Consider the following while you witness the upheaval taking place in Venezuela. The United Nations was founded on October 24th, 1945 for a simple reason: to stop outlaw regimes from starting wars of aggression against other nations and to prevent another global conflagration that could threaten the very existence of humanity. In fact, Article 2 clause 4 of the UN Charter states:
“All members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state.”
Proving that Orwell was more of a soothsayer than a satirist, the United Nations quickly morphed into a real life depiction of Animal Farm, where all members are equal, except those who possess superior arms are more equal than others. Far from keeping peace, the UN has been used as legal cover by some permanent members of the Security Council to start a litany of wars for more than three generations.
At the top of aggressor nations sits the United States, which has disregarded not only the UN Charter but the advice of our nation’s founders—many of whom beseeched a humble foreign policy posture—by insisting on being the police, judge and executioner of the world. America has been in a near constant state of war since the birth of our Republic; far from ridding the planet of hostilities, our government has been spreading bloodshed on every continent save for Antarctica and Australia.
The pretext for these gruesome wars is always grounded in altruism. Protecting democracy, fighting for freedom or liberating the oppressed; these are the justifications used right before bombs and bullets eviscerate the territorial integrity of one UN member or another and entomb unknown number of men, women and children in mass graves in the process. This is what empires do; they invade countries, destabilize governments and interfere in the affairs of foreign nations while ignoring the plight of their own citizens.
The same US government that is currently shutdown, refuses to pay more than 800,000 Federal workers and declines basic services to tens of millions of Americans has the audacity to lecture others about democracy. It’s always easier to point elsewhere than it is to take care of a growing epidemic of homelessness, rotting infrastructures and economic inequalities that have turned America into a nation of Aspen for the rich and Appalachia for the poor and working class. The fraction of the nearly trillion dollars that is wasted committing massacres around the world could end poverty over night, but the neocon/neoliberal establishment would rather kill in the name of “peace” than heal for the sake of humanity.
With that, the United States is back to their old ways. This time around, Venezuela is the target that is bearing the brunt of American imperialism. Just like Hitler, who threatened an invasion of Austria unless Chancellor von Schuschnigg resigned and Nazi Arthur Seyss-Inquart took his place, Trump arrogantly asserted that Nicolas Maduro was no longer legitimate and decreed Juan Guaidó the new president of Venezuela. Where Hitler unleashed blitzkriegs to annex Austria, the US dangles the threat of paramilitary forces as Trump menacingly infers that “all options are on the table” to oust Maduro.
The citizens of Venezuela have suffered for too long at the hands of the illegitimate Maduro regime. Today, I have officially recognized the President of the Venezuelan National Assembly, Juan Guaido, as the Interim President of Venezuela. https://t.co/WItWPiG9jK
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 23, 2019
Proving that warmongering is a bipartisan endeavor, Democrats jumped on board and gleefully embraced the idea of toppling yet another government that never attacked us. The ever obsequious “free-press” and mainstream media personalities across the political spectrum likewise endorsed this naked aggression by painting Maduro as a despot and presenting the turmoil in Venezuela as popular uprising. War is a profitable business; it’s a trough that feeds many pigs who walk on two feet and dance to the tune of genocides—Animal Farm was quaint compared to the beasts of the Military-Industrial Complex.
This is not to present Maduro’s government as the preferred choice of all Venezuelans. Years of hyper-inflation and violence—due to a mix of mismanagement and suffocating US sanctions—have eroded the popularity of the Bolivarian Revolution. However, no matter how much Western powers hate the very idea of it, Nicolas Maduro was just elected to his second term in office. Irrespective of the flaws of the electoral process, it is up to Venezuelans to resolve their differences without the intrusion of outside agitators.
After all, a case could be made that Trump is not the legitimate president of the United States. Not only did Trump lose the popular vote to Hillary Clinton, neither one of them reached a 50% threshold in the 2016 presidential election. When one considers that more than 40% of eligible voters did not cast their ballots in 2016, Trump gained the presidency with the endorsement of less than 26% of the voting population. More than a super-majority of Americans rejected the current occupant of the White House.
For this deeply unpopular president—who is a prolific tweeter and a pathetic twit—to lecture other nations about accountability and respecting the wishes of the people is chutzpah in its highest form. The establishment as a whole, from left to right, are joined at the hip with Trump in their rank hypocrisy and subservience to the war by any and all means caucus. Every fraud who has been droning on and on about Russia interfering in US’s elections should crawl back under the rock they crawled out from given that the same neoliberal mob are currently waving pompoms while Trump and the permanent-state bureaucracy meddle in the affairs of Venezuela. We can’t say that we were not warned, these are the same perils that Eisenhower spoke about during his farewell address.
