See Venezuela’s Crisis in the Context of the U.S.’s Foreign Policy

U.S. Foreign Policy Has Serious Implications for Us.


Trump and the U.S. government have escalated economic sanctions and military threats against Venezuela, a sovereign democracy.

Trump is continuing the bi-partisan U.S. belligerence that has occurred ever since Venezuela elected Hugo Chavez president in 1998. He was re-elected twice and invested Venezuela’s oil wealth to improve nutrition, health, education, and housing before he died in 2013.

A few rich people have been hurting the majority poor population. Chavez’s “socialism” angered economic elites, who did not want to lose their economic and political privileges.

The U.S. supported the 2002 coup that overthrew Venezuela’s democracy and removed Chavez. But overwhelming public support for Chavez restored him to the presidency after just 47 hours.

Global and historical context:

The U.S. has often used military, political and economic power to support other nations’ elites and suppress people’s grassroots movements for democracy and fairness. The U.S. has funded death squads, military coups, dictatorships, and so forth.

Especially since World War II the U.S. has been bullying other nations, interfering with elections, overthrowing democracies (e.g., Iran in 1953, Guatemala in 1954, Chile in 1973, and Honduras in 2009). U.S. politicians and mainstream news media hide the truth.

After Nixon, Kissinger and their CIA destabilized the economy of Chile (Latin America’s oldest democracy since the 1800s) – as the U.S. has also been doing to Venezuela – they supported a military coup because Chile’s people had elected a “socialist.” Kissinger said, “The issues are much too important for the Chilean voters to be left to decide for themselves.” The coup installed General Augusto Pinochet as one of the world’s most brutal dictators.

The problem is thoroughly bi-partisan.

Our best values should guide our foreign policy:

Ordinary Americans support democracy, peace, and fairness. Our personal values are much better than our arrogant, cruel foreign policy.
The U.S. violates the Golden Rule, which says, “Do unto others what you would have others do unto you.” The U.S. has a double-standard. We do things to other countries that we would not want to have done to us.

The U.S. has overthrown other nations’ governments (even democracies) because we accused their leaders of doing bad things. U.S. leaders do bad things too, so should other nations overthrow our government? EXAMPLES:

1. Big money has corrupted U.S. elections. We have the lowest voter turnout among modern democracies. Would that justify a nation with a better democracy in overthrowing the U.S. government?

2. U.S. oil companies and government have caused the climate crisis that seriously endangers the rest of the world with droughts, storms, and rising sea levels. The climate crisis will flood much of Bangladesh, so is Bangladesh entitled to overthrow the U.S. and dismantle American oil companies in order to survive?

3. President Clinton’s 1996 de-regulation of banks led directly to our 2007-2008 economic crash. President Obama refused to prosecute any of the greedy, corrupt big bank executives who broke laws that led to the crash. In contrast, Iceland convicted and imprisoned dozens of its corrupt bankers. Should Iceland overthrow the U.S. government because our government mismanaged our economy?

When “the shoe is on the other foot,” we can see the hypocrisy that the U.S. uses to justify overthrowing other nations’ governments.

Our “vital national interests” are another slippery slope:

The U.S. has installed nearly 800 military bases in nearly 180 nations in order to “protect vital national interests.” Often this means extending American business tentacles to enforce access to raw materials or control markets. Two examples show this is a slippery slope:

1. Russia has bought wheat from Eastern Washington. Should Russia install military bases there?

2. China buys computer technology from Redmond WA and Silicon Valley CA. Should China install military bases there?

Would our government to allow other nations with “vital national interests” in the U.S. to install military bases throughout the U.S., as we do to other nations?

Let’s respect the sovereignty of all other nations:

Our best values would prevent any U.S. harm to Venezuela’s economy or sovereignty.

This principle should pertain worldwide.

We must live by our best values and be good neighbors in our global community.

Solving problems requires stepping out of narrow egos and seeing other people’s viewpoints.



About GlenAnderson 1498 Articles
Since the late 1960s Glen Anderson has devoted his life to working as a volunteer for peace, nonviolence, social justice, and progressive political issues. He has worked through many existing organizations and started several. Over the years he has worked especially for such wide-ranging goals as making peace with Vietnam, eliminating nuclear weapons, converting from a military economy to a peacetime economy, abolishing the death penalty, promoting nonviolence at all levels throughout society, and helping people organize and strategize for grassroots movements to solve many kinds of problems. He writes, speaks, and conducts training workshops on a wide variety of topics. Since 1987 he has produced and hosted a one-hour cable TV interview program on many kinds of issues. Since 2017 he has blogged at He lives in Lacey near Olympia WA. You can reach him at (360) 491-9093