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  1. #1
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    Venezuela Crisis

    A thread for news reports and comment on the humanitarian and political crisis in Venezuela.

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    US withdraws all remaining diplomats from Venezuela

    March 15, 2019


    The U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that all U.S. diplomats remaining in Venezuela departed the South American country on Thursday.

    Calling the withdrawal "temporary departure," Pompeo said in a statement released by the State Department that U.S. diplomats will continue their work from other locations.


    The U.S. diplomats' exit came after Pompeo announced on Monday night the decision of withdrawing all remaining U.S. personnel from its embassy in Caracas, Venezuela, within this week.


    On Tuesday, Venezuelan government ordered American diplomats to leave within 72 hours.


    The United States recognized Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido as the nation's "interim president" on Jan. 23, days after Maduro was inaugurated for a second term as Venezuelan president.


    In response to Washington's support for Guaido, Maduro announced that he was severing "diplomatic and political" ties with the United States.


    The Trump administration recently has kept piling up pressure on Maduro.

    US withdraws all remaining diplomats from Venezuela - China.org.cn

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    WASHINGTON – Looting is rampant. Clean water is running low. Mass blackouts continue. And the potential for political violence is ever present.

    That is the quickly deteriorating situation in Venezuela – where Nicolas Maduro clings to his presidency despite massive American and international pressure for his ouster.

    In Washington, top Trump administration officials
    sharpened their rhetoric and hinted at a more aggressive posture. Democratic lawmakers prepared a proposal that would bar President Donald Trump from any military intervention without congressional authorization – fearing that such a step is in the works and that it would be disastrous.


    “The situation in Venezuela has gotten considerably worse in the last week,” said Brett Bruen, a former foreign service officer stationed in Venezuela and a global engagement adviser in the Obama administration. “It’s gone from alarming to catastrophic, so that requires a reassessment of what our policy is.”

    Thursday marked the seventh day of Venezuela’s
    mass power outage – which has exacerbated the crisis for Venezuelans coping with food and medicine shortages. Without power, hospitals have been unable to help the sick and dying, water pumps have stopped working, and vandals have ransacked stores and other businesses, according to media reports.


    China
    offered to come to the rescue of Maduro's socialist government, which has been unable to fix the power grid and is increasingly isolated internationally.


    “China is deeply concerned about this,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said in Beijing on Wednesday. “China is willing to provide help and technical support to restore Venezuela’s power grid.”


    Citing the dire conditions, the State Department withdrew all its American Embassy staff from Venezuela this week. American officials expressed alarm at Maduro’s call Monday for armed gangs, known as “colectivos,” to rise up and fight the political opposition. The Trump administration has recognized opposition leader Juan Guaido as the legitimate president of Venezuela and labeled Maduro a corrupt usurper.


    “I call on the colectivos,” Maduro declared, according to
    The Washington Post. “The hour of resistance has arrived.”


    “That’s calling for armed gangs to take over the streets, and it is obviously going to be a great worry to Venezuelans,” Elliott Abrams, the Trump administration’s special envoy for Venezuela, said during a State Department briefing Tuesday. “Perhaps it is a sign of Maduro’s lack of confidence in his own security forces. But it is by definition a breakdown of law and order.”


    Abrams and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo suggested this week that the Trump administration was preparing to increase pressure on Maduro. In his announcement that all American diplomats would leave Venezuela, Pompeo said their presence on the ground was a “constraint on U.S. policy.” The secretary of state did not elaborate, but the remark fueled speculation of military intervention.


    Abrams said the administration would impose “significant” new sanctions on Venezuela in the coming days. He declined to say whether the Trump administration asked the Pentagon to draft military options.


    Michael Dobson, a former senior sanctions policy adviser at the U.S. Treasury Department, said the United States is running out of economic tools to squeeze Maduro. The administration has slapped sanctions on the country’s oil sector, which is by far its largest source of revenue. Dobson said the Treasury Department could look at restrictions on Venezuela’s gold industry and some other minerals.


    “But beyond that, there isn’t much left,” said Dobson, an attorney in Washington. “So it’s largely a waiting game to see, will the military recalculate and see that it’s no longer worth having Maduro in the chair?”


    Democrats fear the Trump administration isn’t interested in waiting. Wednesday, the House Foreign Affairs Committee heard testimony about the implications of U.S. military intervention in Venezuela.


    “Military intervention would be much more difficult than many believe,” Rebecca Bill Chavez, a former deputy assistant defense secretary for the Western Hemisphere, told the committee.


    Democrats warned against any military action without congressional authorization.


