Juan Contreras was born and raised in Caracas’s 23 de Enero barrio, famous for its revolutionary political activism and internationalism. A graduate of Venezuela’s Central University, Contreras was active in Bandera Roja, under the direction of Comandante Geronimo (Carlos Betancourt) in the late 1970s. Today he heads up the community organization, Coordinadora Simon Bolivar, in the heart of working class Caracas. In this exclusive interview with Venezuelanalysis, Contreras looks at the historical echoes of the current coup attempt and reminds us of all that is a stake. The claim that politics inevitably involves a struggle over historical meanings received spectacular confirmation in recent weeks. That’s because the political crisis that we are in the midst of right now – following Juan Guaido’s declaring himself president – saw the opposition to trying evoke the memory of pro-democracy rebellion that began on January 23, 1958. How do you understand … [Read more...] about Venezuela’s Missile Crisis: A Conversation with Juan Contreras
Opinion & Analysis
Since 1998, the United States of America has tried to overthrow the government of Venezuela. What threatened the government of the United States since then was the Bolivarian dynamic set in motion by the election of Hugo Chávez as president of Venezuela that year. Chávez won the elections with a mandate from Venezuela’s workers and poor to overhaul the country to tend to their long-neglected needs. Venezuela, with the world’s largest proven oil reserves, had enriched the U.S.-based oil companies and its own oligarchy. Venezuela’s key oil minister in the early 1960s (and architect of OPEC—the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries) Juan Pablo Pérez Alfonso rightly called oil the “devil’s excrement.” It promised so much and delivered so little. Chávez arrived as the embodiment of popular hope. He threatened the oil companies and the oligarchy, which is why the United States tried to overthrow him. The first attempt at a … [Read more...] about Why Does the United States Want to Overthrow the Government of Venezuela?
The Miami Herald (2/8/19) reported, “Venezuelan leader Nicolás Maduro continues to reject international aid—going so far as to blockade a road that might have been used for its delivery.“ The “Venezuelan leader” reporter Jim Wyss referred to is Venezuela’s elected president. In contrast, Wyss referred to Juan Guaidó as Venezuela’s “interim president.” Guaidó, anointed by Trump and a new Iraq-style Coalition of the Willing, did not even run in Venezuela’s May 2018 presidential election. In fact, shortly before the election, Guaidó was not even mentioned by the opposition-aligned pollster Datanálisis when it published approval ratings of various prominent opposition leaders. Henri Falcón, who actually did run in the election (defying US threats against him) was claimed by the pollster to basically be in a statistical tie for most popular among them. It is remarkable to see the … [Read more...] about Facts Don’t Interfere With Propaganda Blitz Against Venezuela’s Elected President
On January 23, right after a phone call from Donald Trump, Juan Guaidó, former speaker of Venezuela’s National Assembly, declared himself president. No voting. When you have official recognitionfrom The Donald, who needs elections? Say what? I can explain what’s going on in Venezuela in photos. Juan Guaido in a press conference. (Getty Images) First, we have Juan Guaidó, self-proclaimed (and Trump-proclaimed) president of the nation, with his wife and child, a photo prominently placed in The New York Times. And here, the class photo of Guaidó’s party members in the National Assembly. They appear, overwhelmingly light-skinned — especially when compared to their political opposites in the third photo, the congress members who support the elected President Nicolás Maduro. This is the story of Venezuela in black and white, the story not told in The New York Times or the rest of our establishment … [Read more...] about In Venezuela, White Supremacy Is a Key Driver of the Coup
Many living outside of Venezuela have been following the ongoing attempted coup d’etat with fully deserved attention. Not only does it set a worrying precedent of blunt-edged US meddling in the region, but it also runs against the Venezuelan Constitution and local laws. The recognition of an unelected leader by a host of governments also clearly violates the cornerstone of international law, including the United Nations and Organisation of American States charters, as well as foundational principles safeguarding countries’ right to sovereignty and self-determination. The revelations of how Juan Guaido has achieved recognition from 25 percent of the world’s governments have made plenty of headlines, as mainstream media shines once again with its manipulation and distortion, describing the unelected coup-mongers as “democratic” and the elected president as a “dictator”. But, given grandiose claims of parallel governments, social upheaval, and a … [Read more...] about Venezuela: A Diplomatic Coup?