Venezuela and Binary Choice 422


When a CIA-backed military coup is attempted by a long term CIA puppet, roared on by John Bolton and backed with the offer of Blackwater mercenaries, in the country with the world’s largest oil reserves, I have no difficulty whatsoever in knowing which side I am on.

Juan Guaido has been groomed for 15 years as a long-term CIA project. His coup attempt yesterday, which so far appears to have stalled, was the culmination of these efforts to return Venezuela’s oil reserves to US hegemony.

It is strange how the urgent installation of liberal democracy by force correlates so often with oil reserves not aligned to the USA, as in Libya, Iraq or Venezuela, while countries with massive oil reserves which permit US military domination and align with the West and Israel can be as undemocratic as they wish, eg Saudi Arabia. Venezuela is an imperfect democracy but it is far, far more of a democracy than Saudi Arabia and with a much better human rights record. The hypocrisy of Western media and politicians is breathtaking.

Hypocrisy and irony are soulmates, and there are multiple levels of irony in seeing the “liberal” commentators who were cheering on an undisguised military coup, then complaining loudly that people are being injured or killed now their side is losing. Yesterday the MSM had no difficulty in calling the attempted coup what anybody with eyes and ears could see it plainly was, an attempted military coup.

Today, miraculously, the MSM line is no coup attempt happened at all, it was just a spontaneous unarmed protest, and it is the evil government of Venezuela which attempts to portray it as a coup. BBC Breakfast this morning had the headline “President Maduro has accused the opposition of mounting a coup attempt”… Yet there is no doubt at all that, as a matter of plain fact, that is what happened.

The MSM today is full of video of water cannons against “protestors” and a horrible video of a military vehicle ramming a group. But it has all been very carefully edited to exclude hours of footage of the same military vehicles being pelted and set alight with molotov cocktails, and shot at. The presentation has been truly shocking.

In any civilised country, attempting to mount a military coup would lead to incarceration for life, and that is what should now happen to Juan Guaido. The attempt by the West to protect their puppet by pretending the failed military coup never happened, must be resisted, if only in the cause of intellectual honesty.

The resort to violence forces binary choice. I have been and am a critic of Maduro in many respects. I believe the constitutional changes to bypass Parliament were wrong, and the indirectly elected Constituent Assembly is not a good form of democracy. Venezuela does have a rampant corruption problem. US sanctions exacerbate but are not the root cause of economic mismanagement. There are human rights failings. But Chavez made revolutionary changes in educating and empowering the poor, and it is a far better governed country for the mass of its population than it would ever be under a US installed CIA puppet regime. Maduro was legitimately elected. The attempt at violence forces a binary choice.

I know which side I am on. It is not Guaido and the CIA.

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422 thoughts on “Venezuela and Binary Choice

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  • Frank Hovis

    Welcome back , Mrs. Bostick! So when exactly in the recent past did you visit “caracus”?

  • Sharp Ears

    May has made an enemy there right enough. She had better not forget that Gav was Chief Whip and knows where all the bodies are buried.

  • Xavi

    It’s probably because the UK has been selling off its public utilities and infrastructure for as long as anyone on here can remember – to any foreign company or government who cares to buy. You seem very agitated about it though. What do you fear happening to yourself and other commenters on this blog?

    • Republicofscotland

      Xavi.

      Very good point there, the Thatcher era saw quite a few sales, and of late I recall some sort of Post Office sell off.

      Of course Huawei appear to be jockeying with Apple for dominance in the mobile phone market, of course market shares fluctuate, but it does look as though Huawei are a serious contender to Apple now.

      “IDC and Strategy Analytics have released their latest smartphone shipment numbers, and the clear winner of the last few months has been China’s Huawei, at the expense of incumbent global leaders Samsung and Apple, both of which lost ground.”

      https://www.theverge.com/circuitbreaker/2019/5/1/18525034/huawei-apple-samsung-smartphone-market-share-idc-2019

    • Charles Bostock

      RoS

      There is no such thing as limited access, no access to core networking, only peripheral activity, etc when we’re looking at 5 G .

      HM Govt is – for reasons which escape me – playing fast and loose with national security

    • Charles Bostock

      Xavi

      I can fully understand why some people – foreigners or Brits – would actually welcome the risk of a potentially hostile power such as China being able to affect core UK infrastructure and penetrate UK state security.

  • Republicofscotland

    “Given the importance of this 5G / Huaewei affair for national infrastructure and political security ”

    Actually Charles Huawei is if it goes ahead to have limited access to help build the UK’s new 5G network.

    “After all, he is, by any definition, a leaker and whistle blower. So where are the usual loud, indignant cries of support for leakers and whistle blowers who pay the price for their activities?”

    Yes Charles I have to agree with you that Williamson blew the whistle, or to be precise leaked the information to the Telegraph, as stated by the BBC.

    However I refer you to my first paragraph that Huawei isn’t gaining access to core networking, of course in this day of intelligence gathering and cyber warfare between nations, security is paramount, ergo Mr Williamson should not receive such harsh treatment for revealing the matter.

    Though he’s no Snowden or Assange.

  • Ingwe

    Good article. And I suspect that the MSM will claim that massive May Day crowds are actually coup supporters rather then ordinary working people celebrating May Day!

  • Mary Pau!

