Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
April 16, 2013

Venezuela: This Looks Like Another Coup Attempt

In 2002 the Bush administration orchestered a coup against the Venezuelan president Chavez. After the coup failed the U.S. embassy in Caracas continued to plot against the Venezuelan government. A cable sent by the U.S. ambassador was published by Wikileaks:
Dispatched in November of 2006 by Brownfield -- now an Assistant Secretary of State -- the document outlined his embassy’s five core objectives in Venezuela since 2004, which included: “penetrating Chavez’ political base,” “dividing Chavismo,” “protecting vital US business” and “isolating Chavez internationally.”
Chavez did win the 2012 election but died soon afterwards. Last weekend his successor Nicolas Maduro was elected as new president though with much less an advantage than polls had predicted. There are some genuine reasons for the relative tight result, won by some 250,000 votes, but there is no sound reason to suspect fraud.

But fraud is what the losing U.S. supported candidate for president Henrique Capriles Radonski alleges and he send his followers into the the street to demand a recount. This, predictably, led to riots with now at least seven people killed.

Doubting election results without evidence of fraud, demanding recounts, riots in the street are all signs of a typical "color revolution" like attempt to overthrow a legal government. As the U.S. has in the past actively supported a coup against Chavez and, even after that failed, worked hard to create an anti-Chavismo "civil society" with the aim to overthrow Chavez, we can assume that similar schemes are behind the current disturbances.

The U.S. is, predictably, intervening, and supports the oppositions demand:

"Given the tightness of the result - around 1 percent of the votes cast separate the candidates - the opposition candidate and at least one member of the electoral council have called for a 100 percent audit of the results," White House spokesman Jay Carney told a news briefing.
According to the lasted results with 99% of the votes counted the candidates are separated by 1.77%, not 1% as the White House claims. By demanding a "100% audit" of the results the U.S. just makes sure that this demand will never be fulfilled and creates a new propaganda claim of "fraudulent elections" for which there is zero evidence.

Nicolas Maduro has won and he and his followers will now have to work hard to not fall in this coup attempt. As the legal winner he can and should use the force of the government to defend the result. At the same time he will have to recognize that the aims of Chavez's revolution have not yet been achieved and that there is still much work to do to get the economy back on a sound footing and to win back those voters that Chavez could count on but Maduro failed to win.

Posted by b on April 16, 2013 at 17:48 UTC | Permalink


It's lamentable that the people who would have benefitted the most did not vote en masse, to defend the noble bolivarian revolution. I will accede that Monsieur Maduro is not as rousing and inspiring as el coronel. However if a Supreme Court decision was good enough to certify that dumb donkey Bush's mandate it's good enough for Venezuela. I love Maduro, anything to keep poking those stinking upper crest snobby elite Venezuelans in the eye.
Sincerely el resentido social

Posted by: Fernando | Apr 16 2013 18:29 utc | 1

@ fernando 1

Thats the kind of attitude DC loves.

Posted by: heath | Apr 16 2013 18:50 utc | 2

I expect violent street protests as Maduro's first "test." These have already begun. Then Venezuelan plutocrats and media moguls will demand that protesters be protected. Washington will support the plutocrats and media moguls.

If you want to see how this might play out, watch "The Revolution will not be Televised," which documents the 2002 coup attempt. Last time, Chavez supporters took to the streets and shut Caracas down, forcing Chavez' return.

This time I assume that the plutocrats are better prepared, but the Venezuelan left will not be easily rolled. It could get very, very bloody.

So much for respect for democracy. The US has undone more democracies than it has spawned in the last 50 years.

Posted by: JohnH | Apr 16 2013 18:50 utc | 3

Oddly, the Boston bombing has pushed Venezuela off the MSM's 24 watch. I suspect we would have been inundated with the stolen election narrative non-stop otherwise.

Posted by: Lysander | Apr 16 2013 19:09 utc | 4

There is no doubt a good reason that Chavez appointed Maduro as his successor although Maduro seems to have way less charisma and, Pardon, smartness than Chavez.

It might be noteworthy that both Maduro and Russia have, even before the elections, agreed on furthering their cooperation.

