Loony Trump Has Repeatedly Pushed for US to Invade Venezuela

Trump Has Repeatedly Pushed for US to Invade Venezuela

Aides struggle to talk Trump out of launching invasion

In August of 2017, President Trump surprised many by openly talking about the idea of launching a military attack on Venezuela. The public talk of this didn’t last long, and it has been all but forgotten. But not forgotten by President Trump.

Aides say that since August President Trump has repeatedly pushed aides on the matter, and that a number of different cabinet members have had to take turns trying to talk Trump out of the idea. They have succeeded so far, but Trump hasn’t dropped the idea.

Of course, there is no Congressional authorization, or anything resembling it, on the books authorizing a US invasion of Venezuela. This did not appear to faze Trump, however, and he argued to his cabinet that Venezuela was a threat to regional security, so he should just invade and be done with it.

This shocked members of his cabinet, including former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster. They were both opposed to the idea, but it’s less clear if their successors, Mike Pompeo and John Bolton, would have a problem with this sort of unprovoked US attack

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Foreign Minister S.Lavrov’s interview with Channel 4, Moscow, June 29, 2018

The Saker

June 29, 2018

Foreign Minister S.Lavrov’s interview with Channel 4, Moscow, June 29, 2018

http://www.mid.ru/en/foreign_policy/news/-/asset_publisher/cKNonkJE02Bw/content/id/3285972

 

Question: Foreign Minister, the summit is happening in Helsinki. Russian President V.Putin and US President D.Trump together. Is this the post-West world order that you have talked of in the past? Has it now arrived?

S.Lavrov: Well, I think that we are in the post-West world order, but this order is being shaped and it will take a long time. It is a historical epoch, if you want. Certainly, after five or so centuries of domination of the collective West, as it were, it is not very easy to adjust to new realities that there are other powerhouses economically, financially and politically, China, India, Brazil. African countries are going to be very much on the rise, as soon as they resolve at least some of the conflicts, which are there on the continent. Well, Russia certainly would like to be an independent world player. Independent in the sense that we do not want to violate and international law and norms, but the decisions, which we would be taking on the basis of international law, would not be influenced by pressure, money, sanctions, threats or anything else.

Question: Russia is shaping this world order that is clear.

S.Lavrov: It is not Russia is shaping this world order, its history. It’s the development itself. You cannot really hope to contain this new powerful, economically and financially, countries. You cannot really ignore their role in world trade and world economy. Attempts are being made to slow down this process by new tariffs, new sanctions for good or bad reasons in violation of the WTO principles and so on. But I think it is a logical reaction: trying to slow down something, which is objective and does not depend on any single administration in any country.

Question: But Europe has something to fear from that world order that you have just mapped out there.

S.Lavrov: What was that?

Question: Well the world order that you have mapped out involved all sorts of countries. You did not mention whether the EU fits into that. Do they need to worry about that new world order?

S.Lavrov: Well, the EU is of course part of the collective West with the addition of new members from Eastern Europe. But the European Union is certainly a very important pillar of any world order. As for the Russian Federation, it is our biggest trade partner in spite of the fact that after the unfortunate developments and the wrongly understood interpretation of what the coup d’état is. The volume of trade since 2014 between Russia and the European Union went down 50%, but it is still more than $250bn and it is our number one trading partner, as a collective, as a Union. But the European Union certainly is now fighting to make sure that it is not lost in this new world order that is being shaped. It is not easy, because the reliance on the United States is something, which quite a number of the EU members want to keep. There are some other EU members, who believe that they should be a bit more self-sufficient in military matters for example. The initiative of President F.Macron and Germany to consider some kind of European defence capabilities being beefed up is a manifestation of this case.

I am watching the EU summit, which is going on right now, and the discussion on migration brought an interesting thought to my head, namely it is about the relations between NATO and EU. NATO bombed Libya, turned Libya into a black hole through which waves of migrants, illegal migrants, rushed to Europe. Now EU is cleaning the broken china for NATO.

Question: You talk about NATO’s involvement in Libya, but then there is Russia’s involvement in Syria and that has also created millions of refugees.

S.Lavrov: Yes, but I would challenge you that the Russian involvement in Syria on the basis of legitimate request from the legitimate government, recognized by all as the representative of Syria in the United Nations, took place in September 2015, four years and a half into the Arab spring embracing Syria. The bulk of the refugees already was outside Syria by the time that we came to the rescue of the legitimate government.

Question: Well you talk of the legitimate government that is also the government responsible for killing of hundreds of thousands of its own citizens, making millions homeless. “A gas killing animal”, as President D.Trump, your ally, puts it. Do you rest easy being allied with that kind of government?

S.Lavrov: Well, I would not go into the names, which President D.Trump used to describe some of the world leaders. It is not something done in concrete, it might change. What I want to say is: it is a war. It is the war, which was started by mistakes made on the part of everyone, including the Syrian government. I believe these disturbances could have been handled politically at an earlier stage. But we have now on our hands what is the result of outside forces having tried to use the situation in order to reshape the map of the Middle East and Northern Africa by trying to get into Syria without any invitation and trying to promote their own agenda there. So, the efforts, which we are now undertaking together with Turkey and Iran, and both of them are present on the ground, Turkey without invitation, Iran with the invitation from the government, but we managed pragmatically to create what we call Astana Process, Astana Format. The Syrian government, given the fact that Russia, Iran cooperate with Turkey on the basis of decisions, which lead to de-escalation, accepted Astana Process as such. It is part of the process together with the armed opposition, they regularly meet, and try to create conditions for the resolution of UN Security Council 2254 to be implemented.

Question: Let me ask again about Syrian President B.Assad. A lot of people would like to know what is there to like about President B.Assad?

S.Lavrov: We do not like anybody. The diplomacy and politics are not about liking or disliking, it is for human beings as individuals to use this terminology. President Assad is protecting the sovereignty of his country. He is protecting his country and in a broader sense the region from terrorism, which was really about a couple of weeks from taking over Damascus in September 2015.

We did not want the repetition of tragedies, which happened during last couple of decades through the “adventures”. Maybe even more than a couple of decades. It started closer to the end last century in Afghanistan, when the US decided to support militarily, financially and otherwise mujahedeen, who were fighting the Soviet troops. I would not dwell upon why the Soviet troops were there. By the way USSR was also invited legally by the government, which was recognized legitimate. The US decided to use the mujahedeen to fight the Soviet troops, hoping that after the job is done, they could handle those mujahedeen. That is how Al Qaeda appeared and the US lost total control of this beast, whom they had created basically. Then there was an adventure in Iraq on the very false pretence. Now everybody knows this, even Tony Blair admitted that this was a mistake. But the fact of the matter is just like Al Qaeda was born in Afghanistan, ISIL/Daesh was born after the intervention in Iraq. After Libya was invaded in gross violation of the Security Council Resolution, and Syria is now, there is another beast that was born – Jabhat al Nusra, which changes names, but is another terrorist organization. Whatever the civilized West is trying to bring to the Middle East and North Africa turns out to be in favour of terrorists.

Question: That is a very impressive whistle-stop tour of history, but I want to ask about the present though and about President Assad. You said that it is not about liking President Assad. Does that mean that Russia would be prepared to see him go? Do the job, finish the war and then he goes?

S.Lavrov: It is the position, which is not Russian position, it is the position of the Security Council, endorsed by each and every country on Earth, that the future of Syria must be decided by the Syrian people themselves. That there must be a new constitution.  On the basis of the new constitution there must be elections. Elections should be free, fair, monitored by the UN and all Syrian citizens, wherever they are, should be eligible to vote.

Question: So, it is irrelevant to you whether he stays or goes, that is for the Syrian people?

S.Lavrov: Yes, that is for them to decide. I believe that this view, which was rejected for quite some time after the Syrian crisis began, is now shared by more and more countries.

Question: When Russia withdraws from Syria? President V.Putin first raised the prospect in March 2016, he said that Russia had largely achieved her objectives there. Again, December 2017. By the end of this year can we expect Russia to be out of Syria?

S.Lavrov: No. I do not think that this is something, which we can intelligently discuss. We do not like artificial deadlines, but we have been consistently reducing our military presence in Syria. The last reduction took place a few of days ago. More than 1,000 troops have come back to Russia, some aircraft and other equipment as well. It depends on what is the actual situation on the ground. Yes, we managed together with our colleagues, with Syrian Army, with the help of opposition, which I would call “patriotic opposition” not to allow plans to create a caliphate by ISIL happen. But some remnants of ISIL are very much there. Jabhat al Nusra is still there. They are now preventing the deal on the southern Syrian de-escalation area to be implemented fully. So there are some leftovers. Besides, we do have, not actually full-fledged bases, but two places where our naval ships and our aircraft are located in Syria and they might be usefully kept for quite some time.

