by Misson Verdad
original article: http://misionverdad.com/la-guerra-en-venezuela/asesor-del-golpe-suave-en-venezuela-confiesa-en-que-fallo-la-oposicion
translation by Miguel for The Saker Blog
In recent days, Srdja Popovic was interviewed by a digital medium of antichavism. His declaration gives a clue as to what the fundamental failures of antichavism are, as well as the movements and speeches than start to be woven from his remains when the aggressions against Venezuela rage.
It’s about the Serbian activist who started Otpor (translation: Resistance!), the movement that, inspired in the ideas about Gene Sharp’s non-violent protests, participated in the toppling process of Slobodan Milosevic since 1998 along with his faculty’s friend Slobodan Dinovic, at present a magnate in Serbian telecommunications.
Since then, Popovic and his friends have been in great demand. The Center of Non-violent applied Action and Strategies or Canvas is a NGO based in Belgrade founded in 2004 that has advised and trained “pro-democracy” activists in more than 50 countries including India, Iran, Zimbabwe, Myammar, Ukraine, Georgia, Palestine, Bielorussia, Tunisia, Egypt and Venezuela.
The US Central Intelligence Agency experimented for the first time with Gene Sharp’s theories in Serbia, stimulating and financing the appearance of activists in youth and student sectors. Through intelligence operations it profited from the discontented and the rebelliuosness typical of youth to mobilize the new generations. When Milosevic was toppled in 2000, the leaders of the revolts were relegated to a second level and the “winning” political forces installed a pro-western government.
We are talking about Srdja Popovic member of Otpor! And his ideas about politics published in an interview with Prodavi…
With the passing of time, Otpor leaders recognized publicly that they received logistical and financial support from the exterior, in particular from the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the International Republican Institute and the National Democratic Institute.
Soft coups for who?
In the 90’s Yugoslavia was going through a civilian crisis stimulated by ethnic confrontations between Albanians, Croats and Bosnians on one side and Serbs on the other, but besides the political system headed by Milosevic was being undermined by an economic crisis that reached its peak in 1993 when inflation reached 5 quadrillion per cent.
This meant an abrupt drop of the population’s quality of life because of the international sanctions and embargoes, a menacing regional context, extreme control measures on the part of Milosevic and a non-finished transition. Also the destruction of a State because of international strategic interests.
Besides, the uncertainty, the political turbulence and the lack of social references deepened a grave moral crisis in society, which was spiced with mismatches between official discourses and facts on the part of the government. On the other hand, the opposition lacked integrating leaderships, which is expressed in at least eight attempts to form political coalitions in less than a decade. The efficiency of Otpor consisted in lumping together up to 60,000 members spread all over Serbia, having up to 100 offices in that territory, a good percentage of youth (30% less than 18 years old) and in anchoring itself in the main university campuses.
Without any variation, the wars and internal divisions were promoted by the member countries of the Organization of the Treaty of the North Atlantic (NATO), a force that also attacked the Serbian nation during 78 consecutive days in 1999 with 25 thousand tons of bombs and missiles, including more than 50,000 projectiles that represent more than 20 tons of depleted uranium and 152 projectiles containing 35 thousand cluster bombs, destroying systematically the country’s economy and infrastructures. This included refineries and chemical plants; the war damages were evaluated at more than a 100 billion dollars and left 2 thousand dead civilians.
In the middle of the debacle of that year, and as a part of the plan that sought an abrupt change of political system, the Otpor declaration postulated free market and privatizations, even though its discourse was focused on removing Milosevic from power. In 2001 it renounced the fist as a symbol and the name “revolutionary movement”. In 2003 they suffered an electoral defeat that made them disappear from the mass political activity. And in 2004 they founded Canvas.
Analysts concluded that none of the actions by the USA and its allies on Serbia benefited its people, but played in favor of objectives like the independence of Croatia and Slovenia (1991) and Bosnia and Herzegovina (1992), the international sanctions, the detentions and processing of Serbian war criminals, the NATO bombings or the declaration of Kosovo’s independence (2008).
Color revolutions and pacific ways out?
On January 2010, Canvas produced a report titled “Analysis of the situation in Venezuela”, which raised a similar strategy to the one used in Serbia. Today Popovic admits that his organization advices those who wish to topple the government of Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela and recognizes that his movement receives financing from the USA, but he doesn’t “see a problem in it”; his political flotation line is marked by the ideas of politologist Gene Sharp, who directed the Albert Einstein Institute in Boston, along with US former colonel Bob Helvey.
