When it comes to the situation in Venezuela, it is curious how Helene Laverdière, the recently removed NDP foreign affairs critic, Justin Trudeau, and Trump seem to agree.
By Guy Fogel
For Socialists in Canada, if we want to dismiss false allegations of left wing extremism, we are supposed to believe mainstream narratives: the government of Nicolas Maduro is a dictatorship experiencing a humanitarian crisis.
Elections observed by the United Nations and the Carter Centre, have confirmed Maduro’s legitimate election. The hardships Venezuela is experiencing are not on par with Yemen. Caracas is not Mogadishu. Radical journalist Max Blumenthal has exposed western media distortion, mostly about food shortages.
The mainstream narrative should be resisted.
There is an obvious misinformation campaign at work. The NDP leadership is a step too slow; unable to develop a progressive, internationalist foreign policy based on solidarity with working class people, and genuine co-operation between countries sharing the same social vision.
Canadian interests in Venezuela: Profit
Companies such as Barrick gold stand as the main beneficiaries of a regime change in Venezuela. Other Canadian corporations are in position to prosper on account of the extra swaths of the Amazon rainforest opened up for exploitation. The hard right populist, authoritarian and neo-fascist leaning administration of Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil, has escaped proper attention and exposure, from the NDP leadership, the CBC and Liberal Foreign Minster Christya Freeland.
The NDP has historically supported Canada’s withdrawal from NATO; yet the party leadership conveniently ignores the NDPs democratic decisions and policy decided at convention. As if this was Stalinist falsification or a Trump lie, this policy was removed from the NDP website, taken off the books, pretending it never existed.
So much for a new way of doing politics.
Canada’s role in Latin America as of late has mirrored Washington’s destabilization of left leaning governements not just in Venezuela. Our party should not contribute to the destruction of the popular will and democtratic expression of the people of Latin America. Canada participation in the coup in Haiti overthrowing Jean-Bertrand Aristide was a horrible beginning the new wave of foreign involvement in one regime after another to re-impose authoritarian stranglehold on the natural process of Latin America. Then NDP foreign affairs critic referred to this as a “removal” and asked the then Harper government to “investigate” conditions in Haiti. No resistance or opposition.
The idea of Socialism was in part re-introduced to the main stream by Hugo Chavez, who as a head of state was not afraid to call out the US for it imperialist intentions. Venezuela is openly resisting foreign intervention in their political affairs. This is going on in a massive scale, while the American and Canadian press are moaning about the influence of the Russians influencing the 2016 election.
First Laverdiere and presently the NDP, have no grasp on the basic standards of diplomacy and democracy by recognizing a self-appointed President in the form of Juan Guido, a far right politician who does not share the fundamental values of the NDP grassroots.
Would Laferdiere recognize a coup-d’etat if it happened in Mexico? If there was a coup against a Corbyn government, whom would the NDP brass support?
We should not check our progressive dispositions at the door when it comes to Foreign affairs. The NDP must develop an independent socialist stance when it comes to relating with foreign countries without being the sidekick of the US.
It seem like Stephen Harper is still in power dictating foreign policy, through the Liberals and the NDP, and everyone is lining up repeating war propaganda in the most mindless way. Jagmeet Singh seems stuck in the middle uttering the vaguest remarks right at the moment of truth.
Wouldn’t it be great if the NDP could take a clear stance as a party without fearing establishment elites? We should not follow them abroad in the same way we are fighting them at home.
Canada’s false image
Contrary to mythology, Canada is not a beacon of human rights and fair play in Latin America. Canada has shameful silence to the Coup in Honduras under Obama and the murders of indigenous workers to protect Canadian mines in Peru in 2014 bear out.
Latin America has always been a place to plunder by the richest countries in the world. We should stop this vicious Cycle. The bloodshed that could be unleashed in Venezuela if “regime change” is successful, a civil war is triggered, or a military attack by the US war machine is launched would tarnish all of us because it will be done in our name.
Guy Fogel is a longtime New Democrat, musician, socialist, anti-poverty and Solidarity with Venezuela activist. He is the recently declared President of Canada’s NDP.