The situation around Venezuela has lately been the focus of attention of the entire international community. The small and not quite economically successful country has become an eyesore for the powerful United States and their Western allies, who have made it their goal to strangle this independent Latin American nation and topple the legitimately elected president Nicolas Maduro.
To recap, the situation in Venezuela got aggravated on January 23 this year, when, following mass protests, parliamentary speaker Juan Guaido declared himself acting president. The United States, most EU countries and Latin American nations immediately recognized him as the legitimate head of state. In turn, Russia, China, Turkey, Iran, Mexico, Bolivia, Cuba, Nicaragua, Salvador and some other countries declared their support to President Maduro. Moscow described Guaido’s “presidential status” as non-existent.
Since then, the situation around Venezuela has escalated further. The US and their allies continue exerting unprecedented pressure on President Maduro, both economic and political. Notably, on January 28, the US Department of Treasury introduced sanctions against the Venezuelan state-owned oil company Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA). Some of the country’s high-ranking government officials were included in the sanctions lists.
The United States has said unequivocally that it will organize international isolation for countries supporting Maduro. And Washington is already moving from words to action. Notably, in March, the US Congress reviewed a bill on introducing restrictions on entry to the United States for Russians and other nationals that “exert influence in Venezuela.”
Earlier, it was announced that the US imposed sanctions on the Russian bank Eurofinance Mosnarbank for its transactions with PDVSA. The Americans claimed that the bank was a “rescue line” for Maduro’s government, alleging that his supporters used it for money laundering. As always, Washington did not provide a single proof to corroborate its allegations about the illegal activities of the Russian bank and the authorities of the Bolivarian republic.
In addition to sanctions and diplomatic pressure on Caracas, Washington does not rule out use of force for overthrowing Maduro. Suffice to recall a recent interview given by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, where he said that the US did not rule out use of military force “to restore democracy” in Venezuela and described President Nicolas Maduro “the worst of the worst of a tyrant.”
It is no secret that the independent Maduro has long irritated the United States, so Washington has been hatching plans to get rid of him. Most experts agree that the only reason for Washington’s aggression against Venezuela is the desire to seize its natural riches.
Indeed, all actions of the United States and their Western allies in Venezuela pursue one single goal: replacing the country’s government and laying hands on its oil fields. We should not forget that recently the United States and Britain already stole $30 billion worth of oil and bank assets from Venezuela. Vasily Nebenzya, Russia’s permanent representative to the UN, mentioned the fact at the Security Council’s meeting on February 27. “Now it is absolutely clear that Washington’s only goal in Venezuela has been and still is not resolving Venezuela’s problems, not taking care of its people, but changing the regime, including the threat to do it via a military intervention,” the diplomat said.
Use of force for resolving such problems is nothing new for the United States, as Washington has proven many times, deploying the military or resorting to the help of the CIA. Now the US threatens to punish the “disobedient” countries of the region. Not so long ago, in an interview with the Telemundo TV channel, Mike Pompeo openly said that Washington would like to replace authorities not only in Venezuela, but also in Nicaragua and Cuba. It is well known what such moves on the part of the White House can lead to: the examples of Libya, Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan show only too well the outcome of America’s intervention.
Apparently, Washington has forgotten that it is the 21st century, and the situation on the planet has changed significantly, with a multipolar world having replaced the unipolar one, where the US could do what it saw fit, unhindered and unpunished. A vivid example of that is that President Maduro has received support from such influential powers as Russia and China.
At the start of the escalation in Venezuela, on January 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin had a phone conversation with Maduro, expressing his support to the legitimate authorities of the country “at the time of a domestic political crisis provoked from outside.” Spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Minister Hua Chunying stated at the time that interference with Venezuela’s domestic affairs was unacceptable. It can be stated with certainty that it is the tough position taken by Moscow and Beijing that has so far prevented other countries, first of all, the United States, from launching an armed aggression against Venezuela.