SOUTH/CENTRAL AMERICA | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


SOUTH/CENTRAL AMERICA

Feb 16 10:37

Guaido Gives Pro-Maduro Military 7 Days to ‘Take Side of Constitution’

Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, who has declared himself the country’s interim president, called on the Venezuelan Armed Forces, supporting President Nicolas Maduro, to change sides, giving the military seven days to do so, in the anticipation of humanitarian aid arrivals to the crisis-hit country.

"February 23 is coming, gentlemen from the Armed Forces. It is a very important date for the Venezuelan society not only because we have an opportunity to stop this emergency, which is directly and indirectly killing people, but also to open the doors of change for Venezuela. You have this opportunity, you have eight days to take the side of the constitution," Guaido said during a forum dedicated to national oil industry.

Guaido suggested that "usurpation" of power by Maduro and his supporters should be ended in order to leave poverty, facing the country, behind.

Feb 16 10:36

Maduro wants troops at border with Colombia against US 'provocation'

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has ordered the military to come up with a plan for a permanent deployment of forces to the border with Colombia to avert “provocations” he accused the US of masterminding.

"Reinforcing the border with Colombia is necessary to make it “safe and peaceful,” Maduro said, adding that the permanent deployment would ensure that it is unpenetrable. "We must be well deployed to defend our land, to thwart any provocation, which we anticipate and which we do not know yet. Imagine them defending their maritime area against our marine and air force,” he said.

Feb 16 10:35

US military planes with ‘humanitarian aid’ bound for Venezuela after new sanctions

Waving both the carrot and the stick at Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, Washington hit Caracas with fresh sanctions and said it will use the military to send humanitarian aid to the crisis-stricken country.

The sanctions add to a growing pile of financial penalties the US has applied to Maduro’s government in recent weeks. They target the country’s state-owned oil company PDVSA, and five officials "in charge of Maduro's security and intelligence apparatus, which has systematically violated human rights and suppressed democracy, including through torture and other brutal use of force,” in the words of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

Feb 16 10:34

US Venezuela envoy confronted by RT America correspondent over past war crimes (VIDEO)

Intercepted by RT America correspondent Dan Cohen while leaving a conference in DC, US envoy for Venezuela Elliott Abrams did not seem in the mood to discuss his criminal convictions or Iran-Contra weapons shipments.

Cohen confronted Abrams, recently appointed point man for the US effort to oust the elected government in Caracas, as he exited a conference on the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela hosted by the Organization for American States (OAS) in Washington, DC. The former Reagan official, who played a key role in securing US support for death squads in Central America during the 1980s, was not in the mood to chat about his past exploits, however.

“What do you say to people who are skeptical about you because of your history of using humanitarian aid to send weapons to contras in Central America? Do you have any comment about that?” Cohen asked Abrams as he walked out the conference with a female colleague.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

“What do you say to people who are skeptical about you because of your history of using humanitarian aid to send weapons to contras in Central America? "

Feb 16 09:46

When Considering Venezuela’s Guaidó, Remember Victoria Nuland

As Washington’s Secret Team continues to line-up its guns against the elected government led by Nicholas Maduro in Venezuela, it’s worth reminding viewers of another recently executed regime change operation – a portion of which was caught on tape – where US State Department officials could be heard discussing their new hand-picked, post-coup government in the Ukraine.

Feb 16 09:37

Venezuelan opposition leader says humanitarian aid center opens in MiamiMore:http://tass.com/world/1045007?_ga=2.257650574.426148364.1550213569-363929275.1477368173

CARACAS, February 16. /TASS/. The fourth center for collecting humanitarian aid for Venezuela is being established in the US city of Miami, Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido wrote on his official Twitter account.

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Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido
Opposition to take all measures for humanitarian aid to get into Venezuela
"We announce opening a center for collecting humanitarian aid in Miami, so that Venezuelans all around the world can join the movement for Venezuela," Guaido said.

On February 2 Guaido announced opening three checkpoints for accepting foreign humanitarian aid. The three checkpoints are in Cucuta, on the border with Brazil and on an island in the Caribbean. He did not rule out that another checkpoint may be opened on the territory of Colombia but did not specify the details.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I hope and pray, that the "aid" represented by these offerings are food, medicines, and clothing; not more guns.

Feb 16 09:20

North Korea STRONGLY Defends Venezuela From Imperialist Forces

North Korea’s ambassador to the UN, Kim Song, expressed his solidarity with the Venezuelan people in the face of attempts to overthrow Nicolás Maduro’s government, the country’s Foreign Ministry said after Kim Song’s meeting with Vice Minister of Venezuela Félix Plasencia.

“In this interventionist context aimed at overthrowing the constitutional government of President Nicolás Maduro, Ambassador Kim Song expressed his solidarity with the Venezuelan people and expressed the will of his government to continue to strengthen the ties of cooperation and fraternity between both nations,” said the statement, posted on the website of the Venezuelan Foreign Ministry.

During the meeting, the Venezuelan diplomat informed the North Korean ambassador about the “latest political events in the Caribbean country, motivated by the campaign of international disrepute.”

Feb 16 08:15

IMF Discreetly Preps Massive Aid Package For "Day After" Maduro's Fall

The International Monetary Fund is reportedly making plans for the "day after" embattled President Nicolas Maduro's fall, according to Bloomberg. Though there's been little momentum in military defections following US-backed opposition leader Juan Guaido's offer of amnesty to any army officer that switches loyalties, Washington sanctions have effectively strangled state-owned PDVSA's access to global markets. News of IMF maneuvering also comes amidst fresh reports the US is amassing aircraft, troops and armored vehicles on the Venezuelan border under the pretext of getting humanitarian aid into the country.

The only significant cash flow that remains after the oil sanctions is through India, Venezuela’s second-biggest oil market after the United States, which still recognizes the Maduro government, and is now reportedly seeking to avoid purchases through US banks and even financial institutions with a heavy US presence.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

IF India can find a way around US sanctions, they will start a domino effect against them; if they cannot, Maduro's ability to stay in power may be completely handicapped by them.

Feb 15 11:40

US warns the world against buying Venezuelan oil

US National Security Advisor John Bolton has warned countries and companies against buying crude oil from Venezuela, after the Latin American country said it wants to sell more oil to the fast-growing Indian market.

In a tweet with a Bloomberg article on Venezuelan-Indian oil relations attached, Bolton wrote: “Nations and firms that support Maduro’s theft of Venezuelan resources will not be forgotten. The United States will continue to use all of its powers to preserve the Venezuelan people’s azsets and we encourage all nations to work together to do the same.”

Feb 15 10:41

Day 6 - Ahmed gets told to stop filming in supermarket full of food

Press TV Correspondent Ahmed Kaballo on his sixth day in Venezuela, Caracas. He gets told to stop filming in supermarket full of food.

Feb 15 09:57

US to Start Delivering Humanitarian Aid to Venezuela - Reports

Earlier, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro stated resolutely that the country is no no need of foreign humantitarian aid and is capable of coping with its domestic crisis on its own.

AP reported citing a leaked State Department email about US military aircraft being ready to kickstart the delivery of 250 tons of humanitarian aid to the Venezuelan border.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

You know, humanitarian aid! Guns, bullets, bombs, bandages, etc.

Feb 15 09:55

Venezuela Unveils Anti-US Coalition to Prevent Military Intervention

The collective action follows weeks of pressure from the United States, backing Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, who has declared himself the country’s interim president, and urging incumbent President Nicolas Maduro to step down.

Venezuela’s Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza introduced a group of countries opposed to the US-backed efforts to oust President Nicolas Maduro on Thursday.

Feb 15 08:59

Elliott Abrams has supported death squads and genocide in Latin America but can't handle being asked about it.

The Trump administration has been hungrily eyeing Venezuela, reviving the U.S.'s old habit of overthrowing Latin American governments in countries with valuable natural resources. To help with this, Trump has named Elliott Abrams, a man with extensive experience in subverting democracy and enabling mass murder in Latin America, as Special Envoy to Venezuela.

