(VIDEO) Venezuela’s New Economic Program: Will it Stop Hyperinflation?

The Real News Network interviews Mark Weisbrot of the Center for Economic Policy and Research (CEPR).

President Maduro is introducing a series of deep economic reforms, to put an end to hyperinflation and to re-start the economy. But this can only happen if faith is restored in the currency and if US financial sanctions come to an end, says CEPR’s Mark Weisbrot.

 

U. S. Comes in for the Kill Armed with More Venezuela Sanctions and Maybe an Oil Embargo

The U. S. and its allies must think this is their last opportunity to destroy Venezuela and disappear the social and economic gains of the Bolivarian Revolution.  It seems the U. S. will employ a full-court-press when the next tsunami of sanctions is issued in a few months

A recent McClatchy news story — Trump taking aim at Venezuela Oil:  U. S. Gas Prices Could Rise — outlines various sanction scenarios and provides analysis about what an outright oil embargo might mean for Venezuela and the U. S. An excerpt is below.

“While a full embargo on purchasing Venezuelan oil — the so-called “nuclear option” —is being actively discussed, the administration is zeroing in on more surgical sanctions that block the sale of oil and oil processing products by U.S. companies to Venezuela and hinder Caracas’s oil industry without directly impacting the Venezuelan people.”

Venezuela Captures Nine Colombian Paramilitaries

After a slew of U. S. officials traveled to South America over the past few months, there are signs that their scheming is beginning to bear fruit.  They appear to be rolling out a full court press to destabilize Venezuela and worse. Brazilian military troops are amassed along the border with Venezuela and the capture of the Colombia paramilitaries in Venezuela, carrying heavy weaponry as well as bombs, is alarming.  Stay tuned . . . more to come, unfortunately.

Venezuela Captures Nine Colombia Paramilitaries

 

 

Network in Defense of Humanity: No More Media and Judicial Persecution of our Leaders and Grassroots Projects

No more media and judicial persecution of our leaders and grassroots projects
         They can cut a thousand flowers, but they can’t stop the spring….

The Network of Intellectuals, Artists and Social Movements in Defense of Humanity calls attention to the strategic interest of overthrowing the progressive and revolutionary governments of our region by the local oligarchies aligned with the United States.

They intend to bring down the popular governments that are standing, to dismantle the advances in Latin American unity and to annul the leaderships that have been constituted because this can be electoral processes for the return of progressive and revolutionary forces where they have managed to remove them through institutional coups d’état or pre- or post-electoral frauds and scams. They go so far as to attempt the destruction of moral and historical references of leaders who are no longer with us like Fidel Castro, Hugo Chávez and Néstor Kirchner.

The hegemonic media carry out a media lynching of the popular leaders with which they target the psychological ground in the masses so that the judiciary can then advance in its persecution and prosecution.

Like in the cases of Lula in Brazil and Rafael Correa in Ecuador the architecture of impunity has been set into motion against the popular and progressive camp and now they are doing it to Cristina Fernández de Kirchner in Argentina as well as other former authorities and activists of her project. The impunity that gives them the right to occupy all the spaces of power, allows them to invent anything they like. They don’t need proof. Their self assumed superiority gives them heir to white democracies’ with which our nation states were forged in blood and fire, is enough justification.

As in Brazil, where all that was needed was the “conviction” by a judge, formatted in the United States, to proclaim Lula was guilty sending him to prison in order to prevent the popular preference for his candidacy for president from becoming a reality. Or in Ecuador where they are trying to annul Rafael Correa by trying to incriminate him in an alleged unsuccessful kidnapping of a proven criminal character. Or they can invent all sorts of slanders confessed by businessmen who buy their impunity in exchange for accusations.

But when the evidence is convincing and points to its mercenaries or hit men, such as the drones that exploded near the Venezuelan president, it is not enough for the media monopolies to recognize that it was an obvious assassination attempt, and instead accuse their own victims. In the midst of countries in which the explosive mix of social consequences of neoliberal policies is forged, an offensive that is once again unleashed on those who represent social justice projects.

