empire watch, latest, Venezuela

Venezuela? The bad guys are on Wall St.

Philip Roddis

With Washington talking up a military coup (Democrats for once in no hurry to berate Trump on the issue) and Russia a sufficiently interested party to have flown nuclear capable bombers into Caracas last month, it behoves us all to get up to speed on Venezuela. It should go without saying we can’t trust a word corporate media say but, case it doesn’t, here’s why.

First, corporate media are not independent but reliant on market forces. This applies not just to the billionaire media but, for reasons given elsewhere, to Guardian and BBC too.

Second, media both sides of the Atlantic have a long record of backing US predation on the global south. Never have they deviated from this – take the Guardian’s cheerleading on Iraq. Worse, they’ve abdicated a core duty in their refusal to explore motives that cast a very different light on Western interventions sold to us as humanitarian.

Third, sanctions have sown economic havoc in Venezuela. They’re spoken of in such calm tones that an already innocuous word loses even what little force it might have had. But sanctions kill. They are one way the powerful bully the weak in the name of high ideals belied, for those who choose to study them, by the facts.

I was a high class muscleman for Big Business, Wall Street and the Bankers; a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico safe for American oil interests in 1914, Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank to collect revenues. I helped in the rape of half a dozen Central American republics for Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar in 1916. In China I saw to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested. Capone operated in three districts. I operated on three continents.
Major-General Smedley Butler

(I have no quarrel with the specific claims above but find them reductive. They are accurate – and we should not downplay the fourth claim, as dollar and petrodollar hegemony come under challenge in Eurasia too – but in the context of Washington’s ‘right’ to police all of Latin America, disobedient states are brought to heel (through fascism if need be) not just to protect particular assets but to send a message across the entire continent. As in the middle east, Washington and Wall Street will brook no self-determination in their “spheres of interest”.)

No, for sense on Venezuela we must look elsewhere. I’ve quoted Stephen Gowans before, on Syria. Now here he is on crisis in Caracas.

The US-led and coordinated intervention to overthrow Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro by recognizing Juan Guaidó, the leader of Venezuela’s National Assembly as the interim president, has nothing whatever to do with restoring democracy in Venezuela (which was never overturned) and everything to do with promoting US business interests.

Washington’s imperial arrogance in effectively appointing Guaidó as president, attempting to go over the heads of Venezuelans—who alone have the right to decide who their leaders are—is motivated by the same concerns that have motivated other US interventions around the world: toppling governments that put their citizens’ interests above those of US investors.

That Washington has a propensity to engage in destabilization operations against leftwing governments is hardly a secret. From 1898 to 2004, the US government undertook 41 successful regime change interventions in Latin America, an average of one every two-and-a-half years. And that excludes the unsuccessful ones, such as the Bay of Pigs invasion.

In almost every instance, US regime change interventions around the world have been motivated either directly or indirectly by commercial considerations, and were undertaken to restore or protect the primacy of US business interests in foreign lands. And in many cases, the interventions paved the way for the installation of rightwing dictatorships.

Read Stephen Gowans’ full post on his what’s left? website . See also this by Ben Norton at Mintpress.

Then there’s Craig Murray, UK Ambassador to Uzbekistan before Blair sacked him for telling the truth about its leader Islam Karimov. You can’t blame Tony. So what if Karimov did have the habit, when not making his family obscenely rich in a land of grinding poverty, of boiling his opponents in oil? He was Our Friend, allowing ex Soviet airbases in his fiefdom to be used in strikes on Iraq to liberate its people by killing them in hundreds of thousands.

Now here’s Murray on Venezuela. Note the picture below, widely circulated as evidence of Maduro’s unpopularity. That unpopularity, we’re told, is due to mass starvation in the country. Now I’m the last to deny – see my point on sanctions – that Venezuelans are suffering. But are they the ones who want Maduro out? Why not do as Murray suggests, and study that image. Do those protesters look ill fed and dressed in rags? Or are they those elites who see, in Maduro’s attempts to continue with ‘Chavismo’, a threat to their wealth and privilege?

Scribbler for some sixty years, and for fifteen a photographer too, Philip Roddis began blogging in the early noughties by inflicting film reviews on an unsuspecting public. Soon he was doing the same with illustrated writings on wanderings in Asia and Africa. He writes “to help me think, and because I like to be read”, and finds photography's problem solving aspects "a break from those of writing, as well as an aid to writing and to reflective travel”.

His blog is Steel City Scribblings


  1. An excellent article & many fine comments.
    Thank you off-g et al.

    John Doran.

      • DunGroanin says

        Thornberry reported as ‘She said Britain’s chief priority should ultimately be to allow the Venezuelan people to decide the way forward through free and fair elections.’

        Nothing wrong in that is there? In fact it’s what the British people should be given now too.

        • George cornell says

          But what she really means is – elections that we can con the world into believing are free and fair.

