ECLECTIC RANT:U.S.: Hands Off Venezuela

Ralph E. Stone
Thursday May 14, 2020 - 05:32:00 PM

I’m sure everyone would agree that Venezuelans deserve a better government. Let’s face it, the late Hugo Chávez's vision of a modern day “Bolivarian revolution” — a Latin American political block with a socialist bent as an alternative to U.S. hegemony. — has descended into repression and economic decline under Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro. About 5 million Venezuelans have migrated elsewhere. 

However, our past interference in Latin America, e.g., Argentina, Chile and Guatemala strongly argues against our present interference in Venezuela as it will likely do more harm than good. The U.S. shouldn’t be the ones to determine what Venezuela should look like. 

Unfortunately, the Trump administration has other ideas. In 2019, the Trump administration called Maduro “illegitimate” and recognized opposition leader Juan Guaidó as the interim president of Venezuela. So far this year, Washington has indicted Maduro on charges of narco-terrorism; refused to suspend crippling sanctions on Venezuela despite the spread of Covid-19; and deployed U.S. warships near Venezuela in what has been described as “one of the largest U.S. military operations in the region since the 1989 invasion of Panama to remove Gen. Manuel Noriega from power.  

Even with backing from the Trump administration, Juan Guaidó has failed to oust Maduro. After a failed uprising attempt last year and a failed coup attempt this year, what’s next — an invasion and occupation? 

It is not a coincidence that Venezuela has the largest proven oil reserves in the world.