VIPS Urge Trump to Avoid War in Venezuela

VIPS warn that Trump’s policies regarding Venezuela appear to be on a slippery slope that could take us toward war in Venezuela and military confrontation with Russia.

MEMORANDUM FOR: The President

FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)

SUBJECT: Avoiding War with Russia over Venezuela

Mr. President:

Your Administration’s policies regarding Venezuela appear to be on a slippery slope that could take us toward war in Venezuela and military confrontation with Russia. As former intelligence officers and other national security practitioners with many decades of experience, we urge you not to let yourself be egged on into taking potentially catastrophic military action in response to civil unrest in Venezuela or Russian activities in the Western Hemisphere. With the recent arrival of two transport aircraft and enduring political support for the government of Venezuela, the Russians are far from crossing any “red line” emanating from the 1823 Monroe Doctrine.

Unfulfilled Objectives in Venezuela

Inside Venezuela, U.S. actions have failed to do more than plunge the country into deeper crisis, cause greater human suffering, and increase the prospects of violence on a national scale. President Maduro’s mishandling of the economy and authoritarian reactions to provocations are impossible to defend, but they result in part from the fact that he has been under siege since he was first elected in 2013 and has faced sanctions aimed ultimately at removing him from office. In our view, the advice you’ve received from your top advisors – Florida Senator Marco Rubio, National Security Advisor John Bolton, Special Representative Elliott Abrams, and Secretary of State Michael Pompeo – was and apparently continues to be wrong.

  • Recognition of Venezuelan National Assembly President Juan Guaidó as “interim president” did not prompt the military to rise up against President Maduro. Neither did attacking the officer corps as merely corrupt opportunists and drug-traffickers enriched through loyalty to former President Chávez and Maduro, nor did repeatedly threatening them with harsher sanctions. Those actions reflected a fundamental misunderstanding about the Venezuelan military, which has never been free of corruption and political compromise but has also never been so totally isolated from the Venezuelan people that it hasn’t felt their suffering. U.S. policies incorrectly assumed that the officers – while probably fed up with Maduro’s shortcomings – would support Guaidó despite his faction’s commitment to dismantle Chavismo, which most officers believe brought historically necessary changes to the country, including enfranchisement of the poor.

Similarly, your Administration’s repeated hints at military intervention have been counterproductive to your regime-change objectives. Your policy and intelligence advisors were correct in interpreting the disparate polling data showing popular support for Guaidó as actually being support for the U.S. to extricate the country from its crisis – the National Assembly President was a political unknown until the United States and others recognized his claim to the Presidency – but your team showed a lack of understanding of Venezuelan nationalism. Venezuelans do not welcome the destruction that would be caused by U.S. military attack; they recall the death toll of Operation Just Cause, when the United States killed more than 3,000 Panamanians (by its own count) to remove one corrupt authoritarian, Manuel Noriega. Threats of invasion have pushed people to circle around Maduro, however reluctantly, not reject him.

  • Your Administration’s strategy of punishing the Venezuelan people, including apparently knocking out their electricity, seems based on the false assumption that humanitarian crisis will prompt a coup to remove Maduro. In fact, the U.S. sanctions have allowed Maduro to shift blame from his own failings to U.S. malice – and it has left Guaidó, whom your advisors portray as the moral equivalent of our Founders, looking like a sell-out to Yankee imperialists at the cost of the Venezuelan people’s health and welfare and magnified civil disorder.

Lost Opportunity for Diplomacy

Senator Rubio, Mr. Bolton, Mr. Abrams, and Mr. Pompeo have also squandered a formidable moment to build on common values with allies in Latin America and Europe. Even though most Latin Americans find your aides’ public assertion that the Monroe Doctrine is alive and well to be insulting, the right-leaning Presidents of most of South and Central America rallied with you to support Guaidó’s self-proclamation. But Guaidó’s lack of leadership – he appears totally scripted by U.S. Government agencies – his inflexibility on negotiations, his open call for U.S. military intervention, and your own Administration’s dangling threat of war are rapidly alienating all but the most subservient to U.S. policy dictates. Negotiation proposals, such as those being developed by the International Contact Group, are gaining momentum.

Internationalizing the Conflict

National Security Advisor Bolton and others have sought to internationalize the Venezuela issue since before Guaidó’s proclamation. Bolton’s reference to a “Troika of Tyranny” in November – which he called “a triangle of terror stretching from Havana to Caracas to Managua” and “sordid cradle of communism in the Western Hemisphere” – was a veiled Cold War-era swipe at Russia and China. Mr. Bolton, Senator Rubio, and other advisors have made clear on numerous occasions that the overthrow of President Maduro would be just the first stage in efforts to eliminate the current governments of the “Troika” and “Communist influence” in the Western Hemisphere.

  • They have repeatedly asserted that Cuban advisors have been crucial to the Maduro government’s survival without providing evidence. Indeed, the reportedly “hundreds” of Venezuelan military defectors, including many managed by U.S. agencies, have not provided even credible hearsay evidence that Cubans are doing more than providing routine assistance. In addition, the threats coming out of Washington have preempted any willingness that Cuba might have had to contribute to a regional solution to the Venezuelan crisis as it has in similar situations, such as Colombia’s recent peace process, the Angola peace process in 1989-90, and the Central American negotiations in the early 1990s.

Provocative Rhetoric about Russia

Most dangerous, however, are aggressive statements about Russia’s engagement with Venezuela. Russian oil companies, particular Rosneft, have long been in Venezuela – bailing out the Venezuelan petroleum company (PDVSA) as its mismanagement and falling oil prices have caused production and revenues to plummet. Most long-term observers believe Rosneft’s decisions, including throwing good money after bad, have been motivated by business calculations, without a particularly ideological objective.

  • Your advisors’ rhetoric imposing an East-West spin on the issue presented President Putin and his advisors an opportunity to try to poke the United States in the eye – especially as Administration efforts to remove Maduro foundered and diplomatic support for Guaidó cracked. Maduro and Putin have not enjoyed particularly close personal relations in the past, and their shared strategic interests are few, but U.S. rhetoric and threats have given them common cause in tweaking us. A meeting in Rome between your special envoy, Elliot Abrams, and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov achieved nothing amid further U.S. sanctions against Venezuela and continued threats that “all options” were on the table.

Publicly available information is insufficient for us to know exactly what was aboard the two Russian aircraft that landed at Maiquetía last week – two months after your Administration publicly proclaimed its intention to remove Maduro – but precedent suggests Moscow had two main objectives.

  • One, and probably primary, is to embarrass your Administration by defying your rhetoric, just to rub your nose in Moscow’s sovereign right to have the relations, including military liaison, with whomever it pleases. In this sense, Russian behavior resembles its intervention, at Bashar al-Assad’s request, in Syria. And it is not a far cry from Moscow’s reaction to the Western-supported coup in Kiev.
  • Another objective, if press speculation about the Russian advisors and equipment aboard the aircraft is correct, would be to shore up Venezuela’s ability to warn of and respond to a U.S. military strike. Your Administration has publicly asserted that the Russians are helping repair S-300 surface-to-air missile systems, which have a purely defensive purpose. There is no evidence, not even circumstantial, that Russia has any offensive objectives in this relationship.

The U.S. reaction has suggested a much greater chance of military confrontation. Mr. Bolton “strongly caution[ed] actors external to the Western Hemisphere against deploying military assets to Venezuela, or elsewhere in the Hemisphere, with the intent of establishing or expanding military operations.” Without defining what activities he would object to, Mr. Bolton said, “We will consider such provocative actions as a direct threat to international peace and security in the region.” Your Special Representative said the “Russian presence” is “extremely pernicious.” Your Secretary of State said, “Russia’s got to leave Venezuela.” You said, “Russia has to get out” and reiterated that “all options are open” – including presumably forcing the Russians out militarily. And we note that Russia has not closed its embassy in Caracas as your Administration has.

Avoiding the Slippery Slope

As intelligence officers and security experts, we have given many years to protecting our nation from a host of threats, including from the Soviet Union. We also believe, however, that picking fights. including ousting governments, blocking negotiated settlements, and threatening other countries’ sovereign decision to pursue activities that do not threaten our national security – is rarely the wise way to go.

