Syria, Venezuela sanctions | The Communiqué with Richard Medhurst

Venezuela and Syria are both under siege warfare by the United States and its allies. Richard Medhurst speaks with Alena Douhan, United Nations Special Rapporteur on sanctions, about her preliminary report after recently returning from Venezuela.

Maduro Orders EU Envoy to Leave Within 72 Hours Over New Sanctions

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Maduro Orders EU Envoy to Leave Within 72 Hours Over New Sanctions

By Staff, Agencies

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has ordered EU envoy Isabel Brilhante Pedrosato to leave within 72 hours after the EU sanctioned a group of Venezuelan officials.

“I have decided to give the European Union ambassador 72 hours to leave the country,” Maduro said in a televised address, also noting that Pedrosato will be allowed to use a plane to leave the country.

“Enough of European colonialism against Venezuela,” Maduro added.

Maduro’s order comes hours after the Council of the European Union on Monday sanctioned 11 additional Venezuelan officials, including parliamentarians, a magistrate and a senior military chief, for acting against the National Assembly, which is dominated by the opposition, Reuters reported. The individuals sanctioned are recognized by the Maduro government but not by the members of the Assembly.

The sanctions include a travel ban and an asset freeze. So far, 36 Venezuelan officials linked to the Maduro government face sanctions.

According to the Council, the 11 newly-sanctioned individuals “are particularly responsible for acting against the democratic functioning of the National Assembly, including stripping the parliamentary immunity of several of its members,” Reuters reported. The Council also accused the individuals of “creating obstacles to a political and democratic solution to the crisis in Venezuela.”

The United States itself has imposed numerous rounds of sanctions against Venezuela in response to the political developments in the country. On January 23, 2019, opposition leader Juan Guaido proclaimed himself Venezuela’s interim president, denouncing Maduro’s government as undemocratic and calling for Maduro’s ouster. Since then, several failed attempts have been made to remove Maduro from power.

Last year, the US also imposed sanctions on Venezuela’s state-owned oil and natural gas company PDVSA. Recently, the Trump administration sanctioned three Mexico-based individuals for selling crude oil from Venezuela.

“The illegitimate Maduro regime created a secret network to evade sanctions, which Treasury has now exposed,” US Deputy Secretary Justin G. Muzinich said in a statement at the time. “The United States will continue to relentlessly pursue sanctions evaders, who plunder Venezuela’s resources for personal gain at the expense of the Venezuelan people.”

Last Wednesday, Washington also imposed sanctions on the captains of five Iranian tankers over oil deliveries to Venezuela.

“Today, the United States is sanctioning five Iranian ship captains who delivered around 1.5 million barrels of Iranian gasoline to Venezuela in support of the illegitimate Maduro regime,” US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said.

Maduro has repeatedly stated that the US is using sanctions to choke out his government and gain access to the country’s oil reserves, which are the largest in the world.

“Let’s not allow a Vietnam in Latin America,” Maduro said last year, warning against the dangers of US intervention.”If the United States intends to intervene here, they will have a Vietnam worse than what they can imagine. Let’s not allow violence.”

Trump is pulling the strings of the American civil war ترامب يلعب بخيوط الحرب الأهلية الأميركية

Trump is pulling the strings of the American civil war

مايو 9, 2019

Written by Nasser Kandil,

The racist tendencies of the US President Donald Trump as a white settler against the native American Indians might converge with the considerations of the ruling US intelligence and diplomacy in the need to arrange the American inner home after the failure of wars outside it and in order to launch a confrontation that it is easy to ignite but difficult to control and to get out of it. The Venezuelan crisis which was ignited by Washington and its white Canadian ally and some of those who are possessed with the American example as the Indian Liberians in Venezuela, Colombia, Peru, Argentina, and Brazil took place during a historic inconsistency between the white racist comer settlers and the Indigenous people whom their cities and towns were exterminated  and hundreds thousands of them were killed while others were obliged to displace to neighboring countries, knowing that the big majority in the south is from the Latin American indigenous people whom were ruled by the Spanish and the Portuguese, while the Evangelical community coming from Scotland and Ireland dominated on the northern regions known today as America.

Certainly, the military confrontation will be an outcome of constitutional legitimacy versus another constitutional legitimacy, and certainly the military balance in Venezuela in any clash will be in favor of the legitimacy of the President Nicolas Maduro, and certainly the achievement of the military balance will require an external intervention that starts in Colombia where America will soon find itself in the heart of the battle, and then the real tyrant aspect of war will begin to emerge. Therefore, once again the war will take place between white and red after three hundred years. It is a war waged by Trump against the Red Indian minority inside America driven by a white racist panic from a demographic imbalance that is similar to the panic of the Zionists in Palestine in 1948 from the demographic imbalance which is in favor of the Arab dark skinned indigenous people. This war will lead to the emergence of a racist ISIS among the white and against the red, it will fight in the northern of America and in the South Africa, and the emergence of a resistance that belongs to the red where the leaders of the Liberian groups in the red continent will become mere white agents who have neglected their belonging and have lived in five-stars hotels as the leaders of the Syrian opposition.

The forthcoming civil war will determine the fate of the unity of the United States of America. The states in which the red skinned people locate are increasing due to the demographic shifts which made one-third of the people of America from Latin roots and which will make them half of the population by 2050. The Mexico wall for which Trump is fighting to build is like the racist separation wall which the Zionists build around their settlements. This symbolic similarity reflects the real connection between the conflict in Latin America and the conflict in our region under one title; the confrontation of the indigenous people of the racist coming settlers. The active communities of both the Levantine Arab immigrants and the Jewish are gathered in Latin America and its countries, and despite the presence of enlightened Jewish elites that are far from the Zionist project and the presence of Arab immigrant elites that follow the US project that represents the scum of liberalism, the importance of both blocs puts them into permanent confrontation entitled the position towards Palestine and the Israeli aggression. Because Venezuela forms the Latin position that supports Palestine, therefore, its fall has become a current Israeli demand to compensate the failure of overthrowing Syria. So supporting Venezuela and its victory has become a necessary complement to Syria’s victory.

The victory of Syria was the factor of the acceleration towards Venezuela which America was foreshadowing of its fall if the American Empire succeeded in invading the world, but at the same time, Syria is a source of inspiration for the people of Latin America at their forefront Venezuela to withstand, exactly as the late President Hugo Chavez said after the victory of the resistance in the south of Lebanon in July 2006 to the leaders of the Bolivian Movement in Latin America that it is time to work after the south of Lebanon has proved that it is possible for the poor and the naïve to determine their fate by themselves.

It can be said that the war which wanted to change Syria has granted it the opportunity to change the world.

Translated by Lina Shehadeh,

يناير 26, 2019

ترامب يلعب بخيوط الحرب الأهلية الأميركية 

ناصر قنديل

– ربما تكون قد تلاقت الميول العنصرية للرئيس الأميركي دونالد ترامب المدفوعة بخلفية المستوطن الأبيض ضد السكان الأصليين الحمر، مع حسابات المؤسسة الأميركية الحاكمة في المخابرات والدبلوماسية في الحاجة لترتيب البيت الداخلي في القارة الأميركية بعد فشل الحروب خارجها، لإطلاق مواجهة يبدو من السهل تفجيرها، لكن سيكون من الصعب التحكم بمساراتها، خصوصاً رسم كيفية الخروج منها. فالأزمة الفنزويلية التي دخلتها واشنطن ومعها حليفها الكندي الأبيض وبعض المأخوذين بالنموذج الأميركي من المتمولين الليبراليين الحمر في فنزويلا وكولومبيا والبيرو والأرجنتين والبرازيل، تقع على خط تماس تاريخي لجرح لم يندمل بعد بين المستوطنين البيض العنصريين الوافدين، والسكان الأصليين الذين دمّرت مدنهم وبلداتهم وأبيد مئات الآلاف منهم وأجبر مئات الآلاف الآخرين على اللجوء إلى البلدان المجاورة، حيث الغالبية الكاسحة في الجنوب هي من السكان الأصليين ذوي البشرة الحمراء، والذين يسمّون باللاتينيين، وقد تقاسم حكمهم الأسبان والبرتغاليون، بينما هيمنت الجاليات الإنجيلية الوافدة من إسكتلندا وإيرلندا على المناطق الشمالية المعروفة اليوم باسم أميركا.

– الأكيد هو أن المواجهة العسكرية ستكون نتاجاً طبيعياً لوضع شرعية دستورية في مواجهة مع شرعية دستورية أخرى، والأكيد أن التوازن العسكري داخل فنزويلا في أي صدام سيكون لصالح شرعية الرئيس نيكولاس مادورو، والأكيد أن تحقيق التوازن العسكري سيتطلّب تدخلاً خارجياً يبدأ بكولومبيا وسرعان ما تجد أميركا أنها في قلب المعركة. وعندها يبدأ البعد الحقيقي للحرب بالطغيان، حرب البيض والحمر مجدداً بعد ثلاثمئة عام. وهي حرب يخوضها ترامب على البارد ضد الأقلية ذات البشرة الحمراء داخل أميركا نفسها، مدفوعاً بذعر عنصري أبيض من خلل ديمغرافي يشبه ذعر الصهاينة في فلسطين عام 1948 من الخلل الديمغرافي لصالح السكان الأصليين العرب ذوي البشرة السمراء. وستتكفل هذه الحرب بظهور تنظيم داعش عنصري بين البيض ضد الحمر، يقاتل داخل شمال أميركا وفي القارة الجنوبية، وظهور مقاومة للحمر تعمّ القارة، ويصير قادة المجموعات الليبرالية في القارة الحمراء مجرد عملاء للبيض باعوا جلدتهم ويتوزّعون فنادق الخمسة نجوم أسوة بقادة المعارضة السورية.

– الحرب الأهلية المقبلة ستقرّر مصير وحدة الولايات المتحدة الأميركية، حيث الولايات التي يتركّز فيها ذوو البشرة الحمراء تتزايد مع التحوّلات الديمغرافية التي جعلت ثلث سكان أميركا من أصول لاتينية وستجعلهم نصف السكان بحلول العام 2050، وبصورة أو بأخرى يشبه جدار المكسيك الذي يقاتل ترامب لبنائه جدار الفصل العنصري الذي يبنيه الصهاينة حول المستوطنات. وهذا التشابه الرمزي يعكس حقيقة واقعية للصلة بين الصراع في أميركا اللاتينية والصراع في منطقتنا، والعنوان الواحد مواجهة سكان البلاد الأصليين للمستوطنين العنصريين الوافدين، حيث تتجمع في أميركا اللاتينية ودولها الجاليات النشيطة لكل من العرب المشرقيين المهاجرين والرعية اليهودية، وبالرغم من وجود نخب يهودية متنوّرة بعيدة عن المشروع الصهيوني ووجود نخب عربية مهاجرة ملتحقة بالمشروع الأميركي وتمثل حثالة الليبرالية إلا أن الوزن الرئيسي لكل من الكتلتين يضعهما في مواجهة دائمة عنوانها الموقف من فلسطين والعدوان الإسرائيلي، وحيث فنزويلا تشكل رمز الموقف اللاتيني الداعم لفلسطين، ويصير إسقاطها مطلباً إسرائيلياً راهناً تعويضاً عن الفشل بإسقاط سورية، يصير تحصين فنزويلا ونصرها تتمة ضرورية لنصر سورية.

– انتصار سورية كان عامل التسريع في الالتفات الأميركي نحو فنزويلا التي كان التقدير الأميركي بسقوطها التلقائي لو نجحت الغزوة الإمبراطورية الأميركية في العالم، وما عاد تحملها ممكناً بعد الفشل، لكنه بالقدر نفسه سيكون مصدر الإلهام لشعوب أميركا اللاتينية وفي مقدّمتها فنزويلا للصمود، تماماً كما قال الرئيس الراحل هوغو تشافيز بعد انتصار المقاومة في حرب تموز 2006 لقادة الحركة البوليفارية في أميركا اللاتينية أن ساعة العمل قد دقت، بعدما أثبت جنوب لبنان أنه لا يزال بإمكان الفقراء والبسطاء أن يقرروا مصيرهم بأنفسهم.

– هكذا يصح القول إن الحرب التي أرادت تغيير سورية منحت سورية الفرصة لتغير العالم.

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Maduro Declares Victory over Coup Plotters

 May 1, 2019

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said his troops have thwarted a botched attempt to topple him masterminded by Venezuela’s “coup-mongering far right” and Donald Trump’s deranged imperialist “gang”.

In an hour-long address to the nation on Tuesday night, Maduro accused opposition leader Juan Guaidó and his political mentor Leopoldo López of seeking to spark an armed confrontation that might be used as a pretext for a foreign military intervention.

He said that he had appointed prosecutors to investigate a coup attempt in his country. He also added that a number of people are being questioned in connection with the issue.

Maduro added that five military staff were injured during unrest on Tuesday, adding that two of them were in critical condition.

On Tuesday morning, Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido and his supporters gathered in Caracas on a highway in front of La Carlota military base. Previously, Guaido called on the people of Venezuela and the army to take to the streets to complete the operation to overthrow the legitimate head of state, Maduro.

“This cannot go unpunished. I have spoken to the attorney general, and he has appointed three national prosecutors who are questioning everyone involved in this event, and they are tasked with investigating and filing criminal charges,” Maduro told the state television.

The Venezuelan president has also announced that he appointed Gen. Gustavo Gonzalez Lopez as the head of the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service of Venezuela (SEBIN).

SourceAgencies

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Gloria La Riva to ST: US is engaged in covert military actions against Venezuela

Wednesday, 03 April 2019

Damascus,(ST)-Is the danger of US military intervention against Venezuela near? What is the best workable way to resolve Venezuela crisis peacefully? And what are the similarities between US war against Syria and what Washington is attempting against Venezuela? These questions are answered by Gloria La Riva, the American anti-war activist, who works at Cuba and Venezuela Solidarity Committee.

La Riva told the Syria Times e-newspaper that the US administration at this time can’t afford politically to directly intervene with U.S. troops, but they are engaged in covert military actions, including the arming and training of paramilitaries for possible action in the near future.

Her article in Liberation News, https://www.liberationnews.org/terrorist-plot-in-venezuela-thwarted/ explains one of those plots that has just been exposed and is being dismantled.

“The U.S. tactics right now involve the degrading of Venezuela’s infrastructure. They are trying to not only continue the electricity sabotage, but to permanently damage the power system in order to create severe hardship and evoke civil strife in the population. This way it can claim to rescue a “humanitarian crisis,” as the situation develops, and then perhaps use more direct military means,” La Riva said.

She added: “At some point, if all else fails, they will due what they have always done, send in the troops. As you know from Syria’s experience, this is the pattern of U.S. regime change efforts, work to create internal strife, then introduce massive amounts of weapons, support terrorist organizations that intervene and carry out a proxy and direct war. In Venezuela there is a danger every day of more attacks, on the electricity system, on the Metro system of Caracas, on the continued seizing of Venezuela’s oil and other wealth to prevent its ability to provide for the population, and of assassination attempts.”

