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US State Department documents reveal that the department itself along with US-funded fronts posing as nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) have been providing Venezuela’s opposition with support.
This includes a report titled, “Status of Capriles and Sumate Cases,” referring to the above mentioned Henrique Capriles Radonski and Sumate, a US National Endowment for Democracy (NED) funded front posing as an election monitor.
Currently, NED’s own website features an extensive list of activities it is engaged in within Venezuela’s borders. It includes leveraging human rights for political gain, electoral manipulation, building opposition fronts, and expanding pro-opposition media. While each activity is labelled with benign titles, it is clear that none of these activities are done impartially, and as State Department documents reveal, these activities are done specifically for the benefit of the US-backed opposition.
While the Western media attempts to frame Venezuela’s crisis as a result of “socialism” and “dictatorship,” it is clear by reading the West’s own policy papers that it is owed instead to a systematic assault on Venezuela’s sociopolitical stability and economic viability, spanning decades.
Venezuela is not the first nation in South America that the United States has sought to overturn by undermining its economy.
The crisis in Venezuela is not one of socialism versus capitalism or dictatorship versus democracy – it is one of hegemony versus national sovereignty, of centralized unipolar power versus an increasingly multipolar world.
A sovereign and independent Venezuela allowed to pursue its own destiny is one in which its own people will naturally seek to decentralize and distribute power. While the current government may not provide the ideal conditions to accomplish this, conditions under a US client regime – as US-wrecked Libya, Afghanistan, or Iraq prove – would be significantly less ideal.
For geopolitical analysts, moving away from ideological talking points and examining the actual government and opposition, their interests, associations, and funding, as well as their base motives reveals a much simpler and consistent narrative, one that any analyst could discern, and a discernment that will stand the test of scrutiny and time. Those entrenched in left/right ideology risk being betrayed by the government’s floundering desperation and the true nature of an opposition that most certainly is not “capitalist” or “pro-democracy.”
ExxonMobil’s history in Venezuela starts in 1921, when its predecessor, Standard Oil, set up shop there. What’s happened since, particularly during the governments of the so-called “Socialism of the 21st Century” under the successive administrations of Hugo Chávez and Nicolás Maduro, does not necessarily augur well for bilateral US-Venezuela relations under Tillerson.
Venezuela’s ties to ExxonMobil were severed in 1976, when Venezuelan President Carlos Andres Pérez sought to nationalize the oil industry. They were reestablished in the 1990s when Pérez, in his second term, launched the so-called “Apertura Petrolera” (“oil opening”), seeking to attract foreign investment and develop the Orinoco oil belt.
But when Chávez decided to re-nationalize the oil business in 2007, Venezuela’s state oil company, PDVSA, acquired a majority stake in domestic oil ventures. ExxonMobil, by now under Tillerson’s leadership, rejected the government’s offer to pay book value for its assets, countering with a request for arbitration by the World Bank’s investment disputes settlement centre. ExxonMobil aimed to receive market value for its investments, assessed at $15 billion.
In 2014 Venezuela was ordered to compensate ExxonMobil $1.6 billion.
Another problem arose in 2015, this time under Maduro, when ExxonMobil launched oil operations off the coast of neighboring Guyana. That area lies very close to Venezuela’s Delta Amacuro state, in the Essequibo territory over which Venezuela has asserted ownership for more than a century.
In 2000 and 2002 the Venezuelan government brought claims to the World Petroleum Congress about Guyana’s proffered concessions in the Essequibo. International companies were initially compelled to cease drilling, but in 2012 operations resumed. Today both countries are seeking a peaceful agreement to this old border dispute with the UN Secretary General.
Meanwhile, Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Ltd, an ExxonMobil subsidiary, has declared that it will continue developing the region, which is part of a $200 million, 10-year contract between Esso and the Guyanese government.
Maduro has accused ExxonMobil of trying to destabilize the region by siding with Guyana, while ExxonMobil has complained about the Venezuelan government trying to turn countries against the company.
La Confederación Venezolana de Industriales (Conindustria) quiere hacer público, una vez más, su respaldo a sus trabajadores que se han unido al paro cívico general convocado para los días de hoy miércoles 26 y jueves 27, por considerar que es un derecho ciudadano y constitucional que representa un mecanismo válido de protesta ante la decisión ilegítima del Ejecutivo Nacional de convocar una Asamblea Nacional Constituyente que, no sólo no es la solución para la grave crisis socioeconómica y política que vive el país, sino que más bien contribuirá a agravarla.
The Venezuelan Confederation of Industrialists (Conindustria) wants to make public, once again, its support for its workers who have joined the general civic strike called for today, Wednesday 26 and Thursday 27, considering it a citizen and constitutional right Which represents a valid mechanism of protest against the illegitimate decision of the National Executive to convene a National Constituent Assembly that not only is not the solution to the serious socioeconomic and political crisis that the country lives, but rather will contribute to aggravate it. - GOOGLE AUTOMATIC TRANSLATION