Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
January 25, 2019

Venezuela - Trump's Coup Plan Has Big Flaws

The U.S. led coup attempt against the government of Venezuela under President Maduro is based on a plan that is similar to this one (vid).


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While U.S. coup plotting against Venezuela goes back to at least 1998 when the deceased President Chavez won his first election, the actual planning for this coup attempt was only done during the last two month. There are many holes in the plan and it involves a lot of wishful thinking. That might give the Maduro government openings to deflect the attack.

More likely though the insufficient planning, based on false perceptions of the situation on the ground, will lead to demands for escalation and mission creep. Venezuela must thus immediately prepare for the worst.

Today U.S. media give some insight into the decision making before the coup attempt. The Wall Street Journal headline makes it clear that the U.S. is 100% responsible for it:

Pence Pledged U.S. Backing Before Venezuela Opposition Leader’s Move
Trump administration’s secret plan pledging support for opposition leader Juan Guaidó was preconceived and tightly coordinated

The night before Juan Guaidó declared himself interim president of Venezuela, the opposition leader received a phone call from Vice President Mike Pence.

Mr. Pence pledged that the U.S. would back Mr. Guaidó if he seized the reins of government from Nicolás Maduro by invoking a clause in the South American country’s constitution, a senior administration official said.

That late-night call set in motion a plan that had been developed in secret over the preceding several weeks, accompanied by talks between U.S. officials, allies, lawmakers and key Venezuelan opposition figures, including Mr. Guaidó himself.

The leading figures were Vice President Pence, Secretary of State Pompeo and Senator Marco Rubio as well as hawks in in the National Security Council.

A decisive moment came a week later in a White House meeting Jan. 22, the eve of protests in Venezuela, when Mr. Rubio along with Sen. Rick Scott and Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, both Republicans from Florida, were called to a White House meeting with Mr. Trump, Vice President Pence and others.
...
Other officials who met that day at the White House included Messrs. Pompeo and Bolton, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who presented Mr. Trump with options for recognizing Mr. Guaidó.

Mr. Trump decided to do it. Mr. Pence, who wasn’t at that meeting, placed his phone call to Mr. Guaidó to tell him, “If the National Assembly invoked Article 233 the following day, the president would back him,” the senior administration official said.

Trump himself is only interested in Venezuela's oil reserves, which are the largest of the world:

While the developments this week surprised many onlookers, Mr. Trump had long viewed Venezuela as one of his top-three foreign policy priorities, including Iran and North Korea.
...
Mr. Trump requested a briefing on Venezuela in his second day in office, often speaking to his team about the suffering of Venezuelan people and the country’s immense potential to become a rich nation through its oil reserves, ...

Before the U.S. attack on Libya Trump said (vid) that the U.S. should demand 50% of the oil profits from the 'rebels' it hoped to put into place: "[They] should have said: We'll help you but we want 50% of your oil." I likely requested a similar deal from Guaidó.

It is interesting that neither the Pentagon nor the Justice Department were involved in the planing of the coup attempt. They could have pointed out the obvious flaws.

Article 233 of the Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela (pdf) is not a valid legal basis for Guaidó himself or for the Venezuelan National Assembly to declare him president. It regulates the procedures in the case that the elected or sitting president "becomes permanently unavailable" which Maduro is obviously not. To cite Article 233 for claiming the presidency is a scam that no court will accept.

The White House planning also seem to go no further than the current stage. This for example is extremely wishful thinking:

“The U.S. believes the rank-and-file military are most likely with the opposition,” the senior administration official said. “The most significant development in the last 24 hours has been that the [Venezuelan] military has stayed in its barracks. And Maduro hasn’t ordered them to squash the protests possibly because he’s unsure they would follow his orders and doesn’t want to test that.

This is delusional. The opposition protests were so far smaller and less violent that those in 2016. Even during those riots the military stayed in the barracks not because Maduro is afraid of it but because it plays no role in the internal security of Venezuela.

To confront rioting protestors is the job of the local police and the National Guard of Venezuela which "can serve as gendarmerie, perform civil defense roles, or serve as a reserve light infantry force." While the National Guard is formally a military service it has its own line of command. Since 2002 Chavez and then Maduro have cleaned up the military. It has also received a number of perks. Many nationalized companies are led by (former) military officers. To base a plan for a coup on an unfounded hope of military support is crazy.

The White House seems at a loss at what to do next:

Much remains to be sorted out, including the U.S. determination that Mr. Guaidó represents the lawful government and is entitled to all revenues.

If that legal determination is made, it will soon be tested in court. As the flawed quoting of article 233 as a basis for Guaidó's self declaration as president is not legally valid, any such determination will be flawed. That the administration has not thought of this before it acted is quite curious.

The Washington Post goes deeper into the obvious flaws of the plan:

With risks ahead, Trump administration pins hopes on Venezuela’s opposition

“I think that speaks for itself,” national security adviser John Bolton said when asked Thursday what Trump meant by saying “all options” are available to him.

The administration is betting that it will not need to spell it out further. But it was unclear whether it has fully mapped out a strategy in the event that President Nicolás Maduro refuses to budge, serious violence erupts or foreign supporters of Maduro’s government — including Russia and Turkey — decide to intervene on his behalf.

For now, the hope is to use the newly declared interim government as a tool to deny Maduro the oil revenue from the United States that provides Venezuela virtually all of its incoming cash, current and former U.S. officials said.
..
“What we’re focusing on today is disconnecting the illegitimate Maduro regime from the source of its revenues. We think consistent with our recognition of Juan Guaidó as the constitutional interim president of Venezuela that those revenues should go to the legitimate government,” Bolton said.

“It’s very complicated. We’re looking at a lot of different things we have to do, but that’s in the process,” he said.

If the U.S. stops payment for oil to the Maduro government, Venezuela will obviously stop shipping oil to the States. Several large Gulf Coast refineries are geared specifically to that heavy type of oil. They will have to stop working and gas prices in the U.S. will increase. One wonders how Trump's voters will like that.

The administration also wants to increase sanctions on Venezuela but the existing ones are already causing the people pain while they have little effect on the government.

The plan is also based on the hope that the dude that came up in Venezuela can actually do something:

The U.S. pressure campaign is aimed partly at convincing Maduro that he cannot continue to govern, and partly at building up Guaidó.

“We have been engaged with the same strategy: to build international pressure, help organize the internal opposition and push for a peaceful restoration of democracy. But that internal piece was missing,” the official said. “He was the piece we needed for our strategy to be coherent and complete.”

But what does Guaidó have? Does he have any office, any public building, any army? Does he controls the ports, the custom offices and the central bank? Even in Venezuela few knew him. How many really committed followers does he have? There are some 8-9 million followers of the Bolivarian movement in Venezuela. These are poor people. Many of them own what they have to the socialist government. They will fight against an illegitimate coup. What means does the U.S. supported guy have to suppress them?

Notes the Post:

The Trump administration hopes Venezuela’s armed forces switch allegiances, but there is no clear road map for what Trump would do if that does not happen, or if blood is spilled.

The Post also confirms that the U.S. military was not involved in the planning even as the logical consequence of the coup attempt is likely a war:

“It’s kind of a giveaway, that [the Defense Department] or Southcom was not part of this process or wasn’t given a heads-up,” said one former senior administration official.

“One could argue that we are on, if not an inevitable path, certainly a path toward intervention because of the dramatic nature of what we’ve done,” the former official said. “Telling a sitting president he is no longer president and recognizing somebody else. Next question: Okay, what comes next? To what extent are we actually prepared to continue to march down this road?”

That's the $64,000 question.

My impression is that Trump was scammed. It was long evident that he gives little attention to details and does not think things through. Most likely Bolton, Pompeo and Rubio presented him with a three step plan:

Phase 1. Support the self declared president Guaidó; Phase 2: ... (wishful thinking) ...; Phase 3: Take half of their oil!

Trump accepted the plan without asking how phase 2 might really play out. I doubt that he knew that it will likely lead to higher gas prices. Nor do I think that he knew that it will likely require a military escalation up to a major war that will take years to finish. He would have known that both will cost him dearly during the next election.