The anti-war activist, who has been in many countries representing social justice causes, affirmed that US imperialism is heading these efforts, and is supported by its European, Canadian and right-wing Latin American allies.

The situation is peaceful in Venezuela, despite the extreme difficulties caused since January with the growing U.S. aggression

She referred to the fact that the masses who support the Bolivarian Revolution are resisting valiantly along with their government, keeping mobilized in the streets on a permanent basis, organizing in their communal councils and communes, linked with the ministries to distribute the food boxes called CLAP to more than 6 million families, working to set up alternative sources of water when the electricity is downed, forming civilian militias that work together with the military, and defending their homeland.

La Riva believes that the crisis would be resolved if the Venezuelan people were left alone without U.S. interference, without U.S. sanctions.

“When you hear the Venezuelans who oppose the rightwing opposition inside the country and the U.S. role, they say, “Yes, we have problems like everyone else, but let us solve them ourselves.” It is remarkable how peaceful the situation is in Venezuela, despite the extreme difficulties caused since January with the growing U.S. aggression. I was in Venezuela for the almost 5 days of blackout from March 7 to 12, and it was generally calm,” she stated.

The activist stressed that he people did what they could to overcome the water shortage, because electricity is needed for the water system, but there were no major disturbances. And yet the U.S. and its opposition forces have continued attacking the power system. One thing for certain, the U.S. government is promoting the violence as they have in various periods of the last 20 years.

“Juan Guaidó’s party, for instance, Voluntad Popular, Popular Will, is a fascist organization that is financed and its leadership fully supported in the recent terror plots that were uncovered. If successful they would have carried out major violence. That danger still exists,” La Riva asserted.

In response to a question about how people in the US can get involved to prevent war on Venezuela, the activist said: “People in the United States are organizing against the U.S. aggression under the banner of “No Sanctions, No Coup, No War, Hands Off Venezuela.” Many anti-war and social justice organizations have rallied on an emergency basis in more than 20 U.S. cities since late January. On March 16, a coalition that the ANSWER Coalition initiated and included Veterans for Peace, Code Pink, various Bolivarian Circles, and prominent activists, held the largest action to date for Venezuela, in Washington DC, starting at the White House. The movement is early and our biggest challenge is overcoming the enormous U.S. media war that has demonized the Venezuelan leadership and paralyzed part of the U.S. liberal population from opposing this latest U.S. aggression. But we see a positive development in these months, especially with so many young people who oppose U.S. war, who are already active in many social causes and who are not falling for the U.S. lies. We believe the movement will grow.”

#HandsOffVenezuela #HandsOffSyria

La Riva, in addition, elaborated the similarities between the U.S. war in Syria and what they are attempting against Venezuela.

“First is the demonization of President Bashar Al-Assad and making invisible the Syrian people, while it arms and supports the terrorist organizations. That is what has taken place in Venezuela as well, not only the demonization of President Maduro but President Chávez, too. Second is the continued attempt by Washington to prevent peace in Syria. The U.S. is relentless in its openly-stated plans to overthrow President Maduro. The Russian government’s support of the Syrian government and people has caused great anger within the U.S. imperial establishment, and Russia is also engaged in an invaluable alliance with the Venezuelan government.”

The activist emphasized that the resistance of both peoples is the essential element in defense of their sovereignty and independence.

“We salute Syria for staying strong against the years-long terror war, and also stand side-by-side with the people of Venezuela. #HandsOffVenezuela #HandsOffSyria,” La Riva concluded.

Interviewed by: Basma Qaddour

 

Saving Venezuela

Darko Lazar

The Russians and the Americans chose a luxury hotel room in Rome for their discrete diplomatic exchange on Venezuela’s political crisis.

The March 19 meeting between US Special Envoy for Venezuela Elliott Abrams and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov came on the heels of a series of events that set off alarm bells in the Kremlin.

In late February, the US attempted to use humanitarian aid shipments to instigate a confrontation between Venezuelan security forces and opposition factions.

Almost simultaneously, American-backed, self-proclaimed President Juan Guaido called for a foreign intervention while the party line in Washington remained unchanged – all options were still on the table.

Finally, Venezuela was struck by the first of two massive blackouts, which many suspect are the result of US cyber attacks.

Although the details of the tete-a-tete between Abrams and Ryabkov remain a secret, the latter did reveal that he articulated Moscow’s ‘red lines’ during the Rome meeting.

Ryabkov said that the American side was warned “against any temptation to resort to military power” in Venezuela.

“We assume that Washington treats our priorities seriously,” he added.

But the talks in Rome had clearly failed to compel Washington to change course, or as Abrams so eloquently put it, the two sides “did not come to a meeting of the minds”.

And so, just a few days later, Moscow offered proof that Ryabkov’s warnings were more than just a mere boasting exercise.

From Moscow to Caracas via Syria

On March 23, two Russian air force planes, carrying nearly a hundred troops and 35 tons of equipment, touched down in Venezuela’s capital Caracas.

Just like the details of the Ryabkov-Abrams meeting, the exact contents of the Russian shipment to Venezuela remain unknown to the public.

But the snippets of information released are meant to highlight the Kremlin’s readiness to confront the US-backed regime change operation against President Nicolas Maduro.

For starters, the man leading the Russian contingent in the Latin American state is the First Deputy Commander-in-Chief of Land Forces, Colonel General Vasily Tonkoshkurov.

Interestingly, Tonkoshkurov and his team passed through Syria on route to Venezuela.

The passenger aircraft landed in Damascus, while the heavy transport plane, which was carrying the equipment, flew via the Russian military’s Khmeimim air base outpost.

A few hours later, the men getting off the planes on the tarmac in Caracas were photographed wearing desert camouflage uniforms, similar to those worn by Russian personnel in Syria.

Although Moscow claims the deployment is the result of existing “contracts on military and technical cooperation”, it is doubtful that the Russians traveled to the Bolivarian Republic just to school the Venezuelans on how to use armaments that have been in their possession for years.

Instead, Russia insiders maintain that the men dispatched to Venezuela have spent years fighting back American attacks in Syria, which includes the shooting down of Tomahawk missiles.

Their expertise is a key component in readying Venezuela for any potential American military adventure.

Meanwhile, speculation is rife that the tons of cargo did not include weapons, but advanced technological equipment for data gathering and electronic warfare.

These are not only useful in direct military confrontations, but also in counterinsurgency warfare and in subverting so-called activism by the opposition.

Talking priorities

The arrival of the Russians in Venezuela may already be putting the wind in Maduro’s sails.

The Venezuelan leader, who exercised a great deal of restraint over the years when dealing with destabilizing forces in his country, now appears to be positioning himself to move against Guaido.

Earlier this week, Venezuela’s National Constituent Assembly backed the nation’s Supreme Court request to strip Guaido of his immunity.

The decision paves the way for possible legal proceedings against the 35-year-old over charges of inciting violence and engaging in illicit financial activity.

Naturally the news prompted a fresh round of threats from Washington, where officials promised that the “US will not stand idly by”.

Similar warnings followed the Russian deployment, too.

The US national security adviser, John Bolton, said that foreign military assets in Venezuela would be treated “as a direct threat to international peace and security in the region.”

But beneath all the chest beating lies the realization that Washington’s options in Venezuela have become extremely limited.

The acting Pentagon chief Patrick Shanahan has even openly hinted that the US is not considering military action as a way to resolve the Venezuelan crisis.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump – who initially told the Russians to “get out” – explained last Friday that his strategy involves “talking about a lot to a lot of people, perhaps President Putin.”

Whatever “priorities” Abrams ignored in Rome last month, he is sure to be listening now.

نحن وفنزويلا أعمق من الظاهر بكثير

أبريل 4, 2019

ناصر قنديل

– ليس مهماً أن يلعب بعض المسؤولين اللبنانيين سياسة صغيرة في التعامل مع التهديد الذي تعيشه فنزويلا تحت وطأة الاستهداف الأميركي، فهذا على قشرة الأحداث ونتيجة تلاعب بالأبعاد العميقة للمسألة الفنزويلية، وإدخالها في محاور الإرضاء والاسترضاء التي يقيم لها بعض المسؤولين حساباً أكبر من معاني القضايا وحجمها، فالقضية ليست سياسية، ولا هي تموضع على محاور شرقية وغربية بقدر ما هي قضية العلاقة الواحدة بين دول أقامها المستوطنون البيض على حساب السكان الأصليين من حُمر البشرة او سُمر البشرة، ولا تزال نيران الحروب الأهلية التي أشعلوها جمراً تحت الرماد، ولا تنفكّ تبث سخونتها وتقذف حممها عند كلّ اهتزاز في طبقات المجتمع، يشبه انشقاق طبقات الجيولوجيا لقشرة الأرض في حالات البراكين والزلازل.

– في الذاكرة العميقة ليست أميركا و«إسرائيل» إلا كيانين استيطانيين للبيض الوافدين، وقد قاموا بتهجير ومحاولة إبادة السكان الأصليين، أبناء البشرتين الحمراء والسمراء، وليست فنزويلا بالنسبة لواشنطن إلا شبيهاً للبنان وسورية والأردن، بالنسبة لـ «إسرائيل»، أيّ بلاد السكان المنتمين للون بشرة السكان الأصليين ذاتها، الذين تمّ تهجير من بقي منهم إليها بعد حروب الإبادة. فالسكان الحمر في فنزويلا هم أشقاء السكان الحمر الذين هجّرتهم حرب الإبادة التي قامت عليها أميركا، والسكان السمر في لبنان وسورية والأردن هم أشقاء السكان السمر الذين هجرتهم حرب الإبادة التي شنّت في فلسطين.

– مهما حاول الأميركيون تسييس معركتهم مع فنزويلا ومهما قبل بعض الفنزويليين مساعي السياسة للتلاعب بالذاكرة، سيبقى جذر الصراع كامناً في أصل القضية التي بدأت قبل قرون وانتهت بقيام دولة الاستيطان على حساب السكان الأصليين. وستبقى فنزويلا دولة الثقل للسكان الحمر الذين لم تنته الحرب عليهم من المستوطنين البيض، وهي تتجدّد كلما سقط الطلاء الخارجي للخطاب الديمقراطي، فتظهر العنصرية من بين ثنايا الخطاب المأزوم والغاضب، كما هو خطاب الرئيس دونالد ترامب، فينفضح التزييف وتظهر الحقيقة، تماماً كما يحدث عندما تحاول تل أبيب تحويل القضية الفلسطينية إلى قضية سياسية أو يرغب بعض العرب التلاعب بالتاريخ لحساب المصالح الصغيرة فيتوهّمون تخطياً لعمق الصراع بأخذه إلى اللعبة السياسية.

– اقتبس وزير خارجية فنزويلا في اللقاء التضامني مع بلاده الذي عُقد في بيروت، عبارات لرئيسين أميركيين سابقين، ما بعد حرب الاستقلال الأميركية تدعو لبقاء الاستعمار الإسباني على السكان الحمر في أميركا الجنوبية، أو استبداله باستعمار أميركا الشمالية لهم، لأنّ المهمّ أن تبقى سلطة البيض على الحمر. وهذا كان الحال في جنوب أفريقيا بين سلطة الاستعمار البريطاني أو سيطرة المستوطنين البيض. المهمّ أن يكون للبيض سيطرة على السود. وهكذا هي حال «إسرائيل» لا مكان عندها للسكان الأصليين، وإلا فما معنى الإصرار على الطابع اليهودي للدولة؟

– عندما وقف الزعيم الفنزويلي الراحل هوغو شافيز مع فلسطين ومن بعده الرئيس نيكولاس مادورو لم يفعلا سوى البحث عن عمق اللقاء أكثر من قشرة السياسة. وعندما يقف المقاومون في لبنان وسورية وفلسطين مع فنزويلا شافيز ومادورو لا يفعلون سوى البحث عن عمق اللقاء أكثر من قشرة السياسة. وعندما يتلاعب سياسيون عرب ولبنانيون بالصراع مع «إسرائيل» أو بالتعامل مع فنزويلا، فهم يتهرّبون من عمق الصراع ويسبحون على قشرة السياسة.

– كما الصراع مع «إسرائيل» ضارب في جذور فلسطين، وسيشهد محطاته الحاسمة فيها، بين السكان الأصليين والمستوطنين الوافدين، الصراع مع المشروع الاستعماري الأميركي ضارب في جذور المجتمع الأميركي، وسيشهد محطاته الحاسمة فيها بين السكان الأصليين الحمر البشرة والمستوطنين الوافدين، وما تفعله فنزويلا كدولة مقاومة هو ما يفعله ذاته لبنان وسورية كبلدين للمقاومة، الصمود ريثما يتولى السكان الأصليون لحظة الصراع الفاصلة، بمثل ما فعل السود في جنوب أفريقيا.

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President Assad to Arreaza: Venezuela Crisis Similar to What Happened in Syria

April 4, 2019

The Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Thursday received Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza and the accompanying delegation.

President al-Assad was briefed on the latest developments taking place in Venezuela by Minister Arreaza, as he expressed confidence that Venezuela will overcome the crisis that it is currently facing and restore the state of stability soon enough.

President al-Assad pointed out that the policies adopted by some western states, on top of which, the USA towards what is going on in Venezuela in terms of their blatant interference in the Latin state’s affairs and their imposing economic siege and sanctions on it have become an approach they adopt with all states that do not agree with their policies.

The President said that what is going on in Venezuela is similar to what happened in Syria and that aims at imposing hegemony on states and controlling their independent decision, which undermines the international law and contradicts the most important principles of the UN Charter i.e. the respect of states’ sovereignty and right of self-determination.

For his part, Arreaza thanked President al-Assad for his supportive stance to Venezuela with regards to overcoming its current crisis and stressed that the tools and steps used by the states, which are enemies of Venezuela, are similar to those used in Syria for igniting war in it, adding that what has happened to his country is an episode of a series of the US continuous attempts for decades to control the Venezuela’s independent decision and the Venezuelan people’s resources.

Source: SANA

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لا مكان لليانكي في فنزويلا وحلف المقاومة اللاتيني يتقن فنّ النصر

مارس 29, 2019

محمد صادق الحسيني

حالة من الهستيريا تنتاب الرئيس الأميركي وإدارته ومستشاريه من المحافظين الجدد وعلى رأسهم الصهيوني جون بولتون، في هذه الأيام بسبب تطورات ومفاجآت الصمود الفنزويلي العظيم والذي يعود برأي المراقبين إلى ما يلي :

ـ فشل هذه الإدارة في إسقاط الدولة الوطنية الفنزويلية، عبر تنصيب جاسوس أميركي كرئيس لفنزويلا، بدلاً عن الرئيس مادورو المنتخب من الشعب ديمقراطياً ودستورياً، عبر تلك الحركة البهلوانية، التي تمثلت في قيام هذا الجاسوس غوايدو بتنصيب نفسه رئيسا بدلاً عن الرئيس الشرعي.

