The United States shows its contempt for Venezuelan democracy

Washington’s clumsy efforts to de-legitimise Venezuela’s election mark a escalation of its push for regime change – Published on Axis of Logic, by Mark Weisbrot, April 23, 2013.

While most of the news on Venezuela in the week since the 14 April presidential election focused on the efforts of losing candidate Henrique Capriles to challenge the results, another campaign, based in Washington, was quite revealing – and the two were most definitely related. Without Washington’s strong support – the first time it had refused to recognise a Venezuelan election result – it is unlikely that Capriles would have joined the hardcore elements of his camp in pretending that the election was stolen.   

Washington’s efforts to de-legitimise the election mark a significant escalation of US efforts at regime change in Venezuela. Not since its involvement in the 2002 military coup has the US government done this much to promote open conflict in Venezuela. When the White House first announced on Monday that a 100% audit of the votes was “an important, prudent and necessary step”, this was not a genuine effort to promote a recount.

It amounted to telling the government of Venezuela what was necessary to make their elections legitimate. They also had to know that it would not make such a recount more likely. And this was also their quick reply to Nicolás Maduro’s efforts, according to the New York Times of 15 April, to reach out to the Obama administration for better relations through former Clinton energy secretary, Bill Richardson.

But the Obama team’s effort failed miserably. On Wednesday, the government of Spain, Washington’s only significant ally supporting a “100% audit” reversed its position and recognised Maduro’s election. Then the secretary general of the Organisation of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, backed off his prior alignment with the Obama administration and recognised the election result … //

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