This is similar to Trump's other genius plan that now leads to the closing of U.S. airports. Phase 1 of that plan was to shutdown the U.S. government. Phase 2 foresaw that the Democrats give him money. Phase 3 was the Great Wall on the southern border that would help him to get reelected. That plan also failed because of wishful thinking. It also costs Trump at the polls.

But Trump has now committed himself to both poorly laid out plans and it will be extremely difficult for him to pull back from them. While he may still wiggle out of the domestic embarrassment over his wall, it will be much more difficult to do that on the international stage where he asked many other nations for their support. He is now on the spot and has no decent moves to make. Higher gas prices and a military escalation go against his election promises. His voters will not like either.

Bolton and Pompeo are both experienced politicians and bureaucrats. They likely knew that their plan was deeply flawed and would require much more than Trump would normally commit to. My hunch is that the soon coming mission creep was build into their plan, but that they did not reveal that.

Trump just ruined his presidency by falling for their scheme. How long will it take him to understand that?

Posted by b on January 25, 2019 at 03:09 PM | Permalink

Comments
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Well, if Trump is such a good guy, he must enjoy being fooled because it happens so often.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 25, 2019 3:23:54 PM | 1

I heard rumours vulture funds were pitching the admin on regime change. Eliot, Gramercy, etc have been accumulating Vene debt for a while. I would guess that's why the admin took this shot to back some bigger than usual street protests. Now they have to make this candidate look like he is leading this parade.

Posted by: Harry | Jan 25, 2019 3:31:22 PM | 2

Seems like US agents refuse to go home?
https://sputniknews.com/latam/201901251071821193-nicolas-maduro-press-conference/

That is a sign tht these same agents work with the Guaido crew.

Posted by: Zanon | Jan 25, 2019 3:31:42 PM | 3

The US trying to overthrow a government without an actual plan of what to do after or of the consequences based solely on wishful thinking, where have I heard that before. History may not repeat itself but it sure does rhyme!

Posted by: Kadath | Jan 25, 2019 3:33:35 PM | 4

In the first Pacific war and the struggle against Hitler, Rooseveldt's relatively enlightened policies towards Mexico laid the base of strategic calm in the maelstrom of 1930's conflicts .
Certainly this settled situation - vis a vis Mexico- helped the US to respond to affaires beyond her borders with coordination and clarity that would have been more difficult had the US to confront unreast on her Southern border .
The point being - that any war ie. Venuzuela , running out of control could affect North American interests profoundly in the event of a series of crisis for American interests elsewhere !

Posted by: ashley albanese | Jan 25, 2019 3:39:07 PM | 5

thanks b.. i hope you are right.. i got a kick out of the video at top you linked to and think that is a fair assessment of where trump is here.. i still think they need to find this guaido guy and charge him with treason.. and the way i understand it, if president maduro were to step down, or be removed, the power goes to the vp, and then to guaido... he is clearly stepping out of line by doing this power grab with advance knowledge of usa support... i would charge him with treason immediately, unless he is surrounded by cia intel people, in which case i would advertise that widely as well..

@ 1 jr... i think b is right that trump doesn't do details.. he went from phase 1 to 3, without being told there was no phase 2!

regardless, he is a useful idiot at this point in time..

Posted by: james | Jan 25, 2019 3:40:50 PM | 6

I don't buy the military isn't on board. They've been training like Iraq 2 for weeks.

Posted by: Vern | Jan 25, 2019 3:43:29 PM | 7

Funny how these things work out, especially the loud chorus of the Russians did it. The actual culprits are those within the Trumps own inner circle of trust. They will escape the perp walks, but Trump won't. Another 1 term POTUS, burned by disgrace, but perhaps saved by dementia. The only portrait on any form of money, will be that of the game of Trump, another form of monopoly.

Posted by: Eugene | Jan 25, 2019 3:48:22 PM | 8

Regarding mission creep - seems to me their best plan is to creep back under their rocks. Trump can always say that he misspoke. He doesn't really advocate the violent over throw of...North Korea Syria Iran Venezuela...... who did I miss? Oh
I know - Russia.

Posted by: Miss Lacy | Jan 25, 2019 3:53:54 PM | 9

james

Pro-Trump "dreamers" tell us that Trump is either:

a genius strategist / 11-dimensional chess player (eg. Syrian pullout!)

- or -

dumbass who is not interested in details and gets played by his subordinates (eg. Guaidó support, detention of Meng Wanxhou) .

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 25, 2019 3:55:59 PM | 10

'Trump said (vid) that the U.S. should demand 50% of the oil profits from the 'rebels' it hoped to put into place: "[They] should have said: We'll help you but we want 50% of your oil."'

Yup - that certainly should ensure that the Venezuelan people get wealthier and healthier and happier and... more American.

It's a tried and tested route to big profits: give away half of everything you have, in return for nothing.

Posted by: Tom Welsh | Jan 25, 2019 3:56:28 PM | 11

"...the U.S. determination that Mr. Guaidó represents the lawful government and is entitled to all revenues".

I'm not entirely sure that is how a democratic government is meant to work. If Mr Trump were "entitled to all revenues", for instance, he wouldn't have had to bring the federal government to a grinding halt for weeks on end.

And Mr Trump was actually elected according to the constitution - like Mr Maduro (only less so).

Posted by: Tom Welsh | Jan 25, 2019 4:00:08 PM | 12

"That the administration has not thought of this before it acted is quite curious".

Not really, to my mind. The salient fact is that no one in Washington has any trace of "skin in the game". Even if the "revolution" falls flat and all the rebels go straight to prison, why would Mr Trump and his bully boys care? They have nothing to lose in this matter.

Posted by: Tom Welsh | Jan 25, 2019 4:02:25 PM | 13

My question is Why did everyone follow him???? I mean all those other nations, don't they have governments that can think?????

Posted by: juliania | Jan 25, 2019 4:04:07 PM | 14

"The Trump administration hopes Venezuela’s armed forces switch allegiances, but there is no clear road map for what Trump would do if that does not happen, or if blood is spilled".

This was my earlier point. US administrations have presided over the deliberate murder of over 3 million people in each of Korea, South-East Asia and Iraq, and lesser numbers in many other countries. Certainly far more than 10 million in all - call it a couple of Holocausts. And that was all quite deliberate.

I doubt whether Mr Trump or anyone in his administration would care if every single human being in Venezuela were to die overnight.

Posted by: Tom Welsh | Jan 25, 2019 4:07:28 PM | 15

With the US teetering on the brink of another major economic downturn (we tend to have them every 7-10 years; 1989 (S&L crisis), 1999 (tech bubble), 2008 (financial crisis)), the US crushed under 22 Trillion in debt (5-6 Trillion spent on wars in the last 18 years), huge social divisions throughout the entire country, a post-industrial economy that has left millions unemployed, a declining life span for it's citizens, an massive prison population (2% of the entire audit population); all of these issues and the US is again positioning itself for another massive regime change campaign that will probably lead to another war that last decades.

it looks increasingly like the only thing that unifies America is a perpetual war against the rest of the world, but how long can one country wage war on the rest of the world, eventually the US's societal wealth will be fully privatized and outsourced, the pre-1970's infrastructure will completely fall apart and won't be replaced (everything will be embezzled for their political cronies), there won't be any taxes to spend on these wars or any healthy poor people to fight the wars at which point the US empire will collapse. Then, the only question will it collapse like the Soviet Union, the Roman empire or like the fourth Reich.

I wonder if in a hundred years this period will be called the American wars period (1918-20XX), where the US fought hundreds of undeclared wars against most of the countries of the world. Back during the Hundred Year's war I doubt most British people looked back and thought of their wars against France as a single war - just as a normalized state of their world, "we are always at war with France, my father, his father and his father". I've personally noticed that within Americans (elites and non-elites) this blasé attitude towards war has become normalized, they think that American leadership means a constant war (or the threat of war) to protect American values (whatever those are, do the Americans even know or really care given their current attitudes towards torture & domestic surveillance)

Posted by: Kadath | Jan 25, 2019 4:17:31 PM | 16

to Harry #2 That thought also crossed my mind. Eliot et al recently cleaned out Argentina so no doubt they are looking for fresh meat. To Juliania - yes it is surprising that they all fell in line so quickly. I can understand Ecuador, which recently sold out to Pense & Co., and Brazil, but Chile and Peru are puzzling.