A year ago, his appearance in front of the House Foreign Affairs committee might have been an easy affair, but on Wednesday, Minnesota representative Ilhan Omar wanted to know if Congress could expect even more atrocities from him this time around:

Omar: Mr. Abrams, you pleaded guilty to two counts of withholding information from Congress regarding your involvement in the Iran-Contra affair, for which you were later pardoned by President George H.W. Bush. I fail to understand why members of this committee or the American people should find any testimony that you give today to be truthful.

Feb 15 08:56

Cuba says U.S. moving special forces, preparing Venezuelan intervention

Cuba said on Thursday the United States was moving special forces closer to Venezuela as part of a covert plan to intervene in the chaotic South American country using the pretext of a humanitarian crisis.

Feb 15 08:56

Enough Western Meddling: Let the Venezuelan People Decide

American politicians from the two main parties have finally found something to agree upon: more intervention in Venezuela.

"Now, despite (President Nicolas) Maduro, there is hope (in Venezuela)", wrote Democratic Senator, Dick Durbin, in USA Today. "These events (meaning the current political instability in the country) are a welcome development of Latin American nations defending democracy."

"He’s picked a battle he can’t win," Republican Senator, Marco Rubio, said, referring to Maduro in an interview, quoted in the New York Times. "It’s just a matter of time. The only thing we don’t know is how long it will take – and whether it will be peaceful or bloody."

Feb 15 08:33

Ilhan Omar takes on the establishment

Minnesota Representative Ilhan Omar has exposed a long-held open secret about the massive influence of the Israel lobby group AIPAC on US lawmakers.

In recent days, not only has she been scorned, attacked and smeared as an anti-Semite by Republicans and top members of her own Democratic Party, but elected leaders have remained conspicuously silent about AIPAC, thus vindicating her comments.

Meanwhile, the congresswoman continued on Wednesday to demonstrate her true antiwar principles when she questioned Elliott Abrams, the far right-wing Washington official tasked with overseeing the US regime change operation in Venezuela.

During a congressional hearing, Omar asked Abrams to account for his role in war crimes and the backing of death squads and genocides in Central America in the 1980s:

Feb 14 12:20

US Air Freight Company that Smuggled Weapons Into Venezuela Linked to CIA “Black Site” Renditions

Two executives at the company that chartered the U.S. plane that was caught smuggling weapons into Venezuela last week have been tied to an air cargo company that aided the CIA in the rendition of alleged terrorists to “black site” centers for interrogation. The troubling revelation comes as Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro has rejected a U.S. “humanitarian aid” convoy over concerns that it could contain weapons meant to arm the country’s U.S.-backed opposition.

Last Tuesday, Venezuelan authorities announced that 19 rifles, 118 ammo magazines, 90 radios and six iPhones had been smuggled into the country via a U.S. plane that had originated in Miami. The authorities blamed the United States government for the illicit cargo, accusing it of seeking to arm U.S.-funded opposition groups in the country in order to topple the current Maduro-led government.

Feb 14 11:41

Rep. Ilhan Omar Lights A Fire Under Elliott Abrams Over Iran-Contra Ties

Rep. Ilhan Omar showed herself to be a formidable questioner during a Wednesday hearing with Elliott Abrams, of Iran-Contra fame.

After noting that he pleaded guilty to two counts of withholding information from Congress in the Iran-Contra scandal and his subsequent pardon by George W. Bush, Omar was blunt. ""I fail to understand why members of this committee or the American people should find any testimony that you give today to be truthful," she said.

Watch the color rise in Abrams' cheeks after that remark.

"That was not a question," she reminded Abrams. "I reserve the right to my time."

If Abrams could have, he would have gotten out that seat and into her face.

Feb 14 09:41

Rep. Omar Asks Abrams if He’ll Repeat His Past Misdeeds (He’s Trump’s Venezuela Envoy)

This video has extra info regarding Rep. Ilhan Omar's Heated Exchange with Elliot Abrams. He has an ugly past and now he is President Trump's special envoy to Venezuela! "I fail to understand why members of this committee or the American people should find any testimony you give today to be truthful." The exchange came during a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing. Also, see the pattern of omission regarding mentioning International Law.

“Would you support an armed faction within Venezuela that engages in war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide if you believed they were serving US interests as you did in Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua?” Rep. Omar asked

Feb 14 07:26

China Denies Talks With Venezuela Opposition, Slams Western Media "Fake News" Ethic

(*so we fight back with more fake news !
Ready
..Aim
...>>>
whitehorse souce
)

Feb 13 11:39

Ocasio-Cortez & Other Congressmen Just GOT TROLLED at Capitol!!

Feb 13 11:28

China Rejects US Media Reports About Talks With Venezuelan Opposition as False

US media reports about Beijing holding talks with the Venezuelan opposition to protect its investment and ensure Caracas will pay on its debts are false and unprofessional, with a US newspaper having failed to wait for a response to its request for Beijing's comment, the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s spokeswoman said on Wednesday.

"The Wall Street Journal published this material yesterday at 2 p.m. [Eastern Time, 19:00 GMT], while we were preparing a response [to their request]. It is not very constructive and [actually] unprofessional. In fact, this is a false message, it's fake," Hua Chunying said.

On Tuesday, The Wall Street Journal newspaper claimed, citing sources, that China had been holding talks with the Venezuelan opposition in a bid to hedge risks for its investments in the Latin American country as pressure was mounting on President Nicolas Maduro.

Feb 13 11:27

Russian FM Warns Pompeo of Meddling in Venezuela's Internal Affairs

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov had a phone call with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday to discuss recent global developments, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

According to the Russian Foreign Ministry's statement, Lavrov warned Pompeo against any attempt to interfere into internal affairs of Caracas, including the "force option".

"When discussing urgent foreign policy issues, Lavrov warned against any interference in Venezuela’s home affairs, including the option of using force, which Washington has threatened in breach of international laws", the ministerial statement reads.

Feb 13 11:20

VENEZUELAN OPPOSITION RECEIVES FIRST BLOCKED AID SHIPMENTS IN DEFIANCE OF MADURO

As part of the continued jostling over the contentious issue of the US intent to deliver foreign aid to Venezuela, which embattled president Nicolas Maduro has controversially banned — going so far as to post troops along potential border access points — opposition leader Juan Guaido announced on Monday that his team had received its first shipment of external humanitarian aid cargo, yet he didn't specify how it was received or which country or organization was the source.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

And one could not help but notice who President Trump had as guests at the White House this morning: Columbia's President Iván Duque Márquez, and his wife, María Juliana Ruiz Sandoval.

Most likely, if in fact this aid came from the US, the supply lines are well and truly carved out in Colombia, and Marquez and President Trump will be figuring out the next political and military steps which must be taken to "regime change" Venezuela to their liking.

Of course, what the Venezuelan people have to say about this, is nothing over which they will expend any skull-sweat whatsoever.

Feb 13 11:07

Venezuela - 57% Say Maduro Is Their Legitimate President

The legitimacy of a ruler can best be determined by asking the ruled people.

The independent Venezuelan polling firm Hinterlaces asked (in Spanish) 1,580 Venezuelans in direct interviews who they consider to be the legitimate president of Venezuela.

57% said that the Nicolás Maduro is the legitimated president. 32% said Juan Guaidó. 11% did not know or did not respond.

Feb 13 11:00

Trump repeatedly suggested Venezuela invasion, stunning top aides – report

Donald Trump repeatedly raised the possibility of invading Venezuela in talks with his top aides at the White House, according to a new report.

Trump brought up the subject of an invasion in public in August last year, saying: “We have many options for Venezuela, including a possible military option, if necessary.” But the president’s musings about the possibility of a US invasion were more extensive and persistent than that public declaration, according to the Associated Press.

The previous day Trump reportedly took his top officials by surprise in an Oval Office meeting, asking why the US could not intervene to remove the government of Nicolás Maduro on the grounds that Venezuela’s political and economic unraveling represented a threat to the region.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

So, I guess it was his idea after all!

Feb 13 10:11

Pompeo Attempts to Link Iran, Hezbollah to Crisis in Venezuela

During a Wednesday night interview with FOX Business host Trish Regan, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made several statements that raised eyebrows, such as claiming that Cuba had invaded Venezuela and “taken control” of the Venezuela’s “security apparatus” and that U.S. sanctions illegally imposed on Venezuela “aren’t aimed at the Venezuelan people.”

