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US planning a Pinochet style coup in Venezuela: American scholar

US President Donald Trump and National Security Advisor H. R. McMaster board Air Force One before departing from Andrews Air Force Base for Miami, Florida on June 16, 2017.

The United States has absolutely no interest in democracy in Venezuela, it is planning a Pinochet like coup d'état there, says Professor Dennis Etler, an American political analyst who has a decades-long interest in international affairs.

Etler, a professor of Anthropology at Cabrillo College in Aptos, California, made the remarks in an interview with Press TV on Tuesday while commenting on US Vice President Mike Pence’s statement in which he said the United States will use “economic and diplomatic power” to restore democracy in Venezuela.

Earlier this month, US President Donald Trump said he might order military action against Venezuela, saying, “We have many options for Venezuela, including a possible military option, if necessary.”

But White House National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster said last weekend that the Trump administration was not planning any "military actions" against Venezuela “in the near future.”

Professor Etler said, “The US has absolutely no interest in democracy in Venezuela or anywhere else for that matter. It is only concerned with regaining its lost position of hegemony in Latin America.”

“Talk of US military intervention in Venezuela is not about protecting democracy but reemploying US imperialist rule.  The US would support a Pinochet style coup in Venezuela at the drop of a hat.  It is essential for the Venezuelan government to prepare for any eventuality, up to and including US military intervention no matter what the US says at any given time,” he stated.

US hypocrisy on democracy

“US talk of democracy in Venezuela is totally lacking in sincerity. The situation in Venezuela, in fact, bears striking resemblances to what has occurred and is still taking place in Turkey. The elected president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, clamped down on the opposition and passed a plebiscite which gave the presidency added, near dictatorial powers. Hundreds of thousands of judges, journalists, educators and businessmen thought to be loyal to the opposition have been purged from their positions and many have been jailed. This all resulted from an alleged coup attempt that led to bloodshed whose instigator's were portrayed as enemies of the state,” Professor Etler explained.

“In Venezuela, although the details are different, much the same scenario has played out. But the international response has been very different. Erdogan has been given a slap on the wrist and mildly rebuffed, but no sanctions have been applied against Turkey, no calls for Erdogan to be removed from office, no talk of a possible military intervention by the US and little comment by the media. Obviously a double standard exists, as Turkey is a key NATO ally in a volatile region of the world where the US wants to maintain influence,” the analyst observed.

“Venezuela however is in the US sphere of influence and no opposition will be brooked. The US will do all in its power to disrupt and destabilize any government that stands in the way of US imperialism and is avowedly socialistic. Talk about ‘democracy’ and ‘human rights’ in Venezuela is trotted out whenever the US wants to remove a thorn in its side. But when US surrogates attempt to seize or consolidate power, all those concerns fly right out the window,” he argued.   

'Western media crying crocodile tears'

“While the Western media is crying crocodile tears over the supposed loss of ‘democracy’ in Venezuela what has been rejected is the corrupt bourgeois democracy represented by the Venezuelan National Assembly.  As in all bourgeois democratic states the legislature is meant to represent the interests of capitalists and their political henchmen. But the upsurge in mass struggle in Venezuela led to revolutionary forces gaining political control of the state and implementing socialistic reforms. The bourgeois state apparatus, however, remained intact, allowing the enemies of socialism to marshal their forces and regain legislative power,” Professor Etler said.

“Ever since they have gone all out to sabotage the state and create chaos, in order to drive the revolutionary forces out of government. Only the loyalty of the armed forces have prevented that from happening. If the opposition succeeded in gaining complete control they would unhesitatingly persecute and prosecute socialist forces in the country. There would certainly be a widespread purge of revolutionaries and socialists from Venezuelan politics,” he added.

'Venezuela is at crossroads’

“Venezuela is thus at a crossroads. The new democratic, socialist Bolivarian Revolution initiated by Hugo Chavez has been incomplete. Due to historic circumstances the bourgeois democratic structure of the Venezuelan state remained intact since the inception of the revolution. Thus, the enemies of socialism and the Bolivarian Revolution both at home and abroad have had free reign to disrupt and sabotage it. Socialism cannot be successfully constructed under such conditions,” Professor Etler said.

“Bourgeois democracy is designed to perpetuate capitalism and the class rule of the bourgeoisie. When the popular forces use bourgeois democracy to organize a government it is always subject to reversal and ultimate defeat as the class enemies, both domestic and foreign, have the time, means and resources to organize its destruction. That is what has been happening in Venezuela,” he added.

“President Maduro understands this. The election of the Constituent Assembly is meant to address this fundamental issue in order to consolidate the Revolution and continue on the course of socialist construction. Socialism requires unity of will and social stability to succeed. The US understands this well and will do everything in its power to reverse the verdict of history and re-conquer its lost position of influence. That is why it hates Maduro with such passion,” he said.

“The US will try to portray developments in Venezuela as a threat to democracy and the imposition of a dictatorship. Nothing could be further from the truth. Only the destruction of the bourgeois state and bourgeois democracy can lead to a true people's democracy and socialism” the commentator noted.

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