In Broad Daylight Washington Attacks Venezuela | The War on Venezuela Is Based on Lies

Paul Craig Roberts.org

Americans cannot avoid the fact that their government is the most blatantly criminal government in world history.  It is responsible for millions of peoples’ deaths in scores of countries, and now the US criminal regime intends to seize Venezuela and to plunder the country’s oil reserves.

Europeans cannot hide from the fact that their “free and democratic” governments are Washington’s accomplices in a highly visible war crime.

There can be no doubt that the Western World has lost all moral authority and has become a repugnant and reprehensible entity.


The War on Venezuela Is Based on Lies

John Pilger.com

Should the CIA stooge Guaido and his white supremacists grab power, it will be the 68th overthrow of a sovereign government by the United States, most of them democracies. A fire sale of Venezuela’s utilities and mineral wealth will surely follow, along with the theft of the country’s oil, as outlined by John Bolton.

Travelling with Hugo Chavez, I soon understood the threat of Venezuela. At a farming co-operative in Lara state, people waited patiently and with good humor in the heat. Jugs of water and melon juice were passed around. A guitar was played; a woman, Katarina, stood and sang with a husky contralto.

“What did her words say?” I asked.

“That we are proud,” was the reply.

The applause for her merged with the arrival of Chavez. Under one arm he carried a satchel bursting with books. He wore his big red shirt and greeted people by name, stopping to listen. What struck me was his capacity to listen.

But now he read. For almost two hours he read into the microphone from the stack of books beside him: Orwell, Dickens, Tolstoy, Zola, Hemingway, Chomsky, Neruda: a page here, a line or two there. People clapped and whistled as he moved from author to author.

Then farmers took the microphone and told him what they knew, and what they needed; one ancient face, carved it seemed from a nearby banyan, made a long, critical speech on the subject of irrigation; Chavez took notes.

Wine is grown here, a dark Syrah type grape. “John, John, come up here,” said El Presidente, having watched me fall asleep in the heat and the depths of Oliver Twist.

“He likes red wine,” Chavez told the cheering, whistling audience, and presented me with a bottle of “vino de la gente.” My few words in bad Spanish brought whistles and laughter.

Watching Chavez with la gente made sense of a man who promised, on coming to power, that his every move would be subject to the will of the people. In eight years, Chavez won eight elections and referendums: a world record. He was electorally the most popular head of state in the Western Hemisphere, probably in the world.

Every major chavista reform was voted on, notably a new constitution of which 71 percent of the people approved each of the 396 articles that enshrined unheard of freedoms, such as Article 123, which for the first time recognized the human rights of mixed-race and black people, of whom Chavez was one.

One of his tutorials on the road quoted a feminist writer: “Love and solidarity are the same.” His audiences understood this well and expressed themselves with dignity, seldom with deference. Ordinary people regarded Chavez and his government as their first champions: as theirs.

This was especially true of the indigenous, mestizos and Afro-Venezuelans, who had been held in historic contempt by Chavez’s immediate predecessors and by those who today live far from the barrios, in the mansions and penthouses of East Caracas, who commute to Miami where their banks are and who regard themselves as “white.” They are the powerful core of what the media calls “the opposition.”

When I met this class, in suburbs called Country Club, in homes appointed with low chandeliers and bad portraits, I recognized them. They could be white South Africans, the petite bourgeoisie of Constantia and Sandton, pillars of the cruelties of apartheid.

Cartoonists in the Venezuelan press, most of which are owned by an oligarchy and oppose the government, portrayed Chavez as an ape. A radio host referred to “the monkey.” In the private universities, the verbal currency of the children of the well-off is often racist abuse of those whose shacks are just visible through the pollution.

Although identity politics are all the rage in the pages of liberal newspapers in the West, race and class are two words almost never uttered in the mendacious “coverage” of Washington’s latest, most naked attempt to grab the world’s greatest source of oil and reclaim its “backyard.”

