Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
February 01, 2019

Venezuela - Coup Propaganda Claims Gang Violence Is Coup Supporting Protest

To demonize the President of Venzuela, Nicolás Maduro, and Venezuelan government forces, a concerted effort is made to falsely depict gang violence, and the police reaction to it, as a confrontation between coup supporting protesters and the Maduro government.

Gang violence in the various slums in Caracas and elsewhere has been a problem for decades. The phenomenon is by far not exclusive to Venezuela. The gangs mostly fight each other over territory, but sometimes collide with the police that tries to keep the violence level down. This violence has nothing to do with the recently attempted coup or the anti-government protest by the mostly well-off people who support it.

On January 29 the Washington Post, the CIA's favored outlet, launched the campaign. As detailed yesterday an incident of gang violence and the police's reaction to it was manipulated into a story of anti-government protest.

The first three paragraph of the story told of an alleged anti-government protests in a slum in Caracas which included the arson of a culture center. The next day the police arrested some culprits which led to more violence. Some twenty propaganda filled paragraphs about the coup attempt follow. Only at the end of the Washington Post piece was revealed what really happened. The arson incident took place a January 22, a day before the coup attempt. It was a gang attack:

Around midnight, neighbors say, a group of hooded boys threw molotov cocktails at the culture center.

The following day the police arrested some of the arsonists. More rioting followed:

A group set fire to barricades, threw stones and attacked an outpost of the National Guard. ... Neighbors said that criminal gangs were among the crowd and created havoc by violently confronting the police.

The whole tit for tat incident was typical gang vs. police violence. It likely had nothing to do with the coup attempt.

On January 30 the New York Times added to the propaganda theme:

The agents barged into the home of Yonaiker Ordóñez, 18, on Sunday morning as he slept. Dressed in helmets and carrying rifles, the men grabbed the teenager and forced him to another room without explaining why they came, his family said.
...
The operation resembled one of the many police raids against the gangs that terrorize Venezuela’s poor neighborhoods. But Mr. Ordóñez’s only crime, his family said, was that he attended a protest against the government days before.

The Times goes on to claim that a special police force, the FAES, has replaced the National Guard as anti-protester force. It quotes an 'opposition lawmaker', a 'human rights organization', a 'former military general who broke ranks with Mr. Maduro', a 'criminologist in Caracas who teaches at the Central University of Venezuela' and an 'opposition activist' in support of that claim. No attempt is made to quote someone from the police or government side. How the FAES, a special police force with some 1,000 officers in Caracas, could ever replace the 70,000 strong militarized National Guard is left unexplained.

On January 31 an op-ed by the dude the U.S. wants to make president of Venezuela, Juan Guaidó, was published in the NYT. He mentioned (not by chance) the same incident describe in the Washington Post. He also claimed that it was motivated by anti-Maduro sentiment:

Last week in Caracas, citizens from the poorest neighborhoods that had been Chavista strongholds in the past took to the streets in unprecedented protests. They went out again on Jan. 23 with the full knowledge that they might be brutally repressed, and they continue to attend town hall meetings.

The phrase 'they went out again on Jan. 23' confirms that the incident happened before the coup-attempt on January 23 and the demonstrations related to the coup.

Today Bloomberg reports of the same incident as WaPo and NYT before. It also falsely claims that the FAES police raids against gangs are part of a government reaction to an alleged anti-Maduro sentiment:

Since protests against Maduro began last week, the socialist regime has regularly sent the police’s elite Special Action Force racing into Caracas slums on personnel carriers and motorcycles. Its masked members, all in black, attack demonstrators with weapons including tear gas, guns and even grenades. They settle long-standing scores and rob residents’ homes, eyewitnesses say. At least 35 people have died amid the demonstrations, adding to scores of deaths in two years of unrest.

The government sent the FAES to arrest gang criminals in Caracas' slums ever since that force was founded for exactly that purpose. To say that it does so "since protests against Maduro began last week" makes absolutely no sense.

The unhinged National Security Advisor John Bolton highlighted the alleged anti-government protest in a radio interview today:

[W]hat we’ve seen, the violence you’ve referred to already, which interestingly has been largely in the poorest parts of Caracas, that is to say directed against the poorest residents of the city, the former supporters of Chavez by basically armed gangs called collectivos [sic!] in Spanish trained and equipped by Cuba. These are the thugs and killers that have been sent out in the past days, were sent out against earlier expressions of opposition to Maduro. And it’s these people, they are absolutely ruthless. This is as cold-blooded, they’re capable of cold-blooded murder, and they’ve engaged in it already. 

"The slums are rising up!" "They get brutally repressed!" It is the same story repeated again and again. It is also false.

Gang violence is a huge problem in Venezuela. Like in other countries it is a side-effect of rapid urbanization and the uncontrolled growth of new city quarters or slums. Other factors are drugs and the availability of weapons. Some six million guns are believed to be in civilian hands and drug dealing is rampant. Youth unemployment exacerbates the problem. The same gang problem exists in Brazil, Honduras, Colombia, Mexico and elsewhere. In Los Angeles 60% of all homicides are gang related.

The problem is not new. In March 2011 the Guardian reported on Drugs, murder and redemption: the gangs of Caracas. In October 2012 Time Magazine published a photo essay about the The Street Gangs of Caracas. In June 2015 the government created a joint military and police force to get a grip on the problem. It was not successful: Controversy Continues over Venezuela’s New Security Operation. The Daily Mail ran a typically sensational piece about gang violence in Caracas in June 2016: Boss of brutal kidnap gang boasts of murdering HUNDREDS - and police admit they're powerless to stop him. In August 2016 Reuters chimed in: Ultra-violent gangs thrive in chaotic Venezuela despite crackdown. In May 2017 the LA Times headlined Venezuela's raging homicide epidemic is going unrecorded.

Since the late 1980s the homicide rate in Venezuela (and elsewhere) has constantly risen. The gang violence existed in Venezuela way before 2002 when the socialists under Hugo Chavez came to power. Several large programs were created to calm it down with more or less success. Special anti-gang forces were created and abandoned. The problem still does not go away. There are many ideas of how to fight gang violence. Some may work, some may not. They all require lots of money and time.

In 2017 the Venezuelan government created the Bolivarian National Police Special Forces (‘FAES’ in Spanish). It replaced a joint military and police force, the Operation Liberate the People, that was criticized after some bloody incidents. The FAES are equipped like typical SWAT teams and have a similar function. Here are pictures of them in a recent raid against criminal groups. There are only 1,000 FAES officers in Caracas, a city with 3 million people. Their job is to react to violent gang crime. The force is too small to be tasked with controlling anti-government demonstrations. That is the job of the regular police and national guard.

Criminal gang activity in the slums and the police reaction to it that has been going on for decades. To now claim that it is somehow related to the recent coup attempt and anti-Maduro activities is nonsensical.

It is typical demonization propaganda. As soon as the U.S. government declares some head of state an 'enemy', U.S. media start to villainize that person. The same stories that were written about alleged cruelty of Saddam Hussein, Muhammad Ghaddafi, Kim Jong-Il and Bashar al-Assad will now be recycled with regards to Nicolas Maduro. In Syria the shabiha, youth groups supporting the Baath party, were claimed to be a secret killer force for the government. The same claim is now made about colectivos in Venezuela. These are civil neighborhood groups doing social work in support of the United Socialist Party. It is lather, rinse, repeat 'reporting' in the service of war mongering.

The people who live in the slums of Caracas have profited most from the socialist policies of Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro. They are the most avid chavistas. It were those people who took to the streets and came to Chavez' help during the failed coup in 2002. If they would really rise up against the government, the streets would be full and Maduro would be finished.

To claim that these people now engage in the anti-government protests is at best wishful thinking of the coup-attempt supporters. More likely it is war drums propaganda.

Posted by b on February 1, 2019 at 03:08 PM | Permalink

Comments
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EU parliament drops final leaf, recognizes Washington's puppet Juan Guaido in Venezuela

Posted by: Never Mind the Bollocks | Feb 1, 2019 3:14:42 PM | 1

BigLie Media tries again with the same old lies inside a somewhat new package. BigLie Media can't seem to make up its mind--first it attacks Trump and his policies, then it supports Trump and his policies. How many others notice do ya think?

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 1, 2019 3:34:27 PM | 2

Interesting article - latest from Dr. Michael Hudson:
Accelerating the end of the US Global Order

Posted by: c1ue | Feb 1, 2019 3:35:43 PM | 3

I wouldn't be a bit surprised if a few highly indignant comments purporting to be from Venezuelans popped up here affirming that the alleged repression, etc. is completely true.

Posted by: Ort | Feb 1, 2019 4:04:37 PM | 4

CNN Fake Venezuelan defectors
https://www.reddit.com/r/socialism/comments/alv49f/cnn_fake_venezuelan_defectors/

Posted by: Zanon | Feb 1, 2019 4:09:37 PM | 5

Is the US Meddling in Venezuela?
Max Blumenthal Asks US Congress Members.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=32&v=BrapYLtkBhY

Posted by: Rolf | Feb 1, 2019 4:13:16 PM | 6

Lather, rinse, repeat. In France police are targeting nonviolent gilets jaunes protesters which has resulted in many serious injuries, amputations, and loss of eyesight from rubber bullets. The plan here is to link black bloc violence with the protests
as a way of discrediting the movement and justifying a violent crackdown. One wonders to what level black bloc is acting as agents provocateurs, as evidence shows is the case from past events. Check out Vanessa Beeley's reporting from France:
https://21stcenturywire.com/sundaywire/

Posted by: Kabobyak | Feb 1, 2019 4:17:07 PM | 7

Demonization and propaganda are the normal operating mode of the US regime.

