Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
September 08, 2018

NYT Reconfirms U.S. Coup Plot In Venezuela - Adds Pro-Coup Propaganda

U.S. rejects claim by Venezuela's Maduro that U.S. envoys engaged in conspiracy - Reuters - May 22 2018

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. State Department said on Tuesday it rejected accusations by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro that two top U.S. diplomats were engaged in what Maduro called a “military conspiracy” or had been meddling in the country’s economic and political issues.

Maduro earlier on Tuesday ordered the expulsion of U.S. charge d’affaires Todd Robinson and another senior diplomat, Brian Naranjo, ordering them to leave Venezuela within 48 hours.

As the saying goes: "Never believe anything in politics until it has been officially denied." The above denial confirmed Nicolas Maduro's claim of U.S. coup attempts against the Venezuelan government. A new report reconfirms the plot and reveals some new details of the still unwritten larger story.

Trump Administration Discussed Coup Plans With Rebel Venezuelan Officers - New York Times - September 8 2018

The Trump administration held secret meetings with rebellious military officers from Venezuela over the last year to discuss their plans to overthrow President Nicolás Maduro, according to American officials and a former Venezuelan military commander who participated in the talks.
The administration initially considered dispatching Juan Cruz, a veteran Central Intelligence Agency official who recently stepped down as the White House’s top Latin America policymaker. But White House lawyers said it would be more prudent to send a career diplomat instead.
After the first meeting, which took place in the fall of 2017, the diplomat reported that the Venezuelans didn’t appear to have a detailed plan and had showed up at the encounter hoping the Americans would offer guidance or ideas, officials said.
The American diplomat then met the coup plotters a third time early this year, but the discussions did not result in a promise of material aid or even a clear signal that Washington endorsed the rebels’ plans, according to the Venezuelan commander and several American officials.
Days later, Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, who has sought to shape the Trump administration’s approach toward Latin America, wrote a series of Twitter posts that encouraged dissident members of the Venezuelan armed forces to topple their commander in chief.

The Venezuelan generals the U.S. diplomat plotted with, are under U.S. sanctions for alleged corruption and drug smuggling. Isn't it illegal to deal with them? The story claims that nothing came from these talks. I see no reason to believe that. One attempt may have failed. But the U.S. surely continues to cultivate such contacts to overthrow the Venezuelan government.

The NYT hack, Ernesto Londoño, also inserts this:

Establishing a clandestine channel with coup plotters in Venezuela was a big gamble for Washington, given its long history of covert intervention across Latin America. Many in the region still deeply resent the United States for backing previous rebellions, coups and plots in countries like Cuba, Nicaragua, Brazil and Chile, and for turning a blind eye to the abuses military regimes committed during the Cold War.

Only Cuba, Nicaragua, Brazil and Chile? It seems that a not-so-small number of other U.S. coups in South America are missing here, even very recent ones. Why is there no mention of the 2009 military coup in Honduras, which the Obama administration and Hillary Clinton avidly supported? And it was only during the Cold War that the U.S. turned a bling eye to torture? What about the ongoing abuses regimes in Latin America currently commit?

Then there is also this nonsense:

Most Latin American leaders agree that Venezuela’s president, Mr. Maduro, is an increasingly authoritarian ruler who has effectively ruined his country’s economy, leading to extreme shortages of food and medicine.

"Most Latin American leaders" obviously means those satraps the U.S. installed and supports. Even then it is doubtful that they say such things. The author just abuses them to introduce a false claim.

It is not Maduro "who has effectively ruined his country’s economy". Illegal U.S. sanctions against Venezuela, imposed under Obama as well as Trump, did and do that.

Max Weisbrot of the Center for Economic and Policy Research explains on BBC (vid) how the U.S. is waging a brutal economic war against Venezuela. It is this war that caused the depression and makes a recovery from the induced hyperinflation nearly impossible. Billions of dollars that Venezuelan owns and needs are frozen in U.S. accounts. U.S. sanctions make it extremely difficult for the country to sell assets or to borrow money:

[W]ith Trump’s executive order, even if Venezuela were to stabilize the exchange rate and return to growth, it would be cut off from borrowing, investment, and proprietary sources of income such as dividend payments from Venezuela-owned but US-based Citgo Petroleum. This makes a sustained recovery nearly impossible without outside help—or a new government that is approved by the Trump administration.

Venezuela is a rich country. It has the biggest known oil reserves on the planet, though much of those are difficult to retrieve.

That is of course the reason why the U.S. wants to install a rightwing proxy government in Venezuela. It is the reason why it wages war  against its people.

China is currently the only country with the necessary capacity and geopolitical standing to support Venezuela. It would the best for the country, and for the world, if China would come to its help.


Posted by b on September 8, 2018 at 15:09 UTC | Permalink

next page »

Man, it just never ends. Is there no place on the planet that these neocon nutjobs aren't eager to destroy? Honestly, do these psychopaths wake up the the morning wondering what people and countries they will wipe out today,which economies they will beggar? I know this neocon psychopathy is all coming to a head, probably in Syria, but for the love of God, just end it already.

Posted by: Casey | Sep 8 2018 15:47 utc | 1

By now it should be cristal clear UZA and Israel think they are the master race, Ther not Ther psychopaths !!!

Posted by: Mark2 | Sep 8 2018 16:19 utc | 2

Thanks to b for exposing another avenue of attempted empire expansion that is being thwarted currently

Your call for China to come to the help of Venezuela is the first I remember reading you encourage China to enter the geo-political fray to this extent. I agree with you and have written such myself in other circumstances. What strikes me now is that China is playing its hand very carefully so as to not look like the outgoing empire.....but they know they are rising and contributory to the muscle "position" against the bluster and bluffing of the West. I believe we will not have a nuclear confrontation between Russia and the US because China is standing behind Russia very clearly.

Interesting times indeed.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Sep 8 2018 16:24 utc | 3

thanks for this overview on venezuela b... it seems if venezuela could just hand over it's oil reserves to exxon, everything would be fine.. it is pretty classy of the usa to work with folks accused of corruption and drug smuggling... when they are thru with this competition, they'll move on to working with others to play a similar role..

i wonder how much of this is about continued maintenance of us$ supremacy? all these sanctions on countries that don't abide by usa's agenda really shines a light back onto just how useful financial sanctions are when the us$ is the gateway to exchange on the world market..

Posted by: james | Sep 8 2018 16:39 utc | 4

Londono;Another Jew?My God.

Posted by: dahoit | Sep 8 2018 16:43 utc | 5

Unfortunately, I don't see Russia and China coming strongly to Venezuela's aid. Russia will offer moral support and technical help with oil extraction but China seems focused on Africa as the US asserts a return to the horrible days of the 1970s and 1980s when it truly ran the show via multiple avenues ranging from direct military intervention to use of Economic Hitman tactics, targeted assassinations, etc. We've seen the governments of Honduras and Brazil overthrown, Ecuador re-occupied through the vehicle of the traitor, Lenin Moreno, betraying the party that got him elected, etc.

Venezuela may have tons of problems but the resolve of the poorer people to stand up for themselves is truly admirable.

Posted by: worldblee | Sep 8 2018 16:46 utc | 6

The anglozionist propaganda war of lies is relentless and found in many places on the internet. For example, the well-known website of Zerohedge has been continually posting articles on Venezuela, blaming "socialism" as the reason its economy suffers so and trying to shame the choices the people there have made politically. They cheer for the "capitalist" (ie: anglozionist, jewish-controlled banking) cause. They never, ever mention the anglozionist sanctions and provocations which have reduced the Venezuelan economy to ruin. Sites like Zerohedge masquerade as alternative news sites but are, in reality, part of the NWO / Deep State apparatchik machine hijacking the narrative of what is really going on.

Posted by: rigol | Sep 8 2018 17:06 utc | 7

China and Russia have billions invested at stake in Venezuela.
They will work through Cuban forces to back the government there.

A coup against Maduro is quite difficult. A civil war, and Colombian army interference is very probable.

The real issue is the nation is being destroyed by the failed policies. The economy is destroyed. A complete rebuild is necessary. And no one, even Russia and China, will put their money into the abyss of failed socialist ideas.

The reality is some new figurehead has to be put in place, the assets of production and services have to be released by government and military (who nationalized them) and then strategic infrastructure can be revived.

The death of socialism in Venezuela is clear. Unless God intervenes, it will remain dead. Disease is next on the agenda. Cholera and other pandemics will soon follow. Venezuela is dying as a country because socialism committed suicide and killed its economy.

Doesn't matter who is to blame. Facts matter.

Posted by: Red Ryder | Sep 8 2018 17:16 utc | 8

@ rigol | 7

Zerohedge has a strong Libertarian orientation, or bias. It does publish legitimate "alternative" news, opinion, and analysis, but readers must take this bias into account.