Posted by: miss lacy | Jan 25, 2019 4:21:43 PM | 17

Excellent summary of the situation in Venezuela from last summer by ex-RT host Abby Martin

https://venezuelanalysis.com/video/13887

Posted by: Lochearn | Jan 25, 2019 4:25:25 PM | 18

The night before Juan Guaidó declared himself interim president of Venezuela, the opposition leader received a phone call from Vice President Mike Pence.

I think I got that same thing, except Pence sent me an email instead:

From: Myke Pence

Dear c matt. I am Myke Pense, vice president of the United States, and I promise to support your bid for predint of Benzeuala with my full support, and your furnishing banking infornation to send USD$1,111,100 to support you.

Posted by: c matt | Jan 25, 2019 4:25:49 PM | 19

Yeah Vern, I live north of an af base for C130’s mainly. I’ve noticed double the planes in training flights.
Usually you see 2 or 3 C130’s flying around for training daily. Twice in the past 4 days, I’ve see 5 and 6 lined up flying around. It’s not invasion of Iraq level yet, but it’s a major uptick here too.
Who knows, maybe Israelis are in country being trained up for their war against Syria/ Iran.

Posted by: Billy | Jan 25, 2019 4:26:09 PM | 20

Over and over and over and over again. When will the US stop this bullshit? Maduro is a crappy leader, but for fucks sake let the people over there figure their own shit out. All these foreign calls of support for one side or the other are insane. At least China speaks wisely on this particular issue.

I wish people in the US would rise up against this behavior from their government...But I also wish people in my country would push our government to leave NATO and denounce the US. It is never happening, it is all so futile. Kind of like me posting here.

Posted by: flayer | Jan 25, 2019 4:33:33 PM | 21

If I do not recall it bad,in his adress during the opening of the judicial year yesterday, President Maduro, announced, amongst some other measures, like a plan against corruption, improvements on wages for police officials and military.

Today, while presenting the whole disposition of the plana mayor of the FANB to defend the country, when introducing them, he asured to his Air Forces Commander in Chief, Major General Iván Hidalgo Terán, that "Está autorizado lo del Sukhoi"

Posted by: Sasha | Jan 25, 2019 4:40:13 PM | 22

The "resistance" forces in the US are predictably silent about the coup attempt--other than attacking anyone like Tulsi Gabbard or AOC who criticize the undemocratic coup attempt. If Trump thought acting like previous presidents have in South America (i.e., that countries are toys the US can play with) would take the heat off him it failed as Mueller continued with his witch hunt with another non-Russia related arrest to stoke the headlines again.

However, I'm sure Pence feels like a winner either way--if Trump goes, he gets to run the show, and if Trump stays he still got his way in Venezuela along with Bolton and Pompeo.

Posted by: worldblee | Jan 25, 2019 4:44:24 PM | 23

Trump's job is to throw American good will under the bus before he then takes the US into bankruptcy for his God of Mammon leaders.

He is doing a bang up job, no?

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 25, 2019 4:47:53 PM | 24

Yes, Tronald is definitely a mediocre Mafioso who thinks he can get away with any bluff. It is not yet clear what he will do if that is not the case. Not with regard to China, Iran, North Korea and certainly not with regard to Venezuela. Will he always think about his possible re-election, or hit out of frustration and instigated by the Neocons, in whose net he fidgets, like a bee that dies stinging?
Dear B, it was a beautiful dream to see a non-interventionist u.s. president. For this role Tronald is simply too limited in his intellectual means.

Posted by: Pnyx | Jan 25, 2019 4:56:45 PM | 25

Thanks b for detailing the sort of 3 Stooges-like behavior of this incident I noted at its outset. As Khamenei wrote in his Tweet to Venezuelans I provided in the previous thread, it's a War of Wills that requires Willpower to overcome. And that's precisely what's required. As usual, the Outlaw US Empire has zero legal justification for any of its actions toward Venezuela--they are all unconstitutional and illegal under International Law. The time-tested UK and American diktat of What I Says Goes no longer goes unchallenged with Russia being the most forceful in its rejoinders, while China could use US behavior as precedent to go to Taiwan and reclaim it. And the feebly pathetic pushback by US politicos has already been documented. I find myself agreeing with Sharmine Narwani's point regarding AOC's silence:

"Day 2 of @AOC watch on #Venezuela. IMO, the real litmus test for any US politician is whether they are willing to take a principled stand on foreign policy & int'l law. A principled position de facto requires taking on the political establishment; AOC seems unwilling to do this."

Sharmine also unearthed this Maduro interview with The Guardian from 2014. Take close note of the editorializing that pushes the BigLie narrative being made then and now.

In case it was missed on the previous thread, here's the outstanding pdf documenting the chronology of the political and economic war being waged on Venezuela.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 25, 2019 4:58:11 PM | 26

Bluff & Bluster seems to be Trump's way as proven by yet another occurrence that was recently noticed:

"South Korea Warns Troop Talks Deadlocked on US Demands for More Funding: Trump Administration Hit South Korea With 'Sudden, Unacceptable Demands.'"

Yet another example of an aspect of policy not completely thought through.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 25, 2019 5:15:55 PM | 27

AOC??? She is a kid that probably knows even less about Venezuela as Trump, which is almost nothing.

Posted by: SteveK9 | Jan 25, 2019 5:16:57 PM | 28

One wonders if the blind overconfidence in an unknown like Guaidó doesn't find its parallel in the idiotic overconfidence on the MEK vis-a-vis Iran.
Still -- much suffering can result from fumbling dumbasses: these three, Bolton, Pompeo and Trump.
But the greatest of these is Bolton.

Posted by: bjd | Jan 25, 2019 5:19:50 PM | 29

Russian PMC has been sending hundreds of men to bolster security around Maduro.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-01-25/russia-sends-security-contractors-venezuela-protect-maduro

Russian military and Putin have a stake in Venezuela and are acting to protect it, though it is tenuous because of the economic disaster and Maduro's government being so incompetent.

The Chinese are furious at him. They now have 60 Billion at risk there, and their policy of never interfering or taking sides in internal affairs limits what they can do.

Putin will try to salvage the government but the Russians are probably searching the Venezuelan military for some leader who can take over.

The total incompetence of the socialists makes stabilization an enormous chore. 1,000,000% inflation, all the key infrastructure not maintained (like Ukraine), the oil sector wrecked, and now sanctions.

Some kind of negotiation and compromise interim government will be attempted by the Russians.
Then Chinese specialists will have to come in and run everything, repairing and maintaining utilities and the oil operations.

But it will take a genius with currencies to fix the money system.

Russia can bring wheat, but basic commodities for such a large population will cost another fortune.
Mining minerals, pumping oil and gas are the only hope.

A new currency has to be put in place to make the every day society work, heal and stabilize again.

The experiment in Chavez's ideology is over.

Posted by: Red Ryder | Jan 25, 2019 5:26:00 PM | 30

Red Ryder @29--

No, it's most certainly not! The radical, far seeing and participatory democratic Bolivarian Constitution represents Chavez's ideology, and the Venezuelan people aren't letting it go anywhere.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 25, 2019 5:34:19 PM | 31

@16 k - well said!
@14 j - sadly I live in one of those countries. It's so infuriating! Are my fellow citizens that lobotomized by GMOs, flouride, chem-trails, public education, consumerism, super bowls, Kardashians, etc that they can no longer think critically? The majority of the people in the 5-eyes & parts of Europe are hopeless!

