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.


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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:


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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

Comments
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William Bowles @ 184:

I'd be wary of debating with trolls like The Lowdown. A common ploy online trolls use (and this is true generally even in the offline world) is to harp on about a minor topic within a issue, and as you counter it, they'll flit onto some other side topic and draw you away. You end up wasting your time and energy arguing a minor point.

I'd say that most trolls visiting MoA and other sites like Off-Guardian are people paid by agencies working for governments or intel (the stereotype being a college student employed by government intel in some Middle Eastern country to troll websites, so s/he can earn money to pay off student loans) to flood sites with inflammatory comment and disinformation to distract genuine comment and discussion, and to put up keywords that can later be used by the likes of Facebook and other social media platforms to stop their readers from visiting MoA. The less we engage with such trolls, the less likely they can use their precious keywords. (And B has less house-cleaning to do.)

I'm sure The Lowdown knows very well why CITGO was supplying oil at low cost or below market prices to certain groups of US citizens.

Posted by: Jen | Jan 25 2019 20:04 utc | 201

"Why did the Venezuelans not invest the proceeds of their oil sales towards the procurement of the means of producing their own food instead of importing food and consumer goods from abroad?..."
The calculation inherent in the Bolivarian project was that, after the Cold War, the imperialists would tolerate a compromise whereby the system, the rich and bourgeois control over the economy, would be allowed to carry on while petroleum wealth could be diverted to pay for social welfare, education, housing, healthcare and pensions. It was another "Third Way"-god help us!
The plan was, it turns out, flawed: to maintain the momentum of revolution, private property is going to have to be expropriated, the power of the wealthy is going to have to be curtailed by something more permanent than electoral mandates.
And the ancient, foundational, problem of land ownership is going to have to be tackled. The peasants must be given the land- that will solve the food problem very quickly. Recall how quickly Cuba acted to make the island self sufficient in food when the USSR collapsed.
The latifundia must be returned to the people. Control of the economy must be assumed by the government and democracy built from the bottom up.
Half of the problem has been solved: the means of electing and controlling a popular government are there but the gamble on Imperialism's liberalism and generosity failed.
And the only real answer there is to imperialism is to spread the revolution, throughout the region, up into north America, around the world.
That isn't Trotskyism, by the way, it is common sense strategic thinking of the sort that Trotsky himself learned from experience.

Posted by: bevin | Jan 25 2019 20:06 utc | 202

Thread "on how the US strangled #Venezuela's economy, deprived its citizens of vital staples, and disabled the government's ability to move or access funds anywhere. It wasn't #Maduro, it was #America," thankfully retweeted by Sharmine Narwani.

Within the thread is a link to this outstanding pdf detailing the chronology of illegal regime change policy and institution of illegal sanctions by Outlaw US Empire instituted by both its executive and legislative branches. Unfortunately, the Constitutionality of those and too many similar "laws" has yet to occur, but they're most certainly unconstitutional as they obviously violate the UN Charter paramountcy of national sovereignty, which I've explained here several times over the years.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 25 2019 20:08 utc | 203

@205 laguerre.. i agree with your view..

@207 jen.. thanks for the reminder... one observation is these posters desire to paint everything in very black or white terms while ignoring the grey areas, and while obviously supporting the empire of chaos / war party...

@208 bevin.. i had to look up that word - latifundia - it's a good one..

Posted by: james | Jan 25 2019 20:12 utc | 204

S@127
If you are referring to quotes from a Counterpunch Alison Weir article, these were not attributed to Maimonides. I read both of the books that are linked to in the article and quotes in those texts are clearly attributed to their source. I would hesitate to call a published scholar a liar based on a Google translation, and given the nature of his work, mistranslations would surely have been identified by his detractors.

Posted by: mourning dove | Jan 25 2019 20:32 utc | 205

@all

Just deleted comments by "The Lowdown" for an obvious attempt to plant antisemitic statements into this threat.

Could please all stop to feed such obvious trolls?

- b.