We repeat that we are not defending Maduro and his record, while at the same time pointing out that many of his troubles have been exacerbated by U.S. policies and efforts to oust him. We believe that due process and practical, realistic policies better protect our national interests than threats and confrontational rhetoric. It strains credulity to believe that your advisors picked this fight with President Maduro without realizing that Venezuela would seek help fixing its defensive capabilities.

Moreover and very seriously, rhetoric challenging Russia could all too easily lead to a much more consequential confrontation.

  • Invoking the 1823 Monroe Doctrine is unhelpful. For Russia to provide assistance for purely defensive purposes to a country in which we seek to create regime change and threaten military attack would not be widely seen as violating the Monroe Doctrine or crossing a “red line.”
  • We realize that some in the media are trying to egg you on into taking forceful action, perhaps even of a military nature, to punish Russia in any case. We urge you not to fall into this trap. This is not 19th century Latin America, and it is a far cry from the Cuba missile crisis of 1962.
  • The best way to prevent dangerous miscalculation would be for you to speak directly with President Putin. Washington’s energies would be better spent clearing up differences, adjusting failed policies, and promoting a peaceful resolution in Venezuela.

For the Steering Group, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity

Fulton Armstrong, former National Intelligence Officer for Latin America & former National Security Council Director for Inter-American Affairs (ret.)

William Binney, former Technical Director, World Geopolitical & Military Analysis, NSA; co-founder, SIGINT Automation Research Center (ret.)

Richard H. Black, Senator of Virginia, 13th District; Colonel US Army (ret.); Former Chief, Criminal Law Division, Office of the Judge Advocate General, the Pentagon (associate VIPS)

Marshall Carter-Tripp, Foreign Service Officer & former Division Director in the State Department Bureau of Intelligence and Research (ret.)

Bogdan Dzakovic, Former Team Leader of Federal Air Marshals and Red Team, FAA Security, (ret.) (associate VIPS)

Philip Giraldi, CIA, Operations Officer (ret.)

Mike Gravel, former Adjutant, top secret control officer, Communications Intelligence Service; special agent of the Counter Intelligence Corps and former United States Senator

Matthew Hoh, former Capt., USMC, Iraq; former Foreign Service Officer, Afghanistan (associate VIPS) 

Larry Johnson, former CIA Intelligence Officer & former State Department Counter-Terrorism Official, (ret.)

Michael S. Kearns, Captain, USAF (ret.); ex-Master SERE Instructor for Strategic Reconnaissance Operations (NSA/DIA) and Special Mission Units (JSOC)
John Kiriakou, former CIA Counterterrorism Officer and former Senior Investigator, Senate Foreign Relations Committee

Karen Kwiatkowski, former Lt. Col., US Air Force (ret.), at Office of Secretary of Defense watching the manufacture of lies on Iraq, 2001-2003

Clement J. Laniewski, LTC, U.S. Army (ret.)

Linda Lewis, WMD preparedness policy analyst, USDA (ret.)

Edward Loomis, NSA Cryptologic Computer Scientist (ret.)

David MacMichael, former Senior Estimates Officer, National Intelligence Council (ret.)

Ray McGovern, former US Army infantry/intelligence officer & CIA presidential briefer (ret.)

Elizabeth Murray, former Deputy National Intelligence Officer for the Near East & CIA political analyst (ret.)

Todd E. Pierce, MAJ, US Army Judge Advocate (ret.)

Coleen Rowley, FBI Special Agent and former Minneapolis Division Legal Counsel (ret.)

Peter Van Buren, U.S. Department of State, Foreign Service Officer (ret.) (associate VIPS)

Larry Wilkerson, Colonel, U.S. Army (ret.), former Chief of Staff for Secretary of State; Distinguished Visiting Professor, College of William and Mary

Sarah Wilton, Commander, U.S. Naval Reserve (ret.) and Defense Intelligence Agency (ret.)

Ann Wright, U.S. Army Reserve Colonel (ret) and former U.S. Diplomat who resigned in 2003 in opposition to the Iraq War

 

Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) is made up of former intelligence officers, diplomats, military officers and congressional staffers. The organization, founded in 2002, was among the first critics of Washington’s justifications for launching a war against Iraq. VIPS advocates a US foreign and national security policy based on genuine national interests rather than contrived threats promoted for largely political reasons. An archive of VIPS memoranda is available at Consortiumnews.com.

image_pdfimage_print

89 comments for “VIPS Urge Trump to Avoid War in Venezuela

  1. Tom
    April 10, 2019 at 17:45

    Guaido’s wife and her posse recently went to see Trump at the White House. Both of them sat and talked for almost 20 minutes. MSNBC had a “VENEZUELAN FIRST LADY” graphic at the bottom of the screen and never took it off the whole time.

    Why? Because they don’t care.

  2. April 8, 2019 at 21:13

    Trump, Pompeo, Bolton, Abrams, it is beyond hope these warmongers will listen to anyone. Never, since the Nazi regime in Germany have the people of the world been in more danger. The only hope for humanity is the good and sane people of the US do everything possible to remove these warmongering scum from having any influence on anything.

  3. Darrel Laronde
    April 8, 2019 at 10:00

    Us Canadians don’t want to be any part of Drumpf’s “Western Hemisphere “. Please, Russia come and save us as well. The USA treats us like a vassal state stealing all of our resources while keeping us poor and our dollar deflated.

    • April 9, 2019 at 03:37

      What nonsense… Canada is a British colony… admirer of Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera, Oxford-trained, Chrystia Freeland is one of the architects and instigators of this coup.

  4. alhorvath
    April 7, 2019 at 23:37

    I would like to hear from these morons as to where and when the US should confront Russia. We bent over in Syria and how did that work out? We tried diplomacy and sanctions when Russia invaded Ukraine. Now Russia is establishing a foothold in Venezuela. Do these morons remember the Cuban Missile Crises? Just where these losers want to confront the Russians? In Florida? How about New Jersey? Diplomacy without military might to back it up is a joke. It’s talk and talk is cheap. Putin knows that and so does China. The people responsible for this article are even more clueless than the US state Department. Maduro is not going anywhere. There are already thousands of Cuban, Russian, Chinese and Iranian “advisors” in Venezuela. What is coming next? For starters, the arrest of the opposition leaders followed by a large and sudden influx of Russian and other foreign military personnel. Just like in Syria where Putin ran circles around the hapless Obama administration and the “intelligence” idiots who wrote this article. After that, we need to get used to the idea that Russian missiles will be just 5-15 minutes from Washington.

    • LJ
      April 9, 2019 at 06:13

      Weak on all points. When did we declare war in Syria? When were we asked to go into Syria and establish 21 Military Bases ? We were not. We were without an invitation from the UN recognized Government of Syria. Russia was invited to go into Syria and they already had a Treaty with Syria that had established a Military base on the Mediterranean several decades ago. They were on the side of International Law, the USA was supporting terrorists. Russia stopped IS and other terrorists groups from killing Christians and everybody else. We did not. As for Ukraine, the Assistant Secretary of State, Victoria Nuland was active in attempts to overthrow the elected government of Ukraine . It was not a secret. Remember her handing out cookies to Maidan Square fascists.? Since the coup the USA now has troops in Ukraine and has been training and arming Ukrainian soldiers .This is more like the Cuban Missile Crisis. Only in reverse. In fact, Ukraine is much closer to Russia than Cuba is to the USA, Isn’t it.?. Almost all Ukrainians can speak Russian. Most Cubans don’t speak English. Russia has billions of dollars in interest in Venezuela, They don’t want to lose their investments and let covert forces financed by US Intelligence, operating in the dark, illegally,undermine their prospects of getting paid back. Russia is not a threat to Venezuelans and they were asked to be there as were the Chinese. It’s about money and oil. Right?. The BS about Iranians in Venezuela is disinformation from disreputable sources . . The USA uses Venezuelan Oil in our cars, Why has the cost of gas gone up so quickly? Now for the big boy point, Calling people that disagree with your obviously one sided, preconceived bias, that seems to be based on a ridiculous fear of a Russian threat, is not going to change anybody’s mind. Nobody is going to take you seriously. That’s like trying to win an argument by saying , ” Shut up, you’re stupid”. Although in this case I can see that is probably the correct response. .

