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!


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Mikalina
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Mikalina

5 March, 2013 – Five years since the assassination of Hugo Chavez. Rest in Peace.
Here, nobody surrenders.

Matt
Reader
Matt

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
Reader
VeganQueen

‘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.

Matt
Reader
Matt

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… Read more »

Harry Stotle
Reader
Harry Stotle

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… Read more »

Matt
Reader
Matt

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… Read more »

Matt
Reader
Matt

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… Read more »

Matt
Reader
Matt

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.… Read more »

Harry Stotle
Reader
Harry Stotle

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 –… Read more »

Matt
Reader
Matt

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.… Read more »

Harry Stotle
Reader
Harry Stotle

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.

Matt
Reader
Matt

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… Read more »

Mikalina
Reader
Mikalina

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… Read more »

Big B
Reader
Big B

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.… Read more »

BigB
Reader
BigB

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… Read more »

Matt
Reader
Matt

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… Read more »

Harry Stotle
Reader
Harry Stotle

Indeed Big B, the US have been plotting coups against Venezuela not to mention failed assassination attempts since the early days of Chavez.
https://www.telesurtv.net/english/analysis/Tracking-US-Intervention-in-Venezuela-Since-2002-20151117-0045.html
Even the saintly Obama described Venezuela as an “unusual and extraordinary threat”.
It takes an extraordinary form of myopia not to see the bigger picture.

Matt
Reader
Matt

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… Read more »

BigB
Reader
BigB

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!

BigB
Reader
BigB

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!

Mikalina
Reader
Mikalina

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.

Big B
Reader
Big B

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… Read more »

Mulga Mumblebrain
Reader
Mulga Mumblebrain

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.

Mikalina
Reader
Mikalina

Good well referenced article from Joe Emersberger on this ‘humanitarian disaster’ which is presumably how the US will sell an illegal invasion:
https://www.telesurtv.net/english/opinion/WSJs-Epic-Distortion-of-Colombian-and-Venezuelan-Refugees-20180219-0038.html
Incidentally, Rick Sterling said on Flashpoints that the White Helmets were already setting themselves up in Venezuela calling themselves the Green Crosses.

rogerglewis
Reader

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… Read more »

argonut
Reader
argonut

CFR – a Rockefeller think tank! This that just arrived in my post perhaps tempers its assertions (I haven’t read it yet) https://fair.org/home/wsjs-epic-distortion-of-colombian-and-venezuelan-refugees/

rogerglewis
Reader


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