Burning Aid: Apparent Deception on Colombia-Venezuela Bridge

Marco Rubio and coup leaders are accusing the Venezuelan National Guard, but Max Blumenthal lines up opposing evidence.  

By Max Blumenthal
in Caracas

Grayzone

The Trump administration’s coup against Venezuela culminated on Feb. 23 with U.S.-backed opposition attempting to ram several trucks loaded with boxes of USAID “humanitarian aid” across the previously unused Francisco de Paula Santander bridge connecting Colombia to Venezuela.

The trucks failed to reach the other side — but that was never really the point of the stunt. As Father Sergio Munoz, a right-wing Venezuelan activist posted on the Colombian side of the border, explained to journalist Dan Cohen, the humanitarian “aid” was a purely symbolic provocation aimed at discrediting Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro in international eyes and generating waves of destabilizing violence.

By the end of the day, the trucks lined up on the Francisca de Paula Santander bridge were flanked by gangs of guarimberos.

(Telesur)

These were the nihilistic masked youth who form the shock troops of the right-wing opposition, and who placed Caracas under siege with violent barricade protests, known as guarimbas, at several points between 2014 and 2017. A mob of guarimberos burned to death Orlando Figuera, a 22-year old black Venezuelan accused of supporting Maduro, on an eastern Caracas street in broad daylight, back in June 2017.

On the Santander bridge this Feb. 23, the guarimberos rained down a hail of rocks and molotov cocktails on Venezuelan national guardsmen holding the line against the USAID trucks. Suddenly, the trucks caught fire and the masked youth began unloading boxes of aid before they burned. Within minutes, pro-opposition media reported that the Venezuelan national guard forces were responsible for the fires.

A reporter for the private anti-government channel NTN24 claimed without evidence that the Venezuelan security forces had caused the fires with tear gas:

The claim was absurd on its face. I have personally witnessed tear gas canisters hit every kind of vehicle imaginable in the occupied Palestinian West Bank, and I have never seen a fire like the one that erupted on the Santander bridge.

In 2013, the San Bernadino Sheriff’s Department deployed special incendiary teargas canisters (“burners”) to torch the house where fugitive cop killer Chris Dorner had holed up. But it is highly unlikely that the Venezuelan national guardsmen had anything like this weapon in their arsenal when they confronted the rioters on Feb. 23.

The total lack of evidence of Venezuelan culpability did not stop Cuban-American Sen. Marco Rubio from tweeting this accusation from nearby in Cucuta, Colombia:

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who is facing calls for her own resignation after video appeared of her condescendingly browbeating a group of environmentalist children, repeated Rubio’s baseless allegation, using it to call for Maduro to step down.

By blaming the Venezuelan government for burning the USAID trucks, Rubio was clearly attempting to establish the casus belli he had been seeking. Yet neither he nor anyone in the “whole world” had seen the national guard set the fire, as he claimed. In fact, the evidence pointed in the exact opposite direction, suggesting that the masked opposition youth had torched the trucks themselves.

Colombian writer Humberto Ortiz produced footage from a pro-opposition channel showing what appears to be the exact moment when a guarimbero sets the aid on fire with a molotov cocktail:

Telesur reporter Madelein Garcia published photographs showing a guarimbero with a gas canister next to one of the burning trucks:

Drone footage also published by Garcia shows how far away the trucks were from Venezuelan national guardsmen when they caught fire, and demonstrates that they were clearly on the Colombian side of the border:

Even Bloomberg News, which has run a relentless stream of pro-opposition reports, published video showing guarimberos on the bridge making molotov cocktails, which could easily set a truck cabin or its cargo alight:

Meanwhile, the International Red Cross issued a statement condemning Venezuelan opposition activists disguising themselves as Red Cross workers – a blatant breach of humanitarian protocol. A screenshot from pro-opposition NTN24 coverage shows a fake Red Cross worker near one of the burning trucks:

Days ago, self-proclaimed interim president Juan Guaidó announced that he would lead a “human wave” across the bridge and into Venezuela. But as darkness fell on Feb. 23, Guaido found himself at a stormy press conference with other right-wing, U.S.-aligned Latin American leaders. By his side was Colombian President Ivan Duque, who repeated the evidence-free allegation that Venezuelan security forces had burned the aid trucks.

Having failed miserably at every phase of the coup he had attempted to engineer, Rubio ended the day with a Twitter tantrum that peaked with a call for multilateral actions against Venezuela’s government. What form that action could take is still unclear, but it will certainly be justified by a series of baseless claims about what took place on the Santander bridge.

Max Blumenthal is an award-winning journalist and the author of books including best-selling Republican Gomorrah,” Goliath,” The Fifty One Day War and The Management of Savagery,” which will be published in March 2019 by Verso. He has also produced numerous print articles for an array of publications, many video reports and several documentaries including Killing Gaza and Je Ne Suis Pas Charlie.” Blumenthal founded the Grayzone Project in 2015 to shine a journalistic light on America’s state of perpetual war and its dangerous domestic repercussions.

