Last Friday, former CIA chief and newly-appointed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo contributed his own venomous input to the conversation, stating that “a dictator today in Venezuela cripples his economy and starves his people” and that the State Department must take action to assist the hundreds of thousands of migrants who have fled the economically besieged South American nation.
Noting the hypocrisy of Washington waxing sympathy for the very people afflicted by the steady torrent of sanctions unleashed by the White House, Venezuela’s Foreign Ministry said:
Mr. Pompeo shows false concern for the reality of Venezuela while hiding the perverse effects of the unilateral coercive measures of his government … [The Trump administration] has launched erratic maneuvers, typical of the arrogance and despair of imperialist politics, after having failed once and again in the face of the will of a free and independent people.”
U.S. pressure continues unabated
While opposition politician Henri Falcon will take part in the election duel with Maduro, opposition figures aligned with the U.S.-backed M.U.D. (Democratic Unity Roundtable), such as Julio Borges and Carlos Vecchio, have embarked on an international tour, calling on officials in neighboring states and Western capitals to tighten their stranglehold on oil-rich Venezuela.
The U.S. has also redoubled its accusation that in addition to corruption, the socialist government is involved in narcotics trafficking.
The accusation was at the core of Pence’s Monday announcement that Washington would slap sanctions on three Venezuelans and 20 companies with ties to the Maduro government, adding further force to a siege primarily impacting the poorest people in a county already facing massive recession, hyperinflation, scarce food supplies and medicine shortages.
“I think the [Trump] administration is willing to do anything, whatever it takes, to make sure that Venezuelan people get to enjoy democracy and the liberties that come with it,” U.S. Ambassador to the OAS Carlos Trujillo told the press.
Venezuela’s government remains defiant and insists that it won’t bow to the “colonialism” that Latin America’s anti-colonial revolutionaries defeated over two hundred years ago. Its Foreign Ministry stated:
On May 20, without fail, presidential elections will take place in Venezuela and the people will defend their right to decide with votes, without interventions of any kind. The whole world will witness a new popular expression which will reaffirm the democratic character of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. No empire can go up against the will of the Venezuelans, worthy heirs of the Liberator Simón Bolívar in his ongoing effort to build nations and free, sovereign, independent and deeply anti-imperialist societies.”
Top Image | A Venezuelan man dressed as Uncle Sam, a personification of the U.S government, holding a fake nuke and a placard showing OAS president as a dog, participates in an anti-imperialist march to denounce Trump’s talk of a “military option” for resolving the country’s political crisis, in Caracas, Venezuela, Aug. 14, 2017. (AP/Ariana Cubillos)
Elliott Gabriel is a former staff writer for teleSUR English and a MintPress News contributor based in Quito, Ecuador. He has taken extensive part in advocacy and organizing in the pro-labor, migrant justice and police accountability movements of Southern California and the state’s Central Coast.