Citizen Action Monitor

Ottawa reaffirms support for US-led regime change in Venezuela, despite Guaidó’s failed coup attempt

Trudeau makes pitch to Cubans to cloak “savage imperialist aggression in ‘humanitarian’ and ‘democratic’ garb.”

No 2470 Posted by fw, May 9, 2019

“In the wake of the failure of last week attempt by the US and its domestic stooge Juan Guaidó to foment a military coup in Venezuela, Canada’s Liberal government has reaffirmed its support for Washington’s regime-change operation in the South American country. In addition to statements endorsing the criminal putsch, Justin Trudeau’s Liberals are working behind the scenes to orchestrate the establishment of a far-right, pro-imperialist puppet regime in Caracas. … Trudeau responded to the collapse of Guaidó’s coup by seeking to promote regime change in Caracas by other means. According to a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), Trudeau spoke with Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel about Venezuela late last week. … The PMO statement leaves no doubt that Trudeau was seeking to strong-arm Cuba, which is now the target of enhanced US sanctions, into abandoning its support for Maduro in favour of Guaidó.” Roger Jordan, World Socialist Web Site (WSWS)

In his excellent analysis, reposted below, WSWS reporter Roger Jordan reviews Ottawa’s growing entanglement in US-led plots to topple the Maduro regime and install the puppet Juan Guaidó as president. As Jordan puts it in his damning conclusion:

“The reality is that Canada and its ‘local allies,’ organized in the Lima Group, are conspiring to engineer an anti-democratic regime change operation that will bring a far-right, anti-working-class government to power in Caracas. This endeavour is incompatible with both a “peaceful” and a “democratic” solution. It leads inevitably in the direction of civil war, military conflict and the imperialist plunder of Venezuela’s oil and other natural resources.”

Let me add that the CBC has been serving as Ottawa’s mouthpiece to support the Venezuela coup attempt. See, for example, a copy of a letter sent to the CBC’s Ombudsperson in response to his dismissal of complaints from viewers over The National news that its “overall coverage was one-sided and tilted against Maduro.”

Moreover, the CBC has apparently decided to disregard critical feedback from viewers — Its biased coverage of the April 30 coup attempt was absolutely maddening. As a backdrop for its “Manufacturing Consent” narrative, The National appears to have relied on a news feed from the notorious CNN, featuring 38 very short video clips, with a camera perspective favouring pro-opposition protesters. CBC’s Rosemary Barton hosted the National’s coverage, aided by associates Paul Hunter, Evan Dyer, and guest “expert” Ben Roswell, Canada’s former Ambassador to Venezuela. In addition there were clips of other high-ranking Guaidó supporters, including Foreign Minister Freeland, and US extremists Mike Pompeo, and John Bolton. At the bottom of this post I have provided an embedded video of CBC’s shamefully biased April 30, National news report on the attempted coup in Venezuela, (although the CBC contrives to never use the word “coup”).

Below is my slightly abridged repost of Roger’s excellent piece, with my added subheadings and highlighted text. Or click on the following linked title to read the full report on the World Socialist website.

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Canada’s Liberal government abets US-sponsored coup attempt in Venezuela by Roger Jordan, May 8, 2019

Not daunted by Guaidó’s failed coup, Ottawa continues to push for regime change in Venezuela

In the wake of the failure of last week attempt by the US and its domestic stooge Juan Guaidó to foment a military coup in Venezuela, Canada’s Liberal government has reaffirmed its support for Washington’s regime-change operation in the South American country. In addition to statements endorsing the criminal putsch, Justin Trudeau’s Liberals are working behind the scenes to orchestrate the establishment of a far-right, pro-imperialist puppet regime in Caracas.

Trudeau’s Liberals use rightwing Lima Group to pursue predatory imperialist interests

The principal means through which Canada is assisting Washington and pursuing its own predatory imperialist interests in Venezuela is the Lima Group, an alliance of US allies in the Americas in which Canada is playing the leading role. Established in 2017 for the ostensible purpose of ending the political and social crisis in Venezuela “peacefully,” the Lima Group in reality has acted as a front for American imperialism’s drive to install a client regime in the country with the world’s largest proven oil reserves.

While publicly opposed to military intervention, Lima’s activities closely coordinated with US escalations

While the Trump administration has explicitly threatened military intervention, which could rapidly escalate into a region-wide conflagration, the Lima Group has publicly declared that, for the present, it opposes any outside military action. But the group’s activities are closely coordinated with Washington, with Canada time and again rallying the Lima Group members behind each new US escalation, from declaring Maduro’s re-election last year “illegitimate,” to immediately endorsing Guaidó’s Jan. 23 self-proclamation as the country’s “interim president” and last week’s attempted military coup.

Lima pitched failed coup attempt as effort “to restore democracy”

Just hours after Guaidó launched his coup, which quickly collapsed due to a lack of popular support and the refusal of any significant section of the military to defect from the bourgeois nationalist Maduro regime, the Lima Group issued a statement that cynically promoted the attempted putsch as an effort “to restore democracy” to Venezuela. The statement went on to demand that the Venezuelan military “cease being instruments of the illegitimate regime for the oppression of the Venezuelan people.”

Ottawa’s Minister Freeland held emergency Lima video conference to discuss a hoped-for ouster of Maduro

That Canada was the driving force behind this propaganda for the US-sponsored coup is beyond doubt. Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, whose intimate ties to leading members of the US political and financial elite are well known, organized an emergency Lima Group meeting by video conference April 30 to discuss what the Canadian government evidently hoped would be the rapid ouster of Maduro at the hands of Venezuela’s military. But the coup bid quickly fizzled, and on the following two days the Maduro regime made a show of force, with large crowds demonstrating in support of the government on May 1 and the president marching with his top military commanders through Caracas the next day.

