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 20:08 UTC | Permalink

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@95 Russ

Thank you for the contributions. Worth thinking about.

Perhaps a 4th component would be the government's role in superceding liberty/indiviual autonomy on their incestuous quest with Pharma to reach their goal of 100% compulsory vaccination.

I have understood that the Vaccine-Damage reparations program in the US is not, currently, set-up for compulsory reporting of all vaccine-damage cases. Meaning there is no law that requires the medical provider or Pharma-producers to file mandatory-reports on these incidents and thus any data examining vaccine-damage is woefully inadequate.

Our neighbors in Canada, however, have a webpage overseen by the health authority on these reportings and are filed on a mandatory-basis. There is a richer understanding that is gathered and it points to more incidences of damage than understood in the states and raises serious questions about compulsory vaccination.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Feb 2 2019 16:12 utc | 101

Horrifying, Personal John Bolton Story

"Mr. Bolton proceeded to chase me through the halls of a Russian hotel -- throwing things at me, shoving threatening letters under my door and, generally, behaving like a madman."

Posted by: AntiSpin | Feb 2 2019 16:17 utc | 102

Venezuelan general recognises opposition leader Guaido as president: Twitter video

A high-ranking Venezuelan air force general said he had disavowed President Nicolas Maduro and now recognised opposition leader Juan Guaido as interim head-of-state, according to a video circulating on Twitter on Saturday.

In the video, General Francisco Yanez, a member of the air force's high command, called on other members of the military to defect. He also reportedly claimed that 90 percent of the armed forces no longer support Maduro.

The high command's web page lists Yanez, along with a photo, as the air force's head of strategic planning.

On its Twitter account, the high command of the military accused the general of treason.

Yanez is the first active Venezuelan general to recognise Guaido since he proclaimed himself president on Jan. 23.

Al Jazeera's Latin America editor Lucia Newman, reporting from Caracas, said the defection of the first active general is "another blow" to the Maduro administration.

"Juan Guaido has been publicly appealing to the armed forces to defect, to abandon Nicolas Maduro, whose main support comes from the military. Without it, he would have a difficult time to stay in power."

But the question now is whether Yanez commands a number of troops, and orders members of the armed forces to follow him, our correspondent said.

SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies

Latin America
Nicolas Maduro
War & Conflict

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Posted by: arby | Feb 2 2019 16:21 utc | 103

Twitter report of a supposed Air Force general defecting to Guaido. Abrams was surely bound to be able to corrupt a few officers but I doubt it will be enough to tip the scales..

Posted by: Lozion | Feb 2 2019 16:39 utc | 104

Follow up @79 and @93

There is theory being bantered about that goes like this:

Trump is leaving Syria and Afghanistan. The move on Venezeula signals a turn toward neighborhood concerns. And Trump is so foolish that he is helping to bring down the Empire (which he hates because he's an "America First" nationalist).

This "paper tiger" hopium has the feel of other false assertions such as: "Erdogan is turning east!" and "Putin is a Zionist!"

The reality is:

Expect lies/fibs/misleading statements/distracts
The establishment has a long history of deceit that MSM works hard to smooth over, cover-up, and memory-hole. They litterally think you're stoopid.

Trump 'good intentions' haven't produced anything concrete
We have, in fact, only seen 'back-tracking' on the 'good intentions' announcements. US is still assisting the genocide in Yemen. Trump's "immediate" Syrian troop withdrawal was delayed. And the rumored reduction in US forces in Afghanistan was nothing more than a rumor.

Furthermore: It's clear that IF THERE IS any US 'pull-out' from Syria, the territory will not be returned to Syria. That means US would likely provide support for whatever proxy forces take their place and that could lead to increasing US involvement in Syria over time.

There is no evidence that Venezuela represents a 'turn' by the AZEmpire
Venezuela has long been on their radar.

Trump is a faux populist front man for the Deep State
He is the Republican Obama. We are seeing the same sort of duplicity from Trump as we saw from Obama. What I call the 'Obama psyop' embodied peace via inclusiveness but that was a smokescreen for covert war. The 'Trump psyop' embodies peace via anti-interventionalism but that is also a smokescreen. It masks economic war; propaganda war; increased belligerence (INF treaty) and militarism (space force); etc.

Welcome to the rabbit hole.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 2 2019 16:42 utc | 105


Isn't it lovely how they are now making their coup appeals right out in the open? Not hidden, and yet no condemnation, only cheers from the corporate/government media NYTimes, BBC, CNN, Guardian, which I say should be renamed the counterinsurgency media as they (attempt to) act to sway hearts and minds of neocolonial subjects (Read: everyone not in the elite class) backed by the multinational imperialists Exxon, Jair Bolsonaro, Israel, etc and their mouthpieces. We really need to work on reestablishing basic norms that this sort of thing should not be backed. In the Vietnam/Chile era this would be we are listening to the songs of the mockingbirds...

Posted by: Blooming Barricade | Feb 2 2019 16:46 utc | 106

Again, they are calling for a MILITARY COUP. How is the opposition frontman even allowed to walk free and solicit attacks on the people of his country, backed to the hilt by the forces of ecocide and greed.

Posted by: Blooming Barricade | Feb 2 2019 16:48 utc | 107

Celebrating precisely today 20 years of the beginning of the Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela, a large national concentration in Caracas with the concurrence of prominent speechers such as the Foreign Minister Mr. Jorge Arreaza, now live ...

Posted by: Sasha | Feb 2 2019 17:09 utc | 108

on Venezuela....

>Gen. Francisco Yañez (controls nothing) - A high-ranking Air Force general announced his support for Mr Guaidó in a video message posted online.. .here . In response, the Air Force's high command called him accused him of treason.
"No se podía esperar menos del TRAIDOR GD Francisco Esteban Yanez Rodriguez, sobrino del corrupto Gral Yanez Mendez que por cierto tiene un expediente en la Contraloría General de la #FANB por corrupto!" . .here
google translation: "You could not expect less from the GD TRAITOR Francisco Esteban Yanez Rodriguez, nephew of the corrupt Gral Yanez Mendez who incidentally has a file in the General Comptroller's Office of the #FANB for corrupt!"

>MIAMI — Hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans are preparing massive protests in cities worldwide today to pressure the country's president, Nicolás Maduro out of office. Venezuelans are planning to fill the streets in more than 70 cities around the world, including Caracas, Miami, Madrid, Milan, Frankfurt, Melbourne, Athens, and Beirut.

