Special report on Coup d’Etats! American Money Funds Student Revolution Groups All Over the CIS!
After a long break, War is back on Rossiya 24. It's a program about the structure of modern conflicts, about wars which ended long ago, are ongoing right now, and the ones to come. I am Evgeny Poddubny, a military reporter for VGTRK.
Today, we're going to talk about coups d'état, which often lead to local conflicts, destroy state economies, and drive countries into anarchy. There are many reasons for that, not only the events in Venezuela. Alexander Kots, a military correspondent from Komsomolskaya Pravda, will join me in the studio in just in five minutes. By the way, he recently returned from South America.
This week, our colleagues from RT issued a publication that caused vehement debate. The reporters attended a seminar in Yerevan for young oppositionists. There, lecturers taught the young how to bring about revolutions. That is, they were preparing the youth to overthrow the legitimate government. At the Camp Camp seminar, people from Russia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, basically, from the CIS countries, took part. There's nothing surprising about the fact. It's a standard meeting financed by American money. Another surprising thing is that in Yerevan (Armenia is a CSTO member, Russia's military ally), Russian and other oppositionists are taught to lie in order to stir up protests. I mean that they don't even hide behind good intentions. It's as brazen and simple as that.
The Americans are continuing to tear apart every tacit rule of international relations, promoting its own geopolitical projects. When Margarita Simonyan, the editor-in-chief of RT, was commenting on the events in Yerevan, she was absolutely right saying that if such a seminar took place in the USA the participants and organizers would simply get arrested.
Margarita Simonyan: “In addition to having fun, hanging out, having dinner, and walking around beautiful Yerevan, they were taught how to make a revolution. If something of the kind happened in the USA, I assure you that every one of them would end up in prison. I mean every one of them: the participants, the organizers, and the rest.”
It's not just that Washington's acting aggressively regardless of any possible casualties. This is a simple neo-colonial approach. Much worse is a rational position, taking national interests, meaning the interests of the country's citizens, and replacing them with puppets that express the ideas of others. This is anything but opposition.
Let's take the latest example, Venezuela. The economic situation in the country is hard. Washington, by the way, does its best to make it even harder; there are sanctions, account seizures, which only proves the point about demolishing the system of international relations. The leader of the opposition, who shouldn't really call himself an oppositionist, since he puts foreign interests higher than the interests of his homeland, Juan Guaido, is another American project. Just like Saakashvili, which is the most glowing example.
My friend and colleague, Alexander Kots, can talk much better about Venezuela. He's a military reporter from Komsomolskaya Pravda and has recently returned from Caracas.
— Sasha, you've just returned from Venezuela. If we compare it with other events of the kind, what is similar about the technical approach and what is different?
Alexander Kots: I've worked in different cases of unrest, let's call them «maidans»: I was in Cairo, Libya, Syria, and, naturally, Ukraine. They were all very similar. The technique is the same, and it's an open secret. It was described in the works by Jene Sharp, a founder of the «soft power» concept, a nonviolent overthrow, for example, in From Dictatorship to Democracy, where all the methods are given. The method is as follows: people who don't represent the majority go out to the streets. They are actually people from a narrow stratum, usually the intelligentsia and the youth. They're socially active; they're well-represented on social media. They go out in the streets with well-intentioned slogans… For democracy, against the usurpation of power. It's all the same everywhere. At some point, a radical and better-organized people, nationalists in Ukraine, Islamists in Cairo, take the upper hand in the protest, turning it into a revolution with a violent overthrow.
Venezuela is a little bit different in this regard. They skipped the stage of the long standoff in the streets. It just didn't happen. Maybe it became too expensive and the US is in a hurry for some reason. Maybe, and I'm leaning towards this theory, it's just the national mindset because the opposition tries to hold even the major rallies on weekdays. They don't usually gather for rallies on the weekend. They go to the beach, have barbecues with their families, but they don't waste their free time on rallies. Maybe this is why they skipped the standoff stage and just appointed someone president as if he's going to be in charge now.
Armed confrontation is impossible in Venezuela because only one party, the government, has weapons. I think the opposition is figuring out what they should do if there's a power struggle. That's where the talk about the humanitarian aid that's about to arrive came from. The latest due date is February 23rd. It's clear that if the opposition controls the delivery of the humanitarian aid, and they do want to receive it, bypassing the government, they can receive not only flour, sugar, and salt, but also Kalashnikovs, hand-grenades, and whatnot. The opposition doesn't have weapons now. That's why they are struggling for the army. But we all know that the army can't ensure success. We remember Mubarak's supporters won in Cairo first. The Islamists were just guarding Tahrir Square and saying that they didn't have any political affiliation, «we're just guarding». After that, the Islamists, headed by Morsi, gained control over the protest, seized power, and they were overthrown by the military.
In Venezuela, everything depends on the military. They haven't taken a clear stand yet, they're hesitating. The example of Libya shows how the army can be taken over… The generals just flee to Europe, get lifelong pensions there, the army changes sides, and that's where the massacre begins.
— Okay, the technique is clear. But is the basis in Venezuela strong enough to withstand all of the techniques? Are the mainstream media journalists correct in that the poverty rate there is insanely high and 90% of the population is starving?
