by Chris Faure for The Saker Blog
(*This is accurate at the time of posting but the situation is still developing fast. Updated comments at the end.)
It came as no surprise this past week when the US Administration made good on their promises to attempt to Regime Change Venezuela, the third part of John Bolton’s Troika of Tyranny, the other parts being Cuba and Nicaragua.
But there were a few surprises.
Saker readers would be familiar with John Perkins’ The Economic Hitman where he explained how Latin American leaders compliant to Western hegemony are bought and non-compliant leaders are removed, frequently with extreme prejudice. In Perkins’ time, these adventures were hidden, because they are illegal.
The first surprise here is the open and flagrant manner in which this coup d’état is proceeding, as if it is a great accomplishment. The Regime Changers are proud and beating their chests like gorillas with their illegal action as if the accomplishment is already in the bag. But is it? Despite Venezuela being a socially divided country between poor and rich, I believe there has been enough knowledge transfer to the ordinary Venezuelan so that this time, the Regime Change is not yet ‘in the bag’.
The second surprise was the sheer theatrical component of this attempted coup d’état, and the script and the technology of regime change is openly visible. The ones that are supporting the coup d’état, acted in concert, as a bunch of bullies would, with each part nicely scripted down to the 5 minutes. This will become clearer as we continue.
The third surprise is that in the UNSC meeting yesterday (Saturday, January 26) there probably has never been a more thorough listing of regime-change operations in Latin America. This was listed both by the Russian Representative and the Venezuelan Foreign Minister. This history is now clear and public, for all to see.
So, what happened in Venezuela this past week and why now? Why is it so urgent that over 70 Experts immediately called for the US to Stop Interfering in Venezuela and what prompted, for example, Peter Koenig to immediately broadcast this appeal? Venezuela – An Appeal to Russia, China and all Unaligned Countries for Support of Sovereign Venezuela
Let’s look at the timeline, then some editorial comment and lastly we look at who stands in the proverbial corner as allies with Venezuela and possible outcomes.
This week, Vice President Mike Pence of the USA called on the people of Venezuela to take to the streets against their elected government and called for the security forces of Venezuela to back this barefaced regime change called for by the US. He even prepared this video addressing the People of Venezuela, replete with badly accented Spanish assuring the People of Venezuela that “we [the US] are with you.” ‘Estamos con ustedes’ in a fake accent that makes the language of Spanish blush! He even had the temerity to use the term “Libertad” after years of brutal US imposed sanctions and various attempts at regime change over many years in Venezuela. Then, he ends with a distinctly pecksniffian ‘Vaya con Dios’, i.e, ‘Go with God’, he tells the Venezuelans. Besides the fact that this phrase is not even used in common Latin American speech and belongs to the genre of bad old 1950’s soap operas, it is truly the only piece that I agreed with. The Venezuelans will be much better placed to ‘Go with God’ than to ‘Go with Pence’.
The very next day, in what later turned out to be a paid leader of one of the smaller opposition groups, a certain Juan Guaidó holds an opposition rally in Caracas and declares himself “interim president of Venezuela” while denouncing incumbent Nicolas Maduro as “usurper.” This was just after a phonecall with Pence.
Literally, just a few minutes later, the script runs and US President Trump by Tweet pronounced Guaidó as the legitimate interim president. Within about half an hour, more scripting as Canada follows suit as well as several right-wing South American governments allied with Washington. These declarations were written down in formulaic form, and the similarity of the words and the denouncements is clear.
This prompted Paul Craig Roberts to quip: Washington Has Appointed A President For Venezuela. He soon followed up with this piece “The Exceptional Nation Asserts Its Exceptionalism” and he asks:
“How long will other powers tolerate Washington’s illegality and aggression? How long will Americans tolerate the shame that Washington heaps upon their shoulders?”
In a display of brass effrontery and audacity, French President Macron announces that he supports “the restoration of democracy” in Venezuela and salutes “the courage of the hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans marching for their freedom”, while in his own country he deploys riot police against the gilets jaunes (yellow vests).
Can you see that this coup d’état was planned on a tight timeline with the focus on quickly gathering enough world leaders to support it? The group that was pulled together for the coup planning is named the Lima Group. This group does not have formal standing and may have been fabricated for the distinct purpose of coup planning. They are now quoted as if they have gravitas.