However, the most surprising claim Pompeo made in the interview was that Hezbollah and Iran were “active” in Venezuela, presenting a national security “risk for America.”

After accusing China, Cuba and Russia of interfering with U.S. efforts to install U.S.-funded opposition figure Juan Guaidó and oust current Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, Pompeo made the following assertion:

Feb 13 10:02

Turkey's president says Venezuelan gold to be processed in Turkey

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Tuesday that Venezuela's gold will be refined in central Turkey's Corum.

"Venezuelan gold will be refined in Corum ... We will develop Corum for the gold trade and the city to a better position in this field," Erdogan said during an election rally ahead of March 31 municipal elections in this city located east of capital Ankara, CNN Turk news channel reported.

Turkey, a NATO country, aligned itself with those behind Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro in a bitter crisis in which he is opposed to National Assembly leader Juan Guaido who declared himself Venezuela's rightful president last month.

Erdogan traveled to Caracas last December and met Maduro.

Feb 13 09:53

Venezuela hopes to create non-dollar trading bloc

Venezuela hopes to create a trade bloc consisting of China, India and Russia to help the South American country settle oil payments in currencies other than the dollar, its oil minister said on Tuesday.

The strife-torn country is looking for alternative payment methods to keep oil flowing to India, a crucial export market, especially after the United States imposed sanctions curbing the OPEC member’s crude exports to the United States.

“We all can build one economy and that economy does not necessarily have to be within the dollar economy,” Manuel Quevedo said, referring to China, Russia and India.

Quevedo, who on Monday said Caracas was open to barter trade with New Delhi, declined to disclose details on how he planned to do business with India.

Feb 13 09:46

The Real Reason the U.S. Wants to Overthrow Venezuela

Since 1998, the United States of America has tried to overthrow the government of Venezuela. What threatened the government of the United States since then was the Bolivarian dynamic set in motion by the election of Hugo Chávez as president of Venezuela that year. Chávez won the elections with a mandate from Venezuela’s workers and poor to overhaul the country to tend to their long-neglected needs.

Venezuela, with the world’s largest proven oil reserves, had enriched the U.S.-based oil companies and its own oligarchy. Venezuela’s key oil minister in the early 1960s (and architect of OPEC—the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries) Juan Pablo Pérez Alfonso rightly called oil the “devil’s excrement.” It promised so much and delivered so little. Chávez arrived as the embodiment of popular hope. He threatened the oil companies and the oligarchy, which is why the United States tried to overthrow him.

Feb 13 08:34

Hands off ‘our hemisphere’ or Venezuela pays the price: US Senator warns Russia

This is pathetic. Without Venezuela and their gold the district of criminals is finished!

The US staked a claim on half the world, as Senate Armed Services Committee chair Jim Inhofe said Washington might have to intervene in Venezuela if Russia dares set up a military base not just there, but “in our hemisphere.”
“I think that it could happen,” Inhofe (R-Oklahoma) told a group of reporters on Tuesday. “You’ve got a guy down there that is killing everybody. You could have him put together a base that Russia would have on our hemisphere. And if those things happen, it may be to the point where we’ll have to intervene with troops and respond.”

Feb 13 08:22

FLASHBACK - US Air Force C17 transport caught smuggling arms and drugs into Argentina

Argentina’s foreign ministry has issued a press release stating that it will be making a formal protest over undeclared weapons and drugs brought into the nation at Ezeiza last Thursday.

A manifest provided by the US did not list war materiel and drugs which were seized by Argentine authorities.

Among the confiscated materiel were communications interception equipment, encrypted communications equipment, sophisticated GPS devices, high power rifles, a machine gun and narcotics as well as a full trunk of expired pharmaceuticals including stimulants. All boxes had the stamp of the 7th Army Airborne Brigade based in North Carolina.

The Argentine government estimates the value of the goods and the C17 transport expenses to exceed $2 million.

The unreported contents also included an odd brochure with the phrase “I am a United States soldier. Please report to my embassy I have been arrested by the country.” translated into fifteen languages.

Feb 13 08:16

Can Venezuela and its neighbours survive the coming war?

The crisis which is destabilising Venezuela, like those which are beginning in Nicaragua and Haïti, needs to be analysed in order to enable us to address it. Thierry Meyssan reminds us of three interpretative hypotheses and argues in favour of one of them. He evokes the US strategy and the ways in which it may be countered.

Feb 12 14:34

Russian FM Warns Pompeo of Meddling in Venezuela's Internal Affairs

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov had a phone call with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday to discuss recent global developments, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

According to the Russian Foreign Ministry's statement, Lavrov warned Pompeo against any attempt to interfere into internal affairs of Caracas, including the "force option".

"When discussing urgent foreign policy issues, Lavrov warned against any interference in Venezuela’s home affairs, including the option of using force, which Washington has threatened in breach of international laws", the ministerial statement reads.

Feb 12 13:31

How The Media Manufactures Consent For Regime Change In Venezuela

The latest extraordinary chapter in the bizarre world of Venezuelan politics is playing out before our eyes. After winning the 2018 presidential elections, Nicolás Maduro was inaugurated in January, only for the head of the National Assembly, Juan Guaidó -- a man whom, at the time, less than 20 percent of the country had even heard of -- to declare himself President.

Guaidó was immediately backed by the governments of the U.S. and U.K., with Vice President Mike Pence stating, "Nicolás Maduro is a dictator with no legitimate claim to power. He has never won the presidency in a free and fair election, and has maintained his grip of power by imprisoning anyone who dares to oppose him."

I've previously cataloged how the media has been quick to echo the ideathat Maduro is completely illegitimate and has been eager to position America's stance towards Venezuelan politics as one of a neutral arbiter.

Feb 12 10:41

U.S. IS SETTING GROUND FOR MILITARY INTERVENTION IN VENEZUELA

The Venezuelan government seems to be openly preparing to face a US military invasion.

On February 10, the country’s military kicked off large-scale military drills, which will run until February 15. According to President Nicolas Maduro, the drills are set to become the biggest ones the country has held in its 200-year history.

On the same day, multiple air defense systems, including Pechora-2M launchers, were spotted maneuvering in the area of San Cristobal, near the border with Columbia, an expected member of the US-led coalition in the event of invasion in Venezuela.

On February 7, Israel’s satellite company ImageSat International released a satellite image, allegedly showing that the Venezuelan military was releasing its S-300VN air defense system from mothballs in Captain Manuel Rios Airbase on February 4.

Feb 12 10:40

Is the US Meddling in Venezuela? Max Blumenthal Asks US Congress Members.

The responses from members of Congress painted a shocking picture of ignorance, hypocrisy, and bipartisan consent for the Trump administration’s assault on Venezuela.

Feb 12 10:39

Danny Glover on the Conflict Over Venezuela

Actor and activist Danny Glover places the conflict over Venezuela in the context of a long history of US-led coups in Latin America

Feb 12 10:08

A bridge too far: US claims Venezuela blocked aid deliveries... at a crossing that was never open

Photos and video of oil tankers and shipping containers blocking a bridge between Venezuela and Colombia were used as proof Caracas was “blocking” US aid. Left out was the fact that the bridge was never open for traffic.

The bridge figured prominently in last week’s push by official Washington to paint the elected government of Venezuela as hostile to the people, and build support for the US-backed self-proclaimed president Juan Guaido. A USAID convoy arrived in Colombia on Friday, but media outlets reported that the government of President Nicolas Maduro had “blocked” it by setting up fencing and obstacles on the Tienditas International Bridge.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo used the photo to claim that “Venezuela’s military under Maduro's orders is blocking aid with trucks and shipping tankers. The Maduro regime must LET THE AID REACH THE STARVING PEOPLE.”

Feb 12 09:58

U.S. Military Warns of Threat From Chinese-Run Space Station in Argentina

Senior U.S. defense officials are growing increasingly concerned that the Chinese military can monitor and potentially target U.S. and allied satellites from a new deep space ground station in the Western Hemisphere, located in the deserts of Patagonia.

