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).


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 20:09 UTC | Permalink

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Better check again Hoarse.
Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 26, 2019 2:13:37 AM | 99

You prefaced a throwaway line from Truman with a sobering observation from Ike and attributed both items to Truman which, imo, sounds a bit ... confused.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jan 26 2019 7:26 utc | 101

@karlof1 35

I find Abby Martin's videos and interviews excellent especially because I was involved in the anti-Erdogan Gezi protests in Istanbul from day 1 right until the end of it months later and Martin's videos brought back a lot of memories to me. I'm always precautious and I do my best to avoid jumping into conclusions without tangible evidence but in this case I don't need help from the mini CERN laboratory (my brain, my heart, my senses) to prove that the very same operation handbook is behind the anti-Maduro protests. It is so obvious. She's done a good job.

Posted by: ConfusedPundit | Jan 26 2019 7:49 utc | 102

Bringing in Abrams means Trump will turn Venezuela into another bloody killing field, if nothing else to keep Venezuela from working with China and Russia. Elliot Abrams was the Dubya Bush White House mastermind behind the US plan to overthrow Syria's secular government, and Assad, using Al Qaeda/Al-Nusra and ISIS proxy terrorist forces. Expect a repeat performance with fascist death squads let loose on Venezuela with ample support from Colombia and Brazil.

Posted by: Christian W | Jan 26 2019 8:20 utc | 103

You prefaced a throwaway line from Truman with a sobering observation from Ike and attributed both items to Truman which, imo, sounds a bit ... confused.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jan 26, 2019 2:26:25 AM | 100

Indeed, I caught that too.
Confused is kind, IMO...

Posted by: V | Jan 26 2019 8:57 utc | 104

Trump dislikes endless wars. He likes them short and sharp with the US controlling the oil after the short war.
Recognizing the usurper as president is the leadup. Perhaps a month or so of violence is required in Venezuela then Trump's US will go in to 'restore democracy'.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jan 26 2019 9:07 utc | 105

Kissinger will be involved in this, so there will be a phase two. What it will be is unknown, and how successful it will be is also unknown. Kissinger had a lot of successes in his heyday. Though at the time, he had no geo-political equals.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jan 26 2019 10:01 utc | 106

Iran is far away and any sort of military involvement there would lead to a big international mess. Venezuela is much closer, fewer other powers present and is yet another good excuse to seal our southern borders.

Mueller's investigation is getting closer and closer to Trump.

Time to use the powers at hand as Prez and C-in-C to turn things around for him.

Posted by: ralphieboy | Jan 26 2019 10:20 utc | 107

b, re:"To cite Article 233 for this is a scam that no court will accept."

A CEPS ( contributor has noted that Guaidó presidency is provided by the Venezuelan Constitution here (behind paywall):

For context, CEPS is a socialist think tank that has contributed to the Constitutions of Bolivia, Ecuador and Venezuela. Their executive board includes Podemos members such as Pablo Iglesias and Iñigo Errejón. The Government of Venezuela under Chávez hired CEPS to perform advisory work.

Posted by: D | Jan 26 2019 10:23 utc | 108

@ConfusedPundit | Jan 26, 2019 2:49:49 AM | 102

Yes, I like this author too. But let us keep in mind that independent of the fact that there is some operation handbook behind or not the justification of political demands is another story. The demands of Gezi park movements were right as is the present critique of Erdogan, whether foreign powers support this or that does not matter at all. Political development is not restricted to select the cleaner butchers. A corrupt dictator is still the same, whether he might seem favorable from some geopolitical considerations or not.

Posted by: Hausmeister | Jan 26 2019 10:34 utc | 109

Is LNG at the bottom of Venezuela political troubles? If Venezuela oil denied market access global price of oil will rise < LNG will be made viable, but if the coup in Venezuela is private interest and fails, then what.. WWIII? Ron Paul and others have spoken but not a word about LNG on MoA? Very interesting....

Posted by: snake | Jan 26 2019 10:36 utc | 110

Posted by: Christian W | Jan 26, 2019 3:20:00 AM | 103

"Bringing in Abrams means Trump will turn Venezuela into another bloody killing field,...."

Eliot Abrams has quite the vile track record. One of his outstanding characteristics has been his willingness to tell lies to cover up atrocities. Now whether his capacity for dishonesty on behalf of depravity is augmented by some element of insanity is hard to tell, but he did describe US policy in El Salvador in the wake of much death squad murder: “The Administration’s record on El Salvador is one of fabulous achievement.” .

David Corn writing in Mother Jones: "One Abrams specialty was massacre denial."

From wikipedia "President George W. Bush appointed Abrams to the post of Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Democracy, Human Rights, and International Operations at the National Security Council on June 25, 2001"

Curiously, Abrams has previously been critical of Trump, and Trump holds grudges.

Posted by: Robert Snefjella | Jan 26 2019 10:54 utc | 111

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

Trump could lift sanctions in exchange for Venezuela scheduling new, internationally monitored elections.

Yes, you are definitely dreaming. That would imply some good will coming from Trump, when good will is what has no place in US politics.

The thing is that past elections, which Maduro won, were already organized in agreement with Venezuelan opposition, and everyone who wanted to come was invited to monitor them. Some refused to send in their observers or participate in the elections ( of course those who were envisioning Maduro´s victory and were not willing to recognize any unfavorable result...) but those who came certified that the elections were held with most aceptable standars for democracy, even with superior guarantess than in places like the US, btw.
The thing is that there are parts of opposition who agree in keep civic dialog and respect for democratic results. It is this clear CIA agent who appeared out of nowhere and his scarce group who are in this to provoke the destruction of the Venezuelan nation-state so as everybody from abroad can plunder the oil rich Caribbean country. After all, he will end refuged in the US with a well sanitized every CIA agent in the world have been...included those who disinform from their tribunes in the so called "alt-media"...

Although in Spanish language, Spanish Political Sciences professor Juan Carlos Monedero, former advisor of the Bolivarian government of President Chavez, explains it all...Dismantling the coup lies

Posted by: Sasha | Jan 26 2019 11:21 utc | 112

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

Re number of deaths:

Actually the figure of deaths directly attributable to US actions since WWII is around 20 million, but whose counting? I'll dig out the source if you want it.

Posted by: William Bowles | Jan 26 2019 11:29 utc | 113

Posted by: Hausmeister | Jan 26, 2019 5:34:10 AM | 109

"The West" claims to decide who is legitimate and who is not. We can all have a personal opinion on this but it can hardly be the basis for international law.
It was clear in the cold war - at least in Europe. The USSR could suppress uprisings in the Eastern Bloc without Western intervention and Western allies could install military dictatorship in Turkey and Greece without USSR intervention. Latin America was the USA backyard (I am still amazed how Cuba managed to survive - I suppose Castro held power by threatening to flood the US with refugees)

There will only be civil war in Venezuela should the US send mercenaries via Venezuela's neighbours. I guess that is the plan.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 26 2019 11:42 utc | 114

John Bolton - Eliot Abrams - when is Trump going to resurrect Douglas J. Feith aka the dumbest fucking guy on the planet?

