Pompeo says US tried & failed to unite Venezuelan opposition in leaked audio

A leaked audio of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has reportedly exposed the US effort to unite the Venezuelan opposition, whose top figures are apparently too absorbed in power games to become the next US-approved president.

Venezuelan opposition leaders are lining up in droves to pick up the mantle of presidency once Nicolas Maduro is ousted with Washington's help – and the US is struggling to get them to work together, the Washington Post reported citing a leaked audio. The recording was allegedly made during Pompeo's meeting with Jewish leaders last week.

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The effort to cobble together a united front against Maduro is not a thing of "these past months," according to Pompeo. It has been ongoing since he became CIA director, just after Donald Trump's swearing-in as president.

"Since the day I became CIA director, that was something that was at the center of what President Donald Trump was trying to do," he said.

The task "has proven devilishly difficult" though, as everybody in the opposition camp is after their own interests and wants to fight over the spoils rather than focus on the common cause of a coup.

"The moment Maduro leaves, everybody's going to raise their hands and [say], "Take me, I'm the next president of Venezuela.' It would be forty-plus people who believe they're the rightful heir to Maduro," Pompeo reportedly said in the audio.

READ MORE: Pompeo says US intel only OCCASIONALLY ‘gets things wrong’, after bragging about ‘lying’ CIA

In an attempt to force Washington's various stooges to team up, Pompeo sought to enlist help from religious organizations.

"We were trying to support various religious... institutions to get the opposition to come together," he said.

Pompeo blamed the disarray among the opposition for the failure of the April 30 coup attempt by a group of soldiers, which fizzled out within 24 hours.

He maintained that Maduro is overwhelmingly under the influence of foreign backers, mainly Cuba – an idea often repeated by Washington and recently used to put more sanctions on Havana. Venezuelans don't like Maduro, but are looking out for themselves instead of working towards Washington's goals, he complained.

"He [Maduro] doesn't trust Venezuelans a lick. I don't blame him. He shouldn't. They were all plotting against him. Sadly, they were all plotting for themselves."

While the US says that all options, including military, are on the table in Venezuela and pushes the crisis-hit Latin American country further into destitution with crippling economic sanctions, the opposition and the Maduro government are making tentative attempts at dialogue. Late last month, a second round of talks between representatives of self-declared 'interim president' Juan Guaido and Maduro was held in Oslo, but ended without any deal.

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Cuba is not frightened by the measures tightening the blockade

The Revolutionary Government of the Republic of Cuba condemns in the strongest terms the measures announced by the United States Government on 4 June 2019, further tightening the economic blockade imposed on Cuba for over 60 years, at a cost for the Cuban economy which amounted to over 134 billion dollars in 2018 at current prices, and to the figure of 933 billion dollars, taking into account the devaluation of the US dollar vis-à-vis the price of gold in the world market.

According to what has been learned, this new escalation, effective as of 5 June, further strengthens the hard restrictions already imposed on US citizens to travel to Cuba, includes an absolute ban on any vessels from the United States and immediately prohibits cruise ships from visiting our country.

The intent continues to be to extract political concessions from the Cuban nation through suffocation of the economy and hurting the population. In this particular case, these measures are also aimed at preventing the American people from knowing the Cuban reality thus bringing down the effects of the slanderous propaganda that is fabricated on a daily basis against our country.

Such actions disregard the majority view of Americans, whose interest to know Cuba and exercise their right to travel was proved by the 650 thousand US travelers who came in 2018, together with half a million Cubans residing in the United States.

Last 17 April, National Security Advisor John Bolton, at an anti-Cuban show attended by the mercenaries defeated in Bay of Pigs and family members of the henchmen of the Fulgencio Batista tyranny, announced that his government would restrict non-family travel to Cuba. This individual is known for having taken over the US foreign policy towards the Western Hemisphere, which constitutes the main threat to peace and stability of the whole region.

The United States supports the Monroe Doctrine openly, with which it tries to deny the sovereign equality and the right to self-determination of every nation of the hemisphere.

The recent attacks against Cuba are grounded on new pretexts. The best-known excuse is the defamatory accusation of Cuba’s military interference in Venezuela. This lie has been publicly and repeatedly rejected by the Cuban government.

They have even gone to the unscrupulous point of proposing Cuba to betray its convictions and the principles that have sustained the foreign policy of the Cuban Revolution, in return for promises of negotiation or relief from the draconian and criminal measures making up the economic blockade.

The solidarity of Cuba with constitutional President Nicolás Maduro Moros, the Bolivarian and Chavista Revolution and the civic and military union of its people, is non-negotiable. The more than 20 thousand Cuban cooperation workers who, on a voluntary basis and selflessly, are providing social services in that country, most of them in the field of health, will remain there cooperating with that sister nation as long as they are welcome by the Venezuelan people.

