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Venezuelan Crisis: Guaido Has No Experience in Government – Scholar

© Sputnik / Sergey Mamontov / Go to the photo bankCaracas, Venezuelan capital
Caracas, Venezuelan capital - Sputnik International
Over 10 EU countries have recognised Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó as the country's interim president. Radio Sputnik has discussed the latest developments with James Fetzer, Professor Emeritus of the Philosophy of Science at the University of Minnesota, Duluth Campus.

Sputnik: The major European countries have now recognised Guaidó as Venezuela's interim president. What is your reaction to hearing this?

James Fetzer: Well, this is very embarrassing, in my opinion. The election in Venezuela was actually his re-election. He is enormously popular in Venezuela. He won by like 68 percent to 20 percent for his nearest competitors.

International observers, including Jimmy Carter, declared the election to be exceptionally fair and transparent. Jimmy has even said [it has] the election process in Venezuela is the best in the world.

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro attends a military exercise in Turiamo, Venezuela February 3, 2019. - Sputnik International
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That means there is no legitimate basis for contesting the election of Maduro. And when it comes to the European Union, they are acting as lackeys of the United States, sad to say.

This is a pathetic example of the failure of those once-great states to exercise independent judgement, in fact, a vast majority of the world's population, including China, Russia, India, Mexico, Turkey, South Africa and quite a few other states have spoken out in Maduro's support. In my judgement, Maduro clearly deserves the support of the world and it is acutely disappointing to find these EU countries taking the opposite stand.

Sputnik: What is your take on the proposals previously made by some countries to hold early elections on Venezuela? Doesn't that make sense? How economically sufficient would it be now to hold a new ballot, do you think?

James Fetzer: Well, it is not at all apparent that there is any reasonable justification unless the CIA believes it can micro-manage a new election to make it come out differently. I mean this Guaidó has no experience in government, he is a complete patsy.

He is a fabricated candidate. He is a manufactured creature of the United States, which unfortunately has displayed the ongoing pattern of intervening in other states for its own benefit. We have seen this in the past in South America.

Picture taken during the ceremony of recognition of the Bolivarian National Armed Forces (FANB) to President Nicolas Maduro after his inauguration for a second term, at the Fuerte Tiuna Military Complex, in Caracas on January 10, 2019. - Sputnik International
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In Chile, for example, when Salvador Allende was taken out because the United States, then presided over by Richard Nixon, didn't like his politics. The opposition to strong nationalist leaders in South and Central America, including Hugo Chávez, for example, and Fidel Castro, has become kind of a kneejerk reaction among the US corporate banking and military interests when you have a leader like Fidel, who nationalises the properties of Anaconda Copper and International Banana, for the benefit of the Cuban people, because it cuts into the profit margins of US corporations.

They are automatically characterised as communists, when in fact, actually, the roll is that of a nationalist, wanting to use the resources of their country for their own people, similar with Ho Chi Minh, for example.

There was not a legitimate fear of a domino effect in South East Asia because Vietnam was fiercely independent and would not have succumbed to the influence of China. And yet we intervene where the only rationale I have ever seen that made any sense was a half-hour programme broadcast in 1968 by Walter Cronkite, in which he showed the continental shelf off of the coast of Vietnam and how it had already been subdivided by the great international oil companies.

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We have to suspect that oil once again since Venezuela has one of the world's largest reservoirs of oil, which unfortunately is highly viscous, unlike the sweet crude of Iraq, for example, and therefore is more expensive to produce, because the international companies based in America want to use American military and political power to benefit their long-term prospects by gaining access to Venezuelan oil.

Even John Bolton has observed that if the US had access and control to Venezuela's oil that there wouldn't be a problem. So that speaks volumes about what is really going on here. It is a tragic situation because so many other countries have to suffer because of the greed and gluttony of American corporations.

Sputnik: News at the roots of this core of poor governance has to be laid at the last two presidents and this is the reason why there is so much malaise in the country and we have got to this situation. Should Maduro be given the chance to actually recover the situation or, I mean, we have got here the problem with Juan Guaidó, he has got no strategy and no economic stance that anybody knows anything about; the whole situation is a mess, isn't it?

James Fetzer: Well, the whole rationale for democracy is not that the people are going to make the wisest choice for the president, for example, but rather that in matters that affects the entire nation, all the population, everyone has got to be given the opportunity to participate in making the decision.

Most of the problems that Maduro is encountering in Venezuela are experienced to a higher degree in other South and Central American countries. You know, issues about unemployment, for example, and inflation and economic distress.

But the idea that the United States, that neo-cons like Mike Pompeo and John Bolton and Elliott Abrams, who is a complete monster, who has been involved in many atrocities involving many nations, he has been made the point man on Venezuela.

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro - Sputnik International
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In my opinion, this is shameful. I would like to believe that this is happening without the awareness of Donald Trump, who it seemed to me was moving in the right direction on a number of fronts, including exposing the fake news media in the United States, which is one of the major difficulties with which we have had to contend since the CIA began infiltrating the mainstream media in the 1950s and Operation Mockingbird. We no longer have a free and independent press.

The emergence of the internet has become a great challenge because now the public realises they are getting propaganda over television 24/7 and are going to the internet, which is why now the social media giants are exercising censorship.

They are taking a political stand. They are declaring they know the difference between the true and the false. They are massively taking out websites and blogs and videos that are politically unacceptable to the powers that be. This is a great tragedy, because the United States really has been magnificent because of its First Amendment Freedom of Speech, Freedom of the Press.

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The internet gave an opportunity for every American to say his teeth, to speak his point of view, and now this massive suppression and censorship by Facebook and YouTube and Google. It is absolutely shocking for those of us who have grown up with an America that was much more free.

The views and opinions expressed by the speaker do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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