    “We all agree the Maduro regime has destroyed Venezuela’s economy, starved its people and engaged in widespread corruption and repression,” said Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., the lead sponsor of legislation that would bar the administration from spending any money on military action in Venezuela.


    “Not only would military intervention be illegal, it would also come with serious consequences that I fear would not only hurt the Venezuelan people, but also the prospects for democracy,” he said.

    https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/...ry/3161336002/

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    Quote Originally Posted by harrybarracuda View Post
    “We all agree the Maduro regime has destroyed Venezuela’s economy, starved its people
    Quote Originally Posted by harrybarracuda View Post
    Abrams said the administration would impose “significant” new sanctions on Venezuela in the coming days.
    How generous for the "starving people"...

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    Quote Originally Posted by harrybarracuda View Post
    Venezuela Crisis
    A thread for news reports and comment on the humanitarian and political crisis in Venezuela.
    Yes, this looks a bit better, doesn't it?

    than an
    American coup in Venezuela

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    Meanwhile a fire at a decaying refinery that's been run into the ground by neglect and corruption, which burned free because there aren't any firemen left, is a "terrorist act" and no doubt the fault of the US. And India stop supplying Venezuela with dilutents, not that they can do anything with them anyway because the oil workers that could fix things have fled overseas where they get paid a fair wage for their work.

    CARACAS, Venezuela (AFP) — Venezuelans resumed work yesterday after a week-long hiatus forced by an unprecedented nationwide blackout, but President Nicolas Maduro's regime faced fresh problems including a “terrorist attack” on an oil facility.


    Three storage tanks at the Petro San Felix heavy oil processing plant in eastern Venezuela caught fire late Wednesday, Oil Minister Manuel Quevedo told State television. There were no reports of casualties.


    Quevedo blamed Guaido, the head of Venezuela's opposition-ruled congress and self-proclaimed interim president backed by 50 countries, accusing him of collusion with the United States.

    “There was a terrorist act that we denounce at an international level,” Quevedo told the VTV network.


    On Twitter, the minister said Guaido and the Opposition were “intensifying terrorist incursions” against the State-owned oil company PDVSA to impact Venezuela's vital crude exports.


    “Traitors!” he wrote, adding “the US has decided to rob Venezuela of its oil resources... (and) wants blood to flow”.


    There was no immediate reaction from the United States, which this week ordered all its diplomats out of Venezuela.


    Oil accounts for 90 per cent of Venezuela's export revenues. Production has long slid, crimped by years of underinvestment and mismanagement. Stepped-up US sanctions have further trimmed exports.

    Meanwhile in Caracas and other cities, Venezuelans who had been prevented from working for a week because of the blackout returned to their activities as best they could after power was restored.


    The Government called all public sector employees back to their offices, but State schools remained closed for another day.


    Long lines formed in the capital for the few buses running, and in front of banks. The city's subway, which usually transports two million people daily, was partly operating, and extremely crowded.


    The resumption marked a degree of relief after the lack of electricity, which deepened Venezuela's long economic crisis.


    But things remained far from normal, with many shops remaining shuttered. The national industry federation Conindustria said it would take several days for some activities to come back.


    “During the blackout we didn't open,” Carlos Zuniga, a 23-year-old employee in a shoe store, told AFP.


    “Business is bad. In a crisis on this scale, people don't buy shoes when they are looking for water and food,” he said.


    According to an economic analysis firm, Ecoanalitica, the blackout cost Venezuela US$875 million and paralysed industry, including the all-important oil sector.


    Maduro accused the US of causing the power outage. Experts said that was unlikely and years of infrastructure neglect and a persistent brain drain of qualified engineers was more probable.


    The United States, Latin American countries and many European Union states recognise Guaido as the caretaker leader of Venezuela, and urge Maduro to call early presidential elections.

    Maduro, though, refuses to do so. He has backing from Russia and China, which have invested tens of billions of dollars in Venezuela, as well as Cuba and Iran.


    In a sign of the fraying diplomacy concerning Venezuela, dozens of officials from Latin America, as well as the US, Canada and some European countries, walked out of a UN convention in Austria on the issue of drugs as Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza took the podium.


    A spokesperson for the US delegation said Arreaza and his team “represent the illegitimate Government of Nicolas Maduro, and thus cannot be considered as speaking on behalf of the Venezuelan people”.


    Arreaza said in his speech that the US “has threatened our people with a military aggression” and was taking “unilateral economic steps” in the form of sanctions costing Venezuela billions of US dollars.


    Those sanctions have impacted other buyers of Venezuelan crude.


    India's biggest private oil refiner Reliance Industries told AFP on Thursday it had capped oil imports from Venezuela following pressure from the United States.


