The United States’ misleading and intense mass media campaign against Venezuela is part of the White House’s effort to overthrow, at all costs, governments that refuse to follow its hegemonic position in the region.
Roberto García Hernández
Juan Guaidó’s self-proclamation as “acting” president in the streets of Caracas without any legal or moral support shows the extent of Washington’s and its allies’ involvement in these subversive operations, which threaten to extend to other nations.
John Bolton, President Donald Trump’s National Security Advisor, announced on 3 March that the United States plans to form a coalition “to change the Venezuelan Government” and added that the White House is not afraid to use the controversial Monroe Doctrine at this stage.
Experts consulted by the Prensa Latina point out that the alliance’s priority should be to strengthen Venezuela’s political and diplomatic framework. The coalition, however, will have a second mission; to round up the necessary forces and means for a military intervention, for when circumstances call for it.
As part of the campaign, the White House insists on complicating the situation, blaming Cuba for its support of the Bolivarian leadership headed by Nicolás Maduro.
To that effect, Bolton confirmed on 4 March that Donald Trump’s Government is preparing to implement new sanctions against Cuba, in particular the tightening of financial restrictions “on Cuba’s military and intelligence services”.
The pretext for these actions is the suspected presence of “25 thousand Cuban troops” on Venezuelan soil which the Caribbean Foreign Minister, Bruno Rodríguez, categorically denies.
The justification of aggression
In this coup operation and threat to use military force against Maduro (the constitutional President of Venezuela), U.S. federal agencies are coordinating each step in accordance with armed forces field manuals and the civil entities’ governing documents.
The State Department plays a fundamental role in the campaign justifying aggression; it makes declarations about other necessary changes which are then repeated by spokespersons from other departments, all of which are guided by pre-prepared talking points and shared with other federal agencies. Military analysts warn that any military intervention on Venezuelan soil will be met with a number of practical challenges that make it a highly unlikely option, and some describe it as reckless.
The militarisation of the crisis in Venezuela would require a simple instruction from the United States “from zero to 100”, according to Dan Trombly, analyst from the Strategic Studies Institute of the North American Army.
The expert adds that the Venezuelan opposition, “which is mostly not violent” would not be capable of organising itself, not even to the level of the heavily unprepared militia after the NATO invasion of Libya in 2011.
On the other hand, United States law requires that Trump obtain the support of Congress for any conventional long-term military action, which is not likely given that the House of Representatives is controlled by the Democrats.
Specialists warn however that the White House might not take an invasion which is limited in time and “operative” in nature to an open vote on Capitol Hill and may present it to legislators as a done deal.
The Pentagon and the mass media campaign
In the case for aggression in Venezuela, the Pentagon had, amongst other missions, the task of disseminating information about the deployment of the aircraft carrier attack group Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) and six escort vessels.
These naval units started to carry out “routine” exercises on 25 January called Computex in the Atlantic Ocean, close to the Florida Straits, even though its exact location has not been made public.
Also, in the operation to take the coup plan forward against President Maduro, the United States military has ensured that it has “leaked” information to the press about the deployment of troops to the Caribbean and South America.
It is difficult to determine precisely which groups have been moved or on what scale, although information from different sources confirm that the Special Operations Forces (SOF) are involved.
These are elite forces from the Pentagon that play a key role in what is called a Non-Conventional War.
These forces are able to take part in sabotage missions, targeted assassinations and kidnappings on Venezuelan soil as well as other acts including attempts to eliminate or neutralise the political military leadership of this South American nation, directly or through local groups.
Specialists point out that it is likely (though not confirmed) that some of these forces may already be and have been active for some time, including from within Venezuelan territory. They are trained to operate in zones occupied by the enemy.
The Department of Defence also plays a role in the media efforts and, at times, takes the lead and assumes apparent political views. This is far from its alleged “apolitical” position that high ranking North American military officials are also supposed to maintain.
In this context, the Pentagon’s Information Operations and Military Support Information Operations (MISO) play a key role; they contribute to expert opinions with regards to the achievement of immediate objectives and in the long term, to the North American Government.
Experts from the Strategic Studies Institute of the Army point out that the United States Government has, for many years, be influenced by large companies specialising in marketing and advertising in order to achieve specific political aims abroad.
Specialists from these companies impose the use of techniques which aim to change the behaviour of large sectors of the population, authorities and political figures of nations at which official propaganda is directed in order to reduce “hostile behaviour” towards Washington.
All of the propagandistic framework and disinformation deployed by Washington in its latest chapter against the legitimate regime in Caracas (which isn’t the first and won’t be the last) has been done before in similar situations.
If we take into account the recent statements of John Bolton, President Donald Trump’s National Security Advisor, and statements made by senior officials in the Southern Command and the Republican Senator Marco Rubio, it’s clear that this story doesn’t end here.
There are other “chapters”.
The highly violent coups which took place between April and July 2018 against the Managua Government were defeated by the country’s authorities with a combination of neutralisation of terrorism and negotiations with all sectors of the population. Established by the far right in U.S. federal agencies and a recalcitrant minority in Congress, particularly legislators in the state of Florida, the next chapters of the attempted regime change saga will most likely be used against Nicaragua and Cuba. (PL)
(Translated by Corrine Harries) – Photos: Pixabay