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      The Urgency Of Venezuela

      Tom Hayden discussing the crisis in Venezuela, February 25, 2014. (Photo: Telesur, February 2014)"Creo que la mano, la mano invisible de los Estados Unidos, está involucrado en la crisis venezolana. El presidente Obama debe indicar en palabras claras de que Estados Unidos se opone a cualquier intento de un golpe de Estado y los Estados Unidos no va a apoyar directa oindirectamente. Las fuerzas anti-Maduro están actuando para desestabilizar y finalmente derrocar al gobierno de Maduro, que nunca ha sido vencer en las urnas. Los Estados Unidos no debe fomentar este proceso por medio de palabras o acciones, a la intemperie o en secreto." - Tom Hayden, on Telesur, February 25, 2014.

      This article was also published on The Huffington Post.


      It's difficult to grasp the facts behind the murky fog of Venezuelan crisis. Based more or less on intuitions, but also credible documents, some blame most of the crisis on the CIA. Some national security types, abhorring populism, claim that the Venezuela state is consolidating dictatorial power precisely by winning so many elections! Others, while friendly to Venezuela, blame the Caracas government for failing to address the problems of violent crime and economic malaise.

      President Barack Obama may or may not know what various US operatives are doing. We have seen evidence of a "state within the state" before, going back as far as the CIA's operations against Cuba. In Obama's time, the president correctly named the 2009 coup in Honduras a "coup", and then seemed powerless to prevent it. At his first Summit of the Americas, a friendly Obama shook the hand of Hugo Chavez before Obama's top adviser tried to sabotage the warming of relations. 

      Call me naive, but I do not believe President Obama wants to see President Maduro overthrown. Chaos would follow. The US would be blamed. Relations with Latin America would freeze below zero. The president probably thinks Maduro should thrash in his own domestic contradictions. 

      But there's another US "government", a secret network that works tirelessly to undermine any Latin American threat to the dominance of American capital and military power. They understand that the president must be provided with "plausible deniability", and so they keep Obama out of the loop. Sometimes they operate through the CIA, sometimes under Republican-Democratic "democracy promotion" programs, sometimes through third parties. Democratic Party political consultants and pollsters have worked for Venezuela's opposition. It's difficult even for a president to keep a grip on it all. And that being the case, transparency disappears for the US Congress and public.

       Obama's public statements this week certainly gave moral support to the street demonstrations. While also including a vague call for "dialogue", Obama is playing with fire. Obama immediately needs to rein in the entire entourage of US-supported agents of destabilization and issue them a clear cease-and-desist order, or he and the US government will be blamed for what may happen in the weeks ahead. He needs request and support whatever consensus emerges this week from the region's elected governments and the United Nations.

      The American Congress and public are becoming used to street protests overthrowing elected governments regardless of the issue of national sovereignty. "Humanitarian intervention" in the affairs of other nations means willfully ignoring sovereignty where egregious human rights abuses are at stake and no negotiations are possible. The argument is somewhat attractive up to the point where it revives the Law of the Jungle. In the case of Venezuela, not only sovereignty but representative democracy are at stake, in a region which only recently began to shed the US-supported rule of oligarchs and generals.

      The forgotten facts amidst the mounting frenzy is that President Maduro won the April 2013 Venezuelan election by slightly under two percent, and his alliance were victors by ten percent in last December's nationwide municipal elections.  

      The losers of those Venezuelan elections have turned into Leninists of the Right, seeking to create a counter-revolutionary situation in which the government apparatus crumbles and they seize power. The leaders want martyrs in the streets. In their apocalyptic view, a coup in Venezuela would spiral swiftly into the collapse of the oil-dependent Bolivian, Ecuadoran and Nicaraguan governments, and be a deathblow to Cuba.

      If this frightening vision fails, the anti-Maduro forces will regroup and resume their strategy of destabilization on a permanent basis, a virtual civil war in the guise of a political conflict, in hopes that a segment of Maduro's present voting bloc - estimated at fifty to 56 percent - switches sides in a future election out of simple desire for "normalcy".

