February 5, 2018 – Fort Russ News – Paul Antonopoulos – Translated from Mision Verdad.
CARACAS, Venezuela – 1. Anti-politics, cover up the effects of sanctions and call for a military coup
In the first place, Tillerson highlighted a series of narrative constructions in front of the microphone that reinforce the policy of siege and direct confrontation against Venezuela. The Secretary of State gave prominence to key concepts such as “regime change”, which shows the great symmetries that exist with the intervention agendas (direct or proxy) in Middle Eastern countries during the last years. At the time the governments of Syria and Libya were also named as “corrupt and hostile”, two qualifiers used by Tillerson against the Government of Venezuela.
The general situation of the country, with the emphasis on the economic, was defined by way of overexposing the humanitarian crisis file that since 2016, through the coordinates established by important think tanks (cases Council of Foreign Relations and Brookings Institute) , the country has been progressively imposed.
At the discretion of the diplomatic official, “Venezuelans die of hunger, looting is common and the sick do not receive the medical attention they need,” so “the Maduro regime must be held accountable.”
Seen as a computer axis of his speech, since the economic issue is located at the center of the Venezuelan political conflict, to what lies behind the plan of “humanitarian aid” for intervention purposes led by the US Congress, Tillerson presented the sanctions as selective actions against officials of the Venezuelan State, transferring responsibility for the seriousness of its effects to the Government and seeking to present itself as a political actor that proposes to help Venezuela.
At the same rate as the cover of the financial sanctions that weigh on the country, other voids interested in Tillerson’s speech also spoke on their own. The Secretary did not refer to important political milestones of the Venezuelan situation, such as the installation of the Dialogue Table in the Dominican Republic and the results of three electoral processes in less than eight months, showing his total ignorance towards the stability achieved by Chavismo in recent months, but also towards the opposition leaders who participate in the negotiations. With his words, Tillerson does them a disservice by exposing them to higher political and electoral costs in the immediate future. And that also seems to be part of the medium-term plan.
Under this narrative axis, the United States, in the words of Rex Tillerson, abrogates for itself the scrutiny of what is and is not constitutional in Venezuela, because it demanded a government that has called three elections in less than a year “return to the Constitution and to resume the democratic process that made Venezuela a great country in the past. “
Another cardinal aspect was the open call made to the Bolivarian National Armed Forces to overthrow President Maduro, or in Tillerson’s Newspeak, the invitation to become “agents of change”, which corresponds to an attempt to frighten the Army leaders every time he called for a “peaceful transition”. Confirmation of greater reprisals if the objective is not met? Rex Tillerson, at that point climax, brought to the present the cycle of military dictatorships in the Southern Cone that were so useful to Washington to curb the influence of the Soviet Union. It seems that in the geopolitical plane, and from the language, the same courses are proposed.
2. Grandiloquence, exaltation and remoteness: a brittle bridge
As much as in terms of realpolitik the objectives of Tillerson’s tour seem to be sufficiently delineated, namely, to consecrate an increase in financial and diplomatic pressures against Venezuela, the tone used is not less important, and above all, the site from which tries to establish a communicative bridge with the Venezuelan question.
And clearly there are features of dislocation that stage a total absence of political consistency. The reference to the Venezuelan military body is made from the intention that the call produce the desired political effect – the military coup – only based on intimidation and the exaltation of language. The negation of diplomacy for the benefit of antipolitics also involves transforming foreign policy into a bizarre exercise.
The mention of the passing of local politics fades the anchoring in their interlocutors, since they are taken hostage and pressured to move away from the political fold. On the other hand, the bridge that is tried to establish with the population passes through an abstract entity referenced as “millions of Venezuelans”, whose decision is unknown in the last electoral processes.
The approach to return to the Constitution and the determination that the pressure on the country will enter a new escalation, directly clashes with reality and could bring, as indeed occurred during the second half of 2017, greater cohesion and political reaffirmation around the national defense: a discursive and historical asset imbricated in the codes of Chavism.