For Cubans, betrayal is not an option. We are not naïve. It’s already been 150 years of hard struggle for our independence, having to face from the outset the hegemonistic ambitions of the US imperialism.

Cuba will not let itself be frightened or distracted from the essential and urgent tasks for the development of our economy and the construction of socialism. Closely united, we shall be able to face the most challenging adversities. They cannot suffocate us, nor can they stop us.

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Food, fuel ships to Venezuela are being sabotaged, says Maduro

Ships carrying food and fuel intended for Venezuela have been sabotaged to prevent them from reaching their destination, President Nicolas Maduro has said, labeling the acts “torture to the economic body of the country.”

Vessels carrying food “were sabotaged and did not leave the ports where they were going to leave,” said Maduro during Monday’s meeting with party leaders in Caracas. He added that ten boats carrying fuel were also sabotaged.

At a meeting of the United Socialist Party which leads, Maduro also drew a link between the alleged acts of sabotage at sea and the international sanctions against Venezuela, spearheaded by US administration.

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“During the last 5 months of imperial aggression, we have endured financial persecutions, sabotage and coup skirmishes,” Maduro tweeted from his English-language Twitter account.

Despite the damage to the boats, the issue “is in the process of being resolved,” Maduro added.

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The US, EU and other countries have sanctioned Venezuelan officials in recent years, targeting the Maduro government, but a UN report notes that these measures made already-difficult living conditions worse. After a US-backed opposition leader declared himself the interim leader of the country in February, Venezuela’s gold reserves in European banks were frozen and several rounds of sanctions against the country’s oil industry were imposed.

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Venezuela’s Maduro proposes early elections for opposition-held National Assembly

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has proposed holding early elections to restock the National Assembly, currently headed by opposition leader and self-declared interim president Juan Guaido backed by US.

Maduro made this call in a speech in Caracas on Monday. He also talked about an early election in February of this year. If elections are not held before then, Venezuelans will vote on the makeup of the National Assembly next year.

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In 2017 the body saw its powers somewhat limited after the establishment of the Constituent Assembly, entirely staffed with Maduro loyalists, in 2017. The two legislatures have functioned in parallel since.

Maduro’s announcement comes on the anniversary of his reelection to the Latin American country’s presidency last year. Guaido, along with the United States, has called the election “illegitimate.”

If defeated at the ballot box, Guaido would lose his claim to legitimate power. Despite Washington’s backing, Guaido’s efforts to mobilize popular anger and oust Maduro have thus far failed, and the Venezuelan president still commands the support of the country’s military and remains safely in power.

Also on rt.com Guaido asks US military for meeting to plan ‘restoring democracy’ in Venezuela...

Venezuela remains economically blockaded by the United States, following several rounds of harsh sanctions. Sanctions targeting the country’s oil industry have exacerbated the country’s economic crisis, and have dealt “serious economic damage and suffering” to the Venezuelan people, the country’s oil minister said on Sunday.

DETAILS TO FOLLOW

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Maduro: US Suspension of Venezuela´s Flights Is Part of Coup

The suspension of commercial and private flights between the United States and Venezuela is part of the agenda to promote a coup, President Nicolas Maduro said.

The announcement is an illegal decision against free air circulation, they are prohibiting flying to the northern nation from any airport in the world, the president noted, after Washington said that private planes with the YV license, which identifies Venezuela, and US airplanes (NOV) are banned from traveling between the two countries.

This new measure is part of the imperial blockade against all Venezuelans, without distinction of ideology or social condition, Maduro said on Wednesday at Miraflores Palace, the venue of the Government.

He described the decision as a consequence of hatred and revenge from the US Government, after the failed coup d'état on April 30.

Donald Trump is warned about the consequences and the damage that he is doing to bilateral relations, especially he is aware of the lack of results in his policy for destabilization and regime change, coup and interventionism that has been counterproductive so far, he underlined. (PL)

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The Repeated U.S. Failure and the Option of Invasion to Venezuela

Desperate due to the chain of continuous failures in the coup attempt against the Bolivarian Revolution, the puppeteers pulling the strings of the marionette, Juan Guaidó, have now ordered him to resume, as a political weapon, the threat of a military invasion to Venezuela.

The other next option on the table seems to be – said Guaidó last Saturday in another of his "liberal" manifestations, where only a few hundred followers attended -, to contact "the South Command of the United States in order to establish a direct and wide relationship regarding cooperation."

Spokesman of Bolton and Marcos Rubios, where he should have said invasion, Guaidó used the euphemism "cooperation" because, according to him, besides the fake excuse of the already existent invasion of Cuban soldiers, all of the sudden, in the White House have discovered that in Venezuela there is a presence of the Army of National Liberation of Colombia (ELN for its Spanish acronym).

