How come we’re not at war with Venezuela? They have all that oil”.
I was in Caracas Venezuela on April 30th, the day of the failed coup. There were eight of us, five from NYC, one Vermonter and one Canadian, along with the leader of our group, a Venezuelan with whom I had traveled to Venezuela once before, in 2012 when Hugo Chavez was still alive.
Chavez was elected to power in 1999 leading what is known as the Bolivarian Revolution. Less than three years later, a 2002 U.S. backed coup failed to overthrow him.
I witnessed back then Chavez’s wide base of support, and the reasons for it: a new constitution guaranteeing as human rights health, education, housing and social welfare, and the laws and projects designed to make those rights a reality.
The results were impressive: one million new low-cost housing units, a dramatic drop in the poverty rate, infant mortality rate down from 19.1 per thousand in 1999 to 10 per thousand by 2012.
Health Care was made free for all Venezuelans, reflected by an increase in life expectancy. Working hours were reduced to 6 hours a day and 36 hours per week, without loss of pay while the minimum wage became the highest minimum wage in Latin America. In December 2005, UNESCO said that Venezuela had eradicated illiteracy. The malnutrition rate fell from 21% in 1998 to less than 3% in 2012.
The national management of the oil industry in 2003 put Venezuela in control over its most valuable natural resource, and used it to fund many of the social reform programs. Venezuela has the world’s largest oil reserves which the U.S. has coveted ever since and admittedly seeks to control as John Bolton made clear on Fox News:
It will make a big difference to the United States economically if we could have American oil companies invest in and produce the oil capabilities in Venezuela”
So the Chavez’s presidency marked a new day of empowerment for Venezuela’s poor and working-class people, overwhelmingly people of color. And there was always a sector of the population, mainly the very wealthy mainly white upper class who hated Chavez and his openly socialist policies.
So I went again this April because I wanted to see for myself if it was possible the impressions we are now given by the mainstream corporate media were true– was Venezuela really on the verge of civil war?
Had the Venezuelan people turned against the Bolivarian revolution and President Maduro who was elected to office after Chavez’s death in 2013 and re-elected in 2018? Did the U.S. supported opposition really have widespread mass support?
THE APRIL 30TH FAILED COUP
Back in January, a politician virtually unknown to Venezuelans named Juan Guiado, long mentored by U.S. regime change specialists, announced himself as the president of Venezuela after receiving a phone call from U.S. Vice President Pence.
Guiado, who was the head of the National Assembly, an unelected post, vowed that President Maduro would be gone by Mayday. While blackouts of electricity rolled across Venezuela, Trump and Secretary of State Pompeo threatened U.S. military intervention if Maduro didn’t step down.
We were in Venezuela from April 26th to May 5th. On April 30th, the morning of the failed coup, we knew something was up as we ate breakfast in our hotel’s restaurant which had on open-air terrace. I saw a woman banging on a pan standing on a balcony in the apartment house next door to the hotel, yelling out to others to join her and denouncing Maduro. No one else joined her. She went back in.
We heard what could have been firecrackers or gunfire. But when we looked out on to the street, business seemed no different than any of the previous three mornings we were there–people on their way to work, students to school, motorbikes and cars on the streets.
By the time we left in our van for a housing conference at the Hotel ALBA celebrating the construction of two and a half million new low cost housing units, we learned that there was a coup attempt, yet we had seen no sign of a military or police presence on the streets as one might expect if there was a major threat to the government.
If you were in Caracas that day, outside of the upper-class neighborhood where the attempt was made, you would never know there was a coup attempt. During a lunch break in the conference, we were able to watch TV coverage on the attempted coup from both CNN and Telesur, A Venezuelan news outlet.
Right in the lobby of the hotel, our group quickly wrote a statement denouncing the Trump administration’s efforts to overthrow the government and we were interviewed by Venezuelan government television, which was featured in the news throughout the day.
Our statement said in part,
We are a group of US and Canadian citizens gathered to denounce the US government’s illegal and immoral actions against the people of Venezuela. We also oppose the US sanctions which are not only illegal but are already causing immense suffering, especially through the denial of much-needed medicines and adequate nutrition…”
While we soon learned that the coup had failed, it was not until later that we heard the incredibly farcical details of what transpired. Some might remember U.S Secretary of State Pompeo claiming the day before that Maduro was escaping to Cuba.
In fact, Guaido had been led – actually duped – into believing that high-level military officials were going to defect and join him outside the airport that morning, along with large numbers of soldiers. But almost all the soldiers who showed up – after being lied to that they were going to receive promotions – quickly ran back to the base when it was clear they had been tricked into appearing to defect!
Within a short time, the same Venezuelan Defense Minister that Guaido had expected to defect to his side went on national television surrounded by his generals to say that the military was standing strong with Maduro and that no coup had taken place.
An estimated 2,000 Guaido supporters did gather on an overpass to watch the highway below, where 200 or so violent protesters were firing on the military and throwing Molotov cocktails near the airbase – as tens of thousands of Maduro supporters flocked to the presidential palace to defend it.
Guiado then went into hiding but not before calling for the “mother of all marches” for the next day’s Mayday celebrations. His “mother of all marches” pulled out at best 3-4,000 less than 1% of the estimated 400,000 our group marched with at the Maduro May Day rally, one of the largest pro-government mobilizations since the days of Chavez.
It was quite striking even for a long-time activist like myself to witness the blatant lies and propaganda that saturate our media. It was like two different worlds, as CNN, the NY Times and mainstream media reported that a coup was underway in Venezuela.
The New York Times reported, “A predawn takeover of a military base in the heart of the capital,” – and that Guaidó had made a video appeal for an uprising from the “liberated” airbase – except they never got on the base.
In another outrageous example, there’s a film clip that’s been aired of two military vehicles running into opposition protesters. What’s not shown is what happened next, as the vehicles were surrounded by soldiers, with the occupants forced at gunpoint to get out and lie down on the ground!
The truth is that the vehicles were driven by defecting soldiers who rammed into their own protesters to make it look like it was the government violently suppressing dissent. The drivers of the vehicle were arrested shortly after by the military as the rest of the news video clearly showed.
