Elio Delgado Legón
HAVANA TIMES — When, on December 17, 2014, the presidents of Cuba and the United States simultaneously announced their decision to re-establish diplomatic relations and begin the process of normalizing ties between the two countries, all of the leaders of Latin America expressed their approval of this move by President Obama and predicted that the upcoming Summit of the Americas would be held with less tension than those of previous gatherings and that relations between the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean could enter a new era of understanding and friendship, as befits neighboring countries.
Less than three months later, however, President Barack Obama announced a surprising decision by issuing a decree that declares Venezuela a threat to US national security and foreign policy, razing to the ground the positive assessment of his administration that Latin America had made and putting the success of the upcoming Summit of the Americas in danger.
What does this decision by President Obama respond to? It is a known fact that the US government has been financing and supporting Venezuela’s militaristic Right, which conspires against the legitimate government of President Nicolas Maduro and Venezuela’s peaceful revolutionary process, inspired by the ideas of independence hero Simon Bolivar, ideas that were reaffirmed by Comandante Hugo Chavez after 200 years of capitalist plundering.
In addition to the disorder and boycotts caused by the Right in order to bring about shortages and suffering for working people, the US government has imposed sanctions on Venezuela in order to weaken the government and, in order to justify these and future actions, is now declaring that the situation in Venezuela constitutes a threat to the security of the United States.
How could Venezuela, a small, underdeveloped country without any offensive weapons, constitute a threat to the planet’s greatest military power? Though it could never do so militarily, Venezuela is superior to the United States when it comes to ideas. The ideas that sustain a decadent form of capitalism and an empire that survives only on the basis of its military might can never be compared to the ideas behind 21st century socialism, ideas that have managed to unite all of Latin America and the Caribbean under inclusive and fraternal organizations such as UNASUR, ALBA, CELAC and PetroCaribe.
Jose Marti, Cuba’s independence visionary, said that a just cause can do more than an army, even if buried in the depths of a cave, and there is no greater cause than that championed by Latin American revolutionaries, including those in Venezuela, who are working to give their people the dignity that was denied them for 200 years, giving jobs to the unemployed, medical care to those living in the most remote corners of the country and quality education, decorous homes, culture and sports to the people. In short, Venezuelans are now the masters of their destiny, having left behind the age of capitalist exploitation.
Are those the ideas that the most militarily powerful country in the world fears? Imperialists would do well to recall that their weapons may kill people but they will never be able to kill ideas. If they are just, these will continue to live, and the ideas behind socialism have proven to be just. Could be it be that Latin America cannot be allowed to live in peace?