Posted by: b | Jan 25 2019 20:38 utc | 206

Jen | Jan 25, 2019 3:04:51 PM | 207

Okay, but I fail to see the point of it. What's the objective and/or gain from it? 'Wasting' my time is all I can see and of course whoever else reads it.

As to the ploy as you call it, of singling out one topic, the BBC does that all the time! You ask a question and it never gets answered. It's not that I don't believe your assertion, just how can you prove it?

Posted by: William Bowles | Jan 25 2019 20:40 utc | 207

karlof1 | Jan 25, 2019 3:08:54 PM | 204

"Within the thread is a link to this outstanding pdf detailing the chronology of illegal regime change policy"

Hey thanks for the link. Excellent! It's akin to Bill Blum's work on the Empire's wars/occupations, or another one I published on how the US stitched up the oil in Iraq.

Posted by: William Bowles | Jan 25 2019 20:44 utc | 208

@207 Jen, @184 William Bowles

And the hallmark of the troll system is that trolls get extra points for each engagement they elicit from other commenters - whether it's a comment in agreement or disagreement makes absolutely no difference.

The troll goal is to get people wasting time on distractions - as I'm doing now - in order to subvert any growing consensus within the discussion, to amplify the sense of uncertainty and the fog of unknowing, and to fragment focus from the topic at hand, which in this thread is the actions of the troll's masters to steal the resources of a sovereign people in the most cowardly way conceivable, i.e. by hiding behind a deliberate curtain of untruth.

Posted by: Grieved | Jan 25 2019 20:46 utc | 209

"A letter written by a U.S. Embassy security officer requesting a Venezuelan police escort for 10 vehicles was leaked earlier Friday on social media..."

Thanks for that, Don. I hope they said something along the lines of, we are kind of busy right now, but why don't you ask your BFF 'President' Guaido. I'm sure he would be happy to help.

Posted by: Lysander | Jan 25 2019 20:46 utc | 210

Video of Maduro presser mentioned by Sasha @192:

"Press conference to denounce to the world the destabilizing plan that the US empire launched against the Venezuelan people."

It's in Espanol with no English CC. A transcript in Ingles will probably become available later today. If I find one, I'll post it. Sputnik has published a brief recap that highlights a few points. However, it's a similar scenario to previous incidents where the government/Maduro says it's open to dialog which is refused by the opposition thus prolonging and escalating the chaos that I expect will occur once again.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 25 2019 20:47 utc | 211

PS: Just saw b's post on Lowdown. Never saw the anti-semitism, so can't comment.

Posted by: William Bowles | Jan 25 2019 20:47 utc | 212

@203 bevin

Your comment is a useful illustration of Venezuela and also of the true world we live in, which is one in which the ways are still being found and tested and proved to build a just society using socialist principles.

Nations are still working with getting it right. Venezuela is still working on it, as is clear. Other nations offer their support and advice. In many ways this is all encouraging. Every shortcoming of the Venezuelan project is a reflection of the fact that there has been a project in the first place. Many nations try to build a more fair society. It was even tried in the US at times. Most attempts get crushed, but some survive and point the way for others.

If the world is to have a future, this struggle is that future.

Posted by: Grieved | Jan 25 2019 20:58 utc | 213

@212 karlof1

We are usually so busy following the links you provide that we neglect to drop back and say, "thanks." So this time I thought I'd say thanks before I went to follow that presser by Maduro.

I don't see that his outreach to the US is an invitation to delay, by the way - could be, but not necessarily. The Diplomatic deadline (on Sunday, people say?) is the real key to how well Maduro has listened to the MoA playbook ;)

Posted by: Grieved | Jan 25 2019 21:06 utc | 214

Today's Land Destroyer Report reminds us that the multifaceted subversion of Venezuela has included physical attacks on food production.

"Efforts within Venezuela through US-funded opposition groups, focus on hording certain essential goods creating artificial shortages while armed gangs hired by wealthy business and land owners ravage state-backed farmers and industries to further exasperate prices, supply, and demand."

Included in the article is a long list of the NED's platforms for and targets for subversion.


