Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

This #GivingTuesday, whatever is your first priority, your second priority has to be independent media.

2021 has been one of the most dangerous and difficult years for independent journalism that we’ve ever seen. Our democracy is facing serial existential threats including the climate emergency, vaccine apartheid amid deadly pandemic, a global crisis for biodiversity, reproductive freedoms under assault, rising authoritarianism worldwide, and corporate-funded corruption of democracy that run beneath all of this. Giving Tuesday is a critical opportunity to make sure our journalism remains funded so that we can stay focused on all your priority issues. Please contribute today to keep Common Dreams alive and growing.

Please Help This #GivingTuesday -- Though our content is free to all, less than 1% of our readers give. We’re counting on you. Please help Common Dreams end the year strong.

Russian President Vladimir Putin greets Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro on October 4, 2017 in Moscow, Russia.

Russian President Vladimir Putin greets Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro on October 4, 2017 in Moscow, Russia. (Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images)

'Akin to a Tripwire': Russian Troops in Venezuela Complicate U.S. Regime Change Plans

The Russian move may stymie, or at least slow, U.S. efforts to overthrow the Venezuelan government.

Eoin Higgins

Russia's involvement in the Venezuelan crisis has American officials crying foul as U.S. plans for regime change in the Latin American country are now facing further complications. 

U.S. State Department spokesman Robert Palladino, in a statement related to a conversation Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov, said that the U.S. "will not stand idly by as Russia exacerbates tensions in Venezuela" after between 99 and 100 Russian troops and one defense official arrived in the Latin American country Saturday, complicating efforts by the U.S. to overthrow President Nicolas Maduro's government. 

"The continued insertion of Russian military personnel to support the illegitimate regime Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela risks prolonging the suffering of the Venezuelan people," Palladino's statement continued.

Russia and Venezuela are strengthening their diplomatic and military ties as the U.S. ramps up rhetoric and sanctions and masses troops on the Venezuelan border with Colombia.

Saturday's move indicates that Russian President Vladimir Putin is stepping up his country's support of the Latin American country and its elected leader as Venezuela attempts to survive escalating economic and political crises.

The military personnel are in Venezuela "to take part in consultations with country's officials on defense industry cooperation," according to the Russian news agency Sputnik. Noting that the visit was related to contracts that were signed two years ago, a Russian defense official told Sputnik there was "nothing mysterious" about the visit. 

By putting its troops on the ground in Venezuela, Russia is sending a clear message to Washington that the Latin American country is under the Kremlin's protection. President Donald Trump's administration has continually ratcheted up tensions with Venezuela for Trump's term in office.

The Russian move may stymie, or at least slow, U.S. efforts to change the Venezuelan government, but proponents of war and military action are still pushing forward with their plans.

"Today my bill, the Russia-Venezuelan Threat Mitigation Act, goes to the House floor, requiring a State Department threat assessment of Russian influence in Venezuela," tweeted Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.). 

What Russia is doing by putting troops on the ground, as Washington Institute fellow Soner Cagaptay pointed out, is deterring American aggression—a tactic the Russians learned from the U.S. 

"Russia's deployment of a small number of troops to Venezuela is akin to tripwire, not unlike the 'small U.S. troop presence' in the Baltics, which has deterred direct Russian military intervention in that region," said Cagapaty.

 


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

... We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Win for Alabama Workers as NLRB Orders New Union Vote After Amazon's Alleged Misconduct

A union leader said the decision confirmed that "Amazon's intimidation and interference prevented workers from having a fair say in whether they wanted a union in their workplace."

Jessica Corbett ·


'For the Sake of Peace,' Anti-War Groups Demand Biden Return to Nuclear Deal With Iran

"It's time to put differences aside and return to the Iran nuclear deal," said one advocate.

Julia Conley ·


'That's for Them to Decide': UK Secretary Rebuked for Claiming Vaccine Patent Waiver Won't Be 'Helpful' to Global Poor

One U.K. lawmaker asked when the government would "start putting the need to end this pandemic in front of the financial interests of Big Pharma?"

Andrea Germanos ·


Shell Slammed for Plan to Blast South African Coastline for Oil and Gas During Whale Season

"We cannot allow climate criminals, like Shell, to plunder in the name of greed," said Greenpeace.

Kenny Stancil ·


Cyber Monday Report Reveals Climate-Wrecking Supply Chain of US Retail Giants

"Reducing, and ultimately eliminating, maritime emissions will not happen without bold commitments and concrete actions from the companies paying for cargo carriers to transport their goods."

Jessica Corbett ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo