Thursday, March 01, 2018

Calling For a Coup in Venezuela

Marco Rubio is now formally calling for a coup in Venezuela, though he's made offhand comments about it before, as did Rex Tillerson.

Maduro and his inner circle have destroyed democracy and replaced it with dictatorship. But the Venezuelan military, with the popular support of their citizenry, can end this dictatorship and restore their people’s freedom, dignity, and right to govern themselves. If, and when, they choose to, I believe they will enjoy overwhelming support from the United States and other free nations of the world.

This is signalling. I discussed the same last year with regard to the 2009 coup in Honduras:

Johnston's narrative shows how the Honduran coup plotters were looking for positive signals from the United States (an issue that Kathryn Sikkink discusses in her book Mixed Signals, which I am actually using right now in my U.S.-Latin American relations seminar). According to Johnston's account, they went looking in particular at the Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies, where they got an informal positive sense. It's hard to believe they took that as official approval, but if it happened then they certainly would've been heartened. They also knew for sure that they would find strong congressional support in the U.S.

Rubio is repeating this stuff in the hope that Venezuelan military officers feel more comfortable with the idea that they will be protected if they move forward. The U.S. will make the money flow if you do it.

I've talked about the problems with promoting coups here and others have done so in a bunch of different venues.


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