Home Opinions Trump’s aggression toward Venezuela threatens democracy everywhere

Trump’s aggression toward Venezuela threatens democracy everywhere

Illustration by Kennedy Swift | Staff Photographer

It is common practice among warmongers to scapegoat a single person in order to justify hostility against an entire nation, obscuring complicated political realities and appealing to an ambiguously oppressed and vaguely defined “people” whom it is their duty to save. Trump’s new economic sanctions and his ominous threat of a possible military option against the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela are no different.

In his official statement, Trump not only condemns the popularly elected Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro as “a bad leader with dreams of becoming dictator,” but also claims to know the desires of the Venezuelan people well enough to speak for them and act on their behalf. Coming from a president who lost the popular vote in his own country by millions, and whose approval rating sits at an embarrassing 37.2 percent it is hard to take his claim seriously.

It does not take much investigation to discover that the people Trump appeals to in Venezuela are of the same type as those he appeals to in the United States: the white, wealthy and elite. Thus, when Trump demands “democracy” for this South American country, the question “democracy for whom?” answers itself.

Western media is saturated with horror stories of the Venezuelan government repressing their opposition, but on the horrific violence committed by this same opposition against the broad masses of the Venezuelan working class they remain curiously silent.

Arguably, democracy is already taking place in Venezuela at a level which far surpasses our own. This is the democracy of the communes, networks of organic collectives whose localized decision making system and grassroots organizational structure laid the foundation of the Bolivarian Revolution and propelled Hugo Chavez into power in 1999.

As with any government in crises, Maduro’s is far from perfect, and the alliance between the state and broad masses of people is a skeptical and tenuous one. However, it is undeniable that policies such as the institutional land reform programs, established first by Chavez in 2005 and broadened under the Maduro government, are of considerable advantage to the traditionally oppressed classes of Venezuela. Ousting Maduro in the interest of the wealthy elite would in no way benefit democracy, but instead strike a possibly fatal blow.

Trump’s threats against Venezuela is merely another development in the United States’ long history of aggression against Latin America. For a nation so rhetorically concerned with the spirit of democracy and the well-being of the people, the United States has never been hesitant to advance the interests of its wealthy elite with no regard to the suffering that has caused most people within its own borders and abroad.

Trump may speak of this violence less subtly than his predecessors. However, the reality of this violence stretches back to Obama, through Bush and back to the genocide initiated by Columbus against the indigenous peoples of the Americas.

This is not to deny the hope, comradery and love embodied by millions of American communities throughout its history, but only to recognize what must no longer go unrecognized— that against these communities exists a parasitic power that would set the world on fire to turn a profit.

Against Trump’s ominous promise to “drain the swamp”, perhaps we should have first asked what lay beneath its murky waters. For better or for worse it is time to turn our noses bravely towards the fetid stench of the corpse ridden swamp-bed. It is time to face the atrocity of U.S. imperialism and stand in unshakable solidarity with the Venezuelan people on the international struggle for justice and peace.

– Brad Waldraff is a philosophy senior


  1. This is probably the most disgusting piece I’ve read that was published by this commie-ridden paper, and that is quite a statement. Just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse than saying AMERICANS could learn something from BOLSHEVIKS, a piece praising the the socialist tyrant of Venezuela shows up. Wow.

    Of course, I’m well aware that many of you brain-washed liberal arts majors remain unconvinced of the horrors of socialism and communism. What I find morbidly humorous is that the ability to convince gullible, young folks such as yourself of the possibly of a utopian world is the main reason people end up losing every ounce of freedom they may have once had and, eventually, starving to death. Only then do the masses realize they’ve been duped by the “leaders of the people” living it up in mansions on sweat and blood that is not their own.

    If you love Maduro so much, I suggest you go spend some time in his paradise of a state. Who would want to live in such a terrible place as America anyway, right? I mean, yeah you can do basically whatever you want, including burning the flag and attempting to tear the nation apart, without repercussions, but America is just so terribly oppressive!

    I would love to see the reactions to this article of the ex-doctors and engineers from Venezuela who have been forced to move to Columbia and become prostitutes so they can eat. When the question becomes, “Can rabbit meat save Venezuela from starvation?”, I think it may be safe to say that the tyrant’s grand plan has taken a turn for the worse. Similar to the result of every other attempt at “creating equality.”

  2. you are one sick dog. I hope you didn’t pay money for that education that you thought you got. You will never be allowed to work for anybody productive like me. So you are a senior in philosophy? You mean the philosophy of Marx’s. We need to cut off all of your funding immediately. If we are producing dogs like you, then yes no money. Socialism, that horrible experiment and human suffering on who’s alter so many souls have been sacrificed by pure pathetic stupidity like you. It has been downhill ever since you Fabians showed up. You are a total moron who will never produce anything or add to anybody’s standard Of living and that’s really a fact. Please, the college maybe really crummyn, but please read a book. You are not even a writer.

  3. “It is common practice among warmongers to scapegoat a single person in order to justify hostility against an entire nation, ”

    What kind of like blaming President Trump for the entirety of racism and hostilities in the country right now?

    I mean the guys a dumb ass but the inability to look within to foster change has to come from both sides….

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