Since Hugo Chavez’s ascension to power in 1999, four US administrations sought regime change.
Previous coup plots failed. Trump appears determined to succeed. The US 1977 International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) permits the regulation of commerce after declaring a national emergency in response to an alleged threat to America by a foreign state.
Despite Venezuela imposing none to any nation, Obama invoked IEEPA authority against its government in March 2015, imposing sanctions illegally—outrageously declaring the country “an unusual and extraordinary threat to the United States.”
At the time, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro blasted the move, saying. “Unlike the US, we have never killed innocent children nor bombed hospitals”—or raped and destroyed other countries.
Obama illegally imposed economic sanctions on seven Venezuelan officials. In February, Trump lawlessly imposed them on Maduro’s vice president, Tareck El Aissami—on fabricated narco-trafficking charges.
Will he next use IEEPA authority to suspend all US trade and investment with Venezuela, along with freezing assets it may have in America?
Is he plotting other steps to oust its government—perhaps belligerently? In response to likely US-orchestrated attacks on Venezuela’s Supreme Court and Justice Ministry days earlier, Maduro’s government called the incidents “part of the escalation of a coup against the Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and its state institutions.”
“The perpetrator of these acts is being investigated for his links to the Central Intelligence Agency of the United States and the embassy of that country in Caracas, as well as for his links to a former justice minister who recently publicly confirmed his contacts in the CIA.”
“Now more than ever,” Hugo Chavez’s call for “unity, struggle, battle and victory” is especially important in the face escalating US regime change efforts.
On June 30, the neocon/CIA-connected Washington Post editors headlined “The region cannot just stand by as Venezuela veers toward civil war,” saying that US-supported “opposition leaders wondered whether” the Supreme Court and Justice Ministry attacks were “orchestrated by Mr. Maduro.”
He’s “resorting to . . . tactics to combat a mass protest movement that has support of the vast majority of Venezuelans.”
Fact: No civil war exists. The vast majority of Venezuelans abhor violence and instability.
Fact: A small minority of US-backed extremists are behind months of street violence, leaving over 90 dead, many injured, and hundreds arrested for involvement in likely CIA-orchestrated insurrectionist actions against the democratically elected Bolivarian government.
WaPo editors urged tougher US tactics than already, including “more (lawless) sanctions, “disseminating (fake news) [alleging involvement of government] leaders in drug trafficking and other corruption,” among other hostile actions.
WaPo barely stopped short of calling for the forceful ousting of Venezuela’s government—maybe in a follow-up editorial.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.” Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.