Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
February 24, 2019

Venezuela - There Was A Riot At The Border But What Else Did The "Aid" Stunt Achieve?

Yesterday's "humanitarian aid" stunt at the Colombian-Venezuelan border was supposed to achieve four points:

  1. to breach the border and thereby open venues that could later be used for the passage of arms and fighters,
  2. to incite large scale defections from the Venezuelan army and police forces,
  3. to demonstrate to the outside world that the Random Guyaido, who declared himself president, has a large following and is thereby legitimate enough to support him,
  4. to deliver justification for further steps against Venezuela.

Point 1 was clearly not achieved. A few hundred young men attacked the Venezuelan National Guard force that closed off the border. Attempts were made to ram "aid" trucks through. Random Guyaido was nowhere to be seen. The whole thing ended in a minor riot. The violent attackers received gasoline and made Molotov cocktails to attack the guards and set the "aid" trucks alight. Here is a video that proves that. The riots continued (vid) until about midnight but neither any rioters nor the aid passed through the border.

The New York Times headlines, and Guaido claimed, that some "aid" passed into Venezuela from Brazil:

    Some Aid From Brazil Pierces Venezuela’s Blockade, but Deadly Violence Erupts

Down in paragraph 17 of its story the NYT admits that its headline is fake:

But as of Saturday night, the trucks remained stranded on the border, according to Jesús Bobadillo, a Catholic priest in Pacaraima, the Brazilian border town.

Bloomberg's bureau chief in Venezuela confirmed that the "aid" never entered the country:

Patricia Laya @PattyLaya - 4:31 PM - 23 Feb 2019
An important note from our reporter on the Brazil border @SamyAdghirni: while the aid is technically on Venezuelan territory, it hasn't crossed security or customs checkpoints

The attempt to incite defections of Venezuelan security forces largely failed. A handful of National Guard foot soldiers went over to the Colombian side. But the National Guard lines held well even under a hail of stones and fire and the units were quite disciplined in taking and holding their positions. The military of Venezuela stays firmly on the side of the state.

The "aid" nonsense did not help to brush up Guaido's legitimacy. Defying a court order Guaido left Venezuela and entered Colombia. If he ever goes back he will have to go to jail. The large mobilization inside and outside of Venezuela he had promised completely failed to appear. The melee at the border crossing only showed that his followers are a gang of brutal thugs.

Guaido also lost his original legal position. He claimed the presidency on January 23 under this paragraph of article 233 of the Venezuelan constitution:

When an elected President becomes permanently unavailable to serve prior to his inauguration, a new election by universal suffrage and direct ballot shall be held within 30 consecutive days. Pending election and inauguration of the new President, the President of the National Assembly shall take charge of the Presidency of the Republic.

That the "elected President becomes permanently unavailable" was never the case to begin with. But if article 233 would apply Guaido would have had 30 days to hold new elections. The 30 days are over and Guaido did not even call for elections to be held. He thereby defied the exact same paragraph of the constitution that his (false) claim to the presidency is based on.

All the above will not change the U.S. urge to "regime change" Venezuela. But it will certainly lower Guaido's support within the country as well as his international standing. It demonstrated aptly that he is nothing but an empty suit.

The last aim of yesterday's stunt was to give justification for the next steps towards "regime change" - whatever those steps may be. The success of achieving that aim was never in question as all U.S. media and politicians were already backing Trump's plans by accepting the "humanitarian aid" nonsense in the first place:

Bernie Sanders @SenSanders - 18:47 utc - 23 Feb 2019
The people of Venezuela are enduring a serious humanitarian crisis. The Maduro government must put the needs of its people first, allow humanitarian aid into the country, and refrain from violence against protesters.

This response to the fake socialist is warranted:

Roger Waters @rogerwaters - 22:27 utc - 23 Feb 2019
Replying to @SenSanders
Bernie, are you f-ing kidding me! if you buy the Trump, Bolton, Abrams, Rubio line, “humanitarian intervention” and collude in the destruction of Venezuela, you cannot be credible candidate for President of the USA. Or, maybe you can, maybe you’re the perfect stooge for the 1 %.

When the day was over Guaido and his U.S. handlers put out some statements that they probably wrote even before their "aid" stunt failed:

Juan Guaidó @jguaido - 2:33 utc - 24 Feb 2019
Translated from Spanish
Today's events force me to make a decision: to raise the international community formally that we must have open all the options to achieve the liberation of this country that struggles and will continue to fight.
Hope was born to not die, Venezuela!

To advance on our route, I will meet on Monday with our allies of the international community, and we will continue ordering upcoming actions to the internal of the country. Internal and external pressure are essential for liberation.
Hope was born not to die!
Marco Rubio @marcorubio - 2:43 utc - 24 Feb 2019
Marco Rubio Retweeted Juan Guaidó
After discussions tonight with several regional leaders it is now clear that the grave crimes committed today by the Maduro regime have opened the door to various potential multilateral actions not on the table just 24 hours ago.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence will arrive in Colombia tomorrow to tell Guaido how to proceed. The focus will most likely be on how to start a sabotage campaign and a low level guerrilla war within Venezuela. Both will certainly hurt the country and its people but they are unlikely to achieve the larger "regime change" aim.

Fact free propaganda by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is already preparing a wider field:

Secretary Pompeo @SecPompeo - 3:25 utc- 24 Feb 2019
Cuban agents are directing attacks on the people of #Venezuela on behalf of Maduro. The Venezuelan military should do its duty, protect the country’s citizens, and prevent the Havana puppeteers from starving hungry children. #EstamosUnidosVE

The Economist is speculating about the consequences of military intervention in Venezuela, also known as a war of aggression. It is not (yet) convinced that it is the immediate way to go, but foresees that it is likely the only way to actually "change the regime":

Outsiders tend to play down the ideological commitment of some in the armed forces. [...] There are many guns in the hands of pro-regime militias. Venezuela has a tradition of guerrilla warfare.

An American invasion would thus be highly risky. It would also be counter-productive, because it would deprive a new government of legitimacy and revive anti-imperialism across Latin America when the main issue is the defence of democracy. Yes, Cuba is intervening in Venezuela, and there is scant evidence that Mr Maduro will go peacefully. Even so, maintaining the broadest possible political front against him remains the best option.

The next steps the U.S. will take will "soften up" its target for an upcoming invasion. They will include further measures to make Venezuela ungovernable and to starve its people into submission. One possible step, even while legally unjustifiable, is a sea and air blockade. The "soften up" phase will take many month, if not years, to achieve some noticeable changes on the ground. Only then will further action be merited. The actual point in time will depend on how it may influence Trump's domestic standing.

Would launching a war on Venezuela help him to get reelected or will the war have to wait until he won his second term?

Posted by b on February 24, 2019 at 14:48 UTC | Permalink

next page »

Very good analysis. Looks like US plans failed.

Posted by: Matthiew | Feb 24 2019 14:57 utc | 1

Very well written, b. But I worry about what will happen next. The economist talking about a blockade is a very bad sign.

Be watchful for the moment the forces behind this strategy talk less and less about democracy and kittens and unicorns, and more and more about "maintaining credibility." When they state they've invested too much to leave the job unfinished, or that the US can't abandon her aallies. Because I just can't imagine they will just give up and let it go. A second failure so soon after Syria would pretty much mean America's regime change days are over.

Posted by: Lysander | Feb 24 2019 15:11 utc | 2

A series of CIA or "Special forces" assassinations seems more likely in Venezuela. Think of the heavily armed mercenaries "arrested" in Haiti, sent back to the US where they have been freed. (Last bit subject to confirmation). They must have been there to "help" the US-backed Government eliminate opposition or to provide armed support for the present "President".

Posted by: stonebird | Feb 24 2019 15:17 utc | 3

b to answer your question:

Would launching a war on Venezuela help [Trump] to get reelected or will the war have to wait until he won his second term?

None of the above.

Trump will not have a second term. And there will be no US invasion, of course, during Trump's first term.

Posted by: donkeytale | Feb 24 2019 15:26 utc | 4

Isn't Random Guydo's 30 days in the rotating presidency of the National Assembly over as of today? What is the incoming president' view on all this? Is he or she going to continue the coup, or hang Guydo out to dry?

Posted by: Q | Feb 24 2019 15:28 utc | 5

Re: Q @5 "Isn't Random Guydo's 30 days in the rotating presidency of the National Assembly over as of today?"
It doesn't matter here in the land through the Looking Glass, where most people don't count to 30, can't remember, don't know, and don't want to know.