This is not the foolish country of yesteryear. This country has awoken, and that’s one of the biggest changes that has taken place here in these 13 years, a cultural change”
Hugo Chavez, 2012
So this trip did dispel for me any of the widespread notions spread here 24/7 by the mainstream U.S. corporate media that Maduro and the Bolivarian revolution have lost popular support and that Venezuela is a country on the verge of a civil war.
While the US sanctions, along with plummeting oil prices have created serious challenges to Maduro, popular support and enthusiasm for the Bolivarian revolution and the elected government remains.
Has Venezuela become a dictatorship? Not if judged by the 2-3 major newspapers I bought every day that were anti-Maduro (as were the daily anti-Chavez papers I bought on my 2012 trip), nor with rallies called by the U.S. backed coupsters openly inciting violence and calling for the overthrow of the government.
There is, in fact, a “loyal opposition” that ran against Maduro in the 2018 election, the leader of which, Henri Falcon, received 32 % of the vote, and who was actually threatened with sanctions by the U.S. for participating in the election! And it deserves mention that I saw marchers at the Maduro Mayday rally evidently feeling comfortable enough to be wearing Falcon t-shirts. Even Maria Machado, a well known staunch Guaido supporter has stated that Maduro is not a dictator.
The American people have been propagandized to believe that Trump is trying to overthrow Maduro out of humanitarian concern for an economic crisis caused by Maduro’s incompetence in handling the collapse of oil prices over the last five years and to “restore democracy”; a laughable rationale in light of the history: the U.S. has been trying to overthrow the Bolivarian revolution since that 2002 failed attempt against Chavez, and then there is the long history of U.S. coups and invasions of Latin America and around the world.
From the 1954 Guatemala coup, the failed 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba, U.S. invasions of the Dominican Republic in 1965, the overthrow of Allende in 1973 in Chile, Grenada 1983, Panama in 1989, the removal of Aristide in Haiti in 2004, the Honduras coup in 2009 and many others.
Any government that refuses to be under the thumb of the U.S. is a target for overthrow.
While there is debate over how much Maduro’s economic policies have played a role, it’s not the fall in oil prices that have put Venezuela in crisis and threaten to destroy all the gains over the last 20 years – it’s the sanctions where the U.S. uses its world-wide economic power to prohibit countries from doing business with Venezuela.
Along with the U.S. engineered electricity blackouts, and the failed coup attempts, sanctions have also frozen and even confiscated billions of dollars of Venezuelan assets in banks around the world, blocked payments for Venezuelan oil and other outright instances of what can only be called piracy.
Sanctions are just as deadly as bombs and bullets, an economic terrorism whose rationale is explicitly to escalate the suffering of the civilian population to get them to turn against their government. A recent study estimated 40,000 deaths caused by blockading the shipment of medical supplies like insulin, HIV medications and other life-supporting supplies, such as an emergency food program.
But all this has failed in their goal of driving the population into blaming and overthrowing the Maduro government; instead as Chavez put it, this is an awakened country that largely understands the main role the U.S. has played in fomenting a crisis. From what I saw, Trump has actually united many of those opposed to and critical of Maduro to join in opposition to U.S. sanctions and military intervention, as Falcon and others have done.
While the threat of direct U.S. military intervention is ever-present, our trip also brought home how it is too easy for liberals like Bernie Sanders, AOC and others to oppose military intervention and avoid taking a stand against the sanctions. Among Democratic Party candidates running for the presidency, only Tulsi Gabbard has opposed the sanctions.
It is also essential to establish that one does not have to defend Maduro in order to oppose this latest U.S. imperialist adventure and understand that the U.S. has ABSOLUTELY NO RIGHT to sabotage the Venezuelan economy and impose murderous sanctions to strangle the population into submission. This didn’t start with Maduro and it is just the latest in the long list of U.S. coups and overthrows in Latin America and around the world.
SO WHAT CAN WE DO?
As we head towards the 2020 election, the issue of Trump’s policies toward Venezuela–as well as Iran–should be front and center in the debates, yet the Democratic party and the mainstream corporate media seem to have a tacit agreement to say as little as possible on these two imminent threats of more U.S. aggression. And a number of Democrats and liberal media– Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Amy Klobuchar, Kirsten Gillibrand, the New York Times, The Washington Post, Rachel Maddow and PBS commentators are among those leading liberal figures actually in support of Trump’s right to impose regime change on another people’s country.
It’s hard to see how this protracted siege of Venezuela will resolve itself, but the Venezuelan people are far from a demoralized population; rather they’ve been mobilized to resist with the formation of a people’s militia of 2 million, training with the military and national guard. An infrastructure of resistance has been created that would make it more than difficult for any U.S installed neo-liberal puppet regime to rule. It could just turn into a people’s war, Trump’s Vietnam, for the president who ran claiming he was going to end “all these foolish wars”.
As U.S. citizens it is our responsibility to demand that our elected officials stop the threat of war and end the sanctions on Venezuela. We have a particular responsibility to oppose our government’s actions. Write letters to the editor, sign petitions, call your elected officials, take part in rallies and demonstrations and challenge in however you can the “official story” we’re fed by the corporate mass media. And I urge anyone interested to go to Venezuela and see for yourself what is going on. Another trip–highly affordable– led by William Camarada, the Venezuelan who led the 2 trips I was on is planning another trip in August.
For more information, contact [email protected] or [email protected] or call 502 415 1080
Keith Brooks is a long time anti-war and labor/community activist, retired NYC alternative high school teacher, and a member of DSA and Brooklyn For Peace.
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The reality is that Madura is a corrupt, authoritarian leader rigging elections and killing any that oppose him. The people of Venezuela are suffering on many levels every single day. Period! What is the solution????
“It was quite striking even for a long-time activist like myself to witness the blatant lies and propaganda that saturate our media. It was like two different worlds, as CNN, the NY Times and mainstream media reported that a coup was underway in Venezuela.” – indeed, the level of bias is breath-taking.
But then again when have the corporate media not played an essential role in distorting reality, while at the same sanitising violence (replete with its own lexicon: terms like, humanitarian aid, insurgenrs, precision strikes, democratic allies, etc) – ie manufacturing consent.
Smiling, friendly sun-tanned faces on TV essentially saying – ‘bad Venezuelans, lets kill ’em”.
When a grotesque war criminal like Elliot Abram is sent to ‘help’ surely even the dimmest American realises there is something rotten in the state of Denmark?
