Trump Officials Secretly Discussed Possible Coup With Venezuelan Officers
Above: Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro waving. By Cancillería del Ecuado, CC by 2.0.
Note: This is only the latest on US efforts to remove Maduro from office. Regime change has been on the agenda by the United States since the election of Hugo Chavez.
Venezuela’s foreign minister accused the United States of seeking an intervention and supporting military conspiracies, following a report that members of the United States government had been meeting with Venezuelan military officers who were actively plotting to oust democratically elected president Nicolas Maduro since mid-2017.
“We denounce the intervention plans and support for military conspirators by the government of the United States against Venezuela,” Jorge Arreaza wrote on Twitter on Saturday. “Even in U.S. media, the crass evidence is coming to light.”
The Director of the Black Alliance for Peace, Ajamu Baraka, a long-time human rights activist wrote:
There are few nations that can lecture other nations on human rights & democracy but the one nation that can never lecture anyone is the Unites States of America. We need human rights & real democracy in the U.S., ask Reality Winners about human rights! https://t.co/PHyenk0EdJ
— Ajamu Baraka (@ajamubaraka) September 9, 2018
Evo Morales, a critic of US imperialism in Latin America and who has been the victim of US regime change operations also tweeted his disappoval.
We condemn Trump’s coup conspiracy by holding secret meetings with Venezuelan military traitors to overthrow our brother Nicolás Maduro. The free countries of Latin America will withstand and defeat any further attacks of the Empire against the peace and democracy in the region
— Evo Morales Ayma (@evoespueblo) September 8, 2018
Trump officials held a series of covert meetings with Venezuelan military officers over the last year to discuss plans to overthrow President Nicolás Maduro, according to a report by The New York Times published Saturday.
Participants in the talks, including anonymous U.S. officials and a former Venezuelan military commander who is on the U.S. sanctions list of corrupt officials in Venezuela, told the Times about several meetings that focused on Maduro’s failings.
“We have many options for Venezuela, including a possible military option, if necessary,” Trump said last year.
“Many in the region still deeply resent the United States for backing previous rebellions, coups and plots in countries like Cuba, Nicaragua, Brazil and Chile, and for turning a blind eye to the abuses military regimes committed during the Cold War,” the Times’ Ernesto Londoño and Nicholas Casey wrote. In 2002, a failed coup attempt in Venezuela, later linked to officials in the George W. Bush administration, ousted Hugo Chávez from office for several years.
“This [information] is going to land like a bomb,” said Mari Carmen Aponte, a diplomat for Latin American affairs during the Obama administration.
Successful Latin American coups that included U.S. covert involvement were Guatemala in 1954 against Jacobo Árbenz, the Dominican Republic in 1961 against Rafael Trujillo, Brazil in 1964 against Joao Goulart, and Chile in 1973 against Salvador Allende. The CIA also attempted to assassinate Fidel Castro in Cuba multiple times.