Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
February 20, 2019

Trump Likes 'Beautiful' Border Walls - Venezuela Should Build Him One

Aaron Mate, who is currently on the ground in Venezuela (vid), notes how Trump early on targeted Venezuela:

Aaron Maté @aaronjmate - 20:59 utc - 18 Feb 2019
Page 136 of McCabe's new book, recounting a 2017 Oval Office meeting: "Then the president talked about Venezuela. That’s the country we should be going to war with, he said. They have all that oil and they’re right on our back door."


It is not only Trump's idea to 'regime change' Venezuela. Ever since 1998, when Hugo Chavez was elected, the U.S. plotted to 'regime change' Venezuela. It was Obama who put sanctions on the country. Right wing economists have for years thought up detailed plans on how to rob Venezuela of its national assets.

Plan A for the recent coup attempt failed when the Venezuelan military did not accept Random Guyido's brazen claim to the presidency. There was no plan B. The U.S. is now improvising. The delivery of "humanitarian aid" is a pretext to break the border between Colombia and Venezuela.

U.S. government "aid" is always political. U.S. aid workers are suspects. Consider these USAID RED teams which a 2018 study, commissioned by the U.S. foreign aid agency, recommended:

RED Team officers, the report explains, would carry out development activities, but they would also have training and expertise that are not typically included in USAID job requirements.

“RED Team personnel would be able to live and work in austere environments for extended periods of time and actively contribute to their own security and welfare. They would be deployed farther forward than USAID personnel traditionally deploy and would routinely operate under the authority of the host agency with whom they deploy, acting in accordance with their security posture,” the report reads.

“RED team members would be trained and authorized to conduct themselves as a force-multiplier able to contribute a full suite of security skills as needed,” it says.

USAID officers will also be special forces? Special forces will also be USAID workers? Which is it? How many of these 'Red Teams' are now in Colombia waiting to cross into Venezuela?

On Saturday February 23 a breach of the Venezuelan border will be attempted with the intent to provoke an escalation. That escalation will then be used to justify further action up to military strikes or even an invasion.

How exactly the game will be played out is still not clear:

Despite the tough language, it remained unclear how the Venezuelan opposition would break Mr. Maduro’s blockade of the border with a delivery of food and medication on Saturday. Mr. Trump’s own national security adviser said the American military — which has airlifted tons of supplies to Venezuela’s doorstep on the Colombia border — will not cross into the country.

The so called "aid" is also supposed to come via sea and through the border with Brazil. To prevent that Venezuela closed down the maritime border with the Dutch Caribbean Islands:

The closure blocks movement of boats and aircraft between the western Venezuelan coastal state of Falcon and the islands of Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao, said Vice Admiral Vladimir Quintero, who heads a military unit in Falcon. He did not provide a reason.

The Brazil route is for now too remote for the desired media attention.


Everything will concentrate on the border crossing with Colombia near the Colombian city of Cúcuta:

Leaders of several Latin American nations plan to travel to Colombia’s border with Venezuela on Friday ahead of the delivery of aid, Chilean President Sebastian Pinera said on Tuesday, adding that he had accepted an invitation from Colombia’s president, Ivan Duque.

It was not immediately clear which leaders would attend. Most Latin American countries now recognize Guaido as president, though Bolivia, Cuba and Nicaragua still support Maduro.

Billionaire businessman Richard Branson is backing a “Live Aid”-style concert on Friday in the Colombian border city of Cucuta with a fundraising target of $100 million to provide food and medicine for Venezuela. Maduro’s government has announced two rival concerts just across the border.

Pink Floyd musician Roger Waters spoke out (video) against the Richard Branson's Not-really-for-AID concert and the U.S. 'regime change' attempt in Venezuela:

Roger Waters @rogerwaters - 22:57 utc - 18 Feb 2019
The Red Cross and the UN, unequivocally agree, don’t politicize aid. Leave the Venezuelan people alone to exercise their legal right to self determination.

On Saturday, when the U.S. proxy crowd will try to cross the border with unneeded "aid" some sniper shooting is likely to happen while dozens of cameras roll. Any casualties will be blamed on the Venezuelan military. The incident will be the propaganda pretext for further U.S. action. Already days ago Russia's Foreign Ministry warned of such 'false flag' attacks:

A provocation, involving victims, is being put together under the guise of a humanitarian convoy," Zakharova stressed. "They need it just as a pretext to use outside force, and everyone should understand that."

Trumps National Security Advisor is preparing the field:

John Bolton @AmbJohnBolton - 1:41 utc - 20 Feb 2019
The Venezuelan military must uphold its duty to protect civilians at the Colombian and Brazilian borders, and allow them to peacefully bring in humanitarian aid without violence or fear of persecution.
John Bolton @AmbJohnBolton - 2:14 utc - 20 Feb 2019
Any actions by the Venezuelan military to condone or instigate violence against peaceful civilians at the Colombian and Brazilian borders will not be forgotten. Leaders still have time to make the right choice.

Venezuela is not in need of U.S. aid. It is need of an end to the economic sanctions that put it under a medieval siege. There is no current lack of food or medicine like in Yemen though some products may run short.

The UN, the Red Cross and Caritas already have aid distribution projects within Venezuela. They reject the U.S. aid delivery as a political stunt. The International Committee of the Red Cross recently doubled its budget for Venezuela to $18 million and is ready to provide more. Last week 933 tonnes of medicines from Cuba and China arrived. Another 300 tons from Russia is supposed to arrive today.

The Venezuelan government has had enough time to game out how best to respond to the breach attempt of the border. It needs to block the roads AND it needs to prevent provocations. Trump likes walls on the border. Venezuela should give them to him.

"I don't mind having a big beautiful door in that wall so that people can come into this country legally. But we need, Jeb, to build a wall, we need to keep illegals out." - Donald Trump - Aug 6 2015 GOP debate

My advise to Venezuela is to use high concrete barricades with barbed wire and mines in front of them across all vehicle border crossings points. The purpose of the mines is to prevent attempts to remove the wire and the barricades. Large posters should warn of the deadly danger of the mines. If someone gets hurt by them, it will clearly be their own fault.

Passage on foot must be allowed as usual. Armed soldiers should be kept out of sight.

Trump said a lot about the national security need for "beautiful walls." A large banner with a relevant Trump quote should top each of the barricaded crossings.

Posted by b on February 20, 2019 at 15:12 UTC | Permalink

next page »

'The Brazil route is for now too remote for the desired media attention.'

Maybe, maybe not. There's a new airport at St. Helena and by car/bus it's easily accessible too.
Boa Vista, Brazil isn't that far off and it's a nice little highway stretching all the way up to Ciudad Bolivar. In the 90s this has been a major route for drug trafficking into Brazil and across the Atlantic ocean, not sure if this is still the case as I haven't been down there for a long time but that road certainly could handle some traffic.

Posted by: Hmpf | Feb 20 2019 15:36 utc | 1

b, see:

Venezuela Expels Euro Deputies amid Reports of Talks with Washington

Merida, February 18, 2019 ( – Venezuelan authorities have expelled six deputies of the European Parliament (EP) this Sunday after denying them entrance to the country.

The European politicians, who travelled in a personal capacity, had previously been warned through diplomatic channels that they would not be allowed in the country, but the group opted to proceed with the trip.

The delegation was made up of MEP Esteban Gonzalez Pons, MEP Jose Ignacio Salafranca, and MEP Gabriel Mato, all from Spain’s hard-right Popular Party.Also present were MEP Juan Salafranca from Spain’s European People’s Party; MEP Esther de Lange of the Dutch Christian Democratic party, and MEP Paulo Rangel from Portugal’s Social Democratic Party.

Posted by: barovsky | Feb 20 2019 15:38 utc | 2

PS: Apparently they've headed for Cucuta in Colombia and now Richard Branson has got into the act!