If the the Washington Post is the CIA's favored outlet then the NYT is a close second.

Posted by: AriusArmenian | Feb 1, 2019 4:21:59 PM | 8

I was talking to an anti-gang organizer in Chicago, (where thousands of people are killed in gang violence, for some reason not attributed to the failures of capitalism). They were working on getting young people involved in alternatives like sports, music and art.
I mentioned that my neighbor growing up had been in a gang in South Central LA, where he was raised. (As a white immigrant). When he moved next door, my mom was dismayed, since he was wearing a zoot suit and she thought he would be trouble.
Nope. He married, had kids, got a job and lived the rest of his life without any law trouble. Sure, he drank and got into the occasional fight, but he was a good neighbor. Steady employment kept him busy.

Posted by: wagelaborer | Feb 1, 2019 4:25:26 PM | 9

Many Thanks B. The garbage I am reading on MSM and sites that purport to be alternative news like zerohedge indicate war is imminent and maybe necessary to prevent bloodshed. It's the WMD and babies killed in incubaters thing all over again. Your piece explains the violence and gives great in depth and insight rather than drum beating.

Posted by: ken | Feb 1, 2019 4:37:49 PM | 10

This coup has entered bizarro land even for a coup. The lack of current military action suggests to me that Trump is bluffing. And by the way he will lose in 2020 if he opens up a flagrant military intervention in another country. Just Air strikes are possible but without a real ground support, I"m not sure they'll do much and I think these will also cost him 2020.

The longer this goes on, the worse Guiado looks. If it drags on he loses his legitimacy among the rather illegitimate coup supporters.

The question is what happens next?

Posted by: alaric | Feb 1, 2019 4:48:53 PM | 11

This is almost 'destabilisation by numbers and it is so obvious and in-you-face that it is deeply offensive to any person of conscience. But therein lies the point....psychopaths have no conscience, and the team running this gig probably all got to the top leaving a trail of sh1t and corpses behind them. I wonder what stunts they will pull in the U.K if Corbyn&Co come to power. They really, really don't like socialism of any sort. Will they refuse to recognise Corbyn an PM and only deal through the Maybot? That's the logical outcome of this new MO...

Posted by: Emmanuel Goldstein | Feb 1, 2019 4:49:13 PM | 12

I note by other sources "Acting President of The United State", John Bolton, has stated he will send President Murado to Gitmo .....Apparently, a coup took place and Trump has been demoted from Chief Moron to Acting Moron of the United States.

Posted by: Ger | Feb 1, 2019 4:50:39 PM | 13

"...Gang violence is a huge problem in Venezuela. Like in other countries it is a side-effect of rapid urbanization and the uncontrolled growth of new city quarters or slums. Other factors are drugs and the availability of weapons. Some six million guns are believed to be in civilian hands and drug dealing is rampant. Youth unemployment exacerbates the problem ..."

One might want to ask where the weapons originally were made and sold, and where the drugs originally came from and who supplied them.

Anyone remember the notorious Operation Fast and Furious scandal about ten years ago in which the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) ran a sting operation allowing licensed gun dealers to sell firearms to buyers working for Mexican drug cartels, in the belief that tracking the guns would lead to making arrests of their ultimate owners? Eventually so many guns ended up south of the US border in Mexico that the ATF couldn't track any of them. Quite a few of those guns ended up killing US border patrol police. We would be naive to think that some version of Operation Fast and Furious hasn't been repeated elsewhere.

How much of the gang violence in Venezuela is associated with drugs, the US War on Drugs in other parts of Central and South America, and the United States' own involvement in selling drugs through the CIA and other agencies in those areas, and the gang networks that have benefited and allowed to grow from there into other countries in the Western Hemisphere: that would be interesting to know.

Posted by: Jen | Feb 1, 2019 5:00:47 PM | 14

>>>>> Ger | Feb 1, 2019 4:50:39 PM | 13

Nah, this picture of Bolton and Pompeo says it all.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Feb 1, 2019 5:02:07 PM | 15

These people are completely embarrassing and just sad. Another weapons-company funded talking point, pushed out via the Foundation for Defence of Democracies, says that Maduro is a representative of "Russian Imperialism," or even "Cuban(!) Imperialism." Such nonsense is meant to deflect the obvious imperialism of the USA and has sadly been repeated by so-called anarchists at Libcom. Even the Wall Street Journal is more honest about the fact that this is obviously a US-led regional coup plan. Parroting Lockheed-Martin to own the "tankies."

Note that most real world anarchists not backed by disinfo agencies are not insane and don't believe FDD sludge

Posted by: Blooming Barricade | Feb 1, 2019 5:13:21 PM | 16

The New York Slimes had a front page story on the alleged "extermination units" of Maduro, needless to say all of their information came from "human rights and civil society groups" OBVIOUSLY funded by the National Endowment for Democracy and therefore worthy and democratic organizations such as Exxon-Mobil, McDonald's, Goldman Sachs, Boeing, CitiGroup, the US Chamber of Commerce, Visa, Hilton Hotels, and more. See here: https://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/2019/01/us-regime-change-in-venezuela.html

Posted by: Blooming Barricade | Feb 1, 2019 5:21:35 PM | 17

Abby Martin on the beat:

"War danger is very real. Bolton threatens to send Maduro to US torture house Guantanamo if he doesn't resign in insane, unhinged interview where he claims Russian & Cuban agents are in Venezuela assassinating peaceful protesters on behalf of the government"

https://twitter.com/AbbyMartin/status/1091443808636522496

Posted by: Blooming Barricade | Feb 1, 2019 5:25:16 PM | 18

A must read on US foreign policy:

Michael Hudson: Trump’s Brilliant Strategy to Dismember U.S. Dollar Hegemony

http://www.unz.com/mhudson/trumps-brilliant-strategy-to-dismember-u-s-dollar-hegemony/

Posted by: Rolf | Feb 1, 2019 5:31:45 PM | 19

Expect the Venezuelan White Helmets to appear real soon. This "project" is being run using the same plan as Syria. This means that shortly there will be reports that the Bolivarian government has used chemical weapons it doesn't have against the "freedom fighters".

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Feb 1, 2019 5:34:18 PM | 20

The business of conflation of gang violence with protest is not new. See the kidnapping of Aristide in 2004 by US special forces, and the associated coup.

The Canadian government was working with former police chief of Gonaives, turned international cocaine trader, Guy Philippe (see the confession of 9 November 2004 in the Canadian parliament, as made by then Canadian ambassador the Haiti, Hon. Dr. Claude Bucher re cooperation with Philippe, and Internet archive backups of DEA fugitive lists for Miami Florida circa 2013 e.g. for Philippe's involvement in the cocaine trade; there were much earlier indications, but they have been scrubbed off the internet, e.g. a 2007 Reuters article regarding a DEA raid on Philippe's compound).

In cooperation with the Canadian government, Philippe illegally returned to Haiti. When the leader of the "Cannibal Army" street gang was killed in a intergang shootout, Philippe took over leadership of the Cannibal Army gang, and accused Aristide of killing said leader, which the financial press parroted (the Cannibal Army became peaceful opposition protesters in the official propaganda), and after the coup, former Haitian prime minister Yvon Neptune was held for two years on genocide charges (sic), regarding the gang shootout.

When Phillipe took over leadership of the Cannibal Army gang, be renamed it several times, settling on "the national revolutionary front for the liberation of Haiti."

The reason the press felt that they could get away with such a lie was that certain gangs had agreed not to attack the police, including both the Cannibal Army, and the gang which killed the then leader of the Cannibal Army. The financial press (including notoriously The Economist) had been referring for some time prior to the coup to such gangs as "Aristide supporters" and to gangs that refused, as "political opposition."

The reason for such arrangements (police negotiating with gangs) was a Clinton law, nominally passed against the Cedras junta, but only enforced upon Aristide's return, preventing the Haitian the government from importing automatic arms, thus putting the police at a disadvantage relative to the gangs.

When the coup started, and the Cannibal Army started attacking the Gonaives police, said police started fighting back. When it became obvious that the police would win, the US special forces conducted their kidnapping of Aristide.

For an overview, see Kevin Pina's Haiti We Must Kill the Bandits.

Since the coup, Canada and USA have run several fraudulent elections in Haiti, in violation of the Haitian constitution. Tactics have included burning dumpsters full of ballots, preventing Aristide's party from running, and outright ballot stuffing, with an attendant drop in voter participation.

Posted by: Johan Meyer | Feb 1, 2019 5:40:16 PM | 21

Thank you c1ue (post 3). Dr. Hudson's article is excellent and an antidote to the despair looming just beyond my space heater.

Posted by: Mandrau | Feb 1, 2019 5:53:29 PM | 22

One correction to my above comment:

Not ballot stuffing, but giving fraudulent counts for ballot boxes. After five boxes were checked in the last fraudulent US run Haitian election, in which the actual ballots were anti-US puppet while the official count was in favour of the US puppet, the US corrected the totals for the examined boxes, while refusing to allow recounts of any other boxes, thereby giving the US puppet a win.

Posted by: Johan Meyer | Feb 1, 2019 5:54:58 PM | 23

B:

I'm amazed that you can read through the drivel and lies published by the likes of the New York Times and Washington Post regards Venezuela.

Once the NYT, on day one of the coup, pretended there some some question regards the legitimacy Maduro's election, I lost all patience.

I watch Jimmy Dore talking to Abby Martin, someone who has been there recently.

But thank you for posting on this further spewing of idiocy and lies from the NYT and WashPost. Those publications don't even seem to care to base their critiques of Venezuela and Maduro on some kind of verifiable reality.

