The US Government Should Butt Out of Venezuela

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In an op-ed in the New York Times today, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro calls for peace in Venezuela. The socialist president has been besieged by demonstrations in which several protestors have been killed. The protesters focus on horrendous economic conditions brought about by Maduro’s socialist economic policies. Maduro is issuing a call for domestic peace.

The problem is that whenever a ruler who is independent of the U.S. Empire is in power, the U.S. national-security state apparatus, especially the CIA, oftentimes gets involved in the process, stirring up trouble and doing whatever it can to achieve the ouster of the ruler and his replacement with a pro-U.S. stooge, ideally one who is a military dictator. It’s no concern of the U.S. government how many foreign citizens die in the process.

The U.S. government does its best to keep its role in the process secret. That’s what “covert” operations are all about. They give the U.S. president the ability to falsely deny U.S. involvement in what is going on.

As we have seen time and time again, the core feature of the U.S. national-security state apparatus involves regime change, a policy that involves the ouster of independent foreign rulers, even democratically elected ones, and their replacement with pro-U.S. dictatorial puppets.

The interesting thing about Venezuela is how the situation there bears remarkable similarities to what happened in Iran, Guatemala, and Chile.

In Iran, the prime minister, who the CIA accused of being a communist, was democratically appointed, and in Guatemala and Chile the presidents, both socialists, were democratically elected.

The fact that these foreigner rulers had been democratically elected by the citizens of their countries didn’t stop the U.S. national-security state. Operating in secret, it succeeded in destroying the democratic systems in all three countries ousting the democratically appointed or elected heads of state and installing brutal pro-U.S. dictators in their stead.

That’s might well be what the CIA is trying to do in Venezuela but because the CIA operates in secret, it’s impossible to know for sure. We do know that the U.S. government is funneling millions of dollars in U.S. taxpayer money into the country. It does so under the guise of “promoting democracy.” But everyone knows that that is a crock because everyone knows that the U.S. national-security state destroys democracy whenever it is necessary to oust an independent ruler from power and install a brutal pro-U.S. dictator in his place, as it did in Guatemala and Chile.

While many of the Venezuelan protesters favor free-market policies, Maduro’s socialist economic policies cannot be what is driving U.S. officials to oppose his regime. That’s because U.S. officials embrace the socialist and interventionist philosophy that guides Maduro.

As Maduro points out, “We have created flagship universal health care and education programs, free to our citizens nationwide.”

What U.S. official objects to those socialist programs? Not one! Indeed, don’t 99 percent of American conservatives and liberals favor Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, public schooling, welfare, and state-supported colleges and universities? It’s only libertarians who want to dismantle and repeal America’s socialist programs.

With respect to the high rate of inflation in Venezuela, Maduro refuses to acknowledge that the government is the cause of it. He blames rising prices on the private sector. His goons are “monitoring businesses to ensure they are not gouging consumers or hoarding products.”

Isn’t that what U.S. officials do whenever the Fed inflates the money supply? Wasn’t that what the U.S. government’s “Whip Inflation Now” (WIN) campaign was all about? Wasn’t that what U.S. price controls and long lines at the gasoline stations were all about? Is that why Americans are prosecuted for violating anti-gouging laws during hurricanes and other natural disasters? It’s the libertarians who favor abolishing the Fed, establishing a free-market monetary system, and abolishing all economic crimes.

Maduro also states that to address Venezuela’s high crime rate, he is “building a new national police force, strengthening community-police cooperation, and revamping our prison system.”

Isn’t that what the U.S. government is doing, especially with the FBI, Homeland Security, the DEA, fusion centers, and the militarization of state and local police departments?

No, the U.S. government’s longtime interest in ousting former Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and now Nicolas Maduro from power has nothing to do with ideological differences. It’s all about hegemony. U.S. officials seek to destroy Venezuela’s democratic system, just as they destroyed the democratic systems of Iran, Guatemala, and Chile, in the hopes of installing a brutal pro-U.S. dictator, preferably a military one who can establish “order and stability” within the country, as occurred in Guatemala, Chile, and, most recently, Egypt.

Leave Venezuela to the Venezuelans. If private Americans wish to involve themselves in the controversy, that’s fine. But the U.S. government should butt out entirely. What happens in Venezuela is none of the U.S. government’s business. Unfortunately, given the secret nature of the U.S. national-security state, the American people will never know the extent of U.S. involvement in the Venezuelan crisis until the CIA’s files on the matter are opened several decades from now.

Reprinted with permission from Future of Freedom Foundation.

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