    My sister, the previously mentioned Labour supporting “woman on the Clapham omnibus” is visiting. Looking through today’s Times and reaching a two page article on Venezuela, featuring a photo of Guado standing on a car, she said angrily, “what are we doing supporting him?. Why do the papers keep saying he is a democratic choice. No he’s just a CIA plant for US interests in their oil. We should keep out of it.” Mr. P thinks similarly from the opposite side of the political spectrum.

  • Biff Vernon

    When thinking about Venezuela remember that if human civilisation is to survive pretty much all the oil needs to stay in the ground, unburnt. Does that change things?

    • John2o2o

      ” if human civilisation is to survive …”

      In your opinion.

      And oil has more uses that simply fuel.

      It would certainly be a good thing to be less dependent on crude oil, but I don’t believe the “end of the world is nigh” trope that is currently being peddled by some people. I understand that many people are sincere in this belief, but I simply do not myself buy into it. Sorry.

      On a lighter and perhaps more cynical note mother nature might consider a planet devoid of homo sapiens a better planet. We are a very destructive species.

      • pretzelattack

        you can have every confidence that you will not fall if you step off a cliff, and yet you will.,the world will go on even if there is another mass extinction. it is not certain that humanity will.

    • MJ

      “if human civilisation is to survive pretty much all the oil needs to stay in the ground”

      Why?

  • Heather Crossley

    Interesting… informative…pretty much what l thought .nice to have it confirmed.

  • BrianFujisan

    Well done the Group ‘ Embassy Protection Collective ‘ for fighting for the Venezuelan Washington DC. Embassy from Guaido and his Sham forces

    For over a week, a group of US citizens calling itself the “Embassy Protection Collective” has stymied the opposition’s plans to seize the embassy, denying its leadership the veneer of legitimacy it has been desperately seeking. Members of the collective moved into the embassy at the invitation of its official owners in the Venezuelan government, and have maintained a round-the-clock presence to prevent a growing mob of opposition activists from occupying the grounds..

    At 5 PM on May 1, Vecchio arrived with a gaggle of carefully coiffed supporters in formal wear, presenting the image of a team of professionals ready to get to work. In expectation of the takeover, they brought an official-looking placard and equipment to affix it to the embassy’s front door…

    Minutes after his abbreviated speech concluded, Vecchio bolted from the rally and fled down a sidewalk, with Secret Service agents and opposition vigilantes pushing reporters away. His hurried exit from the scene marked the failure of an obviously ill-conceived publicity stunt.

    By Max Blumenthal – Mint Press

    https://www.mintpressnews.com/dc-embassy-protectors-force-guaidos-shadow-ambassador-flee-failure-coup-flops-venezuela/258104/?

  • OnlyHalfALooney

    We live in very strange times. Now Gavin Williamson is not allowed to see the evidence against him. Remember, just a few days ago, this man had access to the UK and NATO’s deepest military secrets. To be honest, I think Williamson is a nutter. It was always “Putin this, Putin that … China this, China that”. But his treatment is worthy of a tinpot dictatorship. What harm could come from letting Williamson or his lawyer see the “evidence”? Or is there something we just don’t know? Was Williamson working for the CIA? If so, surely a quiet cabinet reshuffle would be the normal thing to do? Has the UK ever arrested anybody for working for the CIA?

    Equally, what threat is Venezuela to the USA? What threat is Venezuela to its neighbours? As Craig points out it is all about the oil and perhaps more specifically about the petrodollar. It’s all a farcical pack of lies. The people of Venezuela have probably had enough of Maduro, but they still prefer “their own” Maduro to an obvious CIA puppet like Guaido.

    At the same time, Julian Assange is being treated like a “terrorist” for revealing state terrorism and murder. Wikileaks has never published propaganda, only the unfiltered truth. His own country, Australia, refuses to lift a finger to help him, not even to ensure he gets a fear hearing. Not that this is very surprising, Germany has done nothing to help Kim Dotcom in another flagrant case of political abuse of “justice”.

    The question is: what next? Nothing would surprise me anymore.

    • OnlyHalfALooney

      …fair hearing… of course. (Silly autocorrect.)

      But “fear hearing” is what Assange is gettting for sure.

      • Borncynical

        OnlyHalfALoony,

        I know it’s OT and I suspect Craig is probably working on an article about Gavin Williamson as we ‘speak’ but I just had to comment on something that hit me between the eyes today. I have seen countless MSM ‘journalists’ on TV today talking with one voice about how essential it is that people are not prosecuted for leaking information which is in the public interest, such as the Huawei issue. ‘The public must be allowed to know about anything which may be potentially damaging to the country or is illegal in its own right’. Not once…not once…has the name of Julian Assange come up which they’ve been piously pontificating. And, even worse, I guarantee that the majority of these ‘journalists’ are on record smearing Julian Assange and calling for him to be extradited to the USA. Same discussion has just been had on BBC’s Question Time and…yet again…not one mention of JA. Hypocrisy at its most apparent.

        • Antonym

          Huawei supplying 2nd Eye UK with Chinese 5G is unacceptable for 1st Eye NSA/CIA/FBI: no own back doors inside communication equipment, or in the worst case being unable to see all UK internal electronic traffic. Xi-China gets to spy easier for a few pounds less. That puts Theresa May in the firing line and Gavin Williamson as the good guy for them. May is anyway damaged goods.
          Julian Assange was not a whistle blower, he was a publisher of 5 Eyes secrets so has to be punished harshly. Gavin Williamson is a “good” whistle blower and will be promoted after a slap on the wrist.