Posted by: Jay | Feb 1, 2019 6:01:26 PM | 24

Fixing Bloomberg's text to apply to events closer to home:

The capitalist regime has regularly sent the police forces racing into slums in personnel carriers. Its masked and helmeted members, equipped with full military gear, helmets, batons, and shields, attack demonstrators with weapons including tear gas, guns and even grenades.

Posted by: worldblee | Feb 1, 2019 6:06:10 PM | 25

By the way, Guy Philippe now is appealing his own plea bargain (money laundering in cocaine trade related activities).

In one of the articles that was scrubbed off the internet, an interview with "before it is news" with Philippe, Philippe protested that US puppet dictator of Haiti (and former pole dancer / rapper, Michel Martelly aka Sweet Mickey) was far more involved in the international cocaine trade than Philippe ever had opportunity to be.

Also, Philippe has been involved in the cocaine trade since at least 1999.

Posted by: Johan Meyer | Feb 1, 2019 6:14:20 PM | 26

The comments for the nyts story are terrible.

Posted by: dahoit | Feb 1, 2019 6:18:47 PM | 27

Duterte has a solution to drug and gang violence. The west protests vigorously, now why is that? Duterte learned from the events in Haiti that the west will use the gangs to destroy him.

eh Maduro!! learn from Duterte.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Feb 1, 2019 6:19:38 PM | 28

@ Ger #13

Since nothing about any of this makes sense, let me run another theory past you.

Trump accused of 'stopping working' as schedule reveals he averaged one event per day in January

As the link says, if Trump has stopped doing anything except "hate-tweeting" and watching Fox News, this would be an opening for Pence and his friends to do whatever they please. Venezuela might be as simple as killing some time and gaining some practice while waiting for events in the mideast to come to a boil.

I've seen claims Trump was desperately looking to get out of the Shutdown while still saving face. If being President isn't fun anymore, he may be looking for a "heroic" way out of that position as well.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Feb 1, 2019 7:15:53 PM | 29

reply to Jen 14
"Anyone remember the notorious Operation Fast and Furious scandal about ten years ago in which the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) ran a sting operation allowing licensed gun dealers to sell firearms to buyers working for Mexican drug cartels, in the belief that tracking the guns would lead to making arrests of their ultimate owners?"
I recall reading there was a further goal of the Fast and Furious project; when the guns eventually showed up in the US it would be used as justification for draconian gun control as clearly regulating dealers didn't "work." I don't recall where I read that, it was sometime ago.

Posted by: frances | Feb 1, 2019 7:16:47 PM | 30

reply to Johan Meyer 21
re Haiti; thank you, I had no idea the gangs were used in that manner, the more I learn the darker it gets.

Posted by: frances | Feb 1, 2019 7:24:53 PM | 31

It is estimated that 5 million Colombians entered Venezuela in the last two decades, some of whom brought a culture of violence with them (a sort of Jihad)...

Posted by: Lochearn | Feb 1, 2019 7:28:49 PM | 32

Thanks b, as always, you just cut right through the BS.

Jen@14 -My thoughts exactly. Drugs, money, guns, and violence. The gangs should be considered proxy forces of the Empire. Their role is to destabilize and terrorize.

In the US, heavily militarized police forces have impunity to kill unarmed, non-threatening people of color, even children, with barely a peep from the presstitutes. That thought leads to the white-suprematist nature of the Empire and how the genocide and ethic cleansing of the US has been so complete that indigenous people today are less than 1% of the population and are still viewed by the ptb as an impediment to "progress". Remember how the Standing Rock protests ended?

The hubris and hypocracy of the Empire knows no bounds.

Posted by: mourning dove | Feb 1, 2019 7:33:20 PM | 33

By the way, that pinnacle of journalism the Daily Mail is blocking pro Maduro posts on its Vz stories, people are noticing it and posting comments complaining on other stories.

Posted by: frances | Feb 1, 2019 7:39:08 PM | 34

Sorry, reference from 2015:

5 millones de colombianos han huido hacia Venezuela (5 million Colombians have escaped to Venezuela)
Sabemos que Semana, El Tiempo, El Espectador, Caracol, RCN (por nombrar algunos) mantienen una incesante campaña mediática desde Colombia contra Venezuela y la Revolución Bolivariana. La matriz derrocha tinta y baba cotidianamente contra el país mientras hace caso omiso de los problemas internos colombianos (que, por fuerza, se han impuesto por actores foráneos).
EL CIUDADANOMARCH 2, 2015
(We know that Semana, El Tiempo, El Espectador Caracol, RCN to mention only some have created an incessant media campaign against Venezuela and the Bolivarian Revolution.)


Leer en: https://www.elciudadano.cl/justicia/5-millones-de-colombianos-han-huido-hacia-venezuela/03/02/#ixzz5eKTtboRe

Posted by: Lochearn | Feb 1, 2019 7:40:03 PM | 35

@Lochearn 32
Colombia is less violent overall than Venezuela, on a per capita basis, by about a factor of two. Colombia banned leaded petrol in the early 1990s, although smuggling of subsidized and leaded Venezuelan petrol (until 2005) has resulted in Colombian border towns having higher murder rates than the nearby Venezuelan towns from where the petrol was smuggled. If excessive violence in Venezuela is being perpetrated by Colombians, they will largely be from border areas.

Posted by: Johan Meyer | Feb 1, 2019 7:40:15 PM | 36


Oh, Come on, do you not know how the fucking empire works? Colombia is what Cuba was pre 1959, a playground for elites with prostitution the major dollar earner.

Posted by: Lochearn | Feb 1, 2019 7:45:29 PM | 37

Blooming Barricade @18--

In his latest, Pepe Escobar gives Bolton a new moniker--"psycho killer"--which I find quite apt. An excellent addition to Hudson's essay, Pepe's piece provides new information for us:

"Psycho killer Bolton’s by now infamous notepad stunt about '5,000 troops to Colombia', is a joke; these would have no chance against the arguably 15,000 Cubans who are in charge of security for the Maduro government; Cubans have demonstrated historically they are not in the business of handing over power."

Brazil has said they'll be no invasion from its land. I seem to recall similar noise coming from Colombia despite the Outlaw US Empire's having leased 8 bases. The upshot is Economic War is the worst aggression the Outlaw US Empire is capable of visiting on Venezuela. But has Hudson details, a method of resisting/counter-attacking now exists and continues to gain strength. The old "Core" nations are slowly being relegated to the periphery while committing treason to the principles they once sought to impose globally. No, the Hybrid Third World War isn't yet over, but we can now discern how it will end.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 1, 2019 7:50:05 PM | 38

b. Refers to "the attempted coup" in the past tense - I think it is actually ongoing and unlikely to be abandoned.

Posted by: Babyl-on | Feb 1, 2019 7:59:17 PM | 39

@ 38 Great comment. I have the feeling the the emperor's new clothes moment has been reached - Trump is the epitomy of Hans Christian Anderson's tale.

Posted by: Lochearn | Feb 1, 2019 8:03:00 PM | 40

A very unanticipated announcement:

"President Donald Trump will reaffirm his intention to end US involvement in foreign military conflicts when he delivers his State of the Union (SOTU) address next week, a senior administration told reporters.

"'In terms of protecting America’s national security, the president will update Congress on his diplomatic and military efforts around the world and reaffirm his determination to protect American interest and bring to an end our endless foreign wars,' the official said on Friday."

Reactions from the bar?

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 1, 2019 8:04:07 PM | 41

karlof1@41
My reaction -
"War is Peace
Ignorance is Strength
Slavery is Freedom"

Posted by: mourning dove | Feb 1, 2019 8:16:48 PM | 42

reply to karlof1 41
What the hell....?

Posted by: frances | Feb 1, 2019 8:27:23 PM | 43

I learned a lot from Hudson's piece, but I fact-checked one statement of his and it seems wrong - he claims the President of the World Bank is traditionally a post for US Secretary of Defense (presumably after being SecDef), but looking at the list of past World Bank Presidents, I only see one secdef, and 2ish assistant/deputy secdefs. The others seem unrelated to the US Dept of Defense.

Does anyone know more about this? Is Hudson mistaken? Or is there more to it than what I found out?

Thanks.

Posted by: A | Feb 1, 2019 8:28:05 PM | 44

@ karlof1 | Feb 1, 2019 8:04:07 PM | 41
I don't doubt that Trump wants to end foreign wars, which the US is consistently losing, a no-brainer decision, it's his lack of sensibility that's a worry when he also supports --
>a large increase in the size of the army, which is only required for foreign wars (Mexico and Canada are quite benign).
>an Army general for Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, out of rotational order (which would have favored Air Force).
>big bucks going for Army modernization
The fact is that the US doesn't need a standing army* at all, and having one only contributes to the chance of (plans for) foreign wars.
My guess is Trump's trying to buy loyalty, what with all the impeachment talk, which is serious, but who knows. He offers no explanation.

* Constitutional scholars out there know about Article I, Section 8 which favors a standing navy, but not a standing army:
1: The Congress shall have Power. . .
12: To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;
13: To provide and maintain a Navy;

Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 1, 2019 8:35:04 PM | 45

@A | Feb 1, 2019 8:28:05 PM | 44
We covered this question in the last thread. Hudson was mistaken on a couple of things, that is one.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 1, 2019 8:38:24 PM | 46


An article published at Stalkerzone, gives a glimpse of what could be described as an informational coup, where fake news with fake images are spreaded, mainly through Twitter, and this way they the US and its puppets in Venezuela try to create and "alternative reality" in which crowds who belong to events where supporters of President Maduro take part, are presented as the crowd supporting that unknown personage till some days ago, Guaido, and assertions about alleged meetings of the US appointed new president of Venezuela with members of the FANB are also presented as facts without any graphic evidence and the very FANB denying any contact with the coupist.

