Venezuelan president and leader of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro has been sworn in for his second term following his electoral victory last year with 67.7 percent of the popular vote. His swearing in ceremony comes at a time of great strife for the region as right wing leaders in Latin America are accused of assisting the United States in destabilising Venezuela.
In his speech, the president stated that “We have a powerful enemy in US imperialism, but far worse is those who are corrupt and damage our country”. He also told his crowd of supporters that “Venezuela is at the center of a global war waged by US imperialism and their satellite states,” adding “Here I am, ready to take our country forward. Here we are with our democracy and our people.”
The speech targets the so-called Lima Group, an alliance of 14 right wing American states including Bolsonaro’s Brazil. With an active reactionary opposition still operating in Venezuela, Maduro has reason to be worried with notable counter revolutionary governments now in power in bordering nations Brazil and Colombia.
Bolsonaro, the newly elected president of Brazil, is one source for special concern for the socialist Great Patriotic Pole led government in Venezuela. In his brief tenure as president so far, Bolsonaro has purged the civil service of hundred of suspected leftists and communists who do not share his far-right ideology. With a reactionary in the mould of the infamous General Pinochet now ruling a nation of over 200 million people, Maduro no doubt intends to combat potential coup attempts with increased vigour.
Similarly, Colombia holds a bastion of problems for the Maduro government. 85 ex-rebels belonging to the FARC organisation have been killed since the peace deal at the hands of right wing death squads who still operate with near impunity in Colombia around the Venezuelan border. Colombian armed forces have likewise, pursued leftists with bloodthirsty intent recently killing Marxist insurgent commander Guacho after his assassination of three Ecuadorans.
Maduro remains one of the select few leaders left from the “pink tide”, the elections of numerous populist and social democratic leaders in Latin America. Since then a counter revolutionary backlash has eclipsed the continent through a rising tide of violent, middle class based protests leading to the return of neo-liberal social conservative governments in Argentina, Chile and Brazil. It comes with a global trend of rising right wing movements from the rise of electoral fascists in France to the violent neo-Nazis operating militias in Ukraine, training like minded American Nazis.
Judging from his speech, President Maduro has no intentions of succumbing to US hegemony in the region which certainly intends on regime change. The US has made no secret of its disdain for the Bolivian Revolution in a similar vein to its dislike for the Cuban communist state. With destabilising forces rocking Venezuela including an attempted assassination of Maduro and a helicopter terrorist attack, Maduro will have to wither the storm by any means if he seeks to continue former president Chavez’s social revolution.