Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
January 28, 2019

Sanctions Are Wars Against Peoples

A former UN rapporteur says that the numerous US sanctions (pdf) against Venezuela are devastating and illegal:

Mr De Zayas, a former secretary of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) and an expert in international law, spoke to The Independent following the presentation of his Venezuela report to the HRC in September. He said that since its presentation the report has been ignored by the UN and has not sparked the public debate he believes it deserves.

Sanctions kill,” he told The Independent, adding that they fall most heavily on the poorest people in society, demonstrably cause death through food and medicine shortages, lead to violations of human rights and are aimed at coercing economic change in a “sister democracy”.

On his fact-finding mission to the country in late 2017, he found internal overdependence on oil, poor governance and corruption had hit the Venezuelan economy hard, but said “economic warfare” practised by the US, EU and Canada are significant factors in the economic crisis.

The four factors - oil, poor governance, corruption and sanctions - are not unrelated to each other. That Venezuela has the largest oil reserves in the world makes it a target for U.S. imperialism. Not simply to "take their oil" as Trump wants, but for geo-political reasons. As Andrew Korybko muses:

Alongside ensuring full geopolitical control over the Caribbean Basin and ideologically confronting socialism, the US wants to obtain predominant influence over Venezuela in order to incorporate it into a parallel OPEC-like structure for challenging the joint Russian-Saudi OPEC+ arrangement per the author’s late-2016 prediction about the formation of a “North American-South American Petroleum Exporting Countries” (NASAPEC) cartel. This entity would function as “Fortress America’s” energy component and have the potential to exert powerful long-term pressure on the international oil market at Russia and Saudi Arabia’s expense.

Venezuela's overdependence on the extraction of one resource also furthered poor governance. Hugo Chavez became president of Venezuela in 1998. Between then and 2014 oil prices were overall constantly rising. When ever increasing prices guarantee a decent income there is little pressure to care for government efficiency and little incentive to build other industries.

Every U.S. administration since George W. Bush introduced additional sanctions on Venezuela. The most biting once are financial sanction which make the buying of necessary imports extremely difficult. Every state that has come under such sanctions, Iran under Saddam Hussein, North Korea, Iran, Syria and Venezuela must attempt to circumvent these. Smuggling, which governments usually oppose, suddenly becomes a necessity. Businessman or military officers trusted by the government are offered monopolies if they are able to import sanctioned goods. The risk for these people is often high but so is the reward. The monopoly position allows them to demand exorbitant profits. Every country has political corruption but sanctions tend to multiply it.

A friend of Professor Landis describes this phenomenon with regard to Syria:

Joshua Landis @joshua_landis - 22:17 utc - 27 Jan 2019

On Syria sanctions as a tool for punishing or weakening the Syrian regime, a Syrian friend, whose extended family has long worked smuggling routes in Syria, warned that they only empower & enrich regime bigwigs.

"Fun fact I can't write publicly, the sanction have led to a rise in smuggling. Smugglers never made as much money as they do now. Who are these smugglers? regime figures, their relatives & their friends. The sanctions allow them to amass wealth in amounts they never dreamed of.

"Their influence has grow more and more. Even if I want to export a pair of shoes, I can't. I have to pay the 4th Division security officer to get an export or import license from China. I don't have to pay them once, but twice, and the same goes for customs.

"To say that sanctions are ineffective and hurt mainly civilians is an under statement. Sanctions are directly empowering and enriching those who are in the regime. Look at the sanctions list, the people on the list were all millionaires before 2011, now they are billionaires.

Sanctions always lead to higher prices and inflation in the targeted country. They destroy the middle class and devastate the poor:

The result, said Damascus-based businessman Naji Adeeb, is that legitimate business owners are being punished while close associates of the state, including those named in the sanctions, are still able to conduct deals worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

“You just need a lot more resources to do a lot less, and if you do a transaction today you don’t know if you can do it again a month from now,” said Adeeb. “It’s an environment where only crooks and mafiosis can work.”

The U.S. accuses the government of Venezuela of being corrupt. It laments that some 2 million fled the country. But these phenomenons are largely consequences of the economic war it wages against the country.

Sanctions can only achieve their purported purpose when the targeted entity can change its ways and thereby get sanctions relief. But the sanctions against Iraq, Iran, Syria and Venezuela were/are all intended to achieve regime change. The people in charge of these countries would have to kill themselves, or at least abolish their positions, to achieve sanctions relief. They have no incentive to do. Broad sanctions against a country make the people more dependent of their government. They allow those in charge to increase their power.

It is thus obvious that these sanctions are designed to destroy countries, not to achieve some purported aim of 'human rights', 'democracy' or even 'regime change'. They are wars of aggression by other means:

The US sanctions are illegal under international law because they were not endorsed by the UN Security Council, Mr de Zayas, an expert on international law and a former senior lawyer with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said.

“Modern-day economic sanctions and blockades are comparable with medieval sieges of towns.

Twenty-first century sanctions attempt to bring not just a town, but sovereign countries to their knees,” Mr de Zayas said in his report.

Sieges and sanctions alone are seldom successful in achieving their purported aims. Medieval sieges usually ended either when the attacker gave up, or with the storming and looting of the town. Sieges and sanctions are the means  to 'soften up' the target, to then allow for an easier all out attack. For thirteen years the most brutal sanctions were put on Iraq. It still required a large scale war to bring Saddam Hussein down. And the war did not even end there.

Posted by b on January 28, 2019 at 01:40 PM | Permalink

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We think it's worth it.

- Madeleine Albright

They've known that sanctions kill for a long time now.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 28, 2019 1:49:12 PM | 1

thanks b.. i think this sanctions game the west has going really is a key point that needs to be broken down, as you have in your article here... they are indeed just like medieval sieges of towns and as mr. de zayas says - "Twenty-first century sanctions attempt to bring not just a town, but sovereign countries to their knees." maybe the folks in the open thread can tell us what imperialism and sanctions has to do with '''classical liberalism'''?? this sanctions game has worked fairly effectively for some time.. i see no reason for the corporations running the west to stop them any time soon..

Posted by: james | Jan 28, 2019 1:56:16 PM | 2

I love BDS.

Posted by: bjd | Jan 28, 2019 2:07:29 PM | 3

As shown in this article, previously classified documents from the United States show that there was growing concern that anti-Iran sanctions could push Iran "over the brink":


https://viableopposition.blogspot.com/2018/09/the-risk-of-sanctions-pushing-iran-over.html


The one thing that Washington has repeatedly ignored over the last seven decades is the fact that Iran is a sovereign state, a nation that has the right to make its own decisions whether Washington agrees with them or not.

Posted by: Sally Snyder | Jan 28, 2019 2:23:09 PM | 4

On sieges, last Sunday, it was celebrated the 75th aniversary of lifting of the "Siege of Leningrad" ( today, St.Petersburg...), a date to remember and not forget, the more when thunders of war sounds non stop, be it here, be it there....We must resist war and fight to keep peace as if all would be in play for us...that in fact it is...

https://twitter.com/Russia/status/1089535965713104897

https://twitter.com/RusEmbUSA/status/1089423015547412481

Also passed totally unadverted "International Remembrance Day of Holocaust", since some have managed that talking about this events in the "alt-media" is now a sin, which will bring you labelling and slandering, when not direct grouping bullying to definitely intend to make of you a pariah.
When so many in the "International Community", included those who fake-mourn the Holocaust memory, like Netanyahu, pushed continuously and without rest for war, whenever it is possile or they find a window of opportunity, lest we forget...They, definitely, will not be who suffer the consequences of war...

https://twitter.com/Russia/status/1089544139342004224

https://twitter.com/KaliningradReg/status/1089900065924235265

https://twitter.com/mfa_russia/status/1089870587743428608

https://twitter.com/Ekatmid/status/1089857962934484993

Important message by RusEmbUSA facebook account, on the joint anniversary of the two events, which includes the film "Indomitable Leningrad":

https://www.facebook.com/RusEmbUSA/posts/956244077919316

Indomitable, yes, we must be, but better avoid suffering so much by oppossing warmongers with all strenght we have, in the streets, at home, at job, everywhere.....