Also, gets debunked the general message on Maduro´s incompetency to manage Venezuelan economy and state, spreaded, not only by the US and its puppet media/governments, but also by those who are supposed to be in the "resistance" side, those whose anti-socialist views makes them contribute to the informational coup.

On the same vein,debunking all the lies who make Maduro and the Bolivarian system and government responsible for the straits produced by an organized harassment which started not this month but several years ago, a Spanish professor has written a letter to Spanish president, Sánchez, so as to, not only ashame him, but also warn him about the posible outcome of allowing this outrage to happen and the breaking point reached with what at all ights seem the full abolishment of International Law...he is offering economic data to defintiely debunk all the authors, "analysts", and commenters out there spreading plain lies, without offering any fact to support their claims against Maduro


"Mr. President You, as your party has done so many times, have had the cowardice to put aside a new aggression against a country that defends its sovereignty at all costs, aligning itself with the US guidelines in this respect.

But, Mr. President, you know very well that Venezuela is the most advanced democracy in all of Latin America, which has held some 29 elections since 1999 (the year in which Chávez arrived at the head of state), the majority under international supervision, and with the system of "The most advanced electoral count in the world" according to the Jimmy Carter Foundation. In fact, the last legislative elections were won by the opposition.

You know, because in your office it is impossible not to know, that Venezuela has some of the most important achievements of the continent. It appears as the country of the area with the greatest reduction in the percentage of poverty, which went from 28.9% in 1998 to 19.6% in 2013; and the percentage of households in extreme poverty decreased from 10.8% to 5.5% in the same period.

You also know, how could you not know? That Venezuela is the country in the region that has fought the most against inequality. The Gini coefficient (according to which 0 is the maximum equality and 1 the superlative inequality) in 1998 was 0.486 and in 2013 it reached 0.398, the lowest in Latin America.

Also, if you do not know for sure that some of the diplomats of your government did, Unesco declared Venezuela under the Chávez government "Free of Illiteracy Territory", and this country has a net primary schooling rate of 95.90. %.

I would also have to know that the evolution of child malnutrition in children under 5 years of age went from 7.70% in 1990 to 2.53% in 2013. This country deserves recognition from the United Nations Food and Nutrition Organization. Agriculture-FAO. While the vacancy rate went from 15.2% in 1999 to 7.1% in April 2014 (the one that the Kingdom of Spain already wanted far away). Venezuela reached 0,771 in the HDI, which includes it in the group of countries considered with a "High Level of Human Development", to be above the average of Latin America and the Caribbean. You also know, I am sure, that the government of Venezuela provides housing for its population and that there are no evictions.

You must also know, how you will not know if even your party mate Rodríguez Zapatero let you see when he was a mediator in Venezuela, that the serious crisis in this country is caused by the ruthless economic war that is perpetrated against him, launched first of all by USA and seconded by subaltern countries as unfortunately is the Kingdom of Spain.

I remind you of some of the characteristics of that war. The unilateral closure of bank accounts of the Venezuelan State to make it difficult for suppliers to pay essential goods and to meet other commitments. The cancellation, for exclusively political reasons, of vital imports, as was the case of treatments for malaria. Withholding crucial currencies to purchase basic goods (for example, in November 2017, financial services provider Euroclear retained 1.65 billion dollars of Venezuela that were destined to the purchase of foods and medicines). The Venezuelan Executive has retained close to 2.5 billion dollars of international operations, in different banks, either for debt or import payments, or for oil bills. Wells Fargo Bank withheld and canceled payments of 7.5 million dollars for the sale of energy to Brazil. It also has retained foreign currency to pay back payments to pensioners abroad. And they have been retaining food shipments for the population that were already paid (for example, in December 2017, 2,200 tons of pork were kept for two weeks at the Colombian border, rotting during retention).

Now they also want to take away their gold reserves from foreign banks and steal the profits from their oil. To which is added the internal economic warfare that the Venezuelan business class carries out, hoarding all kinds of products to cause a widespread shortage, or playing with currency exchange rates to destabilize the country.

And afterwards, governments like yours that collaborate with all of this proclaim that it is necessary to send "humanitarian aid" to Venezuela.

Size cynicism is also part of that brutal economic war to which I referred, whose steps and specific objectives I already explained in this same medium and that seeks to cause deaths and suffering without limits in the Venezuelan population, in order to surrender and lift up against your government. That war is accompanied by a terrible media bombardment that is almost unprecedented. The means of mass dissemination have always been used to "soften" the consciences of societies before initiating a war against any population. They did it recently in Iraq, in Yugoslavia, in Ukraine, in Libya, in Syria ... but what Venezuela is suffering is already truly long and exhausting. In fact, this monotonous bombardment is so insistent that it already convinces almost all European people that something bad has to have that government so that they persecute him so much. When in reality they should ask themselves what a good government does so that all the powerful and the extreme-right, starting with the "crazy" Trump, want to sink him.

And it is that the main weapon of massive destruction of the USA, that has no rival in the world, is the monopolistic control of mass media, the dictation of world news (with the consequent systematic and planned disinformation), or which is the same, the reality construction machine.(...)

But I suppose that if the great world powers that give instructions to your government resort to such a crude option, it is because things go very badly for them and they must be quite desperate, enough to put the world in a new phase without rules, where war and aggression between countries prevails over any convention. Because you, with your position, are also complicit in a probable military intervention of unpredictable consequences in the heart of the Great American Homeland. It will make all of Spain complicit in it.

Mr President, you know perfectly, to finish, that any European government would have reacted by totally closing the democratic space before a threat of external interference, coup d'état or armed insurgency sponsored by third parties. Look, if not, how the Spanish governments have reacted just because someone asks for urns in Catalonia. Or how Britain closed the "freedom of the press" for the Falklands war that was thousands of kilometers away. All this has been faced by Venezuela, however, without leaving a permanent path of dialogue, as again our former head of government, Zapatero, can testify.

I believe that you do not feel any remorse for your crude ultimatum to the legitimate president of Venezuela, but do you really feel no concern before the free way that is giving to others in the Kingdom of Spain? A country, which as its name indicates, can not choose its head of state, nor (at least not yet) has it chosen you either.


Posted by: Sasha | Feb 1, 2019 8:43:08 PM | 47

@45 don

I am with you. Results given to DJT will have to be in terms measured in a tangible wind-down to these occupations. He is not a politician who excels in Orwellian-speak as those above mention. His apolitical nature is the only true bright spot in his presidency. His contributions have given terminology like "globalism" back its weight for the public to peruse, when of course they are not frothing at the mouth with TDS. He deserves a lot of credit and speaking on a soapbox about this important terminology and turning-point can truly affect the impressionable in the coming generations.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Feb 1, 2019 9:05:04 PM | 48

There is a racial and cultural angle to the Venezuela discord (which the US and its puppets are taking advantage of). Chavez was and Maduro is at least partly indigenous, and that rankles some who favor the white Spanish..
. . .from a 2017 article on the web...

. . .While the Chávez government attracted international attention for its economic and political programmes, it also addressed cultural injustices. Through new cultural policies and social programmes, such as Misión Cultura, Chavismo raised the symbolic status of the historically excluded poor and mixed-race masses.

The opposition protests that have flared up since Chávez first came to power need to be understood within this cultural and racial context. Radical sectors of the right wing opposition have repeatedly refused to accept the legitimacy of Chavismo and what it represents. In 2002, they helped organise both a short-lived US-backed coup and oil strikes meant to create chaos and bring the government down. The street demonstrations raging today are aimed at achieving regime change, but the opposition has not indicated what policies they would introduce and how they would deal with the country’s problems if they were in power.

The crisis in Venezuela is not simply a matter of left wing versus right wing political and economic systems. It is also rooted in competing ideas about racial and cultural worth. The ugly truth is that for some, it is still a matter of civilisation versus barbarism. . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 1, 2019 9:09:36 PM | 49

@ NemesisCalling | Feb 1, 2019 9:05:04 PM | 48
Yes, I particularly like the way he kicks in the teeth the old alliances of the US and its world-wide puppet networks favored by the establishment which Trump has threatened and acted against. Yet they still persist.
from the news
As part of the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act, Congress required the Secretary of Defense, in concert with the Secretary of State, to “assess the foreign military and non-military activities of the People’s Republic of China that could affect the regional and global national security and defense interests of the United States.//
Wow, "regional and global national security and defense interests of the United States" leaves nothing out.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 1, 2019 9:17:38 PM | 50

thanks b... if we could send bolton to gitmo, that'd be the beginning of something truly relevant and worthwhile - let him go with all the other neo cons down the line since before bush2's time too.. nyt /wapo and etc...water carriers for the same evil empire.. no surprise.. lies are all they have and they have endless reams of them...


@don bacon and nemesiscalling.. you two are still in love with trump, lol... i suppose you figure it's all an accident and he really does want to stop the wars of aggression on various countries and etc... give it up.. the guy is off the charts unstable and doesn't know his ass from the hole in his head.. nothing has stopped under his watch.. it has only gotten worse and now he threatens venezuala... he will sell what the corporatocracy wants him to sell, plain, simple and just as vacuous as it sounds..

@ Johan Meyer.. thanks for your comments..

Posted by: james | Feb 1, 2019 9:24:02 PM | 51

NemesisCalling@48
Claiming a commitment to ending foreign wars while threatening Venezuela with a coup is the epitome of Orwellian doublespeak. Is it really necessary to get in to the semantics of "war"?

Read that second sentence very carefully, it is a case study in obfuscation.

Posted by: mourning dove | Feb 1, 2019 9:31:41 PM | 52

Don Bacon@49 That's the nature of the beast, always has been.

