Is The Military Invasion Of Venezuela Imminent Or Is It Just Another Threat?
According to the National Security Strategy of the Trump Administration, all resources of financial, military, commercial, media and diplomatic power must be used by the United States in order to ensure that the threat to the attacked country is so great that it is willing to give in at a negotiation table. According to this logic, all the cackling of the Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, about an oil embargo and Trump’s threats about a "military option" that is not ruled out, should result in Chavismo abandoning power through a negotiation.
That is to say: his total surrender under the format proposed by Tillerson against Maduro resting on a hacienda overlooking the sea in a part of Cuba, while all the power is delegated to a military man ready to give him a coup d'etat.
This explains the synchronicity between an aggressive communication campaign where the consequences of the crisis are overexposed, aggravated by the sanctions, and the achievement of actions against Venezuela, such as the respective declarations of the Lima Group, the announcement of a preliminary examination for "violations to human rights" in the International Criminal Court, the prophecies launched by Rex Tillerson about a military coup in the country and the possibility of an oil embargo against PDVSA (Venezuela's state-owned oil company). All formats of the same deterrence that until today have not had an effect in Venezuela.
It has been repeatedly said in this platform that this approach has a lot to do with the fact that the three most powerful characters in the Trump Administration are military. As the chief of staff in the case of John Kelly, the leadership of the National Security Council headed by Major General H.R. McMaster, and the Pentagon headquarters in the hands of James Mattis. While his record places them in the before, during and after the destruction of Iraq, one of the most bloodthirsty and macabre experiences of modern history where at least a million people lost their lives by the decision-making of these characters , widely implicated in the organization of this genocide.
However, from this experience, totally counterproductive, derives that the financial sanctions, millimeter-designed, have become the main bomb of foreign policy due to the military swamp in which Iraq became. Since the sanctions aim to lead the nations attacked towards a point of negotiation, or internal cracking that allows a change of government mobilized by the conditions generated by the pressure against the country. Venezuela seems to be quite close to this point if one takes into account that it has only recently started the cycle of institutionalization of a commercial and financial blockade against it, similar to that applied to Cuba and other countries such as Iran.
Sanctions as a corset to the future
To understand this premise, one can start from the statements of Jack Lew, Secretary of the Treasury Department during the Obama era, who in a speech in 2016 held that "the sanctions are the silver bullet of US foreign policy because they are more effective and cheaper to subdue their enemies than traditional power, because they have influence in the US financial markets, the central nerve of the globalized economy." In his opinion, the clearest example of this is that of Iran because the sanctions "made it a prohibited area for Western companies until it modified its policies in exchange for a relief in the blockade against it." Both statements are to be taken into account at a time when the design of the blockade against Venezuela is mainly made by the CIA management of Mike Pompeo, according to his own statements at the American Institute of Enterprise earlier this year.
Since they are quite in tune with recent statements by a senior official of the State Department, about which "financial sanctions against Venezuela have worked because they have caused a total economic collapse of the country." An expression of desire that synthesizes the objective of the executive orders of the Trump Administration that impede the financing of the Bolivarian Republic, and order block the payments of the State and private until it is verified if that money comes from "drug trafficking, corruption or violation of human rights," as dictated by the Treasury Department. A financial persecution that is progressively directed towards getting Venezuela out of the international payment system, in the line of turning it into "a zone forbidden for Western companies," as commented by Lew.
El impacto de las sanciones es significativo: el Ejecutivo tiene retenido cerca de US$ 2.500 millones en operaciones internacionales, en diferentes bancos, bien sea por pagos de deuda o de importaciones, o factura petrolera
— Asdrubal R. Oliveros (@aroliveros) 1 de febrero de 2018
According to this declarative menu, the pressure campaign against the country aims to make it unable to access money to straighten its economy, inducing its administrative weaknesses at critical levels, which marks a static image of perpetual crisis, as if the sanctions were a shackle tied to the future of Venezuelans. Given that the very essence of this type of blockade is aimed at permanently affecting the monetary sign of the country, the basic supplies, the flow of raw materials for the industry, and the technological devices needed to maintain essential services such as health, electrical and transport. A kind of slow murder of the nation based on paralyzing its internal life in order to put its inhabitants to think only about their survival.
In this context, it is better understood why sanctions are a corset to the future of Venezuela, especially if it is analyzed that the current path prevents it from developing and progressing, under the current parameters of globalization. From a tragic point of view in which Washington proposes to choose "for good" between being Greece, if you accept its dictates, a country tutelado based on credits and adjustment plans; or "by the bad," resisting, an Iraq destroyed first to sanctions and then to bombings. Both proposals that move all the political alternatives that are offered to the country, according to the many voices that today are fighting to see who threatens Venezuela the most.
Of invasions and blockades against the State
One of those most agitated threats is the imminent military invasion by the United States and a military coalition, after the last movements in Colombia of the Southern Command and the coordinated action in the borders with Venezuela of this country in conjunction with Brazil and Guyana Option that Shannon K. O'Neil of the Council of Foreign Relations, one of the most influential think-tank in Washington, describes as counterproductive if one takes into account that the United States should occupy the country with 150 thousand soldiers, without the guarantee of power stabilize it and the possibility of it becoming adverse for its foreign policy in Latin America. A kind of Iraq on its own doors, which is said to be very easy but it becomes quite difficult.
O’Neil, on the other hand, proposes to continue with the range of financial sanctions to the country and to high officials, as a way of exerting pressure against the Venezuelan Government in clear consonance with the mechanisms of pressure contemplated in the Security Strategy of the Trump Administration, among which also locates the international judicial persecution against the Bolivarian civic-military directory. Within the strategy described by the State Department to bring the country to a collapse to achieve by that way a political change through an internal coup, perhaps in the same tone with which it was organized in Zimbabwe in an environment of high economic instability.
The world would support the Armed Forces in #Venezuela if they decide to protect the people & restore democracy by removing a dictator
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) 9 de febrero de 2018
If the thesis of the imminent military invasion were real, it would have to go through the phases of collapse and technical blockade of the State demanded by the North American voices, in all its aspects. However, no matter how much pressure is generated against the life of the country, the only way the Trump Administration has is to use hard power resources, without apparently having an internal opposition, an irregular army or proximity, willing to capitalize on the effects of the financial trap that apply to the country to worsen the effects of the crisis. At a certain point, as we said, forcing the country to an imaginary choice between being Greece or Iraq, what it really shows is the inability to impose a way out of the political conflict in favor of Washington.
Faced with this panorama, Chavismo’s struggle is to close the political cycle of high internal instability opened with the death of Hugo Chávez. Given that the resolution of the conflict through presidential elections implies an important margin of maneuver to impose measures within the administration of the State, necessary to avoid that the effects of sanctions, perhaps of an embargo, paralyze the functioning of life from the country. To a large extent, to close a central front of Venezuelan politics in recent years to fully devote itself to shaping a new Venezuela, where the economic, financial and commercial arteries are minimally sanitized, altered as of 2012. Since the best way to stopping an invasion is one that avoids the conditions for it to occur.
Translated by Paul Antonopoulos.