For the United States, access to Venezuela’s oil reserves has always been critical. But the failures of previous administrations to gain power over the Venezuelan economy, infrastructure, and resources — on behalf of U.S. corporate interests — has now been complicated even further by Chinese and Russian investments and influence in the region.
The U.S. government’s history of involvement in Venezuela’s politics is extensive, dating back to the discovery of oil in the country. Since then, hostility from the United States towards Venezuela (among other Latin American countries) has been quite ordinary. More recently, Hugo Chávez’s Bolivarian Revolution irked both Democrats and Republicans enough that they would eventually support a U.S-backed coup in 2002. They were largely motivated by his anti-imperialist views and Chávez’s denouncement of U.S. policies in Latin America. The coup lasted about 48 hours.
Attitudes toward Nicolás Maduro are much the same as they were towards Chavez. Albeit it with a little extra flair. The reasoning for the emphasis now is because Maduro has shifted to a more authoritarian agenda after changes to the country’s constitution consolidated his power — changes to their once-near bulletproof election system, failing to address the corruption and wealth inequality that has devastated Venezuela, and the recent “illegitimate” election leading Washington to a standoff with Maduro.
(Read the whole story at Latino Rebels)