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30 Jan, 2019 02:04

‘US pawn that can be discarded any time’– Max Blumenthal on ‘president’ Guaido

‘US pawn that can be discarded any time’– Max Blumenthal on ‘president’ Guaido

Self-proclaimed ‘interim president’ of Venezuela Juan Guaido is a “product of US-backed regime change factory” installed to do Washington’s bidding, journalist Max Blumenthal told RT, arguing the only US interest there is oil.

The 35-year-old opposition leader, now recognized by the US and several other Western nations as the legitimate representative of Venezuela, was a relatively obscure figure on the country’s political scene until he was hand-picked by the US to “sell the coup,” Blumenthal told RT in an interview. He earlier co-authored an expose on the person at the tip of US operation to topple the government in Caracas published by the Grayzone Project.

Also on rt.com US threatens ‘serious consequences’ if Venezuela arrests ‘president’ Guaido

Guaido’s meteoric rise from “a low-level legislator in one of the least populous states” to the self-proclaimed “Wikipedia-proofed” leader of the country is artificially constructed by the US, he stressed.

“And that is because he is the perfect pawn, he is the product of US regime change factories, specifically the group Otpor, which is being backed by the National Endowment for Democracy, USAID, and – according to many reports, the CIA – to topple Slobodan Milosevic of Serbia.”

The US-backed group “trained” Guaido and a group of selected Venezuelan students between 2005 and 2007, Blumenthal said, arguing that it paved way for his future political career.

The journalist described the Popular Will party, which Guaido helped his mentor and former Caracas mayor Leopoldo Lopez to establish, as “the most violent, radical right-wing party in Venezuela functioning as shock troops of oligarchy” and as “an asset of Washington” that has been “largely discredited in Venezuela.”

“They’re seen as undemocratic, they are hated by the parts of the opposition that would like a resolution here and that would not like war,” Blumenthal said, adding that party’s approach does not strike a chord with the majority of Venezuelans. However, the low popularity did not prevent Guaido from trying to seize the power, as he and his team “are very popular in Washington, and have a constituent base in halls of power here.”

Guaido does not have a base in Venezuela on which he can rely, Blumenthal said, arguing that the engineer-turned-politician’s popularity “is much lower than [Venezuelan President] Nicholas Maduro’s” who himself cannot boast high approval numbers, as his popularity is “on par with [French President] Emmanuel Macron.”

After completing his engineering education at Andres Bello Catholic University in Venezuela, Guaido took up politics and eventually studied at the George Washington University in the United States.

“For average Venezuelans, who at the rate of over 80 percent oppose sanctions and oppose military intervention, this crew around Guaido, and most of them actually exist outside Venezuela, are anathema, because they have been responsible for so much violence and so much destabilization.”

READ MORE: ‘Cynical’ US sanctions meant to confiscate Venezuela’s assets – Lavrov

Stirring up violence in Venezuela even further is what Washington aiming for by backing Guaido and his entourage, Blumenthal argued, as for the US administration “it’s not about democracy, it’s not about human rights, it’s about oil.”

Blumenthal believes the US considers Guaido to be expandable, an asset that can be easily shelved away if it no longer needed.

“Guaido can be discarded any moment, he is Washington’s pawn.”

READ MORE: US announces sanctions against Venezuela's state oil company PDVSA

On Tuesday, Guaido was barred from leaving the country and had his assets and accounts frozen until an investigation into “serious crimes” he is accused of is finished by Venezuela’s attorney general. Guaido is accused of undermining constitutional order by inciting protests that led to violence. Washington has already warned that Caracas would face “serious” repercussions if it harms Guaido.

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