Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
January 27, 2019

These Media Claims About Venezuela Are Lies Or Misconceptions

The U.S. mainstream media is suddenly discovering Venezuela. Without having any actual knowledge of the country, all dirt the writers can think of is thrown against its government. Don't expect to get any facts from them. Most is just propaganda in a media build for a war.

In this NPR report for example, Amid Chaos Venezuelans Struggle To Find The Truth, Online, the first line is already an outrageous lie:

In Venezuela, where media is controlled by the government, figuring out what is truth, rumor or propaganda has always been difficult.

No. The media in Venezuela is NOT controlled by the government. There are many privately owned newspapers and TV stations. Many of them oppose the government. They have a larger viewership than the government controlled ones. While there are, as elsewhere, laws that allow for some censorship, their actual use is not common.

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Secretary of State Pompeo and others claim that Cuba is involved in Venezuela. The NYT even headlines: With Spies and Other Operatives, a Nation Looms Over Venezuela’s Crisis: Cuba. But all the experts quoted refute Pompeo's claim:

“This claim that Cuba is controlling Venezuela has been around, really, since Chávez started,” said David Smilde, a sociology professor and expert on Venezuela at Tulane University. “It’s been long overblown.”
...
While former military officials who have fled Venezuela have reported the involvement of Cubans within the security and intelligence forces, experts say the extent of that involvement remains shrouded in mystery.
...
“There’s been a lot of speculation about this, and rumors about numbers and about how close they are to Maduro,” said Ted Piccone, a senior fellow in foreign policy at the Brookings Institution. “But I haven’t seen any hard, solid reporting on it.”
...
[T]he ranks of Cuban professionals working in the South American country have thinned in recent years, analysts say, and the relationship between Mr. Maduro and the current Cuban leadership is not nearly as warm as the friendship between their predecessors.
...
Political advisers still have the ear of key officials in the Maduro administration, though Mr. Smilde said: “Cubans often complain that Maduro doesn’t listen to them.”

Cuba has good economic relation with Venezuela. Several thousand Cuban doctors work there. But that's about it.

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One claim, repeated yesterday by the British ambassador at the UN, is that Maduro won the presidential election by "stuffing the ballot boxes". Venezuela doesn't have ballot boxes. It uses an electronic system developed by a British company that is highly praised:

In September 2012 former US President Jimmy Carter said “the election process in Venezuela is the best in the world”.

The voters identify with a voter ID and a finger print and vote on a touch screen. Maduro was duly elected as president. Twice. Some, not all opposition parties and candidates, boycotted the last election which led to a lower than usual turnout. Not taking part is a right the opposition can use. It is not the fault of the government.

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Some media claim that the "international community" accepted the U.S. sponsored dude's presidential claim. That is a lie. The U.S. tried to find allies for its onslaught on Venezuela but failed to get international support except from a few of its poodles. Yesterday the UN security council did not take up a resolution against Venezuela because it was obvious that it would fail. Even at the Organisation of American States (OAS) U.S. attempts to push for a resolution against Maduro failed to gain a simple majority:

Thursday also saw a diplomatic battle at the Organization of American States, with Secretary Pompeo and OAS Secretary Almagro pushing the body to recognize Guaidó. The efforts were unsuccessful, garnering only 16 favourable votes out of the 34 countries, with US allies Guyana, Santa Lucia, and Jamaica abstaining.

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Another frequently seen claim is that economic mismanagement caused the problems in Venezuela. But it was the drop in oil prices and,  even more important, U.S. sanctions that led to billions of losses of government income and caused the economic difficulties. Sanctions do not work against governments as often claimed, but impoverish the people. Already back in 2014 Maduro identified them as part a regime change attempt. The Congressional Research Service lists all the sanctions and warns (pdf) that these hit the poor the most. Even the U.S. sponsored dude acknowledges that the U.S. sanctions are part of the 'regime change' plan:

Guaido also praised countries that had imposed sanctions against Venezuela, stressing that “sanctions worked” and played a part in getting the country where it is today.

The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela is not even as messy as its neighbors are. Despite the current problems the UN's Human Developing Index ranks Venezuela higher than most of them.

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All 'western' media repeat the claim that the U.S. sponsored dude claimed the presidency based on article 233 of the constitution. But none of them refute that obviously false claim. Article 233 of the constitution (pdf) of Venezuela details the procedures for the case that the president "becomes permanently unavailable" which Nicolas Maduro is obviously not. Moreover the next in place if the president becomes unavailable is the vice president, not the leader of the National Assembly. The dude has no legal basis to claim the presidency.

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Another claim is that the U.S. sponsored dude is somewhat prominent. He is not:

Félix Seijas, a political analyst and director of the Delphos polling agency, said surveys showed that few Venezuelans even knew Guaidó’s name a few weeks ago.

The dude is simply a stand-in for Leopoldo López, a criminal opposition politician who already twice attempted violent coups:

Born into a well-off family with links to the business and oil sector, López, now 46, was educated in the United States and has a master's degree from Harvard University.
...
In a 2009 classified cable published by Wikileaks, the political counsellor of the US embassy in Caracas, Robin D Meyer, wrote that López had become a "divisive figure within the opposition".

"He is often described as arrogant, vindictive, and power-hungry - but party officials also concede his enduring popularity, charisma, and talent as an organiser," the US diplomat wrote.

In the U.S. the real man behind the coup attempt is anti-Cuban Senator Marco Rubio:

[Rubio] waited less than a month after Mr. Trump took office to begin a persistent effort to draw the president’s attention to Venezuela. In February 2017, Mr. Rubio along with Mr. Pence helped usher Lilian Tintori, a Venezuelan political activist and television star, into the Oval Office to meet Mr. Trump. She told the president about her husband, Leopoldo López, an opposition leader under house arrest.

