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Venezuela war clouds - US regime change target
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outsider
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 12, 2017 2:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

'Military Base Attacked in Venezuela, Two Dead':
https://venezuelanalysis.com/news/13294

'Lara, August 7 2017 (venezuelanalysis.com) - The 41st Armored Brigade of Fort Paramacay in Carabobo State was attacked by civilians and ex-military officials in the early hours of Sunday morning as part of an unsuccessful attempt to provoke a military rebellion, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has confirmed.

According to the president, the attack occurred at 3:50 am when 20 armed men entered the facilities and headed directly for the arms depository, where a confrontation ensued until approximately 8am. The confrontation left two dead and one injured. A further ten have been arrested in connection with the attack.

Moments before the coordinated assault, flyers were dropped outside the military base referring to the action as ‘Operation David’ and calling for all members of the armed forces to join the “military rebellion”. The messages also told the soldiers who refused to mutiny against the government that they should consider themselves a "military objective” and “face the consequences”.

The attack was also accompanied by a video released on social media by former military commander Juan Caguaripano Scott, who had reportedly fled the country during the 2014 opposition protests known as the guarimbas and has since lived between Miami, Costa Rica, Panama and Colombia.

"We declare ourselves in legitimate rebellion, united today more than ever, with the brave Venezuelan people, to refuse to recognize the murderous tyranny of Nicolás Maduro. This is not a coup d'état, this is a civic and military action to restore order and to save the country from total destruction,” states Caguaripano in the video.

It is not clear when nor where the video was recorded.

Though Caguaripano and several international media sources have referred to the attack as a civic-military rebellion, the majority of those captured were not active military personnel. One of the detained men was identified as ex-lieutenant Oswaldo José Gutiérrez Guevara who deserted the military after being investigated for theft. The remaining nine were paid civilians recruited from the states of Zulia, Yaracuy and Lara, and all had criminal records, said the Ministry of Defense. They were aided and abetted by First Lieutenant Yefferson Gabriel García Dos Ramos, who was in charge of the fort's weapons depository.

Authorities are yet to release the names of the two fatalities, but it is known that both Caguaripano and Dos Ramos were on the ground at the time of the attack and managed to evade capture.

Government officials have since described the offensive as a terrorist attack as opposed to a military rebellion, citing the lack of serving military officials involved in the operation.

According to a tweet from Vice Minister of International Communication, William Castillo, the attack was a "propaganda operation” with “civilians disguised as current and former military officials”.

The Minister of Information and Communication Ernesto Villegas also announced that opposition forces in Venezuela were attempting to create and circulate “fake news” about the country, as well as “trying out the formula [used in] the Ukraine.”

Sunday’s assault on the military fort follows a helicopter attack against the Supreme Court by former investigative police official Oscar Pérez in June. Perez also called on the military to rise up against the Maduro government, echoing similar demands voiced by opposition spokespeople for the past 18 months. Over 120 people have also been killed in violent opposition-led unrest since the beginning of April......,

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'And he (the devil) said to him: To thee will I give all this power, and the glory of them; for to me they are delivered, and to whom I will, I give them'. Luke IV 5-7.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 10:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

'Amnesty International: Pernicious Liars and Empire’s Little Helpers':
http://21stcenturywire.com/2017/08/14/amnesty-international-pernicious -liars-and-empires-little-helpers/

'....In Venezuela and Nicaragua, Western human rights organizations exaggerate alleged government violations while minimizing abuses and provocations by the opposition. This screenshot of Amnesty International’s three main news items on Venezuela from August 9th gives a fair idea of the organization’s heavily politicized, bad faith coverage of recent events.

This is identical false coverage to that of Western mainstream corporate media and most Western alternative media outlets too. Amnesty International’s coverage minimizes opposition murders of ordinary Venezuelans, setting many people on fire, violent attacks on hospitals, universities and even pre-schools and innumerable acts of intimidation of the general population. That headline “Venezuela: Lethal violence, a state policy to strangle dissent” is a pernicious lie. President Nicolas Maduro explicitly banned the use of lethal force against opposition demonstrations from the start of the latest phase of the opposition’s long drawn out attempted coup back in early April this year.
Likewise, against Nicaragua, Amnesty’s latest report, kicking off their global campaign to stop Nicaragua’s proposed Interoceanic Canal, also begins with a demonstrable lie : “Nicaragua has pushed ahead with the approval and design of a mega-project that puts the human rights of hundreds of thousands of people at risk, without consultation and in a process shrouded in silence” That claim is completely false. Even prior to September 2015, the international consultants’ impact study found that the government and the HKND company in charge of building the Canal had organized consultations with, among others, over 5400 people from rural communities in addition to 475 people from indigenous communities along the route of the Canal and its subsidiary projects. There has been very extensive media discussion and coverage of the project ever since it was announced.
That extremely prestigious ERM consultants’ Environmental and Social Impact study, which together with associated studies cost well over US$100 million, is publicly available in Spanish and in English. Two years ago, it anticipated all the criticisms made by Amnesty International and was accepted by the Nicaraguan government, leading to a long period of analysis and revision that is still under way. Amnesty International excludes that information. Recently, government spokesperson Telemaco Talavera, said the continuing process involves a total of 26 further studies. Until the studies are complete, the government is clearly right to avoid commenting on the proposed Canal, because the new studies may radically change the overall project.
Amnesty International states, “According to independent studies of civil society organizations, along the announced route of the canal, approximately 24,100 households (some 119,200 people) in the area will be directly impacted.” But, the ERM study notes, “HKND conducted a census of the population living in the Project Affected Areas. The census determined that approximately 30,000 people (or 7,210 families) would need to be physically or economically displaced.” But Amnesty International’s report omits that contradictory detail, demonstrating how irrationally committed they are to the false propaganda of Nicaragua’s political opposition.
Amnesty International claim their research team interviewed “at least 190 people” concerned about the effects of the Canal. By contrast, the Nicaraguan government and the HKND company have discussed the project with around six thousand people in the areas along the route of the Canal. In that regard, even the local church hierarchy has criticized the way the Nicaraguan opposition have manipulated rural families on the issue of the Canal. But that fact too, Amnesty International omits. Their whole report is tailor made to supplement the political opposition’s campaign for US intervention via the notorious NICA Act.
The Nicaraguan government has made an express commitment to a fair and just resolution of the issue of expropriations. Its 2015 report on the Canal in the context of its National Development Plan, states :
“The Nicaraguan government and HKND will guarantee that persons and families on the route of the Canal’s construction will have living conditions superior to those they currently have (without the Canal). To that end, the Government of Reconciliation and National Unity, via the Project’s Commission, will guarantee not just a fair and transparent indemnification of their properties, via negotiations and direct agreements with each family affected, but furthermore will promote actions to improve their economic conditions, health care, education, housing and employment.”
But the Amnesty International report systematically excludes that and any other sources giving the government’s point of view, claiming it was unable to access primary sources either from the government itself or from among the Canal’s numerous advocates. However, secondary sources abound that categorically contradict Amnesty’s advocacy against the Canal. Their report specifically and extensively attacks the Law 840, facilitating the construction of the Canal and its sub-projects, but cynically omits a fundamental, crucial detail, while also failing completely to give relevant social and economic context.
The crucial detail is that Law 840’s Article 18 specifically states the Canal project “cannot require any Government Entity to take any action that violates the political Constitution of the Republic of Nicaragua or the terms of any international treaty of which the State of the Republic of Nicaragua is a party.” Amnesty International completely omit that absolutely crucial part of the Law 840 from their report because it makes redundant their advocacy of opposition claims attacking the equity and legality of the Canal’s legal framework. The same is true of the relevant political, social and economic context......'


I never would have thought, years ago, that I would promote an attack like this on Amnesty International; I campaigned for it for many years. But now they have been taken over, like the MSM.

Here's another bunch of war-promoting shysters:
'SYRIA: AVAAZ, PURPOSE & THE ART OF SELLING HATE FOR EMPIRE':
http://www.theartofannihilation.com/syria-avaaz-purpose-the-art-of-sel ling-hate-for-empire/

I suppose we should expect a campaign by Avaaz against the Venezuelan government, and for the murderous paid thugs with their sniper rifles, explosives and Molotov cocktails.

_________________
'And he (the devil) said to him: To thee will I give all this power, and the glory of them; for to me they are delivered, and to whom I will, I give them'. Luke IV 5-7.
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 19, 2017 12:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

'Venezuela: "Terrorists" Torch 50 Tons of Food as ex-National Guard Chief Indicted': https://venezuelanalysis.com/news/13214

'Venezuelan authorities said Thursday more than 50 tons of food have been incinerated by anti-government groups, amid ongoing attacks on public infrastructure.

The attack took place in the municipality Simon Bolivar in Barcelona, Anzoategui state, when a group of attackers infiltrated a government food distribution centre. The Ministry of Food has stated the attackers set fire to the interior of a warehouse, destroying a stockpile of basic food products awaiting distribution.

Food Minister Rodolfo Marco Torres described the incident as an act of terrorism, blaming opposition supporters.

“This is … fascism, this attack on the people by these terrorists,” he said.

State authorities say the attackers used improvised incendiary devices, including Molotov cocktails, though no injuries have been reported. Authorities also said they’ve recovered around 50 tons of food from the warehouse, which will be distributed to communities across Anzoategui on Friday.

No arrests have been made in connection to the incident, and no group has claimed responsibility for the attack. The interior of the warehouse was defaced with graffiti, including “Viva Leopoldo,” a possible reference to imprisoned opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez. Another spray painted message read “damned Chavistas,” while a third stated “no more hunger”.

The incident was just the latest in a wave of attacks targeting Venezuela’s state food distribution network. More than 30 facilities and vehicles involved in food distribution have been attacked in recent months, according to the minister.

“Also, two food aid workers have been injured by gunfire in Lara state,” he added.

The attacks have coincided with widespread opposition protests over the past three months, during which more than 90 people have died. In another alleged case of opposition violence, three power substations in Aragua state was also reportedly attacked Thursday.