          • OnlyHalfALooney

            I’m not sure its actually about “backdoors” in Huawei equipment. I think it has much more to do with the US being a waning power and desperately trying to hold on to the remaining influence (and empire) it has.

            It is interesting, however, that the US is mostly failing when in comes to bullying other countries. Germany just ignores the US about the Nordstrom gas pipeline. France is calling China a “strategic partner”. Italy has joined the New Silk Road project. Even in the UK, the days when Blair would say “yes boss” to all requests from the US are over, and that with a Tory government!

            In many ways the US has become a rogue nation with no regard for the world order and this makes this present time very dangerous.

      • N_

        The background is the British defence review – the size of the weapons budget, any update to the doctrine, what wars the poshboys might pick.

        Isn’t Penny Mordaunt, Williamson’s replacement, supposed to be a Boris Johnson asset?

        It could have been worse for Williamson. Look what happened to Stephen Milligan and Derek Fatchett.

      • Republicofscotland

        Clive Ponting himself subject to scrutiny over the sinking of the General Belgrano, of which he released damning details during the Falklands war, see’s Williamson’s (alleged ) disclosure as more of a political one than a revealing of something under the Official Secrets Act.

        Of course Williamson is an arrogant Tory tosser, and he won’t be missed. According to press reports, Williamson will remain a member of the Privy Council, and will receive a one off payment of £17,000 pounds, what happens to his CBE gong is still up for debate.

        Speaking of tossers, the Duke of Cambridge and Williamson’s successor Penny Mordaunt, will be among those to attend a special service today at Westminster abbey the service is to laud nuclear weapons.

    • Johny Conspiranoid

      OnlyHalfaLoony
      “The people of Venezuela have probably had enough of Maduro”
      What is your probability assessment basedon?

      • TonyT12

        “The people of Venezuela have probably had enough of Maduro”

        Does that mean they want Bolton/Pompeo/Trump and their croney Guaido ripping them off instead?
        I doubt it.

        • Tatyana

          A russian man lives in Venezuela and writes sometimes on Pikabu. His opinion is that people are not happy with Maduro, but they consider him the minor evil than US controlled administration. Maduro is tolerated, not loved.

          • Ingwe

            The real point being, Tatyana that it is solely s matter for Venezuelan people. They and they alone should exercise their judgment on their leaders.

        • OnlyHalfALooney

          TonyT12:

          I did write: The people of Venezuela have probably had enough of Maduro, but they still prefer “their own” Maduro to an obvious CIA puppet like Guaido.

  • fwl

    Cold War aficionados may enjoy Bloomberg story of 16 April – Mercenaries, Spies and Double Agents Gather En-Masse in Bogata.

  • Denys Williams

    “The attempt at violence forces a binary choice.”

    You are better than this.

    There are rarely absolutes in matters of such complexity — indeed, you highlight many of the complexities in the article. Don’t do yourself the dis-service of such blatant steering, just state the facts as you see them, cite sources when you can and, if not, state your opinion and let the reader decide.

    Cheers.

    • joel

      There is nothing complex about a sovereign, democratically elected government being overthrown by a coup engineered in Washington by Bolton and Abrams. But you know that.

      • Loony

        Yes life is so simple. Take a look at the British democratic vote to the leave the EU and just marvel at the simplicity of execution.

        Take a look at the stunning simplicity of substantially all issues surrounding the democratic process in Northern Ireland. Be amazed by the ready and unconditional acceptance of the Scottish political class regarding the outcome of a democratic referendum.

        All so simple – but then you know that.

        • joel

          As you could see, I was referring to the blatant coup efforts Venezuela, the subject of this blog.

          • Loony

            No – you were stated that there was nothing complex regarding the attempt to overthrow a democratically elected government. If that is the case then why is Brexit so complicated?

            But is your primary contention actually true in the first place?

            The UN estimates that there are 3.4 million Venezuelan refugees. (By way of comparison there are about 5 million Syrian refugees).

            Of the Venezuelan refugees about 1.1. million are in Colombia, 500,000 in Peru and 220,000 in Ecuador. Do you have any evidence to suggest that Colombia, Peru and Ecuador are capable of absorbing such a quantity of people without harming their own economies and societies?

            Do you know that Venezuela has the second highest murder rate in the world. Murders in Venezuela account for 20% of all murders in Latin America.

            Do you know any Venezuelans? Have you ever spoken to any of them? If the answer is yes then you will know that they are mostly suffering from low grade trauma – that they are deeply wary of the US and yet they recognize that the situation with Maduro cannot continue.

            The actual testimony of Venezuelans can be distilled into the observation that they view the situation as complex. This of course being the opposite conclusion to the one reached by you. Still who gives a fuck about Venezuelans when there is an ideology to be worshiped.

          • joel

            Loony

            The reported testimonies of Venezuelans, whether highly selective or not, do not alter the reality that a straightforward US neocon coup attempt is underway in their country. To suggest otherwise is akin to arguing black is white.

