Venezuela expresses concern over violence and instability in US amid Capitol riots

The statement mirrored similar statements that US officials have issued about authoritarianism in both countries, and comes a day after the country’s socialist president retook official control of the government following an election last month.

In a communique issued from Caracas, the Venezuelan government said it “expresses its concern with the acts of violence that are taking [place] in the city of Washington, United States.”

Mirroring the language used by US officials commenting on political movements in foreign countries, Venezuela condemned the violence in the Capitol.  

“Venezuela condemns the political polarization and the spiral of violence that only reflects the deep crisis that the political and social system of the United States is currently going through,” the message said.  

The message went on to condemn the US for inciting the kind of violence and unrest seen at the US Capitol in other countries.  

“With this unfortunate episode, the United States is suffering the same thing that it has generated in other countries with its policies of aggression. Venezuela hopes that soon the violence will cease and the American people can finally open a new path towards stability and social justice,” the statement said.  

Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro accused the US of playing a part in a 2019 coup attempt by opposition government leader Juan Guaido.  

The US and the European Union, among other foreign governments, recognised Mr Guaido as the legitimate leader of the country, but his attempt to oust Mr Maduro was unsuccessful.  

The European Union stated on Tuesday it would no longer recognise Mr Guaido as the legitimate leader on Tuesday.  

The US has a long history of supporting regime-change efforts – usually violent – in Latin American countries.  

Throughout the 1970’s and 1980’s, the US attempted to fight the spread of revolutionary socialist governments in Latin America by supporting, training and supplying violent reactionary insurgents.  

Arguably the most well known of these regime change efforts was the Contra War in Nicaragua in the early 1980’s, in which the US Central Intelligence Agency trained guerilla fighters and “death squads” made up of reactionary Nicaraguan troops to oppose the Marxist Sandinista government that took power through a military junta.  

The Contras assassinated civilian leaders, massacred religious workers, and incited mob violence against citizen cooperatives.  

In 2020, an American right-wing mercenary Jordan Goudreau, attempted to lead a clandestine military operation into Venezuela to displace Mr Maduro.  

“Operation Gideon,” as Mr Goudreau called it, was reportedly advised against by Mr Guaido because it was amatuerish and poorly-planned.  

Mr Gordreau may have been motivated to carry out the mission in order to claim a multi-million dollar reward the US was offering for information leading to the arrest of Mr Maduro.  

The American mercenary’s men – approximately 60 poorly armed Venezuelans hiding out in Columbia and at least two former US soldiers – were arrested by Venezuelan security forces before they even reached the shore.  

The soldiers have been sentenced to 20 years in prison for invading the country. Venezeula has also called for the extradition of Mr Gordreau – who did not personally accompany the ill-fated assault – so he can face trial.