A political crisis has been rocking Venezuela for almost a week. Juan Guaido, 35, the opposition leader and the National Assembly president, declared himself new Venezuela's president instead of Nicholas Maduro on January 23. Washington immediately recognized him as the Venezuelan leader for a transitive period. Maduro responded by rupturing diplomatic relations with the United States, giving the diplomats 72 hours to leave the country. The main allies of the United States in Europe and Latin America as if at command recognized Guaido as Venezuelan leader following Washington's example.
Now the situation in Venezuela resembles the first stages of so-called "soft color" revolution: a governmental crisis is on, the economy is slumping, people are rising in civil unrests, and foreign countries are supporting the opposition. The fact that the major part of Venezuela's army is still loyal to Maduro to a large extent soothes the situation, but the local "color" revolution, as some analysts believe, has never before been closer to the victory. Venezuela has many times undergone similar situations in its history, but rarely have they ended in the victory of opposition forces or new leaders rising to power. Here is another test for Venezuela. Will it pass the test bearing in mind that the United States is staging a classic coup?
This question is far from being rhetoric, as the United States has much expertise in interfering in domestic affairs of other countries, including direct military interventions. History records show that by now Washington has used military force in foreign countries more than 200 times! The United States has interfered into domestic affairs of 50 counties more than 130 times over the past century. Experts have counted over 80 instances of America's open or covert involvement in overthrowing unwanted governments. Not all coups were successful, but the Americans managed to bring people loyal to them to power and punish their predecessors who did not listen to Washington in at least 30 countries. And examples are easy to find.
We won't go deep into history and will mention just the most vivid examples of Washington's inference in domestic affairs of other countries after WW II. Iran, 1953, the government of Mohammad Mosaddegh was overthrown. This was the first on the list of known coups staged by the United States during the Cold War. Guatemala, 1954, a military coup that ousted President Jacobo Arbenz and brought a junta to power was staged with Washington's assistance. Congo, 1960, President Joseph Kasa-Vubu replaced first Congolese Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba in power during Belgium's military intervention supported by the United States. South Vietnam, 1963, Ngo Dinh Diem, who then led Vietnam, was killed with the active support of the CIA, and the United States unleashed a real war in Vietnam, killed hundreds of thousands people, including civilians. Brazil, 1964, Washington backed a military coup led by Humberto Castelo Branco fearing that President Joao Goulart will "make Brazil be China of 1960-s." Indonesia, 1965, the United States covertly took part in a coup assisting the rise of General Suharto to power. Chile, 1973, socialist President Salvador Allende killed with the support of the CIA bringing to life the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet.
Here are more fresh examples. Grenada, 1983, the United States invaded the country under the pretext of protecting American citizens there, deposing and later executing the country's leader Maurice Bishop. Panama, 1989, the American army invaded the country overthrowing the government of Manuel Noriega, who was cast into prison where he died almost 30 years after. Nicaragua, 1981-1990, the United States generously funded the Contras and introduced an economic blockade of the Sandinista authorities.
Almost the same number of unsuccessful coups, as well as coups in African and other countries the American involvement in which was not proved although was suspected, are not on this list.
Naturally, recent events of the 21st century are fresh in memory. The invasion of American troops into Afghanistan in 2001: tortures, banned weapons, mass killing of civilians, and the use of depleted uranium. The year of 2003 saw another American invasion, this time Iraq: President Saddam Hussein deposed and executed, the country was brought to collapse and chaos. President Jean-Bertrand Aristide deposed as a result of American-sponsored coup in Haiti in 2004. Airstrikes on Libya in 2011 resulted in the fall of Muammar Gaddafi and his subsequent murder. The coup of 2014 in Ukraine sponsored by the "Washington cartel" ousted President Viktor Yanukovych and brought to power an American "puppet" Petro Poroshenko. All these coups brought authorities controlled by the United States to power.
Time will show if Washington succeeds in implementing a similar scenario in Venezuela. The situation there is a topic for discussions in the UN Security Council. However, the United States is loyal to itself in this case, having managed to "foist" its own edition of a resolution on Venezuela. The United States urged to support the Venezuelan parliament led by opposition leader Juan Guaido as "Venezuela's only democratically elected institution." The position got backing from nine out of 15 members of the UN Security Council, with Russia, China and Equatorial Guinea opposing it.
This Washington's position is another proof that the United States is involved in the current crisis in Venezuela. There is direct evidence for that. The Wall Street Journal has recently reported citing a high-ranking source in the Donald Trump administration that the United States had worked on a secret plan to support Venezuela's opposition for several weeks. National Assembly President Juan Guaido declared himself interim president right after American Vice President Mike Pence phoned him and promised that Washington would recognize him. Pence called Guaido in the early hours on January 23 and assured him that the United States would support him if he basing on provisions of the Venezuelan Constitution took power from incumbent President Maduro. And that again launched the American machine of coups that has been destroying democracy since the Iranian events in 1953.
The basic mechanism of staging American coups has not changed ever since. Probably, the United States will not dare to use raw military power as it often happened in other countries but will use the well-tested tactics of resorting to local opposition movements, violent mass actions, as well as local and foreign media. America's methods have slightly changed but the goals have remained the same, and they include overthrowing incumbent authorities and bringing their puppets to power.
It is likely that Washington has forgotten that the world no more lives in 1950-s, and the balance of power has totally changed. The fact that such influential countries as Russia, China, Turkey, Iran, Mexico and others offered support to Nicholas Maduro proves that. In particular, Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed support to the legitimate Venezuelan authorities "amid the worsening of the internal political crisis provoked from outside the country" in a telephone conversation with Maduro on January 24. Putin stressed that "destructive external interference is a gross violation of the fundamental norms of international law" and spoke in favor of "searching for solutions within the constitutional framework and overcoming differences in Venezuelan society through peaceful dialogue."