A new escalation of diplomatic and military actions against Venezuela began this week in Colombia. As we have already pointed out, the Colombian government has given serious indications in recent months that it is willing to assume the cost of a direct aggression against its geohistoric neighbor. The interests of the government and the Colombian powers are united in this objective.
But internal consensus is not given even in some sectors of the Colombian bourgeoisie. Uribism itself has nuances.
While Álvaro Uribe and his cadres in the government assume the will to involve Colombia in a military aggression, Duque and his chancellor are more sparing in their speech. After the Colombian government refused to sign the declaration with which the Lima Group disclaimed the statements made by Luis Almagro- precisely from Cucuta-the Colombian Foreign Ministry gave very vague statements about the reasons why it decided not to distance itself of the Secretary General of the OAS.
While Foreign Minister Holmes spoke of staying in the diplomatic channel, Colombia’s new ambassador to the United States – who was the vice president of the “Uribe” era, Francisco Santos – publicly declared that military action against Venezuela should not be ruled out . The previous day, US Senator Marco Rubio had requested “to increase cooperation between the United States and Colombia in military matters and in the search for evidence against the government of Nicolás Maduro .”
The US ambassador to Colombia, Kevin Whitaker, meanwhile told the press last week that, in case of an attack from Venezuela, his country would defend Colombia. These words reaffirm that the argument of “military intervention for humanitarian reasons” has been falling apart because of the UN declarations, the rush of Almagro that forced the Lima Group to demarcate and, above all, the success of the Plan Vuelta a la Patria .
Failed that narrative, the Colombian government has received instructions to resume the false positives, which have not stopped since the arrival of President Hugo Chávez to power in Venezuela.
Only in the last month, the Colombian government has denounced two alleged incursions of Venezuelan military in its territory. In August he accused the FANB of violating Colombian airspace and in September of entering the river and supposedly kidnapping three Colombian citizens. Both complaints have received responses from the Venezuelan Foreign Ministry that has not hesitated to classify them as false flag operations or false positives.
Colombia has been ordered by the United States to assume that role, but there are also interests on the part of powerful groups in that country that fight for action. One of those interests is that of the access route to the Caribbean Sea by Lake Maracaibo, a geostrategic interest that dates from the time when the then General Captaincy of Venezuela turned Maracaibo into the main port of eastern New Granada and western Venezuela. .
Coffee and all the products of Colombian mining – in the hands of almost exclusive transnational capitals – but above all coal, would find in the Lake of Maracaibo an exit to the Caribbean much closer and more accessible than the Colombian ports themselves.
But also the great drug trafficking business in Colombia, the main producer of cocaine in the world, also wants to dominate this commercial outlet. This means that there are other foreign interests in the project to seize what President Chávez called “the half moon” and bid for military intervention against Venezuela.
Another strategic interest, without a doubt, is fuel. According to a report from the General Comptroller of Colombia , this country will lose its capacity to self-supply of fuel by 2021, but as of next year (2019) the decline in production will begin to be felt in its economy.
If successful, a military intervention in Venezuela would give the possibility of controlling the largest proven oil reserves in the world and more than compensate for the decline in Colombian oil production.
This fuel, in addition, is also raw material for the processing of coca at the rate of 166 gallons of gasoline for each kilogram of cocaine produced, so that gasoline is doubly strategic for an economy that also survives thanks to drug trafficking.
For these reasons, the Colombian State seems to be preparing to initiate a unilateral action from the narrative of the defense of its national security that, once initiated, will have the support of the United States.
The strongest pressure for this action to take place comes from the US government, the different ultra-right sectors of the Colombian oligarchy and, obviously, from Álvaro Uribe Vélez himself, who tries to show that in the past he only “lacked time” to invade Venezuela, although the real reason was clearly revealed by Comandante Chávez himself and it seems that this reason continues to have historical validity.
Translated by and for FRN