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An Interview with Daniel Kovalik

An Interview with Daniel Kovalik

“If the US really needed a humanitarian operation in Venezuela, it wouldn’t deliberately reduce individuals off from drugs and food”

In his final ebook on Venezuela, Daniel Kovalik, a lawyer and an extended standing good friend of Latin American individuals in nations comparable to Colombia and Central America, is tearing away the veil of struggle propaganda: “The humanitarian part of the intervention is now barely a fig leaf for the actual and typical intention – the control of another nation’s oil provides“. To know extra concerning the ins and outs of The Plot To Overthrow Venezuela, we’ve got interviewed writer Mr. Kovalik.

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Alex Anfruns: In a chapter of your e-book on the delivery of the Bolivarian Revolution, you point at some historical figures from the pre-revolution period which were hid to the western public opinion. I quote an excerpt: “A report mentions that crucial poverty had tripled from 11% of the inhabitants in 1984 to 33% in 1991, which means that only 57%” of Venezuelans might afford multiple meal a day”. Which conclusion ought to we draw if we examine these figures to the state of affairs that has prevailed the last 20 years of Bolivarian government?

Daniel Kovalik: Definitely between 1999, when Hugo Chavez turned president, till 2015, the federal government did an ideal job of eradicating poverty and extreme poverty; of building homes, providing free schooling to youngsters – which additionally included a scorching meal day-after-day, and so forth.  In order that was a real important piece of Bolivarian Revolution. They struggled after 2015 with those social packages because of the decreasing of oil prices — which was achieved deliberately by Saudi Arabia and america starting in 2014 — after which, due to the sanctions that have been imposed on 2015 and have been ramped up ever since.

But even regardless of the sanctions, the federal government has made large efforts to get food to individuals by means of the CLAP program (Native Committees for Provide and Production in Spanish) and it continues to construct housing for individuals. It has constructed 2.5 million housing models. The positive factors of the revolution live on, but the sanctions are definitely chopping into them.

AA: You additionally spotlight the rights that Venezuelan government has given again to the Afro-descendant and indigenous individuals, nearly all of which are supporting the revolution. Might you draw a comparison with the state of affairs of those individuals in the US and how their specifical rights are being treated there?

DK: Nicely, there’s actually no comparability, as a result of indigenous groups in the US have been treated in a horrible method. Because the preliminary years of the US, the attacks towards indigenous peoples can only be described as genocidal. It was an excessive genocidal violence towards them. And still, to today, you will have large quantities of poverty amongst the indigenous peoples in this nation  – the suicide fee is large; you will have conditions through which indigenous youngsters are taken away from their families on a huge scale. In fact, indigenous peoples have been pushed to the margins of society, where they continue to be.

In Venezuela, then again, the government made a huge try, because the Bolivarian Revolution in 1999, to enshrine the rights of indigenous peoples in the Constitution, not solely to acknowledge their languages but truly to protect them.  They have gone out of their option to create packages to protect indigenous languages. They gave stolen land again to indigenous peoples.

So I mean the variations in each nations are very beautiful, and equally with Afro-descendants! This country (the US), in fact, was built on commerce slavery, and then there was Jim Crow and legal segregation, and nonetheless right now African People live a lot worse than the remainder of the population when it comes to poverty, hunger, and access to social providers and important infrastructure. You’ve disproportionately excessive rates of toddler mortality, maternal mortality amongst African People. And there’s the large price of incarceration of African People on this country. The very first thing to say about this is that the US has the very best price of incarceration on the planet — in both absolute numbers and by proportion of the population. Over 2.2 million individuals on this nation are incarcerated, and about 40% of these are African People although they solely make up round 14% of the full inhabitants. So you see, African People are still being enormously oppressed on this nation.

And once more in Venezuela, the Bolivarian Revolution has given land back to Afro-descendants, has acknowledged their rights as a individuals, in a method which actually didn’t exist before the revolution. And that’s the rationale why Afro-Venezuelans and indigenous individuals are supporting the federal government there. And, in fact, it is sensible in many ways that the US government, which oppresses indigenous and Afro-descendants right here, have aligned with the white elite in Venezuela to attempt to topple the government.

AA: Ex ambassador of the US in Venezuela has lately admitted it, in different phrases, explaining why a standard army intervention couldn’t be put into apply in Venezuela contrarily to the case of Libya’s, for at the very least two reasons: the shortage of rebel forces able to overthrow the government, and the state of the public opinion, nonetheless not unanimous enough towards Maduro. Can this “collapse strategy” benefit someway the Venezuelan opposition or is it quite a political deadlock?

DK: Clearly the objective is to destroy the Venezuelan financial system and accountable all of this on the Venezuelan authorities, with the hopes to overthrow the federal government and convey the opposition into power. But even the opposition and Juan Guaido have recognized that, though they have supported that technique, they’ve also acknowledged that if the financial system is destroyed past restore — by sanctions and other means — then, how are they going to control in the event that they take power? So Juan Guaido, for example, requested Trump a number of months ago to carry the international sanctions which forestall Venezuela from getting worldwide financial assistance and loans. Once more, he didn’t need to see the financial system harm so badly that he would inherit a multitude if he got here to energy.  Nevertheless, Trump turned him down on that.