In the weekly reports of Canvas, Venezuela appears with excessive frequency, in the most recent ones accompanied by Nicaragua, for reasons already mentioned. Already in 2013 WikiLeaks published that at least 73 e-mails revealed its complicity with Stratfor in the plan to topple Hugo Chávez and help the antichavist candidates to be elected to the National Assembly (AN).
CANVAS used by Stratfor to spy on opposition groups
Those communications were centered on the present critical energetic and petrochemical sector, the political change, the state of the antichavist forces and the Armed Forces; today it’s evident that some of the selected targets were reached in a most sensible way.
Its psychological operations through the global corporate media have been successful in selling waves of the Arab Spring type of 2011 as if they were initiatives of the people’s bases, to the point that movements like Occupy Wall Street (USA) or 13-M (Spain) used it as a pretext. In the same way these operations were implemented in Venezuela during the guarimbas from 2014 to 2017.
These trials follow social engineering techniques that have made the protesters believe that they designed and executed such waves, then the result is disappointment and division among the rank and file, who never get to find out that the transformation of reality was never envisaged for the government organisms, think tanks and foundations that stimulated their “revolutions”.
In 2011 Patrick Henningsen affirmed that since 2009 Canvas selected Middle East students and trained them abroad giving them abilities that helped topple the presidents of Tunisia and Egypt, besides provoking a regional revolt. In the Egyptian case, the transition was a progression of the external politics and long range corporate objectives of USA and Israel for the region, for whatever reason, did not require anymore the services of Hosni Mubarak but a stronger police state that would guarantee more corporate stability and zero social dissidence in the region.
Henningsen has insisted that Canvas boasts partial financing and is backed by a series of “pro-democracy” foundations with links to Freedom House and Open Society of George Soros: “These globalist foundations, groups of professional experts and NGO start investigations, organize training seminars and provide material that is used after to influence in regime change all over the world“.
Where did antichavism fail?
In an interview made by a digital medium, Popovic refers to the aspects that the antichavism hasn’t been able to do to oust president Maduro from power.
- It doesn’t focus protests that aren’t merely reactive nor designs strategies based on narratives that explain what is the change that they wish to promote. That is, there is a lack of an idea or historic and political sense that may allow mobilize the population.
- It doesn’t get an effective level of coordination among its political parties because its decisions are adopted by elites, neither the NGO, syndicates nor organizations, much less the international community that is amalgamated today in the Group of Lima. Another actor is the “diaspora”, whose narrative can’t permeate further than the mere telling of the humanitarian drama.
- It can’t influence in a notable way the chavism nor officials of the judiciary or the Government itself. It didn’t reach the objective of an institutional fracture, key aspect of soft coups, to open up spaces to a transition supervised from abroad.
- It doesn’t have a unitary strategy regarding the electoral aspect, less with some actors participating and others refraining from action. The option to organize parallel elections like the plebiscite didn’t have much impact due to its fraudulent and improvised character, though Popovic sustains that it’s an important task. That is, the adviser also failed.
- Can not explain what is its plan to solve the crisis nor organizes mechanisms to provide goods and services that, according to Popovic, the State can’t supply because of the crisis.
- Does not implement really non-violent strategies that diminish personal risks or generate hope in Venezuelans. According to the Serbian, the ultraviolence in the 2017 protests played against the political objectives of the opposition: to encourage and maintain massive mobilizations in the streets.
- Does not promote reconciliation mechanisms nor transitional justice.
In this respect, the interviewed lists a battery of non-reached achievements that, even though he doesn’t say it, shows the failure of a political sector that protests in a reactive manner, not propositional, is disconnected from the national life, can’t seem to influence notorious sectors of the chavism to go along with its agenda and has dismissed the electoral way through which they reached majority in the NA. Besides it’s clear that, in the words of Popovic, doesn’t have a credible plan to solve the crisis.
Today in the political scene it’s evident how some of Popovic’s ideas failed because the antichavism hasn’t been able to capitalize on any of its proposals; it isn’t by chance that in a determined effort to collapse public services (electricity, health, water, gas) with internal sabotage and external currency blockage, First Justice and Popular Will search to use them as an excuse to generate protests and inflame the street. Such is the case of the hospital problems.
The burst of this interview onto antichavist media seeks to give a reminding sample of the strategies that these advisers already proposed in 2017, and that the political leadership itself can’t implement nor communicate to its followers.
It would seem that they wished to articulate their pieces in the coming days intensifying their more efficient weapon, which is the price of the parallel dollar and lining up the crisis that generates in prices with other elements like the international attack, labor unions like transportation, NGOs, more sabotage on vital public services and protests.