U.S. Sanctions Bill Greeted by Protests in Venezuela

December 15, 2014

U.S. plans to impose sanctions on Venezuela for so-called “human rights violations” were opposed in Venezuela when tens of thousands of people gathered in Caracas and other cities on December 15 to speak out and get organized in defense of the country's sovereignty and independence.  

The rallies were triggered by the passage, on Capitol Hill, of a bill which authorizes $15 million in additional spending for U.S. subversion in Venezuela and which says unpleasant and disrespectful things about high-level Venezuelan officials, with the declared intent of criminalizing them. 

According to White House press secretary Josh Earnest, “The President plans to sign the bill into law, and we’ll coordinate with the relevant agencies and members to implement the law.”

In an open admission of the bi-partisan character of U.S. aggression against Venezuela, the bill's author Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen said, “The people of Venezuela have been crying out for help. Today, Congress speaks in a unified voice.” 

The text of the bill makes clear the intention of the Democrats and Republicans to follow up on sanctions against individuals (banning visas and freezing accessible assets) with larger actions. In particular the bill singles out the independent media for attention and calls on the Broadcasting Board of Governors to gather information and to report back to the U.S. Congress in a month to discuss next steps. 

The momentous demonstrations in Venezuela are a harbinger of what is to come: a quick and decisive defeat of the latest U.S. plots in Venezuela. Nevertheless, U.S. imperialism will not stop hatching new plots for the overthrow of the Bolivarian revolution and recolonization of Venezuela, which is being targeted because it stands up against the big U.S. oil monopolies.  

Already U.S. imperialism has organized numerous attempts to remove the Bolivarian government from power through unconstitutional means, including a coup d'etat, illegal strikes, and a management-led shutdown of the state oil company.  Every attempt has been soundly defeated by the organized struggle of the Venezuelan people.

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Postscript:

The sanctions bill was signed by President Obama three days after the publication of this article. The final bill did not appropriate $15 million.