So I guess that Chavez who had enough time for preparations and wasn't dying suprisingly has installed certain arrangements to support Maduro.

It is, of course, by no means surprising that the jewish usa whore capriles spits and bites and creates turmoil and unrest. Therefore I expect Maduro to be very well prepared for that situation.

I'm looking forward to what comes up during the coming days. If I'm not very mistaken it will not be comfortable for capriles.

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Apr 16 2013 20:49 utc | 5

"We are not going to ignore the will of the people," said Mr Capriles. "We believe we won ... we want this problem resolved peacefully."

Yeah.... These fuckers have about as much respect for non-violence and democracy as Dick Cheney has for his hunting partners.

Posted by: guest | Apr 16 2013 21:17 utc | 6

At State today-

MR. VENTRELL: So, Matt, as we noted yesterday, given the very close results, opposition candidate Henrique Capriles and a member of the electoral council, the CNE, as the – it’s referred to, called for a 100 percent audit, a recount of the results. Ruling party candidate Maduro also endorsed this idea. And we said yesterday, a full recount would be important, prudent, and necessary in ensuring that an evenly divided Venezuelan electorate is confident that the election meets their democratic aspirations. The OAS and the EU have expressed similar views. And there are also outstanding allegations of voting irregularities raised by the opposition.

Oh My God - voting irregularities? Being a little hypocritical, aren't we?
Human rights and voting -- two subjects that the U.S. should avoid lecturing others on.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Apr 16 2013 22:51 utc | 7

"Given the tightness of the result - around 1 percent of the votes cast separate the candidates - the opposition candidate and at least one member of the electoral council have called for a 100 percent audit of the results," White House spokesman Jay Carney told a news briefing.
Modelled on the 2000 100% recount in Florida, no doubt.

Posted by: john francis lee | Apr 17 2013 0:35 utc | 8

just testing

Posted by: ToivoS | Apr 17 2013 1:16 utc | 9

Just a - not very probable - sidenote:

One way and probably not the stupidest Maduro could chose was to have a recount but this time really discreetly arranging for a different outcome, say him having 4% more and capriles having 4% less, and then to immediately after that result is published, pro-actively declaring

"We knew it all along that capriles had played dirty games. But we didn't say anything and yes, I did instruct the election office to be quiet about it. We thought that way, having a majority anyway, albeit a rather small one, we could finally and peacefully go ahead and do the work our country needs to be done. Because that's what elections are about: To elect a leader to take care of the countries problems and interests - and not about elections for the fun of elections as Mr. capriles quite evidently wants it to be.

Seeing, however, the unrest and turmoil created by Mr capriles who, of course, was unhappy that the majority of Venezuelans didn't fall for his negative ways and who seemed to think, he could blackmail this country, we have decided to agree to a recount, which, of course, necessarily brought Mr. capriles dirty little tricks to the surface.

Now the game is over, Mr capriles. You have lost and lost twice. As you have shown we can't rely on your word to accept the will of the majority. Let me tell everybody very clear that some years ago the attempt to kidnap our president Chavez failed. And today Mr. capriles' attempt to kidnap the whole country failed as well.
There will be no third or forth or fifth recount as this is a country and not a rigged casino. Mr. capriles and as his supporters are welcome to constructively contribute to our efforts or to not do that but to care about their own business. Whatever their decision may be, it should be well understood - and actually please Mr. capriles and his supporters who have strongly voiced demands to fight crime - that our legal system is well prepared to swiftly react on any criminal act against this country. Our beloved country cannot afford to waste more time and efforts on turmoil to please the personal interests of a few men and those behind them.

Furthermore I can't but realize that us-american involvement in our internal affairs and most sacred democratic processes has created anger in the streets. Being a civilized country we will, however, provide 24/7 police escorts for any and all personel of the american embassy and those related to it."

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Apr 17 2013 3:04 utc | 10

The editors of The Washington Post are calling on President Obama to prevent Maduro from taking power.

The administration should begin coordinating with Mexico, Chile and other important Latin American democracies to prevent Mr. Maduro from killing his way into power.