    • Skip Scott
      April 9, 2019 at 08:02

      So you prefer direct conflict with the only other major nuclear power on the planet? Do you have kids? I suppose engaging in diplomacy wouldn’t be manly enough for you, they need to be CONFRONTED! After all, we are the boss of the whole world, and we need to make that punk Putin realize it. You must be channeling the ghost of John McCain. Putin’s in Venezuela, and we’re in Ukraine. What could possibly go wrong that couldn’t be fixed with sufficient fire power?

      I do remember the Cuban missile crisis. If not for JFK seeking back door diplomacy, we’d all be dead. And it ended up costing JFK his own life because of people who think as you do.

      As for me, I’d prefer we wait for Russian troops in Florida and New Jersey. BTW, Syria worked out much better for the Syrian people than Iraq did for the Iraqis.

      • Kevin T
        April 10, 2019 at 02:53

        Well put Sir. Sounding tough and arrogant is what gets countries into trouble often resulting in millions of innocent deaths. Alpha male diplomacy seldom works out well.

    • zman
      April 10, 2019 at 01:18

      For what reason should the US be confronting Russia over? Because they destroyed our ‘radical Muslim’ boogeyman ISIS? My god man, where do you get your information? When did Russia invade Ukraine? After Victoria Newland said so after she instigated a coup? If you want to complain about a country invading the US, complain to the newest Israeli state, S Carolina. The only problem with Putin is that he isn’t running the US. We’ve got the buffoon we deserve.

      • Leslie Johnson
        April 10, 2019 at 14:17

        I like your post, zman.

  5. KiwiAntz
    April 6, 2019 at 19:46

    Why don’t these VIP’s just state the obvious in their letter? That America is a Terrorist Nation??This Worldwide, Terrorist, Rogue Nation is committing State sponsored Terrorism to overthrow the Democratically elected Government of Venezuela? The broad, Dictionary definition of “Terrorism” is the unlawful use of violence & intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of Political or Religious aims. US Corporate aims can also be added to the list! The types of Terrorism that America is conducting in Venezuela is firstly State sponsored, outside of UN & International laws & intentionally rallying support from other Nations to support this illegal Coup operation! Second, Dissent Terrorism, using a unelected Leader & puppet such as Guido to foster treason against the legitimacy of the Maduro Govt & the Venezuelan people via funding, aiding & arming the opposition to sow dissent to overthrow the elected Govt! Thirdly, Economic Terrorism via illegal Economic sanctions to create a medieval siege to cripple Venezuela’s economy & choke off it’s means of funds to deny it any ability to care for its own people? Criminal Terrorism, Americas criminal Mafia luke agenda, using all the above Terrorist types in order to steal Venezuela’s Oil resources & Mineral wealth for its own economic gain? Thats what should have been stated in the VIP’s letter. America is the Worlds biggest Terrorist Nation & is the chief sponsor of all Terrorist activity in the World! This fact cannot be denied if you look at the criminal & illegal Military interventions & Coup d’état’s that the US has conducted in numerous Countries around the World! It’s blatantly obvious? A Terror Nation called America, committing Terrorism on a Global scale. Write that in your letter to Trump?

    • Wat
      April 7, 2019 at 21:17

      KiwiAntz: The reasons the VIPs don’t use your suggested phrasing is because it would play into Trump’s hands, who likes to obscure real issues with gratuitous drama built on provocative language, as well as ammunition to his minions who could use it to further cloud the waters of public colloquy in the same manner as their Leader. Also, sometimes the most egregious and truthful conclusions have to be reached by people by and for themselves; attempts to do their thinking for them would rightly be seen as efforts to shove a point of view down their throats. The tones and professional language of the VIPs simply comes across as more credible and less strident.

    • Leslie Johnson
      April 10, 2019 at 14:18

      Bingo.

  6. GaryS
    April 6, 2019 at 17:35

    I think the issue here is who controls trump–what is their agenda–and what are the possible outcomes. It’s payback time for Venezuela–as Chavez discouraged the ever-present Zionists–whom he accused of financial crimes against the country and also felt that they were intimately involved [if not spear-heading] in the 2002 attempted coup. More than 65% decided to move–possibly to the second largest jewish community after Israel–Argentina [also large population of “nazis”]. These esteemed military personnel–are totally missing the point of inflection if they do not consider the 800 lb matzo ball sitting along the watch towers: Just the same old, same old!

  7. April 6, 2019 at 09:46

    Having served in the U.S. Marine Corps for four years during peacetime, it was nevertheless a shaky experience for me. While with the First Marine Division at Camp Pendleton, California, we were alerted in 1958 to be deployed to Beirut, Lebanon (one of the first fights with Lebanon) and the Second Marine Division, from Camp Lejeune, North Carolina were sent instead. I also served in Baghdad, Iraq in the U.S. Foreign Service from 1962 to 1963 and it was a “hot bed” of political controversy between the U.S.A. and Russia who provided arms to the Iraqis to fight their war. The government was overthrown which was under the rule of President Aref and he and his entire Cabinet were murdered. Luckily, they were on the U.S.A.’s side at the time. War is useless. Nothing is gained.

  8. April 5, 2019 at 22:35

    This is a right reflection based on Venezuela and South America facts,that puts on scene a strategic play, based on the far and recent history of the region.Good work on political analysis.

  9. cirsium
    April 5, 2019 at 18:14

    I don’t think that the VIPS have read the report of Alfred de Zeyas, the UN’s Independent Expert on Venezuela. This makes clear that Venezuela’s crisis is due to the economic war being waged on it and the sanctions being imposed on it. The situation so appalled him that in paragraphs 67, 70 and 71, he recommends that the UN General Assembly refer the following questions to the International Court of Justice be asked: Can unilateral coercive measures be compatible with international law? Can unilateral coercive measures amount to crimes against humanity when a large number of persons perish because of scarcity of food and medicines? What reparations are due to the victims of sanctions? Do sanctions and currency manipulations constitute geopolitical crimes? He also recommends that the International Criminal Court investigate the problem of unilateral coercive measures that cause death due to malnutrition, lack of medicines and medical equipment, and examine whether economic war, embargoes, financial blockades and sanctions regimes amount to crimes against humanity. (These questions could also be asked of the US/EU sanctions on Syria).
    This is Abbe Martin’s interview of Alfred de Zeyas which gives a good summary of his conclusions- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ii5MlQgGXyk&feature=youtu.be
    It looks to me as if the VIPS have been influenced by the media disinformation and simplification around Venezuela – the ocean of lies as de Zeyas describes it

    • Sam F
      April 5, 2019 at 21:49

      The article’s reference to economic mismanagement by Maduro is likely known by them to be incorrect, just an appeal to Repub admin prejudices.

    • Abe
      April 6, 2019 at 01:27

      “The Venezuelan government – among many others – have drawn attention to the fact that the U.S. has continued to enact sanctions against the Venezuelan government, exacerbating the economic crisis. This isn’t to suggest that the U.S. created the economic crisis. Indeed, the economic crisis long precedes U.S. sanctions. However, there is no doubt that sanctions have, and will continue to have, a deleterious effect on the Venezuelan economy and hammer poor populations more than anyone else – and certainly more so than the Venezuelan state and military elite that these sanctions are allegedly designed to damage.

      “Much of the economic crisis stems from plummeting oil prices and oil production in Venezuela, that is, alongside massive corruption. As a result of plummeting prices and production, the Venezuelan government does not have the foreign currency that exporters demand when sending products, whatever they may be, into the country. The Venezuelan currency is in no way a stable currency, and it is essentially worthless outside of Venezuela. There is subsequently no incentive for exporters to accept Venezuelan bolívares. This is indeed a global dynamic that goes beyond Venezuelan currency, as U.S. dollars and Euros serve as global de facto currency, and it demonstrates the consequentiality of a state’s possession of such foreign exchange.

