empire watch, featured, latest, United States, Venezuela

Open Thread: US Backs anti-Maduro Coup in Venezuela

Caracas, Venezuela January 23, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins

In a move that many of us saw coming, the US has backed efforts to force Nicolas Maduro from the Presidency of Venezuela. Earlier today Donald Trump officially recognised Juan Guaido, the leader of Venezuela’s defunct National Assembly as “interim President”.

This move was backed by Canada, Brazil, Argentina, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Chile and Peru. The EU were also quick to back regime change, although leaders of specific EU states are yet to make their positions know. It is doubtful any of us will be surprised when they do.

The noteworthy – and predictable – rebels on American continent were the leftist governments of Mexico and Bolivia.

This move has been on the cards for a while, with John Bolton – Trump’s National Security Advisor – tweeting this just last week:

This is very clearly a call for open revolution – note the language: “including the military”.

Obviously any coup needs the military backing it to be successful. Though there are reports of large protests on the streets of Caracas – both for and against the President – the military have not got involved on the ground so far. Howver, they did release a statement disavowing Guaido and the “dark interests” supporting him. They went on to declare that they stand by President Maduro in support of Venezuela’s national sovereignty.

Lacking, for now, the support of Venezuela’s own military the only way the coup can succeed is with military help from a foreign power, the obvious candidates being the US, NATO and Brazil’s new President Jair Bolsonaro – a cross between Pinochet and a used car salesman. He has previously said he would back a military invasion of Venezuela.

What the US/NATO/whoever need is a pretext to invade – enter The Guardian et al.

In their story covering the on-going crisis (Venezuela: what happens now after two men have claimed to be president?) The Guardian quotes Eric Farnsworth, a former US diplomat and vice-president of the Council of the Americas, who says:

[Maduro might] turn sharpshooters on crowds and try to scare everybody back home”

Guardian reporter Tom Philips then says this:

If that happened, the US and the international community would be forced to react.

Which is their way of saying if anyone gets shot, or even injured, in these protests then the US (and allies?) will move to intervene militarily. They would be “forced” to, apparently.

Expect this angle to replayed, a lot, all throughout the mainstream media in the coming days. Op-eds will remind us of the “cost of inaction” in Syria. Some people will write that though Trump is a monster, he is at least elected and we should stand with him in defense of democracy. Stuff like that.

The bottom line will be – we NEED to act in Venezuela because Maduro is “massacring” his own people to hold onto power.

They’ve tipped their hand with a reference to “sharpshooters” killing civilians.

This is, of course, the exact scenario we saw play out in Ukraine in 2014. “Sharpshooters” were “turned loose” on the crowd, killing several dozen people (police and protestors alike). This violence was used to declare Victor Yanukovych’s government “illegitimate”, and replace him with a leader more to the US’s liking. Evidence has since emerged showing the shots were likely fired by non-government marksmen in a bid to escalate the violence.

The same fate awaits Venezuela and Maduro – except Venezuela doesn’t have a super-power on its borders, so the US won’t have to keep the gloves on this time. Venezuela could feel the full force of America’s “humanitarian” armed forces. There are people on the streets – all it needs is one tiny spark, one slight act of violence, and the whole situation will explode.

The US Deep State has shown before that they are more than able to create a spark when they need one.

Important questions:

  • Will the Venezuelan military continue to stand by Maduro?
  • Will there be violence on the streets?
  • If so, how long before there are calls for “humanitarian intervention”?
  • What will the position of the European leaders be?
  • Will the US try to get a UN mandate to act in Venezuela? Would they be successful if they did?
  • Will “The Resistance” criticise Trump for interfering in Venezuela’s democracy?

Kit Knightly is co-editor of OffGuardian. The Guardian banned him from commenting. Twice. He used to write for fun, but now he's forced to out of a near-permanent sense of outrage.

159 Comments

  1. OffG is a great venue for examining various narratives and freely expressing points of view based on interpretation of events without fear of being smeared. The commentary on the complex Venezuelan crisis has been robust and in comments so far, there seems to be a consensus on OffG (not shared by the majority of USAmerican MSM) that a US invasion would produce disastrous results.

    My interpretaton of the “facts” is based on information about Venezuela gained from a variety of sources in Spanish and English since 2007 (when I retired and moved to Chile), and on my values which include democratic control, social ownership and self-determination.

    Much of the current political discussion relates to the three components of Article 233 in the 1999 Chávez Constitution:

    1. The National Assembly(AN) has the power to declare the position of President vacant and did so when President Maduro completed his term of office on January 10, 2019.

    The AN declared the position vacant stating that the presidential election of May 2018 did not adhere to the Constitution in terms of time frame etc.

    In the parliamentary elections of December 2015 the opposition won 112 of the 167 seats (67%) for a supermajority. Three of the opposition seats were contested by the National Election Board (CNE) which has not ruled on them yet.

    2. A new election must be held within 30 days

    It will be almost impossible to effect a new election within the time limit. For example, the election has not yet been called, primaries must be held, the CNE acts very slowly, etc. Hence, extending the time limit would be an important point of discussion in the dialog.

    3. The President of the AN becomes the Interim President automatically until the election if he/she accepts the responsibility.

    Juan Guaidó (why dough) was elected as an AN deputy in 2010. He became President of the AN on January 5, 2019. He accepted the position of Interim President on January 23, 2019.

    Hopefully this situation can be resolved through dialog without resorting to more violence (40 dead in one week and 850 detained including 77 children according to UN).

  2. Martin Usher says

    I think that it is fortunate that most Americans aren’t into irony. I read an editorial piece in yesterday’s Los Angeles Times about Venezuela that could very well have been written about the US — a Presidential election that was potentially flawed with the election carried by a minority due to quirks in the system, a deeply unpopular President that’s incapable of governing but rather a slave to a clique of special interests, an assembly that’s opposed to the President and so on.** Nobody seemed to think it was out of place that one severely dysfunctional government should dictate to any other government — dysfunctional or not — how it conducts its affairs. Its interesting that the countries that fell into line behind the US are also not exactly shining examples of democracy and good government — the UK with its Brexit debacle, France with its unrest among its population, all of these countries have pressing domestic issues that need attention but somehow its more important to save Venezuela from itself. (Because we all know better — the rhetoric about freedom and democracy is pure, Grade ‘A’. Bullshit — the only thing we’re interested in saving are the oil reserves.)

    (**I don’t know what conditions are like in Venezuela or the level of popular opposition but I’d guess its nothing like as bad as the US!)

    • There is a true and clear parallelism between the political situation in the USA and Venezuela (Paleozuela) and other countries. A parallelism born from ultraliberal immigrationism and the unfair competition unleashed by a globalised world.

      In the USA, an alliance of workers and industrialists, through their ‘democratically’ elected (under the current Constitutional rules) President Trump, are fighting to take control of the political system from a treacherous immigrationist oligarchy, that has opened the country to a globalist assault and undermined the industrial and military strength of the nation, as well as the security and wellbeing of its citizens. This ‘American’ globalist oligarchy, is waging a relentless war of attrition, through the political institutions it controls and, above all, through a brutal media war that seeks to regain power by promoting a constant state of emergency and tension, through fake news and the mobilisation of their obamist, anticommunist lefties and minoritymonger supporters (feminazis, black supremacists, etc…), in readiness for the next elections and beyond.

      The victories of President Trump in the USA, Brexit in the UK and anti-immigrationist parties in Italy and, more recently, in Spain or the antiglobalist (‘anti-immigrationist’…?!!!) protests in France, is a measure of the strength of political systems that owe their, relative, freedom and democratic character, to the constant and brutal pressure of a strong and internationally organised socialist working class.

      In Venezuela, power is being ‘usurped’, actually and unconstitutionally (according to their own Bolivarian Constitution), by an extreme left wing version of the globalist oligarchy. This is, precisely, what the immigrationist American oligarchy (and others around the world), wants to do in the USA, by putting in doubt and undermining the constitutional mechanisms and laws for the election of Presidents. What is more, this is, precisely, what they did before Trump’s victory, as mass uncontrolled immigration, unfair competition, etc… are, essentially, unconstitutional and illegal.

      However, there are important differences that characterise Venezuela. The lack of a strong working class socialist movement in an underdeveloped country, has allowed the growth of leftist, ‘agrarian socialism’ or ‘magic socialism’, that is, fantastic and fake ideologies (ethnicism, racism, bolivarianism, etc…), that do not and cannot challenge the existing order, but reinforce or worsen it. That is why Venezuela is crumbling from the inside. The Communist Party (parties), fooled and leftified, is not independent and is just an appendage of the anticommunist Bolivarian movement.

      Also, the Venezuelan opposition, is a combination of the old globalist, right wing, feudal oligarchy, bent on recovering power and new sectors that are being destroyed, starved or forced out of the country by misgovernment. This forced migration is what allows other countries to intervene, as it constitutes a Venezuelan demographic aggression to its neighbours. That is why Ecuador, Colombia, Peru, Spain and others, are against the Bolivarian Misgovernment in Venezuela.

      The Venezuelan opposition is, in many ways, reactionary and as vile as the Bolivarian Misgovernment. But, we should not forget that, real revolutions are usually triggered by reaction.

  3. Just now (26/01/19, 12:22 Spanish time), the ‘Socialist’, feminist, immigrationist and globalist Misgovernment of Spain, supported by the Bolivarian party Podemos, has given an ultimatum to the Misgovernment of Paleozuela, that is, to Maduro, to call free and fair elections in a period of 8 days or Spain will recognise Mr Guaidó as legitimate President of Venezuela. Remains to be seen if the Bolivarians of Podemos will bring down their own Misgovernment in Spain…!!!

    4
    6
    • MaryP says

      It is like a train-wreck in slow motion, it is all so predictable yet so hard to stop: the USA + its neo-fascist Allies sabotaging a non-neo-liberal government yet again.

      Same playbook as Nixon/Kissinger’s “make-Chile’s-Economy-SCREAM”, when they wanted to take down Allende. It is even the same personell at times, now that Pompeo yesterday has named the butcher-of-Central-America, Elliott Abrams, as the guy to “fix” Venezuela.

      YES, THAT Elliott Abrams, who was convicted for Iran-Contra affair + has the blood of 100,000s on his hands, in Guatemala alone. Check out this interview with him from 1995: the brutish laughter shows EXACTLY what our keepers think of us + humanity in gerneral. Creepy!

      https://youtu.be/dXrxQghfuxA?t=1s

      • The Bolivarian Misgovernment of Venezuela (Paleozuela), IS a ultraliberal misgovernment. No matter how many red flags they try to wave, the truth is that the Bolivarians ARE ultraliberal, immigrationist, globalist, feminist, ethnicist, and racist, that is, they have all the characteristics of a LIBERAL movement. Their supporters and allies, are also the most fanatic liberals in the world: China, Russia, Turkey, Iran, etc… are supercapitalist, oligarchic, slave driven and fuelled economies. The Iran-Contra affair was an anticommunist plot, as much American as Iranian, to destroy the Nicaraguan ‘revolution’ and the Soviet influence in the area. It is not strange, then, that Iran is one the main supporters of Maduro, when the US is turning towards Working Class politics.

        1
        9
        • milosevic says

          you sound like that Breivik nazi scumbag in Norway. why don’t you f*** off to somewhere else?

          • It is called free speech. We understand ‘Off Guardian’ was created to protect and promote free speech…!!! Aren’t you in the wrong place…???!!!