Question: Clearly, Syria will be on the agenda at the summit. Just want to talk about some other things that might be. For example, you have mentioned sanctions. Do you think that sanctions will be lifted, given that the EU has just talked about extending them? Do you think you can get President D.Trump to commit to that?

S.Lavrov: Actually, I have mentioned sanctions only in the context of the deterioration of relations. We are not pleading to remove them. It is not our business, it is for those, who introduced sanction, to decide whether they want to continue or whether common sense would prevail.

Question: Well, your President has very recently said that he would like them lifted.

S.Lavrov: Yes, absolutely. We would not mind them lifted, but we would not mind also using the spirit to build up our own capacity in key sectors of economy, security and other areas on which an independent state depends. In the recent years, we have learned a lot, including the fact that in these issues you cannot rely on the West. You cannot rely on Western technologies, because they can be abruptly stopped at any moment. You cannot rely on the items, which are essential for the day-to-day living of the population, coming from the West, because this could also be stopped. So we are certainly drawing lessons. But we certainly would not be against sanctions being lifted and we would reciprocate, because we do have some countermeasures in place.

Question: What are you prepared to give in this Summit? For example, if D.Trump says he wants NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden back in the US, is that something that you would consider? Is this something that you can put on the table?

S.Lavrov: I have never discussed Edward Snowden with this Administration.  President V.Putin addressed the issue some years ago. When he was asked the question, he said this is for Edward Snowden do decide. We respect his rights, as an individual. That is why we were not in the position to expel him against his will, because he found himself in Russia even without the US passport, which was discontinued as he was flying from Hong Kong.

Question: So that is not going to be up for discussion?

S.Lavrov: I do not know why people would start asking this particular question in relation to the Summit. Edward Snowden is the master of his own destiny.

Question: Given that the US intelligence believes that the presidential elections were meddled with, can Russian President V.Putin give D.Trump any assurances that the upcoming mid-term elections in a few months’ time would not be meddled with by Russia?

S.Lavrov: We would prefer some facts. We cannot intelligently discuss something, which is based on “highly likely”.

Question: Well, it is more than highly likely, is not it?

S.Lavrov: No. The investigation in the US has been going on for how long? A year and a half now?

Question: Well, Robert Mueller indicted the Internet Research Agency, the Russian “troll factory”.

S.Lavrov: Indictment is something, which requires a trial and I understand that they have submitted their own case and they have challenged quite a number of things, which were used for the indictment. So let’s not jump the gun. I love Lewis Carrol, but I do not think that the logic of the queen, who said “sentence first, verdict later”, is going to prevail. So far, you take the presidential election in the US, take Brexit, take the Salisbury case, take the tragedy with the Malaysian Boeing MH17 flight, it is all based on “investigation continues, but you are guilty already”. It cannot work this way.

Question: But is Russia frightened of the truth? Because it just seems whenever the authority whether it is the UN or the chemical weapons watch dog OPCW, whenever they try to get to the facts, Russia objects.

S.Lavrov: No, I believe that the public and respected journalists like you have been misinformed. The OPCW must operate on the basis of the Chemical Weapons Convention, which says bluntly that there is only one procedure when you want to establish facts. First, experts of the OPCW must themselves without delegating this authority to anyone go to the place of the alleged incident. They must themselves with their own hands and with their own equipment take samples. They must continue holding the substances in their hands until they have reached a certified laboratory. In the recent cases, especially in the infamous case of Khan Shaykhun April last year, when the Syrian government was accused of using aerial bombs to deliver chemical weapons to Khan Shaykhun, the OPCW never visited the place, they never took samples themselves. When we asked where did they get samples they said: “the Brits and the French gave it to us”. We asked why do not you go there?

Question: Have you lost faith in the OPCW?

S.Lavrov: Wait a second, that is important information. Let’s not speak slogans, let’s speak facts. So they did not go there. But they said that “we got the samples”. We asked “where from?”. They said “well the British and the French got it for us”. “Why do not you go?”, we asked. “Why it is not very safe.” We told them if the Brits and the French made it there or rather they know people who can get there safely, why do not you ask Paris and London to ensure safety for your own inspectors to get there. We told the same to the French and to the British, they said: “no, it is something, which we cannot share with you, how we got hold of this”. So, no procedures, regarding the taking of the samples, and the chain of custody, meaning that the inspectors themselves cannot delegate to anyone the delivery of samples to laboratory. These procedures, embodied and enshrined in the Convention, were violated. The Report on this Khan Shaykhun case, submitted by this Joint Investigating Mechanism last fall was full of “highly likely”, “by all probability”, “we have good reasons to believe” and so on and so forth. We invited the authors of the Report to the Security Council, trying to get some credible information from them. Impossible, they were stonewalled, they refused to talk. We said: “guys, if you want to work on the basis of violation of the Convention’s procedures, this cannot continue”. We did not extend their mandate, but we suggested a new mechanism, insisting that this new mechanism must not violate the procedures embodied in the Convention.

Question: Do you still have faith in the OPCW?

S.Lavrov: Until recently we did. But the organization was grossly manipulated a couple of days ago, when the Brits and others convened the special sessions of the state parties to the Convention. They passed a decision by vote, which basically violates the Convention in all its provisions, giving the Technical Secretariat the right to establish guilt. I think that this is a step, which was not thought through very thoroughly, because it is very dangerous.

Question: Well, it is dangerous potentially for Russia, because now the chemical weapons watchdog can apportion blame to the likes of Russia. Are you fearful of the truth?

S.Lavrov: No, I am fearful of the future of the OPCW and the Chemical Weapons Convention.

Question: Will you withdraw from the OPCW?

S.Lavrov: Well, if people prefer to violate the Convention, if they say that this is the “will of the majority”. When they convened this conference, all kinds of tricks were used, including mobilizing small countries, who do not have any representation in the Hague, paying for their travel expenses, paying for their hotel bills. We know all this and they know all this. So, when the Convention is grossly violated, I do not think that you can really avoid raising concern. We will try to repair the situation, because this decision will go to the regular conference of the state parties. But if this is not repaired, I believe that the days of the OPCW will be counted, at least it would not remain as a universal organization.

Question: The OPCW has also investigated the case of the Skripals. I wanted to ask you, do you think that using a nerve agent to poison a former spy and his child, a policeman on the streets of a cathedral city in Britain is an act of a rational state?

S.Lavrov: Rational state? Not at all. It is an act of crime. We from the very beginning suggested that we investigate this together, because it is our citizen. At least the daughter is our citizen. The father, I think, has a dual citizenship, he is a Russian citizen and a British subject. From the very beginning we suggested a joint investigation. We asked so many questions, including the questions related to the Chemical Weapons Convention’s procedures. In response, we were told that the British side does not want to listen, because we have to tell them only one thing. “Did V.Putin order this or did V.Putin lose control over the people who did?”. That’s all that the Brits wanted to discuss. The inconsistences in the situation with the Skripals are very troubling. We never managed to get consular access to our citizen in violation of all international conventions on diplomatic and consular relations. We never got any credible explanation why the cousin of Yulia Skripal has not been given visa, she wants to visit the UK and see her cousin. And many other things related to the act itself.

Question: But why would Britain give consular access to the country suspected of being behind this attack?

S.Lavrov: You know that the investigation continues. The Scotland Yard said that it would take a few more months. UK Foreign Secretary B.Johnson recently mentioned that the place is being disinfected four months after the incident. The policeman became miraculously fine. The Skripals became miraculously fine. People now talk about levelling the house, where they lived, levelling the house of the policeman. It all looks like a consistent physical extermination of the evidence, like the benches of the park were removed immediately and, of course, the video images, when the policemen or special forces in special attire go to take a look at this bench, while people without any protection are moving around. It looks very weird.

S.Lavrov: Mr. Lavrov are accusing the British state of a cover-up of this whole incident?

S.Lavrov: I do not exclude this, as long as they do not give us information. You know that about 10 Russian citizens have died in London during the past years. All 10 cases have been investigated in the secret format. We do not understand why. One of the wise guys said: “who is to benefit?” Certainly, the UK benefited politically from what is going. Come to think of it, it is an interesting situation, thereby the country, which is leaving the European Union, is determining the EU policy on Russia. When they were running through all capitals of the European Union, saying “you must expel the Russian diplomats, you must expel them”. So they did. Most of them, some did not. Then we privately asked those, who decided to join Britain in this action whether any proof was given in addition to what was said publicly. They said no. But they said that “we were promised that later, as investigation proceeds, we would be given more facts”. Do you think it is ok?

Question: But you ask who benefits and there are many in the West, who say that the chaos whether it is Brexit, whether it is the Skripals, whether it is D.Trump in the White House…

S.Lavrov: You forgot Catalonia and you forgot the forthcoming elections in Sweden, as the Prime Minister said. Macedonia, Montenegro…

Question: Ok, we will include that later. But answer me this: does the chaos benefit Russia, as some in the West say?

