“In 1970, in the notes of a meeting with President Richard Nixon on how to undermine the democratically elected Chilean government of Salvador Allende, CIA Director Richard Helms wrote succinctly: ‘Make the economy scream.’ Top US representatives openly admit that today the same strategy is being applied in Venezuela: former US Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger said on Fox News that Chávez’s appeal to the Venezuelan people ‘only works so long as the populace of Venezuela sees some ability for a better standard of living. If at some point the economy gets really bad, Chávez’s popularity within the country will certainly decrease and it’s the one weapon we have against him to begin with and which we should be using, namely the economic tools of trying to make the economy even worse so that his appeal in the country and the region goes down… Anything we can do to make their economy more difficult for them is a good thing, but let’s do it in ways that do not get us into direct conflict with Venezuela if we can get away with it.” -Slavoj Žižek
That alone is reason enough to stand in solidarity with Venezuela as it endures the economic hardships caused by U.S. imperialism and its running dogs. The economic crisis in Venezuela was caused by imperialist aggression, indirect as it was. It was an act of, or due to its lack of action, economic warfare.
The condition of Venezuela today is not a reason to disavow ‘socialism’ but it most certainly is a reason to sharpen the rhetoric on the left against U.S. Imperialism. The tactics being used on Venezuela today are the same tactics used on Chile and Cuba, are the same tactics the U.S. has used for the past 70 years to terrorize those in the third world who dared stand up against imperialist exploitation of labor and resources. Some on the left have rightfully been critical of Venezuela, but this criticism should not feed into the imperialist propaganda about the real reasons for that country’s crisis, nor should it be used to attack the genuine successes and triumphs of the Venezuelan people. If anything, such criticisms, right though they may be, should be pointed at as examples of the crimes of U.S. Imperialism and neoliberal economic warfare.
In that, I express my solidarity with the Venezuealan people.