            You’ve made it pretty plain that like Trump, Bolton, Abrams and Co your heart is aching for the poor people of Venezuela. But may I ask, do you share the same feelings towards the thousands of poor lives prematurely snuffed out in the USA due to prohibitively expensive medical care or lost as a result of unrestricted gun ownership? I’m guessing you share a similar perspective on those curtailed lives as the aforementioned humanitarians in Washington.

          • Loony

            I wrote nothing to refute the idea that a US inspired coup is being attempted in Venezuela. My remarks were confined to seeking to explain that the situation in Venezuela is not “simple” as claimed by you.

            Gun ownership in the US is another complex matter. Most Europeans cannot understand the US perspective on guns and similarly most Americans cannot understand the European perspective.

            Similarly medical care is complicated – and no-one seems to have developed a perfect system. It is true that many people in the US lack access to effective medical care, It is similarly true that a significant number of people in the UK have been slaughtered by the NHS – the cases are well documented.

            One reason why medical care is so complicated is because governments are allowing themselves to be used as a conduit for siphoning public money into the pockets of large pharmaceutical companies. Not only does this take money away from front line medical care it also leads to the over prescription of highly dangerous drugs. For the first time in a century life expectancy in the US has declined for 3 straight years – and the proximate cause of this is the opioid epidemic So far as I know the only leading politician anywhere in the western world to be taking this issue seriously is Donald Trump. But hey Trump is a racist, misogynistic, bigot so who cares if 10’s of thousands of people each year need to be poisoned to death so as to resist “Trump’s hate”

      • Garth Carthy

        I agree, joel.
        I’m sure most of us are aware of the US interference in other nation’s politics on so many occasions and over so many years.
        As you say, there is nothing complex about that.
        There do seem to be questions about Maduro’s leadership and corruption in Venezuela but as has already been pointed out, that surely does not entitle any other nation to interfere with Venezuela’s democratic right to choose it’s own leaders and it’s own policies.
        I think Craig’s assessment is reasonable and probably spot on..

        • joel

          Unfortunately Garth it does entitle the US to interfere, according to the liberal-democratic elites of Europe and their parrots on here.

        • Ingwe

          Garth, people may well ask questions about Maduro’s leadership and corruption in Venezuela. But then people have questions about Trump’s and before him, most other leaders of the USA and corruption there. Questions ike the rate they execute mostly black and often educationally subnormal people after a feeble or no defence provided by underpaid public defenders. Or the huge number of Americans with no healthcare provision because they can’t afford the insurance and the number of people, again mostly black, who get shot by the police who are then either never charged or cleared by selected, white jurors. That is nothing as to the actual corruption of the political system itself. Read Greg Palast’s “The Best Democracy Money Can Buy”
          But can you imagine if the Venezuean president suggested the overthrow of the American government and took steps to finance and organise a coup there to liberate the American population? It would amount to a declaration of war and undoubtedly the UN security council, run by the USA, Britian and France would pass resolutions on the illegality of such action. Hey ho! such is the exceptionalism of the USA and the UK’s position. They should stay the fuck out of other countries’ affairs!

      • Piotr Berman

        Denys failed to noticed the word “choice”. Facts are usually complicated, but the choices are typically simple, attack or retreat, bet or not etc. For example, note the sentiments of our host concerning the quality of governance in Scotland and other parts of this United Kingdom, his hopes that independent Scotland will do much, much better, and his total lack of advocacy for an armed insurrections against the English. Long lists of pros and cons and a simple decision.

    • Michael McNulty

      And if the CIA have been grooming Guaido since his university days in the US it indicates the plan to take over Venezuela and its oil is quite a few years old, and was planned before anybody including the US could have even known Maduro would be President when the coup went into effect. So whatever they say the blame game came first and the man to blame came after, which goes some way to explain why the sanctions were important to the US, to bring about the conditions in the country for which they could accuse President Whomsoever.

  • Garth Carthy

    Media Lens, in a recent article, has stated that US sanctions imposed on Venezuela in August 2017 have caused around 40,000 deaths according to the Centre for Economic and Policy Research.
    So anyone who pays any attention to the sophist ramblings of Loony would do well to ponder the above fact.
    Even if there is any truth in what Loony says about Venezuela’s murder rate, etc., I would wager that the US has exacerbated that problem with it’s constant interference in Venezuelan affairs.

    • michael norton

      It would be interesting to tot up the number of people who have been killed by the U.S.A. since, say 1900.
      One million, maybe multiple millions, anyone?

    • Loony

      “Sophistry” means a clever, but false argument, with the intention of deceiving.

      My argument was predicated on there being 3.4 million Venezuelan refugees. Either this is accurate or it is not. The estimate, along with the locations of the refugees, comes from the UN, so if it incorrect then the responsibility rests not with me but with the UN.

      El Pais is the source for the murder rate in Venezuela. I made no comment at all regarding the cause of all of these murders, but merely noted that they exist. It is you that has chosen to imply nefarious motives to my highlighting this fact – despite the fact that you no evidence to support this smear.

      My sole reason for mentioning these statistics was to counter the argument that the situation in Venezuela was “simple”

      Although you don’t seem interested let me tell you which country has the highest murder rate in the world. It is Honduras. That would be the same Honduras where Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama organized and executed a coup, with the handy side consequence that the Clinton Foundation enriched itself just that little bit more. .

      • pretzelattack

        i don’t see how your stated facts show the situation in venezuela is complicated; after all how many iraqi refugees were displaced by
        the propaganda based invasion by the u.s.?