>Canada to convene Lima Group and other countries about Venezuela crisis Monday -- The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today announced that Canada will host the 10th ministerial meeting of the Lima Group in Ottawa, Ontario on February 4, 2019. The Lima Group was established in August 2017, in Lima, Peru, to co-ordinate participating countries' efforts and apply international pressure on Venezuela until democracy is restored. The group's meetings have included representatives from Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Saint Lucia. -- Canada rules the world on anti-Venezuela as a US stooge to avoid the "Yankee go home" and 'stupid gringo" tags.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 2 2019 17:12 utc | 109

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

Trumps statements about the endless or the expensive wars must be balanced against his military build up and his statements on taking the oil in countries the US has attacked.
According to a current piece in Sputnik, Raytheon began building facilities for short and medium range missiles shortly after Trump came to power.
Production of low yield nuclear warheads or tactical nukes has begun, with the intention of having sufficient numbers for military use (operational capability) by September of this year.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Feb 2 2019 17:31 utc | 110

It is useful to look at this situation through the perspective that Hudson offers in his article. The petrodollar which has buttressed US power since 1971 is crumbling. The ability of the US Treasury to print inflation proof dollars and buy anything it wants is coming to an end. So is US domination over the world financial system, SWIFT etc.
The card game is ending with the US ruling class as the loser. But, instead of throwing in its hand, smiling and returning to the serious business of real life (climate change, pollution, ecocide, famine etc) it decides on one last gamble. A desperation move. (You don't let Bolton retrieve Elliot Abrams from his tomb for anything less.)
And that is where the sudden decision to change course in Venezuela, from the slow steady squeezing of sanctions and full spectrum pressure to a coup, literally a devastating blow, aimed at leveling the regime in Caracas because America's last chance requires a dictatorship over Latin America.
Already it looks, according to Pepe Escobar, as if Bolsonaro is being pushed aside to serve as a figurehead and nothing more, for a military dictatorship. He will welcome that. Honduras is already under such a dictatorship. Ecuador is doing what it is told again. My guess is that Argentina, falling apart under neo-liberal fanatics is going to return to military rule too. Chile is not far from it.
In short the US response to losing its reserve currency monopoly is going to be to strengthen its own bloc-in which its currency will rule- and, soft power having failed, turn to brutal military measures.
That's not to suggest that such a lunatic plan will succeed. I don't think it can. But that is no reason to believe that narcissistic Washington, drunk on its own propaganda, its ruling class completely invested in exceptionalist, militaristic projects, won't give it a try.
And kill a few tens of millions, maybe billions if things go nuclear, in the attempt.
Fascism generally ends in the way that it did in Hitler's bunker.
La lutte finale may be coming.

Posted by: bevin | Feb 2 2019 17:40 utc | 111

Venezuelan Military Slams 'Traitor' Air Force General Who Defected to Opposition

Posted by: Zanon | Feb 2 2019 17:41 utc | 112

Concentration pro-coupist Guaido aleardy dispersing, once concluded theri well payed duty, after a speech composed of one line slogan after another, hailed in a crazy shouting way by the crowd concetrated in an obviously very rich neighborhood...( one wonders why is that they have complaints agaisnt Maduro when they are doing so well already )
all seasoned with high-sounding hymns like "Odd to Joy" ( all very Venezuelan..) and the so worn-out of so much use, "Sí se puede" ( "Yes, we can" if more was needed to show that this stooge is pretended to remind Obama...)

Posted by: Sasha | Feb 2 2019 17:44 utc | 113

@79 jr.... some of us want to call it 'disintegration' and you want to call it 'transformation' to a darker reality... great.. we are getting caught up with words..

@82 stumpy.. interesting parallel with reagan.. i think i see that too.. however one looks at what is going on here - trump doesn't look like some brilliant strategist to take down the usa empire.. far from it.. he is just a cog in the same wheel that continues to turn into a darker version of itself.. dropping out of the int... is that supposed to be helping the world to a better place, or MAGA? i don't see it.. staying on topic - his agenda here in venezuala seems cut out straight from neo con central... is bolton the new president? sure looks like it.. why did trump surround himself with neo cons? because he was going to make the usa less of a warmongering nation? lol.. sure, he opens his mouth and says something 180 whatever he said before and people think that means something... the guy is a buffoon with a twitter account..

Posted by: james | Feb 2 2019 17:50 utc | 114

james @115

It's not just semantics. I'm pointing out the confirmation biases that fuel 'hopium' of those who are pro-Trump and/or anti-Empire.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 2 2019 18:03 utc | 115

Maduro asks the astonishing crowd concetrated in Bolivar Avenue now for ours already if they want new elections to reinforce the power of the people and the people anwers "Yes"...!

This disarticulates clearly the EU position....and the Pence´s position on non negotiation under any circunstances....
The plotters, looters and undemocratic forces at work, left bottom up unveiled before the whole world to see....

Now he is claiming to all workers and employers to continue the path of development and recovering.....

Posted by: Sasha | Feb 2 2019 18:35 utc | 116

The strategy of calling in new parliamentary elections once Guaido has been unmasked as foreign agent is the best to clean the National Assembly from traitors sold to foreign actors and capital.

Posted by: Sasha | Feb 2 2019 18:39 utc | 117

The Guardian explains what the opposition's problem is:

Venezuelans take to streets in push to force Maduro from power
Demonstrators say they are close to achieving objective of forcing president to step down
Tens of thousands of Venezuelan protesters streamed on to the streets of the nation’s capital on Saturday for what they described as the final push to force Nicolás Maduro from power.

There are not enough of them on the street. If the report mentioned hundreds of thousands or millions, then I'd say that Maduro might be deposed but as it is no.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Feb 2 2019 18:41 utc | 118

Maduro ahora con su esposa bailando al son de un rap sobre la Revolución Bolivariana...

Posted by: Sasha | Feb 2 2019 18:42 utc | 119

Here's a couple of photos of Cnavista supporters out on the streets.

Posted by: arby | Feb 2 2019 18:47 utc | 120

If they want more bottom-feeders to turn out for their fake rallies, why are they being so stingy with the freebees? They ought to offer free booze. The US coupsters got the money for it. It worked for George Washington, and various Roman politicians.

Posted by: Russ | Feb 2 2019 18:50 utc | 121

Maduro try to appease neocons again, like they care what he says now!
He needs to arrest that traitor and get the americans, europeans out!

Maduro Proposes Snap Elections in Venezuela's Parliament

Posted by: Zanon | Feb 2 2019 18:59 utc | 122

Can someone tell me (despite tag I am not North American based) what the average Trump voter thinks of all this? Is this a vote winner amongst his support base?
“We have decided to steal Venezuela’s oil and gold” - maybe a lot of Americans support him? Please someone enlighten me.

Posted by: Montreal | Feb 2 2019 19:01 utc | 123

Hudson overstates his case, mostly by making Trump central to his thesis.

1) Russia and China were driven together long before Trump.

2) Virtually all countries looking to de-dollarize were already at odds with USA (before Trump)

3) The number of countries that have supported USA's Venezuelan coop attempt actually demonstrates the strength of the AZEmpire.

4) European SWIFT is a nothing burger. The European poodles complain but go along with USA on anything that USA cares about. Example: Europe now says that they will EuroSWIFT only to trade in humanitarian goods for Iran.

5) USA 'meddling', duplicity and hegemonic intentions have been long known by other countries. What has changed is NOT that countries have 'woken up' to this, but that China and Russia offer an alternative.

6) IMO the move to the right in the West has been long anticipated. And Trump has co-opted the right in the US as effectively as Obama co-opted the left. Expect the right in other countries to be co-opted also.

A backlash against the left's support and encouragement for large immigrant populations has been building for two decades. Cui bono? Western society is increasingly resembling Israel and Saudi Arabia which have large population of poor service workers with few rights (Palestinians, "guest workers").

