Tuesday, February 03, 2015

US Orchestrated Coup Plot in Venezuela?

US Orchestrated Coup Plot in Venezuela?

by Stephen Lendman

Washington spent Chavez's entire tenure trying to oust him. Nearly succeeded in April 2002.

Overwhelming public support foiled Bush's scheme. Chavez knew he was marked for death. Obama succeeded in killing him.

His dirty hands orchestrated weeks of violence last year. Another regime change scheme failed. Economic war on Venezuela rages. Ongoing since 2013.

Obama wants President Nicholas Marduro ousted. Venezuela's huge oil reserves plundered. 

Bolivarianism crushed. State-owned enterprises privatized. Predatory capitalism replacing economic and social justice.

Media scoundrels march in lockstep with US viciousness. Waging propaganda war on Venezuela. More on this below.

On Sunday, Maduro accused Vice President Joe Biden of directing efforts to oust him. 

Saying "(t)he northern imperial power has entered a dangerous phase of desperation, going to talk to the continent's governments to announce the overthrow of my government. And I accuse Vice-president Joe Biden of this" plot.

"There are US diplomats in Venezuela contracting military officials to betray their country, looking to influence socialist political leaders, public opinion leaders and entrepreneurs to provoke a coup."

Maduro spoke as US orchestrated demonstrations picked up where last year's left off. During a time when Venezuela's economy is hurt by low oil prices.

Maduro called what's ongoing no ordinary crisis. "I appeal to the people and the patriots among the officials who are on high alert, as a bloody coup is underway in Venezuela," he stressed.

"The people must be prepared to rescue their democracy, the Constitution and their revolution" from US dark forces threatening it.

"We have to be alert, very alert, prepared, organized: the people's fighting blocs, the Bolivar-Chavez Battle Units, the community councils, the communes, the forces, rural workers, the workers, the women, the youth, the movements of sexual diversity, ecologists, everyone."

On Friday, Maduro returned from the third Community of Latin American and Caribbean States( CELAC) summit.

Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega accused Washington of calculated efforts to destabilize Venezuela. 

Compared what's ongoing to 1973 in Chile when Augusto Pinochet outed Salvador Allende. Predatory capitalism replaced social democracy.

A "caravan death" followed. Including mass arrests, disappearances, torture and mass murder.

Opposition government officials, academics, union heads, independent journalists, student leaders, activists, and other suspected regime opponents were targeted.

"We see clearly that they want to repeat the same situation that took place in Chile," said Ortega. 

"(A)pplying the same script, and they want to have it end in a military coup," Ortega stressed.

Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa agreed saying:

"We are reminded of the economic warfare that was carried out by the Chilean elites against Salvador Allende once they realized that they could not achieve victory in the ballot box and were defeated in the legislative elections in 1973."

Cuban President Raul Castro condemned Washington interference in Venezuelan affairs.

"We emphatically reject the sanctions against Venezuela and reaffirm our complete support for the government of Venezuela," he said.

Maduro denounced an internal opposition anti-government forum. Involving anti-Bolivarian former Chilean, Colombian, Mexican and Venezuelan presidents.

Called it "not tolerable in the current political life of Latin America and the Caribbean."

Joe Biden urged CELAC leaders to "leave Venezuela isolated." Claiming "the government will soon fall."

Maduro accused internal opposition figures of saying "the revolution is over. The people no longer support it." 

"They say hey will overthrow the people and the revolutionary government that I chair. But I say to the conspirators - stay out of Venezuela. Let us live in peace." 

Increasingly it's becoming impossible to have normal relations with Washington. How can there be when Obama wants Maduro ousted.

Are coup plans underway? Is Maduro vulnerable to toppling? Perhaps marked for death?

Given Washington's longstanding regime change plans, expect anything anytime to replace another independent leader with one beholden to US monied interests.

The New York Times is a long ago discredited instrument of wealth, power and privilege. Irresponsibly vilifying Chavez throughout his tenure. Disparaging Maduro the same way.

Consistently publishes managed news misinformation rubbish on issues mattering most. Substitutes Big Lies for hard truths. 

Relentlessly supports monied interests at the expense of populist ones.

Maduro has impeccable credentials. He's a former union leader, legislator, National Assembly speaker, foreign minister and vice president.

On January 26, Times editors called him "a former bus driver." Degrading him irresponsibly. Continuing longstanding anti-Bolivarian propaganda. In lockstep with Washington's regime change plans.

On the one hand, lied claiming Chavez "governed poorly." On the other, outrageously accused Maduro of "becom(ing) increasingly erratic and despotic in a quest for political survival…"

Venezuelan democracy is the region's best. Mocking America's sham process. Serving monied interests exclusively at the expense of populist ones.

Times editors ridiculed Maduro's justifiable finger-pointing at opposition destabilizing efforts with considerable US help.

Turned truth on its head claiming fascist Leopoldo Lopez was imprisoned "on trumped charges of stoking violence" last year. 

Time editors ignored his sedition. His US-supported plot to oust Maduro.

Maria Corina Machado is another Washington favorite. A former legislator. Anti-Bolivarian Sumate founder.

Involved in the April 2002 aborted coup. Plotting again since last year. Wanting Maduro forcefully removed. Perhaps by killing him.