Saturday January 27th, just before the UNSC met to discuss this, we have almost identical threats from France, Germany & Spain issued almost at the same time, to recognize Venezuela’s self-appointed president. The Venezuelan envoy to the UN quite rightly mentioned that the speeches in the UNSC sounds scripted and they are. In circumstances like these, we always get the embarrassing faux pas. The British representative told with relish how Maduro won the previous election (May last year) by stuffing ballot boxes. Well, Venezuela does not use ballot boxes. (Would it be sporting to call him ‘Qué idiota!‘? Let’s not be so rude and stick to ‘La marioneta‘ for now).
So, the next step back in Venezuela on Thursday, was that President Maduro announces cutting off diplomatic ties with the US and orders American diplomats to leave Venezuela within 72 hours. This has subsequently changed to something that is not clear at the time of writing.
And here is the fairytale theater: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says that since Maduro is no longer the legitimate president he has no authority to sever diplomatic ties with Washington and Trump and Pompeo threaten that “all options are on the table” – meaning military action – “if US personnel are endangered.” Wait a moment, let’s parse this down. First, they say Maduro is no longer President. Second, despite being no longer President, they hold him accountable for acts of violence against protestors? So, mob protestors can run free and create mayhem, because Maduro is in any event responsible? Truly Alice-in-Wonderland ‘off with her head’ methodology.
The situation is prime for an escalation. The main demand from the Western stooges seems to be new elections within 8 days and the West will ‘pave the way for a brighter future for Venezuela’. One cannot help but ask where they were up to now? And, what about those years of sanctions? And what about the engineered scarcity by multinational organizations of basic household goods because there are price controls in Venezuela to avoid excessive profiteering and gouging?
It certainly seems that Russia’s more visible alliance with Caracas may have triggered the timing for this coup. Last month, Maduro visited Vladimir Putin in Moskow, and they signed multi-billion-dollar partnerships for oil exploration, mining, agricultural and other trade ties.
Within days of Maduro’s visit to the Kremlin, two Russian Tupolev Tu-160 nuclear-capable bombers flew 10,000 kilometers to Venezuela in a political (certainly not a military) show of Moscow’s support for Venezuela.
Washington’s reaction to the Russian bombers landing in Caracas was one of rage, indignation and sheer apoplexy.
All of John Perkins’ financial warfare techniques are being employed, as well as a few new ones. The one is called lawfare where local laws and constitutions are twisted to the extent that the underpinnings of the legal basis that a country functions within, is reduced to shreds. We saw this technique used to good effect in Brazil in April 2016, with the impeachment of Dilma Rousseff and the jailing of Lula da Silva.
All however is not rolling out as the Coup Planners figured and the scripted theater is obvious.
– Maduro is managing to keep Venezuela calm and the last few nights there was no violent protesting. He speeched on Friday to urge dialog.
– Caracas Reporter Says: ‘US Plot in Venezuela Failing’
– Take a look at the meeting of the OAS (The Organization of American States), where the first proclamation in the constitution of this body is that American countries will not interfere internally in the affairs of one another. At this body, Pompeo tried to get other countries to knuckle under and agree with the US power grab. He failed. (I’m sure what helped him fail, is that he could not even pronounce the name of the Interim Puppet President that the US tried to elect. The beloved and oh so competent Gweedo indeed! He was also late to the meeting. The OAS is a formal mainly Spanish speaking organization and this did not go unnoticed). The OAS is now in disarray. https://venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/14241
– The Coup Planners also failed in getting the Venezuelan people to revolt, to get the Venezuelan military to revolt and to overthrow Maduro, which was the plan.
– The last two days in Venezuela were calm days after a fiery speech by Maduro that Venezuelan’s do not harm other Venezuelans.
– On Friday, Maduro is still in charge of the palace and Guaido (Gwaido, not Gweedo, but I might change my mind here, he may indeed turn out to be a Gweedo) gave what Venezuelanalysis.com calls duelling speeches. Guaido is still calling on the Venezuela armed forces to rise up against the Government, but his speech was given in a wealthy part of Caracas and he is holding as bait, all the money that will come from the US if the armed forces will rise up. The Venezuelan people inherently do not trust money promises.
