Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
March 09, 2021

In Support Of Regime Change - The New York Times Continues To Disinform Its Readers

U.S. President Joe Biden continues Donald Trump's regime change policy towards Venezuela. From yesterday's press briefing by the State Department:

QUESTION: Staying in Latin America, is it fair to say that the Biden administration is pursuing regime change in Venezuela?

MR PRICE: It is fair to say that the Biden administration supports the democratic aspirations of the people of Venezuela. Our overriding goal is to support a peaceful democratic transition in Venezuela through free and fair presidential and parliamentary elections, and to help the Venezuelan people rebuild their lives and their country.

We know at the root of much of the misery and the suffering of the people of Venezuela stands one individual, and we have been very clear that Nicolas Maduro is a dictator. His actions have not been in the best interests of the people of Venezuela. It hasn’t just been the United States that has been saying that. It has been the United States and many of our closest partners both in the region and well beyond.

QUESTION: So it’s basically – it’s basically a nicer way of saying Maduro must go?

MR PRICE: We believe and we support the democratic aspirations of the people of Venezuela. That is why we are committed to supporting the people through humanitarian measures and also targeting regime officials and their cronies involved in human rights abuses and corruption.

Yes.

The New York Times is, as usual, supportive of such illegal policies. It continues to disinform its readers about economic problems caused by these. Today it reports on a minor measure Biden took with regards to Venezuelans in the United States:

As many as 320,000 Venezuelans living in the United States were given an 18-month reprieve on Monday from the threat of being deported, as the Biden administration sought to highlight how dangerous that country has become under President Nicolás Maduro.

The fourth paragraph is supposed to describe Venezuela's current 'danger':

Venezuela is mired in one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises under Mr. Maduro, who, through a mix of corruption and neglect, oversaw the decay of the country’s oil infrastructure that had propped up its economy. The United Nations has estimated that up to 94 percent of Venezuela’s population lives in poverty, with millions of people bereft of regular access to water, food and medicine.

Isn't there something missing in the above? Was the 'decay of the country’s oil infrastructure' really caused by Maduro? Or did the U.S. have something to do with that?

Six paragraphs further down we learn what really is causing Venezuela's problems:

[O]ne of the officials who briefed reporters on Monday on condition that he not be identified said the Biden administration was reviewing whether to lift a raft of economic sanctions that experts believe have cost Venezuela’s government has much as $31 billion since 2017.

The official said that review would assess whether the economic pressure exacted against Mr. Maduro and his government was worth the risk of exacerbating the dire living conditions for Venezuelans.

So it was Maduro's 'corruption and neglect' plus the minor issues of $31 billion practically stolen by the U.S.

We can be sure that the outcome of the sanction review will be negative. If there will be any lifting of sanctions it will only be on the margins.

A similar pattern of NYT disinformation could be observed with regards to regime change in Brasil. As FAIR notes today:

The Brazilian Supreme Court on March 8 dismissed all charges against former President Luis Inacio “Lula” da Silva made during the Lava Jato investigation, a little over a month after the investigation was officially ended. The termination came shortly after the Supreme Court admitted 6 terabytes of leaked Telegram chats between public prosecutors and judges as evidence in the case.
...
The Times rarely applied any scrutiny to the investigation until Lula’s political imprisonment was imminent. Serious crimes committed by [judge] Moro and the taskforce, such as the 2016 wiretapping of Lula’s defense team’s law offices, were either glossed over or not mentioned at all. In article after article, the Times failed to share important information on the investigation. This helped normalize the 2016 coup and the removal of Lula from the 2018 presidential elections, which in turn opened the door for a neofascist/military takeover of Brazil.

The Times also failed to note the heavy U.S. involvement in the case:

Due to the Telegram leaks, everyone now knows Lula is innocent, but long before this, there was ample evidence of a political witch hunt. By ignoring or downplaying issues that raised doubts about Lava Jato, while giving the hero’s treatment to Sergio Moro, the Times became an active participant in this witch hunt.
...
Years of censorship by omission, one-sided reporting and lionizing far-right prosecutors as they worked closely with the FBI, helped to destroy the image of a political party that, among other things, moved 26 million people above the poverty line, was the world leader in greenhouse gas reduction, and implemented one of the most ambitious affirmative action programs in history.

But Lula is free and we are happy to hear that he feels well:

In a conversation recorded before the justice’s decision, but with the possibility it created already in mind, I talked with Lula about what he learned in prison, how he reads the rise of fascism around the world, what he thinks progressives must do to win national elections as he did, and whether he is ready for another go at the presidency.

“I say every day that I am 75 but I feel that I have the energy of a 30-year-old,” he told me. “And I am as horny as a 21-year-old, so I can say to you that I'm alive, fighting for democracy.”

There is more from Lula at this link.

Posted by b on March 9, 2021 at 16:45 UTC | Permalink

Comments

Thanks for the posting b

I don't know what horniness has to do with fighting for democracy but I am also happy to read the Lula has been vindicated and will be returning to the political arena.

The NYT continues to be a water carrier for empire and it has and continues to be very effective in doing so....in spite of b's and others efforts.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Mar 9 2021 16:59 utc | 1

Best news in awhile Lula is Free

Posted by: jo6pac | Mar 9 2021 17:14 utc | 2

The mendacity of the NY Times matches that of the Outlaw US Empire and their BigLie Media kin. If the recent Venezuelan elections are an indicator, democracy will continue to flourish with outcomes unpalatable for the Empire. The implosion of the Fracking Ponzi Operation and rapid drop in purchasing power of the dollar in the oil patch globally has driven a fuel price rise of close to 100% since the beginning of 2021 and is the sort of inflation capable of undermining any attempt at an economic recovery. Recall, what was just passed by Congress is merely Disaster Relief, NOT a well thought out plan for rejuvenating the economy--something I'd be extremely surprised to see any band of Neoliberals accomplish. The result is that IMO Venezuela remains a candidate of Biden's Neocons for R2P-type of regime change which means invasion and war; thus, the Lying Times article.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 9 2021 17:23 utc | 3

What I notice is the State Dept. continues to hold absolute faith in the efficacy of bullshit.

Posted by: Bemildred | Mar 9 2021 17:25 utc | 4

As my ilk has said for a long while, when it comes to US foreign policy - IT DOES NOT MATTER WHO IS PRESDIENT - the facts are fixed around the policy (to quote the dodgy dossier case). Of course Venezuela is Cuba 2.0. There is no independence from Empire

Posted by: gottlieb | Mar 9 2021 17:49 utc | 5

thanks b.... i agree with the 5 comments above me too.. more of the same shite from the same purveyors of lies and shite... no surprise....

Posted by: james | Mar 9 2021 17:53 utc | 6

The US State Department, the New York Times, and most of the Western establishment media are completely Orwellian.

There currently is much news coverage of the trial of Derek Chauvin who kept his knee on George Floyd's neck for 9 minutes, despite his pleas of "I can't breathe".

Yet our news media make zero connection between that crime and that of the US self-appointed global cop keeping its chauvinistic sanctions knee over the necks of the brown people of Venezuela for years despite their many pleas.

Same goes for the US knee on the neck of the brown people of Syria, for 9 years now - actually 10 soon. (Aaron Mate had an excellent 23-minute piece on this recently, featuring Tulsi Gabbard.)

Same for Iran, Cuba, for even longer, and so many other countries. The US white cop, with its white cop buddies (Canada, UK, Australia, etc.) regularly impose brutal collective knee to neck sanctions tactics as their favourite M.O. to bully and subjugate mostly non-white peoples.

As one US secretary of state responded when asked about US sanctions killing 500,000 Iraqi children, "We think the price is worth it." Is that something along the lines of what Chauvin's legal team might argue?

Venezuela, Syria, Iran, Cuba, etc. should use the hashtag #ICantBreathe to try to get through to the brainwashed American people who turn a blind eye to their country's crimes against humanity.

Posted by: Canadian Cents | Mar 9 2021 17:53 utc | 7

I noticed a peculiar incident in a small, microcosmic, insignificant, niche, online community recently. Got me thinking...

A popular video gamer channel was banned on Youtube, based on a knee jerk reaction, enabled through standardised/automated Youtube complaint channels, which usually result in automatic bans that are hard to appeal, unless backed by major corporate and/or legal muscle. The onus of proof often befalls the accused, and the path to reinstatement is deliberately obscure, with limited scope of success, unless backed by significant resources.

Essentially, a Youtuber made a video insinuating some unethical practices by an industry operator, which was then countered by him being accused of copyright infringement, resulting in his channel being banned...

