Above Photo: From Resumen-english.org
An audio recording leaked by The Washington Post involving former CIA director and current Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has caused a great stir given its controversial content.
What did Mike Pompeo say?
This is all about remarks made at a closed-door meeting with Jewish leaders in New York last week, where the diplomat confirmed that Anti-Chavista politicians are divided and impulsive and that efforts made by the United States to keep them together have been harder than what they have publicly shown.
“Our conundrum, which is to keep the opposition united, has proven devilishly difficult,” Pompeo said in the meeting, adding that “the moment Maduro leaves, everybody’s going to raise their hands and say ‘Take me, I’m the next president of Venezuela.’ There are more than forty people who believe they are the legitimate heir of Maduro.”
Even though he expressed confidence that Maduro would eventually be ousted, probably due to the economic harassment and psychological war imposed by his government against the Venezuelan population, Pompeo said he could not predict the timing.
Nevertheless, he talked about how difficult it was to unite the anti-Chavism opposition that has been analyzed by intelligence agencies since the beginning of the Trump Administration. Also in Pompeo’s opinion the array of competing interests was critical to the failure of the coup d’état organized by the White House against Venezuelan institutions because they were not being strategic in the goal but rather were ” all conspiring for themselves.”
Pompeo stated that “Maduro’s departure is important and necessary but completely insufficient,” arguing that it will be very difficult for anti-Chavism opposition to govern Venezuela if they did succeed in a coup because they are constantly concocting new schemes.
He also criticized the opposition leader Juan Guaido who, with the US’s blessings, declared himself to be president of the Republic last January by characterizing his leadership as “tenuous”.
“They don’t even retweet each other”
Geoff Ramsey, of The Washington Office on Latin America, said Pompeo’s remarks were “surprisingly unguarded but absolutely true.” The Washington Post also includes comments from Shannon O’Neil, a Venezuela expert at the Council on Foreign Relations, who confirmed Pompeo’s statements, concluding that main operators of anti-Chavismo “don’t even re tweet each other.”
A spokesperson described by the Post as a representative of Guaido said the continual defeat of the anti-Chavism is due to the fact that President Maduro allegedly “jailed some members of the National Assembly while stripping others of their parliamentary immunity against prosecution.”
What they have and what they need
Pompeo’s statements confirm that the anti-Chavista leadership resides only in the transnational corporatocracy that it is carried out through their lobbyists in the White House.
Similarly, in the talk about the struggle for cohesion among the actors trying to oust Maduro, it is evident that the Trump Administration does not fully understand the Venezuelan opposition, to the point that the fight against Chavism as the government has been reduced to the struggle against interests within the anti-Chavism movement making it seem like Pompeo is talking about two struggles instead of one.
The reproach from the U.S. official appears to be a public scolding in an attempt to rearrange and get the attention of the chiefs of the different sectors opposed to Venezuela, given that Washington’s most significant achievement so far has been an escalation of economic sanctions against the South American country instead of a political solution indicating the exhaustion of the White House and the frustration of Wall Street.
It is worth mentioning that when Pompeo appeals to the unity of the opposition he is assuming strategic mistakes. Not only because all of their support was given to a political movement impossible to unite but because they’ve staked everything on sanctions aimed at strengthening the discourse of a “failed State” but what has actually turned into a reality going against the image of the United States.
Pompeo’s statements is also in stark contrast to the usual outline of the Trump Administration that promotes the false that anti-Chavista sectors are united around Guaido. Recognizing the leadership of the deputy as “tenuous” Pompeo is assessing the damages and distancing himself from what has been the most supported actor by circles of power in the U.S. since January. The United States is admitting it is has been impossible to overthrow Chavism with Guiado as their main actor.
Similarly, The Washington Post may be using this audio recording of Pompeo as a distraction given the fake news spread by Trump himself in his Twitter profile, alleging that “Russia has informed us that they have removed most of their people from Venezuela.” This outright lie has been disproven by the Kremlin, affirming their cooperation with Venezuela was still consistent and active.
On June 6, Trump’s special envoy to Venezuela, Elliott Abrams said as much by commenting that Moscow “has not abandoned” the Nicolas Maduro regime and the Russian presence in the South American country has not significantly changed since the failed coup headed by Juan Guaido and Leopoldo Lopez in April.
Agreeing with Pompeo, Abrams said the role played by Russia was not as vital to Maduro’s survival as the so called Cuban military presence, but remained important. Abrams and Pompeo know very well that not only could Guaido not convince Venezuelan soldiers to change sides but he has no allegiance in the military.
Asked about Pompeo’s comments, Abrams said “I’ve dealt with a lot of democratic oppositions and they’re all fractious. And the reason they’re fractious is that they’re democratic. In my experience, the degree of democracy within a movement or party when it is in opposition is predictive of the degree of democracy when it takes power.”
This delusional statement aside, evidence abounds about just how little democratic consideration lives in the Venezuelan opposition that Abrams and Pompeo have such hopes for.