103

Hands Off Venezuela, Canada and US Go Home!

David William Pear

What is happening to Venezuela is a coup d’état and it has nothing to do with democracy, human rights, free and fair elections or international law. The US and Canada represent the antithesis of those values; defying the United Nations Charter and international law by interfering in the internal affairs of Venezuela. Their hands are not clean, and their motives are not pure, because their foreign policy objectives everywhere are to promote the interests of their domestic corporations, oligarchs and war profiteers.

In 2017 the US and Canada formed a posse of vigilantes that they named the Lima Group. The gang members of the Lima Group are Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, and Saint Lucia. Mexico’s newly elected liberal government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) has withdrawn from the Lima Group, saying that Mexico follows the principles of sovereignty, non-intervention, and self-determination in foreign policy. Viva AMLO!

The US, which is the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, handpicked the gang members of the Lima Group. Most are rightwing governments, and politically dominated by business-centric oligarchs, and wealthy families just like those that are trying to take control in Venezuela. Fascism, supported by corporations, elites and imperialists are on the march. There is a new wave of anti-immigrant, xenophobic, evangelical, homophobic, and social conservatives gaining power in Latin America, as elsewhere.

President of Argentina Mauricio Macri and President of Brazil Jair Bolsonaro. Photo via Perfil.

The UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights, Idriss Jazairy specifically condemned the US and Canada for imposing economic sanctions on Venezuela. Jazairy stressed that the economic sanctions are immoral on humanitarian grounds, and they are an illegal attempt to overthrow the internationally recognized sovereign government of Venezuela. On January 31, 2019 the UN released a report that quoted him as saying:

I am especially concerned to hear reports that these sanctions are aimed at changing the government of Venezuela…Coercion, whether military or economic, must never be used to seek a change in government in a sovereign state. The use of sanctions by outside powers to overthrow an elected government is in violation of all norms of international law…Economic sanctions are effectively compounding the grave crisis affecting the Venezuelan economy, adding to the damage caused by hyperinflation and the fall in oil prices.”

Former UN Special Rapporteur Alfred de Zayas, who is also an international expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order, said on his website on February 7th the following about the current situation in Venezuela:

Members of the United Nations are bound by the Charter, articles one and two of which affirm the right of all peoples to determine themselves, the sovereign equality of states, the prohibition of the use of force and of economic or political interference in the internal affairs of sovereign states…… the enormous suffering inflicted on the Venezuelan people by the United States is nothing less than appalling. The economic war against Venezuela, carried out not only by the United States, but also by the Grupo de Lima in clear violation of Chapter 4, Article 19 of the OAS Charter, the financial blockade and the sanctions have demonstrably caused hundreds of deaths directly related to the scarcity of food and medicines resulting from the blockade.”

Zayas also said that what the US, Canada and the mainstream media are doing to Venezuela reminds him of the deliberate disinformation campaign that led to the US, and the “coalitions of the willing” that included Canada anonymously, illegally invading Iraq in 2003, and their destruction of Libya in 2011.

In the case of Libya in 2011, the so-called “no-fly zone” authorized by United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973 was for the intended purpose of bringing about a ceasefire. It specifically forbade any “boots on the ground”, which the US is known to have violated.

The US, Canada and other NATO forces illegally exceeded their UN mandate, and used it as a cover to completely destroy Libya and regime change. It later was learned that the supposed Gadaffi genocide, which the no-fly zone was intended to stop, was a hoax. The point is that the US and its junior partners can never be trusted to tell the truth when a lie serves their purposes much better.

Whenever the US and its junior imperial partners resort to pleas of democracy and human rights, an ulterior motive should be assumed. For instance, the little the US and Canada care about democracy, human rights and free elections is shown by their long history of supporting non-democratic governments.

Canada has supported every US regime change project, and the overthrow of democratic governments, which did not conform to their mutual foreign policy objectives. Both countries’ foreign policies prefer corrupt business-centric rightwing repressive governments. Democracy and human rights conflict with the interests and profits of their exploitative and extractive corporations.

Both the US and Canada supported the apartheid government of South Africa right up until the very end; they support the apartheid government of Israel, which is the number one violator of human rights in the world today; and they both sell arms and support the most repressive government in the world, Saudi Arabia. Human rights have not been an issue.

The US overthrew the democratically elected Salvador Allende of Chile, with Canada’s support. Both countries supported the junta regime of Augusto Pinochet, whom was later arrested for crimes against humanity. Both the US and Canada supported the illegitimate coup governments of Haiti in 2004, and in Honduras in 2009. By some estimates, the US (and Canada) support 73% of the dictators in the world. Human rights have not been a concern.

The US and Canada have been trying to overthrow the democratically elected reformist government of Venezuela, known as the Bolivarian Revolution, since 1999. Hugo Chavez’s elections were all certified by the Carter Foundation, the OAS and other legitimate observers. Chavez was elected in free, fair and democratic elections, but that did not matter to the US and Canada. They wanted to overthrow him anyway. Human rights were not a concern.

Democracy, human rights, the right-to-protect, humanitarian interventions and all the other righteous soundbites are just talking points for the US and Canada. They are only used against governments that get in their way, and never used against corrupt business-friendly governments, no matter how criminal. Paul Jay, a Canadian, who is the editor-in-chief of The Real News Network says that he personally became aware in 2005 of Canada’s involvement in the conspiracy of regime change in Venezuela.

The hypocrisy of US concerns over human rights is on full display in a leaked US State Department memo from Brian Hook to then Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. The memo is titled “Balancing Interests and Values”. The memo does not mince words about human rights concerns being only a tactic to use against adversaries:

America’s allies should be supported rather than badgered…. allies should be treated differently — and better — than adversaries….. We do not look to bolster America’s adversaries overseas; we look to pressure, compete with, and outmaneuver them….. pressing those regimes [adversaries] on human rights is one way to impose costs, apply counter-pressure, and regain the initiative from them strategically.”

Hook continues his memo by giving Tillerson a history lesson on the art of US hypocrisy from 1940 to 2017.

In other words, rightwing dictators, military juntas, ethnic cleansing, fraudulent elections, human rights violations, political prisoners, torture and murder should be treated differently — and better — with compliant allies. Even when adversaries are democratically elected, they should be roasted in order to “extract costs”, according to Hook….. but not because the US cares about people.

There is no serious doubt about the legitimacy of the more than a dozen elections in Venezuela between 1998 to 2013. That did not prevent the US and Canada from “extracting costs”, and trying to overthrow Hugo Chavez anyway. Given the examples of the US and Canada overthrowing the democratically elected governments in Chile, Haiti, Honduras, and Egypt, and their support for murderous rightwing coup-governments; the objections to Maduro are unbelievable.

In the past few years, there have been a half-dozen certified democratic elections in Venezuela. The real motives for opposing Maduro must be something else. It is obvious what that something else is. The real motives behind the US and Canada are Venezuela’s massive wealth in oil, gas, and other natural resources, such as gold, copper and coltan.

There are also tremendous profits to be had by bringing Venezuela into the Washington Consensus. US and Canadian banks profit from IMF and World Bank loans. The corrupt politicians and oligarchs steal the loans, and then it is the poor that have to repay them, through higher prices for life’s necessities, reduced wages and government-imposed austerity. The privatization of state-owned enterprises at corrupt fire-sale prices enrich oligarchs and corporations through rent-seeking, instead of adding any value.

The Washington Consensus also forces unequal trade agreements and currency devaluation on poor countries. The resulting lower prices are used to extract natural resources, monocrops and sweatshop produced products for export. Small farmers are driven off the land because they cannot compete with dumped US and Canadian tax-payer highly-subsidized agricultural products, such as corn and wheat. Those that suffer are the local farmers, the poor, landless and indigenous people, who go from subsistence, to poverty, to wage slavery.

The chaotic political situation in Venezuela has been purposely made worse by the US and Canada. Since Venezuela is “cursed” with natural resources, especially oil, its economy has historically gone from boom to bust depending on international commodity prices.

It was low oil prices, endemic poverty, gross inequality, and neoliberal economic policies that favored the rich in the 1990’s, which swept Chavez into power in the 1998 election. A majority of the Venezuelan people elected Hugo Chavez and his “Bolivarian Revolution” of rewriting the constitution, increasing participatory democracy, frequent elections, and implementing social programs for the poor. The Carter Center (as well as the OAS) certified the election, and praised Venezuela’s modern voting systems as one of the best in the world:

Venezuelans voted peacefully, but definitively for change. With more than 96 percent voting for the two candidates who promised to overhaul the system, Venezuelans carried out a peaceful revolution through the ballot box”, said Jimmy Carter’s Foundation upon Chavez’s victory.

