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The US empire has announced a further escalation of the economic war against Venezuela. On Monday, Donald Trump signed an executive order freezing the Venezuelan government’s assets and banning Americans from doing business with them. This amounts to an economic blockade, and follows several attempts by the imperialist criminals of the Trump administration, such as John Bolton and Mike Pompeo, to remove Maduro as the legitimate president and replace him with their puppet, Juan Guaido.
The announcement of this aggressive act by the United States government against Venezuela represents yet another escalation in their attempts to destroy the Bolivarian Revolution and disarm its brave struggle against the US empire. As numerous attempts to destabilise the country continue to fail, the US continues to prove that it is now nothing else other than a hastily stitched up mask barely covering the deadly imperialist war machine it has always been. As US dominance wanes across the globe, it is pushed to carry out even more brazen attempts at destabilisation, not even trying to cover up its motives or its tactics. From Venezuela to Cuba, from the DPRK to Iran, the empire is not only naked – it is streaking.
As the attempts at a coup have failed, the US now relies on economic war to further its campaign of destabilisation. Venezuela is not the only nation within Latin America who has faced this prospect. The blockade is one of the empire’s favourite weapons, which it has been using against Cuba for decades. The measure has also been used against other left wing anti-imperialist governments of the past (such as the Chilean government of Salvador Allende in the early 1970s).
Sanctions and blockades cannot be understood as anything other than acts of war against the people. Like Cuba before them, the people of Venezuela have refused to be cowed by US régime change attempts, and as a result, the Trump régime seeks to starve them into submission. We have previously noted that the blockade against Cuba has resulted in somewhere around $134 billion. Equally, the sanctions on Venezuela are estimated to have cost over $38 billion and led to tens of thousands of deaths. In this way, we can see that sanctions and aid stand as opposites in their use by the US empire. Aid, presupposed to be “for the poor”, is funnelled towards right-wing counter-revolutionaries or right-wing government forces, depending on who is in power; sanctions, purported to be against “leaders”, become a stranglehold on the entire economy, leaving poor and working-class people in grave danger. Already, the blockade is gravely affecting Venezuelans. A food shipment containing 25 tons of soya was seized in the Panama canal on Wednesday.
This is of no importance to the US, of course, as it has already proven that international law is not a barrier to their operations against Venezuela. Its seizure of the Washington DC embassy violated the Vienna Accords, and the puppet ambassador who occupies the building has no power, leaving Venezuelans within the US with no way of processing important paperwork. They have also repeatedly violated Venezuelan air space and seas, illegally blockading international shipping.
As with any struggle against imperialism, it is imperative that socialists and communists within the imperial core unconditionally oppose these measures in any way that they can. Red Fightback continues to stand in full solidarity with the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and its people against this illegitimate aggression. The revolution will not be defeated.