دو مقام آمریکایی در مصاحبه با سیانان فاش کردهاند که این کشور از نظامیان مخالف رئیسجمهور ونزوئلا، برای اجرای کودتا حمایت میکرده است.
به گزارش مشرق، شبکه خبری سیانان به نقل از دو مقام آمریکایی از برنامه نیمهتمام این کشور برای حمایت از نظامیان مخالف «نیکلاس مادورو» رئیسجمهور ونزوئلا خبر داده است.
آنطور که سیانان به نقل از دو مقام سابق و فعلی آمریکا خبر داده، مقامهای آمریکایی طی سال گذشته بارها با نظامیان متمرد ونزوئلایی ملاقات کردهاند ولی نهایتاٌ واشنگتن تصمیم میگیرد که ازکودتاچیان حمایت نکند و طرح کودتا شکست میخورد.
منابع سیانان ادعا کردهاند که آمریکاییها در خلال این تماسها، هیچ طرح مدون یا کمک لوجستیکی به نظامیان مخالف مادورو ارائه ندادهاند.
اولین خبر از طرح بحث کودتا میان مقامهای دولت «دونالد ترامپ» و افسران ارشد ارتش ونزوئلا، امروز صبح در نیویورکتایمز منتشر شده بود.
کاخ سفید به درخواست خبرنگاران برای ارائه توضیحی روشن در خصوص این خبر، پاسخ مثبت نداده است و به انتشار یک بیانیه مبهم بسنده کرده است.
در بیانیه کاخ سفید آمده که تعامل با «همه ونزوئلاییهایی که برای رسیدن به دموکراسی، از خود شوق نشان دادهاند» برای واشنگتن مهم است و هدف از این کار «ایجاد تغییری مثبت در کشوری است که تحت (ریاستجمهوری) مادورو رنج فراوان برده است.»
کاخ سفید امروز حاضر نشد در بیانیه خود از لغات مربوط به نظامیان و کودتا استفاده کند ولی ترامپ تابستان گذشته صراحتاً گفته بود: «ما برنامههای زیادی برای ونزوئلا داریم و بهرحال، من احتمال اجرای گزینه نظامی را رد نمیکنم.»
جزئیات رسیده به خبرنگار سیانان نشان میدهد که در نشست نمایندگان ترامپ و نماینده نظامیان متمرد ونزوئلایی، ۱۱ مقام آمریکایی و یک مقام نظامی سابق ونزوئلا حضور داشتهاند؛ نظامیان متمرد ونزوئلایی از طریق یکی از سفارتهای آمریکا در یکی از کشورهای اروپای مرکزی، با واشنگتن تماس برقرار کرده بودهاند.
آنطور که یکی از مقامات وزارت خارجه آمریکا گفته، در اولین نشست که پاییز سال گذشته برگزار شده، دولت آمریکا یک دیپلمات کارکشته را «صرفاً برای شنیدن» اعزام میکند.
آمریکاییها پس از دیدار با نظامیان ناراضی، به این نتیجه میرسند که آنها برنامه مشخصی برای کوتا ندارند و به ارائه طرح و تجهیزات آمریکایی دل خوش کردهاند.
در نشست دوم، نظامیان درخواست دریافت تجهیزات مخابراتی پیشرفته برای مکالمات رمزنگاریشده را مطرح میکنند که البته آمریکاییها پاسخی نمیدهند.
در نشست سوم و آخر که اوایل زمستان برگزار میشود، آمریکاییها هیچ قول صریحی برای حمایت به نظامیان متمرد نمیدهند.
مقامهای ونزوئلایی تاکنون بارها از طرح نظامیان برای کودتا علیه نیکلاس مادورو خبر دادهاند؛ آخرین کودتا که در نطفه خفه شد، بهار امسال به وقوع پیوست.
Trump, Venezuela and the prospect of a coup
In April 2002, then-Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez was briefly deposed in a coup attempt launched by mutinous army officers. But within 48 hours, Chávez surged back to power with the aid of loyalist generals and masses of supporters who marched in the streets in his defense.
