Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
January 31, 2019

Venezuela - Coup Attempt Part Of A Larger Project - Military Intervention Likely To Fail

The Trump administration has launched a large political project to remake several states in Latin America. The Wall Street Journal headlines:

U.S. Push to Oust Venezuela’s Maduro Marks First Shot in Plan to Reshape Latin America
The Trump administration’s broader aim is to gain leverage over Cuba and curb recent inroads in the region by Russia, Iran and China

The plan includes regime change in Venezuela, Nicaragua and eventually Cuba. The removal of any Russian or Chinese interest is another point. It is a multiyear project that has bipartisan support. It will likely require military force.


The targets: Raúl Castro of Cuba, Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua, Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela.
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The project seems to echo the "New Middle East" plan then Secretary of State Condeleeza Rice launched in 2006. It largely failed due to U.S. incompetence but left behind severely damaged states.

That the U.S. is going for such a wide ranging plan in the western hemisphere might explain why Trump is pressing to end the other military projects in the Middle East and Afghanistan.

The starting shot for the new plan, the U.S. led coup attempt in Venezuela, is already in trouble. The U.S. selected puppet Juan Guaidó had called for demonstrations in support of his coup that were supposed to take place yesterday. But even the NYT, which propagandizes for each and every regime change operation the U.S. undertakes in Latin America, could find only little evidence of support:

Mr. Guaidó also took part in protests on Wednesday at the Central University of Venezuela in Caracas, where he was swarmed by international reporters. Wearing a white lab coat, he linked arms with medical students and marched with them up a roadway, before speeding off on the back of a motorbike.

The demonstration was one of a handful in the city on Wednesday, though on a smaller scale than some recent demonstrations. Some workers walked out of their jobs for hours in protest against Mr. Maduro and his government, gathering on corners through the capital.

Videos from Venezuela showed a crowd of some hundred people in the better off quarters of Caracas. Meanwhile pictures of several pro-Maduro demonstrations in various cities showed much larger crowds. New demonstrations will be held on Saturday and are likely to show similar results.

The Washington Post claims that anti-government protests took place in two of the more destitute areas of Caracas. But the report contradicts itself. It starts:

As the opposition campaign to oust President Nicolás Maduro dramatically escalated, the warren-like streets of the Puerta Caracas slum filled with pot-banging, anti-government demonstrators. A culture center run by Maduro loyalists was burned down. Hungry, beaten-down residents felt a rush of hope.

Then night fell, along with the boot steps of government forces.

Maduro called the arsonists “fascist criminals,” and residents in the western Caracas enclave paid the price. Mask-wearing special forces, locals said, swarmed the neighborhood last week, kicking in doors, rounding up young people and imposing an effective curfew.

Twenty propaganda filled paragraphs later we learn that the described arson of a culture center took place before the coup attempt happened and likely has nothing to do with it:

The uprisings began the night of Jan. 22, with residents of Puerta Caracas banging pots and lighting dumpsters on fire. Around midnight, neighbors say, a group of hooded boys threw molotov cocktails at the culture center.

Early Wednesday, family members said, Abel Pernia, 19, was heading to a doctor’s appointment when armed intelligence police officers grabbed him, shoved him against a wall and handcuffed him.
...
... [more] protests erupted in Petare last Wednesday and continued until dawn. A group set fire to barricades, threw stones and attacked an outpost of the National Guard. Security forces repelled them with tear gas as residents chanted “we don’t want food boxes! What we want is for Nicolas to leave!”

Neighbors said that criminal gangs were among the crowd and created havoc by violently confronting the police. The response was immediate.

The coup attempt was launched on January 23. The arson incident took place on January 22. The following day the police came and arrested people involved in it. More gang riots followed.

The whole story has nothing to with the coup attempt or with general protests against Maduro. It is about gang crime in some slum quarters. Gang fighting has long been a problem in Caracas. A special police force, the FAES, was set up in 2017 to get it under control.

That the Washington Post has to use an unrelated incident to proclaim that the poor people support the coup attempt shows how little real evidence it has to support that propaganda claim.

The public in Venezuela is evidently not supporting the foreign induced coup attempt. A recent poll shows that more than 80% of the people are against sanctions and other international interventions to remove President Maduro. 80% also support talks between the government and the opposition which Maduro repeatedly offered but which the coup plotters reject.


It is very unlikely that civil disobedience or demonstrations will be able to remove the government of Venezuela. The opposition simply does not have enough people on its side to create more than inconveniences.

It is also not the plan.

It is obvious that the U.S. wants a violent conflict. Either the Venezuelan military will have to launch a coup or the violence will have to be brought in from the outside.

The military has for now declared that it is not willing to do anything against the government. Other measures will have to be taken. That the Trump administration selected Elliott Abrams, Ronald Reagan's "Assistant Secretary of Dirty Wars", as special envoy to its puppets is telling:

The choice of Abrams sends a clear message to Venezuela and the world: The Trump administration intends to brutalize Venezuela, while producing a stream of unctuous rhetoric about America’s love for democracy and human rights. Combining these two factors — the brutality and the unctuousness — is Abrams’s core competency.

An oped by the U.S. selected dude, who was created by the U.S. regime change machine, was published in today's New York Times:

Juan Guaidó: Venezuelans, Strength Is in Unity
To end the Maduro regime with the minimum of bloodshed, we need the support of pro-democratic governments, institutions and individuals the world over.

Notice the "minimum of bloodshed"? One wonders how many thousands of dead will do.

Guaido explains the murky legal foundation for his claims to presidency:

I would like to be clear about the situation in Venezuela: Mr. Maduro’s re-election on May 20, 2018, was illegitimate, as has since been acknowledged by a large part of the international community. His original six-year term was set to end on Jan. 10. By continuing to stay in office, Nicolás Maduro is usurping the presidency.

My ascension as interim president is based on Article 233 of the Venezuelan Constitution, according to which, if at the outset of a new term there is no elected head of state, power is vested in the president of the National Assembly until free and transparent elections take place. This is why the oath I took on Jan. 23 cannot be considered a “self-proclamation.” It was not of my own accord that I assumed the function of president that day, but in adherence to the Constitution.

The early election in May 2018 was held on demand of the opposition parties some of which, urged by the U.S., did not take part in it. There is no evidence of fraud that lets one doubt the results. Maduro won among several candidates with more than 60% of the votes. One might argue that has more legitimacy than some other elected people.


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Not liking the outcome is not a reason to declare an election illegitimate.

If Maduro's first term ended on January 10 why did it take it Guaido, as head of the National Assembly, thirteen days to find that Maduro's second term was 'illegitimate'? Moreover, if article 233 is used as justification to temporarily usurp the presidency then Guaido has the duty to hold new elections within 30 days. So far he has not even called for them. His reasoning is not convincing at all.

Guaido goes on to say that he needs support of the military. But this does not sound like he has it:

The transition will require support from key military contingents. We have had clandestine meetings with members of the armed forces and the security forces. We have offered amnesty to all those who are found not guilty of crimes against humanity. The military’s withdrawal of support from Mr. Maduro is crucial to enabling a change in government, and the majority of those in service agree that the country’s recent travails are untenable.

He further claims, like the Washington Post above, that the gang violence before the coup attempt shows that Maduro has lost all support:

Mr. Maduro no longer has the support of the people. Last week in Caracas, citizens from the poorest neighborhoods that had been Chavista strongholds in the past took to the streets in unprecedented protests. They went out again on Jan. 23 with the full knowledge that they might be brutally repressed, and they continue to attend town hall meetings.

Guaido ends by calling for external support for his endeavor.

What he needs are billions of dollars to build up some mercenary army that will help him to overthrow the government.

The U.S. seized Venezuelan assets but will have trouble handing them to Guaido. The main asset is CITGO, which owns refineries and gas stations in the United States. But CITGO is deep in debt. Its refineries depend on the heavy oil from Venezuela. If might well go into bankruptcy in which case the debt holders will take it over. At least 49.5 % will go to the Russian company Rosneft. The legal process will take years.

So how much U.S. money is Trump willing to invest in his plan?


Venezuela will have trouble defending itself against a foreign military attack. The Maduro government is not the most competent, the military is quite corrupt, and money is scarce. China and Russia may support it with some additional loans, but are otherwise unlikely to come to its help. Cuba and Nicaragua may be willing to send troops but have little else to offer.

But the Bolivarian movement in Venezuela has millions of supporters. Most are poor people who would lose out under a new rightwing government. While the Venezuelan military may be corrupt and not very willing to fight, many people will surely take up arms to defend the gains they made under Maduro and Chavez.

It might be relatively easy to invade Venezuela and to defeat its regular military. But the following occupation would be a very difficult endeavor. The Pentagon has seen how this worked out in Iraq. It will likely warn against the use of any U.S. troops in Venezuela. Other countries will likewise be careful not to get into such a mess.

The CIA and the coup plotters can hire thousands of throat cutting thugs to do some extreme damage to Venezuela. But they have little chance to win more than a completely destroyed country.

Might that be the real aim? Is the project for the New Middle East Latin America one of complete destruction?

Posted by b on January 31, 2019 at 01:59 PM | Permalink

Comments
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As shown in this article, John Bolton's recent comments on Venezuela have made it very clear that Washington is doomed to repeat its past mistakes in South America:

https://viableopposition.blogspot.com/2019/01/john-bolton-venezuela-and-how.html

Washington-based regime change and nation building exercises are always about profiteering for Corporate America.

Posted by: Sally Snyder | Jan 31, 2019 2:04:51 PM | 1

They dont need military intervention to begin with.
Unfortunately Trump/EU have all the power and is crazy enough to use it too, military aside.

Posted by: Zanon | Jan 31, 2019 2:15:56 PM | 2

When Trump said he was pulling out of Syria, I noted that he was going to pivot to Latin America, so I am hardly surprized. The US will also have to contend with Bolivia and possibly Mexico, not just Nicaragua and Cuba. So far, the US has been rolling independence back in Argentina, Ecuador, Brazil and Honduras, but it won't get easier from here on in.

