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Leaked: USA’s Feb 2018 Plan for Coup in Venezuela

Eric Zuesse

Admiral KW Tidd, of US South Command, the author of the leaked memo

A detailed plan from “UNITED STATES SOUTHERN COMMAND” dated “23 FEBRUARY 2018” was issued with the title “PLAN TO OVERTHROW THE VENEZUELAN DICTATORSHIP ‘MASTERSTROKE’” and is here presented complete.

This document was personally signed by Admiral Kurt W. Tidd, who was the Commander (the chief), at SOUTHCOM, and he was thus the top U.S. military official handling Venezuela. But this was far more than just a military plan. It was comprehensive — directing military, diplomatic, and propaganda, policies — regarding the Trump Administration’s planned “Overthrow” of Venezuela’s Government. His plan has since guided the Administration’s entire operation, including “the capacities of the psychological war,” regarding Venezuela.

It instructed SOUTHCOM:

Encouraging popular dissatisfaction by increasing scarcity and rise in price of the foodstuffs, medicines and other essential goods for the inhabitants. Making more harrowing and painful the scarcities of the main basic merchandises.” …

intensifying the undercapitalization of the country, the leaking out of foreign currency and the deterioration of its monetary base, bringing about the application of new inflationary measures.” …

Fully obstruct imports, and at the same time discouraging potential foreign investors in order to make the situation more critical for the population.” …

compelling him to fall into mistakes that generate greater distrust and rejection domestically” …

To besiege him, to ridicule him and to pose him as symbol of awkwardness and incompetence. To expose him as a puppet of Cuba.” …

Appealing to domestic allies as well as other people inserted from abroad in the national scenario in order to generate protests, riots and insecurity, plunders, thefts, assaults and highjacking of vessels as well as other means of transportation, with the intention of deserting this country in crisis through all borderlands and other possible ways, jeopardizing in such a way the National Security of neighboring frontier nations. Causing victims and holding the Government responsible for them. Magnifying, in front of the world, the humanitarian crisis in which the country has been submitted to.”

Structuring a plan to get the profuse desertion of the most qualified professionals from the country, in order ‘to leave it with no professionals at all’, which will aggravate even more the internal situation and along these lines putting the blame on of Government.”

the presence of combat units from the United States of America and the other named countries, under the command of a Joint General Staff led by the USA.”

It was posted online at the Voltairenet site, and was first copied to a web archive on 14 May 2018. So, it has been online since at least that date. However, because the photo in it of the document wasn’t made available via software which includes the individual symbols, but presented only the full visual image of the paper document, it still hasn’t yet gone viral on the Web.

Here, therefore, is the first appearance, on the Web, of the full document, that’s manually copied, character-by-character, so that each phrase in this document becomes, for the first time, web-searchable, and thereby conveniently available for journalists and historians to quote from.

This prophetic document — the source for what has happened afterward in and to Venezuela — might therefore finally receive the public attention that it so clearly merits.

The document starts with propaganda against Venezuela’s existing Government (and it totally ignores the extent to which the pre-existing U.S. economic sanctions against Venezuela had actually caused these problems), and it then proceeds to present the U.S. plan to overthrow the ‘dictatorship’. (Tidd refers to Maduro only as “the Dictator,” except at the very start and very end.

At the end, he commands “the denouncement toward Maduro’s regimen” and he also uses the phrase “the enemy” to refer to him — as if there had been the U.S. Constitutionally required authorization, by the U.S. Congress, of this “war.” The close urges “the dispatch of a UNO military force for the imposition of peace, once Nicolas Maduro’s corrupt dictatorship is defeated.” The U.N. is militarily to “impose” “peace,” after the U.S. and its allies have conquered Venezuela.)

Although Tidd placed 100% of the blame for Venezuela’s problems upon Maduro, and ignored the crucial extent to which U.S. economic sanctions had caused them, his plan emphasized that the U.S. must actively make things even worse for the Venezuelan public than America’s economic sanctions had yet done.

His coup-plan is loaded with such statements, and, in fact, opens with one: “Encouraging popular dissatisfaction by increasing scarcity and rise in price of the foodstuffs, medicines and other essential goods for the inhabitants. Making more harrowing and painful the scarcities of the main basic merchandises.”

So: he wasn’t naive. America’s induced suffering upon Venezuelans was part of his plan for Venezuelans, in order to get them to do what the U.S. regime wants them to do — overthrow Maduro. Furthermore, the United States Government has had extensive successes in previous such operations. One example is that this was how Chile’s Salvador Allende was brought down in 1973 (at a time when the U.S. Government’s claims to have done it for ‘national security’ reasons had much more credibility than its current excuse of helping the Venezuelan people does, because the supposedly ideological Cold War was still on).

The only excuse that the perpetrators can come up with, this time around, is “to put an end to the Venezuelan nightmare and the awakening of theirs beloved nation at a luminous dawn, in which the vision of fortune, true peace and tranquility predominate for their fellow citizens.” Impoverish the nation, in order to help Venezuelans attain “true peace and tranquility.” That’s the plan.