        • Loony

          In order for your comment to have any meaning at all then you must believe that the situation with regard to Iraq is simple.

          If you believe this then you seemingly hold similar views to Bush and Blair. They too believed that the situation was simple and that a simple illegal invasion would usher in nirvana. These gentlemen seem unable to explain exactly why it has not been possible for Iraq to turn itself into a vibrant, thriving economy and society.

          Maybe not so simple after all.

          • pretzelattack

            i think the illegal and unjustified invasion simply destroyed iraq, creating refugees. i think bush and blair would disagree. you’d like to make it complicated, because you apparently think venezuela needs to be invaded, too.

        • Loony

          The UK seems to be determined to abandon the rule of law as fast as possible.

          No-one knows what this guy did or did not do as he has been afforded no form of due process and according to the government he is not going to get any due process.

          Julian Assange is another person who has been subjected to an arbitrary interpretation of the law. Tommy Robinson appears to occupy a unique status insofar as he can commit crimes but no-one can commit crimes against him.

          You would need to suffer some form of schizophrenia to be ideologically aligned to all 3 individuals. Thus the obsession with identity politics means that when your preferred enemy is denied impartial access to the law then you cheer and applaud. Thus the masters of chaos are able to dismantle the law while at all times being cheered on by a significant segment of the population.

          Such a radically different Modus operandi from that employed by the Nazis.

          • michael norton

            If Gavin has broken the law he should be prosecuted but he can’t be prosecuted because he has not been charged.
            He has not been charged because Mrs. May has said, that is an end to it.
            Can one person stop justice in its tracks?
            The law is supposed to be for everyone, not just the poor.

          • Hieroglyph

            I no longer live in the UK, luckily, but I too am concerned about where it’s headed. Scotland has to leave.

            Also I have often noted that female leaders act in an distinctly authoritarian manner when they get the top job. May is a weak leader, so she acts in an arbitrary and authoritarian manner. Thatcher, Clinton, Pelosi, GIllard, whichever female leader you choose, it’s most often the same patterns of behavior. Why this would be is a moot point. Perhaps the filters, which we know exist, filter out any and all good candidates, so we only see the worst leaders, of both genders. Or perhaps there is an innate authoritarian bent to the majority of women who seek leadership roles. I do not know.

            What’s become clear is that the UK legal system is tiered. The rich can buy their way out, obviously. And those who are accused of political crimes are subject to different rules. Assange and Robinson didn’t even need to bother hiring lawyers, or going into the courtroom – they were already guilty. The decision, quite literally, had already been made, one suspects it wasn’t even the judge who decided; he had received his orders, and complied.

            I’m a little uncertain, personally, on Tommy Robinson. He deserves credit for highlighting grooming gangs, where nobody else did. But he does strike me as a somewhat dubious character – though perhaps I too have been propagandized? Rabbit holes everywhere.

      • Garth Carthy

        @Loony
        My accusation of sophistry is not about the 3.4 million Venezuelan refugees but about the general language and impressions whereby you seem to be trying to excuse the US of blame. If you notice, Craig accepts that the Maduro is far from perfect but rightly accuses the US as being the real culprit exacerbating Venezuela’s problems.

        However, I’m sure you’re probably right when you say that in Honduras, “Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama organized and executed a coup, with the handy side consequence that the Clinton Foundation enriched itself just that little bit more.”

      • COMMINUS

        Have you been to Venezuela? I have . Several times and seen at first hand how Chavez and now Maduro has tried to help the poor and the indigenous tribes in a way that no other politician ever has…

        And that is why for the US venezuela will ultimately prove to be “iraq with trees”

  • Glasshopper

    A Venezuelan friend told me years ago that the situation was disastrous in the country “and now he (Chavez) wants a bus driver to succeed him”. I never heard a good word about the people running Venezuela, but am so cynical about the US i find myself giving them the benefit of the doubt despite having never been to South America. Like most here, iv’e no wish to be on the same side as oiks like John Bolton.

    Even so, the place is a basket case and with it’s huge wealth that cannot be all the fault of the yankees.

      • Glasshopper

        I talk to people who live there rather than listening to windbags on the internet. It gives you a different perspective.

        • Sarge

          Grasshopper, to accept one anti Chavez voice as the be all and end all suggests a certain degree of credulity on your part. Surely you’re aware Chavez and his bus driver successor have been re-elected to power multiple times by the Venezuelan people since the 1990s? (In an electoral system Jimmy Carter describes as “the best in the world.”)

    • COMMINUS

      Yes it can. If all the wealth is held by the top 1% or transferred overseas…

      Why do you think the US is so angry. PDVSA now spends oil revenue on the poor since ot was nationalised by Chavez

      Only our sanctuons are holding venezuela back

  • Rod

    @Borncynical May 2nd 11:02 & @SA May 2nd 16:53

    Thank you for your kind responses. From my posting you will have gathered that I am neither a fan of Mrs May nor Mr Williamson. My primary criticism of Mrs May is that she has attained the highest office in the land and is unworthy of that position as is plain for all to see. To my mind being Prime Minister of this nation requires the intellect of a person who can think ahead and extricate him/herself from any given awkward situation with a degree of plausibility; an attribute she clearly does not possess.

