Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org
On Monday, February 5th, Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland announced that the 14 countries of the Lima Group have now been joined (though she didn’t say to what extent) by the EU, and by 8 other individual countries. The Lima Group had actually formed themselves under her direction into this new group on 8 August 2017 in order to overthrow and replace Venezuela’s current President Nicolás Maduro. She stated in her February 5th announcement:
“Today, we have been joined by our Lima Group partners, from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, and Saint Lucia. We have also been joined in our conversations with our partners from other countries, for this Lima Group ministerial meeting. These include Ecuador, the European Union, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States.”
She, along with U.S. President Donald Trump, had, all along, been the actual leaders of this international diplomatic effort, to violate the Venezuelan Constitution blatantly, so as to perpetrate the coup in Venezuela.
Her active effort to replace Venezuela’s Government began with her formation of the Lima Group, nearly two years ago.
Canada’s Ottawa Citizen headlined on 19 August 2017, “Choosing Danger”, and their reporter Peter Hum interviewed Canada’s Ambassador to Venezuela, Ben Rowswell, who was then retiring from the post. Rowswell said that Venezuelans who wanted an overthrow of their Government would continue to have the full support of Canada’s Government: “‘I think that some of them were sort of anxious that it (the embassy’s support for human rights and democracy in Venezuela) might not continue after I left,’ Rowswell said. ‘I don’t think they have anything to worry about because Minister (of Foreign Affairs Chrystia) Freeland has Venezuela way at the top of her priority list.’”
Maybe it wasn’t yet at the top of Trump’s list, but it was at the top of hers. And she and Trump together chose whom to replace Venezuela’s President, Nicholas Maduro, by: Juan Guaido. Guaido had secretly courted other Latin American leaders for this, just as Freeland had already done, by means of her secretly forming the Lima Group.
On 25 January 2019, the AP bannered “AP Exclusive: Anti-Maduro coalition grew from secret talks” and reported that the man who now claims to be Venezuela’s legitimate President (though he had never even run for that post), Juan Guaido, had secretly visited foreign countries in order to win their blessings for what he was planning:
In mid-December, Guaido quietly traveled to Washington, Colombia and Brazil to brief officials on the opposition’s strategy of mass demonstrations to coincide with Maduro’s expected swearing-in for a second term on Jan. 10 in the face of widespread international condemnation, according to exiled former Caracas Mayor Antonio Ledezma, an ally.
Playing a key role behind the scenes was Lima Group member Canada, whose Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland spoke to Guaido [9 January 2019] the night before Maduro’s swearing-in ceremony [on 10 January 2019] to offer her government’s support should he confront the socialist leader [Maduro], the Canadian official said. Also active was Colombia, which shares a border with Venezuela and has received more than two million migrants fleeing economic chaos, along with Peru and Brazil’s new far-right President Jair Bolsonaro.
To leave Venezuela, he sneaked across the lawless border with Colombia, so as not to raise suspicions among immigration officials who sometimes harass opposition figures at the airport and bar them from traveling abroad, said a different anti-government leader, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss security arrangements.
During the last days in office of Canada’s Ambassador to Venezuela Rowswell, U.S. President Donald Trump went public with his overt threat to invade Venezuela. On 11 August 2017, McClatchy’s Miami Herald bannered “Trump was making friends in Latin America — before he raised Venezuela ‘military option’”, and Patricia Mazzei reported that “President Donald Trump’s unexpected suggestion Friday that he might rely on military force to deal with Venezuela’s pressing political crisis was an astonishing statement that strained not only credulity but also the White House’s hard-won new friendships in Latin America.” Even a spokesperson from the Atlantic Council (which is the main PR agency for NATO) was quoted as saying that “U.S. diplomats, after weeks of carefully building the groundwork for a collective international response, suddenly find their efforts completely undercut by a ridiculously over the top and anachronistic assertion. It makes us look imperialistic and old-time. This is not how the U.S. has behaved in decades!” However, Peru’s Foreign Minister, Ricardo Luna, was just as eager for a coup in Venezuela as were Trump and Freeland.
