May 18, 2020
On May 4, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro went on state TV to exhibit two captured Americans, both former U.S. special forces members, who admitted, on video, to taking part in a planned amphibious attack on Venezuela.
The plan sounds very unrealistic, considering that the attack force consisted of just several dozen men, mostly deserters from the Venezuelan military, on three boats—supposedly expecting to overcome Venezuela’s armed forces and kidnap the president of the country.
But who was funding this ragtag mercenary army, which had set up camp in Colombia for months? U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo denied only “direct” U.S. involvement in the attack on Venezuela. “If we had been involved, it would have gone differently,” Pompeo said, adopting a macho posture, much like his boss in the White House often does.
It’s nothing new. For more than 20 years, the U.S. has been openly hostile to the regime in Venezuela, because under Maduro’s predecessor, Hugo Chavez, Venezuela did not exactly follow the U.S.’s orders and used some of the income from its rich oil reserves to set up some social programs. After Chavez’s death in 2013, the U.S. continued its hostility toward the Venezuelan regime, openly seeking to oust Maduro. In the meantime, the U.S. has been keeping Venezuela under a strict trade and financial embargo, which has plunged practically the entire Venezuelan society into poverty. Falling oil prices and the coronavirus pandemic have further worsened the hunger and misery for millions of Venezuelans—while the U.S. just tries to increase the pressure on the Maduro regime.
All this is in line with long-standing U.S. policy toward Latin American regimes that do not cow into total submission to the big power up north. U.S. attempts to invade Cuba in the 1960s, and to assassinate Cuba’s leader Fidel Castro in subsequent decades, are well known. But before that also, the U.S. openly attacked many other regimes in Latin America, such as in Nicaragua and Panama in the 1980s, in Guatemala in the 1950s, ... it’s a long list.
Whatever the exact truth behind this latest incident in Venezuela is, it no doubt is part of the U.S.’s imperialist scheming against another country’s government.