The Vultures of Caracas 804


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

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

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

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

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

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

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804 thoughts on “The Vultures of Caracas

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  • Hmmm

    Illegal sanctions have caused this poverty . Not sure how it works but it fits the general pattern. Half a million dead children is well worth it for the Yanks….

  • glenn_nl

    Many of these ordinary folks supporting the popular uprising appear to have put what little money they presumably have into rather nice cameras, iPhones and so on to memorialise the event.

  • Goose

    Other major EU countries, unlike Jeremy Hunt and the UK, are withholding their support for Guaido, calling instead for a fresh election within ‘a week’, although, given the logistics involved in such things, that seems an equally unrealistic demand?

    Even then , what if Maduro wins again? From all I’ve read, the country is starkly divided with half blaming Maduro and half blaming harsh economic sanctions and the falling oil price for their woes. Maduro won reelection in May last year and independent polling had put Maduro neck-and-neck with his main rival Henri Falcon before that vote. So he obviously has some support, despite the western coverage that presents a country united in opposition to him.

    • Carl

      On Thursday I heard Hunt say Guaido should be running Venezuela, even though he’d never heard of him an hour earlier and has no clue as to the man’s policies, other than he has been selected by the “structural reformers” of DC.. (something Hunt has in common with virtually all Venezuelans)

      • Gordon G

        Quite so. Of course, post-Brexit, London will be desperate for trade deals with the US, so they will be even more eager than ever to follow where America leads …

      • Tony

        Hunt is a bird brain. You don’t even have to analyse what he says, you just have to look at his eyes. If you actually analyse what he says, it’s an exercise in futility. He even forgot his own wife’s ethnicity, fer Christ’s sake!

    • Alex Westlake

      This is actually the UK’s position, as stated by the #2 at the FCO – Sir Alan Duncan – at the UNSC yesterday. We will recognise Guaidó as President in a week if new elections have not been called by then

  • giyane

    Appointing an unelected president avoids all the hoo ha of armed thugs bearing full ballot boxes of fake votes we saw recently in Iraqi Kurdistan. But if the military are fully behind Maduro that couldn’t have been done

    So far in brexit the Bank of England have been the good guys. But if they can confiscate Venezuela’s gold, they can probably confiscate Britain’s gold from a JC government . And in truth something akin to that already happened to Gordon Brown

    • Tony

      So far in brexit, th BOE have been the bad guys. They have been the main anti-brexit propagandists, starting with Andy Haldane’s blatant lies. They, in concert with their fellow multinational/globalist stooge ‘Phil’ Hammond are the facilitators of keeping the working classes and lower middle classes where we ‘deserve’ to be, for the next stage of their plan…..

  • Mist001

    “just as Davos serves as nothing but an annual reminder of how very poorly God aims avalanches.”

    Liked that, may have to steal it!

  • Antoinette ryder

    I have a photo of Guaido proudly displaying in his full Freemason’s outfit….unfortunately, although understandably, you don’t use a photo facility here.

  • Mally Bryant

    Ever since Wikileaks removed the Emperor’s Clothes, the world has discovered the naked self-interest and evil conniving of clandestine elites and their marionettes.

  • James

    Every word that has ever been said against Maduro might be true.

    But it is not for the US or any of its satellites to say who should be in charge in Venezuela.

    These governments can’t even sort out their own backyards.

  • Republicofscotland

    Looks like Ecuador is moving towards the USA’s way of thinking on Venezuela. It could be just a matter of time before Moreno throws Assange to the lions.

    Ecuadorean government is blocking the planes meant to help Venezuelan migrants return home, in a “violation of human rights,” according to the Venezuelan Embassy in Ecuador.

    The Ecuadorean government headed by President Lenin Moreno is trying to block three planes meant to repatriate 270 Venezuelan migrants from the Andean country as part of the Plan Vuelta a la Patria (Return to the Homeland Plan) sponsored by the government of Nicolas Maduro.

    https://www.telesurenglish.net/news/Ecuador-Blocks-Venezuelan-Planes-of-Return-to-Homeland-Plan-20190126-0008.html

    https://www.telesurenglish.net/news/Venezuela-Repatriates-500-Citizens-After-Xenophobic-Wave-in-Ecuador-20190123-0016.html

    The Great Satan (US) has been playing its divide and rule games in South and Central America for decades. I’ll never understand why those countries don’t pull together to thwart the Great Satan even occasionally.