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66 comments for “Burning Aid: Apparent Deception on Colombia-Venezuela Bridge

  1. Skip Scott
    March 2, 2019 at 08:03

    This is an absolutely fantastic article by “The Saker”. Spread this around!

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/51194-c.htm

  2. zman
    February 28, 2019 at 12:25

    Thank you Rick Sterling! You saved me from an exasperating reply to what I consider a idiot. Hopefully, he is just doing a job…it would be very depressing to think an actual person believes the hogwash he (MS) presented.

  3. KiwiAntz
    February 26, 2019 at 17:47

    Has anyone seen today’s UN Security Council meeting on the Venezuela Crisis? Both Russia & Venezuela’s Foreign Ministers have completely demolished & debunked the phony Regime change ambitions of America & this lunatic Abrams? The fake false flag attack with the burning of “so called humanitarian aid” Trucks contained materials for making barricades & other stuff to cause chaos? They even had photographic & video evidence of US puppet, Guido’s paid supporters burning the Trucks using smuggled gasoline & making molotov cocktails? Sorry you can’t fake a chemical, white helmets moment here but you can try with dodgy Guido thugs? Never has a Regime change operation been so transparent as this one & the US is not even bothering to cover its tracks nowadays? That shows you that the US Empire is finished? Tha alarm bells are ringing & when you see Russia, China & others buying massive amounts of gold & paying down debt in anticipation of a Global Credit meltdown, you know the end of the Empire is coming? Drowning in debt & flailing about like a drunken sailor, drunk on War & trillions in debt, America is doomed? War is Peace & Peace is War? George Orwell must have been quoting the America First motto when he wrote 1984?

  4. February 26, 2019 at 17:35

    I can understand but strongly disagree with the America interfering with any foreign country especially in the southern hemisphere. Venezuela has suffered with American interference for many years and continues to this day. Like little puppets the Western politicians and media have lined up for a kind word from Trump who has exaggerated and distorted beyond belief the current situation in Venezuela. I happened to catch one of the comments regarding the situation in Venezuela made by the Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chrystia Freeland. As a Harvard and Oxford graduate I would have thought that it would have been wise for her to first check with her own Canadian history before jumping on board the Trump team in condemnation of Venezuela. Back in July of 1967 one Charles de Gaulle, yes the then president of France, made the comment “Vive Quebéc le libre.” The Canadian media and politicians went hysterical and condemned de Gaulle’s speech as inflammatory, subversive, troublemaking, provocative and many adjectives that are now considered antiquated. How can Freeland possibly justify her hypocritical stance on Venezuela? Why are so many countries so willing to interfere in the affairs of a foreign country? I guess one can only guess that it is once more all about oil and the accumulation of wealth by the American billionaire libertarians such as the Koch brothers. It was almost unbearable to listen to Mike Pence make a speech about freedom and democracy for the Venezuelans’. Pence of all people, the man is the hip pocket of the Koch brothers, speaking about freedom.

    • CitizenOne
      February 26, 2019 at 20:14

      Somehow the world leaders have lost their spine. It took quite a bit of arm twisting to form a coalition of the willing in Iraq. In particular France in that case held firm and we all ate freedom fries for a while with great patriotic fervor for the war and disdain for the French. I remember those days when it seemed we were literally back in the time when Pearl Harbor was attacked. The problem was Iraq never actually had a thing to do with911 and so the duplicitous nature of the two year struggle to align enough countries into signing on to support an attack on Iraq dragged on and on as most main stream corporate news media just passed along all the government “intelligence” without question and rarely presented opposing views when not presenting them just for the purpose of ridiculing, mocking, making accusations etc about the integrity of those with “other” ideas as to how to proceed. France was resolute. England under Tony Blair was beguiled into supporting the Iraq war which later after the war was a decision he was excoriated over in the Chilcot Report or the Iraq War Inquiry. In the report, the investigators concluded that Blair had led the nation to a war of choice not necessity backed by false allegations regarding the military capabilities of Iraq and their supposed possession of banned weapons.

      These shining moments of speaking truth to power seem to have dried up….or have they.

      It seems to me that if the run up to the war in Iraq was a learning opportunity for the intelligence community that fabricated all the propaganda designed to gather support for the war which they found out was an extremely hard sell in some cases completely failing to influence key allies, then perhaps it was that learning that convinced them next time it’s just easier to just announce that everyone is on board and just keep repeating it over and over.

      You have to admit that whether you fabricate evidence in order to hopefully gather support it is the same process as just manufacturing fake support and bypassing the middleman. Genius!

      I can think of no other explanation. It is either that or the entire world has gone stupid overnight and I choose not to consider that terrifying proposition. A new coalition of the willing willing comprising an impressive 50 nations who have signed on to the plan for Venezuela as envisioned by John Bolton Mike Pompeo.

      I’m betting that the sudden instant approval of dozens of nations approving the newly minted non-elected, soon to be next Shah of Venezuela is just something we just made up.

