Before they launch missiles, they launch narratives. Before they drop bombs, they drop talking points. Before they implement crushing starvation sanctions, they demonize and condemn. Before they invade, they propagandize. Before the killing starts, manipulation paves the way.

For this reason, the front line of any antiwar movement is a fight against the establishment narratives about disobedient nations that are aggressively promulgated by the political/media class. And right now one of the very most adept Americans at doing that is an activist named Medea Benjamin.

Benjamin once again displayed her knack for getting her message seen in high-profile spaces in a way that grabs attention and punches through cleanly and concisely as she crashed the warmongering bloviations of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at a meeting of the Organization for American States (OAS) in Washington, DC.

Following a speech in which Pompeo regurgitated already established Trump talking points referring to Venezuela’s president Nicolas Maduro as the “former president”, accusing him of being “economically incompetent”, “profoundly corrupt” and “undemocratic to the core,” Benjamin cut off his applause by standing at the end of the council room with a sign reading “OAS: DON’T SUPPORT A COUP IN VENEZUELA” and decrying the Trump administration’s attempts to topple the Venezuelan government.

“Don’t support the coup!” Benjamin shouted. “A coup is not a democratic transition! Do not listen to Secretary Pompeo! Do not support the coup! Do no support the coup in Venezuela!”

“We call on the OAS to support the democratically elected leader and work for a negotiated solution,” Medea continued to yell as security staff cajoled her out of the room. “Coups only bring more violence, war and destruction!”

And of course Medea Benjamin is correct. This US-led coup is not different from all the other US-led coups in South America and in oil-rich nations around the world; it is designed to be profitable for the already wealthy and strategically advantageous for the already powerful, with none of the interest in humanitarianism and democracy that it always pretends to have.

For those of you who haven’t been following this story, here’s a quick breakdown:

Venezuela has the largest proven oil reserves of any nation on the planet, and if that one fact right there doesn’t raise your suspicions, you’ve got a lot to learn about US interventionism. US foreign interventions often boil down to resource control, so if a resource-rich nation refuses to be absorbed into the blob of the US-centralized power alliance it’s a safe bet that you’ll eventually hear the US State Department saying that the people in that nation are in bad need of some Freedom and Democracy (read: starvation sanctions and CIA coups). Venezuela has been no exception, and the economic strangulations which have been heaped upon the nation under both the previous administration and the current one have effectively made it nearly impossible for its economy to get its head above water. Add in the fact that the CIA Director all but admitted in 2017 that the agency was working to topple the Venezuelan government, and it’s not surprising that we’re seeing civil unrest there today.

Anyway, on Wednesday some guy named Juan declared that he was the real president of Venezuela and not Nicolas Maduro, who was democratically elected by an overwhelming majority in May of last year in an election which was found to have been perfectly legitimate by the international Council of Electoral Experts of Latin America. Juan Guaido did not win any election to this position, nor indeed has he ever campaigned for it. The basis for the claim of Maduro’s illegitimacy, a congressional interpretation of Article 233 of Venezuela’s Constitution, was struck down by the nation’s highest court as fraudulent. Nevertheless, on Wednesday the Trump administration announced that it would no longer be recognizing Venezuela’s elected government and would only be recognizing the office of Juan the guy. This move was copied by Canada and a host of South American US allies.

This is of course a huge move by the United States. The only thing that holds governments in place is people’s recognition of them, and on an international level that means their being recognized by other governments. If China ceased recognizing America’s current government and instead conducted all its diplomacy through some guy named Steve who works at the Home Depot in Newark, New Jersey, all diplomatic relations between the two nations would instantly crumble. In light of this brazen act, Maduro said all US diplomats have 72 hours to leave the nation, to which the Trump administration replied that it has no intention of doing since the order came from Maduro and not the rando named Juan (who as noted by Moon of Alabama is very keen on changing Venezuela’s oil policies to America’s advantage).

So now the US is, as WikiLeaks observed, effectively conducting “a small occupation” of Venezuela by keeping its diplomats in the nation illegally. If the Venezuelan government (the actual one, not the imaginary one) were to make a move to throw them out, things could get really ugly.

