Stories about
Nicolas Maduro


Nicolás Maduro Moros (Spanish: ; born 23 November 1962) is a Venezuelan politician who has served as the 63rd President of Venezuela since 2013 and previously served under President Hugo Chávez as Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2006 to 2013 and as Vice President of Venezuela from 2012 to 2013.

U.S.

Published  10 hours ago

BEIJING (Reuters) - Humanitarian aid should not be forced into Venezuela, lest it cause violence, China’s Foreign Ministry said on Friday, warning that Beijing opposed military intervention in the country.

People wait with their vehicles at a checkpoint set up by Venezuelan security forces in Taguanes, Venezuela, February 21, 2019. REUTERS/Andres Martinez Casares

Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro threatened to close the border with Colombia on Thursday as opposition leader Juan Guaido and some 80 lawmakers ran a gauntlet of roadblocks trying to get to the frontier to receive humanitarian aid.

Guaido, who is recognized by dozens of countries as Venezuela’s legitimate head of state, was poised for a showdown with Maduro’s government on Saturday, when the opposition will attempt to bring in food and medicine being stockpiled in neighboring countries.

Maduro denies there is a humanitarian crisis and said on Thursday he was considering closing Venezuela’s key border with Colombia and would close the country’s other main border with Brazil, effectively shutting off any legal land access.

Speaking at a daily news conference, Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said that the Venezuelan government had “remained calm and exercised restraint”, effectively preventing large-scale clashes.

“If so-called aid material is forced into Venezuela, and then if it causes violence and clashes, it will have serious consequences. This is not something anyone wants to see,” Geng said.

“China opposes military intervention in Venezuela, and opposes any actions causing tensions or even unrest,” he said.

Maduro retains the backing of both Russia and China.

Beijing has lent more than $50 billion to Venezuela through oil-for-loan agreements over the past decade, securing energy supplies for its fast-growing economy.

A change of government in Venezuela would favor Russia and China, who are the country’s two main foreign creditors, Guaido told Reuters in an interview last month.

I Love My Freedom

Published  19 hours ago

Socialist Bernie Sanders planted his flag in the Democratic party well before he formally announced that he would be running for president in 2020 earlier this week. The party has become the equivalent of a crazy

David Harris Jr

Published  1 day ago

Never before have we had someone who is as anti-American as Ilhan Omar, with the exceptions of Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer and almost any Democrat you can name. Omar traveled with the Witness for Peace delegation in 2017. Witness for Peace was formed during the cold war to espouse the Soviet Union. They also support the dictators in Cuba and Maduro in Venezuela. The group is communist in nature and opposes everything the United States stands for. If Omar, Tlaib, and AOC become the face of the Democrat party in 2020, the Democrats will be in a heap of big trouble, as Elizabeth Warren would say.

It is just the latest in a series of political gaffes and foreign policy revelations from the Muslim congresswoman. She recently accused the American Israel Public Affairs Committee of buying support for Israel from members of Congress.

She is also scheduled to fundraise for the pro-Hamas group Council for American-Islamic Relations in March and suggested that opposition to Venezuelan despot Nicolas Maduro amounted to an attempted “coup” by the United States.

Additionally, Ilhan criticized President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address for his remarks opposing late-term abortion policy. (RELATED: Rep. Omar Warns Trump About ‘Policing Women’s Bodies’ After President Commits To Banning Late-Term Abortion)

“After traveling to Honduras as part of the Witness for Peace delegation, I’ve returned homewith a heavy heart and deep concern for the electoral process and human rights crisis the people of Honduras are enduring,” Omar tweeted in 2017.

As Fox News noted Thursday, the latest revelation might affect Omar’s membership on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

My book is here! And I personally handed a copy to our President at the White House!!! I hope you enjoy it @realDonaldTrump!

Follow David on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Patreon and YouTube @DavidJHarrisJr

Sean Hannity

Published  1 day ago

Vermont Senator and potential 2020 Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders refused to call on Venezuela’s socialist dictator to resign this week; saying Nicolas Maduro should hold another round of national elections.

“Do you consider Juan Guaido the legitimate President of Venezuela?” asked Jorge Ramos.

“No… There are serious questions about the recent election. There are many people who feel it was a fraudulent election,” said Sanders.

“Is Nicolas Maduro a dictator Senator, for you?” fired-back Ramos.

“I think clearly he’s been very, very abusive. That’s a decision of the Venezuelan people,” Bernie added.

NetBlocks

Published  1 day ago

Platform disruptions affecting multiple Google services including the YouTube streaming platform as well as Microsoft Bing have been detected by the NetBlocks internet observatory on state provider CANTV (AS8048), starting 7:20 PM UTC Friday 22 February 2019, 3:20 PM local time, during the live streaming of a prominent humanitarian aid concert.

Confirmed: YouTube, Bing and Google services blocked in #Venezuela during #VenezuelaAidLive concert from 7:20 PM UTC (3:20 PM VET); incident ongoing #KeepItOnhttps://t.co/Ysrox8QBJL pic.twitter.com/gpOHTNvjKJ

— NetBlocks.org (@netblocks) February 22, 2019

Update – 8:20 PM: Connectivity has been restored following the outage; streams are again accessible through YouTube and the concert’s own streaming platform.

Update – 10:20 PM: The disruption of Youtube, Bing and Google Services have been occurred for the second time, right before the appearance of opposition leader Juan Guaidó at the Venezuela Aid Live concert area.

Update – 11:40 PM: The disruption of Youtube, Bing and Google Services have been occurred for the third time.

The disruption, identified through a set of 6000 NetBlocks web probe measurements from Venezuela, has a near-identical network footprint to recent outages incidents during opposition speeches, which have been systematically censored amid political crisis and loss of confidence in incumbent president Nicolás Maduro.

In recent days, a volunteer platform for humanitarian aid was blocked as supporters went out on the streets.

Network measurements show that the outages are consistent with methods used to block online content in Venezuela. Access has typically been restored shortly after the speeches and public incidents end, with each incident lasting from just 12 minutes to over an hour.

The outages follow a similar pattern to those observed during past opposition speeches and rallies as well as critical sessions held by Venezuela’s National Assembly, including the disruption of Google Translate and other Google services, now also extending to affect Microsoft Bing, which provides a popular translation service in addition to its web search functionality.

Developing incident.

The NetBlocks Group is a civil society group working at the intersection of digital rights, cyber-security and internet governance. Independent and non-partisan, NetBlocks strives for an open and inclusive digital future for all.

[ methodology handbook | press | contact ] Graphics and visualizations provided under a free and open license for reuse with clear attribution.

The Real News Network

Published  2 days ago

The recently named US Special Envoy on Venezuela, Elliott Abrams, is back in the halls of power after a career of supporting dictators, violence and genocide around the world

Sean Hannity

Published  2 days ago

The political crisis in Venezuela turned violent Friday as forces loyal to opposition leader Juan Guaido clashed with socialist President Nicolas Maduro’s military in an attempt to admit American aid into the impoverished country.

“Trucks driven by supporters of Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido nearly rammed into a blockade by security forces still loyal to embattled President Nicolas Maduro in an attempt to reach aid in Colombia,” reports Fox News.

“Images show a red truck trying to forcefully pass through a checkpoint in Mariara, in northern Venezuela a few hours outside of Caracas, on Thursday as the security forces appeared to stand their ground,” adds the article.

The clashes come just weeks after the Trump administration officially recognized Guaido as the Interim President of Venezuela following a highly-contested national election.

Read the full report at Fox News.

I Love My Freedom

Published  2 days ago

Now that self-described Democrat Socialist Senator Bernie Sanders (VT) has announced he's running for president again, he's fair game. One can hope that crazy stories from Bernie's past, along with his love for socialist countries,

www.theepochtimes.com

Published  2 days ago

Bogota, COLUMBIA–Venezuelan refugees fleeing the socialist dictatorship of Nicolas Maduro into this humid border town say they have been inspired ...

Fox News

Published  3 days ago

Rep. Ilhan Omar has attended a travel delegation to a South American country sponsored by radical anti-American and anti-Israel organization that supports countries opposed to the U.S. and calls for the return of Guantanamo Naval Base to the Cuba.

Townhall

Published  3 days ago

Socialist Bernie Sanders officially jumped into the 2020 presidential race this week and proudly declared his ideas of government control are becoming mainstream within the Democrat Party.

"You will recall, you may recall, but in 2016, many of the ideas I talked about: Medicare for all, raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, making public colleges and universities tutiion free," Sanders said during an interview with CBS News. "You know what's happened over three years? All of thhose ideas and many more are part of the political mainstream."

But a quick look at Sanders' past and the roots of his ideology says everything about his plans for America.

"You know, it's funny. Sometimes American journalists talk about how bad a country is when people are lining up for food. That's a good thing. In other countries, people don't line up for food. The rich get the food and the poor starve to death," Sanders lamented back in the 70s.

At the beginning of his career, Sanders actively fought against the United States and proclaimed America should be more like Venezuela and Cuba. Last time Sanders ran for President Venezuelan dictator Nicolas Maduro, who is currently blocking badly needed food and medical supplies into the country, endorsed him as a "revolutionary friend."

Sanders is also a big defender of Marxism and communism, an ideology responsible for the deaths of more than 100 million people.

?? This video is absolutely frightening: 1985: @BernieSanders bashes a reporter for referring to the brutal communist dictator of Nicaragua Daniel Ortega as a Communist and Marxist, and not as the Democratically elected President of Nicaragua, demands that he praise the regime. pic.twitter.com/Dtpr6Jmh3D

— The Reagan Battalion (@ReaganBattalion) February 20, 2019

President Trump has weighed in on Sanders' candidacy.

"Personally I think he missed his time. On trade he would sort of agree on trade. I wish Bernie well, it will be interesting to see how he does," Trump said from the White House Tuesday.

Crazy Bernie has just entered the race. I wish him well!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 20, 2019

Fox News

Published  3 days ago

President Donald Trump, speaking in a major foreign policy address in Miami, Fla. to members of the Venezeulan community, declared Monday that the embattled country's "current path toward democracy is irreversible," and issued a stark assessment that "socalism is dying" across the world.

Zero Hedge

Published  3 days ago

While neither ‘Medicare for All’ nor a wealth tax will turn America into Venezuela overnight, all it would take is a series of catastrophic policies.

RT International

Published  3 days ago

Pink Floyd ex-frontman Roger Waters is slamming Virgin tycoon Richard Branson’s aid concert for Venezuela as a sham, warning fans and performers not to be “led down a garden path that ends in regime change.”

Branson’s “Venezuela Aid Live” concert “has nothing to do with the needs of the Venezuelan people, it has nothing to do with democracy, it has nothing to do with freedom, and it has nothing to do with aid,” Waters declared in a video released on Tuesday.

The musician and political activist tore into the western media narrative depicting Venezuela as the victim of a humanitarian crisis created by socialism. “There is no civil war, no mayhem, no murder, no apparent dictatorship, no mass imprisonment of opposition, no suppression of the press” under President Nicolas Maduro, he said, citing friends “on the ground” in Caracas who could confirm this.

Venezuela Aid Live will take place on Friday in the Colombian border city of Cucuta. Branson has announced a fundraising target of $100 million to purchase food and medicine for Venezuelans suffering the privations of socialism – or US sanctions, depending on which version of the narrative one prefers.

Waters reserved special scorn for Branson himself, “with his bleeding heart worn openly upon his Virgin Airways t-shirt,” claiming the magnate has bought into US propaganda. A spokesperson for Branson told the National Post that the US was “not involved in any aspect of this” and that the concert was “not a political statement.”

The US-backed would-be regime change in Venezuela has not gone as smoothly as planned, with the country’s military still loyal to Maduro despite National Assembly leader Juan Guaido having declared himself an ‘interim president’ over a month ago. On Monday, US President Donald Trump gave a speech warning the Venezuelan military to follow Guaido or “lose everything.”

Waters finished his speech with a warning to friend and fellow musician Peter Gabriel not to fall for the US line, reminding him how US-backed regime changes have turned out in the past.

Do we really want Venezuela to turn into another Iraq or Syria or Libya? I don’t, and neither do the Venezuelan people.

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Washington Free Beacon

Published  3 days ago

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) has ties to a group that includes numerous radical anti-American and anti-Israel activists on its board of directors.

CBC

Published  4 days ago

Over the past week or so, the image of a blockaded bridge between Colombia and Venezuela has been all over news sites around the world. It's been featured in stories describing how the president of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro, is keeping international food aid from his desperate citizens.

Trouble is, the photo doesn't tell the full story.

CBC News was among the many news organizations that used the photo in stories, stating that Maduro's forces had purposely blocked the Tienditas Bridge with shipping containers and a fuel tanker.

Yes, Maduro ordered the containers be put there, and no, he does not want international aid coming in through that corridor. He maintains there is no food shortage in Venezuela, despite numerous reports to the contrary, including from Human Rights Watch.

But the question is, would that bridge even be used to bring the aid into Venezuela from Colombia if it weren't blocked?

The bridge, which spans between Cucuta, Colombia, and the town of Pedro Maria Urena in Venezuela, hadn't been open for years. In fact, it's never been open.

So, what happened?

On Feb. 6, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo sent a tweet that drew a lot of attention.

The tweet helped back the U.S. position that Maduro is no longer the legitimate president and must go.

Maduro, who is in his second term as president, declared victory after a 2018 election. His opponents disputed the legitimacy of the election and called for a new vote.

The U.S. (along with Canada, the U,K, and several Latin American countries) expressed concern about Maduro's legitimacy before he even began his second term. When Juan Guaido, leader of the opposition in the National Assembly, said he would serve as interim president pending new elections, the U.S., Canada and other Western countries were quick to announce their support.

But what Pompeo didn't say in his tweet — and what many news organizations, including CBC News, didn't report — was that the bridge in the tweet has never been open to traffic.

Construction of the bridge was finished in 2016, amid already heated tensions between the two countries. But Colombian and Venezuelan authorities could not reach an agreement to open it. Nearby bridges were already being used to smuggle in goods and fuel from Colombia to Venezuela.

You can see the Tienditas Bridge here on Google Maps:

According to Google, the photo was captured in June 2017.

The fences were already there, as were the concrete blocks. All that Maduro's forces added last week were the shipping containers and tanker trailer.

The humanitarian aid Pompeo referred to is currently sitting in warehouses in the Colombian border town of Cucuta. It represents only a fraction of what has been promised from the United States, Canada and other allies of the Venezuelan opposition.

On Tuesday, Guaido announced he will open "a humanitarian corridor" to run caravans of food into Venezuela, but not until Feb. 23. Guaido, who doesn't control the military or state institutions, didn't give any details of how or where that would happen.

Some diplomats and opposition allies of Guaido have questioned whether such an undertaking would be possible to accomplish in just 10 days.

Catch up on CBC's Venezuela coverage from Caracas:

No War on Venezuela!

Published  4 days ago

No War on Venezuela!

02/18 9:00 pm

No sanctions, no coup, no war! Solidarity with the Venezuelan people and the Bolivarian Revolution! Join February 23 international day of coordinated actions!

Fox News

Published  4 days ago

A Venezuelan citizen who left the crisis-stricken country in his teens for America is speaking out against socialism and the Maduro regime -- and giving a warning to anyone who may support the Green New Deal backed by liberal Democrats including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y.

Daniel Di Martino, a college student who grew up in Venezuela before his family left the socialist country when he was 16, said Monday on “The Story with Martha MacCallum” that his family went from flourishing in the upper middle class to making just two dollars a day under now-disputed Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and former President Hugo Chavez.

“By the time I left Venezuela in 2016 we had a blackout every week -- and I was privileged,” Di Martino told Martha MacCallum.

He said he saw parallels between what he experienced in Venezuela and the rise of socialism in America. “I hear what I heard from the socialist regime in Venezuela, ‘everything is alright.’”

He continued, “People are starving in Venezuela because policies such as the one that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez [supported] in her Green New Deal, which in reality is just the ‘red new deal’ which is just a socialist wish list, would destroy the U.S. economy and lead us into the path of Venezuela.”

DEMOCRATS PRESS TRUMP TO GIVE VENEZUELANS IN U.S. REPRIEVE FROM DEPORTATION

President Trump on Monday spoke in Miami in front of a crowd comprised mostly of Venezuelan and Cuban Americans and asked military officials loyal to Maduro to abandon him and accept opposition leader Juan Guaido as the country's new president.

"We seek a peaceful transition of power, but all options are open," Trump said.

Di Martino outlined his family's struggles in Venezuela in a USA Today op-ed.

“I watched what was once one of the richest countries in Latin America gradually fall apart under the weight of big government,” Di Martino wrote.

Fox News' Martha MacCallum contributed to this report.

I Love My Freedom

Published  5 days ago

First Lady Melania Trump made a rare appearance at a rally on Monday night in Miami. The audience loved it. Get Your "Build The Wall" Coin For 50% Off And We'll Send Nancy Pelosi A

Conservative Tribune

Published  6 days ago

If you want a concise, three-minute explanation about why socialism is a failure, you would be hard-pressed to find better than what President Donald Trump did in Miami on Monday.

While there are few moments in political speechmaking that can induce chills quite like, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall,” even President Ronald Reagan would be proud of Trump’s explanation and take down of socialism.

Trump’s speech, which was given before the Venezuelan-American community in the Florida city, dealt with the presidential succession crisis in the South American nation — and the fact that Cuba had often propped up the regimes of Hugo Chávez and Nicolás Maduro.

“For decades, the socialist dictatorships of Cuba and Venezuela have propped each other up in a very corrupt bargain. Venezuela gave Cuba oil. In return, Cuba gave Venezuela a police state run directly from Havana,” Trump said. “But this is a much different day, and those days are over. The ugly alliance between the two dictatorships is coming to a rapid end.”

“A new future is beginning,” Trump said. That’s because those in the arena and outside it “are united because we know the truth about socialism in Venezuela, in Cuba, in Nicaragua and all around the world. Socialism promises prosperity, but it delivers poverty.”

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“Socialism promises unity, but it delivers hatred and it delivers division. Socialism promises a better future, but it always returns to the darkest chapters of the past,” he continued.

“That never fails. It always happens. Socialism is a sad and discredited ideology rooted in the total ignorance of history and human nature, which is why socialism, eventually, must always give rise to tyranny, which it does.

“Socialists profess a love of diversity, but they always insist on absolute conformity. We know that socialism is not about justice, it’s not about equality, it’s not about lifting up the poor. Socialism is about one thing only: power for the ruling class. And the more power they get, the more they crave.

“They want to run healthcare, run transportation and finance, run energy, education — run everything,” he added.

“They want the power to decide who wins and who loses, who’s up and who’s down, what’s true and what’s false, and even who lives and who dies. In short, all of us here today know that there is nothing less democratic than socialism.

“Everywhere and anywhere it appears, socialism advances under the banner of progress,” Trump added. “But in the end, it delivers only corruption, exploitation, and decay.”

Even conservatives who have reservations about President Trump should find in those three minutes one of the most brutal, concise and accurate rhetorical takedowns of socialism.

We’ve seen this before on so many levels. Socialism is tolerant, we’re told. It’s progressive. It’ll ensure decent living standards for all.

RELATED: Coup Danger Still in Trump’s Cabinet? 2 Cabinet Officials Were Ready To Help Remove Trump from Office: Report

And, when it ends up like it does in the Soviet Union, Venezuela or Cuba, we’re told that wasn’t real socialism or communism. It was somehow perverted. There’s no inexorable process at play. The United States interfered. It can be changed this time.

Those who might be seduced by the charms of socialism at any point in history would do well to look at these three minutes. Without going into minutiae, it disabuses anyone of the idea these failures are just one-offs.

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

Fox News

Published  6 days ago

Vice President Mike Pence asked European allies to follow Washington’s lead and withdraw from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and urged the European Union to recognize Venezuelan politician Juan Guaido as the country’s president during a speech to world leaders at the Munich Security Conference.

"The time has come for our European partners to stop undermining sanctions" against Iran by offering economic incentives in exchange for limiting its nuclear program, Pence said Saturday, speaking after German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

France, Germany, Britain, the European Union, Russia and China are struggling with whether to join the U.S. in pulling out from the Obama-era deal.

US VICE PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE MAKES HIS FIRST AUSCHWITZ VISIT

"Join us as we bring the economic and diplomatic pressure necessary to give the Iranian people, the region and the world the peace, security and freedom they deserve," Pence said in trying to rally support for the U.S. effort.

As for Venezuela, the vice president said in no uncertain terms Nicolas Maduro must be removed from power in the South American nation. Millions of Venezuelans have fled the country due to dire economic circumstances that have resulted in high inflation and starvation.

“The struggle in Venezuela is between dictatorship and democracy,” Pence said. "Nicolas Maduro is a dictator with no legitimate claim to power and Nicolas Maduro must go.”

Pence asked the leaders in the room to recognize Guaido, president of the Venezuelan National Assembly, as the country's leader.

“So today we call on the European Union to step forward for freedom and recognize Juan Guaido as the only legitimate president of Venezuela,” he said.

