Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
July 30, 2017

Venezuela Coup "Could Blow Up Huge In Many Nations Of The Region"

by Debs is Dead
lifted from a comment

I see somebody has been blathering about the lack of 'democracy' in Venezuela as if it was the Chavezists who were to blame.

The president was elected by the people in a fair election and Chavezists also won the majority in the parliament/constituent assembly, the moment that happened the elitists financed opposition coups pushed out propaganda that was no more than libelous lies and began a programe of overt subversion.

They have continued this for the last 19 years and the irony is of course that if they hadn't done so and instead conducted themselves democratically they may have had a look in at government or coalition by now, but they chose what they thought was the easy way to gutting Venezuela's economy.

The result of the corporate capitalists activities has been the same as it always is when they push illegal acts of insurrection to try and force a reactive oppression - people lose and get hurt.

It is interesting to note that when the coalitions of street kids angry at everything and the sons and daughters of the once protected bourgeoisie hit the streets in their tiny bands to throw rocks and Molotov cocktails the police are very muted in their response - police in Venezuela don't normally carry sidearms but the riot police carry weapons that can only fire anti riot projectiles that are designed to hurt but not main or kill, they also have plastic shields but their actions have been much less violent than those of say the amerikan police - especially when you consider that more than 20 police have been killed in these riots.

I didn't get this info from RT news or any other oppositional news service I got it from the BBC who were desperate to find a shock horror story. They found a kid who had been arrested for throwing bricks at the police and he said that while he was locked up his interrogators demanded that he tell them the leadership or they would rape him "Did you tell them?" says Mr Beeb, "No" says the kid "so did they rape you?" asks Mr Beeb "NO but one of my cellmates had a black eye!" the kid responds.

Yeah right horrible oppression by those commies eh! The fact the beeb were in there trying on this story and running it on englander TV last night suggests that b may be correct when he says amerika is about to try and kick something off. The shots of protesters were all filmed up close - no wide views lest viewers see how few people were protesting, the entire piece could be regarded as a farce except that there is an undercurrent of amerikan violence.

As for the military - yes Cubans were brought in to train the army at the start of the Bolivaran revolution because the army was recruited from the ordinary people - not the usual younger sons of the bourgeoisie so outsiders were needed to train them. Some Cubans liked it so much they elected to stay on but the vast majority of Venezuelan military are local and if they seriously wanted to stage a coup it would be trivial to round up Cubans in a night and go in hard, but the military don't have any such intention, they are loyal to the head of state they swore an oath to.

I really hope that Trump and co don't decide that Venezuela be the victim of his need to divert attention away from his own travails - the result will be much worse even than the bloodthirsty contras of Nicaragua. The war will be long and bloody and it is highly doubtful that amerika could win without terrible violence. Even though the current governments in Central and South America are more 'sympathetic' to amerikan imperialism than those of a decade ago, it is highly unlikely that many if any will openly assist amerika because their own populations will go ape-shit if they do.

This (amerikan interference) could blow up huge and destroy the fragile agreements in place in many nations of the region.

For what? So that rich arse-holes can get richer?

Posted by b on July 30, 2017 at 10:39 UTC | Permalink

« previous page

US Treasury sanctions Venezuelan president Maduro

Sanction people when they hold elections..ohh very bad..Jesus, Trump is such an idiot.

Posted by: Anonymous | Jul 31 2017 21:16 utc | 101

Anonymous 84

Thanks for the link. Good article.

Posted by: estouxim | Jul 31 2017 21:40 utc | 102

thecelticwithinme@96 - "....And just now U.S. is sanctioning Venezuela oil."

This was news to all us here in Langley, so we checked it out. The US only sanctioned Marudo's assets today and banned anyone in the US from dealing with them. This was in addition to the 13 Venezuelan government officials sanctioned last week. No sanctions on oil today - only the looming threat of that in the future. I doubt it would happen before November.

Sanctioning Venezuelan oil means tanking PVDSA's $3 billion 2022 bonds. Goldman Sachs recently bought $2.8 billion of them in April from the Venezuelan Central Bank for the fire-sale price of 31 cents on the dollar. The proceeds from that sale were thought to be used by the Central Bank to pay... wait for it... $2.5 billion in PVDSA debt due in April (plus another $400 million in Venezuelan sovereign debt). Now Goldman is hoping for conditions changing in Venezuela that will eventually make the bonds worth more. Even if the bonds only rose to 50 cents on the dollar next year, Goldman could unload them at a tidy 60% profit. If PVDSA delcares bankruptcy, the bonds will only be worth pennies - there are billions in other PVDSA bonds out there that will also be in line for the assets.

Oddly enough, Goldman needs Maduro to stay in power to make this scam worthwhile. The opposition said they will not recognize this debt as legitimate (or declare bankruptcy) before they will ever have Venezuela pay off the Goldman vultures' bonds. So while the US government cries about disposing of Marudo the Evil, one of the largest banks in the US makes a shady $2.8 billion dollar bet (at the expense of the Venezuelan people) that he will still be in power. The bet is also that Marudo will continue draining the last bit of money Venezuela has to keep making interest payments on all its debt.

Oh, and that surprise $2.8 billion used to make April debt payments (which were in doubt) also bumped up the value of all Venezuelan bonds. I'm sure Goldman made a fortune on that move it helped manufacture.

In August and September, Venezuela has about a billion total in interest and principal payments due on its debt. It should be able to handle that. In the next two months after that, Venezuela will need to make about $3.8 billion in payments (split about evenly between Oct-Nov). IF it can make it past those, then it's probably good for another half-year at least.

Bloomberg article from April 3rd (before the Goldman bond purchase was known):
Venezuela Credit Dashboard: Default Risk Spikes as Payment Looms

Which side wins politically in Venezuela? Not sure it matters - sadly, my money is on the bankers here. Venezuela is getting Greece'd. It really doesn't matter who is at the helm of the Titanic when it finally slips beneath the waves. I applaud the Venezuelan people for re-arranging deck chairs and all, but...

Posted by: PavewayIV | Jul 31 2017 21:52 utc | 103

After taking himself off in a huff, promising not to return, Alexander pissant is back dribbling feces across this board. What a loser!

Posted by: ruralito | Jul 31 2017 22:16 utc | 104

I'm nearly finished with Gowan's book Washington's Long War On Syria. It comes via a very left point of view that near the end give Stalin an excuse for his evil because Soviets had outside threats. To me that is no excuse. But Gowan was on target about US politics dominated by financial elites. How much this dominated the main reason for war on Syria I don't know although Gowan puts it at the top. But one of his points was the Syrian mix of nationalism with socialism worked for the Syrians. I have to say that some socialism works for some countries/peoples.