Posted by: mourning dove | Feb 1, 2019 9:50:20 PM | 53

@ Sasha | Feb 1, 2019 8:43:08 PM | 47

Very interesting, thank you.

I wonder how widely noticed, read or discussed this letter will be in Spain, or outside of Spain for that matter? I've sent a heads-up to GlobalResearch.ca re Andrés Piqueras's letter.

Posted by: Robert Snefjella | Feb 1, 2019 10:07:51 PM | 54

https://twitter.com/CIA_Venezuela/following

Interdasting! No tweets, but who THEY follow is rather telling.

Related: I hate 'list of' or 'rules for' articles, but I'll make an exception for this Jefferson Morley article published yesterday on Salon's site. Nothing earth-shattering for the whiskey bar crowd, but certainly worth a read for the history lessons.


U.S. regime change operations in Latin America have seven consistent features

Posted by: PavewayIV | Feb 1, 2019 10:11:07 PM | 55

@52 md

We have not devoted a cent to toppling Venezuela as of yet, other than the career diplomats and their salaries whose job is to fuck with their brains down in Socialist-land.

Huge difference btw the perilous chasms in the ME and Afghanistan and those in LA. How is that for obfuscation?

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Feb 1, 2019 10:12:58 PM | 56

No one is allowed by the USA and its poodle nations to nationalize oil or any other resources. No one is allowed to do anything tangible for poor people. However, every country is entitled to "self-determination" as long as its resources are handed over to multinational corporations approved of by the USA.

It is the stuff of Lewis Carroll's "Through The Looking Glass".

Posted by: fast freddy | Feb 1, 2019 10:20:06 PM | 57

@51 james

Like it or not, James, what I said about Trump reintroducing concepts like globalism back into the public lexicon can be laid only at the feet of one DJT.

You don't do any service to the movement by constantly decrying his poor points and not recognizing the positive or that which we can build off.

Fuck me! Who's this AOC? The lady who has yet to mention the term "globalism" or relate to any of those that have suffered under its ghastly load. Yeah...heap on the green jobs or we'll be dead in 12 years!

Gimme a break..

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Feb 1, 2019 10:21:56 PM | 58

yeah, sure... someone thinks the usa neo cons haven't Tpent a cent on trying to topple venezuala leadership, in spite of the fact they have been trying since the era of chavez!! lets forgot about however many 100's of millions that have been spent on this ongoing exercise, not to mention probably a whole lot more and hey - it's only money... if a few innocent people die, whatever... trump is clean, lol...

Posted by: james | Feb 1, 2019 10:27:57 PM | 59

nemesiscalling.. i am not picking a side... the whole 2 party system in the usa is fucked... and while i thought trump was a breathe of fresh air at the time he was running for the presidency, i think we have had enough time to see him for who he is - another person who happily rubber stamps the same bs that has been an ongoing byproduct of usa foreign policy - wars, murder and mayhem around the world 24/7... and, as a canuck, i am just as disgusted by the shills running canada at present - tru dope and unfreeland - 2 losers from the get go... so, i am not taking sides in any of this.. i don't see any good from trump at this point.. sorry..

Posted by: james | Feb 1, 2019 10:30:51 PM | 60

Apparently james and some others would be quite pleased if only the outsider Trump coming to Washington, against a continuing establishment resistance, would start a war (like Bush did) or send 70,000 fresh troops to an existing war (as Obama did in his first year), killing injuring and displacing millions. Well I'll go with Trump and his ending of the Afghan and Syria commitments, and finally ending the Korea war. Perfection in life? Doesn't exist. You gotta settle for good enough.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 1, 2019 10:33:40 PM | 61

no don... trump hasn't stopped any wars.. that is the reality, in spite of any pretensions otherwise...and there is constant talk of more wars... sorry, but trump has been a disaster for anyone who thought something was going to change.. nothing has changed..

Posted by: james | Feb 1, 2019 10:40:44 PM | 62

NemesisCalling@56
Obfuscation? Yep, you nailed it with that sentence. Lol

Since James already responded to your claim about the money I won't, but I will point out that anyone who was really committed to peace wouldn't have psycho war hawks like Bolton and Pompeo around. Even dusting off a Reagan-era war criminal speaks volumes.

Posted by: mourning dove | Feb 1, 2019 10:44:09 PM | 63

Also have to give a tip of the hat to SST/W. Patrick Lang for linking his 12 page paper “Bureaucrats Versus Artists…” While it's always easy to hate the CIA and U.S. IC, he reminds me that they do or at least did have an crucial politically-neutral information gathering mission for leaders in a democratic republic, and that mission has mostly been usurped by internal forces over the years.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Feb 1, 2019 10:48:53 PM | 64

Sasha@47
Thank you for that. I've been meaning to tell you how much I appreciate your comments, I apologize for not having done so much earlier.

Posted by: mourning dove | Feb 1, 2019 10:59:07 PM | 65

@62 james

You are wrong because you fail to see that his actions are paving the way. Every minor concession now will not be able to be won back by the neocon estab. Not unless they want to start WW3.

With a Trump presidency, for the neocon/neolib estab, it is death by a thousand cuts. Lickily DJT has the patience and wisdom to realize this. Like I have said many times before, he clearly idolizes Putin and his long-game strat.

The reason there has always been a fever pitch about toppling Trump is because the estab is aware of this slow, impending death under DJT. Hell, I have even conceded that he may not even be mindful of his own role in this slow-mo disintegration. But an ignorant harbinger of death I would take anyway.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Feb 1, 2019 11:01:11 PM | 66

Re: SOTU and winding down the war habit.

Sometimes, imo, we lose sight of how many different cliques and cults and agendas and interests and inertia and customs and stupidities etc go to make up a government.

Here is a quote from J.K. Galbraith, from 1961, when he was serving under JFK as ambassador to India.

"It is hard in this job not to develop a morbid dislike for the State Department. It is remote, mindless, petty, and above all pompous, overbearing, and late."

The idea that government policies are a well oiled machine, well, not so much. More like psychotic many multiples of the three stooges. Galbraith comments elsewhere about the military hardliners, wanting total victory. He points out that what they are actually advocating is total annihilation. Suicide.

Often brainy people seem especially geared to inflict massive destruction and mass murder. It has been pointed out that the carnage the US inflicted on Indochina in the nineteen sixties and seventies was presided over by a bunch of Rhodes Scholars and other brainy folk.

Sometimes very pleasant and good people can combine conventional success with extreme deficits in knowledge. A person of some accomplishment once asked me if there was gravity on the moon. I checked for a moment to see if he was serious, and he was. I answered, yes, but less than we have on Earth. On the moon, I explained, people can leap like kangaroos and kangaroos are in danger of achieving escape velocity. But I think my humor went over his head.

So Donald Trump may not be the worst thing to happen to us. We'll have to see how this develops.

Posted by: Robert Snefjella | Feb 1, 2019 11:02:35 PM | 67

@ james | Feb 1, 2019 10:40:44 PM | 62
nothing has changed..
You got that wrong. Now if Hillary, the Libya destruction architect, had been elected that would be true. But Trump has been a fresh air to anarchists especially. Talk about a bull in a china shop, or a tweet in a twitter shop, nothing is the same any more. Wake up and smell the coffee, james!

Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 1, 2019 11:04:09 PM | 68

@47 Sasha

Thank you for translating that letter. I hope it has an impact within Spanish society.

Posted by: Grieved | Feb 1, 2019 11:12:04 PM | 69

Et al--

It's Friday night, so I bet most barflies are out at their local watering holes given the paucity of responses to Trump's planned announcement. Smacks of Owrellianism to be sure. Ending "neverending" wars to begin anew? IMO, the Economic Wars being waged against Cuba, Haiti, Venezuela, and others count as neverending endeavors.

Most of us realize the degree of Evil deeply bound-up within the Outlaw US Empire and its network providing domestic support. It's been several generations since the entire edifice faced a concerted push-back effort; but within the public at large, several factions not yet coalesced are trying differing approaches--although we hear/read little thanks to BigLie Media's blackout. Much, as we read, is happening internationally since not all sources of information are censored or blacked-out. And the push-back on that level is very serious indeed. The point is that little victories are far better than none--history shows Paradigm Changes do not occur rapidly--so patience is required as is a Long Game strategy. IMO, much about the Outlaw US Empire is exposed to light now than ever before thanks to the efforts of many and advances in technology. We must keep working on our push-back--everywhere, in Europe most especially to get it turned from West to East, and from EU back to the European Family of Sovereign Nations.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 1, 2019 11:23:09 PM | 70

Duterte has a solution to drug and gang violence. The west protests vigorously, now why is that? Duterte learned from the events in Haiti that the west will use the gangs to destroy him.

eh Maduro!! learn from Duterte.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Feb 1, 2019 6:19:38 PM | 28

Not sure where you are sourcing your information from, perhaps the MSM?

Duterte is just another filipino gangster/politician. I used to think that Philippine politics was just like American politics, but a cruder version. America has now caught up with the Philippines.

Oh, and there has been no solution to the drug and gang violence. Just a lot of dead poor sods who had done nothing wrong other than buy from the wrong dealer.

In the dead of night, the back alleys are still swarming in a fog of Shabu, and gang violence in the Philippines is almost exclusively an activity of police and military gangs fighting over turf.