Posted by: Sasha | Jan 28, 2019 2:34:00 PM | 5

What is never reported nor commented on by others is that sanctions affect not only common people in the targeted country, but also other people in countries which have commercial business with the targeted country. Not only sellers, but also buyers, and not only buyers, but also sellers.
The US sanctions on Iran and Russia especially hurt commercial interests and people in Europe. But it's okay with Washington if Berlin and Paris suffer, because they are US competitors. So it's fine if the EU suffers from low economic growth.
One example is the Peugeot automotive company in France, a family business which was doing well with a plant in Iran which was then shut down because of sanctions.
The US suffered too, including Boeing aircraft in Iran, and would suffer from Venezuela sanctions considering the impact on Citgo and its US refineries.

So it's not only citizens in the targeted country that suffer, although they may suffer most.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 28, 2019 2:38:47 PM | 6

Sanctions aren't "just" economic warfare, but often lethal warfare in the most physical sense. It's the modern version of siege warfare, physically starving the besieged and sowing epidemics among them. Where applied to food, medicine, and similar necessities sanctions are in the same genus as physical bombing. More reason any sane society these days would be working around the clock to break free of dependence on US-run globalism.

"Venezuela's overdependence on the extraction of one resource also furthered poor governance."

That's a badly misguided commitment for any nation vulnerable to economic and physical aggression, as well as any nation who is one of the passengers along for the commodity globalization ride (often an extremely tempestuous ride), rather than one of the drivers.

It would be bad enough to physically destroy your own country to extract oil for your own use. To do so in order to put the oil on the global commodity market is insanity. But then all modern governments, and all cultural-political elites among all peoples who have such elites, are insane.

Of course Americans are doing the same thing, surrendering their lands as sacrifice zones to fracking and pipelines, all for globalized commodities often earmarked to sell to Asia. Mr. "MAGA", of course, wants to destroy even more American land to sell LNG to Europe.

Posted by: Russ | Jan 28, 2019 2:51:52 PM | 7

Don at #6:
That's a great point, although I think the US doesn't care about that. Collateral damage is something they not only tolerate, but probably appreciate as a way to make anyone doing business with a "regime" suffer--even if they're US companies.

Posted by: worldblee | Jan 28, 2019 3:04:16 PM | 8

Not only are the unilateral sanctions levied by the Outlaw US Empire illegal they are also Unconstitutional, but as far as I know have never been challenged as such. Clearly, such a challenge is long overdue. In order to avoid being unconstitutional, the Outlaw US Empire would need to vacate its membership in the United Nations, thus disavowing the UN Charter, whose ratification makes said sanctions Unconstitutional. To a relatively large minority, leaving the UN would be a wonderful moment, and return the Outlaw US Empire back to its initial Unilateralism as espoused by George Washington and The Federalists. But such a move would then finally allow the genuine International Community to sanction the Outlaw US Empire with legal UNSC Sanctions, perhaps with Article 7 consequences; plus, whatever remains of its Soft Power would evaporate as would one of its venues for coercion.

Perhaps now is finally the time for Russia and China to support Venezuela in challenging the constitutionality of the Outlaw US Empire's unilateral sanctions as all 3 nations are being subjected to them and thus have legal standing to mount such a challenge. Hard to say what sort of crisis might be caused domestically by such a challenge since the Duopoly's guilty as sin. Suing now would likely make the issue part of the 2020 election by finally informing the US public that their government's been wantonly breaking the law and behaving unconstitutionally since 1945, not that it was behaving civilly previously.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 28, 2019 3:09:24 PM | 9

hi, typo: Irak, and not Iran, under Saddam Hussein...
long live the bolivarian revolution.

Posted by: alain | Jan 28, 2019 3:27:46 PM | 10

Venezuela as Banana Republic--

Chavez recognized and tried to mitigate the weakness engendered by such reliance on resource extraction to fuel the economy but failed due to his lack of ruthlessness--2002's Golpistas should have all been arrested, had their assets forfeited, and either been sent to prison for life or shot for the Treason in which they engaged. I have never read his explanation for that failure, if he provided one. Today, it's the same crew doing the same work they began in 1999 and almost succeeded with in 2002. Until the forces of reaction are debilitated, Venezuela will be incapable of diversifying its economy such that illegal sanctions will no longer cause harm as too many critical economic sectors are controlled by those forces. This is easy for me to write, but IMO Maduro must do what Chavez failed to do: Call the Empire's bluff by arresting the Golpistas and their abettors, nationalize their assets, set about a rapid economic diversification, and defeat the Empire if it tries to invade itself or via proxy. Otherwise, the Outlaw US Empire will never stop--never!!

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 28, 2019 3:31:56 PM | 11

It is probably the moment that the "rest" of the world decide to move on, as they are finally coming to realise that following "US sanctions" also opens themselves to other sanctions.
Example; Russia and China are at last talking about a common way to cut out sanctions. http://tass.com/economy/1042085

I think that the last straw was CAATSA (which "allows" the US to sanction anyone they call a rival, with any sanction they feel like). Up to now US sanctions have been based on fallacies - "Russiagate", "Crimea", Syria, Skripals, 5g Huawei, "stealing US brainpower" and so on. Now that Russiagate has been shown to be a setup by Hillary and the Democrats, they lack a reason to impose sanctions.

Note that the EU has been badly hit by sanctions on Russia and Iran, (Merci Don Bacon @6), as before the sanctions were imposed, the EU did 360 billions worth of business with Russia. Other similar financial pressure has been put on gas pipelines to favour US LNG. One wonders why the EU "leaders" Macron, Merkel, Junkers have not done anything to support the EU's businesses?

Posted by: stonebird | Jan 28, 2019 3:32:19 PM | 12

As said earlier, Maduro cannot be naive thinking he could talk to neocons:

Breaking: US Imposes Sanctions Against Venezuela's PDVSA - Bolton
https://sputniknews.com/latam/201901281071901830-usa-venezuela-oil-pdvsa-sanctions/

He need to get the americans out, now.

Posted by: Zanon | Jan 28, 2019 3:40:18 PM | 13

Chavez did proppse that the oil price be capped at $75 USD/ barrel to promote predictability compared to the price roller coaster.

Posted by: jayc | Jan 28, 2019 3:45:17 PM | 14

They call it 'soft power', when it's in fact one of the most brutal forms of power. The points about corruption are really interesting ones. Russia and China need to really step up right now but they show no signs of doing so.

Posted by: paul | Jan 28, 2019 3:46:35 PM | 15

speaking of ''more'' sanctions from the evil empire.. - US announces sanctions against Venezuela's state oil company PDVSA

Posted by: james | Jan 28, 2019 3:52:12 PM | 16


I'm no lawyer, but I suspect that it's not just the sanctions that are illegal under international law.

Other actions - planned by NATO countries pushing for regime change - are disguised as humanitarian intervention. But they amount to attempts to loot and plunder Venezuela's wealth, just like what they tried with Libya:

- Freezing billions of dollars of state assets and diverting them to the unelected opposition.

- Pushing privatisation of oil resources for the benefit of foreign corporations.

These heavy-handed actions almost make the imperialistic colonialism of previous centuries look mild in comparison.