When Zerohedge discusses geopolitical events, its Libertarian ideology has the effect of extra-strength Stupid Pills on the quality of its analysis. When it comes to Venezuela, Libertarians reduce everything to the trite capitalist myth that "socialism" is a malignant cancer that invariably destroys nations foolish enough to attempt it.

I don't know if you're familiar with Max Keiser, a former Wall Street broker whose "Keiser Report" critiques "markets, scandals, and finance". Max also expresses a Libertarian perspective, and lapses into the same mantra of "the Venezuelan people (foolishly) attempted socialism" when referencing Venezuela's economic difficulties.

I don't necessarily disagree with your conclusion, but the biased analysis you mention may just be a case of Libertarians functioning as Useful Idiots.

Posted by: Ort | Sep 8 2018 17:24 utc | 9

As usual, when USA breaks every law, threat other nations, start wars, not a single western journalists protests, this is the way propaganda function in the western world. Nasty neocon/liberal degenerates.

Posted by: Zanon | Sep 8 2018 17:37 utc | 10

@ Red Ryder who wrote: "The real issue is the nation is being destroyed by the failed policies........And no one, even Russia and China, will put their money into the abyss of failed socialist ideas."

That is some serious propaganda your spouting there. There are those of us that think that the socialism attempted by Venezuela is "failing" because it has been continually attacked by capitalism factions within the country.

I think that China, who has created and executed 13 5-year plans as a "socialist" country would laugh in the face of your "...abyss of failed socialist ideas." comment.....are you sure you are at the right bar?

Posted by: psychohistorian | Sep 8 2018 17:50 utc | 11

The US helped engineer a Venezuela coup in 2002, and the NY Times published a celebratory editorial which it had to backtrack from when the coup was foiled shortly afterwards. Venezuela's biggest crime, in the eyes of the Americans, is its alternative economic program and its threat, in Chomsky's phrase, of a "good example." Chavez and Marduro both are reflexively described as authoritarian dictators, when all they have done is win election after election. The opposition admitted a year ago that they could not win at the ballot box as their political program, to the extent it has ever been articulated, does not hold favour with the people. Opposition tactics have ranged from pouting and foot-stamping, to a failed coup, to more pouting and foot-stamping, on to arson and vandalism, and from there begging the US to invade. Anyone spouting the "failure of socialism" meme doesn't know what they are talking about. Under Chavez, Venezuela made enormous progress uplifting its people, improving the quality of life of the majority. The direct deliberate sabotage of Venezuela's economy by the US, Canada, and their OAS flunkies, is simply shameful and pathetic.

Speaking of failures, the Neo-liberal program endorsed by Macri in Argentina has proved a disaster, as the IMF now moves in to fully ruin that economy as it did twenty years ago. Fool me once.... Step outside the US system and they will ruin you. Embrace the US system and they will ruin you too.

Posted by: jayc | Sep 8 2018 17:54 utc | 12

@11, psychohistorian

Friend, China's rise was built on unfettered State Capitalism and entrepreneurialism, as well as massive Foreign Direct Investment by capitalists, mostly the biggest on Wall Street and in London.

If facts elude you, I won't argue any further.

The failure in Venezuela was stupidity and greed, and incompetence, not theory. The Socialist ideologues used that as cover for their failings. We saw signs of it in Brazil. That's why the Right (and US) put the Socialists in prison.

However, if you follow Socialism in recent decades, it not just fails, it fails spectacularly.
It is a pretty woman with bad spending habits. She always bankrupts her family.

China and Russia have warned Maduro. It's too far gone.

Posted by: Red Ryder | Sep 8 2018 18:10 utc | 13

Just more of the same old stuff:

The empire is a corporate entity, that's what they do, assimilate others resources to acquire business hegemony.

The empire's corporatists will not stop.

Business uber alles..

Posted by: ben | Sep 8 2018 18:14 utc | 14

" Billions of dollars that Venezuelan owns and needs are frozen in U.S. accounts. U.S. sanctions make it extremely difficult for the country to sell assets or to borrow money:"

One would think,,, an intelligent person/nation would not have money anywhere the US can control...

Posted by: ken | Sep 8 2018 18:20 utc | 15

Sounds like Red Ryder is trolling for capitalism. Trying to put lipstick on the capitalist pigs out to rule the world.

Posted by: mike k | Sep 8 2018 18:47 utc | 16

Red Ryder 1:16:06 PM | 8
Why do you come here to repeat the MSM nonsense? Without a shred of real evidence? You're talking rubbish. First of all Venezuela isn't a socialist country, never was. Chavez never laid hand on the capitalistic structures, he only did set up some parallel structures to bypass them in certain cases. He did put PDVSA (the national oil company) under strict state control, but then again, would you say Saudi Arabia is a socialist country?
Usa with the help of its western poodles is doing everything to destroy the Venezuelan economy. It was certainly part of the assassination attack some weeks ago. Yes - the one that never happened according to some MSM.

So please; do not pollute this pages. Do it where you can't do harm because it's a dump anyway.

Posted by: Pnyx | Sep 8 2018 19:00 utc | 17

Venezuela did not nationalize its economy to the extent that it could be truly described as "socialist." The socialist tag was applied for propaganda purposes. Venezuela's crimes were 1) directing resources into health and education programs 2) creating a subsidized program to distribute petroleum products (i.e. heating oil) to less fortunate countries in the region.

Posted by: jayc | Sep 8 2018 19:04 utc | 18

It's not that socialism fails, but it is seen as a major threat to capatilism and so distroyed by eny meens possable !
The list of capatalist' victem countrys is very long. Here in UK the disgusting relentless attack on the left wing is an example.
Eny threat to capatalist pigs at this stage has got my vote !!!

Posted by: Mark2 | Sep 8 2018 19:05 utc | 19

The one topic regarding Venezuela completely being ignored (by most media) is the Thorium dynamic! Do your own research...and then invest accordingly.

Posted by: d'l'oHm | Sep 8 2018 19:19 utc | 20

It is fine to search for who is responsible for the venezuelan mess, but that does not solve the problem. There are hundreds of thousands of venezuelan refugees in Colombia, Peru and Brazil. There is an ongoing food crises in the country (64.3% of people surveyed said they had lost 11 kilograms in 2017, accordingly to El Pais, but Maduro and several of his generals still look quite fat in recent photos). People are dying due to a lack of medicine, and that usually hits harder the old and the young. These problems can not be laid out at the USA feet, as internal production should have been sufficient. In other words, the USA might be wrong, but that does not make the venezuelan government any good.

Posted by: Alves | Sep 8 2018 19:27 utc | 21

i'm with red ryder for the most part... fwiw and i definitely ain't trolling for capitalism.. neither is rr..

Posted by: james | Sep 8 2018 19:38 utc | 22

China helps Venezuela to pump oil and the gloves are off in what has to now been the hidden and unnamed war between US and China.
Interesting times indeed. Perhaps soon.

Posted by: mdroy | Sep 8 2018 20:04 utc | 23

@ Posted by: james | Sep 8, 2018 3:38:23 PM | 22

So, what you're saying is that, from all the countries in Latin America, it is exactly the one with lots of oil that adopeted a "failed socialist policy" and is thus enduring an economic crisis? What a convenience! It seems the Gods are always favoring the US Military!

It raises us the old dilemma: is the country not pleasuring the USA because it is socialist, or is it socialist because it is not pleasuring the USA?

@ Posted by: Alves | Sep 8, 2018 3:27:42 PM | 21

All of your alleged "facts" are fake news, and are already debunked. There is not a mass immigration from Venezeula. There is no mass famine in Venezuela. I defy you to present me a picture with the 400,000+ Venezuelans the Brazilian MSM states are crossing Roraima. Up to now, I've only seen one video -- where a bunch of Brazilians are destroying some 5-10 tents with 40 Venezuelans tops, in what seems to be the Venezuelan side of the border.

Posted by: vk | Sep 8 2018 20:14 utc | 24

Nah ! I'm not buying that rubbish ! Pretty women/ bad spending habits tosh ! That's pure capatilist propergander. Who butters your bread ?
Socialism is like good farming the good land gives you a profit, you plough some back in to care for future years/ generations ! Immoral capatilism rapes and plunders the land. Distroys it, abuses the slaves that do the graft. Steals nabours crops murders and distroys ! Awake up open your eyes.

Posted by: Mark2 | Sep 8 2018 20:23 utc | 25

Not that I know anything about the situation in Venezuela, but Chavez did better than Maduro, under the same American pressure. Are we to suppose that the US saw their chance, when Maduro came to power, and ratcheted up the attacks, when they saw a president they perceived as weaker?