Pence also warned of the threat posed by Chinese telecom giant Huawei, as it looks for partners to build 5G wireless infrastructure.

“The United States has also been very clear with our security partners on the threat posed by Huawei and other Chinese telecom companies,” he said. “We must protect our critical telecom infrastructure and America is calling on all our security partners to be vigilant."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

state

Published  1 week ago

The United States is responding to Interim President Juan Guaidó's request to help meet the urgent needs of the people of Venezuela.

On February 14, U.S. Special Representative for Venezuela Elliott Abrams participated in the Conference on Emergency Humanitarian Assistant for Venezuela at the Organization for American States (OAS) in Washington, D.C.

We congratulate @jguaido’s interim government on its successful conference at @OAS_official, where 30 countries, together with NGOs and the private sector, gathered to support the people of #Venezuela in this humanitarian crisis. The time has come to let in aid. #EstamosUnidosVE pic.twitter.com/75BFaG4nxz

— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) February 15, 2019

Also on February 14, United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Mark Green met with Colombian President Iván Duque at the Blair House in Washington, D.C. Administrator Green and President Duque discussed the importance of further collaboration on security and prosperity initiatives for the people of Colombia to combat violence, counter narcotics cultivation and trafficking, and help to provide alternative livelihoods.

Their discussion substantially focused on the urgent need to deliver life-saving humanitarian assistance to the people of Venezuela at the scale desperately-needed, which is currently being stopped by one man: Nicolás Maduro.

— USAID (@USAID) February 15, 2019

At Interim President Guaidó's request, the U.S. Government has worked with the Colombian Government and the rest of the international community to pre-position humanitarian aid so that it is available as soon as it can be safely and responsibly delivered to the Venezuelan people who are in dire need. These critical relief supplies include ready-to-use supplemental food for moderately malnourished infants; medical supplies; hygiene kits; high-protein and high-energy nutritional supplements; and locally purchased food.

USAID Administrator Green and other USAID officials will travel to the Republic of Colombia from February 15 to February 18 to visit the border with Venezuela. The Administrator will tour the warehouse where the United States has been pre-positioning humanitarian commodities to provide relief to Venezuelans who are coping with severe shortages of food and medicine caused by the mismanagement and tyranny of Maduro. While in Colombia, he will also meet with USAID staff who are working with governments in the region and humanitarian partners, including non-governmental and faith-based organizations, to help ensure these emergency supplies reach the most-vulnerable populations.

These High-Energy Biscuits are one step closer to feeding school children affected by the #Venezuela crisis. @USAID airlifted them to #Colombia & now they are being trucked to the border. #EstamosUnidosVE pic.twitter.com/1FJmOk3hkv

— Mark Green (@USAIDMarkGreen) February 15, 2019

On February 16, the Department of State, USAID, and the Department of Defense, in a cooperative effort, will deliver aid ready for distribution within Venezuela to Cucuta, Colombia. Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Julie Chung will represent the U.S. Department of State. This whole-of-government response is a demonstration of the U.S. commitment to the Venezuelan people.

This humanitarian mission also underscores the United States’ firm commitment and readiness to respond to the man-made political, economic, and humanitarian crisis in Venezuela. This humanitarian assistance must be allowed to enter Venezuela to reach people in need.

For more information:

Breitbart

Published  1 week ago

Rep. Ilhan Omar attacks special envoy to Venezuela Elliott Abrams with his involvement in the Cold War struggle for Latin America.

OilPrice.com

Published  1 week ago

Litasco, the international trading arm of Russia’s second-biggest oil producer Lukoil, stopped its oil swaps deals with Venezuela immediately after the U.S. imposed sanctions on Venezuela’s oil industry and state oil firm PDVSA, Lukoil’s chief executive Vagit Alekperov said at an investment forum in Russia.

Russia, which stands by Nicolas Maduro in the ongoing Venezuelan political crisis, has vowed to defend its interests in Venezuela—including oil interests—within the international law using “all mechanisms available to us.”

Because of Moscow’s support for Maduro, the international community and market analysts are closely watching the relationship of Russian oil companies with Venezuela.

“Litasco does not work with Venezuela. Before the restrictions were imposed, Litasco had operations to deliver oil products and to sell oil. There were swap operations. Today there are none, since the sanctions were imposed,” Lukoil’s Alekperov said at the Russian Investment Forum in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.

Another Russian oil producer, Gazprom Neft, however, does not see major risks for its oil business in Venezuela, the company’s chief executive officer Alexander Dyukov said at the same event.

Gazprom Neft has not supplied and does not supply oil products to Venezuela needed to dilute the thick heavy Venezuelan oil, Dyukov said, noting that the Latin American country hadn’t approached Gazprom Neft for possible supply of oil products for diluents.

Under the new wide-ranging U.S. sanctions, Venezuela will not be able to import U.S. naphtha which it has typically used to dilute its heavy crude grades. Analysts expect that a shortage of diluents could accelerate beginning this month the already steadily declining Venezuelan oil production and exports.

Venezuela’s crude oil production plunged by another 59,000 bpd from December 2018 to stand at just 1.106 million bpd in January 2019, OPEC’s secondary sources figures showed in the cartel’s closely watched Monthly Oil Market Report (MOMR) this week.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:

USA TODAY

Published  1 week ago

While neither 'Medicare-for-all' nor a wealth tax will turn America into Venezuela overnight, all it would take is a series of catastrophic policies.

The Federalist

Published  1 week ago

Apparently, Rep. Ilhan Omar tolerates large-scale abuses when they are committed by a far-left thug propped up by Russia, China, and Cuba.

SARAH PALIN

Published  1 week ago

President Trump is ready with several strategies to confront the ongoing struggle in Venezuela, he told reporters on Wednesday. At the White House, Trump said he "always" has a backup plan and, at least in this case,

sputniknews

Published  1 week ago

US-backed Venezuelan opposition figure Juan Guaido has claimed that 300,000 of his compatriots will die from starvation – if American “humanitarian” aid is not let into the South American country.

Washington Free Beacon

Published  1 week ago

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) and U.S. special envoy to Venezuela Elliott Abrams got into a fiery exchange on Wednesday that began with her wondering why anything he said could be considered credible after his role in the Iran-Contra scandal.

Washington Examiner

Published  1 week ago

As I suggested earlier on Wednesday, President Trump is likely to deploy U.S. military forces to Colombia before Feb. 23. But where might those forces come from? One possible answer is the Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group, and the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit, or MEU, embarked on the USS Boxer.

Currently operating off their home port of San Diego in the Eastern Pacific Ocean, the U.S. Navy vessels are approximately 5-7 days' sailing time from Cartagena via the Panama Canal. And while I'm not sure whether the USS Theodore Roosevelt is on operational duty or pre-deployment training, a Navy spokesperson tells me that the Boxer and the 11th MEU are on "routine operations." That descriptor means deployment readiness. Correspondingly, seeing as the express purpose of a MEU is to offer rapid deployment capability, the Boxer's presence close to Colombia bears attention.

Indeed, a MEU is exactly the type of unit that would fit the mission set of defending U.S. and Colombian interests along the Venezuelan border. Formed around an infantry battalion with an armored platoon (tanks), logistics and command elements, MEUs also possess aviation forces with helicopter attack and transport, and either Harrier or F-35B jet fighters.

Yet, short of brigade combat strength, a MEU deployment to Colombia would also represent an appropriate balance between deterring Nicolas Maduro's regime and threatening invasion. Even then, we can't forget the Theodore Roosevelt carrier group. And on the east coast off Florida, the Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group is currently on pre-deployment training exercises. Although it's unusual, aircraft carriers can be called to emergency duty even while in pre-deployment training. The simple point here is that the U.S. could have two aircraft carriers in operational range of Venezuela within a week.

A significant U.S. naval and marine presence is now operating in proximity to Colombia and Venezuela. Whether coincidental or not, these deployments afford the White House a increasing range of options.

The Canary

Published  1 week ago

Fox News

Published  1 week ago

Freshman Congresswoman Ilhan Omar is continuing to face criticism over her tweets deemed anti-Semitic – even drawing the rebuke from her party’s leadership – yet her other comments were largely shrugged off.

Washington Examiner

Published  1 week ago

President Ivan Duque of Colombia meets President Trump at the White House on Wednesday. I believe Trump may use Duque's visit or its immediate aftermath to announce the deployment of a limited number of U.S. Army or Marine personnel to the Colombian border with Venezuela.

Interim Venezuelan President Juan Guaido has now set a Feb. 23 date for when his followers will attempt to force U.S. aid convoys through the Colombian-Venezuelan border. Venezuela's pretender-president Nicolas Maduro has blocked those border crossings with his military. But while it was originally expected that the opposition might attempt an aid crossing on Tuesday, Guaido instead announced that Feb. 23 would be the crunch date. This invites the question: Why the delay from Tuesday to Feb. 23?

I think it's because the U.S. and Guaido know that they have not yet been able to persuade a sufficient critical mass of Venezuelan military officers to flip towards Guaido. They assessed that, had Guaido attempted to force through the aid on Tuesday, Maduro's forces would have violently subdued them. The key here, then, is what changes between now and Feb. 23. In the context of pre-existing Trump administration interests in sending a small military force to Colombia (remember John Bolton's accidental 5,000 troops to Colombia note a couple of weeks back?), I suspect the Trump administration has now indicated to Guaido that it will deploy a limited military force to the border before Feb. 23.

That action would certainly be proportionate and justified in defense of U.S. diplomat and USAID officials at the border. Of course, it would also provide eyeball-to-eyeball pressure on the Venezuelan military and Maduro's Cuban intelligence service base. It would challenge them to choose between either allowing the aid convoys through, or firing on Venezuelan civilians and perhaps even U.S. diplomats and facing the consequences.

Remember, the Trump administration's Venezuela strategy is focused far more on breaking the military's link to Maduro than on influencing Maduro per se. Of course, any new U.S. military deployment to Colombia would require that nation's assent. And that speaks to a second "why now" issue: Duque's evolving position.

Certainly, Duque is under increasing U.S. pressure to more aggressively confront Maduro's regime. Although Duque's administration is heavily critical of Maduro, it is cautious about being enveloped in a spiral towards war. Still, with Duque in Washington to seek new U.S. aid support for Colombian domestic security initiatives, and U.S. forces already present on Colombian soil for counter-drug operations, it is far from unfeasible that a new, limited U.S. border deployment might be authorized. Colombia might even welcome that deployment to deter the increasingly unpredictable Maduro.

As I say, I expect a near-term Trump announcement on a limited U.S. military deployment to Colombia.

miamiherald

Published  1 week ago

Pope Francis has reportedly written to Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro indicating conditions aren't ripe for the Vatican to step in and help mediate in the country's dramatic political crisis.

The Corriere della Sera newspaper on Wednesday quoted from a letter it said Francis wrote to Maduro on Feb. 7, several days after the socialist leader said in an interview that he had written to Francis to ask the pontiff's help in launching talks with the opposition.

A Vatican spokesman, Alessandro Gisotti, said the Holy See "doesn't comment on the letters of the Holy Father, which, obviously, are private in character."

Massimo Franco, the Corriere columnist who wrote the article, showed The Associated Press of copy of the letter he said Francis sent to Maduro.

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On Monday, a delegation representing Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido met at the Vatican with Holy See officials.

The Argentine-born Francis has lamented that Venezuelan bishops were frustrated in their efforts to help defuse political and social tensions in the country, where much of the population lacks adequate food and medicine. The letter to Maduro indicated the pope also felt frustrated by what he described as an inadequate government response to the willingness by church officials to facilitate dialogue aimed at achieving reconciliation in Venezuela.

Lamentably, the letter said, all intentions aimed at reconciliation begun in recent years were effectively thwarted since, despite various meetings, "there was no follow-up with concrete gestures" to implement agreed-upon measures.

Francis has said he favors dialogue, but only when it places the common good over all other interests and when it is aimed at achieving unity and peace.

Despite the diplomatic language in the letter, Francis is "quite tough in saying, 'Yes, I can be a mediator, but at my conditions,'" Franco told the AP in an interview.

In the letter, Francis appears to acknowledge Maduro is no longer recognized as president by many countries following a heavily criticized 2018 presidential election. The salutation refers to the Venezuelan as "Mr. Nicolas Maduro" and not as "president."

Maduro, paying a call on the pope at the Vatican in 2013, a few months after Francis became pontiff and shortly after the Venezuelan was elected president, received the pope's blessing.

FAIR

Published  1 week ago

by Joe Emersberger

The Miami Herald (2/8/19) reported, “Venezuelan leader Nicolás Maduro continues to reject international aid—going so far as to blockade a road that might have been used for its delivery.“

The “Venezuelan leader” reporter Jim Wyss referred to is Venezuela’s elected president. In contrast, Wyss referred to Juan Guaidó as Venezuela’s “interim president.”

Guaidó, anointed by Trump and a new Iraq-style Coalition of the Willing, did not even run in Venezuela’s May 2018 presidential election. In fact, shortly before the election, Guaidó was not even mentioned by the opposition-aligned pollster Datanálisis when it published approval ratings of various prominent opposition leaders. Henri Falcón, who actually did run in the election (defying US threats against him) was claimed by the pollster to basically be in a statistical tie for most popular among them. It is remarkable to see the Western media dismiss this election as “fraudulent,” without even attempting to show that it was “stolen“ from Falcón. Perhaps that’s because it so clearly wasn’t stolen.

The constitutional argument that Trump and his accomplices have used to “recognize” Guaidó rests on the preposterous claim that Maduro has “abandoned” the presidency by soundly beating Falcón in the election. Caracas-based journalist Lucas Koerner took apart that argument in more detail.

What about the McClatchy-owned Herald‘s claim that Maduro “continues to reject international aid”? In November 2018, following a public appeal by Maduro, the UN did authorize emergency aid for Venezuela. It was even reported by Reuters (11/26/18), whose headlines have often broadcast the news agency’s contempt for Maduro’s government.

It’s not unusual for Western media to ignore facts they have themselves reported when a major “propaganda blitz” by Washington is underway against a government. For example, it was generally reported accurately in 1998 that UN weapons inspectors were withdrawn from Iraq ahead of air strikes ordered by Bill Clinton, not expelled by Iraq’s government. But by 2002, it became a staple of pro-war propaganda that Iraq had expelled weapons inspectors (Extra! Update, 10/02).

And, incidentally, when a Venezuelan NGO requested aid from the UN-linked Global Fund in 2017, it was turned down. Setting aside how effective foreign aid is at all (the example of Haiti hardly makes a great case for it), it is supposed to be distributed based on relative need, not based on how badly the US government wants somebody overthrown.

But the potential for “aid” to alleviate Venezuela’s crisis is negligible compared to the destructive impact of US economic sanctions. Near the end of Wyss’ article, he cited an estimate from the thoroughly demonized Venezuelan government that US sanctions have cost it $30 billion, with no time period specified for that estimate. Again, this calls to mind the run-up to the Iraq invasion, when completely factual statements that Iraq had no WMDs were attributed to the discredited Iraqi government. Quoting Iraqi denials supposedly balanced the lies spread in the media by US officials like John Bolton, who now leads the charge to overthrow Maduro. Wyss could have cited economists independent of the Maduro government on the impact of US sanctions—like US economist Mark Weisbrot, or the emphatically anti-Maduro Venezuelan economist Francisco Rodríguez.

Illegal US sanctions were first imposed in 2015 under a fraudulent “state of emergency” declared by Obama, and subsequently extended by Trump. The revenue lost to Venezuela’s government due to US economic sanctions since August 2017, when the impact became very easy to quantify, is by now well over $6 billion. That’s enormous in an economy that was only able to import about $11 billion of goods in 2018, and needs about $2 billion per year in medicines. Trump’s “recognition” of Guaidó as “interim president” was the pretext for making the already devastating sanctions much worse. Last month, Francisco Rodríguez revised his projection for the change in Venezuela’s real GDP in 2019, from an 11 percent contraction to 26 percent, after the intensified sanctions were announced.

The $20 million in US “aid” that Wyss is outraged Maduro won’t let in is a rounding error compared to the billions already lost from Trump’s sanctions.

Former US Ambassador to Venezuela William Brownfield, who pressed for more sanctions on Venezuela, dispensed with the standard “humanitarian” cover that US officials have offered for them (Intercept, 2/10/19):

And if we can do something that will bring that end quicker, we probably should do it, but we should do it understanding that it’s going to have an impact on millions and millions of people who are already having great difficulty finding enough to eat, getting themselves cured when they get sick, or finding clothes to put on their children before they go off to school. We don’t get to do this and pretend as though it has no impact there. We have to make the hard decision—the desired outcome justifies this fairly severe punishment.

How does this gruesome candor get missed by reporters like Wyss, and go unreported in his article?

Speaking of “severe punishment,” if the names John Bolton and Elliott Abrams don’t immediately call to mind the punishment they should be receiving for crimes against humanity, it illustrates how well the Western propaganda system functions. Bolton, a prime facilitator of the Iraq War, recently suggested that Maduro could be sent to a US-run torture camp in Cuba. Abrams played a key role in keeping US support flowing to mass murderers and torturers in Central America during the 1980s. Also significant that Abrams, brought in by Trump to help oust Maduro, used “humanitarian aid” as cover to supply weapons to the US-backed Contra terrorists in Nicaragua.

In the Herald article, the use of US “aid” for military purposes is presented as another allegation made by the vilified Venezuelan president: “Maduro has repeatedly said the aid is cover for a military invasion and has ordered his armed forces not to let it in, even as food and medicine shortages sweep the country.”

Calling for international aid and being democratically elected will do as little to protect Maduro’s government from US aggression as being disarmed of WMD did to prevent Iraq from being invaded—unless there is much more pushback from the US public against a lethal propaganda system.

The Daily Signal

Published  1 week ago

The Minnesota Democrat's repulsive remarks sought to place the patriotism of Jewish Americans in doubt.

WSJ

Published  1 week ago

China has been holding talks with Venezuela’s political opposition to safeguard its investments, hedging its bets as pressure builds on Nicolás Maduro, the embattled leader for whom Beijing has been a vital ally.

gellerreport

Published  1 week ago

She can't read, she can't pronounce the names of countries but she can spew poison, hate and anti-American propaganda.

Breitbart

Published  1 week ago

The toxic belief that Jews manipulate politicians to harm America is one Ilhan Omar shares with the murderer at the Tree of Life Synagogue.

Sara A. Carter

Published  1 week ago

Embattled Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro called President Donald Trump Monday a white supremacist and said White House staff was a “gang of extremists” run by the Ku Klux Klan.

Described as an unstable communist dictator, Maduro has driven his country’s economy into the ground. He is creating an extraordinary humanitarian crisis in the Western Hemisphere, said National Security Advisor John Bolton.

“All options on the table”

Because of this Bolton said in January “all options are on the table” with regard to Venezuela. Maduro refuses to step down from power. Therefore, he has put the U.S. in a precarious position that may include military intervention, noted U.S. officials.

Therefore, Bolton’s statement was a direct message to Maduro. It is also a strong statement in support of opposition leader Juan Guaidó. Guaido is counting on the protests to pressure Maduro out of office.

“The lights are going off on the Maduro mafia in Venezuela,” Bolton said.

The lights are going off on the Maduro mafia in Venezuela… https://t.co/SU9QONDY8E

— John Bolton (@AmbJohnBolton) February 9, 2019

It’s a political war of the United States empire, of the interests of the extreme right that today is governing, of the Ku Klux Klan that rules the White House, to take over Venezuela,Maduro said.

Maduro Interview

In the interview with the BBC, Maduro accused Trump of “warmongering.” He is accusing the U.S. of trying to take over his country.

Despite the economic failures, Maduro is refusing any humanitarian aide into the country and ironically, is blaming the U.S. for his own economic failings under his socialist regime.

“It’s a political war of the United States empire, of the interests of the extreme right that today is governing, of the Ku Klux Klan that rules the White House, to take over Venezuela,” Maduro said.

Moreover, tens of thousands of people poured into the streets of Caracas in early February. It will happen again.

According to reports from the region, opposition groups are expected to take to the streets for nationwide anti-government protests Tuesday. Moreover, the opposition is hoping to ratchet up the pressure on Maduro.

The anti-government demonstration, organized by opposition leader Guaido, is taking place on Youth Day in Venezuela. It is a significant day commemorating the Battle of La Victoria in 1814, where young people fought and died for independence.

RT International

Published  1 week ago

The US seeks to create conditions that would allow it to invade Venezuela, Rodriguez said, slamming Washington for the decision to send humanitarian aid at the request of the opposition leader and self-proclaimed interim president, Juan Guaido.

It's OK for US to interfere in Venezuela... it's for a good cause... Right? pic.twitter.com/noeDDuyk13

— RT (@RT_com) February 4, 2019

Washington seeks to present a distorted view of the situation in Venezuela to create a “false positive” impression about its own policies against Caracas, the vice president said, adding that, although the nation does struggle with social and economic problems, it does not suffer from a full-scale humanitarian crisis and by no means requires any help from Washington.