Posted by: DM | Feb 1, 2019 11:24:09 PM | 71

@ karlof1 | Feb 1, 2019 11:23:09 PM | 70
Ending "neverending" wars to begin anew? IMO, the Economic Wars being waged against Cuba, Haiti, Venezuela, and others count as neverending endeavors.
Nothing economic compares with dropping one ton exploding bombs on buildings full of people, leaving them dead injured and displaced. Nothing. And it has gone uninterrupted for too many years.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 1, 2019 11:31:44 PM | 72

nemesis calling and don bacon.. listen.. i am trying to be respectful of your views, even if it looks like i'm not! the way i see it, the usa is in a state of decline - to what degree is debatable.. it's possible trump is the perfect candidate for this downward move.. he'll be blamed for it regardless his role in it.. but, what about the idea that the usa is coming unglued and can't continue under the pretense it has for so many years? is that trumps fault? i don't believe it is.. he is just stuck holding the bag for it all.. but - and here is where i differ in a view on him from both of you.. i don't think he is going about any of this intentionally.. to claim he is, is to claim some stroke of brilliance on the part of trump.. i just don't see it.. yes, he is unorthodox in some ways and i am fine with that.. i mostly see him as a self serving person interested in his and his families further financial advancement.. i don't think he has the best interest of the ordinary person in the usa... so maybe i am just not reading him right and i am all wrong here.. lets wait and see, if he makes it to the end of his term.. we still have a ways to go..

Posted by: james | Feb 1, 2019 11:38:15 PM | 73

I expect the reason that the aforementioned incident of gang violence is getting so much coverage is because it was organized by team Guaidó, as it seems a little too convenient that the corporate media and people like Bolton can now reference it as an example of what they claim to be the repressive nature of the Maduro government towards the poor. It wouldn't take much to pay off one of the gangs to create an incident like this in order to provoke a police crackdown, and none the gangs would have any loyalty to the Maduro government, given that gangs consider the police to be the enemy and the police work for the government.

Posted by: integer | Feb 1, 2019 11:39:04 PM | 74

Yes, Prof Hudson made a few errors in his hastily written essay, but some of his observations have simmered for awhile:

"This break has been building for quite some time, and was bound to occur. But who would have thought that Donald Trump would become the catalytic agent? No left-wing party, no socialist, anarchist or foreign nationalist leader anywhere in the world could have achieved what he is doing to break up the American Empire. The Deep State is reacting with shock at how this right-wing real estate grifter has been able to drive other countries to defend themselves by dismantling the U.S.-centered world order. To rub it in, he is using Bush and Reagan-era Neocon arsonists, John Bolton and now Elliott Abrams, to fan the flames in Venezuela. It is almost like a black political comedy. The world of international diplomacy is being turned inside-out. A world where there is no longer even a pretense that we might adhere to international norms, let alone laws or treaties.

"The Neocons who Trump has appointed are accomplishing what seemed unthinkable not long ago: Driving China and Russia together – the great nightmare of Henry Kissinger and Zbigniew Brzezinski. They also are driving Germany and other European countries into the Eurasian orbit, the 'Heartland' nightmare of Halford Mackinder a century ago....

"Trump’s agenda may really be to break up the American Empire, using the old Uncle Sucker isolationist rhetoric of half a century ago. He certainly is going for the Empire’s most vital organs. But is he a witting anti-American agent? He might as well be – but it would be a false mental leap to use 'cui bono' to assume that he is a witting agent. [My Emphasis]

"After all, if no U.S. contractor, supplier, labor union or bank will deal with him, would Vladimir Putin, China or Iran be any more naïve? Perhaps the problem had to erupt as a result of the inner dynamics of U.S.-sponsored globalism becoming impossible to impose when the result is financial austerity, waves of population flight from U.S.-sponsored wars, and most of all, U.S. refusal to adhere to the rules and international laws that it itself sponsored seventy years ago in the wake of World War II."

IMO, what prompted Hudson to write was the publication of Bolton's threats to the ICC justice that forced him to resign that I provided an article about several threads back. Note that he devoted an entire section of his essay to that topic and more generally on Law. Plus, the essay's not nearly as well edited as his usually are. So, I forgive his tiny errors as they don't detract from his essay's main thrust.

One thing about Trump I believe we'd all agree upon: He certainly isn't a rabid Neoliberalcon like the person he defeated for POTUS. That and he's roiled domestic and international politics more than anyone would have imagined on 8 November 2016.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 1, 2019 11:54:12 PM | 75

Don Bacon @72--

We both want the carnage to cease ASAP, along with all the other damage being inflicted. You've read enough of my views to know how I feel, and vice-versa. Have you heard of Dr. Francis Boyle? Here's a link to a review of one of his many works and one that's as germane today as it was in 2008. I mention him because IMO the only surefire way to defeat the War Party is through the courts as what they've been doing since 1945 is unconstitutional and illegal, and IMO can be easily proven as such.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 2, 2019 12:21:30 AM | 76

Don Bacon@72
Half a million children under 5 were killed in Iraq just from the sanctions. The dead, the injured, and the displaced are still dead, injured, and displaced regardless of what weapon was used.

Posted by: mourning dove | Feb 2, 2019 12:35:01 AM | 77

I have some big picture thoughts I want to share

China is a growing threat to the existence of the Western way because it seems to be successfully mostly socialist and is projecting that win-win around the world.

Empire has used the ME and SE Asia for war focus until now but are stymied there and need to have an "enemy" (real of made up) to continue fueling the war economies.

Since the West cannot complete its World Order project they must revitalize the war strategy into a long term cold war type. What we see is a circling of wagons and threats against any who are not "with us". I think the speed with which steps are being taken are because of the threat of questions about finance that need to be silenced with more war and fear of any sort.

I hope what folks are seeing by the actions of the West is that Rule-Of-Law is really just Rule-Of-Power/Control begat by owning the global tools of finance with a myth cover of Rule-Of-Law just like economics is a myth cover for the elite making all the big investment decisions and those results trickling down so to speak....

I hope folks also grok that the elite have known about the power of "intelligence" long before countries created groups to gather such information. To think that those who run our world do not have access to the intelligence of all Western country's governments is in error. Look at for how many centuries the elite have maintained control and ask yourself how.....they own the leadership.....money buys access.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Feb 2, 2019 12:57:59 AM | 78

I'm not sure which is worse, the Trump apologists or the Empire detractors that spin every apparent set-back or assumed over-reach into a hopeful "this too shall pass" fantasy. Now we have the twisted conspiracy theory of Trump as "unwitting agent" of the Empire's demise.

The agenda is not to destroy the Empire but to transform it to meet the challenge from Russia and China. Anyone that sees those changes and reads 'disintegration' is only seeing what they want to see.

The transformation is to a much darker place and far from anything like democracy. For those of us that don't truck in misguided fantasies, the psyops, economic warfare, and militarism tells us all we need to know. Is it any wonder that the one chosen to lead us down the garden path to dystopia is an egotistical maniac? Trump was SELECTED, not elected, by the likes of: Hillary, McCain, Brennan, Mueller, Clapper, Kissinger, and Schumer.

Welcome to the rabbit hole.

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

Kissinger explicitly said that the transformation would go through stages in his August 2014 Op-Ed (which I have linked to many times - how many of you have actually read it?) By the way, Kissinger doesn't even link to this Op-Ed on his webpage. Maybe he doesn't want you to see it, huh?

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 2, 2019 1:10:52 AM | 79

A very unanticipated announcement:
(Trump's intention to end US involvement in foreign military conflicts)
...
Reactions from the bar?
Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 1, 2019 8:04:07 PM | 41

The world dodged a bullet when Trump won the 2-horse race from that lazy, demented old nag, Crooked Hillary. I couldn't believe she'd be dopey enough to pretend that she didn't know about the Electoral College factor.

Trump must thoroughly enjoy uphill battles. How else to explain his Drain the Swamp declaration as the hallmark of his first term? I took it to mean that he's putting them on notice and there's not much, short of JFK-ing him, that they can do to stop him. And that's the way it's panning out.

I hope he's as smart as he thinks he is because his Drain the Swamp promise, and self-preservation, guaranteed that the course of his Presidency would be hard to follow and impossible to predict. I'm in the Open Slather demographic i.e. ANYTHING he decides to do is OK EXCEPT start a new war.

I'm expecting his SOTU to be as ambiguous as everything else he says because he's the only one with a Drain the Swamp plan and he hasn't explained which ducks have to be lined up, in which sequence, before he'll be ready to deliver the coup de grâce.

I don't understand why there's so much anti-Trump bitching. The Swamp was winning and the Little People were F**ked financially and peace-wise long before Trump came along. He's already done some unusually and comparatively sane things and I expect him to do more of the same.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Feb 2, 2019 1:41:41 AM | 80

Sorry but does Mr. Maduro have a fetish of repeating every step from the Maidan playbook. You just let foreigners run around Caracas inciting the coup? Remember, the very last step from that playbook, of Russian spetznatz coming to rescue your sorry ass, is not available to you because you live a bit out of the way. These regime-change "journalists" are foreign agents who must be rounded up pronto (for their own protection of course). Then once this is over, Washington can have them back in exchange for the stolen billions. Remember, impunity is the Dark Throne's greatest weapon; give them some skin in the game, and suddenly it's their side that has to think twice.

Posted by: Ma Laoshi | Feb 2, 2019 1:50:06 AM | 81

James @73

I remember how Reagan started to wobble a bit towards the end of his term. Part of me suspects that Trump is himself in a bit of a decline and is thus the best vehicle for his cadre of Iagos to subvert his power into their projects. Clinton would have been even better in that respect.

If you consider the size of potholes and mass suicide by opiate to be indicators, the decline of the USA is well underway.

More on topic, however, is the general characteristic of South and Central American rebellion. Savage, well-armed, even if only with Machetes, and shades of evil rather than a clear moral choice. If your hobby is pouring billions of dollars into the fire to sow mayhem there is no better place. The miraculous banana that is stocked in every grocery store even up in Calgary or Alaska may well get there by the grace of tribute paid to local warlords. The cocaine that is sniffed in Hollywood and New York by the ton comes from Colombia or Peru. Worldwide, restaurants thrive on beef from Argentina... as well as horse meat from Mexico.

