US Seizes Ship Filled With Food For Venezuela (Will Trump Use Monroe Doctrine To Justify?)
Now comes word that in accordance with its total blockade of Venezuela, the US has seized a ship carrying 25,000 tons of Soya earmarked for the people of Venezuela.
That’s Fifty Million Pounds.
Venezuela’s Vice President Delcy Rodriguez denounced the seizure which took place as the ship was transiting the Panama Canal. The Vice President called the seizure an act of “serious aggression,” and demanded that the United Nations Security Council move immediately against the US.
“Venezuela denounces before the world that a boat that holds 25 thousand tons of Soya, for food production in our country, has been seized in the Panama Canal, due to the criminal blockade imposed by Donald Trump,” tweeted the Vice President.
“Venezuela calls on the United Nations to stop this serious aggression by Donald Trump’s govt against our country, which constitutes a massive violation of the human rights of the entire Venezuelan people, by attempting to impede their right to food.”
The Vice President also explained that the owner of the vessel was informed by its insurance company that it was prevented by the US from moving its cargo to Venezuela.
This is the first such seizure since Trump signed an executive order on August 5 that imposed a total blockade on all Venezuelan government assets in that country, which includes an embargo against food suppliers, among other basic necessities. Presumably, the blockade will stop all shipping into Venezuela as well. This marks first time in 30 years that US has taken such an action against a sovereign country.
At this writing, US officials have not commented on this action, which, if done by any other nation on earth, would be considered and declared an act of war by all international conclaves.
In the case of the US, of course, the question is what possible pretext or justification can or will the US offer that gives it the right in peacetime to seize not just this ship but any ship ferrying food to a starving populous? Indeed, the US is not at war — at least, “officially” — with Venezuela. But, then again, the US has not “officially” declared war against anybody, or any country, or any nation, or any nation-state since December 8, 1941, initiating its entry into World War II. Even the almost 20-year “war on terror” has never been declared “as war” pursuant to constitutional precepts.
And, the US finally yielded its economic and political stranglehold on the people and the isthmus of Panama only as recently as 1979.
This latest move by the US is particularly high-handed, galling and hypocritical given that the seizing of a food ship bound for Venezuela, after constantly excoriating its government for almost two years for its supposed deliberate starving of its own people, is clearly an act grounded in exasperation and desperation — a demonstration of pique, spite and vindictiveness on the part of Trump himself, his administration, and their corporate enablers, at their failure to bring down, or at least reign in, the defiantly socialist government of Venezuela, even after repeated US-supported coup attempts and all other manner of subversion and subterfuge.
Sadly, the Venezuelan Vice President’s plea for the UN to step in, however, is likely to go unheeded. It is an absolute non-starter since the US wields an absolute veto in the Security Council.
Will Trump Dust Off The Monroe Doctrine?
The only possible “justification” that the Trump administration might make that would give this action at least a veneer of “legality” is itself spurious at best and out-dated in fact. But if we know anything about Trump and his band of Trumpeteers, an antiquated, anachronistic, imperialism-laden proclamation will be used therefor: The Monroe Doctrine.
The Monroe Doctrine became US_foreign policy as a result of President James Monroe’s 1823 message to Congress. Monroe declared that because the Old and New Worlds had different systems of governance, they must stick to running things in their own distinct respective world spheres. Monroe essentially claimed not just jurisdiction but complete and total “sovereignty” over the entire western hemisphere of planet earth. He outlined four tenets:
(1) the US would not interfere in the internal affairs or wars of European powers — in Europe;
(2) the US recognized and would not interfere with existing European colonies and dependencies in the Western Hemisphere;
(3) the Western Hemisphere was “officially” closed to further colonization by Europe; and
(4) any attempt by any European power to control any nation in the Western Hemisphere would be viewed as a hostile act against the US.
Monroe initially proposed his doctrine as a treaty or an alliance between Britain and the US against Spain. It seems that by 1823, Spain and the rest of the world read the clear handwriting on the wall that she was soon to be relegated to “the dustbin of history” as an imperial colonial power. 1823 Spain was therefore attempting to delay or forestall completely its demise as such by reclaiming or restoring control over at least some of its former colonies in Latin America, many of which had successfully thrown off her imperial rule — her centuries-long, suffocating exploitation of now suddenly newly independent nations.
But Secretary of State John Quincy Adams was having none of it. He argued that the US should forgo any alliance with Britain or anyone else and claim the entire western hemisphere as its own very particular preserve, or put more diplomatically, “protectorate.”
From Adams’ diary:
The ground that I wish to take is that of earnest remonstrance against the interference of the European powers by force in South America, but to disclaim all interference on our part with Europe; to make an American cause, and adhere inflexibly to that.
Since its promulgation in 1823, the Monroe Doctrine has been used countless numbers of times by the US to justify all manner of exploitation, interference and outright colonization of, by “necessary” turn, every nation-state south of the Rio Grand River. The list of blood-soaked incursions into Central and South America by the US is simply too long and complicated to properly explore here.
Suffice it to say, however, that this latest US move against Venezuela is in line with the imperialistic and tortuous history that has always existed from Day One between the great behemoth of the north against all of its southern neighbors— every last one of them without exception.