Latest Venezuelan Opposition Coup Attempt
Against Maduro Linked to DEA, CIA
More than 80 people miraculously avoided
injury or death in a helicopter attack that
targeted Venezuelan government buildings
this week. The attack may have been part of
an attempted coup supported by the U.S. as
it seeks to topple Venezuela’s government to
gain access to its massive oil reserves.
By Whitney Webb
- CARACAS– Opposition efforts to topple
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s government
are rapidly heating up, as months upon months of
opposition protests have failed to make the
inroads desired by the more extremist elements
of the opposition and their foreign backers,
particularly the United States.
With the current regime still hanging on to
power despite years of economic sabotage and the
funneling of millions from the U.S. to
right-wing Venezuelan opposition parties, those
determined to see Maduro removed from power have
now turned to more drastic, violent measures in
order to spark a coup.
On Tuesday, one of the more dramatic
incidents of the most recent phase of the
Venezuelan crisis took place when a stolen
police helicopter opened fire on the Supreme
Court and the Interior Ministry. At the time the
attack occurred – about 5 p.m. local time –
there were an estimated 80 people still inside
the Interior Ministry and the Supreme Court was
in session. No deaths or injuries were reported,
a fact that the Venezuelan government attributed
to a quick response by national guard forces,
who repelled the attacking helicopter before it
could do more damage.
Maduro condemned the attack soon
after it occurred, calling it a “terrorist
attack” that “could have caused dozens of
deaths.” Ernesto Villegas, Venezuela’s
Communications and Information Minister, stated
that the attack was
intended to be part of an attempted coup led by
extremist groups within the opposition, with
full U.S. government support said to be behind
Villegas’ assertion that the U.S. was involved
in this attack is not based on mere speculation.
Pérez has been known to work for Miguel
Rodríguez Torres, a former general and former
minister of Venezuela’s Department of Interior
Relations, Justice and Peace who is currently
being investigated for
his ties to the U.S. Drug Enforcement
Administration (DEA) and the CIA. The charges
first surfaced when the Venezuelan news agency Últimas
Noticias obtained an official DEA document that
described Rodríguez Torres as a “key information
provider” for the agency and recommended that he
be secured as a protected source for the DEA and
U.S. government. It also noted that 40 percent
of his assets and wealth are held in the U.S.
under his wife’s name.
The U.S. has long sought to oust the left-wing
regime that was brought to power in Venezuela by
Hugo Chávez in the late 1990s. Since Chávez’s
election, the U.S. is believed to have spent between
$50 to $60 million to
strengthen the country’s right-wing opposition
in the hope that they would win elections.
Former U.S. President Barack Obama alone dedicated
$5 million to
“support political competition-building efforts”
More recently, the U.S. Senate has been mulling
over new legislation that would provide an
additional $20 million for
“democracy promotion” efforts in Venezuela.
However, some of these efforts in the past have
led to right-wing politicians and their
protesters in cash to
violently escalate opposition rallies.
Such rallies have turned increasingly violent in
recent weeks, with three
people burned alive by
opposition protesters just in the last week.
Journalists have also been targeted, with some being
directly shot at and others
being lynched or set aflame. Despite the
violence, the Venezuelan opposition is likely to
continue receiving funding from the U.S., which
is eager to gain control of Venezuela’s oil
reserves – the largest in the world – no matter
Whitney Webb is a MintPress contributor who has
written for several news organizations in both
English and Spanish; her stories have been
featured on ZeroHedge, the Anti-Media, 21st
Century Wire, and True Activist among others -
she currently resides in Southern Chile.
views expressed in this article are solely those
of the author and do not necessarily reflect the
opinions of Information Clearing House.