      “Without the dollars and Euros obtained through oil sales, the Venezuelan government cannot nearly import all the products – food, medicine, and otherwise – that Venezuelans require to live a healthy and dignified life. U.S. oil sanctions are specifically designed to deprive the Venezuelan government of economic resources, and, since the government is the primary entity that distributes foreign currency to importers, this results in less foreign currency for importers to bring in goods and thus results in more shortages.

      “From the Venezuelan government’s perspective, the U.S. is deliberately inducing economic pain in order to push Venezuelan citizens and the military into rebelling against Maduro. At the same time, though, they are trying to play the role of a beneficent actor by offering supplies to the opposition to distribute to citizens. For the Venezuelan government, among many others that see the obvious publicity stunt the U.S. has sought to generate, these actions are hypocritical and downright insincere. If the U.S. truly wanted to assist Venezuelan citizens, many point out that they should work through international groups, like the Red Cross and United Nations, and eliminate economic sanctions. Indeed, this is precisely why the Red Cross, for one, has refused to participate in these U.S. actions, instead criticizing how the U.S. has overtly politicized humanitarian support in order to generate a media spectacle, which now includes a concert sponsored by billionaire Richard Branson on the Colombian-Venezuelan border this weekend.

      “Second, the Venezuelan government remains skeptical about USAID activities within the country. For decades, USAID, and its Office for Transition Initiatives (OTI), supplied the opposition with funding and training to defeat the Venezuelan socialists. This included funding and training for opposition students and their organizations, sending NGO representatives critical of the Venezuelan government abroad to drum up international resistance to Venezuelan government policies, and reaching out to Venezuelan government-supporters through neutral-looking, but opposition-led, community groups in an effort to direct them towards opposition political parties.

      “For many years, Venezuela benefited from oil production, and thus required little economic assistance from abroad. As a result, USAID has only operated these sorts of political rather than economic development programs in the country. However, it has been reported that even USAID’s humanitarian missions have often contained hidden political objectives. For instance, under the guise of an HIV-prevention program in Cuba, USAID operatives sought to find political activists to combat the Cuban government. Indeed, one USAID member called these workshops ‘the perfect excuse’ to find opposition activists in the country.

      “Given both of these dynamics – U.S. economic sanctions, and USAID’s history of political objectives in Venezuela and beyond, Maduro’s refusal to allow USAID into the country appears much more rational than it may appear to casual observers at first glance.”

      Why is the Venezuelan Government Rejecting U.S. Food Supplies?
      By Timothy M. Gill
      https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/02/22/why-is-the-venezuelan-government-rejecting-u-s-food-supplies/

      • Katheryne
        April 7, 2019 at 23:37

        USAID is the CIA in Latin America. This is common knowledge.

  10. Dorsey Gardner
    April 5, 2019 at 14:33

    Impressive arguments.
    The US should show its concern for the people of Venezuela by removing sanctions which are a form of violence favored by criminals like Madeline Albright who favor murdering children.

  11. Abe
    April 5, 2019 at 14:27

    “Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó has announced that April 6 will kick off a nationwide ‘tactical actions’ as part of the so-called Operation Freedom protests, which are designed to oust President Nicolas Maduro.

    “‘On April 6 will be the first tactical actions of the # Operation Freedom across the country,’ Guaidó declared over Twitter this week. ‘That day we must be ready, prepared and organized, with the Aid and Freedom Committees already formed. The rescue of Venezuela is in our hands!’

    “Is this the start of Maidan 2.0?

    “[…] in the United States, a number of government officials are taking a very unhealthy interest, if not suspicious interest, in what is happening in Caracas.

    “Senator Marco Rubio, for example, sounds worse than any opposition figure in Venezuela, and tweets about practically nothing else than what is happening south of the border. On one particularly lamentable occasion, Rubio was delusional enough to actually post before-and-after images of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. The first showed him in power, the second just moments before being brutally murdered by a street mob.”

    Is Washington Preparing the Groundwork for a Maidan Scenario in Venezuela?
    By Robert Bridge
    https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2019/04/01/is-washington-preparing-the-groundwork-for-maidan-scenario-in-venezuela.html

  12. mp66
    April 5, 2019 at 13:58

    The real target is Iran. US cannot start Israel’s favorite war against Iran, before securing first the vast Venezuelan oil sources. Any attack on Iran would close strait of Hormuz, the oil price would skyrocket to over 200 per barrel, plunging world economy into crisis much worse than 2008. There would be riots and NG shooting them in US cities. So it is crucial to install a pliable puppet first in Caracas, and hand over the complete Venezuelan oil sector to US companies.

    • Shockwave
      April 6, 2019 at 21:37

      Good point. Closing the straight is easy from a military point of view. Sinking 2 tankers would do it. If there is war with Iran, even if Israel nukes Baghdad, the Iranians can close the straight. If they are not completely obliterated by Israel, Saudi Arabia and US, they can continue selling oil to China through the direct pipeline and prevent Saudi Arabia from selling its oil to the world.
      So it makes sense, if there is a grand plan, that Venezuela is a stepping stone. Putin would love a civil war in Venezuela. One more arrow into our body.

  13. Abe
    April 5, 2019 at 12:31

    Guaidó – “I assume they are happy we are renewing ties with Israel.”
    https://www.israelhayom.com/2019/02/12/venezuelas-guaido-seeks-to-renew-diplomatic-ties-with-israel/

    Venezuela voted in favor of Israeli membership in the United Nations in 1949, and established diplomatic ties.

    In 2005, Israel had an agreement with Venezuela to service and upgrade its U.S.-built F-16 fighter jets, but the Sharon administration angered the U.S. State Department when it sold aerial drones to China. In October 2005, the US State Department prevented the Israeli-Venezuelan F-16 deal by refusing to grant export licensing approval to the Israeli government.

    Relations between Venezuela and Israel soured considerably under the presidency of Hugo Chavez, partly due to Chávez’s foreign policy relating to Iran and Israel’s political opposition to it. Chavez opposed American foreign policy in the Middle East.

    In response to July 2006 Israeli airstrike of Qana, which saw the greatest loss of civilian life in the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict, Vice President José Vicente Rangel said, “This murder of dozens of women and children has no justification whatsoever.” He asserted that the UN and other powerful nations shared blame for the attack because they had responded to Israel’s military campaign in Palestine and Lebanon with “silence and omissions.”

    On August 3, 2006 Chávez ordered the Venezuelan charge d’affaires to Israel to return from Tel Aviv to Caracas. Chávez accused Israel of “going mad and inflicting on the people of Palestine and Lebanon the same thing they have criticized, and with reason: the Holocaust. But this is a new Holocaust” with the help of the United States, which he described as a terrorist country. He went on to say that the United States refuses “to allow the [U.N.] Security Council to make a decision to halt the genocide Israel is committing against the Palestinian and Lebanese people”. The Israeli government responded by recalling the Israeli ambassador to Venezuela.

    Later in August 2006, during Chávez’s visit to Syria, El Universal reported that the Governments of Syria and Venezuela demanded that Israel retire from the Golan Heights.

    In the wake of the 2008–2009 Israel–Gaza War which left around 1,200 Palestinians dead and over 5000 wounded, Venezuela broke all diplomatic ties with Israel, condemning its actions. On April 27, 2009, Venezuelan foreign minister Nicolas Maduro met with Palestinian National Authority foreign affairs minister Riyad al-Maliki in Caracas, where formal diplomatic relations were established.

    At a rally in June 2010, Chavez alleged that “Israel is financing the Venezuelan opposition. There are even groups of Israeli terrorists, of the Mossad, who are after me trying to kill me.” In the same speech, Chavez called Israel a “terrorist and murderous state”.

    During a visit by Syrian President Bashar Assad to Venezuela in June 2010, Chavez accused Israel of being “the assassin arm of the United States” and that “one day the genocidal state of Israel will be put into its place.”