S.Lavrov: You have to be within the historical and chronological framework. You mean the chaos benefits Russia couple of weeks before the presidential elections and months before the World Cup. What do you think?

Question: I am asking you. Does chaos benefit Russia?

S.Lavrov: I want to clarify the issue. Does chaos benefit Russia couple of days before the presidential elections and couple of days before the World Cup? Is it the question?

Question: Well you talked about the new world order that you are hoping that Russia will help shape. Much easier to shape that world order if the EU is in chaos, you are holding the ring in the Middle East, if you are calling the shots in Syria. Russia potentially benefits.

S.Lavrov: No, this is absolutely wrong. It is misreading what I have said. I did not say that Russia wants to shape the new order. I said that Russia must be one of the players on the equal basis, discussing how the objective reality of multipolarity, being developed in front of our eyes, could be managed the way, which would be acceptable to all. That is what I have said. The interests of those, who determine the Russophobic policy in the West, are absolutely diametrically different. Their interest is to punish Russia, to downgrade Russia.

Question: Why, do you think?

S.Lavrov: Because it is very painful to lose half millennium of domination in the world affairs. In a nutshell this is the answer. This is not the criticism, this is a statement of fact. I understand when people used to call the shots in India, Africa, Asia, elsewhere and now they understand that this time has passed.

Question: Is Brexit good for Britain? Is it good for Russia?

S.Lavrov: This is for the UK subjects to discuss.

Question: Good for Russia, though?

S.Lavrov: I do not understand why we should be thinking in this way. It is something that the Brits decided. It is something, which they still discuss with the EU: the divorce, the problems inside the country. We also know, of course we follow the news, that the Parliament has one position, some public activists want rethinking.

Question: Does it look like chaos to you in Theresa May’s Britain?

S.Lavrov: Look, it is something, which happened by developments inside the UK. We only want clarity. What will be the basis on which we continue to work with the European Union. What will be the basis on which we might someday restore the relations with the UK, when they take some reasonable course and not overly ideologised, “highly likely” attitude. I believe that this must be must be very much understood by those in the West, especially by the liberals, who keep saying that the “rule of law must prevail”. In my view, rule of law means that unless proven guilty you cannot sentence people. That is what is happening with Skripal, MH17, with the OPCW being an instrument of those, who would like to make this “highly likely” the order of the day in Syria.

Question: Just returning to the Summit for a couple of final questions. Does it help Russia in her dealings with D.Trump that so many people think that you have compromising materials,  so-called “kompromat”, on him?

S.Lavrov: Look, I hear this for the first time that we have the compromising material on D.Trump. That’s what the Special Counsel R.Mueller is trying to dig. Actually, I stopped reading the news from this investigation. You know that when R. Tillerson was Secretary of State, he once stated publicly that they have an “undeniable proof”. Then, during our contact, I said: “Rex, can you give this undeniable proof to us? Because we want to understand what is going on. Maybe this is something that we can explain”. He said: “well, we cannot give it to you, we cannot compromise our sources and besides, your special services, your security people know everything – ask them”. Is it the way to handle serious things? It is a matter, which is used to ruin the Russian-American relations. To answer the way, in which he did, I believe that it is not mature. It is very childish, I think. I think that the people, who are trying to dig something to prove that we have decided the future of the greatest country on Earth through some Internet agency, are ridiculous. I understand that the Democrats in the US are really quite nervous. I understand that the UK is nervous. There were leaks in the Times, saying that the Cabinet members are nervous that D.Trump and V.Putin might get along.

Question: So you do read the papers?

S.Lavrov: I read the extracts, which my people give me. I love reading papers with a cup of coffee, but do not always have time.

Question: Finally, on that point of kompromat. The ex-FBI Director J.Comey has said and I quote “it is possible that the current President of the United States was with prostitutes, peeing on each other in Moscow in 2013”. Do you think that this is possible?

S.Lavrov: Well, he said that this is possible, ask him.

Question: Do you think that this is possible? It has happened in Moscow allegedly.

S.Lavrov: I do not know what people can invent again. I think that I have read this story a couple of years ago, when all this started. Again, if people base the real policies vis-à-vis a country, state-to-state policies on the basis of “it is “possible”, on the basis of “highly likely”, this is shameful. I believe that what is being done in the context of the Russiagate in the US, as President V.Putin has repeatedly said, is the manifestation of deep domestic controversy, because the losers do not have the guts to accept that they have lost the elections.

Question: Foreign Minister, thank you very much.

S.Lavrov: Thank you.

 

Trump’s Policies & the ‘True Face’ of America

Darko Lazar

30-06-2018 | 09:02

In February of last year, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution in Iran Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Khamenei thanked US President Donald Trump for finally revealing Washington’s “true face”.

Donald Trump

“What we have been saying, for over thirty years, about political, economic, moral, and social corruption within the US ruling establishment, he [Trump] came out and exposed,” Sayyed Khamenei told a group of Iranian Air Force commanders on February 7, 2017. “With everything he is doing … he is showing the reality of American human rights.”

In the months that followed, Trump has been busy pulling back the curtain.

Between filling his cabinet with warmongering neocons like John Bolton and pairing up with hawkish generals and shady billionaires, the Trump administration also found time to withdraw from the UN Human Rights Council (HRC).

Citing alleged anti-“Israel” bias, the US will be the first state to leave the UN body voluntarily.

“For too long, the human rights council has been a protector of human rights abusers and a cesspool of political bias,” exclaimed the US ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, earlier this month.

One can be forgiven for thinking that this reads a little too much like a bit of soul-searching on the part of the American government.

But while Washington’s exit from the HRC can certainly be described as ironic, the move is hardly surprising.

The ill-timed maneuver came as American border guards ripped apart families, and Washington assisted allies in massacring tens of thousands in Yemen, all the while defending the killing of unarmed Palestinian protesters in Gaza.

According to US-based peace activist Scott Rickard, “the Human Rights Council should have been considering ejecting the United States based upon its human rights violations.”

“In the United States we have one of the most atrocious human rights records; we have almost ten thousand people a year being killed by police officers,” Rickard added. “At the same time, the United States is heavily involved in warfare around the world, murdering millions in my lifetime alone.”

‘Murderers & thieves’

In the lead-up to the US withdrawal from the Council, the outgoing UN human rights chief, Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, blasted the Trump White House for its “unconscionable” policy along the US border with Mexico.

Zeid was referring to the Trump administration’s recently abolished effort to dissuade illegal migrants from crossing the border by separating children from their parents and dispatching them to detention centers with no assurances that they would ever be reunited.

“The thought that any state would seek to deter parents by inflicting such abuse on children is unconscionable,” Zeid said during his opening remarks to the HRC’s 38th session this month.

Trump attempted to justify his immigration policy by citing concerns over ‘security and safety’.

Recently, he was quoted as saying that those who sneak across the border “could be murderers and thieves and so much else.”

Such comments, much like the mass outrage by Trump’s critics at home who are often complicit in the slaughter of Yemeni and Syria children, are intended to disguise the fact that the asylum seekers are fleeing the very violence and chaos that the US instigated.

“The president has to realize what a hundred years of US policy towards Central and South America has caused,” said radio talk show host Robert Patillo.

“US efforts to destabilize governments, US efforts to set up puppet dictators – that’s why we have this level of crime and this dysfunction in Central America,” Patillo explains.

For puppet dictators, look no further than Saudi Arabia.

The kingdom, which remains the source of the Takfiri ideology, fueling global terrorism and the country of origin of 15 of the 19 hijackers on 9/11 has somehow stayed off of Trump’s travel ban from seven countries.

This week, the US Supreme Court upheld the ban, arguing that it had a “legitimate grounding in national security concerns” and was thus constitutional.

Trump’s ban, which is breathtaking in scope and inflammatory in tone, extends to North Korea, Syria, Iran, Yemen, Libya, Somalia and Venezuela.

And while Saudi nationals are responsible for the deaths of more than 2,360 people as a result of terrorist attacks on US soil, the countries covered by Trump’s ban are responsible for none. 

Journalist and political commentator Syed Mohsin Abbas believes that “those Muslims who are the lackeys and the puppets of the US foreign policies, who freely give their recourses to the US and who don’t oppose the US’ imperialist policies in the Middle East are not banned.”

Abbas describes the ban as a “direct attack against any nation in the world who dares to stand up to the US” with Iran being one of the primary targets.

American Civil War 2.0

The policies of the Trump administration are as much a reflection of a deeply polarized United States, as they are an indication of the responsibility that the powers that be bear for instigating those very same divisions.

A new poll testifies to just how divided the American public has become over issues like immigration, declaring that some 31% of the population believes a second civil war is likely in the next five years.

