Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
January 24, 2019

Venezuela - The U.S. Game Plan For 'Regime Change' And How To Respond To It

Yesterday the U.S. recognized a right-wing 'leader of the opposition' in Venezuela Juan Guaido as the president of the country. A number of right-wing led countries in South America joined in that move. Cuba, Bolivia and Mexico rejected it. Russia, China, Iran and Turkey continue to support the the government of the elected President Nicolas Maduro and spoke out against the coup attempt. The European Union has no united opinion with the neo-liberal led France being pro-coup and Spain standing against it.

Venezuela must prepare for a multi year conflict while doing everything to keep it as short as possible.

This long planned U.S. move against the legitimate government of Venezuela is just the start. It is designed to lead to escalation and very soon mission creep - 'We can't stop here!' - will set in. More than 300 billion barrels of oil, the biggest oil reserves in the world, are at stake. U.S. stooge Guaido promises to change Venezuela's oil law to the advantage of the U.S., while the Bolivarian government uses the oil to support the poor.

The game plan for the current U.S. regime-change operation against the government of Venezuela was written by Senator Marco Rubio with the support of Vice President Pence:

The American recognition of Mr. Guaidó as Venezuela’s legitimate president is far more than a symbolic measure, and presents new complications for Mr. Maduro.

The idea was avidly promoted by Senator Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican who pushed the Trump administration to take such a step. In a speech to the Senate on Jan. 15, Mr. Rubio said that designating Mr. Guaidó as president would allow millions of dollars of Venezuelan government assets frozen in the United States to be at the disposal of opposition lawmakers, who could use them to fund new elections or humanitarian assistance.

The real amount the U.S. and Britain have 'frozen', or practically stolen, from Venezuela amount to several billion dollars, not just a few millions. Such 'freezing' of money owned by governments the U.S. does not like has become all too common. Together with a raft of other sanctions the economic war the U.S. has long waged against the country made the recovery of the Venezuelan economy nearly impossible.

As the U.S. is now likely to confiscate all money that is supposed to flow to Venezuela the country must stop its oil-exports to the United States. A number of U.S. refineries, some owned by Venezuela, depend on the special grade of Venezuelan oil and would soon run into trouble. That could help to change the mood in Washington. China may be interested in buying more Venezuelan oil.

The opposition in Venezuela will probably use access to that 'frozen' money to buy weapons and to create an army of mercenaries to fight a 'civil' war against the government and its followers. Like in Syria U.S. special forces or some CIA 'contractors' will be eager to help. The supply line for such a war would most likely run through Colombia. If, like 2011 in Syria, a war on the ground is planned it will likely begin in the cities near that border.


But before a military conflict is launched the U.S. and the opposition in Venezuela will try other paths.

After the U.S. announcement Venezuela's president Maduro ordered all U.S. diplomats in Caracas to leave the country within 72 hours. As the U.S. no longer recognizes Maduro it rejected that. U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo announced to "conduct our relations with Venezuela through the government of interim President Guaido." The rejection was most likely planned and is supposed to provoke a too harsh reaction like a storming of the embassy.

Under a normal process the Venezuelan government would now arrest the U.S. diplomats as soon as they leave the legally protected embassy compound. They would be put on a plane and evicted from the country. But it seems likely that U.S. planned for this conflict and that the diplomats are prepared to stay in the embassy for a long time.

The best for Venezuela to do now is to simply isolate the embassy. It must be well guarded to prevent false flag attacks against it. No visitors should be allowed. All the embassy's communication lines should be cut (it would still have satellite communication) and electricity and water should be rationed. Humanitarian aid should be conceded only after specific requests. It is important to play this 'by the book' so that the U.S. can not use the issue to escalate.

The 'opposition leader' Juan Guaido committed treason. He, his staff and the people behind him must be found and imprisoned. They should be held in reasonable conditions but under strict military guard.

Before starting a larger war the opposition will try to create unbearable chaos on the streets. Like during the failed violent demonstrations in 2016 the opposition rioters will be armed. Police will be attacked and people on both sides will die. The probably best way to keep this at a tolerable level is to snatch away those who are armed and violent. The police will need good ground level intelligence to achieve that.

The U.S. seems prepared to see the coup through unless it has negative consequences for its own position. Domestically the illegal regime change attempt has support even from supposedly 'socialist' Democrats. The U.S. propaganda apparatus, the mainstream media and various propaganda 'bot' campaigns are fully engaged. The supposedly private social media companies in the U.S. - Facebook, Instagram and Twitter - have already de-recognized the official Maduro accounts. They no longer have a 'verified' tick mark. Voice of America shows (vid) Guaido declaring himself president among a crowd of a few hundred supporters. It then (1:05min) cuts to a much larger crowd at a different location falsely suggesting that he has a large following.There are trucks with anti-Maduro advertisements driving in U.S. cities and various propaganda accounts post false pictures or make otherwise false claims.  This sudden change of location is cute in its fatuity:

link - bigger

link - bigger

The Venezuelan government should consult with Syria and Russia on how to win such a conflict. The most important step Maduro has to take is to shore up his ground support. While the Bolivarian movement under Chavez and now Maduro still has a large backing, it lost some support from the poor due to the economic malaise after the fall of the oil prices. The situation is to some extent caused by U.S. sanctions but a significant part is also caused by misguided economic policies and corruption. The billions of credits and investment brought in by Russia and China have not been put to good use.

A well concerted anti-corruption campaign will help to increase the public support and will give China and Russia more confidence to stick to the legitimate government.

Another step must be an early dialog with reasonable parts of the opposition. While lots of people may not like the Maduro government many of them will disagree with the obviously U.S.-led intervention. These people can be won over. The Catholic church could be asked to mediate talks with them.

The Venezuelan military has promised to support its elected president. He should use it to react early against any attempt of violent escalation. The lesson to learn from the conflict in Syria it is that a prolonged conflict will cause more casualties and damage than an early, sharp and thereby decisive reaction to an incubating war.

I am confident that Venezuela and its people can resist this onslaught. But the government needs to respond rationally and decisively. It must consult closely with its major allies and plan for a prolonged conflict.

Posted by b on January 24, 2019 at 17:59 UTC | Permalink

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B: This is a good article, giving a lot detailed context on the economic and political situation on the ground:

What’s Been Learned Won’t Be Easily Forgotten: A Conversation with Antonio Gonzalez Plessmann

A young Venezuelan intellectual argues that the revolutionary potential of Chavismo may be in abeyance, but it could come back to life again.

Posted by: William Bowles | Jan 24 2019 18:14 utc | 1

Yesterday the U.S. recognized a right-wing 'leader of the opposition' in Venezuela Juan Guaido as the president of the country. A number of right-wing led countries in South America joint in that move

Is Guaido right-wing? He belongs to this party:

"Popular Will (Spanish: Voluntad Popular; VP) is a centrist social-democratic political party in Venezuela admitted into the Socialist International in December 2014"

Posted by: Zanon | Jan 24 2019 18:24 utc | 2

thanks b... you offer great suggestions.. i pray that venezuala under maduro can shut this down quickly... i am not convinced as the usa game plan has been prepared in advance for some time by the sounds of it.. it is amazing to me that the usa has only one party - the war party - and their is little to no opposition to yet another regime change agenda that seems to be the usa's middle name at this point.. pathetic how so many leaders including our doofus here in canada have signed onto this.. shills for the empire - all of them..

Posted by: james | Jan 24 2019 18:42 utc | 3

hit the wrong button.. also, i want to highlight the use of financial sanctions is again the main driver for these koolaid drinking neocons..

Posted by: james | Jan 24 2019 18:43 utc | 4

A well thought, grim, but very sober assessment by b.
I hope that the people of Venezuela get through these difficult times with their victory against the US led vermin.

Posted by: AriusArmenian | Jan 24 2019 19:01 utc | 5

The odds against Maduro are enormous.

