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It's all about the money: US defense of democracy is a pretext for seizing control of resources


(Ken Livingstone is an English politician, he served as the Mayor of London between 2000 and 2008. He is also a former MP and a former member of the Labour Party. )

(Ken Livingstone是一名英国政治家,他在2000年至2008年期间担任伦敦市长。他还是前国会议员,也是前工党成员。)

US claims of defending democracy worldwide are nothing but an attempt to control and make profit from natural resources, and – as Venezuela has the largest oil reserves – Trump wants those to be taken over by American companies.

美国在世界范围内捍卫民主的主张只不过是企图控制和从自然资源中获取利润,而且 - 由于委内瑞拉拥有最大的石油储备 - 特朗普希望这些国家被美国公司接管。

The US has been ramping up its regime-change strategy towards Venezuela, both directly and through its right-wing proxies in the country and region, to coincide with the recent inauguration of Nicolas Maduro as its president. The thrust of the US strategy is to delegitimize the presidency of Nicolas Maduro and secure what it calls an "orderly transition" to a new government.

美国一直在通过其国家和地区的右翼代理直接向委内瑞拉提升其政权更迭战略,以配合尼古拉斯·马杜罗(Nicolas Maduro)最近就任总统的就职典礼。美国战略的主旨是将尼古拉斯·马杜罗的总统职位合法化,并确保所谓的“有序过渡”到新政府。

A slew of public statements from the Trump administration followed this move in order to prepare the ground for 'regime change.' US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters that "the Maduro regime is illegitimate and the United States will work diligently to restore a real democracy to that country." US National Security Advisor John Bolton praised Guaido's "courageous decision" in saying "Maduro does not legitimately hold the country's presidency."

特朗普政府发表的一系列公开声明是为了为“政权更迭”做好准备。美国国务卿迈克庞培告诉记者,“马杜罗政权是非法的,美国将努力工作,以恢复该国的真正民主。” 美国国家安全顾问约翰博尔顿赞扬Guaido的“勇敢决定”,称“马杜罗没有合法地担任该国的总统职位”。
[size=1.5em]US Vice-President Mike Pence, speaking on behalf of President Trump, made an impassioned appeal to Venezuelans to come out onto the streets on January 23 to protest against the government of President Maduro. In his statement, Pence referred to the Venezuelan leader as a "usurper" and a "dictator," and expressed support for a transition government. Pence added that the US would continue its effort "until democracy is restored" in Venezuela.


On January 23, the Trump administration recognized Guaido as president, in a move clearly aimed at provoking regime change and perhaps a coup. Brazil, now led by the far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, has also recognized Guaido; as have other close US allies.

1月23日,特朗普政府承认瓜伊多为总统,此举明显旨在挑起政权更迭,也许是政变。现在由极右翼总统Jair Bolsonaro领导的巴西也承认了Guaido; 和美国其他亲密盟友一样。

This US intervention is a clear and flagrant violation of international law and an unacceptable interference into the affairs of a sovereign nation. It constitutes a new and extremely serious development in the USA's longstanding strategy of aggression toward Venezuela since 1998. Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza is on record as saying that "what they want is a coup d'etat in Venezuela. They want a war in Venezuela." It is hard to disagree and it is also therefore easy to understand, especially when the bloody history of US intervention in Latin America is considered, why progressive governments in Latin America – such as Mexico and Bolivia – are calling for the international community to back a dialogue in Venezuela.