On 26 October 2017, Peru’s Gestion TV reported that Luna was the co-chair of the meeting of the Lima Group in Toronto, which Freeland chaired, and that (as translated into English here) “Luna added that the objective of the meeting of the Group of Lima ‘is to create a propitious situation’ so that the regime of Nicolás Maduro ‘feels obligated to negotiate’ not only an exit to the crisis, ‘but also an exit to his own regime’.” This gang were going to make Maduro an offer that he couldn’t refuse. So, the Lima Group, which was founded by Luna and by Freeland, was taking the initiative as much and as boldly as Trump was, regardless of what NATO might think about it. The topic of that news-report, and its headline, was “Peru proposes Grupo de Lima to involve the UN to face the Venezuelan crisis.” Four days later, Freeland and Luna met privately at the U.N., in New York, with the Secretary General, Antonio Guterres. Inner City Press reported that “The title of the meeting is ‘the situation in Venezuela and efforts by regional organizations to resolve the crisis per Chapter VIII of the UN Charter’ [see it here] and the briefer will be not USG [Under Secretary General] Jeffrey Feltman but his Assistant, ASG [Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs] Miroslav Jenca.” Jeffrey Feltman was the person who, in the secretly recorded 27 January 2014 phone-conversation in which U.S. President Barack Obama’s agent, Victoria Nuland — planning and overseeing the February 2014 coup that overthrew Ukraine’s democratically elected President — instructed the U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, that, after Ukraine’s President is ousted, Arseniy “Yats” Yatsenyuk was to be appointed as Ukraine’s ‘interim’ leader as the new Prime Minister, to replace the President. She also said: “I talked to Jeff Feltman this morning; he had a new name for the UN guy Robert Serry. … He’s now gotten both Serry and Ban ki-Moon to agree that Serry could come in Monday or Tuesday. That would be great, I think, to help glue this thing, and to have the UN help glue it, and, you know, fuck the EU.” So, the still Under Secretary General of the U.N, Mr. Feltman, is still America’s fixer there, who “glues” whatever the U.S. President orders the U.N. to do, and his Assistant was filling in for him that day. Therefore, if Trump and Freeland turn out to be as successful as Obama was, then the U.N. will “glue” the outcome. Chrystia Freeland happens also to be a friend of Victoria Nuland, and a passionate supporter of her coup in Ukraine.
Freeland’s parents were Ukrainian and supported the Nazis during World War II. Cameron Pike headlined about Freeland at The Saker, on 2 February 2019, “Canada’s Nazi Problem” and opened:
In the 1960’s the Polish government, still reeling from their role as the main course of the European ‘meat-sandwich’ that was the second world war, went on the hunt for Nazi aiders and abettors who destroyed their people. Contrary to what mainstream readers are allowed to know, WWII Nazi and Waffen SS leaders, Goebbels’s publishers and editors (otherwise known as propagandists), willing and outright Nazi collaborators and vicious killers, made their way out of conquered Germany to the United States [under CIA direction] and to Canada, under MI-6 direction, [and Canada] took in 2000 of them. Most of them ‘made their way’ to Ontario and Alberta. One of them even became the President of the University of Alberta. I repeat, one of them EVEN BECAME THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNIVERSITY OF ALBERTA. … It was this former Waffen SS soldier-turned University President who created the Ukrainian Studies department at the U of A. … Michael Chomiak, another of these significant Nazis who were never caught, lived out his days after the war as a farmer in Alberta. His Nazi identification documents were uncovered by the Polish Government in the 1960’s. “Chomiak’s records show he was trained in Vienna for German espionage and propaganda operations, then promoted to run the German press machine for the Galician region of Ukraine and Poland during the 4-year occupation. So high-ranking and active in the Nazi cause was Chomiak that the Polish intelligence services were actively hunting for Chomiak until the 1980s – without knowing he had fled for safety to an Alberta farm in Canada.” [Editing note: Please see link for John Helmer’s extensive work on uncovering Freeland’s Nazi family history.] Poland was on the hunt but lost the trail because he was well hidden by their WWII ‘ally’, the British, unbeknownst to my fellow peaceful Canadians.
