by Tony Cartalucci
The Latin American nation of Venezuela faces dangerous
destabilization with the United States and its allies having
recognized opposition figure Juan Guaido as "president" and
declaring actual Venezuelan president - Nicolas Maduro - no
In response, President Maduro has demanded U.S. diplomatic
personnel to leave the country...
Protests and counter-protests have reportedly taken to the streets
as both sides attempt to seize the psychological and political
According to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo - the
impetus for Washington's sudden interest in Venezuela is the
'suffering of the Venezuelan people'...
Reuters in their article titled, "Pompeo calls on Venezuela's Maduro
to step down, urges support from military," would claim:
In a statement,
Pompeo said Washington would support opposition leader Juan
Guaido as he establishes a transitional government and prepares
the country for elections.
people have suffered long enough under Nicolas Maduro's
disastrous dictatorship," Pompeo said.
"We call on
Maduro to step aside in favor of a legitimate leader
reflecting the will of the Venezuelan people."
In truth, Washington's
motivation is the fact that
according to the Organization of
the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) - Venezuela has the
largest proven oil reserves on Earth - more than Saudi Arabia and
accounting for nearly a quarter of all OPEC production.
The U.S. doesn't necessarily need this oil in terms of energy - but
in terms of maintaining a U.S.-led unipolar international order -
controlling or crippling nations with large amounts of hydrocarbons
prevents the emergence of a multipolar world nations across the
developing world seek, led by reemerging global power -
Russia - and newly emerging global
A Venezuela governed by a stable political order able to produce
wealth from its massive oil reserves - and dedicated to a multipolar
alternative to Washington's current international order is
intolerable for Wall Street and Washington and explains the vast
amount of time, energy, money, and resources the U.S. has invested
in destabilizing and overthrowing first President Hugo Chavez
- with a coup attempt in 2002 - and now President Maduro.
Even the Western media has admitted that the U.S. has long meddled
in Venezuela's internal affairs by funding the opposition.
The UK Independent
in a recent article titled,
"Venezuela military chief declares loyalty to Maduro and warns U.S.
not to intervene," would admit (emphasis added):
The U.S. has a long
history of interfering with democratically elected governments
in Latin America and in Venezuela it has sought to weaken the
elected governments of both Mr Maduro and Mr Chavez.
Some of the effort has been in distributing funds to opposition
groups through organizations such as the National Endowment for
Democracy, while some has been in the form of simple propaganda.
Mark Weisbrot, co-director of the Centre for Economic and Policy
Research in Washington, said that for the past 20 years it had
been U.S. policy to seek a change of government in Caracas.
of Guaido was the most obvious effort to undermine the
The U.S. National
Endowment for Democracy (NED)
own current webpage
admits to extensively interfering
in every imaginable aspect of Venezuela's internal political affairs
with funds directed at:
Strategic Capacity for Local Democratic Actors
for Agile Communication
Citizens through Local and National Policy Dialogue
Humanitarian Aid Relief
Comprehensive Public Policy Reform Package
Scenario Planning and Strategic Analysis
Business Enterprise in Defense of Democracy and Free Markets
Democratic Governance in Venezuela
Empowerment and Socio-Political Participation
Human Rights Situation
to Justice and Public Services
Participation and Freedom of Expression
Dialogue and Reconciliation
of Expression and Access to Information
Political Engagement and Advocacy
Rule of Law
It is clear that the U.S.
is funding virtually every aspect of opposition operations - from
media and legal affairs, to indoctrination and political planning,
to interference in the economy and the leveraging of "human rights"
to shield U.S.-funded agitators from any attempt to arrest them.
At one point during U.S. regime change efforts, NED-funded front,
Súmate, would even organize a
recall referendum against President Chavez - which he won.
The Washington Post in a
2006 article titled, "Chavez
Government Probes U.S. Funding," would admit:
[Sumate] organized a
recall referendum in 2004 that Chavez won and also is a
vociferous critic of the government and the electoral system.
The article also admits
USAID which hired the
Maryland-based company Development Alternatives Inc. to
administer the grants has declined to identify many Venezuelan
recipients, saying they could be intimidated or prosecuted.
While the nature of the
U.S. government's extensive meddling in Venezuela remains
intentionally covert - admissions surrounding Sumate's activities
illustrate how even entire referendums are organized through the use
of U.S. money and guided by U.S. directives.
Maria Corina Machado, founder of Sumate,
alleged Venezuelan election monitoring group,
by the U.S. National Endowment for Democracy (NED),
with U.S. President
presided over the failed 2002 coup attempt
to oust President Hugo Chavez.
NED and other organizations operating in parallel - including
convicted financial criminal,
George Soros' Open Society
- seek to entirely overwrite Venezuelan institutions, governance,
and law, replacing it with an obedient U.S.-sponsored client regime
and system of administration.
U.S. support is not confined to broad efforts to build up the
opposition - but also specific efforts to aid senior opposition
A leaked 2004 U.S. State Department document titled, "Status
of Capriles and Sumate Cases," made it clear that NED
funding was ongoing even then, and that the U.S. State Department
was required to provide aid to NED-funded front Sumate being
prosecuted for the very obvious treason they were engaged in.
It also illustrated U.S.
State Department support for senior opposition leader Henrique
Capriles - along with Leopoldo Lopez - served as mentors to
current opposition leader Juan Guaido who is now openly being
offered some $20 million by the U.S. State Department in aid.
to Cripple Venezuela's Economy
Reuters in an article titled, "Pompeo
urges regional bloc to support Venezuela's Guaido," would
pledged $20 million towards humanitarian aid for Venezuela,
where economic collapse, hyperinflation, and food and medicine
shortages have sparked an exodus of millions of people.