ـ فشل الإدارة الأميركية في شق الجيش وخلق حالة فوضى خدمة لهدف تدمير الدوله الفنزويلية الشرعيه وإحلال مجموعة من الجواسيس مكان الحكومة الشرعية خدمة للولايات المتحدة في السيطرة على خيرات البلاد النفطية والمعدنية، خاصة الذهب.

فشل الإدارة الأميركية في الوصول الى هدفها بواسطة حملة «المساعدات الإنسانية» التي حشدت لإدخالها بالقوة عبر الحدود مع كولومبيا، تلك «المساعدات» التي لم تحمل من ذلك إلا الاسم لأنها كانت أسلحة وذخائر ومعدات عسكرية مرسلة لتسليمها لمجموعات من المرتزقة التي كان من المفترض إدخالهم الى فنزويلا عبر الحدود مع كولومبيا شرقاً والبرازيل جنوباً…

أما عملية الكشف عن وصول طائرتين عسكريتين روسيتين الى فنزويلا قبل أيّام، وعلى متنهما ما يقارب المئة مستشار عسكري روسي وبعض التجهيزات العسكرية الخاصة، فكانت بمثابة الضربة القاضية للحملة الأميركية المسعورة ضدّ فنزويلا ورئيسها الشرعي، نيكولاس مادورو، خاصة أنّ الإدارة الأميركية، وبعد تقييم للوضع العسكري الفنزويلي ولأوراق القوة التي يملكها الرئيس مادورو، قد توصّلت الى قناعة راسخة باستحالة القيام بأيّ عمل عسكري، لا مباشر ولا غير مباشر، ضدّ فنزويلا، ويرجع ذلك الى العوامل التالية:

أ امتلاك فنزويلا لجيش قوي عقائدي ومتماسك، كثير الشبه مع الجيش السوري، وهو مستعدّ للتصدي لأيّ عدوان على سيادة بلاده.

ب امتلاك هذا الجيش ما يكفي من الخبرة العسكرية والإمكانات التسليحية، والتي ليس آخرها منظومات الدفاع الجوي الروسية الصنع من طراز «أس 300» و «أس 400» الأكثر تطوّراً والقادرة على رصد أهداف على بعد ستمائة كيلومتر.

ج امتلاك الجيش الفنزويلي أفضل طائرة سيطرة جوية / تفوق جوي / في العالم، ألا وهي طائرة سوخوي ٣٠ أم /ك / ٢ SUCHOI 30 MK 2 والتي تتمتع بقدرات قتالية لا مثيل لها واهمّها صواريخ جو /جو التي تحملها وتستطيع إطلاقها على أهداف جوية طائرات أو صواريخ مجنّحة معادية حتى مسافة مائة وثلاثين كيلو متراً. أي انها قادرة على الدفاع عن المجال الجوي الفنزويلي حتى عن بعد مئات الكيلومترات خارج هذا المجال وقبل ان تصله الطائرات او الصواريخ الأميركية.

د امتلاك دول «حلف المقاومة» في أميركا الجنوبية، فنزويلا وكوبا ونيكاراغوا، الكثير من الأوراق السياسية والعسكرية التي يمكن تحريكها ضدّ الولايات المتحدة وعملائها في تلك القارة. ومن بين هذه الأوراق الهامة، على سبيل المثال لا الحصر، حركة «القوات المسلحة الكولومبية – جيش الشعب، المعروفة باسمها المختصر «فارك وهو الاسم الإسباني لهذه الحركة : Fuerzas Armadas revolutionarias de Columbia / ejercito del Pueblo.

هذه الحركه، الماركسية اللينينية المعادية للولايات المتحدة، التي وقعت اتفاقية سلام بينها وبين الحكومة الكولومبية في شهر حزيران 2017 في هافانا وبرعاية كوبا، قادرة على قلب الطاولة على رأس ترامب والعودة الى العمل المسلح ضدّ حكومة كولومبيا، العميلة للولايات المتحدة وغيرها من دول أميركا الجنوبية، وبالتعاون مع حركات مشابهة في العديد من دول القارة، وخلق فيتنام جديدة للولايات المتحدة ولمدة عقود من الزمن. الأمر الذي يعني، بكلّ بساطة، منع الولايات المتحده من تحقيق أهدافها، في السيطرة على ثروات فنزويلا وغيرها من دول أميركا الجنوبية. وهو ما يشكل نصراً لفنزويلا ولكلّ القوى المعادية للهيمنة الأميركية على ثروات ومقدرات الشعوب في العالم.

في هذه الأثناء فإنّ المطلعين على تاريخ الاستعمار الأميركي الامبريالي يعتقدون بأنّ تحركات الإدارة الأميركية الحالية ضدّ فنزويلا الحالية تعود جذورها الى القديم من صراعات القوى الاستعمارية.

والأزمة التي خلقتها الولايات المتحدة وعملاؤها في فنزويلا حديثاً هي في الواقع جزء من الصراع الدولي، الدائر بين القوى العظمى مثل الصين وروسيا وإيران والهند الى حدّ ما ، مع الولايات المتحدة الأميركية على إعادة تشكيل قيادة العالم، بمعنى إنهاء سيطرة القطب الواحد، أيّ الولايات المتحدة، على العالم وتشكيل خارطة علاقات دولية جديدة، تستند الى القانون الدولي، الذي هو أساس لكلّ تعاون سلمي بين الدول. وهو الأمر الذي ترفضه الولايات المتحدة.

أما جذور الأزمة فتعود الى ما يطلق عليه عقيدة مونرو، التي أعلنها الرئيس الأميركي جيمس مونرو سنة 1923، والتي تنص على انّ النصف الغربي من الكرة الأرضية هو منطقة نفوذ أميركية ويجب منع دول «العالم القديم» في أوروبا من العودة لاستعمار القارة الأميركية الجنوبية بشكل خاص، وذلك لضمان إمكانية ممارسة الولايات المتحدة لسياستها التوسعية في تلك القارة دون منافسة أوروبية، أيّ استبدال الاستعمار الأوروبي بآخر من الولايات المتحدة الأميركية، في واقع الأمر، رغم ادّعاءات الرئيس مونرو آنذاك بأنّ الهدف من هذه السياسة الأميركية الجديدة هو الحفاظ على استقلال دول أميركا اللاتينية التي استقلت عن اسبانيا والبرتغال في ذلك الوقت.

بينما كانت الحقيقة تكمن في مكان آخر تماماً، ألا وهو توجه الولايات المتحدة إلى تعزيز سيطرتها على تلك القارة، خاصة أنها كانت تخشى إعادة فرض السيطرة الأوروبية عليها بعد قيام المانيا مملكة بروسيا والنمسا وروسيا بعقد اتفاقية أطلق عليها اسم: التحالف المقدّس Holly Alliance، ذلك الحلف الذي كان يهدف الى اقتسام النفوذ والسيطرة، على أميركا الجنوبية، بين هذه الدول وكلّ من اسبانيا والبرتغال.

من هنا نلاحظ انّ هناك جذوراً تاريخية لسعي الولايات المتحده الأميركية لفرض سيطرتها ليس على فنزويلا فحسب وإنما على كلّ القارة الأميركية الجنوبية. وما الموقف النزق وغير المألوف في العلاقات الدولية، الذي أعلنت عنه الولايات المتحدة وأرفقته بتهديدات مباشرة لروسيا، على خلفية إرسال الحكومة الروسية لعدد من المستشارين العسكريين الروس الى فنزويلا قبل أيّام، إلا دليل على فشل أحلام الولايات المتحدة في إعادة فرض سيطرتها على فنزويلا، التي تملك أكبر احتياطي نفط في العالم، في الوقت الذي نجحت فيه روسيا والصين بنسج علاقات تعاون متينة ومستندة الى قواعد القانون الدولي، في مجالات السياسة والاقتصاد والتعاون العسكري التقني، مع فنزويلا، وليس على قاعدة استعمار فنزويلا أو غيرها.

تأسيساً على ما تقدّم نستطيع القول: لقد قضي الأمر. وانتصرت إرادة الشعب الفنزويلي، في اتخاذ قرار التصدي للعدوان الأميركي السافر ضدّ بلاده، وهو القرار الذي سيتكلل بالنصر النهائي ودحر قوى العدوان الأميركية وأذنابها المحليين، سواء في فنزويلا او في غيرها من دول أميركا الجنوبية، خاصة أنّ اليانكي الأميركي قد تأكد بالدليل الملموس انّ السيطرة على الأرض، عبر الجيش وقوات الدفاع الشعبية، وفِي الجو عبر طائرات سوخوي 30 للتفوق الجوي وأنظمة الدفاع الجوي «أس 300 و «أس 400» هي فقط في أيدي الرئيس الشرعي والمنتخب من الشعب الفنزويلي، الرئيس نيكولاس مادورو، الذي سيقود البلاد في مواجهة سلاح الحصار والعقوبات ويرفع الظلم عنه بالتعاون مع روسيا والصين وغيرها من الدول الرافضة للهيمنة الأميركية في العالم.

وما النصر إلا موقف وإرادة حازمة وفن الصعود الى القمة بالقدرات الداخلية الوطنية أولاً!

بعدنا طيبين قولوا الله…

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فنزويلا على خطا سورية ……….بقلم د.بثينة شعبان

بقلم د.بثينة شعبان

كنت أتابع تفاصيل أخبار فنزويلا، فعادت بي الذاكرة، مع كثير من التفاصيل، إلى ربيع عام 2011 وأحداثها في سورية: من المظاهرات الأولى أمام وزارة الداخلية إلى قصص ملفقة عن أطفال درعا وحليبهم المفقود وإلى القصص الأخرى التي تمّ نسجها وبرهنت الأيام أن لا أساس لها من الصحة وإلى المطالبات بإلغاء قانون الطوارئ،

ومن ثمّ الفقرة الثامنة من الدستور، ثمّ إلى خيانة بعض المسؤولين في الجيش والدولة لقسم الولاء للوطن والشعب والدولة، فأنكروا تاريخهم وانساقوا وراء دعايات ووعود زائفة سالت لها أنفسهم. في الوقت الذي كانت القوى الشريرة تتابع تحقيق أهدافها الحقيقية من خلال حرق دائرة النفوس والقصر العدلي في درعا، ومن ثمّ تدمير المدارس والجوامع والكنائس والآثار والطرق والجسور وخطوط النفط والغاز إلى أن أصبح واضحاً للجميع ولكن فقط بعد حين أن هدف هذه الحرب الأساسي هو تدمير الدولة السورية وكلّ ما قامت به من إنجازات في البنى التحتية وخاصة الصحية والتعليمية والتي كانت مثار حسد القاصي والداني. ولم تتخذ الصين وروسيا فيتو مزدوجاً لمصلحة سورية حتى 4/10/2011 أي بعد ستة أشهر ونيّف من اندلاع الأحداث وتطورها من مظاهرات الجمعة التي اتخذت من المساجد مركزاً لشقّ الصفوف وبثّ الطائفية والعنف والجريمة، ومن ثمّ اندرجت مئة وسبع وثلاثون دولة جمعتهم إسرائيل والولايات المتحدة وبريطانيا وفرنسا تحت مسمى «أصدقاء سورية»، وأخذوا يعقدون الاجتماعات في عواصم مختلفة في الإقليم لدعم التحركات «الديمقراطية» التي لم تكن سوى حرب استعمارية إرهابية استهدفت البشر والحجر شنّها الاخوان المسلمون والإسلاميون عموماً بتخطيط ومساعدة أعداء البلاد التاريخيين، إسرائيل والولايات المتحدة. ولم يبصر الكثيرون حقيقة ما يجري في سورية إلا بعد أن دفع الشعب السوري ثمناً باهظاً لصدّ العدوان الذي استهدف كامل أراضيه ولم يتقدم سوى الأشقاء من محور المقاومة لدعم الشباب السوري الذي قدّم مئات الألوف من الشهداء والجرحى في حرب ضروس لم نعهدها من قبل ولم تتقدم روسيا لدعم الجيش العربيّ السوريّ حتى 31/9/2015، حين قررت إرسال قوات جوية ضاربة لدعم الجيش السوري في حربه ضد الإرهاب. ورغم انكشاف حقيقة ما جرى فإن الدول الغربية مازالت تشدّد من الحصار الاقتصادي والسياسي والإعلامي كي لا تعترف كم كانت جرائمها بشعة بحقّ الشعب السوريّ، وكي لا تقرّ أمام العالم أن الدعوات إلى «الديمقراطية» و«حقوق الإنسان» لم تكن إلا غطاء كي يعيث عملاؤهم من الخونة فساداً في أرضنا المقدسة وكي يتمكنوا من تغيير سلوك الدولة بعد أن فشلوا في تغيير نظام الحكم في هذه الدولة ليكون سلوكاً تابعاً للغرب ومؤتمراً بإمرتهم، وهذا هو الهدف الأساس من كلّ هذه الحرب على سورية كما هو من معظم الحروب وبمختلف أشكالها التي تشنّها بأساليب مختلفة الدول الغربيّة ضد البلدان الأخرى في العالم وخاصة العرب لاستعبادهم ونهب ثرواتهم.