“A group of terrorists attacked with Molotov cocktails and and set fire to these three units that serve the people,” Energy Minister Luis Motta Dominguez told state media.

The minister condemned the attack, and said it resulted in power outages in some parts of the state.

“They are not attacking an installation or the government as such; they are attacking the people, because ... it’ll take 24 hours to restore electricity with those units,” he said.

The minister continued by alleging the incident was part of a broader campaign of violence.

“This systematic attack was carried out with the purpose of instilling terror,” he said.

Meanwhile in Caracas, officials held a tour of the Supreme Court, which came under attack by a rogue police officer piloting a stolen helicopter earlier in the week.

Speaking to visiting diplomats and reporters, the court’s security head Jean Carlos Stanfor said the attacker dropped four grenades on the building, though only two detonated inside. He said the explosions occurred near an education centre for the children of court staffers, though he suspected the explosives were aimed at a Nation Guard (GNB) post.

“The grenades exploded 15 meters from the GNB post,” he said......'

And then the 'Opposition' blame the government for shortages, and our MSM largely does the same.

_________________
'And he (the devil) said to him: To thee will I give all this power, and the glory of them; for to me they are delivered, and to whom I will, I give them'. Luke IV 5-7.
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 19, 2017 1:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

'US Intervention in Venezuela "Could be Inevitable," Says Opposition Politician':
https://venezuelanalysis.com/news/13316

'A prominent Venezuelan opposition politician has warned US military action to topple the Maduro administration is now almost guaranteed.

Speaking to CNN on Monday, former Venezuelan mayor Ramon Muchacho warned Venezuela had become a threat to US interests.

“[If] the information the United States [has] is saying is that Venezuela is a danger – and indeed it is – then there may be no alternatives,” Muchacho stated.

“When you find that there is no option, then you find that the military alternative may end up being inevitable for the US government, whether … we condemn or support it,” he said.

Muchacho made the comments just days after President Donald Trump said he was open to a military option in Venezuela.

“A military option is certainly something that we could pursue,” Trump said.

Muchacho himself made his comments from Miami, and is currently wanted in Venezuela....'

Typical slime-ball traitor, speaking from Miami while on the lam from a prison sentence.

'....In June, 21-year-old bystander Orlando Figuera died after allegedly being attacked by opposition groups. According to witnesses, protesters accused Figuera of supporting the government, before stabbing him, dousing him in gasoline and torching him alive......'

What barbarians, but then the Yanks do like their sort, as shown by their assistance to the head-choppers in Syria and Iraq.

_________________
'And he (the devil) said to him: To thee will I give all this power, and the glory of them; for to me they are delivered, and to whom I will, I give them'. Luke IV 5-7.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2017 11:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

'A Tale of Two Elections: Democracy & Counter-Democracy in Venezuela':
http://www.countercurrents.org/2017/08/20/a-tale-of-two-elections-demo cracy-counter-democracy-in-venezuela/

'On July 30, 2017 the people of Venezuela went to the polls to elect a National Constituent Assembly (ANC). The vote was Constitutional, verifiable, secret, direct and universal, and over 8 million people participated. Despite this reality, the government United States and their allies, along with mainstream capitalist media have all decried the elections as “illegitimate,” “unpopular” and a “sham.”

On July 17, there was another “vote” in Venezuela. In sharp contrast to their reaction to the Constituent Assembly, imperialist governments and their capitalist media had nothing but praise for this illegal “plebiscite.” Basically, Venezuela’s right-wing opposition organized a non-binding referendum without the authority of either Venezuela’s National Electoral Council or the Constitution of Venezuela. The opposition claims that over 7 million people participated in this referendum, however, the results are not verifiable as the ballots were destroyed.

It has been 19 years since election of Hugo Chavez in 1998 and the beginning of the Bolivarian Revolutionary process. Since then, poor, working and oppressed people in Venezuela have made tremendous gains in their standards of living; in healthcare, education, housing, access to food and clean water, among other basic indicators of quality of life.

Today, Venezuela has a revolutionary government led by the democratically elected President, Nicolas Maduro, but the economy of Venezuela is still run by Venezuela’s rich class. This rich class is represented in government by the opposition coalition MUD (the Democratic Round Table).....'

_________________
'And he (the devil) said to him: To thee will I give all this power, and the glory of them; for to me they are delivered, and to whom I will, I give them'. Luke IV 5-7.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2017 6:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

'Propaganda On Venezuela Busted':
http://www.countercurrents.org/2017/08/22/propaganda-on-venezuela-bust ed/

Three short video clips.

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'And he (the devil) said to him: To thee will I give all this power, and the glory of them; for to me they are delivered, and to whom I will, I give them'. Luke IV 5-7.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2017 6:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

'Venezuela to End Dollar-Denominated Oil Deals, Currency Exchanges':
https://venezuelanalysis.com/news/13368

'Puebla, Mexico, September 15, 2017 (venezuelanalysis.com) – The Venezuelan government moved this week to phase out the use of US dollars in oil deals and official currency exchanges.
President Nicolas Maduro’s government has ordered oil traders to use other international currencies such as the euro in any crude oil deals, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday. According to the report, the government has ordered traders to halt all payments denominated in US dollars, while state oil firm PDVSA has asked joint venture partners to convert existing holdings to euros. The claims were based on interviews with unnamed government officials, according to the Wall Street Journal. The Maduro administration hasn’t publicly announced such a decision, though in recent weeks top government officials have argued the country should move away from the dollar.
“The market is dominated by transactions with the US dollar, and we must develop other ways to conduct international transactions,” Finance Minister Ramon Lobo told state broadcaster VTV over the weekend.
“We must resort to other convertible currencies: the euro, the [Chinese] yuan, the pound sterling,” he said.
Then on Thursday, Lobo announced the government’s foreign currency auctions will start offering buyers currencies such as the euro and Russian rouble.
“We are making the technical and technological adjustments … so that Dicom, which is our main space for auctioning currencies, develops towards [currencies] other than the dollar,” he told teleSUR.
The announcement was made amid reports the government’s main currency auction system, Dicom, had abruptly stopped selling dollars. Lobo confirmed the auction house had been closed, but said it will restart operations soon.
“Once the technological adjustments are completed and authorised exchange traders are able to exchange in the currencies we are going to work with, we will open the Dicom again – but not in dollars, but in other currencies,” he said.
Dicom has so far auctioned around US$72 million in foreign currency since starting operations three months ago. Business groups and the opposition have complained this amount doesn’t cover demand, pushing Venezuelans to the flourishing currency black market. The Maduro administration has argued it is the target of a US-led “economic war”.
The government’s push to move away from the dollar follows new US sanctions barring all dealings in Venezuelan state debt and equity.
“It also prohibits dealings in certain existing bonds owned by the Venezuelan public sector, as well as dividend payments to the government of Venezuela,” the White House has stated.
The White House said its sanctions were “calibrated to deny the Maduro dictatorship a critical source of financing” while allowing for some humanitarian exceptions.
The restrictions are the fifth round of US sanctions on Venezuela this year, though previous measures were largely aimed at senior government officials.'

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'And he (the devil) said to him: To thee will I give all this power, and the glory of them; for to me they are delivered, and to whom I will, I give them'. Luke IV 5-7.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 30, 2017 3:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

'Donald Trump Urges European Leaders to Sanction Venezuela':
https://venezuelanalysis.com/news/13395

'Bogota, September 27, 2017 (venezuelanalysis.com) – US President Donald Trump urged European leaders to apply sanctions against the Venezuelan government of Nicolas Maduro Tuesday in a joint press conference with Spanish President Mariano Rajoy at the White House.
The two world leaders had previously sustained a meeting focussing principally on counter-terrorism efforts and North Korea, according to press reports.
“We hope our friends in the EU will soon follow the United States, Canada and many Latin American nations in sanctioning the Maduro regime. We need everybody involved,” said Trump.
“The citizens of Venezuela have endured immense suffering, poverty, starvation, and dangerous political unrest under Maduro’s oppressive socialist regime,” he continued.
For his part, Rajoy told press that Venezuela’s current political situation was “unacceptable” and that the country was under “anti-democratic rule”.
The joint press conference comes just a day after the head of the Organization of American States (OAS) Luis Almagro published his fourth report on Venezuela and urged the international community to pursue “increasingly severe” sanctions against the country.
Washington imposed economic sanctions on Venezuela in August, while Canada followed suit with travel bans and asset freezes targeting top officials last week. On Sunday, Trump added Venezuelan officials to his controversial travel ban list along with North Korea and Chad.
Members of the European Union also voted to consider the possibility of organization-wide sanctions mid-September, though nothing official has been approved to date.
At the beginning of the month, Venezuelan opposition leader and President of the country’s National Assembly Julio Borges travelled to Europe where he met with Spanish President Mariano Rajoy, French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and UK Prime Minister Theresa May.
The tour was widely touted in the Venezuelan press as an attempt to secure a commitment to sanctions against the Maduro administration from European leaders.
No Latin American countries have passed sanctions against Venezuela to date.'

If anyone in the London area wants to know more about Venezuela, there is an AGM followed by speakers on 7th October:
'1) Please register here:
http://www.venezuelasolidarity.co.uk/vsc-agm-2017-registration/
for the VSC AGM on October 7 (details below) where you can hear from Nicaraguan & Venezuelan guests on the latest. If you are a member wish to be a voting delegate you need to register by this Saturday, but observers who support the VSC can register up to the day of the AGM itself.
2) Follow us on Facebook here and Twitter here and share our messages to spread the word.
3) Donate £20 or what you can afford now to our emergency No Trump financial appeal (donate here) so we can respond to these attacks.

Best wishes,
The Venezuela Solidarity Campaign Team.