The Russians have already expressed support publicly with comments from FM Lavrov and President Putin calling the man.
Russia is a stakeholder. It has intentions to invest more billions in the oil industry and it intends some sort of military facilities there.

The big external stakeholder is China with claims on half the oil output for repayment of prior loans. 50 Billion Dollars is a large stake and China may not do what it did in Libya. In 2011, China left Libya in the lurch and left behind immense infrastructure projects that were total losses during the war by NATO.

Part of this move by the US is to obstruct Russia and China's influence and inroads in Latin America. Only part of it is focused on Maduro's catastrophically failed government.

Chavez's dream is over. It died with him. The rest, the hope for social justice, is now going to be crushed because Maduro had no skills or intellect to be the successor.

Maduro is like Lula and Dima. The hope and dreams of Brazil are in the toilet while a true fascist is President, duly elected by a hopeless nation of poor people disgusted by corruption and failure.

Whether there are enough people in the streets who will stand with Maduro, we will soon discover. If the military down through the ranks holds, he may survive for awhile.

But the hard cold fact is, the faux President must die if Maduro is to prevail. Guaido alive, in Venezuela or in Miami or Washington or anywhere, means Maduro cannot get back the reins of his nation. Everything the US is doing depends on Guaido staying alive.

Otherwise, the US+friends will have to invade. They don't want to do that, even using a proxy army of Colombians and Brazilians.

In the ensuing weeks, maybe a month or two, the US will offer Maduro a deal like they gave to Philippine President Marcos.
They won't prosecute him and he will have free passage to leave.

If not, Venezuela's Maduro regime will be branded narco-terrorist and sanctioned to death.

Note that Erdogan is against the US move. Perhaps, he senses the eventual US coup move coming his way one day.

Only the strongest leaders of the major nations have spoken against the US doing this against Maduro.
The rest are silent or have fallen in line, backing the Hegemon.

Posted by: Red Ryder | Jan 24 2019 19:03 utc | 6

I would be interested in your take on the likelihood of a US boots-on-the-ground response, beyond the special forces and CIA that you mention. There appear to be many social media commenters out there saying there will be a US "invasion." It is certainly understandable that they would feel that way. Such an action would be utterly insane and evil, but that hasn't stopped our dear leaders before.

Posted by: PrairieBear | Jan 24 2019 19:04 utc | 7

Good article.

One minor correction - at the time of writing, Twitter hasn;t removed the 'blue tick' from President Maduro's account.

Posted by: Syd Walker | Jan 24 2019 19:07 utc | 8

An easy way is to target jews, their tribesmen in the US will then intervene to reduce pressure on the maduro government.

Posted by: Anon | Jan 24 2019 19:08 utc | 9

Although times are tough, the Bolivarians are not to be underestimated. Six years ago when Chávez died, I thought they were a goner. But here we in 2019, and they are still standing, still fighting. Viva la revolución! Hasta la Victoria siempre!

Posted by: Seamus Padraig | Jan 24 2019 19:26 utc | 10

Perhaps this has something to do with the unfolding of the coup....
"Another issue which Venezuela is due to promote in its new position as OPEC president is to push for oil payments in non-dollar currencies or in cryptocurrencies, such as Venezuela’s oil and mineral-backed Petro. As part of efforts to break dollar hegemony of the oil market, Venezuela now prices its oil in Chinese Yuan.
Likewise, Caracas will try to use its OPEC position to counter US-led financial sanctions which block Venezuela’s access to credit, debt restructuring, and other financial dealings, as well as prohibiting the return of over US $1 billion of profits a year from PDVSA’s US subsidiary CITGO. Independent analysts have estimated sanctions as costing the country over US $6 billion in lost oil revenue whilst President Maduro claims that they cost the country more than US $20 billion in general during 2018."

Posted by: wagelaborer | Jan 24 2019 19:27 utc | 11

@ red ryder... i see this much the same as you.. i hope for something different, but i am not as confident as b in his scenario..

Posted by: james | Jan 24 2019 19:29 utc | 12

@ Posted by: Zanon | Jan 24, 2019 1:24:00 PM | 2

The Socialist International means nothing nowadays. For you to get an idea of the level of this thing, its president is ex-PASOK is George Papandreou (yes, the Prime Minister who colluded with Goldman-Sachs to cook the Greek books to enter the Euro Zone, the episode which triggered the Greek collapse years later).


The problem with Venezuelan Socialism is that it is a completely out of the box concept: it doesn't have any roots in Marxism or any kind of economic theory for that matter. It is a very crude, very abstract idea, and ideal, there's no theory behind it: they navigate manually. But their hearts are in the right place, they respect and have an instinctive affinity with the true socialists (i.e. Marxists) and it is a matter of learning and time to learn.

Yes, China and Russia don't have the American state-of-the-art military logistics, so, if the USA really wants to conquer Venezuela, they will. However, I think it the dices are not cast yet, and the Venezuelan people, alongside China and Russia, have the moral and long-term strategic obligation to make this thing (the Revolution) work.

People here commenting -- the majority of which possibly living in the First World -- don't have the idea of the suffering and the misery the peoples of Latin America have been going through since the enforcement of the Monroe Doctrine. To put it simply, people lived, until the end of the 90s, in Subsaaran African levels of poverty and deprivation. People died literally of hunger every day. It was that bad. As long as the first-worlders don't be aware of this, they won't be able to understand why Latin America has been fighting for Socialism since the Cuban Revolution of 1959.

Posted by: vk | Jan 24 2019 19:37 utc | 13

Interesting response to Trump's doings:

"The interference of the US in Venezualan affairs shows to me that every country in the world has the right to influence US election with any means necessary. Be it with bots, activists or classic media."

This is the ongoing question at issue, IMO: Either all nations have their sovereignty respected as mandated by the UN Charter or those nations violating the UN Charter lose the protection of all International Law and become Outlaw Nations until their behavior is proven beyond doubt to have changed. Thus today we have a world divided into Lawful Nations and Outlaw Nations, the latter under the umbrella of the Outlaw US Empire. This demarcation at least recognizes what the main issue is, but is certainly insufficient to curtail the Great Evil wrought by the Outlaw US Empire daily and globally--including against its own citizenry. The utter failure of the self-proclaimed "Trump Resistance" to denounce his actions and those of his minions proves beyond doubt that group is a monstrous sham, that it's been lying through its teeth for over 2 years.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 24 2019 19:37 utc | 14

Russia and China is too slow unfortunately, they had their chance to put a UN resolution against the coup, now US will instead put a resolution in support of it.

"US requests UN Security Council meeting on Venezuela"

Posted by: Zanon | Jan 24 2019 19:39 utc | 15

@14 karlof1.. it is a bit ironic that the usa has been obsessing about whether russia stole their election lunch the past however many years, to have the president of the usa essentially support a coup with a usa installed puppet as president who didn't even run for president... meanwhile mostly silence in the usa and on with the mueller investigation... what a pathetic country that usa is at this point.. canada is no different either..

Posted by: james | Jan 24 2019 19:49 utc | 16

putins comments via rt -
you know how russia is going to respond to something put before the un security council... i think it was don bacon yesterday who provided some good insights into the mandate of the un, which at this point is being fully ignored by the usa and it's poodles...

Posted by: james | Jan 24 2019 19:52 utc | 17

The Economist billionaire's rag now openly plotting out "steps for regime change" which US and international bourgeoise must fulfill for a successful coup. They are promoting, in their own words, the "inciting of unrest" and other potential acts to destabilize the country

How to do this?

Why, with Deep State Google/State Department backed firm CROWDSTRIKE, pushing out inflammatory, fake propaganda on Twitter EXPOSED:

Anyone who supports this as an authentic uprising needs to crouch into their holes, they are simply idiots.

Posted by: Hands off Venezuela | Jan 24 2019 19:56 utc | 18

Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation with the President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela Nicolas Maduro.