– Maduro held a full press conference in Miraflores Palace saying that the US has no say in Venezuelan affairs. Apart from the press, his address was attended by scores of public officials, including ministers and numerous representatives of the armed forces. He also announced military drills. https://venezuelanalysis.com/news/14255
– Caricom is not supporting this external meddling.
– At the UNSC on Saturday morning, the Coup Planners again failed to prevail as many countries spoke against the illegality of the Coup. China, Equatorial Guinea, South Africa, Russia, Nicaragua, Cuba, Bolivia, Saint Vicent, the Grenadines, Barbados, and Suriname, were among the countries that expressed their recognition of the legitimate and constitutional Venezuelan government.
So, where are we now?
The Coup Planners believe in their coup and they are as busy as little mice staffing up to rule Venezuela via an erstwhile ”La marioneta Gweedo‘. Their first appointment is someone that you may recognize immediately, and the next appointment you will remember from a little further back in history.
1. The Dream Team writing up a new set of laws for Venezuela to “ensure Venezuela’s transition into a better future”: Debbie Mucarsel-Powell will be bringing humanitarian aid, Donna Shalala will stop the arming of Maduro’s thugs with batons and tear gas, while (yes, this is no joke) Debbie Wasserman Schultz gets arguably the hardest task of them all – taking on Russia’s President Vladimir Putin. https://www.rt.com/op-ed/449686-debbie-schultz-fixing-venezuela/
2. The Arch Neocon of neocons, Elliott Abrams, who played a central role in the Iran-Contra scandal, and oversaw US regime-change wars in Nicaragua and El Salvador. His job is to “help the Venezuelan people fully restore democracy and prosperity to their country.” Abrams is expected to coordinate all diplomatic efforts to replace President Nicolas Maduro with the self-proclaimed president Juan Guaido, recognized by the US, OAS and several EU members. https://www.rt.com/usa/449756-abrams-pompeo-venezuela-iran-contra/
Trump’s Venezuela point man Elliott Abrams:
-Backed death squads in Latin America that murdered 1000s for right-wing dictators
-Lied to Congress to cover up treasonous Iran-Contra affair
-Led 2002 US coup d’état attempt in Venezuela
Still think this is about democracy & human rights?
It is clear that Venezuela is struggling for existence while living under debilitating sanctions. It is also clear that after the last elections, and with the help of Russia and China, they made progress. But how can one make progress if a coup plotter promises to pay the coup executor with Venezuelan assets that were previously confiscated under a sanctions regime? Also, the country’s gold is being held hostage by Britain.
There are many accusations against Venezuela, and some have merit. One of the legitimate accusations against Venezuela is the level of migration. It is not well known that there is an active program inside Venezuela to bring the migrants home. Even that is interfered with. https://www.telesurenglish.net/news/Ecuador-Delays-Venezuelan-Planes-of-Return-to-Homeland-Plan-20190126-0008.html
The fact of the matter here is not that ‘Maduro is Bad’, or ‘Socialism is Evil’, or ‘Venezuela is an economic basket case‘ or any of those excuses that we see in the public domain from ‘too-quick-thinkers’ and expat Venezuelans. (Is it really an economic basket case if Venezuelan assets in the West are being held hostage as a result of sanctions?) The fact of the matter is that there is flagrant and illegal regime change being carried out in front of our eyes to the benefit of globalist sociopathic, mobsters.
To the average American that is supporting this overt and barefaced attempt to take over and control another country, you cannot further support the thinking that your current administration is fighting globalism. These are your globalists, the Pompous Pompeo’s and Brutal Boltons and Pious Pences, with Mr Trump twittering the threat chants like a cheer leader. The appointments mentioned above, the Dream Team, is a team from the Democratic party. What’s all the more inflammatory is the flagrant illegality of Washington’s actions.
The opposition figure whom the White House has anointed as “acting president” but is actually “acting stooge puppet” and the minor congressional body he is backed by inside of Venezuela has been declared in contempt of the constitution by Venezuela’s supreme court. They are carrying out the steps to globalism in front of our very eyes and right now. They could not overthrow Venezuela’s government, so, they are trying to split it by paying US$200,000 to a usurper, that did not even take part in the previous elections, and they paid him to declare himself Interim President. Furthermore, they are offering money, but this money is not new money, it is money that has been taken by seizures, from Venezuela, under sanctions regulations. So, they are offering to pay their imposed President/Stooge/Puppet money that they confiscated to split Venezuela even further.
