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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    • Laguerre

      Are you surprised that Venezuelans are capable of using Google, even those being paid by the CIA?

      • Isa

        No at all , la Guerre , I’m just very surprised they know of this blog. Unlike many , I don’t consider the world outside of Anglo Saxon or french spheres as incapable barbarians . I was just noting the coincidence and the timing .

        77 th brigade comes to mind .

    • Andyoldlabour


      Possibly – if you catch my drift?
      Must say Craig, this is a great article, which highlights the hypocrisy of the US/UK/EU when it comes to self determination, democracy and the “wash, rinse, repeat” nature of US backed regime change around the World.
      Any country which elects a government which even hints at socialism, will quickly find itself in the cross hairs of the US.

      • Mark Deacon

        But then deny the represenative governments they are supposedly trying to install in said countries for their own people and wonder why the 1% own so much now that no ordinary citizen has any skin left in the game of life.

  • N_

    Excellent article, this one, by the way, @Craig – totally to the point, and the photo says a lot.

  • John Goss

    Sorry, this is off topic but it is something that would interest Craig. Because there is a D-Notice (or its modern equivalent) on Pablo Miller, I decided as much for my own benefit as anybody’s to patch together a timeline from what could be found on the web. In the process it uncovered what I think might be a dig story about drug-trading through Estonia (and possible UK involvement). The reason I suspect this is because I cannot find any information in the UK press about the incident.

      • John Goss

        I can’t see why it might not open Tatyana other than you being in Russia. But then it has had other Russian viewers. I had a similar problem yesterday with the Wikispooks piece on Pablo Miller and was told it might open if I used another browser. That should not be the case.

        Anyway while you are here would you please try a link which does not work for me. It is in this link.

        The link is in the following sentence.

        В этой связи можно вспомнить о небольшом курьезе с двумя британскими гражданами Роберте Райте и Лесли Брауне, которые в 2001 году попались в Таллинне на конрабанде наркотиков на сумму в 2,4 миллиона фунтов стерлингов. Им удалось убежать на родину, где они и были задержаны.

        If you can open it please make a copy and keep it safe. Thanks.

          • John Goss

            Thanks Tatyana. But it’s the same as I sent you. The link I want you to copy is the one on the two words небольшом курьезе in the sentence in my comment above. That is the one that does not work for me.

          • Tatyana

            ‘you know where’
            wow!!! it is a real conspiracy, isn’t it? 🙂 Spies, state surveillance, d-notices…
            I said it is the most exiting experience in my life – to be the reader of Mr. Murray’s blog

        • John Goss

          Ну, я не шпион конечно!

          I’ve read Kafka “The Trial” and hopefully it will never come to the early-morning knock on the door. In putting together the timeline I actually found some respect for Pablo Miller. He must be quite an accomplished linguist if not even a polyglot. He seems to have a wry sense of humour. So there is good in everybody.

          But the Steele “dodgy dossier” and the false-flag Skripal affair to draw attention elsewhere shows our intelligence services, and private intelligence services, have a long way to go. I wish all countries would get rid of these people who work outside of the law. All they do is spread misinformation and try to cause rifts where they never existed before. Politicians are simply puppets of these creatures.

    • John Goss

      Suddenly a whole host of information has become available in English regarding William Hain, Robert Bruce Wright and Leslie Green. So I shall be wading through this.

    • Monster

      Excellent stuff. This may not be too relevant to your chronology but the British Ambassador to Estonia from 2007 to 2012 was Peter Carter, a popular man with a wide circle of Estonian friends. He was around at the time of the Nato build-up to confront Russia. He was suddenly replaced by Christopher Holtby who is almost invisible on the internet. He was actually a Nato diplomat but was not in the Diplomatic Service. His job was to chivy up the slackers in the Estonian government and get more Nato forces into Estonia. He did this very well with the help of Estonia’s American president, Toomas Ilves, a former CIA man out of Columbia University (where else).

      Here’s the oddity. Peter Carter was given a posting in Deputy High Commissioner, quite a downgrade. Alas he collapsed and died of a heart attack in Lagos aged 57. A book he was writing has not yet been published. As Craig will probably know, it’s not good form to die on you patch,.

      • John Goss

        Thanks Monster. I’ve been quite busy with my computer under attack (don’t know why!). When I get time I will try to check Peter Carter out. It is all new to me. Pity the book never got published.

  • Republicofscotland

    So the Awk faced Elliot Abrams, is the Great Satan’s (US) “Special Envoy” put in place to oversee the coup in Venezuela.

    Abrams has a notorious reputation in South America, with regards to Nicaragua and El Salvador. Abrams was convicted on charges of withholding information from Congress during the Iran-Contra affair.

    Abrams has regularly clashed with the church and Human Rights Watch, whilst as Secretary of State for Human Rights under Ronald Reagan.

    It’s said that Abrams, led from the front in the 2002 failed Venezuelan coup against President Chavez. This looks like his second attempt to orchestrate an illegal coup in Venezuela.

    Abrams has all the usual qualities we expect to see, a member of the CFR, and a outspoken supporter of the military apartheid regime of Israel.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    The Caracas Affair reminds me of the gun boat diplomacy of the Don Pacifico one 150 years ago.

      • Trowbridge H. Ford

        Think the Affair started ending the revolutionary turmoil plaguing Europe at the time, putting Russia in a corner which results in thee Crimean War, and the UK and France engaging in the new imperial scramble

        Washington hopes for something similar now.

  • Republicofscotland

    I’m pleasantly surprised by this and must give credit where its due.

    “The far-right governments of Trump and Bolsonaro offer no hope to Venezuela or to the majority of people in Latin America.”

    “Whatever views people hold on Venezuela, there is no justification for backing the US attempt at regime change under way, which, if successful, could go the way of the disastrous interventions in Iraq and Libya.”

    “Instead, the way forward is the call for dialogue from the Mexican and Bolivian presidents.”

    Signed by.

