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This Can't Be Happening

It’s Looking Like Another Failed Coup Attempt by the US and Its Puppet Guaidó in Venezuela

The US cannot understand how loathed it is south of the border

US puppet Juan Guaidó speaks to reporters during his failed coup attempt yesterday.

US puppet Juan Guaidó speaks to reporters during his failed coup attempt yesterday.

The imperialist neocons infesting the Trump administration, and the orange-faced  joke of a president himself, may think they can invent their own reality through propaganda, as Bush’s “brain” Karl Rove used to claim about the Bush/Cheney administration, but when it comes to Latin America, they fail to realize how deeply the people of that continent loath and resent the US and its colonial-era Monroe Doctrine.

The failure of the latest coup plotted so carefully in the war rooms of the White House, Pentagon and CIA was pre-ordained as soon as it became clear that Washington’s chosen puppet Juan Gerardo Guaidó Márquez was nothing more than a creation of theirs, meant to do the bidding of the plotters in DC.

By the time Guaidó appeared on a bridge in Caracas flanked by some allegedly defecting troops and by the opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez, whom defecting Venezuelan soldiers had reportedly released from house arrest where he had been sentenced for fomenting violence, Guaidó’s attempt to create a coup by televising a staged one was already collapsing around him.

In short order, troops and officers who had supported Guaidó began entering foreign embassies like Brazil’s and Chile’s and Spain’s, seeking asylum, while others claimed they had been tricked into going to Guaido’s “coup event” and fled when they realized what they were being made a part of.  Opposition leader Lopez, meanwhile, recognizing that the attempt to manufacture a coup through faked reporting of one underway had failed, quickly slipped away from Guaido’s side and, calling on his family to meet him, sought asylum in the Chilean embassy (he later moved with them to the nicer and perhaps safer quarters of the Spanish embassy).

This latest charade, which included the apparently false claim that dissident soldiers had captured an airbase outside Caracas, harks back to the 2002 coup, which was actually a much more serious attempt to kidnap and oust the popular elected president Hugo Chavez. That time, while many top generals backed the coup, the enlisted ranks backed Chavez and forced the generals to back down — but not before the Bush/Cheney administration had already hastily recognized the coup leaders as the new government, showing their hand as being behind that assault on Venezuelan democracy.

This time, the generals are backing Chavez’s successor Nicolás Maduro Moros, as are most of the military rank-and-file. But the script is similar, with Washington planning the overthrow of the country’s president and instantly throwing its support behind the puppet who stands up and declares himself to be the new presidente.  And this time too, the people have once again rallied around their elected leader, massing at the Presidential Palace as before to defend their country’s sovereignty and democracy.

As in 2002, the US corporate media have soiled themselves trumpeting the popularity of a coup that is actually widely loathed by the Venezuelan people. The US media also shamelessly pedaled fake news put out by Washington and warmongers like Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and VP Mike Pence, suggesting that Russia had to prevent Maduro from fleeing to Cuba, that the Venezuelan military was abandoning Maduro, and that the coup was victorious. It is a shameful spectacle of corporate propaganda and government at work, hand-in-hand. (By Wednesday afternoon, the Washington Post at least, a Guaidó cheerleader, was backpedaling, with an  article asking “Did Trump Fumble an uprising in Venezuela,” admitting the coup appeared to have failed, but implying that Washington should have offered more support — including perhaps military support, rather than noting that the whole thing was a pathetic failure with almost no soldiers defecting to back the coup.)

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How this will all play out at this point is too early to tell. Will Guaidó end up being arrested and tried for treason for this latest move on his part? Will he be plucked to safety and spirited away to the US by some daring Navy Seal rescue? Will he hide out in the Brazilian or Colombian embassy? It’s hard to say,  but after this disaster, his utility to his Washington handlers is zero, so he’ll likely be on his own at this point. If he’s lucky he won’t end up being denied asylum in the US by the Trump Immigration Office as just another Latin American moocher (which in his case would be a uniquely accurate characterization).

Kudos to the people of Venezuela for standing up for their sovereignty.

Maduro surely has his faults as a leader. But most of his problems have nothing to do with personal failings or lack of that charisma and human warmth that his mentor Chavez had in such abundance, but are the result of both the huge decline in oil prices that have left him unable to fund the programs that made Chavez’s Bolivarian revolution so hugely popular among the Venezuelan masses, and of massive economic warfare being conducted by the US government against Venezuela, including the blocking of oil exports and the sanctioning of goods going into the country.

As with Cuba, long a target of American economic warfare, the people of Venezuela know who is making their lives miserable, and that it is the same imperial power across the Caribbean that just attempted to steal their elected government and impose one subservient to its own corporate and strategic interests.

And it looks like they have once again foiled Washington’s attempt to accomplish this.

If any foreign powers come out looking good in this farce of a coup it is Russia and Cuba, both of which stood solidly by Venezuela  despite threats from the US.

Those two countries certainly look a lot better than the 50 governments—puppets all—that bowed to US pressure and recognized the pathetic unelected Guaidó as the “legitimate president” of Venezuela and that now look like fools and stooges.

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Dave Lindorff

Dave Lindorff is a Philadelphia-based journalist and columnist. He is author of Marketplace Medicine: The Rise of the For-Profit Hospital Chains (BantamBooks, 1992), and his latest book "The Case for Impeachment" (St. Martin's Press, 2006). He is the founding editor of ThisCantBeHappening.

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