“This [humanitarian assistance] is a big lie,” she said, adding that Venezuela’s social “wounds” were the result of the US economic “blockade.” What Venezuela does need is a national dialog between the government and the opposition – something that she says the US actively impedes.

Venezuela’s self-proclaimed ‘president’ Guaido isn’t ruling out ‘authorizing’ US intervention

“We say: ‘yes to dialog’ and ‘no to war’,” Rodriguez said, adding that her country has been facing “total political and ideological rejection” by the US and some of its allies. She also accused Washington of directly “giving orders” to the opposition led by Guaido.

“Washington believes that [Venezuelan President] Nicolas Maduro should go. Washington’s response is its distorted doctrine of regime change [in] democratic nations that do not like it when someone twists their arms and forcibly interferes into their internal affairs,” Rodriguez explained.

Washington would be wrong to believe that it still “rules the world,” Rodriguez said, adding that an increasing number of nations seek to establish a multipolar system of international relations.

Her words came less than a day after Guaido told AFP he could potentially “authorize” a foreign military intervention to topple the elected president Maduro. Over the last two weeks, the US administration also made it clear that the military option is not off the table if Maduro refuses to voluntarily surrender his power and launch a ‘democratic’ political transition in Venezuela.

Meanwhile, both Guaido and his backers in Washington urged the Venezuelan officers to defect and support the opposition. However, the army has remained overwhelmingly loyal to Maduro.

‘Sovereignty is not discussed, it’s defended’: Venezuela slams Trump over military option

The Venezuelan president has repeatedly called for dialog and invited the opposition to the negotiations table, but his proposals have been rejected while Washington claimed that the time for negotiations has long passed.

As Venezuela continues to struggle with an economic crisis and hyperinflation, Guaido, who has been recognized by the US, its regional allies in South America, as well as several western nations, has called on his international support base to send humanitarian aid. The US promptly complied with this request but the convoy was stopped at Venezuela’s border with Colombia as Maduro refused to let it in.

This development further escalated tensions in the Latin American country as Guaido called on his supporters to continue protests until the ‘usurper’ Maduro lets the convoy in. Meanwhile, Venezuela’s Supreme Court judge in turn accused the opposition leader of an attempt to usurp presidential powers.

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RT International

Published  1 week ago

The drills will last until February 15 and are set to become the largest military exercises the country has held in its 200-year history, President Maduro reiterated, as he arrived at Guaicaipuro Fort in Miranda State.

“We must prepare to defend [Venezuela's] sovereignty, territorial integrity, independence,” the elected head of state proclaimed, apparently fearing that Washington’s calls for a regime change and its aggressive backing of opposition parliament speaker Juan Guaido might escalate into a direct military invasion.

#EnVivo 📹 | Llegamos al Fuerte Guaicaipuro, en el estado Miranda, para dar inicio a los Ejercicios Militares enmarcados en los 200 años del Congreso de Angostura. https://t.co/Ut6ZN3ujCJ

— Nicolás Maduro (@NicolasMaduro) February 10, 2019

Guaido, who proclaimed himself ‘interim president’ of Venezuela in January and got the immediate blessing of the United States and its allies in Europe and across Latin America, did not rule out that he might have to make a “controversial” decision to “authorize” a “humanitarian” intervention. The Trump administration also said all options remain on the table to rid Venezuelans of the “oppressive dictator” Maduro.

#EnVivo 📹 | “Aquí están los soldados de Bolívar que les harían pagar caro al imperio estadounidense cualquier osadía de tocar el sagrado suelo de la Patria venezolana”, enfatizó el jefe de Estado @NicolasMaduro#BicentenarioDeAngostura2019pic.twitter.com/kMpLnYW8Yj

— Prensa Presidencial (@PresidencialVen) February 10, 2019

#EnVivo 📹 | “Se ha diseñado un sistema de defensa antiaérea con la visión correcta: la unión cívico-militar”, puntualizó el conductor de victorias @NicolasMaduro#BicentenarioDeAngostura2019pic.twitter.com/uAbMb68Y0M

— Prensa Presidencial (@PresidencialVen) February 10, 2019

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catholicnewsagency

Published  1 week ago

Sen. Marco Rubio has called the humanitarian and political impasse in Venezuela “unsustainable,” and compared blocking food and medical aid from entering the country to war crimes.

Medium

Published  2 weeks ago

Or how to turn an unopened bridge into an international news story to build support for your coup

Greg Palast

Published  2 weeks ago

On January 23, right after a phone call from Donald Trump, Juan Guaidó, former speaker of Venezuela’s National Assembly, declared himself president. No voting. When you have official recognition from The Donald, who needs elections?

Conservative News Today

Published  2 weeks ago

Campus Reform’s Cabot Phillips attended a protest with victims of Venezuelan socialism.

Attendees seemed to overwhelmingly agree on one thing: Don’t do it.

This month, the eyes of the world have been on Venezuela, where millions have protested in opposition of the socialist leader Nicolas Maduro.

At this week’s State of the Union address, President Donald Trump offered a stinging critique of Maduro, as well as a warning to those wanting socialism in the United States, saying, “Tonight, we renew our resolve that America will never be a socialist country.”

As Campus Reform has repeatedly reported, the popularity of socialism has been on the rise, especially among college students.

According to Gallup, the majority of Democrats view socialism more favorably than Capitalism.

Wanting to know if the people who support socialism had ever heard from people who’ve suffered under it, Campus Reform‘s Cabot Phillips headed to a Venezuelan Freedom rally in Washington, D.C.

It soon became abundantly clear that the Venezuelans in attendance were horrified by the idea of bringing socialism to the United States.

Asking them, “What is your message to those who want socialism here,” the attendees were in agreement: don’t do it.

“You do not ever want anything close to socialism,” one attendee said, while another added, “people are eating from trash cans in the streets, so how has socialism helped?”

Another attendee, whose family is still in Venezuela, said, “No Venezuelan can like socialism, because we’ve seen it put in place very well.”

What else did they have to say? Watch the full video:

RT International

Published  2 weeks ago

Large street protests in both France and Venezuela. Two Presidents with low approval ratings. But only one whose legitimacy has been denied by Western 'democracies' and by the French president himself.

Breitbart

Published  2 weeks ago

Venezuelan dictator Nicolás Maduro warned on Monday that U.S. and allied troops “will not make it out alive” if they invade the country.

Addressing thousands of soldiers at an official reveal of the military roster in Caracas, Maduro described himself as a “warrior of peace” who would return an era of prosperity to the crisis-stricken country.

“You must be ready to go to the heart of the enemy who dares touch Venezuelan soil – to go to the heart of the enemy and to tear out his heart in his own territory,” he declared, warning that an “imperialist force” may soon seek to overthrow his socialist regime.

“We will defend our homeland from imperialists and oligarchs and traitors … whether they are in Bogotá or Brasília,” he continued, before calling on a supposed 1.6 million-member civilian force to be “armed to the teeth” to ensure the country was “impregnable and untouchable.” Maduro has repeatedly alleged that Colombia and Brazil, following the inauguration of President-elect Jair Bolsonaro, would join the United States in a military invasion of his country.

“Are we ready to defend the homeland? Are we ready to pounce on and defeat the traitors and the oligarchs?” he added, as soldiers responded by lifting their weapons in the air and shouting, “Si!”

The @MiliciaFANB is prepared to defend and expel, any foreign force that dare touch an inch of our land. We will defend ourselves against imperialists, oligarchs and traitors, wherever they come from. They will not be able to defeat us! pic.twitter.com/16u0KCDZfm

— Nicolás Maduro (@maduro_en) December 18, 2018

Maduro’s comments come after Russia placed nuclear-capable bombers in Venezuelan territory amid rising tensions in the region. Moscow eventually agreed to return the aircraft to Russia after pressure from the U.S. to do so.

It is not the first time that Venezuela’s socialist regime, largely controlled by allies in Cuba, has fired up its military in preparation for war. In October, senior regime official Diosdado Cabello declared that his troops were “fully prepared” for conflict with the United States and affirmed that troops would remain loyal to Hugo Chávez’s socialist revolution should any “imperialist” power try to topple the regime.

American and Latin American officials have typically not reacted with concern following similar remarks. In September, President Donald Trump mocked the Venezuelan military for its seemingly cowardly response to an explosion at a military event that Maduro claimed was a drone attempt at assassinating him.

Although most regional leaders still remain opposed to the idea, there has been growing discussion of a military intervention in Venezuela to liberate people from the Maduro regime and help bring an end to the economic and humanitarian crisis that has caused one of the world’s most pressing refugee crises.

Trump himself has repeatedly refused to rule out a military solution to the crisis, with the State Department currently considering the designation of Venezuela as a state sponsor of terror over the regime’s reported support for terrorist organizations such as Hezbollah and even the Islamic State.

Follow Ben Kew on Facebook, Twitter at @ben_kew, or email him at bkew@breitbart.com.

BBC News

Published  2 weeks ago

President Nicolas Maduro promised Venezuelans free medical treatment for all - but hospitals are now only able to offer a bed and little else.

Hospital staff and families of patients say the health service has crumbled, neglected by the government over the last five years.

Now there is barely running water, let alone enough medicines, as the BBC's Orla Guerin reports.

Democracy Now!

Published  2 weeks ago

McClatchy is reporting Venezuelan authorities have uncovered 19 assault weapons, 118 ammunition cartridges and 90 military-grade radio antennas on board a U.S.-owned plane that had flown from Miami into Valencia, Venezuela’s third-largest city. The Boeing 767 is owned by a company called 21 Air based in Greensboro, North Carolina. The plane has made nearly 40 round-trip flights between Miami and spots in Venezuela and Colombia since January 11, the day after Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro was sworn in to a second term. Bolivarian National Guard General Endes Palencia Ortiz said, “This materiel was destined for criminal groups and terrorist actions in the country, financed by the fascist extreme right and the government of the United States.” This comes as the United States is openly pushing for the toppling of Maduro’s government.

Zero Hedge

Published  2 weeks ago

Just hours after Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said a U.S. humanitarian aid convoy for Venezuela could provoke clashes and create a pretext for removing President Nicolas Maduro, a staunch Russian ally, from power by force, The Washington Post reports, according to an eye-witnesses and community leaders, that Venezuelan soldiers opened fire on a group of civilians attempting to keep open a segment of the southern border with Brazil for deliveries of humanitarian aid, leading to multiple injuries and the first fatality.

President Nicolas Maduro had warned that the aid is a pretext for a U.S. intervention and had locked down his nation.

The Washington Post details the deadly events started at 6:30 a.m. on Friday, a military convoy approached a checkpoint set up by an indigenous community in the southern village of Kumarakapai, that rests on the main artery linking Venezuela to Brazil. When the 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. One woman, Zorayda Rodriguez, 42, was killed.

“I ask the armed forces , is it constitutional for them to fire against unarmed indigenous people?” said Jorge Perez, a local councilman in Gran Sabana, the district where the town is located who said he was present when the soldiers opened fire. “Is it constitutional to kill indigenous people?”

At least 30 neighbors took to the streets following the shootings, kidnapping three soldiers, according to Carmen Elena Silva, 48, who had joined in the roadblock, and George Bello, a spokesperson for the indigenous community.

“The majority of the people support the entrance of humanitarian aid, and we want to keep our border open,” Silva said. “This is help, not war…Every day more children die.”

The activists belonged to the Pemones indigenous tribe that has joined the opposition effort to haul in aid donated by the United States and other countries from bordering nations on Saturday.

Notably, Reuters reports that Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Friday accused the United States and its NATO allies of discussing how to arm the opposition in Venezuela and alleged Washington was deploying special forces and equipment near the South American nation. Moscow cited unspecified information to back its assertion about the plans to arm the opposition, but did not say what that information was or present it.

Of course this now opens the door to more direct US intervention. How long until we get the tweet from Trump that "Maduro is 'massacring' his people so US has an obligation to intervene"?

miamiherald

Published  2 weeks ago

Young kidney patients in Venezuela are fighting for their lives due to the lack of basic hospital supplies. Meanwhile, international aid that might remedy the situation is stalled at the Colombian border.

RT International

Published  2 weeks ago

Former Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters has lashed out at the US government for destroying “real democracy” in Venezuela, calling for an end to “Trump’s coup” in the Latin American country.

I Love My Freedom

Published  2 weeks ago

There were many notable moments on Tuesday night during President Donald Trump's State of the Union address. But perhaps the most awkward and cringeworthy moment came from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who was sitting behind the

Speaker Nancy Pelosi

Published  2 weeks ago

Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued this statement on the situation in Venezuela:

“I support the decision of the National Assembly, Venezuela’s sole remaining democratic institution, to recognize Juan Guaidó, President of the National Assembly, as the Interim President until full, fair and free elections can be held. The United States must respect legitimate democratic processes, and support the right of the people of Venezuela to protest and defend their human rights.

“Nicolas Maduro’s regime of repression and impoverishment for his personal enrichment continues to gravely violate human rights, and must be condemned swiftly by the full international community. His recent decision to block bridges and cut off channels of food and supplies imperils the health and futures of the Venezuelan people, and must be immediately reversed.

“During this perilous time, the United States must support the people of Venezuela.”

SARAH PALIN

Published  2 weeks ago

President Trump’s State of the Union speech on Tuesday evening was mostly unifying as the president championed bipartisan issues and called on members to work together to help achieve more as a country.

“We can bridge old divisions, heal old wounds, build new coalitions, forge new solutions, and unlock the extraordinary promise of America’s future. The decision is ours to make,” Trump said during the speech.

These sentiments were echoed throughout the speech as Trump spent very little time critiquing his political opponents.

Throughout Trump’s address, he would regularly receive standing ovations by Republican members. On one such occasion, the president spoke on socialism in the United States and critiqued calls for its implementation in the U.S.

As BizPac Review reports, Trump did not mention specific members but criticized the far Left’s efforts to implement socialistic policies.

From BizPac Review:

President Donald Trump’s impassioned vow that “America will never be a socialist country” drew cheers and applause from all but a few exceptions during his State of the Union address.

Although no names were mentioned, it was clear to many that the president’s declaration Tuesday was a reminder for progressive lawmakers in the House chamber such as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Bernie Sanders, who did not join in on the standing ovation or even applaud the comment.

The rebuke came as Trump spoke about the political and economic crisis in Venezuela, condemning the regime of Nicolas Maduro which is imploding after years of socialist policies and corruption have led to food shortages and skyrocketing inflation. Last month amid escalating protests, opposition leader Juan Guaidó declared himself acting president.

In his Tuesday evening speech, Trump said: “Two weeks ago, the United States officially recognized the legitimate government of Venezuela, and its new interim president, Juan Guaido. We stand with the Venezuelan people in their noble quest for freedom — and we condemn the brutality of the Maduro regime, whose socialist policies have turned that nation from being the wealthiest in South America into a state of abject poverty and despair.”

“Here, in the United States, we are alarmed by new calls to adopt socialism in our country,” Trump said as Republican members booed.

“America was founded on liberty and independence — not government coercion, domination and control. We are born free, and we will stay free,” Trump passionately declared, bringing members to their feets in a standing ovation.

“USA” chants then filled the House chamber.

Trump then definitively declared: “Tonight, we renew our resolve that America will never be a socialist country.”

www.theepochtimes.com

Published  2 weeks ago

During a recent rally at Washington D.C., several Venezuelan victims of socialism have warned against the dangers of bringing socialism onto American soil.

Breitbart

Published  2 weeks ago

Venezuelan dictator Nicolás Maduro has sent a letter to Pope Francis asking the pontiff to “facilitate and reinforce dialogue” as more world leaders abandon the would-be president in favor of his opponent, Juan Guaido.

“I sent a letter to Pope Francis, I hope it is on his way or that it has already arrived in Rome, at the Vatican,” Mr. Maduro told Italian television Sunday.

The letter states “I am at the service of the cause of Christ,” Maduro said, “and with this spirit I have asked for his help.”

I ask the pope to make “his best effort to assist us on the path of dialogue,” Maduro declared, “and I hope to receive a positive response.”

On Monday, a group of European nations officially recognized Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido as the country’s interim president. Among them, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain, Austria, Denmark, Sweden, Poland, and the Netherlands all acknowledged Guaido as the legitimate leader of Venezuela.

The EU nations had attempted to pressure Mr. Maduro into calling snap elections by the end of Sunday, an appeal he ignored.

In early January, Pope Francis sent a Vatican representative to attend Maduro’s inauguration ceremony, just one day after the nation’s bishops had declared his presidency to be “illegitimate.”

In their statement, the bishops stated that the convocation to elect the Venezuelan president last May was illegitimate as was the Constituent National Assembly established by the executive authority.

“We are faced with arbitrary rule, without respect for the guarantees laid down in the Constitution or the highest principles of the dignity of the people,” they said.

Last week, the pontiff said he feared that the Venezuelan crisis would devolve into a “bloodbath.”

Mail Online

Published  2 weeks ago

Rosines Chavez, daughter of socialist revolutionary Hugo, jumped on a plane to Paris after posing with a fist full of dollar bills on social media in 2016. She is one of the Rich kids of Venezuela.

Fox News

Published  2 weeks ago

President Trump vowed during his State of the Union address Tuesday night that "America will never be a socialist country," in an apparent rebuke to self-described socialist Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Vermont Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders that drew loud cheers and a standing ovation from Republicans.

The Jerusalem Post | JPost.com

Published  2 weeks ago

Venezuela's president Nicolas Maduro warned United States President Donald Trump that he will leave the White House "stained with blood" if the US attacks him, according to a report in The Guardian.

“Stop. Stop, Trump! Hold it right there! You are making mistakes that will leave your hands covered in blood and you will leave the presidency stained with blood,” Maduro said in an interview with Spanish journalist Jordi Évole. “Why would you want a repeat of Vietnam?”

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sputniknews

Published  2 weeks ago

BUENOS AIRES (Sputnik) - The Venezuelan Foreign Ministry said that the African Union had expressed its support for President Nicolas Maduro amid the escalating political crisis in the country.

"Deputy Chairperson of the African Union, Thomas Kwesi Quartey, has sent a message of solidarity with the people of Venezuela and of support for constitutional president Nicolas Maduro," the ministry wrote on Twitter on Wednesday.

The message had been handed over to the Venezuelan authorities through the country's ambassador to Ethiopia, the ministry added.

READ MORE: Mexico, Spain Call for ‘Dialogue Without Conditions’ in Venezuela — Obrador

Earlier in the day, Uruguay's Foreign Ministry issued a statement on the upcoming international conference on the current political crisis in Venezuela, which is to take place in Montevideo on 7 February. The initiative was suggested by Uruguay and Mexico.

Later Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador called for a dialogue between the sides to the Venezuelan crisis without setting any conditions.

"We and the Spanish government share the call for dialogue between the [Venezuelan] sides. I believe that we have agreed that we can engage in this [process] if it is necessary in order to make both sides of the conflict sit down and maintain dialogue without any conditions," Obrador told reporters after his meeting with Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez on Wednesday.

On Wednesday US President Donald Trump spoke to Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, reiterating the US' support for the opposition's "fight to regain democracy".

Last Monday, mass protests erupted across Venezuela and on 23 January, Guaido declared himself the country's interim president. The UK, Germany, France, and Spain declared on Saturday their intention to recognise Juan Guaido as the country's interim president if Caracas does not announce snap presidential elections within eight days.

READ MORE: 'Extremely Foolish': US Envoy Warns Maduro of Acting Against Guaido — Reports

In turn, Russia, Cuba, China, Turkey and Iran have given Maduro's government full support, with Maduro himself calling Venezuela "the victim of a US conspiracy", referring to US Vice President Mike Pence promising Guaido "full American support" the day before he declared himself Venezuela's new head of state. Maduro also stressed that Venezuela had held legitimate elections and urged European countries to withdraw their demand.

the Guardian

Published  2 weeks ago

Growing discontent over policy on Brexit, anti-Semitism and Venezuela spur breakaway movement

cbsnews

Published  3 weeks ago

The following is a transcript of the interview with President Trump airing Sunday, Feb. 3, 2019, on "Face the Nation"

www.counterpunch.org

Published  3 weeks ago

Most people are horrified to watch Venezuela seemingly on the verge of outright civil war, or worse, an invasion by U.S. military forces. The death toll continu

The Grayzone

Published  3 weeks ago

The vast majority of Venezuelans oppose intervention and US sanctions to remove President Nicolás Maduro from power, according to Hinterlaces polling

Breitbart

Published  3 weeks ago

Pelosi promoted Ilhan Omar to the House Foreign Affairs Committee despite her radical views and antisemitic rhetoric, which have continued.

Sara A. Carter

Published  3 weeks ago

Minnesota Democrat Rep. Ilhan Omar is one of the new progressive House members and in a recent interview she reveals her contempt for Israel.

RT International

Published  3 weeks ago

“Today, the greatest interest we have is to avoid a new war in Venezuela,” Manlio Di Stefano told Italy’s TV2000 network on Thursday. He added that the kind of regime change that failed in Libya must not be attempted, as it turned out to be a “mistake” that everyone recognized today.