Posted by: Laguerre | Sep 8 2018 20:29 utc | 26

Compared to Chavez, Marduro is a mediocre leader. But US pressure is far more acute over recent years and the price of oil crashed as well.

Claims of mass migration into neighbouring countries fall apart on analysis. They are the equivalent of the overstated numbers the UN applies to Syria.

Posted by: jayc | Sep 8 2018 20:40 utc | 27

Obviously Maduro and company don't know much about international trade and currency management. The single greatest cause of Venezuela’s crisis is the government’s mismanagement of its currency. The problem stems from the coexistence of three different exchange rates, and the gulf between the lower of two official rates and the black market rate. They should have re-established a free float which would immediately end one of the major incentives for corruption, and would have quickly lead to an easing of scarcities, a rise in imports, and increased production. Why didn't Maduro or Chavez do this? Perhaps to keep the military officials who are benefiting from the corruption happy (so they don't heed opposition calls for a coup?) and keep import businesses happy. Those entities get provided dollars by the government at the lower official rate. These businesses and officials often trade these dollars on the black market in order to make obscene profits.

And its interesting that US diplomats are meeting with military officials under sanctions for drug trafficking and corruption. The thing is, the US's local agents, the upper class comparador elite that ran the country for over 150 years, and were subservient to first London banking interests and then fully under US control after the 1890's, are just too weak.

So without local agents, you need an army to invade. The other countries in the region have already voiced their displeasure with a US military invasion. And the pro-American elements of the army are outnumbered by the revolutionaries installed by Chavez. So, if/when Maduro is overthrown, the counter coup will be viscous, bloody and you'll probably have an even more anti-US government.

You see the collapse of the rule of law and criminal gangs around Venezuela which is paralyzing the police. However, Maduro isn't a guy who has killed tens of thousands in a purge of his opponents. He doesn't like conflict and killing. But what's destructive is he is naive and utterly clueless about economics, currency management, and international trade.

But one thing we have to remember its not just about a coup. The financial sanctions have had a big impact on Venezuela as well. 95% of Venezuela’s export revenue comes from oil sold by the state-owned oil company. Cutting off the government’s access to dollars has left the economy without the hard currency needed to pay for imports of food and medicine. Starving the Venezuelan economy of its foreign currency earnings has turned this into a full-blown humanitarian catastrophe.

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

So, for example, CITGO is not allowed to send a lot of money back to Venezuela. But even more importantly, they can’t borrow. So, they spent billions of dollars last year paying off loans. The government is paying off loans because they can’t borrow. And the sanctions actually prevents them from borrowing from the U.S. financial system or anything that goes through the U.S. financial system. And the financial institutions are very conservative about this, so even though there’s allowances for a certain kind of trade credits or loans that could be used to get food or medicine, they’ll cut that because they don’t want to get fined by the U.S. government.

If they want to restructure their debt, which would be a very big part of getting out of the depression and hyperinflation that they have right now, they can’t do that under the embargo either. They are trying to strangle the economy, and they’re trying to overthrow the government.

For those talking about socialism. The private sector, not the state (and still less the social economy), controls the overwhelming majority of economic activity (70%). There's also historically been and even in recent times hoarding of food and basic goods (e.g. toilet paper, toothpaste, flour, etc.) by private producers opposed to the government, to deliberately manufacture scarcities and generate popular opposition. Then you have the gross incompetence of the government headed by a man who knows nothing about managing an economy or currency. Plus, the corruption. The currency crisis goes to terrible management not on what type of ideology government is there.

Posted by: Faazzla | Sep 8 2018 20:41 utc | 28

The USA is an insatiable leach. Hypocrisy, lies, arrogance, bully, manipulation, violence, this the real USA's face. Iran is right: the USA is the manifestation of EVIL.

Posted by: Virgile | Sep 8 2018 20:46 utc | 29

@24 vk... the usa-cia has been stirring up shit in latin america since day one.. and they are still at it too, of that we can agree on.. however, i think some of the l.a leadership has been corrupt and corrupted too.. i definitely side with maduro here, but that doesn't change the f'd up place venezuala finds itself here, with no small thanks to the usa.. i hope things work out for venezuela, but given everything, it doesn't seem promising.. the right wing usa okayed leadership in columbia and some of the other countries can't be helping here, but a certain amount of responsibility has to fall on venezuelas leadership here as well as i see it..

i have a close friend who has family in venezuela.. i can't say i appreciate the situation first hand and i wouldn't blame this on socialism, just the way venezuelas leadership has moved forward here hasn't helped.. all as i see it.. regardless - what is the way forward for venezuela here? it isn't obvious but i do not follow or believe what the msm says on any of it.. in fact, i don't follow the msm..

Posted by: james | Sep 8 2018 20:47 utc | 30

These so-called uber "capitalist" are nothing of the sort. They actually love and most enthusiastically promote hyper "socialism" as long as it's ONLY applied to the upper few percent, as in: massive tax breaks, periodic government sponsored "bailouts" and other pro-oligarchy promoting enrichments that have helped to make these elites richer than the bottom
95% of the rest of the 'rabble' population.

In truth, capitalism is an unmitigated disaster for the majority of the planets nearly 8 billion souls: not to mention everything else that has collapsed, or is collapsing (the the atmosphere) in the last century and a half due to this incurable human flaw; the sickness of suffering from the incurable disease of "not ever enoughness.

What really riles the socialism for the few crowd is when anyone, anywhere attempts to try and extend some of these artificial capitalist support systems towards 'the masses' and all hell breaks loose. We can't have those uppity peasant Venezuelans remotely competing for the spoils with the true entitled elites. God forbid!

Posted by: time2wakeupnow | Sep 8 2018 20:49 utc | 31

@28 faazzia.. thanks for that, especially the last part..

Posted by: james | Sep 8 2018 20:52 utc | 32

So, Let me get this straight. THe USA is sanctioning Venezuela effectively ruining the economy because the Government is socialist and is ruining the economy.
What a load of bullshit.
The USA is acting in the interests of its own corporates as it has done and is doing throughout the world.
The problem is not socialism it is the fascist United states of America.

Posted by: Ike | Sep 8 2018 21:01 utc | 33

Red Ryder @ 8:

Shilling for forcibly deposing Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, are we, when you say a new figurehead must be put into place in Venezuela to save the country from ... its own citizens who consistently vote for Maduro and before him voted for Chavez?

How do you propose "releasing" the national assets and productive sources? Are you proposing that these be privatised so that the wealthy minority in Venezuela and foreign governments and companies can buy them? Are these potential owners going to be interested in investing in infrastructure that benefits the Venezuelan people and not themselves?

The facts that matter are that in every country where neoliberal economic programs have been applied, starting with Chile in 1973 under Augusto Pinochet, the population has become more impoverished (and subjected to police state rule); wealth becomes more concentrated within a small elite who then sell national assets to overseas governments and corporations and funnel the profits into offshore tax havens; the financial sector in a national economy becomes unstable and is subject to regular banking crises, encouraging investors to flee elsewhere or engage in real estate speculation which distorts the financial sector even more; and the economy shrinks and deteriorates for lack of government investment in infrastructure, healthcare, education and other essential social services, the population's inability to save (because of impoverishment) and capital flight overseas.

Did Chile ever become a major economic power in its region under Pinochet's neoliberal policies? Pinochet's economic legacy to that country included a banking crash in 1981 and his theft of US$4 - 8 million which he tucked away in accounts at a Washington DC bank (Riggs Bank).

Posted by: Jen | Sep 8 2018 21:02 utc | 34

I won't join in the clash of ideologies on socialism vs capitalism.

I will say that Venezuela is an acute case of bad governance. And the poor and working class truly are screwed.
That the US and capitalists from the "capitalist" countries are exploiting the blunders and the social mess is pro forma. Nothing new.

What is truly sad is the investment loans by China and Russia were pissed away, too.

Perhaps, Chavez might have avoided this worst case scenario. I thought long ago he was more like Ghadaffi's Green Movement which certainly achieved great social equity by using the nation's oil wealth for basic services. He also invested in other African nations. But he made himself and Libya a target.

Brazil certainly looked like a real economic engine but corruption had crashed that dream.

What we see in most of these histories is "human weakness, frailty of morals". Corruption is ever present and, if greed doesn't soil the system, corruption does.

Bezos is making $11 million an hour for himself. Sounds like a cancer that will consume Amazon in the future.
The disease is eternal, as is stupidity. When they combine, great suffering occurs.

Posted by: Red Ryder | Sep 8 2018 21:03 utc | 35

Let's draw a direct comparison !
UZA present position towards Venezuela is the same as---
The violent wife beating husband, who says--- 'she made me hit her!' Were better than that are'nt we?
Venezuela has been a victem of the west for generations. As has most of the world. Eny other statement is just victim blaming, psyclolical rationalisation ! We're in the gutter in the west, we need to reset our own morals before we victem blame .