ولكنّ ما يجري اليوم في فنزويلا يُرى أن وعي الشعوب بالأحداث لا ينتظر الاعترافات من الحكومات الغربيّة بجرائمهم أو بحقيقة أهدافهم، حيث برهنت ردود الأفعال على الإجراءات الأميركية ضد فنزويلا أن معظم الدول والشعوب قد استلهمت ردود فعلها من التجربة السورية، فكانت سريعة بقراءة الأحداث ولم يكن عليها أن تنتظر سنوات ولا حتى أشهراً حتى تكشف حقيقة النوايا الأميركية والغربية المبيتة ضد فنزويلا. فأقدمت روسيا والصين ودون تردد باتخاذ فيتو مزدوج ضد أول مشروع قرار تضعه الولايات المتحدة أمام مجلس الأمن لتبرير عدوانها المبيت على فنزويلا واتخذ الرئيس مادورو قراراً سريعاً بنقل الشركة الفنزويلية للنفط من أوروبا إلى روسيا، وحضرت في اليوم التالي للفيتو نائبة الرئيس مادورو إلى موسكو لتنسيق الخطوات مع القيادة الروسية حول ما يجب فعله لمنع عدوان أميركي على فنزويلا. وكان من اللافت أنّ الإعلام لم يطلق على أتباع غوايدو والمؤيدين لتدخل الولايات المتحدة أسماء «معارضات» كما في الحالة السورية بل سماهم باسمهم الحقيقي «المرتزقة»، كما أنه من المضحك أن تسمّي الولايات المتحدة صفقات السلاح التي تريد إيصالها إلى فنزويلا «المساعدات الإنسانية». لقد أطلعتنا مصادر سودانية أن معظم المساعدات الإنسانية التي كانت تدخل إلى السودان كانت تحتوي على السلاح، ولذلك نشهد إصرار ما يسمى «المنظمات الإنسانية» التي تريد أن تدخل مثل هذه المساعدات إلى سورية دون اطلاع الحكومة السورية عليها. وفي حمأة كل هذه الانكشافات لحقيقة السياسات الأميركية التي تبيّن أنها من صنع المخابرات الأميركية والتي تريد أنظمة تابعة لها، ولذلك وقفت ضد الرئيس المحبوب لولا في البرازيل وضد الرئيسة كريستينا كوشنر في الأرجنتين والآن تقف ضد الحكومة البوليفارية في فنزويلا، في حمأة كلّ هذه الانكشافات يصرّح إليوت أبرامز في مؤتمر صحفي في واشنطن أن روسيا والصين لن تتمكّنا من تحصيل ديونهما من فنزويلا إذا ما استمررتا بهذا الموقف ألا وهو دعم الشعب الفنزويلي ودعم حكومته المنتخبة منذ أقل من عام. أي إن وعي الشعوب يتراكم ويتقدّم ويسهم في تغيير العالم في حين يستمر إليوت أبرامز بالمبازرة من أجل شراء ضمائر الحكومات والشعوب بحفنة من الدولارات التي لا يعرف سواها في الحياة. لقد كانت التجربة السورية حاضرة في فنزويلا حين حصّن مادورو حدوده مع كولومبيا بإرسال فرق من جيشه هناك إلى مدينة سموها «درعا الفنزويلية» تعبيراً أيضاً عن مجاورة العدو الصهيوني لحدودنا وانبثاق أولى شرارات الإرهاب المسلح بإيعاز وعون من ذلك العدو للخونة من مرتزقته الذين استهدفوا مواقع جيشهم خدمة للعدو.

القوّة الأساسية التي مازال الغرب يرتكز عليها في كلّ محاولاته خرق سيادة الدول والشعوب ونهب ثرواتهم واستخدام لغة ومصطلحات تهدف عكس ما تبدو عليه معانيها الظاهرية في القراءة الأولى هي الإعلام إذ مازال الإعلام الغربي ينشر فكره ومصطلحاته وإجراءاته ويشكّل تحدّياً حقيقياً لكلّ القوى الطامحة إلى الاستقلال الحقيقي والتحرّر المؤكد والفعلي من براثن الاستعمار وألاعيبه، ولهذا فهم لا يخجلون أن يشيروا إلى رئيس برلمان خان القسم في بلاده وأعلن ولاءه لقوّة أجنبية تستهدف دولته بأنّه هو الرئيس الذي يوافقون على اللقاء به ولو كان هذا الشخص نفسه رئيساً للكونغرس مثلاً وتعاون مع قوّة أجنبية تستهدف بلده لأطلقت عليه كلّ أوصاف الخيانة ولسيق إلى المحاكمة ولاستحق أقصى أنواع العقوبات. إذ ها هو الرئيس الأميركي ترامب ما زال يخضع للتحقيق للتأكّد من أنه لم يتواصل مع أحد في روسيا أثناء حملته الانتخابية إذ حتى التواصل مع الآخرين في مرحلة سياسية حساسة يعتبر خيانة وقبولاً بالتدخل في مجريات حكم البلاد في حين يمسك ترامب نفسه ومن معه برئيس برلمان دولة مستقلة يخون رئيسه وبلده ويعتبرونه أساساً للعمل من أجل مستقبل مختلف لجمهورية فنزويلا البوليفارية.

لقد انكشف اليوم استخدام الغرب لمسمى «الديمقراطية» الذي عملوا على نشره في العالم فهو يعني بدقة «التدخل في شؤون البلدان وخلق أنظمة تابعة للغرب»، كما انكشف المعنى الدقيق «للمساعدات الإنسانية» ألا وهو تمرير صفقات سلاح دون رقيب لتسليح الخونة من عملاء الغرب كي يشنوا الحروب الداخلية بالوكالة إلى حين الاستيلاء على الحكم ووضع أنفسهم وبلدانهم في خدمة الامبريالية الغربية. رغم سطوة الإعلام الغربي فإن الشعوب جميعها قد فهمت هذه المعادلة وهي تقف اليوم موقف المؤيد للحكومة الشرعية في فنزويلا وضد التدخل الأميركي السافر، وبما أن التاريخ يسير قدماً إلى الأمام، فلا نتوقع إلا زيادة وتراكم وعي الشعوب واتخاذها مواقف أكثر صلابة ضد الاستعمار والهيمنة ونهب الثروات. العالم يتغيّر فعلاً والمستقبل ستصنعه الشعوب الواعية في حين يبقى إليوت أبرامز وأصحابه يحلمون بالإمساك بالماضي الاستعماري الذي ذهب ولن يعود.

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Why Only Fools Trust America’s Mainstream ‘News’ Media After the 2003 Invasion of Iraq

Source

March 04, 2019

Why Only Fools Trust America’s Mainstream ‘News’ Media After the 2003 Invasion of Iraq

by Eric Zuesse for The Saker Blog

Here will be yet another current example to demonstrate that all U.S. mainstream ’news’ media hide from their respective publics that the U.S. Government is lying, when the U.S. Government lies — i.e., that all of the mainstream ’news’ media in America hide the truth, when the Government itself is lying. In other words: the U.S. mainstream ’news’ media are propaganda-organs for the U.S. Government.

While some American news-media are Democratic Party propagandists, and others are Republican Party propagandists, and therefore all of them eagerly expose lies that are of only a partisan naturenone of them will expose lies that both Parties share — such as, in 2002 and 2003, the central fact at that time. They hid that George W. Bush and his Administration were outright lying to the public in each and every instance in which they said they possessed conclusive evidence that, as Bush himself put it on 7 September 2002 (and no mainstream and only one alt-news medium exposed as being a lie): “a report came out of the Atomic — the IAEA that they [Iraq] were six months away from developing a [nuclear] weapon. I don’t know what more evidence we need [before invading].” That was his answer when he was asked at a press conference on 7 September 2002, “Mr. President, can you tell us what conclusive evidence of any nuclear — new evidence you have of nuclear weapons capabilities of Saddam Hussein?” Immediately, the IAEA said then that there was no such “new report,” and that the last they were able to find, there was nothing at all left of WMD, nor of an ability to make any, in Iraq. The American news-media simply ignored the IAEA’s denial that they had issued any new report at all such as Bush had alleged they had issued. Republican ’news’-media hid that Bush’s allegation was a lie, and Democratic ’news’-media likewise hid it. And, so, the American people trusted Bush, and destroyed Iraq. (Anyone who says that America’s invasion didn’t vastly harm the Iraqi people is either a liar or else ignorant of the realities, such as the last two links document.)

The example this time will be taken from The Week magazine, which is a compendium of summaries of the week’s ’news’ from America’s major ‘news’-media. The 1 March 2019 issue has this, on its page 8:

Aid for Venezuela: U.S. military planes delivered more than 180 tons of humanitarian aid for Venezuela to the Colombian border city of Cucuta this week, setting up a showdown with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, who has vowed to block the supplies. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) made a surprise visit to Cucuta and told Venezuelan troops stationed at the border that it was their patriotic duty to let aid through. ‘Will you prevent the food and medicine from reaching your own people?’”

The presumption there is that readers are simply too stupid to wonder, “Why should I trust that this military plane doesn’t also carry weapons for supporters of a coup to overthrow Venezuela’s President and to replace him with Trump’s choice, Juan Guaido — trust that weapons aren’t included in the cargo of ‘food and medicine’? Is Trump really so kind a person as to care about the Venezuelan people? Or is this instead yet another U.S. set-up for a brutal coup, such as the U.S. did in 1953 to Iran, and in 1954 to Guatemala, and in 1973 to Chile, and, more recently, in 2014, to Ukraine?”

That ‘news’-report, since it’s from The Week, is about what other U.S. propaganda-agencies are saying, and it’s true about that (they actually are saying this), but it’s summarizing from two very un-trustworthy ‘news’-media, one being a tweet from Senator Rubio on 18 February 2019 that was immediately posted at sites such as ABC News, and the other being a ‘news’-report from the Miami Herald, which added that this shipment came from USAID — and yet they ignored  that USAID is a major part of almost every U.S. coup.

Here’s more context about this incident of ‘aid’-shipments: On 6 February 2019, Britain’s Daily Mail, which is less dishonest about the U.S. Government than U.S. ‘news’-media are, headlined “Venezuelan officials accuse the US of sending a cache of high-powered rifles on a commercial cargo flight from Miami so they would get into the hands of ‘extreme right fascist’ groups looking to undermine Maduro’s regime”, and reported that,

Officials in Venezuela have accused the US of sending a cache of high-powered rifles and ammunition on a commercial cargo flight from Miami so they would get into the hands of President Nicolás Maduro’s opponents.

Members with the Venezuelan National Guard [GNB] and the National Integrated Service of Customs and Tax Administration [SENIAT] made the shocking discovery just two days after the plane arrived at Arturo Michelena International Airport in Valencia.

Inspectors found 19 rifles, 118 magazines and 90 wireless radios while investigating the flight which they said arrived Sunday afternoon. 

Monday’s bust also netted four rifle stands, three rifle scopes and six iPhones.

And here’s yet more context: the independent American journalist Aaron Mate, tweeted on 18 February 2019:

https://twitter.com/

Aaron Mate

Page 136 [near end of Ch. 4of [Andrew G.] McCabe’s new [and only] book [THE THREAT, which was published on 19 February 2019], recounting a [July] 2017 Oval Office meeting: “Then the president talked about Venezuela. That’s the country we should be going to war with, he said. They have all that oil and they’re right on our back door.” [Stated there by the authoritarian McCabe, in order to prove how crude Trump is, and McCabe was not condemnatory of such international thefts of Venezuela’s natural resources, but only of Trump’s crudity.]

12:59 PM – 18 Feb 2019 

Furthermore, yet another independent journalist, Ben Norton, at “The GrayZone Project,” headlined on 29 January 2019, “Corporate Interests – Militarist John Bolton Spills the Beans”, and he provided a complete transcript of a brief interview that John Bolton had done with Fox Business Channel five days before, on January 24th. That interview wasn’t publicized by Fox, and its headline was as dull as possible, “Venezuela regime change big business opportunity: John Bolton”, and the ‘news’-report posted below it was empty of anything important, but Ben Norton captured the entire interview, and on January 29th he posted it to youtube and to The GrayZone Project as a news-report, with the full interview-segment also being transcribed there by Norton. In it, Bolton had said, on January 24th:

We’re looking at the oil assets. That’s the single most important income stream to the government of Venezuela. We’re looking at what to do to that. … We’re in conversation with major American companies now that are either in Venezuela, or in the case of Citgo here in the United States. … 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.

Of course, that’s an attempt at theft of the property of another sovereign nation — theft of natural-resources assets of Venezuela, from the people who live in Venezuela — it’s a huge theft-attempt, which is being bragged about by the U.S. regime. Though they’ve done this type of heist in many instances during the past few decades (including in Iraq, where U.S. oil companies now extract), Bolton’s outright bragging about it is certainly extraordinary, and thus is major news. This was major news that however hasn’t been focused upon except in the few honest sites, all of which are non-mainstream (most non-mainstream sites are just as dishonest as America’s mainstream ones are — they’re fake ‘alt-news’ instead of authentically against false ‘news’, but all mainstream national news-sites routinely report lies stenographically, as if what the Government says is always true, and so they’re propaganda). The GrayZone Project is one of the few honest sites, and Norton luckily discovered this huge news-break from the blunder by Fox Business Channel to have aired it — that revelation having been a freak event by America’s major media, a rare slip-up.

And, finally, the great investigative journalist Wayne Madsen, at the Strategic Culture Foundation, headlined sarcastically but truthfully on 1 March 2019, “Military Intervention and Mercenaries, Inc. (MIAMI)”, and he (a journalist whose trustworthiness I have checked and verified for many years — he’s really one of the best) opened with:

The city of Miami, Florida may have started out as a retirement mecca for winter-worn pensioners from northern climes. However, after the beginning of the Cold War and US military and Central Intelligence Agency intervention in Guatemala, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Chile, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Guyana, the Bahamas, and other Western Hemisphere nations, Miami became a refuge for exiled wealthy businessmen escaping populist revolutions and elections in South and Central America and spies. The retirement and vacation capital of the United States quickly became the “Tropical Casablanca.”

Now home to thousands of limited liability corporations linked to the CIA, as well as private military contractors, sketchy airlines flying from remote Florida airports, the interventionist US Southern Command (SOUTHCOM), and exiled oligarchs running destabilization operations in their native countries, Miami – or MIAMI, “Military Intervention and Mercenaries, Inc.” – serves as the nexus for current Trump administration “regime change” efforts. …

Earlier, on February 18th, President Trump had delivered a lengthy speech in Miami, titled “Remarks by President Trump to the Venezuelan American Community”, and this was obviously aimed at passionate enemies of Venezuela’s Government. Here is a typical passage, with accompanying documentations of the actual truth regarding his lies as stated there. Trump’s allegations are in boldface italics, and my commentaries are in regular type within brackets, and linked there to my sources:

Not long ago, Venezuela was the wealthiest nation, by far, in South America. [The allegation that Venezuela’s economy has done less well since Hugo Chavez became President on 2 February 1999 is disconfirmed by World Bank data showing that Venezuela reached its all-time-high economic-growth rate in 2004, 5 years after Hugo Chavez became democratically elected and took office as the country’s President. The economy rapidly declined as soon as the U.S. started its coup-attempts. Furthermore, a scientific study of the data showed in 2017 that: “Mexico’s and Venezuela’s numbers on this question [[of ‘Where would you place our country ten years ago?’”]] with a 1 to 10 scale, from absolutely democratic, to not democratic, throughout the period of 2013-2017, compared to those of other countries in the region, clearly show Venezuela as the country where the highest percentage of people believed that democracy had increased during the 2003-2013 decade. Mexico ranked in twelfth place, out of eighteen surveyed countries. “This comparison helps to dimension the solid sense that Venezuelans had about the strength of their democracy during the Chávez administration, and the weak one that Mexicans had.”] But years of socialist rule have brought this once-thriving nation to the brink of ruin. [That too is false — socialism wasn’t the cause of Venezuela’s economic come-down. Venezuela’s boom-time was the period of massive public-debt buildup prior to the exceptionally high oil prices in 1973-1985, as shown in “Figure 4: Venezuela Real GDP per Capita”. Moreover, as the CIA-edited and written Wikipedia says about Venezuela: ”The election in 1973 of Carlos Andrés Pérez coincided with an oil crisis [[the OPEC oil-embargo]], in which Venezuela’s income exploded as oil prices soared; oil industries were nationalized in 1976. This [oil-nationalization and oil-production investment all at the worst possible time] led to massive increases in public spending, but also increases in external debts, which continued into the 1980s when the collapse of oil prices during the 1980s crippled the Venezuelan economy.“ That “oil crisis” was actually the period of exceptionally high oil prices resulting from Israel’s 1973 invasions and OPEC embargoes, but it was actually hell for Venezuela because Venezuela was losing money on each barrel of oil sold because only the Arabic countries and Iran were able to sell profitably their oil after the period of OPEC”s oil-embargo. Venezuela, seller of the world’ dirtiest oil, after 1976 was losing money on each barrel, when they had to repay all those foreign loans amassed during the boom-period.]  That’s where it is today.

