Bolton Dispenses with the Pretense: Venezuela Coup isn’t about Democracy — it’s about Oil.
The National Security Advisor was photographed this week with notes showing ‘5000 troops to Columbia’. He has now said that American companies taking over Venezuela’s oil reserves is the single most important issue and would be ‘good for business’.
by Russ Miller
This week has been a difficult one for Venezuelans everywhere, regardless of political stripe. Tensions are very high — and very, very personal.
The United States has flatly refused beleaguered President Nicolas Maduro’s attempt to break diplomatic ties and have since seized the U.S. bank accounts of the oil-rich nation.
The White House then gave the state’s assets over to insurgent challenger Juan Guaidó — a development that has brought the oil-rich nation to a dangerous fever pitch.
Earlier in the week National Security Advisor John Bolton was photographed holding a notepad that read:
Afghanistan open to talks — 5000 troops to Columbia.
This has prompted a renewed concern that this conflict is escalating from tacitly supporting an opposition leader and into a much harder-nosed, U.S.-led attempt to oust an foreign leader from office.
“It will make a big difference to the United States — economically — if we could have American oil companies really invest in and produce the oil capabilities in Venezuela” — John Bolton, Fox Business.
FAST-AND-LOOSE WITH THE TRUTH
John Bolton has a long history of being dishonest and deceitful on the international stage. He is regarded as a major proponent of American intervention and a supporter of U.S.-backed regime change around the world. Bolton is what is known as a chicken-hawk— a derogatory term used for draft dodgers who call for others to fight in wars they aren’t prepared to.
As President Trump’s National Security Advisor he has several times advocated for preemptive war with both North Korea and Iran.
The former Reagan and Bush Official has involved himself in the politics of Latin America for decades. Years ago, during the Reagan Administration, he was involved in the Iran-Contra Affair — along with the newly appointed U.S. Special Envoy to Venezuela Elliott Abrams.👇
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It is worth remembering some of Bolton’s previous ‘diplomatic’ actions.
In 2002 — just prior to the invasion of Iraq — Bolton personally orchestrated the unusual firing of José Bustani as head of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. Bustani had been skeptical about U.S. claims about the existence of Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq. Bolton convened a special tribunal and demanded Bustani be removed from the position, accusing him of being an outsider meddling in the Iraq business.
The United Nations called this behavior an unacceptable violation of principles protecting international civil servants. Bolton was U.S. Undersecretary of State at the time. The Bush Administration had been insistent about the WMDs and attempted to silence any assertions to the contrary. As we all know — there were no such weapons. Bolton undoubtedly knew that as well.
Drawing on the recent election of far-right leaders — such as Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil — he is now building a coalition of regional and international partners to provide material support for the coup against Maduro.
This newly inflamed conflict seems to be another chapter in a much longer-term strategy. U.S. oil companies have sought to regain lost investments in the Venezuelan oil fields.
In recent years Maduro announced he would restructure Venezuela’s foreign debt so as to avoid a sovereign default. He had been unsuccessful in negotiating a settlement with his creditors and — after having made a payment of nearly $1 trillion dollars — began missing payments in early 2018.
Koch Industries has already successfully sued the country. An international arbitration panel awarded the two brothers nearly a half-billion dollars after former President Hugo Chavez nationalized their fertilizer corporation 2010. They have yet to receive payment. It is unclear what the Guaidó’s position will be on the matter — but one could guess.
We must now dispense with any pretense that the conflict in Venezuela is about the restoration of democracy — it is most definitely about the Oil.