Posted by: alaff | Jan 24 2019 19:57 utc | 19

Zanon | Jan 24, 2019 1:24:00 PM | 2

Who is Guaido? Here's an excerpt from a piece on him:

New Coup Attempt in Venezuela Led by Juan Guaido

The strategy: Usurp powers

This Wednesday the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ) urged the Prosecutor’s Office to determine the responsibilities of the members of the National Assembly (AN), in contempt, for the usurpation of the powers of the Executive.

Judge Juan Jose Mendoza pointed out that the National Assembly “expressly violates Article 236, numerals 4 and 15, as it seems to usurp the competence of the President of the Republic in directing the foreign relations of the State.”

He also ratified the unconstitutionality of the acts of the AN and found that it continues in contempt.

Juan Guaido, the new face of the coup

The appointment of Juan Guiado as “leader” of the Venezuelan opposition is not casual, the act responds to the construction of an image that seems more “popular,” contrary to that of the traditional leaders of the Venezuelan right-wing.

Guido has his origins based in the popular middle class, he is an engineer graduated from a private university, even his physical appearance is far from the traditional profile opponent.

His image contrasts with the one of the president of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro, who comes from the working class as a bus driver. Guaido was a protagonist of the violent actions of the opposition in 2007, 2014 and 2017 usually known as Guarimbas.

Posted by: William Bowles | Jan 24 2019 20:02 utc | 20

This looks like a copy of the western campaign against Libya, led by Hillary Clinton. From the Washington Post in 2011:

"Clinton, ignoring the advice of the State Department’s lawyers, convinced Obama to grant full diplomatic recognition to the rebels, a move that allowed the Libyans access to billions of dollars from Gaddafi’s frozen accounts.

At a meeting in Istanbul on July 15, she pressed 30 other Western and Arab governments to make the same declaration.

"She brought everyone over at once," said a Western diplomat who attended the Istanbul meeting.

Tripoli fell five weeks later, after a relatively small U.S. expenditure of $1 billion, and with no regular U.S. troops on the ground."

Those Libyan accounts were suppose to be frozen, but billions of dollars in interest and dividends from the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) was paid out to unidentified benefeicaries. A U.N. panel of experts investigated this, and last year it reported:

"The Panel considers these payments of interest and other earnings to be in non-compliance with the asset freeze,..."

Look at how Libya turned out after it was looted to finance an illegal war of aggression. It doesn't even exist as a nation state at the moment.

Posted by: Brendan | Jan 24 2019 20:06 utc | 21

The next step is for the wannabe usurper, who is recognised as president by the US and its minions, to ask for military help from the US.
Venezuela has a lot of oil, are hostile to Israel, and to top it off is socialist. Trump's US will stop at nothing to destroy Venezuela.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jan 24 2019 20:14 utc | 22

And here's another interesting perspective on Venezuela, this time from a Syrian.

Posted by: William Bowles | Jan 24 2019 20:17 utc | 23

Thank you very much for your comments, which I consider to be by far the best I have read on the subject. I hope that this text will also reach the legitimate Venezuelan Government. If they follow your recommendations, they are well advised.
The situation makes me infinitely sad and angry. One can only hope that China and Russia will not repeat old mistakes and provide decisive assistance as quickly as possible. Before the country is destroyed. The best thing would be to secure Venezuela with Russian military forces. Drastic measures must be taken. It cannot always go on like this with the deliberate sabotage and destruction of countries by the Empire. An unmistakable stop sign must be set up!

Posted by: Pnyx | Jan 24 2019 20:18 utc | 24

Seems like a state of emergency is called for now. Maduro shouldnt wait, the west and its latin american regimes will stop at nothing now. Any dialogue will be rejected by the same coup supporting states.
I guess an embargo will come soon if he survives coming week.

Posted by: Zanon | Jan 24 2019 20:25 utc | 25

Pnyx | Jan 24, 2019 3:18:54 PM | 24

Russian military forces? Do want to start WWIII? And anyway, the US is next door and Russia is 1000s of kilos away. The best thing would have been for Russia and China to sponsor UNSC motion as has been mentioned here already, but it's too late for that but no doubt they'll veto the US motion.

Posted by: William Bowles | Jan 24 2019 20:27 utc | 26

The other problem is Maduro himself, he's no Chavez, he's more like a Syriza type, you fill in the rest...

Posted by: William Bowles | Jan 24 2019 20:28 utc | 27

@ William Bowles #23

I'm glad I checked the posts here, for I was on the verge of posting the same link. One of his suggestions:

I am going to give some advice to Mr. Maduro: Arrest Juan Guaido for seditiion and treason. He will be found guilty because his wrongdoing in filmed in the light of day. He must then be executed, cremated and his ashes strewn on the surface of the Orinoco River. These are the wages of treason and collaboration with a foreign government. I do not recommend having him assassinated only because I think such things are wrong inherently and might create an aura of martyrdom/saintliness about the wretched backstabber. No, let the legal institutions take care of Mr. Guaido.

Another idea I've seen (maybe here!) is for Maduro to declare Jill Stein or Hillary Clinton to be the valid president of the US. It would surely get some sarcastic news coverage in most of the world.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Jan 24 2019 20:29 utc | 28

regarding the UN as a check on all this, being used as a rubber stamp instead...

don bacons post from the previous thread @103

WE THE PEOPLES OF THE UNITED NATIONS DETERMINED - to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind . .
> to practice tolerance and live together in peace with one another as good neighbours, and
> to unite our strength to maintain international peace and security, and
> to ensure, by the acceptance of principles and the institution of methods, that armed force shall not be used, save in the common interest, and
> to employ international machinery for the promotion of the economic and social advancement of all peoples, . .
The Organization and its Members, in pursuit of the Purposes stated in Article 1, shall act in accordance with the following Principles.
> The Organization is based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all its Members.
> All Members, in order to ensure to all of them the rights and benefits resulting from membership, shall fulfill in good faith the obligations assumed by them in accordance with the present Charter.
> All Members shall settle their international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered.
> All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations. .

Posted by: james | Jan 24 2019 20:36 utc | 29

b, it sounds nice to suggest dialog with "reasonable" parts of the opposition. But Maduro said yesterday that he has tried 300 times to have such a dialog, but the opposition take their orders from the US Embassy not to speak to the government. You can't "reason" with people trying to illegally take over government, backed by the US. You may as well try to negotiate with Daesh; it will lead nowhere as the US is calling the shots rather than the "opposition".

Posted by: worldblee | Jan 24 2019 20:47 utc | 30

Moon of Alabama vs. Yosemite Sam, 15 rounds in Caracas - who has what it takes to go the distance? Presumably Russia fully anticipated this when the deals were cut, and a plan was established in advance so as to protect the gold and oil at the heart of those deals. Maduro has home court advantage and a planing team that tends to think long term. "Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face." Mike Tyson

Posted by: Bruce | Jan 24 2019 20:53 utc | 31

Also, I might add that calling for Russia to be world policeman is just one ironic step too far for me!

Posted by: William Bowles | Jan 24 2019 20:56 utc | 32

President Maduro, in the speech of inauguration of the judicial year, has announced a new anti-corruption legislation, which has been handed to the legislators in situ.

As well, has praised the US country and people, which he has claimed to have known very well, having manejado by himself, helped with a map, through New York and Washigton, recalled many friends he has there and praised some beautiful avenues in New York, to finally make a wink to the US people by using some English words, like Venezuela hands up!

The recognition of this coup intends to set a precedent to signal that every time a government of the left is rised to power, the outcome will follow this sequence, economic blockade + sanctions, demonization by informational war, and finally if it do not bows and hand the take over of all riches in the country, the coup.

The institutionalized bipartisanship ( the right and the fake liberal left ) who act as guarantors of the neoliberal order to plunder the masses of workers have definitely left the masks to fall to show what everybody suspected from long ago but always remained in the realms of "conspiracy theories".