Here is the document’s entire text:

SOUTHCOM
TOP SECRET
23 FEB 2018

PLAN TO OVERTHROW THE VENEZUELAN DICTATORSHIP “MASTERSTROKE”

UNITED STATES SOUTHERN COMMAND 23 FEBRUARY 2018

TOP SECRET/20180223
CURRENT SITUATION

The Venezuelan Chavista dictatorship staggers as a result of its frequent internal problems; there is a great shortage of foodstuffs, an exhaustion of the sources of foreign currency and a rampant corruption. The international support, won with petrodollars, becomes scarcer each time and the purchasing power of its national currency is in a constant downfall.

Such scenario is not supposed to change, but the Venezuelan present-day leaders, as they usually do, in their despair to preserve their power, are capable to appeal to new populist measures that perpetuate their positions of privilege; the only mechanism that sustains them obstinate to the struggle to hold on their positions.

Maduro’s corrupt regimen will collapse but regrettably, the divided opposing forces, legitimate defenders of democracy and the well-being of their people, do not have power enough to put an end to the Venezuelan nightmare and the awakening of theirs beloved nation at a luminous dawn, in which the vision of fortune, true peace and tranquility predominate for their fellow citizens.

The internal disputes, the supreme particular likings, the corruption similar to the one of their rivals, as well as the scarcity of rooting, do not grant them the opportunity to make the most of this situation and to give the necessary step to overturn the state of penury and precariousness in which the pressure group, that exercises the leftist dictatorship, has submerged the country. We are at the presence of an unprecedented criminal action in Latin America.

This affects the entire region, there is no respect to international right and local political alternatives are unacceptable.

Democracy spreads out in America, continent in which radical populism was intended to take over. Argentina, Ecuador and Brazil are examples of it. The rebirth of democracy has the support of the most valuable determinations, and the conditions in the regions run in its favour.

It is the time for the United States to prove, with concrete actions, that they are implicated in that process, where overthrowing Venezuelan dictatorship will surely mean a continental turning point.

It is the first opportunity of the Trump Administration to bring forward the vision in reference to security and democracy. Showing its active commitment is crucial, not only for the administration, but also for the continent and for the world.

The time has come to

Step to speed up the definite overthrow of Chavismo and the expulsion of its representative:

Undermining the decadent popular support to Government.

  • Encouraging popular dissatisfaction by increasing scarcity and rise in price of the foodstuffs, medicines and other essential goods for the inhabitants. Making more harrowing and painful the scarcities of the main basic merchandises.

Securing the the present-day dictator’s irreversible deterioration

  • Developing actions to encourage the egocentrism and the verbal incontinence of the Dictator, compelling him to fall into mistakes that generate greater distrust and rejection domestically, while continuing to minimize the international significance of his public figure.
  • To beseige him, to ridicule him and to pose him as symbol of awkwardness and incompetence. To expose him as a puppet of Cuba. Exacerbating the division among members of the governing group. Revealing the differences in his living conditions with respect to those of his followers, at the same time to incite them to keep on increasing those divergences. Highlighting examples as the ones of Rafael Ramirez from PDVSA and Nelson Mercengtes from gthe BCV.
  • Making his government unsustainable, forcing him to claudication, to negotiate or to run away, as other close collaborators have done.
  • Making provisions for a back or escaping door, in case he finally chooses to look for a safe port out of his country.

Increasing the internal instability to a critical level.

  • Intensifying the undercapitalizatioin of the country, the leaking out of foreign currency and the deterioration of its monetary base, bringing about the application of new inflationary measures that increase its deterioration and that simultaneously provoke the citizens with less access — who support the present-day rulers — and those who are best positioned, to see their social status threatened or affected. Establishing that the use of bitcoin, Petro, is a key element in the deterioration of the economy, which is an unconstitutional and illegal manipulation of the national currency, useable for money laundering.
  • Fully obstructing imports, and at the same time, discouraging potential foreign investors in order to contribute to make more critical the situation of the population — mainly in the sphere of oil, essential for any attempt of recuperation of the national economy.
  • Appealing to domestic allies as well as other people inserted from abroad in the national scenario in order to generate protests, riots and insecurity, plunders, thefts, assaults and highjacking of vessels as well as other means of transportation, with the intention of deserting this country in crisis through all borderlands and other possible ways, jeopardizing in such a way the National Security of neighboring frontier nations. Causing victims and holding the Government responsible for them. Magnifying, in front of the world, the humanitarian crisis in which the country has been submitted to.
  • Making use of the generalized corruption and the originating profits from their operations with prohibited drugs, to do away with their image in front of the world and their domestic followers.
  • Promoting fatigue inside the members of the PSUV, inciting the annoyance and nonconformity among themselves, for them to break noisily away from the line of the Government; for them to refuse the measures and restrictions which also affect them, inciting the rising of internal politic factions, which divides it in its schism, making it as weak as the the opposition is. Creating frictions between the PSUV and “Somos Venezuela”.
  • Structuring a plan to get the profuse desertion of the most qualified professionals from the country, in order “to leave it with no professionals at all”, which will aggravate even more the internal situation and along these lines putting the blame on of Government.