            • milosevic says

              your fascist propaganda isn’t fooling anyone. return to your CIA masters. tell them that you have failed.

              • Everyone knows or should know, that there are many types of Nazis. You are, obviously, one of the leftist variety. A rearguard Nazi, that is, because it is not even clear that you would have the courage of your silly convictions (who would with that convictions?), to be a proper War Nazi or a Summer Nazi, as the Soviets use to call them. The real Milosevic would have understood all that…

  4. the pair says

    apologies in advance if this double-posts. wordpress javascript needs serious help.

    i just saw a piece in the guardian and thought “what better place to mock it” than off-g.

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/jan/24/risk-catastrophic-us-intervention-venezuela

    it starts off with a promising title but 4.5 paragraphs in the usual mainstream right-of-center qualifiers we all know so well:

    “This is not because Maduro deserves anyone’s support or sympathy”

    well, he does deserve the support of the MORE THAN 6 MILLION VOTERS who elected him. he also deserves sympathy for trying to run a country under economic and regional siege by ayn rand spawn. if the writer cares so much about “support” then maybe he should ask why a rando yuppie who never even RAN FOR OFFICE should be declared “president”.

    you’d assume that the “resistance” types would be against this nonsense just out of reflexive anti-trump habit. but then it’s a short leap from “he’s not my president derpa derp impeachment” to “i’d prefer those beaners not have the guy they want because petroreasons”. the only elections that count are the ones that turn out how the US wants and that has always been 100% “bipartisan”. see also: ukraine, gaza, syria, russia and most of south america.

    it also makes sense that a reliable source of “remainer” spew would be on the same page as the EU idiots who bleat that “maduro must go” as mindlessly as they said the same about assad. how’s that working out, by the way? so they continue to strain against their troublesome human instincts and preface every otherwise laudable utterance with “now, i know _____ is a horrible satanic rapist who eats babies…BUUUUUUUT…” and then pat themselves on the back for being “the rational one in the room’.

    10
    1
    • harry stotle says

      Some of the ill-informed dross BTL shows how conditioned a substantial proportion of the Guardian readership has become.

      Syria, and certainly Libya, and Iraq they have already forgotten about.

      So first they rubbish Maduro, displaying almost no insight into the complex geopolitics shaping Latin America and from there is is but a short step to bad-mouthing Jeremy Corbyn followed by portentous warning about t’evils of socialism (name-checking Soviet Russia and China along the way, natch).

      It doesn’t seem to dawn on them that the dead bodies beamed into their living room from various US war zones are a direct consequence of the very ideology they unwittingly support; neoconservatism.

      The very same readers tremble at the name of Tommy Robinson yet seem oblivious to the fact the US and Israel are standing shoulder to shoulder with actual fascists in Brazil or indeed any paramilitary group willing to kill people in order to further US business interests.

      One would have thought they might have become fed up with history proving them wrong all the time, but no, apparently not, they are once again falling into the same trap of endorsing violent regime change without bothering to aquaint themselves with the circumstances driving the latest upheaval.

      14
      • John A says

        Most of the BTL comments in the Guardian today come from the Hasbara, Integrity Intiative, GCHQ etc., armies of online swarms. At times, you get the impression the Guardian notifies these units of when a piece open to comments will be published, and then they can swarm in and spread their filth and recommend the filth posted by others of their ilk. Putin bad, Madero bad, Trump bad, Corbyn bad etc etc. I have given up there, especially as anything remotely critical of the Guardian’s line gets moderated immediately.

  5. To Mark.
    You don not seem to understand the situation in Venezuela. The reason Mr Guaidó has proclaimed himself ‘Acting’ President, is because the opposition WON the last elections to the National Assembly. It is, precisely for that reason, that ‘President’ Maduro created a new Assembly, to bypass the majority of the National Assembly. This is clearly an unconstitutional move and Mr Maduro, technically, that is, according to the very same Bolivarian Constitution (‘created’ by President Chávez), is not the legal President of Venezuela.

    2
    21
    • bevin says

      You are entirely wrong. As wrong as the apologists for the coup against Honduras’s Zelaya were to charge him with unconstitutional acts.
      In fact the appropriate court in Venezuela has found that the Constituent Assembly was properly convened and is acting legally. The 2016 elections to the National Assembly were invalid.
      The electoral process used in elections to the Constituent and Presidency is more transparent, fairer and more equitable than any other in the world.
      Maduro is the President and the Constituent Assembly is the legislature.

      17
      1
      • The ‘appropriate court in Venezuela’ is Mauro’s court, judges from the regime… of course they are going to favour Maduro. The surprising thing is that, after having ruled for so long (20 years), and having all the resorts of power, the Bolivarians LOST the election, big time, against an opposition that is not a model of virtues. That gives the measure of the misgovernment of the chavista regime and explains today’s situation of a Bolivarian oligarchy that never had a clear goals and is ideologically and intellectually deficient.

        1
        19
    • mark says

      The Opposition has lost every election it has contested over the past 20 years.
      Elections that have been uniformly endorsed as free and fair.
      As a result, often it doesn’t even bother contesting elections any more because it knows it will lose and just embarrass itself.
      The Opposition represent nobody but themselves, a small Quisling comprador elite bankrolled by US regime change outfits, Big Oil and foreign corporate interests.
      It tries to get round this by violence, both by attempting military coups, assassinations, and using its paramilitary street thugs generously funded by Uncle Sam to foment as much chaos as possible.

      I am calling for Trump to step down as US President immediately.
      He is illegitimate, a usurper. Trump is a dictator.
      He is illegitimate, corrupt, incompetent, undemocratic to the core.
      Clinton won 3 million more votes than Trump.
      Clinton is the legitimate President.
      Patriotic elements in the armed forces and security forces should rise up and overthrow this illegitimate dictator with as much force as necessary.
      The population should rise up throughout the country and stage mass uprisings and demonstrations, using as much force as necessary to remove the Trump Regime and install Mrs. Clinton as Acting President pending new elections.

      In the UK, the May Regime has got to go. It is time for May to stand down.
      The May Regime has only minority support and depends on the support of her bigoted, racist cronies from Northern Ireland.
      She is illegitimate, corrupt, incompetent, undemocratic to the core.
      The May Regime has caused chaos and is leading the country to the brink of disaster.
      I am stepping forward to offer myself as Acting Prime Minister to lead an interim government pending new elections.
      I am calling on patriotic elements of the armed forces for their support, and mass demonstrations throughout the country until this illegitimate regime steps down.
      I am requesting financial support from
      May must go.
      All financial support from people of goodwill in friendly countries is welcome.

      Macron must also step down as President de la Republique.
      He has lost all legitimacy and has to go. His approval rating is in single figures.
      He is corrupt, illegitimate, incompetent, undemocratic to the core.
      On his watch, France has descended into chaos.
      I am calling on patriotic elements to remove this illegitimate president, and support Mme. Le Pen as Acting President to restore order pending new elections. All patriotic Frenchmen must take to the streets and stage mass demonstrations until Macron steps down.
      All financial support from friendly countries is welcome.

      13
      4
    • mark says

      The Opposition did not just not win the elections, they did not even lose them. They did not even take part – on Washington’s instructions. They knew that they had minimal support outside the Washington Beltway and would just humiliate themselves by losing again, like they have lost every other election they have contested.

      They represent Wall Street, the Big Oil Companies, the State Department, their CIA handlers, and the tiny comprador Quisling elite with homes in Miami who worship at the altar of all things American. Nobody else. That’s why, even if these clowns do manage to stage a coup, like in 2002, it will not last for more than a couple of days before it degenerates into broad farce and collapses.

      This is another Regime Change stunt that is going nowhere. Like Iraq, like Syria, like Libya, like Ukraine. Captain Donald Chaos and his hapless henchmen will tear around like the Sorcerer’s Apprentice, as they have so many times before. These desperadoes are just re treads from previous hare brained military adventures over the past 20 years like Bolton, Abrams, Kagan, Cheney, and all the rest. It’s a Who’s Who of the no hopers who have led the US to disaster before. They will do so again. Venezuela and Iran may well prove to be the final nails in the coffin of US aggression and western imperialism. Syria was Stalingrad. Venezuela and iran will be Kursk and Berlin.

      He can’t even build a wall. With Captain Chaos and his Merry Men in charge, what could possibly go wrong?

  6. harry stotle says

    Surely the educated western public are not so thick they will fall for media generated lies about the need for US-backed regime change in Venezuela?

    By now the bigger picture must have dawned on them following US invasions or black-ops in Grenada, Panama, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Viet Nam, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Chile, Yugoslavia, etc, etc.

    It would certainly be disappointing if they made gratuitous references to Corbyn or the fact – fill in name of leader the US don’t like – harmed his ‘own people’ because that would take a special kind of stupid not to see they are being played in order to self-evident military and corporate interests.

    15
    • mark says

      Our American friends are nothing if not predictable.

      Regime Change 101:-

      1. Attack any sovereign, independent country with economic strangulation and economic warfare.
      2. Groom some pliable local stooge to act as the Quisling puppet.
      3. Declare the elected leader and government to be “illegitimate/ corrupt/ incompetent/ undemocratic.”
      4. Get all the presstitutes in the bought and paid for MSM to incite a campaign of smear and vilification against the target country.
      5. Get the NED/ USAID and all the CIA Regime Change Fronts to create and bankroll paramilitary street thugs from any available criminal gangs and low life.
      6. Assassinate, or try to assassinate, the elected leaders of the target country.
      7. Try to incite a military coup by any stooge generals who can be bought.
      8. Get the street thugs to foment as much murder and mayhem as possible, attack police, burn down government buildings, close the capital and major cities down with riots and barricades.
      9. Get the presstitute media to howl with outrage against “repression and human rights abuses” when the government and police try to restore order.
      10. Get your satraps in satellite countries like Canada, France, UK, Brazil to parrot all the smears of the target country and call for regime change.

      12
  7. NOBTS says

    Anybody else wonder if the “international community” consensus on springing this coup might have been taken at Davos?

    11
  8. Thanks, Kit, for keeping the danger of another humanitarian intervention on the screen. Off-G is a great forum for discussing from various points of view the Venezuela issue which has become overly polarised. My comments on your questions follow.

    1. The Venezuelan military high command will probably continue to stand by Maduro. After the 2002 coup attempt, Chavez replaced most of those in place with his own picks. The several thousand Cuban troops in Venezuela would also stand by him. The “colonels” and other military types who are the source of most Latin American coup attempts (eg. Col. Chavez in 1992) are a wildcard. If they think they have enough support internally and externally they might revolt. Also, as a military man and #2 in the government, Cabello could turn them against his rival Maduro, a civilian, for his own gain.

    2. Mass violence on the streets is unlikely. The last major street fighting resulted in a limited number of deaths, mainly caused by “colectivos”, praetorian guards on motorcycles who Chavez was able to control but became lethal after his death. There is little advantage in mass killings since the government has mostly achieved its ends through jailing potential political threats, such as popular presidential candidates.

    3. As you point out, there are already calls for humanitarian intervention from some of the local elite, US neocons, and the MSM and warrior pundits. With Afghanistan, Iraq and other interventions as examples, the possibility of throwing out the baby with the bath water in the process is quite likely; therefore preventing military intervention is paramount.

    4. Positions of European leaders will be a mixed bag given the diversity in the EU. The UK usually supports the US. Germany is starting to become more independent thus support for military intervention is unlikely.

