A Venezuela-situation analysis by the MSM

Venezuela – Another Failed Coup Attempt

“Self-proclaimed ‘interim president’ Juan Guaido”, Ian Bremmer writes in Time, “gambled this week [Last week of April] to try to force the ouster” of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. (“The quick read about… Venezuela’s faltering revolution”, May 4, 2019)

On the pre- and post-coup attempt situation, now identified as Guaido-gamble, Time writes:

“[T]here was genuine hope that this was the beginning of the end for Maduro”; “Maduro thus ends the week in a much stronger position than when he started it, and Guaido and Venezuela’s opposition are now on the backfoot”; “Guaido just suffered his most significant defeat”; “it’s not clear where he [Guaido] goes from here”; “the failed attempt […] hampers his [Guaido’s] ability”; and “now Maduro is emboldened.”

The MSM weekly’s review of recent developments in Venezuela searches answer to a question: “It’s still unclear whether Guaido had bad intelligence, supposed-defectors got cold feet, or if Guaido just hoped that a daring gambit would swing things in his favor.” (ibid.)

The article admits: “Guaido’s tough week also shows the limitations of US support”.

The Venezuela-situation-review admits a few facts while ignores a few facts. Both are significant.

It admits the failures, the limits, the gambling by Guaido, and in real sense, of his imperial masters. All these – the failures, the limits, the uncertainties – have roots and basis.

The ignored facts are the people of and political situation in Venezuela. And, people in Venezuela or in any country do never are the wealthy, the exploiters, rather the opposite – the dispossessed, the poor, the exploited.

Another MSM-report helps understand the way the MSM analyzes the Venezuela situation.

“When Washington recognized Juan Guaido as Venezuela’s rightful president, Trump administration officials clearly hoped that incumbent Nicolas Maduro’s grip on power would not last long”, writes Ted Galen Carpenter, a senior fellow in security studies at the Cato Institute, in The National Interest (“Washington’s woeful Maduro miscalculation”, April 29, 2019)

Ted Galen Carpenter, also a contributing editor at The National Interest, admits: Maduro’s “grip on power remains surprisingly strong.” (ibid.)

The article also admits:

“An increasingly annoyed and uneasy U.S. government has tightened already onerous economic restrictions on Venezuela. U.S. officials appear worried that Guaido’s bid for power is faltering — a concern that is well-founded. Washington took a bold stance in recognizing him as president, even though he and his backers controlled no meaningful territory. That move may turn out to be another example of a U.S. foreign-policy initiative based on little more than wishful thinking.”

The senior fellow at the Cato Institute has told some important facts related to the US, the chief in the imperialist camp moving with intervention activities in the Latin American country.

Ted Galen Carpenter cites a number of miscalculations by the US: “It wouldn’t be the first time that US leaders assumed that a foreign client had far more domestic backing than proved to be the case.”

The miscalculated cases include, according to Ted Galen Carpenter, Angola’s Savimbi, Iraq’s Chalabi, Ukraine’s political affairs, and Yatsenyuk in Ukraine. Chalabi and his Iraqi National Congress were a crucial source of bogus intelligence information about Saddam’s nonexistent “weapons of mass destruction”. US undersecretary of defense Douglas Feith reportedly wanted the US military command simply to appoint Chalabi as Iraq’s interim leader following the US-led invasion. Not only did Chalabi’s intelligence about Saddam’s WMD prove entirely erroneous; but also his popularity in Iraq was fictitious. In Iraq’s 2005-parliamentary election, Chalabi’s party received a miserably 0.5 percent of the vote, and failed to win a single seat in parliament. The US meddling in Ukraine is now almost a comedy.

Citing the cases the article tells frankly: “Such fiascos confirm that US officials have a habit of grossly overestimating the popularity and political viability of favorite clients in foreign countries.”

It’s not a habit. It’s a practice, and a method. Both of these – the practice and the method – are not without reason, and interest. Identifying the reason and the interest help understand imperialism and its actions.

The article suggests:

“The failure of Guaido to unseat Maduro despite extensive U.S. and other international support suggests that Venezuela may be another case of wishful thinking. Instead of escalating its meddling, the Trump administration needs to take a step back.”

It’s a reflection of a serious idea of a faction in the imperialist camp. This signifies a serious condition in the camp.

The article suggest further:

“It is not proper for the United States to interfere further in the internal affairs of another country. Intensifying economic sanctions would be a cruel form of meddling, inflicting additional pain on helpless civilians. Resorting to military intervention would be even more outrageous.”

The position expressed in the sentences cited above carry meaningful message that needs deciphering by all – within the Bolivarian camp and by the predatory bunch making assault on the Bolivarian country.

The article concludes: “Washington has already pushed the envelope of appropriate outside support for Guaido to the limit.” The message in this sentence is serious with a number of assumptions on the condition of the imperialist camp and its proxies. It should be dissected with due attention.

The New York Times, a few weeks prior to the report cited above, raised some important issues. David E. Sanger and Edward Wong wrote in an article headlined “U.S. runs low on options to oust Venezuelan ruler”: “United States had just about run out of options to achieve its goal in Caracas”. (March 12, 2019; a version of the article appeared in print on March 13, 2019 of the New York edition with the headline “Options fading, US remains stymied on how to oust Venezuelan ruler”)

The article adds:

“Now, Mr. Trump faces the same problem that his predecessor, Barack Obama, confronted […] in 2012 […] — the dangers of making a tough declaration that the United States is unwilling or unable to enforce.”