The Rasmussen national telephone and online survey revealed that uncompromising accusations of fascism and an alleged desire for open borders have raised fears in the US over the possibility of an armed confrontation between Trump’s supporters and those opposed to his policies.

And in light of the manner in which the current political climate in the country has drawn the curtain to reveal the hitherto well-concealed, callous visage of American society, any suggestion that this previously unthinkable scenario now appears far more likely holds water indeed.

Source: Al-Ahed

Recalling Nazi Propaganda, Trump Says Immigrants “Infest” United States

Source

From Nazi Germany to Japanese Internment Camps: Here’s the Disgusting History Behind Trump’s ‘Infest’

H4 trump tweet infest migrants

Intercept: U.S. Has Separated At Least 3,700 Children from Parents Since October

On Tuesday, President Trump continued his xenophobic Twitter rant, tweeting, “Democrats are the problem. They don’t care about crime and want illegal immigrants, no matter how bad they may be, to pour into and infest our Country.” Conservative editor Bill Kristol tweeted, “Trump’s statement that immigrants will ‘infest our Country’ probably sounds better in the original German.” This is Trump speaking Tuesday.

President Donald Trump: “When countries abuse us by sending their people up—not their best—we’re not going to give any more aid to those countries. Why the hell should we?”

USA behind the Nicaragua bloodbath

The US`s Fingerprints Are All Over Nicaragua`s Bloody Civil Unrest

SEE ALSO The Salvador Option: The US Is Once Again Supporting Death Squads in Central America

Authored by Mac Slavo via SHTFplan.com,

Bloody protests against Nicaragua’s President Daniel Ortega’s government have the United State’s fingerprints all over it.  Over 100 people have been killed since the civil unrest broke out in mid-April and it doesn’t take much to realize the US government is fueling the bloodbath.

According to RT, the so-called marea rosa, or “pink tide”, of allied leftist governmentswhich held sway across Latin America in previous years is being rolled back. Brazil’s Dilma Rousseff was removed from power in a right-wing coup, co-conspirators of which have now managed to imprison the current presidential frontrunner, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. Ecuador’s Lenin Moreno has stabbed his former leader Rafael Correa in the back by barring him from seeking re-election, while seemingly purging his cabinet of remaining Correa loyalists and beginning the process of allowing the US military back into the country

These are all coalescing as other democratic and not-so-democratic removals of leftist governments from power continue. NATO has nabbed itself a foothold in the Latin American region, now that Colombia has joined the obsolete yet aggressively expanding Cold War alliance, in a thinly veiled threat to neighboring authoritarian Venezuela.

Now it’s Nicaragua’s turn for the US to interfere in the government’s efforts to “police the entire world,” paid with by our stolen tax money, of course. Student demonstrations began in the capital Managua as a reaction to the country’s failure to handle forest fires in one of the most protected areas of the Indio Maiz Biological Reserve. The situation was then exacerbated when, two days later, the ruling Sandinista National Liberation Front announced it was slashing pensions and social security payments, sparking further anti-government protests. Targeted opposition violence along with police repressions have led to a mounting body count on both sides. Violence persists in the country, despite the fact that President Ortega has now ditched the proposed welfare reforms and has been engaging in talks with the opposition.

The government has adamantly denied it was responsible for snipers killing at least 15 people at a recent demonstration. And, while we may never know what really happened, it’s fair to say an embattled national leadership in the midst of peace talks has little to gain from people being gunned down in front of the world’s media at an opposition march on Mother’s Day. All I’ll say on the matter is it’s not like we didn’t have mysterious sharpshooters picking off protesters during US-supported coups in Venezuela and Ukraine. –RT

It is unsurprising then that the US is apparently attempting to capitalize on the growing discontent, stoking dissent among the youth in a deliberate attempt to destabilize the Sandinista government. Infamously nefarious US soft power organizations such as the National Endowment for Democracy, also known as the CIA’s ‘legal window’, have set up extensive networks in Nicaragua. Among the leading Nicaraguan student activists currently touring Europe to garner support for the anti-government movement is Jessica Cisneros. Cisneros is a member of the Movimiento Civico de Juventudes, which is funded by Madeline Albright’s National Democratic Institute (NDI). Albright is the former US Secretary of State that said that 500,000 Iraqi Children dying as a result of US sanctions against Saddam Hussein was “worth it”.

If the idea of Washington supporting progressive anti-government forces in Latin America confuses you, then you’re failing to grasp the nature of US interference. During the Cold War, for example, the US supported both the Mujahideen inAfghanistan as well as eastern European trade unionists against the Soviet Union. Indeed, throughout the Syrian conflict, Washington has been arming leftist groups alongside jihadist organizations. It goes without saying that, despite US politicians getting all dewy-eyed over “freedom fighters,” the likes of Jihadists or even trade unionists are not welcome in US society. –RT

It isn’t like the US never interferes, in fact, if it can, it will. And unfortunately, all we get is the bill and the knowing that our tax dollars are being used to slaughter human beings we don’t even know.

Preparations for the Final Phase of Regime Change in Venezuela: Will the United States Resort to a Multilateral Military Invasion?

Written by Daniel Edgar exclusively for SouthFront

A ‘top secret’ document entitled “Plan to Overthrow the Venezuelan Dictatorship ‘Masterstroke’” has recently received substantial coverage by the ‘alternative’ press in Latin America (needless to say, it has received little or no mention in the ‘mainstream’ press). The document is dated the 23rd of February 2018 and apparently was edited and approved by Kurt Tidd, commander of United States Southern Command (‘SouthCom’).

Many sections of the report read as though they were written by the proverbial Cubans of Miami and their CIA/ mafia handlers. For instance, in the section on ‘Information Strategy’ the report emphasizes the importance of “keeping the harassment to the Dictator as the only responsible of the crisis in which he has submerged the nation” (p.9), and in another section states the intention to “expose him as a puppet of Cuba” (p.3). The unlikely spectre of the small Caribbean island taking over the Latin American continent piece by piece as conquered dominions still has a surprising amount of currency in the mainstream press and among right wing sectors (usually updated as ‘CastroChavism’).

As with the ‘Protocols of Zion’, whether or not the document is authentic (as far as I know SouthCom has not denied its authenticity, and they would hardly acknowledge authorship of such a document), the report appears to provide a very accurate description of the US strategy to impose regime change in Venezuela and re-install a surrogate political regime obedient to Washington ever since the election of Hugo Chavez up to recent events, as well as of the next steps that the United States intends to take. It provides further corroboration that these plans include the extreme and irrevocable step of an open military invasion together with the armed forces of several neighbouring States (in particularly Brazil, Colombia, Panama, Guyana, and presumably also Peru) if all else fails, supported by paramilitary groups and other covert forces and groups already present in or infiltrated into Venezuela and other countries throughout the region.

The report describes the immense scope and brutality of the United States’ disruptive economic, social and political actions to destabilize and overthrow the Venezuelan government and anticipates the possibility of an even more dramatic escalation in intensity and scale. For instance, in order to undermine “the decadent popular support to Government”: “Encouraging popular dissatisfaction by increasing scarcity and rise in price of the foodstuffs, medicines and other essential goods for the inhabitants. Making more harrowing and painful the scarcities of the main basic merchandises…” (pp.2-3)

Consistent with the stated intentions and plans, over the last year the US has been staging large-scale multilateral military exercises that simulate major aspects of the projected military intervention in Venezuela, including in adjacent areas from where an overt military campaign and associated economic blockade would be waged (see for example Manlio Dinucci, 2017).

While the extravagant hostility and threatening polemic emanating from Washington has presaged the possibility of direct military intervention at least since 2015 when then president Barack Obama promulgated an Executive Order “declaring a national emergency with respect to the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States posed by the situation in Venezuela”, a multilateral military intervention would be unprecedented in recent Latin American history.

While in the nineteenth century an international military coalition was created to invade and subdue a rebellious Paraguay and in the first half of the twentieth century US marines invaded and occupied Latin American countries on numerous occasions, since World War II the US has crafted an extremely effective neo-colonial system of political, economic and technological dominance and control that made overt external military intervention unnecessary. When national governments became too independent or attempted to allocate a larger portion of their country’s wealth and resources to the benefit of its own people instead of US corporations the US could rely on political and economic destabilisation, followed by a military coup by complicit military officers if necessary, to re-establish absolute submission to Washington.

The mere fact that the US may be genuinely considering such a drastic and potentially risky step as a viable course of action is testimony to the resilience of the Venezuelan government and people after almost twenty years of political destabilization, attempted coups and economic sabotage. It also testifies to the importance of Venezuela to the second ‘war of independence’ in Latin America to liberate the continent from imperial/ neo-colonial rule, and amounts to a tacit admission that the all-out efforts of the masters of US foreign policy to impose regime change in Venezuela have thus far failed and are unlikely to succeed in the absence of even more extreme measures, the last resort in the regime change textbook of open military intervention.

