The leader of Venezuela is gone at 58. He has not had time enough to fulfill even a half of his plans. A man of action, he has set an example for the left-wing forces of the continent. His demise will certainly slow down, perhaps temporarily, the reforms in the Western Hemisphere associated with his name.
Going to Cuba again for a surgery in December 2012, he called on the supporters to stay united. United – he repeated the word three times on purpose, because it is unity that can guarantee the continuation of his political course and historic defeat of the forces led by the Empire of the United States of America.
He was often called the Liberator of the XXI century and compared to Simon Bolivar, who fought against Spanish colonial yoke. He did a lot to free Venezuela from economic and political dependence on the United States: oil industry was nationalized; the process of Latin America’s integration was accelerated. The historic significance of Chavez will be becoming more distinct as time goes by…
The fact that President Obama offered condolences to Venezuela on the death of Chavez and expressed hope for building a constructive bilateral relationship was perceived by many as a signal to the Bolivarian leadership. Once Obama speaks about cooperation he is not interested in confrontation, so Caracas should not refuse a handshake. It’s time for dialogue, interaction and reduction of tension.
But the ostentatious peacefulness of Obama goes along with revengeful euphoria reining in Washington. The sentiments prevailing in US establishment circles are evident: at last the hated caudillo is gone! The cause of his death is still to be made precise, but it clears the way for new subversive actions in Venezuela, for instance, developing contacts with the opponents of Nicolas Maduro, the man Chavez appointed to be his successor.
The main goal of US special services is to drive a wedge of discord among the Venezuelan leaders, destabilize the situation, bolster the opposition, especially its radical wing, and make it seek revenge.
The notes of appeasement in the Washington’s words of condolence is nothing more than a smokescreen for a multi-phased operation aimed at keeping away the «Chavez successors» from power… Everything else is nothing more than empty words.
Public punishment of a country ruled by a «populist regime» is a long time idée fixe of some circles at the top of US leadership. They think the time is right for exploratory attack to test the stability of Bolivarian regime. The coming election opens promising prospects.
The opposition has a chance to grab the initiative. All the polls say Nicolas Maduro is leading Capriles Radonsky by 15-20%. Capriles lost to Chavez in October 2012, but those who pull the strings in Washington don’t play by the rules.
It’s going to be a tough fight. Sabotage, provocations, subversions, political killings – all’s fair in love and war, anything would do to achieve the goal. If Maduro is a clear winner in the race, then they’ll incite unrest in cities, block the transport routes, ignite confrontation and then raise hue and cry over «victims of government repression».
The use of force to come to power is not excluded; they may try to do it with the help of mercenaries and foreign special operations units. Such scenarios have already taken place in the history of contemporary Venezuela. The other option is to act while the votes are counted.
Pro-US media and activists will spread the information about «mass falsifications» to make Maduro lead. Such accusations have accompanied all the election campaigns that Chavez won, but he has always led by a wide margin. Now, what about Maduro?
Of course, the Bolivarian leadership counts on the support of friends and allies. It has already been rendered by the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (Spanish: Alianza Bolivariana para los Pueblos de Nuestra América, or ALBA), the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (Spanish: Comunidad de Estados Latinoamericanos y Caribeños, CELAC), the Union of South American Nations (Spanish: Unión de Naciones Suramericanas, UNASUR) and others.
Nicolas Maduro badly needs the support of China, Brazil and Russia, the countries Chavez counted on while taking foreign policy decisions. Igor Sechin, the executive chairman of Rosneft, will lead the Russian delegation at the funeral. He has done a lot to foster the Russia-Venezuela relations.
The Russian team also includes Denis Manturov Minister of Trade and Industry of the Russian Federation and Sergey Chemezov, Director-General of Russian Technologies State Corporation. The composition of the delegation clearly shows the visit will not be limited by representative functions only.
The delegation has a goal to prevent the unfolding if events according to the Washington’s destabilization plan and render any possible support to Nicolas Maduro. Liberal media already predicts that Russia would suffer great financial and material loss in Venezuela.
It makes the forecasts with an artificially dramatic tinge: the United States will achieve its goal, the Russia’s investments in the Orinoco Belt and other areas of Venezuela will be lost, and the huge loan for Russian arms acquisition will vanish in the hays.
The opposition will come to power and make sweep away all those who don’t curry favor with Washington, like the Chinese, the Russian, the Brazilians…
These dark prospects are seen by the people who believe in only one pattern to make politics: the one to offer more money to Chavez successors will be the winner.
But Chavez has formed a real good team. So no matter how hard the times may be, there will be no deserters in the ranks of those who fight for the victory of Bolivarian revolution.
Nil NIKANDROV | Strategic Culture Foundation