By Víctor Hugo Majano
Venezuela has suffered a prolonged siege and blockade since 2013 in order to provoke its surrender to the corporate interests of the world’s great powers.
In order to understand what happens, a comparison with the mechanisms used in the Middle Ages to achieve the surrender of the walled cities is opportune.
Instead of attempting an assault immediately, techniques of war imposed a prolonged siege on the urban center that caused its exhaustion due to hunger and diseases.
Thus the cost in casualties for the besieger could be minimal and probably null because, before the rigorous siege, it was frequent that the authorities opted for the surrender of the city or were forced to do so by demand of the besieged population itself.
That is why we defined the aggression against Venezuela as a hybrid war in which the determining factor is deterioration and the search for the collapse of its economy and in general of productive daily activity.
A first stage of that “economic war” was activated after the death of Commander Hugo Chavez through an intensification of the smuggling (initially and basically to Colombia) of staple foods such as corn flour, rice and meat, medicines and fuels. For this, the devaluation of the currency was accelerated through exchange houses installed in the border region of Cúcuta, which converted into a marker the exchange rates to which the Colombian peso and the Venezuelan bolivar were transacted in the border.
This deepened the imbalances in prices and exchange rates far beyond what could be attributed to wrong economic policies.
A second stage, already with characteristics of declared war, began in 2015 with the declaration of Venezuela as an unusual threat to US security, made by the government of Barack Obama in March.
That year, local and regional political spokespersons, as well as the Vice President of the United States, began to talk about a possible humanitarian crisis in Venezuela that could affect the Caribbean and its closest neighbors.
It was clearly a humanitarian crisis deliberately caused by the intensification of extractive contraband (now also towards Brazil and the Caribbean), the commercial and financial restrictions that were imposed in an hidden or public way, and the promotion of migration towards Andean countries and the Southern Cone.
The intention of causing a humanitarian crisis was to justify the activation of an international intervention or a unilateral intervention of powers or neighbors, based on the debatable principle of the “responsibility to protect” R2P.
The plan or roadmap was developed by the Obama administration under the guidelines of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and a team in which the then-diplomat Susan Rice and Samantha Power stood out, formed in the context of the US and NATO intervention in the wars of the former Yugoslavia.
That plan, with additional elements such as the political erosion of the government, popular protests in the face of economic stress and a military rebellion, was the one launched. It was a slow cooking scheme, but one that wanted a social outbreak that would end, after several months or a few years, in an apocalyptic way with the government and institutionality.
With the arrival of Trump that plan demanded a continuity that coincided with the warmongering discourse and the imperial logic of the new tenant of the White House.
That element of overlap came with the development of the thesis that Venezuela was a source of safe and cheap oil (which is a fact) for the US. But also that it happened in the short term and without major costs and war risks.
That is why there have been so many inconsistencies in American performance and especially in recent months.
Everything indicates that there will not be a cinematographic “invasion”. And maybe it was never in the plans. But the Trump administration though has ratified the the siege will continue and will deepen. It is actually what it has done, the only concrete thing for despair of the Venezuelan opposition, since January.
So our situation in the months to come will be very hard with restrictions on access to medicines. It is already an issue for serious or complex diseases and is very expensive for simple diseases. Food, although not currently scarce, also goes up daily in price.
In addition, precariousness has increased in basic services such as electricity (after the sabotage in March) and consequently drinking water and telecommunications.
While restrictions on the importation of some inputs for gas processing are already affecting the supply of fuels and as a consequence the transport and production of essential foods and goods.
The idea is to starve us … like in the Middle Ages.
Translated by JRE/EF