In acknowledging the importance of Venezuela to the emergence of independent leadership in numerous Latin American countries since the election of Hugo Chavez and the consolidation of regional forms of cooperation throughout Latin America that explicitly or implicitly rejected Washington’s ‘leadership’, the report states that the recent “rebirth of democracy” (return to conservative, neoliberal, right wing regimes that unquestioningly support Washington’s policies) has halted the trend “in which radical populism was intended to take over” South America. Argentina, Brazil and Ecuador are cited as examples of the resurrection of democracy. In this context, the report states that “overthrowing the Venezuelan Dictatorship will surely mean a continental turning point” (p.2).

Also reflecting the regional significance and implications of related developments, the report includes as part of the ‘Information Strategy’ proclaiming the failure of regional “mechanisms of integration created by the regimens of Cuba and Venezuela, specially the ALBA and PETROCARIBE”, along with “strengthening the image of the OAS” and other multilateral institutions and agreements in the region that are compatible with and subservient to the US’ interests and objectives (p.10).

In terms of the international dimensions of the strategy, the report declares that other components include:

“Fully obstructing imports… Appealing to domestic allies as well as other people inserted from abroad in the national scenario in order to generate protests, riots and insecurity, plunders, thefts, assaults and highjacking of vessels as well as other means of transportation with the intention of deserting this country in crisis through all borderlands and other possible ways, jeopardizing in such a way the National Security of neighbouring frontier nations. Causing victims and holding the Government responsible for them. Magnifying, in front of the world, the humanitarian crisis in which the country has been submitted to…” (pp.4-5)

“Preparing the involvement of allied forces in support of the Venezuelan army officers or to control the internal crisis, in the event they delay too much in taking the initiative…

Getting the support of the cooperation of the allied authorities of friendly countries (Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Panama and Guyana)…

Organizing the provisioning, relief of troops, medical and logistical support from Panama. Making good use of the facilities of electronic surveillance and signals intelligence, the hospitals and its deployed endowments in Darién, the equipped airdromes for the Colombian Plan, as well as the landing fields of the old-time military bases of Howard and Albrook…

Moving on the basification of combat airplanes and choppers, armored conveyances, intelligence positions, and special military and logistics units (police and military district attorneys and prisons)…” (pp.6-7)

“Developing the military operation under international flag… Binding Brazil, Argentina, Colombia and Panama to the contribution of greater number of troops, to make use of their geographic proximity and experience in operations in forest regions. Strengthening their international condition with the presence of combat units from the United States of America and the other named countries, under the command of a Joint General Staff led by the USA…

Using the facilities at Panamanian territory for the rear guard and the capacities of Argentina for the securing of the ports and the maritime positions…

Leaning on Brazil and Guyana to make use of the migratory situation that we intend to encourage in the border with Guyana…

Coordinating the support to Colombia, Brazil, Guyana, Aruba, Curacao, Trinidad and Tobago and other States in front of the flow of Venezuelan immigrants in the event of the crisis…” (pp.7-8)

Another very interesting aspect of the report from my point of view is its discussion of the Colombian component of its strategy (I have been in Colombia for most of the last eight years). Apart from the reference quoted above to pre-stocked military bases in Colombia in apparent preparation for the possibility of a large-scale military conflict with Venezuela (in flagrant contravention of a 2010 judgment of the Constitutional Court of Colombia), the report affirms as intentions and objectives:

“Continuing setting fire to the common frontier with Colombia. Multiplying the traffic of fuel and other goods. The movement of paramilitaries, armed raids and drug trafficking. Provoking armed incidents with the Venezuelan frontier security forces… Recruiting paramilitaries mainly in the campsites of refugees in Cúcuta, La Guajira and the north of Santander, areas largely populated by Colombian citizens who emigrated to Venezuela and now return, run away from the regimen to intensify the destabilizing activities in the common frontier between the two countries. Making use of the empty space left by the FARC, the belligerency of the ELN and the activities in the area of the Gulf Clan…” (p.6)

Apart from indicating that many of the refugees fleeing from Venezuela (the plight of these people is a favourite topic of the mainstream media in Colombia in their constant denunciations of the Venezuelan government) are in fact Colombians returning to Colombia after fleeing the political violence and economic hardship that has ravaged Colombia over the last couple of decades, the report confirms the widespread use of paramilitary groups and other criminal organizations and illegal armed groups to further the United States’ “national interests and foreign policy objectives” in the region. This would also be consistent with the nature of US involvement in Colombia over the last century, as described in detail by Renan Vega Cantor in the 2015 report of the Historical Commission established to investigate the origin and evolution of the social and armed conflict in Colombia.

Fortunately, the eagerly anticipated eruption of widespread violence prior to and following the presidential election on the 20th of May has not eventuated. In addition, in the final presidential debate in Colombia on the 26th of May the two candidates that will take part in the second round on the 17th of June (Ivan Duque and Gustavo Petro) both categorically ruled out the involvement of Colombia in an open military intervention against Venezuela.

It may be that the belligerency and reckless threats and actions simply represent the ‘fire and fury’ brand of erratic ‘diplomacy’ of the latest US Executive in Chief, in the belief that everyone will bend to their will if the threats are extreme enough (backed up by an occasional salvo of missiles). Nonetheless, the US war machine in all of its guises and forms is going to great lengths to ensure that it is prepared for every eventuality, and the only certainty is that an overt military attack against Venezuela orchestrated by the US cannot be ruled out entirely.

The following sections are translations of commentaries by analysts in the region:

***

Julio Yao Villalaz, “Venezuela, An impossible intervention” (“Venezuela, una intervención imposible” (3 March 2018)

“The intervention that the United States is promoting against Venezuela with the complicity of the so-called ‘Lima Group’, made up of 12 countries – less than half of the member States of the Organisation of American States (OAS) – among which is Panama unfortunately, is an illegitimate and impossible endeavour that scandalously violates the Charter of the OAS, the UN Charter and International Law.

The collective violation of International Law involves decades of illicit actions, ever since Hugo Chavez assumed power in Venezuela and the United States began to lose its privileges, benefits and petroleum subsidies…

Notwithstanding the unquestionable lack of credibility of the organisation, the Charter of the OAS sanctifies     principles of International Law that prohibit absolutely the individual or collective intervention of its members in the internal and external affairs of other States and are, mutatis mutandi, the same principles as those of the Charter of the United Nations…

(The author lists relevant principles of the UN Charter that prohibit any form of intervention in the affairs of a member State, and notes that the principle of ‘representative democracy’ sanctified in the Charter of the OAS cannot supersede the principles of the UN Charter which make no such stipulation.)

Moreover, the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela far exceeds the so-called ‘representative democracies’ of the region (Venezuela is a participatory democracy) and is one of the most democratic countries in the world, as its history and actual experience demonstrate, verified by the United Nations, international human rights organisations, as well as by other renowned personalities and associations such as the Carter Foundation among others.

However, the United States and its acolytes, henchmen and lackeys from the ‘Lima Group’ persevere with the violation of International Law notwithstanding that they didn’t even gain the support of the OAS for their imperialist adventure (the independent countries of the Caribbean and others prevented it) and that almost all of the members of the ‘Lima Group’ violate and are far from complying with the norms that guarantee minimum requirements for even an elemental democratic governance.

What right does the United States have to threaten Venezuela, if the United States is the worst violator of the UN Charter and the main denier of International Law; if the United States has rejected or refused to ratify more human rights treaties than any other State; when the United States is the country with the highest number of death sentences on the planet; if the United States is the State whose ‘defence’ budget is larger than the budgets of the next six largest States’ budgets combined; if the United States is the State with the largest number of foreign military bases in the world (more than 1,000)…

What right does this delinquent country have to deny the right of the Venezuelan people to exist?

What right does Colombia have to head the aggression against Venezuela, if on the external plane it is a country occupied by the United States (there are seven US military bases in Colombia) that lacks independence; and, on the internal plane, Colombia is a narco-State that maintains one of every 10 Colombians outside the country; when Colombia has betrayed the Peace Accord that it signed with the FARC and assassinates and permits paramilitaries to systematically eliminate social leaders and human rights defenders; if Colombia tolerates persecution and attacks against political movements that participate in national politics, such as the FARC? Colombia is already an accomplice in the sanctions against Venezuela and will be the tip of the spear of the invasion of the Bolivarian Republic.

What right does Peru have to allege a lack of democracy in Venezuela, if its President, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, was at the point of being dismissed by the Congress for ‘moral incapacity’ to govern because he received bribes from Odebrecht; if the same Peruvian president illegally indemnified former president Alberto Fujimori – a confessed perpetrator of genocide – and if his government is permanently under siege by the reclamations of health and education workers?

