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Ukrainian and now Venezuelan Crisis'

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#421 amor de cosmos

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Posted 24 August 2019 - 11:29 AM

Lisbon, Portugal, August 23, 2019 (venezuelanalysis.com) – Venezuelan government officials have had secret contact with US officials for “months,” President Maduro revealed Tuesday.

“I confirm that for months there have been contacts between senior officials from the Trump administration and from the Bolivarian government, with my express permission,” he said, adding that there had been “various contacts” to “regularize” the conflict with Washington.

The Venezuelan president went on to add that he is always “ready for dialogue,” urging Trump to “really listen” to Venezuela. No details of the contents of the discussions were disclosed.

Maduro’s comments followed an Associated Press report that a Trump administration intermediary had held “secret talks” with National Constituent Assembly President Diosdado Cabello. The report did not disclose the identity of the intermediary, claiming that the goal of the meeting was to increase pressure by contributing to a “knife fight” allegedly taking place behind the scenes.

Cabello later confirmed that a meeting had taken place with Maduro’s blessing, dismissing claims of divisions among high ranking officials.


(Bloomberg) -- A looming U.S. sanctions deadline is threatening to clobber Venezuela’s dwindling oil-rig fleet and hamper energy production in the nation with the world’s largest crude reserves.

Almost half the rigs operating in Venezuela will shut down by Oct. 25 if the Trump administration doesn’t extend a 90-day waiver from its sanctions, according to data compiled from consultancy Caracas Capital Markets. That could further cripple the OPEC member’s production because the structures are needed to drill new wells crucial for even maintaining output, which is already near the lowest level since the 1940s.

A shutdown in the rigs will also put pressure on Nicolas Maduro’s administration, which counts oil revenues as its main lifeline. The U.S. is betting on increased economic pressure to oust the regime and bring fresh elections to the crisis-torn nation, a founding member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and Latin America’s biggest crude exporter until recent years.

Venezuela had 23 oil rigs drilling in July, down from 49 just two years ago, data compiled by Baker Hughes show. Ten of those are exposed to U.S. sanctions, according to calculations by Caracas Capital Markets. The Treasury Department extended waivers in July for service providers to continue for three more months, less than the six months the companies had sought.

Most other government agencies involved in the deliberations opposed any extension, a senior administration official said last month, adding that another reprieve will be harder to come by.

“Almost half the rigs are being run by the Yanks, and if the window shuts down on this in two months, then that’s really going to hurt Venezuela unless the Russians and the Chinese come in,” said Russ Dallen, a Miami-based managing partner at Caracas Capital Markets.


#422 amor de cosmos

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Posted 27 August 2019 - 11:33 AM

An explosion rocked a natural gas-filling plant in the Venezuelan state of Miranda, forcing the evacuation of 6,500 local residents, Telesur reports, adding the Venezuelan government has called the event an act of sabotage.

The explosion caused no fatalities with only one worker at the plant reported injured.

According to a report in the leftist daily Morning Star, “The attacks were branded ‘terrorism’ by the Venezuelan government and coincided with an Washington-backed coup attempt led by hapless president of the defunct National Assembly Juan Guaido.”

This is the latest in a string of accidents that highlight the precarious energy situation in sanction-bound Venezuela. Earlier this year, several blackouts crippled the country, with the government calling them a sabotage as well. The latest blackout, in July, Caracas blamed on an electromagnetic attack.


Warships from Russia and Venezuela can dock at one another’s national ports under an agreement signed earlier this month between Venezuelan Defence Minister Vladimir Padrino López and his Russian counterpart, Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, in Moscow.

The Venezuelan official was in Moscow for nearly a week in mid-August. In a video posted on 15 August on the Twitter account of the Venezuelan military’s press office, Padrino López said bilateral defence ties commenced in 2001 and the new ports agreement will “strengthen these relations.”


#423 amor de cosmos

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Posted 07 September 2019 - 09:13 AM

State prosecutors successfully petitioned the country’s all-powerful Constituent Assembly to lift Guaido’s parliamentary immunity in April. He already faces several other charges, including one of “usurping the functions of the president”.

