The vice-president of Venezuela, Delcy Rodríguez, participated on February 24 at the official opening of the International Peoples’ Assembly in Solidarity with the Bolivarian Revolution and against imperialism, held in the capital Caracas. Her address was a historical analysis of the relationship between the United States and Venezuela since Hugo Chávez assumed power in the 90s.
“After Hugo Chávez came to power in 1998, US imperialism outlined a strategy of a counter-revolutionary offensive. The one that today we are seeing was not generated spontaneously: this was well-planned, it was prepared. In 2012, they thought that killing president Hugo Chávez would lead to the death of the Bolivarian Revolution. But the Venezuelan people rose up in spite of the pain and said: the Bolivarian Revolution continues. With this pain, despite the absence of our leader Hugo Chávez, we will continue in combat,” she promised.
Rodriguez recalled that the strategy of economic suffocation of the country began during the term of Barack Obama.
“On March 9, 2015, Obama signed a decree establishing that Venezuela was a threat to the security of the United States, and a threat to its foreign policy. We knew the danger that this meant. This decree of Obama fell into the hands of the white supremacist that today governs in the White House,” she said, referring to Donald Trump.
The vice-president condemned the action of the government of Donald Trump and his allies of boycotting Venezuela economically and justifying an intervention in the country. According to Rodríguez, who was working as the minister of foreign affairs of Nicolás Maduro, what is called the “Lima Group” is nothing more than a union of governments aligned with the United States, willing to carry out coups in non-aligned countries.
“In a general assembly of the OAS (Organization of American States), in the presence of all the foreign ministers, Luis Almagro (general secretary of the OAS) tried to pass a resolution against our homeland, but we defeated him. So it was a group of governments that were defeated and then went to the side to try and come up with a declaration, a communique. There the ‘Lima cartel’ was born. The ‘Lima cartel’ was born from a failure, and this will continue: perpetuating failure in every one of their aggressions against Venezuela,” she affirmed with heavy applause.
According to Rodríguez, the real interest of the United States and its allies is Venezuelan petroleum. Venezuela has the greatest confirmed reserves of petroleum in the world and it is the second biggest producer. The vice-president analyzed the frustrated attempt of these governments to enter the country with supposed humanitarian aid: “They do not know that we are ready. This revolution was built on social struggle of the Indigenous people, the peasants, the workers. They do not know what they are talking about. And this is why all of those clowns at the border yesterday made that ‘spectacle’”.
On the self-proclamation of the deputy Juan Guaidó as interim president of the country, the vice-president said ironically: “Where have you seen a random deputy go out to a public plaza and proclaim himself president of a country. Imagine a deputy that would go and say that he is the king of England, or the king of Spain,” she compared.
“Beyond the funny aspect, it is dangerous. Now, for example, they want to pass a law to make feasible the intervention in Venezuela,” she pointed out, shortly after. “But if they dare to place a finger on Venezuela, the people of the continent and of the world will rise up to say: get out imperialism. If this were to happen, we would make their lives difficult,” she concluded.
The International Peoples’ Assembly in Solidarity with the Bolivarian Revolution and against imperialism, is taking place in Caracas, Venezuela, between the 24 and 27 of February, and is bringing together more than 400 representatives of people’s movements and organizations of 85 countries.
*Original text in Portuguese written by Leonardo Fernandes