Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
March 06, 2019

Venezuela - Guaidó Planned To Use Arms - Frustration Over Stalemate Sets In

New reports about the U.S. coup attempt in Venezuela describe the current mood in Washington as 'frustration'. They also shine new light on why of the opposition's plans failed.

When the U.S. set out for the failed 'humanitarian aid' stunt at the border between Colombia and Venezuela an important role was given to its puppet, the self-declared 'president' Juan Guaidó. It was his task to bring the aid across the border.

The New York Times reported at that time:

[One] option, pushed by those looking for a more direct confrontation with Mr. Maduro, would have activists encircle an aid truck in Colombia as it slowly makes its approach to Venezuela. Under this plan, protesters from Venezuela would overrun soldiers stationed on the Venezuelan side and allow the aid to move in, possibly using a forklift to push aside the containers blocking the bridge.

In Curacao, opposition officials were buoyed by the willingness of the country’s foreign minister to stage aid along a sea corridor long used by Venezuelan migrants to flee the country. But in recent days, plans appeared to be falling apart as politicians in Curacao objected to the use of the aid as a political weapon.

Additionally the opposition planned to receive the 'aid' on the Venezuelan side:

Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido plans to head to the Colombian border in a convoy of vehicles on Thursday to receive humanitarian aid for his crisis-stricken nation, despite the objection of increasingly isolated President Nicolas Maduro.
...
He will undertake the 800-kilometer (497-mile) road trip from Caracas in the company of some 80 lawmakers from the opposition-controlled congress, which he leads, opposition legislators said.
...
“Through this call for humanitarian aid, the population will benefit from the arrival of these goods to the Venezuelan border,” said opposition legislator Edgar Zambrano, as he waited in a plaza of eastern Caracas with other lawmakers to board buses.

While Guaidó traveled to Colombia, the convoy from Caracas to the border never materialized. The attempt by a few stone throwing thugs to move two trucks with 'aid' across a bridge failed when the Venezuelan National Guard simply blocked them. Riots ensued and the thugs used Molotov cocktails to set the trucks on fire.

The whole stunt comically failed. But until today it was unclear why the issue was managed so badly.

Now Bloomberg reports that the real plan was quite different:

Late last month, as U.S. officials joined Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido near a bridge in Colombia to send desperately needed aid to the masses and challenge the rule of Nicolas Maduro, some 200 exiled soldiers were checking their weapons and planning to clear the way for the convoy.

Led by retired General Cliver Alcala, who has been living in Colombia, they were going to drive back the Venezuelan national guardsmen blocking the aid on the other side. The plan was stopped by the Colombian government, which learned of it late and feared violent clashes at a highly public event it promised would be peaceful.
...
Alcalá, the retired general, did acknowledge the plan to escort the aid across the border and said he understands why the Colombians wanted to avoid trouble.

It seems that the politicians in Bogotá did not objected "to the use of the aid as a political weapon" as the NYT reported, but got cold feet over the plan, initially kept secret to them,  to cross the border by military force. It would have been an overtly hostile aggression against its neighbor country, something that Colombia is very keen to avoid.

In late January CNN talked with uniformed young men who claimed to be defectors of the Venezuelan army. They begged the U.S. to supply them with arms and communication equipment. (How many did they receive?) But the uniforms they wore had the wrong markings. They showed a patch saying "FAN" which stand for Fuerzas Armada Nacional. Several years ago Venezuela changed the name of its armed forces into Fuerza Armada Nacional Bolivariana and all current uniforms show "FANB". It is possibly though that the interviewed people were part of the 200 "exiled" defectors or mercenaries who were supposed to storm the broder.

Bloomberg further reports that some important people are not happy with Guaidó's performance:

The U.S. officials who have driven the Venezuela policy -- Rubio, National Security Adviser John Bolton and special envoy Elliott Abrams -- continue to put on a brave face, increasing economic and diplomatic pressure and tweeting daily about Maduro’s certain departure.

Behind the scenes, however, there is concern and dismay.
...
[W]hen Guaido was in Colombia, its president, Ivan Duque, expressed frustration to him. Witnesses said Duque complained about the failure of Guaido’s promise to bring tens of thousands of Venezuelans to the border to receive the humanitarian aid.

There have been other concerns. Guaido was planning to make a tour of European capitals this week to build international support, but the Americans told him he needed to return to Venezuela or he’d lose whatever momentum remained.

During his travel to several Latin American capitals Guaido was accompanied by the State Department’s assistant secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs, Kimberly Breier. The Department describes her as "a policy expert and intelligence professional with more than 20 years of experience". She now seems to be Guaidó's personal minder.

The State Department's frustration that its plans failed are also visible in this clip from its press conference where the spokesperson scolded the media for calling Guaido "opposition leader" or "self-proclaimed president" instead of "interim president". AP's Matt Lee then reminds the spokesperson that some 140 countries simply do not recognize him as such.

Interestingly the State Departments own media outlet Voice of America used "self-proclaimed president" in at least two of its recent pieces.


bigger

VOA then silently changed those articles to confirm with the new "interim president" wording. It still uses "opposition leader".

The State Department's frustration will increase over this prank (audio) by two Russian comedians who phoned up Elliot Abrams and induced him to demand the closing of non-existing "Venezuelan accounts" in Switzerland:

The pranksters also held one more conversation with Abrams in March, according to Russia 24, where the Special Representative told them that the US is not planning military intervention in Venezuela, but would like to “make the Venezuelan military nervous,” regarding possible guarantees ruling out military threats from the US to be “a tactical mistake.” However, according to the phone call, Abrams said that the main sources of leverage against the Venezuelan government are still financial, economic and diplomatic pressure.

Guaido's new order is to incited a general strike in Venezuela. The start though does not look encouraging:

Opposition leader Juan Guaidó stepped up efforts Tuesday to remove President Nicolás Maduro, meeting with public-sector unions and calling for rolling strikes in a bid to weaken the authoritarian government.

Guaidó managed to draw about 100 leaders of state-employee unions to the session. But only a few hundred workers came, ...
...
One union leader at the meeting, Besse Mouzo, said the plan involved organizing work stoppages that would eventually lead to a general strike. “We have to begin by convincing people” to join the smaller strikes, she said.

That effort is not likely to go anywhere. Who would pay those workers if they were to do so?

Bloomberg also says that the are no plans for any open military aggression. The plan for now is to starve the people of Venezuela into submission:

European and Latin American diplomats say they are preparing for a long and messy process in which Maduro stays in power despite an economy in tailspin. One Latin American diplomat said Maduro has learned from his patrons, the Cubans, about how to be resilient. Sanctions and international pressure may wind up strengthening his regime, at least in the short term.

Under economic sanctions the people dependent on the government for their needs. That is why sanctions never bring a government down and only hurt those who are already poor.

The situation is at a stalemate. The U.S. will increase sanctions. Venezuela will, like Iran and Syria, find ways around them. Years later nothing essential will have changed.

Guaidó may be an attractive looking man capable of charming officials in Washington. But he so far was not able to get anything done. He has only few followers and President Maduro simply ignores him.

This was not the plan when this 'regime change' operation started. Trump was promised a fast coup during which the military would jump to the site of the random guy the neoconservatives sold to him as "interim president". That did not happen. Plan B was the 'humanitarian aid' gimmick which went likewise nowhere. The idea to incited public sector workers to strike is also not realistic. There is no real military option.

How much patience will Trump have as the current situation festers? What will he do when it runs out?

Posted by b on March 6, 2019 at 02:35 PM | Permalink

Comments

It is clear the budget for this overthrow of Maduro is too small.

The CIA and State Dept. need billions like they invested in Kiev's Maidan.

Without really wide and substantial bribes and payments to agitators and then "strikers", nothing is going to happen.
Their other option is to kill scores of people. A major blood bath that will allow the US military to strike the Venezuelan military and government facilities.

It's in the playbook. Recall Chile and Allende.

Posted by: Red Ryder | Mar 6, 2019 2:47:22 PM | 1

thanks b..

it doesn't look promising for the 50 or so '''dumbocratic countries''' that are pushing for overthrowing the legitimate leader of venezuala - maduro... more egg on the face of these so called leaders of the free world, as we saw in syria as well..

i say, call in the white helmets and find a way to murder a bunch of innocent people... that usually gets the desired results for these sycophants pushing for further suffering and hardship on innocent people... clearly the financial sanctions aren't enough.. the world financial mafia is not all it is cracked up to be... too bad these folks don't have a shred of decency about them..

Posted by: james | Mar 6, 2019 3:00:37 PM | 2

Bolivarian Venezuelan Government has declared Germany Ambassador to Venezuela as persona non grata, and Foreign Minister, Mr. Arreaza, has given a 48 hours timeline to abandon the country in an official communiquee....