Attached to the new script of lies, Guaidó accused Maduro of facilitating "tools and intelligence resources" to the ELN this would make "the régime a sponsor of terrorism."

Guaidó’s new revelations were made a day after the other marionette from Washington, the Colombian president Iván Duque, affirmed that his country is "in high alert to avoid the ELN guerrilla to continue receiving weapons, ammunition and economic support from the president of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro", and that the acting Secretary of Defense of the United States, Patrick Shanahan, assured that last week the Pentagon had analyzed a wide range of military options.

But not everything is threats. Last Thursday, through an official statement, the National Bolivarian Armed Forces (NBAF) denounced the installation of a false positive in the frontier on the Colombian side whose Ministry of Foreign Affairs invented a supposed incursion of the Venezuelan army in his territory; and this same Saturday, the Minister of Defense, Vladimir Padrino warned that a United States Coast guard craft had carried out patrolling rounds in Venezuelan waters, an action that he added “won't be accepted.”

“We are not asking, it’s not a favor, we demand U.S. military authorities to respect the jurisdictional waters and sovereignty of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela”, said the minister according to a Reuters news.

The puppeteers of the torn marionette should swallow their imperial pride and force their imagination in search of new options to put on the table. The option of the provocations could unleash, in the event of a war of the United States and its allies in Venezuela, a regional catastrophe without precedents.

Setting aside the loyal Armed Forces, the homeland of Bolívar holds a weapon that no army or coalition, no matter how powerful it is, can defeat: the desires of an entire people to defend the achievements, their independence and sovereignty. Everything the swindler Guaidó has lacked since his proclamation last January 23rd until today.

Maduro instructs military to prepare to repel US attack on Venezuela

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has blamed the US for being behind the attempted coup that failed, and has urged his country’s military to be ready to defend against a military intervention by the Americans.

Venezuelan troops should “be ready to defend the country with weapons in hand if one day the North American empire dares to touch this land, this sacred ground,” Maduro said, addressing thousands of young cadets at a training range in the state of Cojedes.

“We are not a weak or helpless country. We are a country with a powerful Bolivarian National Armed Force that should be more united and loyal than ever.”

© AFP / Venezuelan Presidency

But for now, the US is “waging a non-traditional war” against Venezuela as they “want to rule the whole of [the Americas],” the president said.

Washington is trying to put into effect “a conspiracy with a lot of money, in order to destroy and divide our armed forces from the inside, with the help of a group of traitors,” he added, referring to the failed coup attempt on Tuesday. “They stole machineguns and rifles in order to aim them at their own military and people.”

© AFP / Venezuelan Presidency

There were clashes in the Venezuelan capital Caracas mid-week as self-proclaimed interim president Juan Guaido and his supporters attempted to take control of the country, with the help of some military members.

The coup attempt failed within hours as the armed forces overwhelmingly backed elected president Maduro and the public didn’t seem willing to support the opposition’s cause.

There were clashes in the Venezuelan capital Caracas mid-week as self-proclaimed interim president Juan Guaido and his supporters attempted to take control of the country, with the help of some military members.

The coup attempt failed within hours as the armed forces overwhelmingly backed elected president Maduro and the public didn’t seem willing to support the opposition’s cause.

Since the outbreak of the crisis in January, Washington has outright backed Guaido’s claim to power. It introduced harsh economic sanctions and even threatened a so-called “humanitarian intervention” to remove the socialist government from power in oil-rich Venezuela.

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Maduro: US Seeks to Reedit 2002 Coup d'état in Venezuela

Caracas, Apr 11 (Prensa Latina) Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro noted that the Government of the United States, with its actions, is seeking to reedit the coup d'état perpetrated against Commander Hugo Chavez in 2002.

'As 17 years ago, the Venezuela people defeated the coup attack on Chavez, we will continue the battle against Washington's permanent intentions to establish a regime change in the Bolivarian nation. The Constitution and the people rule here,' the president said on national radio and television on Wednesday.

At the Miraflores Palace (the venue of the Executive), Maduro charged that US authorities do not stop the constant charge against national institutionality, proved by the sabotages on the National Power System (SEN).

In that regard, the head of State noted that destabilizing the population with the lack of electricity and drinking water is the main objective of the right wing to create domestic chaos and justify a military intervention.

He stressed that the government of President Donald Trump insists on imposing puppets in Venezuela; however, he recalled that, according to the Constitution of the Republic, it is the citizens that elect their president, an action developed on May 20, 2018, when Maduro was ratified for the 2019-2025 term by 68 percent of voters.

Maduro said that on Thursday, the revolutionary force will commemorate the popular mobilizations held from April 11 to 13, 2002, as a result of the coup d'état against Chavez, as part of an imperialist effort to overthrowing the emerging Bolivarian Revolution.

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