The coup d’etat playbook in Venezuela

first_imgJan. 29 — We are witnessing a chain of events, a series of operations that seem to be carried out in an ordered sequence, one step after another. It all began with the breakup of talks in the Dominican Republic at the beginning of 2017. After that, the strategy against Chavismo put the electoral route aside and revealed its latest path through the White House’s announcement on Jan. 28. What happened in the intervening period is known.  What will happen from now on may partially — and in a rough way — be anticipated. At least on paper. The first conclusion is that the opposition forces are not improvising. Not when they chose Juan Guaidó as the new “hero” to be crafted in social networks.  Nor when they began the first phase of internal violence in the popular neighborhoods from Jan. 21 to 24. Nor when they engineered Guaidó’s self swearing-in.  Nor when the meeting of the Organization of American States was held on Jan. 24. Nor the recent United Nations Security Council meeting. Nor with the deliberate blows to the Venezuelan economy.From within the U.S., there is strong support for Bolivarian Venezuela, including this demonstration on Jan. 26, in solidarity at the Cuban Mission in New York.Guaidó obeys the U.S. chain of commandTheir destructive plans were clear when John Bolton, U.S. National Security Advisor, and Steven Mnuchin, U.S. Secretary of Treasury, stood before cameras at the White House Jan. 28 to announce the new assaults on Venezuela’s economy. They declared that the $7 billion belonging to Venezuela’s nationalized oil company PDVSA, now held in the U.S., will be frozen and the money from purchases made from Citgo — PDVSA’s subsidiary in the U.S. — will go to blocked accounts. In other words, [the U.S.] will rob PDVSA. Immediately, Guaidó announced that he will appoint a new delegation to Citgo. The chain of command is vertical: The “self-appointed” president will obey.The new attacks on the economy were foreseen. The difference from those that occurred in previous years is the number of sectors under attack, the magnitude of what those entail and the framework within which these attacks are developing. An accounting of the latest numbers provided publicly is as follows: $23 billion in damages, according to Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza, plus $1.2 billion worth of Venezuelan gold seized in Britain, plus $7 billion robbed from PDVSA — and $11 billion that will be generated from these new attacks, says Bolton.This chain of events frames the next four steps which have already been announced: street actions on Jan. 30, a march on Feb. 2, the European Union and Britain’s formal declaration recognizing Guaidó, and the Lima Group’s meeting on Feb. 4. Involved are public steps — the international maneuvers to advance the shaping of the picture — and national steps, apparently to gain time until new and different types of violent incidents can combine with semi-public mobilizations. No media [the opposition] suspects as close to the government will be allowed near these.It doesn’t mean that every step is a U.S. triumph for the ongoing strategy. It is always necessary to ask how to simultaneously measure victories and defeats in several plans.  For example, isn’t it a defeat if the U.S. fails to achieve a majority in the U.N. Security Council? Or did they know that would not succeed?Was the sole objective to hold the meeting itself, and in a coordinated way line up all the actors the U.S. needs to take the next economic, political and military steps?Is Washington willing to move forward despite its differences with such governments as Russia and China over the newly created situations?  For example, what is the impact of the announcements on freezing Citgo’s assets when Russia holds almost half of the shares?The hypothesis indicates that [the U.S.] will advance on other levels. “We are waiting for them. We are waiting for the violent mercenaries and those who want to get into Venezuela,” said Minister of Defense Vladimir Padrino López  He said this after describing the current scenario: “This is a siege, a script. We are witnessing the same format that was applied in Libya and we are observing the very same incremental events being produced in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.”‘Humanitarian aid’: A right-wing ploy“Humanitarian aid” seems to be a central point in this plan moving forward like clockwork. Guaidó and various right-wing representatives claim they will bring the aid into the country, although they have not yet outlined how it would be done. They say it would be the turning point in case the Bolivarian National Armed Forces refuse to let it pass. In what territory do they plan to set the stage with cameras, diplomats and agencies in the front — and the paramilitaries and criminal gangs in the shadows? Will it be on the Colombian border?It is necessary to characterize the local and international actors.  In the first case, there are the right-wing elements connected to the United States, such as the Popular Will Party to which Guaidó belongs. This party has been linked to criminal scenarios since its birth. In the second case, there are the individuals in charge of Operation Venezuela: Donald Trump, John Bolton, Mike Pence, Mike Pompeo, Elliot Abrams and Marco Rubio. These promoters of U.S. neoconservatism are linked to the evilest plots involving worldwide interventions, whether declared or covert.By describing the scenario, including the possible sequences — and the questions about the limits or lack of the U.S.-led advance — we can clarify the type of confrontation we are facing. The Venezuelan scenario has been uncoupled from notorious past scenarios in other countries in Latin America. It is related to such issues as Colombian paramilitarism and is seemingly part of the U.S. strategy applied in the Middle East. A mistaken analysis can lead to gross errors of judgment. The magnitude of the new factors requires updating our analytical tools. We are facing a new scenario within an unstable world, filled with conflicts, with the emergence of U.S. power and aggression trying to recover a land that has been escaping its control. Venezuela is one of the central countries that the U.S. seeks to hold under its control — or in ashes. Chavismo sees its challenge clearly and will fight back.Teruggi is an Argentine journalist and social scientist who lives in Caracas and who contributes articles to various left publications. Translation by Michael Otto. Original: thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