VSC AGM 2017: Keep Trump out of Latin America –
Solidarity with Venezuela Against US Sanctions & Threats of Military Intervention!
With special guests from Venezuela, Nicaragua, Cuba, Argentina & Brazil.
10.00am (registration 9.30am,) Saturday October 7 2017, Discus Room, Unite House, 128 Theobalds Road, London, WC1X 8TN (Nearest Tube: Holborn)


Speakers to include: Eyewitness accounts from Venezuela Mickey Brady - Sinn Fein MP, who observed the recent elections in Venezuela, and journalist James Tweedie who just returned from Venezuela this week .
Plus: H.E Rocio Maniero, Venezuelan Ambasador, H.E. Teresita Vicente, Cuban Ambassador, H.E Guisell Morales Echaverry, Nicaraguan Ambassador, Tony Burke (Assistant General Secretary, Unite the Union,) David Raby (author. Democracy & Revolution,) Dr. Francisco Dominguez, Marina Prentoulis (Syriza,) Kate Hudson (CND,) Julia Felmanas (Workers' Party of Brazil,) Gabriel Mocho Rodriguez (International Transport Workers' Federation, Argentina), Mercedes Sanchez (Women's Officer, FESITUN union, Nicaragua).
The AGM will be followed by a panel discussion organised by a number of organisations on resisting Trump and building links and solidarity between Europe and Latin America.

You can register here or by cheque with your details (£8/£6) to Venezuela Solidarity Campaign c/o Unite, 33-37 Moreland Street, London, EC1V 8BB.

_________________
'And he (the devil) said to him: To thee will I give all this power, and the glory of them; for to me they are delivered, and to whom I will, I give them'. Luke IV 5-7.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 30, 2017 4:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

'57 Countries Back Venezuela at UN Human Rights Council':
https://venezuelanalysis.com/news/13399

'Caracas, September 28, 2017 (venezuelanalysis.com) – A bloc of fifty-seven countries signed a declaration in support of Venezuelan sovereignty at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva on Thursday.
“We condemn any action that disturbs peace, tranquility, and democratic stability (in Venezuela)… and which threatens its sovereignty, including the recent threats of a possible foreign military intervention,” reads the text of the document, as presented by Cuba’s ambassador to the body, Pedro Luis Pedroso.
The group, which includes Ecuador, Cuba, China, Bolivia, Palestine, Russia, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Iran, and South Africa, likewise expressed “support for the constitutional government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, in its commitment to preserving peace and maintaining democratic institutions in the country”.
For his part, Venezuelan UNHRC Ambassador Jorge Valero hailed the document as an endorsement of Venezuela’s National Constituent Assembly, which Washington and its allies in Europe and Latin America have refused to recognize.
“With the approved declaration, the world reaffirms the sovereign right of countries to organize their electoral processes, including the election of national constituent assemblies,” he stated.
The declaration was presented in the context of the 36th session of the UNHRC, which began on September 11 and concludes on September 29.
Throughout the session, Venezuela has been the subject of controversy, with UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein accusing the government in Caracas of “crimes against humanity”.
Venezuela has fired back, accusing the Jordanian prince of “bias” and noting that his office has yet to produce evidence to substantiate its allegations.
The 36th session of the UNHRC coincides with the 72nd General Debate of the UN General Assembly, where Venezuela has also been at the center of heated debate.
In his maiden speech at UN, US President Donald Trump lashed out at Venezuela alongside North Korea and Iran, threatening “further action” against the South American nation.
Coming on the heels of the US leader’s threats, 120 nations of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) signed the New York Declaration, proclaiming their “opposition to unilateralism and coercive measures”.
While the proclamation did not explicitly mention Venezuela, it has been widely viewed as a political victory for the Maduro government, which currently holds the pro tempore presidency of the NAM and has been the target of escalating US and Canadian sanctions over the past two months.'

So it's not all 'Doom and Gloom' - more countries are waking up to the US-led War Criminal 'Regime Change' Cabal.

_________________
'And he (the devil) said to him: To thee will I give all this power, and the glory of them; for to me they are delivered, and to whom I will, I give them'. Luke IV 5-7.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 2017 6:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

'Venezuela’s Opposition Swears in "Supreme Court in Exile" from Washington':
https://venezuelanalysis.com/news/13438

'Venezuela’s opposition declared its own Supreme Court Friday, claiming the official courts are no longer legitimate.
The court in exile was sworn in during a ceremony in Washington, with the unofficial judges vowing to use their positions as a platform against Venezuela’s Maduro administration.
“As a mechanism of international pressure against the dictatorship established in Venezuela, the unprecedented decision was made to install a Supreme Court of Justice [TSJ] in exile,” the judges said in a statement.
The swearing-in ceremony took place at the headquarters of the Organisation of American States (OAS), but was largely ignored by regional diplomats and the Maduro administration itself. Venezuela’s regional allies and critics alike have dismissed the event as unorthodox, though OAS head Luis Almagro welcomed the move.
"The installation of this TSJ opens the way to recover democracy in Venezuela,” he said.
In his remarks, Almagro likewise voiced support for tougher sanctions against Caracas, which he said is the "way to bring the Venezuelan regime to his knees". US financial sanctions, announced in late August, have proven unpopular among Venezuelans, with 51.6 percent of the population rejecting the measure, according to the conservative think tank Datanalisis.
Also present at the ceremony were the former opposition mayors of Chacao and El Hatillo, Ramon Muchacho and David Smolansky. Both men fled to the US after being sentenced to 15 months imprisonment in August for their failure to reign in violent anti-government protests in their municipalities. Shortly after President Trump's controversial military threats against Venezuela, Muchacho called US armed intervention in his country "inevitable".
The de facto judges were first appointed by the opposition-controlled National Assembly (AN) in July, after legislators declared the official TSJ illegitimate. The controversy surrounding the court began in late 2015, when the previous pro-Maduro, lame duck AN appointed new judges shortly after legislative elections in December that year. The opposition has since accused the previous AN of acting improperly, and declared the TSJ illegitimate. Since then, the AN and TSJ have repeatedly butted heads, with the courts striking down most major pieces of opposition legislation.
The unofficial court will reportedly session in a private office within the OAS building as well as in Colombia, where it will hold its next meeting.'

'Sugar Company Nationalised Over Import Fraud Allegations':
https://venezuelanalysis.com/news/13433

'The sugar company C.A Central La Pastora has been brought under the control of the Venezuelan government after its director was arrested for import fraud.
Venezuelan Attorney General Tarek William Saab told press Wednesday that company management allegedly defrauded the Venezuelan government of US$1.3 million by deliberately overestimating the price of importing sugar by 230%. He also confirmed that company director, Miguel Ángel González Zambrano, had been detained following a search by authorities.
“At this moment we are conducting a raid in Carora on the business C.A. Central La Pastora. We have solicited the seizure of its installations, so that it may be administered by the state,” explained Saab.
In Venezuela, the supply of foreign currency is strictly controlled by the government, and companies wishing to buy dollars in order to import goods must make the purchases through the state’s foreign commerce bureau CENCOEX and its sub-office for the Administration of Foreign Currency CADIVI. The institutions use a tiered exchange rate to calculate the price of the dollar to the Venezuelan Bolivar, while products deemed essential such as food and medicine are highly subsidized by the government.
Critics argue the intricate system has been exploited by businesses in recent years, with many companies inflating their importation costs in order to acquire cut-price dollars, or selling the state-dollars back to private buyers on the black market for huge profits. A number of shell companies falsely operating as importation businesses have also been discovered.
At the end of August the attorney general’s office re-opened investigations into cases of foreign currency exchange and importer fraud.
Nine company directors have been arrested over the last week and dozens of arrest warrants issued, said Saab.
The latest detentions were made in Venezuela’s international airports as the culprits tried to flee the country. Their alleged crimes include fraudulent acquisition the foreign currency, using false public documents, association to commit crime and money laundering.
“I want to highlight this, that all of what is being seized is being passed over to the state in order to be administered in a much more meticulous way… for the benefit of citizens,” said the attorney general.
Saab also accused his predecessor Luisa Ortega of turning a blind eye to the massive corruption racket, despite being asked to investigate by President Nicolas Maduro.
“80% of those businesses being investigated by the former directorship had the case against them dismissed. In other words, absolute impunity, absolute leniency and absolute complicity,” said Saab.
“Now things have changed under our management, and we have not rested for a second while exposing these crimes,” he added.
The attorney general’s office has also made a string of high profile arrests for corruption in the country’s state oil company in recent weeks.
Ortega fled to Colombia in August after breaking with the administration of Nicolas Maduro in April. She accuses the government of political persecution against her and her family.'

'More Arrests in Anti-Corruption Drive in Venezuela':
https://venezuelanalysis.com/news/13413

About time they came down hard on these traitors.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 3:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

'Russia Helps Venezuela Fight Opposition's 'Economic War':
https://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Russia-Helps-Venezuela-Fight-Fo od-Blackmail-by-Imperialist-States-20170605-0023.html

'According to Faria, Russian wheat deliveries ensure that the Venezuelan people have access to basic food staples.
Venezuela’s Minister for External Commerce and International Trade Jesus Faria thanked Russia Monday for helping the country fight against its food crisis, which he said is being exploited by the country's right-wing opposition.
Russia has been providing Venezuela with wheat deliveries as part of a development program signed in May. Under the agreement, Russia agreed to send Venezuela 60,000 tons of wheat per month.

According to Faria, these wheat deliveries have provided a crucial lifeline, ensuring that the Venezuelan people have access to basic food staples.

Much of the country's food problem has been blamed on contraband selling with over 750 opposition-controlled offshore companies accused of purposely redirecting Venezuelan imports of raw food materials from the government to the private sector.

In Venezuela, the food crisis is being exploited by the country's right-wing forces, which are attempting to destabilize the leftist government with the support of the U.S., Faria said, according to Sputnik.

However, the minister added that Russia is helping to fight the food blackmail of Venezuela, Sputnik reported.....'

