When Colombian journalist and writer Hernando Calvo Ospina presented in 2017 his documentary ‘Venezuela, the dark motive’ (Venezuela, la oscura causa), he exposed the United States’ aim to bring about military intervention, based on lies and with the help of the media.
Yadira Cruz Valera
“The dark motive driving on the imperialists is none other than oil,” he asserted back then when explaining the reasons for making the 38-minute documentary where he revealed to the world the real danger threatening the Bolivarian Revolution.
Three years on, the reality of this South American nation confirms his theories and keeps alive the relevance of the material, wherein Venezuelan scholars, in simple and informative language, tell the story of this other Venezuela, distorted and hidden by the large media consortiums.
It is a penetrating investigation which scrutinises the decisive and important role played by oil in the economic and political blockade mounted against this nation, which has been a victim since 2014 of a set of unilateral coercive measures implemented by the United States government.
The sanctions resulted in an economic blockade that moreover limits the ability of the State to import difficult-to-source medication or to use international banking for various commercial transactions; and more recently, it affected the Government’s control over its energy and financial assets abroad.
These measures seek to undermine Venezuela’s society and to weaken the country’s sovereignty, as part of a strategy seeking regime change and the removal from office of President Nicolás Maduro, elected by more than six million votes on May 20, 2018.
As regards the worsening of sanctions, Prensa Latina interviewed – via internet – the Colombian writer and producer who is based in France and is a permanent contributor to Le Monde Diplomatique and a specialist in the geostrategic policy of the United States in Latin America.
Deconfiguring the geostrategy
“Washington doesn’t care whether or not a nation declares itself socialist, it’s more worried about a country in the so-called third world escaping its control and becoming a bad example,” are Calvo Ospina’s first words in explaining the complex times the nation is living through.
In his opinion, there are three big moments in history when Latin American countries “disturbed the backyard” of the United States and deconfigured American power geostrategy in the hemisphere: the Cuban Revolution (1959), the Sandinista movment in Nicaragua (1979), and the rise to power in Venezuela of Bolivarian leader Hugo Chávez (1999).
This is why the US government is implementing, in the land of Liberator Simón Bolívar, the same coercive measures which are sometimes both ill-adapted to events at a given time in the world and to the global geopolitical context, he points out.
“It seems they didn’t have a reading of what was going on in the world, because they appear to believe that with their military might and economic bullying, they can achieve anything,” he believes.
“It’s always the same script,” insists the interviewee, an expert on the ulterior motives behind American politics in the region and author of several books including Colombia, ‘The Witch’s Laboratory’ (Colombia, laboratorio de embrujos) , ‘Democracy and State Terrorism’ (Democracia y terrorismo de Estado), the ‘Dissidents or Mercenaries?’ essays and ‘Ron Bacardí, the Hidden War’ (Ron Bacardí, la Guerra Oculta).
“It’s incredible, they’re the same techniques as used in the 1960s – naval blockades or economic suffocation using sanctions – just as they have been doing with Cuba for more than 60 years,” he emphasizes.
According to Calvo Ospina, all that lies behind the coercive measures of the White House, “is the obvious intention to put paid to the example [Venezuela is setting]”.
“They worry about a nation from the so-called third world escaping their control and becoming a bad example … using their resources on education, health and the land to benefit the majority,” he confirms.
For 20 years of the Bolivarian Revolution, more than twenty missions and social programmes to improve people’s quality of life have been carried out.
For the Colombian writer, scholar and champion of the revolutionary movements in Latin America, this is the bugbear for Washington: that countries in the region declare themselves sovereign in their decisions and independent of Washington’s designs.
New forms of aggression
US president, Donald Trump, and other senior officials of his administration have repeatedly said “that all options are on the table” regarding Venezuela, in open reference to the possibility of military intervention.
The warlike rhetoric of the US administration presupposes an imminent attack on this nation and its lawfully elected president.
Speaking about the real possibility of these actions, Calvo says that ” armed aggression against the country is already evident.”
“One need only observe the role of Colombia’s illegal drug trade in its attempt to cross over into Venezuela and the formation of armed counter-revolutionary forces, terrorists: all this has been part of US strategy encouraging alternative liberation movements,” he explains.
Since the beginning of the 2019 Simón Bolívar Liberation Campaign military exercises on July 24, the Bolivarian National Armed Forces have arrested 49 Colombian paramilitaries and seized almost three thousand kilograms of drugs at the border, according to official sources.
For Calvo these strategies are not new, nor are they exclusive to Latin America: they have also been used in Asia and Africa, where many countries and liberation or socialist movements have suffered the consequences of these same US policies.
Venezuela is enduring an unusual war of attrition, which is more effective than direct military intervention in terms of its capacity for destabilisation.
Nicaragua, with the so-called Contra, endured that same process – they were presented as opposition forces internationally – the same thing they are now doing with Venezuela.
As of January 23, Washington decided to give fresh impetus to its ambitions to overthrow Maduro and provoke regime change using the figure of opposition member of parliament Juan Guaidó, the self-proclaimed “president in charge”.
“The so-called Venezuelan opposition is a group of people who profit individually from being in opposition, as in Cuba: you declare yourself a ‘dissident’ of something against the State and start receiving money and praise from abroad.”
But, he emphasizes, in the Venezuelan context it is more precarious, because these opponents have agreed to hand over the nation’s wealth and sovereignty.
In June, the Venezuelan Minister of Communication, Jorge Rodríguez, announced that Guaidó and other right-wing leaders had embezzled funds to finance acts of destabilization from Colombia and other nations in the region. He indicated that more than 800 million dollars belonging to the company Citgo in the United States, a subsidiary of Petrolera Venezolana (PDVSA), were transferred to the personal accounts of those close to the opposition member of parliament.
Last January, Trump approved new sanctions against the Venezuelan state-owned oil company, including the freezing of seven billion dollars of assets of the subsidiary, with an estimated resulting loss of 11 billion dollars of exports over the next few years.
As part of the economic sanctions, the Bank of England announced the illegal confiscation of one billion 359 million dollars in gold deposited in its vaults.
According to Calvo Ospina, “through their powerful media outlets and even with the support of those who claim they are from the left, they are forging opponents, who do not even boast their own national mission aside from that which they are prescribed from above.”
Convinced of the current relevance of his documentary, the filmmaker insisted that economic interests and, above all, plans to seize oil and mining resources lie behind all President Donald Trump’s actions against Venezuela. (PL)
(Translated by Nigel Conibear MCIL) – Photos: Pixabay