Family is key for Ocean City Dad Scott Halliday

first_imgScott and Janie Halliday (center) with their children and spouses, Patrick and Kelly, Christopher and Shannon, Scott Jr. and Regina and Colleen and Deryck Pham, at the Seaview Hotel in Galloway for a wedding. (Courtesy Scott and Janie Halliday) By Maddy VitaleScott Halliday somehow does the impossible.The married father of four, grandfather to 11, of Ocean City, is devoted to his wife of 40 years and their kids and hosts weekly family gatherings. Professionally, he owns a successful general contracting business, Halliday Leonard, with former college roommate, Keith Leonard.Despite all of that, he still manages to volunteer in the community.And the 62-year-old, soft-spoken, affable man, who is quick with a smile, appears to do it all with ease. He learned through his dad and grandfather, both named Albert Halliday, what he should hold highest in importance in life.“My father and great grandfather were my role models,” he said in an interview from his beautiful home overlooking the bay. “Family is key. Focus is family. Support each other and the community.”He admitted he couldn’t juggle it all without the help of his wife, Janie, by his side.The couple, who met through mutual friends, hugged and laughed, as they seemed to finish each other’s sentences. They said they are fortunate three of their children, Patrick and his wife Kelly, Chris and his wife Shannon and Scott Jr. and his wife Regina, live in Ocean City. Their daughter Colleen and her husband Deryck, also live nearby, in Linwood.“Everyone comes over for dinner every Thursday night. We really look forward to that,” Scott said “We fish together. We ski together. We do lot of things together.”Janie, a retired teacher in Upper Township, watches some of her grandchildren, who range in age from 10 to 1.“It is going to get crazy around here,” Scott said with a chuckle, of school letting out. “The kids enjoy the bay. Any given afternoon you could have more than 11 kids swimming around.”Janie called her husband a very positive influence on the family.“Scott always sees the glass as half full, not empty. He is just a happy, positive person. Family is so important to him,” she said.Scott and Janie Halliday say they are so fortunate their children and grandchildren live nearby.Scott said he doesn’t plan on retiring anytime soon. Luckily for him, he said, three of his kids are in the business, from real estate to architecture.“I am enjoying it too much. I like the day-to-day, the particulars of the business and the interaction with the clients,” he said. “I like seeing a job complete and being able to appreciate it.”He added, “We are in the construction business, so it is hands-on. Fortunately, we have our kids working with us.”As a parent, Scott managed to give his family his all. He never missed their games. He was there for every important event, son Patrick Halliday, a realtor at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox & Roach in Ocean City, said.He said growing up in Ocean City, his father worked six days a week beginning at 6 a.m. and ending at 6:30 p.m.“That is still his daily schedule. But being self-employed allowed him flexibility over the years. He never missed a soccer game. He never missed a ball game or a swimming event. No matter what we did as children, both my parents were always supportive. My dad was always involved, whether coaching or as a fundraiser. He was a father 100 percent.”Somehow, Scott also has dedicated time to bettering the community, Patrick noted.“He has always been looking to better the community for us and the next generation,” Patrick said. “He raised us on his morals and his parents’ morals. He raised us to put family first. He is very selfless and is always willing to help any way he can and volunteer.”His involvement in the community includes serving on the board of commissioners of the Ocean City Housing Authority. He is also active with the Ocean City Regional Chamber of Commerce and is a former president of the organization.The younger generations are taking cues from their grandfather.Patrick and his wife Kelly see it in their daughter, Kippin, 5, and their four-year-old son, Keegan.He added, “The way he raised us to remember family comes first, you can already see in his grandchildren.”For Father’s Day, is celebrating a father who has the values we applaud. In recognizing Scott Halliday, will donate to the charity of his choice, which is the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation read more