Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
May 01, 2019

Venezuela - Guaidó Got Snookered - White House Starts Beating War Drums

Yesterday's failed coup attempt in Venezuela significantly hurt the Trump administration's international standing. It delegitimized its Venezuelan clients Juan Guaidó and Leopoldo López. After recognizing that their original 'regime change' plan failed (again) the White House starts to beat the war drums.

That wasn't the plan:

The Trump administration, which has backed Mr. Guaidó since he first challenged Mr. Maduro’s authority more than three months ago, clearly thought the day would unfold differently.

There is no official explanation why the Trump administration believed that the comical coup attempt by Juan Guaidó and his master Leopolo López would work.

There are signs though that the government of President Nicolas Maduro set a trap. Several people in the top echelon of the Venezuelan government gave false promises that they would join the U.S. proxy side. They snookered Guaidó into launching his coup to let him fail.

Juan Guaidó - bigger

A Washington Post wrap-up says that everyone expected important people to change sides:

The chaos in Caracas indicated that, while a plan had been in motion, it may not have unfolded as anticipated.
Announcements by senior Maduro officials that they were changing sides did not materialize, and the administration appeared increasingly concerned as it debated next steps.
Earlier Tuesday, Bolton had told reporters that Trump is watching political developments in Venezuela “minute by minute.” Bolton also put unusual public pressure on individual Venezuela government officials to renounce Maduro and embrace the political opposition.
“It’s a very delicate moment,” Bolton said. “The president wants to see a peaceful transfer of power,” which he added would be possible if enough military and government figures switch allegiances.
In an apparent attempt to divide Maduro’s government, Bolton said senior officials, including Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino López, had been in secret talks with Guaidó, and he called on them to “make good on their commitments” to help oust Maduro.
Bolton called by name for three officials in Venezuela — the defense minister, the chief judge of the Supreme Court, and the commander of the presidential guard — to support Guaidó taking power.
A senior Latin American official said opposition talks had been going on with Padrino and the other two for “the last several weeks,” and that the three had been promised retention in their current positions if they came out publicly in support of “constitutional order” that would allow Guaidó to take power. The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity about the fast-moving and confusing situation, said those involved in the negotiations had no initial explanation for what went wrong, ...
Elliott Abrams, the administration’s special envoy for Venezuela, told reporters Tuesday that the United States had expected Padrino, along with the head of the Maduro-appointed Supreme Court and the head of the national guard, to declare their support for the Venezuelan constitution, if not necessarily for Guaidó himself.
He said that opposition figures had held discussions with the three influential officials in Maduro’s government ahead of those planned demonstrations.
Carlos Vecchio, Guaidó’s ambassador to the United States, also said Monday that the opposition leadership had had “conversations with part of the inner circle of Maduro” and that “they know that Maduro is not going anywhere. That Maduro is the past . . . and that’s why they want to look for a different future for Venezuela.”

Everyone in Washington believed that significant figures in the Venezuelan government would change sides. They did not do so. Vladimir Padrino rejected the coup within an hour after Guaidó announced it. It seems that the Guaidó side got played by the Venezuelan Defense Minister and several other officials and officers. They seem to have promised to support Guaidó only to bait him into taking steps that would embarrass him.

A McClatchy piece headlined "What went wrong?" seems to confirm this interpretation:

Shortly after Guaidó gave his predawn speech at the Carlota Air Force Base in Caracas, rumors spread that Armed Forces Chief of Staff Jose Ornelias and powerful commander Jesús Suárez Chourio were behind the military uprising. But just as quickly both men joined a growing list of officials swearing loyalty to Maduro.
That military officials who owe their careers and livelihood to Maduro and the United Socialist Party of Venezuela didn’t abandon him shouldn’t have come as a surprise, said a former U.S. diplomat in Washington, who would only talk on background.

He said he’d known about Guaidós plans to call for an uprising for at least 10 days.

“If I knew it, then everyone knew it,” he said. “The [Maduro] regime saw it coming and was prepared. The regime probably even knew that people in the government were talking to the opposition and probably even approved of it.

The total failure of the coup is obvious when one looks at what happened to Leopoldo López, the mentor of Juan Guaidó. He was under house arrest for leading the violent demonstrations and deadly riots in 2014. Yesterday morning the guards let him go. While the circumstances are not clear, the police chief responsible for the guards has been fired. López promised his followers that he would go to the Miraflores Presidential Palace. But he wasn't even able to leave eastern Caracas. Yesterday evening López, with his wife and daughter, fled into the Chilean embassy. They seem to have disliked the accommodations. Two hours later they moved into the Spanish embassy. While the embassy food may be good, it will be a quite different life than in their own comfortable mansion. A few of the soldiers who supported Guaidó took refuge in the Brazilian embassy. Guaidó is still free.

McClatchy also looked at the consequences of the failing coup:

" .. Guaidó’s move is also a highly precarious bet,” [Risa Grais-Targow, an analyst with the Eurasia Group,] wrote. “If Maduro can successfully put down the rebellion, it will be a strong signal that he still enjoys a high degree of military support, which in turn will probably deflate the opposition.
Guaidó took a risk announcing the military support, [Venezuela security expert Brian Fonseca, a former Marine and U.S. Southern Command intelligence analyst who now serves as the director of the Jack D. Gordon Institute for Public Policy at Florida International University] said, and if the Army does not back him, it could be crippling. “If today’s movement falls flat — what does that mean for credibility of the Guaidó movement?”

Guaidó and his backers in the Trump administration were made to believe that some significant elements of the Maduro government and of the army would turn on Maduro. They launched a coup attempt that fell apart within a few hours as no one changed sides. All their blustering has now been deflated. Guaidó has lost his credibility. Washington may still support him but in Caracas there is likely no one left who believes in him.

Bolton, Pompeo, Abrams and of course Donald Trump have been exposed as buffoons who, despite their powerful positions, can not even organize a simple coup. They publicly supported through dozens of tweets and interviews what turned out be a bad amateur theater play. The diplomatic corps will joke about this episode for the next decade.

As the Saker remarks:

The Empire only appears to be strong. In reality it is weak, confused, clueless and, most importantly, run by a sad gang of incompetent thugs who think that they can scare everybody into submission in spite of not having won a single significant war since 1945. The inability to break the will of the people of Venezuela is only the latest symptom of this mind-boggling weakness.

When it became obvious that the coup attempt failed, the White House started to blame others. It claimed that Russia dissuaded Maduro from fleeing the country. It said that Cuba, which has 20,000 doctors but no soldiers in Venezuela, controlled the Venezuelan military and prevented its uprising. It is now starting to beat the war drums.

Having lost face the Trump administration today upped its rhetoric:

Washington is open for “military action” in dealing with Venezuela’s crisis, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced. Softening his war-mongering rhetoric, he said that a peaceful option is still more preferable.

“If the question is, is the United States prepared to consider military action if that’s what it takes to restore the democracy there in Venezuela, the [US] president’s been consistent and unambiguous about that, that the option to use military force is available if that’s what is ultimately called for,” Pompeo said in an interview on Fox News.

The Trump administration also launched what can be considered to be psychological warfare:

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on Tuesday evening issued an order prohibiting U.S. air operators from flying below 26,000 feet in Venezuela’s airspace until further notice, citing “increasing political instability and tensions”.

The FAA notice said any air operators currently in Venezuela, which would include private jets, should depart within 48 hours.
American Airlines Group Inc in March said it was indefinitely suspending its flights to Venezuela, as the country continued to struggle with political turmoil and unrest.

Several other airlines also canceled their flights:

Spanish airline Air Europa says Wednesday’s Caracas flights have been canceled. Flights over the next 10 days also might also be affected because of the “latest developments” in Venezuela.

The Caracas-based travel agency Molina Viajes says flights to and from Miami on Wednesday have been suspended.

Estelar airline says its Wednesday flight from Buenos Aires, Argentina, to Caracas has been cancelled. However, it says flights to and from Peru and Chile are operating.

Such FAA orders are only given for countries where an active air war is going on and where air-defense weapons are expected to be fired. For now no one believes that the U.S. will launch cruise missiles or make bombing runs on Venezuela. It would be in no way justified.

Then again - what might it do should a 'massacre' happen in Venezuela. If hundreds of Guaidó supporters get mowed down by machine gun wielding troops in a false flag operation, the U.S. would surely accuse the Maduro government. With the U.S. media and the Democratic Party fully aligned with the White House regime change strategy there would be little resistance to the use of force. A 'humanitarian' bombing run against Venezuelan government targets, primarily its air defenses, might then be considered to be the right response.

Here is another ominous sign (Spanish, machine translated) that something is up:

The acting Secretary of Defense of the USA, Patrick Shanahan, canceled a trip to Europe that was due to begin this Wednesday, May 1, in order to "coordinate more efficiently" with other branches of the Government, both the situation in Venezuela and the Army's mission in the border with Mexico.