In wide-ranging testimony before the U.S. Congress on Feb. 7, Adm. Craig Faller, the newly confirmed commander of U.S. Southern Command, warned lawmakers about China’s accelerated expansion into Latin America. Not only does China support the autocratic regimes in Venezuela, Cuba, and Nicaragua and employ predatory lending practices across the region, but it is also investing in key infrastructure such as a deep-space tracking facility in Argentina, Faller told lawmakers.

Feb 12 09:46

'I Don’t See Guaido Taking Over, I See a Civil War' – Geneva Law Professor

Russia has drafted a United Nations Security Council resolution in support of Venezuela. Russia's proposed statement expresses concern over outside interference in the nation's internal affairs and the territorial integrity of Venezuela.

This comes in response to the resolution proposed by the United States, which calls for a new presidential election in the country.

Sputnik discussed the future of Venezuela with Alfred de Zayas, professor of international law at the Geneva School of Diplomacy.

Feb 12 08:37

Venezuela's Guaido says he is working to restore ties with Israel

Venezuela's self-declared leader Juan Guaido he was working to restore ties with Israel that Caracas cut off a decade ago in solidarity with the Palestinians.

Israel is among US-aligned powers that rallied to Guaido after he declared himself Venezuela's leader last month in a power struggle with socialist President Nicolas Maduro, under whom the country has sunk into poverty.

Feb 12 08:14

Guaido Was Recruited by the US a Decade Ago - Venezuelan Envoy to Russia

Last month, US media reported that the Venezuelan opposition leader declared himself interim president immediately following a phone call with US Vice President Mike Pence.

National Assembly leader and self-proclaimed interim president Juan Guaido was recruited by the US a decade ago and is little more than Washington's "puppet," Carlos Rafael Faria Tortosa, Venezuela's ambassador to Russia, has said.

"Guaido was recruited, according to our information, some 10 years ago. He was sent to Serbia to study. You probably know about it. And it all started with this," Tortosa said, addressing lawmakers at Russia's Federation Council about the political crisis unravelling in his country.

Feb 12 08:07

Venezuelan Protesters Gather For Rally in Caracas After Guaido's Call

Supporters of Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, who declared himself the country's interim president on 23 January, have taken to the streets of Caracas after he called on people via Twitter to support Western humanitarian aid.

Tensions in Venezuela escalated when Guaido declared himself interim president on 23 January, disputing Maduro's re-election, which took place last year.

Guaido was almost immediately recognised by the United States and some of its allies. Ten EU states also recognised Guaido after Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro refused to accept the ultimatum to hold snap elections.

Russia, China, Mexico, Turkey, Uruguay and several other states have said that they supported Maduro as the legitimate president.

Feb 12 07:55

Why Israel wants to see Maduro overthrown in Venezuela

US-Israeli support for overthrowing Maduro is part of a broader regional agenda targeting Palestinian solidarity

Feb 11 14:52

Russia Will Never Make Decisions ‘By Orders’ From Washington, Will Continue To Defend Venezuela

Attempts to force Russia to make foreign policy decisions “by orders” are doomed, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday in a Diplomatic Day activity in Russia on February 10.

“The West, owned by the complex of superiority and permissiveness must not forget the lessons of history and I have no doubt that tries to force Moscow to make decisions on foreign policy ordered are doomed to fail,” he said.

Russia has proved to be a country that defends its national interests in the multipolar world and “even if it does not please the United States and its allies, it is the objective march of history,” he said.

Feb 11 10:59

Escobar: Are The Neocons Ready For Their Tropical Vietnam?

Cold War 2.0 has hit South America with a bang – pitting the US and expected minions against the four key pillars of in-progress Eurasia integration: Russia, China, Iran and Turkey.

It’s the oil, stupid. But there’s way more than meets the (oily) eye.

Caracas has committed the ultimate cardinal sin in the eyes of Exceptionalistan; oil trading bypassing the US dollar or US-controlled exchanges.

Remember Iraq. Remember Libya. Yet Iran is also doing it. Turkey is doing it. Russia is – partially – on the way. And China will eventually trade all its energy in petroyuan.

With Venezuela adopting the petro crypto-currency and the sovereign bolivar, already last year the Trump administration had sanctioned Caracas off the international financial system.

Feb 11 10:58

Venezuela Is An Opportunity For Russia And China To Change The World

Nothing better illustrates Washington’s opposition to democracy and self-determination than the blatantly public coup Washington has organized against the properly elected president of Venezuela.

Washington has been trying to overthrow the Venezuelan government for years. Washington wants the state owned oil company to be privatized so that it can fall into the hands of US oil companies. That would ensure Washington’s control over Venezuela. Transferring the wealth out of the country would prevent any economic development from inside the country. Every aspect of the economy would end up in the hands of US corporations. The exploitation would be ruthless and brutal.

Venezuelans understand this, which is why Washington, despite wrecking the Venezuelan economy and offering enormous bribes to the Venezuelan military, has not yet been able to turn the people and the troops against Maduro.

Feb 11 10:51

Caracas EU Envoy Notes Global Support for Maduro Amid National Crisis

All through the current political crisis in Venezuela the US has made clear it’s support for the head of the opposition-led National Assembly, Juan Guaido, who declared himself the Latin American nation’s interim president.

In an exclusive interview with Claudia Salerno Caldera, the Venezuelan Ambassador to the EU, a Deutsche Welle reporter asked how long she imagined the embattled Venezuelan president, Nicolas Maduro, could hold on to his position.

"Six years I hope, because that is what the people voted for," Caldera quickly responded.

Feb 11 10:47

Washington’s Perilous Regime Change in Venezuela Won’t Work Out as Planned

As the cult of regime change in Washington walks farther and farther down a destructive path where they see one another only, and as their new adventure in Venezuela points for yet another geopolitical and humanitarian disaster, just like what happened in Syria and Yemen, they will end up having abandoned some of their self-styled fundamental claims about morality, human rights, respect for fundamental norms of international law.

In making their pitch, they have forced more than a dozen European countries to recognize the head of Venezuela’s National Assembly, Juan Guaidó, as the country’s legitimate president. In lockstep with the US, Guaidó has asserted that the time for dialogue is over. His intransigent opposition to negotiations is perhaps another reason to question his motives. This comes despite continued United Nations, Chinese and Russian support for Nicolás Maduro’s government and national dialogue.

Feb 11 10:40

MADURO DENIES HEZBOLLAH TIES, MOCKS POMPEO'S CHARGE AS "PROVEN LIES"

One day after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo claimed Hezbollah was "active" and operating inside of Venezuela, embattled President Nicolas Maduro responded in a televised speech in Caracas slamming Pompeo's allegation which had also hinted at Iranian connections as "lies that have been proven false."

According to Maduro, “Hezbollah is a legal political party within Lebanon’s political life. Hezbollah is primarily a political party, with ministers, deputies, and elected officials.”

“We do not have, nor have we had any political relations with the Hezbollah political party. There are many Lebanese living in Venezuela,” he continued during the Friday statement, as translated by Al-Masdar News journalist Renato Velez. Acknowledging the historic roots of Arab communities in Latin America and Venezuela, he continued, “Long live the Lebanese, Syrian and Palestinian Arab colonies in Venezuela.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

What concerns me most about this codswallop, disgustingly oozing out of Pompeo's mouth, is the possibility that some in the Bowels of Power in DC will choose to make this insanity a reality, by having some alleged Hezbollah blow up some American asset in Venezuela, and off we go, to yet another war for resources.

I would like to politely remind this Thoroughly-Unhinged Sector of the US government, that Russia has already sent in about 400 Special Ops Mercs, tasked with keeping the Maduro government alive and well.

Are we really up to confronting the Russian Special Ops mercs in Venezuela over their oil reserves?!?

I hope the short answer to this will be, "HELL, no!!"

Feb 11 10:28

The Dirty Hand of the National Endowment for Democracy in Venezuela

Written in 2014 during the Obama adminstration, this article by Eva Golinger gives insightful background to the current crisis in Venezuela and Washington’s role in stirring it up.

Feb 11 10:27

Venezuela – The Straw that Breaks the Empire’s Back?