Posted by: Curtis | Aug 1 2017 0:43 utc | 105

There is as usual a very polarized view of Venezuela.

I think the more honest view is that the government has been forced to take actions to deal with a destabilization and economic warfare initiated by the Venezuelan oligarchs/right wing and external forces (the US, EU, Colombia, banks, oil companies etc.). Many of the actions that were taken, price controls, expanding money supply, currency controls, importing food were serviceable when oil prices were high but maybe not now that oil prices 50% below 2014 prices.

This feature and consistent structural issues (oil dominated economy, a reasonably small economy compared to oil and many of its neighbors, need to import too much food, non diversified power grid, extreme market concentration in media and production of consumer goods and food, a polarized rich vs poor society) which have plagued venezuela for long before Chavez took control continue to make Venezuela an easy target for US/oligarch destabilization tactics. That point is worth repeating because most of the right wing trolls have no sense of history. Venezuela has always had inflation problems. Price and currency controls have also been used before chavez.

Sadly, the goal of the right wing there is simply to screw over the country and blame the Chavistas so that the oligarchs can regain control. The small Venezuelan middle class, accustomed to living quite well, is a vehicle of the oligarchs and they are terribly indoctrinated by the Cisneros and CNN.espanol of world. The Chavistas have fought a good fight in many ways but they've made mistakes and they failed to path up many of their vulnerabilities and have continuously fought a reactive instead of proactive battle. Putin is brillant because he has anticipated US moves and actually used them against the US. I wish Venezuelan would/could do the same.

I wish the Venezuelan left the best of luck. I hope they persevere and create a more just society. I was always stunned by the abject poverty when I visited the country in the 80s and 90s and i was appalled by the prevalent views of the middle class and wealthy there; they pretty much saw the poor as sub-human.

Posted by: alaric | Aug 1 2017 2:50 utc | 106

Latin American left is in disarray: Soft coup in Brazil, Macri in Argentina, Correa's protegee Moreno barely made it in Ecuador. If Maduro falls, Morales will be the next target. Sad that a decade of progress be overturned by the Empire who would not sit idly by and allow any state within its sphere of interest to go its own way..

Posted by: Lozion | Aug 1 2017 3:14 utc | 107

Thanks for your insights and for daring to disagree with the mainstream views here on MoA. It surprises me how much support anyone garners that pretends to stand up to the empire when his actions (pledging national gold reserves to Bank of America, conducting mining deals with Western Multinationals) speaks volumes about Maduro's actual ambitions/intentions. Soon people in here will support Erdogan merely over his anti-EU rhetoric disregarding his actions against civilians.

@91 Numbers can be fabricated, what matters are the results, overall poverty rates in Venezuela have seen a sharp increase these last few years as confirmed by CEPAL (UN Commission on economic development) going from 2012 with a poverty rate of 25.4% up to 29.2% in 2015. While Venezuela is arguably not alone with this trend in no other country in Latin America has the spike in poverty been as severe. In the meantime TeleSur talks about falling poverty rates of 4.4% according to the ministry of planning and knowledge Carlo Menendez. Now who do we believe more, CEPAL or the military junta?

Regarding Telesur and its propaganda I just posted a link in the above statement. If MoA users are mature and see through the propaganda then I welcome this, sadly comments above do not indicate this. I use Telesur with great discretion for news related to neo-liberal controlled countries such as Mexico / Colombia or Chile. But in regard to Venezuela the channel copies government statements 1:1 and portrays them as 'Truth'.

I know Venezuela's media quite well. You are right, El Nacional and some local papers such as El Carabobeño, El correo del Caroní etc are still independent. This in and off itself is no achievement in a normal democracy. Plenty of these papers had to stop printing stopped printing for lack of access to paper material. For some reason government owned newspapers could still be bought without problems last time I was there. Alos its reporters are being harassed and imprisoned for investigating corruption cases related to mining concessions in the south of the country.

As for TV it is simply wrong to state Globovisión was still independent. It has been brought in line since its sale in 2013. It does try to offer a slightly more balanced views but it has still cut live coverage to the national assembly whenever the debate turned to a point it did not want to transmit.

I agree with you estouxim, the ouster of TeleSur from Argentina is wrong and condemnable, both RCTV and Telesur in Argentina deserve to be on air representing different political views, in either case the government felt threatened by them. As for the student, I think there are plenty of videos I posted one above - where you can see not middle- to upper class people taking to the streets but ordinary Venezuelan teens and tweens, this is also reflected in the identities of the diseased.

The claim you make regarding fraudulent signatures collected for the revocatory referendum is a mere claim by the military junta, an excuse to not hold the referendum. Do you have any proof other than the word of Maduro or do you just believe him because you prefer to believe them? Seems a weak argument. Also show me one link where Leopoldo Lopez called for violent street protests. I haven't seen a single such video or statement. In all public statements he only called for street marches. Peaceful marches are the right of citizens in every democratic countries. Or should the organizers of the G-20 demonstrations in Hamburg now be imprisoned for 13 years because some of the participants turned violent on the police? That is your logic.

Posted by: Alexander P | Aug 1 2017 5:10 utc | 108

@ alaric who provided a well nuanced summary of recent Venezuela history...especially the 2nd paragraph

Thanks for that.

People need to see this being done throughout the world for the sickness it is. Any attempt to maintain or establish a socio-economic form of social organization that does not conform to the local oligarchy, private Central Bank, God of Mammon, etc model will be attacked until they conform to the R2P of the masses model we are experiencing globally.

Here we are stuck in an evolutionary dead end waiting for that extinction outcome...wondering what we could/should have done different......maybe we should have competed more.......sigh

Posted by: psychohistorian | Aug 1 2017 5:24 utc | 109

Well I live in an alleged democratic state that foolishly instituted a law saying that anyone who collected signatures of at least 10% of the people on the electoral roll could have a legally binding referendum. Lots of people have tried in the two decades it has been law and there have been 3 or 4 successful petitions for referenda. Approx 200,000 registered voters must sign and one of the biggest hurdles has been making sure all signees are registered. At the moment referendum organisers say that the need about 400,000 signatures to be certain they have 200,000 valid signees. People lie (D.Duck & M.Mouse sign up every day), they get their details particularly their registered address, wrong or are unaware if they are on the electoral roll or not as many of those that sign up to the nasty referenda eg "longer prison sentences for poor people" or whatever, don't normally vote so they aren't registered.