7) Hudson ignores the fact that AZEmpire has woken to the threat posed by Russia and China to their hegemonic NWO plans -AND- ignores the real failure of neocon asshats: that they 'lost the peace' after the Cold War by their abusive treatment of Russia as they hoped for Russia's total capitulation. This failure was magnified by the fact that they NEEDED Russia to join with the West so that China could be isolated. Assisting China's "peaceful rise" without isolating her was a recipe for disaster: a disaster that is now playing out.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 2 2019 19:08 utc | 124

@ Sasha | Feb 2, 2019 12:44:02 PM | 114
"Yes, we can" if more was needed to show that this stooge is pretended to remind Obama...)
I saw the boy wonder Guaidó walking with some people in a video today, and his mannerisms reminded me of Obama. . . Could it be?

Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 2 2019 19:19 utc | 125

US military planes heading towards Caribbean. Near Venezuela.

🕵️ FBI Gulfstream G550 N616RK heading south over #Colombia. 👇🤔

Posted by: Zanon | Feb 2 2019 19:24 utc | 126

Hugo Chavez was sworn in as Venezuela president twenty years ago today, Feb 2 1999. The anti-US presstitutes, especially NBC's Carmen Sesin, are predicting large demonstrations today: "Venezuelans are planning to fill the streets in more than 70 cities around the world, including Caracas, Miami, Madrid, Milan, Frankfurt, Melbourne, Athens, and Beirut." . . .and of course the "news" can be predictive also, so the headline reads "Venezuelans take to the streets worldwide calling for an end to Maduro's presidency." . here. . . . We'll see.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 2 2019 19:38 utc | 127

Russ –

There is, right now, a rapidly spreading measles outbreak in SW Washington State, which has just crossed the river into Oregon. The outbreak originated in an area heavily populated with anti-vaxxers.

When and if the first child dies from this, I will rush to be the first to sign up for the firing squad . . .

Posted by: AntiSpin | Feb 2 2019 19:39 utc | 128

@124 montreal... it's a good question... maybe don bacon or nemesis calling can answer directly, as they are fans of trump..

@125 jr... thanks for stating all that jackrabbit... i agree with you..

Posted by: james | Feb 2 2019 19:39 utc | 129

@ ProSpin 129

1. Why tell me? All I did was describe the lay of the land under your capitalism and your general authoritarian political system. People are right to distrust it in general. If that leads some to make objectively incorrect decisions (and I'm not saying non-vaccination in any particular case is right or wrong), blame your leaders and cadres who systematically destroyed all bonds of social trust. If some epidemics become more likely because more and more people find it impossible to trust doctors, scientists, and government officials who all are clearly corporate shills, that's the fault of your system, not of the people who don't trust. Don't blame the people. You sound like a specimen of the exact boot-licking conformist authoritarian yahoos I was talking about.

2. In spite of the best rigged efforts of your corporate researchers, non-vaccinators have never been found to have caused an epidemic. Meanwhile your globalization, your climate change, and your forcing tens of millions of people off their land and into immiseration camps (shantytowns) all are driving new epidemics and reviving old ones. A handful of non-vaccinators could never injure the public health remotely as much even if they deliberately tried for a thousand years.

3. If you really care about public health (in my experience members of the lynch mob are invariably frauds), what have you done to help put a stop to the systematic campaign of corporations and governments to destroy antibiotics as a medically effective treatment? Through systematic abuse of antibiotics in factory farms, genetic engineering, and the slathering of the environment with herbicides (the most used herbicides like glyphosate are also broad-scale antibiotics), industrial agriculture is deliberately and massively generating a pandemic of antibiotic resistant pathogens. This is guaranteed to generate lethal pandemics among humans. By orders of magnitude this is a vastly worse campaign against the public than a handful of ad hoc non-vaccinators could ever be. So if you have such venom left over for this fugitive handful, your actions against the corporate/government campaign to destroy the efficacy of antibiotics must be extraordinary. Please direct me to your record here. I want links. Otherwise you're a total fraud, like every other mobber I've encountered.

4. I have no doubt if you were handed a gun and ordered to be part of a firing squad you'd wet your pants and start crying.

Posted by: Russ | Feb 2 2019 20:12 utc | 130

Montreal @ 124

Most people in US could not find Venezuela on a map even with the current news cycle.

Most Trump supporters are interested in jobs. Most are not war hawks.

Anti war Trump supporters hope he is draining the swamp. Exposing, disgracing and getting rid of neocons. (From the political scene)

Posted by: financial matters | Feb 2 2019 20:14 utc | 131

I have yet to read about a halt in Venezuelan crude-oil shipping to the US. And whatever became of the request for US-embassy personnel to leave the country? Is anything actually being followed through?
More and more I get the feeling that the Maduro administration is just not up to it. War has been declared on them, but what do they do? If you challenge the US – and that’s exactly what they did, by circumventing the dollar, by trying to increase business with the US’s minions in the Caribbean, by inviting Russia to get a foothold in the USA’s mainland oil business, by doling out free heating oil to charitable institutions and families in need across the US, by publicly aligning with Syria and China and so on – surely you would have contingency planning in place? Trying to foresee the USA’s reaction and how to respond to it, in turn?
So I recon CITGO is still being supplied by PDVSA. Imagine that. Possibly employees are still getting their pay checks by cash-deprived Venezuela, too. It’s insane. Guiado still free and able to diligently follow his script.
Crude shipments to CITGO should have been stopped completely two weeks ago. Non-domestic staff at CITGO should have been laid off asap. Venezuelans among staffers should have been offered to return home or be expatriated. Given the current volatility in Western economies and especially the impending doom coming for the US shale business, such measures might have put considerable further strain on the West, might even have sent us on a downward spiral towards a full-blown economic crisis.
In the meantime, the embassy in Washington plus the various (!) consulates across the US should have seen to it that business is wound down. Then leave. After that, expel diplomats at the US embassy in Caracas – by all means. Also sever ties with any other country that has supported Guiado’s blatant act of high treason. I wonder how the Netherlands would have reacted, given its vulnerability in Curacao.
Guiado should simply have been deported, GDR-style. Why bother with him in a trial? Just get rid of him. Let him move to Miami, to follow in Marco Rubio’s footsteps.
As a reciprocal step in light of what the Bank of England did with Venezuela’s gold, one or two of Royal Caribbean’s flagship cruisers should be captured, or “forfeited”. Disrupt the happy-go-lucky cruising business in the Caribbean a little. Now, any further gold transport, to the UAE or wherever, should only be conducted by the Navies of the two countries involved.
Finally, spread the word that any country volunteering to become the staging ground for a US invasion will be considered an enemy at war. That should make at least some people in Colombia, Brazil, Aruba and Curacao gulp.
The Washington regime won’t let go. So for Maduro to try and just sit it out is a patently insane idea. Because for now, time is on the US side.

Posted by: Scotch Bingeington | Feb 2 2019 20:14 utc | 132

And what about firing squads for those who have murdered untold millions by giving them cancer by poisoning the food, water, air, and general environment? I missed the part where you already joined those firing squads, or called for them to exist.

