US Imperialism in Venezuela: An Antagonistic Contradiction

On no basis could anyone think that the US actually cares about the people of Venezuela. After decades of being a US puppet, poverty was rampant, street violence was widespread. The gains following the Bolivarian revolution reversed almost all of that. This is an example of what can be done if a country rejects US power and uses their natural resource profits to better the lives of the average person. This example cannot stand in the eyes of the imperialists.

Many of the gains that have been made since the revolution have been sabotaged by an artificially low oil price, a few bad decisions by the Venezuelan government, and most importantly – sabotage by the US via sanctions and other measures.

These sanctions and acts of sabotage continue to this very day. They serve no purpose other than to destroy the country that has elected Nicolas Maduro and United Socialist Party of Venezuela for more than a decade. If the US actually cared about the Venezuelan people, they wouldn’t be trying to destroy the economy. It is nothing short of a lie that the US cares about the people of the world – the global proletariat. To even project such an idea from an imperialist power is nothing short of willful ignorance.

Recently the Venezuelan government entered into talks with the opposition with the purpose of finding some common ground. Hopefully, the opposition can be persuaded to halt its outright terrorist operations against the country’s public. Perhaps the US can be persuaded to stop the malicious and heartless sanctions against them. Unfortunately, such thinking is naive. The US and its cronies in the Venezuelan opposition have no such intention of reaching any middle ground. The US seeks only the total destruction of the Bolivarian revolution. Even as talks are taking place, the US is continuing to threaten new sanctions.

But why is there no hope of reconciliation between the Bolivarian revolution and the US controlled opposition? Here it is best to read Mao when trying to understand the situation. Mao described two types of contradictions in society: antagonistic and non-antagonistic. In his contribution to dialectics he noted that the antagonistic contradiction cannot be solved – i.e. one side must destroy the other. By their very nature, they stand in TOTAL opposition to each other. Non-antagonistic contradictions, on the other hand, are different. They can be resolved with compromise and a proper scientific investigation of the contradiction itself. There can be peace between men and women, it is a matter of building a new relationship between the sexes.

Mao described it this way in his selected works:

“Two types of social contradictions – those between ourselves and the enemy and those among the people themselves confront us. The two are totally different in their nature.”
(On the Correct Handling of Contradictions Among the People (February 27, 1957), first pocket ed.. p. 2.)

“The contradictions between the enemy and us are antagonistic contradictions. Within the ranks of the people, the contradictions among the working people are non-antagonistic, while those between the exploited and the exploiting classes have a non-antagonistic aspect in addition to an antagonistic aspect.”

What the Venezuelan people face is a wholly antagonistic contradiction. They are either going to be liberated, or they are going to be slaves to US capital. There is no middle ground. The struggle between the two must be resolved one way or another. The conflict between the two is constantly in a state of motion that moves momentum from one side to another. At different times the manifestations of that struggle take on different forms. What remains is the conflict itself. It is inevitable that the struggle must come to an end… One way or another.