Posted by: Blue | Jan 31, 2019 2:21:58 PM | 3

I provided links to maps and a bit of assessment at the end of the previous topical thread. I also critiqued The Saker's analysis which I'll paste below as my initial comment for this thread:

"Arrgh! Where are the maps?! (They can be found at my previous comment linked above.)

"Here’s a collection. What’s missing is a map of the Orinoco Oil Belt where Venezuela’s vast reserves of its unique heavy oil’s located.

"Please take note of the vegetation, population and economic activity maps as those are the regions that must be contested and controlled by any invading force hoping to secure Venezuela’s assets. Please pay particular note to the fact that the main population belt corresponds to the scrub and brush belt, not the forested regions where few people dwell. My main point being, this will not be a jungle war. And as one might guess, the economic activity belt overlays the population belt.

"Armaments: Syrian warehouses are overflowing with the sophisticated weapons the Outlaw US Empire provided its terrorist proxies. I’m certain Assad will be more than happy to supply them to Maduro–there’s probably close to a billion dollars worth of TOWs alone! Plus they’re light and not too bulky which is perfect for shipment via airplane.

"France is 2/3s the area of Venezuela. The US Army needed to use several million troops to invade and wrest France from German control, with the French populace welcoming and greatly aiding the invasion force, not fighting against it tooth and nail. Currently, the US Navy lacks the necessary ships to mount a contested seaborn invasion that would likely suffer massive losses. The depleted condition of the US Air Force would also find the going difficult regardless Saker’s assessment–a massive relocation of planes, personnel and armaments would need to occur well before any actual combat, and where are Colombia’s military airfields? Here, only one close to Venezuela. An invasion using Colombia’s Army? It consists of barely 250K personnel, not nearly enough to conquer its neighbor alone or with the small, token Outlaw US Empire force."

To do what the Neocons "plan" is clearly impossible as they would need to raise a massive army and vastly expand naval and air force assets for which they have zero monies. Plus, this illegal and unconstitutional intervention goes directly against what Trump said he'd do during his campaign and is a recipe for certain defeat in 2020.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 31, 2019 2:30:01 PM | 4

Link to map of Orinoco Heavy Oil Belt missing from my comment.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 31, 2019 2:32:21 PM | 5

Trump better nuke the narrowest strip of land in Central America that connects North/South AND build that wall, unless he plans to become the Angela Merkel of North America.

Posted by: timbers | Jan 31, 2019 2:35:26 PM | 6

thanks b... i believe you are correct in your conclusion at bottom... i wish this was all unfolding differently, but again - the neo cons are running things and trump is just another loser in a long line of them... so much for false dreams of some leader for the usa different then all the rest... guaido comes across as bloodthirsty for power...

Posted by: james | Jan 31, 2019 2:39:17 PM | 7

with elliot "death squad supporter" abrams running things, what could possible go wrong?

Posted by: pretzelattack | Jan 31, 2019 2:39:33 PM | 8

The US engineered Latin American roll-back has been incredibly successful so far, with Mexico's AMLO election being the only hitch. Russia and China don't seem to get it, but the show down in Venezuela between the Hegemon and dreams of a multi-polar world is a key moment in world history.

Posted by: paul | Jan 31, 2019 2:40:18 PM | 9

Canada has been trying to destabilize Venezuela at least since 2004

Posted by: Never Mind the Bollocks | Jan 31, 2019 2:43:55 PM | 10

'The Wall' project (along with Venezuela engineered chaos that might spill beyond Venezuela) will not only be a major launchpad for serious israeli meddling in the US security apparatus but reveals US-Trump faction gameplan for the immediate future, which is setting fire to the central and South Americas as a way of an end-game resource grab strategy that will draw global US assets close to home while a consortium of actors with israel as the hq, (think of IDF as the control hub in the midst of a vast nercenary army from every war and crisis torn country in the planet) russia, saudis and china in the periphery (israel and mercs utilizing the russian participation to keep them in check) will be campaigning to the devastated ME, Africa and a European continent in engineered far right extremism, failing economies and steered turmoil.

Posted by: OSINT-suggests | Jan 31, 2019 2:44:26 PM | 11

@ 4 i wish it was a recipe for defeat, but the dems are just going along with it as usual, with some mealy mouthed protests. which means we get the same policies regardless.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Jan 31, 2019 2:49:47 PM | 12

Trump does not like endless wars. Bigger bombs and short wars are more to his liking.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jan/28/us-nuclear-weapons-first-low-yield-warheads-roll-off-the-production-line
"The NNSA said the first of the new warheads had come off the production line and that it was on schedule to deliver the first batch – an unspecified number referred to as “initial operational capability” – before the end of September, according to the email, first sent in response to an enquiry from Exchange Monitor, which covers the nuclear weapons complex."

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jan 31, 2019 2:49:59 PM | 13

Might that be the real aim? Is the project for the New Middle East Latin America one of complete destruction?


Absolutely!!
Read Admiral Arthur K. Cebrowski doctorine . The name of the game is totally chaos

Posted by: Othelo | Jan 31, 2019 2:58:46 PM | 14

Anyone with connects in New York knew Trump was a zionist bitch. Mafia families used to call him the front goy. What we're currently witnessing is Trump revealing his set to Maga maggots and his base of christian degenerates. How many war refugees from latin america will Chump neo-confedederates welcome north of the Rio Grande ? A filthy gut, linear cretinism and no decency leading exceptionals to oblivion... So much winning, at this point #MAGA deplorables must be tired.

Posted by: Augustin L | Jan 31, 2019 3:01:01 PM | 15

The CIA and the coup plotters can hire thousands of throat cutting thugs to do some extreme damage to Venezuela. But they have little chance to win more than a completely destroyed country.

Might that be the real aim? Is the project for the New [Middle East] Latin America one of complete destruction?

The evidence record is that the US corporate state (including both flavors of the Destruction-One-Party) and more broadly the entire US political/cultural/media/academic class have no goal other than complete destruction in every way. I can't think of a single way in which US policy, and the overall US ethos, isn't committed to destroying as much of humanity and the Earth as possible, for nothing but destruction for its own sake. (It's certainly not for any alleged benefits of power or wealth; it's clear that none of these psychopaths could ever be satisfied in any way with anything less than the infinite.)

The only thing they're stopping short of, so far, is a nuclear first strike. But that's guaranteed to come as well if things keep going like this.

Posted by: Russ | Jan 31, 2019 3:04:10 PM | 16

Now we see the why now of Trump's call for a wall.

Posted by: frances | Jan 31, 2019 3:06:27 PM | 17

It seems you, B, have lost all confidence in Tronald's aversion to war adventures. Unfortunately, this could be justified, although nothing has been proven yet. He has not yet started a war.

The motivation to turn Latin America into the next hell on earth would be to destroy China's progress in establishing itself there, in sourcing a considerable part of its raw materials from there. For example, to seize Venezuelan oil reserves so that they do not fall into Chinese hands.

But if the usa really intends to do that, it will overreach itself and perish. But what a small consolation in view of the damage that will presumably be caused in Latin America.

Posted by: Pnyx | Jan 31, 2019 3:11:56 PM | 18

Maybe on the surface successful, but the "US engineered Latin American roll-back" has not been "incredibly" successful at all. At its heart this is a political struggle, and the neo-liberal political parties and programs which the US supports do not have popular support. The recent elections in, for example, Brazil and Argentina represented weariness with the longstanding government, a common feature in democracies, helped along by questionable legal manoeuvres. But there is mass opposition in Argentina against the current governments economic program. It is also generally accepted that Lula was by far the most popular politician in Brazil, but he was prevented from running. There is no broad acceptance of the political program of the new Brazil government. Likewise, the new government in Ecuador misrepresented its true policies during the last election campaign. The government in Honduras resorted to election fraud to maintain its power, which it assumed in the first place through a coup. This is the problem for the "opposition" in Venezuela - it has been incapable of electoral success because it cannot articulate a political program which has appeal enough to find acceptance.

Short of ending all of Latin America's democracies and replacing them with military dictatorships like in the 60s and 70s, the proposed rollback of the region's political preference opposed to neo-liberalism will not succeed. A program of chaos and creating failed states may be in the offing, but I don't believe the conditions in Latin America will incubate such a program in the way that conditions in the Middle East did in that region.

Posted by: jayc | Jan 31, 2019 3:17:49 PM | 19

pretzelattack @12--

Here are the just released poll results regarding "Americans' Trust in Government to Handle Problems," which is at a new low. Here's Gallup's conclusion:

"The public's trust in the government's handling of both domestic and international issues has been severely breached, reaching record lows in the latest polling. Until 2007, majorities of Americans consistently expressed confidence on both fronts.

"Trust in the federal government to handle problems at home and abroad has consistently been prone to swings in partisans' views, depending on the party of the sitting president. The latest overall declines in trust, however, are mostly attributable to Republicans' falling confidence. Whereas a decrease in Democrats' trust might be expected under a Republican president, it is less common for a president's party faithful to abruptly lose trust in the government. This may be a temporary reaction to recent events or to Republicans' loss of power in Washington, but Trump and Republican leaders might want to take heed."

As yet, there's no polling related to this newest outrage; but given the above recent sentiments, I doubt there's much support for Trump's aggression regardless what BigLie Media publishes or broadcasts. Indeed, such lack of support I see as an opportunity for a different vision and supporting narrative to take hold provided they can be presented, such as Tulsi Gabbard's. (Please note where Independents stand since we're the largest political grouping.) Plus, as I'm forever pointing out, the whole affair's unconstitutional and illegal, and provides all the evidence required to Impeach Trump, Pence, Bolton, Pompeo, and several other members of the Executive, which upon removal would make Pelosi POTUS for a few months given how long the overall process would take.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 31, 2019 3:19:11 PM | 20

The neo-cons need a proof of concept event to protect their think tank funding. So: "let's try it again! Just not so close to Russia."

Posted by: NOBTS | Jan 31, 2019 3:25:22 PM | 21

The European Union is way more near to Venezuela,geographically,than the United States.Look at the map,and see how Aruba and Curaçao,which are Dutch colonies are near to its coast.Given that also France and Great-Britain possess islands over there,in the Caribbean,you can bet your life that CIA is already recruiting poor people from those isles to play rebel roles in Venezuela.Maybe the dutch government, europes number one in DC butt-licking will send its navy and submarines to take the human risks that the americans are shy of.