Posted by: Perimetr | Feb 24 2019 15:32 utc | 6

The Economist first says: An invasion would 'derive a new government of legitimacy'. You think the American Warmongers have not given birth to Guaido their bastard child already?

Then this dozy from the Economist: 'Yes, Cuba is intervening in Venezuela'!?? No wonder no one trust the American/Western media.

Posted by: Ger | Feb 24 2019 15:40 utc | 7

The charges and the whining on venezuelan security forces 'agression' yesterday on and about the borders is a flat senseless lie.
Let the maduro´s armed forces and security DO ten percent
(10%) of what the United states FBI and national guard did
in WACO, Texas in autumn of 1993.
Rebels with children burnt alive... and tanks tearing up resident homes.
Remember that the state, in any modern nation legal system is the sole owner of the monopoly use of force.
Maduro has been enormously self restrained and cautious so far against this stooge of Washington and Langley.
Let him use 10% of the US Waco recipe instead.

Posted by: augusto | Feb 24 2019 15:44 utc | 8

We should thank Bernie for so clearly revealing his true colors, in case anyone had illusions to the contrary. After serving as court jester to usher in the Queen (Hillary), he trumpets the Russiagate narrative even while being labeled a Kremlin stooge. No doubt he will try the same role in 2020 for some corporate Dem like Kamala Harris. Tulsi Gabbard stands alone as the only candidate rocking the Empire's boat on foreign policy matters.

Posted by: kabobyak | Feb 24 2019 15:46 utc | 9

Here's an example of a Dutch Disease country, for comparison:

Nigeria’s nightmare

Nigeria also has the largest proportion of people living bellow the World Bank's definition of extreme poverty (under US$ 1.90). Why isn't the USA trying to send humanitarian aid there?

Also, if Nigeria has so much oil, why isn't the Western powers invading it?

Simple: Nigeria's oil is already under the Western multinationals' control:

The Nigerian capitalist economy operates mostly for the foreign multi-national oil companies. There is little investment outside of energy. Overall investment to GDP moves with the vagaries of the crude oil price and since the sharp fall after 2010, it has fallen to a 20 year low.

Posted by: vk | Feb 24 2019 15:47 utc | 10

The U.S.'s problem is that Russia is already in Venezuela. (See this:

It is also evident that Maduro is following Putin's playbook to the letter in the way that he is responding to the U.S. provocations, managing to stymie them at every step, while not offering any legitimate reason for retaliation.

In my opinion, it is likely the presence of Russian advisers, both next to Maduro and at the top or the Venezuelan military, that is keeping the military loyal. As well, I would suspect that Russian special forces are helping to prevent U.S. special forces from infiltrating Venezuela.

Venezuela is beginning to look like a replay of Syria, with Russia standing in the way of U.S. regime change plans. The big difference is that in Venezuela, Russia has already ensured that the Venezuelan military has the tools and training to do the military job without overt Russian intervention.

It is in the economic area that overt Russian intervention will be the key to saving Venezuela. At the same time Venezuela will be the laboratory for the proving of Russia's economic prescriptions for countering the 'Globalists' economic hegemony.

Posted by: dh-mtl | Feb 24 2019 15:56 utc | 11

The Battle at the Border was the neocons' plan B. There is no plan C or D, etc. Trump's Southern Hemisphere Dream Team rolled out the old, expired game plan from thirty years ago. They have no clue what to do next. Killing off Guaido looks like an attractive option as it makes him a martyr and gives them another chance to pick someone who has more support among the military.

Posted by: RenoDino | Feb 24 2019 16:09 utc | 12

If Mr. Bolton is really in charge there probably will be an invasion. This is another chance to see how much of a hollow front man Trump is. After Caracas Tehran may be next, or perhaps Tehran is next. The U.S. is not a real country, it is a colony pretending to be an empire, a pale reflection of its past master from London many years ago, an extended series of military bases.

Posted by: David Carson | Feb 24 2019 16:11 utc | 13

@11 Excellent post. Russia (and to a lesser extent China) are making all the right moves.

It's not enough for those who would like to see Russia submarines off the the coast of Florida but 'all options are on the table' as they say.

Posted by: dh | Feb 24 2019 16:15 utc | 14


My analysis mirrors yours exactly. Russian Finance Ministry has already provided Maduro a draft proposal for revising his economy. I think this occurred in December when Maduro was in Moscow. Russia, having secured themselves both economically and militarily, may be providing a roadmap for other countries to counter the Evil Empire.

Posted by: lgfocus | Feb 24 2019 16:20 utc | 15

Here's the picture of the Brazilian "aid":

“Ajuda humanitária” do Brasil para Venezuela são duas caminhonetes

Posted by: vk | Feb 24 2019 16:23 utc | 16

The domain you linked to for the constitution seems to be the victim of a legal dispute:

Posted by: MG | Feb 24 2019 16:29 utc | 17

Juan Guaidó -- what a comprador loser. Maduro had the perfect response: if he's president, then let him call an election (or words to that effect). I suspect the whole recent border 'gig' was staged to get him out.

Now Pence can meet with him f2f and share a 'Christian' prayer (or three) for peace and harmony and forgiveness, the American Jesus way. Perhaps Boy-Bush and Tony Blair (and little Aussi, Johnny Howard) can all gather together down Colombia way and channel the Big Creator for some neocon policy advice (& 'crucify them' strategy) -- apparently "HE" used to drop in for breakfast with them in the good olde days of Plunder & Blunder.

B. Sanders -- what a shallow grave of 'socialist' hope and expectations. That whole Democrat domain is a dead-zone of hypocrisy, imo: he puts new meaning into the "BS" initials. With such talent for re-framing himself on the run, he'd make Obama and Trump look like hold outs to the neocon MIC if he got in. Caveat emptor!

Posted by: imo | Feb 24 2019 16:30 utc | 18

Very well written, b. But I worry about what will happen next. The economist talking about a blockade is a very bad sign.
Posted by: Lysander | Feb 24, 2019 10:11:24 AM | 2

It's only a sign that the author of the Economist story hasn't asked Russia & China, who both support Maduro, how they would react to a blockade. There are plenty of options, from providing armed escorts for deliveries to inflicting damage on uppity, illegal, blockaders.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Feb 24 2019 17:24 utc | 19

"Would launching a war on Venezuela help him to get reelected or will the war have to wait until he won his second term?

The answer to the first question is obviously no. His voters do not want another war. It is already more then enough that he does not end the ongoing war despite statements to the contrary.
There will be no re-election. This balloon could only take off because its opponent was the most unpopular woman in the usa. The Democrats can put up a broom. It will win.

Posted by: Pnyx | Feb 24 2019 17:34 utc | 20

Excellent commentary b. I have the following thoughts:

I'm expecting a blockade.
The war can't be won by blockade alone. Venezuela will adjust. So the maximium effect (economic and psychological) actually comes in 4-6 months.

I doubt that there will be a US invasion.
The combination of blockade and civil war could lead to regime change. And if it doesn't, then some false-flag tragedy will be used to bring Columbia into the war to finish off Maduro.

The wildcard is Russia and China. Only their support might prevent a toppling of Maduro. But Venezuela is not Syria. It will be difficult for Russia and China to provide the necessary support in the USA's "backyard" but with time, they have a better opportunity to do so.

USA+allies will move swiftly
The longer it takes, the more likely that Russia and China can help Maduro. USA will want to end this in months, not years. They learned some lessons from Syria.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 24 2019 17:34 utc | 21

Lima Group honcho Canada, whose FM Chrystia Freeland is up to her elbows in Venezuela toiling and moiling as a junior partner in the failing US regime change fiasco, is actively involved in other regional destabilizations. Canadian Special Forces have recently been observed and photographed in Haiti, as Yves Engler reports. Another reminder that the Venezuelan debacle may be only one component of a larger regional push back into what both Canadian and US officials have referred to as 'our backyard.'

Canadian Military in Haiti. Why?

"Canadian troops may have recently been deployed to Haiti, even though the government has not asked Parliament or consulted the public for approval to send soldiers to that country..."

Posted by: John Gilberts | Feb 24 2019 17:36 utc | 22

I see a direct US war or even a proxy war in Venezuela as relatively slim. All that barking from Pence and Pompeo is worse than their bite. There is no stomach for another prolonged conflict.