'Russia, China Absent From UN Security Council Meeting':
https://sputniknews.com/world/201711141059071329-russia-china-un-venez uela-meeting/

'Don’t mention it! Russia pardons $1 billion of Venezuela’s debt for 2017':
http://russiafeed.com/dont-mention-russia-pardons-1-billion-venezuelas -debt-2017/

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 10:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

‘Towards a « Latino Spring »?’: http://www.voltairenet.org/article196335.html

‘With time, many political leaders throughout the world have reinterpreted the « Arab Springs ». What at first seemed to be spontaneous revolutions against authoritarian governments is today perceived for what it is – an Anglo-Saxon plan for the destabilisation of an entire region of the world in order to put the Muslim Brotherhood into power. The memory of the « Arab Revolt of 1916 » – during which Lawrence of Arabia raised the whole region against the Ottoman Empire by feeding the People dreams of liberty in order, finally, to submit them to the British Empire – shows that London has the know-how.
It seems that the Anglo-Saxons are preparing a new wave of pseudo-revolutions in Latin America. Everything began with a decree by Barack Obama, on 9 March 2015, declaring a state of emergency in view of the extraordiary menace that the situation in Venezuela could bring to bear on the United States. This document caused an upsurge of indignation on the continent, forcing the US President to apologise during an international summit. But the decree was not cancelled, and the preparations for a new war continue.

Different from the Syrian Accountability Act by George W. Bush (2003), the text by Obama on Venezuela is a presidential decree, not a law. Consequently, the Executive does not need to account for the preparations to the Legislative body. It took eight years for the Anglo-Saxons to pass this act in the Arab world in general, but numerous elements lead us to believe that it will not take them as long to launch a programme for the destruction of Latin America…..’

On they go with their merry ‘Regime Change’ ‘Revolutions’. If it works, why fix it?
The Western MSM is continually demonising Maduro, and lying about the true state of the country, and why there are so many problems there. Once again, like Ukraine, Syria and Egypt you have ‘peaceful demos turning violent, with snipers or ‘unknown gunmen’ firing at both sides. That was what occurred in the short-lived coup against Hugo Chavez, but the a REAL spontaneous eruption in his defence led to the plotters releasing Chavez.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2018 3:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

'Shades of Chile 1973 as US moves against Venezuela':
https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/shades-chile-1973-us-moves-aga inst-venezuela

'US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson recently suggested that Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro might be removed by a military coup — the latest US move to effect “regime change” and topple the democratically elected government.

The leaders of Venezuela’s armed forces have rejected Tillerson’s comments as “interventionist” and reaffirmed their support for Maduro’s government.

Tillerson’s remarks were made before he embarked on a regional tour to garner further support for the US’s strategy. In addition he is threatening to ban the import of oil and crude products into the US from Venezuela.

This is the latest US move in the economic war against Venezuela, and progressive Latin American movements have compared it to the tactics the US and its allies employed against the Salvador Allende government in Chile — prior to Augusto Pinochet’s coup in 1973 — when US president Richard Nixon and secretary of state Henry Kissinger instructed the CIA and others to sabotage the Chilean economy......'

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2018 11:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

'Venezuela: 'Colombia Joining NATO A Threat To Regional Peace':
https://venezuelanalysis.com/news/13842

'..Venezuela has rejected the announcement by Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos that his country will be entering the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) as a "global partner."

"Venezuela denounces once more before the international community the intention of Colombian authorities to lend themselves to introduce, in Latin America and the Caribbean, a foreign military alliance with nuclear capacity, which in every way constitutes a serious threat for peace and regional stability," a statement by the foreign ministry said.

Likewise, Venezuela reiterated that it supports the historical position of the region to distance itself from the politics and wars of NATO, and from "any other army or military organization that desires to apply force to the suffering of the people, to impose and guarantee the hegemony of a particular political and economic model."....'

'Colombian President-elect Will Not Recognise Venezuela’s Government':
https://venezuelanalysis.com/news/13894

'..“We can’t accept having links with a government which we consider to be illegitimate,” declared the winner of the June 17 election. Duque obtained 54 percent of the vote amid a 53 percent participation.

The president-elect, who will take power on August 7, also characterized Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro as a “dictator,” alleging the existence of government-sponsored “drug trafficking structures.”

Similarly, Duque criticised Venezuela’s recent May 20 elections, which he considers to have been “openly manipulated.”

Venezuela’s May 20 presidential elections were declared free and fair by numerous international accompaniment missions who observed the process in the Caribbean nation.

By contrast, Colombia’s recent balloting has drawn significant criticism, with Colombia’s Immediate Reception for the Electoral Transparency Unit (URIEL) registering 1,239 complaints on the day of voting, 51 percent of which referred to “pressure and threats” to voters.

Duque is considered a hard-line politician of the right wing Democratic Centre center who is extremely close to party head and ex-Colombian President Alvaro Uribe, both in his rejection to the Colombian peace process and in the aggressive tone taken in relation to Caracas.

However, unlike Uribe, who stated days after his presidency was over that an invasion to Venezuela had been on the table, Duque has calmed concerns over a possible military encounter between NATO member Colombia and Venezuela, saying that he will not “assume a warlike attitude towards Venezuela.”......'

'..he will not “assume a warlike attitude towards Venezuela.”...'
Of course he won't, until the US tells him to (probably assisted by a 'False Flag' attack or hoax).

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2018 5:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

'Tatuy TV: A Revolutionary Munitions Factory':
https://dissidentvoice.org/2018/06/tatuy-tv-a-revolutionary-munitions- factory/

‘…This radicalizing trajectory is actually the subject of our latest episode. Chávez kicks off his project convinced of the possibility of a “humane capitalism”, third-way politics. But after the coup in 2002, after the attacks from the US empire, Chávez said “I am forced to declare the anti-imperialist character of the revolution”. And following that, faced with the dynamics of class struggle in the Venezuelan political reality, Chávez sees it necessary to define a path, and the closest or more realistic way to guarantee the well-being of the people, was socialism. Therefore it was always a path of radicalisation. If one looks at Chávez’s speeches, right before falling ill, these are the clearest, deepest, most radical and most revolutionary speeches he produced….’

Fidel Castro also set out with the idea of friendly relations with the US, though he nationalised because he wasn’t going to let the pillaging of his country’s natural resources by the Multinationals.
Chavez also wanted a ‘Middle Course’, but after the coup attempt in 2002 he became much more radicalised. and notice:
‘… If one looks at Chávez’s speeches, right before falling ill, these are the clearest, deepest, most radical and most revolutionary speeches he produced…’

Like Chavez himself, I believe it was no ‘accident’ that so many Left wing leaders in Latin America, including himself, ‘contracted’ cancer.
Three other ‘thorns in the sides of the Establishments’ (non-Latin Americans) who ‘contracted cancer’ spring to mind – Aaron Russo, Penny Lernoux and Mark Purdey.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2018 4:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

'Venezuela – Towards an Economy of Resistance':
https://countercurrents.org/2018/06/29/venezuela-towards-an-economy-of -resistance/

'...Imagine, Venezuela has by far the world’s largest known reserves in hydrocarbon under her territory –more than 300 billion barrels of petrol, vs. 266 billion barrels, the second largest, of Saudi Arabia. Venezuela is a neighbor, just across the Caribbean, of the United States’ arsenal of refineries in Texas. It takes about 3 to 4 days shipping time from Venezuela to the Texan refineries, as compared to 40-45 days from the Gulf States, from where the US imports about 60% of its oil – to be shipped through the high-risk Iran controlled Strait of Hormuz. And on top of this, Venezuela, is a socialist country defending the rights of the working class, fostering solidarity, human rights and sheer human values, so close to the borders of an abject neoliberal and increasing militarized greed-driven dictatorship, pretending untouchable ‘exceptionalism’.Daring to stand up against the threats of boots and bombs from the North, is simply intolerable for Washington.

A real foreign imposed economic crisis is in full swing. Venezuela’s black money market is manipulated by Twitter mainly from Miami and occasionally corrected from Colombia, depending on the availability from Venezuela stolen contraband, offered to better-off cross-border customers. This is missing merchandise on Venezuela’s supermarket shelves. It’s imported merchandise – mostly food and medical supplies – fully paid by the government. This has nothing to do with Venezuela being broke and unable of paying for needed imports. The media which propagate such slander are criminal liars, typical for western “journalism”. It is merchandise stolen, captured at the ports of entry by US trained gangs and deviated as smuggle-ware mostly to Colombia, the new NATO country. The scheme is a carbon copy of what happened in 1973 in Chile, orchestrated by the CIA to bring the Allende Government to fall. People have a short memory – or they like to forget – to keep implementing their disastrous neoliberal agenda....'

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2018 11:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

'Trump repeatedly suggested invading Venezuela, stunning top aides – report':
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/jul/04/trump-suggested-invadi ng-venezuela-report

'...The administration officials are said to have taken turns in trying to talk him out of the idea, pointing out that any such military action would alienate Latin American allies who had supported the US policy of punitive sanctions on the Maduro regime.

Their arguments do not seem to have dissuaded the president.

A grim-faced Tillerson stood alongside Trump the next day at his New Jersey golf course at Bedminster as the president warmed to his theme.

“We have many options for Venezuela, this is our neighbour,” Trump said.

“We’re all over the world and we have troops all over the world in places that are very very far away, Venezuela is not very far away and the people are suffering and dying. We have many options for Venezuela including a possible military option if necessary.”...'

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2018 9:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

They are moving fast! 'First they came for Alex Jones…'

'Acclaimed Venezuelan News Site Latest Victim in Facebook Censorship Spree':
https://venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/13989

‘..Publishers for the news outlet were informed by Facebook on Thursday that their page had been “unpublished” due to “recent activity” that “doesn’t follow the Facebook Pages Terms.” When a Facebook page is unpublished, it becomes no longer viewable to the public, only to the administrators. Venezuela Analysis will have the option to appeal the decision.
It isn’t clear what specific activity prompted the move.
The outlet called it a “naked attempt to block our grassroots coverage of the on-the-ground situation in Venezuela. Need more evidence that [Facebook] is arm of corporate [mainstream media] censoring alternative voices?”…’

‘…Venezuela Analysis has received glowing endorsements from a host of political influencers. Filmmaker John Pilger wrote, “Never has a country, its people, its politics, its leader, its myths and truths been so misreported and lied about as Venezuela in the past decade. Not only has [Venezuela Analysis] done much to correct this with its scrupulous attention to facts, both obvious and concealed, it has opened up a unique space for genuine critique of one of the world’s most imaginative popular movements.”
Director Oliver Stone said, “Unlike most mainstream media reporting about governments in Latin America, Venezuela Analysis provides a sorely missed counterpoint — presenting a progressive perspective on the news from Venezuela that is in-depth and also takes the views of the country’s poor majority into account.”…’

‘…Linguist and philosopher Noam Chomsky wrote that the outlet “has regularly provided very useful description, analysis and commentary on developments in Venezuela, rarely available in the US or the West generally, and valuable for a balanced understanding.”
Not everybody is thrilled with the coverage, though. In a leaked WikiLeaks cable from the United States, the outlet is included on a list of websites allegedly used by the Venezuelan government to “liberally” use “cyberspace to spread its war on the oligarchy, neoliberalism, the United States government, and the proposed Free Trade Area of the Americas.”…’

Sad day for the truth – who will be next?

