Venezuela’s US-Backed Coup Leader Immediately Targets State Oil Company and Requests IMF Money

Unelected U.S.-backed coup leader Juan Guaidó immediately moved to try to restructure Venezuela’s state-owned oil company and seek financing from the neoliberal IMF, reports Ben Norton of The Gray Zone.

US Anointed ‘President’ Moves to
Seize National Petroleum Company

By Ben Norton
The Gray Zone

The right-wing opposition leader that the United States is trying to undemocratically install as Venezuela’s president immediately set his sights on the country’s state-owned oil company, which he is hoping to restructure and move toward privatization. He is also seeking money from the notorious International Monetary Fund (IMF) to fund his unelected government.

On January 23, U.S. President Donald Trump recognized the little-known, U.S.-educated opposition politician Juan Guaidó as the supposed “interim president” of Venezuela. Within 48 hours, Guaidó quickly tried to seize control of Venezuela’s major US-based oil refiner and use its revenue to help bankroll his US-backed coup regime.

Guaidó is attempting to fire the directors of Citgo Petroleum, which is owned by Venezuela’s state oil company PDVSA, and seeks to appoint his own new board.

Reuters described Citgo as “Venezuela’s most important foreign asset”; Bloomberg calls it “the crown jewel of PDVSA’s assets.”

Citgo is the largest purchaser of Venezuelan oil, although crippling sanctions imposed by the Trump administration have prevented the company from sending revenue to Venezuela, starving the government of funding.

Citing US officials, The Washington Post reported that the Trump administration’s strategy “is to use the newly declared interim government as a tool to deny Maduro the oil revenue from the United States that provides Venezuela virtually all of its incoming cash.”

Move Toward Privatizing Venezuela’s Oil

A building of the national oil company, PDVSA. (Wikimedia Commons)

Venezuela has the world’s largest oil reserves. But leftist presidents Hugo Chávez and Nicolás Maduro have over the past two decades resisted attempts by US oil companies to exploit the South American nation’s plentiful natural resources.

The oil reporting agency S&P Global Platts reported that, in the immediate wake of the U.S. anointing Juan Guaidó as Venezuela’s supposed “president,” the opposition leader already drafted “plans to introduce a new national hydrocarbons law that establishes flexible fiscal and contractual terms for projects adapted to oil prices and the oil investment cycle.”

This plan would involve the creation of a “new hydrocarbons agency” that would “offer bidding rounds for projects in natural gas and conventional, heavy and extra-heavy crude.”

In other words, these are rapid moves to privatize Venezuela’s oil and open the door for multinational corporations.

As The Grayzone previously reported, Venezuela’s right-wing opposition has already stated clearly in its “transition” plans: “Public companies will be subject to a restructuring process that ensures their efficient and transparent management, including through public-private agreements.”

S&P Global Platts also indicated that US sanctions are hitting Venezuela hard, and Trump administration officials could soon tighten the screws.

Coup Financing from Neoliberal IMF

The attempted restructuring of Citgo would just be the beginning of the neoliberal capitalist policies implemented by Venezuela’s U.S.-backed coup regime.

Reuters also reported that Guaidó “is considering a request for funds from international institutions including the IMF to finance his interim government.”

The International Monetary Fund is notorious as a vehicle for U.S. political and economic influence. For decades, the IMF, along with the World Bank, has trapped ostensibly independent Latin American nations in debt and imposed so-called “structural adjustment” programs that force governments to impose brutal neoliberal shock therapy on their populations, including austerity measures, privatization of state assets, deregulation, and gutting of social services.

In addition to seeking financing from the IMF, Guaidó is likewise trying to send a new representative to the Inter-American Development Bank.

Venezuela’s right-wing opposition has made it clear that it plans to pursue aggressive neoliberal capitalist reforms. The opposition-controlled National Assembly has also declared in its “transition” plans that the “centralized model of controls of the economy will be replaced by a model of freedom and market based on the right of each Venezuelan to work under the guarantees of property rights and freedom of enterprise.”

This plan might be a dream for foreign corporations, but even many Venezuelans marching against their government might soon decide that stripping state assets is not worth fighting for.

Ben Norton is a journalist and writer. He is a reporter for The Grayzone, and the producer of the Moderate Rebelspodcast, which he co-hosts with Max Blumenthal. His website is BenNorton.com, and he tweets at @BenjaminNorton.

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85 comments for “Venezuela’s US-Backed Coup Leader Immediately Targets State Oil Company and Requests IMF Money

  1. February 1, 2019 at 15:02

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-02-01/the-great-oil-paradox-too-many-good-crudes-not-enough-bad-ones

    High U.S. production combined with the fact that the USG can simply pick up the phone, call Saudi Arabia and tell them to keep production at high levels has devastated Venezuela,

    (Venezuela has thick dark pitch like oil that must be combined with lighter oil to make it sellable) Thick poor quality oil is harder to refine, expensive to process and hard on car engines,.

    El Chapo trial news: (Suggested by Keegan Hamilton) https://twitter.com/keegan_hamilton
    https://news.vice.com/en_us/article/vbweqj/the-10-most-insane-moments-and-stories-from-el-chapos-trial

    • OlyaPola
      February 2, 2019 at 06:10

      Reliance on uni-causality and/or flaws in evaluating/interpreting the assay of amalgam of causalities, including their trajectories and velocities of inter-action, is always a strategic disadvantage.

      Consequently following the observation of Mr. Rove that “You can fool some of the people all of the time and those are the ones your should concentrate on” the opponents encourage others to follow such practices.

      Although flawed in many respects the following may be of interest.

      http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/51021.htm

      All data-streams are useful and modes of communication include, but are not restricted to, implementation.

  2. January 31, 2019 at 17:03

    Venezuela Has 20 Tons of Gold Ready to Ship. Address Unknown
    By Patricia Laya and Andrew Rosati
    January 29, 2019, 4:40 PM PST Updated on January 30, 2019, 9:24 AM PST
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-01-30/venezuela-has-20-tons-of-gold-ready-to-ship-destination-unknown

    MADURO GETTING READY TO SKIP TOWN?