The situation being faced by the US is, as the NYT article cites Fernando Cutz, a former senior White House official on Latin America policy in the Obama and Trump administrations: “[M]omentum appears to be moving in the wrong direction”.

It mentions the US decision to vacate its embassy in Caracas as “a significant setback for the Trump administration.”

The article also cites Brett Bruen, a former American diplomat who has worked in Venezuela: The “announcement of the embassy withdrawal appeared hasty and lacked the details”, and “the Trump administration appeared to be invoking the potential use of military force much too frequently”.

The NYT article said about Abrams: His “new role has fueled suspicions among some liberal members of Congress and analysts about the direction of Trump administration actions on Venezuela.”

Therefore, a few facts are turning difficult to hide by the MSM as the reports referred above show. These include:

Guaido, the proxy front man: He gambled; he suffered his most significant defeat; his ability has hampered; his bid for power is faltering; his failure, despite extensive US and other imperialists’ support.

The imperialism-backed opposition: The camp is on the backfoot; its momentum is moving in the wrong direction.

The US: increasingly annoyed and uneasy; limitations of support; the foreign-policy initiative is based on little more than wishful thinking; miscalculations; over-trust on Guaido; suspicions about Abrams among some liberal members of Congress; vacating the US embassy in Caracas is a significant setback for the US; US’ options run low/US’ options run out; US is unable to enforce its declarations.

Maduro: There was hope that Maduro’s “end began”; but, Maduro’s grip on power is surprisingly strong.

The MSM: At least a few developments are confusing to the MSM.

The articles suggest/observe:

[1] the Trump administration needs to take a step back;

[2] US’ interference in the internal affairs of another country is not proper;

[3] intensifying economic sanctions are a cruel form of meddling, inflicting additional pain on helpless civilians;

[4] military intervention would be more outrageous;

Thus, it appears that the interventionist camp is in a disarray condition. There are (1) lack of clarity with its method and tact of intervention; and (2) a cloud of confusion overwhelms its assessment of situation. Its over-reliance on its proxy – Guaido – geared up its over-hasty over-reaction, ultra-rhetoric, and over-mobilization. This was evident from the days its proxy announced plan for bringing-in so-called aid into Venezuela. While imperialism was sending planes to Colombia for interventionist activities in Venezuela, its proxy was failing to assemble a show-worthy gathering of supporters. While its proxy leader – Lopez – was fleeing away from one diplomat’s residence to another’s residence, it was over-amplifying its disinformation campaign – generals and commanders were going to join the proxies.

Imperialist media – the MSM – hadn’t produce a single report on the attitude of the working people other than quoting one or two individuals identified as residents from the neighborhood identified as poor. The MSM hadn’t dug an essential fact related to the on-going political struggle in Venezuela: Who are joining the mobilizations opposing imperialist intervention, and from which place the persons surrounding Guaido are coming? In the first case, it’s the commoners, hundreds and thousands in number. In the later case, it’s the rich neighborhoods of Caracas. These facts tell the dynamism in the ongoing political movement in Venezuela: the poor versus the rich.

One of the MSM has admitted: Invoking the potential use of military force is much too frequent. So, the questions come: what meaning does the “too frequent” carry? Is it beating the bushes? Is it part of a preparatory work for direct military aggression? Is it part of activities for confusing its opposite camp – the Bolivarian republic? Does it have any connection to its domestic politics? With each passing day, answer to the questions will be clearer.

Such a condition of the main actor in the intervention-plan is risky as a part in the interventionist camp – ultra-interventionists – may turn desperate, take steps similar to gambling, which is essentially adventurist: Direct military action against/invasion in Venezuela. Such a situation of setbacks and failures provokes a desperate part in the interventionist camp to take a reckless step of direct use of military force.

So, now, Guaido, the tin-soldier, calls on the US to intervene militarily. Guaido recently told The Washington Post he would welcome US military assistance. The failed coup has made Guaido and his hardcore proxy gang reckless.

Moreover, Guaido has to regain trust of his bandwagon riders as he has failed take them to the Miraflores, which he promised them. The law-breaking lawmaker predicted Maduro’s fall within days. Nevertheless, now, the opposite is being acted. The proxy-fighter finds he is doomed.

There’s Guaido’s party – Voluntad Popular, an extreme rightist group. There are other extreme rightist organizations. All have bunched together with their dream – bring in imperialism to loot Venezuela, and collect proxy’s pay from the master.

There are Luis Almagro, the secretary-general of the Organization of American States, and Carlos Ortega, a trade union leader turned a proxy, now living abroad. Almagro delivered his “wise verdict”: imperialist military intervention would not violate international law while Carlos has called for a military solution imposed from abroad. Carlos led two attempts to overthrow then-President Hugo Chavez in 2002-2003.

There’s a report that reflects a situation: Craig Faller, head of the US Southern Command, said: “We are ready” to talk to the Venezuelan opposition politician Guaido about ways of supporting his actions. (teleSUR, “US military still actively plotting against Venezuela”, May 11, 2019)

Farooque Chowdhury writes from Dhaka.


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