"Secretary Shanahan will no longer travel to Europe, as he has decided that staying in Washington DC will allow him to coordinate more efficiently with the White House National Security Council (NSC) and the State Department the situation in Venezuela.", the Pentagon said in a statement.
During his tour of Europe, Shanahan had planned to travel to Germany, Belgium and the United Kingdom.

Another sign that something is up is a phone call (Russian, machine translated) today between the Foreign Minister of Russia Sergej Lavrov and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo:

On May 1, on the American initiative, a telephone conversation took place between the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, Sergey Lavrov, and the US Secretary of State, M. Pompeo.

The focus was on the situation in Venezuela, where on the eve of the opposition, with the clear support of the United States, attempted to seize power. It was stressed on the Russian side that Washington’s interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign state, the threat against its leadership is a gross violation of international law. It is indicated that the continuation of aggressive steps is fraught with the most serious consequences. Only the Venezuelan people have the right to determine their destiny, for which the dialogue of all political forces in the country is demanded, for which its Government has long called for. A destructive external influence, especially a forceful one, has nothing to do with the democratic process.

The generals in the Pentagon will not like the rhetorical build-up at all. They will look at their maps and find that Venezuela is twice the size of Iraq and 30% larger than Afghanistan. It has impenetrable jungles, mountains and slums that even Venezuelan troops do not dare to enter. It has a functioning army and halfway decent air defenses which were recently upgraded by Russian specialists.

It is unlikely that Trump wants to launch a war on Venezuela. He likely knows that it would not be a cake walk, and that it would be a severe risk for his reelection. But who knows what Bolton or Pompeo might tell him to get their way. They just got snookered by the Maduro government. Why would they not snooker Trump?

Posted by b on May 1, 2019 at 17:45 UTC | Permalink

next page »

Thanks for the ongoing excellent journalism b

I agree that Venezuela is going to be a watershed event in human history. We are going to see the overthrow of the Western model of social organization or extinction because they are poor losers.

Blessings to the honor and morals shown by China and Russia and FIE! to the perverts fronting the malignant Western way

Posted by: psychohistorian | May 1 2019 17:58 utc | 1

I do have to add that I find it quite odd that you continue to portray Trump as a victim in all of this rather than an active actor/player

I keep wanting to ask folk that see Trump as some victim to point out one or more things he has done or said in his life that would garner him the adulation due to folks like Gandhi. What selfless act has this man ever performed?

Posted by: psychohistorian | May 1 2019 18:04 utc | 2

The high probability scenario is that the US will up the pych warfare and that will include lots of threats of military action and moves that give the threats credence but no actual invasion will happen. I guess air strikes are possible but 2020 looms and more foreign intervention with US troops will only hurt OrangeTurdHair's election chances.

Posted by: alaric | May 1 2019 18:09 utc | 3

You can hear the knee slapping in Miraflores and the Kremlin. That’s just embarrassing.

Posted by: Cesare | May 1 2019 18:10 utc | 4

You can feel the foot-stomping cry-baby chicken hawks in Washington.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 1 2019 18:12 utc | 5

The U.S. may have not won a major war since 1945, but they’ve managed to kill millions of people in their colonial wars, their coups, their support of repressive dictators, their training of foreign death squads and torturers, not to mention via crushing sanctions that always hit the poorest and the weak. In short, they are maniacs, and deeply imbued with a sense of their own right to rule. They are dangerous, and the American people need to walk up and see that the greatest danger is not from without, but from within - from an arrogant ruling elite unafraid to sacrifice millions to secure its own rule.

Posted by: Jeff Kaye | May 1 2019 18:14 utc | 6

I hope that I am wrong but it is looking more and more likely that I was correct in thinking that Venezuela is where trump would go to war in order to insure re-election in 2020 (even though the Democrats appear to be doing all they can do make that happen.) The timing is important -the first Gulf war was over too soon to ensure Bush re=election (also it seemed that he irritated the Israelis by not funding more settlements in Palestine - funny how if you irritate the Israelis you don't get elected or nominated). Although the US military has not been doing too well lately -procuring expensive planes that don't fly all that well - expensive ships that can't do their jobs or running into large cargo ships twice in a year. But it is good at turning countries into rubble. Venezuela is nearby. The US military is large. Somehow it doesn't seem important to actually win wars. I didn't like Kissinger or Brzezinski but they somewhat dealt with reality. Bolton, Pompeo, and Abrams don't.

Posted by: gepay | May 1 2019 18:15 utc | 7

There won't be a war in Venezuela because it'd be even worse than Iraq War and result in skyrocketing gas prices which will toast Trump's reelection for certain. But obviously Bolton, Pompeo and Rubio won't give this up either for the foreseeable future.

Posted by: Jonathan Everett Gillispie | May 1 2019 18:26 utc | 8

Random Guaido is a dead man walking. There is now 0% chance of him being able to contribute to the CIA's coup except as a corpse. The CIA will Nemtsov him for sure now just to salvage what little of their investment in him that they can.

I actually feel sorry for the silly fool.

Posted by: William Gruff | May 1 2019 18:29 utc | 9

Trump with his pro wrestling experience is showing how the game is played. Kayfabe

..."In professional wrestling, kayfabe /ˈkeɪfeɪb/ is the portrayal of staged events within the industry as "real" or "true", specifically the portrayal of competition, rivalries, and relationships between participants as being genuine and not of a staged or predetermined nature of any kind. Kayfabe has also evolved to become a code word of sorts for maintaining this "reality" within the direct or indirect presence of the general public.[1]

Kayfabe is often seen as the suspension of disbelief that is used to create the non-wrestling aspects of promotions, such as feuds, angles, and gimmicks, in a manner similar to other forms of fictional entertainment. In relative terms, a wrestler breaking kayfabe during a show would be likened to an actor breaking character on-camera. Also, since wrestling is performed in front of a live audience, whose interaction with the show is crucial to its success, kayfabe can be compared to the fourth wall in acting, since hardly any conventional fourth wall exists to begin with. In general, anything in a professional wrestling show is to some extent scripted, or "kayfabe", even though at times it is portrayed as real-life."...

Like a lot of Trump's antics, all scripted bull shit. Just look at his persona. Looks fake, no?

Posted by: Taffyboy | May 1 2019 18:41 utc | 10

I worry that as the Empire is exposed feckless and largely impotent, it will lash out in rage and do something irrecoverably stupid. These people are psychos. I expect them to start tightening the screws in the US as well as they feel their grip loosening.

Posted by: NoOneYouKnowNow | May 1 2019 18:45 utc | 11

>> result in skyrocketing gas prices which will toast Trump's reelection for certain.

Does the Establishment care? They’ve set the stage to scapegoat him anyway. They can easily appoint Biden or Bernie and then carry on as usual.

Posted by: oglalla | May 1 2019 18:50 utc | 12

this is just an observation.....i live directly in line with the runways of Davis-Mathan air force base here in Tucson of today i have been seeing interminged groups of A-10's and f-16's flying what appears to be a planned if they intend to work together......this is very unusual....could they be practicing for an attack in SA....i don't know....but the f-16 might need the help of ground suppression by the A-10 if they start attacking important infrastructure targets.....

Posted by: mhouston | May 1 2019 18:52 utc | 13

I actually feel sorry for the silly fool.

@Posted by: William Gruff | May 1, 2019 2:29:12 PM | 9

I do not, because of him people of different ideas, chavistas, were burnt alive and killed by other different forms during 2017 guarimbas orchestrated mainly by he and his party followers.
Then, some more people has most probably died because of the blackouts due to sabotage of electric system and blockade of Venezuelan funds which would had been alocated to buy, amongst many other things, medicines and vaccines.
He, indeed, along with his collaborative wife, deserves a really painful slow stressful death, like it is being the suffering inflicted on Venezuelans by he and his associated thugs in Venezuela and his masters in the US. The only one who deserves being kept safe from any harm is his little daughter, since she has already enough disgrace having being born to such an unwary parents who do not mind risking her security and future and sell that of their country only for personal profit.

Posted by: Sasha | May 1 2019 18:54 utc | 14

Last resort could be killing this useful idiot on behalf of his handlers. Say if he does come to power he won't deliver anyway further ruining Americans reputation of there is any left. This is like a movie the good looking main character dies the country descends into chaos on a instant. He lives, he proves once again America cannot be trusted even in their own neighborhood. He is more valuable dead than alive.

Posted by: Moroccaneyes | May 1 2019 18:55 utc | 15

Jonathan Everett Gillispie @8: There won't be a war in Venezuela ...

Is there already an undeclared war? Or, what is the proper term one government does the following to another government and its people: seizes assets, imposes crushing sanctions/trade embargo, promotes/supports a coup, and (likely) engages in cyber warfare?

