THE Emancipation Support Committee (ESC) has expressed concern over a possible attempt by the US to overthrow the government of Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro.
ESC director of regional and pan-African affairs Khafra Kambon, in a release to the media, said the Caribbean/Latin American region is now faced with a grave and imminent threat and "we all need to do what we can to stave off certain disaster.
"There are increasing indications, including reports in US and international media (Newsday could find no reports on official media sources), that the administration led by President Donald Trump is preparing to launch a military attack on Venezuela to overthrow the duly-elected government of President Nicholas Maduro as part of an ‘October Surprise’: a strategy used by incumbent US governments seeking some outstanding achievement in October of an election year to boost chances of re-election in November."
Kambon said "tell-tale signs" of this attack on the diplomatic side were the recent visit of "warmonger" US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Jamaica to hold talks with Prime Minister Andrew Holness, as well as a planned visit to Guyana from September 17-18.
"Observers are asking why the US government would give such high priority to Guyana that it would take the unprecedented step of sending its Secretary of State to congratulate the newly-elected government. Anxieties are increased by the fact that Guyana has a long porous border with Venezuela and that it houses a long-standing US military base which observers fear may be reactivated."
He also said the US military threat has been "manifest" for several months and cited military assets being placed in the Caribbean Sea, which was detailed in the Miami Herald as early as April 4, 2020 by Secretary of Defense Mark Esper.
"These included navy destroyers, coast guard cutters, navy littoral combat ships, helicopters, navy P-8 patrol aircraft, along with air force E-3 AWACS and E-8 JSTARS to carry out airborne surveillance, control, and communications."
He added: "Despite the ruin of its economy by vicious international sanctions enforced by the US and its allies, Venezuela is no pushover due to the strength of its national military, its massive armed civilian base, and support from powerful international allies, such as Russia and China. Any large-scale military action is therefore certain to have devastating ramifications for the Caribbean/Latin American region as well as wider international consequences that one dreads to contemplate."
Kambon said the consequences of such an attack will be much more far-reaching than the economic chaos and demographic displacement caused by US-imposed sanctions.
"Already small island states of the Caribbean have received more than 98,500 migrants according to a 2018 report from the United Nations. The report notes that as many as 40,000 now reside in TT.
"Given the gravity of this situation, the ESC wishes to commend the Guyana Human Rights Association and other NGOs and individuals in that country for speaking out and to call on all the governments of Caricom, civil society organisations and individuals to raise their voices against the unfolding tragedy before it is too late."
He added: "We stand in solidarity with the Government and people of Venezuela. War must not trump democracy."
National Security Minister Stuart Young could not be reached for comment.