Sputnik: We have heard Nicolas Maduro hailing the armed forces saying that they've helped defeat a US-led coup, do you think it's a bit too soon, do you think Venezuela is really out of the woods so to say and safe from any future outside intervention?
Alfred de Zayas: Well, certainly the United States is not giving up. I mean the bonanza of oil and gold and bauxite and cotton of Venezuela is much too attractive. So the drive to get Guaido into the driver's seat is not going to stop, and this electric blackout of Thursday is not going to be the last one. It reminds me very much of the electric blackout in Chile which was organised by the United States and, of course, by the Chilean opposition to Allende on 14 August 1973; that was four weeks before the coup d'etat of Augusto Pinochet. So it's quite clear that the United States is going to continue increasing the pressure and that Guaido, of course, is Washington's man in Venezuela, and he will continue gathering his supporters against Maduro.
Sputnik: You've just mentioned all the similarities in the US overthrow tactics in other instances in other countries, do you think there were several plans in place, the first plan was perhaps a very quick plan that involved grooming Guaido to take out Maduro, that quick plan did not work, do you think there's several other plans that will be implemented?
Alfred de Zayas: Oh for sure there's a plan, B, C, D & F. As I said the price is too important. Venezuela is super rich. Their estimates that they may be the second biggest gold reserve in the world. Imagine what that means for the mining industry. The United States is eager to go in and take the profit. Because of sanctions, because of the financial blockade they [Venezuela] cannot sell their national natural resources. Obviously, the country is paralysed, the country has to see how it can manage almost an unmanageable situation. But you have to understand that this unmanageable situation is artificial.
But nobody reminds you that corruption in Venezuela in the 1980s and 90s, before Chavez and before Maduro, was rampant. The press is focusing only on Maduro because the name of the game is to topple him, and my fear is that, indeed, he might be assassinated. Don't forget, there was an assassination attempt against him already, and I'm sure there will be other attempts to get rid of him as general Augusto Pinochet got rid of Salvador Allende in 1973.
The views expressed in this article are solely those of Alfred de Zayas and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.