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Real meaning of protests in Venezuela

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Tue Apr 1, 2013

By Jose Gomez

Venezuela’s Ambassador to Barbados

It is obvious to keen observers that a coup d’état is being attempted in Venezuela,The tactics are inspired by the “Gene Sharp” protocol. Sharp is a former US military officer, now professor of political science at the University of Massachusetts and author of an essay entitled ‘From Dictatorship to Democracy’.{{more}} The essay provides a political framework as a method to undermine the stability of an established government that is regarded as ‘not friendly’ to the United States.

The book, translated into more than 30 languages, describes methods to overthrow governments, divided into three major phases: protest, non-cooperation and intervention. It is these methods that are being employed by the opposition in Venezuela following the outcome of the presidential election of April 14, 2013, in which they were defeated by Nicolas Maduro.

The methods are:

“Softening: the development of media priming and agenda setting in national and international public opinion focused on actual or potential deficits; thrust of conflict and promotion of discontent.” The media is overwhelmingly in the hands of the opposition.

“De-legitimization: manipulation of anti-communist or anti-populist prejudices, encouragement of advertising campaigns for press freedom, human rights and civil liberties.” This has now entered an intense phase in Venezuela, but is also being spread to international media.

“Warming Streets: building street mobilization, development of a platform of struggle that globalizes political and social demands; generalization of all types of protests.” This aspect, funded in part by external forces, including clandestine operations of US agencies, is fully documented in US communications revealed by Wiki-leaks.

“Combination of various forms of struggle: organizing marches and attacks on emblematic institutions, development of psychological warfare operations and armed actions to justify repressive measures and create a climate of lawlessness events, promotion of international isolation and economic siege.” These efforts are well underway.

“Institutional fracture: based on street actions and military pronouncements the president is forced to resign. Or in cases of failure, the ground for a foreign military intervention or the development of a protracted civil war is promoted.” This is the obvious objective of the various organized and well-funded demonstrations that have been dubbed “the Venezuelan Spring” by some US media – an allusion to the demonstrations and protests in Arab countries that led to regime change and external military intervention.

Explosion was planned for 8 December 2013, when municipal elections were held in Venezuela. Right wing leaders repeated throughout the election campaign that a defeat of Chavez-linked parties would bring the government of Nicolas Maduro to an abrupt end. But, the plan was scuttled by the will of people. A landslide victory in the municipal elections for the Chavez party, whose votes outnumbered the opposition by more than 11 points, thwarted the opposition forces. The country ended the year with an uneasy political settlement, for even though the opposition forces had lost, they did not accept the decision of the people. Nonetheless, President Maduro called for a national dialogue. But his call was spurned.

A new adventure by the Venezuelan right wing emerged. In line with the third tactic of the “Gene Sharp” protocol, Leopoldo Lopez and Maria Corina Machado campaigned “to heat the streets” until President Maduro leaves office.

By his call, made on January 23, to remain in the streets until achieving the overthrow of President Maduro, Lopez initiated an insurrectional plan against the democratically-elected government of Venezuela.

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