US Proxy Terror War on Venezuela
LATIN AMERICA & THE CARIBBEAN, 24 Mar 2014
Protest, dissent and terrorist wars are obviously very distinct forms of expressing opposition and bringing about change. The Obama-Kerry regime claim that the opposition in Venezuela is a “protest movement” a “peaceful democratic opposition” expressing discontent with economic conditions and that the democratically elected Maduro Administration is an ‘authoritarian regime’ violently repressing dissent. Washington claims to play no part in the action of the opposition and that its pronouncements are directed at furthering democratic freedoms.
The overwhelming evidence speaks to the contrary. By every measure, the opposition has engaged in prolonged and extensive violent activity, including terrorist acts, assassinations, arson, destruction of public property including the murder of military officials and civilian supporters of the government. Widely circulated photographs, even in media outlets backing Washington, show opposition activists throwing Molotov cocktails and building barracades for street warfare.
The Obama-Kerry Administration is in total denial of each and every violent act by the opposition; it unconditionally defends the opposition; it forcibly attacks and demonizes each and every effort by the Government to defend the rights of its citizens, uphold the Constitution and enforce law and order. The Obama-Kerry regime’s political intervention, its escalating rhetoric, is designed to incite the opposition to continue and intensify its violent activity to destablize the country..
Kerry’s vitriolic rhetoric is timed to coincide with the ebb of opposition activity. The purpose is to assure the opposition that Washington stands four-square with open terror warfare. The Obama regime’s propaganda, economic sanctions and channeling of financial and military resources is designed to buttress the declining fortunes of the terror campaign. Kerry- Obama sanctions and propaganda war complements the violent terrorist war internally.
Kerry-Obama Rely on the Big Lie
Kerry’s accusation that the Venezuelan government is launching “a terror campaign” – reverses roles: The Venezuelan government is the target of two months of violent assaults. Caracas is accused of the crimes committed by the US backed proxy opposition: a favorite ploy of totalitarian imperial rulers. Washington is intent on violently overthrowing a democratic government and establishing a satellite regime.
The launch of a proxy terrorist power grab is evident in every aspect of the opposition’s activity. The opposition is authoritarian and not democratic in its demands. Economic and social issues are simply ploys to pursue the overthrow of the government by force and violence. The terrorists’ violent action is designed to weaken and undermine the government – not negotiate and seek agreements on specific sets of issues. Government offers to meet and dialogue are rejected outright. Each government concession is interpreted as “weakness” and is exploited. Molotov cocktail throwing arrestees released from jail by the government return to firebomb buildings and police.
The opposition was given every chance to influence the electorate in Presidential, state and local elections and were defeated. They refused to accept the majority’s electoral choice and launched violent assaults to undermine majority rule. Opposition mayors aid and abet terrorist activity blocking commerce and assaulting local supporters of the national government.
The opposition has accumulated vast stores of arms and munitions suited for an armed uprising. It has organized snipers to assassinate military and police upholding the rule of law and protecting municipal workers and citizens voluntarily engaged in cleaning streets of debris .
In terms of means, goals and ideology the opposition fits the description of an imperial financied terrorist minority directed toward seizing power, destroying majority rule and imposing an autocratic dictatorship, serving as a proxy for US imperial power.
Democratic Politics or Terrorist Putsch?
In the 8 weeks to March 15, 2014, the terrorist opposition perpetrated 500 violent actions throughout the country. At least 68 members of the Venezuelan National Guard have been injured, shot, wounded or killed by Kerry’s “democratic protestors”. On May 13, government officials were attacked by high powered weapons; seven were arrested with arms and explosives. Paramilitary terrorists are openly trained at two or more universities (Carabobo University and UCV in Caracas) where phony claims of “autonomy” are used to shield armories, training bases and sanctuaries for paramilitary gangs and snipers.
Business revenues, salaries and wage losses run in the tens of millions. The sniper fire has curtailed the right of pro-government workers and citizens to shop, work and demonstrate. The terrorists have sown fear and insecurity, primarily in middle class neighborhoods – they dare not enter workers’ barrios.
The government has been extraordinarily tolerant (or excessively conciliatory) with the terrorist gangs considering the scope and depth of violence: as of March 15, of 1,529 arrestees only 105 remain in jail facing judiciary process.