    5. Getting a UN mandate would be difficult with Russia and China sitting with veto powers on the Security Council.

    6. The Resistance (fake left?) would criticise Trump to gain political advantage by perhaps pointing out that Russian bombers are currently using an airbase on a Venezuelan island, but would likely support interference in Venezuela as HRC did in Honduras.

    The question still remains: how can the serious humanitarian crisis in Venezuela be reduced if we agree that foreign military intervention is counter-productive? Basic food items, for example, are becoming more scarce.Venezuela went from producing 70% of its food domestically in 2000 to less than 30% by 2013. With the oil price crash it became harder to pay for food imports. Also, in 2017 Venezuela was tied with Honduras for the world’s second highest murder rate at 56 per 100,000 (El Salvador was #1 at 85) with drug-related violence the main factor.

    The Venezuela crisis has little negative impact on Chile and even some positives, such as an increase in qualified doctors for our system and some fantastic new bakeries. Apart from the pain the majority of those in Venezuela are experiencing, I lament the lost opportunity for the development of a more collective economic system to contrast the current world neoliberal model.

    14
    1
    • bevin says

      “The question still remains: how can the serious humanitarian crisis in Venezuela be reduced if we agree that foreign military intervention is counter-productive? Basic food items, for example, are becoming more scarce..”
      Ending economic sanctions would be one obvious solution.
      Returning Venezuela’s gold reserves and its assets in the US would also allow its government to take the emergency measures needed while confiscating the property and particularly the landholdings of the oligarchic Fifth column which is creating famine in order to provoke violence.
      As to the fiction that violence on the street is caused by the Venezuelan police the record shows otherwise: as in the Maidan in Kiev the greatest threat to lives is the existence of snipers and agents provocateurs in the pay of the opposition, who are reduced to such tactics because they cannot win elections.
      This link to the Skwawkbox gives a good summary:
      https://skwawkbox.org/2019/01/25/i-live-5hr-queues-for-bread-im-living-in-cutest-little-apartment-in-paris-the-same-venezuelan/

      14
  9. John Gilberts says

    “This is astonishing. Chrystia Freeland standing next to Brazil’s far right Bolsonaro in Davos to announce Canada’s support for a coup in Venezuela…”

    https://twitter.com/derrickokeefe/status/1088280556104456704

    No surprise to find Canada’s Foreign Minister Freeland supporting her American overlords, given her fondness for such things especially the one that put her Banderite friends into power in Kiev.

    32
  10. vexarb says

    Update from PNW on SyrPer:

    Pacificnorthwest #285492

    Confirmation from telesur that the Venezuelan military is standing with the legitimate government of Venezuela agaibst the US backed coup plotters:

    Defense Minister Padrino, Military’s Top Brass Affirms Loyalty to President Maduro

    General Vladimir Padrino in a statement from the ministry and in the company of the military leadership said that the United States and other governments are executing a war against Venezuela. “I warn the people that there is a coup underway against our democracy and our president Nicolas Maduro,” Padrino said during the press conference. “As soldiers, we work for peace and not for war.”

    https://www.telesurenglish.net/news/Venezuela-Defense-Minister-Padrino-Militarys-Top-Brass-Affirms-Loyalty-to-President-Maduro-20190124-0013.html

    13
  11. mark says

    Just listened to Sky News droning on about “the corrupt hated Maduro regime” and its “repression”, “because it controls the guns.”

  12. MichaelK says

    Ideally Washington wants the rightwing coup to succeed and topple the Bolivarians from power without the Americans having to intervene directly because US troops on the ground is an incredibly dangerous strategy that could easily backfire and lead to massively negative reaction across Latin America. So, I don’t see an American ‘invasion’ happening soon.

    Venzuela appears to be heading for something that looks like ‘civil war’, that’s bad enough. It could spread and destabliise more than just Venezuela. Let’s hope the army stays loyal. The role of the army will be crucial.

    Grand Washington strategy seems to be to destabilise and destroy any and all states that don’t accept Washington’s leading role in the world. Either one is a loyal vassal state or an enemy ripe for destruction as a functioning state. Libya and Iraq aren’t ‘mistakes’ but the preferred model for the future, if one refuses to bow to Washington. This strategy is so outrageous, bloody, destructive and criminal, that most liberals and soft-left types cannot face it or recognise it, despite the evidence it exists and is what’s happening; the return of brazen, bloody and open western imperialism across the globle.

    This fate, the choice between slavery or destruction, is what’s in store for Russia and China too, change your regime or be destroyed, one way or another.

    26
    • mark says

      One possible outcome is igniting a 50 year Colombia style civil war destabilising the whole continent.

    • John Ervin says

      The whole methodolgy is spelled out in the 5 page introduction to “Confessions of an Economic Hit Man” which is available for a free peak at the Amazon page (if nothing else).

      If all the EHM and jackals fail, bring in the Marines.

      And, we have the redoubtable Smedley Butler to thank for giving us a glimpse of their script in his tell-all “War is a Racket”.

      80 years ago, he said that as top rank Marine brass he was no more nor less than “hired muscle to prop up U.S. business interests.”

      So, if there’s any mystery to Venezuela, at least it’s no longer a secret mystery.

      It’s all about the money. That is, “fossil fuels.”

      If it’s branded as ideological, that is like branding Al Capone as “ideological.”

      OK, OK, enough quotation marks, already, LOL

      17
  13. Robert J. says

    I may be wrong, or hopelessly optimistic, but certain factors might work against the agenda of Washington & Friends:

    – the Brazilian army doesn’t have interventionism built in into its genes. Last foreign war of relevance was the war of Paraguay, 150 years ago — if we’ll except the participation in WWII on the Allies’ side which the previously Nazi-friendly Brazilian dictatorship (although not Vargas himself, but that’s too much detail) were forced into at gun point (by the US, natürlich.) After the latest dictatorship came to an end in the early 1980’s the military have tried hard to make themselves unnoticed, or irrelevant. The top brass’ recent reaction to the wish of politically born-again Christian Bolsonaro to have the US open a new military base in Brazil seems to indicate that they won’t be running to invade Venezuela.

    – Columbia’s military could get slightly overwhelmed if the FARC or other such characters were to give Maduro an indirect helping hand.

    – foreign intervention by the military of Peru, Paraguay, Panama…? Let’s get serious. Although we shouldn’t dismiss the participation of the British and French elements that have been decommissioned in Libya and in Syria. Nor the capabilities of enterprising and well-paid forces of mercenaries.

    – Russia’s recent visit to Venezuela in the guise of a couple of bomber aircrafts might have had the timely effect of calming down the tempers of any wishful invader.

    – then there’s the US — one more quagmire to demonstrate the US military’s incapacity to conquer anything else than the likes of Granada and Panama? Although… the ultimate plan could very well be the breaking-up of Venezuelan society, turning it into a non-functional state, as has been the case in Iraq and Libya, and tentatively, Syria. The desired result, I should think, being a new rise in oil prices worldwide.

    13
  14. Lochearn says

    The shortages of goods in Venezuela are due to capitalists holding back products in their warehouses in order to provoke social and economic strife. The government has been slow to set up alternative systems to provide these products.
    If one reads the WikiLeaks cables relating to US policy in Venezuela they reveal a vast undercover operation extending to the creation of women’s groups in isolated rural areas. It is an excellent case study of how NGOs are used to destabilize governments which do not act in the sole interest of the bankers, the transnationals and domestic elites..
    In the economy generally there has been what FDR called a capital strike where very little money is being injected into businesses. Without the capital strike in the United States the economy would have recovered by 1935. With its own oil, a vast country and an ambitious population of immigrants there was no reason for the US to be in a depression until the outbreak of WWII. “Socialist” Britain of the 1970s is another example of sabotage by the elites, eager as they were to pave the way for the entry of Thatcherism.

    For a brilliant history of the region see “Open Veins of Latin America” by the late Eduardo Galeano.

    23
    1
    • That’s right, the Bolivarian Misgovernment is 20 years too LATE… since 1999…!!! Sabotage and blockade, the excuses of Cuba do not wash anymore… The Bolivarian friends have capital; China, Russia, Iran… are awash with it. Venezuela has capital… OIL… but these crooks have it in Switzerland, Andorra, Spain…!!! Venezuela has NGO’s in Spain, Greece, etc… in fact it has POLITICAL PARTIES IN POWER… Podemos, Syriza…!!!

      28
        • Another cretin? If you have something to say or contribute do so. Do not be afraid, this is a free speech area, even if you are a moron…!!!

          1
          21
          • comite espartaco – In response to your referring to other commentators as “morons” and “cretins” a quote from Shakespeare comes to mind:

            “me thinks the troll boy doth project too much!”

            Or was it, “me thinks the lady doth protest too much?” Well, whatever, you get the idea.

            17
            • How delicate and petulant are those who insult, thinking that those they insult are dumb and unable to defend themselves… Fair is foul and fouls is fair… hover through the fog and filthy air…!!!

              1
              18
          • John Ervin says

            He DID have something to contribute. He called you “CIA stooge”

            OK, OK, maybe that was too generous. We see your point.

            £4£4£………………€

            “I seen the varmint!”
            -Louis L’Amour

            13
            • Balky laughing & chuckling , (indeed balky almost choked), on that particularly refreshing ‘royal minty’ metaphor and observations of yours, John . . .

              For the love of God & Louis (C4K), $4$ somethings are obvious and crystal clear in terms of ‘pixelisation’ , thus balky has often wondered if Comite Espartaco-bell is in fact the boss of the British 77th Brigade / Division, in mind , coz’ he ain’t one of their 19 yr. old kids and seems to have a far better vocab & education .. than anybody in the CIA 😉

              Lol, great comments , JE on form 🙂 Al Capone “ideology” says everything-everything 😉

              • John Ervin says

                Just yet one more, and mere, humble Conspiracy Realist, at your service.

                And Comite was Colonel Blimp in a former life, though not as funny as this one.

      • mark says

        Dear CE,

        I’m no fan of centrally planned controlled economies.
        But consider the reality for a moment. America has waged an unrelenting campaign of economic strangulation against Cuba for 60 years. This has cost a small and relatively poor country in excess of $1 trillion. Don’t you think if Cuba had just been left alone that $1 trillion could have produced a better way of life for the people there? Cuba has been unable to use medical monitoring equipment bought from Holland because it has a small US component. If Cuba buys Italian textile machinery that is taken to Cuba in a Greek merchant ship, both that Italian company and the Greek ship are boycotted by the US. And this has been going on for 60 years. When the tourist industry grew over recent years, CIA terrorist proxies placed bombs in Cuban tourist hotels. The US mounted a protracted terrorist campaign against Cuba targeting power stations, bridges, industry and infrastructure. Over 3,000 Cubans were murdered. There were 600 attempts to assassinate Castro. These failed because Castro had very good security and often slept at a different address every night. And of course the country was actually invaded. There is an ongoing destabilisation campaign against Cuba by USAID, NED, and all the usual suspects. Do you seriously believe all this had no effect on the economy?

        You could say much the same about most of the countries of the region. There has been an all out campaign of regime change and economic strangulation against Venezuela for 20 years. The US actually mined Nicaraguan territorial waters to try to cripple the economy. The US was ordered to desist by the ICC and pay compensation to Nicaragua. It just ignored the verdict.

