the illegal act.
The highfalutin defense of democracy and human rights, which it tramples on elsewhere, is a useful pretext for the West to hide its own tangible interests. Neither in Niger, nor in Ukraine, nor in Venezuela is the West concerned about the people. In Niger, it is about the uranium that its former colonial master France, which generates 70% of its electricity from uranium-fueled nuclear power plants, has obtained at astonishingly low prices. In Ukraine, it was about turning the country into a NATO base hostile to Moscow and instrumentalizing it for Washington’s strategic goal of weakening rival Russia, and in Venezuela, it is about oil.
The sanctions are designed to ruin the country until the current president is overthrown and a pro-American president cedes Venezuela’s oil resources to U.S.-based Big Oil at a sellout price comparable to Niger’s uranium sale to France.
To achieve this goal, U.S.-backed Juan Guaidó had launched an attempted coup in Venezuela in January 2019, to months of Western media applause, and had himself appointed interim president in a completely unconstitutional manner, but with Western – especially U.S. – support.
To legitimize his coup, the Western mainstream media reported that Guaidó invoked Article 233 of the constitution and thus acted constitutionally. Article 233 does regulate how the president can be deposed and who then becomes his successor. But the media manipulated public opinion by not mentioning the grounds for removal: A succession rule takes effect when the president dies, resigns himself, or when the Constitutional Court removes him by judgment. In addition, the president can be removed if a medical commission appointed by the Constitutional Court declares him incapacitated for health reasons and Parliament confirms this.
None of these conditions were met, making Guaidó’s proclamation as president a clear violation of the constitution.
But that is not all. Even if President Maduro were duly deposed, who would succeed him under the constitution? There are two possibilities: If the president loses office again before the inauguration, there must be new elections in 30 days, and in the meantime the speaker of parliament runs the office. This is what Guaidó has invoked. The problem, however, is that he did not appoint himself president until after Maduro’s inauguration.
However, the constitution stipulates that in this case the vice president remains in office until new elections are held after 30 days.
Once again, Guaidó has violated the constitution, a violation that the West has supported. And again, there was nothing about it in the Western media.
For nearly four years, Juan Guaidó, who had cultivated friendly relations with the Colombian drug mafia and whose coup quickly failed, was considered and treated as Venezuela’s president by Western governments until he was deposed by his own supporters in frustration in December 2022. Reports of his links to the drug mafia and his corruption caused him to lose his domestic supporters. As a result, Guaidó fled to the United States in early 2023, where he should now be able to make a lucrative living, having become useless to the United States in Venezuela.
Now that Guaidó has failed, a successor, a Guaidó 2.0, is waiting in the wings. She will likely be built up by the Western media as the next bright and likable young “fighter for democracy” in Venezuela. So let’s already remember her name, we will in all likelihood hear it more often in the coming months: Maria Corina Machado.
Her political movement, Súmate, has received millions of dollars in funding from the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) since at least 2004. The NED, a CIA offshoot funded by the U.S. Congress, is responsible for pro-U.S. coups around the world.
The continuation of this story should be exciting for Western politicians and media. Their victims will once again be the ordinary citizens of Venezuela.