Posted by: Jonathan Everett Gillispie | Feb 24 2019 18:05 utc | 23

Hey b,

Since you supported Sanders in the Democratic primary and Trump in the general election and even after the general election, perhaps you can share your thoughts on these two now?

Do you still believe the pretense that Sanders is both independent and a true progressive?

Do you still believe the pretense that Trump is "at war" with the US Deep State? (and therefore Trump must be good for the rest of the world)

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

I, along with some others, warned about Sanders being a sheepdog. You ignored that. I linked to this BAR post that made that case many times: Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders: Sheepdogging for Hillary and the Democrats in 2016. I also noted (as did others in alt-media) that Bernie acknowledge that he was a long-time friend of the Clintons, how Bernie would not criticize Hillary about character issues or her email troubles, how he pulled punches during the race, and ultimately supported Hillary in the general election despite being totally disrespected by Hillary.

I, along with some others, warned that Trump was just more of the same (faux populist: the Republican Obama; Zionist, etc.) but you ignored those warnings also - despite occasionally being harshly criticized as pro-Trump in some comments at MoA.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 24 2019 18:07 utc | 24

thanks b... step one, in many that are going to happen from the exceptional nation....

good comments from others here.. thanks!

Posted by: james | Feb 24 2019 18:08 utc | 25

Proof that it was not the Maduro Government that touched those aid trucks yesterday.

In the link there is a video showing clearly just who threw the petrol bombs. Earlier there was another video of them filling the bottles with petrol.

Grade 1 false flag with low grade implementation, allowed it to be filmed??? This was amateurs not a CIA team.

Things are not what some want everyone to believe! Haven’t seen this clip on the MSM yet.

I split the link


Posted by: JohninMK | Feb 24 2019 18:35 utc | 26

Perhaps some journalist should ask Mr Guaidó where are the 600,000 volunteers who, he says, have signed up to help carry the aid into Venezuela?

And someone might ask Richard Branson about why he expected Guaidó to be accompanied by "maybe a million of his supporters" at the bridge. That is, if Branson hasn't disappeared off to his playboy island.

Posted by: Brendan | Feb 24 2019 18:38 utc | 27

When reading the republished BigLie media crap in my local newspaper, it's quite clear the narrative is being developed for an R2P intervention. A blockade amounts to a declaration of war to which Venezuela has the assets to defeat, unlike Cuba. That Cuban presence in Venezuela is some sort form of law breaking is ludicrous; the two nations have a deep partnership over the past 20+ years.

I loved Roger Waters calling out Sanders in the manner he did; it must be fanned into a wildfire-like blaze on social media and distributed globally. The newly elected, allegedly Progressive Congresscritters must be forced to distance themselves from the charlatan by adding in his other subterfuges on universal healthcare and the wonderful listing posted yesterday on a previous thread.

There's a very good chance that this operation will further destabilize Colombia by creating blowback there, and that potential extends to Brazil, too. IMO, even with its political divisions, Venezuela's actually the more stable nation.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 24 2019 18:54 utc | 28

JohninMK @26--

Those are White Helmet procedures! Gotta get those copied before they get deleted and spread them around, too.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 24 2019 18:59 utc | 29

Hey b,
Since you supported Sanders in the Democratic primary and Trump in the general election and even after the general election, perhaps you can share your thoughts on these two now?
Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 24, 2019 1:07:10 PM | 24

Whoa! Are you feeling lucky, or what!?
Putting words in the blog owner's mouth gets you banned, permanently, at Xymphora.
I've got my fingers crossed for you...

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Feb 24 2019 19:03 utc | 30

Maduro's 'days are numbered' in Venezuela, Pompeo warns

Isn't that what they said about Assad? ggg

Posted by: arby | Feb 24 2019 19:05 utc | 31

Sanders has picked Ro Khana to be on his election campaign team.

And I was starting to think Khana was a pretty sound guy...

Posted by: Seer | Feb 24 2019 19:06 utc | 32

Describing Sanders as a faux socialist (as b did in this post) should leave no room for interpretation whether b thinks that BS is a truthful progressive

Posted by: Vato | Feb 24 2019 19:13 utc | 33

Sorry, regarding my above post I meant to include that Khanna (proper spelling) is calling Maduro a "failed dictator."

The Dems are scrambling to stay in bed with the Deep State. (only Gabbard has, so far, managed to keep from stepping in the crap)

Posted by: Seer | Feb 24 2019 19:16 utc | 34

Background on the failed US led storming of the border in Venezuela at Florida Maquis:

He warns that the US corrupt leadership will not stop their efforts. However, he points out that the Venezuela people would make the conflict another VietNam

Posted by: Krollchem | Feb 24 2019 19:16 utc | 35

Hoarsewhisperer @30

I've defended b against those that say he supported Trump, noting that b supported Sanders in the primary.

And I also fell for the con, switching from supporting Jill Stein to supporting Trump against Hillary in the last weeks of the election.

I may be overstretching a bit in saying b "supported" Trump but I do think b fell for the Trump vs. Deep State nonsense.

Some say Trump was "turned" by the Deep State/neocons but that makes no sense. A much better explanation (Occam's razor) is that Hillary and her pals Sanders and Trump fixed the 2016 election with the approval of the Deep State. Trump was already vetted/selected before he even ran. Mueller's investigation is a neo-McCarthism psyop. There isn't, and never was, a "war" between Trump and the Deep State.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 24 2019 19:16 utc | 36

Link to list I noted above @28.

Seer @32--

Khana along with his cohorts must be assaulted with the Truth of the matter and be forced to realize they're supporting Clintonista crap by partnering with Sanders. Sanders lost his credibility long ago with those willing to open their eyes, so the remainder just need to be educated by using his own words and actions against him, of which there are plenty.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 24 2019 19:16 utc | 37

reply to Jackrabbit 21
" And if it doesn't, then some false-flag tragedy will be used to bring Columbia into the war to finish off Maduro."

I wonder if Columbia's rebel group FARC, which just sort of concluded negotiations with the govt and if what I have read is accurate are now being killed off by said govt will rise again in support of Venezuela? If so, we might see a civil war in Columbia rather than in Venezuela.

Posted by: frances | Feb 24 2019 19:25 utc | 38

Seer @32

Many of the comments to that tweet are excellent.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 24 2019 19:29 utc | 39

The legacy media, yet again, published photos and videos of masked young men throwing rocks and setting fires and describes them as "political activists".

Posted by: jayc | Feb 24 2019 19:30 utc | 40

reply to karlofl 29
"Those are White Helmet procedures! Gotta get those copied before they get deleted and spread them around, too."

From your lips to god's ears? For there is a group called the "Green Helmets" now abroad in the wealthy neighborhoods of Caracas. Apparently they have been around since 2017:

It is entirely possible they are legitimate but IMO they are ripe for US MSM exploitation.

Posted by: frances | Feb 24 2019 19:36 utc | 41

@Jackrabbit 21
"The longer it takes, the more likely that Russia and China can help Maduro. USA will want to end this in months, not years. They learned some lessons from Syria."
I strongly doubt the last sentence, since it is precisely an outstanding feature of imperial behaviour that nothing is learned from defeats.

Posted by: Pnyx | Feb 24 2019 19:42 utc | 42

The Real News Network:

"#NYU professor @GregGrandin discusses the history of national sovereignty as it originated in #LatinAmerica but was repeatedly challenged by the US w/ @gregwilpert."

Greg Grandin's website lists his excellent books and links to some of his older essays and articles. Powerful stuff this man writes:

"But today the frontier is closed. The country has lived past the end of that myth. After centuries of pushing forward across the frontier — first, the landed frontier, then the frontiers of expanding economic markets and sweeping military dominance — all the things that expansion was supposed to preserve have been destroyed, and all the things it was meant to destroy have been preserved. Instead of peace, there is endless war. Instead of prosperity we have intractable inequality. Instead of a critical, resilient and open-minded citizenry, a conspiratorial nihilism, rejecting reason and dreading change, has taken hold."

"What's At Stake in Venezuela" just published by London Review of Books and mentioned in the RNN video above. Yes, lots to digest, but then it's Sunday!

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 24 2019 19:47 utc | 43

I doubt the current US will rely on some form of long running insurgency to gain control of Venezuela. I believe they need the Venezuelan oil in the near future so their agenda or strategy can advance. Trump may also be looking to show some results of the strategy prior to the next election.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Feb 24 2019 19:48 utc | 44

@42 pnyx... i agree.. the empire of chaos is into chaos... it can go on forever and the profit from the madness is gotten one way or another... via capitalism when it is running out of places to pillage...

