The Coup in Venezuela Must Be Resisted 279


Venezuela has elections. Juan Guaido has never even been a Presidential candidate. Despite massive CIA opposition funding and interference over years as Big Oil tries to regain control of the World’s largest oil reserves, Nicolas Maduro was democratically re-elected in 2018 as President of Venezuela.

The coup now under way is illegitimate. I opposed Maduro’s move to replace the elected National Assembly. Sometimes I read back things I wrote in the past and decide I was wrong. Sometimes I think the article was right, but a bit of a potboiler. Occasionally I am proud, and I am proud of my analysis on Venezuela written on 3 August 2017. I believe it is still valid.

Hugo Chavez’ revolutionary politics were founded on two very simple tenets:

1) People ought not to be starving in dreadful slums in the world’s most oil rich state
2) The CIA ought not to control Venezuela

Over the years, Chavez racked up real achievements in improving living standards for the poor and in providing health and education facilities. He was widely popular and both he and his successor, Nicolas Maduro, also racked up very genuine election victories. Maduro remains the democratically elected President.

But the dream went sour. In particular it fell foul of the tendency of centrally planned economies to fail to get the commodities people want onto shop shelves, and to the corruption that goes with centralisation. The latter was certainly not worse than the right wing corruption it replaced, but that does not diminish its existence.

Every revolution will always displace an existing elite who are by definition the best educated and most articulate section of the population, with most access to resources including media – and to CIA secret backing, which has continued throughout at an increasing rate. Chavez did not solve this problem in the way Robespierre, Stalin, Trotsky or Mao would have done. He embraced democracy, let them be – and largely left their private offshore billions, and thus their power, untouched.

Inevitably the day came when economic and administrative failings cracked the solidity of support from the poor for the revolution. The right then stepped up their opposition with a campaign led by corrupt billionaires, which the western media has failed to acknowledge has been throughout murderously violent.

The problem with revolutionary millenarianism is that its failure to achieve utopia is viewed as disaster by its proponents. Maduro ought to have accepted that it is the nature of life that political tides ebb and flow, ceded power to the opposition gains in parliament, maintained the principles of democracy, and waited for the tide to turn back his way – taking the risk that the CIA might not give him the chance. Instead he has resorted to a constitutional fix which dilutes democracy, a precedent which will delight the right who in the long term have most to fear from the populace. Given the extreme violence of the opposition, I am less inclined to view arrests as unquestionably a straightforward human rights matter, than are some pro-western alleged human rights groups. But that Maduro has stepped off the democratic path I fear is true. He has, bluntly, gone wrong, however difficult the circumstances. I condemn both the departures from human rights best practice and the attempt to use a part indirectly elected body to subvert the elected parliament.

But, even today, Venezuela is still vastly more of a democracy than Saudi Arabia, and a far greater respecter of human rights than Israel in its dreadful repression of the Palestinians. Yet support for Israel and for Saudi Arabia are keystones of the foreign policy of those who today are incessant in their demands that we on the “left” condemn Venezuela. The BBC has given massively more news coverage to human rights abuse in Venezuela this last month than in a score of much worse countries I could name – than a score put together.

Human rights abuse should be condemned everywhere. But it only hits the headlines when practised by a country which is on the wrong side of the neo-con agenda.

Anybody who believes that a country’s internal democracy is the determining factor in whether the West decides to move for violent regime change in that country, is a complete idiot. Any journalist or politician who makes that claim is more likely to be a complete charlatan than a complete idiot. In recent years, possession of hydrocarbon reserves is very obviously a major factor in western regime change actions.

In Latin America over the last century, the presence of internal democracy has been much more likely to lead to external regime change than its absence, as maintenance of US imperialist hegemony has been the defining factor. That combines with oil reserves to make the current move a double whammy.

It is disheartening to see the Western “democracies” so universally supporting the coup in Venezuela. The EU in particular has leapt in to support Donald Trump in the quite ludicrous act of recognising corrupt Big Oil puppet Guaido as “President”. The change of the EU into full neo-con mode -so starkly represented in its bold support for Francoist violence in Catalonia – is what led me to reconcile with Brexit and a Norway style relationship.

