President Barack Obama has issued an executive order declaring that Venezuela “constitutes an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security … of the United States” and declared “a national emergency to deal with that threat.”
Venezuela has been at the forefront of those countries offering socially just alternatives to free-market extremism across Latin America in recent years, using its vast oil wealth to invest in its people.
This transformation has faced ongoing opposition. Obama’s latest remarks appear a blatant attempt to whip up fear among the U.S population to justify further government aggressions against the resource rich South American country.
Venezuela poses no threat to the U.S and in reality U.S. citizens face real threats at home every day.
Racist Policing: Race-related deaths of unarmed black men killed by policemen have shocked the world in recent years. A USA Today report released in August last year showed that on average 96 unarmed black men were killed every year between 2006 and 2012. So far in 2015, police killings include a homeless man in Los Angeles, a mentally-ill man in Atlanta and a 19 year old unarmed man in Wisconsin.
Widespread Poverty: In 2013, some 45.3 million U.S. citizens lived below the poverty line. According to the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development, over 20 percent of children in the U.S. live in poverty, threatening the lives of the youngest ones. This poverty has deadly consequences: according to a report released by Columbia University, approximately 245,000 deaths in the United States in the year 2000 were caused by poverty.
Climate Disaster: For decades the global academic community has reached a consensus that climate change is real and that humanity is at stake if nothing is done to mitigate its effects. Phoenix, Louisville, Hawaii, Alaska, Texas, New York, Utah, San Diego and Miami are amongst the biggest U.S. cities currently being affected by climate change; some of them risk of disappearing altogether due to rising water; yet Florida state recently banned the use of the term.
Gun Crime: According to a Penn University study, more than 32,000 people per year died between 1980 and 2006 from gun-related deaths. There are currently around 310 million non-military firearms in the United States, which accounts for nearly one per person. There were almost 40 shootings in schools across the U.S. between 2014 and February 2015.
Arming Foreign Terrorists: During the Cold War, the United States financed, armed and trained a group of Islamists, led by Osama Bin Laden, to attack the pro-Soviet Afghan government. Bin Laden and his men later became al-Qaida, notorious for launching the 9/11 attacks against the U.S. Despite declaring a war on terrorism, and now fighting the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq, U.S. weapons supplies have beefed up the Islamic State group’s arsenal and many opposition fighters armed in Syria – financed and trained by Washington and its allies– subsequently joined the Islamic State group, creating an obvious danger to the U.S.
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