Is the U.S. Prepared to Accept a Defeat in Venezuela? – By Marco Teruggi

Is the U.S. Prepared to Accept a Defeat in Venezuela?

Flag of Venezuela

By Marco Teruggi – Pagina 12 – April 12, 2019

The attack should have been short since the Maduro administration was not strong enough to resist. This was the conviction of the United States as they carried out a strategy to overthrow him: they built a President 2.0 Juan Guaido; they gave him a fictionalized government, international recognition, a collective narrative among mass media companies, accelerated economic sanctions at different levels. Overlapping these variables, different results were expected to be achieved on their path of getting a forced negotiation or the toppling of the government.

Events did not take the planned course. First and most important, the breaking of the Bolivarian National Armed Force (FANB): a crucial element that should have happened but did not. A series of tactics were implemented for it, from internal conspiracy with the support of a lot of dollars, visas and guarantees, or the strategy of a latent threat of a possible U.S. intervention. A combination of bluff – an unloaded weapon pointed at your head – with built up dates to try to achieve a rupture, such as on February 23rd.     

The second event that should have occurred, despite the difficulty in defining a target, as Guaido supposedly building mass support in the streets. He boasted that 90 per cent of the population supports him. Pictures of his mass mobilization capacity show that the initial momentum on January 23, when his self-proclamation was acknowledged by Donald Trump through a tweet, lost strength. A major reason for this was the crisis of expectations that resulted from the unfulfilled promise of an immediate outcome. Another is that it was an artificial, communicational, diplomatic construction which could not gather more than the right’s historical rank-and-file supporters, characterized by a specific social, geographic class, living conditions, idiosyncrasy and symbolism. The opposition looked too much like themselves.

Third was the attempt to take the poor to the streets; blackouts and the water shortages were the most favorable of the scenarios to provoke this. But the outcome was not what they expected either.  The clearer and wide reaching reality was the majority trying to solve their problems, individually, collectively, together with the Venezuelan Government. Sustained protests, fostered almost completely by the right, were scarce and without capacity to spread in the country.

Each of these variables has feedback points. The crisis of expectations is the result, for instance, of the fact that the Armed Force has not broken, that Guaido speaks of a hastiness that does not occur, with the conclusion that if they don’t succeed in any of their three targets, the last resort is an international intervention headed by the United States. That same interventionist narrative moves away from those who see Guaido as an alternative to the current political and economic situation. Calling on the majorities to achieve an international operation comes across evident obstacles.

Overthrowing Maduro does not seem possible in the correlation of national forces. It has been proven that the attack will not be short and that Chavismo, which is more than a Government, has enough strength to resist. If it was just a national affair, Guaido would lose strength to the point that he wouldn’t even be part of the list of opposition leaders that carry the burden of defeat. The problem is that this new coup attempt was devised over a point of no return with the United States building of a parallel government facade, acknowledged by the European Union, the United Kingdom, Israel, Canada, and right-wing governments in Latin America. What to do with Guaido when the plan is not successful due to initial miscalculations?

The question is due to the US, its current Administration is a mixture of Donald Trump-neoconservative leaders, and the so-called deep state; that is to say, real, invisible structures of power that constitute and safeguard that country’s strategic development in the geopolitical struggle. A defeat in Venezuela would be charged to the Administration in a pre-election period and it would suffer a double blow with Maduro’s continuity, or the lack of ability make a key Latin American country fall in line, and its implications in the international arena.

The deep state has grown stronger recently through tweets and speeches of U.S. spokespeople like Special Representative for Venezuela Elliott Abrams, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, National Security Advisor John Bolton, and Southern Command’s commanding general Craig Faller. Their different statements have shifted towards painting Venezuela as an operational base for Russia, Iran, Cuba and China, while the Maduro administration would be subordinated to each of these governments and their corresponding intelligence and military services —particularly to the first three.