Posted by: Robert Snefjella | Jan 25 2019 21:27 utc | 215


Rabbi Hershowitz Interracialpornstein here

Long time lurker, first time commenting

Thank god (((b))) has banned that lowlife commenter known as The Lowdown and deleted all of its anti-semitic comments from this fine kosher blog


Oy vey! What next?

If this level of goyim knowing continues, the cattle might even begin to question their pursuit of materialism and hedonism, the spiritual sickness endlessly promoted by the talmudvision...

the communist indoctrination centers of their criminal government, the endless wars for Israel, maybe even the planned demolition of their ancient bloodlines through mass non-white immigration and race mixing, promoted 24/7 by (((Hollywood))) interracial porn on TV and film

In order to survive, we chosenoids must follow the one rule that has never failed us in over 3,000 years: at the least sign of goyim knowing….

Shut. It. Down

Posted by: Rabbi Hershowitz Interracialpornstein | Jan 25 2019 22:04 utc | 216

Look, Maduro has run the country into the ground (though US sanctions have added to the misery)... So I ask, is the motion in the Assembly to replace him illegal?

It seems to hinge on charges of fraudulent election, but that would taint the Assembly too... In any case, I oppose any Us intervention and as a sovereign nation Venezuela has a right top call in allies for assistance... but a large role for Russia- China could trigger war with the US

Posted by: posa | Jan 25 2019 22:10 utc | 217

posa @218--

Yes, Venezuela's Supreme Court has ruled the National Assembly has no law making powers as it's in contempt of that court. Law making powers now rest with the Constituent Assembly to which the opposition has no representation since it chose to boycott the relevant elections. Earlier on this thread and again on the next I provided the link to an excellent chronology of the acts done by the Outlaw US Empire to foment regime change in Venezuela. Read it!

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 25 2019 22:28 utc | 218

Time for me also to thank you, karlof1, as well as b of course, for keeping us informed as this strange saga unfolds. And thanks to Grieved for the overviews from within ongoing actions and reactions here. What we would all, I think, like to see for the President of Venezuela, would be something of the sort of personal 'growth' into leadership that I think occurred for Assad when faced with problems of legitimacy in Syria early on in the conflict there. Of course, Latin America is a different place, and he will respond differently. But may this time be well-spent in becoming the leader his country and the world needs.

Posted by: juliania | Jan 25 2019 22:46 utc | 219

Grieved @215 & juliania @220--

Thanks to you both for your sincere thanks!!

As for Maduro's leadership abilities within the Latin American context, what Chavez had that Maduro lacks is Caudismo that are the noble, masculine qualities of the caudillo--leader--which provide the basis for what Europeans call the Cult of Personality and what we'd recognize as a priori non-sociopathic leadership skills that are also part of what makes a great stateman, like Putin. What Maduro has is all he's got, which isn't to say he's bad or unworthy; rather, it's that he doesn't measure up to the stature of his late predecessor and mentor. I believe there are people possessing the Right Stuff within their revolutionary cultural context capable of doing a better job; but aside of current Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza who still needs more "seasoning," I don't know their names or positions.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 25 2019 23:55 utc | 220

the oil crisis in the west is far more serious than recognised,
Saudi's constantly bleating about how much oil they have likely indicates the supply is dwindling rapidly
they never used to brag about the amount they had until recently.

Posted by: genocidal politician | Jan 26 2019 1:22 utc | 221

Take him for what he is

Few people in this world would be able to match Hugo Chavez's intelligence or erudition, so I believe that it is unfair and a mistake to criticize Maduro for not being Chavez.
I think it's best to accept Maduro for what he is, to recognize his dedication to his people and to the implentation of Chavez's ideals, and to wish him and his country well and to cheer on their combined effort to stand up against the mafia-like US onslaught against them.
If we want to criticize Venezuela for not yet having smashed the rampaging hordes arrayed against them, let's at least wait until we've cleaned out the psychotic neo-con/lib rat's nest in D.C. You know, the mote in our own eye . . .