    “Our US subsidiary has completely stopped all business with Venezuela's State-owned oil company, PDVSA, and its global parent has not increased crude purchases,” Reliance said in an e-mailed statement.


    “Reliance has halted all supply of diluent to PDVSA and will not resume such sales until sanctions are lifted,” added the company, which is owned by India's richest man Mukesh Ambani.

    http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/business-report/venezuela-accuses-us-of-terrorist-attack-on-oil-facility_159542?profile=1056

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    ^
    Jamaica Observer?


    Already a thread here:

    http://teakdoor.com/speakers-corner/...venezuela.html (American coup in Venezuela)

    Creating a new thread because you are losing the argument in the official thread?

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    Venezuela really fell apart after the CIA whacked Chavez.

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    Quote Originally Posted by foobar View Post
    ^
    Jamaica Observer?


    Already a thread here:

    http://teakdoor.com/speakers-corner/...venezuela.html (American coup in Venezuela)

    Creating a new thread because you are losing the argument in the official thread?
    Do I have to explain it again, you stupid little boy?

    CARACAS, Venezuela (AFP)

    "Agence France-Presse is an international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Agence Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency, and is the third largest news agency in the modern world after the Associated Press and Reuters."

    In future, please attempt to understand what you are reading before you put your foot in your impossibly big mouth.

    As for opening a thread here, the crisis in Venezuela is a "news story", hence it being in a "news thread" with "news reports" in it.

    Well that's until you come along babbling your usual idiocy because you have the reading age of a three year old, but essentially your drivel is background noise so carry on.



  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by foobar View Post
    Venezuela really fell apart after the CIA whacked Chavez.
    See that's the good thing about "news threads".

    When people write fairy tales like this without a link, it usually gets deleted.

    Best ask OhOh for a whackjob link sharpish.

  11. #11
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    A compelling story of how Rosneft was persuaded to throw a shitload of money into a big black hole and are now trying to extricate themselves from it.

    At the end of 2015, managers at Rosneft, the Russian state-controlled oil firm, sounded the alarm to their bosses about the company's investments in Venezuela. Rosneft's local partner, Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA, owed it hundreds of millions of dollars, according to internal documents, and there seemed no prospect things would get better.


    "It will be like this for eternity," a Rosneft internal auditor wrote in an email to a colleague in November 2015, complaining there was no progress in getting PDVSA to explain a $700 million hole in the balance sheet of a joint venture.


    The email was among scores of internal Rosneft communications - including presentations, copies of official letters, memos and spreadsheets – reviewed by Reuters. They cover the firm's operations in Venezuela between 2012 and 2015.


    It was a period when other international oil companies had either quit the country or were freezing new onshore investments, worried about the policies of the populist socialist administration. But Rosneft, majority owned by the Russian state, doubled down, increasing its stakes in joint ventures with PDVSA and lending more, the documents show. Rosneft was standing by its Venezuelan partner just as the Kremlin was supporting leader Hugo Chavez and his successor as president, Nicolas Maduro.


    Rosneft has poured around $9 billion into Venezuelan projects since 2010 but has yet to break even, Reuters has calculated, based on Rosneft's annual reports, its public disclosures and the internal documents.


    The Rosneft documents also reveal:




    - The Russians believed they were owed hundreds of millions of dollars from their joint ventures with PDVSA.


    - Oil output at the joint ventures was far lower than projected.


    - The joint ventures struggled to get hold of basic drilling equipment.


    - The Russians believed PDVSA spent millions of dollars from one joint venture on "social projects" in a remote area where just a few hundred people lived.


    - Managers brought the problems to the attention of Rosneft's chief executive, Igor Sechin, who ordered measures to right the ship.




    Since late 2015, the end of the period covered by the documents, some of Rosneft's problems have eased because it has taken greater shareholder and operational control of its interests. But it remains deeply invested in a company and a country that are in crisis.


    The reason Rosneft kept doubling down on its bet was political, according to two people close to the firm and two others with links to the Venezuela projects. State-owned Rosneft was expected to help prop up Moscow's allies in Caracas, these sources said.


    "From the very beginning it was a purely political project. We all had to contribute," said an executive at a Russian oil firm that partnered with Rosneft in Venezuela.


    The Russian who oversees this strategic business relationship is one of President Vladimir Putin's closest lieutenants: Rosneft Chief Executive Igor Sechin. The two men have known each other since at least the early 1990s when they worked in the mayor's office of their native St Petersburg. When Putin went to Moscow to become a mid-ranking official in the presidential administration, Sechin went with him.


    "I liked him," Putin told authors of a book about his life. "When I moved to Moscow, Sechin asked to come with me. I took him."


