The noted Brazilian political scientist and theologian Frei Betto recently said that “the Yankees will do everything so that our continent will go back to being their backyard.”
President Nicolas Maduro, alongside thousands of Venezuelans, participates in an event to commemorate the popular uprising against a 2002 coup, Caracas, Venezuela, April 13, 2016.
Despite the rhetoric about democratic values that emanates from Washington, the U.S. government has always been willing to use any means necessary to impose their will on Latin America. This has often translated into foreign intervention.
But the U.S. public has grown weary of their government's imperialist adventures, which as of late have ended in utter disaster. Washington elites know they must first fool the public into believing that intervention is a necessity.
To accomplish this they turn to private media outlets and their editorial boards, who help drum up support for U.S. intervention in foreign countries.
Enter the latest example: a recent editorial by the Washington Post entitled: “Venezuela is in desperate need of a political intervention.”
This from the same paper that was once vilified by U.S. conservatives for its supposed leftist tilt.
The use of the word intervention is deliberate, the Post knows that the Bolivarian Revolution – started by Hugo Chavez and continued by his successor Nicolas Maduro – still commands enormous support. The Venezuelan people will not simply hand the state back over to the very same politicians that abused the working class for decades.
An intervention done in the name of the Organization of American States, as the editorial calls for, is still imperialist. And it's not just Venezuelans who know it but the whole region, which has seen the OAS used time and again to legitimize the imperialist fancies of the U.S. in the region.
The Post also knows that deceiving their audience sometimes requires outright lies.
Like the New York Times editorial on Venezuela that proceeded the Post's, the editorial team claims that lack of cooperation between the Maduro government and the opposition-controlled National Assembly is entirely the fault of Maduro.
The Post claimed that he “pursued scorched-earth warfare with the National Assembly,” while the Times claimed that it opposition only reluctantly settled on ousting the democratically-elected Maduro from power.
Lies. All of it.
From the moment they were declared the winners of the parliamentary election, the opposition said their goal was ousting Maduro from power.
There was never an opportunity for cooperation between the Venezuelan government and the opposition and the blame for that lies with the opposition. On the day the new parliament was sworn in, Henry Ramos Allup, a leading figure in the opposition, literally ran his finger across his throat to indicate his feelings about the government and its supporters.
Does that sound like a politician interested in dialogue? Hardly unsurprising that the Post would chose to leave that detail out.
But lying through omission isn't enough for the Post editorial board. They fancy themselves legal experts, able to pass judgment on Venezuela's division of powers and the decisions of its Supreme Court.
The Post took issue with the court's decision to rule a highly controversial “amnesty” bill as unconstitutional. This bill doesn't promote amnesty for so-called political prisoners, it affords impunity for people directly responsible for the deaths of dozens.
The objective of the opposition's impunity bill was the release of politicians involved in efforts to oust Maduro by force, politicians like Leopoldo Lopez who was found guilty of inciting the violent protests that led to the deaths of 43 people.
Of course the truth doesn't fit their narrative, so the Post brazenly claims that state security forces were largely responsible for the deaths during the 2014 protests. The truth is the vast majority of those killed were either innocent bystanders, government supporters, or state security officials.
It wasn't the state that set up violent blockades, it wasn't the state that strung up barbed wire so that passing motorists would be decapitated, it was Lopez's supporters.
Venezuela is confronting a major economic crisis, that much is true, but the Post doesn't bother with an investigation as to why. No, instead it blames everything on Maduro, including the drought that is affecting Venezuela's ability to produce electricity. The same drought that is causing similar problems in neighboring Colombia. Is that too the fault of Maduro?
Seems as if the Post's editorial board is also gifted with the power of premonition, predicting that the opposition's efforts to prematurely end Maduro's mandate would be declared void.
Media outlets made the same sort of predictions ahead of the 2015 parliamentary elections, claiming that the government would not recognize the results. Of course Maduro immediately recognized the results.
The opposition is free to pursue a recall referendum against Maduro, as they did with Chavez, which they lost. All that Venezuela's electoral authority asks is that they follow the rules, something they seem unable to do.
As for an effort to pass a law to shorten Maduro's term, well even the Post's friends at the Times understands that “it would be hard to justify carrying out that change retroactively when Mr. Maduro was elected for a six-year term.”
Any foreign intervention, even one under the auspices of the OAS, would indeed result the kind of intense scenes the Post describes, but it would come as a result of millions of Venezuelans hitting the streets to reject it.
Venezuelans, and more broadly speaking Latin Americans, have lived through an era where the shackles of imperialism have been shed. They will not allow the region to become the backyard of the United States ever again.