Times editors mocked legitimate accusations against her. Called them "ludicrous, unfounded…against another aspiring challenger."

Separately, The Times railed about Venezuela's weak economy. Its "shelves lie bare," it said.

Ignoring a US orchestrated corporate/private business scheme to manufacture scarcity.

Hoard consumer products. Jack up prices. Destabilize things. Create chaos. Blame Maduro irresponsibly.

Washington's long knives target him. MSM propaganda proliferates one Big Lie after another. 

Part of a well-orchestrated regime change plot. A US specialty. Initiated dozens of previous times.

Washington Post deputy editor Jackson Diehl ludicrously claims Venezuela faces "slow but potentially catastrophic collapse." It's "well on its way to becoming a failed state," he hyperventilated.

He bashed Chavez. Called him a "caudillo." Denigrated Maduro as "a former bus driver of astonishingly small talents."

More Big Lies and gross distortions followed. Diehl supports Venezuela's fascist opposition. He barely stopped short of urging regime change.

On January 2, Bloomberg sent "New Year's Wishes for Venezuela." Claiming Maduro "doesn't seem to have any good ideas - any ideas at all, really - for improving things."

Its editors said "Venezuela can no longer afford to provide its citizens with the world's cheapest gasoline."

On January 26, Bloomberg Business headlined "Where to Buy Gasoline for $0.002 a Gallon, Seriously."

"Expressed another way, you can get 482 gallons with just one dollar. (E)nough to drive a Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck from one end of Venezuela's 1,740-mile Caribbean coast to the other six times."

Maduro called for national discussion on gas prices. Saying "(t)here is the need for a balanced platform of prices of gasoline sold on the domestic market."

"For this I will open a debate in the National Assembly with Vice President Jorge Arreaza…to explain the details."

Older currency devaluations aside, Venezuelans pay around 6 cents a gallon for premium gasoline. Most other countries charge hugely higher prices. Including oil rich Middle East states.

Venezuela's prices remained unchanged since 1997. Ignoring international fluctuations. 

"Oil will not return to ($100 a barrel any time soon) so we need to produce, to substitute imports, generate new sources of income for the country," Maduro explained.

"I believe that the time has come (to raise gasoline prices). I trust in  the national conscience, in the conscience of the country."

Maduro outlined other proposed ways to combat US orchestrated economic war. Stressed his government's commitment to Bolivarian fairness. Called it the cornerstone of Venezuela's social revolution.

Try finding a single MSM report discussing his agenda this way. Or explaining Bolivarian principles. 

Polar opposite US-style predatory capitalism. Benefitting privileged elites alone. Increasingly ignoring vital needs Venezuela's Constitution guarantees.

Bloomberg editors grossly inflated Venezuelan homicides. They urged Maduro to cut military spending to save money.

"Venezuelans need less guns and more butter," they said. Ignoring the nation's minuscule defense budget. A tiny 1.2% of GDP.

Much less than Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Paraguay and Uruguay. America's whopping annual "defense" spending exceeds $1.5 trillion.

Including core budgeting, intelligence, homeland security, space initiatives and other related categories. 

Excluding unknown mega-billions in classified black budgets. Plus huge supplemental appropriations on request.

Reuters absurdly suggested falling oil prices "spurred concerns that Venezuela may default on its foreign bonds…"

At yearend 2014, Latin American economic expert Mark Weisbrot asked if foreign investors should believe MSM hype about possible default.

Or that Venezuela is deeply in debt. Burning through its foreign currency reserves.

Interest and principle due for each of the next three years is about $10 billion, said Weisbrot. "Normally, Venezuela (is) able to roll over the principal and issue new bonds for the principal coming due," he explained.

That leaves about $5 billion in interest payments. With Venezuela generating around $50 billion in annual oil revenues (at $55 a barrel), it's hard imagining it being unable to afford its debt service cost even at lower prices for a sustained period.

Claims otherwise are destabilizing propaganda rubbish. At depressed prices, Venezuela can "buy up the whole stock of debt (coming due) in the next three years…for less than $9 billion," Weisbrot explained.

It owns valued assets. Including about $14 billion in gold. In the last eight years, China loaned Venezuela $46 billion. Over half repaid.

Beijing considers Venezuela a "strategic ally." Would it let it "default on its debt for lack of a few billion dollars or less," asked Weisbrot?

Of course not. MSM scoundrels lie. Weisbrot recommended reading them "with a critical eye." 

Best to avoid them altogether. Including the business press. Representing powerful Western monied interests. 

One-sidedly reporting things. Bashing Venezuela irresponsibly. Since Chavez was elected president, it represented a threat of a good example.

A model democracy. Its electoral process the best in the world, according to Jimmy Carter. 

Polar opposite America's duopoly governance. Money power controlled. Democracy in name only. Mocking the real thing.

Venezuela will survive its current economic troubles. As long as it stays true to its Bolivarian roots. 

Knows the danger imperial Washington poses. Remains vigilant against it. 

Obama wants Venezuela turned into another US colony. Looking like Ukraine. Its people exploited, impoverished and denied fundamental rights.

Including vital social benefits Americans can't imagine. Ones Venezuelans won't tolerate losing. Nor should they.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.


It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.