Brasil de Fato
Tensions remained high throughout Wednesday after a group of trespassers wearing clothes in support of the self-proclaimed president of Venezuela Juan Guaidó forcibly entered the Venezuelan embassy in Brasília, the capital of Brazil, early in the morning. The invaders only left the building after more than 12 hours.
The pro-Guaidó group was escorted out of the Venezuelan embassy by the police through the back exit.
The police were called in the morning and pepper sprayed groups that gathered outside the Venezuelan offices to demonstrate in support and against the trespassers several times during the day.
The decision to leave the embassy was taken after hours of negotiation between a representative of the trespassers, Tomás Silva, and a Brazilian foreign ministry officer, Maurício Correia.
Learning about the end of the invasion, hundreds of supporters of the Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro who were gathering outside the embassy celebrated and chanted democracy and sovereignty in Latin America.
The incident started hours before the beginning of the 11th BRICS Summit, also in Brasília, when leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa are meeting. Except for Brazil, all countries of the group support Nicolás Maduro.
In the afternoon, the president of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, wrote on Twitter that he repudiates the interference of “external agents” in the embassy, and that his government is “taking the necessary measures to maintain public order and prevent acts of violence, in accordance with the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.”
The Brazilian congressman Glauber Braga, of the Socialism and Freedom Party (PSOL), spoke from inside the embassy and argued that Brazil’s forein policy was “playing a dubious game that could aim to escalate the conflict,” questioning why no orders were given until late in the afternoon for the trespassers to leave the embassy, as authorities had been officially notified of the incident.
Another Brazilian congressman who was also inside the embassy in support of the Venezuelan government, Paulo Pimenta, of the Workers’ Party (PT), said that the intruders are a paramilitary group hired to break into the diplomatic offices.
“The embassy is under the control of [Nicolás] Maduro’s representative, but the trespassers remain inside the offices,” Pimenta said during the day, in response to a tweet by senator Eduardo Bolsonaro, who claimed that the employees of the embassy voluntarily acknowledged Guaidó as president.
“The attitude of the Brazilian government was bad,” Pimenta argued, explaining that, at first, the Brazilian government sent officials who claimed they didn’t recognize the Maduro government. “Some Maurício Correia got here and said, ‘Juan Guaidó is the president, and you [Maduro representatives] are here illegally.’ When the Brazilian government did that, they backed the invasion. Hours later, Bolsonaro stated something different, maybe because of the international backlash,” the congressman said.
The trespassers entered the building where Venezuelan officials live with their families – four children were in the premises –, and later a group also entered the embassy to try to resolve the situation.
Three members of Brazil’s Congress were part of this effort: in addition to Pimenta and Braga, Samia Bonfim, of the Socialism and Freedom Party, was also present, as well as a federal judge, a chief of federal police, a military police commanding officer, and the representative of the Brazilian government’s foreign ministry, Mauricio Correia.
In the afternoon, around 300 people, including Maduro supporters, Guaidó backers, and journalists gathered outside the embassy.
The organizations that joined the demonstration in solidarity with Venezuela include the Landless Workers’ Movement (MST), the Homeless Workers’ Movement (MTST), the Communist Party of Brazil (PCdoB), the PT, the PSOL, the Brazilian Communist Party (PCB), the National Union of Students (UNE), the youth organization Levante Popular da Juventude, and the Unified Workers’ Central (CUT).
Congresswoman Erika Kokay, of the PT, said the invasion of the Venezuelan embassy by Guaidó backers was a criminal act that “damages sovereignty and democracy,” calling authorities to investigate the case.
“The trespassing of the Venezuelan embassy in Brasília exposes the Bolsonaro administration on the day of the BRICS Summit. The message that sends to the world is that embassies of governments that are not ideologically aligned with Brazil are vulnerable,” she said.
The Jair Bolsonaro government recognizes Guaidó as president of Venezuela.
*With reports by Cristiane Sampaio and Erick Gimenes; Igor Carvalho collaborated.
