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    Venezuela Avalon Member perolator's Avatar
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    Default Re: Turmoil in Venezuela

    Quote Posted by Tintin (here)
    The toxicity of social media, and adoption of keyboard assassination techniques, as a weapon, has imbued a sense in some folk that it is acceptable to snark from behind a portcullis of assumed superiority.
    Agree.

    Quote Yes, constructive and well thought out arguments with an intelligent, rationally positioned loci are our business here.
    A member of this forum told me "I just spoke with a friend on the phone... he says your line about the elections only having 10% participation, is a pile of utter dog crap". Since then, I try to source information every time I can; it is difficult to locate reliable information in English, but I try anyway.

    I may debunk each and every argument RT, Clark Murray, Eva Golinger, Abby Martin, et. al., ad nauseam... but I am not a journalist, historian and/or researcher. I just read John Perkins' book Confessions of an Economic Hit Man (it is very good) but it does not apply in its entirety to what is happening in my country.

    Another member of the forum told me I have no real idea what is happening in my own country. (!) I thanked him for enlighten me. But what really offended me is the infamous article by Craig Murray "The Vultures of Caracas 43", available right here in this thread.


    Quote Take a really close look at the photo... Scan individual hands in the crowd, one by one... Look at the exquisitely manicured hands, fingers fully stuffed of Cartier, Bulgari, rose gold rings... some platinum and beatifully sculpted diamond rings over there.... Franck Muller, Rolexes, Patek Phillipe, some Vacheron Constantin over there... Vertu cellphones... These are not the poor...
    Quote Low snarky blows from behind the portcullis are somewhat frowned upon.
    Agree.

    Quote 5th, (and perolator), would it be accurate to say that you are a member of the middle or upper class in Venezuela? (Yes, I remember you both said you are expats, but the question stands.) It seems like the only people echoing your stance are the 'old ruling class' or the 'wannabee ruling class' of Venezuela, and the imperialist/globalist/Deep State operatives... and those that have not taken any time to research.
    Maybe I am, maybe not. What is the point? I am lost (again).

    Quote Guayabal wisely said: I think you are blind and can't accept real facts because they prove a failure in your ideology.
    Speaking of low blows... This one went straight to the jaw.

    Quote of the OP please, everyone. (Hint: it isn't titled "Turmoil in Avalon")
    I have tried (and failed miserably) to show a different point of view.

  2. Link to Post #142
    United States Administrator Paul's Avatar
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    Default Re: Turmoil in Venezuela

    Quote Posted by perolator (here)


    Is not that simple. After watching Eva Golinger and her boatload of rotten crap, here is a bit of fresh air.
    That was compelling ... she (Joanna Hausmann, if I have it right) sounded a lot more real than whatever the "distinguished" US Sec of State Pompeo said before the UN Security Council.

    Does she, perolator, match your understanding of what is happening in Venezuela fairly accurately ?
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    Venezuela Avalon Member perolator's Avatar
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    Default Re: Turmoil in Venezuela

    Quote Posted by Paul (here)

    That was compelling ... she (Joanna Hausmann, if I have it right) sounded a lot more real than whatever the "distinguished" US Sec of State Pompeo said before the UN Security Council.

    Does she, perolator, match your understanding of what is happening in Venezuela fairly accurately ?
    100%, Paul. Every single word she said is true.

    She is the niece of Braulio Jatar, unfairly imprisoned (people cannot imagine there is a dictatorship in Venezuela) by the regime. His crime? see below:


    He was the first one to report about the protest. It was important because Maduro was not expecting poor people protesting. The area was one of the former chavista strongholds in Margarita island. Several residents were incarcerated, but...

    Quote All those held in Margarita were released after a few hours except Braulio Jatar, 58, who was picked up on Saturday morning on his way to host his regular morning radio show, according to his family.
    Source

    The political police SEBIN accused him (ironically) of money laundering because they "found" USD 25,000 in his house but they forgot almost all his family lives in the U.S., I say ironically because chavistas wash and rinse millions of dollars in a daily basis. Chávez's daughter Maria Gabriela has more than 4 billion dollars in assets all over the world.

    Quote The daughter of Hugo Chavez, the former president who once declared 'being rich is bad,' may be the wealthiest woman in Venezuela, according to evidence reportedly in the hands of Venezuelan media outlets.

    Maria Gabriela Chavez, 35, the late president's second-oldest daughter, holds assets in American and Andorran banks totaling almost $4.2billion, Diario las Americas reports.
    Source

    The Maduro regime moved him to a state prison (common practice of Maduro and Chávez) to keep him among common criminals.

    Source

    I don't know what happens to him as of now. Here is his CPJ entry.

    Hope this helps.

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    Avalon Member guayabal's Avatar
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    Default Re: Turmoil in Venezuela

    Quote Posted by Mike (here)
    Quote Posted by 5th (here)
    Gee Herve, are you being paid to endlessly copy and paste propaganda (or occasionally just a link)?

    Why are you so desperate to prove a point?

    Herve, I've just been laid off. please tell your handlers I'm available for work too, ok?
    ok Mike go ahead and continue spreading propaganda... we have first hand information and we can take it for what it is

  5. Link to Post #145
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    Default Re: Turmoil in Venezuela

    Quote Posted by Tintin (here)
    Quote Posted by 5th (here)
    Gee Herve, are you being paid to endlessly copy and paste propaganda (or occasionally just a link)?

    Why are you so desperate to prove a point?
    None of the moderators, each of us with our own very differing, passionately well informed and researched views on an equally varied and interesting plethora of subject matter, are paid.

    Your point?
    How can say say 'well informed and well researched' when all Herve has been doing is copy and pasting MSM propaganda? The same machine that we all know prints a load of BS because it's controlled and biased. He's trying to make the same point over and over and over and over again. The fact is that those of us with contacts in Venezuela know for certain it isn't true.

    How can people here be so blindly stuck in the conspiracy mindset that they believe the MSN when in suits them over somebody like perolator who is an actual Venezuelan?