      • Super LJ
        February 27, 2019 at 13:56

        Having a spine isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. See Neville Chamberlain. The USA , successor of GREAT Britain, got everything that it wanted and more out of British dithering on Adolf. . Likewise Woodrow Wilson shipping weapons to England in WW I. What is the loss of a ship or two and hundreds of thousands , no millions of lives? The Venezuelan puppet is a loser. So is Pense. So is Trump. They have painted themselves into a corner, Can you spell S-T-U-P-I-D? Maduro will not fold. That’s why Chavez anointed him to carry the banner of the Bolivarian Bullshit in the first place. He is not an intellectual. He is a former bus driver. . Does the US really want Civil War in Venezuela? I think not. This is petty. The big issue today is another UN created calamity, Kashmir. There people are hotheads and both governments are unpopular. Our media isn’t tractable enough to wake up and smell the coffee on this issue. Regime change in Venezuela is BS. We should all turn the page. The Orinoco Reserves are too heavy and too deep under water to be worth the cost of extraction on top of disposing a government then having to maintain external control over a hostile population for 30 years.Venezuela is not the Philippines in 1910…. Peace. PS The new, giant discovery of reserves in the South China Sea is a game changer and renders this whole gambit on Venezuela absurdly redundant.

  5. February 26, 2019 at 17:16

    Has anyone questioned the reports that thousands of Cubans are in Venezuela, as they were fighting for the “socialist” Angolan government of dos Santos, whose daughter became the wealthiest woman in Africa. Let’s check the off shore accounts of Madura and his friends in the military, and even business connections of the relatives of the popular leader who put Madura in power. Corrupt governments that benefit a few elites, such as the mercantile class, the military class and the academic–“think tanks”–“”liberal media” opinion makers, can use any brand they wish to deceive the masses as long as those governments hold back funds in the government accounts to support the welfare state bureaucracy. What are the indexes that would measure the level of financial and/or material services being administered to the impoverished masses whose only recourse is looting and hostage taking when the bureaucracy fails to deliver? The relative of a close friend with many relatives in Venezuela (from the military/socialist supporters of Madura to the old professional class that prospered within Venezuela before Chavez) had to return to Caracus from Miami to pay ransom for his relatives taken hostage in an increasing lawless country, except for those living on military bases or the Venezuela equivalent of “gated communities” who shop at restricted warehouses similar to a PX or Sam’s Club. I suspect that the divided population of the U. S. is being seen by Cuban internationalists and their fellow travelers as a great opportunity to seek revenge on “the Yankees”! Instead of emotional reactions and witty comments, it would be wise to do the research about precedents to events similar to those in Venezuela, where many of the same foreign entities and/or countries were involved–starting with Angola, where the Populist leader Dr. Jonas Savimbi–fighting against the corrupt “socialist” dos Santos government –was abandoned based on CIA “estimates” resulting in a changed foreign policy for the U. S. at the end of the Cold War when corruption reigned supreme and continues to produce billionaires even in so called socialist countries.

    • Rick Sterling
      February 26, 2019 at 20:52

      In reply to this strange comment by “Marshall Smith” …… 1) Yes there are thousands of Cubans in Venezuela but they are doctors and medical workers! It’s part solidarity and part exchange for the cheap oil which Venezuela has supplied to Cuba. 2) Regarding Angola, the Cuban military played a decisive role in defeating the invading apartheid South African Army. It was a huge contribution to the overthrow of apartheid. As to Jonas Savimbi etc, the American CIA chief of station, John Stockwell, had an awakening and wrote a fine book documenting the CIA’s machinations and lies . The book is titled “In Search of Enemies” and still relevant. 3) Finally, Is Marshall Smith a real person or just another fake name used by someone being paid to infiltrate alternative media? I note that the “Marshall Smith Syndrome” is connected to mental retardation.

      • anon4d2
        February 26, 2019 at 21:13

        Why don’t you have any evidence whatsoever of the corruption you allege? Would it not be wiser for you to seek evidence before you make accusations? You could make the same charge against any government but choose the least likely. Financial corruption is the sole means of operation of the US government, which you ignore. So clearly the last principle that concerns you is cautious evaluation of evidence.

        • anon4d2
          February 27, 2019 at 06:51

          My comment was made in response to “Marshall Smith.” When made, I could not see the comment by Rick Sterling, so I don’t know how it was taken as a response. Sorry, Rick Sterling!

    • Tim
      February 27, 2019 at 06:52

      > “socialist” Angolan government of dos Santos, whose daughter became the wealthiest woman in Africa.

      And Chavez’ daughter is the wealthiest woman in South America, and Putin has millions in his bank accounts in Switzerland and Panama, and so on….

      Anybody else remember the song for kiddies?
      “Tell me a story, tell me a story, tell me a story before I go to bed…”

  6. February 26, 2019 at 11:11

    The media/government count on the public being woefully confused and having no memory (or interest even) in recent history. Otherwise they wouldn’t have the gall to bring convicted criminal Elliott Abrams back from the dead to manage this diabolical, sordid affair.

  7. Ross Vassilev Jr.
    February 26, 2019 at 11:08

    Where have we all seen this before? The Maidan street putch in Kiev, Ukraine, which toppled the democratically elected government of President Yanukovich in 2014 under the personal on-the-spot direction of Hillary Clinton’s Amazon warriors in the U.S. State Department?