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Jan 26 2019 11:46 utc | 115

Trump dislikes endless wars. He likes them short and sharp with the US controlling the oil after the short war. Recognizing the usurper as president is the leadup. Perhaps a month or so of violence is required in Venezuela then Trump's US will go in to 'restore democracy'.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jan 26, 2019 4:07:27 AM | 105

Yeah, as a proof we have how he has already "restored democracy" in a month in places like Iraq, Lybia, Ukraine, Syria, Afghanistan, and so on....

Posted by: Sasha | Jan 26 2019 11:46 utc | 116

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

Re Russian PMCs:

Aside from the ZH story by Tyler Durden which uses a Reuters story, what evidence is there for this? Further reading reveals that it's based on a story from last year, I quote:

The contractors are believed to be from the Wagner Group, a group of private contractors who have performed secret missions on behalf of the government, including fighting in Syria and the Ukraine (which brings to mind this incident from last February when US-backed forces killed 100 Russian mercenaries in what was the closest thing to a direct proxy conflict between Russia and the US in Syria). It's unclear when the contractors arrived, or when they intend to leave. Russia has offered to mediate the conflict between Maduro and Guaido, while joining with China to criticize the US for interfering in Venezuelan affairs.

It's more of the 'it's believed', 'a source said', etc. Even the Wikipedia page is full of 'it's reported', 'it's known to be', 'allegedly part of' and so on.

I take such stories with a gigantic block of salt.

Posted by: William Bowles | Jan 26 2019 11:46 utc | 117

Kissinger will be involved in this, so there will be a phase two. What it will be is unknown, and how successful it will be is also unknown. Kissinger had a lot of successes in his heyday. Though at the time, he had no geo-political equals.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jan 26, 2019 5:01:02 AM | 106

But, by any human biological records, he has surely his brain capacities already well diminished at around 100 years of aging...Thank God, and our relief, who put a reasonable end to human life span, for the good or the bad...

Posted by: Sasha | Jan 26 2019 11:51 utc | 118

Actually the figure of deaths directly attributable to US actions since WWII is around 20 million, but whose counting?

Posted by: William Bowles | Jan 26, 2019 6:29:43 AM | 113

Some people are counting, indeed, You can dig in this account on US crimes over history and keep a calculator by your side....

Posted by: Sasha | Jan 26 2019 12:02 utc | 119

When will b reach the the fifth stage of his Trump-grief?

Right now he seems to be bargaining. With himself.

Trump only wants the, then, does this make Trump any different from Chaney in Iraq?

Trump was scammed and doesn't think things through. Right. How about this: Trump will never be re-elected. He will more likely be indicted or given a quiet offer to resign in exchange for a pardon by Pence.

Maybe he will concoct a medical condition or something equally fabulous. He is the King of Fabulousness, after all.

Either way, the ultraleft's beloved neocon fake populist GOP is now deader than John Brown's mouldering body.

In case you missed it, Nancy Pelosi of all people just kicked Trump's fat ass into next week and maybe all the way into 2022. It borders on disbelief how the Donald and his supporters can miss the extent to which he was just thoroughly humiliated by his own ineptitude over the border wall/shutdown crisis.

My advice to b and all the kool-aid drinkers of the ultraleft: look more towards the growing multicultural, female-led leftist opposition to Trump in the US as Trump's greatest achievement.

And your own too, for that matter.

Then let your remaining illusions of Trump and Bannon fake populism go.

Posted by: donkeytale | Jan 26 2019 12:07 utc | 120

Brian @46

"Guaido is a bit like Macroj [sic] who also emerged from nowhere"

He may have emerged from nowhere as far as the public goes but not to the Deep Staters.

Posted by: Yonatan | Jan 26 2019 12:21 utc | 121

The proof that this coup has nothing to do neither with democracy, ideology or anything else, but about plundering.

In fact this comes as the solution to economic troubles in the US and UK, the former for to fund its multiple war adventures abroad and compensate its decaying economy, the latter in the face of Brexit´s bill to pay...

This is how the US and UK try to keep the standard of living for their populations ( altough it will be mainly for their elites....), by plundering,as always has been, through renewing imperialism around the world. Their citizens know it, and this is why we do not hear but warm pretended outrage about this coup...

The "Yellow Vests" protests produced much more outcry by US commenters here...btw, do you not find ridiculously dissonant that Macron called for the masses of Venezuelans to march in the streets for "freedom" against Maduro, when his own masses are out claiming for "freedom" on basis of some social justice against him, but then this is not valid for France, since it is part of the "Western Democracy Lighthouse"?

Posted by: Sasha | Jan 26 2019 12:25 utc | 122

US Regime Change in Venezuela: The Documented Evidence

It is clear that the US is funding virtually every aspect of opposition operations – from media and legal affairs, to indoctrination and political planning, to interference in the economy and the leveraging of “human rights” to shield US-funded agitators from any attempt to arrest them.

Posted by: Zanon | Jan 26 2019 13:13 utc | 123

Some news each one with illustrating videos related to Venezuela, pick on the link to see:

Oil workers from Venezuela support Maduro's government

"From the oil industry we send our support to President Nicolás Maduro, the Bolivarian Government and the legacy of Commander Chávez", PDVSA president Manuel Quevedo said at the company's headquarters on Friday.

Quevedo pointed to the "coup plan" provoked by the US government to delegitimize Maduro's new term and assured that the aforementioned coup aims to disrupt the coexistence and peace of Venezuelans.

"We are under the most cruel, ruthless attack not only against the oil industry, but of our entire country. Against a legitimately constituted government", assured the president of the PDVSA company.

The Venezuelan oil minister, along with the oil workers, condemned the recent violent actions in the South American country, describing them as an irresponsibility of people who demonstrate immaturity at a political level and follow the Washington guidelines.

In this way, he rejected the self-proclamation of the opposition Juan Guaidó, as president in charge of Venezuela.

From the oil industry we send our support to President Nicolás Maduro, to the Bolivarian Government and to the legacy of Comandante Chávez, "said Manuel Quevedo, president of the state-owned oil company Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA).

He also rejected the coup as a plan against the development of Venezuela, adding that the coup leaders "come for riches and do not hide it".

"Now more than ever, the national oil community must remain united and under the conscience of the historic moment facing the nation", he added.

Once Guaidó, the president of the National Assembly (AN) of Venezuela announced his decision, the US president, Donald Trump, recognized him as the interim president of Venezuela and warned in a statement that "all options are on the table "in support of the coup leaders in the Bolivarian country.

Mexico, Bolivia, Cuba, Nicaragua, Palestine, Russia, Iran, China and Turkey have affirmed their support for the legitimate Government of Maduro, re-elected in the presidential elections of 2018.

