The long and shameful record of the United States of America’s overt and covert interventions into the affairs of other nations is one of the great tragedies of the past 120+ years. Tens of millions have died because of our bloody history of dozens of military invasions. Additionally, we have sponsored countless coups d’états. It is said only three nations on the planet have not had a US military presence of some kind: Andorra, Bhutan, and Liechtenstein.
Now, the pattern is repeating itself in relation to Venezuela. Donald Trump, Mike Pompeo, and John Bolton are relentlessly pounding the drums of war. They are demanding President Nicholas Maduro leave his country. “Fire up the plane,” demanded Secretary Pompeo. He added, “Military action is possible. If that’s what’s required, that’s what the United States will do.”
National Security Advisor and longtime warmonger John Bolton said to President Maduro, “Your time is up. This is your last chance.” Convicted criminal Elliott Abrams, now US Special Representative for Venezuela, warns, “We urge the Venezuelan military to stand up for the nation, and for the constitution, and stand behind the people of Venezuela. They will be judged by their actions today.”
These are dangerous, irresponsible, and highly inflammatory statements made by those at the highest levels of the United States government. Congressional investigations of this nonsense should commence immediately.
The faith community’s resistance to our country’s disgraceful conduct is all too scarce. When you google “religious opposition to US wars” you mostly find articles about the history of religious conflict in the United States, religious war, and pacifism.
The US regime is particularly incensed that Cuba has sent some 15,000 doctors, nurses, and teachers to Venezuela over the past 20 years or so. Luis Almagro, secretary general of the Organization of American States—whose offices are located conveniently between the White House and the State Department—refers to these people as an ‘occupation army.’ The supposedly left-wing New York Times hints that Cubans in Venezuela are ‘spies.’ Ambassador Carlos Fernandez de Cossio, Cuba’s director-general of US affairs, has told me personally there are no Cuban soldiers in Venezuela.
Over and over and over, we see the same sequence of events: the government of another nation not entirely in line with US thinking is identified as a threat. The President and his satraps demand action, a quiescent Congress fails to rein in the military industrial secret police complex, armed forces move into place, sanctions are applied, the media falls into line, and ordinary citizens try to figure out what’s going on.
Most of all, the United States is infuriated that Venezuela and Cuba have dared to chart a course for their nations of which our government does not approve. In addition, it just so happens that Venezuela has the world’s largest proven oil reserves. That’s right—not Saudi Arabia, not Iran, not Iraq—Venezuela. If Venezuela were the world’s largest producer of broccoli, there would be little concern for it.
To date, I have yet to locate a government that is blameless and perfect. Venezuela’s is not. I am deeply concerned about the turmoil Venezuelans are experiencing. If genocide was underway there or if Venezuela had threatened to launch an aggressive war against its neighbors, it would be my feeling the international community—not the United States alone—should act decisively to save lives or stop a war. However, short of that I wholeheartedly believe it is the right and responsibility of the people of Venezuela to sort out its problems.
Moreover, we must not stand idly by, passively allowing another catastrophic US-led war to unfold. It is the responsibility of people of faith to stand against the acts of aggression the government of the United States is making against Venezuela.