The 9th Summit of the Americas, held during June 6-10 in Los Angeles, was a clear victory for Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, given the support he has received from allies in the American continent. In fact, this was the result of the US decision to exclude Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela from the gathering. Another victory was Washington’s decision not to invite far-right politician Juan Guaidó to the Summit.
This comment was made by Eric Farnsworth, vice president of the Council of Americas (COA), to Associated Press (AP). The AP article described a recent phone call between US President Joe Biden and Juan Guaidó as “an attempt at damage control,” to make up for the exclusion the the 38 year old Venezuelan “opposition leader.” This is a sign of how far Guaidó’s political career has sunk, and how quickly the US’ geopolitical calculations can change.
The Americas Society/Council of Americas (AS/COA) is a US think tank whose stated goal is “promoting free trade and open markets throughout the Americas,” but in reality is dedicated to funding and promoting destabilization attempts throughout Latin America.
“In what may be an attempt at damage control, Biden on Wednesday spoke with Guaidó,” stated the AP article. “It was the first time the two leaders have spoken and during the call, which lasted around 17 minutes, Biden reiterated his support for Guaidó, whose claim to the presidency stems from his role as head of the National Assembly elected in 2015.”
As Guaidó’s influence has seemed to wane in the eyes of his former US masters, “the man Guaidó has been trying to unseat, Nicolás Maduro, is taking something of a victory lap,” claims the AP article. “On a rare foreign trip to Turkey this week, Maduro, who is the target of US sanctions and a federal narcotics indictment, denounced the decision to exclude him and leftist allies from Cuba and Nicaragua from the gathering as a ‘stab’ in the back of regional cooperation.”
However, this does not mean that Guaidó is being completely “snubbed” by the US. Washington’s discourse is still one of support for Guaidó.
“National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan downplayed suggestions the US was snubbing a staunch ally,” the article continues. “Speaking aboard Air Force One on its way to Los Angeles, Sullivan insisted the decision to not invite anyone from the Guaidó camp, and instead involve civil society activists from Venezuela, was a tactical one to encourage negotiations between Maduro and his opponents that leads to “ultimately a better future for the Venezuelan people.'”
The AP article claims something that was not previously known, but which cannot be confirmed either. According to an anonymous AP source within the Mexican government, the administration of Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador had “asked the US to exclude Guaidó as part of its back-and-forth with the Biden administration on the guest list, an effort that ultimately failed to persuade López Obrador to partake in the summit. The official, who requested anonymity to discuss diplomatic dealings, said that other countries had done the same.”
Besides the inter-regional pressure that had been imposed on the Biden administration as a result of the exclusion of Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela, the AP article goes on to say that, “since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine triggered a spike in energy prices, the US has started to re-evaluate its policy on Venezuela, a country that sits atop the world’s largest petroleum reserves but whose decades-long decline in oil production has been made worse by US sanctions.”
However, this is not the first time that Guaidó has been cast aside due to US interests. “In March, US officials led by Juan Gonzalez, the National Security Council’s senior director for the western hemisphere, traveled to Caracas to meet with Maduro,” the article states further. “Then, as now, Guaidó was kept on the sidelines, with US officials not meeting with him during the several day trip.”
The AP article acknowledges that Guaidó’s agency as the representative of US interference in Venezuela is not as prevalent as it used to be. “Meanwhile, Guaidó continues to fight for change, although his street appearances are less frequent, and crowds greatly diminished from when he launched his challenge to Maduro in 2019,” the article admits.
AP, however, does not mention the causes of the decline of support for Guaidó. As the Venezuelan opposition has gone from failure to failure, and is now extremely divided, in addition to the fact that many of the most prominent opposition faces have looted Venezuela’s resources abroad and now live in luxury on stolen wealth, even those who originally supported the opposition’s coup project have turned away from it. Moreover, as Venezuelan economy continues to recover, and is projected to be one of the economies to experience the largest growth this year in latin America and the Caribbean, the opposition’s support inside the country continues to dwindle.
(LaIguana.TV) with Orinoco Tribune content and additional editing
Translation: Orinoco Tribune