Obama was the first to claim that it's not war if there's no boots on the ground. But "hybrid war", "cold war", and "undeclared war" are still "war". We are now involved in war/war-like action in: Syria, Afghanistan, Yemen, Venezuela, Iran, and many would add other countries to that list.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 1 2019 18:57 utc | 16

We are now involved in war/war-like action in: Syria, Afghanistan, Yemen, Venezuela, Iran, and many would add other countries to that list.

@Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 1, 2019 2:57:08 PM | 17

Yes, you could add also the EU, where you have sent Bannon to try to roganize Europe´s "Reconquest" by organizing the fascist take over of it, unless it pledges to US interests and moreover pay for it.

Only is needed that the population starts going aware of this reality and of the betrayal of the elites.

This is the last US "Hail Mary" here, hence it is going unmasked already. Some day it will be ousted from Europe since people do not like to live under fascist order. I hope to see it during my life time.

Posted by: Sasha | May 1 2019 19:06 utc | 17

Has anybody more information on the street fighting. E.g. the video which shows some driving police vehicles which are set aflame and then start to mow into some protesters (probably chasing the molotov-cocktail throwers)?

Posted by: Tijuana Toad | May 1 2019 19:08 utc | 18

@14 Thanks for that info, could be significant.

P.S. I grew up in Pueblo Gardens, Tucson Ariz.

Posted by: ben | May 1 2019 19:08 utc | 19

The best part of the farce is that it drew out "president in waiting Leopoldo Lopez" who struck heroic poses on the bridge, steely pentagon eyed resolve etc. Obviously he expected to be sitting in Madero's chair today with the press claiming that May Day parades were celebrating his triumph. The ascension of DT is probably an inspiration to puerile fantasists everywhere.

Posted by: NOBTS | May 1 2019 19:11 utc | 20

Hah! So the empire has got the DTs.

Posted by: NOBTS | May 1 2019 19:15 utc | 21

thank you b for this excellent ongoing overview..

@14 mhouston.. thanks for that as well..

false flag is a distinct possibility here... hi odds, cia knocks off random dude which could be part of the ff plan..

as for trump getting snookered... they are all on the same page - war party rules and it doesn't matter who is in power, trump or whoever.. as long as they continue to serve the war party 24/7, all will be fine and it doesn't matter who gets elected 2020...

Posted by: james | May 1 2019 19:16 utc | 22

JR @17--
I am not sure it is war, but it certainly is armed aggression. Pretty well a one sided affair.

Posted by: arby | May 1 2019 19:25 utc | 23

French gov radios and French millionaires' newspapers have been beating the drums of war too and keep presenting the coup as a done job and a "democratic rebellion" and success in the making. Sounds like Syria to me.

Posted by: Mina | May 1 2019 19:33 utc | 24

No one can say at this time whether the Tronald government is crazy enough to attack Venezuela. What is certain is that this would be worse for the usa than Vietnam. That would be the straw that breaks the camel's back.

Posted by: Pnyx | May 1 2019 19:58 utc | 25

Or maybe instead of Venezuelan officials the US was just talking to the two Russian comedians that Macron and Elliot Abrams seem to enjoy speaking with. Given that the other US officials are so easily fooled--and the intellectual ability of Pompeo and Bolton--it doesn't seem a stretch.

Posted by: worldblee | May 1 2019 20:00 utc | 26

Juan Carlos Monedero, ideologue and member of Spanish left party Podemos ( fourth political force in Spanish parliament and able to add for a majority for a government of the left in coalition with "socialist" party PSOE, winner of the recent parliamentary election ) interviewed about events in Venezuela:

Trascript translation:

Journalist: An assessment, Juan Carlos Monedero, on Venezuela, about what happened yesterday and also about that Leopoldo López stayed at the Spanish embassy in Caracas?:

Juan Carlos Monedero: We have seen yesterday, again, the media construction of a pantomime. Guaidó has been saying for 4 months that it was the definitive one, trying to mobilize a people that does not move with him, and trying to call a coup d'état with an army that is being loyal to the Constitution of Venezuela.

It was the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Spain, Borrell, who said that Guaidó had been recognized by US pressure, and, therefore, we ask the government of Spain to stop making a fool of himself. It can not be that we reclaim national sovereignty at the same time that a call from Donald Trump causes us to make stupid decisions, such as recognizing an "interim president" who has proclaimed himself on the street, in the name of a constitution that, with a tortuous interpretation, could give him coverage of 30 days, and he has taken already 100 days, and, therefore, I think it's time for Spain to stop playing the fool and listen to the voices that demand dialogue and peace in Venezuela.

It is evident that in Venezuela there must be a dialogue between the opposition and the government. You can not govern a confronted country as Venezuela is right now. But the US has to get its dirty hands out of Venezuela because it wants to turn it into a new Syria, or into a new Iraq, or into a new Afghanistan, and that is a disaster.
And that Spain and the EU are collaborating with a climate of war is terrible. It breaks my soul to see a guy who is a neo-fascist, like Tajani, who is the President of the European Parliament, call a coup d'etat.
Is that the EU? An EU that at one time was a human rights defender and today calls for a coup d'état, in a Latin American country?
They have lost all reason, they have lost all intelligence and they have lost the slightest common sense.

They have tried again a coup d'état, Leopoldo López, who is a guy who has broken house arrest by jail, and, therefore, has to be subject to Venezuelan laws.
If one compares those who are supporting the blows in Venezuela, as they want to treat the people who put urns on ( past ) October 1 in Catalonia, it shows that these people are constitutionalist of the articles of the Constitution that interest them, because they are kicking the Rule of Law. What has happened in Venezuela is an attempted coup and those who support an attempted coup d'etat are going against the Spanish Constitution of 1978.

Journalist: What do you think will happen in the next few days?

Juan Carlos Monedero: We are seeing that the US wants to surround Venezuela with hunger, with a brutal blockade, with media pressure that is always smoke. So, if we continue to listen to the US, the only thing we will do is to help see Venezuela as a new Syria, and I believe that doing that to our Venezuelan brothers and sisters would be an insult to the tradition of brotherhood between the two countries.
I think we have to listen to Pope Francisco, to ( Jose Luis Rodriguez ) Zapatero, to Andres Manuel López Obrador, that is, to the people who are presenting dialogues.

Outside of dialogue, the only thing that there is always is war, hunger, suffering, that the people always pay for. And that Spain has lost the opportunity to lead the dialogue demonstrates the lack of a country project that, to this day, Sanchez is demeaning.
All the more reason for there to be a government that allows you to have a state vision that you do not have right now.

Posted by: Sasha | May 1 2019 20:04 utc | 27

1)Apart from political/re-election fears of an oil price hike if the US starts bombing Maduro, one point missed in this comments thread IMO is that bombing Maduro would accelerate refugees out of Venezuela and be perceived by even Trump's base to be increasing illegal immigration into the US. The Trump admin would never want this politically.
2)That being said, I think the chances of the US bombing Maduro have risen somewhat because failure causes desperate persons to make bad choices. IMO Trump does not want to take the political cost of bombing Maduro, while Pompeo, Bolton and Abrams are happy to do so. So it is a question of whether they can convince Trump, or whether Trump will just blame them for a bad job and leave things as they are.
3)We should expect false flag attacks and fake accusations of Maduro slaughtering Guaido supporters to push the extremely gullible Trump or his family into being stupid as usual.

Posted by: freetrade | May 1 2019 20:27 utc | 28

Random Guy is no longer useful alive. He will be Nemtsov'd.

Tijuana Toad @18.

The incident is carefully framed, just like the closely cropped photos of Random Guy with a massive 14 troops (or people dressed as troops) behind him.

"The MSM today is full of video of water cannons against “protestors” and a horrible video of a military vehicle ramming a group. But it has all been very carefully edited to exclude hours of footage of the same military vehicles being pelted and set alight with molotov cocktails, and shot at. The presentation has been truly shocking."

Posted by: Yonatan | May 1 2019 20:38 utc | 29

arby @23

My theory: they don't dare call it war because then people might pay attention.

During the Global Financial Crisis in 2008-9, they coined a phrase: nobody cares until EVERYBODY CARES.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 1 2019 20:39 utc | 30

They always double. They have no other option. Having only one option is prelude to having zero. They are doubling. This was obvious months ago.

Xerxes at Salmis our dear clown is not...he has no option other than an assault on the big muddy... Pete Seeger's song ya'know. You know chess game? zuswang is the sitrep today. Must move, all moves lead to defeat = zuswang. So they double as long as they can. Is pretty game.

In the April 30 comments someplace find url for entire operational plan for the war against Madero, signed by his excellency the Admiral hisself. Maybe fake? I dunno...

But so far they fools are following it line by line.

Posted by: Walter | May 1 2019 20:41 utc | 31

"When it became obvious that the coup attempt failed, the White House started to blame others."