If we allow this outrage carried aout in Venezuela to continue, may be the next will be our country whenever a government of the people wins any election.
I do not expect any support from the US people, since they are too sure this will never happen in their country to support any initiative against fascist intends of overthrowing legitimately elected governments to get their asses from their armchairs and go into the streets to shout for this to stop.

But we people in Europe should go to the streets asap to protest this move and counter the statements and initiatives by unelected officials at Brussels like Tusk, to make clear that they do not represent us and that enough is enough.

Besides, we must give them a lesson in the coming European elections by voting for the left wing parties, since we have seen how all the far-right governments around the world alligned with the US and the coupist.

Posted by: Sasha | Jan 24 2019 21:01 utc | 33

Red Ryder @6

1) "Faux leader must die": sorry, Guaido is safely (and secretly) on a U.S. military base by now, if he wasn't even before declaring himself President.

2) "50 Billion dollars is a large stake": Yes, the Chinese have probably figured out by now that if Guaido prevails he is unlikely to honor their claim for one billion barrels of oil, more or less.

Posted by: cephas | Jan 24 2019 21:04 utc | 34

Here's the latest statement by Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs. As I noted above, the world's now definitely divided into Lawful and Outlaw Nations, with Russia saying: "We are ready to cooperate with all countries that share these views."

A note on unilateral sanctions and Lawfare: They are both unconstitutional as they both violate the UN Charter and other treaties signed and ratified and thus integrated into the fabric of the 1787 US Constitution according to its Supremacy Clause. What the Legislative and Executive branches of the Federal government have proven by their behavior is that they're in revolt of their Oaths of Office in a manner that constitutes Treason to the United States; and as such is the case, the USA no longer has a legitimate federal government regardless of what anyone from that now defunct body says.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 24 2019 21:05 utc | 35

Maduro announced the closure of Venezuelan's embassy and all consulates in the United States

Looks like CIA is up to its old tricks again:
reusing old pictures [of large crowds] from 2016 and also here.

Videos of the same protester [Medea Benjamin] who interrupted the Iran war conference this past September also interrupted Pompeo's speech at the OAS meeting held today here and here.

South America over a 10 year span (from left-leaning to right-leaning) governments:

Posted by: jsb | Jan 24 2019 21:06 utc | 36

@ Pnxy #24

I'm a citizen of the Evil Empire and while I very, very much appreciate Russia's countering our aggressions in many parts of the world, I think it is totally unfair and unreasonable to expect Russia to fix the messes we have made. We make life hard for Russians and then expect them to do what we as citizens of this country and its vassals fail to do. We and the citizens of our puppet states need to get off our sorry butts and take back control of this monster we have let evolve. Russia has shown us how. Let's Roll.

Posted by: lgfocus | Jan 24 2019 21:07 utc | 37

I give even money that Trump tries to get out of the mess he's painted himself into with the shutdown, by changing the subject with a 'Bay of Pigs' type invasion of Venezuela.

Posted by: cephas | Jan 24 2019 21:14 utc | 38

Venezuela's Maduro Closes Embassy in US, Endorses Dialogue Call by Mexico, Uruguay

Mexico should get respect for not supporting the coup.

Posted by: Zanon | Jan 24 2019 21:18 utc | 39

One tactic we have seen in both Syria and Ukraine's Euromaidan is agent provocateur snipers firing simultaneously into opposing crowds to escalate violent conflict. This has been such an effective tool for destabilisation that it seems likely it be used again in Venezuela.

Posted by: 0use4msm | Jan 24 2019 21:30 utc | 40

There's much talk here about legality, that the US should honour. True but might is right and the Empire has been trampling on the law whenever it suits it! Impunity. And it has the EU and especially the UK backing the US impunity forever.

Ever since Chavez, and also look at Nicaragua and on and on and even when the USSR was around and backed lots of anti-imperialist countries, it was a losing battle. Trying to build a socialist state in a world of imperialism is virtually impossible!

Worse still, such countries are forced to take anti-democratic means to save the revolution, so the vision gets distorted from the getgo. It's been this way since 1917. I know it's a cliche and I'm not a Trotskyist but to paraphrase, 'building socialism in a few countries in the long run, is not possible'. The capitalists don't want any country to be independent, they want to make seem as if it's impossible anyway ('There is no alternative', to quote Mark Fisher). Socialism has to be seen to fail, that's what the buildup to current events is all about.

The change has to come in the belly of the beast. Until that time, at best we are forced into a defensive pattern, trying hold the line.

I think outside forces wil change everything, namely climate change so we ain't seen nothing yet!

And although time is obviously up for capitalism in the long run, will hubris and petulence make them destroy everything as a final act of departure?

I'm reminded of the Portugese colonialists, who in 1975, in a fit of pique, filled up the elevator shaft with concrete of the tallest building in Maputo, Mozambique, that was under construction, as they left the room, so-to-speak. It still stands today, a stone's throw from the sea front.

It’s not that I’m pessimistic, I’ve alsways been optimistic, in the long run and that’s part of the problem; we can only see things within our lifetime.

Posted by: William Bowles | Jan 24 2019 21:55 utc | 41

'i might add that calling for Russia to be world policeman is just one ironic step too far for me!" William Bowles@32
But is anyone making that suggestion?
To call upon other powers to balance the aggression of a wannabe hegemon is sensible and realistic.
Given geography it would make sense, firstly to put pressure on the US where it is easiest to do so- in Eastern Europe for example, the middle east and Afghanistan. Or in the Taiwan Strait and the Far East.
Secondly the anomaly of support from those posing as the 'left' in the US should be put under pressure, by Americans but also by international opinion.
The more this rogue government is allowed to get away with the more liberties it will take-Venezuela, today, Nicaragua, again, tomorrow, Bolivia and Cuba soon after.
The matter at issue is not socialism but barbarism: the USA is acting in a barbaric manner and promising to continue to do so throughout the world. It will do so, until it is stopped. It will be stopped. If we are to survive it will be stopped before nuclear war, though, if that is what it takes, there will be one. And Europe and the North America will be where most of the bombs will fall.
War is a high price to pay for leaving policy in the hands of certifiably demented persons like Bolton and Pompeo. (Not to mention Trump.) And employing institutions as corrupt and self obsessed as the US Congress to monitor and restrain them.

Posted by: bevin | Jan 24 2019 21:57 utc | 42

Maduro [in his own words] describes his call with Vladimir Putin [and places blame on Trump for the coup attempt]:

Abby Martin asked Venezuela's Minister of Defense [Vladimir Padrino] for his response to US threats.

Abby Martin: Trump is expanding the US Empire

US Backs Coup in Oil-Rich Venezuela, Right-Wing Opposition Plans Mass Privatization and Hyper-Capitalism

Posted by: jsb | Jan 24 2019 22:02 utc | 43

bevin | Jan 24, 2019 4:57:03 PM | 42

Well there was a call here, which is what I responded to, for Russia to send troops to Venezuela! I quote from Pnyx @24:

One can only hope that China and Russia will not repeat old mistakes and provide decisive assistance as quickly as possible. Before the country is destroyed. The best thing would be to secure Venezuela with Russian military forces.

And actually it's socialism or extinction to quote media lens.

Posted by: William Bowles | Jan 24 2019 22:12 utc | 44

ouse4msm @40--

That tactic's already been used in the previous far right attempts to destabilize the situation.

A statistic: In the 2018 election, the turnout was somewhat feeble, 46.07%, about equaling the participation percentage for the 2016 US election; but Maduro--in what again were very transparent, open elections--garnered 67.8% and carried all states and the federal district, while his two opponents got 20.9% and 10.8%. Those results and an informative thread detailing the opposition's idiocy are here.

The density of bald-faced lies, projections and distortions are breath-taking, although not quite as virulent as some threads I've read. Went to OAC's twitter to see if she's done anything beyond her retweet of yesterday but so far nothing from today, although she's used her twitter.