However, the popular rebellions are growing through all the veils of repressive and media shielding. That is why right-wing governments are continuously militarizing our societies in a preventive’ way. They obey Washington’s intention to fill our territories with its military bases and to reform and unify military doctrines, with the return of the national security doctrine. They aim to redirect the military force towards supposed internal enemies.

We repudiate the tour to South America by the head of the Pentagon, James Mattis, who came to ensure the growing U.S. control over our natural resources, the subordination of our national states and the strategic plan to overthrow the president of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro Moros, by force.

The peoples of our Americas, who have suffered more than 500 years of domination, will not abandon the emancipatory route that we build day by day. On the contrary, we will defend our popular leaders with whom we will continue to build the path of the Great Homeland.

End the persecution of Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and Rafael Correa!

Stop the general offensive against the government and people of Venezuela!

Free Lula!

A Rabid Dog Roams Latin America and Lingers in Brazil to Find “Solutions” for Venezuela

Of all the U. S. officials oozing into South America over the last several weeks, Secretary of Defense, Jim Mattis is, perhaps, the most concerning.  After meeting with his Brazilian counterpart, Mattis announced that Brazil should lead the solution to the Venezuela crisis.  When the U. S. military chief gives a green light to his Brazilian counterpart to solve the problems of Venezuela, it can only mean a military  intervention.  And, such an intervention, can only be “successful” if a coup or worse is at the core.

The idea that Brazil could be the “fixer” of anything is absurd.  Michel Temer is a suave, rich attorney and former Brazilian vice-president. Yet, he will never escape the fact that he is, and forever will be, the un-elected president of Brazil.  In May 2016, then vice-president Temer succeeded in his collaboration with legislators to frame and impeach democratically-elected president, Dilma Rousseff, creating the vacancy he needed to ascend to the presidency.  If you add to Temer’s theft of the electoral will of the people, a Brazilian military of legendary brutality and a national police best known for extra-judicial executions and combine it with Temer’s policies to decimate social and economic advances, the absurdity is glaring.  The point is that Brazil could use a little guidance from Venezuela on how to be courageous enough to build an inclusive and equitable society.

Mattis knows he’s on shaky ground suggesting Brazil has the credentials to solve Venezuela’s crisis.  This is evidenced in a press gaggle aboard his plane on his way to Brazil.  Mattis praised Brazil effusively for its military and democratic values and then, this:

What small issues may come up between the nations, it always (inaudible) politically, diplomatically, economically, I just say, military to military we very much see the world the same way based on my study, my preparations this trip.Brazil also plays — I’d say their example plays a critical role in maintaining regional security and opposing any kind of undemocratic and destabilizing maxims.

I would point to Venezuela as an example. Brazil’s an example. Like all democracies, sometimes they’re very raucous, like our own right now, but the bottom line is, that’s what a democracy is. That’s how people get their voice heard. And it’s a system that listens to its people in Brazil, versa the Cuban or Venezuelan model that penalizes people for speaking out.

And so for going down there now, I said earlier I’m going to do a lot of listening. The U.S. military, we see mil-to-mil relationships. Always it’s a two-way street.

Given that Mattis is the rabid dog roaming South America, we should pay close attention.  Brazil sent troops to the border with Venezuela two days ago, ostensibly to help deal with the increased numbers of Venezuelans wishing to migrate.

 

 

 

 

 

In One Week, Facebook “Disappears” Telesur, Venezuelanalysis, and Haiti Analysis Pages

Earlier this week,  Facebook went on a rampage taking down pages of  left news and solidarity organizations.  The Telesur and Venezuelanalysis pages have been restored, but only after a lot of mumbo jumbo about “technical issues.”  It appears that the Haiti Analysis page is still down.

