Intervention in Venezuela-A Personal Reflection

by Bruce Wilkinson, AfGJ Grassroots Coordinator

The former US Ambassador to Venezuela, Patrick Duddy, wrote a paper this week describing a range of military, financial and diplomatic measures for the US to take against the Chavez government after the Venezuelan elections on October 7th. Missing from the paper was the measure that makes the most sense. That measure is that the US should not interfere in any way with Venezuela. 

Hundreds of thousands of people or more in the US should be aware at this point of the deception of the US corporate media and the propagandism of the state department about Venezuela. Many more can relate to why the US has an interest in Venezuela, that the US demands control of every drop of the world’s oil supply. Plenty have watched in terror the US thirst for oil and the use of US defense forces in the breaking open of new markets for favored US corporate interests to monopolize. We are aware that the US corporate interests use covert actions, democracy manipulation, and support the dissent of the wealthy 1% in Venezuela who once ruled at the detriment of the rest of their society which now lives a better life because of the policies of the Chavez government.

The former ambassador postulates himself as someone who has considered every possible outcome and assigned specific actions in regards to those outcomes for a framework of US reactions to the Venezuelan elections. Two questions immediately must be acknowledged on the premise of such a piece of writing. Why are potential internal disputes of the sovereign country of Venezuela a matter for US involvement in any way? If that question can be answered then let’s consider our priorities. What justification is there for scrutinizing Venezuela’s elections over say Florida or Ohio’s elections or the elections in Saudi Arabia?

That last part is a trick question, as there are no elections in Saudi Arabia. The point being that before we get into any examination of the details of the former ambassador’s opinions, an examination of the premise for writing such an article immediately calls into question his intent. With those two questions we can see that it can be ruled out that the US is concerned for altruistic reasons or for reasons that have to do with any real concern for democracy.

I have been to Venezuela during the election that got rid of term limits for all Venezuelan politicians. I saw the run up to the election and witnessed the large crowds marching against the initiative and the larger crowds later marching for the initiative. I heard first hand from Venezuelans who disliked Chavez and I heard from Venezuelans who loved him. I observed the mechanisms of voting and it met my observation that the victory was verified as overwhelming for Chavez.

There I witnessed, for the first time in my life, a democracy that was alive. I have often recounted that the only time I felt this enlivened by a democracy was in 2008 when Obama won and people poured into the streets by the thousands in an authentic outburst of celebration. Imagine the feeling of that night without the disappointment afterward as Obama’s promises took a backseat to the interests of the 1%. Imagine an election where the democracy was enlivened so that people marched for their candidates or their issues continually and then took the time to organize themselves democratically in their communities. Welcome to Venezuela.

That is my impression of Venezuela. I don’t have the title and influence that the former ambassador has and I don’t have the pressure he must feel to please the US corporate interests. The ambassador writes to further the US interests generally coming from the oil barons or the arms dealers that he has to serve because we live in a neo-democracy where all elections are won by those who have the most money and all decisions are made by those who contributed the most to those politicians. To me, the ambassador’s view seems predicated on a complete fiction.

The ambassador has his own story lines and the Venezuelans have theirs.

The Alliance For Global Justice will fight any sort of intervention in the election of Venezuela by the US government or US corporate interests and will reach out increasingly to organizations, groups and individuals in working together towards that goal. However, ultimately, no matter what happens, the Venezuelan people write their own tale and we are in full support of that fact.