U.S. foreign policy toward Venezuela is pushing Washington further into a corner and giving power to Venezuelans to create their own democracy.
On March 8, 2019, during a Special Briefing in the United States Department of State in Washington, D.C., Elliott Abrams, U.S. Special Representative for Venezuela said in response to a question from a Bloomberg journalist:
Bloomberg journalist: Mr. Abrams, in the weeks since Juan Guaido was recognized as the interim president, the Secretary of State and you have sort of intimated that there would be – that the military would flip in – imminently, that something might happen next week or the next week. Have you been disappointed – I mean, you remarked a little bit about the timeline, but have you been disappointed that the military continues to seemingly side with Mr. Maduro?
Mr. Abrams: Wouldn’t say that—I wouldn’t use the word “disappointed.” I would say we continue to call on the Venezuelan military to follow their own constitution. We call on them to restore—it’s better in Spanish—institucionalidad.
We don’t really have a word in English—institutionality—but to restore their own proper role in any country. One of the definitions of having a state is having monopoly on force and violence for the security forces of the state. That’s not happening in Venezuela, where the government is using, the regime is using armed gangs, colectivos. One would think that the police and military in any country would find that unacceptable.
So we continue to hope that people in the Venezuelan security forces understand that the future of their country is going to be in much better hands if the Maduro regime comes to an end and the transition to democracy begins. And again, I would say it doesn’t look like that is happening until the day that it begins to happen.
Is the US stymied by the union of millions of Venezuelans with the military, including its armed militia, as outlined in a previous teleSur article on the civilian-military union?
The nemesis that facing the US started—in the current period—on February 23rd at the Venezuelan border with Colombia. The US attempt to promote a mutiny among the military and a revolt within the people against Maduro in favour of the US hand-picked and self-proclaimed “president” failed miserably.
The day after this debacle, Mike Pompeo U.S. Secretary of State said on CNN’s political show ‘State of the Union with Jack Tapper’ Feb. 24, 2019:
Tapper: But it seems as though Maduro is not going anywhere near this (U.S.) plan, that he's holding onto power and the military seems to be staying with him, at least the military leaders.
Pompeo: It always seems that way, until the day it doesn't. I remember, when I was a young soldier patrolling the then East German border. No one predicted on that day in 1989 that that wall would come crumbling down. Predictions are difficult. Picking exact days are difficult.
While these words say a lot one had to see the body language—the sheepish look—on the face of the Secretary of State representing the most powerful military force on earth. He did not seem convinced that the “Berlin Wall moment” would come to Venezuela. That was on February 24. Yet, as we saw on March 8, Abrams had the same problem.
Why is this? The U.S.-centric mindset has been steeped in the white supremacist notion of the “chosen people” from the time of the 17th century Pilgrims. It consists, among other features, of the racist outlook that peoples in the ‘Third World’, such as Latin America, cannot take their destiny into their own hands.
However, the opposite has been—and is—presently taking place.
As a result of U.S. policies, democracy in Venezuela has been crossing the Rubicon from participatory democracy to a protagonist one. While the two are similar, especially in comparison with the experience of the Diktat in the capitalist North, there is a qualitative difference.
Recalling that March 9 is the anniversary of a 2015 decree issued by former U.S. President Barack Obama that declared Venezuela a threat to U.S. security, is it possible that as a result of U.S. policy toward the country, that the Bolivarian Revolution democracy is becoming “above all,” as Chavez predicted and desired, a “protagonist and not only participatory?"
Not only has the Pilgrim “chosen people” guideline for U.S. foreign policy blinded Washington as to its capacity to conquer a country such as Venezuela, the arrogance of the 17the century Bible-thumping “City upon a Hill You are the Light of the World” has further inspired the majority of Venezuelans. They are increasingly resisting the U.S. and their allies. The Chavista movement is increasingly becoming the author of its own Bolivarian Revolution, not only participating in it.
Arnold August is a Canadian journalist and lecturer, the author of Democracy in Cuba and the 1997–98 Elections, Cuba and Its Neighbours: Democracy in Motion and the recently released Cuba–U.S. Relations: Obama and Beyond. As a journalist he collaborates with many web sites in Latin America, Europe and North America, including TeleSur. Twitter, Facebook, His website: www.arnoldaugust.com