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Venezuela 2019 Coup - Background

On 20 May 2018, Nicolás Maduro was re-elected president of Venezuela with 67.7 percent of the vote. Maduro began his second term in office 10 January 2019 after he was sworn in at the country's supreme court. His term would last until 2025. Several world leaders and delegations from around the globe attended the event. Maduro assumed a new term for which he has committed to "promote the changes that are needed in Venezuela, to defend the right to peace and respect for the Constitution."

In the past three years, roughly 10 percent of the population left Venezuela to escape persecution and the growing destitution brought about by government malfeasance. Maduro chipped away at parliament's powers over one-and-a-half years, and he cleverly capitalized on the 2017 mass protests as a pretext for further crackdowns. Maduro barred most of his political adversaries from running for office.

On 04 August 2018, Maduro survived an assassination attempt when he was attacked by a small drone. He accused the U.S. and Colombia of being involved in the plot. In September 2018, The New York Times reported the Trump administration conducted secret meetings with rebellious military officers in Venezuela to discuss overthrowing Maduro.

Maduro's new term came amid continuing economic war against the country and its people using harsh economic sanctions led by the United States in an effort to oust Maduro and his progressive government. While the Lima Group, the United States and other right-wing governments refused to recognize Maduro's new mandate,It was a critical moment for the region and the world amid a rise in right-wing politics and governments such as that of far-right Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil. The Venezuelan right-wing, backed by the United States and other right-wing governments in the region, continued with their coup agenda against the Bolivarian government.

A series of efforts began with soft coups against progressive presidents, the first one against Chavez in 2002 which failed, then another against Honduras' Manuel Zelaya in 2010, followed by a parliamentary maneuver against Paraguay's Fernando Lugo, and partially ending with a parliamentary coup against Brazil's Dilma Rousseff in 2016. These processes have been defined as "lawfare". The domino effect rising of right-wing governments in Latin America, and defeating the "National Popular governments" continues in the region, and Venezuela is one of the last standing defenses, along with Bolivia, Nicaragua, Cuba, and El Salvador.

On December 12, 2018 Maduro, expanded details in a press conference with national and international media on a coup plot against him, created from the White House to assassinate him and install in the country "a Transitory Government Council " He denounced that John Bolton, National Security Adviser of the Trump administration, was appointed head of Plan Venezuela, who acts with the complicity of Colombia to carry out this coup d'état.

Maduro denounced that in the municipality of Tona, in Norte de Santander, Colombia, a paramilitary group called "el G-8" or "los gochos" is being trained. He indicated that there are 734 mercenaries, including Colombians and Venezuelans, to at any time take false positive actions and false flag, to simulate "attacks as if they were Venezuelan forces against military units on the border and initiate a violent escalation that confuses public opinion and justify any other action of military escalation against Venezuela."

He also denounced that a large group of commando forces train in US territory, at the Eglin base of the US Air Force , located in the state of Florida, 5 kilometers southwest of Valparaiso in Okaloosa County. There "groups of special forces are being trained for a surgical aggression against Venezuelan air and military bases. Its objective is to disembark, take and neutralize the Libero Air Base of Palo Negro, the naval base of Puerto Cabello and the air base of Barcelona".

Maduro also complained that the retired colonel of the Bolivarian National Guard, Oswaldo Valentín García Palomo, is making calls from Colombia offering large sums of money to Venezuelan officials and their families, who have made the respective complaint to their superiors.

Maduro also recalled that Hamilton Mourao, the new vice president of Brazil who is accompanying Jair Bolsonaro, assured the Ansa news agency that "there will be a coup in Venezuela" and that, when executed, Brazil's troops will act in Venezuela as "troops of peace" sent by the United Nations.

Maduro denounced that the real objective of the United States behind imposing a new government in the South American nation is to appropriate the energy and mineral resources of this country. "They have the ambition for oil, gas and gold. We tell them: these riches are not yours, they are for the people of Venezuela and that's how it will be forever".

Many progressive governments and international organizations have shown support and solidarity to Maduro. In the streets of Caracas, Chavismo mobilized in defense of peace, democracy and sovereignty of the country in the face of interference and destabilization of the national and international right-wing. China and Russia are powerful allies of Maduro, and view Venezuela as a Latin American bridgehead.

The Lima Group refused to recognize the new term of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. It made its statement in a joint declaration on 04 January 2019. The paper was published by Peru’s government after the group’s meeting, which was attended by US State Secretary Mike Pompeo via video link-up, which prompted Arreaza to slam the 14-member group for taking orders from US President Donald Trump. Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza argued that the Lima Group encouraged a government overthrow in the South American country.

The decision of the Lima Group of countries not to recognize the new term of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro was inspired by the United States, which seeks a color revolution in the country, Igor Morozov, the member of the Russian upper house's information policy committee, said 05 January 2019. "This is all inspired by the United States. They will continue to exert pressure on Maduro and the political processes in the country. Its goal is another color revolution," Morozov said.

According to the CNN's Spanish language website on 15 January 2019, citing three unnamed sources, US President Donald Trump was considering recognizing Venezuelan opposition leader and Congress chief Juan Guaido as the country's president.

Former Mayor of London Ken Livingstone ["Red Ken"] tweeted, "It is clear Trump & co are working for illegal 'regime change' in Venezuela. The history of US backed right-wing coups in Latin America must not be forgotten."

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Page last modified: 30-01-2019 19:15:37 ZULU