Venezuela lashes out at Bolton’s coup claim


Venezuela’s National Assembly voted Thursday to condemn the comments of former US national security adviser John Bolton. Its leader Jorge Rodriguez described the apparent confession as “an extraordinary feat of brutality”.

Rodriguez, a psychiatrist who often uses clinical terms in political struggles, also accused Bolton of being a “psychopath.”

In an interview on Wednesday, Bolton told CNN’s Jake Tapper that he had “helped plan coups — not here, but, you know, in other places.”

He was the Trump White House persona in dealing with Venezuela’s 2019 constitutional crisis, in which a group of opposition politicians sought to restore democracy in the country by forcibly removing authoritarian leader Nicolas Maduro.

The fact that Bolton’s remark, made in passing during the discussion of the January 6 attack on the US Capitol, was followed by a reference to Venezuela. He said he had written in his memoirs about the political crisis in Venezuela and that his actions there ultimately failed.

Former Venezuelan cabinet minister Diosdado Cabello also responded, calling Bolton “an inept who, for all the money[former US President]Donald Trump gave him, could not fulfill the order he received.”

Failed Regime Switch

In the early hours of April 30, 2019, opposition leader Guaidó, his political mentor Leopoldo Lopez and a handful of Venezuelan military officials gathered outside a military base and called on the top of the Venezuelan military to remove Maduro from power.

Within hours, the uprising had been violently suppressed and Maduro’s power restored. Nevertheless, more than 50 countries – including the United States – insisted on formally recognizing Guaidó as the country’s legitimate leader and criticized the elections that cemented Maduro’s power as undemocratic.

Maduro himself has described the move as a coup attempt, driven by “the obsessive efforts of the Venezuelan right, the Colombian oligarchy and the American Empire”.

More than three years have now passed since those frenzied hours when Venezuela seemed to be on the brink of change. The US still does not recognize Maduro for alleged human rights violations by his government, but has not recently called for his removal from power.

Last month, two White House officials met with Maduro in Caracas to negotiate the release of several US citizens detained in Venezuela in exchange for sanctions relief.

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