/ Bharath Hebbal /
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Juan Guaidó´s attempted coup in Venezuela backed by US administration to overthrow a democratically elected president Nicolás Maduro is not only a blatant violation of international law but also a reflection of crumbling democratic values in society across the globe. Though this theme is often neglected or wrongly presented by the main stream media including Hollywood. America has been desperately trying to break the Bolivarian revolution achieved under the leadership of Hugo Chavez in 1999. America had similarly attempted failed coup against Chavez in 2002 and against Maduro in 2016 which was defeated by the people Venezuela.
In upping the ante, on April 30th, Juan Guaidó US declared interim president of the country appeared in a video calling for a military uprising. Guido was accompanied by heavily armed men claiming the backing of the military and that the video was filmed at the Generalissmo Francisco De Miranda Airbase in the capital Caracas. Opposition politician Leopoldo Lopez who was under house arrest after inciting violence during the anti-government riots appeared along with Guaidó . President Trump along with Vice President Pence and National security advisor John Bolton immediately tweeted public support for the coup attempt and threatened the Venezuela’s legitimate government by military action. The US backed coup attempt was branded as Operation Libertad (operation liberty) and it received vocal support from leaders and US officials and its Latin American allies.
But, the coup did not go according to the plan. Despite the initial claims of Guaidó, his supporters failed to get control of Francisco De Miranda Airbase. In the first half of the day the anti-government protesters fought mostly outside the airbase main street and the highway along the military facility. By evening, most of the protestors were expelled from the air base though clashes and sporadic use of firearms has been reported across capital. Rioters including the armed ones marched towards Palacio de Miraflores, the workplace of the president but lacked resources to storm it. Low scale riots also have taken from in few of the provinces. Throughout the day US officials with their statements and American news channels ran stories on how democracy was about to achieve victory and Maduro was about to flee the country to Russia. This didn’t happen. This was the second coup attempt by Guaidó that failed due to lack of support from the local population.
In his third attempt, arrogantly, Juan Guaidó gave a call on social media to oust Maduro on May 1st, International Labour day, but that also failed disastrously because of massive turnout of people, workers from labour unions and left organisations. President Maduro has called for the people of Venezuela to mobilise and defeat US plans. Defence minister Vladimir Padrino also reaffirmed that the armed forces of Venezuala reject the US proclaimed president. Venezuela Samuel Moncada, the ambassador to UN described the situation as an attempt by foreign powers to spark a civil war in Venezuela. According to reports the number of soldiers and security officers who have defected to Guido is only around 80 to 100 people.The Venezuelan government has characterised armed forces supporting Guaidó as a small group of traitors. Security measures across the capital have been reinforced along with curbing of local and international media outlets like CNN and BBC supporting the coup.
It appears that Guaidó and supporters will not be able to seize power without direct foreign support. That support might come through overt or covert US led invasion. Leaked reports in the media suggests Eric prince the notorious founder of private military security company “Blackwater” has suggested to deploy some 5000 mercenaries to support the coup against the Venezuelan government.
After crippling the Venezuelan economy by imposing illegal sanctions for two decades and starving millions of Venezuelans, America’s National Security adviser John Bolton has ironically said “We need Venezuela to be ruled by people of Venezuela and not by external forces”. He has warned Maduro against using force against innocent civilians. The innocent civilians that Bolton refers is a small groups of armed protestors and west backed militias who are instigating violence supporting unelected, self-declared president of Venezuela Guaidó. Although Maduro is no Chavez and Maduro governance is marred with corruption, large part of the population are committed to the Bolivarian revolution and them democratically elected legitimate president Maduro. Maduro has vowed a South American Vietnam for US if it attempts to invade Venezuela militarily. US with its interventions in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen and scheming to start a new war with Iran is attempting to topple Maduro. US under Trump administration is not only getting rid of mask of benevolent liberator who brings democracy across the globe but, is displaying all signs of delusional state which wants to control every corner of the planet with its rouge interventions .