Following their denied entry, the deputies accepted an invitation from Colombia’s Foreign Ministry to travel to the Venezuelan-Colombian border city of Cucuta to attend a concert sponsored by Virgin CEO Richard Branson on Saturday, when Guaido plans to see US-supplied “humanitarian aid” cross the border, despite orders from Maduro to block it.

Posted by: barovsky | Feb 20 2019 15:41 utc | 3

Roger Waters versus Richard Branson. The BBC appreciates the entertainment value.

"To say Venezuela is in the middle of a political crisis would be an understatement. President Nicolás Maduro is locked in a power struggle with Juan Guaidó, an opposition politician and the self-declared interim leader of the country.

So what better way to make the situation less complicated than to add a spat between one of the world's richest people and the bass player from Pink Floyd?
Yes... it's a pretty weird situation.

Posted by: dh | Feb 20 2019 15:47 utc | 4

Not mines, but rather tons of manure next to the barrier. Effective, but harmless and cheap.

Posted by: norecovery | Feb 20 2019 15:53 utc | 5

They should fill the roads at the borders with trucks. Pointing into Venezuela. Backs of the trucks wide open, ready for lading the aid that the west is so generously providing.

Posted by: Browning | Feb 20 2019 16:28 utc | 6

I hope that any action by that arsehole Richard Branson to instigate a civil war in Venezuela will not be forgotten.

Posted by: Harry Law | Feb 20 2019 16:46 utc | 7

thanks b... as you note - > "On Saturday February 23 a breach of the Venezuelan border will be attempted with the intent to provoke an escalation. That escalation will then be used to justify further action up to military strikes or even an invasion." the intent of the usa and it's gang of puppets is on full display right here...

Posted by: james | Feb 20 2019 16:53 utc | 8

Craig Murray today without any qualification whatsoever stated matter-of-factly:

"... the Saudi backed jihadist group Daesh, originally launched by the CIA as a counterweight to Shia influence in Iraq."

We here at MoA have written similarly; but aside from General Flynn, few people having any "weight" have said so straightforwardly that Daesh is yet another Death Squad CIA construct, which is what a CIA "counterweight" is always. IMO, the fact that the Outlaw US Empire created its own adversary for multiple uses hasn't been shouted out nearly enough, just as al-Qaeda's genesis and usage is similarly glossed over by far too many who know better.

Now that the Hybrid Third World War is opening a new theatre of operations in South America where the CIA has previously created Death Squads in almost every one of its nations, we must anticipate the creation of yet another such "auxiliary" force, perhaps consisting of those specially trained USAID personnel. We know CIA was deeply involved in Colombia's various drug cartels and the quasi-governmental Death Squads used against Unionists and other members of the public, and that even corporations like Coca-Cola provided monies for the "services" of such Squads. IMO, a recap of Outlaw US Empire terrorist operations South of the Border is demanded by the operation targeting Venezuela.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 20 2019 17:13 utc | 9

This travesty gets more and more bizarre.
It seems a classic battle between good and evil and I hope that justice prevails for a change. Viva Venezuela.

Posted by: Blessthebeasts | Feb 20 2019 17:13 utc | 10

>>>>: norecovery | Feb 20, 2019 10:53:40 AM | 5

Not mines, but rather tons of manure next to the barrier. Effective, but harmless and cheap.

Nah, most people can cope with manure as it is usual of vegetarian origin. Pig shit is better but the one most people have a problem with is human faeces. The Russians should loan Venezuela a couple of their Il-76 fire fighting aircraft. Dropping 40 tons each of waste water loaded with human faeces would discourage most people. But a better solution would be two-three Bunning Lowlander Widebody – 380 HD HBD on each road the "humanitarians" intend to use. Hell, I'd help crowdfund them if John Bolton and Elliott Abrams were on the receiving end of a giant pig shit pile.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Feb 20 2019 17:19 utc | 11

@9 karlof1... that is why hoarsewhisperer was given over to the term al-CIA duh... as peter said folks who have looked into this know..

Posted by: james | Feb 20 2019 17:21 utc | 12

As the imperialists carefully fit together the pieces they need to fabricate an entirely bogus story to quieten 'public opinion' while they set out to turn Venezuela into a tropical Ukraine, with a belly full of Syria and Iraq thrown in, Canadians, who are about to be force fed propaganda ought to look at this article by Yves Engler:

Bolton, Bolsonaro, Richard Branson, Colombia's Cocaine cartel and Canada: take a picture and vomit.

Posted by: bevin | Feb 20 2019 17:21 utc | 13

I can't believe Branson doesn't understand that he's participating in an attempted coup that could destroy a country. If this border stunt turns into a war he will have blood on his hands. What a terrible move, all of his companies should be boycotted from here on out. Amazing this guy wants to get personally involved with the empire's assault on Venezuela, maybe he was promised some sort of future deal concerning the nation's natural resources?

Posted by: Jason | Feb 20 2019 17:28 utc | 14

Jason | Feb 20, 2019 12:28:52 PM | 14

Of course he does!!! HUbris, ego, bullshit fucking Brit!

Posted by: barovsky | Feb 20 2019 17:42 utc | 15

USAID already has a doubtful reputation, as everything that is supplied by them MUST be made in the US. One example; even the painted letters on the food sacks must be by US made paints put on by US personnel on US made sacks. The desired effect seems to have been to destroy local markets and producers by providing free food that can only be supplied from the US.(this happened in Africa) Thus making them dependent.

So now as guns are the principal US export, it is not hard to see what the "aid" will consist of.

Posted by: stonebird | Feb 20 2019 17:45 utc | 16

The most critical part in deflating the US moves will be ensuring the sniper teams and other proxies, local or foreign, that will instigate the violence on the 23rd are taken out and taken out just as the US begins its move.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Feb 20 2019 17:46 utc | 17

At least we are good at something

As a U.S. citizen maybe I should take a little satisfaction that for all the money my govt spends, at least they are good at something. Granted, it is in all of the wrong things, information warfare, subversion, causing global chaos and blaming others but we are genius at doing that if nothing else.

We are the Dr. Smith of the world but wihtout any of his redeeming qualities.

Posted by: Christian Chuba | Feb 20 2019 17:50 utc | 18

Why no emergency UNSC meeting? -- threatening a breach of a country's borders is an act of war and prohibited by the UN Charter.

Posted by: chet380 | Feb 20 2019 17:53 utc | 19

Boycott Virgin Airlines. Show the prick that actions have consequences.

Posted by: Ike | Feb 20 2019 17:57 utc | 20

Posted by: Jason | Feb 20, 2019 12:28:52 PM | 14
(Branson's aid concert)

Has Mr Virgin revealed the name of the Venezuelan entity to whom the proceeds from his concert will be delivered?

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Feb 20 2019 18:19 utc | 21

Who in the world would ever attend Branson's concert?

Obviously being used to create pretext for US escalation against VZ.

Would probably save some lives to shut this concert down somehow.

