Venezuela’s oil and the geopolitics of the US-backed coup
31 January 2019
The United States has steadily escalated its regime change operation in Venezuela, seeking to remove Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro by means of a coup d’état driven by crippling economic sanctions tantamount to a state of war and the continuous threat of outright US military intervention.
The aim is to install the US puppet, Juan Guaidó, who in December traveled to the United States to discuss the operation with the Trump Administration.
Guaidó, an operative of Voluntad Popular, a right-wing party funded by the USAID and National Endowment for Democracy (NED) has bipartisan support from Democrats and the Republicans. He been presented in the media as a kind of freedom fighter and champion of democracy against Maduro, a dictator and force of evil. As Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stated in a speech last Saturday, warning other governments at the United Nations, “Either you stand with the forces of freedom, or you’re in league with Maduro and his mayhem.”
Beneath Washington’s tired and hypocritical invocation of “freedom” and “democracy” lies the real motives for a coup that could quickly spiral into civil war and armed intervention.
Venezuela has the largest proven oil reserves of any country in the world—several billion barrels more than Saudi Arabia. This valuable prize is not simply a source of profit, but a critical geopolitical piece in the growing conflict between the US and China—especially in light of growing fears that the oil markets could soon tighten.
On Monday, the Trump Administration tried to stop the flow of oil revenues to the Maduro government by halting all US payments to the state-owned oil company, Petróleos de Venezuela…