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    United States Administrator Paul's Avatar
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    Default Re: Turmoil in Venezuela

    From the UK Daily Mail:

    =============
    America is withdrawing all remaining diplomatic personnel from Venezuela as the country descends into chaos amid a nearly week-long blackout

    The United States is withdrawing all remaining diplomatic personnel from Venezuela this week amid nearly week-long blackouts around the country, the US State Department has announced.

    It follows a January decision to withdraw all dependents and reduce embassy staff to a minimum in the country.

    'This decision reflects the deteriorating situation in Venezuela, as well as the conclusion that the presence of US diplomatic staff at the embassy has become a constraint on US policy,' Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeted on Monday night.

    Pompeo said the remaining diplomats in Venezuela will be removed by the end of the week.

    Venezuela has struggled to restore electricity after the blackouts began on Thursday and began adding even more fuel to a deepening political crisis in the country.
    =============

    This is not a good sign. It tells me that the U.S. expects things to get worse in Venezuela, and causes me to suspect that the U.S. knows things will get worse because they will have a hand in making it so.
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    Default Re: Turmoil in Venezuela

    Another report, with more details of what it means, on the removal of all U.S. diplomatic personnel from Venezuela

    The entire 20 minute show is focused on recent developments in Venezuela and related U.S. actions.
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    Default Re: Turmoil in Venezuela

    Dave Hodges of the CommonSenseShow has a more sensational take on the events between the U.S. and Venezuela. In an article The World Has Never Been Closer to World War III, he writes, in part:
    Quote About five days ago, I received some stunning information from my very best intelligence/military deep cover source. And only yesterday, I discovered, and have been interviewing a source from Arizona, who has the exact same information.

    In anticipation of a US attack on Venezuela, the Russians have moved a sizeable number of submarines 12 miles off both the East and West coast of the United States. NATO has moved nuclear missiles batteries close to the Ukraine.

    Yesterday, Russian ally, Syria, military threatened Israel. Why would a military inferior force such as Syria threaten a superior force in Israel, unless Syria knew it was going to have help from her ally, Russia?

    As I reported yesterday, the Border Patrol has reported arresting a record number of people from Pakistan and more importantly, China!

    Finally, it was widely reported when the Russian nuclear targeting of American sites was announced, that if Clinton had won the election, the Russians would launched a first strike against America.

    At this point, the only thing that the rank and file of the country can do is to sit, wait and watch the events unfold. these events are eerily similar to the Cuban Missile Crisis. Oh, we could call the Congressional and Presidential offices, but these events are in motion and what is going to play out has already been decided. Further, it should be noted that Pelosi announced that she would not be seeking impeachment against Donald Trump. Why the sudden reversal? Perhaps she already knows that it won’t matter given what it coming.
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    Default Re: Turmoil in Venezuela

    Quote Posted by Paul (here)
    Quote Posted by perolator (here)
    An innocent Venezuelan journalist was detained by the regime. He is being accused of hacking into Guri. He was detained "in flagrance" while riding a bicycle towards his home in Caracas. He has to enter the 2019 Guinness World Records book as the most skilled hacker ever, capable of hacking a Venezuelan Power Plant and planting Stuxnet, generating a blackout while biking.
    Presumably who ever did the hacking of the power plant controllers (if that's what happened) did not do it while biking at the same time.
    Correct. Common sense is enough to know hacking is not possible while biking. Stanley character's incident in the Swordfish movie is more feasible. The journalist told his wife yesterday SEBIN (Venezuela's Political Police) told him he was captured in flagrance when they detained him. That's what they told him. That is the reasoning behind my words. The government even had a poorly doctored video: "Operation Blackout", starring Luis Carlos Díaz and his wife. The government is accustomed to fabricate proof.

    Quote Posted by Paul (here)
    Also, I think you're greatly over stating the security of the key controllers that are critical to the functioning (or self-destruction) of major power generation and transmission equipment.
    Transmission equipment is guarded by the National Guard and the army. Almost all of the facilities are not connected to the Internet. Maintenance and monitoring is via point to point links.

    Security is extremely important in critical national facilities. I have been in several of those, although I never have been at Guri. The plant has a LAN and a WAN. The WAN is protected by a redundant CISCO ASA firewall. The LAN has redundancy. The DCS (Distributed Control System) was designed and implemented by ABB in 2005. All controllers are ABB on Profibus or RS-232 for the older equipment and AC800M over Profibus and Ethernet for newer units. All controllers can operate independently of the LAN. The plant may be operated from the Powerhouse 1, 2, the master SCADA station or any UCS. The master station connects via a proprietary interface to the DCS. Besides, there is no Internet access to any element of the DCS. So there is no possibility for a hacker to control an element from the outside. And, all controllers may operate independently, so, in case of compromise, operation may resume. Besides, Stuxnet affects Siemens S7 PLC's, not ABB's. Therefore, no Stuxnet, no hackers.

    I did my homework.
    Please, don't believe the Venezuelan government. Maduro said "the attack" was initiated from Chicago and Houston. Don't believe me either. Believe Jim Stone if you want.

    Quote Posted by Paul (here)
    There have long been warnings in the alt-media that hacking major infrastructure controllers is not that difficult.
    Correct.

    Quote Posted by Paul (here)
    That equipment is online, and often (it is said, and I believe it) have notoriously poor security.
    Correct. Control equipment is designed for real-time or near real-time performance. Security is not a concern in ladder logic.

    Quote Posted by Paul (here)
    You could station the five hundred best special ops soldiers outside a power plant, so that not even a cockroach could sneak in, and the hacking could proceed, unnoticed and unimpeded, over the Internet.
    Only in movies. They have to know *exactly* how the control elements are programmed and how the sensors interact with each control element (sensors are not hackable). That is not an easy task, even for genius-level special ops soldiers (well, it may be difficult for any genius). There are several control points at the generator level and at the turbine level.

    Quote Posted by Paul (here)
    Likely also, Venezuela almost certainly did not itself build, from the core computer chips on up, the controllers for those big generators. So whatever countries or large corporate conglomerations did have a key hand in designing and developing those controllers would have been strongly incentivized to leave some "back doors" in, so that they could take over control of those generators when it suited them to do so. That and a combination of a not very security conscious development typical for such work leads to the weak security that allows hacking.
    Correct.

    Quote Posted by Paul (here)
    The only countries that I know of that have the level of ground up technology development skills needed to independently build more secure big system controllers (whether for use in uranium centrifuges or in big hydroelectric generators) are Israel, the US, Russia and China ... and I am no longer sure that the US belongs on that list.
    Correct. And the U.S. belongs on that list.

