‘US role in Venezuela over past 20 years a case of meddling after meddling’
The Venezuelan government said it plans to hold a march on Tuesday to protest alleged US meddling in its affairs. This follows American media reports that Washington was working to topple President Nicolas Maduro, reports which the US has neither confirmed nor denied.
Claims that the US was attempting to orchestrate a coup in Caracas were published in a New York Times article. Citing officials on both sides, it alleged that meetings were held with ‘rebellious’ Venezuelan military figures before eventually being halted.
“US policy preference for a peaceful, orderly return to democracy in Venezuela remains unchanged,” National Security Council spokesman Garrett Marquis said in a statement following the report.
RT discussed the allegations of US meddling in Venezuelan affairs with Dobson, a journalist for the independent news site Venezuelaanalysis.com.
RT: The reports have not been officially confirmed, but is there any reason to seriously doubt the claims of US meddling?
Paul Dobson: Quite the contrary. These reports from the NYT rather confirm what we, here in Venezuela, are used to seeing quite frequently. Look at the role of the US government over the last 20 years in regards to Venezuela. It has been a case of meddling after meddling, including the attempt at coup d’etat. This is no surprise at all – this revelation.
RT: Washington’s official reaction has been to state that it supports a ‘return to democracy’ for Venezuela. What can be read into that?
PD: One of the policies of the Venezuelan opposition is to bring about what they call a “transition government” and impose a transitional government. This is the ‘return to democracy’ which the US is talking about and makes reference to. But it is worth pointing out that international electoral observers in Venezuela have time and again qualified the Venezuelan democratic electoral system, not just one of the best in the world, but far superior to many other nations, including the very same system in the US. So, how ironic for the US government to instigate a ‘return to democracy’ in Venezuela where in fact we have a far better democratic system than in the US.
RT: Diosdado Cabello, the speaker of the ruling Constituent Assembly, claimed the US was behind the attack against Maduro. Is there any basis for that at this point?
PD: So far, not so much evidence [has been] made public which direct links from the US government to this drone assassination attempt. What we have seen is evidence made public which includes a Venezuelan citizen based in the US, in Miami, who has been accused of funding the campaign. We’ve seen frequent meetings between the US government and their bodies like USAID with the Venezuelan opposition leaders, some of whom have been included amongst the accused, for this terrorist attack against the president. So, there are indirect links. There is nothing that directly links the US government to the terrorist attack at this point.
RT: How do you see relations between the US and Venezuela progressing given the animosity these developments are creating?
PD: As long as President Trump continues his aggressive policy against Caracas and the sanctions that he has imposed on the country, which have a devastating impact not just on Venezuela but also Brazil and other neighboring countries, as long as the Trump administration continues to persecute the Venezuelan government and those who are looking to bring about a progressive change in Venezuela, then I can’t see a way in which the relations are seriously going to improve.
RT: America has interfered directly in Latin America – South America in the past. It was castigated, there was a lot of reaction to that. Now, if it does appear to be a direct interference, what does that say? That they are not trying to hide it anymore that this is happening?
PD: We’ve seen the US government through its various agencies trying numerous different policies over the last 20 years since 1999. We’ve seen direct interference, we’ve seen indirect interference, we’ve seen funding, we’ve seen media campaigns, we’ve seen sanctions, we’ve seen international isolation and so on. It comes as no surprise to us here in Venezuela. It is worth pointing out that the US government, out of mere rumor of foreign intervention in the electoral system in the US, there is a massive outcry, a scandal. But it is fine for the US government to meddle with other governments, other sovereign independent countries. That for them is fine. And out of the mere whisper that the Russian or the Russian people got involved in the US elections – it is a national outcry. That shows hypocrisy of the US government, I believe.
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