Posted by: AntiSpin | Jan 26 2019 1:49 utc | 222

@ AntiSpin who wrote
"
If we want to criticize Venezuela for not yet having smashed the rampaging hordes arrayed against them, let's at least wait until we've cleaned out the psychotic neo-con/lib rat's nest in D.C. You know, the mote in our own eye . . .
"
Thanks for that.

I keep trying to add the perspective that Venezuela is forced to exist in a private finance/usury/greed based narrative that constrains what they can be. If the world had a public collection of finance tools, decisions about funding everything would be made in totally different ways and R2P financial capitalism would not exist, nor the narratives it forces others to adhere to.

It is way past time to stop believing the myth of Western social order controlled by centuries old folks that own/ed the tools of global private finance is sacrosanct. Think about the brainwashing of zombies it takes to convince the public that private organizations with a profit component to their cost are better than public ones without such motivation.

Does it take effort to manage and evolve public institutions. Yes, big time. That said it would reflect way less effort/service level than the profit driven approach. Take all that effort/money that is used to SELL the public stuff and use it to optimize the public driven management and evolution loop for each service.

We need to get the world back to the original motto of the US (E Pluribus Unum - Out of many, one) and away from the motto of (In God We Trust) myth that there are some better than others....at a religious/financial level.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 26 2019 2:21 utc | 223


It’s not enough to ban The Lowdown.

Our work has only begun. What about all those 20th century authors and “thinkers” who were anti-semitic? They should be banned as well

It’s also not enough to ban Louis-Ferdinand Céline’s Voyage au bout de la nuit, Ezra Pound’s Cantos, or the entire work of T.S. Eliot, for their anti-semitism


more needs to be done. Much more

Journalist (((Zachary Siegel))) has found proof of anti-semitism in Martin Heidegger’s work with the following excerpt taken from Heidegger’s Black Notebooks

“One of the most secret forms of the gigantic, and perhaps the oldest, is the tenacious skillfulness in calculating, hustling, and intermingling through which the worldlessness of Jewry is grounded.”

Got that? Skillfulness in calculating? This could be referring to Goldman Sachs or the International Jewish bankers

Heidegger took up the Nazi characterization of Jews as pornographers, bankers and corrupt underminers of society.

As every Moon of A commenter understands, nothing could be further from the truth, yet because Jews are representatives of modernity, and its technocratic domination of humanity, the Jews threatened “being” in another way, according to Heidegger:

“What is happening now is the end of the history of the great inception of Occidental humanity, in which inception humanity was called to the guardianship of be-ing, only to transform this calling right away into the pretension to re-present beings in their machinational unessence…”

The except goes on at length in this vein, with Jewish “technological machinery” posing a threat to civilization.

So we need to ban 100 percent of Heidegger’s work due to the antisemitism in these excerpts, then forget his name

Who needs Heidegger when you can read great writers such as (((Philip Roth))) who wrote a long novel about masturbation and having sex with shiksas? And he won a Nobel Prize for this, proving once and for all, that we have the right values

Erase the names of the Thought Criminals of the past, rewrite every story and poem, give the Nobel Prize to Bob Zimmerman (aka, Bob Dylan) and the pornographer Philip Roth

Change the past to suit the needs of a powerful and organized (((lobby))) in the present.


Punish the vile "haters" of the past (and present) who have offended this kosher orthodoxy

We have always been at war with Eastasia.

Posted by: Rabbi Hershowitz Interracialpornstein | Jan 26 2019 4:18 utc | 224


@ Rabbi Hershowitz Interracialpornstein # 225

shalom aleichem, Rabbi

Terrible what’s happening now in Venezuela, isn’t it?

I’m currently on page 1,115 of Raul Hilberg’s three-volume, 1,273-page magnum opus, The Destruction of the European Jews

I’m also re-reading Elie Wiesel’s Night for the 10th time,

And I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve read Portnoy’s Complaint by Philip Roth. What a great writer!

