Thursday, 6 August 2020

From The Liberty Wall – Nations without Debate (4) – How Do We Stop US Imperialism?

Hugo Chávez (above) was the socialist President of Venezuela from 1999 until his death in 2013. A career military officer, he also founded the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (Partido Socialista Unido de Venezuela, PSUV). Chávez was elected President four times. His powerbase consisted of poor workers and the military. He nationalised many industries and set up Communal Councils – which allowed locals to form neighbourhood-based councils that initiated and oversaw local policies and projects towards community development. He also set out to tackle social ills such as poverty, literacy, income equality and quality of life.

WELCOME TO the latest debate hosted by Nations without States – NwS – a pressure group which seeks

to highlight the plight of peoples who aspire to nationhood. These might be based on peoples or tribes based within a state or even across borders that may or may not have been independently organised in the past. They might have a linguistic or historical separateness from their neighbours or fellow citizens. All will aspire to recognition, autonomy or independence.

We advocate Self-Determination for all nations and peoples. Indeed, NwS believes that everyone has the right to be free and to run their own countries as they wish, and in accordance with their traditions, customs and folkways.

With the above in mind, NwS is totally opposed to any form of imperialism. We’re particularly opposed to US imperialism – fuelled by the Military-Industrial Complex (MIC) – which we feel is still the greatest threat to peace today. The US policy of ‘regime change’ has caused untold misery and suffering, especially in the Middle East and South America.

NwS feels that it is vitally important to continually highlight the threat posed by US imperialism to both existing sovereign nations and free nations yet to be born. This is particularly important for those Self-Determinists who find themselves sitting on (or near to) mineral and oil reserves.
Until fairly recently, Uncle Sam would have come running at full speed and bombed you into accepting its form of ‘Democracy’. However, the Military-Industrial masters of US foreign policy now seem to have changed tack. This is particularly so of its recent meddling in the internal affairs of Venezuela. At the moment they’re engaged in a war of words – or controlling the ‘narrative’ – as opposed to a conventional military war.

President Nicolás Maduro Moros (above) served under Chávez for many years, and served as Vice-President from 2012 to 2013. He became President after Chávez died of cancer in March 2013. From a solidly a working-class background, he started life as a bus driver and trade union leader before being elected to Venezuela’s National Assembly in 2000. He has claimed that the US has been trying to overthrow him since 2015. US President Trump seems to have taken a personal dislike towards Maduro and has approved sanctions against Venezuela.

One person who has sought to highlight this is the independent, non-conformist and ‘rogue journalist’, Caitlin Johnstone. Her article America’s Venezuela Strategy: Coup By Sheer Narrative Controlhttps://steemit.com/news/@
caitlinjohnstone/america-s-venezuela-
strategy-coup-by-sheer-narrative-controlrecently appeared on Steemit (a blockchain-based blogging and social media website, which uniquely rewards its users with the cryptocurrency STEEM for publishing and curating content).

Her article forms the basis of this latest NwS debate. We’d therefore ask anyone who is interested in freedom and Self-Determination to read Caitlin Johnstone’s article and to post their thoughts on How Can We Stop US Imperialism? in the comments section once they see this article appear on the NwS Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/groups/184919468292372/

It goes without saying that there are no official links between Nations without States, Steemit and Caitlin Johnstone. However, we would highly recommend her web-site www.caitlinjohnstone.com Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/CaitlinAJohnstone/ and Twitter feed https://twitter.com/caitoz to all freedom lovers.


President Trump’s ‘blue-eyed boy’ in Venezuela is Juan Guaidó (above). Not much is known about his background – however he did study at George Washington University (GWU) in Washington DC and has been associated with the University of Arizona. Like French President Emmanuel Macron he seems to have appeared out of nowhere. In a clearly synchronised move, President Trump immediately recognised Guaidó when he took a public oath to serve as acting President of Venezuela. Guaidó has indicated that he would open up the economy by allowing foreign, private oil companies greater participation in ventures with the state-owned oil and natural gas company Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA). The requirement for 51% PDVSA ownership in joint ventures would also be dropped. By a sheer co-incidence Venezuela boasts the world’s largest certified oil reserves, probably the world’s largest gold reserves and the world’s fourth largest gas reserves. It also produces bauxite, coal, iron ore and diamonds. No wonder the US Military-Industrial Complex wants a piece of the action. Is ‘regime change’ in the air?

America’s Venezuela Strategy: Coup By Sheer Narrative Control


The Trump administration is working to overthrow the government of Venezuela. They are not at this time doing this by military invasion, nor by funneling thousands of armed militants into the country, nor even solely with starvation sanctions and CIA ops. The first and foremost means of overthrowing Venezuela’s government currently being utilized by the United States government is the low-risk, low-cost plan to simply control the stories that everyone tells themselves about who is in charge in Venezuela.
Adept manipulators understand that humans are storytelling animals. The only thing keeping the powerful powerful, keeping money operating the way it operates, and keeping government running the way it runs is the stories we all agree to tell each other about those things. If everyone collectively decided today that poker chips are the new currency and Kim Kardashian is the Supreme Ruler of the Entire World, those stories would be the new reality, and tomorrow we’d all be doing whatever Empress Kim commands and Las Vegas would be the new Wall Street.
The Trump administration is exploiting this exact principle in Venezuela by singling out some guy named Juan and calling him Mister President, despite the fact that he’s never received a single vote for that office and holds no actual power. If they can persuade enough Venezuelans (particularly the ones with the big guns) and the rest of the world’s governments to do the same, then Guaido will indeed become the functional president of the country.
Everything the Trump administration does to Venezuela is done with the goal of controlling the stories people tell about it. They smash the country with starvation sanctions – https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/
venezuela-us-sanctions-united-nations-oil-pdvsa-a8748201.html- then tell everyone to believe that Maduro is starving his people. They stage a “humanitarian aid” stunt – https://medium.com/@caityjohnstone/shocker-humanitarian-
aid-stunt-used-to-escalate-against-venezuela-4a0cbc93d209on Venezuela’s border, then they lie and tell everyone that Maduro is blocking all aid to Venezuela and setting aid trucks on fire, because he wants to starve the hungry and kill the sick. It’s all about controlling the narrative with the goal of changing who is recognized as the legitimate president of Venezuela.