Btw, that almost nobody mentions that amongst the four government who immediately recognized Guaidó as ilegitimate self-proclaimed president of Venezuela was Israel ( along with US ,UK, Canada...)

Venezuelans march in repudiation of the coup plot promoted by the US

With massive marches in several states of Venezuela, the Venezuelan people repudiated the attempted coup supported by the US against its country.

The revolutionary population of Venezuela went out to the streets on Friday in different cities of the country to express their support for the legitimate Venezuelan government, headed by Nicolás Maduro, in the face of coup attempts by the opposition that has the support of Washington.

In the massive mobilizations, Venezuelans chanted slogans in defense of the sovereignty and peace of the country, and in rejection of the call for a coup by the US Vice President, Mike Pence, in a video published on the 22nd of January.

The demonstrators also rejected the self-proclaimed "president in charge" of Venezuela, performed on January 23 by the president of the Venezuelan National Assembly (AN) -controlled by the opposition-, Juan Guaidó.

"We have refused to be a colony, what has happened with Guaidó is an international shame", said the governor of the state of Vargas (center-north), Jorge Luis García Carneiro.


The people is clearly with the president elect Nicolás Maduro....

Public powers support Maduro in Venezuela

In Venezuela, the public authorities and the Armed Forces backed Nicolás Maduro after the challenge of the opposition and the United States.

The opposition Juan Guaidó was sworn in as interim president of Venezuela before a crowd, and the United States recognized him immediately.

But the initial impact of the news seems to dissolve on a Thursday where there were no protests or street incidents as in the previous day. On the other hand, the Venezuelan president, Nicolás Maduro, added support, a very important one: that of the military.

The military leadership did not save adjectives against the self-proclamation of the opposition Guaidó.

The public authorities also set a position. The National Electoral Council (CNE) and the Citizen Power issued support statements. While the other power, the Judicial, received Maduro in its headquarters. There the president confirmed that he spoke by telephone with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Maduro confirmed that he will close the embassy and consulates of Venezuela in the United States.

While the 72-hour term given by the Venezuelan leader for the consular and diplomatic personnel of the United States in Venezuela to leave the country, the opposition promised new street actions. They say they will go to the entrances of the barracks to distribute their Amnesty Law, which has been observed and repudiated by the rest of the Venezuelan public powers.

Posted by: Sasha | Jan 26 2019 13:24 utc | 124

Some decades ago fashion in politics included a tendency to practice the following when making a public statement pertaining to some controversy: say nothing in as few words as possible, and say nothing as well as possible. This had the result of avoiding all commitment, provided no targets, and if one said nothing especially well, one might even get headlines.

Perhaps it was Hollywoods' influence, or just a decline in political intellect, but this 'no content message' fashion gave way more and more to telling scripted 'on message' lies with as much sincerity as possible. The scripts sometimes had some plausibility. This fashion led to more employment prospects for acting coaches, make-up artists, script writers, and so on. But like re-runs, it's hard to maintain an enthusiastic audience for same old same old delivered by uninspired actors.

Now another fashion has taken center stage in the West: brazen absurdity delivered with a straight face: Macron denouncing the yellow vests while cheering on Venezuelan protesters, May denouncing Russia's non-existent chemical warfare attack on the Skripals while ignoring British proxy chemical attacks against Syria, Canada denouncing the democratically elected leader of Venezuela as a dictator while describing the American appointment of a CIA stooge in Venezuela as a democracy-restoration project. Trump has provided a fashionable feast of absurdities, but is unusual in now and then injecting unfashionable unscripted flashes of honesty.

But absurdity leads to snickering, and depravity to remain empowered requires a certain amount of dignity, so absurdity as the latest fashion may be helpful in providing an opportunity for sanity to make a comeback.

Posted by: Robert Snefjella | Jan 26 2019 13:42 utc | 125

As a summary, Rania Khalek sets the record straight....

Posted by: Sasha | Jan 26 2019 14:09 utc | 126

By Mehdi Hassan....the reality of coming "democracy efforts" on Venezuela by the US...

And on how the muds of impunity over US crimes brought this mire

Posted by: Sasha | Jan 26 2019 14:16 utc | 127

Augustin L @ 66

I think that is an important comment. There definitely is a lack of empathy and solidarity in the US for the plight of others and unfortunately this is no doubt likely behind some of the barbaric and entitled action of many of the politicos. Even if as you say it is on an 'instinctual' basis. It is still based on ignorance and apathy towards others and not really wanting to be fully aware of the situation.

Right now in the US there is a hookworm problem in Alabama where 30% of the population in some areas have been infected. This is due to poverty and the inability of the poor to have access to proper sewage disposal. The average income is $18,000 and a septic tank can cost $30,000. People have been fined for not having these systems and even sent to jail if they cannot pay the fine. The UN has actually investigated this problem as they would an infectious disease problem in Africa. To her credit AOC has directed attention to this particular problem, one of many similar poverty related issues cropping up in the US. Hopefully this will lead to some yellow vest activity in the US.

Posted by: financial matters | Jan 26 2019 14:33 utc | 128

@ Robert Snefjella | Jan 26, 2019 8:42:33 AM | 124
. . . telling scripted 'on message' lies with as much sincerity as possible. The scripts sometimes had some plausibility.

It's called "public diplomacy." . .from State:

The mission of American public diplomacy is to support the achievement of U.S. foreign policy goals and objectives, advance national interests, and enhance national security by informing and influencing foreign publics and by expanding and strengthening the relationship between the people and Government of the United States and citizens of the rest of the world.
The Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs leads America's public diplomacy outreach, which includes messaging to counter terrorism and violent extremism. The Acting Under Secretary oversees the bureaus of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Public Affairs, and International Information Programs, as well as the Global Engagement Center, and participates in foreign policy development. . .here

The messages are sent out daily from the State Department to the six major US media propagandists, so they're all on the same script.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 26 2019 14:42 utc | 129

The world is going through a very dangerous phase. Essentially, a group of self appointed individuals/countries have taken it upon themselves to decide who can/cannot be a president of another country.

These same self appointed individuals/countries have to nerve to talk about "Russian meddling" at every opportunity. How the media allows this to pass is beyond me.

Are people in the West really that apathetic that they allow their leaders to get away with such BS all the time? What will it take for people to finally call BS against the system?

PS: A note to all countries who keep the monies/gold in Western financial institutions - get your monies/gold out fast. Coz when the shit hits the fan, you'll never see that money again. Anyone know what happened to Libya's billions?

Posted by: Zico | Jan 26 2019 14:43 utc | 130

Abrams sigh, is it Trump or Bolton making the policies?

Maduro needs to start working fast now, he is quite naive it seems of the threat now posed against him.
Focus needs to be on intelligence, cutting any communications between Guaido and alike with the US. Hopefully Russia could help him on this, breaking up the spy network.