Here are some sample videos explaining the premise of what happened and the community reaction in support of the aggrieved channel:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ycZ_r3D7K08
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6iAZF8pm4Jg
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QBFyQDKd1bY
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0x9veEJIa2w

Now, assume a false flag operation was being conducted... to counter draconian Big Tech censorship ;

A popular niche channel, confident most of the community would be incentivised to mobilise and support them as an aggrieved party, a falsely accused victim of an automated Social Media ban, purely executed through algorithmically executed injustice.... a test salvo aimed to ignite resistance to the authoritarian, premeditated indifference being currently exerted on marginal left wing channels?

It's an interesting theory, if not a possible example of how to actually counter some of the more egregious attempts to suppress counter narrative outlets recently being banned for no valid reason?

Apologies if this a bit nerdy and irrelevant to some of the more geopolitically significant events usually discussed here, but i thought there may be some applicable dynamics worth analysing, in light of what is actually occurring worldwide in the digital information sphere.

Posted by: Et Tu | Mar 9 2021 17:56 utc | 8

As long as you don't use the naughty words "regime change" then that makes it okay!

Posted by: Feral Finster | Mar 9 2021 18:19 utc | 9

What difference would $31 billion over 3 years make to Venezuela? Venezuela’s annual GDP is around $50 billion (nominal) or $200 billion (PPP). So $31 billion equates to somewhere between 5% and 20% of GDP which would surely have a significant effect on living standards.

Posted by: Bobby | Mar 9 2021 18:40 utc | 10

Biden doesn't exist. Just a meat sack controlled by the ruling class. And he's getting worse. Harris will be in by the end of the year not that it will matter. The rest of the world just have to hunker down and ride it out the best they can as the US disintegrates. Hopefully other nations will band together and resist. They all know the consequences if they try to take us on one at a time.

Posted by: So | Mar 9 2021 18:46 utc | 11

The NYT could, and should be, called out for its lies every week. What's said is that many friends and family regard it as an unbiased font of truth that served as an antidote to the Bad Orange Man (and they never consider their beloved Dems could be just as bad as him).

Posted by: worldblee | Mar 9 2021 18:53 utc | 12

Smarter Empire? From New Left Review blog:

https://newleftreview.org/sidecar/posts/smarter-empire

Posted by: profk | Mar 9 2021 18:54 utc | 13

@ Posted by: Bobby | Mar 9 2021 18:40 utc | 10

5% per year is devastating for any nation-state (even developed countries). If you ask any Western European country to automatically have a surplus of 5% of its annual GDP (say, as a collateral to receive a multi-billion IMF rescue package), it would immediately mean the end of its welfare state, just to give you an example. NATO has been asking - without success - for its European members to rise their defense spending to the minimum 2% of yearly GDP for years now, and it won't succeed for the simple reason those members sincerely can't afford to separate even +1% of their GDP to meet the quota. We live in the era of debt, where every nation-state is "maxed out".

Just to give you another example of the grandiosity of having to sacrifice 5% of your yearly GDP: the USA "only" spends 3.6% of it yearly GDP on defense. Now imagine if an alien superpower invaded and occupied the USA and forced it to give 5% of its annual GDP as tribute.

But even abstracting the loss in annual GDP, the most devastating effects to the Venezuelan economy is the embargo of manufactured goods to the country. No nation-state is self-sufficient in our present era, and this is even truer for a small country such as Venezuela. Imagine a Western European country suddenly unable to import: it would go to shithole status in the snap of a finger (see the paranoia over Brexit, which is much milder than what Venezuela is going through).

Posted by: vk | Mar 9 2021 19:08 utc | 14

THE TRUTHIS OUT THERE SOMEWHERE
Its just so well hidden by the faithful servants of the elite that the pleb victims will never know anything to do with it. The vast majority would never believe a word of it anyway. So it continues. Money goes to money. Power goes to power. The almightiest of all are nothing better than juvenile, self-seeking, king-of-the-childish-castle delinquents.
Wrong is made right. Stupid is made intelligent. More than 5 children per indigent woman is promoted whilst cattle farming for meat is berated. Endless moronic tripe is served up as truth and urgent need.
No debate is promoted nor wanted. Debate is debased, outlawed, cancelled.
The delinquent scum that has risen to the top vomits its mindless suicidal doctrine upon humanity,
Be sure to accept and promote all that is mindless. Remember your pay check depend on your performance. Forget the future because you and yours will not be a part of it. And thereafter nor will the manufactured elite delinquent class.

Posted by: Carver | Mar 9 2021 19:21 utc | 15

The New York Times and The Washington Post have long been, and continue to be, stenographers for the State Dep't and CIA -- why is anyone surprised at these recent campaigns?

Posted by: chet380 | Mar 9 2021 19:22 utc | 16

Perhaps it could help to correct the misused vocabulary. Then we can say that "The policy of inhumane interventionism defends illiberal world order and fosters anti-democratic aspirations."

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 9 2021 19:40 utc | 17

@psychohistorian (1) "The NYT continues to be a water carrier for empire and it has and continues to be very effective in doing so....in spite of b's and others efforts."

Carrying water for the empire is an essential component of the NYT's business model. It is what gives them unparalleled access to government officials and intelligence operatives, which creates the false aura of authoritativeness that surrounds the Times, which, in turn, attracts readers and advertisers and, importantly, influences what is written and said by other media outlets. That is how the Times became and has remained the "paper of record." It's a perfect symbiotic relationship. The WaPo has some of the same cachet but will always be second tier in terms of managing the narrative that the U.S. government wants people to hear.

Posted by: Rob | Mar 9 2021 19:43 utc | 18

My dentist's assistant is Venezuelan and has many family members living there. They grow their own food to survive. The nearby hospital is barely functioning due to lack of parts. Medicines are in short supply. I gave this lady $200 at Christmas for her family. You would have thought I gave her a million dollars! The U.S. media needs to be held accountable for their blackout on reality relating to foreign news, which diverts the public's anger elsewhere

Posted by: simjam | Mar 9 2021 19:47 utc | 19

@Bobby | Mar 9 2021 18:40 utc | 10
Are you serious?
31 billions is just what’s US steal from Venezuela blocking money in US banking system.
EU and others, like England, Korea or Japan.... as well and $billions more.
And that's only the emerge part of iceberg.

JUST read , for example, something honest from a American politician
https://orinocotribune.com/us-senator-demands-end-of-us-interference-in-venezuela-and-bolivia/

Posted by: Bernard F. | Mar 9 2021 20:02 utc | 20

Thinking the "horny" part of the Lula quote is a mistranslated Portuguese term meaning something more like "vigorous" or "lusty" but as in lust for life.

Posted by: Gatopardo | Mar 9 2021 20:37 utc | 21

@ Gatopardo | Mar 9 2021 20:37 utc | 21 with the more likely translation of Lula's words

Thanks! It did sound a bit odd but cultural norms are different Vigorous lust for life sounds goods and may he enjoy many more years of life.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Mar 9 2021 20:46 utc | 22

@chet380 16: "The NYT could, and should be, called out for its lies every week."

Why? It's the main establishment newspaper. And as such it's useful for discovering what the establishment wants you think, at any given moment. What they emphasize, what they ignore, conceal.

All this can be analyzed, and it'll help you figure out what the establishment's plans are. In a similar way to what they used to call 'kremlinology'.

Posted by: Mao Cheng Ji | Mar 9 2021 21:01 utc | 23

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=psmPnI77K0M

Speaking of regime change, the ex-NK Hottie claims there was a rebellion in Musan, NK. Her claims are interesting but some confirmation would be nice.

The US foolishly helps China by supporting SK. China wouldn't like a powerful nuke armed reunited Korea on their border and the US keeps the two apart. How nice.

It's amazing how inept the Biden Administration is and how the media doesn't report it. Jen Psaki should be a Trump level embarrassment. They slam Saudi Arabia but pull their punches at the last minute, as if they can't make up their minds.

Posted by: Eighthman | Mar 9 2021 21:03 utc | 24

So | Mar 9 2021 18:46 utc | 11

Hopefully other nations will band together and resist. They all know the consequences if they try to take us on one at a time.

I too would like to see much closer cooperation between the victims of US Sanctions. They should agree between themselves that they will totally ignore all these sanctions and expand trade within the group as far and as fast as possible and if necessary, send battleships to guard ships carrying goods between them. (E.g. tankers to and from Venezuela and Iran, ships to and from the DPRK.) I do not understand why it has taken so long.

Posted by: foolisholdman | Mar 9 2021 21:24 utc | 25

Great analysis b,

The media is complicit throughout the Anglo / Zionist captive nations, not just in the US.

https://johnmenadue.com/the-iraq-war-the-murdoch-war-and-media-culpability/

They don't need a memo from Rupert, they know what to omit and what lies to spin on autopilot.

I notice, as I predicted, the MSM in Australia and New Zealand has omitted to mention the NZ Superannuation fund decision to divest from Israeli banks. They couldn't bring themselves to even give the slightest recognition to THAT. " News is what someone somewhere wishes to suppress, all the rest is advertising" Lord Northcliffe.