Meanwhile, the illegitimate US Senate voted down two bills that would have reopened the illegitimate federal government. With luck, safety concerns raised by all sectors of the aviation industry will cause it to shut itself down before a major accident or several occur, which would generate billions in lawsuits against closed government. Given the domestic situation, Trump's Imperial Diktats look 3-Stoogish.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 24 2019 22:27 utc | 45

can anyone find a specific time for when this guaido guy did this? was he surrounded by the cia when he made the announcement? thanks for any assistance finding the local time yesterday and just where he was when he made this announcement..

On 23 January 2019, Guaidó took a public oath swearing himself in as acting President of Venezuela

Posted by: james | Jan 24 2019 22:43 utc | 46

jackrabbit is going to like this!!

From early on in his career as Assembly president and then self-proclaimed Acting president in January 2019, it has been noted by reporters and commenters that Guaidó evokes former US President Barack Obama in his presence and movements, and also may have deliberately used the same "rallying cry" as Obama: "Sí, se puede!", Spanish for "Yes we can".[33] (Although Obama himself borrowed the phrase from Cesar Chavez.[34]) LOLOL!

Posted by: james | Jan 24 2019 22:46 utc | 47

Mexico (the walled-out neighbour) and NATO member Turkey have last I heard not gone along with the attempted Imperial appointment of Venezuela's President.

Sovereignty, national independence, is the great enemy of the Hegemonic-wannabe.

There is irony and implicit great American insecurity and weakness in the many times over the last years that Venezuela been declared a dire threat (or words to that effect) to the 'national security' of the US.

Curious that when Britain declares the Russians guilty without a shred of evidence re Skripals, and when the US appoints the new leader of Venezuela, so many puppet governments immediately jump up and perform the supplicants' ditty. 'We too master are incensed, by the story that you tell, though the story makes no sense, and it has a rotten smell!'

Posted by: Robert Snefjella | Jan 24 2019 22:46 utc | 48

Pnyx @ 24:

"... One can only hope that China and Russia will not repeat old mistakes and provide decisive assistance as quickly as possible. Before the country is destroyed. The best thing would be to secure Venezuela with Russian military forces ..."

I side with William Bowles @ on this one.

Do you really want Russia to repeat the mistake the Soviet Union made in December 1979 to send forces into Afghanistan? At least in that conflict, the Soviet Union had a common border with Afghanistan.

Venezuela is too far (and too close to the US and its poodle states in South America) from Russia to help defend successfully. Although I do believe Venezuela does have the S300 missile defence system though how advanced it is I do not know.

Whatever defence Russia and China might mount on behalf of Venezuela, the military path is not the way to go. Perhaps Russia and China should hit the US where it really hurts - by involving Venezuela in their alternative SWIFT payments network, providing food to Venezuela and buying its products - and dumping US dollars.

Posted by: Jen | Jan 24 2019 22:47 utc | 49

Re: US-sponsored invasion
The Bay of Pigs comes to mind. . .here
But of course this situation isn't even planned out as much as that failure was.
This Venezuela thing seems to be another "crisis" that Trump has farmed out to someone he knows will fail, as he did before with letting Mattis run with Afghanistan and Syria. In this case its Rubio, from Florida.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 24 2019 22:47 utc | 50

Even if Russia and China support Venezuela there is no way that they will ever support them militarily in a conflict with the US. The US has made it abundantly clear that South and Central America is in their dominion. It is written in the Monroe Doctrine. This doctrine is in force and is recognized by the rest of the world. Evidence of this is the Cuban missile crises when the US threatened nuclear war to force the Soviet Union to back off. That precedent, to borrow from law, is the controlling precedent.

I am afraid that Modura will be completely on his own should the US exercise its rights under the Monroe Doctrine. The people of Venezuela will have to rely on their own resources in order to resist US imperialism. Those resources are significant but to resist will result in much suffering and sacrifice. To not resist will just mean that the vast majority of those people will have to return to being peasants serving imperial interests. In the long term is that the American people will have to realize that supporting oppressive regimes in South America is not in their interests. But that takes us into the questions of off-shoring jobs and the immigration mess.

Posted by: ToivoS | Jan 24 2019 22:50 utc | 51

So far Tulsi Gabbard is the only D-dog 2020 candidate to oppose the Venezuela coup attempt. Nothing but crickets from Sanders, Warren and the rest of the non-entities.

Posted by: Gareth | Jan 24 2019 22:55 utc | 52

We've seen this coming since Trump came to power. He's been squawking about Venezuela off and on, threatening to send the U.S. military in, and even asked the Defense Department to provide a military option. Today Trump stated that all options are on the table. Trump is salivating at all that oil wealth Venezuela represents. I agree with all the measures and precautions you recommend Maduro take to prevent a false flag and another Syria. Besides the Zionist interest in regards to Syria, Trump was lukewarm on regime change there because while it would benefit Israel, it benefits the U.S. balance sheet not so much. Venezuela on the other hand is an oil bonanza Trump can't resist so he's already with regime change even if he has to put skin in the game. I hope Maduro doesn't give Trump the excuse he needs to send in U.S. forces.

Posted by: Circe | Jan 24 2019 22:56 utc | 53

@53 jen... re your last paragraph, i think this is already happening, which is why there is a rush to get rid of maduro... i heard turkey has been sending food for venezuala and a friend in turkey told me they are ready to send soldiers as well.. not sure how true that is..

Posted by: james | Jan 24 2019 22:56 utc | 54

"The rejection was most likely planned and is supposed to provoke a too harsh reaction like a storming of the embassy."

For Venezuela, the simplest response would be to declare the embassy staff to be 'tourists' and let them stay where they are as such. The would lose diplomatic immunity, so if they venture outside and break any laws, they could be put on a plane and sent back here.

Posted by: David Wooten | Jan 24 2019 23:06 utc | 55

@51 DB

Trump didn't farm out nothing! He was already talking military option in 2017. Quit pretending he's not in on this!

Posted by: Circe | Jan 24 2019 23:06 utc | 56

bevin @42--

Your comment echoes many of mine made over the years here and elsewhere. A global coalition was required to stop the Germans, Italians, and Japanese during WW2, and the same is required today. I highlighted the Russian Foreign Ministry's call for just that--"all countries that share these views," which are the values expressed in International Law.

If there's any silver lining to the additional dark cloud that has appeared, it's that the so-called "Trump Resistance" is proven to be a total sham, a hoax as great as Russiagate upon which is was primarily based. Where're the denunciations of the recently proud newly elected Congresscritter demanding "Impeach the Motherfucker" and others of her ilk? Poof! Vanished into The Swamp. Not one lousy tweet from Sanders on this, the proclaimed leader of the Trump Opposition!!

William Bowles @41--

I'm sorry, but I don't hold out much hope for change to come from within the beast given what I've reported so far. I wonder if this was how events sorta went within Germany from 1934-1938; although to be fair, much of the opposition was genuine and required physical purging. How many actually resisted Obama and Hillary on Libya and at the beginning versus Syria?

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 24 2019 23:14 utc | 57

vk @13

Thank you vk for your insights. Many of the commenters on this site may well be in comfortable circumstance remote from poverty and desperate straits but that really ignores the capacity of our humanity and compassion toward those that are in that circumstance.

Many people here that comment read or even avidly follow Andre Vltchek or Michael Hudson. Many here are appalled at the state of this planet and the wanton destruction of its people and environment by rapacious greed. Many commenting here work hard to reverse that crime against humanity.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jan 24 2019 23:22 utc | 58

They are a bit more optimistic in a thread over at ZH. I have posted a link to here there to spread b's article further.

Posted by: JohninMK | Jan 24 2019 23:25 utc | 59

james @48

Thanks james. Quite a few leaders have modeled themselves after Obama. These leadership psyops are effective, and they have legs.