Posted by: Zanon | Jan 26 2019 14:43 utc | 131

Imperial Exceptionalism
Jackson Lears
February 7, 2019 Issue
Empire in Retreat: The Past, Present, and Future of the United States
by Victor Bulmer-Thomas
Yale University Press, 459 pp., $32.50
Republic in Peril: American Empire and the Liberal Tradition
by David C. Hendrickson
Oxford University Press, 287 pp., $34.95

Posted by: mauisurfer | Jan 26 2019 14:43 utc | 132

donkeytale @ 119 says:

look more towards the growing multicultural, female-led leftist opposition to Trump in the US as Trump's greatest achievement

yeah, throw in some numerology and esotericism and it can get downright creepy.

Posted by: john | Jan 26 2019 14:55 utc | 133

"Maduro's government being so incompetent" How the hell can anyone be competent with the continouos harassment of the F USA. Not to mention embargoes and monetary warfare. I find Maduro to be more intelligent that the last 3 usa President/Idiots.

Posted by: Victor J. | Jan 26 2019 14:58 utc | 134

@80 dfnslblty

Trump met exiles from Venezuela during the presidential campaign in 2016 in South Florida.
Like the Cuban exiles, there is a large, rich community and they support warmonger Senator Rubio who has used them as leverage on Trump. Rubio was a NeverTrumper and worked against most MAGA policies.

So, now, capitulation to the exile group (controlled by CIA, easily done in So. Fla.).

The clincher is the appointment of Eliot Abrams to manage and direct the regime change.

The good thing about this effort by the USA is it clearly is a CIA-State Dept. operation, with Bolton in the NSC and Pompeo in DOS as the face of it (Pence is window dressing).

This means SouthCom is not going to play a big role. However, Special Forces and Contractors will be used where and when needed.
Like for snipers or arranging "terror bombings" as false flags.

With Abrams in charge, expect Israeli mischief to be added to the operation. He has deep connections with Mossad and IDF.
He used to run an assassination program with them to kill Central American leftists from El Salvador (FMLN) when they passed through the ME to get training for the revolution back home.

Posted by: Red Ryder | Jan 26 2019 15:05 utc | 135

WaPo, Jan 25

While President Trump and his national security adviser, John Bolton, have suggested that the United States would consider “all options” in the mounting crisis, the military has not yet made any of the moves typically associated with an armed confrontation or the kind of militarized evacuation that has occurred during past conflicts.
One defense official, who like others spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue, pushed back on any notion that additional U.S. military involvement is anticipated in Venezuela.
“Let me just throw cold water on that,” the official said. “I’m not seeing anything with any movement at this time.” . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 26 2019 15:25 utc | 136

@98 Peter

Taking that sentence out of context doesn't make you right and gives you no credibility whatsoever. You took the sneaky, lazy route to make a point that has nothing whatsoever to do with what I wrote. I never implied what you implied. I was making the point that if Russia and China want to sustain global multi-lateral power then they have a responsibility to help keep countries with strategic geopolitical value from collapsing under the Empire's financial tyranny, like is happening with Venezuela and Iran, so as not to become easy pickings for the Empire's regime change machinations and then have to step in last minute with a useless UNSC rescue resolution. They should have been more prescient and pro-active in helping Venezuela avoid financial and social collapse.

So what does my comment have to do with your simplistic conclusion that only betrays your bias against me?
Absolutely nothing!

Posted by: Circe | Jan 26 2019 15:26 utc | 137

OTTAWA -- Canada plans to soon host a meeting of countries from the Americas determined to steer troubled Venezuela back on a path to democracy. The gathering of the Lima Group of nations is likely to take place in Canada some time this winter, sources tell The Canadian Press. . .here

The Lima Groupis a multilateral body that was established following the Lima Declaration on 8 August 2017 in the Peruvian capital of Lima, where representatives of 12 countries met in order to establish a peaceful exit to the crisis in Venezuela. Twelve countries initially signed the declaration: Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay and Peru. Guyana and Saint Lucia joined later. . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 26 2019 15:30 utc | 138

@Hausmeister 109

I agree with you but we can't be perfectionist utopians. In some regions a transition period is required to meet your kind of demands, the kind of demands you learned you could air only after a transition period in your country. Previously, you didn't live in a democracy. At the moment people in some countries should be allowed to chose the better devil they now against the network of Real Dictators who are messing up the planet.

Posted by: ConfusedPundit | Jan 26 2019 15:31 utc | 139

In my opinion no military invasion will occur. First Venezuela is to close to the US and the US will suffer consequences (oil shipment, refuges). Second Maduro has a strong backing, Venezuelans know who the criminal opposition is and will do.
According to a Russian military analyst Vnzl has a strong military defense (S300s and modern war planes , and a trained civilian militia, and they are very nationalistic). Probably Trump is just bluffing like with North Korea or the missile attack of an empty building in Syria. I hope anyway.

Posted by: Victor J. | Jan 26 2019 15:34 utc | 140

Circe 136
*I dont like 100% of China, 60% of fukus*

Since China is 'far worse than fukus', how do you
expect it to take up the cudgel for anything ?

Posted by: denk | Jan 26 2019 15:39 utc | 141

Posted by: Robert Snefjella | Jan 26, 2019 8:42:33 AM | 124

Thanks for that. It's astute, lucid, comprehensive and mercifully brief.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jan 26 2019 15:45 utc | 142

Trump is on a roll with a huge political defeat and the Venezuela project going nowhere.
from The Hill:
President Trump raised the white flag of surrender on Friday, bringing an end to a partial government shutdown in its 35th day despite not getting funding for his border wall. “This was an unmitigated disaster for the president, who bled significant political capital in exchange for absolutely nothing,” one former Trump White House official told The Hill. . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 26 2019 15:49 utc | 143

Meanwhile Maduro is playing a smart political game.
from The Hill:
Mexico and Uruguay renewed their appeals for a dialogue between the different factions. Both countries have refused to declare Maduro illegitimate. Guaidó, 35, panned the idea, saying he wouldn't lend himself to "false dialogue." But Maduro welcomed the Mexican-Uruguayan proposal. "I am committed to national dialogue. Today, tomorrow and always I will be committed and ready to go where I need to go. I, personally, if I have to go meet personally with this boy, I will go," Maduro told reporters at the presidential palace, according to El Pais. . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 26 2019 15:55 utc | 144


Yes, it was Ike that warned of MIC.

But that fact was tangential to my point about the evolution of Presidential responsibility from Truman's The buck stops here to using cut-outs and proxies.

So when you questioned the history, mentioning the phrase The buck stops here when you did so, I thought you were saying that it was Ike that used the phrase.

FYI The mistake I made actually came about because I initially thought that it was Eisenhower that used The buck stops here but I wasn't sure so I checked on that before I commented. But, having associated the phrase and the warning with a single President, I failed to properly differentiate after finding that it was Truman that used the phrase.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 26 2019 15:56 utc | 145

John @ 132- Lmao. Why the nerve of that uppity little Rican bigmouth barmaid bitch, er I mean witch. We barflies must remain staunchly commited only to the wit and wisdom of auld reactionary white guys like The Donald and Vlad the Paler (and paler).

