Washington, Jan 25 : The US government has chosen to launch a coup against President Nicolas Maduro that will destabilize Venezuela even further instead of trying to address the underlying economic issues the country is facing through more appropriate means, analysts told Sputnik.
National Assembly head Juan Guaido declared himself the interim president of Venezuela on Wednesday. President Donald Trump swiftly recognized the opposition leader as the country’s new president and called on Maduro to step down. Maduro accused Washington of staging a coup d'etat and announced that he was formally severing US-Venezuelan diplomatic ties.
US Senator Bernie Sanders in a statement on Thursday reminded the world about Washington and the CIA’s dirty work in Latin America. Sanders warned the Trump administration to refrain from supporting a plot to overthrow Maduro given the US historical track record which includes toppling governments in Chile, Guatemala, Brazil and the Dominican Republic.
Attorney Jose Pertierra, a DC-based immigration attorney and political commentator who represents Venezuela in the case to extradite right wing Cuban terrorist Luis Posada Carriles told Sputnik he is convinced the Trump administration was plotting to topple Maduro. "This is a coup attempt: A right-wing coup planned and cooked in Washington and served on Caracas," Pertierra said. "It is an old recipe."
Pertierra listed the roster of co-conspirators working with Trump including Vice President Mike Pence, National Security Adviser John Bolton, Senator Marco Rubio, and others in Washington.
The attorney said that the United States had simply found a "Don Nadie" (Mr. Nobody) and told him to declare himself president. Then, the Trump administration was able to get a group of Latin American "puppet" presidents to back the cause.
"They are hoping for deserters from the armed forces to storm Miraflores [presidential palace] and kill President Maduro, his wife and his closest advisers," Pertierra warned. "It reminds me of September 11, 1973 in Santiago, Chile, when the golpistas dragged President [Salvador] Allende out of La Moneda in a body bag."
In the 1970s, according to the US national archives, business leaders persuaded US President Richard Nixon to order the overthrow of Allende due to the Chilean politician’s socialist policies.
However, Pertierra maintained, the US efforts would not work this time in Venezuela.
"Venezuela is not Chile. There are many people in Venezuela who support the government of Nicolas Maduro and the PSUV [United Socialist Party of Venezuela]," he said. "They have been preparing for this."
Unlike in Chile 45 years ago, he added, Venezuelan government soldiers come from the working class - they are not the sons and daughters of the rich. "The people of Latin America have long memories. They know of the many interventions by the United States throughout the years: Guatemala, Chile, Cuba, Santo Domingo, Haiti, Panama, Honduras. They know about Washington's support for right-wing military governments," he said.
The time will come, Pertierra warned, when this kind of intervention will come back to haunt Washington because Venezuela is a sovereign country that ought and must be respected.
"I know President Maduro personally. He is a good and decent man who has sacrificed his life for the sake of the poor people of his country," Pertierra said. "He is a brave man… I am confident he will weather this American tempest in his midst."
As the diplomatic crisis heats up the violence on the ground is escalating. Earlier on Thursday, the Venezuelan Observatory of Social Conflict said that the death toll in violent protests in the country in recent days has risen to 26.
Ponoma College Professor of Latin American studies Miguel Tinker Salas, author of "The Enduring Legacy: Oil, Culture, and Society in Venezuela," told Sputnik that the US decision to recognize Guaido "is aimed at escalating the crisis."
"They [The US government] do not want to find a peaceful and negotiated resolution to the crisis," Tinker Salas said. "Rather than a peaceful regime change, they want confrontation."
US moves to undermine Caracas distracts from dealing with fundamental issues including addressing the economic crisis, he added.
The coup plot against Maduro also had to be understood in the context of a wider US effort to destroy all the remaining left wing governments in the region, Tinker Salas said.
Meanwhile, he noted, right wing governments supported by the United States have come to power in Brazil, Paraguay, Chile, Argentina and Columbia.
The Trump administration was able to take advantage of broader political trends against the left over the past half-decade in their efforts to isolate and delegitimize Maduro, Tinker Salas observed.
In the meantime, he argued, Maduro needs to stabilize the state and must ensure the support of the armed forces because the potential exists for more violent clashes.
Addressing the Venezuelan Supreme Court late Thursday evening, Maduro said that he would not leave his office until the end of his second presidential term in 2025.
The United States, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile and Colombia, among others, have recognized Guaido as Venezuela's interim president, while other countries, including Russia and Mexico, expressed support for Maduro.