Illegal and immoral recognition of Juan Guaidó by USA, UK, Brazil and many others (but not Russia and China) as “president” of Venezuela has been followed swiftly by theft of billions of pounds of Venezuelan people’s money. The Bank of England has stolen over a billions pounds of Venezuelan gold and USA has stated its intent to hand payment for Venezuelan oil to Guaidó rather than to the Venezuelan government.
Alongside the biggest international theft ever seen, Brazil and USA have threatened military action against the Venezuelan people if conman Guaidó’s actions are restricted by the Venezuelan government. Genocidal mass murderer and convicted war criminal Elliot Abrams has been appointed by Donald Trump to “oversee” actions against the Venezuelan people.
Theft of assets and threats of military action and terrorism are in response to the democratic re-election of Maduro as Venezuelan president. Having failed to remove him and his party via the democratic route, the enablers of US oil industry profits switched to robbery and violence. The tactics in use and in preparation against Venezuela are being displayed brazenly by Guaidó and his puppet masters in the White House with obsequious gimp-like support from trash such as Jeremy Hunt.
Centrists and liberals reveal their conservatism
Surely, if a random political activist, whose activism has included inciting and enacting violence against a democratically elected government, declared himself “interim” president of a democracy and sought to steal payment from overseas for the country’s exports (oil) and sought help from far-right gangsters like Trump and Bolsonaro in an echo of murderous military coups in South America in the 1970s that were orchestrated by CIA and directed by Elliot Abrams, then liberals would be aghast and be rigorously opposed to such actions and seek to stop it, would they not, surely?
No. The centrists and liberals in European, Antipodean and North American democracies fell over each other as they rushed to prostrate themselves at Guaidó’s feet and align themselves with racist, white supremacist, anti-indigenous, anti-freedom fascists Bolsonaro and Trump.
Brexit Coordinator for EU, Guy Verhofstadt: “The US, Canada & many crucial EU partners in Latin American have recognised Juan Guaidó as President of Venezuela & the EU should do the same. He is the only legitimately elected representative of the Venezuelan people & authorities must guarantee his fundamental rights & security.”
Canadian Minister for Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland: “We now call upon Nicolas Maduro to cede power to the National Assembly, the only remaining democratically elected institution in Venezuela in line with that country’s constitution.”
(Update, April: Mike Gapes, Chris Leslie and Angela Smith left Labour and joined Change UK after this blog was written.)
Progress MP Mike Gapes created an opportunity for MPs, including the Minister of State at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office Alan Duncan, to speak about Venezuela in the House of Commons via an urgent question. A succession of obsequious Liberal Democrat and Progress MPs (below) stated their support for Guaidó. All displayed willful ignorance and blatant dishonesty and they shared similar directional biased terminology.
Gapes: “The economic collapse, as the Minister says, is a direct result of the corrupt, incompetent, kleptocratic regime of Nicolás Maduro. The rigged presidential re-election has rightly been criticised by international observers. The decision by National Assembly president Juan Guaidó to be declared interim President is correct—it is a game-changer. What [is needed] is our solidarity with the legitimate, elected, social democratic president of the National Assembly: interim President of Venezuela, Juan Guaidó. The European Union has called for credible elections, but Nicolás Maduro has already rejected that. When will our Government recognise Juan Guaidó as the President of Venezuela?”
Progress MP Graham Jones: “America still buys 500,000 barrels of oil a day from Venezuela and props up the economy. It could withdraw from that, but has declined to do so because it would have an impact on the Venezuelan people.“
Liberal Democrat MP Jo Swinson: “Maduro is presiding over a corrupt regime after rigged elections and is inflicting misery on his own people. He has no legitimacy. While the shadow Foreign Secretary suggests that recognising the democratically elected president of the National Assembly, Juan Guaidó, would be interventionist, does the Minister agree that these exceptional circumstances merit such an approach if no free and fair elections are forthcoming, not least because of the intensity of the human tragedy that is unfolding and the rigged elections that the presidency of Maduro is based on?”
Progress MP Stephen Twigg: “The Maduro regime has clearly been a disaster for the people of Venezuela, with the humanitarian catastrophe, as we have heard, and the appalling abuses of human rights documented by Amnesty International and others. I agree that pressing for fresh, free and fair elections must be our priority. Surely it is best for us to pursue the correct objective of seeking fresh elections via negotiation and mediation first.”
