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America’s efforts to replace the legitimate government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro with opposition leader Juan Guaido is part of a long-standing US policy in Latin America to install puppet governments, says a political analyst in Virginia.
“The United States has always tried to exercise control over Latin American countries and one of the standard methods of doing that has always been to impose puppet rulers, usually military dictators,” said Keith Preston, chief editor of AttacktheSystem.com.
“This has been the standard operating procedure for the United States for decades, really centuries, going all the way back to the nineteenth century,”Preston told Press TV on Tuesday.
Preston said this policy in South America dates back to former US President James Monroe, when he stated the so-called Monroe doctrine during his seventh annual State of the Union speech to Congress in 1823.
The administration of US President Donald Trump has sought to topple Maduro since Guaido declared himself president in January, triggering a crisis in the country.
Trump has invested considerable political capital in the diplomatic and economic intervention in the Venezuela crisis.
The United States has imposed sweeping sanctions on Venezuela, including “secondary sanctions” on companies from other countries that do business with Venezuela, and additional shipping sanctions for oil.
Early on Tuesday, a group of Venezuelan armed troops accompanying Guaido clashed with soldiers at an anti-government rally in the capital, Caracas. Gunfire was heard, and more than 100 people were reported wounded in what was later revealed to be a US-backed coup.
Guaido had described last week’s protests as the start of his “final phase” to oust Maduro, but mass military defections failed to come to fruition.
Maduro, who has called Guaido a puppet of Washington, announced in a televised speech that the group of military personnel supporting Guaido had been defeated.
A second day of confrontations came on Wednesday as opposition supporters and security forces clashed during May Day protests in Caracas.
Addressing his supporters, Maduro said the coup attempt was directed from the White House.
US Vice President Mike Pence plans to offer new incentives to Venezuela’s military to turn against Maduro, Reuters reported on Monday.
In a speech to the Americas Society at the State Department scheduled on Tuesday, Pence will warn that the US will soon move to sanction 25 additional magistrates on Venezuela’s supreme court, a senior Trump administration official told Reuters.
Pence will offer new “carrots” to the Venezuelan military, as well as an economic aid package contingent on a political transition, according to the official, speaking on condition of anonymity.