Maybe it's nonsense,but I still remember my sister in the seventies repeating words from her history teacher,who claimed to be psychic,that Venezuela would be soon (I think he said in some six months) the start of another world war,and that it was about petrol.(At the time it made us laugh,and of course nothing happened ,in the eighties we were still waiting.)

I wonder if the US military has a strategy for trapping and taking on the Russians in their backyard,as they consider South America,instead of facing them in the middle east,not very far from Russian Federation territory.

Posted by: willie | Jan 31, 2019 3:26:04 PM | 22

Thanks for the great reporting b

So empire is being driven out of the ME where Russia and Chia can project support for marginal nations.

It is going to be another level of conflict resolution for China/Russia et al to project defense for Venezuela or any South American country. This is where the threat of nukes becomes more of a negotiating point.....sigh.....it is a big/small world

Western empire is attempting to project its hypocrisy of "We are doing God's work." as far as it can. I hope it continues to fail.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 31, 2019 3:26:44 PM | 23

no question it is illegal and unconstitutional, but i see it taking more than impeachment to loosen the hold of the 2 parties on the u.s. it reminds me that the bonus army, and consequent murders by macarthur, motivated some of the reforms of the new deal, and the civil rights years when the burning of cities helped get some civil rights reforms. i'm not advocating bloodshed, i am just very pessimistic that we are going to be able to avoid it, and i don't know how bad it's going to get.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Jan 31, 2019 3:29:04 PM | 24

@4 karlof1

I'm glad you're taking on the Saker analysis, especially since b is linking to it to emphasize the claim that Venezuela will have trouble defending against the US effort. I've been agreeing with the Saker's views again lately, but this prognosis I have to stand back from a little. There are more nuances and potential advantages on the Venezuela side that he doesn't consider - not the least of which is that human character can change to reflect changing circumstances, and in the culture of Venezuela, this action by the US is seen for what it is. The nation is under attack. This brings out the defiance in people.

I think Saker's illustration of the initial devastation is realistic in material terms except that he doesn't account for the US population in the throes of mounting that kind of "intervention". This would be replete with danger to Trump's second term, and if somehow US casualties are taken in the early stages, the domestic political situation is going to get heated.

The catch-22 thus not addressed by Saker is the domestic political dynamic versus the logistical invasion dynamic. For the US shock and awe to work, it loses domestic support. For it to rely on proxies alone with no scorched-earth preliminary, it loses the battle.

I also think this is exactly the kind of war that can produce surprises - I loved your thought about the weaponry sitting around in Syria - and the surprises can tip the balance completely.

It is actually mad for the US to contemplate military action in Venezuela. And for this to be part of a multi-nation campaign, just like the failed one in the Middle East, and for it to include Cuba (!) speaks of the high level of delusion at work here. And for the Wall Street Journal to be privy to this plan and to proclaim it in headlines, speaks to me of formerly unimaginable levels of hubris, incompetence, incontinence and decadence in the US machinery.

In announcing the multi-nation campaign of aggression, the US has only pushed these nations together in a united resistance.

Posted by: Grieved | Jan 31, 2019 3:29:14 PM | 25

Here are three articles which will educate those who want the facts behind the US policy and operation goals in Latin America.

https://www.voltairenet.org/article204577.html

https://www.voltairenet.org/article201100.html

https://www.voltairenet.org/article197539.html

Posted by: Red Ryder | Jan 31, 2019 3:29:38 PM | 26

near the last paragraphs:

Venezuela will have trouble to defend itself against a foreign military attack. The Maduro government is not the most competent, the military is quite corrupt, and money is scarce. China and Russia may support it with some additional loans, but are otherwise unlikely to come to its help. Cuba and Nicaragua may be willing to send troops but have little else to offer.

But the Bolivarian movement in Venezuela has millions of supporters. Most are poor people who would lose out under a new rightwing government. While the Venezuelan military may be corrupt and not very willing to fight, many people will surely take up arms to defend the gains they made under Maduro and Chavez.

We could possibly now understand bits of the recent israeli rage inside syrian territory and over lebanese skies in a whole new light...
Were they keeping iran/ hizballah at bay from meddling in Venezuela? Maybe russia temporarily silencing air defences was also for a point to be made against iranians antagonizing russian Wagner in Venezuela?

Posted by: OSINT-suggests | Jan 31, 2019 3:42:29 PM | 27

jayc @19--

I agree 100%! What's most peculiar to me is the start day for this affair as it was an extremely important national Venezuelan holiday--Day of Democracy--celebrating civil society's massive revolt against a Gringo-backed dictator whose 2019 celebration was heavily promoted by Maduro and government at all levels as usual, thus the massive numbers of people in the streets of Caracas surrounding Maduro as seen in many videos. It's so blatantly clear Gringo Golpistas--again--failed to do their homework, thus setting themselves up to fall flat on their faces.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 31, 2019 3:46:11 PM | 28

Red Ryder@26

Yikes! Do you know the provenance of Admiral Kidd's "Masterstroke"? This is not satire?

Posted by: NOBTS | Jan 31, 2019 3:49:35 PM | 29

b writes That the U.S. is going for such a wide ranging plan in the western hemisphere might explains why Trump is pressing to end the other military projects in the Middle East and Afghanistan.

That I believe is correct. After the 2002 coup attempt against Chavez it looked like the next effort by the US might be successful. At the time I figured it would require direct US military intervention. When that didn't happen by 2005 it occurred to me that what saved Chavez was the war in Iraq, i.e. the US military was over extended. At the time it seemed that the one positive effect of the war in Iraq was that it saved the Chavez government. Maybe now the US is about to rectify that mistake. So what is good for Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan today is not good news for the Bolvarian government in Caracas.

Posted by: ToivoS | Jan 31, 2019 4:04:51 PM | 30

...
U.S. Push to Oust Venezuela’s Maduro Marks First Shot in Plan to Reshape Latin America
The Trump administration’s broader aim is to gain leverage over Cuba and curb recent inroads in the region by Russia, Iran and China

Iran just became an even tougher nut to crack.
According to Al Jazeera, Germany, France et al have set up a non-USD financial exchange system called INSTEX for the express purpose of ignoring and by-passing US Sanctions on trade with Iran.

Interesting timing...
Earlier this week Bibi was reminding everyone to observe Holocaust Remembrance Day. But it looks as though 'everyone' decided to remind Bibi about Nakba and the Palestinian Holocaust, instead.

Say "Ouch!" Bibi.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jan 31, 2019 4:10:10 PM | 31

Go right ahead and intervene Bolton. The Gringo hate level will go off the scale. I doubt the US will be able to deal with it as the recruitment office will find few able volunteers to go and fight for the Corporations of America.

Posted by: Tom_12 | Jan 31, 2019 4:14:02 PM | 32

Destroy Iraq, Libya, Venezuela oil production thereby Canadian shale oil and associated USA investments are slightly more secure. Job done.

Venezuelan oil production has diminished and OPEC is a broken reed (for now) so all that is needed is a decade of goading, provocation and sabre rattling. Job done.

Meanwhile there is no yellow vest movement or persistent troublesome confrontation in the USA. Job done.

All under control in the USA + Canada and no need to call out the National Guard to smash the left and demands for social justice and services. Mutter remarks about troops come home, and do stupid shit and the show clatters on and the oligarchs steal and change is stymied.

The yellow vest movement of non violent resolute persistence is the way forwarded. Still waiting for just one of the new USA elected to casually wear the vest to a presser.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jan 31, 2019 4:16:41 PM | 33

Grieved @25--

Thanks for your reply! As you read, the lack of maps to support his essay I found very annoying.

The multination threat also plays to what jayc @19 posits about the overall state-of-mind toward Gringoism South of the border. If either Colombia or Brazil were to actually abet an Outlaw US Empire invasion with their own military, I'd bet they'd face an internal insurrection of their own first--particularly with the Hitlerian Eliot Abrams as point man.

Given the polling results I provided as to confidence in government, I predict less than 20% will support this madness; maybe even single digits. And given this article from last December, how will Trump's aggression affect the planned second meet with Kim?

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 31, 2019 4:22:11 PM | 34

And you let this putschist and enemy media just traipse around Caracas? Is that the advice you get from your Cuban friends about protecting your sovereignty? It's absolutely key now to show the Dark Throne that you're not afraid; while you're at it, might as well also instill some fear in would-be traitors, making them think twice before giving aid and comfort to Venezuela's enemies.

The more we see, the more it looks like Maduro is no decisive Erdogan, but rather a chaotic Yanukovich. We know how that worked out.

Posted by: Ma Laoshi | Jan 31, 2019 4:22:40 PM | 35

After reading this news about the largest military base the Pentagon has abroad, which is currently in the Sahel, South Algeria, I am increasingly convinced that, in a scenario of non-aligned countries and resurgent super-powers opting for avoiding petro-dollar in their energy trades, this is all englobed in a wider strategy to control oil market, prices and flow....On the other hand, the article also throws a hint at how take over is organized at military level through mercenary forces:

The proximity of this base to the Algerian borders has provoked many comments, but this time in Algeria. In fact, the launch of the first deployed US military missions has intensified concerns raised since a senior US official told the Washington Post that "soldiers deployed in countries such as Algeria, Chad, Egypt and Kenya were receiving an imminent danger bonus. of $ 225 per month. " Algerian officials immediately denied the information. The former ambassador of the United States in Algiers decided to intervene in turn, denying the statements of the American press.(...)

Rejected by a large part of the population of the area, the African brigades created by the French have not yet achieved the expected results due to the limited resources available, but mainly due to the persistence of the Libyan conflict, which is the source of much of the regional imbalance.

"The G5 did not receive the popular support it was looking for because people are not fooled, in the African press the writings that denounce the double language of Europeans abound. Today, the younger generation loudly denounces the looting of African resources by the same countries that are closing the door on migrants who are forced into exodus by poverty(...)