Posted by: Russ | Feb 2 2019 20:17 utc | 133

I can say w/o fear of contradiction that Trump feels like me, that this Venna-zwala thing will fail, providing another opportunity to fire some more old guard neocons and Make America Great Again. Maybe all three: Pence, Pompeo and Bolton. Package deal. Like it was fun doing Mad Dog.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 2 2019 20:21 utc | 134

@ Scotch 133

"I have yet to read about a halt in Venezuelan crude-oil shipping to the US. And whatever became of the request for US-embassy personnel to leave the country? Is anything actually being followed through?
More and more I get the feeling that the Maduro administration is just not up to it. War has been declared on them, but what do they do?"

If a nation has committed itself to (1) a de facto colonized extraction-based economy (which also involves physically destroying your own country, just as much as if it were from an external military attack), (2) which is at the mercy of a global commodity system, (3) which is controlled by vastly more powerful forces which are aggressive, militarist bullies under the best of circumstances and are irrationally hostile toward that nation in particular; then I don't see any way to exist other than at the mercy of such hostile forces.

I don't know what possible way out Venezuela has within the framework of the globalized extreme energy civilization.

Posted by: Russ | Feb 2 2019 20:24 utc | 135

@ Scotch Bingeington | Feb 2, 2019 3:14:26 PM | 133
. . .Because for now, time is on the US side.
This exercise is actually about more than Maduro, as the Wall Street Journal published here, shortened by paywall:

U.S. Push to Oust Venezuela’s Maduro Marks First Shot in Plan to Reshape Latin America
The Trump administration’s broader aim is to gain leverage over Cuba and curb recent inroads in the region by Russia, Iran and China
WASHINGTON—The Trump administration’s attempt to force out the president of Venezuela marked the opening of a new strategy to exert greater U.S. influence over Latin America, according to administration officials.
In sight isn’t just Venezuela’s Nicolás Maduro, but also Cuba, an antagonist that has dominated American attention in the region for more than 50 years, as well as recent inroads made by Russia, China and Iran.

Russia and China especially have lots of money invested so we can bet that Maduro is listening very closely to what they are telling him, and acting accordingly. So far, it's working. There is no indication that the US efforts will be successful, is there?
Meanwhile, it seems to me that time is on Maduro's side.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 2 2019 20:31 utc | 136

@ Scotch Bingeington | Feb 2, 2019 3:14:26 PM | 133
. . .Because for now, time is on the US side.
This exercise is actually about more than Maduro, as the Wall Street Journal published here, shortened by paywall:

U.S. Push to Oust Venezuela’s Maduro Marks First Shot in Plan to Reshape Latin America
The Trump administration’s broader aim is to gain leverage over Cuba and curb recent inroads in the region by Russia, Iran and China
WASHINGTON—The Trump administration’s attempt to force out the president of Venezuela marked the opening of a new strategy to exert greater U.S. influence over Latin America, according to administration officials.
In sight isn’t just Venezuela’s Nicolás Maduro, but also Cuba, an antagonist that has dominated American attention in the region for more than 50 years, as well as recent inroads made by Russia, China and Iran.

Russia and China especially have lots of money invested so we can bet that Maduro is listening very closely to what they are telling him, and acting accordingly. So far, it's working. There is no indication that the US efforts will be successful, is there?
Meanwhile, it seems to me that time is on Maduro's side.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 2 2019 20:31 utc | 137

@Posted by: Scotch Bingeington | Feb 2, 2019 3:14:26 PM | 133

Following your recommended script would be serving US wish for war/military invasion in a silver plate.
What Maduro is doing, as got clear during his speech at Bolivar Avenue in front of the crowd concentrated there to celebrate the 20 anniversay of Bolivarian Revolution, is following a similar path Russian is doing, by keeping in the side of law abiding countries, while unveiling the real thuggish character of the US, most naked than ever....
He stated that the fight to recover Venezuelan assests seized y the US and UK will e claimed at the corresponding tribunals, he claimed for time for things to develop and fall by their own weight.

He most probably finds no point in harming other countries populations, including those of the countries who are openly participating in this outrage and assault on the Venezuelan people. By doing so, he will be behaving like the warmonger scoundrels currently ruling in the US/UK/Canada/EU/Colombia/Brazil/Peru/Argentina, and so on....Most of them are most probably going off in the next elections at heir respective countries....due their approvation ratings... Why rush at all?

He called the Venezuelan people to continue working hard without falling into provocations, and took the opoortunity to dismantle part of the plot y calling for new parliamentary elections...That he did not follow the path and script wished by the US and his minion Guaido does not mean he is succumbing to threats.

Posted by: Sasha | Feb 2 2019 20:32 utc | 138

reply to Scotch Bingeington | 133
"The Washington regime won’t let go. So for Maduro to try and just sit it out is a patently insane idea."
Madero isn't sitting it out: he has called for new elections, is getting vote in Parliament and is asking a people's referendum on it as well The wannabe President didn't run in the election because polls indicated that they would lose badly. This is a sensible tactical move on Madero's part IMO, both the call for elections and the people's referendum

Posted by: frances | Feb 2 2019 20:36 utc | 139

@129 antispin

You are ridiculous and sadly the norm for the colonized minds that dart that "enlightened" coastal regions.

I live in the area currently "under siege" by these terrible antivaxxers.

You know that SW WA is a hotbed of internationalism and the religious. Have you asked yourself basic questions such as 1) What was the pool of those exposed who were unvaccinated versus the pool that were vaccinated? If you were to answer this, you would note that the pool was probably much higher among the unvaccinated that were exposed as the origin was probably due to international travel and was brought back and promptly spread among religious communities. In essence, the unvaccinated were by and large the only pool of people exposed to this, hence the large per centage of those contracting who were unvaccinated.

Besides the measles being relatively innocuous as well as the fact that catching it provides lifelong immunity raises the question of medical ethics to begin with when you are talking about compulsory vaccination.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Feb 2 2019 20:39 utc | 140


Yes, exactly right.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 2 2019 20:41 utc | 141


That is a smart move.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 2 2019 20:42 utc | 142

Its not sensible to call for elections for Maduro.
The oppostion will reject the elections again along with the US/EU.

Does anyone really believe west will somehow accept Mauduro if is there was an election (how many is necessary? They just had one!) one is naive as Maduro seems to be himself.

Posted by: Zanon | Feb 2 2019 20:47 utc | 143

The proof that what the US and its appointed fake president Guaido are looking for is a civil war in Venezuela, which would dismantle the sate and transform it into a failed state, is to e found in Guaido´s beligerent speech in front of the crowd concetrated to hear him in an Eastern rich neighborhood, people who dispersed themselves quite fast, after showing so excited by what Guaido was saying, once his disapassionate and clearly anti-Venezuelan speech finished..

The regular parliamentary elections were expected to be held in Venezuela in 2020. However, Maduro said that the body needs to be “re-legitimized” as he addressed a large crowd of his supporters during a rally in Caracas.

The president said that he would consult the Venezuelan Constituent Assembly – a body elected in 2017 to draft the new constitution – on the issue. If the assembly backs the proposal the vote will be scheduled for some time this year. Earlier, Venezuela’s Supreme Court declared all acts of the National Assembly, headed by Guaido, as null and void.