When I was in the FCO, the rule on recognition was very plain and very openly stated – the UK recognised the government which had “effective control of the territory”, whatever the attributes of that government. This is a very well established principle of international law. There were very rare exceptions involving continuing to support ousted governments. The pre-1939 Polish government in exile was the most obvious example, though once Nazism was defeated Britain moved to recognise the Communist government actually in charge, to the fury of exiled Poles. I was involved in the question of the continued recognition of President Kabbah of Sierra Leone during the period in which he was ousted by military coup.

But I can think of no precedent at all for recognising a President who does not have and has never had control of the country – and has never been a candidate for President. This idea of the West simply trying to impose a suitably corrupt and biddable leader is really a very startling development. It is astonishing the MSM commentariat and political class appear to see no problem with it. It is a quite extraordinary precedent, and doubtless will lead to many new imperialist adventures.

One final thought. The right wing Government of Ecuador has been one of the first and most vocal in doing the West’s bidding. The Ecuadorean government has been colluding with the United States over the efforts to imprison Julian Assange, and at this very time has arranged for FBI and CIA personnel in Quito to take false and malicious statements manufactured by the Ecuador government in collaboration with the CIA, about Julian Assange’s activities in the Embassy in London.

Ecuadorean government documents had already been produced out of Quito, and shown to MI6 and CIA outlets like the Guardian and New York Times, purporting to show the diplomatic appointment of Julian Assange to Moscow in December 2017. I have believed throughout that these fake documents were most likely produced by Ecuador’s new CIA influenced government itself.

Today Ecuador, once a key part of the Bolivarian revolution, is simply a puppet of the CIA, voicing support for a US coup in Venezuela and working to produce fake testimony against Assange. I warn you firmly against giving credence to Luke Harding’s next “scoop” which will doubtless shortly emerge from this process.


279 thoughts on “The Coup in Venezuela Must Be Resisted

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  • Dungroanin

    Fukus and co have decided that having a big space to drop their MI ordnance in South America is safer from Russian/Chinese veto.
    How big a mistake will that be? China can deploy millions of troops and recruit, train and equip millions more faster than any other nation, if they are forced.

    If this is a retreat from the ME and Pacific to concentrate on the booty of a pole to pole wedge of the planet and resources in agreement with US and China – then it is the end of Bolivarian social democracy in South America. The pretender holding a copy of Bolivars book is reminiscent of Butcher Blair holding a copy of the Koran as he flew over the lands he was dooming to decades of monstrosity.

    Canada the new narco-state, being blindly razed of its environment. Trudeau, like all scions of the world puppeteers servants given their seats at the table, is just another whore of the Money.

    Of course this will be used to corner Corbyn and give him a jolly good trashing regardless of whichever position Labour takes. Especially if a GE is forced.

    • Dungroanin

      Oh and there are a lot more resources there than oil.
      Kilometer 55 back in the 90’s was a buzzing mining township – with military checkposts regularly checking to make sure the miners only sold to the monopoly of purchasers there.

    • Ken Kenn

      Wouldn’t disagree with what you say at all.

      Trumpy got voted in on the basis of the Electoral College not numbers.

      Bernie Sanders was cheated out of his nomination by the DNC.

      Chads hung for Al gore.

      Millions of potential voters are blocked from doing so due to very dodgy registration practices.

      Countries are invaded on invented pretexts against UN rules and NATO deceives the easily deceived ex boss of the old Soviet Union with their promises over dis-armament and not pushing NATO up to Russia’s borders.

      Fascist Ukraine was desribed as democracy in action when it was a Far right takeover.

      No members of ISIS are taken as prisoners of war but bussed out to Idlib in order to fight as US and Saudi proxies when needed again.

      .The truth is that the US leadership is slowly but surely working its way up to confrontation with China and Russia.

      They are already overstretched militarily and if anything goes off this time it will lead to nuke war quicker than you can say John Bolton.

      Yes the US has the abillity to blow up the palnet many times over – the problem is that the Russians have the capability of doing it just once.

      And that is enough.

      There may well be no Democracy to ‘ defend ‘ in the end anyway.

      Apologies to Mr Bannon but this is the wrong type of Armagedon in the wrong place.

      It could all end in Milwaukee – not Israel.

  • Nancy

    Venezuela should recognize Nancy Pelosi as President of the United States.

