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War Preparations Against Venezuela As Election Nears

by Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers, via Popular Resistance

Since we published “Regime Change Fails: Is a Military Coup or Invasion Next,” we received more information showing steps toward preparing for a potential military attack on Venezuela. Stopping this war needs to become a top priority for the peace movement.

Black Alliance for Peace (BAP) published a newsletter that reported “troubling news of an impending military assault on the sovereign nation of Venezuela by states and forces allied with the United States.” Ajamu Baraka, the director, said the US is concerned that President Maduro will win the April 22 election, which would mean six more years in office. BAP urges people to include “No War On Venezuela” in actions being planned from February 16-23 for the 115th anniversary of the United States occupying Guantanamo.

US Military in Colombia

Is the Path to War Through Border Disputes?

One way to start a war would be a cross-border dispute between Venezuela and Colombia, Brazil or Guyana. On February 12, the Maritime Herald reported that Admiral Kurt Tidd, head of the US Southern Command, arrived in Colombia just two days after the US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson met with President Juan Manuel Santos as part of Tillerson’s unprecedented regime change tour. Tidd met with Colombian Defense Minister Luis Carlos Villegas and other senior officials to coordinate efforts around “regional stability” with a focus on Venezuela.

The Maritime Herald also reports US troops coming to Colombian military bases, paramilitaries coming to Colombian towns along the Venezuelan border, plans for “a joint naval force between the United States, Colombia and Mexico,” and arrival of a contingent of 415 members of the United States Air Force to Panama to create support and logistics points for the operation against Venezuela. Also important are two fast-acting US military bases installed in the communities of Vichada and Leticia, Colombia, bordering Venezuela.

Both Colombia and Brazil have deployed more troops to their borders with Venezuela. Colombian President Santos ordered “the deployment of 3000 additional security personnel to the Venezuelan border. This figure included 2,120 more soldiers.” The decision came the day before officials from the US Southern Command met in Colombia to “discuss security cooperation.” Brazil also announced plans to “double its border patrols on the Venezuelan frontier.” The excuse for these increased deployments was due to Venezuelan migrants crossing the border into Colombia and Brazil.

To calm these concerns, President Maduro called for a meeting between Venezuelan authorities and Colombia over security concerns along their border. The Colombian government estimates that 450,000 Venezuelan migrants have entered the country in the last 18 months.  Maduro said that official numbers did not equate to a “massive exodus” and reminded Colombia that during the Colombian civil war with the FARC, 5.6 million Colombians crossed the border to make Venezuela their home.

The corporate intelligence firm, Stratfor, which works closely with the US government, recently published a report that could be laying the groundwork for a border dispute. Stratfor wrote that Brazilian intelligence officials are going to meet with Guyana’s officials to warn them that Venezuela is planning to attack Guyana. There is a long-term dispute over land between Venezuela and Guyana that is being litigated before the International Court of Justice. The report includes a questionable claim that there is an “ongoing dialogue with the Trump administration over the terms of President Nicolas Maduro and his party’s departure from power.” The reality is that President Maduro is preparing for the April election.

In response to these actions, President Maduro announced the Venezuelan armed forces will carry out military exercises on February 24 and 25 in “defense” of the nation to fine tune the movement of “tanks, missiles and helicopters as part of the nation’s defense strategy.”

Vota Venezuela

Upcoming Elections in Venezuela

The opposition in Venezuela has been seeking presidential elections since 2016 when they presented a petition for the recall of President Maduro. They claimed to collect enough signatures, but there were allegations of voter fraud, including thousands of dead people’s names listed on the petitions.

Violent protests followed rejection of the petition and Henrique Capriles set a deadline for an election in November 2016, threatening larger protests. On November 1, opposition leader Henry Ramos, the head of the national assembly, announced cancellation of the protests.  The opposition still pressed for an election. The government announced a special election to be held in February or March of 2018.

Now,  Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza announced, “We have a date for the presidential election, which is the date proposed by the opposition, April 22. Furthermore, we have the electoral guarantees proposed by the opposition, so we are going to the elections and the Venezuelan people will decide their future with democracy and votes.” Officials of the Dominican Republic observers guaranteeing the legitimacy of the elections. Venezuela will invite the United Nations and others to also serve as observers. Despite this, the United States and members of the right wing Lima Group of US allies, say they will not recognize the elections.