    “John McDonnell MP, Diane Abbott MP, Richard Burgon MP, Dan Carden MP, Laura Pidcock MP, Emma Dent Coad MP, Clive Lewis MP, Grahame Morris MP, Kate Osamor MP, Dennis Skinner MP, Laura Smith MP, Chris Williamson MP, Neil Findlay MSP, John Finnie MSP, Doreen Massey Labour, House of Lords, Michael Mansfield QC, Owen Jones Journalist and campaigner, Tariq Ali Writer and playwright, Lowkey Rapper, Linton Kwesi Johnson Poet, Andy de la Tour Actor, John Hendy QC, Lindsey German Stop the War Coalition, Kate Hudson Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, Tony Burke and Steve Turner Unite the Union assistant general secretaries, Matt Wrack FBU general secretary, Manuel Cortes TSSA general secretary, Doug Nicholls GFTU general secretary, Ronnie Draper BFAWU general secretary, Chris Kitchen NUM general secretary, Andy Kerr CWU deputy general secretary, Zita Holbourne PCS national vice-president, Sean McGovern Unite EC and TUC general council (disabled workers’ representative), Christine Blower Former NUT general secretary, Lara McNeill Labour NEC youth representative, Rachel Garnham Labour NEC member, Claudia Webbe Labour NEC member, Peter Willsman Labour NEC member, Marcus Barnett International officer, Young Labour, Mark Weisbrot Center for Economic and Policy Research, Dr Francisco Dominguez Head of Latin American Studies, Middlesex University, Ray Bush Professor of African studies and development politics, Leeds University, Peter Hallward Professor of philosophy, Kingston University, Ken Livingstone Former mayor of London, Salma Yaqoob Equality and human rights campaigner, Maggie Bowden General secretary, Liberation, Colin Burgon Labour Friends of Progressive Latin America, Dr Susan Grey Venezuela Solidarity Campaign.”

      • Republicofscotland

        Domestically I might no agree with the above politicans points of view, however with regards to the in progress Venezuelan coup, I’m pleased to say I can.

        I’m rather surprised that Jeremy Corbyn’s signature isn’t included though, being a socialist I’d have thought his name would’ve been there.

        • Michael McNulty

          I suspect the timing of the US intervention in Venezuela may also be part of a program of attack on leaders like Jeremy Corbyn and social movements appearing worldwide in response to the cruelties of neo-liberalism. If Jeremy says he supports Maduro it’s the perfect excuse to attack and try to purge him. They could even portray him as a traitor, a Fifth-columnist etc. It might achieve what McCarthy failed to do. This is a death spasm of neo-liberalism which has continually impoverished the masses these past forty years, and I think it’s preparing to embrace fascism to save its 1% rulers from the socialism which beckons.

          If the US and the west get away with this coup they’re going to try to purge socialist governments everywhere and dictate who can and cannot rule. They’ll achieve what Hitler failed to achieve in WWII and they won’t need WWIII to do it. There will be a dark cloud over humanity for the next 1,000 years.

      • Xavi

        All the usual a***holes then

        Yes, not a centrist, modetate neo liberal war hawk in sight. When those who have been disastrously wrong on every foreign policy issue of the past generation are not signatories there is no need to take it seriously.

      • Garth Carthy

        You could go a long way with your charm, Alex – I would suggest as far as possible

    • able

      Great to see the best of Labour rallying with Russia, Cuba and Iran to support the hardworking Señor Maduro as he stands firm against the misguided people of Venezuela.

      • Deb O'Nair

        It’s hard to accept when you’re on the wrong side isn’t it? When all you can muster is playground epithets, immature name calling and a mind-boggling disconnect from reality. Your pitiful mental outpourings contribute nothing, other than to demonstrate what a complete dick you are.

        • able

          Wrong side? Mind-boggling disconnect from reality?

          Enough about the fast-dwindling defenders of the Maduro regime, where inflation is running at 1.3 million percent !!!

          • Hmmm

            Why is inflation so bad there? I’m sure you’ll be able to explain the crippling effects of illegal sanctions for us all.

          • able

            It has very little to do with sanctions. Massive government overspending, destruction of the private sector, fall in oil price, crippling government debt, complete loss of confidence in the currency. They hinged everything on an ever increasing oil price. Classic Socialist economics.

          • Deb O'Nair

            So the solution to the Venezuelans problem is to have their government removed and a US puppet who is being steered by a war criminal take his place, even though he has never contested an election and his claim to be the rightful president holds absolutely zero legal foundations, as does the US recognition of their war criminal controlled puppet being the legitimate leader of the country?

            Whereas you are able to point at recognised economic problems, many of which are the result of US economic warfare over decades, you can not see the recognised legal and moral problems that you support as a solution. Ridiculous.

          • Hmmm

            Without irony he repeats the establishment narrative. If sanctions don’t work why are the US so very keen to use them. All. The. Time.

  • michael norton

    Why can’t Venezuelans grow enough food, to be the equivalent of self sufficient, in food?
    Venezuela is a botanical biodiverse hot spot, this means the land has the ability to grow many crops.
    There were only 29 million inhabitants of Venezuela but some have fled. Yet this is a vast land.
    It is a nonsense that they would rather walk away than grow food.

    • Loony

      I think you will find that Communists and food production do not mix well.

      Between 6 to 9 million died in the Soviet famine of 1932-3 and at least 36 million died in the Chinese famine of 1959-61. The North Korean famine of 1994-8 succeeded in starving to death somewhere between 240,000 and 3.5 million. (I guess Communists aren’t too good at accurate counting).

      Famine is only one of the tools in the Communists toolkit and sometimes other methods are preferred – see Cambodia under the French educated Khmer Rouge leadership for specific examples.

      Normally Communists start out by denying the existence of any famine and then rapidly move on to blaming evil imperialist powers. Some years after the actual famine has ended the victims are labelled as reactionaries. Oddly communists in the imperialist west loathe victim blaming but use it as an absolutely essential part of their strategy for justifying communist crimes.

      • Republicofscotland

        “I think you will find that Communists and food production do not mix well.”

        Not that I’m a Communist, however the Bengal famine of 1943 had more to do with British actions, as did the Biafran famine of 1967-70.

        I don’t recall Communism as the driver of those famines. Also several famines including Sahel drought, the Ethiopian drought and of course the Iraq famine food for oil, and the current Yemen famine are capitalist made.

        • able

          For some reason people don’t understand that the Japanese invasion of Burma was what horribly distorted the food infrastructure in neighbouring Bengal. Japan controlled the Eastern Indian Ocean, sending massive shipments of food would’ve resulted in lots of sunk ships and still no food. Logistically, it was almost impossible to send aid, not that Churchill didn’t try.

        • michael norton

          Irish potato famine was not caused by communism.

          Since the Agrarian/ Industrial Revolutions, I wonder if there are common themes as why famines kick-off and why millions die?

          • Loony

            No the Irish potato famine was caused by a failure of the potato harvest – there is a clue in the name.

            The Sahal drought and the Ethiopian drought were famines caused by drought – again there is a clue in the name.

            Communist famines are caused not by acts of nature but by acts of communists.

