A US military intervention of Venezuela is highly possible. The dynamics in American domestic politics are creating an environment in which the anti-Venezuelan forces are gaining an upper hand. This is a coalition involving US based Venezuelan dissidents, right-wing Latin American cartels and conservative Christian groupings. It is the type of groups President Trump is targeting in the bid to sustain domestic support for his administration and perform well in the forthcoming midterm elections. The heightened aggressiveness and impunity of the Columbian ruling elite, which currently serves as Washington’s blue-eyed boys in Latin America, has also helped to unite the Anti-Venezuelan forces and reawakened the possibilities of a full-scale military invasion.
In August 2017, President Trump had asked his foreign policy advisers about the possibility of invading Venezuela – a country whose economy was already crippled by sanctions and its leadership demonised as corrupt, narcotic peddlers and left-wing dictators. The suggestion to invade Venezuela had surprised even his advisors, including Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and National Security Adviser HR McMaster, both of whom have since left his administration. Similarly, even the Latin American leaders whose accomplice he sort were not ready for an invasion. However, the current team of advisors and Latin American right wing leaders are not as careful and cautious. There is growing excitement to finally destroy the Bolivarian revolution.
The disdain and hate for the socialist oriented Bolivarian revolution is understandable. When oil prices were high, Venezuela extended financial support to its poor Latin American and Caribbean neighbours. Even poor communities in the USA received energy subsidies from Citgo,a subsidiary of Venezuela’s state-owned Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. Venezuela was becoming an example of a society where poor people could come out of poverty through a committed and egalitarian government policy. This is the opposite of the greed and individualism of neo-liberal capitalism. Venezuela was is not the example that is required in Latin America – just at the backyard of the USA! American imperialism fears the power of an enlightened and socialist inspired people more than anything else.
In his desire to invade Venezuela, President Trump is known to have alluded to what he considered past cases of successful gunboat diplomacy in the region. The invasions of Panama and Grenada in the 1980s were such examples. This is outright reckless. Panama and Grenada have hardly recovered from these invasions. The economic and social costs have been huge.
Venezuela may not be a military power, even by Latin American standards. However, the majority of the poor masses are supporters of the revolution. These are the key pillars in the defence of the country against foreign invasion. They have shaped the country’s defence doctrine to stress asymmetrical warfare: using insurgency to wear down the invading enemy forces over time. Venezuela will be more than Vietnam, Somalia, Afghanistan and Iraq. Millions will perish and American lives will recklessly be sacrificed. Hopefully sanity will prevail and humanity is spared such a macabre invasion.