Posted by: Calig | Apr 17 2013 3:20 utc | 11

Maduro should have Capriles arrested and jailed for inciting riots. What's he waiting for? If he can't handle a loser than he won't be able to handle the U.S.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Apr 17 2013 4:05 utc | 12

I think it is not fair to criticize Maduro because he lacks the charisma and political instincts of Chavas. The colonel was a once in a generation talent. Chavas's death makes his life work vulnerable. Who could possibly fill his shoes? However, he did leave a movement behind who will fight to fulfill his Bolivarian principles.

The US sees that his revolution is vulnerable and will work overtime to undermine it. US imperialism has been very successful in promoting the various color "revolutions" to undermine governments that oppose US dominion as b has pointed out. Obviously the US is actively involved in undermining Maduro.

Posted by: ToivoS | Apr 17 2013 4:34 utc | 13

Why nobody in Washington support a recount when Calderon "won" in México in 2006 by a margin of ¡0.56%!?

Posted by: Ricky | Apr 17 2013 4:43 utc | 14

@11 Wow.

That WaPo op ed is pure evil. And that doesn't even come close to describing the comments.

These Capriles-Radonski crooks are willing to bring hell and murder to their own country instead of be out of power, and people in this country are just overjoyed to egg it on.

Posted by: guest | Apr 17 2013 5:47 utc | 15

That WaPo article, as cited above, is an invitation for full scale class war. It sounds like a serious challenge to Maduro's election victory. The US is willing to attack any political movement that defies their interests. I do think that the Bolivarian movement that Chavas created will resist US interests. These people are armed. If the US and their Venezualan lackeys push too hard, the people will resist. It could become really ugly.

Posted by: ToivoS | Apr 17 2013 6:51 utc | 16

Maduro should arrest Capriles, have the Supreme Court certify his victory and get down to business. He should say this: my number one primary objective is to fight crime. Therefore Radonkey is now going to jail. Then massively go into the barrios and provide assistance. Plus what the heck is going on with the toothpaste?!!

Posted by: Fernando | Apr 17 2013 12:33 utc | 17

if it looks like a duck and walks like a duck and quacks like a duck: its likely to be a duck!

Posted by: brian | Apr 17 2013 13:19 utc | 18

US sociopathy: while US reels from terrorism in Boston, US is preparing terrorism in venezuela and aiding it in syria libya and thru africa.

Posted by: brian | Apr 17 2013 13:20 utc | 19

US politicians know all about vote fraud:

Posted by: brian | Apr 17 2013 13:21 utc | 20

Posted by: Calig | Apr 16, 2013 11:20:39 PM | 11

a nice eg of how political the media is...and you thought it was about keeping tabs on their own politicians

Posted by: brian | Apr 17 2013 13:23 utc | 21

'The administration should begin coordinating with Mexico, Chile and other important Latin American democracies to prevent Mr. Maduro from killing his way into power.'

WAPOs propaganda merchants pick out 2 of the only servants the US regime has in latin america these days

Posted by: brian | Apr 17 2013 13:24 utc | 22

The crucial element is the military: the purpose of these attempts to "de-legitimise" the election is to open a sliver of opportunity for ambitious, greedy soldiers to carry out a coup.
The obvious next step for Maduro is to arm the populace: give the people the chance to defend the gains they have made under the Bolivarian regime. But by doing so, and threatening the army's momopoly of force the government would heighten the risk of a coup.
There is a lot to be said for the Second Amendment of the US Constitution, which is grounded in the English constitutional rule that there should be no standing army in time of peace: a well regulated, trained and armed militia, and a correspondingly skeletal army, would be very useful in Venezuela when the coup/colour revolution/Colombian-based insurgency comes. Look at Egypt where there is no chance of real change so long as the US pensioned armed forces stand in the way of popular demands.
On the other hand a powerful professional (Red) military would be handy too.

Posted by: bevin | Apr 17 2013 14:00 utc | 23

Maduro should conduct a full recount, inviting Jimmy Carter and friends in to insure that there was no election fraud. Rather than arresting Capriles-Radonski, the state should provide security around his home. If there are addtional US or Israeli embassy- related staff who have been contributing to the unrest, they should be expelled as well.

