On Tuesday, the 31st of May OAS secretary general Luis Almagro called an “emergency meeting” to discuss suspending Venezuela from the OAS. On Wednesday, the 1st of June, supporters of Venezuelan president Maduro showed up in front of the OAS’s DC building calling for impeaching Almagro, the president of the OAS instead of overthrowing Venezuelan president Maduro. The two right-wing counterprotesters were outnumbered by Venezuelan citizens at the protest outraged at the OAS attacking their country and fearing a coup may be in the works.
The right-wing in Venezuela has announced plans for a “peaceful coup”(according to Time magazine) to recall President Maduro as protests roil the streets and Negroponte’s old hands sharpen their swords. As this takes place, one of the counterprotesters went so far as to claim that one of the protesters in front of the OAS here in DC “would be shot” for doing the same thing in Venezuela-even though the coup has yet to take place meaning any such shooting would have to come from opposition forces. This sounds like a coup as understood by Negroponte and by almost everyone in Latin America whose ever seen tanks in the streets and sudden arrests of democratic forces and labor organizers.
The combination of the US Bakken oil fracking boom and Saudi efforts to lower oil prices until fracking is unprofitable have had the side effect of impoverishing Venezuela and other countries that have depended on sales of conventional oil. This no doubt combined with deliberate meddling by large corporations and the United States has crashed the economies of many Central and South American nations, Venezuela included. Massive protests have resulted and the far-right has mobilized in Venezuela just as it has under Trump in the US. For all the coup plotters of old, this is an opportunity. At the protest in front of the OAS, the word “golpista” or coup leader was heard more than once. For OAS president Luis Almagro to call a meeting of the OAS to strike at one of its own members is totally unprecedented. One sign at the protest bluntly called him “a puppet of imperialism.”
With what Democracy Now has called a coup in Brazil and the 2009 coup in Honduras, it looks like the State Dept, USAID, the SOA grads, and the far-right have decided Venezuela is next in line. An all-out assault on progressive states and movements in Central and South America seems to be underway. The same imperialists who have always exploited Latin America want the oil, and they want to punish those who blocked the FTAA (Free Trade Area of the Americas), and broke the back of IMF and World Bank control over the region.
The related situation in Brazil has led to post-coup calls for the Olympics to be cancelled or moved, adding to pre-existing calls to cancel or move the games because of Zika. Already protesters are gearing up to target the Games, which along with the World Cup triggered tens of thousands of evictions and now are consuming huge amounts of money the country cannot afford to spend, coup or not.