Posted by: Mark2 | Sep 8 2018 21:10 utc | 36

Faazzla @ 28:

Thanks for the background information to the crisis in Venezuela.

I had read on Telesur and some other sites in the past that Venezuelan importers were indeed hoarding imported goods to deliberately create shortages, and that they were taking advantage of government-regulated exchange rates to buy imports cheaply and then sell them to the public at inflated black market prices. Or something like that.

Isn't part of Venezuela's economic mismanagement though the fact that even before Chavez the country was heavily reliant on oil exports for foreign currency to buy imports of what it needed? When Chavez first became President, he must have inherited an economy that was already heavily skewed towards one dominant product and a political system with institutions, individuals, families and their allies hostile to him and his agenda.

Nicolas Maduro and his government may not know much about economics and international trade but other governments led by leaders with more qualifications than he (he is a former bus driver, isn't he?) have not done much better.

Posted by: Jen | Sep 8 2018 21:22 utc | 37

At this stage, I need to say ! Red Ryder is one of thee most valued and trusted commentators on this site ! And speaking personally that won't change ! But just as a close family can have a good ole healthy row ! And yes enjoy it !! We should be able to do the same here ! So go Red Ryder enjoy ya selve! An share a pint after !

Posted by: Mark2 | Sep 8 2018 21:25 utc | 38

@ Red Ryder who perhaps agrees with my one note Samba of eliminating private finance and its associated incentives which I posit cause the bad that you call out

The incentives to interact with each other "economically" continue to be corrupted against sharing of any sort and idealize profit, greed and usurious investments.

There is no socialism, capitalism or communism. There is only our world of nations where finance is privately owned and those nations trying something else to one degree or another. The private finance focus on controlling all global finance is an obvious Darwinian mono culture dead end, IMO.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Sep 8 2018 21:26 utc | 39

It seems that with Venezuela, you either have to be 100% sure that its failings are the result of US meddling or 100% sure that socialism is destroying Venezuela. I don't know enough to come to any final conclusion but I will say kudos to Maduro who recently said that Venezuela must man up and take responsibility for their own failings. Good for's a start. Interesting times ahead...still.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Sep 8 2018 21:26 utc | 40

From U.S. Army Special Forces Unconventional Warfare Training Manual November 2010:

"The intent of U.S. UW efforts is to exploit a hostile power’s political, military, economic, and psychological vulnerabilities by developing and sustaining resistance forces to accomplish U.S. strategic objectives."

Posted by: Lochearn | Sep 8 2018 21:32 utc | 41

The sanctions on Venezuela are deplorable and without any real justification. All some people on this thread are trying to do is pave the way for an acceptance of a coup or invasion (or both) against Venezuela.

The people have voted time and time again for the Bolivarian Government. What right does anyone else have to interfere, to impose sanctions, to undermine and overthrow the government, to condemn the people of Venezuela to a dictatorship, and years and years of violence? There is no such right, it is just an attack against the sovereignty of Venezuela.

Remove the sanctions and just let the Venezuelan people develop their own democracy without interference.

Posted by: ADKC | Sep 8 2018 21:34 utc | 42

@28 Fazzala

Bang. Best comment on the thread by a country mile. Thank you so much!

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Sep 8 2018 21:41 utc | 43

People seem completely unaware of the current attitude of the average American in the belly of the beast at this point in time. There is no support for interventions, period, let alone for those in shitholes (emphasis: irony) in South America. Iraq and Afghanistan have done untold damage to popular consent for willy nilly military confrontation. TPTB will have to settle for covert OPS and arming jihadists. Are there any in Caracas? I don't think so. Luckily Venezuela isn't as complicated as Turkey.

So, people...Uncle Sam isn't coming to come ashore anytime soon. This is all pressure point application. Venezuela should be able to weather this. Figure it out, Maduro.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Sep 8 2018 21:52 utc | 44

#6 worldblee

"Venezuela may have tons of problems but the resolve of the poorer people to stand up for themselves is truly admirable."

hear hear!!

of course the old dog of US Imperialism and interventionism knows a lot of old tricks - economic strategies (sanctions, propaganda, twisting arms via economic sticks and carrots, etc) have become quite popular with the US in recent decades, soft power they often call it, and when those don't work, a la Iran, the US either bombs or invades and occupies, or sends in the jihadists or coup makers

Posted by: michaelj72 | Sep 8 2018 22:06 utc | 45

In the good old day's if a weak country had troubles, did'nt we used to fly in some aid. Cut'm some slack with the debt .' take out ' a few criminals for them and every one was happy ! They were a freand for life.
Nowadays ? The yearly defence budget UZA 700,000,000,000 and you know I can't think of a single threat or enemy ! Not one. Pinch me and I may wake up !

Posted by: Mark2 | Sep 8 2018 22:07 utc | 46

@b - thanks for caring about and reporting on Venezuela

@28 Faazzla - thanks for all that background, it was very useful and will not be wasted among readers here

@44 NemesisCalling - that's very hope-filled, thank you. I'm rooting for Venezuela and its people - of course, we all are. As you say, "Figure it out, Maduro."

@35 Red Ryder - fwiw, I agree with those who remember that yours has been a strong voice for good in numerous threads here.

@james - I've become jamesian in my commenting :P - I promise to share any royalties that may accrue!

Posted by: Grieved | Sep 8 2018 22:25 utc | 47

@39, psychohistorian,

Agree with you on finance comment. They are evil f*cks. Paul Singer crashed Argentina all by himself.
Now, if you look closely, they are really "tossing" China.

Absolutely, time for the new multipolar work of investment and finance develop rules which controls predation.

@38, Mark2,

Thank you for your kind remarks.

Posted by: Red Ryder | Sep 8 2018 22:38 utc | 48

Sorry to say this, but China isn't coming to the rescue.   Just look at what they are doing in Africa and all the infrastructure they are building to support their Navy.   At best China and Russia can do is support them politically, and maybe financially.

The Americas have been the US playground for decades.   We all know the alphabet agencies is involved in Venezuela in some way.   But, we cannot dismiss the possibility of Maduro and his administration incompetence.   Blaming Socialism for Venezuela's problems is laziness.

Posted by: Ian | Sep 8 2018 22:39 utc | 49

As to socialism...

I know I keep citing Ramin Mazaheri, but he's one of the few western people I know who are actually examining how socialism and socialist ideas are currently working in this real world that we inhabit today. His articles at the Saker that have examined the socialist revolutionary nation of China, and the socialist revolutionary nation of Iran, and the socialist revolutionary nation of Cuba, all show extremely robust political systems that seek to elevate the well being of the lower class.

As a result, the "masses" support the government, which makes foreign interventionism very difficult. This makes socialism the absolute enemy of predatory capitalism, as well as being the only real adversary and antidote to it.

It almost seems that it takes a revolution to overthrow the ownership of property by the rentier class, and that it takes an ingenious system to keep the revolution alive to maintain such a condition. Along the way, in each country mentioned and perhaps in Venezuela also, the ideas of socialism are adapted within each nation's system of governance and social and economic organization.

So, socialism is alive and being experimented with, and showing us ways to live as nations. It is a thing to study and to draw skills from. It offers us a real, life-saving alternative to the hegemony of empires. Lifting the poor up to a middle class - which Iran, for example has done by evolving a single-digit middle class into one now comprising 35% of its society (according to Mazaheri) - is one of the best things that can be done in any society, in my view.


Capitalism, so-called, is shit. The rich become rich by stealing from the poor. The poor become poor by having their natural wealth stolen from them by the rich. All wars have always been, and continue to be, variants of the rich committing violence against the poor.

Among the poor are always many brilliant minds, but generally the rich own the means of broadcast - we here see this all the time, in everything we discuss. And so, most of the prevailing memes and paradigms are designed to blame the poor for their own loss by theft.

Posted by: Grieved | Sep 8 2018 22:40 utc | 50

The US and its lackeys apply /honor sanctions on every socialist state, and when the economy of such states suffer by restrictions on trade/finance/travel with the richest economies of the world that control much of the world natural resources and capital, they declare that socialism is to blame and not the sanctions.

Posted by: Pft | Sep 8 2018 22:52 utc | 51

Mark2: you can't think of a single threat because of the diabolically effective social network activity of dark forces. But threats are there.

For example, rapidly decreasing part of American population can get anywhere without the help of GPS. Shut down geolocation satellites and workers will not reach their offices, stores and factories, consumers will not be able to find their stores, on-line orders will get lost as UPS drivers will get lost too. Collapse of the economy and starvation. But is our network of geolocation satellites secure?