Of course, what happened the other day at a Venezuelan airport gets clearly out of any diplomatic commitments in a foreign country, this is the only thing consequent to do...To see what happens with the other ambassadors and charge d´affairs who participated in the "welcoming", clearly well surpassing their diplomatic atributions to participate as political subjects in Venezuelan internal issues...The other day, Spanish Foreign Minister, Mr.Borrell, assured that Spain has a lot of interests to defend in Venezulea, far more than many other countries, and so, what the current Spanish government will do if the Spanish ambassador gets also expelled, I wonder...They should have called their representative in a foreign nation to mantain restraint amongts the diplomatic limits, this is why the PSOE will probably loose the coming national, regional and European elections...since the left wing of the PSOE will be probably changing their vote in punishment on a clear overpassing of any socialist ideology....What remains to be seen is whether the coming fiasco of the PSOE out of this clear gaffe would benefit the left, in the figure of Podemos, or will benefit the already named trifachito, prone to govern in coalition, composed by PP, Ciudadanos y extrem right Vox. If it is the latter the current US administration would have not achieved anything in Venezuela, but yet will achieve one of its goals in the EU, rising the extrem right to power, as the direction of Vox campaign by Bannon, and financing by MEK, those dearest of Bolton, clearly shows....

This is why the Spanish left must mobilize in whole to curtail the far-right, bith at Spanish electionas and also European...since got clear that the far-right never changes, and always remain the same, whatever the democratic disguise they could wear today...

Posted by: Sasha | Mar 6, 2019 3:21:36 PM | 3

It must be particularly frustrating for Elliot Abrams. It's hard to get a massacre going. Even the Colombians chickened out. Does Donald have something against desath squads?

Posted by: dh | Mar 6, 2019 3:43:54 PM | 4

The fact is that today's average Latin American person in not in the same state of desperation as those who we "utilized" in the 80s, so we're having trouble ISISifying them. Even the puppet Colombians are squeamish. That should be no surprise though, having been cosseted in US arms and largesse for decades now. The Saudi Israelis of S America.

Posted by: sejomoje | Mar 6, 2019 4:17:38 PM | 5

Of course, Obama began the current phase of the Anti-Venezuelan Crusade by declaring Venezuela an "unusual and extraordinary threat" to US national security. But what logical explanation was offered to substantiate the directive? None that I've ever read; perhaps it's classified. Or maybe Venezuela's a threat because it reveals the utter inability of the Outlaw US Empire to overpower the Bolivarian government and defeat its People-Powered Revolution from Below. Venezuelans have the amazing power to remove the clothing from Lady Liberty and reveal her to be an obese, toothless, hag, her open sores oozing a gangrenous-greenish substance attended to by squadrons of loudly buzzing blue-bottle flies, begging the world to use her greenbacks to further support her Zombie-like predations. Did Venezuela do anything to cause Lady Liberty's gross degradation; will changing Venezuela's government provide an instant cosmetic makeover? Or would leaving Venezuela and the rest of the world's nations alone to prosper amongst themselves be the best cure for Lady Liberty's woeful condition--cease being the Outlaw US Empire? The latter course of conduct appears to me and millions of others as the most logical path to curing Lady Liberty's affliction. But will the Obamas, Trumps, Boltons, Pelosis, and other valets to Lady Liberty do what's required to effect the cure, or will they just continue to let the old lady fester in her pestilence and further entrench her Zombieness?

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 6, 2019 4:51:03 PM | 6

@5 I noticed that at the bridge when the 'aid' convoy got stuck. A very half hearted performance by the shirtless young men in designer underwear I thought. Not much anger or serious
revolutionary commitment.

Posted by: dh | Mar 6, 2019 4:52:18 PM | 7

It's long overdue that the civilized, law-abiding nations of the world got together and made a plan to "bell the cat".

In stark contrast to the eternal droning on about laws and treaties and rules, the US government has made it unmistakeably clear that it doesn't believe in anything except brute force.

Surely it must be possible for China, Russia, Iran, India and other sane, balanced countries to give a lead to the (literally) dozens of nations that have been brutally attacked by the USA.

It's time the Washington creatures found out what it's like to be pariahs, and to be on the receiving end of sanctions.

Posted by: Tom Welsh | Mar 6, 2019 4:54:44 PM | 8

Venezuela Update: Guaidó Returns, US Continues Threats

From TRNN;

https://therealnews.com/stories/venezuela-update-guaido-returns-us-continues-threats

Posted by: ben | Mar 6, 2019 4:58:49 PM | 9

So cruel to trick an old man like this /s also in b's link,

When asked by Abrams about the status of accounts belonging to Venezuela's PDVSA state oil giant and other government accounts, the pranksters joked, posing as Maurer, that Swiss authorities knew about a number of Venezuelan accounts in Swiss banks, including one with a Russian connection known as "Limpopo Bank."
The US envoy didn't pick up on it, but 'Limpopo' was a reference to Vovan and Lexus's earlier trolling of US Congresswoman Maxine Waters, who was pranked into accusing Russia of meddling in the elections of the fictional African country of 'Limpopo.'
https://sputniknews.com/latam/201903061073002069-abrams-full-interview-audio/

Posted by: Harry Law | Mar 6, 2019 5:01:00 PM | 10

Politically the alliance between the Lima Group political marginalia and the yanqui thugs is becoming costly. The last thing these people, including Trudeau, need to do is to add to the reasons voters have to to turn against them.
As Sasha @3 notes Spain's PSOE, which has an olympic medal for shooting itself in the foot, did itself no good at all by joining in the campaign against Maduro. b's story shows that even Colombia's death squad government, joined at the hip to Israel and the US, draws the line at being seen to engage in the crude tactics that Bolton and his "brains" trust come up with.
Nothing is easier for a country like the United States than to start wars; finishing them is a different matter; winning them is proving impossible.
Much has changed in the world since that incomparable military machine of the Pentagon's defeated Grenada and Panama in successive blitzkrieg style campaigns that had military experts reaching for superlatives and historians looking in vain for precedents.

Posted by: bevin | Mar 6, 2019 5:01:31 PM | 11

Is panic setting in?

https://www.rt.com/usa/453192-state-department-venezuela-propaganda/

Posted by: bevin | Mar 6, 2019 5:07:10 PM | 12

Bevin you forgot about the medals ..According to the Washington Post only 7,000 Troops took part in the Granada invasion, the Army has to date issued no fewer than 8,663 medals. Many were given to soldiers who never set foot on Grenada, but stayed behind in the Pentagon or in bases in the United States from which the invasion was staged.

Posted by: Harry Law | Mar 6, 2019 5:11:51 PM | 13

Correct me if I am wrong but I hear that the Venezuelan looting prize is not just the heavy oil of the fields located in the Chavez basin in Venezuela. The real gem is the control over, one of the best-kept secrets in the oil industry, the huge oil reserves of a disputed area straddling Venezuela, Guyana and Brazil. The region is named Guayana Esequiba. The oil in these fields is of a higher quality and comparable to Saudi Light Crude. The area is disputed by Venezuela and Guyana and is at the UN for resolution. The oil companies have in their pockets Brazil (that is why Brazil's president is for Democracy in Venezuela) and Guyana's ready to go. The only part that is missing is Venezuela. Now the picture is in sharper focus. The prize is so big, it numbs the conscious of the oil companies in case they have to genocide a few million dark skinned Venezuelans in a civil war, just as long as the Dollars flow. So pull all the stops and bring the war criminal neocon Zionist Elliot Abrams.

Posted by: corkie | Mar 6, 2019 5:16:06 PM | 14

Correct me if I am wrong but I hear that the Venezuelan looting prize is not just the heavy oil of the fields located in the Chavez basin in Venezuela. The real gem is the control over, one of the best-kept secrets in the oil industry, the huge oil reserves of a disputed area straddling Venezuela, Guyana and Brazil. The region is named Guayana Esequiba. The oil in these fields is of a higher quality and comparable to Saudi Light Crude. The area is disputed by Venezuela and Guyana and is at the UN for resolution. The oil companies have in their pockets Brazil (that is why Brazil's president is for Democracy in Venezuela) and Guyana's ready to go. The only part that is missing is Venezuela. Now the picture is in sharper focus. The prize is so big, it numbs the conscious of the oil companies in case they have to genocide a few million dark skinned Venezuelans in a civil war, just as long as the Dollars flow. So pull all the stops and bring the war criminal neocon Zionist Elliot Abrams.

Posted by: corkie | Mar 6, 2019 5:16:06 PM | 15

@10: Those pranksters seem to have a good ear for corroborative-sounding detail -- better than Abrams, at least. Me, I hear "Limpopo" and I'm immediately thinking Kipling's "Just So Stories". (So who'll be the Elephant's Child next time?)

Posted by: John Anthony La Pietra | Mar 6, 2019 5:21:08 PM | 16

American comedian/political commenter, Jimmy Dore, recently had Greg Palast on his program (see below) who has spent a lot of time in Venezuela and made some interesting points.