Posted by: Paul | Mar 9 2021 22:26 utc | 26

Interesting that there is almost a 3-year age gap between Lula da Silva (b. 27 October 1945) and Joe Biden (b. 20 November 1942) yet Lula da Silva, despite having a background of childhood poverty, undergoing chemotherapy for throat cancer in 2011 and recently recovering from COVID-19, comes across in the linked Anand Giridharadas' interview as bright-eyed and bushy-tailed; whereas Joe Biden is little more than a cardboard construct lost without his teleprompter or his wife Jill nearby. Rumours of Biden's advancing dementia are coming thicker and faster than every, though perhaps not as fast as Lula da Silva's squirrel qualities. :-)

They're nearly of the same generation but the psychological and intellectual (and even physical, in the sense of their respective health profiles) differences between them might almost be of separate generations.

Posted by: Jen | Mar 9 2021 22:31 utc | 27

The calm, heroic dignity of the Venezuelan people is impressive to see, or at least to sense through reading on line and reading between the lines of corporate media. The people there are taking all the non-military punishment the empire can muster. Perhaps soon we will see how they respond to military invasion.

Posted by: Chas | Mar 9 2021 22:33 utc | 28

In line with b's comments about how the NYT was an active participant in the regime change operation in Brazil.

https://fair.org/home/nyt-fails-to-examine-its-participation-in-brazils-biggest-judicial-scandal/

The New York Times is an instrument of the Empire, based in the Empire City and has always been dedicated to preserving, justifying and laundering the actions of the Empire. They have admitted that most foreign affairs stories are passed by the CIA for approval prior to publication. Their domestic coverage probably gets the same treatment from the FBI.

Posted by: _K_C_ | Mar 9 2021 23:15 utc | 29

To the larger theme of immigration to the USA from Latin America. It's not discussed often, even in the ostensibly pro-immigration media there, but Mexicans are leaving and have been leaving the USA at greater rates than they are arriving for some time now. The vast majority of immigration from Central and South America is directly attributable to policies that date to Ronald Reagan and carried through the Bush I, Bush II, Obama and Trump administrations. Plain and simple: U.S. military involvement and training of right wing death squads, the theft of billions of $ from the economies of countries whose democratically elected leaders refuse to stand down and turn their resources and markets over to U.S.-backed banks, corporations (agribusiness, oil, other extractive industries) and allow their people to become subject to the whims of privatization in the utilities, health care, education and the other 'natural commons' is precisely the reason why waves (or caravans) and all of the negative consequences thereof are THE reason that millions of migrants leave their homes and head to the U.S. border in search of a meager economic improvement.

The centrist Democrats in the USA (and various political parties in EU) are in league with the corporate right and far right Republicans (which included Trump) in all of this. It's hard to argue, given the preponderance of evidence, that it drives down wages, destroys unions and divides the population for the oligarchy to pit against one another and distract them from the theft that continues domestically. Same can be said of the U.S. and other colonial powers' wars in the ME and Africa. How many Syrians, Iraqis, Afghans, Somalians, etc. would have left their countries for the USA and Western Europe/Scandinavia if not for the illegal military actions and continual political sabotage in favor of energy companies and banks? I would wager FAR fewer than have.

In the USA and EU, only the left acknowledges the root cause of the issue. The center and right are too busy 1) creating and then using the crises for political gain and 2) refusal to recognize what's really causing it - either intentionally as is the duty of outlets like the NYT and Fox News, or unintentionally because Americans swim in a sea of propaganda that they don't even understand surrounds them. It's like the old fish joke which I will try to re-tell here:

A man asks two fish in a tank "How's the water?" One fish looks at the other puzzled and says "What's he talking about; what's water?"

Posted by: _K_C_ | Mar 9 2021 23:26 utc | 30

Bernard F. | Mar 9 2021 20:02 utc | 20

Bernard, I'm pretty sure that Bobby at 10 was saying the same thing as you.

Posted by: arby | Mar 9 2021 23:31 utc | 31

Posted by: Bobby | Mar 9 2021 18:40 utc | 10

Because the $31Bn (which is probably understated) would primarily have gone to the lower classes in which the U.S. caused humanitarian disaster is most prevalent. Rich, formerly colonial Venezuelan families don't give a shit. The and their ex-pat kids live most of the year in Miami or Vancouver or Madrid. The white upper class in Venezuela is the exact group from which Mr. Random Guy-do emanates and who he represent. They live in gated communities including in the hills around Caracas and their stores are likely fully stocked (as reported by Max Blumenthal last year). However, they are a small minority compared to the indigenous peoples who these sanctions are DESIGNED to hurt. The bank accounts of the colonials are safe while a small number, relatively speaking, of pro-Chavista/Maduro operatives are completely cut off by the Empire.

Same thing in ANY country that the USA is sanctioning. Have a look at Biden's Iran envoy's statements about everyday Iranian people.

https://thegrayzone.com/2021/03/08/biden-iran-envoy-starving-civilians-pain-sanctions/

In response to online criticism, Nephew has claimed that “the main target” of the sanctions regime he designed was “the oligarchs.” But his book on “The Art of Sanctions” tells another story.

Nephew fondly recalls how he structured sanctions to sabotage Iranian economic reforms that would have improved the purchasing power of average people. The Obama administration destroyed the economic prospects of Iran’s working-class majority while ensuring that “only the wealthy or those in positions of power could take advantage of Iran’s continued connectedness,” he wrote. As “stories began to emerge from Iran of intensified income inequality and inflation,” Nephew pronounced another success.

As he made clear, the rising inequality “was a choice” that Washington “made on the basis of helping to drive up the pressure on the Iranian economy from internal sources.” Nephew went on to claim credit for October 2012 protests brought on by the devaluation of Iran’s currency.

So these sanctions and the loss in $31Bn for Venezuela was designed to and in fact did hurt the poorest of the poor and the working 'middle' class in that country.

Posted by: _K_C_ | Mar 9 2021 23:35 utc | 32

Venezuelan Democracy Compared to US “Democracy”

The Venezuelan national Constituent Assembly process, along with their municipal-level “collectivos,” make Venezuela the most democratic nation on earth.

In Venezuela, the people really do control the government, and that is why Venezuela has earned the white-hot hatred of US Republicans and US Democrats alike. In the US, the people are ruled by giant corporations and their billionaire owners, and that is exactly the way that US Republican and Democratic politicians want it. They are addicted to the bribes showered upon them by the oligarchy and will more than willingly wreak destruction on any small, defenseless nations that the US oligarchy wants to take over and loot.

But the US power elite are terrified that US voters may begin glancing south, seeing how things are really done in Venezuela, and wondering why we cannot have a similar measure of democracy for ourselves. To scuttle such realizations and such hopes, corporate billionaires have bought up the major TV and radio networks, as well as the most prominent major newspapers. They use those outlets to make sure that US voters never hear or see a single word about how democracy really works in Venezuela, or how it really could work here.* Instead, US voters are fed a steady diet of blatant lies, blasting Venezuela for its “authoritarian,” and “dictatorial” government, while the US government, toadying to the corporate billionaires, commits deadly, unrelenting economic and insurrectionary warfare against Venezuela’s government and people alike in order to overthrow the country’s democratic form of government and bring back its criminal oligarchy. This – in a show of massive hypocrisy – they term “restoring democracy” in Venezuela.

* News readers in the US may certainly be forgiven for doubting this, but – you certainly have heard, over and over again, that there are 50 other nations that support the US assault on Venezuela. What you have never, ever heard from the US media is information compiled by Abby Martin (The Empire Report) about the more than 100 nations that support Venezuela, its leaders and its people.

Now – anytime you encounter supporters of the US assault on Venezuela (because it’s such a terrible dictatorship) show them this --

Legality of Venezuela's Constituent Assembly
The National Constituent Assembly was clearly defined in the country’s 1999 Constitution, and was ratified by 71.8 percent of the country through a democratic vote.

Article 347 of the Venezuelan constitution says:“The original constituent power rests with the people of Venezuela. This power may be exercised by calling a National Constituent Assembly for the purpose of transforming the State, creating a new juridical order and drawing up a new Constitution.”

Article 348 of the constitution spells out the various ways that a National Constituent Assembly can be called:“The initiative for calling a National Constituent Assembly may emanate from: the President of the Republic sitting with the Cabinet of Ministers; from the National Assembly by a two-thirds vote of its members; from the Municipal Councils in open session, by a two-thirds vote of their members; or from 15% of the voters registered with the Civil and Electoral Registry.”
 
