Venezuela: Target of Economic Warfare
What the heck is really going on in Venezuela? A complex story lies behind the offical narrative.
Date Written: 2017-08-03
Publisher: Watershed Sentinel
Year Published: 2017
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX21615
The article examines elements of Venezuala's economic warfare, role as global provider of oil, and the country's relationship with the Trump administration, to provide a multi-faceted picture of the country's recent violent events.
One reason Maduro is so despised by the opposition is that he refuses to follow the neoliberal economic prescription of austerity, privatization, deregulation, etc. Such refusal makes Venezuela almost unique in Latin America now. As Brazilian professor Dawisson Belem Lopes has written, “…Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Colombia, Paraguay and Peru have proud neoliberals serving as presidents these days,” even through the “neoliberal experience of the 1990s was simply disastrous for Latin Americans.”
As one of the last regional holdouts against a return to neoliberalism, Venezuela has been especially vulnerable to isolation and targeting, and not just by the U.S.. Raul Burbano says that Canada wants to “marginalize” Venezuela because it does not follow the neoliberal “free trade” agenda that Trudeau is pushing. The Trudeau administration insists on retaining the controversial investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanism in trade deals. In 2011, former president Hugo Chavez revoked project authorization for gold mines, which prompted four Canadian mining companies to launch ISDS lawsuits against Venezuela for billions of dollars in “lost profits” under the terms of a bilateral trade treaty signed with Canada. Venezuela subsequently cancelled all its bilateral investment treaties – inspiring a world-wide resistance against the ISDS clause, but also further earning the wrath of the private sector.