When Will the U.S.’s Intervention in Venezuela be Finished?
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When Will the U.S.’s Intervention in Venezuela be Finished?


USA – January 25, 2019

On Wednesday, Venezuela's opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself the country's interim president. The United States formally recognized Guaido and demanded that Nicolás Maduro, whom it no longer considers to be the legitimate head of state, prevent violent actions against the opposition – exactly as they did in Ukraine in 2014 and many other countries.

The White House issued an official statement from President Trump, which reads:

“Today, I am officially recognizing the President of the Venezuelan National Assembly, Juan Guaido, as the Interim President of Venezuela.  In its role as the only legitimate branch of government duly elected by the Venezuelan people, the National Assembly invoked the country’s constitution to declare Nicolas Maduro illegitimate, and the office of the presidency therefore vacant.  The people of Venezuela have courageously spoken out against Maduro and his regime and demanded freedom and the rule of law.

I will continue to use the full weight of United States economic and diplomatic power to press for the restoration of Venezuelan democracy. We encourage other Western Hemisphere governments to recognize National Assembly President Guaido as the Interim President of Venezuela, and we will work constructively with them in support of his efforts to restore constitutional legitimacy.  We continue to hold the illegitimate Maduro regime directly responsible for any threats it may pose to the safety of the Venezuelan people. As Interim President Guaido noted yesterday: “Violence is the usurper’s weapon; we only have one clear action: to remain united and firm for a democratic and free Venezuela.”

Maduro, in turn, says Venezuela is breaking relations with the U.S. and gives American diplomats 72 hours to leave the country, but the U.S. State Department said in a statement that it would not comply with that order:

"We stand ready to support interim President Guaido as he establishes a transitional government and carries out his constitutional duties as interim President, including determining the status of diplomatic representatives in the United States and other countries. […] The United States does not consider former president Nicolas Maduro to have the legal authority to break diplomatic relations with the United States or to declare our diplomats persona non grata."

Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo also addressed the Venezuelan military:

“We call on the Venezuelan military and security forces to continue protecting the welfare and well-being of all Venezuelan citizens, as well as U.S. and other foreign citizens in Venezuela. We call on all parties to refrain from measures that are inconsistent with the privileges and immunities enjoyed by members of the diplomatic community. The United States will take appropriate actions to hold accountable anyone who endangers the safety and security of our mission and its personnel.”

After Trump’s and Pompeo’s statements, both Instagram and Facebook removed the “verified account” icon from Nicolás Maduro’s page on Thursday, which counts great world leaders,as NewsBeezer reported.

Blue checks are awarded to accounts that “represent a well-known, highly searched-for person, brand, or entity.”

The leader of the opposition-dominated National Assembly, Juan Guaido, however, got the blue tick on Instagram in November last year and recently on his Facebook page.

When asked to comment, an Instagram spokeswoman said later in an email statement to the media that “Nicolás Maduro was not verified on Instagram, and we did not remove verification from his account.”

Twitter, meanwhile, has maintained Maduro’s verified status.

“Washington routinely meddles but now has gone far beyond mere meddling. Washington has this day (January 23, 2019) declared that the elected president of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro, is no longer the Venezuelan president. Washington, not the Venezuelan people, has decided who is Venezuela’s president. Declaring the elected government to be ‘illegitimate,’ President Trump elected by diktat the Venezuelan president: ‘Today, I am officially recognizing the President of the Venezuelan National Assembly, Juan Guaido, as the Interim President of Venezuela.’ Clearly, Gaido is in Washington’s pocket or Washington would not have chosen him,“ the chairman of the Institute for Political Economy Paul Craig Roberts wrote.

To date, along with the United States, Canada, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and the Organization of American States have recognized Guaido as the country’s interim president.

According to the New York Times, President Putin of Russia telephoned Mr. Maduro and “emphasized that destructive external interference is a gross violation of the fundamental norms of international law.” In addition to Russia’s condemnation of U.S. interference, China, Bolivia, Cuba, Turkey and Iran, among others, have given their support for the Maduro government, denouncing Washington’s policy of regime change.

Thus, the Trump administration is not only igniting a firestorm within Venezuela, but it is also setting the stage for an international proxy war, not unlike the war which Washington and its allies engineered in Syria.

So, now Venezuela has “two presidents”--one elected by the people, and one appointed by Washington. How long before Washington does this to Russia, China, Iran, Syria, Turkey, or India?

