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President Trump’s Inadequate Speech to the Venezuelan Military

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Despite his overweening hubris, the American President Donald J. Trump has never known what it is to be a soldier or come from poverty and enter the ranks as a common soldier, and therefore he knows nothing about war, governance, or the harsher essences of existence. 

Never was this as apparent as on February 18, when the USA's obese Chief Executive, who could not run across a battlefield with a rifle in his hands if his life depended on it, issued a bizarre ultimatum to the Venezuelan military commanders and their troops to cross over and join the reactionary — and shall I say modestly — the Fascist forces of Juan Guaido. 

In his speech to the Venezuelan Generals, Trump declared with a mixture of naiveté and ignorance, “We seek a peaceful transition of power. But all options are open.” He added ominously, “If you choose this path, you will find no safe harbor, no easy exit and no way out. You’ll lose everything.”[i]  What the tactically myopic American President does not understand is that many of these men and women, part of the leadership in the Venezuelan military, never had a ‘safe harbor.' Many of them came from impoverished working class backgrounds where there was no easy way to make a living or help in the economic survival of their families, Therefore, they have always understood they could lose everything.

In his speech to a crowd composed of wealthy right-wing Venezuelans of upper-class origin, now in self-imposed exile in the United States, Trump in his rather hyperbolic, if not hysterical voice, unwisely joked that President Nicolas Maduro was a "Cuban puppet" and warned officials — those same Venezuelan official who have helped keep him in power — that "the eyes of the entire world are upon you.[ii]  He of course would not admit to himself or his own ‘officials’ in Washington that the United States also has an American puppet, named Juan Guaido.

As a man of delusions, Donald Trump cannot fathom facts, because facts are dangerous to him, threatening his very existential nature of living a political life based on fabrications and deceit, very true to form. And speaking of the American puppet, Guaido, it's interesting to note that according to the Miami Herald “Guaidó’s presidency is not universally recognized. The United Nations and European Union continue to view Maduro as the country’s [legitimate] president, while activists on the Left have accused Trump of adopting decades of hawkish behavior by the U.S. in South America. Outside the FIU Ocean Bank Arena, a crowd of several dozen marched in protest, with some waving signs with Guaidó’s face crossed out, and reading 'No U.S. Coup in Venezuela.' ”[iii]

However, an objective analysis  is needed to understand the actual relationship between Cuba and Venezuela that goes back before the death of Simon Bolivar — the aspirations on the part of Bolivar for a united South America. As the international researcher James A. Cohrs commented in a paper for DigitalCommons@Cedarville:

 “However, there is one foreign alliance Venezuela maintains that eclipses all the others. This close relationship is found between Venezuela and Cuba. Venezuela’s relationship with Cuba is one of its greatest interferences in US foreign policy and by far its chief snub to United States hegemony. But this diplomatic alliance goes much deeper than simply softbalancing the US. The relationship between the two governments provides one of the greatest contributions to the perpetration and defense of the Bolívarian Revolution. In fact, Chávez has said  he believes the two countries “could easily form a confederation of states” (Carroll,2007). The relationship between these two countries has become so close it is possible  the fates of the two regimes have even become linked to one another (Yánez, 2007).”[iv]

The author James A. Cohrs also gives what he sees as a balanced view of the Venezuelan political topography, stating, “The grim reality is that seventeen years of 'chavismo' in Venezuela has resulted in increased corruption, the depreciation of civil liberties, economic mismanagement, and the transformation of arguably one of Latin America’s fairest and longest standing democracies into a hybrid regime. Yet despite its track-record, throughout this time the Bolívarian Revolution continues to carry on not just through political repression, but also with, at least until recently, widespread electoral support.”[v]

I bring this analytic perspective intentionally, for emphasis that what is taking place in Venezuela is not a classical Marxist revolution, but a revolution which has manifested itself into a mixed economy along with a modern populist front veil. Yet, what is apparent is that the even though there will be those in the Venezuelan military who will betray the Bolívarian revolution, this will not impede the struggle, even if it becomes an armed struggle similar to what has taken place in Syria.  What is also interesting is to speculate how Trump will become a pawn for those who will stop at nothing to keep him in power.  The twilight of American imperialism is coming about in our hemisphere, but not before the deluge — an internal American implosion in the hands of a puppet named Trump.   

Author: Luis Lázaro Tijerina