Trump orders terrorist attack against Venezuela
Chicago, IL – “The most vile, criminal, cruel and dirty attack that has ever been committed against the people of Venezuela,” – this is how President Nicolás Maduro described the attack on the country's electrical grid, which cut electricity to 90% of its population on March 7. Five days later, power has been restored to most major cities, but much work needs to be done to fully restore the national grid.
Unlike Trump's shameful response to the power outage of Puerto Rico, Maduro has directed all of the state's resources to help the population. Buses have been running for free in the main cities and are used to deliver water and non-perishable food to populations without power. The National Bolivarian Armed Forces – currently facing off against enemy armies on its borders – has managed to deploy across the country to support the efforts to restore power. The entire state apparatus is focused on this effort.
In an address to the nation on Monday, February 11, Maduro placed the blame for the nationwide loss of electric power squarely on the shoulders of the Trump government. He said that the attack was carried out in three phases: a cyber-attack that disabled the El Guri hydroelectric dam (the most important source of electric power in the country); an electromagnetic attack which disabled the recovery process of the national grid, and a physical attack involving saboteurs setting fire to power stations around the country. He added that on the morning of the 11th, after 95% of Caracas had its power restored, an explosion went off at one the city's main power stations, setting the recovery effort back by days.
The effects of this attack deserve to be fleshed out. On the evening of March 7, over 90% of Venezuelans lost power. Fridges stopped working. The internet stopped working. Traffic lights stopped working. Schools and businesses could not open. The economy and social life was ground to a halt. Perhaps most despicable were the consequences for the country's hospitals. If not for the back-up generators provided by the Maduro government, no one knows how many lives could have been lost.
This was an act of terrorism on a scale rarely seen in the world. And it was clear that the United States was behind it. On March 7, Senator Marco Rubio – one of Trump's main go-betweens with the far-right Venezuelan opposition – tweeted about the national power stoppage three minutes after the attack occurred, before it had even been reported on any news site.
Other key figures in the Trump government celebrated the power outage of a nation of 32 million people. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeted, shortly after the attack occurred, “No food. No medicine. Now, no power. Next, no Maduro.” Given that Venezuela was cut off from its main supplier of food and medicine, the United States, by the Trump government's sanctions, there can be no confusing the glee coming from the secretary at the latest blow inflicted on the Venezuelan people.
It is clear that the United States only means to continue to terrorize Venezuela. On Tuesday, March 12, Pompeo announced that all U.S. diplomats are to be withdrawn from Venezuela. On why this was happening, he simply stated that their continued presence in Caracas “has become a constraint on U.S. policy.” What can now be done to Venezuela without any U.S. civilian personnel on the ground?
Trump and his advisors expected the Venezuelan people, and the armed forces, to rush to support Juan Guaidó, the puppet they anointed as president. That did not happen. The military remained firmly behind Maduro, and the masses of Venezuelan people continue to fill the streets in the millions, declaring their support for the Bolivarian Revolution and the duly-elected president of the country.
Since the Venezuelan people will not do the bidding of the United States, the Trump government has opted to punish the people. This is the definition of terrorism. It is what happened in Iraq for over a decade, when U.S. sanctions enforced by the military led to the death of nearly half a million children. It is the collective punishment of a people for daring to stand up against the interests of imperialism. And as the Venezuelan people continue their work for liberation, unhindered by these terrorist acts, the Trump government will only become more gruesome in its actions. Dark days are ahead, and we must prepare now for how to respond to them.
The bravery of every Venezuelan who, day-by-day, works for a society that will serve their collective interests, in the face of the most war-mad empire in world history, cannot be overstated. They will continue to suffer for their determination, and we must continue to work alongside them, even if thousands of miles away, to defeat U.S. imperialism and throw the monopoly capitalist class from its throne.
The Bolivarian Revolution shows us what the future can look like. Onward to victory.