  3. Doc Hale
    January 28, 2019 at 08:10

    Gut PDVSA! It has been so successful with the military, China and Russia. Who would want a change? Just keep printing money that’s the way to fight inflation.
    Address the way people leaving Venezuela are treated in the host countries and not the reason they are leaving!
    Without an influx of money (IMF), how will the damage done by this government to the infrastructure be repaired? Print more money and continue the misery! Perhaps an introduction to basic economics is necessary since driving a bus isn’t the same as driving a nation!

    • Realist
      January 29, 2019 at 01:05

      Sounds like you first want to steal as much money from Venezuela as possible through the multitude of US sanctions on that country’s economy and petroleum industry, the freezing of its profits from Citgo, the embargoing of its oil shipments to other countries, and the theft of it gold bullion deposited in the Bank of England. Then you want to loan back all this stolen treasure to the country by the IMF, but only if the legitimately-elected president is forced from office and replaced by an American-designated puppet ( https://www.rt.com/news/449994-us-sanctions-venezuela-oil-maduro/). If that fails, you’ve got John Bolten threatening the use of 5,000 American troops on standby for invading the country (https://www.rt.com/news/450006-bolton-pad-colombia-troops/). I’ll bet you also think you love “freedom and democracy.” Why do you care so much about feeding the Neocon war machine and imposing American hegemony across the globe? What do you think you are going to get out of such monstrous acts personally? Unless you are among the privileged elites, you are not getting the time of day from them, fool. If you were attempting to invoke sarcasm, you sure didn’t make it clear.

    • Tiu
      January 31, 2019 at 02:38

      Damage was done by the US sanctions, not just the Chavist/Maduro regime. The IMF is just a front for the same minority asset stripping everywhere and sending all the jobs of to the lowest cost gulag they can create while imposing debt slavery on the rest.
      I’m sure Obama would have done the same as Trump, just like he did in Libya for the benefit of the central bank the Libyan’s weren’t asking for and the “privatisation” of their oil resources.

      • Realist
        February 1, 2019 at 01:29

        “Privatisation” is always justified as saving valuable assets from statist “gangsters,” only to see those assets accrue entirely to a small clique of elitist gangsters rather than sharing them with the public. It is simply an organised effort, all tidied up in legalisms contrived by the elites, to steal public assets from the people of target countries all over the world. Rather than insiders in government perhaps getting a “taste” of the profits, all profits now go to wealthy capitalist investors and none to the people or their social needs. That’s the objective in Venezuela (and Iran), as it was for the oil in Libya, Syria, and Iraq. There are other treasures in the soil of Afghanistan that are coveted by corporations, most notably rare earth elements needed to manufacture electronic devices. Venezuela also has considerable gold ore. Brasil has a wide array of natural resources, all poised to be looted through privatisation, now that the socialists were removed through impeachment (Rouseff) and court verdicts (Lula) and an American-collaborator (Bolsonaro) installed. There was more real American collusion in THAT regime change than Rachel Maddow could ever create from whole cloth concerning Trump and Russia. And the American media, kowtowing to the elites, dutifully refuses to recognise any part of the reality.

  4. C. Kent
    January 28, 2019 at 01:33

    Why didn’t the US government just secretly buy $4700 in ads on Google to control the Venezuelan election? It worked here, completely fooled tens of millions of American voters.

    • Abby Bailey
      January 28, 2019 at 02:33

      The USA never does anything peacefully when it can use its military forces first. Only sane countries make deals for resources. This one thinks that it’s entitled to whatever it wants no matter where it is. Unfortunately for the civilians in those countries and in ours

    • Realist
      January 29, 2019 at 00:20

      Now that Trump has set a precedent by recognizing self-appointed Greedo as the legitimate president of a democratic republic in spite of valid elections, he’d better watch out or Hillary will unilaterally proclaim herself to be the rightful occupant of the White House. Same principle.

      I’ve got a better idea for stopping the economic hardships driving this crisis in Venezuela: the United States should stop sanctioning that country’s economy and embargoing its international oil sales. It should also unfreeze its profits from Citgo in the United States and allow the Bank of England to return Venezuela’s gold bullion deposits. It might also order Saudi Arabia to stop flooding the world market with cheap crude in an attempt to undercut petroleum-derived income in Venezuela, Iran and Russia. Doing the latter might also actually help its own shale oil producers, whom it shot in the head trying to damage the economies of the three aforementioned countries. But that is probably wishful thinking because American foreign policy, regardless of the party in power, must always be driven by both extreme malice and breathtaking stupidity. It is never satisfied short of giving some target country a good flogging, and that includes its own supposed “allies.”

      • Maxwell Quest
        January 29, 2019 at 12:55

        Yes, I came to the realization a while back that there are many other types of warfare, other than armed conflict, that are equally destructive in their own right. Economic, political, propaganda, electronic, black-ops, NGO’s, assassinations, to name a few.

        Ever since the price of oil dropped precipitously, I’ve had the sneaking suspicion that it was intentionally orchestrated for the purpose of economically damaging the states you mentioned above.

  5. January 27, 2019 at 22:33

    The article is pretty much baloney, a disinformation piece of “journalism” fit for the former notorious communist journalistic rag called ‘Pravda’.

    • C. Kent
      January 28, 2019 at 01:24

      I don’t believe in censorship, but you beg to be banned as a troll nut.

  6. January 27, 2019 at 18:08

    Mohandes “Mahatma” Gandhi (1869-1948) considered the Bhagavad Gita (“Gita”) his personal bible, and always carried a copy of the sacred book with him.

    (Introduction)
    The Gita is a doctrine of universal truth. Its message is universal, sublime, and non-sectarian although it is a part of the scriptural trinity of Sanaatana Dharma, commonly known as Hinduism. The Gita is very easy to understand in any language for a mature mind. A repeated reading with faith will reveal all the sublime ideas contained in it. A few abstruse statements are interspersed here and there but they have no direct bearing on practical issues or the central theme of Gita. The Gita deals with the most sacred metaphysical science. It imparts the knowledge of the Self and answers two universal questions: Who am I, and how can I lead a happy and peaceful life in this world of dualities. It is a book of yoga, the moral and spiritual growth, for mankind based on the cardinal principles of Hindu religion…

    (Chapter 16: Divine and Demonic Qualities)
    There are only two types (or castes) of human beings in this world: The divine, or the wise; and the demonic, or the ignorant. The divine has been described at length, now hear from Me about the demonic, O Arjuna.