Posted by: Zack | Feb 20 2019 18:43 utc | 22

Venezuela Analysis provides an article that ought to be entitled "Academic War Criminals" or "Academic Societal Rapists" whose aim is "to bring back the 'wonderful Venezuela of old,' as in pre-1998 Chavez that requires destroying everything done to improve the lot of the poor majority:

"The post-coup Venezuelan economy will not be all about mathematically rigorous experiments in economic growth like Hausmann’s academic work. It will be about the privatization of Venezuela’s assets." [My Emphasis]

This Harvard academic, Hausmann, ought to be known as an academic terrorist, for what he promotes is terrorism:

"Hausmann’s 2004 statistical gambit is actually an established part of the U.S.-coup playbook. The academic analysis of an election and the finding of flaws, real or imagined, in an electoral process are the beginning of an ongoing claim against the target’s democratic legitimacy. The created flaw is then repeated and emphasized. Even if it was spurious and debunked, as was Hausmann’s 2004 analysis, it can continue to perform in media campaigns against the target. After years of such repetition, the target can safely be called a 'dictator' in Western media, even if the 'dictator' has more electoral legitimacy than most Western politicians." [My Emphasis]

The article discusses a few other similar academic terrorists connected with events in Haiti and Colombia. The entire Terrorist Network within the Outlaw US Empire is vast and exists in places some would deem odd. It's also rather lucrative for those willing to abase themselves as terrorists and clean too since the blood spilt is done at a comfortable, unseen distance. Such academics must be exposed as the terrorists they are. This article exposes but a few of the hundreds whose work aims at destroying entire societies; perhaps they ought to be known as Genocidalists.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 20 2019 18:52 utc | 23

Can the "White Helmets" be among that group preparing to invade Venezuela? After all, the Golan ex-pats help usher them through Canada.

Posted by: Eugene | Feb 20 2019 18:57 utc | 24

chet389 @19--

Lavrov: US Violates UN Charter

The initial step's been taken, but even if a special session of the UNSC is convened, little of substance will come of it since FUKUS would veto any useful resolution or declaration. Push back is happening:

#FromTheSouth | The Venezuelan armed forces have rejected calls by the US president to turn their backs on President @NicolasMaduro, condemning Trump for promoting terrorism." [My Empasis]

Yes, it's indeed terrorism to do what Trump's now doing and what every previous US President has done since 1945. The Outlaw US Empire is modern Terrorism's Mother & Father.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 20 2019 19:14 utc | 25

Ultimately Suicidal. A country ruled by a dynasty of Gollums.

It's not like the US has a chance no matter what because they don't want to nuke the oil. Venezuela will be harder than Viet Nam and the US didn't do too well there, didn't learn anything from it and forgot more.

Both Russia and China will involve themselves more if needed, zero doubt about it. If one compares with the Viet Nam war they already have done what they did then and this is already in advance of any potential war. "Supplies!" like a certain joke ends :D

In Venezuela there is nothing to compare to South Viet Nam, Brazil will not capoeira themselves across the border in any meaningful manner, there's only a few neighborhoods of spoilt rich people inside Venezuela that act as dead weight.

As for US Aid "RED teams" (Red? Naming fail & backronym retardism) it's a big meh in my opinion. How short is the average lifespan of their (actual) "specials" these days? Three weeks after first leave as they can't escape constantly reminding themselves of their service to evil? Poor fuckers thought they were heroes willing to give it all for a just cause and finally they did at least give something by offing themselves at home thus denying any further availability to their masters.

Maybe I'm too sympathetic towards them but I lived most of my life believing the same lies to be true as they did.

Anyway the outcome is clear: given a few years the US will no longer be in any kind of control of the Caribbean, they are literally giving it away to Russia and China by creating this situation.


No one in the US understands what a carrot is, they think it's some kind of bribe like sex or drugs, a "kind" threat in advance not to kill you if you roll over, some kind of veiled stick used in the middle ages (possibly an arcane torture device), or simply an orange ("carrot is orange").

Bring on the friendly fire!

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Feb 20 2019 19:43 utc | 26

Sir Richard always brings to mind both the vacuous "smiley-face" icon, and Chaucer's image of "the smiler with the knife under his cloak". He is obviously an overclass Sheriff of Nottingham who markets himself as a benevolent, contrarian Robin Hood.

The Venezuelan Caper is rotten from top to bottom, and Trump is wholly complicit; unlike his previous adventures, there's no indication that he's somehow "playing his own game" and provisionally giving his neocon Hounds of Hell room to run only to abruptly pull back on the leash when it suits him.

Even so, I personally distrust the odious McCabe's tendentious and utterly self-serving assertions.

"Falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus" is a Latin phrase meaning "false in one thing, false in everything." It is an ancient common-law principle that a witness who testifies falsely about one matter is not credible to testify about any matter.

This standard is easily abused, and problematic because even testimony full of lies and deceit usually contains some truth. But I'm surprised that the best-selling Trump-critical potboilers, including the dubious Bob Woodward's "Fear: Trump in the White House"* mercenary exercise in blatant fearmongering, are regarded as reliable and trustworthy.

In this case, Trump may have said exactly what McCabe quoted. But I'm not taking McCabe's word for it.

* NB (nota Bernhard): The "U" HTML tag listed under "Allowed HTML Tags" doesn't work. It's a minor problem, but I hope that it can be enabled.

Posted by: Ort | Feb 20 2019 19:45 utc | 27

This opinion piece is from earlier in the month, but gives a pair of photos describing the bridge near Cucuta, which b's map shows straddling the Pan-American Highway which runs out of Columbia to the Carribean shore in Venezuela, close to the Tortugas. The photos show the bridge barricaded at both ends, which would seem to indicate that neither country wanted it. Who did, I wonder?

Posted by: juliania | Feb 20 2019 19:53 utc | 28

So long as Maduro has the backing of the army and the people are fed [here Russia and China can help out]the US can only huff and puff,in the longer term new sales to sympathetic states must be a priority. How many of the opposition would be willing to be slaughtered in order to install Trump's appointee, not that many I'll bet. In my opinion International Law is dead, we are now entering into the period [thanks to the US] where Mao's doctrine is becoming fact "Power grows out the barrel of a gun"

Posted by: Harry Law | Feb 20 2019 19:56 utc | 29

Partisan Girl explores an important topic related to the rights of combatants, not that the Outlaw US Empire respects them, but it seems the UK and others are tussling with the issue but not for their announced reasons:

"The @foreignpolicy magazine is hell-bent on pushing the idea that #ISIS wives are protected by international law. It's because they have to make the same legal argument for Israeli "settlers" and they don't want there to be a precedent."

The short thread is worth reading.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 20 2019 20:09 utc | 30

If Trump wanted a wall, surely he could use those phoney psyop trucks to block the US-Mexico border? They seem to have the money and chutzpah to do it?

Posted by: Blooming Barricade | Feb 20 2019 20:15 utc | 31

If I were advising the Venezuelan army I would keep a close look (for a false-flag event or some other infiltration attempts into Venezuela by easily disguised concert goers) at the Live Aid Concert that is scheduled to take place this Friday Feb. 22 near the Venezuelan border in Colombian town of Cucuta. This venue provides a distraction and a good way to blend into the crowd for any hostile forces to smuggle weapons, personnel one day ahead of the so-called "humanitarian-aid" crossings.

Here is a red-flag as to who asked for this Live Aid Concert:

So who asked Richard Branson to do this?

Mr Branson says it was a direct request from Mr Guaidó and opposition leader Leopoldo López.

Posted by: jsb | Feb 20 2019 20:26 utc | 32

RE @32.

Not sure what happened to the bbc link, but here is the correct one

Posted by: jsb | Feb 20 2019 20:30 utc | 33

It's a simple solution for the Venezuelan government. Friday evening close the Bridge and then detonate the entire or half of the structure. Then announce the other half is covered with explosives.

Posted by: mgs | Feb 20 2019 21:01 utc | 34

I really wish it was realistic for US citizens to stage protest marches on this, perhaps we will if the Trump administration decides to provoke a military confrontation.

But the propaganda blitz has probably neutered the ability to do so, with almost everyone I know fully believing that Maduro is an unelected dictator, murderous thug and that SOSHULIZMS ruins EVERYTNING!!! Waaaaaaah....

No mentions are made of the draconian sanctions, continual sabotage, theft of the Venezuelan gov't and people's money/gold, constant coup attempts, and all of it stretching back decades, across Republican and Democrat Presidential administrations.