  8. TomG
    February 26, 2019 at 09:27

    I can’t seem to find a report on whether Pence is still in Columbia or not. My hope is that the other members of the Lima group are wondering about their alignment with Guaidó and the US ‘plan.’ I expected a big show yesterday in the press, but perhaps Saturday’s failed staged rage has the partner countries reconsidering. One can hope.

  9. February 26, 2019 at 05:01

    This is the sort of information we need, reliable no trustworthy. We can no longer rely on the western mainstream propaganda, fake news medi.

  10. exiled off mainsteet
    February 26, 2019 at 01:18

    Mr. Blumenthal and Grayzone has been doing excellent work on this serious issue.

  11. Joe Tedesky
    February 25, 2019 at 23:24

    Here from with inside Venezuela you may read what Venezuelans say is the root cause of their economic dilemma.

    https://venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/14335

    “If we step back and look at Venezuela from a bird’s-eye view, how does a country with 500 billion barrels of oil and hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of minerals in the ground go broke? The only way that can happen is if the country is cut off from the international financial system. Otherwise, Venezuela could sell or even collateralize some of its resources in order to get the necessary dollars. The $7.7 billion in gold held in Central Bank reserves could be quickly collateralized for a loan; in past years, the US Treasury department used its clout to make sure that banks who wanted to finance a swap, such as JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America, did not do so.”

    • Skip Scott
      February 26, 2019 at 08:06

      Great link Joe. Thanks. I am really afraid that Venezuela is our next war. They’re getting all their ducks in a row. If Trump is genuine about pursuing peace, he sure is taking a round-about approach. I suspect he will be tempted to become a “war president” for a popularity boost for 2020, just as Bill Clinton used Yugoslavia. I guess time will tell. I’m quite sure all our corporations tied to resource extraction are frothing at the mouth waiting to get their hands on all the “goodies” Venezuela has to offer.

      • Dave P.
        February 26, 2019 at 19:17

        Yes. You are right about corporations frothing at the mouth. Here is the link to Larry Wilkerson’s interview today with Paul Jay on The Real News Network. It is really eye opening about this ongoing U.S. meddling in Venezuela.

        It is a MUST WATCH interview. I wish it could be shown in every American home. It covers many areas, many characters, Corporate leaders, Pompeo, Chuck Schumer, Abrams, and others.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkR9YWqfjsA

        • Skip Scott
          February 27, 2019 at 09:58

          Thanks for the link Dave. It’s pretty obvious that both sides of the aisle have been bought to a very large extent.

  12. Robert Mayer
    February 25, 2019 at 22:27

    As Sen Feinstein is featured in this article prominently… as a California always voter & loyal Dem I must proudly state: I’ve NEVER VOTED 4 her!
    Even after her staff was burned by cel surveil shenanigans I can’t abide her Right Wing politics…
    I might also question whether Wash Blues hold cel sieve orientation!
    Tnx CN & Mr. Blumenthal 4 Serious Reporting!

  13. dean 1000
    February 25, 2019 at 21:46

    Great work Max.

    I suppose its not surprising they are lying about the fire and tear gas, they are lying about everything about everything else.
    All the corporate media is in the running for the Hermann Goering prize this year for their Venezuela reporting.

    • Jeff Davis
      February 26, 2019 at 12:01

      You mean the Joseph Goebbels Prize. Otherwise, you’re right on.

      We’re rapidly approaching that moment where a critical mass of people will be using internet and alternative media for their information. The MSM is losing ground fast. This blatant and totally obvious, out in the open war-prep propaganda may fail, and in doing so mark the end of Gov/Corporate narrative control.

      I certainly hope so.

  14. David G
    February 25, 2019 at 21:33

    Saturday marked the end of the initial phase of this coup attempt: the opposition and their Yankee masters have now shoved the last of the junk and gunpowder they had on hand into the old blunderbuss and fired it, and Venezuela has withstood the noisy but feeble result.

    It is not clear to me whether Pompeo, Bolton & Co. expected their half-baked efforts thus far to succeed in installing their hand-picked random nobody in Caracas, or whether they understood all along that much more would be required and have merely been luring their f-ing moron boss in so deep that he feels he has to escalate lest people remember how small his hands are.

    Since I think that no one involved other than Trump himself was dumb enough to think it would be that easy, I fear the latter is the actual case, and there is already some horrible next phase ready to be unleashed – the kind of thing Elliot Abrams is all too experienced in.

    • Jeff Davis
      February 26, 2019 at 12:33

      Puleese, stop with “Trump is dumb” stuff.

      I don’t doubt that Trump would like to see Maduro replaced with a US flunkie, but he will not commit US troops. He has effectively set a trap for Bolton, Pompeo, and Abrams. He understands that the Neocons are responsible for the foreign regime-change wars, Iraq in particular. So when the bluff and bluster fail to remove Maduro, when the Neocon plan fails, Trump will refuse their calls for a direct US invasion. He ***WILL NOT*** allow them to saddle his presidency and reelection chances with another expensive, blood-soaked, foreign war failure. He will dump full responsibility on B, P, & A, fire them, terminate their credibility, disable them for good politically, and go into 2020 as a f*cking political genius.