    Hey, if its permissible to raise the Speaker of a Legislature to be President, even though they never win an election to the office, nor even run, then ….

    Or maybe recognizing Dr. Jill Stein, as the former Green Party candidate for President is the way to go? She’d be much better than Millionaire Nancy. Either way, it makes the point that if countries just go around recognizing who they want as leader of other countries, then the world is just chaos.

  • Clive p

    In what is obviously a complete coincidence the BBC website has a piece ‘inside Venezuela’s torture chamber’. The Guardian in its usual neo-con stance hints that just like Kiev snipers may fire on the crowd and the ‘US and the international community will be forced (!) to intervene’

    • Molloy

      .
      Clive, great stuff.

      High time for BBC Psyops Inc to be instructed that they are paid for by the UK public (BBC victims) methinks.

      (Sighing). . . . The usual toxic empire-class-entitlement sociopathy?

      .

    • J

      Sickening stuff Clive. Destabilise, incite, invade, destroy, rebuild, destabilise, incite, invade, destroy, rebuild, destabilise, incite… Groundhog Day seems like a brief interlude

    • Tom Welsh

      Thank goodness that the blessed HMG has never tortured anyone. Or even used harsh language.

  • John Pillager

    Addicted to your blog Craig.
    Thanks for all your time and work helping us understand ‘today’.
    For anyone interested, John Pilger’s superb documentary on the USA and South America…
    https://vimeo.com/16724719

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    We cannot control our looney governors. Russia and Chins will have to do the heavy lifting here.

  • Kempe

    ” Human rights abuse should be condemned everywhere. ”

    Goes without question so where is the condemnation of Maduro?

    As pointed out by others here many other countries have been the subject of US sanctions without the population being reduced to mass unemployment and starvation, an economy shrinking by more than 10% PA and inflation over one million per cent. This before we start on the brutal way Maduro suppresses dissent.

    Maybe, just maybe, the people of Venezuela deserve better.

  • Jack

    Remember this:

    “Before they launch missiles, they launch narratives. Before they drop bombs, they drop ideas. Before they invade, they propagandize. Before the killing, there is manipulation. The front line of any antiwar movement is a fight against mass media psyops. What you’re doing matters.”
    https://twitter.com/caitoz/status/1088312755050827777

    What you do now matters.

    • Tom Welsh

      “The charge is one of attempted rape and sexual assault”.

      Hardly surprising in view of how effective that was against Assange.

  • Goose

    BBC Newsnight’s coverage was actually quite balanced last night, I was almost taken aback.

    They had a woman on the show via satellite link, who was allowed to explain the origins of the crisis Maduro now faces and how it was very much created and fanned by outsiders ( mainly US) through economic sanctions and the crippling inability to refinance their debt. She also explained how the US’s intervention will go down very badly in the country and the presenter Emily Maitlis, wasn’t hostile and didn’t interrupt her once. Refreshing change.

    • Isa

      Yes I saw that and by that stage I was already apoplectic with Portuguese right wing media . It came as such a surprise and she was so assertive and straight to the point I almost fell of my chair !

  • Glasshopper

    A Venezuelan friend, who originally supported Chavez, considered the country a total disaster for much of his later years, and a basketcase under Maduro. Despite my cynicism regarding neocon adventures, the CIA etc, it’s hard not to see that many of the failures of the country can be blamed on the socialists who have clearly played a major part in turning the richest country in the region into a beggar.

    That’s not to say i support regime change by force, it should be up to the people to make the necessary changes, and there can be no doubt that the US solution to the problem would be detrimental to the people.

    I fear Trump’s desire to get out of the Middle East will translate to a justification for meddling closer to home, and we could be looking at the beginnings of a major new confrontation.

    • Jack

      Glasshopper

      ” it’s hard not to see that many of the failures of the country can be blamed on the socialists who have clearly played a major part in turning the richest country in the region into a beggar.”

      You are seriously misinformed and that dont help anyone. Veneuzela have never been the richest country and the western backed leader is himself a socialist.
      Dont be a dupe for the coup makers.

      • Alex Westlake

        Venezuela was a country which people migrated to rather than from before Chavez and Maduro got their hands on it. With the world’s largest proven oil reserves it should be a rich country, and the fact that it isn’t is a pretty damning indictment of socialism

      • Glasshopper

        Fair enough there are richer countries, but with that oil stash, fertile land and amazing coastline and tourism potential, there are few more blessed.