Posted by: james | Feb 24 2019 19:48 utc | 45

imo @18 - "Juan Guaidó -- what a comprador loser. Maduro had the perfect response: if he's president, then let him call an election (or words to that effect). I suspect the whole recent border 'gig' was staged to get him out."

This, in my opinion, very important development is not being explored in the MSM. I can find references to Guaido attending the Branson concert on the Colombian side of the border, but nothing further to suggest he has placed himself in exile from Venezuela, or where he is now. If he remains out of the country, it is proof that the "right side of history" knows it is, at least for now, on the wrong side of history.

Posted by: Activist Potato | Feb 24 2019 19:53 utc | 46

Everybody stop with this a Bernie is a Deep State Neocon crap. Bernie likes humanitarian aid delivered to where it's needed.

Bernie hates corrupt, authoritarian governments who don't provide the basics to their people. To extrapolate that into Bernie would support sanctions, blockades and invasions go against everything Bernie has said and stood for the past forty years. None of these options are on Bernie's table.

Second, Bernie was not in the tank for Clinton. He followed political decorum and supported Clinton. Yes, it was awful to watch, but Bernie did the right thing after getting a raw deal from the party. Bernie is a standup guy.

Third, everyone who voted for Trump instead on Hilliary was conned and that's OK. You took the guy at his word and just like Obama, he betrayed his base. Hillary was even worse so you didn't have a choice. That's the way it's supposed to work. It's the lesser of two evils, but the winner is always just as evil.

We all know Bernie won't flip on us. He's not changing for anybody.

Posted by: RenoDino | Feb 24 2019 19:54 utc | 47


" Bernie likes humanitarian aid delivered to where it's needed."

If you and Bernie think this act is about Humanitarian aid and not an attempt to crush a young socialist country, you and Bernie are sadly misinformed.

Bernie should know better and I am sure he does.

Posted by: arby | Feb 24 2019 20:05 utc | 48

RenoDino @47

Thanks for the laughs. He already flipped "on us". Now he's flippin' on the last shreds of his progressive principles.

What real candidate for office refuses to attack his opponent on character issues? What real progressive candidate against Hillary would fail to counter her assertion that she "never changed her vote for money" by citing Elizabeth Warren's proof that she had (switching her vote on the bankruptcy bill for money from the credit card companies)?

And why did Sanders refuse to release tax returns? He called them "boring" but would only release his 2015 tax return. The Press hounded him for more because Hillary had release 10 years of returns.

And Bernie is not an independent progressive, he votes with the Democrats more than 95% of the time. And he is good friends with all the top Democrats. Obama campaigned for him. Hillary is "a friend of 25 years", and Schumer refused to provide funds to any Democrat that would run against him in Vermont.

Bernie didn't have to support Hillary after DNC-Hillary collusion was revealed. His doing so wasn't "stand up" it was sit down... good boy!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 24 2019 20:13 utc | 49

reply to RenoDino 47
"We all know Bernie won't flip on us. He's not changing for anybody."
True that, let's get to know your Bernie: (my apologies to B for length)
re Bernie
I saved this zerohedge comment from a while back because it was so through.
Tomsk on July 26, 2018 · at 12:08 pm EST/EDT
It is amazing how many people actually believe that Bernie Saunders is some kind of decent guy posing an “alternative” to the other 2 contenders when his sole purpose was to round up “dissenters” and funnel them into the Hillary camp.
As Alexander Azadgan points out –
1. He voted in favor of use of force (euphemism for bombing) 12 sovereign nations that never represented a threat to the U.S.:
1) Afghanistan.
2) Lebanon.
3) Libya.
4) Palestine.
5) Somalia
6) Syria.
7) Yemen.
8) Yugoslavia
9) Haiti
10) Liberia
11) Zaire (Congo)
12) Sudan
2. He has accepted campaign money from Defense contractor Raytheon, a defense contractor, he continues his undying support of the $1.5 trillion F-35 industry and said that predator drones “have done some very good things”. Sanders has always voted in favor of awarding more corporate welfare for the military industrial complex – and even if he says he’s against a particular war he ends up voting in favor of funding it.
3. He routinely backs appropriations for imperial wars, the corporate scam of Obamacare, wholesale surveillance and bloated defense budgets. He loves to bluster about corporate welfare and big banks but he voted for funding the Commodity Futures “Modernization” Act which deregulated commercial banks and created an “unregulated market in derivatives and swaps” which was the major contributor to the 2007 economic crisis.
4. Regardless of calling himself an “independent”, Sanders is a member of the Democratic caucus and votes 98% of the time with the Democrats and votes in the exact same way as war criminal Hillary Clinton 93% of the time. Sanders campaigned for Bill Clinton in the 1992 presidential race and again in 1996—after Clinton had rammed through the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), vastly expanded the system of mass incarceration and destroyed welfare.
5. The sheepdog is a card the Democratic Party plays when there’s no White House Democrat running for re-election. The sheepdog is a presidential candidate running ostensibly to the left of the establishment Democrat to whom the billionaires will award the nomination. Sheepdogs are herders,…. charged with herding activists and voters back into the Democratic fold who might otherwise drift leftward and outside of the Democratic Party, either staying home. In 2004 he called on Ralph Nader to abandon his presidential campaign.
The Democratic Party has played this “sheep dog” card at least 7-8 times in the past utilizing collaborators such as Eugene McCarthy in 1968, Jesse Jackson in 1984 and 1988, Jerry Brown in 1992, Al Sharpton in 2000, Howard Dean in 2004, Dennis Kucinich in 2008 and in 2016 was Bernie Sanders’ turn.
6. Regardless of calling himself a “socialist” he labeled the late Hugo Chávez, architect of the Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela responsible for lifting millions of lives out of poverty “a dead communist dictator.” Then he saddled up for a photo op with Evo Morales at the Vatican and also voted to extradite former Black Panther member, Assata Shakur.
7. He refers to ISIS’ godfather and warmonger extraordinaire John McCain as “my friend and a very, very decent person.”
8. He routinely parrots the DNC lines: “the Russians hacked our elections” despite there is no evidence of such hacking, but lowered his head and tucked tail when the DNC actually rigged the primary elections against him, proving he is more loyal to the Democratic (war) Party than to the millions of people who supported him and donated to his fraudulent campaign.
9. He expressed staunch support for the aid of violently right-wing separatist forces such as the self-styled Kosovo Liberation Army, whose members were trained as Mujahideen, during Clinton’s 100-day bombing of Yugoslavia and Kosovo in 1999. He has an extensive record of supporting jihadist proxies for the overthrow of sovereign governments in Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria.
10. He supported Bill Clinton’s sanctions against Iraq, sanctions that prohibited medicines for infants and children…more than 500,000 innocents killed for no other reason than that they were Iraqi.
11. He said yes in a voice vote to the Clinton-era crime Bill, the Violent Crime Control & Law Enforcement Act of 1994, which expanded the death penalty to cover 60 offenses. So he is obviously pro-death penalty.
12. In the 2016 elections, he betrayed millions of people that believed in him when after making the central point of his campaign the fight against Wall Street he instructed his followers to vote for Wall Street’s candidate, war criminal/corporate criminal Hillary Clinton.

Posted by: frances | Feb 24 2019 20:14 utc | 50

Re: Arby @31 (as I write this) . . . Are Maduro's days numbered counting down or up?

Posted by: John Anthony La Pietra | Feb 24 2019 20:20 utc | 51

pnyx, james

In a way, Trump and his admin may well have learned some lessons from the past, though not in a way we would like.
Trump's swamp - what does Trump consider the swamp. I believe that for Trump, the swamp consists of those that invaded Iraq but did not give the Iraq oil to US oil companies, destroyed Libya yet did not take the oil, stayed in Afghanistan after the initial attack for a long running and expensive occupation with not other purpose than occupation. Those that kept the cold war against Russia alive after communist ideology was gone without any plan that would succeeded in subduing or defeating Russia. Those that offshored US manufacturing to China to the point that China will or has overtaken the US economically and is now a or the leading manufacturing power. At the fall of the Soviet Union, US was the undisputed sole superpower of the world. From there, rather than increasing its lead, the US went into decline gradually losing its lead through hubris and stupidity.
From everything I can find of Trump, this appears to be his view of the US and the swamp. I think he is looking at those mistakes of the past, and the moves against Venezuela and Iran may well be different to what we have seen in the last 25 years or so.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Feb 24 2019 20:28 utc | 52

Some info re Venezuela, why now?
The staggering Exxon losses in the article's chart explains why the US has to move to SA, and FAST.
b-I hope I posted the link properly:(

Posted by: frances | Feb 24 2019 20:51 utc | 53

The event timing seems to have had a significant misfire.