    Persons of demonic nature do not know what to do and what not to do. They neither have purity nor good conduct nor truthfulness.

    They say: The world is unreal, without a substratum, without a God, and without an order. Sexual union of man and woman alone and nothing else causes the world.

    Adhering to this wrong atheist view, these degraded souls — with small intellect and cruel deeds are born as enemies for the destruction of the world.

    Filled with insatiable desires, hypocrisy, pride, and arrogance; holding wrong views due to delusion; they act with impure motives.

    Obsessed with endless anxiety lasting until death, considering sense gratification their highest aim, convinced that sense pleasure is everything;

    Bound by hundreds of ties of desire and enslaved by lust and anger; they strive to obtain wealth by unlawful means for the fulfillment of sensual pleasures. They think:

    This has been gained by me today, I shall fulfill this desire, I have this much wealth, and will have more wealth in the future;

    That enemy has been slain by me, and I shall slay others also. I am the Lord. I am the enjoyer. I am successful, powerful, and happy;

    I am rich and born in a noble family. Who is equal to me? I shall perform sacrifice, I shall give charity, and I shall rejoice. Thus deluded by ignorance;

    Bewildered by many fancies; entangled in the net of delusion; addicted to the enjoyment of sensual pleasures; they fall into a foul hell.

    Self-conceited, stubborn, filled with pride and intoxication of wealth; they perform service only in name, for show, and not according to scriptural injunction.

    These malicious people cling to egoism, power, arrogance, lust, and anger; and hate Me who dwells in their own bodies and those of others.

    I hurl these haters, cruel, sinful, and mean people into the cycles of rebirth in the womb of demons again and again.

    O Arjuna, entering the wombs of demons birth after birth, the deluded ones sink to the lowest hell without ever attaining Me (until their minds change for the better by the causeless mercy of the Lord).

    http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/gita/agsgita.htm

    Peace.

  7. Mike Perry
    January 27, 2019 at 14:53

    Let’s see..:

    Figure heads in the English government are funding ‘Integrity Initiative’ (a Think Tank (?)) to tear down Corbyn, one of their elected Representative’s.
    ..
    And the govt, is doing their best, to make the Peoples wishes – go away, and never find that Brexit door.

    The United States, allowed a SuperPAC, ‘Correct the Record’ to run coordinated astroturf attacks with another candidate’s campaign committee (Hillary Clinton’s), against Bernie Sanders, who was a Presidential Candidate.

    And during a Primary, a Presidential Candidate launders donations through at least 34 State Parties for fundraising. (..for example: I donated the maximum of $10,000 to 34 State Parties, for a total of $340,000, which was all then kicked backed to a predesignated campaign committee, and this was all prearranged with all of the State Parties before the campaign season even started.)

    And, we have this from the Ann M. Ravel:
    “F.E.C. Can’t Curb 2016 Election Abuse, Commission Chief Says”
    NY Times; May 2, 2015:
    The leader of the Federal Election Commission, the agency charged with regulating the way political money is raised and spent, says she has largely given up hope of reining in abuses in the 2016 presidential campaign, which could generate a record $10 billion in spending. “The likelihood of the laws being enforced is slim,” Ann M. Ravel, the chairwoman, said in an interview. “I never want to give up, but I’m not under any illusions. People think the F.E.C. is dysfunctional. It’s worse than dysfunctional.”
    ..
    But no election laws that I know of, have been addressed since then – all I hear about is how Russia, surely stole something..

    Merkel, she had to step aside in Germany, before she was pushed aside..

    Macron, after being assisted by Obama’s hired boys to get elected, he is now on the run from yellow jackets.

    Spain, it had to stomp on Catalonia.

    All of the European Union is governed by a body that is not elected by the people themselves..

    BUT, an unqualified leader has universal International support to request the IMF to fund a coup.
    .. ww2 veterans, roll in your ..

    • Maxwell Quest
      January 27, 2019 at 17:30

      LOL, Mike! Enjoyed your short summary of democracy-in-crisis highlights. If it were not for dark humor, there would be nothing funny in any of this.

      • Mike Perry
        January 28, 2019 at 04:36

        Hey Maxwell!

        Color Revolutions, they now just don’t come on the cheap. .. In fact, the targeted victims get left with holding the bag – with interest.. (..for example: just like in the Ukraine) .. Talk about insult to injury.

        You Keep Up the Great Work!
        Best Regards,
        Mike

    • Eric32
      January 27, 2019 at 18:29

      I think we’d all be wise to understand that we live in a sham democracy, and that we’re all subject to a sham justice system.

      • Ash
        January 28, 2019 at 15:48

        Unfortunately for most people it’s simply a bridge too far no matter how much the evidence is staring them in the face. The cognitive dissonance, it burns!

    • sszorin
      January 27, 2019 at 22:38

      You are quite ignorant about the crux of the matter.
      According to the constitution of Venezuela Guaidó, the president of the National Assembly, is the interim president of Venezuela, for 30 days after the National Assembly designates him to the position.
      Within those 30 days new elections for the post of the president of the country must be called.

      • Mike Perry
        January 28, 2019 at 04:08

        Elections are held, and monitored, every year. They are really not nothing new. But, do you believe that biased Institutions, and Partisan Political Figures, should be able fan the flames after those elections are conducted? .. What if it leads to bloodshed, or even death, as was the case in Venezuela, Syria and the Ukraine? Who is responsible for that?

        Guaidó, is an engineer, he did his postgraduate studies in the U.S. at George Washington University. He became active in politics when he was young, joining student-led movements against the government. He was elected to the National Assembly as an alternate federal deputy in 2010 and then to a full seat there in 2015.

        Maduro, he became the democratically elected President last May (..Along with his Vice President..). He was then sworn into a second 6 year term on 1/10/2019. He also has the support of the Venezuelan Supreme Court, which has dismissed the political opposition; as well as its international backers.

