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Wednesday, June 05, 2019, 11:06 (GMT+7)
The U.S. “Peaceful Evolution” Strategy and Venezuela’s crisis

After its “Peaceful Evolution” Strategy’s success in toppling the socialist regime in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, America has continued to use this strategy to remove the political regime in the countries going against Washington’s leadership role. Among those countries, Venezuela has been at the forefront of US sabotage plan.

Venezuela’s position in the US global strategy

Venezuela holds a position of utmost importance to the US global strategy. It should be noted that in the strategic competition with China and Russia, Venezuela has become increasingly important to America in the economical, political, and military terms.

Economically, America is pursuing the strategy to control Venezuela’s huge oil resources (which account for nearly 25% of oil resources of APEC state members), eliminate the influence of China and Russia on this country, and gradually control the world’s whole oil resources. According to experts, this is one of the central points of the US global strategy in order to maintain the US dollar’s position which is guaranteed by the total value of oil resources in the world and acts as a mainstay of the US economy.

Politically, America refuses the Bolivarian revolution movement or the “socialism of the 21st century” initiated by late President Hugo Chavez, the successor to which is the incumbent President Nicolas Maduro. Thus, since Hugo Chavez took office in Venezuela in 1999, Washington has stepped up its “peaceful evolution” strategy in an effort to remove the political regime in Caracas and establish another one to defend America’s benefit in this country; however, it hasn’t worked. Currently, US President Donald Trump, who ever declared his refusal of socialism, is speeding up the process of regime change in Venezuela.

Militarily, America is deeply concerned about Russia’s involvement in Venezuela when Moscow is making investments in this country and becoming the main arms supplier to Caracas. At present, Venezuela is the largest importer of Russia’s weapons in Latin America. Moscow is considering using a military base in Venezuela under an agreement signed by the two sides and Venezuela’s sea ports and air ports to provide technical maintenance for and refuel its aircraft and vessels operating in the Atlantic Ocean and Pacific Ocean. This could be seen as a response of Moscow to the increased military presence of America and NATO in the Eastern Europe countries next to Russia. Obviously, America opposes the military cooperation between Russia and Venezuela. It is getting prepared for the scenario in which Russia would deploy intermediate-range missiles on Venezuela’s territory in response to the US decision to transform the Europe into a huge missile base adjacent to Moscow’s border after the two sides withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.

 The US “peaceful evolution” strategy in Venezuela

Coup on April 30th, 2019 in Venezuela (photo: AP)

Based on its Monroe Doctrine approved by its Congress in 1823, America grants itself the right to intervene in the internal affairs of Latin America countries which Washington considers as its “backyard”. In fact, America is seeking to prevent and contain the increasingly greater influence of Russia and China on Latin America particularly when China’s “belt and road” strategy is reaching the US “backyard”. Accordingly, America attaches great importance to preventing the construction of Nicaragua Canal in place of the Panama Canal under the US control. Moreover, it is taking breakthrough measures for the regime change in Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua, Bolivia, and other Latin America countries which are supporting China’s “belt and road” strategy against Washington’s political orbit.

To carry out its peaceful evolution strategy and remove the political regime in Venezuela, America has been taking various measures.

First, inventing the pretext for intervention in Venezuela. Thanks to its huge media apparatus and its allies’ mass media, America keeps condemning the political regime led by late President Hugo Chavez and incumbent President Nicolas Maduro for “dictatorship”, “corruption”, and “violation of human rights”. At the same time, it wages an “information-psychological war on a global scale with a focus on Venezuela’s economic crisis caused by the subjective and objective, internal and external reasons in order to incite the Venezuelan people to join demonstrations for overthrowing leaders of their country under the allegations of “weakness and impotence in economic management”. America ever adopted this measure rather effectively in many countries, such as Yugoslavia (leading to the Kosovo war in 1999), Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and Syria (in the “Arab Spring” political upheavals), and Ukraine.

