The Next Aggression that the U.S. is Preparing against Venezuela

from Mision Verdad, translated and published on Resumen English, July 21, 2023

This year, the legislative arm in Washington has introduced three bills in the U.S. Congress against Venezuela: the Prohibition of Transactions and Leases with Venezuela’s Illegitimate Authoritarian Regime Act, the Venezuelan Human Rights “AFFECT” Act and the Venezuelan Democracy Act. The bills have a common denominator: to further increase the pressure of the blockade and impose on it a framework of “humanitarian assistance”.

The focus of this article is the Venezuelan Democracy Act which was introduced in the newly installed U.S. Senate last March. The bill was put together by five Republicans: Jim Risch, Marco Rubio, Bill Hagerty, Rick Scott and John Barrasso, who orbit around the lobby of energy companies and corporations that mobilize large sums of money to rebuild and assist “needy” countries.

The law is an aspirational mega project of administrative-interverntionist management towards Venezuela that begins with the outline of the road map that they would like to apply in a next scenario of coercion, and that through its articles seeks to establish the guidelines for the entire U.S. state structure to engage in the not so innovative operative against Venezuela, namely:

  • Peaceful” transition.
  • Resumption of economic growth in Venezuela.
  • Imposition of “sanctions” on the Venezuelan government and any successor they deem “undemocratic”.
  • Assistance and financing.

This “strategy” does not appear out of nowhere, it is a known and imposed modus operandi in other countries such as Haiti or Syria, and has also been described in reports such as the one published in December 2022 by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, “Venezuela in 2023 and Beyond: charting a different course”, which shows, in essence, what is developed in this law.

Transition and assistance”.

On peaceful transition, two sections address that route. One on the “requirements to determine whether a transitional government is in power in Venezuela” and another on the policy towards “a transitional government and a democratically elected government” which, in general lines and beyond the obvious intrusion, peek in the background of the new steps to change the government of Venezuela: highlight initiatives that seem to emerge from any group representing the so-called “civil society” and in which “the self-determination of the people” can be recognized, to encourage them to “empower themselves with a government”.

Even, in the terms of that longed-for passage from a transitional government to a government per se, these congressmen dare to add that the democratic government to be elected -democratic according to their criteria and interests- will result from “an expression of the self-determination of the people”. The pressure strategy will have the same objective of changing the government, but by more “spontaneous” means.

In the same section they point out that, in the face of a “difficult” transition, the US administration as a whole must be prepared to provide “humanitarian assistance”, the place where they really do business and project their political interests.

In fact, it is further described that the Export-Import Bank of the United States will be part of all the agencies that will be involved in this assistance. It should be noted that the Export-Import Bank finances exports of U.S. products and services to international markets.

Matthew Rooney, a former State Department official and advisor to the George W. Bush Institute think tank, explained in a 2019 article that the U.S. Congress budgets annual dollar amounts to influence and pressure foreign governments to support and prioritize U.S. interests in the U.S. and in the given region.

The law also refers to the distribution of resources under that “assistance” explaining that, in order for them to “reach the people”, U.S. agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) must be used, a matter on which there is already a precedent: the pot of corruption that was uncovered by the diversion of “humanitarian aid” funds in 2019, courtesy of the Guaidó gang.

These irregularities in that modality of resource distribution is well known in U.S. power groups. Economist and Stockholm University professor Jakob Svensson described in his book Foreign Aid and Rent-Seeking that “the inflow of aid negatively affects a developing economy because these resources are diverted from productive activities to rent-seeking activities by individuals from elite social groups in the economy.”

In the end, embezzlement goes hand in hand with these not at all altruistic initiatives: it is a macabre symbiosis of big business management.

On the other hand, around this scheme of “assistance to the people of Venezuela” these congressmen added a segment dedicated to providing assistance in the preparation of the Venezuelan military forces, once a new government is established.

This subsection is different from other legislation because it goes beyond the commercial and political sphere and enters the field of defense and sovereignty. This U.S. approach is not surprising since they have been promoting for some time the recipe book of interference in different countries, whose crucial objective in the international agenda of the White House is to achieve control over the armed forces of a country in order to guarantee its interests.

More blockade, more “sanctions”

In order to prevent any type of financing to the Venezuelan government, in this law the section on the imposition of “sanctions” states that the Secretary of the Treasury of the United States will have the power to withhold any payment or loan approved by an international financial institution such as the International Monetary Fund, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency, among others.

In addition, to expand the range of action of this hanging initiative, it is included that the U.S. government shall encourage other governments to restrict any commercial and credit relationship with Venezuela. In addition, the law stipulates that coercive measures will be imposed on any foreign government that offers aid or assistance to the Venezuelan government.

It is ostensible that a paragraph would be made to prevent any funding to PDVSA, since the license to Chevron is an action that has disturbed these senators; as Republican Risch said last year: “We are deeply concerned about the Biden administration’s plans to once again ease sanctions”.

A review of this bill shows that its wording is intended to stand as a Constitution for Venezuela, courtesy of the United States.

If enacted, this bill could potentially nullify any avenue to normalize bilateral relations with the United States.

*Featured Image: src: Workers World, Demonstration in Washington DC, 2019

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