The Israel Lobby has a strong connection with WaPo's editorial staff. The neocons couldn't stand Chavez's strong support for Syria and do not want to see Maduro continue his policies related to the Middle East.

Posted by: Rusty Pipes | Apr 17 2013 17:16 utc | 24

The "fraudulent elections" meme has indeed been the plan from the beginning.

All this has been anticipated and was very much expected. Capriles never pledged to accept the results, even though he was constantly challenged by Maduro to do so during the electoral campaign. The only conceivable reason why he failed to, even though he was elected governor of Miranda state with a thin margin in the october elections, under exactly the same electoral system and rules, was to cast doubts over the electoral process to the fullfilment of said plan, opening the way to the presstitutes campaign, which is ongoing, and would certainly be much ampler and widespread if not for the Boston bombs.

The problem is, the election was amply supervised by international observers, Maduro has been recognized by all the governments of the Americas, with the exception of Panama, Paraguay and the US. Even Spain, whose foreign minister - probably under orders from Aznar - asked for a vote recount has backed off and has formally recognized the election results. Aznar who, by the way, in a meeting of a constelation of right wing foundations in Rosario, Argentina, between the 8th and 10th of April, set the tone denouncing bolivarian "populism" equating it with dictatorship.

Therefore I suppose the US will be isolated in it's position in the probable company of Palau and Nauru. The rest of the world will recognize Maduro, the OAS just did.

I think Maduro fed Capriles the fuel he burned himself in. There was absolutely no way, in my opinion, of a rerun of the 2002 coup. The oposition is much weaker, has no control of the armed forces, and have lost all important states, except Miranda, where Capriles still rules. They might still have some control over police forces in some states, but not enough to go against the government. The riots were necessary to feed the meme, but will turnout to have the opposite efect. I suppose Capriles, having served his assigned purpose will end up as irrelevant as 2002 coup leader Carmona.

We will have to wait and see if the aftermath of the disorder will be so lenient as the aftermath of the 2002 coup. But, the leniency of 2002 allowed Chávez to purge the armed forces of CIA puppets, and in the last 10 years military cooperation has shifted from the US to Russia. That makes it dificult for the US to infiltrate it. Let's wait and see how they will handle the private media, which was the great enabler of Carriles and of the riots. Some idiot journo tweeted there were ballots hidden in diagnostic facilities run by cuban doctors, which made the crowd attack and damage these centers. I expect Miami will see it's nutcase population increasing again.

Having followed Maduro's campaign through Telesur I think prioritizing the emotional appeal over the rational was a mistake and efectively wound up playing to Capriles advantage, leading to a result aparently noone was expecting, all polls pointing to a larger margin.

The real question now is how the new government will cope with the eficiency of the administration. Maduro promised a "street presidency" a presidency in constant contact with the people, starting imediately, with 2 priorities, fighting corruption and ineficiency, and restoring public safety. I sincerely hope he succeeds, in the present state of the world the only beacon of hope in ther future comes precisely from the latin american experiment which was, let's not forget, in large measure made possible by the success of Hugo Chávez and Venezuelas democratic revolution.

The big challenge comes now, to consolidate the revolution has an efective alternative to neoliberalism and capital's globalisation. I look forward a new type of globalisation, the globalisation of the peoples of the world, and the only place it can come from, right now, is from latin america with Venezuela in the forefront.

Posted by: estouxim | Apr 18 2013 3:44 utc | 25

Here's a great analysis of the stunts Capriles is trying to pull... Capriles Falsifies Evidence in Order to Claim Fraud in Venezuela’s Elections...

Posted by: CTuttle | Apr 18 2013 4:02 utc | 26

@CTuttle, #25 – uh, shades of the Green “Revolution” in Iran in 2009.

Posted by: Philippe | Apr 18 2013 6:30 utc | 27

In leaked phone recording, Venezuelan oppo leader Capriles' advisor admits they lost and are playing politics Difunden en VTV audio de supuesto asesor de Capriles reconociendo la derrota el 14-A

Posted by: b | Apr 18 2013 12:38 utc | 28

@28, b
Do you know by chance any available translation of this little gem ?

