A Short Guide for Canadian Anti-Imperialists on the Current Crisis in Venezuela

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A Socialist Project e-bulletin ... No. 1759 ... February 11, 2019

A Short Guide for Canadian Anti-Imperialists on the Current Crisis in Venezuela

Laura Avalos and Susan Spronk

With the Lima Group meeting in Ottawa, on February 4 the news of the crisis in Venezuela has hit Canadian headlines. This short guide intends to provide some key talking points for progressives who might not be ready to comment on what is happening in Venezuela, but are critical of the interventionist stance of the Canadian government.

1) Canada should not follow the USA’s foreign policy position on Venezuela, particularly given its history of self-interested interference in the region.

Trump has appointed controversial U.S. diplomat Elliott Abrams as special envoy for Venezuela. Abrams was convicted for misleading Congress in Iran-Contra affair, and was linked to the... failed coup against Chávez in 2002. He is also implicated in the whitewashing of the massacre of a thousand men, women and children by U.S.-funded death squads in El Salvador, when he was Assistant Secretary of State for Human Rights in 1981.

U.S.-led interventions do not bring peace and justice, or promote human rights: quite the opposite is true. To name but a few recent examples: the U.S.-led invasions in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, and Libya led to regime-change, but also intensified humanitarian crises and led to long, drawn-out civil wars. For more information, see the recent blog by Gus Van Harten and article in Truth Dig. There are is no guarantee that a U.S.-backed intervention (e.g. oil sanctions and military invasion) will bring peace and ‘restore democracy’ in Venezuela.

Alfred de Zayas, former UN Expert who visited Venezuela as a U.N. representative in 2017, points out that the U.S. is violating international law by attempting a coup in Venezuela. He notes, "The mainstream media has been complicit in this attempted coup... This reminds us of the run-up to the Iraq invasion of 2003."

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