The figures from the Venezuela failed petition appear to be more generous than what we have found in Aotearoa which has had a much more complete coverage of births and deaths, for a lot longer. The claim that such a proportion were disallowed conforms to the reality of most modern 'democracies'. People who claim that the 'figures seem rigged' are quite frankly talking out their arse.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Aug 1 2017 5:32 utc | 110

@96 thecelticwithinme.. it is crazy making and it never stops... usa sanctions on marudo for sure... as @103 paveway clarifies - until goldman sachs is looked after, the sanctioning of venezualan oil will have to wait... exxon, lockheed martin and goldman sachs - rule by the oil, military and financial corporations is what the good ole' usa is all about!

@103 paveway.. thanks for articulating all that.. it is really sad and unfortunately you and all the other folks relying on their western pension plans and funds are relying on the same outcome for the same fucked up reason - money.. no offense, all my friends are in the same stupid boat - nothing ethical about any of it - all about survival with no end in sight to all of this madness forced on all of us..

i have a hard time with those cheering for more of this corporate agenda as represented by the usa... sure marudo and assad and various other leaders have made mistakes, but the usa is always in the wings like a predator waiting to pounce.. those who are cheering for that shit really get to me..

Posted by: james | Aug 1 2017 6:50 utc | 111

I agree on the politics of the Goldman deal, Maduro is pretty safe as long as he pays the debt. The opposition is stupid pretending they would not have to honor it.

But Venezuela is not going to get Greeced, you have to look at the facts not assume that things are as they always were.

Venuela - debt to GDP - this was done with a shrinking GDP!!

Greece - debt to GDP

It is easy for Venezuela, as they have oil, but clever, too.

108 I agree, left or right, a government that cannot provide essential goods for its people has to go.

But the record of Latin American neoliberal countries is not good.

This is Argentina in 2016 - 1.3 million children affected by hunger

I am sure supermarkets in Argentina's cities are full.

It is obvious that Venezuela's government has won. There is no need for hunger in Venezuela and people should pressure their government for effective ways to end it.
And that means currency reform and targeted subsidies for (small) producers and the poor.

Posted by: somebody | Aug 1 2017 10:33 utc | 112

add to 112

Part of the economic warfare on Venezuela was to pretend they could not pay back their debt.

You find it spread in all the business media.

Result was that Venezuela's bonds becoming cheap.

Goldman cashed in on that. There is a sublime irony in this. Sometimes capitalism simply works

Posted by: somebody | Aug 1 2017 10:40 utc | 113

Former London Mayor Ken Livingstone weighs in

(RT citing The Times Of London Interview)

Ken Livingstone blames US for Venezuela’s economic collapse

Meddling by the US and the “establishment elite” has contributed to Venezuela’s economic demise, according to former London Mayor Ken Livingstone, who has voiced his support for President Nicolas Maduro and the nation’s Bolivarian Revolution.[.]

Asked by The Times if he supports Maduro and the Bolivarian Revolution, the leftist political revival initiated by the late President Hugo Chavez, Livingstone said: “Oh God, yes.”

He said Venezuela’s economic issues stem in part from the country’s reliance on its oil reserves, which made it vulnerable to plunging oil prices, but that other factors have played a part.

“Hugo Chavez did not execute the establishment elite, he allowed them to continue so they’re still there. I think there’s a lot of rumors they’ve been blocking the important food and medicines and things like that, because they control a lot of the companies,” he told the newspaper.

“And America has a long record of undermining any left wing government as well. So I suspect it’s not all just down to the problems of the [Venezuelan] government.”

The US, which is gripped by allegations that Russia sought to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, has a long history of interfering with democratically-elected governments in Latin America.[.]

The 2002 Venezuela coup, which saw Chavez briefly removed from power, was followed by allegations of US involvement and resurrected fears about the country’s ambitions in the region.
After the coup, Chavez asserted numerous times that US government officials knew about plans for the coup and approved of them.

This was backed up by declassified intelligence documents in 2004 that showed the CIA and the administration of George W. Bush had advance knowledge of the coup. They also contained evidence that just weeks before Chavez was arrested, White House officials had met with Pedro Carmona, the business leader who took over the interim government after Chavez.
Bush denied any involvement.

Efforts by the US to intervene included distributing funds to opposition groups through its National Endowment for Democracy, which was set up in 1982, purportedly “dedicated to the growth and strengthening of democratic institutions around the world.”[.]

It’s a long history of U.S. meddling in all the countries of South America.

Posted by: likkemore | Aug 1 2017 14:39 utc | 114

"daring to disagree with the mainstream views here on MoA."

Quit trying to pretend you're some sort of lone voice in the wilderness. That'll fly on Reddit; not here.

Posted by: ruralito | Aug 1 2017 15:52 utc | 115

somebody@113 - Venezuela DOES NOT have the ability to repay it's principal and interest from what it currently produces. It has been asset-stripping since at least the end of 2015 when it sold off half of the gold in its foreign reserves (near gold's bottom, I might add).

The Venezuelan Central Bank were the ones that willingly sold the PVDSA bonds to Goldman. If the bonds had been priced artificially cheap by the market, then the Central Bank should never have sold them. There are other assets to sell off that would have made a lot more sense. So either the Venezuelan Central Bank colluded in ripping off the Venezuelan people by selling the bonds artificially cheap, or the bonds were fairly priced by the market and were the proper way to raise the money. Nobody forced Venezuela to sell the PVDSA bonds for pennies on the dollar - they could have raised money some other way.

The debt-to-GDP figure is pretty misleading as well. Selling six billion or so of foreign reserve gold (2015 - 2016) to pay down debt and exchanging future oil production for other principal/interest payments is the definition of asset stripping. Despite that, Venezuela still will not be able to make the upcoming Oct-Nov payments without selling still more of its assets. A debt to GDP of 25 is meaningless unless you also consider the periodic interest due on that debt. Venezuelan debt is somewhere between 15 and 22% interest - among the highest in the world. That means its annual interest alone is three to five times current GDP. It will remain that way for the next ten years going by their payment schedule.

Even if Venezuela could magically raise its GDP 300 - 500%, it would only be able to just make interest payments if it used its entire annual GDP as payment. Oil prices doubling or tripling wouldn't make up the difference anymore. Don't you see that?

I realize Western MSM had gone overboard to make the situation seem horrible. And I realize that the US has probably engineered the destruction of the Venezuelan economy somehow. But the math doesn't lie: Venezuela cannot possibly service its debt going forward EXCEPT by selling more of its assets. The PVDSA bonds are probably the last opportunity Venezuela had to borrow by issuing debt - nobody will buy it anymore with any hope of repayment. In fact, that sale amounted to going to a loan shark to borrow money to make payments on existing debt.

I wish this wasn't the case with Venezuela, but - for whatever reason - it is. Convincing the IMF loan sharks to loan money to Venezuela to restructure its debt will be the final nail in the coffin. I stand by my comparison to Greece - the banking vultures and oil companies are taking possession of Venezuela piece by piece. There is no economic miracle that will enable Venezuela to get out of its economic death spiral - it is too deep in debt and will eventually run out of things to sell to make payments.

