US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo just spilled the beans on Washington’s regime-change maneuver in Venezuela. The US is not supporting a popular pro-democracy movement, as the official media narrative goes.
There is no movement against incumbent President Nicolas Maduro worth talking about, admits Pompeo. It’s all an orchestration by Washington. In short, a criminal plot.
The clumsy admission was reported by the Washington Post which obtained an audio recording of Pompeo’s unguarded comments during a recent closed-door meeting in New York. His blundering blab is a spectacular own goal.
The meeting was held with Jewish groups apparently on a range of international topics, including the Trump administration’s Middle East policy. Pompeo seemed unaware his remarks were being recorded. His comments are therefore a stark leveling of reality, dispelling the media spin put out by the Trump administration of “supporting democracy” in Venezuela.
It also vindicates Russia’s steadfast support for the Venezuelan government, and Moscow’s consistent condemnation of Washington’s interference in the South American country.
In his off-guard remarks, Pompeo is scathing about the fecklessness of so-called opposition in Venezuela. He indicates that the US-backed movement has failed because of squabbling among political figures vying for leadership. With a tone of understatement, the top American diplomat laments that Washington’s efforts at organizing the disparate opposition have “proven devilishly difficult”.
“Our conundrum, which is to keep the opposition united, has proven devilishly difficult”, says Pompeo, as reported by the Post. “The moment [President] Maduro leaves, everybody’s going to raise their hands and [say], ‘Take me, I’m the next president of Venezuela’. It would be forty-plus people who believe they’re the rightful heir to Maduro”.
That’s a stunning slip. What this senior US official blabbed is a blunt confirmation that the self-declared “interim president” Juan Guaido does not have any popular support among Venezuelans.
Guaido declared himself “interim president” back in January this year, days after Maduro was inaugurated for his second term of the presidency. Immediately, Washington announced that it was recognizing Guaido as the “legitimate leader” of Venezuela.
Other Latin American and most European countries also quickly followed Washington’s policy.
Nevertheless, the vast majority of UN member states, including Russia and China, continue to recognize Maduro as the valid, democratically elected president.
Indeed, Moscow has vehemently denounced Washington for interfering in Venezuela’s sovereign affairs with an illicit agenda for regime change. Russian President Vladimir Putin this week warned that US policy in Venezuela was leading to “disaster”.
In effect, Pompeo is candidly admitting that Washington is orchestrating Venezuela’s political tensions – and failing.
The corollary of this is that the so-called opposition to the Maduro government has conspicuously failed to mobilize any significant popular challenge to the elected authorities. A military coup attempt on 30 April, led by US-backed figure Juan Guaido fizzled into a minor debacle.
Despite months of highly public calls for a popular uprising, which have been amplified by US media, Venezuelans have remained loyal to the government or at least indifferent to Guaido’s calls for rebellion.
The distinct lack of anti-government traction is easily understood in the light of Pompeo’s recent admissions. That’s because there is no opposition movement with a popular mandate. It is a figment of Washington’s machinations for regime change.
Pompeo also admitted in the recorded comments that US efforts to galvanize a credible opposition have been going on before Maduro’s re-election last May and way before Guaido declared himself “interim president” earlier this year.
“We were trying to support various religious… institutions to get the opposition to come together… since the day I became CIA director, this was something that was at the center of what President Trump was trying to do”.
Pompeo was made CIA chief in January 2017, then later became Secretary of State in April 2018. Maduro was re-elected in May 2018 with nearly 68 percent of the national vote, much more than any rival candidate achieved. The so-called US-backed opposition didn’t even contest in the election, boycotting it.
It has long been suspected that Washington has been fomenting political unrest in Venezuela over the past 20 years, in order to oust the former socialist President Hugo Chavez, and subsequently his successor Maduro.
But Pompeo’s remarks confirm that the so-called “interim presidency” of Guaido is merely a product of Washington’s scheming. Washington is not rallying behind a genuine, spontaneous opposition figure. Rather, it has manufactured this cut-out, non-entity figure. The problem is that petty rivalries and lack of a popular support base have confounded the US manufacturing process for orchestrating a successful coup.
Several damning conclusions can be drawn.
The Trump administration’s high-flown claims that President Maduro is not the legitimate authority are baseless. Maduro was re-elected in a free and fair national vote by a clear majority. There are no grounds for Washington to claim that he does not have a popular mandate and is suppressing a democratic majority.
The economic sanctions imposed on Venezuela by Washington allegedly to support democracy are null and void of any legal or moral justification. In fact, the social turmoil and human suffering among the poor majority of Venezuelans caused by US sanctions make Washington fully culpable of criminal aggression towards that nation.
Threats by the Trump administration of using military force against Venezuela also constitute criminal aggression. The pretext of “military option” to “support democracy” is shown to be an utter lie. It would also be wantonly disastrous for Venezuela and the entire Latin American region, as President Putin warned.
Obviously, the real objective for Washington’s criminal policy of destabilizing and starving Venezuela is to impose a puppet regime in Caracas in order to exploit the South American country’s rich oil resources – estimated to be the largest reserves on the planet. Trump’s hawkish national security adviser John Bolton has previously declared this objective. Pompeo’s admission of an illusory, non-existent pro-democracy movement confirms the real agenda of American aggression.
Opposition figures, more accurately “figurines”, like Juan Guaido are liable for prosecution for sedition and treason.
A further conclusion is that all governments which ceded to Washington’s bullying interference in Venezuela, including notable European ones like Britain, France, and Germany, should be hanging their heads in shame. They are complicit in unlawful aggression and a gross violation of the UN Charter.
Ironically, the US, Britain, and France are permanent members of the UN Security Council. As Venezuela illustrates, they are nothing but a gang of criminals masquerading behind moralistic masks.