The long logistics chain was put in motion to effect an invasion this weekend. Doubtlessly planned to precede the Hanoi summit.

How can Trump impress Kim as hit did Xi when he cruse missiles landed in Syria while dessert was served?

Furthermore the China trade negotiations seems to be dragging.

It is almost as if hubris played a role.

Posted by: jbc | Feb 24 2019 20:56 utc | 54

Yesterday's attempt was an utter fail for Guaidó, but again "winning" was not the objective, but to cause enough steer for PR and that was done. Guaidó is miscalculating his loses inside Venezuela, he may find a very bad surprise at home if he ever gets back to Caracas, he will most likely "govern" from exile.

I would keep focus on :
1) Assassination attempt of Maduro to be framed at the Venezuelan Armed Forces.
2) False flag to ignite the guerrilla/terrorism warfare that happened in Syria.

Both can be prevented if the Venezuelan Armed Forces stay strongly supporting President Maduro, but there will be a need for a stronger political/diplomatic front from the friends of Venezuela with some Latin America countries, like some sort of BRICS influence toward Brazil, Argentina and Peru (all with strong trade with China) to easy on the coup rhetoric and more toward a inclusive diplomacy to Venezuela, not necessarily following this idiotic Lima Club. I mentioned BRICS because 4 countries recognized Maduro and only Brazil followed the US call for Guaidó, while Peru enjoys very close contacts with Russia and Argentina relies on China for many things lately.

Posted by: Canthama | Feb 24 2019 20:57 utc | 55

@ Canthama #55

I have read in a couple of places that the Brazilian Military is not participating in this scam and actually fired teargas at so called protesters who tried to cross into Venezuela.

Posted by: arby | Feb 24 2019 21:12 utc | 56

I may be overstretching a bit in saying b "supported" Trump but I do think b fell for the Trump vs. Deep State nonsense.
Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 24, 2019 2:16:28 PM | 36

No no no! That's me!
I've been continually curious about b's attitude to DJT since he was sworn in. I can assure you that the most positive remarks b has made about Trump to date have been acknowledgement, on a couple of occasions, when Trump displayed some indisputable common sense.
He has certainly never said anything which could be interpreted as an endorsement of Trump or his Presidency.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Feb 24 2019 21:15 utc | 57

While doing a search about Brazil and protestors , this popped up-- sort of off topic but seems a lot of protests are off topic nowadays--

Posted by: arby | Feb 24 2019 21:20 utc | 58

#36 Jackrabbit
You are correct that b has posted comments re: "Trump v. The Deep State". I remember because I was shocked at how someone otherwise so perceptive could fall for such a transparently false argument and I thought to myself "b needs to read up on US economic policy".
There was one comment I made noting that from an economic policy perspective Trump is a "Deep State" dream come true - much as I abhor the term "Deep State" - but that may have been in response to another comment.

Posted by: Schmoe | Feb 24 2019 21:54 utc | 59

reply to arby | Feb 24, 2019 4:20:07 PM | 58
I think that link is from 2013 but yes, Bolsonaro's support for the US Vz coup is not going down well.
The military are annoyed, the indigenous tribes hate him, pensioners hate him, his IMF directed plans are not being well received.
I read that the Military have said they will not participate in the Vz adventure and I think they (Military) are planning on replacing him, probably with one of their own.

Posted by: frances | Feb 24 2019 21:57 utc | 60

Posted by: kabobyak | Feb 24, 2019 10:46:04 AM | 9

Re: Bernie Sanders : today I learned what « sheepdog » means.

Posted by: Featherless | Feb 24 2019 22:50 utc | 61

The drums of war are already running in the Netherlands, it sounds very scary.
All information on our TV channels and daily newspapers (except 'Trouw' ) is notably false, biased, and very accusing.

The Dutch colonial island Curacao, 70 km north of Venezuela, has been asked by Guaido and the USA, to invade Venezuela with 'humanitarian aid'.
The 'aid' containers from the US are already delivered, but the local authorities, that have some sovereignty, are still blocking the two half loaded ships.
If due to pressure from the US and the Netherlands these ships finally leave the harbour, they could provoke a confrontation with the Venezuelan navy.
Such a confrontation can trigger military involvement from other Nato states.

Opposition groups are rallying on the Island for this scenario.

yahoo-news: Curacao-blocks-venezuela-aid-ship

Willemstad, Curaçao (Netherlands Antilles) (AFP) - Curacao authorities Friday blocked Venezuelan opposition supporters from loading aid donations onto a ship to sail to their country, the vessel's captain said, with the island's government citing security concerns.

The Venezuelans have flown containers to Curacao from private donors in the United States -- part of a broader aid effort by Venezuela's self-declared leader Juan Guaido to put pressure on President Nicolas Maduro.

The organizers tried on Friday to load the aid onto the Seven Seas supply ship, moored in the port of the Caribbean island 40 miles (65 kilometers) from Venezuela's coast.

"The authorities here blocked the entrance of the containers with the humanitarian aid for Venezuela," Seven Seas captain Carlos Quintavalle told AFP at the port.

Curacao has become one of the focal points of a volatile standoff between Guaido and Maduro.


The Curacao government said earlier in a statement that "the shipments from Curacao will only take place when the authorities in Venezuela agree."

Hundreds of Venezuelan volunteers based in Curacao rallied later Friday at the cathedral in the island's capital Willemstad.

Lined up in pews, they swore an oath to God and the Virgin Mary to press ahead with efforts to load the ship.

Posted by: iano | Feb 24 2019 22:57 utc | 62

The Venezuelans of Guaidó in front of the embassy in Chile shouting to Bachelet communist and that it was right that his father was tortured and that the 4000 people killed by Pinochet were well disappeared. These people are supported by Spanish @PPopular, @CiudadanosCs and @PSOE. And, of course, Trump. Human rights anywhere?

Meanwhile all the Spanish MSM and Public and private TVs have broadcasted that the truck with "humanitarian aid" was burnt by pro-Maduro Venezuelans, in spite of all the graphic documents which show how it was burnt by a Molotov coctel thrown from Colombia. Of course, all the people who rely on thse media for the scarce dose of information they need, will swallow the lies. They are clearly ammounting public consensus to try another thing soon...

Posted by: Sasha | Feb 24 2019 23:13 utc | 63

Looks like I gotta go out and get some more popcorn.

Posted by: arby | Feb 24 2019 23:21 utc | 64

It seems that Jose Manuel Olivares refused to pay the guarimberos he had hired to burn the trucks, and so, they gave him la del pulpo...These thugs will end like ISIS and the other franchises of terrorists in Syria, killing each other....

Posted by: Sasha | Feb 24 2019 23:24 utc | 65

Along with Roger Waters, Silvio Rodriguez has also sent a message of peace for Venezuela:

In front of the hypocrites, in front of those who play for war, in front of those who are millionaires with machismo and elitism, someone who is part of the political and social biography of millions around the world. Silvio Rodríguez, for peace in Venezuela

Posted by: Sasha | Feb 24 2019 23:30 utc | 66

In homage to the real Venezuelans for their stamina this weekend.
Salud, comrades!

Silvio Rodriguez- "Playa Girón"

Posted by: Sasha | Feb 24 2019 23:38 utc | 67

Frances @ 60:

If what you say turns out true, then the US will have a revolt against Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil to deal with and Canada will have a revolt against Jovenel Moise in Haiti to deal with.

To the Assad curse, add the Maduro curse: every country that wants Maduro out will end up responsible for dealing with a third party country's rebellion against its pro-US poodle government.

Posted by: Jen | Feb 25 2019 0:20 utc | 68

Thank you,b, and grateful thanks to Venezuelan troops and citizenry for staying calm and proud in the face of danger to your country coming from those who ought to be your friends and supporters. I really hope that the peaceful opposition within your country will continue to find unity with the current leadership due to the greater threat from outside that has so blatantly shown its eagerness to control your nation. As in Russia, some necessary accomodation between the elites and the poor can forge the strength to be better than you have been up till now.

