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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Venezuela: Canciller Jorge Arreaza ante el Consejo de Seguridad de la ONU 27/1/2019 – “la grosera intervención y los groseros mecanismos de injerencia de Estados Unidos”; UN Security Council speech transcript

…el Libertador Simón Bolívar dijo en 1829: “Los Estados Unidos parecen destinados por la providencia para plagar a la América de miseria a nombre de la libertad”

Del Gobierno Bolivariano de Venezuela
English dubbed video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mubL1aVaG8I

Tenemos que agradecerle al señor Mike Pompeo que ante el fracaso del pasado 24 jueves en la Organización de Estados Americanos (OEA), no tuvieron la suficiente fuerza para imponer un resolución y apelaron a la convocatoria del Consejo de Seguridad de las Naciones Unidas (ONU). Ya veníamos nosotros, e incluso el Presidente Maduro, pensando en llamar a esta instancia para debatir no tanto el caso de Venezuela sino la grosera intervención y los groseros mecanismos de injerencia de Estados Unidos (de América) en nuestro país. Tenemos que decir que en esta oportunidad Estados Unidos no está detrás del golpe de Estado, está delante del golpe de Estado, está a la vanguardia del golpe de Estado, ellos dan y dictan las órdenes no sólo a la oposición venezolana sino también a los gobiernos satélites de Estados Unidos en la región y pareciera que en Europa y otras partes del mundo.

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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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Russia at the UN Security Council on Venezuela, “Such gross interference by the U.S. in the internal affairs of another nation is nothing new”; “the warden who watches over the Western hemisphere” hasn’t read UN Charter Chapter 2.4 for a long time (VIDEO)

https://www.c-span.org/video/?457308-3/russia-un-security-council-meeting-venezuela

The Russian Ambassador to the U.N. Vassily Nebenzia spoke at the U.N. Security Council meeting on the political situation in Venezuela on January 26, 2019.

Length: 14:42
Excellent

Excerpt from English translation:

…Today we are examining here unfortunately the most typical case of what is called “a threat to international peace and security created by the threat of the use of force against the political independence of a state”.

The authors of the UN Charter — and by the way, among those authors and one of the main authors was the United States – tried to save the world from these kinds of events, included this warning in Chapter 2.4. But obviously Washington hasn’t opened that book for quite a long time

Such gross interference by the United States in the internal affairs of another state is nothing new. Americans have not changed and, judging by everything, do not intend to change their relationship to Latin America as an area of exclusive interest of the United States — a kind of backyard where you can do anything you want without taking into account the interests of the people living there.

We’re talking about the reincarnation of the so-called Monroe Doctrine, about which President Trump openly spoke during his statement at the high-level segment at the 73rd General Assembly.

Back in 1913, President Woodrow Wilson spoke about how the United States intended to teach the republics of South America to elect good people..

Well, today that lesson is being visited on Venezuela who dared, at least in past, to conduct an independent policy that does not comply with the economic and political interests of the warden who watches over the Western hemisphere.

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Russian Foreign Ministry briefing: Venezuela; Syria; Silicon Valley is hacking the Foreign Ministry website

Briefing by Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova
April 12, 2017

Excerpts:

The situation in Venezuela

We’re receiving a lot of requests to explain Moscow’s position on this issue.

We’re watching with concern the situation in Venezuela, a country with which we maintain friendly relations, where opposition activists continue to clash with law-enforcers, even with the Easter holidays approaching. We feel sorry for the people who were killed or injured in street violence that is spiralling out of control. We cannot help mentioning a growing risk that the destructive scenarios which we have spoken about time and again and have warned against and which call to mind the grievous events in Chile in the 1970s might be implemented.

We believe that non-violence offers a way to end political confrontation – this is exactly our vision of how to resolve the political crisis and resume nationwide dialogue for the sake of searching jointly for answers and solutions to the socioeconomic challenges facing the country.

In this context, we’re concerned about the statements by the US Southern Command to the effect that further aggravation of the crisis in Venezuela might require a prompt response at a regional level. It should be understood that statements like these are adding to the instability, escalating the situation in that country. They cannot be treated otherwise than words to encourage Venezuelan radicals to create an atmosphere of uncertainty and instability and incite violent confrontation. We consider the fact that tensions are running high in Venezuela to be a very dangerous trend. Honestly, in our view, this would hardly be in the interests of the United States and the entire international community, including the countries in the region.

We would like to say again that all political processes unfolding in Venezuela should be strictly in line with the constitution, keep to both its letter and spirit in full, and comply with the governing laws. There is no alternative to a peaceful settlement of Venezuela’s internal problems reached at the negotiating table and in compliance with the constitution – and there cannot be any.

The situation in Syria

The military-political situation in Syria sharply deteriorated following the massive US strike on April 7 against the al-Shayrat airfield where Syrian Air Force planes are based. In this room, as well as for many other audiences, we have given an extended evaluation of that, issuing corresponding statements and explanations and making comments. As is known, Russia responded to that outright act of aggression against a sovereign UN member state by suspending the Russian-US memorandum on the prevention of air incidents in the course of operations in Syria. A corresponding explanation was provided via both the Defence Ministry and the Foreign Ministry. Washington’s use of force is a serious challenge not only to regional but also to international security.

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