By Sarah Ye || Staff Writer
The United States is notorious for destabilizing any leftist government in the global south that doesn’t exist to serve our interests. We sponsor and initiate economic warfare, regime changes, assassinations, and devastating civil wars. We did it to Nicaragua, when the terroristic CIA funded the equally terroristic Contras during the Reagan administration. We’ve been trying to bring down Cuba’s government since the 1960s, sabotaging the socialist state’s economy and trying to assassinate Fidel Castro over 600 times, according to Cuban officials. Other terrorized countries include Iran, Iraq, Haiti, Syria, and Libya, all subjected to corrupt American intervention. Our country inferes in foreign affairs under the guise of a helping hand, trying to install “democracy” and “order” into countries that do much better without our influence. If there’s any type of democracy that isn’t the capitalist, Western ideal America likes to shove in everyone’s faces, we try to bring it down.
American terror is on full display in Venezuela. For decades, we’ve had our fingers in Latin America’s politics, and our very own toady President Trump has only aggravated the situation. On January 23, Juan Guaidó declared himself acting president of Venezuela. Funnily enough, 81% of Venezuelans hadn’t even heard of him (Con El Mazo Dando) just the week before. Guaidó bases his claim on Article 233 (Venezuelan Analysis), which states the President of the National Assembly will be acting president for 30 days until a new election can be held. It can only happen if the President of the Republic becomes “permanently unavailable to serve,” and Maduro has not fulfilled any of the reasons listed. Trump and his Republican lackeys support Guaidó, even though his presidential claim is completely unconstitutional. Naturally, Trump is the ideal person to help Latin American governments after calling Mexicans “drug dealers, criminals, and rapists.” He definitely has Latin America’s best interests in mind.
Why are we harassing Maduro and the Venezuelan people over Guaidó’s illegitimate claim to presidency? The same reason why we harass a bunch of other countries: oil. Our National Security Advisor John Bolton, an imperialist warhawk who looks like he sells Kentucky fried chicken on the side, admitted as much on FOX Business, stating, “We’re looking at the oil assets … It’ll make a big difference to the United States economically if we could have American oil companies really invest in and produce the oil capabilities in Venezuela.” Oil isn’t the advertised reason behind American intervention, however. Our government and media are pushing a human rights crisis in Venezuela, and of course, the holy United States has to step in and send aid to the suffering people; except our aid isn’t really aid.
The “aid” we’re trying to send is actually to push a regime change (NPR), and some of it isn’t aid at all. Venezuelan authorities discovered that an American air freight company attempted to ship a crate of weapons (McClatchy) for Guaidó’s backers to use. Because of America’s malicious intent, Maduro has blocked aid from us, but he’s accepting it from the International Red Cross and the United Nations. If you’d like to criticize Maduro for not accepting aid (that’s not really aid) from America, remember when Bush refused Cuba’s help after Hurricane Katrina’s devastation? A lot of people could’ve used the 1,586 doctors and 26 tons of medical supplies that Castro offered, but Bush rejected him anyway, and many poor folks are still suffering from the destruction.
America pretends to care about Venezuelans, bemoaning the state of the country and all the starving people, but if we really wanted what was best for Venezuelans, we would listen to Venezuelans. According to Hinterlaces, the first Venezuelan intelligence agency, 71% of Venezuelans are against American sanctions, and 86% of Venezuelans are against international military intervention to remove Maduro from power. Trump clearly wasn’t listening, considering he threatened the Venezuelan military that still backs Maduro. If we really cared, we would leave Venezuela alone. American sanctions and interventions disproportionately harm poor, working-class citizens, the black and brown folks of the global south, while the wealthy can survive our terror.
It’s laughable for Western media to point at Venezuela and call Maduro’s presidency a “failure of democracy” when our own country is a democratic travesty. As much distaste as I have for Hillary Clinton, she won the popular vote in 2016 and still lost the presidency. In 2018, Maduro won 67.84 percent of the vote, and the fairness of the election was upheld by about 100 foreign election observers (Venezuelan Analysis). But it’s America that’s truly democratic, right?
America repeatedly criticizes leftist governments of being corrupt and totalitarian, but who has put some of the most horrendous dictators into power after overthrowing democratically elected leaders? Who has had some of the most criminal presidents in history, white men who terrorize the global south with American imperialism and capitalism? Who infiltrates leftist governments and interferes in foreign affairs that don’t pertain to them? The failure of democracy is not in the global south; it’s here, at home. Instead of backing coups and economic attacks, America should focus on fixing its own horrendous government. Hands off Venezuela, and hands off the global south.
Sophomore Sarah Ye is a Staff Writer. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.