For all the chavistas’ faults — such as allowing the Venezuelan economy to become hostage to the fortunes of oil and never seriously challenging big capital and corruption — they brought social justice and pride to millions of people and they did it with unprecedented democracy.

“Of the 92 elections that we’ve monitored,” said former President Jimmy Carter, whose Carter Centre is a respected monitor of elections around the world, “I would say the election process in Venezuela is the best in the world.” By way of contrast, said Carter, the US election system, with its emphasis on campaign money, “is one of the worst.”

In extending the franchise to a parallel people’s state of communal authority, based in the poorest barrios, Chavez described Venezuelan democracy as “our version of Rousseau’s idea of popular sovereignty.”

In Barrio La Linea, seated in her tiny kitchen, Beatrice Balazo told me her children were the first generation of the poor to attend a full day’s school and be given a hot meal and to learn music, art and dance. “I have seen their confidence blossom like flowers,” she said.

In Barrio La Vega, I listened to a nurse, Mariella Machado, a black woman of 45 with a wicked laugh, address an urban land council on subjects ranging from homelessness to illegal war. That day, they were launching Mision Madres de Barrio, a program aimed at poverty among single mothers. Under the constitution, women have the right to be paid as carers, and can borrow from a special women’s bank. Now the poorest housewives get the equivalent of $200 a month.

In a room lit by a single fluorescent tube, I met Ana Lucia Ferandez, aged 86, and Mavis Mendez, aged 95. A mere 33-year-old, Sonia Alvarez, had come with her two children. Once, none of them could read and write; now they were studying mathematics. For the first time in its history, Venezuela has almost 100 percent literacy.

This is the work of Mision Robinson, which was designed for adults and teenagers previously denied an education because of poverty. Mision Ribas gives everyone the opportunity of a secondary education, called a bachillerato.(The names Robinson and Ribas refer to Venezuelan independence leaders from the 19th century).

In her 95 years, Mavis Mendez had seen a parade of governments, mostly vassals of Washington, preside over the theft of billions of dollars in oil spoils, much of it flown to Miami. “We didn’t matter in a human sense,” she told me. “We lived and died without real education and running water, and food we couldn’t afford. When we fell ill, the weakest died. Now I can read and write my name and so much more; and whatever the rich and the media say, we have planted the seeds of true democracy and I have the joy of seeing it happen.”

In 2002, during a Washington-backed coup, Mavis’s sons and daughters and grandchildren and great-grandchildren joined hundreds of thousands who swept down from the barrios on the hillsides and demanded the army remained loyal to Chavez.

“The people rescued me,” Chavez told me. “They did it with the media against me, preventing even the basic facts of what happened. For popular democracy in heroic action, I suggest you look no further.”

Since Chavez’s death in 2013, his successor Nicolas Maduro has shed his derisory label in the Western press as a “former bus driver” and become Saddam Hussein incarnate. His media abuse is ridiculous. On his watch, the slide in the price of oil has caused hyper inflation and played havoc with prices in a society that imports almost all its food; yet, as the journalist and film-maker Pablo Navarrete reported this week, Venezuela is not the catastrophe it has been painted. “There is food everywhere,” he wrote. “I have filmed lots of videos of food in markets [all over Caracas] … it’s Friday night and the restaurants are full.”

In 2018, Maduro was re-elected President. A section of the opposition boycotted the election, a tactic tried against Chavez. The boycott failed: 9,389,056 people voted; 16 parties participated and six candidates stood for the presidency. Maduro won 6,248,864 votes, or 67.84 percent.

On election day, I spoke to one of the 150 foreign election observers. “It was entirely fair,” he said. “There was no fraud; none of the lurid media claims stood up. Zero. Amazing really.”

Like a page from Alice’s tea party, the Trump administration has presented Juan Guaido, a pop-up creation of the CIA-front National Endowment for Democracy, as the “legitimate President of Venezuela.” Unheard of by 81 percent of the Venezuelan people, according to The Nation, Guaido has been elected by no one.