Article 349 says: “The President of the Republic shall not have the power to object to the new Constitution. The existing constituted authorities shall not be permitted to obstruct the Constituent Assembly in any way. For purposes of the promulgation of the new Constitution, the same shall be published in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Venezuela or in the Gazette of the Constituent Assembly.” 

Now there's some democracy for ya . . .

Posted by: AntiSpin | Mar 9 2021 23:37 utc | 33

Posted by: arby | Mar 9 2021 23:31 utc | 31

Aha! Fooled me too. Bobby started with a question and proceeded to answer it. I, too, like Bernard, mis-read it as though he was minimizing the impact of $31Bn rather than pointing out that it's really quite large.

Posted by: _K_C_ | Mar 9 2021 23:37 utc | 34

K_C_

Well that is understandable as the word billions has now been usurped by the word trillions making 31 billion sound like chump change.

Posted by: arby | Mar 10 2021 0:01 utc | 35

The basement earbud zombie is not our president.
He did not win any election.
He does not have an 'administration'.
That is the fact of the matter.

Posted by: Josh | Mar 10 2021 0:09 utc | 36

I too would like to see much closer cooperation between the victims of US Sanctions. They should agree between themselves that they will totally ignore all these sanctions and expand trade within the group as far and as fast as possible and if necessary, send battleships to guard ships carrying goods between them. (E.g. tankers to and from Venezuela and Iran, ships to and from the DPRK.) I do not understand why it has taken so long.
This is happening as we speak. Iran has opened full trade relations with Venezuela, as has Cuba and soon, again, Bolivia. Soon Ecuador will join these and Argentina too!
It should be repeated that Venezuela donated LOX to Brazil.
China and Russia are helping with spare parts.
It was a Canadian Junior miner who put a lock on Venezuela's gold mining, recently broken by a deal with Russia.
Note, all the NYT wanted to talk about were the artisanal miners smuggling gold dust to Colombia for sale in USD$, anything to keep the govt of venezuela bankrupt.
The big reason for trying to get control of venezuela's oil is it's oil is heavy and provides needed middle distillates, which frackked oil does not.
INDY

Posted by: Dr. George W Oprisko | Mar 10 2021 0:18 utc | 37

thanks to profk at #13 for the link .

here's a snippet, about Venezuela and the US supported/directed economic terrorism, which has obviously caused much economic mayhem and dislocation, humanitarian disaster, and a large number of deaths (I have seen figures up to hundred thousand or more, from the food and medicine sanctions etc. Not to mention England stealing Venezuela's gold. I would imagine the real death toll is quite a bit larger)

https://newleftreview.org/sidecar/posts/smarter-empire

"......Subversion in Venezuela, by contrast, might not require as much ‘engagement’. In Cuba the government is stable and the opposition isolated. In Venezuela, by contrast, the Maduro government faces a deep economic crisis (dramatically and intentionally exacerbated by US sanctions) and major public discontent. Betting on Maduro’s vulnerability, Biden continues to recognize the self-appointed ‘president’ Juan Guaidó. Under Obama, Biden courted Guaidó ally Leopoldo López – a so-called political prisoner arrested for inciting violent protests that killed dozens of people – who is now calling for Biden to lead a renewed international effort to topple Maduro. US support for the far-right forces of Guaidó and López is intended to prevent a deal between Maduro and the more pragmatic elements of the opposition. Such a deal might alleviate Venezuela’s economic crisis, but it could leave Maduro in power and thus derail the US’s regime change agenda.

In late 2018 Biden complained that Trump’s ‘intensified sanctions on Venezuela have been clouded by sabre-rattling’ and ‘clunky sloganeering’. At that time, those intensified sanctions had already killed an estimated 40,000 civilians, with an unknown number of additional deaths after Trump imposed harsher measures in 2019. But the goal of regime change had not succeeded. Trump’s crime in Venezuela was not his lethal denial of food and medicine to the population, but rather his ‘faulty execution’ of the policy. This critique informs Biden’s current roadmap for Venezuela, which hinges on refining the sanctions to inflict maximum political damage. Secretary Blinken argues that sanctions must be honed ‘so that regime enablers really feel the pain’, while González favours a ‘smart’ use of ‘multilateral sanctions’ over Trump’s go-it-alone programme...."

Posted by: michaelj72 | Mar 10 2021 0:44 utc | 38

If I were the rulers of Russia and China, there is no way I would have NK stand alone against
the whole world.

The western world prevented the reunification of Korea in a bid to prevent the aggregation of the Korean people from a long and painful occupation by the Japanese.

I would veto any resolution seeking to condemn NK at the SC.

Even if Putin argues that Libya's decision were taken by Medvedev, I still believe that it was a complacent way to eliminate a competitive oil producer.

Not everyone is innocent or perfectly saint. plenty of grey shades in international dealings, interests paints its ways,
Posted by: CarlD |

Posted by: CarlD | Mar 10 2021 1:01 utc | 39

Antispin #33

Note that the claims of illegitimacy of the elected Venezuelan government made by the Lima Group, and echoed by the US and EU, are based exactly on the formation of the Constituent Assembly.

The Constituent Assembly was a response to opposition refusal to cooperate in any way as the elected government struggled with the serious drop in resource revenue in the middle of the last decade. The opposition had no policy position other than the immediate resignation of the government, and acted to sabotage any government initiative.
The Assembly was a legitimate response to override the bad faith of the opposition.

Posted by: jayc | Mar 10 2021 5:17 utc | 40

"MR PRICE: It is fair to say that the Biden administration supports the democratic aspirations of the people of Venezuela. Our overriding goal is to support a peaceful democratic transition in Venezuela through free and fair presidential and parliamentary elections, and to help the Venezuelan people rebuild their lives and their country."

Here's an example of America's sociocidal "democracy" in action, as deployed against Venezuela:

UN expert details crushing human toll of US sanctions on Venezuela
https://thegrayzone.com/2021/02/16/un-expert-details-crushing-human-toll-of-us-sanctions-on-venezuela/

Don't think that American regime officials (like this Mr. Price) or the self-styled Free Press in general don't know about the horrific toll of America's economic siege warfare against Venezuela--or against other countries, for that matter. They don't care--or more likely, secretly enjoy and support it.

Thus, in the similar case of the USA's economic siege of Iran, current US regime envoy Richard Nephew almost boastfully details a similar Made-in-the-USA horror that America has inflicted on the Iranian people.

Biden Iran envoy boasted of depriving civilians of food, driving up Iranian inequality in sadistic sanctions manual
https://thegrayzone.com/2021/03/08/biden-iran-envoy-starving-civilians-pain-sanctions/

America is truly sociopathic.

In fact, it would be accurate to say that the United States of America is a global serial killer.

But a serial killer that is oh-so self-righteous, as it sanctimoniously runs its mouth about "defending democracy" around the world.

Posted by: ak74 | Mar 10 2021 5:21 utc | 41

Karlof1 @ 3. The mendacity of the NY Times matches that of the Outlaw US Empire

Carver @ 15 says. Wrong is made right. Stupid is made intelligent. More than 5 children per indigent woman is promoted whilst cattle farming for meat is berated. Endless moronic tripe is served up as truth and urgent need.
No debate is promoted nor wanted. Debate is debased, outlawed, cancelled.
The delinquent scum that has risen to the top vomits its mindless suicidal doctrine upon humanity,

Bemildred @ 4 says: "..the State Dept. continues to hold absolute faith in the efficacy of bullshit."

Karlof1 3 points to the distribution organ of the empire (but I remind the empire is an inanimate object, its the people that control it which make it what it is) which sings the song "reversal", Carver identifies it as preaching inverse morality, de-construction of the fact as the foundation of institutional education. Old school believe nothing you hear, nothing you read or come into contact because the organs of the Oligarch have already settled the matter for you. Old school was that everything should be debated until substantial verifiable, evidence appears which strongly supports the voice, expression or experience. Moving from acceptance that which the preponderance of the evidence confirms to belief only what the state tells you to believe. The truth is what the Oligarchs and their controlled voice, the nation state tell you to belief.
Truth is transformed to belief as the basis of our culture, government, society.
Appoint temporary icons to represent beliefs [<=which enables the icon to be a variable which can be used to
over and over again to support various premises] and use those icons to replace truth with belief. Institutionally taught these icons become the basis which make educated people into organs of false, misleading or mal-intent. The Deplorable are expected to accept whatever is premise the science of managed propaganda intends.

Making mass audiences accept an unconscionable, amoral or unfounded premise <=because mass media content and institutional education embed expressions without factual foundations which support the premise, is the result of psycho-managed-propaganda research.
I see an Oligarch effort working to use the nation state and all of its organs to turn the nation state law into a Bible and the nation state apparatus into a preaching religion. Institutional education has become a propaganda distribution forum, and the nation state, an Oligarch controlled media distributed religion, preaching support for premises based on expressions that the masses are expected to adopt.

