MOSCOW – The US is ready to use all means to remove the unwanted socialist governments of Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba from power in order to achieve full control over Latin America, warned the Russian chief of the Central Intelligence Department (GRU), Igor Kostyukov.
Washington’s foreign policy will be the main security threat for Latin America in the coming years, said Igor Kostyukov at the Moscow Annual Conference on International Security.
Washington acts “in disregard of international law” and without considering the possible consequences for its allies “in order to achieve full control over the region,” he said.
The US State Department officially spends at least $1.5 billion each year to increase its influence in Latin America, Kostyukov said. Taking into account “special and non-budget programs” would make the amount is much larger, he added.
“The ‘color revolution’ technologies being developed in Venezuela could soon be implemented in Nicaragua and Cuba,” he said.
In Nicaragua, the “US-sponsored opposition is disrupting national dialogue by presenting terms that are obviously unacceptable to the authorities,” Kostyukov said.
The country remains stalled when protests against the Welfare Reform a year ago became violent and led to hundreds of deaths. Talks between the government of Daniel Ortega and the opposition were only resumed in February, after authorities released many of those detained during the riots.
As for Cuba, the Trump government will try to count on economic measures to achieve its objectives, said the chief of the GRU.
“In March, the Helms-Burton Act was reintroduced by the US, which allows Americans to seek compensation for lost property in the [Cuban] republic, which could affect about 200 Cuban companies. A significant reduction in the supply of Venezuelan oil as a result of US sanctions was also a blow to Cuba,” he said.
Despite all of Washington’s ambitions, the “blitzkrieg” in Venezuela failed, Kostyukov said.
“The US has misjudged the robustness of the democratically elected government, its support from the population, and the willingness of Venezuelan security agencies to defend the constitutional order. Hopes of bloody clashes between the people and the army have not yielded either,” he explained.
Washington fully supported opposition leader Juan Guaidó, who declared himself interim president of Venezuela in January, and put the country under severe economic sanctions. The movements, however, have not been enough to overthrow Nicolás Maduro as head of the Venezuelan state.