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‘Guido’? Pompeo mangles name of US-backed Venezuelan ‘president’

‘Guido’? Pompeo mangles name of US-backed Venezuelan ‘president’
Despite overt US support for Venezuelan National Assembly leader Juan Guaidó’s coup, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo seems to be struggling to pronounce the self-proclaimed interim president’s name, calling him “Guido.”

We’ll have announcements from…other places later today, talking about how we anticipate interim president Juan Guido will have the resources he needs to lead the government of Venezuela forward,” Pompeo announced in a press conference on Friday, mangling the name of the man the US and its Western allies have decided should lead the Venezuelan people.

Guido,” once a racial slur used in the US against Italians, has more recently been reclaimed by reality TV fans to describe tanned, over-muscled hair-gel aficionados of all ethnicities. 

Even mainstream media admits Guaidó was an “unknown figure on the international stage” until last week, and it’s entirely possible no one had heard of him in Washington until then, either. Pompeo and national security adviser John Bolton have rushed to support literally any group willing to oppose a regime they dislike, which has led to some questionable alliances in Iran, Iraq, and now Venezuela, all in the name of “freedom and democracy.”

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It does help to make your chosen proxy feel needed, even loved. Hence Bolton’s chummy speeches to the Iranian exile group MEK, and the late Senator John McCain making friends with militant “moderate” rebels in Libya and Syria.

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Pompeo wasn’t the only proponent of regime change in Caracas who got tongue-tied over Guaidó, however. Paraguayan President Mario Abdo Benítez also struggled to get the name right, and he speaks the same language and lives on the same continent.

In any case, the speed at which most of the western hemisphere recognized Guaidó – without, apparently, knowing who he – raises more than a few questions. 

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