    In February 2017, President Nicolas Maduro welcomed a Jewish delegation to the governmental palace in Caracas to strengthen cooperation that over the years has faced roadblocks. “A good day of dialogue for peace. Boosting the co-existence and the dialog of civilizations, of religions to consolidate our nation,” Maduro tweeted after the meeting.

    In March 2017, Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez expressed to Sephardic chief rabbi “the desire to establish full relations with the State of Israel” eight years after the South American nation expelled its Israeli ambassador. During a meeting with several Jewish leaders, including the president of the Confederation of Israelite Associations of Venezuela, an umbrella Jewish organization, Rodriguez spoke of the country’s commitment to re-establish ties.

    Venezuela is home to some 9,000 Jews, down from about 25,000 in 1999. Many Jews left, mainly for Florida and Israel.

    • April 5, 2019 at 13:26

      Paragraph 5 states isreal recalled it ambassador in 2006.

      Paragraph 11 states Venezuela expelled the isreali ambassador.

      Conflicting statements.

      • Abe
        April 5, 2019 at 17:58

        The statements are not in conflict, James Clloney.

        In 2006, diplomatic ties between Venezuela and Israel were significantly downgraded but maintained.

        In 2009, Venezuela severed diplomatic relations due to Israel’s “Operation Cast Lead” assault on Gaza.

        In March 2017, Maduro signaled Venezuelan government openness to resume diplomatic ties with Israel, However, subsequent Israeli government behavior like the open-fire policy implemented by Israel’s security forces https://www.btselem.org/press_releases/20190117_2018_fatalities has made rapprochement exceedingly difficult.

        That’s why the US and Israel are banking on their pool boy, Guaidó.

    • Abe
      April 5, 2019 at 17:28

      On August 6, 2006, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez recalled the Venezuelan ambassador to Israel in response to the Israel’s military offensive in Lebanon. On August 8, 2006, then Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni recalled Israel’s ambassador to Venezuela for consultations. However, the two countries retained diplomatic ties until 2009.

      On January 6, 2009, Venezuela expelled Israel’s ambassador over the Israeli “Operation Cast Lead” in Gaza. Venezuela’s foreign ministry said in a statement that Israel’s campaign constituted “flagrant violations of international law” and the use of “state terrorism”. Then Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro said “the people of Venezuela manifest their unconditional solidarity with the heroic Palestinian people”.

      Predictably, Israeli officials and associated media groups loudly declared Venezuela a “terrorist ally” and accused the government of “anti-Semitism”.

      In an interview with Venezuelan state television channel VTV, Maduro emphatically denied that the Venezuelan government was anti-Semitic. He attributed the accusations to “a perverse campaign by elites in the Israeli government against President Hugo Chavez and our country.” Maduro also said the media should not conflate criticism of the Israeli government with anti-Semitism, and reiterated the Venezuelan government’s “call out to the Jewish people to condemn these crimes [of the Israeli state] and demand respect for the Palestinian people.”

      On January 18, the Israeli offensive in Gaza ended with a ceasefire. Caracas announced plans to denounce Israel’s military actions at the International Criminal Court. Shortly after becoming President of the United States, Barack Obama directed newly appointed special envoy to the Middle East George J. Mitchell to visit the Middle East for peace talks. Mitchell began his meetings in Cairo on 27 January. Israel expelled Venezuela’s ambassador on January 28, 2009.

      On January 31, 2009, as if on cue, a Sephardic synagogue in Caracas was vandalized. Chavez immediately denounced the incident and affirmed his friendship with Venezuela’s Jewish citizenry. Within a week, police investigators revealed that the alleged “anti-Semitic attack” had in fact been a robbery.
      https://nacla.org/news/playing-%E2%80%98anti-semitism%E2%80%99-card-against-venezuela

      The 2009 “synagogue attack” incident demonstrated a familiar pattern of pro-Israel propagandist hyperbole in international media:

      (1) attributing alleged “anti-Semitic” acts or statements by private citizens to the Venezuelan government,

      (2) conflating legitimate criticism of Israeli policy with “anti-Semitism”, and

      (3) relying on press statements by U.S.-based Jewish organizations at the expense of Venezuelan Jewish organizations.

  14. Abe
    April 5, 2019 at 11:57

    “advice you’ve received from your [pro-Israel Lobby] top advisors – Florida Senator Marco Rubio https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XBl0xfgqYaE, National Security Advisor John Bolton, Special Representative Elliott Abrams, and Secretary of State Michael Pompeo – was and apparently continues to be wrong”

  15. April 5, 2019 at 07:28

    Probably the worst VIPs memorandum Consortiumnews has published. Full of false accusations and glaring inaccuracies, it was more like reading the Washington Post trying to appear balanced than anything. I sincerely hope this is not an example of things to come.

    • Skip Scott
      April 5, 2019 at 12:32

      Please cite the “false accusations and glaring inaccuracies”, or are you just here to troll instead of engage?

    • April 5, 2019 at 13:29

      The devils in the details.

      Please specify inaccuracies.

  16. Elias Thema
    April 5, 2019 at 04:08

    Good advice from intelligent community. I begin to wonder if TRUMP ‘s advisors have ever been educated in intelligence environment, because it seem they are just making some decisions like they dreaming. If Ukrainian is not the Russians doorstep,then Venezuela’s not US doorstep.

  17. April 5, 2019 at 03:38

    (Inside Venezuela, U.S. actions have failed to do more than plunge the country into deeper crisis, cause greater human suffering, and increase the prospects of violence on a national scale. President Maduro’s mishandling of the economy and authoritarian reactions to provocations are impossible to defend, but they result in part from the fact that he has been under siege since he was first elected in 2013 and has faced sanctions aimed ultimately at removing him from office.)

    How does that even possibly work? Admit to being “under siege since he was first elected” then slander him with mishandling. Seriously? Authoritarian? So he’s just suppose to allow rioters to kill citizens as they cause unrest? What was it, 3 burned alive? Yea torch me and watch huh. Set fire to food for distribution, some at a school if I remember right. Then at the border. And who knows what else was in that food, as history might hint towards. Weapons anyone?

    As I read on it seems like you’re promoting a take over more than you’re attempting to prevent one. :-( Never thought the day would come I didn’t like a VIPS post as much as this one.

    • Sam F
      April 5, 2019 at 21:58

      The article’s reference to economic mismanagement and overreaction by Maduro is likely known by them to be incorrect, just an appeal to the prejudices of the Repub admin.

  18. J. M. Strothman
    April 4, 2019 at 23:23

    Thanks for this report. Keep up the good work!

  19. Al Pinto
    April 4, 2019 at 17:18

    When was the last time, when a letter from VIPS had any reaction in Congress and/or in the White House? Other than CN and similar small sites publishing it, there’s really no impact of the VIPS letters.

    Members of the VIPS had been integral part of the Establishment during their careers; some of them may have done similar acts, that their are now protesting against. You could say, that I’m not really interesting in their letters, nor do I value it much. Even if I agree with them at this time around…

    • Casey VanSise
      April 4, 2019 at 22:09

      At the very least, the likes of Bill Binney have demonstrably had the Trump administration’s ear in the past (https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/elections/nsa-critic-bill-binney-says-trump-pushed-meeting-cia-s-n818306), and Trump may be personally disposed to value the insights of VIPS, to the extent that he is aware of their memoranda on aspects of the Trump-Russia collusion narrative (especially given how their hypotheses and conclusions dovetailed with Mueller’s recent findings on lack of evidence regarding collusion).

      Of course, whether Trump is in a position to actually subvert the will of the neoconservatives in his cabinet (alongside other Beltway establishment types) or not is another matter entirely. Nevertheless, the fact that even the ever-odious John Bolton (https://thehill.com/homenews/309897-bolton-questions-if-russian-hacks-were-false-flag) and Mike Pompeo (see above) have made noises or gestures indulging skepticism of Russiagate (despite all of their contrary rhetorical and policy maneuvers) gives me limited hope that some of VIPS’ messages are continuing to make it through the membrane, even if it is unlikely that these messages will change matters in any substantive way.

  20. JJ Joseph
    April 4, 2019 at 16:29

    Does Bolton need a heads-up that part of Russia extends into the Western hemisphere?