        It’s always a tough choice.
        Do you believe People who actually live in these places?
        or do you believe the neocon propagandists of the MSM?
        Or do you believe lefty windbags on the internet?

      • Tom Welsh

        ” Venezuela [has] never been the richest country …”

        He was probably thinking of Libya.

        So many once-prosperous countries turned into desert moonscapes – it’s hard to keep track.

    • Jo Dominich

      Glasshopper, I wonder whether the USA shouldn’t consider Regime change in the UK on this basis. A minority Government, unable to govern, only kept in power by 10 fanatics, a state owned MSM, a Govt dept paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to an intelligence organisation to dish the dirt on the Leader of the Opposition and more. Meanwhile, there is a megalomaniac in the White House. I invite Russia and China to now step up to the mark and protect Venezuela.

    • Yeah, Right

      “That’s not to say i support regime change by force, it should be up to the people to make the necessary changes,”

      There was an election in 2018, Grasshopper. If “the people” wanted to make “necessary changes” then they would have voted him out of office. They didn’t.

      He is President, the elected President of Venezuela. If they don’t like that then they are perfectly entitled to vote him out of office.

      Honestly, in all this mountain of propagandized hand-wringing all you need to do is to remove the words “Nicolas Maduro” and replace them with “Donald Trump” to see how hypocritical this all is.

      Every word of condemnation against Maduro is equally applicable to The Orange One, and every single person now claiming support for Juan Guaido should also be declaring Hillary Clinton to be the right and proper President of the United States of America.

  • John Bathurst

    Thank you for the insight into this situation. The full on mainstream media attention caught my eye on CBC last night and I was attracted to the images of a young self declared leader (Guaido). The news report paid zero attention to the root causes of Venezuaela’s issues of which I am aware. The realization of just what a huge plate of steaming barnyard dropping the news cycle is dishing up was apparent when Trump weighed in, in support of the self declared president.
    Ah but then that pillar of socialist integrity, Russia puts in an appearance to save the intersts of the people. (Please note full on sarcasm).
    To think Venezuela’s problems all started with a president who wanted to have the oil riches benifit his own citizens with better education, health care, etc.
    Meanwhile in the good old US of A everytime Bernie Sanders opens his mouth, right wing puppets cite this situation as what happens when the socialist hordes have their way,
    Ah the smell of those barnyard droppings!

  • Laguerre

    I wonder whether Trump will have the patience to push it through. A big bang Trump likes, over in 24 hours. Longer term conflict, I doubt. But the army is sticking with Maduro, so it means civil war, if Guaido can’t be rounded up straight away.

    • Jack

      Laguerre

      Important to jail this guy as soon as possible, what he do is a crime in any nation, especially in the west that now supports him!

  • Holly Horne

    Venezuela has held 27 elections which President Carter and his organization observed and passed

  • Republicofscotland

    Well Trump and Pence can’t even run the US, in what must be the most embarrassing administration in what has seen, the longest US government shutdown, amid the ego of Trump and his xenophobic stance against South and Central America via building a wall to keep them out. The Great Satan wants their assets but not their people.

    A quarter of the federal government has been unfunded since 22 December, leaving 800,000 employees without pay, but Trump doesn’t care, if he did he’d have sorted the mess out by now.

    Westminster backs the USA’s most recent attempt (in progress) to overthrow Venezulean president Maduro, and British far-right shit news rags such as the DM, with xenophobic tendencies are salivating at the prospect of the coup.

    Several South American countries including Brasil, whose president, Jair Balsonaro, is in my opinion Trump’s madder alter-ego back the coup. Maduro might not be an ideal president, and like other nations whose gaze catches the eye of the Great Satan, Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria etc. The head of state must first be demonised internationally, and a consensus reach that they must be removed and a compliant puppet put in their place.

    • Tom Welsh

      “Who is the legitimate leader of the UK?”

      Whoever gets the money from Washington. But unfortunately I am not cleared for that level of information.