Maduro is “illegitimate,” says Trump (who won the US presidency with three million fewer votes than his opponent), a “dictator,” says demonstrably unhinged vice president Mike Pence and an oil trophy-in-waiting, says “national security” adviser John Bolton (who when I interviewed him in 2003 said, “Hey, are you a communist, maybe even Labour?”).

As his “special envoy to Venezuela” (coup master), Trump has appointed a convicted felon, Elliot Abrams, whose intrigues in the service of Presidents Reagan and George W. Bush helped produce the Iran-Contra scandal in the 1980s and plunge central America into years of blood-soaked misery.

Putting Lewis Carroll aside, these “crazies” belong in newsreels from the 1930s. And yet their lies about Venezuela have been taken up with enthusiasm by those paid to keep the record straight.

On Channel 4 News, Jon Snow bellowed at the Labour MP Chris Williamson, “Look, you and Mr. Corbyn are in a very nasty corner [on Venezuela]!” When Williamson tried to explain why threatening a sovereign country was wrong, Snow cut him off. “You’ve had a good go!” 

In 2006, Channel 4 News effectively accused Chavez of plotting to make nuclear weapons with Iran: a fantasy. The then Washington correspondent, Jonathan Rugman, allowed a war criminal, Donald Rumsfeld, to liken Chavez to Hitler, unchallenged.

Researchers at the University of the West of England studied the BBC’s reporting of Venezuela over a 10-year period. They looked at 304 reports and found that only three of these referred to any of the positive policies of the government. For the BBC, Venezuela’s democratic record, human rights legislation, food programs, healthcare initiatives and poverty reduction did not happen. The greatest literacy program in human history did not happen, just as the millions who march in support of Maduro and in memory of Chavez, do not exist.

When asked why she filmed only an opposition march, the BBC reporter Orla Guerin tweeted that it was “too difficult” to be on two marches in one day.

A war has been declared on Venezuela, of which the truth is “too difficult” to report.

It is too difficult to report the collapse of oil prices since 2014 as largely the result of criminal machinations by Wall Street. It is too difficult to report the blocking of Venezuela’s access to the US-dominated international financial system as sabotage. It is too difficult to report Washington’s “sanctions” against Venezuela, which have caused the loss of at least $6billion in Venezuela’s revenue since 2017, including $2billion worth of imported medicines, as illegal, or the Bank of England’s refusal to return Venezuela’s gold reserves as an act of piracy.

The former United Nations Rapporteur, Alfred de Zayas, has likened this to a “medieval siege” designed “to bring countries to their knees.” It is a criminal assault, he says. It is similar to that faced by Salvador Allende in 1970 when President Richard Nixon and his equivalent of John Bolton, Henry Kissinger, set out to “make the economy [of Chile] scream.” The long dark night of Pinochet followed.

The Guardian correspondent, Tom Phillips, has tweeted a picture of himself in a cap on which the words in Spanish mean in local slang: “Make Venezuela f*cking cool again.” The reporter as clown may be the final stage of much of mainstream journalism’s degeneration.

Should the CIA stooge Guaido and his white supremacists grab power, it will be the 68th overthrow of a sovereign government by the United States, most of them democracies. A fire sale of Venezuela’s utilities and mineral wealth will surely follow, along with the theft of the country’s oil, as outlined by John Bolton.

Under the last Washington-controlled government in Caracas, poverty reached historic proportions. There was no healthcare for those could not pay. There was no universal education; Mavis Mendez, and millions like her, could not read or write. How cool is that, Tom?

 


US Troops and Weapons to Venezuela’s Borders

Stephen Lendman.org

Is the Trump regime planning military intervention in the country. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakhavova explained that “(t)he development of events in Venezuela has come to a critical point. Everyone understands this,” adding:

“On 23 February, a dangerous large-scale provocation is set to take place, instigated by the Washington-led crossing of the Venezuelan border with a so-called humanitarian convoy, which may lead to clashes between supporters and opponents, forming a convenient pretext for military action to remove the current legitimate president from government.”