  6. Link to Post #146
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    Default Re: Turmoil in Venezuela

    [QUOTE=perolator;1272235]
    Quote Posted by Tintin (here)


    I have tried (and failed miserably) to show a different point of view.
    Perolator, what exactly is your point? That Maduro is corrupt to the core and cause chaos and suffering to Venezuelan citizens? I can agree with that. But you are also clearly supporting the group which is behind Guaido. which means that if ever Maduro is ousted and Guaido takes over he will be a front to those that back him up, the USA group which we both agreed creates chaos everywhere. Thus it follows that if Guaido succeed the USA group will be able to create chaos and suffering to your people. It does not add up because according to you you want your people to be in good condition. Unless of course you are just saying it regardless of your personal agenda. I know I know this is how politicians (expats included) work. Work for the people in public work for the pocket privately.

    No you dont fail miserably you have quite some good points I am just confuse with your seemingly double talk.

    My point Maduro most probably is to be ousted and replace but certainly not with Guaido if we are after the good of Venezuelan citizen. And that you are only supporting Guaido because you have a personal agenda to protect and not because you are thinking of good of your people. Its only my conclusion and not necessarily the truth

    Prove me wrong please.

  7. Link to Post #147
    UK Moderator Tintin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Turmoil in Venezuela

    Quote Posted by 5th (here)
    Quote Posted by Tintin (here)
    Quote Posted by 5th (here)
    Gee Herve, are you being paid to endlessly copy and paste propaganda (or occasionally just a link)?

    Why are you so desperate to prove a point?
    None of the moderators, each of us with our own very differing, passionately well informed and researched views on an equally varied and interesting plethora of subject matter, are paid.

    Your point?
    How can say say 'well informed and well researched' when all Herve has been doing is copy and pasting MSM propaganda? The same machine that we all know prints a load of BS because it's controlled and biased. He's trying to make the same point over and over and over and over again. The fact is that those of us with contacts in Venezuela know for certain it isn't true.

    How can people here be so blindly stuck in the conspiracy mindset that they believe the MSN when in suits them over somebody like perolator who is an actual Venezuelan?
    What is being offered by Hervé, by way of the variously sourced commentaries available, is the opportunity for interested readers to, for example, apply sfumato to the palette; paint their own picture. By presenting those at times almost contradictory views from the mainstream commentariat and non-mainstream empowers a discerning spectator to draw their own conclusions. Think of these contributions as research material.

    I may often do, and have done, similarly. Everything presented has some real value and should be thought provoking; there is no agenda at all.

    What is difficult to refute is testimony from Venezuelan citizens caught up in the turmoil, but of course there will be differing perspectives amongst them as there are in societies worldwide. All of us of course, to a greater or lesser degree, are exposed to propaganda, and it is up to us to discern intelligently what is wheat, and what is chaff.

    What is increasingly and I would proffer practically impossible to dispute is that Maduro will in most likelihood have crimes imputed to him from his tenure/office, but also what is I would argue self evident is yet another in a long history of nation state meddling by the US/CIA (probably British as well) in the affairs of another sovereign state unravelling very transparently.

    You make a very sensible and fair point with regard to citizenry, and if you could please provide some perspective from those you know living in Venezuela, would be a terrific contribution here; I would welcome that.

    It is of course very easy, as we all do and I can be a little guilty of that too, to intellectualise from distance as spectators but quite another thing to be caught up 'on-the-ground'.

    If it's of any value I too have an extraordinary mistrust of mainstream information but making that available allows us a reference point to fairly critique, and with very good reason.
    “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

  8. Link to Post #148
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    Default Re: Turmoil in Venezuela

    This from the local news Caracas Chronicles https://www.caracaschronicles.com/20...r-on-the-poor/

    By 8:00pm, Joana thought a war had started. A three-hour shootout took hold of the area. “They were using automatic weapons and tear gas. We heard screams, chaos.”

    Why? Because of something people in the “formal city” have barely noticed: the barrio turned on Maduro.

    The chavista regime can no longer count on the big shantytowns in Caracas for support. What was once the cradle of urban chavismo and colectivos, is now the main focus of protest and violence against Maduro and his government.

    Repression has been fierce in urban areas: the death toll keeps growing, as reports of FAES executions keep people terrified. Reports proliferate of growing numbers of arbitrary and underage detentions, the barrios speak up, but the shadow of repression wants to slience them.

    “We’re afraid to talk about what FAES does with people. How do you tell someone how they kill you?” says an anonymous pedestrian from Petare in Plaza Los Dos Caminos in Caracas.

    “Yesterday I told you everything was OK, after FAES left,” says Kleiver, a 26 year old mechanic and father of a two year old. “Today, before sundown, they came back, took two of my friends. They broke into their homes, beat them in front of their families, put them in a truck and left. Will we see them again?”

    Kleiver is a demonstrator, but today he’s too scared to leave home. “I’ve lost so many brothers at the hands of FAES,” he tells us. “One of the ones they took is disabled. Are they going to execute him?”

    There are no profiles on FAES officers, little public information on its structure, no accountability. We only know about the patterns that consistently appear in repeated victims’ stories: intimidation, home break-ins and executions.

    FAES amounts to the Venezuelan police’s death squads. “According to official figures, there were 4,998 casualties in 2017 at the hands of State security forces, about 14 daily,” explains Keymer Ávila, researcher for the Central University’s Institute of Criminal Sciences, and PROVEA advisor.

    “What the country’s suffering is a slow massacre, and the PNB’s special forces are a key piece of it. If we use these figures, we could estimate that the PNB may have killed 1,500, a figure that represents 30% of murders in the country.”

    Reports that the Military are still supporting Maduro are correct but what they don't say is that unless they do they won't get paid or food to eat and their families may be persecuted.

  9. Link to Post #149
    France Administrator Hervé's Avatar
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    Default Re: Turmoil in Venezuela

    ...

    ... for the records:


    The Making of Juan Guaidó: How The US Regime Change Laboratory Created Venezuela's Coup Leader

    Dan Cohen & Max Blumenthal Gray Zone
    Tue, 29 Jan 2019 16:41 UTC

    Before the fateful day of January 22, fewer than one in five Venezuelans had heard of Juan Guaidó. Only a few months ago, the 35-year-old was an obscure character in a politically marginal far-right group closely associated with gruesome acts of street violence. Even in his own party, Guaidó had been a mid-level figure in the opposition-dominated National Assembly, which is now held under contempt according to Venezuela's constitution.

