Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
February 14, 2019

Venezuela - Media Find Trump's Coup Plan Does Not Work

On January 25, two days after Random Guyidó declared himself President of Venezuela, the lack of planing in the U.S. coup attempt was already obvious:

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

Phase 1. Support the self declared president Guaidó; Phase 2: ... (wishful thinking) ...; Phase 3: Take half of their oil!
Bolton and Pompeo are both experienced politicians and bureaucrats. They likely knew that their plan was deeply flawed and would require much more than Trump would normally commit to. My hunch is that the soon coming mission creep was build into their plan, but that they did not reveal that.

The U.S. coup planners and their Venezuelan puppets had hoped that the Venezuelan military would jump to their side. That was wishful thinking and unlikely to happen. They also thought up some "humanitarian aid" scheme in which pictures of trucks crossing a long blocked bridge would soon shame the Venezuelan president into stepping down. That was likewise nonsense.

Unless the U.S. is willing and able to escalate, the coup attempt is destined to fail.

'Western' media now recognize that phase 2 of the coup plan is in deep trouble. Today the Guardian, Bloomberg and the New York Times all describe growing frustration with the lack of success.

The Guardian notes:

[T]hree weeks after Guaidó electrified the previously rudderless opposition movement by declaring himself interim leader, there are signs his campaign risks losing steam.

An anticipated mass defection of military chiefs – which opposition leaders admit is a prerequisite to Maduro’s departure – has not materialized, and Maduro’s inner-circle has begun claiming it has weathered the political storm.

Bloomberg writes:

Since Juan Guaido declared himself interim president three weeks ago and offered amnesty to officers who abandon Maduro, more than 30 countries led by the U.S. have hailed the move, waiting for the military to follow. There hasn’t been a rush to his side.
In a country with more than 2,000 generals and admirals, only one top officer -- who commands no troops -- has pledged allegiance to Guaido.
This is a major reason why the revolution isn’t moving as quickly as some had hoped when Guaido electrified the world on Jan. 23 with his declaration. This has led to impatience and finger-pointing. U.S. policy makers and those around Guaido -- as well as leaders in Brazil and Colombia -- are eyeing one another and worrying about failure. Officials in each camp have said privately they assumed the others had a more developed strategy.

The NY Times shows similar frustration:

[The opposition's] goal was to bring the supplies into Venezuela, forcing a confrontation with Mr. Maduro, who has refused the help. This would cast Mr. Maduro in a bad light, opposition leaders said, and display their ability to set up a government-like relief system in a nation where the crumbling economy has left many starving, sick and without access to medicine.

But there was no dramatic confrontation.

The "aid" delivery failed, according to Bloomberg, for lack of planning and coordination:

Worry about what comes next has intensified. At a meeting in the U.S. embassy in Bogota, Colombia, last week, military, intelligence and civilian leaders from both countries discussed ways of moving humanitarian aid into Venezuela. There was a sense of frustration in the air, according to a participant who agreed to discuss it on condition of anonymity.

The U.S. said it was paying for the aid but wanted Colombia to find trucks and drivers to move it in. The Colombians said no one would accept the mission because the Venezuelan military would arrest them. The aid remains in warehouses near the border.

At similar meetings in the Colombian border city of Cucuta, a person who attended said the dynamic was the same -- the U.S. expecting Colombia to find the means to deliver the aid and the Colombians saying they can’t.

The opposition is only now thinking up its own crazy scheme for delivering the "aid":

In Cúcuta, members of the opposition say they are considering options to physically force the shipment into Venezuela.

Omar Lares, a former opposition mayor in exile in Cúcuta, said organizers want people to surround an aid truck on the Colombian side and accompany it to the bridge. A crowd of thousands would be gathered on the other side to push through a security cordon, move the containers blocking the bridge, and accompany the aid into Venezuela.

“One group over there, one over here, and we’ll make one large human chain,” he said.

And what does he think the battalion of Venezuelan soldiers between the two groups will do? Just step aside and allow an invasion of their country?

The struggle could make for some marketable TV pictures but it would not achieve anything. The lack of planning is daunting even to the lobbyists in Washington DC:

The opposition has created immense expectations, and it’s not at all clear they have a plan for actually fulfilling them,” said David Smilde, a Venezuela analyst at the Washington Office on Latin America.

The U.S. coup plotters and their Venezuelan proxies seem to recognize that there will be no imminent change:

Addressing a congressional hearing, the US special envoy on Venezuela, Elliott Abrams, claimed “Maduro and his band of thieves” were finished. He claimed international pressure meant “there is a storm brewing inside the Maduro regime that will eventually bring it to an end”.

But while Abrams said Washington was “hopeful and confident” of Maduro’s demise he admitted it was “impossible to predict” when it might come. The US would maintain pressure “over the next weeks and months”, he added, suggesting a quick resolution is no longer expected.

Opposition leaders have spent recent days trying to dampen expectations that Maduro’s exit is imminent.

Juan Andrés Mejía, an opposition leader and Guaidó ally, admitted that goal “could take some time”.

The little spontaneous support the Random Guyidó had in some parts of the population is already lessening. Yesterday's demonstration he had called for saw less attendance than the one on January 23. He now says that he will force the 'aid' crossing on February 23 but he does not seem to have a real plan to achieve that:

President of the National Assembly Guaido also promised the country that US-delivered humanitarian aid will “enter the country no matter what” on February 23, issuing an “order” for the military to allow it to enter. However, military leaders have dismissed these calls, with the Central Defense Region tweeting in response that the armed forces would not take any orders from an “imperial lackey.”

“One month after the swearing in we have done it. This February 23 the humanitarian aid will enter the country. The Armed Forces have 11 days to decide if they are on the side of the Venezuelans and the Constitution or on that of the usurper,” he claimed in reference to President Maduro.

If the U.S. does not do more than it has done so far the government under President Maduro can sit this out. The sanctions and the lack of oil revenue will create many immediate problems. But in a few weeks Venezuelan oil will have found new buyers. Fresh money will come in and new sources for imports of medicine and staple food will have been found.

Over the same time the Random Guy will lose support. The party he nominally leads only won 20% of the votes. The other opposition parties were never informed of his plan to declare himself president. Their support for the step was lukewarm and will cool further. They may in the end support the mediation talks Maduro has offered and which the UN, Uruguay and Mexico also support. The talks could lead to new parliament and/or presidential elections in a year or two and thereby solve the situation.

The U.S. would not be satisfied by a compromise solution. Trump is now committed to 'regime change' in Venezuela. But how can he do it?

Waging an open war against that country would be very messy, expensive and difficult to justify. To start and support a guerilla war - Elliott Abrams specialty - takes time also costs a lot of money. The chances to win it are low. Moreover Trump wants to get re-elected but could lose many votes over both scenarios.

What else then can he do?

Posted by b on February 14, 2019 at 18:58 UTC | Permalink

next page »

"What else then can he do?"

Purchase large caliber hand gun
Load gun with large caliber dum dum bullets
Take aim at foot (either will do)
Pull trigger.

Oh! Wait! I think he's already done that.

Posted by: Derrick | Feb 14 2019 19:11 utc | 1

Venezuelaanalysis just posted short interviews with Random Guyido supporters. They all sound frustrated and disappointed:

Posted by: b | Feb 14 2019 19:23 utc | 2

Have Russia and/or China taken any steps to provide any medications that may be urgently required by Venezuelan hospitals or doctors? or two planeloads would seem to get it done

Posted by: chet380 | Feb 14 2019 19:28 utc | 3

Here is an article that looks at an aspect of life in Venezuela that never gets mentioned in the Western media:

Given the nation's massive economic potential, America's bankers must be excited about the prospect of even higher profitability based on increased business opportunities in the nation that has the world's largest oil reserves.

Posted by: Sally Snyder | Feb 14 2019 19:37 utc | 4

Simply put, whilst the regime change in Venezuela is faltering the Trump’s retreat to Deep State is escalating. After a couple of months of no movement in Venezuela, he will be forced to commence his first open war. Clintons, Bushes and Obama started theirs, how could Trump disappoint? Starting a war would complete the outcome which is a mirror image (opposite) to what Trump promised and was elected on.

Some would say that Trump’s achievement is zero. Yet, the system which delivered two worst Presidential candidates ever in history is to blame. Trump was just the worst candidate for President. If the other, worstest candidate won, there already would have been no Venezuela and no US, the World would have been a pile of radioactive dust. It is still not impossible that the worst candidate could achieve the same as the worstest, but for the other one the outcome was a virtual certainty.

As to 2020 election, expect deja vu - Republican Trump the Worst and some Democratic the Worstest. Who are you gonna vote for? Who with brains will waste time voting?

Posted by: Kiza | Feb 14 2019 19:50 utc | 5

Backlash is arriving already. The people of Haiti are toppling their corrupt US puppet president in naked anger over his betrayal of Venezuela when he voted with the Empire's dictate in a January OAS event declaring Maduro "illegimite". Must read:

Haiti’s Unfolding Revolution Is Directly Linked to Venezuela’s

Posted by: CE | Feb 14 2019 19:59 utc | 6

Yet, this is Granma a few hours ago:

'Between February 6 and 10 of 2019, several military transport aircraft have flown to the Rafael Miranda Airport in Puerto Rico, the San Isidro Air Base in the Dominican Republic, and other strategically located Caribbean Islands, most certainly without the knowledge of the governments of those nations. These flights took off from U.S. military facilities where Special Operation Troops and U.S. Marine Corps units operate. These units have been used for covert operations, even against leaders of other countries.'