    A bust of Hugo Chavez greets visitors to Rosneft's offices in Caracas. Sechin often asks to see messages to Maduro before they are sent and adds the phrase: "Viva la Revolucion!" a former Rosneft employee said.


    Russia views its relationship with Caracas as a way to project power into Washington's backyard, according to Alexander Gabuev, a senior fellow at Carnegie Moscow Center, a think tank. Venezuela is a big buyer of Russian weapons. The billions of dollars that Rosneft has invested in Venezuela are an added incentive for Moscow to keep standing by its old ally.


    The story of Rosneft's troubled partnership comes at a time of deepening crisis inside Venezuela's giant oil company. The country's fortunes are closely tied to those of PDVSA, which accounts for 90 percent of the nation's export revenues. The Rosneft documents provide fresh evidence of long-term mismanagement at PDVSA, helping explain an economic collapse that has left millions struggling to eat.


    U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on March 11 Rosneft continued to buy crude oil from Venezuela and to "throw a lifeline to the regime." But Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Rosneft was driven by the interests of its shareholders. He denied the Kremlin applied pressure on the firm to invest in Venezuela.


    "First and foremost, Rosneft works as a commercial company in all corners of the world, and it works seeking commercial profit. Therefore this is what they do in Venezuela," Peskov said in reply to questions from Reuters. "Naturally such major projects are planned for the long term. As for assessments of the profitability of the projects, that's for the company itself, it's not a question for us."


    Neither Rosneft nor PDVSA responded to requests for comment for this article.


    In September 2012, at a drilling site in the Orinoco basin, Rosneft's Sechin filled a jar with crude oil and lifted it into the air to mark the moment his firm joined the ranks of global oil majors. Rosneft was part of a Russian consortium that had acquired a 40 percent share in Venezuela's Junin-6 oilfield. PDVSA held the other 60 percent.


    Rosneft already pumped oil from its home fields in Siberia; now it had an overseas presence too, tapping into some of the world's biggest crude oil reserves on the banks of the Orinoco River. "Today is indeed a historic day," Sechin told Russian state television at the ceremony to mark the start of production. "Russian companies have now proved their right to be among the leaders of the global oil sector."


    Yet soon after Sechin spoke, Rosneft's foray into the Orinoco basin was running into problems, the documents reviewed by Reuters show.


    In November 2012, without asking its Russian partners, PDVSA shut down one of the four drilling rigs at Junin-6 and removed it, a report by the Russian consortium found that year. Local people staged protests that further blocked work. By the end of 2012, just six wells had been drilled, far short of the project's target of 47.


    Spare parts for drilling at Junin-6 were procured from a PDVSA unit called Bariven; but getting equipment from Bariven took 10 to 18 months, according to the documents. Drilling rigs were not operating 37 percent of the time. It took on average 49 days to drill a single well, instead of the anticipated 22 days. PDVSA did not respond to questions about the delays.


    Junin-6 production forecasts were cut. Rosneft had said in September 2012 that the field would deliver 20,000 barrels per day by the end of the year. In fact, over the whole of 2012 it yielded only 21,400 barrels.


    Three years on, there was little sign of improvement. A Rosneft report covering the first three quarters of 2015 cited well construction "of an unsatisfactory quality" and "non-optimal trajectories" of wells.


    By the end of 2015, the forecast for peak oil output from Junin-6 had been slashed from 450,000 barrels per day to 250,000 barrels per day.


    Rosneft's flagship project had lost its lustre.


    Problems remain across the Orinoco Basin, according to union leaders who spoke to Reuters. They said that in fields east of Junin, only a handful of the dozens of drilling rigs are working at any one time. Workers complain they don't have basic equipment such as boots, gloves and helmets. The situation in PDVSA offices is no better. Paper is in short supply. In a vain effort to stem a worker exodus, some HR departments display "No resignation" signs.


    Nor is life in Venezuela easy for Rosneft staff. There is often no mains water in the high-end Caracas district where they live, said a Russian who knows families there. A couple of times a week, a water tanker arrives and fills up containers in each apartment.


    Two of Rosneft's Russian partners in Junin-6 dropped out. The smaller Surgutneftegaz decided to quit the project in November 2012. In December 2014, Russia's second biggest oil firm, Lukoil, announced it too was dropping out. "Looking back, a lot of people at Lukoil breathed a sigh of relief that they didn't have to pile billions into Venezuela," said an executive in the Junin-6 consortium.


    Surgutneftegaz did not respond to a request for comment. Lukoil declined to comment.