Firstly, as b pointed out earlier, the coup is combination of imperialism and racism. Inasmuch as 1/3 of the country is white, or "Spaniard" as they call themselves, and make up the opposition and elites, and 2/3 of the country is mestizo and black, a civil war would end up very ugly, and very badly for the Spaniard population.

He told the story of the 2002 coup in which the Americans had kidnapped Chavez and even had an inaugural ball for the puppet, when one million Venezuelans showed up and told the plotters to return Chavez or die. The coup plotters had to escape out a secret passage. He also talked about the more recent rally of one half million people to support President Maduro. Of course this was never covered by the American press.

IMO, based upon these facts, the likelihood of a successful coup are very poor, as the population has been well educated, and are quite patriotic. All of that said, he also pointed out that starving a population for a government overthrow is a crime against humanity.

The program is pretty funny and worth a watch.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HeNCbXVHrR8

Posted by: Michael | Mar 6, 2019 5:46:26 PM | 17

The yankees simply succeed in stifling all oil production other than their own and that of the Saudis and associates in the ME. Australia pumps a few barrels that they stole from East Timor. It is the new cartel. Its not that oil is what they want in Venezuela but rather no oil to flow.

Sure Russia pumps some and others in that alliance but CONTROL is what the yankees want and profit from refining their own and the Canadian heavy crude.

Libya, Venezuela production can wait - consider it a reserve and if they cant get it now then some time later. All else is showtime while they obsruct.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 6, 2019 5:47:27 PM | 18

uncle tungsten @ 18

You got that right. It's all about energy dominance.

Excellent article from Tom Luongo on that here https://tomluongo.me/2019/02/08/energy-dominance-isnt-just-a-trump-obsession/

Posted by: lgfocus | Mar 6, 2019 5:57:17 PM | 19

OT - The local gym I go to has a little 'take a book, leave a book' shelf. Today I spotted Browder's 'Red Notice' paperback lying on top.

Bad news for Jack Reacher fans - Author Lee Child gave the book a glowing blurb on the cover.

Posted by: Bart Hansen | Mar 6, 2019 6:21:21 PM | 20

18&19--

If it's about energy dominance, then the Outlaw US Empire's mired in a 20th century paradigm when extensive fossil fuel resources were the fundamental requirement for industrial development and for personal transportation and commerce. Unfortunately, it's a paradigm that only works when applied to just a few nations--USA, Canada, Australia, Russia, China--which are continental in scope. For the planet's remaining @187 nations, that paradigm simply doesn't apply. For those nations, the sun (solar, wind, hydro, nuclear) is becoming the primary source of energy, particularly those nations already into the post-industrial phase of development. True, some reliance on fossil fuels will always exist, primarily as support for other means of energy production as the world moves ahead to confront the changes wrought to its climate by excessive fossil fuel use. IMO, what the attempt to achieve energy dominance primarily reflects is which business/Deep State factions are currently controlling policy making.

In Venezuela's case, diversifying its economy and energy production ought to eventually allow it to use its hydrocarbon resources as feedstocks for far more valuable products and allow it to avoid the fate of Nigeria whose hydrocarbons have turned it into an environmental hazard while fueling an actual insurgency/Civil War.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 6, 2019 6:32:16 PM | 21

Regional context is always interesting. Of Colombia, we learn: “This slide in rule of law in general and checks on government powers in particular is deeply concerning,” commented Elizabeth Andersen, executive director of the World Justice Project.

Posted by: Maracatu | Mar 6, 2019 6:32:42 PM | 22

@17 I suspect that the Guaido's supporters realize it is one thing to go to a rally, and another thing to engage in violence in a mass Civil War--it ain't worth it. It seems that since the border incident, the reports are that very few people are openly coming out into the streets for Guaido. I wonder if Guaido knows he is a likely target in a false flag operation?

Posted by: Erelis | Mar 6, 2019 6:38:11 PM | 23

Karloft1 @21

Maduro was in Moscow last December where the Russian Finance Ministry provided Venezuela a draft proposal for changes to their economy, if they wanted to pursue it. Russia, having been in the situation of relying so heavily on gas/oil and having diversified its economy to both avoid being at the mercy of oil prices and US Outlaw Empire sanctions, should be able to provide Venezuela with a blueprint for improving their economic situation. This is a form of aid that is overlooked. As is, I imagine, consultation on handling The Empire by not playing into their hands by allowing violence to erupt. Very Putin like.

Posted by: lgfocus | Mar 6, 2019 6:53:19 PM | 24

#16: The prankers chose “Limpopo” because of a classic Russian children’s book Doktor Aibolit (Doctor Ouch) by a famous Russian children’s poet Korney Chukovsky. Everyone in the former Soviet Union had it read to them in their childhood. Here’s the relevant part, transliterated:

I vstal Aibolit, pobezhal Aibolit.
Po polyam, po lugam, po lesam on bezhit.
I odno tol’ko slovo tverdit Aibolit:
«Limpopo, Limpopo, Limpopo!»

And my coarse translation:

And so he got up, and started running.
Through the fields, through the meadows, throughs the woods he’s running.
And there’s just one word he keeps repeating:
“Limpopo, Limpopo, Limpopo!”

At this very dramatic point of the plot, the doctor is focused on getting to the Limpopo River in Africa as quickly as possible to help sick hippos whose tummies are hurting.

Because of Chukovsky’s books, in Russian culture Limpopo has come to mean “a far-away fairytale land in Africa”. This endearing children’s book connotation becomes especially comical for Russians when juxtaposed with the real-world ruthless personality of Abrams.

Posted by: S | Mar 6, 2019 7:02:54 PM | 25

Engdahls recent article brought some interesting points to light. Within Venezuela its commonly known that China National Petroleum Corporation, and the Chinese government have been playing a major role . Venezuela’s government owes China $61 billion. China has been taking debt repayment in form of oil.

Since 2010 the Russian state oil company, Rosneft has been involved in joint projects with the Venezuela state PDVSA. Some years ago Rosneft extended some $6 billion in loans to Venezuela to be also repaid in oil. A recent statement from Rosneft says that $2.3 billion is due by end of this year. A49% share of Citgo and its US refineries has been pledged as collateral.

The real prize per Engdahl is the huge oil reserves of a disputed area straddling Venezuela, Guyana and Brazil. The region is called Guayana Esequiba. Some geologists believe the Esequiba region and its offshore could contain the world’s largest reserves of oil, oil of far better quality that the heavy Orinoco crude of Venezuela.


Until recently neither party has moved to develop exploration of the oil deposits in the territory due to the dispute which is pending in the International Court of Justice which is no friend of the US. In 2015 however Guyana awarded an oil exploration contract to ExxonMobil on favorable terms for Guyana, less so to Exxon

Complicating the situation is the fact that a partner of Exxon offshore Guyana in the disputed waters is the state oil company of Venezuelas largest creditor-China, which reportedly has a 25% stake

If Maduro is replaced by US puppet Guaido he will reprivatize the state PDVSA and Exxon will be in the front of the line . So long as Venezuela was controlled by Maduro, it suited Exxon and the US to recognize Guyana’s rights to the offshore Esequiba fields. Were Guaido to take over that might change and Venezuela would force Guyana out and Exxon could get a better deal. China would then lose out on both Venezuelas and Guyanas oil.

It strikes me that the timing of the actions in Venezuela , much like with Huawei, are partly due to gaining leverage in the trade deal being negotiated with Chiina

Posted by: Pft | Mar 6, 2019 7:04:04 PM | 26

OT--FYI--OT

Michael Hudson on Jimmy Dore Show is spectacular and lays the prognosis right out in the open--The USA is a failed nation "run by criminals". It's quite an amazing 40 minutes that, yes, somewhat plugs Hudson's new book, but far more importantly lays out the who and why the USA's in the atrocious political and economic state it's in. Dore excoriates the D party, Bernie in particular--that he's part of the problem and not the solution. IMO, most importantly, Dore and Hudson take the D party focus on Identity Politics to task by condemning it for deliberately omitting a person's most important identifying factor--that s/he's a wage earner--the concept of Class is something the Ds don't want mentioned whatsoever. So watch it, then share it far and wide, even if you're not living within the Outlaw US Empire.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 6, 2019 7:32:42 PM | 27

What we saw from the Abby Martin videos was that the Guy Pretender(even though he is white) did his best 'work' in the dark, so broad daylight on a bridge dedicated to peace between two nations was operating on a bridge too far for the Colombian government. Somehow the orchestrated concert didn't mix with the molotov cocktails, and we didn't need a spotlight to see what was going on.

Many thanks to the Colombian government for deciding that there was going to be too high a price paid, and in sunlight no less, if military show of force had drowned out the bongo drums (or whatever instruments were being played at the time.)

