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Peace and Prosperity

Color Revolution for Venezuela?


After an unexpectedly tight vote in Venezuela over the weekend, heir to Hugo Chavez’s legacy Nicolas Maduro squeaked by with 50.7 percent of the result. His opponent, US-favored Henrique Capriles Radonski lost by some 1.7 percent of the vote and, although he has not provided any evidence of fraud, has refused to recognize the result and called his supporters to the street.
Not surprisingly, considering the history of very active US intervention in the internal politics of Venezuela, the US has joined the battle on Capriles side, refusing to recognize the newly-elected government and demanding a recount.
The intervention calls to mind the US orchestrated “color revolutions” of recent memory, as the Moon of Alabama blog points out:

Doubting election results without evidence of fraud, demanding recounts, riots in the street are all signs of a typical "color revolution" like attempt to overthrow a legal government. As the U.S. has in the past actively supported a coup against Chavez and, even after that failed, worked hard to create an anti-Chavismo "civil society" with the aim to overthrow Chavez, we can assume that similar schemes are behind the current disturbances.

We should recall that in 2002 the Bush Administration helped organize a coup against the democratically elected government of Venezuela. US government funded International Republican Institute’s president George Folsom at that time sent out a press release celebrating a coup against a democratically-elected government, stating “The Institute has served as a bridge between the nation’s political parties and all civil society groups to help Venezuelans forge a new democratic future…”

The coup was quickly dissolved, but, as we discover in a Wikileaks document dating just four years later, US government attempts to undermine and overthrow the Venezuelan government had not slowed down in the slightest. As RT reports on the Wikileaks document, the newly dispatched US Ambassador to Venezuela, William Brownfield, had a full menu of interventionism in front him:

Dispatched in November of 2006 by Brownfield -- now an Assistant Secretary of State -- the document outlined his embassy’s five core objectives in Venezuela since 2004, which included: “penetrating Chavez’ political base,” “dividing Chavismo,” “protecting vital US business” and “isolating Chavez internationally.”

The US efforts to overthrow duly and democratically elected president, Hugo Chavez – through its ill-named cut-outs such as the National Endowment for Democracy -- proceeded apace, with an estimated $20 million in US tax dollars sent to the political opposition in the year 2012 alone.

One need not be an adherent of the socialist approach of the Chavez movement to strongly oppose the US role in fomenting destabilization and coup for at least the past eleven years in Venezuela, illegally undermining an elected government while preaching democracy.

With seven already killed by the violence in Venezuela’s streets, provoked to a large degree by the losing Capriles camp, the potential for a rapid and potentially far more deadly escalation remains high. Further US involvement in or support for the opposition carries with it the enormous potential to add fuel to the fire and will likely backfire. Caution is in order, but every indication from the current US administration is that they are dusting off the old Ukraine playbooks from 2005.


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