Jeff Rense. Lol

Funny stuff.

Posted by: donkeytale | Jan 26 2019 15:59 utc | 146

Don Bacon | Jan 26, 2019 10:25:08 AM | 135

Yes, I think your quote is accurate, there will be no US military invasion and it explains why the US approach has been to not hide its involvement in the attempted coup, indeed, to be quite blatant about it, perhaps hoping it will spook Maduro and his support base?

In a way, it's new tactic for the Empire. Past coup attempts have always been denied by the USG, relying on the MSM and the billions in covert funding.

So is it a sign of desperation, of weakness?

Posted by: William Bowles | Jan 26 2019 16:00 utc | 147

from Strategic Culture editorial--
Uncle Sam Cracks Whip in Backyard with a Decrepit Hand

You could hardly make it up. This week, addressing the Davos summit in Switzerland, via video link, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo condemned Russia for interfering in American elections and those of other countries.
The next day, Pompeo was declaring the elected leader in Venezuela “illegitimate” and endorsing an obscure opposition figure as the “recognized president”. Underway in Venezuela is a coup d’état led by Washington. The country is precariously on a knife-edge of civil war, following the US’ audacious move to delegitimize the government in Caracas.This is Washington’s interference in the sovereign affairs of another nation – writ large.
Nicolas Maduro was elected for the second time last May to serve as the country’s president (he took over from Chavez in 2013 after the latter’s death). Maduro has vowed to continue pursuing a socialist form of governance. The US has been agitating a coup in the oil-rich country for the past two decades with sanctions and funding of opposition groups. Maduro’s re-election won 67 per cent of the vote – albeit with a large abstention figure. His government is the legitimate authority of Venezuela, verified by the country’s National Electoral Commission. Following Maduro’s inauguration earlier this month, the US has ramped up its efforts to delegitimize his mandate.
Latin America bears the horrific scars of US imperialism over centuries. We may refer to the coups, fascist regimes and death squads which Uncle Sam bequeathed. Today, the people of Venezuela are again suffering the “benevolence” of the psychopathic Uncle from el Norte.

Nevertheless, the events may show that the Uncle is now a decrepit old tyrant whose malign designs no longer match the multipolar reality of today’s world.. .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 26 2019 16:05 utc | 148

donkeytale says:

We barflies must remain staunchly commited only to the wit and wisdom of auld reactionary white guys like The Donald and Vlad the Paler (and paler)

speak for yourself. mr. Shimatsu is much funnier.

Posted by: john | Jan 26 2019 16:10 utc | 149

Ikes farewell speech.

Hoarsewhiperer is right.

Posted by: jo6pac | Jan 26 2019 16:20 utc | 150

The Bank of England has now confirmed that they will not be returning Venezuela's gold reserves held in London back to Venezuela. Presumably the gold reserves that England has now defacto stolen will eventually be used by the puppet government that the US has created to pay for the overthrow of the real government of Venezuela. This reminds me of the Tsarist gold that stolen during the Russian revolution by the British government, isn't it amazing how "modern" governments refuse to use gold as a currency, but it's always the first thing they seize during a crisis.

Posted by: Kadath | Jan 26 2019 16:22 utc | 151

Are people in the West really that apathetic that they allow their leaders to get away with such BS all the time? What will it take for people to finally call BS against the system?
Posted by: Zico | Jan 26, 2019 9:43:10 AM | 129

Effing good question. We in Oz will soon be contributing to an, if not the, answer. A Federal Election must be conducted before the end of May, 2019. Oz's Christian Zionist Palace Coup PM, Scott Morrison, is regarded by many ppl as the crudest, deafest and most opaque and disengaged politician in Australia's sordid political history. He's a product of the rotting corpse of the sewer known as the Liberal Party.

The Libs have been clinging to power by a razor-thin majority for a couple of years. Me, and a lot of other Ozzies with Human traits will be bitterly disappointed if the Libs don't suffer a defeat of Armageddon-ish proportions.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jan 26 2019 16:23 utc | 152

Now I don't have the requisite mental capability, but someone more discerning than me might be able to pick out some patterns in all this:

Venezuela: Socialist, large oil and gold reserves, began selling oil for gold and/or Euros, gold reserves held in English banks and England refuses to return them.

Libya: Socialist – large oil deposits, highest standard of living on the African continent, plans underway for a pan-African gold dinar, replacing French francs and US dollars, gold reserves taken away “for safekeeping.”

Iraq: Socialist, large oil reserves, began selling oil for Euros or gold, gold reserves taken away “for safekeeping”

Afghanistan: Socialist government until Carter-Brezinsky organized Taliban to take over, large deposits of lithium and rare-earth metals, proposed path of TAPI pipeline to deliver Caspian Sea oil to Indian Ocean ports

Syria: Socialist, oil deposits, proposed path for oil pipelines from Russia and Iran to the Mediterranean

Yugoslavia: Socialist and successful, high standard of living

Iran: oil deposits

Yemen: Undeveloped oil deposits, proposed path for oil pipelines from Saudi Arabia to the Gulf of Aden

Sudan: oil deposits

Posted by: AntiSpin | Jan 26 2019 16:24 utc | 153

UN security council live on RT Venezuela speaks very effectively; Russia has spoken well and clearly.

Posted by: Robert Snefjella | Jan 26 2019 16:25 utc | 154

Here's what the AZ Empire ruled by the Zionist Neocon one-percent does to power-grab strategic geo-political targets.

1. Impose sanctions that constitute an act of war beyond the usual financial tyranny maintenance that keeps upstarts in line and the Empire ahead.

2. When the populace in the target country starts to feel the bite, send in operatives to support and incite dissent and induce wide-spread protest.

3. Create a fake revolution or coup.

4. Make all kinds of global propaganda noise rallying the international community to the side of regime change.

5. When the target county's leadership tries to resist this pressure, lobby the UNSC for humanitarian military intervention.

6. If that fails, rally a coalition and intervene extra-judicially.

This is the plan with Venezuela and Iran. Obviously, the Empire prefers to collapse Iran completely and let the starving people storm Tehran. The cardinal sin Obama made was interrupting the regime-change stages with a deal, i.e. the JCPOA. That's when a fake populist was required.

Trump was installed to reverse Obama's blunder and put Iran and also Venezuela in the regime-change crosshairs.

Peter AU, what you really hated about my comment on the previous page is that it provides just enough proof to shatter your illusion of Trump. Or maybe it's not an illusion, maybe you're just protecting a stealth Neocon for another delusionary purpose, as in he's protecting Russia. BUT IS HE REALLY??? Or is he really taking care of immediate Neocon business to foil multi-polarity, so that a successor can then take on isolating and neutralizing the Bear. Trump is just building the scaffolding that gets the Empire to the pinnacle of domination.