    The fact is: Luis Carlos Díaz is innocent. An engineer was killed and another disappeared in hands of the SEBIN.

    -= Post Update =-

    Luis Carlos was released with restrictions.
    I am impressed, I was not expecting this, that government is characterized by criminal injustice and violence. The support he had was huge, though.
    Last edited by perolator; 14th March 2019 at 21:52.

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    Default Re: Turmoil in Venezuela

    Quote Posted by perolator (here)
    The fact is: Luis Carlos Díaz is innocent. An engineer was killed and another disappeared in hands of the SEBIN.
    That could well be. I wouldn't know, one way or the other.
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    Default Re: Turmoil in Venezuela

    US withdrawing all personnel from venezuela
    There was a 1: 400,000,000,000,000 chance of you being born: what have you done with your miraculous life today?

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    Default Re: Turmoil in Venezuela

    From https://reuters.com/article/us-venez...-idUSKBN1QU0ZM, today:

    China offers help to Venezuela to restore power


    BEIJING (Reuters) - China offered on Wednesday to help Venezuela restore its power grid, after President Nicolas Maduro accused U.S. counterpart Donald Trump of cyber “sabotage” that plunged the South American country into its worst blackout on record.

    Maduro, who retains control of the military and other state institutions as well as the backing of Russia and China, has blamed Washington for his nation’s economic turmoil and denounced opposition leader Juan Guaido as a puppet of the United States.

    With the power blackout in its sixth day, hospitals struggled to keep equipment running, food rotted in the tropical heat and exports from the country’s main oil terminal were shut down.

    Speaking in Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Lu Kang said China had noted reports that the power grid had gone down due to a hacking attack.

    “China is deeply concerned about this,” Lu said.

    “China hopes that the Venezuelan side can discover the reason for this issue as soon as possible and resume normal power supply and social order. China is willing to provide help and technical support to restore Venezuela’s power grid.”

    He gave no details.

    Power returned to many parts of the country on Tuesday, including some areas that had not had electricity since last Thursday, according to witnesses and social media.

    But power was still out in parts of the capital of Caracas and the western region near the border with Colombia.

    Information Minister Jorge Rodriguez said power had been restored in the “vast majority” of the country.

    The blackout was likely caused by a technical problem with transmission lines linking the Guri hydroelectric plant in southeastern Venezuela to the national power grid, experts have told Reuters.

    Maduro has blamed Washington for organising what he said was a sophisticated cyber attack on Venezuela’s hydroelectric power operations.

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    Default Re: Turmoil in Venezuela

    This is a Facebook post of an American who is currently living in Caracas, dated March 10, 2019.
    I am posting it here with his permission.


    This is the current situation in Venezuela:

    - The entire country has had no electricity for 65 hours and counting (March 10, 10am).
    (Update: certain sectors had intermittent electric service after three days, but most hadn’t.) (Update #2: after 110 hours, my electricity is on.)

    - Running water is not available because the pumps that distribute it aren’t working. Water service has been intermittent for years.

    - Gas for cooking is no longer available to most of the population that uses portable gas containers. Gas distribution has been very difficult for years, with people regularly making lines for miles to fill their containers.

    - Gasoline for vehicles or electric generators is not available anywhere in the country, because the pumps require electricity.

    - Food has been an important problem for years, with people forced to stand in lines for hours everyday to buy the most basic items, and required to go to several different places to find what they need.

    - Most people live with barely enough food to get by each day. Food storage is not possible for the vast majority of Venezuelans, because of cost and availability. Canned foods have been mostly unavailable for years.

    - Water fit for drinking is very scarce. Most people have relied on trucks that distribute bottled water or commercial filters, both of which are not functioning without gasoline and electricity.

    - Money in cash has been a huge problem for several years, with banks limiting what customers can withdraw to less than $1 per day, and many days no cash at all is available. Most people rely on bank transfers or debit cards to make purchases; both are unavailable without electricity.

    - The constant and severe devaluation of the Bolívar has caused levels of hyper-inflation that the world has seldom seen. Levels of yearly inflation are counted in the millions % making the currency close to worthless. This is the result of the chavista government constantly printing inorganic money to cover their social programs, including subsidized food items.

    - Venezuelans earn about $5 a month for working a full time job. Most food items have regular prices that are higher than one would expect in cities like New York or Paris, making Venezuelans entirely dependent on subsidized food and giving the chavista government a tight hold on people’s everyday lives. People who have protested against the chavista government have been cut off from food subsidies, forcing many Venezuelans to eat out of garbage trucks or dumps. This is something that we have gotten used to seeing all around Venezuela, for years.

    * The Venezuelan military have had control over all oil, mining and natural gas extraction since 2016. This came to be after a power struggle in the aftermath of the elections for the National Assembly, in which it appears that the minister of defense ordered the chavista government to respect the true outcome of said electoral process, which was a landslide victory for the opposition. With the threat of so much power in the hands of the opposition, the defense minister probably used this leverage to negotiate in his benefit what is known as CAMIMPEG (company for extraction of minerals, oil and gas) which was awarded to him less than a month after the election. Six months later the defense minister was also suspiciously put in charge of all distribution of food in Venezuela. Since the chavista government subsidizes many basic food items at a small fraction of the actual price, most of this food is distributed not to Venezuelans, but to other countries, at enormous profit. The same occurs with gasoline, with local subsidized prices so low that they cannot even be calculated in dollars, you can freely see long lines of gasoline trucks lining up close to the border with Colombia, driven by military personnel, to sell on the other side at the regular international price. I travelled to this border in March 2018 and observed this firsthand.

    - These levels of military corruption make it extremely unlikely that the military will help oust the chavista government.

    - The chavista government has imported thousands of cuban troops to defend their hold on power. The chavistas know that they cannot entirely trust their own Venezuelan soldiers, so they are controlled by cubans at every level of the military.

    - Other armed groups brought to defend the chavista hold on power are Hezbollah, Farc, ELN, etc... turning Venezuela into a completely failed state controlled by criminals and terrorists of many kinds, all enemies of the United States.

    - The chavista government has institutionalized the drug trade in Venezuela.

