Since the United States initiated a coup attempt against Venezuela’s elected, internationally recognized government in January 2019, the gang of far-right opposition activists the Donald Trump administration recognized as the country’s unelected representatives have racked up a series of embarrassing scandals.
Top aides of the US-appointed “interim president,” Juan Guaidó, blew hundreds of thousands of dollars of humanitarian aid money on luxury hotels, swanky clothes, and wild parties in Colombia. Violent pro-Guaidó coup-mongers then burnt USAID trucks in a failed putsch on the Venezuelan border, while falsely blaming the fire on the actual president in Caracas, Nicolás Maduro.
Guaidó’s coup gang subsequently set the stage for North American corporations to liquidate Venezuela’s most valuable foreign asset, Citgo. And in another bizarre PR stunt, Guaidó even tried to scale the fence outside of Venezuela’s National Assembly, after refusing to pass through the main entrance.
Nearly 18 months into the failed coup attempt, the scandals keep coming.
This July, the representative that the Venezuelan coup regime appointed to the United Kingdom, Vanessa Neumann, threatened several American and British journalists who criticized her on social media.
Neumann’s corporate consulting firm claimed to have reported these journalists to the FBI, and even baselessly accused them without a scintilla of evidence of being “part of an indicted transnational criminal network with a price on your head.”
These threats came just after Neumann’s official Twitter account declared, “Death to Nicolás Maduro.” Neumann subsequently claimed her profile was hacked, while intimidating the journalists who reported on her incendiary tweet.
How a deranged right-wing fanatic like this ended up as the person the British government recognizes as Venezuela’s official representative deserves some investigation.
Neumann’s bizarre tactics are part and parcel of a much longer pattern that has played out in British tabloids well before she was known as a faux diplomat. She is the product of a life of endless entitlement and a climate of right-wing zealotry that is characteristic of Venezuela’s powerful oligarchy. The parasitic class of business owners she hails from once controlled the oil-rich South American nation’s government and economy, and are desperate to wrest back control of the state from the leftist Chavista movement.
Neumann got her start working for companies owned by her plutocrat grandfather. She then established herself as an oil lobbyist, a corporate consultant, and a conservative pundit who shuffled through an array of American and British think tanks and media outlets that are hellbent on overthrowing Venezuela’s socialist government, subordinating its independent foreign policy to Washington, and re-privatizing the country’s substantial natural resources.
Her extensive work with large corporations and her elite position in Venezuela’s oligarchy is precisely why the country’s right-wing opposition tapped her in March 2019 to be the Guaidó coup regime’s official representative to Britain.