US Militiary Adventure Against Venezuela Must be Stopped

Posted by: Myrisa | Feb 14 2019 20:00 utc | 7

@2 Interesting video. Those people are obviously starving, dressed in rags and desperate for toilet paper.

Posted by: dh | Feb 14 2019 20:08 utc | 8

thanks b... you said this in one of your previous post - they don't have a plan!

@5 kiza - lol! - the way i see it, trump is almost the most successful as he hasn't engaged in a direct war, and had to work thru other ones started by other presidents... i like entertaining the idea it is trump against the deep state... it is a fun thought, but i think it is extremely unrealistic.. trump will do what he is told even if it is in a round about way.. if the deep state want a war, he will cosign it.. as b also shared - all the sanctions on russia haven't let up and instead have just increased steadily since he entered office.. trump may talk a good line - no more wars, why can't we be friends with russia and etc - but he is missing in action on these same fronts.. now, maybe if he can hold off on following netanyahus war plan for iran, or hold off on bombing venezuala or whatever he is supposed to do here, he might have a chance for a 2nd term... the democrats have shown real skill in shooting themselves in the foot! anything is possible..

i too enjoyed the congresswomen who was up on anti-semite charges taking a real strip out of elliot abrams yesterday.. kudos to her for going for it..

Posted by: james | Feb 14 2019 20:24 utc | 9

..."Trump is now committed to 'regime change' in Venezuela. But how can he do it?"...

Well maybe he can show how great he is and drive the aid truck himself personally and then go to Maduro and ask him to leave. That would be a show of force indeed.


Posted by: Taffyboy | Feb 14 2019 20:28 utc | 10

Nobody volunteering to be the martyrs as yet, so some will have to be volunteered.
The Trump regime has put a lot of work into gaining Venezuelan oil, so I doubt they will be stopped by a little hiccup.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Feb 14 2019 20:30 utc | 11

I didn't see this posting from Reuters about the next ploy in b's posting
(Reuters) - President Donald Trump will give a speech on Venezuela in Miami on Monday and voice support for Venezuela’s National Assembly President Juan Guaido, whom the United States considers the legitimate president of that country, a White House official said on Wednesday.

Trump is to make remarks on Venezuela and “the dangers of socialism” at Florida International University in Miami, the official said.

We have had this discussion before but there is only top/bottom and not left/right. That said, the elite are now setting up to cast top/bottom as capitalism/socialism......neither of which exist in the same way that TOP/BOTTOM does.

Within the definition of TOP/BOTTOM one could suggest that

Capitalism is where (TOP) a historical elite perpetuate the God of Mammon global finance jackboot without oversight and TBTF on the BOTTOM that acts like powerless zombies, and
Socialism is where the God of Mammon global finance is a set of public utilities as a managed resource for the public commons and strict restrictions are made on ongoing ownership of private property

Posted by: psychohistorian | Feb 14 2019 20:35 utc | 12

Cant say its failed. Too soon.

Venezuela follows the neoliberal doctrine, perhaps not by choice, but they buy what they can’t produce. Now they can’t buy much and they do not produce much but oil, and they are denied payment by their biggest customer of oil. Ouch. Their gold in London cant be used. Revenues from Citgo are denied. Cant even sell their overseas assets now.

People need to eat, once they start going hungry they become more receptive to change. US wont use force unless Venezuela is so beaten down by lack of food and medicines they can be rolled over without much of a fight, perhaps after softening them up with mercenaries or other countries troops

Its a process. There is no hurry for the US. Time is on their side. Thats the reality. Chinas refineries cant handle too much of their heavy oil and its not about to intervene in any military conflict, and Russia does not need their oil plus Venezuela owes them a lot of money, and they own 49% of Citgo and its US refineries. They will cut a deal that minimizes their losses.

Posted by: Pft | Feb 14 2019 20:39 utc | 13

Max Blumenthal continues to try and reclaim his former position as a believable journalist. I provided his observational tweet on the previous Venezuelan thread, and do so again:

"At Tuesday’s opposition march, among the most ferociously anti-Chavista elements in Venezuela, I struggled to find a single person willing to openly support a direct US military intervention. Not that Bolton, Rubio, or Abrams would care."

Of course, those sentiments do pose a problem for the Orange Gringo. Down the thread is a cute cartoon vid that will bring out the wry smile in most.

There's more at Venezuela Analysis's Twitter, Dan Cohen's exploits being just one of several.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 14 2019 20:47 utc | 14

'“The opposition has created immense expectations, and it’s not at all clear they have a plan for actually fulfilling them,” said David Smilde, a Venezuela analyst at the Washington Office on Latin America'.

No. Actually, the US government and media have created immense expectations.

Apparently Trump's plans as President and Commander-in-Chief are just as half-baked as his business projects were.

Posted by: Tom Welsh | Feb 14 2019 21:10 utc | 15

Alex Jones hails police state Reichstag fire like decision by neocon Trump, paymaster for lovely neocons like PNAC members Bolton, Abrams. Meanwhile militarised cops worship Qanon Trump cult along with Oath sleepers, etc and little Rand Paul pro Venezuela coup

Posted by: Blooming Barricade | Feb 14 2019 21:12 utc | 16

Recommend these two interviews from today:

FM Jorge Arreaza with Sharmini Peries: here.

And Roberto Lovato professor at UCLA on Democracy Now (they're redeeming themselves a bit IMO with their
Venezuela coverage, considering their abysmal coverage of Syria and "Russiagate"): here.

Posted by: George Lane | Feb 14 2019 21:17 utc | 17

@ 6

Thanks for the link, CE. Very interesting. I had heard nothing about events in Haiti until this.

Posted by: Lochearn | Feb 14 2019 21:19 utc | 18

@james 9
Thanks for all your previous comments as well as this one. I do not subscribe to the concept that Trump is a Deep State puppet. Even the horrible Obama was not. All those sh**bags enter the vice of Presidency and after being squeezed a little by the Deep State wizards behind the curtain, they start dancing to the tune. The system selects them on the basis of low resistance, that is on the basis of being worthless, characterless individuals. Watch the pre-selection/Primaries debates to realise how it comes to the final match between the worst and the worstest.

But I find an interesting parallel between Syria and Venezuela. The US allies who are supposed to sacrifice for the regime change and thieving of the neighbouring country. When US assembled a Thieving Coalition on behalf of Israel to rip apart Syria, Turkey and GCC (Saudis) were the prominent local members, just as Columbia and Brazil in ripping apart Venezuela (also with puppet master Israel on top). The Syria rip off failed because of what I called “the honesty between the thieves”. It appears that the Venezuela rip off is faltering due to the same reason. Perhaps it is an in-built, systemic weakness of thieving coalitions that all the members want a piece of the dismembered victim, but are too careful to sacrifice more of their own blood and money than the next to achieve it. Israel passes the buck down to US, US passes the buck down to Columbia and Brazil, Columbian and Brazilian regimes try to pass it down to some internal fool, but those are hard to find. The thieving, murdering pyramid falters for the lack of self-sacrificial, extremist fools (rarer in South America than in Middle East).

We usually think of Israel only as a tormenter of the Palestinians. But Israel is much, much more - it is the Capo Di Tutti i Capi of the global crime. Tormenting Palestinians is only a hobby, a sport, but destroying countries to steal their wealth is the day job. US is a dumb bully, the blunt tool that the Israel Crime Syndicate uses for stealing on a global scale. This is my new perspective after Israel’s involvement in the coup in Venezuela.

Posted by: Kiza | Feb 14 2019 21:36 utc | 19

Thanks @6 for that link. I've been following this story on Telesur and MintPress News for a few days. It confirms the theory that what the US could be doing is igniting- inadvertently- civil wars in the Lima Group countries.
Talking of which: The Canadian government is looking very weak. There are calls for Trudeau's resignation after the unveiling of a corruption scandal involving Lavalin which was heavily involved in the Libyan war in which Canada played a leading and ignominious role- Pilots, enforcing the 'no fly' zone, were said afterwards to have been disillusioned, having been used as Al Qaeda's Air Force.
Canada has been taking the lead as a US surrogate in propagandising for regime change in Venezuela, if there is a government crisis it could lead to Freeland taking Trudeau's place. On the other hand it might lead to a saner person being appointed to Foreign Affairs.

Posted by: bevin | Feb 14 2019 21:38 utc | 20

The Washington Mafia won't admit defeat that easily. Some false flag action somewhere at the border or the u.s. embassy will come. The howling of the Relotius media will be deafening. Maybe a Colombian or a Brazilian military is stupid enough to do what Tronald Dumb would rather avoid in consideration of his electorate.