I don't think the Venezuelan people are going to sit idly by as their country is slowly sold off to meet debt payments, but what caused this and how it will end does not change the reality of the financial situation today.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Aug 1 2017 16:35 utc | 116

@116 Am starting to think you really are in Langley..

Posted by: Lozion | Aug 1 2017 16:49 utc | 117

From the 'Venezuela defence of human rights and civil society act of 2014'

It is the policy of the United States—
(1) to support the people of Venezuela in their aspiration
to live under conditions of peace and representative democracy
as defined by the Inter-American Democratic Charter of the
Organization of American States;
(2) to work in concert with the other member states within
the Organization of American States, as well as the countries
of the European Union, to ensure the peaceful resolution of
the current situation in Venezuela and the immediate cessation
of violence against antigovernment protestors;
(3) to hold accountable government and security officials
in Venezuela responsible for or complicit in the use of force
in relation to antigovernment protests and similar future acts
of violence; and
(4) to continue to support the development of democratic
political processes and independent civil society in Venezuela.


(a) IN GENERAL.—Not later than 30 days after the date of
the enactment of this Act, the Chairman of the Broadcasting Board
of Governors (in this section referred to as the ‘‘Board’’) shall
submit to Congress a report that includes—
(1) a thorough evaluation of the governmental, political,
and technological obstacles faced by the people of Venezuela
in their efforts to obtain accurate, objective, and comprehensive
news and information about domestic and international affairs;
(2) an assessment of current efforts relating to broadcasting,
information distribution, and circumvention technology
distribution in Venezuela, by the United States Government
and otherwise; and
(3) a strategy for expanding such efforts in Venezuela,
including recommendations for additional measures to expand
upon current efforts.
(b) ELEMENTS.—The report required by subsection (a) shall
(1) an assessment of the current level of Federal funding
dedicated to broadcasting, information distribution, and circumvention
technology distribution in Venezuela by the Board
before the date of the enactment of this Act;
(2) an assessment of the extent to which the current level
and type of news and related programming and content provided
by the Voice of America and other sources is addressing
the informational needs of the people of Venezuela; and
(3) recommendations for increasing broadcasting, information
distribution, and circumvention technology distribution in
Approved December 18, 2014.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Aug 1 2017 17:03 utc | 118

People are starving in Venezuela and it is a direct result of government policy. No leftist no matter how dedicated can argue his way past this point without flushing his objectivity, ethics and common sense down the toilet; but when it comes to Venezuela more than one activists has hypnotized himself to see the revolution he wants to see and not the revolution as it really is. It's sad really, because there is ample historical knowledge to know better.
After Cuba, Russia, China and North Korea you think people would develop a sensitivity to totalitarian bullshit dressed in a red suit but I guess old fantasies die hard. Too bad the Chavistas will take many a Venezuelan down with them. You guys are as fucked up as Jean Paul Sartre. Maduros willing executioners. But that's better than being America's willing executioners right? Guess what - they're both executioners.

Posted by: Northern Observer | Aug 1 2017 17:53 utc | 119

Venezuela has only itself to blame for its current problems.
US sticking its nose in can only make things worse.

if US did, there would seem to be a temptation for other Latin American countries to step in, if they saw it in their interests to do so, which isnt exactly really very likely at all.

if there is one thing worse than a right-wing dictatorship, then it is a left-wing one
and Latin America has had its fair share of both.

Best to stand aside, and see how Venezuelans deal with hyperinflation,
because their is a distinct possibility that US could experience its own bout
of hyperinflation in the foreseeable future.

Posted by: chris m | Aug 1 2017 18:01 utc | 120

Copying and pasting from the US sanctions on Venezuela cause a few trolls to wriggle up out of the woodwork? Seems as though some feel US has a total right to run propaganda campaigns wherever they choose to run a regime change operation.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Aug 1 2017 18:37 utc | 121

We do seem to have a fine crew CNN stenographers on board today.

If we wanted the CNN point of view, we would not be at MoA. We would be reading at CNN:

I sincerely hope that b will send the hard working CNN stenographers back to where they belong soon. Their clever Western Crypto-Imperial Media disingenuousness is very irritating.

My own perspective on the Venezuelan commotion suggests that some wild card is about to be played.

Posted by: blues | Aug 1 2017 19:05 utc | 122

A really impressive onslaught of trolls!

Posted by: runaway robot | Aug 1 2017 19:14 utc | 123

Lozion@117 - Langley would have had me vivisected by now. Venezuela is the shining example of the US bully's 'unintended consequences'. The US is in the process of losing its anticipated Venezuela oil and mineral booty to Russia and China, and it's mad as hell about that.

Oil reserves bigger than Saudi Arabia, and substantial natural gas reserves. Current production in historic fields is heavy crude, but oil oligarchs believe better grades are still untapped. There is a LOT of exploration and development waiting to happen there in oil and gas. Greedy US oil parasites have been wringing their tiny hands for years waiting for a chance to steal it or at least get a cut of the profits.

Unfortunately, other forces have turned Venezuela into a debt-slave. To keep making payments (so it can borrow more), Venezuela has slowly been selling off its petroleum resources/industry to Russia and China in exchange for USD to service its USD-denominated debt. Venezuela has already pledged a lot of its future oil production to China in exchange for loans. Russia's Rosneft acquired half of CITGO as collateral for a loan. Rosneft is worried about US sanctions, and is negotiating a swap for those shares in exchange for interests in future oil projects. This, of course, has infuriated US oil thieves who figured they would end up with all the oil booty themselves.

By pissing off Venezuela in the past and with the present threat of oil sanctions, the US has pretty much shut itself out of the Venezuelan oil industry (except as a consumer). Same goes for mineral rights - Russia and China acquire stakes in future projects in exchange for more loans/cash. The US isn't invited and can't compete with Russian and Chinese offers anyways.

Lessons learned for greedy American oligarchs: before you squeeze your indebted customers too much and drive them to ruin, make sure you're the only loan-shark in town.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Aug 1 2017 19:57 utc | 124


South American countries, amongst others have been under US covert and overt attack since before Butler's "War is a racket"
For a small south american country to stand up to US full spectrum covert attacks takes not just a mediocre leader but an exceptional leader. It would be much easier to judge each countries leadership in a hypothetically fair world.
In looking at Maduro's leadership, there is always the question of what covert economic and propaganda attacks the US has initiated before the 2014 sanctions, how many Venezuelans were working in US interests ect in sabotaging their own country?
Economic policies that may have fumbled their way through ok in peace time, is like sick or injured prey that the US predator instantly tries to take down.
For these reasons I don't think it achieves much to criticise a government that is under long term attack from the US.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Aug 1 2017 20:47 utc | 125

@119 Northern Observer

People are starving in Venezuela and it is a direct result of government policy.