Promote a-morality, weaken, destroy and replace the memories stored in the families of our great traditions, cultures, histories, by weakening the stable family, using rule of law to redesign the preached curricula, and hiding the details until the mind fails and ends in a murder, a divorce, a firing, explosive act, or worse.

How should this attack on the progress of civilization be defended?

Posted by: snake | Mar 10 2021 6:38 utc | 42

As much as the NYT is a high borough for the Empire's delusionary games,followed closely by the Guardian,der Spiegel and,Le Monde,France Culture etc.,as much as the comments on NYT 's articles reflect an intensely deluded democrat-voting readership,It came across quite astonishing that underneath an article about Biden reopening the USA south border to all immigrants practically every commenter criticized the undoing of Trumps decision.Even the comments highlighted by the NYT as NYT picks did so.
Did the moderators have a day-off?Or might it be that this executive order provoked new immigration policy will be useful tool to begin pushing Biden on the sideline?Sense of reality knocking at the door?

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/08/us/politics/immigration-mexico-border-biden.html#commentsContainer

Posted by: willie | Mar 10 2021 11:38 utc | 43

Posted by: Rob | Mar 9 2021 19:43 utc | 18
"@psychohistorian (1) "The NYT continues to be a water carrier for empire and it has and continues to be very effective in doing so....in spite of b's and others efforts."

Carrying water for the empire is an essential component of the NYT's business model. It is what gives them unparalleled access to government officials and intelligence operatives, which creates the false aura of authoritativeness that surrounds the Times..."

So these large media conglomerations essentially lie about everything and anything that helps them keep power and control? Well, except covid of course, they are 100% honest about that...

Posted by: Gravel Rash | Mar 10 2021 12:36 utc | 44

I have been catching-up on old "classics" -
Watched Dr Strange Glove last night.
Funny line in the movie where the Russian Ambasador cites: "...as reported in your New York Times..." with a hint of irony in his voice.
All this BS - un-ending war and related manipulation of public opinion is a long standing affair.
The state is a tool used by the wealthy and their business interests.
Like business, it has no ethics.

Awesome lead-in to article at Z/H this morning:
"The blunt answer is that the Fed, in sync with the fiction writers at the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), reports consumer inflation as honestly as Al Capone reported taxable income..."

Somewhere it is refreshing to see that their are still people doing a job (brings to mind Brazil).

Anyway there is a posting at informationclearinghouse about why the U.S. and Britain support Israel.
And again it comes down to business interests - maintaining a presence in the region in vicinity of strategic interests (Suez Canal being one). There are some who wish to muddy the issue with talk of Rothchilds and Zionism but largely it's just business. Business interests outlive people and family and states.

Posted by: jared | Mar 10 2021 13:28 utc | 45

Posted by: jared | Mar 10 2021 13:28 utc | 45

Yes, I think of "Brazil" all the time watching this now. What happens when the world is run by ambitious mediocrities.

Posted by: Bemildred | Mar 10 2021 14:30 utc | 46

Communism makes no pretences and offers no excuses for its inherent abuse of everything and everyone "for the greater good". America has offerred no excuses for the abandonment of all basic security of the voting process as the cohorts of elitism rush to further embed the cornerstones of totalitarianism for the benefit of their elite overlords. There is no good of any kind to be had when the way is paved with evil.

Posted by: Carter | Mar 10 2021 14:31 utc | 47

Posted by: Bemildred | Mar 10 2021 14:30 utc | 46

Also Harrison Bergeron.
Both Randian.

Posted by: jared | Mar 10 2021 14:49 utc | 48

Posted by: Carter | Mar 10 2021 14:31 utc | 47

Why do you refer specifically to communism as opposed to socialism?
I believe that the term "communism" is used to create a negative implication.

In the U.S. we have a version of "communism" - central planning for the benefit of the community of elites. So communism/capitalism call it what you will does not change that the core is corrupt.

Posted by: jared | Mar 10 2021 14:54 utc | 49

ak74 @Mar10 5:21 #41

America is truly sociopathic.

... a serial killer that is oh-so self-righteous, as it sanctimoniously runs its mouth about "defending democracy" around the world.


Civilian populations always suffer during war.

But Americans don't believe that they are at war - even as they fund trillion-dollar per year mil-spy operations.

That is the "genius" of the US Deep State (aka the Empire managers): to use psyops like the illusion of democracy and global war on terror to further their goals with the least resistance.

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

Even some commenters at moa have adamantly asserted that Trump was a good President because he hasn't started a shooting war. Surprisingly few have pushed back against this narrative.

USA has crippling sanctions against Iran; Syria; Venezuela; Russia; North Korea; Palestinians (has the Biden Administration restored aid? I haven't heard that it has), and a trade war against China that may be soon be followed by a sanctions-regime. One might add Lebanon as well as they were forced to change their government to get Western Aid after the Beirut explosion.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 10 2021 15:08 utc | 50

So@11
Biden will serve his term, just you watch. Currently firmly in charge, doing what he promised he would do. Continuing US foreign policy like each of his predecessors.

Posted by: Jim6Pack | Mar 10 2021 15:17 utc | 51

Does anyone really think the Olympics will really be held in China 2022? With US participation? Watch for the ground work to kill this event.

Posted by: Eighthman | Mar 10 2021 15:41 utc | 52

Posted by: jared | Mar 10 2021 14:49 utc | 48

Yes, Vonnegut, I'd forgotten the name of the story, but I just read it again. I have always been fond of "God Bless You Mr. Goldwater" too, but it seems to be an acquired taste. Some of that early SF is still wilder and more perceptive than anything they pump out today. And anything by Vonnegut. And Sirens of Titan, what a trip.

Posted by: Bemildred | Mar 10 2021 15:45 utc | 53

Apparently, it is now possible to allow some truth to leak-out regarding the virus:
https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2021/03/08/josh-rogin-chaos-under-heaven-wuhan-lab-book-excerpt-474322

Also this excellent and rational presentation:
https://stanfordreview.org/scott-atlas-the-last-word/

Which references this pretty cool intiative:
https://gbdeclaration.org/

Thing is, the past is pretty much moot.
Greater concern is where are we going with this?

Posted by: jared | Mar 10 2021 15:57 utc | 54

I should have noted that, beyond the matter of whatever about the virus, that link to Stanford review discusses the greater issue of censorship, particularly of science, and where is that going.

Posted by: jared | Mar 10 2021 16:01 utc | 55

Why doesn't anyone call out US action/threats/drivel about dictatorship in Venezuela for what it is? It's RATFUCKING. It doesn't matter which country's elections or De-mockracy is being challenged by the Masters Of The Universe, bullshit isn't Democratic. Neither are RatFuckers.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Mar 10 2021 16:25 utc | 56

Looks like future attacks on PMF troops at Al Bukamal border area could be either coming with some forewarning or, dare we dream... a little competition in the sky? Assuming Russia wants to share intel with Iran... would make sense wouldn't it?

https://southfront.org/two-russian-radars-spotted-at-key-eastern-syria-airport/

Posted by: Et Tu | Mar 10 2021 16:29 utc | 57

@Bemildred | Mar 10 2021 15:45 utc | 53

Some of that early SF is still wilder and more perceptive than anything they pump out today. And anything by Vonnegut. And Sirens of Titan, what a trip.
Agreed! I read Slaughterhouse-5 many years ago. And lots from Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451 describes todays cancel culture and censorship. That was really good stuff. We even had some excellent and wild Norwegian SF authors, but not anymore.

Posted by: Norwegian | Mar 10 2021 16:33 utc | 58

@ Posted by: Carter | Mar 10 2021 14:31 utc | 47

The argument that "the price of communism is too high"/"communism promises the greater good at the cost of uncountable atrocities" reflects more the emotional point of view of the petty bourgeoisie/middle class than what really happened.

The October Revolution only killed seven people: those were the personnel who tried to defend the Winter Palace. What killed the most was the Civil War - which only happened because the bourgeoisie and the monarchies around the world funded a mercenary-monarchist army (White Army) to crush the Revolution. With that came the white terror, the red terror and all those deaths. It doesn't change the fact that it was the counter-revolution, and not the revolution, which killed the most.

The Chinese Revolution was the same story: the Nationalists (Kuonmintang) murdered whoever it needed to murder in order to consolidate capitalism in China - including all the moderates from the CPC. The Japanese Empire (a capitalist power) then invaded and killed much more, genocide with bioweapons included. In this environment, the CPC naturally militarized. During the second part of the Civil War (1949), the CPC was well positioned to win it all with minimum casualties as the Nationalists crumbled from within - until the American Empire (a capitalist power) decided to airlift the Nationalists to the major cities at the heart of the Communist held territory. That's when most of the massacres begun, all of them by the hands of the Nationalists, who decided to leave a scorched earth to the Communists before the inevitable happened.