Using the army officers as an alternative of definite solution.

  • Continuing hardening the conditions inside the Armed Forces to carry out a coup d’etat before concluding 2018, if the crisis does not make the dictatorship to collapse or the dictator does not decide to move aside.
  • Continuing setting fire to the common frontier with Colombia. Multiplying the traffic of fuel and other goods. The movement of paramilitaries, armed raids and drug trafficking. Provoking armed incidents with the Venezuelan frontier security forces.
  • Recruiting paramilitaries mainly in the campsites of refugees in Cucuta, La Guajira and the north of Santander, areas largely populated by Colombian citizens who emigrated to Venezuela and now return, run away from the regimen to intensify the destabilizing activities in the common frontier between both countries. Making use of the empty space left by the FARC, the belligerency of the ELN and the activities in the area of the Gulf Clan.
  • Preparing the involvement of allied forces in support of the Venezuelan army officers or to control the internal crisis, in the event they delay too much in taking the initiative.
  • Establishing a speedy time line that prevents the Dictator to continue winning control on the internal scenario. If it’s necessary, act before the elections stipulated for next April.
  • Getting the support of the allied authorities of friendly countries (Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Panama and Guyana).
  • Organizing the provisioning, relief of troops, medical and logistic support from Panama. Making good use of the facilities of electronic surveillance and signals intelligence, the hospitals and its deployed endowments in Danen, the equipped airdromes for the Colombian Plan, as well as the landing fields of the old-time military bases of Howard and Albrook, as well as the one belonging to “Rio Halo”. In addition, the Humanitarian Regional Center of the United Nations, designed for situations of catastrophes and humanitarian emergency, which has an aerial landing field and its own warehouses.
  • Moving on the basification of combat airplanes and choppers, armored conveyances, intelligence positions, and special military and logistics units (police and military district attorneys and prisons).
  • Developing the military operation under international flag, patronized by the Conference of American Armies, under the protection of the OAS and the supervision, in the legal and media context, of the Secretary General Luis Almagro. Declaring the necessity that the continental commandment be strengthened to act, using the instrument of the Inter-American Democratic Charter, in order to avoid the democratic rupture.
  • Binding Brazil, Argentina, Colombia and Panama to the contribution of greater number of troops, to make use of their geographic proximity and experience in operations in forest regions. Strengthening their international condition with the presence of combat units from the United States of America and the other named countries, under the command of a Joint General Staff led by the USA.
  • Using the facilities at Panamanian territory for the rear guard and the capacities of Argentina for the securing of the ports and the maritime positions.
  • Leaning on Brazil and Guyana to make use of the migratory situation that we intend to encourage in the border with Guyana.
  • Coordinating the support to Colombia, Brazil, Guyana, Aruba, Curacao, Trinidad and Tabago and other States in front of the flow of Venezuelan immigrants in the event of the crisis. Promoting international participation in this effort, as part of the multilateral operation with contribution of the States, Non-Profit Organizations and international bodies. Supplying the adequate logistic, intelligence, surveillance and control support.
  • Anticipating, specially, the most vulnerable points in Arauca, Puerto Carreno and Ininda, Maicao, Barranquilla and Sincelejo, in Colombia, and Roramia, Manaos and Boa Vista, in Brazil.

Information Strategie

  • Silencing the symbolic presence of Chavez-representative of unit and popular support-, and in the other way around, keeping the harassment to the Dictator as the only responsible of the crisis in which he has submerged the nation.
  • Holding the Dictator and his closer followers responsible, in the first place, for the prevailing crisis due to his inability to find the way out that the Venezuelans are in need of.
  • Intensifying the media denouncement about the cubanization of Venezuela.
  • Outstandingly intensifying the denouncement toward Maduro’s regimen, considering him:
    1. A criminal
    2. A illegitimate
    3. A thief of the wealth of the Venezuelan people
    4. Someone who plunders the national treasury to carry out his evasion
  • Highlighting the incompetence of the mechanisms of integration created by the regimens of Cuba and Venezuela, specially the ALBA and PETROCARIBE, in order to tackle the situation of the country and their inability to find solutions to the problems that the citizens are facing.
  • Increasing, inside the country and through the mass media established abroad, the dissemination of designed messages based on testimonies and publications originated in the country, making use of all the possible capacities, including the social networks.
  • Claiming, through that mass media, the need to put an end to this situation because of its unsustainable essence.
  • Justifying and assuring through violent means the international backup to the deposal of the dictatorship, displaying an extensive dissemination, inside the country and to the entire world, through all the open means and the capacities of the psychological war of the US ARMY.
  • Assuring that the disclosed images and reports of the military actions are approved by the General Staff to prevent their manipulation and use by the enemy.
  • The United States should entirely back up the OAS, strengthening the image of the OAS and other multilateral institutions for the inter-American system, as instruments for the solution to the regional problems.
  • Promoting the request of the the dispatch of a UNO military force for the imposition of peace, once Nicolas Maduro’s corrupt dictatorship is defeated.

[signature]

K.W. TIDD

Admiral, USN

COMMANDER