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Saturday, March 14, 2015

US declares Venezuela a national security threat when it is the other way around

President Obama signed an executive order declaring Venezuela a national security threat, and also ordered sanctions against seven Venezuelan officials.
The executive order was said to target people who had undermined the democratic process or institutions, had committed acts of violence or abuse of human rights, been involved in public corruption, or prohibition of freedom of expression. So why is President el-Sissi of Egypt not being sanctioned since he certainly committed acts of violence and prohibits freedom of expression? Venezuela's real problem is that it has challenged U.S. policies. None of these reasons for these sanctions show that Venezuela is a threat to U.S. security. The targeted sanctions implement the Venezuela Defense of Human Rights and Civil Society Act of 2014, a bill that Obama had signed on December 18, 2014.
The declaration was accompanied by the inevitable moralistic justification:"Venezuelan officials past and present who violate the human rights of Venezuelan citizens and engage in acts of public corruption will not be welcome here, and we now have the tools to block their assets and their use of U.S. financial systems. We are deeply concerned by the Venezuelan government's efforts to escalate intimidation of its political opponents. Venezuela's problems cannot be solved by criminalizing dissent."The U.S. has supported governments in Afghanistan in which corruption was endemic. It supports governments such as Saudi Arabia which will not allow demonstrations and where insulting the monarch is a crime. Of course the Reuters article has no mention of an earlier coup attempt. The degree of U.S. involvement is not clear but certainly they knew about it and must have known that Chavez did not resign but was captured and held by the military.They went along with the lie that he resigned. I enclose a video on the failed coup back in 2002.
This is not to say that there is no repression in Venezuela or no corrupt politicians. Conditions in Venezuela are quite poor, due to a considerable extent, to a huge drop in oil prices. However, the government was facing public unrest and demonstrations when the 2002 coup was mounted. The video above shows how some private TV stations manipulated footage to portray Chavez supporters in the worst light. Of course manipulation of footage is common to both sides. The prize-winning documentary The Revolution Will Not Be Televised that I have appended, also has bits that are edited at times to provide a narrative favourable to Chavez. Some of the evidence for the US role in the 2002 failed coup can be found in this article.
Critics claim that instead of dealing with his economic problems Maduro is busy inventing plots against the government. Some evidence of U.S. attempts to destabilize the regime is provided in this article. There is wide coverage in Venezuela of what is called the Blue Coup plot. The Mayor of Caracas is accused of being implicated: February 19th 2015 (venezuelanalysis.com) Venezuelan opposition Mayor and longtime rightwing politician, Antonio Ledezma, has been arrested by the country’s intelligence services, SEBIN, for his alleged role in plotting to stage a coup against the democratically elected government of Nicolas Maduro.Ledezma was also involved in the 2002 failed coup. On February 11th, he circulated a statement signed by other opposition politicians as well:The document calls on Venezuelans to unite behind a plan to remove elected President Nicolas Maduro and sets out an action programme for the would be provisional government. This includes facilitating the return of “exiled” Venezuelans, prosecuting current members of government and reaching out to international financial lending agencies such as the International Monetary Fund.
More recently, Maduro on TV provided more evidence for the plot:President Maduro played the audio of a conversation held between Carlos Manuel Osuna Saraco, a former Venezuelan politician living in New York, and a soldier, in which Osuna dictates the statement that the rebel soldiers should read out during the coup.While some of this may be fabricated such details are not worth reporting in most of the mainstream press. Just say that Maduro is making up coup plots to divert attention from his political and economic problems and to blame others for them.
There is no doubt that there is unrest in Venezuela as inflation has risen 70 percent as the value of the currency has dropped by 20 percent and the price of oil has plummeted, leaving the government less money to fund its programs. The approval rating of Maduro is only in the low twenties. If there is a coup the U.S. will blame it on the Venezuelan government and it will be no time before the U.S. meets any new leader. While the U.S. now has a lot of its own oil, it would probably be happy if it could get better deal for purchasing Venezuelan oil.

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