Posted by: Brendan | Jan 28, 2019 3:57:17 PM | 17

paul

Yes, I fear its too late for Russia and China to act, they should have, way earlier. Fact is that UNSC members is equally corrupt when no member protest against aggression like this. Meanwhile EU, US is very active to achive their goals in Venezuela. Very different compared to Russia/China inactivity.

Posted by: Zanon | Jan 28, 2019 3:57:37 PM | 18

Very important post b, and a great to the point title. The Empire's sanctions can inflict massive damage in themselves, and are typically intended to facilitate more direct 'might is right' depravity.

Just a small point on the words "to sanction". It has dual connotations: one is "to allow", or "to authorize" an activity; the other "to disallow", to prevent, to create barriers to.

In the case of US sanctions, they illustrate the complete repudiation of its own national basic law and also international law by the Outlaw Empire, and the acquiescence to that criminality by both western mass media and the Empire's vassals. The sanctions' illegality or harm to people are seldom noted. American sanctions are lately almost casually or automatically applied. Sick.

But on the positive side, the tendency of aggressive action to create defensive responses still applies: the counter-strategies multiply.

Posted by: Robert Snefjella | Jan 28, 2019 4:09:16 PM | 19

legality doesnt seem to bother the political leaders of US canada australia germany france UK etc

Posted by: brian | Jan 28, 2019 4:11:10 PM | 20

I'm no lawyer, but I suspect that it's not just the sanctions that are illegal under international law.

Posted by: Brendan | Jan 28, 2019 3:57:17 PM | 17

Not to mention the theft in open air by the Britons, without disguise nor anything to dissimulate...a bit at least....At their side the thief who stole a valuable painting putting only poker face in front of dozens of visitors in the Tretyakov gallery is a dissimulation artist...

After all, impunity like everything televised, provokes imitation...

Posted by: Sasha | Jan 28, 2019 4:12:06 PM | 21

This is could be a defining move - one that could have dire consequences for Venezuelans. The economy wasn't hit by sanctions before - but the effects of this could certainly be felt. We know from the past that autocrats and their cronies can survive punishing sanctions.

https://twitter.com/elopezgross/status/1089990533852876801

and he is a SENIOR EDITOR at WaPo.

We are doomed with those advocates for the so-called DEMOCRACY

Posted by: Yul | Jan 28, 2019 4:16:15 PM | 22

It appears that not all barflies have read the UN Charter. Essentially, any interference in the activities of a sovereign state is against the UN Charter and thus International Law; and in the case of the Outlaw US Empire having what's known as the Supremacy Clause within its constitution which incorporates the UN Charter into its constitution, any such act by its government is unconstitutional--it's as cut-and-dried simple as law can get.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 28, 2019 4:26:10 PM | 23

We just should stop to use this word. The correct framing of that brutal behavior is economic war. The u.s. is waging an economic war against Iran, Venezuela... you name it. And by the way, that's another consequence of the so called globalization. The more interdependent countries are the more they are exposed to that type of economic war. That's the reason why the Empire don't like self sufficiency. Paraguay was destroyed in the Triple Alliance war which was instigated by the British Empire. It never recovered. The Bolivarian Venezuela has to be defended as a pillar against world domination by the mightiest Mafia walking the planet.

Posted by: Pnyx | Jan 28, 2019 4:26:39 PM | 24

That's why sanctions are enacted - to cause suffering..

The Conservative government in the UK has used benefits sanctions to cause suffering too. Thousands have died.

Sanctions are war.

Posted by: Ella | Jan 28, 2019 4:34:03 PM | 25

"Essentially, any interference in the activities of a sovereign state is against the UN Charter and thus International Law"
This. Totally this. Entirely this. Fully this.
Actually, however despicable, heinous and unpalatable the thought is to a progressive, a democratic-minded person or an admirer of human rights, one can even argue that any breach of human rights, however huge, even genocide, when it's purely internal to a country and only involves that country's inhabitants, can't be touched by foreign nations. And we only have to look at WWII to see that it was actually the intent to guarantee sovereign nations their full independance: it's when Nazis began to invade other countries to kill, mass-murder and genocide other nations' peoples that they definitely broke the International Law and earned their place in Nuremberg's courts.
The only valid international rule is that no country should ever meddle with another country's business. And if we come to the conclusion that it's not a viable and sustainable path, then we must opt for something else, together, but make the new rules absolutely clear, make sure other people understand why, and kind of agree with said new rules. And, obviously, one has to have a very solid argument as to why a new system is necessary, and how the new rules will work better; for a starter, one has to put down very clearly which are the goals, and what is the new order of priority. The old Westphalian order that ruled states for centuries was that sovereignty of independant states is absolute and literally everything else is of a lesser importance. I've yet to see any solid rationale for the new order, because it surely doesn't come from Wall Street, Washington or Brussels. (not that I can't think of anoter, higher order, but that's definitely not what's on the table, and that one would piss off the bulk of liberals, capitalists, progressives and conservatives put together)

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Jan 28, 2019 4:44:21 PM | 26

If the Madero regime was worth its salt they would have known to expect this. They should have mobilized their supporters, armed them and taken out the opposition.

Posted by: Robert McMaster | Jan 28, 2019 4:45:08 PM | 27

@24 pnyx... that is probably a good idea, as that is what it is - economic war, in prep for military war if needed.. all for regime change and exploitation..

Posted by: james | Jan 28, 2019 4:45:29 PM | 28

Beware that this was not a second front to try to fool the Russians in Syria...

They, not only do not withdraw, but redouble...

BREAKING: 600+ U.S troops Arrive in Syria

I found funny, but the closest to reality this comment under the news:

justaminute • an hour ago

yes it makes sense, send in more troops to aid in withdrawal, then send in more troops to aid in the withdrawal of those 600, then send in more to help those withdraw, HMMM!!!


Posted by: Sasha | Jan 28, 2019 4:46:08 PM | 29

"... Venezuela's overdependence on the extraction of one resource also furthered poor governance ..."

In one sense that/s true, in that what Hugo Chavez could have done was establish a sovereign wealth fund, similar to what Norway did in 1990 to invest surplus profits from its share of North Sea oil and gas, to invest profits from selling Venezuelan oil that would help to tide the nation over during the current difficult times. But it is understandable, given his background, how he came to power and the expectations of him when he became President, that he would use the monies to fund social programs which in themselves don't generate immediate financial benefits for governments.

A sovereign wealth fund would have helped regulate the amount of money going into the economy by diverting it away. What Chavez and later Maduro did by funding programs might have had the effect of generating inflation and lifting people's expectations too high in the long run. But we would need to know the details of these programs to understand if this was indeed the result.

To his credit, Chavez did later recognise the symptoms of Dutch disease in the Venezuelan economy (where relying on oil or other energy resource for export revenues eventually results in the local currency being overvalued to the extent that importing cheaper substitutes for the more expensive local products, with the result that local production crashes and the country becomes even more dependent on energy exports) and tried to stimulate local agricultural projects. Land expropriation from large wealthy ranchers and companies was probably part of this stimulus initiative. But these projects failed because the produce couldn't compete with cheaper food imports and farmers preferred to take good-paying jobs in the oil industry than low-paying jobs sweating in a hot tropical sun doing back-breaking work.

Unfortunately relying on food imports meant relying on private companies (headed by individuals or families opposed to Chavista / Madurista ideology and policies) who could use their power as importers to control the supply of food to the extent of denying it to consumers (or even selling food to Colombian middlemen companies that resold the food to Venezuelans) and forcing up prices in the hope of goading the poor to revolt against the government.