What right does Argentina have to question the transparency in Venezuela, if its president, Mauricio Macri, is immersed in the Odebrecht scandal as well as the ‘Panama Papers’ and his government is constantly accused by reclamations from its people, the Mapuche Indians, pensioners and the middle class, that has seen the progress achieved during the mandate of former president Cristina Kirchner stagnate?

What right does Brazil have to offer its territory as a trampoline for an intervention and denounce Venezuela as a ‘dictatorship’, if its unelected president, Michel Temer, arrived to the position thanks to a ‘soft coup’ against Dilma Rousseff, is accused by the Prosecutor General of ‘passive corruption, obstruction of justice and criminal organisation’ and has anti-democratically blocked the presidential candidacy of Luis Inacio Lula da Silva?

What right does Mexico have to denounce Venezuela for a ‘humanitarian crisis’ if its president, Enrique Peña Nieto, presides over a corrupt government sustained by drug trafficking and organised crime, that has handed over Mexico’s wealth to the transnationals of the United States and the same Mexico has the world record for journalists assassinated and disappeared?

What right does Honduras have (please!) to question the legitimacy of the National Constituent Assembly of Venezuela if its president, unconstitutional and unelected, enthroned by a fraud of cosmic proportions, Jose O. Hernandez, clings to power with the support of the bayonets of US Southern Command and kills his own people without hesitation?

What right does Panama have to question the independence and the democracy of Venezuela, if the Partido Panameñista (of president Juan Carlos Varela) assumed power in the arms of the (US) invaders following the invasion of 1989 (who swore in Guillermo Endara as president in a US military base)? It is worth recalling that, at international law, agreements signed under military occupation are ipso facto void.

What moral right does Panama have to destroy the right of Venezuela to self-determination, if Guillermo Endara, the first post-invasion puppet president and president of the Partido Panameñista (the political party of the current Panamanian president Juan Carlos Varela), subscribed to the Arias Calderon-Hinton Accord (1991), the basis of the Salas-Becker treaties of 2002 that handed Panama over to 16 federal agencies of the United States (including the Pentagon, the US Army, the US Air Force, the US Navy and the US Coastguard)? These US entities could once again convert Panama into a platform of aggression for the US Southern Command…

(The author, a former Panamanian diplomat, proceeds to describe many other instances of illegal collaboration by Panama’s government with US imperial plans and projects of bilateral and regional dominance.)

Despite the complete absence of moral or legal authority of the ‘Lima Group’ to attack Venezuela, the United States insists on invading the country with the complicity of governments that are unrepresentative, anachronistic, outlaws and enemies of International Law … under the notorious banner of ‘Humanitarian Intervention’.

They want us to believe that in Venezuela there is a ‘humanitarian crisis’ that requires a confrontation of people against people in the region, of the poor against the poor and of brothers against brothers, to satisfy the appetites of Washington, misinterpreting the Chinese strategic genius Sun Tzu, who counselled conserving one’s own forces by utilising foreign forces…

(The author proceeds to review some of the military aggressions by powerful States to further their own interests based on dubious or completely fabricated claims of humanitarian crisis, such as in Yugoslavia and Libya.)

In the case of Panama, the United States didn’t even take the effort to inform the OAS or the UN, nor even the US Senate, that they must approve the invasion in 1989, but they did lie about and satanize General Manuel Noriega, as testified in ‘Secret-Sensitive’ documents of the US National Security Council, documents that establish as the real objectives securing the Panama Canal treaties and derailing the negotiations between Panama and Japan for a new canal.

But in Venezuela there is neither a humanitarian crisis nor a civil war – nor had there been one in Panama. Rather, there is a massive external intervention in the country’s and the people’s affairs, internal and external, an intervention manifested in ultra-modern and multi-faceted forms, with the transnational support of countries, NGOs and personalities that are trying to destroy the Venezuela nation, destroy its revolution and rob Venezuela of its prodigious natural wealth.

The intervention against Venezuela would be an aggression against Latin America and the Caribbean, a regression in Latin American Unity, a blow against the memory of the liberators of Our America, and for all of these reasons, it is an impossible intervention that cannot be allowed to triumph!”

***

Julio Yao Villalaz, “Kuczynski, the ‘Lima Group’, Venezuela and the VIII Summit of the Americas”, (“Kuczynski, el ‘Grupo de Lima’, Venezuela y la VIII Cumbre de las Américas”), 23 March 2018

“With the exit from power of the Peruvian president Pedro Pablo Kuczynski (PPK) the so-called Lima Group, created as part of a multi-faceted war that the United States has been waging in order to destroy the sovereignty and self-determination of the Venezuelan people, has suffered a further loss of legitimacy

The Lima Group is made up of less than half of the members of the Organization of American States (OAS), but Kuczynski’s resignation following accusations of corruption has shaken the VIII Summit of the Americas (held on the 13th and 14th of April) to its foundations. The principle theme of the Summit was, paradoxically, ‘democratic governance and corruption’; its host was to be the now defunct Peruvian leader.

Yes – apart from the resignation of the Summit’s host – the United States tried to widen the basis for its intervention against Venezuela; moreover, the Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro was denied entry to the Summit. The failure of the hegemon is double, as the simultaneous vacuum in the Peruvian presidency and absence of the Summit’s host exposes the democratic fragility and dubious moral and political merits of several of its associates (Peru, Mexico, Honduras, Colombia, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Panama, just to mention a few), which have been accused of similar or worse corruption than that which buried Kuczynski and qualifies them as ‘failed States’, according to the new terminology of the US Southern Command (SouthCom).

Given its illicit objectives, since its formation the Peru Group has violated the Charter of the OAS, the UN Charter and International Public Law – all of which consecrate the prohibitions on all forms of intervention, threats and attacks. The Lima Group was formed with full knowledge of the publicly stated intentions of the United States to launch a military invasion of Venezuela and therefore the complicity of its members with the aggression is manifest.

Could Colombia, favourite vassal of the United States in Latin America, deny that it has received fabulous sums from Washington to lease its territory to destabilize, attack, and serve as the spearhead for the invasion of Venezuela?

The Declaration that created the Lima Group in August of 2017 loses its reason for being given the report of the independent investigator of the UN Human Rights Council, the jurist and American historian Alfred-Maurice de Zayas, who was alternatively ignored and vilified by the Western media complex for having stated that ‘there is no humanitarian crisis in Venezuela’ that would justify a ‘humanitarian intervention’ (that is, armed intervention).

According to Zayas, a graduate of Harvard, in Venezuela there is however ‘suffering and a shortage of supplies, a natural result of the economic and commercial war’ being waged by a violent opposition against its own people, under the auspices of foreign praise and support, not the result of internal oppression…

From the mouth of president Trump, the United States has threatened Venezuela with an imminent armed invasion if it doesn’t submit to his orders – which implies giving its natural resources and wealth to US transnationals. But the US sanctions, which deny the Venezuelan people their right to exist, could be the subject of a legal petition before the International Criminal Court notwithstanding its increasing lack of credibility.

The non-existence of a humanitarian crisis in Venezuela renders impossible the purported application of the Charter of the OAS, the principle objective of the Lima Group, and the debacle of the VIII Summit of the Americas leaves the US without the regional conditions (that is, complicity) that it needs to destroy the Bolivarian Republic.

If the Lima Group doesn’t represent the OAS, which lacks a Security Council to authorize such actions; if the Lima Group doesn’t represent the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) or any other legally constituted regional organization; if the Lima Group cannot act on its own account, in violation of the Charter of the OAS, without risking its own expulsion from that organization; if the Lima Group violates the UN Charter; then, what is this group, who does it serve and what is the legal basis of its actions?

The Lima Group is a band of delinquent States, outlaws and mercenaries that are opposed to the consolidation of the Zone of Peace that has been declared in the region, serve the US Southern Command, and lack legality, to such an extent that the frustrated festivities of the vultures in Lima could prove to be the funeral of their forgotten national dignity.”

***

José Negrón Valera, “USA. ‘The moment has arrived’: The Unitas Lix plan would be the final blow against Venezuela” (“EE.UU. ‘El momento ha llegado’: el plan Unitas Lix sería el golpe final contra Venezuela”), 14 May 2018

“Disguised as military exercises, the US Southern Command has prepared a strategy with which they will try to give the ‘coup de grace’ to the Government of President Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela.

‘Orange alert’ in South America

At 6.48am on Saturday the 13th of May the President of Bolivia, Evo Morales, announced to the South American people via a statement on his Twitter account:

“We denounce that the USA and the OAS are implementing a plan to overthrow the Venezuelan Government: before the elections they will realise violent actions supported by the mass media and after the elections they will attempt a military invasion with the armed forces of neighbouring countries”…

Similarly, the Argentine journalist Stella Calloni brought to the attention of public opinion the grave threat that Venezuela faces, revealing a secret document of the US Southern Command.