Posted by: Pnyx | Feb 14 2019 21:40 utc | 21

@21 The klas thing that the Colombian military want is to get involved in a guerrilla war in Venezuela, it would very likely be their last.
And the same might be said of the Brazilian Army, like the Colombians its main function is to suppress domestic dissent.
On another angle: there is a Mark Curtis story about Venezuela's attempt to win a UNSC seat a few years back. And the UK Labour government's horrified reaction:

Posted by: bevin | Feb 14 2019 21:48 utc | 22

I'm not sure the plan was ever meant to be a success. Oh sure, Rubio would have loved it if the military stepped in and took over but he probably felt there was no real downside. If in 6 months Maduro is still in power Guaido will be able to keep claiming Maduro is illegitimate. He can run across the border to Colombia and in the next election claim it is fraudulent because he is not allowed to run. Meanwhile, sanctions will continue to do their magic and eventually the people will stop supporting Maduro, not because they want the opposition in charge, but because they want sanctions lifted. At that point the military will be easily able to take over and launch elections that only allow US-backed candidates. No big deal for Trump. What does it cost him? We have plenty of oil for the time being. This kind of plan has few downsides (other than being extremely immoral).

Posted by: The Hang Nail | Feb 14 2019 21:49 utc | 23

Kiza @ 19: Far more likely that Brazil and Colombia refuse to commit any troops or other support for a US-led coalition to invade Venezuela. These countries have long borders going through thinly populated tropical forest or mountain areas with Venezuela. They don't want the prospect of fighting continuous border wars with militias that would sap their own military strength and which could go deep into their own territories. Imagine how unpopular that would make their current governments with their publics.

It's likely that the Brazilian and Colombian governments don't command the loyalty of their armed forces (especially the foot soldiers who would have shoulder the burden of invasion) to the extent that the Venezuelan government under Maduro does of its own. Especially if money allocated to the armed forces in Brazil and Colombia has gone to a few favoured individuals in the officer hierarchies while the grunts have seen no increased pay or support, or have even seen their pay levels dwindle as their responsibilities grow. That's a possible scenario in Brazil given that since Dilma Rousseff's impeachment as President in 2016 it has been governed by corrupt neoliberal politicians.

Posted by: Jen | Feb 14 2019 22:09 utc | 24

The Hang Nail @23--

The problem with your hypothesis is the Venezuelan People support the Bolivarian Revolution AND its constitution by over 80% as was shown in one of the first threads on this topic. Thanks to the People's Media, TeleSur, the People are well informed of the economic war being waged against them, and they well know what abandoning the Revolution would mean--they just celebrated a holiday dedicated to a revolt against a previous Yankee-backed Dictator. Furthermore, the majority of the planet's people through their governments back Maduro. Stonewalling the offered dialog by Maduro goes against the Opposition's interest, just as sitting out elections has every time. And if polls related to BigLie Media believability within the Outlaw US Empire can be used as a proxy indicator, then it isn't doing a good job manufacturing consent globally either.

South of the Border, majorities in every nation loathe the Gringo-Yankee Imperialist, so reactionary governments can only stay in power through force. Bevin notes Lima Group nations are already experiencing Blowback, and Haiti's already in revolt--again.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 14 2019 22:20 utc | 25

@19 kiza.. thanks... those are good parallels between syria and venezuala that you draw and to which i agree with.. my thought on trump is basically - it doesn't matter who is in the presidents seat in the usa, as the president seems to have little to say on that matter.. they are compliant, or made to be compliant to agenda that seems to override every dream a normal american might have for some role of harmony on the world stage which always includes war, or some threat of war, with endless sanctions in prep for more of the same.. all to secure the us$ and yes - i think israel plays a pivotal role in all this as well.

i like @24 jen's overview on the response that is more likely from the new puppets surrounding venezuala..

@6 CE.. thanks also for that link!

Posted by: james | Feb 14 2019 22:56 utc | 26

Thanks for the link also.

Posted by: jo6pac | Feb 14 2019 23:02 utc | 27

@20 Yes, Christina Freeland formed the Lima Group with her Ukrianian fascism's ideological partners: Bolsonaro and his party alongside Columbia and to an extent Argentina. South America a haven for Nazis once more.

Posted by: Blooming Barricade | Feb 14 2019 23:08 utc | 29


Sorry but there are two items I deem important to share with barflies here instead of posting to the end of a dead open thread.

China's Policy Paper on EU from December 2018. In stark contrast with one nation and its vassals:

"China will stay committed to pursuing peaceful development, comprehensively deepening reform and breaking new grounds in opening-up on all fronts, and building a new type of international relations and a community with a shared future for mankind in order to create new opportunities for and make fresh contributions to world peace and development."

"Putin's Lasting State" or "Modern Russian Governance Explained," by Vladislav Surkov, Tr. Dimitry Orlov. Excerpt:

"And so the Russian state continues, now as a new type of state that has never existed here before. It took form mostly in the middle of the 2000s, and so far it has been little studied, but its uniqueness and its viability are now apparent. The stress tests which it has passed and is now passing have shown that this specific, organically arrived at model of political functioning provides an effective means of survival and ascension of the Russian nation not just for the coming years, but for decades and, most likely, for the entire next century."

Both provide an amazing counterpoise to what we see the Outlaw US Empire doing. A very curious proposal from the last article:

"[T]the political system that has been made in Russia is fit to serve not just future domestic needs but obviously has significant export potential."

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 14 2019 23:13 utc | 30


The import of what you said is that the people of Venezuela are well informed. The people of the Evil Empire and its vassals are not. Thirteen weeks of revolt in France and a week in Haiti -- Evil Empire MSM -- crickets.

Posted by: lgfocus | Feb 14 2019 23:23 utc | 31

One of my favorite quotes

"All states can be placed on a continuum which ranges from states whose authority is based on their power to states whose power is based on their authority." Alexander Solzhenitsyn

Posted by: lgfocus | Feb 14 2019 23:27 utc | 32

@ Jen 24
Thanks for providing further detail into the inner workings of the US appointed Columbian and Brazilian military. I do not think that those two militaries do not want to get involved in Venezuela, but they are not volunteering forward to be the thieve's fools on an officer's salary. Any military which would leave its border is a mercenary, which means that the pay/benefits must be more proportional to the loot than even to the risk (i.e. they want a huge cut). In Venezuela's situation, the crux is in how prepared are the Venezuelan officers to defend their own country on an officer's salary and on promises of future rewards by Maduro and his team. Therefore, nationalism and patriotism of the military may be that little straw which tips the balance in favour of keeping Venezuela free. At least we hope.

The second important factor is that the Gene Sharp's "non-violent action" regime change system (revolution in a box) has been busted somewhat. The new potential victims are not as naive and as unprepared as the initial victims of the "branded revolutions" were. Therefore, the resistance to thievery is increasing. In case of Venezuela, the "revolutionaries", including the Random Guy, have been trained by the late Gene's best apostles, organisation Otpor, but it still has not worked out yet. The last two places where Gene's revolutions have worked out were Macedonia and Armenia, but there is not much there to steal (rather profitless victories).

I like to view Gene Sharp as the Lenin of the end of the 20th century. It is just so sad how much of human history is all about thieving on the back of highbrow principles and pretend-humanitarian ideologies. I pity people who argue about communism versus capitalism and any other ideologies. C'est tout la meme chose, someone is always taking someone else's women and cattle, only packaged in (MSM) verbal bullshit.

Posted by: Kiza | Feb 14 2019 23:37 utc | 33

The Rank and file vs the Generals in the military

My favorite talking point is how anyone who is interviewed in the U.S. insists that the 'rank and file' are with the new President and only a handful of the most corrupt, upper echelon Generals still support Maduro.

And I really love it when the Sock Puppets who do the interviews nod their heads as if this is some great new insight when they should respond, 'how the hell do you know, when were you in Venezuela?'

Posted by: Christian Chuba | Feb 14 2019 23:47 utc | 34

Richard Branson to the rescue. He is organizing “a wonderful line-up of international and regional artists” to get the humanitarian aid into Venezuela.

Posted by: dh | Feb 14 2019 23:55 utc | 35

And here's the former Spanish Prime Minister writing in the New York Times pretending that the coup he supports in Venezuela is "restoring democracy":

He tries to pull a fast one and pretend that Maduro wasn't elected.

Posted by: Jay | Feb 15 2019 0:20 utc | 36

Kiza @ 33: Thanks for the compliment but I was really only guessing! Although it's not difficult to think that any increases in Brazil's military budget that Bolsonaro makes (and the country is on austerity spending and cutting back on social programs) are likely to go into buying foreign (ie US) armaments, enriching Bolsonaro's allies in the military and in Brazil's own armaments production, and not into better pay and conditions for soldiers.

One other thing also to consider is that in addition to conventional armed forces, Venezuela also has popular defence committees and militias among urban and rural communities who would be fighting any invasion forces. This is something we MoA barflies had not considered before as few of us live in countries where militia groups have been allowed to exist and even receive government support and money for arms and training.