      • Philip Cross

        The Rothschilds are….in the UK at least…..but overall they answer to the Payseurs….and the Black Nobility of Europe

  • JB

    I am grateful to Craig Murray for raising his voice against the completely open, brutal and cynical attack on Venezuela by the US and its henchmen in South America.
    The UK msm have been leading the way for this and to this for a very long time. If you follow Reuters, for example, you will know well in advance what’s cooking and who is cooking. I fear there is going to be a war on Venezuela and in Venezuela. Another war! of the rich and most powerful agains the poor, in order to make the poor even poorer in the name of democracy, “structural reforms’, open liberalised markets (no labour protections, no safety net, no education, only the freedom to be poor and to die). We must take our hat off to the “great western democracies”, the “indispensable nation(s)”.
    But that’s all really last year’s snow.
    All of us are the problem. Why aren’t we all in the streets right now shouting – hands off Venezuela?
    Why?

    • Isa

      Totally agree and I would add that this is going to create a civil war in Venezuela and severe unrest and division in Latin America . I don’t think people have a notion of the full potential consequences this will have .

      hands off Venezuela and other countries !

  • Tom Welsh

    “Anybody who believes that a country’s internal democracy is the determining factor in whether the West decides to move for violent regime change in that country, is a complete idiot…”

    Contrariwise, Craig. That is the main determining factor, as Dr Chomsky has been explaining for several decades.

    If a country has a real functioning democracy that works for the good of the nation and the people as a whole, Washington condemns it as “communism” and launches a vicious attack.

    Only if a country has a fake democratic apparatus – like the Western nations themselves – reporting directly to Washington, and unhesitatingly obeying commands that militate against their own nation’s security and interests, does Washington call it “a democracy”.

  • Philip Cross

    as much as I dislike socialism, that always leads to communism, which always leads to collapse……it is not anyone else’s issue what is happening in Venezuela….taking into consideration events that have taken place to ruin their economy in the first place it is ironic the current state of affairs there should be blamed on that, this has been ‘machined’ for many years for NeoCons to collapse the economy, cause unrest and to have the Central Banks move in and steal everything for pennies in the pound…..a bit like what the Rothschilds did after the battle of waterloo…..spread disinfo to affect an outcome suitable for them and them only….it is clear that this has been orchestrated to collapse the government of Venezuala…..can we call it a ‘Latin Spring’ ….just like their attempts with the fake Arab Spring??

  • Steve Crickmore

    Murray calls Venezuela an ‘Internal democracy”, but it is a now a dictatorship of the minority, since large swathes of the remain ‘working class’ no longer support him, (those that haven’t left the country by foot).. It is hardly a real democracy since it doesn’t express the will of the majority. Maduro claimed victory in the last presidential election in May 2018 in a rigged election with close to 68 percent of the vote but. Venezuela’s election board said turnout was 46.1 percent, down from 80 percent in 2013. That’s the lowest turnout the country has seen in decades.

    He did it in part by banning two of the most popular opposition leaders, Leopoldo Lopez and Henrique Capriles, from running in the election — and implying that any Venezuelans who didn’t vote for him might lose their government food subsidies. Everyone who has this card must vote,” Maduro said at campaign rallies, referring to the IDs Venezuelans use to receive their subsidies. “I give and you give.”

    Venezuelans were told to show those IDs at polling stations run by Maduro’s party, according to the New York Times. That’s a big deal because a majority of Venezuelans rely on government subsidies to buy basic groceries. Without those subsidies, many would go hungry.

    “Everyone who has this card must vote,” Maduro said at campaign rallies, referring to the IDs Venezuelans use to receive their subsidies. “I give and you give.”https://www.vox.com/world/2018/5/22/17379674/venezuela-election-results-maduro-won-sanctions

    • Xavi

      Logic far more applicable to France, where Macron’s support now stands at 17%. (Yet he has the gall to be applauding protesters in Venezuela while his cops are breaking the heads of protesters at home and arresting them en masse!)

  • Chris

    I won’t condemn human rights abuses anywhere. That doesn’t mean I approve of them, but what good does my condemnation do?