    - In 2017 the chavistas invented a National Assembly of their own (the ANC) to supersede the legitimate National Assembly, in fraudulent elections and completely outside the constitution. This illegitimate group called for an electoral process outside of the regular schedule in which the opposition was limited in many ways: jailing potential candidates, disqualifying entire political parties, etc... Of course, no opposition candidates participated in the fake electoral process and the government frantically invented two “oposition” candidates to try to legitimize their power grab. One of the candidates was an ex-chavista official that fooled no one with his “change” of political sides, and a evangelical pastor, famous for ridiculous religious services and outright fraud.

    - This deeply fraudulent electoral process was not recognized by the majority of the world and thus, in January 2019 at the end of the presidential term, there was no legally elected president in Venezuela. The next in line is the President of the legally elected National Assembly, Juan Guaidó. For this reason, Guaidó has been recognized by over 60 countries all over the world, all democracies. The few countries that have shown support for Maduro have very keen interests in the vast resources of Venezuela and have governments that are clearly not democratic, like China, Nicaragua, Cuba and Russia.

    - Juan Guaidó is the current interim President of Venezuela and he should be assisted in every way possible to rid the country of the criminal groups that expect to hold onto power forever, and to prevent a national genocide.
    Last edited by perolator; 14th March 2019 at 22:03.

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    Default Re: Turmoil in Venezuela

    Rubio's Gloating Betrays US Sabotage in Venezuela Power Blackout

    Finian Cunningham Strategic Culture
    Thu, 14 Mar 2019 21:21 UTC


    Rubio el Cubano: 'Say hello to my little friend'

    US imperialists are so desperate in their regime-change predations over Venezuela, they seem to have a problem controlling their drooling mouths.

    The latest orgy of American gloating was triggered by the massive power outages to have hit Venezuela. No sooner had the South American country been blacked out from its power grid collapsing, senior US officials were crowing with perverse relish.

    Republican Senator Marco Rubio - who has become a point man for the Trump administration in its regime-change campaign in Venezuela - was a little too celebratory. Within minutes of the nationwide power outage last Thursday, Rubio was having verbal orgasms about the "long-term economic damage"... "in the blink of an eye". But it was his disclosure concerning the precise damage in the power grid that has led the Venezuelan government to accuse the US of carrying out a sabotage.

    Information Minister Jorge Rodriguez noted how Rubio, in his tweeted comments "three minutes" after the power outage, mentioned failure of "back-up generators" in Venezuela's main hydroelectric plant, known as the Guri Dam, located in Bolivar State. The dam supplies some 80 per cent of the Venezuelan population of 31 million with its electricity consumption.

    Rodriguez mockingly ascribed "mystic skills" to Rubio because the Florida Republican senator appeared to know the precise nature of the power failure even before the Venezuelan authorities had determined it.

    The Venezuelan government has since claimed that the failure in the electric grid was caused by a cyber attack on the computer system controlling the Guri Dam turbines. Caracas said it will present proof of its claims to the United Nations.

    Apart from Rubio's apparent insider information, there are several other indicators that Venezuela's latest turmoil from power blackout was indeed caused by US sabotage, and specifically a cyber attack.

    [...]


    Full article: https://www.strategic-culture.org/ne...wer-blitz.html
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    Default Re: Turmoil in Venezuela

    US regime change plan hatched 8 years ago proposed Venezuelan power blackout as 'watershed event' to 'galvanize public unrest'

    Max Blumenthal The Grayzone
    Wed, 13 Mar 2019 18:27 UTC


    © Associated Press/Martin Mejia


    Pretend "president" Juan Guaido, Colombian President Ivan Duque (C), and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence

    A September 2010 memo by a US-funded soft power organization that helped train Venezuelan coup leader Juan Guaido and his allies identifies the potential collapse of the country's electrical sector as "a watershed event" that "would likely have the impact of galvanizing public unrest in a way that no opposition group could ever hope to generate."

    The memo has special relevance today as Guaido moves to exploit nationwide blackouts caused by a major failure at the Simon Bolivar Hydroelectric Plant at Guri dam - a crisis that Venezuela's government blames on US sabotage.

    It was authored by Srdja Popovic of the Center for Applied Non-Violent Action and Strategies (CANVAS), a Belgrade-based "democracy promotion" organization funded by the US government that has trained thousands of US-aligned youth activists in countries where the West seeks regime change.

    This group reportedly hosted Guaido and the key leaders of his Popular Will party for a series of training sessions, fashioning them into a "Generation 2007" determined to foment resistance to then-President Hugo Chavez and sabotage his plans to implement "21st century socialism" in Venezuela.


    Srdja Popovic © CANVAS

    In the 2010 memo, CANVAS's Popovic declared, "A key to Chavez's current weakness is the decline in the electricity sector." Popovic explicitly identified the Simon Bolivar Hydroelectric Plant as a friction point, emphasizing that "water levels at the Guri dam are dropping, and Chavez has been unable to reduce consumption sufficiently to compensate for the deteriorating industry."

    Speculating on a "grave possibility that some 70 percent of the country's electricity grid could go dark as soon as April 2010," the CANVAS leader stated that "an opposition group would be best served to take advantage of the situation and spin it against Chavez and towards their needs."


    © Srdja Popovic/CANVAS

    Flash forward to March 2019, and the scenario outlined by Popovic is playing out almost exactly as he had imagined.

    On March 7, just days after Guaido's return from Colombia, where he participated in the failed and demonstrably violent February 23 attempt to ram a shipment of US aid across the Venezuelan border, the Simon Bolivar Hydroelectric Plant experienced a major and still unexplained collapse.

    Days later, electricity remains sporadic across the country. Meanwhile, Guaido has done everything he can "to take advantage of the situation and spin it" against President Nicolas Maduro - just as his allies were urged to do over eight years before by CANVAS.

    Rubio vows "a period of suffering" for Venezuela hours before the blackout

    The Venezuelan government has placed the blame squarely on Washington, accusing it of sabotage through a cyber-attack on its electrical infrastructure. Key players in the US-directed coup attempt have done little to dispel the accusation.

    In a tweet on March 8, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo framed the electricity outage as a pivotal stage in US plans for regime change:

    At noon on March 7, during a hearing on Venezuela at the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee, Sen. Marco Rubio explicitly called for the US to stir "widespread unrest," declaring that it "needs to happen" in order to achieve regime change.

    "Venezuela is going to enter a period of suffering no nation in our hemisphere has confronted in modern history," Rubio proclaimed.

    Around 5 PM, the Simon Bolivar Hydroelectric Plant experienced a total and still unexplained collapse. Residents of Caracas and throughout Venezuela were immediately plunged into darkness.