Rubio and other neoconservatives have since plotted to convince Trump to confront the people of Venezuela. Former CIA official Ray McGovern thinks, like me, that Trump seems to fall into a catastrophic trap:

Ray McGovern @raymcgovern - 16:47 utc - 25 Jan 2019

Venezuela could be Trump’s Bay of Pigs, with Bolton playing CIA's Alan Dulles and Pompeo John Foster Dulles. They and the US military brass tried to mousetrap JFK with deceitful assurances that there would be no need for US military action. Will Trump face them down, as JFK did?

The above are only some of the false claims and misconceptions about Venezuela that are floating around. Please use the comments to collect and refute whatever other lies you see.

Posted by b on January 27, 2019 at 10:03 AM | Permalink

Comments

Thanks for the update of the truth b.

Posted by: jo6pac | Jan 27, 2019 10:12:31 AM | 1

Must read from Saker's blog.

http://thesaker.is/america-to-venezuela-your-money-and-your-life/

Thank you.

Posted by: Taffyboy | Jan 27, 2019 10:32:13 AM | 2

Thank you very much, b. What confounds me is that in this move to recognize the unelected 'opposition' dude who has never actually run for office, Trump lays himself open to having the same (or more quasi-legitimate) process occur against him - seemingly unaware of his own vulnerability in this instance. Where has he been during this whole Russiagate fracas? No leader of any opposition in any democratic country becomes eligible to overthrow the elected leader in that country on the sayso of some big banana from another country!

We've been enduring this attack on our own elected president, such as he is, for so long that for him to say, okay, I'm for doing the very same thing only without all the folderol, just on my sayso! is an exercise of completely illogical buffoonery.

And look, everyone: look at who followed him down the rabbithole!

Instead of 'cry, the beloved country' I find myself saying 'cringe, the beloved country!'

Posted by: juliania | Jan 27, 2019 10:34:21 AM | 3

The likes of NPR and the NYT really talk only about themselves and their controlling corporate state, but project it onto whoever is the enemy du jour.

(Not that they're directly controlled by some master cabal. One of the refinements neoliberalism made over classical fascism was to realize they don't need a de jure Goebbels ministry. The corporate media willingly, happily subordinates itself to the elites' program and only needs basic guidance from above. It figures out day-to-day lies on its own, along with regurgitating state propaganda as "reportage".)

Posted by: Russ | Jan 27, 2019 10:37:51 AM | 4

"Please use the comments to collect and refute whatever other lies you see."
Well that's difficult. Your collection is very exhaustive. Thank you for that. But okay, this is what the nzz is writing today:
"According to the NGO Fundación Redes, 12 subversive groups from Colombia - guerrillas, paramilitaries and criminal cartels - are active in Venezuela, usually tolerated or supported by local military units and police." I am not in a position to prove this a lie which it certainly is. Maybe others can collaborate. By the way, the whole nzz-article is a large dung bucket poured out over the Venezuelan governments of the last 20 years. Obviously, it's about delegitimization. It is equally obvious that not even if everything that the nzz wrote corresponded to the truth would change anything about the fact that the machinations of the Gang of Four - Pence, Bolton, Pompeo, Rubio - is a regime change attempt contrary to international law.

Posted by: Pnyx | Jan 27, 2019 10:37:55 AM | 5

Sorry, folks. One can certainly question whether or not we should be involved in this but anything defending the so-called "government" of Nicolas Maduro is pure crap. Just because the USG wants to oust somebody it does not mean they are good guys.
Cuba involved in Venezuela? Don't make me laugh. The Cubans run Venezuela. Maduro is surrounded by 500 Cuban Special Forces troops to keep him in the Miraflores Palace. Cuba survivies on Venezuelan oil shipments. Cuba run s the Venezuela intelligenceservice, their passport office (yes, Venezuelan passp[orts are printed by the Cubans) and the Venezuelan cedulas (identity cards). I am sick of so-called patriotic Americans supporting Latin American Communists like Maduro. There is nothing on the earth more stupid, more cruel, more greedy, more dishonest and more violent than those bastards. KNow what "colectivos" are? Thugs armed by the government to murder ordinary Venezuelans. Rule of thumb: Any Venezuelan who at this point supports Maduro
is part of the government-run mafia of corruption and narcotics trafficking.

Posted by: Charles Clifford Burgess | Jan 27, 2019 10:41:02 AM | 6

Beyond doubt the US government both republic and democrat party’s are blatantly lying to the US public at large. With the media’s full assistance! By total lie’s half truths and complete silence as to the truth. I thank ‘b’ for now moving our focus onto this. The problems in Venezuela or enywhere else, can only be solved on the streets of US ! By right thinking people, who value the truth and reality. Enyone who does not, is at this stage clearly insane.
And we should blame, the wait and see merchants in the public and on this site. Own up you know who you are !

Posted by: Mark2 | Jan 27, 2019 10:50:06 AM | 7

Gee, I like the presentation format change, it it so much easier to read.. and gleam an understanding of the points and facts from.

I spent quite a bit of time in Belize, got to know the Cuban Doctors and Cuban Protective watch guard entire Caribbean environment protection.. My experience with Cubans was that they were honest, forthright and devoid of anything but high technology, trained people who carried with them personal and Cuban national goals to make available to anyone and everyone on a more or less first need basis, what ever the Cubans in Belize had or could arrange to provide. I saw not one single dishonest Cuban, no backstabbing, no frauds, and there were many for me to sample from.

