The making of Juan Guaidó: How the US regime change laboratory created Venezuela’s coup leader

From the Gray Zone Project
January 31, 2019

Juan Guaidó is the product of a decade-long project overseen by Washington’s elite regime change trainers. While posing as a champion of democracy, he has spent years at the forefront of a violent campaign of destabilization.

By Dan Cohen and Max Blumenthal

Before the fateful day of January 22, fewer than one in five Venezuelans had heard of Juan Guaidó. Only a few months ago, the 35-year-old was an obscure character in a politically marginal far-right group closely associated with gruesome acts of street violence. Even in his own party, Guaidó had been a mid-level figure in the opposition-dominated National Assembly, which is now held under contempt according to Venezuela’s constitution.

But after a single phone call from from US Vice President Mike Pence, Guaidó proclaimed himself president of Venezuela. Anointed as the leader of his country by Washington, a previously unknown political bottom-dweller was vaulted onto the international stage as the US-selected leader of the nation with the world’s largest oil reserves.

Echoing the Washington consensus, the New York Times editorial board hailedGuaidó as a “credible rival” to Maduro with a “refreshing style and vision of taking the country forward.” The Bloomberg News editorial board applaudedhim for seeking “restoration of democracy” and the Wall Street Journal declared him “a new democratic leader.” Meanwhile, Canada, numerous European nations, Israel, and the bloc of right-wing Latin American governments known as the Lima Group recognized Guaidó as the legitimate leader of Venezuela.

While Guaidó seemed to have materialized out of nowhere, he was, in fact, the product of more than a decade of assiduous grooming by the US government’s elite regime change factories. Alongside a cadre of right-wing student activists, Guaidó was cultivated to undermine Venezuela’s socialist-oriented government, destabilize the country, and one day seize power. Though he has been a minor figure in Venezuelan politics, he had spent years quietly demonstrated his worthiness in Washington’s halls of power.

“Juan Guaidó is a character that has been created for this circumstance,” Marco Teruggi, an Argentinian sociologist and leading chronicler of Venezuelan politics, told The Grayzone. “It’s the logic of a laboratory – Guaidó is like a mixture of several elements that create a character who, in all honesty, oscillates between laughable and worrying.”

Diego Sequera, a Venezuelan journalist and writer for the investigative outlet Misión Verdad, agreed: “Guaidó is more popular outside Venezuela than inside, especially in the elite Ivy League and Washington circles,” Sequera remarked to The Grayzone, “He’s a known character there, is predictably right-wing, and is considered loyal to the program.”

While Guaidó is today sold as the face of democratic restoration, he spent his career in the most violent faction of Venezuela’s most radical opposition party, positioning himself at the forefront of one destabilization campaign after another. His party has been widely discredited inside Venezuela, and is held partly responsible for fragmenting a badly weakened opposition.

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Pompeo put Elliott Abrams in charge of regime change in Venezuela

Global Research, January 27, 2019
The American Conservative 26 January 2019

Pompeo named Elliott Abrams as special envoy for Venezuela Friday. The Guardian reminds us of Abrams’ awful career serving in previous Republican administrations:

Abrams is widely remembered in Central America, but particularly from his time in the Reagan administration, when he tried to whitewash a massacre of a thousand men, women and children by US-funded death squads in El Salvador, when he was assistant secretary of state for human rights.
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He shrugged off the reports as communist propaganda, and insisted: “The administration’s record in El Salvador is one of fabulous achievement.”

Abrams also helped organise the covert financing of Contra rebels in Nicaragua behind the back of Congress, which had cut off funding. He then lied to Congress about his role, twice. He pleaded guilty to both counts in 1991 but was pardoned by George HW Bush.

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In defense of democracy and self-determination of the people of Venezuela

From Global Research
January 26, 2019

By Alison Bodine

After two days of intense pressure and a concerted campaign by the US and Canada to install Juan Guaidó as the new “self-declared” interim President of Venezuela, it is clear that they have failed in this objective. It is also clear that their illegal and undemocratic attempts to destabilize the country and overthrow the democratically elected President Nicolás Maduro will continue – with incessantly harmful consequences. Despite this, the people of Venezuela have risen once again to defend their country and democracy against hostile foreign intervention. It is essential that we support them in this fight.

The mainstream media is full of “Who is Juan Guaidó?” articles, which is fair given that the President of the National Assembly has never been an important leader in Venezuela until the US and Canada tried to make him one. Indeed, he was elected to the National Assembly in 2015 with only 26% of the votes. The New York Times and Wall Street Journal have also already published details of the months of meetings and planning between U.S. officials and Guaidó before his January 23 self-declaration as interim President.

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Venezuela at the UN Security with proof of U.S. “blatant and gross intervention” directing the coup d’etat, reviews history of U.S. interventions; Iran Contra’s Ellliott Abrams speaks, Russia and Venezuela respond (VIDEO)

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza asks: Which article of the Venezuela Constitution or which provision of the United Nations Charter provides the legal basis for the self-proclamation of an individual who wasn’t elected by anyone as president of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela?

https://www.c-span.org/video/?457308-7/un-security-council-meeting-situation-venezuela
38:35

Venezuela Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza addressed the UN Security Council January 26, 2019.

U.S. Special Envoy to Venezuela Elliott Abrams, a prominent figure from IranContra, responded. This was followed by responses by Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia and Venezuela Foreign Minister Arreaza.

Excerpt of Venezuela Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza’s remarks: 

 

At last we have a chance to speak. We have a written text but before that, I wanted to share some thoughts with you. Indeed, we can even thank Mr. Mike Pompeo because in the face of failure at the OAS Organization of American States on the 24th of January, they didn’t have enough weight to impose a resolution. Well, they convened a meeting of the Security Council. In fact, we, President Maduro thought of appealing to this body not only to debate not only the case of Venezuela but rather the blatant and gross intervention and mechanisms of interference by the United States in our country. And we want to say at this opportunity, In this case, the United States is not behind the coup d’etat. It is in advance, it’s in the vanguard of the coup d’etat. It is dictating the orders, not only to the Venezuelan opposition but also to the satellite governments in the region, and it seems in Europe and the other parts of the world.

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