DiEM25 can, and should denounce the Euro-parliament’s decision to step up sanctions against Venezuela, while refusing the instant recognition bestowed upon opposition deputy Juan Guaidó as real president of the Bolivarian republic. EU interference in Caracas contravenes the values of the DiEM25 “European Spring.“
Frederica Mogherini’s recent statement promised that the EU will not engage in military intervention in Venezuela, while keen on pursuing a “peaceful“ intervention urging new elections, towards an outcome still favouring Guaidó.
The disavowal of military means is good news. But Mogherini has yet to explain why sanctions against Caracas are justified, despite the absence of similar economic pressure exerted upon (for example) the Jair Bolsonaro government in Brazil, in the light of extreme policies that undermine human rights and democracy. Though the EU claims, in theory, to use a method of “targeted“ economic strangulations, thus far EU actions have reinforced and legitmised the sanctions prolonged by the US Trump administration since Obama installed these in 2015.
As long as sanctions stand, costing Venezuela billions of dollars, the EU remains complicit in worsening the Venezuelan crisis. Meanwhile, the EU has shown from its treatment of Syrian refugees that if the ‘‘solidarity’’ for the Venezuelan opposition leads to further instability, Venezuelan refugees can expect no shelter in Europe. We can already see a worsening Venezuelan refugee crisis in the European overseas territories in the Caribbean, with little hope of improving conditions as European governments have pledged not to spend “one sole euro“ on amending the Venezuelan refugee crises developing in, for example, the Dutch Caribbean islands.
Subjecting Venezuela to mounting pressure, while letting Brazil off the hook, risks giving a green light to aggressors like Jair Bolsonaro, as they seek to incite regional conflict with Venezuela. Mogherini’s abiding by mere economic warfare (sanctions) while disavowing support for military pressure, confirms the self-deprecating joke that Brussels’ bureaucrats often make about themselves and their employer ‘‘the EU remains an economic giant, a political dwarf and a military worm’’. The EU abides by its most potent weapon in the arsenal, economic warfare, by supporting sanctions that it had lifted against Iran even before the EU pulled out of Trump’s trade war.
Among the principles of the European Spring listed in the DiEM25 charter, the following, perhaps stand out:
- No European people can be free as long as another’s democracy is violated
- No European people can live in dignity as long as another is denied it
- No European people can hope for prosperity if another is pushed into permanent insolvency and depression
Sanctions on Venezuela push the Venezuelan people into insolvency and depression.
DiEM25 must not allow the EU to keep ignoring how the alliance of Latin American right-wing governments of the so-called “Lima group“ have used every possible tactic to violate individual and human rights and press freedoms of the populations of Brazil, Peru, Argentina and Chile. Meanwhile the Europarliament went along with Trump, in supporting the nomination of a president in a foreign country, Venezuela, even though the MercoSur parliament (ParlaSur) and UN secretary general refuse to recognise Juan Guaidó.
Though a positive step, Mogherini’s recent statement is simply insufficient when the EU plays a prominent role in endorsing the economic pressures currently sinking Venezuela.
Arturo Desimone is an Aruban-Argentinean writer and visual artist, currently based between Argentina and the Netherlands. His articles on politics previously appeared in Open Democracy, CounterPunch, El Andén and various literary journals. For more info see his blog www.arturoblogito.wordpress.com
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