Posted by: xLemming | Jan 25, 2019 5:40:21 PM | 32

"The idea that the 2018 elections were, at best, highly questionable is taken as a fact across the media" Alan Macleod at FAIR.org"

The speed with which the media all started singing the same tune is uncanny. The Toronto Star is parroting the same nonsense: calling for a return to democracy in Venezuela. And Mother Jones- which really ought to be made to give up that brave woman's name- is talking about millions of refugees and thousands of clashes and "the Dictator" Maduro.
And yet they all know that it is a lie and that last year's election, and Bolivarian Venezuela's elections in general, were completely above board.
Which is why the Opposition, including the current puppet, boycotted them.
Why is this? And why did so many countries rush to back Trump on this matter?
GW Bush will wish that he had had such support for the attack on Iraq. And Bush's administration was a lot more credible than Bolton!!! Pompeo!!! and Trump!!!
Nobody believes a word that they say except all the journalists in all the media in the "West". And this at a time too when websites like this one can instantly refute the arguments made by the imperialists.
Maybe the plan is to tempt Russia into a conflict on terrain as far from the World Island, and as close to the USA, as they can get. With all the odds stacked in their favour in a re-run of Syria. So desperate are they for a victory- the first since Panama.
The glorious battle of Panama!! Like the stunning triumph over Grenada.

Posted by: bevin | Jan 25, 2019 5:49:05 PM | 33

If Trump had furloughed Pence and Bolton instead of Congress, he wouldn't be stuck with this mess. Hopefully this plan will backfire miserably and we'll be blessed with another bitter, deep state resignation.
I'm wondering how a government shut down affects the armed forces. Could they even be deployed should Trump unwisely decide to escalate?

Posted by: CD Waller | Jan 25, 2019 5:52:25 PM | 34

"The total incompetence of the socialists makes stabilization an enormous chore. 1,000,000% inflation, all the key infrastructure not maintained (like Ukraine), the oil sector wrecked, and now sanctions..."
So the problems in Venezuela are attributable to "socialists!
Not the sabotage of the opposition. Not the economic warfare of the imperialists. Not the freezing of the country's financial assets.
But the Socialists!
Like the ones in Ukraine!!
Red Ryder makes Bolton sound rational.

Posted by: bevin | Jan 25, 2019 5:55:49 PM | 35

Abby Martin provides this thread of videos, which are mostly interviews, from her Empire Files site. Note that the trolls on the thread sing the same BigLie Media song, as bevin notes above, which makes it seem as if they're all working from the same Boiler Room.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 25, 2019 5:59:15 PM | 36

From memory, J.K.Galbraith describes a comment from J. F. Kennedy that went something like this: In Washington secrets are not well kept, except for all the things that it's important for me to know.

It could be that Trump was indeed scammed as b writes, and if that were the case will at some point, if exposed to more sober considerations, do another one of his now to be expected u-turns or non-sequitur changes of mind.

So, for example, if Erdogan or say the leader of Mexico were to get Trump's ear and Trump were to hear another perspective well put, who knows.

In which case it may turn out that Trump's ire will turn on those who presented him with a flawed plan.

Now I'm not holding my breathe; this is not about multi dimensional chess by Trump, or an attempt to nominate him for sainthood. But it is quite possible, depending on how this plays out, that some of the vile superficial ideologues who surround Trump are now more vulnerable to reprimands and even *bliss*:'you're fired'.

Posted by: Robert Snefjella | Jan 25, 2019 6:01:45 PM | 37

Too bad the public cannot see how the belligerent approach costs *themselves* !

There is no reason than oligarchy that the people(s) of North America cannot trade their own labor in goods and services for Venezuelan oil. Only greedy oligarchs want to hold thise markets as monopoly fascists is the obvious dynamic so rarely spoken.

Maduro should study Iranian Twitter feed in how to publicly mock Bilderburger clique! (Ever notice how Brexit chatter never mentions the Crown in the mix?)

Posted by: slit | Jan 25, 2019 6:02:01 PM | 38

@34 bevin, yes I usually agree with Red Ryder, especially regarding the ME but to conflate Maduro's hardships, consequence of concerted efforts to sabotage him, with saying Bolivarian Socialism is a failure, is pushing it..

@36 robert, one can hope to hear the famous one-liner post coup failure, especially at the NSC..

Posted by: Lozion | Jan 25, 2019 6:18:28 PM | 39

Its credible that the pentagon was left out of this. I get the impression that the military staff don't really care for Mr. Bolton so he'd need to force them to do things.

Posted by: alaric | Jan 25, 2019 6:23:42 PM | 40

Its also clear from disgusting Marco Rubio that economic warfare is the main component of this plan. They're going to try and cut off all funds to the venezuelan gov.

Posted by: alaric | Jan 25, 2019 6:24:47 PM | 41

In the first Pacific war and the struggle against Hitler, Roosevelt's relatively enlightened policies towards Mexico laid the base of strategic calm in the maelstrom of 1930's conflicts .

Certainly this settled situation - vis a vis Mexico- helped the US to respond to affairs beyond her borders with coordination and clarity that would have been more difficult had the US to confront unreast on her Southern border .

The point being - that any war ie. Venezuela , running out of control could affect North American interests profoundly in the event of a series of crisis for American interests.
elsewhere!

Posted by: ashley albanese | Jan 25, 2019 3:39:07 PM | 5

The point is nicely put. Thank you. Nazi-supporters in Mexico in the 1930's were part of
the base of the erstwhile PAN, whose inclusion in Mexican governance, 50 years later in
the Clinton years, was lauded by the major mass-media as "the democratization of Mexico."

A compelling literary account of the nazi squads operating in the mezcal cantinas is to
be found in Graham Lowry's highly-recommendable literary novel: Under The Volcano.

Wikipedia has it that: "The National Action Party (PAN) was founded in 1939 by Manuel Gómez Morín, who had held a number of important government posts in the 1920s and 1930s. He saw the need for the creation of a permanent political party rather than an ephemeral organization to oppose the expansion of power by the post-revolutionary Mexican state.[12][13] When Gómez Morín was rector of UNAM between 1933 and 1935, the government attempted to impose socialist education. In defending academic freedom, Gómez Morín forged connections with individuals and groups that later came together in the foundation of the PAN in September 1939. The Jesuit student organization, Unión Nacional de Estudiantes Católicos (UNEC), provided a well-organized network of adherents who successfully fought the imposition of a particular ideological view by the state. Gómez Morín was not himself a militant Catholic, but he was a devout believer who rejected liberalism and individualism.[14] In 1939, Gómez Morín and a significant number of UNEC's leadership came together to found the PAN. The PAN's first executive committee and committees on political action and doctrine also had former Catholic student activists, including Luis Calderón Vega, the father of Felipe Calderón, who was elected President of Mexico in 2006.[15] The PAN's “Doctrine of National Action” was strongly influenced by Catholic social doctrine articulated in Rerum novarum (1891) and Quadragesimo anno (1931) and rejected Marxist models of class analysis.[16]

Mexico sent only a token air squadron to the Phillipines to "make nice" in World War Two;
and Mexico did NOT join George W Bush The Elder's "Coalition of the Willing" against Iraq.

Posted by: Guerrero | Jan 25, 2019 6:31:43 PM | 42

In one of quoted passages it's 'Mr Trump' not president Trump!🤔

Posted by: Brian | Jan 25, 2019 6:33:09 PM | 43

The warmongering morons of US apparently did not notice the results of their terrorism in the Arab and North Africa lands ..... millions of refugees fleeing to or toward Europe. Trump needs three more layers and another ten foot height to his wall to stop his own refugees!

Posted by: Ger | Jan 25, 2019 6:35:13 PM | 44

I am guess that Trump abandoned his fight with congress so he could play this new game.

I am surprised to see Russia in there, well whst the hell he may as well. Not like they are giving him credit for anything so far.

Bolton will be content if he can trash the place.

Will be amazing if Russia can do in Venezuela what the did for Syria hopefully without the distruction. Then Russia and China might help them get on track.

Fortunately for world the US is running out of money as well as credibility. Maybe then the mic will let it go.

