Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 7 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 4/4/19

VIPS Urge Trump to Avoid War in Venezuela

By       (Page 1 of 3 pages)     (# of views)   3 comments
Author 34530
Message Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity

From Consortium News

Ray McGovern former CIA analyst for 27 years, and VIPS activist
Ray McGovern former CIA analyst for 27 years, and VIPS activist
(Image by YouTube, Channel: Regis Tremblay)
  Details   DMCA
- Advertisement -

MEMORANDUM FOR: The President

FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)

SUBJECT: Avoiding War with Russia over Venezuela

- Advertisement -

Mr. President:

Your Administration's policies regarding Venezuela appear to be on a slippery slope that could take us toward war in Venezuela and military confrontation with Russia. As former intelligence officers and other national security practitioners with many decades of experience, we urge you not to let yourself be egged on into taking potentially catastrophic military action in response to civil unrest in Venezuela or Russian activities in the Western Hemisphere. With the recent arrival of two transport aircraft and enduring political support for the government of Venezuela, the Russians are far from crossing any "red line" emanating from the 1823 Monroe Doctrine.

Unfulfilled Objectives in Venezuela

- Advertisement -

Inside Venezuela, U.S. actions have failed to do more than plunge the country into deeper crisis, cause greater human suffering, and increase the prospects of violence on a national scale. President Maduro's mishandling of the economy and authoritarian reactions to provocations are impossible to defend, but they result in part from the fact that he has been under siege since he was first elected in 2013 and has faced sanctions aimed ultimately at removing him from office. In our view, the advice you've received from your top advisers Florida Senator Marco Rubio, National Security Adviser John Bolton, Special Representative Elliott Abrams, and Secretary of State Michael Pompeo was, and apparently continues to be wrong.

  • Recognition of Venezuelan National Assembly President Juan Guaidó as "interim president" did not prompt the military to rise up against President Maduro. Neither did attacking the officer corps as merely corrupt opportunists and drug-traffickers enriched through loyalty to former President Cha'vez and Maduro, nor did repeatedly threatening them with harsher sanctions. Those actions reflected a fundamental misunderstanding about the Venezuelan military, which has never been free of corruption and political compromise but has also never been so totally isolated from the Venezuelan people that it hasn't felt their suffering. U.S. policies incorrectly assumed that the officers while probably fed up with Maduro's shortcomings would support Guaidó despite his faction's commitment to dismantle Chavismo, which most officers believe brought historically necessary changes to the country, including enfranchisement of the poor.

Similarly, your Administration's repeated hints at military intervention have been counterproductive to your regime-change objectives. Your policy and intelligence advisers were correct in interpreting the disparate polling data showing popular support for Guaidó as actually being support for the U.S. to extricate the country from its crisis the National Assembly President was a political unknown until the United States and others recognized his claim to the Presidency but your team showed a lack of understanding of Venezuelan nationalism. Venezuelans do not welcome the destruction that would be caused by U.S. military attack; they recall the death toll of Operation Just Cause, when the United States killed more than 3,000 Panamanians (by its own count) to remove one corrupt authoritarian, Manuel Noriega. Threats of invasion have pushed people to circle around Maduro, however reluctantly, not reject him.

  • Your Administration's strategy of punishing the Venezuelan people, including apparently knocking out their electricity, seems based on the false assumption that humanitarian crisis will prompt a coup to remove Maduro. In fact, the U.S. sanctions have allowed Maduro to shift blame from his own failings to U.S. malice and it has left Guaidó, whom your advisers portray as the moral equivalent of our Founders, looking like a sell-out to Yankee imperialists at the cost of the Venezuelan people's health and welfare and magnified civil disorder.

Lost Opportunity for Diplomacy

Senator Rubio, Mr. Bolton, Mr. Abrams, and Mr. Pompeo have also squandered a formidable moment to build on common values with allies in Latin America and Europe. Even though most Latin Americans find your aides' public assertion that the Monroe Doctrine is alive and well to be insulting, the right-leaning Presidents of most of South and Central America rallied with you to support Guaidó's self-proclamation. But Guaidó's lack of leadership -- he appears totally scripted by U.S. Government agencies -- his inflexibility on negotiations, his open call for U.S. military intervention, and your own Administration's dangling threat of war are rapidly alienating all but the most subservient to U.S. policy dictates. Negotiation proposals, such as those being developed by the International Contact Group, are gaining momentum.

Internationalizing the Conflict

National Security Adviser Bolton and others have sought to internationalize the Venezuela issue since before Guaidó's proclamation. Bolton's reference to a "Troika of Tyranny" in November which he called "a triangle of terror stretching from Havana to Caracas to Managua" and "sordid cradle of communism in the Western Hemisphere" was a veiled Cold War-era swipe at Russia and China. Mr. Bolton, Senator Rubio, and other advisers have made clear on numerous occasions that the overthrow of President Maduro would be just the first stage in efforts to eliminate the current governments of the "Troika" and "Communist influence" in the Western Hemisphere.