The US opposed Chavez regardless of fair and democratic elections. A surprisingly honest 2005 article in the Professional Journal of the US Army explained why the US opposed Chavez and the Bolivarian Revolution for economic and geopolitical reasons [Emphasis added]:

Since he was elected president in 1998, Chávez has transformed Venezuelan Government and society in what he has termed a Bolivarian revolution. Based on Chávez’s interpretation of the thinking of Venezuelan founding fathers Simón Bolívar and Simón Rodríguez, this revolution brings together a set of ideas that justifies a populist and sometimes authoritarian approach to government, the integration of the military into domestic politics, and a focus on using the state’s resources to serve the poor — the president’s main constituency.”

“Although the Bolivarian revolution is mostly oriented toward domestic politics, it also has an important foreign policy component. Bolivarian foreign policy seeks to defend the revolution in Venezuela; promote a sovereign, autonomous leadership role for Venezuela in Latin America; oppose globalization and neoliberal economic policies; and work toward the emergence of a multipolar world in which U.S. hegemony is checked. The revolution also opposes the war in Iraq and is skeptical of the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT). The United States has worked fruitfully in the past with Venezuela when the country pursued an independent foreign policy, but the last three policies run directly contrary to U.S. foreign policy preferences and inevitably have generated friction between the two countries.”

Whether it is Chavez or Maduro, the US, Canada and the oligarchs in Venezuela have been trying to kill the Bolivarian Revolution from when it was an infant in the cradle.

The opposition with the support of imperialists have been trying to get rid of the Bolivarian Revolution with every means imaginable.

They have tried a US supported military coup against Hugo Chavez in 2002. It failed.
They tried strikes by the management of the Venezuelan oil company, Petróleos de Venezuela. It failed.
They tried a recall election in 2004. It failed.
Obama tried economic sanctions in 2015. It failed.
The US and Canada tried an economic blockade in 2017. It has failed, as of this article.
They tried to assassinate Maduro with a drone. It failed.

In 2018 the opposition boycotted the election. Maduro won by a landslide. He had invited the United Nations to be election observers, but the opposition kept the UN away. Other international observers certified the election. Now the opposition complains about the integrity of the election observers. The opposition is making a circus out of elections. The objections by the oligarchs, the US and Canada that the 2018 elections in Venezuela where fraudulent is itself a fraud. Their objectives are to knowingly “extract costs” that Venezuela can ill afford.

The US chose Canada to be the mouthpiece for the Lima Group, but the coup is being directed by imperial powers in Washington. Canadian politeness is not working, and its imperialism is out of the closet where it has been hiding. As Canadian historian Yves Engler puts it, the US carries the big stick in Latin America, and Canada comes along afterwards with the billy club. Engler is referring to Canadian peacekeeping missions, which he exposes as actually policing and counter insurgency missions. Yves Engler has written dozens of books and articles on Canadian imperialism.

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau may be fooling some of the people, some of the time. But he is now under attack at home for corruption . His accusers say that he has obstructed justice in the world-wide corruption scandal involving the powerful international Canadian conglomerate SNC-Lavalin. SNC-Lavalin is a mining, energy and engineering company that is typical of the corrupt face of Canadian imperialism .

Trudeau’s conspiracy with Trump to overthrow the internationally recognized government of Venezuela has unmasked Canada as a second-rate imperial power. Upon closer look, Canada has been protecting its oil and mining companies that have been raping Latin American countries, destroying their environment and poisoning their people for decades. Canadian imperialism has to obey its “deep state” too, as Canadian journalist Bruce Livesey puts it:

Those who believe the oil industry has become a deep state point to how the political elites, whether Liberal, Conservative or NDP — from Justin Trudeau to Stephen Harper to Rachel Notley — go to bat for the industry…”

Mining companies as well as oil and gas are a big part of Canada’s “deep state”. They control approximately 50 to 70% of the mines in Latin America, and they are not held accountable in Canadian courts for their destruction to the environment and harm to human beings in foreign countries. They dispossess the indigenous people and poor of their land. They hire goons to threaten, attack and murder those that try to form labor unions, journalists, and demonstrators against land confiscation and human rights abuses. Honduras is just one example of what happens when a democratically elected leader is overthrow by a US and Canadian-backed coup; Canadian mining companies move in. It is all exposed in the book “Ottawa and Empire: Canada and the Military Coup in Honduras”, by Tyler Shipley.

Canadian Mining Companies in Latin America. Photo Council on Hemispheric Affairs

Dispossessing native people of their land and natural resources comes natural to Canada. After all, like the US it was a settler colonial outpost for the British Empire. Both the US and Canada committed genocide and ethnic cleansing of their mutual Indigenous People. They were even allies and coordinated the genocide. According to historian Andrew Graybill:

…the NorthWest Mounted Police were created and the Texas Rangers renewed and reorganized in the early 1870s specifically to address the pressing ‘native question’ confronting Texas and western Canada, among the few places where bison still roamed after 1870….. both Austin and Ottawa called on their rural police to manage indigenous populations facing societal collapse.…. by controlling or denying the Natives access to the bison.”

In other words, both the US and Canada collaborated in killing the buffalo to extinction. It was the coup de grâce for the starving “native question”.

Mining is one of Canada’s biggest and most powerful and politically influential industries. Canada has approximately 60% of all mining companies in the world. Canadian companies such as Ascendant Copper, Barrick Gold, Kinder Morgan, and TriMetals Mining have operations in Canada, Latin America and elsewhere. They are continuing the ethnic cleansing of the “native question” in Latin America, and at home. (See map and statistics of Canadian Mining in Latin America.)

Canadian mining and natural resource companies are heavy handed when it comes to First Nations at home. TransCanada Corporation recently was in the news because of its pipeline route, which they are trying to put through First Nation’s land in the Wet’suwet’en territory, in northern British Columbia. On a court order, a militarized unit of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police broke up a road blockade, which the tribal leaders had put up to keep the pipeline company out of their nation. The Mounties who lacked jurisdiction arrested 14 tribal leaders on their sovereign land.

During the reign of the British Empire, Canada helped the British put down slave rebellions in the Caribbean. Canada was involved in the slave trade, and slavery was legal in Canada until 1834. The products of slavery, such as cotton and sugar were used for trade and to industrialize Canada. When the British conquered New France, the 1760 declaration of surrender signed in Montreal specifically said:

The Negroes and panis [aborigines] of both sexes shall remain, in their quality of slaves, in the possession of the French and Canadians to whom they belong; they shall be at liberty to keep them in their service in the colony, or to sell them; and they may also continue to bring them up in the Roman Religion.”

In the 19th century Canadian banking and insurance companies, along with those of the British, monopolized finance in British controlled parts of Latin America. Canada is still financially powerful in the English-speaking Caribbean. For example, the Bank of Nova Scotia, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, and the Royal Bank of Canada, as well as Sun Life Financial are dominate in the Bahamas, Belize, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Jamaica, Turks and Caicos, and Trinidad. After the decline of the British Empire, Canada assumed its natural role as a second-rate imperial power and junior partner for US imperialism.

In the Lima Group, Canada is the US’s junior partner. The US has the leading role from behind the curtain. To prove it, right on cue at the January 4th meeting of the Lima Group, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pulled the curtain back in a video presentation to the group. Pompeo showed the members who they would have to answer to if they did not vote according to Washington’s wishes. The Lima group obeyed, and voted to politically isolate and economically blockade Venezuela, contrary to international law. Leaving nothing to chance, Pompeo again addressed the group from behind the video curtain at their February 4th meeting in Ottawa.

As Christopher Black wrote in New Eastern Outlook:

The United States is the principal actor in all this but it has beside it among other flunkey nations, perhaps the worst of them all, Canada, which has been an enthusiastic partner in crime of the United States since the end of the Second World War. We cannot forget its role in the aggression against North Korea, the Soviet Union, China, its secret role in the American aggression against Vietnam, against Iraq, Rwanda, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Syria, Ukraine, Haiti, Iran, and the past several years Venezuela.”

Black left out many other imperial crimes of the partners in Panama, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Somalia, Sudan, the Congo, Palestine, Libya, Yemen, etc. The US and Canada are “always there for each other” and stand “shoulder to shoulder” in war and imperialism, to use Justin Trudeau’s own words. Even against Cuba!

The current Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland recently referred to Venezuela as being in “Canada’s backyard”. As the SNC-Lavalin case illustrates, the Canadian “backyard” of imperialism also extends to Africa, Asia, the Middle East and former Soviet Union republics, such as Ukraine.

This is not the 19th century. Central America, South America and the Caribbean Islands are not anybody’s back yard. It is insulting, degrading and shows a colonial mentality for the US and Canada to even think about having a backyard.

Hands Off Venezuela, Canada and US Go Home!