        From the Venezuelan Constitution (google translation):
        Article 233 Absolute faults of the President of the Republic:
        His death, his resignation, or his dismissal decreed by a sentence of the Supreme Court of Justice;
        His permanent physical or mental incapacity certified by a medical board appointed by the Supreme Court of Justice and with the approval of the National Assembly;
        The ~abandonment~ of the office, declared as such by the National Assembly, ~as well as~ the popular revocation of his mandate.

        When there is an absolute lack of the President-elect or President-elect ~before~ taking office, a new universal, direct and secret election shall be held within the following thirty consecutive days. While the new President or the new President is elected and takes office, the President of the National Assembly will be in charge of the Presidency of the Republic.

        If the absolute lack of the President or the President of the Republic occurs ~during~ the first four years of the constitutional term, a new universal, direct and secret election shall be held within the following thirty consecutive days. ~While~ the new President or the new President is elected and takes office, the Executive Vice President or Executive Vice President ~will be~ in charge of the Presidency of the Republic. In the previous cases, the new President will complete the corresponding constitutional period.If the absolute lack occurs during the last two years of the constitutional term, the Executive Vice President or the Executive Vice President will assume the Presidency of the Republic until the end of that period.

        And this from five months ago, should also be considered very much to be a pertinent fact:
        ‘Trump Administration Discussed Coup Plans With Rebel Venezuelan Officers’
        NY Times; By Ernesto Londoño and Nicholas Casey
        Sept. 8, 2018
        ~ The Trump administration held secret meetings with rebellious military officers from Venezuela over the last year to discuss their plans to overthrow President Nicolás Maduro, according to American officials and a former Venezuelan military commander who participated in the talks.

        Establishing a clandestine channel with coup plotters in Venezuela was a big gamble for Washington, given its long history of covert intervention across Latin America. Many in the region still deeply resent the United States for backing previous rebellions, coups and plots in countries like Cuba, Nicaragua, Brazil and Chile, and for turning a blind eye to the abuses military regimes committed during the Cold War. ~
        https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/08/world/americas/donald-trump-venezuela-military-coup.html?module=inline

        So, let’s review.
        1 – Maduro and his Vise President won the people’s vote.
        2 – They also have the support of the Supreme Court.
        3 – They also have the support of the military.
        4 – Now was Article 233 of the Constitution written for a President,or was it written for a Political Party?
        5 – I missed it in the American press, what was that vote Count of the National Assembly?
        6 – Just how did National Assembly prove the Popular Revocation of his mandate?
        7 – And, how do we make the leap that the sworn in President and his Vice President, are now totally without power?
        8 – How does this self described leader speak for his Country to the IMF, and who else in his govt approved that he needs a loan?
        9 – Lastly, after an election when do Political Leaders cross a line and should be held accountable for inciting death?

      • January 28, 2019 at 04:12

        Only in the case of the elected President abandoning his position. In case you haven’t noticed, Madura is still very much there. What Guaido is doing is unconstitutional, and he’s doing it to force the privatisation of Venezuela’s oil so all the usual suspects can get their greedy little hands on it.

      • TimN
        January 28, 2019 at 08:21

        The Venezuelans already had elections last year, dummy. Maduro is President. The US asset/stooge Guaido unilaterally declares himself President, and you think this is fine. Its not. Who do you think you and Trump are? The chutzpah is remarkable, even for a troll.

    • Abby
      January 28, 2019 at 02:37

      Well stated. Hillary’s use of Correct the Record was borderline election fraud.

      It was actually $84 million that she laundered and you left out how she used her party’s intelligence agencies to spy on her opponent and get ‘dirt’ on him. Apparently it’s only illegal for Trump to have tried to get ‘dirt’ or do opposition research on his opponent.

      • Mike Perry
        January 28, 2019 at 04:45

        Hi Abby!
        You cut straight to it, right on target and so direct. Enough, is enough. Money in politics has got to go.

        Thanks So Much for catching me up on some of the details!
        Best Regards,
        Mike

  8. Yomero
    January 27, 2019 at 13:41

    Guido.needs to be arrested and charged with Treason

    • Ash
      January 28, 2019 at 16:18

      He’s almost certainly huddling under US military and/or diplomatic protection where they can’t grab him without serious escalation.

  9. mrtmbrnmn
    January 27, 2019 at 02:00

    Fuggedabout PutinGate! This crazy Coup de Caracas is how the REAL meddler in foreign countries operates. And has for decades. On the world scene, RogueNationUSA’s crude & corrupt default behavior is like a combination of Harvey Weinstein and Ted Bundy. No country, enemy or “ally”, is ever really safe from this deep state/corporate serial monster’s lust and depravity.

  10. Realist
    January 27, 2019 at 01:24

    It doesn’t matter whether the US president is a Democrat like Obama and the target country is Ukraine in Eastern Europe, or if the chief executive is a Republican like Trump and the victim is Venezuela in South America. The phenomenon at hand is still the illegal overthrow of a sovereign government through a coup d’etat and the looting of its state resources by the pirates at the IMF. How the rest of the world can countenance this, especially countries like those in the EU that masquerade as “enlightened” democracies but are really just bag men for the United Stealers of America, is beyond me. Stunts like this, repeatedly imposed on weaker countries by the big bully in Washington, just underscore what a crock the world’s self-proclaimed “exceptional country” delivers every day at the UN and other international forums across the globe. It promises freedom, democracy, equality, grand largess and sweet dreams for all but delivers only death, penury and slavery except to the tiny sliver of the uppermost classes whom it rewards generously for repressing its own citizens.

    So, just why is the Deep State trying its damnedest to overthrow Trump? He’s now adding to the list of countries that Slick Willy, Dubya and Obomber ravaged through warfare and sanctions during their tenures, and that Hillary promised to target if elected. Seems like the IMF should be singing Trump’s praises and Time Magazine should be naming him “Man of the Year.” The Empire marches on irrespective of all the palace intrigues in DC.

