TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) -James Petras, a retired professor who has published on political issues with particular focus on Latin America, the Middle East and imperialism, made the remarks in an interview with Press TV on Friday.
On Thursday, Russia and China vetoed a US-sponsored resolution at the United Nations Security Council, which called for early presidential election in Venezuela amid ongoing unrest in the Latin American country.
The resolution, which supported Venezuela’s opposition leader Juan Guaido, came up for vote at the 15-member council and received the minimum nine “yes” votes.
The draft called for “the peaceful restoration of democracy” as well as “free and fair” presidential elections in Venezuela.
After months of economic and political clashes, Venezuela plunged further into chaos in January after Guaido, the former head of the country’s National Assembly, proclaimed himself “interim president” and urged President Nicolas Maduro to resign.
This while Maduro had just begun his second six-year term in office after a decisive election victory over the US-backed opposition.
Washington rushed to support Guaido and imposed sanctions against Venezuela’s oil industry. US President Donald Trump and other American officials have also threatened Caracas with military action.
Guaido has welcomed the support and has openly tried to contact the Trump administration and other regional governments to cement his position.
US attempting to overthrow the Venezuelan government
Professor Petras said, “The most important issue here is the US attempts to overthrow the government by force, violence and economic sanctions, and now turning to diplomatic means. This is a two-track policy: On the one hand they are doing everything to sabotage the economy, through sanctions, illegal seizures of Venezuelan oil revenues and Venezuelan bank accounts and gold holdings and in addition to that putting the restrictions on Venezuela’s capacity to import vital goods.”
“At the same time they call for elections. This is a two-pronged approach. One is the use of illegal and violent means and the other is the elections. Of course, using terrorist tactics is not propitious for having a really free election,” he added.
“The second is point is Venezuela has already had free elections. And there is no need for them to call new elections at the beck and call of the US especially with the candidate who was selected by President Trump, and the candidate who in his own election only got – I am talking about Juan Guaido, when he ran for Congress in his own district he only got 26 percent of the vote to get elected,” he stated.
“So you don’t have a legitimate candidate. He is self-appointed or better still was appointed by President Trump. He has no legitimacy in the country. Eighty-five percent of the people in Venezuela don’t even know who he is; don’t know anything about his political path,” he noted.
“So I think this UN resolution by the US has no legitimacy. It has a very illegitimate means to overthrow a government. And I think the Russians, and the Chinese and the opponents of the US resolution have good reasons,” the analyst said.
‘You can’t trust the US in any kind of negotiations’
“Now let’s remember one thing that the US government is intent on grabbing Venezuela’s oil which is the richest reserves in the world, that the US is engaging in this policy as a way of enriching its own oil companies. And there is a warning to other countries that you can’t trust the US in any kind of negotiations,” the academic said.
“If the US was really supporting of real aid they would allow international bodies like the Red Cross to administer the program in collaboration with the Venezuelan government. So one can understand the reason for the Russian resolution and one has to reject the US resolution as a violation of the constitutional process in Venezuela and the right for the Venezuelan people to vote for their own government,” he noted.
“Over 85 percent of the Venezuelan people reject all US intervention whatever their politics and reject this effort by the US to dictate who governs and who doesn’t,” he concluded.