    At 5:18 PM, a clearly excited Rubio took to Twitter to announce the blackout and claim that "backup generators have failed." It was unclear how Rubio had obtained such specific information so soon after the outage occurred. According to Jorge Rodriguez, the communications minister of Venezuela, local authorities did not know if backup generators had failed at the time of Rubio's tweet.

    Back in Caracas, Guaido immediately set out to exploit the situation, just as his CANVAS trainers had advised over eight years before. Taking to Twitter just over an hour after Rubio, Guaido declared, "the light will return when the usurpation [of Maduro] ends." Like Pompeo, the self-declared president framed the blackouts as part of a regime change strategy, not an accident or error.

    Two days later, Guaido was at the center of opposition rally he convened in affluent eastern Caracas, bellowing into a megaphone: "Article 187 when the time comes. We need to be in the streets, mobilized. It depends on us, not on anybody else."

    Article 187 establishes the right of the National Assembly "to authorize the use of Venezuelan military missions abroad or foreign in the country."

    Upon his mention of the constitutional article, Guaido's supporters responded, "Intervention! Intervention!"

    Exploiting crisis to "get back into a position of power"

    As Dan Cohen and I reported here at the Grayzone, Guaido's rise to prominence - and the coup plot that he has been appointed to oversee - is the product of a decade-long project overseen by the Belgrade-based CANVAS outfit.

    CANVAS is a spinoff of Otpor, a Serbian protest group founded by Srdja Popovic in 1998 at the University of Belgrade. Otpor, which means "resistance" in Serbian, was the student group that worked alongside US soft power organizations to mobilize the protests that eventually toppled the late Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic.

    CANVAS has been funded largely through the National Endowment for Democracy, a CIA cut-out that functions as the US government's main arm of promoting regime change. According to leaked internal emails from Stratfor, an intelligence firm known as the "shadow CIA," CANVAS "may have also received CIA funding and training during the 1999/2000 anti-Milosevic struggle."

    A leaked email from a Stratfor staffer noted that after they ousted Milosevic,
    "the kids who ran OTPOR grew up, got suits and designed CANVAS... or in other words a 'export-a-revolution' group that sowed the seeds for a NUMBER of color revolutions. They are still hooked into U.S. funding and basically go around the world trying to topple dictators and autocratic governments (ones that U.S. does not like ."
    Stratfor subsequently revealed that CANVAS "turned its attention to Venezuela" in 2005, after training opposition movements that led pro-NATO regime change operations across Eastern Europe.

    In September 2010, as Venezuela headed for a parliamentary election, CANVAS produced a series of memos outlining the plans they had hatched with "non-formal actors" like Guaido and his cadre of student activists to bring down Chavez. "This is the first opportunity for the opposition to get back into a position of power," Popovic wrote at the time.

    In his memo on electricity outages, Popovic highlighted the importance of the Venezuelan military in achieving regime change. "Alliances with the military could be critical because in such a situation of massive public unrest and rejection of the presidency," the CANVAS founder wrote, "malcontent sectors of the military will likely decide to intervene, but only if they believe they have sufficient support."

    While the scenario Popovic envisioned failed to materialize in 2010, it perfectly describes the situation gripping Venezuela today as an opposition leader cultivated by CANVAS seeks to spin the crisis against Maduro while calling on the military to break ranks.

    Since the Grayzone exposed the deep ties between CANVAS and Guaido's Popular Will party, Popovic has attempted to publicly distance himself from his record of training Venezuela's opposition.

    Today, however, Popovic's 2010 memo on exploiting electricity outages reads like a blueprint for the strategy that Guaido and his patrons in Washington have actively implemented. Whether or not the blackout is the result of external sabotage, it represents the "watershed event" that CANVAS has prepared its Venezuelan cadres for.
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    Default Re: Turmoil in Venezuela

    In a course I took last year («Mass media and the social media») I wrote a short assignment about Venezuela that I (just now) thought might be interesting to post (the relevant parts of) here.

    The task was to pick a Norwegian news paper and go through the three last months articles containing the word «Venezuela». And then explain how and why the presentation of the country turns out like it does in the msm (10 articles in total.)

    (This English translation was done by google as it’s originally in Norwegian.)

    Though the function of the msm is rather clear ("helping" us in "making sense" of the world) the techniques that are being used might not always be as familiar.


    ----------------------------------
    ----------------------------------

    The 10 headlines of the articles from the paper VG

    (Time period: Nov. 16th. 2017 - Feb. 13th. 2018):

    1. - Venezuela handles its debt
    2. Another defeat for the left
    3. - Maduro will be re-elected in 2018
    4. REPORT: Systematic abuse of protesters
    5. New conversations in Venezuela
    6. Ever ordinary people have become multimillionaires on bitcoins
    7. In Venezuela, the crises are in line. The currency has fallen by 97.5 per cent this year
    8. Iranian fight against cyber police
    9. "Where resistance is strong, populist thrust has been limited. But where the normal politicians surrender to the message of hatred and exclusion, populism flourishes. "
    10. Took suspected abuser



    Discussion (Date: April 2018)


    Of all the cases, those who are primarily about Venezuela have in common that they are well suited to producing negative associations with the reader. And so-called priming or interpretation frame is important here. "Every frame emphasizes selected parts of reality while toning down others" (de Vreese, 2003, cited in Ihlen, 2015, p. 43).

    For we see that half of the headlines have words such as "debt," "defeat," "systematic abuse," "queuing queues," and "hatred." So the immediate observation one makes of the overview, testifies to a highly unrepresented country with very high debt. And going further through the cases, one finds that the overall content creates an impression of President Nicolas Maduro and his board as far as responsible for the misery of Venezuela now. "Coupling and media focussing thus helps to create specific associations at the receiving party »(Aalberg & Elvestad 2018, 58%).

    When we consider the most relevant of the VG cases chronologically, it becomes clear that the country owes something of just under NOK 1200 billion (case 1) and that it is the furthest down of all the countries in Latin America that today experience economic downturn (case 2). Venezuela is also experiencing a strong political crisis, which increased in scope as President Maduro last year curtailed the opposition's power (Case 3). A report can tell about the abuse of peaceful protesters in 2017 (Case 4). And while the government and the opposition do not agree on a solution to the crisis and are going to meet for new talks, the latter demands that the president receive assistance from the international community (Case 5). Difficult access to necessities such as food is called the "Maduro diet" and it is expected that inflation in Venezuela in the year was around 2000 percent (case 7). The country practices a strict censorship of the internet and of social media (Case 8). And we can read that it is the inept and sovereign president and his board that is why the economy is now destroyed (Case 9).