        • mark says

          “Free and fair elections” are like “legitimate referendums” ie ones that produce the required result.
          Ones that fail to do so (maybe because the opposition don’t condescend to contest them in the first place) are corrupt, illegitimate, rigged, discredited, and can be ignored.
          In those cases, the exceptional and indispensable people can be relied upon to pick the right president for the irresponsible natives.
          Like the 2006 election in Palestine, which Hamas won with 60% of the vote. Airbrushed out of the MSM and cast down the memory hole. Just ignore it and let Washington’s losing puppet Abbas carry on without any mandate for 10 years and more without any problem.
          Or Georgia. Replace the elected president Sheverdnadze with Washington’s puppet Saakashvili.
          Or Ukraine. Replace the elected president Yanukovich with Yats, Klitsch, and his NED chums.
          Or Egypt. The Chosen People don’t like the election result, so the elected president is thrown in jail and put on trial for his life, and replaced with Washington’s puppet general Sisi.
          Or Honduras…..or Haiti……or…….

          Referendums like Brexit can be ignored when the result is due to stupid, racist, old, uneducated, ignorant people who disagree with their Betters. Like referendums in Ireland, France, Denmark, Holland. Or local referendums like the one in Manchester where local people decided they didn’t want an elected mayor – and got one anyway.

          Strange how repression only exists in countries like Venezuela, Iran, Russia, China. Madrid can send in its goon squads to smash up polling stations and club down women and elderly voters in Catalonia without a peep of protest from our chums in Brussels. Or the Zionist kiddie killers can gun down hundreds of unarmed demonstrators with dum dum bullets and British sniper rifles and that’s fine and dandy. Or Macron’s Zionist trained Boot Boys can kill and blind just as many gilets jaunes as they like, no problem. Trump’s jackbooted thugs can gun down as many blacks as they like for the fun of it, and it’s all one big yawn.

          But let Venezuela or Iran or Syria or Ukraine take any action against Washington’s proxies burning down government buildings and burning people alive, and that is illegitimate repression that calls forth ferocious leaders from our chums at the Guardian.

      • George Cornell says

        This is now part and parcel of the American Way. Sow subversion, rent- a-puppet, rig the election, steal the assets, take the gold for safe-keeping, delay giving it back or sue in the corrupt American court system, pay off the judgement with the gold they already stole. Then when the invadee is destitute, mortgage any future resources. Use the ill-gotten gains to force feed the massively obese fois-gras addled military

        Ask Germany about the gold Willy Brandt gave them when W Germany emerged as an economic power. And what about all the Ukrainian gold that the bonehead Ukrainians gave them to safeguard from the Russians.

        • mark says

          Or 140 tons of Libyan gold/ Or the gold that disappeared from WTC 7. Or the Ukrainian gold flown out of the country on US transport planes.

          It would be interesting to know the TRUE figures for US/ Russian/ Chinese gold reserves.

  2. vexarb says

    Cut’n’Paste from Saker BTL:

    U$A has already suffered 2 diplomatic defeats in its sinister attempts against the legally elected Venezuelan government of Nicholas Maduro.

    First, even the Organization of American States (traditionally a USA-dominated organization) voted 18-16 *against* an Argentinian sponsored initiative calling for intervention in Venezuela.

    Secondly, the UN Security Council has just voted 17-16 *against* a U$ supported resolution calling for intervention in Venezuela.

  3. Carmpat says

    C’mon commenters – the West/USA financiers are not the only ones with a vested interest. Russia and Russian corporations anyone? Tens of billions invested in the Bolivarian regime (as referenced in above article). And hardly out of pure altruism. Their ‘loyalty’ to Maduro isn’t just political/ideological you know.
    Btw, the nuclear-capable aircraft mentioned (in same link) stayed less than a week on Venezuelan territory. (Le Monde, 26 January 2019).

    • vexarb says

      Carmpat, but Russia is not trying to change a legally elected president by Force, Fraud and Financial Strangulation. Unlike predator capitalists of the EU$A — whose mercenary armies have killed presidents in Chile, Libya, Iraq and Ruanda, and were prevented by Russia from killing the prime minister of Syria. The Legally elected president of Ukraine was driven out by $5Billion U$dollar “kosher Nudelman cookies” donated to armed Ukrainian Neonazis headed by U$-chosen Jews. Once-prosperous Ukraine is now a financial desert; the same will happen to Venezuela if the predatory “investors” of Wall Street and Threadneedle Street get their hands on that country.

      • Carmpat says

        Isn’t Venezuela already a financial desert (despite Russia’s generous input)?

        • Starac says

          Either ignorant or troll.
          Just attack. No analysis. As analysis can be judged.

          • Carmpat says

            ‘scuse me, Starac, but who’s ‘attacking’ who here? Was it I who called a commenter ‘ignorant or troll’?

        • vexarb says

          Carmpat, I thought you’d come up with that one. Yes, Venezuela is strapped for cash — ‘financially sanctioned’ by the Anglo Zio Capitalists who own every bank in the Western world. I admit that Venezuela has also been foolish — foolish enough to deposit her gold in an English Lord Rothschild bank for safe keeping — by Perfidious Albion; of all stupid places to place one’s treasure! Modern politicians obviously have not learnt from what happened to CzeckoSlovakia’s gold in 1938: the Jewish governor of the Bank of England handed it over to Nazi Germany.

          “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me”.

      • mark says

        Item No. 1 on the agenda after the coup will be to change payment for oil back to dollars from yuan. Item No.2 will be to confiscate Russian and Chinese oil investments in the country. Like Iraq. Like Libya.