  21. Victor
    April 4, 2019 at 14:16

    One point omitted is that the Venezuelan people have until recently addressed their country’s problems through the democratic process. While it is generally recognized that Maduro’s last elect did not meet those standards, the Chavez government had a record of twelve elections monitored by the Carter Center, all declared free and fair. This is what the US should be supporting.

    • Casey VanSise
      April 4, 2019 at 23:12

      One interesting detail that is often overlooked in discourse on latter-day Venezuela:

      While the Carter Center (alongside several other credible organizations that had previously certified Venezuela’s elections as “free and fair”) did not participate in monitoring the 2018 presidential election, this was because they chose not to legitimize the election process by consenting to monitor it (and thereby sanction what they viewed as several anti-democratic maneuvers by the Maduro administration regarding, e.g. the legislature, the judiciary, and the attorney-general’s office), and not because they were excluded by the Maduro-aligned Venezuelan government:

      “Even the United Nations […] has turned down Maduro’s invitation to send an observation team on election day. So has the Carter Center, and virtually all other reputable election observing institutions.”

      (source: https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/news-columns-blogs/andres-oppenheimer/article210323704.html)

      To be clear, I do not condone the aforementioned authoritarian showings by the Maduro administration, nor others besides, but nuances like this one have gone vastly underappreciated (for example, see my comments on this article: https://www.murosinvisibles.com/cucuta-colombia-a-mass-migration). At this point, the 1999 Venezuelan constitution is in tatters, no thanks to either Nicolás Maduro or Juan Guaidó’s parallel governments, but I anticipate that several Venezuelans that are ostensibly open to foreign military intervention will feel like this a decade from now should such an outcome end up occurring (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z9wC6W7EJpg).

  22. LJ
    April 4, 2019 at 14:01

    Guaido is a pinhead. This semi-soft Coup attempt ? Overreach,,, as previously stated. Guaido has less support now after the forced electrical blackouts . He cannot assume the Presidency under anything but point of the gun. Is such a thing pssible. I think not.. The USA cannot Occupy a Democratic nation that will not support our presence in the Western Hemisphere. Sorry. This was stupid. It’s not Libya, a country of 6 million, where half the people live in Tripoli and the rest of the country, where the oil lies, is sparcely populated. Logistics in Venezuela. are impossible without a massive occupation force. The rich people of Venezuela do not work , they will not get their hands dirty. What are we going to do, import Pakastanis or Bangledeshis to control Venezuela . This is what happens when people take themselves and their own Bullshit too seriously. This is a failure, not a pretext for an invasion. If the Democratic Party wasn’t so hopelessly corrupt and complicit in this flagrant violation of International Law then Trump would be on his back heels in anticipation of Impeachment. . Notice today, American Citizen, Khalifa Haftar, CIA Stooge, Strongman of Libya, is ordering a march on Tripoli/ This is what happens when Bullshit and Propaganda is accepted as US Policy. VIPS should be more aggreesive in pointing out the truth of the matter rather than dithering about the impossible dream of Eliot Abrams. Coup attempt> Failure.

    • April 5, 2019 at 13:36

      There are the newly installed fascist Regime in Brazil and the willing regime in Columbia, that may , like the Ethiopians’ invasion of a then calm Somalia, do USA’s bidding and invade.

  23. Jyn
    April 4, 2019 at 13:16

    Thank you, Sirs & Madam’s for keeping our world sane with your expertises, intelligence and integrity.

  24. April 4, 2019 at 12:47

    VIPS again offers sensible advice that would be in our interest and that of the Venezuelan people. Washington is still smarting from the Venezuelan nationalization of the oil industry by Chavez. Maduro is not the charismatic figure that Chavez but he represents the continuation of Chavez policies. The article refers often to Maduro as incompetent and corrupt which he may be. Dealing with him is matter for the people of Venezuela and the best thing we could do is to use our influence in creating a fair election process. Something we should do here, by the way.

    What really sad and criminal is how we go about regime change, punishing the people of our target country to cause a usually violent overthrow of the government. Innocent people suffer and die. It should matter.

    • rosemerry
      April 4, 2019 at 13:34

      “The article refers often to Maduro as incompetent and corrupt which he may be. ”
      I hope you do not think that would interfere in any way with US actions!!
      In fact, his election last year was fair, and nobody with any powers of observation could think Venezuela before Chavez and then Maduro was not woefully corrupt with the people in a pitiful state,most very poor, underfed, uneducated and powerless, all of which the Bolivarian Revolution managed to overcome, though the USA’s MSM almost never mentioned these achievements in the last twenty years.

    • earl
      April 4, 2019 at 15:14

      Take China, “soft power” always wins but then again that means they have to negotiate and share financial adventures. The old way of bombing them to hell and then Wall Streets goons comes in and steals “ all” of it is history:

  25. Jill
    April 4, 2019 at 12:43

    Globalists want it all. USGinc. is the world’s biggest bully but there is something else to consider–it’s not just the nations we invade who have a lot of good resources that the most powerful people want to have. The US has oil, minerals, water, land etc. and we are getting ripe for the picking.

    The invasion of VNZ will weaken and ruin the US in ways our people do not understand. The globalists are coming for US. That is why both the deep state and large chunks of what passes for a govt. in the US are monsters who care nothing for justice or human life.

    What we are doing in VNZ is illegal, cruel and will result in horrible suffering (already causing that). I feel so badly for all the people this evil govt./deep state/global cabal have harmed in the world. I feel sorry for the harm which will completely engulf the people of the US after the globalists try to pick off VNZ. I’m not certain they will be able to do this but I am certain they will cause great harm in their continued attempts. Then, it will be our turn. This is coming. In fact, it’s already here.

    I urge my fellow citizens to strongly speak out against the injustice of our own govt. VNZ can solve their problems by peaceful means. Peaceful means are truly the only means for all of us.

  26. April 4, 2019 at 12:40

    #HandsOffVenezuela

  27. Barrie Roberts
    April 4, 2019 at 12:03

    Every morning I read your articles and also Information clearing house, but this morning I have a screen with account not AVAILABLE FOR ICH? Here in the UK I depend on your 2 SITE s for truth and debate which I respect mainly because where you are based, I hope you stck around as I quote much of your work to friends in discussion on world events

    • ML
      April 4, 2019 at 21:30

      Hi Barrie, I read Information Clearing House several times a week here in America and the same screen came up for me except it said, (with no explanation) “This Account Has Been Suspended.” Scary. I love my country, but my government leaves much to be desired. Cheers.

    • Sam F
      April 4, 2019 at 22:23

      Same problem for me, “account suspended” at ICH. They are the most important site for news (not for comments). I removed all cookies and changed IP address, in case it referred to my account; but apparently it refers to their internet provider account. They have recently been far more critical of zionists, so apparently the ziofascists took over their internet provider.

      • Sam F
        April 5, 2019 at 06:22

        Another possibility is an effort of US secret agencies to reduce news coverage of the imminent seizure of Assange, and alternative news coverage of their crimes. I have cautioned major alternative news sites to protect themselves by using parallel ISPs with switchover when one fails.

  28. Jeff Harrison
    April 4, 2019 at 12:00

    I must say that it is remarkable that none of the commenters have asked, by what right does the United States attempt to overthrow another sovereign government? The authors in my view very mildly pointed out that Russia’s reaction to the US’s illegal attempt to overthrow al Assad and the US’s overthrow of the democratically elected government in Ukraine was pretty much the same. I’d like to remind the US government that what goes around, comes around.

    • April 4, 2019 at 12:47

      I would add, by what right does the US collectively punish the Venezuelan people with cruel sanctions and seizure of Venezuelan assets?

      Is there anything that was established at Nuremberg that the world will not allow to be rolled back?