      • Akos Horvath

        Hungary had a ‘communist’ government between 1948 and 1990 and we never experienced a famine. After joining the West, however, malnutrition among children increased and life expectancy dropped like a stone. A third of the country lives under or near the official poverty line. A significant portion of families cannot afford to pay for their kids’ school lunch. Nuff said. And don’t let me get started on homelessness, which simply did not exist under the ‘communists’.

    • able

      It used to be one of the richest countries in the world. It took just 10 years for socialism to destroy Venezuela.

      • Republicofscotland

        Oh I don’t know the Great Satan has been trying to wreck the Venezuelan economy from at least the 2001 failed coup.

        Also we had the likes of US oil firms Exxon Mobil and ConocoPhillips politicising the PDVSA, leading to corruption. Inevitably Chavez has to sack 20,000 PDVSA workers through it.

        Yet Chavez and Maduro still managed to fund the Bolivarian Missions. I doubt the Great Satan would want to see well fed educated masses in Venezuela, for they’d surely realise that the Great Satan wants to steal the countries mineral wealth.

      • sc

        What effect have sanctions had? International interference? Could we not try leaving people in peace to sort out their own affairs?

        • able

          No I blame the rapist. Chavez’s daughter alone ended up with over $4 billion in her various bank accounts. I don’t know how you have it in you to defend these people as millions starve and millions more flee the country.

        • pretzelattack

          exactly. i’m surprised how many apologists for neocon/neoliberal invasions there are here.

    • Tony

      Almost everybody followed the money and went into the oil industry when it was booming Michael, to the point that the Venezuelan government started advertising in Europe for farmers to go and settle in Venezuela on farmland provided for free and with government assistance.

  • Sharp Ears

    Knocking copy on Maduro in the Heil today but at the same time, they hedge their bets by displaying the might of the Venezuelan military who are supporting Maduro.

    ‘We are preparing the most important military exercises in our history’: Nicolas Maduro denounces ‘imperialist’ US as he tells his troops to defend Venezuela ‘in any circumstance’
    Maduro is clinging to power in Venezuela after US declared his rule illegitimate
    On Sunday he visited the military, which is propping up his regime, as they prepared for massive military drills due to take place next month
    Maduro described the drills as ‘the most important in our country’s history’
    On state TV he asked troops whether they were plotting a ‘coup’ with the United States, to which the soldiers replied: ‘No, my commander-in-chief’
    Opposition leader Juan Guaido has called on troops to lay down their weapons

    There’s something about Guaido that reminds me of Obomber.

  • Isa

    How pathetic and what a perversion that Marco Rubio whose parents run away from a right wing USA puppet regime in Cuba is now defending another USA puppet dictator for Venezuela .

    • Republicofscotland

      Of course the sinking of the Lusitania of the coast of Cork in 1915, was a terrible occasion. However was she a passenger liner or a warship.

      She left New York, laden with over 4,000 cases of ammunition, not on the manifest, and refitted with deck guns. Churchill then Lord of the Admiralty, was desperate to get the US into the war.

      The German’s took out adds in US newspapers warning ships sailing in the Atlantic, that they might come under attack. Strange then that the Lusitania, saw its escort ships removed, awhile later, and the Lusitania alter course to come into range of a German Uboat.

      There was nothing particularly special about the torpedo’s that hit the Lusitania, they weren’t especially poweful. Yet the then tallest ship in the world sank in eighteen minutes.

      She even had special built in ballast pockets, granted some held coal, to make space for the munitions on board. It has been suggested by divers who’ve visited the wreck that parts of her hull blown outwards, might have been caused by internal explosions of munitions destined for the war effort.

      Regardless of the available information the US did enter the war.

      • Sharp Ears

        Have you ever stood on the cliff at Cobh and looked down at the deep dark sea where the ship went down? It is a chilling site. There is also a special cemetery.

        ‘The Lusitania sank within 20 minutes. Germany justified the attack by stating, correctly, that the Lusitania was an enemy ship, and that it was carrying munitions. It was primarily a passenger ship, however, and among the 1,201 drowned in the attack were many women and children, including 128 Americans.’

        • Republicofscotland

          No Sharp Ears I haven’t, I’d imagine it must stir powerful emotions. I have read harrowing accounts of the fate of some innocent passengers. Such as the pregnant woman who ended up giving birth whilst floating in the very cold waters, both she and her baby died. Along with that poor woman and her baby, 125 children also died.

          Churchill, Lord Fisher, and naval intelligence immediately prepared a report on the Lusitania, as to what might happen if the liner were to be sunk by the German’s, the report was made after the ship set sail.

          Prior to the sinking King George V, granted an audience to President Woodrow Wilson’s special envoy, Colonel Edward House. At which the king asked House, what will America do of Germany sinks the Lusitania.

          • Republicofscotland

            Ah, Good Evening Charles, yes a fair question, though history shows us that the US did enter the war.

            Lets just say that the cargo manifest was falsified, and both Sir Henry Coke’s (British Vice-Admiral) signal log to the Lusitania, and the official admiralty signal register had their entries removed for May 7th.

            The only pages missing for the entire period of the war.

          • Charles Bostock

            Interesting, but not really an answer. You seem very clued up, so what was House’s reply?

    • nevermind

      Off course, piss poor action on Brexsh.t whilst trying to garner support for war against a sovereign country with lots of heavy crude.
      I hope this vile woman and her drug peddling husband will get short shrift in Europe.

    • Isa

      I though as much . Portugal and Spain have not recognised the impostor as the president t though. At least not yet . We , I mean as in the socialist and left wing block government I actually voted for , did , however participate in the disgusting 8 days ultimatum for election calling . If pressured or not I am not sure but whatever the reazon unforgivable , in my view .

      • N_

        Maduro should call together the diplomatic corps and say “Anyone who doesn’t recognise the government I’m president of, please make yourselves known. The minibuses are outside and we’ve arranged an escort for you to the airport.”

  • N_

    They’re now using the term “freedom clause” to describe a time-limit to the Brexit backstop – or an amendment or codicil requiring a striving for “alternative arrangements” to the backstop, depending on which Murrison-Brady amendment you read. And the phrase isn’t only being used in the Daily Express either. I reckon this proposal will succeed in the Commons, perhaps after explicit government backing, prior to being accepted by EU27.

    One must understand the Tory mind. “Freedom! Yum yum! Dead proles! Dead single mothers on (ex-)council estates! As for you lefties, get back to North Korea! Freedom! Freedom! You starving lazy Morlocks who only work 14 hours a day always though the world owed you three meals a day! Well now you’re going to learn what’s what!”

    • N_

      Think of how Vodascum describe some of their “come into my parlour, little child” scams as “freedom freebies”. When the government and political class ratchet up their talk of “freedom”, martial law is already being prepared.

