An admiral’s blatantly ‘colonialist’ tweet exposes US policy on Venezuela for what it is

US special forces on excercise - US troops near Venezuela 770 x 403
Mohamed Elmaazi

A top US economist has hit the nail on the head regarding Washington’s blatantly ‘colonialist’ attitude towards Venezuela.

On 9 May, the current head of US Southern Command (which oversees US military interests in Central and South America) explained how he looks forward to working with Venezuelan army defectors “when invited” by “the legitimate” government (i.e. not the current, elected one). Admiral Craig Faller said:

 

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Economist Mark Weisbrot, of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, responded by highlighting the truly perverse nature of that tweet:

“19th century colonialism”

Faller is not the only military official to make such comments, though. In March, for example, a former US brigadier general called for the invasion of Venezuela and the assassination of its democratically elected president, Nicolás Maduro. He said:

we’ve got the armed teeth of the 18th Airborne Corps that is bearing down on [Venezuelan capital] Caracas. And the very well known places that Maduro hides out, we can target those pretty surgically… [Maduro] needs to understand that a bullet to the forehead may be his way out of Venezuela.

Shannon K. O’Neil, an expert with the highly influential Council on Foreign Relations thinktank, herself confirmed that what the US wants is “regime change”. During a conference call with business leaders and analysts, O’Neil also admitted that US sanctions are designed to “make the economy scream”, explaining that:

as we see sanctions tighten, as there’s less money, I do think you’ll see more deprivation, even given the low base we’re at, more among the population. And I think you’ll see more people leave Venezuela. So you’re going to see more refugees pouring into countries throughout the hemisphere and elsewhere around the world.

Western-backed Venezuelan coup leader Juan Guaidó, meanwhile, told an Italian newspaper on 10 May that:

If the Americans were to propose a military intervention I would probably accept it.

US sanctions kill 40,000 Venezuelans and counting

In April, Weisbrot co-authored a report which argued that US sanctions had killed 40,000 Venezuelans from 2017 to 2018 alone. The report said that:

American sanctions are deliberately aiming to wreck Venezuela’s economy and thereby lead to regime change. It’s a fruitless, heartless, illegal, and failed policy, causing grave harm to the Venezuelan people.

On 9 May, Weisbrot told BNN Canada that “the world needs more journalists willing to report on how US economic sanctions are killing people in Venezuela”:

Military threats and brutal sanctions: US colonialism in the 21st century

The next time a talking head says Venezuela is in crisis because of ‘socialism’ or that US policy towards Venezuela is about human rights, democracy or freedom, remember what the experts and coup-mongers have been saying all along. Because it’s crystal clear. This is 21st-century US colonialism in all its dirty glory.

Featured image via Armed Forces Archive/YouTube

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