Why does this Latin American, Caribbean country called Venezuela tug at our heartstrings? Is it because despite all headwinds, all previous attempts at fomenting revolution and fomenting regime change, they stood strong against the globalists and neocons? I would suggest it is. I would suggest Venezuela is in the mold of Syria who has been fighting a war for their own self-determination for years now. I would suggest Venezuela is in the mold of Russia, that is grimly holding on to their own self-determination and building. I would suggest that the people of Venezuela will not tumble as this regime change further unfolds. They have not tumbled up to now.
Which Venezuelans do you care about? More than 50% of the country is Mestizo. What is your problem if these social people want some form of socialism? What if they feel that income from Venezuelan Oil is to be used to increase living standards for the whole country and the poor? What about their type of Socialism? Do you really believe that Maduro is similar to Sadam Hussein as he is now being represented by the Coup Planners and he is killing and incarcerating his own people at a tremendous rate? Have you not heard this type of accusation before, usually to drum up pretext and de-legitimize a victim for a war? Let the Venezuelan people vote out Maduro if they do not like him. In reality, they do like him. Do you really think that Brazilians will act as a proxy military force to destabilize Venezuela? Will Colombia provide soldiers for feet on the ground in Venezuela?
Let’s take a look at some young Venezuelans and their grasp of what is happening.
This is what the young Venezuelans are saying: “Trump is a little out of touch. Why would he come and save us. He only wants our oil and our riches.”
“What happened (in other Latin American countries), will not happen here, because of the consciousness of the people.”
This is what the young Venezuelan soldiers are saying: (Offered with support from Colombia).
“Listen, yankee, to what I’m going to say! In my country, you will never invade! Get over here because a beating is coming your way! We will be your Latin American Vietnam!”
Despite what Governments say, there is a real understanding at grassroots level among the Latin American people that what can happen to Venezuela today, can happen to them tomorrow. Living in a Latin American country, I heard this being expressed a few times during the course of yesterday alone. “Hoy Venezuela, mañana nosotros”. Today Venezuela, tomorrow it will be our turn. So, despite the right leaning governments in Latin America, it is fair to say that the people know what the real deal is.
The hegemon is calmly walking into a constitutional crisis or a war or a civil war in Venezuela that may eventually look like Moscow, Black October 1993. Today Venezuela may be an economically failed state, but with good support and guidance from Russia, China and their other friends, they can still get out of this. In terms of the strength of their people, there is no failure.
Let’s take a look at the larger allies of Venezuela.
First we have Russia. President Putin spoke to Maduro and gave him real solid help and support.
President Putin Stands Up For President Maduro – Washington Coup CAN Be Stopped if Right Moves Made!
Always muted with nuanced language, China has made investment in Venezuela and they buy Venezuelan oil. China will not just sit back here, but it is hard to see what they will do – probably some asymmetrical action. Bear in mind that there are more trade talks scheduled for the coming week and a supposed 2nd meeting with Kim JongUn of North Korea. I would expect nuanced action from China.
New Delhi: “Following the US recognition of Juan Guaidó as interim president of Venezuela, India has refused Washington’s call to recognize the opposition leader, saying that crisis should be resolved by the “people of Venezuela” through “constructive dialogue”. https://www.thewire.in/diplomacy/india-backs-nicolas-maduro-refuses-to-recognise-guaido-as-venezuelas-interim-president
India will continue to buy Venezuelan crude. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/venezuela-will-continue-to-sell-oil-to-india-envoy/article24646263.ece
Although standing strong in their non-aligned status, they have declared that they will work on regional strength and Venezuela is not outside of the scope of the region. Mexico, the Caricom countries and Russia have offered internal mediation and help to Venezuela.
So, if we count Russia, China, India and Mexico alone, we are looking at 4 countries that are on the list of having the highest populations in the world. https://www.internetworldstats.com/stats8.htm
I would certainly say it is a sizable opposition to the attempted Coup Planners.