Posted by: jared | Jan 25, 2019 6:35:33 PM | 45

Guaido is a bit like Macroj who also emerged from nowhere

Posted by: Brian | Jan 25, 2019 6:36:24 PM | 46

Today I was comenting a junior in his twenties at my work place that we should be all already in the streets in support of the legitimate government of Venezuela. I asked him, is this what you want for your future? He answered that in no way....The general impression of those with whom I commented the issue, while passing, since we have no time for talking so much, was of indignation and describign the thing as outrageous coup.

Time for organizing ourselves.

Llamado a la reactivación del Socorro Rojo y las Brigadas Internacionales para Venezuela

Two of the great advances of the International Communist, that once again demonstrate its urgent need, were, one, the creation in 1922 of the International Red Socorro; and another, the foundation of the Antifascist International Brigades in 1936. Euskal Herria owes much to both means of mutual aid and practical solidarity created to advance in human happiness. Now that Venezuela is being attacked again with more planned and organized crime by imperialism than ever before, our experience as an oppressed working people leads us to claim the peremptory recovery of those two vital instruments to help Venezuela and humanity as a whole(...)

Now imperialism, the US, is in a situation inconceivable for them in 1826: now their economy is superficial and parasitic, they are a vampire that would die if they stopped sucking human blood. It is well known that brutal sincerity of a Yankee president who at the end of the nineteenth century recognized that the US needed a war every certain time(...)

(...)<>right now it is Western imperialism as a whole, strategically centralized by the US, which in a hypocritical or brutal way conspires with dissimulation or shamelessly against Venezuela.

The unjust and inhuman war as a last resort to reactivate the accumulation of capital. The war, yes, that reality consubstantial with private property before which reformism covers the eyes, ears and mouth, and becomes the political and ethical lobotomy.

Alfredo Prieto has already studied this criminal logic in the extreme right of the Tea Party, ("Extreme right and ideological traditions of American society: the Tea Party case" The United States and the logic of imperialism, Social Sciences, Havana 2012), giving us essential theoretical tools to understand now why Donald Trump is not a random chance of a decadent and rotten society by opioids, hyperviolent and racist, but his desperate response to the hopeful and growing internal class struggle and the massive global rejection. This agonizing civilization knows that its only and perhaps last breath of life is to cannibalize Our America, and it knows that this will be impossible as long as Venezuela reaffirms itself not to be a corpse at the Walt Street table.

The press lies when it says that Venezuela is a dictatorship. The figures sing:

Nicolás Maduro de Venezuela with a 31.7% share obtained 67.8% of yes vote

Donald Trump of the USA with 27.3% of participants obtained 46% of yes vote

Mauricio Macri of Argentina with 26.8% obtained 51.2%.

Sebastián Piñera from Chile with 26.5% obtained 54.6%.

J. P. Santos de Colombia with 23.7% obtained 53.1%.

Juan Guaidó de Venezuela with 0.00% obtained 0.00%.

We arrive at the critical point: imperialism wants to put an end to Venezuela. The human species, which for now is overcoming cannibalism, can not allow the return of capitalist cannibalism. Helping Venezuela is keeping us with life, alive. Red Socorro, which in practice exists in a thousand forms, must reappear as a globalized humanitarian power. And the International Brigades, which also exist in a dispersed and hidden way, must once again proudly and officially destroy fascism. And they should start in Venezuela.


Posted by: Sasha | Jan 25, 2019 6:37:02 PM | 47

Trumps appointing Bolton is just one of s number of reasons to cease supporting trump

Posted by: Brian | Jan 25, 2019 6:38:55 PM | 48

from politico--

Elliott Abrams, a controversial neoconservative figure who was entangled in the Iran-Contra affair, has been named as a Trump administration special envoy overseeing policy toward Venezuela, which has been rocked by a leadership crisis.
Abrams’ appointment, announced Friday by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, is something of a surprise — President Donald Trump nixed his 2017 bid to be deputy secretary of State after learning that Abrams had criticized him.
Abrams, who served in the Reagan and George W. Bush administrations, is a well-known and somewhat controversial figure in U.S. foreign policy circles.
He has often expressed hawkish views and is fiercely pro-Israel, but he also has written and spoken eloquently about the need to support human rights around the world.
Abrams was deputy national security adviser in the George W. Bush administration and was instrumental in Middle East policy at the time, including supporting the U.S. invasion of Iraq.
There were also allegations that he supported a military coup attempt in Venezuela in 2002, damaging the U.S. relationship with the government there after the plot ultimately failed.
Abrams held multiple positions at the State Department under President Ronald Reagan, including assistant secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs.
He was one of the Reagan administration’s fiercest advocates of armed support for Nicaraguan rebels and thus became caught up in the Iran-Contra scandal.
In 1991, he pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor counts of withholding information from Congress about secret efforts to aid the rebels. President George H.W. Bush pardoned him the next year. . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 25, 2019 6:41:49 PM | 49

The experiment in Chavez's ideology is over.

Posted by: Red Ryder | Jan 25, 2019 5:26:00 PM | 29

Do not hold your breath.
"Quién no se consulea, es porque no quiere"

Posted by: Sasha | Jan 25, 2019 6:44:03 PM | 50

MOA:
=== =
The White House planning also seem to go no further than the current stage. This for example is extremely wishful thinking:

“The U.S. believes the rank-and-file military are most likely with the opposition,” the senior administration official said. “The most significant development in the last 24 hours has been that the [Venezuelan] military has stayed in its barracks. And Maduro hasn’t ordered them to squash the protests possibly because he’s unsure they would follow his orders and doesn’t want to test that.”
= ==

The correct interpretation of that statement (whose source we are left in the dark about) is not that planning for the coup is incomplete, which of course doesn't mean that it isn't incomplete. Rather, Those are the kinds of statements that US officials and their allies will make. It's for public consumption, meant to convey the image that Maduro is indeed, without public support and even without the support of his military. Whereas, as others have pointed out, What we are looking at here is simply the rock and a hard place that Maduro finds himself in. Take the crap and let the coup unfold or else react firmly and let the Venezuelan opposition and US officials claim that they have to act in order to save Venezuelans from the violence of a dictator.

Posted by: Arby | Jan 25, 2019 7:07:15 PM | 51

Sorry for this OT interruption, but I just must pass this on as it's quite a rarity for the Whitehouse Spokesperson to utter something true:

"Sarah Sanders asks the correct question after Stone's indictment:

'When will the FBI surround the homes of & arrest, Hillary Clinton, James Comey, James Clapper? People we know have also made false statements [to the FBI] - will the same standard apply?'"

And she could have named a massive list of others deserving the same fate.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 25, 2019 7:11:57 PM | 52

A feature of the Chavez reforms of the military was to disrupt the prevailing strategy of assigning rank and file soldiers to districts from their home areas. Chavez reversed this, such that soldiers (I include the National Guard here) now are based and see themselves as protected their homes and neighbours.

It makes it much more difficult to use either the Army or the National Guard to oppress the people. Chavez, an experienced officer, saw this.

Posted by: Paul Damascene | Jan 25, 2019 7:25:37 PM | 53

correction: Chavez reversed the policy of assigned soldiers to districts *FAR* from their home territory.

Posted by: Paul Damascene | Jan 25, 2019 7:26:27 PM | 54

Interesting how the usual suspect/"international community" were so punctually aboard. Was this absurd coup plot hatched over too much Dom Perignon, apres-ski at Davos?

Posted by: NOBTS | Jan 25, 2019 7:27:56 PM | 55

Trump ruined his presidency when he caved in to the Democrats on the Government shutdown / border wall issue. Any overt support of a regime change in Venezuela will seal Trump's future as a one term President.


Red Ryder @29:
That ZH article did not mention that the Chinese are upset at the Russians. Lots of wishful thinking that the Chinese will back Maduro militarily; something I can't see happening for many reasons.

Posted by: Ian | Jan 25, 2019 7:32:24 PM | 56

Don Bacon @48--

So, Abrams was appointed to solve the leadership problem in Trump's "policy toward Venezuela." now all we need is North and Secord to join the band so they can reprise their greatest hits.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 25, 2019 7:34:05 PM | 57

Don Bacon @48: Elliott Abrams

How will Trump's base of 'dreamers' spin this?