“And so the confrontation begins, as I anticipated just hours ago,” tweeted Venezuelan-American attorney and journalist Eva Golinger when this news broke. “Maduro expels US diplomats, they refuse to leave. If he tries to force them out, US will respond, with ‘all options on the table’ (military intervention). This is a total reality show, invent a reason to invade.”

And the Trump administration has indeed made it clear that it considers “all options on the table” up to and including a full-scale military invasion of Venezuela.

“All options are on the table for the United States in regards to actions to be taken,” a senior administration official told reporters on Wednesday, adding, “When we say ‘all options are on the table’ that means all options are on the table.”

So this is a full-fledged coup attempt, being pushed along by starvation sanctions, CIA covert ops, and copious amounts of propaganda, and it has become a tinder box that could erupt into a US-funded “civil” war or direct US military involvement at the drop of a hat. The mass media is as usual moving almost exclusively in the direction of unquestioning support for this trajectory. The time to protest is not when the bombs start falling, but when the war propaganda gets rolled out, as is happening right now.

Medea Benjamin is showing the way for anyone who’s sick of standing by feeling helpless while the US steamrolls another nation beneath the treads of its insatiable war machine. If you’re looking for ideas on how to disrupt the narratives of war, she’s setting a very good example for everyone.


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44 responses to “Antiwar Hero Medea Benjamin Disrupts Venezuela Coup Circle Jerk”

  1. Some points:
    1. I certainly don’t think any of the ongoing US interference is justified or beneficial, but the issue of legitimacy in this case seems more convoluted to me than it was in Ukraine. Both sides have made some effort to preserve at least an appearance of abiding by the constitution, while accusing each other of violating it. AFAICS, the opposition-controlled National Assembly’s outright refusal to recognise and obey the authority of pro-Maduro Supreme Tribunal since 2017 was always illegal; it is perhaps comprehensible that Maduro in return refused to recognise the legitimacy of the National Assembly, but his ‘creative’ attempts to simply bypass it first by means of the Supreme Tribunal and then by means of a Constituent Assembly have inevitably been legally rather questionable, too. Most importantly, the opposition points out that the presidential elections should have been summoned by the National Assembly, but were summoned by the Constituent Assembly instead (although that didn’t prevent the various opposition parties from either trying to participate or actually participating in the election, so it apparently didn’t seem like such a crucial point to them at first). I don’t think that this a sufficient justification for resorting to violence.The current approach of the US and its allies, stoking the flames of the conflict, is pernicious and malevolent, as it always has been in Venezuela and in Latin America in general. Instead, some sort of dialogue and national reconciliation involving the more moderate parts of the opposition should take place, as should a return to indisputably consitutional procedures.
    2. Of course the US is fighting socialism in Venezuela – the fact that he is also doing it because of oil and hegemony does not contradict that. US hegemony is about serving the interests of US private corporations, and US private corporations operate outside of the US, so any socialism abroad is just as incompatible with their interests as socialism at home is. The Venezuelan people’s taking its oil and wealth back from US private capital and local private capital in order to use it for their own benefit is both socialistic and anti-hegemonic, and it is natural that the US fights it. US right-wingers are quite consistent in siding with US corporations and Venezuelan plutocrats, just as they do at home when they attack state-provided social services in the interests of the plutocracy, with which they are solidary against the poor.
    3. While US sanctions are criminal and immoral and have played a noxious part – Western anti-imperialists should campaign against them – even sympathetic economists such as Mark Weisbrot agree that the Chavista government has made some serious mistakes in the management of the economy, making it possible for the US to do what it does. If the current US-backed opposition gains power, it is certain to enact cannibalistic neoliberal policies to benefit US companies and Venezuelan plutocrats; but if the Chavistas can’t or won’t make some drastic changes to stop the economic collapse – even while the US does its best to sabotage them – I doubt that it will be possible for them to preserve enough support to hold out much longer; even neoliberal stability can seem more tolerable than utter chaos.
    4. Now CJ’s libertarian and conservative fans inevitably have to part ways with her; any appeals to things like pacifism, national sovereignty, democracy and civil rights are bound to be in vain, since they are quite prepated to throw all these things under the bus in order to prevent socialism. That’s precisely what libertarianism and conservatism have always really been about, after all. Agreeing with their absurd claims that the US government doesn’t provide any useful social services – allowing them to starve US children in order to prevent the bombing of foreign children – is not enough to retain their affection; one has to be committed to fighting useful social services in foreign countries, too, for they are a supreme threat to their interests and worldview wherever they exist.