Let’s hope Tulsi Gabbard wins the Democratic nomination.
Hold your horses Einstein, lets do a little digging on her record before we get to carried away.
She has some really good policies on prisons & foreign wars but some very worrying ones regards Israel & India. She a army vet who is still in the forces, that’s a contradiction for someone claiming to now be anti war.
My conclusion so far shes a player, shes a very good politician i.e. professional liar. & an avid supporter of Israel & pro Israel & anti war don’t compute. Shes a career politician just another stooge for some obscure lobby group.
Politicians will say anything to get elected. Trump was going get the USA out of Syria. Gabbard will be the same.
No one running for office, or in office, will correct the system.
No one collecting a government check will correct the system.
No one profiting from the system will correct the system.
There is no point in the past to use as a reset point.
Sadly you are right. Irreconcilable positions on war while serving,human rights while supporting Israel. Besides despite “largest google search after debate, she struggles to get above 1% in polls and may not even make the next “debates”-which of course are no such thing.
“Health Care was made free for all Venezuelans……..
If there’s anything that REALLY Pisses America’s rulers OFF it is A National Health Care Scheme. A scheme that runs in So many countries around the World that work really well, and save millions of sick people from BANKRUPTCY…..Unlike the “Medicine for PROFIT” system in the USA.
And the weird thing is, So many American people scornfully deride National Health schemes as…..”SOCIALISM”………..”Turkeys, voting for Christmas”….
Ultimately, the people PAY for National Health, via their TAXES(that the Uber Rich DON’T pay)……
Just more hypocrisy from liberals, you see democrats constantly arguing they cant afford “free” health care for all.
1. Its not free, like the NHS its paid for by taxes (i’ve no problem with that)
2. they would pay less in taxes for their health care than private insurance schemes.
The real issue her is private profit, neo-liberals only like to nationalize loss & always privatize profit. The cost of public services shouldn’t be the issue because its meant to be a service not a business & that’s the problem health care in the USA is a multi billion $ industry like the military that’s why they wont nationalize it.
That said i have some knowledge of the NHS & they are inefficient & over reaching, health services should only deal with medical health problems & emergencies not IVF etc. It certainly shouldn’t be a care home for the elderly to save some liberals inheritance.
Your summary of why it failed ….. failed. Notwithstanding your accurate summary of events , I still do not understand or believe how a so called “awakened country” has made such a smart resolution to circumventing events that never really happened.
With forces like the Canadian PM ( ok ,I too am also trying to keep a straight face here) , who has come out against the “dictator Maduro”. Well with a piece of fine ass like Mrs. Freeland whispering sweet nothing in his ear – its hard for the two of them to make any sense of foreign affairs. Canada has one thing going for it on this front – none if its potential election candidates, other than perhaps Mrs. May ( thats’ Elizabeth not Theresa ), would come out against the US position on Maduro.
So here is my take. Stop blaming Mr. Trump because its him you need to thank for the failed coup.
Who came up with the plan to place Pompeo and Bolton in such positions? These two are the best possible team mates anyone would want to screw up something so royally as a coup attempt.
There is a psychopathic entity to the Republican party that has their tentacles within the Trump Administration. Its obvious that Trump has had to make serious concessions to these forces – Pence being a prime example of it – Bolton and Pompeo are also part of the mix although not the brains behind it – simply yes men to the real party boys across the pond.
So Trump gets some cash in the way of sanctions – similar to the billions he made with the Iran deal break – to place into the coffers and he avoids military actions – as he has done so far across the board – including Venezuela – while he outs fake news as much as possible – perhaps so that you and I can deduce the game of chess he is playing with people who play checkers for a living.
What??….Trump is good and super genius pretending to be an egotistic psychopath but actualy maneuvering for the good of mankind???….
…or my english is so bad that I didn’t get what you saying??
What part did you fail to grasp? Or should I say what part did you grasp?
My apologies. I should not be so short….. by the way I did not say “for the good of mankind” , that’s a stretch, but for the good of the US people (that voted for him), perhaps that is his goal , not so much for the good of offshore US interest groups, corporations, countries and individuals that pay no tax and provide nothing in the way of building infrastructure. Simply take take take.
Just look at the alternatives that are being spun to run against him and perhaps then you may see something.
I’m not sure either but I am willing to identify the false trait and bet against it.
You are joking right?
Trump is as neo-liberal as any, he cares about two things profit & Israel. The rest is just his angle to achieve their objective.
News flash America has never been great or free, it was born from neo-liberal slavery & violence just like all empires. Nothing changes just more of the same.
Look the guys a developer at heart (not sure how rich he really is) – he sees the US infrastructure on a whole for what it is – one big mess. Its been sliding downhill since 1950.
So he thinks can fix all this and make some cash on the side (for his friends to hold) – make it great again – then the other problem – getting elected – so he reaches out to those that can get him elected and surprise – he succeeds. Shit, now the really big problem – how to run this dog and pony show without killing a lot of innocence ? Save costs – get out of Japan ( get some cash out of it at the same time ….deal making bro – its the art of the deal). Same for some other countries.
He’s no war man, he’s not fond of the son in law, being married to his baby, sure his cash supporter also supports Ben but that’s probably the more sane of the two clans that run the show. Even Mr. Putin plays that clan correctly.
The alternative was ? What ? and the alternative is now ? What?
Live in the real world – take it one step at a time. At least Trump is and he plays them well , really well – I give him that much. The wall is a perfect show of misdirection if I ever saw one – brilliant games man. Too bad you all don’t see it yet.
Hes basically Jimmy Carter on steroids.
Son in law? Does it look like a man to you?
You do know shes registered as a woman in the electoral register?
So what QT ? maybe Ivanka is into Trannies &&& …
can we stick to more highly serious matters, please ?
If it were true, not saying it is, just saw a youtube page that made me laugh, then its a lie!
Aren’t we all seeking the truth? Lets not forget this person is being left in charge of world policy (presidential advisor), in charge of Israeli apartheid.
Thems serious issues do we want it run by liars? (silly question i know all politicians lie)
There’s something I asked you elsewhere, that is more immediate and easier to gauge and resolve, for our futures, here in these columns … on which I’d like your impressions.
Where what was that?