        24
        • Dear Mark

          Economic strangulation of would be communist regimes or others, is nothing new. It does not mean that is not harmful, of course it is, but that is the name game when you have a revolution. The US does not need to support or make life easy for anyone, especially if it is being constantly accused of imperialism, etc… Cuba had the support of the USSR and others and though it certainly managed to make solid and excellent advances, it could not outgrow its Soviet ‘dependency’, reacting too late to the collapse of the USSR. Cuba is a ‘personalist’ regime, a monarchy, that has not managed to create a constitutional regime with adequate mechanisms for the transfer of power, democratic control and the incorporation of the population to the political process. That is why the Castros are still in power and that is why the regime is on the brink of ‘collapse’ (as soon as Castro II dies). Today the elite, including the Castro family and the military, is jockeying for positions to share the wealth of the island (tourism, mines, etc…) and few doubt that they will try to create a capitalist system based on the Chinese model, if the military and the people do not do something about it, that is.

          1
          28
          • milosevic says

            LOL at “constantly accused of imperialism”.

            Yes, it’s those constant accusations of imperialism that are really ruining the world.

            17
            • If you hate the US so much… Why do you want to trade with it or have relations with it…???!!! I f they are so bad close all channels, do a North Korea. Though, even North Korea wants commerce and charity from the US… perhaps not to die of starvation…!!!

              23
          • mark says

            Castro was not originally communist or pro Russia. He was condemned and criticised by the Cuban Communist Party. He had to turn to Russia for help to survive in the face of unremitting US hostility. They didn’t want the US to “support” or “make life easy” for them. Probably they were hoping for some kind of accommodation, not US invasions, 600 plus assassination attempts against the head of state, 60 years of economic strangulation costing them over $1 trillion, and a decades long terrorist campaign costing thousands of Cuban lives. But of course when you’re “exceptional” and “indispensable” you can do what you like.

            15
        • Maggie says

          ”CIA terrorist proxies placed bombs in Cuban tourist hotels.”
          The King David Hotel bombing was an attack carried out on Monday July 22, 1946 by the militant Zionist underground organization Irgun on the British administrative headquarters for Palestine, which was housed in the southern wing of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem.
          it was officially announced that 91 people had been killed in the explosion: 28 Britons, 41 Arabs, 17 Jews and five others.
          The hotel was the site of the central offices of the British Mandatory authorities of Palestine, principally the Secretariat of the Government of Palestine and the Headquarters of the British Armed Forces in Palestine and Transjordan.
          Disguised as Arabs, the Irgun terrorists loaded a van with seven milk-churns, each containing 50kg of explosives and special detonators. They drove to the hotel and slipped in via a service entrance for the restaurant.
          As they left the hotel, the terrorists were spotted by a group of soldiers who shot at them. They escaped though, and then made a warning call to the Palestine Post telling them: “I am speaking on behalf of the Hebrew underground.
          “We have placed an explosive device in the hotel. Evacuate it at once – you have been warned.”
          it was officially announced that 91 people had been killed in the explosion: 28 Britons, 41 Arabs, 17 Jews and five others. They didn’t even care that they might kill their own people.

          ”Two years later the British had left and the state of Israel was proclaimed”. Some of the militants involved in the planning of the bombing went on to become influential figures, including a future Israeli prime minister.

          https://proxywarsfalseflagattacks.wordpress.com/the-king-david-hotel/
          (Some great information on this site)

          Last year Prince William even went to Israel and stayed at the St David……
          Talk about turning the other cheek?

          Is it me?

          12
          • mark says

            A few years ago there was a big ceremony in Israel to commemorate the event. Not to remember the victims, but to honour the terrorists. Just one of thousands of terrorist atrocities committed by the Zionist Regime.

      • bevin says

        In point of fact the US is currently freezing Venezuela’s financial assets (Capital) and handing it over to the |legitimate” goverrnment. The Ban kdf England already refused, several weeks ago, to return Venezuela’s gold reserves.
        So the thieves in question are easily identifiable as Trump and May.
        Further: as was the case in Libya, where the country’s foreign deposits were handed over to the various jihadist militias and of course persons like Sarkozy and Clinton, the likelihood is that Venezuela’\s purloined capital will be spent on mercenaries, weapons and propaganda campaigns.
        If he is listening Chris Nige Donnelly might put in a bid for a couple of million for the Institute of Statesmanship, the Integrity Initiative or another of the many scams being run by ex MI types, intent on keeping the wolf from the domestic door by pretending that it is a Bear.

        14
      • Ken Kenn says

        You can have all the capital in the world but if the US says you are under sanctions you are under sanctions.

        They control the petro dollar and the vast majority of payment systems across the globe.

        The BRICS are working on an alternative payment system and when it arrives the dollar will be dead.

        Like the end of the World is Nigh though it will take a bit of time.

        Meanwhile if you and your acolytes want to bow to your master carry on.

        In the next financial crash your deposits in your trusted bank will be used towards the bailout.

        See Cyprus for a European example of this in action.

        Have anice grovelly day.

    • Thomas Prentice says

      The Open Veins are STILL OPEN. Galeano’s book is sobering to person with a conscience. Especially to a WHITE EURO person with a conscience.

  15. Thomas Prentice says

    Here is a letter is sent to the dallas morning news, nyt, washington bezos, toronto star, and yes, our dear guardian and one or two others. I expect the axe of fascist corporate censorship to fall on this letter in each and every one of these corporate fascist mainstream media outlets of propaganda, trivia, gossip and trash-talking, evidence and source-free:

    Dear Editor:

    Venezuela, Uruguay, Bolivia, Nicaragua and now Cuba and the Caribbean states are the only actual, authentic democracies in the Western Hemisphere.

    There were more — Brazil, Argentina, Ecuador, Honduras and others before the United States deep state under Barack Obama and now Donald Trump/Pence turned a fusillade of Wall Street international financial and CIA / Mossad pressures on those nations to convert back to the hated militarized right wing dictatorships of the 1970s and 80s that were instituted by Nixon/Kissinger.

    Now the US is “recognizing” a Venezuelan “president” who captured not a single vote in the recent presidential elections. And the US regime has a murderous coup d’etat underway for Venezuela.

    This comes from a nation in which the popular vote winner of the most recent presidential election in 2016 — Hillary Clinton by 3 million votes — was denied the office and the loser installed in the Oval Office. This was because of a peculiar constitutional apparatus called the electoral college, which is a relic of that “peculiar institution” called African slavery and served to give southern states more power to select the president.

    So the US has no standing at all to lecture Venezuela about democracy – Venezuela, a democracy which has held 25 elections in 20 years including eight presidential elections in which the person with the majority of votes actually won.

    Thomas A. Prentice, Ph.D.

    35
    1
    • Brian Living says

      Would you mind me copying this to the Mail?

        • Maggie says

          Hi Thomas,
          Press and hold down the control key, then swipe the mouse over the text you want to use.., right click and the menu will drop down… choose COPY, then go to the comment/discussion site of your choice… and right click again and choose PASTE.

    • Mr Guaidó is the President of the National Assembly of Venezuela, elected not long ago with a majority against the Bolivarian regime and constitutionally entitled to take the position of Acting President, as he has rightly done. On the other hand, if you are seriously saying that the presidents of the United States of America have been elected illegitimately by following the ‘peculiar’ US Constitution, then, you should go to the Mexican border and show your letter to the migrants that try to enter the US. There is no doubt that, as soon as they read it, the immigrants will quickly turn their backs and run towards the truly democratic paradises of Cuba (ruled by a gerontocracy that is privatising the island), Nicaragua (run by the wife of the eternal Ortega), Bolivia (run by another eternal thirdworldist racist president that wants to revive the Inca Empire), Uruguay (where drugs are legal) and, of course, to Venezuela (already abandoned by millions). With your simple letter you would have solved the migration problem, of the USA and the world, in no time and could become a truly democratic candidate to be elected, perhaps, under a new ‘peculiar’ US Constitution.

      31
      • Thomas Prentice says

        Yes. If it is not democratic, it is illegitimate — dude — being as the US is the World’s Greatest Democracy — nd the world’s greatest HYPOCRITE. duh!

        17
        • Go to the Mexican border and tell immigrants just that. Tell them to go to truly ‘democratic’ countries like Venezuela, Cuba or Nicaragua, where leaders never change or die in power. Go and tell them that the US is an illegitimate dictatorship, even worst than the ‘shitholes’ they come from. Go and tell them.

          1
          17
          • John Ervin says

            “Communism is a judgement on our failure to make democracy real, and to follow through on the revolutions we initiated.”

            –a very young Martin Luther King, Jr.

            10
          • mark says

            It is in the nature of things that refugees seek refuge in the belly of the beast that has destroyed them. That was true at the time of the Roman Empire and it is true today. This was a key factor in the eventual destruction of the Roman Empire. It will be the same story with the US Empire and its European satellites, a tidal wave of humanity from devastated countries. In those times they were called Goths, Visigoths, and various other peoples. Now they are Iraqis, Syrians, Libyans, Afghans, East Africans, Central Africans, and Central Americans. All countries that were destroyed and turned into Mad Max hellholes by US invasions, bombings and general mayhem. The US and its EU satellites are finally learning to their cost that you cannot export unlimited violence and slaughter all over the planet and expect to remain immune to it yourself. The devastation they have visited on so many others for so long is finally coming home to roost in the form of a tsunami of desperate, unwanted unassimilable humanity. They have opened Pandora’s Box and let the genie out of the bottle. They can no sooner stop this with their border walls than King Canute could order the tide to go back. There are probably other apt metaphors, like being hoist with their own petard. They are going down, the victims of their own criminal barbarism. 30 million plus illegal beaners and wetbacks already, with more to come. The unwanted millions in Europe turning most major cities into Third World slums, like Cairo without the sunshine. And this is just the beginning.

            12
            2
            • That must explain why the republican refugees from the Spanish Civil War fled towards the areas controlled by Franco, Germany and Italy. Why the children of the UK were evacuated to Germany and not to Australia during the WWII or why the Chinese communists did a Long March to end up in the hands of the Kuomintang… That must be why, given the choice between the true democracies of Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela, they choose the tyranny of the USA. You seem to have misunderstood the situation. The truth is that Roman imperialism was a consequence of invasions and not the other way round as you suggest. The romans were defending themselves against ‘fakefugees’. The rest is history as they say.

              1
              8
      • mark says

        Maybe Clinton should just declare herself president and seize power. Maybe Corbyn should just declare himself prime minister and seize power, because Trump and May are “illegitimate usurpers” who should be overthrown by the armed forces.

        10
      • John Ervin says

        Not at all, mostly our pResidents have been “elected” through “elections” that are, to borrow Gore Vidal’s relevant aperçu, “pretty much rigged from the getgo”.

        And we are enthusiastically, eagerly exporting those Trojan Horses, aka voting machines, to all four corners of the globe (tentatively branded “Amerikkka”.)

        Other than that, we stole them fair and square.

        AND: “constititutionally” LOLOLOL.

      • mark says

        Strange how this opposition can never win an election. They base their legitimacy on the support of Uncle Sam, Wall Street, the big oil companies and the comprador elite worshipping at the altar of all things American. I suppose that all trumps a mere democratic election endorsed as entirely free and fair by international monitors.

  16. To Big B.
    Unfortunately there are many people with infantile illusions about the fake ‘revolution’ in Venezuela. That is one of the problems. The Bolivarian regime is guilty as sin of manipulating important sectors of an ignorant and exasperated population (and the world at large) and creating the illusion of change, when they have not done what it should have been done (violently or otherwise) when it had ALL power in its hands. That is why they have reproduced a new elite, a populist oligarchy that has fallen in the same or worst vices than the previous one. It is not enough to rap around a red flag to make a revolution or to buy some support with uncertain oil revenues. Today, this regime is crumbling under the blows of the old oligarchy and new sectors that are starving or migrating. In Venezuela they tried to reproduce a personalist, castroist regime, with the help of Cuba, knowing full well that Cuba was sinking and crumbling and is being transformed into a capitalist economy of friends, like in China. The left is up to its neck in this new and deserved disaster.

