Gloria La Riva to ST: US is engaged in covert military actions against Venezuela

Damascus,(ST)-Is the danger of US military intervention against Venezuela near? What is the best workable way to resolve Venezuela crisis peacefully? And what are the similarities between US war against Syria and what Washington is attempting against Venezuela? These questions are answered by Gloria La Riva, the American anti-war activist, who works at Cuba and Venezuela Solidarity Committee.

La Riva told the Syria Times e-newspaper that the US administration at this time can't afford politically to directly intervene with U.S. troops, but they are engaged in covert military actions, including the arming and training of paramilitaries for possible action in the near future.

Her article in Liberation News, explains one of those plots that has just been exposed and is being dismantled.

“The U.S. tactics right now involve the degrading of Venezuela's infrastructure. They are trying to not only continue the electricity sabotage, but to permanently damage the power system in order to create severe hardship and evoke civil strife in the population. This way it can claim to rescue a "humanitarian crisis," as the situation develops, and then perhaps use more direct military means,” La Riva said.

She added: “At some point, if all else fails, they will due what they have always done, send in the troops. As you know from Syria's experience, this is the pattern of U.S. regime change efforts, work to create internal strife, then introduce massive amounts of weapons, support terrorist organizations that intervene and carry out a proxy and direct war. In Venezuela there is a danger every day of more attacks, on the electricity system, on the Metro system of Caracas, on the continued seizing of Venezuela's oil and other wealth to prevent its ability to provide for the population, and of assassination attempts.”

The anti-war activist, who has been in many countries representing social justice causes, affirmed that US imperialism is heading these efforts, and is supported by its European, Canadian and right-wing Latin American allies.

The situation is peaceful in Venezuela, despite the extreme difficulties caused since January with the growing U.S. aggression

She referred to the fact that the masses who support the Bolivarian Revolution are resisting valiantly along with their government, keeping mobilized in the streets on a permanent basis, organizing in their communal councils and communes, linked with the ministries to distribute the food boxes called CLAP to more than 6 million families, working to set up alternative sources of water when the electricity is downed, forming civilian militias that work together with the military, and defending their homeland.

La Riva believes that the crisis would be resolved if the Venezuelan people were left alone without U.S. interference, without U.S. sanctions.

“When you hear the Venezuelans who oppose the rightwing opposition inside the country and the U.S. role, they say, "Yes, we have problems like everyone else, but let us solve them ourselves." It is remarkable how peaceful the situation is in Venezuela, despite the extreme difficulties caused since January with the growing U.S. aggression. I was in Venezuela for the almost 5 days of blackout from March 7 to 12, and it was generally calm,” she stated.

The activist stressed that he people did what they could to overcome the water shortage, because electricity is needed for the water system, but there were no major disturbances. And yet the U.S. and its opposition forces have continued attacking the power system. One thing for certain, the U.S. government is promoting the violence as they have in various periods of the last 20 years.

“Juan Guaidó's party, for instance, Voluntad Popular, Popular Will, is a fascist organization that is financed and its leadership fully supported in the recent terror plots that were uncovered. If successful they would have carried out major violence. That danger still exists,” La Riva asserted.

In response to a question about how people in the US can get involved to prevent war on Venezuela, the activist said: “People in the United States are organizing against the U.S. aggression under the banner of "No Sanctions, No Coup, No War, Hands Off Venezuela." Many anti-war and social justice organizations have rallied on an emergency basis in more than 20 U.S. cities since late January. On March 16, a coalition that the ANSWER Coalition initiated and included Veterans for Peace, Code Pink, various Bolivarian Circles, and prominent activists, held the largest action to date for Venezuela, in Washington DC, starting at the White House. The movement is early and our biggest challenge is overcoming the enormous U.S. media war that has demonized the Venezuelan leadership and paralyzed part of the U.S. liberal population from opposing this latest U.S. aggression. But we see a positive development in these months, especially with so many young people who oppose U.S. war, who are already active in many social causes and who are not falling for the U.S. lies. We believe the movement will grow.”

#HandsOffVenezuela #HandsOffSyria

La Riva, in addition, elaborated the similarities between the U.S. war in Syria and what they are attempting against Venezuela.

“First is the demonization of President Bashar Al-Assad and making invisible the Syrian people, while it arms and supports the terrorist organizations. That is what has taken place in Venezuela as well, not only the demonization of President Maduro but President Chávez, too. Second is the continued attempt by Washington to prevent peace in Syria. The U.S. is relentless in its openly-stated plans to overthrow President Maduro. The Russian government's support of the Syrian government and people has caused great anger within the U.S. imperial establishment, and Russia is also engaged in an invaluable alliance with the Venezuelan government.”

The activist emphasized that the resistance of both peoples is the essential element in defense of their sovereignty and independence.

“We salute Syria for staying strong against the years-long terror war, and also stand side-by-side with the people of Venezuela. #HandsOffVenezuela #HandsOffSyria,” La Riva concluded.

Interviewed by: Basma Qaddour