US imperialism is using every opportunity in this period when countries all over the world are struggling with the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, to escalate its aggression against the peoples and to assert its domination.
It has escalated its propaganda and economic and political war against China, which it sees as the major challenge to its hegemony in the world today. It is cynically using the Covid-19 pandemic to demand that China pay for having been the country where the virus is believed to have originated. US President Trump has gone so far as to suggest that the virus was leaked from a laboratory in Wuhan, even though America’s own national intelligence agencies have not backed him up on this. Its main fear is that China, which appears to have successfully contained the virus there, will be able to revive its economy faster and to a greater degree than the US, which currently has the highest number of coronavirus infections and fatalities in the world. It has even condemned the UN’s World Health Organisation for highlighting China’s success in containing the virus, and punished it by walking out of the world body and cutting its financial contribution to it at a time when funds are most needed to combat the virus on a world scale.
The other great obstacle to US imperialism’s hegemonistic plans, particularly in West Asia and the Gulf region, is Iran. In the last few years, the US has stepped up its campaign of lies and all-round pressure on Iran. From January of this year, when the US brazenly targeted and assassinated the chief of Iran’s military forces while he was on a visit to Iraq, there has been no let-up in US pressure on Iran, even though Iran too has been struggling with the effects of the Covid-19 epidemic. It has been regularly sending its warships to patrol in the Persian Gulf waters to threaten Iran. At the same time, it has turned truth on its head and is accusing Iranian ships of ‘harassing’ its warships, and has threatened to ‘shoot the Iranian ships out of the water’. In the difficult conditions of the pandemic, it has refused to ease even by a little its crippling sanctions against Iran which jeopardises Iran’s efforts to safeguard the health and safety of its people during the epidemic.
Perhaps the most brazen recent example of US aggression has been against Venezuela, the country in Latin America which has stood up as a challenge to American hegemony in its own region. On May 3rd, the Venezuelan authorities nipped in the bud an American expedition aided by the regime in neighbouring Colombia to land mercenary forces on the Venezuelan coast. The plan was that these mercenaries belonging to the American Silvercorp company would storm the government headquarters and airport, and kidnap or assassinate the leader of the Venezuelan government, Nicolas Maduro, and others. The US Secretary of State did not even bother to deny their involvement.
It must be remembered that over the years US imperialism had made several similar attempts to assassinate the leader of the Cuban revolution and government, Fidel Castro, though all of them failed. Ever since the Chavista government in Venezuela came into being, which has taken a resolute stand against US imperialism, the US has done its best to cripple and bring it down. This included attempting to directly organise an insurrection there last year and install their puppet Juan Guaido. Frustrated with the failure of that attempted coup, they now resorted to their old dirty tricks of kidnapping and assassination. As the International Committee for Peace, Justice and Dignity said in its statement condemning the US action, the US imperialists “should concern themselves with the millions of American workers who have become unemployed and those who have to work in unsafe conditions of the pandemic instead of continuing its obsession of interference in Venezuela’s affairs.”
These developments show that the world’s people cannot afford to relax their vigilance against the machinations of US imperialism, even during times which call for cooperation on a world scale to handle the pandemic that is threatening the health and lives of millions of people around the world. In fact, the US imperialists are counting on the preoccupation and difficulties faced by countries that they consider their enemies or challengers, in order to strike even more deadly blows against them.
There is much talk these days about the ‘decline’ of American power and its alleged loss of appetite to get involved in overseas adventures. Nothing can be further from the truth. When confronted by opposition of any kind, US imperialism only becomes more savage. It remains the number one enemy of the freedom and sovereignty of countries, and the biggest violator of every tenet of international law and civilised behaviour.