The violent and exalted tone of Tillerson seeks to be a substitute for Venezuelan reality, an attempt to show strength and determination to move it in its transversal features. And that in itself describes some exhaustion and the risks they pose to try to overcome.
3. Monroe Doctrine, geopolitics and the Chinese-Russian variable
The search to revitalize the Monroe Doctrine is another fundamental element of the new blueprint that makes its way into the Venezuelan conflict. According to Tillerson, who claimed that Doctrine, the presence of China and Russia in Latin America recalls “European colonialism”, a pretext that allowed Washington to use an expansionist policy to make the Western Hemisphere its geopolitical, military and economic rearguard. The famous “backyard” for which Tillerson shows concern that China and Russia exert a growing influence, at their “alarming” and “worrying” criteria.
The globalization of the hemispheric panorama in terms of global geopolitical dispute is not only a shot for elevation to Venezuela because of its relevance (in political-strategic, energetic and geographic terms), it also adds a regional key of cardinal importance: Washington sees with concern that, even allied regimes (think of Colombia, Chile, Argentina or Peru), are a vehicle for China to insert large infrastructure projects and expand the purchase of raw materials, in addition to the acquisition of weapons, which in the long run could undermine the authority US regional It is likely that the regional political class, regardless of whether its ideological sign is identical to that of the Western elite, could also be under fire if it does not put a dam on Chinese and Russian financing.
4. Recognition of the multilateral front against Venezuela: delimitation of actors and terrain
The recognition of the Lima Group as a front to carry out the coordinated pressures agenda that Tillerson foresees on Venezuela, is a clear delimitation of the political assets for which they will try to invest as “Latin American” a very possible escalation.
The tour of Tillerson is marked by the conjuncture of the possible presidential elections in the country, fact that conditions the deployment of the objectives towards the construction of a sufficiently unified position to not recognize the electoral results. Depending on the gear and its diplomatic efficiency, especially with a view to the Summit of the Americas in Lima, Peru, this year, which also seeks to build a scenario of isolation for Venezuela, the equation will be cleared of the extent to which the US will run the limits using this coalition. A solidification of the diplomatic and financial siege that aggravates the country’s economy, in order to stimulate new scenarios of violence under international auspice, seems to be the least complicated option to negotiate for the US.
Already some private media have advanced that possibly the Trump Administration is considering the application of an oil embargo, a measure that, although aggressive, generates less resistance today than direct military intervention as a “regional response”. Mexico’s chancellor, Luis Videgaray, said during Tillerson’s visit that this option is not viable.
5. Political victories of chavism and reconfiguration of the political board amid sanctions: the pulse
The Venezuelan political pulse, in the light of Tillerson’s speech, deepens its definitive insertion in its international phase. The internal front led by the antichavism coalition suffers a progressive erosion and weakening that provokes the entry into operations of the real adversary and of the direct confrontation agendas for the financial, energetic and diplomatic variants. Mechanisms by which it is sought to counteract and dilute the recent political and electoral victories of Chavismo, as well as to destabilize its political and economic initiatives (launch of the Petro and the new Dicom, enlargement of the CLAPs, restructuring of PDVSA and the fight against corruption ) to modify the current state of the country’s situation.
The actions that will be deployed in the middle or after the Tillerson tour will in turn have a geopolitical reaction on the part of Russia and China. Both countries have already issued solid communications to send a message that Tillerson is not playing alone and that a disproportionate action could contribute, paradoxically, to a greater cohesion of the multipolar axis that they are trying to break by their regional vectors. Very likely to make conscious that crossroads, comes the need for Tillerson to simulate strength and regional authority with respect to Venezuela, running forward and hoping to manage the results as best as possible.
Internally, Chavismo continues to demonstrate the ability to maintain political stability and to build concrete responses to the financial blockade, as well as to manage political and electoral times based on the defense of the country: a strength that is not broken so easily using a language violent. And hence the need of the US to play the heaviest cards and wait to see what results.