Apparently, not. Several years ago, a small object on orbit that was hitherto believed to be a fragment of a destroyed old Russian satellite "executed a complex series of maneuvers. Subsequently it was projected that Russia can place a fleet of such small objects on orbit that on a cue can swarm and disable American satellites. This is one of the challenges of Cosmic Forces that we badly need.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Sep 8 2018 22:57 utc | 52

@ Posted by: james | Sep 8, 2018 4:47:10 PM | 30

Except that wasn't what "Red Ryder" (8) said. He specifically said that all of Venezuela's woes come from the fact that Maduro allegedly nationalised private property. This is doubly false, because 1) he didn't do it and 2) even if he had, nationalisation of property doesn't cause economic collapse.

To add insult to injury, he equates the USA to "God" ("Unless God intervenes, it will remain dead"). This is typical (Latin American) right-wing vocabulary. He may fool some mundane commenters from the MSM, but he won't fool me: I can identify what ideology you belong just with a phrase you say, so don't waste your time.

however, i think some of the l.a leadership has been corrupt and corrupted too..

Well, and what's the news on that? Are you implying the socialists invented corruption in Latin America? The question remains: why does the USA, from all the very corrupt Latin American countries, chose Venezuela -- the only non-corrupt (alongside Cuba) to invade? An analogy: why, from all the extremist Muslim countries in the ME, the USA chose to invade the only secular (Syria) regime left? The USA, obviously, doesn't care about ending corruption or extremism, let alone promote "democracy".

All I can say (and I too, have many people in Venezuela) is that there is not systemic corruption in the Bolivarian government. Until now, no accusations with proof arose, and there won't be any, because there isn't and there wasn't.


About the whole climate on the comments here.

I really don't see the enigma many here are trying to solve: Venezuela was always a very poor country governed by very corrupt elites. That's why the Bolivarian Revolution happened in the first place. That doesn't mean the Revolution promised to deliver an Eden from day 1, just to make people's lives better. And that happened: Venezuela now has, for the first time ever: a pension system, universal basic education, a directly elected judiciary, and a minimum wage policy.

Yes, the multiple currencies system is bad, but it is a symptom, not the cause, of the inflationary crisis in Venezuela. Venezuela is in a civil war, where the right-wing, who controls commerce and grains production, is besieging its own people, fuelling up black market, which fuels up inflation.

Posted by: vk | Sep 8 2018 23:02 utc | 53

Red Ryder that pint reference, came from a story you told us about haveing a row and a pint with a close freand ! So consider the thousands of comments since then and yet what you said then sunk in !!! This site is worth our effort. quite pubs are boring as hell !

Posted by: Mark2 | Sep 8 2018 23:03 utc | 54

Piotr Borman @ 51
Interesting challenge to my simplistic theory so thanks, but surely the scenario you give is the crazy end product of a needless and insanely expensive 'arms race' benefiting neither side ! And when you think it all started with wooden clubs ! Madness. Far cheaper to make good freands and not enemy's .

Posted by: Mark2 | Sep 8 2018 23:23 utc | 55

"The failure in Venezuela was stupidity and greed, and incompetence, not theory. The Socialist ideologues used that as cover for their failings. We saw signs of it in Brazil. That's why the Right (and US) put the Socialists in prison.
"However, if you follow Socialism in recent decades, it not just fails, it fails spectacularly.
"It is a pretty woman with bad spending habits. She always bankrupts her family.
China and Russia have warned Maduro. It's too far gone."

Venezuela's current problems stem entirely from the economic war being waged against it by the United States and its empire's satellites.
b makes this clear enough. Surprisingly it has been the signal for posters who, I suspect, know almost nothing about the matter, to switch the blame from the imperialists to 'socialism'.
So if the US does, together with its fascist allies in Colombia and Brazil, succeed in paying assassins to carry out a coup. And the Venezuelan people are subordinated to the rule of a tyrannical oligarchy they will not be able to blame the imperialists -the blame will be entirely their own for electing a socialist government.
Thanks for that insight RedRyder- (what are you smoking?). And thanks too, James for seconding the insight. No doubt the Chileans also deserved Pinochet. And Hondurans should count themselves lucky that the socialist candidate in their election, last year, was cheated. And thanks too to the neo-Nazis in Ukraine for keeping the socialists at bay, even to the extent of burning a house full of them in Odessa.

Socialism is a very simple idea, it seeks to restore the property which we all have in the world to its rightful owners. In the immediate term- as in Venezuela- it seeks to ensure that all are well nourished, housed and clothed, have access to healthcare and pensions when they can no longer work. To assist in ensuring these things its constitution insists on free and fair elections for all positions of political power. It is not these things which have wrecked the economy but the use of economic weapons by the United States, in alliance with the old mestizo oligarchy who have stolen everything in the country, to prevent Venezuela from instituting policies which are everywhere popular.
In Brazil they prevent the popular reformer from running for election. In Haiti they twice removed the popular election winning President from the country. Similar stories can be told of almost every Latin American country- reformers are removed from office or cheated in elections.
What is new is to be told that Socialism is to blame. Most of the world has known for a long time that the villain is imperialism and that what it is doing is criminal.
There is a word for people who side with the Pinochets, Kissingers and Pentagon against the poor people of Latin America-'scum'.

Posted by: bevin | Sep 8 2018 23:34 utc | 56

Temer in Brazil got caught red-handed in a bribery scheme..
Macri in Argentina is bringing the country on the brink of the 2002 crisis..
Lopez is a cheater taking Ecuador out of the Bolivarian movement..

Yes bevin, scum is right..

Posted by: Lozion | Sep 9 2018 0:05 utc | 57

Typo---Pitor Berman @ 51 apologies my smart phone changed my correct spelling to incorrect !

Posted by: Mark2 | Sep 9 2018 0:09 utc | 58


Agreed. I would add as a villian neoliberalism. Socialism seeks to reduce but not eliminate inequality among the classes and provide the basics for all, and does not exclude capitalism in the interests of all. Neoliberalism seeks to enrich the elites at the expense of the lower classes. Monopoly capitalism is favored to exploit the lower classes by removing competition and higher prices enrich the elite class . It does not exclude socialism , but mostly for corporations and the rich. There is no desire to provide the basics to all as personal bankruptcy over health care and education is a perfect mechanism of seizing the lower classes assets and savings. There is some socialism for the poorest of the poor since this class has the least to lose and is most prone to violence

Posted by: Pft | Sep 9 2018 0:49 utc | 59

And I also agree with your point Pft.

But, but, but....isn't our country nuthin' but a wholly "Capitalist" and that's just the way it is?

Posted by: TIME2WAKEUPNOW | Sep 9 2018 1:01 utc | 60

@ bevin with the good summary of Latin American rape by empire...thanks,

I want to go back and comment about those that support the comment by Faazzla that it is just bad currency management by Maduro and his cohorts instead of predatory financialism where the privately owned BIS plays center stage to currency manipulations for empire speaks volumes of your intention on this venue.....does it pay more than 30 pieces of silver?

Global private finance is a religion that all of the Western world are forced to belong to. To the extent you extoll its virtues seems to represent the elitism common to monotheistic religions......I have written repeatedly that the since the not-quite-finished Enlightenment period the monotheistic religions consorted with the-ring-to-bind-them-all one, the God of Mammon (private finance) to insure each others continued relevance/control/power. We have evolved as a species of reason in many ways but the most important for continuation of our species, diversity in culture that is being killed by the followers of the monotheistic gods.

If we are to evolve we need to put reason above faith. It can be made that simple.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Sep 9 2018 1:20 utc | 62

The NYT article leaves me with more questions than answers.

I take it as a given that when the NYT prints an important article on foreign affairs that the CIA has approved the content and may even have requested that the NYT print the article for their own particular reasons.

Having said that, why would the CIA want details of failed Venezuelan coups brought to light? And on a related note, why would the CIA want particular coups, i.e. Cuba, Nicaragua, Brazil and Chile, highlighted when there are so many to choose from?

Another constraint on our possible solutions is the apparent fact that the CIA hates Trump.

Here are some answers to the above questions that satisfy the above constraints. (I have not read all the comments yet and apologize in advance if I am being redundant.)

One. The failed Venezuelan coups were NOT managed by the CIA but by an unnamed “career diplomat” selected by the Trump administration. Exposing such failures embarrasses Trump and the amateurs in the State Dept, assuming that the unnamed career diplomat was a State Dept employee.

Two. Exposing other corrupt drug-running officials means that the CIA has diverted attention from other corrupt drug-running officials and reduced the competition…

Three. The four interventions that were mentioned (Cuba, Nicaragua, Brazil and Chile) may be the ones that have already been acknowledged by the NYT as having been US interventions. Many of the others may be still publicly unacknowledged.

