Criticizing statements by CIA's director, Mike Pompeo, concerning Venezuela, the former Chief of Staff for Secretary of State, Lawrence Wilkerson, appeared furious about the amateurism and audacity that characterizes many US officials under Trump administration.
Pompeo had stated:
If, any time you have a country as large and with the economic capacity of a country like Venezuela, America has a deep interest in making sure it is stable and as democratic as possible. So we're working hard to do that. I'm always careful when we talk about South and Central America and the CIA. There's a lot of stories. I want to be careful what I say, but suffice it to say, we are very hopeful that there can be a transition in Venezuela. We, the CIA is doing its best to understand the dynamic there so that we can communicate to our State Department and to others. The Colombians, I was just down in Mexico City and in Bogota, week before last, talking about this very issue, trying to help them understand the things they might do, so that they can get a better outcome for their part of the world, and our part of the world.
Speaking to Aaron Mate and The Real News, Wilkerson responded:
First thing Mr. Pompeo needs to know is it's Bogota, accent on the last syllable, not Bogota. The second thing he needs to know is CIA directors need to keep their traps shut, their mouths shut. They don't talk about policy. They don't even intimate about policy. They should not even be on camera. He needs to shut up and go back to his hole at Langley.
The third thing is that the last thing we need is somebody from the Central Intelligence Agency talking about Venezuelan policy period, or any Latin American policy. This is a region where the United States ought to issue apologies, not threats. We have done so much to damage Latin America. If we're talking about a relationship, as Mr. Pompeo was just doing, the relationship has always been, and I would submit we want it to be again, a relationship between American business and American leaders and oligarchs.
Oligarchs is whom we have liked and loved from Brazil to Santiago. From Argentina to Peru. That's whom we like and love because they're conducive to American commercial interests and ultimately conducive to American security interests. It's time we fell out of love with oligarchs and started liking others who represent the people and true and real democracy. That's what Mr. Pompeo ought to know, but of course like most of the Trump administration, he's ignorant as hell.