I believe if you take the foreign owned oil and gas, large corporate farm people and mining companies out of Venezuela (build a wall) , the political issues would self resolve over night. The very poor masses can handle the very rich.
Venezuela's chaos is about self determination. Democratic hardworking masses seeking better quality of life vs oil, corporate farm, and mining magnet (the very rich Oligarchs). If Venezuela is allowed to continue to sell its oil on the open market at market prices, the global price of oil and gas will further decline, and lower prices will decimate the LGN business for ever article explains=>

https://russia-insider.com/en/shale-industry-collapse-will-start-spring-and-take-rest-us-down-it/ri26049

Posted by: snake | Jan 27, 2019 10:53:42 AM | 8

#6 neatly paraphrases, perhaps without irony, another propaganda theme which has been propagated over the past two days or so: Venezuala is a corrupt narco/mafia state. This holds that a small coterie close to the upper reaches of the government has amassed huge personal fortunes through drug-running and theft from the national treasury. One story has claimed that the daughter of one official is now the richest woman in the world.

The narco/mafia/ stealing from the treasury angle is so commonly trotted out against targetted enemies that it is astonishing it gains any traction at all. Recent iterations: Putin/ Ghaddafi/ Assad/ etc have stashed billions in stolen cash. Hezbollah are drug traffickers ... etc etc

Posted by: jayc | Jan 27, 2019 11:05:50 AM | 9

@6 Charles Clifford Burgess
Please provide some source for your preposterous statements: "The Cubans run Venezuela. Maduro is surrounded by 500 Cuban Special Forces troops". "There is nothing on the earth more stupid, more cruel, more greedy, more dishonest and more violent than those bastards" -based on what? Are you from Venezuela or have you ever lived there; do you have some sources we can read or are these just your personal fantasies? "Any Venezuelan who at this point supports Maduro is part of the government-run mafia of corruption" So the 6 million who voted for him are part of the government? The 8-9 million Chavistas are all part of the government? One more thing, which country do you reside in sir, one that doesn't have any corruption in the government I suppose? Please provide links for this information as I've never read anywhere ideas such as "Cuba runs Venezuela".

Posted by: Jason | Jan 27, 2019 11:11:24 AM | 10

I suppose what strikes me here is the degree to which the West's machinations--toward regime change here, as elsewhere--are so little invested, today, in justifications based on law, reason, or evidence (even a sophisticated presentation of false evidence). As MoA's piece here illustrates. It's now thought largely sufficient to declare someone illegitimate and name someone else as a legitimate alternative and not only the media but a succession of foreign (Western) vassals can be counted on to chime in, within hours. As a Canadian, I don't expect courage or independence from us, or probity from our media, but normally I might expect sufficient delay to piece together a tissue of rationalized cover.

Recall that even as we might date much of this from Bush Jr.'s war on the guy who may have threatened his daddy, the run up to that war entailed extensive "diplomatic" manoeuvring -- UNSC, UN Weapons Inspectors, hand-wringing about international law and the jurisdiction of the ICC, months to cobble together a coalition of the willing.

Now it seems almost to happen by fiat--despite the reasonable hypothesis that US diplomatic power is waning, its relations strained, its legitimacy crumbling. Puzzling, no?

Posted by: Paul Damascene | Jan 27, 2019 11:19:20 AM | 11

Who ever heard about Guaidos before the current events? He is not an ‘opposition’ leader, has no backing, influence, control of anything (as far as i can see? - see also b post previous, who knows better? sincere qu.), and suddenly he is Heroic Opponent?

He must be either terminally stupid or secretly suicidal praying for an early grave, revered as a martyr. Yeah, he may be a voice for some small chunk of the top-upper classes (trad. “white” previous slave-owners, today still in control of many parts..) but only as *against* Maduro, not as any alternative pol voice (imho) though I suppose that is enough to appeal to Pence, Pompeo, Trump.

Assad must go didn’t work out so now Maduro must go, too pathetic. Trump famous for saying re. Iraq and we didn’t even get the oil! (correct, and one of the winners was China) is right on spot, in the sense that in biz terms investment in arms and aggro (v. costly) should bring in return in terms of bounty, new opportunities, access to material ressources, favorable terrain, cheap, affordable labor, control of ppl, competitors, land, sea routes - capital and banking - sex slaves, and more (agri left out.)

The essential question is, has been for some time, will the USA give up its Empire, the Pax Americana, through slow attrition, painful adjustement, minor skirmishes, pol. stumbling, a gradual bowing down and acceptance of loss of control, to join in, what is for the mo. called a multipolar world?

This mad-cap Venezuela caper doesn’t inform us much?

Posted by: Noirette | Jan 27, 2019 11:25:43 AM | 12

Search engine result for "Maduro regime" 607,000 hits
" " " " "Trump regime" 219,000 hit

Search for "Maduro dictatorship got 38,000 hits
Search for "bin Salman dictatorship got 6 hits
Search for "Mohammed bin Salman dictatorship" got zero hits
Search for "Trump Dictatorship" got 20,100 hits

It may not be worth a chuckle, but here goes: A curious headline in reference to Venezuelan gold's stickiness, or maybe it's just too fat or the vault is too small: "Venezuela: $1.2 billion in Gold Stuck in Bank of England"

Posted by: Robert Snefjella | Jan 27, 2019 11:54:36 AM | 13

b-thank you, great as always!
re why Venezuela and why now, I think the answers to both are; because any hope of getting control of Syrian oil is gone, US Shale was always a boondoggle, the Canadian tar sands project is also fraught with problems; cost transit distance, transit boycotts.
But I don't think the Trump goal, as distinct from the Rubino et al goal, is a coup. I think we are seeing a rerun of the NK strategy; threaten you with annihilation, see who blinks. Then get some players on the phone and cut a deal.
In this case to get the US cos in on the oil. Now it might work but as China "owns" 50% of all oil production in exchange for the massive loans it gave, this one may be more tricky than NK.
Trump promised no more wars, he is not going to give the Dems a stick to beat him with in 2020.
BTW, I consulted on a project in Venezuela pre Chavez for the oil co; in all my travels I have never seen such abject poverty and fear on the face of every single person I met.
The videos and photos of the people today are night and day from the desperation I saw, these people will fight any attempt to overthrow the govt IMO including killing supporters of a US approved coup.