Guaido has remained free, however, and continues to rally support against President Nicolas Maduro.

Guaido’s main international sponsor, the United States, has warned Venezuelan authorities against any attempt to arrest him.

Maduro appeared on television on Thursday to call on prosecutors to file treason charges on Guaido for allegedly plotting to hand over Esequibo to multinational companies.

The case is based on audio recordings purported to involve a US administration official urging an advisor to Guaido to “deliver the Esequibo” to Exxon Mobil and other multinationals, according to the Maduro government.

The resource-rich 61,600 square mile (159,000 square kilometer) territory is the subject of a longstanding border dispute, exacerbated in 2015 by a “significant” oil discovery announced by Exxon Mobil. The oil company’s exploration deal with Guyana angered Venezuela, which reasserted its territorial claim.


#424 amor de cosmos

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Posted 09 October 2019 - 07:13 AM

Adobe users in Venezuela received an email on Monday that said access to their accounts, and thus any Adobe software or services would be blocked. In the email, Adobe said the move was made to comply with Trump's Executive Order 13884, which was issued in August and prohibits U.S. companies from doing business with the country.

"In order to accommodate the impact of this change, we are providing advanced notice and a grace period lasting until October 28, 2019, for you to download any content you have stored in your Adobe account," the email sent to users said. "After October 28, 2019, you will no longer have access to your account, Adobe.com, or Adobe software and services."

Later that day, a webpage was set up that offered little in the way of further explanation. "The U.S. Government issued Executive Order 13884, the practical effect of which is to prohibit almost all transactions and services between U.S. companies, entities, and individuals in Venezuela," the company said. “To remain compliant with this order, Adobe is deactivating all accounts in Venezuela.”


#425 Rob Randall

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Posted 09 October 2019 - 08:55 AM

^That's a scary thought. Imagine you're a designer and you have your entire career, terabytes of work, in the cloud and all of a sudden sanctions hit and you're about to lose access to it and the software needed to work with it.

"[Randall's] aesthetic poll was more accurate than his political acumen"

-Tom Hawthorne, Toronto Globe and Mail

#426 Victoria Watcher

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Posted 09 November 2019 - 05:46 PM

i'll just add this here.




Police guards outside Bolivia’s presidential palace abandoned their posts Saturday, increasing pressure on President Evo Morales as he seeks to curb nationwide unrest after a disputed election.


Growing dissension in police ranks posed a new threat to Morales, who claimed victory after the Oct. 20 vote but has since faced protests in which three people have been killed and hundreds injured.


Morales faces “the most complicated moment” in his 14 years in power and the situation could deteriorate, said Jorge Dulon, a political analyst at the Catholic University of Bolivia in La Paz.



Edited by Victoria Watcher, 09 November 2019 - 05:47 PM.

#427 Victoria Watcher

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Posted 10 November 2019 - 04:31 PM


#428 Sparky



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Posted 10 November 2019 - 05:24 PM

Morales has resigned.

#429 amor de cosmos

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 09:35 AM

Army generals appearing on television to demand the resignation and arrest of an elected civilian head of state seems like a textbook example of a coup. And yet that is certainly not how corporate media are presenting the weekend’s events in Bolivia.

No establishment outlet framed the action as a coup; instead, President Evo Morales “resigned” (ABC News, 11/10/19), amid widespread “protests” (CBS News, 11/10/19) from an “infuriated population” (New York Times, 11/10/19) angry at the “election fraud” (Fox News, 11/10/19) of the “full-blown dictatorship” (Miami Herald, 11/9/19). When the word “coup” is used at all, it comes only as an accusation from Morales or another official from his government, which corporate media have been demonizing since his election in 2006 (FAIR.org, 5/6/09, 8/1/12, 4/11/19).