After seeing Abby Martin's report showing stocked supermarkets in Venezuela, I realized that Western reporting was much worse than I could have imagined. So I looked up how Venezuela ranked in the World Hunger Index. Curiously enough, it not only had a ranking of low, but it also came ahead of both Mexico and Columbia.

Maybe those two countries should adopt Venezuela's policies.

Posted by: Tobin Paz | Aug 1 2017 21:28 utc | 126

Peter AU 1@125 - Agree, Peter. How much of this was really Murado's choice, and how much has he been simply forced or coerced to do as a result of US economic war. Likewise with Assad, Qaddafi, Hussein and all the others. When the US is scheming against your nation for years, your leader is probably going to act a little unhinged. When the US is trying to destroy your nation economically, you're probably going to make less than optimal financial decisions. In fact, that seems to be a rather integral part of the regime-change preparation strategy by the US, further fueling the manufactured demonization narrative.

And now we get to see this played out in North Korea. Would Kim Jong-un (or his father, Kim Jong-il) really act that nutty if the US wasn't constantly scheming against them. Corner a dog and repeatedly poke it with a stick, and eventually the tormented pooch is going to come at you fangs bared and snarling. The US loves to do that and offer the expected result as 'proof' that the dog was dangerous all along and must be put down. Works OK for small dogs. Exceptionally bad strategy for a bear or dragon.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Aug 2 2017 1:09 utc | 127

It is really quite astonishing to read comments as these

A really impressive onslaught of trolls!

If we wanted the CNN point of view, we would not be at MoA. We would be reading at CNN

I for one don't come here to read news that is 100% opposed to whatever the MSM blasts out, I come here for the truth and if it is too much for some of you to fathom that other regimes destroy and asset-strip their countries to the bone that pretend to be opposed to the empire or if the mere fact a Latin American country is faring poorly automatically should be attributed entirely to US meddling, then I recommend you stick to Venezuelanalysis or TeleSur Forum as you will just hear the news you like. I come to MoA because I get insights into the mid-east I won't find elsewhere and I hope to provide some on Venezuela.

I do not particularly like any totalitarian system, but I can differentiate between one with capable leaders that try to preserve their nation's independence such as presently in Damascus or Teheran. And one that is selling the last dime of the nation to strip mine its ressources and leaving a naked skeleton left over, which is the case with the junta currently in power in Caracas.

Funny thing is, instead of bemoaning mine and Pathways arguments and that of others, you should refute that Maduro has been selling Venezuela's national gold reserves and issuing PDVSA debt at subprime rates. With whom exactly is Maduro working? The international banking cartel and he couldn't care less.

For the environmentally minded among you Maduro's government is planning to exploit the vast southern forests with new mining concessions working among others with Canadian firms a region that had not been touched by any other previous government because simply logging wasn't as lucrative as oil trade. Well seems like the country has been ruined enough to contemplate going after the forests now.

I do not disregard the US role in all of this, I'm well aware that they want another government in power. If nothing more I see the US hand all over the drop in oil prices (that were before artificially pushed higher). But I've contemplated for the last several years why DC hasn't smacked more severe sanctions against Maduro and the army general already. They could have found plenty of excuses to do so. My conclusion and the only one that makes sense is that they want the country to be utterly ruined as only that way it can be 'Greeced'. Let's face it - PDVSA was once the largest company by market share in South America. Now it's a hollow shell about to go broke. Bankers at WallStreet like nothing better than a ruined, ressource rich nation they can asset strip and as pointed out above Maduro has been eagerly aiding them. What's more his totalitarian actions suit the western media narrative perfectly. Finally, the US is not supporting some losers (Islamists) in some desert oasis but can actually pretend to help the good guys while getting what it wants. Venezuela to me is a kind of failed African nation, in the sense that its leaders ruined it, the US bid its time and aided the demise and is now ready to 'help'. But all of that does NOT excuse Maduro and the army's actions!

Chavez failed to recognize that state monopolies only work in some industries (water, public transport) by nationalizing a large part of food production, cement production and other essential industries he made Venezuela even more oil dependent as domestic production faltered. His South American 'partners' in Brasilia and Buenos Aires were only too eager to step in and provide food but the model was doomed the moment oil prices fell. Now we will see the very sad end to this story play out.

Posted by: Alexander P | Aug 2 2017 1:58 utc | 128

totalitarianism - imf, world bank, central banking.... capable leaders can't do shit in that kind of environment... if you think this way, then you probably think all the past usa presidents were an example of brilliant leadership... that is called being at the height of ignorance, completely consumed in one's own hubris...

Posted by: james | Aug 2 2017 2:59 utc | 129

Alexander P 108

You are indeed trolling - either that or you are unable to reason.

You start by linking to a Telesur report on a minister's press briefing. You call that propaganda.
Accordingly, all reports of DW, France24, BBC, VoA, TVE, to name just a few, on their respective governments press briefings are propaganda.
By the same token, when Telesur reports on opposition press briefings, it is, no doubt, propagandising for the opposition.

According to you, therefore, Telesur is not reliable because it reports. That's stupid.

Then either out of ignorance or purposefully you point to 2 different statistical indexes as if they were the same.
The first one, that Telesur reports on, is the index of extreme poverty that the minister claims to be at 4,4 %.
The second, that El Nacional reports on , is the index of total poverty, that CEPAL claims to be at 32,1% in 2013. (according to CEPAL extreme poverty in 2013 was at 9,8%)

That is trolling, purposefully trying to deceive. Or it could be ignorance, tell me which.

Deception is your m.o, or outright lie.

Your "mere claim by the military junta" is a double lie. First, because there is no military junta in Venezuela, it has a constitutional government and it's constitution does not allow for juntas. Second, because it is not a claim, it is the result of sentencing by 6 judicial courts in the exercise of their constitutional competences.

Leopoldo López was, through due process, convicted by the judiciary.
Speaking of him, his house arrest has been revoked. Because he broke the house arrest conditions, namely that he would not deliver public statements, and because he could try to escape. Which is reasonable, if one breaks a condition one can be expected to break other conditions.
Do western media report it so?

I have, for the last 17 years, seen the opposition setting up guarimbas, sometimes for months, in Venezuela's cities. And for the last 17 years I have seen nearly all western media, and nearly all south-american media depict them as "peaceful marches" by "peaceful demonstrators," just how they depicted Maidan.
What I have never seen is any opposition leader condemning them.
Should they try the same thing in any european or north-american country I can assure you that they would not last 1 day, and that the leaders calling for it would be prosecuted and convicted. Go set a guarimba in Washington and see what happens.
Guarimbas are not peaceful marches and are not allowed for in any jurisdiction.