See the following article and video for more details.

https://on.rt.com/9cgp

Venezuela Assassination Attempt: Maduro Survives but Journalism Doesn’t

Political analyst Ricardo Vaz looks at the mass media’s bias with regard to the recent attack and in its longterm Venezuela coverage. https://venezuelanalysis.com/NZwihttps://venezuelanalysis.com/NZwi

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The Guardian's slanted coverage of Saturday's attack on Maduro. (Screenshot)
The Guardian’s slanted coverage of Saturday’s attack on Maduro. (Screenshot)

Venezuela was rocked this past Saturday by an attempted assassination of President Nicolas Maduro, during a public event, using drones armed with explosives. But as more details started to become available, the coverage of the mainstream media actually moved in the opposite direction: one after the other they have looked to sow doubt on the events, using words such as “apparent” or “alleged”, focusing instead on the government using this “alleged” event to step up repression. In the end, it is hard to tell apart the media coverage from the statements of John Bolton, one of the more hawkish advisers to the US president.

Although there are plenty of examples to choose from, we are going to focus on our personal champion of dishonest Venezuelan coverage – The Guardian. A quick search of Guardian headlines with “assassination attempt” shows that a qualifier such as “alleged” is never used. Be it Jacques Chirac, Guinea’s president, or even Saddam Hussein’s deputy, nobody had their assassination attempts questioned as a hoax to be used as a pretext to stamp out dissent. Such is the dishonesty of the media coverage of Venezuela. (1)

Yet this is the Guardian’s opening paragraph:

“Venezuela’s opposition has warned that President Nicolas Maduro may launch a political crackdown after he accused adversaries of attempting to assassinate him with drones loaded with explosives on Saturday.”

Remarkably, it is the Venezuelan opposition takes precedence in an article describing an assassination attempt against Maduro. This would be akin to a report on 9/11 opening with “Al-Qaeda warns of increased US involvement in the Middle East.” Then there is the usual trick of encapsulating the events under “Maduro said”, so that all the previous work smearing Maduro can be used to Fight for Net Neutralitydiscredit this version.

Several videos and testimonies, some even mentioned by the Guardian piece, corroborate the Venezuelan government’s version of events. Two drones armed with explosives targeted the stage where Maduro was giving a speech on the 81st anniversary of the National Guard. One of them, because of signal jammers, crashed in front of a nearby building. Residents testified to this, and some of them captured the events, thus demolishing the nonsensical thesis that the explosion had been due to a gas leak.

The second drone detonated closer to the stage, resulting in seven injured officers while bodyguards quickly moved to shield Maduro. Despite all this evidence The Guardian insists that “exactly what happened still remained unclear on Sunday”. Perhaps Maduro, his wife and everyone around them looked at the sky at the same time and soldiers in formation scattered as part of some devious coordinated plan to ramp up repression. We are before the Caribbean version of 9/11 Truthers.

The Venezuelan opposition, in their newly-minted Frente Amplio coalition, which is sure to have its fingerprints all over this, can count on The Guardian as a megaphone to accuse the government of “making “irresponsible” accusations without any proof” and preemptively denounce upcoming repression. Nevermind the fact that opposition leaders have repeatedly been involved in violent attempts to overthrow the government. Also, just a few tweets later, one of the parties in the Frente Amplio, Primero Justicia, threatened Maduro with actions “like this one or worse”.

Following that we are told that “No one has claimed responsibility for the alleged assassination attempt”, although the group Soldados de Franelas, whose members are unknown, claimed this attempt as a victory, and later published a statement on a so-called Operation Fenix, read by notorious anti-government journalist Patricia Poleo in Miami (2). The statement affirms that it is the duty of the armed forces to remove the current government which, among other things, is guilty of indoctrinating children with communism!

