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article imageOp-Ed: US has new plan to oust Maduro from Venezuelan presidency

By Ken Hanly     Apr 9, 2020 in Politics
The self-declared interim president of Venezuela Juan Guaido who is supported by the US and many of its allies originated the idea that the US might be able somehow to use the COVID-19 pandemic as a way to secure regime change in Venezuela.
The Guaido project has failed so far
While the US and many other countries recognized Guaido as interim president of Venezuela after he declared himself president in early 2019. For a year now the US has been pressing to help Guaido gain actual control of the country and depose president Nicolas Maduro so far Maduro has kept a firm hold on power. Attempts to turn the military against him have failed as have other strategies. Now the US has decided on a new plan which has less to do with ensuring that Guaido becomes president than a hope that Maduro will lose the presidency.
The new US plan
The plan is called "The Democratic Transition Framework for Venezuela". Under the plan both Guaido and Maduro would step down and a five-member governing council would govern until presidential elections could be held. As an incentive the Trump administration would be prepared to lift the crippling sanctions it has imposed upon Venezuela providing Venezuelan leaders cooperate with the plan.
The US complains bitterly that countries such as Russia interfere in its elections. However with Venezuela the US has supported a coup attempt, imposed sanctions, and threatened military intervention, as if this is quite normal given that Maduro who was elected is often described as a dictator. Now it feels that it is quite in order that it order Maduro to step down and tells the country how it is to be run before presidential elections. The US does not want to influence political outcomes but dictate what Venezuela must do.
The US special envoy Elliot Abrams told a briefing at the Center for Strategic and International Studies that US officials hoped that the US plan would trigger discussion among top officials in Maduro's inner circle given that the country faces massive economic and humanitarian problems that were exacerbated by the COVID-19 outbreak. In other words, the plan is to use the misery in Venezuela that is to a considerable degree caused by US actions to turn Maduro's close allies into accepting the US command that he relinquish the presidency, and in return the US will help alleviate some of the misery it is causing.
Abrams said:
“Our hope is that so many people in Venezuela … inside the government will look at the proposal and maybe say, ‘Well, Maduro needs to leave power, but we are treated reasonably."
Instead of easing sanctions so that Venezuela can suffer less from the COVID-19 pandemic the US uses lifting them as a bribe to try and persuade Venezuela to accede to US demands.
Venezuela rejects US plan
After a week n
o one in the government has praised the plan. The Maduro government rejected the plan. The US claims it expected this. Abrams said that he hoped the US proposal would be discussed as the negative effects of the COVID-19 epidemic loomed. He said that he hoped officials would decide that accepting US demands would be the best way to ensure international aid. In other words the US expects Maduro supporters to turn against him in order to obtain relief from the misery and hardships that the US is forcing upon Venezuela while they lack the resources to fight a pandemic; This is the US version of humanitarian aid.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
More about nicolas maduro, US Venezuelan relations, US attempted coup in Venezuela
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