Lastly, do not misrepresent what I say. I expressed no opinion on the Argentinian junta's decision about Telesur. I merely pointed to the different coverage of western media on two somewhat similar cases. Naturally you express no view on that.

Paveway IV 116

I highly appreciate your comments, both factually and in tone.
With your views on Venezuela I mostly disagree, I think here you make some inexcusable mistakes.
I don't understand how you can say that 15 to 22 percent of 25 percent of something can be 3 to 5 times that something. It's simple arithmetic - 23%*22%= 5,06%
No math test to set up shop in Langley?

The 15 to 22% you mention refer to what? Primary market, secondary market, sovereign bonds, corporate bonds? What denominations, US$, Euro, Bolivar?

Posted by: estouxim | Aug 2 2017 3:28 utc | 130

estouxim@130 - OK, the math guys an Langley were on crack this afternoon. They just got back from a Columbia run to our 'special annex'.

Would it be fair to say that at the current economic activity in Venezuela - specifically oil exports for USD and balance of trade - will not produce the ~10 billion USD a year in principal and interest due on Venezuelan sovereign + PVDSA bonds for each of the next ten years? That from eyeballing a Venezuelan bond amortization chart on a US financial site - it varies year to year. Is that debt payment schedule not correct?

Rising oil prices won't be enough considering declining production/exports and the Chinese cut of future production as loan repayment. Oil exports by themselves generate more than enough USD, but that can't happen without importing a proportional amount of heavy naptha for blending before going to the refineries. Then there's that food thing and other miscellaneous USD imports that have the balance of trade negative at the end of 2015. The Venezuelan government has since stopped reporting it, but a reasonable person would assume it hasn't gone up. Venezuela can't cut imports much lower than they are now, and it will take years to ramp up oil production (but they're not doing that for lack of cash).

I have zero sympathies for the opposition here extouxim, but they are right when they whine about Venezuela being nearly bankrupt and forced to sell assets on the cheap to stay current. Yes, I understand that much of that financial distress was manufactured by my country. Still, there is a lot of USD-denominated debt coming due that Venezuela does not have the ability to pay WITHOUT selling assets. What am I missing?

Posted by: PavewayIV | Aug 2 2017 4:40 utc | 131

I appreciate your efforts in trying to pick my links and comment apart, sadly you are not succeeding. It is fine if TeleSur reports what the minister claims. I never critiziced TeleSur for reporting whatever the hell they want to report. The problem is when it is being quoted here in MoU and represented as simple truth, when yes we question every statement that comes from US and European governments and rightfully so. Telesur mostly does not even report on opposition press briefings or only when it suits their narrative.

It is interesting to see how TeleSur likes to use numbers of Cepal whenever talking about overall poverty of the region and inequality but then resorts to not mention their statistics when they bring up the cold facts about Venezuela's poverty increase.

While CEPAL hasn't reported on extreme poverty rates in recent years (or at least I was unable to find any data for recent years) for Venezuela with overall poverty rates increasing (as confirmed by CEPAL) and an inflation of over 1000% it is naive at best or just dumb on your side to think extreme poverty is falling.

Courts have been controlled by the executive for years now. The latest example is the case of Venezuela's attorney general, as soon as she dared to openly disagree they want to fire her.

Wwho is trying to deceive whom here? Constitutional would have been to not obstruct the revocatory referendum with new rules blarred out by the CNE every few weeks to make such a vote impossible to begin with. And yes, it is a Junta, many ministers appointed by Maduro are or have been high ranking military officials. Padrino as Minsiter of Defence and head of the armed forces, Carmen Teresa Melendez as Minister of staff, a general commander of the Navy. Rodlofo Marco as Food Minister, ranks as Brigardier General. Wilmar Castro Soteldo Minister of agriculture production and former military. Angel Belisario Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture also a former Navy general. I could go on and on....

Now let's take a look at what constitutes a Junta, since you call Macri's government a Junta.

Junta predominantly refers to the government of an authoritarian state run by high ranking officers of a military. "Junta" literally means "union" and often refers to the army, navy and air force commanders taking over the power of the president, prime minister, king or other non-military leader.
So who is trying to deceive here? I am no fan of Macri and his neo-liberal agenda but his is not a Junta by definition.

Lopez has been laballed a political prisoner by the OHCHR and the UN Human Rights council. I don't know what constitutes a thorough process for you, apparently anyone that deserves to go to prison in your eyes is receiving a due process.

What you are claiming with the Guarimbas is a simple lie show me one factual article talking about Guarimbas between 2005 - 2012? Even your beloved TeleSur admits these Guarimbas began to be put up in 2014.

Posted by: Alexander P | Aug 2 2017 4:47 utc | 132

everyone is being held hostage by the banks.. meanwhile the banks are given an open door to loan as much as possible in as indiscriminate manner as they can conceive.. it is like the sub prime loan scam building up into 2008 on a worldwide level... we can thank our governments for that.. they are coming for the west next.. it is only a matter of time when the whole enchilada breaks down... beggar thy neighbour..

Posted by: james | Aug 2 2017 4:57 utc | 133

oh wait.. dang, i think i just sang the neo liberalism - rah rah capitalism is just so fine - mantra.. anyone want to borrow some money are real cheap rates from me? lol...

Posted by: james | Aug 2 2017 4:59 utc | 134

Three reasons why Venezuela may not default

The site is based in the UK, US, UAE and Singapore, so probably not a Venezuelan propaganda outlet. But who knows.


Investors believe Venezuela is fundamentally solvent and may not actually default on its debt obligations. Maduro’s government has displayed strong willingness to repay its debt in the past few years despite the ongoing economic crisis.

PDVSA is also the preferred bond investment for foreign investors in Venezuela and experts believe it is unlikely to default, which refutes ratings agency Fitch’s view. This is because PDVSA being an oil company is in constant need of capital credit lines to fund its working capital. Any default on the bonds issued by PDVSA would cut off its lines of credit and threaten the nation’s oil production.


Oil is also Venezuela’s primary source of revenue. PDVSA has nearly $510 billion dollars worth of oil reserves and is a major contributor to global oil production. Its oil reserves are estimated to be worth nearly $5 trillion dollars based on Aramco’s reserves of $310 billion being estimated to be worth $3 trillion.

Jan Dehn of Ashmore Group believes Venezuela should be able to raise funds for debt repayments quickly by auctioning its reserves to global oil companies. “The price of bonds is so low that under most scenarios there is upside on the bonds even in the event of a default,” he said. “The calculation has many moving parts, but we think recovery value will be high because Venezuela should quickly be able to raise money by auctioning reserves to oil companies,” Dehn continued. Venezuelan bonds are the lowest priced bonds in emerging markets with year-to-date yields on bonds due in 2019 at 31.5% in dollar terms.