    1. I realise there was an omission in section 1 above; while nobody is likely to read this old comment, I hate leaving written things imprecise. As I wrote, the argument that Maduro’s election as president was not strictly constitutional, because the constitution does not mention that a National Constituent Assembly can summon such an election, does not seem negligible. I should, however, add that is based on the assumption that a National Constituent Assembly (‘Asamblea Nacional Constituyente’) does not count as a specific subtype of a National Assembly (‘Asamblea Nacional’) and does not have all the rights of an ordinary National Assembly, and while I am not a lawyer, this not obvious to me. Furthermore, his previous term hasn’t actually expired either (he assumed office on 19 April 2013, and the presidential term is 6 years), so even if his election is invalid, he is still the lawful president!
      Guaidó’s claim based on article 233 of the constitution is hardly better than Maduro’s, because that article explicitly enumerates all the ways in which a president may become ‘permanently unavailable to serve’, and none of them applies. He cannot reasonably be claimed to have ‘abandoned his position’. The list doesn’t even include the term being expired, but in any case that hasn’t happened yet. The only possibility would be that he has been ‘removed from office by decision of the Supreme Tribunal of Justice’, but that would only possible if the Panama-based alternative ‘Supreme Tribunal of Justice in exile’ were legitimate. Admittedly, opposition figures now argue that there were legal irregularities in the appointment of the members of the Chavista Supreme Tribunal of Justice. (It should, however, be noted that initially, they did act as if they recognised it and stopped doing so only at a certain stage in the escalation of their conflict with the STJ.) More crucially, to produce its own alternative STJ, the opposition-controlled National Assembly needed, per article 264, to have the approval of the so-called Citizen Power, which is Chavista-controlled, so they couldn’t possibly have got it. This makes me conclude that its STJ cannot be constitutional and thus cannot have removed Maduro.
      To sum up, a drastic move such as proclaiming and recognising an alternative president should not be made in the absence of a clear and indisputable legal justification, and the justification in this case is, well, anything but clear and indisputable. In practice, of course, might makes right for the US, just as we saw in Iraq, but it is scandalous that other countries and international institutions go along with it so easily these days.

      1. United States has made a practice of interfering with the political Affairs of other countries for at least the last 100 years, but it’s now yelling and screaming because it might be that the Russians have interfered with our political affairs. well I certainly don’t approve of this, there is a certain delicious irony associated with it. the u.s. is now interfering with the internal political Affairs of Venezuela for the benefit of large US corporations and oil companies. other countries go along with this because they are afraid not to. only North Korea has had the good sense to arm itself in a way that almost virtually guarantees the US will stay out of its affairs.

  2. Capitalist bullies do not hesitate to use mass murder to get what they want. Our Rulers are just as violent and vicious as they could possibly be. There is no need to create fictional monsters of evil, we are living with the real thing.

    1. Mike, “Capitalist bullies do not hesitate to use mass murder to get what they want.”

      Socialist bullies do not hesitate to use mass murder to get what they want.

      Communist bullies do not hesitate to use mass murder to get what they want.

      All governments are made up of bullies who do not hesitate to use mass murder to get what they want.

      1. The false dichotomies, and accompanying false narratives of capitalism versus socialism, and conservative versus liberal in the U.S., and in much of the rest of the world are just that. They’re little more than live theater of absurd distraction from a very brutal reality.

        The world is mostly run by hard core criminals who work in dark shadows behind the scenes. They elevate their fronts in the political class who they buy on the cheap to help consolidate, with an appearance only of legitimacy, the criminal wealth in the hands of a few, while screwing the rest of the population, particularly in resource rich, “less developed” countries where “spreading democracy” that the U.S. does so well with it’s “democratic” allies of the U.K, Canada, Australia, Germany, France, Italy, etc. really means spreading unmitigated terror, torture, and starvation while plundering natural resources, and polluting like they poisoned American waters, air, soil, etc. in the late 1880’s through the 1970’s until the citizen-led environmental movement helped mitigate their barbarity.

        1. Dennis, a false dichotomy is labeling the current system capitalism when it is not capitalism but rather corporatism/fascism. The difference is that the former is based on freedom of trade with no coercion while the latter requires coercion.