'Venezuelanalysis: Official Statement on Facebook's Removal of Our Page':
https://venezuelanalysis.com/news/13990

'STATEMENT FROM VENEZUELANALYSIS
August 9, 2018
On Thursday morning our Facebook page was arbitrarily "unpublished" by Facebook with no warning or explanation, apart from a standard message informing us that we had allegedly violated the company's terms and conditions. The timing of such a move is concerning for several reasons. Firstly, there is the international context, in which Facebook appears to be targetting independent or leftwing sites in the wake of Russiagate. However, in terms of our own coverage, in the days leading up to our removal, we had published important pieces which challenge the corporate mainstream media narrative on Venezuela. Specifically, we published an article giving details on the assassination attempt against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, as well as a very popular analysis criticising the mainstream media's coverage of the attack. In addition, Venezuelanalysis has also been covering the growing international campaign to End US and Canadian Sanctions against Venezuela which are unilateral, coercive economic measures that are illegal under the Organization of American States as well as United Nations charters. The campaign recently released a Call to Action for individual and organizational sign-ons condemning this act of economic strangulation, and has organised International Days of Action on August 14th 2018 to mark the one year anniversary when the Trump administration heightened economic sanctions and referenced military intervention as a possibility in Venezuela.
Venezuelanalysis is the only independent English language website covering news and analysis on Venezuela from a progressive perspective, & which platforms leftist grassroots voices from within Venezuela. It is run by committed journalists, authors and academics, & praised by renowned journalists and intellectuals such as Noam Chomsky, John Pilger, Marta Harnecker, Oliver Stone, and so on. We cannot help but feel that the removal of our page is related to an attempt to stifle the alternative and progressive perspectives that we feature on Venezuela. Though our page was suddenly reinstated on Thursday evening, following our official appeal, as well as people expressing their support for us on Twitter, media interviews and an article on the issue in Sputnik International, Facebook has still not responded with any explanation for what happened, nor to inform us which terms and conditions we allegedly violated. The whole thing is extremely mysterious, to say the least.'
The VA Collective

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2018 12:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Recent weeks have seen an intensification of US hostility to Venezuela, with Republican Senator Marco Rubio openly calling for US military intervention
( https://www.newsweek.com/marco-rubio-us-military-solution-venezuela-11 01123 ), the US excluding three Caribbean countries from a visa waiver scheme because of their good relations with Venezuela
( https://venezuelanalysis.com/news/14053 ) and it being exposed that US officials secretly met with Venezuelan military officers plotting a coup against the elected President (see here.) Meanwhile, Secretary-General of the (OAS (and long term supporter of Trump's 'regime change' agenda) Luis Almagro has said a "military intervention aimed at overthrowing the regime of Nicolas Maduro" should not be "excluded" ( https://edition.cnn.com/2018/09/08/politics/trump-venezuela-officers-s ecret-meetings-maduro-coup/index.html ).

But the Trump administration is not getting all its own way on the international stage in terms of gaining support for its agenda, with former Spanish PM Zapatero joining the growing global chorus of voices against US sanctions, saying that "the intensification of the growth in emigration [from Venezuela] these past months has much to do with the economic sanctions imposed by the U.S." ( https://venezuelanalysis.com/news/14055 ) He has been joined by ex-President of Uruguay Jose 'Pepe' Mujica, who said the sanctions "only achieve a worsening of conditions for the weakest in society." You can also watch a video VSC Secretary Francisco Dominguez has made about the threats of intervention https://www.facebook.com/VenSolidarity/videos/275042223112869/ and read about how friends and adversaries alike of Venezuela's government in Latin America and the Caribbean have roundly condemned Almagro's comments https://venezuelanalysis.com/news/14054 ,

Now is the time to get active! As Evo Morales said to Marco Rubio, the US is The Real Global Threat, Not Venezuela! You can show your opposition to US sanctions and threats by:
1.) Signing our petition https://vsc.eaction.org.uk/petition/notrumpsanctions
2.) Sharing Francisco Dominguez's video https://www.facebook.com/VenSolidarity/videos/275042223112869/ .
3.) Joining the VSC/CSC fringe at Labour Conference on Monday at 5.30pm with speakers including Chris Williamson MP - details https://www.facebook.com/events/298439670942199/ .
4.) Chipping in £20 or what you can afford to our special appeal http://www.venezuelasolidarity.co.uk/donate/ .
5.) Joining us at our AGM on October 13 (details below) to discuss how we stand up to Trump's interventions in Latin America with speakers from Nicaragua, Venezuela, Cuba and more. You can register https://www.venezuelasolidarity.co.uk/2018/09/05/register-for-the-vsc- agm-2018/ .

Best wishes,
The Venezuela Solidarity Campaign Team.

Celebrating 20 years since Hugo Chavez's election -
Building solidarity with Venezuela & Latin America against Trump’s ‘regime change’ agenda.
Saturday October 13. VSC AGM in the morning, followed by special event celebrating Chavez's legacy - You can register here.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2018 12:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

'USA Prepares to Add Venezuela to Its Terrorism List – Its Got a Lot of Oil You Know':
https://www.globalresearch.ca/usa-prepares-add-venezuela-terrorism-lis t-got-lot-oil-you-know/5660532

'...The Washington Post reports that the Trump administration is preparing to add Venezuela to the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism in what would be a dramatic escalation against the socialist government of Nicolás Maduro, according to U.S. officials and internal government emails.

The (American) list is reserved for governments accused of repeatedly providing “support for acts of international terrorism,” which includes only Iran, North Korea, Sudan and Syria.

Countries, where terrorism is endemic to daily life in more recent years, are quite often those that America and its allies have attacked, namely: Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, which are not mentioned in their list. There are other countries in the same region who should be on that list, that isn’t...'
Where are Saudi Arabia and Qatar? Indeed, why isn't the main terrorist country, the US, named?

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2019 8:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2019 7:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Vultures of Caracas 84
26 Jan, 2019 in Uncategorized by craig | View Comments
https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2019/01/the-vultures-of-caraca s/

We are frequently told that people in Venezuela have no food, clothing or toilet paper, and that popular discontent with the left wing government is driven by real hunger. There are elements of truth in this story, though the causes of economic dislocation are far more complex than the media would have us believe.

But I ask you to look at this photo of supporters of CIA poster-boy, the West’s puppet unelected “President” Juan Guaido, taken at a Guaido rally in Caracas two days ago and published yesterday in security services house journal The Guardian. Please take a really close look at the photo. Blow it up as big as you can. Scan individual people in the crowd, one by one.



These are not the poor and most certainly not the starving. As it chances I have a great deal of life experience working amongst seriously deprived, hungry and despairing people. I know the gaunt face of want and the desperate glance of need. Look at these Guaido supporters, one by one by one. This designer spectacled, well-coiffed, elegantly dressed, sleekly jowled group does not know hunger. This group does not know want. This is a proper right wing gathering, a gathering of the nicely off section of society. This is a group of those who have corruptly been siphoning Venezuela’s great wealth for decades and who want to make sure the gravy train flows properly in their direction again. It is, in short, a group of exactly the kind of people you would expect to support a CIA coup.

Those manicured hands raised in the air will never throw rocks, or get involved in violence unless against a peasant strapped to a chair for them. It is not this crowd which will suffer as public disorder is manipulated and directed by the CIA. These wealthy ones are immune, just as Davos serves as nothing but an annual reminder of how very poorly God aims avalanches.

There is real suffering in Venezuela. The CIA is working hard to stoke violence, and the genuine poor will soon start to die, both in those egged on to riot and in the security services. But do not get taken in by the complete nonsense that this is a popular, democratic revolution. It is not. It is yet another barefaced CIA regime change coup.

UPDATE Such wisdom as this blog finds is often crowd-source, and with thanks to a commenter below here is some useful information from Jill Stein.


—————————————————

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2019 8:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The struggle of Venezuela against 'a common enemy'
17 February 2015
http://johnpilger.com/articles/the-struggle-of-venezuela-against-a-com mon-enemy
imrs.php.jpeg
Albert: Why would the United States want Venezuela's government overthrown?

Pilger: There are straightforward principles and dynamics at work here. Washington wants to get rid of the Venezuelan government because it is independent of US designs for the region and because Venezuela has the greatest proven oil reserves in the world and uses its oil revenue to improve the quality of ordinary lives. Venezuela remains a source of inspiration for social reform in a continent ravaged by an historically rapacious US. An Oxfam report once famously described the Sandinista revolution in Nicaragua as 'the threat of a good example'. That has been true in Venezuela since Hugo Chavez won his first election. The 'threat' of Venezuela is greater, of course, because it is not tiny and weak; it is rich and influential and regarded as such by China. The remarkable change in fortunes for millions of people in Latin America is at the heart of US hostility. The US has been the undeclared enemy of social progress in Latin America for two centuries. It doesn't matter who has been in the White House: Barack Obama or Teddy Roosevelt; the US will not tolerate countries with governments and cultures that put the needs of their own people first and refuse to promote or succumb to US demands and pressures. A reformist social democracy with a capitalist base - such as Venezuela - is not excused by the rulers of the world. What is inexcusable is Venezuela's political independence; only complete deference is acceptable. The 'survival' of Chavista Venezuela is a testament to the support of ordinary Venezuelans for their elected government - that was clear to me when I was last there. Venezuela's weakness is that the political 'opposition' - those I would call the 'East Caracas Mob' - represent powerful interests who have been allowed to retain critical economic power. Only when that power is diminished will Venezuela shake off the constant menace of foreign-backed, often criminal subversion. No society should have to deal with that, year in, year out.