“We have evidence that US companies and their NATO allies are working on the issue of acquiring a large batch of weapons and ammunition in an Eastern European country for their subsequent transfer to Venezuelan opposition forces.”

“The cargo is set to arrive in Venezuela in early March through a neighboring country on aircraft flown by an international shipping company” – connected to the CIA.

A separate article suggested that a US staged false flag may be planned, perhaps coincidentally with or shortly after the February 23 attempt to provocatively force entry of poisoned chalice humanitarian aid cross-border from Colombia and Brazil into Venezuela, perhaps as well by sea.

Bolivian President Evo Morales called the scheme a “Trojan horse to invade and provoke war,” adding:

Venezuela’s “Latin American brothers can not be complicit in a military intervention. Defending Venezuela is defending the sovereignty of Latin America.”

“After attacking Venezuela economically, Donald Trump is preparing a military intervention against that country. We vow to stop the violence. Otherwise, Trump will be responsible for the return of the death and destruction that always accompany war.”

Justifiably blocking it by Venezuela’s military could be used as a pretext for US intervention in whatever form may be planned. I suggested it could either be by US armed anti-government proxies, directly by US military intervention, or both ways.

Pentagon forces and weapons deployed to Venezuela’s borders could provoke a confrontation with the country’s military. Trump regime hardliners clearly intend clashes of some kind. What’s planned remains to unfold.

Clearly something big is afoot for the weekend and its aftermath, the Trump regime pushing things to come to a head. Its coup plot was foiled so far, more provocative tactics apparently chosen to up the stakes.

On Friday, citing so-called “eyewitnesses and community leaders,” the neocon CIA house organ Washington Post claimed the following with no credible evidence backing it:

“Venezuelan soldiers opened fire on a group of civilians attempting to keep open a segment of the southern border with Brazil for deliveries of (Trojan horse) humanitarian aid, leading to multiple injuries and the first fatality,” adding:

“When (US recruited provocateurs masquerading as so-called) volunteers sought to block the military vehicles by standing in front of them, soldiers began firing assault rifles, wounding at least 12 people, four of them seriously.”

Venezuela’s military returns fire when fired on. If the incident happened as reported, it was instigated from the Brazilian side of the border, not the other way around.

AP News, the Miami Herald and other establishment media reported on the same alleged incident. What’s most important to know about whatever happened, if anything, was suppressed.

AP said soldiers fired rubber bullets and tear gas in response to whatever may have occurred. Venezuelan Deputy Foreign Minister Ivan Gil said Maduro and Putin are “constantly in touch” about developments in the country.

On Friday, a State Department spokesman issued the following statement – likely prepared in advance of whatever happened during the day, saying:

The United States condemns the killings, attacks, and the hundreds of arbitrary detentions that have taken place in Venezuela. We stand with the victims’ families in demanding justice and accountability.”

Arbitrary killings and detentions are US specialties, not how the Bolivarian Republic operates. Countless millions worldwide, living and dead, are victims of US barbarity.

The Trump regime seeks a Venezuelan imperial trophy by whatever dirty tactics it intends using. President Maduro categorically denied WaPo’s report picked up by other Western media, saying no military confrontation occurred Friday on the Venezuelan border with Brazil.

On Friday, Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov issued a weak-kneed statement, falling on deaf ears in Washington saying: “We hope that Venezuela’s legitimate authorities will make every possible effort to prevent tensions from escalating further.”

On the same day, Russia’s envoy to Venezuela Vladimir Zaemsky’s remarks were just as ineffective, saying nations concerned about conditions in Venezuela should not politicize humanitarian aid or “flex military muscles.”

If the Trump regime intends using military force to topple Maduro and Russia and/or China don’t intervene to prevent it, all may be lost in Venezuela.