In the name of the fight against terrorism, Trump decided to deploy US troops in the Sahel to wage a war against terrorist groups. At the base of Agadez, the drones have already begun their mission. In a press release, the Pentagon spokesman said that "the American presence on the African continent is destined to promote its security interests."(...)

Currently, many also fear that "the Americans will arm the people of the Sahel to officially help them defend themselves against terrorists." These weapons can be used by different rival ethnic groups, there will be other wars, other tensions that will prolong their presence and turn it into colonization in the name of terrorism. The mode of operation is known and its consequences too.

This is probably related to recent discoveries of oil in the Sahara, concretely the zone comprising Taoudeni Basin. which went along with the surge of Al Qaida in these territories...

So far Taudeni, a gigantic basin that stretches between Mali and Mauritania, under the sands of the Sahara desert, was known for its salt mines. At the end of the 1960s they built a prison in that remote place where the prisoners were forced to work.

Everything changed in the spring of last year when Repsol, the Spanish oil monopoly, announced that it had found oil in the Taudeni field.

A few months later, on October 23, Defense Minister Pedro Morenés traveled discreetly to Dakar, the capital of Senegal, accompanied by his French counterpart Jean Yves Le Drian. In that African metropolis, a forum on "peace and security" was held in that region.

Oil, including that of the Sahara, is closely related to what the bourgeoisie calls "peace and security", that is, to the aggressions and occupations of imperialism. In particular, the Taudeni concession has to do, for example, with the invasion of Mali by the French.

Taudeni is a huge extension, over half a million square kilometers, equal to that of Spain. Repsol was about to throw the towel in Mauritania when the news of the discovery of oil in Block 10 of the basin occurred.

However, an African media announced fears that the discovery would have a "calling effect" for terrorists, jihadists and bandits, or in other words: the site was so good that it could attract the voracity of competition, of other imperialist powers and other oil monopolies wanting to kick Repsol out of their domains.

The distribution of the cake has not pleased certain powers and in the end these disputes, Lenin said, are solved by throwing their hands on the army. Hence the visit of the Minister of Defense. As the African press said, Taudeni was not protected by anything. The government of the PP was put to the service of Repsol and Morenés traveled to Dakar to demonstrate the opposite. The Spanish army is trained to act as bodyguards for the Spanish oilmen who are going to take the black gold from Mauritania.

The oil is taken by Repsol and the expenses are paid by the taxpayers. That is the difference between the (capitalist) market and the (bourgeois) state.

With what part of the loot does Africa remain? With war, with terrorism, with jihadism, with ... Oil maps are those of war.

Btw, that some commentator under this article pointed out that Repsol far from being a company of Spanish capital mainly, has as major share holder the US.....there you have why, in spite of the huge loses the sanctions against Russia and Iran have inflicted and are inflicting upon Spanish and European business and agro-industry, and the theatrical intends of showing some sovereignity, they are really being held by the balls. It is here, apart from trying to give a lesson to the empowered masses, which in the case of Venezuela are the majority of population supporting Maduro, where it is to e found the sudden support for the Trump administration´s crazy move in Venezuela. After all, according to the Russian envoy to Davos, they, business people, are very worried about the increasing social turmoil...


This is why the interests of big European oil companies are behind the shameful and undoubtful support for the coup in Venezuela by US, just today supported by the EU Parliament, as a proof, if more was needed, that what they understand by "democracy" and "humanitarian interventions" has nothing to do with what any decent human being in the world would do.

Related to how to organize the military take over, mercenary forces are operating long ago in the Colombia narco-colony.....

Posted by: Sasha | Jan 31, 2019 4:23:39 PM | 36

Always remember the US grab for Mexican territory in 1846 , is always in the Anglo mind presented as a walk over . Not so - had Mexico had more proficient artillery units the outcome may have been different.
The US needs to tread carefully there are vagaries in every military situation.

Posted by: ashley albanese | Jan 31, 2019 4:25:13 PM | 37

Pnyx

He has not yet started a war.

Why does that matter? Considering his bombings against Syria, in Iraq, Afghanistan and his general warmongering.
His actions against Venezuela is clearly a war by him.

Posted by: Zanon | Jan 31, 2019 4:25:40 PM | 38

Over the last few days following the Venezuela story I've had an education to the meaning of imperialism.

It is alive and well, brutal and immoral.

Posted by: Ella | Jan 31, 2019 4:34:27 PM | 39

And you let this putschist and enemy media just traipse around Caracas? Is that the advice you get from your Cuban friends about protecting your sovereignty? It's absolutely key now to show the Dark Throne that you're not afraid; while you're at it, might as well also instill some fear in would-be traitors, making them think twice before giving aid and comfort to Venezuela's enemies.

The more we see, the more it looks like Maduro is no decisive Erdogan, but rather a chaotic Yanukovich. We know how that worked out.

Posted by: Ma Laoshi | Jan 31, 2019 4:37:10 PM | 40

@Posted by: Sasha | Jan 31, 2019 4:23:39 PM | 36

Btw, that, curiously, or not so, few days before Guaido´s appointment as putative President of Venezuela, Netanyahu was on a visit to...Chad....What the hell do you think he was doing there?

Posted by: Sasha | Jan 31, 2019 4:42:44 PM | 41

Just to point out that Guiado is talking nonsense when citing Artic 233.

His main argument is that Maduro's election was "illegitimate" and, therefore, Maduro didn't **really** take office for a second term. The position of President is therefore "unfilled", which allows Guiado to claim it for himself.

Utter nonsense, precisely because it isn't up to him - and certainly not to "a large part of the international community" - to make that determination.

Article 233 is clear on this matter: the "availability" of someone to hold the office of President is within the authority of the Supreme Tribunal of Justice to decide.

It is *that* body that decides if Maduro is or is not "available" to serve.
It isn't up to the National Assembly to make that decision.
It isn't up to the "leader of the National Assembly" to decide that.
It isn't up to "a large part of the international community" to declare this.

The Constitution is clear: that Tribunal decides this, and that Tribunal had - and still has - no problem whatsoever with Maduro being sworn in as President. In which case Maduro is the President, and even if he is deposed then the position flows to the Vice-President.

Guiado is a charlatan who is acting against the Constitution to stage a coup.
If he takes over then he will be a dictator, and you can be certain he will act like one.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jan 31, 2019 4:44:12 PM | 42

".. the "US engineered Latin American roll-back" has not been "incredibly" successful at all." Jayc @19

I agree, completely. The US can start a war but it will not end it. Right now there is relative calm and peace in Latin America. And the work of sucking it dry, enserfing its peoples and protecting the power of its comprador elites of the Guiado type, goes on. There is little to interrupt it. The Trade Union movements are quiescent. FARC and other guerrilla armies have merged back into the population where the Death Squads, financed by the US pick them off daily.
If the US wants war and starts one it could spread very quickly. And if it is not put down, as it will not be, it will grow in confidence and roll over the artificial borders between the states.

US policy is rooted in hubris, a lazy assumption that history has indeed ended and the poor have lost. And all that remains for the elites is to mop up the last centres of resistance, such as Caracas. Nothing could be more idiotic. As soon as the bullets start to fly and the car bombs to explode the propaganda dissolves. The fools taken in by the nonsense that intervention is in the interests of democracy will become wise. And the defence of Venezuela will turn into a crusade against Yankee imperialism. And the comprador elites, creoles of Iberian origin, who ally themselves with them.
Nor will it stop there: the current situation in US politics in which black and latino politicians jostle in the queue to sell out their constituents will change quickly. Just as it did during the Vietnam war when the poor realised that they were on the wrong side.
Black Agenda report has some really good articles, today, including one by Margaret Kimberley
https://blackagendareport.com/freedom-rider-trump-democrats-and-international-fascists-attack-venezuela

Posted by: bevin | Jan 31, 2019 4:45:55 PM | 43

I think this behaviour is analogous to a bully who gets his butt kicked in a bar room fight, then comes back to the hood, licks his wounds and tries to beat up his little brother.

The bully is the US, the bar room is the ME, and the 'hood is Latin America.

Posted by: Chris Peters | Jan 31, 2019 4:48:13 PM | 44

If the U.S. does proceed (seems they have committed), it will "succeed".
As with all our other "successes" it will cost too much in money and lives and reputation.
It's the cold-hearted, mindless bureaucracy - can't even stop itself if it cared (which it doesn't).
There will be death squads, corruption, insurgencies I imagine.
The U.S. is out of control, appeals to morality are wasted.
Best hope is bankrupcy, that's looking possible.

Posted by: jared | Jan 31, 2019 4:48:44 PM | 45

Wouldn't those Western journalists make for juicy hostages? You grab them (for their own protection, of course) and you make it known that Uncle Shlomo can have them back in exchange for the stolen assets. It's war now; the rules have changed. Do you want to be another Lavrov calling for dialogue with people who won't listen, or do you want to survive?

Posted by: Ma Laoshi | Jan 31, 2019 4:54:34 PM | 46

It would be the first and it will be not the last time the US messes up things in Latin America. See, Governments in LA may align themselves with the US, but the vast majority of Latin Americans won't. There is currently close to zero possibility for a military intervention in Venezuela, it would be a suicide, it would be a very stupid suicide, it won't happen. The whole imbroglio must be solved politically and based on Venezuelan law, which favours Maduro. End of the story for another regime change.

Posted by: Canthama | Jan 31, 2019 5:05:59 PM | 47

I meant it would not be the first. sorry

Posted by: Canthama | Jan 31, 2019 5:06:32 PM | 48

Ma Laoshi @35--

Apparently you don't follow what's actually happening within Venezuela:

"Meanwhile, pressure is growing on Guaido in Venezuela, with the country's Supreme Court issuing a travel restriction on the National Assembly Deputy following a request from Attorney General Tarek William Saab, as well as ordering the freezing of his local bank accounts whilst an investigation continues into his recent actions."

Furthermore,

"In a recent press conference, Peru’s Foreign Minister Nestor Popolizio, speaking on behalf of the regional right wing Lima Group which is backing Guaido, explained that the countries which conform the bloc will not support military action against Caracas.

