By: Carlos E. Lippo / Source: Alba TV / The Dawn News / January 6, 2018
To begin this, the first article of the year, I will say that it is rare to have the opportunity to propose a hypothesis and have it proven so firmly by the facts in such a short period of time.
The hypothesis in question, which I laid out in my last article of 2017, titled “2017: a year of terrible attacks but also resounding victories for the Bolivarian revolution”, published on December 14, proposed that 2018 would bring even more imperialist attacks on Venezuela than 2017.
The facts that prove this hypothesis are the implementation of a set of actions from the high ranks of the empire’s diplomacy, as well as the issuing of a series of official communiqués by the US Department of State, each more rude, interventionist and threatening than the others, which occurred after the article was published. Beyond this threats, it’s important to take notice of the opportune answers of the Venezuelan government, which proved that the country is absolutely determined to be free and that they won’t be able to twist their arm, as Obama liked to say when he talked about countries that wouldn’t give in to his commands.
The cascade of US attacks on Venezuela since December 14 are, namely:
- A communiquè by the US Department of State, on December 14, which intends to put pressure on Venezuela’s government to get them to immediately free Joshua Holt, a convicted terrorist who was detained while he was in his wife’s home (a house that was built by the socialist government in the context of the housing program), in possession of an ample and varied arsenal of war. He was charged by the Public Ministry and his trial began on December 12. The communiqué issued by the United States government blatantly lies by accusing the Venezuelan government of violating the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, and affirming that the health of the accused has been seriously affected by his captivity. Our Chancellery replied to this attempt at interference by denouncing the manipulation of the facts about the health of the prisoner, who has been accused by Diosdado Cabello of being the leader of a US web of espionage with reach throughout Latin America.
- A communiqué by the US Department of State on December 15, which cynically offers “humanitarian aid” while simultaneously threatening with new sanctions, by mentioning that “additional measures remain under active consideration.” They implicitly admit that they will strangle the Venezuelan people until president Maduro accepts their terms, because they clarify that “sanctions do not need to be permanent”. The government of Venezuela categorically rejected this statement, which mocks the international community by offering humanitarian aid to Venezuela while at the same time continuing to attempt to destabilize it and applying economic sanctions. Venezuela also urged the United States to use the food and medicine it claims to have stocked to send to the South American country and use it instead to satisfy the needs of the 45 million US citizens (50% more than our entire population) that are currently living in poverty.
- Interventionist declarations made by Todd D. Robertson, the new charge d’affaires at the US embassy, on social media. He posted that he comes to Venezuela with the mission to reinstate democracy in our country, implying, with his arrogance and insolence, that he was sent by Donald Trump’s government to conspire and try to overthrow President Nicolás Maduro’s government. The revolutionary government reacted by reminding Washington that international law rules that diplomatic agents “are obliged not to meddle in the internal affairs” of the host State.
- A meeting by the US Chancellors and Canada, celebrated in Ottawa on December 19, with the explicit purpose (declared by Minister Freeland) of taking “actions” against Venezuela, individually, jointly and/or with the cooperation of pro-imperialist American countries that form the so-called “Lima Group” (Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay and Peru). Our Minister of Foreign Affairs rejected these threats as well as the pressure measures they apply on other Latin American countries in order to attack President Maduro’s presidency, and pointed out that “this new threat aims at undermining the process of dialogue that is being carried out in Dominican Republic, where the government of Venezuela and the opposition have made progress on important matters in order to guarantee the political and economic stability of the country, despite the strong pressures being exerted from the outside against its continuity and success, and where those countries play a central role”.
Additionally, as an example of the type of actions that could be in the making in this nefarious group, there’s the hostile action they attempted on December 15 on Venezuela’s Simón Bolívar International Airport. A Peruvian NGO, with obvious support from the Kuczynski’s government, attempted to traffick 150 Venezuelan children to Peru, in an attempt to emulate the tragically famous “Peter Pan Operation” against Cuba in the 60s.
- A meeting between Todd Robertson and Chancellor Jorge Arreaza, on December 28, in which according to the press statement issued by the US embassy, Robinson requested the Venezuelan government to free Mr. Joshua Holt, for humanitarian reasons, besides hypocritically reiterating that the US supports the Venezuelan people to solve the economic, political and humanitarian crisis that the government is facing.
To sum up, three grossly interferencist communiques, one interferencist declaration, two threatening meetings and a frustrated hostile action in Venezuelan territory in just a fortnight, which averages one attack every 15 days. Truly a fatal obsession by the empire with Venezuela and its revolution!
It is obvious that the need to defend from future attacks is enough to consider 2018 a crucial year for the Bolivarian Revolution. But there’s more than that, since the President has two big challenges this year that are decisive for the immediate future: the urgent need to neutralize the economic war that is being waged on Venezuela, and the need to win the reelection.
The first challenge is important due to the devastating effects the economic war had in 2017. It caused food prices to increase by 2,000%, a change almost exclusively attributable to the absurd hike of the exchange rate by 3,315% during that period alone. The exchange rate between US dollars and Venezuelan Bolivares is manipulated by website Dolar Today. Additionally, foreign sanctions forbid us to use US dollars to pay for our foreign debt and for imported goods, which effectively constitutes a financial blockade. They are beginning to cause serious damage in the level of life of our population, especially among the lowest income groups.
I must say, however, that in relation to this challenge, I have the most absolute conviction that the emission of the cryptocurrency called Petro, which was recently decreed by the revolutionary government (and which I will discuss at length in an upcoming article), will allow us to win important battles in the economic war. Since this currency is backed initially by 5,000 million certified barrels of oil, which lie under the Hugo Chavez Oil Strip (worth around 267 billion dollars at the current price), it will destroy the fetish of illegal dollars, because you’d have to be mad, stupid or fanatically right-wing to prefer storing a currency without legal value instead of one that is currently backed by oil and soon will be backed too by gold and minerals. The Petro will also be a powerful way to pay our international debts, and break the financial blockade we’re under. This economic measure, which is initially defensive, has however a potentially devastating effect on the weakened US dollar, by contributing to the progressive replacement of that currency as the main method of payment, will cause a strong reaction by the empire that we must be prepared to effectively challenge.
The other challenge, the reelection of President Maduro, is in theory a lot less complex to overcome, although the empire will do the impossible in order to create a single candidate for the disorganized “democratic” opposition of Venezuela, and will try to impose tutelage by multinational organisms like the UN and the OAS on the elections.
Have no doubt, if elections were held without international intervention, in a country that is not brutally attacked by economic war as we are now, Comrade Maduro would be the sure winner. He successfully resisted five full years of attacks by the most powerful nation in the world—some of them even more virulent than the attacks Chavez had to endure. Last year, he achieved many victories, accurately pointed out by analyst Ignacio Ramonet in his article “The twelve victories of President Maduro in 2017”.
However, on the matter of the reelection I must repeat my position, which is shared by many: not to convene elections until the onslaught imposed by the Empire and its allies ceases, and if this condition is met, said elections should be convened under a new format, that is closer to the voter and less vulnerable to media manipulation. The sovereign National Constituent Assembly can fully ensure the satisfaction of both conditions.
Hasta la Victoria Siempre!
Patria o muerte!