  • Casual Observer

    At a time when it seems that many Venezuelans seem to be willing to risk life and limb to get rid of Maduro, it is somewhat amusing to see so many ‘Socialists’ here who proclaim the achievements of that man 🙂

    • GoAwayAndShutUp

      After decades living in abject poverty before Chavez, MILLIONS of Venezuelans that now, for the first time in a century (probably), have some basic needs partially covered, will react badly if Colombia, Brazil or the US intervene due to this Guaidó charade. Having been advised by Fidel Castro, I guess Maduro, and Chavez before him, has been preparing for this to happen for years (See Milicia Nacional Bolivariana). @CasualObserver alluded to the “many willing to risk life and limb to get rid of Maduro”, let see what the former totally miserable are willing to risk not to go back to a system where they were ALWAYS forgotten.

      At the end, those who want Maduro overthrown by force know perfectly well what is going to happen. That’s, precisely, the objective. A country in ruins as Iraq, Lybia, Syria, etc. Then, after causing so much pain and destruction, if Maduro stays in power, sanctions on anybody who tries to help Venezuela. Rinse and repeat.

      • Casual Observer

        Its gone on too long. Venezuela with some of the biggest oil reserves on the planet, should be the ideal place to make Socialism work ? The fact that such a cock has been made of its economy, mainly to the detriment of the ‘Poor’ that you champion, surely suggests that Maduro, and most likely Chavez before him, were on the wrong track ?

        Chavez at least had charisma in spades, whereas Maduro seems to possess no personality skills at all.

      • Isa

        Precisely go away ! I’m sick of people stating this and writing it’s for democracy and the well being of the Venezuelan people . It’s not and it creates a very dangerous precedent and also total chaos splitting Latin America in two factions , furthermore they starved Venezuela through sanctions , they waited until bolsonaro was conveniently placed in power , the U.K. denied Venezuela access to their own gold reserves when people were startling and now they talk about democracy and protecting the people ? To the last circle of Dante’s inferno with them. They can go and spread democracy in Israel or Saudi if they really cared.

        • Casual Observer

          According to Wikipedia, that well known bastion of reaction, Venezuela rates high (very) on the scale of most corrupt countries. Were that to be in any way true, the BOE was probably doing the right thing ? It would after all be a good thing for the national treasury to be Not looted by those who realised the gig was nearly up ?

          Marxism does not work, period !

          • Isa

            Casual observer that’s the most ridiculous explanation I’ve ever come across ! Starve them to “ democracy “ yeah … I’d laugh if it wasn’t so tragic .

  • Tarla

    Now that the Us have been sent packing from the Middle East, they have resorted, yet again, to kicking those in their ‘backyard’. But just like the other times there will be initial ‘success’ followed by a continent wide rebellion.

  • GoAwayAndShutUp

    After decades living in abject poverty before Chavez, MILLIONS of Venezuelans that now, for the first time in a century (probably), have some basic needs partially covered, will react badly if Colombia, Brazil or the US intervene due to this Guaidó charade. Having been advised by Fidel Castro, I guess Maduro, and Chavez before him, has been preparing for this to happen for years (See Milicia Nacional Bolivariana). @CasualObserver alluded to the “many willing to risk life and limb to get rid of Maduro”, let see what the former totally miserable are willing to risk not to go back to a system where they were ALWAYS forgotten.

    At the end, those who want Maduro overthrown by force know perfectly well what is going to happen. That’s, precisely, the objective. A country in ruins as Iraq, Lybia, Syria, etc. Then, after causing so much pain and destruction, if Maduro stays in power, sanctions on anybody who tries to help Venezuela. Rinse and repeat.

  • Laguerre

    The sequence of events is the following, if I understand it correctly: the NeoCons have long had a plan to regime-change Venezuela. Trump is not too keen, as he has the attention-span of a butterfly, and is not interested in anything more than a big-bang. He is convinced by the Neo-Cons that it will all be over in 24 hours as the people, he is told, all believe in the opposition. Unfortunately it doesn’t go the way he wants. The army declares for Maduro. So we’re faced with a civil war. The wretched Trump is now faced with what he doesn’t want at all – having to stay in Washington to direct a war, instead of fondling young thighs in Mare Lago.

  • Yonatan

    “This idea of the West simply trying to impose a suitably corrupt and biddable leader is really a very startling development.”

    It means the end of democracy in any meaningful sense of the word, also of international law. If accepted, it means that the US has ultimate control over the government of any and all countries in the world, along with laws they are subject to. In short, the US has declared itself to be the global tyrant.

    Of course, these other countries have no say in the running of America.

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