    This prime minister declared to Mr Williamson in a written letter that she must have known would eventually find its way into the public domain and where the wording she chose left her open to censure. As prime minister it is her prerogative to say who will serve in her cabinet and who will not, and that should have been the extent of the basis for Mr Williamson’s dismissal. Instead, she embarked upon an attempted justification for her action which was open to question not only by Mr Williamson, but now by her own parliamentary colleagues and the general public at large.

    Without publicised tangible evidence the nation is asked to believe her account of potentially serious accusations or innuendo against Mr Williamson without providing him with the opportunity of a proper defence thereby denying him the natural justice to which he is entitled and by declaring the matter as now closed.

    Mrs May is totally unable to ‘think on her feet’, she attends meetings only where the audience is hand picked, she is unable to deal with hecklers as evidenced this afternoon when a member of the public asked her when she was going to resign. Her face was a picture as she was totally unprepared for this eventuality.

    This has been the appearance of Mrs May’s premiership since its outset. Slogans like strong and stable or red, white and blue Brexit are inadequate and insufficient to the task of governing this, or any, country; she should know that and if she doesn’t, she has no place as this nations chief minister.

    • Borncynical

      Rod,

      …and thank you for your acknowledgement.

      We are as one in our opinion of Mrs May! What is appalling is that as well as being ‘caught on the hop’ when she should do better at thinking on her feet, she is also ‘caught on the hop’ when she has advance warning and time to plan her strategy. As a former civil servant myself from a London HQ I can only assume that either the standard of advice she receives from civil servants these days has plumbed unimaginable depths or she indulges in completely ignoring any advice she is given. I strongly suspect the latter.

      May’s treatment of Williamson (disregarding the fact that an incompetent prat and liability) is inexcusable. But we shouldn’t be surprised. Her M.O is very much one of evidence-free accusations followed by unconditional closure of the matter. It would be interesting to know what motivates her to behave in this completely unacceptable way. Being seen to be ‘strong’ is one thing, but not at the expense of moral principles and decency.

      J.

      • Rod

        J. I have long since abandoned any attempt analyse what makes this lady act in the manner she does. All I can deduce is that her formative years were spent in a relatively closed environment of a God-botherer’s household where she believes that running through a farmer’s wheat field is one of the worst things that could be attributed to her and with no thought of her escalation to the havoc wrought upon this nation by her predecessor.

        I can quite understand the raising of eyebrows by those who believe her advisors are duff, but Mrs May chose these people herself and in that circumstance, to my mind, the onus for her performance remains squarely at her kitten heels. I believe her dull-witted performance with the heckler is a consequence of her cloistered environment and close circle of like-minded associates. It would have been much better if she had yelled back with the attitude of ‘Oh my God … is that you again Boris ? you drunken sot ! Somebody throw him out, but do up his trouser zip first’. That’s no more in her nature than jiving onto a stage to provide her vetted listening audience with a speech. Whosoever advised her to do that obviously didn’t see her wooden dancing performance some months earlier with the African children.

        She has absolutely no repartee whatsoever, all she has is the venom and snide remarks she spits at Mr Corbyn across the despatch box. I do not despise her personally, I don’t know her personally; but I do despise everything she and her ilk stand for – the sooner they are all removed from office, the better.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    You are ignoring all the weapons that the US covert state has, like causing quakes with subs having sound lasers in the hope that the surface oil installations will be destroyed by shaking or tsunamis, and the laser satellites which are causing power outages all over the country in the hope of the coup forces succeeding.

