Jefferson Davis and Juan Guaidó: two presidential imposters

Textile workers, like those illustrated here, kept the British government from intervening on the side of Southern slave-owners.

Donald Trump and Juan Guaidó hated Nicolás Maduro for being re-elected president of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in 2018.

Well, slave master Jefferson Davis, as president of the Southern Confederacy, revolted against Abraham Lincoln being elected president of the United States in 1860.

The U.S. in 1860 had 31.4 million people, while last year 32.4 million people lived in Venezuela. That’s almost the same.

But there was a big difference in the election results. Abraham Lincoln got 1,865,908 votes, just 39.8 percent of the total — though still far more than his nearest competitor. Despite U.S.-instigated calls for an election boycott, Nicolás Maduro won 6,245,862 votes, or 67.8 percent.

Unlike Venezuela’s elections, no women and virtually no Black or Indigenous people could vote in the U.S. in 1860. Yet the entire capitalist media have attacked President Maduro’s re-election as “undemocratic”!

Who’s supporting whom?

After being prompted by the Trump regime, Juan Guaidó declared himself to be Venezuela’s president on Jan. 23. But nobody had cast a single vote for him for that position.

That didn’t prevent Trump from immediately recognizing Guaidó and directing that revenues from Venezuelan oil sold to the U.S. be given to this impostor. This robbery was followed by the Bank of England seizing over a billion dollars of Venezuela’s gold.

That heist and recognizing Guaidó came naturally to the Tory government in London. Royal Dutch Shell — which is incorporated in Britain — was sucking oil profits from Venezuela even before Rockefeller’s Standard Oil Trust did.

The wannabe fascist Brazilian president, Jair Bolsonaro, also recognized Guaidó. Bolsonaro was elected because popular former President Luiz Inácio “Lula” da Silva was jailed on frame-up charges and kicked off the ballot.

That’s the sort of “democracy” that Big Oil and its media adore.

Despite threats from the Trump regime, fewer than 60 of the United Nations’ 193 members have recognized the phony Guaidó.

The People’s Republic of China, India, Mexico, Bolivia, Cuba, Nicaragua and over a hundred other countries representing the majority of humankind have continued to recognize the democratically elected Nicolás Maduro.

Out of the African Union’s 55 member states, only the reactionary monarchy of Morocco has recognized Guaidó. So did apartheid Israel, whose military killed 54 Palestinian children last year.

South Africa, whose people overthrew apartheid, supports Maduro.  

Solidarity stopping intervention

Like Juan Guaidó, Jefferson Davis also craved recognition. The slave-owning Confederacy hoped for diplomatic relations and military support from Britain.

At the time, Britain was the “the workshop of the world” and its biggest industry was cotton textiles. Cotton was the Confederacy’s main export, and the heart and soul of virtually every British banker, landlord and capitalist was with the Confederacy.

British Prime Minister Lord Palmerston sent 10,000 troops to Canada. He allowed the “Alabama” and other Confederate warships to be built in British shipyards.

Like U.S. liberals who are lining up behind Guaidó, that great liberal and future prime minister, William Gladstone, also supported the slave masters. Gladstone’s own father owned over 2,500 enslaved Africans and was actually given “reparations” for their freedom!

What stopped the British wealthy and powerful from recognizing the Confederacy of Jefferson Davis was the British working class. Despite a “cotton famine” throwing thousands of them out of work, mass action by British workers stopped their exploiters from intervening on the side of the Confederacy.

“Hold the Fort,” a song of Union Army soldiers, became one of the anthems of the British labor movement. A little over 50 years later, British workers also stopped their ruling class from strangling the Bolshevik Revolution.

Karl Marx played a key role in the anti-slavery struggle, which led to a successful fight to expand voting rights for British workers. Marx wrote in his book “Capital” that “Labor in the white skin can never free itself as long as labor in the black skin is branded.”  

Another result was the First International of working people, which was formed in 1864 with Marx’s guidance.

Poor and working people in the U.S. have to show the same solidarity with embattled Venezuela today. Don’t believe the lies of the corporate media!

Trump and his minions are threatening another war. The labor movement has to declare: Hands off Venezuela!

It is the Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela and its democratically elected president, Nicolás Maduro, who are standing firm so that “government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”