Posted by: frances | Jan 27, 2019 11:55:48 AM | 14

b-this just in at zerohedge
www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-01-27/maduro-walks-back-us-diplomat-expulsion-order-russia-slams-us-all-options-comment
I hope I posted this correctly:(
I think Maderos is being advised by the wise and shrewd Russians, this is a great diplomatic segway by Vz and feels so Russian:)

Posted by: frances | Jan 27, 2019 12:14:55 PM | 15

Brazilian Military has just announced, on live tv, that it will use the Brumadinho barrage disaster to bring in the IDF. The Brazilian lt. who made the announcement didn't even bother to make up a false reason. The Brazilian government will use this Israeli equipment and men to exterminate the Brazilian left (specially the landless movement -- MST -- but not only) and, probably, make an incursion to Venezuela.

Posted by: vk | Jan 27, 2019 12:17:02 PM | 16

https://www.greanvillepost.com/2019/01/26/the-dirty-hand-of-the-national-endowment-for-democracy-ned-in-venezuela/

I'm sure that's just the tip of the iceberg with regard to the amount of money that has been poured in to Venezuela to foment opposition to the legitimate government and it refutes the lie that the opposition is organic.

A lot has been said about Venezuela's oil, and while the US military is the largest consumer of fossil fuels on the planet, it's certainly relevant. It's also important to consider Venezuela's gold, one of the largest deposits/reserves in the world.

Posted by: mourning dove | Jan 27, 2019 12:20:41 PM | 17

NPR = National Propaganda Radio.

NPR totally lost me as a listener a year or so ago when they ran a story about a U.S. air strike against a "rebel" oil field in Syria featuring a video shot from the attacking aircraft. Except if you looked closely at the video, the HUD markings were in Cyrillic script! I called and emailed their ombudsman, and after several days got a reply acknowledging their "mistake", but of course a retraction was never run.

Posted by: Trisha Driscoll | Jan 27, 2019 12:25:05 PM | 18

Noticed that Israel is/has already sent 120 or more people to Brazil to help in the disastrous flood from the failed mine waste dam. Reminds me of the past when Israel sent people to Ukraine to help grow food? Can incursions into Valenzuela be far behind?

Posted by: Eugene | Jan 27, 2019 12:28:52 PM | 19

Nicolás Maduro rejects ultimatum on fresh elections in Venezuela

Posted by: Virgile | Jan 27, 2019 12:37:41 PM | 20

"Earlier, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev similarly denounced US meddling in Venezuela's affairs, and stressed that Guaido's declaration of himself as president was equivalent to a fantasy scenario where Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi declared herself president of the United States over the shutdown crisis."
Sputnik news

Posted by: Virgile | Jan 27, 2019 12:39:44 PM | 21

The representative of the UK to the UN was, by far, the great liar of the meeting, adding his imperialistic, hubristic, master´s tone, as if he was an English Victorian teacher throwing the uarrel to his scared little pupils..... Someone should remind him that the times of Thatcher´s and her support for fascistic dictatorship in LatinAmercia passed long ago...

Not even Pompeo displayed such hubris while telling his part of the plot´s lies... In fact Pompeo told all what he had to say with his hands like in prayer saying all in the run as if he was an altar boy lying to his confessor, as if wishing to end the thing asap. Then he left the room, lest God to appear and the skies to fall over him....

Posted by: Sasha | Jan 27, 2019 12:44:51 PM | 22

regarding Charles Clifford Burgess #6

Amost a textbook example here of Professional Trolling. I've heard the Venezuelan rightwing Opposition has a lot of money, and they might be the ones funding 'stuff' like demonstrated by the likes of CCB. This boy might even be getting a paycheck funded by MY tax dollars.

^^^

@ The Lowdown #15

Poor baby! Personally, I have a standard procedure for when a blog site deletes my posts: I leave. Only exception is for routine housecleaning procedures, like when the changes are necessary for showing trolls to the door. But I understand how some people prefer to hang around and whine.

^^^

@ frances #16

I think Maderos is being advised by the wise and shrewd Russians...
Whether Russians or somebody else, I had the exact same thought. While extremely satisfying to daydream of tossing the bums out, it wasn't necessary.

^^^

@ Trisha Driscoll #19

Regarding NPR, it's my assumption they're lying until demonstrated otherwise. Turns out there a few good reports still coming from that "propaganda" service, but they are becoming more and more uncommon.


Posted by: Zachary Smith | Jan 27, 2019 1:03:38 PM | 23

It´s the early stages of a local long and funded wave of protests and turmoil. The three letter agencies and colombian paramilitary groups - speak the same language- will give a hand. Hoping that further Maduro´s blunders will help.
Only in a second stage further civil war like actions might, probably will take place. The US if smart enough should better keep importing 500 million bbl of Caracas oil and pay for it. Otherwise Maduro will sell to India and china on better conditions.
Based on russian advice and previous Lybia and Syria ''models' of course Maduro knows how the US script of regime change unfolds. And is preparing for it.
The real point is whether Maduro can keep the poor and inflation riddled people for long long on his side. I hope he can change the economic policies in a medium run approach.

Posted by: augusto | Jan 27, 2019 1:18:15 PM | 24

I think there's perhaps no better sign of hypocrisy than the EU member states' demand that Venezuela hold new elections or they'll recognize Guaido as the leader... Right after Venezuela has just held fair elections that Maduro won with over 2/3 of the vote. Perhaps France should hold new elections as well since Macron has less than 20% support?

Posted by: worldblee | Jan 27, 2019 1:25:07 PM | 25

Posted by: Eugene | Jan 27, 2019 12:28:52 PM | 20

"Noticed that Israel is/has already sent 120 or more people to Brazil to help in the disastrous flood from the failed mine waste dam. Reminds me of the past when Israel sent people to Ukraine to help grow food? Can incursions into Valenzuela be far behind?"