Scroll to the very bottom and you’ll see that I’ve presented both Admin & Flaxgirl with something to consider: one link to a parliament shooting in defence of what you say, but, more importantly I’m concerned about Flaxgirl’s impulsive childlike responses and consistent failure to EVER mention Binney & Weibe & Parallel platforms, both here @OffG & on her not so razor sharp blogspot: thus I’m trying to gauge her intentions ALWAYS focussed only on the proverbial ‘Hoax’ & theory and never accepting that somethings do actually happen, I mean very real events with complex reasoning and illusions for distraction. 😉
Think inverted reality … 🙂
Oh that yes i chose not to reply to be kind to FG, as you say not everything is a hoax or false flag, the world really is evil enough that people really do these nasty things to each other.
My response to these events is I believe in reality, whats presented to me is taken on face value, if there’s evidence either way i’ll consider it. I don’t judge things until i’ve considered the facts.
Its a position FG really needs to adopt instead of assuming everything is fake. The real world is complex but the MSM usually deceives by omission not adding detail.
I just searched for “Binney & Weibe & Parallel platforms” and all I got was junk. Can you provide a link?
Sound observations B.b. 🙂 fancy a beer ? 😉
Thanks for your reply…and letting me know that it was not my english what got in the middle…
Sure I see….but what I see is not what you are seeing…no matter how much I look at it, I keep seeing the same….though I have to concede that sometimes (more often than not) what we call evil or bad turns out to be good in the long run, not becuse of its inherent qualities but because of the profound darkness that comes with it, people go for the light in the end…in that sense, I would have to agree that Trump is working for the real good of US..and, maybe, even mankind.
Let Trump build his ‘warl’. Withdraw troops within the borders. Then the world can isolate US, move human advancement forward. Without these deranged grandads holding back humanity
He bombed Syria.
Staged for effect with all the players warned in advance – now Yemen is something you may want to bring up.
Qtard moron. Enough already
Following the last Monty Python style coup attempt, I did ponder about what could be done to stuff a sock into all these warmongering and mentally incapacitated mouth pieces spreading their stinking lies. Incubators, WMD’s, chemical attacks – you name it. They are all psychological projection by the only people who used these means and perpetrated these crimes against humanity.
What came to mind was a call for all human beings with a conscience that are tired of the same old, same old by the same old pricks, to change plans for the next vacation and to travel to Venezuela. Bring something with you that might help the Venezuelan people. But most importantly: have a good time and spend lots of money in this beautiful country with its amazing people. If I would not suffer myself from chronic lack, I would take the next boat to Venezuela. Imagine a million Japanese, European and Chinese tourists that usually spend their money in the occupied territory of Hawai’i, changing their itinerary to Caracas. I know they will have a great time.
It’s terribly satisfying to hear of the NYT at the wrong-end of the shit-dispersing fan!
You mean surely the faecal matter has collided with the rotating oscillator 😉
Stop being baited by these trolls who are in total denial regarding the accurately reported realities of the continuance of aggressive US interventionist foreign policy. Just look at the “votes up” and the “votes down” and you will see that these selfish, ignorant, arrogant sociopaths are in the minority. Remember each time you allow these vacuous morons to bait you into posting a comment, you are doing nothing more than eliciting more noxious effluent from their poisoned lives – you are giving them the green light to post even more of their vile and disgusting world-views. Ignore them – yes they will keep posting their ignorant bullshit – but just ignore it, as you would sidestep a dog-turd in the street – just move on knowing that we have real solidarity and that we are on the side of those who are suffering. And remember, as bad as things may appear right now, evil will never prevail over good.
I had attempted to make a typology of trolls but realised it was futile. The fact is that, with these entities, you don’t know who you are dealing with. All you can do is note certain possibilities e.g. those who, to some extent, actually believe their own bullshit; those who are pure contrarians and just try to wind everyone else up; those who are actually paid and trained to sow confusion, despair, to have others fighting against each other, to cause fragmentation, to divert into futile channels etc.
Although – sometimes it’s instructive to view some of the links these buffoons give and appreciate how devious these linked pieces can be. I have recently noticed how Right wing sites always tend to mix up concern about humanitarian issues (starvation, poverty, disease, human rights) with ownership, property, business, entrepreneurship and those other sacred words of capitalism. The aim is to present capitalists as the compassionate saviours of humanity, to link the masters above with the little ones below – indeed to reverse their positions so that the parasites are seen as the ones exploited and the poverty stricken overworked as the leeches.
George – thank you for your comment which was constructive – as for my comment to which you responded, I have a good idea of the ‘names’ of the two who gave a thumbs down – the truth of my comment obviously ‘hit a nerve’ with them, as it was also appreciated by the 21 readers who gave it a thumbs up. It is my view that both capitalism and socialism possess both positive and creative traits, whilst at the same time possess both negative and destructive tendencies. However, I agree with your resume of the way that the worst excesses of capitalism are dressed up in humanitarian terms, at the same time perverting human values by disparaging and diminishing the lives of those who continue to suffer under this dysfunctional and inherently violent socio-economic system that has been borne of colonialism and imperialism. Anyone who questions this dystopian ‘free-for-all’ – anyone who dares to dissent from the manufactured narrative, is branded as an extremist, when it appears to me that the greater majority of those who seek to maintain a sustainable approach to our temporary residence on this planet and who desire to build a world of peaceful co-existence with others whose nature and appearance may differ from ours, are not people of extreme views. The real extremists are those, intolerant of the views of others, and who wish to impose a form of ‘hegemony of thinking’ which precludes any intelligent discussion of the issues which face us, or any attempt to enter into a dialogue with the so-called adversary. Like MSNBC, Fox News, CNN, the BBC and others, these ‘trolling entities’ are tools of the Deep State Permanent War Lobby. They want to transform decent human beings into belligerent thugs – they want to create dispute, division, conflict and ultimately the destruction of life on this planet. They represent the very worst of the human condition – feeble-mindedness, obsession with the self, unbridled greed and vanity, cowardice and a complete lack of empathy with humanity. And they will not defeat us because we have greater mass and true solidarity.
Thank you for giving us the events of your trip to Venezuela.I have been following the events in Venezuela , especially ever since the election of Hugo Chavez.As a humanitarian ,it was not hard to fall in love with the policies that Chavez implemented.
