A UKRAINE FOR VENEZUELA? Repression, poverty, and war: 5 years of the coup in Ukraine

By Leonardo Justin

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By Leonardo Justin

Translated by Luciana Bohne [From Revista Opera, a Brazilian source that publishes excellent materals readers of Portuguese.]

 

–“Five years have passed since the Obama administration helped overthrow the elected president of Ukraine in February 2014 and installed a far-right dictatorship loyal to Washington in its place. Today, the Trump government is trying to carry out a similar regime in Venezuela.

In the 1990s, the dissolution of the Soviet Union and capitalist restoration caused enormous difficulties for the working class in Ukraine and in all former Soviet republics.

What have the last five years brought to the Ukrainian people?

Workers are now poorer than ever thanks to austerity measures from the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, whose loans keep the current regime on its feet.

Prices for services and heating are to the roof. More and more people, especially young workers, are forced to migrate to other countries in search of work.

Privatizations has accelerated, with agribusiness and energy companies from the US and Western Europe among the largest beneficiaries. Energoatom, the company that oversees nuclear companies in Ukraine, secured Washington funding to build a nuclear waste storage facility – widely seen as a precursor to transforming central and eastern Ukraine into a toxic waste bin by NATO after Germany rejected the honor.

Who supervised these brutal “reforms”? No less than Democratic vice-president Joe Biden, who served as a virtual colonial governor of Ukraine from 2014 to 2016. Today, Biden is envisaged as a possible “progressive” opponent of Donald Trump by 2020.

Independent trade union activity is repressed, as are workers’ organizations.

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The Communist Party of Ukraine, one of the largest political organizations in the country, may not be on the polls for this spring’s presidential election, although the law completely prohibiting the party is still on appeal. Their symbols are banned and their supporters, even the elderly, face violent attacks when they meet in public.

Struggle (La Lucha} spoke with Alexey Albu, a former deputy of the Regional Council of Odessa and leader of the Marxist revolutionary organization Borotba (Fight), which is banned in Ukraine. Albu was forced to leave the country under death threats in May 2014. He has been working in exile for the liberation of Ukraine for almost 5 years.

Ukraine has become a veritable NATO base, the US-dominated military alliance. NATO arms, trains, and advises the country in its criminal war against the people of the Donbass region. This includes neo-Nazi battalions incorporated “officially” into the structure of the military.

President Petro Poroshenko has promised to consecrate NATO membership in the Ukrainian constitution if he is re-elected this year, as is widely expected.

The Euromaidan movement, the public face of the violent coup dubbed the “Revolution of Dignity,” followed a pattern familiar to today’s campaign against the Bolivarian government of Venezuela.

The same words about a “democratic movement” versus “dictatorship,” demonization of foreign leaders and their allies, the crocodile tears for the suffering of ordinary people.

For years, Republican and Democrat governments in Washington sought alliances with local oligarchs eager for better economic ties with the West, willing to open the country to US economic, political and military domination, and to aid the US campaign to isolate the historic Ukrainian trading partner, Russia. Thus, they pressured the Ukrainian authorities to follow their Western program.

Students and intellectuals from the wealthy Ukrainian classes, and those who are part of the Ukrainian diaspora, were trained in “regime change” methods, including manipulation of the Western rhetoric of “human rights” and social media. And Washington has closely coordinated with the neo-Nazi right wing, long cultivated in the US and Canada during the Soviet period, which now return to the scene after the fall of the USSR.

By flexing its muscles of “humanitarian intervention” to the maximum, Washington has pushed non-governmental organizations– “progressive”-approved by the West– as the face of the Euromaidan movement. But now, when women try to march against rampant domestic violence or the LGBT community organizes events in Kiev, they are quickly suppressed by security forces and neo-Nazi gangs – which were at the core of the coup in 2014.

It is a pattern of manipulation and misinformation that aims to confuse public opinion in general and the progressive movement in particular, both in the target country and abroad, and often used in the last quarter of a century, from Yugoslavia to Libya, from Nicaragua to Syria – and obviously in Venezuela.”

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