By Theodore Shoebat
Revolution in Venezuela has been planned for years. This planning can be traced back to Serbia, in the year 2005, just five years after the fall of President Slobodan Milosevic. What helped lead to the end of that government were demonstrations and activism led by university students. In the early part of 2000, these students would give a name to their movement: Otpor! (which means “resist!” in Serbian). Since its success in Serbia, the organization has been used and backed by Western governments to launch activism plans against governments they want brought down, earning the group the title of “the CIA coup college”. Otpor! has been used to work with and train opposition groups in countries like Georgia, Kyrgyzstan and Ukraine. The group would soon get a name change: the Center for Applied Non-Violent Action and Strategies (or CANVAS). In 2005, CANVAS began working with Venezuelan students against the Chavez government. Five student leaders from Venezuela arrived in Belgrade to learn the ways revolutionary action. As a 2007 report from STRATFOR says:
“In 2005, CANVAS turned its attention to Venezuela, and on Oct. 5 — the seventh anniversary of Milosevic’s fall — five student leaders from Venezuela arrived in Belgrade for training.”
The same report also says:
“Success is by no means guaranteed, and student movements are only at the beginning of what could be a years-long effort to trigger a revolution in Venezuela, but the trainers themselves are the people who cut their teeth on the ‘Butcher of the Balkans.’ They’ve got mad skills. When you see students at five Venezuelan universities hold simultaneous demonstrations, you will know that the training is over and the real work has begun.”
Otpor! has been funded by the United States through the US National Endowment for Democracy. A leader of Otpor! told the New York Times in 2000: ”We had a lot of financial help from Western nongovernmental organizations … And also some Western governmental organizations.” According to Brazilian journalist Moniz Bandeira, after the disintegration of Yugoslavia, the US Endowment for Democracy “starting giving assistance to movements advocating democracy in Serbia, Montenegro and Kosovo, and that after September 1998 a significant amount of dollars began to flow to OTPOR, with around US$ 3 million being spent in Serbia.”
The breakdown of Yugoslavia by heavily backed regionalist movement really acted as an inspiration for other revolutionary movements. For example, Carles Puigdemont, who is currently the leader of the Catalonian separatist movement, was planning for revolution all the way back in the 1990s when he was in the Balkans to witness the independence of Slovenia from Yugoslavia. Puigdemont was in the Balkans to learn about how to succeed in regional secession, just as Venezuelan students travelled to Serbia to learn from Otpor! about the art of doing a coup. Leaked email correspondences from Stratfor revealed that CANVAS (Otpor!) “may have also received CIA funding and training during the 1999/2000 anti-Milosevic struggle.” One email stated:
“the kids who ran OTPOR grew up, got suits and designed CANVAS… or in other words a ;export-a-revolution’ group that sowed the seeds for a NUMBER of color revolutions. They are still hooked into U.S. funding and basically go around the world trying to topple dictators and autocratic governments (ones that U.S. does not like ;).”
The activists of Otpor! were trained by the Albert Einstein Institute, a major organization founded by Gene Sharp, that works to help activists for revolutions that the US wants. According to the professor Emanuela C. Del Re, Venezuelan activists were getting training in Colorado in 2003, and this training was done in collaboration with the Albert Einstein Institute. What is also very interesting is how Otpor! was involved with helping revolutionaries in Egypt to overthrow Hosni Mubarak. It was from Otpor! that the Egyptians learned of the work of Gene Sharp, the founder of the Albert Einstein Institute. As we read in a report from the Daily Beast:
“Ahmed Maher, a 28-year-old construction engineer, was one of the young Web-savvy upstarts who helped set in motion the protests that last week ended Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year rule. Maher, of the April 6 Movement, looked to Serbia’s democratic movements for inspiration. There, he found Otpor, a protest group which helped take down strongman Slobodan Milosevic. From Otpor, the young Egyptians discovered the teachings of Sharp, who urges nonviolent resistance as the most efficient way to topple dictatorships.”