  4. Joerg says

    Lies, lies, lies!
    On MoA (https://www.moonofalabama.org/2019/01/these-media-claims-about-venezuela-are-lies-or-misconceptions.html ) we read:
    One claim, repeated yesterday by the British ambassador at the UN, is that Maduro won the presidential election by “stuffing the ballot boxes”. Venezuela doesn’t have ballot boxes. It uses an electronic system developed by a British company that is highly praised:
    For more see: “E-voting Audits in Venezuela” – https://www.ndi.org/e-voting-guide/examples/e-voting-audits-venezuela

    Also this (MoA -see link above) (highlighting from me):
    The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela is not even as messy as its neighbors are. Despite the current problems the UN’s Human Developing Index ranks Venezuela higher than most of them.” (see links there to the ranking).

    By the way: Venezuela is not even a “Communist country” – like Cuba, China, North-Korea. Venezuela only has a left wing government.

  5. TFS says


    So, here is a rather good explanation of background to the issue raising its head again. It’s one of the best presentations on the subject I’ve ever seen.

    Oh, and for the UK people here, you gonna love the reason for WW1. I’ll just say Railway/Oil…….

    Start at 9:00 it you want ot cut to the chase.

    • DunGroanin says

      He was the funniest alternative comic of his day, filled a stadium I believe – he paid with his career for calling out the shits.

      ‘see that piece of dog poo on your shoe? That’s you that is’

      Cheers Rob

    • Carmpat says

      Thanks, never saw this: led me on to some interesting further reading this afternoon.

  6. Richard Audet says

    I am grateful for sites such as this and appreciate the comments of others, if not for which I might question my perceptions and agree that maybe there are indeed ‘five lights.’ (reference to an episode of Star Trek where Picard is tortured to admit that there are five lights)

    Canada, another US lackey colony was one of the first to back the potentially violent US coup in Venezuela by recognizing this Guaido guy as president. I was appalled that this has all gone down as though it is a normal thing to do. MSM, including CBC have all dressed this up for mass consumption and acceptance. I now recognize that things are far worse and far scarier than I had heretofore imagined.

    Recently, the Canadian ambassador to China, John McCallum has been fired by the Guaido look alike Justin Trudeau (apple fell very very far from the tree) for his (truthful) comment to the media about the arrest of a top Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou in early December in which he indicated she may have a case against being extradited to the US because of a Trump tweet suggesting political motive for the arrest. He has been castigated by the press and the opposition to the point where he has retracted and stated “as the government has consistently made clear, there has been no political involvement in this process.”

    Apparently many can believe these lies and you will be attacked one way or another if you say otherwise. Trying to discuss this with family and the few friends I have left has with few exceptions left me feeling like the crazy guy on the corner with a sign that the end is coming except my sign has more detail. No amount of meditation, yoga or distractions seems to quell for very long the sick feeling in the pit of my stomach of impending doom and profound sadness over the suffering caused by these corporate war-mongers and there enablers. And, a special place in hell for the MSM.

    There are four lights…

    • Phantastron says

      Richard — I assume you live in Canada (who else would mention the CBC); do you happen to live in Toronto? If so I maybe we could get together for a chat. One crazy guy to another.

      • Richard Audet says

        I visit Toronto occasionally. Thanks for the thought.

    • milosevic says

      if not for which I might question my perceptions and agree that maybe there are indeed ‘five lights.’ (reference to an episode of Star Trek where Picard is tortured to admit that there are five lights)

      You know where they copied that from, right?

    • summitflyer says

      As a fellow Canadian ,I do so empathize with you on everything that you have said and your feelings about it all .
      It is indeed a lonely path ,not to be able to discuss what is going ,what one can see so clearly , but others that are close can’t or refuse to see . I reside close to Winnipeg by the way and have joined the Peace Council of Winnipeg with associated organizations .It keeps me in much better company not to mention maintaining my sanity.LOL.
      Cheers and welcome to the birth of the new world .

      • Richard Audet says

        So appreciate these responses and the movie clip. In fact beginning to feel empowered once again to soldier on…

        • milosevic says

          try the original, originally considered to be a novel, but which now reads like a documentary:

          O’Brien was looking down at him speculatively. More than ever he had the air of a teacher taking pains with a wayward but promising child.

          ‘There is a Party slogan dealing with the control of the past,’ he said. ‘Repeat it, if you please.’

          ‘“Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past,”’ repeated Winston obediently.

          “‘Who controls the present controls the past,”’ said O’Brien, nodding his head with slow approval. ‘Is it your opinion, Winston, that the past has real existence?’

          Again the feeling of helplessness descended upon Winston. His eyes flitted towards the dial. He not only did not know whether ‘yes’ or ‘no’ was the answer that would save him from pain; he did not even know which answer he believed to be the true one.

          O’Brien smiled faintly. ‘You are no metaphysician, Winston,’ he said. ‘Until this moment you had never considered what is meant by existence. I will put it more precisely. Does the past exist concretely, in space? Is there somewhere or other a place, a world of solid objects, where the past is still happening?’


          ‘Then where does the past exist, if at all?’

          ‘In records. It is written down.’

          ‘In records. And—?’

          ‘In the mind. In human memories.’

          ‘In memory. Very well, then. We, the Party, control all records, and we control all memories. Then we control the past, do we not?’

          ‘But how can you stop people remembering things?’ cried Winston again momentarily forgetting the dial. ‘It is involuntary. It is outside oneself. How can you control memory? You have not controlled mine!’

          O’Brien’s manner grew stern again. He laid his hand on the dial.