First published by Greanville Post

David William Pear is a progressive columnist writing on U.S. foreign policy, economic and political issues, human rights and social issues. David is a Senior Contributing Editor of The Greanville Post and a prior Senior Editor for OpEdNews for four years 2014 to 2018, and he is still a "Trusted Writer" for OpEdNews. David has been writing for The Real News Network for over 10 years, and has been a long-term financial supporter.

Filed under: Canada, empire watch, featured, latest, United States, Venezuela

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David William Pear is a progressive columnist writing on U.S. foreign policy, economic and political issues, human rights and social issues. David is a Senior Contributing Editor of The Greanville Post and a prior Senior Editor for OpEdNews for four years 2014 to 2018, and he is still a "Trusted Writer" for OpEdNews. David has been writing for The Real News Network for over 10 years, and has been a long-term financial supporter.

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David William Pear
David William Pear

@ comite espartaco

That is quite a leap to say that I am attacking the Venezuelan people. I am defending their right to determine their own destiny, without the interference of an illegal group headed by Canada and the #1 “global gulag” US. Their motives are obviously to get their hands on the Venezuelan people’s natural resources.

Actually your case about Algeria demonstrates the hypocrisy of US and Canada concerns about human rights and democracy. They both back the government of Algeria, which according to your argument disqualifies them from judging and interfering with any country—-and I strongly agree with you.

Here is a partial quote from Canada’s own website: https://www.canadainternational.gc.ca/algeria-algerie/bilateral_relations_bilaterales/index.aspx?lang=eng

“Canada and Algeria have a dynamic commercial relationship, with bilateral trade totalling more than $1.5 billion in 2017. Algeria was Canada’s largest bilateral trading partner in Africa in 2017 and its 42th largest bilateral trading partner overall. There are more than 60 Canadian companies doing business in Algeria, and their varied activities range from basic foodstuffs to training services and aeronautics.”

“Algeria has promising commercial opportunities for Canada in the infrastructure and consulting engineering services, education, aerospace, information and communication technology, and agriculture sectors. Canada and Algeria also have strong cultural and academic ties including several inter-university research and teaching agreements. On July 1, 2017, Air Canada has launched a direct flight between Montreal and Alger, a service that previously was only offered by Air Algeria.”

THANKS FOR SUBSTANTIATING MY CASE, and I will be getting around to Canada’s imperialism in Africa, which is even worse than in Latin America.

comite espartaco

On the contrary, we are not the ones advocating a moral case for or against intervention, but only pointing out the inconsistencies of your ‘ethical’ case and the inadequacy and fundamental corruption and hypocrisy of your UN ‘witnesses’. Even your economic indicators will not take you too far, since the main commercial partner of Venezuela is the USA. Something that would undermine, once again, the logic of your argument.

There is an essential flaw in your understanding of the problem. The international opposition to the regime in Venezuela, has also the support of leftist and ‘Bolivarian’ countries, like Ecuador, Costa Rica, Canada (the darling of the anti-Trump immigrationist left) and even Spain (whose government is supported by a Bolivarian party) or France. The reason is clear. The economic collapse of Venezuela is forcing masses of people out the country and dumping them in vulnerable neighbours or other countries, in a form of demographic aggression that cannot be absorbed. Something that is forcing those neighbours and others to defend themselves. In the case of Brazil even before the victory of Bolsonaro. A victory that was boosted by that migratory attack.

On the other hand, no country operates in an international vacuum, so it is not possible for them to determine their own destiny without more or less interference. In the case of Venezuela, it is the Bolivarian regime that, after 20 long years, not only has not changed the mode of production, but it is trying to hold on to power by negating its own Constitution.

Finally, the control of natural resources is something relative, as natural resources on their own are nothing and need great capital investments in the form of finance, technology and know-how. These investments, either from East or West, do not come for free and it would be unrealistic and naïve to expect them as free gifts. Natural resources are resources because there is capital and technology that can extract them, otherwise there won’t be anything as Venezuela is showing today with its dilapidated oil industry. The case of Algeria is an extreme case of brutal exploitation of natural resources in the benefit of a LOCAL oligarchy. Algerian oil can be extracted far from populated areas and pumped out of the country with minimal intervention from a brutally subjugated population, that is completely expendable and can be massacred at will.

bevin
bevin

” Ecuador, Costa Rica, Canada (the darling of the anti-Trump immigrationist left) and even Spain (whose government is supported by a Bolivarian party) or France. ”
The list exemplifies the weakness of your argument. None of these governments can be even remotely connected with Bolivarian politics, with the possible exception of the minority support given by Podemos-split over the issue three ways-for the ‘Socialist’ government which has now fallen. Then there is France-are you kidding? Macron as Bolivarian? wow!!! And Ecuador, persecuting not only Assange but the now exiled former president who did, indeed, support Venezuela. And then there is Canada, whose foreign relations are notoriously opposed to everything that Venezuela stands for.
You sure know how to waste space and entice others into doing so too.
Memo to self: Do Not Feed Troll.

mark
mark

It must be a natural gift to concoct such a farrago of lies to facilitate imperialist aggression and exploitation by the most criminal, bloodthirsty terrorist regime the world has ever seen.
You could have a bright future in Washington with the NED or any of its army of bogus NGOs.
Anyone who fails to leap aboard your Regime Change Smash And Grab Bandwagon is motivated by “corruption” and “hypocrisy.”
Venezuela trades (or has traded) with America. So what? You have something I want, I’ll pay you for it. That has been the nature of trade and barter for thousands of years. It works, because everybody benefits. The US stops trading with countries it wants to destroy, like Cuba, Iran, Russia, and scores of other countries, the 40% of humanity targeted by US economic strangulation. So they trade with somebody else.
You must have just arrived from a distant planet if you imagine that this assorted ragbag of US satellites and satraps, Canada, Ecuador, Brazil, Spain or France, are remotely “leftist.”
Talking of “demographic aggression” by refugees is a fantasy construct by those seeking a specious justification for actual military aggression. It depends on ignorance of the country. Venezuela is probably the most diverse country in South America. There are 5 million Colombians living in Venezuela. Is Colombia guilty of “demographic aggression?” Should Venezuela invade Colombia or arm rebels to overthrow the Colombian government? There are hundreds of thousands of Ecuadoreans and Brazilians living in Venezuela (among many other nationalities.) And 300,000 Spaniards. Are all of them guilty of “demographic aggression?”
The oil industry is dilapidated because of 20 years of economic strangulation, sabotage and subversion. It seems that all the natural resources of the world should line the pockets of Wall Street to the exclusion of everybody else. One leading US politician complained that Venezuela had squandered its wealth on things like healthcare, education and literacy, when it could have gone to hard pressed hedge fund managers.

Your Washington puppet Gweedo is going nowhere. His pathetic putsch is already a busted flush. All the US satraps who have held their noses and supported this clown are going to be left with a lot of egg on their faces. If the Trump Regime doubles down and uses their “big beautiful military” they are not invading a country, they are invading a continent. Biting off more than they can chew. Igniting a war that will make Syria and Iraq look like a Friday night punch up down the town centre. And it will be the final nail in the coffin of the AngloZionist Empire. So bring it on.

If this cabal of Zionist war criminals, Bolton, Abrams, Pompeo, the Orange Baboon himself, and their ilk, had two brain cells to rub together, they would not have supported this ex IMF clown Gweedo, but maybe a former Chavista who had become disaffected by developments in the country. That might have worked. But you can always rely on the Ziocons to t*ck up everything they touch. They are nothing if not predictable, Bring it on.

David William Pear
David William Pear

@ Robert, thanks for the encouragement.

David William Pear
David William Pear

@mark, When the US doesn’t “win” a war it makes an example of the country and totally destroys it from the air. It’s sickening to think what the US has done to Iraq, Libya, Syria, Vietnam, Korea, for examples. Even now in Syria and Afghanistan the US is just killing civilians because it doesn’t know what else to do, and the military thinks it has to be doing something to justify its budget.

mark
mark

There is a plausible school of thought that all these illegal wars are not intended to be won at all, they are just intended to go on forever, generating endless bloated profits for the military intelligence industrial complex and fat bribes for all the corrupt 30 shekel whores in Congress. Like Oceania’s wars with Eastasia. I say this is plausible because you could argue that if the Neocons were actually serious about their objectives, they would at least get some more competent schemers and plotters to carry out their endless invasions, bombings and regime changes, than Zionist no hopers like Boot, Frum, Abrams, Libby, Wolfowitz and all the rest of the gang. Bismarck or Metternich they ain’t. Complete incompetence seems to be an essential part of the job description. In the past, there were people like James Baker, Weinberger and similar figures who at least gave the appearance of being semi rational and semi competent, whatever crimes they undoubtedly committed. Failure and incompetence are now consistently handsomely rewarded. Those who express doubts and suggest an alternative course of action, and who are vindicated by events, are ruthlessly punished, sacked, demoted, vilified, and cast into outer darkness.