    • Mike Lamb
      January 27, 2019 at 03:57

      Going on 33 years ago Bruce Cockburn’s “Call It Democracy” put it to us what “Democracy” means to AmeriKKKa.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zJBVtrHzHho

      Will the American people ever learn, and if they learn will they ever care?

    • Skip Scott
      January 27, 2019 at 08:19

      They are controlling Trump like a puppet on a string. His “let’s get along with Russia” campaign position was the main impetus for the RussiaGate psyop to keep him on a short leash, and ultimately get him to do their bidding. I don’t think they mind the theatrics of him pandering to his base, as long as he “walks their walk”. And Trump will do anything as long as his narcissistic ego is assuaged. I even think the major reason they didn’t give him his wall is because cheap labor from the south is part of their business model, and Trump isn’t going to be allowed to mess with that.

      “The Empire marches on irrespective of all the palace intrigues in DC.”, or as Frank Zappa said “Politics is the entertainment division of the Military Industrial Complex.”

      • Dave P.
        January 27, 2019 at 15:20

        Very perceptive comments. Yes, they are going to keep this show running as long as they find him useful to do their bidding.

    • zhenry
      January 28, 2019 at 01:27

      Shows the level of disfunction of power and wealth.
      Disfunction re taking the wealth of a country, that should be for the citizens of Venezuela and interfering in its sovereign right to govern itself (we need a democratic UN to enforce laws of UN -World Govt).
      And the disfunction that the sustainable future of Venezuela lies in alternative energy.
      The world has a decade to get rid of roughly half the carbon in the atmosphere: Considering the IPCC is lethally conservative – probably much less, say 5 years, 2 years?
      The wealthy are addicted to power and money and not even the real possibility of human extinction will stop their suicidal behaviour.
      The people of the world need to put the wealthy in a sanitorium to recover their addiction.
      If humans are to survive the people must force Govts to nationalise energy and money, the wealthy and corporations are not going to change.
      Corporations can be useful but only if that huge power and wealth is regulated.
      Chomsky stated many years ago, ‘give private groups of people enormous power and wealth, wth ‘profit at any cost’ their value system, you have a disaster on your hands. As it turns out, the disaster of extinction.

  11. Zhu
    January 27, 2019 at 00:17

    The US has been installing dictators all my life. That tells me what our elites want for us, too.

  12. cjonsson1
    January 26, 2019 at 23:14

    Quick and dirty.

  13. jmni53
    January 26, 2019 at 23:02

    Why is this unelected petty criminal still running around free? Lock him up, and throw the U.S. diplomats on the first airplane home. It’s time Maduro did some housecleaning. While he’s at it, he should invite the Russians for a port visit with some of their naval elements. Maybe a “joint exercise?”

    • C. Kent
      January 28, 2019 at 01:30

      Acting out like a pissed off juvenile is not the way to respond to this crisis. If someone is to be locked up they should be given due process, and US diplomats can walk to their planes. Inviting in Russians is stupid and would just be used as reason for the US to take action. You seem to not understand the half the Russian navy could be annihilated in an hour by one US submarine. Calm down and stop acting like the criminals you are angry at.

      • GMC
        January 28, 2019 at 06:11

        Russian mercs are already in Venezuela working for Madura. Russia and China legally have oil and mineral contracts with Venezuela – as Turkey and others. The first thing Venezuela needs are Russian S-300+ defense systems. The US has the – Colombian and Brazilian armies on stand-by or at Venezuelan borders already. Russia and China always wish for diplomatic solutions but face it – the NWO is not into diplomacy. Venezuela falls, then all the Americas are NWO turf – not a good thing in the long run – if you live there or just wish to travel in those countries.

      • TimN
        January 28, 2019 at 08:27

        The Russians are already there. They have business there. You seem not to understamd this. Sooner or later the casual overthrowing of governments will come to a halt, for a variety of reasons, stupidity and avarice being a couple of them.

  14. January 26, 2019 at 21:34

    i suppose the supreme irony of this all is while we brazenly accuse russia of interferring with u.s. politics we so overtly interfere with that of venezuela. disgraceful!

    • notsure
      January 27, 2019 at 12:55

      I think it is irony that the US talks about democracy for the people of Venezuela while doing the opposite and imposing our will on the majority of them. It is hypocrisy to accuse Russia of interfering in US elections while we do the same thing everywhere else in the world.

  15. LJ
    January 26, 2019 at 20:46

    Elliot Abtams convicted felon from Iran Contra, can you say Barr, cannot hold an office that would require Senate approval. This did noty stop GW Bush from appointing him as NSC’s senior director for Near East and North African Affairs. WIKI this punk and read about him. Read his book.

  16. mike k
    January 26, 2019 at 20:45

    If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. (John 15:19)

  17. robjira
    January 26, 2019 at 20:31

    “…the right of each Venezuelan to work…”
    Now where the flock have I heard that before? “They” aren’t even trying to be covert anymore; pawprints all over this one.
    I must say, the timing is a godsend; at the mention of “play offs” and “super bowl,” count on a majority of the US public to be oblivious to anything of real import…including our country’s destabilizing another country again.
    Drives me effing batty…
    Excellent reporting; thanks for posting.

  18. KiwiAntz
    January 26, 2019 at 20:30

    There is big difference with this current American “Coups R US”” operation, currently taking place in Venezuela?? What is that difference? Well in the other US Coups, these were done in the dark, & without public knowledge until years later! With this latest Coup attempt by the American Empire, the fake, treacherous mask has completely fallen off & America’s blatant interference in a Sovereign Nations affairs is no longer done in the dark but it’s out in the open now, for all the World to see & China, Russia & others are calling out the US for this illegal action! I just hope China & Russia can throw a spanner in the works & derail this coup attempt like Russia did in Syria? This US coup & the American Empires goal of installing this puppet Leader attempting to illegitimately seize power in order to steal Venezuela’s oil & resources, needs to be stopped & Guildo arrested & jailed for Treason! Not content with meddling in the Middle East, the US is hellbent, in its last days, as a waning, dying Empire, to cause as much chaos as possible before it collapses in on itself like a supernova collapsing into a black hole? And that day can’t come soon enough for peace loving people around the World, who ate sick to death of this evil, murderous US Empire & can’t wait to see the back of it!