          ‘On the contrary,’ he said, ‘you have not controlled it. That is what has brought you here. You are here because you have failed in humility, in self-discipline. You would not make the act of submission which is the price of sanity. You preferred to be a lunatic, a minority of one. Only the disciplined mind can see reality, Winston. You believe that reality is something objective, external, existing in its own right. You also believe that the nature of reality is self-evident. When you delude yourself into thinking that you see something, you assume that everyone else sees the same thing as you. But I tell you, Winston, that reality is not external. Reality exists in the human mind, and nowhere else. Not in the individual mind, which can make mistakes, and in any case soon perishes: only in the mind of the Party, which is collective and immortal. Whatever the Party holds to be the truth, is truth. It is impossible to see reality except by looking through the eyes of the Party. That is the fact that you have got to relearn, Winston. It needs an act of self-destruction, an effort of the will. You must humble yourself before you can become sane.’

          He paused for a few moments, as though to allow what he had been saying to sink in.

          ‘Do you remember,’ he went on, ‘writing in your diary, “Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four”?’

          ‘Yes,’ said Winston.

          O’Brien held up his left hand, its back towards Winston, with the thumb hidden and the four fingers extended.

          ‘How many fingers am I holding up, Winston?’


          ‘And if the party says that it is not four but five — then how many?’

          George Orwell — 1984

          • notheonly1 says

            “Whatever the Party holds to be the truth, is truth. It is impossible to see reality except by looking through the eyes of the Party. That is the fact that you have got to relearn…”

            This is the vomit inducing part. Just replace ‘party’ with ‘establishment’ and You are where we are right now. the ‘establishment’ controls the media and thus, the establishment controls ‘the truth’. Painfully apparent with the ongoing attempt to overthrow the democratically elected government of Venezuela.

            The Western media presstitutes are blaring Fascist propaganda – the masses of Winstons are scared shitless of the dial.

  7. Andy says

    Extract from from EU declaration about Maduros legitimacy and letter from observers who were there. Seems like an all out propoganda war in preparation for a real one. 😕 “Major obstacles to the participation of opposition political parties and their leaders, an unbalanced composition of the National Electoral Council, biased electoral conditions, numerous reported irregularities during the Election Day, including vote buying, stood in the way of fair and equitable elections.”

    Dear Ms Mogherini,

    I was a member of a roughly hundred-strong core of observers of the May 20 Venezuelan election. We met senior representatives of all the candidates, and questioned them closely. We met with the president and two vice-presidents of the Supreme Judicial Tribunal. We examined the electoral system in detail and, on election day, observed voting procedures across the country.

    We noted, in particular, not only the sophistication of the voting system which, in our collective view, is fraud-proof, but also that every stage, from the vote itself to the collation of returns, their verification and electronic submission, was conducted in the presence of representatives of the contending parties. As for “reporting irregularities”, we would be interested to hear of examples, since the reporting system is exceptionally rigorous and tamper-free. We doubt you have any evidence to back up the EU’s claim of “numerous reporting irregularities”.

    We were unanimous in concluding that the elections were conducted fairly, that the election conditions were not biased, that genuine irregularities were exceptionally few and of a very minor nature. There was no vote buying because there is no way that a vote CAN be bought. The procedure itself precludes any possibility of anyone knowing how a voter cast her or his vote; and it is impossible – as we verified – for an individual to vote more than once or for anyone to vote on behalf of someone else.

    In short, the claims in your press release are fabrications of the most disgraceful kind, based on hearsay and not on evidence and unworthy of the EU. It has not escaped notice that the EU was invited to send observers to the election and declined to do so. NONE of the criticism in your EU press release is, therefore, based on direct EU observation in the field.

    I would be happy to discuss this further with you and to put you or your colleagues in touch with other observers – among whom were senior politicians, academics, election officials, journalists and civil servants from many different nations including: Spain, UK, Northern Ireland, Germany, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Chile, Honduras, Italy, several Caribbean countries, South Africa, Tunisia, China, Russia,and the United States (sic).

    Yours sincerely,

    Jeremy Fox, journalist / writer
    Jospeh Farrell, Board of the Centre for Investigative Journalism
    Calvin Tucker, journalist MS
    Dr Francisco Dominguez, Latin American Studies, Middlesex University

    • bevin says

      The letter should be posted as an article itself.

    • She should be made to give a public retraction and apology to the UN…Council of Europe…and in the EU unit that professes to expose fake news. Might be worth writing to them directly as well.

  8. notheonly1 says

    Same ol’, same ol’?
    Just a quick take on this.
    1) The U.S.A. is a Fascist Corporate Military Dictatorship with shopping privileges.
    2) The legislative stooges of this wanna-be empire (wanna-be, because it doesn’t have what it takes to be that – even ‘unsuccessfully’) pass a so called ‘law’ in their exceptionally fake houses of representation, that make illegal and punishable the boycott, the sanctioning and the divesting from the wanna-be empire’s appendix called Israel for genocide on the Palestinian people, for using phosphor bombs on civilians and generally, for inciting war all over the world – especially in the Middle East.
    3) The wanna-be empire as the longest holder of the ‘Psychological Projection Award’ and its cancerous appendix on the other hand are free to boycott, sanction and divest any country on Earth for reasons of greed, lust for power and most important of all: utter delusions of grandeur. Both, the wanna-be empire and its festering tumorous appendix, proclaim for themselves to be “the chosen one” people with any other country, Nation, race and ethnicity only coming in last. If at all.
    4) Only the most gullible of all humans will believe and proclaim that they, as Homo Sapiens are the ultimate version of evolution. The crown of ‘creation’. Only thing with this is, that they are too ignorant and self-absorbed throughout all class divisions to realize and acknowledge that ‘Evolution’ is not something that stopped with the appearance of the upright walking omnivore. It has not. It never will.
    5) Evolution is not something one will find easily on any ballot. One has to look closely to recognize the underlying pattern it weaves. At that, all Western regimes are but a reflection and more importantly a vision of where to and how the human journey will continue.