“We must prevent this from happening in Venezuela,” he warned.

Je suis Guaido? Economist endorses Venezuela coup leader with Facebook profile change

The Five Star Movement (M5S) politician’s comments come the same day the EU Parliament voted, in a non-legislative resolution, to recognize Guaido as interim president of the oil-rich South American nation.

In addition to MEPs giving their “full support” for Venezuela’s opposition-controlled parliament, the National Assembly, the bloc is also calling for fresh elections in the country in a bid to “restore democracy.”

The EU’s call for fresh elections had initially been supported by Italian Foreign Minister Enzo Moavero Milanesi, an independent, on Wednesday, but he stopped short of offering any ultimatum to Venezuela’s constitutionally-elected President Nicolas Maduro.

However, Di Stefano spoke out against the support given by third-party nations to Guaido, saying Italy was totally against attempts to interfere with the “internal policies of another country.”

“It is called the principle of non-interference and is recognized by the United Nations,” he said.

READ MORE: Watching Venezuela? US spy plane spotted above Colombia as Washington fuels anti-Maduro coup

Little known both inside and outside Venezuela until he declared himself to be the interim president of the country on January 23, parliament speaker Guaido has received enthusiastic backing from the US, Canada, and neighboring Colombia and Brazil.

Meanwhile, Russia, China, Iran, Cuba and Turkey are among those sticking by elected President Maduro.

In a direct video appeal to US citizens on Thursday, Maduro called the campaign against him a coup “set, financed and actively supported by the Donald Trump administration.” He also warned that any attempt to put US troops on Venezuelan soil would result in a quagmire like Vietnam.

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miamiherald

Published  3 weeks ago

The commitment to journalism is growing more difficult every day because of threats and harassment of journalists and closures of news media, according to Venezuelan and foreign non-government groups.

U.S.

Published  3 weeks ago

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - The United States is monitoring trade between its NATO ally Turkey and Venezuela and will take action if it judges any sanctions have been violated, a senior U.S. official said on Thursday.

Supporters of Venezuelan opposition leader and self-proclaimed interim president Juan Guaido take part in a protest against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's government in Caracas, Venezuela January 30, 2019. REUTERS/Andres Martinez Casares

Three months ago Washington introduced new sanctions aimed at disrupting gold sales from Venezuela, which exported more than 20 tonnes of the precious metal to Turkey in 2018.

On Friday Marshall Billingslea, U.S. assistant secretary for terrorist financing at the Treasury, is due to hold talks in Ankara with the Turkish government.

The trip was originally planned to discuss U.S. sanctions on Iran, which exports gas to neighboring Turkey, but was likely to include Venezuelan issues as well, a senior U.S. official said.

“We are looking at the nature of Turkish-Venezuelan commercial activity, and if we assess a violation of our sanctions, we will obviously take action,” the official said.

Last year Venezuela exported 23.63 tonnes of gold worth $900 million to Turkey, compared to zero the year before, official Turkish data showed. Nearly all that quantity was in the first nine months of the year, before Washington imposed new sanctions in November.

Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan has stood by his Venezuelan counterpart Nicolas Maduro, calling him last week to express support after Washington backed opposition leader Juan Guaido as interim head of the country.

The official said Washington was disappointed that Turkey continued to support Maduro.

“We have talked to the Turks like we have talked to an awful lot of governments around the world, sharing our perspective and asking them to join us in acknowledging the illegitimacy of the Maduro regime,” the official said.

“They have not responded positively to that conversation thus far.”

U.S.

Published  3 weeks ago

Venezuela will sell 15 tonnes of gold from central bank vaults to the United Arab Emirates in coming days in return for euros in cash, a senior official with knowledge of the plan said, as the crisis-...

The Grayzone

Published  3 weeks ago

Guaidó is the product of a decade-long project overseen by Washington’s elite regime change trainers. While posing as a champion…

Fox News

Published  3 weeks ago

A Venezuelan lawmaker on Tuesday said on Twitter that about 20 tons of gold from Venezuela's central bank was ready to be hauled away on a Russian Boeing 777 that landed in Caracas a day earlier.

The destination of the $840 million in gold is unknown, but a source told Bloomberg News that it represents about 20 percent of the country's holding of the metal. The gold was set aside for loading, the report said.

The news outlet, which first reported on the tweet, identified the lawmaker as Jose Guerra. Guerra did not provide evidence for his claim but is identified in the report as a former economist at the country's central bank with close ties to workers still there.

Noticias Venezuela, a news outlet in the country, posted a picture of what it identified as the Russian plane from Moscow that made the trip with only a crew.

Simon Zerpa, the country’s finance minister, did not comment about the gold when reached by Bloomberg and denied that there was a Russian plane at the Simon Bolivar International Airport in Caracas. He joked, "I'm going to start bringing Russian and Turkish airplanes every week so everybody gets scared."

Penn: Could the US end up like Venezuela? It might if we don't learn these three critical lessons

A plane belonging to a Moscow-based company was reportedly seen Monday heading to an international airport near Caracas, according to flight tracking records.

Russia, one of President Nicolas Maduro's staunchest supporters, is reportedly owed billions by the Latin American nation. Russia has said it expects Venezuela to have problems repaying debt ahead of an upcoming payment on a Russian loan.

Russia also has extensive commercial interests in Venezuela, including state oil company Rosneft’s partnership with Petroleos de Venezuela SA, a state company placed under sanctions Monday by the United States.

Meanwhile, Venezuela's Supreme Court Tuesday agreed to a prosecutor's request to prevent opposition leader Juan Guaido from leaving the country while the Socialist government conducts a criminal probe into his activities.

Guaido said outside the National Assembly building that he was aware of personal risks, but added, "Venezuela is set on change, and the world is clearly conscious of what's happening."

Fox News' Bradford Betz, Samuel Chamberlain and The Associated Press contributed to this report

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

miamiherald

Published  3 weeks ago

More than a week into a standoff with the opposition, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said Wednesday he was willing to negotiate.

Violent street demonstrations erupted last week after opposition leader Juan Guaido declared during a major opposition rally in Caracas that he had assumed presidential powers under the constitution and planned to call fresh elections to end Maduro's "dictatorship."

Maduro had rejected negotiations, but said in an interview with Russia's state-owned RIA Novosti news agency that he was open to talks with the opposition.

"I'm willing to sit down for talks with the opposition so that we could talk for the sake of Venezuela's peace and its future," he said.

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Maduro said other countries could mediate, mentioning Mexico, Uruguay, Bolivia, the Vatican and Russia as possible candidates.

Maduro also accused U.S. President Donald Trump of ordering a hit on him from Colombia. He said he was aware of Trump's alleged "orders" for the Colombian government and the local mafia to kill him.

Russia has been one of Maduro's staunchest supporters, providing the South American country with loans and weapons.

A top Russian official said Tuesday that Moscow expects "problems" ahead of an upcoming payment on Russia's $3 billion loan.

Maduro refused to comment on reports last week that Kremlin-linked private military contractors were dispatched to boost his security detail, saying he "cannot say anything about it."

Global Research

Published  3 weeks ago

The vast majority of Venezuelans oppose military intervention and US sanctions to try to remove President Nicolás Maduro from power, according to polling by the local firm Hinterlaces. *** More than eight out of ten Venezuelans oppose international intervention, both military and non-military, in their country, as well as the crippling sanctions imposed by the […]

U.S.

Published  3 weeks ago

Venezuela will sell 15 tonnes of gold from central bank vaults to the United Arab Emirates in coming days in return for euros in cash, a senior official with knowledge of the plan said, in a bid by th...

Fox News

Published  3 weeks ago

RT International

Published  3 weeks ago

Get short URL

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro called on the people in the US to deter the Trump administration from putting boots on the ground in Venezuela, warning that any intervention would backfire leading to new Vietnam-like disaster.

In his first direct message to the American people, the Venezuelan leader urged them to stop the US government from entangling the nation in a pointless and inherently doomed military adventure.

“If the government of the United States intends to intervene us, they will have a much worse Vietnam than you could imagine.”

The 4-minute video, in Spanish with English subtitles, was posted on Maduro’s official Facebook page on Wednesday, shortly after he accused US President Donald Trump of ordering the Colombian government and mafia to assassinate him, and rejected a European ultimatum to call snap presidential elections within 8 days.

READ MORE: ‘Direct nexus between US sanctions & death’ – UN rapporteur slams ‘economic war’ on Venezuela

Maduro accused the US media of waging a “brutal campaign of false images” to support the Trump administration’s interference in Venezuela.

“This campaign has been prepared to justify a coup d’état in Venezuela that has been set, financed and actively supported by Donald Trump administration.”

Effectively sidestepping his US counterpart, Maduro urged Americans to second-guess the distorted narrative peddled by the mainstream media. The embattled Venezuelan leader stated that Washington cannot use the same pretext to invade Venezuela as it did to justify the 2003 invasion of Iraq, so it is spreading new falsehoods about his government in hopes that something will tip the balance.

“They cannot invent that Venezuela and Maduro have [weapons of mass destruction] so they could intervene, they now invent lies every day, false news to justify an aggression against our country.”

Maduro reiterated that US interests in Venezuela are limited exclusively to its vast natural riches. Venezuela boasts the world’s largest confirmed oil reserves and the fourth-largest reserves of natural gas. The president said that by fomenting unrest in Venezuela, the US elites want “to put their hands” on that national treasure “as they did in Iraq and Libya.”

“We are a country of great resources, both natural and energetic. That is the truth and this explains the constant attacks against Venezuela. That’s why I appeal to your conscience and solidarity.”

He admitted that Venezuela faces a plethora of problems, “as any other country” and said Venezuelans can “solve them by ourselves,” without any outside meddling.

Describing himself as an admirer of US history, Maduro said that he hopes that reasonable US citizens will prevail, adding that America “is a great country, and it is much more than Donald Trump.”

“The United States is a great country and it is much bigger than Donald Trump,” he said. “I only ask for respect for Venezuela and I need your support to avoid a war like Vietnam.”

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Fox News

Published  3 weeks ago

Venezuela is in chaos and has been since the merciless reign of President Hugo Chavez. Today, it is the only nation in the world with not one, but two, socialist presidents: Nicolas Maduro, who was reelected last May in a rigged election, and Juan Guaido, who was not actually elected but had himself sworn in last week.

The United States and many other nations have recognized Guaido as the legitimate president. Meanwhile Maduro is desperately trying to save his regime, and the military is trying to have it both ways by professing loyalty to Maduro but taking credit for Guaido’s “coup.”

This is chaos indeed. And that’s the good news.

The bad news is that it might not make much difference for the people of Venezuela who comes out on top. Guaido's party, Popular Will, is a member of Socialist International, which describes itself as "the worldwide organization of social democratic, socialist and labour parties." Chances are Guaido won't do much to institute free market reforms to help the starving people of his nation.

A recent article by the Express in London really struck me. It reported that citizens of the befallen oil-rich country are now selling their hair in order to subsist. This is a nation that sits on over 300 billion barrels of oil, and yet people are bartering expensive personal possessions and body parts for food.

Last year, the IMF forecasted that the rate of inflation in Venezuela would reach ten million percent in 2019. This puts it in the company of perhaps the most famous hyperinflation in history – that of Germany’s Weimar Republic in 1923.

While the seeds of Venezuela’s destruction may have been sown prior to Hugo Chavez, it was under his despotic tenure beginning in 1999 that the move toward socialism took place. “I thought it was possible to put a human face on capitalism. But I was wrong,” he admitted in a 2010 interview with the BBC. “The only way to save the world is through socialism, but a socialism that exists within a democracy; there's no dictatorship here.” So Chavez became enlightened about the need for socialism.

Now, compare his words to those of America’s latest political rock star, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y.: “For me, democratic socialism is about - really, the value for me is that I believe that in a modern, moral and wealthy society, no person in America should be too poor to live.”

How can it possibly be that so many Americans are rallying to support Ocasio-Cortez, when all they need to do is look at Venezuela to see where she is leading them?

Ocasio-Cortez is not Chavez. But she shares his ideology and adherence to collective decision making. More to the point, she is also a kindred spirit of Maduro and Guaido. They all believe in the great myth that a few can direct the many into a land of peace and prosperity.

Nothing in socialist doctrine argues for the abuse of power, from Thomas More, to Karl Marx, to Chavez, to Ocasio-Cortez. Historically, however, it has been the case that socialist countries often end up violently suppressing their citizens. We see that happening in real time right now in Venezuela.

The case for socialism is always made based on an ideal and a promise. The ideal is that humans can lovingly coexist in a sharing and peaceful way. The promise is that this time, unlike failed attempts elsewhere, socialism will be implemented properly, and no citizen will suffer as a result.

But the same story always repeats itself. As government imposes the will of a few upon the many, the many begin to resist. Ultimately, it becomes necessary for the government to use force to make the people conform. As they imprison them or kill them, they tell them it’s for their own good.

How can it possibly be that so many Americans are rallying to support Ocasio-Cortez, when all they need to do is look at Venezuela to see where she is leading them? The answer must be that they believe that this time, under her and other new, young Democrats’ leadership, socialism will be done right. This time it will work.

They believe the ideal and they accept the promise because they ignore the reality – the inconvenient and incontrovertible truth of the inherent deadly nature of socialism. There is not a single reason to believe that if America follows the path laid out by Ocasio-Cortez and others, we won’t ultimately end in a Venezuelan-style wasteland.

Charlie Kirk is the founder and executive director of Turning Point USA, an advocacy group for young conservatives.

Fox Business

Published  3 weeks ago

Cristina and Veronica Vadell are calling for the release of their father, a U.S. citizen and former Citgo Vice President Tomeu Vadell, who was taken hostage in Venezuela.

The daughters of one of the Americans imprisoned in Venezuela told FOX Business’ Trish Regan that they’re hoping a regime change could bring their father home to Louisiana.

Cristina and Veronica Vadell, the daughter of former Citgo VP of Supply & Marketing Tomeu Vadell, are placed in a complicated situation when speaking out for the father’s release not knowing whether their plea will be used as repercussions against their dad in Venezuela.

“It’s time for them to come home,” Cristina said in an exclusive interview on “Trish Regan Primetime” on Wednesday. “We really need the support of everyone to bring them home.”

“It’s time for them to come home.”

Daughters of a U.S. citizen imprisoned in Venezula

As the disputed president Nicolás Maduro clings to power, five U.S. citizens from Texas and Louisiana are still stuck in a Venezuelan prison. The executives, Vadell, Gustavo Cardenas, Jorge Toledo, Alirio Zambrano, José Luis Zambrano and Citgo’s former CEO José Angel Pereira, were detained by Venezuelan authorities during a business trip to Caracas and have been held since November 21, 2017.

“Just a regular work meeting, went down there with his coworkers and he never came back home,” Veronica said. “Today marks day 435 of us not having our fathers back home with us and it’s been enough. We need to bring him home.”

Citgo Petroleum Corporation (or Citgo) is the Houston-based oil company owned by Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) which has been run by the Venezuelan government since the 1980s.

The daughters were notified of the father’s imprisonment through various family members and friends working in the oil industry.

“Immediately, I was shocked. I didn’t believe it,” Veronica said.

Cristina said they were able to speak to their dad and hear his voice not too long ago.

“He’s staying strong for us and the least we can do is come and talk about what’s happening and how unjust it is,” she said.

Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó told Trish Regan on Wednesday that the hostages' release is a major priority. The Vadell sisters are asking the U.S. government and humanitarian organizations for help in freeing their father and the other hostages.

“Anyone that can help whether it's President Trump, anyone in the state, Congressmen, including in the Venezuelan [government], Maduro, [and] Mr. Guaidó, anybody,” Veronica said. “If they can open their hearts and let the men go.”

sputniknews

Published  3 weeks ago

The US has recognised Venezuelan national assembly chief Juan Guaido as the country's 'acting president,' prompting President Nicolas Maduro to accuse Washington of trying to stage a coup. Sputnik looks at a few of the other times when the US forgot about democracy and supported would-be leaders whose power had nothing to do with the ballot box.

STAR POLITICAL

Published  3 weeks ago

Minnesota Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar is facing backlash after she claimed that President Donald Trump is backing a ‘coup’ in Venezuela… Viral Campaign Sends Nearly 12,000 BRICKS to Nancy Pelosi In Just Under 3 Weeks  Fox News: Minnesota

canada

Published  4 weeks ago

The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement on Venezuela:

“Canada recognizes Juan Guaidó, President of the National Assembly, as the interim President of Venezuela. We support his commitment to lead Venezuela to free and fair presidential elections.

“As stated in the January 4 Lima Group Declaration, Canada rejects the Maduro regime’s illegitimate claim to power and has called upon Nicolás Maduro to cede power to the democratically elected National Assembly.

“We reiterate that a resolution of the crisis in Venezuela can only be achieved through the leadership and courage of Venezuelans themselves. We remain committed to working with our partners, particularly through the Lima Group of countries, and with Venezuela’s democratic opposition.

“Canadians stand with the people of Venezuela and their desire to restore constitutional democracy and human rights in Venezuela.”

Quick facts

Canada has imposed targeted sanctions against 70 Maduro regime officials and, in collaboration with five other countries in the Americas, referred the situation in Venezuela to the International Criminal Court. Canada has also taken steps to downgrade diplomatic relations and restrict engagement with Venezuela.

On January 15, 2019, the National Assembly declared that Nicolás Maduro had taken the presidency illegally and therefore left the office vacant. Today, Juan Guaidó, the President of the National Assembly, assumed the role of interim President.

Associated Links

BBC News

Published  4 weeks ago

Washington warns President Nicolás Maduro not to intimidate the opposition leader or US diplomats.

Fox News

Published  4 weeks ago

Politicians of all stripes make big promises to get into office – but some of the most extravagant promises of the last century have come from socialist politicians pledging to reshape society as a utopia for all.  

Sean Hannity

Published  4 weeks ago

President Donald Trump officially recognized opposition leader Juan Guaido as the interim President of Venezuela Wednesday; raising the stakes in the United States fierce opposition to socialist President Nicolas Maduro.

“In its role as the only legitimate branch of government duly elected by the Venezuelan people, the National Assembly invoked the country’s constitution to declare Nicolas Maduro illegitimate, and the office of the presidency therefore vacant,” Trump said in a statement. “The people of Venezuela have courageously spoken out against Maduro and his regime and demanded freedom and the rule of law.”

“Shortly before Trump’s statement, Guaido said in a webcast from a protest in Caracas that he would assume the powers of the Venezuela presidency. He invoked a constitutional amendment that allows for the head of the legislature to lead a caretaker government until new elections can be held,” writes Bloomberg

Venezuelanalysis.com

Published  4 weeks ago

As US threats increase, Vijay Prashad examines the current context in Venezuela.

USA TODAY

Published  4 weeks ago

(Photo: Federico Parra, AFP/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump recognized Juan Guaido, head of Venezuela’s opposition-led National Assembly, as the country’s interim president Wednesday, rejecting President Nicolas Maduro's contested swearing-in two weeks ago to a second term.

Guaido, 35, declared himself interim president before thousands of cheering supporters Wednesday and said he was “formally assuming the responsibility of the national executive.”

Tens of thousands of Venezuelans, angry over spiraling inflation, a shortage of basic goods and a migration crisis, took to the streets to demand that Maduro step down. But Maduro is garnering support in other corners: Russia has announced it recognizes Maduro as president.

"In its role as the only legitimate branch of government duly elected by the Venezuelan people, the National Assembly invoked the country's constitution to declare Nicolas Maduro illegitimate, and the office of the presidency therefore vacant," Trump said in a statement. "The people of Venezuela have courageously spoken out against Maduro and his regime and demanded freedom and the rule of law."

(Photo: Boris Vergara, AP)

Canada also announced it was recognizing Guaido.

Maduro appears to be gearing up for a contentious fight and is not walking silently into the background. He gave U.S diplomatic personnel 72 hours to leave the country.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement late Wednesday that the U.S. will continue its diplomatic presence in Venezuela.

"The United States stands with interim President Juan Guaido," Pompeo said. "The United States maintains diplomatic relations with Venezuela . . . The United States does not recognize the Maduro regime."

Pompeo said that the U.S. "does not consider (Maduro) to have the legal authority to break diplomatic relations with the United States or to declare our diplomats persona non grata."

Vice President Mike Pence referred to Maduro this week as a dictator who did not win the presidency in free and fair elections.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called on Maduro to step aside and urged the country's military to support efforts to restore democracy. In a statement, Pompeo said Washington would support Guaido as he establishes a transitional government and prepares the country for elections.

"The Venezuelan people have suffered long enough under Nicolas Maduro's disastrous dictatorship," Pompeo said. "We call on Maduro to step aside in favor of a legitimate leader reflecting the will of the Venezuelan people."

Maduro, 56, was hand-picked by socialist president Hugo Chavez to be his successor. Chavez died in 2013.