If you want to stage a revolution, maybe it's not a good idea to stage a concert first, and invite all the people to come, after all.

Posted by: juliania | Mar 6, 2019 8:36:26 PM | 28

Florida Maquis has a good youtube presentation on
how the US corporate/financial cabal has crippled Venezuela via:

(1) flooding the market with Saudi oil to depress oil prices and damage the economies of Russia, Iran, Brazil and especially Venezuela;

(2) Ramping up the fracking tight oil Ponzi scheme in the US to 8.3 million barrels per day (mbd), compared to about 3.7 mbd for conventional oil. All this despite the fact that most tight oil plays lose money.
https://www.eia.gov/petroleum/drilling/#tabs-summary-2 ;

(3)Punishing Venezuela via economic sanctions signed by Obama (EO13692) and Trump (EO13801).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1oXn29Zm6mI

Posted by: Krollchem | Mar 6, 2019 9:52:09 PM | 29

@14-15 corkie & @26 Pft

I had meant to post that article, and I was surprised not to see it linked and discussed here earlier, but here's Engdhal's article on what seems to be a globally important, massive field of light oil in the disputed territory between Venezuela and Guyana:

What’s Not Being Said About the Venezuela Oil War - F. William Engdhal, February 17

Unlike the heavy and expensive oil of Orinoco/Chavez, the oil found offshore Guyana is high quality, light. Oil analysts cite an astonishing 82% success rate for Exxon drilling in frontier areas compared with industry averages of 35%. Wood Mackenzies analysts say the offshore region “will easily become the fourth largest oil producing nation in Latin America by the next decade [...] The Exxon Guyana discoveries confirmed the belief that the Esequiba region holds enormous oil resources.

[...]

Complicating the situation for the Maduro regime is the fact that a partner of Exxon offshore Guyana in the disputed waters is the state oil company of Maduro’s largest creditor, China’s CNOOC.

[...]

So long as Venezuela was controlled by Maduro, it suited Exxon and their backers in Washington to recognize Guyana’s legitimacy to the offshore Esequiba fields. Were Guaido to come in, that could easily change and a fragile Guyana could be arm-twisted to resolve the Esequiba issue to the benefit of Venezuela.

[...]

Further adding to the explosive geopolitical cocktail of the region is the fact that China has formally incorporated Guyana into its Belt, Road Initiative and is building a highway link from Manaus in Northern Brazil through Guyana giving Brazil far more efficient access to the Panama Canal, cutting thousands of miles off the shipping route.

Some complex geopolitics here, with much at stake. And lots of oil to pay for lots of outcomes.

Posted by: Grieved | Mar 6, 2019 10:03:18 PM | 30

Jose Enrique Arrioja has some 'splainin' to do. One would think that such reporting for Bloomberg would be frowned upon and in places other than bizarroworld, he would be delivering papers rather than writing for them.

I was kind of expecting to find a link with him and the Integrity Initiative but there either is none or it has been sanitized from the search engines I use.

These pranks do highlight just how incurious and lizardlike people like Abrams and Maxine Waters are, they both charged forward making charges without having any proof at all. Attack dogs immediately springing into action at the slightest provocation.

Posted by: dan of steele | Mar 6, 2019 10:35:35 PM | 31

Bloomberg:

Heavily Armed Soldiers Aborted a Plan to Enter Venezuela by Force

Guaido was planning to make a tour of European capitals this week to build international support, but the Americans told him he needed to return to Venezuela or he’d lose whatever momentum remained.

[...]

European and Latin American diplomats say they are preparing for a long and messy process in which Maduro stays in power despite an economy in tailspin. One Latin American diplomat said Maduro has learned from his patrons, the Cubans, about how to be resilient. Sanctions and international pressure may wind up strengthening his regime, at least in the short term.

[...]

The Latin American diplomat, who has been in contact with Washington, said the U.S. strategy seems to be to continue to provoke instability in Venezuela in hopes that Maduro will make a move that could warrant more aggressive U.S. action. Bolton and Abrams have said that arresting Guaido would prompt a severe response.

That has raised concerns in Europe, where trust of Trump is low. In talks at the Security Council, allies supported the defeated U.S. resolution on Venezuela only after it removed language that could’ve been seen to justify a military intervention, diplomats said.

Posted by: John Doe | Mar 6, 2019 11:58:37 PM | 32

Grieved@30

I had posted the link a week ago but for whatever reason my post got disappeared, so finally got around to conveying the content without a link.

Posted by: Pft | Mar 7, 2019 12:01:59 AM | 33

26K us troops to take 4 Million in Panama invasion.1500 killed first week.

200K+ to take 30+million in Venezuela. 10K killed first week.

Colombia + Brazil + US doesn't have the troops to do it.

Posted by: John Law | Mar 7, 2019 12:11:03 AM | 34

I'm not trying to hijack the thread, but the lawless intervention in Venezuela is the very first thing I thought of when I saw this story:

Netanyahu: Israeli Navy Could Target Iranian Oil Tankers in International Waters

Israel’s Navy is generally made of small ships, nothing larger than a corvette or a small submarine, and it’s not clear how they would physically stop Iranian oil tankers, apart from deliberate sneak attacks that would cause huge oil spills and fuel international outcry.

One of those little corvettes could play the same role as snipers did in the Ukraine coup - kill a bunch of random peole to stir things up.

Probably this is some diahhrea of the mouth by the apartheid Jewish state, but I'm pretty sure they'd love to see a war started. It would be a case of "why don't you and him fight it out". Wag the dog stuff.

IMO something this silly could appear only in the aftermath of the Trump/Pence/Bolton/Pompeo/Abrams foolishness in Venezuela.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Mar 7, 2019 12:32:51 AM | 35

Bolton is probably thinking, "The humanitarian aid will save so many lives that we must use 200 soldiers to kill all the people who don't want the aid."

My reaction to this: throw up.

Posted by: Cyril | Mar 7, 2019 1:32:16 AM | 36

Circus performance continues ...

Ian Puddick:

#VenezuelaCoup

@Twitter removes the blue authentication ‘tick’ from Elected President @maduro_en #Venezuela

The #CIA approved & self proclaimed President @jguaido now has the blue tick

That’s how propaganda works

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/D1ALTafX4AE__Bs.jpg
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/D1ALTagWsAIzAAO.jpg

Posted by: John Doe | Mar 7, 2019 1:34:09 AM | 37

Posted by: John Law | Mar 7, 2019 12:11:03 AM | 34

Max Blumenthal:

According to Russia 24, Abrams told the Russian pranksters in a subsequent call that there were no real plans for military intervention, but he wanted to keep the threats active to “make the Venezuelan military nervous.” Outstanding operational security on display here.

https://twitter.com/MaxBlumenthal/status/1103501552029966337
https://twitter.com/MaxBlumenthal/status/1103503384064262145

Posted by: John Doe | Mar 7, 2019 1:46:07 AM | 38

Max Blumenthal:

Washington getting nervous as its coup plot in Venezuela flounders: "The longer Maduro is able to remain in power amid the sanctions, the more likely it is that Caracas will be able to find alternative buyers of its heavy crude oil."

Russian oil imports surge in US as Venezuela’s slow to a trickle

Only two ships carrying 766,000 barrels of crude oil from Venezuela arrived in the United States last week in the wake of debilitating oil sanctions lodged against the state-run oil company, PDVSA, according to investment bank Caracas Capital Markets, which tracks Venezuelan oil shipments.

Posted by: John Doe | Mar 7, 2019 1:52:00 AM | 39

Russia in USA

#US "backyard" theory and practice is, by and large, offensive. No one should be threatening anyone to begin with, because the Americans are actually threatening the entire Venezuelan nation as they demand that the army break the oath, incite it to stage an insurrection - #Lavrov

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/D0-7oFaXQAI_8x0.jpg

Russia in USA

US shows complete disregard towards international law & people of Venezuela: Special Envoy Abrams threatens sanctions vs nations who support legitimate Venezuelan government, @AmbJohnBolton "puts" foreign financial institutions on notice of sanctions #HandsOffVenezuela

Posted by: John Doe | Mar 7, 2019 2:42:03 AM | 41


20 April 2005
Richard Neville....
10 REASONS WHY THE USA IS NOW THE MOST DANGEROUS NATION
ON EARTH ,...

1] Nuclear Revivalism

2] Nuclear Treaty Violations

3] Nuclear Brinkmanship.

4] The militarisation of outer space

5] Disregarding international laws, treaties and conventions, including those it has ratified.

6] Institutionalised cruelty. The brutality of today’s US military is compounded by its culture of implausible denial.

7] A serial war criminal.

8] The infliction of childhood deformities. The US Military continues to use depleted uranium (DU), both to armour its tanks and strengthen its shells, despite its well documented medical consequences.

9] The disinformation industry with a global reach.
CIA'S giant wurlitzer.