    One solution would be a constitutional convention for all humans on Earth – One Woman/Man, One Voice – to disband the corrupted UN and to create a representative World Body that answers only to the people and not to corporate interests. Science fiction, correct? Yes, maybe. But otherwise, watch how Evolution will remedy the bigotry, the hatred, the greed, the racism, the militarism and the fairly tale story of ‘being chosen’ over one’s billions of peers.

    Greetings from South America, where most people do not believe the political feces the wanna-be empire, its degrading appendix and water carrying European vassals are spraying and spreading. Venezuela is here to stay. Trust the Bolivarian Revolution to adjust to the constant assaults of Fascist elements. The opposition in Venezuela is as fake as any mainstream news.

  9. Lochearn says

    I was disappointed that there was no reference to the headline in the article, namely “The Bad Guys are on Wall Street.” While I agree totally with the statement, I would like to know more about Wall Streets connections to Venezuela. I would also like to know more about the effects of financial sanctions, which can get quite technical.

    Here, for example is a piece from Foreign Policy about the effect of financial sanctions:

    An even more problematic idea driving current U.S. policy is the belief that financial sanctions can hurt the Venezuelan government without causing serious harm to ordinary Venezuelans. That’s impossible when 95 percent of Venezuela’s export revenue comes from oil sold by the state-owned oil company. Cutting off the government’s access to dollars will leave the economy without the hard currency needed to pay for imports of food and medicine. Starving the Venezuelan economy of its foreign currency earnings risks turning the country’s current humanitarian crisis into a full-blown humanitarian catastrophe.

    That’s what began to happen in 2017. Last year, Venezuela’s export revenues rose from $28 to $32 billion, buoyed by the recovery in world oil prices. Under normal conditions, a rise in a country’s exports would leave it with more resources to pay for its imports. But in the Venezuelan case, imports fell by 31 percent during the same year. The reason is that the country lost access to international financial markets. Unable to roll over its debt, it was forced to build up huge external surpluses to continue servicing that debt in a desperate attempt to avoid a default. Meanwhile, creditors threatened to seize the Venezuelan government’s remaining revenue sources if the country defaulted, including refineries located abroad and payments for oil shipments.


  10. I just read this very lucid article from Brazil Wire discussing The Guardian’s general angle on Brazil, and South America in general. The article starts promisingly, with a similar rationale as OffG: “If The Guardian was what it purports to be, Brasil Wire wouldn’t need to exist”.

    and points out “few Anti-Imperialist Brazilians will realise, for example, that the Guardian has supported practically all western military interventions for 3 decades, and based on that, almost certainly would again, should the situation worsen with Venezuela.”

    It turns out that even the Guardian’s own correspondents in Brazil didn’t know who kept putting anti-Rousseff and pro-regime change material into the paper during the coup in 2016.

    (hint: if the editors are reading this, the article is worth a reprint in OffGuardian)


  11. Frankly Speaking says

    The western public have been softened up for many years by the media ahead of what is going on now with this illegal foreign intervention. Their utter hypocrisy stinks to high heaven and back.

    That said, Maduro has squandered Chavez’s achievements and the Venezuelan elite have terribly mismanaged the oil industry and economy for many years, corruption is genuinely rife. Still, that’s not an excuse for foreign intervention, let the Venezuelans sort it out internally.

    • Theo says

      Good post.Once Venezuela was a rich country.Thanks to the prospering oil industry.Many people emigrated to Venezuela,especially from Spain to work in the oil industry.And because many farmers gave up farming and went to the well paying jobs in the the oil industry,the agriculture broke down and Venezuela had to import more and more food.The Venezuelan government then ran adds in European papers offering land to European farmers to get them to come over.They even offered financial help.I think that was in the seventies and eighties.But than the bonanza came to an sudden end for the reasons you mentioned above.And the government and the people ran up more and more debts.Finally everything collapsed.

  12. TFS says

    Until the Cows come home.

    Want change?

    Stop buying Coke.
    Stop using Google.
    Stop using Facebook
    Stop using Amazon.

    SpartUSA will here loud and clear. Dont think so?
    Ask Israel if they feel BDS is a thing in their eyes?
    Or ask Starbucks if the boycott got their attention.

    I call it the MLK/Ghandi Gambit. It’s a couch potatoes wet dream!

    • vexarb says

      TFS, I no longer buy those products but would they notice little me? What use is “the MLK/Ghandi Gambit” without the public oratory and significant Leadership of a King or a Ghandi?

      And what Public Institutions are there to replace commercial Search Engines, Social Media and Mass Media? The corruption of the BBC started at the top — at Prime Minister Level, under Rothschild agent TB.Liar who re-created the BBC in his own image. So where shall we find the Diogenese Lamp to detect, and vote in, Honest Politicians?