The current military budget is $1,134 billion (true figure), literally more than the rest of the planet combined.
$21 trillion ($21,000,000,000,000, about the size of the US National Debt) has officially “gone missing” from US military spending to date.
So this theory is entirely plausible. Dmitry Orlov made out quite a convincing case for it recently.

Robert Laine

Excellent advice, chaise. There are so few opportunities today to fact-check and engage in tranquil “conversations” so OffG is a godsend. Calling Maduro a dictator without looking at details is not helpful.

Your mention of newspapers and TV is a good one. To what extent is there freedom of expression in Venezuela, USAmerica, Chile etc. I am not sure where the 90% figure comes from but the record shows declining freedom of expression in Venezuela since the 2-day coup in 2002. The decline has accelerated since Chavez died in 2013.

Who to believe and where to get “facts”? Reporting by the MSM in the US has in general become less than informative (eg. Russiagate) and governments do press releases to present their POV, some with more misinformation than others.

Just a few examples to provide some evidence. In 2007 the largest Venezuelan TV channel was effectively shut down by the government(see Wikipedia “RCTV”). Because of the outcry from the public, censoring became more subtle. In 2010 the head of Globovision was arrested and then went into exile, the government bought a stake in the canal, and in 2013 a frontman purchased it. Criticism of the government stopped(see Wikipedia “Globovision”).

The same occurred with the newspapers. In the case of “El Nacional” government lawsuits forced the owner into exile and recently the last print version was published when the government withheld paper for newsprint (see Wikipedia “El Nacional(Caracas)”).

Reporters without Borders (RSF) has provided considerable information on the situation.

https://rsf.org/en/news/venezuela-censors-its-political-crisis

mark
mark

Some of these media outlets in the pocket of the comprador elite have openly called for the violent overthrow of the elected government by armed force. If you did the same thing in the US or any western country your feet wouldn’t touch the ground. You’d just get an all expenses paid trip to Guantanamo for a spot of waterboarding.

Robert Laine

I agree, mark, that, as here in Chile and above all in the USAmerica media owners control content. Not easy to get a reasonable grip on the facts. Without opposition, however, freedom of expression is tenuous. Obama was the worst in cracking down on whistleblowers. Without Wikileaks we would be a lot more ignorant.

John Ervin
John Ervin

Well, Assange. And Snowden, whom Dave Emory calls “The Peachfuzz Oswald,” since with his stubble he defected to Russia, just like LHO and is about as trust-inspiring.

At spitfirelist.com Emory site do a search on those two, and Emory provides a lot of documented evidence that those two are just another CIA-orchestrated psyop.

The ol’ double switcheroo to persuade us that they have our backs.

The mirrors they set up, to reflect façades, are …. many.

That IS the game of the espiocracy, that some still believe is a democracy.

All smoke and mirrors. We can still manoeuvre, but they keep adding on.

A bad thing.

mark
mark

Dear JE,

You raise an interesting point there. Many women professionals complain that they are not taken seriously and are judged on their appearance, hair style, shoes etc.
It surprised me to see the same with Assange and Snowden.
One “Independent” hack, certainly no oil painting himself, focussed his criticism of Assange on the fact that he was wearing a pink shirt, and “needed a better image consultant.”
Likewise, Snowden was criticised for only having a “wispy” beard, not a “manly” beard, presumably like Bin Laden or a Tehran mullah.

Maggie
Maggie

Without Wikileaks we would be a lot more ignorant… Was this intended to be tongue in cheek?
Wiki is monitored and edited by the Zionists.

Robert Laine

@maggie Thanks for your comment. My statement on wikipedia did not come out as clear as I would have desired (too much memo- and grant-submission writing perhaps!).

I remembered that once OffG admin asked for evidence from a poster on another subject so I wanted to provide some evidence that the 90% freedom of expression figure was questionable rather than give the appearance I was just pulling my response out of the air. Most of what I read about Venezuela is in Spanish from the left, right, centre etc. but I figured that an English-language source would be best for the OffG audience.

I learned some time ago via OffG about the editing bias related to wiki info on Luke Harding. Input from yourself and others which raise doubts about sources is one of the many benefits of OffG. For me, wikipedia is only a place to start to get basic facts (dates of events etc.). Picking out opinion from facts and knowing what facts were left out is not easy.

The basic facts in the wiki article in English about El Nacional newspaper, for example, seemed accurate enough to do further investigation in other sources. As you probably know, the concept of objectivity in general has been called into question so, while not a surefire solution, checking out various sources and reaching one’s own conclusion is the way to go IMO.

I try to develop a hypothesis and then check it out which means the conclusion may only be temporary until new facts flow in. So, no, I am not confirming the reliability or consistency of all wiki articles but rather a place to start.

David William Pear
David William Pear

@ Robert, any country that comes under attack will tighten security. That is part of the plan of “exacting costs” by US State Department. Attack—security tightens—-attack for lack of human rights—it’s a vicious cycle. Still Venezuela is nothing like the dictatorship is Honduras which the US and Canada fully back and is even part of the Lima Group.

And look at how dissent is treated in US with militarized police, etc.

Robert Laine

Thanks for your comments, David, and continued writing on the subject. Foreign interference is usually counter-productive because it ups the ante keeping the locals from dealing with the issues themselves. Hopefully there will be a peaceful ending to this standoff.

John Ervin
John Ervin

I take Wikipedia “independence” not with a grain of salt, but as Mark Twain suggested for things as dubious, with a barrel.

You can only read them safely with an eye for what they leave out, and that takes a deep knowledge of your subject.

Or sometimes not even all that deep.

Sirhan Sirhan’s bio is a farce, if you have read any of longstanding reportage on factual “discrepancies”, much revelation in just the last ten years that is stone cold fact. (They start off saying “scholars” cite his crime as the first instance of Arab terrorism here, when in fact it’s basic that he is a Greek Orthodox Christian. His defense lawyer Grant Cooper was also Johnny Rosselli’s lawyer. How does this happen?)

That’s just an example, but my the site was red-flagged for me by Gore Vidal’s frequent slamming of it in his last years. He wanted to alert.

Now, when it comes to many things, not too contested, Wikipedia is not too bad, and you can always read it for links etc.

But because of its reach, traffic, and influence it is, among other caveats, heavily monitored by Uncle $(c)am. (Some people still pronounce that name with a silent “c”, so I include the parenthesis out of deference).

When it comes to any subject carrying a “charge” such as political crime, standard corporate piracy, incursions by the U.S. and its many crime partners into other countries in pursuit of yet more lucre, Wiki almost always fails the Sniff Test.

And I ain’t talkin’ no “virtual” odor. You can smell it from afar, ‘cross the vast reaches of cyberspace.

Meanwhile, some of the other agencies are not so very green as deeply greenwashed, just like so many “protests” in Venezuela -or anywhere else within wireless reach (e.g. Pluto)- are less grass, in root, than actively astroturfed by paid (or blackmailed/extorted, same result) agent$.

So, caveat emptor, wikiphiles.

Just sayin’

Robert Laine

Point taken, John. Wikipedia is as good a point as any to start with, though, because it is in English, and if the article contains useful footnotes so much the better. The Reporters Without Borders site was the most objective I could find in English about freedom of expression in Venezuela. If I stated that the government was doing everything badly, (eg. totally controlling the internet at this point) it would be fake news. Obviously, I haven’t said it is doing everything well either.

John Ervin
John Ervin

Purple Library Guy makes the point I stuck into this balloon, that such outlets awash in greenwash ($) as RwB are stalking horses, or of the Trojan variety, for the same vile forces.

And they do the same damnable thing at Wiki, they flood propaganda-prone hot button issues with generously “endowed” editors as “volunteers” to make sure explosive & incendiary & revelatory truths, all the ones that the oligarchic fat cat interests would find damaging to their Pirates of the Caribbean booty-lust in Venezuela, never see the light of day, with a little judicious pimp-reviewed “editing” here and there.

Then they send above-average trolls to comment threads of insightful articles at thoughtful sites like OffGuardian to make sure that the clearer waters of analysis, there, get a little muddied.

But most of those drawn to such oases can still see the bottom (line). In fact, the nuisance even sometimes sharpens the senses.

Nice try, though.

Meh.

mark
mark

Wikipedia is extremely unreliable, and any progressive figure like Vanessa Beeley, George Galloway etc. are relentlessly smeared, while the Luke Hardings of this world are lauded to high heaven.
Reporters Without Borders is another bogus NGO, which will howl to high heaven about any problems experienced in neocon target countries like Iran and Russia, while there is a deafening silence about the many media people gunned down in Gaza, or the many murdered and disappeared journalists in Ukraine. They are “Unpeople.”.

jdseanjd

Mark, I agree 100%: wikipedia is a most unreliable source.

