The attempt to dethrone President Nicolás Maduro has not come out of the blue. Since Maduro became president after the death of Chávez in 2013, the US has resolutely aimed at a regime change.
This is a chain of events totally misrepresented by the western mainstream media, as usual.
The US has tried to persuade parts of the Venezuelan army to turn against Maduro, but without any result so far. That is why Washington relies first and foremost on the internal opposition and on diplomatic pressure.
The US gives assistance to the political opposition and tries to unite it as much as possible. According to the color revolution handbook, NGOs, student organizations and local organizations are funded, trained and coached to organize street riots as effectively as possible. The street violence must destabilize the country to such an extent that the government is forced to resign, or that the army intervenes and deposes the government.
Since 2013, the opposition twice unleashed a cycle of large-scale violence. In 2014, 43 people were killed and 800 injured. In 2017, 131 people died.
In the meantime, the economic situation deteriorated very much. This was mainly the result of an economic model that is extremely dependent on oil prices, but also of an outright economic warfare against the regime.
They lied about Iran. They lied about Vietnam. They lied about Chile. They lied about Iraq. They lied about Afghanistan. They lied about Iraq again. They lied about Libya. They lied about Syria. But yeah, sure, this time (with Venezuela) it’s for a good cause (it’s not).
Venezuela holds sway over a considerable supply of global oil, thus having the ability to influence its price of what is termed “black gold”. In 2017 Venezuela was the seventh largest oil exporter in OPEC, accounting for 6.4% of OPEC’s crude oil exports.
The oil price drop of 2015 which affected Venezuela was a global phenomenon.
Since the formation of OPEC in the 1970s, the Saudi Kingdom has been able to use its immense reserves to undermine other oil-producing countries’ attempts to maintain a high and stable price for petroleum. Even if all these nations were to ally, the Saudi Kingdom can turn the tap up or down and change the entire global economy to benefit its own geopolitical agenda and that of its U.S. patron. It did so in the late 1970s to offset lowered production in Iran after the 1979 revolution. And it did so again in 2015, partly in response to the success of the Iran-U.S. nuclear deal. It’s not a perfect mechanism; the price drop hurt the Saudi economy before prices slowly climbed anew. But the most severe effects were felt by the United States’ designated enemies: Russia, Iran and Venezuela.
Weaponized oil prices are a useful tool in globalist conquest, one piece on the chessboard worth holding. But President Maduro seems to be immune to the temptation of the western bribe or its callous threats.
Now he will have to stand the test of an offer he perhaps cannot refuse; the embargoes and bloodshed that have and will continue to befall his nation for his “lack of cooperation”. This is, as Russia states, a “direct path to bloodshed”. This prophesy is quickly becoming true as Maduro has called for the expansion of armed civilian militias as the threat of more violence on the streets of Caracas continues to grow. The militias, created by deceased former president Hugo Chávez to resist “imperialist aggression,” currently consist of about 100,000 members. Maduro’s proposed expansion of the civilian force would increase its size to 500,000.
Furthermore, up to 400 Russian military contractors are in Venezuela to beef-up security for Maduro, according to reports.
Maduro’s announcement was accompanied by a rousing speech in which he called upon Venezuelans to decide if they are “with the homeland” or against it, adding that “now is not the time to hesitate.”
A lengthy western media onslaught has pinned Venezuela’s economic troubles on Maduro’s regime; ignoring western trade embargoes entirely, not to mention the geopolitical significance of Venezuela’s oil supply and its closeness to Russia and China. It is in imperialist interests to subjugate Venezuela.
If the opposition does ultimately capture the presidency, the best-case scenario is that Venezuela adopts the ruinous austerity policies of Macri’s Argentina or Temer’s Brazil. The worst-case scenario could look something like the U.S.-led occupation of Haiti, with the country’s oil industry turned over to the multinationals, like Iraq’s was more than a decade ago.
Juan Guaidó: the western choice for regime change in Venezuela.
Maduro says Venezuela is “the victim of a US conspiracy,” referring to reports that US Vice President Mike Pence promised Guaido full American support the day before he declared himself Venezuela’s new leader. An act of unabashed interference and sponsorship in foreign elections.
Maduro has spoken at length on the situation:
“This is the reason for the coup. They don’t want us to get better. They sabotage us and try to destroy the (Venezuelan) economic system.”
“We will continue denouncing US lies, and I will continue to encourage national dialogue because I am up for a dialogue with all the political opposition, with the opposition media,” he said. “I think dialogue should prevail. I believe in dialogue.”
Guaidó is the thirty-five-year-old president of Parliament. He is very close toLeopoldo López, with whom he is in daily contact, despite his house arrest. Together they founded the right-wing party Voluntad Popular. In the past, this party organised armed pickets that killed people, set fire to public buildings and hospitals, led to attacks on ministries, etc.
Strengthened by Trump’s backing, the opposition took to the streets the same day with the aim of ousting President Maduro and forming a provisional government. Amnesty was promised to the military who would defect. Six days later, on 21 January, some rebellious soldiers posted a video message online in which they declared themselves loyal to the opposition leader.
Tensions increased. On 22 January, Mike Pence, vice president of the US, posted a video message calling on Venezuelans to take to the streets and get rid of Maduro. One day later, the opposition did what Pence asked, they massively took to the streets. There were also large counter-demonstrations by supporters of the government. Guaidó proclaimed himself the new president. He was immediately recognized by the governments of the US, Brazil and Canada, among others. Russia, China, Turkey and Mexico, a large and important country in the region, continue to recognize Maduro. Europe takes a cautious and moderate position.
The situation as it unfolds.
It is unlikely that the recognition of Guaidó by the US and some other countries will bring down President Maduro. But it may lead to further destabilisation of the country. The White House has opted for the strategy of chaos, as it has already done in so many other places.
The recognition of Guaidó will give the opposition a boost. If Guaidó is not allowed to hold the presidency, this may lead to more economic sanctions. The US is currently considering a ban on oil imports. This would have serious consequences for Venezuela’s financial position and would further reduce oil production.
An increasing number of recognitions of Guiadó as president will make it more likely that more countries will adopt economic sanctions against Venezuela. Threatening sanctions, stronger opposition and increasing violence will intensify the pressure on military officers and the PSUV top, in the hope that they will eventually change camps.
At the moment a foreign military intervention is unlikely, even with escalating violence. But in the past Trump has not ruled out such an intervention. With the recent election of the belligerent Bolsonaro, such an intervention could possibly be outsourced by the US to Brazil, together with Colombia, Peru and other countries in the region.
In any case, the interference in the domestic affairs of a sovereign country that the US is exhibiting today is unashamed and unprecedented. It violates the most elementary principles of the United Nations.
The deadlock in Venezuela can only be resolved through national dialogue. Maduro, for his part, is in favor of calling for a dialogue, directed to the country as a whole by the governments of Uruguay and Mexico. Any foreign interference or pressure will only add fuel to the flames.