Posted by: Jen | Jan 28, 2019 4:54:32 PM | 30

In an interview in early January 2019 President Maduro explains how US terrorism in all its guises attempts to force his country to succumb to its imperialist demands:

https://venezuelanalysis.com/interviews/14209

Posted by: Lochearn | Jan 28, 2019 4:59:04 PM | 31

Sanctions against apartheid South Africa weren't, and sanctions advocated in the BDS aren't wars against people.

Posted by: Inkan1969 | Jan 28, 2019 5:05:17 PM | 32

Medieval sieges usually ended either when the attacker gave up, or with the storming and looting of the town.

Not quite true B.

Medieval sieges as a general STARTED with the mass murder of the peasantry. The argument being between 'kings'. Farmers and co were slaughtered for the simple fact that if your opposition could not feed themselves they could not resist.

By the time those arguments were 'given up' as it were, everyone else was already dead.

Posted by: S.O. | Jan 28, 2019 5:06:04 PM | 33

@ karlof1 | Jan 28, 2019 3:09:24 PM | 9
Not only are the unilateral sanctions levied by the Outlaw US Empire illegal they are also unconstitutional

. . .from the Preamble of the UN Charter
AND FOR THESE ENDS
> to practice tolerance and live together in peace with one another as good neighbours, and
> to unite our strength to maintain international peace and security, and
> to ensure, by the acceptance of principles and the institution of methods, that armed force shall not be used, save in the common interest, and
> to employ international machinery for the promotion of the economic and social advancement of all peoples,

. . .from CHAPTER I: PURPOSES AND PRINCIPLES
Article 2
The Organization and its Members, in pursuit of the Purposes stated in Article 1, shall act in accordance with the following Principles.
> The Organization is based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all its Members.
> All Members, in order to ensure to all of them the rights and benefits resulting from membership, shall fulfill in good faith the obligations assumed by them in accordance with the present Charter.
> All Members shall settle their international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered.
> All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations. . .here

. . .from Article VI of the US Constitution
This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding. . .here

So we need an honest lawyer to file suit. Okay, any lawyer.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 28, 2019 5:13:31 PM | 34

from zerohedge:
www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-01-28/watch-live-sarah-sanders-holds-first-press-briefing-shutdown-ended

The article lists the specific sanctions, they seem a bit odd, they all assume that Pedavesta will continue operations in and sales to the US.
Yet the US will control and seize all assets and cash from such sales.
As China owns 50% of Venezuela oil, surely China has something to say on this? And why would Vz continue sales to the US??

Posted by: frances | Jan 28, 2019 5:15:37 PM | 35

@ bjd #3

I love BDS.

I'm guessing, of course, but I suspect this poster is pleased with his remark for two reasons. First, he gets a free shot at the "sanctions" part of BDS on account of the title of this thread. Second, there is the implied gloating about how the "sanctions" part of BDS hasn't been applied to the apartheid Jewish state.

BDS represents three strategies: boycotts are commonly carried out by individuals, divestment by institutions and sanctions by governments.

I refuse to buy anything from the little craphole state which does apartheid, thefts, and murders. Such little pressure as I can apply to giant corporations might possibly cause them to think twice about using God's Most Favorite scrap of stolen land to increase their bottom lines. Finally, if I lived in a nation where my vote really mattered, my elected representatives might pay a little bit of attention to me when they're shoveling money and weapons to the apartheid Jewish state. All three of my "representatives" are totally on board with giving them anything they want, and because I "vote" for the two Senators and single Representative using touchscreen computer devices they don't give a damn what I think. Besides, by recycling a tiny fraction of the US taxpayer dollars the Zionists receive to outright purchase those three Indiana representatives, the money is just too good to pass up.

I made several DuckDuckGo searches, and if there are any sanctions against the little cesspool nation by any governments anywhere, I didn't find them in those searches.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Jan 28, 2019 5:20:34 PM | 36

frances

And why would Vz continue sales to the US??

Because they sell alot of oil to the US = money.

Posted by: Zanon | Jan 28, 2019 5:21:20 PM | 37

Inkan1969

Of course South african sanctions were equally illegal and BDS deals with sanctions on illegal acts. What illegal measure have Venzeual commited? None thus = illegal.

Posted by: Zanon | Jan 28, 2019 5:24:24 PM | 38

reply to: Zanon 37
"frances
And why would Vz continue sales to the US??Because they sell a lot of oil to the US = money."
Nope, that is why they USED to sell to the US, the money now will be held and presumably given to the new regime.
So my question holds, why would they continue selling?

Posted by: frances | Jan 28, 2019 5:27:16 PM | 39

@ 30

Latin America is to the US empire what India was to the British empire, ie. the jewel in the crown, or more accurately the massive blood-sucking leech embedded in its side. Its vast landmass and its people have provided untold riches for the hegemon. No initiative that in any way provides some independence for any Latin American nation has ever been tolerated. Norway just cannot be compared to one of these states. It was after all one of the founding members of NATO and is firmly in the US camp. If Venezuela had set up a sovereign wealth fund its investments would have been attacked by New York hedge funds on day 2 of its creation. They all work together the whole damn lot of them.

Posted by: Lochearn | Jan 28, 2019 5:27:44 PM | 40

Don't you just love politicians carrying note pads?

This is John Bolton's at WH briefing today, quote

"Afghanistan -> Welcome the Talks"
" 5,000 troops to Colombia."

Dont want to break the system so add https to the front of this link. It is the photo with Bolton carrying the pad,.

://media2.s-nbcnews.com/j/newscms/2019_05/2732356/190128-john-bolton-national-security-cs-405p_edcd0a583b5a0cd5ba4d237d8b45f219.fit-2000w.jpg

Posted by: JohninMK | Jan 28, 2019 5:30:55 PM | 41

The term "international law" seems completely meaningless to me when the US (and Israel) can act with complete impunity. It's as much of a myth as "American democracy".

Posted by: mourning dove | Jan 28, 2019 5:38:38 PM | 42

This is Syria redux,Venezuela will need the help of many of its friends to overcome the mafia instincts of the predatory US government led by that arrogant gob shite Trump and fellow gangsters Bolton, Pompeo and Abrams It has been obvious that International law and the UN charter has been a dead letter for many years and it is futile for other nations to rely on it to stop US aggression. There is only one thing the US take notice of and that is the threat and use of force, fortunately the Venezuelan army and most citizens back the legal government, the down side is the distance Venezuela's friends are away [unlike Syria]. The US are prepared to take on all comers in their mad quest for global hegemony, witness their threatening of Germany by the US Ambassador a few weeks ago first on trade with Iran then on cancelling the NS2 pipeline which is crucial for cheap gas and enables German business to compete and remain one of the Worlds largest economies, the US nightmare is to see Russia with its huge landmass and plentiful natural resources team up with Germany's industrial efficiency. The US has to be stopped or they will take out any nation one by one that does not act as a vassal.No tools to achieve that aim should be taken off the table.

Posted by: Harry Law | Jan 28, 2019 6:07:05 PM | 43

Uncle Sam's peons think that US policy is about access to cheap oil. It isn't. It's all about controlling *access* to the oil. Right now oil prices are too low for the new production methods to be profitable. The Canadian oil industry is collapsing because no one wants their crappy bitumen. It is selling at a huge discount - on the order of $40 - $50 a barrel. So now a very capital intensive industry can no longer make interest payments.

Who is holding the worthless paper? My guess is the usual suspects on Wall Street and their buddies on Toronto's Bay Street. The same ones that give Uncle Sam's elite their marching orders.

With Venezuela's oil now cut off from US refineries they will have to buy Canada's crappy crude, as long as Trudeau kisses Uncle Sam's hairy butt and delivers a certain Chinese executive to Uncle Sam's tender mercies. Now we know why the Canadian ambassador to China was fired. Canada's oil industry can't afford to piss off the mercurial Trump.