It emerged later that the CIA had knowledge of the coup plot, despite the George W. Bush administration’s vociferous denials at the time. There were documented links between Washington and anti-government figures involved in the botched ouster. The specter of yanqui imperialism loomed once more.
Chávez, a fiery demagogue, made hay of those revelations, linking his own ordeal to a wider American legacy of dirty wars, election interference and military interventions. “Having a government of this type in the United States is a threat to the world,” he declared.
Sixteen years later, it can be plausibly argued that the government Chávez bequeathed to Venezuela is a threat to the world. Years of mismanagement and cronyism have hollowed out the Venezuelan economy, triggering mind-boggling hyperinflation and devastating food and medicine shortages. A hemispheric humanitarian calamity is now straining Venezuela’s neighbors, who are struggling to cope with the vast influx of refugees fleeing hunger and depredation.
For more than a year, analysts have suggested that Chávez’s successor, Nicolás Maduro, could be vulnerable to a coup. Maduro and his allies have withstood several murky attacks from renegade soldiers, including an apparent assassination attempt with an explosive-laden drone during a military parade last month. But rather than losing his grip on power, Maduro has only tightened it, purging the military’s ranks of potential threats and winning reelection in votes largely considered fraudulent by the international community.
All the while, he keeps blaming outside actors — chiefly, the United States — for his nation’s woes. And this weekend, he got even more fuel for his paranoia.
According to my colleagues, officials from the Trump administration met several times with Venezuelan military officers who claimed to be coup-plotting dissenters. The Venezuelans’ requests for covert aid were ultimately rebuffed, not least because the Americans were hardly convinced by their entreaties.
“We had very little confidence in the ability of these people to do anything, no idea at all about who they represented, and to what extent they had not exposed themselves already,” one official told my colleagues. But the new details, reported first by the New York Times, were more than enough for Maduro’s government.
“We denounce before the world the United States’ intervention plans and help to military conspirators against Venezuela,” tweeted Jorge Arreaza, Venezuela’s foreign minister.
The White House rushed to subdue speculation that it wants to intervene. In a statement, National Security Council spokesman Garrett Marquis said that “the United States government hears daily the concerns of Venezuelans from all walks of life — be they members of the ruling party, the security services, elements of civil society or from among the millions of citizens forced by the regime to flee abroad.”
The statement added: “U.S. policy preference for a peaceful, orderly return to democracy in Venezuela remains unchanged.”
Of course, such a return is nowhere in sight. President Trump, meanwhile, has played the part of the hectoring American hegemon rather well. His administration included Venezuela among the mostly Muslim-majority countries targeted by Trump’s travel ban, shutting the door to a nation in desperate need. He has touted the “military option” for Venezuela — rhetoric that sent sirens ringing on a continent all too familiar with American interventions. And reports indicate that Trump floated the possibility of an invasion not only to his top advisers, but to leaders of other Latin American countries.
But even were such an adventure now in the works, the new revelations suggest that Washington’s allies on the ground would be woefully out of their depth. “The main request of the military plotters was encrypted radios, which they planned to use to communicate among themselves in order to capture Mr. Maduro and his lieutenants,” noted the Times. “But the United States never granted the request, and after multiple meetings, the Venezuelans became frustrated. Mr. Maduro’s government has since jailed dozens of the conspirators, though many remain at large.”
In an era of smartphones and encrypted apps, the request for radios struck other Venezuelan observers as absurd. “It’s just another reminder that the guys atop the military—our putative saviors—are not only very, very criminal: they’re also painfully stupid,” wrote Francisco Toro of the Caracas Chronicles blog. “A plot that relies on people operating on this level of sophistication will only fail. Which, obviously, the Americans saw right away.”
“It makes no sense to support a military coup in Latin America. They always end badly, but it’s worth listening to these people,” said Adam Isacson, of the Washington Office on Latin America, to The Post. “What is their level of discontent? Do they have broad-based support among the population or are they just a bunch of renegades? Do they have an honest plan to start elections? The military is a black box.”