    • Tony_0pmoc


      The council estates still work, if you grew up in one, and know how the system works. Sure you might have to go through hell over several years, to actually get a council house, but some of the nicest most talented people I have ever met, grew up in one.

      How about you?

      Have you ever lived in one?


      • N_

        Yes I have lived in council flats, @Tony, for 16 years, from the mid-1970s to the start of the 1990s. I have also had family members of the next two generations up who lived in them. If you think I was being in any way critical of council tenants then you completely misread my post. I was saying what the Tory attitude is towards them. It is deeply deeply unpleasant.

    • nevermind

      There are even some Tories who want Ireland to leave the EU, so the need for any backstop is removed.
      Dreamers who think nothing of wrecking Irelands sovereign rights as well as its economy, just so they can save their breath and carry on as usual.

      The new Irish backstop famine film coming up, playing in this theatre for one night only. You can hear the laughter in Dublin over here.

      There is only a hard Brexit cause these numpties cant act won’t act or exercise their brains. Its too eady for them to do nothing, so they don’t.

    • Loony


      Consider the fact that Venezuelan oil ordinarily needs blending. Venezuela lacks the capability to blend its own oil. Consequently a lot of Venezuelan oil goes to refineries on the US Gulf Coast. A lot of finished and part finished products are reexported to Venezuela. The US pays Venezuela in cash for oil it imports.

      Other significant destinations for Venezuelan oil are Russia and China. Neither Russia nor China pays cash for Venezuelan oil. Ask yourself whether the US Gulf coast is nearer or further from Venezuela than either Russia or China are from Venezuela. Next check out the technological efficiency of US refineries compared to those in Russia. Here is a clue the Russians export a lot of straight run product and the US exports none. (I don’t know about Chinese refineries – but you could make an educated guess).

      The US is obviously looking out for its own interests – only academic communists actively act against their own interests. One benefit that accrues to everyone from US self interest is that it cuts down on that part of global emissions that are associated with Venezuelan oil.

      So the question for you and people like you is do you hate the US so much that you wish to increase global emissions and global warming into order to create a physical manifestation of your hatred? Do you hate Venezuelans so much that you would prefer that they be denied access to US cash and instead give their oil to Russia and China?

      • Republicofscotland

        Actually it’s the Great Satan that needs Venezulean oil, especially their heavy crude that is refined into diesel. Last year the US purchased over 500,000 barrels of oil a day from Venezuela.

        The US is furious that the bulk of Venezulean oil is exported to China and Russia, in a oil for debt repayment set up. Venezuela are seeking to open up their exporting horizons selling their oil to India, Turkey and other Asian nations, that’s why the coup is in full swing to prevent the sales. Infact I’m sure India is now buying Venezulean oil.

        • Hmmm

          Have they dumped the dollar? It’s what did for Saddam, Gaddafi, Iran I believe and are Russia and China giving it the elbow?

        • Loony

          No-one “needs” heavy crude that is why it is priced at a discount.

          The last country to “need” Venezuelan crude is the US. The US is currently producing around 11 million bbls/day which is an all time record high. Thus they need to import around 9 million bbls/day.

          Canada supplies over 40% of US oil import requirements. Surely you are aware of the long term strategic relationship between the US and Saudi. Maybe you recall the invasion and destruction of Iraq. All of these policies were and are undertaken to guarantee US access to Middle East oil. In addition the US has access to large and growing amounts of West African oil. Oil from all of these sources is of a materially higher quality that Venezuelan oil.

          As I have previously explained a good portion of US imports of Venezuelan oil are ultimately re-exported to Venezuela. This is because US Gulf Coast oil refineries are more technically advanced and far more reliable than Venezuelan refineries. If Russia does not like this then they could always invest in upgrading Venezuelan infrastructure. Should they do this then they would make Venezuelan refineries more advanced than their own refineries – so I guess they will not do this.

          • JohninMK

            One of the biggest US refineries taking Venezuelan crude, Citgo, is Venezuelan owned along with a chain of 1200 petrol stations.

            A problem with the US fracked oil is that it is very light. This means that it is very difficult to refine diesel out of it. They need either Canadian tar sands or Venezuelan crude to mix in to get diesel and possibly kerosene. The tar sands crude is not proving easy to mix. If you read this article you will find a completely unreported reason why the US really needs control over Venezuelan crude, safeguarding supplies of diesel.

            or the original article in Spanish

            And you thought the drive to electric transport was all about the environment! Oh no, it seems supplies at the level we are used to of hydro-carbon fuels have started to and will continue to fall over the next decade. Better keep that North Sea oil in the ground for a while.

      • Ken Kenn

        ” One benefit that accrues to everyone from US self interest is that it cuts down on that part of global emissions that are associated with Venezuelan oil.”

        Loony your praising a jackass President who pulled out of the Climate Change accords.

        You are also backing a Jackass President who wants to install an unelected unknown herbert who represents no -one and that only 20% of the voting public have ever heard of.

        The solution:

        New Elections with the Opposition standing this time instead of staying away because they couldn’t agree amongst themselves as to policy or who the leader of any policies would be.

        If Jimmy Carter and his merry men and women want to oversee that one ( as they oversaw the other one ) then that’s good enough for me.

        Another set of Yanks sticking their noses in as the arbiters of ‘Democracy ( sadly lacking at home unfortunately ) but that and UN oversight will do.

        You think Donny has gone all Liberal?

        Who knew that?

        p.s. Bad move re:US refineries. It’s like giving your back door keys to Robert McRobber = the biggest robber in robberdom.

        Fancy trusting the US.

        Hey Ho – lesson learnt so like Brady’s Brexit amendment “Alternative ” arrangements are need in the future.

        OOOH say a Chinese funded refinery in Cuba?


    This rally was in an upper-class neighborhood. There also were huge turnouts against Maduro in Catia, Petaré, and other slums.

    Oh, and yes, the Maduro regime is a peace-loving, open and honest, socialist government, not a bunch of thieving, murderous, evil gangsters.

    • Charles Bostock

      Rules are meant to be obeyed, even if you’re called George Galloway. Otherwise you get anarchy.

  • Sharp Ears

    Three cheers and hats off to Malaysia.

    ‘PETALING JAYA: The government said it was standing firm on its decision to ban Israeli athletes from sporting events in the country, despite yesterday’s move by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) to bar Malaysia from hosting a world swimming competition in July.

    Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah also responded to critics who asked why a similar ban was not imposed on athletes representing countries with grave violations of human rights.