They allowed realclimate.com co-founder William Connolley to edit 5428 articles, mostly on climate.
His purpose was to promote the human-caused global warming/climate change catastrophe fraud. This zealot & “green” party member was found out, & exposed to add to the huge list of scams propping up this failing scare.
Put William Connolley wikipedia in the search box at http://www.wattsupwiththat.com & take your pick of the many articles.

John Doran.

jdseanjd

Sufficient proof, IMHO, that wikipedia is a fake news servant of the oiligarch/Bankster deep state.

John Doran.

Maggie
Maggie

Hi Robert,
Sorry for my comment previously about tongue in cheek? I didn’t realise you had difficulty accessing English sites.
If you are looking for information you could try 21st century wire, UK column on u tube. to begin with.

Robert Laine

Again thanks (I am just catching up on the postings). Will certainly check them out. Before the net It used to be a trip to the Encyclopedia Britannica. I wonder what bias EB had?

Jen
Jen

Encyclopaedia Britannica has long been published in North America (Chicago, I think) since the 1930s. Is that enough for you?

EB no longer print their encyclopedias (for obvious reasons – the sets are very large) and is now entirely online.

Try Venezuelanalysis.com for English-language information on Venezuela. As far as I can tell, it really is an independent website on news about Venezuela, recommended by Max Blumenthal of Grayzone Project.

For the next trouble spot in the Caribbean region, just so you can be up to speed on events before their reporting is deliberately distorted, if not already, HaitiLiberte.com will be your go-to information source.

Robert Laine

No worries and again thanks, Maggie. Will certainly check these sources out. Before the net, it used to be a trip to the Encyclopedia Britannica. I wonder what the EB bias was?

Purple Library Guy
Purple Library Guy

Reporters without borders–interesting source. Let us not forget that RwB have extensive ties with, and funding from, outfits like the National Endowmen for Democracy and the International Republican Institute, not to mention Otto Reich–in short, they are basically an asset of the US State Department and intelligence community. They frequently lie like rugs, saying barely enough true things to retain a fig-leaf of credibility.
Criticism of the government from most sectors of the Venezuelan media did not “stop”, it is ongoing and strident. Opposition leaders regularly call for the overthrow of the government on national TV and in major newspapers, and those TV stations, newspapers, and opposition leaders do not face repercussions but simply continue to do what they do. Globovision wasn’t “shut down”, whether “effectively” or not. It continued to be available on cable. Its license to use the public airwaves wasn’t renewed, which is pretty amazingly mild treatment for an outfit that actively collaborated with a military coup against the government. If it had happened in the US, everyone involved in the station ownership and upper management would have been in jail till the end of time for treason.
I don’t know about El Nacional. But I’d be willing to bet the lawsuits “forced” the owner into exile because he totally did a bunch of stuff that made him totally liable and so they were going to rightfully take him to the cleaners. If you publish libel, and get sued for libel, skipping the country rather than pay the penalty for libel is not some kind of heroic strike against oppression.

notheonly1
notheonly1

RwB should be renamed into “Deep State Assets without Borders”

Maggie
Maggie

All true… P.L.G.
For the benefit of those who don’t actually know what N.E.D. is here is some research I did a few months ago.

**CARL GERSHAM has been the President of the N E Democracy since its beginning in 1984.

His own words:
”NED was always a pro-democracy, not an anti-communist, organization. (?)  We came into existence at tail end of Cold War.  We put half of our resources into LATIN AMERICA, where many transitions were taking place at the time. We also supported Solidarity in POLAND and other dissident and democracy movements in CENTRAL EUROPE. During this initial period of the NED had global aspirations, but we were not yet a truly global organization.  We didn’t have the resources, and we were just getting started and making our first contacts. the period following the fall of communism was rather difficult for us. It was also a time when Congress started funding USAID to do the work of post-authoritarian democratic consolidation, so you didn’t really need a non-governmental organization like NED that had the capacity to work in ‘hostile environments.’
After 9/11 we woke up to the fact that we lived in a conflicted environment, so more people  turned to the NED to ”aid democracy”, especially in difficult countries that are beyond the reach of ”official development institutions”. and work hard to connect them with the activists we support. Members of Congress really welcomes meeting front-line democracy activists from countries like China, Russia, Azerbaijan, and Cuba. I’m happy to say that in addition to support in Congress, we’re in the budget of the Trump Administration.
The NED does not get involved in domestic politics.  Our job is to support people in different countries abroad who are ‘fighting’ for freedom and democracy.
There are thousands of young people in Russia today who ‘are’ part of that fight and are leading a movement for a democratic opening. The U.S. has a great interest in Russia becoming more democratic and in protecting ourselves against the misuse of information, especially in the cyberspace.  The U.S. will need to develop a realistic policy that can contain Russia.  The NED is now a genuinely global organization. We have a substantial grants programs in all major regions of the world where democracy needs to be strengthened… including East Asia, with a priority on CHINA and NORTH KOREA; Europe and Eurasia, with a priority on RUSSIA and the Balkans; and South ASIA, Africa, Latin America, and the MIDDLE EAST. At the request of Congress, we have developed a strategic plan to press back against democratic backsliding and resurgent authoritarianism.
We’re also focused on countering religious and ethnic extremism, not just Islamic but also Buddhist nationalism, in countries like Burma and Sri Lanka. We’re wrestling with the question of how ‘democracy movements’ committed to universal values can reach grassroots populations more wedded to traditional religion and culture…  and prioritized the importance of democratic governance… when the next opportunity comes for such an effort.  We are in contact with ”activists”  in all countries like India, South Korea and Japan to try to find a way they can work together with the West.”

https://thepolitic.org/an-interview-with-carl-gershman-65-president-of-the-national-endowment-for-
democracy/

In this picture, he presents the 2011 Oxi Day Award to Jamel Bettaieb for his leadership in TUNISIA’s ”Arab Spring.”
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Gershman

In early 2012, for example, as part of a broader crackdown on international NGOs, EGYPT’s military government enacted a travel ban on several representatives from NDI and IRI, preventing them from leaving the country. As of February 2012, the Egyptian government was planning to prosecute at least 19 Americans, including representatives from NDI and IRI, on charges of illegally operating unlicensed foreign NGOs in the country. The government lifted the travel ban on February 29 under pressure from the United States and amid a series of resignations by Egyptian judges who refused to hear the case, although it was unclear whether the charges would be dropped.
http://rightweb.irc-online.org/profile/National_Endowment_for_Democracy/

The neoconservative PRESIDENT of the U.S.-taxpayer-funded National Endowment for Democracy [NED] has called for the U.S. government to “summon the will” to engineer the overthrow of RUSSIAN President Vladimir Putin
https://consortiumnews.com/2016/10/07/key-neocon-calls-on-us-to-oust-putin/

Remarks by NED PRESIDENT Carl Gershman at the UKRAINE in Washington Conference 2016
https://www.ned.org/ukraines-success-after-25-years/

Carl Gershman on TAIWAN’s Democracy and the Democratic Future
https://www.ned.org/carl-gershman-on-taiwans-democracy-and-the-democratic-future/

Read:
”The Confessions of an Economic Hitman by John Perkins.” to see just what A SLIME BALL Gersham is.

comite espartaco

Another example of leftist dribble, impotent rage and nonsense. The UN rapporteur on ‘Human Rights’, Mr Idriss Jazairy is an Algerian ambassador (retired), that is, an ambassador of one of the most tyrannical and bloodthirsty terrorist states on Earth. A terrorist regime that has committed and still commits unspeakable crimes and massacres against Algerians and survives by floating on a torrent of blood, torture and repression, especially, since the electoral victory of the Islamic Salvation Front in 1992. No wonder he supports a regime that, without the same level of violence as the Algerian one (something difficult to imitate), has tried to prevent the materialisation of the CONSTITUTIONAL electoral victory of the opposition in Venezuela.
But it is not true that Venezuela (Paleozuela), or even Mexico, are peaceful, non-interventionist and self-determining nations. On the contrary, their fake regimes and brutal economic failures, produce a constant and massive stream of migration that is directed towards other countries, neighbouring or otherwise, in what constitutes a REAL demographic AGGRESSION and WAR. That is why (amongst other things), there is a justification for foreign intervention.

mark
mark

Everything you have listed applies far more accurately to FUKUS, the Ziocon Empire of the United Snakes, its various satellites like the UK, France, the assorted barbaric Gulf Dictatorships it props up, not forgetting the Zionist Apartheid Regime of Israel of course.
It is not Algeria that has bombed and invaded 60 countries.
it is not Algeria that has slaughtered, butchered, starved and immiserated hundreds of millions.
It is not Algeria that is currently seeking to strangle the economies of 40% of humanity.
It is not Algeria that routinely overthrows scores of democratically elected governments and murders scores of democratically elected politicians.
It is not Algeria that maintains a global gulag of concentration camps, torture chambers, secret prisons in scores of countries where tens of thousands are spirited away to be tortured and murdered.
No tyrant or dictator in history, Genghis Khan, Adolf Hitler, Ivan The Terrible,, comes anywhere near the unspeakable record of crimes and massacres of the US Regime, the most tyrannical and bloodthirsty terrorist state in human history, floating on a torrent of blood, torture and repression.