Albert: What methods has the US already used and would you anticipate their using to unseat the Bolivarians

Pilger: There are the usual crop of quislings and spies; they come and go with their media theatre of fake revelations, but the principal enemy is the media. You may recall the Venezuelan admiral who was one of the coup-plotters against Chavez in 2002, boasting during his brief tenure in power, 'Our secret weapon was the media'. The Venezuelan media, especially television, were active participants in that coup, lying that supporters of the government were firing into a crowd of protestors from a bridge. False images and headlines went around the world. The New York Times joined in, welcoming the overthrow of a democratic 'anti-American' government; it usually does. Something similar happened in Caracas last year when vicious right-wing mobs were lauded as 'peaceful protestors' who were being 'repressed'. This was undoubtedly the start of a Washington-backed 'colour revolution' openly backed by the likes of the National Endowment for Democracy - a user-friendly CIA clone. It was uncannily like the coup that Washington successfully staged in Ukraine last year. As in Kiev, in Venezuela the 'peaceful protestors' set fire to government buildings and deployed snipers and were lauded by western politicians and the western media. The strategy is almost certainly to push the Maduro government to the right and so alienate its popular base. Depicting the government as dictatorial and incompetent has long been an article of bad faith among journalists and broadcasters in Venezuela and in the US, the UK and Europe. One recent US 'story' was that of a 'US scientist jailed for trying to help Venezuela build bombs'. The implication was that Venezuela was harbouring 'nuclear terrorists'. In fact, the disgruntled nuclear physicist had no connection whatsoever with Venezuela.

All this is reminiscent of the unrelenting attacks on Chávez, each with that peculiar malice reserved for dissenters from the west's 'one true way'. In 2006, Britain's Channel 4 News effectively accused the Venezuelan president of plotting to make nuclear weapons with Iran, an absurd fantasy. The Washington correspondent, Jonathan Rugman, sneered at policies to eradicate poverty and presented Chávez as a sinister buffoon, while allowing Donald Rumsfeld, a war criminal, to liken Chavez to Hitler, unchallenged. The BBC is no different. Researchers at the University of the West of England in the UK studied the BBC's systematic bias in reporting Venezuela over a ten-year period. They looked at 304 BBC reports and found that only three of these referred to any of the positive policies of the government. For the BBC, Venezuela's democratic initiatives, human rights legislation, food programmes, healthcare initiatives and poverty reduction programmes did not exist. Mission Robinson, the greatest literacy programme in human history, received barely a passing mention. This virulent censorship by omission complements outright fabrications such as accusations that the Venezuelan government are a bunch of drug-dealers. None of this is new; look at the way Cuba has been misrepresented - and assaulted - over the years. Reporters Without Borders has just issued its worldwide ranking of nations based on their claims to a free press. The US is ranked 49th, behind Malta, Niger, Burkino Faso and El Salvador.

Albert: Why might now be a prime time, internationally, for pushing toward a coup? If the primary problem is Venezuela being an example that could spread, is the emergence of a receptive audience for that example in Europe adding to the US response?

Pilger: It's important to understand that Washington is ruled by true extremists, once known inside the Beltway as 'the crazies'. This has been true since before 9/11. A few are outright fascists. Asserting US dominance is their undisguised game and, as the events in Ukraine demonstrate, they are prepared to risk a nuclear war with Russia. These people should be the common enemy of all sane human beings. In Venezuela, they want a coup so that they can roll-back some of the world's most important social reforms - such as in Bolivia and Ecuador. They've already crushed the hopes of ordinary people in Honduras. The current conspiracy between the US and Saudi Arabia to lower the price of oil is meant to achieve something more spectacular and tragic in Venezuela, and Russia.

Albert: What do you think the best approach might be to warding off US machinations, and those of domestic Venezuelan elites as well, for the Bolivarians?

Pilger: The majority people of Venezuela, and their government, need to tell the world the truth about the attacks on their country. There is a stirring across the world, and many people are listening. They don't want perpetual instability, perpetual poverty, perpetual war, perpetual rule by the few. And they identify the principal enemy; look at the international polling surveys that ask which country presents the greatest danger to humanity. The majority of people overwhelmingly point to the US, and to its numerous campaigns of terror and subversion.

Albert: What do you think is the immediate responsibility of leftists outside Venezuela, and particularly in the US?

Pilger: That begs a question: who are these 'leftists'? Are they the millions of liberal North Americans seduced by the specious rise of Obama and silenced by his criminalising of freedom of information and dissent? Are they those who believe what they are told by the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Guardian, the BBC? It's an important question. 'Leftist' has never been a more disputed and misappropriated term. My sense is that people who live on the edge and struggle against US-backed forces in Latin America understood the true meaning of the word, just as they identify a common enemy. If we share their principles, and a modicum of their courage, we should take direct action in our own countries, starting, I would suggest, with the propagandists in the media. Yes, it's our responsibility, and it has never been more urgent.

_________________
--
'Suppression of truth, human spirit and the holy chord of justice never works long-term. Something the suppressors never get.' David Southwell
http://aangirfan.blogspot.com
http://aanirfan.blogspot.com
Martin Van Creveld: Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: "Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother."
Martin Van Creveld: I'll quote Henry Kissinger: "In campaigns like this the antiterror forces lose, because they don't win, and the rebels win by not losing."
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Whitehall_Bin_Men
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2019 8:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is Oil Behind Washington’s Venezuela Coup Madness?
By F. William Engdahl 03 February 2019
http://www.williamengdahl.com/englishNEO3Feb2019.php

Image Credit: US Government License: This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work prepared by an officer or employee of the United States Government as part of that person’s official duties under the terms of Title 17, Chapter 1, Section 105 of the US Code https://bit.ly/2G6ygYb

On January 23 US Vice President Pence sent a message via Twitter that Washington recognized the 35-year-old Speaker of the Venezuela National Assembly, Juan Guaido, as the “legitimate” President of the troubled country, and not elected President Maduro. The fact that it was first Pence and not the US President, who seemed forced to play catch-up, says much about the intervention. The question is whether oil was the reason as neo-con Security Council adviser John Bolton claimed or something else. The evidence suggests something else, but what something? .

The Washington “recognition” of Guaido as “legitimate” president of Venezuela is not only a blatant breach of international law. It goes back on Donald Trump’s repeated campaign promises to stop US meddling in internal affairs of other countries. The attempted coup is being run on the ground by the same criminal operators, call them the deep state, who were behind the regime change operations of repeated US Color Revolutions from Ukraine to Libya, including CANVAS and the CIA’s surrogate, National Endowment for Democracy. National Endowment for Democracy. Many are asking why, after twenty years of Chavez and Maduro versions of central socialist economics, just now Washington makes such a brazen and dangerous step. One explanation is oil, but if so, not in a simple sense some may think.

In an interview on Fox News following US claims that Guaido was the legitimate interim president, John Bolton declared that, aside from declaring Maduro was “authoritarian” as reason for the Washington move, oil was a major factor. Bolton told Fox News, “We’re looking at the oil assets…We’re in conversation with major American companies now,” he continued. Then he made this bizarre remark, all the more as the US today claims to be world number one oil producer: “It will make a big difference to the United States economically if we could have American oil companies really invest in and produce the oil capabilities in Venezuela.” How that would “make America great again,” he did not say.

World’s Largest Reserves?

It’s true that, officially, Venezuela claims to hold the world’s largest oil reserves, estimated 297 billion barrels as of 2010, larger even than that claimed by Saudi Arabia. That makes an impressive headline but is misleading.

Aside from the fact that the Washington soft coup is hardly the urgent priority of the United States today, nor of the US President, the claims that it is about oil are overblown, clearly a deception on the part of John Bolton and others, unless it is part of a grand scheme to force world oil prices again to over $100 a barrel. Having Valero Energy or Chevron refine the Venezuela oil on US Gulf Coast refineries, contrary to what the pro-coup Senator Marco Rubio claims, will not be a major job source for the US. Oil refining is a highly automated industry with very small labor input.

But a closer look at the figures for Venezuela oil reserves is also necessary. Most of the oil resources of Venezuela are located in what used to be known as the Orinoco Belt, today the Hugo Chavez Belt. In the 1990s the “proven reserves” of Venezuela was estimated to be 60 billion barrels, a mere 20% of today’s estimate. Since Chavez took over in 1999 did Venezuela discover huge new deposits of oil? No. It discovered the changing economics of the rising world oil prices over the period from 1999 to 2014. Like Canada’s heavy Athabasca Tar Sands, Venezuela heavy Orinoco crude was suddenly economic, that is so long as world oil prices stayed above $100 a barrel.

We have to look at the definition of proven reserves. The US Securities & Exchange Commission has defined it as “those quantities of oil and gas, which, by analysis of geoscience and engineering data, can be estimated with reasonable certainty to be economically producible…” When oil prices in the 1990s were well below $40 a barrel, it was not economically possible to produce Venezuela oil from the huge Orinoco region. The oil is a heavy tar-like grade similar to Canada’s Athabasca Tar Sands. So that vast reserve of tar oil, unconventional oil, was not economically producible, that is, not any more “proven reserves” by the standard definition. It takes much energy input to refine a barrel of Orinoco heavy oil. It must be processed in special refineries. The technology needed to recover ultra-heavy crude oil of the Orinoco Belt, is much more complex and expensive than Saudi or Russian or even US shale oil.

When world oil prices crashed in 2014 to below $30 a barrel, Venezuela should have adjusted the reserves dramatically down. It did not. It neglected to reduce “economically recoverable reserves.”

Today’s price for West Texas Intermediate oil hovers around $55 a barrel. Moreover, US sanctions have severely reduced Venezuela conventional oil production, most of which, 500,000 barrels daily go to the US.