“Washington managed to frame and remove from power the female reformist president of Argentina and to replace her with a right-wing Washington puppet. Washington managed to frame, remove from power, and imprison the leaders of the reformist party in Brazil and to install a right-wing Washington puppet. Washington managed to dispose of the reformist government in Ecuador, install a Washington puppet, and use him against Julian Assange. Washington interfered in the French election by framing the likely socialist candidate, Dominique Strauss-Kahn on a bogus rape charge that fell apart after removing Strauss-Kahn from contention. The American leftwing blames Washington for the overthrow of the Allende government in Chile, although my views on this are different. Nevertheless, the claim fits the pattern. The reformist government in Bolivia is also under Washington pressure,“ Dr. Roberts explains.

Maduro has presided over Venezuela's spiral into its worst-ever economic crisis, with hyperinflation forecast to reach 10 million percent this year. Some 3 million Venezuelans have fled abroad over the past five years to escape widespread shortages of food and medicine.

No need to say that it was the U.S. trying hard in the past few years to destroy Venezuela economically by imposing various trade and financial restrictions. On May 28, 2014, the United States House of Representatives passed the Venezuelan Human Rights and Democracy Protection Act (H.R. 4587; 113th Congress), a bill that would apply economic sanctions against Venezuelan officials who were involved in the mistreatment of protestors during the 2014 Venezuelan protests.

In December 2014, the U.S. Congress passed Senate 2142 (the “Venezuela Defense of Human Rights and Civil Society Act of 2014”).

On March 9, 2015, President Obama signed and issued a presidential order declaring Venezuela a "threat to its national security" and ordered sanctions against seven Venezuelan officials. Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro denounced the sanctions as an attempt to topple his government. Washington said that the sanctions targeted individuals who were involved in the violation of Venezuelans' human rights, saying that "we are deeply concerned by the Venezuelan government's efforts to escalate intimidation of its political opponents".

Thus, U.S. economic sanctions have stopped Venezuela from issuing new debt and blocked attempts to restructure its existing debt obligations. Major financial institutions have delayed the processing of all financial transfers from Venezuelan entities, significantly hampering the ability of Venezuelan companies to do business in the United States. Even Citgo, a Venezuelan-owned subsidiary that owns 4 percent of the United States’ refining capacity, hasn’t been able to get U.S. financial institutions to issue routine trade credit since sanctions were imposed.

In 2017 alone, despite that Venezuela’s export revenues rose from $28 to $32 billion, the county’s imports fell by 31 percent during the same year, because the country lost access to international financial markets. Unable to roll over its debt, it was forced to build up huge external surpluses to continue servicing that debt in a desperate attempt to avoid a default. Meanwhile, creditors threatened to seize the Venezuelan government’s remaining revenue sources if the country defaulted, including refineries located abroad and payments for oil shipments.

Since August 24, 2017 the U.S. Department of the Treasury has imposed more sanctions against the Venezuelan government and its officials, according to the Treasury’s press-office. They include Executive Order 13808, Executive Order 13827 of March 19, 2018, E.O. 13835 on prohibiting certain additional transactions with respect to Venezuela (May 21, 2018), E.O. 13850 “Blocking Property of Additional Persons Contributing to the Situation in Venezuela” (November 1, 2018) and some others right before Maduro’s inauguration.

The United States and the anti-Maduro opposition still think that they can win the hearts and minds of Venezuelans by helping drive the country’s economy into the ground.

"I will continue to use the full weight of United States economic and diplomatic power to press for the restoration of Venezuelan democracy," Trump said in his statement.

The Trump administration could impose sanctions on Venezuelan oil as soon as this week, according to sources. The South American country has the largest crude reserves in the world and is a major supplier to U.S. refiners, though output is hovering near 70-year lows and the reaction in the oil markets was muted on Wednesday.

America desperately wants to see oil-rich Venezuela under new management, aiming at three strategic objectives: privileged access to Venezuela’s natural resources (e.g., the world’s largest petroleum reserves and second largest gold deposits), restoration of a neoliberal regime obedient to Washington, and limitation of any movement towards regional independence. These U.S. objectives are conditioned by a continuing adherence to the Monroe Doctrine for Latin America and the Caribbean, the so-called “backyard” of the Yankee empire, as USA Really noted in its piece How the US Is Preparing the Coup d'état in Venezuela earlier this month.

Author: USA Really