That's the key to the entire childish shemozzle known as the US of A.
Pitiful, juvenile, irresponsible, Right-wing crankiness and post-blunder denial.

There was a Biz Management book in the '70s called The Peter Principle which the author defined as...
"..the tendency in most organizational hierarchies, such as that of a corporation, is for every employee to rise in the hierarchy through promotion until they reach a level of respective incompetence.

That's AmeriKKKa. And Trump knows all about it and how to play The Swamp's doofuses like cheap fiddles. They don't realise they're being played because all they're aware of, and interested in, is that their dreams are coming true!!!

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | May 1 2019 20:41 utc | 32

Sasha 14 YES. I find Lopez in Spanish embassy odd and not so secure. Time will tell.

MAY DAY VICTORY. yesyesyes

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 1 2019 20:48 utc | 33

Walter @31: They always double.

Yes. Failure is not an option for the fellating dip-shits in empty suits. That's why there's no accountability even after doubling down again and again only to fail bigger (like Iraq): the empty suits might rat out those who pull their strings.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 1 2019 21:00 utc | 34

There's a stream of Hollywood folklore based on the probability that the wisest and most helpful staffer in a branch/ dept will turn out to be the 2IC.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | May 1 2019 21:12 utc | 35

Their own ineptitude has so far saved the US government but instead of taking that as a blessing and a chance to stop they'll force themselves towards suicide, maybe within a week.

Anyone who wants to live better not go. Drop a spanner, stub a toe, spoil a party, make a system say "no" :)

Caribbean islands, ships, and flying wildlife better watch out for carrier groups and planes searching for a place to have an accident or a few hundred :D

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | May 1 2019 21:23 utc | 36

This regime change stuff used to be so easy.

Today, the specialists have moved on or lost their touch.

Everything is played out almost in real time on the Internet.

The Hegemon has gotten so obese with global dominance and unipolar dysfunction, it thinks continually of its best fall-back position--to bomb the regime.

Thus, it distracts itself, fumbles the scheme, stumbles around and staggers while the plan goes totally awry.

The present stage of things is moving closer to the bombing scenario. Perhaps, Erik Prince will supply the pilots and planes, and the US and Israel will "loan" him the smart bombs. Then a flashy landing with lots of Spanish-speaking freedom fighters coming out of the planes to explain how freedom is worth the risk they took.

It will be a great Hollywood film, no doubt.

But regime change is a lost art in Washington.

Posted by: Red Ryder | May 1 2019 21:26 utc | 37

We should never forget to attack mainstream media's protrayal of an event. On BBC radio they brought on a succession of pro-Guaido people and no representatives from the Venezuelan government. I wrote a fierce email to complain of bias and a few hours later they brought on an academic, a so-called Venezuela expert, who at least tried to present a slightly fairer picture. I immediately wrote her an email and pointed out that by posing as an expert she was giving the impression that her analysis was balanced when it clearly wasn't.

Posted by: Lochearn | May 1 2019 21:29 utc | 38

The coup continues to fail. The pro-opposition Reuters published an article saying "thousands" were gathering for the Guaido rallies (not "tens of thousands" let alone the near 200,000 in Paris for May Day today), while saying that "several thousands" were gathering for Maduro. Meanwhile, it adds, "millions" of Cubans throughout Latin America were demonstrating against the new U.S. sanctions.

Guaido and Lopez have no popular support at all but the U.S. will likely invade to install them. Let history show the brave and defiant Venezuelan people stayed with Maduro and the anti-imperialist camp.

Posted by: Blooming Barricade | May 1 2019 21:53 utc | 39

b, another excellent article on this subject, MoA is the reference for the coup attempt in Venezuela, congrats.

I repeat what I have said many times on this matter, there is no way a military intervention will happen in Venezuela, the countries in the region do not support it, the warmongering rhetoric even from certain LA leaders are simply that, toothless rhetoric. The reasons I state the above are:
1) LA countries are financially stressed, come utterly in a financial checkmate (Argentina), others without the military means for an adventure like that.
2) Though politically we will continue to hear that the so called Lima Club recognizes Guaidó blah blah, we will also hear that this group does not support a military intervention and that is very important thing.
3) Any military intervention would have to be 100% from the US, which means the US would have to bring back home hundreds of thousands soldiers from EU,East Asia,TMENA etc...which we know it is not happening, besides the US would have to use bases in Colombia and Brasil, though both Presidents said they would consider it, we know on the ground it is nearly impossible to be used in a short period, it would need months to prepare the places, it is a freaking jungle all over the border.
4) One could argue that the US does not need to invade with ground forces, only cruise missiles and air attacks...that would work in a country without air defense and small in size, but Venezuela is a large country and it has up to date air defenses, and we should never disregard the ability for Russia and or China to beef up Venezuela's air & costal defense, which is easy to do by few large cargo planes, can anyone think about S400s in Venezuela ?

What the US and its puppet lapdogs in LA and Europe will most likely do is to try some sort of Navy blockade (which may back fire if Venezuelan friends send their Navy to mess around with the Us plans) or the most likely all out economic sanctions on Venezuela, exactly the same as Iran, which means to sanction the countries buying Venezuelan oil.

By now, I repeat, there is no chance for a military intervention, but the US is wounded in its pride, it got ridiculed on the International arena, and wounded beast may react irrational, this is why Lavrov may have said, back off or worst can come to you in other regions of the world. This ain't about Venezuela alone, this is about a major collapse of US diplomacy and military power we have never seen before.

Posted by: Canthama | May 1 2019 22:07 utc | 40

Anya Parampil on Fox Tucker Carlson

Posted by: arby | May 1 2019 22:11 utc | 41

I'm surprised that no one has yet called Leopoldo Lopez out on wearing "blackface" as literal camouflage in order to blend in with the masses even as he attempts to lead them in his CIA-concocted revolution: (Lopez sans "blackface") (Lopez's parents and wife) (Lopez father and son) (Lopez's father)

Now Lopez wearing "blackface" whilst in the crowds:

Posted by: JaimedelaRueda | May 1 2019 22:22 utc | 42

The U.S. government's behavior is quite bizzare in this whatever they are calling it. Even more bizzare than usual I mean.

Posted by: Josh | May 1 2019 22:29 utc | 43

@42 JaimeddelaRueda - Leopoldo lopez looks like a coke fiend. (I've known quite a few...) I can't imagine why he would have left the Colombian embassy? Maybe Pompeo found a stash of WW2 era Pervatin at NATO and had it sent the Spanish embassy. In a diplomatic pouch, of course.

Posted by: roza shanina | May 1 2019 22:36 utc | 44

On the one hand, launching a hot war against Venezuela is almost certain to harm Trump politically, become a quagmire, and deliver no certain outcome. Its risks far outweigh its benefits by any rational calculation.

On the other hand, Israel clearly wants the US to decimate Hezbollah and destroy at least some parts of Iran's industrial and military infrastructure for the sake of the Greater Kingdom Of Zion. And the US needs free and ready access to some local oil reserves to do this.

So Trump will probably bomb Venezuela after all in a last ditch effort to prepare the US for imminent war with Iran. Because Trump was sent by God to be the champion of Israel, after all, as that twat Pence recently asserted. He's a fucking regular modern-day Cyrus, is Trump.

Posted by: WJ | May 1 2019 22:39 utc | 45

More background supporting "B"s point that the Venezuela's government created the trap that the US Administration fell into. Specifically, the Defense Minister, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and the head of the Presidential Guard fooled Washington into setting up the coup leaders to show themselves. Good job in smoking the US lackeys, perhaps with Russian signal intelligence support.

As for those who cannot stomach listening the Bolton's lies listen with the following in mind by another commentator:
4 hours ago (edited)
"Hi, I'm National Security Advisor of Exceptional America of Israel John Bolton. I suffer from Paranoid Schizophrenia as well as severe Cognitive Impairment. I am heavily medicated and should never be taken seriously. Of course it goes without saying that this applies to every member of the Trump Administration including POTUS."

Posted by: Krollchem | May 1 2019 22:40 utc | 46

Maduro should post a squad outside the spanish embassy asap (Assange style) to make sure Leopoldo does not get away.
Yesterday I found only some references about it on twitter but the MSM is real quiet about it. No mention of him hiding in the spanish embassy and the 25 soldiers in the brazilian embassy.
Definitely a lot of tropes of everyone going out for the demonstration (neglecting that may 1st is traditionally a huge rally day and not necessarily Guydo supporters).

Posted by: Gehennah | May 1 2019 22:46 utc | 47

> to declare their support for the Venezuelan constitution, if not necessarily for Guaidó himself.

and so they did: supported the Constitution as it was, not Guaido's delirium about what Constitution could be if it was not what it was

Problems, officer?

:-D :-D :-D

As one UK donkey used to say: Pathetic!

Posted by: Arioch | May 1 2019 22:58 utc | 48

How dare they put their country over our oil.