Compared to that, the Algerians are as pure as the driven snow, a bunch of choirboys.

comite espartaco

So… your point is that if it is done in a ‘small’ enough scale, that you and people like you will decide… IT’S OK and acceptable…!!! Even though, in Algeria, more than 40 million people are involved and its effects are being felt all over the world (the Algerians were the ones that ‘invented’ the suicide planes that they were going to crash in Paris, before NYC). Even though Algeria, as we have already told you, is not only a giant torture chamber that has massacred hundreds of thousands of people (elected and not elected), but is an integral part of the ‘global gulag’ of which you talk and starves its own population, that is forced to flee and migrate, that is, attack other countries…!!!

Bernard Davis
Bernard Davis

Allahu Akhbar

mark
mark

No, human rights abuses are the same wherever they are committed.
It’s just a question of scale.
Any crimes committed by Algeria pale into insignificance compared to those of the bloodthirsty terrorist US regime and its satellites.
But it doesn’t mean they’re okay.

John Ervin
John Ervin

Groucho Marx took some heat over a half century past for calling the High Cabal “The United Snakes of America”.

He probably thought he’d get a hall pass, since an original flag had one coiled and “Don’t Tread on Me”. Ergo, now there are many more.

An ironic juxtaposition.

I just, honestly, have long assumed that USA INC. is an acronym for United Snakes of America.

But I’m like that, my mommy taught me to read between the lines, before saluting.

That’s ’cause she had avatars to teach her like her 1st cousin, her mother’s nephew, and favorite, Roman Bohnen, who was blacklisted by the McCarthy Committee (HUAC)… posthumously (source: Wikipedia).

What wikipedia conveniently omits, once again (making my point), is that his sudden fatal heart attack happened just days before he was to testify before said HUAC.

(And then the hotbed “Actors Laboratory” that he founded burned to the ground. Oh, and its safe went missing in the fire not long after. One of its members, a young Marilyn Monroe, was herself only twelve years shy of becoming a suspicious death. Her maid/confidante has written that the last person to visit her, on her last night, was none other than Johnny Rosselli. Read a bit about HIS last hours, 15 years after her demise!

Lotta stiffs.

Coincidence or Conspiracy?

We report, you decide.)

David William Pear
David William Pear

That is smearing Idriss Jazairy with a broad brush. Do you have anything specific that disqualifies him to speak or that what he said is inaccurate.

comite espartaco

Yes. As we already said, he is an Ambassador of one of the most brutal regimes on Earth, that also collaborates with the US in the global ‘gulag’. That means that he is a willing and conscious representative of the criminal oligarchy of his country. A HIGH civil servant of the regime. Its international face and defence. That, in itself, completely undermines his case, critique or recommendations, since any crime that the USA or Canada or any other country could have committed could and, probably, will be dwarfed before the enormity of the mass repression in Algeria. It would be a clear case of political hypocrisy and fake morality that recommends to others what is not practised at home. In fact, a brutal and transparent attempt to defend and protect an inhuman regime and keep possible enemies at bay, by defending the illegalities and ‘mistakes’ in Venezuela and, effectively, attacking its people. Your case and the case for non-intervention, if there is one, cannot rest on such shaky foundations.

bevin
bevin

” any crime that the USA or Canada or any other country could have committed could and, probably, will be dwarfed before the enormity of the mass repression in Algeria..”
When it comes to hyperbole your lack of restraint is matched only by your ignorance.

mark
mark

So any US politician/ diplomat/ bureaucrat / or official is a “willing and conscious representative” of the most bloodthirsty criminal terrorist regime in history.

Michael McNulty
Michael McNulty

It’s an armed robbery in the gangster stage of capitalism. Today their bootleg liquor is oil, the boys they send round are armies and their drive-by shootings are Warthog strafings with DU ammo. Their drugs racket is pharmaceuticals on Main Street and heroin and coke in the backstreets. They still print money, though, but it still can’t satisfy their rapacious greed. Gotta kill for more; still won’t be enough.

David William Pear
David William Pear

Read this old 2012 Guardian article and weep for the departed reporting that once was: “Why the US demonises Venezuela’s democracy”,

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/oct/03/why-us-dcemonises-venezuelas-democracy

David William Pear
David William Pear

Mark, you really have pointed out the Achilles heel. All those resources worse than wasted, they have been used to destroy. It is why the pyramid schemers are so desperate to keep it going everywhere, but eventually it will crash.

David William Pear
David William Pear

Apparently not much more than we are doing now. That is why I write.

David William Pear
David William Pear

I remember once watching and listening to Ahmedinejad being interviewed by Larry King, and the man seemed quite rational and non belligerent, but the spin afterwards made me wonder if I had watched the same program.

David William Pear
David William Pear

They have succeeded in muddying the water that an illegal aggression, a coup and siege warfare is a mere “crisis”. People need to call things what they are.

David William Pear
David William Pear

The meeting was a flop, but it demonstrated again the pathology of aggressors. There is some hope that Western Europe is getting tired of making sacrifices for Washington.

David William Pear
David William Pear

The hypocrisy and irony is indeed disgusting. The problem of course is, how many battleships, F-35’s, Tomahawk missiles and divisions, etc. does Maduro have? Venezuela’s military budget is less than that of a medium size city in the West.

mark
mark

I don’t think that actually matters very much, David.
The Ziocons want cheap and easy victories, a Soros/ NED style Colour Revolution, grab the oil then home in time for tea and medals. They don’t have much staying power.
If they are crazy enough to invade, they are invading a continent, not a country. Jungle, mountains, cities. An insurgency of unlimited scope spilling over into Colombia (our new NATO chums), Bolsonaro’s Brazil and Guyana.
For that all they need is the Taliban toolkit of small arms, grenades, rocket propelled grenades, explosives and IEDs, and mortars. Millions of people willing to take up arms and a cadre of loyal Venezuelan military to train them.
They don’t have a lot of heavy equipment like tanks and advanced aircraft, but they have the latest version of the AK47, the AK103, and much else besides.
This could make Iraq and Syria look like a picnic.
The civil war in neighbouring Colombia lasted 50 years and cost 250,000 lives and 7 million internal refugees.
Venezuela would be much worse.
It is unlikely Washington’s stooge Gweedo can unite a divided opposition. It is doubtful he could cobble together a coherent administration with the authority and competence to administer the country. The quisling opposition has never been able to win an election or garner much genuine internal support.
As soon as the bombs start falling (if they do) there will be an explosion of opposition across the continent and across the planet.
The record of the Zionist plotters and schemers, Abrams, Bolton, Pompeo and the rest, is not good. Everything they have touched ends in catastrophic failure.

mark
mark

So it may sound callous and cynical, but I almost hope they do invade.
Only almost, because of the slaughter this would cause.
You could see this as an opportunity.
It would probably be the final nail in the coffin of the AngloZionist Empire. Iraq was supposed to be a cakewalk with grateful natives throwing flowers, costing “$60 billion tops.” 18 years and $7,000 billion later, no end in sight. If the body bags start coming home from a dozen Fallujahs, the Deep State may seize the chance to stage a regime change at home in the US and depose Trump.
Syria was the Stalingrad. Venezuela (or Iran) would be the Kursk and the Berlin.
It’s a brutal way of looking at things, but it could prevent Armageddon with Russia and China.

vexarb
vexarb

@Mark: “The record of the Zionist plotters and schemers, Abrams, Bolton, Pompeo and the rest, is not good. Everything they have touched ends in catastrophic failure.”

You can add Natan Yahoo to that list. I can’t understand why he is still in office after so many armed incursions which not only flopped but ended with his many so-called “existential enemies” stronger than before he started “Operation Protective Edge” and their ilk.

vexarb
vexarb

PS. a propos of Abrams the evil weasel, here is Abrams being roasted in Congress by a really feisty little lady come to town:

mark
mark

I couldn’t agree more, but that predates Nitwityahoo, with his pronouncement in Warsaw yesterday, “We are here to further the cause of war with Iran.”
The Zionist invasion of Lebanon in the 70s/80s and its accompanying massacres produced Hezbollah, which terrifies our Zionist chums, preferring as they do to gun down kids in Gaza and Hebron rather than fighting real men.
Now that their pet takfiri headchoppers have been defeated in Syria, they face Iran and Hezbollah just over the border in Syria, eager, ready and willing to take them on.