      Trump’s game and instincts are so far above his political adversaries, and all the other anti-Trump people, that they are remain clueless and helpless, unable to grasp what is going on.

      Predicting the future is a dicey proposition, so let’s just wait and see what ***actually*** happens.

      • anon4d2
        February 26, 2019 at 21:42

        While we cannot know yet all of the facts,
        1. Belief in hidden virtue always proves false.
        2. Virtue must be proven, and the virtuous expect no prior credibility.
        3. Only the tyrant claims virtue with no proof.
        4. Only the tyrant appoints warmongers to positions of power.
        5. A virtuous president would remove them all now to make his point.
        If Trump is virtuous he knows you won’t believe it without evidence.
        If not you should make known your disbelief now.

  15. Yahweh
    February 25, 2019 at 20:46

    Big money is in on this act of coming destruction ….lol…. Little Marco Rubio…. A man who is/was very deep in debt until a very nice very wealthy Jewish man came to his rescue….. I’m sure this wonderful Jewish man isn’t looking for any favors from Sen. Rubio in return….Is this what is meant by pay to play…. baby…pay to play ?

    America was at one time an exceptional Constitutional Republic…..Now?….. A whore to the highest bidder. You all lost your country because you did nothing …..

    • Jeff Davis
      February 26, 2019 at 12:37

      America is Israel’s bitch. But if five-thousand years of unhappy history is any indication, this too will come to an unhappy end.

  16. PeopleFirst
    February 25, 2019 at 19:47

    Max is a disgrace to the human species. Conditions in Venezuela are atrocious and getting worse. And Maduro is to blame. But Max is too worried about defending his ideological tribe to actually care about relieving human suffering. Forget Pence, Trump and other idiots. Maduro must be removed quickly for the good of his people and liberals should be leading the charge.

    • Skip Scott
      February 26, 2019 at 13:34

      Yes, let’s just give the oligarchs and multinationals what they want, and let Venezuela wind up like Libya and Iraq. Godzilla doesn’t have much of a record of relieving human suffering.

      Here’s the latest from Caitlin:

      https://medium.com/@caityjohnstone/if-every-debate-about-us-interventionism-was-about-godzilla-instead-4374e861ef54

    • anon4d2
      February 26, 2019 at 21:24

      You know full well that the problems of Venezuela before socialism were caused by the Venezuelan oligarchy. You know that the recent problems of Venezuela were caused solely by the thieves of US oligarchy. Produce the evidence to the contrary or admit that you are lying.

  17. Cara
    February 25, 2019 at 19:28

    Thank you, Max. Keep up the excellent work. And thanks to CN for publishing Blumenthal’s reporting.

  18. mike k
    February 25, 2019 at 17:28

    Fake, phony, and irrelevant, describes the only news the average American consumer receives.

    • Ivan Vakosky
      February 26, 2019 at 13:30

      “We make our own reality”

      • OlyaPola
        February 26, 2019 at 18:41

        ““We make our own reality” facilitated by “We the people hold these truths to be self-evident”

        And some react to it immersively, but not all react to it.

        When outcomes vary from expectations the opponents tend to resort to an iteration of belief to bridge doubt to attain comfort/expectation with lessing potency facilitating opportunities for others not reliant to the same degree on the use of the possessive case when addressing reality.

        Consequently there is merit in encouraging the opponents to make their own reality predicated on variants of comfirmation bias, as illustrated in Mr. Rove’s observation.

  19. Brian James
    February 25, 2019 at 16:18

    Feb 11, 2019 Venezuelans’ message to the US: Hands off our country

    The Grayzone reports from inside Venezuela, where millions of people waited in long lines to sign an open letter to the US public, strongly rejecting foreign intervention in their country.

    https://youtu.be/-LT_O7tI3DY

  20. The Hang Nail
    February 25, 2019 at 15:34

    I know it is not relevant to this article but it was brought up. Feinstein was not being condescending with those kids. She was the opposite. She treated them like adults. She simply disagreed with them. Labeling it as “condescending” is a propaganda tool. It makes it look like those kids were a prop. I appreciated her bluntness with those kids and I hope they appreciated that she did not pander to them and pat them on their heads. Just because you get to speak to a Senator does not mean they are obligated to agree with you. To fake agreeableness is condescending.

  21. Kiwiantz
    February 25, 2019 at 15:32

    America needs to get out of the Middle East quagmire, Foreign Wars & stop interfering in other Country’s affairs? That was one of Trump signature polices as a Presidential Candidate! Also, his other promises of putting America first, he said & the World can take care of itself, including its own security! Build that Wall! America will never be a Socialist Country!