      “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principles and Powers in the Heavens.” — St.Paul

      • summitflyer says

        The BBC which is being mirrored by the CBC in Canada .It was once a relatively independent news source .
        Not so of late .Going to the dogs fast trying hard to put lipstick the pig which is our present government.

    • Frankly Speaking says

      It would mean you also need to stop using:

      Apple products

      Microsoft and Windows products

      Any Android phone, even those made in China, since Google developed the OS.



      How are you going to communicate and compute? It’s just about impossible for most people to cut out US products today. Your suggestion is well intentioned but impractical.

      • Frankly Speaking says

        Those who voted my comment down, please explain how you will communicate by avoiding all those US companies, I’m genuinely intrigued.

        • Ken Kenn says

          Cut out the Middleman and get your ” stuff ” direct from China.

          Most American goods are made there these days.

          Except Walls.

          I think I’ve just predicted the future?

  13. milosevic says

    corporate media are not independent but reliant on market forces.

    At this late date, claiming that “market forces” are what mainly controls the lugenpresse, must itself count as a form of disinformation, deliberate or otherwise.

    It’s not necessary to refer to the Church Committee’s exposure of the CIA’s Operation Mockingbird over forty years ago, although you would have thought that would be sufficient time for the news to spread, among people who consider themselves politically informed. A perceptive person might also wonder if the fact that every second talking head on TV is a former official of the government, military, or intelligence agencies, might have some influence on the content, apart from purely financial considerations.

    What should have been obvious for decades, has now become so brazen that it must take real effort to continue to ignore it. It’s particularly hard to imagine the Skripal Hoax and the associated fake Syrian Chemical Attacks as a result of business decisions. Final confirmation, if any more were needed, has now arrived in the form of the no-longer-secret Integrity Initiative documents, which completely expose how the modern corporate-state propaganda system works.

    In the face of that, to continue to pretend that the corporate-state mass media operate in accordance with some mythical “market”, is what their puppet-masters would describe as a “limited hangout” (a very limited hangout), an attempt at damage control, in order to rehabilitate their public reputation sufficiently that they might continue to serve their actual purpose.

    One wonders why anybody would want to do that, unless it were intended as some kind of job application. One imagines that many of the highly-qualified professionals that staff organizations such as the Guardian, secured their positions through exactly such demonstrations of faux-dissident loyalty. George Monbiot comes immediately to mind, for example.

    • bevin says

      “At this late date, claiming that “market forces” are what mainly controls the lugenpresse, must itself count as a form of disinformation, deliberate or otherwise.”
      You are entirely correct: market forces have not had less influence on the Press in its history. The business model was broken when on line media became available “free”. Few people buy newspapers, retail any more. The only market left is their wholesale purchase where there are very few buyers- the State and large corporations.
      As to the ‘faux dissidents”, and Monbiot does indeed spring to mind, what they are doing is not just selling off their integrity (at their own initiative) but occasionally renewing it by engaging in a little bout of irrelevant dissidence.

  14. Archie1954 says

    Australia and Canada are both US imperial subject countries. I hope that New Zealand will hold fast against American imprecations to follow suit. Canada’s leadership is weak, inexperienced and incompetent. That is all the excuses I personally will allow them. With Australia, they have flirted with right wing fascism for much too long.

    • milosevic says

      Canada’s leadership is weak, inexperienced and incompetent. That is all the excuses I personally will allow them.

      Really? You won’t allow them the excuse of being corrupt, corporate stooges for anglo-zionist imperialism?

      But perhaps I’m in an overly charitable mood today.

    • So do I but after millions of our, much needed, tax dollars went to the Clinton Foundation, I don’t hold out much hope for a return to a truly ethical foreign policy from Wellington.

    • vexarb says

      @Archie: “Canada’s leadership is weak, inexperienced and incompetent”.

      And contains at least one second-generation Uki-Nazi.

      • milosevic says

        — she’s actually a third-generation ukro-nazi. It’s amazing what kinds of things can be forgiven, when you’re a faithful servant of the Special People.

        • George cornell says

          Finally, something I disagree with you about. There is not a shred of evidence she is a Nazi. Now be fair. This is after all a site in which equating of Freeland’s OTT defense of her grandfather with mass extermination goes unchallenged.

          • bevin says

            The evidence that she supports the same world view as her grandfather did lies in her fanatical support of the OUN militias in Ukraine. This has included despatching Canadian military, commanded by a fellow descendant of Bandera’s genocidal troops, to ‘train and advise’ the militias attacking the eastern regions which are uneasy about the Nazi inspired Rada.
            Freeland’s support for Bandera’s legacy and her russophobia are both indications that, far from being burdened with the unfortunate legacy of actions which took place long before she was born, she delights in the fact that her grandfather’s reputation among the organisers of Ukrainian vote banks in Canada gives her considerable weight in the Liberal Party.

            • George Cornell says

              Bevin, that is quite a leap to go from the OUN militias to her world view. It’s like saying your treatment of your annoying little sister informs on the sandbars in the South China Sea. It suggests you belong to a peer group where such statements go unchallenged.

              You say Nazi-inspired like they invented original sin. I have lived in Canada for most of 72 years. Ukrainian vote banks have slightly more than zero influence. They are unheard of in Atlantic Canada and Quebec and form a modest number only on the rural areas of the prairies and Alberta. Federal elections here are decided in Quebec and always have been. Have you got some data on Uke vote bank influence that suggests otherwise?

