By encouraging the president of the Venezuelan National Assembly, Juan Guaidó, to declare himself the rightful president of Venezuela, President Trump (“Mr. America First”) has shown, once again, his interventionist colors. More important, he and his interventionist advisers have shown their total indifference to the value of human life in Venezuela.
By creating a situation in which two different public officials are calling themselves the rightful president of the country, both of whom are trying their best to garner the support of Venezuela’s national-security establishment, Trump and his cohorts are encouraging a violent revolution, one that potentially could entail large amounts of death and destruction.
Trump and his fellow interventionists couldn’t care less. For them, regime change is all that matters, not the lives or the well-being of the Venezuelan people.
Yes, it is true that U.S. officials are portraying this particular regime-change operation as one of sympathy for the Venezuelan people, who have long suffered economically under the socialist policies of Venezuelan President Maduro as well as his predecessor Hugo Chavez.
But make no mistake about it: any purported concern for the Venezuelan people is just a cover. The real aim is regime change — i.e., replacing Maduro with a pro-U.S. ruler. The installation of pro-U.S. rulers, all over the world, whether by coups, revolutions, or invasion, is one of the principal aims of U.S. foreign policy, under not only Trump but also under Democrat presidents.
The American Declaration of Independence points out that the citizenry of a country have the right to violently revolt against tyrannical dictators, a term that any reasonable person would apply to Maduro. But Jefferson also points out that people will oftentimes put up with a lot of tyranny before they finally decide to revolt. That’s because of the massive death, injury, and destruction that oftentimes comes with revolution.
Ultimately, the citizens of a country have to make that call themselves. They have to decide whether the violent ouster of their dictator will be worth the death, injury, and destruction that can come with revolution.
But revolution in Venezuela is an easy choice for Trump and his interventionist cohorts. That’s because they place very little or even no value on the lives of foreigners. It just doesn’t matter to them how many Venezuelans are killed and injured or how much destruction is wreaked across the country in a revolution. For them, a successful regime change operation — or just the attempt to achieve regime-change — would be worth it. No death toll is considered too high to U.S. officials.
We see this phenomenon with the sanctions that Trump has imposed on the Venezuelan people. Maduro has been causing massive suffering among the Venezuelan people with his socialist policies. Trump and his national-security establishment knowingly and intentionally compound their suffering through their imposition of sanctions on the country.
This mindset brings to mind President Nixon’s infamous order to the CIA in 1970 to encourage the people of Chile to revolt against their democratically elected president: “Make the economy scream!” Nixon declared, an order that the CIA dutifully carried out with nary a concern for the suffering it would inflict on the Chilean people.
We saw this U.S. mindset of indifference to the value of foreign lives with the sanctions that the U.S. imposed on Iraq for 11 years, with the aim of inflicting so much suffering on the Iraqi people that they would finally rise up and revolt against their dictator Saddam Hussein. The sanctions were tremendously effective, contributing to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children from infectious illnesses and malnutrition. The hope was that as people began burying their children, they would rise up in a violent revolution against Saddam.
The plan, however, didn’t work, which was why President Bush and his military ultimately had to invade the country to achieve their regime change. But even when it was clear that the sanctions weren’t succeeding in achieving the hoped-for revolution that would bring regime change to Iraq, U.S. Ambassador to the UN Madeleine Albright declared that the deaths of half-a-million Iraqi children from the sanctions were “worth it.”
In 1954, the U.S. national-security establishment incited a revolution in Guatemala, claiming that the democratically elected president of the country, Jacobo Arbenz, constituted a threat to U.S. “national security.” The operation ousted Arbenz from power and replacing him with a series of brutal, rightwing, military dictators.
U.S. national-security officials naturally considered the Arbenz regime-change operation to be a tremendous success, notwithstanding the fact that the operation threw the country into a 3-decade civil war that killed more than a million people, not to mention the tyranny, torture, injuries, and destruction that also came with it.
Again, all that death and destruction in Guatemala was irrelevant insofar as U.S. officials were concerned. It just didn’t matter. They were foreigners. What mattered was regime change.
Finally, it’s worth nothing that if Trump and his interventionists cohorts are so concerned about the Venezuelan people, why won’t they let them immigrate to the United States? Why do they want to build a wall to keep them out?