    1
    39
    • BigB says

      Well, I can see the love of humanity flowing through your comment. Whilst there might be a grain of truth in your disposition, there also seems to be a desert of delusion. Not a word written to the realpolitik situation of an immanent Yankee imperial invasion. Name one South American country that has benefited from American democratic intervention since 1823? You can’t. No one can. Who shall we ask, Smedley Butler? He knew which corporations he was working for, eventually.

      From Monroe’s doctrinaire manifest destiny on through the School for the Americas, the death squads, the Condor ‘human intelligence led’ capture, disappear, or kill, the murderous neoliberal human vivesection of Chile, the Cocaine Import Association’s smuggling, the Medelin Cartel, the juntas, regime changes, invasions, etc. in their own private “back yard” …the Bolivarian Revolution may not be perfect: but set against the history that has passed you by – they are doing not bad.

      21
      • It is precisely because of these idiotic and fake revolutionaries, that all that you have mentioned happened. It is, precisely, because of phony revolutionaries and ‘christian lovers’ of mankind, that humanity is being slaughtered like a defenceless lamb by corrupt and depraved politicians and exploiters. Intervention and colonisation is not a miracle, a supernatural occurrence, it needs internal mediation and collaboration. These fatuous Bolivarian ‘revolutionaries’ and their asinine friends have created the ideal conditions for that…!!!

        1
        20
  17. The front running of the Regime change ops is not so hard to see,
    Ukraine, Syria, Libya , Now Venezuela again,
    Heres VoltaireProject Kurt W Tidd, Stella Colloni and Thierry Meyssan. From as far back as February 2018!!!!
    https://www.voltairenet.org/article201100.html

    Here is a thread on Twitter from 14th January, where in knocking Jeremy Corbyn some one trotted out the, ” Ask the people about Venezuela about Socialism”, Jibe.
    https://longhairedmusings.wordpress.com/2019/01/24/venezuelan-narratives-front-running-the-regime-change-ops/

    Andrew Neal also got in on the act and provoked a fairly impressive push back Abi Martin also tweeted having had to flea Venezuela under threat of death form the Coups Mob.
    https://twitter.com/afneil/status/1088173584286134274

  18. The US has not arrogated anything to itself. It is a considerable part of the people of Venezuela that is trying to get rid of a ridiculous regimen of crooks and thickos that are, not only ruining their own country, but attacking others by creating a movement of mass migration and funding political ultraliberal parties in other countries like Spain and Greece. We are before a clear case of Third World Imperialist expansion and colonisation…!!!

    37
    • I am not trying to be personal or anything, but there is a difference between free speech, a practise I would always endorse even if I don’t particularly like the content, and outright gibberish – a practice for which you seem to have a particular penchant. By all means continue if you wish to make a laughing stock of yourself.

      32
      • Thank you for giving us your peerless permission to humbly and awkwardly express ourselves… Oh Lord…!!!

        1
        17
    • John Ervin says

      Graham Greene did more than a sketch of American agents provocateurs in his “The Quiet American”.

      He killed it. Alden Pyle was working this same old Pirates of the Caribbean shtick, only in French Indochine, in Place Garnier, Saigon of January 1952. Dawn of the (Nazified, Gehlen-run, Operation Paperclipped) CIA.

      H. Bruce Franklin wrote about all this in his extremely canny review in The Nation of Philip Noyce’s 2002 film remake, an essay “By the Bombs Early Light”. He wrote me in his reply to my kudos “Greene sure had his number.”

      And Greene wrote in his 1962 preface to Our Man in Havana, “Apparently in Washington, terrorism is only terrorism when it comes from the left.”

      In USAmerican foreign policy, one cliché is eternal and pure gold, and always has been, “The more things change, the more they stay the same.”

  19. Frankly Speaking says

    As poor a leader as Maduro is, as chaotic the economy has become, we in the West have no right to stage a coup there, although it’s never stopped us countless times before. Let the Venezuelans fight it out amongst themselves.
    China’s and Russia’s reactions will be interesting, not least since their people are there already helping prop up Maduro. Could become the Cuban Missile Crisis v2

    9
    5
    • BigB says

      Yep, the Tu-160s have already been to Caracas – to test Russian American resolve.

      https://www.rt.com/news/446899-russia-military-base-venezuela/

      There is a power struggle going on, as every one knows. Americas withdrawal from the ABM (2002), and now the INF (2018!), is part of it. The real target is China, not Russia …thought the nuclear capable Aegis Onshore array in Turkey and Italy, sorry, Poland and Romania was highly provocative. As is withdrawing from the INF. Russias diplomatic response to extend, rather than tear up, the INF, will be rebuffed. The decision was already made. The US did not even attend the briefing on the rogue missile, or offers to use the inspectorial elements of the INF to verify Russias compliance. They are leaving the INF. De facto: they already have.

      Why, would seem to be a very pertinent question? Apart from the obvious MIC procurement boondoggle: I have read quite a bit of analysis that they have absolutely no need to. They could strategically bring China, India, Pakistan, Israel (LOL!!!) under the terms of the INF diplomatically as a solution. Even if they follow this dangerous course of action, their submarine (SLBM – Trident) fleet makes any ground launched cruise missile (GLCM) redundant (like the Jupiter missiles). They could just modify their Tomahawks into nuclear capable TLAM-Ns. Then there is the deployment issue: no one in either Europe or Asia-Pacific wants ICBMs or nuclear-capable GLCMs in their country …not even Stoltenberg or Mogherini.

      So, WTF are they up to? I do not know, but the ghosts of Cuba are still haunting us. Which is why I am vehemently against the American ‘Thirteen Days’ propaganda. We survived by a combination of luck and Soviet (Khrushchev unilaterally overiding the Presidium) diplomacy. I know who I am backing this time: absent the millions on the street calling for a total ban on nuclear weapons.

      Narcissistic egomaniacs should not be allowed any where near nuclear toys. Ban the bomb! Better still, ban the bomb, and the statist dictators and terrorista regimes that ransom humanities future for a powerplay.

  20. Andyoldlabour says

    The US/UK/EU which is so quick to accuse others of meddling/hacking/interfering in politics, have themselves been openly advocating and funding regime change, invasions and wars around the World for the last one hundred and twenty years.
    The press is of course facilitating and supporting this and will publish any amount of lies to keep the public on board.

    29
  21. Francis Lee says

    So the United States has arrogated to itself the power to decide who shall rule in Venezuela (or anywhere else for that matter) what policies they will be required to pursue and what assets will be liable to confiscation, in this particular case Venezuela’s oil, and to abandon any notion of sovereignty. This is not just naked imperialism, it is simply a murderous mafia protection racket. So much for the shining city on the hill. In more diplomatic terms.

    ”The creeping universalization of American law and practices of universal jurisdiction represented a new type of power that threatens the sovereignty of states everywhere.” (Russia Against the Rest – Richard Sakwa)

    25
    • Frankly Speaking says

      It’s the Age of the New American Century and the implementation of their policy of Full Spectrum Dominance.

      China and Russia have tried to stand up to them, but even they are struggling to contain the bully as they see their economies nosedive and being cut out of the financial system they still depend upon.

      4
      1
      • Francis Lee says

        ”China and Russia have tried to stand up to them, but even they are struggling to contain the bully as they see their economies nosedive and being cut out of the financial system they still depend upon.”

        China and Russia are standing up to them since they have no alternative other than complete surrender. Unlike your snivelling EU Petainists and Quislings who have sold out lock stock and barrel to the great transatlantic mafia behemoth. BTW what’s with the ‘economies nosediving meme? If anyone is nosediving it is your lovely EU, nosediving in both political and economic terms.

        11
        1
    • mark says

      They gotta pay! They gotta pay! They gotta pay us!

  22. JudyJ says

    Apologies if this has already been alluded to in comments below but can it really just be a coincidence that, to quote Vanessa Beeley from an article of 26 October 2018, “A variation on the White Helmet theme has made an appearance in Venezuela, Indonesia and the Philippines. Le Mesurier [WH founder] was recently on a recruitment drive in Brazil”? One has to ask which comes first: ‘civil unrest’ and violence in such countries so White Helmets are recruited to help out in emergencies, or White Helmets are recruited and shortly followed by ‘civil unrest’ and violence. I certainly know how it looks to me.

    25
    • BigB says

      Looking for a fresh supply of organs, no doubt?

  23. milosevic says

    try harder, CIA shill.

    It is clear to me at any rate that the internal tasks of these countries cannot be solved without a simultaneous revolutionary struggle against imperialism. The agents of the United States, England, France, try to substitute the struggle against fascism for the struggle against imperialism. We have observed their criminal efforts at the recent congress against war and fascism. In the countries of Latin America the agents of “democratic” imperialism are especially dangerous, since they are more capable of fooling the masses than the open agents of fascist bandits.

    I will take the most simple and obvious example. In Brazil there now reigns a semifascist regime that every revolutionary can only view with hatred. Let us assume, however, that on the morrow England enters into a military conflict with Brazil. I ask you on whose side of the conflict will the working class be? I will answer for myself personally—in this case I will be on the side of “fascist” Brazil against “democratic” Great Britain. Why? Because in the conflict between them it will not be a question of democracy or fascism. If England should be victorious, she will put another fascist in Rio de Janeiro and will place double chains on Brazil. If Brazil on the contrary should be victorious, it will give a mighty impulse to national and democratic consciousness of the country and will lead to the overthrow of the Vargas dictatorship. The defeat of England will at the same time deliver a blow to British imperialism and will give an impulse to the revolutionary movement of the British proletariat. Truly, one must have an empty head to reduce world antagonisms and military conflicts to the struggle between fascism and democracy. Under all masks one must know how to distinguish exploiters, slave-owners, and robbers!

    Leon Trotsky — Anti-Imperialist Struggle Is Key to Liberation

    12
    • If Trotsky said that he was OBVIOUSLY mistaken, as history has shown with the Falkland War (cannot get closer to his conjecture), in which a fascist, nay a NAZI terrorist dictatorship took on ‘Imperialist’ Britain and was defeated and crumbled and had to revert to a kind of democratic regime…!!!

      1
      15
    • Frankly Speaking says

      Taking a leaf out of the book of the murderous Bolsheviks is not the answer to imperialism. Two wrongs don’t make it right.

      2
      3
  24. Narrative says

    “This move was backed by Canada, Brazil, Argentina, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Chile and Peru”

    Shame on Israel and Australia, not showing leadership on the global stage*. Where is the Zionist solidarity with the criminal white house?

    * sarcasm, in case you wondered

    15
    • Ecuador with a Bolivarian President called Lenin Moreno, successor to President Correa and former member of the MIR and now of Alianza País, ‘XXI century socialist’ party… BOLIVARIAN… Costa Rica with leftist President Quesada from the Citizens Action Party… Canada, with PM Justin Trudeau, from the Liberal Party, centre-left, well known immigrationist, multiculturalist lefty… Do you really know what you’re talking about…???!!!

