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Wednesday, May 1, 2019


I realize that bloggers are expected to have opinions about everything, but I have my limits.  Could someone who acually understands the Venezuelan situation offer some  guidance?


Anonymous II said...

Remember Chile. Remember Honduras. Remember, remember, remember.

I guess I’d propose that if the US government and American “opinion leaders” are for something we should at least be suspicious of and should probably be against what they’re for. I don’t think this is mere oppositionism on my part. I think the long-term and recent American record respecting its interferences south of its southern border is sufficient evidence for my stance. As regards Venezuela, in particular, just following the mainstream news over the two decades since Chavez became the county’s leader leaves me in no doubt that it was already determined in 1998-9 in American leadership circles that he and those who thought like him were “unacceptable” and would have to be vigorously constrained. Since Maduro became Venezuela’s leader, in the belief that he was more vulnerable than Chavez, the vigour of the attempts to constrain have reached new heights.

s. wallerstein said...

Both sides lie so much that it's hard to get at the truth. Brian Leiter linked to this article a few weeks ago by philosopher Peter Ludlow and it seems as good an account as one can hope to find in this sea of fake news from both sides.

Tom Hickey said...

There is no single source that can serve a go-to on anything international. Here are some pointers on Venezuela and Latin America, but one must remember that the Venezuela issue began with the Chavista take-over and has been going on for a long time. It's also only a piece of longterm US interference in Latin America that can only be understood in terms of the historical context going back to the Monroe Doctrine, which John Bolton inappropriately cited recently about Venezuela. In other words this is all part of the pattern of US attempts to undermine non-compliant governments and upstart movements worldwide, which is now coming to a head and is being pursued openly as will as clandestinely.

1. Starting point: Everything in the US corporate media is propaganda. Here is a piece from Fair (Feb 2019) on the pack of lies about Venezuela.

2. Some of the best independent investigative reporters are at The Grayzone. Twitter (@GrayzoneProject). Also see contributor list. Search on their names to find other venues in addition to Grayzone. Max Blumenthal and Ben Norton are especially good on Latin America. They publish elsewhere, too.

3. Glen Greenwald of The Intercept is also good on Latin America. He lives in Brazil. He also publishes elsewhere.

4. Venezuelanalysis is an alternative source of news on Venezuela.

5. teleSur (Spanish) and telesur English are good on Latin America.

6. Moon of Alabama, who is excellent on world affairs, had a piece on Venezuela yesterday giving a blow by blow report.

With these leads anyone with an hour or two and an Internet connection can become basically informed about Venezuela and other international affairs.

Tom Hickey said...

Here is a comment I posted at Col. Pat Lang's blog, Sic Semper Tyrannis. It addressed a specific issue regarding Iran but goes on to cover the world situation. Those here may be interested in it:

tjfxh said...
In my view this is part of a larger picture that Bolan doesn't consider. There are reasons that the Trump team has not been more specific about desirable behavior: The desired behavior is for the regime to leave. The alternative to voluntary departure is overthrow. Actually, it can be argued that the US powers that be have been quite clear about this.
1. Regime change is the US major objective toward Iran, Russia, China, Syria, Turkey, Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Cuba. The rest is subterfuge. (Europe, Japan and South Korea are already occupied and controlled, and most of the rest of Latin America is controlled, too.)
2. a. The ultimate goal is to break up China and Russia into smaller countries that can never threaten the us.
2. b. The US also has to control the development of India to maintain hegemony, but that is now is mostly on the table economically.
2. c. Longer terms the US also has to control Africa, which is going to be a significant player later in this century. The US is already committing significant special operations forces there. (Regime change in China and Russia would go a long way to securing Africa with minimal effort.)
3. Islamic militancy is here to stay. It will continue to be a thorn, but probably won't be able to become a spear. However, thorns can do significant damage, like putting out an eye. This is an issue not only in MENA but also in most of Africa.
4. The strategy is based on hybrid warfare, employing information warfare, economic warfare, cyber-warfare to the extent possible and to follow with special operations, proxy war.
5. Kinetic warfare using the US military will only be applied if absolutely necessary unless the objective can be accomplished quickly, since the US public has little tolerance for protracted warfare that results in more than minimal US casualties.The specter of Vietnam still hovers, and 17 years in Afghanistan are still a reminder.
6. China and Russia know this, and so do smaller countries that are on the hit list. The smaller countries are stepping stones toward China and Russia and no one is in the dark about this.
This is basically the Wolfowitz doctrine, the Bush doctrine, and the grand chessboard as set forth by Zbig, based on Halford Mackinder's analysis and modifications by Nicholas Spyker. All one has to do is look at the China plan for the BRI to see that what is happening. The US leadership is now convinced that US hegemony is under direct attack by China, and the other countries slated for regime change are all part of the bigger picture in this regard.
7. This is a red line for the US. What are the red lines for China, Russia, and Iran. The US is probing to determine that.