Craig Murray has a graphic of the world's oil reserves by country here.

Michel Chossudovsky was working in Chile during the 1973 coup and sees parallels:

"This spontaneous so-called military putsch was meant to fail.
Visibly, it was not a carefully planned operation. And Washington was fully aware from the outset that it would fail.
"From Washington’s standpoint, the ‘putsch” nonetheless serves a “useful” purpose. It creates a “narrative”, which serves as propaganda.
"In Chile in 1973, the September 11 coup d’Etat which led to the assassination of Allende and the installation of a military government was a carefully prepared military-intelligence operation which was supported by the US. with Henry Kissinger playing a direct role.
Of historical significance: The September 11, 1973 was preceded by a failed coup on June 29, 1973, which, in retrospect, was intended to fail.

Trump has elections coming up, and will suffer in the polls if the planned war against Iran restricts the flow of oil to domestic consumers, so he needs an alternative supply. V has been in their cross hairs for years, so regime change is a no brainer for his neocon advisors.

Posted by: Dadda | May 1 2019 22:59 utc | 49

"I keep wanting to ask folk that see Trump as some victim to point out one or more things he
has done or said in his life that would garner him the adulation due to folks like Gandhi. "
Josh@43 has the answer.
People feel sorry for Trump because he is acting like an idiot, a crude bully and someone
utterly ignorant of the realities of international life.
Currently, for example, not only is he surrounding Russia with nuclear weapons, while
denouncing arms control treaties-thereby suggesting very clearly that a strike on Russia is
being contemplated. He is also, by choice, provoking China while increasing tension with North
Then he is turning sanctions against Iran into open economic warfare. Which leads him to
threaten neutral and allied powers, like India, with sanctions unless they join the war on their long
established supplier of fuel.
The same message has gone out to the EU, otherwise known as NATO plus Turkey, which has been
cleverly transformed the US's closest ally in the region into an angry adversary.
And then there are Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua.
One of the basic rules of diplomacy is to divide your opponents; it takes a real idiot to unite them
And that is what Trump, and his government of fools are doing.
In fairness it ought to be said that Israel, the Saud family and the UAE seem to appreciate his work for
Someone is going to have to tell him that, in terms of power, these three pirate havens amount to almost nothing.
I know there are many people here who regard every piece of evidence of US stupidity as confirmation
of the complexity and cunning of a plan so clever that only they can understand what is going on but the reality
is that Trump is an ignorant fool being used by forces uninterested in the survival of the planet and incapable of thinking through the consequences of the crude blows that they use the US government to deliver.

Posted by: bevin | May 1 2019 23:02 utc | 50

Canthama @ 40:

What about the possibility that Canada will undertake an invasion, either alone or together with one or some of the EU countries that have territories in the Caribbean region? Canadian mining corporations have considerable interests in Venezuela, especially in the country's gold mines, and have long been opposed to the Bolivarian government.

Aruba, Curacao and Bonaire (Dutch territories) are close to the Venezuelan coast and the British and French also have territories in the Caribbean region close by. The EU nations that control these tax haven territories surely have a vested interest in seeing the Bolivarian revolution stopped and not allowed to infect the people living in the territories and give them inspiration and ideas to oust their overlords.

Posted by: Jen | May 1 2019 23:03 utc | 51

Evangalicals make up a 25% voting block in the US. Both Venezuela and Iran are anti Israel. They would most likely back Trump in war against either country. US voter turnout is around 60% which means Trump needs no more than 30% to win. I doubt re-election would be an issue if Trump launched a hot war against Venezuela. It would only be an issue if there were large numbers of US boots in body bags.

A section of Crookes Strategic Culture piece.
"It is a particularly loyal base which wholly concurs with the Israeli Right that Revolutionary Iran stands as an impediment to the coming into being of the prophesied ‘Greater Israel’ – and concomitantly, with the return of the Messiah. This ‘base’ (25% of Americans profess Evangelism), has turned a collective blind eye to all Trump’s moral failings, and totally disdained the Russiagate allegations. Unmoved by either, they just have come to believe that Trump is the amoral, secular, flawed – yet somehow ‘chosen’ – instrument who can lead Christians in the Cosmic war of good versus evil – with Iran cast as the cosmic evil. And, behind in the shadows, lies ring-master, Sheldon Adelson and his billions, fusing together the (non-Evangelical) Bolton to Netanyahu’s Greater Israel project with the whole sitting atop Trump’s extraordinary loyal Evangelical base on which his continuance in office beyond 2020 may one day hang."

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | May 1 2019 23:06 utc | 52

Make no mistake, Russia's move to start handing out passports to Donetsk and Luhansk inhabitants is intimately linked to events in Venezuela. And the fate of Ukraine rests on whether the US undertakes direct action vs Caracas or not. The moment Bolton justified possible invasion by the duty to protect US citizens in Venezuela was also the moment Moscow made the final decision to create similar pretext for the dismantling of the Ukraine. Russians had already proven their ability to take quick advantage of American moves against its allies by taking symmetrical action against vulnerable vassals of Washington. Kosovo was reciprocated by Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Takeover of Kiev - by severing of Crimea and Donbass. Invasion of Venezuela will inevitably result in Ukraine losing all of Black Sea coast and becoming completely unviable. And unlike US Special Forces, Russian troops will actually be greeted with flowers and genuine popular support in Kherson and Odessa.

Posted by: telescope | May 1 2019 23:17 utc | 53

> it takes a real idiot to unite them. And that is what Trump, and his government of fools are doing.

Posted by: bevin | May 1, 2019 7:02:36 PM | 50

And, that was what Hitler pulled in 1939-1941.

Our conspirologists, of annunaki-level depths of conspirology, long said that USA is decided to be XXI century big meanie and scapegoat, like Germany was set to be in 1914 and 1939

Posted by: Arioch | May 1 2019 23:22 utc | 54

I absolutely LOVE this theory, B. I have been fuming about the blatant and open attempts at threats and bribery tweeted out by Bolton. For all the studied blasé attitudes of some commenters... "The US has always bribed and threatened its way to foment coups and assassinations", those negotiations were always done behind closed doors. I have never before seen it done in the public square.
I assumed that Pompeo was doing his "We give classes in lying, cheating and stealing" tutorial, when he claimed that Maduro had a one-way ticket to Cuba. Why would Maduro inform Pompeo of his travel plans?
But if they got punked? Then I am delighted and amused.
What absolute joy it is to picture the faces of the Three Stooges when they realized they had been snookered.
And yeah, I hope that Maduro and his staff enjoyed some celebratory Champaign.

Posted by: wagelaborer | May 1 2019 23:27 utc | 55

@53 telescope, yes and I suggest Freeland as head the left over rump state: Galicia Uber Alles:

@37 Red Ryder: "But regime change is a lost art in Washington".

Great quote. Love it..

Posted by: Lozion | May 1 2019 23:34 utc | 56

How McClatchy has fallen. The article you linked to was transparently biased.
I can't believe this sentence...
"Why the military and other high-ranking officials didn't heed the call to topple Maduro remains unknown...."
Maybe because they aren't greedy, weaselly traitors? Does that not occur to the author?

And this...
"...demonstrators armed with little more than rocks, sticks, and MOLOTOV COCKTAILS.."
Haven't we all watched rock throwing Palestinians shot? Haven't we seen unarmed Parisians beaten in the streets? Haven't we all watched unarmed Americans, even seated unarmed Americans, attacked with water cannons, tear gas cannisters and rubber bullets?
Now we're supposed to believe that rocks, sticks and Molotov cocktails are perfectly innocent methods of protest, and the army should let themselves be shot or burned alive, like the soldiers and police in Ukraine and Syria and Nicaragua.

I don't think so.

Posted by: wagelaborer | May 1 2019 23:35 utc | 57

> On May 1, on the American initiative, a telephone conversation took place between the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, Sergey Lavrov, and the US Secretary of State, M. Pompeo.

Puzzles me a lot.

What Pompeo could want from that talk?

I can imagine that Lavrov calls Pompeo and demands US to stop their shenanigans. Not that is would work, but there at least would have been some point of making a call, something that would be needed ot be spelled out.

But what Pompeo was calling Lavrov for? What at that stage he could possible had t osay to Kremlin?

Posted by: Arioch | May 1 2019 23:37 utc | 58

Crooke's previous piece on team Trump's veiw of religion and war.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | May 1 2019 23:54 utc | 59

Excellent report, b; many thanks yet again (it's surprising how much honesty there was in the McClatchy propaganda piece).
I agree with many barflies; Random is probably not long of this earth after this fail.

Posted by: robjira | May 2 2019 0:08 utc | 60

Guaidó and his backers in the Trump administration were made to believe that some significant elements of the Maduro government and of the army would turn on Maduro. They launched a coup attempt that fell apart within a few hours as no one changed sides.