      13
      • BigB says

        No one is under any illusion about the failings of the Bolivarian Revolution. They failed to non-violently (were it possible) to break up the power base of the capitalist comprador fifth columnists – and equitably dispose of their assets – being the main one. Over-reliance on oil revenues (the so-called Dutch Disease) being the other. But what is the realpolitik alternative? Neoliberal vassalisation, comprador elites, civil-military occupation, asset stripping, environmental catastrophe, and no welfare state or benefits for the workers. Anyone who speaks out against such US imperial dehumanisation will be taking a short helicopter ride …one way ticket only.

        So I take your criticism. Shall we now go through the neoliberal elites and compare and contrast their failings, and crimes against humanity?

        In no way is it perfect. In many ways we are the limiting factor …letting our elites act against us, in our name. There is an awful lot of room for improvement, both home and abroad. To do so, we must all stand together for our rights.

        ¡Viva la Revolución!

  25. BigB says

    Is that the sub-imperial satrap EU: the one that faithfully follows NATO policy hoping to get the rebuilding contracts? Legitimating comprador regimes – like Guaido’s (let us hope it never comes to that) with fake democratic elections (Venezuela is the world leading democracy by dint of its electoral system); training the civil-militarised police to keep them in power (for neoliberalism); educating the civil society (to perpetuate the flow of neoliberal compradors); extending their own military (EUMU – by unifying member states militarily under singlepoint command and control (including all defence budgets and inter-operable procurement contracts))? I think it is.

    Is that the same EU our pinko-commie imposters and impersonators of the fake-left want us permanently aligned to (permanent CU)? Not in their propagandic retelling – but I think it is.

    Do they not understand the vital concepts of autonomy and sovereignty? When, as in this case, the EU decides its foreign policy subjacent to NATO objectives (in this case oil), member states will have the right of verbal dissent – but which will carry no authority. The EU decides EU foreign policy: with corporate, NATO, imperialist policy objectives as goals. The public get no say. That means none.

    So the progressive left can say that they support Maduro, but have absolutely no recourse to exercise that discord. The EU will be deploying our military and spending out tax money to defeat the Bolivarian Revolution …in turn defeating us. Socialism can only prevail internationally with international solidarity …free of neoliberal policy imperialism.

    No true socialist could back the EU, its sub-imperial subjugation to NATO (the Washington Consensus imperial army); its neoliberal policies (international policy dominion and universal dehumanisation); or want to be permanently aligned to its neoliberal imperialism.

    To do so would mean being a class traitor, betraying not only ones solidarity to the UK struggle, but internationally betraying the Bolvarian Revolution. We are all Venezuela now.

    ¡Viva la Revolución!

    14
    • Colonialism is starting to appear as a GOOD option for the Third World. Perhaps that unfortunate world should never have been allowed to secede from the West. Today it is the worst of all worlds. Without the ‘protection’ of the Western Working Class, even if deficient, the Third World has only ‘caciques’, dictators, mafias and failed regimes, under the control of the Western oligarchies of always or, even worst, under the control or influence of the Eastern ones, that are even more rapacious than the Western ones.

      29
      • mark says

        Yes, we need you as our viceroy in Bongobongoland. Dust off your pith helmet and get cracking.

        • There’s no need… you are the clowns that are doing the dirty work for the imperialists… You don’t have viceroys, but KINGS: Cuba, a monarchy… Bolivia, a monarchy… Venezuela, a monarchy… Syria, a monarchy… Nicaragua, a ‘diarchy’… let’s not mention Africa.

      • Jim Scott says

        You are more irrational than Pompeo, Bolton and Trump. Congratulations as that is no mean feat.

  26. Venezuela isn’t like Cuba, it’s not even “Socialist”, it’s Bolivarian. There are still elites in Venezuela and the economy is mostly in private hands. The “opposition” refused to take part in the Constituents Assembly because it wasn’t introduced by way of a referendum. However, it couldn’t be more democratic if it tried and what’s wrong with the people having the power to rewrite the constitution? What is definitely wrong is for American client states to come out and denounce the Constituent assembly as dictatorial.
    Unfortunately the coup been simmering away for years, long before the introduction of the Constituent Assembly, on Monday 21/01/19 a small group of soldiers with interests linked to the Venezuelan right led an insubordination uprising in the Cotiza neighbourhood https://www.plenglish.com/index.php?o=rn&id=37936&SEO=venezuela-constituent-assembly-rejects-call-for-violence. I have read plenty of articles condemning the Assembly and apart from the fact that it wasn’t introduced on the back of a referendum the main “threat” as they see it is “it amplifies the support of Maduro” and the contention that ” These temporary bodies, however, can be manipulated for anti-democratic ends.”.
    From where I’m standing (a long way off), it looks like America made up its mind years ago and Venezuela will be “liberated” soon.

    21
    • Maggie says

      Venzuelan Gold and oil will be ”liberated” into the coffers of the Hydra.

      Venezuela want to ‘repatriate’ their Gold from Britain to offset US sanctions..… Sadly, they don’s stand a cat in hell’s chance. US and UK both sh*t in the same pot.
      The Times reported that the Bank of England has “refused to release the gold bars” worth just over $550 million to President Nicolas Maduro.
      According to the Times, the reason the BoE has refused release is due to its insistence that standard measures to prevent money-laundering be taken — “including clarification of the Venezuelan government’s intentions for the gold.”
      “There are concerns that Mr. Maduro may seize the gold, which is owned by the state, and sell it for personal gain,” the newspaper said.
      (scan down to the comments..).
      https://www.rt.com/business/443205-venezuela-repatriate-millions-gold-britain/
      https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-11-08/bank-england-refuses-release-venezuelas-gold

      Corporate-owned, Mainstream Media advises Americans to concentrate on clichés they heard in elementary school about how “Communism just doesn’t work.”
      In reality, millions of Venezuelans have seen their living conditions vastly improved through the Bolivarian process. The problems plaguing the Venezuelan economy are NOT due to some inherent fault in socialism, but to artificially low oil prices and sabotage by FORCES HOSTILE to the revolution.
      Starting in 2014, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia flooded the market with cheap oil.
      This is not a mere business decision, but a calculated move coordinated with U.S. and Israeli foreign policy goals. Despite not just losing money, but even falling deep into debt, the Saudi monarchy continues to expand its oil production apparatus.
      The result has been driving the price of oil down from $110 per barrel, to $28 in the early months of 2018. The goal is to weaken these opponents of Wall Street, London, and Tel Aviv, whose economies are centred around OIL and NATURAL GAS exports.And Venezuela is one of those countries.
      Saudi efforts to drive down oil prices have drastically reduced Venezuela’s state budget and led to enormous consequences for the Venezuelan economy and people..
      At the same time, PRIVATE food processing and importing CORPORATIONS have launched a coordinated campaign of sabotage. This, coupled with the weakening of a vitally important state sector of the economy, has resulted in inflation and food shortages.
      The artificially low oil prices have left the Venezuelan state cash-starved, prompting a crisis in the funding of the social programs that were key to strengthening the United Socialist Party.
      Corruption is a big problem in Venezuela and many third-world countries…… This was true prior to the Bolivarian process, as well as after Hugo Chavez launched his massive economic reforms. In situations of extreme poverty, people learn to take care of each other….. But people who work in government are almost expected to use their position to ‘take care’ of their friends and family. Corruption is a big problem under any system, but it is much easier to tolerate in conditions of greater abundance. The problem has been magnified in Venezuela due to the drop in state revenue caused by the low oil prices and sabotage from food importers.
      https://www.mintpressnews.com/us-led-economic-war-not-socialism-tearing-venezuela-apart/218335/
      https://ammo.com/articles/venezuela-economy-collapse-socialism-oil-envy-demagogues

      • Frankly Speaking says

        A mere half a billion is not going to save Venezuela, but it would be a tidy sum for Maduro and his generals.
        I’m against the coup, but the revolutionaries have badly mismanaged the country and are no doubt utterly corrupt. As ever, it’s the ordinary working people who get shafted by the nutters on the right and the left.

        1
        2
        • mark says

          If Chavez and Maduro had been run of the mill politicians who could be bought like street corner whores by Uncle Sam, the presstitutes of the MSM would be singing their praises to the rafters and doing as many puff pieces on them as they did on Mohammed Bin Salman.

          5
          1
          • Frankly Speaking says

            As I said, two wrongs don’t make it right. Emulating the corrupt practices of the fascists is not going to succeed in the long term.

            • Jim Scott says

              You base your comments on your own conjecture and as you know conjecture is not based on facts and is anchored in prejudice.
              What factual evidence do you have that Maduro wants his countries gold back from a country that is threatening invasion so that he can pocket it for his own benefit.
              If that was the case he would simply have it taken from him when the Western oil thieves invaded his country.
              It is much more likely that the corrupt UK Government is trying to create a divide between Moduro and his army by preventing him from paying military salaries. While the army is supporting the legitimate government the task of the Western oil thieves is much more difficult.

  27. President Trump is, once again, right. It was only a matter of time that National Assembly would react against Maduro’s coup and today takes charge of its constitutional duties. Maduro’s regime or Rotten’s regime, as is also called, suffers the deserved fate of a loony leftist regime, an ultra-liberal, thirdworldist racist, globalist and immigrationist regime, that not only has not change the economic structures of the country, but has destroyed and sabotaged the previous and paltry ‘productive’ structures, through a combination of ‘prestige’ projects for its clients, the appropriation of wealth by the castroist elite and the ‘forced’ migration of vast sectors of the population. Maduro’s regime has attacked and organised the immigrationist invasion of countries like Colombia, Brazil, Spain and others and funded ultraliberal leftist groups around the world to promote globalisation, unfair competition and immigrationism. Today is pay back time.

    47
    • milosevic says

      What’s it like, working as a CIA disinfo shill? Do they pay you well? Do you get free cocaine and prostitutes? A subscription to Mockingbird Weekly News?

      39
      2
      • Funny you mention that… Venezuela and its Bolivarian oligarchy is as well known for its drug trafficking as the Cuban one for its prostitution rings… After all, the narconephews of the wife of Maduro are in jail. But, why do you think the ‘tourist’ industry is so important in Cuba? Surely you are not so naïve as to think that all that wealthy and middle class tourists from Italy, Canada, Spain, UK, etc… go to Cuba for the climate…???!!!

        1
        28
        • different frank says

          Please ask your team leader for a better script.
          You are just embarrassing yourself.

          19
          • Frank Mann says

            Problem is, the CIA and its enablers (cast of thousands is an understatement) have so littered our landscape with disinfo about leaders like Chavez and Maduro, that it is simply unwise to absorb any negatives about them. Stalin has been portrayed as The Beast forever, but you read highly eminent observers such as H. Bruce Franklin and you get an entirely different impression of him.

            Or Castro, or….

            The entire Kennedy clan.

            Fill in the blanks, of anybody who has his mugshot on our “Post Office” wall of usual suspects fighting Wall Street imperialism.

            Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

            I take any slams and smears of Maduro with no barrels of salt, no salt at all. I simply disregard them. It’s just full of so much state-sanctioned and propelled slander and libel, it’s simply worthless.

            It’s Texas versus the Universe. I’ve lived some years in Dallas, and the viewpoint there, loud and clear, is that everyone outside of Texas is fair game for a Cowboy, to be roped, tied, and branded as cattle herded into corrals, awaiting proper handling.

            Considering the way most of their proximate neighbor Americans behave, it’s understandable that they think that, I suppose, and they have so little real contact or exchange with the rest of the country, and world, that they just assume it’s their galaxy.

            And they have had all the money and guns to make that come true, mostly.