James Camien McGuiggan said...

I'm given to understand that the philosopher Peter Ludlow's take is excellent, but it's too long for me so I've not read it myself.

Anonymous II said...

The comments on Ludlow's account are also interesting.

s. wallerstein said...

According to my favorite political analyst this morning, Mirko Macari, given to cynical realism, the failed coup attempt on Tuesday shows that the Army is now in charge in Venezuela. The fact that Maduro did not appear in public during the whole day of crisis and that Defense Minister and Army head, General Vladimir Padrino Lopez, was the first government figure to speak out publicly against the coup indicates that it's General Padrino Lopez who is calling the shots. Macari says that Bolton may be telling the truth when he says that there are negotiations between the U.S. and Padrino Lopez about ending the crisis, which would probably entail getting rid of Maduro and leaving the current nominally Chavista Army leadership in control.

Anonymous said...

From Miami...

I come across many undocumented Venezuelans daily. They have an extreme desire to work and help and their family back at home. Old ladies will sit down at benches at any given strip mall and whisper they have arepas for sale. I have bought so many arepas I don't know what to do with them anymore.

People that can fly into Miami will usually go to Walmart and buy as much corn starch and vegetable oil as possible and fly back to Venezuela.

There was rampant corruption in Venezuela before Chavez. Many poor people did not see any purpose to their citizenship or vote because they were basically excluded from any governing institutions.

Chavez came to power and many people were sympathetic. There was support for Chavez and his leftist policies but too many corrupt people took over or ingrained themselves in the bureaucratic mechanisms of daily life.

The Maduro regime is basically propped up by corrupt generals. Will it survive? I don't think so. I think they have started to look for a replacement, maybe Diosdado?

I think US policy failed early on with Chavez. They should have cooperated with him. Regarding any oil fields or takeovers, Chavez really should have broadcasted the need for taxes and such. A very big problem in Central/South America is lack of property taxes and therefore some type of land hording that pushes agrarian reform on to the shoulders of leftists. If Chavez confiscated any American businesses, the US should have just defended the rights of those businesses to be compensated in a fair way or pay back some semblance of a fair tax.

Will the US intervene? Unlikely unless Guaido is harmed.

I am sure the US promised Guaido much more but did not deliver.

The US should have dealt with Chavez but instead this problem festered. Now it's much worse with various other countries having a vested interest in different endings.

BTW, the entrenched criminals come and go to Miami. They deposit money in US banks and rely on the privacy protections of those banks. They have acquired luxury condos on Fisher Island. Most of them have enriched themselves by taking advantage of the dual currency system with the blessing of the Venezuelan government. I think it was called the CADIVI. They have great lives on their Instagram profiles. They Maduro Socialists live in gated communities with private malls and nightclubs.

Is it a socialist country? Maybe for several years it was Socialist but it has clearly become a criminal enterprise.

In some way I think the US was hoping for a total collapse when Chavez died. The US probably wants to make sure the next Venezuelan government will outright sell oil interests to American companies instead of being forced into some partnership with the Venezuelan government. Maybe that single focus has really screwed up everything.

Sorry for the rant, I see the effects of this on a daily basis.

The Democrats should have some clear policy details on this. They should push for giving TPS refugee protection to Venezuelans. That should be the litmus test if Trump is serious about this matter. Many Venezuelans would send back money to their families so they can at least protest. It's hard to protest when you are hungry and tired.

Rumors in Miami are that Chavez was poisoned by Castro regime to promote Maduro's succession and ensure oil deliveries to Cuba. Similar to how Castro betrayed Che...