US Death knocking on Venezuela's door

Does the Trump Administration Want War to “Unify the Country”

President Trump’s divisive presidency has left him unpopular in the polls. Hours before his State of the Union speech, Trump told television news anchors, “I would love to be able to bring back our country into a great form of unity. Without a major event where people pull together, that’s hard to do. But I would like to do it without that major event because usually that major event is not a good thing.”

We hope President Trump is not looking at the increase in public support that President George W. Bush received after he attacked Iraq as a model for his administration. Instead, he should remember President Lyndon Johnson being driven from office after his landslide election because of the Vietnam war.

The Trump administration has failed in its attempts to instigate war with North Korea and Iran. The terrible diplomatic performance of Vice President Pence at the Olympic games, where the two Koreas began to make progress toward peace and unification, puts the US in a weaker position to threaten North Korea. President Kim invited President Moon to North Korea to continue peace talks. Now there is rising hope for an agreement between the two Koreas.

Similarly, the protests in Iran, which the US may have encouraged, fizzled. When the US brought the protests to the UN Security Council and used them to call for action against Iran, the US was isolated. Countries asked whether the UN should have taken action against the US after the protests in Ferguson over the police killing of Michael Brown. The protests also exposed massive US spending to create opposition to the government in Iran, as well as coordination with Israel.

Trump hands off Venezuela

Stopping the US Attack on Venezuela

In our last article, we indicated the reasons for the threat of a military coup and military attack were because Venezuela has the world’s largest proven oil reserves and because Venezuela has set an example of breaking from US dominance of the region and challenging capitalism.

In addition, economic sanctions have pushed Venezuela to have closer relations with Russia and China to circumvent US sanctions.  The US does not want these global rivals in what it has considered it’s backyard since the Monroe Doctrine.

Finally, the US is concerned with Venezuela’s new cryptocurrency, which will launch within days and be backed by 5.3 billion barrels of oil worth $267 billion. The cryptocurrency is a bid to offset Venezuela’s deep financial crisis. This threatens US economic domination.

We must expose the reasons for increasing US aggression towards Venezuela and work to counter misinformation in the media that is attempting to build support for a military conflict with Venezuela. Here are actions you can take:

  1. Use this tool to contact your Members of Congress. Urge them to use diplomacy with Venezuela and to stop the sanctions, which are a deadly form of economic warfare. CLICK HERE TO TAKE ACTION.
  2. Share this newsletter widely in your community and through social media.
  3. Join the actions on February 23 with messages of “US out of Guantanamo” and “No war with Venezuela.”

Let’s stop this next war before it begins!


27 Comments

  1. Mikalina says

    5 March, 2013 – Five years since the assassination of Hugo Chavez. Rest in Peace.

    Here, nobody surrenders.

  2. There is perhaps no better example of the naivety of anti-imperialists than when they speak about Venezuela.

    I understand that everyone here has Venezuela’s best intentions in heart, but please, don’t think in such simple terms. Read the Venezuelan media. Understand why the economy is so poor. Understand Maduro’s insane, and I mean insane lying, for which he’s mocked endlessly by Venezuelans.

    Blaming the U.S. for this, without even a shred of proof, other than proof-by-deduction (i.e. “Venezuela is anti-captialist and the U.S. HATES that!”), is no different than blaming Russia for the Democrats’ loss.

    • VeganQueen says

      ‘US IMPOSES TOUGH ECONOMIC SANCTIONS ON VENEZUELA”
      https://www.latimes.com/politics/washington/la-na-essential-washington-updates-us-economic-sanctions-venezuela-1503676692-htmlstory.html

      “VENEZUELA’S ECONOMIC CRISIS DEEPENS AS U.S. STICKS WITH SANCTIONS THAT HIT ORDINARY PEOPLE HARDEST”
      https://thinkprogress.org/venezuelas-economic-crisis-deepens-as-u-s-sticks-with-sanctions-f8d5e71e1c34/

      “TRUMP THREATENS VENEZULA WITH MILITARY OPTION”
      https://in.reuters.com/article/usa-venezuela-military/trump-threatens-venezuela-with-unspecified-military-option-idINKBN1AR2H1

      “2002 ATTEMPTED COUP AGAINST CHAVEZ LINKED TO BUSH ADMINISTRATION”
      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2002/apr/21/usa.venezuela

      Yeah, there is absolutely no evidence the US have anything to do with Venezuela’s problems.

      • This is embarrassing. You have not even bothered to do the most basic research required.