    All in all, these cases show a particularly negative and gloomy picture of a multifaceted Venezuela, where the opposition is presented as the good party and the president as the evil. And a tool that can be used to help precisely refine and color the audience's interpretation framework in such a way, is the media twisting technique simplification. That is, "The complexity of the message must be reduced, the diversity limited, the nuance narrowed, and the complexity presented simply and concisely" (Hernes, 1977, p. 187-8).

    Simplification consequently leads to a one-sided presentation - with lack of nuance and potential stereotypes in the audience as possible consequence. This can be due, among other things, to the fact that journalists today have to produce far more cases than before. That quality must give way to quantity. But it may also indicate how important the socialisation of journalists is to the communication of messages (Warren Breed, 1955, as quoted in Aalberg & Elvestad, 2018), especially in view of the internalisation of the guidelines which, as a minimum, must be the basis for the role exercise.

    The news criteria (VISAK (S)) that apply to these cases are timeliness and conflict. It can also be mentioned that these two criteria are not necessary for something with news value to be spread on social media (Aalen, 2016, p. 143). Something that points back to the introduction, where paper newspapers are referred to as the best means of increased political understanding.

    On the same occasion, mention should be made of the twelve hypotheses for what comes through foreign news (Galtung & Ruge, 1965, cited in Aalberg & Elvestad, 2018). In two of these, it appears that the news should be a consequence of an individual's action (in this case Maduro) and that the event should have severe negative consequences (distress). Criteria that we see the cases in the table fulfill.

    Seen through a conflict perspective, one could argue that VG's angle helps to increase rather than lower the temperature around the turmoil in Venezuela. This perspective claims that the elite use the media as a means to justify and maintain their own power in society. Thus, one can imagine that when VG produces Venezuela consistently negatively, it opens up an opportunity for influencing the reader against perceiving the situation and leadership in the country in a (deterrent) way that makes one more averse about their own power system (reinforcing) and to strengthen the inroads and outgrowth recognition (divisive).

    This is close to the Marxist-inspired hegemonic perspective, which states that the media are channels for the elite's thoughts (Aalberg & Elvestad, 2017). So what we think about certain issues is thoughts that someone else wants us to think. On the other hand, it is not difficult to envision that as a newspaper reader, at the same time, you feel increased solidarity and sympathy with someone you experience as a sufferer. And with average historical and political knowledge of the region, the idea should not be alien to the fact that Venezuela can also be a victim of an external (and therefore non-democratic) influence.

    Robert Merton's manifest and latent functions (Aalberg & Elvestad, 2018) are also helpful when we want to look at the message's communication impact. The manifested function will mean the obvious, intentional and intentional message. While the latent refers to its unintentional, underlying and sublime side.

    The fact that VG here (manifesto) conveys a dark picture of a country in (debt) crisis is easy to see. Next comes the picture of the president as a scapegoat. And then the demand for help. More indirectly (and latently), however, we can say that the expectation of compulsory help is. The one that says "we" must "save" the land or "solve" the situation. Another point in view of Merton's functions may be the notion that participant democracy (as in Norway) is a more popular board model than competition democracy (Venezuela).


    Conclusion


    By looking at, among other things, priming, simplification, Merton's functions, the conflict perspective and the hegemonic model, we have seen how VG manufactures Venezuela as a much-needed and Norwegian-sanctioned country that is not far from needing foreign aid. And that one of the consequences of such a presentation may be the legitimacy of the reader's mind which makes the path to intervention easier.

    Another consequence may be that readers themselves have to go to the lexicon and / or to other more neutral sources to find relevant nuances in order to better understand Venezuela's state: "The opposition, in turn, has helped to increase the level of conflict through tactical support for protests such as includes violent riots with major consequences for the population ”.

    In recent times, we have seen several cases of externally imposed regime shifts, where the stated goal is to help the civilian population, preferably via democracy. And with this, the media can be used to construct a reality where there is a potential for sufficient popular unity to be able to intervene.

    In this way, we have seen how the representation of Venezuela in the VG in the aforementioned period can implicitly encourage the choice of (right) side of the conflict.

    And; by pointing to other countries' weaknesses, is elevated and, at the same time, one's own governance is simultaneously legitimized. And the group sense of belonging is reinforced. Which is in any case to the benefit of the rulers.

    When VG has Venezuela on its agenda, it is clear which impression we will be left with. And that's not in favor of President Maduro. On the contrary.

    This is how we see - through the eyes of the propaganda model - how Mathiesen's (2010) words make themselves felt; that the elites have a monopoly on explaining events (as quoted in Aalberg & Elvestad, 2018). Present in the same way that Sigurd Allern wrote more than 20 years ago: "Most mass media in the West are linked to the ruling class and the political system of countless bonds, economic and political" (Allern, 1996, p. 329).
    Last edited by Sophocles; 17th March 2019 at 13:48. Reason: Corrected date

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    Default Re: Turmoil in Venezuela

    Quote Posted by perolator (here)
    This is a Facebook post of an American who is currently living in Caracas, dated March 10, 2019.
    I am posting it here with his permission.


    This is the current situation in Venezuela:

    ... deeply fraudulent ... Maduro ... Juan Guaidó ...
    Good grief, what a mess.

    Makes me figure that any simple sounding narrative, whether it be Maduro good or Maduro bad, Guaidó good or Guaidó bad, any of China, Cuba, or the U.S. good or bad ... whatever ... is like claiming a large sanitary land fill is all this or that, on the basis of a few items that someone shows you from the landfill.

    Perhaps Venezuelans have one advantage over Americans. The average person on the street in Venezuela must know by now, in their hearts and stomachs, that their country is being deeply messed with. That reality hasn't hit home yet for most Americans.
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    Default Re: Turmoil in Venezuela

    Jim Stone's perspective:


    Things are looking sketchy this month, all donations appear to be blocked BECAUSE:

    This site was the bleeding edge of the blade that cut the head off U.S. aggression in Venezuela. It cannot be denied, and "they" HATE ME for it.


    And they can just F*** OFF, I am not a socialist and I am not a fan of Venezuela but you don't wipe out the world's foremost hydroelectric facility in a nation that has totally green power, being virtually all hydroelectric and geothermal, JUST BECAUSE THEY HAVE OIL and you want it.

