US commander says Pentagon prepared to intervene to defend Venezuela embassy
Bill Van Auken
8 February 2019
Amid rising tensions generated by the US-backed coup in Venezuela, the head of the US Southern Command, responsible for the Pentagon’s operations in Latin America and the Caribbean, told a Senate panel Thursday that the US military is prepared to intervene in defense of Washington’s embassy in Caracas.
The phony pretext of defending US personnel from alleged threats was used as justification for the last two major military invasions carried out by US imperialism in the hemisphere: Grenada in 1983 and Panama in 1989.
SOUTHCOM commander Admiral Craig Faller, who appeared before the Senate Armed Services Committee alongside his AFRICOM counterpart, Marine Gen. Thomas Waldhauser, made clear the active involvement of the US military in the ongoing regime-change operation in Venezuela, launched on January 23 with the US-coordinated self-swearing-in by a previously virtually unknown extreme right-wing legislator, Juan Guaidó as “interim president.” Washington immediately recognized him as Venezuela’s head of state, while declaring the government of President Nicolas Maduro illegitimate. A number of right-wing Latin American governments, major European powers and Canada followed suit.
“We think the population is ready for a new leader,” the admiral told the Senate panel, on which both Democrats and Republicans expressed support for the Trump administration’s bid to overthrow the Venezuelan government.
Pressed by senators about the state of the Venezuelan military, which Washington is appealing to incessantly to consummate regime change by means of an armed coup, Faller described the country’s army as “a degraded force, but still a force that remains…