Meanwhile, Venezuela continues to witness both pro and anti-government rallies. Tens of thousands of people took to the streets of the Venezuelan capital on Saturday to join a pro-government demonstration to celebrate 20 years since the late Venezuelan president, Hugo Chavez, launched the Bolivarian revolution.

A sea of people can be seen flooding a kilometers-long stretch of Bolivar Avenue in downtown Caracas to listen to Maduro’s speech. Crowds were waving Venezuela’s national flags and holding placards with portraits of Chavez.

Tens of thousands of people also gathered in the eastern part of the capital for a rally organized by the opposition. The national flag-waving crowds also occupied a long stretch in the city as they came to listen to Guaido.

In his speech, Maduro hailed the determination and “deep loyalty” of the people as demonstrated over the last 20 years, and called on Guaido-led opposition to engage in a dialog.

The president appealed to the reason of the opposition politicians and said he is ready to meet them “the day they want.” He also said economics and “national peace” would be the focus of the conversation.

The opposition leader’s statements were more belligerent, however. He declared that the upcoming month would become a “breaking point” in the opposition’s struggle for power and called for new massive protests on February 12. He also claimed that 90 percent of Venezuelans “want change” and “no one here fears a civil war.”

Posted by: Sasha | Feb 2 2019 21:02 utc | 144

I saw the boy wonder Guaidó walking with some people in a video today, and his mannerisms reminded me of Obama. . . Could it be? Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 2, 2019 2:19:46 PM | 126
Hmm. The suggestion being that both politicans are barbaric products of a God-forsaken
and eternally-damned CIA laboratory factory-farm? That is a far-fetched thesis, I think.

Still, this Guaidó character is a certifiable doppleleganger for the richie Crassus who
led the Roman Legions into one of their most humiliating defeats against the Parthians.

IS it within the realm of possiblity that the ghost of Crassius, stuck in the desert out there
in what is now West Iran, can't locate the golden ray, so he is animating Obama and Guidó?

Inquiring minds want to know. As the big-shots always say: nothing is off the table, so...

See minutes 0:22 and 1:00 and tell me that Crassus is not Guidó. And at 1:22:

Do eyes deceive? does the young Bolton appear in the Guidó's royal entourage?

Posted by: Guerrero | Feb 2 2019 21:12 utc | 145

Repy to: Zanon 143
“It’s not sensible to call for elections for Maduro. The opposition will reject the elections again along with the US/EU. Does anyone really believe west will somehow accept Mauduro if is there was an election (how many is necessary? They just had one!) one is naive as Maduro seems to be himself.”

I respectfully disagree. This fellow wants to be president, fine go for it, apply for the job; run for office. Does he feel the election will be stolen, fine have election observers from all over the world. If he still says no, then he shows himself to be a fraud to the world.

The UN will back Maderos on this; Maderos is using the Russian playbook, stay calm, stay sane, call for the rule of law.

Posted by: frances | Feb 2 2019 21:13 utc | 146

reply to Sasha 144
"...Guaido´s beligerent speech in front of the crowd concetrated to hear him in an Eastern rich neighborhood, people who dispersed themselves quite fast, after showing so excited by what Guaido was saying, once his disapassionate and clearly anti-Venezuelan speech finished."

"Dispersed..quite fast..." Sounds like Rent-A-Mob to me:)

Posted by: frances | Feb 2 2019 21:18 utc | 147

Posted by: Russ | Feb 2, 2019 3:12:07 PM | 131

Oh, my -- forget to take your meds today . . ?

Posted by: AntiSpin | Feb 2 2019 21:19 utc | 148

A far-left faction within Germany's socialist Left Party goes briefly where no one is allowed to go, concerning Venezuela...

then gets reminded of all those revisionists who are imprisoned in Germany

so they instantly reverse themselves, grovel on their knees, apologize profusely...

When will they ever learn who you are not allowed to criticize or even make fun of?

German Left Party group slammed over "anti-Semitic" Venezuela cartoon

The Cuba Si Hessen group posted the image on Facebook on Wednesday. It shows a grim reaper cloaked in a United States flag and holding a bloody scythe painted to resemble the flag of Israel.

The figure knocks at a door titled "Venezuela." Blood spills out of other opened doors marked "Iraq," "Libya," "Syria" and "Ukraine."

The group captioned the image with: "We stand on the side of the legitimate Venezuelan president, Nicolas Maduro, and oppose any form of intervention. Yankee go home!"

Posted by: Anja | Feb 2 2019 21:21 utc | 149


Why have elections if you arent sure you will win?

Maduro would likely win, yes - but its not sensible since Guiado and other will not participate since they will risk losing, besides election observers from EU/US will say the election result is a fraud.

For US/EU Guaido, the issue isnt with "elections", the issue is Maduro/socialist party.

UN and have no power when the bullets, chaos is ignited by US/EU.
Call for the rule of law, why? Neocons dont give a damn about it.
This is the reality. Maduro should play hard too, not appease anyone with "elections" or "dialogue", not because that is wrong, but because it doesnt work with the parties (US/EU Guiado) involved.

Posted by: Zanon | Feb 2 2019 21:36 utc | 150

@ Russ et al -- one OT comment deserves another:

I appreciate your thoughtful analysis of the vaccination crisis. It's bitterly amusing that pro-vaccination orthodoxy purports to have sole, exclusive ownership and occupancy of both the scientific and ethical high ground, and superciliously denounces and condemns any rational skepticism of the current state of the Big Pharma (as opposed to "medical science") driven Total Vaccination imperative as mad or bad heresy.

I don't have children, but my experience in recent years 1) avoiding dubious "flu shots", and 2) dutifully, and so far unsuccessfully, submitting to the vexing, Kafkaesque ordeal of getting the newest shingles vaccine is more than enough to make me a proud heretic.

If vaccinations were developed and marketed with the same exemplary scientific and ethical standards manifested by Jonas Salk, the horror-story "side-effects" and abuses (e.g., the CIA using vaccination programs as a cover for black ops) wouldn't exist-- at least on a scale that causes some of the public to rightly doubt their virtue and efficacy.

The Stern Adult "their blood is on your hands" j'accuse is pathetic. Moderate progressives who loyally supported the abominable "Obamacare" health-corporation bailout used the same shrill invective: "Obamacare saved my granny's life! If you dare to criticize it, why, you're either expressing self-absorbed 'privilege' or sociopathy!"

Posted by: Ort | Feb 2 2019 21:42 utc | 151

Maduro looks to be calling for parliamentary elections, not presidential elections. If Maduro has done his numbers correctly, this may well see the usurper and cronies out of parliament.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Feb 2 2019 21:43 utc | 152

This Rueters piece also states parliamentary election, not presidential elections.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Feb 2 2019 21:46 utc | 153

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

Age of Autism, a very useful compendium of vaccine issues.

Just viewed a segment on Sharyl Attkisson's show how Paraguay has all but eradicated malaria since 2011. To bring back towards topic, you can bet that Big Pharma is itching to get back into Venezuela to roll out its vaccine programmes. Ask India how that has been going.

