A Forecast of Trump’s Coming Fiasco in Venezuela

In late November, President Donald Trump announced that Washington had withdrawn its recognition of Nicolas Maduro as the President of Venezuela, and has now given it to the Head of the National Assembly in contempt, José Guaido.

In this way, the United States will openly support the regime change in Caracas This has been the dream of the Neo-cons for a long time and can become a nightmare for Trump.

“Why does the American President act like this?” Ronald “Ron” Paul wonders on his blog. Paul, a political scientist at the University of Georgia, member of the Republican Party and former representative to the House in the U.S. Congress, who holds the largest record of conservative votes for a representative in Congress since 1937.

He has been called the “intellectual godfather” of the Tea Party. He has achieved notoriety for his libertarian positions on many political issues, often clashing with the leaders of the Democratic and Republican parties. Paul has run for the Presidency three times: in 1988 as candidate of the Libertarian Party, and in 2008 and 2012 as a Republican.

“According to the U.S. State Department, the Administration is acting to help enforce the Venezuelan Constitution… As if the Administration were so anxious to enforce its own Constitution!” Paul ironically wrote on January 29.

It’s also ironic that Trump — a president who has spent his first two years in office fighting accusations that a foreign country interfered in U.S. elections– not only meddles in a foreign election, but also grants himself the right to appoint the president of a foreign country.

“How would we react if the Chinese and the Russians decided that President Trump is not upholding the U.S. Constitution and recognized Nancy Pelosi as President of the United States?” asks Paul.

Even those who would like to see a change of government in Venezuela should reject any notion that such change must be “helped” by the United States. According to news reports, Vice President Mike Pence was so involved in Venezuelan internal affairs that in fact he urged Guaido to name himself president and pledged America’s support. This is not just foolish but also very dangerous. A Venezuelan civil war would result in massive death and even more economic misery.

Regime change has long been the U.S. policy for Venezuela. The United States has been waging an economic war against it practically since Maduro’s predecessor, Hugo Chávez, was first elected in 1998. The objective of the U.S. sanctions and other measures against Venezuela and other countries targeted by Washington’s is to make life so miserable for the average citizen that it would make them stand up and throw out their leaders. But, of course, once they do, they must replace those leaders with someone approved by Washington.

“Remember,” writes Paul,” after the “Arab Spring” in Egypt, when the people rose up and overthrew their leader, the “wrong” candidate was then elected. The army moved and deposed the elected president and replaced it with one approved by Washington. The then Secretary of State, John Kerry, called that “restoring democracy.”

“It’s tragicomic,” says Ron Paul, “that Trump appointed the convicted criminal Elliot Abrams, as his key person to “restore democracy” in Venezuela. Abrams played a key role in the Iran-Contras scandal and became one of the main architects of the disastrous U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003. His role in the promotion of the horrible violence in Latin America in the decade of the 1980’s should disqualify him from returning to any public office.

“Instead of this coup d’état, a better policy of ours to relate to Venezuela in the last 20 years should have been one of commitment and trade. If we really believe in the superiority of a free market system, we must also believe that we can only preach by example, not by forcing our system on others,” stresses Paul.

Just four months ago, President Trump said at the UN that he respected “the right of every nation to practice its own customs, beliefs and traditions. The United States cannot tell others how to live, work or worship. In return, we should only ask respect for our sovereignty.”

“Unfortunately, it seems that these were just empty words. We know from what happened in Iraq, Libya, Syria, etc. that this will not end well for Trump… or for the United States. We must leave Venezuela in peace!” concludes Ron Paul whom no one can accuse of being a defender of Socialism.

A CubaNews translation by Walter Lippmann.

Manuel E. Yepe is a lawyer, economist and journalist. He is a professor at the Higher Institute of International Relations in Havana.