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The European Union and the Venezuelan “Opposition”

If anyone is in any doubt about the direction the European Union has been moving in the last say 30 years (or say 500 years) they should consider the recent recipient of the European Parliament’s “prestigious” [sic] Sakharov Freedom Prize: the Venezuelan “opposition”.

The European Parliament is the European Union’s (EU’s) only democratic body. If the will of the “European” people has an expression: this is it. The European Presidency, the European Commission and the European Central Bank (the EU’s agenda setters), in contrast, are strictly top-down organizations. For this reason the strengthening of the bottom-up Parliament is considered by many progressives to be the EU’s only hope.

So what’s there to hope for? Not much, judging by the latest Sakharov Freedom Prize. If the European Parliament has its way Europe and indeed the world is going to resemble Venezuela pre-Chavez. In other words – to put it very mildly – socialism in the 21st century is a nonstarter for the European Parliament.

By embracing the Venezuelan “opposition” – the European Parliament is embracing death. This is no exaggeration. Anyone familiar with the 500 year old Latin American oligarchy that has shaped everything in between Tijuana and Tierra del Fuego – knows the death we speak of. The social torture of the Native American and the African American, in particular, is the business of this oligarchy. And the Venezuelan “opposition” defends this business. And now the European Parliament officially defends it too.

The business in question is the straightforward one of peripheral capitalism. This global structure is based on the economic relations between the core countries of the Empire and the peripheral countries of the Empire. In essence, the peripheral regions must serve the core regions. In other words, the peripheral areas give up their independence, sovereignty and dignity for the benefit of the core areas.

The core is, of course, the obnoxious triad: the USA, the EU and Japan. However, the core essentially is the North Atlantic – Japan is nothing but an honorary White Anglo Saxon Protestant (WASP). The periphery, on the other hand, consists of those countries that follow the advice of “Economic Hit Men”: traditionally third world countries but now also including some “first world” countries (Ireland, Greece and Spain, for example – notably Catholic and Orthodox).

Venezuela today under its President – Nicolás Maduro – jealously defends (following the example set by Hugo Chavez) its independence, sovereignty and dignity. And therefore it breaks the golden rule of peripheral capitalism: submission to the imperial core. And so Venezuela – in the eyes of the core – must suffer.

And making the periphery suffer is what the imperial core does best. It has a 500 year history of doing precisely this. And it has had 500 years to cultivate a peripheral oligarchy to manage the suffering of the periphery. One that can twist and turn the pain that’s required for the core to gain.

In the case of Venezuela: the Bolivarian revolution has broken the back of the local oligarchy. And as a consequence not only is the peripheral oligarchy (throughout Latin America) hysterical but so too is the oligarchy within the imperial core.

In 2015, 2016 and early 2017 the US President, Barack Obama, declared the Venezuela of Maduro to be a threat to the national security of the USA. And in late 2017 the European Parliament declared the same Venezuela to be an enemy of “freedom”. These aren’t empty words. As the recent fates of Iraq, Libya and Syria testify: death on an industrial scale tends to follow the fanatical judgements of the North Atlantic fundamentalists.

When the self righteousness of the Atlanticists is combined with the social racism (a term Maduro uses) of the Venezuelan “opposition” – the danger facing Venezuela is stark. And it’s a danger with a name: fascism.

The oligarchic Empire demands a “natural” order, or a “natural” hierarchy, in the world. The people of color and the people who labor are expected to stay in the low and unseen place capital has designated for them. And if these “subhumans” get uppity – the oligarchy and their “God” will crucify them. This basically sums up the 500 year history of Latin America – a history that has enriched the North Atlantic countless times.

The Venezuelan “opposition” today is the weakest link in the fascist chain that has been wrapped around Latin America for so long. And the USA and EU (the ultimate beneficiaries of the Latin American status quo) have instinctively appointed themselves as the guardians of this “opposition”.

They automatically do so because the relationship between the core and the periphery is similar to that between a master and a slave. And the fascist chain is that which maintains the imperial order of things. Let go of the chain and the slaves will escape. And the Empire unravel.

In the Capitalist (Orwellian) world in which we live – the world of doublespeak – the giving of shelter and sustenance to the “social racism” of the Venezuelan “opposition” is known as “defending democracy” in the USA and “supporting freedom” in the EU.

However, the fact is that in Europe (and it looks like in America too) there’s no longer any doublespeak. “Freedom” really is the freedom to hate the people of color and the people who labor. As parts of the European core begin to resemble the global periphery (Greece, Ireland, etc.) – as austerity turns the European core into a version of the third world – the European oligarchy is beginning to stink like the third world oligarchy.

Noam Chomsky once intimated that the foreign policy of a government (or a newspaper) most reveals its true political vision. He was right. Foreign affairs allows those in power to openly lay their cards on the table. Uninhibited by domestic details power has the opportunity to freely express it’s values. One way or the other it can without fear show it’s fangs.

By giving the Sakharov Freedom Prize to the Venezuelan “opposition” that’s exactly what the European Parliament has just done. It has bared its fascist fangs. But the European Union has being doing this nonstop recently. In North Africa and the Middle East it openly savages the people of color (genocidal wars). And within Europe it openly savages those who labor for a living (genocidal economics).

The Empire advertised “globalization” as being “the Americanization” of the world. And it was right. But which America was it talking about? North America or Latin America? Decades later the evidence suggests that the world has been “Latin Americanized”. The 1% gloat over all the inequality they’ve created. And the “Salvador option” is on the table everywhere the Empire rules.

This being case it makes perfect sense that the imperial core sees the Venezuelan “opposition” as being the vanguard of “freedom and democracy”. The North Atlantic WASPS may not be Latin but their politics is. Has not “Rome” (the coliseum, the circus and the Vatican) always been their model?

The end result of globalization has been the creation of yet another crude Fascist International. The European Union and the Venezuelan “opposition” were thus made for each other. But not for the people of color and the people who labor in Europe, Venezuela and everywhere else.

 

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Aidan O’Brien lives in Dublin, Ireland.

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