        First, if you know anything about this topic at all, you’d know that Venezuela’s economic issues started way, way before any sanctions by the U.S. The economic issues began in 2013/2014, while the sanctions by the U.S. were implemented only last year.

        Second, you have to understand the origin of the economic troubles. Do you know why the economy is doing poorly? Do you know about the excuses and numerous false statements made by Maduro about this?

        Without this knowledge, you don’t have the right to say anything about Venezuela. Please don’t triumphantly copy paste some links.

        • Harry Stotle says

          Good luck trying to convince people Venezuela is not high on the list of US targets.

          If you can’t see that the US is an amoral international predator with long term interests in south and central America, not to mention countries it has worked so assiduously to undermine in the Middle East, then I can only assume you view geopolitics through the kind of blinkers that would not look out of place on Arkle.

          Of course the US are plotting against Venezuela – their funding for reactionary right wing factions in the region go back to the dark days of Pinochet in Chile, or Ollie North sucking up to the Contras in Nicaragua. Its laughable to suggest otherwise.

          • Harry, nothing you’ve said contradicts what I said.

            No doubt the U.S. has a dark history in the region. But that is entirely different than using anti-American rhetoric to scapegoat them for policy decisions made by various Venezuelan administrations.

            The fact of the matter is, Venezuelas economy was reliant on oil exports. Rather than invest in diversifying the economy and in the manufacturing/food sectors, Chavez and Maduro instead gave populist handouts to the poor, alleviating poverty in the short-term, but doing nothing to wean the country off of oil in the long-term. Not only that, but since the country’s domestic economy was never developed, the country had to rely on expensive food imports, which need foreign currencies. Venezuela used to be Latin America’s richest country in the 1970s, with a per-capita GDP even greater than some European countries like Italy and Greece. When oil prices crashed, it was obvious to everyone that the economy would crash and widespread human suffering would be the result. Less oil revenues mean less dollars to import food and other basic needs. Then came the hyperinflation. The Maduro regime responded by using anti-Americanism as a distraction. It blamed the hyperinflation on a website that gives Venezuelans the blackmarket exchange rate for the Bolivar. It blamed “CIA/right-wing/fascist/opposition/oligarchic collusion” (take your pick) for deliberately engineering artificial food shortages by “hoarding” the food supply. It blamed the general economic issues on “economic sabotage” by the U.S. Anti-American murals appeared over-night all over Caracas. You get the point. Classic distraction by using a foreign enemy.

            Now, on to Trump’s military threats:

            When Trump said that a “military option” was on the table with regard to Venezuela, I guarantee you the Maduro administration popped open the champagne in celebration. This was a perfect distraction. Immediately after Trump made those remarks, the Venezuelan Foreign Minister blasted the U.S., knowing full well the threat was empty, but used it as a convenient distraction and to re-inforce the anti-American narrative. They got a chance to criticize the opposition for not being “patriotic” enough, and were even able to reverse their diplomatic isolation in the region by getting other Latin American countries to join them in condemning the U.S., despite most of these countries having earlier criticized Maduro. They then used the empty threat from a manchild as an excuse to distract the country with military drills.

            Lastly, the Maduro regime has not given any evidence of “hoarding” being the cause of the food shortages. One specific example cited by Maduro himself and the state-backed teleSur is this:

            http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Venezuela-to-Investigate-Food-Giant-Kraft-Heinz-for-Sabotage-20151201-0041.html

            The article states:

            “In November, Venezuelan authorities discovered 2,500 kilos of expired wheat flour at a Kraft Heinz factory. At the time, the company said the flour went bad because it lacked the raw materials necessary to convert the wheat into its food products. The Venezuelan government, however, claims private corporations are deliberately hoarding food items to manufacture shortages ahead of parliamentary elections to be held Dec. 6.”

            They found a measly 2.76 tons of expired wheat, which Heinz couldn’t use due to a lack of materials, and decided to use it as evidence for “economic sabotage” by U.S. corporations! Seriously, that’s the best evidence for the U.S. and opposition being behind the “economic sabotage” against the country? “Hoarding” of flour?

            Like Chávez, Maduro keeps a shelf full of usual suspects, from U.S. mercenaries plotting to assassinate him to opposition homosexuals scheming to “prostitute” Venezuelan youths.