The tyrannical socialist government nationalized private industries and took over private businesses.  They engaged in massive wealth confiscation, shut down free markets, suppressed free speech, and set up a relentless propaganda machine, rigged elections, used the government to persecute their political opponents, and destroyed the impartial rule of law.

In other words, the socialists have done in Venezuela all of the same things that socialists, communists, totalitarians have done everywhere that they’ve had a chance to rule.  The results have been catastrophic.

In conclusion, then, no country in the world has a press that’s more dishonest than the United States of America does. “More dishonest” than this press would even be a ludicrous concept. Though the particular lies that are being promoted elsewhere might happen to be different, they can’t be worse. America’s having destroyed Iran and Libya, etc., is proof of this.

Consequently: Only people who possess a thoroughly scientific orientation toward confirming and disconfirming allegations, are capable of extracting from such ‘news’ a realistic understanding of what’s actually happening. The vast majority of people can be fooled, and they can be fooled constantly and even for (as in the instance of America, since at least 2003) decades, and yet still trust the institutions that have deceived them so mercilessly through all of those decades. This is the major reason why the United States is a dictatorship, not a democracy — and why any ‘news’-site which calls the U.S. a ‘democracy’ is thereby clearly demonstrating its untrustworthiness. But, of course, only honest news-reporting organizations are publishing this report. And there will probably be very few that will do that, though all are receiving it for publication.

—————

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

Who are the “Brutal Dictators”?

Global Research, February 28, 2019

Elected Presidents Assad and Maduro are not the brutal dictators.  We are.

Assad

We are the ones imposing economic warfare, and regime change wars on non-belligerent countries.  We are the ones supporting terrorists who impose the death penalty on hundreds of thousands with our weapons, our command and control, our mercenaries, our air support and our terror bombings.

We are dictating our will by destroying these and other countries, by changing “regimes”, by setting up non-democracies throughout the world.[1]

President Assad was elected, democratically[2], by his own people. None of the invading Western-supported terrorists were elected by Syrians.  In fact, when terrorists occupy areas, elections are forbidden. Likewise, the uninvited terrorists, including the Western militaries, are the ones murdering and bombing and gassing Syrian citizens.  Assad and legitimate associated armed forces are protecting Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity not destroying it, as Western Newspeak would have us believe.

President Maduro, too, was democratically[3] elected.  The Western-supported aspiring puppet dictator Guaido, on the other hand, appointed himself interim President, with Washington’s blessing.  He didn’t even run for the office of President. Government and media messaging that suggests that he is a legitimate alternative to President Maduro amounts to war propaganda, and is part of a conspiracy to destroy Venezuela and impose the death sentence on countless Venezuelans (should an invasion occur), just as the Regime Change war against Syria has imposed death and disaster upon countless innocent Syrians.

 

Humberto Da Silva, Toronto, ON., February 23, 2019.

When Regime Change dictators “win”, puppet dictators, vassals to international diktats, also win, and terrorism wins. International law, sustainable political economies, and democracy, all lose.

*

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Mark Taliano is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG) and the author of Voices from Syria, Global Research Publishers, 2017.

Notes

[1] Nicolas J.S. Davies, “America’s Coup Machine: Destroying Democracy Since 1953.” AlterNet, 8 April, 2014. (https://www.alternet.org/2014/04/americas-coup-machine-destroying-democracy-1953/?fbclid=IwAR0Immo0i3WH0TurBbFti15yrBiRYXA3SLSnILL3IyGm0kiOdTrZaZxQV6k#.XHWtzDuMujA.facebook)Accessed 27 February, 2019.

[2] Steven MacMillan, “Bashar al-Assad: The Democratically Elected President of Syria.” NEO New Eastern Outlook, 20 December, 2015.( https://journal-neo.org/2015/12/20/bashar-al-assad-the-democratically-elected-president-of-syria/) Accessed 27 February, 2019.

[3] Mark Taliano, “Venezuela, and Canada’s Duplicitous Criminality.” Global Research, 29 January, 2019. (https://www.globalresearch.ca/venezuela-canadas-duplicitous-criminality/5666689) Accessed 27 February, 2019.


Order Mark Taliano’s Book “Voices from Syria” directly from Global Research.

Mark Taliano combines years of research with on-the-ground observations to present an informed and well-documented analysis that refutes  the mainstream media narratives on Syria. 

Voices from Syria 

ISBN: 978-0-9879389-1-6

Author: Mark Taliano

Year: 2017

Pages: 128 (Expanded edition: 1 new chapter)

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What You’re Not Being Told About Venezuela Crisis. w/Abby Martin

An Ocean of Lies on Venezuela: Abby Martin & UN Rapporteur Expose Coup

On the eve of another US war for oil, Abby Martin debunks the most repeated myths about Venezuela and uncovers how US sanctions are crimes against humanity with UN Investigator and Human Rights Rapporteur Alfred De Zayas. FOLLOW // @EmpireFiles // @AbbyMartin LIKE // https://www.facebook.com/TheEmpireFiles

The text of his report

Related

2002 documentary about the April 2002 Venezuelan coup attempt which briefly deposed Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez. A television crew from Ireland’s national broadcaster, RTÉ happened to be recording a documentary about Chávez during the events of April 11, 2002. Shifting focus, they followed the events as they occurred. During their filming, the crew recorded images of the events that they say contradict explanations given by Chávez’s opposition, the private media, the US State Department, and then White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer. The documentary says that the coup was the result of a conspiracy between various old guard and anti-Chávez factions within Venezuela and the United States.

 

New Moscow after the Syrian war….and Venezuela موسكو الجديدة بعد حرب سورية… وفنزويلا

New Moscow after the Syrian war….and Venezuela

فبراير 21, 2019

Written by Nasser Kandil,

The American talk about the military intervention in Venezuela becomes obvious, after the failure of the bets on the recognition of the coup and the failure of the bets on separating the army and inciting it to take over power. The assertions of the American thinking of the military involvement have been reported by the journalists who covered the press conference of the US National Adviser John Bolton on Venezuela, they read in Bolton’s papers “five thousands US soldiers from the marines to Colombia” and the words of Republican Congressman Lindsey Graham after discussing the military intervention in Venezuela during his meeting with the President Donald Trump, he indicated that he warned Trump from the threats of that intervention and added that Trump’s zest to intervene is a matter of concern.

Implementing the American intentions is not as easy as their owners think. There is an exhausting distance between these intentions and their turning into practical steps in the light of the indicators shown in the stability of the situation in Venezuela in favor of the President Nicolas Maduro. The public prosecutor confronted the coup perpetrators, and the army has warned them from any tampering in the security, ensuring its support of the legitimacy of Maduro, and that the coup perpetrators themselves will not find the popular support among their bases to protect the military intervention contrary to the support on which they depended in the elections as “promises of well-being and economic solutions”. The external intervention is already hated in Latin America. And the wars mean disasters and devastation. Whenever the American intervention seems an option, the coup perpetrators lose some of their supporters. The Colombians whom the Americans want as a pretext for intervention will not bear the consequences. They expressed their denial of any information about any intervention hoping that that Washington takes into consideration that they do not want to be involved.

It is clear that the size of the resistance which will be generated and the danger of its expansion outside Venezuela after the reviving of the national liberation movement that belongs to the Bolivian roots in Latin America may lead to confrontation that will last for years, and will spread far from Latin America to the United States where there is a split between the white and the Latinos in the light of the racist rhetoric of the President Donald Trump and the spread of the fascist culture with the presence of weapons. The experience of Syria forms a source of inspiration to the Venezuelan leadership and the Venezuelan army. The talk about arming people and launching the resistance has spread after the assumptions of the American intervention.

The most important thing is that the Syrian experience in the war was in very difficult circumstances against wider alliances and bigger capacities, but it achieved a legendary victory that revealed the magnitude of the power of people under a courageous national leadership on one hand, and the size of the fragility reached by the American force on the other hand, but most importantly is that this experience  has mobilized Russia to wage the war and to restore its status as a superpower that is entrusted with the international law. Now it is reaping the outcomes of its international role, the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov expressed decisively the Russian position towards the American threat to Venezuela by saying that Moscow will do what it is needed to prevent the danger expressed by the threats of the American military intervention, since it will not take time that it took in Syria.

If the American military adventure occurred, Washington would hasten to end its imperial status.

Translated by Lina Shehadeh,

موسكو الجديدة بعد حرب سورية… وفنزويلا

يناير 30, 2019

ناصر قنديل

– الكلام الأميركي عن التدخّل العسكري في فنزويلا صار فوق الطاولة، بما يعنيه من فشل الرهانات على الصدمة الأولى للاعتراف بالانقلاب، ومثله فشل الرهانات على شقّ الجيش أو تحريضه على تسلم السلطة، وجاءت التأكيدات على مؤشرات التفكير الأميركي بالتورط العسكري عبر ما نقله الصحافيون الذين قاموا بتغطية المؤتمر الصحافي لمستشار الأمن القومي الأميركي جون بولتون حول فنزويلا، وقرأوا في أوراق بولتون الموضوعة على الطاولة عبارة، خمسة آلاف جندي أميركي من المارينز إلى كولومبيا، وجاء كلام عضو الكونغرس الجمهوري ليندسي غراهام عن مناقشة التدخل العسكري في فنزويلا في جلسة جمعته بالرئيس دونالد ترامب، مشيراً إلى تحذيره لترامب من مخاطر هذا التدخل، ومضيفاً أن حماسة ترامب للتدخل تثير القلق، بحيث لم يعد من داعٍ للتساؤل حول طبيعة النيات الأميركية.

– ترجمة النيات الأميركية ليست بالسهولة التي يظنها اصحابها، فبين النيات وتحولها قراراً وخطوات عملية مسافة لا يبدو قطعها سهلاً، في ظل المؤشرات التي حملها ثبات الوضع في فنزويلا لصالح الرئيس نيكولاس مادورو، فتحركت النيابة العامة بوجه الانقلابيين، وحذرهم الجيش من أي عبث بالأمن مؤكداً وقوفه مع الشرعية التي يمثلها مادورو. والانقلابيون أنفسهم لن يجدوا التأييد الشعبي بين قواعدهم لحماية التدخل العسكري، بخلاف التأييد الذي استندوا إليه في الانتخابات بوعود الرفاه والحلول الاقتصادية. فالتدخل الخارجي مكروه أصلاً في كل اميركا اللاتينية، والأميركي الأبيض يحرّك ذاكرة سوداء مقيتة، والحروب بطبيعتها تعني الكوارث والخراب، وكلما بدا التدخل الأميركي خياراً فقد الانقلابيون شارعاً من شوارع مؤيديهم. والكولومبيون الذين يريدهم الأميركيون منصة للتدخل لن يتشجعوا لتحمّل التبعات وقد عبّروا عن إنكارهم أيّ معلومات عن تدخل أملاً بأن يصل صوتهم إلى واشنطن لعدم توريطهم.

– التدخل لن يكون نزهة، وهذا يعلمه كلّ عاقل، والواضح بأنّ حجم المقاومة التي سيولدها وخطر امتدادها إلى خارج فنزويلا بإنعاش حركة التحرر الوطني التي تنتسب للجذور البوليفارية في أميركا اللاتينية، والمواجهة قد تفتح جراحاً تمتدّ لسنوات، وتتنشر أبعد من أميركا اللاتينية إلى الولايات الأميركية حيث الانقسام بين البيض واللاتينيين في ظل الخطاب العنصري للرئيس دونالد ترامب، وانتشار الثقافة الفاشية بوجود السلاح، والتجربة التي مرت بها سورية تشكل مصدر إلهام للقيادة الفنزويلية والجيش الفنزويلي، والحديث عن تسليح الشعب وإطلاق المقاومة صار حديث اليوم مع الأنباء عن فرضيات التدخل الأميركي.

– الأهم في التجربة السورية التي تمّت المواجهة خلالها ضدّ الحرب التي قادتها واشنطن في ظروف شديدة القسوة، بوجه تحالفات أوسع، ومقدرات أكبر، وصنعت نصراً أسطورياً كشف حجم القوة المختزنة لدى الشعوب والدول في ظل قيادة وطنية شجاعة، من جهة، ومن جهة مقابلة حجم الهشاشة التي بلغتها القوة الأميركية. وأهمّ المهمّ هو كيف فعلت هذه التجربة فعلها في استنهاض روسيا لدخول الحرب من بابها الواسع، واسترداد مكانتها كدولة عظمى مؤتمنة على القانون الدولي. وها هي اليوم تقطف ثمار هذا الدور على الساحة الدولية، وتقارب التهديد الأميركي على فنزويلا بروح مبادرة وبموقف حازم عبّر عنه وزير الخارجية الروسية سيرغي لافروف بالقول إنّ موسكو ستفعل كلّ ما يلزم لمنع الخطر الذي تحمله التهديدات بالتدخل العسكري الأميركي، ولن تحتاج موسكو لاتخاذ القرار الوقت الذي احتاجته في حالة سورية.

– إنْ وقعت المغامرة العسكرية الأميركية في فنزويلا ستكون واشنطن قد حفرت قبرها بيدها وسرعت نهاية مكانتها الإمبراطورية.

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Reporter’s Diary from Venezuela

February 08, 2019

Reporter’s Diary from Venezuela

Reporter’s Diary from Venezuela.

Georgy Zotov (author of AIF weekly)

This is the personal view of the correspondent on today’s life of Caracas.

Translated by Scott

 

Day one…

Our Air France flight was grounded in Paris for 5 hours; no one wants to land in Venezuela in the middle of the night, due to the “dangerous criminal situation.” The airliner is half empty, the passengers, judging by nervous conversations, are only Venezuelans. A taxi driver, while leaving the airport, locks the doors, and sweetly warns that after dark, bandits scatter spikes on the roads and rob the stranded cars. “Oh, don’t worry, Amigo, I have an old car. They are not interested in old, cars.” That’s where you understand why Caracas is ranked first in the ranking of the most dangerous cities in the world. It’s too late for supper, but I at least want to exchange my US dollars for Venezuelan bolivars. I ask my cab driver. He violently shakes his head: “No, no, no. I do not mess with such things, it’s illegal!” “Whatever,” I laugh at him. “Tomorrow, someone will take the dollars, maybe even with my hands torn off.” I was wrong…

The following morning, no one at the hotel wants to look at my dollars. The hotel employee tells me to go to one of the official “exchange stores” but honestly adds: “only Americans, or complete jerks go there.”