I hope that someday the world will revolt , against the imperialistic policies of the US and shame them to no end for what they have done to Central and South American countries . All in the name of coveting other country’s wealth and assets through predatory war and violence of the CIA arm .
And this is not to speak about the Middle East .
This must be the ultimate put down.
You stage a coup, you really do your best, you give impassioned speeches, and they just completely ignore you.
They don’t even condescend to notice you, let alone arrest you for treason.
Reminds me of a night club I went to once.
There was this singer in full Sinatra mode, belting out his number, waving his arms about, putting his heart and soul into the performance.
People were sitting at small tables, eating, drinking, and talking to one another, not paying a blind bit of notice to him.
He finished his number and raised his arms for applause.
People looked up briefly, then carried on eating and drinking and talking, as though he wasn’t there.
Not a single round of applause.
I thought that must be soul destroying for him.
Nobody even had the decency to do any heckling.
It’s like if you give a party, get all the food and drink, turn on the sound system, light the barbecue, and nobody turns up. Nobody at all. There’s just you, wearing a party hat, with a mountain of food and drink.
Uncle Sam can’t even stage a semi competent coup any more.
It’s quite sad, really.
The Orange Baboon is threatening to stage some kind of naval blockade out of desperation.
Perhaps he’ll order Bojo The Clown to start seizing Venezuelan tankers off Gibraltar.
The Venezuelans could at least have the decency not to completely ignore his coup.
I would make that claim at all. These people remain extremely dangerous. They are now trying to replicate Kiev in Moscow.
Furthermore, as far as I am concerned, as revealed by Pompeo that they will not tolerate Corbyn, and their blatant support for Brexit and a massively one sided traded deal in which Nritian cannot even tax Amazon and Google BEFORE trade talks start, it’s yet more evidence of an ongoing soft coup in Britain.
Yes, they remain extremely competent.
“more evidence of an ongoing soft coup in Britain”.
Oh well, it didn’t bother the Yanks to “Coup” Australia’s elected PM, Gough Whitlam in 1975.
What goes around comes around……
Britain AND America, in 1975, that is…..
Dying animals are at their most dangerous just before they take their last breath. They ain’t even close to their death bed yet.
The thing that will finish the American empire is debt, not direct conflict with another state. Just history repeating.
Could well be. That’s how the British and Spanish empires went. And 18th century France.
And China would be wise to heed the lessons of history & not go the same way as the USSR. They can’t out compete the US, MIC. Just let America bankrupt itself they’re well on their way already.
They were borrowing over $4 billion a day last month.
Perhaps they can “bankrupt” themselves and start a fresh? With no debt?
That’s a possibility. But all empires over reach themselves eventually. But then so do civilizations so who knows which will collapse first.
Probably just crash the economy and disappear the debt Weimar/ Zimbabwe style.
A box of matches for $100 million, and hey presto! all that red ink disappears.
Check this…. Paul Craig Roberts is saying the same thing…
“The thing that will finish the American empire is debt”
And, of course, when you go Bankrupt, the BANKSTERS move in and carve up what remains of the body…….And, of course, we know who the Banksters are, don’t we?
“Once we have squeezed ALL we can out of the United States, it can dry up and blow away”…….Benjamin Netanyahu 2002…..(Not long after the “9/11” attack on New York City)…..(“Benny” also admitted that “9/11” had greatly benefited Israel)……(and Larry Silverstein ADMITTED that HE had ordered that Building 7 be “Pulled”….a Term meaning “Controlled Demolition”….of a building that WASN’T hit by a Plane.
He was never asked to even explain what he said?????
No point preaching to the converted, 911 is a conspiracy that long ago stopped being a theory. Way to much evidence to show who & what happened to the world trade towers.
In case you are not up to speed on the 9/11 issue .The momentum for a new investigation is growing.A new investigation into 9/11 must happen and when it does it will be a game changer ,world wide .
You are right of course, but TOO MANY people near the Top would be hung for Murder(and Treason) so there won’t be another investigation….I hope I’m 100% wrong though……
I sincerely hope you are wrong, because any serious societal & cultural development has been on hold, since that day; and if nothing changes pretty damn soon, I best buy myself a gun that kill discreetly from well over one kilometre …
Lucky Larry was quite a shrewd old boy.
Bought the WTC just a few months prior to 9/11.
He was saved the job of stripping out all that asbestos.
Quite fortunate that he doubled the insurance policy immediately before it.
And that he gave breakfast a miss in the WTC restaurant for the first time ever on the morning of 9/11.
Yep, they don’t call him Lucky Larry for nothing.
Sound comment Brian: the very first person in the White House & with a public meeting with Trump, was obviously Netanyahoo. I would you recommend you to go back and review their public press conference, particularly their undeniable animal behaviours and micro-facial expressions and glances at one another, during their cross questioning with all respective mainstream media journalist hounds barking …
I drew some pretty profound conclusions from the pair’s public performance and have since been back to review it again and came to the same conclusion …
See what you think and conclude, in terms of conflicts of interests, coz’ there’s a pretty fine balancing act going on, (behind closed doors) and Trump’s loyalties & goals are pretty easy to gauge in many ways … but, not his full strategic methodology 🙂 and it’s fair to say that he’d be foolish to declare everything, right now, until he has …
all his ducks in a row 😉
Was this Art mimicking Life, or Life mimicking Art ?
Or maybe both ?
VENEZUELA July 6, 2019
The Grey Zone
‘Weaponizing human rights’: UN chief Bachelet’s Venezuela report follows US regime change script
Former UN special rapporteur Alfred de Zayas slams UN High Commissioner Bachelet’s report on Venezuela as a politicized collection of baseless accusations by “advocates of regime change”
It is my professional opinion (as a music teacher) that Bolton suffers from dementia.
I don’t say that lightly, but the symptoms are fairly unmistakeable.
The information currently reaching his brain is severely limited by as-yet-unknown pathogens, and the world cannot use him in his current state.
Perhaps it’s simply early-onset senility, but, on the other hand, some people are just born senile. My teaching experience bears that out…
Whatever the case, I feel sorry for his relatives, and I wish him all the best in his maximum-security twilight home.
Alas, we seem to be short on sensible men in white coats to take him away.
I think when the time comes there will be no shortage of men in white coats.