    But after a single phone call from from US Vice President Mike Pence, Guaidó proclaimed himself as president of Venezuela. Anointed as the leader of his country by Washington, a previously unknown political bottom dweller was vaulted onto the international stage as the US-selected leader of the nation with the world's largest oil reserves.

    Echoing the Washington consensus, the New York Times editorial board hailed Guaidó as a "credible rival" to Maduro with a "refreshing style and vision of taking the country forward." The Bloomberg News editorial board applauded him for seeking "restoration of democracy" and the Wall Street Journal declared him "a new democratic leader." Meanwhile, Canada, numerous European nations, Israel, and the bloc of right-wing Latin American governments known as the Lima Group recognized Guaidó as the legitimate leader of Venezuela.


    Juan Guaido's transformation from terrorist to 'democratic leader of Venezuela'

    While Guaidó seemed to have materialized out of nowhere, he was, in fact, the product of more than a decade of assiduous grooming by the US government's elite regime change factories. Alongside a cadre of right-wing student activists, Guaidó was cultivated to undermine Venezuela's socialist-oriented government, destabilize the country, and one day seize power. Though he has been a minor figure in Venezuelan politics, he had spent years quietly demonstrating his worthiness in Washington's halls of power.
    "Juan Guaidó is a character that has been created for this circumstance," Marco Teruggi, an Argentinian sociologist and leading chronicler of Venezuelan politics, told the Grayzone.

    "It's the logic of a laboratory - Guaidó is like a mixture of several elements that create a character who, in all honesty, oscillates between laughable and worrying."
    Diego Sequera, a Venezuelan journalist and writer for the investigative outlet, Mision Verdad, agreed:
    "Guaidó is more popular outside Venezuela than inside, especially in the elite Ivy League and Washington circles," Sequera remarked to the Grayzone,

    "He's a known character there, is predictably right-wing, and is considered loyal to the program."
    While Guaidó is today sold as the face of democratic restoration, he spent his career in the most violent faction of Venezuela's most radical opposition party, positioning himself at the forefront of one destabilization campaign after another. His party has been widely discredited inside Venezuela, and is held partly responsible for fragmenting a badly weakened opposition.
    "'These radical leaders have no more than 20 percent in opinion polls," wrote Luis Vicente León, Venezuela's leading pollster.
    According to Leon, Guaidó's party remains isolated because the majority of the population "does not want war. 'What they want is a solution.'"

    But this is precisely why he Guaidó was selected by Washington: he is not expected to lead Venezuela towards to democracy, but to collapse a country that for the past two decades has been a bulwark of resistance to US hegemony. His unlikely rise signals the culmination of a two decades-long project to destroy a robust socialist experiment.

    Targeting the 'troika of tyranny'
    Since the 1998 election of Hugo Chavez, the United States has fought to restore control over Venezuela and is vast oil reserves. Chavez's socialist programs may have redistributed the country's wealth and helped lift millions out of poverty, but they also earned him a target on his back. In 2002, Venezuela's right-wing opposition briefly ousted him with US support and recognition before the military restored his presidency following a mass popular mobilization. Throughout the administrations of US Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, Chavez survived numerous assassination plots before succumbing to cancer in 2013. His successor, Nicolas Maduro, has survived three attempts on his life.

    The Trump administration immediately elevated Venezuela to the top of Washington's regime change target list, branding it the leader of a "troika of tyranny." Last year, Trump's national security team attempted to recruit members of the military brass to mount a military junta, but that effort failed. According to the Venezuelan government, the US was also involved in a plot codenamed Operation Constitution to capture Maduro at the Miraflores presidential palace, and another called Operation Armageddon to assassinate him at a military parade in July, 2017. Just over a year later, exiled opposition leaders tried and failed to kill Maduro with drone bombs during a military parade in Caracas.

    More than a decade before these intrigues, a group of right-wing opposition students were hand-selected and groomed by an elite, US-funded regime change training academy to topple Venezuela's government and restore the neoliberal order.

    Training from the 'export-a-revolution' group
    On October 5, 2005, with Chavez's popularity at its peak and his government planning sweeping socialist programs, five Venezuelan "student leaders" arrived in Belgrade, Serbia to begin training for an insurrection.

    The students had arrived from Venezuela courtesy of the Center for Applied Non-Violent Action and Strategies, or CANVAS. This group is 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; and offshoots like the International Republican Institute and the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs. 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."

    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 gained international fame - and Hollywood-level promotion - by mobilizing the protests that eventually toppled Slobodan Milosevic. This small cell of regime change specialists was operating according to the theories of the late Gene Sharp, the so-called "Clausewitz of non-violent struggle." Sharp had worked with a former Defense Intelligence Agency analyst, Col. Robert Helvey, to conceive a strategic blueprint that weaponized protest as a form of hybrid warfare, aiming it at states that resisted Washington's unipolar domination.


    Useful idiots and radicals of the world, unite! Otpor with R.E.M. at the 1998 MTV Europe Music Awards

    Otpor was supported by the National Endowment for Democracy, USAID and Sharp's Albert Einstein Institute. Sinisa Sikman, one of Otpor's main trainers, once said the group even received direct CIA funding. According to a leaked email from a Stratfor staffer, after running Milosevic out of power,
    "the kids who ran OTPOR grew up, got suits and designed CANVAS... or in other words an '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 revealed that CANVAS "turned its attention to Venezuela" in 2005 after training opposition movements that led pro-NATO regime change operations across Eastern Europe.

    While monitoring the CANVAS training program, Stratfor outlined its insurrectionist agenda in strikingly blunt language: "Success is by no means guaranteed, and student movements are only at the beginning of what could be a years-long effort to trigger a revolution in Venezuela, but the trainers themselves are the people who cut their teeth on the 'Butcher of the Balkans.' They've got mad skills. When you see students at five Venezuelan universities hold simultaneous demonstrations, you will know that the training is over and the real work has begun."