Maybe off topic, though I think on topic if there's any question about how to break free of the US-type system (and if people don't want to break free of it, then what difference does it make if the US runs it or someone else?):

It may seem ironic but really isn't, since we can expect far more of this worldwide in the years to come, that Brazil sustains such a disaster immediately after voting to radically escalate such disasters within its domain.

As for Venezuela, if they plan to continue on the same path, destroying the forests and rivers and gouging out the heavy oil, in the end it makes little difference whether nominal "socialists" or US-poodle neoliberals run the place. It's the same squatter-vandal society.

Posted by: Russ | Jan 27, 2019 1:45:00 PM | 26

As I said, Maduro is naive for not getting the americans out.

Violence Against US Diplomats to Be Met 'With Significant Response' - Bolton
https://sputniknews.com/world/201901271071868358-violence-diplomats-response-bolton/

Posted by: Zanon | Jan 27, 2019 1:47:12 PM | 27

From the Guardian "...calls from the international community to hold elections within eight days"

The sentence fragment contains a double lie: there is no such actual entity as 'the international community'; there is much lip service to the non-existent entity, which in any case did not call for elections. Some countries demanded those elections. A search for the non-existent entity "international community" gave over 29 million hits.

The term 'international community' is reminiscent of the term 'intelligence community', which strictly speaking is a dubious presumption, but which has arguably a remote contact with reality, in the same sense as say 'honour among thieves'.

The word community has warm and pleasant connotations, communing with nature and communicating and all that. In the usages noted above though 'community' has been in effect 'weaponized'.

Typically, the 'international community' is cited as supporting an agenda the PTB are pursuing.

Posted by: Robert Snefjella | Jan 27, 2019 2:13:57 PM | 28

Posted by: frances | Jan 27, 2019 11:55:48 AM | 14

Venezuela's oil (at least the bulk of it, in the Orinoco Belt) is actually quite similar to the Athabasca tar sands in Canada. It is a truly massive resource, but it's thick and viscous and requires steam injection to make it flow, so they'll never be able to produce it at the rates you see coming out of the likes of Saudi Arabia or Russia.

Posted by: AshenLight | Jan 27, 2019 2:18:47 PM | 29

@ 16 frances
This “news” was picked up from MSM by zerohedge, a website which has carried out a continuous campaign against what it calls “socialism” in Venezuela over the past few years. There has been some balance to its coverage over the past ten days or so, but only because they sense that much of non-mainstream opinion is supporting the elected President.

What the Venezuelan government offered in its statement yesterday is something similar to what existed in Cuba for decades, namely an “Office of Interests” in the two capitals with “strict adherence to international law for cases of breakdown of relations between countries.“ The government goes on to state that “a period of thirty days has been established to reach this agreement.”

Posted by: Lochearn | Jan 27, 2019 2:20:54 PM | 30

To the propaganda at #6 - and the fact that you have not come back around to defend or cite any of your sources is duly noted -

here's a Google search on "cuban guards maduro": https://www.google.com/search?q=maduro+cuban+guards&rlz=1C1CHBF_enUS811US811&oq=maduro+cuban+guards&aqs=chrome..69i57.4463j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

Here's a story from the (Western propaganda rag) Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/may/27/cuba-expats-maduro-caracas-venezuela-protests

In neither case can I find any reference to the "500" or whatever Cuban "guards" that you claim protect Maduro. Not even the "opposition" (also a group that the Western establishment media only recently partially fleshed out for us)is making the outrageous claims that you are.

So please come back and provide links or personal anecdotes from the extensive time you've spent in Venezuela and in the palace there.

Posted by: Mike | Jan 27, 2019 2:21:53 PM | 31

#6 - @Charles Clifford Burgess

https://thecitypaperbogota.com/features/colombias-green-fire-goes-global/12337

http://www.ticotimes.net/2015/08/09/one-american-hunts-for-emeralds-in-colombia-but-many-want-to-stop-him

Would you happen to know this person? It almost looks like "he" has a long history in Central and South America on behalf of US government and oil/minerals/precious stones exploration. Maybe Venezuela is the next big unspoiled windfall for "him"?

Posted by: Mike | Jan 27, 2019 2:28:59 PM | 32

thanks b! you know the post is a good one when the trolls come out immediately to denounce his post and character.. as b says - ignore the trolls.. it is hard to do it seems..

this Marco Rubio dude is quite the piece of work... "In October 2011, Rubio joined several other Senators in pushing for continued engagement to "help Libya lay the foundation for sustainable security." this freak needs to go spend his time helping to follow thru with his lofty political positions... i am sure he has the same lofty ideas for venezuala... how much money does he have in his back pocket from the military-financial-energy industrial complex??

Posted by: james | Jan 27, 2019 2:29:05 PM | 33

they make these warmongers in the usa pretty consistent... typical american warmongering bozo... there are a lot of them..
Rubio supported the 2003 invasion of Iraq and military intervention in Libya.
Rubio voiced support for a Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen...
Regarding Iran, he supports tough sanctions, and scrapping the recent nuclear deal..
on the Islamic State, he favors aiding local Sunni forces in Iraq and Syria.
He supports working with allies to set up no-fly zones in Syria
He is wary of China regarding national security and human rights, and wants to boost the U.S. military presence in that region...

Posted by: james | Jan 27, 2019 2:36:03 PM | 34

B, excellent article, completely correct all your statements. Thank you.

Posted by: Canthama | Jan 27, 2019 2:42:32 PM | 35

Mention should be made of the hoarding of food supplies by major food-importing companies in Venezuela, whose owners are opposed to the Maduro government and its policies, and to the Chavez government previously.

One of the largest food-importing companies in the country is Empresas Polar SA, a food and beverage conglomerate owned by the billionaire Lorenzo Mendoza, known to be opposed to Maduro. The company has been accused of hoarding food to create food shortages and push up food prices beyond the ability of the poor to pay.