As for the Venezuelan people they had better prepare for the US paid mercenaries who will soon be setting off car bombs etc. I am grieving for the death and suffering to come so that Uncle Sam's parasite class can get even richer.

p.s. the RT story referenced in a comment above links to an interesting story on the billions of state assets stolen by Uncle Sam and vassals. When it comes to theft, Uncle Sam is in a class by himself.

Posted by: Trailer Trash | Jan 28, 2019 6:14:57 PM | 44

Maga maggots and christian deplorables as they attempt to decipher Chump's multi-dimensional chess moves in South America: ''Hell yeah ! Globalism and Trump are making America grate again. Globalism anew to make murikkka's gilded again !
We're now a rule based system of constitutional free market. LOL. Here's our exceptional rules.
Between Huawei, PDVSA and whomever, we decide. Who can do biz with whom. Who are terrorists and who the head chopping freedom fighters are. What's a fair elections, what's a voter suppresion farce of a republic and who's the right man for prez. So we say Pelosi the brickwall lady for commader in chief... Our civilizing mission will be accomplished, vengeful god is on our side, shithole riff raff be damned, Maga. Amen.''

Posted by: Augustin L | Jan 28, 2019 6:19:09 PM | 45

https://www.rt.com/usa/449982-john-bolton-oil-venezuela/

How do Americans benefits when private interest use USA troops to regime change.. or invade a foreign nation. ???? please explain that to me.

the nation states are armed structures, created by agreement made by those in charge of an area. The armed structure is constructed as designed by politicians, military, and criminal elements.
Nearly every nation state design provides information feedback to the designers so they can both improve the design to be control those targeted to be governed, and at the same time instruct politicians how the designers want the armed structure to be used to both govern the domestic humanity and to use the nation state as a weapon to take something from others.
It is beyond me why any humanity would want a government that was a nation state.

Posted by: snake | Jan 28, 2019 6:26:20 PM | 46

stonebird @12:
Perhaps Soros is the reason for inactions by EU "leaders."


karlof1 @23:
The UN is irrelevant in the eyes of the Outlaw Empire.


Robert McMaster @27:
Maduro's administration have long prepared for this, but their resources are limited. Russian PMCs are there, regardless of what the Kremlin stated recently.

----

Unfortunately, China will not be sending any soldiers to Venezuela. At best Maduro will get food from them. Does anyone know if Argentina is supplying humanitarian aid in terms of food to Venezuela? I believe they can produce enough food for most of South America.

Another thing to note, should the situation in Venezuela turn hot, there isn't much both China and Russia can do about it, especially if the US Navy steps in.

Posted by: Ian | Jan 28, 2019 6:36:30 PM | 47

@44
"As for the Venezuelan people they had better prepare for the US paid mercenaries who will soon be setting off car bombs etc."

Looks like that process is already underway (from the Maduro interview linked to above):

I would add that the attacks against us are constant, ruthless, and multi-pronged. And they are not just economic. For example, now, with the end of the year festivities, dozens of terrorist cells specialized in electrical sabotage have arrived to Venezuela from outside. They blow up transformers, cut high voltage cables, they dynamite power stations... They leave entire neighborhoods, sometimes entire towns, without electricity, without power for freezers, industries, hospitals, transport. They put lives in danger, they ruined the holidays for thousands of families.

Other groups have infiltrated [Venezuela] with plans to provoke disruptions in the distribution of water. They destroy pipelines, sabotage aqueducts, cause water cuts, they complicate the daily life of hundreds of families. Other terrorists sabotage our public transport... Others specialize in making cash disappear, carrying it en masse to Colombia.

Posted by: Lochearn | Jan 28, 2019 6:38:41 PM | 48

@43 Yes agreed, but how? What would be a good chess move, send an Air Assault Brigade to Caracas? Then what?

Posted by: Lozion | Jan 28, 2019 6:39:25 PM | 49

Can the Monroe Doctrine be amended to include a clause prohibiting any country in the Western Hemisphere for messing with another country in that area, up to and including stealing assets, cutting off food and medicine and starving inhabitants?

Posted by: Bart Hansen | Jan 28, 2019 6:39:57 PM | 50


Venezuela is the major shareholder for CITGO which is heavily in debt. More than a year ago, Trump sanctioned CITGO debt as not to be resold. Also, CITGO owes a judgment to CONOCO Phillips for 2 billion. Are Trump and Minuchin by seizing US assets (CITGO) in the USA also assuming concurrent responsibility for the debt? Is Guiado assuming responsibility for Venezuela's massive debts? Has he put forth any financial plan for stabilizing the country financially? Are Trump and Bolton planning on stiffing all of the bondholders? Russia and China who hold big pieces of Venezuelan debt? Elites are not going to assume responsibility for the debts of Venezuelan companies or government. Privatization can be expected to result in massive layoffs and further starvation of the middle and lower classes. The best example of the predicted outcome is the massive looting of Russia under Yeltsin, with the subsequent starvation of the masses as the country disintegrated. Is redirection of Venezuela oil to China and India a possibility, since both countries have organized payment arrangements that bypass the US. Note that both China and Russia now have intermediary systems which bypass the SWIFT system, rendering sanctions less efficient. Is this another unintended blow for the petrodollar?

Posted by: abierno | Jan 28, 2019 6:57:10 PM | 51

Ian @ 47: With Mauricio Macri as President, you can assume Argentina is a lost cause fully on board with the US attempt to drive out Nicolas Maduro's government.

Argentina was one of the first countries to recognise Juan Guaido as President and was also the country that proposed the interventionist statement supporting Guaido which led to the OAS (Organisation of American States) session in which, of the 34 member stations, 18 including Guyana (that's significant: Guyana is a former British colony that has had territorial spats with Venezuela in the past), Bolivia, Cuba and Mexico refused to support the statement.

Splat for Macri.

Posted by: Jen | Jan 28, 2019 7:03:53 PM | 52

Bull’s-eye hitting post, b! Also very useful links. Especially the sanctions overview and specifics. You should all read it, it’s only 2 pages.

So many interesting angles, additions, clarifications in the comments…

Regarding EU nations (I’m a citizen of one of them), we’ve reached a low point in politics, especially with a view to foreign policy. A very low one, one that would have been beyond imagination 15 years ago. No self-respect, no independence, no dignity, not even sense. Whatever stunt a Washington administration pulls off, even the hated Trump administration, the likes of Merkel, Macron, May, Junker will just play along. Even if it hurts EU countries, or the EU as a whole. It’s unbelievable. They’re like Quisling sheep, who steal away from the rest of the flock in the enclosure in the middle of the night – to actually unlatch the gate and prop it open for the wolf to have easy access, would you believe it.
Merkel is the worst of them. Her ways can be described with many colorful words, indeed. A very fitting German one is “Arschkriecher”. It literally means someone who’s crawling into another one’s butthole. She is the equivalent of a turd someone has just squeezed out, but that particular turd has a life of its own. It never wanted to come out, it minds the open and the cold. So it tries to somehow get back into the bowels of origin. Nothing to gain here from the countries that have come under attack in recent years, Russia, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Venezuela. Nothing at all.
Someone also mentioned Luxemburg’s Junker, who is still the EU’s president. Someone like him at the top of the EU administration is a big win, just not for Europeans. Where ever US interests are concerned, he won’t do sh*t. Many big, wealthy, powerful companies, like Amazon, who have welcomed the embrace of the US Deep State, who are members of the Council on Foreign Relations, run their European business via Luxemburg. They’re incorporated here as S.à r.l.’s "operating" out of Luxemburg. Since Amazon doesn’t even have a warehouse in that shithole country and the market is limited to some meager 500,000 potential consumers, the whole purpose is to avoid paying any meaningful taxes like they would have to in any of the other EU countries. That way, Luxemburg gets revenues that otherwise they couldn’t dream of achieving, even at as low a tax rate as 1/3 that of peer countries. Amazon gets to siphon off the profits (mind you, not to the benefit of the average American). Washington has Luxemburg by the balls. It’s a win-win-win, right?
The point being: you absolutely cannot count on the EU to counter anything American. Even the most blatant violation of international law, or common decency for that matter. Lavrov is a fool for trying to, and so would be Maduro. You’re on your own.