Four. The CIA, via the NYT article, is still saying that a Venezuelan military coup would be a good idea, just not one run by Trump amateurs. If you want a coup done right, who you gonna call?

Then again, maybe I’m being too cynical…

Posted by: TheBAG | Sep 9 2018 1:35 utc | 63

Here's the problem, the US has spent DECADES entrenching its power abroad, a LOT of time and a lot of money over time. For anyone to make a dent in the US power stanglehold abroad it would take a LOT of instant money which is more financially detrimental to a nation than money over time accumulating to a LOT. The US knows this, the world governments know this, and a good deal of the world governments who would like to see the battle conducted the only way it really can be - on US soil, are held in check by occupying US military forces.

Russia and China have the means to bring the battle to the US but it would be costly to both sides in both finances as well as manpower. Add to that the fact that any large scale military attack would take days or even weeks to mobilize on US soil, and in that time the US will have more than enough warning to take shots at an invading military before they even got close....

so the war would have to be a financial one that the US couldn't easily sway... and that is currently underway - between the "trade wars", BRICS, and the slow abandonment of the USD abroad as exchange currency as well as all the debt these countries bought... the FED (the buyer of last resort) can just say, no, we arent buying it and leave those trying to cash in stranded with all that lost investment while the US laughs.

Posted by: Wiserthenone | Sep 9 2018 1:38 utc | 64


Nothing is 100%. Also there is good capitalism (competitive capitalism regulated by state in the interests of general welfare) and bad capitalism (monopoly/cartel capitalism where capitalists control the state and regulation is designed inhibit competition to promote the welfare of the elites). There is good and bad socialism as well, socialism for that benefits the needy and socialism that benefits the elite corporate class

So yes, we are bad capitalists, and bad socialist. Thats neoliberalism

The good kind existed in the 50's and 60's coming to an end with the fall of Bretton Woods and Nixon and the rise of offshore Tax Havens , and capitulation to the Neoliberal crowd backed by the Israeli Lobby.

The end result was an infinite number of dollars to be used to fund imperialism and globalism and destabilize or neoliberalize Europe, Middle East, Eurasia, Latin America and Africa. Soviet and Chinese elites seeing the benefits of neoliberalism and free trade to western elites jumped on the band wagon and left behind their socialism (all but in name in China). Russia and the FSU resources were looted fueling asset bubbles in the west via dollars funnelled through the Western sanctioned tax havens, while western corporations fled to china to manufacture goods and crush their working class by replacing good paying jobs with easy credit to sustain their living standards , after which they were crushed with debt, with living standards and life expectancy all now in decline despite the fraudulent economic statistics attempts to mask this.

Posted by: Pft | Sep 9 2018 1:57 utc | 65


I believe that one of the comments above encapsulates these kinds of misnomer labeling: Capitalism, Socialism..etc. They are just that: Labels.

Globally, the majority of our species do mostly greatly suffer from a much more pervasive and hopelessly (as of now)immutable entity that is much more than a simple label: Oligarchy

Posted by: Time2wakeupnow | Sep 9 2018 2:38 utc | 66

@9 Ort
Even if you don't see socialism as a deeply flawed system, it's possible to suffer from an incompetent leadership, and Maduro fits that bill. He keeps doubling down and increasing central control over an already suffocating economy. Russia could teach him a thing or two about a having a reasonably well-run mixed economy that not only protects local interests but can withstand and even draw strength from America's economic pressure.

Posted by: Fidelios Automata | Sep 9 2018 2:40 utc | 67

@49 Ian
I appreciate your statement that Venezuela's problems are as simple as the explanations on left and right. Surely Maduro most share some of the blame. It's the first refuge of a bad leader to blame foreign subversion. Even the likely reality of that subversion doesn't prove the leader knows what he's doing.

Posted by: Fidelios Automata | Sep 9 2018 2:48 utc | 68

This is all because of Donald Trump.

Impeach Trump.

Down with the Mossad.
Down with the ultra right wind ussurpers controlled by the Mossad in Germany and the Balkans.
Down with the jewish plan for the Balkans.
Down with greater israel project.
Jews get off Iraq.
Jews get off Syria.
Jews get off Greece.
Jews get off Turkey.

Say no to the Mossad and their local sayanim enablers.

Posted by: Greece | Sep 9 2018 3:05 utc | 69

@61 psycho

You boil everything down to a simple binary solution. Fazzla attempted to go a step beyond and itemize possible problems with the socialist Venezuelan state as it stands. Your finance conclusion is the best of all possible worlds, perhaps, but until it takes gotta deal with the wolves at your door.

You know there is such a thing as constructive criticism. Maduro would be wise to consider options, without yielding to IMF/World Bank predatory schemes of course.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Sep 9 2018 3:20 utc | 70

TB @ 62 said in part:"Another constraint on our possible solutions is the apparent fact that the CIA hates Trump."

I don't think so, but you must. OK, everyone gets an opinion.

If the CIA hated DJT, as you say, they would just assassinate him. These folks obviously don't hate him or fear him. All these people are working together to change the U$A, and it's not for the betterment of " We The People". It's all about enriching the already rich.

Yes, I know, the fantasy that DJT is being opposed by the "Deep State", is on everyone lips, but it's BS distraction. The deep state is nothing more than it ever was, a consortium of the wealthy elites, who are rich enough to buy and sell loyalty to their perverted causes. DJT, I'm thinking is just the latest "front man" for their avarice induced wet dreams..

Posted by: ben | Sep 9 2018 4:42 utc | 71

Good article explaining whats happening in Venezuela. Basically economic war by Venzuelas white oligarch elites against the majority supported socialist government and people Sabotage of the economy with US support to return to the good old days before 1998 when poverty and malnutrition were far worse than today.

Posted by: Pft | Sep 9 2018 5:00 utc | 72

@ NemesisCalling who I have communicated with on other threads enough to know as a faith breather who may be offended by my previous comment

Yes, NemesisCalling, I continue to try and provide my version of cultural anthropological perspective to our world events and you take offense because I keep going back to societal unfinished business which faith breathers don't want to discuss in a balanced public forum (MoA as an exception, thanks b).

The original motto/vision of the US is E Pluribus Unum (Out of Many, One) which I equate to a reason based one when compared to what TPTB manipulated it to be in the early 1950's..... under the aegis of fighting godless communism.....In God We Trust...dare I say a blatant paean to faith.

So yes, I think that binary solutions, as you call them, are sometimes the clearest picture of the social dynamics at breathers have spent centuries fighting against reason and getting the US motto changed represents one of the watershed success events of faith breathers by breaking the founding fathers vision and reality of separation of church and state.

But the struggle goes on. The devils pact of the monotheistic religions and the God of Mammon is a path to extinction I hope humanity deprecates by opening to other models than the private finance one we know so little of but feel so strongly in our lives.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Sep 9 2018 5:15 utc | 73

Pft @ 71: Thanks for the article and the link. Just another example of the wealthy turning the screws on the populace to induce chaos. Not a new and unusual tactic. They, the elites of Venezuela, own most of the wealth, and they intend to keep it that way.

Posted by: ben | Sep 9 2018 5:16 utc | 74

@ 72: Great post!!

Posted by: ben | Sep 9 2018 5:19 utc | 75

@71 pft

Basically you are saying that any form of gov't has absolutely no say in the governance of its country, even nationalized ones.

You have popular support and you let the oligarchs win. This only happens if you are too stupid or naive in governance. I thought they were all in on the revolution, so wouldn't they curtail the ability of the oligarchs to undermine them?

Luckily it isn't too late for Maduro but his tactics wil appear even more brutal to his detractors. He's one step behind. Simple as that.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Sep 9 2018 5:19 utc | 76

@72 psycho

I am done with you brah. The current ills of humanity involve the intersection of modernism and technology, not neo-platonism which is what current iterations of religion boil down to. Governments and their wielding of aspiritual technology has brought us to the brink. Unfettered rationalism is 10x the killer that religion has been. I am sorry you will fester on with your unexamined hatred with that which has brought untold comfort to those which before were left to worship kings as gods in the Orient. Carry on with your good intentions.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Sep 9 2018 5:28 utc | 77


I guess the situation is similar in part to Putin who inherited his own neoliberal oligarchs. The main difference is Putin was a former KGB intelligence officer had support of a well established and efficient intelligence agency so was able to kick out a few of the most corrupt oligarchs as example for the rest. Even so Putin knew if he waged an all out war on the oligarchs that blood would spill and wanted to avoid that. Russia was also self reliant in energy and food, something Venezuela was not, and ran current account surpluses instead of deficits even when oil prices dropped. Russia was also independent in oil production/refining technology whereas Venezuela was and is still dependant on foreign companies. They must import light crude oil from US and is unable to extract its own light crude reserves. So Madura could try and wage war on the oligarchs. But blood would be spilled and he knows that would give the US the excuse its looking for to intervene

Its easy to call them stupid but Chavez nor Madura are /were heads of a Democracy and not dictators . Passive economic sabotage is hard to prosecute in a Democracy. An opposition media is hard to shut down when your constitution allows freedom of expression.

