While Democratic and Republican lawmakers, political pundits, and angered U.S. citizens of all stripes rightly condemned Wednesday's violent coup attempt by a pro-Trump mob in the nation's capital, at least one foreign government offered its sympathy for the assault while also pointing out that U.S.-backed efforts to subvert democracy abroad are all too common.
In the wake of the day's deadly mayhem at the U.S. Capitol building, the Venezuelan government issued a public statement expressing "concern with the acts of violence that are taking [place] in the city of Washington, D.C."
"Venezuela condemns the political polarization and the spiral of violence that only reflects the deep crisis that the political and social system of the United States is currently going through," the statement continues. "With this unfortunate episode, the United States is suffering the same thing that it has generated in other countries with its policies of aggression."
The Bolivarian Government of Venezuela has condemned the acts of violence that took place today in Washington D.C. and reminds that U.S. foreign policy consistently promotes these policies of aggression against legitimate democratic process worldwide. pic.twitter.com/OeTrn46xBt— teleSUR English (@telesurenglish) January 7, 2021
Juan Guaidó, Venezuela's right-wing opposition figure who in 2019 oversaw a failed U.S.-backed coup attempt after the reelection of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, became a flashpoint for commentators eager to shed light on the hypocrisy of U.S. lawmakers from both major parties who gave Guaidó a standing ovation when the self-anointed leader was erroneously described by President Donald Trump during his 2020 State of the Union address as the "true and legitimate president of Venezuela."
Alluding to a viral photo of a Trump supporter triumphantly raising his fist in the U.S. Senate Chamber during Wednesday's anti-democratic insurrection, journalist Max Blumenthal of The Grayzone News said, "Imagine if a foreign power recognized this guy as president and you'll know how Venezuelans feel."
Imagine if a foreign power recognized this guy as president and you’ll know how Venezuelans feel https://t.co/KCW0A4WLyR— Max Blumenthal (@MaxBlumenthal) January 6, 2021
The Grayzone's Anya Parampil noted that Maduro opponent Carlos Vecchio "was welcomed in D.C. as Juan Guaidó's ambassador," not long after "encouraging violence and attacks on government buildings in Venezuela."
The main difference between the Venezuelan opposition that has tried to violently overthrow Maduro since he was reelected and the so-called #StopTheSteal rioters who stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday in an attempt to strip President-elect Joe Biden of his legitimate victory, Parampil added, is that corporate media "recognizes the danger in these actions when they're taking place in their own capital."
Encouraging violence & attacks on government buildings in Venezuela is exactly what @carlosvecchio did before he was welcomed in DC as @jguaido’s ambassador https://t.co/W7zhxAbyJz pic.twitter.com/X8dXKSOZwr— Anya Parampil (@anyaparampil) January 6, 2021
Others also drew links between the efforts of the pro-Trump mob and Washington's anti-Maduro forces, sardonically suggesting that some of Wednesday's actions may have been inspired by Guaidó.
See any similarities? Images from Juan Guaidó's attempt to storm Venezuela's National Assembly and today's pro-Trump mobs occupying the U.S. Capitol building, just one year apart.@anyaparampil pic.twitter.com/65nDxEpNzd— teleSUR English (@telesurenglish) January 6, 2021
January 6, 2021
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Basically @jguaido has about as much legitimacy to proclaim himself president as the moron with antlers on the right. Only he wears a $5000 suit and has uncritical bipartisan support (which extends to the corporate media) pic.twitter.com/jXuaqlIgfN— venezuelanalysis.com (@venanalysis) January 6, 2021
Critics lambasted Guaidó for having the audacity to denounce Wednesday's attack on democracy in D.C., reminding the "self-proclaimed puppet" of Washington of the similarities between his unsuccessful, anti-democratic power grab in Venezuela and the chaotic events that unfolded in the U.S. on Wednesday.
One more idiot joining the idiot party. Self-proclaimed puppet @jguaido felt he had to say something about the Capitol mayhem. He's probably regretting having left the antlers at home when it was his turn. He'd be better off claiming to have inspired the MAGA crowd today https://t.co/4OGEn3jJuK pic.twitter.com/rVAwZPLr4s— venezuelanalysis.com (@venanalysis) January 7, 2021
Like Guaidó, right-wing pundit Yascha Mounk also deemed it appropriate to opine on the coup attempt in D.C., denouncing "groups of armed nihilists attempt[ing] to destroy federal buildings that are key to the maintenance of the rule of law."
The only problem, journalist Ollie Vargas pointed out, is that when "this exact set of events (fascist mobs seizing public institutions) took place in Bolivia," Mounk celebrated the military coup that replaced then-president Evo Morales with a brutal right-wing regime, calling it—in true Orwellian fashion—a victory for democracy.
This *exact* set of events (fascist mobs seizing public institutons) took place in Bolivia. You celebrated it as victory for democracy. The taste of ones own medicine isn't particularly nice is it? https://t.co/fX8vRQvGiM— Ollie Vargas (@OVargas52) January 6, 2021
In an interview with teleSUR, political analyst Arnold August explained that while Wednesday's terrible events are relatively unprecedented in the U.S., "unfortunately, these scenes are not unprecedented when it comes to U.S. foreign policy."
"The chickens have come home to roost," August said. "It is not unprecedented in U.S. foreign policy to carry out coups far more violent than the one that is going on in Washington, D.C. at the moment." He listed several recent examples of countries, including Paraguay, Brazil, Venezuela, and Bolivia, whose leaders were overthrown after pursuing policies that run counter to the interests of the U.S. ruling class.
August suggested that U.S. lawmakers disturbed by the attempt of pro-Trump forces to undermine the democratic process in this nation should not support regime change "elsewhere in the world."
Officials in the Maduro administration concluded their statement by saying that "Venezuela hopes that soon the violence will cease and the American people can finally open a new path towards stability and peace."