The jig is up; your Trump is exposed as being the correction in more of the same.

Posted by: Circe | Jan 26 2019 16:32 utc | 155

Well, the bottom line seems to be this - the coup plot is not really a coup plot against Maduro but a coup plot against Trump. The aim is to attempt to induce Trump into moves for which he can be impeached*, then replace him with Pence. That is why UK Canada etc immediately fell wholeheartedly in line. I rather doubt that the real coup plotters seriously think they can win the coup in Venezuela - Guaido is the sacrificial lamb, waiting to be sacrificed. Rather, they may think of a Venezuela win as the icing on the cake. They are so desperate to get Trump they will do anything, no matter the damage to the US itself.

---* Of course, the coup plotters Pence, Bolton and Pompeo have already more convincingly committed impeachable offences than Trump, but they are protected - that is, unless Trump manages a true masterpiece in turning the tables on them.

I rather suspect Trump will probably get the last laugh on that one though. Like many psychopathic delinquents he has a certain powerful genius. If he hasn't already seen how he has been scammed he soon will, and he just might have the ability to turn the tables on his plotters. We shall see.

As for Venezuela, I think they will pull through. Maybe they might even end up stronger for it, although I won't bank on it. I hope so anyway, although the economic costs may be too difficult to bear.

Posted by: BM | Jan 26 2019 16:33 utc | 156

Now when Spain, Germany, France have showed their support for the overhtrow, we will along US, see a EU sabotaging Venezuela full stop.

Posted by: Zanon | Jan 26 2019 16:36 utc | 157

John Yes he is much funnier.

I always speak for myself.

Your denial is the funniest.

Posted by: donkeytale | Jan 26 2019 16:38 utc | 158

tweet from Evo Morales, president of Bolivia--
Después de fracasar en su intento de nombrar un Presidente títere que fue repudiado por las FFAA y el pueblo soberano de #Venezuela, #EEUU pide sesión del Consejo de Seguridad de la @ONU_es para forzar intervención. Los pueblos libres de la #PatriaGrande condenan esa intromisión. . .here
google translation
After failing to name a puppet president who was repudiated by the armed forces and the sovereign people of #Venezuela, #EEUU requested Security Council meeting of the @ONU_es to force intervention. The free peoples of the #PatriaGrande condemn this interference.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 26 2019 16:52 utc | 159

BM @155

"Well, the bottom line seems to be this - the coup plot is not really a coup plot against Maduro but a coup plot against Trump."

"I rather suspect Trump will probably get the last laugh on that one though. Like many psychopathic delinquents he has a certain powerful genius."

Sorry, but this is unbelievably delusional.

I can only repeat, in bold, capitalise, underline and add a number of exclamation marks (to express exasperation) what Circe said @97:


Posted by: ADKC | Jan 26 2019 16:52 utc | 160

OMG! Trump is bringing in uber-Zionist Elliott Abrams and architect of regime change to take on Venezuela??? Well that seals it! I've been right all along about Trump. I'm vindicated again, and don't you die-hard bot Trumpeters dare to spin this shet! Trump is everything I've been claiming he is. Trump's a Zionist Neocon! You've been punked all along by the master of deception!

Posted by: Circe | Jan 26 2019 16:54 utc | 161

It could be as simple as this

Recognizing Guaidó gives UK better cover for withholding Venezeula's gold (ht PeteB at Craign Murray's site).

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 26 2019 16:59 utc | 162

There has been a concerted attempt to demonize the Venezuelan elections as fraudulent: Re the quality of Venezuela's electoral system, Former President Jimmy Carter:

“As a matter of fact, of the 92 elections that we’ve monitored, I would say the election process in Venezuela is the best in the world.”

Venezuela has developed a fully automated touch-screen voting system, which now uses thumbprint recognition technology and prints off a receipt to confirm voters’ choices.

In the context of the Carter Centre’s work monitoring electoral processes around the globe, Carter also disclosed his opinion that in the US “we have one of the worst election processes in the world, and it’s almost entirely because of the excessive influx of money,” he said referring to lack of controls over private campaign donations." From

Posted by: Robert Snefjella | Jan 26 2019 17:05 utc | 163

This is sick and despicable.

Elliott Abrams charged with Venezuela regime-change

Posted by: Circe | Jan 26 2019 17:06 utc | 164

EU states are calling for election in 8 days or they will recognise Gauido!

Posted by: William Bowles | Jan 26 2019 17:08 utc | 165

@124 Robert Snefjella

Excellent post.

Posted by: spudski | Jan 26 2019 17:08 utc | 166

Various country statements at UNSC meeting here.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 26 2019 17:09 utc | 167

Venezuela Newslinks 25-26 January 2019 15:10

Posted by: William Bowles | Jan 26 2019 17:13 utc | 168

RT: Gilet Jaunes Round 11!

Posted by: William Bowles | Jan 26 2019 17:15 utc | 169

I wonder if, with Pence's face all over this coup, if our Dear President is being reeled in by the people who run Washington. Trump can barely complete a sentence, so this may be a repeat of Reagan's presidency. After all, Bush ran the government after Ronnie took a bullet and Reagan faded into his dementia. We may be having a similar situation here. No coup needed, just a comfortable bed, a TV that gets FOX News and a twitter account.

Posted by: Bob In Portland | Jan 26 2019 17:16 utc | 170

@Posted by: Kadath | Jan 26, 2019 11:22:07 AM | 150

The British government keeps stoling gold since the very times of the Spanish Empire, when, through acts of piratery directly funded by the British Crown they attacked and plundered the Spanish galeons coming fron the "New World", whose riches are to be found in the foundations of "The City" of London....

Posted by: Sasha | Jan 26 2019 17:31 utc | 171

It is sad that Venezuelan police have not yet arrested this Guaido traitor, now he could live freely, plot with the west and try to split the military. What are Maduro waiting for?

Posted by: Zanon | Jan 26 2019 17:33 utc | 172

@Posted by: Kadath | Jan 26, 2019 11:22:07 AM | 150

But it is not only Britain, as well, the first thing which flew to the US short after the take over by sockpuppet Yatsenyuk, aka "our guy", were the Ukrainian gold reserves....

"Thieves and Meddlers United", aka, "Five Eyes"

Posted by: Sasha | Jan 26 2019 17:36 utc | 173

@Posted by: AntiSpin | Jan 26, 2019 11:24:30 AM | 152

Well you did it very well.

There is also the underdeveloped oil reserves of the Great Rift Valley...When travelling there several years ago I got to know about that and envisioned what today is taking place far from the public eye and the MSM.
There is also currently a war undergoing in Africa for the resources, amongst them water and rare earths.
This is why Africa has never been allowed to develop since colonial times in the first place, continue creation of chaos, the same tool is now being used even in European countries.
Not the so claimed low IQ of the black people, one of the "fake theories" spreaded without rest from "alt-right" forums like The Unz Review, so as to favour the plans of their masters to continue plundering these peoples.