    Monkey says but Monkey doesn’t do?? This is what Trump has delivered after 2 yrs of his chaotic Leadership? No end in sight to withdrawal from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Countries that America has no legitimate legal right under International law & its own US Constitution to be in! Hiring War hawk psychos like Pompeo, Bolton & having a nutty VP in Pence who gives ex VP Cheney a run for his money in the nutter stakes? Regime change operations in Ukraine & Venuzuela after failing in Syria! And beating the drums to a war with Iran after tearing up the JCPOA Nuclear deal although Iran continues to obey the terms of the agreement despite the America’s hissy fit & illegal withdrawal from it! Putting America first means putting someone last? From tearing up Agreements such as the Iran deal, withdrawing from the INF deal with Russia, treating its NATO allies like vassals & economically sanctioning everyone in Europe & Instigating Trade Wars with China, the rising Superpower that’s technologically leaving the US behind, American isolation & loss of prestige & any remaining respect has gone? America sends China agricultural products such as turnips & soybeans while China sends them back high class Tech goods! Trump blames China for America’s decline but US Transnational Corporations & companies willingly set up Production in China & Asian Countries to save on Labor costs! That Manufacturing Production & supply chain will never return to the US! Trumps Build that Wall promise is in tatters as he tries to bypass Congress & steal money from the MIC budgets? Bad move which will end in defeat because one thing you can never do is divert or steal MIC funding?! And finally the garbage that America will never be a Socialist Country? What do you call the entitlement programs of Medicare & Medicaid? That’s Democratic Socialism? What do you call Tax cuts for the Rich, Federal Reserve QE moneyprinting & American Bank Bailups? That’s called Corporate Socialism. So to conclude, Trump is full of crap & has failed to deliver on any of his promises? If this idiot is re-elected in 2020, that’s the end of America as a Nation!

    • Seattle Stu
      February 26, 2019 at 09:59

      It might already be too late. Too much damage that’s irreversible.

      What you didn’t even mention is the rollback of the few efforts to curtail greenhouse emissions. Based on the latest info, five or six degree increase is already baked into the system. If you’re not a doomsday prepper, start now.

    • Richard Vajs
      February 26, 2019 at 12:24

      Kiwiantz,
      Great post – only change/addition I would make is to the last line, i.e. ” If this idiot (or some Clinton clone) is (re-) elected in 2020, that’s the end of America as a Nation!”

      • KiwiAntz
        February 26, 2019 at 17:28

        Sorry Richard my mistake? Hey the Oscars went find without a Host & maybe America would be fine without a President as both Parties have terrible Leaders?

  22. elmerfudzie
    February 25, 2019 at 15:30

    Speaking of Rubio(s), we need to cut this conversation to the quick and “let it all hang out”. That name, Marco Rubio gave me one of those, flash backs (pardon the sixties vernacular) it can’t be helped…Wasn’t Mexico’s best and the brightest, that bullet dodging, Pascual Ortiz Rubio who brought forth the Estrada Doctrine, in a clear but unintended opposition to the Monroe doctrine? Mexico is important to inject into this discussion. After all the current rumba and endless declarations over many years regarding the rights and privileges of statehood, it began with the League of Nations, and just to remind CONSORTIUMNEWS readers, that it was Mexico initially favoring the concept(s) of international law, self determination and non intervention and the peaceful resolution of disputes? Why do we continue to listen to the frantic, always in a state of panic, D.C. beltway crowd? Why pay heed, credence, to the rants of a Puritanical Christian Right shogun like Pence? Who cares what the latest drivel is from the Oval office? In reality, isn’t this whole thing just another confrontation between the multinational oil company boardrooms and the sovereign government officials of Venezuela? Another war mongering rant from our Neocons (yawn), another facade, hiding the perpetual issue(s) that are really at hand. By this I mean a prejudicial based theory and new conflict conjured by the worst elements of a western, white upper class against the common brown skinned folk the second and third world countries? Isn’t it a fact that there is a planned attack, long in the works, based the military’s SouthCom plan and in accord with the Rumsfeld-Cebroski strategy, that now targets the Caribbean Basin for utter destruction. Visit the February Vol 4 article in Current Concerns authored by Thierry Meyssan, for a detailed expose’.

    I guess I’ve just got to say it, and is totally contrary to my previous statements… Manuel López Obrador, please throw your hat and talents into this latest conflict. Let the Beltway Bumblebees be damned. It’s time for all South Americans to unite and put together, by some loose association or general consensus, with an unofficial representative for all of the poorest of South Americans. Mr Obrador, for the moment, that happens to be you!

  23. Jeremy Kuzmarov
    February 25, 2019 at 15:08

    Remember The Maine. The US for over a century has been involved in setting up false pretexts to go to war. Thank you for excellent reporting Max.

  24. k
    February 25, 2019 at 15:02

    Well at least demented donnie has found one of those scary invading convoy he has been ranting, raving and fundraising off of.
    Unfortunately it is funded by his administration of thieves, racists and general criminal population.
    One must ask what countries have the right to protect their sovereignty by enforcing border controls.
    It appears by his actions that any country dominated and ruled by caucasians have this right ( except perhaps Ukraine from his leash holder putie boy), very wealthy and governed by right wing autocrats/kleptocrats. Other countries rights are contingent upon their willingness to kowtow to putie, mammon, and the doddering don.
    If Venezuela cannot create barriers on his borders to keep undesirable invaders at bay then neither does the US have the right to enforce border regulations.
    Pick one sovereignty for all or for none.