    Rosneft bought out the Surgutneftegaz and Lukoil stakes for upward of $300 million, analysts estimated, deepening its exposure to Venezuela. It also acquired a stake belonging to TNK-BP when it purchased the Russian-British firm in a $55 billion deal in 2013. That left Gazpromneft, the oil unit of state-owned gas firm Gazprom, as Rosneft's sole remaining Russian partner in Junin-6. Gazpromneft did not reply to Reuters' questions.


    Rosneft also had four smaller oil projects with PDVSA at that time. All were experiencing problems during this period, the Rosneft internal reports show. Two of the projects, Carabobo and Petromonagas, are in the Orinoco basin; Boqueron is in the east near the Atlantic coast; Petroperija is on the Caribbean coast.


    Rosneft internal reports from 2015 concluded that crude flow rates envisaged in the contract for the Carabobo fields were "not achievable." At Petromonagas, poor quality work caused drilling delays. At Petroperija, production was falling and the joint venture did not have the cash to buy essential pumping equipment. At the Boqueron field, a broken compressor, a device to raise gas pressure, could not be fixed because the joint venture's bank account was empty.


    If getting oil out of its projects was a struggle for Rosneft, so was extracting revenue, the documents show.
    The Russian consortium's report into operations at Junin-6 in 2012 found that PDVSA had taken $12 million from the Junin-6 budget, without Rosneft's agreement, for social spending on local people. Only 350 people lived in the area covered by the concession - some 447 square kilometers of hilly scrubland on the northern bank of the Orinoco River.


    In the second half of 2014, Rosneft ordered an audit of the Junin-6 project to check for "distortion of financial accounting" and "unjustified expenditures." Reuters couldn't determine that audit's conclusions.


    Rosneft managers ordered the company's own auditors to investigate money flows between PDVSA and the Petromonagas, Petroperija and Boqueron joint ventures, internal documents relating to the audit show. The audit concluded that PDVSA had understated earnings from Petromonagas oil sales by some $700 million. PDVSA challenged this figure, another document shows, and it was revised to $500 million.


    In a document dated April 30, 2015, Sechin, Rosneft's chief executive, approved the findings of the audit, and a plan to protect Rosneft's investments with a series of measures to be implemented by the end of May that year.


    The measures included installing metering stations to monitor how much oil was being pumped to customers, and therefore how much money the ventures should be earning. Rosneft wanted an independent assessor to track how the joint ventures spent money. And it wanted PDVSA to stop hiring its own subsidiaries without signing a contract. Reuters couldn't determine whether the measures were put into action. 


    A few months later, in October 2015, Rosneft First Vice President Eric Liron reported to Sechin that there was still disagreement with PDVSA on settling accounts with the joint ventures. Liron wrote in a memo to Sechin: "As of 15.08.2015, PDVSA is in technical default."


    Months of efforts to get the money – in which Rosneft's Venezuela office and senior executives at headquarters engaged in negotiations with PDVSA officials – went nowhere. The Rosneft internal auditor stated in the November 2015 email to his colleague that the problem was "unresolved because of the poor financial health of our partner" - a reference to PDVSA.


    Discussing a proposal to push the internal deadline for fixing the problem to a later date, the auditor asked sardonically what would be the point. "Will it (PDVSA) return to health by then, or will it die and the question will no longer be relevant?" he wrote in the same email.


    The auditor left Rosneft in 2016, according to his LinkedIn profile. He did not respond to a message seeking comment.


    Rosneft was supposed to receive its share of the revenue from oil sales in the form of dividends. As of the fourth quarter of 2015, Rosneft internal presentations showed that the company was owed dividends from three of its joint ventures. The total shortfall was $337 million. The presentations listed among the strategic aims of each of the three projects: "Receiving unpaid dividends" from PDVSA.


    Since the period covered by the documents, Rosneft has acted to take greater control of its investments, for example by bringing in its own contractors. Rosneft says PDVSA has paid off much of its debt. In a financial report released on Feb. 5, 2019, Rosneft said the loans it extended to PDVSA, which had totalled about $6.5 billion, were now down to $2.3 billion.


    But serious challenges remain.


    Rosneft's own reports and assessments by energy analysts show the company's projects in Venezuela are today still producing less oil than originally anticipated, with development plans either shelved or behind schedule.


    Rosneft's flagship joint venture in Venezuela, the Junin-6 field, is still stuck in the exploration and test production phase, Rosneft wrote in its 2017 annual report. An executive at Russian partner Gazpromneft went further, saying the project is now "commercially pointless." The executive did not elaborate. Rosneft did not reply to Reuters questions about the commercial viability of the project.


    https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2019/...icksand-a64811

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    Open Letter by Over 70 Scholars and Experts Condemns US-Backed Coup Attempt in Venezuela



    The United States government must cease interfering in Venezuela’s internal politics, especially for the purpose of overthrowing the country’s government.