Marketing False Idols/Fantasy Celebs is a growing industry that grooms young people early. Some examples:

Who was lil-tay?
The making, and marketing, of a 9-year-old meme machine.

nside the Weird, Dangerous World of Japan’s Girl ‘Idols’
In Japan’s “Idol” Industry cute young girls often are used and abused. One victim spoke out—then apologized.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 24 2019 23:27 utc | 60

Thanks to whoever posted the link to this analysis from 2017. I think that their prediction (that the US would not attack Venezuela because it might hurt WMD sales, so they would use bribery and starvation instead) has proven right so far. They acknowledge how bravely the Serbs fought in 1999, which is the first time I've seen that mentioned in a US source.
"Should Venezuelan air defence operators prove capable, as those of Yugoslavia did before them, they may well exact losses against the U.S. Air Force at a rate unprecedented since the Second World War. During the Kosovo War Yugoslav crews demonstrated excellent training and morale as well as ingenuity, not only standing firm against an overwhelmingly more powerful adversary but also studying stealth technology and managing to make use of a small arsenal of supposedly obsolete weapons to neutralise two American stealth fighters.
Venezuela, unlike Yugoslavia, operates far more advanced weapons systems and should their air defence forces prove to be similarly competent - combined with their highly advanced technological capabilities they would likely be able to repel or else exact very heavy losses on American aircraft - including the most modern and survivable stealth fighters. If a skilled operator can down stealth fighters with an Su-125 from 1961 using special modifications, they can certainly do so with several batteries of the far more advanced S-300VM in service since 2013 and the similarly advanced Buk-M2E. Should Venezuelan SAMs or fighters down American F-22 fighters or B-2 bombers it would be a disaster for the image of the American military and for the prestige of the country's arms industry..... Ultimately the risks to the United States' global power will likely prove far too great to risk testing Venezuela's military - and the United States will need to rely on covert means, support for opposition movements and economic sanctions should it seek to depose the Venezuelan government. Against the Venezuelan state, whose intelligence services are far from world leading and whose economy has proven fragile, military strikes to confront its advanced air defence forces appear to be the most difficult and by far the most risky means of bringing about regime change. So long as the country's air force and air defence capabilities remain in service therefore, U.S. military action against the country remains unlikely.

Posted by: wagelaborer | Jan 24 2019 23:32 utc | 61

ToivoS @52 and everyone else--

There is no coherent "Monroe Doctrine." What is called such are numerous segments from Monroe's 2 Dec 1823 State of the Union Address to Congress, which was crafted by his Secretary of State John Quincey Adams. The important point is no coherent "Doctrine" was announced or defined and as such slipped into oblivion until the openly Imperialist President Polk unearthed it, coalesced it and called it a Doctrine to support his coming invasion of Mexico in 1846. This site provides a decent historical review. The UN Charter specifically overrides the intent of said Doctrine, since the Charter essentially makes Imperialism illegal. What we've had since 1945 is a failure to discipline nations that violate the Charter--particularly those on the UNSC, as all except China are guilty of at least one count if not hundreds as with the UK, France and USA.

What's called the Monroe Doctrine is no more than a unilateral statement that for decades had no teeth whose primary transgressor is the Outlaw US Empire via its hemispheric Imperialism. No nation fears it any longer if any did to begin with.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 24 2019 23:50 utc | 62

So we have established that the supporters for Guaile are less than those of Maduro. The military is fully supportive of the socialist state. It also has the backing of powerful countries that can float their domestic needs in times of acute crisis.

Why do we all have our panties in a bunch over this? Is this not remniscent of the NoKo episode a year ago that gradually snowballed and then petered out into a slushy mess of non-happening?

I am banking on a Trump intercession a la NoKo that diffuses the situation. As others have mentioned, there is no in for the U.S. military and their potential bourgeois "headchoppers" on the ground lack basic true-believer snuff.

This is nothing but more theatre. And the only danger I could think for Maduro would be to overreact and prove to the world that he is indeed a Tyrant. It is his game to lose.

Correct the domestic policies and don't fall for their trap. Meanwhile, the elites in Washington are laughing at their ability to squeeze and make squirm. Don't let 'em.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Jan 25 2019 0:00 utc | 63

Order out of chaos. If chaos does not exist, it must be engineered. The Hegelian Dialect using an
Engineered Crisis to produce fear, distraction and division to gain acceptance of a predetermined solution

Someone earlier mentioned a global coalition was needed and used to stop Germany. A global coalition of the elites created Nazi Germany. Germany was built up to create WWII . This was an engineered crisis to produce the UN and Israel and a subsequent Cold War. Officially it was a war over Poland which in the end was lost to Soviet Communist control. In the fight against nationalist fascism the end of the war saw half the planet under Communist rule and the world on the path to Global Fascism which is just privatized Communism

Henry Wallace in 1944. “Fascism in the postwar inevitably will push steadily for Anglo-Saxon imperialism..”

Some see the East as the solution. The false East/West paradigm has America painted as the bumbling villain and Russia and China painted as the stalwart and reasonable objectors. Yet Russia’s and China’s top government officials and oligarchs and the Wests top government officials and multinationals work closely with and answer to the same international financiers and elites. Although China markets itself as Communist or Socialist it defines Fascism. Xi’s BRICS is simply a different form of imperialism. Russia and Putin is pursuing the same neoliberal path as the West. Both have troubles at home and a perceived crisis or threat from the West helps them maintain power.

Venezuela is just a small piece of the chaos puzzle in the march to Global Fascism (or first a Republic of National Fascist States/Regions) In the end Venezuela will join the neoliberal party and sanctions will be lifted and the middle class and poor will be forgotten or painted in rosy colors behind some phony economic statistics. One more domino falling. The rest will follow , as will the Darkness.

Of course the Trump apologists will suggest he is being forced by his neocon sabateurs, all of whom he as the token head of the Discordians appointed. Those who seek hope from the newly elected Dems will notice their silence on Venezuela The world leaders (puppets) just watch in silence because most of them are on board with the global coalition of elites taking us into the Darkness

Posted by: Pft | Jan 25 2019 0:04 utc | 64


'...should the US exercise its rights under the Monroe Doctrine.' Rights? The Monroe Doctrine did not come from God, it was a unilateral declaration by the US President at the time. As far as 'accepted' ... the rest of the World (including the S. Americans) thinks that they can't do anything about it ... that is hardly acceptance.

Posted by: SteveK9 | Jan 25 2019 0:05 utc | 65

Empire is showing itself on the ropes.

Empire is being evicted from Syria, stymied in the Ukraine, marginalized in Korea and suffering from infighting "at home".

So Venezuela is a resource rich country that is more socialist than allowed in South America because they might give other countries ideas.

We are seeing the next flail of dying empire. If it is successfully roadblocked then what is the remaining narrative empire can control but finance?

That financial war will commence soon, IMO because the rest of the world will not let Venezuela go down like Libya. I think that many of the countries that have been "Deep Stated" to support this move of Trump initially will change sides when an alternative is offered.

May the world soon be free of the jackboot of private finance.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 25 2019 0:19 utc | 66

@68 pft

That is a dark view. I am hoping it can be avoided.

I agree that the Nazi menace was used to justify ally centralization that led to a strengthening globalism after we had conquered "evil." Never again! /snark

My hope is that America falls on its face hard in the coming decades and a great decoupling with the east and global finance occurs.

I am with you though 100% when it comes to your view on salvation coming from the east.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Jan 25 2019 0:20 utc | 67

@ NemesisCalling | Jan 24, 2019 7:00:45 PM | 67
I agree with your analysis. It's the manufactured crisis of the month; next month we'll be back to North Korea or whatever the losers decide to push.