  29. elmerfudzie
    April 4, 2019 at 10:50

    The VIPS memorandum focused on internal Venezuelan politics as it directly relates to U.S.intervention policy. However it did not mention those important players quietly sitting on the sidelines of this MSM debate. They only appear relevant, in a much broader view, namely, those corporate entities in the far east and countries like China with vested interests in oil deposits of the Orinoco and also a stake in the outcome of an ever rising political friction between Venezuela and Guyana. This new friction created, after ExxonMobil’s recent oil discovery in the Essequibo River region. ASIDE: Recall that ExxonMobile is in direct confrontation with the Maduro government and it’s policies.
    This particular discovery and grade of oil has a quality far superior to the Chavez basin Oil (Orinoco Belt). It is sweet, high grade oil (similar to Libya’s) thus adding more complexities to the political milieu. The discovery shows how China now has the ways and means to exploit, to it’s advantage, an ongoing border friction between the two states. In fact China has carefully and shrewdly groomed itself into fully investing into this energy find, by purchasing the Panama canal’s largest port, at Margarita Island. It is a crucial maritime route, situated on the canal’s Atlantic side and a choke point, offering unrestricted access for Chinese oil tankers. China now has ready access to one of the most important goods distribution centers in the world. Xi and his corporate partner, Landbridge headed by ceo Ye Chengis are laughing all the way to the bank. They’re making inroads into off shore Guyanese oil and gas. Simultaneously or rather, most likely, whispering into the ear of President Maduro, suggesting that he should annex two-thirds of Guyanese territory. This geographic area, the Essequibo River and drainage basin, will again, provide both high grade sweet oil and a distribution network, with ready access to the Atlantic Ocean. Guyanese officials angrily scoff at this suggested takeover, they are duly alarmed about this alleged conspiracy and have publicly stated that such a move threatens international peace and security. Our POTUS is jumping up and down with a congress seemingly all but ready to back another senseless war. Meanwhile the Chinese have the LNG and oil tanker route all mapped out, not to mention the Atlantic side Island Panama port, guaranteeing newly widened thoroughfare for cargo shipments over to the Pacific side.

    • LJ
      April 4, 2019 at 19:54

      Professionally written, quite suspenseful. Methinks you should write a novel of some sort. question: Is the brutish , bus driving Venezuelan President Maduro being groomed by the evil XI or perhaps those hapless and unnamed Guyanese are lining up like little boys in the cartoon, Pinocchio, to take the trip to Pleasure Island? China has enough goodies in the South China Sea to pave the New Silk Road in Gold but actually, in terms of planning, they are focusing post carbon and attempting to leapfrog a generation of technological development. Pssss, , Don’t tell the CIA. It’s a secret. I like your comment but think this is just an old fashioned and very transparent power tripthat was bequeathed to Trump by the Obama Administration and Bush before him , the CIA and the MIC. Delivered in a ham handed manner by recycled anti Intellectuals ,John Bolton and Elliot ( Ok, in deference to his position I spelled his name right , F Him) Abrams. If only Karl Rove was still around, I mean they got Barr. Let’s party.

    • Sam F
      April 4, 2019 at 22:38

      Thanks for the info on the new oil discovery in Venezuela. Apparently China purchased control of Margarita Island Port, on the canal’s Atlantic side, for only $900 million, planning much expansion. Also in the news, Venezuela’s Margarita island is off their shore, roughly 1000mi from the Panama canal.

  30. TomG
    April 4, 2019 at 09:59

    If only the man could read something longer than a tweet and would read and digest this. But alas, Bolton/Pompeo/Pence steer the ship of state for the near illiterate commander in chief.

  31. Lissette MiroQuesada
    April 4, 2019 at 08:47

    Good morning,

    As a Venezuelan/American who worries about a family I left behind and the deep concerns I have for the safety of the USA, my new home for the last nine years. I believe and wish for a peaceful resolution in Venezuela. But history tells us tyrants doesn’t fall that easily and we have no warranty that this would be the case. Venezuela has been a hideout for Cuban communists, Drug cartels and terrorists cells like Hesbola, plus Russian and China deforesting our lands without control, taking our gold and oil. While the economy collapses due to 20 years of mismanagement and corruption from Chavez and the Maduro regime.

    Juan Guaidó is not a sel-proclaimed President. He followed every step on the Venezuelan Constitution and it’s legally the Interim President of Venezuela. And 90% of the Venezuelan people support him, also more than 100 countries around the world.

    We cannot ignore the deep humanitarian crisis Venezuela is going through or waste time by not taking any actions. This mess is threat to the United States security and it would be irresponsible for us to ignore it.

    Respectfully,

    LMQ

    • April 4, 2019 at 11:53

      Good God, I’m sorry, but I do read a lot, and I just cannot believe someone would write some of the things you’ve written.

      • elmerfudzie
        April 4, 2019 at 15:11

        John Chuckman from elmerfudzie; John, we’ve got to show impartiality when it comes to criticizing commentators and their writing style, content and or grammatical errors found in these, so called, English language commentaries. I, like anyone else, can use Grammarly or similar software however it’s almost a joy knowing that there are one too many commas into my comments, create run on sentences, twist nouns around as tho they were adverbs. The thought that my high school English teacher is rolling in her grave amuses me (and I hope it’s true). Back in the first half of the twentieth century, articles would appear in the paper(s) of record such as the NYT, Chicago Tribune just riddled with every sort of sentence structure error not to mention, misspelling! Adds a bit a flavor and sometimes veracity to CONSORTIUMNEWS commentaries. So have fun, drink a few beers while typing, lean on serendipity perhaps epiphany, to articulate your ideas and maybe with bit of booze, temporarily sharpen those writing skills. Why do you think journalists have a tendency towards drunkenness! Cheers!

        • JOHN CHUCKMAN
          April 4, 2019 at 20:05

          I wasn’t talking about grammar at all.

          I would never do that to anyone

          I was referring to the meaning here, at least as I read it.

    • Marck
      April 4, 2019 at 12:29

      You haven’t been paying attention have you? Never seen so many blatantly false unfounded accusations rapped up in such a short piece..

    • anon4d2
      April 4, 2019 at 12:32

      This is absurd oligarchy propaganda for oil theft:
      1. You failed to indicate any threat to US security despite making the claim.
      2. You hid the recent complications of democracy in Venezuela and presented one side only, knowing that to be false;
      3. You falsely attributed any “humanitarian crisis” there to its government rather than the US causes;
      4. You falsely attributed “mismanagement and corruption” to the social democratic government;
      5. Your claim that “Venezuela has been a hideout for Cuban communists, Drug cartels and terrorists cells like Hesbola” is beyond the absurd.
      The audience here are not the fools that oligarchy opportunists seek to manipulate with lies.

    • Maricata
      April 4, 2019 at 12:43

      How is the safety of the USA jeopardized?

      The United states has been a hideout for:

      Anti Castro Cuban communists and terroirsts, Drug cartels and their leaders (Escobar worked with the CIA), dictators like Marcos from the Phillipines, The Shaw from the CIA coup in 1953 in Iran and countless terrorists and criminals like Jose Carillos, former Contra murderers, Ecuadorian bankers-criminals, S. American death squad leaders and the list goes on and on. Add the pair who bombed Letelier’s car (Ambassador from Chile) and murdered both Letelier and Ronnie Moffet right in the US. Or Orlando Boasch another terrorist pardoned by Bush.

      And then the coddling of all Latin Americans fasccists like Samoza, one and two, the dictatorship in Brazil, Guatemala, Honduras, all of Central America save now Nicaragua.

      And what about the overthrow of the Jewl Party in the tiny island of Grenada by Bush under Reagan?

      Your argument flies in face of the true identity of US murders in Latin America. Chile’s Pinochet is the now model of government and economics we see right here in the US

      The US has owned Latin America since the taking of Cuba, its United Fruit Company owned by the Rockefellers as well as countless oil companies.

      The US has used Colombia for cocaine trafficking, traded Coke for arms for Nicaragua and El Salvador and created the greatest tragedy for Black Americans and others.

      You are right: Guaido is not self-proclaimed he is appointed.

      Now the US is hastily looking for a Pinochet to get rid of Maduro, Allende style.

      The statement that the situation in VZ is a threat to the US is the same, tired, old screeching we have seen used for over a century.

      Go look at propaganda about ‘the threats’ in Latin America from 1898 on and you will se the same thing.