这种美国的干涉明确公然违反国际法,对主权国家的事务造成不可接受的干涉。它是1998年美国长期以来对委内瑞拉侵略战略的一个新的极其严重的发展。外交部长豪尔赫·阿雷亚扎有记录说“他们想要的是委内瑞拉的政变。他们想在委内瑞拉发动战争。 “ 很难不同意,因此也很容易理解,特别是考虑到美国在拉丁美洲的干预历史,为什么拉丁美洲的进步政府 - 如墨西哥和玻利维亚 - 正在呼吁国际社会支持委内瑞拉的对话。
USA has tried to oust the democratically elected government of Venezuela ever since Hugo Chavez was first elected president in 1998. Four years later, the brief coup against Chavez in April 2002 had Washington's fingerprints all over it, drawing on a history of such interventions, including the ousting of Chile's President Salvador Allende in 1973 with horrendous results, leading to the death of thousands and decades of a dictatorship.


A successful coup attempt, though, requires the support of a significant sector of the armed forces – if not, then direct military intervention may be what Trump means when he says "all options are on the table."Worryingly, Guaido's National Assembly is trying to prepare the ground to win over the armed forces by discussing a "transition law" under which any rebel military personnel would be granted immunity. According to Reuters, the 17-page draft document entitled 'Law Governing the Transition to Democracy' includes provisions "to ensure that defectors from the armed forces would not be persecuted by a future government if they abandoned Maduro." The law also provides insight into what those seeking to overthrow Maduro are explicitly trying to achieve.

然而,一次成功的政变企图需要武装部队的重要部门的支持 - 如果没有,那么直接的军事干预可能是特朗普在说“所有选择都摆在桌面上”时的意思。令人担忧的是,瓜伊多国民议会正试图通过讨论任何反叛军事人员获得豁免权的“过渡法”来为战胜武装力量奠定基础。据路透社报道,这份17页的题为 “过渡到民主的法律”的草案文件中包括“确保武装部队的叛逃者如果放弃马杜罗就不会受到未来政府的迫害”的条款。法律还提供了对那些试图推翻马杜罗的人明确试图实现的目的的见解。

[size=1.5em]Underlying its vision for the installation of a "model of freedom and market" as the new basis for the economy, is a determination to return nationalized companies to their former private owners as well as expropriated landed estates.

[size=1.5em]As for the rights and protections that Venezuelans have achieved, through the 2012 Labour Law and other legislation, it can be expected that these would be abolished with the whole economy sold off as part of some IMF-imposed neo-liberal package. The mass movements, including trade unions and political parties, that have backed 'Chavismo' since 1998 would no doubt face severe repression, just as the left has after other US backed right-wing regime changes in the history of the region.


These preparations by the right-wing of Venezuela and the threats of military action supported by the US therefore present a grave danger. Fortunately, Vladimir Padrino, the defense minister, supports Maduro and warned that the US and its regional allies risked bringing "chaos and anarchy" to the country. "We are here to avoid at all costs... a conflict between Venezuelans."
因此,委内瑞拉右翼的这些准备工作以及美国支持的军事行动威胁构成了严重的危险。幸运的是,国防部长弗拉基米尔·帕德里诺(Vladimir Padrino)支持马杜罗,并警告说,美国及其地区盟国有可能给该国带来“混乱和无政府状态”。“我们在这里是为了不惜一切代价避免委内瑞拉人之间的冲突。”

Every year, the UN General Assembly votes overwhelmingly to call on America to lift its sanctions against Cuba. Only the US and Israel oppose this vote. Equally damaging sanctions have been imposed on Nicaragua and – like US sanctions against Iran – they are illegal under international law.

每年,联合国大会都以压倒多数的票数呼吁美国取消对古巴的制裁。只有美国和以色列反对这一投票。对尼加拉瓜实施了同样具有破坏性的制裁,并且 - 就像美国对伊朗的制裁一样 - 根据国际法,这些制裁是非法的。

Although American presidents claim to be defending democracy, their interventions usually lead to military dictatorships and a massive loss of life. The truth is, this is nothing about democracy, it is about America trying to control and make vast profits from the natural resources of these economies. Venezuela has the largest oil reserves in the world, and Trump wants those to be taken over by American companies. We must, all of us, campaign against these appalling policies and loudly say no to another Chilean-style dictatorship in Latin America.