We saw this illustrated especially clearly in a recent press briefing – see @telesurenglish
with the State Department’s “Special Representative for Venezuela”, war criminal Elliott Abrams. Abrams was asked by a reporter – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U3JwGcMVG3k&feature=youtu.be&t=507 – to “explain to us the article under which Mr. Guaido declared himself president” because “It is said that it has expired last month.”

Indeed, when Guaido declared himself interim president back in January we were told that it would be a month-long position in the interim while a new election is prepared. As Reuters reported at the time – https://af.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idAFKCN1PI310 – “Venezuela’s constitution says if the presidency is determined to be vacant, new elections should be called in 30 days and that the head of the congress should assume the presidency in the meantime.”

But, since the Trump administration’s coup-by-narrative has not gone as planned, Abrams stumbled all over himself – https://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2019/03/290416.htm – informing the press that the goalposts of the story have been moved:

ABRAMS: As to the Venezuelan constitution, the National Assembly has passed a resolution that states that that 30-day period of interim presidency will not start ending or counting until the day Nicolas Maduro leaves power. So the 30 days doesn’t start now, it starts after Maduro. And they – that’s a resolution of the National Assembly.

QUESTION: When did they – they did that after he —

ABRAMS: They did that – this is roughly a month ago. We could try to find the date for you.

QUESTION: When he was – when he was – took the mantle of interim president, that wasn’t there.

ABRAMS: Yes, when – that’s correct. And so people —

QUESTION: Can you do that ex post facto like that?

ABRAMS: When people ask a question how do —

QUESTION: That seems to be like saying I was elected for four years to be president, and then two years in you change the rules so that your term didn’t start – hasn’t even started yet. How does that happen?

ABRAMS: Well, you don’t get a vote because you’re not in the National Assembly.

QUESTION: Well, you don’t. You’re not in the National Assembly either.

QUESTION: If it matters, does the U.S. view that as constitutional under their system?

MR ABRAMS: Yes. I mean, we’re taking the – the National Assembly is the only legitimate democratic institution left in Venezuela, and their interpretation of the constitution, as you know, is that as of the date of this alleged term for Maduro, the presidency is vacant. But they have also said that that 30-day period starts when Maduro goes.

QUESTION: So Juan Guaido is the interim president of an interim that doesn’t exist yet?

MR ABRAMS: The 30-day end to his interim presidency starts counting. Because he’s not in power, that’s the problem. Maduro is still there. So they have decided that they will count that from when he actually is in power and Maduro’s gone. I think it’s logical.

QUESTION: So then he really isn’t interim president, then?

MR ABRAMS: He is interim president, but he’s not —

QUESTION: With no power.

MR ABRAMS: — able to exercise the powers of the office because Maduro still is there.

QUESTION: So their interpretation is that until and unless he actually has the power to run the country, he’s not actually the interim president?

MR ABRAMS: No. Their interpretation is that the constitution requires a 30-day interim period, but it – those 30 days should not be counted while Maduro is still there exercising the powers of his former office.

So to recap, Guaido is still the president of Venezuela after his 30-day window closed because his interim presidency doesn’t currently exist, and because he has no power. By those standards, I’m just as much president of Venezuela as Guaido is. Where’s my meeting with Mike Pence?

But of course facts don’t figure into this equation at all, because this is a coup by narrative. As we discussed yesterday, – https://medium.com/@caityjohnstone/responses-to-this-tweet-show-how-people-fixate-on-narrative-over-fact-b43925719952 – narrative always takes precedence over fact in these games. They will keep referring to Juan the guy as “President Guaido”, despite the admitted fact that he does not actually have any of the powers or recognition that an actual president has, and despite the fact that there is currently a guy in Caracas who does have all those things. They will keep advancing this narrative control war until it either succeeds or fails, and in the case of the latter they’ll change tactics and try something else.

The battle for power is the battle to control as many humans as possible, and the battle to control as many humans as possible is the battle to control the stories those humans are telling each other. Humans are storytelling animals, so if you can control the stories you can control the humans. Understand this and you’ll understand the behaviors of governments and media around the world.

• CHECK OUT Nations without States http://nationalliberal.org/liberty-wall-3/nations-without-states You can also follow NwS on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/184919468292372/ and Twitter @NationswoStates

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• CHECK OUT previous NwS Debates here:

From The Liberty Wall – Nations without States Debate (1) – Why Do Our Oppressors Hate The Concept Of Self-Determination? http://nationalliberal.org/from-the-liberty-wall-–-nations-without-states-debate-1-–-why-do-our-oppressors-hate-the-concept-of-self-determination

From The Liberty Wall – Nations without States Debate (2) – How Can Self-Determinists Force Governments To Give Us Our Freedom? http://nationalliberal.org/from-the-liberty-wall-–-nations-without-states-debate-2-–-how-can-self-determinists-force-governments-to-give-us-our-freedom

From The Liberty Wall – Nations without States Debate (3) – An English Parliament For The English People? https://nationalliberal.org/from-the-liberty-wall-–-nations-without-states-debate-3-–-an-english-parliament-for-the-english-people
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