          Of course the world is ruled by psychos. Wherever there is power there will always be control freak narcissists seeking and obtaining power. In as most powerful amount they can obtain in whatever power orbit can take them the closest to absolute power. Power is the enemy. Ignorance is not power but power arises from ignorance.

          1. Your idealised capitalism has never existed. Capitalists have power over their workers – the ‘freedom’ to choose between starvation/pauperdom and obedience is not freedom. Capitalists control their workers – not because they are ‘control freaks’, but in order to squeeze as much as possible out of them. Capitalists do act like narcissistic psychos to maximise their profit. You can’t maintain capitalist property without coercion. If the state didn’t do the coercion, the capitalists would do it themselves – except that their private armies and police forces would keep fighting each other, until one won and became the new state.

            1. FF, “Your idealised capitalism has never existed.”

              Fully agree. But then If capitalism does not exist then how can you and the lefties claim it is responsible for the current mess? If capitalism does not exist then the rest of your post is made moot.

              “Capitalists have power over their workers – the ‘freedom’ to choose between starvation/pauperdom and obedience is not freedom.”

              A false premise. One, capitalist employers have no power over anyone because two, no one is forced to be employed by anyone because three, anyone is free to employ themselves therefore the claim that it is either employment by a mean ol’ boss or starvation is false.

          2. Also, too – a state (sorry, ‘gubmint’) is a group of people that you and other people in your community have hired to do certain types of work for you. If you don’t want them to be the ones doing the work, or if you don’t want the work to be done at all, you just have to convince the other people in your community not to hire them – or else you have to move to another community that suits you better. Theoretically, you could also live independently of any pre-existing community, if you managed to find any habitable territory that wasn’t already taken by some community. In general – barring that last option – if you live among other people, there will always be rules, and you and the other people will be ‘coercing’ each other to comply with them.

            1. There is a difference between the use of reason and the use of coercion. Freedom permits the former but rejects the latter.

        2. You may be as ecumenic as you want, but in the end you’ll have to decide whether he has to pay so a child doesn’t starve or not. You’ll also have to decide whether he gets to be the unaccountable boss pushing around a thousand workers to maximise his profit or not. These are not false dichotomies. And you’ll need to have some names for these alternatives, so you might as well keep the old ones.

  3. Sorry, you’re 100% wrong on this one. Maduro is a leftist dictator who set aside election results unseating him, and when he lost control of the legislature, simply appointed an alternative legislature to do his bidding. His nationalized oil industry destroyed half the country’s capacity for production of crude oil and two-thirds of its refining capacity.

    “Some guy named Juan” is Juan Guaidó, an elected opposition legislator. He’s young, yes, but opposition politicians in Venezuela tend to live shortened lives.
    Neighboring nations like Ecuador are flooded with desperate refugees crossing their borders on foot with no possessions.

    Don’t let your socialist self-definition blind you to the abuses of socialist governments. Governments are immoral regardless of their ideology.

    1. It is not about the ideology of any particular government, it is about allowing the people of their own nation deciding what they want.

      The Anglo-Zionist empire in its infinite hypocrisy is telling its serfs that ‘Russia meddled in US elections while at the same time openly trying to destroy Venezuela for its oil.

    2. De verás?… cuanto investigaste de verdad? o te pagan al igual que al impostor: 20 millones de $, disimulado humanitaria, Ecuador es un país en declive con un gobierno mentiroso y manipulador. Los trolls siempre están a la orden para difamar.


      Dwyer Worrell Peri, Maduro was clearly and decisively elected. Ongoing efforts by America and allies to make things impossible for him, fueling much of the current situation. It’s an outright American coup. Canada, where I live, has been part of the strangulation efforts.

      Here’s an account of Maduro’s presidencies by Consortium News, whom Caitlin has recognized as a most trusted site:

    4. “Maduro is a leftist dictator” Repeating the constant litany of lies heard on Fox TV eh..Wheres your evidence dipstick?

  4. The people who voted for Maduro in 2017 are unlikely to take kindly to being bullied by their big bad neighbor. I expect significant resistance, possibly a full scale civil war, which is never a good thing.