      The peace and justice movement in the US, along with Congressional allies, have a potentially-important role in pressuring Obama, and secretaries Kerry and Hegel, to rein in the agents of America's dirty wars. A Congressional coalition led by the Miami Cuba Lobby is already agitating for Maduro's demise. Where are the Congressional progressives? Despite frequent denials by US officials, for example, the State Department's own Inspector General found that the Pentagon and US "democracy programs" supported individuals and groups "actively involved in the brief ouster of the Chavez government" in the 2002 coup attempt. 


      Correction: In my recent analysis of Venezuela, I incorrectly referred to an entity known as FTI Consulting as part of a network seeking to destabilize Venezuela. I relied on a 2013 "secret memo" for undermining Venezuela with the FTI logo at the top, published on Venezuela-based blogs, without verifying the existence and authenticity of the original document. I have edited out the reference which appeared in The Bulletin and in the Huffington Post. There is no doubt, however, that the US government supports "democracy programs" in Venezuela supporting the activities of opposition groups. See the US government 2006 memo released by Wikileaks as one example:

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      Reader Comments (6)

      I agree, Tom, except that I'm more sceptical about Obama. I se him as leaning much farther to the right than you do...but he's also wishy-washy and so can at times be manipulated our way if enough of us speak up.

      February 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLarry Carney

      give it up already with the naive Obama. he don't need no stinking democracy in Venezuela--he and his buddies cannot rape it without putting their own in office.

      i pray that Venezuela stands its ground and continues to work toward equality for all.

      February 27, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterpolarbear4

      ' hopes that a segment of Maduro's present voting bloc - estimated at fifty to 56 percent - switches sides in a future election out of simple desire for "normalcy".'

      It's very close to how the U.S. ultimately forced Nicaraguans to say "Uncle" to their own Sandinista revolution. Instead of contras hiding in Honduras, the Venezuelan contras are mostly lighter-skin urban middle-class and white-collar rioters.

      Our "Uncle" created the Nicaraguan contras. Our "Uncle" has masterminded the Venezuelan opposition since Chavez was first elected.

      February 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLarry

      It looks an awful lot like the "popular uprising" against Salvador Allende, created by the USA. In that case, the US government (this is from memory but I don't think it's far off) bought the Chilean equivalent of the Teamsters Union and payed them to stage a prolonged general strike. Without anything -- food, gas, medical supplies -- being delivered for weeks and months, the economy crashed and people, having been told it was Allende's fault -- took to the streets with their pots and pans. And that was just Act I. I have no idea what the USA is doing in Venezuela this time, but it's almost inconceivable that US agents -- government and/or corporate (what's the difference?) -- are not up to their necks in it. For that matter, it seems awfully convenient to me that Hugo Chavez got sick and died.

