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The Chain of Command is Clear. Must Guaidó Go From Hero to Martyr?

The chain of command is clear: the Washington hawks rule, while Juan Guaidó and accomplices of the Lima Group go along, ready to share in the Venezuelan spoils. A deadly attack by social networks and hegemonic media is in progress aimed at creating a collective fantasy all about liberating a subjugated people.

It calls for mounting street actions that show off “patriots” willing to do anything to expel the “tyrant.” A story is being built so that the European Union and Great Britain decide to support the usurper Guaidó and also so that that the conniving Group of Lima can reach concrete agreements when it meets on February 4. Although diplomatic failures are predictable, the United States needs to mobilize various actors in each regional and international space.

Now the United States is moving forward with a fait accompliand wants to enlarge a consensus in favor of taking the next economic, political and military steps. Is the United States moving toward setting Russia against China? Is it moving against Citgo, that company belonging to PDVSA, once owned by Venezuela, but whose shares, almost half of them, are now owned by Russia?

“We are waiting for them, we are waiting for the thugs, the mercenaries, and for those seeking to enter Venezuela,” said Vladimir Padrino López, Minister of Defense. “This is a siege. There’s a script. It’s the format they applied in Libya and we see the same actions rolling out now, one after the other,” he added.

“The situation is ready and when the US wishes, it will begin a war in Venezuela” predicted French analyst Thierry Meyssan in a video in May 2017. Luis Almagro, secretary general of the Organization of American States (OAS), addressed a message to Venezuelans on Tuesday assuring them that, “You are not alone; democracy will return to the country. We have never been as close as we are now.”

We see mercenaries, paramilitaries, Israeli “advisors” for occupation of territories and for internal destabilization. We see the “humanitarian aid” that the opposition claims it will bring into the country. They’ll probably set up a stage with diplomats, NGOs, television cameras – maybe near the border with Colombia. Paramilitaries and criminal gangs the Bogotá government is so fond of will provide protection.

The United States has no interest in taking the path of negotiation and mediation. It seeks to impose its policies and to plunder Venezuelan oil. That’s why there’s no discussion of proposals from Mexico, Uruguay, and even the Pope to begin negotiations. The attack against Venezuela is not like assaults against other countries in the region. This one has to do with things like paramilitaries in Colombia and the Mexican, Colombian, and American brand of drug trafficking. The strategy seems to be following the code used in the Middle East.

Those in charge of the operation are none other than Donald Trump, John Bolton, Mike Pence, Mike Pompeo, Elliot Abrams, Marco Rubio, and the military chiefs of the Southern Command. Thus the vectors of American neo-conservatism are linked to the darkest of the world’s plots for direct interventions or subversion.

Mild precautionary measures taken against Guaidó

The Supreme Court of Justice of Venezuela (TSJ) approved on Tuesday a series of precautionary measures against Congressman Juan Gerardo Guaidó, who proclaimed himself “president in charge.”  He is prohibited from leaving the country and his accounts are frozen.  Investigations are underway for his having “usurped” the functions of President Nicolas Maduro.

According to Chief Prosecutor Tarek WilliamSaab, the measures go along with the investigation ordered by the TSJ on January 23 when Guaidó, on a stage in a public square, proclaimed himself “president in charge.” That action, Saab contends, has “provoked violent acts, pronouncements by foreign governments and the freezing of assets of the Bolivarian Republic abroad. The implication is of serious crimes having been committed that threaten the constitutional order.”

These decisions came a day after the White House announced sanctions against the state oil company Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), the country’s largest source of income, and placed some of the nation’s assets abroad under Guaidó’s control.

Meanwhile, the National Assembly (now in contempt of the National Electoral Council) approved the appointment of diplomats to nations that have recognized Guaidó: the United States, Argentina, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Honduras, Panama and Peru. It also appointed former parliamentary president Julio Borges as representative to the Lima Group, which, with the exception of Mexico, no longer recognizes Maduro.

A premeditated agenda

Events at a distance from political developments inside Venezuela began to accelerate at the beginning of 2017 when the United States ordered opposition representatives, particularly Julio Borges, not to sign agreements they had reached in the Dominican Republic with the government. The United States also put the electoral route off limits. The announcement made by the White House last Monday night demonstrates evolution since then of a structured plan.

Persons involved first created a heroic image of Juan Guaidó using social networks. Guaidó had been a total stranger to Venezuelans.  His becoming president of the General Assembly came about only through rotation among the political parties in charge there. Because of their continued failures opposition leaders were no longer credible in Venezuela. The next step was a wave of violence from popular neighborhoods, skillfully exploited through advertising.

Step by step, those involved have taken maximum advantage of each event to create a climate in which the situation has no return. First there was Guaidó’s self-proclamation (The “interim president’s” cabinet and location of his government’s headquarters are unknown), then the OAS meeting, then the call to the UN Security Council. The result may be diplomatic failures but these would be useful in creating the fantasy of a world preoccupied with getting rid of Maduro and the Bolivarian virus.

Announcements of blows to the economy followed. These are acts of piracy and theft. John Bolton and Steve Mnuchin are in the front row: funds in the U.S of the state oil company PDVSA have been frozen to the tune of seven billion dollars.  Proceeds from sales of Venezuelan oil in the United States now go to Guaidó. It’s no longer a mere question of blockade. Now it’s a hold-up, robbery, and piracy on live TV. The story goes out on social networks.

The damage has already reached 23 billion dollars. British pirates retain 1.2 billion dollars in Venezuelan gold. There’s the 7 billion in PDVSA funds frozen in the United States and, in addition, another 11 billion to be generated from these new attacks, according to Bolton.

The haste of Trump and the Mike gang (Pence and Pompeo) to put an end to Maduro and the Bolivarian Revolution and thereby seize Venezuelan oil has only one explanation. Deep down, according to José Steinsleger in La Jornada, they sense that the sword drawn by Hugo Chávez 20 years ago might ultimately be sharper than the sword raised by the Islamic faithful.

The threats continue and will continue on a daily basis. John Bolton proclaimed that, “Any act of violence and intimidation against U.S. diplomatic personnel, Venezuela’s democratic leader Juan Guaidó, or the National Assembly would represent a serious assault on legality and will be followed by a significant response.” The precise spin might be that, if a martyr is required, Guaidó may fall victim to assassination at the hands of his mentors.

Alvaro Verzi Rangel is a Venezuelan sociologist, co-director of the Observatory on Communication and Democracy and the Latin American Center for Strategic Analysis (CLAE, www.estrategia.la).

W. T. Whitney Jr. edited a translation secured through https://www.deepl.com/translator

 

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