In fact I am certain that there are millions of them, just waiting for a signal.
It won’t be pretty, but it will be necessary.
I expect it will look a bit like Assange’s wrongful arrest at the Ecuadorian Embassy, except it won’t be wrongful.
I think it’s a lot simpler than that. People like Bolton, Abrams, Pompeo, Trump, are simply evil. And malicious, malevolent, malignant, and probably satanic. Though that’s probably a bum rap for old Beelzebub.
I often have the same thoughts about the “probably satanic” bit.
Most of us have limited experience of pure evil, so I guess that makes us more vulnerable to it.
Who would have thought that the blackest scenario our religious scriptures prophesy would be our daily bread as soon as the 20th Century…? I always thought The Apocalypse was predicting events way, way in the future…
If you look at Strzok’s face, you can see pure evil there. If that isn’t a case of demonic possession, I don’t know what is. An exorcist declared that Clinton was definitely possessed as well.
You mean like this?
Might have looked cute when he was 18 months old…
(chuckle) fair comment 🙂
Probably both Clintons…
But we shouldn’t forget the pure evil that also hides behind innocent-looking, or totally neutral faces either…
That said, a wise philosopher stated that, in the future, the face of a person will no longer hide their true character.
Looks like it’s already started.
Nice to think a day will dawn when we will know where we are with people.
I imagine vast unemployment among the political ranks…
Those events were “way, way in the future” when they were written. With the whole of humanity in peril from these evil doers, perhaps we are not so far off the alien intervention predicted in Revelation.
Thanks for that.
Abby Martin is in the mould of a number of rare journalists of integrity we are very fortunate to have at this time. Vanessa Beeley, Eva Bartlett, Lizzie Phelan.
I second that. This interview is a real eye opener, especially with very specific examples from a very credible source.
I think i’ll book my next major trip to Venezuela- and encourage everyone else to do so as well, especially all the gap year kiddies – was there in ’91, was put off by the army checkpoints everywhere and dodgy policemen and a random man at airport demanding dollars to let us OUT of the country!
The people were great and the wildlife and landscapes magnificient. Great rivers, beautiful waterfalls and delicious foods.
Except for the home made spit berry wine (!) in the Grand Sabbana and the dodgy mining roadside township at Kilometer 51.
This piece perfectly illustrates the delusion that no left wing government fails without assistance of the great Satan, the USA.
Sorry, but bollocks. Chavez held the country together by force of personality, Maduro is simply a charmless thug.
He’ll share Ceauscescu’s and Gadaffi’s fate eventually.. To dumb to get out with his life and stolen riches.
No Frank, not moron; malignant deceiver(s). Dade him/her/them!
I know mate,
Just baiting the troll.
You neglected to mention an attention seeking cowardly Fascist sociopath, abused by Psychopaths, for whom Binra & I would show more empathy, better than insulting him and I’m not insulting him, any more, that was just part of my testing his reactions earlier, in order to acquire OCEAN’s of data for my paddle to work my Kosinski CANOE programme: I’m merely stating what is fact and you’re right, largely speaking DR DADE rules d’KO
HBonny, your type of human is the very reason we will go extinct. All ignorance and no empathy.
Do you have any idea about living, long term, in a country like this? Could you self censor the way you must?
The worst that could possibly happen to me is that I’d be deported. I don’t have the courage ordinary Venezuelans have to actively fight against the monster that leads them.
There are many countries like VN, but what characterises Venezuela is the incompetence of its leadership. It is eminently possible to run a socialist country in South America without starving your people.
I’m not going to call you nasty names, I recall being young and thinking communism was wonderful, I romanticised the Soviet Union. Looking back, I was stupid.
“It is eminently possible to run a socialist country in South America without starving your people.”
Sorry, but you missed a crucial word, your sentence should read:
“It is eminently possible to run a socialist country in South America without the US starving your people.”
Fixed it for you.
Why do you make me defend the US?
Perhaps, because you don’t have the brains you’re born with.
The only interest America has in VN is to not have millions of refugees arrive at its doorstep, Venezuelas oil, which at one time would have guaranteed its riches, is simply not that valuable anymore.
When are you going to show some sympathy for Maduro’s victims?
Still can’t grasp the concept that people can show sympathy for Maduro’s victims while actually, simultaneously, noticing that what the US is doing in Venezuela – and any other country with assets which it wishes to steal – is far worse, because it is part of a rabid delusion of being fit to rule the world.
If American politicians were angels, there might be some sense in letting them have their way, but they are worse than unremarkable people.
They have the sort of immature minds which teachers and parents recognize in infants, and exactly the same reaction to criticism and chastisement.
Some physicist maybe it was… who suggested that our education teaches us to be proud of what we know and ashamed of what we don’t know;(a more effective barrier against a better understanding he found it hard to imagine).[ It’s possibly it was :’Dancing Wu Li Masters’ ]
Was the Monroe Doctrine about stopping millions refugees arriving on the US doorstep? Was the first 9/11 coup in Chile about stopping millions of refugees arriving on the US doorstep? Is the continuing blockade about stopping millions of refugees? Strange as the US seems to welcome Cuban refugees with gusto and forever pandering to them in Florida. Was seizing Panama so a canal could be built about stopping millions of refugees? The list goes on of all the Latin American countries the US has interfered with. All aimed at preventing any kind of ‘socialism’ or even social justice and bring people out of poverty with education and land reform rather than either reason to protect or your risible anti-refugee argument. Strange how you also resort to an ad hominem attack ‘perhaps you don’t have the brains you were born with’, a sure sign of having lost the argument. Pathetic.
No change there, then.
Your mistake of romanticizing the Soviet Union as it used to be is the same mistake as despising it as it is now.
What’s stupid is painting every country but the USA as evil and incompetent, when what those countries yearn for more than anything else is to be left alone by the USA.
I don’t, never have.
I have travelled a lot, though,never to the US, but to many countries the OG readership lionise.
If I may stereotype the kind of country commentators here imagine to be Shangri La, they’ll be no free speech, they’ll wave their stupid flag around like a religious icon, people will simply disappear, and their friends will be too scared to ask why… In most, you don’t even get free health care and education to compensate.
It’s a peculiar reaction to imagine that people who criticize the USA thereby “lionize” its enemies.
