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Trump Appoints Elliot Abrams, Who Backed Central American Death Squads, to Oversee Coup in Venezuela
Written by <a href="index.php?option=com_comprofiler&task=userProfile&user=39160"><span class="small">Andrew Buncombe, The Independent</span></a>   
Saturday, 26 January 2019 09:27

Buncombe writes: "The Trump administration has announced that Elliott Abrams, who was convicted over the Iran-Contra scandal in which the Ronald Reagan administration secretly funded paramilitary groups in Nicaragua, will lead the US's efforts to press for democracy in Venezuela."

Elliott Abrams, left, listens to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo talk about Venezuela at the State Department in Washington, Friday, January 25, 2019. (photo: Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP)
Elliott Abrams, left, listens to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo talk about Venezuela at the State Department in Washington, Friday, January 25, 2019. (photo: Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP)


Trump Appoints Elliot Abrams, Who Backed Central American Death Squads, to Oversee Coup in Venezuela

By Andrew Buncombe, The Independent

26 January 19


Elliott Abrams withheld information from Congress over secret funding of paramilitaries

he Trump administration has announced that Elliott Abrams, who was convicted over the Iran-Contra scandal in which the Ronald Reagan administration secretly funded paramilitary groups in Nicaragua, will lead the US’s efforts to press for democracy in Venezuela.

Secretary of state Mike Pompeo said the 71-year-old would oversee Washington’s outreach, after Donald Trump declared he would recognise Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, and not elected president Nicolas Maduro, as the nation’s legitimate ruler.

“Elliott will be a true asset to our mission to help the Venezuelan people fully restore democracy and prosperity to their country,” Mr Pompeo said, according to Reuters.

Mr Pompeo said Mr Abrams would accompany him to the United Nations on Saturday for a Security Council meeting on Venezuela where Washington will push other countries to recognise Mr Guaido as the country’s interim head of state. So far, Canada, Britain Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Paraguay, Peru, Ecuador, Guatemala and the Organisation of American States, have done so.

Russia, China, El Salvador, Mexico and Turkey have said they believe Mr Maduro remains the president.

Reuters described Mr Abrams was a neoconservative who has long advocated an activist US role in the world. He last served in government in the George W Bush White House, first as a Middle East expert on the national security council and later as a global democracy strategy adviser.

He was assistant secretary of state during the Reagan administration and was convicted in 1991 on two misdemeanour counts of withholding information from Congress during the Iran-Contra scandal. He was later pardoned by President George HW Bush.

For many Latin America watchers he will be associated with his denial of a 1982 massacre at El Mozote in El Salvador of hundreds of civilians by the military. Mr Abrams told a Senate committee that the reports of hundreds of deaths at El Mozote “were not credible”.

In 1993, after a UN truth commission which examined 22,000 atrocities that occurred during the twelve-year civil war in El Salvador, attributed 85 per cent of the abuses to the Reagan-assisted right-wing military and its death-squad allies, Mr Abrams said: “The administration’s record on El Salvador is one of fabulous achievement.”

Meanwhile on Friday, the two men both claiming to be president of Venezuela made different appeals for support.

At a press conference in Caracas, Mr Guaido urged followers to stage another mass protest next week, according to the Associated Press.

“They can cut a flower, but they will never keep spring from coming,” said Mr Guaido, alluding to a similar phrase from the Chilean poet Pablo Neruda. 

Mr Maduro spoke in the presidential palace before a room of journalists. 

“This is nothing more than a coup d’etat, ordered, promoted, financed and supported by the government of the United States,” he said. ”They intend to put a puppet government in Venezuela, destroy the state and take colonial control of the country.”

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+10 # BetaTheta 2019-01-26 12:15
Abrams belongs in a cell at The Hague. Perhaps, if he leaves the country, he will wind up there.
 
 
+8 # dsfingers 2019-01-26 13:15
Do you press for democracy?!? What a fucking joke. We seen how well that’s worked out throughout the world. Especially when running by an autocrat. Indeed the neocons are back in charge
 
 
+1 # DongiC 2019-01-27 03:55
Venezuela is quietly assuming more and more importance as a true archangel of evil, Elliott Abrams, returns to a position in the State Dept to help Venezuela attain a true democracy. This appointment is obscene. Abrams has blood on his hands as a result of his denial of the massacre of hundreds of civilians at El Mozote in El Salvador in 1982 by right wing, American backed death squads. Abrams also went to jail for his part in helping the rebels in the Iran-Contra scandal. For withholding information from Congress. HW Bush pardoned him in 1991.
 
 
+2 # ljslotnick 2019-01-28 07:41
There aren't too many people who still want to risk their necks by working for Trump. They now have to look pretty deep in the scummy pond ... and they found Abrams. Let's hope someone keeps an eye on him.
 
 
0 # Salus Populi 2019-01-29 18:25
Abrams should be hanged as an unrepentant mass murderer. With any luck, perhaps he will be captured and treated the way torture exponent Dan Mitrione was by the Tupamaros.

For those unfamiliar with El Mozote, for reporting which a star New York Times reporter was moved to a desk job, over 700 men, women, and children were massacred by the Salvadoran military, under direct orders from the Minister of Defense, a close U.S. protegé and ally, with the women raped first and tortured, and some of the babies used for bayonet practice -- thrown into the air and skewered on their way down -- while others were swung by their feet and had their heads smashed in on the rocks. A "fabulous achievement" indeed.