    Birthing the 'Generation 2007' regime change cadre
    The "real work" began two years later, in 2007, when Guaidó graduated from Andrés Bello Catholic University of Caracas. He moved to Washington DC to enroll in the Governance and Political Management Program at George Washington University under the tutelage of Venezuelan economist Luis Enrique Berrizbeitia, one of the top Latin American neoliberal economists. Berrizbeitia is a former executive director of the International Monetary Fund who spent more than a decade working in Venezuelan energy sector under the oligarchic old regime that was ousted by Chavez.

    That year, Guaidó helped lead anti-government rallies after the Venezuelan government declined to to renew the license of Radio Caracas Televisión (RCTV). This privately-owned station played a leading role in the 2002 coup against Hugo Chavez. RCTV helped mobilize anti-government demonstrators, falsified information blaming government supporters for acts of violence carried out by opposition members, and banned pro-government reporting amid the coup. The role of RCTV and other oligarch-owned stations in driving the failed coup attempt was chronicled in the acclaimed documentary, The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.

    That same year, the students claimed credit for stymying Chavez's constitutional referendum for a "21st century socialism" that promised "to set the legal framework for the political and social reorganization of the country, giving direct power to organized communities as a prerequisite for the development of a new economic system."

    From the protests around RCTV and the referendum, a specialized cadre of US-backed class of regime change activists was born. They called themselves "Generation 2007."

    The Stratfor and CANVAS trainers of this cell identified Guaidó's ally - a street organizer named Yon Goicoechea - as a "key factor" in defeating the constitutional referendum. The following year, Goicochea was rewarded for his efforts with the Cato Institute's Milton Friedman Prize for Advancing Liberty, along with a $500,000 prize, which he promptly invested into building his own Liberty First (Primero Justicia) political network.



    Friedman, of course, was the godfather of the notorious neoliberal Chicago Boys who were imported into Chile by dictatorial junta leader Augusto Pinochet to implement policies of radical "shock doctrine"-style fiscal austerity. And the Cato Institute is the libertarian Washington DC-based think tank founded by the Koch Brothers, two top Republican Party donors who have become aggressive supporters of the right-wing across Latin America.

    Wikileaks published a 2007 email from American ambassador to Venezuela William Brownfield sent to the State Department, National Security Council and Department of Defense Southern Command praising "Generation of '07" for having "forced the Venezuelan president, accustomed to setting the political agenda, to (over)react." Among the "emerging leaders" Brownfield identified were Freddy Guevara and Yon Goicoechea. He applauded the latter figure as "one of the students' most articulate defenders of civil liberties."

    Flush with cash from libertarian oligarchs and US government soft power outfits, the radical Venezuelan cadre took their Otpor tactics to the streets, along with a version of the group's logo, as seen below:


    "Galvanizing public unrest... to take advantage of the situation and spin it against Chavez"
    In 2009, the Generation 2007 youth activists staged their most provocative demonstration yet, dropping their pants on public roads and aping the outrageous guerrilla theater tactics outlined by Gene Sharp in his regime change manuals. The protesters had mobilized against the arrest of an ally from another newfangled youth group called JAVU. This far-right group "gathered funds from a variety of US government sources, which allowed it to gain notoriety quickly as the hardline wing of opposition street movements," according to academic George Ciccariello-Maher's book, Building the Commune.

    While video of the protest is not available, many Venezuelans have identified Guaidó as one of its key participants. While the allegation is unconfirmed, it is certainly plausible; the bare-buttocks protesters were members of the Generation 2007 inner core that Guaidó belonged to, and were clad in their trademark Resistencia! Venezuela t-shirts, as seen below:


    Is this the ass that Trump wants to install in Venezuela’s seat of power?

    That year, Guaidó exposed himself to the public in another way, founding a political party to capture the anti-Chavez energy his Generation 2007 had cultivated. Called Popular Will, it was led by Leopoldo López, a Princeton-educated right-wing firebrand heavily involved in National Endowment for Democracy programs and elected as the mayor of a district in Caracas that was one of the wealthiest in the country. Lopez was a portrait of Venezuelan aristocracy, directly descended from his country's first president. He was also the first cousin of Thor Halvorssen, founder of the US-based Human Rights Foundation that functions as a de facto publicity shop for US-backed anti-government activists in countries targeted by Washington for regime change.

    Though Lopez's interests aligned neatly with Washington's, US diplomatic cables published by Wikileaks highlighted the fanatical tendencies that would ultimately lead to Popular Will's marginalization. One cable identified Lopez as "a divisive figure within the opposition... often described as arrogant, vindictive, and power-hungry." Others highlighted his obsession with street confrontations and his "uncompromising approach" as a source of tension with other opposition leaders who prioritized unity and participation in the country's democratic institutions.


    Popular Will founder Leopoldo Lopez cruising with his wife, Lilian Tintori

    By 2010, Popular Will and its foreign backers moved to exploit the worst drought to hit Venezuela in decades. Massive electricity shortages had struck the country due the dearth of water, which was needed to power hydroelectric plants. A global economic recession and declining oil prices compounded the crisis, driving public discontentment.

    Stratfor and CANVAS - key advisors of Guaidó and his anti-government cadre - devised a shockingly cynical plan to drive a dagger through the heart of the Bolivarian revolution. The scheme hinged on a 70% collapse of the country's electrical system by as early as April 2010.
    "This could be the watershed event, as there is little that Chavez can do to protect the poor from the failure of that system," the Stratfor internal memo declared.

    "This would likely have the impact of galvanizing public unrest in a way that no opposition group could ever hope to generate. At that point in time, an opposition group would be best served to take advantage of the situation and spin it against Chavez and towards their needs."
    By this point, the Venezuelan opposition was receiving a staggering $40-50 million a year from US government organizations like USAID and the National Endowment for Democracy, according to a report by the Spanish think-tank, the FRIDE Institute. It also had massive wealth to draw on from its own accounts, which were mostly outside the country.

    While the scenario envisioned by Statfor did not come to fruition, the Popular Will party activists and their allies cast aside any pretense of non-violence and joined a radical plan to destabilize the country.