3. Finally

Additionally, a change in government is expected in the next 12 months and experts expect the new government to be slightly more pragmatic.

So they buy the bonds helping Venezuela not to defaut, a change in government or not.

Posted by: somebody | Aug 2 2017 5:19 utc | 135

"Jan Dehn of Ashmore Group believes Venezuela should be able to raise funds for debt repayments quickly by auctioning its reserves to global oil companies."

Asset stripping, you basically front-load your ressource wealth at a fixed price to receive Fed-Dollars and either malinvest or outright steal those. Same thing that the regime has already done with his oil for loan deals with China. Why this is needed is due to mismanagement as pointed out in detail in my comments above. Similar to how Saudi-Arabia now thinks about privatizing part of Aramco due to their foolish government policy / expenditures.

I am not saying this to criticize your quotes somebody, Maduro and the military know with great urgency how important it is for PDVSA not to default, they will certainly try every possible avenue open to them to pay, which is why they have been to India wanted to sell Citgo and are in talks with Rosneft to explore new oil-wells.

Posted by: Alexander P | Aug 2 2017 6:13 utc | 136

Alexander P 132

I see when you want you are capable of trying rational, factual thinking, Indeed, that's what a junta is, glad that my Macri bait set you to reason. Unfortunately, you seem unable to apply the definition you deem correct to your own qualifier. You probably don't know what authoritarian means, and you chose to ignore the "taking over power" bit.

Guarimbas where set long before the 2002 coup, entire sectors of Caracas where barricaded for months. It has always been the oppositions preferred course of action, provoke instability and tension. Without it they have no meaningful existence. No headlines, no support, no funding. Stability in Venezuela is anathema to Washington - Brussels.

Constitutional means that you respect the attributions of the different organs set up by the basic law. If, because you don't like their decisions you disregard them, you create a constitutional crisis. Decisions can be appealed, or judicially contested, but must be respected. The actions of the bolivarian government as much as I can tell, are legal and constitutional. Alleging that this or that organ decides wrongly is irrelevant. All that matters is if it decides within it's constitutional powers.

In most presidential systems, as are I think, all of the America's and France, the attorney general is placed under the executive power, which means it owes obedience and loyalty. It's autonomy is limited. In parliamentary systems, as in most of western Europe, the attorney general as more autonomy and independence.
I don't think an US or French president would tolerate rebellion by their attorney general.
Either you can describe the legal mechanism by which the executive controls the judiciary or you are merely expressing your opinion.

One last word, on statistics and rankings. Comparing statistical information is only possible when the information gathering methods and criteria are equivalent. The most probable explanation for the disparity between the numbers of the INE and those of the CEPAL is probably a different criteria. I don't believe possible for the CEPAL to crunch other data than that provided by the national statistical authorities, and criteria changes often.
Read Paul Craig Roberts on the matter.

You claim to seek the truth. Good luck with that, I've long since concluded that the truth does not exist, the best we can aim at is a reasoned guess based on reasonable factors.

Posted by: estouxim | Aug 2 2017 6:24 utc | 137

137 "..the best we can aim at is a reasoned guess based on reasonable factors."

Amen to that.
The truth though, does exist... in the US "west/world" it will exist in CIA documents never to be declassified.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Aug 2 2017 6:45 utc | 138

PavewayIV 131

Honestly, I don't know, that's why I asked. I don't follow it that closely.
I suspect there is a great degree of hysteria on that matter. A bit like what we saw, and still see, on the imminent bankruptcy of Russia. Economy the size of Italy and similar nonsense.
I don't know what the balance of payments looks like.

Then, there is also the question of criteria - What is the exchange rate for the indicators, the official rate, the black market rate, the intermediate rate?
Venezuela is definitely not Greece, they have enormous natural resources. They have the potential to be self-sufficient in food production, they have cheap energy. And they have their own currency. To keep the balance of payments controlled they might have to curb imports, but I don't see that as a big problem. Well, holidays in Miami will become prohibitively expensive, but who cares? A change of course in Brasil and Argentina would be tremendously helpful. In Brasil it might come sooner than expected, a lot of pressure is building up.

By the way, if Greece had kept the Drachma they would have much less debt and of course, much less Mercedes, BMW's and Audi's.

Posted by: estouxim | Aug 2 2017 7:05 utc | 139

Some time late Tuesday night england time, the BBC began running a story saying the UK embassy had advised the families of all their embassy staff to get the fuck outta Venezuela. It may just be that the amerikans (who did the same thing a few days back) and the englanders are trying to make the tiny demonstrations seem big and troublesome to englanders and amerikans sitting at home in front of their tubes, or it could be that the shit stirrers are actually worried about the families of SIS (MI6) & CIA staff.

That is a possibility because the other Venezuela 'crisis' story is about two alleged opposition leaders who have been under house arrest getting taken into custody for breaching the terms of their bail (they had been in gaol for quite serious charges of calling for violent regime change but were granted early release on humanitarian grounds) - anyway there has been a lot of discomfort about the arrests expressed in opposition circles because the Venezuelan authorities have said they have video evidence of these two's latest crimes. So perhaps the amerikan & brit intelligence services are concerned that government surveillance has included amerikan & Brit intelligence agents breaking the rules and there is evidence that spooks from both nations are involved in the mini-riots & strikes.

If that is the case these assholes will be worried that their families are exposed, breaching the rules like that could have the Venezuelan Authorities pulling immunity.
Now I doubt that the Venezuelans would do thst since no matter how strong the evidence arresting USuk agents would overwhelm the msm and the facts of USuk sabotage would get 'forgotten'.
Nevertheless the USuk creeps could be likely to believe their own propaganda and are genuinely worried that Venezuelans don't know rule number 1 (nobody is to mistreat whitefellas in any way) so the missus and kids may cop a good old fashioned water boarding.

On the other hand it could easily be that May & Trump have decided that their current domestic issues will be as nothing if they can get another war cranked up.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Aug 2 2017 7:19 utc | 140

Thanks, b. This is also a blatant effort to avoid a triumph of left-wing Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador in the presidential elections in Mexico of 2018. The PRI narco regime is adding fuel to fire in the venezuelan crisis to scare the population: look what a "communist" and "populist" system really looks like. Don't vote for the same here!

Posted by: Guy | Aug 2 2017 7:54 utc | 141

The point is, Maduro's government has to survive this crisis and end it's constitutional period next year. The fascist, ultra right-wing anti cuban, anti bolivian lackeys financed by the CIA, the OAS and Mexico are waiting at the doors of Miraflores palace in Caracas...