Its military, no matter how dedicated to the republic, is no match against US might. What happens this weekend and its aftermath will be crucial to determining the fate of Bolivarian social democracy.

 


Flashpoint in Venezuela Coming to a Head

Stephen Lendman

Saturday and days following the 23rd are showdown days in Venezuela. At stake is Bolivarian social democratic freedom v. US-imposed fascist tyranny. There’s no ambiguity about it.

Trump regime hardliners are using Trojan horse “humanitarian aid” to force a confrontation with Venezuela’s military.

Their scheme is a pretext for instigating greater violence and chaos in the country on top of ongoing war by other means, a diabolical plot supported by US imperial partners and Western media, complicit with Washington against a sovereign state, flagrantly violating the UN Charter and other rule of law principles.

US war on Venezuela is the main cause of dire economic conditions, harming ordinary Venezuelans, not the country’s privileged class or US business interests.

What’s planned for Saturday and its aftermath by Trump regime hardliners will begin unfolding in short order. It’s up to Venezuelan security forces and world community nations against the scheme to challenge it through action. Rhetoric alone is meaningless.

Following orders from Washington, usurper in waiting Guaido sneaked into Colombia, violating his travel ban, aiming to lead the provocative interventionist attempt to force Trojan horse “aid” into Venezuela today.

Maduro closed the country’s land and sea borders to prevent it coming in. A confrontation looms, precisely what depends on what Trump regime hardliners planned.

Most likely it’ll include US-orchestrated violence instigated by Venezuelan elements allied with the coup plot.

Trump is a pathetic figure, a front man for imperial plots against all sovereign independent states, captive to dark forces controlling him, a war criminal multiple times over – belonging in prison, not high office.

His regime plans unspecified “punitive measures” against Maduro if aid is blocked. Mike Pence and Trump’s point man for regime change in Venezuela by coup d’etat Elliott Abrams are in Colombia or heading there to be directly involved in what’s planned.

More tough illegal sanctions are likely coming along with whatever interventionist tactics will unfold as scripted.

On Monday, Trump warned Venezuela’s military to either abandon Maduro and join his coup plot or suffer unspecified consequences. “You’ll lose everything,” he bellowed.

Neocon extremist Bolton cancelled a trip to South Korea to lead iron-fisted tactics against Maduro, along with Pompeo and Abrams.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry warned that “(a) dangerous large-scale provocation is scheduled for February 23” – connected to Trohan horse “aid,” likely intending to try forcing it cross-border into Venezuela, instigating a confrontation with the nation’s security forces, a pretext for US “coercive action.”

Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said the Trump regime intends shipping assault weapons and related equipment to Venezuelan opposition elements.

“The cargo is set to arrive in Venezuela in early March through a neighboring country on aircraft flown by an international shipping company,” she explained – a CIA operation.

There’s nothing “humanitarian” about the Trump regime’s scheme. It’s all about pushing the coup d’etat envelope closer to US-instigated violence, perhaps by false flag, a longstanding US specialty – aiming to gain another imperial trophy.

The vast majority of Venezuelans will lose social democratic freedoms and benefits if the Trump regime’s scheme works – why it’s crucial for world community nations against what’s going on to challenge and stop it.


Big Lies by Human Rights Watch on Venezuela

Stephen Lendman

Those of you who have been duped into supporting Human Rights Watch need to know that HRW is a tool of Washington’s Imperial Propaganda.  Former President Jimmy Carter, whose organization monitors elections, reports that Venezuela has the best election system in the world, one far superior to that of the US.  https://www.globalresearch.ca/former-us-president-carter-venezuelan-electoral-system-best-in-the-world/5305779

In cahoots with its corporate donors and Washington, HRW is part of the anti-Bolivarian propaganda campaign, supporting regime change – based on a litany of bald-faced Big Lies.

HRW: Last “May, President Nicolas Maduro won presidential elections against an opposition badly weakened by years of government repression, and amid widespread allegations that the polls had not met international standards of freedom and fairness.”