It seems the Western MSM also believed that. Just recover the headlines of the NYT, WaPo and The Guardian from the day, and you'll see a lot of terms like "resist", "yet", "seems to" etc. From the minute the coup begun, The Guardian (British version) had already it in its front page as an "urgent" news. It is very likely they were informed by the CIA/Five Eyes with antecedence so they could prepare the coverage in real time.

Today, Brazil's illegitimate president (because the leader in the polls, Lula, was jailed for inexistent crimes) Jair Bolsonaro, unconformed with the defeat, said "there's no defeat!" to the local media. He also said that the chance of a Brazilian invasion is "almost zero". Go tell.

Posted by: vk | May 2 2019 0:13 utc | 61

B, I fully agree with you that Guaido, and Pompeo, Bolton, Trump, etc., got snookered.

This, however, makes the situation all the more dangerous. People like these don't take public humiliation very well. Added to the frustration of not being able to act at will in their own hemisphere, they are likely to be beside themselves with fury.

Perhaps this is why Trump struck out at Cuba with threats of a total blockade.

They will not give up on Venezuela, and given their level of frustration and humiliation, their next actions could be both irrational and dangerous.

Posted by: dh-mtl | May 2 2019 0:16 utc | 62

"The Empire only appears to be strong. In reality it is weak, confused, clueless"

The Empire is not weak, this is poor analysis.

India and Europe stopped buying iranian oil. 1 billion $ of iranian oil stays blocked in China, no one wants to touch it.
Even Khamenei admitted that Europe left the JCPOA in practise.

Iran is in deep recession. Venezuela is in deep recession and is surrounded. Almost all of Latin America now has pro-US governments. CIA linked Bolsonaro took over in Brazil. Turkey is in deep recession and Erdogan lost the big cities.

India is moving closer to the US. Europe remains a vassal. Russian economic growth is weak. The US won the trade war against China as Andrei Martyanov himself admitted.

Iraq? US troops are staying there. Syria? US troops are staying there long term. 1 third of the country containing the biggest oil fields is under US control. There is fuel shortage crisis due to sanctions. Europe is not stopping its sanctions either.

There is no doubt that they will be weaker in the future, but they will fight hard to stop this and gain time.

Posted by: Passer by | May 2 2019 0:19 utc | 63

@61 The Western media ....with a few exceptions having a really hard time with regime change in Venezuela. They simply can't come out and admit that has been a fiasco. I guess for them to do that would be tantamount to treason. I'm surprised they haven't accused Maduro of threatening the families of anyone who defects.

Posted by: dh | May 2 2019 0:19 utc | 64

"What absolute joy it is to picture the faces of the Three Stooges when they realized they had been snookered."

Life imitates art: Similar to the two comedians who snookered Abrams and then Macron.

Ha ha ha. The vanity of these marks is so predictable that a pair of comedians can take them in easily and get them to divulge state secrets (there won't be a military invatins of Ven) on the phone! Same dynamic with Bolton & cie is pretty easy to imagine. The guy is so full of himself and clueless---that kind of fool is easily taken in.

Posted by: Really? | May 2 2019 0:23 utc | 65


One possibility is to inform Russia that air strikes are now more than 50% likely and Russia should be advised to act a ordingly wrt personnel on the ground in Venezuela?

Posted by: WJ | May 2 2019 0:27 utc | 66

e so called "coup" attempt was just a show for American and European audience consumption. You can easily tell by watching the Western coverage the last couple of days(CNN, fox, European news) and compare it to actual reality on the ground seen through interviews with Venezuelans and social media videos.

US media will milk this to increase sanctions and economic blockade on the country.

It seems Guaido and even López were used as pawns in this scheme by US intelligence and/,or Venezuelan and Russian intelligence. You can tell by looking at their faces on photos taken that early morning and by the fact that López immediately ran to the Chilean embassy. They knew they'd been duped and used as pawns.

The show will go on produced and directed by US intelligence. They are using psychological warfare not only on Venezuelans but on American and European citizens.Be aware US intelligence is running the show they don't spend 100 billion in Intelligence to let an idiot like Guaido run the show. Guaido is their dancing monkey. Watch the monkey dance. Dance monkey! Dance!

Posted by: Comandante | May 2 2019 0:46 utc | 67

@62 dh-mtl.. it ups the ante of a false flag which would include killing random guy... they will use that as grounds for bombing venezuala or trying to take out maduro via assassination...

Posted by: james | May 2 2019 0:47 utc | 68

Are we seeing the end of Pompeo and Bolton approaching after the humiliating failure of the latest coup d'état?
How long can Trump endure looking like à fool with these two incompetent advisors.
Pompeo and bolton have blown up the north korea dialog initiated by Trump? With the Venezuela circus, Trump will probably terminate theur services .

Posted by: Virgile | May 2 2019 0:59 utc | 69

Bolton, Pompeo, Abrams set Guaidó to be martyred. This would've triggered the military operation. Venezuela, Russia and China restrained the troops for the most part and end the coup relatively quietly. Guaidó is still free and hiding in the Brazilian embassy. The coup has been neutralized far better then anyone could've hoped for. People don't follow cowards and people not willing to fight. Someone needs to drop a memo to the three stooges around Trump, it's the 21st century, these are not the Russians or Chinese you were use to.

Posted by: MGS85249 | May 2 2019 1:21 utc | 70

>> launching a hot war against Venezuela is almost certain to harm Trump politically,

People keep saying this. Why? Who will the fake opposition run against him? The oligarchy owns the media, the political process, and therefore any candidate they give exposure to. They can run another Obamber-Killary-Creep to lose to Trump. If the idiot voters prefer the Creep, Dump remains “former President” for life and the oligarchy continues.

Posted by: oglalla | May 2 2019 1:24 utc | 71

@ Arioch with the question of why Pompeo would call Lavrov today

If you are a bully country, you are constantly huffing and puffing against your opponents to get them to move in the direction you want them to move.

Empire has backed itself into a corner where it can no longer act entirely unilaterally without consequences. It seems evident to me that short of nuke war, the US no longer can project itself around the globe like before the defeat in Syria.

Does the cornered dog of empire love its children?

Posted by: psychohistorian | May 2 2019 1:27 utc | 72

@ WJ #45

I made a google search for the terms 'democratic candidates 2020 on "venezuela"' and found very little. My search could be flawed, and google could have become even more crapified that I thought. Another possibility is that almost all of them are laying very low. One result had Gabbard saying the ruckus in Venezuela wasn't going to help in negotiations with North Korea, and that was all! One headline was more suggestive than the content of the piece:

"Joe Biden and Democratic Establishment Support Trump’s Coup Attempt in Venezuela"

I believe Biden and Pelosi and the rest of the Dem brass are totally willing to do the biding of the pissant apartheid state, and I'm assuming they want this done. Perhaps others here will have better luck searching than I have so far. Now to what you said.

On the one hand, launching a hot war against Venezuela is almost certain to harm Trump politically, become a quagmire, and deliver no certain outcome. Its risks far outweigh its benefits by any rational calculation.
If Trump is getting a free ride from the Democrats, I fail to see how he will be harmed in "political" terms. Most everybody seems to assume that an "attack" means an "invasion". Trump's little helpers are going to be whispering in his ear that the US cannot be allowed to be exposed as weak bluffers. Suppose they propose an attack which will be virtually risk-free. No US airplanes being shot down, and no US military men being put into body bags. A couple of B-2 bombers could drop hundreds of highly accurate bombs from a distance, and the S-300s in Venezuela would be overwhelmed. Most countries have been fiddling with "drone swarms". Imagine many hundred of these (each carrying at least a large hand grenade) emerge from their launching sites and fly towards the S-300s. I can even see some special forces getting close enough to launch intensive mortar attacks towards the air defense sites.

No matter what they used, some valuable experience would be gained for future attacks against these systems in Syria and Iran. Now the problem comes down to "how to justify this action?"

Trump has proven himself to be as gullible as hell. Imaginary Dead Ducks and Sick Children triggered the major ejection of Russian diplomats. Fantasy gas attacks by the Assad regime caused him to launch that blizzard of cruise missiles. Now then, suppose that Guaidó and his entire family are gruesomely murdered at the same time a crowd of his supporters are slaughtered by machine guns/explosives/whatever.

Where would you find such murderers? Holy Israel has been cultivating its gang on the borders of the open air concentration camp which is Gaza. These guys whoop it up when they maim their targets with the illegal bullets they're using, and don't shed a tear if some Palestinian brains are splattered over the landscape. The US has a cadre of torturers, and could easily cull out some Navy Seals/Marine Raiders/Army Special Forces who just love killing people.