Posted by: Sasha | Jan 26 2019 17:48 utc | 174


Oh stop it! Trump knows exactly what he's doing. He's been INSISTING on invading Venezuela since 2017! Many of you weren't paying attention. While many of you were obsessing with Syria, he was planning for regime change in Venezuela.

Trump suggested invading Venezuela

Posted by: Circe | Jan 26 2019 17:52 utc | 175

@Posted by: Circe | Jan 26, 2019 12:06:41 PM | 163

Well, he got without words at the UNSC, where he showed so tiny as his moral heights. It got patent that elocuency is not one of his strenghts and that, in any case, by sending this expert in undercover dirty operations in open light to say nothing to the UN, the US is implying that it does not need to give any explanation in the UNSC any more....

That fits very well with Trump´s intentions on destroying the International Law consensus post-WWII.

Posted by: Sasha | Jan 26 2019 17:55 utc | 176

FYI, an interesting new Craig Murray post: "The Vultures of Caracas".

Murray analyzes a telling photo of the participants in a Guaido rally in Caracas two days ago.

Posted by: Ort | Jan 26 2019 18:25 utc | 177

Exactly - he's harped many times about Venezuela and Iran. He's not a peacenik by any means, he just wants to have successful military operations (i.e.: get the oil instead of being stuck in underperforming Afghanistan)

Posted by: aaaa | Jan 26 2019 18:48 utc | 178

To those who are always claiming that socialism is over, Bolivarian or not ( like Red Ryder, if I do not recall bad...)

Something is moving in the US as well...

Attention to the infiltrators at this meeting....

Posted by: Sasha | Jan 26 2019 18:56 utc | 179

Another piece wrth reading on Covert Action:

Yet Another U.S. Coup Attempt to Eradicate the Bolivarian Revolution

Posted by: William Bowles | Jan 26 2019 18:58 utc | 180

At the end of today's Craig Murray item about Venezuela, he added this short request which I'm pasting here to make a similar request for b as there're very few places like Moon of Alabama:

"Unlike our adversaries including the Integrity Initiative, the 77th Brigade, Bellingcat, the Atlantic Council and hundreds of other warmongering propaganda operations, this blog has no source of state, corporate or institutional finance whatsoever. It runs entirely on voluntary subscriptions from its readers – many of whom do not necessarily agree with the articles, but welcome the alternative voice, insider information and debate,..."

The orgy of amazingly overt international law breaking is stunning to observe which I hope this incident will prove to be its climax. Almost every nation known as The West that supported the establishment and fundamental basis of the UN Charter are now in gross breech of same--and not for the first time. At today's UNSC meeting, Russia made as loud a note of the above as possible. IMO, this ought to become a watershed moment where The West finally loses what remaining legitimacy it has to be in any global leadership role. It is now time for The East & The South to rise up, take the Moral High Ground and relegate The West to the secondary actors they've made themselves into all by themselves.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 26 2019 18:59 utc | 181

Sasha | Jan 26, 2019 1:56:53 PM | 178

Back in the 80s, I ran a workshop called Computers & Capitalism at the NY Marxist School, or Brecht Center, it's proper name, so like you say, stirrings once more?

Posted by: William Bowles | Jan 26 2019 19:00 utc | 182

@ BM | Jan 26, 2019 11:33:49 AM | 155 Re: "the coup plotters Pence, Bolton and Pompeo"

I'm not sure that Trump's impeachment is the endgame, insofar as Pence is so anti-charismatic that he will only get support from the power elite, and whatever deranged tiny constituency he has attracted over the years. Trump's base, such as it is, is unlikely to rally to the colorless, creepy Pence, and Pence doesn't even have the phony folksiness of, say, a Gerald Ford.

In short, I can't see Pence pulling off the requisite "I am resolved to heal America after our long national nightmare" performance. Of course, many of the TDS-inflamed subscribe to a fantastic Domino Theory, in which they imagine that once Trump falls like Sauron, his minions will either curl up and die, flee, or be handily replaced without trouble and strife.

Instead, I wonder if the endgame isn't to finally "break" Trump, and place him on a footing in which he remains a figurehead, but effectively submits to the shadow government, aka "Deep State".

This Venezuela crisis seems to reflect a shift in the would-be controlling subordinates' tactics. In previous comparable situations, e.g. Korea and even dealing with Russia, Trump came roaring out with appalling rhetorical bluster that seemed to fully champion the "No More Mister Nice Guy" approach of the Boltons, et al. But then Trump abruptly walked back the wild and crazy rantings, and actually made sensible, if not "statesmanlike", statements and decisions.

Even this, of course, can be seen as a staged "Good Cop/Bad Cop" routine. But I think that the "coup plotters" were genuinely dismayed, and felt betrayed, when Trump's follow-up conciliation de-escalated situations they hoped would escalate into full-blown crises.

The Venezuela caper evidences a much more aggressive, multi-pronged attempt by the subordinates to push "facts on the ground" so far along that Trump will simply be unable to glibly retreat from his commitment to the regime-change scenario, or come up with one of his signature "Never mind!" twists and tweets.

It's obviously only my guess, but it feels like the coup plotters realized that they needed to grease the limb more comprehensively and thoroughly before Trump impulsively jumped on it. If they indeed push Trump past a point of no return, and overcome his considerable talent for escaping such traps, this might lead to the "figurehead" status quo.

It seems to me that even a hobbled, reined-in Trump would be able to retain support from his base, even if there's some defection and rebellion from isolationists who would justly resent Trump engaging in the kind of regime-change adventures he deplored during his successful campaign. Put another way, I think the plotters know that a broken Trump would make a far better figurehead and salesman for their ruthless imperialism than Pence.

Posted by: Ort | Jan 26 2019 19:01 utc | 183

Sorry, Brecht Forum on W19th in Manhattan

Posted by: William Bowles | Jan 26 2019 19:01 utc | 184

If there is a foreign military invasion of Venuzuela, do not be surprised if it comes from other Latin American countries, e.g. Brazil and Colombia. Those vassal states have U.S. trained forces who will do their master's bidding, thus eliminating the need for involving the U.S.'s own fighting troops. The Boss Nation may still supply logistical and intelligence support.

Posted by: Rob | Jan 26 2019 19:07 utc | 185

FYI The mistake I made actually came about because I initially thought that it was blah blah blah ...
Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 26, 2019 10:56:58 AM | 144

Imo the mistake you made was departing from SOP of some of our fellow commenters who, when first alerted to a blunder, carefully check their facts and admit they were wrong, thus clearing the air and putting the error behind them. I'm pleasantly surprised at the willingness of some people here to embrace such humility without hesitation.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jan 26 2019 19:09 utc | 186

Back in the 80s, I ran a workshop called Computers & Capitalism at the NY Marxist School, or Brecht Center, it's proper name, so like you say, stirrings once more?