Posted by: Jen | Feb 15 2019 0:29 utc | 37

reply to Kiza 19
"We usually think of Israel only as a tormenter of the Palestinians. But Israel is much, much more - it is the Capo Di Tutti i Capi of the global crime. Tormenting Palestinians is only a hobby, a sport, but destroying countries to steal their wealth is the day job. US is a dumb bully, the blunt tool that the Israel Crime Syndicate uses for stealing on a global scale. This is my new perspective after Israel’s involvement in the coup in Venezuela."
This is how I see Israel as well, one difference though; IMO the US is being used to bully yes, but it is also being destroyed and once dead Israel will move on to its next victim

Posted by: frances | Feb 15 2019 0:30 utc | 38

Jay @36--

That's the gist of the narrative, that "democracy's being restored" instead of usurped. Fortunately, that narrative is well past its sell date and its rot is all too plain for many to see. It only works on the blindly indoctrinated, which fortunately are no longer a majority within the Outlaw US Empire.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 15 2019 0:39 utc | 39

“What else then can he do?”, b asks. They’re going to do what I predicted in July they were going to do: a naval blockade. Watch this Fox Business interview that aired three days ago: US may need to form blockade off the coast of Venezuela to stop oil shipments: TrendMacro CIO. I have transcribed the interview in full so one can find it through a search engine and so that fellow MoA commenters can repost it. Here it is:

News Anchor: Well, you know, there's oil sanctions that the Trump White House has put on Venezuela, they're now having a pretty big impact on the Maduro Administration. We're talking $20b in estimated losses already. And now an increasingly desperate Nicholas Maduro, he's looking for a financial lifeline from outside. Let's bring in TrendMacro CIO Donald Luskin. Great to see you, Don!

Donald Luskin: Great to be here!

News Anchor: Okay, $20b losses — what does that mean, first of all, for the Maduro Administration?

Donald Luskin: The problem we've got here is that we're not just dealing with the Maduro Administration. We are dealing with his partner in crime: Vladimir Putin. And what's going on right now is there's just a game of geopolitical global chess being played, where we take financial resources away from the regime in order to topple it, and Putin just steps in there and plugs the hole with money. For instance, one of the most powerful tools we have to isolate Venezuela is to put what the experts call "secondary sanctions" on financial institutions outside the United States that facilitate economic transactions for Venezuela. The sanctions we put on say: if we catch you, say, Mr. French Bank, doing a transaction for Venezuela, we will bar you from ever doing business in the United States, and if you have a branch here in the United States, we'll fine you $10b, right? So, the Russians, we learned this morning, have set up a special-purpose bank that they think is gonna be beyond these sanctions, 'cause this bank they've set up… You know, so we sanction them, we say: new Russian bank, you can't do business with United States. They say: we don't care, you're our enemy anyway! So this is how Russia is in there, propping up the… the… (chuckle) the, the war criminal Maduro regime that is resorting to starving its own…

News Anchor: Yeah.

Donald Luskin: …people by blockading humanitarian aid that the rest of the world is trying to send…

News Anchor: I…

Donald Luskin: Folks! They do ring a bell, they do give you clues, these people are evil!

News Anchor: I hear what you're saying, I mean… Oil worldwide is traded in dollars, Maduro wants dollars, Russia is facilitating the dollar exchange here for oil. You made the point, too — and it's well taken — that Russia's Rosneft owns about 49.9% of the shares of Citgo, the PdVSA unit that, basically, is collateralizing, you know, billions of dollars worth of loans that Russia's given. I mean, now Maduro's worried about a potential oil blockade. Do you think the U.S. Is going to do that?

Donald Luskin: Well, you know, that's the endgame. If we're serious about this, there's only one place that we can meet Putin head-on, and that's on the high seas. This is where we have to think about re-enacting the Cuban missile crisis of 1962, where we're not just talking about penalties for banks, we're talking about an actual, physical blockade, where put our ships off the coast of Venezuela and say: nothing comes in, nothing goes out. And let's see who blinks on that one. I have a funny feeling the blinker is the man named Vladimir Putin.

News Anchor: Yeah, and, you know, he hasn't come out publicly in support, but, Don, your points well taken. Cuba's in there, Hezbollah is in there, Iran is in Venezuela, really bad actors are in there, Don.

Donald Luskin: That's not…

News Anchor: Yep.

Donald Luskin: …exactly the…

News Anchor: Okay.

Donald Luskin: …guest list you'd like to have come at…

News Anchor: Alright. (fake smile)

Donald Luskin: …your party, is it?

News Anchor: Don, (it's been?) great to see you.

Posted by: S | Feb 15 2019 0:43 utc | 40

i have to agree with the false flag suggestions. anyone who saw abrams get reamed by omar yesterday saw the true face of delusional and unaccountable psychopathy at work. the closest he's ever come to paying for his war crimes was a brief period before a pardon and as such he's more entitled and fearless than the average deep state scumbag. add the typical zionist persecution complex ("pre-traumatic stress disorder") and a healthy dose of spite and it's clear this won't end until it has to.

fun thought: for all the talk of proxy war with colombian and brazilian mercs (or whatever) it would be interesting to see venezuela and/or its partners throw some heavy weapons and supplies at the FARCs across the border. they've provided a good example of what guerillas in the area are capable of and have stalemated the yuppies in bogota on multiple occasions. if marquez wants to play the role of "israel" to maduro's "syria" then the FARCs could tool up and play "hezbollah". that would go well with the imaginary hezbollah agents pompeo sees in his meat sweats induced fever dreams.

as for the western media, they'll screech no matter what happens. i "hate watch" the BBC's american coverage and it is even more painful than you'd think. they're fixated at an autistic level on "OMG TEH AID WTF!!!!111!!" and parade out rando "opposition" types who claim they're tortured martyrs while wearing make-up in a new york TV studio.

here in canada it goes back and forth between "derp guido is the prez" and "can we just move on because we look like idiots but we still hate those beaners for daring to vote". freeland has been sleazing about with her dead nazi spawn eyes fixated on euabama's position for a while now and the recent "scandal" might help her get there as another commentor suggested. she'll be the hillary to eubama's...obama with all the overcompensating bloodlust that entails.

this from a government that recently bailed out its own dirty oil industry by buying a garbage pipeline everyone hates for around $4 billion. so much for being "smarter than the folks down south".

Posted by: the pair | Feb 15 2019 0:45 utc | 41

@ 35 dh

The thing is Venezuela does not need a concert, it needs the money the US has been stealing and, maybe the gold that the UK will not give back.

A few billion probably would help a lot. Venezuelan finances would still be shaky but heck even just a billion would help.

I wonder if Branson is doing this to deliberately blacken Madero's image?

Posted by: jrkrideau | Feb 15 2019 0:45 utc | 42

@42 It would be interesting to know who got Branson involved. He probably sees Guaido as young and progressive. Maduro not so much. It shows which side of the fence Branson sits on.

Posted by: dh | Feb 15 2019 0:54 utc | 43

@ Jen 37
Yes, you are absolutely right, the last line of defence of Venezuela is what is usually called the "territorial defence". I have never seen a territorial defence act effectively in a military situation, and I am guessing that this is because of poor leadership, poor armaments and amateurs against professionals. Having written all this, it is the remnants of the "defence popular" which would be the bedrock of the guerrilla resistance. Therefore, do not count on them stopping a professional military invasion, but do count on them increasing the cost of the Mission Accomplished to the "peace keepers", that is those who want to have peace just to enjoy their loot.

@ frances 38
Dear Frances, you raise this very interesting point about why a rider would flog his nag to death. I know that there are two opposite strategies in the biological world - parasites which maintain their host and parasites which kill their host. I simply do not understand the strategy of a parasite killing its host. This would be a sensible strategy only in a situation of plentiful replacement hosts, but both US and EU host are pretty warn out nags. If the US nag croaks financially, EU will not be much of a replacement, whilst the potential of parasitising on Russia and China approaches zero. Therefore, I conclude that "strategy of flogging the nag to death" is not really a strategy, it is an urge. That is, it comes from a mix of chutzpah, psychopathy and pig manure in the nature of the parasite. After all, who puts up a sofa on top of a hill of a stolen land to watch the final extinction of the previous owner. Obviously, this goes far beyond just stealing the women and the cattle.

Posted by: Kiza | Feb 15 2019 0:56 utc | 44

Exxon-Mobil drilling exploration analyses results scheduled announcements at South Eastern mediterannean basin (location is situated a small birds flying distance south from Akrotiri British base in Cyprus which will be obviously harbor HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier/s designed from ground up for F-35 deployment) were accidentaly cancelled a few days short before the Venezuela situation was grabbing the international headlines.
Day before yesterday unexpectedly the results were forwarded to the presses. It was being timed to synch with the Venezuela humanitarian 'crisis' show?
What's the hidden message here?
No oil revenues for you Med folks to use for boosting social programmes political strategies?

Posted by: OSINT-suggests | Feb 15 2019 0:59 utc | 45

reply to Kiza 44
" Therefore, I conclude that "strategy of flogging the nag to death" is not really a strategy, it is an urge. That is, it comes from a mix of chutzpah, psychopathy and pig manure in the nature of the parasite. After all, who puts up a sofa on top of a hill of a stolen land to watch the final extinction of the previous owner. Obviously, this goes far beyond just stealing the women and the cattle."
I agree, given the kill or be killed pathology of Israel's leadership combined with its death grip on the US govt, all I see is a US collapse.
Israel in its madness assumes that somehow out of all of this it will rule the ME so why would it have further need of its American dead horse?
To me, Israel has a Circe (Game of Thrones) mentality; lots of schemes, little to show for it other than the death of others, lots of others.

