Venezuela: Tracking America’s hand in regime change

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IN Venezuela, the leader of the current anti-government protests in the country is worth being the first port of call.
Leopoldo Lopez Mendoza is a former employee of Petroleum of Venezuela (Petróleos de Venezuela), S.A. (PDVSA) and the former mayor of Chacao. He comes from one of Venezuela’s wealthiest families.
Lopez’s family is part of the anti-Chavez oligarchy which once ruled Venezuela as if it was some sort of personal estate.
Mendoza openly supported the suspension of democracy in Venezuela and was involved in propping the short-lived 2002-coup government in Caracas.
Not only did he sign the Carmona Decree to dissolve all the democratic institutions of the country and to dismiss the judiciary and all elected officials in the executive and legislative branches of government, he was also a key figure in instigating the anti-government protests and violence in front of the Miraflores Palace that was used as a pretext to declare Chavez illegitimate.
The leaders of the 2014 anti-government protests are the same Venezuelan mainstream opposition leaders that supported and collaborated in the 2002 coup, executed by a small circle of military officers, that was coordinated with the US Embassy in Caracas and US Ambassador Charles Shapiro.
As the world’s fifth largest supplier of petroleum, Venezuela is a national security interest for the United States.
In the 2001-2004 period, NED issued grants of US$4,5 million to Venezuelan organisations to destabilise the Chavez Government.
During the 2004 referendum, the mainstream opposition leaders even tried to manipulate the Venezuelan voters and create a political crisis through a doctored recording intended to discredit the government by alleging fraud by Chavez.
When President Chavez got sick and then eventually died, the mainstream opposition forces tried to use constitutional pretexts under Article 233 of the Venezuelan Constitution to push National Assembly President/Speaker Diosdado Cabello to assume the interim presidency, hoping it would create a rift between him and Vice-President Maduro that would divide and ultimately weaken the Chavistas and the United Socialist Party.
After Nicolas Maduro won the April 2013 presidential elections, his opposition rival from the Coalition for Democratic Unity (MUD), Governor Henrique Capriles Radonski, refused to recognise the electoral results and declared they were rigged.
Capriles then demanded that all the votes be recounted, which was accepted by the National Electoral Council.
Capriles, however, made additional demands including a call for the full audit of the voters roll.
The National Electoral Council battled to meet his increasing demands and still verified that Maduro had won the election. Still Governor Capriles refused to admit defeat and said that the election was a hoax.
Even the US government was forced to back down from supporting him.
After his defeat, Governor Capriles instead instigated his followers into igniting violence in the streets.
US-based organisations like Human Rights Watch (HRW) totally ignored the role that Capriles and the opposition played in igniting the violence, instead taking the opportunity to criticise the Venezuelan government.
The HRW actually had this to say about the street violence that MUD leaders had started: “Under the leadership of President Chavez and now President Maduro, the accumulation of power in the executive branch and the erosion of human rights guarantees have enabled the government to intimidate, censor, and prosecute its critics.”
Not once were the violent actions taken by the mainstream opposition or the corruption of their leaders in the states or municipalities that they administer ever mentioned by HRW.
Governor Capriles and the leaders of the mainstream Venezuelan opposition have deliberately been trying to instigate violence and loss of human life as a tactic to delegitimise the Venezuelan government and to justify the mainstream opposition’s strategy to work outside of any democratic framework.
It cannot be emphasised enough that their aims are to increase political chaos and to disrupt Venezuela’s political stability with the goal of creating a vacuum to justify acting outside of the democratic framework of elections.
The objectives of the Venezuelan oligarchs controlling the mainstream opposition are not to establish a just society or to weed out corruption and crime in Venezuela.
Their objectives are to reassert and entrench their privileged positions in Venezuelan society and to undo the reforms that Hugo Chavez enacted to help the poor in Venezuela.
The US government has its hands involved in the anti-government protests and riots in Venezuela, just like it has played a role in the anti-government protests and violence in both Ukraine and Syria.
The US Embassy has continuously been coordinating with the mainstream opposition for the overthrow of the government in Caracas.
Just like in the case of Ukraine, the US government has promoted the opposition leadership and made biased statements in their favour.
Over the years, the US government has also repeatedly lied by referring to Venezuela as a dictatorship and to the mainstream opposition in the country as disenfranchised democrats.
Venezuela and the organisations that it has created in the Western Hemisphere are seen as major political, economic, and strategic regional threats by Washington.
The Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) are viewed as threats to the domination of the United States and competitors to the Organisation of American States (OAS) and any US economic regional plans, such as the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA/ALCA), for Latin America and the Caribbean. Regime change in Caracas would be the prerequisite to dismantling the Bolivarian Bloc consisting of Venezuela, Nicaragua, Cuba, Bolivia, Ecuador, the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN) in El Salvador, and several other radical regimes in Latin America.
Despite the media misinformation and all the pressure on the Venezuelan economy, a large number of Venezuelans still continue to support the government and to vote for the United Socialist Party and its political allies.
The majority of the Venezuelan population supports their government, because of the significant improvements that the Chavez era brought to their lives by increasing the quality of life for a significant amount of Venezuelans. It is becoming increasingly difficult for these dirty schemes by America to succeed. Zimbabwe is a classical example of a failed bid by America to effect regime change in the country.

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