I also thank karlof1 for the link at 43 to an historical review that is most timely. I hadn't known these facts about FDR at all. It is so important, something left out of school history books until now. It blows my mind that these people who now control the US are not stopping at dismantling the elements of the New Deal that benefited this country but also rolling back our views of international law to pre-FDR primitive understandings of our hemisphere! And I quote:

"...Henry Kissinger returned to a pre-FDR maturity/immaturity test of sovereignty to justify Allende's ousting ..."

"Ousting" - what a kind way to put it. We should never forget that this was the first 9/11 occurrence. From which came Waco, and then the Twin Towers in New York. One might suppose, if more cynical than I want to be, that the ptb want periodically to remind us, (or maybe remind our erstwhile eager politicians) who is in charge! -- "Oh, hey, it's 9/11 again..." They can't shuffle off their mortal coils soon enough for the good of the world, and let that day become an ordinary one again.

Posted by: juliania | Feb 25 2019 0:33 utc | 69

Referenced from Saker's website (current thread on VZ):

INTEL LEAK: US to depose Maduro in March 2019

Posted by: Seer | Feb 25 2019 0:37 utc | 70

reply to Jen 68
I saw info on Brazil's military closing ranks against Vz involvement on several sites and one a few others there is coverage and questioning of Canadian special forces in Haiti, so here's hoping:)

Brings to mind an Irish curse, "May all you do come back to you."

Posted by: frances | Feb 25 2019 2:23 utc | 71

@70 seer... that is a good video - for what it says - not for the images... would be much better as a transcript somewhere.. it really highlights the hypocrisy of the usa in it's role of destabilizing venezuala here.. i wish there was a direct transcript - it could be read in less then 1/2 the 4 minutes required to get it via youtube...

Posted by: james | Feb 25 2019 4:29 utc | 72

with respect to the various contributors asking about Trump vs Clinton vs Bernie, I think some commenters are over thinking what the election of Trump v Clinton was about. The 2016 election wasn't so much about who is the lesser of two evils as much as it was do you want to get shot in the gut (republican) or stabbed in the back (Democrat), there was no "third" choice and ultimately both choices lead to the same outcome, merely by different paths. The question facing the electorate (whether they knew it or not) was do you want the two-faced, soft-spoken sadist Democrat or the loud-mouthed sadist braggard to do the deed. The given that choice the American people chose the plain speaking bully and ultimately who can blame the Americans for choosing him.

At a subconscious level, most people want honesty in their leaders, even if it is honest cruelty, as long as it is suitably concealed. Watching Hiliary's campaign for the presidency was remarkable for the complete lack of vision or organizing principle for her supposed presidency - and that was intentional by Hillary herself, because she knew her actual reason for wanting the presidency - personal enrichment and political protection would be unacceptable to most Americans. Trump on the other hand wore his reasons for wanting the Presidency on his sleeve, namely pure egotism (dressed up as make American great again). The fact that Hilary couldn't even create a have decent lie that could beat Trump's lie show exactly what Hilary has always been - just another sleazy politician who always hitched their wagon to someone else with better political skills in hopes that she could use it to coast upward, 2016 was "her turn" after all - the peter principle in action

As for Bernie, he is NOT a sheepdog, rather he's the perfect example of the person who picked the knife in the back over a gut shot. Namely, by the spring of 2016 it was painfully obvious that Hilary Clinton couldn't even win a rigged primary election (see Jimmy Dore's coverage of the election, Donna Brazile's book, the WikiLeaks e-mails, etc,,,), Bernie clearly knew about all the funny business that was occurring leading up to the nomination convention and what did he do? Did he reveal all he knew, did he dispute the nomination? No, He was the good little soldier who kept his mouth shut and went through the political theatre, then he went back home and waited for a suspiciously timed investigation in his wife's finances to conclude without charges being filed (i.e. the knife in the back)

Posted by: Kadath | Feb 25 2019 4:33 utc | 73

Kahath @ 73

I am not and was not a Bernie supporter but I still believe that a slight break might be owed in that he may have seen that he was going to be tossed aside and that he would take the push knowing that the movement that he had behind him might come out of this better/stronger than if he'd have battled (and, given the DNC's nature, for sure lost [to Clinton]). Keep in mind that Sanders is an Independent- the Dems can be said to owe him nothing (though a ton of support given to them is because of Bernie). I'd like to think that one of the actual victories is that we are now able to see Tulsi Gabbard on "stage." Unlike Bernie, Tulsi is an actual member of the Democrats: it may be that she therefore has more of a foothold in which to battle from . I'm still looking for weak spots in Tulsi and, other than her support for Israel (only verbal, no action; never has addressed AIPAC?) and that she's a CFR member (keeping watch from inside?), I'm not really seeing anything. Regardless, anyone who is firmly opposed to US regime change wars (and other illegal wars) will get my support (once we can get this crap under control THEN we can start talking how we should look to change domestically).

Last politician I supported was Ron Paul, as he was a solid anti-imperialist.

Posted by: Seer | Feb 25 2019 5:27 utc | 74

Hoarsewhisperer @ 19
It would be interesting to hear the yanks spin a blockade given their 'freedom of navigation' bombast in the South China and Black Seas.

frances @ 38
I read something a few weeks back (sorry, no link) that said FARC supported Venezuela and pointing out that, though they had disarmed, they were experienced guerrilla fighters.

Posted by: Dadda | Feb 25 2019 6:44 utc | 75

Kadath @73 & Seer @74--

Please take a long, long look at the list frances @50 provided above. Ax you can plainly see, Sanders policy choices and tenets were deeply ingrained well before 2016. Sheepdog is one of the more milder descriptive terms he's earned. Within the Genuine Progressive World, he qualifies as a 5th Columnist--a traitor!

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 25 2019 7:10 utc | 76

MG @17

Venezuela Analysis has the constitution. Here's the link to it.

Posted by: Deb | Feb 25 2019 8:16 utc | 77

Loving how Maduro is calling the Zio-Idiots out.
Chavez dropped so many truth bombs in some of his interviews.
Mind-blowing actually. I'm sure it gave the CIA even more reason to kill him off for blowing the lid off so many of their black ops.
Gadaffi did the same in many of his interviews.

Posted by: Karissa | Feb 25 2019 8:40 utc | 78

I would love for NATO to be forced into this nonsense against Venezuela, the depth and intensity of such insanity and the magnitude of tactical and strategic suicide on their part would be a historical marvel even if no shot was ever fired.

I wonder how many "suicides" would have to happen within the NATO structure to remove those farsighted enough to try to save the existence of NATO by avoiding any involvement in a war of aggression in the Caribbean.

I also wonder how many contingency plans would be triggered by people within NATO who feared being murdered by "their own" in such a way.

NATO is still struggling with the ramifications of Yugoslavia and Libya, compared to those notice how low-key and mostly absent any talk of NATO or even "coalitions" has been concerning Syria. For things like Al-Tanf the official legal "reasoning" I've read (from one NATO member although this was not seen as an operation under NATO command, and possibly indicating a shared NATO legal consensus but at the very least equally possibly not although it's hard to see how the legal reasoning could be avoided or twisted considering how clear it was) amounted to "our actions will violate international law, there is absolutely no mandate at all, but we'll pretend this is not the case if you (meaning the politicians and bureaucrats) tell us to despite us telling you this" (which they incredibly did) and that "quote" is only ever so mildly paraphrased and summarized (they went into more detail but were surprisingly clear and unmistakeable in their assessment which despite the level of detail was only a few pages long, it was not at all complicated). Later when Russia got leaks directly from within NATO membership nations to bolster their case for action against ISIS etc. in Syria it spoke louder than any words :) (serious kudos to whoever did that).

The last ten years have really thrown things around.

I could be completely wrong but I believe electing Trump bought time relative to electing Clinton. It also introduced more sand into the gears even if one assumes it is somehow "fake sand" (the Russia hysteria, government shutdowns, lots of added circus) and it would be welcome if there's more such internal US waste of effort. There wouldn't have been any of that with Clinton, no MSM hate parade, no "opposition", no shutdown, no "investigations", only unadulterated progressive fascism of the old "forward" variety (they were after all utopian futurism-influenced "third way" proto-progressives evolving society to greater heights, or at least that's what they were in their own minds before the slaughtering started).