"'As the Lima Group, we have said that we do not support any military intervention in Venezuela,' he said."

That's a major blow to the neocon plans. Please follow this article's parent site for ongoing developments. Unlike the Kurds, those like the Lima Group know well how little trust can be put in Gringos.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 31, 2019 5:06:47 PM | 49

I wonder why Trump is so vehement about his wall. Is it perhaps because of the carnage he is about to unleash in Latin America?

Posted by: Alpi | Jan 31, 2019 5:15:06 PM | 50

@10 never mind the b... thanks for the article.. however, i question the veracity of associating the father and the son so closely.... and i would put a good bit of emphasis on the fact that canada under harper was very much into warmongering up until harper ceased being in power... the fact that canada didn't get involved in the iraq war was the result of jean chretien who at the time was serving under a liberal leadership... canada however has gone off the rails and continues in that same vein at present..

does the author have anything to collaborate what i have pasted below? otherwise, it is just conjecture on the authors part..

"And they would go to Hanoi and interview people in the North, and they would observe, and then they would come back. And it turned out that the Canadian delegation, completely contrary to international law and the norms of such a commission, was going back and reporting to the CIA on what was going on in North Vietnam, and straightforwardly spying. So, it seems to be a family business in the Trudeau family to play this kind of a role."

@19 jayc.. thanks for your informative commentary..

@35/40 Ma Laoshi.. i tend to agree with your view.. maduro needs to take a firm position and soon.. see @49 karlof1 comment.. some of it is being taken, but not as much as i personally think necessary..

@42 yeah, right... ditto your comment.. the nyt and etc will not be drawing anyone's attention to those details..

@44 chris peters... good analogy and one i had thought about too!

@45 jared.. indeed. the operative word being 'succeed'! so long as the energy/military/financial complex gets something out of it, it will be deemed a success.. murdering people will be the collateral damage that the usa is known for..

@50 alpi.. maybe the wall is to keep up the venezualan refugees they plan on creating... i was wondering about that too..

Posted by: james | Jan 31, 2019 5:25:51 PM | 51

@22

Aruba and Curaçao are semi-independent countries, Bonaire is a special Dutch municipality or in other words as part of The Netherlands as Amsterdam. I expect most refugees to go there.

About using the poor from the Antilles as fighters, you do understand that the local language on the islands isn't Spanish and total population is .5% of Venezuela.

Posted by: charly | Jan 31, 2019 5:34:09 PM | 52

Maduro is getting some good advice from somewhere. Be patient (it's probably not easy for him).

The best way to deal with Guaido is to let him make his little speeches to his friends. Let him run to the gringos for money. Let him bribe a few army officers. He shows himself for what he is. Tom-12 @ 32 knows how things work in Latin America. If Bolton invades the gringo hate level will go off the scale across the whole continent.

Posted by: dh | Jan 31, 2019 5:36:01 PM | 53

It’s crucial to understand that Venezuela is on the verge of a pre-revolutionary situation. But a Venezuelan revolutionary leadership is absent. However, Venezuelan workers, with oil industry workers in the lead, right now can suppress the rightwing opposition by stopping the economy dead with a general strike, run by elected strike committees; and end all Venezuelan oil exports to the US immediately.

The extant grass roots organisations must be mobilised quickly in solidarity with a general strike and other actions, and, importantly, seize the warehouses hoarding many of the vital necessities. Workers and citizens militias must be formed under the command of the elected strike committees to effect this and help distribute badly needed supplies and medicines. The murderous opposition forces who are burning people alive must be disarmed and arrested.

The elected leaders of the general strike would say this to the Maduro government: “We defend you against this imperialist-orchestrated attack because we’re defending ourselves and the gains already made for workers and the poor of Venezuela. But we offer you no political support. You are corrupt and incompetent and have compromised our existence by allowing for too long the capitalist class to sabotage any small gains we’ve made; and you have made unacceptable concessions to the imperialists. Since you’ve not prevented the depredations of the bourgeoisie, we will expropriate them and end their exploitation once and for all. We will subject the whole economy to democratic planning, and you will answer to the leadership of our strike committees or whichever organs of power that emerge and evolve from our struggle”.

To the rank and file of the military, revolutionary-minded striking workers' leaders would say this: “Are you with us or against us in our fight against the imperialist aggressor and the domestic bourgeois saboteurs? Are you for a real ‘Bolivarian Revolution’ where the workers and the oppressed take full control of the economy and have a genuine say over how the country is run and the direction society will move? If you support this, then join us in defense of our mobilisations against the rightwing opposition and their bourgeois masters, and in defense of Venezuela against imperialist attack. This is a historic opportunity for you to play a key role in cutting the Gordian knot of governmental corruption and incompetence, imperialist strangulation and failing social and vital services.”

To their Latin American and US class brothers and sisters, the strike committee leadership would appeal with: “Use your industrial power to prevent your rulers from interfering with our struggle. If we lose this, either a Venezuelan Pinochet or a direct US military occupation, like Iraq, will be the bloody result. Without your help and solidarity we cannot prevail against the imperialist juggernaut.”

No ‘negotiation’ with the coup plotters who already have blood on their hands! For a Venezuelan general strike! Expropriate the bloodsucker oligarchs and banks!

Posted by: Stephen Morrell | Jan 31, 2019 5:36:45 PM | 54

As well as those thousands of US Tow missiles in Syrian warehouses, Iran possesses a build up of anti-ship weapons called Sunburn missiles, which it has procured from Russia and China over the last decade. ... The Sunburn is perhaps the most lethal anti-ship missile in the world, designed to fly as low as 9 feet above ground/water at more than 1,500 miles per hour (mach 2+).[8 Feb 2012 Business insider].
The US would never know if the Venezuelans had acquired this capability, maybe an Iranian Military advisor when addressing the media could have "Sunburn missiles to our friends" scribbled on a note pad. Plus Iran would claim plausible deniability, but would certainly keep the US fleet guessing.

Posted by: Harry Law | Jan 31, 2019 5:41:58 PM | 55

What the Venezuelan Constitution Says About Changing the President

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2019/01/31/what-venezuelan-constitution-says-about-changing-president.html

Posted by: Rolf | Jan 31, 2019 5:51:02 PM | 56

'Might that be the real aim? Is the project for the New Middle East Latin America one of complete destruction?...'

winning is hard. perpetual chaos is easy...

Posted by: semiconscious | Jan 31, 2019 5:58:11 PM | 57

@56, semiconscious,

Chaos and destruction of nation-states, in order to rule the smaller pieces that result from the wars, conflict, assassinations, and upheaval.

The Hegemon cannot run the Globe under present rules, laws and treaties. Thus, the Hegemon is breaking down all structures of international governance. It's the only way the Hegemon can retain unipolar dominance.

It began with Yugoslavia. It went to North Africa. Then Middle East. Now the Carib-South America zone.

Posted by: Red Ryder | Jan 31, 2019 6:07:00 PM | 58

I guess Mr. Build that Wall isnt thinking about the refugee flows (or maybe he is?)? If Washington does to Latin America what it did to the Middle East, there will be an EU-like refugee crisis.

Posted by: Star | Jan 31, 2019 6:09:26 PM | 59

Some thoughts:

(1) Events in Venezuela happened shortly after the announcement of the withdrawal of the US troops from Syria - in fact, capitulation and recognition of loss, which was awkwardly presented as “leaving after a loud victory over terrorism”, which, however, very few people believed. The events in Venezuela were also a diversion to “smooth out” the impression of the - in fact - surrender of the United States in Syria.

(2) The events unleashed by the United States in Venezuela, were an attempt including to revenge for the obvious loss in Syria. The image of the “omnipotent and exceptional” superpower, badly stained by a loss in Syria, was to be “restored” by a bold, arrogant and decisive “victory” in Venezuela. Such a “victory” should have been a kind of slap in the face of Russia (first of all), especially considering the recent arrival of two strategic Russian bombers to the USA’s very backyard (which frightened US officials nervously called "obsolete exhibits of the museum").

(3) In case of successful implementation of the plan for "regime change" in Venezuela, it will become a springboard for further attacks on Nicaragua and Cuba. In particular, Nicaragua is not satisfied with the United States, including the fact that the country plans to build a channel that is an alternative to the Panama Canal. Must know that construction project is sponsored by the Chinese...

And although at the moment the financing of the project is frozen, the Americans cannot allow even the theoretical possibility of implementing this landmark project.

(4) Control of Venezuelan oil is only partially the goal of the current "regime change" campaign in Venezuela. Here is an excerpt from a very interesting article on this topic:


In December 2017, Venezuela announced the creation of its own cryptocurrency called Petromoneda. The main commodity that was supposed to be sold in cryptocurrency was Venezuelan oil, which the Maduro government announced as the main means of ensuring Petromoneda. The transfer of the oil trade to cryptocurrency undermines the foundations of the dollar, which were based on its use in hydrocarbon transactions.

Therefore, the American financial groups immediately applied the entire set of technologies in order to undermine the authority of the new settlement instrument at the start. As a result, after Venezuela began to issue Petromoneda in February 2018, an inflation mechanism was launched against cryptocurrency. The US could use it freely, because they were the main buyers of Venezuelan hydrocarbons. By the end of the year, the cost of Petromoneda fell by 1300000%.

In this situation, there were two choices. Or to refuse to use cryptocurrency, or to back it up with something more substantial - for example, with gold. At the same time finding new contractors who would accept Petromoneda for payment.

Rejection of cryptocurrency was an unacceptable option for Venezuela, because it meant surrender to Washington. The second option was blocked by the Western clans themselves. The entire gold reserve of Caracas was in the custody of the Bank of England and Deutsche Bank, and they flatly refused to return it to the legitimate authorities of the country. As for its own gold mining, there were deposits in the country, albeit small (about 700 tons), but allowing to exchange Petromoneda for a yellow metal in the presence of willing (it was assumed that this would be enough for 25 tons annually). The problem was only in one thing: Canadians were initially involved in the development of gold mines [in Venezuela], and they not only failed to fulfill their obligations, but also blocked mining. This was done with the help of a claim to international arbitration of the World Bank.

