Shocked by Niger coup, Victoria Nuland appeared “desperate” during Africa tour

by Anya Parampil, The Gray Zone:

A veteran South African official detailed meeting with an unprepared and “desperate” Acting Deputy Secretary of State, Victoria Nuland, begging for local help rolling back the popular coup in Niger. The recent BRICS conference might give Nuland even more to fret about.

When US Acting Deputy Secretary of State, Victoria Nuland, traveled to South Africa on July 29, her reputation as a blunt instrument of Washington’s hegemonic interests preceded her.


According to a veteran South African official who attended meetings with the senior US diplomat in Pretoria, however, Nuland and her team were demonstrably unprepared to grapple with recent developments on the African continent — particularly the military coup that removed Niger’s pro-Western government hours before she launched her multi-stop tour of the region.

“In over 20 years working with the Americans, I have never seen them so desperate,” the official told The Grayzone, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

Pretoria was well aware of Nuland’s hawkish reputation, but when she arrived in Pretoria, the official described her as “totally caught off guard” by winds of change engulfing the region. The July putsch that saw a popular military junta come to power in Niger followed military coups in Mali and Burkina Faso that were similarly inspired by mass anti-colonial sentiment.

Though Washington has so far refused to characterize developments in the Nigerien capital of Niamey as a coup, the South African source confirmed that Nuland sought South Africa’s assistance in responding to regional conflicts, including in Niger, where she emphasized that Washington not only held significant financial investments, but also maintained 1,000 of its own troops. For Nuland, the realization that she was negotiating from a position of weakness was likely a rude awakening.

Serving both parties and advancing empire, one regime change op at a time

Throughout the past decade and a half, Victoria Nuland has established herself as one of the most heavy-handed – and effective – agents of Western-directed regime change ops within the State Department. As the wife of the arch-neoconservative strategist, Robert Kagan, who advised both Republican presidential contender, Mitt Romney, and Democrat, Hillary Clinton, Nuland embodied the interventionist consensus that prevailed across both parties in the pre-Trump era. In fact, her first high-level job came under the watch of Vice President Dick Cheney, when he appointed her to serve as his deputy chief of staff.

When Nuland returned to government as a Russia specialist in Obama’s State Department, she spearheaded the covert campaign to destabilize Ukraine, driving the 2014 Maidan Coup that sparked the country’s ensuing civil conflict and, ultimately, a Western proxy war with Russia that rages to this day.

“Since Ukraine’s independence in 1991, the United States has supported Ukrainians as they build democratic skills and institutions,” Nuland, then Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs, boasted during a December 2013 talk before the US-Ukraine Foundation in Kiev, flanked by a promotional panel for the Chevron corporation.

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