"Venezuela: Maduro creates 'socialist enterprise system', collectives protest food giant's hoarding"
https://www.greenleft.org.au/content/venezuela-maduro-creates-socialist-enterprise-system-collectives-protest-food-giants

On top of the food hoarding, companies and individuals in the western parts of Venezuela bordering Colombia have been selling hoarded food (much of it subsidised by the Venezuelan government) to private companies in Colombia for profit. The Colombian companies then resell the food to Venezuelans living near Colombia - for profit.

"Blaming Socialism, US Media Distorts Venezuela’s Food Crisis"
https://www.telesurenglish.net/news/Blaming-Socialism-US-Media-Distorts-Venezuelas-Food-Crisis-20170223-0053.html

Posted by: Jen | Jan 27, 2019 2:56:39 PM | 36

@ Sasha | Jan 27, 2019 12:44:51 PM | 22

The representative of the UK to the UN was, by far, the great liar of the meeting, adding his imperialistic, hubristic, master´s tone, as if he was an English Victorian teacher throwing the uarrel to his scared little pupils
___________________________________

You may be familiar with a song called "Why Can't the English?" from the musical "My Fair Lady". This bit comes to mind:

In France every Frenchman knows
His language from "A" to "Zed"
The French don't care what they
do, actually,
As long as they pronounce it properly. ...

Over the months, as I watched senior government members in the UK spew absolutely preposterous, truthless rubbish on various topics, e.g. the Skripal affair, the (imaginary) Russian Menace, BREXIT, something occurred to me:

Just as it's said that police officers and other persons with authority have, or develop, a certain Commanding Voice that is unquestioningly believed and obeyed, the UK political elite uses the Posh Tone for the same reasons.

For better or worse, Jeremy Corbyn doesn't have it. But May, the clownish Boris Johnson, and all of these snobbish ministerial twerps sure do. They seem convinced that it's like The Voice of Saruman, if that means anything to you. If they say it in the Posh Tone, it's like the Pope speaking "ex cathedra". Hear, believe, and obey! ;)

Posted by: Ort | Jan 27, 2019 3:22:01 PM | 37

For Putin's domestic critics, the Trump administration's support for Maduro's opposition is a source of inspiration.

In a tweet, Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny called Trump's decision "outstanding."

Kremlin critics

(Following this thread is maddening. People should use link tags.)

Posted by: Circe | Jan 27, 2019 3:43:41 PM | 38

As for "Spies and other operatives", Canada's state broadcaster openly brags:

But emboldening Venezuela's opposition has been a labour of months...Canadian diplomats in Caracas, with their Latin American counterparts, worked to get the country's opposition parties to coalesce behind the one person who emerged strong enough to stand against Maduro: 35-year-old Guaido...Canada anticipated this week's developments because its diplomats have been keeping in close contact with Guaido and other opposition figures in Venezuela.
<https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/canada-guaido-diplomats-1.4994376>

Posted by: martin | Jan 27, 2019 3:54:03 PM | 39

https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/canada-guaido-diplomats-1.4994376

Posted by: martin | Jan 27, 2019 3:58:10 PM | 40

AshenLight says:

It is a truly massive resource, but it's thick and viscous and requires steam injection to make it flow, so they'll never be able to produce it at the rates you see coming out of the likes of Saudi Arabia or Russia

well, gosh, i guess they'll just have to prolong the environmental devastation. also, all ideological differences aside, there's mucho coltan, bauxite, diamonds and gold to extract…

and all those trees that just get in the way.

Posted by: john | Jan 27, 2019 4:25:27 PM | 42

reply to Lochearn 30
Thank you, I didn't know that a US/Cuba Office of Interests had existed, I am getting more and more of a Bay of Pigs REDUX feeling about this.
re zerohedge I agree, many years ago it was quite good, now it is more of an intellectual and political wastebasket:(

Posted by: frances | Jan 27, 2019 4:46:33 PM | 44

Posted by: Ort | Jan 27, 2019 3:22:01 PM | 37
They seem convinced that it's like The Voice of Saruman, if that means anything to you.

Sure it means something, like this --

“Suddenly another voice spoke, low and melodious, its very sound an enchantment. Those who listened unwarily to that voice could seldom report the words that they heard; and if the did, they wondered, for little power remained in them. Mostly they remembered only that it was a delight to hear that voice speaking, all that it said seemed wise and reasonable, and desire awoke in them by swift agreement to seem wise themselves.
. . .
For many the sound of the voice alone was enough to hold them enthralled; but for those whom it conquered the spell endured when they were far away, and ever they heard that soft voice whispering and urging them. But none were unmoved; none rejected its pleas and its commands without an effort of mind and will, so long as its master had control of it.”

Kinda like that . . ?

Posted by: AntiSpin | Jan 27, 2019 5:07:45 PM | 45

Saruman hated trees too, on principle.

Posted by: Russ | Jan 27, 2019 5:31:49 PM | 46

This is rich. The EU's unelected president calling for new elections in Venezuela. President Tusk, shouldn't you be more worried about Paris burning???

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/maduro-wins-backing-of-venezuelan-senior-military-figures-1.3769202

Posted by: Tom | Jan 27, 2019 5:55:21 PM | 47

Sasha @ 22:

The British ambassador to the UN is Dame Karen Elizabeth Pierce.

Posted by: Jen | Jan 27, 2019 6:41:42 PM | 48

@ six, who is the "we" you are talking about ?
There are 527 members of the USA, all paid big fat salaries and as far as i can tell they are the government, all powers
vest in the government according a constitution they wrote ! Unless you are one the 527, you don't count, all 350,000,000 of
those the USA governs have heard nothing that sounds like the USA should be involved in Venezuela.. Not one candidate for
President who was elected has done what he campaigned to do.. not one..several tried and they were murdered.

