Photo by Jim Romero on Unsplash

From Panama to Puerto Rico, the emerging struggle for independence from US imperialism continues in Latin America today. Puerto Rico is still a colony, called by the imperialists a common wealth, and although Jimmy Carter had us finally withdraw from the Panama Canal, the US continues to meddle in Panama, and maintain division between Panama and the rest of Latin America whether it be Central (Meso) or South America.

This struggle includes the resistance against economic coercion in all forms, including the guerra economica (economic war in Spanish) also known as sanctions. The imperial term sanction makes it sound like a surgical procedure, but it is far more harsh. The blockades or embargoes under international law are in fact a form of warfare. According to the UN, US imposed sanctions on the Venezuelan people have killed 10s of 1000s.

This is because cancer patients and people who suffer from other ailments are not permitted to have medicine imported into the country to save their lives. However, Venezuela has found ways to still deal with the Covid crisis, not only is there Socialized medicine in Venezuela, but Venezuela through diplomacy has managed to vaccinate a huge portion of the population despite incredible obstacles, with vaccines from China, Russia and Cuba.

Cuba has despite obstacles been able to fully vaccinate their country as well, and have actually delivered a significant portion of its population with booster shots, and have in fact invented their own vaccine. If it were not for the Socialist governments of Cuba and Venezuela, inherently anti-imperialist, and the support of their proud and dignified people, these economic wars would have turned into economic genocide.

Let us look at the case of Venezuela, Venezuela used a diplomat, Alex Saab, to use his business internationally to find ways to bring cheap food into the country to fight the sanctions attempt to starve the population. However, when Saab, who is a Colombian born Venezuelan national with Middle Eastern origins, tried to fly to do a deal with Iran, he was kidnapped on Cape Verde island, and deported to Miami after being tortured. This is a complete violation of the Vienna Convention. Since Saab’s program was successful, and as he defied the Empire, he must be made an example of.

This goes on as the US Empire continues to persecute the Australian journalist Assange using London courts for exposing US war crimes and corruption, the UN has acknowledged Assange has been tortured, and his conditions remain the same. This is reminiscent of old Londinium, when London did the bidding of the Roman Empire. The Empire has now imprisoned the American human rights lawyer Donzinger, for doing his job to protect indigenous people from environmental disaster in Ecuador at the behest of Chevron. The US Corporate Imperial State, which should be its real title, is now not even a German type bourgeois democracy, which under the Weimar Republic, faded into oblivion with the rise of the Nazis. Our Nazis will soon find a leader worse than Trump to take over the country if the US continues in its imperial ways.

These are the ongoing obstacles the Bolivarian nation of Venezuela faces. There are also other nations with its birth being originated from the Venezuelan Liberator, Simon Bolivar. Bolivar let us remember, liberated Panama as well, as it was part of the Gran Colombia (Greater Colombia, included Panama, Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela), which along with Peru (my father’s nation) and Bolivia (the latter named after Bolivar) was part of General Bolivar’s liberation project, a campaign against the Spanish imperialists of those times that achieved the impossible, the dream of the independentistas was achieved, resulting in the liberation of more lands than were conquered by Alexander The Great.

This was in the early 1800s, before the US built a canal in Panama and took that portion of the small nation for themselves for decades, separating it literally from its South American origins. Part of the reason Panama has a large African population is because many African Americans who were brought to build the canal, fell in love with the country and tired of discrimination at home, decided to stay, many of their descendants remain to this day.

Sanctions against a nation, are in fact economic terrorism, out of revenge against the Venezuelan population for continuing to vote in internationally observed elections (Jimmy Carter has said the Venezuelan electoral system is best in world) for Maduro’s United Socialist Party. There are many cases of the US client-regimes (i.e. Saudi Arabia, Israel) using sanctions against a population for not liking the rulers it has, even if voted democratically (Yemen, Palestine, the latter had democratic elections). Some Israeli leaders have pointed out Hitler was elected, he actually came to power through a backdoor deal, not by parliamentary elections where the Nazis were the clear majority, they were in fact the largest faction. However, they mostly got support from merchants and the middle or upper classes, not the working class. You see in the US today the working class voting against their own interests, and indoctrination via the corporate media of the masses in general.

The basic definition of terrorism is targeting civilians for political gain, and this is exactly what Biden is doing, and is in some ways worse than Trump (Biden kept Trump extra sanctions on Cuba and increased them). There is even a soft terrorism internally, to attempt to manipulate the masses into going along with crimes of foreign policy, or being willingly ignorant on the matters, as we are in the information age. However, the lower classes have little choice, with low wages many have to take at least two jobs to survive, let alone raise a family.

Our only hope is alternative media, movement building, and law changes in the US Empire to make third parties an option, the two principal parties are corrupted beyond reform, as Capitalism is not reformable. In the final analysis, these parties still cannot even finance our infrastructure, while China builds the fastest trains in the world, does incredible things to end poverty and climate change, while US politicians use China as the scapegoat to avoid doing anything for the common people of the nation only their corporate masters matter.

What many in Latin America want is what the American revolutionaries who fought against the British wanted, simply independence to use their resources to help their own people, and not to be subservient or slaves to greater powers. However, what ended up happening with the formation of the US was a bourgeois democracy, that we do not even have today, and what they are attempting in Venezuela and other nations is a workers democracy, or a democracy of the people, like Che Guevara and other figures fought for.

Slavery was in fact abolished in Spanish America long before it was in the US. No longer is Latin America the “backyard” of the US, the old Monroe Doctrine no longer applies. The left is rising up in Latin America, whether its in Mexico, Argentina, Bolivia, let alone the other examples mentioned. It is a depressing reality how much of the US populace, including the workers, are not as aware as other people are, US workers to a large degree do not realize the things they have in common with the nations south of the Rio Grande, there should be more programs for US people to go to those nations.

I do however still have optimism based on history, that we will rise to the occasion, and end this most violent Empire the world has ever known so true democracy can come, and world peace can be achieved. The very survival of the planet depends on this, and future generations, more sooner than we realize, will suffer if nothing is done about it. Sanctions hurt our gas prices and kill people abroad for practicing real democracy, and we must not permit it any longer!