Venezuela in the limelight, on practically all the written, audio and visual mainstream media, as well as alternative media. A purposeful constant drip of outright lies and half-truths, “fake news”, as well as misleading information of all shades and hues about Venezuela is drumming our brains, slowly bending our minds towards believing that – yes, the US has a vital interest in meddling in Venezuela and bringing about “regime change”, because of primarily, the huge reserves of oil, but also of gold, coltan and other rare minerals; and, finally, simply because Washington needs full control of its “backyard”. –

Feb 11 10:21

THE CYNICISM OF EMPIRE: SEN. RUBIO TELLS VENEZUELANS TO OVERTHROW THEIR GOVERNMENT...OR STARVE!

There is a sad disregard for human life among the neocon regime-changers. The devastation of Iraq, with its million dead, was a mere stepping stone to a "re-making" of the Middle East. A Libya turned into a modern day slave market after neocon-backed "liberation" is off the radar screen. Who cares, right?

Syria suffered a half million dead after a US backed jihadist insurgency - strongly backed by the neocons - and not a word of remorse.

In fact, in a remarkable act of chutzpah, neocons have taken to blaming the victims in Syria, with the Washington Post's Josh Rogin branding Assad, who fought and ultimately defeated US-backed terrorists (and in so doing saved Syria's ancient Christian community) an "enemy of humanity." One need not join the Assad fan club to come to the easy conclusion that an al-Qaeda-controlled Aleppo, for example, was a living hell while an Aleppo liberated by Assad very soon was on its feet again as a multi-confessional and multi-cultural center of Syria.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Senator Rubio, a word, please: of all the people in South America, Venezuelans are among the most conscious of their history, and wish to make their own forward trajectory from the horrific place where they are now (largely driven by US sanctions) to their collectedly decided-upon future.

And this is why I can guarantee that they will NOT be "throwing flowers" at American Troops' feet if we invade; they will be throwing everything and anything to hand at the American invaders, until they ultimately leave.

Also, as you well know (or should, as a 2019 member of Select Committee on Intelligence), Russia has already dispatched a contingent of around 400 Special Forces in late January Russian Mercs reportedly descend on Venezuela to help protect Maduro Regime

You have to love that phrase "descend on Venezuela", but... I digress.

IF you are thinking seriously, about going head to head with both Russian and Venezuela troops in Venezuela, I would strongly caution you against such an act.

War with Russia, over the Venezuelan oil reserves?!?

Sir, I would ask you to consider the following: just because an act by the US government and military, could be the most ham-fistedly, pig-headedly stupid thing this government and military could possibly do, is no guarantee that they will not do it.

A war against Venezuela and Russia at this time, would be the most pig-headedly, ham-fistedly stupid thing the US government could do at this point; this is because our Military does not have the weaponry; the money; or the manufacturing necessary with which to create a positive outcome to a war with Russia.

If you truly "care about the troops", then you and your colleagues should push away from any martial approach here, and consider reasonable negotiations with the Venezuelan government; now that... would be logical.

You are welcome, Senator Rubio!!

Feb 11 10:05

As US Laments Human Rights in Venezuela, US-Allied Colombia Descends into Drug-fueled Humanitarian Crisis

The dichotomy between Washington’s relationship with Venezuela and Colombia is yet another clear example that the public justifications for the U.S.’s Latin America policy are little more than window dressing for the U.S.-backed expansion of neo-fascist governments throughout Latin America.

Feb 11 08:36

Maduro Asks OPEC to Denounce US Sanctions on Venezuela - Reports

The United States continues to pile pressure on Venezuela amid the ongoing political crisis raging in the country. Washington has blocked all assets of the PDVSA state oil company, saying it will only lift the sanctions once Caracas transfers control over the company to the opposition.

Total CEO Patrick Pouyanne expressed his belief on Monday that the French oil corporation could continue functioning in crisis-torn Venezuela despite sanctions imposed by Washington. He added that Total will analyse the situation before reaching a decision.

"First, we have to understand what are exactly the sanctions… we will evaluate but I think you can stay — maybe you will have some conditions to stay," Pouyanne said during an energy forum in Egypt's capital, Cairo.

Feb 11 08:04

Warding Off US Invasion, Venezuela Begins 5 Day’s Of Military Exercises

Venezuela’s National Armed Forces started carrying out military exercises this Sunday to demonstrate that they can protect the country from invasion.

The military exercises will be held until February 15, being the largest and most important exercises of the type already carried out in 200 years of history, according to Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro.

The exercises are intended to demonstrate that the South American country is not “inaccessible” to statements by US President Donald Trump that military intervention in Venezuela is an “option.”

Feb 11 08:02

China Defends Venezuela, Strongly Rejects “Foreign Intervention”

Peace talks and a political path are the “only way” to move towards a lasting peace in Venezuela, the Chinese foreign ministry said on Saturday.

The statement by Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hua Chunying was made after a question about the meeting of the International Contact Group led by Uruguayan President Tabaré Vázquez and Spain, Italy, Portugal and Sweden.

“China believes that Venezuela’s affairs must be resolved by the people of Venezuela, within the framework of its Constitution and laws, and through peaceful dialogue and political pathways,” the spokesman said.

Feb 11 07:35

How the Media Manufactures Consent for Regime Change in Venezuela

The latest extraordinary chapter in the bizarre world of Venezuelan politics is playing out before our eyes. After winning the 2018 presidential elections, Nicolás Maduro was inaugurated in January, only for the head of the National Assembly, Juan Guaidó — a man whom, at the time, less than 20 percent of the country had even heard of — to declare himself President.

Guaidó was immediately backed by the governments of the U.S. and U.K., with Vice President Mike Pence stating, “Nicolás Maduro is a dictator with no legitimate claim to power. He has never won the presidency in a free and fair election, and has maintained his grip of power by imprisoning anyone who dares to oppose him.”

I’ve previously cataloged how the media has been quick to echo the ideathat Maduro is completely illegitimate and has been eager to position America’s stance towards Venezuelan politics as one of a neutral arbiter.

Feb 11 07:33

Russia is helping Venezuela skirt Donald Trump’s sanctions: report

Venezuela’s state-run oil company PDVSA is telling customers of its joint ventures to deposit oil sales proceeds in an account recently opened at Russia’s Gazprombank AO, according to sources and an internal document seen by Reuters on Saturday.

PDVSA’s move comes after the United States imposed tough, new financial sanctions on Jan. 28 aimed at blocking Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro’s access to the country’s oil revenue.

Feb 11 04:33

US Blockade on Venezuela Has Cost US$350 Billion

According to the study, these economic and financial attacks "are usually the prelude to military intervention."

The Economic Debates Unit of the Latin American Geopolitical Strategic Center (CELAG) released a report on "the economic consequences of the boycott against Venezuela," on Friday, in which it is proved that the "international financial blockade to Venezuela since 2013 is the main responsible for the economic crisis."

According to CELAG's report, the financial and economic blockade that was mainly promoted by the United States, and enforced by its allies, would have cost Venezuela around US$350 billion "in the production of goods and services between 2013 and 2017."

Blocking a country financially is paramount when trying to asphyxiate the national economy. The external attacks are able to undermine the economic and productive capacity of the country, and therefore, destroy the economy. According to the study, these economic and financial attacks "are usually the prelude to military intervention."

The U.S. government led by Donald Trump is arguing in favor of military intervention in Venezuela>>>

Feb 10 08:42

Russia Will Never Make Decisions ‘By Orders’ From Washington, Will Continue To Defend Venezuela

Attempts to force Russia to make foreign policy decisions “by orders” are doomed, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday in a Diplomatic Day activity in Russia on February 10.

“The West, owned by the complex of superiority and permissiveness must not forget the lessons of history and I have no doubt that tries to force Moscow to make decisions on foreign policy ordered are doomed to fail,” he said.

Russia has proved to be a country that defends its national interests in the multipolar world and “even if it does not please the United States and its allies, it is the objective march of history,” he said.

Feb 10 08:42

MAJOR: Russia And US Preparing To Lock Horns At UNSC Over Venezuela

Russia has prepared a separate draft resolution to be presented to the UN Security Council in support of Venezuela, a diplomatic source has said.

According to information published in the media, the United States would have a draft resolution to be presented to the Security Council, however, supporting new presidential elections in the country.

