Washington engineers right-wing coup in Venezuela

The Greanville Post

Washington’s “man in Caracas”, Juan Guaidó, a vile traitor like the rest of his ilk, “assumes power” creating more problems for Pres. Maduro and pushing the nation to a probable civil war. Meanwhile, in another arrogant and criminal move, the American “diplomats” refuse to leave, contravening every rule in the books about relations between sovereign states.

By Bill Van Auken

The US recognition of Juan Guaidó as the self-proclaimed and unelected “interim president” of Venezuela marks the initiation of a right-wing coup engineered in Washington.

Guaidó swore himself in Wednesday before a mass anti-government rally in Caracas. Virtually simultaneously, Donald Trump tweeted: “The citizens of Venezuela have suffered for too long at the hands of the illegitimate Maduro regime. Today, I have officially recognized the President of the Venezuelan National Assembly, Juan Guaido, as the Interim President of Venezuela.”

This attempt at regime change by tweet has been supported by a number of right-wing governments in Latin America, including that of the fascistic former army officer, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who was inaugurated at the beginning of the year. Canada also quickly fell into line behind Washington’s conspiracy, while the Macron government in France has reportedly begun discussions within the European Union aimed at drumming up support for Washington’s puppet.

Russia, Turkey and Mexico reiterated their recognition of Nicolás Maduro as Venezuela’s constitutionally elected president, as did Cuba and Bolivia.

Washington’s recognition of Guaidó as president constitutes a naked intervention by US imperialism with the aim of achieving its own predatory aims in Venezuela, which boasts the world’s largest proven oil reserves. At the same time, it is aimed at rolling back the influence in the hemisphere of Russia and China, which have both established close economic and political ties with Caracas.

This regime change operation has been two decades in the making, from the abortive 2002 CIA-orchestrated coup against Maduro’s late predecessor, Hugo Chávez, under George W. Bush, through the imposition of sanctions by the Obama administration and its designation of Venezuela as an “extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States.”

By in effect throwing US support to a rival government, the Trump administration is seeking to create the conditions for a military coup or even civil war within Venezuela as well as a US military intervention from without.

Venezuelan President Maduro responded to the US intervention by breaking off diplomatic relations with Washington and ordering all US diplomatic personnel to leave the country within 72 hours. Guaidó, no doubt operating in close consultation with the State Department, countermanded Maduro’s decree, declaring that he, as “interim president,” was asking US officials in the country to remain in place. The State Department has responded that it will ignore Maduro’s order, setting the stage for a confrontation that can be used as the pretext for US intervention.

In statements to reporters on Wednesday, Trump made it clear that military intervention is under active consideration. Asked by reporters whether he was contemplating sending US troops to Venezuela, he responded that “all options are on the table.”

A US official speaking not for attribution told reporters that if the Maduro government acted against Guaidó and his supporters, their “days will be numbered,” while media reports indicated that Washington is considering a naval blockade of Venezuela to stop its oil exports and the seizure of Venezuelan assets in the US on the supposed behalf of the “interim president.”

Maduro, for all of the rhetoric about “Bolivarian Socialism,” heads a capitalist government that defends private property in Venezuela and has imposed the full burden of the country’s deep-going economic crisis onto the backs of the Venezuelan working class, whose strikes and protests have been brutally repressed. Under Maduro and his predecessor, the late Hugo Chávez, private control of the country’s economy actually grew and the profits of the financial sector soared, as the government diverted vast social wealth to meet debt payments to Wall Street and the international banks.

Nonetheless, the claims from the Trump administration that this government is “illegitimate” and that Washington is standing for “democracy” are nothing short of obscene. This same administration, it should be noted, has no problem with the legitimacy of the murderous police state monarchy of Prince Mohamed bin Salman in Saudi Arabia, the dictatorship of Gen. Sisi in Egypt or the various similar regimes that constitute Washington’s principal allies in the Middle East.

On less specious grounds than Washington is using to declare Maduro an “usurper,” any government in the world could claim that Trump’s own government—elected with less popular votes than those of his opponent and opposed by the majority of the American people—is “illegitimate” and should be overthrown.

Moreover, any regime that emerges from the US-backed operation in Venezuela will be a right-wing dictatorship of the banks, big business and foreign capital that will organize a bloodbath against the Venezuelan working class that will far eclipse the massacre carried out in 1989 against the Caracazo, the popular revolt of the country’s workers and poor against IMF austerity.

The principal pillar of the bourgeois nationalist government headed by Chávez and Maduro has been the military, with senior officers controlling key sectors of the government and the national economy. Washington is hoping that this will become the government’s Achilles’ Heel, with senior commanders persuaded to change sides and carry out a coup.

