1. Has the government in your country taken an official position regarding the situation in Venezuela? If yes, what is the position?
If we consider the twitter posts of the Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov as official statements of the ministry and the Government itself, then we could say that our government has an official position on the situation in Venezuela. The position is not the least bit surprising if we take into account that our country’s government is subordinated to Western imperialism and has completely lost its sovereignty in the last year. Namely, the Tweet read as follows: “In line with our European partners, we recognize Juan Guaido to be the legitimate president of Venezuela”, which in itself does not leave much on which to comment.
2.What does this (fail to) reveal about the Macedonian foreign policy/international standing?
As I already said, the subordination of our government to the Western institutions that promote (neo)liberal values is obvious, but what concerns us is the fact that this subordination is left out even from the margins of mainstream media and political debate in general. Namely, within the strategic positions of the state, political elites have openly agreed only on the question of unconditional and zealous monitoring of the instructions and remarks coming from these Western institutions (NATO, EU, IMF, etc.). They even compete in expressing their loyalty to them, often by bringing themselves into a situation best described by a popular saying in the Balkan region: “making yourself a bigger Pope than the Pope”. In this respect, it is interesting to note that the largest party of the opposition, the right-wing party VMRO-DPMNE, tried to publicly pressure the Government into taking an official stance in relation to the events in Venezuela, given that the Minister’s position expressed on Twitter was rather late with regard to the actuality of the issue. This subordination of our government was to be expected if we take into consideration the situation in which our country was found recently, when under pressure from the EU and NATO, as well as directly from the USA and several leading European countries, the politicians in power succumbed to the Greek nationalism and changed the constitutional name without legitimacy and the consent of the people (a failed referendum).
3.Have left groups/parties/movements come forward with a position on Venezuela? If yes, what has their position been? What does this (fail) to reveal?
As a political party, Levica is currently the only active political subject in the country with an openly left ideology. Linked to it are several portals and a left movement for social justice. At the very start of the current crisis in Venezuela, we condemned the attempts for imperialist aggression by the USA. Even before the Government came out with a position, we stood in defence of Chavism and we openly called for solidarity with the Venezuelan people expressing support for the United Socialist Party of Venezuela and the democratically elected president.
4.Do you see any parallels/differences in what is happening with Venezuela now to any moment in the development of state socialism in your country?
Since the very establishment of Yugoslavia, the United States had been trying to influence its politics, so many parallels can be seen. Macedonia, “fortunately”, was not a direct target of military intervention, as was Serbia in 1999, nor did it endure war in its own territory as fierce as the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, so I do not want to relativize the situation in Venezuela, making it look the same as the situation in Macedonia in the 1990s, but definitely the people in this country, with the breakup of Yugoslavia, survived and are still experiencing a difficult period of this so-called “transition” that doesn’t seem to have an end. All this was a consequence of the active anti-socialist struggle of the United States that directly violated the sovereignty of numerous socialist countries over the past century and continues to try to do so today, to the few that remain, so parallels in this direction can be seen. Perhaps the most obvious parallel here is the most frightening one: if the United States succeeds in its intentions, Venezuela will acquire a servile government that will work in the interests of the Western elites, at the expense of the people of Venezuela.
Recep Haktan Ismail is a member of the political party Levica, long-time activist of the movement for social justice Lenka, and member of the editorial board of Antropol.