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17 May, 2017

US destabilizes Venezuela, Syria to retain hegemony in global oil, gas markets

The ongoing crises in Syria and Venezuela have been described by mainstream media as the result of failed leadership. In truth, their troubles are the result of U.S.-led regime change efforts masquerading as humanitarian aid to control both nations’ lucrative oil and gas industries.

by Whitney Webb

Part 1

Separated by thousands of miles and embroiled in ostensibly unique conflicts – a “civil war” and a “political crisis,” respectively – the troubling situations in both Syria and Venezuela share more similarities than differences. These similarities owe largely to the fact that the ultimate end game for both crises is a change in national leadership or regime change.

Mainstream media outlets have spun the situations in both countries to suggest that regime change efforts are being led by ordinary Syrians and Venezuelans. But a closer examination indicates that foreign governments, particularly the U.S. and their allies, are orchestrating the conflicts themselves, as they stand to gain the most from regime change.

As was the case in both nations, foreign governments set the stage for the current crises well before they officially began. In Syria’s case, a recently declassified CIA report shows that U.S. plans to destabilize Syria date back to the late 1980s, with plans to remove Hafez al-Assad — the father of Syria’s current President Bashar al-Assad — from power. This plan was described as a means to weaken Russia’s influence on the global oil and gas as well as the arms market, as Syria was (and still is) Russia’s main Middle Eastern ally.

Regarding the current situation, U.S. embassy cables released by Wikileaks have revealed that the U.S., along with its allies Israel and Saudi Arabia, had begun planning the overthrow of the Assad government as early as 2006 by funding pro-democracy groups that would encourage regime change based on sectarian lines – despite the fact that Syria’s “civil war” did not officially begin until 2011.

In the case of oil-rich Venezuela, regime change efforts began almost as soon as Hugo Chávez assumed power in 1998, as the rise of his leftist government signaled an end to Venezuela’s once tight-knit relationship with the U.S. government. To make matters worse for the U.S., Chavez nationalized the nation’s oil industry, freeing it from the control of foreign, particularly U.S. corporations. These efforts ultimately led to a U.S.-led coup against Chávez in 2002 that ultimately failed. At the time of his death, Chávez claimed to have uncovered 19 different attempts on his life by the West.

Though the U.S. did not make any more attempts to overthrow Chavez following the failed coup, the Venezuelan government has accused the U.S. of being responsible for Chávez’s untimely death in 2013, claiming that they induced cancer that claimed his life as a covert means of assassination. Chávez’s successor, Nicolás Maduro, has been fighting wave after wave of destabilization attempts since his predecessor’s’ death.

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