    Towards violent destabilization
    In November, 2010, according to emails obtained by Venezuelan security services and presented by former Justice Minister Miguel Rodríguez Torres, Guaidó, Goicoechea, and several other student activists attended a secret five-day training at the Fiesta Mexicana hotel in Mexico City. The sessions were run by Otpor, the Belgrade-based regime change trainers backed by the US government. The meeting had reportedly received the blessing of Otto Reich, a fanatically anti-Castro Cuban exile working in George W. Bush's Department of State, and the right-wing former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe.

    At the Fiesta Mexicana hotel, the emails stated, Guaidó and his fellow activists hatched a plan to overthrow President Hugo Chavez by generating chaos through protracted spasms of street violence.

    Three petroleum industry figureheads - Gustavo Torrar, Eligio Cedeño and Pedro Burelli - allegedly covered the $52,000 tab to hold the meeting. Torrar is a self-described "human rights activist" and "intellectual" whose younger brother Reynaldo Tovar Arroyo is the representative in Venezuela of the private Mexican oil and gas company Petroquimica del Golfo, which holds a contract with the Venezuelan state.

    Cedeño, for his part, is a fugitive Venezuelan businessman who claimed asylum in the United States, and Pedro Burelli a former JP Morgan executive and the former director of Venezuela's national oil company, Petroleum of Venezuela (PDVSA). He left PDVSA in 1998 as Hugo Chavez took power and is on the advisory committee of Georgetown University's Latin America Leadership Program.

    Burelli insisted that the emails detailing his participation had been fabricated and even hired a private investigator to prove it. The investigator declared that Google's records showed the emails alleged to be his were never transmitted.

    Yet today Burelli makes no secret of his desire to see Venezuela's current president, Nicolás Maduro, deposed - and even dragged through the streets and sodomized with a bayonet, as Libyan leader Moammar Qaddafi was by NATO-backed militiamen.

    Quote Pedro Mario Burelli @pburelli

    .@NicolasMaduro, jamas me has hecho caso. Me has fustigado/perseguido como @chavezcandanga jamás osó. Óyeme, tienes sólo dos opciones en las próximas 24 horas:

    1. Como Noriega: pagar pena por narcotráfico y luego a @IntlCrimCourt La Haya por DDHH.

    2. O a la Gaddafi.

    Escoge ya!
    The alleged Fiesta Mexicana plot flowed into another destabilization plan revealed in a series of documents produced by the Venezuelan government. In May 2014, Caracas released documents detailing an assassination plot against President Nicolás Maduro. The leaks identified the Miami-based Maria Corina Machado as a leader of the scheme. A hardliner with a penchant for extreme rhetoric, Machado has functioned as an international liaison for the opposition, visiting President George W. Bush in 2005.


    Machado and George W. Bush, 2005

    "I think it is time to gather efforts; make the necessary calls, and obtain financing to annihilate Maduro and the rest will fall apart," Machado wrote in an email to former Venezuelan diplomat Diego Arria in 2014.

    In another email, Machado claimed that the violent plot had the blessing of US Ambassador to Colombia, Kevin Whitaker. "I have already made up my mind and this fight will continue until this regime is overthrown and we deliver to our friends in the world. If I went to San Cristobal and exposed myself before the OAS, I fear nothing. Kevin Whitaker has already reconfirmed his support and he pointed out the new steps. We have a checkbook stronger than the regime's to break the international security ring."

    Guaidó heads to the barricades
    That February, student demonstrators acting as shock troops for the exiled oligarchy erected violent barricades across the country, turning opposition-controlled quarters into violent fortresses known as guarimbas. While international media portrayed the upheaval as a spontaneous protest against Maduro's iron-fisted rule, there was ample evidence that Popular Will was orchestrating the show.

    "None of the protesters at the universities wore their university t-shirts, they all wore Popular Will or Justice First t-shirts," a guarimba participant said at the time. "They might have been student groups, but the student councils are affiliated to the political opposition parties and they are accountable to them."

    Asked who the ringleaders were, the guarimba participant said, "Well if I am totally honest, those guys are legislators now."

    Around 43 were killed during the 2014 guarimbas. Three years later, they erupted again, causing mass destruction of public infrastructure, the murder of government supporters, and the deaths of 126 people, many of whom were Chavistas. In several cases, supporters of the government were burned alive by armed gangs.

    Guaidó was directly involved in the 2014 guarimbas. In fact, he tweeted video showing himself clad in a helmet and gas mask, surrounded by masked and armed elements that had shut down a highway that were engaging in a violent clash with the police. Alluding to his participation in Generation 2007, he proclaimed, "I remember in 2007, we proclaimed, 'Students!' Now, we shout, 'Resistance! Resistance!'"

    Guaidó has deleted the tweet, demonstrating apparent concern for his image as a champion of democracy.

    On February 12, 2014, during the height of that year's guarimbas, Guaidó joined Lopez on stage at a rally of Popular Will and Justice First. During a lengthy diatribe against the government, Lopez urged the crowd to march to the office of Attorney General Luisa Ortega Diaz. Soon after, Diaz's office came under attack by armed gangs who attempted to burn it to the ground. She denounced what she called "planned and premeditated violence."


    Guaido alongside Lopez at the fateful February 12, 2014 rally

    In an televised appearance in 2016, Guaidó dismissed deaths resulting from guayas - a guarimba tactic involving stretching steel wire across a roadway in order to injure or kill motorcyclists - as a "myth." His comments whitewashed a deadly tactic that had killed unarmed civilians like Santiago Pedroza and decapitated a man named Elvis Durán, among many others.

    This callous disregard for human life would define his Popular Will party in the eyes of much of the public, including many opponents of Maduro.

    Cracking down on Popular Will
    As violence and political polarization escalated across the country, the government began to act against the Popular Will leaders who helped stoke it.

    Freddy Guevara, the National Assembly Vice-President and second in command of Popular Will, was a principal leader in the 2017 street riots. Facing a trial for his role in the violence, Guevara took shelter in the Chilean embassy, where he remains.

