The economic strangulation to which Venezuela is subjected in the illicit attempt to bring down the Bolivarian government, elected instead legitimately, represents “an intolerable situation, which must be denounced forcefully, as did the United Nations, which asked for suspension and end of both the blockade and the sanctions. Despite the Pope’s words, which have gone in this direction, the United States, but also the European Union, whose role is usually overshadowed, continue with the provocations and policies of economic and commercial war. Luciano Vasapollo denounced it, speaking at the important initiative organized by the Centro de Investigación Clacso-RUIS, Otras Voces en Educación and CEIP, and moderated by Luiz Palomino and Luis Bonilla-Molina, on the tradition of United States interference in the Caribbean and Latin America and the blockade against Cuba and Venezuela. The event was attended by important scientific personalities – “five important voices in the front line against imperialist politics”, or sociologists and economists of Marxist orientation – from various Latin American countries, such as Atilio Borón (Argentina), Antonio Elias (Urugay), Stella Calloni (Argentina) and Olmedo Beluche (Panama). From Italy, the economist Vasapollo took part, who was one of the founders, in Caracas in 2004, of the Network of Intellectuals and Artists in Defense of Humanity.
The organizers explained how the United States’ aggression policy in Latin America and in the world has flared up in recent years, with particular force against the revolutionary process in Cuba and the Bolivarian process in Venezuela. The blockade and sanctions essentially affect the most humble people of these two countries, who have chosen the path of independence and self-determination. For example, Atilio Borón, one of the greatest Argentine intellectuals, explained how the North American tradition of interference comes from very far, from the First World War, “starting from the Cuban War of Independence”. While Stella Calloni, recalled the interventionist tradition in Central America, from the occupation of Guatemala in the 1950s to the intervention in Panama. So there was an exceptional conference, where the speakers touched on the different aspects of imperialism’s aggression and interference policies.
In fact, it was also a day of anti-imperialist solidarity, explained Luciano Vasapollo to FarodiRoma, in which he denounced the blockade against Cuba and Venezuela, whose independence is threatened by continuous North American interference. “When we speak of the United States government, of course,” explained the scholar, “we refer to the sanctions and the infamous economic, financial and commercial blockade against all countries that do not intend to submit to the domination and law of the ‘imperialism”. However, Vasapollo stressed how strong the pressure from the European Union is, whose policies are determined by an imperialist transnational bourgeoisie. In fact, according to the economist, the role of Europe, which alternates pusillanimous and hypocritical attitudes with an open complicity with the policies of interference imposed by the United States, should not be ignored. “The European Union”, in fact, noted Vasapollo, “has applied its share of sanctions against Venezuela and, following the line of the United States, tries to provoke a ‘regime change’ in the Bolivarian Republic.”
“Despite the fact that only the United States and Israel vote in favor of maintaining the blockade at the United Nations in November each year, Cuba is forced to face severe economic restrictions.” Taking the example of Italy, Vasapollo wanted to point out that if our country suffered a similar blockade, it would go from being the seventh / eighth most industrialized country in the world to the thirtieth / fortieth place in this ranking. “This is all terrible.”
According to Vasapollo, “Cuba has the guilt of being a socialist country”. It has no oil, however, has “human talents” and has sent, as seen in this pandemic crisis, its doctors all over the world. The scholar also wanted to thank the medical brigades, Henry Reeve, present in Italy, both in Turin and Milan, recalling how the Italian Chapter of the Network in defense of Humanity, of which Vasapollo, together with Rita Martufi, is director, has launched the proposal, in coordination with similar international initiatives, such as that of Graciela Ramírez’s Comité, to award the Nobel Peace Prize to Cuban doctors. “Promoting this battle means telling the world, imperialist and capitalist, that Cuba is considered a” rogue state “, that Cuba has talents, solidarity, cooperation and complementarity,” added Vasapollo.
The scholar then spoke of Venezuela, which the United States has been putting under great pressure in recent months. According to Vasapollo, the Bolivarian Republic is not under attack only for its socialist system and for its self-determination, but also because Venezuela has the largest oil reserves in the world. In addition, in Venezuela there is gold, lithium, which is a fundamental material for new technologies. “It is no accident,” added the economist, “that the coup was made in Bolivia against Evo Morales.” “Another country where there are large lithium reserves.”