    Ok, so Venezuela was not too cool about kicking American companies out and nationalizing the oil when they went socialist, but that's still no excuse to front hoax infrastructure problems and claim there is no maintenance.

    If you are going to wreck Venezuela and oust their leadership, why not just be honest and say THEY VIOLATED OUR OIL CONTRACTS, SO WE WANT TO OUST THE LEADERSHIP AND GET THOSE CONTRACTS BACK.

    That I might be sympathetic toward, but if you want to go dirty and stux people and sabotage them, killing lots of people in hospitals and causing a legit "baby incubator" story line you can stick it.

    GET THIS:
    Prior to this escapade against Venezuela's grid, there were only a couple significant power problems that were equal to power problems New York had during the same time frame. Venezuela had no significant outages of more than a few hours, and then only in isolated cities. But America is awesome and maintains everything perfect, and Venezuela is full of stupid goons who can't keep the lights on. YEP.

    "La réalité est un rêve que l'on fait atterrir" San Antonio AKA F. Dard

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    Default Re: Turmoil in Venezuela

    A relevant article from Sharmine Narwani in Mintpress

    __________________________________________________ ______________________________

    "This deep-dive by investigative journalist Whitney Webb into Venezuela’s power outage reveals some interesting details about a Bush administration cyberattack plan against Iran. Exposed by the New York Times in 2016, the “Nitro Zeus” plan — which involved the US Cyber Command — would, among other things, target crucial parts of Iran’s electricity grid."

    __________________________________________________ ______________________________


    The State Dept Allegedly Tried to Coax An Iranian Expat into Sabotaging Iran’s Power Grid
    An Iranian-American engineer was allegedly was approached by the State Department with an offer of cash for sabotage of Iran’s power grid.

    March 15th, 2019
    By Sharmine Narwani


    It took a country-wide power outage in Venezuela, whispers of a cyberattack, and smug tweets from US officials to make me suddenly recall the cloak-and-dagger story of a close Iranian-American friend nine years ago.

    My friend, an engineer — who I will not name for obvious reasons and who I will call ‘Kourosh’ for the purpose of this article — revealed to me in 2010 that he was approached by two “State Department employees” who offered him $250,000 to “do something very simple” during his upcoming trip to Tehran.

    Kourosh was freaking out because he didn’t know how these guys knew he was going to Iran in the first place, and how they knew he was “cash-strapped,” in the second.

    He wasn’t a particularly political person, though he had participated in some DC protests in the aftermath of the hotly contested 2009 presidential elections. He was just one of the thousands of Iranian-American engineers in the Washington-Maryland-Virginia technology belt looking to make a decent living.

    Kourosh told the US officials that he was not interested, that if Iran needed to make changes, Iranians inside the country were the only ones who should do it. I begged him to let me write this story, but he was very nervous and declined. Over the next year or two, I pushed some more and he gave me further information, but wouldn’t budge on its publication.

    Here is what he revealed: The State Department guys had since approached him a second time. They offered him further details about the job. They wanted him to disable Tehran’s power grid in exchange for the $250k. They needed someone with technical skills but said the job was a simple one. He would have to go to a specific location in the Tehran area with a laptop or similar communication device and punch in a code.

    Kourosh even told me the code. Said he had memorized it and could recite it in his sleep. Here it is: 32-B6-B10–40-E (symbol for epsilon).

    Okay, that’s not the actual code, but it looks exactly like that — same format, same sequence and amount of numbers and letters. I don’t feel comfortable publishing the code in case it is still relevant — sorry. If anyone knows what this code could be, please comment below.

    A colleague with an engineering background has this to say about it:

    "This could be a password for power grids or any equipment that is governed by an electronic or computer system. Manufacturers have codes they use for de-bugging or resetting a system. Control systems are all electronic and sometimes for any reason (like an earthquake) something is triggered and the system goes off. And then you reset it within the vicinity of the system usually and feed in the new code.

    You don’t have to physically be there if you can hack into it, but that’s of course harder. If they (the Americans) needed to have someone physically there during the sabotage attempt, it probably means they didn’t have remote access to the system.”


    I don’t actually know why Kourosh received that level of detail unless he was willing to go through with this act of sabotage on behalf of the US government, but he assured me he would never consider it — that he was just “curious” during the second meeting. “No way,” he told me.

    "Imagine if I did it and someone’s grandmother or father died because their life support machine switched off.”


    I remember these details because I discussed it with a number of people in and around 2010, without disclosing Kourosh’s name. Today, I dug up the old Facebook message I sent to Iranian-American author and activist Trita Parsi of the DC-based National Iranian-American Council (NIAC), a fellow Huffington Post blogger at the time. Trita gave me permission to post screenshots here:

    Click image for larger version

Name:	Trita1 (iran_blackout).png
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ID:	40188

    Disclosure: My Iranian-American husband and I ran an internet company in the telecommunications industry in Washington years ago and I was a founding member of the Iranian-American Technology Council, so I knew a lot of engineers and technology folks from that very background.

    I recall writing to Trita precisely because he was so keyed into the political heart of this community. It would be extremely dangerous for myself and colleagues in my industry if the US government was recruiting Iranian-American civilian engineers as saboteurs in third countries.

    This deep-dive by investigative journalist Whitney Webb into Venezuela’s power outage reveals some interesting details about a Bush administration cyberattack plan against Iran. Exposed by the New York Times in 2016, the “Nitro Zeus” plan — which involved the US Cyber Command — would, among other things, target crucial parts of Iran’s electricity grid.

    Take note, however, that US officials asked Kourosh to sabotage Tehran’s power grid during the Obama administration. Obviously, aspects of the Nitro Zeus plan remained on the table despite a switch in government, political parties and policies.

    Back to Venezuela

    It’s been a grueling week for Venezuelans dealing with the nationwide blackout that has brought the country to a standstill. Last Thursday an “accident” at the Guri Dam power plant in Bolivar state — which generates around 80% of the country’s electricity — left at least 20 out of 23 Venezuelan states without electricity.

    As power started to flood back to central states, a second “cyber attack” on Saturday plunged the country back into darkness. Government authorities have charged US officials with launching the attack on Venezuela’s electricity infrastructure and say they will present evidence of this to the United Nations and other international organizations.

    The US has countered, blaming the power outage on corruption and infrastructure neglect by the government of President Nicolás Maduro — against whom Washington has been staging a rather unsuccessful coup effort these past months.