The irony of the moment is that Trump himself is careening down a dark path even as his administration puzzles over how to confront a destructive and destabilizing regime in Venezuela. Trump fulminated over threats to his rule posed, in part, by an anonymous insider who penned an astonishing op-ed on how Trump aides are protecting the country from the president’s consistently bad instincts.
“He’s remarkable in his lack of appreciation for democratic values and institutions. And I think that’s where some of the greatest damage is being done,” Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) told CNN’s Manu Raju last week. “Left to his own accord, our country would look somewhat like Venezuela.”
• Here’s a bit more detail from the New York Times story that first delved into the contacts between apparent Venezuelan coup plotters and the Trump administration:
“Establishing a clandestine channel with coup plotters in Venezuela was a big gamble for Washington, given its long history of covert intervention across Latin America. Many in the region still deeply resent the United States for backing previous rebellions, coups and plots in countries like Cuba, Nicaragua, Brazil and Chile, and for turning a blind eye to the abuses military regimes committed during the Cold War.
“The White House, which declined to answer detailed questions about the talks, said in a statement that it was important to engage in ‘dialogue with all Venezuelans who demonstrate a desire for democracy’ in order to ‘bring positive change to a country that has suffered so much under Maduro.’
“But one of the Venezuelan military commanders involved in the secret talks was hardly an ideal figure to help restore democracy: He is on the American government’s own sanctions list of corrupt officials in Venezuela.
“He and other members of the Venezuelan security apparatus have been accused by Washington of a wide range of serious crimes, including torturing critics, jailing hundreds of political prisoners, wounding thousands of civilians, trafficking drugs and collaborating with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, which is considered a terrorist organization by the United States.
“American officials eventually decided not to help the plotters, and the coup plans stalled.”
• Preliminary results from national elections in Sweden showed gains for the far-right Sweden Democrats, a party founded by white supremacists that has come to the fore in recent years amid a growing debate over immigration and identity in the country. But they failed to win 20 percent of the vote — as their leadership had predicted they would — coming third behind the center-left Social Democrats and center-right Moderates.
The splintered result, like other recent elections in Europe, suggests a political deadlock to come in Stockholm. Both a possible center-left alliance or a center-right one would command significantly less than a majority. My colleague Michael Birnbaum has more from Stockholm:
“Now Swedish leaders will head into a chaotic period of politicking as they seek to build a ruling coalition out of the fragments of their old political landscape. Both the ruling center-left Social Democrats and the center-right Moderates had among their worst results in modern Swedish political history.
“The coalition blocs that each party leads were neck-and-neck with each other, leaving the ultimate result in doubt and raising the possibility the center-right group might seek to rule with support from the Sweden Democrats.
“‘Now we will gain influence in Swedish politics for real,’ the Sweden Democrats’ leader, Jimmie Akesson, told a cheering crowd of supporters as the results came in. He said his party had ‘won’ the elections because of its gain in seats.”
• North Korea marked its 70th anniversary on Sunday with its customary display of goose-stepping soldiers, tank columns, ranks of gymnasts and other mass performances. Absent, though, was any appearance of the country’s intercontinental ballistic missile systems, a potential sign of progress between Pyongyang and Washington over the country’s nuclear program. It earned Trump’s plaudits on social media. From The Post’s coverage:
“The absence of nuclear-capable missile systems was seen as a conciliatory gesture during a period of intense diplomatic outreach and negotiation.
“‘That choice alone suggests Kim’s intention to underline the seriousness of his ‘New Strategic Line,’ announced earlier this year that privileges the country’s economic betterment after the ‘completion’ of the country’s nuclear deterrent last year,’ said Ankit Panda, a strategic expert and adjunct senior fellow in the Defense Posture Project at the Federation of American Scientists.
“‘It also suggests that as long as negotiations are on, North Korea’s nuclear-capable systems will maintain a low profile.’…
“The parade came at a sensitive time as the United States and South Korea try to engage the North in a process they hope will eventually lead to it giving up its nuclear arsenal. But while South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in is due in Pyongyang for a summit with his North Korean counterpart from Sept. 18 to 20, talks with the United States have hit a roadblock over who should make the next move.