Posted by: Stumpy | Feb 2 2019 21:57 utc | 154

where do you get this crap about an presidential election for Venezuela. Maduro has called for a parliamentary election, not a presidential election.
Parliament members like this Guiado have now shown their colors. most will be booted out of the parliament if an election is held now.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Feb 2 2019 21:58 utc | 155

@Peter that would be a great maneuver, sure to be torpedoed by the Opp/US as it wont bring the desired results. If & when sniper fire starts we'll get a clear understanding of Venezuela's ennemies resolve. Until then, I dont think this putch attempt is working very well..

Posted by: Lozion | Feb 2 2019 21:59 utc | 156

History proves that you can't appease this kind of aggressor. For those who think Maduro needs to make every kind of concession, I don't know who the target audience for that is supposed to be.

Posted by: Russ | Feb 2 2019 22:08 utc | 157

Posted by: AntiSpin | Feb 2, 2019 4:19:05 PM | 148

There's the non-answer I expected.

Meanwhile, judging from how you froth at the mouth and spew death threats upon hearing mention of a small group engaged in civil disobedience, you're definitely in need of the Big Pharma Medication Regime you so ardently worship. Just pray you never need those antibiotics you're content to see destroyed!

Posted by: Russ | Feb 2 2019 22:08 utc | 158

@ ort 151

I've had bad experiences with doctors myself, and heard horror stories from many other people. Not involving vaccines in my case, but the same principle and enough to make me regard all doctors as not just corporate agents but effectively extensions of the police state.

As for my corporate troll here, as I demonstrated his type doesn't really care about public health at all. That's why I call them "proxxers", because their hysteria over the non-vaccinators is clearly a proxy for something else. Part of it is that they regard this type of civil disobedience as an intolerable affront to their cult of scientism and statism.

Posted by: Russ | Feb 2 2019 22:09 utc | 159

Peter Au

Maduro/his party will likely win such an election, but no point since the other side - EU/US Guaido will reject that, they have already shown their real colors in not reconizing Maduro/his party, they have nothing to lose now unfortunately.

Posted by: Zanon | Feb 2 2019 22:10 utc | 160


Indeed, you cannot talk with these people, trying to appease them with talks will lead to "Ukraine", "Libya" in a matter of week.

Posted by: Zanon | Feb 2 2019 22:12 utc | 161

>>>>: NemesisCalling | Feb 2, 2019 3:39:12 PM | 140

Besides the measles being relatively innocuous
Tell that to the one hundred and fifty thousand people who die from it each year
In 2011, the WHO estimated that 158,000 deaths were caused by measles. This is down from 630,000 deaths in 1990. As of 2013, measles remains the leading cause of vaccine-preventable deaths in the world. In developed countries, death occurs in one to two cases out of every 1,000 (0.1–0.2%). In populations with high levels of malnutrition and a lack of adequate healthcare, mortality can be as high as 10%. In cases with complications, the rate may rise to 20–30%. In 2012, the number of deaths due to measles was 78% lower than in 2000 due to increased rates of immunization among UN member states.
For comparison:
The death rate from diarrhoeal diseases decreased by almost 1 million between 2000 and 2016, but still caused 1.4 million deaths in 2016. Similarly, the number of tuberculosis deaths decreased during the same period, but is still among the top 10 causes with a death toll of 1.3 million. HIV/AIDS is no longer among the world’s top 10 causes of death, having killed 1.0 million people in 2016 compared with 1.5 million in 2000.
So, measles has 10% of the lethality of tuberculosis. Please go and peddle your anti-vaccine conspiracy theories elsewhere.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Feb 2 2019 22:19 utc | 162

Russ 157

Parliamentary elections will not appease the US, but for Venezuela they will clean out the crap that has shown its colors. This will put Venezuela in a stronger, more united position to resist the US.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Feb 2 2019 22:23 utc | 163


The call for a snap election is a challenge to opposition claims of having great support among the Venezuelan people.

They can accept it and be voted out or reject it and look like fools.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 2 2019 22:25 utc | 164


I agree with you, that would work in a normal world yes, but they arent interested in elections. They already have the backing of their neighbous, EU, US. All this saying about they will look like fools is long overdue by now. Its not about "looks" but who gains the power by any means. Simply, they play dirty and so shall also Maduro play IMO.

Posted by: Zanon | Feb 2 2019 22:29 utc | 165

@162 Ghost Ship

What conspiracy theory pray tell am I peddling?
That people should have a choice as to how they want to approach a relatively innocuous disease. Yes I highly doubt your WHO stats. Sanitation has been the prime mover with regards to disease eradication the world over. I am speaking as an American for Americans. Go peddle your compulsory vaccine agenda for 3rd worlds elsewhere.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Feb 2 2019 22:32 utc | 166


Couple of links you might like.

Posted by: flapjack | Feb 2 2019 22:37 utc | 167

The US have been very public about trying to buy the Venezuelan military, hoping, as in the early days of Syria, many will swap sides. An election that kicks out of parliament all those flying the US flag will make it much more difficult for the US to cause defections in the military.
Russia has done a good job (although still a work in progress) of reuniting Syria and I can see Russia's hand in Maduro's call for parliamentary elections.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Feb 2 2019 22:40 utc | 169

I think the people who are discussing here about vaccines should wait for the possible imminent Open Thread of every weekend here to discuss there that topic, so as to not derail the important discussion about Venezuela here at this thread.

Just saying....

Posted by: Sasha | Feb 2 2019 22:42 utc | 170

Just thinking about the folks who credit Trump for not starting any wars. Seems to me the the empire starting wars kinda hit a brick wall when Russia stuck its nose in Syria and that precedes Donald by a couple of years.

Posted by: arby | Feb 2 2019 23:07 utc | 171

@robert snefjella #99

I hope it (your first link) was picked at random, because this author is not doing his cause any favors:

As it turns out, all it takes to find out what is really in the vaccines is to break rank, seize a sample of what is being injected into the children, put it in a real lab that is not compromised by kikes, and VOILA!!! suddenly it is known that the vaccines are not at all what they are claimed to be.

Posted by: Mike | Feb 2 2019 23:09 utc | 172

I think a Vz parliament vote on having parliament elections early and a citizens referendum on such a vote helps Maduros rally his base and shores up Russian calls for the rule of law to be upheld.
Sure the US and co will disparage the effort but it would not be done for them but for the Vz people.
If he holds the people, he wins the war.
And my apologies, I thought the proposed election would include the office of President, I was wrong.

Posted by: frances | Feb 2 2019 23:16 utc | 173

Surely there are other sites that would be more appropriate for the anti-vaccination lot.

There is a place in Maryland called Fort Detrick. There you can go to sample their supply of small pox, polio, cholera and other treats.

Posted by: Bart Hansen | Feb 2 2019 23:29 utc | 174

The call by Maduro for elections is brilliant IMO.
This was one of the Empire's demands--

'Spain, France, Germany and Britain have given embattled Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro an ultimatum, saying the nations would recognise opposition leader Juan Guaido as president unless he calls elections within eight days."

Sounds like a judo and chess move to me.