It was revealed last year that US officials repeatedly met between the fall of 2017 and the beginning of last year with a group of Venezuelan military officers seeking US support for the overthrow of Maduro. These contacts failed to reach fruition because Washington believed that the conspiracy was insufficiently prepared.

These calculations may now have changed. An isolated uprising by a group of national guardsmen who seized arms and police stations on Monday has been followed yesterday with a video statement from division Gen. Jesús Alberto Milano Mendoza, appearing together with other officers, declaring that the army should revolt against Maduro and that the high command should not serve as “the armed branch of the government for its personal benefit.” Milano Mendoza had previously served as the chief of Chávez’s presidential guard.

It is not just Trump and the CIA supporting the Venezuelan coup and the sharp lurch to the right in Latin America. This was made abundantly clear at the World Economic Forum which opened this week in the exclusive Swiss Alpine resort of Davos, bringing together global billionaire CEOs, bankers, hedge fund managers, celebrities and government leaders and officials.

Davos rolled out the red carpet for Jair Bolsonaro, the fascistic ex-army officer who was inaugurated as Brazil’s president at the beginning of the year. Bolsonaro delivered a bizarre and stunningly short keynote speech to open the forum. Investors present were described as “excited” by the prospect of increased profits under a new government headed by an individual who has voiced his support for the former Brazilian military dictatorship and its murder and torture of left-wing opponents, and who has packed his government with generals and right-wing ideologues.

Bolsonaro cast himself as part of a continent-wide crusade for political reaction, declaring, “The left will not prevail in this region, which is good, I think, not only for South America, but also for the world.” He received a positive response from the representatives of financial oligarchies and their respective governments that all feel themselves besieged by intensifying economic crisis and a resurgence of the struggle of the working class on an international scale. All of them are looking towards methods of dictatorship, authoritarianism, repression, censorship and outright fascism as a means of defending their wealth and rule.

Within the United States itself, despite the internecine political warfare in Washington, there are no disagreements about the unfolding Venezuelan coup. US Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durban issued a statement Wednesday hailing the State Department stooge Guaidó and his supporters as “brave patriots who see a more hopeful and democratic future for the Venezuelan people.”

And, on the day that Guaidó declared himself president, the New York Times published a glowing tribute to the right-wing political operative under the headline “As Venezuela crumbles, a new voice of dissent emerges.” It did not bother to inform its readership that this “new voice” is a paid mouthpiece for the US State Department.

The same newspaper, the erstwhile voice of bourgeois establishment liberalism in the US, praised the abortive CIA coup against Chávez in 2002, declaring that “Venezuelan democracy is no longer threatened” after an elected president had been dragged from his office and arrested and a military-backed business association leader had been proclaimed president.

The unfolding coup in Venezuela has implications for the whole of Latin America and the entire planet. It is part of the shipwreck of the so-called “left turn” that began at the beginning of the millennium, the advent of a number of bourgeois nationalist governments that diverted a share of booming commodity revenues into modest social welfare programs and utilized a rising China to offset US influence in the region. Promoted by Pabloite and other pseudo-left tendencies internationally as a new form of socialism, this “Pink Tide” only served to politically disarm the working class in the face of the inevitable turn to reaction and repression.

Moreover, it is inseparable from a turn by the international bourgeoisie toward reaction and dictatorial forms of rule, from Trump’s threat to impose a state of emergency, to Macron’s embrace of Pétain, the emergence of the fascistic AfD as the main opposition party in Germany and the consolidation of the extreme right’s grip over the government in Italy. Everywhere, the domination of a narrow financial oligarchy is incompatible with democratic forms of rule.

The political crisis in Venezuela can only be resolved in a progressive manner by the independent intervention of the working class. What is required is not the intervention of the military, but rather the arming of the masses. The resolution of the country’s underlying economic crisis is possible only through the seizure of bourgeois property and the placing of Venezuela’s vast oil wealth under popular control. Popular assemblies must be established to carry out such a program, while appealing to the workers and oppressed throughout the Americas for support.

The working class in the United States must oppose the reactionary intervention of the Trump administration and fight to unite its struggles with those of the workers in Venezuela and throughout Latin America against the common enemy, the capitalist system.

—Bill Van Auken


Guaidó appoints himself president of Venezuela, with Trump’s and the US vulture empire backing him up.

Below, CBS’ confusing and distorted coverage of events in Venezuela, thinly hiding its preference for a coup. This is one of the main reasons Americans can never make head or tail of the world, their minds are expertly managed to support the empire. Mainstream media journalists are accomplices in enormous crimes, and, this is perhaps the unkindest cut, given their appalling ignorance and indoctrination (like the rest of the American public), they do not even realise it, although many of them consciously choose not to rock the boat to advance their careers. All in all, a revolting crowd.

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National Security Adviser John Bolton may have inadvertently revealed a potential next move by the Trump administration in the Venezuela crisis Monday when photographers captured a note on a legal pad that read: "5,000 troops to Colombia."