1/2

Posted by: Scotch Bingeington | Jan 28, 2019 7:05:19 PM | 53

2/2

Speaking of follies: 500,000 USD for the Trump campaign, anybody? Yes, yes, the Venezuelans did just that. Allowing the US to even keep an embassy, and a pretty oversized one, too? Not getting rid of CITGO early on? Not deporting this Guiardo guy asap for his act of high treason? I’m banging my head against the desk as I type.

Posted by: Scotch Bingeington | Jan 28, 2019 7:07:24 PM | 54

Venezuela regime change big business opportunity: John Bolton | Fox Business

https://www.foxbusiness.com/politics/venezuela-regime-change-big-business-opportunity

Any so-called leftist, "democratic left" or "anarchist" still promoting regime change are naked and outed fully as paid corporate PR spokespeople for Big Oil and EXXON. No excuses left.

Posted by: Hands Off Venezuela! | Jan 28, 2019 7:21:58 PM | 55

Bolton signaling 5000 troops to Columbia. NATO intervention? Why else would Columbia be part of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization?

Posted by: lgfocus | Jan 28, 2019 8:10:36 PM | 56

lgfocus @56:

I doubt there will be any significant number of US/European forces in Venezuela should things turn hot. IMO, Brazil and Colombia will do the heavy lifting. Does anyone know if NATO global partners can invoke Article 5?

Posted by: Ian | Jan 28, 2019 8:20:18 PM | 57

@karlof1 | Jan 28, 2019 4:26:10 PM | 23

It appears that not all barflies have read the UN Charter. Essentially, any interference in the activities of a sovereign state is against the UN Charter and thus International Law; and in the case of the Outlaw US Empire having what's known as the Supremacy Clause within its constitution which incorporates the UN Charter into its constitution, any such act by its government is unconstitutional--it's as cut-and-dried simple as law can get.

I thought the U.S. Constitution was "just another goddamned piece of paper", according to a President of the United States, no less.

(Perhaps he didn't realize that the same goddamned piece of paper was what made him legally the President and the Commander in Chief.)

Posted by: Cyril | Jan 28, 2019 8:24:38 PM | 58

@frances | Jan 28, 2019 5:15:37 PM | 35

As China owns 50% of Venezuela oil

China does NOT own 50% of Venezuela's oil. China has a 49.9% stake in the Sinovensa joint venture, and it's not clear what Sinovensa owns.

What is clear, however, is that China has put only $50 billion into Venezuela, and that is nowhere near enough for 50% of the country's oil.

Posted by: Cyril | Jan 28, 2019 8:43:35 PM | 59

@ Jen #30 https://www.moonofalabama.org/2019/01/sanctions-are-wars-against-people.html#c6a00d8341c640e53ef022ad393f4d7200c

I am by no means anything near an expert, but how difficult would it be to establish a sovereign wealth fund without the backing/participation/recognition of the world banking community and other financial elites/authorities?

Posted by: Mike | Jan 28, 2019 8:57:12 PM | 60

@ Mike who asked:
"
I am by no means anything near an expert, but how difficult would it be to establish a sovereign wealth fund without the backing/participation/recognition of the world banking community and other financial elites/authorities?
"
China has established the AIIB which is as close as it gets to what you are asking for. It is the alternative to the IMF and World Bank.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 28, 2019 9:18:15 PM | 61


the US, Canada, these other latin american and european countries that support and use sanctions are all monsters.

The only way to end these despicable sanctions by the US and its lackeys is for the entire current world economic system to be totally reformed, or for it to come to a complete and utter end/collapse. Only then could things be re-worked and truly transformed, and the resources of the world put to the service of all its peoples

"The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born; in this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear." - Antonio Gramsci, italian marxist philosopher and writer

Posted by: michaelj72 | Jan 28, 2019 9:21:14 PM | 62

The sanctions talk have been so normalized that lost its devastating reality to the people thinking it is a civilized response to political conflict. Nothing further from the truth as it is most brutal response to political conflict as always is targeted toward population knowing well that scarce resources will be designated for defense as first priority. Murder of civilians is the first aim of sanctions while has no impact on strategic military situatiion.

In fact historically sanctions especially imperial sanctions were not a milder form of military aggression and almost never preceded any war and in fact not too often even followed the war except when it was related to embargo of fuel and military use materials .

What we should correctly call sanctions against basic resources needed to survive is not a prelude but escalation of military aggression.

In that context we may call victims of sanctions, victims of siege of Leningrad for almost two years by Nazi Army and food and material even Wood or coal for heat blockade by German military and Finnish military cooperating with Nazis that caused about 1.5 millions of dead or injured 90% of civilians dying from cold and hunger turning to eating , rats, pets, zoo animals and horses as well as cannibalism of dead or dying as scarce supplies went 100% to ultimately successful defense of the city.

This is true meaning of sanctions that harvest their deadly toll today and in the past in millions of innocent all that be deliberate design.

Posted by: Kalen | Jan 28, 2019 9:23:03 PM | 63

Freedom and free trade among nations isn't possible until the fall of the US empire and its control of international financial transactions. The world went from the Pound Sterling to the Dollar and everything that used to flow through London flowed through Washington. We can at our whim, steal any nations wealth through asset freezes and expropriation. This means we OWN all those countries. Until the world can get the American boot of its neck, no nation can be free. That is the existential struggle facing the world. Maybe it will come about through collapse of the Empire through bankruptcy, but bankruptcy is hard to come by when one party can simply steal from the others through some flimsy pretext. Maybe the answer will be war, of all against the center, and eventual destruction of American nerve centers.

Posted by: erik | Jan 28, 2019 9:26:20 PM | 64

reply to Cyril 59
Thank you for the info but I think I am correct or close to correct, based on:
re Sinovensa (50% Chinese owned):
Sinovensa, which is located in the Orinoco oil belt in southern Venezuela.. is the second-largest partly foreign-owned oil operation, now produces some 130,000 barrels per day (bpd). venezulaanalysis.com. Jan. 2019.

re Chinese loan payment terms:
"Beijing has extended $50bn of credit to Venezuela since 2007, mostly in exchange for oil shipments. The country exports about 600,000 barrels of oil to China a day, nearly half of which go towards repaying its loans."The Guardian 2015.

re Russian loans:
"Russia's state-run Rosneft lent at least $5 billion under similar arrangements (as China)."CNBC.

re current loans/payment status
"Over the decade ending in 2016, China loaned "Venezuela approximately $62 billion, much of which Caracas could repay with oil. Moscow in the last several years gave Venezuela $17 billion in loans and investment, and in December the two governments signed a new deal in which Russia will invest $6 billion in Venezuela’s oil and gold sectors."LATimes 2019.

I think it is reasonable to say that China is now, and plans on continuing to be, a fifty percent partner with Vz. Historically US cos were 70/30 partners until Chavez ended the arrangement.

My error is/was in feeling this is a permanent arrangement, perhaps it is not, or will not be given the US planned coup.

IMO the US felt sanctions would bring Vz back to the table, now they see China and Russia in their place and want them out fast via a coup.