In Venezuela, the official dollar exchange rate is 200 bolivars, and the “black market” exchange rate is 2,715. And if you exchange your currency in a bank, then according to this calculation, a bottle of ordinary water will cost 330 rubles, and a modest lunch in an inexpensive cafe—7,000 rubles per person. Judging by the stories on the Internet, in Venezuelan people should simply kill each other for dollars, but this is not the case. There is also other things different from perception. On western news, it is shown that demonstrators fight with police daily, tens killed, hundreds wounded, the sea of blood. But in Caracas, all is quiet. In an afternoon, people are sitting in cafes and idly sipping rum with ice, while maintenance crews sweep the streets. It turns out that the world ‘s leading TV new sources (including CNN and the BBC) show some fantasy film about Venezuela. “Demonstrations?” yawns Alejandro, a street vendor selling corn. “Well, Saturday there will be one, sort of. On one end of the city will be a rally of opposition supporters, and on the other, Maduro supporters. The police keep them separate to prevent fights.” Amazing. You browse the Internet, you turn on the TV, and you see the revolution, the people dying on streets to overthrow the “evil dictator Maduro.” And you come here, and nobody cares.

Then it got even better. Never in my life have I had so many adventures while trying to exchange one currency for another. The country has a problem with cash money, long queues waiting for the ATM, and even the street dealers of “currency” have no “efectivo,” as they call cash. I wander inside a jewelry store and ask if they want some “green.” The answer is “No.” Everyone acts like law-abiding citizens. I am told that police recently started arresting people for private exchange, that’s why people don’t want to associate. One owner of the jewelry store almost agrees. “What do you have? Dollars? No, I won’t take that.” “Why now?” “I take only the Euros …dollar, man, is the currency of the aggressor, they try to tell us how to live!”

Damn it! I have money in my pocket, and I can’t even buy lunch! Finally, a certain woman, nursing a baby in a workplace, very reluctantly agrees to exchange 2,200 bolivars for a “buck.” I want to curse her out, but I have to live somehow. Bolivars seem like a beautiful, unattainable currency, which hides all the benefits of the world, that’s why they are so hard to get. I’m nodding in agreement. The woman calls somewhere, and asks to wait. After 15 minutes she tells me that “there is a problem.” Of course, money is not to be found. Her man couldn’t withdraw them from the ATM, everywhere the ATMs are on a strict daily rate. “President Maduro is fighting for the strengthening of the national currency,” explained the nursing mother. “We all use our cards to pay for everything.” I don’t know how it works, but yesterday an exchange rate was 3,200 bolívars for 1 dollar, and today the “bucks” fell to 2,700. I have started to realize that in the very next few days I’ll starve to death with dollars in my pocket. A unique fate, perhaps, that has never happen in history.

In the next kiosk cash for gold place I am offered a plastic debit card loaded with local money, and then I would try my luck withdrawing bills from neighboring ATMs. “Or, maybe not, if you’re not lucky.” Well, of course. By the way, an attempt to buy a SIM card for the phone also fails. They don’t sell them to foreigners, you need a Venezuelan ID card. Yes, and I have nothing to pay for it. The feeling is that the dollar is a gift that no one wants. Sadly, I walk by stores. People come out of there with packages of eggs, bread, packs of butter. The range is not like in Moscow, of course, but again, if you believe the news on TV, Venezuela is suffering from a terrible famine, supermarkets are empty, and people are fighting each other for food. Nothing like that. There are queues, but not kilometers long. In general, television stations in the United States and Europe (and ours too) created their own Venezuela, drawn like a terrible cartoon. I walk into a cafe at random. “Will you accept dollars for lunch?” I ask hopelessly. “Yes, at the rate of “black market” they whispered to me. “But the change will also be in dollars…sorry, no bolivars at all…we’ve been hunting for them ourselves for weeks.”

My first day in Venezuela is over. How unusual. I’ve been here for 24 hours, and I’ve not held a Bolivian bill in my hand. Oh, but there will be more…

 

Day two…

60 liters of gasoline here cost five cents, and a basket of basic food products — 50 rubles (about 90 cents).

“The gas station,” my driver reaches into his purse and takes out a banknote of 2 Bolivar. The exchange rate of the Venezuelan currency changes every day, and today it is 2 580 bolivars per one dollar. In Russian money, that is 10 cents. “We must now fill a full tank,” says the taxi driver. 60 liters of gasoline cost 1 bolívar, but we give the 2 bolivars bill, because there is no 1 bolivar bill.  I can’t believe that is a full tank of fuel costs FIVE CENTS? “And how much can you even fill at this price?” “Once a day for every citizen. And it’s enough for me.” All the way to the center city, the driver scolds President Maduro, and tells me how much he loves America, and how it will be good when the “guy with mustache” is finally overthrow by the Americans. I start to think that I don’t feel sorry for Maduro at all. He really corrupted en entire country with such generous handouts. And they are willingly take, but no one says “thank you,” just that they want more and more.

On the street there is a long line into a “social supermarket,” a place you can buy 400 types of goods at the solid low prices. These shops were established by the late President Hugo Chavez “to fight inflation and protect the poor.” The stores are funded by the Venezuelan government. The buyer comes with a passport, gets a number, and waits in line until they are allowed to enter and buy a certain set of products. The selection isn’t very impressive, only the essentials: chicken, bananas, pineapples, sausages, milk. A box of these food items costs of equivalent of 50 rubles. CNN and the BBC show videos of Venezuelans wrapped in rolls of toilet paper and sadly wandering across the border with Colombia. The toilet paper is found in absolutely every store, and without any problems. I am once again simply amazed: Western TV news is something from Hollywood, they are not reporting but making fantasy blockbusters. On the BBC website I read that hungry Venezuelan children after school go to take a look at the street vendors cooking meat. I’ve been all over the town. Restaurants, cafes, eateries, during the lunch hour are crowded, and people look well-dressed. The mass hunger, the Western media paints for us, doesn’t exist in reality.

I take a few pictures inside the supermarket, and I am immediately approached by the workers or “Maduro followers.” “It’s forbidden to take pictures here.” “Is this a military facility?” “Leave or we’ll call the police.” “Listen, everywhere on TV they tell us that there is hunger in Venezuela. I want to prove that the reality is different.” “We are not interested, we just work here: leave immediately!” I started to understand perfectly well why Nicolas Maduro lost the information war. Hugo Chavez was often praised even in private conversations, but even Chavez supporters find little positive to say about Maduro.  When people protested against Hugo’s endless nominations as the head of state, he used to meet them with the open arms, smiling and saying : “Guys, what’s the problem? I’m your President, I love you, let’s sit down and talk!” Maduro doesn’t have this image of being one of the guys. He is not able to communicate with the public, and his assistants, like the employees of the social store, can only push and ban and threaten with the police.

On the streets, provincial farmers sell fruits and vegetables: mango, tomatoes, cucumbers. All about the same price of 25 rubles per kilogram. Here, a dozen eggs from street vendors is 4,800 bolivars or about 130 rubles, and that is not cheap. During the peak of oil prices, when a barrel of oil was sold for $150, Venezuela lived on the principle of a rich fool. To develop domestic production? No, what is that nonsense?  We can buy every triviality abroad. Even the managers of the oil production weren’t local, they hired specialists from Europe, and paid them a lot of money. Food imports into the country reached 95 percent. And now the situation is not too different. When I order my meal in a cafe (incidentally, still paying in dollars, all attempts to change dollars to bolivars failed), I get excellent pork. “Where is it from?” “From Colombia.” “And chicken?” “From Brazil, that’s why it’s so expensive.” Even flour for bread comes from neighboring Guyana. Chavez and his successor Maduro wanted to be “people’s presidents,” handing out money left and right. But then oil prices collapsed, food shortages began, and people rebelled. People demand as before: cheap food in supermarkets, gasoline for nothing, and they don’t want to hear anything more or less.

“Chavez was a great guy!” says a fan of the former president, 75-year-old Raul Romero, dressed in a red “chavist” shirt. “Maduro is nothing like him! There is speculators on the streets, he does nothing. In his time, Chavez arrested the dealers raising food  prices, closed their shops, confiscated land from landowners, and gave it to the people. We need a firm hand, a real dictatorship!”

In the TV world, Maduro is portrayed as a dictator and executioner, although in Venezuela, he is openly scolded for being meek; they draw cartoon of him, and insult him as much as they can. But who cares about the truth? Much more colorful to show the suffering for the toilet paper.

Day three…

“I got robbed by a COP for my phone. I’m talking on the cell phone outside, he walks over to me, pokes in my side with his gun. “Give me your mobile.”I don’t understand immediately, and automatically continue the conversation. He cocks his gun, and says, “Kill.” I give him my phone. It’s still good, I love being robbed by cops. They are not bandits from the “Barrios,” the poor neighborhoods in the mountains, who can shoot you first and then rummage your corpse’s pockets. I’m lucky, I’ve lived in Venezuela for 27 years and this was the first time I was “hop-stopped.” A lot of people get robbed every year.

I am talking to Mikhail, a citizen of Russia living in Venezuela since the beginning of the nineties. He helps me move around Caracas and instructs me on how to visit the local slums.

“You don’t have protection? Oh, who would doubt that. Then leave your watch, phone, and camera at the hotel. Take some money for a taxi, you also have to have some cash in case you get ambushed, otherwise they might get offended and kill you. Sometimes, people get shot in an arm and a leg, that survivable.”

After such a nice story, I still go to the “Barrios.” It is there that the supporters of President Nicolas Maduro mainly live. According to CNN and BBC, impoverished people in Venezuela are revolting against the government. Nothing can be further from the truth; it’s a wealthy middle class that goes to demonstrate. Maduro is applauded in poor neighborhoods, because the President gives their residents free food sets enough for a month and gives free (!) apartments. Formally, they belong to the state, but people live in them for generations.

“I will cut a throat for the President,” a heavily-tattooed man smiles menacingly, and introduces himself as Emilio. “Who else would give me food and a ‘roof ‘ for free? He is our father and benefactor.” Maduro deliberately does not touch such people, which is why crime in Caracas gushes over the edge. I am advised not to stop on the street to look at anything, but just to keep going, otherwise bandits will have time to look closely at me. That’s why they have constant robberies on the streets, plus the police and the national guard can easily take away your favorite things. No one can be happy about all these. “I love Russians,” told me the businessman Carlos while conversing over coffee near the Plaza de Bolivar. “But you’d better send Maduro economic advisers. Teach him a lesson! He doesn’t know anything about economy. He has one recipe for everything, to give more money to the poor, more free apartments, free food, free gasoline, to build a full communism here. But with this, sorry, any state would collapse.”

The opposition rally in the Western part of Caracas is huge, at least 100 thousand people gathered. The protesters are friendly to me, Russia here is respected. It is not considered an enemy. Zero aggression at all… and then I  wonder about what I see on CNN, videos of the opposition being rolled into a pancake by tanks. The police keep the neutrality, it disappears from the streets, to not give a cause to provocateurs. People are happily waving flying in the sky military helicopter. Many-in t-shirts with the American flag, a man passes by, holding a hand-written poster with the altered slogan of Donald Trump -“Make Venezuela great again.” “Do you love the U.S.?” “Yes, adore it!” “I remember you already had a pro-American President in 1993, Carlos Andrés Pérez. He sharply raised the price of gasoline, 80% of the goods were imported, he drove the republic into billions of IMF debts. People went to demonstrations, and Pérez drowned them in blood, killing 2,000 people…then he fled to America.”

The man freezes, with his mouth open. Finally, he gets the gift of speech back. “I hope this time the pro-American President will be different.” “Are you sure?” “Sorry, I have nothing to say.” Asking the girl from the opposition how she feels about the US: “The US is our neighbor, let them change the power here.” “In countries where the US changed power like Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, hundreds of thousands people were killed. Are you ready for this?”

Again, she pauses and sighs.

“No, no, no. We are not Africa or Asia. All will go peacefully. Venezuelans will not kill each other.”

Where the opinions splits is the question of whether the free gasoline and free food packages will remain with an American-instilled government. Many are sincerely sure that the “freebies” will remain under a new president. How else? The minority that recognizes that state gifts will be canceled say that they at least “we will be free.” As I said, the protesters are mostly well-dressed, well-off people. By the way, the leader of the opposition, Juan Guido, also has no real economic program promising to “quadruple the oil production.” No one thinks that after that price will fall four times. In short, I get a feeling that neither the President, nor the opposition, know anything about the economy in Venezuela.

The demonstrations in support of Maduro take place at the other end of the city, to prevent the opponents from fighting. “You Americans are insolent!” screamed an old woman in a red t-shirt rushing towards me. “Bastards! You should be handed on a first tree! Cheers to socialism!” “I’m Russian, grandma.” The old lady recoils.  “Sorry, please.” “Don’t get that upset, senora.” Many people gathered here are joyful, dancing and singing.

A soldiers stands in front of me and doesn’t allow me to take any pictures. Not just me, but also other passers-by. “You can’t take pictures here.” “Says who?” “President Maduro.” No, Maduro is definitely doing everything he can to be disliked. Those gathering here are poor, blue-collared workers and farmers from the suburbs. I am interested , honestly, were you brought here on the busses? “Yes, he did!” says one grandfather, proudly displaying a portrait of Che Guevara. “But I would walk here for Maduro! It’s a lie that we were paid to be here.” Other people applaud him happily. I shake hands. “Russians are welcome! Venezuela loves you, you’re home.”

The day of rallies is over. The maintenance crews came to the sidewalk, strewn with plastic bottles, crumpled packs of cigarettes, and other debris left after by a cloud. At the entrance of an old house, old people drink coffee. “They say that today some general has defected to the side of the opposition,” says one of them. “Some significant person.” “What’s this guy’s name?” “Who knows?” Venezuela is split in half. And the situation there may change at any moment.

British analyst: Venezuelan patriotism, Russian support will be crucial to defending Venezuela from US aggression

ST

03 February 2019

British political analyst says that Venezuelan patriotism and Russian support will be crucial to defending Venezuela from the aggression of the United States that is now intent on reasserting its authority in the international arena at the expense of the Venezuelan people after its defeat in Syria.

Dr. Marcus Papadopoulos’s remarks came during an interview with the Syria Times e-newspaper about the reasons behind Washington’s currently attempts to engineer a coup in Venezuela and how Caracas can prevent U.S. from reaching its goals.

“There is more than one reason behind Washington’s attempts to engineer a coup in Venezuela.  I hold the view that there are two key reasons accounting for America’s brazen act of aggression against Venezuela’s sovereignty, and that these are equal in significance to each other,” the analyst said.

He made it clear that one of the reasons for why the Americans are currently trying to overthrow the democratically elected president of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro is the fact that Venezuela’s oil industry is nationalised and Caracas pursues an independent foreign policy.