But you gotta give 'em credit - the corporate "liberal" MSM (and right-wing media) are afraid of any change or perceived threat to the crony corporate Wall Street MIC cabal's control of the gov't and economy and the corresponding hit to their quarterly bonuses and EPS at the stock market. So they're doing everything they can, and the aforementioned propaganda blitz (as coined by Media Lens and reprinted by is actually much more all encompassing than just Venezuela regime change. This is a concerted war on Democratic Socialism and any new regulations on the banks and corps that rule the Western countries.

Posted by: KC | Feb 20 2019 21:05 utc | 35

John Helmer explains why Venezuela will not be attacked...

Russia's Stake in Venezuela

"Russian military planning has intensified to deter and counter the expected lines of US attack."

Posted by: John Gilberts | Feb 20 2019 21:15 utc | 36


Your comment reminded me of this pr shortly after 44 retired

Posted by: Some Random Passer-by | Feb 20 2019 21:15 utc | 37

@27 "In this case, Trump may have said exactly what McCabe quoted. But I'm not taking McCabe's word for it."

Here's another source which highlights Trump's early propensity to get involved in Venezuela:

Donald Trump repeatedly raised the possibility of invading Venezuela in talks with his top aides at the White House, according to a new report.

Trump brought up the subject of an invasion in public in August last year, saying: “We have many options for Venezuela, including a possible military option, if necessary.” But the president’s musings about the possibility of a US invasion were more extensive and persistent than that public declaration, according to the Associated Press.

The previous day Trump reportedly took his top officials by surprise in an Oval Office meeting, asking why the US could not intervene to remove the government of Nicolás Maduro on the grounds that Venezuela’s political and economic unraveling represented a threat to the region.


The administration officials are said to have taken turns in trying to talk him out of the idea, pointing out that any such military action would alienate Latin American allies who had supported the US policy of punitive sanctions on the Maduro regime.

Their arguments do not seem to have dissuaded the president.


In the weeks that followed, Trump remained preoccupied with the idea of an invasion, according to AP. Shortly after the Bedminister remarks, he raised the issue with the Colombian president, Juan Manuel Santos, and then brought it up again at that year’s UN general assembly in September, at a private dinner with allied Latin American states.

At that dinner, Trump made clear he was ignoring the advice of his aides.

“My staff told me not to say this,” Trump said and then asked the other leaders at the table in turn, if they were sure they didn’t want a military solution.

McMaster finally succeeding in persuading Trump of the dangers of an invasion, the report said, and the president’s interest in the notion subsided.

Posted by: jsb | Feb 20 2019 21:25 utc | 38

Never trust a hippy, especially one with lots of business interests, like Branson.

Posted by: Brendan | Feb 20 2019 21:35 utc | 39

BBC pretends that Roger Waters's only role in Pink Floyd was as bass player. Who was the singer and songwriter then?

Posted by: Brendan | Feb 20 2019 21:41 utc | 40

Seems like saturday (the 23rd) could be a busy day.
1/ The "Aid" convoy tries to enter Venezuela.
2/ Gaydo as "interim" president comes to the end of the 30 day period he is allowed. ( the case of an incapacitated President), but as Speaker of the Assembly - he has immunity. BUT can he be both at once, Speaker and President? Will Maduro arrest him at that date?
3/ The destroyer "Donald Cook" is in the Black Sea, and is supposed to participate in "exercises" with the Ukrainian Navy, In front of Odessa and - the Kersh Strait. (Also on the 23 if my memory serves me correctly, but I may have mistaken the month !). Provocation planned?

Posted by: stonebird | Feb 20 2019 21:49 utc | 41


Branson's bullshit concert is on the Friday.
"The Venezuela Aid Live concert will be live streamed around the world,..."

A big wind up for the big event on Saturday. I think the US would want all eyes and media attention to be there when 'innocent' people delivering 'aid' will be shot or whatever, rather than distracted by Ukraine.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Feb 20 2019 22:10 utc | 42


I posted some of my thoughts about Putin's State of the Nation Address made earlier today at previous Russia-related thread, but rather doubt few have bothered to read them or the speech itself. Putin's speech was mostly directed at Domestic issues with Foreign Policy saved for the end. What Putin says in that regard impacts every conceivable topic we might discuss here. I ought to copy/paste the entire portion of Putin's speech devoted to relations with the Outlaw US Empire, but b discourages overly-long citations; so, click here and scroll down to the paragraph beginning thusly:

"The unilateral withdrawal of the USA …"

However, the following three paragraphs deserve to be highlighted--Russian media certainly thought so, too--which are toward the speech's closing remarks:

"Let me say outright that this is not true. Russia wants to have sound, equal and friendly relations with the USA. Russia is not threatening anyone, and all we do in terms of security is simply a response, which means that our actions are defensive. We are not interested in confrontation and we do not want it, especially with a global power like the United States of America. However, it seems that our partners fail to notice the depth and pace of change around the world and where it is headed. They continue with their destructive and clearly misguided policy. This hardly meets the interests of the USA itself. But this is not for us to decide.

"We can see that we are dealing with proactive and talented people, but within the elite, there are also many people who have excessive faith in their exceptionalism and supremacy over the rest of the world. Of course, it is their right to think what they want. But can they count? Probably they can. So let them calculate the range and speed of our future arms systems. This is all we are asking: just do the maths first and take decisions that create additional serious threats to our country afterwards. It goes without saying that these decisions will prompt Russia to respond in order to ensure its security in a reliable and unconditional manner.

"I have already said this, and I will repeat that we are ready to engage in disarmament talks, but we will not knock on a locked door anymore. We will wait until our partners are ready and become aware of the need for dialogue on this matter." [My Emphasis]

I rather doubt Putin's well meaning message will have its desired impact, for as he said those in power are essentially deluded by their thoughts. Unfortunately, the only part of the speech likely to be highlighted is the Italicized portion while the bolded remainder gets ignored:

"I would like to emphasise again that we need peace for sustainable long-term development. Our efforts to enhance our defence capability are for only one purpose: to ensure the security of this country and our citizens so that nobody would even consider pressuring us, or launching an aggression against us.

Also, I rather doubt Bolton, Pompeo and company can do the math.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 20 2019 22:19 utc | 43

Brendan @ 40:

BBC pretends that Roger Waters's only role in Pink Floyd was as bass player. Who was the singer and songwriter then?

Question should be rephrased: Who was the Pink Floyd songwriter who wrote all the lyrics to the band's best known albums "The Dark Side of the Moon", "Wish You Were Here", "Animals" and "The Wall" then?

Posted by: Jen | Feb 20 2019 22:21 utc | 44

More from the BBC on the Branson distraction:

What did Roger Waters say?

In a two-minute video posted on Twitter, the musician says Mr Branson's "Live-Aid-ish" concert has "nothing to do with humanitarian aid at all".

The Red Cross and the UN, unequivocally agree, don’t politicize aid. Leave the Venezuelan people alone to exercise their legal right to self determination.

— Roger Waters (@rogerwaters) February 18, 2019


"It has to do with Richard Branson, and I'm not surprised by this, having bought the US saying: 'We have decided to take over Venezuela, for whatever our reasons may be,'" Mr Waters says.

"But it has nothing to do with the needs of the Venezuelan people, it has nothing to do with democracy, it has nothing to do with freedom, and it has nothing to do with aid."

He adds that he has "friends that are in Caracas" who claim there is "no civil war, no mayhem, no murder, no apparent dictatorship, no suppression of the press".

So who asked Richard Branson to do this?

Mr Branson says it was a direct request from Mr Guaidó and opposition leader Leopoldo López.
Skip Twitter post by @richardbranson

The humanitarian crisis in Venezuela worsens every day. Join Venezuela Aid Live, support the cause to help the country’s suffering people

— Richard Branson (@richardbranson) February 15, 2019


End of Twitter post by @richardbranson

In an earlier social media video, the billionaire says: "Juan Guaidó, who has been recognised as Venezuela's legitimate president by over 40 nations, and the EU, and Leopoldo López, an opposition leader currently under house arrest in Caracas, have asked us to help organise a beautiful concert, to help bring global attention to this unacceptable, and preventable, crisis."