While Chavez remains well regarded among many Venezuelans, his statue in the city of San Felix was set on fire and destroyed during anti-government protests Tuesday.

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., an outspoken critic of the Maduro governments, warned on Twitter that Maduro was using the unrest to crack down on Venezuelans. He also urged the State Department to expel all Maduro diplomatic personnel from the United States.

“The regime’s response is being directed by #Cuba’s intelligence agency," he wrote. "Expect them to undertake a massive disinformation effort, cut off internet, use agitators to provoke violence & ultimately accuse members of National Assembly of treason & terrorism.”

Contributing: The Associated Press

U.S.

Published  1 month ago

Venezuela's gold holdings in the Bank of England have jumped after it closed out a gold swap deal with Deutsche Bank, according to two sources, as Britain remains reluctant to release gold held f...

RT International

Published  1 month ago

Maduro announced the move to a large crowd of cheering supporters from a balcony of the presidential Miraflores Palace in Caracas, shortly after the US, and then several Latin American countries, decided to recognize the opposition leader Juan Guaido as Venezuela’s interim president.

#EnVivo 📹 | Nos sumamos a la extraordinaria movilización del pueblo aguerrido en conmemoración del 61° Aniversario de la Rebelión Popular del #23Ene de 1958.https://t.co/mvXo9X1gFs

— Nicolás Maduro (@NicolasMaduro) January 23, 2019

#BREAKING#Venezuela President Maduro says he is breaking diplomatic relations with US pic.twitter.com/G9rDTxcL1y

— Guy Elster (@guyelster) January 23, 2019

US President Donald Trump earlier sided with Guaido, who on Wednesday proclaimed himself the country’s acting head, “officially” recognizing him as such. Maduro’s government, in its turn, was described by Trump as an “illegitimate regime.”

Trump recognizes US-backed head of Venezuela’s opposition Juan Guaido as country’s interim president

DETAILS TO FOLLOW

telesurenglish

Published  1 month ago

Venezuela’s Defense Minister, Vladimir Padrino Lopez, declared Wednesday that the National Bolivarian Armed Forces (FANB) refuses to accept the opposition leader Jorge Guaido as the interim president of the Latin American country.

“The Homeland’s soldiers don’t accept a president imposed by obscure interests or self-proclaimed unlawfully,” said Padrino Lopez in his Twitter account, adding that the armed forces will defend the Venezuelan constitution and national sovereignty.

Last Monday a group of soldiers, arrested and facing trial, moved in two military vehicles, stormed the headquarters of the Detachment of Urban Security located in Petare, Sucre municipality, stealing from there a batch of weapons and kidnapping two officers and two members of the Venezuelan National Guard at gunpoint.

In an unconstitutional event the president of the National Assembly in judiciary contempt, Juan Guaido, sworn himself in on Wednesday morning. After which U.S. President Donald Trump recognized the illegal self-proclaimed president. The same was done by the Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), Luis Almagro, who has instigated attacks against Venezuela and his Government.

The government of Mexico, led by the center-left Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, maintained its previous position and reaffirmed their recognition of Nicolas Maduro as the legitimate president of Venezuela. Bolivia, Uruguay and Russia also decided to recognize Maduro.

The Venezuelan president described the international effort as a coup organized by Washington against the Bolivarian Revolution and announced the Latin American country would end diplomatic relations with the U.S.

Opposition forces backed by the U.S. and other right-wing governments and organizations i the region continue with their coup agenda against the Bolivarian government. Meanwhile, in the streets of Caracas, Chavismo mobilizes in defense of peace, democracy and sovereignty of the country in the face of interference and destabilization of the national and international right-wing.

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U.S.

Published  1 month ago

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro and his wife Cilia Flores, attend a meeting with supporters in Caracas, Venezuela January 22, 2019. Miraflores Palace/Handout via REUTERS

CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said on Tuesday he had ordered a “revision” of diplomatic relations with the United States and would announce new measures in the next few hours.

Maduro was responding to comments made earlier on Tuesday by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, who gave his support to Venezuela’s opposition and called Maduro a “dictator with no legitimate claim to power.”

The Gateway Pundit

Published  1 month ago

Sandy knows best. Committed Socialist and Democrat Party mouthpiece Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) went off on the American capitalist system on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday. Ocasio Cortez has warped ideas on the success of Socialism. A trip to Venezuela is warranted for this one. During her talk with The Atlantic’s Ta-Nehisi Coates Ocasio-Cortez […]

Sean Hannity

Published  1 month ago

Venezuela’s socialist President Nicolas Maduro appeared on the brink Wednesday morning, with thousands of citizens taking to the streets in support of the nation’s opposition party after years of economic collapse.

“Venezuela’s re-invigorated opposition faces a crucial test Wednesday as it seeks to fill streets nationwide with protesters in an appeal to the military and the poor to shift loyalties that until recently looked solidly behind President Nicolas Maduro’s socialist government,” writes the Associated Press.

“The protests have been called to coincide with a historic date for Venezuelans — the anniversary of the 1958 coup that overthrew military dictator Marcos Perez Jimenez. Government supporters are also expected to march in downtown Caracas in a rival show of strength,” adds the article.

Cracks in Maduro’s brutal regime appeared towards the end of last week when a rogue National Guard unit defected; prompting Vice President Mike Pence to send a direct message to the Venezuelan people.

“We stand with you until Democracy is restored,” said Pence.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

U.S.

Published  1 month ago

A woman holds a scarf as she gathers in support of Venezuela's opposition leader Juan Guaido outside the Embassy of Venezuela in Mexico City, Mexico January 23, 2019. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain supports Venezuela’s opposition leader Juan Guaido as head of the democratically elected National Assembly, a spokesman for Prime Minister Theresa May said on Thursday, adding that a 2018 presidential poll was neither free nor fair.

Guaido declared himself interim president on Wednesday, winning backing from Washington and parts of Latin America and prompting socialist Nicolas Maduro, Venezuela’s leader since 2013, to break relations with the United States.

“The 2018 presidential election in Venezuela was neither free nor fair, so the regime’s basis for power is deeply flawed. We fully support the democratically elected National Assembly with Juan Guaido as its president,” May’s spokesman said.

“In relation to the U.S, we think it is totally unacceptable for Venezuela to cut off diplomatic ties. The solution to this crisis lies in working to find a peaceful and diplomatic solution, not in expulsions.”

Washington Examiner

Published  1 month ago

Venezuelan dictator Nicolas Maduro lacks “the legal authority” to expel American diplomats, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Wednesday.

“The United States does not recognize the Maduro regime as the government of Venezuela,” Pompeo warned in a statement. “Accordingly the United States does not consider former president Nicolas Maduro to have the legal authority to break diplomatic relations with the United States or to declare our diplomats persona non grata.”

Maduro ordered the departure of American officials earlier Wednesday after President Trump announced his support for a leading opposition figure who has claimed the constitutional authority to supplant the socialist strongman. Trump backed Maduro’s ouster by affirming that National Assembly President Juan Guaido stands as the interim president of the country, days after the lawmaker declared Maduro’s inauguration invalid and invoked a constitutional provision authorizing him to assume the presidency and oversee new elections.

“The United States maintains diplomatic relations with Venezuela and will conduct our relations with Venezuela through the government of interim President Guaido, who has invited our mission to remain in Venezuela,” Pompeo said.

Maduro pledged to remain in office and ordered the State Department team to leave within 72 hours.

“We do not want to return to the 20th century of gringo interventions and coups d’etats,” Maduro said after Trump’s announcement, according to the New York Times.

Pompeo warned “the Venezuelan military and security forces” not to attempt to remove the diplomats by force or retaliate over their refusal. “We call on all parties to refrain from measures that are inconsistent with the privileges and immunities enjoyed by members of the diplomatic community,” he said. “The United States will take appropriate actions to hold accountable anyone who endangers the safety and security of our mission and its personnel.”

The Washington Times

Published  1 month ago

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) —Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says the United States won’t pull its diplomats out of Venezuela as ordered by President Nicolas Maduro.

Pompeo made the announcement Wednesday night, hours after the U.S. recognized Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido as interim president. That decision prompted Maduro to sever relations with the U.S. and order American diplomats to leave within 72 hours.

But Pompeo said the U.S. would instead abide by Guaido’s directive that countries retain their diplomatic missions in the South American country. Pompeo says the U.S. doesn’t recognize the authority of Maduro and that he doesn’t have the legal authority to break diplomatic relations with the U.S.

Other nations, including Canada, Brazil and Argentina, also have recognized Guaido as Venezuela’s president.

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

U.S.

Published  1 month ago

U.S. President Donald Trump could recognize Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido as the country's legitimate president as soon as Wednesday, according to two people familiar with the matter.

WSJ

Published  1 month ago

As I have heard many times from Venezuelans over the past 2 years, Mr. Maduro has exacerbated the country’s corruption and socialist policies, accelerating its descent from one of the richest countries in the Western Hemisphere to one of the poorest and most despotic. He promised prosperity, but his actions have caused Venezuela’s economy to shrink by nearly 50%. He promised safety and security, but cities and streets are now overrun with murderous gangs, kidnappers and thieves. He promised to respect democracy, but instead followed the advice and example of his communist mentors in Cuba, imprisoning opponents, banning major parties, and undermining fair elections.

Mr. Guaidó experienced this firsthand. Two days before I spoke with him, he was briefly abducted by the country’s intelligence service in a brazen attempt to intimidate him into silence. It failed.

Mr. Guaidó has courageously spoken out because the Venezuelan people are suffering. Nine out of 10 citizens live in poverty. Millions lack access to drinking water and food, and the average Venezuelan reports losing significant weight in recent years, with the poorest dropping more than 20 pounds. Three out of four hospitals are abandoned, causing infectious diseases that were once eradicated in our hemisphere to re-emerge and spread.

In Colombia in 2017, my wife and I met a woman who had fled Venezuela with her four grandchildren. She told us that in their old town, the children had to wake up at 4 a.m. every day to get a ticket, then stand in line to redeem it for a piece of bread in the afternoon. Like that family, more than three million Venezuelans have now abandoned their homeland—the hemisphere’s largest cross-border mass exodus ever—with another two million expected to follow in 2019.

This is a humanitarian crisis and also a matter of regional security. Vulnerable families often fall prey to human traffickers and criminal organizations. Venezuela’s growing black market has attracted criminal syndicates from across the world to launder money and export drugs, weapons and terrorism across the region. In these respects Venezuela is a failed state, and failed states know no borders.

For the sake of our vital interests, and for the sake of the Venezuelan people, the U.S. will not stand by as Venezuela crumbles.

The U.S. has already devoted nearly $100 million to support Venezuelan refugees. We have also targeted corruption and imposed strict financial sanctions on illicit business and more than 54 current or former senior officials, including core members of Mr. Maduro’s inner circle. We have rallied free nations in the region and beyond to isolate the regime, resulting in official condemnations from more than 50 countries as well as the Organization of American States, the Lima Group and the European Union.

Venezuela’s crisis will worsen until democracy is restored. That is why under President Trump, the U.S. strongly supports the National Assembly and Mr. Guaidó. Nicolás Maduro has no legitimate claim to power. Nicolás Maduro must go.

Sixty-one years after the Venezuelan people rose up for freedom, they are once again crying out for libertad. America stands with the Venezuelan people as they stand up to the dictatorship of Nicolás Maduro. “A people that loves freedom will in the end be free,” said Simón Bolívar. We believe that day is coming soon.

Mr. Pence is vice president of the United States.

Appeared in the January 23, 2019, print edition.

www.theepochtimes.com

Published  1 month ago

Economy From sweeping tax reform to support for energy production, President Donald Trump’s pro-business policies have boosted the ...

treasury

Published  1 month ago

Treasury continues to target security and oil officials undermining democracy and human rights

Washington – Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated five officials aligned with illegitimate former President Nicolas Maduro, who continue to repress democracy and democratic actors in Venezuela and engage in significant corruption and fraud against the people of Venezuela. This action, pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13692, targets the head of the Venezuelan National Intelligence Service (SEBIN), Manuel Ricardo Cristopher Figuera, and SEBIN’s First Commissioner, Hildemaro Jose Rodriguez Mucura; the Commander of Venezuela’s Directorate General of Military Counter-Intelligence, Ivan Rafael Hernandez Dala; and the Director of the Venezuelan National Police’s Special Actions Force (FAES), Rafael Enrique Bastardo Mendoza. Additionally OFAC designated the illegitimate President of Venezuela’s state-owned oil company, Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PdVSA), Manuel Salvador Quevedo Fernandez.

“Treasury continues to target officials who have helped the illegitimate Maduro regime repress the Venezuelan people. We are sanctioning officials in charge of Maduro’s security and intelligence apparatus, which has systematically violated human rights and suppressed democracy, including through torture and other brutal use of force,” said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. “We are intent on going after those facilitating Maduro’s corruption and predation, including by sanctioning the President of PdVSA and others diverting assets that rightfully belong to the people of Venezuela.”

As a result of today’s action, all property and interests in property of these individuals, and of any entities that are owned, directly or indirectly, 50% or more by such individuals, that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons are blocked and must be reported to OFAC. OFAC’s regulations generally prohibit all dealings by U.S. persons or within (or transiting) the United States that involve any property or interests in property of blocked or designated persons.

U.S. sanctions need not be permanent; sanctions are intended to bring about a positive change of behavior. The United States has made clear that we will consider lifting sanctions for persons designated under E.O. 13692 or E.O. 13850 who take concrete and meaningful actions to restore democratic order, refuse to take part in human rights abuses, speak out against abuses committed by the government, and combat corruption in Venezuela.

The following five individuals designated today have been determined to be current or former officials of the Government of Venezuela:

Ivan Rafael Hernandez Dala (Hernandez) is the Commander of illegitimate former-President Maduro’s Presidential Guard, or Guardia de Honor Presidencial, a position he was appointed to in January 2014. Additionally, Hernandez is Commander of Venezuela’s Directorate General of Military Counter-Intelligence, or Director General de Contrainteligencia Militar, more commonly known as DGCIM. The DGCIM, in addition to SEBIN, is responsible for serious human rights abuses and the repression of civil society and the democratic opposition. DGCIM has detained and tortured Venezuelan military members suspected of plotting against the government, and has detained and tortured family members of some of those suspects in order to gain information. Abuses reportedly carried out by the DGCIM and SEBIN include brutal beatings, asphyxiation, cutting soles of feet with razor blades, electric shocks, and death threats. Under his command, DGCIM members have often used excessive force against detainees. Hernandez was promoted to the rank of Major General on July 5, 2018.

Manuel Ricardo Cristopher Figuera (Cristopher) is the Director General of the Venezuelan National Intelligence Service, or Servicio Bolivariano de Inteligencia Nacional, more commonly referenced to as SEBIN. Cristopher replaced Gustavo Gonzalez Lopez, who was designated by OFAC pursuant to E.O. 13692 on March 9, 2015, who occupied that position from March 9, 2015 until October 30, 2018. Prior to his role with SEBIN, Cristopher was President, with the rank of Director General, of the Centro Estratégico de Seguridad y Protección de la Patria, or Strategic Center of Security and Protection of the Homeland, the Venezuelan government organization responsible for the unification of information related to defense, intelligence, internal order, and external relations. According to an official of the Venezuelan opposition party, Justice First, or Primero Justicia, Cristopher oversees mass torture, mass human rights violations, and mass persecution against those who want democratic change in Venezuela.

Hildemaro Jose Rodriguez Mucura (Mucura) is the First Commissioner of SEBIN. On January 11, 2019, Mucura, along with three other SEBIN officers, detained Interim President of Venezuela and President of the Venezuelan National Assembly, Juan Guaidó. Mucura directed the detainment of Guaidó, and was one of 12 SEBIN officials later arrested for their association with Guaidó’s temporary detainment.

Rafael Enrique Bastardo Mendoza (Bastardo) is the Commander of a Venezuelan National Police Unit commonly referred to as the Special Actions Force, or Fuerzas de Acciones Especiales (FAES). Additionally, Bastardo was promoted to the position of Lieutenant Colonel on July 5, 2018, as a member of the Venezuelan National Guard. FAES has been branded as Maduro’s “extermination squad,” known for its brutal methods and masked appearances, carrying out nighttime raids throughout Caracas. Since Guaidó assumed his position as Interim President, FAES has been accused of dozens of extrajudicial killings targeting the opposition. On January 31, 2019, in the middle of Guaidó’s news conference on his economic plans, Guaidó said that FAES were in his home threatening his family.

Manuel Salvador Quevedo Fernandez (Quevedo) is the current President of Venezuelan state-owned oil company, PdVSA, which he has continued to represent even after OFAC designated PdVSA pursuant to E.O. 13850 on January 28, 2019. PdVSA is Venezuela’s primary source of income and foreign currency, and has long been used as a vehicle for significant government corruption. Government officials and businessmen alike devised schemes to launder billions of dollars stolen and embezzled for their personal gain. Quevedo is also the illegitimate Minister of Petroleum and Mining aligned with former President Maduro, a position he has served in since November 26, 2017. Quevedo previously served in numerous government positions, including as the Minister of Housing and Habitat, and as a Brigadier General and head of Regional Command number 5, located in Greater Caracas.

For information about the methods that Venezuelan senior political figures, their associates, and front persons use to move and hide corrupt proceeds, including how they try to exploit the U.S. financial system and real estate market, please refer to FinCEN’s advisories FIN-2017-A006, “Advisory on Widespread Public Corruption in Venezuela,” and FIN-2017-A003, “Advisory to Financial Institutions and Real Estate Firms and Professionals.”

elnuevoherald

Published  1 month ago

Nicolás Maduro le envió un mensaje al presidente estadounidense Donald Trump, reiterándole su voluntad de conversar directamente con él.

Medium

Published  1 month ago

If America Stopped Destroying The World, The Bad Guys Might Win

Caitlin Johnstone

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters on Saturday that the government under Venezuela’s recently re-inaugurated president Nicolas Maduro is “illegitimate”, and that “the United States will work diligently to restore a real democracy to that country.”

Pompeo’s remarks, which were echoed by Trump’s National Security Advisor John Bolton, are interesting for a couple of reasons. The first is because Venezuela’s presidential election in May of last year (which incidentally was found to have been perfectly legitimate by the international Council of Electoral Experts of Latin America) was actively and aggressively meddled in by the US and its allies. The second is that while the US government is openly broadcasting its intention to keep interfering in Venezuela’s political system, it continues to scream bloody murder about alleged Russian interference in its own democratic process two years ago.

What is the difference between the behavior of the United States, which remains far and away the single worst offender in foreign election meddling on the planet, and what Russia is accused of having done in 2016? According to a comment made by former CIA Director James Woolsey last year, it’s that the US interferes in foreign democracies “for a very good cause.”

And that’s really the only argument that empire loyalists have going for them on this subject. The US is different because the US has moral authority. It’s okay for the US to continue to interfere in the political affairs of foreign nations while it would be an unforgivable and outrageous “act of war” for a nation like Russia to do the exact same thing, because the US is countering the interests of the Bad Guys while Russia is countering the interests of the Good Guys. Who decided who the Good Guys and Bad Guys are in this argument? The US.

This “What we do is good because we’re the Good Guys” faith-based doctrine was regurgitated with full-throated zealotry in a recent speech given by Pompeo in Cairo, in which he cited “America’s innate goodness” in making the absolutely ridiculous claim that “America is a force for good in the Middle East” which has been “absent too much” from the region previously. America’s nonstop deadly interventionism in the Middle East is “good”, because America is “innately good”.

America’s constant military interventionism, election interference and other nastiness are painted as Good Things done by Good Guys to fight the Bad Guys. The argument, when you boil it right down, is that if America wasn’t constantly starting wars, invading sovereign nations, staging coups, sponsoring proxy conflicts, arming terrorists, bombing civilians, torturing people, implementing starvation sanctions on impoverished populations, pointing nuclear weapons everywhere, spying on us all with a globe-spanning Orwellian surveillance network, interfering in foreign elections, and patrolling the skies with flying death robots, the Bad Guys might win.

Sort of makes you wonder who the Bad Guys really are, huh?

Things our foreign policies are not about: * values * freedom * terrorism * democracy * human rights Things our foreign policies are about: * profit * Wall Street * Imperialism * natural resources * global economic dominance

The theme of Good Guys fighting Bad Guys resonates with a population that has been raised for generations on Hollywood films featuring a handsome action hero emerging victorious after a ninety-minute struggle and karate kicking an ugly villain off a cliff before kissing the pretty girl, but it doesn’t accurately reflect the reality we actually live in. Our world is dominated by extremely powerful people who are motivated not out of interest in good or evil but a drive toward power and profit which is completely disinterested in morality of any kind, and the empires they build for themselves have their foundations on the backs of ordinary people who are just trying to get by. The majority of those extremely powerful people either live in the United States or have formed alliances with US power structures, and all their agendas in Asia, South America, the Middle East and elsewhere have nothing to do with “protecting democracy” or being a “force of good”, and everything to do with amassing more power.

