BREAKING: A US-backed coup is taking place in Venezuela right now. Imperialism is alive and well.

Left, US president Donald Trump; right, Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro
John McEvoy

As The Canary has reported recently, the US has been laying the groundwork for another coup in Venezuela. And as of 23 January, this coup is now in full swing.

Donald Trump officially gives coup-plotters the green light

During the first weeks of January, US national security adviser John Bolton, Florida senator Marco Rubio, and secretary of state Mike Pompeo have all argued that opposition leader Juan Guaidó is Venezuela’s legitimate ‘interim’ president. That is in spite of the current president, Nicolás Maduro, having won democratic elections only last year.

On 23 January, Donald Trump issued a vital statement recognising Guaidó, giving the coup Washington’s green light:

The US is declaring Guaidó’s National Assembly the “only legitimate branch of government”m on wildly dubious grounds. The reality is that:

  • Maduro is the democratically elected president of Venezuela. Guaidó is not.
  • On 21 January, Venezuela’s Supreme Court rejected Guaidó’s claim to power.
  • There is no evidence that Guaidó is any more popular than Maduro. His National Assembly certainly isn’t.
  • There is no evidence that a majority of Venezuelans support US-backed intervention. In fact, past polls have shown they overwhelmingly oppose it.
  • History suggests that the US is simply looking out for its own political and economic interests, and that the well-being of ordinary Venezuelans is not its priority.
  • Nothing gives the US the right to decide another country’s domestic affairs.
“The coup has begun”

Abby Martin of The Empire Files tweeted:

Author Eva Golinger, meanwhile, called Washington’s move an “unprecedented” and “devastating example for democracy and sovereignty in Latin America and around the world”. And she pointed out:

Independent media site Venezuelanalysis insisted that the move is “illegal under the UN Charter and the OAS Charter, both of which the US has signed”. It also stressed that:

It then pointed out that this attack of Venezuelan democracy has been a long time coming, saying wryly:

In case you had doubts, it’s Washington, not democratic elections, that confers democratic legitmacy.

Woeful media response

The mainstream media’s response has been predictably awful. The Guardian, for example, reported that “opponents of Nicolás Maduro hope will prove a turning point for the country’s slide into authoritarianism and economic ruin”. It didn’t mention, however, that an attempted coup is implicitly authoritarian.

Bloomberg, meanwhile, downplayed the attempted coup as simply Washington’s “most provocative move yet against the leftist regime”.

CNBC reported that Guaidó was “willing to replace Maduro with the support of the military”. And while this is the very definition of a coup, the broadcaster didn’t describe it as such.

Indepedendent journalists speak out

The critical response online has been overwhelming. And independent journalists led the way. Rania Khalek, for example, outlined US hypocrisy:

Eoin Higgins, meanwhile, highlighted how US imperialism is a cross-party affair:

And Adam Johnson reminded people that the same newspapers reporting favourably about this attempted coup were the same that reported favourably about the last one in 2002:

Overall, there was little sympathy for a handful of powerful US politicians deciding who should be in charge in Venezuela:

Today, a coup is underway in Venezuela. And the US is backing it fully. Imperialism is not a thing of the past. It’s on display right now.

The international community must condemn Washington’s move immediately.

Featured image via President of Russia and Congreso de la República del Perú

Get involved

  • Join the Venezuela Solidarity Campaign.
  • Message your MP to ask them to condemn Trump’s actions.
  • Support Witness for Peace in its campaigns for peace and social justice in Latin America. You can also travel on one its many delegations to the region.
  • Check out The Canary‘s Latin America coverage.

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  • Show Comments
    1. Hooray!!
      Everyone’s favourite right wing shill is back!
      We’ve missed you since the Facebook comments disappeared!
      How’s it been bumbling round in your centrist bubble?

    2. This needs to be sorted out internally with no negative interference from the outside. The real problem in Venezuela is putting food on the tables of ordinary folk and a coup is not going to make a jot of difference. Maybe all of the Americas should come together with Maduro to see how they could help him out of his 1000+ inflation?

    3. Its so mind boggling the Guardian or Western leaders could actually treat this propaganda as real.
      First the CIA undermines the country by financing the its opposition forcing the country into chaos, and comes in to restore peace! These people must also believe the Cubans were messing with American minds with high frequency sounds, making people sick with a vile intent. Its why Trump cancelled any diplomatic relations with Cuba.
      Lucky Cubans I say.
      It all seemed so real too. Then it turns out the sounds were coming from crickets in Embassy’s walls.
      Trump always tells the truth?
      Isn’t there an army of fact checkers trailing him?
      For these responsible people to believe anything coming out of this side of America really makes one wonder.
      How fragile their reality must be.
      If the propaganda was coming from an asylum it would all make sense especially if people believe anything they hear from the oval office is true.
      I want to see the check presented for “Our Reality Cafe” for dining out on this expensive fantasy while having us to pay the bill.

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