    • Courtenay Barnett

      SOUTHCOM
      TOP SECRET
      23 FEB 2018
      PLAN TO OVERTHROW THE VENEZUELAN DICTATORSHIP “MASTERSTROKE”
      UNITED STATES SOUTHERN COMMAND 23 FEBRUARY 2018
      TOP SECRET/20180223
      CURRENT SITUATION
      The Venezuelan Chavista dictatorship staggers as a result of its frequent internal problems; there is a great shortage of foodstuffs, an exhaustion of the sources of foreign currency and a rampant corruption. The international support, won with petrodollars, becomes scarcer each time and the purchasing power of its national currency is in a constant downfall.
      Such scenario is not supposed to change, but the Venezuelan present-day leaders, as they usually do, in their despair to preserve their power, are capable to appeal to new populist measures that perpetuate their positions of privilege; the only mechanism that sustains them obstinate to the struggle to hold on their positions.
      Maduro’s corrupt regimen will collapse but regrettably, the divided opposing forces, legitimate defenders of democracy and the well-being of their people, do not have power enough to put an end to the Venezuelan nightmare and the awakening of theirs beloved nation at a luminous dawn, in which the vision of fortune, true peace and tranquility predominate for their fellow citizens.
      The internal disputes, the supreme particular likings, the corruption similar to the one of their rivals, as well as the scarcity of rooting, do not grant them the opportunity to make the most of this situation and to give the necessary step to overturn the state of penury and precariousness in which the pressure group, that exercises the leftist dictatorship, has submerged the country. We are at the presence of an unprecedented criminal action in Latin America.
      This affects the entire region, there is no respect to international right and local political alternatives are unacceptable.
      Democracy spreads out in America, continent in which radical populism was intended to take over. Argentina, Ecuador and Brazil are examples of it. The rebirth of democracy has the support of the most valuable determinations, and the conditions in the regions run in its favour.
      It is the time for the United States to prove, with concrete actions, that they are implicated in that process, where overthrowing Venezuelan dictatorship will surely mean a continental turning point.
      It is the first opportunity of the Trump Administration to bring forward the vision in reference to security and democracy. Showing its active commitment is crucial, not only for the administration, but also for the continent and for the world.
      The time has come to
      Step to speed up the definite overthrow of Chavismo and the expulsion of its representative:
      Undermining the decadent popular support to Government.
      Encouraging popular dissatisfaction by increasing scarcity and rise in price of the foodstuffs, medicines and other essential goods for the inhabitants. Making more harrowing and painful the scarcities of the main basic merchandises.
      Securing he the present-day dictator’s irreversible deterioration
      Developing actions to encourage the egocentrism and the verbal incontinence of the Dictator, compelling him to fall into mistakes that generate greater distrust and rejection domestically, while continuing to minimize the international significance of his public figure.
      To beseige him, to ridicule him and to pose him as symbol of awkwardness and incompetence. To expose him as a puppet of Cuba. Exacerbating the division among members of the governing group. Revealing the differences in his living conditions with respect to those of his followers, at the same time to incite them to keep on increasing those divergences. Highlighting examples as the ones of Rafael Ramirez from PDVSA and Nelson Mercengtes from gthe BCV.
      Making his government unsustainable, forcing him to claudication, to negotiate or to run away, as other close collaborators have done.
      Making provisions for a back or escaping door, in case he finally chooses to look for a safe port out of his country.
      Increasing the internal instability to a critical level.
      Intensifying the undercapitalizatioin of the country, the leaking out of foreign currency and the deterioration of its monetary base, bringing about the application of new inflationary measures that increase its deterioration and that simultaneously provoke the citizens with less access — who support the present-day rulers — and those who are best positioned, to see their social status threatened or affected. Establishing that the use of bitcoin, Petro, is a key element in the deterioration of the economy, which is an unconstitutional and illegal manipulation of the national currency, useable for money laundering.
      Fully obstructing imports, and at the same time, discouraging potential foreign investors in order to contribute to make more critical the situation of the population — mainly in the sphere of oil, essential for any attempt of recuperation of the national economy.
      Appealing to domestic allies as well as other people inserted from abroad in the national scenario in order to generate protests, riots and insecurity, plunders, thefts, assaults and highjacking of vessels as well as other means of transportation, with the intention of deserting this country in crisis through all borderlands and other possible ways, jeopardizing in such a way the National Security of neighboring frontier nations. Causing victims and holding the Government responsible for them. Magnifying, in front of the world, the humanitarian crisis in which the country has been submitted to.
      Making use of the generalized corruption and the originating profits from their operations with prohibited drugs, to do away with their image in front of the world and their domestic followers.
      Promoting fatigue inside the members of the PSUV, inciting the annoyance and nonconformity among themselves, for them to break noisily away from the line of the Government; for them to refuse the measures and restrictions which also affect them, inciting the rising of internal politic factions, which divides it in its schism, making it as weak as the the opposition is. Creating frictions between the PSUV and “Somos Venezuela”.
      Structuring a plan to get the profuse desertion of the most qualified professionals from the country, in order “to leave it with no professionals at all”, which will aggravate even more the internal situation and along these lines putting the blame on of Government.
      Using the army officers as an alternative of definite solution.
      Continuing hardening the conditions inside the Armed Forces to carry out a coup d’etat before concluding 2018, if the crisis does not make the dictatorship to collapse or the dictator does not decide to move aside.
      Continuing setting fire to the common frontier with Colombia. Multiplying the traffic of fuel and other goods. The movement of paramilitaries, armed raids and drug trafficking. Provoking armed incidents with the Venezuelan frontier security forces.
      Recruiting paramilitaries mainly in the campsites of refugees in Cucuta, La Guajira and the north of Santander, areas largely populated by Colombian citizens who emigrated to Venezuela and now return, run away from the regimen to intensify the destabilizing activities in the common frontier between both countries. Making use of the empty space left by the FARC, the belligerency of the ELN and the activities in the area of the Gulf Clan.
      Preparing the involvement of allied forces in support of the Venezuelan army officers or to control the internal crisis, in the event they delay too much in taking the initiative.
      Establishing a speedy time line that prevents the Dictator to continue winning control on the internal scenario. If it’s necessary, act before the elections stipulated for next April.
      Getting the support of the allied authorities of friendly countries (Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Panama and Guyana).
      Organizing the provisioning, relief of troops, medical and logistic support from Panama. Making good use of the facilities of electronic surveillance and signals intelligence, the hospitals and its deployed endowments in Danen, the equipped airdromes for the Colombian Plan, as well as the landing fields of the old-time military bases of Howard and Albrook, as well as the one belonging to “Rio Halo”. In addition, the Humanitarian Regional Center of the United Nations, designed for situations of catastrophes and humanitarian emergency, which has an aerial landing field and its own warehouses.
      Moving on the basification of combat airplanes and choppers, armored conveyances, intelligence positions, and special military and logistics units (police and military district attorneys and prisons).
      Developing the military operation under international flag, patronized by the Conference of American Armies, under the protection of the OAS and the supervision, in the legal and media context, of the Secretary General Luis Almagro. Declaring the necessity that the continental commandment be strengthened to act, using the instrument of the Inter-American Democratic Charter, in order to avoid the democratic rupture.
      Binding Brazil, Argentina, Colombia and Panama to the contribution of greater number of troops, to make use of their geographic proximity and experience in operations in forest regions. Strengthening their international condition with the presence of combat units from the United States of America and the other named countries, under the command of a Joint General Staff led by the USA.
      Using the facilities at Panamanian territory for the rear guard and the capacities of Argentina for the securing of the ports and the maritime positions.
      Leaning on Brazil and Guyana to make use of the migratory situation that we intend to encourage in the border with Guyana.
      Coordinating the support to Colombia, Brazil, Guyana, Aruba, Curacao, Trinidad and Tabago and other States in front of the flow of Venezuelan immigrants in the event of the crisis. Promoting international participation in this effort, as part of the multilateral operation with contribution of the States, Non-Profit Organizations and international bodies. Supplying the adequate logistic, intelligence, surveillance and control support.
      Anticipating, specially, the most vulnerable points in Arauca, Puerto Carreno and Ininda, Maicao, Barranquilla and Sincelejo, in Colombia, and Roramia, Manaos and Boa Vista, in Brazil.
      Information Strategie
      Silencing the symbolic presence of Chavez-representative of unit and popular support-, and in the other way around, keeping the harassment to the Dictator as the only responsible of the crisis in which he has submerged the nation.
      Holding the Dictator and his closer followers responsible, in the first place, for the prevailing crisis due to his inability to find the way out that the Venezuelans are in need of.
      Intensifying the media denouncement about the cubanization of Venezuela.
      Outstandingly intensifying the denouncement toward Maduro’s regimen, considering him:
      A criminal
      A illegitimate
      A thief of the wealth of the Venezuelan people
      Someone who plunders the national treasury to carry out his evasion
      Highlighting the incompetence of the mechanisms of integration created by the regimens of Cuba and Venezuela, specially the ALBA and PETROCARIBE, in order to tackle the situation of the country and their inability to find solutions to the problems that the citizens are facing.
      Increasing, inside the country and through the mass media established abroad, the dissemination of designed messages based on testimonies and publications originated in the country, making use of all the possible capacities, including the social networks.
      Claiming, through that mass media, the need to put an end to this situation because of its unsustainable essence.
      Justifying and assuring through violent means the international backup to the deposal of the dictatorship, displaying an extensive dissemination, inside the country and to the entire world, through all the open means and the capacities of the psychological war of the US ARMY.
      Assuring that the disclosed images and reports of the military actions are approved by the General Staff to prevent their manipulation and use by the enemy.
      The United States should entirely back up the OAS, strengthening the image of the OAS and other multilateral institutions for the inter-American system, as instruments for the solution to the regional problems.
      Promoting the request of the the dispatch of a UNO military force for the imposition of peace, once Nicolas Maduro’s corrupt dictatorship is defeated.
      [signature]
      K.W. TIDD
      Admiral, USN
      COMMANDER