      You are supporting a coup d’etat, an illegal first strike run at VZ which is illegal under international law.

    • April 4, 2019 at 12:57

      Even if everything you mention is true, it is a war crime to attack Venezuela.

      Chavez raised millions out of poverty and Castro drove the USA gangsters out of Cuba.

      The USA kidnapped Chavez but returned him when the coup received no support.

      Under Chavez some unnamed entity was sabotaging the oil facilities.

      Many nations if not all have drug cartels and the Cubans provide medical care more than anything else.

      Remember when Chavez gave Boston free heating oil?

      One does not help a nation by cyber attacking their grid.

      The Bank of England has confiscated Venezuela’s gold.

      Hezbollah is a necessary bulwark against imperial genocidal zionism.

      Though possible, Russia land of forests stealing Venezuela trees?

      Keep in mind it was Guido supporters throwing petrol bombs on the aid trucks.

      The USA demonizes and then destroys those who do not kowtow.

      The USA most often overthrows democracies that resist financial peon-ship.

      If one wishes to help, one influences in a beneficial manner, not a threatening bellicose course.

      Mostly those expats in the USA from Latin America who support USA policies are from the privileged class who fear losing their undeserved status or are in fact phony propagandists.

    • rosemerry
      April 4, 2019 at 13:43

      This person sounds like a typical USan and Venezuela has plenty of these in Miami and plenty of the rich ones still in control of the media and much else in Venezuela are the cause of the possible success of US interference.
      Most people in Venezuela ie the poorer , downtrodden, formerly powerless masses (!) at last found a savior in Hugo Chavez, and every effort was made throughout the years ever since his election to destroy his work, his influence (the rest of Latin America too)and his life (was his death natural???). Sharing the wealth does not suit the very rich and powerful, in Venezuela or the USA, but trying to destroy the lives of the majority by cruel sanctions is not the work of a friendly or fair nation.

    • April 4, 2019 at 13:43

      Troll alert. Probably not even Venezuelan and if she is, a very white one.

    • KiwiAntz
      April 4, 2019 at 16:25

      LMQ, Ninety percent of Venezuela’s people had never heard of this Guido character until he crowned himself Leader! He never participated in any previous Election as a Opposition Candidate, so has no legal authority or legitimacy under Venezuela’s Constitution! Guido was annointed Leader by Trumps America, a outrageous action because the US has no right to appoibt another Countries Leaders, especially Maduro who was voted into office by the Venezuelan people, in a fair Election monitored by International observers. You claim that Russia & China are stealing Venezuela’s resources but these Nations are providing billions of dollars of assistance & its only fair that they are compensated? The wonderful Country that you’re been living in for 9 yrs, called America, is attempting to overthrow your Country in a a Coup d’état in order to seize & steal Venezuela’s assets & resources for NOTHING in return! The US will then impose its Neoliberal, Disaster Capitalist model on Venezuela in which the people can kiss goodbye to their subsidised Food, shelter, gas & free Healthcare; Education etc & other benefits of a Democratic Socialist Govt! The US do not care, at all, about your people, the Venezuelan people? They are just marks to be exploited by the US Empire for its own greed & avarice! If you don’t believe me, ask the people of Iraq, Libya & Syria who where invaded under the excuse of ridding these Countries of supposedly Tyrant Leaders & under the phoney guise of bringing in Democracy to the people by someone like Guido! How benevolent of America? It was all a bunch of lies in Iraq & the other Countries & a ruse in order to steal & thieve those Nations resources & oil to benefit US Corporate interests. Guido has already signed contracts with US Corporates to privatise Venezuela’s Oil & Gold resources, to gut your Country if its riches at the expense of Venezuela’s people. All he needs is the Venezuelan Military to flip over to him to overthrow the legitimate Govt then Venezuela who end up becoming a failed State like Libya! Guido is a treasonous traitor who is selling out Venezuela & its people & legitimate, Venezuelan people know this!

      • LJ
        April 4, 2019 at 20:22

        Don’t forget Argentina. Don’t Cry for Thee Argentina? The people there seem to have forgotten too quickly the disaster that ensued after the Argentinian Government pegged their Peso to the US Dollar when they voted in the latest charlatan. Now see, how long did it take Presidente Mauricio Macri , 3 years of NeoLiberal policies?, and now Argentina is again waddling into crisis mode. Argentina now needs more austerity and more loans. The USA is a beautiful country. It doesn’t matter how stupid voters are even a “Mortgage Crisis” and $13 Trillion disappeared can be can be finessed. We the People have a blank check to do whatever we want as long as it’s not spending on Health Care, Education or Infrastructure. Other nations. not so lucky.

    • April 4, 2019 at 21:44

      LMP: It should have been noted in the article that the installment of Guaido is illegal according to the Bolivarian constitution. If a president is unable to complete his term (such as Chavez’s death) in the first four years of a six year term, the vice-president takes over and calls for an election within 30 days; this Maduro did and was elected. If the president dies or can’t function in the last two years of a term, the vice-president takes over as president and finishes out the term. Then there is an election. No way can a person call himself the president, no matter what a foreign country says. Venezuela is famous for its fair elections. Jimmy Carter (The Carter Institute) has observed elections in 92 countries and says the best of all is Venezuela’s ballot proof elections; the US is the worst he says because of the money.
      Its stupefying for people to scream about Russian interference in our election (never proven) and turn around and accept this blatant coup in a foreign country…talk about interference!
      It’s time for the US to be driven out of all world affairs, shunned, sanctioned and ignored.

    • Frederike
      April 4, 2019 at 22:45

      I think you are deliberately trying to spread lies.

    • Skip Scott
      April 5, 2019 at 15:38

      I think you mean that Guaido has 90% support of Venezuelan expats in Miami. Hardly anyone had heard of him in Venezuela before his attempted coup.

  32. Skip Scott
    April 4, 2019 at 08:31

    I wonder what the “Deep State” reaction would be if Trump decided to can all his warmonger advisors and replace them with members of VIPS?

  33. Zim
    April 4, 2019 at 08:30

    Thanks VIPS. Hopefully dipshit-in-chief will read this.

    • Maricata
      April 4, 2019 at 12:45

      Trump will never read it nor does he care.

      However, the statement stands in history and we can only hope others will read it.

    • rosemerry
      April 4, 2019 at 13:45

      The twittering twit? He reads less than George W Bush and his one-page summary.

  34. Sam F
    April 4, 2019 at 08:11

    Excellent advice and well stated. I find it hard to believe that Trump has not quite capitulated to his selection of ignorant extreme right-wing imperialist bully-boys, but it is always worth a try, and the VIPs are the ones to advise.

    Focus on the selfish and anti-democratic intent of US imperialism is persuasive.

    Minor suggestion: try “rare opportunity/chance” for “formidable moment.”

  35. Sally Snyder
    April 4, 2019 at 07:29

    Here is an article that looks at the close relationship between Venezuela and Russia:

    https://viableopposition.blogspot.com/2019/04/the-close-connection-between-russia-and.html

    The ongoing battle for control of Venezuela is looking increasingly like a fight for control of the new multipolar world order.

  36. Jose
    April 4, 2019 at 06:58

    This article is correct to assert that US belligerent behavior toward Venezuela has not work in ousting Maduro. On the contrary, it has brought Russia and China closer to Venezuela. If Washington is very concern about the wellbeing of Venezuelans, he should stop listening to the war hawks and drop the sanctions.

  37. MBeaver
    April 4, 2019 at 06:12

    This has exactly the same writing as Syria and Libya… and Ukraine. Even the White Helmets are active in Venezuela, as Vanessa Beeley confirmed long before Venezuela became news.

    I hoped Trump wouldnt fall for these deep state wars, unlike his predecessors. But at least not much has happened so far. Lets hope it stays that way.

  38. OlyaPola
    April 4, 2019 at 06:05

    “Invoking the 1823 Monroe Doctrine is unhelpful.”

    Apparently some continue to believe that reliance on frames is less prejudicial to supplicants and shepherds than to strategists.

Comments are closed.