Arthur J. Villasanta – Fourth Estate Contributor
Washington, DC, United States (4E) – U.S. covert operatives repeatedly met with disgruntled officers of the Venezuelan armed forces over the past year to discuss overthrowing Venezuelan dictator Nicolas Maduro.
The U.S. National Security Council (NSC) didn’t deny this report of a planned coup d’etat to be staged by the National Bolivarian Armed Forces of Venezuela (Fuerza Armada Nacional Bolivariana). Instead, the NSC professed innocence, claiming U.S. policy prefers a peaceful, orderly return to democracy in Venezuela and this preference remains unchanged.
American covert operatives met with rebel Venezuelan military officers many times over the past year to discuss plans to oust Maduro. A former Venezuelan military commander who participated in the talks said a covert communications channel was established between U.S. operatives and the coup plotters.
The Venezuelan officers also asked the U.S. to provide encrypted radios to the hundreds of officers and men who were part of the plot to oust Maduro. The U.S., however, decided to not send the radios and other materiel when dozens of the coup plotters were later arrested by Venezuelan police.
The coup plotters contacted the Trump White House after the president last year said the U.S. had a “military option” for Venezuela. It was Trump, the commander-in-chief saying this now, said one of the officers involved in the plot. He said he’s not going to doubt America’s intentions when Trump is the messenger.
Venezuela immediately slammed the United States and accused it of supporting military conspiracies. Venezuela’s foreign minister Jorge Arreaza tweeted that his country denounces the intervention plans and support for military conspirators by the government of the United States. “Even in U.S. media, the crass evidence is coming to light.”
The Trump administration later issued a statement that seemed to suggest regime change is an option that remains on the table.
“The United States government hears daily the concerns of Venezuelans from all walks of life — be they members of the ruling party, the security services, elements of civil society or from among the millions of citizens forced by the regime to flee abroad. They share one goal: the rebuilding of democracy in their homeland,” said Garrett Marquis, NSC spokesman.
“A lasting solution to Venezuela’s worsening crisis can only arise following restoration of governance by democratic practices, the rule of law, and respect for fundamental human rights and freedoms.”
The United States has a long history of intervening in Latin American politics. It supported a coup in Chile in 1973 that overthrew Augusto Pinochet and sponsored and the failed Bay of Pigs invasion to overthrow Cuba’s Fidel Castro in 1961.
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