Trump appoints Venezuelan envoy – an actual war criminal and democracy-destroyer

Donald Trump – or US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on his behalf – has appointed Elliott Abrams as envoy to Venezuela, in a clear signal of the reality of US intentions for the South American republic. The US, EU, Canada and other states recently recognised self-appointed ‘interim president’ Juan Guaido and labelled last year’s presidential elections in the country rigged, in spite of abundant evidence to the contrary.

Abrams has a long history as an actor on behalf of right-wing governments. He pleaded guilty in 1991 to deliberately misleading Congress over the infamous ‘Iran-Contra’ scandal – but has also been involved in efforts to counteract attempts at peace, democracy and self-determination in El Salvador, Palestine, Panama and Iran.

But Abrams was also involved in abetting ‘acts of genocide’ by Guatemalan general according to the UN-backed ‘Commission for Historical Clarification‘.

As Eric Alterman wrote two years ago when Trump was – appallingly but unsurprisingly – considering Abrams for the position of Deputy Secretary of State:

As assistant secretary of state for human rights, Abrams sought to ensure that General Efraín Ríos Montt, Guatemala’s then-dictator, could carry out “acts of genocide”—those are the legally binding words of Guatemala’s United Nations–backed Commission for Historical Clarification—against the indigenous people in the Ixil region of the department of Quiché, without any pesky interference from human-rights organizations, much less the US government.

As the mass killings were taking place, Abrams fought in Congress for military aid to Ríos Montt’s bloody regime. He credited the murderous dictator with having “brought considerable progress” on human-rights issues. Abrams even went so far as to insist that “the amount of killing of innocent civilians is being reduced step by step” before demanding that Congress provide the regime with advanced arms because its alleged “progress need[ed] to be rewarded and encouraged“.

Promoted to assistant secretary of state for inter-American affairs, Abrams repeatedly denounced the continued protests by organizations seeking to call attention to the mass murders of both Ríos Montt and the no less bloodthirsty President Vinicio Cerezo Arévalo, who came to power fewer than three years later. In one village during the latter’s reign, “the army herded the entire population into the courthouse, raped the women, beheaded the men, and took the children outside to smash them to death against rocks,” according to Inevitable Revolutions, Walter LaFeber’s classic history of the United States in Central America.

…When The New York Times published an op-ed challenging the official State Department count of the mass murders under way—by a woman who had witnessed a death-squad-style assassination in broad daylight in Guatemala City without ever seeing it mentioned in the press—Abrams lied outright in a letter to the editor, even citing an imaginary story in a nonexistent newspaper to insist that the man’s murder had, in fact, been reported.

Eric Alterman (emphases added)

SKWAWKBOX comment:

As the SKWAWKBOX has showed, the ‘opposition’ in Venezuela has been responsible for horrendous acts of violence, including setting fire to supporters of the government and car-bomb attacks against police.

Attacks on the validity and fairness of the Venezuelan election have also been discredited by neutral election observers who attended it and testified to its technological and procedural robustness – and the result was initially accepted by even the right-wing opposition.

The appointment of Abrams, with his long history of fighting inconvenient democracy and enabling murder, makes a mockery of any claim that the intervention by the US and supported by a cast of nations including the UK, has anything to do with the good of Venezuelans or respect for democracy.

On the contrary, by recognising an unelected and little-supported right-wing elitist against a president still supported by a large majority of Venezuelans in spite of his imperfections, the US is acting as an enemy of democracy and self-determination. By sending a war criminal as its envoy, it is endorsing murder and signalling ruthless contempt for the people of Venezuela and their democracy.

The UK government and its media allies have no business enabling Trump.

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  1. Abrams can act in full view these days. All the NGOs and human rights organisations have been coopted by the government.

      1. Elliott worked as a staffer for anti-détente Democratic Senator Henry Jackson as did Richard Perle and Frank Gaffney.

        Jackson was a strong supporter of the H bomb, opposed Eisenhower’s efforts to ban nuclear testing and demanded from President Nixon a purge of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency after the signing of the SALT I agreement on strategic nuclear weapons in 1972.

        Jackson is the inspiration for the Henry Jackson Society with which a number of MPs, including some Labour ones, have links.

  2. Are some Trump voters dismayed by stories like this I wonder? If not, then they deserve the ridicule directed at them.

    This horrible news story follows on the heels of the story about Trump making way for the United State’s to withdraw from the INF Treaty.

    What a nightmare! (Do these idiotic politicians and the owners of the weapons companies not have their own children or grandchildren? Do they not think about how a nuclear war could affect their own family?)

    Would Hillary Clinton have brought the US out of the INF Treaty too?