Mr López has been under house arrest since 2014.

Who is going to perform?

An official line-up hasn't been released yet but a few celebrities have confirmed that they're taking part.

The concert's organisers have also released a list of 32 people they have invited to perform, which includes young Latin stars Rudy Mancuso, Juanes and Despacito singer Luis Fonsi, and Swedish DJ Alesso.

Lele Pons, a Venezuelan-American singer and actress who was the most-looped individual on Vine before it shut down in 2016, and Venezuelan singer Danny Ocean have both released videos saying that they will perform.

Posted by: barovsky | Feb 20 2019 22:23 utc | 45

@ jsb | Feb 20, 2019 4:25:12 PM | 38

Thanks for the response, but don't put away the salt just yet.

The Guardian isn't the bastion of dispassionate, objective reporting it pretends to be. So I read the linked story with particular interest in its sources for the material you quoted.

I wasn't surprised to find this telling explanation:

Quoting an unnamed senior administration official, the AP report said the suggestion stunned those present at the meeting, which included the then national security adviser, HR McMaster, and secretary of state, Rex Tillerson. Both have since left the administration.
So once again, all of the ominous quotes are allegedly derived from, or provided by, an uncorroborated anonymous source-- moreover, a "senior administration official"; such seemingly authoritative sources are notorious for using the "on background" convention to vent personal pique or ideological dissatisfaction.

And the Associated Press is also notorious for its consent-manufacturing bias.

The entire Russophobia campaign, and other current Big Lie-based stories, have been rife with multiple uncorroborated sources appearing to validate each other. Unfortunately, this strategy exploits the rational tendency to assume that a fact is authentic and reliable if it seems to be corroborated and confirmed by multiple sources.

Usually, confirmation bias blinds targets of this strategy to the possibility that the confirmation is spurious because some or all of the "multiple sources" are mendacious.

So I'm not impressed or persuaded by The Guardian passing on multiple hearsay from compromised, or at least dubious sources: "Some unidentified but important insider told AP, and they told us" just doesn't cut it.

Posted by: Ort | Feb 20 2019 22:36 utc | 46

@42 I guess they want to make it difficult for the border guards to stop Venezuelans going to the concert on Friday. Then the next day they will head back home with their free stuff. Their bags will need to be searched of course so that will help to get everybody riled up for the cameras.

Posted by: dh | Feb 20 2019 22:38 utc | 47

Peter AU 1 @42--

A repeat of the Las Vegas Concert Massacre, perhaps. Good to see people commenting at your provided link about the situation's reality and calling out Branson for his support for Imperialism and its crimes. I'm sure Branson can get Pussy Riot to appear, but what of any legitimate musical groups as none are cited. I wonder if Russian satellite tech's progressed so it can pick out individual humans--like snipers--amidst all else? Indeed, how would one plan to deter this probable provocation?

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 20 2019 22:39 utc | 48

Ort | Feb 20, 2019 5:36:08 PM | 46

The Guardian is a lying sack of imperialist shit, masquerading as a leftwing paper. Outrageous, the stuff fascism is made of.

Posted by: barovsky | Feb 20 2019 22:42 utc | 49

As a citizen of the US it's interesting that so many of these pro-war/intervention people like Trump, Abrams and Bolton were draft dodgers during the Vietnam War. Several years ago I read a History of Rome and one of the few things I remember was that around 80 Roman Senators were killed in the Battle of Cannae against Hannibal. How many of the pro intervention types in our government would be be willing to serve on the front lines like the Roman politicians? I think we would have a lot fewer interventions and wars if they and their families had to fight in any war they started.

Posted by: El Cartero Atómico | Feb 20 2019 22:44 utc | 50


It will be very difficult to prevent a provocation, but even if the US manage to get their news footage of people delivering so called aid being shot, or whatever is planned for them, Russia will be stepping in.
I have notice a change in rhetoric from the Russian leadership over the past few weeks. I suspect Putin's speech you referred to earlier officially marks a turning point in the way Russia deals with the US and its machinations.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Feb 20 2019 22:46 utc | 51

Apparently Branson expects up to 300K people to attend Live Aid Concert on Friday:

The organizer of the event, British billionaire Richard Branson, said that it is planned that up to 300,000 people attend the concert on Friday in Cúcuta, on the border of Colombia with Venezuela

Perhaps Moscow senses something is about to happen?:

Russia delivered on Wednesday medicines and medical equipment to Venezuela

Posted by: jsb | Feb 20 2019 22:51 utc | 52

To add to my comment @51, Russia moved into Syria when it was on its last legs and has put most of it back together. I suspect Russia would have liked a few more years to get its own house in order before moving back into the world to block US moves.
Now I think we may see Russia willing to stop the US in its tracks as far as US moves on Venezuela, and willing to escalate as far as the US wishes to take it.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Feb 20 2019 22:53 utc | 53

Ort Feb 20, 2019 5:36:08 PM | 46

I too share your cynicism at unnamed sources, but my point was when these pieces of information are then coupled with Trump's own behavior and rhetoric, one tends to lean towards this overall aggressive posture against Venezuela as more credulous.

Posted by: jsb | Feb 20 2019 22:59 utc | 54

jsb 52

Thanks for that. The concert will be at one of the bridges apparently. Ill bet my balls they are going to use to concert goers for the planned provocation.
Push the fools into delivering so called aid across the border.
I was wondering who would volunteer to be the sacrificial goats.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Feb 20 2019 22:59 utc | 55

deja vu of ukraine 2014, but i don't know that the middle class guaido crew are up for it... i am sure the cia is though.. anyone see nuland handing out cookies on the streets of cucata yet?? or did they replace her with some other hag?? speaking of hags - richard branscum is really showing his true colours here..

Posted by: james | Feb 20 2019 23:05 utc | 56

@55 As anybody who has visited the region can attest....custom officers can be excruciatingly slow.

Posted by: dh | Feb 20 2019 23:08 utc | 57

A couple of press releases that I downloaded from one of the Venezuela aid live sites.
Only in pdf so will copy paste them.

The team that organizes Venezuela Aid Live -in collaboration with
Richard Branson- has summoned the following artists to join the cause
and be the musicians that change the history of Latin America this
coming February 22nd at a free concert that will take place at the
Tienditas Bridge, with the aim of raising funds to enter the
humanitarian aid into Venezuela:

will take place this Friday, February 22nd, is moving
to Puente Tienditas.
We’ll live more than just a concert at this place, we’ll
see how Venezuela’s freedom doors are opened....

Concert at the Tienditas Bridge and concert goers will also get to see how "Venezuela’s freedom doors are opened". I think that may be a painful experience for many.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Feb 20 2019 23:15 utc | 58

@58 I'm kinda hoping Sir Richard will lead the procession.

Posted by: dh | Feb 20 2019 23:21 utc | 59

@57 dh.. if they are anything like us custom officers, you may as well as stay at home, lol..

Posted by: james | Feb 20 2019 23:28 utc | 60

What happened to "The Resistance" that was supposed to oppose Trump at every turn? Why is mainstream media and politics going along with Trump in this coup when they are against him in everything else?

Posted by: QuietRebel | Feb 20 2019 23:30 utc | 61

Seems to me the only force that can stand up to this US government belligerence are the citizens of US. A bit of wishful thinking but if they don’t want to see their sons and daughters, not to mention their tax dollars, spent on yet another war of hegemony, they should be in front of congress, a million man march style, and demand the end of hostilities and resignation of fuckos like Bolton and Pompeo.