    (Pompeo tweet of March 8th)

    But in the midst of this to-and-fro between longtime adversaries, insightful news reports and analysis are starting to emerge, suggesting that a US cyberattack against Venezuela’s power grid is actually a very possible — even likely — scenario.

    Says Forbes Magazine‘s Kalev Leetaru:

    "In the case of Venezuela, the idea of a government like the United States remotely interfering with its power grid is actually quite realistic. Remote cyber operations rarely require a significant ground presence, making them the ideal deniable influence operation.

    Widespread power and connectivity outages like the one Venezuela experienced last week are also straight from the modern cyber playbook. Cutting power at rush hour, ensuring maximal impact on civilian society and plenty of mediagenic post-apocalyptic imagery, fits squarely into the mold of a traditional influence operation,”
    he continues.

    For those of us who have spent years covering US irregular warfare in the Middle East, infrastructure targets are part and parcel of these wars — sometimes via direct strikes, other times via proxies and sabotage operations.

    I’m not just talking about cyberattacks like the US/Israeli-made Stuxnet virus that destroyed hundreds of centrifuges at Iranian nuclear facilities.

    In Syria, for instance, the US military specifically targeted major economic infrastructure under the guise of ‘fighting ISIS.’ These include but are not limited to oilfields, wells and facilities, electrical transformer stations, gas plants, bridges, canals, a number of vital dams and reservoirs in the country’s northern agricultural belt — and power generation facilities.

    And US-backed proxies — part of the Pentagon and CIA’s ‘irregular army’ in Syria — targeted bread factories, wheat silos and flour mills to deprive a population of basic food staples.

    As opposed to conventional wars, US irregular warfare seeks to covertly use influence ops to turn the largest part of a country’s population, the “uncommitted middle,” into supporting regime-change. Destroying infrastructure, creating shortages, unleashing political violence, propaganda dissemination — these are all steps outlined in the US military’s Special Forces Unconventional Warfare manual to create a disgruntled population that will turn on its government.

    And cyber warfare is the newest theater of engagement for the Pentagon, which is now openly ramping up its investment in “lethal cyber weapons,” regardless of the civilian casualties these attacks will leave in their wake.

    So far in Venezuela, around 20 people are reported dead due to the blackouts, though I’ve seen some opposition sources place that number north of 70.

    Is Venezuela’s blackout part of US cyber warfare against a Latin American adversary?

    Has the US engaged in cyberwarfare against Iranian infrastructure?

    Does a duck quack?
    “If a man does not keep pace with [fall into line with] his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.” - Thoreau

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    Default Re: Turmoil in Venezuela

    Venezuela: Voices from on the ground vs. the media's spin circus

    Paul Cochrane Counterpunch
    Mon, 18 Mar 2019 15:57 UTC


    Juan Guaidó and Nicolás Maduro © Desconocido

    British photojournalist Alan Gignoux and Venezuelan journalist-filmmaker Carolina Graterol, both based in London, went to Venezuela for a month to shoot a documentary for a major global TV channel. They talked with journalist Paul Cochrane about the mainstream media's portrayal of Venezuela compared to their experiences on the ground.
    Paul Cochrane (PC): What were you doing in Venezuela, how long were you there and where did you go?

    Alan Gignoux (AG): We went in June 2018 for a month to shoot a documentary; I can't disclose what channels it will be on right now, but it should be on air soon. We visited the capital Caracas, Mérida (in the Andes), Cumaná (on the coast), and Ciudad Guayana (near the mouth of the Orinoco river).

    PC: How did being in Venezuela compare to what you were seeing in Western media?

    Carolina Graterol (CG): I am a journalist, I have family in Venezuela, and I knew the reality was very different from what the media is portraying, but still I was surprised. The first thing we noticed was the lack of poverty. Alan wanted to film homeless and poor people on the streets. I saw three people sleeping rough just this morning in London, but in Venezuela, we couldn't find any, in big cities or towns. We wanted to interview them, but we couldn't find them. It is because of multi disciplinary programmes run by the government, with social services working to get children off the streets, or returned to their families. The programme has been going on for a long time but I hadn't realized how effective it was.

    © Getty Images
    PC: Alan, what surprised you?

    AG: We have to be realistic. Things look worn down and tired. There is food, there are private restaurants and cafes open, and you could feel the economic crisis kicking in but poverty is not as bad as what I've seen in Brazil or Colombia, where there are lots of street children. Venezuela doesn't seem to have a homeless problem, and the favelas have running water and electricity. The extreme poverty didn't seem as bad as in other South American countries. People told me before going I should be worried about crime, but we worked with a lady from El Salvador, and she said Venezuela was easy compared to her country, where there are security guards with machine guns outside coffee shops. They also say a lot of Venezuelan criminals left as there's not that much to rob, with better pickings in Argentina, Chile or wherever.

    PC: How have the US sanctions impacted Venezuelans?

    CG: Food is expensive, but people are buying things, even at ten times their salary. Due to inflation, you have to make multiple card payments as the machine wouldn't take such a high transaction all at once. The government has created a system, Local Committees for Production and Supply (known by its Spanish acronym CLAP) that feeds people, 6 million families, every month via a box of food. The idea of the government was to bypass private distribution networks, hoarding and scarcity. Our assistant was from a middle class area in Caracas, and she was the only Chavista there, but people got together and created a CLAP system, with the box containing 19 products. Unless you have a huge salary, or money from outside, you have to use other ways to feed yourself. People's larders were full, as they started building up supplies for emergencies. People have lost weight, I reckon many adults 10 to 15 kilos. Last time I was in Venezuela three years ago, I found a lot of obese people, like in the US, due to excessive eating, but this time people were a good size, and nobody is dying from hunger or malnutrition.


    People check bags of foodstuff inside one of the food distribution centres, which have been set up by local ­committees ‘for supply and ­production’ in Caracas. © Ronaldo Schemidt/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

    PC: So what are Venezuelans eating?

    CG: A vegetarian diet. People apologized as they couldn't offer us meat, instead vegetables, lentils, and black beans. So everyone has been forced to have a vegetarian diet, and maybe the main complaint was that people couldn't eat meat like they used to do. The situation is not that serious. Before Hugo Chavez came to power, Venezuela had 40% critical poverty out of 80% poverty, but that rate went down to 27%, and before the crisis was just 6 or 7% critical poverty. Everyone is receiving help from the government.

    PC: So food is the main concern?