The situation was saved by the support of Russia and China. At the end of 2018, Maduro received an agreement from Moscow and Beijing to invest several billion dollars in gold mining. This made it possible to fully repay debts for lawsuits and to begin the legal development of the [Venezuelan] gold mines.

In addition, a pool was formed of countries that agreed to operate in trade with Venezuela using Petromoneda: Russia, China, Turkey, Iran, South Africa, North Korea, Cuba and others. This gave Maduro a reason to declare that from 2019 "all oil products of Venezuela will be sold for Petromoneda".

Moreover, the actions of the leadership of the Bolivarian Republic provoked a chain reaction. On January 19, 2019 Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates announced plans to create a joint cryptocurrency, which also "will be provided with their oil resources".

As a result, the United States found itself in a hopeless situation. Or they do nothing, and then the dollar will soon finally turn into a useless wrapper, which will be difficult to sell even to African tribes. Or they go for an international aggravation. Initiate a coup d'état in Venezuela and draw the world into war. In Washington, they chose the latter.

(5) I do not believe in the possibility of the US starting a military operation against Venezuela. It doesn't matter - directly, or through Colombia. Both options are unreal. Venezuela has a strong large army with good weapons (including many Russian weapons). The USA will be afraid to fight against such an adversary. A coup can only succeed in one case - if the US succeeds in doing what they did in Iraq in 2003. Mean, to bribe army generals and other high ranking military in order to "remove" possible resistance and to take the side of the "new president".

(6) I will not discuss all the previous mistakes of the Maduro government, which undoubtedly bears a part of the blame for the current situation in the country. After all, who in their right mind, aware of the complexity of relations with the West, will keep his money in Western banks? What were they just thinking about? However, the point is not in past mistakes, but in the fact that Maduro not only does not correct them (at least it is not noticeable), but also makes new mistakes. A brazen impostor appears next to you, challenges you, calls himself the president, openly talks with your army about switching to his side, expresses his full readiness to take control of your finances. Insolent fellow does not even try to hide that he is a protege of the Western forces, extremely hostile to you. In addition, it is clear that he is breaking the law of the country. With all this, Maduro does not even try to stop all this and arrest the pest! Unbelievable. Guaido should have been in jail for a long time. But Maduro for some reason allows this pest to do all what this pest does. Maduro still allows him to do all this! Unbelievable. Incredible carelessness, which can cost Maduro dearly...

Posted by: alaff | Jan 31, 2019 6:16:54 PM | 60

Always remember the US grab for Mexican territory in 1846, in the Anglo mind presented as a walk over . Not so - had Mexico had more proficient artillery units the outcome may have been different. The US needs to tread carefully there are vagaries in every military situation.

If Juan N. Alvarez had only sent his cavalry to the center at the battle of Molino del Rey!

Posted by: Guerrero | Jan 31, 2019 6:32:51 PM | 61

The propaganda is a preparation for Rwanda redux. When bUganda invaded Rwanda (1 October 1990) with US, Canadian, British and Belgian backing, the US and the "multilateral" organizations e.g. IMF moved their work from Kigali to bUgandan ("RPA") controlled Mulindi. The US also moved its embassy. After Rwigame's death early in the invasion, bUgandan head of intelligence Paul Kagame took over the invasion, fresh from his IMET trip at Fort Leavenworth.

See page 98, Rwanda and the New Scramble for Africa, Robin Philpot.

Posted by: Johan Meyer | Jan 31, 2019 6:40:21 PM | 62

dh @52--

His actions make clear Maduro's getting "Long Game" advice from practitioners of same. Politically, what calls itself the Opposition has no program to offer the majority which is why it can't get itself elected and reverts to the only "program" it has--to destabilize the legitimate government as much as possible, which only serves to further alienate it from the majority. Even controlling Venezuela's BigLie Media doesn't get results, which must really puzzle Gringo planners.

The public's major gripe is economic, which is understandable since the nation's been under concerted economic attack since 2013, with a lesser coordinated attack ongoing since 2000. This article provides some suggestions as to how this might be turned around, although I don't totally agree--after 5+ years of concentrated assault on the economy, particularly from internal actors/saboteurs, no plan will have instant success. It's asked: Why now, this attempted coup. IMO, the economic assault's reached a crescendo as seen from outside, so the time was deemed ripe despite the significance of the day chosen to activate the coup. In light of what's transgressed, Maduro has little to lose by nationalizing the remaining key economic sectors so production within them can resume and return to 2013 levels and beyond. I believe he's being active and is genuine in his empathy for the majority, but he must address the sabotage from the 5th Column aggressively regardless of Gringo threats.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 31, 2019 6:44:50 PM | 63

Trump has himself surrounded by homos , Jews and warmongers whats to be expected ?

Posted by: ricck lineheart | Jan 31, 2019 6:47:54 PM | 64

they'd be fine killing every living thing in the country to get the oil. that's not a nihilistic "conspiracy" theory - it's almost an objective fact. abrams is just one sign that it will be scorched earth and getting democrat whores to cheer him on (along with french whore trudeau) will be a notch in trump's belt for 2020. how can dumb shits like sanders or harris or warren pretend to be less of a lunatic when they couldn't even summon the guts to call this a coup?

i had a feeling the syria "withdraw" was simply moving the pieces and still think - as you mentioned here - that it will be a syria/libya/ukraine-style proxy war with colombia and brazil playing the roles soon to be vacated by the KSA and qatar. the border with colombia has long been an open door letting in weapons and hessian vermin alike. i also noticed a few writers (mainly zero hedge's "durdens" who are normally bearable but sound like unhinged cold war strangeloves when even a faint scent of socialism is in the air) talking about whatsapp-using "military" types who are asking for money from the soon to be open illegal pipeline to "guido".

they could be roughly as legit as a "nigerian prince" who totes wants to release your lottery winnings but needs a few grand for the "bank fees" but they could also be corrupt fifth columnists within actual military units. funny how talk of "corruption" in the western media only focuses on one side, innit?

on the bright(ish) side, they've had decades to invade cuba and only got as far as a few dead idiots on the beach during the kennedy years. these assholes may be foaming-at-the-mouth literal psychopaths but they're also old and cunning enough to remember how that played out.

Posted by: the pair | Jan 31, 2019 6:54:33 PM | 65

By the way, for those who wonder why the pretender was not immediately arrested by the Venezuelan authorities: I read in a news report, but can't remember where, that since Guaidó is the speaker of the National Assembly he is immune from prosecution except by order of the Supreme Court. So this kind of process has to play out.

To me it's notable that the Court has prohibited Guaidó from leaving the country, and they have frozen his assets. So at one stroke, the mouse is caught in the trap and cannot receive fresh cheese from outside.

This is not a failure on the part of the Maduro government. It's an insistence on the rule of law. Maduro's position is reinforced by the rule of law. It makes great good sense for his every action to reinforce that rule of law.

The wheels grind slow but very fine, and the justice visited upon Guaidó will indeed be justice.

Posted by: Grieved | Jan 31, 2019 6:56:38 PM | 66

The US needed 9/11 , conducted so we are told by mostly Saudi attackers, to gain support for its future engagements in the Middle East

One wonders if the US repeats recent history in order to engage in military invasion of one or several countries south of the border . I dont imagine these fake migrant caravans are enough of a threat although they do present a plausible story for terrorists among them entering the US to engage in an attack thats subsequently blamed on Venezuela and others.

Its probably not necessary though. The population in the US has been sufficiently brainwashed and densensitized that the majority will believe any lie or excuse for an invasion no matter how preposterous, and the rest will just go along to get along.

Posted by: Pft | Jan 31, 2019 7:04:25 PM | 67

@59 alaaf.. no doubt much of this is connected to finance and how the us$ has to be the exchange currency for oil - what was established with the bretton woods agreement to ensure us$ remained the lifeblood of the world financial system... the fact that a long line of leaders have tried to go around this and met with strong opposition shows just how important and central it is!

@karlof1/grieved and others - long game... i get it, but the usa and west have shown no mercy in pushing their warmongering agenda, regardless if this guaido guy is on the street or not, so there is that to consider here as well.. even if he was locked up, someone else would be put in his place by these same powers wishing to destabilize or worse - venezuala.. and, the idea that one of these men - maduro or guaido, will get assassinated is quite high for the same obvious reasons..

@66 pft.. yes, we can expect some type false flag that is blamed on venezuala too.. that also goes with the treacherous terrain these forces know so well..

Posted by: james | Jan 31, 2019 7:21:50 PM | 68

Grieved @65--

Agreed. Lots of kneejerkism being displayed in comments. It appears this crisis will serve to further dismember the EU as Italy will not follow the EU Parliament diktat. At Maduro's 10 January Inauguration, 94 national delegations attended, which greatly outnumber the right-wing governments refusing to recognize the legitimate president. This article provides excellent evidence as to Maduro's legitimacy and the bankruptcy of the arguments against, which I hope all barflies will read. I don't know if b linked to this last article; if he didn't, I hope he does in his next article on this crisis.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 31, 2019 7:24:25 PM | 69

Looking at the topographic map of Venezuela, one can see a region in the northwest separated by the Andes from the rest of the country (the states of Zulia, Táchira, Mérida, Trujillo, Lara, and Falcón). Although this region looks relatively small, it actually contains 34% of Venezuela's population, 84% of its refining capacity, 6 of the country's 13 tanker terminals (see this map), Lake Maracaibo light oil reserves, and an ideal location for a future U.S. naval base. The U.S. may send in a massive army of mercenaries from neighboring Colombia to capture Maracaibo city and install Guaido government there, while the MSM will be pushing non-stop propaganda about "the brave people of Venezuela rising up against the brutal dictator Maduro".

Posted by: S | Jan 31, 2019 7:25:18 PM | 70

Now we see the why now of Trump's call for a wall.

Spot on. I hope the open borders folks will prevail.

Posted by: radiator | Jan 31, 2019 7:26:16 PM | 71

@ 36 Sasha

Lots of good material in your comment, thanks.