Posted by: Pft | Sep 9 2018 7:41 utc | 78

I am with Red Ryder too, he is one of the best. But on this issue jayce is the closest. If Venezuela wants to be socialist what right do we have to criticize? Everything else are the usual US crimes. US sanctions and pressure or socialism are chicken and egg. Red Ryder, does every US victim have to be a saint to be a victim?

Posted by: Kiza | Sep 9 2018 7:49 utc | 79

Shouldn't that 'Red' Ryder handle really be Blue Ryder? Regarding the - delusional - supposed toxicity of socialism (for those who've taken the trouble to know what the word actually means, rather than just swallowing naively the US-plus-underlings propaganda inversion of reality) it's clear that socialist policies have done a whole lot of good for the Venezuelan common citizens, until the USukiznato-axis began wrecking it as best they could. Similarly for Cuba. Similarly for Britain, where my generation of Brit plebs (such as me and all my extended family) benefitted mightily from the post-WW2 socialist policies of successive Labour governments; and still do so, despite the endless efforts of the anti-socialists to undo all the gains that we've made.

And on, in country after country. See, for yet another example, the collected writings of Paris-based Iranian journalist Ramin Mazaheri, on Saker's blog, on Iranian socialism and its - continuing - successes, despite the constant axis efforts to wreck it too, and steal it's hydrocarbon wealth. Anyone presuming to speak about socialism, and it's continuing relevance and validity should at least have some serious understanding of what it is, rather than just being an idiot Western propaganda auto-regurgitator. Remember that the entire worldview of those of us born and reared in the West - in the USukiznato-axis states - is fundamentally skewed. We know absolutely nothing about the real world until we've taken meticulous care to liberate ourselves from the lifelong effects of the Permanent Bullshit Blizzard of the axis: the social programming in youth, plus the never-ceasing PBB of Western lamestream 'news'. This liberation has been a work of many years for me. Apparently RR is one who hasn't yet achieved his/her own escape. S/he seems to be still drinking the gangster-capitalists' poisoned Kool-Aid.

With a bit of luck, we in Britain will be returning to a some mild, fairly socialistic policy - which an actual majority of the Brits want according to the polls, especially the 18-30 age group, where it scoops the pool - with the entry of Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street; if the axis deep-state criminals don't manage to divert that current that's now running steadily in Britain - and in the wider world. Time may be on our side. The current is appearing in many places worldwide. Just now, prospects for gangster-capitalism's rabid anti-socialism aren't looking too good. :)

Posted by: Rhisiart Gwilym | Sep 9 2018 8:15 utc | 80

This thread should be help up as a classic example of whitefella supremacy realised via amerikan exceptionalism.
I warrant that close to none of those commenting here have lived in Venezuala recently which means their opinions have been shaped by media sources who drive a particular white supremacist/amerikan exceptionalist agenda - yes including those that claim a socialist perspective.
Nor can the word from friends and family qualify differently since the bulk of those resident and/or former Venezuelans who communicate with amerikans are bourgeois types who know nothing of what the formerly always impoverished citizens of Venesuala have experienced throughout the course of their brutal and frequently short lives.
Only the people of Venezuela can be considered to be 'expert' on their situation and even within that group elements such as the bourgoisie have sweet FA notion of the life of the impoverished majority which both Chavez and Maduro have focused their governments on assisting.
How is Maduro doing? Well I'm F'ed if I know. What I do know and freely admit is that it is none of my beeswax, my only take away is that as even the imperialist arseholes and their media enablers concede, Maduro's administration remains popular among those formerly impoverished & treated as non-citizens until Pres Chavez was elected and he plus his offsider Maduro followed thru on their promises.

The rest of it is the usual meaningless piffle that we have seen trotted out across this planet since at least October 1917 and probably a good deal earlier.
Not only are we unable to discern what is happening in Venezuela, we have buckley's chance of ever discovering 'the truth'.
We can be certain that the bulldust which amerikan imperialists have offered in their self-seving attempt to rationalise illegal interference in Venezuela is 100% untrue, since that mob of amerikan low lives are unable to even lie straight in bed.
Trying to use the lies of arseholes as a basis for analysis is a pointless endeavor no matter what the instincts of the person doing the analysing may be. Worthless and dangerous since any humanist or leftie, whatever u wanna call 'em, who uses such nonsense will become corrupted by deceit and will finish up excusing even more atrocities as they are captured by those purveyors of empire who they stupidly find 'believable'.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Sep 9 2018 8:58 utc | 81

@7 rigol

Glad to see another person having the same opinion that zerohedge is nothing but another fake "alternative" website.

Another notorious fake "alternative" website is infowar since it blames China for its woes ironically caused by us regime.

Like I said, simply check whether a suspicious "alternative" website is real or not by checking whether it supports certain countries while supporting others (The most popular ones are those supporting Russia and bashing China, Iran, North Korea, etc).

Needless to say, voluntary useful idiots are not less dangerous than western supported fifth columns since they are much bigger in term of numbers.

I'm not sure about whoever commenting in zerohedge whether they are simply being useful idiots or not but when it comes to those writing articles in article such as that particular tyler for example, he doesn't look like a useful idiot to me. He looks much more like some paid or at least supported agent.

Posted by: Face The Fact | Sep 9 2018 10:06 utc | 82

Bad news:

Turkey brings massive convoy of weapons to terrorists - they have obviously succumbed to the USA. I thought they had more sense than that.

Posted by: BM | Sep 9 2018 10:13 utc | 83

On every metric that you can possibly choose there is no reason or justification to destabilise or invade Venezuela. Such attempts are clearly promoted and supported by the west (US and it's cheerleaders) and are just naked savagery and aggression and clearly prompted by a desire to steal Venezuela's resources. Obviously, the whole effort of the US (and some of the posters here) is to make a coup or invasion acceptable to the people of the west.

The main justification seems to be economic (Venezuela deserve this because they messed up their economy!?!?!). Even if true, there is no way, in a million lifetimes, that this can be regarded as a legitimate justification. Anyone advocating such an attitude is nothing more than an armchair cheerleader for bloodshed and war.

But is it true? Regarding the Venezuelan economy here is an outline that appeared in a recent article in FRN:

"Venezuela faces a continuing political crisis, brought on by a difficult economic situation caused by falling oil prices and US sanctions and subversions. The economy was one of the fastest growing and strongest economies in the world throughout the 00’s. Impressive growth continued, despite U.S sanctions and an embargo, until the U.S succeeded in manipulating global oil prices. Since 2014, the situation has become increasingly difficult in Venezuela. However, with oil prices rebounding, there are signs of a positive change.

Furthermore, Venezuela has committed to reorganizing elements of its economy to make it less dependent on oil as the sole export of significance."


Leave Venezuela alone, end the sanctions, stop threatening and planning coups/invasions, NO MORE WARS!

Posted by: ADKC | Sep 9 2018 11:11 utc | 84

BM @82:

Maybe. Erdogan and friends have dreams of expanding the Turkish border. He was probably hoping Russia and Iran to grant him the land his "friends" has already taken.

Posted by: Ian | Sep 9 2018 12:04 utc | 85

Uhh...speaking on coup attempts, whats going on here?

Yesterday: Prime Minister of Abkhazia Gagulia Killed in Car Accident

Today: Prime Minister of Abkhazia Gagulia Killed in Car Accident

Posted by: Zanon | Sep 9 2018 12:20 utc | 86

sigh, wrong headline:

Today:Moldova's President Involved in a Car Accident and Hospitalized - Reports

Posted by: Zanon | Sep 9 2018 12:21 utc | 87

Interesting frisson of ideas regarding faith vs reason and capitalism vs socialism on this thread. Of course these dichotomies are also related in that capitalism is often tied to faith and socialism to reason.

This is probably already stated somewhere upthread, but the problem with faith and reason is both spring from the same flawed source....which to their credit the "faith breathers" will admit while the "reasonable" tend to be in denial and can stretch their reasoning far beyond the outer limits without ever admitting the inherent limitations of man's capacity for empathy and correct moral judgement.

For instance, who among us cannot see clearly with our own eyes the daily destruction of the environment wrought by so many products of scientific research? Please remember, "reasonable" science is also not necessarily "virtuous" science. One could argue either science or religion as the greater tool of destruction, but of course the source of destruction is staring at us in the mirror, as someone else mentioned upthread. The tools we employ in our grim tasks are only a secondary consideration.