Earlier, the head of the Latin American department of Russia’s Foreign Ministry said that Caracas did not send a request to Moscow for military assistance. The diplomat also added that Russia is open to dialogue with Venezuelan politicians willing to constructively discuss the situation in the Latin American country.

Feb 10 06:01

Venezuela moves to replace US executives on Citgo board

Citgo is facing unprecedented challenges to its finances and management after the US government imposed sanctions.

Venezuela's state-run oil company Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) is taking steps to remove at least two American executives from the board of directors of its United States's refining subsidiary, Citgo Petroleum Corp, according to people close to the matter.

Citgo is facing unprecedented challenges to its finances and management after the US government last week imposed tough sanctions on PDVSA designed to prevent oil revenue from going to leftist President Nicolas Maduro.

The US and dozens of other nations have refused to recognise Maduro, viewing his re-election last year to another six-year term as fraudulent.

Venezuelan's self-proclaimed president Juan Guaido is setting up bank accounts with US help that would take income accrued by Citgo, Venezuela's top foreign asset, to finance an interim government

>>>

(*the only thing we lost in Afghanistan is INTEREST )

Feb 09 12:02

Washington’s Perilous Regime Change in Venezuela Won’t Work Out as Planned

The United States government led by President Donald Trump has entered a dangerous moral universe.

As the cult of regime change in Washington walks farther and farther down a destructive path where they see one another only, and as their new adventure in Venezuela points for yet another geopolitical and humanitarian disaster, just like what happened in Syria and Yemen, they will end up having abandoned some of their self-styled fundamental claims about morality, human rights, respect for fundamental norms of international law.

In making their pitch, they have forced more than a dozen European countries to recognize the head of Venezuela’s National Assembly, Juan Guaidó, as the country’s legitimate president. In lockstep with the US, Guaidó has asserted that the time for dialogue is over. His intransigent opposition to negotiations is perhaps another reason to question his motives. This comes despite continued United Nations, Chinese and Russian support for Nicolás Maduro’s government and national dialogue.

There is no question that Venezuelans are suffering and some even want to see a change in governance. But that has to come through national dialogue and democratic means and not foreign-instigated regime change>>>

Feb 09 11:17

Venezuela’s Guaido Won’t Rule Out Authorizing US Military Intervention

With the power struggle between Venezuela’s President Maduro and US-backed interim-president Juan Guaido continuing, Guaido now says he will not rule out personally authorizing a US military intervention to force Maduro out.

Guaido says he will “do everything that is necessary,” saying his goal is to generate “governability and stability to deal with the emergency.” He admitted that a US invasion is a “very controversial subject.”

That’s putting it mildly. Maduro’s ability to maintain power for years has rested on having the support of the military, and portraying his opponents as US puppets trying to foster a coup. With Guaido, the US is now very public about how much they endorse his rule, and how open they are to attacking Venezuela to make that happen.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

President Trump, two words, please, on this possible scenario, and sir, they are "HELL, NO!!"

As you are aware, Russian troops (Either private mercs, or Russian Special forces) have been imbedded with the best of Maduro's military, as of late last month.

Russia has huge financial interests in Venezuela; should those interests be potentially compromised by a US invasion/occupation, there will be hell to pay, sir.

And the other consideration here is, unlike many Americans who are completely ignorant of the real origins of their country, and how those origins came about, the Venezuelan people have a strong sense of their history, and how their country came into being.

Any US government invasion will cause these people to rise up, and cost the US government not only any shred of international credibility it may still have, but also the negative optics of such an invasion, here at home may well cost you re-election in 2020.

Mr. President, in order to win a war which transfers into a lasting peace, the aggressor has to be "on the right side of history"; in a potential invasion of Venezuela, the US government is on the polar opposite path.

You are welcome, sir!

Feb 09 10:57

POMPEO ATTEMPTS TO LINK IRAN, HEZBOLLAH TO CRISIS IN VENEZUELA

During a Wednesday night interview with FOX Business host Trish Regan, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made several statements that raised eyebrows, such as claiming that Cuba had invaded Venezuela and “taken control” of the Venezuela’s “security apparatus” and that U.S. sanctions illegally imposed on Venezuela “aren’t aimed at the Venezuelan people.”

However, the most surprising claim Pompeo made in the interview was that Hezbollah and Iran were “active” in Venezuela, presenting a national security “risk for America.”

After accusing China, Cuba and Russia of interfering with U.S. efforts to install U.S.-funded opposition figure Juan Guaidó and oust current Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, Pompeo made the following assertion:

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Forgive me, but has this man gone absolutely bonkers, and swallowed the Koolaid, in order to make that assertion?!?!?

But I can imagine, after Pompeo's having made such a ludicrous statement, what the follow-through action is going to have to be; something in Venezuela, or an American asset overseas, will be hit with a US-generated false flag, to be blamed both on Iran and Venezuela, and off we'll go.

Pompeo and President Trump have to know that, after all the lies about US intentions overseas, coupled with the hard economic truth of why we have invaded so many countries, Americans are both war-weary, and war-skeptical.

If Pompeo stops making reference to this, perhaps it was just a lousy attempt to somehow tie Hezbollah and Iran into this destabilization in Venezuela; but if he continues harping on this, you can bet your sweet bippy that something wicked this way comes, even if the US government has to fabricate it.

Feb 09 10:44

VENEZUELA: AMERICA'S 68TH REGIME-CHANGE DISASTER

The US government has been opposed to Venezuela’s socialist revolution since the time Hugo Chavez was elected in 1998. Unbeknownst to most Americans, Chavez was well loved by poor and working class Venezuelans for his extraordinary array of social programs that lifted millions out of poverty. Between 1996 and 2010, the level of extreme poverty plummeted from 40% to 7%. The government also substantially improved healthcare and education, cutting infant mortality by half, reducing the malnutrition rate from 21% to 5% of the population and eliminating illiteracy. These changes gave Venezuela the lowest level of inequality in the region, based on its Gini coefficient.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Propaganda, economic sanctions, and low-key military destabilization; all of these are the toolcraft of US wars, most generally fought for resources of another country (Like Venezuela's most-probable regime-change in the not so distant future).

When Karl Marx observed that all wars are economic in their origin, he has been proven absolutely correct, in following all the wars which the US government has created, and in which this country has been enmeshed since World War II.

I would love to see Mike and I become citizens of any other country on this planet which doesn't indulge in war crimes, but unfortunately, we are both too broke, and far too old, to make that happen.

Feb 09 10:42

Venezuela’s self-proclaimed ‘president’ Guaido isn’t ruling out ‘authorizing’ US intervention

However ‘controversial’ such a move might be, the self-proclaimed US-backed ‘interim’ president of Venezuela has claimed he would not rule out the possibility of ‘authorizing’ a foreign military intervention to topple Maduro.

Guaido told AFP he would do “everything that is necessary” in order to “save human lives” – not ruling out the admittedly “controversial subject” of calling on foreign powers, and the United States in particular, to intervene militarily in Venezuela to remove Nicolas Maduro from power.

Feb 09 10:41

Montevideo Calls Venezuela's Guaido 'More Non-Legitimate' Than Maduro's Gov't

The decision by Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido to proclaim himself interim president is not based on the country’s Constitution and is even less legitimate than the government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, Uruguay’s Foreign Minister Rodolfo Nin Novoa said in an interview with local broadcaster Radio Mundo.

"Speaking about non-legitimacy of the government of Maduro, frankly speaking, the self-proclamation [of Guaido] is the same or even more non-legitimate … I will not comment on Guaido’s arguments in support of his self-proclamation … But they do not correspond with Article 233 of Venezuela’s Constitution, which he refers to", Novoa said.

Given the situation in Venezuela, where there are "two presidents," Uruguay believes that holding a presidential election would be the only solution to the crisis, Novoa added, noting that Uruguay "was not setting forward any conditions".

Feb 09 10:40

Trump administration in 'direct contact with Venezuelan military and urging defections', says White House official

Donald Trump’s administration is holding direct talks with members of the Venezuelan military and urging them to abandon president Nicolas Maduro, according to a new report.