Posted by: Alpi57 | Feb 20 2019 23:30 utc | 62

Ben Norton on USAID and terrorism/regime change:

"I repeat for the 1000th time: US 'aid' in Venezuela or any other country has nothing to do with actually helping people. It is about expanding US power and domination.

"USAID is a regime-change arm. Trump is maki0ng a decades-old US covert strategy explicit."

Norton provides lots of evidence in the thread to indict ASAID as a supporter of terrorism over many decades.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 20 2019 23:35 utc | 63

"Seems to me the only force that can stand up to this US government belligerence are the citizens of US."
We would be in deep trouble of that were the case. But it isn't. Syria, half torn apart stood up to them. So did Iraq, after it had been invaded by the US and a plague of poodles. If Venezuelans stand their ground they will not just keep invasion at bay but spark a conflict in the region that will end up with the last friends of America leaving in helicopters from the roofs of the burning embassies.

Posted by: bevin | Feb 20 2019 23:48 utc | 64

This seems to be the prelude to the coming invasion:

Urban warfare requires the kind of practice that our military has been missing, what with too many drones, bombings, and village firefights. Maybe the Pentagon's reluctance to invade was simply borne out of lack of training. Now that they have mad skills, they can make Mr. Bolton proud.

Posted by: RenoDino | Feb 20 2019 23:48 utc | 65

QuietRebel @61--

Venezuela's a bi-partisan target which is why the so-called Resistance evaporated just as Trump knew it would.

Peter AU 1 @53--

Thanks for your reply. I know Russia's providing intel, logistical and material support. Could there be a Russian sub or two outside Maracaibo? I read somewhere a few days ago that Venezuelan Air Force was practicing flying Mig-31s armed with the Kinzal hypersonic anti-ship killer but was unable later to find the link. There's no way an R2P type of UNSCR being passed. Somehow it must be shown that Venezuelan forces invaded Colombia such that Colombia calls to the Outlaw US Empire for help in defending itself for any such intervention to be remotely legal. Refutation of any invasion evidence is paramount, but that's far easier said than done. Fortunately, Brazilians seem incapacitated by domestic issues, so It's up to Colombia to act in concert with El Gringo Diablo Norte.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 21 2019 0:06 utc | 66


Does Mr. Branson carry liability for any person injured at his concert?
If he is the promoter of this gig, then he should have insurance for this.

Posted by: hosscara | Feb 21 2019 0:09 utc | 67

Outstanding piece, b, thank you!

Meanwhile, the USS Abraham Lincoln’s Carrier Strike Group is crossing the Florida Straits, southbound. They’re in the final stages of naval exercises that are meant to be held before the start of a mission. The exercises take about a month, and they started on 25 Jan. Easy to see that Guiado’s “big moment of truth” scheduled for 23 Feb was timed with respect to US Navy needs. I also read that the Lincoln’s social media feeds have gone silent recently. Spy planes are surveying the seas close to Venezuelan waters. In Venezuela, there have been drills involving their S-300 and Buk-M2 systems. Cuba has been calling out on a lot of flights from military airports in the US to Caribbean destinations.
All of this doesn’t bode well.

Posted by: Scotch Bingeington | Feb 21 2019 0:18 utc | 68

Stonebird @ 41

There is something else scheduled for on or about February 23. The 30 day expulsion extension given to the American diplomats is set to expire. It will be interesting to see how that plays out.

Posted by: Chas | Feb 21 2019 0:19 utc | 69


Fallujah, Najaf, Ramadi, Mosul and Baghdad all provided some experience with urban warfare , and the military has been conducting urban warfare training for awhile. Last year Congress gave the military instructions to increase the amount of training and submit a report on Feb 1 to describe what is needed to improve urban warfare readiness. A single specialized urban army unit has been suggested as well as a new and consolidated Army urban training center to replace the Indiana National Guard’s Muscatatuck Urban Training Center

Anyways, it looks like the Empire has plans for more urban wars, perhaps even in the US. I heard soldiers are asked about their feelings on using arms against US civilians if ordered to as part of their profiling for future deployments

Posted by: Pft | Feb 21 2019 0:41 utc | 70

Economic Zionism[EZ] At work? Recall EZ is a system of economics that demands to control, ownership and management access to everything, EZ focuses its membership and their corporations and the Armed rule making Nation States[ARMS] they control on destroying all competition of whatever kind while at the same time keeping populations in the dark and or misled. EZ destroys the structures that support, the leadership that represents ownership, control or authority over any type competition (including oil and gold and privatization booty). The objects of EZ include use of force, rule of law, and propaganda and are often used to be sure its adherents are the sole possessors of the valuables found anywhere on the entire earth. Economic Zionism a system that depends on rule by law for its monopoly powers.

Branson's concert @32 Live Aid concert requested by Mr Guaidó and opposition leader Leopoldo López could be an example ; certainly the event fits the long history of network powers able to bring monetary and political forces to any spot sufficient to enable EZ elements to take over or to quash competition or ownership that restricts EZ access or that competes with it. Branson may not even be aware ..of the possibilities or how it is he might be used?

I could be wrong but it will take a mountain of facts to convince me otherwise.

Several oil and gold companies want the oil, farming , gold interest as well as several giants want to privatize much of the state owned service infra structure in Venezuela. Probably the EZ believe they cannot get adequate public support; it takes time to convince the governed of foreign nations that it is a crime for Venezuelans to own the oil, gold, and to provide the water, electric power, and cell phone service to Venezuelans? only the EZ can make it legal.

These kinds of events are money laundering wet dreams (this one may not be?) and these kinds of events provide platforms that can be used to persuade EZ all over the world immediate contributions are necessary to help destroy blatant competition and to convert Venezuela into another EZ owned monopoly.

It will be interesting to see if accounting for all of the funds raised will be made public, and if a complete, adequate and uncontroversial accounting is given within a few days, that clearly shows how, when and to whom the funds were collected from and distributed to.

Invasion, destruction, removal and replacement of those in the way of EZ are common; promoting fake news, engineering mind directing, population controlling propaganda and maintaining absolute back room secrecy are tools of the Economic System known as EZ. Certainly looks suspicious, but then maybe there is a better explanation?

Private fund raising is always problematic because it allows to hide the source and use of the money from the public? Promoting and marketing a private fund raising event in one nation to various other countries, in various languages, keeps secret the flow of funds, both in and out? I know only one network large enough to pull something like this off, on such short notice?

Posted by: snake | Feb 21 2019 0:44 utc | 71

I haven't noticed a link to this article by Peter Koenig:

"The principles of Economy of Resistance cover a vast domain of topics with many ramifications. This presentation focused on four key areas:

Ø Food, medical and education sovereignty

Ø Economic and financial sovereignty

Ø The Fifth Column; and

Ø Water Resources – a Human Right and a vital resource for survival."

Venezuela's most pressing concern is that Fifth Column.

Posted by: bevin | Feb 21 2019 0:44 utc | 72

snake 71

From another of the pdf press releases...
"Fundación Solidaridad por Colombia is the strategic ally that will
provide support during the donations collection.
PwC will be the auditor that will ensure total transparency during the
handling of the resources.
Fundación Solidaridad por Colombia is an NGO with 44 years of
experience managing resources for vulnerable populations."

I did a little research on this group, did not find a lot in english, but the woman running the show is a Columbian who spent a number of years working in Miami and New York.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Feb 21 2019 1:00 utc | 73

Vesti provides a video clip of the latter portion of Putin's speech some of which I provided via transcript above that Canthama posted to his Twitter. It's about 11 minutes and fitted with English subtitles. It's far more dramatic to watch than read, and much of what Putin says isn't in the bit of transcript I provided. Putin can't be accused of being humorless as he makes a joke at the European's expense, but the subject matter underlying that joke is no laughing matter.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 21 2019 1:55 utc | 74

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 21 2019 2:29 utc | 75

I think I said this before but it seemed what saved the Hugo Chvez government after 2002 was that the US imperialists' attention was distracted towards conquering Iraq. The US simply did not have enough forces freely available to finish off Chavez after their failed coup in 2002. At that time no one predicted that the US was in the process of losing both of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. After those failures the US decided to go to war against Libya and Syria. Won 1 (at least killed Khadaffi) and lost the other.

