Venezuelan Coup Attempt Leader Might End Up In Prison Soon

As The Canary has consistently reported, the US-backed coup attempt in Venezuela has been degenerating into an increasingly pathetic and embarrassing spectacle. Now, in one final gasp of desperation, Juan Guaidó has called for a fresh round of protests next month. But it looks like he and his dwindling band of followers’ hopes of toppling the government will soon be dashed. Because there are now growing calls for his prosecution for crimes including treason.

Washington and its mouthpieces in the corporate-owned media will surely crow that this somehow constitutes ‘proof’ of the Venezuelan government’s authoritarian nature. But the reality is that the US is, if anything, even less tolerant of the kind of behavior that its proxies in Venezuela have engaged in as part of their attempt to seize power.

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Washington, Guaidó And The Billion-Dollar Circus

This outcome was far from certain in recent months. With Guaidó’s self-proclamation and initial enthusiasm far in the rearview mirror, the opposition’s cherished tradition of cannibalistic infighting became ever more present. Corruption scandals and bitter name-calling made the rounds on social media.

Leaders like Henrique Capriles were openly calling for Guaidó’s head while mocking the “interim government” by likening it to a video game. A sector of the opposition managed to twist the hardliners’ arm and run in the November 21 mega-elections. The gamble was clear: get a respectable number of elected governors and mayors and Guaidó’s post would be under even more pressure.

But it did not work out, which forced the warring parties into a kind of détente.

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UK Gold Ruling Based On ‘Illegal Interference’ In Venezuela

Mexico City, Mexico, December 20, 2021 – The United Kingdom’s highest court issued a ruling on Monday favoring opposition figure Juan Guaidó and his efforts to wrest control of US$1.7 billion worth of Venezuelan gold stored at the Bank of England (BoE).

The Monday decision is the latest episode in the legal struggle by the democratically-elected Nicolás Maduro government to regain access to the reserves. Following what the court described as the “one voice principle,” the court ruled that under the UK’s constitutional arrangements political recognition of foreign states falls to the country’s executive.

In 2019, Conservative UK Prime Minister Theresa May recognized Guaidó, then president of the National Assembly, as “interim president” as part of the US-led effort to oust the Maduro government.

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Tales Of Resistance: Guaidó’s Pie

A few days ago I was out grocery shopping when I heard a man tell his friend that Venezuela was the only country in the world with two presidents but where everything was still screwed up.

This has become a running joke among Venezuelans. However, some three years ago, when Juan Guaidó proclaimed himself “interim president” and was instantly backed by the United States and the European Union, things didn’t seem so funny.

The government and its support base feared this was the opening act ahead of a US military invasion. Opposition activists weren’t totally clear as to what was going on, but their leaders were quick to fall in line behind Guaidó, and the initial rallies created a lot of expectation.

But that did not last.

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US Policy Toward Venezuela Was Never About Promoting Democracy

Last year, then Special Representative Elliott Abrams declared that the Trump Administration was “working hard” to oust Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. Now Abrams (currently a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations), together with the Biden Administration, is urging the Venezuelan opposition to participate in the upcoming state and local elections this November.

Washington’s recent backpedaling, however, does not mean they’ve given up on intervening in Venezuela’s internal affairs.

Not surprisingly, Washington has pressured Venezuela’s rightist opposition—led by self-proclaimed president Juan Guaidó and opposition leader Leopoldo López—to abandon their three-year policy of boycotting elections, which they claim are rigged. Electoral participation is a hard pill for both politicians to swallow because it shatters the illusion, nurtured by many in Washington, that Guaidó is the rightful president and that he is just days or weeks from occupying the presidential palace.

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Venezuela’s Resistance Reduces Washington’s Pressure

The Venezuelan Foreign Minister, Jorge Arreaza, has dedicated the last four years of his life to weather the worst diplomatic crisis his country has suffered in decades. During that time he has faced the trade blockade, the confiscation of strategic companies and deposits abroad, and the recognition of the parallel government of Juan Guaidó by Washington and the European Union.

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EU Mission Evaluates Venezuela Electoral Team

The European Union (EU) has sent an “exploratory mission” to Venezuela to assess social and political conditions in the country.

The 15-day mission is similarly charged with judging electoral guarantees and the “utility, convenience and viability” of adding an EU delegation to the typically ample electoral observer teams for the November 21 “mega-elections,” in which more than 100 political parties are vying to elect over 3000 public regional and local officials.

The delegation is considered a further step in smoothing relations between the Caribbean country and the European bloc, with EU Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell highlighting a “possible political opening in Venezuela.”

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US ‘Virtual Ambassador’ To Venezuela Hosts Insurrectionist Summit Ahead Of Biden’s Guaidó recognition

US “virtual ambassador” to Venezuela James “Jimmy” Story promised to answer a series of questions sent to him by The Grayzone this February 24. But after a Whatsapp exchange with this reporter during which Story offered to explain why he regularly alternated between Gargamel and the Smurfs as his avatar on the messaging app, the promised exchange never took place.