    “Yes, they are abuses of human rights in other countries. For now, we will say that the suppression and oppression against the Palestinians is incomparable,” he told reporters today.’

    • Loony

      Absolutely. As every humanitarian knows it is absolutely necessary to punish the weak and the disabled for the crimes of a government. Don’t like Conservative austerity? Why tip a man out of his wheel chair. It is the only way to hurt the Tories.

      Is the oppression against Palestinians incomparable? Do they have to suffer from this kind of thing?.

      Strange how Mr. Abdullah has nothing to say about this.

      • Tatyana

        Loony, I agree with you on this.
        It is good that Malaysian govt says about human rights violation by Israel, but I don’t approve the aim which they chose. It is wrong.

          • Sharp Ears

            Also wrong is killing unarmed Palestinians, imprisioning children, shooting at fishermen from Gaza now imprisoned within a six mile limit, cutting down olive trees, pouring sewage down on residents of Hebron, sniping at unarmed protesters at the Gaza ‘border’ using dum dum bullets illegal under international law, building settlements on Occupied Palestinian land….. I could go on.

          • Tatyana

            I know about it, Sharp Ears, and mostly because you share the news here. It is rarely covered in russian media, so I didn’t know about it before.
            Also, I stick to the point that it is wrong to make sportsmen pay for cruel things done by their government.

            Look, modern manner of media to present news is – they describe an action in the way, which causes an ambivalent attitude – simultaneously ‘good’ and ‘bad’, ‘yes’ and ‘no’.
            And until you analyze and divide the news into separate different parts, and realise you estimate differently every single piece, there is a risk to actually ‘go cuckoo’ (as we say in Russia, please no offence, I’m sorry if you perceive it offencive).
            Or another risk is to fall into subjectivity and just start to evaluate any news only from the standpoint of your personal preferences. That is how people become biased.

          • Tatyana

            hm… again, the empty places scattered here and there on this page 😉
            I guess I should blame my new glasses for this – the latest development of a special analytical laboratory – they remove what you don’t want to see. It is strange that the glasses only work together with a certain link under my nickname 😉

        • Goose

          Involving athletes is always wrong.

          The athletes don’t have a political position and sport more generally should be apolitical ,neutral. Sport can be healing too, eg. N.Korea’s participation in the Winter Olympics helped to build bridges between North and South.

      • Republicofscotland

        “Is the oppression against Palestinians incomparable? Do they have to suffer from this kind of thing?.”

        Well your beloved US, which you currently back to overthrow Maduro, supports Israeli actions against the Palestinisn people 100%.

      • N_

        punish the weak and the disabled for the crimes of a government.

        You’re such a phony, @Loony. If a disabled person voluntarily helps propagandise for a fascist regime they are just as responsible for their actions as an able-bodied person who does the same thing.

    • Charles Bostock

      Is that the Malaysia which imprisoned the leader of the main opposition party for several years on trumped up charges of homosexuality? I believe it was around the time of one of their elections, very convenient indeed.

      I’n surprised Malaysia hasn’t come out in support of “President” Nicolas Maduro Moros yet (like Russia, Iran, Turkey and Syria).

      • Akos Horvath

        Is that the Israel, where there is no civil marriage as every single marriage has to be sanctioned by the rabbinate? Is that the Israel where a woman cannot get divorced without her husband’s permission? Is that the Israel where interfaith marriage is almost completely impossible?

    • Dungroanin

      Only way to deal with apartheid regimes being pandered to by our establishment in the past.

      Lucky Israel doesn’t have a cricket or Rugby team.

  • Sharp Ears

    Just now on the 6pm News, the BBC have been hyping up fears about food shortages and empty shelves in the supermarkets in the event of a no deal Brexit. Plain and simple fear mongering.

    Also in the bulletin there was the same about the supply of essential drugs and medicines likely to be experienced.

    ‘A no-deal Brexit threatens the UK’s food security and will lead to higher prices and empty shelves in the short-term, retailers are warning.’

    News or propaganda?

    • Tony

      Propaganda. We can buy more than enough food and medicines for our needs from outside the EU, and at much cheaper prices post-brexit.

      • Ian

        Try organising a supply chain of perishable food from outside Europe, or medicines which use isotopes which decay.

        • Tony

          We already buy perishable foods from outside Europe, and we have to give the EU a 40% surcharge, which we won’t have to levy when we leave the EU. Shipping companies will queue up for the contracts to ship said perishables. The vast majority of medicines don’t use isotopes, and can be purchased far cheaper from India and Bangladesh (including some of the most specialist cancer, HCV, etc medicines). Quality of these medicines is the same as western branded ones, and in many instances the western branded ones are manufactured in the same factories.

        • Goose

          You can fly stuff in. But you’re kinda negating any gain from doing so with higher prices , plus you’ve still got infrastructure, volume handling issues.

          Unless there is a change of govt , no deal is surefire route to the poor being even more screwed over. Watch them say the NHS ,is simply no longer viable/ affordable.

          • Tony

            In view of the 40% EU levy, even if we have to fly stuff in, it’s still going to be cheaper. And why is it more difficult for haulage companies to collect goods from air and sea ports in the UK than to travel across to mainland Europe to get such goods?

  • Charles Bostock

    Surely it is unsurprising that the govts of Iran, Russia, Syria and Turkey are supporting the “president” of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro Moros and claiming that he holds that office legitimately?

    After all, birds of a feather fly together. All those countries – Iran, Russia, Syria and Turkey – are similar to Venezuela in that they have, in one way or another, prevented/eliminated meaningful opposition during the elections for President.

    Maduro Moros locks up a couple of his opponents before the election, Putin disqualifies a few of his, the candidates in iran have to endorsed by the Guardians (elderly clerics), in Syria onky a couple of insignificant Uncle Tom candidates are allowed to stand and in Turkey Mr Erdogan imprisons the candidate of Kurdish origin (and harasses his party for good measure).

    Not at all like in the Western liberal democracies, of course!

      • N_

        A UK foreign office minister has suggested that the Bank of England grant access to £1.2bn in Venezuelan gold reserves to the self-proclaimed interim leader Juan Guaidó rather than Nicolás Maduro. In a statement to British MPs, Sir Alan Duncan said the decision was a matter for the Bank and its governor, Mark Carney, and not the government.

        Grabbing it might make investors think twice about buying sovereign bonds.

    • Republicofscotland

      I suppose Charles those leaders you mention, would need to go some to match Ben Gurion to Netanyahu, who’ve managed to eliminate an entire country (Palestine) let alone political opposition.

      • Charles Bostock

        As far as I know, RoS, Israel hasn’t supported “President” Maduro. Unlike Iran, Russia, Syria and Turkey as you’ll beaware.

