The definition of imperialism is “A policy of extending a country’s power and influence through colonisation, use of military force, or other means.” The USA has operated imperialistic policies since it was founded and continues to do so today. However, they still manage to do so without being heavily condemned, as most people have accepted the role of the US in the world and see no way to change it. As described by Lenin in his 1917 book, imperialism is the highest stage of capitalism, and he refers to how capitalist states utilise imperialist colonialism to ensure greater profits. Of course, America is a staunchly capitalist country, especially since the era of the “American dream”, and to maximise and maintain their profits and power they expand their influence across the world, regardless of how that effects people in the countries they interfere with.
A good example of the bully tactics of the US is their meddling in the DPRK and the way that through revisionism and outrageous media propaganda, they have painted the secular state as an evil dictatorship, and the average American will now believe pretty much anything they hear involving North Korea and their leader Kim Jong Un. The majority of the western population believe Jong Un is some sort of crazed dictator, however not as many know the complexity and democratic nature of the DPRK government, which is shown in the image below. Kim Jong Un is far from even being the most influential and powerful person in the country, he is a member of the National Defence Commission. The revisionism and lies allow the US to excuse their actions as they needlessly advance warships on the DPRK and meddle with their politics. Regardless of the ongoings inside the country, what gives America the right to interfere and impose their rule on other countries? It is imperialistic to its core – America tries to paint itself as a global peacekeeper whereas, in reality, it has run riot across the world, destroying homes and taking lives for the sake of power and profit. In the example of the DPRK, the intervention is completely undeserved as every military decision the DPRK makes is in self-defence. They have never bombed, attacked, invaded or colonised another country. Could anyone really complain if they decided to take action against America? At some point, retaliation will be necessary otherwise the US will continue to impose its murderous rule across the globe. Whether that comes from inside revolution or foreign intervention, something must be done to prevent US imperialism.
Recently, attention has been drawn towards the situation in Venezuela. Once again, America is constantly interfering and worsening tensions between the socialist government and supporters, and the opposition. Nicolas Maduro, president of Venezuela was an elected candidate despite cries of “dictator” from the west. He has brought the country forwards in many ways including healthcare, education and civil rights. Under his administration, Venezuela expanded its free health care coverage to more than 60 percent of the population, according to the country’s Ministry of People’s Power for Health. The Venezuelan president has also made free health care available to people in historically impoverished departments like Amazonas, Bolivar and Delta Amacuro. Public housing for all Venezuelans has also been a priority of Maduro’s term. Last January, he announced that his government reached its goal of1,400,000 homes provided to Venezuelans across the country.
However, the country is currently in a state of emergency and there are shortages of food, high tension and countless monetary issues. Of course, the US have warned of a response to the instability in the country. The declaration of Venezuela as a “threat to U.S. national security” passed by the Obama Administration continues to be in effect, and the US are backing the violent right-wing opposition, who are routinely blocking roads, violently protesting and possess far right extremists in their ranks. The leftist government are supported by most of the workers, on the contrary to what the US would lead you to believe, and many of the food shortages are coming from food hoarding, by businesses intending to push up prices and maximise profits. The US are particularly scared of success in Latin America where the majority of the governments are revolutionary and socialist. Once again, this situation shows that US intervention and imperialism is never beneficial, and US pressure on Venezuela since the days of Hugo Chavez has driven the country into a state of despair, trying to topple the leftist government and working with fascists amongst the opposition parties. The Bolivarian leader also blamed U.S. President Donald Trump for instigating recent violent events in the country, saying, “Trump wants to take political control of Venezuela … enough of imperialist aggression.” No matter who is in charge of the USA, it is a force which spreads poverty and strife all over the world, just to uphold its imperialist power.
One of the clearest cases of blatant imperialism currently happening is the US intervention and calculated manipulation of the situation in Syria. Every senator and politician in the USA who speaks out on the crisis calls for the need to topple “dictator” Bashar Assad. Assad is an elected leader who has successfully governed his country for many years, and it is a travesty that America think they can impose their rule on Syria, and actively oppose a popular leader. They have managed to convince the population of their country that Assad is the force of terror, who is attacking the Syrian people. Why would he attack his own people in a war that he is winning? Despite the fact that Britain and the USA constantly discuss ISIS and the need to crush Islamic terror, by bombing Syrian people and working with the “rebels”, America and Britain actively support Al Qaeda fighters, and by making the Syrian people more vulnerable they allow ISIS a freer rule to capture, invade and dictate as they please. The way the US are acting in Syria mirrors their actions in Libya when they illegally murdered colonel Gaddafi and got away with it by painting him as a dictator.
One country who managed to overcome US imperialism is Cuba. Cuba came under the domination of U.S. imperialism as a result of the Spanish-American War of 1898. The Cubans had been fighting for their independence from Spain, but the U.S. seized on the situation to turn Cuba into a neo-colony. Cuba then relied heavily on trade with the US to maintain its economy. Despite a US trade embargo in later years due to the Cuban revolution, the socialist state flourished under the leadership of Fidel Castro, and Cuban healthcare and education are up there with the best in the world, which is impressive for such a small economy. The people of Cuba live comfortable but modest lives, and any struggle in the country comes from US sanctions, punishing the people of Cuba for no reason apart from having a progressive socialist government. The CIA attempted to assassinate Fidel Castro over 600 times, but the sheer determination of the Cuban revolutionaries helped them overcome the US. Before his death, Castro showed solidarity with other anti-imperialist states across the world, including Venezuela and the DPRK. It is important as western citizens to acknowledge and support these states in their struggle against the superpower that is the US, because the less support these states get, the easier it is for the US to get away with operating their murderous and foreign policy.
When on the topic of the foreign policies of USA and Britain, it is essential to do your own research and delve deeper into the actual issues and causes of unrest across the world, and not accept the narrative of the media, because the mainstream media will almost always paint a picture which suits the government and hides the truth. In general, people in our comfortable countries feel too detached to people in the rest of the world to truly care about their issues, so it’s easier to accept what were told by our media. In my opinion, we owe it to the rest of the world to challenge our governments and hold them accountable for how they operate their foreign policy, and I urge anyone to take a greater interest in world affairs and remember to question everything. Only then will questions start to be raised, action will be taken and the struggles of vulnerable people will start to be recognised and acted upon.