“This deprives American energy companies, such as ExxonMobil, from taking control of Venezuela’s energy sector and exploiting it for their own gains,” Dr. Papadopoulos added, asserting that the US has an unquenchable thirst for oil and has, historically, gone to monstrously criminal lengths to secure control of, and access to, the largest oil producing markets in the world, most notably in the Middle East.

“With Venezuela geographically situated in what is, traditionally speaking, America’s sphere of influence, policy-makers in Washington are determined to take control of the country’s oil and gas industry, even if this means using military force to do so, as the Americans did in Iraq,” the analyst stated.

He emphasized that Venezuela is a major energy player in global affairs since it is , according to some sources, home to the world’s largest crude-oil reserves, while the country also sits on one of the largest reserves of natural gas in the world.

The close relationship between Venezuela and Russia

The other reason accounting for the US’ interference in the Latin American country, concerns the close relationship between Venezuela and Russia, according to the analyst, who  indicated that for some 20 years now, Caracas and Moscow have cultivated intimate relations with each other in the political, economic and military spheres.

“Today, Russia is the leading supplier of military hardware to Venezuela, and late last year reports surfaced about Russian plans to construct an air base for itself on the Venezuela island of La Orchila which would host Russian strategic bombers capable of delivering nuclear payloads,” Dr. Papadopoulos said

He went on to say:

“The prospect of a Russian military base in Venezuela, and one that can accommodate Russian nuclear bombers, is something that the Americans will bitterly resist.  Whilst Russia is only responding to the increasingly dangerous presence of NATO on its western border, coupled with both the threatening American missile shield in Eastern Europe and Washington’s diabolical withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, the US is determined that its tormenting behaviour on the international stage remains unimpeded hence why the Americans are trying to overthrow President Maduro and replace him with the pro-American puppet, Juan Guaido.”

The analyst stressed that a Venezuela led by the legally and electorally illegitimate Guaido would end political, economic and military co-operation with Russia and make the Latin American country, once again, subservient to the US.

In a response to a question about how Caracas can avoid a military confrontation with U.S, Dr. Papadopoulos said: “Russia is the only country that can either deter Washington from embarking on a military confrontation with Venezuela or indirectly defeat an American military campaign against Caracas, with the aim of overthrowing the legal government of President Maduro.”

“I draw a comparison with how Russia came to the aid of Cuba, following the Cuban Revolution, when the country was faced with imminent American military aggression with the objective of overthrowing Fidel Castro.  In that situation, Moscow ultimately ensured the survival of the Cuban Revolution and, with it, the independence and sovereignty of Cuba.  Russia will be all-important in defending Venezuela and the Venezuelan people from the clutches of Messrs. Trump and Bolton.”

Besides the essential support of Russia, both economically and militarily, the prowess of the National Bolivarian Armed Forces of Venezuela and the patriotism and fiercely independent nature of the Venezuelan people  are main obstacles for US quick military intervention against Caracas, as stated by Dr. Papadopoulos, who indicated that the US could ignite a war in Venezuela in which large parts of the Venezuela population and the economic infrastructure of the country are consumed by a fireball.

U.S. has no moral compunction in starting a war

“The US has no moral compunction in starting a war – either through an invasion or a bombing campaign, or through supporting illegally armed groups – so as to seize control of a country’s economic and military infrastructure and impose a compliant government in the country’s capital. Washington rained down death and destruction on Syria but the Syrian people, aided by Russia, thwarted American ambitions in the country.  Because of their defeat in Syria, the Americans are angry – very, very angry, and are now intent on reasserting their authority in the international arena at the expense of the Venezuelan people.  So the world could, at some point, be witness to Washington raining down death and destruction on Venezuela and its people,” the analyst affirmed.

He, in addition, made it clear that economic sanctions are one of the most potent weapons in the US’ armoury hence the Venezuelan Government could be vulnerable to Washington’s endeavours to instigate a coup through economic strangulation of Venezuela’s economy.

“However, providing that Venezuela still keeps producing and selling oil and gas, and providing that Moscow is able to economically assist Caracas, then Venezuela stands a reasonably good chance of prevailing against American aggression,” concluded, Dr. Papadopoulos, the founder and editor of Politics First magazine.

On January, 24, 2019, an open letter- signed by 70 scholars and Latin America, political science, and history as well as filmmakers, civil society leaders, and other experts- was issued in opposition to ongoing intervention by the United States in Venezuela.

The letter underlined that actions by the Trump administration and its allies in the hemisphere are almost certain to make the situation in Venezuela worse, leading to unnecessary human suffering, violence, and instability.

 

Interviewed by: Basma Qaddour  

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The US aggression against Venezuela as a diagnostic tool

The US aggression against Venezuela as a diagnostic tool

The Saker

January 30, 2019

[This analysis was written for the Unz Review]

The Neocons never cease to amaze me and their latest stunt with Venezuela falls into this bizarre category of events which are both absolutely unthinkable and simultaneously absolutely predictable.  This apparent logical contradiction is the direct result of a worldview and mindset which is, I believe, unique to the Neocons: a mix of imperial hubris and infinite arrogance, a complete lack of decency, a total contempt for the rest of mankind, crass ignorance, a narcissist/sociopath’s inability to have any kind of empathy or imagine another guy’s reaction and, finally, last but most certainly not least, crass stupidity.  There is so much which can be said about the latest US aggression on Venezuela that entire books could be (and will be) written about this, but I want to begin by look at a few specific but nonetheless very symptomatic aspects:

“In your face” stupidity or bootcamp-like deliberate public humiliation?

Remember the almost universal reaction of horror when Bolton was appointed as National Security Advisor?  Well, apparently, either the Neocons completely missed that, which I doubt, or they did what they always do and decided to double-down by retrieving Elliott Abrams from storage and appointing him US Special Envoy to Venezuela.  I mean, yes, of course, the Neocons are stupid and sociopathic enough not to ever care about others, but in this case I think that we are dealing with a “Skripal tactic”: do something so ridiculously stupid and offensive that it places all your vassals before a stark choice: either submit and pretend like you did not notice or, alternatively, dare to say something and face with wrath of Uncle Shmuel (the Neocon’s version of Uncle Sam).  And it worked, in the name of “solidarity” or whatever else, the most faithful lackeys of the Empire immediate fell in line behind the latest US aggression against a sovereign nation in spite of the self-evident fact that this aggression violates every letter of the most sacred principles of international law.  This is exactly the same tactic as when they make you clean toilets with a toothbrush or do push-ups in the mud during basic training: not only to condition you to total obedience, but to make you publicly give up any semblance of dignity.

MAGA? really?

This is not just a case of history repeating itself like a farce, however.  It is hard to overstate how totally offensive a character like Elliott Abrams is for every Latin American who remembers the bloody US debacle in Nicaragua.  US vassals now have to give up any type of pretend-dignity in front of their own people and act as if Abrams was a respectable and sane human being.

I believe that this kind of “obedience conditioning by means of humiliation” is not just a case of the Neocons being idiots, but a deliberate tactic which will, of course, backfire and end up hurting US puppets worldwide (just like the pro-US Russian “liberal” opposition was eviscerated as a result of being associated by the Russian public opinion with the US policies against Russia, especially in the Ukraine).

Finally, these appointments also show that the senior-Neocons are frightened and paranoid as there are still plenty of very sharp junior-Neocon folks to chose from in the USA, yet they felt the need to get Abrams from conservation and place him in a key position in spite of the strong smell of naphthalene emanating from him.  This reminds me of the gerontocrats of the Soviet Politburo in the worst stagnation years who had to appoint the likes of Chernenko to top positions.

The one thing the Mr MAGA’s administration has in common with the late Brezhevian Politburo is its total inability to get anything done. My wife refers to the folks in the White House (since Dubya came to power) as the “gang that couldn’t shoot straight” and she is right (she always is!): they just can’t really get anything done anymore – all their half-assed pseudo-successes are inevitably followed by embarrassing failures.

As I wrote in my article “The good news about the Trump Presidency: stupid can be good!” these folks will only precipitate the collapse of the AngloZionist Empire, which is a very good thing.  The bad thing is, of course, that the Neocons are negating any chance for a gradual, phased, collapse and are, instead, creating a dynamic in which a sudden, catastrophic, collapse becomes much more likely.

Now we have all seen the latest antic from Bolton: showing up with a yellow pad with “5,000 troops to Colombia” written on it.  Again, this might be a case of Bolton being senile or not giving a damn, but I doubt it.  I think that this is just another oh-so-subtle way to threaten Venezuela with a US-led invasion.  And, really, why not?

If the Empire thinks it has the authority and power to decide who the President of Venezuela should be, it has to logically back up this stance with a threat, especially since there is no US authority, moral or otherwise, left.

The obvious question here is how this threat will be received in Venezuela and that largely depends on how credible that threat is.  Now, “5,000 troops” could mean anything, ranging from a infantry brigade combat team to the typical US mix of as many putatively “special” forces as possible (to make every service happy and give everybody a piece of the expected (but never achieved) “victory pie” – many careers in the US depend on that kind of stuff).  At this point in time, I rather not speculate and get technical about how such a force could be structured.  Let’s just assume that it will be an overall credible and well-packaged force and try to speculate how the Venezuelans could react to it.

The state of the Venezuelan military

Here I am particularly lucky as I have a close and trusted Latin American friend who is now a retired Lt-Colonel who spent many months in Venezuela working with the Venezuelan military in a capacity which I cannot disclose, but which gave him quasi-total access to every unit and military facility in the country and who, just a couple of years ago, shared with me his impression of the Venezuelan military.  Here is what he told me:

A military, any military, is always the product of the society which produces it and this is also true of Venezuela.  It would be silly to admit that the Venezuelan economy is a total mess while expecting the Venezuelan armed forces to be a shining example of professionalism, honesty and patriotism.  The sad reality is very different.

For one thing, much of the Venezuelan military is hopelessly corrupt, as is the rest of society.  In a country whose economy is imploding, this is hardly surprising.  Furthermore, for years both Chavez and Maduro have fought an uphill battle to remove as many potential traitors and class enemies (in a Marxist sense of the word) from the Venezuelan military and replace them with “socially close” (a Bolshevik concept) elements from the poorer sections of society.  Truth be told, this was a partially successful strategy as seen by the fact that during this latest coup attempt the Venezuelan military overwhelmingly supported the Venezuelan Constitution and the legitimacy of Maduro.  And yet that kind of loyalty often comes at the costs of professionalism and at the risk of corruption as seen by the case of the Venezuelan military attache to the USA who clearly was a US agent.  I am afraid that the current situation in Venezuela might be similar to what it was in Syria in the very early stages of the AngloZionist war against this country when scores of top officials of the Syrian government proved to be traitors and/or US agents.  In Syria the government eventually re-took control of the situation, but only with a great deal of help from Iran and Russia and after almost being toppled by the US-run Takfiri forces.

The good news here, according to my friend, is that the Venezuelan special forces (army special forces, jungle infantry troops, “Caribe” counter insurgency units, airborne units, etc) are in a much better shape and that they could form the core of a resistance force to the invasion, not unlike what the Republican Guard eventually did in Iraq.  But the biggest difference with Iraq is that in Venezuela the majority of the people are still backing Maduro and that any invasion force should expect to meet a lot of resistance of the type which the US encountered in Iraq after the invasion of the country.  Also, there was a fragile truce of sorts between Hugo Chavez and various Left-wing guerillas who agreed to stop their military operations, but who also kept all their weapons “just in case”.  This “case” has now happened and we can expect that any US invasion will trigger an immediate re-emergence of a Left-wing guerilla force which, combined with popular support and the key role of a core of patriotic Venezuelan special forces could form a very dangerous combination, especially in the mid to long term.

Keep in mind that corrupt officers don’t like combat and that while they might aid a US invasion force, they will only do so as long as things seem to go the easy way, but as soon as things go south (which is what always happens to US invasion forces) they will run as fast as they can.  So while the endemic corruption now will be a problem for the Maduro government, it will become a problem for the US as soon the legitimate government is toppled.

Comparisons are necessarily tricky and crude, but with this caveat in mind, don’t think “Syria” but rather think “Iraq” when considering the possible outcomes of a US invasion.

The state of the Venezuelan people

This is really crucial.  Hugo Chavez’ reforms alienated a lot of Venezuelans, especially those who made their fortunes by servicing US interests and who became your typical Latin American version of a comprador class.  Much of the middle-class also got hurt and are angry.  However, these same reforms also empowered huge numbers of destitute and poor Venezuelans who, for the first time, felt that the government stood for their interests and who remember what it was like to live in abject poverty under a US-backed regime.  These folks probably have no illusion about what the toppling of this government would mean for them and they are likely to fight hard, if not necessarily competently, to keep the little rights and means they acquired during the Chavez years.  There is even what is sometimes referred to “Chavistas without Chavez” which some describe as potential back-stabbing traitors while other see them as more pragmatic, less ideological, faction of Chavez supporters who decry Chavez’ mistakes but don’t want their country to turn into a Colombia-style US colony. Whatever may be the case, Hugo Chavez’ pro-popular policies left a very profound mark on the country and you can expect that a lot of Venezuelans will take up arms and resist any US/Colombian invasion.

Would *you* trust that face?

Here I think we can all express our heartfelt gratitude to Mr MAGA whose appointment of Elliott “Iran-Contra” Abrams has done more than any government sponsored propaganda to clearly and bluntly explain to the Venezuelan people who is doing what to them and why.

Seriously, Ron Paul or Tulsi Gabbard speaking of democracy is one thing, but having gangsters and psychopathic thugs like Pompeo, Bolton or Abrams in charge really sends a message and that message is that we are dealing with a banal case of highway robbery triggered by two very crude considerations:

  • First, to re-take control of Venezuela’s immense natural resources.
  • Second, to prove to the world that Uncle Shmuel can still, quote, “pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show the world we mean business“, unquote.

The obvious problem is that 1) nobody takes the US seriously because 2) the US has not been capable of defeating any country capable of resistance since many decades already.  The various US special forces, which would typically spearhead any invasion, have an especially appalling record of abject failures every time they stop posing for cameras and have to engage in real combat.  I assure you that nobody in the Venezuelan military cares about movies like “Rambo” or “Delta Force” while they carefully studied US FUBARs in Somalia, Grenada, Iran and elsewhere.  You can also bet that the Cubans, who have had many years of experience dealing with the (very competent) South African special forces in Angola and elsewhere will share their experience with their Venezuelan colleagues.

Last but not least, there are a lot of weapons in circulation in Venezuela and which the various popular militias and National Guard would be more than happy to further distribute to the local population if any invasion appears to be successful.

The State of the Empire and its puppet-President Macrobama

Well, here the famous “insanity is repeating the same thing over and over again expecting different results” is the best possible description of US actions.  Just look at this sequence:

President Macrobama?

Does all this not look boringly familiar?

Does this bizarre mix of Neocons, gerontocrats and deepstaters really, sincerely, believe that this time around they will “win” (however you define that)?!