        • Republicofscotland

          “As far as I know, RoS, Israel hasn’t supported “President” Maduro.”

          Well they wouldn’t, support Maduro, but then again I don’t expect an oppressive apartheid state like Israel to do so.

          Compared to what Chavez and Maduro, have done in Venezuela, it’s nothing compared to what the Israeli’s have done to the Palestinian people.

    • Laguerre

      “Not at all like in the Western liberal democracies, of course!” Of course not, CB, Britain only has a limited democracy, the majority of parliamentarians being unelected, the head of state being unelected, and May was never elected as PM.

      You just don’t like some elected leaders. Erdogan, however megalomaniac, would be elected under any circumstances, as he has the majority behind him (that is Anatolian peasants). Iran is a limited democracy, like Britain. But the regime is quite strongly supported. It would never have survived forty years against all the attempts of the US and Israel to undermine it and threaten it, if it were not the case. Putin is widely supported, the opposition that you speak positively of is nugatory. Only Asad is a dictator, much like the King of Jordan, or the Kingdoms of the Arabian peninsula, or the fake elections of Egypt, which you support.

      • giyane

        Assad is a dictator and he used to be our pet dictator. After the conquest of eastern Europe we have plenty of pet dictators closer to home.usukis policy is to install a more trendy dictator in Syria from the fashionable jihadist sect Muslim brotherhood because hard control is so yesterday and everyone can be controlled by their mobile phone.

        Weird how the Syrians have rejected soft control , aided by Russia and China.
        By their fruit shall ye know them.
        The Syrians know that the jihadists want to put their bums on the seats of power and then be worse dictators than Assad
        But their bosses will be the is of usukis, not the hypocritocracies

    • Hmmm

      Strange to say but you’re almost making a good point. Maduro doesn’t belong in that group because he won a free and fair election. That the opposition choose to boycott is their loss. If you can find any evidence to the contrary feel free to share.

    • Akos Horvath

      New Zealand has also refused to recognise the CIA’s self-declared Venezuelan president. What a sight. We are back in the 1980s and so the Western world lead by the USA is openly orchestrating military coups in Latin America. No surprise, given that the same convicted felons (Elliot Abrams) and psychopaths (Bolton) of the Reagan and Papa Bush administrations are running the show. The death squads will follow soon. What a sight, an incompetent French president with a 17% approval rating -which is lower than Maduro’s Guardian-reported 20% rating-, whose police is firing rubber bullets at protesters, maiming quite a few of them, is hailing the great revolutionaries in the upscale neighbourhoods of Caracas. We should recognise the leader of the Yellow Vests as France’s interim leader, because Macron clearly has lost legitimacy and cannot lead his own country, let alone Europe.

  • able

    Excellent words in Parliament today from Labour’s Mike Gapes: “The people of Venezuela do not need the weasel words of a letter to the Guardian from assorted Stalinists, Trotskyists, antisemites and members of Labour’s front bench.”

    Only issue I have is that the last category is pretty much taken up by the first three.

    • Dungroanin

      Boys, boys. Geez, get a room!
      I know we are all ID politics PC nowdays but this is almost lewd behaviour in public.

    • Ken Kenn

      He’s right.

      Best to have Toadie words from a group of alleged politicians who claim to despise Trump but faint and grovel when asked to support Our Closest Ally.

      For security reasons of course.

      Our security mainly because if the UK didn’t do as it was told we would be next on the list after Iran.

      All members of the Five Eyes group soon to renamed the Five ayes, due to saying yes to everything the US needs a yes said to.

      Strangely enough they all speak English not Scottish.


  • Charles Bostock

    Venezuela owes Russia about $18 billion and China about $6 billion.

    What on earth were Russia and China thinking of, lending a country with a leadership like Chavez’s and Maduro Moros’s such huge sums of money when it was clear that the country was already in deep economic trouble?

    To me it sounds as wicked as Goldman Sachs advising Greece on how to borrow money from abroad and arranging the loans!

    • Laguerre

      Russia and China are free to spend their money as they wish, for their objectives. It’s only the US which insists on pillaging the country it occupies, as was the case in Iraq (the attempt on the oil failed, but American officials got away with billions of Iraqi money), and is now announced to be the case if the US moves into Venezuela.

      I don’t know anything about S. America, but I know that the Iraqis would never accept what the US is now planning in terms of favourable oil contracts in Venezuela.

      • Charles Bostock

        “Russia and China are free to spend their money as they wish, for their objectives. ”

        Of course they are, Laguerre. But you miss my point, which was that it was surely grossly irresponsible – even wicked – of Russia and China to lend all that money to a floundering economy. As irresponsible and wicked as Goldman Sachs were to arrange loans to that other floundering economy, Greece.

        By the way, I don’t agree with you when you say you don’t know anything about South America. Your posts reveal that you have a Nanterre man’s knowledge of the region.

          • Ken Kenn

            Technically the US went bust a long time ago but operates on the largesse of Chinese loans and other nations surpluses.

            When they wake up they will have one hell of a hangover.

            The US is safe for now due to its Military strength but all empires decline and for all the talk of exeptionality and the blessings of God time will catch them up.

    • Republicofscotland

      Oh please every country has debts.

      As of Q1 (the first quarter of) 2018, UK debt amounted to £1.78 trillion, or 86.58% of total GDP, at which time the annual cost of servicing (paying the interest) the public debt amounted to around £48 billion (which is roughly 4% of GDP or 8% of UK government tax income).

      • nevermind

        Indeed and most of the UKs debt was taken out by the Tories, more than any Labour Goverment ever, some 800 billion in 8 years.

        Time for these wasters to get kicked out into oblivion.

        • Ken Kenn

          Absolutely right.

          Thatcher wasted the UK’s oil a long time ago to fund tax cuts and subjected the people to a lab rat experiment which has led the UK’s poor disabled the poor elderly and working people being subjected to poverty which hasn’t existed for years and post Brexit under the Tories is going to make that situation worse not better.

          Any comparisons from Maduro critics I leave to the imagination.

  • N_

    What briefings are hospital managers and GPs getting in respect of Brexit? Leaks please.

    Because if people’s elderly parents and sometimes not so elderly relatives who have been taking strong opioid painkillers such as oxycodone suddenly find their supply stops, there will be some who will try to get hold of continuing doses. Will soldiers be stationed outside GPs’ surgeries, hospitals, and Boots branches? Not very many people are in love with Tesco’s, but many have scales over their eyes where medics are concerned. Imagine if they fell off.