              • summitflyer says

                I have lived in Canada all my 70 + years of my life ,in the prairies where most of the Ukrainian population settled after the second wold war and it is a different story here from what you suggest . The Ukrainian immigrants were mostly agrarian .
                I have relatives that are firmly on the Bandara side so I don’t need to say much more on that subject which by the way is something we just don’t discuss when in mutual company . It lights fires like you would not believe .
                The war of politics between the 2 factions of thought ,if you will , is going on around me .
                So believe what you will , I know different .And by the way I know where our foreign Minister stands .

                • George Cornell says

                  Good to hear from you , summit. You did not, if you do not mind me saying, address the question of federal influence of Prairie Ukrainians. Are you saying it trumps that of francophones? Anglos? First Nations? Atlantic Canada? Any province? Scots? Irish? Catholics? Etc.
                  If so let’s see your evidence. This is not meant to be a Freeland bashathon. And count up all the Uke cabinet ministers while you are at it. Should not take you long. Hockey players yes.

                  • summitflyer says

                    I made the statement based upon observation of the many small towns and Ukrainian establishment all over the prairies .I know this because I work in the agricultural sector, still do by the way ,and travel across Manitoba,Saskatchewan and Alberta extensively. I know practically all the small towns in these 3 prairie provinces ,so I speak from experience.Since I live in the prairies and I know that there is a high level of the population that is Ukrainian but statistics and where I can find same , I don’t have the time to do the research as this is not that important to me to know the exact numbers.I am not a stickler on numbers and just how exact they would have to be for you ? The number of the Ukrainians in the prairies is important for the politicians and relates to what they say to please the people hearing same during election time. This is just connecting dots as the saying goes.
                    You will just have to take my word for it and if you don’t ,well lets let sleeping dogs lie .
                    I am not interested in furthering this topic in any case .

                  • summitflyer says

                    I did reply by the way ,the reply went the way of the wind .Not going there again too much for too little.
                    My original statement was an observation as I have worked in the agricultural sector across the the 3 prairie provinces basically all my working life .Been to almost every little nook and cranny on the map .I don’t have actual numbers of Ukjrainian people vs Polish vs french vs English etc etc.from census statistics but I know what I have encountered .
                    No statistics for you my friend and this topic is not that important to me anyways .I am not a stickler for those details .I can make up my own mind based on observations , which is good enough for me .If anyone objects then so be it .It is what it is.
                    Lets let sleeping dogs lie.

                    • George Cornell says

                      Fair enough. I like the candour, my friend.

    • Yeah, like NZ is any different. Ardern is just a marketable face of neoliberalism.
      And Kiwis are as gullible as anyone.

  15. Gezzah Potts says

    And the fully independent, fully sovereign Australian Govt today has just recognised Juan Guaido as Venezuela’s ‘interim President’. Despite all the repeated bleating from Australian politicians about the ‘international rules based order’ and ‘international values’ and ‘democratic norms’ and other piles of vomit that flows from their mouths, yet again, as with Palestine, Syria, Yemen, bloody everywhere, yet again the Australian Govt shows what vile, revolting hypocrites they are. I just feel disgust as I type this. International Law? Ha ha ha…. Nope, gets in the way of making lots of moolah $$$$. Any Country anywhere that dosn’t open itself up for the Wall Street maggots to plunder is targeted. All of us here know this. I have a strong urge to go and watch that clip of George Galloway from couple weeks ago here. Fecken evil bastards. Maybe this may wake more people up? Maybe I’m just fecken dreaming….

    • Fair dinkum says

      We’re standing in it.
      And we all need gumboots because the bullshit is deep.
      $limy, $elf $erving, $ycophants RULE.

  16. There is nothing remotely new about our (U.S.) ongoing war against the poor of the planet, our pillage, our torture, our genocidal “counter-insurgency” campaigns, our economic sanctions, our “regime changes,” our proxy killers, our war crimes, our bombs, our death squads, our lies, our looting, our corporate media dutifully repeating the CIA and State Department “official lies” justifying these crimes, over and over for each new generation of Americans. How else can the young ever be expected to come to see America as “the indispensable nation” as the “the exceptional nation” if not for these endless lies repeated over and over like a mantra, designed to ward off the reality of our absolute and total moral corruption and spiritual death.

    What is most frightening as an American myself, is how effectively propagandized the public mind is here in the U.S. The majority of both Democrats and Republicans now agree with the belief that the U.S. is the “exceptional nation.” How my fellow Americans differentiate this “belief” in American “exceptionalism” from the Nazis belief that Germans constituted a “master-race” I cannot say, because I doubt such questions come to mind for most Americans.

    That both “American exceptionalism” and “Nazi master-race” as principals, both translate in practical terms to illegal immoral aggressive warfare against other nations seems rather obvious to those nations we invade, but never I dare say troubles the thoughts of most Americans. We are not a reflective people it seems, except perhaps for those employed on Wall Street who find themselves “reflecting” upon the potential value of the spoils of the next military pillage we are contemplating or undertaking.