Many people have enough control over their mental faculties to apply the same standards of decency, competence and honesty to ALL countries.
You must be new here.
I’m talking about Planet Earth.
Not the confines of OffG.
By implication, you do.
But I’ll grant you that implication can be deceptive.
Please remember to strangle the ‘Bonney’ troll team by dading them 100%: apply DR. DADE’s sterling remedy for getting rid of poisonous parasites: Don’t Read. Don’t Answer, Don’t Engage. The ‘don’t read’ bit is dead easy; haven’t read a single word of anything from the ‘Bonney’ team since I identified them as toxic shite-pushers with a dishonest, unadmitted agenda, and applied the dade specific.
Once you skip over their shite unread, not answering, nor engaging in any way, nor being even slightly contaminated by their mind-sewage, then becomes a piece of piss! 🙂 The total cure for contamination by the hired-trolls, the hasbarollocksers, and the truly pathetic freelance volunteers is simple to do, and saves a great deal of energy and – utterly pointless – diversion into irrelevant, lie-soaked (0n their part), bad-faith arguments.
I reckon it’s a pretty good odds-on bet that ‘Bonney’ is a low-grade hasbarollocks team who’ve been assigned the thankless task of trying to feck-up the Off-G discussion community, because we’re obviously too interested in de-propagandised, objective reality to be anything but staunch opponents of the racist, mass-murdering apartheid cancer of zionistan, still afflicting Palestine – for the time being anyway, until the US empire enters its final death spiral. I wouldn’t bet a shilling each way on zionistan’s chances of continued survival for long then…
Chavez’s personality. vis-a-vis “one million new low-cost housing units, a dramatic drop in the poverty rate…”.Which is the more likely explanation?!
You! Accuse someone else of being a “charmless thug” I’m amazed
The 4 million people who have fled Maduro I’m sure would disagree with you
The 9000 people who were murdered last year by the regime I’m sure would disagree with you.
The 80% of the population who want to see Maduro gone or dead would disagree with you
The 75% of the country that is malnourished would disagree with you
Even Sitting in your comfy hotel in Miraflores you would have to have your head buried deep in the dirt not to see how Chavismo has destroyed this nation
Any chance of providing supporting evidence for these wild claims?
He’s talking bullshit mate, pure bullshit.
Off-G must be rising like a rocket as a reliable news and analysis source. Trolls flocking to try to de-rail it. Watch the ‘Butler’ troll for a while longer, to verify that he/she/there are up to the same tricks as the ‘Bonney’ team. Once sure, swat vigorously with dade! (God, they’re so easy to out, aren’t they!) 🙂
he/she/THEY. Typo, sorry!
Read UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet report on Venezuela for starters.
Isn’t this same group which choose Saudi Arabia to head key Human rights role ?
I see truth Hurts
OAS Group report on migration of refugees
Lima Group numerous statements on corrupt government of Maduro, his death squads and suffering of people.
I can go on all day with sources from all over the world and within Venezuela as well
Anger after Saudi Arabia ‘chosen to head key UN human rights panel’
If you are going to “go on all day with sources from all over the world and within Venezuela as well” then please supply links.
Educate yourselves please
Yes, of course you can quote various sources ad infinitum. So can I. So what. The relevant question is are they credible or reliable? I noted the Human Rights Watch among your accredited samples. The Human Rights Watch is a US NGO. And sources such as the Syrian Observatory of Human Rights are an out-and-out fraud. No doubt you could also quote the New York Times or the Guardian but these are partisan publications not too much bothered about what is true and what isn’t.
But what really strikes me about these defenders of the faith and their following, is that they have an emotional need to believe their own bullshit. Lie after lie, inference after inference, unsupported assertions, forms a blanket which engulfs those who believe themselves to be the chosen messengers of truth and enlightenment.
It has become a form of religious fanaticism with its own Torquemada and heresy hunters and various other stormtroopers of neo-conservatism.
The whole quasi-religious mindset is best summed up by by the classic pronouncement of the famous theologian Tertullian as follows:
Credo quia absurdum a Latin phrase that means “I believe because it is absurd”, originally misattributed to Tertullian in his De Carne Christi.
To repeat: I believe because it is absurd.
Yes, Cuba, the Maduro regime, & Russia are terrific honest sources. Do you people actually believe your BS??? Are people really this stupid here? Apparently facts and evidence have no place here
Cuba, Maduro may not be “terrific honest sources”. The point is that we KNOW the Western media have been relentlessly grinding out the most glaringly obvious lies since at least GWB’s proposal to attack Iraq.
”Yes, Cuba, the Maduro regime, & Russia are terrific honest sources.”
I never suggested they were. That is just your inference. But on the available evidence, which is clearly visible to any honest and disinterested observer – which I consider myself to be – it seems fairly obvious who is the aggressor and purveyor of assertions and innuendos is in this particular instance. As far as I can make out it is not Maduro, Cuba or Russia which openly attack sovereign states which do not threaten them, with full spectrum sanctions and covert military actions, it is the US and its allies/vassals/propagandists which appear to do so. Correct me if I am wrong.
In your world of inverted logic NATO’s expansion right up to Russia’s western frontier is not an aggressive or provocative act! Similarly the planting of the THAAD missile batteries on the border of South and North Korea directly pointed at China are also non-aggressive act. However, from the point of view of those states in the receiving end such actions these would seem both intentional and extremely provocative.
Moreover, Bolton for example, has more or less admitted that the US campaign for regime change in Venezuela really concerned about confiscating this country’s oil reserves. Straight from the horses mouth.
It might be an idea to supply readers with information of when and where the states you mentioned (bad guys) have engaged in open and aggressive provocations against the US and its vassals (the good guys, but of course!)
As for the internal politics of the countries involved – both ‘good’ guys and ‘bad’ guys – these are not a matter of concern or interest to me. Nor should they be of you. Minding your own business is not to bad an option.
But then I am a foreign policy realist and you appear to be a neo-con crusader who wishes to put the world to rights by force if necessary. R2P and the rest. I think the doctrine was best espoused by Francis Fukuyama:
”Dictators and human rights abusers like Serbia’s Milosevic could not hide behind the principle of sovereignty to protect themselves as they committed crimes against humanity, particularly in multiethnic states like the former Yugoslavia where the borders of sovereign states where themselves in question. Under these circumstances, outside powers’ (Hmmm I wonder whom he had in mind, ‘acting in the name of Human Rights and Democratic legitimacy, had not just the right, but the obligation to intervene.”