Is Abram's a 'detail' that Trump doesn't care about or is Trump, the masterful 11-dimensional strategist/negotiator setting up the neocons for a fall? Or, maybe their use the old fallback: he's not Hillary? LOL

Looks like same 'ol, same 'ol to me: Pence (McCain's buddy), Pompeo, Bolton, Nikki Haley, Gina Haspel (Brennan's gal); William Barr (Mueller & Bush man), Abrams, Jared etc.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 25, 2019 7:39:18 PM | 58

This is a great post, and I wish I could believe it. It would be great to watch the attempted coup be destroyed. John Bolton is one of the most despicable humans on this planet, but Eliot Abrams is right there with him.
However, the report from Billy, above, that he has seen more military activity lately, coupled with this report from Theirry Meysaan, makes me worry...
"The next Vice-President of Brazil will be General Hamilton Mourão, whose father played an important role in the pro-US military coup d’etat of 1964. He has made himself famous by his declarations against Presidents Lula and Rousseff. In 2017, he declared – on behalf of the Grand Orient of Brazil – that the time for a new military coup d’etat had arrived. Finally, he was re-elected with President Bolsonaro. In an interview with the magazine Piaui, he announced an impending overthrow of the Venezuelan President, Nicolás Maduro, and the deployment of a Brazilian « peace » force (sic). Faced with the gravity of these statements, which constitute a violation of the United Nations Charter, elected President Bolsonaro declared that no-one had any intention of going to war with anyone, and that his Vice-President talked too much."

https://www.voltairenet.org/article204400.html

Posted by: wagelaborer | Jan 25, 2019 7:39:51 PM | 59

How stupid does one have to be, in order to make US foreign policy? Or do the US foreign policy elites take stupidity pills to make themselves more stupid? I don't know the answer to those questions. But, I do know this, that the US is heading toward another foreign policy disaster by its attempt to overthrow the Maduro presidency in Venezuela. President Maduro is nothing to write home about, but for the common people, who are overwhelmingly poor, he is their president. Not the self-appointed president and blatant US puppet Juan Guaido. Anyone who knows anything about Latin America it is this: The US is, to put it mildly, overwhelmingly unpopular. Resentment toward the US is deep and long standing. Failure to realize this dynamic means that the US is on track for another spectacular foreign policy disaster.

Posted by: GeorgeV | Jan 25, 2019 7:40:17 PM | 60

Bolton, Pompeo and Rubio may have gotten straight As in college and grad school and made General, but that doesn't mean they aren't STUPID.

Posted by: Bill Warrick | Jan 25, 2019 7:46:19 PM | 61

I get my Chinese news from Chinese news outlets, like CGTN, Global Times, China Daily, Xinhuanet, and many other sources.

On a talk show last night, on CGTN, The Point, Victor Gao, former Deng Xiaoping translator, indicated that Chinese attitude and reaction.

I merely relayed it. Along with the reason why China does not come rushing to the rescue.

Posted by: Red Ryder | Jan 25, 2019 7:54:21 PM | 62

Well, the US has been doing this kind of stuff since the Spanish-American War when the British recovered America and began outsourcing their Empire across the pond.

The main difference is that the population had some semblance of a moral compass once upon a time, being mostly a Christian people such actions were done either covertly or after sufficient propaganda and cosmetics so that the populations moral conscious could accept it. Now its just blatant “we want it, we take it” looting and few people care.

That said, this coup attempt does not seem a very serious attempt. There may be another agenda, perhaps to draw Russia and China into playing more of a role in Venezuela so as to justify military action. I see the Wagner Group deploying their people (Putins Blackwater Group) . Maybe just to help the world hate us more so they will embrace the Green New World Order the global elites have in mind for us where the US has to beg them for Carbon Credits which they may get by selling off resources and enforcing austerity measures on the people.

Posted by: Pft | Jan 25, 2019 7:54:46 PM | 63

Ben Norton provides us with some disturbing news about the Democratic Socialists of America organization and its Janus-faced approach to Nicaragua and Venezuela:

"While the US government is actively leading a right-wing coup in Venezuela, DSA @DemSocialists is providing "leftist" cover for regime change in Nicaragua, echoing anti-Sandinista propaganda that is almost indistinguishable from the rhetoric of NY Times."

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 25, 2019 7:56:49 PM | 64

Arby @50

Yes. Also know as "dog whistle". The exceptionals and other poodles will silently fall in line.

Totally believable by credulous exceptionals:

- Assad kills his own people!;

- White Helmets heros;

- evil Putin meddling in democratic elections;

- North Korean "rocket man" is an existential threat to America;

- MbS is a reformer;

- Anti-democratic Maduro is so weak, he can't count on the Venezuelan army.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 25, 2019 8:03:11 PM | 65

"Trump just ruined his presidency by falling for their scheme." True perhaps. And utterly irrelevant.

Posted by: Arby | Jan 25, 2019 8:04:50 PM | 66

I say Venezuela is a perfect place to stop the exceptional machine. Trump's base of christian deplorables will tacitly support the coup, for they instinctively know their standard of living depends on looting to maintain primacy. That's why they cheered on the campaing trail when he repeatedly said we should've taken Irak and Syria's oil. Shitholes vs great white hope, let's see who will prevail. I got a hunch the masses of mestizos and africans can humble superior man...

Posted by: Augustin L | Jan 25, 2019 8:09:59 PM | 67

GeorgeV @59:

How stupid does one have to be, in order to make US foreign policy?

How stupid does one have to be to believe that Trump and others who posture as anti-establishment/anti-globalist are constantly 'blindsided', 'betrayed', 'powerless', or 'playing along for now'?

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 25, 2019 8:12:17 PM | 68

Pft @62--

Regarding your 2nd Para, do recall activities of the Filibuster whose activities area ignored or barely mentioned in standard US History texts and were all aimed at Spanish-speaking lands. Those Christians behavior in response as told at the linked article: "the American public often enjoyed reading about the thrilling adventures of filibusters." Their main base of operations was New Orleans and sources of funding mostly came from wealthy Southerners wanting to expand their slavery operations.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 25, 2019 8:35:26 PM | 69

#61 That seems a bit ridiculous, even if that is the sentiment expressed on the program. I think the Chinese are big boys and can decide for themselves where they want to put $60B. This is more likely in part a ploy to inherit some assets when Venezuela cannot pay back these loans. If they are 'furious' it is because a US puppet will simply tell them to get lost.

Posted by: SteveK9 | Jan 25, 2019 8:44:31 PM | 70

The impression is again conveyed that the US is bumbling into something that it isn't prepared for or hasn't thought through (e.g. poor planning, not involving bodies that should have been involved, and not knowing what it is trying to achieve or how it will achieve it, that it will actually cost the US money, Trump is badly advised, etc). This seems to me to be all propaganda and not supported by actual evidence.

The chorus of support from western and allied countries indicates that is far from ill-thought out and that the US knows exactly what it is doing.

Posted by: ADKC | Jan 25, 2019 8:45:56 PM | 71

I wonder if the Trump administration bothered to game out what would happen if this coup attempt fizzles out?

After all, if the Venezuelan National Guard actually manage to nab Guaido then it is Game Over, Man, Game Over!

So if Guaido isn't already inside the US Embassy then he is holed up somewhere very, very close by. So it doesn't take a Stable Genius to work out that if the coup fails then Guaido will use that embassy as his bolt-hole.

Then what?

Did anyone from Bolton/Pompeo on down give a seconds thought to the position that the USA would find itself in?

They will be "recognizing" a Venezuelan President who doesn't even have the authority to decide for himself which bed he gets to sleep in, and who is very definitely not be able to take one single step outside of then embassy grounds (what are, let's not forget, a little piece of not-Venezuela).

