The Coming Assassination of Henrique Capriles Radonski?
Venezuela’s acting President Nicolas Maduro urged US President Barack Obama on Sunday to halt an alleged plot to kill Atlanticist agent Henrique Capriles Radonski as the April 14 presidential election approaches.
Maduro reportedly told the private Televen station that the US-planned plot aims to “blame the government” for the attack and “create chaos in Venezuela,” which was rocked earlier this month by the death of longtime president and US foe Hugo Chavez after a two-year battle with an oncovirus derived cancer. He accused the CIA and the Pentagon, as well as former US diplomats Roger Noriega and Otto Reich, who also served as US ambassador to Venezuela, of planning the scheme.
However, what is being stated and what is actually being communicated are not the same
Admittedly this is a most interesting turn of events. Our analysis is straight-forward and judgment free, but typically Pro-Chavez websites and news agencies are sticking to the approved talking points. Their role is to promote the story being floated, and to help Maduro create the stage for a possible assassination attempt on Radonski while being able to cunningly shift blame onto Radonski’s own base of foreign support.
‘The Voice of Russia’ reports: “Venezuela’s acting president Nicolas Maduro has accused US special forces of plotting to assassin opposition leader Henrique Capriles in an attempt to trigger a coup d’état. In an interview to the local Televen channel, Nicolas Maduro said Washington was planning to kill Capriles and shift the blame on the Venezuelan government to “create chaos” in the country.”
The US publication, ‘The Huffington Post’ also circulates this: “We have detected plans by the far right, linked to the groups of (former Bush administration officials) Roger Noriega and Otto Reich, to make an attempt against the opposition presidential candidate,” Nicolas Maduro said.” Chavez handily defeated Radonski in the last election in 2012. But the Venezuelan constitution calls for a new election in the event of a vacancy.
Again, what is actually being represented ‘beneath the surface’ by the Maduro statements?
Here are Four Things Maduro is communicating:
1.) He is threatening Capriles Radonski with assassination without doing so directly.
With this he is demonstrating that such a thing could be done with impunity. At the same time he would have a high degree of public support if this was overt, which will help to assuage the direct effect of related accusations from the Capriles Radonski camp. For many Venezuelans, who overwhelmingly supported Maduro’s mentor Chavez, the meme that Capriles Radonski is a Washington backed agent is already an accepted fact.
Now that the meme that Washington murdered Chavez is already viral, the death of Radonski – regardless of who is behind it – will be considered simply as karma or justice by the broad masses.
2.) He is demonstrating clearly to his own establishment that he is competent in advancing this sort of plot.
This is going to be important in the months and years ahead. Chavez was a brilliant tactician and organizer, and the Caracas establishment – especially the officer corps and military intelligence – needs to be sent clear signals that Maduro is at least nominally as capable as his predecessor. Chavez survived a failed US backed coup attempt in April of 2002, which Capriles Radonski was involved in. Maduro needs to demonstrate that he is capable of not only surviving plots, but executing them.
3.) Capriles Radonski will become psychologically unhinged and his circles of support will stutter and hedge.
This will affect how those around him perceive him, as he is now confused and disoriented. He is asking those closest to him and those with whom he shares his Washington Atlanticist connections if such a plot could be a reality. Even that Radonski must now question the possibility of a plot to assassinate him is enough to shake his confidence and disturb his campaign. Radonski also realizes that this is a direct threat by Maduro against his life at the same time. His ability to perform is greatly affected. Those around him perceive that his ability to perform is compromised; this in turn further affects his ability to perform. It is a vicious cycle and there is no way out for Radonski.
This means it’s working on Radonski on multiple layers. Radonski’s advisers understand that the US will tactically turn on its own allies if it fits into a broader strategy; in this case, destabilization. He and his inner circle also understand that any assurances from Washington that this is not the case, in the event that it is, are meaningless and not credible. Countless historically examples confirm this. In the event that this is not the case, its also clear that the threat on his life still exists – not from Washington but from Caracas.