Posted by: frances | Jan 28, 2019 9:51:34 PM | 65

"No repressive regime can move down a new path unless it has the choice of an open door."
Barack Obama

Posted by: Ace of Base | Jan 28, 2019 10:02:42 PM | 66

@56 Igfocus It would be a fine measure of the madness of Bonkers Bolton if thought that the USA can defeat the Venezuelan armed forces using nothing more than a beefed-up brigade.

That would mean 5,000 GIs attempting to defeat 500,000 Venezuelan troops.

Even with air superiority - not necessarily a given - I would imagine that the Pentagon would balk at odds of 100:1

Posted by: Yeah, Righ | Jan 28, 2019 10:03:33 PM | 67

How crazy, insane is Trump? He floated the military option against Venezuela with none other than LINDSEY GRAHAM!!!!
Trump has been pursuing military option Venezuela

That's maybe why he's readying to send 5,000 troops to Colombia.

https://www.rt.com/news/450006-bolton-pad-colombia-troops/

This is YOUR benevolant Trump! Correction: MA...LEVOLENT.

Just last week he fired a dozen undocumented workers who worked for years at his golf club and treated him with kid gloves! Who the hell does that??? An A-hole, who else!

Trump didn't suddenly become someone else overnight! I've been writing who he really is all along. Surprise!

Like he cares who he's gonna hurt with the sanctions. Like he cares about Venezuelans. He's got greed coursing through his bloodstream. He's gonna suck Venezuela dry, and Iran beware. Venezuela and Iran have been his number one targets. Now you're gonna wake up to the real Trump!

Posted by: Circe | Jan 28, 2019 10:10:54 PM | 68

@67 Yes but the US troops would just be there to show support for the Colombian army which numbers about 250,000. Colombia also has an airforce. Not suggesting it would come to that but Bolton knew exactly what he was doing with his notepad. He has lots of creative ideas.

Posted by: dh | Jan 28, 2019 10:22:01 PM | 69

Interview with Media Benjamin from code pink on Venezuela, by Thom Hartmann;

http://dl.thomhartmann.com/private/podcasts/2019_0128_thp-012819-hour3.mp3

Posted by: ben | Jan 28, 2019 10:36:57 PM | 70

>>>> Zanon | Jan 28, 2019 3:40:18 PM | 13

Sputnik News is like a British tabloid newspaper, you get only a brief article. To see the full story in all its glory go to rt.com.

"The path to sanctions relief for PDVSA is through the expeditious transfer of control to the interim president [] or a subsequent democratically elected government who is committed to taking concrete and meaningful actions to combat corruption". Mnuchin said

I'm gobsmacked by the degree of arrogance demonstrated by Munchkin's statement but that is nothing compared to John Bolton's contribution at the same presser:

“We know what the legitimate government of Venezuela is, and it is our mission to make reality what the people of Venezuela want,” National Security Adviser John Bolton chimed in, standing next to Mnuchin during the briefing at the White House on Monday.

Imagine the uproar if Putin had made a similar comment:

“We know what the legitimate government of the United States is, and it is our mission to make reality what the people of the United States want,” President Vladimir Putin chimed in, standing next to Lavrov during the briefing at the Kremlin on Monday.

Actually I don't have to imagine anything because many Americans already believe this fake news crap as gospel. In the spirit of Spinal Tap, I hope there is an eleventh circle of hell reserved for American politicians.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Jan 28, 2019 10:41:44 PM | 71

Expect to see a "color revolution" in New Zealand very soon.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Jan 28, 2019 10:58:33 PM | 72

@ Ghost Ship | Jan 28, 2019 10:58:33 PM | 72
Expect to see a "color revolution" in New Zealand very soon.
This disobedience by New Zealand of a US requirement, the recognition of that boy in Venezuela, is serious. Keep an eye on the current Governor-General in New Zealand, Dame Patsy Reddy, the Queen's representative. In Australia in 1975 it was Governor-General Sir John Kerr who dismissed the Prime Minister, Gough Whitlam for not toeing the US line.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 28, 2019 11:09:53 PM | 73

@72 I've been to NZ many times. If there is one country on Planet Earth that is immune to a color revolution it is the Land Of The Long White Cloud.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jan 28, 2019 11:17:28 PM | 74

From Truthdig;


"Amid warnings that the Trump administration is actively seeking to topple the elected government of President Nicolas Maduro, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Thursday spoke out against the U.S. government’s “long history of intervening inappropriately in Latin America” even as he criticized Maduro for his violent crackdown on opposition protesters and violations of the country’s constitution."

Full article;

https://www.truthdig.com/articles/bernie-sanders-says-he-opposes-u-s-intervention-in-venezuela/

Posted by: ben | Jan 28, 2019 11:45:54 PM | 75

Mike @ 60:

The main problem for the Bolivarian government in establishing a sovereign wealth fund is that, depending on where the monies are invested, they could be subject to freezes in the country or countries where the investment funds (that the SWF invests in) are based, in much the same way that, wherever Venezuela's gold reserves are kept, be that place the Bank of England in London or some other Western bank, they ended up being frozen.

The issue is that if the Bolivarian SWF invested in local investment funds in Venezuela or (say) Bolivia, the investment returns might not be great and the Bolivarian government could be accused of improper or inefficient money management. Investing in Western-based investment funds would net better and perhaps more consistent returns but then the money could be frozen at the moment of the Bolivarian government's greatest need.

Posted by: Jen | Jan 28, 2019 11:48:00 PM | 76

@ Ghost Ship #72

However, New Zealand’s foreign minister, Winston Peters, has refused to add New Zealand’s name to the list backing Guaidó. “It is not New Zealand’s practice to make statements of recognition of governments,” Peters said.

This fellow is either brave or stupid. And the entire Venezuela affair is just plain nuts. Only idea I have is that Bolton and the others caught Trump on the rebound after his failed government shutdown. Decades of wimpy Congresses have given Presidents a nearly free hand in foreign affairs. I haven't kept up, but I'd bet a nickel the warmongering branch of the Democratic Party is either quietly or loudly cheering this one.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Jan 28, 2019 11:54:21 PM | 77

Coups R US: American regime changes and their aftermaths, from Hawaii to Libya (RT Doc)

In March of 1951, Jacobo Arbenz came to power in Guatemala after having been resoundingly elected by the people. A little more than three years later, he was forced to resign in the midst of armed intervention. His reforms to redistribute unused land to poor peasants had fallen afoul of the United Fruit Company, which owned and warehoused vast tracts of Guatemalan land. The American corporation solicited the US government to overthrow the populist president and the Eisenhower administration delivered with the help of the Department of State and CIA, which happened to be led by the Dulles brothers, who had strong ties to the company. Arbenz’ ousting put an end to democracy in Guatemala for decades and replaced it by military rule. A civil war followed several years later, resulting in the deaths of over 200,000 people. The country remains one of Latin America’s most impoverished to this day.

And Guatemala is but one of a myriad of countries whose fates have been catastrophically dictated by America’s imperialist interventions. In this film, American author, journalist, and academic Stephen Kinzer explores the formula and rationale the US uses to overthrow governments it doesn’t like, as well as its real motives. As illustrated in Guatemala, Libya, and Hawaii, the people in places whose governments were toppled by US-engineered coups are still dealing with the aftermath many years later.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g3sW1y_Y9Ds

Posted by: John Doe | Jan 28, 2019 11:57:52 PM | 78

Yet another reason for war:

The illegit Apartheid speck in the desert recognizes...

This proves we're on the right side!