    Lester Toledo, a Popular Will legislator from the state of Zulia, was wanted by Venezuelan government in September 2016 on charges of financing terrorism and plotting assassinations. The plans were said to be made with former Colombian President Álavaro Uribe. Toledo escaped Venezuela and went on several speaking tours with Human Rights Watch, the US government-backed Freedom House, the Spanish Congress and European Parliament.

    Carlos Graffe, another Otpor-trained Generation 2007 member who led Popular Will, was arrested in July 2017. According to police, he was in possession of a bag filled with nails, C4 explosives and a detonator. He was released on December 27, 2017.

    Leopoldo Lopez, the longtime Popular Will leader, is today under house arrest, accused of a key role in deaths of 13 people during the guarimbas in 2014. Amnesty International lauded Lopez as a "prisoner of conscience" and slammed his transfer from prison to house as "not good enough." Meanwhile, family members of guarimba victims introduced a petition for more charges against Lopez.

    Yon Goicoechea, the Koch Brothers posterboy and US-backed founder of Justice First, was arrested in 2016 by security forces who claimed they found found a kilo of explosives in his vehicle. In a New York Times op-ed, Goicoechea protested the charges as "trumped-up" and claimed he had been imprisoned simply for his "dream of a democratic society, free of Communism." He was freed in November 2017.


    David Smolansky, also a member of the original Otpor-trained Generation 2007, became Venezuela's youngest-ever mayor when he was elected in 2013 in the affluent suburb of El Hatillo. But he was stripped of his position and sentenced to 15 months in prison by the Supreme Court after it found him culpable of stirring the violent guarimbas.

    Facing arrest, Smolansky shaved his beard, donned sunglasses and slipped into Brazil disguised as a priest with a bible in hand and rosary around his neck. He now lives in Washington, DC, where he was hand picked by Secretary of the Organization of American States Luis Almagro to lead the working group on the Venezuelan migrant and refugee crisis.

    This July 26, Smolansky held what he called a "cordial reunion" with Elliot Abrams, the convicted Iran-Contra felon installed by Trump as special US envoy to Venezuela. Abrams is notorious for overseeing the US covert policy of arming right-wing death squads during the 1980's in Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Guatemala. His lead role in the Venezuelan coup has stoked fears that another blood-drenched proxy war might be on the way.


    Four days earlier, Machado rumbled another violent threat against Maduro, declaring that if he "wants to save his life, he should understand that his time is up."

    A pawn in their game
    The collapse of Popular Will under the weight of the violent campaign of destabilization it ran alienated large sectors of the public and wound much of its leadership up in exile or in custody. Guaidó had remained a relatively minor figure, having spent most of his nine-year career in the National Assembly as an alternate deputy. Hailing from one of Venezuela's least populous states, Guaidó came in second place during the 2015 parliamentary elections, winning just 26% of votes cast in order to secure his place in the National Assembly. Indeed, his bottom may have been better known than his face.

    Guaidó is known as the president of the opposition-dominated National Assembly, but he was never elected to the position. The four opposition parties that comprised the Assembly's Democratic Unity Table had decided to establish a rotating presidency. Popular Will's turn was on the way, but its founder, Lopez, was under house arrest. Meanwhile, his second-in-charge, Guevara, had taken refuge in the Chilean embassy. A figure named Juan Andrés Mejía would have been next in line but reasons that are only now clear, Juan Guaido was selected.

    "There is a class reasoning that explains Guaidó's rise," Sequera, the Venezuelan analyst, observed. "Mejía is high class, studied at one of the most expensive private universities in Venezuela, and could not be easily marketed to the public the way Guaidó could. For one, Guaidó has common mestizo features like most Venezuelans do, and seems like more like a man of the people. Also, he had not been overexposed in the media, so he could be built up into pretty much anything."

    In December 2018, Guaidó sneaked across the border and junketed to Washington, Colombia and Brazil to coordinate the plan to hold mass demonstrations during the inauguration of President Maduro. The night before Maduro's swearing-in ceremony, both Vice President Mike Pence and Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland called Guaidó to affirm their support.

    A week later, Sen. Marco Rubio, Sen. Rick Scott and Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart - all lawmakers from the Florida base of the right-wing Cuban exile lobby - joined President Trump and Vice President Pence at the White House. At their request, Trump agreed that if Guaidó declared himself president, he would back him.

    Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met personally withGuaidó on January 10, according to the Wall Street Journal. However, Pompeo could not pronounce Guaidó's name when he mentioned him in a press briefing on January 25, referring to him as "Juan Guido."


    By January 11, Guaidó's Wikipedia page had been edited 37 times, highlighting the struggle to shape the image of a previously anonymous figure who was now a tableau for Washington's regime change ambitions. In the end, editorial oversight of his page was handed over to Wikipedia's elite council of "librarians," who pronounced him the "contested" president of Venezuela.

    Guaidó might have been an obscure figure, but his combination of radicalism and opportunism satisfied Washington's needs. "That internal piece was missing," a Trump administration said of Guaidó. "He was the piece we needed for our strategy to be coherent and complete."

    "For the first time," Brownfield, the former American ambassador to Venezuela, gushed to the New York Times, "you have an opposition leader who is clearly signaling to the armed forces and to law enforcement that he wants to keep them on the side of the angels and with the good guys."

    But Guaidó's Popular Will party formed the shock troops of the guarimbas that caused the deaths of police officers and common citizens alike. He had even boasted of his own participation in street riots. And now, to win the hearts and minds of the military and police, Guaido had to erase this blood-soaked history.

    On January 21, a day before the coup began in earnest, Guaidó's wife delivered a video address calling on the military to rise up against Maduro. Her performance was wooden and uninspiring, underscoring the her husband's limited political prospects.

    At a press conference before supporters four days later, Guaidó announced his solution to the crisis: "Authorize a humanitarian intervention!"

    While he waits on direct assistance, Guaidó remains what he has always been - a pet project of cynical outside forces.
    "It doesn't matter if he crashes and burns after all these misadventures," Sequera said of the coup figurehead.