Edition: Rodrigo Chagas and Katarine Flor | English version by Aline Scátola
How the invasion of the Venezuelan embassy threatens the stability of the continent…
Relations between the Venezuelan opposition and the Bolsonaro family show links between regional right-wing blocs
The invasion of the Venezuelan embassy in Brasilia (DF), on Wednesday (13), opened a series of questions about a supposed support of Itamaraty to the invaders and about the relationship of the Bolsonaro family with Venezuelan opponents. The approximately 20 people, including Brazilians and Venezuelans, were trying to make room for the diplomatic corps appointed by the country’s self-proclaimed president, Juan Guaidó, to be installed. Although not elected, Guaidó is recognized by Jair Bolsonaro’s government.
A little more than 12 hours and several international accusations later, the armed vigil in front of the building and the articulation of the parliamentary benches of the PT and the PSOL managed to get the invaders removed from the diplomatic headquarters.
However, it was remarkable that President Jair Bolsonaro published two versions of a message rejecting the action. In the first publication, he spoke of “invasion” and stated that measures had already been taken to protect public order. However, a few minutes later this message was deleted and replaced by a new text that deleted the word “invasion” and referred to it as “embassy events.
Another issue raised was the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ delay in containing the situation. Telmário Mota (PROS/RR), president of the Senate Foreign Affairs subcommittee, questioned the presence of Itamaraty officials controlling the entry and exit of the Venezuelan diplomatic headquarters. “I was prevented from entering by members of the Itamaraty. Since when can a country’s foreign ministry control the entry of an embassy, which is another country’s territory? They are putting Brazil in a war that is not ours,” he said in a video published on his social networks.
Guaidó’s supporters said the employees of @EmbaVEBrasil opened the door for them to occupy space. Mintieron: They invaded the Embajada with a cloned remote control to open the entrance gate. At the end of the soap opera they were escorted by the power of the fund. pic.twitter.com/H6nn9Sta1V
– Nacho Lemus (@LemusteleSUR) November 14, 2019
In addition, federal deputy Eduardo Bolsonaro (PSL-SP) published a video legitimizing the action of opponents. “If Brazil recognizes Guaidó as president of Venezuela, why was Ambassador Maria Teresa Belandria, appointed by him, not physically at the embassy? Apparently now the right is being done, the just,” wrote the president’s son.
I never understood this situation. If Brazil recognizes Guaidó as president of Venezuela, why wasn’t Ambassador Maria Teresa Belandria @matebe, appointed by him, physically at the embassy? Apparently now is being done right, the fair. pic.twitter.com/nQbTWBr55Q
– Eduardo Bolsonaro🇧🇷 (@BolsonaroSP) November 13, 2019
In June of this year, the Bolsonaro government received diplomatic credentials from Maria Teresa Belandria, a university professor and member of the Vente Venezuela movement, recognizing her as a Venezuelan ambassador to the country. However, Brazil did not break off relations with the team appointed by President Nicolás Maduro.
Until then, Belandria had not held any kind of administrative or official diplomatic function and occupied a trading room near the Esplanade of Ministries, where the headquarters of the opposing Venezuelan embassy was located.
It is not the first time that a Venezuelan diplomatic headquarters has been attacked by opponents. The first case was in February, a month after Guaidó’s self-proclamation, when the Costa Rican government suspended the credentials of Danilo González Ramírez, Venezuelan business manager appointed by Maduro. Although the Costa Rican Foreign Ministry criticized the takeover of the diplomatic headquarters in a violent manner, three months later the country allowed Guaidó’s ambassador, Maria Faria, and opposition diplomats to take over the Venezuelan embassy in San José, the capital of Costa Rica.
A similar case occurred in May in the United States, which was one of the first countries to recognize Guaidó as a legitimate head of state and to expel Venezuelan officials from the Maduro government. For almost a month, representatives of various US social movements defended the Venezuelan diplomatic building and ended up being expelled by the Washington police in an operation that injured all the articles of the Vienna Convention, which dictates mutual respect between nations by establishing embassies and consulates. The case still has repercussions today, with the arrest of journalist Max Blumenthal.
In November, shortly after assuming power in El Salvador, Nayib Bukele, of the center-right party GANA, also expelled Venezuelan diplomacy and began to recognize the Guaidó group. In this case, state security forces were used to ensure that the embassy would be emptied within 48 hours.