I would predict that given the well-orchestrated push to recognize Guaido that the plan to overthrow Maduro's government is both inevitable and long-expected. The question is how the aftermath will roll out depending on whether or not the Columbian rebel groups link up with the Venezuelan resistance and the whole region explodes. Just a question. But I would bet that such a scenario is not unforseen by the American puppeteers.

Posted by: Stumpy | Feb 2, 2019 2:47:03 AM | 82


Invoking Auschwitz liberation, and the anti-semitism of Maduro, Venezuela ‘president’ Juan Guaido WELCOMES Israel recognition!!

Referring to Soviet troops’ victory, Juan Guaido thanks Netanyahu for supporting him ‘just as our country is also fighting for its freedom’


Trump’s special envoy for international negotiations, (((Jason Greenblatt))), applauded Jerusalem for its “courageous stand in solidarity with the Venezuelan people.”

Israel takes a courageous stand in solidarity with the Venezuelan people! https://t.co/9i8z9NOHA1

— Jason D. Greenblatt (@jdgreenblatt45) January 27, 2019

While Venezuela once had one of the largest Jewish communities in the region, numbering some 25,000 in 1999, only about 6,000 Jews are believed to remain in the country, with many of the rest having fled to Israel, Canada, the US and elsewhere.


Maduro and his predecessor Hugo Chavez, who broke off ties with Israel in 2009, have both been strident critics of Israel, and some Jewish community leaders have expressed fears of the government stoking anti-Semitism.

At the United Nations on Saturday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urged all nations to end Venezuela’s Auschwitz “nightmare” and support Guaido.


“Now is the time for every other national to pick a side,” Pompeo told the Security Council.

“No more delays, no more games. Either you stand with the (((forces of freedom))), or you’re in league with Maduro and his anti-semitic mayhem.”


https://www.timesofisrael.com/venezuelas-self-proclaimed-interim-president-thanks-netanyahu-for-recognition/

Posted by: personne | Feb 2, 2019 6:31:29 AM | 83

'Old habits die hard', or as Pindar via Herodotus opined, 'Custom rules'.

Key elements of the customary process for Empires' regime change efforts are to demonize the targeted leader, economic warfare on the targeted country, make up lurid stories, infiltrate with foreign saboteurs and NED-type internal subversion. John Perkin's 'Economic Hit Man' described the process of gaining leverage via financial means, debt the key. As Perkins noted, then there are the assassination squads, and then finally the US military, which has of late been heavily supplemented with mercenaries and private armies.

What has changed in recent years has been the context in which this customary process takes place. Some of that:

Russia and China are now stronger militarily, and their presence and technology is spreading, the ability of the Empire to bomb with impunity is being reduced.

Countries are setting up alternative financial arrangements.

The lurid story routine has lost some of its punch and audience.

The false nature of the self-congratulatory advertisements of the Empire are widely recognized. Its 'might is right' doctrine and repudiation of common law and and common decency and common sense and common honesty is palpable.

Then along comes Donald Trump, and here it is very important to distinguish between the real character, real motives, real plans of someone, and what actually occurs or is actually strengthened or weakened.

So, for example, one can accurately designate someone as a dishonest criminal, and still applaud that criminal's act of catching a child as he is tossed from three stories up out of a burning building to the criminal below.

As Hudson points out, it is Trump's actual impact that is the important matter. As I've pointed out previously, Trump, Putin and Hitler are arguably the three most frequently and harshly denigrated public figures over the last century. I don't think Stalin and Mao are in the same league, when it comes to sheer quantity of denigration. And why has Trump been so harshly targeted: Trump was viewed as ideologically anti-Empire, a nationalist, and Trump's effect has been to accelerate the weakening of the Empire's full spectrum domination ways and means and ambition.

And among the many loud howls of outrage vs Trump, his stated preference/intention of removing American troops from Syria, and his musing over vaccines and autism, are two examples.

Now note again that this is not a discussion about his 'real' motives. I'm not a mind reader. But in the case of the vaccine and autism issue, Trump handed something of a baton to Robert Kennedy Junior, who was recently given the opportunity to speak on the subject for five minutes on I think it might have been FOX. Kennedy said it was only the second time in ten years that he had been given the opportunity in MSM to do do so. Trump deserves some credit here. Note that in Italy recently a common vaccine was found to be a phony gimmick, though any reference to this in mass media was along the lines of the Italian government being anti-science, etc.

In so far as Trump's getting out of Syria statement is concerned, the point is that by saying that Trump created a new dynamic of sorts. It for example opened a slight door/opportunity for Tulsi Gabbard to advance her anti-war theme. Trump's statement also made it necessary for the outraged responders to attempt to assemble some kind of rationale for leaving American troops in Syria. They didn't come off looking all that wonderful. "So why are we in Syria again?' became part of the discussion. The best they could do was if we leave (our ISIS) creation might metastasize, and Russia and Syria and Iran will have 'won'. In other words, Trump's sudden 'we're getting out of Syria' declaration had to some extent a 'lancing of a boil' effect, irregardless of whether or not it actually happens or to what extent.

Posted by: Robert Snefjella | Feb 2, 2019 8:17:52 AM | 84

CIA stooge and exiled ex-Venezuela military Colonel Garcia has been arrested by Venezuelan authorities after being smuggled back into Venezuela by his CIA handlers.

There goes the CIA plan to try to persuade Venezuela's military to ditch Maduro.

https://z5h64q92x9.net/proxy_u/ru-en.en/https/colonelcassad.livejournal.com/4747260.html

Posted by: Yonatan | Feb 2, 2019 8:20:00 AM | 85

First: to personne #83. In fact, the zionists have a long history of involvement in coups in central america. Read up on Sam Zemurray and United Fruit, and also his practice run in Honduras. Second, to Sasha #47. Thank you very much for posting that letter. It is amazing (!!!!) that the gov of Spain can be so hypocritical regarding "democracy" in Venezuela, having ruthlessly crushed the Catalan Independence movement and Jailed (!!) it's leaders.

Finally, regarding the press and the Lima group: the mainstream press seems to be touting the same line as the US press. Trump et al are the heroes, "Guido" is the new savior, and Maduro is a "dictator." I am not going to provide links, but I will give examples and websites for those who wish to check. Example: the Mercurio in chile, which mostly reprints NY Times. AP and Wall Street Journal stories portraits the coup as a done deal, with photos of "Giuido" kissing babies. Please to remember that "it's just business." The family of chile president, Pinera, has large holdings in Latam and MasterCard. Other major chilean interest are mining and lumber. There is already much salivating over the prospect of clear cutting the Amazon rainforest in Brazil. Venezuela has great riches in natural resources. Qui bono? I think is the expression. website: www.emol.com. There is push back. the Tercera has printed a two full page interview with Jorge Arreaza, Canceller de Venezuela, denouncing Pinera. "El Presiente Pinera vendio su soberania y su autonomia a Estados Unidos." President Pinera sold his sovereignty and autonomy to the united states.
www.latercera.com edition of friday, 1 february.
It's difficult to know where this patently illegal - well - crime against humanity, in the sense that starving people to "free" them is criminal - will end. If you strip off the expensive suits, it just looks like a gang rape to me.

Posted by: Miss Lacy | Feb 2, 2019 8:53:27 AM | 86

On subject of Venezuela and propaganda -
Excellent article about pattern of propaganda from NYT.
Article at TruthDig

But the above article is limited in background -
WIKI article on Yellow Journalism

Pulitzer himself was know for/sort of invented "Yellow Journalism".

Individuals (as in author of the 1st article) may speak contrary to the status quo, but no organization can for long and no idividual within an organization. I've tried speaking against my boss on occassion - did not pan out well career-wise.

In short, it's not a bug, it's a feature.
It's not to express dismay about but to know and understand and proceed accordingly.

The alt media does well to educate the public on this issue but also needs to present a positive alternative.

Posted by: Jared | Feb 2, 2019 9:50:51 AM | 87

@84 Robert

Great post, sir. You eloquently examine the effect of a DJT presidency, which many can not realize has shifted the full spectrum dominance doctrine of the empire and rendered it gasping for air in a ditch.

We don't like DJT because he is president that models himself after Kant's Categorical Imperative. We like Trump because he is not a true believer and that because of his inaction, unlike the last 30 years of Prezs who have taken it upon themselves to blow up at least one country, his presidency has been marked with frequent threats of withdrawing from the ME entirely and rendering our presence there ineffectual while also sparring with the IC community which has consistently gone on record spouting the BS that Trump is a dangerous hand at the wheel of our FP, which has been part and parcel of the smearing attempt by the MSM to make DJT look like an imbecile who is leading us to ruin.

But for those of us in the know, this is a good thing that we should be applauding DJT for. I will watch his SOTU with keen interest.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Feb 2, 2019 9:51:23 AM | 88

I found the flawed Michael Hudson article indispensable. Also this:

From Dan Cohen and Max Blumenthal of Grayzone:

After a single phone call from from U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, Guaidó proclaimed himself as president of Venezuela...

CANVAS is funded largely through the National Endowment for Democracy...

CANVAS “turned its attention to Venezuela” in 2005 after training opposition movements that led pro-NATO regime change operations across Eastern Europe...

Venezuelan economist Luis Enrique Berrizbeitia, one of the top Latin American neoliberal economists, is a former executive director of the International Monetary Fund...

Milton Friedman was the godfather of the notorious neoliberal Chicago Boys who were imported into Chile by dictatorial junta leader Augusto Pinochet to implement policies of radical “shock doctrine”-style fiscal austerity...

Leopoldo López is a Princeton-educated right-wing firebrand heavily involved in National Endowment for Democracy programs and elected as the mayor of a district in Caracas that was one of the wealthiest in the country...