Fact: Alleged Venezuelan repression is a cooked up media supported US Big Lie. Whenever Venezuelan elections are held, around 25 in the Bolivarian Republic, international observers always call them open, free and fair – polar opposite the US money-controlled process. HRW lied claiming otherwise.

HRW: “No independent government institutions remain today in Venezuela to act as a check on executive power.”

“A series of measures by the Maduro and Chavez governments stacked the courts with judges who make no pretense of independence.”

“The government has been repressing dissent through often-violent crackdowns on street protests, jailing opponents, and prosecuting civilians in military courts. It has also stripped power from the opposition-led legislature.”

Fact: Venezuela is the hemisphere’s leading democracy, polar opposite growing US-led Western tyranny – at war on humanity at home and abroad, including by police state toughness.

Fact: The above claims turned truth on its head, reading like lines scripted in Washington. Reality is polar opposite HRW’s Big Lies.

Venezuela’s judicial system shares equal importance to the law of the land, supporting international, constitutional, and the country’s statute laws, operating independently of other branches of government under the nation’s Supreme Court.

The Bolivarian spirit is stated straightaway in the Constitution’s Preamble, saying:

The law of the land “establish(ed) a democratic, participatory and self-reliant, multiethnic and multicultural society in a just, federal and decentralized State that embodies the values of freedom, independence, peace, solidarity, the common good, the nation’s territorial integrity, comity and the rule of law for this and future generations.”

It “guarantees the right to life, work, learning, education, social justice and equality, without discrimination or subordination of any kind; promotes peaceful cooperation among nations and further strengthens Latin American integration in accordance with the principle of nonintervention and national self-determination of the people, the universal and indivisible guarantee of human rights, the democratization of imitational society, nuclear disarmament, ecological balance and environmental resources as the common and inalienable heritage of humanity…”

The above language is unimaginable in the US Constitution or statute laws – a self-serving government largely of men, not laws, a democracy in name only. Venezuelans have the real thing.

HRW: “Severe shortages of medicines, medical supplies, and food leave many Venezuelans unable to feed their families adequately or access essential healthcare.”

“The massive exodus of Venezuelans fleeing repression and shortages represents the largest migration crisis of its kind in recent Latin American history.”

Fact: No mass exodus of millions occurred, no repression. Numbers cited grossly distorted reality. Many who left returned home because of intolerable conditions in Colombia, Brazil and elsewhere.

HRW: “Other persistent concerns include poor prison conditions, impunity for human rights violations, and harassment by government officials of human rights defenders and independent media outlets” – more bald-faced Big Lies.

Like Western establishment media, HRW ignored the ongoing attempt by Trump regime hardliners to crush Bolivarian social democracy – waging war by other means, harming the country economically and financially, bearing most responsibility for hardships affecting millions of Venezuelans, exacerbated by low oil prices.

What’s most important to explain, HRW suppressed, operating as an imperial agent, supporting what demands denunciation – the US attempt to illegally topple a sitting government.

No “persecution of political opponents” exists. HRW lied claiming otherwise, no political prisoners, no arbitrary arrests and crackdowns, no “extrajudicial killings.”

There are no “serious abuses against detainees that in some cases amount to torture, including severe beatings, electric shocks, asphyxiation, and sexual abuse” — what goes on in US torture prisons worldwide, not in Venezuela.

A separate article discussed humanitarian conditions in the country, far short of what international law considers a humanitarian disaster – what’s going on in all US war theaters, HRW failed to explain.

Maduro’s government and the courts strictly abide by international and Venezuelan laws. HRW lied claiming otherwise – including no suppression of speech, media and academic freedoms, no civil and human rights abuses.

Actions are taken against lawbreakers, elements involved in violence, chaos, and vandalism – in cahoots with US efforts to replace democratically elected Maduro with puppet rule controlled by Washington and corporate predators.

HRW is an imperial tool, opposing principles it falsely claims to support.

 


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