Chavez, the US, and the Destabilization of Venezuela

Eric Draitser

October 7, 2012 

Venezuela goes to the polls this Sunday in an election many are calling a
referendum on President Chavez and his policies.  Although there is
surely such a dimension, the significance of the elections goes far
beyond political opinion and partisan bickering, striking at the heart
of the Venezuelan state.   This is because these elections will be used
as a front for an attempt to overthrow, by brute force if necessary, the
democratically elected government and put in its place a government
more amenable to US interests.  If this sounds familiar, it should. 
This is precisely the same tactic tried in 2002 in a US-instigated coup
that, though it briefly deposed Chavez, ultimately failed.  Now, ten
years later, the US imperialist ruling class is prepared to try their
hand at regime change in Venezuela once more.

The Destabilization Strategy

Sunday’s election presents the ideal opportunity for US intelligence to
instigate some kind of coup or “color” revolution in Venezuela. 
However, in order to achieve this insidious goal, there are very
specific strategies, tactics, and contingencies which must be
understood.  In his paper,
published by the Council on Foreign Relations, former US Ambassador to
Venezuela Patrick Duddy presents a number of scenarios in which the
election becomes the centerpiece of a destabilization campaign.  Perhaps
the most important of these scenarios, one which would be in keeping
with the tradition of “color” revolutions all over the world, is the
outbreak of violence in the hours after the winner is announced.  Duddy
writes, “most plausible scenarios for instability and conflict in
Venezuela derive from the premise that the Chavistas will not willingly
surrender power and would be willing to provoke violence, orchestrate
civil unrest, or engage in various forms of armed resistance to avoid
doing so.”  Naturally, Duddy fails to explain for whom such a scenario
would be deemed “plausible”.  Because of the nature of the paper and the
author, it is fair to assume that he is referring to the US
intelligence community for whom this is “plausible”.  Of course, this
assertion is made with no precedent of historical evidence of Chavistas
engaging in such behavior.  Rather, this is precisely the type of unrest
fomented by the United States in the service of regime change.

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