10] Eating the planet. America continues to act in its own self interest, regardless of the interest of the world as a whole

The author missed out on some of the most heinest crimes of fukus,

11] biowarfare, haarp,

12] international terrorism , FF, black ops.


.AND THREE REASONS FOR HOPE.

1] The flair and persistence of domestic dissent.

2] The revival of Protest music

3] The growing legion of truth seekers

------------------------------------

FF 2019

Bravo !
fukus has been hogging the top stop as most dangerous country since 2003.

Back then, fukus still tolerated a vibrant dissent culture.
No longer, tptb is clamping down hard on alt media, which is being knocked down like ten pins.
Worse still, even the remaining few still viable alt sites are crawling with empire sock puppets, disinfo agents, diversion agents, who serve to give fukus political cover , divert attention from fukus towards China., Russia etc etc.

The three reason for hope, fukus only saving grace, are gone.

It can now be written off in total, without regrests.

gawd save damn fukus.

Posted by: denk | Mar 7, 2019 2:59:17 AM | 42

My thanks to S @25 for the lesson in Russian literature and culture!

Posted by: John Anthony La Pietra | Mar 7, 2019 4:25:11 AM | 43

On the subject of trade unions and strikes, this is a good interview with an obviously bright and articulate Venez trade union leader (with the ominous first name of Stalin, lol):

https://venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/14363

Posted by: Guy Thornton | Mar 7, 2019 4:43:23 AM | 44

From La Politica in Argentine (Machine translated):

Exclusive: Pence crossed blames with Guaidó at the summit of Bogotá

The vice of the United States reproached the Venezuelan that the expected military desertion did not take place. They fear that opposition to the Maduro regime will lose its momentum

Guaidó had promised the US government that if most of the world's leaders recognized him as the highest authority in Venezuela, at least half of the officers would defect. It did not happen.
...
In that tense talk in Bogota, there were also questions from US officials about another of the assumptions that Guaidó transmitted at the beginning of the offensive against the regime: Maduro's social base is disintegrated. The crisis revealed that indeed the support of his Government waned, but it is not non-existent.
...
In that sense there were reproaches shared by the uncommitted attitude of the Venezuelan millionaires living abroad. A more determined contribution of money was expected to finance the passage of police, military and politicians to the area of ​​Guaidó. So far it has not happened.
...
This was seen in the Lima Group meeting in Bogotá, which ended without any important definition on what course of action to take, after the failure of the operation to send humanitarian aid. Guaidó had bet that Pence announced the use of force to remove Maduro from power, but the vice president cooled those expectations.

On the end of the dialogue that Pence and Guaidó held in Bogotá, a very sensitive issue was addressed: How to guarantee the personal safety of the "in charge" president, who they believe is very committed if he returns to Caracas.

One of the ideas that was evaluated is to see how feasible it was to get the president "in charge" to ensure control of a part of the Venezuelan territory, where the local military guarantees security and recognizes him as the highest authority.

It is clearly a very sensitive issue, because the United States has suffered the serious consequences of implementing such territorial fragmentation strategies in Syria and Libya.


Posted by: b | Mar 7, 2019 5:12:41 AM | 45

@Harry Law #10
@John Anthony La Pietra #16
@S #25

Limpopo is a real place. Northernmost province of S. Africa.
FWIW, I can personally vouch for its physical existence.

Posted by: Erebus | Mar 7, 2019 5:21:56 AM | 46

A little off topic, but ALL economic reports and forecasts in Oz are predicting a global economic downturn, signs of which are now emerging in most sectors used as benchmarks for economic health. Imo, putting the morality of US sanctions aside, greed alone will soon oblige the corporate sector, worldwide, to tell the US that its blunt instrument of sanctions is doing more measurable harm than good.

Many countries have failed to recover properly from the AmeriKKKan-induced 2008 sub-prime scam (for which no-one was prosecuted and no-one was compensated (except the perps)) so continued US meddling in the delicate global balance could start an avalanche of collapsing National economies. Without warning.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Mar 7, 2019 5:49:12 AM | 47

US administration talking points no longer exclude the Mujaheddin-e Khalq (MEK) as a potential replacement for the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Al-Monitor has learned.
-----------------------

The US gendarme is constantly searching for its new clowns, such as Guaidó, in other parts of the world. Even if these clowns are terrorists. But when did the American authorities bother with the purity of their hands and the hands of their vassals?

Posted by: John Smith | Mar 7, 2019 5:51:29 AM | 48

The non-western world has seen through the West. The days of the Zionist West are numbered. Hubris and an aggressive push of the Apartheid State of Israel are bringing the Western houses down on their own heads. Bravo!

Posted by: Steve | Mar 7, 2019 6:02:33 AM | 49

please add this to Grieved @30

http://www.hess.com/operations/exploration

maps of off shore exploration. claims are 200 mi offshore.
those are called international waters n'est pas?

sovereignty and legitimacy issues here:
https://www.lrb.co.uk/2019/02/08/greg-grandin/whats-at-stake-in-venezuela

"why don't you show it your gun?" to quote a Humphrey Bogart line.

Posted by: Bogdan | Mar 7, 2019 6:02:47 AM | 50

The vice of the United States reproached the Venezuelan that the expected military desertion did not take place. They fear that opposition to the Maduro regime will lose its momentum
Guaidó had promised the US government that if most of the world's leaders recognized him as the highest authority in Venezuela, at least half of the officers would defect. It did not happen.
Posted by: b | Mar 7, 2019 5:12:41 AM | 45

One wonders why the Vice-President of the USA should be basing US foreign policy on the boastful prattle of a nobody? It reminds one of the boastful prattle of a certain Iraqi Kurd (though not quite such a total nobody in that case).

Are the top US politicians all amateurs?

Posted by: BM | Mar 7, 2019 7:34:27 AM | 51

Erebus@46 You are correct, apparently the two Russian pranksters used the real Limpopo [a South African Province] to fool Maxine Waters and Elliot Abrams and used the fictional Binomo to fool Nikki Haley, these three politicians and the real and fictitious place names can be interchangeable since even the MSM are confused as to which applies to which.

Posted by: Harry Law | Mar 7, 2019 7:36:24 AM | 52

Daily Sabah:

Turkey will never turn back from a deal to purchase S-400 missile defense systems from Russia, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Wednesday, adding that Ankara may subsequently look into buying S-500 systems.

"We concluded the S-400 issue, signed a deal with the Russians, and will start co-production. Later, we may work with S-500s," the next generation system, Erdoğan said.

In an interview with broadcaster Kanal 24, Erdoğan said that the United States should not try to discipline Turkey through trade measures, adding that Turkey had its own measures prepared.

"It's done. There can never be a turning back. This would not be ethical, it would be immoral. Nobody should ask us to lick up what we spat," Erdoğan said.

Posted by: John Doe | Mar 7, 2019 7:55:47 AM | 53

@Erebus #46:

Limpopo province is real, and the Limpopo River is real. However, most Russians don’t know about these. (Just like they don’t know about Azerbaijan province in Iran, or Altay prefecture in Xinjiang province in China, the latter recently causing hilarious confusion when patriotic Russians got up in arms over a Chinese travel prospectus extolling the virtues of “the beautiful Chinese Altay”.) They do know, however, about Limpopo from Chukovsky’s poems. It’s in the national psyche. That’s why these prankers used it.

The Wizard of Oz, Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, Astrid Lindgren’s Karlsson-on-the-Roof are all well-known in Russia, but, for example, Dr. Seuss’s books are not (while everyone in the U.S. knows about them). One could imagine American prankers calling the head of Russian Duma Vyacheslav Volodin and telling him that “Dr. Seuss, a famous professor of political science, has important information on people who concocted Russiagate, influential New York publisher Kat Hatt among them”. I’m sure he would buy it, which would be funny for Americans. “How can he not know it?”

For a Russian, because of Chukovsky’s poems, “Limpopo Bank” is a dead giveaway: you’re being pranked. But Abrams probably heard it as French “L’import Peau Banque” or something like that. Or maybe he knew about Limpopo province and thought it was a Swiss branch of some South African bank assisting Russia according to some secret BRICS agreement.

Posted by: S | Mar 7, 2019 8:05:01 AM | 54

@b, 45

It seems to me that Random Guy is being set up to take the blame (and possibly to meet random false flag death) It is inconceivable that the US government would count on Guido (sic) to ever be anything more than pretty face mouthing the words they whispered in his ear. Getting the military to defect would require huge CIA and State Department involvement and they must have known that. They must have known Guido (sic) was unknown 6 weeks ago and would have no sway over anyone in the military. They wouldn't need put a CIA babysitter with him 24/7 otherwise.

But now that plan A has gone belly up it is much more convenient to pin it random loser. He will not enjoy his role in plan B.