    Actions by the Trump administration and its allies in the hemisphere are almost certain to make the situation in Venezuela worse, leading to unnecessary human suffering, violence, and instability.

    Venezuela’s political polarization is not new; the country has long been divided along racial and socioeconomic lines. But the polarization has deepened in recent years.

    This is partly due to US support for an opposition strategy aimed at removing the government of Nicolás Maduro through extra-electoral means. While the opposition has been divided on this strategy, US support has backed hardline opposition sectors in their goal of ousting the Maduro government through often violent protests, a military coup d’etat, or other avenues that sidestep the ballot box.

    Under the Trump administration, aggressive rhetoric against the Venezuelan government has ratcheted up to a more extreme and threatening level, with Trump administration officials talking of “military action” and condemning Venezuela, along with Cuba and Nicaragua, as part of a “troika of tyranny.” Problems resulting from Venezuelan government policy have been worsened by US economic sanctions, illegal under the Organization of American States and the United Nations ― as well as US law and other international treaties and conventions.

    These sanctions have cut off the means by which the Venezuelan government could escape from its economic recession, while causing a dramatic falloff in oil production and worsening the economic crisis, and causing many people to die because they can’t get access to life-saving medicines. Meanwhile, the US and other governments continue to blame the Venezuelan government ― solely ― for the economic damage, even that caused by the US sanctions.

    Now the US and its allies, including OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro and Brazil’s far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro, have pushed Venezuela to the precipice.

    By recognizing National Assembly President Juan Guaido as the new president of Venezuela ― something illegal under the OAS Charter ― the Trump administration has sharply accelerated Venezuela’s political crisis in the hopes of dividing the Venezuelan military and further polarizing the populace, forcing them to choose sides.

    The obvious, and sometimes stated goal, is to force Maduro out via a coup d’etat.

    The reality is that despite hyperinflation, shortages, and a deep depression, Venezuela remains a politically polarized country. The US and its allies must cease encouraging violence by pushing for violent, extralegal regime change.

    If the Trump administration and its allies continue to pursue their reckless course in Venezuela, the most likely result will be bloodshed, chaos, and instability. The US should have learned something from its regime change ventures in Iraq, Syria, Libya, and its long, violent history of sponsoring regime change in Latin America.

    Neither side in Venezuela can simply vanquish the other. The military, for example, has at least 235,000 frontline members, and there are at least 1.6 million in militias. Many of these people will fight, not only on the basis of a belief in national sovereignty that is widely held in Latin America ― in the face of what increasingly appears to be a US-led intervention ― but also to protect themselves from likely repression if the opposition topples the government by force.

    In such situations, the only solution is a negotiated settlement, as has happened in the past in Latin American countries when politically polarized societies were unable to resolve their differences through elections.

    There have been efforts, such as those led by the Vatican in the fall of 2016, that had potential, but they received no support from Washington and its allies who favored regime change. This strategy must change if there is to be any viable solution to the ongoing crisis in Venezuela.

    For the sake of the Venezuelan people, the region, and for the principle of national sovereignty, these international actors should instead support negotiations between the Venezuelan government and its opponents that will allow the country to finally emerge from its political and economic crisis.

    Signed:

    Noam Chomsky, Professor Emeritus, MIT and Laureate Professor, University of Arizona

    Laura Carlsen, Director, Americas Program, Center for International Policy

    Greg Grandin, Professor of History, New York University

    Miguel Tinker Salas, Professor of Latin American History and Chicano/a Latino/a Studies at Pomona College

    Sujatha Fernandes, Professor of Political Economy and Sociology, University of Sydney

    Steve Ellner, Associate Managing Editor of Latin American Perspectives

    Alfred de Zayas, former UN Independent Expert on the Promotion of a Democratic and Equitable International Order and only UN rapporteur to have visited Venezuela in 21 years

    Boots Riley, Writer/Director of Sorry to Bother You, Musician

    John Pilger, Journalist & Film-Maker

    Mark Weisbrot, Co-Director, Center for Economic and Policy Research

    Jared Abbott, PhD Candidate, Department of Government, Harvard University

    Dr. Tim Anderson, Director, Centre for Counter Hegemonic Studies

    Elisabeth Armstrong, Professor of the Study of Women and Gender, Smith College

    Alexander Aviña, PhD, Associate Professor of History, Arizona State University

    Marc Becker, Professor of History, Truman State University

    Medea Benjamin, Cofounder, CODEPINK

    Phyllis Bennis, Program Director, New Internationalism, Institute for Policy Studies