Posted by: frances | Feb 15 2019 1:24 utc | 46

From R.B wiki-page:

"1981–1987: Package holiday industries and Virgin Atlantic Airways success

Branson's first successful entry into the airline industry was during a trip to Puerto Rico. His flight was cancelled, so he decided to charter his own plane the rest of the way and offer a ride to the rest of the stranded passengers for a small fee in order to cover the cost.[24]

In 1982, Virgin purchased the gay nightclub Heaven."

To me it suggests that the guy might have been involved in kompromat operations in some MI-sonething back at the day?

Posted by: OSINT-suggests | Feb 15 2019 1:29 utc | 47

Jon Schwartz:

"Abrams lied again" during his House testimony. Time to arrest and charge him again!

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 15 2019 2:01 utc | 48

@ Jen | Feb 14, 2019 7:29:21 PM | 37

You're right – a war is all but inconceivable.

Here are the numbers:

The Venezuelan army numbers 500,000 members. In addition, there are the uniquely Venezuelan entities known as the national, regional and municipal-level militias numbering two million more citizens under arms.

Modern military theory posits that an invading force must number at least three times the numbers of the defensive force.

The US military cannot muster even an equivalent number to those who would be waiting for them “behind every blade of grass.”

Even a strictly air attack intended to wreak widespread destruction and leave nothing but chaos (a US specialty) would suffer significant casualties from the very sophisticated air defense systems in Venezuela.

Of course, no quantity of dead military would be of slightest concern to the oligarchs in the US and in Venezuela who would hope to make a killing from all the killing, but some substantial number of US politicians would worry about the effect on their constituencies, and the results in their vote counts next year.

A US military assault on Venezuela would be extremely stupid, and would wreak havoc on the political class in DC.

Posted by: AntiSpin | Feb 15 2019 2:50 utc | 49

The popular militias are not Venezuela's last line of defence, but the key to it.
Venezuela is one of those are countries in which the government can distribute arms and munitions to the populace without fear that they will be used against it.
And that is why so far the allure of invading Venezuela, on behalf of the US and rich people everywhere, is not sufficient to attract Colombia or Brazil.
As I have said before there is a real possibility that, by provoking the Venezuelan masses back into active defence of the Bolivarian system, the imperialists risk starting a war of poor against rich that would find eager partisans from Patagonia to Panama.
It would be instructive to consider the vast amounts of money and military that it took to bring FARC to the negotiating table. The reason why Colombia has been invited into NATO is that, for the past three decades NATO, in the form of US, UK and mercenaries, plus the narcotics industry's paramilitaries, plus Israel have been spending billions to suppress a guerrilla uprising in the jungle. And FARC fought entirely on its own, without regular assistance from any outside power.
What Venezuela must do, however, is to do as Cuba did and become self sufficient in foodstuffs. It has to break away from its dependency on commodity exports/imports. There is no reason why it cannot achieve this within months. But to do so it has to break from the bourgeoisie, who have broken decisively with it, and expropriate their 'property.'
Such an example would thrill millions across the continent and around the world, millions who would rally- as Britain's dockers did in 1919 when they refused to load ships supplying the anti-Bolshevik forces in Russia- to the support of the people of Venezuela fighting for the right to govern themselves.

Posted by: bevin | Feb 15 2019 2:51 utc | 50

@33 " It is just so sad how much of human history is all about thieving on the back of highbrow principles and pretend-humanitarian ideologies."
Zionism is an economic system that requires the elimination of all competition of whatever kind and that demands that all systems be controlled, all property owned, and the behaviors of all peoples be manipulated to the benefit of the masters of economic Zionism. Because success in EZ is that a winner get's all, take no prisoners, targets and defeats or eliminates every threat/ challenge. Rule, use, control, own all<=objects of EZ. It does not matter if the threat is competition from oil and gas, technology, weapons, trade, money, or from a nation practicing democracy, as soon as the EZ community senses challenge or threat, it responds to eliminate the threat. Competition must be taken out. knees must be broken, only pay_me monopoly power is allowed to survive. The structures that support an identified challenge to EZ are identified then decimated,the people responsible for the threat wasted, and all elements of the threat are destroyed and rendered unable to compete. EZ is a system of economics to which most of the leaders and members of the governments of the world subscribe because the power of government is one goal of EZ.
If you look at the situation in Venezuela you see the same things worldwide.

Consider where or what power is needed to support EZ? Actually the armed rule making nation state is the ideal tool because the armed rule-making nation state has awesome powers to control both domestic citizens and to engage in foreign mischief. Because EZ is a system of economics, the nation state can be used to accomplish its objects. Basically the Armed Rule-Making Nation State can control domestic and foreign competition so those adopting EZ will be comfortable in positions of power within the nation states.

Zionism differs from capitalism in that capitalism is competitive; the nation state is expected to maintain a just and fair playing field in which the capitalist is expected to compete to be the richest; but EZ promotes the capitalist from best man wins competitor to no one plays but me. The armed rule making state is tool that has served the Zionist well. EZ works much like a pathogenic bacteria; it by-passes defense, invades, takes control and redirects functions so the invaded object no longer serves its host body, but instead serves the bacteria.

So what is a nation state. ? Its a armed rule-making structure, designed by those in charge of a bounded area.
Who are the slave drivers? The elected, salaried puppets who are licensed by designers to operate the nation state.
How is the nation state built? The EZ designers license politicians, military people, corporations to build the state
and to arm it, and to operate it in to accord how it was designed.
Why does EZ keep going? Feedback information allows EZ designers to improve the design, improve the
structure and to better control the elected or appointed salaried politicians, military
generals, and think tank, university professors, and bureaucrats.
Who do the EZ target? All who are not strong enough parts of the above system to defend themselves.
Who are the designers? The invisible wealth and power?.
Why is it that the people allow their national governments to rule them?
Access and availability of Information, language and propaganda play a big part.
The university system uses only approved books, the information is made available in only
certain languages, only to certain classes of people, in fact, between classes of people different
information is provided and made available. Books which contradict the propaganda are
removed. news is faked, and reward systems are designed and false flags are staged?
Economic Zionism Recall that EZ demands full complete and total control over all things, imaginary and
real. Everything must be owned and controlled ( EZ sometimes compete anong themselves) but
outsiders are denied any tools to compete, any financing to compete, in short if you buck the
Zionist, you may soon starve to death, but if you rise in their ranks, and stay devoted like a slave
you may be allowed to live the good life.
Human Rights: The fact that 26 people own as much wealth as the rest of the people in the world is proof,
some system is at work that supports such an unconscionable bias?.

Posted by: snake | Feb 15 2019 3:09 utc | 51

I don't really believe the Regular Guy nor the opposition want 'elections'.... why should they? they have essentially lost nearly all of the 30 or more elections since 1998 and yet they keep howling about elections. They just can't accept it - that they only have 20-30% of the population with them.

They want power - and some/many of them are now willing to call on the USA to intervene and give them illegitimate power through a coup d'etat and/or military sabotage and subversion. they want a return of the totally pernicious and anti-democratic Oligarchy which rules for hundreds of years until Chavez kicked them out..... These guys are so arrogant that they are talking, among other nefarious things, about seizing/using funds in the bank accounts of the Venezuelan embassy in DC

really it's time for Maduro to do something a bit more sane and radical because these guys are out of control, or he'll lose - in other words, use the courts... but he keeps talking about "sooner or later" , well it looks to me like later is getting pretty late

Venezuela opposition takes steps to seize oil revenue as Maduro issues threat

Posted by: michaelj72 | Feb 15 2019 3:35 utc | 52

Venezuela is a proxy battlefield for the Western way/NOT-Western way.

I don't want to throw ism definitions at the sides when I believe it it all about the private finance versus alternatives like China, Russia, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, and Venezuela....I am missing ???

Anyway, I think this "existential" conflict is being forced now before the alternatives get more influence on the "slave" Western nations.

I don't like to think about the repressive environment that will exist in the remaining Western block of nations after this global "divorce".

In the coming "public discussion" about capitalism/socialism will the true power of those that own global private finance be exposed? I hope so but keep seeing identity politics, wars, etc. being played against the chances.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Feb 15 2019 4:01 utc | 53


“A US military assault on Venezuela would be extremely stupid, and would wreak havoc on the political class in DC.”

It would be stupid. Which is precisely why it wont happen , except as fake humanitarian intervention after Venezuela is divided and weakened from sanctions and starvation.

It could hapoen earlier with a FF attack killing a large number of Americans blamed on Venezuela, but the US has been very cautious about putting troops in harms way since Vietnam. We engage against enemies we know cant hurt us much.

These guys are pretty smart. Many like to think otherwise, perhaps it makes them feel better. You cant judge their actions by Hollywood standards of winning and losing. Chaos and denial of resources to anyone opposed to the Empire is enough of a Win , at least temporarily. Its a long game they play, its been played for over a century now, even much longer.