At times like this, I recall the old English phrase, “hoist with their own petard.” That dates back to the English Civil War when the Roundheads and the Cavaliers went round besieging each others castles and towns. They would bring up a petard, a short barrelled artillery piece that fired a cannon ball high up on to the heads of the defenders. The trouble was, these contraptions were notoriously unreliable and often exploded prematurely, blowing the attackers sky high, who were then said to have been hoist with their own petard.

Present day petards are Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Georgia, Ukraine, the list is long and undistinguished. Another petard is currently being brought up by assorted recycled Zionist war criminals like Abrams and Bolton. We can confidently expect the same result.

vexarb
vexarb

Mark, thanks. I always wondered what exactly Shakespeare meant by petard, though it was obviously some sort of explosive device.

“”For tis the sport to have the enginer
Hoist with his owne petar”

That quote is from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, and even today the saying is used “Hoist with his own petard” to mean harmed by the same device or means intended to injure others. Indeed, in the period of our discussion, any attacker placing a petard risked self destruction should the fuse be too short or burn too fast – or if his escape was slowed because he was shot. “

Jen
Jen

It’s my understanding that in addition to conventional armed forces, Venezuela also has militias, totalling 2 million volunteers, at national, regional and local government level.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Bolivarian_Militia_of_Venezuela

The existence of these militias – who, in all likelihood, are trained in guerrilla warfare as well as more conventional forms of fighting – is what stays Brazilian and Colombian willingness to commit any troops to a US-led coalition in an invasion. Do we know if Brazilian and Colombian soldiers are loyal to their current governments?

As far as I know, Venezuela has Russian weapons and armaments including two S-300 missile defence systems. Does the country really need F-35s and Tomahawk missiles when the battle is likely to be won only through hand-to-hand fighting, one city, one town, one village, one community at a time?

Joerg
Joerg

But we must say, that this Maduro and his staff are completely sleepy!
After Maduro was ‘denied’ as president by the regime in Washington, he should not have missed the fancy opportunity to hold a large press conference (after several advance announcements) on US relations. And then Maduro would have to state:
This “torture regime” in Washington and its current presumed “president” can no longer be recognized. This “president” was not elected by the citizens, but only by the banks, the big industry and the super-rich oligarchs. Also he had been installed by a foreign power. And then the totally corrupt electronic voting system in the US has been gerrymandered. This also in elections before this cheated “Trump election”.
This is why the torture regime in Washington does not allow the Venezuelan system in the US. Here in Venezuela we have also electronic voting machines. But after voting electronically every voter gets a printed out receipt at the voting booth. And that receipt is than put by the voting citizen in a ballot box. And that ballot boxes are then used to control that the electronic system was not tricked with.
But the regime in Washington fears honest elections – true elections it was unable to manipulate.

I, President Maduro, declare herewith, that the only rightful president of the United States of America is…
Mrs. ANGELA DAVIS!

And President Davis has a huge, but suppressed, following. You can recognize her followers – as long as they have not been shot meanwhile by the police or army, or have been put in jail or have been transferred to Guantanamo – by their hat with President Davis’ motto on it: M-A-G-A!
MAGA means “Make-Angela-Great-Again”!
But these brave followers of the true President Davis are shot in dozens every day!

Also Maduro should hold once a week a press conference to every single EU country: Great Britain, France, Germany, Italy and so on.
And on each press conferences he should set an “ultimatum” to each government of that country to hold new and true and fair elections!

To Germany, Maduro should mention that the West-German government had destroyed all of the industry of the former GDR (then communist Germany). And that since 1989 a huge portion of the population of East-Germany was forced to mass-emigrate to the West or even into foreign countries in order to survive. Towns and villages in eastern Germany are like ghost towns. All infrastructure is permanently on its way to collapse.
Here Maduro should demand from the regime in Berlin to rebuild the East-German industry, to fix again the East-German pension-system and to take back all capitalist dispossessions done to the East-Germans.

mark
mark

Every article like this is of greater importance than ever.
60 countries just turned up to a shindig in Warsaw.
“We are here to advance the cause of war with Iran.” Netanyahu.

Joerg
Joerg

Also the evil EU is at work with it’s “International Contact Group” (ICC). See Thierry Meyssan’s “THE INTERNATIONAL CONTACT GROUP SUPPORTS JUAN GUAIDO” – https://www.voltairenet.org/article205180.html

wardropper
wardropper

What on earth can we do?
Somebody tell me quick.
I’m all out of ideas.

chaize
chaize

Talk about things among friends and family. Be informed and get your facts right. Don’t attack people by contradicting them outright. Ask pertinent questions while seeming to go along with the story of the time.

Ex: Sure, something hit the 9-11 towers, but how could a fragile wing cut through massive steel h-beams? Something seems wrong, don’t you think?

Maduro is a bloody dictator we are told, but I don’t understand how 90%+ of venezuelan public newspapers and TV are against him. Dictators always close down any opposition voices.

Iran is an islamist theocratic dictatorship. Funny how many women play sports in ordinary sports wear. i thought they all had to wear burkhas – or whatever.

Sow doubt in the mainstream story and you’ll eventually get amazing feedback, and a chance to open the can of worms…………..

chaize
chaize

Friend Wardropper, here’s an interview given on MSNBC in 2006 with the president of Iran, Ahmedinejad, said to be a frightful firebrand and a dreadful enemy of humanity, democracy, human rights and the rest of the blah. I showed it to my brother, an absolute MSM addict. He now questions the tripe churned out and discussion is possible. Truth speads quicker than you think and there is no defence against it.
https://youtu.be/mjlKq48gJls?t=6m39s

mark
mark

Dear W.,

It’s not as bleak as you think.
The Ziocon monster has feet of clay.
Trillion dollar budget deficits, trillion dollar trade deficits, trillion dollar military budgets.
A crushing $250 trillion debt burden.
The worst leadership in its history.
Arrogant, venal, corrupt, ignorant, deluded, ideologically driven.
Financially, economically, politically, socially, morally, spiritually bankrupt.
The whole system is rotten to the core.
Everything it has done over the past 30 years has been a catastrophic failure.
It can come crashing down at any time like a house of cards.
When it does, everyone will be surprised it didn’t happen earlier.

Purple Library Guy
Purple Library Guy

The problem is, catastrophic failure by sane terms is, for them, second-best scenario. Chaos is their brand. They would rather have ruined countries and chaotic regions, because ruined countries cannot resist the US agenda and chaotic regions invite military solutions to their problems–which is to say, the strongest US suit. And the dreadful results make other countries think twice before bucking the Americans. Sure, intact obedient servants would be the ideal result, but probably not by much.

Jen
Jen

Take heart, War Dropper, that the US-UK-EU-Israel axis of evil is even more lacking in ideas than you and you don’t have access to the “expertise” and “experience” it claims to have.

The Powers That (Should Not) Be continually resort to the same tired old Color Revolution template against Venezuela, that was used against Ukraine, Syria and other countries before them, and are flabbergasted that, as in Syria, it is not working as it should. Juan Guaido was hand-picked to proclaim himself President because he looks like Barack Obama (not to mention a few other Western poodle leaders) and he’s even campaigning on the slogan “¡Si Se Puede! ” (“Yes we can!”). Don’t think that the majority of people in Venezuela can’t see through this puppet clown and realise who his handlers are.

It never occurs to TPT(SN)B that people in Third World nations have access to the Internet and other technologies and have studied and learned from the example of Syria in how to resist regime change. They can now recognise and anticipate Color Revolution tactics and work out their own ways of stifling foreign meddling before it even starts.

The least we can do is support the people of Venezuela in their support for the Maduro government. Take heart also that not every country in the Americas recognises Guaido as interim President or even supports intervention in Venezuela. Take heart also that even if the leaders of certain countries in OAS support intervention, the people of the nations they represent don’t support intervention, and the leader of one of these countries might face being toppled as a result of his support for intervention.

Kim Ives, “Haiti’s Unfolding Revolution Is Directly Linked to Venezuela’s” (February 2019)
https://haitiliberte.com/haitis-unfolding-revolution-is-directly-linked-to-venezuelas/

David William Pear
David William Pear

Thanks for the link. The victims know who is oppressing them.

notheonly1
notheonly1

I see it as a rabid form of censorship to disappear a response I have been writing for 30 minutes, to be told that I am posting too quickly – although I have not posted anything today. Shame on You. You are just part of the organized dissent, as has now been made clear beyond any doubt.

harry stotle
harry stotle

Its happened to a few of my posts which I think may be due to not exiting the ‘name’ box before posting (although I might be wrong).