    Dr. Robert E. Birt, Professor of Philosophy, Bowie State University

    Aviva Chomsky, Professor of History, Salem State University

    James Cohen, University of Paris 3 Sorbonne Nouvelle

    Guadalupe Correa-Cabrera, Associate Professor, George Mason University

    Benjamin Dangl, PhD, Editor of Toward Freedom

    Dr. Francisco Dominguez, Faculty of Professional and Social Sciences, Middlesex University, UK

    Alex Dupuy, John E. Andrus Professor of Sociology Emeritus, Wesleyan University

    Jodie Evans, Cofounder, CODEPINK

    Vanessa Freije, Assistant Professor of International Studies, University of Washington

    Gavin Fridell, Canada Research Chair and Associate Professor in International Development Studies, St. Mary’s University

    Evelyn Gonzalez, Counselor, Montgomery College

    Jeffrey L. Gould, Rudy Professor of History, Indiana University

    Bret Gustafson, Associate Professor of Anthropology, Washington University in St. Louis

    Peter Hallward, Professor of Philosophy, Kingston University

    John L. Hammond, Professor of Sociology, CUNY

    Mark Healey, Associate Professor of History, University of Connecticut

    Gabriel Hetland, Assistant Professor of Latin American, Caribbean and U.S. Latino Studies, University of Albany

    Forrest Hylton, Associate Professor of History, Universidad Nacional de Colombia-Medellín

    Daniel James, Bernardo Mendel Chair of Latin American History

    Chuck Kaufman, National Co-Coordinator, Alliance for Global Justice

    Daniel Kovalik, Adjunct Professor of Law, University of Pittsburgh

    Winnie Lem, Professor, International Development Studies, Trent University

    Dr. Gilberto López y Rivas, Professor-Researcher, National University of Anthropology and History, Morelos, Mexico

    Mary Ann Mahony, Professor of History, Central Connecticut State University

    Jorge Mancini, Vice President, Foundation for Latin American Integration (FILA)

    Luís Martin-Cabrera, Associate Professor of Literature and Latin American Studies, University of California San Diego

    Teresa A. Meade, Florence B. Sherwood Professor of History and Culture, Union College

    Frederick Mills, Professor of Philosophy, Bowie State University

    Stephen Morris, Professor of Political Science and International Relations, Middle Tennessee State University

    Liisa L. North, Professor Emeritus, York University

    Paul Ortiz, Associate Professor of History, University of Florida

    Christian Parenti, Associate Professor, Department of Economics, John Jay College CUNY

    Nicole Phillips, Law Professor at the Université de la Foundation Dr. Aristide Faculté des Sciences Juridiques et Politiques and Adjunct Law Professor at the University of California Hastings College of the Law

    Beatrice Pita, Lecturer, Department of Literature, University of California San Diego

    Margaret Power, Professor of History, Illinois Institute of Technology

    Vijay Prashad, Editor, The TriContinental

    Eleanora Quijada Cervoni FHEA, Staff Education Facilitator & EFS Mentor, Centre for Higher Education, Learning & Teaching at The Australian National University

    Walter Riley, Attorney and Activist

    William I. Robinson, Professor of Sociology, University of California, Santa Barbara

    Mary Roldan, Dorothy Epstein Professor of Latin American History, Hunter College/ CUNY Graduate Center

    Karin Rosemblatt, Professor of History, University of Maryland

    Emir Sader, Professor of Sociology, University of the State of Rio de Janeiro

    Rosaura Sanchez, Professor of Latin American Literature and Chicano Literature, University of California, San Diego

    T.M. Scruggs Jr., Professor Emeritus, University of Iowa

    Victor Silverman, Professor of History, Pomona College

    Brad Simpson, Associate Professor of History, University of Connecticut

    Jeb Sprague, Lecturer, University of Virginia

    Kent Spriggs, International human rights lawyer

    Christy Thornton, Assistant Professor of History, Johns Hopkins University

    Sinclair S. Thomson, Associate Professor of History, New York University

    Steven Topik, Professor of History, University of California, Irvine

    Stephen Volk, Professor of History Emeritus, Oberlin College

    Kirsten Weld, John. L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Social Sciences, Department of History, Harvard University

    Kevin Young, Assistant Professor of History, University of Massachusetts Amherst

    Patricio Zamorano, Academic of Latin American Studies; Executive Director, InfoAmericas
    ---------------

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by harrybarracuda View Post
    A compelling story...
    The Moscow Times? ...I thought all Russia Media was fake news controlled by Putin?

    Or is it only fake news and controlled by Putin when it doesn't conform to your world view, but when it does the fake news becomes "A compelling story...".

  14. #14
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    Link. Are you stupid?

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    Are you too stupid to google the title?