Progress MP Chris Bryant: “The truth is that the Venezuelan Government have lied for years and years to their people and to the outside world, particularly Russia and China, and the people who are feeling the damage are the poor children on the streets and the parents who are unable to feed their children because there is nothing in the shops.”
Progress MP John Spellar: “After a proper ballot and, hopefully, the election success of Juan Guaidó, Venezuela will still face an existential crisis, with the Maduro legacy of economic meltdown, a collapsing oil industry, hyperinflation, food shortages and 3 million citizens in exile. Should not the UK, the EU and the international community be preparing a Marshall plan for the reconstruction of Venezuela?”
Progress MP Chris Leslie: “Does the Minister not agree that the hundreds of thousands taking to the streets in Venezuela and the millions fleeing that country are not doing so because of some grand Trump-oil conspiracy, but because they are starving? They are starving and they are suffering because of Maduro’s corrupt communism. Would it not be better if those who have been hailing that discredited ideology took this opportunity to apologise and admit they were wrong?”
Progress MP and Anglian Water employee Angela Smith: “The letter [supporting Venezuela in The Guardian] is a disgrace and every right-thinking member of this house should unite in condemning the Maduro regime and calling for his removal. But once that has happened we will need significant support for Venezuela in organising free and fair elections. I know the minister has addressed the points earlier but will the UK take a lead in ensuring that all necessary global support is given to Venezuela because it will be one of the biggest challenges faced by a country coming out of dictatorship for many, many years.”
It is unlikely that any seedy oil traders and their venal political associates looked through Hansard to see what various centrist MPs uttered but if they had they would have been delighted by the brazen displays of misinformation, corrupt deductions and cheer leading for imperialism. Puppets dancing to the right tune. The identity of who funds Progress is a very pertinent inquiry right now.
Labour MP Chris Williamson contributed to the questions to Alan Duncan but did not follow the script of the Progress mob: “Will the Minister explain why there are the double standards? Is it that he wants to facilitate another humanitarian catastrophe, as we are seeing in Yemen with British arms? Does he want to see the same in Venezuela? Does he not support the self-determination of peoples around the world, rather than intervention from western powers?” Duncan responded with typical Tory petulance and childishness, insulted Williamson and evaded the questions.
The centrist media’s masks slipped as easily as those of the similarly minded MPs.
In an Independent website report on Williamson’s contribution Rob Merrick wrote in his first sentence that Williamson “is under fire” for his comments; Merrick was very keen to set a very biased perspective for his report.
Brexifter hack Ian Dunt: “Ah, so I see that parts of the British left still think it’s OK for Latinos to be butchered by a tyrant as long as he calls himself a socialist.”
The Guardian’s man in Venezuela, Joe Parkin Daniels, wrote What next for Venezuela?as if he was part of the White House press team or a PR guy for an oil company. “Maduro, who two weeks ago was sworn into his second term following disputed elections last year, has little public support, but he retains the backing of the military. Guaidó, on the other hand, can mobilize mass displays of popular support.” Elections were free and fair and Maduro has majority public support. If Guaidó could “mobilize mass displays of popular support” then he would have stood in the recent presidential election but he chose not to.
The remainder of the trashy article was an embarrassing amateurish fantasy that bore no relation whatsoever to the political situation in Venezuela. The parade of untruths and misdirection was matched in volume by the contempt Daniels had for the intelligence of his readers.
In the same newspaper Tom Phillips provided a piece of PR for Guaidó wherein he described the democratically elected Venezuelan government as “Maduro’s embattled regime.”
While Progress and liberal MPs and centrist media hacks begged the Tories to go full-on imperialist against the Venezuelan people a member of Trump’s mafia, Henry Bolton, elucidated clearly that the intent of the US government was to steal Venezuela’s oil reserves and Guaidó promised that not only would he facilitate the theft of oil if he were to be puppeted into the Venezuelan presidency but he would also ensure that all vital public services in the country would be handed over to privateer vultures.
The behaviour of Progress MPs and Guardian staff was unsurprising. They will use any tactic they can think of to position themselves opposite to Corbyn and McDonnell. Opposing the Labour leadership’s tendency toward socialism is the main focus of the centrists and anything else is preferable to them even it means aligning with cross-border thieves and murderers like Abrams, Bolton, Pompeo, Trump and Bolsonaro.
Progress, Liberal Democrats, Guardian and Independent have chosen which side they are on.