Caricom – https://caricom.org/communications/view/statement-by-the-conference-of-heads-of-government-of-caricom-on-the-latest-developments-in-the-situation-in-the-bolivarian-republic-of-venezuela
So, what can we theorize could be the expected outcomes?
None of us has a crystal ball and it is too early to say.
I would suggest that this phase of the attempted coup itself will fail, although the damage to the country of Venezuela, its people and its existence will be vast. The coup will fail because it is hamfisted and with the expectation of a ‘quick win’, there is no plan B that does not include the option of violence. The Coup Planners expected immediate victory but this was not to be. If history is a guide, the Coup Planners will double down, and double down yet again. In the past, a coup like this would be hidden because it is illegal. This one is out in the open; it cannot be argued and the coup planners engage in chest beating and a clear strategy, although not very well executed. Venezuela and its friends must prepare for a long siege.
It is clear that the situation on the ground is not understood by the Coup Planners. The real sense of hamfisted Spanish in Pence’s video, the defeat at the OAS, The Caricom announcement, the inability to pronounce the name of the new supposed interim leader by Pompeo and such other things is not falling on deaf ears in the Latin American population. The will of the Venezuelan people and their demonstrated abilities to withstand regime change cannot be underestimated. Venezuelans are well experienced about withstanding coups, as they’ve lived through a number of them.
The proposed Interim Puppet President Gweedo is clearly not of the strength to push through a coup as he is mainly in hiding. Venezuela is not bursting out into violence. The military and defense forces stand with Maduro. This is a principled and strong position but, one must bear in mind, against a strong enemy.
Despite the various governments in Latin America that became right leaning and had their governments appointed by the Hegemon, the people in Latin America understand where their opposition comes from. I cannot see Brazil or Colombia sending troops on the ground. The Venezuelan right is not united. American troops? Trump will most probably lose his base. I cannot see this.
The most scary scenario (very unlikely at present) would be that NATO Troops may be called in via Colombia.
The most probable outcome is that we see a protracted doubling down from the Coup Planners and a long period of just continued hammering at Venezuela on all levels. She will need all her allies firmly in her corner.
We wait to see if anyone raises a word against this illegal attempted coup and the Coup Planners in the United Nations Security Council.
Judging from the comments in the UNSC just yesterday, we may see the Monroe Doctrine being seriously challenged.
The full UNSC meeting can be found here:
- The brilliant but casual speech by the Venezuelan representative (Arreaza) Saturday morning at the UN makes good listening. Some excerpts:
“The United States is the one that should be evaluated (and not Venezuela) for its permanent disrespect and interference in external political affairs.”
“How is it possible that the president of the United States, Donald Trump, who militarily threatened Venezuela, has not been questioned by the world?”
“How can it be possible for a lawmaker to proclaim himself president and for international governments to recognize him?”
“Force is being imposed on the law. That is dangerous and we must stop it here from the United Nations.”
- France, Britain and the United States sing the very same story, each of them calling for a self-proclaimed President if elections do not take place within 8 days.
- Cuba, whose representative sought the floor for a 2nd time clearly called out Pompeo’s lies but he had left already and was not there so that she could do it to his face. She had clear facts to back up her statements, as well as highlighting the unrelenting economic and trade war against Venezuela that curtail the opportunity for the Venezuelan people to seek out their own opportunity for themselves and to undermine social cohesion. She said that the US must clarify what responsibility they are willing to bear if their current actions provoke instability in the entire region. She called the US attempts an undignified assault on truth and indicative of the lack of respect that Pompeo’s government displays to the United Nations and people everywhere. Venezuela will never be anyone’s satellite or lackey. The return to the Monroe doctrine, the bullying has the aim of looting, pillaging and stripping the oil reserves of that nation. Go back to your history books, Michael Pompeo, she says. (I was expecting her to toss a shoe at him. Cuba Viva! )
A recent history of the run-up to the current point in time can be found here: https://venezuelanalysis.com/audio/14251.
Despite using the name Gweedo for some comical effect, the man’s name is Juan Guaidó
There is a big number of independent writers and bloggers and formal and less formal analysts speaking out about this travesty of justice in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. This is heartening to see. MoonofAlabama has a list of Media Claims About Venezuela Are Lies Or Misconceptions. #Venezuela hashtag on Twitter contains a number of opinons.