History doesn't lie: it is not the communist revolutions that kill, but the capitalist counter-revolutions. You don't even have to delve too deep into the communism-capitalism divide to come to that conclusion: just see the example of Syria. The war would've already be over with much less casualties had the USA not intervened in favor of the counter-revolutionary forces in Syria; it is not the SAA that is killing people, but the USA-backed terrorist armies and militias. The atrocious siege of Idlib is only feasible because the American proxy Turkey is propping it up.

The myth Liberalism is naturally peaceful and brings only prosperity to the world is a middle class, Western fabrication. It comes from the also mythical "One Century of Peace" (1814-1914), a period in which capitalist historians tell us there was world peace, save when religion sporadically got into the way. In fact, that "century" was drenched in blood and genocide in the colonies. In fact, there was so much genocide and extermination that we can comfortably call the Nazis "paleoliberals" or a late revival of classical liberalism (WWI + Russian Revolution marked the end of classical liberalism and gave birth to the modern liberals).

Posted by: vk | Mar 10 2021 16:38 utc | 59

The name of Ecohealth Alliance and its ceo Peter Dysack (sp?) keeps cropping up in reports of the investigation. This company is the one who supported and paid the Wuhan Lab for its "gain of function" research, after Obama shut down ("supposedly - as we know the power of a president against the Borg) the gain of function studies at Fort Detrick in Maryland, Fauci's organizations simply "outsourced" the research to Ecohealth Alliance, who subcontracted to Wuhan. Dysack is the only American on the WHO panel who is investigating the Wuhan labs. He is clearly there (IMO) to keep the focus away from his company.

There should be written reports on the activities and achievements on this contract in Ecohealth Alliance's (and Fauci's organization) possession (these reports are usually required before monies are transmitted, and we do have evidence of payments being made to the Wuhan lab. We "should" be able to FOIA (or subpoena) those reports to determine what was going on. This business of "China refusing to give us the information" is just misdirection.

I recall the fall of 2019 "vaping casualties" and feel this is still significant. Comparing xrays of the "vaping" victims that I had access to and those of the early Covid victims, there was significant similarities between them (the xrays noted the "ground glass" appearance of both groups). Note that other countries have requested an exhumation of a victim to investigate them, but the US has flatly refused to allow it. In investigations that have global health implications, I feel the US should be doing everything to ascertain causes of this pandemic. This refusal to provide specimens to study reeks of coverup (IMO).

Posted by: naiverealist | Mar 10 2021 16:59 utc | 60

jared @Mar10 15:57 #54

US pandemic measures have been half-cocked and half-hearted. The goal was to "bend the curve" and as soon as there was indication that the curve was bending, the calls to "open up the economy" immediately followed leading to relaxations that led to the next wave.

A stark example of the bullshit propaganda ops from a neoliberal government that works for business interests instead of the people can be found in Trump's early actions / non actions:

  • Trump's bogus ban on air travel

    He stopped air travel from China but allowed traveler to easily circumvent this policy by traveling through third-parties.

    There was no checking of arriving passengers at US airports! There was only a request for any one that felt sick to self-identify.

    Travel from countries other than China was unrestricted. This allowed sick travelers from Europe to carry the pandemic virus to New York, a city that was at high risk because of it's closely-packed population.

  • Trump LIED about the seriousness of the virus.

    Until he had CREATED the crisis and arranged for a bailout of Wall Street and corporations like Boeing.

  • Trump LIED about when vaccines would be available.

    First they would be available by late summer ... then election day ... then end of the year.

    Optimism about vaccine availability fueled a lax attitude about strict enforcement of pandemic counter-measures.

  • The Trump Administration's unserious response

    The Trump Administration stubbornly refused to learn from the experience of other countries that fought the virus effectively - without vaccines - and thus didn't have to "lock-down".

    Quarantines of the sick and suspected sick and rigorous contact-tracing were never implemented. Instead, people were told to "self-isolate at home" where many died or spread the virus to family members that, in turn, spread the virus to other members of their community.


Anyone that thinks clearly about what has happened and understands how the world works is justified in a belief that Western governments - especially USA - wanted to kill lots of old people to save money on their care in order to fund Trump's the military build-up (guns vs butter), test experimental military-funded mRNA tech, and blame China.

IMO it's likely that, just like the Irish potato famine and other such attocities, history will judge the Western response to this pandemic to be a form of genocide.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 10 2021 17:04 utc | 61

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 10 2021 17:04 utc | 61

Dear Jack -
“The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don't know.”

Posted by: jared | Mar 10 2021 17:21 utc | 62

Posted by: Et Tu | Mar 10 2021 16:29 utc

I believe they are working on it:

Iran, Russia working on strategic deal

Posted by: Bemildred | Mar 10 2021 17:40 utc | 63

@ Posted by: vk | Mar 10 2021 16:38 utc | 59
You appear astute. However one of my many opinions has it that history is no different to what is presently firmly established as "reporting on the news and current events". The facts often get in the way. Intentional lies today, history tomorrow. If there are parts of history not being to the liking of the power seeking cohorts then they will be re-written and no doubt many parts have been more than once.
My political utopia would be based on common-sensism, which I find to be suprisingly uncommon and unwanted by the power players.

Posted by: Carter | Mar 10 2021 18:02 utc | 64

Lavrov's been on the move, Abu Dhabi yesterday and Saudi today. Here're some of his remarks to the press after meeting with Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Mohammed bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan:

"We discussed in detail a number of regional issues: developments in the Middle East and North Africa, including Syria, Libya and Yemen. In these cases, Russia and the UAE promote a peaceful political settlement based on the UN Charter and relevant UN resolutions. We advocate an inclusive dialogue for overcoming all crises.

"We spoke about the Arab-Israeli settlement. We reaffirm our position and welcome the normalisation of Israel’s relations with several Arab states, including the UAE, on the understanding that a fair settlement of the Palestinian problem must not be relegated to the background. We will be willing to continue facilitating direct dialogue between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

"We also discussed developments in the Persian Gulf. We reaffirmed our desire to encourage the region’s countries and the Gulf states to start promoting trust and transparency in military construction and normalisation of relations between Iran and regional countries in general with the participation of international organisations (the UN Security Council, the Arab League and the European Union)." [My Emphasis]

Lavrov employed somewhat different rhetoric in answer to the JCPOA question about Russia's actions:

"First, the previous US Administration withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and thus destroyed it. For more than a year, Iran has faithfully fulfilled its obligations, including voluntary ones, despite the fact that the promised resumption of normal trade was undermined by the United States. The Americans stopped delivering on their promises under the JCPOA and told others to do the same under the threat of sanctions. Nonetheless, Iran has been complying faultlessly for over a year, and then said it would drop out of its voluntary commitments if the United States failed to fulfill its commitments. Everyone is aware of where we are now." [My Emphasis]

As for the merry-go-round about who needs to act first:

"We are convinced that we should now focus on restoring the JCPOA in full and not overburden it with other considerations and concerns however important they might be. To resolve this immediate task, we believe we should work out the concurrent steps that the Iranians and the United States will need to take. If we keep discussing who should be the first to resume compliance, we will never arrive at anything." [My Emphasis]

Russia believes that the extra issues the Outlaw Empire and others want to include don't belong in the JCPOA conversation and instead should be negotiated in an overall collective security agreement, which I also agree with:

"Returning to the issues arising from renewing the JCPOA, including the conditions for Iran (missiles and regional policy), we are convinced that if the Conference on Security in the Gulf that we are proposing is held based on the principles of respect for each other's interests, equality, and the need to achieve mutually acceptable compromises, then it could be used to discuss the problems and concerns of the parties."

Now in Saudi Arabia after his meeting with Foreign Minister of Saudi Arabia Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, Lavrov explained Russia's position on Yemen, which we don't get to hear/read very often:

"We are concerned, as are our Saudi friends, over what is happening in Yemen. Over two thirds of its population is in need of urgent help as a result of the bloody conflict that has lasted almost six years. We share the view that the country can be prevented from sliding into an abyss of chaos and humanitarian disaster only if the armed confrontation is stopped as soon as possible and the Yemenis resolve their numerous problems and fairly serious divergences at the negotiating table and reach agreement taking into account the interests of all Yemeni political forces. In this context, we reaffirm our support for the efforts of the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths."

Lavrov concludes his general remarks with praise lacking from his interactions with the West:

"I would like to express gratitude to our Saudi colleagues for the traditional hospitality that we are always given in Saudi Arabia, and thank our friends for the intensive talks and trustworthy dialogue. We appreciate this dialogue that really helps us develop bilateral relations and facilitates the conditions for stabilisation in different parts of this region." [My Emphasis]

More about Yemen:

"Question (translated from Arabic): What do you think about the recent attack on Ras Tanura Airport in Saudi Arabia? How did the international community respond to this? Should the international community take any additional measures in the context of that incident?