More relevantly – has this recipe ever worked in the past?  I would say that if we accept, for argument’s sake, that the goal is to “restore democracy” then obviously “no”.  But if the goal is to wreck a country, then it has worked, quite a few times indeed.

Next, a few misplaced hopes

I am getting a lot of emails suggesting that Russia might do in Venezuela what she did in Syria.  Let me immediately tell you that this is not going to happen.  Yes, there are a lot of Russians in Venezuela, but the “Russians are not coming”. For one thing, I will never cease to repeat that the Russian intervention in Syria was a very small one, and that even if this small force proved formidable, it was really acting primarily as a force multiplier for the Iranians, Hezbollah and the Syrian government forces.  And yet, even the deployment of this very small force necessitated a huge logistics effort from Russia whose military (being a purely defensive one) is simply not structured for long-distance power projection.  Syria is about 1000km from Russia.  Venezuela is about 10 times (!) further.  Yes, I know,a few Tu-160 visited the country twice now and there are Russian advisors in the country and the Venezuelans have a few pretty good Russian weapons systems.  But here, again, this is a game of numbers.  Limited numbers of Russian-made combat aircraft (fixed and rotary wing), air defense missiles or even large numbers of advanced MANPADs or assault rifles won’t do the trick against a determined US-Colombian invasion.  Finally, there is no Venezuelan equivalent to Iran or Hezbollah (an outside ally and friend) which would be capable and willing to deploy real combat forces for actual, sustained combat against the invader.

Next comes terrain.  Yes, much of Venezuela is difficult to access, but not for jungle-experienced forces which both the US military and the Colombians have.  Furthermore, there is absolutely no need to invade the entire country to topple the legitimate government.  For that all you need is to control is a few key facilities in a few key locations and you are done.  For example, I don’t see the USAF or USN wasting any time in air-to-air combat against the (few) Venezuelan Sukhois – they will simply destroy them in their hangars along with their runways and air combat management radars and command posts.  So the terrain will not prevent the Empire of suppressing Venezuelan air defenses and as soon as this is done, you can expect the usual mix of bomb and missile strikes which will create chaos, wreck command and control capabilities and, basically, disorganize much of the military.  Finally, US forces in Colombia and USN ships off the Venezuelan coast will enjoy a safe harbor from which to launch as many strikes as they want.

Next, hopes that Russia and China will somehow resuscitate the Venezuelan economy are also ill-founded.  First, neither country is interested in pouring money into a bottomless pit.  It is one thing to sign contracts which are likely to eventually produce a return on investment and quite another to dump money into a bottomless pit (as the US and Europe have found out in the Ukraine).  Second, the Venezuelan economy is so deeply enmeshed in the US-UK run international financial system that neither China nor Russia can do anything about it.  That is not to say that US sanctions, subversion and sabotage did not play a major role in the collapse of the Venezuelan economy, they sure did, but it is equally true (at least to Russian specialists) that many of the Chavista reforms were botched, a lot of them were a case of too little too late, and that it will take years to refloat the Venezuelan economy.

Finally, we are comparing apples to oranges here: the task of the AngloZionists is to destroy the Venezuelan economy while the Chinese and Russian task would be, at least in theory, to rescue it.  Destroying is so much easier than building, that the entire comparison is logically flawed and fundamentally unfair.

I really mean no offense to the supporters of Hugo Chavez and his ideals (I very much include myself in this category) but anybody who has been to, or near, Venezuela will tell you that destitute Venezuelans are not only running out of the country in large numbers, but they also contribute to destabilize the neighboring states.  So we should have no Pollyannish notions about all the reports about the economic and social collapse in Venezuela as only “US propaganda”.  Sadly, much of it is true even if often exaggerated, lopsided and missing all the very real successes of the Chavez reforms, hence the continuous popular support, in spite of it all, the Maduro government continues to enjoy.  Still, the overall picture is very bleak and it will take Venezuela consistent and correct action to recover from the current plight.

So is there still hope?  Yes, absolutely!

I recently replied the following to a friend asking me about a possible Russian intervention in Venezuela “I place my own hopes not in the Venezuelan military, or in Chinese or Russian help, but on the amazing ability of the US Americans to f*** up.  At the end of the day, that is our biggest ally: the US stupidity, ignorance, arrogance and cowardice“.

Think of what currently passes as a “policy” of the USA in Venezuela as a diagnostic tool.

Not just to diagnose the moral degeneracy and mental pathology of the leaders of the AngloZionist Empire, but also to diagnose the very real state of despair and chaos of the Empire itself.  Under Obama, for all his faults and weaknesses, the US succeeded in subverting a list of crucial Latin American countries (like Brazil or Argentina) but now, with Mr MAGA, it can’t even do that.  The kind of antics we see from the Pompeo, Bolton & Abrams gang is amazing in its crudeness and, frankly, makes a supposed “indispensable nation” look absolutely ridiculous.  These losers already had to fold several times, in spite of equally hyperbolic threats delivered with maximal gravitas (think DPRK here), and yet they still think that crude bullying methods can yield success.  They can’t.  Immense firepower is not a substitute for brains.

In its short and blood-soaked history, the USA has pretty much always acted like some criminal enterprise run by brutal gangsters, but in the past some of these gangsters could be extremely well educated and intelligent (think James Baker here).  Today, their guns are still lying around (albeit in various states of disrepair), but they are wielded by ignorant retards.  Yes, ignorant retards with guns can be very dangerous, but they can never be effective!

Conclusion

Right now the US, backed by its various colonies and vassal states, appears to be ready to deliver a death blow to Venezuela and, truth be told, they might be able to do just that.  But, for whatever it is worth, my gut feeling is that they will fail again, even against the weakest countries of the Axis of Resistance.  That is not to say that Venezuela is not in a heap of critical problems.  But I believe that in spite of being in a critical condition, Venezuela will be able to bounce back, just like Syria did.  After all, the Syrian example proves that it *is* possible to resist a superior invading force while at the same time successfully engaging in critically needed reforms.  Yes, today’s Caracas is in very bad shape, but the city of Aleppo was in a much worse shape until it was liberated, and now quasi-normal life has returned to it (in sharp contrast to the US liberated devastated city of Raqqa which still lies in ruins).  Yankees (to use the usual Latin-American expression) are just like their Israeli overlords: they are capable of devastating violence but they have no staying power: if things don’t go their way fast, really fast, they run and barricade themselves somewhere faraway from danger.  In our case, they might even do what they did in Iraq and Afghanistan: build obscenely huge embassies, create a special zone around them, and sit tight while the country is engulfed in a bloody civil war.  This way, they can provide CNN & Co. with footage of a “peaceful neighborhood” while still claiming that the Stars and Stripes are still proudly flying high over the enemy’s capital and that “these colors don’t run”.  This would be a disastrous outcome for the Venezuelan nation and this is why we all have to try to prevent this, by speaking out before the US further wrecks yet another country.

Hopefully the memory of past completely failed, humiliating and bloody invasions will convince the right people at the Pentagon to do whatever it takes to prevent the US from launching yet another stupid and immoral war of choice on behalf of the Neocons.

 

“Economic Warfare” against Venezuela. Illegal US Sanctions Causing Economic and Humanitarian Crisis according to Former UN Rapporteur

Source

By Irish Examiner,

A former United Nations rapporteur has criticised the US for engaging in “economic warfare” against Venezuela which he claimed was the real reason for the economic and humanitarian crisis facing the country.

Alfred de Zayas, who last year became the first UN rapporteur to visit Venezuela for 21 years, also suggested in his recently published UN report, that US sanctions on the country are illegal and could amount to “crimes against humanity” under international law.

Mr De Zayas, an American lawyer, writer, historian and former secretary of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC), presented his Venezuela report to the HRC in September.

In the report, which can be read in full here, Mr De Zayas recommended, among other actions, that the International Criminal Court investigate economic sanctions against Venezuela as possible crimes against humanity under Article 7 of the Rome Statute.

In the report conclusions Mr De Zayas, who is an expert in the fields of human rights and international law, went on to say the solution to the Venezuelan crisis lay “in good faith negotiations between the Government and the opposition, an end to the economic war, and the lifting of sanctions.”

The US imposed sanctions against Venezuela began in 2015 under President Barack Obama and have intensified under Donald Trump.

US sanctions against Venezuela prohibit dealing in currencies and stop US-based companies or people from buying and selling new debt issued by the state-run oil body, PDVSA or the government.

The US Department of State’s sanctions and justifications can be read here

In his report Mr De Zayas said modern-day economic sanctions and blockades are comparable with medieval sieges of towns.

“Twenty-first century sanctions attempt to bring not just a town, but sovereign countries to their knees.”

 

Since 2015 around 1.9m people have fled the country and inflation has reached 60,324%.

Speaking to The Independent yesterday Mr de Zayas also suggested his research into the causes of the country’s economic crisis has so far largely been ignored.

“When I come and I say the emigration is partly attributable to the economic war waged against Venezuela and is partly attributable to the sanctions, people don’t like to hear that. They just want the simple narrative that socialism failed and it failed the Venezuelan people,” Mr de Zayas told The Independent.

Mr de Zayas went on to suggest that sanctions are part of a US effort to overthrow the Venezuelan government and instal a friendlier regime.

“I’ve seen that happen in the Human Rights Council, how the United States twists arms and convinces countries to vote the way they want them to vote, or there will be economic consequences, and these things are not reflected in the press,” he told The Independent.

Venezuela has the largest oil reserves in the world and other abundant natural resources including gold, bauxite and coltan.

“If you crush this government and you bring in a neoliberal government that is going to privatise everything and is going to sell out, a lot of transitional corporations stand to gain enormous profits and the United States is driven by the transnational corporations,” the former UN special rapporteur told The Independent.

“The business of the United States is business. And that’s what the United States is interested in. And they can’t [currently] do business with Venezuela.”

In his report, Mr de Zayas expressed concern that those calling the situation a “humanitarian crisis” are being “weaponised” to discredit the government and make violent overthrow more “palatable”.

Amnesty, for example, have said the Maduro government is responsible for “the worst human rights crisis in the country’s history,”

“There is nothing more undemocratic than a coup d’état and nothing more corrosive to the rule of law and to international stability when foreign governments meddle in the internal affairs of other states,” he told The Independent.

“Only the Venezuelans have a right to decide, not the United States, not the United Kingdom … What is urgent is to help the Venezuelan people through international solidarity – genuine humanitarian aid and a lifting of the financial blockade so that Venezuela can buy and sell like any other country in the world – the problems can be solved with good faith and common sense.”

Mr De Zayas is one of 70 signatories of an open letter, along with with Noam Chomsky and over 70 other academics and experts, who have condemned what they described as a US-backed coup attempt against the Venezuelan government.

Featured image is from Wikipedia

REGIME CHANGE IN VENEZUELA: ARMY DEFECTORS, RUSSIAN MERCENARIES AND DISAPPEARING GOLD

Over the past few days, the intensity of anti-government protests in Venezuela has declined despite attempts of the US-led bloc to warm them up through both public and clandestine measures. However, the conflict continues to develop amid the acute standoff in the media sphere between the Maduro government and its opponents backed by the US-led bloc.

On January 29, CNN released an interview with two “Venezuelan army defectors” who appealed to US President Donald Trump to arm them to defend “freedom” in Venezuela. They claimed to be in contact with hundreds of willing defectors via WhatsApp groups and called on Venezuelan soldiers to revolt against the government of President Nicolas Maduro.

“As Venezuelan soldiers, we are making a request to the US to support us, in logistical terms, with communication, with weapons, so we can realize Venezuelan freedom,” one of the alleged defectors, Guillen Martinez, told CNN. Another one, Hidalgo Azuaje, added: “We’re not saying that we need only US support, but also Brazil, Colombia, Peru, all brother countries, that are against this dictatorship.”

During the entire clip, these persons were presented in a manner alleging that they had just recently defected and are now calling on others to follow their step. However, therein lies the problem. The badges on their uniform say FAN – Fuerza Armada Nacionales. This is an outdated pattern, which has been dropped. Now, Venezuela’s service members have a different badge – FANB, which means Fuerza Armada Nacional Bolivariana. So, either the “Venezuelan army defectors” somehow lost the letter B from their uniform, or the entire interview is a staged show involving former Venezuelan service members, who have been living for a long time outside the country, or in the worst case –  actors.

The interview came amid increasing US political, media and sanction pressure on the Maduro government. White House National Security Adviser John Bolton was even spotted with a mysterious note about the deployment of 5,000 US troops to Colombia, the US ally which borders Venezuela. In this situation, a large-scale military uprising or at least formation of some opposition within the army would become a useful tool in a wider effort to overthrow the country’s government. On the other hand, the use of such CNN-styled content shows that so far the US and its proxies have achieved little success in buying the support of Venezuelan service members.

On January 29, Venezuelan lawmaker Jose Guerra claimed via Twitter that a Boeing 777 of Russia’s Nordwind Airlines landed in Caracas on January 28 to spirit away 20 tons of gold bars, worth some $840 million, from the country’s central bank. When asked how he knew this, Guerra provided no evidence. By January 30, these items of breaking news had rocked the headlines of most of the mainstream media.

Another version, which was also quite popular among pro-opposition media, is that the plane, which reportedly made the trip directly from Moscow, moved in a group of Russian private military contractors to support the Maduro government. This version is fueled by reports claiming up to 400 Kremlin-linked private military contractors may have arrived in Venezuela.

The developing crisis is also accompanied by the growth of citizen journalism. Bellingcat members already created a Twitter page named “In Venezuela”, which provides field news about the crisis from Toronto, Canada. It’s easy to expect some “open source intelligence investigations” revealing crimes of the Maduro government against peaceful protesters very soon if the conflict escalates further.

Roughly speaking, the mainstream media presents the audience with the following story: The Maduro government is about to fall and is already moving the country’s gold reserves somewhere via Russian planes. At the same time, Vladimir Putin sent his mercenaries to rescue Maduro and to keep the corrupt regime in power in order to secure Russia’s economic and political interests. This, as well as the oppressive nature of the regime, are the only reason why the forces of good have not yet achieved victory.

Fortunately, there is the shining knight of democracy, Juan Guaido, who was democratically appointed as the Interim President of Venezuela from Washington. He, his Free Venezuelan Army consisting of hundreds of WhatsApp defectors and a group of unbiased US/NATO-funded citizen journalists and investigators are ready to stand against the Maduro-Putin alliance and to defend freedom and democracy in Venezuela… with a bit of help from the Trump administration for sure.

There are no doubts that modern Venezuela is allied with Russia and Moscow will employ its existing influence to resolve the crisis and thus defend its investments and oil assets. Furthermore, Maduro and his supporters showed that they are not going to give in to the US-led pressure. At the same time, The level of MSM hysteria, including an open disinformation campaign against the Maduro government and attempts to demonize it through various means, including its ties with Moscow, show that the Washington establishment is serious in its regime change efforts and may even be ready to instigate a Syria-style “proxy war” in the country in order to achieve own goals.

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