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Letter: U.S. cares only about its own interests when dealing with Venezuela
Nicolas Maduro.jpg
Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro speaks during an interview Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019, with the Associated Press at Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas, Venezuela. - photo by Associated Press

Reading William McKee's letter calling for support of the U.S. intervention in Venezuela, I'm shocked by a number of dishonest claims.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro did not lose a presidential election to U.S.-supported Juan Guaidó. Guaidó did not run, and his supporters boycotted that election.

Guaidó was not even elected to head Venezuela’s National Assembly. He was appointed by his party under a "rotating presidency" arrangement. Qualifications? He received insurgency training in a CIA-funded program called CANVAS. Guaidó was seated as head of the National Assembly 17 days before getting a "go-ahead" call from Vice President Mike Pence and declaring himself president of Venezuela.

Before Maduro, Hugo Chavez won a legitimate presidential election and was re-elected repeatedly. What McKee overlooks is the reason South Americans voted for socialist leadership. That would be their bitter experiences under U.S.-backed colonial governments and dictatorships that profited U.S. corporations at great expense to the people.

We pre-empted a democratic election to make Fulgencio Batista dictator of Cuba in 1952. We installed Batista because he was losing the election. That shows our respect for democracy. In 1953 we toppled a democratic government in Iran to install Mohammad Reza Pahlavi as king to improve our access to Iranian oil. Likewise, we overthrew a democratic government in Guatemala in 1954. Recent interventions include Egypt, Libya, Ukraine and Syria. Thousands have died, and none of these countries are better for it.

Meanwhile, the U.S. has not pushed for democracy in Saudi Arabia, even though the Saudis lead the world in beheadings and assassinations of political critics. The difference is we already have control of Saudi oil.

The U.S. has overthrown many democratic governments to serve its self-interests. Therefore, it's claimed justification for intervention in Venezuela is disingenuous. We claim to be pursuing interests and rights of the Venezuelan people, but in fact the U.S. is primarily responsible for economic sanctions that have pushed millions into starvation.

The U.S. doesn't care how those people voted. If their vote doesn't favor our agenda, we'll do things to make them regret that vote. This manipulation is called "manufacturing consent." It includes propaganda, isolation, economic sanctions, blockades, destabilization and subversion. That's all happening in Venezuela, and we spend $50 million dollars a year to fund it.

The U.S. agenda for regime change in Venezuela is immoral and self-serving. These interventions serve corporate interests, but they violate the American concept of self-determination — the principle that people everywhere have a right to make decisions about their fate through their own institutions.

If we truly cared about human suffering, we wouldn't be doing this. Readers should know the "humanitarian" aid we're offering covers just a tiny fraction of the damage our economic sanctions have caused the Venezuelan people. Our intended message is if they want our boot off their necks, they must obey. Exploitation and plunder are our motivations, not humanitarian issues.

The truth is it's all about taking control of their oil.

Bruce Vandiver


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