  5. No Blood for OIL……………………………………………………………..”Obama 2011 : Gaddafi producing 1.6 million barrels of oil a day, must go……………………………………………..”Trump 2011 : Maduro producing 1.4 million a day, must go.” … (see wikileaks tweet, go directly to jail for viewing TRUTH). Free Assange and Palestine. BDS

    1. Results : Chaos, death. God Bless Amerika (repeat). Wave flags. Dems and R’s support this once again. Rise.

  6. Maduro should isolate the embassy, cut off power, water and internet/phone coverage (jamming somehow) to confound the CIA operatives.
    Putin has to finally do more than sabre rattling. My country is in the five eyes group and that makes me wild too. Blindly tagging along with the US/UK mob.

    1. I tend to agree, but all of the above actions may provide the pretext for a U.S. invasion. It should be noted that the Venezeulan military has, thus far, expressed support for Maduro, which may complicate the coup-makers’ plans.

      1. I wonder if the American public will support yet another war, one which might not prove very easy or cheap to wage or even get out of. A war which might as well spread to neighboring countries, in other words, get a lot bigger.

        1. The criminal thugs who lord over the U.S. are far more likely to do what pedophile GHW Bush’s idiot son’s administration did to Chavez which is send in the criminal gangs that the Clowns In America from our “intelligence” services run to foment a coup. GW Bush, a former coke head, alcoholic moron, who was about as bright as was drone boy Bath House Barry, one of Rahm Emanuel’s partners, behind the scenes if you know what I mean, comes from a long line of fascist criminals. Prescott loved Hitler.

        2. As you go about your day, look around you. People don’t care.

          I’m here in Toronto Canada. I have homes away from home. I go to independent coffee shops and hang. I get to know regulars. I talk with owners and the baristas who all know me. I’ve been doing this for years. I know a lot of ‘good’ people. The people I work with: oblivious and uninterested. They are all ‘good’ people. And then there’s all the bad people out there.

  7. Excellent points as usual

  8. The only thing surprising here is how blatantly obvious this all is. How does anyone not see it for what it is?!

    1. The power of propaganda on ignorant, uncritical minds is unopposed and very effective.

      1. Mike, “The power of propaganda on ignorant, uncritical minds is unopposed and very effective.”

        Yup. This is why “democracy” is nonsense. A nation of fools cannot govern itself.

  9. With the blatant and reckless interference in Venezuela by Trump and his minions we at last see the globalist controlled US government for what it really is.
    Indeed only the wilfully blind can now claim that the US is still the worlds policeman when it is patently obvious that it is a cartel which benefits a tiny number of super rich individuals and companies who regard the earth and its peoples as their own, to do with as they please. The world needs many more brave people like Medea.

  10. Random castagna Avatar
    Random castagna

    And once again I am ashamed to be an American. As the truth slowly emerges, helped along by Caitlin and others, it gets worse and worse.

  11. The first two paragraphs of this essay are probably the most brilliant, concise definition of how the Deep State bamboozles the populace than anything i’ve ever read. The one thing Caitlin forgot is this buried headline-worthy news: “Coincidence? Venezuela Green Lights Russia to Mine Gold, Days Later US Attempts Overthrow.”

  12. Here is another great female Anti-imperialist hero.
    ‘Hashemi said she was “humbled” by global calls to free her, but the mission was far from accomplished as many others could face the same ordeal as long as the US justice system remained the same.

    “I’ve always been a person to say what I believe, and to be a firm believer in trying to fight for what is right and what is true and very much against oppression,” Hashemi said. “So, people like me always pay a price.”

    “What happened to me could happen to anyone, and it’s not about me, Marzieh Hashemi,” she added.’

  13. There is not much to say. I used to look up to the USA, but those Times are long gone. A Bunch of murderous Bastards. How the World can be standing by while things like these happen, shamelessly, and in full View of the World is beyond me. Does nobody care anymore? Where have America’s Values gone? Or did they never have any? It is about Time that somebody puts them back into their Place again. What a rotten Nation America has become. Shame on them, all of them. With exception of the Author of this piece.
    Hubert Reiter
    Australia (originally from Austria)

  14. Yes, Agent Orange wants Venezuela’s oil. It’s as simple as that. Might makes right, gangsterism as usual, etc.
    Here’s O’bomb’em’s March 9, 2015 Executive Order in which he declared: “a national emergency with respect to the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States posed by the situation in Venezuela.”
    So, “the situation in Venezuela” posed such an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and “foreign policy” of the United States that a “national emergency” was declared IN THE US which, presumably, has been in effect for almost the last four years. As usual, just exactly WHAT IT IS about the “situation” that poses such a threat to the US and its “foreign policy” has to my knowledge never been stated. (Speaking of a “threat to US foreign policy”, just exactly WHAT IS the US’s “foreign policy”– to take whatever it wants from wherever it wants in the world, or it will attack whoever owns it?)