Posted by: Lysander | Mar 7, 2019 8:37:12 AM | 55


@b | Mar 7, 2019 5:12:41 AM | 45

It is clearly a very sensitive issue, because the United States has suffered the serious consequences of implementing such territorial fragmentation strategies in Syria and Libya.

I somehow doubt the United States has suffered the consequences as much as the people of those countries.

Posted by: Ross | Mar 7, 2019 9:03:15 AM | 56

Listen to the whole conversation on that video
No wonder hackers are having with US based networks ( voice, data)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j1LLsffYH3E

Posted by: Yul | Mar 7, 2019 9:05:24 AM | 57

With any luck, Trump will be pissed off and fire Abrams and find a way to get rid of Bolton. If he can be displeased with the neo-cons, that might be one of the few good news for the rest of his mandate.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Mar 7, 2019 9:46:37 AM | 58

Lysander @55

Yeah, this:

Guaidó had promised the US government that if most of the world's leaders recognized him as the highest authority in Venezuela, at least half of the officers would defect.

seems like disinformation to me. Is it really believable that USA moved heaven and earth based on assertions from Random Guy?

Is Guaidó a fall guy or a future "martyr"? Several of us already noted on the prior thread that the latter seems a likely spark for a civil war.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 7, 2019 10:27:24 AM | 59

#57: The prankers are hinting in the comments at having talked to Guaidó as well. Keep an eye on their channel.

Posted by: S | Mar 7, 2019 10:30:54 AM | 60

s@34 Its peculiar that "Dr Seuss", a Communist, was not known in Russia.

Posted by: bevin | Mar 7, 2019 10:36:51 AM | 61

Limpopo is a name of a province, but the province is named after a major river that flows on the boundary of South Africa and Zimbabwe. When the Russian book was written, the province was just a part of Transvaal with no particular name.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 7, 2019 10:59:41 AM | 62

German Minister REVEALS Why Guaido Wasn't Arrested Upon His Return to Venezuela
https://sputniknews.com/latam/201903071073040775-german-minister-on-guaido-nonarrest/

Posted by: Zanon | Mar 7, 2019 11:18:19 AM | 63

German Minister REVEALS Why Guaido Wasn't Arrested Upon His Return to Venezuela
https://sputniknews.com/latam/201903071073040775-german-minister-on-guaido-nonarrest/
Posted by: Zanon | Mar 7, 2019 11:18:19 AM | 63

Why should we believe this lying amoral German former Ambassador, who has proved himself to be a compliant poodle to the US empire? His claims to have "information" as to plans that Weedo be arrested on arrival are most probably fabricated. Who was his alleged source for this information? How plausible is it that he would have access to this information?

Of course it may be true that the Venezuelan Authorities were planning to arrest Weedo, but it may also be false. Since the former Ambassador's objective was to undermine the reputation of the sovereign Venezuelan government to which he was an accredited diplomat, by alleging that Venezuela's sovereign and legitimate legal processes were thwarted by that former Ambassador's undiplomatic and amoral activities, it is far more believable that President Maduro is continuing his earlier stance of restraint, thereby hastening Weedo's demise.

In any case if the former Ambassador's allegations were true it would have been easy to stop Weedo's vehicle after leaving the airport, out of sight of the diplomats, if that was really what they wanted to do.

Good riddance to this bugger, I hope the German government has enough sense to sack him for misconduct, incompetence, indiscretion, and bringing the German government into disrepute.

Posted by: BM | Mar 7, 2019 12:07:12 PM | 64

Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido plans to head to the Colombian border in a convoy of vehicles on Thursday to receive humanitarian aid for his crisis-stricken nation, despite the objection of increasingly isolated President Nicolas Maduro.
...
He will undertake the 800-kilometer (497-mile) road trip from Caracas in the company of some 80 lawmakers from the opposition-controlled congress, which he leads, opposition legislators said.
...
“Through this call for humanitarian aid, the population will benefit from the arrival of these goods to the Venezuelan border,” said opposition legislator Edgar Zambrano, as he waited in a plaza of eastern Caracas with other lawmakers to board buses.

While Guaidó traveled to Colombia, the convoy from Caracas to the border never materialized.
Posted by b at 02:35 PM | Comments (50)

So 80 members of the (closed) National Assembly were waiting for buses, and the buses never showed up? Or they were waiting outside the buses but the doors remained closed? Or they claimed dishonestly that they would get on the buses but had no such intention? How did Weedo get to the border without the convoy?

What happened really to this alleged convoy? Did it really exist? Was it cancelled at the last minute? Or was it just a ruse?

Posted by: BM | Mar 7, 2019 12:18:36 PM | 65

It seems to me that Maduro has already lost control of his country.
He can't even remove unwanted foreigners (U.S. Embassy) or charge Gauido for fear of repercusions.
It seems that even would be proponents (Russia and China as example) have given-up on Maduro as basket case.
They can hold on and maximize the unpleasantness but the outcome is already set.
I would expect that there have been and are preparations made that are not in the papers.
Looks like the admin was hoping for bloodless coup.
This will not be the first south american country of which us industry has taking possesion of resources.
I find it odd that the reality is being ignored.

Posted by: jared | Mar 7, 2019 12:45:22 PM | 66

jared

Good post, it is now a circus where Guiado and US decide what the next step will be for the state of Venezuela. Not the elected Maduro.
Yes forget about China, Russia. They havent done anything to stop this, its the same stance they had on Khadaffi and we all know how that ended.

Posted by: Zanon | Mar 7, 2019 1:14:34 PM | 67

jared @ 66

"I find it odd that the reality is being ignored."

The reality is that Maduro is still solidly the President with the solid backing of the Venezuelan military and the almost complete backing of the Venezuelan people.
That is the reality.

Posted by: arby | Mar 7, 2019 1:14:46 PM | 68

Time to hang a "Mission Acomplished" flag on an aircraft carrier and call it a day.

Posted by: BraveNewWorld | Mar 7, 2019 1:17:26 PM | 69

Abrams: No Outlaw US Empire military intervention, nor will the opposition be armed as that would be a "terrible idea." And so we settle into a siege, one that Guiado can't possibly win since the popular forces greatly outnumber the forces of reaction. What's proven more than ever before is the status of the Outlaw US Empire as a Paper Tiger in almost every circumstance. Another point: how long will its vassals continue supporting the lie of Guido as legitimate president when it's quite clear to the vast majority of the planet that Maduro's the one and only? How soon, if not already, will they become open to embarrassing ridicule to the point of becoming painful? Do those nations not realize that in doing so they delegitimize/abase themselves even further than they are already? Italy by far is in the lead due to its bucking the diktat and openly declaring it's all ready to join BRI.

Given the reality of the socio-political balance of forces throughout South America, IMO the Long Game cannot be won by Reactionaries. Their Yankee sponsor continues to lose strength on a daily basis thanks to current and previous administration policies, both foreign and domestic. And when the economic downdraft occurs, the domestic crisis it causes will likely lift the siege.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 7, 2019 1:20:47 PM | 70

Trump's alleged policy goal of Energy Dominance is cited by several as his motive against both Iran and Venezuela that I've argued is a pointless policy goal given the goal of weening humanity away from dependence on fossil fuels. Here's an example of its folly:

"At the Geneva International Motor Show, Tom Gardner, Senior Vice President, Honda Motor Europe, said that the company intends to move 100% of its European sales to electrified powertrains by 2025.

"This new ambition builds on the brand’s 2017 aim of two-thirds of its sales to be electrified by 2025, and places it firmly at the forefront of Honda’s global electrification shift announced as part of its 2030 vision." [My Emphasis]

And of course, Honda isn't the only automaker planning such a shift in powertrain emphasis. Indeed, in China the types of electric cars available for sale is astounding and dwarfs what's available in any other market. An example of this policy folly: What good is it to corner the market on coal when the demand for your product declines to the point of insignificance? Do you become a smart winner or an idiot loser? Similar logic applies for oil and NatGas.

As discussed by numerous scientists: It makes little sense to burn fossil fuels to boil water to turn turbines to generate electricity when that power can be generated almost pollution free and far more cost effectively by harnessing the power of the sun and earth. The policy goals of far sighted nations and businesses is to use currently available NatGas to manufacture renewable energy systems and infrastructure with the eventual goal of turning off the pipe. Thus, one can easily see the folly in attempting to dominate the fossil fuel market at a time when its demand will be rapidly falling--it's an excellent example of a shortsighted policy grounded in the past.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 7, 2019 2:04:27 PM | 71

arby @ 68

Life was difficult for them before, in large part do to sanctions.
It is going to get much harder now do to increased sanctions.
The people may support Maduro and dislike the gringos, but they need to eat.
There is no force to stand against the US in this case.
The people who are driving this will not break a sweat nor lose any sleep over it, they are bureaucrats - the most horrible form of violence, they do not bother to look their victims in the eyes.
It will take a a lone, spirted country to stop this monster.

The Venezuelans can join us in the great shopping mall of a life that is the us, though the malls are not doing well.