Regarding Davos and the business people concerned about rising social unrest in the world - you've probably read this but it's worth repeating. Alastair Crooke goes into this in some depth in his latest piece, where he reports that the rich and powerful simply aren't getting the control they used to get over the poor and powerless, and it's because they themselves have lost their way, and inhabit a new world that they don't have a vision for:
A Progressive ‘Artifice’ of Democratic Impotence: The ‘World’ Finally ‘Gets It’

Posted by: Grieved | Jan 31, 2019 7:28:50 PM | 72

Chances are the US is already in Venezuela making preparations.
I suspect they will ensure that Guaido has what he needs.
The recent past would suggest thier is nothing there that would hold them back.
On ZH there have been comments reporting unusual amout of airforce activity at domestic bases.

Posted by: jared | Jan 31, 2019 7:30:30 PM | 73

It's gonna end in failure. Maduro will still be in power and stronger than before. The old saying what doesn't kill you makes stronger has some application here.

Posted by: Jonathan Gillispie | Jan 31, 2019 7:32:49 PM | 74

An American fallback to Latin America makes complete sense in a geopolitical scenario where a unipolar world is falling and a multipolar one is emerging. Sole superpowers tend to fallback to their "backyards" when their power is declining and a new superpower is emerging. Therefore, the weakening of the USA in Eurasia can mean a stronger USA in Latin America.

Poor Latin America: so far from God, so near the USA.

Posted by: vk | Jan 31, 2019 7:37:03 PM | 75

Most countries directly affected by the Gulfstream current recognize Guaido as legitimate? (What?)

Copy paste of recent 'climate change' Trump tweet:

Donald J. Trump
@realDonaldTrump

In the beautiful Midwest, windchill temperatures are reaching minus 60 degrees, the coldest ever recorded. In coming days, expected to get even colder. People can’t last outside even for minutes. What the hell is going on with Global Waming? Please come back fast, we need you!

203K 5:28 AM - Jan 29, 2019

Article about sudden severe weather and US defence (in)abilities:
'An Abrupt Climate Change Scenario and Its Implications for United. States National Security. October 2003' By Peter Schwartz. 2003.
https://eesc.columbia.edu/courses/v1003/readings/Pentagon.pdf

An article about Hugo Chavez 'crazy' claims in a public address in Venezuela about artificial earthquakes (Haiti) and weather modification (Venezuela floods) :
https://www.collective-evolution.com/2016/04/29/was-hugo-chavez-right-about-haarp-the-haiti-earthquake-is-weather-even-natural-anymore/

The widely circulated:
'Weather As A Force Multiplier: Owning The Weather In 2025'
by USAF Air University, Air Command and Staff College
https://archive.org/details/WeatherAsAForceMultiplier

(a rather scary thought)
Documentary about the Gulfstream slowing down and what if:
'Gulf Stream and the next ice age':
https://youtu.be/CRICwqJ6hYQ


Posted by: OSINT-suggests | Jan 31, 2019 7:39:56 PM | 76

Even though Maduro mismanaged Venezuela, the US will almost certainly fail, because the latter is broke, and broke actors rarely succeed in anything, especially in "remaking" whole continents. Every dollar US spends on its overseas adventures it borrows from the likes of China and Russia. That's obviously a suicidal arrangement.
Sure, America can print dollars, but printing money is inflationary, and by resorting to such desperate measures, the US only strengthens its adversaries, since printing money only underpins commodity prices (good for Russia) and maintains or even increases US trade deficits (good for China). Every penny America borrows from Moscow and Beijing promptly returns back to the lenders, with US sinking deeper and deeper into the debt morass. Each dollar USA prints, eventually leaks out of the country and ends up in the pockets of America's creditors.
So, whatever Trump does will only end up hurting the United States.
70 plus years of wrongheaded policies got America into the mother of all geopolitical cul-de-sacs, and getting out of it is nearly impossible at this point.
Expect further deterioration of the USA in every direction. Trump is presiding over a country that is moving inexorably towards collapse.
Washington's omnipotence is long gone. The illusions about it will soon be gone too.

Posted by: telescope | Jan 31, 2019 7:59:52 PM | 77

the US will almost certainly fail, [...] because [it] is broke
Often I wonder: who are you broke to, if you have the seemingly strongest military in the world? Couldn't you just send some tanks to the guys who think you owe them money and convince them of the opposite? Boy, I'm so naive.

Posted by: radiator | Jan 31, 2019 8:11:48 PM | 78

I really wonder if the USSA is getting a bit like Japan at the start of WWII. If not Venezuela, from where will it get all the oil it will soon need?

As I see it, this makes the situation more dangerous than it may appear. China will not willingly sacrifice its gains, and Russia stands behind China.

Posted by: blues | Jan 31, 2019 8:12:24 PM | 79

@55 Rolf The person who write that article doesn't really understand the plain text of the Venezuelan Constitution.

Despite what the author asserts the Constitution does not contradict itself, and the only way that he can claim that it does is by snipping out (his "..." bits) sections so that he can quote article 233 out of context.

The Constitution says this **if** the President has been inaugurated and **then** becomes "unavailable" then the Vice President take over the role.
The Constitution also says **if** the President never makes it to inauguration **then** it is the leader of the National Assembly who takes that role.

That is, obviously, a sensible arrangement since if the President hasn't been sworn in then it is very unlikely that any of the Executive branch has been sworn in, including the Vice-President. Under that circumstance it makes sense to confer the role of next-in-line to the leader of the National Assembly.

The problem that Guiado has is that Maduro was sworn in, therefore the Constitution clearly places the Vice-President as next-in-line.
Guiado attempts to get around that by claiming that Maduro's election wasn't "legitimate" and, therefore, neither is Maduro's swearing-in.

But as your author correctly points out (he does get this right, at least) Guiado doesn't have the Constitutional authority to make that determination.

Only the Supreme Tribunal of Justice has that authority, and that body is perfectly happy about Maduro's "legitimacy".

Guiado is simply make his shit up, and therefore if his coup succeeds then he will have no choice but to tear up the Constitution because if the Constitution stands then his self-declared Presidency can not possibly survive legal challenge.

The Rule Of Law will have to be thrown out the window.


Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jan 31, 2019 8:14:52 PM | 80

A majority of the peoples in many of the LA/SA countries have long memories of how US interference in their countries has visited death, destruction and misery via the neoliberal policies of installed and financially backed leadership.

I will be surprised if the targeted countries just fall over in thrall to the US.

It will be bloody but it might drive a few more nails in the US Empire Coffin.

Posted by: Linda Amick | Jan 31, 2019 8:18:24 PM | 81

The US is not "broke". It cannot be made to become broke with its phony paper monopoly money. It prints fiat currency at will (or simply posts numbers on computer terminals) and spends $1.5 billion every 24 hours on Military Contracts. It has done this for many years.

Every nation on earth is "in debt", so who has all the money?

Posted by: fast freddy | Jan 31, 2019 8:36:12 PM | 82

SS @ 1 said;"Washington-based regime change and nation building exercises are always about profiteering for Corporate America."

Bottom line truth. Business uber alles as usual..

@ 56 said;"winning is hard. perpetual chaos is easy..."

Another truth, that is the empire's game plan. Destabilize and reap the rewards, which, in the empire's world, means economic dominance..

Posted by: ben | Jan 31, 2019 8:36:22 PM | 83

LA @ 80 said;"It will be bloody but it might drive a few more nails in the US Empire Coffin."

The ONLY nail that will effect the empire's march for global hegemony will be a change in the reserve currency policy.

Until that transpires, nothing changes..

Posted by: ben | Jan 31, 2019 8:40:16 PM | 84

Karlof1 @ 4:

Venezuela has two of the S300VM anti-ballistic missile defence systems but, as the country acquired these in April 2013, how well-maintained and ready they are I do not know.
https://www.army-technology.com/projects/s-300vm-antey-2500-anti-ballistic-missile-defence-system/

The Saker article appears to be vague as to the capabilities of Venezuela's air force and navy. There is no mention as to whether Venezuela's armed forces are coordinating with foreign military.

According to this TASS article, Russian combat fighters are already practising flying into aerodromes in Venezuela and Russian naval ships have been visiting Venezuela's ports.
http://tass.com/defense/1034767

Venezuela also has a military mobilisation plan (Plan Zamora) in place:
https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plan_Zamora

(You'll need Google Translate if you can't read Spanish.)

Posted by: Jen | Jan 31, 2019 8:40:53 PM | 85

Putin and Xi could and should make some remarks to embarrass the US in its aggression against Venezuela. The Puppet EU won't do it.

Of note: Columbia has become a solid US puppet.

Posted by: fast freddy | Jan 31, 2019 8:41:05 PM | 86

@ fast freddy who wrote:
"
Every nation on earth is "in debt", so who has all the money?
"
When the music stops, which I think it will soon, one will see who has all the money as you say....but which money?

The elite have had since 2008 to set this up
They bought and continue to buy all the land they can all over the world.
They continue to buy and stockpile precious metals and other resources...water resources come to mind.
They have arranged that the debt of the world is not held by the elite but by the pension, municipal and national funds that are in debt to the broader publics.
They still control the BIS where they play nations money off against others so they have their "cash" in the favored countries.

Russia has dumped all its US Treasuries and China has reduced theirs for the past few months straight but they have a lot which Xi will hoodwink Trump with in negotiations.

I am beginning to think that there might not be another Bretton Woods meeting but just the UN where the evolving sides face off in public and the world is carved up behind the scenes.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 31, 2019 8:55:14 PM | 87

Trump is the biggest threat to multi--polarity we've witnessed yet and we have Kissinger (i.e. Zionist masters) to thank for creating this monster. Already, China's economy has suffered from Trump's tariff war and heading for critical mass in March when Trump promises to bring China to its knees with 25% tariffs. Trump is also obsessively focused on destroying Iran, and now conspiring to overthrow Venezuela's government by force. This should give modern-day revolutionaries pause to not be caught off-guard by Trump's meaningless charm offensive distraction with Russia. Is it a week ago that b reminded us, sarcasm intended, how Russia has benefited from Trump's presidency? While I respect the Saker's stalwart reporting on Syria and the Russian resistance in Ukraine, that I believe encourages success in the struggle to push back, upending the AZEmpire's encroachment and in achieving victory in Crimea and Syria, I found his article on Venezuela to be abjectly defeatist, depressing, and even undermining the pivotal moment that Venezuela's crisis represents in furthering the revolutionary cause that is the impetus behind global multi-polarity. Should we all allow for Venezuela to be the ground where resistance to the Empire fizzles or dies a painful demise buried with Castro, Chavez, Guevara, Bolivar and others who would never allow this to happen unchallenged?