Speaking of doctrines: "The Rubio doctrine: U.S. recognition of new Venezuelan leader is Florida senator’s work" . . .here
and . .
Rubio warns of 'grave consequences' if U.S. diplomats in Venezuela are harmed -- "The consequences from this administration will be swift and decisive. I can't go any further than that, but they'll be significant," said Sen. Rubio. . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 25 2019 0:28 utc | 68

@67 Thank you NC. Far too much excitement again. The US will not invade Venezuela. Trump is hoping the Venezuelan military will break with Maduro. It's just Donald using his usual tactics....pile on the pressure and see who blinks. We saw it with NoKo, we're seeing it with Iran and China.

That said it will be interesting to see how he deals with the US embassy staff situation.

Posted by: dh | Jan 25 2019 0:29 utc | 69

@62 jackrabbit... thanks for those additional examples.. being involved in the music industry makes one recognize the power of marketing.. that is what all of this is.. they used to refer to it as madison avenue where all the marketing companies were located.. i don't know where they reside now, but hollywood is pretty good at putting lipstick on a pig..

@67 nemesiscalling... i hope you are right, but the signs look a wee bit more ominous here... your guy trump might just say something stupid and take back his regime change comments, but i wouldn't be so sure... it seems every usa president has to have a war to get some bona fide cred on the street in the military/financial/energy complex otherwise known as usa with poodles..i tend to have a much darker and cynical view, so take it fwiw..

Posted by: james | Jan 25 2019 0:30 utc | 70

The bottom line is that people of Venezuela have been screwed for a very long time. Under both Chavez and Maduro their incomes have evaporated and their economy has literally collapsed. Currency worthless and hyper-inflation. Refugees have been streaming across into Colombia and Brazil for sometime.

b, the SJWs, the socialists and marxists will never acknowledge this reality. They will always blame someone else. Never the Chavista policies and their sheer corruption.

This does not mean the US or any other country have any business interfering in the internal affairs of Venezuela. That should be decided by the Venezuelan people. I doubt they'll want either Maduro or Guiado or any of the crony class that created the absolute mess they're in.

Take a look at photos of anti-government protests from 2016. That's 2 years ago.

Maduro clung to power and now the daily lives of the people are even worse! Story from a year ago.

"Brazil is set to declare a state of emergency as tens of thousands of Venezuelan refugees cross the Brazilian border fleeing an economic and political meltdown."

Lets not forget that in 2001 Venezuela was the wealthiest country in Latin America, now it is the poorest. This happened under the watch of the Chavistas.

Posted by: ab initio | Jan 25 2019 0:44 utc | 71

People from the comfort of their homes speak of the various crises as mere "theatre," which is very brazen statement to make given the ordeal real live humans are currently facing at the Ground Zero of those crises--all except for the North Koreans are under duress and some DIE daily.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 25 2019 0:50 utc | 72

Don Bacon @73

Pompeo and Rubio have made the embassy people into targets. It is criminal as it is an inducement to cut-throat elements in Maduro opposition.

We saw the same sort of sly messaging in Syria where 'warnings' against chemical weapons use were essentially signals to Jihadis to conduct a false flag chemical attack.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 25 2019 0:56 utc | 73

ab initio @76: This happened under the watch of the Chavistas.

FYI Some commenters have previously made the point that economic troubles have been aggravated by domestic and foreign resistance to the Chavistas.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 25 2019 1:00 utc | 74

Pft @68

"Although China markets itself as Communist or Socialist it defines Fascism."

Engineers of the Soul

Posted by: ab initio | Jan 25 2019 1:02 utc | 75

Bernie Sanders proves again he's full of shit!:

"The Maduro government has waged a violent crackdown on Venezuelan civil society, violated the constitution by dissolving the National Assembly and was re-elected last year in an election many observers said was fraudulent."

The above Tweet by him is 100% false--echoing BigLie Media. As linked above, Tulsi Gabbard has denounced Trump's effort, one of not even a handful I know of as of 5pm PST.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 25 2019 1:05 utc | 76

@77 karlof1

The whole thing is exhausting, really, that's all I'm saying. As Don Bacon says above, in a few months we will be chasing another rabbit. The elites have us hysterical in our armchairs, that's for sure. And for very little pay-off!

I am by no means trying to simplify the plight of the Venezuelans, but to muster outrage for my country every two seconds is a hard task and ill-fitting of a family-man/laborer such as myself.

I am well aware of the sanctions and the goading from our politicians. Have been regarding Venezuela since our MSM's last daliance with the evil socialists and then still the time before that.

The game plan of the U.S. is not that hard to decipher Karlof1, so let's not cry fake tears and display virtue signalling for every crisis that we come upon. That would be impossible. Cooler heads says this a bluff-game.

I would honestly prefer to know more about the Yemenis, right now.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Jan 25 2019 1:05 utc | 77

Juan Guaido is only an interim president who is to establish a transitional government prior to a new government. . .and if you believe that....
Press Statement
Michael R. Pompeo
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
January 23, 2019

The United States stands with interim President Juan Guaido, the democratically elected National Assembly, and the people of Venezuela as they peacefully restore constitutional order to their country. We stand ready to support interim President Guaido as he establishes a transitional government and carries out his constitutional duties as interim President, including determining the status of diplomatic representatives in the United States and other countries. //

Juanito is a 35-year-old industrial engineeer and politician, educated at George Washington University. Perhaps he can do a time-and-motion study of people who actually work?

Reminds me of Hillary's work setting up a series of Syrian shadow governments, conceived in various Cairo and Istanbul hotels. My favorite prospective Syria PM from that era was a guy from Texas. Ghassan Hitto was "elected" prime minister on 18 March 2013 by a narrow margin over former Syrian Arab Republic agricultural minister Assad Mustafa. Hitto resigned on 8 July 2013. A Texas-based businessman [Murphy, TX] Hitto had lived in the US for over 30 years.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 25 2019 1:13 utc | 78


I agree, another chance to see the real colors of Gabbard vs Sanders.

I'm cutting AOC some slack. She's at least supportive if not vocal for Maduro. And she's more focused on domestic issues. Gabbard seems more fluent in foreign affairs and one of the few to take an anti imperialist stance.

Rubio is coming out as the rabid warmonger.

Posted by: financial matters | Jan 25 2019 1:19 utc | 79

Jackrabbit @79 "...economic troubles have been aggravated by domestic and foreign resistance to the Chavistas."

I'm sure this played a role. But...the Chavistas have a huge responsibility for the descent into the abyss as they were at the helm.

Posted by: ab initio | Jan 25 2019 1:27 utc | 80

karlof1 @81: Bernie Sanders proves again he's full of shit!

Hillary, McCain, Trump, Obama, ...

Stop me when I come to a top US politico that is not full of shit ...

Pelosi, Graham, Rubio, Bolton, ...

And don't get me started on non-US pols: Trudeau, Macron, May, ...

But to point this out such inconvenient truth is to offend the dreamers that pin their hopes on one false hero or another.

<> <> <> <> <> <> <>

Welcome to the rabbit hole.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 25 2019 1:27 utc | 81

@76 ab anitio... no one is excusing the venezualan leadership, but tell me... if someone freezes your bank account and wants to shut you out via financial sanctions, shall we all just blame you for all your problems? that is what you are doing with venezuala... this financial sanction routine is getting very tiring... why the fuck can't the usa mind its own business? clearly that is too much to ask.. i guess it's biz is to screw over the planet on a financial level.. that is why i see 24/7.. you sound like you condone it..

Posted by: james | Jan 25 2019 1:29 utc | 82

@ karlof1 and financial matters and others about who in US is NOT spouting the empire line

What about the other potential women presidential contenders? I hope this becomes a litmus test for 2020

Trump is looking for a shutdown out so it has to be BIG/HUUUUGE, whatever it is

This would be funny if it were not deadly serious. I am just happy to see movement in my lifetime, don't know how to support it but watch and spew supportive textual white noise.......

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 25 2019 1:30 utc | 83

And where are the MoA barflies that kept saying that Trump was not projecting empire but purely nationalistic and into draining the swamp?