Trudeau responded to Guaidó’s flop by calling on Cuba’s president to “work together to support a peaceful resolution to the crisis”  

Trudeau responded to the collapse of Guaidó’s coup by seeking to promote regime change in Caracas by other means. According to a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), Trudeau spoke with Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel about Venezuela late last week. “The prime minister, on behalf of the Lima Group, underscored the desire to see free and fair elections and the constitution upheld in Venezuela,” declared the statement. “The prime minister also reiterated his concern for the ongoing suffering of the Venezuelan people. The two leaders discussed ways they could work together to support a peaceful resolution to the crisis.”

The pitch to the Cubans was to cloak “savage imperialist aggression in ‘humanitarian’ and ‘democratic’ garb”

The references to “free and fair elections” and the upholding of the constitution are an utter fraud, aimed at cloaking savage imperialist aggression in “humanitarian” and “democratic” garb. Canada, no less than the United States, is eager to get its hands on Venezuela’s vast oil reserves, and thereby strengthen the position of its multibillion-dollar mining and financial investments across Latin America. It also shares Washington’s aim of curtailing Russian and Chinese influence in the region. China in particular has emerged as a major investor in South America over the last decade.

“The PMO statement leaves no doubt that Trudeau was seeking to strong-arm Cuba”

The PMO statement leaves no doubt that Trudeau was seeking to strong-arm Cuba, which is now the target of enhanced US sanctions, into abandoning its support for Maduro in favour of Guaidó.

Canadian diplomats met with Venezuela’s opposition leaders months ago to encourage Maduro’s overthrow

Since Jan. 23 Canada has maintained that Guaidó is Venezuela’s “constitutional” president and the incarnation of the “democratic” aspirations of the Venezuelan people. In reality his self-proclamation as president was a criminal conspiracy orchestrated by the Trump administration, but in which Canada played a significant supporting role. In the days and weeks before Jan. 23, Canadian diplomats, including those on the ground in Venezuela, held meetings with opposition leaders to encourage them to unite and launch a bit to topple Maduro.

Trudeau hoped to bully Cuba into expediting the defection of sections of Maduro’s regime over to Guaidó’s side

Trudeau’s attempt to bully Cuba, one of Maduro’s closest allies, is of particular significance. Canada has major economic interests in Cuba and has long served as an intermediary between Havana and Washington. Ottawa is now trying to leverage those ties to prevail on Havana to use its diplomatic connections with the Maduro regime to facilitate the defection of important sections of it behind the US puppet Guaidó.

What prompted Trudeau’s Cuban initiative was Trump’s lifting of ban on US citizens from suing companies doing business in Cuba

Trudeau’s initiative comes as the Trump administration is increasing its pressure on Canada to adopt a harder line towards Cuba. Last month, Trump lifted the ban on US citizens suing companies who do business in Cuba using property seized from American companies during the 1959 revolution—an action he tied directly to Havana’s continuing support for Maduro.

The full implementation of the so-called Helms-Burton Act was supported above all by Trump’s hawkish National Security Adviser, John Bolton, who has been in the frontline of those bullying Venezuela with the threat of war. The coming into force of the provision is expected to lead to some 6,000 lawsuits, predominantly directed against European and Canadian companies.

Although the newly enforced provisions of the Helms-Burton Act directly target Canadian economic interests and are yet another example of Washington trying to impose extraterritorial sanctions on the world, the Trudeau government’s response has been low-key. Ottawa has issued a pro forma complaint and pledged to back Canadian companies against any Helms-Burton-inspired lawsuits.

Meanwhile, Ottawa is leaning on Havana to abandon one of its closest allies and accept the installation of an antidemocratic regime pledged to Guaidó’s “Plan Pais,” which calls for the privatization of the Venezuela’s oil wealth and the imposition of IMF structural adjustment measures.

Ottawa’s promotion of regime change is backed by opposition Conservatives, corporate media, and elites

Canada’s promotion of regime change in Venezuela, like all of its predatory imperialist adventures around the world, enjoys virtual unanimous backing from the political establishment. The official opposition Conservatives have been even more bellicose in their denunciations of Maduro than the government, while the corporate media, from the liberal Toronto Star to the Globe and Mail, the mouthpiece of Canada’s financial elite, have proclaimed their support for Guaidó’s attempts to seize power.

NDP’s condemnation of attempted coup was cloak to cover for its pro-imperialist stance on Venezuela

The lone establishment voice to oppose the Trudeau government’s endorsement of last week’s attempted putsch was the New Democratic Party. Its foreign policy spokesman Guy Caron issued a statement that condemned “any attempted coup with the assistance of the military.” It should be recalled that the NDP lent its explicit backing to the imperialist-orchestrated regime-change operation when it was launched in late January. Only after a public outcry did the NDP feel compelled to walk back this brazen endorsement.

The reality remains – Canada and allies “are conspiring to engineer an anti-democratic regime change operation”

The reality is that Canada and its “local allies,” organized in the Lima Group, are conspiring to engineer an anti-democratic regime change operation that will bring a far-right, anti-working-class government to power in Caracas. This endeavour is incompatible with both a “peaceful” and a “democratic” solution. It leads inevitably in the direction of civil war, military conflict and the imperialist plunder of Venezuela’s oil and other natural resources.

RELATED VIDEO

The National for April 30, 2019 — Venezuela Violence – Total length of report 6-min14-sec // Begins with introduction 00:04 to 00:18 = 14-sec, continues at 00:50 to 06:49.

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