  25. eric32
    February 25, 2019 at 13:37

    I keep wondering how far the toxic cloud ruling elite are willing to go on this one.

    If they think the USD reserve currency / petrodollar status depends on it, this might get really big and dangerous.

  26. Lois Gagnon
    February 25, 2019 at 13:08

    This stunt by the flailing US empire and the gate keeper press could be the beginning of the end of Western Capitalist hegemony. The coup is clearly failing and with it, the fortunes of all the US politicians who have stupidly gone along with the narrative and the burlesque corporate media who refuse to report independently from state propaganda. Could any of them possibly look more foolish at this point? The desperation is slowly creeping in as each day passes without regime change. It couldn’t happen to a more deserving cabal of despots and hangers’ on.

    • Skip Scott
      February 26, 2019 at 08:19

      Unfortunately, I doubt these morons will give up without a war. Here comes another Vietnam, only the cannon fodder will be our underclass, “all-volunteer” army, and a bunch of kids who thought they were signing up to play “soldier” for a couple weekends now and then.

  27. Realist
    February 25, 2019 at 13:02

    The American MSM are a shameless contradiction of their self-proclaimed identity as reporters of fact. When they repeatedly show themselves to be blatant liars and misrepresentors of the truth, they firmly establish their identity as fascists and enemies of the people. They are irredeemable tools of tyranny.

    (This post was meant as a direct reply to Joe Tedesky below. For some reason this site will not attach my replies as replies even though I click the reply button.)

    • Skip Scott
      February 26, 2019 at 08:14

      Hi Realist-

      I just posted a test message under Joe’s comment, and it worked fine for me. I am wondering if CN has made some change that only affects certain operating systems. I’m using a MacBook Pro with “High Sierra” O.S.

    • Sam F
      February 27, 2019 at 21:58

      Yes, the concentration of unregulated economic power and the failure to protect the institutions of democracy therefrom, has destroyed US democracy. The cure is regulation of economic concentrations, and safeguards of our institutions therefrom, as amendments to the Constitution.

      It is understandable that the US Constitutional Convention neglected to protect our federal institutions from money power, as there were no concentrations of economic power in the 18th century beyond plantations and small ships. The emerging middle class was too preoccupied to take more decisive action, and by 1947 the situation was pretty hopeless.

      The stream of direct and indirect bribery to US politicians now controls the entire nation, a tiny fraction of its budget fed back through its corrupt political parties. The people are kept in ignorance of the real governing mechanisms by corporate mass media, a dictatorship of the rich.

      To properly isolate government from economic force, we must require:
      1. That all election funds originate in registered individual contributions, limited to the average day’s pay annually, accounted by any handler or user of such funds;
      2. Strong investigation of all public officials and their relatives and associates throughout their lives, for financial influence including indirect promises and rewards;
      3. Ensure felony penalties for any violation of the above, with strong investigation agencies and extreme penalties for extreme abuses, sufficient to discourage our class of political scammers, bagmen, and grifters.

      To properly regulate economic concentrations, we must require:
      1. Regulation of quality and truth in manufacturing, including product and service design reviews, and quality labeling, required for marketing licenses;
      2. Strict truth in advertising and other services, with heavy penalties for fraud;
      3. Strict reporting and investigation of political funding and influence.

      This will restore sanity and remove most incentives for lying, cheating, and stealing, the belief system and principal skills of the bully class who have risen to make up our oligarchy.

  28. Garrett Connelly
    February 25, 2019 at 12:54

    What is this united states coup attempt all about?

    1. Venezuela has a tamper proof ballot that democrats and republicans couldn’t tamper with if it was used in the US

    2. Venezuela is already close to the seven branch government yellow vests are working so hard to introduce in France.

    • Sam F
      February 28, 2019 at 12:05

      Can you describe the branches or give a link? That would be interesting.

  29. February 25, 2019 at 12:09

    It really isn’t the oil, although American firms would relish buying up those state operations.

    It is the control…control of a continent.

    Maintaining a kind of giant plantation system going across the continent, one which always remains on friendly terms and is solicitous of American goodwill.

    • OlyaPola
      February 26, 2019 at 04:59

      “It is the control…control of a continent.”

      That is a component part.

      Another component part is the loss of “control” of other continents, a knee-jerk reaction akin to that following “Who lost China?”, and iteration of the odyssey to “control” facilitating the preclusion of “control”.

      “Maintaining a kind of giant plantation system going across the continent”.

      Although subject to attempts to demistify the modes of control through tools such as aid, fiat currency, lending and protection, notions of plantations both internally and externally have “informed” the strategies of the self-designated “The United States of America” from inception, and other coercive social relations for a significant period of history.