Now new US sanctions target the nationalized state oil company, PDVSA. American companies are banned from doing business with PDVSA. American sanctions also dictate that any revenues from oil sales be put into an escrow to be managed by the “government” of Juan Gauidó, a move likely to lead to Maduro’s simply stopping those US exports, pushing US gasoline prices high.

Moreover, because the Venezuela oil is extremely heavy, it must be diluted by special diluent chemicals. Those diluents or thinning agents are essential to be able to move the heavy molasses-like oil via pipeline. PDVSA purchased until this week all diluents from US suppliers. Now that is banned and finding substitutes, even in Canada, is not likely.

China Enters

In 1988 prior to Chavez, PDVSA worked with BP to patent its own oil emulsion called Orimulsion, to make the Orinoco heavy reserves into a commercial fuel. The invention allowed Venezuelan heavy oil to be sold at a price competitive with coal. However, for reasons not fully clear, in 2007 the Chavez regime sold an Orimulsion plant producing 100,000 barrels of oil daily to China. The plant had been built with a Chinese loan. Chavez’ Energy Minister, Rafael Ramírez, announced that PDVSA was ending production of Orimulsion, arguing that its processing was not “an appropriate use for Venezuelan extra-heavy crudes (sic).” He granted the Orimulsion patent to Chinese oil companies, presumably for some debt relief.

Today the Maduro government sends a major portion of its remaining oil exports in lieu of debt repayment, to China, and also less so (less debt) to Russia. Venezuela owes China some $60 billion. Those huge debts grew dramatically after in 2007 after a China-Venezuelan Joint Fund, created that year by Chávez, enabled Venezuela to borrow from China in tranches of up to $5 billion, and pay with shipments of crude oil.

This means that short of a dramatic increase in China loans or other aid to the Maduro regime amid latest US sanctions, chances for Venezuela exports of oil to the world market for vital hard currency cash amid a hyperinflation estimated by some at 60,000% annually or even well over one million percent by IMF projections, are all but gone.

The delayed result of those latest sanctions from the Trump Treasury has now created a spike in oil prices that may come to haunt Trump’s hopes for a strong economy in 2020. As the dual power war in Venezuela drags on, or even escalates into a bloody civil war, the prospect of rebuilding the battered remains of PDVSA, even were ExxonMobil or Chevron to buy a privatized entity, remains years away. Now the unanswered question is whether the dark actors behind this latest US regime change effort– the CIA, the major international banks and allied oil majors– actually intend to use their Venezuela coup crisis to escalate attacks on the Saudi Royal House to force a major cut as well in Saudi oil output, combined perhaps with a well-timed end to the US waivers to Iran oil export sanctions. Those waivers helped Trump and the US economy by averting a major oil price spike to over $100 last year before the US Midterm elections. Leaving aside whether or not Maduro is a saint, the decision by President Trump to back the Bolton-Pence call for a US intervention in Venezuela may prove a fatal error to a Trump presidency. He must realize that so the question would be whether someone is putting a gun, literal or figurative, to is head in this.

F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University and is a best-selling author on oil and geopolitics, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”

_________________
--
'Suppression of truth, human spirit and the holy chord of justice never works long-term. Something the suppressors never get.' David Southwell
http://aangirfan.blogspot.com
http://aanirfan.blogspot.com
Martin Van Creveld: Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: "Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother."
Martin Van Creveld: I'll quote Henry Kissinger: "In campaigns like this the antiterror forces lose, because they don't win, and the rebels win by not losing."
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2019 12:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chavez : "Damn you State of Israel" (English subtitles)
Mossad are trying to kill me - assassins

Link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y77zMU_rBVI
Hugo Chavez about the israeli attack on the turkish flottilla - "Damn you, State of Israel"

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 2:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Saker Interview with Michael Hudson on Venezuela
By The Saker and Michael Hudson
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/51074.htm

Introduction: There is a great deal of controversy about the true shape of the Venezuelan economy and whether Hugo Chavez’ and Nicholas Maduro’s reform and policies were crucial for the people of Venezuela or whether they were completely misguided and precipitated the current crises. Anybody and everybody seems to have very strong held views about this. But I don’t simply because I lack the expertise to have any such opinions. So I decided to ask one of the most respected independent economists out there, Michael Hudson, for whom I have immense respect and whose analyses (including those he co-authored with Paul Craig Roberts) seem to be the most credible and honest ones you can find. In fact, Paul Craig Roberts considers Hudson the “best economist in the world“!
I am deeply grateful to Michael for his replies which, I hope, will contribute to a honest and objective understanding of what really is taking place in Venezuela.
The Saker

February 08, 2019 "Information Clearing House" -

The Saker: Could you summarize the state of Venezuela’s economy when Chavez came to power?

Michael Hudson: Venezuela was an oil monoculture. Its export revenue was spent largely on importing food and other necessities that it could have produced at home. Its trade was largely with the United States. So despite its oil wealth, it ran up foreign debt.

From the outset, U.S. oil companies have feared that Venezuela might someday use its oil revenues to benefit its overall population instead of letting the U.S. oil industry and its local comprador aristocracy siphon off its wealth. So the oil industry – backed by U.S. diplomacy – held Venezuela hostage in two ways.

First of all, oil refineries were not built in Venezuela, but in Trinidad and in the southern U.S. Gulf Coast states. This enabled U.S. oil companies – or the U.S. Government – to leave Venezuela without a means of “going it alone” and pursuing an independent policy with its oil, as it needed to have this oil refined. It doesn’t help to have oil reserves if you are unable to get this oil refined so as to be usable.

Second, Venezuela’s central bankers were persuaded to pledge their oil reserves and all assets of the state oil sector (including Citgo) as collateral for its foreign debt. This meant that if Venezuela defaulted (or was forced into default by U.S. banks refusing to make timely payment on its foreign debt), bondholders and U.S. oil majors would be in a legal position to take possession of Venezuelan oil assets.

These pro-U.S. policies made Venezuela a typically polarized Latin American oligarchy. Despite being nominally rich in oil revenue, its wealth was concentrated in the hands of a pro-U.S. oligarchy that let its domestic development be steered by the World Bank and IMF. The indigenous population, especially its rural racial minority as well as the urban underclass, was excluded from sharing in the country’s oil wealth. The oligarchy’s arrogant refusal to share the wealth, or even to make Venezuela self-sufficient in essentials, made the election of Hugo Chavez a natural outcome.

The Saker: Could you outline the various reforms and changes introduced by Hugo Chavez? What did he do right, and what did he do wrong?

Michael Hudson: Chavez sought to restore a mixed economy to Venezuela, using its government revenue – mainly from oil, of course – to develop infrastructure and domestic spending on health care, education, employment to raise living standards and productivity for his electoral constituency.

What he was unable to do was to clean up the embezzlement and built-in rake-off of income from the oil sector. And he was unable to stem the capital flight of the oligarchy, taking its wealth and moving it abroad – while running away themselves.

This was not “wrong”. It merely takes a long time to change an economy’s disruption – while the U.S. is using sanctions and “dirty tricks” to stop that process.

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The Saker: What are, in your opinion, the causes of the current economic crisis in Venezuela – is it primarily due to mistakes by Chavez and Maduro or is the main cause US sabotage, subversion and sanctions?

Michael Hudson: There is no way that’s Chavez and Maduro could have pursued a pro-Venezuelan policy aimed at achieving economic independence without inciting fury, subversion and sanctions from the United States. American foreign policy remains as focused on oil as it was when it invaded Iraq under Dick Cheney’s regime. U.S. policy is to treat Venezuela as an extension of the U.S. economy, running a trade surplus in oil to spend in the United States or transfer its savings to U.S. banks.

By imposing sanctions that prevent Venezuela from gaining access to its U.S. bank deposits and the assets of its state-owned Citco, the United States is making it impossible for Venezuela to pay its foreign debt. This is forcing it into default, which U.S. diplomats hope to use as an excuse to foreclose on Venezuela’s oil resources and seize its foreign assets much as Paul Singer hedge fund sought to do with Argentina’s foreign assets.

Just as U.S. policy under Kissinger was to make Chile’s “economy scream,” so the U.S. is following the same path against Venezuela. It is using that country as a “demonstration effect” to warn other countries not to act in their self-interest in any way that prevents their economic surplus from being siphoned off by U.S. investors.

The Saker: What in your opinion should Maduro do next (assuming he stays in power and the USA does not overthrow him) to rescue the Venezuelan economy?

Michael Hudson: I cannot think of anything that President Maduro can do that he is not doing. At best, he can seek foreign support – and demonstrate to the world the need for an alternative international financial and economic system.

He already has begun to do this by trying to withdraw Venezuela’s gold from the Bank of England and Federal Reserve. This is turning into “asymmetrical warfare,” threatening what to de-sanctify the dollar standard in international finance. The refusal of England and the United States to grant an elected government control of its foreign assets demonstrates to the entire world that U.S. diplomats and courts alone can and will control foreign countries as an extension of U.S. nationalism.

The price of the U.S. economic attack on Venezuela is thus to fracture the global monetary system. Maduro’s defensive move is showing other countries the need to protect themselves from becoming “another Venezuela” by finding a new safe haven and paying agent for their gold, foreign exchange reserves and foreign debt financing, away from the dollar, sterling and euro areas.

The only way that Maduro can fight successfully is on the institutional level, upping the ante to move “outside the box.” His plan – and of course it is a longer-term plan – is to help catalyze a new international economic order independent of the U.S. dollar standard. It will work in the short run only if the United States believes that it can emerge from this fight as an honest financial broker, honest banking system and supporter of democratically elected regimes. The Trump administration is destroying illusion more thoroughly than any anti-imperialist critic or economic rival could do!

Over the longer run, Maduro also must develop Venezuelan agriculture, along much the same lines that the United States protected and developed its agriculture under the New Deal legislation of the 1930s – rural extension services, rural credit, seed advice, state marketing organizations for crop purchase and supply of mechanization, and the same kind of price supports that the United States has long used to subsidize domestic farm investment to increase productivity.