Continuing to insist that Guaido is still the "legitimate President" would make Trump look even more of a buffoon than he does now. But cutting Guaido adrift would make Trump look even more of a buffoon than he does now

Not good choices, so Trump really will have no choice but to keep escalating until either Maduro or Guaido is dead, and by "dead" I mean "with extreme prejudice".

Either that, or Trump salvages this by handing Bolton and Pompeo a rifle each and telling them to storm the Venezuelan Presidential compound. Marine reinforcements can then be sent to extract their corpses, at which point everyone - and I mean everyone - will sigh in relief.

This is something every government should consider before deciding to act: what is the fallout going to be if we fail?

Apparently everyone in Washington lacks the intellect to ever contemplate the possibility of failure.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jan 25, 2019 9:02:19 PM | 72

Posted by: ADKC | Jan 25, 2019 8:45:56 PM | 70

"The chorus of support from western and allied countries indicates that is far from ill-thought out and that the US knows exactly what it is doing."

Does not indicate that at all; a bunch of trained seals performing well on cue doesn't demonstrate the seal master's mastery of events beyond the seals performance. That remains to be seen.

Furthermore, the entity "the US" is actually a plural: sometimes one hand doesn't know what the other is doing, and few who look have difficulty finding evidence for US "bumbling".

Posted by: Robert Snefjella | Jan 25, 2019 9:02:32 PM | 73

Should Venezuela default on its debt to US banks? What would be the legal excuse?

Much of the revenue from the US goes to repaying old debt taken before the fall in oil prices.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Jan 25, 2019 9:02:57 PM | 74

@ ADKC | Jan 25, 2019 8:45:56 PM | 70
. . .the US knows exactly what it is doing.
Considering the record, your amusing snark made my day.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 25, 2019 9:15:09 PM | 75

"Mr. Trump requested a briefing on Venezuela in his second day in office, often speaking to his team about the suffering of Venezuelan people and the country’s immense potential to become a rich nation through its oil reserves,"

I think this takes the price in "Hypocrisy undiluted", I dont think, considering the person involved and the matter of subject, that I have been so left with mouth open.
The whole US has contracted Rabies...

Posted by: Den Lille Abe | Jan 25, 2019 9:49:41 PM | 76

@70 ADKC "The chorus of support from western and allied countries indicates that is far from ill-thought out and that the US knows exactly what it is doing."

Doubtful. To me it indicates nothing more than that Trump demanded public agreement from countries over an issue on which they really have no skin in the game.

Notice that Mexico did not agree.
Nor did Bolivia.
Nor did Turkey.

All the countries that might suspect to be next said "no".
All the countries that aren't in the firing line said "Yeah, OK, whatever".

That's probably about the limit of how much this indicates that Trump's plans are "well thought out".

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jan 25, 2019 10:29:54 PM | 77

I have not seen the offer to mediate from Russia reported here but Xinhuanet has a post about such at the link below

Russia offers to mediate between Venezuelan government, opposition

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 25, 2019 10:33:30 PM | 78

Guaido is giving speeches from Caracas. Why hasn’t he been arrested?

Posted by: Alaric | Jan 25, 2019 11:07:34 PM | 79

¿What the eff is doj doing on the author's wishlist for planning?
¿From where/whom did potus receive the Venezualan-coup idea his second day in office?
Protest Violence!

Posted by: dfnslblty | Jan 25, 2019 11:40:53 PM | 80

I've been posting this since the first coup attempt.
Nothing has changed,
New boss , same as old boss.

The same Trump who promised to 'stop foreign
interference'.

The 'rule based international order' that's
'threatened by the rising Chinese hegemon'

hehehhe


‘It is OUR money. Did anyone ask us, the taxpayers, if we cared to fork over a ton of money to the Democrat and Republican parties so a pack of hacks could spend it to overthrow an elected president? Of course not. That’s because this government assumes we work for it, and not the other way around.
………….

Once again, we have a congress and a federal bureaucracy tossing around our money so some jerks can play at being power brokers around the world. The National Endowment for Democracy is a hoax. Now everyone in Latin America knows we were up to our ears n trying to get rid of Chavez. The whole thing backfired. The politicians walk away and we pick up the bill. Some democracy. But what I really want to know is, is there a Ritz in Caracas, so the hacks on the gravy train can meet to overturn a democratically elected government at our expense? And this stuff happens because we let it happen. If we choose to be a nation of sheep, we have only ourselves to blame. ‘

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2002/04/richard-cummings/i-met-her-in-venezuela/

Posted by: denk | Jan 25, 2019 11:48:18 PM | 81

*This is more likely in part a ploy to inherit some assets when Venezuela cannot pay back these loans. If they are 'furious' it is because a US puppet will simply tell them to get lost.*

Another pft/donkey clone coming outta the woodwork.

hehheheh

Posted by: denk | Jan 25, 2019 11:50:54 PM | 82

Uh-oh?

The Post also confirms that the U.S. military was not involved in the planning even as the logical consequence of the coup-attempt is likely a war...

Yep. It's pretty hard to paint lipstick on a pig as ugly as that one.

I'm loving the fact that the meaning of "was not involved in the planning" is left to the readers imagination. Does it mean the military weren't consulted or does it mean they were consulted and said "We'll sit this one out thank you very much, if you don't mind."

Whatever it means, I'm 100% certain that Trump, being a graduate from a Military Academy, wouldn't pay lip service to a ploy as dangerously aggressive as the Swamp's Venezuela gambit without talking to his pals in the US Military.

There are three big upsides to this for President Swamp Drainer.
1. More neocons and other US dimwits have outed themselves.
2. Pretty much every Christian Colonial pro-rape & pillage country has outed itself.
3. The members of the Axis of Resistance have stood up and indicated a willingness to support Maduro.

Trump needs as much anti-Swamp ammo as he can get and it's been delivered to his doorstep in public, and in truckloads.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jan 25, 2019 11:52:09 PM | 83

ADKC is right to warn against under-estimating the Empire. For example:

> They tried a coup in Ukraine in 2004. They finally succeeded in 2014.

> When Russia blocked bombing Syria in 2013, they didn't stop their regime-change efforts. They adjusted. ISIS mysteriously grew and Syria once again almost fell.

> And when it was clear that Putin's Russia was no longer weak and compromising, they adjusted by selecting nationalist Trump to confront Russia and China.


Missteps and embarrassments don't deter caretakers of the Empire from pursing their NWO agenda.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 25, 2019 11:54:21 PM | 84

Fetishistic ideas about democracy have taken Venezuela in a 20-year loop right back to where they started. What a waste!

The Venezuelans are still trying to defend themselves with their enemy's voodoo: bourgeois democracy. This has taken them to the point where the USA is forcing an unelected president on them in the name of the same fake democracy.

Fang Xinghai has understated the truth. Democracy is not working at all.

Posted by: Domza | Jan 25, 2019 11:57:56 PM | 85

Trump was anti Venezuela from the start of his presidency, personally initiating sanctions long before Bolton was on the scene.
You can't have global energy dominance with out owning a large chunk of the worlds oil reserves. Both Venezuela and Iran have large oil reserves. Both countries are anti Israel. Oil and Israel makes them prime targets for Trump.

They say the US has never had a colour revolution or regime change operation because there is no US embassy in the US. Maduro is off to a good start in shutting down the US embassy. He will have to follow through on that and ensure the yanks are physically kicked out of the country.

I think it was Karlof1 in an earlier thread mentioned the usurper was committing treason. Working with a foreign government to help them overthrow your own government is treason. He should be dealt with as such by Venezuela.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jan 25, 2019 11:58:03 PM | 86

pft 62

*Well, the US has been doing this kind of stuff since the Spanish-American War when the British recovered America and began outsourcing their Empire across the pond.*

And yet pft tells us....
Dont bother with fukus, deal with your own elites'

hehehhe

Posted by: denk | Jan 26, 2019 12:00:18 AM | 87

Robert Snefjella @72 "bunch of trained seals performing well on cue"

Putin called them bobbling heads, but trained seals is perhaps more apt.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jan 26, 2019 12:08:18 AM | 88

The fundamental rule of empire watch...

