ON WEDNESDAY, the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo emphatically denied to reporters that the US had any involvement in the failed attempt by a mercenary force to invade Venezuela last weekend.
Pompeo stated categorically: ‘There was no US government direct involvement in this operation’ which begs the question – what was the indirect involvement in this illegal invasion of a sovereign country?
Pompeo added as some form of evidence of non-involvement by the Trump administration: ‘If we’d have been involved, it would have gone differently.’
Pompeo further undermined his protestations of innocence when he pledged that the White House would use ‘every tool’ in order to bring back the two Americans who were seized by Venezuelan forces and local people after the botched attempt to land mercenaries from boats that had launched from Colombia.
Far from disavowing these two, Pompeo is pledging to move heaven and earth to return them to the safety of America. US imperialism does not believe that hiring mercenaries to invade countries and kill the democratically elected president is any great crime.
These two have been identified as Luke Denman and Airan Berry both of whom are former US special forces troops who operated in Afghanistan and Iraq.
According to reports, both men had told Venezuelan authorities that they had also previously worked for the security force of US President Donald Trump. Both are employed by a Florida-based security firm Silvercorp, run by an ex-Green Beret, Jordan Goudreau.
Goudreau has openly acknowledged that the two men are his employees and that the aim of the failed attempt was to ‘overthrow the government of Maduro’.
All week more and more damning evidence has emerged that behind this plot and directing it was US imperialism.
In a video confession released this week, Luke Denman admitted that his instructions for the operation were to lead the mercenaries to take control of Venezuela’s main airport and then ‘bring in planes’, including one that would fly president Maduro to America.
In another blow to Trump and Pompeo’s denial of any involvement, Goudreau has publicly confirmed the authenticity of a contract signed by him and Juan Guaido to launch ‘Operation Gideon’ the code name for the paramilitary mercenary operation.
Guaido is the right-winger plucked from obscurity in January last year by Trump to proclaim himself ‘president’ of Venezuela, a claim recognised by the US and over 50 American allies.
According to Goudreau, he was promised a total payment of over $200 million for overthrowing the government of Maduro, money which he said came from the billions of dollars the US has illegally confiscated from the Citgo oil company owned by the Venezuelan state.
Trump is using the looted wealth of Venezuela to finance its murderous attempt at regime change in order to crush the oil-rich country and place it and its people under the domination of American oil companies.
Apart from this latest coup attempt Trump has ramped up the embargo on Venezuela, cutting off its oil exports and preventing medicine and medical supplies from reaching the country.
Even before the coronavirus pandemic, as many as 40,000 people are estimated to have died as a result of US sanctions. In March, Trump offered to relax these sanctions if Maduro would ‘step aside’ and hand power to their puppet Guaido.
When the Venezuelan government rejected this blackmail, the US immediately charged Maduro and other senior officials with being ‘narco-terrorists’.
Driven on by the world crisis, Trump is prepared to use the coronavirus pandemic as a weapon to crush Venezuela and seize its oil. Hand in hand with this is the campaign to organise para-military mercenaries to carry out a campaign of assassination aimed at the democratic leadership of the country.
Despite all these attacks, the Venezuelan people have stood absolutely firm and resolute in refusing to see their country handed over to be pillaged by US capitalism.
The working class in the US and UK have a responsibility to defend Venezuela from these barbaric attacks by putting an end to imperialism through the victory of the world socialist revolution.