Please explain how this fits into that narrative.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 25 2019 1:35 utc | 84

Women had a good name until you-know-who came along. Generally they tend to be better managers than men because they tend to cooperate and not compete, due to a lack of the dangerous drug testosterone.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 25 2019 1:36 utc | 85

@ psychohistorian | Jan 24, 2019 8:35:55 PM | 93
And where are the MoA barflies that kept saying that Trump was not projecting empire . .
We're saying that Trump is not projecting anything nearly as serious as Bush-43 in Iraq and Obama in Afghanistan/Libya/Syria.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 25 2019 1:44 utc | 86

@ Don Bacon with his response to my question about Trump and empire.

Domestically, Trump has far outrun Bush -43 and Obama.

I would argue that Syria was lost under Obama and Yemen is on Trump's watch

IMO, Trump is projecting empire as much as his predecessors but just through a set of different strategies. His role is to play hardball in ways that the past two presidents never could. I wish him continued failure.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 25 2019 1:55 utc | 87

@ Don Bacon with Warmonger Hill

I will let you have that one. I will NEVER forgive her for "We came, we saw, he died!" and hope she is prosecuted for her war crimes

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 25 2019 1:59 utc | 88

Thanks to b for the unique and sharp perspective on what the Venezuelan government must prepare for and take into account. Perhaps wishful thinking on my part leads me to believe that this will, ultimately, die down, given that this Guaidó character has no charisma and is not capable of actually uniting a fractured opposition and garnering popular support. Let's hope this is so, and that this whole spectacle of recognizing a nobody as the legitimate president turns out to me an embarrassing failure for the US Empire.

Posted by: George Lane | Jan 25 2019 2:01 utc | 89

Maduro's not up to the job.
Venezuela is not prepared for military action like Syria or Ukraine.
Niether Russia nor China are going to get involed in any significant way.
Dont see a happy ending.
Best I could see is create many factions to make problems for any puppet government.

Posted by: jared | Jan 25 2019 2:03 utc | 90

BTW, that tweet is hilarious. Not only does this toilet-paper rationing Venezuelan look very European, but she studies fashion in Paris and also uses the British form of "lines", that is "queues", and writes impeccable English - certainly a representative of the entire Venezuelan population!

Posted by: George Lane | Jan 25 2019 2:04 utc | 91

random thoughts:

- saudis and chechens in syria...sudanese and south americans in yemen...since the US and its clients like to play that game, why shouldn't china and russia send a few proxy "peacekeepers" to venezuela? how do you think some random scumbag colombian merc will feel when he takes a break from plowing pre-tween hookers to cross the border and runs smack into a few guys who fought in grozny?

the US tries to keep its hands clean but leaves bloody fingerprints everywhere it goes. it's only fair for more skilled and adult nations to show them how it's done.

- as wayne madsen has noted one other non-military tactic favored by the technocrat pricks in DC is "lawfare". they use "sanctions" (unilateral if needed as seen with iran) and in some cases - lula - simply have slimy judges lock up the competition on laughable charges. if "corruption" was an actual issue for the elites in south america, they'd just skip the middleman and put bars on the doors and windows of their capital buildings and parliaments.

again: using international laws with universal jurisdiction and recognition as well as long standing domestic ones (to deflect claims of "making it up as they go along") round up opposition chimps on actual, verifiable and provable charges and treat them like princes with as much press access as possible for "optics".

- this guaido is just another stuffed suit yuppie european twat. he looks "western" and the idiot MSM coverage are apparently required to mention his age ("he's only 35! he's like a slightly hispanic JFK and stuff!"). his "abduction" felt staged and he reeks of the same narcissism as the other country club scum who have spent the past 18+ years whining like little bitches about how they only have "most" of the wealth instead of ALL of it.

- race will probably be a major factor as usual. it's probably one of the many reasons for bollocksarno's insane vendetta attitude toward the current government in caracas. he is an ethnically european fascist who keeps a picture of bibi in a heart shaped frame after all. expect more molotoved black chavistas and other such KKKish nonsense.

- agreed on the embassy staff; i say protect them but make their lives so miserable they almost beg to leave. or just send in some crickets.

- on the one hand, it's easy to think "the US federal government has shut down so how will they do anything" but the deep state always has cash flow. just as iran/contra showed how easy it is to bypass congress and make blood money in the process, this could just be a case of "get congressional approval? what congress? i don't see any congress".

Posted by: the pair | Jan 25 2019 2:05 utc | 92

@ 41

The hotel was demolished in 2007 to make way for a US embassy.

Posted by: Dadda | Jan 25 2019 2:09 utc | 93

@ psychohistorian | Jan 24, 2019 8:55:35 PM | 98
Trump is projecting empire as much as his predecessors
No, Trump is not projecting empire like Bush and Obama, but empire pull-back unlike them.
> Syria withdrawal, also desire to do same in Afghanistan
> NorKor peace talks
> Threat to leave NATO, prompting a Congressional vote for empire
> Nasties given to UK, France and Germany
> Withdrawal from TPP and NAFTA
> No massive wars or troop assignments
> Piddling with Venezuela, in a different league

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 25 2019 2:10 utc | 94

Refineries are constantly adjusting their operations because of changes in available crude and changes in desired products. A change from Maracaibo light sweet crude to some other input would require such an adjustment, that's all.

Posted by: artichoke | Jan 25 2019 2:11 utc | 95

If Russia and China play their cards right, they could use Venezuela to trigger a continent wide civil war. The Empire would have to spend tons in blood and treasure propping up the Fascists.

Posted by: Jose | Jan 25 2019 2:36 utc | 96

@ Don Bacon with the seeming disagreement about definition of empire

I am reading you as saying empire is America and I am saying that empire is the cabal that owns global private finance, many countries governments, etc.

We are talking past each other. I will stop now that I understand, sorry

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 25 2019 2:49 utc | 97

Don Bacon:

> Syria withdrawal, also desire to do same in Afghanistan
Maybe ...

> NorKor peace talks
... foot dragging ...

> Threat to leave NATO, prompting a Congressional vote for empire
... theater ...

> Nasties given to UK, France and Germany
... still poodles ...

> Withdrawal from TPP and NAFTA
... TPP provisions sneaked into new North American Trade Agreement ...

> No massive wars or troop assignments
... massive economic war and military build up ...
(PS The same glass-half-full BS was said of Obama's 8 years of in during which he: engaged in covert/proxy wars, bragged of his droning prowess, allowed ISIS to fester, refused to hold CIA/NSA accountable, etc.)

> Piddling with Venezuela, in a different league
... nothing to see here? ... Like Yemen?

But wait, there's more:

- announced withdrawal form INF treaty (soon);

- ending humanitarian aid to Palestinians (to promote peace, LOL)

- No swamp draining (corruption and adventurism continues);

- hostage taking (Ms. Meng Wanzhou).

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 25 2019 2:49 utc | 98

And it would be remiss of me to not mention the war against Julian Assange/Wikileaks.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 25 2019 2:52 utc | 99

As for closing US embassy, I think the slow siege is the wrong approach. The war media will tell a narrative of plucky us diplomats holding out against horrible conditions. Also, the Maduro government is the legitimate government of Venezuela and it has to enforce its laws on its territory. Long sieges imply lack of control.

Therefore, I would suggest that Venezuelan police (not the army) approach the embassy at the conclusion of the 72 hours, inform the tenants that they must comply with the order to leave the country and that their diplomatic immunity has now expired. If the inhabitants refuse to go, the police should break open the gate and enter. All the while they should inform the tenants that without diplomatic immunity, any crime they commit will be prosecuted under Venezuelan law. Resisting arrest is a crime in most countries.

If they don't resist, transport them to the airport and have them purchase tickets home. If they do, use the least amount of force required to take control of the embassy.

After dealing with the US embassy, inform all the others that re organized the opposition 'government' that they must rescind their earlier proclamations, leave the country, or be places under arrest.

Do not do a long siege.

Posted by: Lysander | Jan 25 2019 2:59 utc | 100

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