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Opposition abandons negotiations in Venezuela

By Sean Orr |
February 9, 2018
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On Feb. 7, the Venezuelan government was to sign an “agreement of coexistence” with the reactionary opposition, after months of negotiations. At the last minute, the opposition Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD) changed its mind and refused. According to Jorge Rodriguez, the chief negotiator for the government, the MUD’s change of heart came after their lead negotiator received a call from the Colombian government.

It is no coincidence that the opposition’s stunning reversal happened during Rex Tillerson’s tour of Latin America. In the past few days, the Secretary of State has made it clearer than ever that the U.S. is building an alliance of reaction (the so-called ‘Lima Group’) to destroy the Bolivarian Revolution and socialist Cuba. He even said that the U.S. would support a military coup in Venezuela, despite such an action going against U.S. and international law.

The U.S. monopoly capitalist class has long been frustrated by the freedom struggle of the Latin American peoples, led by the governments of Cuba and Venezuela. With the Trump administration, their imperialist dream of whipping Latin America back into shape are being carried out.

Off the coast line of Venezuela, U.S. naval ships and ExxonMobil exploration vehicles - Exxon paid off the government of Guyana to allow them to illegally explore for oil on Venezuelan territory - circle like vultures to prey on the Bolivarian republic. Tillerson, the former CEO of Exxon, is not even pretending to act like the interests of his former employer and the U.S. government are separate.

All of this is happening in the midst of the worst economic crisis Venezuela has seen in decades. The imperialist blockade has meant that food, medicine and other necessary goods are not allowed into the country. At the same time, the Colombian government, a puppet of the U.S. State Department, has hinted that it will use the flow of Venezuelan migrants coming into the country seeking economic security as justification for military action.

The Venezuelan people, suffering under the weight of these attacks, are being punished for their belief that they can be free in the hemisphere that is supposed to belong to the U.S. ruling class.

Presidential elections are set for April 22. Nicolás Maduro will be the candidate of the United Socialist Party, the Somos Venezuela Movement, and a number of other political parties. The Communist Party is currently undergoing a process of deciding whether or not they will endorse his candidacy. The opposition, divided beyond repair and more politically isolated than ever, has yet to nominate a candidate. There is a real possibility that no candidate will be put forward by them, which would only confirm what seems obvious at this point: the U.S. ruling class will no longer rely on the reactionaries to beat the Bolivarian Revolution by electoral means.

These are dark days for a bright light in our hemisphere. We must fight the Trump administration, which seems set on a course for military intervention in Latin America. All progressive forces in the U.S. need to stand united behind the Bolivarian Revolution and its leadership in the days to come.