Two weeks after opposition politician Juan Guaido declared himself Venezuela’s president and a succession of countries, including the US, recognised him as its “legitimate” leader, a White House official said it was speaking with members of the armed forces and hoping for more defections. The official also said Mr Trump was preparing new sanctions against Mr Maduro’s government.

“We believe these to be those first couple pebbles before we start really seeing bigger rocks rolling down the hill,” the unidentified official told Reuters.

Feb 09 10:23

Mike Pompeo Now Says US Is Obligated To "Take Down" Iran In Venezuela

Feb 09 09:58

URGING DEFECTIONS, TRUMP ADMINISTRATION REPORTEDLY HOLDING SECRET TALKS WITH VENEZUELAN MILITARY

In an effort to encourage defections from Venezuela's elected President Nicolas Maduro, the Trump administration is reportedly holding secret talks with members of the Venezuelan military as top U.S. cabinet officials continue to issue aggressive threats and push for regime change.

According to Reuters, which cited an anonymous senior White House official, the U.S. "is holding direct communications with members of Venezuela's military urging them to abandon President Nicolas Maduro and is also preparing new sanctions aimed at increasing pressure on him."

"The Trump administration expects further military defections from Maduro's side," Reuters reported, "despite only a few senior officers having done so since opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself interim president last month, earning the recognition of the United States and dozens of other countries."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This is one of the most blatant, in-your-face attempts at regime change I think I have ever witnessed this life time.

And trust me, this is not "for the good of Venezuelan people"; it is for massive control of one of the most huge stores of oil on the planet, including more oil just discovered in the Orinoco Basin of Venezuela.

I feel very sorry for the Venezuelan people, for what they have suffered, under American sanctions, and will suffer, as the increasing instability in their country becomes "the new normal."

There have been some conflicting accounts as to how many special Russian troops have been sent to Venezuela; some may be Spetsnaz troops, and others from an independent, Russian mercenary group, like The Wagner Group; but it is very certain that Russia's investment will not be lost without a fight.

This could well set the stage for a "proxy war" over Venezuela's oil holdings, between the US and Russia, and I am seriously hoping that will not happen. But everything I am seeing seems poised to go in that direction.

Feb 09 09:35

‘BERNIE IS YOUR ENEMY!’ Venezuelans Scold Socialist Sanders, Savagely Rip Him Apart (Watch)

Venezuela has long been praised by Hollywood elites for whatever reason. This, despite authoritarian dictators torturing and starving their citizens.

The country is in a state of disarray, with President Trump now recognizing a new leader over Nicolas Maduro.

Now, Venezuelans have a strong message for people who believe in Democrat Socialist Bernie Sanders’ message.

In short: knock it off!

Some notable quotes from the video, include:

“Bernie Sanders is your enemy. Do not ever, ever get involved with this individual or any of the other socialists.”

“People are eating from trash bags in the streets.”

“In Venezuela, there is no food, no medicine, education. No, nothing, nothing.”

“We also thought that this could never happen in our country. We had a balance of powers, we had democracy, and we elected our leaders.”

Feb 08 12:51

Venezuela: Another US Manufactured Attempted Coup

If you don’t like the country’s president, just find a new one. That’s the meaning of Donald Trump’s intervention in Venezuela last week. The US agreed to back one of the opposition leaders, Juan Guaido, who dramatically swore himself in as president at a demonstration and is now receiving the backing not just of the US, but Canada, Brazil, the UK, a number of neighbouring countries, as the legitimate leader.

>>>

Watch - Donald Trump: 'I'm a Nationalist' Not a Globalist"

Feb 08 11:18

Appetite For Destruction

Appetite for Destruction: US Wants to Remove Venezuela From the Playing Field
The Trump Administration has ruled out any dialogue with Venezuelan President Maduro.

The regime change cult on the Capitol Hill has further dismissed the idea of mediation within Venezuela. It’s appetite for destruction and it’s happening again right in front of our eyes:

- Efforts by the United Nations and Latin American leaders to resolve the Venezuela crisis with diplomacy and mediation has gone nowhere, as the US is against such efforts, saying the world needs to unite behind a demand for unconditional regime change.

- The new sheriff in Washington has declared the “time for dialogue with Maduro has long passed,” and that the US now wants everyone to accept Juan Guaido as his replacement.>>>

Feb 08 10:40

U.S. Offers Sanctions Relief For Army Officers Who Flip On Maduro: Will It Work?

A new report in Bloomberg has documented a slow and steady erosion of Venezuela's armed forces since 2014, but which is a question that gained new impetus since calls at the end of last week by national security advisor John Bolton for military members to defect en masse amidst increasing unrest surrounding large anti-Maduro protests.

Bolton addressed a message last Saturday "to the Venezuelan military high command" which urged, "now is the time to stand on the side of the Venezuelan people. It is your right and responsibility to defend the constitution and democracy for Venezuela!" And on Wednesday afternoon he tweeted a similar appeal, but this time promising sanctions immunity/relief for any senior military officer who defects from Maduro, followed by a threat for those who don't:

Feb 08 10:23

Maduro: Venezuela's Independence Being Destroyed Under Cloak of Humanitarian Aid

Maduro earlier dismissed the US promise to send relief aid to the crisis-hit South American country as a "political stunt" and a pretext for invasion, as Washington has refused to recognise the legitimate government of Venezuela, also imposing sanctions on Caracas.

"They are trying to destroy the independence and sovereignty of the country under the pretext of delivering humanitarian aid. They are trying to destabilise our country, but this has not brought [them] any success", the Venezuelan president stressed

Feb 08 10:20

Time for Dialogue With Maduro 'Has Long Passed' - US Envoy to Venezuela

Elliott Abrams, US President Donald Trump's special envoy to Venezuela, told a US State Department press briefing Thursday that the time for dialogue with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has "long passed" and advised other countries to deal with Juan Guaido, the self-appointed interim president recognized by Washington.

Feb 08 10:16

‘I Am Just Another Soldier’: Maduro Trains to Fight U.S. Troops in Venezuela

Venezuelan dictator Nicolás Maduro once again posted videos of himself Wednesday appearing to train with his armed forces to prepare for an allegedly incoming U.S. invasion, this time participating in what appear to be cardiovascular exercises and training with the national air force.

Maduro has managed to retain control of much of the military since the nation’s legislature, the National Assembly, deposed him and replaced him with current President Juan Guaidó, as mandated by the Venezuelan constitution. The Air Force, however, has been among the least loyal. Last week, one of the highest ranking soldiers to defect to Guaidó, Air Force General Francisco Esteban Yánez Rodríguez posted a video on social media claiming “90 percent of the Bolivarian National Armed Forces are not with the dictator” and urging more to defect.

Maduro’s visit to air force training appears to be an attempt to dispel the perception of abandonment that Yánez’s video created.

Feb 08 10:11

Report: Russia Starting to Worry Venezuela’s Maduro Cannot Keep Power

Russian officials are growing concerned Venezuelan dictator Nicolás Maduro will not be able to keep power as the international community recognizes the legitimacy of President Juan Guaidó, the Moscow Times reported Wednesday.

According to Kremlin sources who spoke with the newspaper, Russia has not yet withdrawn its support for the Maduro regime, but now “increasingly recognizes that the disastrous state of Venezuela’s economy is inexorably draining what remains of his public support.”

Feb 08 09:52

IS THIS THE POINT OF NO RETURN FOR MADURO?

Things have certainly moved into a higher gear in Venezuela, with a genuine diarchy vying for control over the country’s resources and populace. The alleged smuggling of gold reserves, politicized humanitarian aid, rampant disinformation against the background of all-encompassing poverty and deprivation – Venezuela of 2019 bears an uncanny likeness to any stereotypical conflict-ridden Latin American country of the 20th century.

The US sanctions announced January 28 have driven a wedge between PDVSA and the United States, creating a point of no return for President Maduro. There is still no 100 percent certainty that Maduro will be ousted and if he manages to stay (through which, given his political skills and occasional antics, would be tantamount to a miracle), Venezuela could rethink its oil strategy on a grand scale. Let’s, however, look at the developments in Venezuela piece by piece before we jump into any conclusions.

Feb 08 09:32

Botching A Coup In Venezuela

Feb 08 09:09

Did Venezuela’s President Really ‘Steal’ the 2018 Election from an Unknown Who Didn’t Run?

