by Bill Bonnar, SSP international secretary · In 2010 Haiti, a close neighbour of Cuba, was hit by a devastating earthquake. The impact on the poverty shattered people of that country was almost beyond imagining.
The response of the Cuban Government was immediate. Within hours hundreds of Cuban doctors and nurses were on the scene giving what aid they could. Yet that was not all.
Over the next few days the Cuban Government mobilised a flotilla of ships packed with fresh water, food, medicine and more doctors and nurses ready to set sail for the Haitian capital; Port au Prince.
Just as this aid flotilla was about to set sail they received a message from Washington warning that American warships would stop them entering Haitian territorial waters.
They denounced the flotilla as a political stunt despite Cuba’s proud record in responding to such disasters. For Washington it would be better the Haitian people suffered than offer the Cuban Government a ‘propaganda coup’.
A different case
Two weeks ago President Trump launched a state of emergency declaring that the wall on the Mexican border had to be built to stop an army of Latin American ‘gangsters, rapists, criminals and drug dealers’ from invading the United States.
That almost all those seeking a new life in the United States are economic migrants escaping the poverty and violence of their own countries was simply not part of the equation.
Yet the people of Venezuela are obviously a different case. They need to be rescued from the economic deprivation and brutality imposed on them by a brutal Marxist dictatorship.
One wonders what would happen if some of those economic migrants made it as far as the Mexican American border. Watch how quickly the American Government turns them into a criminal mob undermining the American way of life.
The reality is that the United States, who have organised the ‘humanitarian’ aid convoy now at the Columbian/Venezuelan border, care nothing for the welfare of the Venezuelan people. This just another political stunt; part of an ongoing campaign of de-stabilisation.
The Government of Venezuela are completely correct in blocking this so called aid. Washington claims that the aid effort is genuine yet has been imposing sanctions on Venezuela that have helped create the economic hardships currently suffered by that country.
Those sanctions include the blocking of aid and have steadily increased in recent months. The right wing opposition are equally cynical trying to curry favour with the people despite their role in wide spread economic sabotage.
This ‘weaponising’ of aid is simply the latest in a long line of measures aimed at the destabilisation of Venezuela and the overthrow of its government.
The aim is two fold. First to create the picture of a benevolent opposition trying to help the long suffering Venezuelan people in the face of a government hell bent on increasing their suffering.
The fact is that the opposition comes mostly from the well fed and affluent middle classes not noted for their generosity in dealing with poverty against a government which made herculean efforts to lift people from poverty until the collapse of oil prices.
The second is that the United States is trying to create international support for any possible invasion by portraying its action as humanitarian in nature. Shades of Libya where Nato’s role in destroying that country was carried out under the fig leaf of supporting the Libyan people.
Venezuela, its government and revolution need solidarity more than ever at this crucial junction. The counter-revolution organised by the United States is in full swing although the Government appears to be standing firm.
Crucial in that solidarity is a campaign to expose the lies behind the counter-revolution and bring the truth of the situation to the fore.
The Government of President Maduro is not a dictatorship but is the legitimate and democratically elected government of Venezuela.
The right wing opposition, drawn mostly from the wealthy middle classes are not a democratic movement and would happily establish their own dictatorship drowning the revolution in blood in the process.
World oil prices
The severe economic crisis engulfing the country has not been caused by the government. Rather it is a by-product of the collapse in world oil prices, the 2008 banking crisis, economic sanctions imposed by the United States and concerted economic sabotage by the opposition.
The United States has no interest in the ‘establishment of democracy’ in Venezuela or the welfare of the Venezuelan people. Rather it wants to over throw the legitimate government, replace it with a dependent puppet government and seize of the country’s oil wealth.
The Scottish Socialist Party fully supports the Venezuelan Revolution and will work with everyone in Scotland to build solidarity.