Posted by: jared | Mar 7, 2019 2:10:21 PM | 72

Wasserman Schultz Threatens Kicking Bernie Out Of Party Over Venezuela
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EnlEVf7oaVQ

Posted by: Internet Surfer | Mar 7, 2019 2:15:14 PM | 73

jared @ 72

"The Venezuelans can join us in the great shopping mall of a life that is the us, though the malls are not doing well."

You mean like the democracy they have in Haiti where they get to eat mud cakes or maybe the democracy the empire brought to Libya where you can sell your daughters and sons at the slave market.

Sound awesome

Posted by: arby | Mar 7, 2019 2:28:39 PM | 74

"There is no force to stand against the US in this case.' Jared@72

Venezuela has been under pressure from the US for the past twenty years, pressure which it has resisted. Provided that the government does not make the political error of forgetting where its support comes from-below- it can resist it for another 20 years. If by that time there is anything left to resist.

No bigger mistake can be made than that of believing that the US paper tiger empire cannot be defeated. Personally I see the quadrumvirate of Trump, Pompeo, Bolton and Abrams as four of the most incompetent and blinkered tacticians on the planet- they could probably bring the Soviet Union back to life if they put their minds to defeating it. In fact that is close to what the neocons have done, snatching strategic defeats from the jaws of a victorious end of history.

They turned Iraq into an Iranian ally, they've turned Syria into an efficient and well armed enemy, they've pretty well assured the election of Saif al Islam Gadafi in Libya and they are hard at work turning the people of Europe against every politician allied with America.
I'd say that Maduro has a fighting chance- and when it comes to food production Venezuela has everything needed to feed its population several times over. It just needs to ween itself of the dross the US dumps in its markets and that is being taken care of, as we converse.

Posted by: bevin | Mar 7, 2019 2:43:16 PM | 75

jared @ 66

Absolutely clueless and delusional.

There is going to be no invasion of US forces into Venezuela.
The US regime's puppet has effectively zero popular support.
The US regime's efforts have so far been laughably inept.

Can the US regime hurt the people of Venezuela? Yes. But that is all the US regime can do. The thought of Trump invading a South American country that has not attacked the US or any other country just as election 2020 is starting up is absurd to believe.

Not going to happen.

Posted by: Rollings | Mar 7, 2019 3:09:15 PM | 76

@ bevin | Mar 7, 2019 2:43:16 PM

In fact that is close to what the neocons have done, snatching strategic defeats from the jaws of a victorious end of history.

I love your comments!

Posted by: ex-SA | Mar 7, 2019 3:17:02 PM | 77

way to go jared... i guess i was the only one who saw you for the joker you are!!

Posted by: james | Mar 7, 2019 3:23:36 PM | 78

The small group of self-proclaimed Progressive Democrats have composed and sent this letter to Pompeo timidly protesting the war against Venezuela. Note that they start off by echoing the propaganda being waged against Venezuela but then say the policy is wrong anyway. Note that at the end of the letter, they invoke the OAS Charter that prohibits the exact policy measures being imposed, which are also unconstitutional and thus illegal due to the Supremacy Clause as I tirelessly again point out. By swallowing and regurgitating the propaganda, these Democrats show they aren't really Progressives and don't genuinely disagree with the initial policy of regime changing Venezuela's Maduro that was initiated by GW Bush and revived by Obama.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 7, 2019 3:39:41 PM | 79

karlof1 | Mar 6, 2019 4:51:03 PM | 6 wrote:

Of course, Obama began the current phase of the Anti-Venezuelan Crusade by declaring Venezuela an "unusual and extraordinary threat" to US national security. But what logical explanation was offered to substantiate the directive? None that I've ever read; perhaps it's classified.

Ther are some posts from people sort of verging towards the vicinity of what I'm going to write. I would like to be wrong, mostly for the sake of Venezuelans since it makes war likely.

So I have thought of a possible answer that isn't too outlandish and if it is real I would think it would be highly classified on a need to know basis only or perhaps without any official government documentation at all (it could also involve a slew of falsified data and reports to keep up appearances internally, this might be identifiable by people smarter than me if they have access).

First the assumptions/"facts" as I understand it (and this is sure to be lacking):
A. The US gets (or used to get, now that they've sanctioned themselves against it) most of its oil from Venezuela and Venezuela has the largest oil reserves in the world, nothing currently known can replace it as a source. Speculation about even more oil (and natural gas) is likely redundant.
B. The refineries along the US part of the Gulf of Mexico are at least in part specific to refining the Venezuelan "sour" crude which is high in sulfur content. They can't just switch over at the drop of a hat and will likely just shut down and remain shut down.
C. The US maintains a Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) with the actual storage in many large artificially created salt caverns deep below the ground in a few locations not far from the refineries.
D. The SPR essentially functions as several artificial oil wells, if one has control of the originating oil wells then at least part of the SPR becomes redundant.
E. The "fracking boom" in the US is/was uneconomical and temporary or at any rate can't provide a sufficient replacement for A.

I don't know if the following point is true but suspect it is:
F. The Canadians can't provide a sufficient replacement for either A or E.

There is one more thing that is important to get right:
Currently there is an oil glut but it's an oil glut on the market/for delivery and not a glut of controlled source of oil.

Plenty of detail about the SPR:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strategic_Petroleum_Reserve_%28United_States%29

So here's the possible explanation...

If the US government (USG) since Obama etc. was made or became aware that for whatever reason a significant amount of these reserves had begun a process of failing structurally and that they had an increasing likelihood over a certain amount of years or during the next decade (since that point in time) to fail completely then I think it would become an "unusual and extraordinary threat" to US national security to not be in complete control of Venezuelan oil at the source.

If this is true (according to my guessing and limited understanding) then the USG probably at some point "has" to invade Venezuela no matter what if all other plans of gaining control fail.

This scenario looks like it could explain everything, including getting that Contras bastard back to do a "soft" war/coup and avoid the need for an outright, full-blown, desperate, and completely uninhibited invasion and permanent occupation.

The most important part is that the USG has in essence destroyed the functionality of a large part of the SPR by sanctioning Venezuelan oil.

Thus creating a self-fulfilling prophecy...

They are not going to mix sweet and sour crude in the same individual salt dome so it will take time to get rid of the sour and switch to sweet but even then a large refinery capacity will remain lost.

Worse the Venezuelan side of things is going slower and slower due to the sanctions and will take time to start up even after a successful invasion. This means that the clock is ticking even faster, the US might not have much time left before they have to decide on war.

I want to be wrong, however I also want to point out that the above "SPR scenario" could be used as an (invalid) excuse as well.

If I'm not wrong then the genuine solution is toss the idea of "control" out of the window (this is almost always a solution) and buddy up to Venezuela as a "guaranteed faithful customer". Easy peasy and no one dies. Not that that is going to happen.

---

to S:
Thank you for the explanations, the books sound great :D

You wouldn't happen to know the name of a Soviet (or so I think it was) children's television series from the (early?) 80ies about a girl from space (possibly the moon)?

In at least some parts (maybe most) of western Europe NATO countries we had quite a bit of very good and popular children's TV from east of the iron curtain like Professor Balthazar, Two Good Neighbors, and more. Everyone liked them.


---

Lysander | Mar 7, 2019 8:37:12 AM | 55

I agree with you, there's no way they wouldn't know "better".

I continue to believe the US has lost "resources" somewhere somehow in the jungle. Admittedly I could be wrong, I just don't understand why or how I'm wrong considering the people we all know are involved. It's what they know and used to do. Of course nothing is better than if they've been at least temporarily convinced not to such things by someone working alongside them.

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Mar 7, 2019 4:10:37 PM | 80

jared

Not only economically but if Maduro cannot manage to feed the people sort to speak nor manage to stop this coup, he will lose politcally too. The increased sanctions will push him further off support by the venezuelan people.
As I said in the beginning 1 month ago, Maduro is naive. The whole of european, american embassies are still there and this is the outcome.

Posted by: Zanon | Mar 7, 2019 4:16:12 PM | 81

The way Jared and Zanon are carrying on like a self-perpetuating feedback loop, one would think they were wishing for Maduro either to be toppled or to commit political suicide by arresting Guaido and acting like a stereotypical dictator so that the US has an excuse to invade Venezuela.

Posted by: Jen | Mar 7, 2019 4:33:38 PM | 82

As expected on the coming sanctions,
from Abrams

US Doesn't Plan to Military Intervene Venezuela, But Works to Freeze Maduro’s Bank Accounts Internationally - Abrams
https://sputniknews.com/latam/201903071073041912-us-maduro-bank-freeze/

Posted by: Zanon | Mar 7, 2019 4:37:09 PM | 83

@82 jen... sometimes i think the same folks use different aliases...this thought has struck me a number of times!