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Feb 25 2019 9:00 utc | 79

People have very strange notions about what happened in the 2016 Presidential election.

Hillary faced two long-time friends, one on her left (Sanders) and one on her right (Trump). She disrespected and snubbed Sanders so that Trump would win. Shabby treatment of Sanders meant that many progressives would stay at home (not vote). No candidate that wanted to win would have treated their old friend so badly.

One of the first things Trump did after being elected is announce that he would not seek to prosecute his friend Hillary.

Sorry, but the fix was in. The Deep State wanted a nationalist. And that's what they got.

There was far more election meddling by CIA/MI6, the Israel lobby, and the the three stooges (Sanders, Hillary, and Trump) that there was by Russia. Neo-McCarthyism is a feature, not a bug, of the Trump win.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 25 2019 10:07 utc | 80

It's only a matter of time until the 198 shades of regime change by Gene Sharp will be unleashed on the US or the EU.

It doesn't have to be a state actor. A criminal organisation with a couple of million spare change could cause some serious havoc.

You don't have to be a genius to find the weakest link. Go for a small country with big skeletons in the closet and lots of unhappy sheep.

Posted by: Symen Danziger | Feb 25 2019 11:37 utc | 81

It could be easier than that. France only needs a single respected retired general to finally take the plunge and get a new iteration of the republic going and that would be that. No money or shiftiness required, only a brave public proclamation, a call for rejuvenation and strengthening of the old core ideals of the republic and improved measures to avoid cretins like the current pervert-in-charge from ever gaining power and France will yet again be reborn. Both the true left and the true right would approve, I cannot imagine anything else.

It would spread (Italy is already halfway there and taunting them).

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Feb 25 2019 13:58 utc | 82

A further reflection on the link karlof1 provided at 43 to the Greg Grandin article at the London Review of Books:

I reread the piece last night because I wanted to see how the stated incongruity between two sovereignties was defended by the author. That for him was the weak link which was played upon by US invaders with respect to Venezuela (and other invasions); that is, that the sovereignty of the individual doesn't compute when national sovereignty is paramount. Frankly, I cannot see this purported mismatch. Maybe somebody can help me but doesn't national sovereignty contain individual sovereignty, at least where the US Constitution is concerned? This takes me back to earlier conversations here discussing the importance of the Constitution, who swears allegiance to it. ( I then wondered about the difference there is for citizens swearing allegiance to the flag; is that a diminishment of citizens' rights? I think it might be.}

It seems to me that FDR with his New Deal and Four Freedoms was reasserting that Constitutional link. So, not only are wars of aggression the US has undertaken since and including Vietnam illegal under international law, but they are also illegal under the Constitution.

Posted by: juliania | Feb 25 2019 15:49 utc | 83

Dadda | Feb 25, 2019 1:44:50 AM | 75
”I read something a few weeks back (sorry, no link) that said FARC supported Venezuela and pointing out that, though they had disarmed, they were experienced guerrilla fighters.”

Long ago, in the dim recesses of history, the FARC was a political party representing laborers and small farmers.

The party was quickly successful, getting candidates elected to public office at various levels, all over the country. Then, the oligarchs struck, hiring death squads that murdered FARC officials by the dozens. After a few years of such treatment the FARC gave up, bought guns, and retreated to the bush, where they fought the government for decades.

Recently it seemed there might be peace, as the agreements were signed, FARC put down their guns, came out of the jungles and rejoined the society. Until very recently, when the death squads were sent out again.

All of this, remember, in a country that is controlled by the US, with the principal US agents-in-charge being the savage, sadistic CIA.

Yep, wouldn't surprise me a bit to see FARC re-militarize and do whatever they might be able to do in support of Maduro and the Chavistas. Brazil also is in turmoil right now, as the actions of the mobbed-up fascist Bolsinaro and his mobbed-up, thoroughly corrupt family have provoked intense opposition throughout that country. Wouldn't it be something to see large, anti-imperialist revolutionary groups in coordinated action across those three countries.

Posted by: AntiSpin | Feb 25 2019 16:11 utc | 84

Jackrabbit @ 80

Yes, I agree. My theory was that the CIA was involved in blocking Sanders (consider that spooks are all over the MSM outlets). The Russiagate crap came out (via same CIA sponsored MSM networks) when the Clinton email leaks surfaced. Clinton's shoe-in, slam-dunk POTUS run blew up and the CIA didn't want Sanders: it's not so much Sanders that they were concerned about as much as it was his followers; figure that there are a few brighter bulbs lurking in his drawer than in Trump's. Trump was seen as being far more controllable: irony being correct in that he was prone to blackmail, not by Russia, but by the CIA!

Posted by: Seer | Feb 25 2019 16:59 utc | 85

On the CBC program "The Current" the narrative being pushed this morning was that there is a health crisis in Venezuela, and this will lead to contagious diseases making their way across the borders and infecting neighboring countries. Of course, only removing Maduro will stop this crisis...

Posted by: Lavrenty | Feb 25 2019 17:01 utc | 86

@83 Juliana

"Maybe somebody can help me but doesn't national sovereignty contain individual sovereignty, at least where the US Constitution is concerned?"

The government would have you believe so, but this was not the intent with which the constitution was designed. No one is obligated to cede their sovereignty. Period. Even after pledging allegiance, should the government act in manners unworthy of the trust people place in it, is can and should be withdrawn.

I hope this helps. It was written 170 years ago. Coincidentally, I had cut some excerpts and pasted on the open thread yesterday. It is from Thoreau's (they call it a book, but it is (imo) more a paper as it took maybe 20mins to read..

On the Duty of Civil Disobedience, by Henry David Thoreau

"Paley, a common authority with many on moral questions, in his chapter on the “Duty of Submission to Civil Government,” resolves all civil obligation into expediency; and he proceeds to say, “that so long as the interest of the whole society requires it, that is, so long as the established government cannot be resisted or changed without public inconveniency, it is the will of God that the established government be obeyed, and no longer.”—“This principle being admitted, the justice of every particular case of resistance is reduced to a computation of the quantity of the danger and grievance on the one side, and of the probability and expense of redressing it on the other.” Of this, he says, every man shall judge for himself. But Paley appears never to have contemplated those cases to which the rule of expediency does not apply, in which a people, as well as an individual, must do justice, cost what it may. If I have unjustly wrested a plank from a drowning man, I must restore it to him though I drown myself. This, according to Paley, would be inconvenient."


An individuals sovereignity is God given. but over the years people have been convinced to act against their own interests under the guise of patriotism. I found the paper to be a very enlightening read.

disclosure: did not read Karlof1 link yet.


Posted by: b4real | Feb 25 2019 17:33 utc | 87

Most reading this blog already know, but for the few who may not be aware of who Sanders actually is, consider the following:

St. Bernard "Warmonger Sheepdog" Sanders, Sen. Northrop-Grumman, is not an old bleeding heart liberal trying to bring peace and prosperity to the longsuffering American people. Sanders is a FRAUD, another sock puppet of the Empire. For instance: The F35, possibly the biggest boondoggle in history, is being built in Vermont with Sanders' vigorous support. His vaguely-hippiesh air to the contrary, Sanders is a consistent vote for the war machine; in fact he has NEVER voted against a final military spending bill. Even his supposed opposition to the illegal attack on Iraq in '03 was a fraud, because he voted FOR the AUMF, giving Bush the Dimmer the Congressional authority for the attack; and, of course, he voted FOR the funding, as is his wont.

Nor will he ever do anything that will prevent the corrupted Democrats from carrying out their globalist war schemes either, and has proven he will protect them when they are most vulnerable. In '16, after the DNC conspired to rob We the People of his nomination, he could have changed history if he would have jumped from the corrupt Democrats and gone 3rd-party. Instead he threw his supporters under the bus and gave our money to Hillary Clinton (and my wife and I had max'd out!), and then started squawking the Russiagate lies as insanely as Clinton herself. I predicted then that Sanders would be the "Barack Obama" of 2020 (you know, promising "hope and change" and then carrying on the business of Empire as usual), and that he would run on single-payer health insurance as his shtick. And it looks like that's exactly what he's doing. But don't fall for it; he is just another of the Empire's endless train of liars intending to rob you of your voice, your money and your freedom.

Posted by: Alan McLemore | Feb 25 2019 17:39 utc | 88

I think you US will do an Iraq scam on poor old Venezuela. Blockade them; deprive them everything they can and hopefully, starve them; destroy the country they're claiming to save, before stepping in.