An effective attack would shake the Venezuela military, and some multi-million dollar bribes would buy some key officers. Turning out the lights again with follow-up attacks on the crucial parts of the electrical distribution system would probably be another step. I can see no quagmire in any of this, and no matter what else happens, the US would once again be in the rabid dog mode and a lot of valuable stuff in Venezuela would be smashed. From here I can't see any risks at all. The ignorant & corrupt Trump has no reason to care, and the Rapture Nuts don't either.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | May 2 2019 1:44 utc | 73

#63 Passer By
Mostly good points, but
1) Russia is running a budget surplus and will likely be expanding natural gas pipeline capacity to China and Europe. The US's strong-arm tactic to stop Nordstream 2 appears unlikely to succeed, and to date sanctions have not changed the trajectory of their economy.
German public opinion is in favor of closer relations with Russia and they are not willing to support sanctions.

2) As for China:
a. The full court press on Huawai is not going nearly as well as hoped.
b. We will still have a massive trade deficit with China next year regardless of who "won" the trade war.
c. They are expanding their semiconductor capabilities; currently an Achilles heel.

3) The US is floating on a sea of debt (as is China) and corporate balance sheets are in poor shape to withstand a recession.

4) Fracking is a major variable and might be a flash in the pan.

5) I don't see us being able to control Venezuela's oil regardless of the "coup" outcome, other than to shut it down.

6) The infrastructure to weaken the US dollar is being built.

7) Boeing.

Posted by: Schmoe | May 2 2019 1:46 utc | 74

What unique and fiendishly clever idea. They lied to Elliot Abrams. I almost $hit myself l am laughing so hard!!!

Posted by: Tick Tock | May 2 2019 2:01 utc | 75

Search keywords for this turn of chess moves:
"great replacement"
"battle of Athens"

BoA was when after wwii Britain landed 70.000 troops at Athens with many "Tarrants" among them, massacred hundreds and layed the blame on both locals either from National army or the Communists.
So the civil war started. Maybe mossad urgently needs a civil war there now because locals are getting soon enough by literally the IDF and Erdogan needs his war.

Posted by: Royaly | May 2 2019 2:10 utc | 76

Passer by @ 63

Excellent analysis.

Nationalism isn't the game people. Nationalism is the misdirection.

Fuck. Figure it out for real. Lol. Or don't. Whatever gets you through the night.

Posted by: donkeytale | May 2 2019 2:22 utc | 77

@ Zachary Smith with the support for why the US might be going to war

I agree but I am still breathing and it has not happened, yet.

There is more going on here that we know enough about. I have to believe that there is something(s) that have changed the global dynamic

Yes, Israel is lashing out like a sick fevered child at the Palestinians and the world is seemingly like a deer in headlights in lack of response.

But the US has been stymied in the Ukraine, Syria, Iran, Cuba and Venezuela in a trend that is clear.

So, is it aliens, new weapons, newly found morals? Why is there all this frantic geopolitical warmongering going on?

My take is the money angle....big global debt balloon and socialistic China is winning by providing a better offer. The stage before the nuke threat is some form of US bankruptcy that blows up all the foreign exchange reserves in US dollars....and then a bunch of backroom meetings that result in a new world order or the nuke threat because the private finance elite are sore losers to mixed economies that include socialism.

Are we having fun now?

Posted by: psychohistorian | May 2 2019 2:25 utc | 78

William Gruff | May 1, 2019 2:29:12 PM | 9

Unless he wises up to the fact that he is a pon and he had zero chance to be a president post revolution. Then, he would do the next smart thing and seek refuge in an embassy like the other failure. At least he learned something.

Posted by: Alpi57 | May 2 2019 2:36 utc | 79

The power will shift. The power has shifted balance. The center of power moves east.

That doesn't mean any power will come to us.

Posted by: donkeytale | May 2 2019 2:43 utc | 80

@78 psychohistorian

Interesting scenarios. Some musings:

The soldiers who have to execute the nuke threat, the mercenaries who protect the rich, the lackeys who serve the interests of the powerful - what are they going to pay them with when the money blows up? What could they possibly promise them that could be believed? I think, nothing.

When you act in clear defiance of a sustained future, how can you promise future gain to your minions for their help in the present? And now in Venezuela we have seen exactly that promise yield exactly no gain at all, and only loss.

They've gamed the world for millennia, and now the world is gaming them back. Venezuela was where the game came to lose.

And although they hate us for our poverty that they create, and our lack of privilege that they withhold, we actually have one enormous privilege that they didn't foresee us gaining: we can watch it happening. We know what they're doing wrong. And they don't.

Posted by: Grieved | May 2 2019 2:59 utc | 81

All MoA readers know what the top issue should be in all the world media but Reuters thinks it should be about Congress and the AG Barr over the Mueller report.

This is called mass misdirection so folks don't see the war get started or new world order get set without them knowing about it....look over there at the plate spinning.

Posted by: psychohistorian | May 2 2019 3:00 utc | 82

Nice article until the last two sentences that once
again demonstrate you have no idea how devious Trump
is and how crazy it makes him that he still hasn't gotten
Maduro to heel. So Pompeo made up the story about the
Russians talking Maduro out of fleeing?

It's impossible to to read these comments on Venezuela
as new people come on board for these and keep posting crazy
long links.

Posted by: Circe | May 2 2019 3:00 utc | 83


Quit using a crappy browser. Firefox word wraps URLs nicely.


Posted by: Krollchem | May 2 2019 3:49 utc | 84

oglalla @71:

The oligarchy owns the media, the political process, and ... candidate[s] they give exposure to.

Zachary Smith @73:

If Trump is getting a free ride from the Democrats, I fail to see how he will be harmed in "political" terms.

The Empire is a bi-partisan project. That's why both Parties are 110% behind Zionism/Israel, rail against Russia, and don't complain about the outrageously high cost of MIL/INTEL.

The bickering between parties is only to distract and divide people. The Deep State gets what it wants and divides the spoils (every President cuts taxes or pledges to be "responsible" and not raise them, LOL).

Example: Trump invited Schumer and Pelosi to the oval office to discuss his "wall" in December 2018 before Pelosi was voted in as Speaker of the House. I noted at the time that Trump was helping Pelosi to win the Speaker vote.

Only the blind, foolish or Kool-Aide drinkers still doubt that the US President and senior leaders of both Parties are well-vetted as Deep State assets.

Welcome to the rabbithole.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 2 2019 3:56 utc | 85

Craig Murray has it right.

"....In any civilised country, attempting to mount a military coup would lead to incarceration for life, and that is what should now happen to Juan Guaido. The attempt by the West to protect their puppet by pretending the failed military coup never happened, must be resisted, if only in the cause of intellectual honesty....."

Regular Guy should be immediately arrested and tried for treason. to do less actually encourages the scoundrels - though I rather assume that Maduro and the military/political elites in Venezuela know more about the actual situation than I do...but I will say that I believe that Chavez too often failed to arrest and try the coup-prone opposition traitors, one reason the government is in this mess now

check out the imperialist Atlantic Council recent Apr 26 meeting/symposium - keynote speaker, the noted democrat and humanitarian Elliott Abrams
bwaaaaaahahahahahaha - gag me

Venezuela After Maduro: A Vision for the Country's Future

"....With a democratic transition, reconstruction will bring international funding and assistance to help reclaim the country’s once bright prospects..."

Posted by: michaelj72 | May 2 2019 4:46 utc | 86

@ michaelj72 with the quote from, I assume Abrams (thanks for the comment)

"....With a democratic transition, reconstruction will bring international funding and assistance to help reclaim the country’s once bright prospects..."

This is what I call rape 2 protect R2P even though it has been assigned another meaning. That international financing is the private folk that always have you and I in every decision they make........and not in a humanitarian way

Think about a world where all finance is done by and between sovereign counties with out private profit in the middle. China/Russia are bringing us this world because it represents a better way than centuries of Might-Makes-Right global private finance

It seems Venezuela may be the watershed moment in history where structural change occurs in the global social is way past time, IMO

Posted by: psychohistorian | May 2 2019 5:02 utc | 87

Tick Tock @75--

I must agree with you Bigtime!! The Psyopsers got Psyoped and have become more naked than ever!

I've shown why there's zero rationale for an armed assault on Venezuela in previous threads and see no need to repeat myself other than to say such a move would result in a bullet-to-the-head-like result for the Outlaw US Empire and its ambitions for reclaiming Latin America.

Maduro should round-up the remaining golpistas and let justice decide. Maduro then needs to address the world and call-out the Brazen lawlessness and terrorism of the Outlaw US Empire and demand restitution of all it assets and retribution for the illegalities. It's time to throw the Neocons out into the mud.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 2 2019 5:16 utc | 88

My thought is that the Venezuelan leadership is now playing to a world audience. A dictatorship, as the US is calling it, does not let a clown let a US puppet like Guaido run free. In allowing this clown (and his incompetent handlers) to run his course, while watched by a world audience... I think Russian intel is coming into play here, and like the washington candidates in Moscow, Guaido will be left in place to play the clown.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | May 2 2019 6:12 utc | 89

I tend to side with Comandante @67 here.