  19. mike k
    January 26, 2019 at 20:29

    This ugly and oppressive culture of violence and domination has been going on ever since our species came down from the trees. Whether we will ever manage to create a world based on peace, sharing and mutual care is uncertain – but we must strive to accomplish this anyway – until it is too late, or we achieve our sacred goal. Those who deny that there is a battle between good and evil in progress, with the fate of humankind in the balance, are simply in denial of what is obvious to those whose eyes are opened beyond the lies of our failing culture.

  20. jaycee
    January 26, 2019 at 19:05

    This is similar to Ukraine and Honduras, whereby a “return to democracy” required bypassing the country’s own Constitution and implementing large-scale structural changes which favor foreign capital without taking these changes to a vote. Nothing democratic about it, but the secret here is that “democracy” to western political elites means something entirely different to what is commonly understood. Venezuala has been labelled a “dictatorship” through twenty-five separate election cycles over the past 20 years. The opposition had no political platform other than a complete repudiation of the popular Bolivarian reforms, and so were never successful with the voters. Rather than find a political program which could find traction, they resorted first to a failed coup, then to sabotage and arson campaigns, and finally to an unconstitutional regime change abetted by foreigners. A rather shameful display.

    • David G
      January 27, 2019 at 22:58

      A difference from Ukraine and Honduras is that in those cases the actual coup machinery was in place and operating. There doesn’t seem at this point to be anything so organized behind Guaidó. Obviously there’s a lot of class-based support behind him, but that’s not the same as having a concrete power base.

      The Moon of Alabama blog suggests that Pompeo, Bolton, and Rubio have deliberately set Trump up so that he will feel he has to escalate the situation in order to avoid the embarrassment of his Venezuela gambit collapsing.

      In that sense, this may be a little like the Bay of Pigs, except it’s hard to imagine Trump telling the plotters to go to hell when the decisive moment comes the way Kennedy did to the CIA.

  21. /California Screamin'
    January 26, 2019 at 18:24

    No agency of the United Nations, let alone the UN Headquarters, belongs in the country which most violates UN principles. It is time for member nations to acknowledge the corruption of the UN by the USA and to leave New York. Time to quit pretending that the (American) world “order” has been anything but a continual slaughter, from the atomic bombs dropped in a hurry before the USSR fulfilled its promise to attack Japan within 90 days after the defeat of Hitler (Hiroshima made it, Nagasaki, oops, a bit late–but Stalin got the picture, even as his enormous army were busy attacking the Japanese in Manchuria) to the current economic wars against Venezuela and the half of the world not bowing to the most feared and hated country in the world.

    • Sam F
      January 27, 2019 at 08:44

      Yes, the UN should expel the US for war crimes and other violations of international law, and tax its wealthiest members to support its programs. Its policies must be freed from economic power, or its has no more legitimacy than the corrupted former democracy of the US.

    • Maxwell Quest
      January 27, 2019 at 17:59

      I doubt if the United States of Surveillance would allow any UN opposition to germinate without it being stomped first. Members would have to pass paper notes to each other via couriers and act decidedly as one voice, otherwise its “Hasta la vista, baby!” to anyone left out in the cold.

      We are talking about organized crime on a global scale. Think “The Godfather”, where lots of money changes hands between loyalists, and anyone with thoughts of insurrection is sniffed out and made an example of. “Leave the gun. Take the cannoli.” – Peter Clemenza

  22. HENRY DYCK
    January 26, 2019 at 16:13

    What is it going to take to make this public knowledge. All media are controlled by the Pentagon, doesn’t matter which ones

  23. OlyaPola
    January 26, 2019 at 15:53

    “Venezuela’s US-Backed Coup Leader Immediately Targets State Oil Company and Requests IMF Money”

    The opponents are often taught that “receiving is better than giving except in expectation of return on investment” (sharing without expectation of return apparently not being within their perceptual universe), unaware that by receiving they are giving, but not in the way they “understand”/seek to misrepresent including but not restricted to jobs, freedom, democracy, and associated blah, blah, blah, but opportunities, also not in the way they “understand”/seek to misrepresent, not only through deeming wishes to be “strategies” and hopes tactics, but also through conflating tactics/strategies, and moments within process with overall processes in attempts at denial of time/interaction.

  24. Spencer
    January 26, 2019 at 15:48

    The Natural Resources–those actual forms of wealth supplied by nature as oil -gold-and others–belong to the people of Venezuela–not the Corporate Criminals –that have been trying to steal them for many years—with the help of the US Corporate Government which is complicit in the Crime —Leave Venezuela alone—Leave them alone—

  25. bardamu
    January 26, 2019 at 14:59

    It would be a large concession with obvious down sides, but Maduro may have to clamp down hard on his mostly foreign-generated opposition. I am impressed at the extent to which he and Chavez before him have managed to avoid this, and I would love to see him continue to avoid it. But blockade and terrorism eventually took down the Sandinistas when they tried to play moderate, and the United States has tried coup after coup in Venezuela. The revolution of Che and Castro has survived them, though at a high cost in terms of its internal structure and internal liberties.

  26. January 26, 2019 at 14:09

    Looks like those that run the world are going to use the “Libya example” that they liked to call “responsibility to protect,” or “bringing democracy.” Invasion of Venezuela any day now. Perhaps?

  27. GeorgeV
    January 26, 2019 at 13:52

    The blatant attempt by the usual band of neo-con criminals and thugs that constitute the Trump Administration, which is trying to overthrow the legitimate Venezuelan government so they can loot the country, is so transparent you have to be dead not to see it. Should the neo-cons succeed however, they will find their victory turn to ashes in their collective mouths. Anyone who knows anything about Latin America, will tell you that the US has a terrible reputation for meddling in that part of the world. Resentment of the US, bordering on hatred is shared throughout the region. President Nicolas Maduro may not be very popular among the general population, but he is seen as preferable to the US backed flunky Juan Guaido, who wants to take away whatever social benefits the people have. The population of Venezuela is overwhelmingly poor and have nothing to gain under a Guaido -led government. Any blow back from deposing Maduro could well lead to open civil insurrection and warfare with and within the military. Such an outcome would turn Venezuela into a literal hellhole with no benefits to anyone, anywhere.

