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Running country like a business: Trump calls Venezuela ‘company,’ but is it a Freudian slip?

Running country like a business: Trump calls Venezuela ‘company,’ but is it a Freudian slip?
Donald Trump seems to be taking the “running the country as a business” shtick pretty seriously. Why else would he refer to Venezuela, a country his administration targeted for its latest regime change op, as a “company”?

The slip of tongue, which some would call Freudian, came on Wednesday, as the US leader was meeting the wife of self-declared ‘interim president’ Juan Guaido. “Venezuela was one of the richest companies, certainly, and now it’s one of the poorest comp… countries or the world,” the host declared.

When described in corporate terms, Washington’s Venezuela policy makes a lot of sense, one could argue. Think of it as a hostile takeover, aimed at creating a subsidiary out of a firm in financial trouble, which also happens to own potentially very profitable oil assets.

America Inc. has spent years aggressively undermining Venezuela by scaring other companies out of doing business with it. Of course, it didn’t stop purchases of Venezuelan products needed by the US. But lately Washington declared it will no longer pay for the oil supplies, because the management in Caracas is bad and cannot be trusted to handle the profits. But don’t worry; it’s nothing a few executive changes can’t fix.

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In January, the attack started in earnest under the control of Elliot Abrams, a fixer with decades of experience of arranging things in Latin America. The guy, who ran guns to Nicaraguan militants and lied to US Congress about it, knows a thing or two about doing the kind of business Washington runs in Venezuela now.

Juan Guaido, a little-known low-level manager with all the right connections, appointed himself as acting CEO of Venezuela and started offering future lucrative contracts. The claim didn’t even require a vote in Venezuela itself to win unwavering support from the big bosses in DC.

There is also PR guru Marco Rubio, who may not be part of the current board in the White House, but certainly is on board with its Venezuela plans. He has been busy telling everyone how sending goons to seize someone’s property is totally fine, as long as you call the victim socialist. It’s not highway robbery, just how capitalism is supposed to work, putting the most efficient people in charge!

Of course the last thing you want to see in a situation like this is the security personnel of a competitor firm arriving at your target’s HQ. Hence Trump’s not-so-veiled threat to send his own security to kick out the Russians, which he uttered at the Wednesday meeting.

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Guaido, meanwhile, announced his next big attempt to claim the Venezuela board room on April 6. It may have no power by that time, considering how blackouts started to affect the country one after another. It’s almost like the infrastructure follows a script on how one could take over penned by Guaido’s former teachers a few years ago.

Sara Flounders, who heads the anti-corporate group International Action Centre, said Trump’s policies vis-a-vis Venezuela are exactly what can be expected from a man, “representing the capitalist class in the US.”

“Trump has absolutely no interest in the lives of the average person in Venezuela,” she told RT. “He is interested in business and in money and in maximizing profit.”

Alexandre Antonov
@alantonov

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