Posted by: james | Mar 7, 2019 5:38:27 PM | 84

Sunny Runny Burger @80--

Thanks for your attempt to answer my question @6 above. However, the neocons have announced this isn't about oil but about ideology as their next targets are Cuba and Nicaragua. As I have no idea as to how much of my writings over the past 18 months you've read and digested, I shall try to explain why.

The fundamental philosophical attitude of the post-WW2 Outlaw US Empire is known as Zero-sum, which is essentially the goal everyone has when playing the Monopoly board game--drive all other players into bankruptcy and thus make them totally dependent on you. This is played out in a no-holds-barred fashion overseas, but it's somewhat mitigated by domestic pushback so that a small amount of sharing takes place. Most other nations learned the hard way that Zero-sum only serves to create chaos and that a philosophy of generous sharing--what's known as a mixed economy or social democracy--works best to keep the peace between the Classes, although this doesn't go as far as the Win-Win philosophy being promoted by China and Russia. Thus, the philosophical grounds for our current Hybrid Third World War's established as Zerosumism versus Win-winism. (The recent Dore-Hudson interview explains some of this and provides an historical perspective.)

In order to keep its position in the game, the Outlaw US Empire must control as many nations as possible so it can continue to gain what amounts to Tribute, which explains its recent vicious rhetorical attack on Italy for expressing its desire to join Win-winism. It appears to have accepted the loss of ASEAN while continuing to work hard at disrupting BRI. It's seldom stated #1 policy goal is to attain Full Spectrum Dominance, and this is extremely important in the realm of international trade/commerce where as many transactions as possible must be dollar denominated. (Here Hudson explains how that works.) But the dollar now has competition while nations now fully realize just how vulnerable they are to using the entire spectrum of Outlaw US Empire's financial system and its currency. So, like alcoholics, they're weaning themselves from dollar dependency (now you perhaps understand my Lady Liberty allegory).

So, the drive to establish a genuine Multipolar World is confronted by one actor demanding the world remain Unipolar and subject to its whims and diktats--peoples desiring the wealth be shared equitably versus a small clique of people wanting to hoard it all. (Did you ever watch the Bond film The World is Not Enough as it provides an excellent indictment.) The control of oil is directly related to the currency used in its commercial transactions. It's ironic that by keeping oil off the market so it can't be transacted in Rubles, Yuan, or Euros, still means it won't be transacted using dollars and still serves to slowdown dollar recycling thus impacting the overall foreign trade deficit which was just announced to be the biggest of all time (Trump's Trade War acts as a ruse to cover-up the slowdown of dollar recycling. Today's NY Times item on the topic's a howler!) We should thank Trump for being Trump as he's forcing nations to choose which side it wants to be on much faster than if HRC was POTUS. Bottom line regarding Venezuela: Trump and crew, which would include HRC, don't want to use Venezuela's oil; rather, they want to insure it's sold in dollars, which is one method by which Venezuela would pay Tribute to the Outlaw US Empire.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 7, 2019 5:53:24 PM | 85

bevin @ 75

Maduro might be able to hold on for a while and Venezuela exist in poverty.
They could continue to confiscate the wealth.
But it would not be a good existence and the people would grow weary of it and agitators will agitate.
Maduro is at personal risk.

In each of those examples of us failure, there is one thing in common (maybe others) - the country is completely (OK substantially) destroyed. It appears the US is content to simply destroy cultures where it cannot get what it wants - it would appear that what it wants is to destroy cultures (they don't call it empire of chaos without reason) Is that the path you would reccommend for the Venezuelans? This is not about humanitarianism, this is pure for fun and profit.

Of course it would seem a stretch for the US to occupy Venezuela and there might be some pride in that, but it would be a hard existence. If they yield to the US, they will be second class citizens in their own country, but they will eat and live and work. Pretty much like the people do in the US - at the pleasure of the oligarcs.

Many Venezuelans have hoped to move to the U.S., well now the U.S. is coming to them.

I think you have a responsiblity as one who is well informed and has a grasp of history.

Posted by: jared | Mar 7, 2019 9:17:37 PM | 86

I think its time to congratulate Zanon for being the new bar's buffoon after craigsummers got banned..
Cheers!

Posted by: Lozion | Mar 7, 2019 9:58:33 PM | 87

@ Lozion who writes that craigsummers got banned.

I thought he was kept around for entertainment but do notice (like the absence of a wart) that he is not around.

I agree that Zanon has taken craigsummers place of permanent ignore by me as someone not worth the effort......but jared seems to like Zanon.......grin

Posted by: psychohistorian | Mar 7, 2019 10:33:24 PM | 88

I just read competing Reuters articles about further sanctions against Venezuela versus China saying don't repeat old failures.

Maybe Venezuela will be the tipping point for the next step down for empire where the loss in Syria wasn't. If empire can't "control" its "backyard" then all bets are off and the free fall commences........and empire will not invade/control Venezuela but is pushing it to come down hard on the elite for justification.

Sadly very interesting.

Can we have global public finance yet?

Posted by: psychohistorian | Mar 8, 2019 1:40:57 AM | 89

@jared | Mar 7, 2019 9:17:37 PM | 86

They [the US Empire, presumably] could continue to confiscate the wealth.

How? If Venezuela stops exporting oil to America, how else can the Empire confiscate the revenues from this oil and basically get the energy for free?

The Chinese actually pay for their oil, so Venezuela will have enough wealth to keep going indefinitely.

Posted by: Cyril | Mar 8, 2019 1:58:10 AM | 90

jared

The military option will come if needed, right now US having an easy way by slowly destroying Maduro leadership/Venezuela , even to the extent that people do not understand what is going on.

Also. More evidence who decides in Venezuela,

Venezuela's Juan Guaido calls for own envoy in Berlin
https://www.dw.com/en/venezuelas-juan-guaido-calls-for-own-envoy-in-berlin/a-47818835

Posted by: Zanon | Mar 8, 2019 3:21:58 AM | 91

Sabotage at major electric central in Venezuela which leaves most of the country without power.

The outage was caused by “deliberate sabotage” at the Guri hydroelectric power plant, which provides most of the country’s energy, local media reported. The presumed saboteurs are likely linked to the US-backed opposition, Venezuela’s electric energy minister, Luis Motta Dominguez, claimed on national TV.

The minister pointed out that US Senator Marco Rubio, who is leading a fierce campaign to oust Maduro, tweeted about the outage just minutes after the emergency occurred.

Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Maduro’s government only has itself to blame for power shortages in Venezuela, noting sarcastically that “Maduro’s policies bring nothing but darkness.”

Posted by: Sasha | Mar 8, 2019 9:03:17 AM | 92

@Sunny Runny Burger #80

You wouldn't happen to know the name of a Soviet (or so I think it was) children's television series from the (early?) 80ies about a girl from space (possibly the moon)?

It’s probably Alisa Selezneva, a character by Soviet sci-fi writer Kir Bulychev. There’s a 1981 animated movie The Mystery of the Third Planet about her adventures in space and a 1985 five-episode TV series Guest from the Future about her traveling back in time to the 80s Soviet Union.

Posted by: S | Mar 8, 2019 2:23:15 PM | 93

I noticed a Reuters story today about the power outage had some twitter quotes from Guaido after the Venezuelan government suggested sabotage:

“Sabotage is stealing money from Venezuelans. Sabotage is burning food and medicine. Sabotage is stealing elections,” Guaido said on Twitter.

So Guaido is pushing the lie that Venezuelan forces burned the aid trucks.

As to US efforts against Venezuela, check out USAID/OTI (another one of those regime change entities like NED and IRI).

Posted by: Curtis | Mar 8, 2019 6:10:19 PM | 94

The electricity is still gone in many cities in Venezuela. This is of course another proof of how badly prepared Maduro is. The electricity is of course one the first things needs to be secured in a situation like this.
This is ridiculous to follow.

Posted by: Zanon | Mar 9, 2019 4:02:24 AM | 95

RE. Venez.

Oil cos. loathe and fear War. Ask any oil man.

The extraction - gigantic machinery, infrastructure, thousands of workers needed, plus, the vital huge tansport needs, via tankers, pipelines, etc. Then or in between, refinery (another complicated process) before being ‘brought to market’ (which creates yet more challenges..) all of it taking place on an international, world-wide stage. Which cannot function ‘well’ or ‘profitably’ in war conditions. (See Iraq, goog: oil Iraq, etc.)

Hundreds, literally, of contracts with endless sub-contractors, be in either ‘free market’ scene or ‘national’ control (KSA..), almost all have to end up as international contracts (WTO, plus other dodgy deals), all the finance behind it that ‘guarantees’ the contracts (banks, investors..), everyone has to be on the same page, working to reap profits and actually manage to ensure world-wide conditions that permit all these steps in the process.

War brings nothing to these Big Corps.

Posted by: Noirette | Mar 9, 2019 12:39:58 PM | 96

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