Venezuela – Trump’s Coup Attempt Is Based On A Seriously Flawed Plan

The leading figures were Vice President Pence, Secretary of State Pompeo and Senator Marco Rubio as well as hawks in in the National Security Council.

Cross-posted from Moon of Alabama

The U.S. led coup-attempt against the government of Venezuela under President Maduro is based on a plan that is similar to this one (vid).

While U.S. coup plotting against Venezuela goes back to at least 1998 when the deceased President Chavez won his first election, the actual planning for this coup attempt was only done during the last two months. There are many holes in the plan and it involves a lot of wishful thinking. That might give the Maduro government openings to deflect the attack.

More likely though will the insufficient planning, based on false perceptions of the situation on the ground, lead to demands for escalation and mission creep. Venezuela must thus immediately prepare for the worst.

Today U.S. media give some insight into the decision making before the coup-attempt. The Wall Street Journal headline makes it clear that the U.S. is 100% responsible for it:

Pence Pledged U.S. Backing Before Venezuela Opposition Leader’s Move
Trump administration’s secret plan pledging support for opposition leader Juan Guaidó was preconceived and tightly coordinated

The night before Juan Guaidó declared himself interim president of Venezuela, the opposition leader received a phone call from Vice President Mike Pence.Mr. Pence pledged that the U.S. would back Mr. Guaidó if he seized the reins of government from Nicolás Maduro by invoking a clause in the South American country’s constitution, a senior administration official said.

That late-night call set in motion a plan that had been developed in secret over the preceding several weeks, accompanied by talks between U.S. officials, allies, lawmakers and key Venezuelan opposition figures, including Mr. Guaidó himself.

The leading figures were Vice President Pence, Secretary of State Pompeo and Senator Marco Rubio as well as hawks in in the National Security Council.

A decisive moment came a week later in a White House meeting Jan. 22, the eve of protests in Venezuela, when Mr. Rubio along with Sen. Rick Scott and Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, both Republicans from Florida, were called to a White House meeting with Mr. Trump, Vice President Pence and others.

Other officials who met that day at the White House included Messrs. Pompeo and Bolton, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who presented Mr. Trump with options for recognizing Mr. Guaidó.Mr. Trump decided to do it. Mr. Pence, who wasn’t at that meeting, placed his phone call to Mr. Guaidó to tell him, “If the National Assembly invoked Article 233 the following day, the president would back him,” the senior administration official said.

Trump himself is only interested in Venezuela’s oil reserves, which are the largest of the world:

While the developments this week surprised many onlookers, Mr. Trump had long viewed Venezuela as one of his top-three foreign policy priorities, including Iran and North Korea.

Mr. Trump requested a briefing on Venezuela in his second day in office, often speaking to his team about the suffering of Venezuelan people and the country’s immense potential to become a rich nation through its oil reserves, …

Before the U.S. attack on Libya Trump said (vid) that the U.S. should demand 50% of the oil profits from the ‘rebels’ it hoped to put into place: “[They] should have said: We’ll help you but we want 50% of your oil.”

It is interesting that neither the Pentagon nor the Justice Department were involved in the planing of the coup attempt. They could have pointed out the obvious flaws

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