4.) This works because Maduro knows what kind of person Radonski is; he’s been briefed.
Radonski is an individual driven by the worst qualities exhibited in humanity: vanity, cowardice, greed, dishonesty, stupidity, callousness, and materialism. People of this profile typically project those self-same motivations onto others, reflecting a phenomenon understood in social psychology as consensus fallacy or motivation fallacy. When events spiral out of their control, they tend to behave like rats scurrying about the deck of a sinking ship.
Would the US assassinate Radonski? Under certain conditions, yes.
When Radonski thinks about what the US is capable of however, he is not wrong in projecting. He is the same sort of animal, though on a much smaller scale. Radonski is currently trailing 5-10 points in polls as the election nears. These figures are generated in unofficial polls by the pro-US TV channels that are generally supportive of Capriles Radonski. They boost the real figures in Radonski’s favor by as much as 100% if their behaviour in the last series of elections are any indicator, meaning that Radonski is currently slated to lose.
The Capriles Radonski inner circle is thus confronted with a serious dilemma. If Maduro beats Radonski at the polls in April, the Maduro administration is validated in the eyes of Venezuelans and the international community alike. This means that the proper US position, tactically speaking, is that Radonski is more valuable dead than alive – if Radonski does end up dead and is able to pin it on Maduro.
Nevertheless, Maduro is far ahead of the curve here and is well positioned to deflect blame onto the US. It is unlikely that the US will assassinate Capriles Radonski because while it is likely he will lose the election, it is not likely that the US will be able to spin Radonski’s forthcoming murder the way it would like to.
Prospects for Atlanticist Success in Venezuela
In the event of Capriles Radonski’s assassination there is one key question in being able to understand if it is Washington or Caracas that has the most to gain from it all.
Will the US be able to use this effectively against the Bolivarian Republic? The answer is: No.
Maduro and the Bolivarian Caracas establishment have been well advised by their own study of history as well as by their Russian and Iranian allies. High level talks between strategists and intelligence officers and analysts have been ongoing for over a decade. Integrated military drills and exercises have taken place over this period, including a large scale drill conducted with the Russian navy in 2008. But that is only part of it. Pressure upon Venezuela will be significantly less effective than similar pressures were in recent past historical examples, including the recent Arab Spring and the 1990’s destruction of the USSR, PRL, DDR, and SFRJ.
Certainly we expect the banal themes about human rights, rule of law, transparency, and democracy will be broadcast through the Washington Axis echo chamber.
There are several factors to consider, the variables of which are difficult to quantify into a completely consistent metric because the coefficient values must be multiplied with other variables on both sides of the equation.
However, the factors include:
1.) The mainstream ‘left-wing’ of the US populace including former US President Jimmy Carter is sympathetic to the present Bolivarian Caracas establishment.
Chavez was successful in penetrating the US mainstream left. They promoted their socialist, democratic, progressive, and feminist credentials. Also during several natural catastrophes that hit the US, Venezuela gave aid and relief to those in need and in places that the US, under the Bush regime, did not. During the years 2002 through 2008 when there was an anti-war movement in the US, the primary actors – the Marcyite party of the “Worker’s World Party” (WWP) and the Marcyite “Party for Socialism and Liberation” (PSL) through the ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism) coalition promoted Chavez as a progressive worthy of support.
The Anti-War movement in the US was one of the primary grass-roots elements key to the election of Barack Hussein Obama in 2008. This places some – though limited – hindrances on the ability of a Democratic Party administration like Obama’s to act directly against the Bolivarian Republic. This was not the case in Egypt or Libya recently, or in the ‘communist bloc’ cases in the late 80’s and 90’s. This means the terrain is significantly different. This element alone is not a deciding factor, as the Obama regime consistently acts against the better wishes of his support base.
2.) The US is unable to employ a Gene Sharp type ‘Arab Spring/Otpor!’ pro-democracy movement within Red Tide/Pink Tide Latin American countries like Venezuela, Bolivia, or Ecuador.