The New York Times (11/10/19) did not hide its approval at events, presenting Morales as a power-hungry despot who had finally “lost his grip on power,” claiming he was “besieged by protests” and “abandoned by allies” like the security services. His authoritarian tendencies, the news article claimed, “worried critics and many supporters for years,” and allowed one source to claim that his overthrow marked “the end of tyranny” for Bolivia. With an apparent nod to balance, it did note that Morales “admitted no wrongdoing” and claimed he was a “victim of a coup.” By that point, however, the well had been thoroughly poisoned.


When Luis Fernando Camacho stormed into Bolivia’s abandoned presidential palace in the hours after President Evo Morales’s sudden November 10 resignation, he revealed to the world a side of the country that stood at stark odds with the plurinational spirit its deposed socialist and Indigenous leader had put forward.

With a Bible in one hand and a national flag in the other, Camacho bowed his head in prayer above the presidential seal, fulfilling his vow to purge his country’s Native heritage from government and “return God to the burned palace.”

“Pachamama will never return to the palace,” he said, referring to the Andean Mother Earth spirit. “Bolivia belongs to Christ.”

Bolivia’s extreme right-wing opposition had overthrown leftist President Evo Morales that day, following demands by the country’s military leadership that he step down.

Virtually unknown outside his country, where he had never won a democratic election, Camacho stepped into the void. He is a rich and powerful multi-millionaire named in the Panama Papers, and an ultra-conservative Christian fundamentalist groomed by a fascist paramilitary notorious for its racist violence, with a base in Bolivia’s wealthy separatist region of Santa Cruz.

Camacho also hails from a family of corporate elites who have long profited from Bolivia’s plentiful natural gas reserves. And his family lost part of its wealth when Morales nationalized the nation’s resources, in order to fund his vast social programs — which cut poverty by 42 percent and extreme poverty by 60 percent.

In the lead-up to the coup, Camacho met with leaders from right-wing governments in the region to discuss their plans to destabilize Morales. Two months before the putsch, he tweeted gratitude: “Thank you Colombia! Thank you Venezuela!” he exclaimed, tipping his hat to Juan Guaido’s coup operation. He also recognized the far-right government of Jair Bolsonaro, declaring, “Thank you Brazil!”

Camacho had spent years leading an overtly fascist separatist organization. The Grayzone edited the following clips from a promotional historical documentary that the group posted on its own social media accounts:


#430 amor de cosmos

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Posted 16 November 2019 - 09:14 AM

Kaliman sat at the top of a military and police command structure that has been substantially cultivated by the US through WHINSEC, the military training school in Fort Benning, Georgia known in the past as the School of the Americas. Kaliman himself attended a course called “Comando y Estado Mayor” at the SOA in 2003.

At least six of the key coup plotters are alumni of the infamous School of the Americas, while Kaliman and another figure served in the past as Bolivia’s military and police attachés in Washington.

Within the Bolivian police, top commanders who helped launch the coup have passed through the APALA police exchange program. Working out of Washington DC, APALA functions to build relations between U.S. authorities and police officials from Latin American states. Despite its influence, or perhaps because of it, the program maintains little public presence. Its staff was impossible for this researcher to reach by phone.


As I found from the more than 11,000 FOIA documents I obtained while writing my book on the paramilitary campaign waged in the lead up to the February 2004 ouster of Haiti’s elected government and the post-coup repression, U.S. officials worked for years to ingratiate themselves and establish connections with Haitian police, army, and ex-army officials. These connections as well as the recruitment and information gathering efforts eventually paid off.

In Bolivia, too, the role of military and police officials trained by the US was pivotal in forcing regime change. U.S. government agencies such as USAID have openly financed anti-Morales groups in the country for many years. But the way that the country’s security forces were used as a Trojan Horse by US intelligence services is less understood. With Morales’s forced departure, however, it became impossible to deny how critical a factor this was.

As this investigation will establish, the coup plot could not have succeeded without the enthusiastic approval of the country’s military and police commanders. And their consent was influenced heavily by the US, where so many were groomed and educated for insurrection.



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