    "To the Americans, he is expendable."
    "La réalité est un rêve que l'on fait atterrir" San Antonio AKA F. Dard

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    France Administrator Hervé's Avatar
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    Default Re: Turmoil in Venezuela

    Voltaire Network | 30 January 2019


    français Español italiano


    The United States has just imposed a series of sanctions on the PDVSA, the state company tasked with exploiting and selling the hydrocarbons belonging to Venezuela. According to the US Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, “the Maduro Regime” was making use of the PDVSA to “control, manipulate and rob the people of Venezuela”. ‎

    When the US Treasury Secretary talks about “manipulating the people” he is referring to the fact that the Bolivarian Republic was redistributing the profits of PDVSA among the country’s poor. ‎ Under the new US sanctions, from now on, US companies will no longer be able to pay the constitutional authorities of the Bolivarian Republic for Venezuelan oil. Instead, payment must be made to the self-declared “Acting President” Juan Guaidó. ‎

    A collateral effect of this measure is that CITGO, the US subsidiary of PDVSA, will not be able to pay off the loans that the Russian giant Rosneft had granted it. Due to this, Rosneft could seize the three refineries that CITGO operates in the United States as well as its oil pipelines in this country. But the Pentagon will surely be opposed for “reasons of national security”.

    Since PDVSA was established in 1976, the personnel of this company have lived detached from the rest of the Venezuelan people, with their eyes firmly fixed ‎on Washington. They are completely against the Bolivarian Movement.

    During the Presidency of Hugo Chávez, PDVSA slowed down its production but its profits increased. Although the Venezuelan state wanted to provide refineries with facilities to treat the shale oil that had just been discovered, it restrained its zeal in pursuing this activity: President Chavez feared that such initiative might provoke a US invasion. ‎

    Under the Presidency of Nicolas Maduro, a series of scandals followed, crippling the PDVSA: the managing team siphoned off millions and transferred them to Andorra before the State managed to discover the financial manipulation and prosecute the criminals. Most of the PDVSA’s employees support the coup of Juan Guaidó and sabotage the work of PDVSA by not turning up at work. This has triggered a fall in production which was reduced to a fifth of its capacities.

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

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    Default Re: Turmoil in Venezuela


    Mike Pompeo, the US Secretary of State has just appointed Elliot Abrams as Special Envoy for Venezuela.

    Elliott Abrams is a hard-core neo-conservative. He wove himself into the tight-knit Jewish coterie surrounding Democratic senator Henry Scoop Jackson. He then unravelled himself and threaded into the Reagan Administration. Abrams married the step-daughter of Norman Podhoretz, editor-in-chief of the Commentary. He is one of the initiators of theo-politics.

    He was the one who supervised the creation of NED – the National Endowment for Democracy. This is the agency tasked with pursuing in secret the goals of the CIA. When Reagan was president, Abrams was on the organizing committee of the war against Nicaragua and El Salvador, as well as the Iran-Contras matter. Then when Bush (son) was President, Abrams was on the advisory committee for “global democracy”. It is in this capacity that Abrams supervised the attempted coup d’état against Venezuelan President, Hugo Chavez in 2002.

    During the most recent presidential campaign, Abrams took a position against Donald Trump. Yet after Trump was elected to power, the Deep State tried to impose him as Secretary of State but President Trump would have none of it.

    Abrams appointment as special envoy for Venezuela marks a radical shift in the Trump Administration’s policy.
    « Elliott Abrams, le "gladiateur" converti à la "théopolitique" », par Thierry Meyssan, Réseau Voltaire, 14 février 2005.
    Translation Anoosha Boralessa
    "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.

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    Venezuela Avalon Member perolator's Avatar
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    Default Re: Turmoil in Venezuela

    Quote Posted by Bubu (here)
    Perolator, what exactly is your point? That Maduro is corrupt to the core and cause chaos and suffering to Venezuelan citizens? I can agree with that.
    Wonderful. That is 50% my point.

    Quote But you are also clearly supporting the group which is behind Guaido.
    I do not deny it. I am against the Maduro regime and Chávez's before him. Please understand:
    • I am not supporting "a group".
    • I am not part of any agenda. All I want is restoration of democracy in Venezuela.
    • Nobody is funding me to post my opinion here. Moreover, this is the only place where I am posting my particular, objective point of view. RT, teleSUR, et. al. are NOT flooding the world with propaganda for free. That's for sure.
    • I don't care about global socialism, global communism, conspiracy theories, whatever. That's why I haven't posted before in this section of Avalon.
    • I am against the Bolivarian crap because it is the only form of "socialism" I know. FYI, it is pretty bad. Doesn't work. Could not work.

    Quote which means that if ever Maduro is ousted...
    Bubu, Maduro's regime is not legit. it is a narco-dictatorship.

    Quote ...and Guaido takes over he will be a front to those that back him up, the USA group which we both agreed creates chaos everywhere.
    Agree, but... the USA group always has had presence in Venezuela and, you know what? All was okay. FYI, the U.S. has been supporting the Venezuelan government BECAUSE they are the only ones paying cash for oil. Russia and China had criminal onerous trade agreements with the treacherous regime that only benefit both superpowers. No "oil for the poor" but a HUGE debt for the Venezuelan people. also, we Venezuelans pay heavy taxes to support the regime.

    Quote Thus it follows that if Guaido succeed the USA group will be able to create chaos and suffering to your people. It does not add up because according to you you want your people to be in good condition.
    Wait and see.

    Quote Unless of course you are just saying it regardless of your personal agenda. I know I know this is how politicians (expats included) work. Work for the people in public work for the pocket privately.
    I don't want to discuss my personal agenda now. My captain is telling me my Gulfstream V is about to land.

    Quote No you dont fail miserably you have quite some good points I am just confuse with your seemingly double talk.
    No double talk here. Please allow me to clarify anything you need.

    Quote My point Maduro most probably is to be ousted and replace but certainly not with Guaido if we are after the good of Venezuelan citizen. And that you are only supporting Guaido because you have a personal agenda to protect and not because you are thinking of good of your people. Its only my conclusion and not necessarily the truth

    Prove me wrong please.
    Bubu, I don't care WHO or WHOM "oust" Maduro and his people. That's my point. Russia and China are in Venezuela doing business, they won't help Maduro. All they want is their money.

    Personal agenda.

    Believe what you want. You are free to decide what is good and bad.