The United States has announced its following steps based on that narrative. Pompeo is going to Chile, Paraguay, Peru and Colombia; Abrams to Spain and Portugal; and they convened a third meeting in the United Nations Security Council to talk about Venezuela’s situation. They have not announced the goals of the different moves yet. It is possible though to predict that there is a private and public dimension to the agreements. A possibility would be for the US to declare the Venezuelan government a transnational criminal organization and branding colectivos (Chavista grass-roots organizations) as terrorist groups that “undermine the Constitution and territorial integrity of Venezuela,” according to Bolton’s description. New possible actions would result from each of these elements.

That increase in pressure, tightening the blockade, and isolation has not led yet to the possibility of a military intervention, despite the repeated “all options are on the table.” Abrams himself sidestepped that hypothesis last Thursday. Therefore, how are they planning to achieve the outcome proposed with the combination of these actions? The United States needs to establish means, on-the-ground operational capacity, and domestic and diplomatic agreements. In this regard, the European Union stance was expressed by its high representative for foreign affairs, Federica Mogherini, who affirmed that “new free and credible presidential elections should be held as soon as possible.”

Would the U.S. be willing to accept a negotiated outcome in which Maduro remains in power? So far, that does not look possible. They don’t seem willing to accept a geopolitical defeat in Venezuela either. The U.N. Security Council met on Wednesday to deal with this aspect. At the same time, the right called for more mobilizations. The pieces are still in motion.

Source: https://alethonews.com/2019/04/13/is-the-u-s-prepared-to-accept-a-defeat-in-venezuela/

Translation by Resumen Latinoamericano, North America bureau – Edited by Venezuelanalysis.com

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  • Clyde Duncan  On April 15, 2019 at 8:14 am

    The following reads like somebody ripped a page out of B.G.’s Playbook:

    A Heartbreak: What Chavismo Is Really Doing to Us

    Victor Drax | Caracas Chronicles

    When she picks up the phone, she’s already in tears.

    “Hey,” I go, and she can’t even say hello.

    It’s heartbreaking. There are key moments in your relationship with a girlfriend, like meeting her parents, or the first time you realize she can lie. This, seeing her cry – or rather hearing – is something I knew could come, but didn’t expect so soon. Two weeks into the relationship, and it’s done. Such a promising start, to die in the cradle.

    “Before you say anything,” I say, “I need you to know I’m always going to love you. I understand you need to go, and I want you to know I don’t blame you. It’s okay.”

    “It’s not okay,” she cuts my lie just like that.

    I’m lying in my bed, holding my phone, staring at the cover of Las aventuras del Capitán Alatriste without really seeing it. We’re ten hours apart, but the communication is clear. For the first time maybe ever, there’s no noise in Venezuelan cellphone lines and all it’s doing is making her sobs more palpable.

    Like the Monkey’s Paw tale: One day you’ll get your wish, and you’ll regret asking for it.

    The girl breaking up with me is accustomed to getting her paycheck, turn most of it to pesos, and cross the border to Colombia to buy groceries and stuff, weekly.

    “I knew it was a mistake to get involved with you when all my migration papers were done, but I had to try, and I really made the effort. But I just can’t anymore, and it’s not you. It’s this country, eating us.”

    Everything she’s saying, I already know. The story goes like this: guy meets girl on the internet, and they become friends. They don’t meet in person, because guy is from Caracas and girl is from Táchira, really far away, but this is fine because life is going on and they both have ongoing plans and projects. After four years of this, girl tells guy she’s finally moving away, to Chile; the country is all screwed up, she thinks, and Tachira is taking a beating like no other place in Venezuela – this was before the Zulian Apocalypse. A year ago, she applied for the Chilean democratic visa, and her application was approved.

    “So, anyway, I’m going to spend a bunch of days in Caracas,” she tells guy, “wanna meet?”

    Guy would certainly like to meet. Four days later, they’re a couple.