The 11 page document, entitled “Masterstroke: A plan to overthrow the dictatorship in Venezuela” and signed by admiral Kurt Tidd, commander of the US Southern Command, considers that ‘the moment has arrived’ to intervene militarily in the South American country.

With the synchronization of a time bomb, Roger Noriega, formerly the permanent representative of the United States in the OAS between 2001 and 2003 and bitter enemy of former Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, wrote in the New York Times that ‘the options for Venezuela’ had been exhausted, stating that the only remaining alternative is the overthrow of Nicolas Maduro.

The importance of Noriega’s article derives from the medium in which it was published. The most influential media platform with respect to the legitimization of the United States’ military operations.

To complete the panorama, the US Embassy in Caracas, in a suspicious demonstration of clairvoyance, informed US citizens that before and after the presidential elections they are expecting demonstrations and focal points of destabilization…

The roadmap to overthrow ‘Chavism’

A strategic analysis of the SouthCom documents that have been revealed, together with the declarations of military spokesmen and mid-level officials of the diplomatic apparatus, enable us to establish with sufficient clarity how they will develop the successive stages of the intervention against Venezuela.

In the first place, one has to take into account the electoral conjunction where it is still possible that the Venezuelan opposition will reach an agreement to combine their forces and support a single candidate.

Despite the fact that the United States, the Lima Group and the European Union have already affirmed that under the ‘actual conditions’ they won’t recognize the results, one cannot dismiss the possibility that a single candidate ‘in extremis’ could provoke a motivating effect in the opposition sectors that still haven’t decided if they will vote.

A scenario of technical stalemate between ‘Chavism’ and the opposition would provide an appropriate context for international pressure against the Government of Nicolas Maduro.

In second place, Noriega reaffirms that the political front cannot be discounted entirely. In this instance, the State Department would be focused on ‘encouraging Venezuelans – including members of the armed forces – to restore democracy’, that is to say, execute a coup d’état.

Although this seems improbable, the Southern Command would not need a successful military rebellion – a skirmish within a military barracks would be sufficient, as occurred a few months ago in Paramacay Fort – in order to demand ‘that power be transferred without delay to the legitimate civil authorities, the members of the National Assembly’.

In this case, they would be evaluating the ‘liberation’ of a zone in the country where a parallel government could exercise de facto functions, with the recognition and support of the international community allied to Washington.

In the document of the Southern Command Tidd emphasizes that, in order to overthrow ‘Chavism’, it is necessary to intensify the psychological war to provoke ‘an exacerbation of the division between members of the Government’, combined with military actions that would start with violent protests in urban centres, especially in Tachira where the Venezuelan Government has been able to neutralize numerous mafia groups dedicated to smuggling contraband goods across the border with Colombia.

The Unitas Lix plan and the final blow

The operations of destabilization could intensify following the announcement of the electoral results on the 20th of May and it is anticipated that they could last until September, when in Colombia the international aerial and maritime military exercises Unitas Lix 2018 will commence.

Kurt Tidd clearly explains that the Bolivarian Government can only be brought down by way of a ‘military operation under an international flag, patronized by the Conference of Latin American Armies, under the protection of the OAS and the supervision, in the legal and media context, of the Secretary General (of the OAS), Luis Almagro’.

Unitas Lix is nothing less than a façade for imposing a maritime blockade of Venezuela in the least traumatic way possible, as occurred in 1902 against the then Government of Cipriano Castro.

The objective of a maritime blockade, according to Kurt Tidd’s logic, is precisely the ‘obstruction of all imports’, especially of food, medicines and other essential goods. However, the centre of gravity of the entire strategy would be to impede the commercialization of Venezuelan petroleum…

It is now that the tempestuous exit of Argentina, Brazil, Peru and Colombia from Unasur makes sense.

Apart from strengthening the OAS as the primary regional organization and main forum to debate a possible situation of political instability in Venezuela, it was essential that the South American Defence Council be abandoned.

It would be incoherent if the regional organization that establishes the objective of ‘consolidating a zone of peace in South America and constructing a common vision in terms of defence’ were to docilely receive the intention of the Southern Command to ‘proceed to station its combat planes and helicopters, armoured vehicles, intelligence stations’ and even prisons in South America.

Another objective of transforming Unitas Lix into a military operation would be to generate a security ring around Venezuela to prevent the possible approach of the military forces of Venezuela’s allies. One of the scenarios to which they would have to pay close attention.

Unitas Lix would be proposed as the last stage of a long term and large scale operation of attrition against Venezuela. However, what is most scandalous about Washington’s plan to overthrow Chavism is that its proponents are well aware that there would be substantial resistance within the country, and even that the Venezuelan opposition ‘doesn’t have sufficient strength’ to guarantee governability.

Nonetheless, Tidd already has the solution: sending ‘the military forces of the UN to impose peace’…”

***

Hector Bernardo, Conspiracy against Venezuela (“Complot contra Venezuela”), 13 May 2018

“In a new anti-democratic gesture, the US government has intensified its strategy to overthrow the Venezuelan president, Nicolas Maduro, and prevent the elections scheduled for the 20th of May. In this instance, the attack is headed by the ultra-right senator Marco Rubio, closely linked with the Cuban mafia groups in Miami and the arms trade. Rubio has met with various leaders in the region to reinforce the alternative paths the coup could take.

Marco Rubio has transformed himself into one of the most influential people within the intimate circle of the North American president Donald Trump… (He) is one of the main promoters of aggression against all of the popular governments in the region that do not align themselves with the orders and demands from Washington. In a new assault against the Venezuelan government and people, the Republican senator asserts the necessity of extending the measures that have immersed Venezuela in an economic crisis and affirms that ‘the moment has arrived to accelerate Maduro’s exit’.

Rubio has dedicated much of his political career to persecuting the popular governments in the region. At the moment he is dedicating all of his efforts to attacking Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua though previously, and without the support of the White House, he also campaigned against Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner (Argentina), Dilma Rousseff (Brazil), Rafael Correa (Ecuador), Evo Morales (Bolivia) and Salvador Sanchez Ceren (El Salvador)…

Currently, with the substantial influence he has achieved within the circle of president Donald Trump’s confidants, Rubio has dedicated himself to organizing the international pressure against the government of Nicolas Maduro. An example of this was his recent trip to Costa Rica to attend the delivery of aircraft and ships for the coastguard and vigilance of the country’s airspace as a ‘reward’ for having accepted the demand from Washington to not recognize the result of the presidential election in Venezuela on the 20th of May.

During the Summit of the Americas, held in Peru in April, Rubio met with another leader that has accepted Washington’s schemes in their entirety, the Argentine president Mauricio Macri. After the meeting, Macri reaffirmed that he would not recognize the result of the presidential election in Venezuela either, along with the leaders of Chile (Sebastian Piñera) and Colombia (Juan Manuel Santos). All members of the Lima Group, a forum in which Rubio has significant influence.

Not only has the North American senator dedicated himself to fomenting the political destabilization and economic and financial asphyxiation that the Venezuelan people are suffering, he has also been one of the main instigators and promoters of the violent terrorist actions that have been unleashed there (as well as the recent violent efforts to destabilize the democratically elected government of Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua)…”

***

References

Julio Yao Villalaz, “Venezuela, una intervención imposible”, Voltairenet, 3 March 2018

http://www.voltairenet.org/article199789.html

– “Kuczynski, el ‘Grupo de Lima’, Venezuela y la VIII Cumbre de las Américas”, 23 Marzo 2018, Voltairenet

http://www.voltairenet.org/article200334.html

Stella Calloni, “El ‘Golpe Maestro’ de Estados Unidos Contra Venezuela (Documento del Comando Sur)”, VoltaireNet, 9 Mayo 2018

http://www.voltairenet.org/article201091.html

– Stella Calloni, “The United States ‘Masterstroke’ against Venezuela”, 17 May 2018, VoltaireNet

http://www.voltairenet.org/article201159.html

José Negrón Valera, “EE.UU. ‘El momento ha llegado’: el plan Unitas Lix sería el golpe final contra Venezuela”, 14 Mayo 2018, Resumen Latinoamericano

http://www.resumenlatinoamericano.org/2018/05/14/ee-uu-el-momento-ha-llegado-el-plan-unitas-lix-seria-el-golpe-final-contra-venezuela/

“Plan to Overthrow the Venezuelan Dictatorship ‘Masterstroke’”, United States Southern Command, 23 February 2018

“Plan para Derrocar a la Dictadura Venezolana ‘Golpe Maestro’”, Estados Unidos Comando Sur

Traducción y original del Documento del Comando Sur, Golpe de Estado en Venezuela (Translation and original of the Document of the US Southern Command, Coup D’état in Venezuela), 13 Mayo 2018, Resumen Latinoamericano –

http://www.resumenlatinoamericano.org/2018/05/14/traduccion-y-original-del-documento-del-comando-sur-golpe-de-estado-en-venezuela/

Renán Vega Cantor, 2015, “The International Dimension of the Social and Armed Conflict in Colombia: Interference of the United States, Counter-Insurgency and State Terrorism”, Chapter 13, Historical Commission of the Conflict and its Victims, A Contribution to Understanding the Armed Conflict in Colombia, (translated to English by Daniel Edgar), Havana, Cuba

http://www.academia.edu/26880912/The_International_Dimension_of_the_Social_and_Armed_Conflict_in_Colombia_Interference_of_the_United_States_Counter-Insurgency_and_State_Terrorism

Hector Bernardo, “Complot contra Venezuela”, 13 Mayo 2018, Resumen Latinoamericano

http://www.resumenlatinoamericano.org/2018/05/14/complot-contra-venezuela/

Manlio Dinucci, “Grandes ejercicios militares alrededor de Venezuela”, 25 Agosto 2017, VoltaireNet

http://www.voltairenet.org/article197590.html

– “Large.scale manoeuvres encircling Venezuela”, 25 August 2017

http://www.voltairenet.org/article197571.html

The Venezuelan “Petro” – Towards a New World Reserve Currency?