Speaking of the blockade imposed on Venezuela by both the US and the European Union, Vasapollo recalled the case of Italy. “We tried,” explained Vasapollo, who is a professor of economics at the Sapienza University of Rome and delegate of the Rector for Latin America and the Caribbean, “to provide the Umberto I hospital in Milan to Venezuelan children with leukemia Rome”. “This could not be achieved not so much because Venezuela does not have the money available,” explained Vasapollo, “but because it was impossible to carry out the financial transaction through Banco de Purtugal”. Because of this, unfortunately, “three patients died, including a six-year-old boy, Giovanni”, who could not cure leukemia, “when doctors were available to treat him”.
As Vasapollo explained, “the collective punishment carried out against a single country is defined, according to international law, genocide”. “This is the policy of the United States government against Venezuela, Cuba and other countries.” To this genocidal aspect, however, added the economist, we must add “the constant and violent destabilization, the economic and financial aggression and the open and persistent threat of military aggression, which in Cuba, as well as in Nicaragua and in Venezuela included the financing and training of mercenaries and paramilitaries, including drug traffickers. ”
The European Union’s complicit silence on the Guaidó case – added Vasapollo – which has been recognized as a self-proclaimed president, shows that Europe is the cause and effect of an imperialist policy. “When Guaidó continues to take money to extirpate Chavismo in Venezuela and to attempt a coup against the life of Diosdado Cabello and Nicolas Maduro, the European Union says nothing.” Recognizing Guaidó, the EU submits to this farce. “Worse still,” stressed the scholar, “the European Union was silent when Guaidó organized the ‘Cúcuta concert’ in February 2020, with the aim of forcing the blockade under the guise of the Colombian government’s” humanitarian aid ” . All this should have led, in the intentions of the coup leaders, to a North American military intervention against Venezuela. Nonetheless, Vasapollo explained, “the EU has been condescending”, despite Guaidó receiving the protection of the drug traffickers from Rastrojos, with whom he also allowed himself to be photographed.
Nonetheless, “the same thing happened when, practically live on world television, Guaidó was seen, together with Leopoldo Lopez, launching a coup d’etat, inviting the military to rebel against the government”. Here too, what we were able to record was only the silence of the EU.
Moving on to close topicality, Vasapollo recalled how it was demonstrated through irrefutable evidence how Guaidó hired a company of “Yankee” mercenaries, SilverCorp, with the aim of kidnapping or even assassinating Diosdado Cabello, Nicolas Maduro and other Bolivarian leaders. “All of this is enshrined in a $ 212 million contract signed by Guaidó.” The scholar reiterated how all the investigations lead to Colombia and the United States, but the European Union “continued with its disgusting and shameful silence”. Indeed, “the failure to revoke the European recognition of Guaidó, after all that has happened, represents both moral and political degradation”. However, to all this must be added the revelations on the existence of an alleged “Unit for the reconstruction of Venezuela” at the UK Foreign Ministry, “in which the representative of the puppet Guaidó, Vanessa Newman, agreed to offer contracts and juicy investments in the Venezuelan oil industry “. All this shows, Vasapollo stressed, that “behind the British recognition of Guaidó there is nothing to do with human rights or democracy”. Rather, this character represents a means of colonial looting, “of which England has centuries of experience”.
In this regard, Vasapollo recalled how the Bank of England retained 1.6 million gold bars that the Bolivarian government had deposited there, which belong to the Venezuelan state and people. Caracas’s proposal, added the scholar, is that England return the stolen goods “through UNDP so that it can only be used to purchase food, medicine and health supplies to continue fighting the epidemic in Venezuela”.
“The pandemic and the quarantine,” added the economist, “would have been more than enough argument for this daily drama, but Venezuela, in recent times, has experienced an attempted invasion, the sudden cut of Directv Venezuela and the arrival of Iranian oil tankers, under the threat of being intercepted by the United States “.