Venezuela: the Election and Oil

By Carlos Fazio on July 9, 2024

In a world marked by the contradiction between the hegemonic unilateralism of the United States and a new type of multipolarism centered on the expanded BRICS – to which the war conflicts in Ukraine and Gaza are no stranger – the presidential elections of July 28 in Venezuela acquire a renewed geopolitical dimension. But the novelty, now, is that the Venezuelan extreme right has decided to participate in the elections after nine years of destabilizing and disruptive adventures designed by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the Pentagon and the US Treasury Department based on a hybrid war that combined psychological warfare operations (Opsic) with insurrectional street actions; unilateral and extraterritorial economic and financial sanctions as tools of war by non-military means and collective punishment against the civilian population; black propaganda and disinformation (fake news, misleading information, rumors); sabotage; assassination attempts; abstentionism and electoral boycotts and the “parallel government” of Juan Guaidó, all activities aimed at a change of political regime. To which is added, at this juncture, Washington’s request to the constitutional and legitimate government of Nicolás Maduro, to resume direct dialogue between the two countries, which demonstrates Washington’s need to ensure the flow of Venezuelan oil.

In elections in which just over 21 million 600 thousand Venezuelans are called to participate and will be able to choose between 10 candidates for the presidency of the Republic, voting intentions point to the current president, Nicolás Maduro, and the opposition Edmundo González Urrutia, representative of the Plataforma Unitaria Democrática (PUD), which groups a block of extreme right-wing parties.

Presented by CNN, BBC News and the German government agency Deutsche Welle as a “retired career diplomat”, Edmundo González, 74 years old, is a man with health problems and low media profile who was palmed off by María Corina Machado, heiress of the Venezuelan elite and original candidate of the corporate and deep state circles in Washington, disqualified for 15 years by the Supreme Court of Justice for having participated in coup attempts; supported the foreign invasion of Venezuela; received direct funding from the International Agency for the Defense of Human Rights (IADH); received direct funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED, old CIA front), and for participating in the corruption scheme orchestrated by the usurper Guaidó that propitiated the criminal US blockade of the Bolivarian Republic as well as the millionaire plundering of State wealth and companies (such as Citgo Holding Inc, Citgo Petroleum Corporation and Manómeros Colombo Venezolanos, SA), together with the kidnapping and theft of 31 tons of Venezuelan gold bullion by the Bank of England.

The electoral disqualification of Corina Machado was used by the US last April to justify the reimposition of oil sanctions against the Maduro government, not withstanding which the founder of the conservative party Vente Venezuela has been touring several cities as if she were campaigning for the presidential chair of the Miraflores Palace. In turn, González, who was the international representative of the Mesa de la Unidad Democrática (today PUD) between 2013 and 2015, period in which the Pentagon’s Southern Command intensified the hybrid war against the South American country within the framework of the fratricidal Operation Liberty Venezuela, has also been present in the rallies, but in a more discreet and secondary manner despite being the candidate to be measured at the polls.

Along with his electoral discourse and the re-entry to the institutional path after their abstentionist-insurrectional failures that led them to lose all their positions in the scaffolding of the powers of the State, extremist groups of the opposition have not ceased in their destabilizing conspiratorial actions through several sabotages last June against the National Electric System in states such as Nueva Esparta, Guárico and Zulia, and against the Angostura Bridge that connects the states of Anzoátegui and Bolívar. Likewise, the refusal of candidate Gonzalez to sign the agreement of recognition of results proposed by the National Electoral Council, added to the denunciations of electric war, reveal the true strategy: to continue betting on post-electoral political violence, alleging fraud if they do not win; an opinion matrix that has been sown in several articles of The New York Times.

In 2023, representatives of Washington and Caracas agreed in Doha, under the auspices of the Qatari government, to advance in the recomposition of their relations based on the lifting of the unilateral coercive measures of the US and the resumption of Maduro’s dialogue with the extremist sector of the opposition. Although some progress was made, after the ratification of Machado’s disqualification, the State Department reimposed the sanctions alleging non-compliance by the Venezuelan side with the Barbados Agreements, a version that Caracas rejects.

On July 2, after mulling over a new US proposal for a direct dialogue for two months, Maduro accepted, exhibiting a strategic attitude, not an urgent need. A day later, negotiations were resumed, with the opposition marginalized from the dialogue table. The US’s waning hegemony has as its basis and purpose the domination of fossil energy. With the largest hydrocarbon reserves in the world, Venezuela is currently negotiating from a position of strength with the energy factor as a means of pressure (without forgetting, of course, the poisonous and artful strategies of the US in the cases of Muammar Gaddafi in Libya and the Minsk Agreements on Ukraine with Russia). However, what reasons would Washington have for negotiating with a president who is about to lose the elections on July 28? Having overcome at this stage the multiform war, the toxic polarization of covert operations and hyperinflation in the economy, Chavism has accumulated institutional strength from deep Venezuela and the forthcoming entry of the country into the BRICS will insert it into the new international order in the making. Hence the geopolitical importance of the elections.

Source: La Jornada, translation, Resumen Latinoamericano – English