Chomiac was Chrystia Freeland’s grandfather. Chrystia Freeland loved him very much and is unshakably loyal to his memory and to his far-right beliefs, which she proudly supports. She also is a close friend of George Soros, who likewise is entirely unembarrassed at, and unapologietic about, his having, as a supposed Christian child in Hungary, helped the Nazis take the property of other Jews, before they were sent off to the concentration camps. He chose to do that — help the Nazi regime — rather than die as a Jew himself. Of course, subsequently, he founded the rabidly anti-Russian Open Society Foundation and other political ‘charities’ to tax-exempt his global political donations. Soros, too, is a passionate supporter of the U.S. coup in Ukraine and of Ukraine’s far-right, and helped to finance (tax-exempt via his International Renaissance Fund) Obama’s Ukrainian coup by being one of the three top donors to Hromadske TV, which propagandized for slaughtering at least one and a half million of the people in the far eastern region of Ukraine, where Obama’s imposed far-right Ukrainian government was totally rejected. It’s the region that had voted over 90% for the Ukrainian President whom Obama-Nuland overthrew, and George Soros was a top funder of such exterminationist propaganda. So, it’s reasonable that his fellow anti-Russian fanatic, Freeland, is a friend of his.
That’s the “liberal” side of fascism. The “conservative” side of it is represented by such people as John Bolton and the Koch brothers.
Of course, the man whom the U.S. and Canadian regimes and the Lima Group are trying to install as Venezuela’s President, Juan Gaido, had been well groomed for that job, but not by political and electoral experience, of which he has almost none, but by his foreign sponsors. On 29 January 2019 the Gray Zone Project bannered “The Making of Juan Guaidó: How the US Regime Change Laboratory Created Venezuela’s Coup Leader”, and their two star investigative journalists, Dan Cohen and Max Blumenthal, opened: “Juan Guaidó is the product of a decade-long project overseen by Washington’s elite regime change trainers. While posing as a champion of democracy, he has spent years at the forefront of a violent campaign of destabilization.” This report also noted that “The ‘real work’ began two years later, in 2007, when Guaidó graduated from Andrés Bello Catholic University of Caracas. He moved to Washington, DC to enroll in the Governance and Political Management Program at George Washington University, under the tutelage of Venezuelan economist Luis Enrique Berrizbeitia, one of the top Latin American neoliberal economists. Berrizbeitia is a former executive director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) [and the IMF is a central part the operation that’s described in John Perkins’s now-classic Confessions of an Economic Hit Man] who spent more than a decade working in the Venezuelan energy sector, under the old oligarchic regime that was ousted by Chávez.” Moreover, ”Stratfor and CANVAS – key advisors of Guaidó and his anti-government cadre – devised a shockingly cynical plan to drive a dagger through the heart of the Bolivarian revolution. The scheme hinged on a 70% collapse of the country’s electrical system by as early as April 2010.” Etc. This is how ‘democracy’ now functions. It’s not democracy — it is fascism. The euphemisms for it are “neoliberalism” and “neoconservatism.”
Regardless of whether or not the Trump-Freeland-Luna program for Venezuela succeeds, democracy and human rights won’t be advanced by it; but, if it succeeds, the fortunes of U.S.-and-allied billionaires will be. It’s part of their global privatization program.