The Saker: What about the plan to introduce a oil-based crypto currency? Will that be an effective alternative to the dying Venezuelan Bolivar?

Michael Hudson: Only a national government can issue a currency. A “crypto” currency tied to the price of oil would become a hedging vehicle, prone to manipulation and price swings by forward sellers and buyers. A national currency must be based on the ability to tax, and Venezuela’s main tax source is oil revenue, which is being blocked from the United States. So Venezuela’s position is like that of the German mark coming out of its hyperinflation of the early 1920s. The only solution involves balance-of-payments support. It looks like the only such support will come from outside the dollar sphere.

The solution to any hyperinflation must be negotiated diplomatically and be supported by other governments. My history of international trade and financial theory, Trade, Develpoment and Foreign Debt, describes the German reparations problem and how its hyperinflation was solved by the Rentenmark.

Venezuela’s economic-rent tax would fall on oil, and luxury real estate sites, as well as monopoly prices, and on high incomes (mainly financial and monopoly income). This requires a logic to frame such tax and monetary policy. I have tried to explain how to achieve monetary and hence political independence for the past half-century. China is applying such policy most effectively. It is able to do so because it is a large and self-sufficient economy in essentials, running a large enough export surplus to pay for its food imports. Venezuela is in no such position. That is why it is looking to China for support at this time.

The Saker: How much assistance do China, Russia and Iran provide and how much can they do to help? Do you think that these three countries together can help counter-act US sabotage, subversion and sanctions?

Michael Hudson: None of these countries have a current capacity to refine Venezuelan oil. This makes it difficult for them to take payment in Venezuelan oil. Only a long-term supply contract (paid for in advance) would be workable. And even in that case, what would China and Russia do if the United States simply grabbed their property in Venezuela, or refused to let Russia’s oil company take possession of Citco? In that case, the only response would be to seize U.S. investments in their own country as compensation.

At least China and Russia can provide an alternative bank clearing mechanism to SWIFT, so that Venezuela can by pass the U.S. financial system and keep its assets from being grabbed at will by U.S. authorities or bondholders. And of course, they can provide safe-keeping for however much of Venezuela’s gold it can get back from New York and London.

Looking ahead, therefore, China, Russia, Iran and other countries need to set up a new international court to adjudicate the coming diplomatic crisis and its financial and military consequences. Such a court – and its associated international bank as an alternative to the U.S.-controlled IMF and World Bank – needs a clear ideology to frame a set of principles of nationhood and international rights with power to implement and enforce its judgments.

This would confront U.S. financial strategists with a choice: if they continue to treat the IMF, World Bank, ITO and NATO as extensions of increasingly aggressive U.S. foreign policy, they will risk isolating the United States. Europe will have to choose whether to remain a U.S. economic and military satellite, or to throw in its lot with Eurasia.

However, Daniel Yergin reports in the Wall Street Journal (Feb. 7) that China is trying to hedge its bets by opening a back-door negotiation with Guaido’s group, apparently to get the same deal that it has negotiated with Maduro’s government. But any such deal seems unlikely to be honored in practice, given U.S. animosity toward China and Guaido’s total reliance on U.S. covert support.

The Saker: Venezuela kept a lot of its gold in the UK and money in the USA. How could Chavez and Maduro trust these countries or did they not have another choice? Are there viable alternatives to New York and London or are they still the “only game in town” for the world’s central banks?

Michael Hudson: There was never real trust in the Bank of England or Federal Reserve, but it seemed unthinkable that they would refuse to permit an official depositor from withdrawing its own gold. The usual motto is “Trust but verify.” But the unwillingness (or inability) of the Bank of England to verify means that the formerly unthinkable has now arrived: Have these central banks sold this gold forward in the post-London Gold Pool and its successor commodity markets in their attempt to keep down the price so as to maintain the appearance of a solvent U.S. dollar standard.

Paul Craig Roberts has described how this system works. There are forward markets for currencies, stocks and bonds. The Federal Reserve can offer to buy a stock in three months at, say, 10% over the current price. Speculators will by the stock, bidding up the price, so as to take advantage of “the market’s” promise to buy the stock. So by the time three months have passed, the price will have risen. That is largely how the U.S. “Plunge Protection Team” has supported the U.S. stock market.

The system works in reverse to hold down gold prices. The central banks holding gold can get together and offer to sell gold at a low price in three months. “The market” will realize that with low-priced gold being sold, there’s no point in buying more gold and bidding its price up. So the forward-settlement market shapes today’s market.

The question is, have gold buyers (such as the Russian and Chinese government) bought so much gold that the U.S. Fed and the Bank of England have actually had to “make good” on their forward sales, and steadily depleted their gold? In this case, they would have been “living for the moment,” keeping down gold prices for as long as they could, knowing that once the world returns to the pre-1971 gold-exchange standard for intergovernmental balance-of-payments deficits, the U.S. will run out of gold and be unable to maintain its overseas military spending (not to mention its trade deficit and foreign disinvestment in the U.S. stock and bond markets). My book on Super-Imperialism explains why running out of gold forced the Vietnam War to an end. The same logic would apply today to America’s vast network of military bases throughout the world.

Refusal of England and the U.S. to pay Venezuela means that other countries means that foreign official gold reserves can be held hostage to U.S. foreign policy, and even to judgments by U.S. courts to award this gold to foreign creditors or to whoever might bring a lawsuit under U.S. law against these countries.

This hostage-taking now makes it urgent for other countries to develop a viable alternative, especially as the world de-dedollarizes and a gold-exchange standard remains the only way of constraining the military-induced balance of payments deficit of the United States or any other country mounting a military attack. A military empire is very expensive – and gold is a “peaceful” constraint on military-induced payments deficits. (I spell out the details in my Super Imperialism: The Economic Strategy of American Empire (1972), updated in German as Finanzimperium (2017).

The U.S. has overplayed its hand in destroying the foundation of the dollar-centered global financial order. That order has enabled the United States to be “the exceptional nation” able to run balance-of-payments deficits and foreign debt that it has no intention (or ability) to pay, claiming that the dollars thrown off by its foreign military spending “supply” other countries with their central bank reserves (held in the form of loans to the U.S. Treasury – Treasury bonds and bills – to finance the U.S. budget deficit and its military spending, as well as the largely military U.S. balance-of-payments deficit.

Given the fact that the EU is acting as a branch of NATO and the U.S. banking system, that alternative would have to be associated with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, and the gold would have to be kept in Russia and/or China.

The Saker: What can other Latin American countries such as Bolivia, Nicaragua, Cuba and, maybe, Uruguay and Mexico do to help Venezuela?

Michael Hudson: The best thing neighboring Latin American countries can do is to join in creating a vehicle to promote de-dollarization and, with it, an international institution to oversee the writedown of debts that are beyond the ability of countries to pay without imposing austerity and thereby destroying their economies.

An alternative also is needed to the World Bank that would make loans in domestic currency, above all to subsidize investment in domestic food production so as to protect the economy against foreign food-sanctions – the equivalent of a military siege to force surrender by imposing famine conditions. This World Bank for Economic Acceleration would put the development of self-reliance for its members first, instead of promoting export competition while loading borrowers down with foreign debt that would make them prone to the kind of financial blackmail that Venezuela is experiencing.

Being a Roman Catholic country, Venezuela might ask for papal support for a debt write-down and an international institution to oversee the ability to pay by debtor countries without imposing austerity, emigration, depopulation and forced privatization of the public domain.

Two international principles are needed. First, no country should be obliged to pay foreign debt in a currency (such as the dollar or its satellites) whose banking system acts to prevents payment.

Second, no country should be obliged to pay foreign debt at the price of losing its domestic autonomy as a state: the right to determine its own foreign policy, to tax and to create its own money, and to be free of having to privatize its public assets to pay foreign creditors. Any such debt is a “bad loan” reflecting the creditor’s own irresponsibility or, even worse, pernicious asset grab in a foreclosure that was the whole point of the loan.

The Saker: Thank you very much for taking the time to reply to my questions!

This article was originally published by "The Unz review" -

Do you agree or disagree? Post your comment here

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

'Abby Martin Meets the Venezuelan Opposition':
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dtu1DwHo1Zg

'Abby Martin goes on the deadly front lines of the anti government protests in Venezuela and follows the evolution of a typical guarimba—or opposition barricade.

She explains what the targets from the opposition reveal about the nature of the movement and breaks down the reality of the death toll that has rocked the nation since the unrest began, and how a lynch mob campaign came after her and the Empire Files team for reporting these facts.

Hearing from peaceful opposition marchers, to Chavistas to violent protesters at the guarimbas, this must-watch episode exposes the dark reality on-the-ground that is completely obscured from Western media.'

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2019 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote


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'Suppression of truth, human spirit and the holy chord of justice never works long-term. Something the suppressors never get.' David Southwell
http://aangirfan.blogspot.com
http://aanirfan.blogspot.com
Martin Van Creveld: Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: "Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother."
Martin Van Creveld: I'll quote Henry Kissinger: "In campaigns like this the antiterror forces lose, because they don't win, and the rebels win by not losing."
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2019 12:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Venezuelan vice president says power outage was caused by cyber attack

More:
http://tass.com/world/1047983


CARACAS, March 9. /TASS/. Power outage across Venezuela occurred as a result of a cyber attack, Vice President for Communications Jorge Rodriguez said on Friday.

Read also
Venezuelan Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez
Venezuela to deploy army to ensure security of power grids — defense minister

"A cyber attack targeted the automatic control system at the hydroelectric power station," Rodriguez said. "In response to the attack, the power station's operation was temporarily shut down, which led to interruptions in electricity supply," he added.

Rodriguez said that the cyber attack may have been carried out from the United States.

On Thursday 20 out of 23 Venezuelan regions were left without electricity. The National Electric Company said that the blackout was caused by an accident at the Simon Bolivar hydroelectric power station. Maduro blamed "US imperialism" for the accident. The US State Department denied any involvement.

Electricity is being gradually restored across Venezuela.


More:
http://tass.com/world/1047983

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