Venezuela has nothing we 350,000,000 Americans want.

The USA has shipped American jobs overseas, moved the American oil and gas business to the middle east, moved
American manufacturing and consumer businesses to China, India, and far away places, installed and used planet-class
spy systems to rat-in-a-cage deprive Americans of the privacy the USA constitution promised.

The USA conducts its affairs behind tightly closed doors; it denies Americans admission to universities but pays foreigners to attend..
The USA has written copyright and patent laws and handed out monopoly powers to super powered privately owned corporations;
created a standing army, put bases all over the world. How many homeless in America all those military funds could be used to help?
Now the USA is going to pay a few folks to fix Venezuela, give me a break? Venezuela is a job for a Maytag repairman.

I am waiting for you to explain the specifics, what is it, the USA promises will benefit America by fixing Venezuela, Syria, Yemen
Russia, China, Iran, Korea or the Ukraine?

Posted by: snake | Jan 27, 2019 9:06:48 PM | 49

Sometimes the writing on this website is too small to read without straining the heck outta my eyes :(

Posted by: Featherless | Jan 27, 2019 10:36:27 PM | 50

@ 18 Trisha Driscoll

U.S. air strike against a "rebel" oil field in Syria featuring a video shot from the attacking aircraft. Except if you looked closely at the video, the HUD markings were in Cyrillic script!

I still laugh at that though I think I saw it on another broadcaster. It took me about two seconds to realize that the HUD was using Cyrillic.

If you noticed a w few other things at about the same time, it became obvious that the USA really was not out to defeat ISIS. What that HUD picture and other shots showed that ISIS were running huge numbers of tanker trucks of oil into Turkey. It looked like rush hour on the Don Valley Expressway.

A couple of days after the Cyrillic letters showed up the highway to Turkey was almost deserted.

Posted by: jrkrideau | Jan 27, 2019 10:49:43 PM | 51

@50 Featherless

Most browsers you can zoom the page size.

Firefox even has a built-in feature called "Reader View" which is wonderful. It strips out all the sidebars and ads of a page and formats the copy of an article in a very pleasing font size and column width designed to be easy to read. Many times I click that button to lean back and read an article. The feature works here at MoA all the way through the comments also.

Explore this and save your eyes.

Posted by: Grieved | Jan 27, 2019 11:17:26 PM | 52

@ Grieved #52

Thanks for the tip about "Reader View". That's a new one for me, and will be really useful on some sites. They have flickering images which cannot be turned off by any browser extension I've tried.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Jan 28, 2019 12:04:51 AM | 53

Well done, Mike #32, you outed #6 Charles Clifford Burgess. He's "Romancing the Stone". Awwwwww....

Posted by: Rebecca | Jan 28, 2019 12:46:19 AM | 54

further to my earlier comments on marco rubio, i see someone has summarized this dude much better then i..

“How shameful it must feel to have your family flee a US puppet, right-wing dictator, only to spend your career trying to impose them on the rest of Latin America,” wrote journalist Mike Prysner. A Cuban-American, Rubio’s family fled to the United States in 1956. Rubio has claimed that his parents fled communist “thug” Fidel Castro, but Cuba was in fact under the rule of US-backed dictator Fulgencio Batista at the time."

Posted by: james | Jan 28, 2019 1:08:47 AM | 55

On a more depressing note the pissweak Australian Liberal Hypocrisy Party embarrassed most Australians (those with IQ's above 40),by invoking article 3 of the avant-garde "Rules Based International Order" whereby they have followed suit with their masters and recognised friend Guaido as legitmate president of a democratic country with legally sitting president.

You couldn't make this stuff up if you tried lol

Posted by: m | Jan 28, 2019 2:22:44 AM | 56

Craig Murray asks us to look closely at the photo of the usurper's rally here , VT offers some humour here and Tony Cartalucci gives an excellent write up here

Posted by: Dadda | Jan 28, 2019 2:40:28 AM | 57

Re: The Failure of the Liberal System


Bernard-Henri Lévy (who goes by BHL) has been leading the charge against the working class Gilets Jaunes resistance in France

BHL, a fake philosopher who was born to wealth and is worth over 600 million euros, has been calling the Yellow Vests, the GiletsBruns (Brown Vests), and accusing them of “anti-semitism” (we’ve never heard that one before!) implying a link with historical fascism

The Jewish Chronicle, and the Union of Jewish Students of France, have also joined the rich working in media, Big Tech, government and Finance, by declaring their hostility to the Gilets Jaunes.

They're trying by all means possible to crush this working class resistance.

BHL’s screed has been signed by 30 elite members of the upper class, expressing alarm.

Why don’t these low life workers just die if they’re not as rich, happy and successful as we are?

Elites are afraid this revolt might unravel the great bureaucratic leviathan that benefits themselves, while crushing workers, and it was hoped the leviathan (aka, the European Union) would suppress European identity forever

Battle lines are drawn

Considering they have Media, Big Tech, Finance and government on their side, then barring a miracle, the elites will probably succeed in crushing this revolt, and then going on to suppress European identity (and the possibility of another working class revolt) forever, but it's not quite over. Not yet....

First they have to stop the Gilets Jaunes movement, before it spreads, then quickly replace native Europeans with millions of more compliant immigrant slaves, before they risk a more serious revolt, one that might actually bring down the rich bankers who who control France, and all of Europe

Posted by: etienne | Jan 28, 2019 7:30:29 AM | 58


apologies this should have been posted in Open Thread

Posted by: etienne | Jan 28, 2019 7:33:56 AM | 59

NPR as a trusted 'news' source is compared to 'asbestos' is good for the lungs. As it is about the world, the only interest of the American Warmongers is stealing the natural resource wealth of defenseless nations. A few million lives lost in the process is 'collateral damage' in the name of 'humanitarian relief'.... meaning the 26 fat cats that own us all, just got fatter (tax free).