"Foreign Minister Lavrov (speaking after Faisal bin Farhan): Early on, during today's talks, I stated Russia’s position on these unacceptable actions and emphasised that all parties to the conflict in Yemen, just like any other conflict for that matter, must comply with international humanitarian law under which attacks on civilian infrastructure facilities causing civilian deaths are absolutely unacceptable. We have held this position from day one. I hope all parties understand the need to stop the hostilities and will be supportive of the UN Secretary General's Special Envoy for Yemen, Martin Griffiths’, efforts. We see eye-to-eye on this.

"Question: How will the US decision to stop supporting military operations in the republic affect the situation in Yemen?

"Sergey Lavrov (answers after Faisal bin Farhan): I will not comment on relations between Saudi Arabia and the United States, including in the sphere of arms supplies. Regardless of whether the issue is about Yemen or any other hot spot, the more weapons there are, the greater the temptation and risks. On the other hand, cutting arms supplies will not guarantee peace in the region.

"Most importantly, everyone with or without weapons must end the hostilities and sit down and talk. The United States decided to take the Ansar Allah group off its terrorist list. I hope this message was taken correctly. This by no means represents issuing a carte blanche to continue the violence. This is an indication that they must be part of an inclusive all-Yemeni process. We discussed this issue today from that perspective." [My Emphasis]

Note how Russian policy is the same as in Syria regarding civilians. The Saudis probably didn't like being rebuked for their inhumane actions, but that's part of holding a serious dialog. I'm not certain but I believe Lavrov will visit Qatar next.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 10 2021 18:07 utc | 65

@ Posted by: Bemildred | Mar 10 2021 15:45 utc | 53

Yes, Vonnegut.
Guy was genius, in my unqualified estimation.
It seem to me that there are very few authors at that level.
Most of what we are told to read is not really worth the effort.

It occurs to me - trying to brush-up on classics - that they understood a lot about this situation we have today. We are repeating the same experience. This may be a problem for the owners. If we roam from the farm and start seeing actual art and journalism, how will they control us? Best to destroy all old records I would think. But instead they simply distract us with crap.

Posted by: jared | Mar 10 2021 18:14 utc | 66

@ Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Mar 10 2021 16:25 utc | 56

It has nothing to do with right and wrong.
It's all about "our" "national" "interest" - which translates to that which benefits the owners.
A very dangerous position to be standing on top of something that they want.
That and Venezuela actually seized assets of the wealthy and powerful - it may have been fun at the time, but they will get their revenge.

- Peru
- Colombia
- Ecuadar
- Bolivia
- Panama

They are in the cross-hairs.
They need to make motions toward construction collaboration - invite the corporations in then tax and regulate the crap out of them. Difficult to manage, but better not red than dead.

Posted by: jared | Mar 10 2021 18:21 utc | 67

Posted by: jared | Mar 10 2021 18:14 utc | 66

Well, they want to control everything. Basically, they're nuts. And yeah, I wonder when they will start going after the old books? Oh, that's right, they are. All will be sanitized now.

Posted by: Bemildred | Mar 10 2021 18:31 utc | 68

Posted by: Canadian Cents | Mar 9 2021 17:53 utc | 7

Venezuela, Syria, Iran, Cuba, etc. should use the hashtag #ICantBreathe to try to get through to the brainwashed American people who turn a blind eye to their country's crimes against humanity.

Absolutely. This is the type of defensive action every bullied state should undertake to force some objectivity back into the narrative. Unfortunately, it looks like they have very little strategic vision in this field. Much of what I see is self centered micro management of a domestic audience, which I consider to be the wrong target.

What's worse, is that the few alternate channels of information out there will regularly follow the route of wishful revisionism and paint a rosy picture of a valiant resistance foiling the (unrealistically high) plans of a frustrated aggressor. Obviously, this has no effect on the reality of the situation. Baghdad Bob didn't prevent his country from getting pummelled. It does, however, provide an opportune fig leaf for the empire's citizenry looking for any excuse to avoid introspection. Most folks will actively evade any sort of unpalatable reality unless it whacks them violently in the face.

Posted by: robin | Mar 10 2021 18:39 utc | 69

Posted by: jared | Mar 10 2021 18:14 utc | 66

I had uncles and aunts that came out of WWII, I think the government was afraid of them. Nobody gave them any lip. They didn't dare stiff them after the war. I benefitted from that all of my life. By Vietnam, it was different, they were treated badly, not by the people here, by the government, and the media. I worked with Vietnam vets in a sawmill, many, we tried to treat them well, I saw what they went through, and did. I think our "elites" still hold a grudge against those vets, the deplorables, for their rebellion, and that has much to do with the attitude now.

Posted by: Bemildred | Mar 10 2021 18:40 utc | 70

@65 karlofi - Thank you for all your postings! Sergei Lavrov is my hero. A voice of sanity in this sad yet beautiful world.

@ bewildered and jared - have you read Michel Houellebecq? He along with Irvine Welsh are my favorite fiction authors. Houellebecq especially. Houellebecq's book "Submission" was quite prescient about the problems with radical Islam in France. His latest novel released in English, "Serotonin," is equally prescient about the current malaise of western society. He is very much a Cassandra, as are so many of the commenters here and especially our host.

Thank you all!

Posted by: lex talionis | Mar 10 2021 18:42 utc | 71

The best quote and memory in our minds from Venezuela is undoubtedly
was the appearance of Hugo Chavez at the UN assembly.
It was the darkest times of George Bush and Chavez's speech began like this: "The Devil was here yesterday. One can still smell the sulphur".

Posted by: augusto | Mar 10 2021 18:52 utc | 72

@ Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 10 2021 18:07 utc | 65

Cheers 4 the post. This bit made me chuckle

(Lavrov in KSA, on the recent Houthi attacks on Saudi oil facilities)

"..I stated Russia’s position on these unacceptable actions and emphasised that all parties to the conflict in Yemen, just like any other conflict for that matter, must comply with international humanitarian law under which attacks on civilian infrastructure facilities causing civilian deaths are absolutely unacceptable."

LOL

This is coming from the FM of the country that just pulverised 180 tankers and 2 refineries in Northern Syria used to smuggle oil into Turkey... i bet they might have wished he applied the same concerns about their infrastructure.... oh well, too bad... maybe they will get the message and pay taxes to the Syrian State from now on, instead of Erdogan and Centcom's thugs ;

Posted by: Et Tu | Mar 10 2021 19:21 utc | 73

Et Tu @73--

Russia and Syria combined to destroy lawbreakers--Outlaws--and as such those criminals don't get any humanitarian protection as their behavior is itself anti-human.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 10 2021 19:31 utc | 74

@Gravel Rash (44) "So these large media conglomerations essentially lie about everything and anything that helps them keep power and control? Well, except covid of course, they are 100% honest about that..."

Actually, the NYT's reporting on the Covid-19 pandemic has been exemplary. Lying about some things does not mean that they lie about all things. They lie when it suits their own interest to do so. That seems fairly obvious. Intelligent readers are discerning and get their information from more than one source, and all the reliable, fact and science-based sources essentially agree with the Times on Covid.

Posted by: Rob | Mar 10 2021 20:40 utc | 75

@ Posted by: robin | Mar 10 2021 18:39 utc | 69

Robin. I believe you hit on the answer -
The situation with the oppression of these countries will only change when there is blow-back - affecting either the owners directly or the little people to the point that it makes them so uncomfortable that they become less productive and thereby cause financial harm to the owners.

To some extent (to put it rather coldly), the situation arises and continues because these countries do not have the means to cause blow-back and no one (no not Russia) is going to do it for them. I think India escaped it's oppression because it is just too large (in terms of population, particularly) and also the U.K. pretty inept and Vietnam was able to cause some pain. The only hope these countries have is that the U.S. will bankrupt itself dropping bombs on civilians - which seems to be the plan. Then finally the owners will move on to another host. Expect the worst...

Posted by: jared | Mar 10 2021 20:44 utc | 76

Lawrence of Arabia -
Celebrated hero of the U.K., brought the Turks down by destroying infrastructure which brought wealth to the area. So that is where the U.K. (and owners) head is at.

Posted by: jared | Mar 10 2021 20:48 utc | 77

"- invite the corporations in then tax and regulate the crap out of them."

Posted by: jared | Mar 10 2021 18:21 utc | 67"

You mean just let the wolf part way in the door?

lol

Posted by: arby | Mar 10 2021 23:51 utc | 78

It was the Communists who were responsible for the many thousands who died during their siege of Mukden/Shenyang in 1948. They didn't allow civilians to leave the besieged city, which made sense militarily.

