• Welcome to the System Change Not Climate Change Community Forum. The Forum's goal is to promote exchange of information, discussion, and debate among ecosocialists and other activists who share our belief that capitalism is driving climate change and that a radical international grassroots movement can stop it.

Of Venezuela. The Situation Does Relate to Climate Change. And the US Has No Business Dictating Anything There

[I've moved a discussion of Venezuela to the Forum so that it can be broadened here to include ecosocialist and environmental aspects of the Venezuelan crisis. My post below is a reply to Shanelle's email to me yesterday. Note: there was much I needed to write to her. Only one paragraph below directly relates to climate change, so if that is what you would like to read about, go directly to the large-print paragraph.]

Shanelle, thank you for replying to an email request that you provide the articles/sources that have led you to condemn Maduro. Seeing your articles helps me to understand some of what you are arguing. I'm going to lay out my own opinion and then provide links that are examples of how my thinking has developed in this way.

First, you express concern about increasing green/brown tendencies within environmental groups. I am not a green/brown person nor do I have any evidence that such thinking is part of SCNCC. Red/green, yes. Fascists be gone, I say.

Second, I understand that the US, Canada and the EU have been funding efforts for many years to get socialism out of Venezuela--because these countries want to control Venezuelan oil. Self interest rules in capitalist countries. No governments are spending money in Venezuela out of the goodness of their hearts or for moral principles. They see an opportunity to make money. Many oil companies who had their Venezuelan assets seized in 2007-9 by Chavez would welcome a pro-US government in Venezuela that would make it easier for them to recover what they had lost. Greed. Business. Self interest. Not humanitarian goals.

Third, I do not support Guaid[o] or Maduro, but I insist that Venezuela must work out its problems without outside government intervention, especially as a significant degree of the country's internal chaos has been engineered by outside interventions. If the US and other capitalist countries step in to secure a more 'democratic' government, the US is demonstrating imperialist and colonialist behavior--just as this country has been doing for decades. I do not support that behavior, and hope a good anarchist won't support that either. I believe the US must be forced to admit its true motives in interfering in Venezuela and should not in any way be supported in beginning yet another armed conflict outside US borders.

Fourth, for months now the mainstream press that you cite has been promoting the idea of Maduro's cruelty, lack of legitimacy, and incompetency. The people in the US are being subjected to a media blitz designed to convince them that military intervention and/or economic sanctions in Venezuela are justified. I am surprised that a good anarchist (and I do not use the phrase sarcastically as a man I greatly respect and have worked beside is an anarchist in central Illinois) would accept these mainstream media distortions.

Fifth, I have not written about any of this on SCNCC because it is an ecosocialist site and I have not taken the time to lay out how I believe this conflict in Venezuela relates to climate change--though I do know they are connected. The oil that capitalist imperial powers would pump out of Venezuela will further hasten planetary global collapse. If the US, Canada and the supporting EU countries succeed in ousting Maduro, Venezuelan oil production will increase. The Guardian commentary piece last on my list best sums up what I reason is happening in Venezuela. US sanctions against Venezuela are playing a significant role in the chaos developing there. The US has no right to dictate how Venezuela's problems should be resolved.

And last, recent US presidents have brought untold death and destruction to the planet. Both political parties in the US are content to visit terrible suffering on many of its own citizens. Our recent political elections have been marred by corruption and might be characterized as soft coups. Yet no outside country took it upon itself to step in and make our systems better. The current government is castigating a Venezuelan regime for ills it also visits on people at home and abroad. The US has no right to dictate anything to Venezuela.

In conclusion, I support neither Guaid[o] or Maduro, but do support Venezuela's right and need to resolve its problems so its people and environment are not sacrificed on the altar of capitalism .

The views expressed in this email are mine alone. They are not SCNCC views. SCNCC is a collective of activists who differ in their points of view. We share with each other what we think and write, but do not demand blind allegiance in any way on political and environmental matters. Instead, we attempt to persuade each other to our points of view. And we cite specifics to accomplish that goal. I thank you again for sharing the specifics of this issue that have led you to reach the conclusions you hold. I find that style of communication most helps me to understand where you are coming from.

Supporting articles:

US Regime Change in Venezuela

Canada's Goal of Overthrowing Venezuela's Government is Decades Old

Did Venezuela's President Really 'Steal' the Election from an Unknown Who Didn't Run?

Trump's Economic Sanctions Have Cost Venezuela about $6bn since 2017

To Understand Venezuela's Future, Look to the Bond Market, Not Politics and Protest

Recognizing Juan Guaid[o] Risks a Bloody Civil War in Venezuela

I'm not sharing your email with SCNCC, but I am sharing my email with a thread on the SCNCC Forum, where you are invited to reply.


It is such an old, corrupt narrative it is difficult to believe you even need to re-articulate it Sandra. New imperialism, same as the old imperialism. If you just spend one minute thinking of the concept of "economic sanctions", imposed by a country which has done so much pillaging in the region (what Harvey calls primitive accumulation), you see the horror behind the mask.
Thanks, Sandra. Just posting some of what I wrote to you:

To answer your question about if I support American imperialism, I absolutely do not and I agree with you about America's long history of destroying other countries. But the U.S. is not the only place in the world that causes death and destruction.

I wrote to the list that we can oppose an American invasion and also oppose brutal dictators. Genocidal regimes like Assad's and Maduro's, as well as Putin's imperialism, have caused millions of people to flee their countries. Protesters in Venezuela are rising up against Maduro's brutal dictatorship. I support sending humanitarian aid to Venezuela, which was blocked by Mr. Maduro, who stated, "We are not beggars." I also support the international community putting pressure on Maduro to step down.

I'm not at all saying people must support Guaido, but I am saying we must not advocate a military dictatorship for others -- that means opposing the Maduro regime. I, and the anarchists I work with, are deeply troubled by the red-brown phenomenon. That is, leftists are increasingly aligning themselves with fascists and absolutely brutal dictatorships around the world.

U.S. sanctions are not what caused the economic crisis in Venezuela. I'm sending you this video in which that very issue is discussed.

And links:

Trump must not be allowed to dictate Venezuela's democratic recovery | Reynaldo Trombetta

Venezuela has fallen to a dictator. But we can help to restore democracy | Reynaldo Trombetta

Crackdown on Dissent | Brutality, Torture, and Political Persecution in Venezuela








And on post-left anarchy, which I also mentioned in our e-mails: https://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/jason-mcquinn-post-left-anarchy-leaving-the-left-behind