After it happened a few times I tend to copy and paste before posting (so as to save the comment).

Either way I’m fairly sure its got nothing to do with censorship.

Jay-Q
Jay-Q

It is really a dreadful system that literally erases a comment and then says you’re posting too quickly. Always copy before you post.Also might help if you check the box ‘save my name, etc’.

I really don’t think it has anything to do with censorship.

notheonly1
notheonly1

As someone who has experienced similar waste of times before – when my responses vanished before my eyes due to technical problems – I also developed the habit to copy/paste for offline storage, in order to tackle those. However, this I did not. Because length has never played a role in submitting comments. The box for saving my specs are checked by my browser.

Looking at the logos for ‘WordPress’, ‘Google’, ‘Twitter’ and ‘Facebook’ below the posting window does make machine censorship plausible. These corporations were named in my response as being part of the overall problem the article mentioned brilliantly.

This has happened before. With comments not too long, everything checked and filled out properly. No links. But lots of keywords. Like Fascism. It’s okay though. I promised my self to no longer post with the above mentioned icons visible. ‘Minds’ had an article up recently why they boycott these and other ‘social media’ corporations/fulfillment agencies like ‘paypal’.

Wishing You the best.

notheonly1
notheonly1

First, allow me to express my gratitude for this outstanding article that is second to non of today. Many here now about the Moon of Alabama and with great concern I have noticed that the focus has shifted away from the Middle East towards Venezuela. With devastating consequences. From today on, everyone is responsible for what is unfolding in Venezuela. And to make sure why that is so, I demand of people to ask themselves the question:

WHAT AM I DOING TO PREVENT WHAT THE WESTERN REGIMES PERPETRATED IN IRAQ, AFGHANISTAN, LIBYA AND SYRIA FROM HAPPENING IN VENEZUELA?

Since this article is such an all encompassing collection of countries, powers and corporate war mongers, it will take a few lines to add it where necessary.

The UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights, Idriss Jazairy specifically condemned the US and Canada for imposing economic sanctions on Venezuela. Jazairy stressed that the economic sanctions are immoral on humanitarian grounds, and they are an illegal attempt to overthrow the internationally recognized sovereign government of Venezuela. On January 31, 2019 the UN released a report that quoted him as saying:

I am especially concerned to hear reports that these sanctions are aimed at changing the government of Venezuela…Coercion, whether military or economic, must never be used to seek a change in government in a sovereign state. The use of sanctions by outside powers to overthrow an elected government is in violation of all norms of international law…Economic sanctions are effectively compounding the grave crisis affecting the Venezuelan economy, adding to the damage caused by hyperinflation and the fall in oil prices.”

The really important takeaway here is:

I am especially concerned to hear reports that these sanctions are aimed at changing the government of Venezuela…Coercion, whether military or economic, must never be used to seek a change in government in a sovereign state.

What we are looking at now, are the consequences of the Un-United Nations failing, or refusing to implement its own charter – again. Especially this expression of Idriss Jazairy sounds brutally hypocritical and utmost gullible. Why? Because Venezuela is but the latest ‘pearl of resources’ that has to be strung up on a corporate chain by the Western Fascists calling the shots behind the Western border of Russia and the South-Eastern border of China. To hear of such concerns now is extremely disturbing. Where are the voices demanding of cease and desist now? Where were these voices when a US secretary of state gloated on live television about the Kashggi style murder of Colonel Muammar El-Qaddafi – sodomized by US pay-rolled terrorists? The relentless spread of lies, disinformation and rabid propaganda in the Western hemisphere about all countries that care and dare to remain sovereign Nations with resources and/or strategic importance can only not be heard by those who are actively involved in these Neo-Fascist policies. Without concrete responses by the United Nations, like sanctions and the demand for the prosecution of those perpetrating crimes against humanity and war crimes, to which the illegal and unilaterally sanctions of sovereign Nations by Western regimes belong, the United Nations should just shut up and fold for everybody to see. This ham theater is unbearable.

In other words, rightwing dictators, military juntas, ethnic cleansing, fraudulent elections, human rights violations, political prisoners, torture and murder should be treated differently — and better — with compliant allies. Even when adversaries are democratically elected, they should be roasted in order to “extract costs”, according to Hook….. but not because the US cares about people.

This is Fascism by any other name. The US has been the greatest Fascist military dictatorship in human history for way too long of a time. Fortunately to the US Fascists and their vassals, those who could end the Fascist dictatorship, see no need to do so. The American public cannot be bothered with redressing the Terrorist regime they have allowed to form – especially after the corpofascist Citizens United silent takeover of the US society and its vassals.

And while the psychological projection methods of the Fascist West are coming more and more under scrutiny by humans all over the Planet, Americans indulge in ‘Russia-gate’, ‘Russophobia’, a Mickey Mouse special investigation into nothing but creating distraction from war crimes by the US the Planet over – to forget that they have the largest prison population on Earth, the most homeless people on Earth, the most disenfranchised people based on skin color and ethnic origins, the most fatalities due to medical malpractice, the most deaths due to artificial opiods, lack of healthcare and environmental pollution and destruction. A crumbling infra structure effecting most the bottom half of the population. If there was once a reason to call the US a Banana Republic, it would now be an insult to any well lubed Banana Republic.

Being in agreement with all the details of this brilliant article, I like to turn the sentiment towards what must be done by the majority of people on Earth:

Stop buying and drinking anything coming from Coca Cola.
Do not spend one penny in any of the US burger joints.
Do not consume or buy anything at any Starbucks.
Do not watch any US/vassals movies. Let their foreign box office ‘hits’ be ZERO.
Do not buy anything that supports the corporate Fascist US regime.
Do not buy anything Apple, or MS in any form.
If You know it will support the US Fascist regime, or any of its vassals – Don’t buy it!
There are lists available with the names of corporations that need to be boycotted. Use DDG to find them. Last but not least – and I know it is a big one at that – boycott Amazon, Youtube, Google, Facebook, MSM and Twitter for their complicity in the support of this corporate Fascist US regime.

Humankind must now decide whether it will dissolve the unholy alliance of the Fascist US regime and its water carriers in order to survive the coming cataclysm of changes on Earth, or to vanish either from a nuclear winter, or from rapidly deteriorating life conditions.

Oh, and yes: largest number of suicides in the history of mankind? Correct. US regime leading with a distant second and more populous Nation behind it.

Shame on all the Fascists – no matter what color or pattern they use, trying to hide their ambitions.

The Fascists wear no clothes.

notheonly1
notheonly1

Thank You OffGuardian for displaying my response. Whatever the reasons were for it to disappear from my browser – I am glad to see it now. OffGuardian is one of an increasingly smaller circle of publications I still visit to inform myself where I can’t do it on my own. Being in South America as of typing, it is very concerning to witness what is unfolding here. While I reject the belittling of Fascist countries as having a ‘conservative’, or ‘rightwing’ ‘government’, I am aware that it would sound ludicrous to proclaim that the entirety of South and Central America is fertilized with corporate Fascism. My country, Uruguay, Bolivia and Nicaragua are the only countries rejecting a Fascist military intervention in Venezuela.
All the while nobody is interested int he news, that in countries like Columbia, Brazil and Ecuador, uprisings against the corporate fascist takeovers that took place over last years are brutally suppressed. In Columbia, indigenous leaders are murdered like in a cheap pulp fiction movie. The Fascists’ theme “If its’ brown – bring it down” has lead to never before experienced brutality. It is a resuscitation of all the dead Fascists in Latin and Central America.
The United States must be brought to justice for crimes against humanity. To blatantly and obviously supporting terrorists to foment change in another sovereign country, for using depleted uranium, for the use of agent orange and for dropping unnecessarily the only nuclear war heads on Japan, to instigate another cold war that will have to be paid for by taxpayers and to implement illegal sanctions based on lies against anybody that does not toe the Fascist wanna-be empire’s line, are crimes against humanity.
Are these crimes now petty misdemeanors? Is torturing now equal to roughly asking questions?

You see, there is no peace of mind as long as there is no peace among countries. Life is basically suffering and pain by and in itself. Why add to it unnecessarily to fill the safes of the filthy rich?

Thank You very much. And may I be forgiven my reaction to the disappearance of my above comment. Nerves are laying blank right now.

Cane Toad
Cane Toad

https://www.blakkpepper.com/2018/02/is-canadian-prime-minister-justin-trudeau-son-of-fidel-castro/

Plenty of fact checkers and msm/state controlled media stories claim Trudeau is not Castro’s son but a good long look at the subject does convince the reader he is in fact the son of Castro

bevin
bevin

Castro’s son? That is a new one, the usual suspect is Keith Richards.