            Some news reports:

            When the latest blackout shut down more than two-thirds of Venezuela – the western hemisphere’s most oil-rich nation, mind you – Maduro dismissed suggestions that maybe the problem was a power grid that’s been neglected and mismanaged since Chávez took power 14 years ago. Instead, Maduro blamed “right-wing” opposition sabotage, calling the epic outage “an electricity coup.” As if that didn’t make him sound nutty enough, Maduro the next day ordered the formation of a special ops force to protect the grid from all those fascist electro-saboteurs. “I have decided,” he tweeted, “to create the Electrical System Security and Intelligence Unit as an organ of special forces that will guarantee its defense.” Most Venezuelans, who are smart enough to know the situation calls for utility experts instead of Navy SEALs, rejected Maduro’s conspiracy theory.

            On Planet Chavista, Venezuela’s soaring inflation rate has nothing to do with the government’s currency-control chaos; it is, you guessed it, a conspiracy of right-wing speculators. Its spiraling violent crime – including South America’s worst murder rate – is due not to a dysfunctional police and judicial system but to capitalism. Its chronic shortage of basic goods, from eggs to toilet paper, is the fault of producers, despite the fact that producers have little if any economic incentive in Venezuela today to produce.

            The government announced the arrest of store managers in what it described as an “economic war” between the socialist state and unscrupulous businessmen. “They are barbaric, these capitalist parasites!” the president alleged. “We have more than one hundred of the bourgeoisie behind bars at the moment.”

            http://www.avn.info.ve/contenido/ministro-motta-dom%C3%ADnguez-denuncia-que-falla-eléctrica-este-lunes-fue-producto-sabotaje

            The Minister of Electric Power, Luis Motta Domínguez, denounced on Tuesday that the electrical failure caused this Monday at the Santa Teresa del Tuy substation, and that left a large part of the states Miranda, Vargas and Caracas was a new act of sabotage against electric service.

            “Today a series of investigations was conducted and this showed that the event happened yesterday there are sufficient elements to establish that the explosion was carried out by human beings,” he said through a telephone contact to Venezolana de Televisión.

            “It is clearly established that the plan that the empire has to try to destabilize and ruin the Christmas of the Venezuelan people is maintained,” he said.

            He indicated that the Bolivarian Government has developed a comprehensive plan in conjunction with the Bolivarian National Armed Forces, the governors and mayors to contribute to the safeguards of the country’s power stations.

            http://www.avn.info.ve/contenido/gobierno-anuncia-plan-nacional-reparación-flotas-transporte-público

            The Executive Vice President, Tareck El Aissami, announced on Tuesday that a national plan of reparation of public transport units that were affected between April and July 8 by violent groups on the right was approved, as well as the difficulty of access to spare parts and supplies that it generates the economic war.

            Venezuelans have taken to the streets in poor parts of Caracas to protest a shortage of pork for their traditional Christmas dinner. President Nicolas Maduro’s socialist government had promised to provide subsidised meat to Venezuelans, but in many parts it did not materialise and frustration has boiled over. Maduro, who has been alleging a foreign-led “economic war” against his government, went on state TV to blame Portugal for failing to deliver pork imports in time for Christmas:

            “What happened to the pork? They sabotaged us. I can name a country: Portugal,” Maduro said.

            “We bought all the Pork we had in Venezuela. We bought everything,” he continued.

            “But we had to import and so I gave the order, signed the agreements but they pursued the bank accounts of the boats,”

            “We were chased by two giant ships that came and sabotaged us, but only for now”.

            “With or without sabotage, no one will take away the happiness of Christmas from the people,” Maduro said.

            The Venezuelan government announced officially that presidential elections will be held April 22. Campaigning will only be allowed between April 2 and April 19. Many potential opposition candidates are either jailed or ruled ineligible. Maduro needs to have these elections quickly and without electoral reform because that’s the only way he can win.

            • Harry Stotle says

              There are 2 distinct themes here – Venezuela’s internal politics, and the covert behaviour of US military and corporate interests.

              You discuss the former (in some deal) yet ignore the latter, or worse. imply the US, depite meddling all over the globe has for some inexplicable reason adopted a hands off approach when it comes to their oil rich, pro-Russian/Chinese neighbours – this is like suggesting a pack of hyenas have become vegan.

              The US (when it suits them) use whatever means possible to destabilise fragile regimes then exploit the ensuing chaos to pursue a well documented imperial agenda – the crises in Venezuela will soon illustrate how this standard operating procedure plays out yet again.