Many concerned democrats and experts on terrorism believe the Maduro government’s restraint has allowed the terrorists time and space to arm, recruit and receive US funds via phony NGO’s, and to prepare for bigger and more destructive acts of terror, such as bombing bridges and assassinating top civilian and military officials. Their assessment of the Maduro governments’ security policy is that it is too focused on the “lowest level” – the bomb throwers – rather than the political networks which reach into the major political parties and business elite who provide financial aid, political cover and ideological justifications for the terror war. Moreover, the “revolving door” judicial system encourages terrorists– since a day in jail is a small price for burning down a community health center or firebombing a Guardsman.
The government in its efforts to secure agreements with a section of the opposition has tied the hands of the security forces in many instances: small contingents of Guardsmen are vulnerable to organized terror gangs protected by highly placed opposition political leaders.
In the past two months over a thousand public buildings have been violently assaulted , mostly firebombed by Kerry’s “democratic and peaceful opposition”. Many of the buildings targeted for firebombing are directly related to the governments’ popular social welfare program. They include centers providing adult educational programs and medical care; banks financing low income micro-economic projects; primary and secondary schools; publically owned supermarkets providing subsidized food and groceries; trucks transporting subsidized goods to working-class neighborhoods; public buses, community radio stations, pro-government media centers and Socialist Party headquarters.
Large scale caches of arms, including automatic rifles and mortars were discovered in an opposition controlled municipality underground parking lot; another cache of 2,000 mortars and other weapons were found in Táchira, a frontier state bordering Colombia and an opposition stronghold. Over half of the 68 National Guardsmen injured were shot by opposition snipers.On March 16 a Captain of the Guard was assassinated by a sniper holed up in a high rise.The assassin was captured-a Chinese mercenary hired by the opposition As part of a para-military hit team
Kerry-Obama’s claim that the protestors are mainly students is belied by the fact that nearly two-thirds (971) of the total arrestees (1,529) are non-students; many self-confessed “subsidized” street fighters.
Kerry’s claim that the US is “not involved”, and the State Departments’ ludicrous effort to ridicule Venezuela’s charges of US intervention (“paranoia”), are refuted by published official documents showing a continuous flow of tens of millions of dollars each year to opposition organizations linked to the terror networks, including $15 million disbursed during the first two months of this year.
Top security experts on externally funded terrorist warfare, reviewing the scope and depth of damage and casualties, urge the government to give greater backing and a bigger role to the armed forces in pacifying the country. Their recommendations include declaring martial law and organizing military sweeps in opposition strongholds to neutralize and disarm the terrorist groups; unlimited detention pending trials for suspected homicide perpetrators and arsonists; military trials for suspects accused of murdering soldiers. Opposition mayors, governors or university officials who offer sanctuaries and provide arms storage facilities would forfeit their impunity. In response to a multitudinous demonstration by civilians and soldiers in support of the Armed Forces and demanding that the Maduro government take firmer measures to end terror, Maduro issued an ultimatum to the terrorist to end their actions or face the full force of the public authorities.
President Maduro also addressed the Kerry-Obama regime, calling on it to stop backing the terrorist opposition by threatening economic sanctions and calling on Washington to join a tri-partite commission, including a top representative from the US, Venezuela and the Union of South American states (UNASUR), to discuss peace and sovereignty. UNASUR declared in favor of Maduro’s proposal for dialogue and his peace initiative. Kerry proceeded with sanctions in support of the terror war by proxy.
Time for political conciliation is running out: The Venezuelan Armed Forces may finally get a chance to end the specter of imperial war by proxy.
Hopefully, the arm-chair revolutionaries and chattering classes in North America and Europe, so adept in criticizing the Venezuelan government, will set aside their “reservations” and finally organize a movement protesting the Kerry- Obama war by proxy against the Venezuelan government. To date there is an inverse relation between their abundant internet chatter and their scarce presence in the streets.
James Petras is a Bartle Professor (Emeritus) of Sociology at Binghamton University, New York. He is the author of more than 62 books published in 29 languages, and over 600 articles in professional journals. He has a long history of commitment to social justice, working in particular with the Brazilian Landless Workers Movement for 11 years. In 1973-76 he was a member of the Bertrand Russell Tribunal on Repression in Latin America. He writes a monthly column for the Mexican newspaper, La Jornada, and previously, for the Spanish daily, El Mundo. He received his B.A. from Boston University and Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley.
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