    • Yahweh
      January 26, 2019 at 17:46

      Well, isn’t that what the den of thieves do best?

      This kind of operation has been going on for several thousand years. The difference now is the alliance of the thieves is multinational. You scratch my back now, I’ll scratch your back later.

      Neocolonialism on steroids!

      Can you feel the yoke around your neck ? Oh, my my…. With the MSM pitching one against the other at a feverish pace…..The planet is on a collision course for very dark days

    • ToivoS
      January 26, 2019 at 23:25

      GeorgeV We should note that this is the same band of neo-con criminals that have been working to change the Chavez-Modura government since at least 2002. Bush took a wack at them with the coup attempt in 2002. It was Obama who instituted the crippling sanctions after the financial crises arose after the fall of oil prices. Trump now is simply continuing good old fashioned Yankee imperialism that Latin America has been experiencing since the presidency of McKinley.

    • Realist
      January 27, 2019 at 01:42

      Except that IMF investors grab title to Citgo and the Western Hemisphere’s largest proven oil reserves. Moreover, the huge IMF loans made to the Venezuelan government are payable to them, with as much rolling debt restructuring to keep the interest coming in ad infinitum. In the minds of these plutocrats it is a small price to pay, being thought of as immoral and ruthless, to acquire such riches. Their response to such criticism has always been, “whaddaya gonna do about it?” “Tell it to the marines,” as they shove a bayonet up your rear. This is textbook American plundering and looting of a typical weaker country with significant assets that our plutocrats covet. Plus it ostensibly takes another piece off the board for Russia and China.

  28. vinnieoh
    January 26, 2019 at 13:27

    Much has been said about how Chavez and Maduro did nothing to diversify Venezuela’s economy but instead relied solely on the predominance of V’s massive oil reserves as an unshakable guarantee of V’s ongoing solvency. But that situation already existed pre Chavez and indeed had much to do with the traction he was able to gain in popular support. The pre Chavez US aligned pols of Venezuela had fallen into corruption and irrelevance and failed to appreciate the seething anger of the poor in a country so rich in resources in which the benefits were so unevenly distributed. And the US aligned Venezuelan technocrati vacationed in Miami Beach and felt that life would be wonderful and opulent forever.

    So both the US-Venezuelan puppets and stooges on the right and socialist Bolivarians on the left succumbed to the siren song of oil wealth forever. In “a world burning in its greed” there are no good outcomes likely to arise from what happens in Venezuela.

    • GMC
      January 28, 2019 at 06:29

      Ya I agree – President Putin did set Maduro down and told him what he needs to do in order to be much more independent. Venezuela depended on imports such as food, commodities, medicine etc. way too much and they were easy target for US sanctions. Russia learned quite fast and even though Russia is huge , Venezuela is a mini Russia with oil, minerals, farmland etc. but its in the middle of NWO hornets nest – that has stolen their Gold from overseas Banks also. Spacibo

  29. Rob
    January 26, 2019 at 12:17

    We read daily in the mainstream media that Venuzuela’s economy is in shambles and its government is riven with corruption. Since I place almost no credence in the MSM, I would like to know the truth of the matter. Is Venuzuela as corrupt and mismanaged as we are led to believe, and to what extent have U.S. sanctions harmed the economy? I would appreciate responses from objective, knowledgeable people.

    And let me be clear, I do not believe that there is any justification for the U.S. and its surrogates to interfere in the internal affairs of Venuzuela or any other sovereign nation. What we see at work here is what Naomi Klein called the Shock Doctrine/disaster capitalism. The neoliberal elites who run the planet could not care less about the welfare of the Venezuelan people.

    • Sam F
      January 27, 2019 at 08:54

      Several articles have suggested that corruption in the Venezuela govt is not very significant. If it were, the support for the socialist government would likely be far less, and the US would not have to sanction them to create economic distress to blame on their government. Certainly the USG is not concerned about real corruption, as its elections institutionalize bribery, and its mass media are completely dependent upon its dictatorship of the rich.

  30. Paul Spencer
    January 26, 2019 at 11:55

    Craig Murray does an interesting analysis on his blog of a picture of part of Guaido’s crowd. It may not represent the full picture of his supporters, but it seems all too probable.

    Also, the Ron Paul Institute had a spot-on piece on the U.S.’ role yesterday.

  31. January 26, 2019 at 10:43

    OfficialU.S. is shown on video this morning, moving out toward the airport in fancy , limo-like white sports vehicles. The jackals, of course, will still be there, but China and Russia are also there, possibly with good enough protection to keep the usual thing from happening to Maduro. I do not have too much of a bet about which, between Russia and China, will have more influence?

    • Realist
      January 27, 2019 at 01:55

      Russia does not want a military confrontation with the United States even on its own border in Ukraine. Too much to lose and too big a risk of a nuclear escalation. Even though both Russia and China have huge sums of money invested in Citgo and loaned to Venezuela which they will lose when Washington perpetrates its planned theft of Venezuelan resources, neither will fire a shot against American troops in defense of Venezuela. The Tu bombers will be withdrawn as soon as a carrier group parks off the Venezuelan coast, though any land invaders will probably be proxies from Columbia and Brasil. Sorry, that’s the reality. It’s called survival.

  32. Bill
    January 26, 2019 at 10:36

    Anyone in the USA who is against the coup is accused of being a traitor.

    • January 26, 2019 at 18:44

      Bill – yes, and it is unmentionably ironic that after two years of the deep state promoting their “Russia put Trump in power and that’s unacceptable” – nonsense – we have the same deep state forces themselves openly naming a new head of state for a sovereign foreign nation and managing to keep a straight face doing so. You can’t make this stuff up! Its sort of slap-stick comedy meets amoral military madmen. It would be laughable if it were not so deadly serious for Venezuela.

