#174 | Revolution Interrupted: Venezuela; Belligerent America; An Unfolding Coup w/ Eric Draitser

In this episode, I speak with independent political analyst Eric Draitser. I ask Eric expand upon his analysis of recent events in Venezuela, expressed in his piece in CounterPunch ‘Trump’s Coup in Venezuela: The Full Story,’ in which Eric lays into the recent decision by the Trump Administration to back “interim president” Juan Guaido as the rightful leader of the nation. Eric explains the celebrated successes of the ongoing Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela under the successive governments of Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro, the legitimate criticisms of the current Maduro-led government in Venezuela, the colonial legacy of the United States’ relationship with Latin America in general, and what this ongoing incursion by the United States into the Venezuelan government and economy will ultimately lead to in the future.

What Eric does in this discussion is provide a much fuller and richer picture of what is currently happening in Venezuela, in light of the recent decision by the Trump Administration — under the direction of President Donald Trump, VP Mike Pence, National Security Advisor John Bolton, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and “special envoy” to Venezuela Elliot Abrams, among others — to back “interim president” of Venezuela Juan Guaido as the rightful leader of the nation, a process that has been described as a “democratic and constitutional transfer of power” by Bolton.* In spite of the obvious reasons why the United States would be interested in deposing the elected government for its abundant resources (oil), Eric digs into the deeper reasons as to why this is happening: the Bolivarian Revolution (described as an ongoing process; imperfect but successful), enacted by Hugo Chavez under his tenure as President, emboldens and empowers regional resistance to Western influence — which includes the neoliberal economic agenda and U.S. military hegemony in Latin America — allowing Leftist social movements in the region to grow and thrive, as has been the case in recent decades. The Bolivarian Revolution stands as a threat to the Monroe Doctrine, an outlook espoused within United States foreign policy toward Latin America in general, giving the United States the ideological justification to impose its will upon Latin American nations to further its own interests. Eric exposes the underlying mechanisms that have led to an escalation of tensions between the United States and Venezuela, the Maduro government and the Capitalist class in Venezuela, as well as between regional players (Colombia) and the Venezuelan government. We discuss this and more in this episode.

Eric Draitser is an independent political analyst, writes regularly for CounterPunch, and is the host of CounterPunch Radio.

*Source: http://bit.ly/2UX4Xud

Episode Notes:

- Learn more about Eric’s work at his website: http://stopimperialism.org

- Read Eric’s piece ‘Trump’s Coup in Venezuela: The Full Story’ at CounterPunch: http://bit.ly/2N62PO7

- Much of Eric’s work can be found at his Patreon Page: https://www.patreon.com/ericdraitser

- Follow Eric on Twitter: https://twitter.com/stopimperialism

- The introduction includes audio from NBC News, “John Bolton On Venezuela: ‘All Options Are On The Table’”: http://bit.ly/2UX4Xud

- The songs featured in this episode are “Raw Power Moves” and “Shapeshifter” by Mono/Poly from the album Cryptic.