In any case the US does have large numbers of troops available for imperial adventures in other theaters. I fear for the Venezuelans at this time. The US is withdrawing from their failed ventures in the Mid East while the US threatens and pounds its chest in the Persian Gulf and the South China Sea -- but no one expects the US military to actually commit itself to another losing military engagement. Unfortunately, I do fear the US is ready to go to war in Venezuela -- if they do so decide to do so the Modura government would not last very long. In the short term that would be considered a victory for the US Neo cons. In the longer term, say 5 years out, it would likely result in a war on the South American continent that has not been seen since Bolivar.

Posted by: ToivoS | Feb 21 2019 3:05 utc | 76

Why is Richard Branson putting on a concert for a humanitarian crisis in Venezuela but he cared squat about the famine in Yemen? Someone get this short-sighted hypocrite a good pair of bi-focals.

Branson Saudi Arabia


Trump wants Venezuela's oil. I see the shine is finally wearing out on Trump with folks here. It took Venezuela for everyone to see through the Zionist charlatan. Finally, we're all on the same page. The best description I've heard yet is calling this humanitarian aid a Trojan Horse. That's exactly what it is.

So, I have more bad news. Trump is considering Joe Lieberman for U.N. Ambassador. Can you believe he was considering this Zionist shill to replace Comey at the FBI??? Lieberman thinks that Howard Shultz entering the 2020 campaign is a positive thing. I believe Schultz will enter the race to help the chosen one Trump win. It's all fixed.

Finally the road to toppling Tehran turned out not to run through Syria. It runs through Venezeula.

Posted by: Circe | Feb 21 2019 3:30 utc | 77

ToivoS "I do fear the US is ready to go to war in Venezuela"

The good colonel at SST seems quite pleased at the prospect. Shoot some commies, grab some loot. I guess he is like Trump. Doesn't like endless wars that the US eventually walks away from without any loot.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Feb 21 2019 3:47 utc | 78

According to the link: five (EPP) deputy MEP (European Parliament) persons, Esteban Gonzalez Pons, Jose Ignacio Salafranca, Gabriel Mato Adrover, Esther de Lange and Paulo Rangel were invited to Venezuela by Guaido but have had their passports retained, also the link says Maduro supports the “Montevideo Mechanism,” a four-step proposal presented by Mexico, Uruguay, Bolivia and the Community of Caribbean States (Caricom), a solution mechanism for domestic crisis.

Posted by: snake | Feb 21 2019 3:54 utc | 79

@bevin 64

I have to disagree with your assessment. How many more Syrias and Iraqs should happen in order for the people in US to wake up? How much more innocent blood should be shed for US citizens to tell their government: live and let live? The days of military might is at an end. The only force of superiority is an economic one.

Why should we allow this government to muscle in on a little country just on the whim of a few evil animals like Bolton? They are selling this country to the average citizen on the illusion of the government of the people, by the people and for the people. Then let the people exercise that privilege. And that is the only thing that scares this government. The mob.

I am utterly embarrassed and infuriated by statements of Bolton. He is openly telling governments is our way or the highway. No country should have that kind of power and/or mentality. The only force that can eradicate that kind of mentality are the people themselves. They just need to wake up. I have a feeling they will be forced to soon.

Posted by: Alpi57 | Feb 21 2019 4:31 utc | 80

@ all barflies,
In Honduras, the current president receives support from Chump's administration even though Juan Orlando Hernandez stole millions from the Social Security Institute and other government ministries to finance his campaign and become very wealthy. Hernandez ran for president against the honduran constitution, committed electoral fraud and still the business attache at the US embassy (Heidi Fulton) stood right in front of cameras, where the ballots were being opened and counted and said that everything was ok with the elections ! She's still supporting Juan Orlando even though his brother was arrested in the United States on major drug trafficking charges. Hermano Hernandez was using the army and police to protect his cocaine shipments to the United States. It seems neo-confederates around Trump need this guy in power to counter Maduro and keep the honduran masses down. Elites in Honduras violating their constitution have hosted one of the most strategic US military base in the hemisphere, the country is also known as USS Honduras... It's known Juan Orlando Hernandez received about 250,000 $ from the Los Cachiros drug cartel and also from other cartels. So there you have Trump's administration abetting drug cartel related crimes to contain socialist forces in the americas. I'm pretty sure his base of maggots can't find Honduras on a map. Never mind the cocaine, let's build that wall to keep Hondurans out. Derp, #MAGA

Posted by: Augustin L | Feb 21 2019 4:56 utc | 81

Thanks b and all the commentators.
#13 Bevin thanks for the link. Very good article with good links embedded in it.
#43 Karlof1 I was reading a transcript from Putin's State of the Nation Address and later watched a u-tube clip of part of it. The transcript (from the Saker) read as follows, "What are they doing in reality? First, they violate everything, then they look for excuses and appoint a guilty party. But they are also mobilising their satellites that are cautious but still make noises in support of the USA. The video clip went as follows "In addition they mobilize their satellites. They carefully oink along with the Americans on this matter" Judging from the loud round of applause and smiles on many in the audience at that point in the clip, I'd say the "oink" was the correct translation! YouTube clip was from Canthama twitter page.

Posted by: Tom | Feb 21 2019 5:33 utc | 82

Karlof1 #66 Colombia is one of NATO's "Partners across the globe". Sure hope article 5 doesn't apply to this scenario. Sure hope you are right about Venezuela having a few Mig 31 and Kinzal missiles and the YANKS know they do. Currently the USS Lincoln is off the coast of Florida undergoing "training".

Posted by: Tom | Feb 21 2019 6:03 utc | 83

John Bolton has now threatened the families of those remaining loyal to Maduro. It's not like he hasn't done this before. He threatened the head of OPCW I believe as well.

Posted by: Tom | Feb 21 2019 6:29 utc | 84

I doubt that Branson is as careless or stupid as we're being lead to believe. He started a successful music retailing company and a successful cut-price airline. Both industries are highly competitive and the pre-launch business plan for each would have required a prodigious amount of research/ homework in order to accurately evaluate the prospects for success.

I'm far from convinced that he'd consider Random Guyido to be a legitimate replacement for the elected President of Venezuela without doing some careful research and contemplating the outcome of any precedents. If he did conduct such research he would have discovered that History strongly suggests that Random Guyido is almost certainly a fraud.

So imo Branson knows exactly what he's doing, but we'll have to wait until the cash has been handed over before we find out. I believe he's got a wry sense of humour and will probably enjoy making Random Guydo (and his backers) look stupid and gullible. You need a certain amount of courage to take the risks Branson took to get where he is.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Feb 21 2019 6:40 utc | 85

Looks like it is critical for US plans to get hold of Venezuela's oil "no matter what" ASP.
"The U.S. government says it will position 190 metric tons of supplies by Friday, ready to deploy throughout Venezuela, according to Mark Green, the administrator of the U.S. Agency for International
Development (USAID).
The problem is figuring out how to get that aid into Venezuela.
“That really is up to Juan Guaido and his people and his team," Green told Fox News. "We are working with them to try and pre-position that assistance and give them the tools to lead their people and provide hope.”...
...Green said he’s coordinating with the Colombian government to ensure that Guaido, the opposition leader, has the aid his country needs -- though he said the next step is up to Guaido.
“We know it's not enough that the humanitarian aid enters,” Guaido said at a Caracas news conference. “We must open the humanitarian channel, no matter what."

