Friday, September 22, 2017

Maduro’s Magnicidio

President Maduro does not claim there is a plot to assassinate him as often as his predecessor did. This week however, Maduro directly accused opposition leader and president of the National Assembly, Julio Borges, of being “implicated” in an assassination plot against him.

“An order has been issued to assassinate the president of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, and that order comes from the Oval Office, and Julio Borges is implicated in this outrage with all his unlimited cynicism, with his unlimited immorality,” said Maduro.

The president provided no evidence for his claims, but he had declared on August 19 that US president Trump’s declarations about Venezuela implied a direct threat to his life. According to Maduro:

“The threats made today by Trump, I know how to exactly interpret them: Donald Trump has threatened to kill the President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, (…) but I tell him that if something happened to me, they would regret it for a hundred years, because the people would rise against imperialism.”

“Evidence” of Borge’s part in the plot is provided by the Agencia Venezolana de Noticias (AVN). According to AVN, the position leader is “one of the main promoters of an interventionist campaign against Venezuela. In the last weeks he has met several US government high officials to ask for an assault (arremetida) against the fatherland.”

AVN also cites a previous two coup magnicidio plot claims made by the government as evidence for the current plot: The Carpeta Amarilla (2014), and the Blue Coup plots (2015, also known as the Jericho Operation). No evidence has ever surfaced for those two previous plots.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

9/11, again…

For several years on the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, Venezuelan government sponsored Telesur has published a piece explaining the “many questions that still linger about the attack.” (See here my post of previous years.)

This year’s article by Telesur is mainly about Scholars for 9/11 Truth, (From its webpage: “Scholars for 9/11 Truth is a non-partisan association of faculty, students, and scholars, in fields as diverse as history, science, military affairs, psychology, and philosophy, dedicated to exposing falsehoods and to revealing truths behind 9/11.” A spin-off of the group publishes the Journal of 9/11 studies. In the next months Aposta, Revista de Ciencias Sociales will publish a piece by me, in Spanish, featuring a detailed analysis of back issues of the journal up to 2014.)

The Agencia Venezolana de Noticas also carries this year an article by Hermán Mena Cifuentes, often featured in this blog. The tittle of Mena Cifuentes article: Is Nature punishing the United States for its aggressions against Venezuela and for the genocide of September 11?

The author writes that the United States “seems destined by nature to be plagued with misery by nature acting in the name of justice with devastating hurricanes that are drowning its economy, as punishment for the immoral and illegal sanctions with which they [The US] hope to drown the Venezuelan economy.”

Mena Cifuentes also argues that the punishment the United States is currently receiving is connected to the 9/11 attacks. According to the author: “Noted scientists, experts in accidents and explosives, and journalists, several of whom have died in “strange” accidents, others in exchanges with the police, have attributed the genocide [of 9/11] to the Yankee government, who used it as a pretext to fight against terrorism and to unleash against Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Yemen, and Syria, wars to take over their oil, like they are doing today against Venezuela.”  

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Dissident Chavismo and conspiracy theories

Read my piece published by Conspiracy Watch about dissident chavistas, once conspiracy theorists, now labeled conspirators: Les chavistes dissidents et la théorie du complot, une histoire d’arroseurs arrosés. Thanks to Rudy Reichstadt for inviting me to contribute.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Maduro’s press conference: Three interlinked coup plots

Except for magnicidio plot claims, president Maduro’s press conference yesterday was a compendium of most of the conspiracy theories proposed by the Venezuelan government in the past years. The Empire was the main object of Maduro’s claims about destabilization attempts against his government, which he called a state of “permanent conspiracy.” But also local opposition leaders and other regional governments were included in the plots.

The economic war theory featured prominently. The United States was accused of promoting a “financial and economic blockade” of the country. “Nobody has the right to try to impose his policies with threats, pressures, sanctions, and economic, financial, political, diplomatic, and much less military aggressions. Venezuela claims its right to peace, independence, and self-determination,” said Maduro. He added that even though 86% of Venezuelans rejected a US intervention in the country, this possibility is supported by the opposition leadership: “Only they back this threat, which they have sanctified, and they have gone out of the country to ask for an economic and financial blockade against Venezuela.”

International media was also accused by Maduro of being part of this “permanent conspiracy.” The BBC was particularly singled out by the president as the media outlet behind what he called “an imperialist aggression of world-wide nature,” of which the BBC has become “the biggest propaganda apparatus.” He added that “since the war in Iraq, the BBC had not played such a disgusting [asqueroso] role.”

Most interesting of yesterday’s conference was that Maduro provided a theory of three interlinked coup plots backed by the United States against his government, financed and coordinated via Miami and Bogotá, and enacted by local opposition leaders:

“There is a permanent conspiracy from Miami against Venezuela. All those captured after the attack against the Paramacay fort have confessed, and we know of their links and finances. Another group [of plotters] is related to the old coupist military of 2002, which have fled the country. And another group belongs to the incorrectly called Blue Coup, even if most of them are in jail, they are still trying to make noise. These three groups have been activated by them [United States] with a lot of many, but the Venezuelan armed forces have developed very effective anti-coup strategies.”

Despite the “evidence” presented by Maduro of these coup plots, he also said he would be writing a letter to US President Trump asking for conversations. “Trump and I have to talk, because we don’t want our people to suffer, we have to co-exist in peace. We are anti-imperialists and anti-colonialists, but we are not against the United States, we love the people of the United States,” said Maduro.

(Read previous posts on the Paramacay Fort incident here and here, and on the Blue Coup here, here, and here. Even though Maduro spoke against the term Blue Coup, it was widely used by government officials and state media at the time. The Agencia Venezolana de Noticias yesterday ran a note explaining the links between the three coup plots under the title “Groups managed from abroad have attacked the rule of law in Venezuela.”)

Here by Venezolana de Televisión on the press conference:

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Trump and anti-imperialism

“We have many options for Venezuela, including a possible military option if necessary” said US President Trump last night. “We have troops all over the world in places that are very far away. Venezuela is not very far away and people are suffering and they’re dying,” he added.

It’s unlikely that Trump’s declarations will be followed by an imminent invasion of Venezuela, but they are sure to boost the anti-imperialist and nationalist rhetoric of the Venezuelan government. The declarations will be presented as part of a “coordinated” hemispheric plan led by the US government, and backed by other “rightist” governments in the region and the local opposition, to put an end to the Bolivarian revolution and its “accomplishments”.

These are the first reactions by several government officials to President Trump’s declarations:

Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino López told Venezolana de Televisión: “This is an act of craziness, and act of extremism. There is extremist elite now governing the United States.”

Information and Communication Minister Ernesto Villegas, has said that the Venezuelan Foreign Minister will issue and official communique later today. He wrote on Twitter:

Amenaza proferida por Trump une a todos los venezolanos de bien en rechazo a injerencia y en defensa de la Patria

Delcy Rodríguez, President of the newly convened National Constitutive Assembly, wrote:

Rechazamos las cobardes, insolentes e infames amenazas del Pdte de los EEUU contra la sagrada soberanía de Venezuela

Translated by Telesur:

.: We reject the cowardly, insolent, and vile threats from US President against the sacred sovereignty of Ven

Both Rodríguez and Villegas re-twitted this response by Argentinian pro-chavista philosopher Fernando Buen Abad D.:

Nosotros también tenemos muchas "opciones" respecto al imperio y sus gerentes. Si quieren acelerar la lucha de clases nos encontrarán unidos

Abad added this picture: