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 09:48 AM | Permalink

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Thank you, b4real, but you misunderstood my question, probably because I didn't phrase it correctly. What I meant to say was, doesn't the Constitution, in presenting a new description of state sovereignty, begin with and include individual sovereignty in its very wording? I mean, it begins with "We the People" and includes the Bill of Rights (certainly that came later but it is in there). I do not mean to say it makes individual sovereignty unnecessary - I do mean to say that it builds on individual sovereignty. The sovereign was the King - now it is the People. The people are the state. They matter - as a group but also as individuals. I see a response from karlof1 as well, which I will turn to next, just that he references the Declaration of Independence, and I would agree - yes, from that Declaration comes the Constitution.

Thanks for the lovely Thoreau bit! You see, in the London Review of Books article that karlof1 linked, Mr. Grandin begins by defining national sovereignty and individual sovereignty, and goes on to state there is a conflict between the two. I wanted to suggest that the US Constitution is founded on a sovereignty of the people, as individuals and as a nation - and so there is a co-mingling with each representative and jurist and executive officer AND each citizen proudly standing on his/her own two feet - as Thoreau would have us do. The people ARE sovereign, individually and as a group - e pluribus unum!

Of course, we've lost that with corporations becoming persons and money speech, but that's what we have in the Constitution - and I think how it was the UN could be founded on human rights issues back in the day. Well, I don't think we disagree, so thanks for your comment!

Posted by: juliania | Feb 25, 2019 9:09:59 PM | 101

Yes, thanks karlof1 - indeed the Declaration of Independence is the forerunner to the Constitution. But as I said to b4real, individual sovereignty is not ignored by the construction of the US Constitution, it is its foundation! It isn't Congress or the Supreme Court or even the President who is sovereign, and it isn't the three of them acting in unity that is sovereign - it's We the People!

It's really a remarkable document. Might need careful adjustments, but boy I wouldn't do anything without considerable study, which would include the Federalist Papers and The People Shall Judge - with as b4real suggests a good hearty helping of Thoreau.

I think you both answered my question, even if you didn't understand what I meant. I don't remember the title of Thomas Paine's broadsheet - 'The Rights of Man'? That's in there as well. It's truly terrible our so called representatives have deviated so far from what this country IS, the deep nation!

Yes, those other philosophers are mighty good challenges to the intellect as well, and oh how we need a good educational system! Not the plastic bags masquerading as text books some goofball wants to thrust down students' throats! The real thing, the original documents! They are like the Magna Carta, a leap forward. Every other democracy in the world, every other state pays attention to this history, as to their own! I see respect for it in every speech that Putin makes - he knows how far we have fallen below those inspired men. Sure, they weren't perfect - no one is. But they could be proud of what they accomplished.

What's there to be proud of now?

Posted by: juliania | Feb 25, 2019 9:38:06 PM | 102

Colombian Foreign Minister Carlos Holmes Trujillo stated at the Lima Group's press event today that they've determined that Guau Dog's life is in danger from the Maduro regime, and that any harm that should befall him would be placed squarely on Maduro (just like Nikki Haley warned in advance of a chemical attack in Syria, and the obvious culprit would be Assad). Guau Dog, if he's smart (he isn't) should see this as a death threat from Abrams and Bolton, for whom he's more valuable dead than alive now, having failed to pull off either the coup or the "humanitarian aid" stunt, and the fact that he exited Venezuelan territory. To put the fear of God in him (or rather, of the Devil, with whom Abrams bears an uncanny resemblance), they made sure to throw in his wife and daughter, in case he's getting cold feet.

Posted by: Gatopardo | Feb 25, 2019 11:47:55 PM | 103

In 2002, when Bolton forced Jose Mauricio Bustani to leave the OPCW for debunking neocon lies about Iraqi "weapons of mass destruction," he said "we know where your kids are."

Posted by: Gatopardo | Feb 26, 2019 12:14:45 AM | 104

Seer @85:

Yes, I agree. Clinton's shoe-in, slam-dunk POTUS run blew up and the CIA didn't want Sanders ... Trump was seen as being far more controllable [by CIA]

LOL. You say you agree with me then write a theory that disagrees with me.

Your theory makes a nice fall-back position for the establishment.

How do you explain that Trump was the ONLY populist in the Republican primary? (Out of 19 contenders!) And none of those 19 decided to alter his message to a populist one as Trump gained in the polls?!?! That doesn't just happen, it was planned.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 26, 2019 12:44:18 AM | 105

@98 seer... thanks... cbc radio is possibly better, but i am not letting them off the hook either, lol... as it happens is usually a fun show, but the propaganda coming thru cbc news is getting bad... not sure about cbc tv, as i don't have a tv... radio is not bad.. the news now is bad for the lack of impartiality.. actually cbc radio news has been getting bad.. it has started to become a regurgitation of rightwing usa radio on some topics...

Posted by: james | Feb 26, 2019 1:24:36 AM | 106

William Gruff @99

I don't think the Empire agrees with your depiction of their recent handiwork as a failure. I think they would say it's a work-in-progress.

Your diatribe has other flaws. Like failure to notice how other President's have also done the Deep State's bidding (Clinton, Bush, Obama). Were they 'turned' via threats? Are they dumb and easily manipulated (as you claim for Trump)? No. The fact is they each had a secretive connection to CIA/Deep State BEFORE they were (s)elected as President - they were vetted.

You also fail to notice how much the faux populist leader is a political model. the structure of the Trump and Obama populist appeal and betrayal have much in common. Don't let Trump's hate for Obama fool you; Trump is the Republican Obama.

Yeah, some things are inside-out:

> While Obama's base celebrated his inclusiveness, Trump's base celebrates his exclusiveness;

> While Obama's evil was covert (it had to be as he was turning the page on Bush-era war-mongering and CIA rendition and torture), Trump's is overt (Trump needs to flex military muscles to meet the challenge from Russia and China);

> While Obama scolded us, Trump distracts us by picking fights.

But they both:
> stressed anti-establishment principles, like anti-corruption (Obama: "transparency"; Trump: "Clean the swamp");

> betrayed their populist promises/principles;

> were hounded as unloyal to America (Obama: foreign born socialist; Trump: Russian influence);

> both have anonymous/amorphous supporters that seem to be everywhere asserting that betrayals are actually 11-dimensional chess moves by the populist hero.

There's more, of course, but I won't belabor the point.

Lastly, you ignore:

> evidence that Hillary threw the race to Trump by alienating key constituencies.

> Trump's being the ONLY populist in the Republican primary race (out of 19 contenders!) and none of the others altered their campaign strategy to be populist as Trump ran away with the election?!?!

> the Trumped-up (pun intended!) neo-McCarthyism made possible by Trump's election and the bogus Mueller investigation - which ensnared Deep State targets: Wikileaks and Michael Flynn.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 26, 2019 1:31:06 AM | 107


British involvement in the election: likely British operative in the Sanders's campaign, use of Cambridge Analytica and British/British-based spies (Steele, Halper) [CIA is known to use MI6 for US-domestic ops);

Trump's bringing the friends/associates of his (supposed) Deep State enemies into his Administration:

VP Pence (buddies with McCain)

William Barr (pals with Mueller);

Gina Haspel (Brennan's gal at CIA);

Bolton (neocon);

Abrams (neocon).

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 26, 2019 1:41:09 AM | 108

What are the numbers of those in favour of regime changing Venezuela. US congress, US senate. 97-99% in favour. Somewhere around those numbers. The elected representatives of the US. The face of America. Rubio - in what other country could a bible thumping piece of shit like him hold office.
Pompeo, Bolton, Abrams, the appointees of the elected.
This is the face of America. It is the majority of Americans.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Feb 26, 2019 2:06:36 AM | 109

WG@99.. When Bernie announced he was running I called his campaign manager Attorney, never got a reply, so I knew Bernie being from the Krotch Brothers state was not an Independent Candidate.
I went to Trump's first campaign meeting in a civic center auditorium 7k audience, free tickets, standing room only crowd.
On leaving, the couple sitting next to me, remarked what I personally felt "Trump sounds like Hitler, he is in love with the military and seeks enormous power".. The couple were unknown to me before and I have not seen them since that evening.
It is essential that Americans not vote for anyone with a Republican or democrat part endorsement. The only democracy Americans have is selecting the persons who will run the government. There are 525 Article I salaried positions and two Article II salaried positions to be filled, please do not fill them with candidates endorsed by either party. ( 527_paid members of the USA elected government = 525 Article I positions+ 2 Article II positions; meaning elections fill 527 positions, but American voters only get to deliver five votes (all voters can vote for one persons to fill each of the two Art. II positions but voters are limited to just three votes for candidate-persons to be employed as as one of the 525 salaried Article I positions. <=votes allowed to each voter =5 votes but voting fills 527 salaried positions?).

Posted by: snake | Feb 27, 2019 2:17:50 AM | 110

To JR @107:

> evidence that Hillary threw the race to Trump by alienating key constituencies.

Hillary didn't bother with key constituencies because she didn't think she needed to. She had her good buddy Trump on her team being the biggest blowhard that he could to help herd those with delicate sensibilities into line behind the `Crats against their will.

> Trump's being the ONLY populist in the Republican primary race....

Because it was assumed by the elites that a populist cannot win the general election against a "centrist". They dramatically overestimated the degree of control they had over the portion of the population that they have herded into what people are led to believe is "the right". By their way of looking at social dynamics, the elites knew that for Clinton to win the general election Trump had to win the primaries. The elites were mostly right about that except for the fact that Clinton couldn't win anyway.

> the Trumped-up yada yada...

The Deep State already had Julian Assange locked away for years. What's more, they didn't have to put Trump in the White House to get the fake left to turn on Assange. They had already turned on Assange before the general election anyway. I am likewise not sure that I understand how Flynn could be an important enough target to figure highly in the decision of who the CIA/Deep State wanted in the White House either. These are at best just mild annoyances to the CIA/Deep State and not nearly worth the disruption in long-running CIA plans that Trump's election win caused... long-running plans that Trump is still obviously clueless about.

I have never said that Trump is an enemy of the CIA/Deep State. Indeed, I said just the opposite in my comment @99 which you have obviously failed to understand. Trump was supposed to just be a bit player in the grand drama of American politics, like Sarah Palin. He was supposed to get the spotlight for a year and then retire from the political stage. The script called for a Clinton victory, and when the American public played their part wrong they (Deep State, CIA, corporate elites) were left frantically improvising the script and stage directions and doing a piss-poor job of it. The conflict between Trump and the CIA/Deep State arose not from Trump being their enemy, but from both sides having to begin emergency improvisation on the morning of November 10, 2016, and both screwing it up badly. Trump has to stay in character or the whole production is blown, and the CIA couldn't figure out how they got it so wrong and still can't.

Posted by: William Gruff | Feb 28, 2019 2:41:11 PM | 111

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