The elites, referred to by Plato as Philosopher Kings , want to rule the world as living Gods, or at least their descendants. It’s only over the last 150-250 years or so that control of science, finance, military, capitalism and democracy (manipulated via the printing press) gave them the means to realize their goals. It was a long road for them, operating through secret societies and monopoly control of money and government debt, and dealing with factions who were bound by morality (hence the war on religion) . In the battle between Good and Evil tbe good guys have been annihilated or at least silenced, at least in the West and most likely much of the East.

Posted by: Pft | Feb 15 2019 4:21 utc | 54

Pft @54 and b

Thierry Meyssan's latest argues (cogently imo) that the long game in Venezuela (and the larger Caribbean Basin) is destabilization of state structures rather than implementation of stable right-wing states. Think Syria in 2007-2018 rather than Chile in 1970-80. This is connected to the Pentagon's broader strategic aim of exercising de facto control over resource rich territories by preventing via destabilization political agency in said regions. So I think things are going to get much worse in Venezuela. Here is the Meyssan piece:

Posted by: WJ | Feb 15 2019 5:01 utc | 55

Many thanks, b, for this wide-ranging update of the clusterfuck which the half-baked Right Wing plot against the people of Venezuela has become. This unraveling saga perfectly encapsulates the essence of Right Wing-ism...
- insatiable greed
- merciless disregard for the well-being of Humanity
- unjustified profit
- shameless deception and
- blatant theft

Small Govt Neo-Liberalism was concocted by lazy, nasty Right Cranks. It's no accident that the prime movers behind the Venezuela plot are the unreformed rapists and looters of India and China - the US and the UK. Furthermore there's no coherent "Left" in world politics because the world is run by R-W cranks and the "Left" is just a convenient Right-Wing label for the rest of Humanity.

The comedy of end-to-end pratfalls and blunders set out in b's roundup is merely the result of typical Right-Wing reliance on "muddling through" a half-baked plan because if the plan starts collapsing there's always the Ultimate Option - a self-righteous Military Solution to cover up the flaws in the plot, as in Libya. When the Military Solution fails, as in Syria, there's the No 1 Commandment from the Right Wing Crank Bible "It's Somebody Else's Fault!"

It's heartening to see that the plotters are already looking for someone else to blame and are beginning to point fingers at each other. Russia and China are being delightfully vague about the topic of intervening in the event that the Neo-Libs choose a Military Solution to rescue their Daydreams, but the innate cowardice of Neo-Libs would suggest that they're too lily-livered to risk a noisy, Public, peer-to-peer humiliation.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Feb 15 2019 5:49 utc | 56

To whimsically transpose a few words of our worthy host's opening thoughts...

Allen Dulles is an experienced politician and bureaucrat. He likely knew that the Cuba invasion plan was deeply flawed and would require much more than Kennedy would normally commit to. My hunch is that the soon coming mission creep was build into his plan, but that he did not reveal that.

OMG It's not Bay of Pigs 2.0, is it?

The U.S. coup planners and their Cuban refugee puppet soldiers had hoped that the Cuban people would jump to their side. That was wishful thinking and unlikely to happen. They also thought up some "psychological warfare" schemes which the Cuban people easily saw right through or else ignored. That was likewise nonsense.

When the Cuban mercenaries saw those rusty hulks they were about to be loaded on to, doubts floundered in dusky minds: were their CIA gringo handlers really coo-coo-bird cheapskates?

Unless the U.S. is willing and able to escalate, the coup attempt is destined to fail.

Sure enough, to save a few bucks, Zapata oil commissioned ancient coastal trading vessels
to transport the hopeful Free Cuba believers to a decisive engagement on behalf of the USA.

Posted by: Guerrero | Feb 15 2019 6:03 utc | 57

Psycho@ 53 said;"Venezuela is a proxy battlefield for the Western way/NOT-Western way."


bevin @ 50 said;"the imperialists risk starting a war of poor against rich that would find eager partisans from Patagonia to Panama."

THIS scenario could be what's needed to change the course of empire.

Hopefully it would move further North from panama.

It would be a cause worth fighting for..I say that as a vet.....
Posted by: ben

Posted by: ben | Feb 15 2019 6:11 utc | 58

The head of the US Navy headquarters said the need for a “first strike” in Russia

The chief of staff of the US Navy, Admiral John Richardson, during a speech at the Atlantic Council, called on Washington “to strike first” on Russia, which “seizes key water arteries.” This is reported by Business Insider.

“I think it would be great if we could force the Russians, our competitors, to react to our first steps. From time to time, playing on the white side of the board is an advantage,” said Richardson.

According to him, the United States should think “not only to fight back, but also to be the first to put pressure on a couple of regions.” Russia has increased its naval presence in the Eastern Mediterranean, he said.

Posted by: Stringer | Feb 15 2019 8:02 utc | 59

Looks like "the West" underestimated Maduro.

Here he completely destroys a BBC interviewer

And here he destroys Elliot Abrams

Posted by: somebody | Feb 15 2019 8:38 utc | 60

Guaydo = Why do?
What's in a name...

Posted by: Paco | Feb 15 2019 8:43 utc | 61

@59 Stringer,

This is the language of terrorism. Who will move first to declare the Atlantic Council a terrorist organization?

@61 Paco,

My personal favorite is "Guiado", which Dmitry Orlov notes "may as well mean 'remote-controlled'".

Posted by: Jonathan | Feb 15 2019 9:05 utc | 62

Paco, 61: Remember Colonel Bat Guano in 'Doctor Strangelove'? That seemed like a good hook on which to hang a suitable name for Random Guy in the Street. And since his first name is Juan, I've taken to calling him Johnny Bat Guano. Anyone can use this coinage freely, if you like. :)

Posted by: Rhisiart Gwilym | Feb 15 2019 9:24 utc | 63

@41 the pair... re freeland.. i don't think she has a chance at this point... sure, she would like true dopes gig, but too many canucks are now seeing her for the shit she is...

re richard branson... it is a publicity stunt.. that is what this guy excels at.. probably good for his biz too and that is the bottom line.. he sure as fuck isn't doing it because he has a conscience..

Posted by: james | Feb 15 2019 9:28 utc | 64

@17 The Real News Network never bought into the Russiagate hoax and was consistent on the Syrian foreign-orchestrated war to overthrow Assad.
That doesn't hold truenfor Amy Goodman who still suffers from Russia-collusion-paranoia

Posted by: Vato | Feb 15 2019 9:36 utc | 65

US Senators Re-Introduce "Sanctions Bill From Hell" Against Russia

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A bipartisan group of U.S. senators introduced a bill on Wednesday that would impose stiff new sanctions on Russia over its meddling in U.S. elections and aggression against Ukraine, the latest congressional effort to push President Donald Trump to ratchet up Washington’s response to Moscow.

Posted by: Stringer | Feb 15 2019 9:43 utc | 66

Vato | Feb 15, 2019 4:36:23 AM | 65

TRNN is de rigueur; Amy Goodman and NPR are old history; no longer relevant in today's world news.

Posted by: V | Feb 15 2019 9:52 utc | 67

What gives me hope for Venezuela is that many citizens, in particular Chavista, know very well what is in their constitution due to the highly participatory democratic process in Venezuela and are therefore aware of the unconstitutional self-proclamation of the Random dude.
I wonder how many people in the supposedly Free World carry a miniature-sized constitution around them and know actually what is contained in there.

Posted by: Vato | Feb 15 2019 9:56 utc | 68

I second the recommendation to read the BBC Maduro interview. He is better than I thought.

Posted by: S | Feb 15 2019 10:58 utc | 69

Somebody @ 60:

Orla Guerin asks such lame and idiotic questions that anyone with average intelligence, let alone a former bus driver who apparently didn't finish high school and worked his way up a trade union hierarchy and into politics, could have destroyed her. If the questions she asked Maduro really were her own questions, and not questions handed to her from on high, you have to wonder how she became a journalist in the first place. She certainly appears to have done no preliminary research of her own on Venezuela before visiting the country.

Posted by: Jen | Feb 15 2019 11:19 utc | 70


Posted by: john | Feb 15 2019 11:20 utc | 71

Israel will probably bomb Lebanon with political cover from the US just before the elections because there is a guy from Lebanon in Venezuela who used to live in an area of Beirut where the majority of the population supports Hezbollah and he might have watched a speech from Maduro on Telesur.

This scenario is not that far fetched since the Iranians were sentenced to pay financial compensation for 9/11 by a US court.

Posted by: Symen Danziger | Feb 15 2019 11:48 utc | 72

Posted by: Jen | Feb 15, 2019 6:19:44 AM | 70

"a former bus driver who apparently didn't finish high school and worked his way up a trade union hierarchy and into politics"

That is my point. People clearly underestimate him. Orla Guerin's problem is that she is too polite to interrupt him but I suppose he does not really give her a chance to interrupt him.

He did not make a single political mistake in that interview including the question on Corbyn and he scored a few points.

Guaido went to George Washington University. He comes across as a robot.

What people don't understand when they ask questions on the failings of Venezuela's economy that it is a planned, distributive economy. So there will be enough stuff with shortages because of distributive failures. And there will be subsidies for elementary goods and heavy taxes on what is deemed "luxury" plus preferential access to goods according to politics.

