Forum, Feb. 6: U.S. created crisis facing Venezuela

Tuesday, February 05, 2019
U.S. created crisis facing Venezuela

Since 2016, we have been bombarded by media coverage of the supposed meddling by Russia in U.S. elections. Yet, on Jan. 23, Juan Guaidó, an obscure Venezuelan politician who did not even participate in the presidential election, was recognized by the U.S. as the president of Venezuela.

This is just another instance of U.S. imperialism. Once more, the United States is embarking on a crusade for regime change with a country that does not take commands from Washington. By strange coincidence, Venezuela is one of the world’s largest oil exporters, as well as one of the top five suppliers to the United States.

The pattern of regime change and oil, from the ousting of Iran’s Mosaddegh in 1953, Iraq’s Saddam in 2003, Libya’s Gadhafi in 2011 and now Maduro in 2019, is indisputable. National security adviser John Bolton speaking to Fox News on Jan. 28, stated, “We’re in conversation with major American companies now. ... It would make a difference if we could have American companies produce the oil in Venezuela.”

Gore Vidal famously remarked, “We are permanently the United States of Amnesia. We learn nothing because we remember nothing.” Today’s media is the same one that sold us the lie about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Over 1 million Iraqis are dead and not one U.S. official has been charged with war crimes.

In 2002, George W. Bush proclaimed the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Iran and Iraq the “Axis of Evil.” In 2018, Bolton proclaimed Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua the “Troika of Tyranny.”

In an attempt to alleviate the contradictions of the capitalist world-system, the imperialist policies of the United States have created an artificial crisis that will enrich the military-industrial complex and oil companies while endangering countless lives.

The illegal sanctions and economic war carried out by the U.S. and its allies have only exacerbated the hardships of the Venezuelan people. We must oppose this U.S.-backed coup. U.S. hands off Venezuela. No to war. End the sanctions. Yankee go home.



Simply fanning the flames of racism

I have a problem with the categorical statements made by The Washington Post’s Robin Givhan in a recent, rather fatuous, Opinion column (“MAGA Hat Inflames as Statement of Identity,” Jan. 25). She declares that the slogan “Make America Great Again” is racist. She is alluding, of course, to President Donald Trump’s baseball cap with the letters MAGA and to the recent incident involving a high school student and a Native American elder at the Lincoln Memorial.

What makes the hat racist? And what about the incomprehensible headline? It is nothing but jargon and is meaningless. Whose identity is Givhan referring to — the racists, the Ku Klux Klan, the Nazis? What is immoral about declaring an identity? Does she not have one? It is difficult to believe she received the Pulitzer Prize for criticism. She should limit her writing to criticizing women’s fashions. She is only fanning the flames of racism herself.

Righteous anger is understandable. It seems to be part of the human condition. But anger does not win arguments and it solves nothing. Name calling and applying labels only exacerbate racial problems and can result in destructive behavior. Dialogue works. Anger does not.


West Lebanon

Two sides hiding behind their walls

While driving home the other day, I caught the tail end of an interview with a junior congresswoman who was setting up her office in Washington. What caught my attention was her saying something to the effect that she did not expect to spend much time in that office; she’d come to vote, but would spend most of her time at home listening to her constituents.

How things have changed. In the not-too-distant past, members of Congress and their families came to Washington to live while keeping an office “back home.” As the new families settled in, there was informal, across-party-lines socialization as families adjusted to their new homes. People were getting to know people. That had to foster continuing friendships.

I think you, like me, can draw positive conclusions about these same representatives at work, with their across-the-aisle acquaintances and friendships, and what that meant to the country.

I picture this new vote-and-run way of approaching our national government as two sides behind their party walls (yes, walls), raising their hands only to vote. Sounds (and is?) grim and inhuman. Robots can be programmed to do that. Let us be human, social human beings.