Posted by: William Bowles | Jan 26, 2019 2:00:40 PM | 181

It must have been great times...

But, where do you think real Marxists and Socialist in the US are right now, with all what is falling, still underground?

Posted by: Sasha | Jan 26 2019 19:22 utc | 187

@ Ort | Jan 26, 2019 1:25:36 PM | 176

Yep, that's the Las Mercedes crowd. For anyone familiar with Venezuela, i. e. Caracas it's been clear from the get go who was protesting for regime change.

Unfortunately, Chavez and even more so Maduro failed to address some major economic imbalances in due time that cost them know dearly.

Posted by: Hmpf | Jan 26 2019 19:23 utc | 188

@182 Ort

OMG! Get your head out of the sand! Trump has been gunning for Venezuela since 2017! If you didn't bother with my link there are dozens more quoting him on wanting to invade Venezuela! Now he's getting the perfect opportunity for a shutdown distraction, a wag the dog. This Venezuela regime change is his obsession. No one is twisting his arm; he's the one twisting arms, firing those who counseled him against invading Venezuela and hiring Pompeo, Bolton and now the architect of regime change Elliott Abrams! Stop trying to throw sand in our eyes. Trump is an effing NEOCON PERIOD. Quit with the b.s. already!

Posted by: Circe | Jan 26 2019 20:00 utc | 189

“Either you stand with the forces of freedom, or you’re in league with Maduro and his mayhem,” said Mr Pompeo at an emergency UNSC meeting called by the US, because the US wants to "help" Venezuelans you know. /s

This reminds of the Libya "right to protect" (R2P) tragedy when the US got a limited no-fly-zone resolution from the UN and then proceeded to to go whole hog to destroy the country and its leader, a Hillary operation ending with her cackling "we came, we saw, he died."

Venezuela won't end that way, just another example of how we lucked out on the last presidential election.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 26 2019 20:07 utc | 190

Posted by: Sasha | Jan 26, 2019 2:22:28 PM | 187

But, where do you think real Marxists and Socialist in the US are right now, with all what is falling, still underground?

Ah dear Sasha, where are they anywhere? Did you read the piece on Les Gilets Jaunes? It doesn't exactly answer your question but maybe points to their possible, future location if not their exact form?

Also, check out my comrades on Black Agenda Report for more possible sightings.

Posted by: William Bowles | Jan 26 2019 20:23 utc | 191

Aljazeera is mercilessly ripping into AmeriKKKa's Venezuela bullshit and hypocrisy from several angles, including putting the CIA's numerous Cuban SNAFUs under the microscope and zooming in on the idiocy and incompetence.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jan 26 2019 20:29 utc | 192

one issue I disagree with b on is how the Venezuela government should deal with Guaidó. Guaidó has clearly committed treason against his own country, he needs to be arrested, given a fair trial and then executed for the capital offense of treason (let's be honest here; it's hard to imagine any legal defense for him that would make him appear to be anything other than a South American "Vidkun Quisling").

Allowing Guaidó to escape the traditional punishment for treason will simply encourage future Guaidos that American will protect them from the worst consequences if their coup attempt fails and if it succeeds, they get to be the new Shaw/Generalissimo/King/President/viceroy and all the corruption that entails. Further, for any type of government to have legitimacy within a country it must have the broad support within the politically active portion of the population (not necessary expressed through a democratic vote, rather through the social consensus that the government was created through means regarded as normative within the society). regardless of one's opinions of Maduro and his government, he has broad support throughout Venezuela, far more than what Guaidó has. If the US and their vassals try to impose Guaidó by force on Venezuela it will trigger a civil war and that civil war will quickly spread to the rest of South America.

Even by the US's sloppy standards on coups (even accounting for Ukraine), this attempted coup on Venezuela is remarkably poorly thought-out in respect to the long-term consequences. Ultimately, the US must either back down on their demands or they will have to instigate a war to impose Guaidó and such a war (whether it is a shadow war, proxy war or civil war) will shatter Venezuela's society long before it returns to being a compliant US vassal - Pence, Rubio, Bolton and all their neo-con buddies might be gleefully rubbing their hands counting all the money they'll make through the M.I.C, but creating a new Syria or Iraq on American's doorstep is a disastrous decision of apocalyptic magnitude for obvious reasons. Even worst, by doing this in such a blatant and obvious manner, the South American people will know exactly who is to blame and even the South American elite will not be able to ignore or redirect their anger. There will be dire consequences for the (dis)United States for this decision

Posted by: Kadath | Jan 26 2019 20:42 utc | 193

This tells you all you need to know about Trump.

Elliott Abrams, prominent D.C. neocon, named special envoy for Venezuela

Trump is being run and has been run by the Jewish Zionist and the Neocons since day one. Look at his appointments and advisors---find a single one now that isn't a Jewish Zio or a Neocon --there aren't any.

Posted by: renfro | Jan 26 2019 20:43 utc | 194

Kadath | Jan 26, 2019 3:42:57 PM | 193

What really concerns me is the support the gangsters are getting here in Europe (and elsewhere). The BBC especially has been a craven mouthpiece for the Empire! I sickened and appalled by the blatant propaganda including a 1hr 'documentary' the other day! My license money! Fuck!

What it does reveal is a gang of desperados, getting deeper and deeper into the shit! Living in their own shit!

But enough of telling Maduro what to do please! Focus on our own bastards!

Posted by: William Bowles | Jan 26 2019 20:50 utc | 195

This is sick and despicable.
Elliott Abrams charged with Venezuela regime-change
Posted by: Circe | Jan 26, 2019 12:06:41 PM | 164

You can make it a lot better; just take out the words “charged with” and insert “indicted for.”

Posted by: AntiSpin | Jan 26 2019 20:54 utc | 196

@ Kadath
It's completely up to Maduro how Guaidó is treated, and I like Maduro's panache. "I am committed to national dialogue. Today, tomorrow and always I will be committed and ready to go where I need to go. I, personally, if I have to go meet personally with this boy, I will go," he said.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 26 2019 20:58 utc | 197

@190 DB

Pompeo's statement at the UNSC is reminiscent of Bush's rallying cry to initiate regime-change wars.

Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.

It's basically an imperial decree, an ultimatum leaving no room independent question or opinion.

Posted by: Circe | Jan 26 2019 21:08 utc | 198


I remember the Good Old Days when elections to determine the makeup of the Government of Venezuela were conducted in Venezuela and only Venezuelan citizens could participate.

I don't remember Venezuelans voting to outsource their elections to AmeriKKKa and thereby endorsing a procedure by which the tedium of a formal ballot would be replaced by an unknown number of anonymous AmeriKKKans nominating an interim leader, unencumbered by input from resident citizens of Venezuela.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jan 26 2019 21:18 utc | 199

donkeytale says:

I always speak for myself

except when you say, We.

Your denial is the funniest

careful, don't forsake your own livid state of being convinced.

Posted by: john | Jan 26 2019 21:28 utc | 200

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