              • The issue at hand is that no one has presented even a single piece of evidence proving that that the U.S. is responsible for any of the things Maduro has blamed them for, including hyperinflation, electricity shortages, high prices for basic goods and food, shortages of the former, rising crime, etc. On the contrary, there are perfectly reasonable explanations for all of these things which would also have to be addressed when “proving” that the dastardly U.S. is behind all this.

                Saying that the U.S. has schemed in South America and is therefore behind this, is no substitute for evidence. It relies on innuendo, guilt-by-implication, and is an easy cop-out for “alternative” news websites to rail against America.

                • Harry Stotle says

                  Yes, fancy that – believing an imperial power with a trillion dollar arms industry might have malign intentions towards a close neighbour reluctant to kowtow to US corporate interests.

                  Anyway you seem to be rehashing pro-US sympathies you expressed on this thread.
                  https://off-guardian.org/2017/05/28/us-policymakers-openly-plot-against-venezuela/

                  I couldn’t help noticing few commentators agreed with you on that occasion perhaps because there is no good reason to explain why the US should perform a policy volte-face given their history of orchestrating false flags, black-ops and coup d’états.

                  • Yes, fancy that – believing an imperial power with a trillion dollar arms industry might have malign intentions towards a close neighbour reluctant to kowtow to US corporate interests.

                    You fell into the exact trap I had earlier warned about.

                    Once again, that assumption is no substitute for evidence. Maduro is clearly lying. That is a fact, regardless of how the U.S. has treated South America.

                    Either one has evidence or not. Does Maduro have evidence to accuse the Americans? No. Not a shred. Are there other factors that explain Venezuela’s economic woes? Yes.

                    In an above comment, I quoted Maduro’s own accusations. Read them and tell me if you still think Maduro is telling the truth.

                    • Mikalina says

                      What I think I dislike most about your shouty immature scatter gun approach is that you highjack the thread and make it about you and not the issue.

                      Whatever your agenda is, it does not detract from the issue that there are war preparations being made against Venezuela. As Obama said, Venezuela is a threat to the security of the US.

                    • Imperialist Matt wants to talk of baseless lies and accusation: but ignores the absolutely evidence free claim that Venezuela is in military-to-military alliance with Iran, North Korea, and Syria …the new “Axis of Evil” …just like the old Bush the Lesser Evil Axis of Evil …pure fundamentalist neocon creationism!

                    • Harry: you or I, or anyone else could post a lot more if we thought Matt was willing to listen? Any concerned citizen knows that the US/EU/NATO imperium is the true axis of evil. It’s going to take a lot more imperiumbots to persuade us otherwise!

                  • I should have added that lie is in Section 1234 of the NDAA. See the link I have already posted below.

                    BTW: there are plenty of insightful articles on sites such as Venezuela Analysis and Venezuela Solidarity UK. And no, they are not all glowingly Maduro. Mistakes were made, if you can call diverting too much money into social programmes a mistake? It was perhaps naive to presume the price of oil would remain high: but the price of oil was crashed as much by the Kerry-Abdullah manipulation aimed at Putin, as anything else. Matt would do well to look at some of the social development programming rather than focus on undeniable corruption. The GDP per capitalist view is disingenuous, as the money was not at all evenly distributed, and the fall in global oil price and economic warfare via sanction will kill any GDP extrapolating. Among other great social advances, Chavez reduced poverty by half. Whatever the faults of Chavismo, and one of those was trying to appease America for so long (they are Venezuelas biggest oil customer and have the refineries to deal with the heavy crude, which is not nearly as exportable as the huge reserves suggest – due to the cost of refining) the answer is not American democratization (Venezuela has perhaps the only functional democracy on the planet, a metric in which America is joint bottom).

                    • Dear BigB,

                      Mistakes were made, if you can call diverting too much money into social programmes a mistake?

                      Yes, that is a mistake. Irresponsibly bribing voters with free stuff, and not investing in the domestic economy, is definitely a mistake.

                      but the price of oil was crashed as much by the Kerry-Abdullah manipulation aimed at Putin, as anything else.

                      Another false assumption. No evidence exists to prove that there was any “Kerry-Abdullah” manipulation. Unless you have evidence to prove this?

                      Venezuela has perhaps the only functional democracy on the planet, a metric in which America is joint bottom.

                      Maduro is virtually the only candidate allowed to run in the upcoming elections.

