Cliff Kincaid
Fighting Communism with Socialism won't save Venezuela
By Cliff Kincaid
February 1, 2019

All freedom-loving people support the overthrow of the tyrannical socialist Nicolás Maduro regime in Venezuela. But President Trump's replacement, Venezuelan National Assembly President Juan Guaido, is also a socialist. His Popular Will party is a "progressive" party and a member of the Socialist International.

It was President Trump who told the United Nations, "All nations of the world should resist socialism and the misery that it brings to everyone."

Yet, Trump has been convinced by his advisers to intervene on behalf of Guaido, a socialist "alternative" to Maduro who has pledged an amnesty for virtually all officials of the Maduro regime, including its most corrupt bureaucrats and military officials.

The crisis in Venezuela is what happens when the State Department uses its funding agencies, including USAID, to support "opposition" groups. Rather than promote anti-communist groups which embrace American ideas of limited government and free enterprise, USAID programs subsidize left-wing political figures and movements, often described as "civil society." The National Endowment for Democracy (NED), a federally-funded entity, does the same thing on a much larger scale. It spends more than $150 million a year on "democracy assistance" in foreign countries.

President Ronald Reagan started the NED program in 1983 and figured it would maintain an anti-communist bent. But neoconservatives with socialist backgrounds who support globalism and American intervention in foreign countries quickly took charge.

Who is Juan Guaido?

Andres Oppenheimer, columnist for The Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald, says the leaders of the opposition in Venezuela see 35-year-old Juan Guaido "as an accidental and temporary president, who only seeks to preside over a rapid transition to democracy." An industrial engineer, Guaido appears to be sincere and well-motivated but rather naïve in his approach to the communist butchers running his country. His offer of amnesty to Maduro and top military officials would undermine the survival of the democracy he says he is trying to achieve. What's more, if snap elections are held, as a result of the demonstrations and international pressure now taking place, the socialist and communist parties would have the edge.

More seriously, the replacement of a communist thug by a different kind of socialist will not eliminate the Chavistas, named for Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, the predecessor to Maduro, in the Armed Forces and intelligence service. Even with amnesty, they would stay behind, with help from Russia, Cuba, and China, to destabilize any new regime and spark a full-blown civil war, perhaps leading to calls for U.S. military intervention.

Journalist Martin Arostegui explains what is happening in Venezuela: "While communist propaganda has always associated U.S. policy in Latin America with right-wing coups and death squads, the State Department has focused its main effort in co-opting the non-communist left. Hugo Chavez's predecessor in Venezuela, Carlos Andres Perez, was a luminary in the Socialist International who cooperated closely with the U.S. in trying to influence other democratic socialists. But the state control to which Chavez submitted Venezuela's economy was in large measure facilitated by the fact that Venezuela's oil industry had already been nationalized by more moderate predecessors with U.S. compliance."

An End to Socialism?

Using Trump's favorite news outlet, Guaidó gave an exclusive interview to Trish Regan of Fox Business and was reported to have said that he hopes the transition to democracy happens as soon as possible "to end the country's last chapter as a socialist state." But that's not exactly what he said. He spoke of protecting private property and private businesses, but that is not necessarily the end of socialism.

Fox Business added, "President Trump has vowed to use the 'full weight' of America's power to help the poverty-stricken country go from a socialist state to a genuinely democratic Venezuela." This may be the goal of Trump, who later spoke to Guaido over the phone, but the members of the Socialist International orchestrating this regime change do not want to see the end of a socialist state in Venezuela. Their goal is to make Venezuela into another kind of socialist state – similar to what Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of the Democratic Socialists of America is proposing for America. Indeed, the DSA was once an affiliate of the Socialist International.

Interestingly, American economist Joseph E. Stiglitz, a Nobel Prize-winning professor from Columbia University, is a member of the Socialist International Commission on Global Financial Issues and an adviser to billionaire hedge fund operator George Soros. A former Clinton official and a financial contributor to the Democratic Party and its candidates, Stiglitz has argued for a variety of global tax schemes that would cost American taxpayers billions of dollars. One of his latest columns endorses the "Green New Deal" of Rep. Ocasio-Cortez.

Don't be surprised if Stiglitz surfaces as an adviser to a new government in Venezuela that promises a kinder, gentler form of socialism. Of course, it will require a heavy dose of American foreign aid, even some form of global taxes, to generate the revenue to make it work, all under the watchful supervision of the United Nations. Let's hope President Trump doesn't fall for the scam. The people of Venezuela deserve freedom and free enterprise, not a new version of socialism that lends itself eventually to another complete communist takeover of Venezuela.

And under no circumstances should Maduro and his henchmen be given amnesty. They should be prosecuted and held accountable for their communist crimes.

© Cliff Kincaid


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)


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