Sources tell Fox News that the White House is considering pre-positioning U.S. forces in Venezuela's western neighbor in case they are needed. However, the sources said that no such move is imminent.


Embattled Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro might be forgiven for thinking there's a foreign-backed conspiracy against him in repeatedly accusing the US of engineering a "coup" and waging "economic war" against his regime, especially given that US advisers are now quite openly admitting this is precisely the case. In fact just after Maduro's contested reelection and swearing in to a second six-year term, his foreign minister Jorge Arreaza told Democracy Now that "Nothing that the opposition does is without the permission or authorization of the State Department... They say, 'We have to make consultations with the embassy. We have to make consultations with the Dept of State.'"

While that broad brush assertion could remain over-simplistic, White House officials aren't making it any easier for the opposition in terms of Maduro painting it as tainted by a foreign hand. As a prime example, Trump's national security advisor John Bolton recently admitted to Fox Business that the US has a "lot at stake" amidst the ongoing Venezuela crisis given the fact that it has the world’s largest proven oil reserves. Bolton told host Trish Regan

It will make a big difference to the United States economically if we could have American oil companies invest in and produce the oil capabilities in Venezuela.

So it appears that as the administration contemplates ratcheting up both economic and political pressures in favor of opposition National Assembly leader Juan Guaidó, and as "all options are on the table" according to senior officials last week, Bolton in a candid moment which went largely overlooked by the rest of the mainstream media has given us a glimpse into the administration's less than pure motives on Venezuela


Yankee Go Home – Get Your Blood-Soaked Hands Out Of Venezuela

We have an American encouraged, financed and orchestrated coup taking place before our very eyes in Venezuela and all we get is a truckload of tripe from those entrusted with the job of news coverage.

It is immensely frustrating to be unable to fully illustrate the rage and fury I feel while watching and listening to the grotesquely biased and prejudice dripping drivel which has risen like steam off a freshly laid tonne of manure from the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Sky News and all the American so-called news programmes in relation to Venezuela in the last few days.

It is a disgraceful, illegal and immoral power grab on behalf of the rich and powerful and ordinary folk are fed nothing but darkness and bullshit by the medium of TV which is supposed to illuminate and educate. The newspapers are unsurprisingly just as bad including the ‘liberal’ ones like the Guardian and Washington Post which have long lost their claim to independence and are now mere manipulated mouthpieces of the wealthy elites.

The great crime the people of Venezuela committed was the rejection of neo-liberal economic solutions to the huge problems of poverty, ignorance and illiteracy which haunted a country so rich in oil reserves that its people should have been living like kings not struggling to survive like paupers.

After years of broken promises from the government of Carlos Andrez Perez, elected in 1989 on a largely anti-cuts and anti-Washington programme, the people embraced the former army paratrooper and avowed socialist Hugo Chavez. He condemned the unnecessary poverty and rampant corruption and nepotism in a country so rich in oil reserves. Venezuela has the largest oil reserves in the world. Hence the interest of America in Venezuela’s internal affairs and government policies.


The self-proclaimed interim president’s bank account and financial transactions within the country have been blocked as of yesterday. Venezuelan authorities have opened preliminary investigations into the opposition leader and have banned him from leaving the country until the completion of the investigation. The US State Department has also granted the Mr Guaido the authority of certain Venezuelan government assets and has refused to recognise current president, Nicolas Maduro.

Washington has also threatened to send in military personnel into the country while also informing all diplomatic staff to leave.

Court President, Maikel Moreno said: “The Supreme Court in its decision from January 29 ruled to take the following precautionary measures against Juan Gerardo Guaido Marquez: prohibition of leaving the country without an authorisation until the investigation is completed; prohibition of alienation and pledge of property; blocking of bank accounts and/or any other financial instrument on the Venezuelan territory.”

US National Security Adviser John Bolton said on Tuesday the United States condemns Venezuelan prosecutors for threatening Guaido, and he warned of "serious consequences for those who attempt to subvert democracy and harm Guaido”.

This means war. 

Trump and his neocons like war/MIC profits/bankster profits.


Socialism isn't the problem. The problem in Venezuela is the cancer of Western-supported deep state agencies that are subverting its political economy for the perceived benefit of a tiny transnational oligarch class.

The same agencies which helped to renovate the post 9/11 Canadian government, by ushering in the Harper Regime[1]- arguably a soft coup - and the on-going coup beneath the progressive veneer of the Trudeau regime, are hard at work in Venezuela.[2]

The Canadian government's support for Juan Guaido in the name of democracy and freedom is beyond absurd because he has almost no support in Venezuela, and he was not elected to lead the country.