Posted by: arby | Feb 2 2019 23:55 utc | 175

Here is a balanced analysis of the Crisis:

Posted by: Krollchem | Feb 3 2019 0:05 utc | 176

At this point, the pro-vaxxers are a Mengele death cult. The vaccine schedule amounting to dozens of vaccinations, before infants even have a developed immune system, is creating generations of cretins and invalids. Just the hpv vaccine alone has caused horrific injuries, including total debilitation and paralysis,just like the polio vaccines in India caused 100s of thousands of cases of paralysis. It is probable that the mortality from vaccinations exceeds the mortality from the contagious diseases themselves, but the pro-vaxxer cult think they have the right to play god.
The pro-vaxxer cult has the blood and suffering of countless individuals on their hands, and the people who cover up the deaths of infants from vaccinations with fancy sounding syndromes like shaken baby syndrome and SIDS should be hanged form lampposts.

Posted by: evilempire | Feb 3 2019 0:13 utc | 177

My South American friends say that most with money and critical skills have left and are living in other South American countries until the mess clears itself up. I have worked with a few of key types of workers kicked out in the early days by Chavez for not being sufficiently Marxist. According to them it was a be one of us or die proposition. That type of expertise is critical, not easy to replace, and not prone to lean Marxist. It takes 15 to 20 years to earn your bones in those types of businesses.

As the Marxists grabbed all the means of production the economy collapsed. Their enemies have deep pockets and are experts at regime change. A propaganda war to soften the hearts and minds of the taxpayers is usually the first step. The people suffer, the empire howls, the people suffer. If the Empire wins; the people suffer, the Marxists howl, the people suffer. Not many options there but to leave.

Posted by: dltravers | Feb 3 2019 0:18 utc | 178

Don Bacon@135
Re: Pence, Pompeo, and Bolton
Trump picked all 3 of them, nobody forced them on him. He can replace Pompeo and Bolton today if he wants to, he doesn't need an excuse or an opportunity to do that. His appointments are a much clearer expression of his intentions and policy that anything he says or tweets.

Posted by: mourning dove | Feb 3 2019 0:24 utc | 179

Update on comment Krollchem@176

This article by Nafeez Ahmed connects the dots that have led to the Venezuela's current political and economic crisis. The factors include:
(1) predatory global capitalism (see Michael Hudson's work);
(2) government mismanagement e.g. price controls;
(3) corruption at all levels (insiders);
(4) droughts (El-Nino), especially in 2015 and tied to lower hydroelectric electricity production;
(5) oil price flux;
(6) US destabilization efforts;
(7) privatization of oil resources;
(8) low Energy Return on (energy) Invested (EROI);
(9) US use of (corporate socialism) subsidized oil prices as a weapon to punish real oil producers
(10) Energy waste by gas flaring, which is also common in the US.

He neglects other factors such as:
(1) poor soil management practices;
(2) demographics such as some 3 million Columbian citizens fleeing the Fascist Columbian military attacks and putting extra stress on the social programs;
(3) Increasing US needs for Venezuela heavy crude to blend with the light fractions coming from fracking operations (e.g. Eagle Ford light "oil" condensates;
(4) US military need for War to support funding levels (e.g. Smidley Butler's "war is a racket";
(5) batshit crazy neocon and neoliberal ideology and world domination.

The EROI issue is worse that many consider. See Gail Tverberg article "How the Peak Oil Story Could Be “Close,” But Not Quite Right". The article points out that wellhead costs do not capture the downstream costs of production and tax capture that bust further reduce the EROI.

US need for heavy oil is also due to declines in conventional oil production. Fracking “oil” ( high in condensates) has been used to mask the peak (real) oil declines and also has a lower energy content/barrel and must be blended with heavy oil for the refineries to process it. Thus, “Prices of heavier U.S. grades like Mars Sour, an offshore medium U.S. crude, and Heavy Louisiana Sweet crude have risen as buyers scramble for supply”. Mars currently trades at a premium to U.S. crude at $58.19 vs $53.69 for West Texas Intermediate (WTI)”. Currently, the US also imports 500,000 barrels of Venezuelan crude a day to meet refinery blending requirements.

All other shale fracking regions than the Permian have peaked or are in decline as shown by

Added to this EROI problem is that the new US energy production hope from the Permian basin is beset with water shortages.

The economics of the US fracking light oil condensates industry is much worse when you consider the offloading of pollution costs (drinking water), health effects, wear and tear of highways from trucking the oil, water and fracking sands (one pound/barrel), climate change from massive methane flaring, volatile organic compounds (VOC) release and earthquake damage from deep injection of the water cut fluids.

Posted by: Krollchem | Feb 3 2019 0:24 utc | 180

The Pretender has a cunning plan; free money, free food and if you like your oil co, you can keep your oil company:

from a zerohedge commenter:

"President Guaidó Unveils Giant Government Program to Fix Venezuela

The plan consists of three key elements: social renewal, economic renewal, and control of petroleum supplies.

First, the government would create 11 social programs, all part of a larger social security plan, that would help Venezuelans back on their feet.

The economic plan would consist of government subsidies to “every family that needs them,” as well as heavy investment in government education and health care.

The petroleum plan saw Guaidó’s government vow to return Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), the state-run oil company, to pre-socialist production levels. The opposition team promised not to privatize the industry, but to return it to the hands of capable oil experts who can adequately find and process the crude oil.


key takeaway "..return it(the oil co) to the hands of capable oil experts." That would be Exxon et al. At the old rates of 70% US and 30% Vz is my guess, and didn't Vz have to repay the US for all upfront costs before they ever saw the 30%??

Posted by: frances | Feb 3 2019 0:34 utc | 181

The oil part may be the selling point for Trump but the real deep state motive is to crush socialism.

Posted by: arby | Feb 3 2019 0:40 utc | 182


Is Bolton in charge, or is Pence? Pence certainly has been the face of much of the Venezuela policy. Is it because 1) He's modeling the office of the VP after GHW Bush's and Cheney's lead? 2)Trump has been so consumed with the congressional showdown and govt. shutdown, that he's let Pence, Pompeo and Bolton take the lead on Venezuela? 3) Trump is planning to go out in a blaze of glory -- declare Mission Accomplished on his agenda (even if he has to declare a State of Emergency to get his Wall) and resign, leaving Pence in charge (with the power to pardon him if need be).

Posted by: Rusty Pipes | Feb 3 2019 0:41 utc | 183

The Venezuelans taking to the streets worldwide today as promised by NBC here didn't happen. Even CNN "breaking news" couldn't find a few Venezuelans loitering on the street somewhere in any city besides Caracas.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 3 2019 0:42 utc | 184

Guaido has his marching orders from Washington, refusing mediation from Mexico and Uruguay.

Ratificamos a los gobiernos de México y Uruguay nuestra posición de restituir el orden constitucional en Venezuela. Tenemos una ruta clara:
1. Cese de la usurpación
2. Gobierno de transición
3. Elecciones libres
¡Únanse a nuestro llamado democrático! . .here

google translate
We ratify to the governments of Mexico and Uruguay our position of restoring the constitutional order in Venezuela. We have a clear route:
1. Cessation of usurpation
2. Transitional government
3. Free elections
Join our democratic call!

Maduro called his bluff with his snap election suggestion.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 3 2019 0:50 utc | 185

Guaido is obeying Pence:
“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 3 2019 0:52 utc | 186

@ AntiSpin #129

When and if the first child dies from this, I will rush to be the first to sign up for the firing squad . . .

