Washington escalates coup provocations in Venezuela
Bill Van Auken
25 January 2019
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is set to appear at a closed-door session of the United Nations Security Council Saturday morning to discuss the political crisis in Venezuela. The move comes after Washington declared the presidency of Nicolas Maduro “illegitimate” and recognized the self-proclaimed “interim president” Juan Guaidó of the right-wing, US-funded Voluntad Popular (Popular Will) party as the government of South America’s most oil-rich country.
The turn to the Security Council, where Russia and China, which both have extensive economic and political ties to Caracas and are certain to veto any resolution backing what amounts to a US-orchestrated coup, has all the earmarks of a propaganda gesture, aimed at making a show of appeal for UN support in order to pave the way for a unilateral US intervention.
Washington has laid the groundwork for a confrontation with the Maduro government by announcing that it will defy Maduro’s decision to break diplomatic relations with the US and his order that all US diplomatic personnel leave the country by Sunday. While the Trump administration on Thursday ordered all “non-essential personnel” to evacuate the country, leading US diplomats are to remain in place, effectively being used as pawns in an unprecedented provocation that could turn into the pretext for a US military intervention.
Both a White House spokesman and Republican Senator Marco Rubio, who plays an influential role in the Trump administration’s Latin American policy, issued warnings of a “swift and decisive response” if the Venezuelan government attempts to enforce its expulsion order.
Maduro reiterated the demand Thursday, announcing that Venezuela is…