This is key. This is because of several important factors. The Sharp tactic relies on using vaguely defined ‘leftoid’ phraseology and front organizations, organized through Washington backed NGO’s like the NED (National Endowment for Democracy). Objectively pro-Washington ‘social democratic’ movements must appear to be ‘grass-roots’, using a political psy-ops spectacle referred by insiders as ‘astro-turf’.
This also applies to consideration “1.)” above. But the Bolivarian Socialist discourse dominates those, nearly entirely.
The US is left with is its historic local allies of the comprador class. The realistic opposition in Venezuela is dominated by the ‘old model’ of Latin American racist ‘Spaniard’ reactionaries – the landed elite – the cocaine, agribusiness, and finance and entertainment barons. They are ideologically stuck in the ‘old’ anti-liberalism, and have affinity with the old model of US McCarthy era anti-communism. They stem from the old politics of Operation Condor.
Their opposition is ‘anti-plebeian’ and ‘anti-democratic’. Their ‘nationalism’ is also facile, because they do not view themselves as part of the same ‘race’ as the broad masses. Therefore, they surrender control of popular, leftist and nationalist discourse to the dominating Bolivarian socialists/nationalists. Nationalists represented by the Fatherland For All party (PPT), the communist PCV, and socialists united in PSUV are supportive of the Bolivarian Caracas establishment, and as well as the trade unions support the Bolivarian project.
Chavez was successful in uniting the various, ostensibly rightist nationalist and leftist factions in Venezuela. This leaves the US to rely on either its own military, vestiges of anti-communist counter-insurgency paramilitary orgs in the region, and European allies.
3.) The emergent successes of the Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party of Syria are lessons learned.
Syria, nominally headed by Assad, has demonstrated a competent degree of efficiency in curtailing Atlanticist hegemonic strategy through a tacit (though triangulated) Russian-Iranian alliance, supported in part by China. The successes from that campaign are transposed – though adapting to Venezuelan conditions. Russia has through the UN Security Council and through its media and international friends and supporters, stepped forward and made it ever more clear that the there is not a consensus in the ‘international community’ regarding Syria, and that the US’s actions are representative of the US’s aims alone.
4.) The US will have a difficult time in pressuring its European allies to support a slate of sanctions or even ‘kinetic action’ against Venezuela.
It is less likely that Western Europe – though part of the NATO Atlanticist Empire, will be able to help too much.Its best chance is with Spain. Spain, which currently faces a number of crises and has received little assistance from the EUrocrats in Brussels, would like to have its banks operating in Venezuela returned to their former incarnation. If the Spanish elite – in particular the Etcheverría banking family – can effectively use their alliance with the Washington side of the Atlanticist hegemon, it would do so by ratcheting up its older claims that Venezuela is a ‘Communist Dictatorship’ and part of the ‘Axis of Evil’. Spanish elites would need to pressure their Berlin counterparts in order to get an effective amplification of EU policy on Venezuela. Only about 7% of Venezuelan oil exports (as of 2010) make their way to Europe.
5.) The European Union could be in the process of being slowly digested by the Eurasian Union.
The EU is having a difficult enough time with the encroachment of the Russian- Eurasian regional hegemon in Eastern and Central Europe, through a policy of Russian programmatic entryism into Center-Right parties and a resurgence of its grasp on communist discourse on the Left. Economically this is backed in part by Russian Gazprom’s natural gas pipelines. Incidentally – militarily; Russia has restored enough of its projection capacity that it could dominate Europe in the event of serious US entanglement elsewhere.
With all of these factors accounted for, Maduro is the one threatening to assassinate Radonski. Maduro will emerge from this situation with stronger support from the Bolivarian Caracas establishment and internal bureaucracy in either event. His situation is ‘win-win’, and Radonski’s is ‘lose-lose’.
The Center for Syncretic Studies formally congratulates Nicolas Maduro for his decisive and cunning maneuver. It was a surprising and bold move, Fortes fortuna adiuvat.