The Guardian then continues to find other victims, since they are not sure the assassination attempt took place, and mentions six people arrested, two of them having previously taken part in “street protests”. According to interior minister Nestor Reverol, one of those detained had been involved in the 2014 guarimbas, which were a little more than “street protests”. They involved violent barricades, shooting at bystanders, beheading motorcyclists, and a great deal more. He had been released by the government in a (clearly futile) gesture of goodwill. The second one was sought after an attack on the Paramacay barracks last year, and we can all agree that calling this a “street protest” is a bit of a stretch, even for The Guardian.

Then we are treated to two paragraphs replete with distortions. There is a mention of the economic crisis, which is fair enough but referring to an IMF prediction which is utter nonsense. Next we read that Maduro “replaced” Chavez (he was elected), that he repressed anti-government demonstrations left 100 dead (opposition violence was responsible for a large part of the casualties), and that he sidelined the opposition-led congress (they are in contempt of court) by installing (there were elections, 8M+ voted) a body stacked with loyalists (again, there were elections and 6.120 candidates ran for 545 seats).

To top it all off, there is a mention of last year’s terrorist attack by Oscar Perez, who hijacked a helicopter and went on to throw grenades and open fire on public buildings full of people . It is priceless that The Guardian should bring this up, because back then it also ran with ludicrous theories that it might have been all a government stunt, and then had a great deal of fun looking at Perez’s Instagram page and his past acting activities. Pérez’s repeated calls for a coup and his appearance in an anti-government protest days later were not enough for The Guardian to clarify that he actually was an anti-government terrorist. (3)

The icing on this cake of dishonesty is that Perez was “hunted down and killed”, when even the Guardian hyperlink has the word “shootout”. Perez and his group were surrounded by security forces, and there were videos showing him urging the soldiers to join his rebellion, while the commanding officer tried to get him to surrender. After Perez allegedly refused, a shootout ensued in which two policemen of the FAES special forces were killed, which is not exactly the picture suggested by “hunted down and killed”.

All in all, it seems like the US Empire, its allies and the stenographers in the mainstream media are trying to play a game in which they never lose. They constantly call for a coup, even report on foiled attempts, (4) but when something actually takes place, the reaction is along the lines of “the US/Colombia/Venezuelan opposition had nothing to do with this coup/assassination attempt which maybe did not even happen”. Had it succeeded, as the 2002 coup did briefly, they would be celebrating “a victory for freedom”. Since it failed, it was all in the dictator’s imagination! But the crackdown is certain, which will then justify people wanting to kill Maduro or attempt a coup, and the cycle starts again.

The reactionary plotting against the Bolivarian Revolution by the Venezuelan bourgeoisie, their northern masters and the latter’s regional puppets, only now and then materialises into actual operations or terrorist attacks. But there is a constant set of background assumptions being created to endorse and provide cover for these actions, and this is achieved through the western media’s systematically dishonest coverage of Venezuela.

Notes

(1) This is in stark contrast to two recent episodes. An anti-Assad filmmaker and an anti-Putin journalist faked an assassination attempt and their own death, respectively. Both were immediately reported as absolute certainties, even though the details were fishy, only to be revealed within hours to be publicity stunts.

(2) Patricia Poleo has been formally accused of being involved in the assassination of Danilo Anderson in 2004. Like Posada Carriles and plenty of other terrorists, she found safe haven in Miami.

(3) Pérez was aboard the loony train that claims that the Cubans are running the show in Venezuela. Patricia Poleo’s statement also hinted at this, and opposition leaders have also run with this time and again. Yet this gets filtered out because these characters need to remain credible.

(4) Donald Trump has gone so far as to raise the possibility of a US invasion, repeatedly, in public.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley visits Venezuela border, announces $9 million in humanitarian aid – ABC News

https://abcnews.go.com/International/us-ambassador-united-nations-nikki-haley-visits-venezuela/story?id=57104744

Tough to know which is more twisted, White Helmets offering humanitarian assistance or Nikki Haley, dangling $9 million to work on the water in Venezuela while trashing Maduro and making the case for further U. S. intervention.