The beast that is US hegemony closes in on Venezuela

The world can no longer ignore the monument to injustice and oppression that is US hegemony. For it is now, inarguably, the enemy of human progress.

Since the demise of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, US hegemony has rampaged around the global South like a ravenous beast, devouring county after country like a latter day Genghis Khan, intent not on upholding, protecting or advancing democracy and human rights, but on crushing any resistance to its writ.

The latest country to find itself in the crosshairs of this ravenous beast is Venezuela.

Despite the usual deluge of propaganda deployed to shape US and Western public opinion as to who the designated enemy of the moment is — i.e. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro — his real crime is to uphold the right of Venezuela to exist as a free nation, liberated from the asphyxiating stranglehold of Washington with the help of its local proxy, the country’s oligarchs.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro

This Venezuelan oligarchy, politely referred to as the opposition, has never and will never reconcile itself to the concept of the country’s poor and dispossessed being lifted out of the mud of immiseration and despair to exercise their collective power via the ballot box in the cause of transformative change.

For the oligarchs and its supporters the Venezuela’s wealth, its oil riches, belongs not to the people but to them and their masters in Washington. Indeed they would much rather see the country destroyed than be governed in the interests of the masses of its people. And to be sure they have gone some way to destroying Venezuela since the death of Hugo Chavez in 2013

Economic sanctions are a weapon of war. They are akin to placing a country and its people under siege, creating conditions of economic and socio-political extremis with the objective of sparking internal unrest and societal breakdown. It is the first link in the chain of regime change, intended to create the pretext for either the rise of a domestic opposition willing and able to uphold US interests in said country and/or region, or where this proves insufficient direct military intervention.

There is, in 2019, little need to remind anyone who has succeeded in escaping the prison of false consciousness of the dire fate of those countries treated to the tender mercies of US and/or NATO. From the end of WWII to the present the indictment sheet is long and it is dripping in blood. For those wishing to get to grips with this history, William Blum’s Rogue State is indispensable. His death in December 2018 marked the passing of a man who makes it impossible to ever be anti-American.

When it comes to Venezuela, abundantly clear is the enduring strength of the Bolivarian democratic revolution that was inspired by Chavez in the late 1990s. Despite a sustained and relentless attempt to destroy it via sanctions from without and sabotage within, despite the inordinate crisis and difficulties its people have suffered as a result, core support for what Chavez began and which Maduro is fighting to save has remained strong.

It is why Washington has been forced to embark on such a crude, reckless and lawless gambit of recognising as interim President of Venezuela a hitherto anonymous member of the opposition in clear violation of international law and the nation’s constitution.

self-proclaimed interim President of Venezuela Juan Guaido

Taking a wider view, today the prime malady afflicting the world is not a lack of democracy within states it is the lack of democracy between states. The latter is the result of a world disfigured and debased by Washington, home to a thuggish political class for whom war is peace and slavery is freedom.

Meanwhile, across the West, the poor and working masses have themselves been systematically devoured by that extreme variant of US capitalism, neoliberalism, and to such an extent that words such as society, community, compassion, and solidarity have been relegated to irrelevance, replaced by dystopia, atomisation, cruelty and greed.

US cultural values, dominated as they are by the apotheosis of violence, fame and vacuous celebrity, have served to divorce us from our species being, turning us from citizens with rights and obligations to consumers with credit cards and angst.

Yet for all that there does exist cause for hope. It resides in the advancing and growing forces of anti-hegemony and multipolarity, led by China and Russia, and growing dissent by restive populations across the West in the teeth of escalating injustice, inequality and poverty under the rubric of neoliberalism and its bastard child, austerity.

The Yellow Jacket movement in France is, at time of writing, placing new meat on the bones of Victor Hugo’s famous dictum that there is nothing so powerful as an idea whose time has come. In the UK, meanwhile, Brexit on its current trajectory is proving less a harbinger of the country’s departure from the EU and more a harbinger of the approaching break-up of the UK.

Mass Yellow Jackets protest in Paris

As for the US itself, social cohesion is non-existent, submerged beneath a ton weight of barbaric cultural values of gun ownership, white supremacy and irrational fear of the other. Stemming a rising tide of anger in towns and cities across America are increasingly militarised police departments, buttressed by a justice system that is institutionally racist and cruel.

Taken together the country’s ruling class finds itself sitting atop a veritable powder keg. The election of Trump as the outsider and departure from the usual Democrat or Republican War Party president has proved illusory. In truth his presidency had zero chance of being anything else, not if we understand the systemic nature of US hegemony.

History teaches that present within every empire exist the seeds of its eventual and inevitable demise. And the American Empire, which has now entered its mad dog days, is no different.

Dr Martin Luther King Jr

Dr Martin Luther King, at the time of his assassination, had evolved from a man with a dream into a man who’d woken up. It was an awakening responsible for turning him into a revolutionary thinker. As he said towards the end of his life: “True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring.”

Only when those words are engraved on the Statue of Liberty will we know that false consciousness has finally and at last given way to true conscious in the land of the free.

The world awaits.


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