Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

The Cruel Farce of U.S. Regime Change Policy in Venezuela

Posted by M. C. on January 8, 2022

The use of broad sanctions against entire populations is inherently malign and must be brought to an end.

As a dumb kid I used to think-wouldn’t it be good to help our hemispheric neighbors advance to a level closer to the US and be more like Europe. Apparently no one else has thought the same.

The Biden administration is continuing the farce that is our government’s regime change policy in Venezuela:

The United States continues to recognize the authority of the democratically elected 2015 National Assembly as the last remaining democratic institution and Juan Guaidó as Venezuela’s interim president.  We welcome the agreement reached to extend the authority of the National Assembly elected in 2015 and of interim President Guaidó as its president.

It was a mistake to recognize Guaidó when he had some fig leaf of legitimacy three years ago, but to continue the charade now several years later when he and his allies have even less influence and standing than they did before is truly absurd. The chief problem with recognizing him as “interim” president then was that he had no effective control over the state he was supposedly leading. There was initially a belief among regime changers that defectors from the military would lend their support to the cause, but this never amounted to more than a trickle, and the few that threw in their lot with Guaidó were then left high and dry by the amateurish would-be coup attempt. Since then, the opposition has only lost ground. Fewer governments recognize Guaidó today than recognized him in 2019, and his approval rating in Venezuela is abysmally low. As Francisco Rodriguez points out, the “interim” president has no real democratic or constitutional legitimacy:

Guaidó’s claim is tenuous both legally and politically. He has never won a national election, his term as legislator expired more than a year ago, and his poll numbers are as low as Maduro’s.

In addition to lacking legitimacy, he also lacks power inside the country. The military remains firmly on the side of Maduro and his allies. U.S. regime change policy has utterly failed to reach its goal, but it has still managed to inflict horrifying damage on the population. Rodriguez continues:

The central idea of this “maximum pressure” approach – implemented by Trump and Biden both through economic sanctions and by the transfer of control of Venezuelan government funds to Guaidó’s interim government – is that depriving the country of the funds needed to sustain its economy will bring about regime change. It hasn’t, and it won’t. It will simply contribute to worsening the country’s humanitarian crisis, fuel animosity toward the United States, deepen opposition divisions, and weaken civil society.

Rodriguez has authored a new study of the effects of U.S. sanctions on Venezuela’s economy, and his findings make for alarming reading:

See the rest here

Be seeing you

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