                      One more thing: the so-called “Constituent assembly” is illegal. Legally, there must be two referendums put forward: one to decide whether a Constituent assembly should be created or not, and then a 2nd one, if the 1st one passes, which decides which who represents the regions. This is the route that Chavez took in the late 1990s. But Maduro skipped the very first referendum, unilaterally creating an illegal Constituent assembly. Why did he do this? Because the National Assembly was in the hands of the opposition. He first tried to muzzle it by having his loyalist-filled Supreme Court overrule the National Assembly. However, his Prosecutor General, a loyal Chavista, stopped this. She also began to speak up about human rights abuses. Guess what the very first act of Maduro’s new Constituent assembly was?

                      http://www.dw.com/en/venezuela-constitutional-assembly-fires-chief-prosecutor/a-39973289

                      That’s called killing two birds with one stone. Maduro was able to circumvent the National Assembly and oust the Chief Prosecutor, who is supposed to be independent and who had a very long history of being Chavista.

                      Westerners sure are naive. You fall for propaganda from the Kremlin, Maduro, Iran, and North Korea, so easily. All because it’s skilfully framed in an “anti-imperialistic” manner, against the U.S. Even on topics you know nothing about, you suddenly become experts.

                  • Dear Mikalina and BigB,

                    Please present evidence that the U.S. is behind Venezuela’s economic decline. This is all I ask for. Whenever I do ask this, I find that no one is able to supply such evidence, other than saying “in 2002…”.

                    Nobody has evidence of this simple claim. Not only that, but I’ve pointed out Maduro’s constant lies. You, due to your reliance on RT, constantly whine about “anti-Russian hysteria”. But read Maduro’s claims and tell me that he isn’t using “anti-American” hysteria to scapegoat the U.S. for his own mistakes:

                    When the latest blackout shut down more than two-thirds of Venezuela – the western hemisphere’s most oil-rich nation, mind you – Maduro dismissed suggestions that maybe the problem was a power grid that’s been neglected and mismanaged since Chávez took power 14 years ago. Instead, Maduro blamed “right-wing” opposition sabotage, calling the epic outage “an electricity coup.” As if that didn’t make him sound nutty enough, Maduro the next day ordered the formation of a special ops force to protect the grid from all those fascist electro-saboteurs. “I have decided,” he tweeted, “to create the Electrical System Security and Intelligence Unit as an organ of special forces that will guarantee its defense.”

                    The Minister of Electric Power, Luis Motta Domínguez, denounced on Tuesday that the electrical failure caused this Monday at the Santa Teresa del Tuy substation, and that left a large part of the states Miranda, Vargas and Caracas was a new act of sabotage against electric service.

                    “Today a series of investigations was conducted and this showed that the event happened yesterday there are sufficient elements to establish that the explosion was carried out by human beings,” he said through a telephone contact to Venezolana de Televisión.

                    “It is clearly established that the plan that the empire has to try to destabilize and ruin the Christmas of the Venezuelan people is maintained,” he said.

                    The Executive Vice President, Tareck El Aissami, announced on Tuesday that a national plan of reparation of public transport units that were affected between April and July 8 by violent groups on the right was approved, as well as the difficulty of access to spare parts and supplies that it generates the economic war.

                    Venezuelans have taken to the streets in poor parts of Caracas to protest a shortage of pork for their traditional Christmas dinner. President Nicolas Maduro’s socialist government had promised to provide subsidised meat to Venezuelans, but in many parts it did not materialise and frustration has boiled over. Maduro, who has been alleging a foreign-led “economic war” against his government, went on state TV to blame Portugal for failing to deliver pork imports in time for Christmas:

                    “What happened to the pork? They sabotaged us. I can name a country: Portugal. We bought all the Pork we had in Venezuela. We bought everything. But we had to import and so I gave the order, signed the agreements but they pursued the bank accounts of the boats. We were chased by two giant ships that came and sabotaged us, but only for now. “With or without sabotage, no one will take away the happiness of Christmas from the people,” Maduro said.

                    I have already explained, in detail, the real reasons behind Venezuela’s economic issues.

                    I ask one last time: present evidence behind Maduro’s claims. Do you have any?