Posted by: Guy | Aug 2 2017 8:20 utc | 142

@139 Well I am glad we can agree on not ever knowing the whole truth but try to get as close to it as possible with the information at our disposal. This more conciliatory rhetoric would have been helpful from the beginning just to maintain the objectivity of the conversation. One remark I cannot let stand like this:

Constitutional means that you respect the attributions of the different organs set up by the basic law

Sadly, Chavism itself has never honoured the different organs of basic law. It never intended to respect the national assembly, the moment the opposition took over power, Diosdado Cabello said they would install a communal assembly to limit the national assembly's power (strip it of its power). Which they now did.

The fact that a Chavism controlled Supreme Tribunal overruled any and every decision taken by the national assembly is proof enough of how the Junta values different organs of the basic law. The constitutional crisis was triggered the moment the Revocatory Referendum was inhibited by flimsy and spurious changes in the rules of vote counting.
The country got to where we are not due to an Arab-Spring like upheaval or a Maidan coup but a long and slow erosion of Venezuela's institutions, rule of law and economy.

I accept that we will not agree on the cause of Venezuela's woes but while one is not being immediately labelled a troll, for voicing a different opinion I'll gladly be back for more objective discussions. Good day sir.

Posted by: Alexander P | Aug 2 2017 9:47 utc | 143

Posted by: estouxim | Aug 2, 2017 3:05:43 AM | 139

Greece has a huge import/export minus, so keeping the Drachma would have meant everything imported - a lot - would be expensive and that includes agriculture.

Varoufakis is making a fool of himself pretending that leaving the Euro was an option. Schäuble would have liked it and would have paid for it.
Wages in Greece are very low compared to other Euro countries, but people can go to Bulgaria and buy a lot for it. With the Drachma Greek people would be in the same spot as Bulgarians - cheap labor for a currency that is not worth much abroad.

Making credits expensive by talking up the default risk, whilst buying undervalued cheap bonds is part of economic warfare - or just common business praxis. You need a lot of influence to be able to do it. Spread a rumour that company xz will be overtaken, see the stock rise and sell.

The fight about the US embassy in Venezuela is nothing new.


November 17: A joint investigation between teleSUR and The Intercept reveals the U.S. embassy in Caracas has been involved in espionage against Venezuelan state oil firm PDVSA.

Mach 8: The Venezuelan government orders the reduction of U.S. embassy staff in Caracas from over 100 to 17, amid espionage concerns.

Posted by: somebody | Aug 2 2017 11:46 utc | 144


UK government think they can split Labour on Venezuela.

Posted by: somebody | Aug 2 2017 11:56 utc | 145

"labelled a troll, for voicing a different opinion"

No, it's because you make up stuff. When the United$hit$ calls someone a "dictator" you know he's doing something right. The Sauds are dictators, Bibi is a dictator. Nary a discouraging word is uttered against them. Merka makes war against the weak and defenseless, right under everyone's nose, usually by proxy, at arm's length. They weep over the lack of Freedom and Democracy, when, obviously, they don't give a rat's ass unless it's for themselves and the police who protect them. US foreign policy is vicious, cruel and stupid; even you admit it: you have to - who can miss it? Oh, but Maduro rules via Junta. Well, so what, isn't that Venezuela's business?

Posted by: ruralito | Aug 2 2017 15:14 utc | 146

A "Junta" run by righteous peons is just what Venezuela needs. All power to the Soviets!

Posted by: ruralito | Aug 2 2017 15:31 utc | 147

meanwhile the democratic state of Turkey is banning all public gatherings:

Perhaps Turkey has read Macron's plans for the great emergency in France?

The Western media can only report officially approved news. The overton window self censors the vast army of propagandists:

Posted by: Krollchem | Aug 2 2017 17:21 utc | 148

I have three buddies in the "awl bidness". To them, fracking is a way to make money from formations where conventional wells don't produce or were played out. They're uninterested in any political reasons for them living well.

How is it a lie for me to say that Venezuelan crude is refined in a Venezuelan refinery in Corpus and gasoline shipped back? That's been going on since the 1970s; maybe the 1960s. I know that Citgo gave us racing fuel at the SCCA runoffs at Road Atlanta in 1971.

And it seems obvious that a socialistic system eventually collapses. Take out the profit incentive and the balance of payment goes to garbage and debt piles up. Outgo > income = misery city. True for nations same as for individuals. TANSTAAFL.

An earlier post mentioned governmental beneficience in things like education. As one who pays school taxes and reads a lot of news articles and blogs, all I've seen is a dumbing down of curricula and a decline in "graduates'" abilities at reading and math in government schools.

Posted by: Desertrat | Aug 3 2017 2:50 utc | 149

Perhaps a bit too late to help the discourse on this thread, yet Sputnik has published some rather damning material regarding the many attempts made by the Outlaw US Empire to overthrow the legitimate Venezuelan government, this time with the complicity of Mexico and Colombia,

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 3 2017 14:30 utc | 150

150 Further--

Peter Koenig provides the following excellent analysis of the vote for the National Constituent Assembly,

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 3 2017 15:11 utc | 151

Venezuela's dollar bounds rebound after selloff

LONDON, Aug 3 (Reuters) - Venezuelan dollar bonds and those of state oil firm PDVSA rebounded across the curve on Thursday, with gains of up to 3.8 cents after China backed its close ally.

The benchmark 2038 sovereign eurobond was up 1.5 cents to 36.8 cents in the dollar and state oil firm PDVSA's benchmark 2037 bond rallied 3.1 cents to trade at 33 cents.

Other issues also made strong gains, with the sovereign 2022 bond up 2.8 cents and PDVSA's 2035 bond up 3.8 cents.


The bonds' reversal on Thursday came after China backed Venezuela, saying it believed voting was "generally held smoothly".

Posted by: somebody | Aug 3 2017 21:07 utc | 152

Washington Post weighs in: Russian Oil Giant Lends Support to Venezuela Oil Company

A few interesting points:

* Russia's Rosneft planning on increasing Venezuela output over the next decade 5x (not clear if overall or just Rosneft's interests.

* Rosneft just finished feasibility study of three large offshore Venezuelan fields it wants to help develop.

* Loaned a billion to PDVSA last April to be paid back in future production. This was when Venezuela had a large bond payment due; sold discounted bonds to Goldman.

* Opposition rejected a half-billion dollar deal where Rosneft was trying to increase its stake in a Venezuelan gas company.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Aug 5 2017 3:25 utc | 153

better put rosneft on a sanctions list... oh wait - are they already? lol... where is the ex ceo of exxon when you need him for some expert advice???

Posted by: james | Aug 5 2017 16:46 utc | 154

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