Bolivarian Venezuela thwarts new coup attempt

Video of coup plotters captured by Bolivarian intelligence agents. Photo: Venezuelanalysis
Chavistas march in Caracas on July 5 in support of the government of President Maduro on Venezuela’s Independence Day. Photo: teleSUR

At a press conference in Caracas on June 26, Venezuelan Minister of Communications and Culture Jorge Rodríguez announced that yet another attempted coup against the elected government of Venezuela has been defeated. 

Not enough detail is available as of this writing to assess the resources or capabilities of the plotters, but their intention was certainly a full-scale, very violent counterrevolution

Their plans included numerous assassinations of leaders of the government, including President Nicolás Maduro, former National Assembly President and current National Constituent Assembly member Cilia Flores (who was the attorney for Hugo Chávez when he was jailed after the 1992 coup attempt), National Constituent Assembly President Diosdado Cabello and others.

The armed forces of Venezuela are solidly with the revolutionary process. This was shown to be true in April, when U.S.-backed and self-proclaimed “president” Juan Guaidó attempted to split the army away from Maduro in that earlier counterrevolutionary plot. At that time, only about 30 military personnel sided with Guaidó. 

Rather than try to win over the entire military, this more recent coup plot included the literal decapitation of the armed forces – assassination of 95 percent of the generals. 

One has to wonder where they thought they could come up with the forces to carry out such an ambitious war on the top leaders of the Venezuelan armed forces. It has to be remembered that the CIA supported the massacre of one million people in Indonesia in 1965 and the 1973 coup against President Salvador Allende in Chile and the slaughter that followed. Whether the CIA was “all-in” on this plan isn’t clear, but the U.S. ruling class and its agencies are capable of horrible violence in the interest of profit.

As the plan went, while they were carrying out assassinations of government leaders and military generals, the plotters intended to seize six arms depots — one of them located in Venezuela’s central bank — and three military bases in Caracas. They planned to free Gen. Raúl Baduel, a former defense minister and one of the few military figures that has betrayed the revolutionary government, and proclaim him president – not, interestingly, Juan Guaidó.

Another aspect of the plan was the extermination of activist leaders. Workers, peasants, Indigenous and Afro-Venezuelan community leaders — those Venezuelans who were the most vulnerable and most oppressed before the 1999 election that brought Hugo Chávez to power — have formed collectives. They promote and defend the interests of people who live in what were the poorest areas of Venezuela. They distribute food, organize social events and stay prepared for defense of the gains of the revolution. The coup plotters planned on “eliminating colectivos” and killing their leaders.

Whenever there have been counterrevolutionary actions, such as the 2002 U.S.-backed coup against the late President Chávez, thousands and thousands of Venezuelans have rallied in support of Chavismo in front of Miraflores Palace. The plotters planned to position snipers on rooftops adjacent to the presidential palace to shoot those who would rally there in defense of their elected president Maduro.

President Maduro himself warned in a nationally televised address: “We would be ruthless in a revolutionary counteroffensive against an attempted fascist coup — ruthless!” 

He named the U.S. government — specifically National Security Advisor John Bolton — along with Colombian President Iván Duque, Chilean President Sebastián Piñera and Israeli forces as having been supporters of the plan. Duque had called for the end of the Venezuelan government at the Organization of American States (OAS) General Assembly just days before the coup was to be launched.

In his June 26 announcement, Communications Minister Rodríguez reported the arrests of six conspirators so far, including former and current members of the military and police. The information that has come out to date illustrates a violent and ambitious plot that would have stood little chance of success unless it was, in fact, backed by significant forces from the region and the United States.

Rodríguez also revealed how the plot was defeated. Intelligence operatives of the Bolivarian government “were in all the meetings to plan the coup d’etat. We were in all the conferences,” he said, explaining that the revolutionary leadership was one step ahead of the coup plotters from the start. 

Some 56 hours of video were collected by intelligence forces who had infiltrated the meetings of the counterrevolutionaries over a period of 14 months.

Evidence of financing and logistical support from the U.S., support from Colombia, Chile and Israel came – at least in part – from confessions by some of those arrested. Other pieces of evidence came as a result of the Chavista intelligence operation that carried out the infiltration.

According to the website Venezuelanalysis, some of the video footage yielded by the investigation included an ex-air force general, Miguel Carmelo Sisco, discussing with others the importance of killing President Maduro: “The first goal is to capture [Maduro]. And have the world see it. […] dead, so that the message is clear, this son of a ——- is done.”

The Chavista government has turned back so many attacks and has been able to withstand the economic isolation imposed by U.S. imperialism because it has transformed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people through economic gain, health care, housing and literacy. 

Those thousands whose lives have been enriched will fight to turn back counterrevolutionary forces, and to push the revolutionary process further. But it is up to the worldwide solidarity movement to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the Bolivarian process.