So for anybody in Latin America who does not expect more than subsistence, this plus education and medical services is very good. For people who expect more from life this is hell.

Maduro touches on it when he says that highly skilled people are leaving Venezuela. The interviewer could have asked him how he plans to stop the brain drain. But as long as conditions overall in Latin America are bad she will not be able to embarrass him.

Posted by: somebody | Feb 15 2019 11:55 utc | 73

According to him, the United States should think “not only to fight back, but also to be the first to put pressure on a couple of regions.” Russia has increased its naval presence in the Eastern Mediterranean, he said.

Posted by: Stringer | Feb 15, 2019 3:02:47 AM | 59

Well those might actually be tears because zee evil Russians might actually have been introducing quite competitive tech in to the region.
But what's with all those air tankers and EW planes Mr. Admiral? I would dare to ask. Osint suggests way too many of them operating over a small and very crowded airspace.
Are even any international treaties for the illegal weaponry you using on unsuspected civilians friend and foe alike?
As Michel Chossudovsky noted there are wmds not disclosed on any treaties and currently in extensive use.

Posted by: OSINT-sugests | Feb 15 2019 12:29 utc | 74

He could sell weapons to Iran and use the money to finance the Venezuelan contras.

Posted by: Robert Browning | Feb 15 2019 12:45 utc | 75

@somebody #73:

What people don't understand when they ask questions on the failings of Venezuela's economy that it is a planned, distributive economy.

Venezuela is NOT a planned economy. Here's an excerpt from The Nation 2016 article on Venezuela:

Second, while Venezuela has moved away from free-market capitalism, its economy is hardly socialist. The private sector, not the state (and still less the social economy), controls the overwhelming majority of economic activity. Between 1999 and 2011, the private sector’s share of economic activity increased, from 65 percent to 71 percent.

Posted by: S | Feb 15 2019 12:58 utc | 76

Ted Snider questions the claims that Maduro's win in the last presidential election was in any way illegitimate. If the Russians had intervened in 2016 as the Americans did in 2018, there would be war. By the way, the threat of sanctions against anyone who didn't do what the Americans said also occurred in Ukraine.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Feb 15 2019 13:44 utc | 77

So Guido "electrified" the world- I never even heard of the son of a bitch till I read about him here. Be careful, don't touch any live rails.

Posted by: morongobill | Feb 15 2019 13:57 utc | 78

Have you noticed that the Guardian and Bloomberg both used the word "electrified". Guyadó electrified the opposition, and electrified the world. He has electrocuted his pxnis. I have a bad feeling that this usage of the same word is a signal of a coordinated propaganda campaign. These articles above distract the government. Now they expect a gradual weakening of the "opposition", nothing serious. And suddenly an armed "uprising" starts with coordinated "mass protests", etc., catching the government and the authorities completely off guard.

Posted by: nyolci | Feb 15 2019 14:30 utc | 79

@Kiza 19 & frances 38

The Israel-organised crime connections are very interesting. From Meyer Lansky (US mafia) supplying weapons to the Haganah & Irgun, to ADL supporter Edmond Safra sending his 'money plane' with cash for the Russian mafia, to Safra being Bill Browder's original Hermitage Capital funder, & on, & on.

Lots of interesting Lansky-Bronfman-ADL-Safra-Browder links, to be sure. Also, the interesting links between Lansky, BCI Bank, & Mossad. But, of course, to question any of these links makes you an 'anti-semite'.

Posted by: Ffrank | Feb 15 2019 14:40 utc | 80

There is more to it than Trump being fooled - going after Venezuela was always inevitable because net energy matters. Venezuela's heavy sour crude may not be the highest net energy but it's still better by far than the tight/shale oil financial scam. That bubble is popping now, and the timing of the aggression against Venezuela is an indication of close that is. Venezuela's oil is the most accessible for the empire, or at least the elites will believe so.

This isn't going to stop here. It cannot. because accessing that oil is absolutely crucial to maintaining the power of the elites.

Posted by: Max Farquaad | Feb 15 2019 15:02 utc | 81

As Guaidó has electrified the world, it would only be fair for the world to return the favor and electrify him back.

Posted by: S | Feb 15 2019 15:08 utc | 82

Peter Gabriel is going to electrify Cucuta. I guess they couldn't get Bono.

Posted by: dh | Feb 15 2019 15:17 utc | 83

It is a thought that has only occurred to me since this slow-motion, enfeebled replay of all the sleaziest, most nihilistic moves the strategic geniuses of the American empire have invented over the course of the last six decades of putting their heads together, pooling their flimsy intellectual resources, and giving the old college try to producing new, foul ways to satisfy their latest spasm of greed....

Anyway, let me get straight to the point and the thought that has come to mind starting when Guaido made his choreographed declaration. I don't doubt Maduro and his United Socialist Party retain significant support and a core of constituents while Western media has consistently and with dull predictability overhyped every new person or gimmick coughed out by the American-favoured opposition factions. However, I'm also curious what the array of opposition actually is and whether Maduro has lost more support because of government mistakes as well as whether there is any meaningful opposition coming from his left, since left-wing criticism of the Bolivarian Revolution is absolutely possible.

So, first I wonder how popular Maduro/USP really are and how opponents are arrayed - to the left, the right, how far each way - but also in which directions the current momentum is going. And here's the main point - could it be the case that Guaido's self-anointment and the totally naked American efforts to foment a coup, consider intervention or what would be a brutally bloody civil war, have together started to produce a sense among Venezuelans that regardless of how they view Maduro, their country is genuinely under threat from outside forces. That those forces aren't just seeking to depose a president they dislike but gain permanent influence within the country and thus subvert their politics on an open-ended basis. I wonder how many people have a visceral reaction against such bullying and if it is or could produce some kind of war-time solidarity that actually brings people together despite so much effort going into fracturing society further.

If such movements among the people were on the cards and a sense of collective national self-defence and preservation begins superseding whether you support or oppose Maduro, I then wonder if public blame for material difficulties could start shifting from their government to those foreign powers most prominently working to destabilise the country. Nothing clarifies the true intentions of powerful nations when their self-serving euphemisms get scrubbed away quite like living in a country that they're threatening with suffering, chaos and potentially an actual land invasion or war of proxies with absolute disdain for the potential human cost. So: have the last 3 weeks and American-led efforts to bring down a government, shatter a nation, and contemplate the slaughter of innocents begun to create a mentality of resistance and perhaps even collective pride among Venezuelans and could that transcend one's position in relation to Maduro? Could the country's moment of crisis become, by bringing common purpose to a growing number, become a moment of reconciliation from which they can move past the discredited National Assembly and produce a new consensus and mandate via good-faith negotiations, new elections, or the Constituent Assembly?

Posted by: tempestteacup | Feb 15 2019 15:27 utc | 84

@84 I've been wondering the same thing myself. In a sense Maduro could be seen as taking on the gringos. That could appeal to a lot of people in Latin America....not just Venezuelans.

Posted by: dh | Feb 15 2019 15:38 utc | 85

Omg! Trump's not gonna give up on his delusional Venezuela humanitarian crusade because the media think it's not working. Just look at what he's done to get his stupid wall! He put people in bread lines for over a month! Now he's gonna declare a national emergency to force funds' diversion towards his damn wall! He's off his rocker! If anything the media's contrariness will only make him dig in his heels and go all the way on Venezuela unleashing whatever his Neocon ghouls, Abrams and Bolton, devise. It ain't over, yet.

Posted by: Circe | Feb 15 2019 15:43 utc | 86


Funny how Trump's humanitarian impulses align with Deep State interests.

He feel much sympathy for hungry Venezuelans, Syria's "beautiful babies", and Iranian dissidents but he pulls humanitarian aid from the Palestinians.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 15 2019 16:37 utc | 87

Can anyone recommend a good analysis of why the military has backed the government? I was wondering about this this statement: "The U.S. coup planners and their Venezuelan puppets had hoped that the Venezuelan military would jump to their side. That was wishful thinking and unlikely to happen."

What did Chavez and Maduro do right to make sure that the military would stay loyal to the country?

I don't really understand why or what it means for Juan Guaido to "offer amnesty to officers who abandon Maduro." If he is claiming to be interim president, shouldn't he just start giving the generals orders? Or even offer amnesty to generals who stay with Maduro. Amnesty is for your enemies, right? The people who join your side get rewards. This "amnesty offer" makes no sense to me at all.

What is the so-called "opposition's" idea in doing this, and how are they so out of touch that they thought the military would go against the elected government?

I'm clearly missing something important.

As usual, thanks for the analysis.

