Venezuela Coup d’Etat
The last coup d’etat the United States of America sponsored in 2009 in Latin America was under the Obama administration and supported by his Secretary of State Hillary Clinton when they overthrew a mildly social democratic president of Honduras. At that time the USA denied its role.
Today we are witnessing a quite open and blatant coup dtat in oil rich Venezuela against their recently and democratically elected socialist president Nicolas Maduro. The US boldly announced it no longer considered Maduro the legitimate president of his country.
In his stead the USA has recognized Jose Guida, an obscure legislator from the most right wing of the opposition parties after Vice President Mike Pence called him on the phone and gave him the blessings of United States government.
Venezuelan oil assets in the United States which amount to over $7 billion have been frozen. Likewise its $1 billion plus bank deposits in the United Kingdom have been seized. The United States has succeeded, in the infamous words of former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who engineered the coup against the elected Democratic Socialist President Salvador Allende in Chile on September 11 of 1973, to make their economy scream.
The Venezuelan economy is now half its former size and hobbling along at a depression level. Food and medicine there is increasingly scarce. Tens of thousands of people have been forced to leave their country. Nevertheless, President Maduro has retained popular support including the support of the Venezuelan army.
Guest – Greg Grandin,a professor of history at New York University and a Nation editorial board member, is the author of a number of prize-winning books, including The Empire of Necessity, which won the Bancroft Prize;Fordlandia, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and the National Book Critics Circle Award;Empires Workshop;The Last Colonial Massacre;The Blood of Guatemala; and, most recently,Kissingers Shadow: The Long Reach of Americas Most Controversial Statesman.His new book, forthcoming this spring, is The End of the Myth: From the Frontier to the Border Wall in the Mind of America.
United States Executive Authority in Declaring Emergency Powers
U.S. presidents have the discretion to declare a national emergency. As soon as he does, he can sidestep many existing limits to presidential authority. In fact, 100 or more special provisions become available to him. Some provide reasonable responses to real emergencies, while others seem to bolster the power of a so-called unitary executive who wants to amassing or retain power. The president can activate laws allowing him to, for example, shut down many kinds of electronic communications inside the U.S. or to freeze Americans bank accounts. Other powers are available without a declaration of emergency, including laws that allow the president to deploy troops inside the country to subdue domestic unrest.
The rationale for having emergency powers is simple: The governments ordinary powers may not be enough in times of crisis, and amending the laws to provide greater ones would take too long. Emergency powers are intended to give a temporary boost until the emergency passes or there is time to change the law through the regular legislative process. The problem comes when presidents dont have the best interest of the country in mind.
Guest – Andrew Boyd, Counsel in the Brennan Center’s Liberty and National Security Program. Andrew spent 7 years prosecuting senior Khmer Rouge leaders on behalf of the UN for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. He also worked on cases resulting from the 1994 Rwandan genocide at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.