For days, Salvadoran social movements, united in a committee, defended the building and denounced, together with the administration of Nicolás Maduro, the violation of international law. The situation remains undefined, even though Venezuelan diplomats have already left San Salvador.
“To me it seems a clear sign of fragility. Having to resort to such foolish methods as this kind of bullying is because they evidently have serious problems maintaining this conflict over time. It is an act of cowardice, since they are taking advantage of a sovereign territory that will not have the defensive capacity it would have here,” said Misión Verdad Diego Sequeira, an analyst for the Venezuelan portal.
The roadmap of recognizing a parallel government and then suspending the credentials of the officials appointed by the constitutional government is repeated in different countries, because it is part of an arm of the hybrid war imposed by the United States against Venezuela: the diplomatic war.
According to Pentagon manuals, civil and media support is essential to consolidate the Fourth Generation War and bring about regime change.
According to the article “The Changing Face of War: Into the Fourth Generation,” published in the US Navy Gazette in the late 1980s, the method combines methods of warfare considered unconventional, such as “highly sophisticated psychological warfare, especially through media manipulation, particularly of television news. These are some of the measures considered by the U.S. military industrial complex to defend its interests in other countries.
“A very short-sighted, very visible, and very propagandist resource, if we think about media coverage. What is most alarming now is the clear message about the importance of the Venezuelan role. Behind it is the manufacture of an enemy of regional importance. It is the perfect equivalent of what was in a historical stage for the national security doctrine of the United States international communism. Now we have a kind of mixture between the enemy of communism with drug trafficking, jihadism and Putin’s Russia,” Sequeira said.
The first case of harassment of an embassy in this century occurred in Venezuela in 2002, when, right after the coup perpetrated against President Hugo Chávez, a group of opponents, led by Henrique Capriles, attacked the Cuban embassy in Caracas.
Jair Bolsonaro and his family also maintain good relations with other Venezuelan opposition actors living in Brazil. Roderick Navarro and Eduardo Bittar, creators of the extreme-right Rumbo Libertad movement, are allies of Eduardo Bolsonaro, the South American representative of “The Movement”, a kind of extremist superstition guided by the guru of Donald Trump, the strategist Steve Bannon.
Even the Venezuelan allies of the Bolsonaro clan question a supposed lack of radicalism in Juan Guaidó, whom they characterize as “socialist,” showing an even more reactionary position.
To the Venezuelan Iscquierda no le salen los memes 🤣🤣🤣🤣 pic.twitter.com/XKLOnEu2sV
– Roderick Navarro (@RoderickNavarro) November 13, 2019
“Here in Venezuela, who could Eduardo Bolsonaro identify as an ally? These ‘ideological warriors’ are no longer in Venezuela, because exile is a business now too,” says Sequeira.
However, the fact that the invasion of the Venezuelan embassy in Brasilia took place soon after a coup d’état in Bolivia and a few days before a new demonstration called by Guaidó in Venezuela does not seem to be a coincidence. For Sequeira, it is more evidence of the continental articulation between the sectors of the extreme right.
“No matter how silly this action may have been, it leaves a very clear message that says yes, there will be an increase in pressure at all levels in our region. My concern is that they now begin to carry out acts of conventional terrorism: car bombs, subway attacks, etc., because since they are weakened, that way out could be easier. This could contribute to regime change. The intentions are clear, but in order to achieve them they face the same problem: throughout the year, the most radical acts ended up going nowhere,” he says.
In January 2020, Guaidó was to hand over the office of president of the National Assembly, losing the legal justification to be the country’s interim president. The period of action of Guaidó and his US allies seems to be running out. “Now that the empire’s plans have not gone well, what happens? It’s a good question, to which we have no answer.
In January 2020, Guaidó was to hand over the office of president of the National Assembly, losing the legal justification to be the country’s interim president. The period of action of Guaidó and his US allies seems to be running out. “Now that the empire’s plans have not gone well, what happens? It’s a good question, to which we have no answer. This is good on the one hand and very dangerous on the other. But to be at this point and not in another of loss of everything already a victory”, concludes Sequeira.
Edition: Cris Rodrigues