    If in conversation I try to bring up real, actual publicly available U.S. policy, (for instance the Pentagon’s plans to implement “Full Spectrum Dominance” – complete U.S. military control of space, land, air, water, and cyberspace) – friends and neighbors stare as blankly as if I were reading them poetry in Sanskrit. For most Americans the idea that one would ever need look beyond the MSM for information about U.S. foreign policy seems to not occur. American’s may talk of “fake news” and accuse those who defame their favored political hack of peddling “fake news,” but most simply do not know and if they did would simply not “believe” the actual historical “truths” of U.S. foreign policy mayhem, even if MSM were more honest.

    Charles de Gaulle commented to an aide after returning from Kennedy’s funeral, knowing the CIA & military were responsible for assassinating JFK he said of the American people, predicting we would not act for justice: (“they don’t want to know. They don’t want to find out. They won’t let themselves find out.”)

    Truer words were never spoken. They ring as true today as they did when I was eleven years old and being asked to credulously believe in an impossibly – “magic bullet.” I fear it is a rather short distance in the human psyche between believing in a “magic bullet” and in believing one lives in the “exceptional nation.” Both are clearly evidence of dangerous mass delusion.

    • Gezzah Potts says

      Intergenerationaltrauma: your comment is bang on, your De Gaulle quote is so bang on, and mass delusion and myriad distractions and hedonism runs rampant in Australia as well. Western ‘society’ is pretty much screwed. I too am dumbfounded how effective the propaganda has been in Australia also. Its utterly surreal.

      • milosevic says

        The surrealist performance art depicted below, is entitled This Is Not An Explosive Demolition.

        • milosevic says

          … actually, the original title is, Ceci N’est Pas Une Démolition Explosif.

    • milosevic says

      That both “American exceptionalism” and “Nazi master-race” as principles, both translate in practical terms to illegal immoral aggressive warfare against other nations seems rather obvious to those nations we invade, but never I dare say troubles the thoughts of most Americans. We are not a reflective people it seems, except perhaps for those employed on Wall Street who find themselves “reflecting” upon the potential value of the spoils of the next military pillage we are contemplating or undertaking.

      To know and not to know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions which cancelled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them, to use logic against logic, to repudiate morality while laying claim to it, to believe that democracy was impossible and that the Party was the guardian of democracy, to forget whatever it was necessary to forget, then to draw it back into memory again at the moment when it was needed, and then promptly to forget it again: and above all, to apply the same process to the process itself. That was the ultimate subtlety: consciously to induce unconsciousness, and then, once again, to become unconscious of the act of hypnosis you had just performed.

      George Orwell, 1984

      For most Americans the idea that one would ever need look beyond the MSM for information about U.S. foreign policy seems to not occur. American’s may talk of “fake news” and accuse those who defame their favored political hack of peddling “fake news,” but most simply do not know and if they did would simply not “believe” the actual historical “truths” of U.S. foreign policy mayhem, even if MSM were more honest.

      Earthquakes in Japan, famines in China, revolutions in Mexico? Don’t worry, the milk will be on the doorstep tomorrow morning, the New Statesman will come out on Friday. The industrial towns were far away, a smudge of smoke and misery hidden by the curve of the earth’s surface. Down here it was still the England I had known in my childhood: the railway-cuttings smothered in wild flowers, the deep meadows where the great shining horses browse and meditate, the slow-moving streams bordered by willows, the green bosoms of the elms, the larkspurs in the cottage gardens; and then the huge peaceful wilderness of outer London, the barges on the miry river, the familiar streets, the posters telling of cricket matches and Royal weddings, the men in bowler hats, the pigeons in Trafalgar Square, the red buses, the blue policemen — all sleeping the deep, deep sleep of England, from which I sometimes fear that we shall never wake till we are jerked out of it by the roar of bombs.

      George Orwell, Homage to Catalonia

    • vexarb says

      @IGT: “If in conversation I try to bring up real U.S. policy…friends and neighbors stare as blankly as if I were reading them poetry in Sanskrit.”

      Reminds me of two sayings by Randall Jarrel, my favourite US poet:

      “The Average American is a man who, when you really try to engage him in, just stares and says, “Huh?”.

      “The intellectual level of The Reader’s Digest is not so much a level as an abyss into which the reader willingly sinks”.

      It is a great pity that Jarrel yielded to despair. Keep up the good fight, for we fight against principles and powers in the heavens, and our deaths are not the end.

      • milosevic says

        The intellectual level of The Reader’s Digest is not so much a level as an abyss into which the reader willingly sinks.

        To be fair, currently, for the “Average American” to read ANYTHING AT ALL, would constitute an intellectual ascent, although perhaps not to a mountain, rather than a descent into an abyss.

      • vexarb – “The Average American is a man who, when you really try to engage him in, just stares and says, “Huh?”.

        “The intellectual level of The Reader’s Digest is not so much a level as an abyss into which the reader willingly sinks”.

        – I’m not sure which of these two quote will become “my new favorite quote” as they are unfortunately both so painfully accurate. Thanks for sharing these.

        • vexarb says

          I read the poems of Randall Jarrell in the early 50s. WW2 still fresh in the memory; its big bombers and air defense fire became the symbol, “Strapped in the burning wheel”, through which Randall Jarrell immortalized the machine warfare of WW2, as Wilfred Owen immortalized the trench warfare of WW1.

          “In bombers named for girls we burned / The cities we had learnt about in school”

          Randall and Orwell were seers, looking 50 years ahead and seeing us.

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