Yes, I can just see Clint Eastwood riding into town and sorting out the bad guys. This really is sentimental Hollywood tripe. ‘Obligation to intervene’ indeed! What rot. Moreover, it is in violation of UN laws of national sovereignty and therefore illegal.
Hey, the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and I am not even sure about the ‘good’ . How is it possible to claim ‘acting in the name of Human Rights and Democratic Legitimacy, whilst supporting the most vile regimes in the middle-east, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Israel spring to mind?
It really does take an exercise in Orwellian double-think to hold two contradictory views in the mind simultaneously. A sort of thinking (if this is the right word) inside the box.
My wife and about a dozen others, most of which left as things were going downhill fast as well as others that managed to escape in the last few years when it was evident there was no future with Maduro. Still have 4 friends and family trying to leave now. There is nothing positive about this regime.
As far as non western sources here are a few. China from people who lived there and now left
“It has become a form of religious fanaticism with its own Torquemada and heresy hunters and various other stormtroopers of neo-conservatism.”
You nailed it!
Is not a form: It is “religious” fanaticism: logic & facts don’t count and most probably precludes mutual underestanding.
I’ve been perusing your links and I note that freerepublic.com (a site for “Conservatives for God, Family, Country!” – so no bias there then!) says this:
“Please keep in mind that before Hugo Chavez implemented price controls and seized farms, factories, businesses, and other private property, the country was quite affluent and had a first world standard of living.”
There are neither statistics nor links given here and I am ever so slightly dubious about a writer who, in another article, delivers such nuggets of wisdom as:
“Because only a communist would label toilet paper as a “luxury.””
And then tells us that “only a dictator would use the military to seize food from private owners” and then links to an article that has nothing to do with seizing food from private owners.
Also, I can’t help noticing how all those Right Wing sites mix up the obligatory concern about human rights and health with concern about free enterprise, profiteering, entrepreneurship, business matters – as if one side was neccessarily linked to the other. That all the statistics about profits, economic growth etc. may not only tell us nothing about health and human rights but actually cover up these issues never occurs to these sites.
My links to the truth were censored by moderator, but you can google those. Other things to google:
2017 Venezuela government made it illegal for doctors to list that child’s death was caused by starvation.
2016 how average citizen lost 16 lbs (Maduro diet)
NOTE FROM ADMIN – the links were NOT censored, simply held back for having more than two URLs attached, and can be found in this thread.
Thank for the clarification. I take back my previous statement about being censored
I retract saying that I was not censored since this time I purposefully only posted two links and was censored again
You could well add Walter Mercado to your sources…is on same vein…
”US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross will attend a summit in Lima, Peru to discuss Venezuela … the US Commerce Department said. US national security adviser John Bolton has also confirmed attendance, two sources in Peru’s foreign ministry said on Friday.”
I would have thought that anything involving John Bolton should set the alarm bells ringing. Bolton doesn’t do diplomacy after all.
It also seems indicative that the US is dragooning its own vassals in Latin under a updated version of the Coalition of the Willing. The notion of ‘Human Rights’ being an overriding concern as countries like Brazil and Argentina would be concerned with Human Rights would be laughable were it not so tragic. In addition in chime the Petainist riff/raff which pass for governments in Europe who have also been ‘invited’ (i.e., ordered) to become involved in the regime change project in Venezuela. An offer they couldn’t refuse of course – even before it was even made. That’s Euro foreign policy for you.
Just a methodological point.
”Lima Group numerous statements on corrupt government of Maduro, his death squads and suffering of people.”
Yes, I imagine you could easily quote statements concerning Maduro’s alleged death squads and suffering of people.
But they are just statements. As such they become meaningless if they simply stand alone.
The veracity of any statement only becomes meaningful when it is tested by independent empirical investigation which shows it to be either true or false. Everything else is hot-air and bullshit. All very reminiscent of the Mueller report.
So true and shades of the Skripal so called poisonings.
And the Women’s Rights Commission.
‘‘Weaponizing human rights’: UN chief Bachelet’s Venezuela report follows US regime change script.”
July 6 2019 The Grey Zone.
Former UN special rapporteur Alfred de Zayas slams UN High Commissioner Bachelet’s report on Venezuela as a politicized collection of baseless accusations by “advocates” of regime change
Have you changed your name, Billy boy?
Don’t be a dick.
“Don’t be a dick.”
Because Dick will be Billy’s next name!
Beached MobyD :), thrashing & trashing everything …
Classic troll comment! Where is there any evidence of ‘4 million people who fled Maduro’? I think you just make it up as you go along. Get a life, mate, and stop devoting whatever life you have to spreading nothing but BS!!!
I think the troll mad a mistake and meant to say 6 million , you know ,that magic number that has been used since time immemorial by the zionistas .
I hope that you and your family are never put in a concentration camp or exterminated.
Thank you for the good wishes although I have the feeling that it was meant tongue in cheek.
But of course.
It flies in the face of Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity, Newton’s Laws of Physics and the common sense of intelligent, educated, experienced people who can read.
What’s to criticize?
Strange how we always get these “ghost millions.”
Like the “2 million demonstrators” in Hong Kong. (Real crowd size about 200,000.)
Or the “30/33/34* million * delete as appropriate) Egyptian demonstrators against Morsi.
(Real crowd size about 500,000.)
Like the “4 million who have fled Maduro.”
About 900,000 may have left because of problems caused by US economic strangulation and its satellites.
There are 5 million Colombians living in Venezuela who have fled the genocidal activities of the US puppet government there, and its US funded, trained, and orchestrated death squads.
A hell of a lot more than “9,000” have been butchered by Washington’s fascist satraps in Bogota. But they are unpeople and are of no interest to the fake MSM.
Strange how the figures of “80% who want him dead” can be plucked out of thin air at will.
But hey, who cares when you’ve got fact free claims endlessly peddled by the presstitutes of the MSM?
We don’t need no stinking facts!
I shall let Caitlin Johnstone say it for me…
Error 404 page?
The link is enough for me to vote up, however.
Thanks, milosovic; and apologies,wardropper. Can’t read my own writing!!