— Well, let's put it like this: such events couldn't happen in Norway or Switzerland. Indeed, something is wrong in the state of Venezuela if people are taking to the streets. There's fertile ground that political engineers can work on. But what you said about 90% of the people starving, that the poverty rate almost covers the entire population; these are elements of the technique aimed at making the government more inhuman. In reality, no one is starving there. There's enough food and toilet paper… The things that «experts» like to place emphasis on. Everything's fine. There's food, there's groceries, there's medicine. Maybe some hospitals are short on them, but everything is at an adequate level. But I must admit that the country is very poor. If you have an inflation rate 2,500,000% then it's something wrong with your economy. When foreign economists, including Russian ones who came to Venezuela in December, offer plans for saving you economy but you say you have your own way… It's clear that something must be changed.
When the key positions are taken by the military, for instance, the head of the Ministry of Petroleum is a soldier, he doesn't understand anything about it. They need a specialist in that position just like in Bolivia. Bolivia was in an equally serious situation. But when Morales let specialists take the key positions the country managed to vastly improve the situation.
Venezuela needs changes as well. But we do realize the technique isn't being used to help the country to come back from the bottom. Such techniques for changing power are used for someone's interests. One of the most important points of interest here is oil, the oil industry. Russia is currently actively working with Venezuelan companies. For example, Russia produces oil in the Orinoco Belt. Russia is the leader in the production of heavy oil there. Until 2007, US companies used to work at the location where Russian companies are working. After Chavez nationalized the industry, they lost the piece of the pie and they want it back. Russia acts actively, sometimes even aggressively, in the field, but all within the limits of doing business. Russia is quite active in the arms market. Russia has deployed Tu-160 bombers there. The US is nervous about what's going on in what they consider to be their backyard. They're trying to show it's their territory, that they're in charge there. When doing so they violate the basic international rules of doing business. They even seized company accounts.
— Let's get back to the person who heads the opposition in Venezuela. Are they the same agents of Western influence as it was in the CIS countries? Or are they closer to the national interests of the country?
— If we take the leader himself, Juan Guaido, he was made by the US in the first place.
— Just like Saakashvili, like Yushchenko.
— Yes, that's right. He was trained by the Americans for over a decade. Since August, he's been appearing on Venezuelan cable television quite often. He was a total nobody. But he was made.
— Yes, he was made.
— Guys from the Russian diaspora in Venezuela told me that they compared him with Russian opposition activists and they understood that something is being prepared for Venezuela. And all of a sudden, he just claimed that he's president.
— Do you mean he was appointed president?
— He was appointed president, he claimed that he was one. He was appointed by the National Assembly, which is headed by him. The National Assembly is controlled by the opposition. There are two parliamentary groups there; one doesn't recognize the other. The same thing is going on in Libya. There's a government in Benghazi, there's a government in Tripoli, and they don't like each other and can't make an agreement. But if in Libya the parties control their own parts of the country, they have some power levers. The opposition doesn't have any power levers. They can't influence the economy. They can't influence the foreign policy apart from the fact they appoint ambassadors to some countries. But the country itself is run by the legitimate leader, by the elected President Maduro.
— I mean that they just pretend that they can rule the country in such conditions.
— It's not Guaido who presents this appearance, it's presented by those who have put him there.
— To dispel any delusions… Why does such a path of changing power lead to nowhere?
— We don't yet know to where this path leads.
— I mean why doesn't this method work? It has never improved a thing.
— Revolutions never turn things around for the better. Maybe it's because neither the government nor the opposition, in all of the revolutions, never worried about the people. They say beautiful social slogans about justice and democracy. In reality, it's just that the spheres of power and economy are being redistributed but the people remain poor.
— So we take this case away and give it to someone else.
Geopolitical adversaries of Russia are throwing away the rules of the game that were established during the Cold War and after the dissolution of the USSR. They take advantage of the fact that western society is hugely influenced by the mainstream media, which recognize the only correct course — their own.
As soon as a single person tries to move on their own, they're labeled as misfits in no time while the media itself puts up a good front. For example, Riam Dalati, a BBC producer, wrote on Twitter that the chemical attack in Douma, Syria, which was used by Washington as a pretext to strike Syria, was staged. BBC immediately said it was a personal opinion of the employee. Don't pay attention to it.
Let me remind you that we and our camera crew proved more than six months ago that actors took part in the chemical attack video in Douma and no one actually died. After that, Hassan Diab, the boy from the video who was paid with dates for participating in the filming, came to the OPCW headquarters with his father. But this went unnoticed.
At the Yerevan seminar, oppositionists were taught this kind of lie isn't really a lie but a part of the struggle.
I say it's time we got used to manipulations and that geopolitical adversaries don't follow the rules, and lest we forget that the events in Ukraine that led to the coup d'état, to the nationalists coming to power, to the civil war, also started with seminars for the youth, in Lvov Oblast.
Another important fact proven by examples… The countries where the US and its allies exported their revolutions… Libya, the Syrian territories controlled by gunmen, Iraq where the government was overthrown during the military conflict, Ukraine, Georgia when Saakashvili was in office, and a number of countries… Have the least amount of freedom. It's an addition to democracy and national interests.
This was War, a program about how modern conflicts work.