    • Ort

      The despicable Lenin Moreno has already enthusiastically become “The Jailor of Mordor”, and inverted Julian Assange’s asylum and sanctuary into harsh, Gitmo-like political captivity.

      It’s a given that he desperately seeks to curry favor with his rich and powerful sponsors from El Norte.

  • FobosDeimos

    It is not so simple, as it seldom is in politics. US intervention must be opposed and dennounced in the strongest terms, certainly. On the other hand: (1) hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans have fled the country because they cannot eat (I live in Argentina and the influx of Venezuelan refugees has been constant, especially during 2018); (2) the Venezuelan migrants/refugees cover a broad spectrum of classes; the poorest of them have flooded Colombia, but thousands of young Venezuelans who do not look “white” at all are working in Buenos Aires as waiters/delivery boys and other un-oligarchical jobs; (3) while Chávez undoubtedly enjoyed wide support from the popular masses and his initial years in power can be certainly credited for achieving the inclusion of millions of outcasts, his later years before his death already showed the clearest signs of an authoritarian/totalitarian system which was losing support among the working class itself, not to mention the initial support of middle class, progressive sections of the population; a large number of Chavistas deserted him; (4) when Chavez died and the hugely incompetent Maduro took the reins of the “movement” in 2013 it was all downhill from the get-go. Maduro militarized the movement even more than Chavez had militarized it. Internal democracy was suppressed among the PSUV and opponents within the Chavismo were starting to be dennounced as traitors and scum. A Caribbean, mild version of Stalinism; (5) this all “exploded” during the elections of 2015 for the National Assembly (Congress); the opposition won by a landslide and their seats in the Assembly were twice as much as those of the PSUV and allies; (6) before the new legislators were sworn in, the outgoing Assembly (packed with Chavistas) removed the entire Supreme Court of Venezuela, even though a majority of the justices were pro- Chavez; they were deemed not to be “revolutionary”enough; many of them had to leave the country; (7) the new “Supreme Court” is made up of political soldiers whose loyalty to the Boss is paramount; the first thing these soldier-judges did was to strike down each and every law or resolution passed by the elected Assembly; therefore Maduro and his bodyguards, supported by the Armed Forces (which have been bribed for the past 20 years with all sorts of corrupt dealings), perfomed a “coup” against the constitutionally elected legislature; (8) in May 2018, Maduro was reelected President with the participation of only 30-35% of the electorate. The election was manipulated in order to exclude candidates from the opposition and for millions of Venezuelans it became impossible to register and vote. The May 20,2018 elections were as legitimate as the ones that Stroessner used to organize in Paraguay. On January 10, 2019 Maduro was sworn in by a totally illegitimate judiciary. Popular support for this sad mockery of “socialism” has dwindled to about 25%.

    US intervention must be dennounced and rejected, and at the same time Venezuela must be given the opportunity to vote in transparent, internationally supervised elections, and hopefully to put and end to this pathetic charade. Socialism ot the 21st Century started out as a breath of fresh air 20 years ago. It became an outright nightmare for 90% of Venezuelans. I am sorry to ruin the fantasies of armchair revolutionaries and well meaning progressives, but the same thing happend with Stalin, right?

    • lysias

      A system that allows as much dissent as we have seen in Venezuela is surely far from Stalinist.

      If Maduro should be overthrown, the last way to do that is undrr U.S. sponsorship.

      If Maduro is overthrown under U.S. sponsordhip, who do you think will get the revenue from the oil?

    • Hmmm

      Thank you FobosDeimos for bringing some reality to the discussion. Craig Murray’s analysis of the photo is not nearly as powerful or telling as he seems to think. A kind of “photo op,” really, to promote a simplistic narrative he accepts a priori.

  • michael norton

    What I would like to know is, why if Venezuela has the richest oil reserves in the World, Venezuela has borrowed some many hundreds of billions of dollars from other countries, where did all the loot go?

    • michael norton

      Venezuela has the world’s largest proven oil reserves, but shortages of food, medicine and electricity continue to ravage the country.
      The International Monetary Fund predicts inflation could reach one million per cent by the end of 2018.
      Venezuela is in debt to the tune of $200,000,000,000 plus to overseas countries/outfits.
      https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/venezuela-oil-debt-refugees-bonds-maduro-1.4807633

      It does seem that some countries are spectacularly badly managed.
      Zimbabwe is another example.