      Of course the same MSM pundits and halfwits that have been castigating the Orange One as “Putin’s puppet” for two years now will no doubt find him impressively “presidential” should he complete an illegal immoral coup in Venezuela. Never, it seems, is any U.S. president so “presidential” as when he is illegally and immorally destroying yet another nation abroad. It’s always an excellent bi-partisan ticket to better “approval” ratings at home, which suggests we Americans are either a nation of imbeciles or of psychopaths.

  33. john wilson
    January 26, 2019 at 10:16

    I’m surprised the writer hasn’t mentioned the fact that the UK has refused to return Venezuela’s gold valued at well over a billion dollars. It seems the UK has confiscated the gold as it doesn’t approve of the government there. What I don’t understand is; why would any other country place their gold in another country’s care, especially the UK or the US . I wouldn’t trust the UK government with my kids piggy bank and I’m English.

  34. Panzerkirby
    January 26, 2019 at 10:11

    well, as this is completly wrong, it would be nice that you tell how half of the oil industrie es selled to china and russia (and gived as assets to pay some debts that, as usually in this cases, were robbed by the corrupts goverment members). How we are giving for free oil to cuba, but at least USA is paying for the oil.

    AND would be very nice that you state how is different paying and making bussines with “the empire” and making it with the other “empire” that is china and russia.

    • Terence
      January 26, 2019 at 12:06

      Comparing U.S. empire, which is bolstered by 800+ military bases across the globe, to Russia and China is laughable.

  35. Cheryl
    January 26, 2019 at 09:00

    The military is supporting Maduro. So I can’t see this happening without alot of bloodshed. I read somewhere that Guaido hasn’t been seen since Wednesday. Could be wrong.

  36. JC
    January 26, 2019 at 08:39

    why doesn’t the legit government just arrest the guy throw out every western spy close down the country to anything from the US or and allies move completely in with china and russia..

    • LJ
      January 26, 2019 at 20:49

      He’s hiding It aint easy, this has been well planned. Western Democracies are all lined uo for another Regime Change Special. Notice Spain in favor of Democracy but not for Catalonia, Britain , Scotland

  37. David G
    January 26, 2019 at 00:37

    “Since US forces rolled into central Baghdad a week ago, one of the sole public buildings untouched by looters has been Iraq’s massive oil ministry, which is under round-the-clock surveillance by troops.”

    – The Sydney Morning Herald, 16 April 2003

    https://www.smh.com.au/world/middle-east/oil-ministry-an-untouched-building-in-ravaged-baghdad-20030416-gdgm32.html

  38. January 26, 2019 at 00:17

    The West has shown itself to have arrived at a place of quite complete and total moral corruption. Western governments, militaries, intelligence services, foundations, think tanks, banks and corporations exist as a huge interconnected organized crime syndicate that extorts, threatens, steals, murders, blackmails, runs drugs and launders drug money, and even starves to death those who refuse to be bullied into submission and servitude by them. The psychopaths are running the militarized neoliberal mad house planet earth has now become.

    We are all faced with looking into the mirror and deciding not “if” but “how” each of us will find a way(s) to stand with the people of Venezuela and to oppose our criminal U.S. government and it’s various amoral minions. There is no one else to do it.

    • michael
      January 26, 2019 at 06:28

      John Perkins’ “Confessions of an Economic Hitman” explained this well over ten years ago. Obviously the pattern hasn’t changed much: have ‘private’ industry and engineers swoop in and sale un-needed state of the art technology to some clown dictator, who gets a cut and eventually leaves. The country cannot pay for the technology so they take out IMF loans leading, with usurious compound interest rates, to an insurmountable debt, austerity and giving away their resources to crooked neolibs for pennies on the dollar. If the country has a scrupulous leader, the CIA jackals become involved and he either sees the light or has a fiery accident. If the people revolt against the theft and rape of their country, the military is sent in.
      Possibly the reason our Establishment is so obsessed with Russia, who set a bad example by pulling their head out from under the American jackboot. Although somewhat refined over time, this has been American policy since at least Smedley Butler.

      • Skip Scott
        January 26, 2019 at 09:48

        That’s it in a nutshell Michael. Part of the model is also to have contracts with western backed corporations to do these huge “development” projects. They bring in their own people so very few jobs actually go to the locals, and the money then flees the targeted country. They are really p/o’d about Russia which was in their grasp under Yeltsin. Thus the “evil Putin” and RussiaGate psyop.

        • Piotr Berman
          January 26, 2019 at 17:23

          Chevron runs Angola oil, Angola is looted cleanly, some of the worst human developments in Africa, and I can’t recall “huge projects” there. Or in Yeltsin Russia.

          • Skip Scott
            January 27, 2019 at 07:56

            They were satisfied in both those places with simple looting, aka resource extraction. I imagine that in time they would have cooked up some big infrastructure projects for Russia to be funded by IMF loans, especially if those projects aided the process of resource extraction. They just hadn’t gotten around to it yet when Putin ousted them.

        • OlyaPola
          January 27, 2019 at 14:42

          “They are really p/o’d about Russia which was in their grasp under Yeltsin.”

          They thought it was in their grasp (they including their perceived “potential local allies”) as some of they continue to believe – an encouraged delusion although requiring minimum encouragement facilitated in part by the hubris of they resorting to belief to bridge doubt to attain/iterate comfort/certainty/self-delusion – which not only facilitated it not being in their grasp, but continues increasing its that are not being in their grasp – requiring even less encouragement given that they are catalysed to facilitate their own “encouragement”, rendering “strategies” wishes and “tactics” hopes.

          • OlyaPola
            January 28, 2019 at 11:53

            “…requiring even less encouragement given that they are catalysed to facilitate their own “encouragement”, rendering “strategies” wishes and “tactics” hopes.”

            In illustration of the above.

            A former evangelist in the 1970’s for detente on the bases of spheres of influence apparently regrets the undermining of “potential local allies” through the efforts of the “United States of America”

            https://www.rt.com/op-ed/449711-democracy-illusion-us-russiagate/

            apparently in reaction to his self-created hologram of both what was and is, facilitated by his target audience’s lack of experience and facility to test his assertions, leading the target audience to resort to bridge doubt by belief to attain/iterate comfort/certainty/self-delusion.

    • Loretta
      January 26, 2019 at 16:14

      I am in tital agreement.

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