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    United States Avalon Member AriG's Avatar
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    Default Re: Turmoil in Venezuela

    Ron Paul highlights the evil do-er John Bolton's continuing plans for world domination. They aren't even trying to hide the US backed coup and their intentions. No need for conspiracy "theories" here, these jerks are providing us with Conspiracy Facts!

    Incidentally, I had a run in with John Bolton in 1995. He was a screaming red faced animal. Horrible human being. He was looking for his "daughter" and thought that I, as a Manager for a small city, somehow would have knowledge as to the whereabouts of his "daughter". Turns out, this person, who ended up being an exotic dancer (probably more) was not his daughter. Very interesting....

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    Default Re: Turmoil in Venezuela

    The Dan Cohen & Max Blumenthal article posted here (<---)
    "La réalité est un rêve que l'on fait atterrir" San Antonio AKA F. Dard

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    Default Re: Turmoil in Venezuela

    Quote Posted by AriG (here)
    Ron Paul highlights the evil do-er John Bolton's continuing plans for world domination.

    Bolton talks and behaves exactly as can be predicted from his past . Arguably a Super Soldier .

    Time after time . And then some more , we hear of Trump appointments and ex-appointees behaving exactly as Deep State operatives have always done . Because they are Deep State . And even Percy the Pig knows the form .

    " Trump is therefore either a Clown or complete Hostage " . Discuss .

    Or , " The Left may be gripped by their insanity but their opponents are blind and deaf ". Take your pick .

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    Default Re: Turmoil in Venezuela

    Sorry Herve’. Didn’t realize that there was a long long thread on this. I used the post/thread checker tool and nothing came up. Mods please feel free to merge.


    [Merge done, Hervé]

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    Default Re: Turmoil in Venezuela

    Quote Posted by Dennis Leahy (here)
    Be careful what you wish for. The USA has just appointed "the savior you've been waiting for", Elliot Abrams.
    Quote Posted by Valerie Villars (here)
    Jesus, Dennis. That is a hell of a find and correlation.
    Nancy Morgan Hart, of Headlines With A Voice (HWAV), presents some background on Elliott Abrams.

    Abrams is one of the premier, criminal, interventionist, Neocons. His appointment by Sec of State Pompeo to be special envoy for Venezuela is a clear marker that the nation building destroying policies of the Imperial American Empire are in full play in Venezuela. Never mind and to hell with whatever Trump might want.

    The cure is sometimes worse than the disease.

    Yes, perolator, the chavista disease of Maduro is bad, very bad.

    But the American Imperialists have a long history of destroying nations, and Abrams is a premier Imperialist.

    The American (Rockefeller, ...) allopathic doctors use the same strategy. They, along with their (formerly named) Monsanto and other "modern agricultural" associates, feed you toxic food and medicines until you get cancer. Then they scare the hell out of you with the cancer diagnosis and treat you with chemo and radiation until you die, very sick and very poor.

    Either Juan Guaidó is the chemo, or, I suspect perhaps more likely, he and the calls for restoring democracy to Venezuela are dispensable bait, being used to bring down Maduro, before further destroying Venezuela and robbing it of its resources, or at least making sure that no one opposed to the American Imperial Empire (such as Russia and China) gets a hand on those resources.

    ¤=[Post Update]=¤

    Quote Posted by AriG (here)
    Sorry Herve’. Didn’t realize that there was a long long thread on this. I used the post/thread checker tool and nothing came up. Mods please feel free to merge.
    That's ok. Herve’ did the merge. Our forum search and checker tools are not as good as Google's search tools ... but then again our connections with the CIA are not as good either.
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    Default Re: Turmoil in Venezuela

    Quote Posted by Paul (here)
    Either Juan Guaidó is the chemo, or, I suspect perhaps more likely, he and the calls for restoring democracy to Venezuela are dispensable bait, being used to bring down Maduro, before further destroying Venezuela and robbing it of its resources, or at least making sure that no one opposed to the American Imperial Empire (such as Russia and China) gets a hand on those resources.
    As I just posted elsewhere:
    Guaidó is the candy that the Rockefeller trained allopathic doctor uses to get you to start taking your chemo, after they have poisoned you enough that you have cancer. You end up very dead and very poor, poisoned and bankrupted by the chemo.

    I would suggest that those with faith pray that this is not the path of Venezuela, that Venezuela is not on the path that Libya traveled. The collapse of Libya resulted in a flood of non-acclimated, non-acclimatable, migrants into Europe. Perhaps the Anglo-American Imperialists have the same fate in store for the United States?
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    Default Re: Turmoil in Venezuela

    Quote Posted by ripple (here)
    Quote Posted by AriG (here)
    Ron Paul highlights the evil do-er John Bolton's continuing plans for world domination.

    Bolton talks and behaves exactly as can be predicted from his past . Arguably a Super Soldier .

    Time after time . And then some more , we hear of Trump appointments and ex-appointees behaving exactly as Deep State operatives have always done . Because they are Deep State . And even Percy the Pig knows the form .

    " Trump is therefore either a Clown or complete Hostage " . Discuss .

    Or , " The Left may be gripped by their insanity but their opponents are blind and deaf ". Take your pick .
    OR... Trump is draining the swamp by mechanism of ensuring that the lizards are actually in the swamp at the time it is drained. All the while playing buffoon and blowhard as a smoke screen. Recent indictments might suggest so. Or perhaps I am giving him too much credit. Either case, Bolton is the devil. He has served in every republican administration since he cut his teeth. The day he attacked me, the first words out of his mouth were (screaming) “do you know who I am”!! Had I been quicker on my feet I would have replied with, “ I think so, I smelled sulfur ten minutes before you walked In The door”. Hindsight...

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    Default Re: Turmoil in Venezuela

    Quote Posted by perolator (here)
    [...]
    Believe what you want. You are free to decide what is good and bad.
    Its more of what you believe than mine. My family is not in Venezuela.

    I think Paul, sum up the whole situation very accurately. God help Venezuela. The battle ground between the two mammoth force on the planet is now in your place. I'm taking the side of China and Russia in any case. They dont have a record of deliberately destroying nations such as this one.

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