                    • Big B says

                      Matt: America is at the forefront of the global economic plunder and decline, led by the Fed. But that is a topic for another day. If you need proof that America is the biggest purveyor of financialised industrialised imperial violence in the modern world, I can’t help you. Only your inverted moral compass can do that. The proof is in the utterances of its leading liars: Trump, Tillerson, Rubio, Mnuchin, Mattis – have all recently given confirmational utterances that support Maduro’s claims. America’s antipathy for all life on earth is clearly written in its recent ‘defence’ policy mucho-macho posturing documents. They are a threat to all of humanity. I particularly drew your attention to Section 1234 of the NDAA: that wholly fictitiously alleges military-to-military alliance with Iran. Can you provide a single scrap of evidence to support such an infantile claim? No.

                      Sanctions are a declaration of war (and a betrayal of the precious free market principal, but never mind). America is at economic war with Venezuela. If that does not succeed, real war will ensue. I have no need to prove that principal, it is historically transparent. But John Perkins, “Confessions of an Economic Hitman” is a good enough treatise on the subject.

                      I’ll come clean, I don’t care much for Maduro – and I am not going to defend him. But in trying to hijack the debate ( there is no doubt America is threatening and planning for yet another illegal, immoral and unsanctioned act of aggression toward a sovereign nation …even the planning and threatening is a supreme violation and Crime Against the Peace): you deliberately set out to obfuscate the fundamental point …Chavismo was not Chavez; the Bolivarian revolution is not Maduro …the people of Venezuela ARE. And they will re-elect Maduro in free and fair democratic elections. Of that there is no doubt. And if America, or you, want to rant about democracy after the shitshow of the latest US farce (that was cheated by everyone; EXCEPT the Russians); well, again, I can’t help you. Greg Palast might?

                      The bottom line is, so what if Maduro lies – Trump lies every time he opens his mouth – does that give America the right to sanction and threaten military intervention? No, that is a morally indefensible position. I am asking you directly: do you uphold the democratic principle that it is the sovereign right of the people of Venezuela to determine the future of Venezuela; including choosing their next President?

                      Personally, I’d like to see the Bolivarian Revolution go to full consejos comunales communalism, appropriate the heights of the economy, kick out the capitalist fifth columnists AND Maduro. But that is for the people of Venezuela to decide. Not me, or you, and especially not the Yankee imperialists!

                    • Mikalina says

                      Posted by Milosovic on another thread:

                      http://thesaker.is/when-sanity-fails-the-mindset-of-the-ideological-drone/

                      Unless there are mechanisms set in to prevent that, in a debate/dispute between an educated and intelligent person and an ideological drone the latter will always prevail because of the immense advantage the latter has over the former. Indeed, while the educated and intelligent person will be able to immediately identify numerous factual and logical gaps in his opponent’s arguments, he will always need far more “space” to debunk the nonsense spewed by the drone than the drone who will simply dismiss every argument with one or several slogans. This is why I personally never debate or even talk with such people: it is utterly pointless.

            • Dear Mikalina,

              Unless there are mechanisms set in to prevent that, in a debate/dispute between an educated and intelligent person and an ideological drone the latter will always prevail because of the immense advantage the latter has over the former….. This is why I personally never debate or even talk with such people: it is utterly pointless.

              As expected, the discussion has descended into passive-agressive insults. The reason for this is quite clear: you have been unable to find evidence that the U.S. is behind what Maduro blames them for, and that the U.S. will go to war with Venezuela. This is the source of your frustration, hence the above post, which skirted the main topic.

              But I have to agree with you on one thing: debating with an ideological drone is hard. It’s the same reaction I find myself having when explaining to a gullible person that Russia lied about MH17. There’s so much obvious BS that they believe, that it requires an immense amount of effort and patience to explain the gaps to them.

            • Dear Big B,

              America is at the forefront of the global economic plunder and decline, led by the Fed. But that is a topic for another day. If you need proof that America is the biggest purveyor of financialised industrialised imperial violence in the modern world, I can’t help you.

              But that is just a generic claim. It may be true in general, but how does it prove that Maduro is telling the truth? I quoted his bizarre statements above. So far, there’s simply no evidence to prove that the U.S. is the cause of Venezuela’s economic issues, even considering the light sanctions placed on it very late into the game, years after the economic crisis started. We know why and how the economic crisis started. This is not a mystery and has already been explained by trained economists in a plain and thorough manner. And it has nothing to do with “Yankee sabotage.”

              Only your inverted moral compass can do that. The proof is in the utterances of its leading liars: Trump, Tillerson, Rubio, Mnuchin, Mattis – have all recently given confirmational utterances that support Maduro’s claims.