For the rank-and-file anti-vaxxers that's too harsh. I'm no longer a fan of Robert Heinlein, and have discarded all but a handful of his novels. But that old rascal did have an idea suited to these types. He called it Coventry. Unless there is an available desert island somewhere, fence off a suitable section of Wyoming with a version of Trump's Wall on steroids. Let the heroes of the resistance live there for a period of time calculated to be enough for them to acquire some sense. The site owner at Naked Capitalism had this to say about the situation:

From autism risks to mercury poisoning, here are 10 lies anti-vaxxers are spreading about the measles vaccine in the Pacific Northwest Surprised it doesn’t contain what I think is the strongest argument for the measles vaccination: babies can’t be vaccinated (too young) and they can die of measles. So you are getting your kid vaccinated to save babies.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Feb 3 2019 1:10 utc | 187

Well the snipers didn't show up today. I guess the next big event is the convoy of humanitarian aid arriving at the border. Something tells me they aren't aiming for a clean trouble-free handover.

Posted by: dh | Feb 3 2019 1:12 utc | 188

@183 rusty pipes.. your overview makes more sense then mine... remember, i live here in canuckistan and try hard to not pay any attention to the msm.. this pence guy is off my radar, lol... but it makes a lot of sense what you articulate... thanks for the more nuanced perspective.. @186 don bacons link seems to back you up!

this pence guy is another one of those evangelical christian whack jobs right?? does he pray facing towards jerusalem 5 xs a day?

Posted by: james | Feb 3 2019 1:14 utc | 189


Interestingly, the BAK Shalom group, which you called far-left, is one of the most fanatical pro-Israel lobby groups in Germany. In my opinion, being a supporter of Israel automatically means being far-right.

Posted by: Gesine Hammerling | Feb 3 2019 1:20 utc | 190

I posted a comment in the prior thread's comments (venezuela-coup-attempt-part-of-a-larger-project-military-intervention-likely-to-fail #173), that is relevant to this discussion, I won't repost in full but the gist is last Thursday I watched the Atlantic council's livestream of their “Supporting the New Venezuelan Interim Government” forum, featuring two representatives of the Guaido Coup (Carlos Vecchio & Julio Borges) as well as The Ambassadors of the EU, Paraguay & Chile. All of whom were extremely hostile to the true Venezuelan government and stressed the new for a rapid response to drive Maduro and that this coup was just the first step in a larger mission and that the entire region must go through a “fall of the Berlin Wall” process [their terminology) ending the influence of Cuba throughout Latin America. This the process must be irreversible and redefine the ideological prism of the economic and human rights, a historic change in the direction of Latin America. This was openly and bluntly stated at the forum.

On thing I left out of my original coverage was that during the Q&A the Coup representatives were asked about how they would treat international agreements signed by the Maduro government and they basically said 1) that would not acknowledge any agreement signed by Maduro's government since 2015 and 2) they specifically called out Russia & China saying that if they wanted any of their agreements with Venezuelan honoured they would need to remove their support for Maduro - needless to say I don't think talking smack to the Russians or Chinese will accomplish much for the coup plotters. Nor do I think the Cuban government is threatened in the least by the latest threats to Cuba

Posted by: Kadath | Feb 3 2019 1:20 utc | 191

Juan Guaido, Venezuela's self-proclaimed president, has been recognized by president Trump and the European Parliament as interim president of Venezuela, but on his twitter account here Guaido still calls himself the president of the national assembly of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. Such humility by the boy wonder!

Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 3 2019 1:23 utc | 192

regarding NemesisCalling #140

Besides the measles being relatively innocuous as well as the fact that catching it provides lifelong immunity raises the question of medical ethics to begin with when you are talking about compulsory vaccination.

"relatively innocuous" - so long as one of the horrible side effects happens to the kid of somebody else.

Or your unvaccinated kid helped spread the epidemic.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Feb 3 2019 1:28 utc | 193

@ mourning dove, Rusty Pipes
President Trump's MO is that for him to succeed others have to fail. So he set up Mattis to fail in Afghanistan and Syria, which he did, and was fired. Now we're onto a new generation of failures, including Pence Pompeo and Bolton. Clever, what?

Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 3 2019 1:29 utc | 194

I have no position in the pros and cons of the vaccine discussion but laws such as the one below make me wonder. If vaccines are safe why is this law in place and did the pharmaceutical companies lobby for this.
U.S. Code Title 42. THE PUBLIC HEALTH AND WELFARE (1) No vaccine manufacturer shall be liable in a civil action for damages arising from a vaccine-related injury or death associated with the administration of a vaccine after October 1, 1988, if the injury or death resulted from side effects that were unavoidable even though the vaccine was properly prepared and was accompanied by proper directions and warnings.

After doing research about other drugs such as statins I think the secrecy and misleading actions of Big Pharma can lead people to lose faith in them.

Finally, in regard to the coup in Venezuela, I just finished watching a documentary about the torture and murder of Victor Jara after the Chilean coup. A man who had been an 18 year Chilean Military conscript and participated in the human rights abuses after the coup said he still suffered from the guilt of his actions. He appeared very sad and old beyond his years. Meanwhile a retired CIA officer expressed no regret for his actions and looked great. It helps to be a psychopath or sociopath. I'm sure that Trump, Bolton, Pompeo, etc. will not suffer if their actions regarding Venezuela result in death and suffering.

Posted by: El Cartero Atómico | Feb 3 2019 1:32 utc | 195

I think it had to do with the protests in so far that the thugs saw a chance to commit their violence under the cover of wider protests. Much like the fringe violent elements of the Gilets Jaunes.

Posted by: anonymous | Feb 3 2019 1:32 utc | 196

@191 kadath... i had read your post on the previous thread... this berlin wall analogy is a good one if it references the usa/ wests determination to keep venezuala locked into a neoliberal agenda via economic sanctions or worse... it is bizarre the west wants to create a berlin wall to keep russia, china and cuba out! i suppose they are unhappy with mexico and uruguay not participating in there draconian mindset toom given their geographical location...

Posted by: james | Feb 3 2019 1:49 utc | 197

I am going to assume that the coup in Venezuela is going to fail given the early movements by both parties. So that plate of empire becomes maybe like the Ukraine spinning plate

What comes next? We can't be out of plates and spinners for money.

On the road to a multi-polar world will there be a time of total breakdown in trade and border porosity? Will there be 2 global internet backbones and traffic between each will be restricted and monitored? Maybe we even get 2 UN organizations which would be a hoot if there was any sort of transparency.

Guaido is an Apprentice that is about to be fired by the Venezuelan people in the election he called for....after lots of money spent on the spinning plate.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Feb 3 2019 1:59 utc | 198

Mike MacRae & Jimmy Dore skit: Sec.Of State Admits Venezuela About Oil & Imperialism.

Posted by: S | Feb 3 2019 1:59 utc | 199

Don Bacon@194
That's some convoluted reasoning and you are clearly very invested in it and are able to adapt it to anything Trump does. Failure isn't a strategy for success and appointments of rabid neocons isn't a strategy for peace. These things are self evident, but ultimately irrelevant if you are committed to maintaining an untenable position.

Posted by: mourning dove | Feb 3 2019 2:04 utc | 200

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