Posted by: lysias | Mar 11 2021 2:27 utc | 79

@ Posted by: arby | Mar 10 2021 23:51 utc | 78

The problem with analogies is that while they are quite satisfying to state, they are typically not well suited to purpose.

But I will attempt a similar response and liken it to:
Accept that it is raining and take an umbrella.
Sorry I cannot come-up with a good animal analogy.

Posted by: jared | Mar 11 2021 14:12 utc | 80

Jared, I think if enough of them refuse to be cowed and it does seem there are slowly more that refuse then the hegemon is losing its grip.
EG; Iran bringing ships to Venezuela with parts and fuel and the US is not interfering even though it would like to.

I think that you cannot give the empire one inch or it will soon become a mile.

Posted by: arby | Mar 11 2021 16:12 utc | 81

Here is a report on Plan Biden for Central America.

all the US wants is everything

Posted by: arby | Mar 11 2021 16:20 utc | 82

@ Posted by: arby | Mar 11 2021 16:20 utc | 82

If it were the U.S., there might be a means to address.
It's bigger and more ugly than the U.S.
The U.S. is proxy.

The U.S. military and banking system are unfortunately without equal at present.
This is because it is supported by the owners.
Act accordingly - would be my suggestion.
At some point, the situation will change.

Posted by: jared | Mar 11 2021 17:30 utc | 83

Seems to me these countries have been doing that for a very long time and for most if not all of them the results have been terrible for the people.

Posted by: arby | Mar 11 2021 18:21 utc | 84

Perhaps it could help to correct the misused vocabulary. Then we can say that "The policy of inhumane interventionism defends illiberal world order and fosters anti-democratic aspirations."

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 9 2021 19:40 utc | 17

The most recent report on Grayzone gives a good example of fostering anti-democratic aspirations. In Ecuador there is a distinct danger that an improper person will win in the runoffs of the presidential election. That may lead to a series of calamities like rejecting the beneficent recommendations of IMF and securing financing from China, something that happened before, letting President Correa to stray from proper policies and, horrible indeed, improve the situation of the lower classes. Communist influence. The two main opponents represented traditional right wing, Lasso is one of the richest men in Ecuador, alas, not the most popular one. He got ca. 19.7% of the vote in the first vote. Yaku Perez leads a very nice and proper leftist party, focused on getting the support of the numerous "native" population, ecology, feminism and all good thing, including the acceptance of advice from IMF and USA. Alas, he got only 19.5% of the vote, which would not be so bad, but he feels that moving his supporters to vote for Lasso is hard (white banker and landowner with scant history of caring for the native people, ecology etc.). Additionally, American Embassy encouraged the meeting of the two proper (good) parties to bury their differences and organize a correction of the results of the first vote, say, 19.7% for Perez and 19.5% for Lasso. Andrés Arauz, the candidate supported by Correa, got 32%, and he may well get the majority of the supporters of other candidates, vaguely leftist, in the runoff vote.

Hence plan B:

Pérez said so clearly, writing in his Facebook post that “the soldiers from the Armed Forces should intervene in the polls to give clarity to the elections and thus avoid the return of Correismo.”

This expresses the anti-democratic aspirations fostered by USA and "illiberal rules based order".

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 11 2021 20:37 utc | 85

Please be lenient about the typos, this website (otherwise very admirable) gives a short window of opportunity to type, it is hard to paste from my terminal window -- weird line breaks are introduces, and no way to edit what is posted.

Surely, if we, the readers, could supported MoonOfAlabama so generously that some spiffy interface would be adopted it would be better, but we live in an imperfect world.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 11 2021 20:45 utc | 86

Venezuela, Syria, Iran, Cuba, etc. should use the hashtag #ICantBreathe to try to get through to the brainwashed American people who turn a blind eye to their country's crimes against humanity.

You mean like a #hashtag in capitalist-controlled-biased-US policy supporter-"social media" twitter? LOL Good luck with that. Unless you're just using this as a "figure of speech", that's not happening, because twitter - or any of the "main stream" social media" won't allow it; They don't already. The only way for this to work is other countries and not only those targeted by the "sanctions" use the "#hashtag" too, sadly, this won't happen either.

https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/world/venezuela-s-guaido-allocates-us-30-million-for-vaccines-14449340

The decision states the he is allowed "to request a debt from the Central Bank of Venezuela for a total of US$30.3 million destined to pay for access to the Covax platform and for the investment in the cold chain necessary for the vaccination plan against Covid-19."

It also authorizes Guaido to take the "necessary" measures to request the money be released by the US Department of the Treasury.

Guaido, Maduro's government and the Pan-American Health Organization have agreed to work together to negotiate access to the global Covax initiative.

Venezuela-s government has already said that it's not happening https://orinocotribune.com/president-maduro-we-are-not-bringing-in-any-vaccines-causing-havoc-in-the-world/

In his speech this Wednesday, the president also stated that “we have informed COVAX —belonging to the World Health Organization and the Pan American Health Organization— in good time of the request we made for the release of our frozen funds at the Bank of England.” As soon as the possibility of using those Venezuelan assets occurs, said Maduro, the nation will continue to opt for effective and safe antidotes. This is the case for the Russian Sputnik V vaccine, China’s Sinopharm, and the Cuban ones—as soon as the last phase of clinical trials have been successfully completed.

There's something happening at the border with Colombia https://orinocotribune.com/venezuelan-minister-for-defense-sends-strong-message-to-violent-groups-on-the-border-with-colombia-venezuelan-customs-post-destroyed/

This Wednesday, March 24, a few hours after new clashes between the Bolivarian National Armed Forces (FANB) and violent groups from Colombia in the Venezuelan territory of Apure state, Venezuelan Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino López confirmed what these criminal organizations are looking for.

Argentina left the Lima Carte https://orinocotribune.com/argentina-formally-withdraws-from-the-lima-group/

The statement from the South American country, in which it formally withdraws from the Lima Group, suggests that the best way to help Venezuela would be to help an inclusive dialogue. Yet, then they undo their “good intentions” by asking that this rapprochement between Venezuelan factors lead “to achieve elections accepted by the majority with international control.”

@chas

The calm, heroic dignity of the Venezuelan people is impressive to see, or at least to sense through reading on line and reading between the lines of corporate media. The people there are taking all the non-military punishment the empire can muster. Perhaps soon we will see how they respond to military invasion.

I'm Venezuelan so I hope not! Not soon, not ever! I won't fool myself into believing we can match US military, and even if we could, it'll only bring death and misery not only to Venezuela but to the whole region. You just have to look at other countries and regions all over the world the US has taken its wars, so no, I still hope that people finally come to terms and realize the US is a threat to world peace.

In the meantime:

https://venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/15151
https://venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/15150
https://venezuelanalysis.com/news/15147

In Spanish:

https://ultimasnoticias.com.ve/noticias/apertura/delcy-rodriguez-reviso-acceso-a-vacunas-covax-con-la-oms/
https://ultimasnoticias.com.ve/noticias/mas-vida/ruta-informativa-dario-vivas-se-desplego-en-catia/
https://ultimasnoticias.com.ve/noticias/mas-vida/venezuela-bella-recupera-4-851-espacios-en-el-pais/
https://ultimasnoticias.com.ve/noticias/pulso/unidad-movil-de-farmamiranda-atiende-a-familias-en-el-tuy/
http://www.correodelorinoco.gob.ve/venezuela-demanda-a-eeuu-ante-la-organizacion-mundial-del-comercio/
http://www.correodelorinoco.gob.ve/del-21-al-24-de-junio-venezuela-convoca-al-congreso-bicentenario-mundial-de-los-pueblos/
http://www.correodelorinoco.gob.ve/presidente-maduro-venezuela-logro-aumentar-10-la-tasa-de-escolaridad-en-el-sistema-publico-educativo/
http://www.correodelorinoco.gob.ve/presidente-maduro-firma-anteproyecto-de-ley-de-la-gran-mision-agrovenezuela-para-su-discusion-en-la-an/
https://www.vtv.gob.ve/gobierno-consulta-pueblo-ciudad/
https://www.vtv.gob.ve/lima-retornan-connacionales-plan-vuelta-a-la-patria/
https://www.vtv.gob.ve/banco-bicentenario-puntos-ventas-trabajadores-turisticos-la-guaira/
https://www.vtv.gob.ve/hector-rodriguez-movimientos-internacionales-agitacion/
https://www.vtv.gob.ve/venezuela-celebra-mundial-teatro/
https://www.vtv.gob.ve/venezuela-conmemora-salida-comandante-chavez-carcel-dignidad/

Make no mistake, we'll be victorious! Chavez vive! La lucha sigue!


Posted by: Moltke | Mar 27 2021 16:48 utc | 87

The comments to this entry are closed.