Will they succeed? I think it really is down to the Venezuelan people. Have the Chavistas built enough grassroots structures, involved enough of the people in the project that they're prepared to lay down their lives to keep it?

It's interesting that in an earlier period, collectively, we would have been horrified by what the Empire is doing, or trying to do, but this time round, the 'left' is conspicuous by its absence. At least the 'socialists' are not calling for Maduru to go.

Posted by: barovsky | Feb 25 2019 18:19 utc | 89

Re #50;

Sanders is no socialist that I recognise, he's a fucking imperialist! It's yet more 'for socialism at home but imperialism abroad'. Samo-samo...

Posted by: barovsky | Feb 25 2019 18:22 utc | 90

I think this needs to be widely circulated:

Americans Want a Less Aggressive Foreign Policy. It's Time Lawmakers Listened to Them

(would be great to get this to Tulsi Gabbard's staff/team [to show that she's well tuned-in)

Posted by: Seer | Feb 25 2019 19:03 utc | 91

@86 lavrenty... i don't get why the cbc is so hell bent on regime change in venezuala.... is it just that everyone on cbc remains ignorant? many have had years to see this skit repeated in action endlessly...

Posted by: james | Feb 25 2019 19:20 utc | 92

james @ 92

Refer to the excitement given to Bolsonaro's election in Brazil. Canadian companies invest in mining.

Posted by: Seer | Feb 25 2019 19:26 utc | 93

Caitlin has done it again --

Psychopathic US Senator Openly Calls For Maduro To Suffer Gaddafi’s Fate

Posted by: AntiSpin | Feb 25 2019 19:32 utc | 94

Reagan used to be known as the Teflon President but I suspect Trump is topping him. I've read endless rants against Rubio, Pompeo, Bolton, Abrams, Pence, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and even Bernie Sanders. The last person held accountable for the Venezuela fiasco seems to be Trump himself. It might be good to keep in mind who is actually President now and then.

Posted by: David Hollander | Feb 25 2019 20:02 utc | 95

@93 seer... well, canuck companies have been involved in mining and oil in both countries probably - crystallix had a long running feud with venezuala for forever and they are a canuck mining company... but here is the problem with this... cbc is not fox news for christs sake!! it is supposed to be a gov't run, not for profit national broadcasting outfit... well, i realize bbc, npr and etc are designed the same way, but i can't believe the morons at cbc are letting this shit pass thru without any bullshit filter..

Posted by: james | Feb 25 2019 20:19 utc | 96

Hey everybody! Bribes!!! $56 million to those who "help."

Posted by: frances | Feb 25 2019 20:32 utc | 97

james @ 96

Yes, I feel for what you're saying. Sadly, it's looking like it's the same trajectory as npr and bbc (I once wrote BBC blasting them for their use of "socialist" when referring to Chavez, for not referring to, then POTUS, Bush as a "capitalist."). I used to love to listen to As It Happens: tuning out crap US radio.


Posted by: Seer | Feb 25 2019 20:58 utc | 98

There are some regular posters here who seem to think the Empire of Chaos and the oligarchs behind it are both infallible and monolithic. This is either a childish oversimplification of circumstances or it is a cynical and deliberate attempt to cast the oligarchy as having god-like omnipotence to discourage opposition.

But the empire and oligarchy are absolutely not omnipotent. The empire is coming apart at the seams, the oligarchy's plans are all failing one after the other, and the oligarchy itself is divided and bickering among themselves.

The wars against Iraq, Libya, and Afghanistan have all been failures. The coup attempt in Ukraine has been a failure. The attempted revolution in Hong Kong was a failure. The empire is losing its grip on South Korea, Mexico, and the Philippines. The empire's "Frack the Planet" operation, despite hurting Venezuela, Libya, Syria, and Russia, is a failure (before you dispute this keep in mind that the empire is global capitalism and global capitalism is the empire. Profits have not been boosted by the fracking craze). More topically, the 2016 elections in the USA were a massive failure for the empire and oligarchy.

Failure how? Because obviously Trump was not intended to win.

This is not to say that Trump is the good guy against the oligarchy or that he is some sort of revolutionary. This is not to say that Trump deliberately upset the oligarchy's plans. This is not even to say that Trump wasn't fully cooperating with the oligarchy throughout his election campaign to implement the plan of getting Clinton elected. And most importantly this is not to say that Trump is not now fully aligned with the interests of the oligarchy.

Trump was not vetted by the "Deep State" to replace Obama. It is obvious that Trump has still not been fully briefed by the CIA, State Department, etc on the numerous ongoing global operations to extend the empire's influence, otherwise he would not be giving so many mixed signals that damage those operations. Again, it needs to be pointed out that Trump is not causing this damage to the empire's interests deliberately in some sort of fabulously sophisticated game of 57D chess. He is simply stumbling over CIA operations because the CIA doesn't want to tell him what they are really doing. The CIA had literally decades to groom Clinton for the role of President, but Trump just fell in their laps with no preparation whatsoever. Trump isn't really their enemy, and on top of that he is an oligarch himself, so the CIA cannot just assassinate him; nevertheless, they don't trust him with their "Family Jewels". Furthermore, being an oligarch, Trump lacks the natural servility of a commoner who worked her way up the political ladder, which makes him a poor tool for the CIA to work with. The massive panic on November 10 of 2016 from the CIA managed media and government agencies was not due to Trump being personally a threat to the CIA, but rather due to the shock of expecting a smooth transition from one president who was fully aware of the nation's "Black Ops" to another president who was likewise up to speed, but then suddenly facing a president who knew nothing about those operations and whom the CIA had no time to prepare for that knowledge.

Even though Trump has done his best to be accommodating to the CIA, giving them everything they want, they still don't trust him at their deepest and darkest levels where the truly evil schemes are hatched and most dastardly deeds done. You cannot find out about that stuff until the CIA has more on you than you could ever find out about them, and the CIA never bothered to dig anything like that up on Trump because they never thought that they would need to. Again, Trump's victory in 2016 was so unexpected that not even Trump himself was prepared for it. The only person who called Trump's win ahead of time was Michael Moore, and everybody just laughed that prescience off.

I bring this up because it is important to take the empire's unbroken failure streak into consideration when tring to guess what comes next. The empire is making mistake after mistake because it is working with flawed assumptions. The core flaw is in misunderstanding why capitalism has lost is ability to be a progressive economic force in the world. Such an understanding is child's play for anyone with a solid foundation in Marxist analysis, but there is literally no one with such a foundation in any position of authority anywhere in the West. Since economics underlies social dynamics, the economic blindness of the empire's strategists also blinds them to what is going on within the masses of society. This is why they were completely blindsided by Trump winning the election.

If we take into consideration the kinds of mistakes that the empire has been making, I think we can guess what the empire will try next. I do not believe they will alter their regime change recipe because they don't realize that it is broken. What this means is that they are not going to just say "To hell with it! Let's do Shock and Awe tomorrow!" Instead they will double down on the covert actions and provocations, or at least attempt to double down. Perhaps we will see more "rape room" style propaganda, and some more efforts to arrange mass casualty events that can be blamed on the Venezuelan authorities. There will also certainly be more assassination attempts on Maduro. That said, I don't think that the US will start bombing until after they can establish a reasonable sized armed proxy force within Venezuela because they know that unless they already have a substantial force there they will have a harder time recruiting Venezuelans after the bombing starts.

Posted by: William Gruff | Feb 25 2019 21:11 utc | 99

juliania @83--

To add to what b4real provided @87, the answer to your question's provided within The Declaration of Independence, mostly in the Introduction and Preamble, but also throughout the body. As you read, you'll be compelled to compare the Grievances/Indictment of the past with those we can make today. Indeed, IMO, the people of the USA have every right--Duty even--to declare their independence from the current national government, cast it off, and form another, far improved national government sans all the corruption and criminality. That's why since the unPatriot Act, I've advocated for just such a separation on those historical grounds and promoted a rekindling of the Spirit of '76--obviously, to little effect.

On the Sovereign Individual concept, consult the Enlightenment philosophers beginning with Rene--Cogito Ergo Sum--Decartes through Marx, while paying special attention to Hobbes, Locke, Hume, and Adam--The Theory of Moral Sentiments--Smith. I would also insist on reading Sir Thomas More's Utopia for it provides a moral base-line of sorts.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 25 2019 21:54 utc | 100

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