We could count Xi and Putin, even Kim as modern-day revolutionaries who have kept their predecessors struggle alive amidst monumental global pressure. Look at what Trump is doing not what he's says and pretends. He's not trying to make peace with NK, he's trying to neuter it! He's trying to arrest China's economic advance; he's crippling Iran's economy to prepare regime change by fake revolution or war, and he's distracting Russia with empty gestures while he moves the Empire closer to irreversible geopolitical domination. So, the other problem I have with Saker's opinion and this article is how reticent both authors are to attribute what's happening to Trump. Yes, Saker sarcastically names the culprit, Mr. Maga, but it's almost a copout to not have to spell it out i.e. Trump's b e t r a y a l, while b, blames the Trump administration instead of he who appointed it. Both are still hanging on for something that never existed to surface and save the day.

The danger with Venezuela is that Russia and China hesitate to foil the Empire's plan for fear of triggering a catastrophic outcome. They overestimate the Empire's financial capability and willingness to plunge into war with potent adversaries.

The mere presence of a Russian passenger aircraft troubles Venezuela's adversaries. Two Russian bombers over a month ago appeared in Venezuela. What could it mean? What's Russia up to? Oh my! How much power would Russia or China really need to flex to scare off the Empire? China can send a commercial delegation to meet with Maduro and tongues would flap merely at that. Russia doesn't need a Syria redux to secure Venezuela's legitimate government. It just needs to troll the Empire, get under everyone's skin. Russia already proved what it can do successfully, unlike the Empire's shock and awe fails. Whatever moves China or Russia make in Venezuela will get head-scratching scrutiny, inspire trepidation, rattle Bolton's cage, demoralize Congressional support, and maybe, cool the Empire's jets. If everyone assumes the Saker's defeatist attitude, Trump will undoubtedly send in the military option he's been haranging the Pentagon to ready.

The point is for China and Russia to DO SOMETHING.

Posted by: Circe | Jan 31, 2019 9:02:02 PM | 88

@ Circe with the specious cry:
"
The point is for China and Russia to DO SOMETHING.
"

To say they are not doing anything is specious. You are complaining that they are not visibly doing anything you want them to which is you projecting your FEAR

Consider Voltaire who wrote "Act, but stay apart from action."

Empire is in "transition" which could mean retrenchment in a multi-polar world or complete collapse, taking all of us down with it or not. The spinning plate of Venezuela that is part of the current empire circus will evolve as empire devolves with its surplus of spinning plates it can no longer completely control.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 31, 2019 9:19:12 PM | 89

@81 Fast Freddy Who has all the money? The future, that's who.

The US government issues bonds, and other govt and institutions buy those bonds on the promise that they will be paid back at maturity.

When the future rolls around then the US issues more bonds, which are then purchased for future payment i.e. the debt is rolled over, on and on and on.


One day the US govt will issue yet more bonds and no one else buy them because they will have lost faith in the dollar.

At that moment the music stops and Uncle Sam will find itself short of chairs.

The USA can run up trillions in debt for as long as it can maintain faith in the dollar. If/when that faith is lost then the USA will be bankrupt and a Venezuelan-style hyperinflation will be its fate. And at that point just printing more money will simply accelerate that process

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jan 31, 2019 9:20:49 PM | 90

Circe @ 87 said;"The point is for China and Russia to DO SOMETHING."

Agreed..Backing the existing gov. is critical. Damn it, play the the game. Even if its just theater.

A multi-polar world depends on it..

Posted by: ben | Jan 31, 2019 9:52:42 PM | 91

Some facts to consider--
>The US success rate in regime change is low
>This one hasn't become military and there probably won't be a US military offensive, there is no threat
>Russia and China have huge investments in Venezuela, a reason for the US political offensive.
>That's also a reason why it will fail, because Russia and China have influence which will be subtle not antagonistic
>Venezuela military officers loyal to the president staff the state oil company PDVSA
>Regime change is not possible w/o a powerful alternative, which doesn't exist
>There is a powerful and wise president
>A weak political offensive isn't enough, so the US strategy will probably fail, as usual.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 31, 2019 9:57:46 PM | 92

vk | Jan 31, 2019 7:37:03 PM | 74

I agree completely. US power is showing cracks. It is essential for the hegemon to withdraw from its failing wars. Without doubt, that will free up resources that can be used in other arenas. I do fear that the people of S. America will suffer from this re-position of US forces. The obvious failures US ME policy will also motivate the US war mongers to show the world we are still a superpower. What better place than Venezuela to show the world we are still a super power?

Posted by: ToivoS | Jan 31, 2019 10:34:18 PM | 93

@ Peter AU 1 #13

That was a fascinating read at your link, and I thank you for it. It would be my guess that the author Julian Bolger was writing what they call "Terminological Inexactitude" for most of his piece. There is almost no scenario I can imagine where the US would place those tiny little nukes on a super-expensive Trident missile. My concern is that something slightly more devious and a lot more scary is happening. From the New Start wiki:

According to a Reuters report on February 9, 2017, in US President Donald Trump's first 60-minute telephone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Putin inquired about extending New START. President Trump attacked the treaty, claiming that it favored Russia and was "one of several bad deals negotiated by the Obama administration".

The Orange ignoramus has yanked the US out of the INF treaty, and it sure looks like he plans to do the same thing with the New Start treaty. I'd say the warmongers are starting the production now to build up an inventory of these new bombs. With a swiftly growing pile of the miniature nukes it will be no trick at all to bolt them to new extreme range cruise missiles. The US used to worry about the potential for this kind of "breakout" by the USSR, but it looks to me "we" are on the verge of doing it ourselves.

A combination of the longest-range cruise missile which will fit in the MK41 launch tubes with 1/4 Nagasaki nukes is a deadly one. And the US has many thousands of those MK41 tubes on surface ships, submarines, and the AEGIS Ashore installations.

I've no idea what the Russians will do to counter this, but it isn't anything I expect to survive. This could be exactly what the Rapture fanatics have in mind.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Jan 31, 2019 10:44:20 PM | 94

The US government issues bonds, and other govt and institutions buy those bonds [...] then the US issues more bonds, [...] debt is rolled over, on and on and on. One day the US govt will issue yet more bonds [and so on]

Honestly, I don't get it. Who cares about bonds, bills, or dollar notes when you've got the military means to make it all naught?
Who is going to come and collect debts emptyhanded when you're fully armend?`This can't be how it works

Posted by: radiator | Jan 31, 2019 10:51:59 PM | 95

'Economist admits that sanctions are a form of starvation as a method of warfare— a type of siege warfare banned by int’l law,hence, an economic weapon of mass destruction. It then lauds their emancipatory power in its byline as “liberating”. https://twitter.com/theeconomist/status/1091123742783258626 … …

Posted by: brian | Jan 31, 2019 10:59:08 PM | 96

I'm really glad that Russia and China aren't as reactive as some of the commentators here. They are each in Venezuela to protect their own interests, not to police the world, and certainly not to take any action that could provide any pretext for those in the US government who seem intent on starting a third World War.

Posted by: mourning dove | Jan 31, 2019 11:06:31 PM | 97

I think their ME plan did succeed it is called the Wolfawitz doctrine(perpetual never ending war and destabilization of sovereign countries that are not aligned to NATO).
Paraphrasing from Kuchner the ex head of state of Argentina. She was having a conversation with Wolfawitz circa 2006 she states how nice to see Southern American states at peace and harmony. Wolfawitz turns around and said no war is good . Pure evil.

Posted by: falcemartello | Jan 31, 2019 11:19:14 PM | 98

@ psychohistorian #86

"Money" is just a medium of exchange. So far as I'm concerned a much more relevant situation is when that "money" concept is deliberately abused. Debt and the consequences of its exponential growth is the real issue. May I recommend a book chapter which I've posted several times on the internet tubes.

The Necessity of Failure

The link title comes at page 19 in the piece. The previous pages introduce the reader to what lies ahead. IMO Mr. Hardin was wrong about the Versailles Tready, but that doesn't really matter. What DOES matter are the lessons today's Super Rich have absorbed from that event. The German Government entirely erased WW1 war debts and the super rich German elites stole a huge proportion of post-WW1 Germany's wealth. I'm not sure either was any kind of accident.

Obama assisted our top .1% people with their theft of approximately ten trillion dollars. They've been using that stolen "money" to buy the "real" goods of our entire nation. Which gets us to what you wrote:

The elite have had since 2008 to set this up They bought and continue to buy all the land they can all over the world. They continue to buy and stockpile precious metals and other resources...water resources come to mind.

Land. Water. Factories. Mines. Houses and apartments. Big Buildings. And everything else as quickly as they can get public systems "privatized". So far as they're concerned, a hyper-inflation is something they can basically ignore, except for snapping up the few things they didn't already have nailed down.

I've read that the National Debt has grown by 2 Trillion dollars during Trump's two year misrule. Nobody cares. Not the elites because they're on the winning end of this. Not the 99.9% of the rest of the nation because we're distracted by all the fake controversy they pitch at us. Hey, what was the latest thing a Kardashing wore/said/did? The latest baseball/hockey/football/Olympics/NCAA controversy? People are so absorbed in their devices I have to be careful not to hit one of them in a freaking parking lot!

Give that link a look-see and maybe you'll become as cynical as me.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Jan 31, 2019 11:19:26 PM | 99

Zachary Smith, it's not often we get a whole new bunch of ideas and analysis; thanks for the Hardin link above.

Posted by: jonku | Jan 31, 2019 11:42:41 PM | 100

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