Posted by: Circe | Jan 29, 2019 12:06:16 AM | 79

Nicolas Maduro's accused Washington of ordering a coup against his government.
And there're multiple reasons to believe it's true...

https://www.facebook.com/SoapboxStand/videos/2293537540704791/

Posted by: John Doe | Jan 29, 2019 12:13:48 AM | 80

Forget JPOst, try this:

Zionists recognize illegit leader, what else is new?

Posted by: Circe | Jan 29, 2019 12:14:50 AM | 81

You wanna laugh?:

https://www.jpost.com/Breaking-News/Guaido-thanks-Netanyahu-for-support-and-recognition-578897

Posted by: Circe | Jan 29, 2019 12:17:47 AM | 82

After a 2005 US Senate report named him as having profited from illegal Iraqi oil sales, British MP George Galloway came back with a searing critique of US corruption and interventionist foreign policy

https://www.facebook.com/SoapboxStand/videos/234634970803306/

Posted by: John Doe | Jan 29, 2019 12:18:40 AM | 83

What is interesting is after two years of non-stop calls for impeachment from the Democrats and mainstream media, Trump actually does something outright impeachable, calling for an overthrow of the government of Venezuela, and no one in either mainstream politics nor the mainstream media calls him out on it.

Posted by: QuietRebel | Jan 29, 2019 12:24:57 AM | 84

I guess you can't put your own spin on a Zionist link.☹Anyway, one way to become President is: milk the Holocaust, and kiss Zionist ass. Guaido's been well-trained. See, I told you the Zionist lobby is global! They couldn't get rid of Chavez's successor fast enough

Posted by: Circe | Jan 29, 2019 12:30:02 AM | 85

@frances | Jan 28, 2019 9:51:34 PM | 65

Thank you for the info but I think I am correct or close to correct, based on: re Sinovensa (50% Chinese owned)

According to this page, China owns 49% of Sinovensa.

There is absolutely no way China can have 50% of Venezuela's oil (production per day, or reserves), as the state-owned company Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) dominates the oil industry there.

Posted by: Cyril | Jan 29, 2019 12:53:58 AM | 86

Hitler admired the US system, while the 'greatest nation' won't recognize its past

https://newsmaven.io/indiancountrytoday/archive/hitler-said-to-have-been-inspired-by-us-indian-reservation-system-V3MQ5A4QjU2GDXxTL980_w/

Posted by: Simon Moya-Smith | Jan 29, 2019 12:59:32 AM | 87

QuietRebel @84:

Overthrowing a foreign government isn't an impeachable offense, especially when majority of the Legislative branch supports it.

Posted by: Ian | Jan 29, 2019 1:03:06 AM | 88

@QuietRebel with the reflection on bias of MSM and pols

Just like sanctions being wars against people, the lies and narrative control of the MSM are wars against people.

Anyone trying to put lipstick on the Western pig of social organization is a fool and we are watching a whole herd of them busily at work.

I still see the elite goal being to tie the world into such knots that the "public" begs to continue to be "serviced"by global private finance.....gag

I still see China and their relationship with Russia as the only face to empire that could stop the madness we see; but how to defang the God of Mammon beast while retaining the lifeblood of economic flow without the jackboot.

China needs to declare Tulsi Gabbard president of the US and Jeremy Corbyn Prime Minister of the UK....and offer to put boots on the ground.....

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 29, 2019 1:13:30 AM | 89

The US calls many countries corrupt, but they are the most corrupt of all. They preach democracy, but they pick the ones who will run in the name of their political party. And if you don’t like who they picked, it’s just too bad.

Posted by: Jose Garcia | Jan 29, 2019 1:13:40 AM | 90

@69 dh "Yes but the US troops would just be there to show support for the Colombian army which numbers about 250,000."

Are you counting the death squads in that number? Or are they regarded as para-military?

"Colombia also has an airforce."

Yeah, the Super Tucano is one mean fighting machine......

"Not suggesting it would come to that but Bolton knew exactly what he was doing with his notepad. He has lots of creative ideas."

Oh, lots of ideas, sure. Just none of them any good.

Your concept of "creative" is what I would describe as "bat-shit crazy".


Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jan 29, 2019 1:59:10 AM | 91

[insults deleted and poster banned - b.]

Posted by: The Lowdown | Jan 29, 2019 2:03:52 AM | 92

ignore this bozo.. thanks..

Posted by: james | Jan 29, 2019 2:13:22 AM | 93

frances

on the oil issue, US just announced the sanctions so its too early to say. It seems Maduro is naive enough believing they could work with the US and thus being able to get that money, there is a logic in this though since if US do not buy the oil, Venzuelan economy is very dependent on this buyer, so regardless of what US do or say, Maduro cant just cut that off just like that. That would really shock the economy at this point.


Posted by: Zanon | Jan 29, 2019 3:43:49 AM | 94

Ghost Ship 71

Great points the hypocrisy is horrible, I have nothing more to add than the sad fact the coup attempt, aggression is not only accepted by americans but also europeans, this is why this is so dangerous.

Posted by: Zanon | Jan 29, 2019 3:47:42 AM | 95

Oil is just a convenient cover story. This all goes back to central bank reforms of 2016, Maduro brought this on himself by limiting Central Bank of Venezuelas absolute independence and making the president highest authority when it comes to naming and firing central bank directors. Central bank is the one authority you dont fuck with if you want to stay in power... or alive.

Posted by: ZZZzzz | Jan 29, 2019 4:05:29 AM | 96

frances 65

Moscow in the last several years gave Venezuela $17 billion in loans and investment, and in December the two governments signed a new deal in which Russia will invest $6 billion in Venezuela’s oil and gold sectors."LATimes 2019.

Well well only one month ago Russia signs up to invest in the tangible alternative currency - gold- and voila now we have a coup. THAT is the trigger I assume. Note UK government has confiscated Vz gold reserves.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jan 29, 2019 4:44:30 AM | 97

@Circe #68

How crazy, insane is Trump? He floated the military option against Venezuela with none other than LINDSEY GRAHAM!!!!
Trump has been pursuing military option Venezuela

That's maybe why he's readying to send 5,000 troops to Colombia.

https://www.rt.com/news/450006-bolton-pad-colombia-troops/

This is YOUR benevolant Trump! Correction: MA...LEVOLENT

Jeez, and I thought Hillary was the warmonger who was going to send US troops all over the world

Posted by: ralphieboy | Jan 29, 2019 6:12:47 AM | 98

https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/01/29/bernie-and-the-dems-flunk-trumps-test-on-venezuelas-coup/

Good piece on how Democrats across the board have given Trump political cover for this coup attempt and are signalling to him that all he ever needs to do to defuse domestic stand-offs and get the whole "Resistance" to close ranks with him is to launch or escalate another bout of foreign aggression.

The piece also puts Sanders' pro-Trump performance here in the context of his long-running con job, since the imperialism he consistently supports always is used domestically to thwart the social programs he falsely claims to want.

I'll add that Sanders and the other "insurgents" who have given lukewarm criticism of US interference in this instance evidently do not consider the long-running war-by-sanction to be "interference", let alone a crime against humanity.

Posted by: Russ | Jan 29, 2019 6:13:31 AM | 99

@Lowdown #92

War by a people against another people.

War by Americans against Venezuelans.

You piece of shit,

You vote *exclusively* Democrat or Republican. Every fucking time.

This means,

ALL Americans are scumbags, not just their government.

You vote only for (one of the wings) of the War Party.

Therefore,

All of you Americans are an abomination.

Including the lot of you who post here and your fifth-column 'b'.

Were you bitten by an American when you were young? You really need to seek help with these anger issues

And drop the blanket ad hominem attacks, because I find that people who engage in that are true scumbags.

Posted by: ralphieboy | Jan 29, 2019 6:19:34 AM | 100

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