The paradoxical nature of
this supposed aid is that the United States had deliberately caused,
...in the first place -
specifically to undermine and destabilize first President Chavez'
government and now Maduro's.
The U.S. Treasury Department
aimed sanctions specifically at
Venezuela's Central Bank and Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PdVSA)
- Venezuela's state-owned oil and gas company to restrict financing
and to block transfers - while the U.S. and allied OPEC members
acted in concert to lower global oil prices - not only to cripple
Venezuela's oil-based economy - but those of other U.S. adversaries
including Iran and Russia.
While the Western media repeatedly claims U.S. sanctions have been
reserved for Venezuelan officials only, the Washington Post itself
would admit in an article titled, "Venezuela's
oil gives Maduro little leverage against the United States,"
percent of cash-generating oil exports are coming here,"
said Scott Modell, the managing director of Rapidan Energy
and a former CIA officer in Latin America.
exports considerable amounts of crude oil to major diplomatic
allies like Russia and China, almost all of the profits are used
to service pre-existing debts.
"They don't get
cash for that, and they are desperate for cash," Modell
The article also stated:
Citgo's ownership has long been
a source of tension between the United States and Venezuela.
In August 2017, the
Trump administration signed an executive order that blocked the
repatriation of dividends, and sanctions on Venezuelan officials
have placed Citgo in an increasingly fraught position.
Just under half of PDVSA's shares in the company were used as
collateral for a $1.5 billion loan the Venezuelan government
took out from Russian energy giant Rosneft in 2016.
have suggested they may try to acquire parts of Citgo to service
Modell said that there is debate in the United States about
whether the U.S. government could seize the company itself.
Some opposed this,
arguing that Citgo should be an asset available for a post-Maduro
Venezuela that could help provide a "petro-economic
recovery" for the ailing country.
It is clear that
significant efforts have been made to cripple Venezuela's ability to
profit from its oil with even the U.S. media and those it interviews
admitting the U.S. is unsure of just how far to go - realizing that
once the damaging sanctions are reversed, remaining, intact
infrastructure will allow Venezuela to,
'petro-economic recover' for the ailing country."
In other instances of
economic warfare, large sums of Venezuelan gold have been withheld
in the UK which refuses to return it to the Venezuelan government,
Efforts within Venezuela through U.S.-funded opposition groups,
focus on hording certain essential goods creating artificial
shortages while armed gangs hired by wealthy business and land
owners ravage state-backed farmers and industries to further
exasperate prices, supply, and demand.
A Washington Post article titled, "Venezuela's
paradox - People are hungry, but farmers can't feed them,"
refers to the armed gangs merely as "criminals" but links to
Venezuela Analysis which gives a fuller but contradictory
version of events.
Venezuela Analysis' article, "Venezuelan
Farmers on Disputed Land say they have No Intention of Vacating,"
depicts efforts by farmers to use land reclaimed from wealthy owners
to produce agricultural goods, but who are targeted by hired
mercenaries, attacked and driven off.
In other cases, wealthy
oligarchs are able to secure concessions from courts to consolidate
control over farmlands used to produce food.
The Venezuelan government has been increasingly
resorting to price controls and
emergency measures to compensate in the face of overwhelming
economic warfare but with varied success.
Economic destabilization is a key component in U.S. regime change
efforts, witnessed in all of Washington's past and current
confrontations including against,
...for an array of
alleged offenses centered around "human rights" and
fabricated threats to U.S. national security.
Conversely, nations like Saudi Arabia whom even former U.S.
Secretary of State
clandestine financial and logistic support to ISIL and other
radical Sunni groups in the region,"
...and undeniably among
the worst human rights abusers on Earth, has escaped not only
sanctions, but even the most basic condemnation for its serial
violations of international law and rights abuses.
This stark contrast helps illustrate the true, politically-motivated
nature of U.S. sanctions arrayed against targeted nations with but
the thinnest rhetorical veneer applied to obtain public support.
Where even powerful nations like Russia and China must work for
years to create alternatives to U.S.-dollar domination across global
finances - a nation like Venezuela already destabilized from decades
of U.S.-fomented chaos stands to suffer greatly in the face of
sanctions and economic warfare - now coupled with another overt
U.S.-backed coup attempt.
Venezuela sits on an ocean of proven oil reserves.
It has been openly slated
for regime change by the U.S. and has been for years with documented
evidence proving the current opposition vying for power is funded by
Washington, for Washington's, not Venezuela's benefit...
Sanctions and economic warfare have been aimed at Venezuela just as
the U.S. has done with the numerous other nations it has overthrown,
invaded, and otherwise destroyed - or those that it is trying to
overthrow and destroy.
There is no missing puzzle piece that makes Venezuela an exception
to what is another textbook case of U.S.-backed regime change...
Attempts to claim Venezuela's crisis was precipitated by
"socialism" - even if one is able to ignore the voluminous amounts
of evidence proving U.S. subversion has instead - still doesn't add
China is also
socialist - communist in fact - with a high degree of
central planning and nationalized industry. It possesses the
largest high-speed rail network on Earth, has a space
program with the ability to launch people into orbit, and
has the world's second largest economy.
U.S. hasn't a single mile of high-speed rail, currently pays
the Russian Federation to launch its astronauts into orbit,
and has thoroughly squandered its place as largest global
economy in pursuit of aspirations toward unrealized global
There is clearly more
that contributes to a nation's success or failure than being
"socialist" or "capitalist" - whatever either term even really
For Venezuela, its
failures are a direct and clear result of U.S. imperialism.
And only through exposing
and rolling back U.S. meddling, can Venezuela's fortunes be