    It takes me half an hour to learn what happened in her job that finally broke her. She’s the type of person who really takes pride in what she does, and takes her duty seriously so when she tells me the story, something I won’t replicate here, all I can do is shrug. This is after the national infrastructure collapsed and we had a national blackout so bad, that it was a month ago and there are still regions with no power.

    In Tachira, bolivars are for fools, everything is done in dollars or Colombian pesos The girl breaking up with me is accustomed to getting her paycheck, turn most of it to pesos, and cross the border to Colombia to buy groceries and stuff, weekly.

    She says it’s not so much about her as it is about her parents, a couple of elderly fellows who still want to fight the good fight but, come on, they’re old folks. When your parents reach that age, you want them to rest and relax, and not worry about chavismo closing the border and them going without food and medicines as, by the way, they do.

    There is a basic reality of Venezuela: Chavismo, the political group with the capacity to enact significant policies, cares first and foremost about itself and its power. It will do what it must to sustain the status quo and if the suffering of their citizens’ registers in their universe, it doesn’t elicit enough worry to make them react. Meanwhile, Venezuelans die.

    So, back to our sad love story, this girl and I agreed to give it a go and she’d make the sacrifice of turning her back on her visa and moving to Caracas, or that was the plan. Now she’s hellbent on going away, because “It’s just not going to change – not now.

    Look at where we are. Everything stalled again and if I’m quitting my job, as I need to, I’m gonna start burning my savings. I have no other backup plan, Vic, my only choice is to go. To move away from Venezuela.”

    I don’t refute it. I just listen.

    She sighs.

    “And you know what? I need normalcy. Yes, things in Caracas are better than in the rest of the nation, but you still can’t go out without worrying about robbers. You can’t buy stuff. You’re getting blackouts and no water, and you all are adapting to it.”

    There is a basic reality of Venezuela: Chavismo, the political group with the capacity to enact significant policies, cares first and foremost about itself and its power.

    There’s a tiny, electronic whirl on the sound, the digital carpet beneath this everlasting frustration.

    “I need to do this. You have your career and your things, you’ve started to build something, but I don’t have any of that. I don’t even have a job now. I need to move away and see this thing through.”

    What can you say to something like that?

    Yes, I wanna be selfish, tell her to let me handle this. I’m gonna make it alright, we’re gonna find you a job and with that comes money and, yes, you’re gonna be screwed living in Venezuela, but considerably less screwed than before.

    But is that true anymore?

    I went through two weeks of blackout, where it was a survival story out of The Walking Dead. Water just came back today, as I write these words. I haven’t met with my band, and we’re not playing shows because people can’t be punk when they’re worried about literally staying alive.

    These blackouts can happen again at any time, and who knows how long they will last. But suppose it ain’t so, let’s suppose everything is fine and dandy, or at least as dandy as it was before March 7th; the urgency in her voice, much more than her words, is telling me that I have no battle to fight here.

    This is not a trial, I’m just hearing the verdict and although you can find solace in the notion that, while it lasted, it was it, you can’t help but grieve about dreams that now will never bloom. This is not a time for a scene or recrimination.

    Embrace Nietzsche: “Love and life must be left the same way: With more gratitude than pain.”

    It’s me who sighs this time. One of the most exceptional people I’ve met once told me I have a thing for unreachable women and she should know, being the Queen of the Unreachables herself, and if such is the case, then what, I have to thank Chavismo for putting this girl even farther from where she was?

    Venezuela used to be a place where, if you had certain privileges, like a satisfying career, you could hold on and face the decay with optimism. But today I got out of bed, looked out the window, and realized we’re being left alone here. All the joy in life comes from family and friends, and Hugo Chávez’s project is corrupting even that.

    Just today, we at the Caracas Chronicles team found out that one of the little girls from Fundanica, the one who wanted to be an actress, died. It’s a constant cavalcade of bad news that you think you can handle because at least you have “perks,” but chavismo has ways to erode you.

    I recently read “We really have only two options staying in Venezuela: dying or leaving.”

    The weight of those words is finally getting to me.

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