Thursday, February 20, 2014

Nicolás Maduro Channels John Foster Dulles

Nicolás Maduro argues that the protests in Venezuela are not homegrown and legitimate. Instead, they were cultivated, trained, and financed by an external power seeking military intervention:

Advirtió que en Venezuela se está aplicando un plan para llevar al país al "caos social, político y militar (...) para generar una espiral creciente de odio y confrontación de pueblo contra pueblo y luego justificar lo injustificable: el llamado a una intervención extranjera militar en los asuntos internos de Venezuela".

This sounds remarkably like the argument made by the U.S. as it pushed for the Declaration of Caracas in 1954. Focusing on Guatemala, Communism was an external threat for all:

This declaration of foreign policy made by the American republics in relation to dangers originating outside this hemisphere is designed to protect and not to impair the inalienable right of each American State freely to choose its own form of government and economic system and to live its own social and cultural life.

John Foster Dulles followed this up with a speech a few months later after the U.S. overthrew Jacobo Arbenz:

Above all, we can be grateful that there were loyal citizens of Guatemala who, in the face of terrorism and violence and against what seemed insuperable odds, had the courage and the will to eliminate the traitorous tools of foreign despots.

Of course, the contexts are different. But the language is very similar. The best way to demonize your political opponent is to claim they are puppets of a foreign power that seeks to overthrow the system and establish something antithetical to the interests of the region. The "region" for the Eisenhower was the hemisphere whereas for Venezuela now it is Latin America.


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