So the point is even the opposition acknowledges that the injury might be too nice and could possibly be irreparable. And certainly, we are seeing that the US is imposing such draconian sanctions on that country, that they actually might destroy the financial system in a approach that it will be almost unimaginable to repair. I don’t assume this economic warfare goes to work to switch the Maduro government, but definitely it might destroy that nation.

By the best way, that’s the alternative aim of the US.  In case you take a look at US regime change operations throughout the years, if the US is unable to unseat the federal government it needs to unseat, it can settle for in its place simply destroying the nation. Vietnam is a superb example. The US knew sooner or later that it will not defeat the national liberation forces in Vietnam and so it simply proceeded to bomb that country to the stone age in order to go away them with nothing. If we take a look at Libya there’s a comparable state of affairs, in Venezuela and Iran too.  The US would accept simply destroying which is sort of surprising and obscene, and other people ought to oppose it. However I do assume we’re witnessing that strategy being played out.

AA: Venezuelan authorities has denied there’s a “humanitarian crisis”. Quite the opposite, the opposition has been using on function this idea, which is linked to the UN’s “duty to protect” norm that would result in a army intervention. To which extent are US sanctions affecting Venezuelan individuals?

DK: There’s a current report that was put out by The Middle for Economic Coverage Research which was co-authored by Jeffrey Sachs, a really well-respected economist from Columbia College. They have concluded that at the very least 40 thousand Venezuelans have been killed by the sanctions since August 2017 when Trump imposed a very draconian spherical of sanctions which reduce Venezuela off from the worldwide monetary markets. So they’re nearly unable to get issues like HIV drugs, dialysis gear, chemotherapy medicines and meals.

This report concludes that because of this, 40 thousand Venezuelans have died, they usually also conclude that no less than another 40 thousand or extra will die this yr.  So the sanctions have been very devastating for individuals there, which, in fact, exposes the lie that this can be a humanitarian operation. When you really needed a humanitarian operation, you wouldn’t deliberately minimize individuals off from drugs and food.

AA: So, how has the Venezuelan authorities been dealing with them as a way to shield its own individuals’s rights?

DK: What the government has finished in response is the CLAP program during which it buys principally regionally grown meals, after which supplies it at very low cost value to those who need it. For a long time they have been providing food to individuals once a month, and now they’re making an attempt to do it every 15 days as a way to make certain individuals are getting meals. The federal government attempt to get medicines from the japanese market like China, Russia, Iran, because it will possibly’t get them from the West. And again, extremely the US now needs to sanction the CLAP program that is offering food for individuals. So that is an obvious try and starve the population. The hope of the US is that the Venezuelans cry uncle (particularly, Uncle Sam) and overthrow the federal government. This can be a form of terrorism, clear and easy!

AA: A number of individuals have denounced how the western public has been disinformed by propaganda in favor of a coup d’Etat in the course of the first half of the present yr. Do you assume the talk about overseas points within the US public opinion will evolve, specially now that there’s a dialogue course of between the Venezuelan government and the opposition?

DK: I can solely discuss what is occurring within the US, and in the US the press could be very one-sided in its protection of Venezuela. It barely covers the negotiations which were happening between the federal government and the opposition. As soon as it turned evident that Juan Guaido was not going to achieve overthrowing the government, the press simply stopped overlaying Venezuela like they have been masking it earlier than.  As an alternative of making an attempt to cope with the state of affairs in an trustworthy means, and reconsider whether or not this gambit of supporting Guaido was right to begin with, the media just moved on. The point is that it will be exhausting for most of People to be pressured to reassess the state of affairs, because the media isn’t giving them any info or any cause to rethink what’s occurring there.

AA: In the 2000’s you have got had a rich experience in defending Colombian commerce unionists – there’s a documentary film that talks about that. These days we study concerning the killing of Colombian social leaders each day, however plainly this situation shouldn’t be necessary enough to make huge news…

DK: That’s one other point that I point out within the ebook: in the event you take a look at Colombia, which is true next door to Venezuela, there are report numbers of social leaders being killed, together with trade unionists. This yr has been horrible for them, with about over 150 social leaders being killed within the final yr, and that quantity is admittedly climbing. There’s large displacement of individuals. Colombia has the most important internally displaced population on earth, at around 8 million individuals. And disproportionately, the displaced are Afro-Colombian and indigenous peoples. So there’s a horrible human rights document in Colombia, however again it’s not being coated in the press.

The press barely whispers anything about Colombia. So individuals don’t understand what the truth of Colombia is, especially as in comparison with Venezuela’s. The opposite thing that the media doesn’t speak about is the truth that 5.8 million Colombians live in Venezuela. There has been a mass migration going the other means, from Colombia to Venezuela, which is not talked about. So individuals are then led to consider that Venezuela is a uniquely troubled country in the area when that is far from fact.

AA: In your opinion what’s the importance of that nation for the US, and what is your view on the future of the Colombian peace agreement?

DK: The federal government never honoured the peace settlement in a critical approach. There has been 130 ex-FARC combatants murdered. The government has never halted the paramilitaries as it was required to do by the peace agreement. So the peace agreement is lifeless. That may be a reality. Colombia is the US’s seashore head in South America. The US operates from over no less than 7 army bases there, its regime change operations for Venezuela are largely staged from Colombia. Some individuals say Colombia is the Israel of South America, the US’s surrogate in South America. That’s why the US is so protective of Colombia and provides it a lot army assist, because that’s the place it tasks power from.

• First revealed at Investig’Action