Follow the Soapbox

The Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro responded late Monday to the United States government declaring his country a “national security threat.”

Maduro rejected President Barack Obama's measure and explained the executive order signed by the U.S. president coincided with a failed coup attempt in Venezuela last month, which had links to U.S. citizens.

“After we dismantled the coup attempt … the U.S. and President Barack Obama … decided to personally fulfill the task of ousting my government,” Maduro said.

The Venezuelan head of state said that, according to intelligence reports he had received recently, over the last nine days, “many meetings were held between the Department of State and the White House,” to discuss measures to be taken against his government.

READ MORE: What does it mean for the U.S. to claim a country is a security threat?

Highlighting the hypocrisy of Obama’s executive order, Maduro called the statement “a Frankenstein, a monster,” as on the one hand it heavily criticizes Venezuela, and on the other it ends with Obama vowing to build a better relationship with the South American country.

Speaking from the Miraflores Palace, the president described the U.S. measure as the most aggressive step taken yet, largely inspired by Washington's frustration and desperation.

Maduro further criticized Washington's announcement by pointing out that the U.S. is a bigger threat to the world.

“You are the real threat, who trained and created Osama Bin Laden … you are the people who created al-Qaida,” said Maduro. Bin Laden was trained by the CIA during the late 1970s to fight the Soviet army in Afghanistan.

READ MORE: US Labels Venezuela a Threat While Backing Human Rights Abusers

He said that it was a double standard that the U.S President is focused on the human rights of Venezuelans: “Defend the human rights of the black U.S. citizens being killed in U.S. cities every day, Mr. Obama,” he added. 

Maduro pointed out that the U.S. has issued 105 statements on Venezuela over the past year, of which half were explicitly supporting opposition politicians. The Venezuelan president reiterated previous calls he had publicly made to his U.S. counterpart, urging him not to take the path of intervention that his predecessors took in Latin America.

“I've told Mr. Obama, how do you want to be remembered? Like Richard Nixon, who ousted Salvador Allende in Chile? Like President Bush, responsible for ousting President Chavez? … Well President Obama, you already made your choice … you will be remembered like President Nixon”.

READ MORE: US Hypocrisy and the Decision to Label Venezuela a Threat

According to Venezuela's intelligence sources, Maduro explained, a politcal agreement was brokered in December last year, between opposition lawmakers and the government, which marked the beginning of the coup plot that was thwarted last month. The opposition lawmakers broke the agreement after they received a phone call, which Maduro revealed Monday came from the U.S. Embassy in Caracas.

By then, the president said, “we knew who had called and from where they had called, and in what language they spoke.,”

The Venezuelan authorities were also monitoring a group of rogue officials, who they had tracked as a result of intelligence obtained from anonymous sources in contact with the U.S. government officials.

“They were trying to re-edit the April 11, 2002 events,” said Maduro, highlighting the similarities between recent actions carried by the opposition with events leading to the brief coup attempt on President Hugo Chavez in 2002.

The president also referred to the role of Carlos Osuna, believed to be the mastermind and financier of the coup. Osuna “is in New York, under protection of the U.S. government,” he said.

Historic parallels

President Maduro also pointed out at the historical parallels in Latin American history of similar actions taken by different U.S. administrations against left-wing governments.

The rhetoric being used against Venezuela was like that “used against Salvador Allende in Chile,” overthrown in a 1973 U.S backed coup and like that “against Jacobo Arbenz in Guatemala” in 1954 when a progressive government was ousted by the US.

The common discourse was described by Maduro as the “coup ideals,” which are based on accusing these left-wing democratically elected governments of violating rights as a justification to oust them.

The president reiterated that the economic sabotage – used before in Allende's Chile – was planned since July 2014 by the U.S. government. Sources told the government “there was a meeting in the White House, back in July … where they (U.S. government and agencies) decided to launch an economic warfare,” the president revealed.

Maduro also reminded Venezuelans that he had warned about the coup attempts in the early days of January, during his tour through OPEC member countries.

READ MORE: Eva Golinger: US Aggression Against Venezuela Fact Not Fiction



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