The US regime change effort in Venezuela seems to be going full steam. On Saturday, May 20, a government supporter, 21-year-old Orlando Jose Figuera, was set on fire by a mob, most likely of the protestor-for-hire variety. The video above features an interview with his parents.
An RT report posted today contains the following:
Horrifying images from the scene show Figuera running while nearly naked with flames on his back. “A person was set on fire, beaten up, stabbed… They nearly lynched him, just because he shouted out that he was a ‘Chavista,’” said Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, referring to supporters of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela established by late leader Hugo Chavez.
Speaking on state TV, Maduro described the torching as “a hate crime and a crime against humanity.” The 21-year-old victim, who sustained heavy injuries, severe burns, and stab wounds, was taken to intense care.
Amazingly Figuera survived, or at least he’s still alive for the moment.
The Washington Post seems to be doing its faithful best to promote the regime-change effort. An article published today, headlined “Venezuela is Sliding into Anarchy,” says Figuera was attacked by a “lynch mob,” but not until much further down in the story (a total of 13 paragraphs) do the writers finally get around to mentioning that the victim was a supporter of the government–and then the information is given in such a back-handed manner it is almost as if they are seeking to provide moral justification for what happened to him:
He was suspected of being a pro-government spy, according to some versions. Others alleged he was a thief.
The story also portrays anti-government protest leaders as nonviolent, while including the customary comments on the situation from a Western think tank–in this case the International Crisis Group
Gunson, of the International Crisis Group, said he did not think Venezuela’s opposition leaders could control the spreading turmoil or turn down the temperature. “Only a decision by the government to de-escalate would do it, and there is no sign of that,” he said. “Quite the contrary.”
“I think we will start to see curfews, mass arrests, a higher daily death rate and even worse violations of human rights,” said Gunson.
In other words, if the protests grow even more violent, it’s the government’s fault. The International Crisis Group, by the way, was co-founded by George Soros, who is today listed as a member of the Board of Trustees, according to Wikipedia. Other Jews on the board include former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers, former National Security Advisor Sandy Berger, and Israeli journalist Nahum Barnea. And if all thls isn’t enough, the Wikipedia article also includes the following tidbit which would strongly suggest the International Crisis Group cannot possibly be an objective observer of events in Venezuela:
Moisés Naím, a member of the board of directors of the International Crisis Group served as the Venezuelan Minister for Development for the centrist government of Carlos Andrés Pérez. In 2011 the International Crisis Group released a report intimating that the Venezuelan government of Hugo Chavez might suffer “unpredictable, possibly violent consequences” if it did not audit the election results in which Chávez won. The election results have been recognized as valid by 170 neutral international observers with the exception of the United States government, who along with allied governments, provides half of the funding for the International Crisis Group. (emphasis added)
None of this, of course, is mentioned in the Washington Post story.
By the way, former Venezuelan President Carlos Andrés Pérez survived a coup attempt by Hugo Chavez in 1992, but later was ousted after the Venezuelan Supreme Court found him guilty of embezzling 250 million bolivars.
Of this past Saturday’s events, Venezuela Analysis is reporting as follows:
The incident occurred during another day of anti-government protest that saw opposition supporters attempt to march on the Ministry of the Interior in downtown Caracas, despite lacking a permit for the route.
The march was preceded by a speech by Miranda Governor and former opposition presidential candidate Henrique Capriles in which he called Maduro the “the biggest m—–f–cker in the country”.
“We will remain firm until this corrupt narco-dictatorship leaves Venezuela, until we have the change we want… If we have to risk our skin, we will risk it!” he told the crowds.
Although the march began peacefully, the mobilization later devolved into violent clashes as demonstrators tried to penetrate police lines around the western Caracas municipality of El Libertador.
It seems the Trump administration is fully on board with the regime change effort, and apparently Exxon-Mobil, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s former employer, has a particular interest at stake. This at any rate is the assessment in an article published several days ago by Eric Draitser:
There is a misconception spreading through the Beltway like an airborne virus, infectious in its obliviousness to reality: the idea that the administration of President Donald Trump is so bogged down by scandal and controversy that it cannot achieve any geopolitical and strategic objectives. In fact, the opposite is true. Like a cornered animal, Trump and his team are exceedingly dangerous, both in their unpredictability and, strangely enough, also in their predictability.
And when it comes to Venezuela, their strategy is transparent.
Oil reigns supreme in the minds of Trump, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and the rest of the administration. In the case of Venezuela, oil remains the lifeblood of its economy. So in a very real sense, the White House and State Department’s interests converge with the economic imperatives of corporate America in the Bolivarian Republic.
Tillerson represents perhaps the perfect embodiment of U.S. government attitudes toward Venezuela. A slick oil man through and through, Tillerson has long sought to destabilize Venezuela in an attempt to reassert ExxonMobil’s supremacy in the country.
Venezuela’s recent rocky history begins with Chavez’s nationalization of the oil sector under the state oil company PDVSA in 2007. The Chavez government offered ExxonMobil book value for assets that it intended to assume control over, while the Tillerson-led company demanded market value, which they priced at roughly $15 billion. Eventually, the World Bank’s arbitration court ordered Venezuela to pay $1.6 billion to ExxonMobil.
But ExxonMobil’s anger at Caracas was certainly not assuaged with that settlement agreement. In fact, the following decade saw ExxonMobil step up efforts to destabilize Venezuela’s socialist government using a variety of tactics.