February 22, 2018

by Peter Koenig for The Saker Blog

The Venezuelan “Petro” – Towards a New World Reserve Currency?

Imagine an international currency backed by energy? By a raw material that the entire world needs, not gold – which has hardly any productive use, but whose value is mostly speculative – not hot air like the US dollar. Not fiat money like the US-dollar and the Euro largely made by private banks without any economic substance whatsoever, and which are coercive. But a currency based on the very source for economic output – energy.

On February 20, 2018, Venezuela has launched the “Petro” (PTR), a government-made and controlled cryptocurrency, based on Venezuela’s huge petrol reserves of about 301 billion barrels of petrol. The Petro’s value will fluctuate with the market price of petrol, currently around US$61 per barrel of crude. The Petro was essentially created to avoid and circumvent illegal US sanctions, dollar blockades, confiscations of assets abroad, as well as to escape illegal manipulations from Florida of the Bolivarian Republic’s local currency, the Bolívar, via the black-market dollars flooding Venezuela; and, not least, to trade internationally in a non-US-dollar linked currency. The Petro is a largely government controlled blockchain currency, totally outside the reach of the US Federal Reserve (FED) and Wall Street – and it is based on the value of the world’s key energy, hydrocarbons, of which Venezuela has the world’s largest proven reserves.

In a first batch Venezuela released 100 million Petros, backed by 5.342 billion barrels of crude from the Ayacucho oil fields of Orinoco; a mere 5% of total proven Venezuelan reserves. Of the 100 million, 82.4% will be offered to the market in two stages, an initial private Pre-Sale of 38.4% of so-called non-minable ‘tokens’, followed by a public offering of 44% of the cryptomoney. The remaining 17.6 million are reserved for the government, i.e. the Venezuelan Authority for Cryptomoney and Related Activities, SUPCACVEN.

When launching the currency, on 20 February 2018, Vice-president Tareck El Aissami declared, “Today, the Petro was born and we will formally launch the initial pre-sale of the Venezuelan Petro. Venezuela has placed herself in the vanguard of the future. Today is a historic day. Venezuela is the first nation to launch a cryptomoney, entirely backed by her reserves and her natural riches.” President Maduro has later affirmed that his country has already entered contracts with important trading partners and the world’s major blockchain currencies.

Can you imagine what this means? – It sets a new paradigm for international trade, for safe payment systems that cannot be tampered with by the FED, Wall Street, SWIFT, New York courts, and other Washington puppets, like the European Central Bank (ECB), the unelected European Commission (EC) and other EU-associated Brussels institutions. It will allow economic development outside illegal ‘sanctions’. The Petro is a shining light for new found freedom from a hegemonic dollar oppression.

What is valid for Venezuela can be valid for other countries eager to detach from the tyrannical Anglo-Zion financial system. – Imagine, other countries following Venezuela’s example, other energy producers, many if not most of whom would be happy to get out from under the Yankee’s boots of blood dollars inundating the world thanks to uncountable wars and conflicts they finance – and millions of innocent people they help kill.

Rumors have it, that in a last-ditch effort to salvage the faltering dollar, the FED might order the IMF to revert to some kind of a gold standard, blood-stained gold. – Of the 2,300 to 3,400 tons of gold mined every year around the globe, it is estimated that about a quarter to a third is illegally begotten, so called ‘blood’ gold, extracted under the most horrendous conditions of violence, murder, opaque mafia-type living (and dying) conditions, child labor, sexual enslavement of women, many of whom way under-age, abject poisoning of humans with heavy metals, mercury, cyanite, arsenic and more, contamination of surface and underground water ways, vast illegal deforestation of tropical rain forests – and more. That’s the legacy of gold, the MSM, of course, doesn’t talk about.

That’s what the west based its monetary system on until 1971, when Nixon decided to replace gold with the fiat dollar which then became de facto the world’s major reserve currency, albeit declining rapidly over the last twenty years. In desperation, Washington might want to apply another gold-based international norm to salvage the faltering dollar. Of course, a norm designed to favor the US, with the rest of the western and developing world destined to absorb the astronomical US debt.

Since the world’s major goldmining corporation and the illegal gold-digging mafia networks work hand-in-hand, smuggled gold works its way intricately into the dominium of shady traders, many of whom also deal with so-called white gold (drug powder), washing gold and drug-money simultaneously, thereby confounding and obscuring the origins of either. Eventually this illegal gold is purchased by major gold mining or refining corporations mixed with ‘legal’ gold, so that the illegal portion is no longer traceable.

Therefore, every ounce of gold that would back our money, the purchases of our livelihoods would be smeared in blood, in children’s abuse and death, in murdered and enslaved women and men, in poisoned water ways and in a contaminated environment. But the world wouldn’t go for it. No more. There are healthier and more transparent physical assets to back up international currencies, i.e. the Petro, backed by energy. Though not free from socio-environmental damage, petrol-energy may gradually convert into alternative sources of energy, like solar, wind and aquatic power or a combination of all of them.

What the world is to aim for is a monetary system based on each nation’s or group of nations or societies economic output. Today it’s the other way around – it’s the fiat money, designed by the Anglo-Zionist masters of finance, that defines economies. Thus, economies in our western world are prone to be manipulated by the rulers and their institutions – FED, IMF, World Bank, World Trade Organization (WTO) – that support the debt / interest-based monetary rules – they are purposefully maneuvered into booms and busts. With every bust, more capital is transferred from the bottom to the top, from the poor to an ever-smaller elite. The energy-based Petro is a first step away from this sham.

Imagine the Petro was to become the new OPEC currency! The world would need Petros, as it used to need US dollars to buy hydrocarbon energy. But Petros are blockchain-safe, less vulnerable for manipulation. They are not coercive, they are not made for blackmailing ‘unwilling’ nations into submission; they are not tools for violence. They are instruments of equitable production and trade. They are also instruments of protection from the fiat money abuses.

The world’s ten largest hydrocarbon producers

Ranking Country Petrol (billion barrels)
1 Venezuela 300.9
2 Saudi Arabia 266.5
3 Canada 169.7
4 Iran 158.4
5 Iraq 142.5
6 Kuwait 101.5
7 Emirates 97.8
8 Russia 80.0
9 Libya 48.4
10 Nigeria 37.1
Total 1,402.8

Source: http://geab.eu/en/top-10-countries-with-the-worlds-biggest-oil-reserves/

have a capital base of 1.4 trillion barrels of crude. Not bad to start a worldwide cryptocurrency, based on energy, controlled by energy and by all those who will use energy – that might become a world reserve currency, at par with the Chinese economy- and gold-backed Yuan, but much safer than the fiat currencies of the US-dollar, Euro, British Pound and Japanese Yen.

We are talking about a seismic paradigm shift. Its potential is unfathomable. The move away from the US-dollar hegemony might result in an implosion of the western monetary structure as we know it. It may stop the predator empire of the United States in its tracks, by simply decimating her economy of fraud, built on military might, exploitation and colonization of the world, on racism, and on a bulldozing scruple-less killing machine. The Petro, a secured cryptocurrency based on energy that everybody needs, might become the precursor for an international payment and trading scheme towards a more balanced and equitable approach to worldwide socioeconomy development.

Peter Koenig is an economist and geopolitical analyst. He is also a former World Bank staff and worked extensively around the world in the fields of environment and water resources. He lectures at universities in the US, Europe and South America. He writes regularly for Global Research; ICH; RT; Sputnik; PressTV; The 21st Century; TeleSUR; The Vineyard of The Saker Blog; and other internet sites. He is the author of Implosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed – fiction based on facts and on 3 0 years of World Bank experience around the globe. He is also a co-author of The World Order and Revolution! – Essays from the Resistance.

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