US Plotting to Topple Venezuela’s Government
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
Since Hugo Chavez’s February 1999 ascension to power, Washington wanted Bolivarian democracy replaced by fascist tyranny.
Earlier coup attempts failed, another likely planned, months of US-orchestrated violence a convenient pretext to act, along with imposing illegal sanctions on Venezuelan officials.
On Wednesday, the Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned 13 current and former Venezuelan officials, along with others, wrongfully accusing them of “undermining democracy” – a US specialty at home and abroad.
Treasury Secretary Mnuchin represents US imperial lawlessness. Claiming the Trump administration “will not ignore the Maduro regime’s ongoing efforts to undermine democracy, freedom, and the rule of law” turned truth on its head.
Saying America “stand(s) by the Venezuelan people” is polar opposite US aims, wanting regime change, the country transformed into a vassal state, its resources plundered, its people exploited.
Mnuchin promised tougher actions if legitimate end of July constituent assembly voting takes place as planned. Article 347 of Venezuela’s constitution states:
“The original constituent power rests with the people of Venezuela. This power may be exercised by calling a National Constituent Assembly for the purpose of transforming the State, creating a new juridical order and drawing up a new Constitution.”
In 1999, Chavez let voters decide whether to convene a National Constituent Assembly – to draft a new Bolivarian Constitution.
They overwhelmingly approved. Three months later, National Assembly elections were held. Chavistas won 95% of the seats.
They drafted a Bolivarian constitution. A second referendum followed. Venezuelans again overwhelmingly approved it. Historic provisions became law.
Article 348 states “(t)he initiative for calling a National Constituent Assembly may emanate from the President of the Republic sitting with the Cabinet of Ministers; from the National Assembly by a two-thirds vote of its members; from the Municipal Councils in open session, by a two-thirds vote of their members; and from 15% of the voters registered with the Civil and Electoral Registry.”
Article 349 states “(t)he President of the Republic shall not have the power to object to the new Constitution. The existing constituted authorities shall not be permitted to obstruct the Constituent Assembly in any way.”
“For purposes of the promulgation of the new Constitution, the same shall be published in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Venezuela or in the Gazette of the Constituent Assembly.”
Maduro called for a Constituent Assembly because of anti-democratic foreign and internally orchestrated violence against the nation and its people.
Dark forces allied with Washington want his government toppled. Constituent Assembly elections are scheduled for July 30. Anyone could be nominated as a candidate to participate:
• by their own initiative;
• by other registered voters or groups; or
• by sectoral groups comprising 173 seats of the 545-seat Constituent Assembly.
Over 6,000 candidates are competing for Constituent Assembly seats. Right-wing extremists comprising the disloyal opposition oppose the constitutionally-permitted process, fearing voters may choose a majority of Bolivarian advocates, diluting their power.
Trump administration officials oppose the Constituent Assembly for this reason. Mnuchin threatened “(a)nyone elected to the National Constituent Assembly (with possible) US sanctions” or harsher measures.
Bolivarian democratic forces in Venezuela support Maduro’s initiative. Dark forces internally and in Washington oppose what conflicts with their diabolical interests.
A Final Comment
On Thursday, the Trump administration ordered family members of its embassy personnel to return to America. It authorized the voluntary departure of embassy staff.
Colombia’s Avianca airlines halted operations. Fascist opposition elements vowed to keep fighting on the streets, blocking roads in what they call “The Takeover of Venezuela” on Friday.
Is another US coup attempt imminent? Things are especially tense ahead of July 30 Constituent Assembly elections.
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