      • Republicofscotland

        Venezuelan, heavy crude is much sought after, Venezuela exports oil to among other countries China, India, and the US, which can’t get enough of the heavy crude that is refined into diesel.

        Just now the US gets its heavy crude from Canada and Mexico, but theres still a shortfall of heavy crude reaching the US.

        It doesn’t take a genius to work out why the Great Satan is currently squeezing Venezuela.

        https://www.reuters.com/article/us-venezuela-politics-usa-oil-graphic/venezuelan-oil-exports-to-u-s-still-a-primary-source-of-cash-idUSKCN1PJ2CT

      • Bill Purves

        Or perhaps the money is stolen by foreign countries in cahoots with their politicians, bribery, and corruption, as with the signing of the treaty of union.

      • giyane

        Might one ask why the apartheid callus on the eastern med is involved in south America. Historically they were deeply involved , as today in Libya, in trading slaves. Racism is us. This is unfortunately the reason we have racist brexit. Because of their histurical expertise in white supremacist politics

        • Alex Westlake

          If you mean Israel then I’d be fascinated to know how you imagine a nation which was only founded in 1948 could have been historically involved in the slave trade.

      • Keith McClary

        The Canadian state media closely follow the official line.

        “But emboldening Venezuela’s opposition has been a labour of months, The Canadian Press has learned. Canadian diplomats in Caracas, with their Latin American counterparts, worked to get the country’s opposition parties to coalesce behind the one person who emerged strong enough to stand against Maduro: 35-year-old Guaido. …
        The Canadian Press interviewed senior Canadian government officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the crisis in Venezuela. They detailed Canada’s role in aiding democratic forces to rescue the once oil-rich country from the economic and political spiral that has forced three million Venezuelans from their homes.”

        https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/canada-guaido-diplomats-1.4994376

        They were covering the rise of Bolsonaro in ominous tones, now they are in bed with him along with the likes of Trump, Abrams, Bolton and Pompeo.

    • Eric the Half Bee

      Nicked by the regime and people close to it, whom most people on this blog are embarrassingly eager to defend. Here’s a report claiming that Maria Gabriela Chavez, 35, the late president’s second-oldest daughter, holds assets in American and Andorran banks totaling almost $4.2billion: https://www.diariolasamericas.com/maria-gabriela-chavez-podria-ser-la-mujer-mas-rica-venezuela-n3265811 (No I don’t read Spanish; neither I suspect do many of the instant experts contributing here.)

      • Jack

        Eric

        So not a leader, not a offspring of Maduro but a daughter of a deceased former leader is somehow a argument by you for the coup?
        So you dont read spanish, but spread a link to a spanish article, You dont know what it says and what the accused woman have said in return to the accusations. You dont know anything about the news site, nor the source of the actual claim and you try to defame people here?
        Good riddance.

        • Eric the Half Bee

          Jack – The first sentence of your reply misses my point entirely. I answered michael norton’s question on “where did all the loot go?” by referring to a report that a member of the Chavez family had pocketed about $4.2bn of it – that’s about $130 per Venezuelan, to save you the trouble of working it out for yourself. I took that report from an English-language source, but as there was a link to the original Spanish-language report I appended that as I felt it was closer to the primary source. So the fact that Hugo Chavez is dead is entirely irrelevant. Also I have argued neither for nor against the “coup”. Lastly I have not “defamed” anyone, unless pointing out that people are making fools of themselves amounts to defamation.

          • Jack

            Eric

            Again, you dont know spanish but that was apparently the language of the real source – according to yourself!
            Now why do you link something you have no idea what it is really saying, not knowing who wrote the report or if it actually contain facts or not?

      • lysias

        Diario Las Americas is a Spanish-language newspaper published in Miami. According to Wikipedia, it was recently bought by a group of Venezuelan investors. Wouldn’t surprise me if they were a front for the CIA.

      • bj

        Eric the Half Bee, as you see, your comment, it making not much of any point, isn’t fetching more here than a Quarter Cee.