            ~~~~~

            “America…. just a nation of 200 million used car salesmen, with all the money we need to buy guns and no qualms about killing anybody else in the world who tries to make us uncomfortable.”

            ~Hunter S. Thompson

            (And, admit it, Chavez and Maduro have made careers out of not only trying, but making many here uncomfortable. God bless ’em!)

        • milosevic says

          The quality of disinfo seems to be declining rapidly, these days. It’s like they’re not even trying, anymore. You don’t need to send competent disinfo shills, if the only remaining audience for them is drooling idiots. “Casting pearls before swine”, etc.

          Anyway, enjoy the free cocaine and hookers, as long as they last.

          18
        • Gezzah Potts says

          Comite espartaco: I’m sorry, I think you’re on the wrong site. This is OffGuardian, not Breitbart. Perhaps try opening your eyes a bit more.

          11
            • different frank says

              We?
              Do you have a frog in your pocket?

              15
                • Ray Raven says

                  And “Who the f… are you…???!!”.
                  Stop constipating this site’s comments section with your shite.
                  For someone with so much diarrhea you sure cause constipation.

            • Robyn says

              comite espartaco – I see you have put in quite a bit of time here but the number of downvotes must be a bit discouraging. I’ll assume you’ve come across OffGuardian by mistake, so I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt about your understanding of the situation in Venezuela. It seems obvious that, if you’re not working for the CIA, you’ve formed your views by watching and reading the MSM. That you would think the way you do is perfectly understandable given the lies they spout, but might I respectfully suggest that you update yourself by going to other sources. I’m sure commenters here would be glad to provide links if you would like to broaden your outlook.

          • Jen says

            Oh, come on, Gezzah, we need a stand-up comedian around here and only Comite Espartaco has been brave enough to offer his/her services.

        • mark says

          The drug trade has been run by the CIA for over half a century.
          The cocaine trade out of South America by the Cocaine Import Agency.
          The heroin trade out of South East Asia and Afghanistan.
          Strange how opium cultivation had been virtually eradicated by the Taliban before Uncle Sam’s stormtroopers took over Afghanistan and stood guard over the poppy fields.
          All the trillions in profits over the years have helped pay for the little extras you don’t want to ask appropriations for in Congress.
          Some of the more smelly little illegal wars and regime change stunts.
          Some of the more demented military adventures.
          Some of the more barbaric terrorist proxies you want to bankroll.
          Some of the more dubious assassinations of democratically elected leaders.
          Some of the false flag terrorism you want to carry out against your own people.
          Admittedly Congress is none too fastidious, but even whores like them have certain standards.

        • Jim Scott says

          I have not seen or heard any evidence of your claims but we do know for certain that the USA ran drugs into the American market during the Iran Contra days. That is a matter of record whereas your fantasies have no credence.

  28. milosevic says

    The bottom line will be – we NEED to act in Venezuela because Maduro is “massacring” his own people to hold onto power.

    They’ve tipped their hand with a reference to “sharpshooters” killing civilians.

    This is, of course, the exact scenario we saw play out in Ukraine in 2014. “Sharpshooters” were “turned loose” on the crowd, killing several dozen people (police and protestors alike). This violence was used to declare Victor Yanukovych’s government “illegitimate”, and replace him with a leader more to the US’s liking.

    The Mystery Snipers scam was previously used IN VENEZUELA as a pretext for the 2002 coup d’etat against Hugo Chavez. Of course, this fact has long since disappeared down the memory hole.

    25
    • Kathy says

      The same old story, the same old lies. The same old media salivating over the same old story and the same old lies.

      20
      • Francis Lee says

        Yep, the routine doesn’t change.

    • milosevic says

      This video is unavailable.

      It certainly was available, a day ago, when I posted it.

      Perhaps somebody thought that information on how the 2002 coup d’etat was organized, might tend to impede the success, or at least the marketing, of the 2019 coup d’etat. Obviously, any commentary or analysis that contradicts the Official Story must be Fake News, and should be suppressed as a threat to public order.

  29. Hasn’t a fellow in the United States by the name of Robert Mueller been involved for over (2) years in an “investigation” into so-called Russian “sowing of discord” and “interference in U.S. democracy”? Hasn’t the Trump administration placed sanctions in unprecedented historic fashion on those countries it arrogantly deems “undemocratic” and exhibiting “malign influence”?

    Hypocrisy by the Trump administration has surpassed by far all previous records… These warmongers are insanely dangerous and must be stopped…

    32
    • Philpot says

      Mueller is hardly the Trump administration. Yes the USA stinks of hypocrisy and, frankly, evil but it’s hardly Trump’s fault about Russia. He, like Obama, know who really controls the USA (and no, I’m not that clever but can guess). You’re certainly right about their malign influence everywhere, especially South America.

      11
  30. David William Pear says

    Could the two decades of the US trying to overthrow the legitimate government of Venezuela have anything to do with oil? Of course it does. Rex Tillerson and ExxonMobil are still sore about their compensation for the nationalization of Venezuela’s own oil.

    There are also other financial motives, incentives and investment opportunities for the corporations and Billionaire oligarchs that are behind US foreign policy. The international banking cartels can hardly wait to get into Venezuela and take over their national and central banks. Venezuela is seen as the biggest bonanza for neoliberals since Chile in 1973.

    Geopolitically, the US is also trying to stamp out socialism and liberal governments where ever they exist. As we have seen over the past decade wealth keeps going to the top. The masses on the bottom are getting poorer by the year. What in the West is called “capitalism” has a natural hatred of socialism. The corporate and oligarchs fear that socialists will take their wealth and redistribute it; which of course is what socialism does.

    Those that will suffer the most are the poor. As soon as the IMF and politicians get together, Venezuela will take out plenty of crooked loans that will go into neoliberal projects that puts the money in the pockets of the wealthy class. But it will be the poor that have to repay those loans with cuts in social services.

    We are in a real era of fascism all over the world. The US is resuming its “Big Stick” policies that Theodore Roosevelt had in the early 20th century. Of course TR did not invent the big stick policy, nor did it end with him. Even during FDR’s “Good Neighbor” policy of non-intervention, the US just could not help itself.

    The US sees itself as the exceptional power whose “Manifest Destiny” is to rule the world. As the most powerful military power in history, it is quite easy for the US to bully little countries one-by-one until it has eaten the whole pie. The name of the game is divide and conquer. Crush little countries with the Big Stick.

    It all boils down to corporate and oligarch greed. In the final analysis US foreign policy objectives are driven by corporations. It really has nothing to do with what is good for the average US American. To the contrary, it is the US American public that pays the price of the military that protects corporations. US foreign policy is another corporate welfare racket.

    50
    • From Venezuela’s totalitarian neighbour:

      “The National Assembly is the only legitimate, democratically elected government entity in Venezuela, and the U.S. supports its important decisions yesterday.”

      Thus spoke Bolton the unelected spokesperson of the US oligarchic elites. Such is democracy in the US…

      29
  31. mark says

    I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see the usual “mysterious snipers on rooftops” routine from the NED Regime Change Playbook.
    At Deraa in southern Syria in 2011, Assad did everything he could to de escalate the situation, promising reforms, replacing officials with local people, and generally trying to be conciliatory as possible. He sent unarmed police equipped only with batons to control unrest. Mysterious snipers appeared on rooftops and deliberately targeted people like children and pregnant women to inflame the crowds. The same snipers killed about 70 unarmed police in the first couple of days. Government buildings were attacked and torched.
    The same thing happened at Maidan in 2014. Mysterious black clad snipers since described as Georgian or Yugoslavian mercenaries, appeared shooting from rebel controlled buildings, killing large numbers of both demonstrators and Ukrainian police.
    There was similar orchestrated mayhem from the outset in Libya in 2014.
    The US orchestrated Venezuelan has routinely committed similar violence, up till now on a smaller scale. Venezuelan police and government supporters have been murdered, including by being burnt to death.

    Interestingly, May and the Tories are trying to use Venezuela as a stick to beat Corbyn with when they get tired of the “anti Semitism” routine. Why isn’t he condemning the evil, repressive Venezuelan dictatorship etc etc

    30
    • Jim Scott says

      I recall that the rooftop snipers were shooting both sides after Chavez was elected and kidnapped and when the supporters of both the Shavistas and the opposition were both protesting in the streets. It’s another good old CIA staple piece of infamy aimed up at creating chaos. The MSM always forget this technique has been used many times by the CIA.

  32. bevin says

    There are two important questions, the first is whether the people of Venezuela will defend themselves against the return of the old comprador regime. If they can the army will fall behind them and any attempt at invasion will imperil the the invaders’ hold on power in their own countries.
    The second is what attitude Russia and China will take. We know what the rest of the Security Council will do, which is what the US tells them. What we don’t know is whether Russia and China are ready to trade one sphere of influence for another. It seems unlikely that they will because the US is too invested in its siege of Russia and its aggression towards China.
    The obvious move is for Russia/China to guarantee Venezuela’s sovereignty. Of course if the US then suggests withdrawing from Poland Estonia, Ukraine etc Moscow would have to listen. But it won’t as a matter of fact the US is currently dabbling in subversion of Russia’s position in Belarus or White Russia in English..
    Left on its own and absent an attack from the air or the insinuation of contra militias over Venezuela’s borders there is nothing that can be done by the US except to create another Iran on the Caribbean.
    No need to go further and talk about the chorus that we are about to hear from America’s puppets. Except that those in Latin America who back the US are the tiny unrepresentative elite who have been devouring the Continent,ts indigenous people and the tens of millions of descendants of slaves- their stance is predictable and, as a classic example of ruling class solidarity understandable.
    The same cannot be said for the sordid and undignified attitudes of the UK, Canada and the several European governments- only a few decades ago they all refused to accede to the more idiotic extremes of US policy, they traded with Cuba and they steered clear of being caught, byu their own populations, doing America’s dirty work for it. \
    Those days are gone: the Empire may be failing but Canada and the UK insist on their right to be on board when it sinks.

    44
    • Gezzah Potts says

      Bevin: bang spot on Bevin. Sordid is almost an understatement.

      15
    • vexarb says

      Bevin: “the UK insist on their right to be on board when it [U$$ Titanic] sinks”.

      The UK regime at Westminster does not represent the British people. It is left to Britain’s very own Vanessa Beeley to redeem the honour of her country by revealing the truth about St.Theresa’s nefarious White Helmets.

      Vanessa Beeley reports White Helmets accused of organ trafficking by UN panel. Many witness statements presented:

      https://www.patreon.com/posts/white-helmets-be-24172042

      21
    • “The second is what attitude Russia and China will take.”

      I think in these critical circumstances it will not be a secret to say that all [adequate and normal] people would like to see what happened to Syria. Mean, Russia intervened and did not allow to destroy the country, the conflict gradually ends, the country is slowly recovering, the country’s legitimate president has not gone anywhere. Moreover, the occupants are gradually squeezed out of the country, because they lost this war. They lost Syria.

      By the way, “by pure chance”, the sharp crisis in Venezuela flared up shortly after the United States announced its withdrawal from Syria (essentially a recognition of surrender, clumsily and absurdly presented as a “proud departure after defeating terrorism”). Have you noticed how the topic of Syria “suddenly” disappeared from the news feeds of the MSM? In principle, a pretty good attempt by the United States to divert the attention of the so-called “world community” from their loss in Syria…

      However, don’t be mistaken. The withdrawal of the United States from Syria (at least announced), of course, is not the only reason for the political and social explosion in Venezuela. Also, don’t be mistaken in that we can expect some bold and concrete steps from Russia or China. Mean, like what was done in Syria. What was undertaken by Russia in Syria will not happen in Venezuela. This is not pessimism. This is realism.