Second, supporting the opposition. One of the serious weaknesses in Venezuela’s political system is the political pluralism. In this country, a part from the United Socialist Party of Venezuela  which is the party of the working class and still remains the  ruling party in this Latin America country, there are many other political parties which have the right to join the elections of deputies to the National Assembly and the presidential elections. Notable opposition parties include Justice First, Popular Will, and Democratic Action. On December 6th 2015, the opposition parties won the election for deputies to the National Assembly and agreed that the Chairmanship of the National Congress would rotate among leaders of the political parties. On January 5th 2019, Juan Guaido, a member of the Popular Will Party, who was believed to be recruited by the US Central Intelligence Agency, was handed over the National Assembly Chairmanship. That was a golden chance for America. Under the scenario invented by Washington, on January 23rd 2019, Juan Guaido declared himself “interim President of Venezuela”. America and many of its allies immediately acknowledged Juan Guaido as “the only constitutional President of Venezuela” in stead of Nicolas Maduro even though the latter had been elected to be the President of Venezuela by the people through universal, direct ballots and just taken oath of office a couple of days before.

Third, imposing economic sanctions and adopting measures for diplomatic isolation. Claiming that “Venezuela poses a special threat to the US national security and foreign policy”, America has imposed economic sanctions on Caracas. Between 2013 and 2017, the loss of the US economic sanctions to Venezuela was estimated at about 350 billion USD. Notably, on January 28th 2019, Washington dealt a “death blow” to President Nicolas Maduro’s Government. It froze all assets of the Venezuelan state-owned oil and natural gas group (PDVSA), and all the money that America spent on buying Venezuela’s oil would be transferred into a frozen bank account (about 11 billion USD spent on buying oil in 2019 and 7 billion USD of this company in assets in America) in order to cut off the foreign revenues from oil and cause President Nicolas Maduro’s Administration more difficulties in dealing with the domestic socio-economic crisis. More seriously, America has urged its allies to disapprove of the current government and adopt diplomatic measures to isolate Venezuela.

Fourth, combining demonstrations and conversion from the inside with military deterrence from the outside. That is the way Washington overthrew many other countries’ political regime. In 2012, inspired by the military intervention in Libya to topple Libyan leader Gaddafi, America adopted this scenario to remove President Hugo Chavez. To do so, from the outside, America deployed a number of submarines to Venezuela’s waters to sound out and provoke this country’s navy as a pretext for military intervention. Inside Venezuela, America incited opposition forces to rise up and force Venezuelan Government to respond to the situation. After that, the US mass media condemned President Hugo Chavez for “oppressing the people” as a pretext for establishing an interim government and calling for the US intervention. Most notably, in the coup headed by Juan Guaido on April 30th 2019, America used an armed opposition force and some deserters from Venezuela’s military as the core in creating the image of a powerful supporting force and inciting the people to join demonstrations so as to remove President Nicolas Maduro. To that end, leader of the opposition forces Juan Guaido made in advance a video of “the support from Venezuela’s Armed Forces” for him to overthrow President Nicolas Maduro. Besides, America and the opposition forces sought to bribe close confidants of President Nicolas Maduro and senior officials of Venezuela’s Armed Forces into mounting military coup. At the same time, the US mass media spread a rumour that Nicolas Maduro left Venezuela for Cuba on a special flight and made every effort to incite demonstrations and conversions which could lead to a civil war. And then, the interim President Juan Guaido would call for the US military intervention.

Up to now, the US “peaceful evolution” strategy in Venezuela has been basically fruitless. However, America has not given up its ambition to topple the President Nicolas Maduro’s Government and establish a new regime under Washington’s control yet. According to military experts, in the upcoming time, the situation in Venezuela will be more complex and intense. If the President Nicolas Maduro’s Administration does not adopt effective measures to settle the socio-economic crisis, prevent the collusion between the domestic forces and the external hostile forces, and find common ground with the opposition, Venezuela will be confronted with a civil war. If a civil war occurred, America would make a military intervention in Venezuela directly or through a proxy war. China and Russia could be engaged in that war to defend their interest in Venezuela; this country would become another Libya, Iraq or Syria while Latin America would be turned into a new “Middle East”.

Sr. Col. Le The Mau

Sr. Col. Nguyen Duc Xien

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