Posted by: donkeytale | Sep 9 2018 13:09 utc | 88

Far cheaper to make good freands and not enemy's .
Posted by: Mark2 | Sep 8, 2018 7:23:15 PM | 54

Agreed totally! Neolib/Neocon never made a real profit, it is a fabrication based on outright theft, exploiting the poor and immigrants, raping third world countries, mis-using natural resources, and fraudulent accounting. Financial manipulation and asset stripping is already included in every one of the above.

Posted by: bevin | Sep 8, 2018 7:34:51 PM | 55

Thanks for the much-needed dose of sanity! I agree with every word.

Posted by: BM | Sep 9 2018 13:21 utc | 89

Wherever Socialism or populism takes root, anywhere in the world, the USA attacks it in a series of actions beginning with a slow boil media assault. The heat gets turned up gradually and the economic sanctions come. Internal divisions are sought, increased and amplified via agents provocateurs, militias, terror groups, false flags. If one coup does not succeed, further attempts are made. Ultimately, if the targeted country does not succumb and it does not have nuclear defenses, it will be bombed.


"Self-determination" is nothing other than a slogan to be used as propaganda to justify "USA determination" which is Full Spectrum Dominance.

Paraphrasing Zbigniew Brzezinski, I use "USA" not as representative of the nation state as a fundamental unit of man's organized life, but instead - International banks and multinational corporations which act and plan in terms that are far in advance of the political concepts of the nation-state.

Posted by: fast freddy | Sep 9 2018 13:26 utc | 90


Isn't it interesting that we seldom see posters ever blame the capitalism for the wasted trillions of $$$ that US has been throwing away in its illegal wars against Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria nor for the sorry status of the working poor in America? Yes, they blame the "establishment/deep state/banksters/MIC/AZ-cobalts", but aren't these just the simply and plain capitalists who control the political and economic systems plus media?!

If corruption and bad economy management in Venezuela = socialism, we can use the same logic to equate the corruption and bad economy management in US = capitalism. Is it because people are so duped that they believe American (or rather iFUKUS) corruption and bad economy management are "exceptional" that we can not link it back to the root of the problem: the perpetual pursue of profit of capitalism?

Time to call a spade a spade.

Posted by: mali | Sep 9 2018 13:29 utc | 91

Ben @ 70: "If the CIA hated DJT, as you say, they would just assassinate him."

I have thought that also because they certainly have the ability to do so without detection. One possible answer is that the CIA may fear the consequences of such a rash act. On the other hand, as you suggest, the acrimony may be a public dance by the two parties. Personally, I ignore Trump's tweets as well as the resulting MSM outrage. Such public trolling is good for ratings but not good for understanding the administration's likely response to world events.

But I tend to believe that there is real acrimony between the intelligence community and Trump (that it's not just trash talking for the rubes) because of the pattern of anonymous leaks of intelligence material in the MSM that is prejudicial to the Trump administration. Why do that if Trump is your patsy? One simple answer may be that the intelligence community has political factions too. The faction that favors democrats in power may be the one that is leaking damaging info on Trump and the real deeper state that is beyond partisan politics is working with Trump. I don't know the answer...

Posted by: TheBAG | Sep 9 2018 13:33 utc | 92

Faazzla - You are correct. ZeroHedge writing of Venezuela is Fake news. They never mention Colombia that is a Failed state or Argentina that is melting under neoliberalism or Mejico with 23,000 killed.

Posted by: Victor J. | Sep 9 2018 13:55 utc | 93

If corruption and bad economy management in Venezuela = socialism, we can use the same logic to equate the corruption and bad economy management in US = capitalism. Is it because people are so duped that they believe American (or rather iFUKUS) corruption and bad economy management are "exceptional" that we can not link it back to the root of the problem: the perpetual pursue of profit of capitalism?
Time to call a spade a spade.
Posted by: mali | Sep 9, 2018 9:29:25 AM | 90

You hit the nail bang on the head, Mali

Posted by: BM | Sep 9 2018 14:07 utc | 94

The Empire is tightening the screw on President Maduro because he claimed in September last year that Venezuela Venezuela Quits US Dollar For Crude Oil Payments

"If they pursue us with the dollar, we’ll use the Russian ruble, the yuan, yen, the Indian rupee, the euro,” Maduro also said.


China and Venezuela signed a 10-year financing credits aka oil-for-loan worth $20 billion in 2010. Venezuela is one of the top 10 oil export countries to China.

When reading Frazzle@28, vk@55 and Pft@71, I'd like to tentatively suggest that President Maduro ask for some Chinese agriculture experts' help on grain production, like what China is doing with some African countries, so that Venezuela can reduce its food reliance on import. China has been a agriculture country for thousands of years and has great experience in grain production, which could be of use to Venezuelan people?

For the "hoarding of food and basic goods (e.g. toilet paper, toothpaste, flour, etc.) by private producers," maybe President Maduro and his government could take a page from what CPC did when they were facing the same problems in Shanghai in 1949: crashing the speculators/saboteurs/spies to bankruptcy and death: post 159

Posted by: mali | Sep 9 2018 14:22 utc | 95

@Face The Fact 81
I have no particular reason to defend Zerohedge, I am a most regular reader but not even a member. Yet the ignorance and the readiness to jump to conclusions and accusations of some lefties here is the same as of those attacking Russia for meddling in the elections. You know nothing about nothing, yet you are ready like a loaded gun to pass judgement.

In reality, Zerohedge does have its share of duty to satisfy the regime and thus has to publish articles from the pro-regime Tylers. Otherwise, Zerohedge could be accused of unbalanced reporting, hate-speech and/or a few other thought crimes, raided and switched off. This is exactly the same reality that RT struggles with, especially with British Ofcom constantly breathing down its neck. Any intelligent person would cotton on quickly that the same rules do not apply, for example, to MoA and ZH/RT due to the huge difference in their readership. Perhaps, when MoA exceed 0.5M hits per article, it will appear on the same radar and may not be given the same niche freedom that it enjoys now. The Masters of Discourse do care about statistics as the power is in the numbers. As a reader, I filter out the regime-imposed articles as a necessary garbage and still enjoy ZH as my primary source of the "fake" news. Of course, I do not consume any news but the news deemed fake by the regime. There is no better endorsement of their validity than such label.

Posted by: Kiza | Sep 9 2018 14:30 utc | 96

@56 My bad, Lopez should read Lenin Moreno..

Posted by: Lozion | Sep 9 2018 14:34 utc | 97

Sorry, I forgot to mention that ZH coverage on Venezuela has been constant utter garbage, but I am just ignoring it, mostly skipping articles on the subject. They did not change my opinion of the reality at all, b's insightful articles and some of the comments here have been priceless.

Posted by: Kiza | Sep 9 2018 14:37 utc | 98

Two, three, many Venezuelas

We don't know why the Empire decided against aiding the coup plotters, but I have an idea that one reason is that although China isn't interested in coming to Venezuela's aide there is another country that has helped a great deal in Venezuela's time of need. It's a brave little country that punches above its weight and has stood up to the empire before. It's a country with a proven history of training guerrilla fighters and leading them into battle. The Cuban Rebel Army has been providing military advice and training to Venezuela for 20 years. It's quite likely there's a brilliant plan in place to respond to an attack by the Empire or Columbia or Brazil or all of them. I'll bet they have hundreds of those shoulder-fired ground to air missiles ready to go. Maybe they'll attack the Panama Canal. Maybe counter attacks will spark revolutionary guerrilla wars across South America. Talk about a potential quagmire...

Posted by: Chas | Sep 9 2018 15:36 utc | 99

The USA Capitalist/Socialist system engenders Capitalism for the Poor and Socialism for the rich. It enables private profit as it socializes costs, losses and expenses. It is a funny-money system upheld by the petro-dollar and by force (war).

The system, over time, having engendered exponentially vast wealth to billionaire and trillionaire families, has allowed these individuals to usurp State and Federal government and the governments of foreign nations.

That one branch, the DOD, discloses that it spends $1.5 billion every 24 hours, on MIC contracts and it has done so for decades, indicates a funny-money system that makes no economic sense. Is sufficient tax revenue generated to pay for the level of spending by the US gov? Consider also that taxes for the wealthy have been cut by greater and greater degrees by every modern administration.

Why doesn't that mismatch and level of spending cause hyperinflation?

It has been argued that spending which may directly benefit the commons will break the system, or lead to hyperinflation.

But current spending, especially by DOD for MIC, does not break the system or cause hyperinflation.

The USA Capitalist System is no more viable than any system it endeavors to destroy.

Posted by: fast freddy | Sep 9 2018 15:42 utc | 100

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