- Advertisement -
  • They have repeatedly asserted that Cuban advisers have been crucial to the Maduro government's survival without providing evidence. Indeed, the reportedly "hundreds" of Venezuelan military defectors, including many managed by U.S. agencies, have not provided even credible hearsay evidence that Cubans are doing more than providing routine assistance. In addition, the threats coming out of Washington have preempted any willingness that Cuba might have had to contribute to a regional solution to the Venezuelan crisis as it has in similar situations, such as Colombia's recent peace process, the Angola peace process in 1989-90, and the Central American negotiations in the early 1990s.

Provocative Rhetoric about Russia

Most dangerous, however, are aggressive statements about Russia's engagement with Venezuela. Russian oil companies, particular Rosneft, have long been in Venezuela bailing out the Venezuelan petroleum company (PDVSA) as its mismanagement and falling oil prices have caused production and revenues to plummet. Most long-term observers believe Rosneft's decisions, including throwing good money after bad, have been motivated by business calculations, without a particularly ideological objective.

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3

 

- Advertisement -

Must Read 1   Well Said 1   Valuable 1  
Rate It | View Ratings

Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

(signatories are listed alphabetically with former intelligence affiliations) Gene Betit, US Army, DIA, Arlington, VA Ray Close, National Clandestine Service (CIA), Princeton, NJ Phil Giraldi, National Clandestine Service (CIA), Purcellville, (more...)
 
Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Trump Should Rethink Syria Escalation

Veteran Intelligence Officers on Torture

US Intel Vets Oppose Brennan's CIA Plan

VIPS Urge Trump to Avoid War in Venezuela

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

3 people are discussing this page, with 3 comments


Charles Homer

Become a Fan
Author 511996

(Member since Aug 27, 2018), 1 fan, 88 comments
Not paid member and Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Not paid member and Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Not paid member and Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Not paid member and Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in


Add this Page to Facebook! Submit to Twitter Share on LinkedIn Submit to Reddit


  New Content

Here is an article that looks at the close relationship between Venezuela and Russia:

click here

The ongoing battle for control of Venezuela is looking increasingly like a fight for control of the new multipolar world order.

Submitted on Thursday, Apr 4, 2019 at 5:39:48 PM

Author 0
Add New Comment
Share Comment
Reply To This   Recommend  (0+)
Help
 

Lance Ciepiela

Become a Fan
Author 14196
Follow Me on Twitter
(Member since Apr 4, 2008), 52 fans, 58 articles, 81 quicklinks, 4067 comments, 213 diaries
Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in


Add this Page to Facebook! Submit to Twitter Share on LinkedIn Submit to Reddit


  New Content

Yes, with the Mueller Report and Investigation having been completed with no new criminal indictments forthcoming, Trump seems ever more confident in his saying and repeating over and over there was "NO COLLUSION", never was (the "Clinton Team Hatched Blame Russia Plan") and Putin seems to saying he "knew it all along:, just like he was saying "right from the beginning" of the Mueller probe.

Yes, surely, "the time is ripe" and Putin should be invited by Trump to the White House ASAP for an official, long delayed, state visit and Trump should be invited by Putin to come to Moscow ASAP for that LONG DELAYED official state visit as well.

Putin is "siding" with Maduro in Venezuela and Putin has "Russian boots on the ground" - no, not for conquest for oil, and not for any "regime change".

Yes, Venezuela has oil - a "tempting target" for US neocons, but let's "give diplomacy a chance in Venezuela", even if "to no avail" would be the best option.

Submitted on Thursday, Apr 4, 2019 at 8:46:10 PM

Author 0
Add New Comment
Share Comment
Reply To This   Recommend  (0+)
Help
 

Eric Arnow

Become a Fan
Author 503158

(Member since Jul 27, 2015), 8 fans, 601 comments
Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in


Add this Page to Facebook! Submit to Twitter Share on LinkedIn Submit to Reddit


  New Content

The US economy, run of by and for corporations has resulted in large numbers of homeless, sick, addicted people eating unhealthy corporate food, it's young people drowning in student debt, thus destroying the possibility of family and home ownership creation. Ergo, the US economy is "mal-managed". And that is with the dollar as world reserve currency! Compare this with Venezuela's economy which has been sanctioned, and its assets stolen. Maybe it would be doing better if the US didn't sabotage it. So accusing Venezuela's leadership of incompetence while overlooking the self inflicted problems of the US leadership class is ridiculous and hypocritical.

Submitted on Thursday, Apr 4, 2019 at 10:34:06 PM

Author 0
Add New Comment
Share Comment
Reply To This   Recommend  (0+)
Help
 

 
Want to post your own comment on this Article? Post Comment