      February 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterFrank da Cruz

      The deep state holds the puppet, purse, and diplomatic strings. Decisions are neither transparent nor in any regards accountable by purported policy standards. My focus is Egypt yet the covert operating overlay of disorder and suffering running rampant across geopolitical states defines a programmed pattern, if one pays attention. Elected officials as agents of participatory democracy are with each next election cycle becoming martyrs of futility. Smacked down smidgeon of being effective representatives of the people is the norm. You know what I mean. Efforts to manage let alone common sense understand what the mega-military industrial complex is doing reached a tipping point awhile ago. The American citizenry is powerless, and most know this in their hearts, if not their pocketbooks. Dreams are limited to backyard chicken pens and veggie growing front yards. An intensely intricate web from brain drain IT consultants to riot gear droid thugs are enmeshed in a tangle of war mongers whose agenda is greed fettered and feathered via secrecy. Post 9/11 fear is force fed to a civil society beaten into submission with mixed messages, piddle stream mis-information, and a dismantling of human rights. A long time ago in a land far, far away (Northern California) I worked on your first bid for elected office,Tom. During those halo days all was possible. Today, the shambles of humanity is at the 59th minute. Social media is the only viable body politic. The cloud is the consciousness of social change for the greater aware. All govt, is suspect and corrupt from its spiraling core to its outer fringes. Earth is trying to come to terms with our human pollution yet our lame species cannot even take care of millions of refugees as these poor souls eat grass and drink piss. No one with a brain and a heart believes America has any answers, including those at the trough. Forget about pressuring existing plutocracies. We have no leverage. They have no ears. We need a total reboot, far sooner than either one of us would admit to each other. For decades I worked inside the Dim party and if there is one lesson I take from these times and tears is humans in a group, a committee, a team, or a political party do not adhere to the concept of wholism. Their parts do not become greater than the whole. In actuality, inside the arena of politics and its dysfunctional societal dynamics human beings fragment and mush along like Sheeple. Why, I dunno. The echelon attempting to direct the herd are a fused morass whose amorality rules the day. Ego replaces analysis, avariceness commandeers projections, and humanity rolls over showing its belly absent backbone and guts. I am so tired of listening to the rhetoric of the left, the feigned Marxists, the academics, the Council on Foreign Affairs and a POTUS who is an oreo. The zen intelligentsia, the poets, the creatives, the consciousness junkies, the organic farmers, the musicians, the sustainable inventors, the tech weenies for peace, the reporters without borders, and so forth cannot stop Keystone or Halliburton. We are powerless smashed under by the blasts of laser weaponry and urban based drones. Kids go to bed hungry. Old people die when they are still young by global health stats. America is awash in an economics poisoned by systemic fault lines of us vs. them. Them being the greedy basturd slave traders and us being the slaves. Nothing changes if nothing changes. After 46 years of standing up, never giving in, never giving up, i am tired carrying the petard of Peace. No one hears us Tom. No one sees us. The numb and dumb can't. They are mentally frozen and spiritually defunct. I reside in Costa Rica because there is no military yet this country's social democracy economics are swiss cheese. The mega nationals were invited to sit at the table and typical of their oink oink mentality are eliminating the middle class, destroying the intrinsic happiness of Ticos, and serving caca calling it food and cheap technology as control factors not educational opportunity. VZ is a disaster in the making for decades. Dirty oil, insider corruption, poverty based on five cents a gallon gasoline and not giving a toucan's eyelash about values and principles is the recipe for revolution. Buckle up my former mentor, humankind has had enough of the yoke around its neck. America will be the very last to join the campaign for freedom, justice, and bread yet moment by moment one more Gringo awakens. An Islamic social democracy based on Islamic economics (no interest, service above self) is happening. And while the power elite in no way wants VZ, Egypt, or Detroit to become phoenixes I am betting all my paisley marbles Egypt is going to rise above the fray. Once an African Arab (Egyptian) tastes freedom their is no way to dissuade the course of history in the disordering. Egypt when it become an Islamic state will infect the region demolishing the desert prince's empires. A MENA economy based on Islamic law is in the making and no amount of trillions of dollars and foisting false flags is going to be able to thwart the momentum. VZ, and the other Latin countries, will follow suit disconnecting from the IMF spigots and dirty oil. Hillary is the worse kind of politician, one who sold her soul for power. She has neither free-thinking vision nor a woman's caring. Her steely cold heart done in by a dysfunctional marriage is now made of crusted lava rock. The people are aware of the two-headed monster of the deep corporate state in America. They have been impaled, basted, and cooked over hot coals. Talking a good game no longer works because social media moves quicker than lightening. Please, Tom, come back to your roots, end the pandering to a party system designed to destroy us and millions of other species. Go on a retreat, visit Tassajara in Big Sur, talk to Pete Coyote and Julian Assange, and swim with the wild dolphins to get your heart larger than your head. I am blabbering away on a daily basis into the ethers for one reason. We all need creative intelligence with simple compassion in our lives. The soapbox I stand on his your fault and my grandfather's, Capt. William F. Macomber. Our gene pool came over on the Mayflower seeking religious freedom. Today, we tout planetary wellbeing and an end to all forms of suffering we inflict upon ourselves. Tick tock. Tick tock.

      February 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBE Macomber

      It just may be that the US wants the "deathblow" to come to Cuba.

      February 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterFirebrand Central
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