The latest coverage on Venezuela in Green Left Weekly is a translation of an excellent article by Pedro Santander from the Latin American Strategic Centre for Geopolitics run as “How US sanctions hurt Venezuela’s people”.
The topic is extremely timely given the current all out media campaign to convince us it is the Nicolas Maduro government that is – through malice or incompetence – hurting the Venezuelan people.
Almost never mentioned is the US led economic sanctions on the country. Also not mentioned, as Santander points out, are the financial, cultural, sporting, travel and other restrictions that he describes collectively as a “blockade” of the country. These don’t just hurt people in Venezuela as a side effect – that is their intention and purpose.
The imperialist solution to the Venezuela crisis is clear: removal of the Maduro Government. That would have to be followed by blood thirsty crushing of resistance of Venezuela’s poor and the millions of supporters of the Bolivarian Revolution.
The other solution – one that does not involve blood on the streets – is to wind back the sanctions. This would allow the Venezuelan economy to function once again in a more or less adequate way, just as it did before the sanctions were imposed, initially by Obama in 2015.
Of course the US imperialists will not wind back the sanctions voluntarily, just as they have refused to do so in Cuba for 50 years. It may be possible however for a large international campaign to defeat them. This will take a concerted effort over time.
Yet, exposing the reality of the sanctions is also a central immediate task in opposing Trump’s coup. This is because the effects of the sanctions – such as medicine shortages – are being blamed on Maduro and used as the justification for Trumps “humanitarian” war drive.