WASHINGTON – May 3, 2019 – Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro should not trust anyone around him, especially Cubans and Russians, said US envoy to the Caribbean country, Eliott Abrams, trying to plant seeds of mistrust at the Miraflores Palace.
Abrams was named by the administration of US President Donald Trump to lead the effort to overthrow Maduro and replace him with the self-proclaimed “interim president,” Juan Guaidó.
The American protege tried on Tuesday to provoke a military revolt in the country, filming himself next to a military base in Caracas, with some men uniformed behind him, while speaking, but could not.
In the aftermath, Abrams joined the chorus of top US officials telling the public that Maduro’s government is about to fall.
Speaking to Venezuelan TV channel US-VPItv, the US special envoy to Venezuela said Guaidó was involved in negotiations with senior military commanders behind Maduro’s back, which he was not aware of at the meeting. That’s what Abrams said.
The diplomat tried to sow the seeds of doubt in Maduro’s heart, if he attended the interview.
“Maduro can not trust his environment, including anyone who claims to be loyal to him. He can not count on that. Especially the Cubans and the Russians,” Abrams said.
Was the US envoy telling the truth? Abrams’ record is not exactly one of undiminished honesty. He was even convicted in 1991 for lying to Congress about the Iran-Contra affair – the CIA’s Reagan-era operation to sell weapons to Iran and use unrecorded money to send weapons to militants in Nicaragua – but received pardon from the vice Reagan’s president, George H. Bush, who became president at the time.
Other primary figures on the “Topple Maduro” team gave bombastic statements similar to the media after the failed coup, explaining that the days of the “regime” are numbered.
Secretary of State and former CIA chief Mike Pompeo said the Venezuelan president was about to flee the country on Tuesday but was told to stay with the Russians – a story Abrams told in his interview as well. Moscow called it “false news.”
And National Security Adviser John Bolton claimed that Maduro, in fear, was hiding in a military bunker in fear of his own people. But the reality was different: Maduro was giving a speech in front of a crowd of thousands of followers in Caracas.