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Friday, 25 January 2019

This revolution will not be televised (2)

Early January, the LIMA Group of 12 neighbouring countries plus Canada, issued a joint statement that they will not recognize Mr Maduro's new term as the legitimate leader of Venezuela. Mr Maduro shrugged this off as “interventionist actions” (Bloomberg, 4 January 2019). Then, USA was silent. Things have changed rapidly ever since.

On 22 January 2019, the US Vice President "released a video message in support of the Venezuelan protesters and calling leader Nicol├ís Maduro a “dictator” who had never won a free and fair election" (Miami Herald).

On 23 January, the leader of the majority opposition declares himself as interim President. The 45th President immediately recognizes his (interim) authority by declaring:
“Today, I am officially recognizing the President of the Venezuelan National Assembly, Juan Guaido, as the Interim President of Venezuela. [] In its role as the only legitimate branch of government duly elected by the Venezuelan people, the National Assembly invoked the country’s constitution to declare Nicolas Maduro illegitimate, and the office of the presidency therefore vacant.” (WE)
I'm impressed how the 45th President is (not) handling the Venezuelan revolution. Most likely, US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo (a former CIA director), is handling this revolution.

As an act of retaliation, Mr Maduro ordered all US diplomats to leave Venezuela within 72 hours. Mr Pompeo's refused to leave the US Embassy in Venezuela by declaring:
“The United States does not recognize the Maduro regime as the government of Venezuela. [] Accordingly the United States does not consider former president Nicolas Maduro to have the legal authority to break diplomatic relations with the United States or to declare our diplomats persona non grata.” (WE)
Nevertheless, Mr Pompeo warned Mr Maduro for a possible US military intervention:
“We call on all parties to refrain from measures that are inconsistent with the privileges and immunities enjoyed by members of the diplomatic community. [] The United States will take appropriate actions to hold accountable anyone who endangers the safety and security of our mission and its personnel.” (WE)
The above suggests that the LIMA Group, Canada, and USA have been playing a brilliant cat-and-mouse game with Mr Maduro. Obviously, similar authoritarian regimes are now supporting Mr Maduro, while the Venezuelan military leadership is so far remaining loyal (eg, BBC, Bloomberg).

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised (1971) by Gil Scott-Heron


Note: all markings (bolditalicunderlining) by LO unless stated otherwise

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