Posted by: Peter L. | Feb 15 2019 16:44 utc | 88

As Bevin @50 points out, FARC fought for years without outside help. They have recently been disarmed, in return for some concessions.
The obvious thing to be done here is for FARC to take over those trucks and help themselves to the "humanitarian aid" within. Colombians are far poorer and hungrier than Venezuelans, so don't they deserve some aid? And if FARC ends up rearmed, Elliot Abrams has only himself to blame.
By the way, he is a nobody who feels entitled to disrespect an elected member of Congress, and refuse to answer her questions, while insulting her integrity.
Why does Maduro, an elected president of a sovereign country, feel as if he must "negotiate" with coup plotters and traitors? Hugh Chavez was thrown into prison after his coup attempt of the early 90s, but Guaido is allowed to continue his treasonous actions? Why would Venezuela seriously consider the demand for "new elections"? They had free and fair elections last year. The US has no right to demand do-overs, especially with the corrupt and unfree elections we have here.
George Orwell's concept of Doublethink means that people can hold two contradictory beliefs, at the same time, and it troubles them not at all, like a people who know that their elections are corrupt but still think they have the right to dictate to other people how their elections should be run.

How can you simultaneously believe that buying Facebook ads is an act of war on a nation, and that the US can overthrow an election and appoint a new president and that is perfectly fine?
Doublethink, that's how.

How can you know that your country has stolen billions of dollars from Venezuela and is enforcing a blockade on food and supplies from entering that country and simultaneously self-righteously point fingers at them for not allowing "aid" from entering the country ( organized by a convicted war criminal who was busted for shipping weapons in "humanitarian aid" in 1986) ? How is it possible to believe that your country is simultaneously stealing from and starving people, and still believe that your country wants to send them "humanitarian aid"?

Doublethink, that is how.

We would be much better off if people had cognitive dissonance, instead.

And Americans need to show some solidarity, I agree. The evil starts in this country and we, the people, should nip it in the bud here, instead of waiting until it avalanches onto other peoples, watching with detached interest, from afar, to see if they can survive us, or not. Strikes, blockades, shutting down of the war machine, it's time for Americans to show some morals and spine.

Posted by: wagelaborer | Feb 15 2019 16:52 utc | 89

A heavy metal load will soon arrive
near Venezuela

The Trump administration is sending another large shipment of humanitarian aid to the Venezuelan border in Colombia, this time using U.S. military aircraft to pressure Nicolas Maduro to give up power, according to a leaked State Department email to Congress.

The 250 tons of emergency supplies will begin arriving Saturday to the border city of Cucuta, where tons of boxes of emergency supplies stamped with the U.S. flag are already warehoused waiting for delivery into Venezuela.

Posted by: b | Feb 15 2019 16:57 utc | 90

Just to prove how delusional and what a liar Trump is, a few minutes ago he said he deserves the Nobel prize because he stopped Russia, Iran and Syria from killing 3 million people in Idleb province to get terrorists in there.

Okay? He's bonkers! Suddenly, he's a great humanitarian, the same guy who's turning the sanctions screws on Venezuela and Iran, hurting millions of other people, and soon to impose more sanctions on Russia again and putting kids in cages and separating them from their mothers indefinitely and firing dozens of loyal employees who worked for him over a decade in a week to save face when he was outted for his hypocrisy on employing illegals and providing more aid and support to KSA and Israel than any other President, ever, to keep on with their crimes against humanity. Ahhh, I rest my case. He ain't giving up on Venezuela's oil and running his own cartel because the media thinks his plan ain't working. He'll just declare another national emergency or worse! He's got an emperor complex, he's off the rails and he'll prove it again with Venezuela.

Posted by: Circe | Feb 15 2019 17:06 utc | 91

Just to prove how delusional and what a liar Trump is, a few minutes ago he said he deserves the Nobel prize because he stopped Russia, Iran and Syria from killing 3 million people in Idleb province to get terrorists in there.

Okay? He's bonkers! Suddenly, he's a great humanitarian, the same guy who's turning the sanctions screws on Venezuela and Iran, hurting millions of other people, and soon to impose more sanctions on Russia again and putting kids in cages and separating them from their mothers indefinitely and firing dozens of loyal employees who worked for him over a decade in a week to save face when he was outted for his hypocrisy on employing illegals and providing more aid and support to KSA and Israel than any other President, ever, to keep on with their crimes against humanity. Ahhh, I rest my case. He ain't giving up on Venezuela's oil and running his own cartel because the media thinks his plan ain't working. He'll just declare another national emergency or worse! He's got an emperor complex, he's off the rails and he'll prove it again with Venezuela.

Posted by: Circe | Feb 15 2019 17:07 utc | 92

@ pft 53

Always interesting posts, pft, taking a step back and looking at the macro picture.

We will see what kind of stuff Russia and China are made out of. Will they subsidize Venezuela's existence, as Russia aided Syria, or will they acknowledge it as a bridge too far and respect spheres of influence?

I feel very bad for pawns in the game, but it's the same story since Thucydides.

Posted by: Nemesiscalling | Feb 15 2019 17:22 utc | 93

@S | Feb 14, 2019 7:43:10 PM | 40

I know that diametric is an absolute in geometric terms, but it seems insufficient to describe the relationship of that garbage to the truth. It is almost trans-dimensional in its dishonesty, beyond deluded in its delusion, beyond dark in its darkness. Man, the lunatics really have taken over the asylum.

Posted by: Ross | Feb 15 2019 17:54 utc | 94

"Why Does the United States Want to Overthrow the Government of Venezuela?" asks Venezuela Analysis. The two given reasons by the Outlaw US Empire are 1)Humanitarian Concerns and 2)Democracy. The writer provides the actual two reasons, 1)Steal the Oil and 2)Crush the Alternative. The writer's quite astute to us the Empire's own documents to indict and convict it of what amounts to Aggressive War and gross violation of the UN Charter, its own Constitution and international law.

A few have questioned why the military remained loyal. The answer's found in the moves made by Chavez after the aborted 2002 coup attempt which involved a minority of the military to groom a loyal military, one whose primary job is--like the US military's--to defend the Bolivarian Constitution from enemies domestic and foreign--not to defend a personality. And all the actions made against Venezuela clearly show who and what is trying to subvert the Constitution. Much has changed since 2002--the entire institution of the State and its citizen-led components is stronger and thus more stable, which allows Maduro to act with confidence. Chavez and Maduro also took pragmatic steps to assess what systems would be needed to prevent an invasion by the Outlaw US Empire then went and procured them. Signing agreements with Russia and China to provide services like satellite surveillance of its borders it's unable to perform were also quite wise. Such moves also help keep the military loyal by focusing on the real threat to the North.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 15 2019 18:02 utc | 95

some more info on the shady-ass weapon flights by a company with heavy CIA rendition ties. i can't even take a can of energy drink on a commercial flight but these guys are making multiple trips a day to colombia dropping off enough weapons to start WWIII in the process.

Posted by: the pair | Feb 15 2019 18:05 utc | 96

Well maybe he can show how great he is and drive the aid truck himself personally and then go to Maduro and ask him to leave. That would be a show of force indeed.

Do you think Trump knows how to drive a motor vehicle..or ride a bicycle?

Posted by: nwwoods | Feb 15 2019 18:22 utc | 97

Trump's coup attempt prompts Haiti Blowback:

"#Trump’s attacks on #Venezuela triggered the 2nd #Revolution in #Haiti. Feb 14, 2019.

"US is now watching with Horror at the Collapse of the rotten Political & Economic edifice it built in Haiti over the past 28 yrs since its 1st coup against #Aristide."

The Real News Network has a two-part story on this event. Part 2 explains how Petrocaribe is connected to events in Haiti and Venezuela. A bit of history few will know:

"It was Haiti that gave Bolivar the guns and boats and printing presses and soldiers to wage his war. And that’s why Hugo Chavez said we owe a debt to the Haitian people for what they’ve done in the past, so our solidarity today is in tribute or in honor of the solidarity they gave us 200 years ago."

I think it fair to say Haiti's been abused far worse than Cuba by the Outlaw US Empire and is a shining example of how Dollar Diplomacy is still used today.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 15 2019 18:51 utc | 98


Well, the degree is up to discussion.

Sure, private enterprise exists in Venezuela but there is a large sector of state owned companies and huge state intervention into the economy. This is not necessarily bad but has side effects. Same with subsidies that allow people to cheat by selling subsidized goods they do not need at market price.

Posted by: somebody | Feb 15 2019 18:55 utc | 99

Posted by: Peter L. | Feb 15, 2019 11:44:29 AM | 89

Maduro answers it

"Well, that is another of the myths that were created throughout this campaign against me. The national Bolivarian armed forces are structurally humane. they are Bolivarian. Democratic. Structurally institutionalised. And they are armed forces forged through their values and a new doctrine, a new concept with teaching academies, and with a university for permanent learning. It's a new type of armed forces. This is not just an army, just made up of a random group of people, nor is it a rebellious army. It is not an army in the style of Pinochet. Nor will it be. So therefore these armed forces are loyal to the constitution. Loyal."

The way I understand it, the army used to be the only career available to poor people of mixed race (like Chavez). So they are made up of Maduro's party. Venezuelan military seems to be very much like Egyptian military in that they run businesses.

This here is surely deeply partial opposition, but the facts sound ok.

"Among Maduro's latest moves were a budget increase for the NBAF-run social program known as Mision Negro Primero, giving the armed forces the power to run nearly all food distribution programs and establish mixed state-private enterprises."

Trump basically told the Venezuelan military to surrender to their competitors.

Posted by: somebody | Feb 15 2019 19:09 utc | 100

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