Posted by: Ger | Jan 28, 2019 8:21:53 AM | 60

On NPR as propaganda, check this:

"How To Create NPR's Propaganda" - Lee Camp's response to their attack piece against him:
https://www.facebook.com/LeeCampComedian/posts/how-to-create-nprs-propaganda-my-response-to-their-attack-piece-against-me/1727777460618967/

Posted by: Zanon | Jan 28, 2019 9:51:32 AM | 61

Posted by: john | Jan 27, 2019 4:25:27 PM | 42

Excuse me? All I did was explain the nature of the resource in response to frances' comment -- anyone who thinks the Canadian oil sands are a boondoggle is likely to be disappointed with what they find in Venezuela. Take your crusade somewhere else.

Posted by: AshenLight | Jan 28, 2019 12:32:56 PM | 62

jesus christ that WaPo headline:

"it’s against what some call a criminal empire"

well, who could argue with "some"? nice weasel words from the bezos-owned CIA blog. but remember; they care about the "little guy" and reject "criminal empires".

as for rubio, if any of this is true it's odd yet proof that elections are just kabuki. throughout the primaries trump made rubio look like the adolescent little bitch he actually is and destroyed him in his own state (granted it was florida so not really a meaningful victory); yet here we are watching him party like it's 1959 at the behest of (among many others) a bunch of psycho ex-cuban idiots in a state that will hopefully be underwater in the next few years.

as i (think i) have mentioned before, there is the anecdote about trump walking into a joint chiefs meeting or something similar and flat out saying "why can't we just invade". this was within a few days of taking the oath so it's hard to say whether he jumped or was pushed on this specific retarded decision.

Posted by: the pair | Jan 28, 2019 1:05:03 PM | 63

AshenLight

my comment was just a general indictment of our plight. i didn't mean to mock you. sorry 'bout that.

Posted by: john | Jan 28, 2019 1:13:52 PM | 64

vk @16, Eugene @19

Israel has perfected the art of exploiting humanitarian disasters in order to make Israel look good. They are usually first in (for a few photos ops) and first out. In a relatively recent event in Haiti, they even coerced US air traffic controllers to delay physical humnitarian aid flights to make way for the IDF flight.

Posted by: Yonatan | Jan 28, 2019 1:39:46 PM | 65

Peeved and frustrated that the Empire's Media Minions have deployed similar infantile tosh about Venezuela as the tosh which yielded their desired result in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya, and 60% success in Syria, I flicked through my doco archives and found a couple which are relevant.

The first is Frontline's Outfoxed from 2004.
It's subtitled 'Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism' and lays bare all of Rupert's hypocrisy. One example given is his promotion of Fox Satellite Channel beamed into China as "news which by-passes the Media of Totalitarian Regimes" which offended the Chinese Govt, to put it mildly.
"No problem, what didn't you like?" says Rupert.
"We didn't like the BBC's coverage of Tienanmen Square." says Cn.gov.
"I've just deleted BBC and they'll will never trouble you again." says Rupert (which is amusing in a 'throw-up-in-my-mouth kind of way, on several levels.

The second is Frontline's advertising industry doco The Persuaders from 2005.
It's a guided tour through the back rooms of the acknowledged Industry leaders and the extreme lengths they go to uncover the meaning ascribed to particular words by consumers. There are several fascinating segments one of which explores the possibility that consumers can be induced to adopt a dog-like devotion to a product by using the data gathered from a detailed study of dozens of Cults. The common factor among cult members is their feeling of belonging to something which is somewhat 'exclusive' in an inclusive kind of way. It sounds silly at first blush but these experts know how to manipulate consumer beliefs and apirations.

The final segment swings into the political arena and examines Frank Luntz's contribution to mind-control. Luntz's specialty is buzz words and several scenarios are explored. But the simplicity and power of buzz words is exemplified by his advice to the opponents of Estate Tax in America. Estate Tax wasn't unpopular in the US until Luntz told his clients to call it a Death Tax. That change resulted in 75% of Americans deciding that Estate Tax was a lousy idea. He also advised the Republican Party to call Global Warming 'Climate Change' and NEVER, EVER, use the expression Global Warming again.

Part of the narrative focuses on the ability to target small, tightly specified groups of consumers, and the imminent ability (back then) to target individual consumers.
Considering that The Persuaders is nearly 15 years old, its detailed content is still as modern as Tomorrow. But History says that the exponents of mind control have probably moved on to bigger, better and more nefarious tactics.

Outfoxed is easy to find on the www. A search for The Persuaders must include a reference to advertising. e.g.

Advertising doco The Persuaders coaxes it onto page 1 of the search result.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jan 29, 2019 4:44:36 AM | 66

We all know they lie ,All the time ! You and others keep denouncing it and debusking their forfaitures ,but does it change anything ? It does not . What this world needs is solutions ,and not assessments again and again on how evil are the evil ones !

Posted by: Czerny | Jan 30, 2019 11:45:19 AM | 67

There's a potentially useful and malleable PLUS to The Swamp's tactic of turning logic on its head.
Anyone can do it.

The post-9/11 Swamp was able to pave the road to war and profitable by-products in AfPak, Iraq, Libya and Syria, by making accusations based on suspicions and lies against a single individual, the leader of the target nation, and demanding that the accused person proves that the accusations are false - or step down.

Bribed Congress critters are individuals. Many are far from squeaky clean. Starting with the 3 or 4 individuals with the most dubious record, habits and idiosyncrasies and branching out from there, each one can be asked to PROVIDE EVIDENCE that he/she is NOT betraying the trust invested in him/her by voters - or step down.

A Popular People's Movement calling itself #CleanUpAmerica or #AnswerMe or (?) could grow and grow until it became Too Big To Fail.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jan 31, 2019 1:07:33 PM | 68

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