Even among those who recognize that the US-centralized empire isn’t a shining beacon of virtue in our world, the notion remains prevalent that if American power ceases to be a unipolar dominator then someone worse will take over the world. This fear-based mindset ultimately underlies all establishment manipulation and all educated support for it: the idea that someone needs to rule and dominate the world to prevent someone else from doing the same. But what are the fruits of this mindset? A corporatist Orwellian dystopia hurtling toward climate collapse if nuclear war doesn’t kill us all first.

We can’t keep doing this. We literally can’t; we’ll evolve beyond this fear-based dominator paradigm or we’ll all perish beneath its feet very soon. We are now in a position where our irrational fear of being invaded by China has pushed us to the brink of extinction, so it isn’t even a gamble to step off that train and try something else instead.

It is entirely possible that the US is capable of functioning like a normal nation and simply defending its own shores and sustaining itself without interfering in world affairs. It is entirely possible that the threat everyone imagines of some foreign power stepping in as the unipolar dominator should America vacate that role is the product of fearful imaginings with no bearing on reality and a fundamental misunderstanding of humanity. It is entirely possible that we are capable of creating a world where nobody dominates anybody, and no iron-fisted world leader of any kind is needed. Either way, the train we’re on is headed for a brick wall, so we’ve now got nothing to lose by stepping off.

The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for my website, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My articles are entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics on Twitter, throwing some money into my hat on Patreon or Paypal, purchasing some of my sweet new merchandise, buying my new book Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone, or my previous book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers.

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canada

Published  1 month ago

The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement on Venezuela:

“Today, Nicolás Maduro’s regime loses any remaining appearance of legitimacy. Having seized power through fraudulent and anti-democratic elections held on May 20, 2018, the Maduro regime is now fully entrenched as a dictatorship. The suffering of Venezuelans will only worsen should he continue to illegitimately cling to power.

“Together with other likeminded countries in the Lima Group, Canada rejects the legitimacy of the new presidential term of Nicolás Maduro. We call on him to immediately cede power to the democratically-elected National Assembly until new elections are held, which must include the participation of all political actors and follow the release of all political prisoners in Venezuela.

“In direct response to the actions of the Maduro regime, Canada has imposed targeted sanctions against 70 regime officials and, in collaboration with five other countries in the Americas, referred the situation in Venezuela to the International Criminal Court. Canada has also taken steps to downgrade diplomatic relations and restrict engagement with Venezuela.

“We will continue to take further, strong actions, as agreed to by Lima Group members when we met last week in Peru.

“Canada congratulates Juan Guaidó, who on January 5, 2019, assumed the Presidency of the National Assembly. As the only remaining democratically-elected institution in the country, the National Assembly must continue to play a crucial role in keeping Venezuela’s democracy alive.

“Canadians stand with the people of Venezuela and their desire to restore democracy and human rights in Venezuela.”

Quick Facts

The Lima Group was established on August 8, 2017, in Lima, Peru, to coordinate participating countries’ efforts and apply international pressure on Venezuela. Meetings of the group have been regularly attended by representatives from Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Saint Lucia. It is committed to closely monitoring events in Venezuela and applying pressure on Venezuela’s government until the full restoration of democracy in the country is achieved.

Over 3 million Venezuelans have been forced to flee their homes since 2015 in search of food, healthcare, and other basic services.

Since 2017, Canada has provided $2.21 million in humanitarian assistance funding to directly help meet the needs of the most vulnerable populations affected by the crisis, both in Venezuela and for those who have fled to Colombia.

Canada has imposed three rounds of targeted sanctions to date and continues to coordinate with international partners to pressure the Maduro regime to restore democracy in Venezuela.

Associated Links

Adam Austen

Press Secretary

Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Adam.Austen@international.gc.ca

America First with Sebastian Gorka

Published  1 month ago

On the radio show yesterday, Turning Point USA founder, Charlie Kirk, claimed that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was a “symptom” of the decline of America’s political culture rather than the cause of it. Kirk remarked that Cortez was a shining example of the kind of student that America’s broken university system is producing today in that she is “constantly wrong but never in doubt” about her Marxist beliefs.

Cortez campaigned on a platform that was openly socialist. Her platform was not based on fact, it was instead predicated on feeling. Like so many of her generation, Cortez pointed out problems she had personally faced living as a young person in New York City. The cost of living in Cortez’s district is high and adequate employment opportunities are hard to come by. Yet, these circumstances are not the result of unfettered capitalism. Instead, they are the outcome of decades-worth of socialist policies enacted by a spate of New York State and the city’s Democratic leaders.

Rather than being able to identify the source of her (and those of her constituents) woes, Cortez jumps to blaming the capitalist economy that the United States has long enjoyed and which has brought prosperity to hundreds of millions over the ages. Cortez is a true believer of the worst kind. She will brook no compromise with her political opponents on the Right and she is utterly convinced that her vision for the future of the country is the purest of all.

Throughout her campaign for office and her subsequent (short) tenure in office, Cortez has made a bevy of false and factually misleading statements. Among her inaccuracies was her claim that $21 trillion had been lost out of a defense budget of only $770 billion. Cortez argued that the magic $21 trillion spent on defense should instead be spent on Medicare-for-all. The assumed cost for Cortez’s Medicare-for-all scheme would be around $32 trillion–or almost ten times the whole federal budget! Everyone from Anderson Cooper (no friend of either capitalism or the American Right) to the Washington Post came down on Cortez for her blatant falsehoods.

In fact, the Washington Post took the rare step (for a Left-wing publication against an openly socialist politician, like Cortez) of giving Representative Cortez a four-Pinnochio-rating (meaning she was full of lies). To which, “AOC” lamented that “people are more concerned about [her] being factually correct than morally right.”

Everything–even the truth–is subordinated to Cortez’s Marxist socialist ideology.

During the days of the Soviet Union, the Communists used to claim that the truth was whatever the Communist Party said it was. In other words, facts don’t matter; the truth is relative, and only the party’s ideology was important (see George Kennan’s incredible Long Telegram for his analysis on what real Communism is).

Cortez believes that, whatever the problem, the solution is socialism and more government power over our lives. But, she does this despite the lessons of history. In fact, over 40 countries have tried Marxism as a solution to their political and economic woes. Each one of those systems ended in failure and created more problems and more tyranny than what had existed before the rise of Marxism in those countries. What’s worse is that Communism killed over 100 million people worldwide throughout the 20th century.

Today, Venezuela is collapsing after having lived under the Hugo Chavez-inspired socialist revolution since 2002. In Venezuela, a country blessed with vast oil resources, people are so bereft of hope and sustenance that they’ve taken to eating their dogs, cats, and any other animal they can find (while the current Venezuelan leader, Nicolas Maduro, eats five-course meals every day like a king).

Here is a stunning video documentary done by the famous satirist, Ami Horowitz, from when he traveled to Venezuela recently:

What Horowitz documented is how socialism ends. Every time. In the recent midterm elections, 40 Democrats ran as overt socialists. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was among this lot. They, like she, are deeply committed to bringing socialism to our shores here in the United States, after our country spent a century resisting it abroad.

Even in countries that Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) claims are “socialist,” such as the Netherlands, the leaders there are becoming aggravated with being called “socialist.” To these leaders, the European countries, are not socialist states. They are capitalist countries with very expense welfare systems–systems that are, in fact, bankrupting those countries.

Not only has AOC has been consistently proven to be factually incorrect. Her belief system is bankrupt morally as well as intellectually. And, her ideas will lead this country to ruin, just as they have in every country where socialism was tried, at the cost of millions dead.

RT International

Published  1 month ago

The Bank of England blocked Venezuela’s attempts to retrieve $1.2 billion worth of gold stored as the nation’s foreign reserves in Britain, sources told Bloomberg on Friday.

According to the media outlet, officials in Caracas have for weeks been trying to withdraw the gold, with Calixto Ortega, the head of Venezuela’s central bank, traveling to London in mid-December to seek access to the nation’s assets.

The talks were “unsuccessful,” as US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the national security advisor to President Donald Trump, John Bolton, pressured their British counterparts to freeze the Venezuelan assets, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

By some estimates, Venezuela holds more than $8 billion in foreign reserves. According to earlier reports, the amount of Venezuelan gold kept in the Bank of England doubled in recent months, growing from 14 to 31 tons.

The South American nation has reportedly experienced problems in extracting its own gold from the Bank of England in the past. Bankers in Britain were allegedly concerned that Venezuelan officials would sell the state-owned gold “for personal gain.”

The Bank of England, along with press officials for Pompeo and Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro, declined to comment.

Despite the fact that the story was not confirmed, the alleged move of the British bank was swiftly praised by the self-proclaimed ‘interim president’ of Venezuela. “The process of protecting the assets of Venezuela has begun,” Juan Guaido tweeted.

“We will not allow more abuse and theft of money intended for food, medicine and the future of our children.”

Guaido, the speaker of the national parliament, declared himself ‘interim president’ of the state earlier with week in opposition to Maduro. He was subsequently recognized as the “legitimate” leader of Venezuela by the US, Canada, and the majority of South American nations.

Maduro was backed by states like Mexico, Russia, China, and Turkey. He slammed the US for endorsing Guaido, ordering its diplomats to leave the county.

Moscow said it will continue to recognize Maduro as the sole democratically-elected leader of the country and called on others to not allow “destructive foreign interference” in Venezuelan affairs.

France, Germany & Spain issue ‘identical’ threats to recognize Venezuela’s self-appointed president

Venezuela has seen a series of large-scale anti-government protests in recent years. Some of them spiraled into riots and clashes with police. Nicolas Maduro blasted “foreign interference” as a source behind the unrest, while in particular accusing US officials of endorsing the rallies and Washington of planning to overthrow him. The anti-government protests were met with counter-demonstrations by Maduro supporters.

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The Independent

Published  1 month ago

The first UN rapporteur to visit Venezuela for 21 years has told The Independent the US sanctions on the country are illegal and could amount to “crimes against humanity” under international law.

The Gateway Pundit

Published  1 month ago

Pope Francis with Fidel Castro What a disgrace. Vatican News celebrated the 60th Anniversaryof the evil and murderous Castro regime this week on their webpage. The credible estimates of the Castro regime’s death toll runs from 35,000 to 141,000, with a median of 73,000. Aww shucks: #Vatican News quickly removes post celebrating 60 years of […]

Homeland Security

Published  1 month ago

The Vatican News website recently paid tribute to Cuba on the 60th anniversary of the Communist revolution in a post that was quickly deleted, according to reports.

The Communist island nation marked the occasion with celebrations on News Year's Day, while several leftist Latin American leaders tweeted their best wishes.

The socialist despot president of Venezuela Nicolás Maduro tweeted: "We commemorate the anniversary of the triumph of the Cuban Revolution led by Commander Fidel Castro. 60 years of sacrifices, struggles and blockade; There is the heroic Cuban people, an example of resistance and dignity to the world. Long Live Cuba!"

Conmemoramos el aniversario del triunfo de la Revolución Cubana liderada por el Comandante Fidel Castro. 60 años de sacrificios, luchas y bloqueo; allí está el heroico pueblo cubano, ejemplo de resistencia y dignidad ante el mundo. ¡Viva Cuba! https://t.co/IENRE0zJIx pic.twitter.com/5EXhvkR69q

— Nicolás Maduro (@NicolasMaduro) January 1, 2019

In a pinned tweet, another socialist leader, Bolivia's Evo Morales, stated: "We salute the victory of Bro. Commandant. Fidel Castro and the valiant Cuban people on the proimperialist dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista."

Como hoy, 1959, con el triunfo de la Revolución Cubana, nació la luz de esperanza y voluntad invencible por la liberación de los pueblos. Saludamos victoria del Hno. Cmdte. Fidel Castro y el valeroso pueblo cubano sobre la dictadura proimperialista de Fulgencio Batista pic.twitter.com/Jfb3PlBeU2

— Evo Morales Ayma (@evoespueblo) January 1, 2019

Not to be outdone, the Vatican News Service offered its own tribute of sorts to commemorate the festive occasion: Cuba Celebrates 60 Years of the Revolution. The post reportedly read:

The historic anniversary was celebrated with an official ceremony in which the former head of state and leader of the Cuban Communist Party, Raúl Castro, and the current president of the nation, Miguel Díaz-Canel, participated.

The post was apparently deleted, but not before some appalled readers captured it:

La página DEL VATICANO publicó un homenaje a los 60 años de la monarquía cubana. Lo borraron a las pocas horas pero nosotros somos más rápidos.

Juan Pablo II se retuerce en su tumba. pic.twitter.com/nvS2smzilm

— Trava y liberula ???? (@anarcomenemismo) January 2, 2019

Some Catholics on Twitter criticized the post for what they felt was an inappropriately simpatico tone.

Below, read an excerpt of the Vatican News post (English via Google Translate):

The Cuban Revolution celebrated its 60th anniversary this January 1, 2019. On the island, the historic anniversary was celebrated with a ceremony in Santiago de Cuba, in the cemetery of Santa Ifigenia, where Fidel Castro is buried, who died on November 25, 2016. To the main national forces on January 10, 1959, the dictator Fulgencio Batista fled 26 months of guerrilla war led by brothers Fidel and Raul Castro. From Santiago, Fidel Castro proclaimed the beginning of the revolution the victory of the counterculture.

France 24

Published  1 month ago

Click on the player above to watch FRANCE 24's special report, with live coverage of Bolsonaro's inaugural address and analysis from our panel of Brazil experts.

Bolsonaro is the latest of several far-right leaders around the world who have come to power on a wave of anti-establishment anger and promises to ditch the status quo.

A fan of US President Donald Trump, the 63-year-old longtime congressman rose to power on an anti-corruption and pro-gun agenda that has energised Brazilian conservatives and hard-right supporters after four consecutive presidential election wins by the left-leaning Workers' Party.

Tuesday's festivities in the capital of Brasilia began with a motorcade procession along the main road leading to Congress and other government buildings. Bolsonaro and his wife, Michelle, stood up in an open-top Rolls-Royce and waved to thousands of onlookers.

They were surrounded by dozens of guards on horses and plain-clothes bodyguards who ran beside the car.

Once inside Congress, Bolsonaro and his vice president, retired Gen. Hamilton Mourao, took the oath of office. Bolsonaro then read a short speech that included many of the far-right positions he staked out during the campaign.

He promised to combat the "ideology of gender" teaching in schools, "respect our Judeo-Christian tradition" and "prepare children for the job market, not political militancy".

"I call on all congressmen to help me rescue Brazil from corruption, criminality and ideological submission," he said, earning a congratulatory message from Trump.

"Congratulations to President @jairbolsonaro who just made a great inauguration speech," the US president tweeted. "The U.S.A. is with you!"

Bolsonaro promptly thanked Trump, adding: "under God's protection, we shall bring prosperity and progress to our people!"

Dear Mr. President @realDonalTrump, I truly appreciate your words of encouragement. Together, under God’s protection, we shall bring prosperity and progress to our people! https://t.co/dplAFNJGdA

Jair M. Bolsonaro (@jairbolsonaro) January 1, 2019

The capital Brasilia was under tight security, with 3,000 police patrolling the event. Military tanks, fighter jets and even anti-aircraft missiles also were deployed. The increased security came at the request of the incoming president, who was stabbed in the stomach during a campaign rally in September.

Notable foreign leaders attending the inauguration include Hungary's hardline Prime Minister Viktor Orban and Israel's hawkish premier Benjamin Netanyahu, who has hailed a budding "brotherhood" with Brazil's new leader.

Leftist Presidents Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela, Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua and Miguel Díaz-Canel of Cuba, deemed dictators by Bolsonaro, were uninvited by Bolsonaro's team after the foreign ministry sent them invitations. The United States was represented by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Seven of Bolsonaro's 22 Cabinet ministers are former military personnel, more than in any administration during Brazil's 1964-1985 dictatorship. That has sparked fears among his adversaries of a return to autocratic rule, but Bolsonaro insists he will respect the country's constitution.

(FRANCE 24 with AP)

The Gateway Pundit

Published  1 month ago

Women are fleeing the Socialist paradise of Venezuela and selling their hair and breast milk to get by.

Some girls as young as 14 are even resorting to prostitution to buy food.

This is the hell that the Democrats are pushing for in the United States.

Socialism leads to poverty and mass starvation forcing people to resort to desperate measures to feed their families.

Thousands of Venezuelans are pouring into Colombia to escape the hell they were living in thanks to the Socialist government of Venezuela. The emaciated women carrying their babies beg for money and food.

Fox News reported that the women are cutting off their hair and selling their locks to wig makers for around $10-30 to make ends meet.

Some women have resorted to selling their bodies; girls as young as 14 are earning around $7.00 “per service.”

“Due to the brutal economic situation in Venezuela, they come to Colombia looking for a job, or at least for shelter and basic care. But they usually end up selling candles or coffee at traffic lights,” said Amy Roth Sandrolini, Chief of Staff at The Exodus Road, a U.S.-based organization devoted to fighting human trafficking globally. “Where they also become vulnerable to being recruited, to become victims of human trafficking.”

Both men and women are exposed to sex trafficking along the route from Venezuela to Colombia. According to several walkers, some women “chose” prostitution as a means to make money and earn rides along the way. And some heterosexual men “sell themselves on the gay market” for a little money.

Other women are manipulated or forced into giving “pimp types” their documents and identification cards, and are subsequently drawn into prostitution rings. That’s particularly the case in border areas, where many rebel and drug-trafficking groups operate.

Venezuela used to be the wealthiest nation in South America. Socialism has destroyed the once flourishing country.

Healthcare is a thing of the past now in Venezuela and children are dying of measles, tuberculosis, malaria and hepatitis.

Fox News reported:

“Currently there are no broad-spectrum antibiotics, not even basic antibiotics to treat basic pathogens from children and present chronic illnesses,” she said. “We don’t have x-rays working, they haven’t for a long time. We don’t have a CAT scanner or an MRI scanner. Many other vital medical instruments don’t work. The municipal blood banks don’t have reagents, therefore we have kids who are getting blood transfusions and are getting infected with hepatitis C and could even be injected with HIV.”

Suicide rates are through the roof as well, tragically even among children.

Venezuelans dig through trashcans to feed themselves while President Nicolas Maduro feasts on gourmet meals.

Make no mistake, this is the exact Socialist hell that the Democrat leaders want for Americans.

Fox News

Published  2 months ago

They come from a country that now resembles a war zone –their lives have been ripped apart by displacement, starvation, disease, desperation, torment and fear life – and while that war zone sentiment too has permeated the Colombian side of the border, there is at least a sense that survival is possible.

Hot Air

Published  2 months ago

While it may seem hard to believe, there was a time when the citizens of Venezuela were allowed to keep and bear arms. This wasn’t the distant past we’re talking about either. It was only in 2012 that the socialist government of Hugo Chavez enacted the “Control of Arms, Munitions and Disarmament Law.” When it was passed, the authors of the legislation pulled no punches, saying that the explicit purpose of the law was to “disarm all citizens.”

See Also: Andrew Napolitano: Let’s face it, there’s “ample evidence” to indict Trump in the McDougal payoff

That bill was spectacularly successful, massively reducing the volume of privately owned firearms. Then, when the new tyrant, Nicolas Maduro took power and sent his swarms of federal troops and government “militias” out into the streets to crush any opposition to his regime, the unarmed populace had little recourse in the face of government guns. This fact is highlighted by a Venezuelan educator now living in exile in Ecuador. (Fox News, emphasis added)

As Venezuela continues to crumble under the socialist dictatorship of President Nicolas Maduro, some are expressing words of warning – and resentment – against a six-year-old gun control bill that stripped citizens of their weapons.

“Guns would have served as a vital pillar to remaining a free people, or at least able to put up a fight,” Javier Vanegas, 28, a Venezuelan teacher of English now exiled in Ecuador, told Fox News. “The government security forces, at the beginning of this debacle, knew they had no real opposition to their force. Once things were this bad, it was a clear declaration of war against an unarmed population.”

The unarmed population in question probably couldn’t afford to purchase any replacement firearms at this point even if it were legal. Keep in mind that most of Venezuela is so starving and impoverished at this point that families are renting caskets to display at funerals for their deceased loved ones and then burying them in plastic bags.

The effectiveness of the Control of Arms, Munitions and Disarmament Law was regularly highlighted by the government on state-run television. Here are a few of the items they featured.

A program allowing citizens to voluntarily trade in their arms for electrical goods

A tally of only 37 recorded voluntary gun surrenders

Meanwhile, more than 12,500 gun confiscations were conducted by force

Broadcasted displays of public weapons demolitions in the town square

Any of this sounding familiar to you yet? Government offers of gun “buybacks” (even if it’s in trade for goods)… mandatory gun confiscations… the destruction of weapons rather than having them go back into circulation? In case you don’t feel like clicking through, all of those linked stories in this paragraph come from events here in the United States, not in some foreign ****hole country.

If you’re watching what’s happening under expanding gun control programs in Democrat/socialist run blue states these days, consider the end game. And to do so, look no further than Venezuela. It’s really working out gangbusters for them, isn’t it?

