Updated: Nov 27, 2020
United States’ bipartisan foreign policy in Venezuela has consisted of election meddling and secret meetings with coup leaders. It is apparent that the pure virtue of democracy is not what drives Washington establishment. Will a Biden administration continue along this path?
By Miguel Escoto, contributor Nov. 27th 2020
(Left to right: Former US President Obama; US-backed Juan Guaido; Former US President Donald Trump)
By claiming that the May 20th, 2018 re-election of President Nicolas Maduro was fraudulent, the right-wing opposition cited a part of the Venezuelan constitution which allows for an "interim" President to preside over the country. The leader of the opposition-controlled National Assembly (Venezuela's unicameral legislative body), Juan Guaido, declared himself Interim President with the backing of the United States, Canada, and the European Union.
How was the US involved in Guaido's power move? This article is part of a series of articles entitled “Coup on Venezuela” that delves into the United States’ regime change efforts in Venezuela. With a Biden administration replacing Trump's explicit imperialism, these articles aim to shed light on the fact that our movements' struggle towards peace is far from over.
Despite America's shameful history of invasions, staged coups and interventions in the region, the US government has continued to meddle in Latin American elections, funding right wing opposition of incumbent president Nicolas Maduro in recent years. Yes, this includes President Obama. In a political climate where centrist Democrats vehemently condemn alleged Russian interference in our American politics, it's important to consider the fact that since 2009, the United States has budgeted $49 million to support right-wing opposition in Venezuela.
Additionally, US officials have been meeting up and working with Maduro's opposition repeatedly. For the May 2018 elections of Maduro, which Guaido claims were fraudulent, the United States encouraged major opposition parties to boycott the election. How would you react if a foreign power convinced one of our main political parties (say Democrats or Republicans) to drop out the presidential race? In the Intercepted podcast conducted by Jeremy Scahill, reporter and journalist Eva Golinger described "secret meetings between Juan Guadió and Washington officials" weeks before Guaido's power move against President Maduro, a development--which combined with the millions of US aid towards Venezuelan opposition parties--strongly suggests that the US has been planning Guaido's rise to power alongside the opposition parties.
In mainstream media, we only read about the US recognizing Guaido as a legitimate Interim President--alongside other countries like Canada, Brazil, and the EU. But when it comes to the United States’ involvement in Venezuelan affairs, the Trump government is not simply choosing between President Maduro or Interim President Guaido. The United States has engaged in a full-on regime change operation for the past decade: a overthrow operation which includes a violent assassination attempt on President Hugo Chavez, debilitating economic sanctions, right-wing political party campaign funding, coordination with anti-Maduro forces, disinformation campaigns, belligerent rhetoric, and threats of military violence. Let's not view Guaido's 2018 power move in a vacuum. Venezuela's recent developments are merely a piece of the larger regime-change puzzle.
With Biden's victory over Trump, all signs are pointing to a continuation of the Obama-Trump coup attempts in Venezuela. As of today, Biden's cabinet picks have included John Kerry, Tony Blinken, and Michele Flournoy--key figures of the Obama administration who have actively participated in or are complicit with the US' regime-change operations in Venezuela. Even with Trump (thankfully) out of the White House, our peace movement must stand firmly in opposition of imperialism even when it comes from establishment Democrats.
As with every article for the “Coup on Venezuela” series, we will conclude by highlighting the actual will of the majority of Venezuelans. The following information is hardly part of the mainstream media’s political conversations surrounding Venezuela. According to a poll conducted by local film Hinterlaces, 86% of Venezuelans oppose a international military intervention to remove Maduro from power, and 78% of Venezuelans oppose an international non-military intervention to remove Maduro from power. Instead, 81% of Venezuelans believe a dialogue being held between the national government and the opposition is the way to resolve the current economic problems in the country.