In 2010, Serbian subversives were in Mexico City training Venezuelan rebels in the Fiesta Mexicana hotel, as part of a conspiracy to topple the government in accordance to strategies contrived by Gene Sharp. As we read in a report from Venezuela Analysis:
“Eligio Cedeno, Pedro Burelli and Gustavo Tovar Arroyo were the organizers of a meeting in 2010, known as the ‘Fiesta Mexicana’ (The Mexican Party), where Serb facilitators trained extreme rightwing young Venezuelans to execute subversive activities in Venezuela by following the soft coup plan designed by the U.S’s Gene Sharp.”
These Serbs were not doubt part of CANVAS (Otpor!)
According to journalist F. William Engdahl, the Albert Einstein Institute is “a U.S. intelligence asset used to spark ‘nonviolent’ regime change around the world on behalf of the U.S. strategic agenda.” In the strategy of Sharp, the son of a Protestant minister, “rude gestures” can function as “symbolic public acts” to using “guerrilla theater” as a form of “social intervention.” This strategy of “rude gestures” was utilized by student activists in Venezuela in 2009 who called themselves “Generation 2007”, when they pulled down their pants and exposed their buttocks in public:
What is interesting is that this movement was started in 2007, the very year that the American and European nationalist Counter-jihad was officialized as an international movement in a summit that occurred at the European Union parliament (which is fascinating, given that the Counter-jihad has been quite vocal about Venezuela being under a tyrannical Communist government).
One of the representatives of Generation 2007 was Juan Guaido, the very figure who has been pulled out of obscurity by the American government which has declared him the president of Venezuela as part of US interventionist policy. Guaido was picked by the powers that be to act as a puppet, acting as though he is a legitimate president of Venezuela when he is really just being backed by the US government. According to Igor Pshenichnikov, an expert at the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies:
“Guaido is not known for anything apart from being the parliament’s speaker. He is a man who openly follows the scenario elaborated by Washington. It is absolutely clear that the United States promotes him in order to topple Maduro”
Opposition groups in Venezuela have received tens of millions of dollars from the US government, as we learn from Eva Golinger:
“A revealing report published in May 2010 by the FRIDE Institute, a Spanish think tank, prepared with funding from the World Movement for Democracy (a project of the National Endowment for Democracy, or NED), has disclosed that international agencies are funding the Venezuelan opposition with a whopping $40-50 million USD annually.”
There are also plans of violence in this years long attempt at revolution in Venezuela, involving Venezuelan paramilitaries in Columbia and the use of children as human shields, as the report from Venezuela Analysis states:
“Another evidence presented by the high political command of the Revolution is an email sent on March 25th by the extreme right-wing activist Ricardo Koesling to the fugitive of the Venezuelan justice Robert Alonso, who in 2004 organized a raid of Colombian paramilitaries in Venezuela who came to assassinate President Hugo Chávez.
Alonso is the creator and promoter of the ‘guarimbas’, a criminal street agitation methodology that was implemented in Venezuela, resulting in deaths and injuries after calling for the overthrow of Nicolás Maduro on February 12th. Robert Alonso has been very active through the social networks by encouraging the political agitation in Venezuela and suggesting the use of children by the opposition as human shields in street demonstrations.”
Paramilitaries in Columbia conspiring for revolution in Venezuela? It sounds like what we are seeing here is a Latin American gladio (the term “gladio” was used to label a NATO policy of arming and training paramilitaries in Europe during the Cold War).
Alonso has promoted the strategy of the “guarimbas” which is a method of revolution in which people block the roads of their neighborhoods to stop vehicles holding food and prevent public services, thus bringing about chaos through the suffocation of provisions. As we read in a report from El Telegrafo:
“How do the guarimbas operate? The golden rule, they say, is to block the streets in front of your house, affect the daily life of your neighborhood, prevent the passage of vehicles for public services, food, everything is valid.”
This strategy has been used and has caused dozens of deaths and hundreds of injuries, as the same report recounts:
“since 2013 the guarimbas have left more than 40 dead and 878 injured, according to data from the Association of Victims. The majority died in their own neighborhoods, trying to enter their homes or when they removed obstacles from the road to move with their vehicles.”
If violence in Venezuela has already gotten this horrendous, imagine what would happen in a civil war. It will be worse than Syria and Iraq.