Fox News

Published  2 months ago

The Trump administration's new special envoy for Venezuela, Elliott Abrams, clashed Wednesday with freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., during a House hearing on the Caracas crisis after the congresswoman tried to turn focus to Abrams' history in Latin America while asking him point-blank whether he'd support "genocide" if it served American interests. 

Breitbart

Published  2 months ago

Venezuelans lament their nation's six-year-old gun ban and say the prohibition against being armed allows their government to dominate them.

Fox News

Published  2 months ago

As Venezuela continues to crumble under the socialist dictatorship of President Nicolas Maduro, some are expressing words of warning – and resentment –regarding the country’s earlier gun control bill that saw citizens stripped of their weapons-owning rights.

FAIR

Published  2 months ago

Western media outlets echoed the Trump administration's claim that the Venezuelan government was heartlessly withholding foreign aid.

100PercentFedUp.com

Published  2 months ago

Donald Trump Jr. just made all of America spit out whatever they might be drinking. This is funny! He posted a meme on Instagram that made the claim that the policies of socialism will cause Americans to eat their dogs. LOL! The meme features New York Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the text “Why are you so […]

Breitbart

Published  3 months ago

Around 80 percent of Venezuelans are now short of food, according to the new data compiled by NGO Human Rights Watch on Tuesday.

Following a trip to the Venezuelan border with Brazil by a team of health experts from John Hopkins University, researchers found that malnutrition continues to rise aggressively, with 80 percent of households unable to access enough food and rates of malnutrition among five years now over the World Health Organization’s crisis limit. In 2017, the average person lost around 11 kilos (24 pounds). In 2016, that number was 19 pounds; it is expected to have risen in 2018.

Combined with chronic malnutrition, the report also points to the scale of the collapse of the country’s health system, with practically every major health condition ranging from tuberculosis to malaria reaching crisis levels. For example, the number of malaria cases has risen from 36,000 in 2009 to 406,000 in 2017, while 87 percent of HIV patients now do not receive their necessary drugs.

El sistema de salud en Venezuela ha colapsado. Un equipo de @hrw_espanol y de especialistas en salud de @JohnsHopkinsSPH viajó a las fronteras en Colombia y Brasil para conocer la magnitud de la crisis. Esto es lo que encontramos:

— José Miguel Vivanco (@JMVivancoHRW) November 19, 2018

Most of these conditions are going untreated, mainly due to a lack of necessary medical resources and trained specialists. Experts managed to collect such data by working with local authorities at the Venezuelan’s border with Brazil, where thousands of people are fleeing the country every day, many of whom are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance. Around 2.3 million Venezuelans have left the country have left the country since 2015, mostly to neighboring Colombia and Brazil and other Latin American countries.

As well as the humanitarian disaster, the country is also seeing a complete collapse of most of its institutions, infrastructure, and public services. Nowadays, essential products and resources including water, electricity, transportation, gasoline, and toiletries are all in scarce supply, with regular blackouts across major towns and cities.

Delingpole: Global Warming

Study Falsified by Flawed Math

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Learn more

Such dire statistics add weight to the growing international concern at Venezuela’s economic and humanitarian crisis, caused in large part by the failed socialist revolution enacted under its late dictator Hugo Chávez and continued today under Nicolás Maduro. Many leading figures are calling for a humanitarian or military-based intervention to end the crisis, although all relevant powers have so far pulled back the idea.

The regime continues to deny the existence of a crisis. Maduro recently declared at the United Nations General Assembly that his country is “stronger than ever” and blamed any visible difficulties on the supposed “economic war” led by the United States.

Follow Ben Kew on Facebook, Twitter at @ben_kew, or email him at bkew@breitbart.com.

NetBlocks

Published  3 months ago

Platform disruptions affecting multiple Google services including the YouTube streaming platform as well as Microsoft Bing have been detected by the NetBlocks internet observatory on state provider CANTV (AS8048), starting 4:45 PM UTC (12:45 PM VET) Monday 18 February 2019, during the live streaming of a speech by Juan Guaidó.

Previously, Periscope and other streaming services have also been affected, although they remained available during today’s outage incident. The findings, based on NetBlocks reachability measurements across Venezuela, are corroborated by widespread user reports during the specified period.

The leader’s speeches and public appearances have been systematically censored through recent weeks amid political crisis and loss of confidence in incumbent president Nicolás Maduro. Network measurements show that the outages are consistent with methods used to block online content in Venezuela. Access has typically been restored shortly after the speeches end, with each incident lasting from just 12 minutes to over an hour.

Confirmed: YouTube, Google and other services blocked in #Venezuela as Juan Guaidó speaks live on air about future planshttps://t.co/VZUy259UPb pic.twitter.com/yEgukgjISu

— NetBlocks.org (@netblocks) February 18, 2019

In recent days, the leading volunteer platform for humanitarian aid was blocked as supporters went out on the streets:

Confirmed: #Venezuela humanitarian aid volunteer platform #VoluntariosXVenezuela blocked as of 1:40PM UTC (9:40AM VET) Saturday, following earlier apparent state-sponsored hacking attempt; incident ongoinghttps://t.co/uB490XdeFj pic.twitter.com/hQJyADclh7

— NetBlocks.org (@netblocks) February 17, 2019

The outages follow a similar pattern to those observed during past opposition speeches and rallies as well as critical sessions held by Venezuela’s National Assembly, including the disruption of Google Translate and other Google services, now also extending to affect Microsoft Bing, which provides a popular translation service in addition to its web search functionality.

The NetBlocks Group is a civil society group working at the intersection of digital rights, cyber-security and internet governance. Independent and non-partisan, NetBlocks strives for an open and inclusive digital future for all.

[ methodology handbook | press | contact ] Graphics and visualizations provided under a free and open license for reuse with clear attribution.

Breitbart

Published  3 months ago

The mob attack on Tucker Carlson's home has triggered widespread shock. For those who know how the left works globally, it was no surprise.

NBC News

Published  3 months ago

MOSCOW — More than a week into a standoff with the opposition, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro said on Wednesday that he is willing to negotiate.

Violent street demonstrations erupted last week after opposition leader Juan Guaidó declared during a major opposition rally in Caracas that he had assumed presidential powers under the constitution and planned to hold fresh elections to end Maduro’s “dictatorship.”

On Tuesday, Guaidó urged Venezuelans to step outside their homes and workplaces for two hours on Wednesday in the first mass mobilization since last week’s big protests.

Maduro, who previously rejected calls for negotiations, said in an in an interview with Russian state-owned RIA Novosti news agency that he was open to talks with the opposition.

“I’m willing to sit down for talks with the opposition so that we could talk for the sake of Venezuela’s peace and its future,” he said.

Maduro said the talks could be held with mediation of other countries. He mentioned Mexico, Uruguay, Bolivia, the Vatican and Russia.

Maduro also accused President Donald Trump of ordering a hit on him from Colombia. He said he was aware of Trump’s “orders” for the Colombian government and the local mafia to kill him.

"If something happens to me one day, Donald Trump and Colombian President Ivan Duque will bear responsibility," Maduro said of his right-wing foes.

Though the Venezuelan was reprising an old allegation that critics scoff at as a smokescreen, there was speculation of military plans after Trump adviser John Bolton appeared on Monday with a pad showing the words "5,000 troops to Colombia."

Facing the biggest challenge of his six-year rule, the 56-year-old socialist leader also said his armed forces remained loyal and President Vladimir Putin was firmly behind him.

Russia has been one of Maduro’s staunchest supporters, providing it with loans and weapons.

He also dismissed calls for a snap presidential vote, saying his re-election last year was fair despite widespread allegations of fraud and the barring of two opposition rivals.

Conservative News Today

Published  4 months ago

  Judging by her latest outrageous behavior, when not already busy spewing antisemitic tropes, Muslim congresswoman Ilhan Omar apparently enjoys grilling and defaming Jewish-American heroes. The defamation occurred during a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing Tuesday regarding the Trump administration’s response to the crisis in Venezuela, where veritable dictator President Nicolás Maduro is clinging to power […]

Zero Hedge

Published  4 months ago

Business Insider

Published  6 months ago

On Friday, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced he will raise minimum wage and the create a single exchange rate pegged to his government's petro-backed cryptocurrency, which would effectively devalue Venezuelan money by 96%.

WSJ

Published  6 months ago

This promises to be quite a week in Venezuela. President Nicolás Maduro is rolling out his economic recuperation plan, which is supposed to rescue the once-wealthy nation from the economic damage that socialism has delivered. But on the evidence of the plan Mr. Maduro announced Friday, Venezuela could be in for a monetary meltdown.

The main feature of the Maduro plan is a giant devaluation. The new fixed rate for what he calls the “strong bolivar” is 6,000,000 to the dollar. The preferential price from the central bank had been 4,000,000 to the dollar. If all those zeros make your head spin, fear not. On Tuesday the government will launch a new currency, the “sovereign bolivar.” It will contain five fewer zeros, so it will be pegged at 60 to the dollar.

As monetary face-lifts go, this looks like a back-alley job. Venezuela is in the throes of a hyperinflation that economist Steve Hanke says has surged to another all-time high of 61,463% on an annual basis. The International Monetary Fund says inflation could reach 1,000,000% this year. The new bolivar rate, which is closer to the black market rate, is an attempt to stop the price spiral and restore confidence in the currency.

The problem is that the same people will be running the central bank, and they’ll still answer to Mr. Maduro, who on Friday also decreed an increase in the minimum wage of 6,000%. For those holding the ID card of Mr. Maduro’s United Socialist Party, the government will pay a bonus equivalent to 600,000 old bolivars. Perhaps the money to pay for the bonus will come from printing more bolivars.

Mr. Maduro also declared that there will be a nationwide price freeze, date uncertain. Venezuelan businesses have been laboring under price controls for years, but there have been mechanisms for small adjustments. It isn’t clear how strict the new price controls will be, but good luck to businesses trying to pay the new minimum wages when they can’t raise prices.

Even Mr. Maduro seems to understand that this is a problem, so he has declared that the government will pay the wage increases for small- and medium-size businesses for 90 days. Some of that cash will come from raising the value-added tax in September to 16% from 12%, if there’s much of anything left of the economy beyond the black market.

Not surprisingly, hyperinflation has led to an acute shortage of cash to perform even basic transactions. Gasoline stations, buses and many informal markets require cash, but small change is difficult to find. Adjustments under the new currency using old bills will mean sharp price increases for everyday business.

All of this adds up to a full-blown financial panic and the breakdown of economic order. Mr. Maduro has destroyed confidence in the country’s institutions and currency, and his new plan will make it worse. The only way to stop the descent into chaos might be to dollarize the economy. Meantime, be prepared for the worst as the people and capital of a degraded nation flee the wages of socialism.

Appeared in the August 20, 2018, print edition.

telesurenglish

Published  6 months ago

The Venezuelan President participated in the petition day rejecting the interference of the U.S. government in the South American country.

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro repeated Thursday that Venezuelans were "warriors for peace" and will come out undefeated before the coup attempt promoted by the U.S. government.

Bolivia, Mexico, Caricom Decline to Endorse EU-Sponsored Resolution on Venezuela

"Today, Venezuela is united in one only cry, demanding the assault seeking the asphyxiation of our economy and society to stop," said Maduro speaking from the Plaza Bolivar in the capital, "As well as the serious threats of military intervention in Venezuela."

"I have just signed the petition supporting the peace, the sacred sovereignty of Venezuela, the right to independence and self-determination of the Venezuelan people. Empire, hands off Venezuela! Venezuela deserves respect," he added.

Maduro reminded that "Venezuela is a country that has widely expanded participative and protagonist democracy of the people, and has become one of the countries of the world with the highest number of electoral processes in the past 20 years."

He highlighted that U.S. President Donald Trump was seeking to disturb the "initiatives of dialogue initiated by Uruguay and Mexico" in a bid to reach a peaceful solution.

"The Venezuelan people have suffered from a lot of pain the social wounds caused by a criminal commercial and financial blockade, which has been aggravated by the robbery of our financial assets in allied countries.

The United States and its right-wing allies in Latin America have come out in support of a right-wing coup attempt against the Venezuelan government of socialist President Maduro after they supported a decision by opposition lawmaker, named Juan Guaido, to declare himself an “interim president” of Venezuela on Jan. 23 in violation of the country’s constitution.

In return, Maduro has repeatedly called for the restoration of talks between his government and the opposition in order to maintain peace and avoid a U.S.-backed coup, or even military intervention by the United States in favor of removing him and placing an unelected right-wing government.

Hot Air

Published  6 months ago

If you’ve been following any of the news out of Venezuela since Nicolas Maduro came to power you already know that pretty much every aspect of the country has been swirling near the bottom of the drain. The economy has collapsed, their currency is worthless, people are starving and lack basic medical supplies. The list goes on.

See Also: Not “stand your ground” after all? Arrest, belated charges in controversial Florida shooting

But thus far most of the awfulness which the inevitable collapse of socialism has engendered has been restricted to negative effects showing up on the land inside of Venezuela and that of its neighbors. (Ecuador is currently dealing with a refugee crisis as millions of Venezuelans attempt to flee for their lives.) And yet there’s another poison pill in the legacy of Maduro which is taking place offshore. Piracy is making a comeback, and these aren’t the fun sorts of pirates from Hollywood. (Washington Post)

Centuries after Blackbeard’s cannons fell silent and the Jolly Roger came down from rum ports across the Caribbean, the region is confronting a new and less romanticized era of pirates.

Political and economic crises are exploding from Venezuela to Nicaragua to Haiti, sparking anarchy and criminality. As the rule of law breaks down, certain spots in the Caribbean, experts say, are becoming more dangerous than they’ve been in years.

Often, observers say, the acts of villainy appear to be happening with the complicity or direct involvement of corrupt officials — particularly in the waters off collapsing Venezuela.

“It’s criminal chaos, a free-for-all, along the Venezuelan coast,” said Jeremy McDermott, co-director of Insight Crime, a nonprofit organization that studies organized crime in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Some of these stories are the stuff of nightmares. A few months ago, pirates boarded four Guyanese fishing boats, doused the crews with oil, set them aflame and hacked most of them to death according to the few survivors. Both commercial shipping vessels and private yachts have been raided. This is becoming increasingly more common in a few areas in that region, but as the report indicates, nowhere is it more common than off the coast of Venezuela.

Unfortunately, not all the pirates are independent actors. One of the most disturbing aspects being reported is that members of the Venezuelan Coast Guard, also lacking in food and money worth more than wallpaper, have taken to doing some off-hours piracy of their own. They’ve been shaking down the merchant vessels they were supposed to be protecting, demanding cash and goods in exchange for being able to travel the area unmolested.

The corruption of Nicolas Maduro and his socialist regime is spreading like a poison, affecting everything it touches. But as we’ve said here more times than I can count, this is how socialism ends. This is how socialism always ends. And until the Venezuelan people unburden themselves of their tyrant it’s only going to get worse.

Fox News

Published  6 months ago

CUCUTA, Colombia – Maria Elena Lopez Gonzales left her home in Venezuela three months ago. She said she wants to earn enough money here to return home and then bring her young son to Colombia.

“We have shortage of food, and medicine. Children are dying because of the shortage of medicine. The senior citizens are dying because of the shortage of medicine,” said Lopez Gonzales of the conditions in her home country. “We can’t find food. Everything is overpriced and that is why the majority of Venezuelans are fleeing the situation.”

Millions have left Venezuela since the collapse of oil prices in 2014. At the Colombian border town of Cúcuta, government officials said tens of thousands of Venezuelans cross the Simon Bolivar Bridge into Colombia daily. Some stay, others move on to different countries in the region and many return to Venezuela after receiving food and medicine from aid organizations.

During a tour of relief efforts in Cucuta on Wednesday, United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley blamed the crisis on Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and his socialist regime and proclaimed “it’s time for Maduro to go.”

“We need the international community to understand that the United States – yes, we’ve given $60 million and we’re giving $9 million more today – but everyone needs to step up and everyone needs to be loud against Maduro and force him to leave,” Haley told Fox News in an exclusive television interview.

Those dealing with the crisis said the situation keeps getting worse.

“I’ve been caught in torrential downpours and I haven’t found shelter. I live in the streets,” said Lopez Gonzales. “We want to solve all these problems we don’t want free handouts, we want to work.”

Others said they’re fleeing an oppressive government.

“We are political persecuted, we have been persecuted by this government. Everyone who has been persecuted by the government has had to flee,” said a Venezuelan man crossing the bridge into Colombia. “We have left our country looking for a new horizon because they want to kill us, they have killed our families and hide everything that’s happening around the world from Venezuela.”

This weekend, there was an assassination attempt on Maduro. It failed and several Venezuelans at a Catholic kitchen in Cucuta said the Maduro regime has further suppressed its citizens since the attempt.

Despite the assassination attempt, Maduro remains in power, the crisis persists and the daily march of refugees gathers in Colombian border towns.

“We want to provide a better future for our families,” said one Venezuelan man crossing into Colombia. “We are all professionals.”

Rich Edson is a Washington correspondent for Fox News Channel. Prior to that, he served as Fox Business Network's Washington correspondent.

The Old School Patriot

Published  6 months ago

Ask yourselves: where do you clearly see the greatest evidence of the failure of progressive socialist ideology? Globally, you could easily state Venezuela . . . heck, even the former bus driver, now socialist dictator, Nicolas Maduro has admitted such. We can all point to many historical examples, but here in America we know the states: California, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and yes, Illinois. And when you drill down, you can see the failures in many of the urban centers around the country led by leftists.

I was just in Chicago, and if there was a unified voice, it was against the current Mayor of the Windy City, Rahm Emanuel. Yes, ol’ Mister “never let a good crisis go to waste” is not a very popular fella. And, there is evidence that folks want him gone.

As reported by Fox News:

“An anti-violence march in Chicago briefly closed Lake Shore Drive on Thursday afternoon, as protesters demonstrated against the city’s spiraling crime crisis and called for Mayor Rahm Emanuel to step down. A spokesman for Chicago police said Lake Shore Drive was closed for about 35 minutes on Thursday afternoon, as demonstrators marched toward Wrigley Field, where the Cubs were scheduled to play later in the evening. Once the marchers arrived at Wrigley Field, roughly 400 protesters spent approximately 45 minutes chanting, praying, and delivering speeches before dispersing. The demonstrators waved signs demanding Emanuel’s resignation and chanted “one city, one Chicago” and “Rahm has to go,” as fans watched from inside the park. Ahead of the march, protesters made clear they didn’t want the Democratic mayor’s support or blessing — they were urging him to resign over what they called his inability to get gun crime under control.

“The call of the people is ‘Resign Rahm,’” Dr. Gregory Livingston said, according to The Chicago Tribune. “So how, then, can you back your own regime change? How do you sanction your own termination? How dumb, naive and self-hating do you think we are?” Chicago police said the city had 252 homicides and 1,100 shootings in the first six months of 2018, a decrease from last year — but the crimes have been concentrated in predominantly black, low-income neighborhoods.”

I want y’all to put things into perspective: we are still fighting a determined enemy in Afghanistan that just recently took the lives of several NATO Soldiers from the Czech Republic. We are engaged in the reduction of the territorial integrity of the vile, savage, and barbaric Islamic jihadist group, ISIS. There are no numbers being reported from these combat theaters of operation near comparison to what we are seeing in Chicago, along with other urban centers controlled by progressive socialist leftists.

There are those who will claim we need more gun control. Remember that it was a black man, former Army veteran, citizen of Chicago, Otis McDonald, who brought a lawsuit against the city regarding its unconstitutional gun control measures. Mr. McDonald just wanted to be safe in his own home, and it appears that has not changed in Chicago.

Our inner cities have become combat zones. Zones where the ROE — rules of engagement — favor the gangs, and the criminal elements. Consider that in Chicago, Rahm Emanuel has declared the city a sanctuary for illegal immigrants. Emanuel has also established a resident card for Chicago that is not based upon citizenship, but could lead to, in the near future, illegal immigrants being able to vote in elections.

People are awakening to realize that Rahm Emanuel is more concerned with his leftist ideological agenda, than the safety and security of his constituents. This is no longer debatable, and they are demanding his resignation. Now, this does not mean that a constitutional conservative can run in Obamaville, and find electoral success. If there is one lesson to be learned here, as in California, people will vote for their economic prosperity and their security . . . neither of which is high on Rahm Emanuel’s list. As well, Mayor Emanuel can forget about support from local law enforcement, since he was very clear about turning his back on them.

What the black community is coming to realize, slowly, is that they have indeed been taken for granted for their electoral patronage for far too long. And, now, they are being shifted aside for the left’s desire to create a new dependency base in America, centered on illegal immigrants. The leftists of the Democrat party — aided by their economic plantation overseers in the Congressional Black Caucus, the NAACP, and the National Urban League — have kept the black community in a state of subjugation, and economic enslavement since Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society policies. Consider this, and never forget the faces of those Congressional Black Caucus members during the last State of the Union Address during the news of historically low black unemployment. Yes, they looked like people who had just been given some tart, bad lemonade.