French hypocrisy when it comes to Venezuela

French President Emmanuel Macron recently voiced support for protesters in Venezuela while his own country has been ground to a halt by massive protests every Saturday for eleven weeks.

There is an overused saying that “people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.” While these few words may be cliche there is definitely one man that they can be applied to after this weekend: Emmanuel Macron.

Even though the French President is into the third month of protests against his government, he has decided to weigh in on the legitimacy of another country’s government and his latest outrageous statements just highlight the hypocrisy of Macron and Western leaders in general.

Macron: Maduro is ‘illegitimate’

Emmanuel Macron is a very unpopular man. Yet, if the French President is to be believed, there is a man who is more unpopular than him that needs to be removed from office immediately. This man is, of course, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro whose approval rating is estimated somewhere around twenty percent by Western media outlets (many with no journalists or pollsters in Venezuela).

The irony of Emmanuel Macron saying these approval ratings make a President “illegitimate” is that his own aren’t looking much better. Following the eleventh weekend of the ‘Gilets Jaunes’ protests, Macron has seen a slight bump in approval ratings (according to pro-Macron media) to a paltry thirty percent.


The attempted coup taking place in Venezuela right now is very instructive for those seeking to better understand the current geopolitical power struggle, as it is one of the most transparent illustrations of the well-worn tactics employed by the forces behind Western hegemony.

Ideologies such as ‘socialism,’ ‘economic growth’ and ‘democracy’ continue to be bandied about in mainstream discourse with the highest degree of distortion. This is often intentional in order to justify political and military action that simply enriches the global elite at the expense of humanity at large. The problem is that much of the general public in the West continue to support these tactics by failing to see the thinly-veiled hypocrisy inherent in them.



It has been just over a week since I last wrote to you, at the time just before Trump’s Venezuela regime change operation hit the mainstream media. I warned that his recognition of an unelected politician as president and his dedication to install that politician with violence if necessary would constitute the worst mistake of his presidency. 

Since that time, Trump, through his neocon proxies, has doubled down on his Venezuela regime change plan to the point where the US is seizing Venezuela’s assets and channeling millions to the unelected opposition in the hopes that with a US cash infusion Washington’s regime change plans can become facts on the ground in the country. Of course for that to happen, it will require massive amounts of bloodshed, as regime neocons are already touting what they claim are opposition supporters on the street as evidence their regime change operation is legitimate and supported by “the people.”

But even if their photos are not manipulated and altered by those forces and institutions working on regime change (like the CIA, which has been dedicated to the overthrow of the Venezuelan government for at least the past 17 years), do thousands of people in the streets constitute a legitimate mandate in the “international rules-based order” so often cited by the interventionists? What of the thousands of us who demonstrated that freezing day in late 2002 against the Bush Administration’s march to war in Iraq? So we don’t count according to them?

What about the 2017 “Women’s March” against Trump? It was said to be the largest demonstration in US history. Surely the largest demonstration in US history means that Trump’s electoral mandate is invalid, no? Because even if Bolton’s Tweeted photos from the opposition demonstrations today in Venezuela are not CIA cook-ups, that is exactly what the neocons are claiming: people in the street = overturn elections. I guess we are exempt?

As a long-time regime-change watcher, I’ve never seen such a blatant and open US overthrow of a foreign government. Bolton and his neocons obviously feel so confident that they can pull the wool over Trump’s eyes that they don’t even try to justify their efforts on national security or even “humanitarian” intervention grounds. And they are moving at a frenzied pace, no doubt emboldened by not a whimper of protest from the “opposition” party in Washington, which is in fact just the left wing of the war party.

The leaders of this regime change have oceans of blood on their hands from all the horrific “liberations” they have pushed in the past, but shockingly no one seems to be asking questions. As neocon Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said: “Now it is time for every other nation to pick a side. No more delays, no more games. Either you stand with the forces of freedom, or you’re in league with Maduro and his mayhem.” 


Two weeks ago, when remarking sarcastically about the upcoming "requirement" for a US military presence in or around Venezuela where the situation is increasingly looking like a replay of events in Syria pitting the US and "western powers" on one said and Russia and China (and Turkey) on the other, we said that it's only a matter of time before ISIS made a dramatic appearance in Latin America.

We thought we were joking.

It turns out the joke was on us, because - in an apparent failure to come up with an even remotely original narrative for another imminent American intervention - US secretary of state Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday night that, drumroll, "Hezbollah has active cells in Venezuela." Well, we were wrong about ISIS at least.

As the Trump administration has continued to ratchet up pressure on the Latin American nation amid a crippling political and economic crisis, and hinted on several occasions that US troops would be deployed, Mike Pompeo told Fox Business that "people don’t recognize that Hezbollah has active cells” in the country, adding that "the Iranians are impacting the people of Venezuela and throughout South America. We have an obligation to take down that risk for America" he said, quoted by the Independent.



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