On March 2, Story’s assistant, David Fogelson, informed The Grayzone that the virtual ambassador “won’t be able to do the interview.” He offered no further details on Story’s turnabout.

That same day, during a Zoom event with the Venezuelan American Association of the US, Story boasted that his willingness to accept a few critical questions from his online audience “shows a transparency that the regime [in Caracas] does not show.”

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Venezuelan Parliamentary Commission Charges Guaidó

Today, February 5, the Comptroller Commission of Venezuela’s National Assembly (AN) presented before the Public Ministry (MP) charges against the 2015 deputy Juan Guaidó for damage to the Republic and usurpation of functions.

In statements transmitted by Venezolana de Televisión, the president of the commission, deputy José Brito, stated that the charges presented by the Commission included criminal association, organized crime, usurpation of functions, assassination, attempted coup, homicide, and others.

“The sum of penalties would add up to more than 200 years in prison,” said Brito. In this regard, he mentioned the official assignment of two national prosecutors from the MP to the special commission to investigate the actions of the outgoing National Assembly.

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Venezuela: United States Goal Is To Support A ‘Transition’

“The goal of the United States is to support a democratic, peaceful transition in Venezuela through free and fair elections,” said White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Tuesday, January 26, reading from notes she carried with her.

The spokeswoman for the new US administration answered a question from a journalist by adding “the President has always been very clear that the approach towards Venezuela is to address the humanitarian situation, give support to the Venezuelan people, and revitalize multilateral diplomacy.” During her comments, she said that measures will continue to be taken to prosecute those allegedly involved in “human rights violations and corruption” in the South American country.

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Venezuela Neutralizes Operation Red October, Terrorist Plot Led By Guaidó

At a press conference, Venezuelan National Assembly (AN) deputy, Freddy Bernal, reported on the results of an investigation by the General Directorate of Military Counterintelligence (DGCIM) in Caracas, on the so-called Operation Red October.

This operation aimed to assassinate several civilians and soldiers and damage military infrastructure and was allegedly led by former anti-Chavista deputy Juan Guaidó.

Bernal stressed that the operations were organized by a subject born in Colombia, but who has North American nationality, named Ben Smith Benson.

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Biden To Endorse Guaido After Trump Issues Parting Sanctions

The incoming Joe Biden administration will maintain support for Venezuelan self-proclaimed “Interim President” Juan Guaido.

According to reports, the new Secretary of State Antony Blinken told members of the US Senate that recently inaugurated President Biden will continue to recognize the opposition leader as the country’s legitimate leader.

While the veteran democrat has yet to assume a position on Venezuela since the November election, signs point towards there being no departure from the outgoing Trump administration’s stance.

Former White House Special Envoy for Venezuela Elliott Abrams told the Miami Herald he expected “no major changes” after meeting incoming foreign policy officials, while Guaido’s US representative Carlos Vecchio was a guest at the inauguration.

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The EU Avoids Treating Guaido As ‘President’ Of Venezuela

The European Union avoided referring to the opposition politician Juan Guaido as Venezuela’s “acting president” once the mandate of the National Assembly over which he presided expired on Tuesday.

“Venezuela urgently needs a political solution to end the current impasse through an inclusive process of dialogue and negotiation leading to credible, inclusive, and democratic processes,” said Josep Borrell, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

He added that the EU will maintain its engagement with all Venezuelan political and social actors, including  “Juan Guaido and other representatives of the outgoing National Assembly elected in 2015.”

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Former Presidential Candidate Capriles Calls On US To End ‘Interim Presidency’

Former two-time presidential candidate Henrique Capriles has demanded a change of strategy for the Venezuelan opposition.

In an interview with the BBC, Capriles argued for a “reconstruction” of the opposition following last Sunday’s government victory in National Assembly (AN) elections. He claimed that the current plan led by US-backed Juan Guaido is “finished” and stressed that Washington’s stance will be “crucial.”

“The new [Biden] administration has to understand that this plan has run its course and it cannot keep the status quo: the [Guaido] ‘interim presidency’,” Capriles said, adding that the opposition could “disappear as an alternative” if there is no change of course.

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Free Elections In Venezuela Are A Blow To Regime Change

Venezuela held legislative elections on December 6 and, as has become the norm, the U.S. and sectors of the opposition that boycotted the election are claiming fraud without presenting evidence. The coalition of parties supporting President Maduro won 68% of the vote and a supermajority in the National Assembly. All the evidence suggests the elections were free and fair. However, turnout was only 31%, a participation rate that was hampered by a partial opposition boycott of the election. 

This call to abstain was made by Juan Guaidó and his allies, but a different faction of the opposition participated fully.

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