    • James

      The oil crash from over $100 a barrel to less that $40 a barrel under Obama affected Venezuela Iran and Russia in 2014
      Venezuela needed the high price of oil to fund the social programmes health and education nd housing. And the collapse in oil price affected them drastically
      The collapse in oil price was engineered by the USA John Kerry and Saudia Arabia who flooded the market with oil
      It is only recently the price of oil has crept up to $55 d a barrel

      Venezuela economy is too geared to oil exports

      Iran and Russia were hit but were able to weather the collapse better

      The collapse has affected Nigeria and Algeria but we don’t here much about them

    • AshenLight

      The main reason is that Venezuela’s major reserves [in the Orinoco Belt] are not the type of light crude that flows smoothly out of the ground in large quantities, but much more akin to the Athabasca “oil sands” in Canada. It is heavy, thick, viscous, kind of like molasses in consistency, and requires significant infrastructure to produce, often including steam injection and other heavy energy inputs. Heavy oil also tends to be full of sulfur and other unwanted contaminants that present complications for refining.

      So, basically, Venezuela has an absolutely massive total resource in the ground, but they’ll never be able to produce it at 8-10 million barrels per day like KSA or Russia due to its nature. And the oil market is all about flow rate. However, in the long run this could be a positive for people inhabiting Venezuela (and Canada) in the future, as they’ll still have significant quantities available even once all the light, sweet stuff is a distant memory.

  • Spencer Eagle

    Oh come on Craig? Scan the crowd, the clothes, the faces. Who are you comparing them to? Just because the population of Venezuela is largely better dressed, fed and kempt than most of Scotland, doesn’t make it so.

    • FobosDeimos

      Thank you. I don’t like John Oliver at all. Sadly, some of the things he says there are true. The voice-overs by a “so called” leftist look like coming from the Moon. I really hope that a negotiated solution, such as those proposed by Mexico or Uruguay can take place without the threat of US intervention. In the past, Maduro has let down all those who believed his word, such as former Spanish PM Rodríguez Zapatero.

      • Michael Brothers

        The “leftish” voice over is coming from Empire Files producer Mike Prysner and it was produced for the Empire Files.
        Now The Empire Files, hosted by the excellent journalist Abby Martin, has been shut down because it was “contravening” US sanctions against Venezuela. That same “you tube” video ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_fV-C1Ag5sI ) the one that debunks John Oliver, used to also be on The Real News ( https://therealnews.com/ ). I see that they have since removed it…probably because of the Venezuelan sanctions too. Honest discussion is under attack, mainly from the five-evil-eye governments, but also all around the world.
        People need to wake up.

  • James Stewart

    There was a good television documentary about Chavez on recently – “Revolution In Ruins – The Hugo Chavez Story”. It seems to still be on iPlayer.

    Their explanation of Venezuelan poverty was that Chavez was not a ‘detail man’; that, having nationalized the oil companies, he lost interest in the investment that they needed to keep the oil flowing; and as a consequence, Venezuelan oil production fell by two thirds during the later years of Chavez’s rule (I don’t know if this explanation is true, but the film seemed to me to be fair).

    In other words, the impoverishment of Venezuelans was not caused by Maduro, it’s a situation that Maduro inherited (although Maduro has manifestly failed to fix it). And of course, US sanctions against Venezuela for no greater crime than being socialist in the US backyard hasn’t helped.

    Maduro lacks charisma and imagination, but the solution is certainly not a revival of the era of CIA-run right-wing coups in Latin America.

    • James Stewart

      I meant to add that, in addition to losing interest in the running of nationalized oil, Chavez also used the industry as a cash-cow for his spending programmes,and loaded the management up with yes-men. But this all happened in the later years of his presidency – after he started believing in his own fantasticness. This always seems to happen with charismatic leaders who win landslide elections – Blair, anyone?

      Well, that’s what the documentary.says.

    • MJ

      Yes, a bit like those demonstrations in the US after Trump was elected, where everyone was wearing brand new designer combat gear.

    • FobosDeimos

      At this point the opposition to Maduro encompasses a very broad section of the Venezuelan people. It is unfair to judge the situation by just one photo. There are pro- American, rich people who would approve of anything just to get rid of Chavismo, and then you have approximately 75% of Venezuelans who feel humiliated, hopeless and totally disillusioned with the machinery that was once seen as a “revolution”. I could take a lot of pictures of black and mulatto Venezuelans who were forced to come to work in Buenos Aires and can be found everywhere here. Most of them travelled by bus!! It is a 7,300 km (4,500 mile) journey. You have to speak to people like these and get a sense of reality, which is far beyond the cliches that you can build by just looking at one picture.