Posted by: Rhysa | Apr 18 2013 14:21 utc | 29

Do you see the orchestrated tweet campaign, all in English called #SOSVenezuela? CARBON COPY destabilization borrowed from #Libya #Syria

Posted by: brian | Apr 18 2013 14:50 utc | 30

Venezuelan opposition denounces violence but picture is repression in Egypt RE … #SOSVenezuela

this is the same dirty trick the #FSA uses in its war on syria

Posted by: brian | Apr 18 2013 15:08 utc | 31

b (28)

This thingy seems to be a telephone conference of some capriles people, amongst them a (the?) election rally/party manager.

It's hard to properly translate it because one interrupts the other and sometimes they "hop" between issues and points.

Two major points:

They know well that they have lost and, this may be very important, they do *not* doubt the national election commission (CNE). Actually one of them mentions the CNE like a final reference.

The accusations of election fraud is a (invented) vehicle to keep the voters busy and excited (to not let them return to normal live).
Furthermore it is said that they want/need to create and fuel public unrest based on the invented scandal.


Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Apr 18 2013 16:04 utc | 32

The US color rev people must be loosing their touch as thir coup fizzled before it really even got going. That plus people are a lot more wise to their bag of tricks.

Now Maduro has the hardet job ahead of him. He has to govern effectively while his opposition, domestic and international, snipe at his every move.

The world, not just venezuela, need him to succeede.

Posted by: Lysander | Apr 18 2013 16:22 utc | 33

syria almost done, fucking fukus already rearing to go for another *r2p* in venezuela

Posted by: denk | Apr 18 2013 18:01 utc | 34

Oh brave Venezuelan bolivarians who read MofA take note on what brave MofA had said as Assad toke consideration about what Iran said to him at the very begin of the imperial chaos induced in Sy. The others follow the dollar and it psicho-sociphatic decline until your servitude become useless...TKY

Posted by: Ricky | Apr 19 2013 5:57 utc | 35

americans get to experience life in libya/syria etc
'The 2 shooters lit an unwieldy bomb and threw it at police in the middle of gunfight '

just like Syria

Posted by: brian | Apr 19 2013 7:45 utc | 36

US spy arrested in Venezuela?

VENEZUELA: Arrested US citizen tied to "rightists’ conspiracy"

Agencia Venezolana de Noticias | April 25, 2013

Caracas – Interior Relations, Justice and Peace minister, Miguel Rodriguez Torres, informed Thursday about the arrest of a US citizen named Timothy Hallett Tracy, who is allegedly tied to conspiracy of local right-wing sectors against democracy in Venezuela.

Actions carried out by Timothy Hallett Tracy, aka ‘gringo,’ are tied to far right groups which seek to destabilize Venezuela through attacks in the streets after the April 14 presidential elections.

Minister Rodriguez Torres said that the objective of the plan was to create chaos in the country to undermine the government, creating a violent scenario.

“It is important to inform the population about situations that have been occurring. We will show the reasons and ties they have to carry out a series of actions we have been living since the April 14 elections at night,” Rodriguez Torres said at a press conference.

Since October, November and December 2012, he said, the National Bolivarian Service of Intelligence (SEBIN) started investigations on a plan named Connection April.

“All evidences we have gathered showed that the election day would come in complete normality; but once results were released by the National Electoral Council (CNE), right-wing candidate Henrique Capriles Radonski would refuse to accept it,” the Minister detailed.

During investigations, Rodriguez Torres added, a US citizen was found deeply related to rightist young people who make up the so-called Operation Sovereignty.

“When this relationship was found, surveillance and monitoring started and we noticed that this person manage to infiltrate into revolutionary groups to get their protection, though he related with the far right,” explained the Interior Relations, Justice and Peace minister.

This US citizen is presumed to be member of an intelligence agency. Also, he has been funded by foreign non governmental organizations.

Posted by: yah . . . But | Apr 26 2013 17:10 utc | 37

things to do tonight....

Posted by: denk | Apr 29 2013 3:30 utc | 38

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