This piece was reprinted by OpEdNews with permission or license. It may not be reproduced in any form without permission or license from the source.
The Trump administration is working to overthrow the government of Venezuela. They are not at this time doing this by military invasion, nor by funneling thousands of armed militants into the country, nor even solely with starvation sanctions and CIA ops. The first and foremost means of overthrowing Venezuela's government currently being utilized by the United States government is the low-risk, low-cost plan to simply control the stories that everyone tells themselves about who is in charge in Venezuela.
Adept manipulators understand that humans are storytelling animals. The only thing keeping the powerful powerful, keeping money operating the way it operates, and keeping government running the way it runs is the stories we all agree to tell each other about those things. If everyone collectively decided today that poker chips are the new currency and Kim Kardashian is the Supreme Ruler of the Entire World, those stories would be the new reality, and tomorrow we'd all be doing whatever Empress Kim commands and Las Vegas would be the new Wall Street.
The Trump administration is exploiting this exact principle in Venezuela by singling out some guy named Juan and calling him Mister President, despite the fact that he's never received a single vote for that office and holds no actual power. If they can persuade enough Venezuelans (particularly the ones with the big guns) and the rest of the world's governments to do the same, then Guaido will indeed become the functional president of the country.
Everything the Trump administration does to Venezuela is done with the goal of controlling the stories people tell about it. They smash the country with starvation sanctions, then tell everyone to believe that Maduro is starving his people. They stage a "humanitarian aid" stunt on Venezuela's border, then they lie and tell everyone that Maduro is blocking all aid to Venezuela and setting aid trucks on fire, because he wants to starve the hungry and kill the sick. It's all about controlling the narrative with the goal of changing who is recognized as the legitimate president of Venezuela.
We saw this illustrated especially clearly in a recent press briefing with the State Department's "Special Representative for Venezuela," war criminal Elliott Abrams. Abrams was asked by a reporter to "explain to us the article under which Mr. Guaido declared himself president" because "It is said that it has expired last month."
Indeed, when Guaido declared himself interim president back in January, we were told that it would be a month-long position in the interim while a new election is prepared. As Reuters reported at the time, "Venezuela's constitution says if the presidency is determined to be vacant, new elections should be called in 30 days and that the head of the congress should assume the presidency in the meantime."
But, since the Trump administration's coup-by-narrative has not gone as planned, Abrams stumbled all over himself informing the press that the goalposts of the story have been moved:
ABRAMS: As to the Venezuelan constitution, the National Assembly has passed a resolution that states that that 30-day period of interim presidency will not start ending or counting until the day Nicolas Maduro leaves power. So the 30 days doesn't start now, it starts after Maduro. And they ... that's a resolution of the National Assembly.
QUESTION: When did they they did that after he --
ABRAMS: They did that this is roughly a month ago. We could try to find the date for you.
QUESTION: When he was when he was took the mantle of interim president, that wasn't there.
ABRAMS: Yes, when that's correct. And so people --
QUESTION: Can you do that ex post facto like that?
ABRAMS: When people ask a question how do --