      The opponents in varying amalgams perceive that these coercive social relations are increasingly subject to existential threat as they have been from inception in various assay/potency, and seek to encourage continuing mass immersion in Stockholm syndromes at best, but submission if necessary.

      • LJ
        March 1, 2019 at 16:13

        You have a dirty mind.

    • dfnslblty
      February 26, 2019 at 08:58

      It really IS the oil,, Mr Chuckman.
      No other reason to takeover S.America.
      Don’t excuse immoral and internationally illegal imperialism!

  30. February 25, 2019 at 12:09

    Amazing to watch video of the molotov cocktail sailing through the air, and to know that here in the “land of the free and the home of the brave” such obvious video evidence of “who” actually burned those trucks will never see the light of day on any MSM. Because “reality” of course has nothing to do with war propaganda, and as Paul Craig Roberts has pointed out, reality itself has now become ‘a conspiracy theory.’ Meanwhile the entire political class (minus Tulsi) seems to have lined up behind this completely illegal immoral undertaking. What passes for “reality” in the U.S. is beginning to look more and more like a Salvador Dali painting, completely distorted and surreal and almost fluid. Amazing. More great work from GrayZoneProject. Thanks.

  31. kundi
    February 25, 2019 at 11:28

    Its not the the US has so much of oil as to gain control of oil and manipulate the Global prices as they are doing to Gold.

  32. hetro
    February 25, 2019 at 11:23

    Max’s excellent report also appears at The Gray Zone, a valuable additional resource along with CN:

    https://grayzoneproject.com/

  33. Joe Tedesky
    February 25, 2019 at 11:00

    This USA humanitarian caravan was never an act of relief for the Venezuelan people. Seriously how can you put Bolton & Abrams into the same sentence as humanitarian aid? If you buy into that line then you would consider Ghandi & Jesus as they’re being warmongers if using the same matrix.

    Venezuela isn’t restricting all humanitarian aid as other nations provide their assistance. Of course our glorious MSM isn’t reporting this since this doesn’t fit the profile being established to describe President Maduro. That’s why you need to read the Consortium.

    • Skip Scott
      February 26, 2019 at 08:11

      test

  34. Charles Misfeldt
    February 25, 2019 at 10:57

    America has enough oil within it’s own borders to last way beyond the switch to EVs, IMO this is more about stopping any nation that dares to strive to use it’s natural resources for it’s on people. Hoard the wealth conservatives would rather burn the world to the ground then allow share the wealth liberals to thrive.

    • JoeSixPack
      February 25, 2019 at 11:17

      Understand it is about liberating oil reserves for Oil companies to exploit for profit. The mistake people make is in thinking it’s about shoring up oil reserves for American use. It is not. It’s about exploiting the resources of other countries for corporate profit.

      • February 25, 2019 at 12:36

        Indeed. I thought that William Robinson gave us a well-rounded, full explanation for US intervention into Venezuela and the trouble-making of capitalist world powers generally:

        == =
        And if I can make one other point, I know this is a long explanation, but this is the larger background that gets lost in the headlines, such as Trump’s speech in Miami the other day. And that is that where we are right now in 2019, well global capitalism is in deep crisis. And summarizing very quickly, there’s two dimensions. Global capitalism is losing hegemonic legitimacy everywhere. In part, Trump is critiquing so-called socialism in Latin America because he’s scared that socialism is gaining popularity in the United States. So there’s a loss of legitimacy in hegemony. But the more significant dimension of the global crisis we’re in right now is what I call the structural crisis of over-accumulation, meaning the global economy can’t expand anymore because there’s so much inequality. No one can consume. One percent of the world’s population has fifty percent of the world’s wealth. The the twenty-three percent with affluence has ninety-five percent of the world’s wealth. So there’s this crisis of stagnation and accumulation in the global economy.

        In response to that crisis–and this is where Latin America and the pink tide come into the story. In response to that crisis, the system led by the U.S. State, the U.S. government and the transnational capitalist class, is seeking to push forward expansion wherever it can, and that includes expansion through wars, conflict and militarization, it includes expansion through a new round of violent dispossession of peasants, and it includes expansion through a further plunder of the state. And those three dimensions of expansion in the face of stagnation and over accumulation are most evident in Latin America. Crystal clear evidence in Venezuela, Guatemala, with Bolsonaro and the Amazon, Colombia. Everywhere you go, this is violent new round of expansion the system is trying to undertake really explains a lot of this intensified assault on what remains of the pink tide.
        = ==

        The source for the above excerpt: https://therealnews.com/stories/venezuela-the-epicenter-of-the-pink-tide-and-now-of-the-right-wing-rollback

        • MarkU
          February 25, 2019 at 21:55

          Re “But the more significant dimension of the global crisis we’re in right now is what I call the structural crisis of over-accumulation, meaning the global economy can’t expand anymore because there’s so much inequality. No one can consume.”

          A good point rarely made. A properly functioning economy is analogous to an ecosystem, the money has to cycle round. If no-one can afford the goods then the goods can’t be sold, that is why times of great inequality and recession go together. Extending credit to people that can’t afford the goods is a temporary fix but makes the problem worse in the long run.

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