‘Inhuman’ humanitarianism: Caracas slams US as it vows to send aid to Venezuela while backing coup

‘Inhuman’ humanitarianism: Caracas slams US as it vows to send aid to Venezuela while backing coup
Washington has earned a bitter rebuke from Caracas as it bluntly told the Venezuelan government to “get out of its way” while it delivers “humanitarian aid” to Venezuela after supporting a coup and imposing more sanctions.

Those who “wage unjust wars… devastate innocent… populations, subject economies to a blockade, cause death, hunger, destruction and suffering” dare to declare their actions “humanitarian,” Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza wrote on Twitter.

Venezuela has been in a dire financial situation for years following the collapse of oil prices that led to hyperinflation and shortages of food and other essential supplies. The country has also been pressured by US sanctions, with the latest hitting its state oil company. Last week, political turmoil was added to the mix after opposition leader Juan Guaido announced himself the interim head of the country with immediate support from the US.

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Amid all this turmoil, a good benefactor, US National Security Advisor John Bolton, proudly announced that the US “will mobilize and transport humanitarian aid—medicine, surgical supplies, and nutritional supplements” all for the benefit of “the people of Venezuela.” He explicitly made it clear the decision to send aid was taken at the “request of Interim President Juan Guaido, and in consultation with his officials.” He also told the legitimately elected Venezuelan president, Nicolas Maduro, to literally “get out of the way” of the US as it calls the tune in his own country.

And yes, this is the same well-known warhawk Bolton, who never regretted his support for the Iraq war, argued that the US has no choice but to “end” North Korea, and vowed to “increase pressure on the corrupt regime” of Venezuela less than a month ago.
Most notably, it is the same man who sparked controversy just days ago as he was spotted holding a yellow notepad allegedly containing the words “5,000 troops to Colombia,” at a press conference in Washington, DC.

“There is nothing more inhuman and cynical than imperialism,” Arreaza said. Guaido then promptly announced on Saturday that the promised help will arrive to Venezuela through Colombia and Brazil.

Aiding ‘democracy’ or staging regime change?

Earlier, the Venezuelan Foreign Ministry published a lengthy piece in which it argued that America’s only goal is to “re-colonize” Venezuela, using a “puppet” regime and plunder its natural resources, thus robbing the Venezuelans of the riches of their country.

Over the past year, the US repeatedly imposed increasingly restrictive sanctions on Venezuela’s finances and debt issuance, even though the country was already struggling to cope with hyperinflation and growing poverty rates. However, as soon as Guaido emerged as Venezuela’s self-proclaimed leader, Washington started talking about humanitarian aid.

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Earlier, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pledged $20 million in humanitarian aid to Guaido’s fledgling government, and gave the opposition leader access to Venezuelan assets held in US banks.

The US spares no effort in providing backing to the opposition leader, who mostly manifested himself in his new position by regularly talking to US officials, calling for new protests and mulling the idea of accepting US military “support.” No one ever heard about him calling for a national dialog or even accepting such an offer from the Venezuelan government, though.

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Washington’s supposed ‘care’ about the fate of the Venezuelan people mostly amounts to a desire to oust Maduro from power. Bolton’s Friday statement came on the heels of a speech by Vice President Mike Pence in Miami, in which he vowed to speak “about our commitment to freedom & democracy for the Venezuelan people.”

His speech, however, was not about the Venezuelan people as much as it was about Maduro being a “dictator with no legitimate claim to power.” However, the reality on the ground might in fact be much different from how Washington portrays it.

Twisted reality

As large as the anti-government demonstrations are, they are met with rallies just as big in support of Maduro. Washington protégé Guaido also failed to get universal international recognition. Apart from the US, he was recognized as the sole legitimate ruler by Canada and the majority of South American countries, including neighboring Colombia and Brazil. The EU also called on its member states to recognize his legitimacy.

However, states such as Russia, China, Iran, and Turkey continue to recognize Nicolas Maduro as Venezuela’s democratically-elected president. Moscow stressed that all nations should respect Venezuela’s sovereignty and vowed to defend its national interests in the country “with all mechanisms available.” In a recent blow to the US efforts, Italy said it “does not recognize” Guaido as interim president.

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The UN was also reluctant to work with the Venezuelan opposition leader while bypassing the legitimate government. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said the international body is ready to provide assistance to Venezuela but would need “consent and cooperation of the government.” He also said that it is not the UN’s function to recognize anyone as a legitimate leader of any state.

The US-sponsored ‘popular revolution’ seems to be stalling as Guaido has apparently failed to lure the majority of the people, as well as government officials and the army, to his side so far. One, however, can only hope that such a state of affairs will not prompt the US to do anything drastic in its apparent regime-change drive.

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