              They’ve given generic denunciations of Maduro, while only Trump’s loud mouth caused him to threaten Maduro, which I already addressed above.

              America’s antipathy for all life on earth is clearly written in its recent ‘defence’ policy mucho-macho posturing documents. They are a threat to all of humanity.

              Again, it’s just a generic statement. Does it prove the allegations in this article?

              I particularly drew your attention to Section 1234 of the NDAA: that wholly fictitiously alleges military-to-military alliance with Iran. Can you provide a single scrap of evidence to support such an infantile claim? No.

              But I never claimed that. I agree that it’s a lie.

              Sanctions are a declaration of war (and a betrayal of the precious free market principal, but never mind). America is at economic war with Venezuela. If that does not succeed, real war will ensue. I have no need to prove that principal, it is historically transparent.

              There’s no economic war. The sanctions placed last year were way, way after the economic issues began. And no war with Venezuela will happen. I don’t know where you get this idea from. Even the Pentagon poured cold water on Trump’s threats. It’s a non-issue, conjured up by the “alternative” media, because they need something to rail against the U.S. for and because it’s too embarrassing to take responsibility for Venezuela’s poor economic situation.

              I agree with your statements in general, but not w.r.t. to Venezuela. I’m just pointing out the double standard in using historical precedent to blame the U.S. for something without evidence, while the same accusations against Russia result in a Pavlovian response. It seems hypocritical to me.

  3. Big B says

    There is indeed a crisis of socialism in Venezuela: not enough of it! Alan Woods, friend and adviser to Chavez, has said “you can’t have half a revolution”; and had advised “the expropriation of the commanding heights of the economy”. If only Hugo had listened, instead of trying to appease the Fifth Column imperial capitalists? Or if Maduro stopped handing precious $$$$ to them to be sent abroad to tax havens: instead of bringing in necessary commodities? No one is claiming that the Bolivarian Revolution was or is perfect; that corruption does not exist; that mistakes were not made; or that much needed diversification away from oil was not done soon enough …but as Ricardo Vaz says: “Whatever western leaders and analysts claim Venezuela is lacking, freedom, democracy or human rights, are not landing with those marines.”

    https://venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/13666

    Still, Maduro is a risk: he is part of the new Axis of Evil …and is part of a broad coalition of anti-capitalist countries that have allied behind Iran to bring down the USA! An idea so risible that is laugh out loud: apart from the fact that it is enshrined in the NDAA. Do they, such as McCain, who chaired the committee, believe the crack they smoke?

    https://www.mintpressnews.com/omnibus-defense-bill-puts-venezuela-in-us-military-cross-hairs/233800/

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says

      The Pink Wave in Latin America failed, as expected, because ‘democracy’ can NEVER defeat capitalist parasitism. NEVER, EVER. Now a new and even deadlier era of death-squad repression is about to begin.

  4. A very good piece I noticed this today in of all things a cryptocurrency article by the well known Austrian Economics personality Geoffrey Tucker https://www.aier.org/blog/crypto-vs-fiat-battle , it trots out several tired old canards regarding the problems with Venezuela being due to Socialism being forced upon an unwilling population.
    I left this comment which to be fair passed the moderation.
    https://www.youtube.com/wat… Venezuela is the victim of external colour revolutions in short everything Russia is accused of in the US 2017 Election multiplied and then some with the US seeking to destabilise the Country, Factor in the collapse in the Oil price and the low-quality heavy crude which Venezuela produces and you have a recipe that will hurt any economy. That is not a problem of Maduro or Chavez trying to make Socialism work. Geoffrey Tucker is blinded by Ideology watch the video for some real geopolitical analysis

    More worryingly this piece arrived in my post feed from the Council on Foreign Relations today.

    A Venezuelan Refugee Crisis http://on.cfr.org/2EzJ3JR via @CFR_org

    With Syria, Iran, Ukraine, Yemen, Lebanon and Myanmar all in the crosshairs of the Corporate masters of the USA
    it is hugely important to raise awareness with getting articles such as this in front of people.

    • link to you tube video. above Venezuela has been hit by a wave of economic problems, with the two most pressing issues being the high inflation and the scarcity of goods. Although they are mentioned separately, these two issues are actually interwoven. In this report, we look at how Venezuela’s state-run foreign currency exchange bureau, the CADIVI, took measures to fight capital flight by imposing artificial currency rates in 2003. And how this currency bubble is linked to the high inflation and the scarcity of commodities

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