    This afternoon, health secrerary Matt Hancock told a parliamentary committee that “medicines will be prioritised [over food] in the event of a no-deal Brexit”.

    If your mum is literally in unrelieved agony because of the bastards who own this country, that could have a more immediate effect on anger than the first two meals consisting of biscuits only.

    I say it again: watch the Murrison-Brady amendment(s). The Cooper amendment is chaff. Brexit is ON.

    • Borncynical

      Paradoxically, many old people might survive efforts by the NHS to kill them off (Gosport-like) if opioids were in short supply. My aged mother was on death’s door in a North West England hospital five years ago, after 8 weeks in hospital, when an emergency duty doctor – called in when we demanded a second opinion because of her rapid and inexplicable decline – established that she was being given morphine daily in ever increasing doses and not for the purposes of pain management. He demanded that the medication be stopped immediately. She owes her life to him. The ward staff had not informed us she was being given morphine and had told us her ailments were simply symptomatic of the ageing process. Disappointingly for the NHS, my mother is still alive but I am firmly of the opinion that Gosport was by no means unique in its treatment of elderly patients but was simply caught out.

  • Tatyana

    sorry for the off-topic
    Will you kind readers of the blog please advice me some good movies (spy movies especially) based on the real events?

    I’ve watched ‘operation Argo’ yesterday, by Ben Affleck, and today I’m watching ‘Bridge of Spies’ by Spielberg.
    The next sheduled is ‘Topaz’ by Alfred Hitchcock.
    As you see, I tend to trust world-recognised producers, e.g. I watched twice ‘the walking dead’ just because it had Frank Darabont’s name, and I’m a fan of ‘The Shawshank Redemption’ and ‘The Green Mile’ and ‘The Mist’.
    Thank you!

    it is sort of educating too! at least, it allows to remember the names.

    • Republicofscotland

      The Lives of Others.

      Good Night and Good Luck.


      Bulworth (part comedy but the political message is striking).

    • Tatyana

      ah, an addition, I’ve watched ‘the Unthinkable’ by Gregor Jordan, creator of ‘the Buffalo Soldiers’
      and with my GREATEST RESPECT to Samuel Leroy Jackson, I just can’t, stil cannot agree it could be justified.

      • Republicofscotland

        I must say Tatyana, I’ve only ever watched two Russian films, and it was years ago.

        Nightwatch, and the sequel Daywatch. ?

        • Tatyana

          oh! Oh! Oh! Republicofscotland!!
          ! i cannot even now tell my astounishment! All I thinked of delievering the ideas to western auditory, I toudght it was desperate!

          • Tatyana

            that guy, Lukianenko, he came very close to what was expected. he is one of the most prominent wrighters on soviet and ukrainian matters. he is – i do not hesitate to say – one of the most powerful thinkers. what he writes about probable coming to extra-earthearl life – is revealing

          • Glasshopper

            I sat in an empty art house cinema a few decades ago and watched Tarkovsky’s Andrei Rublev.
            An enriching experience i shall never forget.

      • FobosDeimos

        I like “The Quiller Memorandum”, especially for its music by John Barry. And it turns out that the screenplay was written by Harold Pinter. Also The Honorary Consul, based on Graham Greene’s book with Michael Caine. Finally “The Tailor of Panama”, with Pierce Brosnan and Geoffrey Rush, based on a John Le Carré book.

    • Dungroanin

      These are not good films – they are hollywood propaganda.

      Our Man in Havana.

      The Quiet American.

      Tinker, Tailor, Soldier (bbc series)

      The Lady Vanishes

      North by Northwest

      No modern films come close since the complete takeover of the entertainment industry by the deep state.

      • Ian

        Ah yes, the ‘deep state’ made Roma, The Favourite, The Rider, Zama and Shoplifters – all excellent recent films. Lol, just ridiculous, but this is where you end up when you start believing everything is a conspiracy.

        • Dungroanin

          Haven’t seen any of these yet. Are they blockbusters?

          George Clooney was going to make a White Helmets movie!

          The film about the US getting the Enigma Machine was the most blatant lie – i gave up around the Top Gun era, when the MI showcasing of their product catalogue became blatant. Most films were a boon to NRA membership increase and the fetishisation of gun ownership. Brutalisation. Worship of militarism, supremacy and exceptionalism.

          It is understanable that THEY want to poison you. But why lap it up?

      • Tatyana

        Dungroanin, if you treated me as a live and a caring human, it would probably boost my desire to watch what you advice.
        No offence, please, it is just a matter what willl be the first in the watching list.

        • Dungroanin

          Taty, that was my attempt at doing just that.
          It is just my way with strangers on the boards.
          It is a spontaneous list – i’ve enjoyed multiple viewings over the years and i offer them in good faith.

      • Glasshopper

        To be fair, some propaganda films are bloody good.

        Arnie’s True Lies was great fun.

        Of course it is possible to be highly entertained by a film without getting one’s knickers in a twist over the state ideological apparatus. Millions of people do it every year without becoming brainwashed.

      • nevermind

        and as as sign of the times, ‘Thelma and Louise’, ‘Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas’, and maybe ‘Thunderbolt and Lightfoot’, as well as ‘The big Lebowski’ are all good entertainment. Enjoy Tatiyana.

    • Ian


      Try The Lives of Others, a German film about the Stasi.
      Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (Alfredson) is pretty good
      Early Hitchcock is good – The Thirty Nine Steps, Secret Agent, The Man Who Knew Too Much, Notorious – all excellent.


    • Glasshopper

      Well I’m going to second The lives of Others and numerous Hitchcocks.

      Some others worth catching:

      Three Days of the Condor.
      The Conversation
      The Third Man
      The Good Shepard
      Lust Caution
      Marathon Man

    • David

      Sticking slightly to this threads’ ‘blockade against (selected) Latin American countries ’ theme, and the demonization of their leaders, by a large neighbor , have you seen this great, funny, thought-provoking movie?,
      [I personally found a DVD but I’m not sure how easy it is to find this UK Channel Four film, contains real spies and a surprisingly charming Fìdel]

      Co-incidentally “The Quiet American” (2002) Michael Caine, from the 1950’s Graham Greene novel. A great ‘spy movie, Still on sale, sad and moving tale about externally funded covert spookery, from a large and distant neighbor.

      Maybe an oldie but goodie, from 1998, «Враг государства» (англ. Enemy of the State) — художественный фильм, триллер, снятый Тони Скоттом. NSA are the bad guys, chasing Will Smith. Total information awareness, obviously a made-up-story! The neighbor is now chasing its own people, how crazy are these moviemakers!!!

      • Glasshopper

        Getting back to South/Central America politics.