    As for the EU recognising Guaido, which will only help to destabilise Venezuela – I consider that EU vote an act of war.

    I learned a lot about Venezuela from this video:


    1. That video is also a lesson in how MSM propaganda works to keep the domestic public onside or passive whilst the modern extreme militarised Capitalist empire commits atrocity after atrocity murdering, maiming, poisoning and impoverishing untold millions of ‘unpeople’.

      Did you see this article about the EU parliament vote?

      1. Thank you Maria.

        I was completely shocked and sickened to read about the EU recognising Guaido. It’s the most immoral thing the EU has ever done in my opinion.

        I couldn’t read through all your link because it made me too angry. A little silver lining comes in the form of Italy rejecting the EU’s stance on Venezuela. India and many African countries have too.

        Well done Italy, India and Africa for recognising Maduro as Venezuela’s rightful leader and for not meddling in Venezuela’s affairs.

      2. Loftkarisson

        “I was completely shocked and sickened to read about the EU recognising Guaido. It’s the most immoral thing the EU has ever done in my opinion.”

        Another good reason for upholding the Brexit vote, I’d say. We shouldn’t be associating with such people!

      3. “Well done Italy, India and Africa for recognising Maduro as Venezuela’s rightful leader and for not meddling in Venezuela’s affairs.”

        Also, Russia, China, Iran, Turkey, Bolivia, Mexico, Uruguay, Guyana, El Salvador, Cuba, St Lucia and …UN!

    2. Never mind the Trump voters-the Democratic politicians are saying virtually nothing. That is the problem: there is no pushback from the left. These are the people that Blair got his inspiration from.
      Even Sanders, while advising against direct intervention, is repeating all the lies being used against Venezuela and adding to their veracity among the electorate.

      1. Sanders is a spineless sell-out. He disappoints again and again. His endorsement of Hillary Clinton remains a mystery to me.

    3. “Are some Trump voters dismayed by stories like this I wonder? If not, then they deserve the ridicule directed at them.”
      Somebody would have to explain “dismayed” “ridicule” and “directed” to them first.

      Simpsons explained the need for the INF treaty best:

      1. You are correct. When it comes to nuclear weapons – the only way to win is not to play.

        A nuclear strike on the other side of the world would contaminate the soil, air and water. Contamination which will slowly spread across the planet in the way the leaks from Fukushima are spreading now.

      2. … and supporters of Trump actually embrace his loopy ideas and actions – or disbelieve them if it so suits.

        ‘The wisdom of crowds’ is a saying of very limited application. A lot of collective “wisdom” is actually folk rubbish – sometimes dangerous.

  3. Talking of ‘democracy destroyers’, please help Tony Greenstein out if you can. As Tony shows in the following article, the Campaign Against Anti-semitism are not the least bit concerned about anti-semitism, and their only objective is to smear and demonise Jeremy Corbyn and the left and, as such, sabotage JC’s leadership and his chances of winning a general election:


    1. Completely endorse this. The Israeli propaganda campaign is one of the worst examples of an insult to holocaust victims, using them as cover for political ends. The targeting of Tony Greenstein is an example of the foul corruption that is the Israeli lobby.

    2. It’s 13.35 and I just this minute clicked on the link I posted above to an article by Tony Greenstein, and the link is now bringing up a completely different page. And you can bet you life it WASN’T Tony who changed it. Perhaps the spooks that changed it will now change it back! They do so lurve playing games!

  4. Just allow me a silly question, please. Can Venezuela deny this bloke entry into the country? I feel by appointing him trump and others do not really seem inclined to ne constructive. Their main interest is get their grubby little mitts on the oil.

    1. He won’t be going to Venzuela anymore than Trump or Pelosi will be, They kill from long distance, if they saw any of their victims they would likely faint at the blood.

  5. These are the VILE Right Wing Barbarians in the World we are up against and see how the bourgeois US poodles in the West etc. when the GROTESQUE Trump regime says “Jump!” squeak “How high?”
    I call Trump, Pence, Abrams out as Nazi’s – they should be in front of The Hague (if the US Right Wing Bullies hadn’t opted out of this human rights criminal court).
    They need to be held to account by the World!
    The diverse working people of the USA are great but if the Right Wing US Rich Barbarians (including Bush plus our own Barbarian Blair) were put on trial there, there would be celebrations by diverse working humanity – all of us who really create the wealth and make societies work.
    Diverse working people of the World unite!
    Stand by democratic socialist Venezeula!

  6. “Tonight Dear World, in your darkest hour.
    Struts the Barbarian to con most of THEM!
    But the heart and brain of the worker knows:
    “There is a rosé in Spanish Harlem.”

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