  • giyane

    Voltairenet has had this article about the Caribbean Basin for some time. In it Thierry Myessan discusses John Bolton’s plan to attack Venezuela both militarily and diplomatically. Netantyphoo is involved :
    https://www.voltairenet.org/article204656.html

    And there is also this article in which John Bolton and the chimp are also starred, in which Myessan talks about the US’s use of both Iranian and Islamist terrorists . Please note all those who gasp at my saying that Israel and the US are with Iran in private even though in public they are against Iran.
    https://www.voltairenet.org/article204804.html

    ” Despite their apparent similarity in name, there is no connection between the Mujahedin (with one d) of the Muslim Brotherhood (who are Arabs and Sunnis) and the Mujaheddin (with two d’s) of the MEK (who are Persian and Chiites). The only objective link between the two groups is that they have both been used by the United States and both practise terrorism.
    As from 2013, the MEK has been transferred from Iraq to Albania with the support of the United States. A small town has been built for them by Israëli companies.”

    What is the collective name for a group of small and large satans? Shayaateen.

  • Harry

    95% of Venezuelans are black or brown. 5% of Venezuelans are of pure European descent. One other small point. I have been hearing of possible regime change in Venezuelan for over 2 years. There has been a substantial accumulation of defaulted Venezuelan debt in the hands of certain hedge fund managers. Gramercy Partners, Elliot, etc. They specialized in deeply discounted sovereign debt. I have heard that they have had meetings with the Administration. What do you think the ask was?

    • Spencer Eagle

      95% of Venezuelans are black or brown, where did you get that nonsense from? Clearly you have never set foot in the country.

      • Harry

        My half brother and half sister are venezuelan. My father lived in cuidad bolvar for 30 years. I first went at 18, and have been maybe 10x since then. You were saying?

        I can see why you are confused. You were looking at the picture. Perhaps you visited the embassy district of Caracas?

        Have you ever been?

  • Loony

    Oil production in Venezuela is at a 7 decade low. Oil production has been in more or less constant decline since the assumption of power by Chavez in 1999. Why might this be?

    Could it be that PdVSA has been starved of both the cash and managerial resources necessary to maintain production and develop the worlds largest oil reserves. Venezuelan oil is heavy oil – and needs blending with other oils to make it marketable. Venezuela has destroyed its own ability to blend it own oil. It is therefore reliant on US Gulf Coast refineries – with about 40% of Venezuelan oil exports having a destination of the US. In return the US exports about 80,000 bbl/day of petroleum products to Venezuela.

    Other large markets for Venezuelan exports are China and Russia. Interestingly out of these 3 countries only the US pays in cash for Venezuelan oil. How strange – no doubt there is some (ir)rational explanation.

    For a while the effects of production declines were masked by a massive inflation in oil prices – but that trend came to an abrupt end. What made oil prices oscillate so wildly? Why say hello to Central Banks and endless QE – all of which people in the west need because it makes their house prices rise. Now comes the day that Venezuela is in total meltdown and you can blame the CIA and right wing nut jobs. So much easier than blaming yourselves and your religious devotion to rising house prices.

    This is socialism writ large. On the one hand you sequestrate the money needed to invest in production in order to give it to poor people via your cronies who naturally keep most of for themselves. This guarantees that in the long term the poorer get poorer and stay poor for longer. On the other hand you viscerally attack the poor all around the world via QE in order to socialize the losses of large western banks and buy off local opposition by turning the home owning class into a crony class.

    Much easier to blame Donald Trump than to seek a real understanding as to what is going on.

    • harry

      The Maduro administration has mismanaged the economy no doubt. However if you impose sanctions which prevent the rolling over of debt or new investment in the oil industry one shouldn’t be surprised when they fail to invest appropriately. These sanctions have been in place for a while now. Which is why Citgo was used as collateral for the only PDVSA financing in the last 3 years. Don’t you think this is relevant to your point?

  • TFS

    I’ll say it till the cows come home.

    Call it the MLK/Ghandi Option. You want change? hit them, in this case, SpartUSA where it hurts.

    1. Stop using Google
    2. Stop buying Coke
    3. Stop using Amazon
    4. Stop using Facebook

    They’ll here loud and clear. Its time the people of the word dug their heads out of the ground and did something. What is not to like from this couch potatoes wet dream?.

    • bj

      A quote from that log:

      “(If India “refuses to recognize Guaidó,” then who do you think they recognize as President of Venezuela? Charlie Chaplin? This is an either/or scenario. If they don’t recognize Guaidó, then by definition they accept Maduro as president.)”

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