“Washington wants Pyongyang to move decisively toward dismantling its nuclear weapons program, but North Korea insists it first wants a declaration that the 1950-53 Korean War is over, as a way of helping guarantee its security and build trust.”
Protesters shout slogans during a rally in Moscow on Sept. 9. (Alexander Zemlianichenko/Associated Press)
Two worlds collided in central Moscow on Sunday. One was organized by the government of Vladimir Putin; the other opposed the Russian president. Both filled the streets with youths, whether they were dancing in leotards or climbing lampposts in anger.
All this unfolded against the backdrop of Moscow’s 871st birthday, on a day when regional elections were held across the country, including for the capital’s mayor. As Muscovites went out to vote, or take a stroll through the dolled-up city, thousands of supporters of jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny protested Putin’s unpopular plans to raise the pension age.
The result was bizarre and somewhat surreal. Children had their pictures taken besides people in period costumes, while columns of riot police assembled just yards away. Performers pranced about Moscow’s main thoroughfare, which was pedestrianized for the day’s festivities, as the din of crowds chanting “Putin is a thief!” and “Down with the czar!” floated above the classical music.
The clashes left some frustrated and confused. Svetlana, a 36-year-old accountant who gave only her first name, stood between protesters and a group of dancers dressed as enormous fluorescent flowers. “How am I meant to enjoy this day with all these police?” Others found themselves drawn to the protests by chance. Alexander, who also gave only his first name, was there with his two young sons, who were licking ice creams and clambering over a bench. “There are a million things the government could have done to fix the economy, but they chose to punish the people,” he said.
Hit by Western sanctions over election interference and Moscow’s role in the crises in Syria and Ukraine, Russia’s economy is struggling. Over recent years, the Kremlin has sought to improve the quality of life in Moscow in exchange for allowing Putin to run the country as he likes. Moscow authorities spent over $6 million on the anniversary holiday this weekend, Russian media reported, with $1.5 million going toward cloud-dispersing technology that ensured the capital was drenched in sunlight.
Protests were organized in 90 cities across the country, and Moscow’s turnout — which authorities put at 2,000 — was by far the highest. As is now routine at anti-Putin rallies, police were quick to respond, violently dispersing the crowds. Security forces were particularly heavy-handed in St. Petersburg, where they beat young people with batons, causing several to lose consciousness. — Amie Ferris-Rotman
Russian troops take part in the Zapad-2017 military exercise at a training ground near the town of Borisov, Russia, in 2017. (Sergei Gapon/AFP/Getty Images)
Russia will hold joint military exercises with China starting on Tuesday, maneuvers that both countries have advertised as their biggest war games in decades, according to the Economist. It’s a historic development for the two nuclear powers, which were once sworn rivals, and their growing military ties have caused some concern in the West. In the past, China has been the perceived opponent in Russian military exercises of this sort. Now, 300,000 Russian troops and 3,200 Chinese troops, along with aircraft and tanks from both countries, will fight on the same side. Alexander Gabuev, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Moscow Center, told the Economist the move sends a stark message to the West: “If you don’t want to push Russia deeper into China’s embrace, stop pushing it into a corner with sanctions.”
On Wednesday, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker will deliver his State of the Union Address to the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France. The speech will be the president’s last address before he steps down, and he will reportedly stress the importance of tougher policies when it comes to Europe’s migration crisis. Juncker may call for speeding up the deportations of rejected asylum seekers while also proposing a stronger European border and coast guard, according to the Parliament magazine.
And the east coast of the United States is bracing for Tropical Storm Florence, which could make landfall as soon as Thursday. Meteorologists say the storm could be a category 3 or stronger by the time it reaches the United States, making it a major hurricane. North Carolina, Virginia and South Carolina have each declared a state of emergency in preparation for the storm, which is already creating sustained winds of 70 mph as it heads west over the Atlantic Ocean. — Ruby Mellen