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by foobar View Post
    The Moscow Times? ...I thought all Russia Media was fake news controlled by Putin?

    Or is it only fake news and controlled by Putin when it doesn't conform to your world view, but when it does the fake news becomes "A compelling story...".
    Oh dear, we have been licking the windows today, haven't we?

    I mean if you'd even made it past the first you lines you would have realised (or it being you, perhaps not) that they are simply linking to a Reuters story.

    https://www.reuters.com/investigates...neft/?rpc=401&


    You are a very stupid little boy, aren't you?

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by foobar View Post
    Are you too stupid to google the title?
    No, but are you too cretinous to put links in NEWS threads, as is the forum convention, you stupid little boy?

  18. #18
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    You could have done this in about three lines:

    "Socialist upset about the failure of Chavismo tries to blame everyone else"
    "Another Socialist upset about the failure of Chavismo tries to blame everyone else"
    Etc. etc.

  19. #19
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    You linked the Moscow Times at the bottom of the article, which means you didn't know Reuters ran the story when you posted the article otherwise you would have linked to Reuters ....keep digging HawHaw this is hilarious.


    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Quote Originally Posted by foobar View Post
    You linked the Moscow Times at the bottom of the article, which means you didn't know Reuters ran the story when you posted the article otherwise you would have linked to Reuters ....keep digging HawHaw this is hilarious.



    So in other words you didn't read it, so you didn't know it came from Reuters, so you're saying it's my fault?

    It's at times like this I wish I'd had training in how to deal with special needs children.


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    Here's the Daily Mail version, they aim their writing at a less educated demographic so you might be OK if you go slowly.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...quicksand.html

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by foobar View Post
    Open Letter by Over 70 Scholars and Experts Condemns US-Backed Coup Attempt in Venezuela
    Obviously all of them are twats...

    These sanctions have cut off the means by which the Venezuelan government could escape from its economic recession, while causing a dramatic falloff in oil production and worsening the economic crisis, and causing many people to die because they can’t get access to life-saving medicines. Meanwhile, the US and other governments continue to blame the Venezuelan government ― solely ― for the economic damage, even that caused by the US sanctions.
    https://www.commondreams.org/news/20...empt-venezuela

    https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/dem...backed-coup-a/

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    ^this

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by SKkin View Post
    Obviously all of them are twats...
    I bet they're all lefties or "revolutionaries" weeping over the failure of yet another socialist fuck up that's descended into tyranny. And frankly, who's heard of most of them anyway?

    These sanctions have cut off the means by which the Venezuelan government could escape from its economic recession, while causing a dramatic falloff in oil production and worsening the economic crisis, and causing many people to die because they can’t get access to life-saving medicines. Meanwhile, the US and other governments continue to blame the Venezuelan government ― solely ― for the economic damage, even that caused by the US sanctions.
    All desperately avoiding the obvious facts and hamming up the very problems Chavez and Chavismo have caused, while trying to pin them ALL squarely on the US:

    - Venezuela's oil production was already in the shit because Chavez and Chavismo fucked it up.
    - Venezuela's economy was already in the shit because Chavez and Chasvismo destroyed agriculture and manufacturing
    - Chavismo and his cronies are not going hungry or denied medicines because they are as corrupt as fuck (#168 in the world on the current index)
    - Chavismo needs to go because the great "socialist" dream has turned into a tyrannical nightmare

    And most importantly, the US were still buying Venezuelan crude up until this year, despite the destruction that was happening under Chavismo, so they were the ONLY real source of revenue for the country.

    As I illustrated in the Rosneft article, China and Russia now realise that by pandering to a fucking moron too long they have fucked Venezuela and themselves in the process.

    It's why they are kicking Venezuela off joint ventures and its especially why China is keeping pretty schtum about the whole thing. They'd like nothing more than Venezuela to be wrested from this corrupt fucking idiot and transparent democracy restored; this would give them a fighting chance of getting their fucking money back.

    They could try and do it themselves with Chavismo in power, but they've realised it will be throwing good money after bad.

    However, politically they know they would look like arseholes if they admitted their failures, so they won't do it.

    I realise the Rosneft article is probably a little too complex for stupid little boy to understand, but I'd like to think that you can see what the problem is after reading it.

    Chavismo has got to go before Venezuela will get the help it needs, otherwise he'll just fucking squander or steal it.

  25. #25
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    It's worth noting that the US doesn't actually implement the ban on PDVSA crude until April 28th - yet Venezuela has gone from 47 functioning production platforms to 26 in a year (in 2014, they had 74).

    No doubt the lefties will somehow try and blame this on the US.

    Like I said, read the Rosneft article. They tried to help and got fucked at every turn.

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