    CG: The real attack on the economy is on food. When you have hyperinflation everything goes up in price, but food has become the main source of spending because this is the variable going up in price at exorbitant levels. Bills like water, electricity, public transport haven't gone up that much and represent a small percentage of any family spending. This is why the distortions in the economy are not intrinsic, but caused by external factors, otherwise everything should have gone up, no matter what it is.

    PC: Alan, did you lose weight in Venezuela?

    AG: No! What surprised me was how many people are growing their own vegetables. It is a bit like in Russia, where everyone has a dacha. Venezuela is tropical, so it is easy to grow produce. Mango trees are everywhere, so you can pick a mango whenever you want.

    PC: So the crisis we read about everyday is primarily due to the US sanctions?

    CG: The sanctions have affected the country. I want to be fair. I think the government was slow to act on the direction the country was being pushed. It was probably not a good idea to pay off $70 billion in external debt over the past five years. In my opinion, (President Nicolas) Maduro decided to honor the external debt, thinking this was the right way to pay our commitments, but at the same time, this economic war started waging internally, and also externally, blocking international loans.

    The government should also have taken action against Colombia for allowing over one hundred exchange houses to be set up on the border with Venezuela. These exchange houses eroded the currency as they were using different exchange rates, and that contributed to the Bolivar's devaluation. I think they should have denounced the (Juan Manuel) Santos government. If Colombia says that Venezuelan oil that crosses its border is contraband, why not currency? Remember, the biggest industry in Colombia is cocaine - narcotics trafficking - and it has grown exponentially, so they've an excessive amount of US dollars and need to launder them, which drained the Venezuelan currency. It is induced hyperinflation. Also, in Miami, the Venezuelan oligarchy created a website called DolarToday about 12 years ago to destroy the Venezuelan economy.

    PC: What else struck you?

    CG: People are still smiling and making jokes about the situation, which I find incredible. People are willing to share, and we were in some tricky situations, like when our car broke down at night.

    AG: Everyone says don't drive at night in Venezuela. We were on the road, and figured we'd only half hour to go, what could go wrong? Then a transformer burned out. I thought I was about to have my Venezuelan nightmare, stuck in the middle of nowhere on a dark road at night. Who would ever find you?

    CG: As there were no lights we had to use our phones to let big trucks know we were on the road.

    AG: We pretended I was deaf as I couldn't pass for Venezuelan with my Spanish accent. So, a really old old pick-up truck pulls up, and the occupants looked rather salty, but they were very nice and took us to a petrol station.

    CG: I told you Alan, you are not in the US, you are not going to be shot!

    AG: I was with three women with money, I thought OK I will be shot, but it all turned out fine, and they thought I was deaf.

    CG: We were told we could sleep in a shop but we slept in the car instead, and it was fine.

    PC: What about the power cuts that have plagued the country?

    CG: During blackouts, people told stories, played music, or went out and talked on the streets. It was a paradise, no TVs, smartphones, but real human contact. People cook together. During the day they're playing board games, dominoes, and kids are having fun. People with kids are possibly more stressed, especially if you live in a tower block, as if you've no electricity, you've no water. That is why the US hit the electricity grid as it means no water in Caracas - a city of 10 million people. Luckily there are wells with clean water around the city, so people queue up to get it.


    Men fill containers with water at Avila National Park during rolling blackouts which has cut many off from running water in Caracas, Venezuela, Wednesday, March 13, 2019. © Associated Press/Eduardo Verdugo

    PC: So there was a real discrepancy between the image you were given of Venezuela and the reality?

    AG: Sure, there are queues for oil, but people are not dying of starvation and, as I said, poverty is no where near what it is like in Brazil. I wouldn't say a harsh dictatorship, people were open, and criticized the government, and the US, but also Chavez and Maduro. The Partido Socialista Unido de Venezuela (PSUV) have admitted they had made bad economic decisions. I thought it would be more repressive, and it wasn't. People were not fearful about speaking out. I think Venezuelans blame the Americans for the situation more than Maduro.

    PC: What do you make of the hullabaloo in February about US and Canadian aid being blocked by Venezuela?

    AG: It is a Trojan horse, a good way to get the US in, and why international agencies were not willing take part in the plan. Instead there has been Chinese and Russian aid.

    CG: There's not the chaos US and Trump were expecting. (Opposition leader and self-proclaimed president Juan) Guaidó is the most hated guy in Venezuela. He has to stay in luxury hotel in La Mercedes, an expensive neighbourhood of Caracas. They have electricity there, as they were prepared, so bought generators. That is why Guaidó went there, and has a whole floor of a luxury hotel for him and his family. While people are suffering Guaidó is trying on suits for his upcoming trip to Europe. It is a parallel world.

    AG: You think Guaidó will fail?

    CG: Venezuelans are making so many jokes with his name, as there's a word similar to stupid in Spanish - guevon. And look at the demonstration in La Mercedes the other day (12 March), the crowds didn't manifest. It is becoming a joke in the country. The more the Europeans and the US make him a president, the more bizarre the situation becomes, as Guaidó is not president of Venezuela! Interestingly, Chavez predicted what is happening today, he wrote about it, so people are going back to his works and reading him again.

    PC: There's plenty of material on the history of American imperialism in South America to make such predictions, also, more recently, the Canadians and their mining companies, in Paraguay, Honduras, and now backing Guaidó.

    CG: Exactly. Look at Chile in 1973, what happened to the Sandinistas in El Salvador, in Guatemala.

    It is a well rehearsed strategy to destroy an economy using external forces to drive up prices of supplies and products. When you have such a cycle, it explodes.
    Alan Gignoux is a photojournalist, with a particular focus on socio-political and environmental issues. Alan's work has been published in The New York Times, CNN Traveller, The Independent, Reuters and World Photography News, among others (www.gignouxphotos.com).

    Carolina Graterol is a Venezuelan journalist, filmmaker and artist (www.carolinagraterol.com). She has worked for the BBC World Service (Spanish) and Telesur. She is the director of A Letter from Venezuela (2019).

    Paul Cochrane is a journalist living in Beirut.
    Related:
    Food prices skyrocketed 72% in Venezuela in 2013: International financiers' currency speculation to blame?
    "La réalité est un rêve que l'on fait atterrir" San Antonio AKA F. Dard

    Troll-hood motto: Never, ever, however, whatsoever, to anyone, a point concede.

  29. The Following 6 Users Say Thank You to Hervé For This Post:

    avid (19th March 2019), Joe (19th March 2019), Paul (20th March 2019), Philippe (19th March 2019), Sophocles (19th March 2019), Tintin (20th March 2019)

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