Everything you said above is true and perfectly in line with the kosher values of this fine kosher blog, however regrettably I bet that your comments will be deleted anyway due to your unfortunate name

Peoples names are a such a big influence on their first impressions, and not everyone is going to appreciate your ancestor’s yiddish humour in coming up with a name like Hershovitz Interracialpornstein

Keep up the good work fighting for the censorship of Heidegger and all antisemitic writers of the past

Tzoharaim tovim

Moishe

Posted by: Moishe | Jan 26 2019 6:04 utc | 225


Just adding this, Rabbi

While Philip Roth certainly deserved a Noble Prize, he died before it could be awarded to him

and one last thing: did I mention how terrible it is what's happening now in Venezuela?

Posted by: Moishe | Jan 26 2019 6:35 utc | 226

Actually the Trump administration was playing catch up on this one. A whole bunch of other nations decided to declare Guaido president before the US did. Guaido came to these nations with the plan and he is duly elected. Maduro locked up his opposition, packed the courts with his cronies and then declared that his courts had authority but not their national assembly. Eventually even the courts conceded and reinstated the national assembly. Maduro is not the legit leader and he now has about 20% popularity. His elected term ended on January 10th he is now ruling by force not consensus. The people of Venezuela should continue to protest until he agrees to hold elections.

And the US is not responsible for their collapse. We did not sanction their oil and in fact it's our money that keeps them afloat at all. They would be in far worse shape if they didn't have us as a customer. Furthermore, we can't actually sanction them in the normal way because the government of Venezuela already sanctioned their own people long ago. They are not allowed to import items like we are here in the US. Try and send even a simple package to Venezuela and see what happens. First you will not be able to insure it. Why? Because the odds of the package getting through are nil. If you are lucky it just gets held for a bribe. If it's something the government official deems illegal it's confiscated, and everything is illegal if they want it to be because importing anything that can be re-sold is illegal under most circumstances. I used to do business with Venezuela or at least I tried. Smuggling, bribery, stealth, you name it we tried it. That was over ten years ago under Chavez and it only got worse. Right now the people live on mostly black market stuff because it's still illegal to import stuff like normal countries do.

The government of Venezuela screwed up their county way before any of the US's sanctions did anything.

Now having said all this, it's still not any of our damn businesses at least not from my point of view. But they are a big link in our supply chain of oil and that's considered a national interest to most people that count.

As for Trump, he's using "Gunboat Diplomacy" and I can't repeat this enough. That is what he does in place of normal diplomacy. From pretty much day one Trump has been trying to bring Venezuela up as a priority because he obviously could see it was going to collapse. He knows enough about that process from being in business. It's possible he helped speed up the process, but not by much. They were printing and borrowing their way into oblivion way back when oil prices were sky high and there were zero sanctions in place by the US. (There were sanctions though, I was certainly not allowed to trade freely with them)

The Venezuelan government created this situation through massive mismanagement and corruption, they printed money like it was going out of style for years even when the going was good. They literally sanctioned their own people from purchasing goods from abroad and set up corruption to the point where trade became impossible on all levels except with their government! On top of that Maduro has now set himself up as dictator without popular support, that will not stand regardless of what the US wants.

I would stay the hell out of it, but Trump sees it as a place where he can move events away from this path of destruction. Hell Trump probably tried to do business there once or twice if I think about it. He's probably been through the same frustration I went through only much worse. That might explain why he's been big on this topic since day one. I could see their collapse coming way back when I couldn't get a package insured, I can only imagine that Trump had to have seen something similar, he tries to do business everywhere else.

Posted by: Brad Smith | Jan 26 2019 19:23 utc | 227

A second goal (perhaps equally important as the oil) of the current US moves against Venezuela, may be to take media attention away from the middle east and Israel.
Magnier's latest piece
https://ejmagnier.com/2019/01/26/netanyahus-election-bombing-campaign-may-lead-to-battle-syria-and-hezbollah-have-their-fingers-on-the-trigger/

If taking media attention away from the middle east and the US Israeli moves there is part of the rational behind the current moves against Venezuela, then this will escalate even if there is little chance for US to grab the oil.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jan 26 2019 19:48 utc | 228

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