The tentacles of US imperialism are pervasive throughout the globe. They reveal a country that shamefully boasts itself of rabid racism, warmongering, morbid sanctions, and an obsession with regime-change agendas. Being a giant neocolonial power, the empire’s imperialism is propagated through purported democratic leaders in countries unilaterally deemed to be “undemocratic.” This involves opposition leaders, pejoratively termed “puppets”, being used as stooges of such neoliberal capitalism which has no basis in genuine participatory democracy.
The political opportunism exhibited by opposition leaders (and even ruling leaders) who are aligned to the US State Department unravels itself on an unprecedented scale, but in a similar fashion that history shows us. To effect its exploitation of the working peoples across the globe for obscene profits, the US, supported by its Western allies and other neoliberal regimes, installs politicians – both in the ruling and opposition circles – who act as agents of the empire. This is what Bobi Wine (real name Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu) seems to be proving through his recent virtual meeting with Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, who is openly a puppet of US imperialism.
Bobi Wine, in a tweet that was hastily deleted after the backlash he received, told the world that he had a virtual meeting with Juan Guaido in which they discussed how their countries are to move forward, in the context of “democratic principles” and “human rights across the globe.”
The tweet read, “Very pleased to speak with President @jguaido of Venezuela this evening. We discussed the way forward for both countries, and the need to build synergies for the defense of democratic principles and human rights across the globe.”
It was an open flirtation with the violent neocolonialism of the US and Europe. Even if Bobi Wine mounts a defence that he acts in the spirit of people’s movements aimed at social and economic transformation, he has shown that he is an extension of the right-wing forces in Venezuela and their global north sponsors. These forces have caused untold suffering to the Venezuelan people through economic sabotages they bombard the country with. The inhumane sanctions on Venezuela reflect how the global north is irrevocably bent on destroying the country simply because of ideological divergences.
It will be hard for the Ugandan opposition leader to dispel factual notions that he is an appendage of the global north’s imperialism. By openly embracing Guaido, Bobi Wine has shown that does not support the movements of the poor working class and that he is the representative of “the most pro-imperialist and racist forces in the world.”
In a stinging criticism, the All-African People’s Revolutionary Party wrote, “Mr. Wine you may have just outed yourself as the kind of pro-imperialist opportunist who would be the right fit to ascend to the Ugandan presidency to protect the interest of imperialism. Maybe this is the real reason the United States Ambassador Brown wanted to meet you?”
Juan Guaido is the embodiment of everything depraved when it comes to the imperialism of the US. With the full backing of the US, Western allies, and other Latin American right-wing countries, he undermined Venezuelan democracy by attempting to usurp the powers of Nicolas Maduro. In a brazen but failed attempt by the US to impose regime change in Venezuela in 2019, Guaido declared himself as the acting president of Venezuela and swore himself in. It should be noted that Nicolas Maduro is the president of Venezuela and that support for Guaido is seriously waning. The latter is a puppet of the US and nothing more. What was made this worse is that in the deleted tweet, Bobi Wine referred to Guaido as “President.”
Political opportunism is not representative of the true movements of the people. History will not absolve Bobi Wine for the “mistweet” – and this indicates movements should transcend individuals to encompass all people for genuine revolutionary change. Radical movements should be rooted in the people, not in high-profile personalities. US imperialism co-opts grassroots movements in the global south for its interests, extinguishing any hopes of radical socio-economic and political transformation which puts the economy in the hands of the people.
The US is taking advantage of the restlessness of the young people in Uganda who are tired with Yoweri Museveni – another politician who has implemented neoliberal capitalism in Uganda at the behest of the US and European powers. In the event that Bobi Wine is the leader of Uganda, he will be simply an agent of imperialism, and nothing more. Such possibilities should be thwarted. He has shown himself to be amenable to the whims of capital by supporting Guaido who receives millions of dollars from the US. The projection of the empire’s soft power through “humanitarian aid” and “democracy programs/reforms” should never be afforded the chance to flourish.
Bobi Wine has on several occasions shown himself to be an extension of US imperialism, and this meeting with Guaido should not be viewed in isolation. His activism is not grounded in radical ideologies to abolish neoliberal capitalism for the creation of an egalitarian society that benefits all African peoples. His ideology does not go beyond the removal of a dictator. He acts for Western attention and approval. Both the ruling and opposition politicians are supported by imperialism as they all pledge their allegiance to neoliberal capitalism.
It is urgent for African people to reject the neocolonial influence of the global north for the complete transformation of the working class and rural peasantry. Political discourse must not be ensconced in shallow political interests but be aimed at empowering everyone.
Africans should rightly denounce Bobi Wine for his meeting with Guaido – a rejection of American sanctions on Venezuela, an affirmation of participatory democracy. Guaido is an agent of anti-working class policies and is an enemy of the Bolivarian Revolution. All this should be rejected in favour of radical socialist movements.