      • Trowbridge H. Ford

        Thanks, Courteney, the most important part of the plan is what is implied by stating the need of upsetting the stability of the Maduro regime, besieging it so much that he flees to Cuba. etc., the most vital secrets

        Also note that Admiral K. W, Tiidd retired from the US Southern Command in November last year after forty years of service. Implementing his plan is now someone else’s job.

      • Sharp Ears

        One of the Mad Men. The naval equivalent of Strangelove, nearing the end of his ‘service’ planning a last fling. Son of an admiral and with a brother who is another.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kurt_W._Tidd
        Note the Atlantic Council membership. What evil.

        These warmongers should all be locked up and the keys thrown away.

        • Paul Barbara

          @ Sharp Ears May 5, 2019 at 11:33
          ‘Mad Men’ seem to be America’s forte:
          ‘US to deploy aircraft carrier in ‘clear message’ to Iran’:
          https://www.ft.com/content/c192c6ea-6fa4-11e9-bf5c-6eeb837566c5
          ‘Iran will be held accountable for attacks on American interests, US secretary of state Mike Pompeo said after the US announced it would deploy an aircraft carrier and bomber task force to the Middle East.
          Speaking to reporters on Monday on board a plane to Finland, Mr Pompeo said the deployment was “something we’ve been working on for a little while”…..’

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Sharp Ears May 4, 2019 at 19:14
      Let’s hope history repeats itself.
      You know what happened to Pompeii.

  • A Hamilton

    Your graphic showing how much oil is left in the world is highly misleading.For example, the figure for Saudi Arabia is thought to refer to the original oil in place rather than current reserves.

    • michael norton

      There is always more oil than was first discovered.
      There is a stunning amount of Methane in the World, massive new fields keep being found, even little Israel has found it floats on gas.
      Egypt is set to be a very big producer of Methane, one of the reasons the Muslim Brotherhood have been proscribed and a West friendly dictator allowed to take firm control.
      Ships can be made to run well on Methane.
      Oil will eventually loose its pre-eminence.

  • David Smith

    Hmm. Looking at that map; did they know that Vietnam had that quantity of oil in 1964..?

    • michael norton

      Vietnam has double the oil reserves of the United Kingdom.
      Oil has been known about in the United Kingdom for over a century.
      The U.K. has been known to have huge coal reserves for centuries, perhaps coal and oil go together?
      Vietnam has huge coal reserves.

      A very good question David Smith.

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