This is but the latest example that Democrats and Republicans are just different wings of the same war-corporate vulture. For all the die-hard Qanon fans and Trump loyalists, this should be a wake up call that their guy is no different than Obama, Bush, Clinton and the stream of corporate mannequins who would rather declare wars then drain the swamp in our nation’s capital. Alas, the same way that Obama adherents continue to cling to the idea that the last president was the man of the people, Trump’s supporters continue to insist that he is “playing three dimensional chess” while taking on the “deep state”. Trump pulled off the same hoodwink as his predecessor by pretending to be against globalism only to end up being it’s puppet in chief. Democrats and Republicans might bicker about wedge issue, but when it comes to wars and wealth transference from many to a few, both parties are absolutely identical.
#Maduro is an illegitimate dictator — it’s long past time for him to go. So inspired by the tens of thousands of brave protestors who are making their voices felt around the world. Estamos contigo! #YoSalgoEl23 https://t.co/5lMd7Z96M1
— Andrew Gillum (@AndrewGillum) January 23, 2019
Imagine if Russia or China threatened to invade America in order to free the American people of these two corporate owned parties that govern us without our consent. Imagine if Iran sent over paramilitary forces to protect minorities from state repression. Of course, these events would be met with the full force of the military and declared an existential threat to freedom and democracy everywhere. Yet, when the United States does the same things to other nations, our famous “free-press” and opinion leaders all around depict belligerence as acts of benevolence.
What is taking place in Venezuela has nothing to do with the well-being of the people, it’s all about their vast reserves of oil and a quest to impose supremacy of the petrodollar.
If you ever doubted the inseparability of our government from the plutocracy that has a strangle hold over it, pay attention to the cyber warfare that has been declared against Venezuela the corporate-state. While Trump’s administration has been fomenting conflict in Venezuela for months, Facebook stealthy verified Guaidó’s account recently while denying the duly elected president’s account the same aura of legitimacy. In the age where social media sites can incite revolutions, it’s a stark reminder that governments and corporations are working in tandem to engineer societies in order to get desired outcomes.
What will take place over the coming days and weeks vis-à-vis Venezuela is easy to predict; we will be treated to a steady flow of manufactured unrest accompanied by chants to restore order. This is the playbook of colonizers; first create strife then send in the “peacekeepers”. All the while, the United Nations sits on the sidelines toothless and powerless to retrain another destabilization effort. Instead of preventing wars of aggression, it has been a party to it. Time and time again, the UN has been used to justify invasions and give cover to war criminals. War is a racket and human suffering is the cost of doing business. Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Congo, the list of nations that have been bombed back to the Stone Age is heartbreaking—Venezuela is now in the cross-hairs. Click To Tweet
Venezuela is on the brink and millions of Venezuelans are protesting for the same reasons that Yellow Vest protesters are rising up in France. Global capitalists and Central Bankers are choking billions of people globally with their greed as they enact policies that enrich the wealthiest 1% while doling out austerity for the public. These same corporate technocrats are backing Guaidó not to alleviate the suffering of Venezuelans but to pull yet another nation into their global currency scheme. They know that Guaidó will be Venezuela’s version of Emmanuel Macron, another pliant servant of the New World Order.
I am passionate about this topic because the issue of global powers playing chess by using developing nations as pawns is one that is very personal to me. My family and I sought asylum in America due to a geopolitical quest for dominance between the United States and the USSR turned Ethiopia into a wasteland of destruction the year I was born. I am grateful that America gave us refuge, but as I express gratitude to this land, I can’t bite my tongue as countries get eviscerated in the name of greed and hubris. We can’t claim to be the shinning city on the hill when we stand by and allow our government to cast a shadow of death upon the world.
It goes to show that laws are used against the weak and ignored by the powerful. Might makes right; bullies with bigger guns get to push around the rest with lesser weapons. We should all be alarmed about what is taking place not only in Venezuela but throughout the planet. World War I started with the toppling of Austria’s Archduke Franz Ferdinand, this single act eventually drew 32 countries into a carnage that took the lives of more than 37 million people. The next World War could lead to the extinction of life on our planet.
Who knows what horrors await when warmongers use force to impose their will and steal the resources of other nations. While we are busy bickering over petty politics, gazing at Trump’s tweets and arguing about high school students wearing MAGA hats, humanity takes one step closer to the zero hour. Meanwhile, in Venezuela, another government is on the verge of mass chaos as the United Nations and the world watches impotently.
“These people don’t see that if you encourage totalitarian methods, the time may come when they will be used against you instead of for you.” ~ George Orwell, Animal Farm
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Originally from Ethiopia with roots to Atse Tewodros II, Lij Teodrose is a former community organizer whose writing was incorporated into Barack Obama's South Carolina primary victory speech in 2008. He pivoted away from politics and decided to stand for collective justice after experiencing the reality of the forgotten masses. His writing defies conventional wisdom and challenges readers to look outside the constraints of labels and ideologies that serve to splinter the people. Lij Teodrose uses his pen to give a voice to the voiceless and to speak truth to power.
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