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Feb 21 2019 7:26 utc | 86

b writes that "delivery of "humanitarian aid" is a pretext to break the border between Colombia and Venezuela".

Perhaps, but there may be another purpose in terms of legal framing the Maduro government.

The Rome Statute, when defining War Crimes, under the section entitled ‘other serious violations of the laws and customs applicable in international armed conflict’ there is "Intentionally using starvation of civilians as a method of warfare by depriving them of objects indispensible to their survival, including willfully impeding relief supplies…"

In other words, the non-acceptance of relief supplies will be framed as a war crime by the US government.

Posted by: Castellio | Feb 21 2019 7:53 utc | 87

@85 hoarsewhisperer.. oh brandscum knows exactly what he is doing... promoting his scummy brand.. that is what he is doing.. everything else is a charade.... but, it is cut throat biz and that is what he does best... slime ball that he is..

Posted by: james | Feb 21 2019 9:18 utc | 89

Looks like Branson is in it for some cheap post-coup plane fuel discounts for his Virgin empire. Too bad I just purchased some Virgin tickets for a short flight in April. But after that I'll be boycotting them along with the Palestinian Occupation Entity whose products I avoid as much as possible.

Posted by: imo | Feb 21 2019 9:24 utc | 90

The attack on Venezuela is bipartisan. Branson knows who butters his bread, and he likes his bread buttered.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Feb 21 2019 9:50 utc | 91

@90 & 91

Branson never did it for me. Cool rich 'hippie' PR image always seemed too canned. Somehow reminds me of Tony Blair for some reason. Perhaps he's looking for some military AID cargo contracts out of we-know-where.

Posted by: imo | Feb 21 2019 10:03 utc | 92

Just coincidence I'm sure that Branson suddenly has his eyes fixed on helping 'failing' Venezuelan and its future Virgin oil/fuel potential.

UK airline Flybmi ceases operations -- fuel costs & Brexit!

"The airline [Flybmi] has faced several difficulties, including recent spikes in fuel and carbon costs, the latter arising from the EU's recent decision to exclude UK airlines from full participation in the Emissions Trading Scheme...."

Posted by: imo | Feb 21 2019 10:23 utc | 93

Yes, this is all very interesting about the ongoing Venezuela crisis. But have you seen the Tucker Carlson interview of Rutger Bregman? It is a MUST SEE. Bregman, a Dutch historian who gave the Davos millionaires a most deserved smackdown, did an interview with Carlson. Bregman totally, completely out debates Carlson until Carlson is left speechless, stumbling his words–then completely, totally loses his temper. Check it out-

Sooooo satisfying. "You're a millionaire funded by billionaires". Priceless.

Posted by: Deschutes | Feb 21 2019 14:38 utc | 95

In any case the US does have large numbers of troops available for imperial adventures in other theaters. I fear for the Venezuelans at this time. The US is withdrawing from their failed ventures in the Mid East while the US threatens and pounds its chest in the Persian Gulf and the South China Sea -- but no one expects the US military to actually commit itself to another losing military engagement. Unfortunately, I do fear the US is ready to go to war in Venezuela -- if they do so decide to do so the Maduro government would not last very long. In the short term that would be considered a victory for the US Neo cons. In the longer term, say 5 years out, it would likely result in a war on the South American continent that has not been seen since Bolivar.

Posted by: ToivoS | Feb 20, 2019 10:05:13 PM | 76

As always, friend, your contribution
to this forum is very perceptive. ...and how will this all look 50 years out? Even worse!

Por una ley fatal que rige los mundos, el remordimiento del género humano aún tiene que pasar por los postreros cataclismos que han agitado el seno hidropónico del viejo vecino del Norte siendo él el paladión de la preponderancia política, pero aquí tenemos al ilustre Juan Carlos Gómez, hijo de Uruguay, cuyo bello poema La Libertad saben de memoria muchos jóvenes sudamericanos.

Cada verso que saboreamos contiene un gran pensamiento
o una imagen bella de la solidaridad de los americanos.

América es sin duda la tierra prometida,
América la virgen del universo es,
¡Oh Libertad, quién sabe si para darte vida
La mano de Dios mismo no la formó después!
Al fin yo te contemplo sin miedo de perderte
¡Que adoran ya los Pueblos tu santa majestad!
Dejadme ver la plata brotando,
Como la Diosa antigua, bellísima del mar.
Dejadme ver los tronos atónitos rodando,
Cuando al poner en tierra su pie, la hizo temblar.
¡Oh patria! si al amago de nueva tiranía
Sintiese mi entusiasmo, mi fe disminuir,
Presenta de tus hechos a la memoria mía
Tan solo ese gran paso que diste al porvenir.
Yo sé que vendrá un tiempo para la Patria mía
De paz y de ventura, de gloria y de hermandad.
Lo espero, sí, lo espero, yo sé que vendrá un día
Que alumbres todo el mundo brillante Libertad.

El canto de Gómez es un himno de gigantes porque mañana, el sol de la civilización alcanzará su cenit sobre México y las voces de los héroes resonarán en el aire con risas brillantes gritando sus preguntas: ¡quiénes son los primeros destructores del derecho divino!, ¿quiénes los emancipadores de los esclavos? y ¿quiénes los fundadores de una democracia auténtica?

Entonces se revelará la verdadera estatura de los próceres contrastando con de los estatuas pálidas de la conquista, la barbarie, y del neoliberalismo, elevados sobre sus pedestales por la ceguera de una población con hijos sin una educación de calidad.

La justicia será implacable, tiene que serlo; no nos perdonará si olvidamos a México, ni siquiera por un momento, y tal justicia será tanto más severa, cuando vea por un lado a los que adoran en el santuario del culto de Washington, y en el templo opuesto, otras almas que rezan, divididas en numerosas familias, conservando la unidad del amor filial que tributan a Simón Bolívar, el Libertador.

Excitamos, pues, de nuevo y sin cansarnos, a la juventud que tributa culto a la literatura, dejando de lado la efímera lira jónica con sus repetidos y monótonos acentos de amor, placer y tristeza fantástica, recoja y empuñe la robusta lira frigia, la lira de cuerdas de bronce que hace estremecer de orgullo el corazón del pueblo, el de los cuarenta y tres estudiantes en sus luchas por la libertad, la misma libertad que nos anima en la larga marcha de la civilización, de la cual formamos una parte consciente.

De hecho, la literatura en México servirá, como en otras naciones: para curar el carácter nacional, ser precursor del progreso, para alentar a la nación y poderla salvar del desaliento y de la muerte, colocando en su frente real la corona inmortal de recuerdos gloriosos. Sí, para salvarla de la muerte.

Ignacio Manuel Altamirano.

Iguala, Guerrero, 26 septiembre de 2014

Posted by: Guerrero | Feb 21 2019 15:00 utc | 96

To: Peter AU#78
That's about the cheapest shot I've read against Colonel Lang. Why don't you stop by SST and deliver it there in person?

Posted by: morongobill | Feb 21 2019 15:35 utc | 97

@97 morongobill.. no one can stop by his highnesse's place as he has banned anyone who has a different view... that about sums up his approach too..

Posted by: james | Feb 21 2019 15:51 utc | 98

I have the the comments he has put up on Venezuela and its socialism over the past weeks. As for your good colonel and cheap shots, several times he challenged me of several trump had said that I had quoted in comments. Both time I put up youtube videos of Trump speaking the sentences, and long enough that they could be taken in context and for this I was banned. No warning nothing.
Don't give me bullshit about cheap shots in relation to old pat.

Posted by: Peter | Feb 21 2019 16:18 utc | 99

Auto fill or whatever it is called left out the last bit of my user name, but comment @99 is mine.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Feb 21 2019 16:46 utc | 100

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