Op-EdColumnistsAskia MuhammadOpinion

MUHAMMAD: Trump Not Alone in Racist Coup of Venezuela

No matter who says it — Donald J. Trump or even Senate Democrats — no matter what else they say about it, the continuing U.S. meddling in Venezuela is nothing but a bold-faced coup d’état intended to replace a once popular government dominated by the indigenous, dark-skinned people now in power, with a white supremacist regime supported by Washington.

There you go again, playing the race card.

Yes, it’s true, Venezuela does have larger proven oil reserves than Saudi Arabia, and U.S. oil barons want it, but this coup is driven by the perpetual need among this country’s leaders to see friendly, white faces in power in the governments of this region, overpowering even their greed.

Trust me. President Nicolás Maduro — the successor to wildly popular Hugo Chavez — represents the 70 percent of the Venezuelan population who are Mestizo. They call themselves “Bolivarian,” after revolutionary hero Simón de Bolívar. Meanwhile, Juan Guaidó — the self-proclaimed “interim president” who has never stood for election in the country — is the fair-haired, point-of-the-spear of white supremacy and the interests of the wealthy few in this new political crisis there.

Venezuela is not a poor country. The people there do not need “care package”-style humanitarian aid from anywhere. If the U.S. would only pay the government the billions of dollars it owes for oil that has essentially been stolen, and lift the U.S. embargo against them, then there would be no “crisis.”

U.S. officials are openly warning Maduro that the same thing that happened to Libya’s Col. Muammar Qaddafi after U.S. intervention provoked an uprising in that country — a bloody assassination — awaits him unless he surrenders his government to the U.S. invaders and their sympathizers.

Cuba — which has the highest standard of living in Latin America and the Caribbean — is the next target for U.S.-favored “regime change.” Like Cuba had done decades before, through social investment, Venezuela managed to reduce its national poverty rate by nearly 50 percent from 1999 to 2011, after the Chavez “Bolivarian Revolution.”

In his interviews with Chavez for BBC beginning in 2002, journalist Greg Palast told this writer that the former president talked about the fury of his country’s white ruling class finding itself displaced by dark-skinned man who was so visibly “Negro y Indio,” a label he wore proudly. That may have been his undoing.

The white supremacists have long memories. Just as Maduro took office in 2013, succeeding Chavez who died, the price of oil worldwide began to collapse, and the vast social programs that oil paid for in Venezuela had to be paid for by borrowing money, causing wild inflation. The economic collapse was then made impossibly worse, Palast reports, by what the United Nations Rapporteur for Venezuela compared to “medieval sieges.”

The Trump administration refused to compensate Venezuela for the oil it sold through its CITGO company to its biggest customer, the USA. Otherwise known as theft, that is a recipe for ruin for any third-world economy, and it set the stage for anti-government marches and demonstrations in Venezuela, incited by the wealthy and their right wing allies in the U.S.

“These people are a fraud. They don’t represent the Venezuelan people. They are representing the U.S.-orchestrated coup,” CODEPINK Women for Peace co-founder Medea Benjamin said Feb. 21 when she disrupted a pro-Guaidó conference in Washington. “These people here want to take Venezuela to a path of civil war and U.S. intervention.

“This has nothing to do with a humanitarian situation,” Benjamin said. “Indeed, for a humanitarian situation, the U.S. would lift the economic sanctions that have exacerbated the crisis.”

This does have everything to do with President Trump and his national security team subtly flexing their white supremacy muscles in the guise of hope for people who are suffering because of the greedy, racist aims of the very folks now purporting to rescue them from their dark-skinned leaders.

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Askia Muhammad

WPFW News Director Askia Muhammad is also a poet, and a photojournalist. He is Senior Editor for The Final Call newspaper and he writes a weekly column in The Washington Informer.

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One Comment

  1. Muhammad you are clearly racist yourself, by immediately playing the race card without any understanding of Venezuelan culture or politics you come across as a racist half wit with a chip on your shoulder. Racism doesn’t exist in Venezuela the same way it does other countries. Venezuela is a country where people are mostly judged on the income and class rather than the colour of their skin. Any implication by yourself that the Trump administration and the Venezuelan opposition want to remove Maduro because of the colour of his skin is idiotic at best and lacks journalistic integrity. Unlike yourself I have spent time on the ground in Caracas visiting the Barrios where Mestizo Venezuelans live, I have come to know some of these people quite well and its very fair to say that Maduro does not have strong support amongst any Venezuelans with independent polls showing support levels at around 9%
    Do not play the race card to defend a failed dictatorship because you only end up looking like a racist idiot yourself. I suggest you spend a few weeks living in the barrios of Caracas risking your life waking home a packet of corn flour before writing your next article.

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