For me, this "coup" in VZ brings up some ghosts of the Bay of Pigs. You may recall in 1961 the CIA invaded Cuba, knowing full well it would fail. When it foundered, they tried to talk JFK into more invading, as the U.S. was already committed to the invasion. He told them to go f**k themselves. (Of course, we all remember what happened to HIM.)

The latest Guano "coup" is such a joke, it's hard to take seriously, EXCEPT as ammunition for Pompeo/Bolton/Rubio/Abrams to get Trump to put some actual troops/mercs into it.

Does Trump have JFK's cojones? Don't think so.

Posted by: therobin | May 2 2019 6:34 utc | 90

How to throw a bull. (ie - don't grab it by the horns)

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | May 2 2019 6:50 utc | 91


You are onto something as some 15,000 Columbian paramilitaries already operate in 10 Western Venezuelan States.

"Most of them work for or cooperate with landowners and businesspeople. They control travel routes, local economies, food supplies, and even health care and schools. Crossing a border porous in both directions, they engage in narco-trafficking, smuggling of goods and people, private security, arms-trafficking, kidnapping, casinos, currency trading, land theft, illegal mining, terrorism, and military combat. They arrived in Venezuela in 1997."

On the flip side Columbia will have to deal with FARC and ELN rebels if Columbia tries to actually invade Venezuela. Imagine what they could do the the Columbian forces if armed with a few hundred SA-24 Man-Portable Air-Defense Systems.

Then there is the latest Russian MANPAD which Russian advisors in Venezuela must have.

Note also that the Venezuelan flag held by guaido's supporters at the Columbian bridge had a Star of David in the center of the flag (Time stamp 1:09:40).

I suspect that some of the Israeli military in Brazil are now operating in Venezuela. America and Israeli governments specialize in chaos and economic warfare and I am sorry to say that things could get nasty soon.

Posted by: Krollchem | May 2 2019 7:05 utc | 92


Trump did show some spine on the capmaign train and even the first couple of months as POTUS but he was completely captured by the neocon/deep-state. Now Trump is just a face and a twitter account, he does not have agency in the game as he himself is representation of someone's agency in the game. A puppet who is controlled by puppet master.

Why B is not talking directly about him and paints him as the victim of Bolton, Pompeo and Abrahms? Maybe he is still hoping that Treump will act and drain the swamp. Sorry but your history shows that the person who can enact changes is never the POTUS. This time is no different.

Posted by: G | May 2 2019 8:12 utc | 93

Venezuela is watershed also because it will reveal the true nature of western fake left which is just another globalist branch. The collapse of mainstream left in U.S and Europe has been gigantic.

Posted by: Matias | May 2 2019 9:22 utc | 94

"Most of them work for or cooperate with landowners and businesspeople. They control travel routes, local economies, food supplies, and even health care and schools." <--about Colombian paramilitaries in Venezuela. It would be strange if that was some single organization. From hearsay (Venezuelan, old), a Venezuelan with a grudge would hire a Colombian. In the aftermath of La Violencia in 1950s, Colombia got a distinctly violent subculture that produces drug cartels, leftist guerrillas and rightwing paramilitary organizations (apart from the more pacific majority, to be sure). Local big men would have to have security guards who could also be assassins if needed, and such needs would exists on both sides of the border that separates Nueva Grenada into modern nation states.

A problem for Colombian government is that once you create chaos, it would most assuredly be on both sides on the border. While they are all Nueva Grenadas, it seems that Colombia produces more than its proportional share of violent people of various types and it does not take much to stir them again against their own government, so we would again see spectacular assassinations (like the entire Supreme Court), kidnappings and deadly clashes in the country side.

On the other hand, Venezuelans themselves seems to be easy going types and CIA was not able to recruit a deadly opposition force, like Banderist gangs in Ukraine. In actuality, good killers tend to be prideful, you do not really hire them but entice. I mean, they have their own agendas and the outsiders can support them or not, but "creating them" is a different story.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | May 2 2019 9:53 utc | 95

Everyone in Washington believed that significant figures in the Venezuelan government would change sides. They did not do so. Vladimir Padrino rejected the coup within an hour after Guaidó announced it

interesting that Vladimir Padrino, at the behest of the US Army, did a stint at the notorious School of the Americas back in 1995...

...specializing in Psychological Operations.

a million laughs!

Posted by: john | May 2 2019 10:12 utc | 96

@ #90> Bay of Pigs, yes. Also more deeply the new threats to blockade Cuba finishes the frayed agreement Kennedy made with Soviets over the missile crises. The Caribbean Crises, as Soviets knew it, is about to reprise with a somewhat different outcome.

so what?

Look for Russian presence in Cuba to increase and include warships which, of course, have...get this...missiles... And look for SS anti-air in V and C...and yes the Ukraine bit is cute too.

To be fair, these guys in DC are hallucinating. I mean this, they are frankly unable to see reality.

Classical. Those whom the gods would destroy...

Bearing malice against foolish and insane people is a bad thing, and corrupts us. Of course they're also quite serious, and dangerous.

Nuts or sane, they're backs are to the sea, as they see things. They will use what they have. They have only bs and force.

Posted by: Walter | May 2 2019 10:14 utc | 97

On the flip side Columbia will have to deal with FARC and ELN rebels if Columbia tries to actually invade Venezuela. Imagine what they could do the the Columbian forces if armed with a few hundred SA-24 Man-Portable Air-Defense Systems. Krollchem | May 2, 2019 3:05:51 AM

That really matches what I tried to say about "violent subcultures/cultures". In northern Africa these would be Saharan tribes with warrior cultures, primarily Tubu and Tuareg. In the aftermath of the collapse of Libyan state they got sizable caches of weapons. Tuareg of Mali were already clashing with their government, and one group got more weapons, proclaimed allegiance to ISIS and ruled over the northern 2/3 of Mali (Sahara, so not that many people) for a year or two. Civilian government of Mali tried to send what passes as Malian army to quell the rebels, but the perspective of passing time among sands and temperatures easily exceeding 50 centigrades while fighting deadly Tuareg was ... frankly, who would want it except for Tuareg and Tubu? So their took over the government in the capital where it is slightly cooler, beer is readily available etc. As a result, Tuareg had to pass time fighting each other until a foreign intervention could be assembled, including cameo roles for Americans serving as trophies.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | May 2 2019 10:31 utc | 98

There is an assumption among some that the coup was intended to fail. This is nonsense. Too much credibility was burned in and by the US. If buy-in from the US population was unnecessary and Trump could just start bombing whenever he wanted, then why didn't the bombing start years ago? If they didn't need buy-in then why waste $billions on daily propaganda and jingoism? Why is CNN and the New York Langley Times still pretending that the "uprising" is still going on? Why did they bother to pretend that there was an "uprising" in the first place?

Too many assets were wasted in this attempted coup. Lopez was intended to be the permanent president after the Random Guaido "interim" one. He's now a fugitive and out of the picture. Random Guaido is now a laughingstock in Venezuela. He no longer has any traction with the population that the CIA can use. The CIA believed they had assets high in the Venezuelan government. Even if those "assets" were actually just yanking the CIA's and Bolton's chains, they were still considered important assets that would be worthless if the coup failed, so why waste them in a throwaway fake coup attempt?

No, this was not a sophisticated geopolitical head fake by the Empire of Chaos that they intend to follow up with some masterstroke. This was the once-might Evil Empire getting punked.

Now, demented psychos who have been made a fool of by their intended victims might respond with insane violence. Let's see if the doddering and senile late-stage Evil Empire has enough viagra to get its grotesquely over-sized military to stand at attention for an afternoon of ultraviolence.

Posted by: William Gruff | May 2 2019 11:11 utc | 99

@ Arioch with the question of why Pompeo would call Lavrov today

If you are a bully country....
Does the cornered dog of empire love its children?

Posted by: psychohistorian | May 1, 2019 9:27:23 PM | 72

Well, well, those were all a good-rounded words about very vague and generic concepts.
But they should have translated into some very specific wrods of a very specific phone talk.
And you offered no specific words in your alleged explanation.
See, i can talk about generic situation as good as any barfly can.

But i can not imagine any *specific* words that could be said by Pompeo without makiung himself look a total fool.
And seems neither can you.

Ok, i am Lavrov, you are Pompeo, you just triggered pathetic-coup-lite in Venezuela and not you call me.
- Hello, mr. Lavrov.
- Hello, mr. Pompeo.

Go on. Try to start the copnversation without making yourself and USA utter nobody's fools.
My imagination is not enough.

P.S. in Russian a persn who speaks way too much whether one had to or not is called болтун - boltoon. Sounds like Bolton, ain't it?

Posted by: Arioch | May 2 2019 11:21 utc | 100

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