      Just take a world map and look at it. Rate the situation. If Russia would be located on the site of Spain, or on the site of one of the countries on the west coast of Africa, then some theoretical options could be discussed. Russia is physically unable to implement what has been done in Syria. One thing is the distance from the southern regions of Russia to Syria, another thing is the distance from the most western borders of Russia to South America.

      In addition, the situation in Syria is a completely different situation. The fight against terrorism, to put it mildly, differs from the possible intervention in civil confrontation. Russian aviation? But… why is it needed in Venezuela, whom will it bomb? Russian sappers? But… what are they for in Venezuela? Russian special forces? But… why send them to Venezuela, whom will they eliminate? Russian “Pantsir”, “Buk” and other military equipment? But… what is it all about in Venezuela, what for?

      I am afraid that neither Russia nor China can seriously influence the current situation. Again, this is not pessimism, but realism. Moreover, Russia is not a “world Superman”, it cannot solve absolutely all conflict situations in the world.
      The country is already doing a lot, mainly its efforts are now focused on Syria. Plus, “the question of Donbass” is already in its 6th year in limbo…
      Russia will not be able to take Venezuela under its wing just physically. And also in the military and economic terms. This is simply not real.

      The same goes for China. For the Chinese, such a large-scale operation, thousands of kilometers from its borders, would in general become a debut. But I don’t think that China is now ready for such a debut, considering the trade war with the United States, so far the “sleeping” problem of Taiwan, the South China Sea, and other “sharp” points.

      In this situation, I would rely not on Russia and China, but on Venezuela’s neighbors. All the same, it is primarily their business, and not distant friends of Venezuela living on another continent. Of course, I mean friendly neighbors. For example, Cuba and Mexico. I think, it is first of all these countries that should have persistently come out in defense of Venezuela, offering it military assistance as well.

      Maybe Cuba and Mexico could try to organize some kind of route for delivering humanitarian aid to Venezuela – like the humanitarian convoys that Russia sends to the Donbass. Plus, to offer to act as intermediaries in the negotiations of the government of Maduro and the impostor Guaido.

      What is happening now in Venezuela concerns, first of all, the countries surrounding it, and not distant Russia and China (no matter how well they treat Venezuela). Therefore, effective assistance must be waited first of all from here. Russia, and probably China, will try to provide all possible diplomatic assistance, including in the framework of the UN. Diplomatic support at all levels is something (and only) that Russia and China can really help Venezuela in these circumstances.

      There will be no “trade of one sphere of influence for another”, of course. At least regarding Russia. Because 1) the main point – Russia never does such a “business”, trading something for something 2) the US has nothing to offer Russia for such a theoretical trade – the United States lost in Syria; Nord Stream-2 pipeline will be built anyway; all attempts to isolate Russia quite expectedly failed; the sanctions policy is futile and, in fact, does not really bother Russia; Crimea is still Russian, and it does not suffer much because of the non-recognition by the United States & others; everyday Ukraine is less and less interesting for Russia, and naturally Russia is not going to acquire this toxic black hole in exchange for something. This is an ugly brainchild of the West, and Russia definitely is not going to save the West from this problem; in terms of weapons development (especially some types), Russia has long and confidently outstripped the United States, which is recognized by the experts from the United States itself…
      So, in fact, the United States has nothing that they could offer Russia “in exchange” for Venezuela.

      Let’s see how it all ends. I really hope everything will be fine. After all (and first of all), everything depends on the people of Venezuela – whether they can be smart enough, brave, persistent and patient to defend their country. The Syrians did it. So can Venezuelans. I hope.

  33. The absolute amorality of not only the U.S. (to be absolutely expected) but of the entire Western world – appears to be on full display at this moment. Where are the vaunted Western human rights organizations reminding us of the rule of “international law?” Where is Amnesty International, where is Human Rights Watch, where is the UN, where is the EU (besides Tusk)? Please, quick, someone tell us all another nice comforting fairy tale about “the noble values” of the West, and our “support for Democracy,” and our “respect for the rule of law,” and . . . . whatever else nonsense the talking heads will be babbling about as we in the U.S. illegally and immorally destroy yet another sovereign State. We won’t even need our jihadist buddies in the Middle East for the job, since we’ve got our Colombian death squads right next door ready to go to work.

    We all know what’s coming next. It’s false-flag time followed by “humanitarian intervention” time, followed by another U.S. backed torture regime in Latin America that meets the needs of U.S. corporate interests and the local oligarchs while terrorizing the entire population of Venezuela. If the rest of the Western world looks on silently while this unfolds, or if it openly supports the U.S. (Canada? Really?) in this completely illegal immoral undertaking every human being of conscience in the West needs to join forces to don our “yellow vests” in whatever form that might be and to take to the streets and shut this cancerous neoliberal imperialist war machine down before it destroys us all as it is openly planning to do to our brothers and sisters in Venezuela.

    The sad reality is that MSM here in the U.S. will be falling all over themselves in their support of the Orange One should he sanctify the completion of this coup. He might even get a break from the Russiagate nonsense for a bit. As with his inane bombing of Syria in the past, launching bombs and wars will earn him the media “compliment” that he is acting “presidential.”
    U.S. presidents are never so “presidential” as when they are killing people in countries far away. MSM’s theatre of the absurd posing will pose seamlessly as “reality.”

    I’ve seen all of this up close in the course of four human rights delegations to Latin American U.S. counter-insurgency war zones. The torture scars on the living, the photos of the family members tortured and murdered by our death squads, the tears, the depression, the PTSD, the fresh corpses, the grieving widows, and of course the smiling jackals that inhabit the U.S. embassies in Latin America (most of them amoral CIA psychopaths quite likely), the clear memory of those jackals in Colombia and El Salvador telling my human rights delegations that “we hadn’t really seen what we had seen,” “that the stories of victim’s family’s were not true,” that “the death squads aren’t protected by the military,” that really “there are no death squads,” that “the government’s ‘human rights record’ is improving” even as the death squads left fresh bodies daily. I have seen all of this up close and I am struggling with tears of rage as I write these words.

    48
    • milosevic says

      We all know what’s coming next. It’s false-flag time followed by “humanitarian intervention” time, followed by another U.S. backed torture regime in Latin America that meets the needs of U.S. corporate interests and the local oligarchs while terrorizing the entire population of Venezuela.

      Fortunately, as seen in Syria, things don’t always go the way that the imperial psychopaths think they’re going to go. Preparations for this long-anticipated contingency have been made, and factors outside of imperial control will come into operation, if the situation requires. A re-run of Chile in 1973 is not a predetermined outcome.

      Maduro says Venezuela’s civil militia grows to 1.6 million members

      Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said on Monday the country’s civil militia had grown to 1.6 million members – more than tripling in size from the beginning of the year – and that its mission was to defend the country against external aggression.

      Maduro’s speech to militia members, broadcast on state television, came less than a week after the socialist leader, without offering evidence, accused the United States of plotting to invade the South American country, which is experiencing a severe economic crisis.

      “We will arm the Bolivarian militia to the teeth,” Maduro said, without detailing how many of the militia members were actually armed. “An invading imperialist force may enter a part of our fatherland, but the imperialists should know that they will not leave here alive.”

      The National Bolivarian Militia is a reserve force composed of civilian volunteers, founded by former President Hugo Chavez in 2008 to assist the armed forces.

      Maduro noted on Monday that he had given an order in April to boost the size of the reserve force to 1 million members. At the time, he said the militias had “nearly 400,000” members.

      14
      • milosevic says

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xncn7pgf-sI

        A two-day visit by AP journalists to a boot camp of Venezuela’s Bolivarian Militia revealed a spirited group of mostly working-class men and women, from students to retirees, who are united by their militant support for Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and their willingness to defend his government.

        Some Venezuelans believe Chavez’s warnings that the US “empire” might attack one day, and he has called on recruits to be ready to lay down their lives if necessary to battle “any threat, foreign or domestic.” Yet Venezuela has never fought a war against any nation, and if it never does the militia is still a practical tool for Chavez to engage his supporters, rally nationalist fervour and intimidate any opponents who might consider another coup like the one he survived in 2002.

        One of the militia’s guiding principles is constantly drilled into the group as they salute in unison shouting: “Socialist homeland or death! We will be victorious!” Members of the volunteer force range from the unemployed to electricians, bank tellers and social workers.

        Most of those interviewed during the training a week ago said they either benefit from free state education programmes or work as public employees. They are unpaid but receive about seven US dollars to offset transport costs for each event they attend, usually on weekends.

        Practicing urban warfare, they fire blanks into an abandoned building in a raid on hostage-takers.

      • milosevic says

        As used by the Russian Air Force in Syria… the Su-30MK2s of the Armed Forces of Venezuela.

      • vexarb says

        Milosevic, I think you are right. Syria proves that the outcome is not predetermined. In Venezuela as in Syria, the Man From Uncle may find out the hard way; it is not for Uncle $cam to decide who is their Legitimate Leader.

      • milosevic – thanks for the reminder that all is not lost just because the empire is in open “regime change” mode. Syria shows that resistance is possible, and I’m hoping Russia does everything it can to stand with Venezuela as it did with Syria. I wrote last night out of a mixture of both rage and despair, which is never a very clear lens to see through. Thanks for your posts on Venezuela’s preparations for what may be coming.

        last post disappeared so this is a second try

        • milosevic says

          I watch this video over and over again. It makes me feel happy. Maybe it will cheer you up, too.

  34. Gezzah Potts says

    Often feel I’m in some surreal, bizarre nightmare, and everyone in my dreams are faceless automatons, and I just want to scream…. WAKE UP….. WAKE UP…. Already the totally trustworthy stenographers at ABC News are right on the ball, breathlessly reporting the incredibly moral West’s defence of democracy and human rights in Venezuela. And a lot of people buy it hook line and sinker. I don’t recall seeing the word Oil used? A truly Orwellian f****d up World. Its called Imperialism… Its called installing a puppet regime. And just the total arrogance of slime psychos like Bolton, Pompeo, et al.

    29
  35. Royal Doulton says

    I noticed the deep state cultmarx Progressives silence turning against Maduro. Yet they’ll whine 24/7/365 about Impeaching Trump. Socialists can’t handle their own tossed into the dustbins of history.

    11
    • Makropulos says

      Perhaps they’re not “socialists”?

      • mark says

        Faux Left controlled opposition like Democracy Now, Counterpunch, Guardian, etc.

  36. Trump’s all over this. I mean Trump, the Deep State’s worse nightmare, right?

  37. Fair dinkum says

    “Hey Bill. What’s that smell?”
    “Mmm. Smells like oil to me Chuck”
    “Yeah, I think you’re right. Let’s go get it !”

    25
    • summitflyer says

      Was it ever about anything else other than resources for the US/deep state multinational corporations .

      16
  38. summitflyer says

    They tried before with no success .See

    for a video produced and documented by John Pilger ,an excellent rapportage to be sure of US interference in Central and South America.
    Will they succeed this time ? If they do it would be a severe blow to real and actual democracy , not the democracy according to US and vassals .

    12
    • vexarb says

      SummitFlyer, thanks for that Link to John Pilger’s video: “People Power in Latin America; fighting to protect not only their Human Rights but our Human Rights in a War against All of Us”. A war waged by the Anglo Zio Capitalists through their Paid Private Armies and their paid Public Politicians.

Comments are closed.