Elliott Abrams is notorious for overseeing the U.S. covert policy of arming right-wing death squads during the 1980s in Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala.

Posted by: Fec | Feb 2, 2019 9:59:25 AM | 89

@Posted by: Robert Snefjella | Feb 1, 2019 10:07:51 PM | 54
@Posted by: mourning dove | Feb 1, 2019 10:59:07 PM | 65
@Posted by: Grieved | Feb 1, 2019 11:12:04 PM | 69

Thanks to you all for reading and, obviously, indulging on my poor translation ( in which I have detected several grammar and spelling mistakes...), but, you must know that I did it at wee hours here in Europe, with my eyes falling from sleep over the keyboard...I was almost incapable of proofread the last paragraph of the letter which I added to the previous part i had selected to translate.

Related to this I must say that I did not translate the whole letter, but almost all, leaving without translation some few less relevant parts in the fear the comment would be banned here because of its longitude.

The letter was originally published at Spanish newspaper Público.es, which I found republished at Spanish site Rebelión.org, both sites I fear with wide readership at least amongst Spanish, European left and of the world too .

I would only wish to be able to express myself better in English than I do, anyway, only I would wish you get to understand me. You can contribute by spreading amongst your network of friends and relatives, and may be, even perfectioning my clumsy translation to get it better shaped to be psublished at other media.
I do as much as I can, many times sacrifying too much hours of sleep to be healthy to just post comments, the reason why i can not engage in long discussions here, or responding every one who adresses me here, since many times i have not time availale at all to read all the comments and so your adressing may get without response. So sorry, but I prioritize forwarding the message or the interesting article/information over discussion, for which I regrettably have not time, and which, in any way, should not get us without the time to direct the fight to where is most needed, directly adressing our representatives on responding for their clear transgressions of International and National Laws and the basic principles and values we deem mandatory to assure a dign human existence on planet Earth.

Finally, I would wish saying that I do this only for solidarity and compassion towards my Venezuelan comrades, but the reality is that I do it out of selfish interest since what is being built in front of our very eyes is the "New Totalitarian Order", where any human right known to this date will be abolished in the benefit of transnational capital and corporations.

Posted by: Sasha | Feb 2, 2019 10:00:38 AM | 90

@ Robert S 84

Sorry for the OT.

Would you be willing to provide any links regarding your vaccine story in your post? Any other links regarding the safety or efficacy of vaccines that have informed your viewpoint would be much appreciated as well.

Compulsory vaccination is a force that is moving quickly throughout many state legislators without even sniffing a debate that this biomedical ethical question deserves. And with google's outright censorship and rearranging of search results to fit their pro-compulsion agenda, I am interested in stockpiling information for future use.

This question should be forwarded to Pft, too, as he has frequently cited the evils of compulsory vaccination alongside the climate change scam which is being shoe horned into legislation on the fast track to penalize the little guy.

Thank you all.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Feb 2, 2019 10:10:39 AM | 91

karlof1 @41: Reactions from the bar?

The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 2, 2019 10:25:18 AM | 93

Historically those kinds of gangs are among the prime recruiting grounds for coup-supporting thugs. So the US propaganda lies about them also indicates coup planner interest in recruiting them to help Guano's usurpation attempt.

Posted by: Russ | Feb 2, 2019 10:27:40 AM | 94

Since people are talking about vaccination, I'll observe that this controversy is really three distinct issues:

1. The science of vaccination itself, and how well vaccines can work in theory if properly manufactured and delivered.

2. The corporate profit- and patent-dominated manufacture of the vaccine product. We know for a fact that corporations will always cut every corner possible and that they have a psychopathic attitude toward the safety of their products.

The US government and corporations admitted this upfront in the 1980s when the government absolved manufacturers of all legal liability for any harm caused by badly manufactured vaccines.

3. The authoritarian scientism cult among whose fundamentals is that the people should unquestioningly obey anything that priesthood orders them to do. This is a matter of political authoritarianism. In the case of vaccination, the priesthood orders an ever-lengthening list of allegedly "necessary" vaccinations, and the people are supposed to obey without question.

There's no doubt at all that, even given the best prognosis for vaccines in principle, much of this list is not necessary and is merely corporate propaganda, decreed for the sake of increasing profits, same as most of the drug advertising we see, same as how most drug trials cannot be replicated because they were fake in the first place, same as how the psychiatric industry is forever inventing new fake "conditions" which can be treated with patented drugs.

Obviously the vaccine-industrial complex is part of this same Big Drug system of corruption and cannot be trusted. That has nothing to do with the science of vaccines in themselves, on the contrary it's about the hijacking and corruption of science by corporations.

So these are three distinct matters, only the first having anything to do with science in itself. The fact that the vaxxer lynch mob always conflates the three is proof that they themselves are anti-science and that they have ulterior, corporate-stooge motives.

Posted by: Russ | Feb 2, 2019 10:42:02 AM | 95

Re my #95, toward the end that should be "pro-vaccine lynch mob."

Posted by: Russ | Feb 2, 2019 10:47:02 AM | 96

on dialogue...

In an interview with Russia’s RIA Novosti news agency that aired Wednesday, Maduro said he has sent letters to the governments of Bolivia, Mexico, Russia and Uruguay to involve them in a new process of dialogue with the opposition. Russia, which has been Maduro’s most vocal international supporter and is a major investor in Venezuela, applauded his willingness to negotiate. “The fact that President Maduro is open to dialogue with the opposition deserves high praise,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters in a phone call. . .here

Mexico calls for "peace and dialogue" in Venezuela -- The Mexican government recognizes Nicolas Maduro as Venezuela's president and sees dialogue as the answer to political strife blamed for 13 deaths, Foreign Secretary Marcelo Ebrard said Thursday, citing his country's tradition of not interfering in the affairs of other nations.
"Mexico will maintain its stance. In synthesis: no intervention and a readiness to contribute however we can to any process that leads to peace and dialogue," he said during President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's daily morning press conference. .here

UN chief urges dialogue in Venezuela to avert 'disaster' --
DAVOS, Switzerland: UN chief Antonio Guterres on Thursday (Jan 24) appealed for dialogue to stop Venezuela's political crisis spiralling out of control, after opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself interim president. "What we hope is that dialogue can be possible, and that we avoid an escalation that would lead to the kind of conflict that would be a disaster for the people of Venezuela and for the region," he said at the World Economic Forum in Davos. . .here

Canada joins efforts by the Venezuelan right-wing opposition, the United States, and right-wing governments in Latin America to oust democratically elected President Nicolas Maduro, Canada’s Labour Congress, representing over three million Canadian workers, issued a statement Wednesday calling on the Justin Trudeau government to promote dialogue instead of intervention and a military coup. “Venezuelans need to resolve their differences through constructive dialogue and democratic processes without resorting to violence,” said CLC President Hassan Yussuff. .. .here

“Let’s be clear,” [Pence] said. “This is no time for dialogue. This is time for action. And the time has come to end the Maduro dictatorship once and for all.” . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 2, 2019 10:56:37 AM | 97

Absolute MUST READ!

Trump’s Brilliant Strategy to Dismember U.S. Dollar Hegemony

https://michael-hudson.com/2019/02/trumps-brilliant-strategy-to-dismember-u-s-dollar-hegemony/

An extract:

I have just returned from Germany and seen a remarkable split between that nation’s industrialists and their political leadership. For years, major companies have seen Russia as a natural market, a complementary economy needing to modernize its manufacturing and able to supply Europe with natural gas and other raw materials. America’s New Cold War stance is trying to block this commercial complementarity. Warning Europe against “dependence” on low-price Russian gas, it has offered to sell high-priced LNG from the United States (via port facilities that do not yet exist in anywhere near the volume required). President Trump also is insisting that NATO members spend a full 2 percent of their GDP on arms – preferably bought from the United States, not from German or French merchants of death.

The U.S. overplaying its position is leading to the Mackinder-Kissinger-Brzezinski Eurasian nightmare that I mentioned above. In addition to driving Russia and China together, U.S. diplomacy is adding Europe to the heartland, independent of U.S. ability to bully into the state of dependency toward which American diplomacy has aimed to achieve since 1945.

The World Bank, for instance, traditionally has been headed by a U.S. Secretary of Defense. Its steady policy since its inception is to provide loans for countries to devote their land to export crops instead of giving priority to feeding themselves. That is why its loans are only in foreign currency, not in the domestic currency needed to provide price supports and agricultural extension services such as have made U.S. agriculture so productive. By following U.S. advice, countries have left themselves open to food blackmail – sanctions against providing them with grain and other food, in case they step out of line with U.S. diplomatic demands.

Posted by: William Bowles | Feb 2, 2019 11:00:59 AM | 98

Again, apologies for o.t. but important

@NemesisCalling | Feb 2, 2019 10:10:39 AM | 91

Here is a link chosen at random: I glanced at the content and there is enough meat on those bones to warrant chewing.

https://tinyurl.com/y8l8ka2s

@ Russ | Feb 2, 2019 10:42:02 AM | 95

I would add a 4th aspect: the capacity for massive-impact intentional nefarious policy implementation.

So, for example, the documented use of the hepatitis vaccine to achieve involuntary sterilization, or the H1N1 weaponized (Baxter) vaccines.

Posted by: Robert Snefjella | Feb 2, 2019 11:02:24 AM | 99

From the same piece:

They would make Venezuela the new Pinochet-era Chile. Trump is not alone in supporting Saudi Arabia and its Wahabi terrorists acting, as Lyndon Johnson put it, “Bastards, but they’re our bastards.”

Posted by: William Bowles | Feb 2, 2019 11:04:11 AM | 100

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