US Behind New Coup Plot in Venezuela

US Behind New Coup Plot in Venezuela
by Stephen Lendman
Since Hugo Chavez’s December 1998 election, Washington plotted to regain control over Venezuela and its vast oil reserves.
Two anti-Chavista coup plots failed, another against current President Nicolas Maduro foiled. US economic war facilitated fascists gaining control of Venezuela’s National Assembly.
Washington’s dirty hands are involved in helping their latest attempt to oust Maduro – wanting neoliberal harshness replacing Bolivarian fairness.
In March, the anti-Chavista Movement of Democratic Unity (MUD) published its Roadmap for Change. MUD executive secretary Jesus Torealba “call(ed) on the entire Venezuelan people…to force Maduro to resign…”
The plot involves constitutionally reducing presidential terms from six to four years, rewriting Venezuela’s Bolivarian constitution, mobilizing street protests and ousting Maduro by recall referendum.
Obama’s 2015 executive order shamelessly declared Venezuela an “unusual and extraordinary threat to the national and foreign policy of the United States,” a perversion of reality.
The 1977 International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) permits the regulation of commerce after declaring a national emergency in response to an alleged threat to America by a foreign state.
In March 2015, Obama invoked it against Venezuela, imposing sanctions illegally. No nation may impose them against others, only Security Council members. 
Maduro blasted the move as aggressive, saying “(u)nlike the US, we have never killed innocent children nor bombed hospitals.”
Venezuela’s Supreme Court ruled reducing presidential terms to four years won’t apply retroactively to Maduro if enacted by constitutional amendment.
Article 24 of the Bolivarian Constitution prohibits retroactivity, High Court justices saying “(t)o accept (it) would constitute an unquestionable violation of the exercise of sovereignty in Article 5 of the Magna Carta, since it would amount to a rejection of the will of the people.”
MUD efforts to oust Maduro by recall referendum are underway. Article 72 of Venezuela’s Constitution states “(a)ll magistrates and other offices (including the president) filled by popular vote are subject to revocation.” c
“Once half (their) term of office…has elapsed, 20% of (registered) voters (by petition may call for) a referendum to revoke such official’s mandate.” 
“When a number of voters equal to or greater than the number of those who elected the official vote in favor of revocation (provided the total is 20% or more of registered voters), the official’s mandate shall be deemed revoked…”
So far, 1.5 million signatures were collected, well above the 1% of the electorate in every state needed to call for a national referendum. 
Once Venezuela’s National Electoral Council (CNE) verifies the authenticity of signatures collected, MUD will have 72 hours to get 20% of the electorate (over four million required) to sign a petition supporting a recall referendum.
If enough signatures are verified, one will be organized within 90 days. Removing Maduro requires support from more than the 50.6% of voters supporting his 2013 election.
The failed 2004 recall process against Chavez took seven months. The current attempt to oust Maduro could continue through yearend.
Given dire economic conditions, his future and Bolivarianism’s fate remain up for grabs.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at 
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

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