And remember that it was Margaret Sanger, an avowed white supremacist, racist, and founder of Planned Parenthood, who spoke of blacks as “weeds” and ‘undesirables.” Since Roe V Wade, over 17M unborn black babies have been murdered in the womb . . . but do not dare talk about ending the use of murdering unborn babies as a means of birth control to any ideological progressive socialist of the Democrat party — including black elected officials, and party elites. It’s time to #WalkAway.

The black community is coming to realize they've been taken for granted. They're being cast aside for the left's new dependency base: illegal immigrants. Click To Tweet

What we are really witnessing in America is a massive genocide of American Blacks. Now, do not get me wrong, the black community is complicit in this culture of violence that has arisen. However, it has gone unabated in the urban centers that are controlled by the political party of Margaret Sanger — very telling if you ask me. In fact, just this past weekend, there were 59 shootings in Chicago — 10 were fatal — and 40 of those occurred on Sunday alone!

Rahm Emanuel is not going to resign. He is not going to do so because he believes there are enough politically involved progressive socialist elites in Chicago that will keep him in power. Come to think of it, I have never ever heard of Barack Obama openly criticizing Emanuel. Heck, one would think Obama would have participated in this march in Chicago . . . but, that would require his caring. And we all know that Obama only cares about Obama.

Just as the folks in California rose up against Governor Jerry Brown, and his sanctuary state mandate, perhaps we may finally see blacks in urban centers stand up to the leftist progressives. It’s interesting that the left is protesting, and marching all over the place regarding illegal immigrant families, yet, they say little about the violence that is tearing black families apart . . . including the violence of ripping an unborn baby from a mother’s womb. Funny thing, if a pregnant black woman were to be shot and killed on the streets of Chicago, it would be considered a double homicide? What’s the difference when Planned Parenthood does it?

Yes, Rahm Emanuel must resign, or certainly be defeated in his reelection bid. He has, as many other leftist Democrats in urban communities, supervised the violent genocide of the black community.

RT International

Published  6 months ago

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Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has been targeted in an attempted attack during a televised public address, officials confirm. Several explosives-laden drones detonated as he was speaking at a military ceremony.

Venezuela's Information Minister Jorge Rodriguez has confirmed that an attack on Maduro took place at the event. Several drones rigged with explosives went off close to the presidential box during the address.

“All the investigations have indicated that (the explosions) were an attack on President Nicholas Maduro,” Rodriguez told media

Maduro has been moved to safety and is carrying on with his duties, he said. Seven National Guard soldiers have been injured as a result of the failed assassination, according to Rodriguez. The extent of their injuries has not been revealed.

In the video from the scene, Maduro and the officials standing beside him could be seen looking up in the air seconds before the address was cut off. The feed then cuts to a wide shot of the gathered servicemen, who break formation and start scattering.

Providing details of the incident, Rodriguez specified that the explosions struck at 5:41 local time, and several flying devices loaded with explosives were shot down by the presidential guard. He added that Maduro will address the country shortly.

Maduro was speaking at the event marking the 81st anniversary of the Bolivarian National Guard (GNB), a branch of the country’s armed forces, when the incident took place.

MORE DETAILS TO FOLLOW

Chicks On The Right — Young Conservatives

Published  6 months ago

Food and medicine shortages, frequent power blackouts, lack of running water. People having to chase down and slaughter donkeys for food. Welcome to daily life in Venezuela. Now finally even leader, Nicolas Maduro, is admitting the socialist policies have failed and he’s had enough.

WHEN MY POLITICAL AND PERSONAL SENSE OF MORALITY LENDS A SUPERIOR SENSE OF MY “GREATER MORAL WORLD VIEW”, IT RESEMBLES A TUMBLEWEED OF CONVENIENT MORAL RELATIVISM, PROVIDING JUSTIFICATION THROUGH THE VIRTUE SIGNALING OF THE COLLECTIVIST MORAL OUTRAGE WE SHOUT IN YOUR FACE, THE NOISE PRECLUDING ALL REASONED DEBATE OR DISCERNMENT. AT THAT POINT IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO STEP BACK AND ASSUME ANY INSIGHT, CHANGE OR REGRET. THE DOGMA HAS BECOME… Read more »

Food and medicine shortages, frequent power blackouts, lack of running water. People having to chase down and slaughter donkeys for food. Welcome to daily life in Venezuela. Now finally even leader, Nicolas Maduro, is admitting the socialist policies have failed and he’s had enough.

From Daily Wire:

“The production models we’ve tried so far have failed and the responsibility is ours, mine and yours,” Maduro told his United Socialist Party-controlled congress, AFP reports.

“Enough with the whining,” he said later, AFP reports. “We need to produce with or without (outside) aggression, with or without blockades, we need to make Venezuela an economic power. … No more whining, I want solutions comrades!”

It’s hard, even for him to deny at this point.

It was bad under his predecessor, Hugo Chavez, but it’s gotten exponentially worse under Maduro.

As AFP explains, Venezuela’s economic collapse follows the socialist regime’s aggressive nationalization of various key industries and sectors, including cement and steel, supermarket chains, and hundreds of other businesses. Maduro has also imposed price controls in various industries and has even taken the dramatic step of marching the army into the streets to make sure that shops aren’t defying price limits.

How bad is it now?

Due to hyperinflation — the International Monetary Fund estimates Venezuela’s inflation rate will reach 1 million percent this year — food shortages and high prices, 93 percent of the population does not earn enough to buy food, according to a 2017 study conducted in Venezuela. Venezuelans have lost, on average, 20 pounds since the country’s humanitarian crisis began in 2015.

Almost 1 million Venezuelans have fled hunger and repression by migrating to neighboring Colombia over the past two years. Another roughly 50,000 sought asylum in the United States. Roughly 800 Venezuelan refugees cross the border into Brazil every day.

But how does he hope to dig out from under? Produce more oil. Oil production has in fact dropped in half since 2008 and the industry is operating at just 305.

But not only would he have to probably quadruple his production to meet the need, but the U.S. has said it may ban their oil if they don’t reform.

With what’s going on in the country now, some don’t think he’ll make it two years.

Outgoing Colombian counterpart Juan Manuel Santos says he sees regime change coming. “A country with the level of inflation that Venezuela has … that regime has to fall,” he said.

This is socialism. This is where people like Alexandria-Ocasio Cortez and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) want to take us.

No, thanks. And hopefully, the people of Venezuela will soon be free of it.

Daily Wire

Published  6 months ago

Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro admitted on Tuesday that the economic models of his democratic socialist regime have "failed."

"The production models we've tried so far have failed and the responsibility is ours, mine and yours," Maduro told his United Socialist Party-controlled congress, AFP reports.

"Enough with the whining," he said later, AFP reports. "We need to produce with or without (outside) aggression, with or without blockades, we need to make Venezuela an economic power. ... No more whining, I want solutions comrades!"

Maduro's admission of failure comes amid an inflation rate that reached a stunning 33,151% in July and predictions by the International Monetary Fund that the country's GDP will shrink by double-digits again, this time by a devastating 18%.

As AFP explains, Venezuela's economic collapse follows the socialist regime's aggressive nationalization of various key industries and sectors, including cement and steel, supermarket chains, and hundreds of other businesses. Maduro has also imposed price controls in various industries and has even taken the dramatic step of marching the army into the streets to make sure that shops aren't defying price limits.

Maduro told his congress that he expects that it will take "about two years to reach a high level of stability" and experience "the first symptoms of new and economic prosperity, without for one second affecting social security and protection."

Venezuela's revenues are almost entirely dependent on oil production, which has dropped to just 1.5 million barrels a year, less than half the amount produced in 2008. Meanwhile, AFP notes, industry is operating at just 30% and the farming industry is only managing to supply a quarter of national consumption.

Sean Hannity

Published  6 months ago

Venezuela’s socialist President Nicolas Maduro urged his nation’s starving and impoverished citizens to quit “whining” about the escalating food and water crisis; saying he “wants solutions comrades!”

According to France 24, Maduro was speaking to members of his government after a crippling power outage shutdown nearly 80% of the country’s capital; admitting his economic programs and production models “have failed.”

“The production models we’ve tried so far have failed and the responsibility is ours, mine and yours,” said the President. “Enough with the whining… we need to produce with or without (outside) aggression, with or without blockades, we need to make Venezuela an economic power,” he added late Monday, with the country grappling with a four-year long recession.”

“No more whining, I want solutions comrades!” he added.

Venezuela is in the midst of a four-year depression, with food, water, fuel, and electricity nearly vanishing throughout the nation.

Leading economists warn the struggling country may see inflation as high as 1,000,000% within the year.

Read the full story here.

Zero Hedge

Published  6 months ago

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro admitted that his socialist economic model has "failed" amid food and medicine shortages as well as a failing infrastructure highlighted by Tuesday's power failure to 80% of Caracas.

Compounding matters is the IMF's Weimar-topping hyperinflation forecast of 1,000,000% by year end, and a GDP set to plummet 18% this year, as the government continues to simply print money to in hopes of filling the void of what was once the country's economy.

"The production models we've tried so far have failed and the responsibility is ours, mine and yours," Maduro told his ruling PSUV party congress. "Enough with the whining... we need to produce with or without (outside) aggression, with or without blockades, we need to make Venezuela an economic power."

"No more whining, I want solutions comrades!"

No word on whether he took a bite of an empanada during his speech while his country starves on the "Maduro diet" - a phrase coined after Venezuela's notorious food shortages gave rise to mass starvation across the country. Not even the donkeys are safe.

#Venezuela Dictator Nicolas Maduro - "the Maduro diet makes you slim and strong" #FreeVenezuela pic.twitter.com/GeA1dK63BX

— Michael Welling (@WellingMichael) May 31, 2017

Venezuela's socialist government has nationalized a wide swath of industries across the country over the past several years, such as steel and cement plants, food processing, distribution and more. In order to try and control inflation, the country has fixed prices on various goods while imposing tight regulations surrounding foreign exchange.

"I estimate it will take about two years to reach a high level of stability and see the first symptoms of new and economic prosperity, without for one second affecting social security and protection," added the president.

Maduro plans to increase oil production to "six million barrels a day by 2025 or before," amid a crash in output from a high of 3.2 million barrels a day in 2008 to just 1.5 million this year, a 30-year low. Venezuela's crude oil sales comprise approximately 96% of the country's revenue.

The economic crisis has hit so hard that the public transport system has almost ground to a halt, with the government and local councils offering free rides in unsafe and uncomfortable pick-up trucks -- branded "kennels" by users -- after many bus service providers couldn't afford to keep their vehicles on the road.

Maduro, who blames Venezuela's woes on an "economic war" waged by the United States, called on PSUV supporters to help kick-start production and resist US "aggression." -France24

Washington, meanwhile, has imposed financial sanctions against Maduro's government, along with state-owned oil company PDVSA.

Meanwhile, Venezuela's industrial sector is operating at just 30% capacity, as illustrated by the farming sector, which now provides just a quarter of national consumption, after providing 75% just a few years ago according to the National Farmers Federation.

This should all make for some interesting debate questions during the next US elections, as Democratic Socialists have become the "new face" of the left. Just don't ask any questions about economics or logistics...

Zero Hedge

Published  7 months ago

If there's one group that has benefited from Venezuela's economic collapse, it's the country's military, which has been handed control over much of the country's remaining industry as the collapse has intensified. Venezuela's army, about 160,000 strong, controls the mineral-rich Arco Minero del Orinoco, and some of its top officers are also serving as executives of Venezuela's state-run oil company.

And as the collapse of social services has caused water supplies to dwindle, the military has recently hijacked what spigots remain, transforming access to water into a luxury that most Venezuelans can't afford. Many of the pipes and reservoirs have fallen into disarray - or seen their supplies drastically diminished - the military is stepping in to take charge of the "equitable distribution" of what little remains. As part of the government's socialist policy program, the cost of water is supposed to be subsidized - at least in theory. But with the state-owned water utility, known as Hidrocapital, has effectively abdicated its responsibilities, the military is increasingly stepping in, commandeering trucks and vans used by private individuals who have tried to step in and service parts of the capital, according to a Bloomberg report.

Venezuela’s military has come to oversee the desperate and lucrative water trade as reservoirs empty, broken pipes flood neighborhoods and overwhelmed personnel walk out. Seven major access points in the capital of 5.5 million people are now run by soldiers or police, who also took total control of all public and private water trucks. Unofficially, soldiers direct where drivers deliver — and make them give away the goods at favored addresses.

Rigoberto Sanchez, who runs a water tanker that ferries water from the El Paraiso water-filling station in Caracas to an array of customers in the city, says his No. 1 business hazard is being intercepted by the military.

Those who want more must pay. Private tankers like Sanchez had been filling up and reselling water for many times its worth. Then, military personnel were deployed to the capital’s water points in May in an emergency supply plan.

The El Paraiso station is blocks from El Guaire, a filthy river carrying sewer water that the late President Hugo Chavez pledged to clean enough for a swim back in 2005. Even before the sun heats the muddy waters, the scent is putrid. It is untreated. Unpotable and drinking water must come from elsewhere.

Depending on driving distance from the water point, Sanchez charges about 18 million bolivars to fill an average residential building’s tank. For bigger jobs he can charge up to 50 million. While that’s just $17 at black-market exchange rates, compares that to a month’s minimum wage of about $1.

Recently, Sanchez has a new expense: Military officers have begun commandeering trucks, according to a dozen water providers in Caracas. Drivers are forced to go wherever officers tell them without the expectation of pay. Sometimes they’re led to government buildings, others to military residences or private homes. In other cases, soldiers simply block access to springs and wells. At a filling station near a large park in Eastern Caracas, a lock had been placed on the water lever.

"They hijack our trucks, just like that," said Sanchez, leaning on a rusty railing. "Once that happens, you’re in their hands, you have to drive the truck wherever they want you to."

President Nicolas Maduro last month appointed Evelyn Vasquez, a Hidrocapital official, as the head of a new water ministry. But Norberto Bausson, who ran the utility back in the 1990s, said that "institutional incompetence" is risking a "disaster" should Venezuela have a exceptionally dry year. Already, the utility sometimes cuts service int he capital for as long as two days at a stretch.

People in Caracas, who on average only have access to water for 30 minutes every morning and night, frequently rush home from work and social gatherings to shower or collect water, racing against the clock before supplies are once again shut off. And while the situation in Caracas is dire, circumstances are even worse for poor Venezuelans living in the more remote provinces. To wit, a report from charity Caritas recently revealed that only 27% of poor Venezuelans have continuous access to safe drinking water. 65% have access for three days a week or less, while in the state of Miranda, not a single poor family has access for more than three days a week.

When water makes a rare appearance at Odalys Duque’s two-bedroom home, it’s usually at dawn and wakes her with a rattle at the bottom of a plastic drum. She then has to rush to align buckets, bins and pots in hopes of gathering every drop for her husband and two small children.

In mid June they’d had none for three weeks. Instead, they survived on what was left in a roof tank and what her husband could carry in paint buckets strapped on his shoulders from a well at the bottom of the sprawling hillside slum of Petare.

"It’s an ugly situation that keeps getting uglier," said Duque, 32. "The little one cries when I pour the bucket of cold water on him, but at least we still get something. My family that lives higher up the mountain hasn’t had water in months."

The situation governs much of Duque’s life. For drinking water, she waits for particles to settle at the bottom of plastic buckets and then pours the surface water into a pot where she boils it at least half an hour. For laundry, she’ll wash several loads of clothes and linens in the same dirty water.

Elderly people and children from neighborhoods even higher up the mountain knock on her door asking for water. "I always give them something, even if it’s just a glass," she said.

The lack of access to clean water, as horrifying as it sounds in Latin America's socialist paradise, is perhaps even more galling because of the $500 million in loans the country has received over the past decade from the Latin American Development Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank to upgrade its water-treatment infrastructure. Unfortunately for the people of Venezuela, none of it appears to have helped.

While water shortages threaten the population with malnutrition and other diseases as people are forced to drink unclean or non-potable water just to survive, Bloomberg recently pointed out another shocking development: The cost of a single cup of coffee in Caracas has eclipsed one million bolivars (equal to about 29 US cents) That's about one-third of the average monthly wage in the country, which has slipped to roughly $1 thanks to the government's frantic money printing.

I Love My Freedom

Published  1 year ago

Venezuela has long been praised by Hollywood elites for whatever reason. This, despite authoritarian dictators torturing and starving their citizens. The country is in a state of disarray, with President Trump now recognizing a new leader

Daily Wire

Published  1 year ago

Anti-Semitic Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) exploded at former Reagan administration official Elliott Abrams during a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on Wednesday as she called him by the wrong name and refused to accept one of his answers.

BBC News

Published  2 years ago

The humanitarian crisis in Venezuela has led to one of the largest mass migrations in Latin America’s history.

President Nicolás Maduro blames “imperialists” - the likes of the US and Europe - for waging “economic war” against Venezuela and imposing sanctions on many members of his government.

But his critics say it is economic mismanagement - first by predecessor Hugo Chávez and now President Maduro himself - that has brought Venezuela to its knees.

The country has the largest proven oil reserves in the world. It was once so rich that Concorde used to fly from Caracas to Paris. Now, its economy is in tatters.

Four in five Venezuelans live in poverty. People queue for hours to buy food. Much of the time they go without. People are dying from a lack of medicines. Inflation is at 82,766% and there are warnings it could exceed one million per cent by the end of this year.

Venezuelans are trying to get out. The UN says 2.3 million people have fled the country - 7% of the population. More than a million have arrived in Colombia in the past 18 months.

Many of those Venezuelans have come over the Simón Bolívar International Bridge.

Fox News

Published  3 years ago

As more than seven thousand continue to surge forward from Central America through Mexico and bound for the United States border in what has become known as the “migrant caravan,” scores of questions continue to be raised over how the mass migration effort was brought together, who is behind it and what prompted the movement even despite President Trump’s outspoken and controversial stance against illegal immigration.

Breitbart

Published  4 years ago

Local residents in Venezuela staged further protests on Monday as the failed socialist country now appears to be running out of clean water. Multiple groups of demonstrators blocked highways around the capital of Caracas to protest the lack of clean water supplies.

On the Avenida Baralt in central Caracas, protesters complained that they had not received water for two days and, as a result, were forced to use stagnant water, exposing them to infectious diseases.

“At 7:05 am we are in Santa Teresa area of Glorieta protesting for water. #CaracasWantsWater,” wrote local councilor Jesús Armas on Twitter. “The residents of Santa Teresa are raising their voice and exercising their rights, the only way to pressure @HIDROCAPITALca to do their jobs is to activate as citizens.”

#Ahora 7:05am estamos en Santa Teresa esquina de Glorieta protestando por agua. #CaracasQuiereAgua pic.twitter.com/acef7E2xm0

Elsewhere in Caracas, locals blocked a highway outside the Concresa shopping mall in the Baruta neighborhood to protest the lack of water, as well as the recently elevated price of public transport. A recent report by the Venezuelan National Federation of Communal Councils and Communes found that 90 percent of ground transportation in the country is broken or out of service.

“Protest over the lack of transport and its increased fares in front of Concresa,” wrote Baruta councilor Héctor Urgelles. “Neighbors of Santa Cruz del Este and Terrace of the Equestrian Club come together.”

Protesta por falta y tarifa del transporte frente a Concresa… Vecinos de Santa Cruz del Este yTerrazas del Club Hípico reclaman unidos.. pic.twitter.com/XIEdaZMXdi

Another protest also took place on the Ocumare-Charallave highway in Miranda state, where residents claimed they had not received potable water in days.

“Locals have been protesting since 3 am due to lack of water on the Charallave-Ocumare highway, and are now requesting the presence of the media,” wrote onlooker Rocely Romero in Twitter.

@trafficMIRANDA Protesta de vecinos desde las 3 am por falta de agua en la autopista Charallave-Ocumare, solicitan presencia de la prensa

via @elestilista: TRANCADO el paso ocumare charállave (Salamanca) protestas por el agua.

— traffic MIRANDA (@trafficMIRANDA) July 2, 2018

The last major water shortage in Venezuela was in February 2016, when authorities announced a weekend “maintenance” session designed to maintain sufficient water levels during a period of drought. An estimated three million in Caracas consequently went without water, where the average temperature at that time of year is 68F.

The lack of clean water is the latest in a string mass shortages experienced in Venezuela under the rule of socialist dictator Nicolás Maduro. Access to basic resources from food to medicine is now extremely limited, mainly as a result of hyperinflation that has rendered its Bolivar country as practically worthless. Based on real worth exchange rates, the country’s minimum wage is roughly equivalent to one dollar ($1) a month.

The country is now widely regarded to be in its worst ever economic and humanitarian crisis, with hundreds of thousands of people now fleeing to neighboring countries such as Brazil and Colombia.

Truthdig: Expert Reporting, Current News, Provocative Columnists

Published  6 years ago

Why does the official story line now being used to justify a U.S.-backed coup in Venezuela sound so familiar?

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