    The US’s shale oil experiment/miracle is not going to last much longer because it’s a great big fat money-loser. Also, the recent Russian bomber trip to Venezuela must have alarmed and enraged the US Elite. An increased invasion of Venezuela by US CIA agents and mercenaries is ongoing. Almost certainly the CIA agents have been active in Venezuela since that O’bomb’em Executive Order four years ago that was necessary to “legalize” the imposition of all kinds of “sanctions” and taking that covert action. The Bolsonaro election didn’t help matters, either. Now Pompeo wants to give the new US-puppet-president $20 million to tide him over until Maduro is murdered.

    Nicaragua and Cuba will likely be next in line to receive the US’s gift of freedom and democracy that was lovingly doled out to Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, etc. So far, anyway, Syria has refused delivery, but never underestimate the power of false flags and warmongering “lawmakers”.

    1. Two more points worth mentioning. First and foremost, the “man” that campaigned on a platform of no more regime changes now has his very own war to make him pround.
      Second, just look at what happened to Turkey and various EU countries as a result of the US spreading its wonderful freedom and democracy in Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, etc. — a tsunami of refugees and migrants struck hard. After Agent Orange re-creates its wonderful middle eastern utopias all over Latin America, there will very likely be a similar tsunami of “migrant caravans” heading northward to the promised land of milk, honey and slave wages. Maybe this is why Agent Orange wants the wall built ASAP.

      1. All part of the great plan to destroy the cultures of all nations and create their own unique version of one world, one people, one government. “Order out of chaos”.

        1. Brad, nailed it. None of what is happening is by accident or coincidence.

  15. Well this should be interesting. The U.S. Intelligence thugs usually conduct these operations with the lights out and attention diverted elsewhere. This time there seem to be a lot of eyes wide open. That’s not going to slow them down very much at all however, the much maligned MSM is being given an opportunity for some redemption. A chance to display a modicum of journalistic professionalism and call this charade for what it is. I for one will be watching and waiting for the first major media entity to expose it all.

  16. Well this should be interesting. The U.S. Intelligence thugs usually conduct these operations with the lights out and attention diverted elsewhere. This time there seem to be a lot of eyes wide open. That’s not going to slow them down very much at all however the much maligned MSM is being given an opportunity for some redemption. A chance to display a modicum of journalistic professionalism and call this charade for what it is. I for one will be watching and waiting for the first major media entity to expose it all.

  17. The Silence on Wall Street’s Dark Pools Is Deafening
    The Senate Banking Committee of 1934 concluded as follows:

    “The conclusion is inescapable that members of the organized exchanges who had a participation in or managed pools, while simultaneously acting as brokers for the general public, were representing irreconcilable interests and attempting to discharge conflicting functions. Yet the stock exchange authorities could perceive nothing unethical in this situation.”

  18. The United States Is At It Again: Compiling An Enemies List!
    The Administration of President Donald Trump, not to be outdone by its predecessors, has recently come up with two enemies lists.

    “The first one was coined by the irrepressible John Bolton, who is now National Security Adviser. He has come up with the “troika of tyranny” to describe Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua, where he sees “…the dangers of poisonous ideologies without control, and the dangers of domination and suppression… I am here to convey a clear message from the President of the United States about our policy towards these three regimes. Under this administration, we will no longer appease the dictators and despots near our coasts in this hemisphere. The troika of tyranny in this hemisphere — Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua — has finally found its rival.”

  19. Medea Benjamin has a lot of guts! I’ve been feeling sick all day thinking about this travesty and knowing the Democrats will support it, revealing again who they really are. I’m hoping that they cut off all power to the U.S. embassy and the “diplomats” will leave of their own accord. This is definitely a coup attempt, happening in slow motion right before our eyes!

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