These are just reality shows.
TPTB write the script,
potus acts on that script,
We'r merely captive audiences, 'analyst' if you
prefer.

If you start with the wrong premise that potus
is an independent actor, all your deductions would be wrong

Posted by: denk | Jan 26, 2019 12:19:47 AM | 89

81

That was reply to

SteveK9 69

another empire sock puppet.

Posted by: denk | Jan 26, 2019 12:29:43 AM | 90

@78 "Guaido is giving speeches from Caracas. Why hasn’t he been arrested?"

I imagine it is because he never strays far from the US Embassy in Caracas, and at the first sniff of an attempt to snatch him he will bolt through the front gates of that compound.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jan 26, 2019 12:33:01 AM | 91

Re the ADKC post

Trumps US has got very little backing or backing only given grudgingly and slowly from the trained seals on his moves against Iran, yet the seals are very quickly all aboard for his moves against Venezuela.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jan 26, 2019 12:33:05 AM | 92

Hoarsewhisperer @82:

Neocons, neocon sympathizers, and Empire poodles are already well known.

The only 'outing' necessary is the outing of Trump who has brought these scoundrels into his Administration. How is neocon scheming consistent with 'America First'?

And Trump's alternating belligerent (sometimes clownish) and anti-interventionist rhetoric provide a smokescreen for the neocons. How else does one understand a comment like: I wouldn't be in the middle east but if I were, I'd take their oil? Or, his depicting the move of the US embassy (along with cut-off of humanitarian aid to Palestinians) as promoting peace?

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

Truman, who warned Americans of the Military Industrial Complex (MIL) used the expression: The buck stops here.

In recent times, Presidents and MSM have stopped referring to this phrase as they used cut-outs and proxies to insulate themselves from any negative political effects of policy decisions that they tacitly support.

Excuses are made to cover for the resulting dissonance: 11-dimensional chess; blindsided; ignorance of policy details; palace intrigues; etc aka bullshit.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 26, 2019 12:42:23 AM | 93

Perhaos Phase 2 was meant to have been that part where the crowds rallying for Maduro and the crowds supporting Guaidó were all supposed to come out onto the streets in Caracas and meet in one of the city's main plazas where they were all supposed to start fighting, so that the police would start corralling sections of the crowd, the pro-Guaidó factions would then start throwing smoke bombs or Molotovs, and then the foreign mercenary snipers secretly stationed on the tops of hotel buildings would then start firing indiscriminately and killing people. That would then be the cue for Phase 3 where the US miraculously turns up Sixth-Cavalry-style.

But Phase 2 is not happening the way it should be happening so the other players depending on the step-by-step "spontaneous" actions are unable to do anything.

That surely explains why there was insufficient planning: everything was supposed to happen as if on autopilot.

Posted by: Jen | Jan 26, 2019 12:45:51 AM | 94

I've just had a read of Article 233 of the Venezuelan Constitution and, legally-speaking, Guaido has not got a leg to stand on.

For one thing, the definition of "permanently unavailable to serve" is defined in the paragraph and - as b correctly but too-briefly points out - none of them apply to Maduro.

He's not dead. He hasn't resigned. He hasn't been removed by the Supreme Tribunal of Justice, nor is the Supreme Tribunal in possession of a medical certificate declaring him disabled. There hasn't been a recall by popular vote.

The only issue that is within the National Assembly to declare is if Madura is guilty of "abandonment of his position", which is both manifestly absurd as well as not within the purview of Guaido to decide on his own - the Assembly decides that point, not the leader of that body.

So no grounds for declaring the position of President being up for grabs.

But even if it WAS up for grabs that role isn't Guaido's to grab for himself.

The leader of the National Assembly only comes into play if the President-elect isn't sworn into office. Which Madura most definitely was. Once a President is sworn in then the next in line is the Vice-President.

Guaido falls back into third-in-line, so grab a ticket and wait for the number to be called.

And, one last thing: if Madura survives this crisis for thirty days then ALL of Guaido's arguments fall down because the Constitution he is relying on for his legitimacy clearly states that such a manoeuvre can only result in an "interim President", which is a role that only lasts for 30 days.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jan 26, 2019 1:06:09 AM | 95

"The White House seems at a loss at what to do next"

The one person who might be able to save both Trump and Venezeuala might just be Maduro. If Kim Jong Il can bypass the Military/IC/foreign policy establishment by going directly to Trump, Maduro ought to try the same thing and maybe get some advice on how to do it from Kim, Moon and Xi.

For example, Trump likes people who make him look good. Trump could lift sanctions in exchange for Venezuela scheduling new, internationally monitored elections. This would boost Venezuela's economy and might help Maduro win. Even though he's a socialist, war of any kind is bad for both US and them. And Trump could just fire Bolton, blame him and ride high. Or, maybe I'm dreaming.

Posted by: David Wooten | Jan 26, 2019 1:19:11 AM | 96

Aye, so many interesting comments (although there are a few head scratchers in the mix) and so little time to read them all.

No, socialism is not dead in Venezuela, it just needs lots of tweeking. I blame Russia and China for this Venezuelan fiasco. Venezuela is a natural ally of both and has a lot to offer both. It can offer Russia another geopolitical gain, and China is always in need of an oil partner. China and Russia crave a multi-lateral global power, but China is unwilling to commit anything substantive beyond trade while Russia is only recently recognizing through it's experience in Eastern Ukraine, specifically Crimea and Syria that sometimes it pays to invest treasure. However, in regards to Venezuela Russia is a day late and a dollar short, which is somewhat understandable given its preoccupation with Syria, but still, if you want to be in the big leagues you gotta walk and chew gum at the same time, and Russia lost the ball on Venezuela until now. China and Russia could have helped more in preventing Venezuela's collapse that is leading to this easy pickings for the AZ Empire. It's not too late to intervene. Russia's Rosneft has the lien on Citgo and can use it to squeeze funds out of the U.S. that it's holding back on Venezuela. That's for starters. Maduro would be only too glad to welcome a Russian or Chinese base or China could provide other assistance with infrastructure and socialist restructuring.

The point is that both can and should prevent another Syria catastrophe that will lead to the Empire's hegemonic expansion.

Now can we please drop the notion that Trump is a malleable dupe in the hands of Bolton and Pompeo once and for all?

Have you given any thought to the notion that Trump consulted a military option for Venezuela already in 2017, and more recently for Iran? Have you wondered why he's aggressively pursuing regime change in two oil rich countries, Iran more so in gas, Venezuela in oil and stating for both that all options are on the table? He's one of them, he's a Neocon, a capitalist, fake populist and yes, a Neocon using others for deniability! He wants regime change in Tehran and Caracas! What more freaking proof do you need???

So what if Phase 2 is based on delusion. Since when did that detail stop Neocons vis a vis invading Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan???

The only country Trump pretends to negotiate with is nuclear-armed NK. Do you realize that since Trump is in office there has been a 33% increase in U.S. troops and defense personnel in the ME from 40,517 to 54,180, and it hasn't decreased, and no troops left Syria yet and Israel is already waging war on Iran there with Trump's blessing! And Israel and KSA have increased funding under Trump. So stop it, already, stop pretending Trump is a feeble-minded dupe and not the Neocon stooge he really is!

Your Trump dream is over and it's time you woke up.

Posted by: Circe | Jan 26, 2019 1:29:54 AM | 97

Circe 96 "I blame Russia and China for this Venezuelan fiasco."

Yep. Putin controls Trump as the MSM tells us. And obviously that sneaky Xi has a hold on Trump as well. Poor Mr Trump.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jan 26, 2019 1:38:29 AM | 98

...
Truman, who warned Americans of the Military Industrial Complex (MIL) used the expression: The buck stops here.
...
Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 26, 2019 12:42:23 AM | 92

Your preoccupation with re-writing History to confuse everybody else seems to have back-fired.

That was Ike.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jan 26, 2019 1:52:01 AM | 99

Hoarsewhisperer @98: That was Ike.

Better check again Hoarse.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 26, 2019 2:13:37 AM | 100

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