PS: If you want to understand what was the historical context where Inner City Press reported that “The title of the meeting is ‘the situation in Venezuela and efforts by regional organizations to resolve the crisis per Chapter VIII of the UN Charter’”; then Luk Van Langenhove has summarized that context, by saying: “Few invocations of Chapter VIII’s provisions were made during the cold war period. But when the bipolar world system collapsed and spawned new global security threats, the explosion of local and regional armed conflicts provoked a renewed interest in regional organizations and their role in the maintenance of regional peace and security. The United Nations was forced to acknowledge its inability to solely bear the responsibility for providing peace and security worldwide.” So, “during the cold war period,” this provision of the U.N. Charter remained virtually inactive. Then, suddenly, after 1991, when the Soviet Union and its communism and its Warsaw Pact military alliance to counter America’s NATO military alliance, all ended (with no concessions being made on the American side), America could no longer use ‘communism’ as a ‘justification’ to invade or perpetrate coups against foreign governments that were friendly toward or else allied with Russia. So, now, this provision of the U.N.’s Charter became activated by the U.S. and its allies, in order to be able to say that The West’s coups and invasions aren’t actually to build-out the U.S. empire, but are instead for (in the terms of this part of the U.N.’s Charter) “the maintenance of international peace and security” — so as to ‘authorize’ coups and international invasions by the U.S. and its vassal nations, such as are the members of NATO. This is what U.S. President G.H.W. Bush had in mind to rely upon, when he told the leaders of the U.S. regime’s vassal states, secretly at Camp David, on the night of 24 February 1990, that the ‘Cold War’ would now continue secretly on the U.S.-allied side, against Russia and against any nation’s leaders (such as Saddam Hussein, Muammar Qaddafi, Bashar al-Assad, and Viktor Yanukovych) that aren’t hostile toward Russia, by Bush’s saying then to them, that no compromise must ever be allowed “with Moscow,” because “To hell with that! We prevailed, they didn’t.” In other words, whereas the U.N. had been set up by FDR to evolve ultimately into the global democratic federation of nation-states — a democratic world-government — so as to become the sole possessor of control over all strategic weaponry, and thus to become the democratic republic of the entire world authorized to settle international disputes peacefully, the subterranean Nazis and other fascists whom U.S. President Truman and the Bilderberg group represented, were determined that the U.S. and its vassal nations would ultimately become the dictatorship over all nations, the entire world. That’s what Ukraine, and now Venezuela, and many other U.S. coups and invasions, are — and have been — really about. It’s about the ‘peace’ of the graveyard, NOT any democracy, anywhere at all.
That’s their dream. They want to monopolize the corruption everywhere, not to end it, anywhere. And that’s why they distort and blatantly lie about Venezuela’s democratic constitution now, just as they did about Ukraine’s democratic constitution in February 2014. It’s, essentially, a lawless international gang of billionaire thugs. It is the international Deep State. It consists of the under 2,000 people who are international billionaires in the U.S. and secondarily in the U.S.-allied countries, and of those billionaires’ millions of hirees. 585 of those under-2,000 are Americans. But the wealthiest person on the planet isn’t even listed on any of the standard lists of billionaires, and he is the King of Saudi Arabia. That person is the U.S. aristocracy’s #1 international ally, because ever since the 1970s when gold no longer backed the U.S. dollar but instead oil did, that person’s decisions have enabled the U.S. dollar to continue as being the world’s reserve currency, no matter how big the U.S. economy’s trade deficits are, and no matter how high the U.S. Government’s fiscal deficits are.
Below those billionaires (and trillionaire), and below their millions of hirees, are the billions of serfs; and, below those, at the very bottom, are the approximately 40 million slaves, and the many millions imprisoned — virtually all of whom have extremely low (if any) net worth at all, since slavery and imprisonment are, in the real world, only for the very poor, not at all for the international gangsters, except for a very few exceptions (such as, perhaps, “El Chapo”).
The billionaires command, and the governments obey; that’s ‘democracy’, and it’s ‘the rule of law’, today. Everything to the contrary is propaganda, such as that what Trump-Freeland-Luna want for Venezuela is to decrease corruption and to increase democracy and human rights.
At least the more blatant fascist John Bolton was honest when he said on January 28th: “It will make a big difference to the United States economically if we could have American oil companies invest in and produce the oil capabilities in Venezuela.” But he would have been lots more honest if he had acknowledged, instead, that “It will make a big difference to the United States billionaires economically if we could have American oil companies invest in and produce the oil capabilities in Venezuela.” This is all that the fascists ever really cared about. Mussolini called it “corporationism.” Now, decades in the wake of the Allies’ supposed ‘victory against fascism’ — against the Axis powers — in WW II, we all (at least the realists) are acknowledging that we clearly are staring in the face the raw fact that fascism has finally won, or at least very nearly totally won, in the world.
Hitler, Mussolini, and Hirohito, died; but their ideological followers today rule the world, and FDR would be turning in his grave.
Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.