A Reuters news article on 1 February said that the US, Canada and several Latin American governments claim Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro “stole his second-term election” in May 2018. They have therefore recognized an opposition legislator – Juan Guaidó – as Venezuela’s interim president.

Wait a second. Do they say Maduro “stole” the election from Guaidó?
That wouldn’t make sense. Because Guaidó didn’t even run in the 2018 presidential election.

Henri Falcón was the opposition politician who finished a very distant second in that election, over four million votes (47%) behind Maduro. Nobody has shown or even attempted to show that any votes, never mind millions of votes, were stolen from Falcón. In Venezuela’s electoral system, a very small amount of ballot stuffing is detectable in any contested election. That’s why, in 2012, Jimmy Carter said the electoral system was the best in the world.

Feb 08 08:55

MEGA BEX PUKE FACTOR 9 - Pompeo: America ‘obligated’ to fight ‘Hezbollah’ in Venezuela to save ‘duly elected’ Guaido

Straining to explain Washington’s eagerness for regime change in Caracas, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Cuba was already occupying Venezuela, misunderstood how democracy works, and claimed Iran had a presence in the country.

While navigating extremely delicate issues like international diplomacy for most world leaders requires finesse and sophistication, Pompeo opted for a more ham-fisted approach in an interview with Fox Business on Wednesday.

Weaving together a loosely-knit narrative of garish moralizing and lists of countries on America’s naughty list, President Donald Trump’s chief diplomat attempted to help American audiences understand what the State Department is doing in Venezuela.

Feb 07 16:47

VENEZUELA - U.S. AID GAMBIT FAILS - WAR PLANS LACK SUPPORT

The opposition in Venezuela will probably use access to that 'frozen' money to buy weapons and to create an army of mercenaries to fight a 'civil' war against the government and its followers. Like in Syria U.S. special forces or some CIA 'contractors' will be eager to help. The supply line for such a war would most likely run through Colombia. If, like 2011 in Syria, a war on the ground is planned it will likely begin in the cities near that border.

The U.S. is using the pretext of 'delivering humanitarian aid' from Columbia to Venezuela to undermine the government and to establish a supply line for further operations. It is another attempt to pull the military onto the coup plotter's side:

[I]f the trucks do get across, the opposition can present itself as an answer to Venezuela’s chronic suffering, while Mr. Maduro will appear to have lost control of the country’s borders. That could accelerate defections from the ruling party and the military.

Feb 07 15:46

BEX ALERT - Venezuela crisis: Maduro blockades bridge on Colombia border to stop humanitarian aid entering country

Venezuela‘s military have barricaded a bridge at a key border crossing with Colombia in a challenge to a US-backed effort by the opposition to bring humanitarian aid into the beleaguered nation.

Nicolas Maduro‘s regime blocked the Tienditas International Bridge with a giant orange tanker, two large blue containers and makeshift fencing.

Armed soldiers stood guard at the customs building, with instructions to turn back any attempt to cross the border.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Humanitarian aid my astrolabe. It's military support for the opposition.

Feb 07 14:20

Pompeo Claims Hezbollah "Active In Venezuela" To Justify Possible US Intervention

Two weeks ago, when remarking sarcastically about the upcoming "requirement" for a US military presence in or around Venezuela where the situation is increasingly looking like a replay of events in Syria pitting the US and "western powers" on one side and Russia and China (and Turkey) on the other, we said that it's only a matter of time before ISIS made a dramatic appearance in Latin America.

zerohedge
@zerohedge
Time for ISIS to make a dramatic appearance in Latin America

We thought we were joking.

It turns out the joke was on us, because - in an apparent failure to come up with an even remotely original narrative for another imminent American intervention - US secretary of state Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday night that, drumroll, "Hezbollah has active cells in Venezuela." Well, we were wrong about ISIS at least.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Forgive me, but has Pompeo had any physical, or mental, impairment, which could cause him to make a statement like this?!? White house, what the hell is this guy trying to do?!?

I hope to God (and I am NOT kidding on this) that the White House did overnights on this, found it pulled horrifically for the Administration, and thought the better of this.

Unfortunately, just because a strategy would be the most him-fistedly, pig-headedly stupid thing an Administration could do, is no guarantee it will not do it.

So..... drumroll, please:?!? Watch for a Hezbollah cell in Venezuela allegedly do something awful, to which which the US must, on the most humanitarian of grounds they can conjure, fix by invading the country.

If this is how those in the bowels of power in CD are thinking of regime changing Venezuela, this government, and the world, are all in trouble, and big time.

And why do I say this?!?

Because of the following development:

Russia has embedded 440 Spetznaz Special Forces in Venezuela late January.

Feb 07 12:47

‘Stop Trump’s Insane Actions!’ Interview with Venezuela’s Maduro, How to Avoid War

Several EU nations have been the latest to recognize Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó as the country’s “interim leader,” and US President Donald Trump is keeping the military option on the table against the “illegitimate”Maduro, while aiming to choke Venezuela’s oil trade with sanctions.

Amidst the turmoil, Maduro firmly believes he has the backing of the people – and says he doesn’t care how history will remember him, as long as it’s not as a traitor.

Feb 07 12:46

CIA and FBI Had Planned to Assassinate Hugo Chávez

Now we have a bit more evidence the CIA and the FBI connived with reactionary elements to not only briefly overthrow Chávez, abolish the constitution and the National Assembly, but later assassinate the Venezuelan State Prosecutor, Danilo Anderson. He was killed by a car bomb in Caracas on November 18, 2004, while investigating those who were behind the coup. Giovani Jose Vasquez De Armas, a member of Colombia’s right wing paramilitary group called the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia, claims he was in charge of logistics for the plot to kill Danilo Anderson. Vasquez De Armas told the Attorney General’s office that those planning the killing, “all discussed the plan with the help of the FBI and CIA.”

Feb 07 12:21

Video: Abby Martin: Hands Off Venezuela

Feb 07 11:49

The Making of Juan Guaido: How the US Regime Change Laboratory Created Venezuela’s Coup Leader

GrayZone Project — Before the fateful day of January 22, fewer than one in five Venezuelans had heard of Juan Guaidó. Only a few months ago, the 35-year-old was an obscure character in a politically marginal far-right group closely associated with gruesome acts of street violence. Even in his own party, Guaidó had been a mid-level figure in the opposition-dominated National Assembly, which is now held under contempt according to Venezuela’s constitution.

But after a single phone call from US Vice President Mike Pence, Guaidó proclaimed himself as president of Venezuela. Anointed as the leader of his country by Washington, a previously unknown political bottom dweller was vaulted onto the international stage as the US-selected leader of the nation with the world’s largest oil reserves.

Feb 07 11:49

The Failure of Guaido’s Constitutional Claim to the Presidency of Venezuela

The opening paragraph envisions six scenarios whereby a President might no longer serve. The next paragraph sets out protocols to be followed should a President-elect become unavailable to serve pre-inauguration. The third paragraph contemplates presidential vacancies during the first four years of office. The last paragraph deals with presidential vacancies in the final two years of office.

Of the six scenarios envisioned (death, resignation etc.) Guaido relies on “abandonment of his position.” This clearly never happened. Maduro isn’t gone. He’s still there. “Abandonment” conjures images of a President fleeing on a plane freighted with bullion. Maduro, however, currently occupies presidential offices and residences. There has been no abandonment.

Feb 07 11:41

Repeat after me, protests in Venezuela good, protests in France bad!

Large street protests in both France and Venezuela. Two Presidents with low approval ratings. But only one whose legitimacy has been denied by Western 'democracies' and by the French president himself.
Just when you thought globalist hypocrisy couldn't get any worse, it just did.

France and Venezuela have both experienced widespread anti-government protests in recent weeks. These have been fuelled by economic factors and increased financial hardship of the majority.

But it's only in Venezuela where the democratically-elected leader, Nicolas Maduro, has been ordered to step down and his opponent, Juan Guaido, has been anointed president. The 'good old democracies' of the US and the EU have been falling over themselves to 'recognise' Guaido. They're simply Mad About the Boy, and mad at Maduro.

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