        Oliver Stone’s, Salvador
        Roger Spotiswoode’s, Under Fire.

    • Dave Lawton

      Tatyana A really good film is the the Saragossa Manuscript known as The Manuscript Found in Saragossa from the novel by Polish author Count Jan Potocki 1761–1815.You can keep going back to watch for years and you will notice information you had missed.

    • Akos Horvath

      Instead of Hollywood crap and blatant American propaganda, why don’t you watch something worthwhile? Just off the top of my head.

      – The battle of Algiers by Pontecorvo.
      – Missing by Costa Gavras.
      – State of siege also by Costa Gavras.

      These are all political thrillers, based on real events and persons. There was a time in the 1970s and 1980s when mainstream directors and actors were willing to make movies critical of Western machinations. Now all you have is inane James Bond movies and Spielberg, who has never ever made a movie critical of the West.

  • Dungroanin

    Ttmbleweed on the coup today .. like i said DOA.
    It’ll be part of Trezzas shtick on pmq’s no doubt.

  • Glasshopper

    So John Bolton has admitted that Venezuela is “good for business”.

    While most slippery neocons claimed Iraq was about human rights and democracy, Bolton always maintained it was about US national interest. He may be the only “honest’ neocon.

  • Dave G

    Jeremy Hunt says there were stuffed ballot boxes in Venezuela.
    The Americans say the election was rigged.
    Trump says that 50% of Venezuela’s oil would be what America could reasonably expect for helping the country to get rid of Maduro.
    The international observers at the election said that the system doesn’t allow rigging or stuffed ballot boxes.
    Who should we believe – the Americans who hope to gain 50% of Venezuela’s huge oil deposits if they can topple Maduro, or the international observers who don’t stand to make a penny from their version of events?

      • Dave G

        They have boxes for electronic receipts, which are matched to fingerprints and ID cards. It’s a tough electoral system to manipulate, I’d have thought.

        • AshenLight

          Very tough. Jimmy Carter declared their election system the best in the world (and he’s examined more than a few).

          • Dave G

            Yet the mainstream media unquestioningly accept the US/UK claims that the election was rigged. I haven’t seen any newspaper or news site seriously challenge those rigging claims. It’s a bit worrying when a whole industry is involved in passing off fake news (without wishing to appear Trumpish).

          • Glasshopper

            It’s not the election that is the problem, but the result.

            They voted the “wrong” way.

            Like the Egyptians, the Palestinians and the English and Welsh in 2016.

            Nothing wrong with voting. The establishment love it.

            Just be sure to vote for the status quo and you’ll be fine.

        • JohninMK

          Agreed you’d think so but you might like to read what Smartmatic, the London company that supplied the gear said about the 2015 elections there. They may have all the best digital gear but if you mess with the results……………

          United Kingdom, London – August 2, 2017 – Smartmatic has provided election technology and support services in Venezuela since 2004. Even in moments of deep political conflict and division we have been satisfied that the voting process and the count has been completely accurate. It is, therefore, with the deepest regret that we have to report that the turnout figures on Sunday, 30 July, for the Constituent Assembly in Venezuela were tampered with.

          Followed in October by

          They then pulled out of the country. No idea how the elections have been controlled since then.

          • Dave G

            I don’t understand how meddling with the turnout figures could change the result of the election. Was the meddling just to make a point that even with an opposition party not standing in protest, there was still a decent turnout?

          • JohninMK

            Dave, my point was that the system, so admired for over 10 years can no longer be regarded as being to the same standard as it was back them. It may be, it certainly has brilliant features, but the systems designers who kept it honest are no longer involved.

    • JMF

      “Trump says that 50% of Venezuela’s oil would be what America could reasonably expect for helping the country to get rid of Maduro.”

      Is this correct?
      50% (FIFTY PERCENT) is way too much and tantamount to plunder.
      The number alone tells the true story!

    • Ken Kenn

      You missed:

      And “Two bottles of milk for tomorrow.”

      ” Note to self – If there is a tomorrow?”

      “Cancel Milk! “

  • Dungroanin

    History repeats.

    ‘In 9 AD the Roman Senate and People thought they were about to absorb greater Germania in to the growing Roman Empire. Caesar Augustus had unified the Roman world into a single entity and the Roman state had absorbed several adjacent territories in the Mediterranean under his rule. Germania was ripe for conquest.’
    ‘It was supposed to be a simple operation, but Varus was not a military leader, he was a politician. He was a friend of the Emperor and made his name in securing post-rebellion Judea, a state that had had the resistance beaten out of it. Rome seen Germania as already pacified and just in need of Roman organization to become a Roman province.’
    ‘Despite the positive Roman outlook the German tribes were not of the same mind. They saw themselves as free people, strong and proud of their heritage. ‘

    Rome with ‘US’,
    Germania with Aghanistan or Iraq or Syria or … Venezuela… or even the EU;-),
    Judaea remains the same,(Palestine)
    Varus with Bolton,
    The German tribes with… socialists!

    Time for a system change?

    ‘The practice of extracting and accumulating energy to concentrate material wealth and power in the hands of a few is bound to destroy us all before century is out.’

    ‘Nuff said.

    • Alex Westlake

      Ah yes Judea, why do you think it might have been called that – after the people who lived there perhaps?

      • Dungroanin

        Yes just as Italy was named after the people who lived there the, err, Romans.
        Or was that Romania? It’s all so confusing after a couple of thousand years isn’t it.

        Anyway that was the final escapade of the Roman empire – they didn’t realise it was a swift downhill from there.

        Or as Nafeez Ahmed says in his System change screed:
        ”We are currently in the midst of a global phase-shift signalling that the prevailing order, paradigm and value-system are outmoded and unsustainable. The breakdown of the global system has led to a heightened state and speed of indeterminacy across political, economic, cultural and ideological structures and sub-systems. We experience this in the increasing confusion across all these systems, particularly expressed in the ‘post-truth’ dislocation of our prevailing information systems.’

  • fwl

    Spy films: try David Hare’s 3 Worricker films:

    Page Eight;

    Turks & Caicos; &

    Salting the Battlefield.

  • Kenneth G Coutts

    Having followed this for a good few years Craig.
    It is heartbreaking and sickening to watch.
    The financial sanctions imposed is breathtaking.
    I remember Haley in the UN coming out with the threat.
    The countries that oppose us.
    We will remember.
    I remember watching Newham and Mcain in the Ukraine
    Handing out bundles of dollar.
    Before the fascist rallies.
    Now the numpty Hunt, puppeting the yanks in their support
    For a coup.
    The IMF too.

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